Macleod Papers

Reference code(s): GB 1835 MAC
Held at: Cambridge Centre for Christianity Worldwide (formerly known as the Henry Martyn Centre)
Domain: archival
Title: Macleod Papers
Date(s) of contents: 1937-1984
Level of description: Fonds
Extent and medium: 2 boxes of personal papers including letters, sermons, articles, reports and book reviews.


Name of creator(s): Macleod, Alan (1911-1984)

Administrative/Biographical history: Alan Macleod was born in 1911. He trained at Westminster College, Cambridge and was ordained as a minister in the Presbyterian Church in 1936. That same year he went to serve in the Rajshahi Mission in Bengal, later part of East Pakistan and, after 1963, Bangaladesh. The mission area was located some 200 miles North of Calcutta on the Ganges River. The heavily populated area around was predominately Muslim. Between 1936 and 1938 Macleod was in charge of the Westminster Hostel for Muslim and Hindu students in Rajshani. In 1938 he was married in India to Margaret Nichol who had travelled out to join him there. He was transferred to Naogaon in 1939 to re-establish work there as the buildings and mission were in a state of collapse. He continued there during the time of famine and World War II and led the church in relief work, providing a hospital for destitute beggars and an emergency hospital which was later taken over by the Government of Bengal. He also became principal of the Darjeeling Language School for Missionaries. He continued to serve until 1955 when he returned to England to take up a post as Professor of Old Testament Studies at Westminster College, becoming Principal in 1963. He served twice as Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of England in 1967 and 1972. He retired in 1979 and died in 1984.

Custodial history:

Immediate source of acquisition: Donation by the family of Alan Macleod in the 1990s.


Scope and content/abstract: The papers cover the time that Alan Macleod worked under the auspices of the English Presbyterian Mission both in Rajashahi and in Naogaon, Bengal (now Bangladesh) from 1936 to 1955. He describes the land and the people, and his work in the mission which included running a hospital and a school, and relief work amongst the destitute. His period of service covered momentous events in the history of the Indian subcontinent, including famine, World War II and the partition of the country. Most importantly, he chronicles the difficulties encountered in working amongst the Christians, Hindus and Muslims in a predominanatly (over 90%) Muslim area. The sermons are of a more general nature.

System of arrangement: Letters (MAC 1) - mainly from Macleod.
Articles, reports and book reviews (MAC 2)
Sermons (MAC 3,4)
Journals (MAC 5)


Language: English.

Conditions governing access: Refer to repository.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Finding aids: A handlist is available.


Copies: Can be provided


Date(s) of descriptions: April 2002.

Missionary Schools
Missionary hospitals
Missionary work

Personal names
Macleod | Alan | 1911-1984 | Presbyterian missionary in East Pakistan, teacher and church administrator
Paton | William | 1886-1943 | missionary administrator and ecumenical pioneer

Corporate names
Presbyterian Church of England
United Reformed Church

South Asia