This numerical shift undoubtedly contributed to the eclipsing of the African collections in favour of those from the Pacific, India and China, where ‘idols’ were more prominent. While people in the areas of southern Africa where the lms were active did not produce artefacts that could easily be described as idols, these were effectively replaced in the museum’s collection by large and charismatic animals, such as rhinos and giraffes, many of which came to London following Campbell’s journeys of inspection. This saw objects in the museum increasingly referred to as ‘relics’, with their connection to the history of the society and its missionaries emphasized. This transformation should undoubtedly be connected to wider shifts in exhibition practices, including the emergence of conventional modes of display that became associated with the exhibitions that proliferated in the years following the 1851 Great Exhibition in London.80. Some Chinese objects listed in the catalogue are, however, also suggestive of a category that would become extremely significant in the lms collection later in the century: the relic. Michelangelo Gualandi (1793–1887) and the National Gallery: Siting China in Germany: Eighteenth-century Chinoiserie and its modern legacy, Mathematical Instruments in the Collections of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, The Stafford Gallery: The greatest art collection of Regency London, About Journal of the History of Collections, Careful and intelligent rearrangement, 1859–1885, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/, Receive exclusive offers and updates from Oxford Academic. Analysis of the income and expenditure of the London Missionary Society from 1796 to 1895 Notes. london… British Museum-Wikipedia. While the functions of the lms museum as institutional ‘trophy case’ may be different from the ‘scientific’ museums of ethnography that emerged during the last third of the nineteenth century, and into which much of the lms collection was subsequently transferred, it nevertheless seems important to counter Altick’s assertion that ‘the museum’s purpose was not to advance learning’.108 Jeffrey Cox has suggested that ‘for most British children in the nineteenth century, the single largest source of information about what foreign peoples were like came from the foreign missionary societies of their respective denominations’.109 The reach of the lms, however, went further than this: missionary meetings at which objects from the lms museum were displayed took place in the churches and schools of the established Church of England, those associated with Methodism, as well as the Congregational churches that formed the core support of the lms. as might be most conducive to the attainment of the great end proposed – the conversion of the heathen, keeping in view at the same time the promotion of their civilization.16. Although Morrison was still alive in 1826, having recently returned to China following a visit to Britain in 1824, he had already become famous through his five-volume Chinese dictionary, printed by the East India Company, as well as his translations into Chinese of the Old and New Testaments. Nevertheless, one of the largest areas of growth in the collection was in the number of ‘idols’ from India, presumably connected to the continuing campaigns in Britain against East India Company involvement in Hindu religious practices during the 1830s.88. ‘Missionary Museum’, Evangelical Magazine and Missionary Chronicle (July 1824), p. 333. I 1923 FOREWORD It is my pleasant task to write a brief preface to this new and revised Register of L.M.S. Page 5 of 50 - About 500 Essays The Pros And Cons Of Brexit. Bloomsbury: London. 38-9. The movement of these things through space and over time offers a rich perspective for considering the impacts on Britain of its history of overseas missionary activity. West Indies. In addition, alongside the ‘advertisement’, a note was added about the classification of the museum: Arrangement of the lms museum c.1860, constructed by relating the 1859 image from the Illustrated London News, depictions and descriptions of individual cases from the Juvenile Missionary Magazine (1860) and the second surviving catalogue of the museum. London Missionary Society's Hospital at Peking; under the care of William Lockhart, 1861-63; and of J. Dudgeon, 1864-71. The Missionary Magazine and Chronicle, Vol. LONDON MISSIONARY SOCIETY in SOUTH AFRICA: A RETROSPECTIVE SKETCH BY . ‘South Seas’, Evangelical Magazine and Missionary Chronicle (October 1824), p. 457. In many ways, Altick’s characterization of the lms museum as a Christian trophy case is extremely apt. ‘Museum of the London Missionary Society’, Lady’s Newspaper 329 (16 April 1853), p. 237. London Missionary Society: the Missionary Society was founded in 1795 by a group of Anglican and Nonconformist clergy in London. Artist: William Ellis (British, 1794-1872). I cannot think of the London Missionary Society without their work in the Pacific Ocean coming to mind. J. Campbell, Travels in South Africa: Undertaken at the Request of the Missionary Society (London, 1815), p. viii. Description. 