Papers of Archdeacon T. J. Dennis

Reference code(s): GB 0150 CMS/ACC89
Held at: Birmingham - University of, Information Services, Special Collections Department
Title: Papers of Archdeacon T. J. Dennis
Date(s) of contents: 1893-1917
Level of description: Sub-fonds
Extent and medium: 1 vol., 23 files, 1 doc.


Name of creator(s):

Administrative/Biographical history: Thomas John Dennis (1869-1917) of St Leonards, a gardener, was accepted as a missionary by the CMS in 1893 and went to West Africa and was assigned to the Niger Mission. However, he remained for some time in Sierra Leone as acting Vice-Principal of Fourah Bay College. He was ordained a priest by the Bishop of Sierra Leone in 1894 and then proceeded to the Niger where he served at Onitsha. He was appointed as archdeacon of the Upper Niger in 1905. In 1908, he went to open a new station at Ebu where he served until 1917. He died on his way home from West Africa when the SS Karina was torpedoed. He had two sisters and a brother who were also CMS missionaries, Frances, Ellen and Edward.
Reference: Register of missionaries (clerical, lay & female) and native clergy from 1804 to 1904 (Church Missionary Society, 1905); and manuscript additions to register

Custodial history: The original provenance of this collection is unknown; it was 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 consists of the personal diaries of Thomas Dennis which were written in the form of detailed letters to his parents and friends and which were despatched at fortnightly intervals. The gaps in the chronological sequence relate to his periods of furlough in England and it therefore appears to be a continuous personal record of his service as a missionary. The collection includes a typescript of an Ibo translation of part of the Old Testament and some family photographs.

System of arrangement: This collection forms part of the Church Missionary Society Unofficial Papers. It is arranged into a single 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 which includes papers relating to Dennis's service as a missionary. It also holds unofficial papers of his sister, Frances Dennis (CMS/ACC4).


Date(s) of descriptions: Created 23/08/2001, modified 10/10/2002


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