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Mackenzie, John

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0102 CWM/LMS Africa Personal Box 2
Held at: School of Oriental and African Studies
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Full title: Mackenzie, John
Date(s): 1858-1899
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 1 box
Name of creator(s): Mackenzie | John | 1835-1899 | missionary


Administrative/Biographical history:

Born to a devout Church of Scotland family in Knockando, Scotland, 1835; studied at Bedford; volunteered for service with the London Missionary Society (LMS), 1855; appointed to the Makololo mission, South Africa; ordained in Edinburgh, 1858; married Ellen Douglas (1835-1925); sailed to Cape Town and travelled on to Kuruman, 1858; set out with his wife for Makolololand, 1860; travelling northwards to the Zouga River, he met Roger Price (1834-1900) and heard of the disasters which had befallen Holloway Helmore's party of missionaries; travelled with Price to Lechulatebe's Town and returned to Kuruman with Helmore's two surviving children, 1860-1861; missionary to Shoshong, the town of the Bamangwato tribe, 1862; a second scheme for a mission to the Makololo also proved abortive; visited Matabeleland, 1863; returned to Shoshong, 1864; built a church at Shoshong, 1867-1868; visited Kuruman, 1868; visited England, 1869-1871; visited Matabeleland, 1873; appointed tutor at the Moffat Institution and began classes, 1873; moved to Kuruman when the Institution transferred there, 1876; also pastor of the native church and congregation at Kuruman; visited England, 1882-1884; resigned from the LMS, 1884; appointed and resigned a government appointment as Resident Commissioner in Bechuanaland, 1884; advocated direct imperial rule to prevent settler takeover of native territories; appointed LMS missionary pastor at Hankey, South Africa, 1891; died at Kimberley, 1899. For further information see his son W Douglas Mackenzie's John Mackenzie: South African Missionary and Statesman (1902) and John Mackenzie (London Missionary Society, 1921). Publications include: Ten Years North of the Orange River (1871); Day-Dawn in Dark Places (1883); Austral Africa: Losing it, or Ruling it (1887).


Scope and content/abstract:

Correspondence, 1858-1899 and undated, of John Mackenzie while in southern Africa, including his work in Bechuanaland and at Hankey, comprising letters received and copies or drafts of letters sent, the subjects including travel, missionary work, other missionaries, finance and personnel, and events in South Africa, including colonial jurisdiction.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:


Conditions governing reproduction:

No publication without written permission. Apply to archivist in the first instance.

Finding aids:

Unpublished handlist.

Archival Information

Archival history:

The papers were deposited with the London Missionary Society and form part of the special series of personal papers of individual LMS missionaries and officers.

Immediate source of acquisition:

Deposited on permanent loan with the records of the London Missionary Society by the Congregational Council for World Mission (later Council for World Mission) in 1973.

Allied Materials

Related material:

The School of Oriental and African Studies holds the records of the London Missionary Society (Ref: CWM/LMS), including letters from individual missionaries, among them Mackenzie (Ref: CWM/LMS South Africa Incoming Correspondence); Mackenzie's candidate's papers (Ref: CWM/LMS Candidates' Papers Box 11 No 6); his reports from Bechuanaland, 1882, and Hankey, 1893-1894, 1896-1897 (Ref: CWM/LMS South Africa Reports Box 2 Files 28-9, 31-2); three photographs and a drawing of him (Ref: CWM/LMS General Portraits Box 4).

Publication note:

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); LMS Register of Missionaries, ed James Sibree.

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
Feb 2002

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