Diaries of James William Westgarth

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The collection contains: diaries; notebooks; and correspondence.

Administrative / Biographical History

James William Westgarth was a missionary with the Qua Iboe mission in Nigeria. The mission was formally established in 1892 on evangelical and interdenominational lines and owed its origins to the efforts of Samuel A. Bill who had been working in the valley of the Qua Iboe river, Eastern Nigeria since 1887. It was for many years the only mission operating between Calabar and the Niger. Westgarth went out to Nigeria with the mission in 1906 and was based at Ikotubo until his first furlough in 1908. While in England he married Frances Archer (Fanny) and they returned to Nigeria together in 1909. Westgarth then set about establishing a base in the district near the Cross River around Aka and Uyo. Fanny died in August of 1909 but Westgarth later remarried and remained in the area for many years. Returning to the field after furlough in early 1913 he concentrated on pioneering and evangelical work in the district and the following years saw a rapid expansion.

Westgarth had direct experience of the Spirit Movement of 1927 which he came to interpret as revival and a token from God. As Field Secretary he was responsible for co-ordinating the missionaries' response. Encouraged by the events, the mission began to look for new areas to work in and in 1929 Westgarth made preliminary investigations in the Cameroons and soon after further north in Nigeria in the Igala region around Idah. Westgarth was still in Uyo in 1945.

Conditions Governing Access

Open to researchers. It is essential to arrange an appointment in advance to view the archive in order that someone can be available to help. Please contact us by email at divinity-CSWC@ed.ac.uk. Telephone the Centre on: 0131 650 8900. Postal address: Centre for the Study of World Christianity, University of Edinburgh School of Divinity, New College, Mound Place, Edinburgh, EH1 2LX.

Other Finding Aids

A more detailed paper catalogue is available at the Centre.

Archivist's Note

Description originally written and researched by Caroline Brown in June 2001. This had been added to Archives Hub in August 2012 by Louise Williams.

Conditions Governing Use

Reproduction of materials (for example by digital camera) is free for private research and educational use, although we ask researchers to sign an agreement. Please contact us for enquiries on using the material in a commercial setting, for which there will be a fee. Contact us by email at divinity-CSWC@ed.ac.uk. Telephone the Centre on: 0131 650 8900. Postal address: Centre for the Study of World Christianity, University of Edinburgh School of Divinity, New College, Mound Place, Edinburgh, EH1 2LX

Accruals

No further additions to the collection are expected.

Corporate Names

Geographical Names