Posnett, Charles Walker and Early, Charles Gordon

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Large file containing copies of printed and typed circular letters and circuit reports and other papers, dated from 1914 to 1944, from the Methodist Mission stations of Medak and Lakshettipett in Hyderbad State, now Andhra Pradesh. There are copies of printed articles relating to the work from the Methodist Missionary Society’s magazine, Foreign Field and from other periodical publications. Printed items include a programme of the opening service in Medak’s new church in 1925 and appeals to British and Indian supporters to fund mission projects.

Administrative / Biographical History

Charles Walker Posnett (1870- 1950) was born in Sheffield to a prominent Methodist family. He was educated at Woodhouse Grove School and at Kingswood School both of which were schools for the sons of Methodist ministers. He then went on to Richmond College, Surrey to train for the ministry. He also undertook medical training at the London Hospital in order to fully prepare himself for a life of missionary service. In 1895 he was appointed to serve as a missionary in Hyderabad, Deccan, then an independent state under the Nizam of Hyderabad. After a couple of years he moved to Medak where he remained until the end of his missionary career in 1939. Probably, his most visible legacy is the large Church in Gothic style he had built at Medak to accommodate the many villagers in and around Medak, particularly those from the Mala and Madiga castes, who had converted to Christianity in mass movements. He also established a training institution for teachers and church leaders. During his time in Hyderabad the area was afflicted with two severe famines, one in the late 1890s and the other from 1919 to 1921. Associated with him in his work were a number of other Methodist missionaries among them his sister, Emilie Posnett and Charles Gordon Early (1889-1975) who was appointed to Medak in 1914. Early was placed in charge of the work at the new centre of Lakshettipet North of the River Godavari.

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 from 1978.

Other Finding Aids

This description constitutes the only finding aid at present.

Archivist's Note

This description compiled by Rosemary Seton, Archivist, SOAS with reference to Posnett of Medak, by F. Colyer Sackett, London; The Cargate Press, 1951.

Conditions Governing Use

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

Custodial History

The papers were deposited with the Methodist Missionary Society and form part of the special series of biographical papers of individual missionaries.

Related Material

The School of Oriental and African Studies holds the records of the Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society (Ref: MMS/WMMS), including letters from individual missionaries. An album of photographs taken by Early, illustrating mission work in and around Medak are held in the Photographic section of the archive (Ref. MMS/WMMS, Southern India, Photographs, Box 1198)