41 (1847), p. 219. . The museum at the London Missionary Society headquarters has been studied largely by those with an interest in early Polynesian missionary encounters, and has become famous as a repository for pre-Christian religious ‘idols’ given up by converts to Christianity. . A fourth image (Fig. But, as we are reminded by the fact that the London Missionary Society is now, in 1895, keeping its centenary festival, the great spring of zeal for the evangelisation of the heathen, from which the activity of t In Religion in Museums, Global and Multidisciplinary Perspectives (eds.) London Missionary Society This page summarises records created by this Organisation The summary includes a brief description of the collection(s) (usually including the covering dates of the collection), the name of the archive where they are held, and reference information to … Consequently, the church that was established a few years later became formally known as the Samoan Church (London Missionary Society). 236–7. Eleven objects were associated with Dr Robert Morrison, an early lms missionary to China, including a number of things presented by his servant Poon a Sam. BMS workers and partners strive every day to make Jesus known and share the … See ‘The London Missionary Museum’, op. Meanwhile, the previously prominent specimens of natural history, including Campbell’s giraffe, are no longer in evidence. The two exceptions were the natural history case (b), mentioned above, and another that included ‘Articles of dress’ from the Pacific (c). Building upon their initial efforts in Tahiti (1797), their work in J. Cobbing, ‘The Mfecane as alibi: thoughts on Dithakong and Mbolompo’, Journal of African History 29 (1988), pp. 329, 16 April 1853, p. 237. Many of the objects have not been on public display since the 19th Century. 98–102. The London Missionary Society was a protestant society which was primarily Congregationalist. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2000. 1 box containing 4 files. 5).70 This offers a slightly different perspective to the 1843 image, but the contents and locations of the museum appear to be essentially the same. Missionaries. London Missionary Society The LMS was formed at a meeting of independent church leaders, both Anglican and nonconformist, held in London in November 1794. (19.1 x 16.5 cm). In April 1815, the Missionary Museum was declared to be open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11.00 a.m. until 3.00 p.m. for the inspection of members and friends of the society. Many of the objects from China straightforwardly fulfil the category of ‘curiosity’, although a number are books in the Chinese language. 56 [1864] - Report of the London Missionary Society's Chinese Hospital at Peking. The way in which the museum was presented in 1860 might also be regarded as the culmination of the shift in focus, away from straightforward curiosity and towards idols and objects of superstition that began with arrival of Pomare’s ‘Household Gods’ in London in 1818. . Addeddate 2008-11-21 12:32:49 Call number 55250 Camera The catalogue also suggests that the collection was beginning to be arranged and classified in relation to the chief mission fields of the Society, with sections devoted to the ‘East Indies’, ‘China’ and ‘South Africa’. 134–5. The register of 170 pages provides a synopsis of the lives of hundreds of LMS missionaries. John Williams was a missionary ship under the command of Captain Robert Clark Morgan (1798–1864) and owned by the London Missionary Society (LMS). Nevertheless, the achievements of the lms were also discussed in relation to the ‘large and handsomely built’ churches, as well as the books of the Bible that had been translated and printed. Analysis of the income and expenditure of the London Missionary Society from 1796 to 1895 Notes. The catalogue referred to the ‘nearly thirty native teachers . ‘London Missionary Society: Thirtieth Report’, Missionary Register (October 1824), p. 425. cit. 2). It divorced the museum from what had once been one of its primary functions – appealing to the supporters of the lms, the majority of whom were not situated in London and seldom if ever visited the Mission House. ‘Representation of the Indian idol of Ganesa’, Evangelical Magazine and Missionary Chronicle (March 1818), pp. London, June 25, 1859. Iberoamerican Museum of Visual Culture on the Web / Resources / Latin America in Photography and Film / SOAS / London Missionary Society LONDON MISSIONARY SOCIETY CWM/LMS/West Indies & British Guiana/Photographs/Box 1. Altick’s analogy becomes even more interesting when one thinks about the