The measures for the transfer were for some time postponed, in consequence of certain requisite delays in the clearance of Norfolk Island of all its convict population. During the period of consideration and inquiry, in the summer of the year 1854, it was suggested by the excellent and energetic Bishop of New Zealand, who was then in England, that a college, which he was desirous of establishing, as the centre of the Melanesian (or Black-Islander) Mission, might be settled on Norfolk Island; the buildings on the island being, according to the account of the Bishop, of a capacity equal to that of all the Colleges in the University of Cambridge.
The Pitcairn Fund Committee, then sitting in London, expressed their opinion, that such an employment of the buildings as Bishop Selwyn had proposed, would in no way interfere with the well-being of the Pitcairn Islanders, if proper precautions were taken that the community of Pitcairn should be kept distinct, both as to property and self-government; and that the whole Island should be protected from the intrusion of other settlers...
This view of the subject was duly communicated, in July, 1854, to the Government. Both in the general measure, however, of the transfer from Pitcairn to Norfolk Island, and in all its details, the Government took such a course as seemed to them the best. To the Government belongs the credit of the act, in the execution of which they evidently proceeded in accordance with what they deemed to be the wishes of the islanders themselves, who, as it will be seen, repeated their entreaty to Captain Fremantle, on his visit to Pitcairn, in September, 1855, that they might be permitted to live on Norfolk Island, in the same kind of seclusion from the rest of the world as they had lived at Pitcairn.