Records of the Loochoo Naval Mission

Reference code(s): GB 0150 L
Held at: Birmingham - University of, Information Services, Special Collections Department
Title: Records of the Loochoo Naval Mission
Date(s) of contents: 1843-1857
Level of description: Fonds
Extent and medium: 2 boxes


Name of creator(s):

Administrative/Biographical history: The Loochoo Naval Mission was begun in February 1843 by a small group of naval officers who wished to send a missionary to the Loochoo Islands (Ryukyu Islands) aiming thereby to reach Japan. When their application for help from the CMS was refused the officers, they set up an independent fund and sent out Dr. Bernard Jean Bettelheim. He, in turn, was succeeded by Rev. G. H. Moreton. When Moreton's health failed the mission came to an end. In 1861 the balance of the funds was given to CMS as a basis of support for evangelistic work in Japan, when that should be possible. CMS began work in Japan in 1869. The Secretaries of the Loochoo Mission were Lt. Herbert Clifford, 1841-1852 and George Rochfort Clarke, 1852-1857.
Reference: Rosemary Keen, 'The Church Missionary Society Archives: or thirty years work in the basement' in Catholi c Archives, No. 12, 1992

Custodial history:

Immediate source of acquisition: The records of the Loochoo Naval Mission passed in to the custody of the Church Missionary Society. They were transferred to the Special Collections Department as part of the long term contract made between the CMS and the University of Birmingham. The first transfer took place in 1979-80 and these records were received in 1986


Scope and content/abstract: This small archive comprises the secretaries' papers and correspondence as well as the lengthy journals of the missionaries, Dr Bernard Jean Bettelheim and Rev G. H. Moreton. It also includes printed annual reports of the mission and other associated prospectuses, circulars and appeal leaflets. The naval connection has resulted in the inclusion of such unusual items as the 1842 designs and plans for 'gangway annular scupper mouths' for use in frigates

System of arrangement: The archive has been arranged by dividing the files and papers into two broad sections: A=Administration; F=Finance


Language: English

Conditions governing access: Open Access to all registered readers

Conditions governing reproduction: Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in advance in writing from the University Archivist, Special Collections (email: Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult. Special Collections will assist where possible with identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.

Finding aids: A paper copy of the catalogue of this collection is available in the Special Collections Department and at the National Register of Archives in London


Related material: The Special Collections Department holds the Church Missionary Society Archive, the official archive of the society (GB 0150 CMS), which includes material relating to its Japan Mission founded in 1869


Date(s) of descriptions: Created 07/3/2002, modified 09/3/2002


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