Finding Number (Click this to view full catalogue structure)CMS/ACC83
TitleAccession 83: Papers of Archdeacon Walter Owen
Extent24 vols., 33 files
DescriptionThis collection comprises both official and personal papers of W. E. Owen as a CMS missionary and Archdeacon of Kavirondo in Kenya from 1918 up to 1945. His official correspondence relates to a wide range of political and social issues in which he concerned himself including forced marriages and marriage customs, ownership of land and the Native Lands Trust ordinance, the discovery of gold in the Kavirondo reserve and its implications for native life and customs, and compulsory labour. The collection also includes an almost complete sequence of his pocket diaries from 1920 to 1945 and files of materials assembled for a biography of Owen.
ArrangementThis collection forms part of the Church Mission Society Unofficial Papers. It is arranged into three series: Official Papers, Family Papers and Miscellaneous 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 HistoryWalter Edwin Owen (1880-1945) was Assistant Secretary in the CMS Office in Belfast. He was accepted as a missionary in 1904 and ordained as a deacon in 1904 by the Bishop of London and as a priest in 1905 by the Bishop of Uganda. He served in Uganda for 14 years and then succeeded Walter Chadwick as Archdeacon of Kavirondo where he identified with the life and aspirations of the peoples of Nyanza. He was a skilful administrator. He died in 1945. His brother, Owen John Simpson was also a CMS missionary in West Africa.

References: Register of missionaries (clerical, lay & female) and native clergy from 1804 to 1904 (Church Missionary Society, 1905); Gordon Hewitt, The Problems of Success: a history of the Church Missionary Society 1910-1942 (SCM Press Ltd, 1971)
Custodial HistoryThis collection was deposited with the CMS but the original provenance is unknown. It was transferred on permanent loan to the University of Birmingham by the CMS in the 1980s.
Related MaterialCadbury Research Library holds the Church Mission Society Archive, the official archive of the society (GB 0150 CMS), which includes papers relating to Owen's service as a CMS missionary


    Some of our most significant collections