Transcripts relating to the McDougall family by Revd A J M Saint

Scope and Content

Transcripts and summaries of material, articles and associated research relating in particular to Bishop Francis Thomas McDougall (1817-1886) missionary to the East Indies. The letters provide details of Bishop McDougall's life and career, including his marriage to Harriette Bunyon (1818-1886). There are also copies of material written by and about Harriette in the collection. It also contains information of their travels and local conditions that they experienced as well as family and domestic news. There was considerable unrest in the region at this time and there are accounts of piracy, tribal disputes and political affairs included.

The material was typed by Saint's wife Elizabeth and the sources include: Turner Papers; USPG [United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel]; McDougall Papers, Rhodes House; Basil Brooke Papers, Rhodes House; 'Life of A.C. Tait 1891' and 'Extracts from Bunyon's Memoir'. Also included is material relating to John William Colenso, a fellow missionary and Francis' brother-in-law and Annie Grant Brooke, the first wife of Captain John Johnson-Brooke the nephew of James Brooke the first Rajah of Sarawak. The collection also contains articles and other material relating to Sarawak, the political situation, domestic and missionary affairs.

Administrative / Biographical History

Revd Arthur James Maxwell (Max) Saint (1910-2007) attended St John's College Oxford and spent three years in India before returning to England where he was ordained in 1935. He was assistant priest at the Church of St Peter ad Vincula in Stoke-on-Trent before taking-up a post in Borneo in 1937. He was vicar of Kuching in January 1938 and subsequently became Headmaster of St Thomas' School in Kuching where he introduced compulsory physical education and introduced scouting. His wife's family had connections with the McDougalls and these transcriptions were created whilst researching their history. He wrote Twenty Years in Sarawak, 1848-1868: 'A Flourish for the Bishop' and 'Brooke's Friend Grant': Two Studies in Sarawak History. He left Borneo in November 1941.

There are extensive handwritten notes and annotations made to transcriptions which appear to have been made by Saint. A key to Saint's notes is also included (U DX318/3/11).

The main authors of the letters in this collection are Bishop Francis Thomas McDougall (1817–1886) and his wife Harriette nee Bunyon (1818-1886). The material traces McDougall's career, but focuses in particular on the family's time as missionaries in Sarawak. During his time at Oxford McDougall was part of the winning team of the 1842 boat race. He was ordained in Norwich in 1845 and became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1854. McDougall worked for the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (SPG) which was formed in 1701. In 1965 it joined with University Mission to Central Africa (UMCA) to form the United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (USPG).

McDougall and Harriette married in 1843. In 1848 McDougall, Harriette and one of their children arrived in Sarawak, leaving their eldest son, Charles, at school in Ipswich, where he later died from injuries sustained from a cricket ball. In Sarawak they established a church, school and dispensary with McDougall using his medical training extensively in the local area. In 1855 McDougall was consecrated as the first Bishop of Labuan. There was considerable unrest in the region at this time, including an insurrection in 1857, and there are accounts of piracy, tribal disputes and political affairs included in this collection. In 1862 McDougall was in a ship attacked by pirates where his involvement in the defence of the ship and its crew led to him being widely criticised for many years.

The McDougall's returned to England in 1868 and served in Godmanchester, Ely, Winchester and the Isle of Wight before they died within six months of each other in 1886. Both are buried at Shorwell, Isle of Wight.

The original letters were written by Bishop F.T. McDougall, Harriette McDougall, Herbert [their son], Elizabeth Wooley, John Harvey B.C.L., G.E.L. Cotton, Bishop of Calcutta, Rajah Charles Brooke, Lady Lucy Grant, W.N. Nicholls, James Brooke Brooke, Lord Eustace Cecil, Revd Walter Chambers, C.T. Longley, Archbishop of Canterbury, Revd J Glover and Revd W Chalmers, Revd W Hackett and Charles J Bunyon.

The recipients include Sophia McDougall, Fanny Sawyer, Annie, a Bishop, probably Charles Baring of Durham, Charles J. Bunyon, Eliza Bunyon, Dean of Winchester (Bramston), Frank Turner, Bishop F.T. McDougall, Revd Ernest Hawkins, Ellen Robson, Revd T.F. Stooks, Revd C.D. Brereton, Fanny Sawyer, Revd W. Wright, John Robson, Mrs Bunyon (Harriette's mother), Ellen Bunyon, Captain C.D.R. Bethune, Sir Francis Beaufort K.C.B., Revd W.T. Bullock, Eliza Bunyon, Brooke Brooke, Frances Colenso, S. Clark, Esq., Fanny Sawyer, Lady Lucy Grant, Rajah James, Sophy McDougall, James Brooke Brooke, Sir Frederick Rogers, the Secretary for the Colonies, Bishop (A.C. Tait) of London, S.P.G.[ Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts], The Guardian, Revd E.B. Evelyn, Matilda Grant, John Grant, Charles Grant and Mab McDougall.

The letters were written from a number of locations including Ireland, Sarawak, Godmanchester, Ely, Winchester, Corsica, Milford Vicarage, Lymington, Shorwell, Isle of Wight, Calcutta, Purton House, Wiltshire, London, Singapore, Littlehampton Forncett St Mary, Norfolk, Schooner 'Julian' off Jahore, Kuching, Penang, Hong Kong, HMS Hastings, Malacca, Santubong, St Asaph [Denbighshire], King Weston [Bristol], ships 'Alfred', HMS Spartan, Borneo, Labuan, Dublin, Malta, S.S.Baliana, Kuching, Steamer 'Rainbow', P & O Steamer 'Baroda' and Leatherhead.

The information in the catalogue has been compiled from material contained within the collection.


U DX318/1 Typescript copies and summaries of letters and copies of speeches, 1842-1877

U DX318/2 Material that appears to have been collected together by Saint for articles and books, 1842-late 20th cent.

U DX318/3 Copies of articles and associated research, 1811-late 20th cent.

U DX318/4 Articles written by authors other than Saint, 1868-late 20th cent.

U DX318/5 Photographs, 1868-c1940

Access Information

Access will be granted to any accredited reader

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright for some of the photographs in U DX318/5/1 is held by the Bodleian Library, Oxford

Custodial History

Donated by Revd AJM (Max) Saint in Jul 1998

Related Material

Papers of Dr David Kenneth Bassett [Ref U DBA]

Papers of Dr Royston Audrey Bruton [Ref U DRB]

Other repositories:

McDougall papers can be found at the Oxford University: Bodleian Library of Commonwealth and African Studies at Rhodes House