Papers of Reverend Charles Kingsley Williams

Scope and Content

The collection contains:

  • Papers relating to Williams' work at Wesley College and at the Prince of Wales College
  • Printed items (school magazines, reports etc.) relating to education and to Achimota College and School (previously the Prince of Wales College)
  • Letters from Williams to his family in England
  • Papers relating to Williams' publications Prelude to Ghana(1957) and Achimota: the early years (1962)
  • Papers about witchcraft in West Africa

Administrative / Biographical History

Reverend Charles Kingsley Williams was educated at Birkenhead School and the University of Oxford (Merton College and Mansfield College).

In 1912 the Methodist Missionary Society sent Williams to Madras in India where, in 1913, he became vice-principal of Wesley College. He remained in Madras until 1926 when he returned to England and married Margaret Elizabeth Bucknall.

In 1927 Williams was invited to go to the Gold Coast by the Reverend Alexander Garden Fraser, the principal of the Prince of Wales College in Achimota, Accra. Williams became assistant vice-principal of the College, a post he held until 1938 when he returned to England. Whilst in the Gold Coast Williams also served on the Subcommittee of the Gold Coast Christian Council which was appointed to enquire into common beliefs of witchcraft.

During World War II, Williams was appointed assistant master of Kingswood School which had been evacuated from Bath to Uppingham (1941-1945). After the war he worked as editor of The Daystar (1948-1954) and The Bulletin of Friends of Reunion (1950-1960).

Conditions Governing Access

Bodleian reader's ticket required.


Collection level description created by Marion Lowman, Bodleian Library of Commonwealth and African Studies at Rhodes House.

Other Finding Aids

The library holds a card index of all manuscript collections in its reading room and a handlist is also available for this collection.

Listed as no. 994 in Manuscript Collections of Africana in Rhodes House Library, Oxford, compiled by Louis B. Frewer (Oxford, Bodleian Library, 1968) and as

Listed as no. 354 in Manuscript Collections (excluding Africana) in Rhodes House Library, Oxford, compiled by Louis B. Frewer (Oxford, Bodleian Library, 1970).

Conditions Governing Use

No reproduction or publication of personal papers without permission. Contact the library in the first instance.

Custodial History

Deposited with the Oxford Colonial Records Project.