|Description||This collection comprises copies of letters from George James Clark, CMS lay agent, written to his father, George Augustus Clark, January-September 1876, together with copies of transcripts of letters. All but one of the letters predate the letters from Clark in the official papers of the Church Missionary Society and therefore add substantially to the record of his recruitment and his journey out to Africa. |
|Administrative History||George James Clark (b c 1848) of Whitehaven was an engineer and architect. He offered his services to the CMS in 1876 and went to East Equatorial Africa as a lay agent. He was one of the eight who answered the call in 1875, initiated by H. M. Stanley to send missionaries, to Uganda. The CMS enterprise was called the Nyanza Mission and the others in the party which left Southampton on 27 April 1876 were Alexander Mackay, mechanical engineer; Rev Charles Thomas Wilson; Thomas O'Neill, engineer and architect; William Muir Robertson, artisan and industrial teacher; James Robertson, builder; and Dr John Smith. The leader of the expedition, Lieutenant George Shergold Smith, had set sail the previous month in a steamer, the Highland Lassie, which had been presented for the Mombasa Mission and which Smith agreed to deliver.|
Clark commenced the Mpwapwa Station, where he erected the mission house, conciliated the goodwill of the Ugogo and made some progress in the language. He returned to England in March 1877 because of ill health and his connection with the CMS closed the following year.
References: Register of missionaries (clerical, lay & female) and native clergy from 1804 to 1904 (Church Missionary Society, 1905); Eugene Stock, The History of the Church Missionary Society, Vol 3 (London: Church Missionary Society, 1899)