Cornaby, William Arthur

Reference code(s): GB 0102 WMMS/MMS Biographical Series, Box 638
Held at: School of Oriental and African Studies Library
Domain: archival
Title: Cornaby, William Arthur
Date(s) of contents: ca. 1885-1897
Level of description: Fonds
Extent and medium: 1 folder


Name of creator(s):

Administrative/Biographical history: William Arthur Cornaby was born in Sydenham in London in 1861, the sixth child in a family of 12 children. He attended the School of Mines in South Kensington and became a chemistry demonstrator at Clifton College in Bristol. In 1883 he decided to enter the ministry and was admitted to Richmond College in that year. Following two years at the college he was sent out to Hankow [Wuhan] in central China as a missionary with the Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society. In 1889 he married Margaret Baker and in 1895 was appointed to Hanyang where, in addition to running a church and school, he became the editor of The Chinese Christian Review , a monthly Chinese magazine for preachers. In 1905 he was appointed to take up literary work in Shanghai with the Christian Literature Society under the direction of Timothy Richard. His chief work was to edit the Ta Tung Pao, a weekly magazine targeted at Chinese officials and scholars. Cornaby's first wife, Margaret died in 1915 and, in 1916, he married a friend of the family, Emma Foggitt of the London Missionary Society. In 1919 Cornaby, already suffering from malaria, contracted tuberculosis. He died at Kuling in 1921.

Custodial history: Donated to the Methodist Missionary Society by Mr and Mrs J. R. Hart in 1958. John R Hart was the grandson of WA Cornaby.

Immediate source of acquisition: Deposited on permanent loan with the records of the Methodist Missionary Society in 1978.


Scope and content/abstract: Letters from William Arthur Cornaby, chiefly to his brother Henry and miscellaneous writings, dated c. 1885-1897.

System of arrangement: Arranged chronologically.


Language: English

Conditions governing access: Unrestricted, but only to be viewed on microfiche.

Conditions governing reproduction: No publication without prior permission in writing. Apply to SOAS Archives in first instance

Finding aids: This description constitutes the only finding aid at present.


Related material: The School of Oriental and African Studies holds the records of the Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society (Ref: MMS/WMMS), including letters from individual missionaries.


Archivist's note: This description compiled by Rosemary Seton, Archivist SOAS with reference to Cornaby of Hanyang by Coulson Kernahan, London: The Epworth Press, 1923.

Date(s) of descriptions: 2005

Letter writing
Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society

Personal names
Cornaby | William Arthur | 1861-1921 | missionary and author

Corporate names
Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society

East Asia