Papers of Archibald Downes Shaw

Reference code(s): GB 0150 CMS/ACC36
Held at: Birmingham - University of, Information Services, Special Collections Department
Title: Papers of Archibald Downes Shaw
Date(s) of contents: 1880-1889
Level of description: Sub-fonds
Extent and medium: 18 docs., 2 files


Name of creator(s):

Administrative/Biographical history: Archibald Downes Shaw (1857-1939), Anglican clergyman and missionary of Clifton, Bristol was accepted by the Church Missionary Society (CMS) in 1876 when he was sent to St Paul's College, Hong Kong as a missionary student. He subsequently attended the Church Missionary College in Islington. In 1881 he was ordained deacon and then priest and served briefly as curate of Doddington, Cambridgeshire. Later the same year he went to East Africa as a CMS missionary first at Kisulitini (1881-87) and then at Frere Town (1887-88); and in 1889 he transferred to Mauritius where he was appointed as chaplain of Vacoas and Black River. In 1890 he was invalided back to England and his connection with the CMS then ceased.
His subsequent career involved many moves: Curate, Littleton, Middlesex, 1890-93; Organising Secretary, Church Army, 1893-1894; Chaplain, Dr Barnardo's Homes, 1894-1898; Vicar, Church of King Charles the Martyr, Tunbridge Wells, 1898-1902; Rector of Kettlestone, Norfolk, 1902-11 ; Vicar, Great Horton, Bradford, 1911-15; and Rector, Scotton, Lincolnshire, 1915-24. He then retired to Cornwall.
References: Register of missionaries (clerical, lay & female) and native clergy from 1804 to 1904 (Church Missionary Society, 1905), and unpublished additions to this register in the CMS archives.
He was married firstly in 1882 to Amy Havergal (niece of Frances Ridley Havergal) who died in Mauritius in 1890 and secondly Alice Montagu in 1893.

Custodial history: Presented to the CMS per CMS Regional Administrative Secretary, Nairobi 1962; transferred on permanent loan to the Special Collections Department by the CMS in the 1980s.

Immediate source of acquisition:


Scope and content/abstract: This collection of personal and family papers relates to Archibald Downes Shaw's service as a CMS missionary in East Africa and includes his journal of a trip in Giriama, Kenya, 1882 and a manuscript of his missionary experiences 'An African Leopard', 1885. Other papers include letters from Shaw to his family and letters to Shaw from his brothers, 1882-1886; some letters from his first wife, Amy to her mother, 1882-1883, and some printed items written by Shaw.

System of arrangement: This collection forms part of the Church Missionary Society Unofficial Papers. It is arranged into one series: Family Papers


Language: English

Conditions governing access: Open Access to all registered readers

Conditions governing reproduction:

Finding aids: A catalogue of this collection to file and item level is available in electronic format on the University of Birmingham Information Services Online Archive Catalogue. A paper copy of this catalogue is also available for consultation in the Special Collections Department reading room.


Related material: The Special Collections Department holds the Church Missionary Society Archive, the official archive of the society, (GB 0150 CMS) which includes papers relating to Shaw's service as a CMS missionary. It also holds an account of a journey made by Archibald Downes Shaw in 1877, with associated papers (GB 0150 MS12).


Date(s) of descriptions: Created 16/08/2001, modified 16/09/2002


Personal names
Shaw | Archibald | Downes | 1857-1939 | Anglican clergyman and Church Missionary Society missionary

Corporate names
Church Missionary Society

East Africa