Edinburgh and Scottish missionaries

Missionary preachers, ministers, doctors and nurses

Scottish missionary activities in India started in the early 19th century. Scots established schools and colleges, clinics and hospitals, as well as churches and chapels, ministering to Presbyterians in the East India Company's Service as well as Scots running tea  and coffee plantations. At the Disruption of 1843, most of these missionaries joined the Free Church of Scotland. Churches and walthy individuals in the city raised considerable sums, holding fund-raising activities and missionary meetings on a regular basis.

More information on Scottish missionary activies is available here

Missionaries who came back to Scotland on leave ('furlough') addressed meetings across the country. For example, in 1887 the Foreign Missions Committee Minutes noted that Rev William Macfarlane of the Darjeeling Mission, 'when at home on furlough he imparted to thousands something of his own great faith in missionary enterprise, and that he revived the drooping courage of the Church when her Missions were called to pass through a severe ordeal.' Similarly, Miss Bernard, before returning to India, 'has given much kind help in the home field on her visits to Scotland, having addressed twenty-eight meetings this year, and an even larger number last year. Mrs Longhurst (previously Miss Gordon, Madras) also kindly undertook deputation work while in this country, and has left again for India, after having addressed  seventy-five meetings on behalf of the Association within six months.'

Alexander Duff, in 1830 the first presbyterian missionary in India, was a key member of the Free Church,  In 1870 he was the principal force in founding the Anglo-Indian Christian Union (an alliance of Protestant churches to minister to scattered British communities in India), of which he became the first President. The Union, run jointly from London and Edinburgh, was very active up to 1914, raising money to evangelise among Europeans and their children in India. Duff also raised money to endow a missionary chair at New College, Edinburgh, and himself became its first professor.

For a discussion of the role of Alexander Duff, see 

EMMOTT, D. H.  (1965) "Alexander Duff and the Foundation of Modern Education in India", British Journal of Education Studies, Vol. 13, No. 2, pp. 160–9.

Edinburgh 1910 -- a major world conference on mission -- emphasised Scotland's importance to foreign mission, and India was one of its key targets.

Further Reading

BROWN, Callum G. (1997) Religion and Society in Scotland Since 1707, Oxford: Oxford University Press

ROSS, Kenneth R. (2006). The centenary of Edinburgh 1910: Its possibilities. International Bulletin of Missionary Research, Vol. 30, no. 4, pp. 177-179.

STANLEY, Brian (2009). The World Missionary Conference, Edinburgh 1910. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing.