|Description||Family papers relating to Mary Hicks (1858-1929), missionary teacher to Palestine and Egypt. Predominantly papers and correspondence about Mary, including letters, papers and photographs compiled by Mary's sister, E[lizabeth] S[weeting] Morley, and record of a donation of antiquities from Palestine given to Hastings Museum and Art Gallery by Mary's family in 1956. Also including Mary's own commonplace book, letters of reference, an article which she wrote and additional photographs. |
|Administrative History||Mary Hicks was born 8 March 1858 at Newington Butts, one of four children of Dr James Hicks (d 1858), a GP, and Mary Sweeting Auger whose father was an Oyster dredger. She worked as a governess before applying for missionary service. |
After studying at the Home and Colonial School Society training home, Mary first went overseas as a missionary of the Society for Promoting Female Education in the East (FES) sailing for Palestine in 1891 to work in an orphanage at Nazareth. When FES was dissolved and its activities transferred to CMS in 1899, Mary was invited to join and was accepted for work with the CMS Palestine Mission 7 November 1899. She worked at Nazareth (from 1891), Gaza (from 1902) and Salt (from September 1908). Due to the outbreak of the War, Mary moved to work in the CMS Egypt Mission in 1914; this was initially on a temporary basis and she is still recorded as being on the staff of the Palestine Mission until 1920 when, after a spell on furlough in England, her work was formally transferred to the Egypt Mission where Mary lived for most of the rest of her life at Menouf.
Mary was fluent in Arabic and composed Arabic rhymes, and hymns. Out of her tiny income, she saved to fund a ward of the mission hospital at Es Salt and built a school in the hospital compound at Gaza. Although she retired in 1928, she continued to 'do full work' as a voluntary helper at the Menouf Girls' School until she died, aged 71 years, 26 November 1929.
The minute on her retirement from CMS records the warmth with which she was regarded: '... During these many years Miss Hicks' ready and cheerful service has been outstanding ...' (CMS/G/C1/91 p 322)
Source: information from the donor; Register of missionaries (clerical, lay & female) and native clergy from 1804 to 1904, Church Missionary Society, 1905 (annotated version); CMS minutes (CMS/G/C1) and minutes of the FES (FES/AM 2); 'Lines of Communication', March .
|Custodial History||The papers passed to Cadbury Research Library from the great nephew of Mary Hicks, Stephen van Dulken, who had inherited them from his grandmother, Isabella van Dulken, nee Morley. Isabella is assumed to have inherited them from her mother Elizabeth Sweeting Morley (1856-1947), nee Hicks. Mary Hicks was Elizabeth's sister.|