Cambridge Mission to Delhi

Reference code(s): GB 0162 Cambridge Mission to Delhi
Held at: Bodleian Library - Special Collections
Domain: archival
Title: Cambridge Mission to Delhi
Date(s) of contents: 1873-1969
Level of description: Sub-fonds
Extent and medium: 33 volumes and 21 boxes of archival material.


Name of creator(s): Cambridge Mission to Delhi, 1877-1967 (Anglican)

Administrative/Biographical history: The Cambridge Mission to Delhi (CMD) was founded by Edward Bickersteth in 1877 as a response to the Cambridge theologian, BF Westcott's vision of a serious and respectful engagement with Indian religious tradition. Much of the Mission's work was done through its two religious communities: the Cambridge Mission Brotherhood, a community for men formed in 1877 with Bickersteth as its first head, and St Stephen's Community, for women, which had been opened as St Stephen's Home by Mrs Priscilla Winter in 1871 and formally became CMD's women's community in 1886. The focus for CMD's work was Delhi, but it also had branches in the surrounding area, including at Karnal, Rewari and Rohtak. CMD's two most significant institutions, St Stephen's College and St Stephen's Hospital for Women became important institutions not only in Delhi, but in India as a whole.

In 1943 control of the Mission's work passed to the new Archdeaconry of Delhi (the Diocese of Delhi from 1947) and this led to modifications being made by the two Communities to their life. St Stephen's Community no longer included all the women missionaries in Delhi, but came to consist of those Indian and English women who wished to live together as a community under a simple rule of prayer and life. The Brotherhood also altered its pattern of work and in 1944 changed its name to the Cambridge Brotherhood of the Ascension, later the Brotherhood of the Ascended Christ. Both the Brotherhood and St Stephen's Community continue in existence to the present day and their service among the most disadvantaged in the city of Delhi is now carried out through the Delhi Brotherhood Society.

CMD's Committee, based in Cambridge, was its governing body from 1877 until 1944, but in 1918 a London Committee was established to assist in raising interest in the Mission and to oversee relations with the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (SPG). There was a close connection with the SPG from the beginning, as both were involved in sending missionaries and money to the Mission in Delhi. In addition, the SPG's Committee for Women's Work, with a CMD representative present when discussing potential missionaries for Delhi, undertook the appointment of women missionaries on behalf of CMD. The overlapping responsibilities of the two committees and SPG led to a proposal for closer cooperation. The result was the formation in 1933 of a 15 member Executive Committee, with four members being SPG representatives. The Executive Committee incorporated the members of the London Committee, which it replaced, as well as including members of the Cambridge Committee, but the Cambridge Committee remained CMD's governing body for another ten years.

The transfer of control of the Mission's work to the church in Delhi led to the final change in CMD's committee structure. In 1944 the Cambridge Committee gave up its general administrative functions to a Managing Committee representing CMD and SPG, which was the successor of the joint Executive Committee. The Cambridge Committee remained in existence as the local committee of the Mission for the university and town. Twenty years later, in a rapidly changing world and church, CMD began questioning its role as one of the many small missions in existence. CMD was finding it more difficult to make an impact on the awareness of the church where many organisations were appealing for donations and there were fewer volunteers to help. The SPG was already in the process of merging with the Universities' Mission to Central Africa and CMD decided to follow a similar path. The process took several years, but CMD merged with the newly formed United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (USPG) on 1 January 1968. Over its 90 years CMD was responsible for sending about 150 missionaries to work in the Delhi Mission.

Initially CMD's Committee was responsible for raising only a small part of the total funds available to the Mission in Delhi, but in 1905 it took over the administration of the previously independent Head of the Mission's Fund and the two funds were amalgamated. The Committee was now responsible for more than half of the Mission's funds, which consequently increased its administrative role. Until this time the posts of secretary and treasurer of both funds had been held as honorary positions, but in 1905 a General Secretary was appointed. The first General Secretary worked from his home, but from 1907 to 1940 CMD rented an office in Church House, Westminster. Following a period of temporary dislocation CMD's office was located in SPG House, 15 Tufton Street, Westminster from 1942 until 1968. The office staff gradually increased and by 1968 consisted of two Joint General Secretaries, an Organising Secretary and the Editor.

