Papers of Herbert John Mason, Missionary for the China Inland Mission

Scope and Content

This collection includes the passport of missionary Herbert Mason and his wife which was issued in 1920, and then renewed in 1925. The passport contains photographs of both individuals. In addition, there is a photograph which was possibly taken on their wedding day in 1905. The collection also includes three published texts: China: The Reluctant Exodus by Phyllis Thompson (1979), A Thousand Miles of Miracle in China by Archibald E. Glover (1949) and Mason of Kwangchow by Rev. F. Houghton (1929) with enclosed letter dated 1929. The first two were owned by Mason and are relevant to Mason's time in China. The last volume listed is a detailed account of Mason's life and his work as a missionary.

Administrative / Biographical History

Herbert John Mason was born on 15 September 1871 at Houghton, Huntingdonshire. As a young man he worked as a Solicitor's Clerk in Wakefield. He then trained to be a missionary with the China Inland Mission, leaving for China in 1891. He arrived in Shanghai and attended a CIM training school in Anking. Mason learnt the language quickly and was heavily influenced by Chinese culture. He spent time in Hankow and the province of Kansu where he worked from 1892-1905. In 1905 Herbert Mason married Hannah Duncan Parker, the daughter of the missionary Mr. George Parker and his Chinese wife. From 1905-1913 Mr and Mrs Mason were stationed at Kingtzekwan. They then moved to work in Kwangchow, the site of the Boxer Rising [Uprising] of 1900, where they remained until 1925 when ill health led Mason to return to England with his wife. Mason died in 1927.

Conditions Governing Access


Acquisition Information

Donated to SOAS April 2006

Other Finding Aids

Handlist available

Geographical Names