Jerusalem Christians Correspondence

Scope and Content

Correspondence of Christians in Jerusalem, 1828-1904, comprising a printed letter from William Howley, Archbishop of Canterbury, to the Prelates of the Eastern Churches, concerning the new Anglican Bishopric in Jerusalem, 1841, and article by A L Tibawi (The Muslim World, lxxix, no 1, 1979) concerning the letter; manuscript letter from the Agent of the Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem, 1868; manuscript letters from Arab Protestants, one to the Church Missionary Society and one to Bishop Barclay, 1880; correspondence and papers exchanged between George Blyth, Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem, and Khalil Sakakini, and Isa al-Isa, discussing activities of the Arabic Literary Club and various educational matters, 1903-1904.

Administrative / Biographical History

From at least 1821 the Church Missionary Society advocated the establishment of a permanent post in Jerusalem. The London Jewish Society, which aimed to convert Jews to Christianity, also took an interest in the city. The first permanent station was established in Jerusalem in 1833 and the first Bishop, Michael Solomon Alexander (a converted Jewish Rabbi), arrived in 1841 with the aim of converting Jews and Palestinians to Christianity. The Bishopric started as an Anglo-Prussian union, for Anglicans and Lutherans. In 1845, the first Anglican Church (Christ Church, Jaffa Gate) was dedicated. The second Bishop (1845-1879) was Samuel Gobat von Cremines. After the death of the third Bishop (1879-1881), Joseph Barclay, the Bishopric became a solely Anglican Bishopric, centred on the Cathedral Church of St George, which was built and dedicated in 1898 under the fourth Bishop, George Blyth (d 1914).

Khalil Sakakini (1878-1953) was a Palestinian educationalist and Arab nationalist.

Isa Daoud Al-Isa (1878-1950) was a Palestinian journalist and poet, the co-founder (in 1911) and editor of the Arabic newspaper based in Jaffa, Filastin.

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Donated in 1980.

Other Finding Aids

Notes with the letters summarise their contents.

Conditions Governing Use

For permission to publish, please contact Archives & Special Collections, SOAS Library in the first instance


Some of the documents are discussed in the bibliography of A L Tibawi, British Interests in Palestine 1800-1901 (1961), and in Revue de l'academic arabe (Damas, 1974), pp 871-881.