institutional function of a trophy case. It is significant that the final page includes a bequest form, enabling museum visitors to leave a legacy to the society. of natural genius, especially in countries rude and uncivilized’, which seems to refer particularly to Africa, the Pacific and Madagascar in contemporary usage, are intended to prove the capacity of these people for Christian instruction.43 Nevertheless the real rhetorical weight of the ‘advertisement’ follows in a new paragraph: But the most valuable and impressive objects in this Collection, are the numerous, and (in some instances) horribleidols, which have been imported from the South Sea Islands, from India, from China, and Africa; and among these, those especially which were given up by their former worshippers, from a full conviction of the folly and sin of idolatry – a conviction derived from the ministry of the Gospel by the Missionaries.44, For an evangelical missionary society, there was a very special significance attached to items ‘given up . Publications by the lms, and particularly books written by individual missionaries, circulated much more widely than the churches and individuals who regularly supported the society. Source: P.P.7611, page 605. issue 980. In 1890, the directors of the lms agreed to ‘lend under certain conditions objects of interest from the Society’s Museum for exhibition at the British Museum’, with the idea that they should be labelled as lent by the London Missionary Society and placed together in a separate case.96 Of 241 items recorded as part of this loan, 234 came from the Pacific, reflecting the perceived significance of this material. A condition of this proposal was that ‘nothing shall be allowed to leave the Mission House for the purposes of such loan exhibitions except such articles as are definitely set apart as a loan collection’. Missionary Heritage from Africa and the Pacific (Leiden, 2015), pp. If the rearrangement in 1859 marks the culmination of the lms museum as a home for abandoned idols, it also marks the beginning of a new shift in its focus. FOURTH EDITION. . 1 (2012), pp. At the same time, the main classification of objects in the museum seems to have been in terms of the three categories outlined on the front page, and reinforced by the ‘advertisement’: ‘specimens in natural history’, ‘idols of heathen nations’ and ‘efforts of natural genius’. The London Missionary Society was a non-denominational missionary society formed in England in1795 by evangelical Anglican, Baptist and Congregational Protestants to bring Christianity to the islands of the South Pacific and to Africa. . While the second catalogue of the museum has previously been undated, its description of the ordering and contents of the cases bears a close relation to those depicted in this image, suggesting that it was produced after the reorganization referred to as ‘recent’ in 1859. 0 Reviews. . Annie Coombes, who considered the lms museum in the context of her book on the display of African material in late Victorian and Edwardian England, was more critical of the dismissal of missionaries as ‘idol-bashing evangelicals’.6 Nevertheless, in describing the late nineteenth-century lms museum from an Africanist perspective, she suggested that ‘items in its collection would have been associated with conversion, suppression of the slave-trade, philanthropy and education; the four main activities which British congregations associated with the missionary endeavour.’7. W. Gill, ‘Fifty-first anniversary of the British and Foreign Bible Society’, Christian Observer (May 1855), p. 554. C. S. Horne, The Story of thel.m.s. Extensions to the Mission House at Blomfield Street in 1878 involved relocating the museum to a newly built upper floor of the main building, where it was ‘carefully arranged in the new cases provided for it’.94 A short account of the museum at the time of this move noted that the collection had ‘accumulated during a long course of years by the agents of the Society in all lands’. [vol. cit. ‘The Missionary Museum’, Juvenile Missionary Magazine (September 1847), pp. Nevertheless, these were intended to form the basis of prints that would feature in the new quarterly publication, Missionary Sketches, which had featured the image of ‘the family idols of Pomare’ on its front cover in October 1818. Philip, John (1775-1851) Scottish superintendent of the London Missionary Society (LMS) in Southern Africa. Collage. N. Thomas, Entangled Objects: Exchange, Material Culture, and Colonialism in the Pacific (Cambridge, ma, 1991), p. 243, note 259. 