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Section VI: Missions to India

Part 6: North India Mission, 1817-1880

Section VI Part 6 continues coverage of the papers of the North India Mission, consisting of the Original Papers, 1817-1880 of individual missionaries, catechists, schoolteachers, medical workers and wives of missionaries. Included are all of the papers sent by the mission secretary to headquarters in London for those with surnames Br-Ho (Mrs Annie Jane Briggs to Rev Christian Theophilus Hoernle). The full alphabetical sequence is extensive and is split across Parts 5 to 8 of the project.

Description of Contents

Original Papers
Letters and Papers of Missionaries, Catechists and Others, 1817-1880

The papers contain an extremely wide variety of information on mission work, education and medical work as well as rich detail on the traditions and conditions of the local population.

The papers of male missionaries include important figures such as:

Rev James Brown (1869-1877)
Letters and reports on tours with the purpose of converting the Santals and Hindus and discussions regarding a Santali self-supporting Church.

Rev Robert Bruce (Amritsar, 1859-1875)
An account of an itineration of three months from Amritsar with descriptions of the villages, the inhabitants and scenery; a report on the Persian and Famine Relief Committee and the famine in Ispahan with maps of the area.

Elias Champion (Benares, 1859-1868, 1871-1878)
Letters regarding his evangelistic efforts, the ritualistic movement; journal extracts and reports on itinerations to Dummoh, 1863 and to the Gonds, 1866.

Rev Robert Clark (Amritsar and Peshawar, 1853-1878)
He was Chairman of the Punjab Native Church Council and Secretary of the Punjab Medical Missionary Association. His papers give much detail on the Amritsar region including reports of journeys to Ladak and Iskardo describing meetings with the Dalai Lama and visits to monasteries; minutes of a meeting of the first Punjab CMS Native Church Council in April 1877 with a list of delegates; correspondence with the General Secretary in London regarding “the continuation of mission work through the agency of the natives of the country”.

Rev Clement Francis Cobb (Benares, 1852-1859)
He was the Principal of the Jay Narayan Boys’ School in Benares and his papers include a history of the school, reports for 1854 and 1857, accounts and list of subscriptions, Annual Letters and journals regarding his work at the school.

Rev Daniel Corrie (Calcutta, 1815-1834)
He was made Archdeacon of Calcutta in 1823, in 1834 he was recalled to England and the following year was consecrated Bishop of Madras, returning to India the following year and dying there in 1837. He also held the post of Secretary to the Calcutta Auxiliary CMS. His papers include correspondence with the General Secretary in London and the Bishop of Calcutta; reports on mission stations in the Upper Provinces and on schools; minutes of meetings of the Auxiliary CMS Committee; an account of the hill people in Boglipoor and Bahar; papers regarding his work on Native Female Education with proposals for a school for women.

Rev George Goring Cuthbert (Calcutta, 1845-1861)
He was the Secretary of CMS, Calcutta. There are several letters describing Lucknow after the Indian Mutiny, 1857; descriptions of visits to the Tinnevelly missions and to the Krishnaghur district with sketches and descriptions of local events; details on his work in Calcutta; reports on the Girls’ School in Calcutta; regular letters to the General Secretary regarding the work of the mission with annual estimates; notes on school inspections and the Training School at Santipore; minutes of the Benares Conference Committee of the CMS, 1848.

Rev Carl Gustav Daeuble (Lucknow, 1862-1869, 1872-1878)
Secretary of the CMS Association, Lucknow, his papers include good detail on the famine in Oudh and his work at the Secundra Orphanage at Agra.

Rev Brocklesby Davis (Benares and Allahabad, 1859-1869, 1873-1880)
Secretary of the Tract Society and the CMS Education Society in Benares, his papers include letters and reports on his work in Benares and Allahabad in which he describes preaching in the bazaars, the progress of native Christians, new church and school buildings; reports on itinerations around the Benares district with vivid details on the hazards and difficulties involved; lists of conferences attended; report on the first Native Church Council, 1879.

Rev Thomas Dealtry (Calcutta, 1832-1840)
He was Archdeacon of Calcutta and included is much correspondence with the General Secretary in London regarding his work in the mission; letters from native catechists and a journal of a visit to Krishnaghur in 1840.

