Finding Number (Click this to view full catalogue structure)CMS/ACC89
TitleAccession 89: Papers of Archdeacon T. J. Dennis
Extent6 boxes: 1 volume, 23 files, 1 document
DescriptionThis collection consists of the personal diaries of Thomas Dennis which were written in the form of detailed letters to his parents and friends and which were despatched at fortnightly intervals. The gaps in the chronological sequence relate to his periods of furlough in England and it therefore appears to be a continuous personal record of his service as a missionary. The collection includes a typescript of an Ibo translation of part of the Old Testament and some family photographs
ArrangementThis collection forms part of the Church Missionary Society Unofficial Papers. It is arranged into a single 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 HistoryThomas John Dennis (1869-1917) of St Leonards, a gardener, was accepted as a missionary by the CMS in 1893 and went to West Africa and was assigned to the Niger Mission. However, he remained for some time in Sierra Leone as acting Vice-Principal of Fourah Bay College. He was ordained a priest by the Bishop of Sierra Leone in 1894 and then proceeded to the Niger where he served at Onitsha. He was appointed as archdeacon of the Upper Niger in 1905. In 1908, he went to open a new station at Ebu where he served until 1917. He died on his way home from West Africa when the SS Karina was torpedoed. He had two sisters and a brother who were also CMS missionaries, Frances, Ellen and Edward.
Reference: Register of missionaries (clerical, lay & female) and native clergy from 1804 to 1904 (Church Missionary Society, 1905); and manuscript additions to register
Custodial HistoryThe original provenance of this collection is unknown; it was 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 which includes papers to relating Dennis's service as a missionary. It also holds unofficial papers of his sister, Frances Dennis (CMS/ACC4). A copy of 'Dennis and the Ibo Bible: The missionary work of Tom Dennis in Nigeria and the creation of the Union Ibo language' by John Goodchild (Goodchild Press, 2003) which was presented to Special Collections by the author in December 2003 is held in the Cadbury Research Library book collections (shelfmark q BV3630.I2 G66)