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Section II: Missions to Women

Part 1: Society for Promoting Female Education (FES) in China, India and the East, 1834-1899

This material provides the complete archive of the Society for Promoting Female Education in China, India and the East for 1834-1899.  Also known as the Female Education Society (FES), it was interdenominational, staffed by women and employed only women agents.  Its main aim was the establishment and superintendence of schools in China, India and neighbouring countries.

  • There are minutes, committee papers, mission ledgers, memorandum books and annual reports.
  • The records describe the work of the Society’s first missionary, Miss Eliza Thornton in Malacca from 1836.
  • There are also details on Miss Elizabeth Carter at the orphanage asylum in Cawnpore, Miss Anne Thomson at Chinsurah, Miss Mary Craven at Madras and Miss Aldersey at Ningpo.
  • The Society’s main work in India centred on Madras, Orissa, Calcutta, Multan, Ludhiana, Agra and Coonoor. 
  • In China the main stations were Amoy, Ningpo, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Foochow.
  • Other missionaries worked in Palestine, Syria, Ceylon, Singapore and Japan.
  • There is good documentation on the decision to close the FES in 1899, following the death of its Secretary, Miss Webb, and the acceptance by CMS of 24 FES missionaries and their work in Palestine, Japan, China and India.
  • These archival materials reveal that the FES and CMS always worked very closely together.  Until the 1890s, CMS depended upon both the FES and CEZMS for single women to work among women and children in their missions.
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Introduction to the Archive

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