Mather, Percy Cunningham


IDENTITY STATEMENT
Reference code(s): GB 0102 CIM/PP 6-13
Held at: School of Oriental and African Studies Library
Domain: archival
Title: Mather, Percy Cunningham
Date(s) of contents: 1911-1938
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent and medium: 0.5 box

CONTEXT

Name of creator(s): Mather | Percy Cunningham | 1884-1933 | missionary

Administrative/Biographical history: Born in Fleetwood, England, 1884; employed by the railways; converted to Wesleyan Methodism, 1903; became a Sunday school teacher and local preacher; applied to join the China Inland Mission, 1908; pioneering missionary to central Asia; sailed to Shanghai, China, 1910; moved upriver to Anking (Anqing) language school; proceeded to Ningkwo (Ningguo) in Anhwei (Anhui) province, 1911; influenced by Roland Allen's Missionary Methods: St Paul's or Ours? (1912) and volunteered to join George Hunter (1861-1946) among the Islamic peoples of Urumchi (Urumqi), Chinese Turkestan (later Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region) and arrived, 1914; with Hunter, itinerated in Outer Mongolia among Mongol tribes and Chinese traders and border settlers, 1914-1926; pursued intensive medical studies on furlough, 1927; subsequently concentrated on medical work and on translations, grammars, and dictionaries of Mongolian languages; to Kashgar, 1928; became involved in hostilities in China and was accused of political intrigue; died of typhus during the siege of Urumchi, 1933. Publication: letters published as The Making of a Pioneer: Percy Mather of Central Asia, ed Alice Mildred Cable and Francesca Law French (1935).

Custodial history: The papers form part of the series of personal and private papers of individual missionaries among the records of the China Inland Mission.

Immediate source of acquisition: Donated with the records of the China Inland Mission from 1991.

CONTENT AND STRUCTURE

Scope and content/abstract: Papers, 1911-1938, of and relating to Percy Cunningham Mather, comprising letters to Mather from various correspondents, 1911-1931; letters of condolence on his death, 1933; letters from Mather, 1911-1933, largely to his sister Edith, including his experiences in China; typescript letters from Mather in Chuguchak (Tacheng), Sinkiang (Xinjiang Uygur Zizhiqu), to prayer companions, 1930-1932, describing his impressions and activities; six journals, 1911-1917, recording his activities; articles by Mather in Young China, 1928-1929; articles on Mather's life, 1933, 1938 and undated.

System of arrangement:

ACCESS AND USE

Language: English

Conditions governing access: Unrestricted. Readers should order the documents as CIM box 2 in SOAS Special Collections Reading Room.

Conditions governing reproduction: No publication without written permission. Apply to archivist in the first instance.

Finding aids: Database and unpublished handlist.

ALLIED MATERIALS

Related material: The School of Oriental and African Studies holds the records of the China Inland Mission (Ref: CIM). SOAS also holds press cuttings of the Conference of British Missionary Societies relating to Mather's death in China, 1933 (Ref: CBMS/H/PB23/88).

DESCRIPTION NOTES

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); A J Broomhall, It is not Death to Die! (1989), vol vii of Hudson Taylor and China's Open Century, p 671; British Library OPAC.

Date(s) of descriptions: Mar 2002


INDEX ENTRIES
Subjects
Ancient religions
Asian cultures
Christianity
Christians
Diaries
Evangelistic missionaries
Evangelistic missionary work
Literary forms and genres
Medical missionaries
Medical missionary work
Methodism
Methodists
Missionaries
Missionary work
National cultures
Nonfiction
Prose
Protestant nonconformists
Protestant nonconformity
Protestantism
Protestants
Religions
Religious activities
Religious groups
Religious institutions
Religious movements
Travel
Travel abroad

Personal names
Mather | Edith | fl 1911-1933 | sister of the missionary Percy Cunningham Mather
Mather | Percy Cunningham | 1884-1933 | missionary

Corporate names
China Inland Mission

Places
China
Chuguchak
East Asia
Sinkiang
Tacheng
Xinjiang Uygur Zizhiqu