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ROWLEY, Henry, The Rev.

The Story of the Universities’ Mission to Central Africa,

from its Commencement under Bishop Mackenzie to its Withdrawal from the Zambesi.

Published: London: Saunders, Otley, and Co., 1866

Stock code: 104413

Price: £1,850

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First edition, uncommon, just 9 locations on Copac. Account of the society’s disastrous first missionary expedition which took them into Nyasaland, now Malawi . Founded in 1860 by a coalition of groups in Oxford, Cambridge, Durham, and Dublin Universities, the Universities’ Mission to Central Africa was inspired by the lectures that David Livingstone gave on his visit to England in 1857 and was established with two main aims: to establish a missionary presence in Central Africa, and to offer active opposition to the slave trade. It was the first mission society operated by the high church faction of the Anglican Church, and was unique among Anglican missions in that primary authority rested not with a committee based in Britain, but with a bishop in the field, for which purpose Charles Mackenzie was consecrated bishop of central Africa in Cape Town Cathedral in January 1861. The missionary party set off up the Zambezi into Shire, where their choice of Magomero as their base was fatally flawed, placing them in the middle of a region, ridden with disease and deeply troubled by intertribal conflicts. Bishop Mackenzie died there of Blackwater Fever on 31 January 1862, along with three other members of the tiny missionary party, and many local people. Early conversion efforts from this base yielded little result, and supplies ran out or were destroyed during a period of famine. Under its new bishop, W.G. Tozer, the mission subsequently withdrew from the area, abandoning the graves of the missionaries who had died there, and establishing a new headquarters in Zanzibar.

Octavo. Original green sand-grained cloth, title gilt to the spine, blind panels to the boards, publisher’s device gilt to the centre of the front board. Frontispiece and 7 other plates, 2 full-page maps, numerous illustrations to the text. A little rubbed, and a touch dusty, front hinges just starting, front pastedown slightly marked by the removal of a bookplate, light browning and some foxing front, back and to the fore-edge, a very good copy.

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