Rev Samuel and Mrs Sarah Palmer

Scope and Content

Papers, 1828-[1933], of Samuel Palmer and his wife Sarah, comprising memo book, dated 1828, including diary entries on the journey to South Africa, 1829, various accounts, lists of equipment, and other notes, many entries undated; letter from Samuel Palmer to John Dunman concerning his wife, preparations for the voyage to Africa, and ordination, 1829; account of travels in southern Africa [by Mrs Palmer], 1830; letter from Mrs Palmer to her family following her husband's death, 1846; manuscript copy of an obituary notice of Samuel Palmer from the Watchman [1846]; account of journey from South Africa to St Helena [by Mrs Palmer], 1853, with a short inventory of children's clothes appended; typescript copy [1933] of the couple's marriage certificate (1829); manuscript notes (2 pages) on the lives of Samuel and Sarah Palmer [early 20th century]; letter acknowledging gift of these papers, 1933.

Administrative / Biographical History

Samuel Palmer: Wesleyan Methodist minister in Weymouth, Dorset, 1826-1827; Melton Mowbray, 1827-1828; Oakham, 1828-1829; married Sarah Ann Dunman in Dewlish, Dorset, 1829; ordained in Islington chapel, London, 1829; Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society missionary in Salem, South Africa, 1829-1832; in Morley, South Africa, from 1832; died when suddenly taken ill while leading people away from fighting towards his mission station at Buntingville, 15th May 1846. Palmerton in the Eastern Cape is named after him.

Following her husband's death, Mrs Palmer founded a girls' school at Butterworth, South Africa, in 1849-1850, where local girls could learn to read the Scriptures and were catechised and taught other elementary subjects. Owing to wars in the region which hindered travel, she did not return to England until 1853.

Further Reading:

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

Donated to the MMS in 1933 by Mrs Harold Jones of Truro, Cornwall

Related Material

Also within the records of the (Wesleyan) Methodist Missionary Society is the official correspondence for Samuel Palmer (MMS/South Africa/Correspondence/Albany/FBN 2-3). Furthermore, the synod minutes will detail his work, and that of his colleagues, in South Africa (MMS/South Africa/Synod Minutes/FBN 1).