Papers relating to William Lockhart (transcripts and biography)

Scope and Content

Papers relating to William Lockhart, comprising transcripts, 1995, of 170 letters (1805-1948) to and from William Lockhart and his family. The majority of the letters date from the periods 1833-1834, when he was studying in Dublin and London, and 1841-1844, when he first arrived in China. Also included is a typescript biography by A P Hughes, 'Dr William Lockhart 1811-1896: Medical Missionary to China', 1995.

Administrative / Biographical History

William Lockhart was born on 3 October 1811 in Liverpool. He trained at the Meath Hospital, Dublin, and Guy's Hospital, London. Joining the London Missionary Society, he was appointed medical missionary to Canton and sailed on 31 July 1838. In 1839 he left Canton to set up a hospital in Macao. Following an arrangement with American missionaries he left Macao for Chusan and reached Tinghae on 13 September 1840. The following year he returned to Macao and married Catherine Parkes. In 1842 he went to Hong Kong then to Chusan and in 1843 arrived at Shanghai and opened a hospital along with Dr. Medhurst. Following a trip home to England, Lockhart visited Peking and worked there from 1861 to 1864. He returned to England permanently in 1864 and retired in 1867. He was elected Chairman of the Board of Directors of the London Missionary Society from 1869 to 1870. In 1892 he presented his library to the London Missionary Society. He died on 29 April 1896. Alan P Hughes is the great-great-grandson of Lockhart.


The letters are transcribed in chronological order.

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Donated by a descendant in 1995.

Conditions Governing Use

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

Related Material

The School of Oriental and African Studies holds the records of the London Missionary Society (Ref: CWM/LMS), including papers relating to Lockhart. Most of Lockhart's Library is held at SOAS, as part of the Council for World Mission Library (Ref: CWML).