Rev Francis P Gladwin

Scope and Content

Journal, kept infrequently, covering the first few years of his missionary work in South Africa (Clarkebury and Butterworth). With letter, dated 29 August 1910, from Rev Cotton to Rev G Findlay sending Gladwin's journal.

Administrative / Biographical History

Francis Gladwin was born in Derbyshire in 1807 and began his ministerial career at Holt in Norfolk in 1836 before moving to Spalding in Lincolnshire in 1838. In 1839 he began his missionary career in South Africa when he was posted to Clarkebury in the Eastern Cape and whilst resident there he learnt Xhosa. In 1845 he transferred to Butterworth but his work there was often interrupted by the Kaffir [Xhosa] Wars. In 1852 the situation became particularly difficult when the protection of the Kreila was withdrawn and he and many others abandoned the area around Butterworth (which was destroyed not long after their departure). Along with 5,000 other people and 30,000 head of cattle they were escorted to King William's Town by the British Army. However, the journey was difficult and dangerous and resulted in the death of his newborn son and his 32 year old wife. After a furlough in England Gladwin returned to the Eastern Cape to preach in the Mount-Coke district where he died on 30 December 1855. His second wife, E S Gladwin, died on 20 February 1883.

Further Reading:

Findlay & Holdsworth, The History of the Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society (vol 4, 1922);

Whiteside, J, History of the Wesleyan Methodist Church of South Africa (1906).

Access Information

Only to be viewed on microfiche


Archivist's Note


Conditions Governing Use

Apply to SOAS Archives & Special Collections in the first instance

Copyright held by Methodist Missionary Society

Custodial History

Received, on behalf of the WMMS, by Rev G Findlay from the Rev Henry Cotton of the Wesleyan Methodist Church of South Africa, 1910

Related Material

Unfortunately there are no letters extant by the Rev Gladwin within the official correspondence for South Africa in the (Wesleyan) Methodist Missionary Society. However, the synod minutes will detail his work, and that of his colleagues, in the districts in South Africa he served (MMS/South Africa/Synod Minutes/FBN 1-2).