Archbishop's Mission to the Assyrian Christians


IDENTITY STATEMENT
Reference code(s): GB 0109 Archbishop's Mission to the Assyrian Christians
Held at: Lambeth Palace Library
Domain: archival
Title: Archbishop's Mission to the Assyrian Christians
Date(s) of contents: 1879-1931
Level of description: Sub-fonds
Extent and medium: 24 volumes of archival material

CONTEXT

Name of creator(s):

Archbishop of Canterbury

Administrative/Biographical history:

The Archbishop's Mission to the Assyrian Christians arose from an 1837 expedition to the Euphrates Valley by the Royal Geographical Society, which led to the further joint expedition by the Society and the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts. Their ensuing report, along with appeals from the local Nestorian Christians, prompted the sending of a missionary to Kurdistan in 1881.

This missionary work was put on a more permanent footing in 1885-1886. However, it had no constitution or regular organization, but rather was carried out under the auspices of the Archbishops of Canterbury. Missionary work was intended to regenerate and reform the Assyrian Christians, focusing on the education of both clergy and laity. A college for priests and deacons was established, as were five high school and forty village schools. In addition, the missionaries acted as ecclesiastical judges regarding the Canon Law of the Chaldean Church, and also oversaw the first ever printings of early Assyrian liturgies. A committee associated with the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States also aided the mission.

In 1939 the Archbishop's Mission to the Assyrian Christians was incorporated into the Jerusalem and East Mission.

See also:
Edward White Benson, An Address delivered ... at the Farewell Service in Lambeth Palace Chapel on ... June 2, 1886, previous to the departure of the Revs. Canon Maclean and W. H. Browne for the work of the Archbishop's Mission to the Assyrian Christians. (London: Assyrian Church Fund, 1886).
J. F. Coakley, The church of the East and the Church of England: a history of the Archbishop of Canterbury's Assyrian Mission (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992).

Custodial history: Until Lang's primacy most of the papers were kept separately from the archbishop's other correspondence; they were brought together as one sub-fonds during the sorting of the modern archbishops' papers during the 1980s.

Immediate source of acquisition: Transfer from Lambeth Palace with archbishops' papers.

CONTENT AND STRUCTURE

Scope and content/abstract:

The archive consists of 24 volumes of correspondence concerning the mission (1879-1931). The correspondence is that of the Archbishops of Canterbury under whose auspices the mission fell during this period (namely, Edward White Benson, Randall Thomas Davidson, Cosmo Gordon Lang, Archibald Campbell Tait, Frederick Temple), principally with the secretary of the Mission, and with the missionaries. The collection is not the archive of the Mission itself, the early records of which have not survived.

System of arrangement: Chronologically.

ACCESS AND USE

Language: Chiefly English.

Conditions governing access: A full reader's ticket is required.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Finding aids: Typescript list (1990).

ALLIED MATERIALS

Related material: Lambeth Palace Library also holds MS. 3982, which is to be added in to the collection, as well as the archive of the Jerusalem and the East Mission Fund (MSS 2327-2340).
Other archives of the Jerusalem and East Mission are held at the Middle East Centre, St Antony's College, University of Oxford.

Publication note:

Edward White Benson, An Address delivered ... at the Farewell Service in Lambeth Palace Chapel on ... June 2, 1886, previous to the departure of the Revs. Canon Maclean and W. H. Browne for the work of the Archbishop's Mission to the Assyrian Christians. (London: Assyrian Church Fund, 1886).
J. F. Coakley, The church of the East and the Church of England: a history of the Archbishop of Canterbury's Assyrian Mission (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992).

DESCRIPTION NOTES

Note: Compiled using:
Henry Otis Dwight, H. Allen Tupper, Edwin Munsell Bliss, The encyclopedia of missions (New York and London: Funk & Wagnall Company, 1904).
Rosemary Seton and Emily Naish, A Preliminary Guide to the Archives of British Missionary Societies (School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, 1992).

Date(s) of descriptions: 22nd March 2002.


INDEX ENTRIES
Subjects
Ancient religions
Catholicism
Christianity
Clergy
Educational missionaries
Educational missionary work
Indigenous clergy
Mission educational institutions
Missionaries
Missionary societies
Missionary support organizations
Missionary work
Religions
Religious activities
Religious groups
Religious organizations
Religious reform

Personal names
Benson | Edward White | 1829-1896 | Archbishop of Canterbury 1883-1896
Davidson | Randall Thomas | 1848-1930 | Archbishop of Canterbury 1903-1928
Lang | Cosmo Gordon | 1864-1945 | Archbishop of Canterbury 1928-1942
Tait | Archibald Campbell | 1811-1882 | Archbishop of Canterbury 1868-1882
Temple | Frederick | 1821-1902 | Archbishop of Canterbury 1896-1902

Corporate names
Archbishop's Mission to the Assyrian Christians
Church of England | Archdiocese of Canterbury | Archbishop

Places
Armenia
Asia
Caucasian States
Europe
Iran
Iraq
Middle East
Syrian AR
Turkey