84–5. The museum of the London Missionary Society. cit. Their figure is a combination of the human with the brutal shape, in a way to give effect to all that is ugly and frightful in appearance. However, this appears never to have been published, possibly because at precisely this time, the lms embarked on a series of major exhibitions across the British Isles. Drawing on practices involved in a great deal of archaeological work, I have approached these forms of evidence as material traces of an assemblage that no longer exists, and have attempted to set different forms of evidence in relation to one another in order to understand developments of the lms collection over time.9 In his 1991 book Entangled Objects, Nicholas Thomas suggested that apart from two surviving catalogues, there were few sources about the establishment and organization of the lms museum.10 Subsequent work has uncovered additional sources, but I intend to demonstrate that even by setting these two catalogues in relation to one another, and interrogating the differences between them, a great deal can be learned about the development of the lms museum and its collection. Comparative quantitative analysis of the 1826 catalogue and the later catalogue, arranged according to the lms’s four main mission fields and sub-divided into the three main categories listed in the catalogue’s ‘advertisement’ (cf. The publication of this image was accompanied by an announcement that the museum ‘ . II. 263–76. cit. 17] (note 82), p. 12. [vol. PRICE TWOPENCE. a storehouse of the products of people who lived in unity with nature’.47 Nevertheless, it is also possible to regard the disjuncture between the advertisement and the contents of the catalogue as evidence that an original rationale of the museum, that of general ‘curiosity’, was in the process of being overtaken by a new focus on objects associated with religious practice and superstition. Reed & Pardon operated under this name between 1849 and 1862: see E. C. Bigmore, A Bibliography of Printing with Notes and Illustrations (London, 1884), p. 117 etc; Edward B. Reed, Memoir of Sir Charles Reed (London,1883), p. 23. from 1796 to 1923 Added title page title: Register of missionaries, deputations, etc. Se was paid for by the contribution of English school children. Includes minatures, drawings, engravings and photographic portraits of missionaries appointed to the Society, photographic copies of oil paintings, art work and illustrations relating to the work of the Society both at home and in the mission fields overseas. Nevertheless, people judged her without doubting or questioning her husband. This case was given additional significance by the fact that it had, hanging over the ship, the club that reputedly had killed the eponymous hero, John Williams. D. Hughson, Walks through London (London, 1817), pp. Although broadly interdenominational in scope, the Society was largely Congregationalist in outlook and membership. R. D. Altick, The Shows of London (Cambridge, ma, 1978), pp. When thinking about the contents of the museum, readers of the Juvenile Missionary Magazine were even asked to consider ‘the power which Sin and Satan have in the world!’.85. The images of ‘Hindoo deities’ were to be ‘accompanied by explanations from the Revd Mr Ward’s History of the Literature and Religion of the Hindoos (1818). London Missionary Society: the Missionary Society was founded in 1795 by a group of Anglican and Nonconformist clergy in London. He established a mission at Guangzhou (Canton) in 1807 and was later joined by William Milne and Walter Medhurst. 'The first Europeans to follow the European explorers of the 18th Century into the South Pacific were missionaries. Company status Active Company type Private Limited Company by guarantee without share capital use of 'Limited' exemption Incorporated on 24 October 1899. This suggests an increasing awareness that the collection represented a fairly outdated perspective on parts of the world where missionary endeavours had been successful, such as the Pacific. Home Board Minutes. S. Hooper, Pacific Encounters: Art and Divinity in Polynesia 1760–1860 (London, 2006), pp. JOHN MACKENZIE, Twenty-five Years Missionary in Bechuan aland ; Late Deputy-Commissioner of Bechuanaland ; Author of “ Austral Africa : Losing it or Ruling it,” etc. Fig. G. Buggeln, C. Paine and S. Brent Plate, 231-238. a giraffe), a series of Chinese paintings ‘illustrative of the method of gathering and preparing tea, and a net made of human hair’. (note 30), p. 14. An experimental attempt to consider the history of the London Missionary Society (LMS) from the lens of the artefacts that accumulated at its London headquarters, which included a museum from 1814 until 1910. . The register of 170 pages provides a synopsis of the lives of hundreds of LMS missionaries. Nevertheless, the museum continued to be haphazardly arranged following its relocation and in April 1839 Henry Syer Cuming, whose family collection would form the basis of the Cuming Museum in Southwark, wrote to the lms directors about ‘the miserable state of the Missionary Museum . fast going to decay, the damp walls have generated mould . ‘Missionary Museum’, Evangelical