Name of creator(s): Hill | David | 1840-1896 | Methodist missionary in China
Administrative/Biographical history: Born in York, England, 1840; trained at the theological college, Richmond; ordained as a Wesleyan Methodist minister; posted to the Central China mission field, based in Wuchang, Hupeh (Hubei) province; sailed to China, 1864; visited Japan for health reasons, but returned to missionary work in China; his single status made him more mobile than most Protestant missionaries; with a few other missionaries, including the Baptist Timothy Richard, engaged in famine relief work in Shansi (Shanxi) province, 1878-c1880; the experience expanded Hill's ministry in terms of social vision and ecumenism; instrumental in the conversion of Hsi Sheng-mo (Xi Shengmo, d 1896), who was to become an important independent pastor, 1879; visited England, 1881-1882; influential in recruiting other missionaries to China; established a hospital and homes for the aged, the blind, and orphans; helped to found the Central China Religious Tract Society; his evangelistic work extended outside the boundaries of existing Methodist circuits in China, resulting in the formation of the Central China Lay Mission, of which he became superintendent; chairman of the Central China Lay Mission, 1885; elected a member of the Legal Conference, 1888; played a central role in the Shanghai missionary conference as English president, 1891; appointed deputy to the British consul in the investigation into a riot at Wusueh, 1891; attended the Ecumenical Conference in Washington, 1891; visited England, 1891-1893; died of typhus fever at Hankow, 1896. Publication: Mission Work in Central China: a letter to Methodist young men (1882).
Custodial history: The papers were deposited with the Methodist Missionary Society and form part of the special series of biographical papers of individual missionaries.
Immediate source of acquisition: Deposited on permanent loan with the records of the Methodist Missionary Society from 1978.
CONTENT AND STRUCTURE
Scope and content/abstract: Papers, 1822-1917, of and relating to the Rev David Hill, including journals, 1865-1889 (some gaps); Hill's notes, sermons and addresses, 1863-1875 and undated, including some lantern slides, the subjects including the Old Testament, missionary work, China, including the opium trade and Chinese literature, and Hill's visit to America; letters from Hill to various members of his family, 1847-1896, and other correspondents, 1873-1895; various letters, 1847-1917, some to Hill, but including miscellaneous others; photographs of Hill and other subjects, including Chinese costumes; books belonging to Hill, 1857-1895, such as Bibles, a prayerbook, and hymnbooks; woodcut for visiting card; correspondence and papers, 1858-1897 and undated, some printed, relating to missionary work and other affairs in China, including anti-foreign riots, 1891; papers, 1877-1881 and undated, relating to the opium trade; Central China Lay Mission cash book, 1894-1899; printed papers, 1822-1917, including material relating to missionary work in China and to Methodism, including Methodism in York.
System of arrangement:
ACCESS AND USE
Language: English and Chinese
Conditions governing access: Unrestricted, but only to be viewed on microfiche. Originals to be consulted only with written agreement from the Methodist Church.
Conditions governing reproduction: No publication without written permission. Apply to archivist in the first instance.
Finding aids: Unpublished handlist.
Related material: The School of Oriental and African Studies holds the records of the Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society (Ref: MMS/WMMS), including Hill's official correspondence (Ref: MMS/WMMS China Correspondence).
Copies: Published on microfiche by IDC Publishers (SOAS ref: Fiche Box Number Special Series 24-9).
Archivist's note: Compiled by Rachel Kemsley as part of the RSLP AIM25 project. Sources: Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, ed Gerald H Anderson (1998); Alphabetical Arrangement of Wesleyan Methodist Ministers (1892); Wesleyan Methodist Church Minutes of Conference (1896, pp 47-9); British Library OPAC.
Date(s) of descriptions: Mar 2002