Roberts Memorial Hospital Photographs

Scope and Content

Six captioned photograph albums [early 20th century], containing black & white prints and also cyanotypes with a blue image hue, of the Robert's Memorial Hospital, T'sangchou, North China, including images relating to damage caused by the Boxer Uprising (1900-1901), construction and repair of the hospital buildings, patients, doctors and other staff, as well as general scenes of Tientsin and the region. Each book is annotated on the inside of the back cover with "Notes for anyone who is interested", which outlines how donations will be spent on resources for the hospital - suggesting that the photograph albums were possibly used on deputation in the UK for fund-raising purposes. Albums are thought to have been created by Dr Arthur Davies Peill.

Administrative / Biographical History

The medical missionary Frederick Charles Roberts (1862-1894) was commemorated in the London Missionary Society's Roberts Memorial Hospital, which opened in in T'sangchou (Tsangchow or Changzhou), about 90 miles south of Tientsin (Tianjin) in northern China, in 1903. Its establishment was funded by gifts from the Roberts family and by support from the local community. Its staff included Dr Arthur Davies Peill (1874-1906), who worked for the London Missionary Society as medical missionary to north China from 1896, and his brother Dr Sidney George Peill (1878-1960), medical missionary at Tsangchow from 1907.

Arthur Davies Peill (1874-1906) was appointed as a medical missionary with the London Missionary Society in the Tientsin district in 1896. Stationed temporarily at Chi-chou, he settled at Tsang-Chow in October 1899. In 1900, Dr and Mrs Peill, who had to flee from the Boxers, returned to England. He returned to China in 1901. He died at Kirin, Manchuria, on 18 October 1906.

Sidney George Peill (brother to Arthur Davies) (1878-1960) was appointed as a medical missionary at Tsangchow in April 1907. He served with the London Missionary Society until 1927. He died on 7 March 1960.

Robert Edward Fraser Peill (brother to Arthur Davis and Sidney George) (1885-1930) was appointed to the Anglo-Chinese College, Tientsin and arrived in China in 1911. He served with the London Missionary Society until 1928. He died on 20 April 1930.

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Donated to SOAS Library in March 2018.

Archivist's Note


Conditions Governing Use


Custodial History

Passed to the donor following the death of her grandmother, who was the last surviving child of Robert (Roy) Peill.

Related Material

Three additional albums of photographs relating to the Roberts Memorial Hospital, c.1901-1913, are held at reference MS 380584. SOAS also holds the records of the London Missionary Society, including various other photographs of the Roberts Memorial Hospital in the early 20th century (Ref: CWM/LMS/China Photographs).

Geographical Names