Correspondence of Harry Scott

Scope and Content

(Predominant date range of items 1884 - 1887) Typescript transcripts [1992] of circular "My dear everybody" letters compiled by Harry Scott and sent to relatives and friends in England while missionary at Murray Island, Torres Straits, New Guinea, 1884-1887; with his later additions [1935-1936], giving a detailed account of life there, including his missionary work and Biblical translations, the landscape, and local customs. Illustrated by sketches.

Administrative / Biographical History

Born in Walsall (Staffordshire), 1858; studied at Cheshunt College (Cambridge), 1878-1883; appointed London Missionary Society (LMS) missionary to New Guinea; ordained, married Mary Todhunter (d 1952), and sailed to New Guinea, 1883; settled at Murray Island, Torres Straits; withdrew from the New Guinea mission owing to ill health, 1886; returned to England, 1887; pastor at the Countess of Huntindon's Crozens Chapel, Hereford, 1889-1892; became Assistant District Secretary of the British and Foreign Bible Society (BFBS) for the North Metropolitan Area, 1892; Assistant to the Honorary Home Secretary, BFBS, 1894; retired and settled at Shanklin (Isle of Wight), 1915; died in Croydon (Surrey), 1937. Publication: with Samuel McFarlane, published a translation of the Gospels of Mark and John into the Murray Island (Mer) language, Euangelia Mareko ... (Sydney, 1885), with appendix including the catechism and forms for the marriage and burial services.


In 1935-1936, Scott collected letters from June 1884, added photographs and newscuttings and provided prefatory notes and detailed contents lists.

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Donated in 1994.

Other Finding Aids

Collection level description only

Conditions Governing Use

Contact the Senior Manuscripts Librarian, (Mitchell Library) State Library of New South Wales, for permission to use any extracts.

Custodial History

The original letters were made into 14 portfolios, with introduction and supplementary material, by Harry Scott in 1935-1936, for circulation to his daughter and sons and their families. The early letters, from December 1883 to June 1884, had by then gone missing. In 1937 the portfolios were dispersed, but preserved by different family members until they were united in 1974 for presentation to the Mitchell Library, Sydney.

Related Material

The School of Oriental and African Studies holds the records of the London Missionary Society (Ref: CWM/LMS), including letters from individual missionaries, among them Harry Scott (Ref: CWM/LMS Papua Incoming Correspondence); his candidate's papers (Ref: CWM/LMS Candidates' Papers Box 14); a group photograph in New Guinea including Harry Scott and his wife [1880s] (Ref: CWM/LMS Papua Photographs Box 1). SOAS also holds a press cutting about the golden wedding of Harry Scott and his wife, 1933 (Ref: CBMS/H/PB24 Box 89 File 24 no 179), and an obituary, 1937 (Ref: CBMS/H/PB44 Box 109 File 44 no 34).

Location of Originals

Held at (Mitchell Library) State Library of New South Wales (Ref: MLMSS 2901).