From William Marwick (1863-1940)

Scope and Content

Letters sent from William Marwick (1863-1940).

Administrative / Biographical History

William Hutton Marwick, missionary at the United Presbyterian mission at Old Calabar, West Africa, was born in 1863 the son of William Marwick a solicitor from Edinburgh. He was educated at Arbroath High School and later at Edinburgh University and the United Presbyterian Training College in Edinburgh. One of his first posts was as an assistant at Lossiemouth Manse from 1887-1888. He found it difficult to secure a permanent vacancy and spent some time travelling to the Orkneys and pursuing literary interests. In particular he organised the Ruskin Reading Guild and edited journals such as the Ruskin Journal, World Literature and Igdrasil. He was also the founder and the first secretary of the Carlisle Society. He was ordained by the World Congregational Church in Dundee in 1890. In 1892 he was appointed a missionary at Calabar where he met Miss Elizabeth Hutton who had been a missionary there since 1891. In 1893 Marwick became ill and returned to Scotland to recover where he was joined by Miss Hutton. The two were married in December 1893 and returned to the mission in 1894 but his appointment was terminated in the same year for health reasons and they did not return to Calabar again until 1898. Marwick's interest in literature continued and in 1897 his book William and Louisa Anderson, A Record of their Life and Work in Jamaica and Old Calabar was published. He also taught himself Efik and in 1899 he prepared a bilingual (Efik and Akunakuna) service book. The Marwicks travelled to Scotland on leave in 1900 expecting to return to Calabar but found that the Foreign Mission Committee of the United Free Church of Scotland wished to change the terms under which Marwick was employed. Marwick went instead as a missionary to Jamaica (1901-1910?) and was later a civil chaplain at Meerut, Northern India (1912-1915?). Marwick died in Edinburgh in 1940.