Fairley, Robert and Margaret

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

  • Bundle of miscellaneous letters, some official, and papers relating to F’s work in Fernando Po. 1881-1937.
  • Illustrated scrapbook entitled 'Missionary articles and letters, 1883-1904, Rob. Fairley'.
  • 2 volumes entitled 'journals of Fernandian Life and Work' 1883-85 and 1902 to 1904.
  • Letters in English, dated 1898-1905, from local residents to Mr and Mrs Fairley at the Methodist Mission house, Fernando Po.
  • 2 photographs taken in Fernando Po, one of Mr Fairley with a class of adults and the other of Mrs Fairley with her class. All the ladies are wearing hats. n.d.
  • Vol containing press-cuttings 'Partly missionary, mainly general' n.d.
  • Scrapbook 'Personal, Domestic and General'. Includes a few family photographs, obituaries, marriage notices etc. n.d.

Administrative / Biographical History

Robert Fairley was born at Dalkeith in Scotland ca. 1855. He became an ordained minister of the Primitive Methodist Church in 1876. He married Margaret Dickson in 1880 and, in 1883, he and his wife began the first of five terms of service in Fernando Po [Bioko]. Because of the high rate of mortality among Europeans in West Africa two years was set as the maximum period for one term of service. The Fairleys worked in Fernando Po until ca. 1904 although Robert Fairley also made a pioneer journey to what was then known as the Oil Rivers Protectorate, now part of Nigeria. Here he was instrumental in establishing a mission at Akwa Effy in eastern Nigeria. Margaret Fairley died in 1928 and Robert Fairley, aged 82, in 1937.

Conditions Governing Access

Unrestricted but only to be viewed on microfiche. .

Acquisition Information

Deposited on permanent loan with the records of the Methodist Missionary Society in 1978.

Other Finding Aids

A Handlist to the Biographical Series of the MMS Archive is available for consultation in the Special Collections Reading Room in SOAS Library.

Alternative Form Available

The MMS archive to 1945 is available in a microfiche edition published by IDC.

Archivist's Note

This description compiled by Rosemary Seton, Archivist, SOAS

Conditions Governing Use

No publication without prior permission in writing. Apply to SOAS Archives in first instance

Custodial History

Donated to the Methodist Missionary Society possibly by Mrs Nella McKenzie, a daughter of the Fairleys.

Related Material

The School of Oriental and African Studies holds the records of the Methodist Missionary Society (Ref: WMMS/MMS), including letters and reports from individual missionaries.