Rev William Garfield Waterworth

Scope and Content

Letters from William Garfield Waterworth in Ireland, dated 1905-1909, to his family.

Letters from William Garfield Waterworth, dated 1910-1912, to his family, and to the Cornwall District Guilds who were sponsoring him, mainly written from Tarkwa mission station in Gold Coast [Ghana].

Letters, dated 1913-1932, from William Garfield Waterworth to his family mainly written from Kumasi, Gold Coast [Ghana].

File of correspondence, dated 1957 to 1960, concerning a proposal for a book about William Garfield Waterworth and the mass movement in Ashanti.

Administrative / Biographical History

William Garfield Waterworth was born in Yorkshire, England on 21st September 1881. After serving as a Lay Evangelist in Northern Ireland he was accepted as a candidate for the Irish Methodist Ministry in 1909. Following the death of a missionary friend in the Gold Coast [Ghana] in 1910 he applied to the Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society to be sent out as a missionary to West Africa. Probably the most significant event during his period of service was the mass conversion of Ashanti people to Christianity in response to the preaching of the prophet Sam[p]son Opong during the years 1919 to 1921. Waterworth was largely responsible for the building of Wesley Church and Wesley College at Kumasi. In 1932 he retired due to ill-health but later returned to West Africa as Chairman of the West Nigeria District where he served until 1947. He died in England on 6th October 1956.

For further information about the Ashanti movement see: Hans W. Debrunner, The story of Sampson Opong, Accra, 1965.

Access Information

Only to be viewed on microfiche.


Archivist's Note


Conditions Governing Use

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

Copyright probably held by Methodist Missionary Society.

Custodial History

Waterworth's letters were deposited with the Methodist Missionary Society by Waterworth's widow, Mrs Anne Waterworth

Related Material

Also within the records of the (Wesleyan) Methodist Missionary Society are the official correspondence for William Garfield Waterworth for the Gold Coast (MMS/West Africa/Correspondence/Gold Coast/FBN 14-16) and Nigeria (MMS/West Africa/Correspondence/Western Nigeria/FBN 22 & box 1253) districts. Furthermore, the synod minutes will detail his work, and that of his colleagues, in the Gold Coast (MMS/West Africa/Synod Minutes/Gold Coast/FBN 4 & 11) and Nigeria (MMS/West Africa/Synod Minutes/FBN 13-15 & boxes 1241-1242) districts.