Rev William James Deerr (Burdwan and Culna, 1820-1845)
The papers include very long and incredibly detailed journals for the 1820’s and 1830’s describing his work in the Burdwan mission and itinerations such as one undertaken in 1831 to Bisenpore, Bancora and the coal mines.

Samuel Dyson (Calcutta and Krishnaghur, 1855-1877)
Principal of the Cathedral Mission College, Calcutta, his papers include reports and letters on his work in the college and proposals to amalgamate missionary colleges in Calcutta. Also included are accounts of itinerations and visits of inspection to schools in Krishnaghur.

Dr William J Elmslie (Amritsar, 1864-1869)
Medical missionary in the Punjab, he was in charge of the dispensary at Amritsar and included in his papers are details on the type of patients he treated with statistics. Also included are extracts from his journal with descriptions of his medical work and reports on his work written for the Bishop of Calcutta.

Rev Thomas Valpy French (Derajat and Lahore, 1850-1877)
He was Principal of the Lahore Divinity School and Bishop of Lahore for ten years. Letters to the General Secretary describe his journey out to India and work in the missions. Included also are reports on the employment in printing and agriculture of the famine orphans of 1837/1838; annual reports on the Lahore Divinity School; journeys to Dera in Afghanistan and reports on Multan and Jhelum as possible centres for new missions.

Bhola Nath Gose (Calcutta, 1878)
A native catechist in Calcutta, his papers include letters to the General Secretary in London and an account of mission work in Narwal, 1878.

Rev Frederick Gmelin (Calcutta and Krishnaghur, 1860-1878)
As Inspector of Schools in Krishnaghur his letters to the General Secretary in London give much detail on the progress of the vernacular, normal and Christian schools and training institutions. He also reports on his pastoral and literary work and the success of the work among women in the zenanas.

The papers of women in this part are those of wives of missionaries.

Mrs Annie Jane Briggs, wife of Rev William Briggs (Mooltan)
She was in charge of seven schools at Mooltan and also carried out work among the women in the zenanas. Included are reports on the schools and detailed accounts of her visits to the zenanas for the years 1877-1878.

Mrs Charlotte Davis, wife of Rev Henry Davis (Benares)
She had worked for the Ladies Association for Promoting the Education of Females in India and the Heathen Countries before her marriage. One letter describing her decision to leave the organisation is included.

Mrs Margaret A Elmslie, wife of Dr William J Elmslie (Amritsar)
Her papers include reports on her work at the Girls’ Orphanage at Amritsar.

Mrs Amelie Fuchs, wife of Rev John Fuchs (Benares)
Her papers consist of one letter to the General Secretary describing her work in the mission.

Mrs Lydia Greaves, wife of Rev Richard Pearson Greaves (Cathedral Mission College, Calcutta)
Her papers consist of one letter to the General Secretary regarding her work in Barrackpore.

Background to the North India Mission

CMS work in North India was controlled from the outset by the committee in Calcutta. CMS headquarters in London appointed the missionaries but the Committee decided where the missionaries, catechists and lay agents should work.

CMS work in North India developed quickly with an emphasis on education and printing. The first CMS school to be opened was Jai Narayan’s Boys’ School at Benares. The school, which was opened in 1818, was a gift from a Hindu and by 1822 classes for girls had begun, given by Miss Mary Ann Cooke, the first woman CMS missionary in India.

During 1837 and 1838 there was a terrible famine in North India and the Calcutta committee supported relief work and opened orphanages at Sekundra and Agra. It was difficult to find work for orphans and so a new trade, printing, was introduced. The work produced enough money to fund other mission institutions in Agra, such as St John’s College. The college opened in 1852 with the aim of providing higher English education on Christian lines to upper class Hindu boys. Within five years it had 320 pupils and several branch schools.

In 1852 the CMS opened a mission in Amritsar in the Punjab and then later in Peshawar in the Muslim North West Frontier province. But in 1857 the Indian Mutiny put a temporary halt to missionary progress when property was looted and destroyed and missionaries were forced to leave. After the Mutiny with the re-establishment of direct British rule, a country-wide educational system was developed and the introduction of postal services and railway communications began to break down regional differences and even moderate caste prejudice. These changes were reflected in the church and mission work.

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