Magazine and Missionary Chronicle (May 1821), p. 205. One London Missionary Society member was William Ellis. cit. 1823 - John Williams discovered the island of Aitutaki, in Rarotonga. cit. In 1823, the museum moved along with the headquarters of the lms to a new location at Austin Friars.35 In August 1824, the Missionary Chronicle announced that the museum would be open on Wednesdays from 10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m., ‘the articles contained in the Museum being now arranged, and a Descriptive Catalogue printed’.36 According to lms accounts, £417 had been spent on re-establishing the museum,37 but the Directors felt that these expenses ‘should not fall on the funds devoted to the support of the Missions’.38 As a consequence, it was announced that a collecting box would be placed in the museum and that the price of the catalogue would be left to the ‘liberality’ of the purchasers ‘in order to diminish the expense incurred by the preparation and support of the museum’.39 The tension between supporting overseas missionary work and the costs associated with maintaining the growing collection were perceived as far away as the Pacific. The Baptist Missionary Society was formed in 1792 and the London Missionary Society was formed in 1795 to represent various evangelical denominations. . has recently been rearranged in a most careful and intelligent manner by a son of the late Reverend John Williams, who was so barbarously murdered . This was discussed in the catalogue in terms of ‘the superstitious reverence’ in which it is held by ‘Hottentots’, as well as ‘the general veneration in which it is held among uncivilized or superstitious people’, a category which seems to have included the ancient Greeks as well as the ‘common people of Languedoc’.48 While the discussion of the mantis as ‘almost a deity’ might be read as suggestive of an imposed European notion of people living at one with nature, it matches remarkably well with more recent accounts by professional anthropologists describing the significance of the mantis for South African Khoisan peoples.49 This suggests a degree of ethnographic accuracy in at least some of the ways in which material was presented at the museum. 8). ‘Missionary festival in Cornwall’, Evangelical Magazine and Missionary Chronicle (November 1819), p. 477. The 1853 image shows a glass case in front of the giraffe featuring ‘an alligator encoiled in the crushing embrace of a Boa Constrictor’. They are now much too crowded’.72 This account describes the Buddha in the centre of the floor, as well as the ‘gigantic idol-god’ that stood alongside it at the centre of the room, quoting at length an account of its origins by Williams. However, the museum also contained material from Africa, China, India, Madagascar and the Americas. Philip was converted in the Haldene revival and in 1805 began a very successful ministry in Belmont Congregational Church, Aberdeen. ‘The Museum of the London Missionary Society’, Illustrated London News (25 June 1859), p. 620. Sharing will require cookies. Download this stock image: THE MUSEUM OF THE LONDON MISSIONARY SOCIETY - D2YG8D from Alamy's library of millions of high resolution stock photos, illustrations and vectors. British Museum, Department of Prehistory and Europe archive correspondence 1910, t-z box. ‘Report of Museum & Library Sub-Committee’. Nevertheless, he seems to have been aware of which arguments would most appeal to the lms directors, asking ‘Is it so much to ask, that those Idols to which the Heathen once paid divine honours, be preserved in England as a monument of the glorious triumphs of the Cross, achieved by the Christian armies of our Country’? The illustrated London News. ‘Recent miscellaneous intelligence: London Missionary Society’, Missionary Register 11 (February 1823), p. 119. 3). It seems that the success of these exhibitions contributed to a recommendation in November 1909 by the museum and library sub-committee to close the museum and sell its contents ‘for the benefit of the Society, preserving, however, all articles of historic Missionary interest, and such as would be useful for the loan department’.100 A report in February 1910, justified this on the basis of: (a) The difficulty of keeping the objects in the Museum clean and in proper order, (c) The fact that there are now so many Exhibitions throughout the country of greater variety and worth.101, Further justifications given by the Home Board in March 1910 also linked the closure of the museum to the multiplication of museums in all parts of the country, and the arrangement reached with the British Museum in 1890.102. Page 5 of 50 - About 500 Essays The Pros And Cons Of Brexit. The London Missionary Society in Southern Africa, 1799-1999: Historical Essays in Celebration of the Bicentenary of the LMS in Southern Africa. A. E. Coombes, Reinventing Africa: Museums, Material