Home | Search | Help
Version: 1.2

Go to WHS website

Carthew, Thomas Henry
(1856-1896; e.m. 1877)

Missionary in Africa, born in Bodminland, Cornwall on 22 May 1856. In early life a coal-heaver, he spent a year at Shebbear College and served three BC circuits 1877-1880. He was then engaged by the Oxford UMFC Circuit and in 1883 was accepted for the itinerant ministry at his third attempt. He was immediately appointed as a probationer to Freetown, Sierra Leone, where on arrival he found himself the acting Superintendent, due to the illness of Thomas Truscott (1848-1888; e.m. 1867). After furlough in 1887 he was appointed to Kenya. During a time of drought and local warfare in 1889-1890, he not only administered a famine fund raised at home, but supplemented it personally. He did not marry and made no provision for his old age. Instead he lived on native food and used his resources to redeem slaves. He loved to gather children round his harmonium. His last letter asked for six more missionaries. Refusing to return home on furlough, on 27 November 1896 he died from blood poisoning after an accident, while answering a cry for help during the night. He was buried beside Rebecca Wakefield and Charles New at Ribe.


From In Memoriamby William Downing:

Thou livest, not alone in realms above, Nor yet alone in heart's of Afric's race.Thy brethren in the homeland, in their love Enshrine thy mem'ry, emulate thy grace...By one more pledge we claim for Christ the lands Of which the ancient Hebrew bard foretold,That 'Ethiopia should stretch out her hands To God,' whose loving arms should her enfold.


  • J. Kirsop, Life of Thomas H. Carthew (1897)

Entry written by: OAB
Category: Person

Comment on this entry