Finding Number (Click this to view full catalogue structure)CMS/ACC27
TitleAccession 27: Papers of Rev William Arthur Crabtree
Extent1 box, 22 bundles, 2 files, 22 items, 11 volumes
Date1888-c [1935]
DescriptionA collection of materials of and compiled by William Crabtree, CMS missionary to Uganda and philologist, mostly relating to his study of African languages and translation work. It includes letters, notes, drafts for publication, manuscript and typescript vocabularies and grammars for various African languages, typescripts of some of his works, and research materials in the form of card indexes. Work by other philologists in manuscript, typescript and printed format are also represented in the collection. The collection includes a small amount of material relating to his missionary service.
ArrangementThis collection forms part of the Church Mission Society Unofficial Papers. It is arranged into one series (with sub-series): Family Papers.
Access ConditionsAccess to all registered readers
Finding AidsA catalogue of this collection (forming part of the wider CMS/ACC unofficial papers catalogue) is available on the online archive catalogue. Click on the Finding Number to display the summary contents list of the catalogue and to view the full catalogue. A paper copy of this catalogue is also available for consultation at Special Collections.
Access StatusOpen
Administrative HistoryWilliam Arthur Crabtree (b c 1868-1945) was from Darlington and was educated at St Peter's School, York and King's School, Canterbury and St Catherine's College and Ridley Hall, Cambridge. He was admitted to the Church Missionary Training College in 1890 and accepted as a missionary in 1891. He sailed for Africa in 1891 and he served as a CMS missionary until 1905. He was stationed at various places: Frere Town, 1891; Mengo, Uganda, 1892; Kyagwe, 1893; Kavirondo, 1894; Busoga, 1894-1897; Mengo, 1898; Gyaza, 1899-1900; Masaba Kvirondo, 1901-1903. He was ordained as priest by Bishop Tucker in Mengo in 1893.The growth of the Anglican Church in Uganda owed much to the work of missionaries like Crabtree who saw that the translation of the bible was a necessary part of their mission work. Between 1896 and 1905, Crabtree and another CMS missionary, Frank Rowling, produced three of the four gospels in Soga and he also reduced the language, Gisu (Masaba) to writing and translated the gospels into that language. He married Ethel Bronwen Poole in 1898. He resigned in 1905 and for a while was a local clergyman in the Anglican church. He died at St Dennis, Cornwall in 1945.

References: Register of missionaries (clerical, lay & female) and native clergy from 1804 to 1904 (Church
Missionary Society, 1905), and unpublished additions to this register in the CMS archives; Gordon Hewitt, The Problems of Success. A history of the Church Missionary Society 1910-1942. Volume One (London, SCM Press Ltd, 1971); Crockford's Clerical Directory, 1910.
Custodial HistoryDeposited by Prof. A. N. Tucker, School of Oriental and African Studies, London, 1962.
Related MaterialThe Special Collections Department holds the Church Mission Society Archive, the official archive of the Society which includes papers relating to Crabtree's service as a missionary.
Associated MaterialsOther papers of Crabtree are held at London University in the School of Oriental and African Studies Library.
Reference : MS 380335


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