CHURCH MISSIONARY SOCIETY ARCHIVE
Section IV: Africa Missions
Part 24: Mauritius, Madagascar and the Seychelles, 1856-1929
Covering all the papers for the Mauritius, Madagascar and Seychelles Mission,
Part 24 features:
- Individual Letter Books, 1863-1889.
- A Letter Book, 1857-1929 and a Précis Book, 1827-1929.
- Mission Books, 1856-1925.
- Original Papers, 1856-1925.
These records cover the work of the first CMS missionaries to arrive in the region:
Stephen Hobbs from Tinnevelly and Paul Ansorge – they worked amongst the Indian coolies on the sugar estates from 1856 onwards.
Later papers reflect the development of the native church in this region.
- In 1873, Rev P S Royston arrived as bishop and encouraged the development of a CMS Native Church Council to mirror the system he had practised in India. The papers reflect these activities in Mauritius up to 1907 when CMS decided to withdraw and hand over the church to the local population.
- The CMS worked with LMS and SPG in Madagascar with Rev Thomas Campbell and Rev Herbert Maundrell active at Andovoranto. The documents here reveal that there were difficulties between the three societies and the CMS Mission was wound up in 1874.
- The material on the Seychelles shows that CMS work here focused on an industrial school and settlement for liberated African slaves at Capucin Mountain. The institution was founded in 1875 by Rev W B Chancellor who called it Venns Town. As the slave trade dwindled, there was less need for this outpost and in 1894 the missionaries were called home and the work was handed over to the Seychelles branch of the Mauritius Diocesan Society.