Three scrap-books, compiled by members of the Massey family, containing letters, telegrams, cards, printed reports, photographs and drawings relating to Ruth Massey's training at the Medical College for Women in Edinburgh from 1893 to 1899, and her subsequent life and career as physician in charge of the women's hospital at Wuchang, China from 1900 to 1928. A fourth scrap-book is devoted to photographs and other materials documenting the participation of the Massey family and others at the Keswick Conventions between 1894 and 1902.
- This material is held at
- ReferenceGB 102 MS 380817
- Dates of Creation1893-1928
- Name of Creator
- Language of MaterialEnglish
- Physical Description4 volumes
- Direct Link
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
Dr Ruth Massey, the younger daughter of Stephen and Sarah Massey, was born on May 14th 1873 at Fairfield, Manchester. Her father Stephen was a senior partner of B & S Massey Ltd (founded 1861) of Openshaw, Manchester, manufacturers of forging plant, with business outlets throughout the world. The family were regular attendees at their local Congregational church in Lees Street, Manchester and influential supporters of the London Missionary Society. In 1893 Stephen Massey visited Hankow, China and determined to sponsor a hospital for women, attached to the LMS mission at Wuchang. In the same year Ruth Massey began a course of study at Edinburgh's Medical College for Women with the aim of becoming a fully qualified doctor and medical missionary.
In 1899 Ruth Massey graduated from the Medical College for Women with degrees of MB and ChB and that same year was on her way to Wuchang where her father was to support her work as medical missionary. Arriving at the same time as the Boxer Rising she experienced a disruptive few months but in 1901 the new Women's Hospital at Wuchang, with which Ruth was to be so closely involved for her entire working life in China, was ready to take its first patients.
In 1928, Ruth Massey resigned from the LMS in order to look after her father Stephen who was in a fragile state of health. The family home was now in Wilmslow, Cheshire and, in addition to domestic duties; Ruth occupied herself there with various tasks such as translating English into Chinese Braille. She also became deaconess at her local Congregational church. Ruth Massey died on January 19th 1963.
Conditions Governing Access
Deposited by Mr Kevin Hamer
Other Finding Aids
This description constitutes the only finding aid at present.
Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements
Two of the scrap-books are very fragile and great care should be taken when consulting them.
This description was compiled by Rosemary Seton, Archivist, SOAS
Conditions Governing Use
No publication without prior written permission. Apply to SOAS Archives in first instance.
An account of Ruth Massey's life and work by Professor Clyde Binfield, based on these materials, has been published in The rise of the laity in evangelical protestantism, edited by D. Lovegrove and published by Routledge in 2002.