Johnston, Sir Harry Hamilton

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises manuscripts of the collected vocabularies of Sir Harry Hamilton Johnston. The manuscripts were used in the compilation of A Comparative Study of the Bantu and Semi-Bantu Languages, and were contained in the first of the two-volume set, the second volume being an analysis and comparison of the phonologies, syntax and word roots detailed in volume one.

Administrative / Biographical History

Harry Hamilton Johnston was born on 12 June 1858, in Kennington, London. He was educated at Stockwell Grammar School, Kings College London and from 1876-1880 he was a student of the Royal Academy of Arts. He travelled to North Africa, 1879-1880. He explored Portuguese West Africa and the Congo River, 1882-1883. In 1884 he commanded a Scientific Expedition of the Royal Society to Mt. Kilimanjaro.

He served in the Consular Service in Africa from 1885-1901. He was H.M. Vice-Consul in the Cameroons, 1885; Acting-Consul in the Niger Coast Protectorate, 1887; Consul for the Province of Mozambique, 1888. In 1889, his expedition to Lakes Nyasa and Tanganyika led to the foundation of the British Central Africa Protectorate. He became Commissioner and Consul- General of the British Central Africa Protectorate in 1891; Consul-General for the Regency of Tunis, 1897-1899, and Special Commissioner, Commander-in- Chief and Consul-General for the Uganda Protectorate, 1899-1901.

He was married to the Hon. Winifred Irby, O.B.E. He was awarded the K.C.B. in 1896, and the G.C.M.G in 1901. He died on 31 July 1927.

Harry Hamilton Johnston published numerous works including A Comparative Study of the Bantu and Semi-Bantu Languages, (Oxford University Press, 1919).

Arrangement

For each language a set of 250 vocabulary items was collected, and they are classified according to Johnston's own geographical groups. This original arrangement has been retained. There is an alphabetical index of languages at the back of the handlist.

Conditions Governing Access

Unrestricted

Acquisition Information

Donated in c.1966

Other Finding Aids

Unpublished handlist

Separated Material

Associated Material held elsewhere: Correspondence and papers (1871-1927) held at the National Archives of Zimbabwe [ref. HMC Papers of British Colonial Governors 1782-1900, 1986 JO1- 2]; Travel journal (1887) held at Royal Geographical Society [ref. Bridson, Natural History MS resources 1980]; Letters to Sir J.S. Keltie (1896-1923) held at Royal Geographical Society [ref. RGS Archives p 113] Notes on African languages held at Cambridge University Library, Royal Commonwealth Society Library [ref. HMC Private Papers of British Diplomas 1782-1900, 1985]; Letters to R.T. Coryndon held at Oxford University, Rhodes House Library [ref. MSS Afr s 633]; Correspondence with Lord Lugard held at Oxford University, Rhodes House Library [ref. MSS Lugard, Brit Emp 30-90]; Letters to Sir Edmund Gosse (1894-1907) held at Leeds University, Brotherton Collection [ref. Library Publications no 3]; Correspondence with E.D. Morel (1903-1913) held at London University, British Library of Political and Economic Science [ref. Morel]; Letters to W.T. Stead (1888-1908) held at Cambridge University, Churchill Archives centre [ref. STED]; Letters to Frederic Whyte (1901-1927) held at Newcastle upon Tyne University, Robinson Library.

Conditions Governing Use

No publication without written permission. Apply to archivist in the first instance

Related Material

Related Collections at SOAS: Mackinnon, Sir William [ref. PP MS 1], private correspondence with Harry Hamilton Johnston (1888-1891)