Salvation Army personal papers collections: Catherine Booth

Scope and Content

This is a collection of papers relating to Catherine Booth, nee Mumford, (1829-1890). It includes some of Catherine's personal papers and effects along with collected correspondence sent by her and material relating to her life collected after her death.

As no original order has survived, the records have been arranged in a logical structure.

The arrangement of the records is as follows:

PCB/1 Correspondence

PCB/2 Writings and addresses

PCB/3 Promotion to Glory

PCB/4 Personal effects

PCB/5 Posthumous papers

Administrative / Biographical History

Catherine Booth was born as Catherine Mumford at Ashbourne, Derbyshire, on 17 January 1829. Catherine was educated by her mother, Sarah Mumford, and brought up a Methodist. When her family moved to London in 1852, Catherine met William Booth at a Methodist chapel and they were married on 16 June 1855. After their marriage Catherine travelled extensively with William for his work as an itinerant preacher with the Methodist New Connection, and their first child, Bramwell, was born in 1856 in Halifax. While living in Gateshead, Catherine wrote 'Female Teaching', a treatise in defense of female ministry but it was not until later, 1860, that Catherine began to preach herself. William and Catherine left New Connection Methodism in 1862 and became independent evangelists until, in 1865, they formed The Christian Mission in the East End of London, which later became The Salvation Army. Although never commissioned as a Salvation Army officer, Catherine had a significant influence on Salvation Army theology and ministry, and she supported William and their eight children in their work. She is often referred to as 'The Army Mother'. She continued to preach until 1888 when she was diagnosed with cancer. She died at Clacton-on-Sea on 4 October 1890 and was buried at Abney Park Cemetery, London.

Access Information

Open for research. The reading room of The Salvation Army International Heritage Centre is open Tue-Fri 9.30-4.00. It is advisable to make an appointment. Tel: 0207 326 7800; email:


Custodial History

The provenance and custodial history of much of the collection is not known; the deposits of some individual letters are documented but the majority has been accrued on an ad hoc basis.