Finding Number (Click this to view full catalogue structure)CMS/ACC31
TitleAccession 31: Papers of Rev Henry Townsend
Extent9 files
DescriptionPersonal papers relating to Henry Townsend's service as a CMS missionary with the West Africa and Yoruba Missions.

Including copies of his journal extracts, 1836-1837 and 1843-1847; miscellaneous letters; an account of a journey he undertook from Abeokuta in 1852; official instructions on his proceeding to Sierra Leone in 1840 and for his investigative mission to Badagry in 1842; manuscript notebooks giving an account of the Abeokuta mission written for children; a manuscript of a part of his autobiography.
ArrangementThis collection forms part of the Church Missionary Society Unofficial Papers. It is arranged into one 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 HistoryHenry Townsend (1815-1886) was accepted as a CMS missionary in 1836 and served the Society for nearly 40 years. He initially went to Sierra Leone but in 1843 he was transferred to the Yoruba mission which he was responsible for founding and from 1846 he was stationed at Abeokuta until 1867 when the missionaries were expelled. He retired in 1876. He wrote several hymns in Yoruba, compiled and printed the first hymn book in Yoruba, compiled the Yoruba primer and edited and printed the Iwe Irohin in English and Yoruba, a fortnightly publication.
Reference: Register of missionaries (clerical, lay & female) and native clergy from 1804 to 1904 (Church Missionary Society, 1905)
Custodial HistoryPresented to the CMS by R. Wilfred Townsend, 1955; transferred on permanent loan to the Special Collections Department by the CMS in the 1980s
Related MaterialThe Special Collections Department holds the Church Missionary Society Archive, the official archive of the society (GB 0150 CMS), which includes papers relating to Townsend's service as a CMS missionary
Publication NoteTownsend's brother, George, published a memoir compiled from his journals and other papers under the title: Memoir of the Rev. Henry Townsend, late C.M.S. Missionary, Abeokuta, West Africa with a preface by Eugene Stock, (1887) A photocopy of this publication is available in the University's Main Library, BV 3625.S5T6


    Some of our most significant collections