Cambridge's connection with CMD remained strong throughout the ninety years of its existence and the connection between Cambridge and Delhi is still maintained, for example through the annual Teape Lectures, held alternately in each city, now organised by the Cambridge Committee for Christian Work in Delhi.

Refer also to:
Lilian Henderson, The Cambridge Mission to Delhi: a brief history (London: CMD, 1931).
H. P. Thompson, Into all lands: the history of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, 1701-1950 (London: SPCK, 1951).
Ruth Roseveare, The Community of St Stephen 1886-1986 (privately published, 1986).
Constance Millington, Whether we be many or few: a history of the Cambridge/Delhi Brotherhood (Bangalore: Asian Trading Corporation, 1999).
Daniel O'Connor and others, Three centuries of mission: The United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, 1701-2000 (London: Continuum, 2000).

Custodial history:
Cambridge Mission to Delhi, 1877-1967
United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, 1968-1986
Rhodes House Library/Bodleian Library of Commonwealth and African Studies at Rhodes House, 1986 -

Immediate source of acquisition: Deposited at Rhodes House Library under the terms of an agreement dated 18 December 1985 between the University of Oxford and the United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel.


Scope and content/abstract: Records of the Cambridge Mission to Delhi, 1873-1969, covering the work in Delhi and support for the Mission in Britain and Ireland.
Committee minutes, 1877-1967
Annual reports, 1881-1966
Account books, 1897-1967

The majority of the records date from the 20th century, but earlier ones include:
Correspondence and papers on the founding of the Mission, 1876-1877;
One file of correspondence.1878-1885; and
Delhi Female Medical Mission reports, 1873-1893.

20th century records include:
Correspondence between the Head of the Mission and CMD office, 1911-1960
Cambridge Mission Brotherhood, 1913-1957
St Stephen's Community, 1913-1969
Correspondence and administrative files on the Delhi Mission's hospitals, schools and college and hostels, 1902-1969
Papers about the establishment of the Diocese of Delhi, 1942-1962
Correspondence between SPG and CMD, 1895-1953
Records connected with the USPG/CMD merger, 1961-1969
Annual meetings and subscriber and supporters records, 1927-1969

CMD's periodicals and other publications are:
Delhi Mission News, 1895-1918
Delhi, 1919-1967
Occasional Papers, numbers 1-34, 1879-1919.

System of arrangement: Minutes of committees; ledgers and other volumes of financial records; correspondence and administrative files; annual reports and occasional papers; and plans. The correspondence and administrative files for Delhi institutions and the two communities are placed first, followed by files relating to support for the Mission, its history and the relationship with SPG and finally by property files.


Language: English.

Conditions governing access: Open. Bodleian Readers Ticket required.

Conditions governing reproduction: No reproduction or publication without permission. Copyright held by USPG, but contact the Bodleian Library of Commonwealth and African Studies at Rhodes House in the first instance.

Finding aids: MS Collections in Rhodes House Library, Oxford, Accessions 1978-1994 (Bodleian Library, Oxford, 1996, no. 619).
Handlist available in the library reading room.
Personal name/subject and geographic card indexes to the photographs.


Related material:
United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, Bodleian Library of Commonwealth and African Studies at Rhodes House. (GB 0162 SPG).
United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, Partnership House, London.
Brotherhood of the Ascended Christ, Brotherhood House, 7 Court Lane, New Delhi, India.
Community of St Stephen, 4 Rajpur Road, New Delhi, India.
Cambridge Committee for Christian Work in Delhi, Henry Martyn Centre, Cambridge.

