Papers of Richard Alexander Whiteside and Susanna Elizabeth Whiteside

Scope and Content

This collection comprises the papers of Richard Whiteside and his wife, Susanna (Susie) relating to their service as CMS missionaries in the province of Szechwan, Western China between 1905 and 1923. It comprises diaries, letters and other accounts of their experiences and missionary work including Susie's journal letters, 1905-1911, Richard's diaries of a journey to the Tibetan border in 1907 and another which records the period of the Boxer outbreak in March 1909. In addition, the collection includes licences, ordination and other official papers and certificates of Richard Whiteside including his letter of admission as a lay evangelist of the Church Army in 1899. There are also papers of their son, Laurence Whiteside in connection with a proposed biography of Archdeacon W. E. Owen and this material includes reminiscences and letters from CMS missionaries sent to him.

Administrative / Biographical History

Administrative/Biographical History

Richard Alexander Whiteside (1878-1923) of Preston, Lancashire, a cotton weaver was a Church Army evangelist before being admitted to the Church Missionary Society Preparatory Institution and College in 1904. He was accepted as a CMS missionary in 1905 and sailed for the West China Mission the same year. He served at Auksien and Chunpa and opened work at Lungan in 1911. He was the victim of a serious assault by Chinese in 1911 and returned to England. He returned to Lungan in 1913 and was ordained deacon in 1918 and priest in 1919. After furlough in England he returned to Mienyang. He was shot dead by bandits in 1923. He married Susanna Elizabeth Bryers (1876-1945) in 1910 at Szechwan. Susanna, formerly a dressmaker of Liverpool, was also accepted as a missionary by the CMS in 1905 and served at Auksien, Western China, before her marriage. Richard and Susanna Whiteside had a son, Laurence.

Reference: Manuscript registers of CMS missionaries (Men 1905-1907 and Women 1905-1907)


This collection forms part of the Church Missionary Society Unofficial Papers. It is arranged into three series: Family Papers, Official Papers and Miscellaneous Papers.

Access Information

Access Conditions

Open. Access to all registered researchers.

Acquisition Information

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Presented to the CMS in July 1974; transferred on permanent loan to the Special Collections Department by the CMS in the 1980s.

Other Finding Aids

See full catalogue for more information.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in advance in writing from the University Archivist, Special Collections. Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult. Special Collections will assist where possible with identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.

Related Material

The Special Collections Department holds the Church Missionary Society Archive, the official archive of the society (GB 150 CMS), which includes papers relating to Richard and Susanna Whiteside's service as CMS missionaries. Articles about the assault on and murder of Richard Whiteside appear in CMS publications: CMS Gazette , December 1911, p. 374; CMS Outlook , 1923 p. 219.

The Special Collections Department and the Orchard Learning Resources Centre also hold a rich collection of archives relating to missions, charities and other religious and ecclesiastical organisations and individuals.