Culture and Popular Imagination in Late Victorian and Edwardian England (London, 1994), p.161. It was, after all, professionally useful, if not essential, for evangelical missionaries to have some understanding of the existing religious views of the people they were attempting to convert. It is significant that three of the five cases pictured in the Juvenile Missionary Magazine of 1860 contained displays of ‘idols’ (Fig. London Missionary Society; London Missionary Society. Although not formally part of his commission, Campbell returned with a large number of curiosities, including a giraffe skin that was stuffed and mounted for display, so it is perhaps unsurprising that rooms were felt to be needed.17 It was only four years later, in 1818, that ‘London’ was added to the official name of the society, suggesting that the association between the society and the imperial metropolis was in part connected with this process of materialization, driven by the acquisition of property, even though many instigators and early supporters of the society were drawn from provincial regions of Britain. Mission activity started in the South Seas, with the first overseas mission to Tahiti in 1796. . London, New York: Oxford University Press, 1954. Published by Oxford University Press. In Cases a and c. yellow – China and Ultra Ganges. The Missionary Society was renamed the London Missionary Society in 1818. 126750). ‘The Family Idols of Pomare’, image from the cover of Missionary Sketches no. One example among many includes ‘the principal idol of Pomare’s family’ being ‘conveyed around the Chapel’ at an interdenominational missionary festival at Penryn and Falmouth in Cornwall on 25 August 1819.27 Encountering ‘idols’ from the South Seas moved at least some people to write poetry,28 but many others were certainly sufficiently moved to make financial donations to the missionary cause. The catalogue begins with a title-page on which the main categories of object in the museum are listed: ‘Specimens in Natural History, Various Idols of Heathen Nations, Dresses, Manufactures, Domestic Utensils, Instruments of War &c &c &c’.41 There follows a statement about the museum under the title ‘advertisement’. Shanghai: L. M. Press, 1863. Displays of ethnology were arranged by Dr R. G. Latham for the first time as part of the Natural History Department at the Crystal Palace in 1854. â– LONDON MISSIONARY SOCIETY A REGISTER of MISSIONARIES, DEPUTATIONS, Etc. 31 Many, it seems, came to the museum already familiar with various items through their depiction in missionary publications.32 In May 1821, John Campbell returned from a second tour of mission stations in South Africa with a number of further curiosities, most notable of which was the skull and horn of a rhino.33 The very long horn of the animal in question led to speculation that the ‘unicorn’ referred to in the Book of Job was in fact a rhino.34 Nevertheless, it is significant that Campbell had departed for Africa in November 1818, shortly after Pomare’s ‘family gods’ had arrived in Britain. Given the sermonizing focus of this introductory statement, presumably penned by a professional preacher, it is perhaps curious that it is followed by five pages on which most of the items described are natural history specimens. View all » Common terms and phrases. At the same time, becoming part of the lms museum collection in London did not preclude the continued circulation of the objects themselves. The printers of this catalogue, ‘Reed & Pardon’, ceased to operate under that name in 1862, further indicating that the catalogue dates to between 1859 and 1862.81 An entry in the catalogue suggestively refers to an ‘idol taken in the late war, from the Chief temple at Chusan’, but since Zhoushan was occupied by British forces in both 1840 and 1860, theoretically this could refer to either opium war. Indeed, these may have been more significant in shaping the British views of the world beyond Europe during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries than other forms of knowledge developed in more scientific museums. Catalogue of the Missionary Museum, Austin Friars (London, 1826), p. iv. 65–6; D. S. King, Food for the Flames: Idols and Missionaries in Central Polynesia (San Francisco, 2011), pp. The global collections of the London Missionary Society museum (1814-1910). Using a range of forms of evidence, including objects that once formed part of the museum, visual imagery, as well as published and unpublished textual documents, I have attempted to understand the lms museum archaeologically. Although broadly interdenominational in scope, the Society was very much Congregationalist in both outlook and membership. The new method was introduced by Protestant missionaries and mainly by those of the London Missionary Society (LMS). ‘The Missionary Museum’, op. cit. 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