Annual reports and Delhi Female Medical Mission annual reports at the United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, Partnership House, London.
Delhi microfilmed by Yale Divinity School Library (Distributor: Scholarly Resources, Wilmington, Delaware, USA).


Archivist's note: The CMD annual reports and An Introduction to USPG's history by Catherine Wakeling were used to prepare this description.

Date(s) of descriptions: 14 August 2002, 1 April 2003

Ancient religions
Anglican missionary societies
Bible women
Cultural interaction
Educational missionaries
Educational missionary work
Evangelistic missionary work
Home mission administration
Indigenous clergy
Indigenous lay workers
Lay missionaries
Medical missionaries
Medical missionary work
Mission administration
Mission educational institutions
Mission hospitals
Mission policy
Mission schools
Missionary societies
Missionary work
Ordained missionaries
Religious activities
Religious buildings
Religious communities
Religious groups
Religious institutions
Religious organizations
Vocational schools
Women missionaries
Women's missionary work
Zenana missionary work

Personal names
Allnutt | Samuel Scott | d 1917 | Church of England priest, Head of the Delhi Mission and Head of the Cambridge Mission Brotherhood, 1899-1917
Andrews | Charles Freer | 1871-1940 | Anglican missionary and political campaigner
Barnard | Helen M | d 1945 | Head of St Stephen's Community, Delhi, 1901-1912
Bickersteth | Edward | 1850-1897 | Head of the Cambridge Mission Brotherhood, 1877-1882 and Bishop of South Tokyo
Byam | Christine L | 1845-1923 | Head of St Stephen's Community, Delhi, 1897-1901
Carlyon | Henry Chichele | 1847-1919 | Church of England priest and Head of the Cambridge Mission Brotherhood, 1917-1919
Froggatt | Clare | 1902-1997 | Head of St Stephen's Community, 1960-1967
Gould | Hilda Mary | 1875-1957 | Head of St Stephen's Community, Delhi, 1912-1934
Jerwood | Helen Dorothea | 1879-1965 | pioneer of women's education in Delhi
King | Hugh Basil | 1892-1939 | Church of England priest, Head of the Delhi Mission and Head of the Cambridge Mission Brotherhood, 1928-1939
Lefroy | George Alfred | 1854-1919 | Head of the Cambridge Mission Brotherhood, 1885-1899, Head of the Delhi Mission, 1891-1899 and Bishop of Lahore
Müller | Jennie C | 1867-1934 | medical doctor
Robinson | Christopher James Gossage | 1903-1988 | Head of the Cambridge Mission Brotherhood, 1939-1947, Bishop of Lucknow, 1947-1962 and Bishop of Bombay, 1962-1971
Roseveare | Ruth | b 1917 | medical doctor and Head of St Stephen's Community, 1968-1983
Rudra | SK | Principal of St Stephen's College, Delhi, 1906-1923
Scott | Mrs Winckworth | Head of St Stephen's Community, Delhi, c1886-1896
Sharp | Kenneth Granville | 1912-1992 | Church of England priest and Head of the Cambridge Brotherhood of the Ascension, 1947-1969
Staley | Mildred | medical doctor and Superintendent of St Stephen’s Hospital, Delhi, 1893-1903
Western | Frederick James | 1880-1951 | Head of the Delhi Mission, 1917-1928, Head of the Cambridge Mission Brotherhood, 1919-1928 and Bishop of Tinnevelly
Winter | Priscilla | 1842-1881 | founder of the Delhi Female Medical Mission
Winter | Robert Reynolds | 1836-1891 | Church of England priest and Head of the Delhi Mission, 1863-1891

Corporate names
Brotherhood of the Ascended Christ
Cambridge Brotherhood of the Ascension
Cambridge Mission Brotherhood
Cambridge Mission to Delhi
Delhi Female Medical Mission
St Stephen’s Community

Gurgaon| Haryana | India
Karnal | Haryana | India
Rewari | Haryana | India
Rohtak | Haryana | India
South Asia