Scottish Missionaries in Africa and Education

africeduWhile a significant number of Scots went to Africa with the London Missionary Society prior to the mid-nineteenth century, it was then that a notable change took place. This was triggered by the Disruption of the Church of Scotland in 1843. After its formation, the Free Church began to keenly promote foreign missions. This had the effect that the Established Church, perhaps sensing an air of competition, followed suit quickly, also increasing its missionary activities overseas. As Esther Breitenbach has noted, the Disruption ‘released an evangelical energy reflected in the growth of the foreign mission movement’. In South Africa, and by the mid-1800s, the Free Church alone had 13 missions in Kaffraria, 14 missions in the Transkei, and five missions in Natal, with a total of 144 Scottish missionaries. There …

The Legacy of the Free Church Abroad

On 18 May 1843 a large number of clergy withdrew from the established Church of Scotland – an event that became known as the Disruption of 1843, and led to the foundation of the Free Church of Scotland. The history of the Free Church is intrinsically connected with many a Scottish venture and settlement abroad, but perhaps nowhere more so than with the establishment of Dunedin, Otago, in the South Island of New Zealand. This is the case because Dunedin was organised under the New Zealand Company’s offshoot, the Otago Association, as a Free Church Settlement in 1848, thus bringing a large number of Free Church settlers to the country to build a ‘new Edinburgh’ in the South Seas. Here, and as a direct result of the 1843 Disruption, Scottish …