Robert Tomlinson Church Missionary Society Papers
The Church Missionary Society (CMS) was founded in London in 1799 by Evangelical clergy of the Church of England. It’s function was to support the missionaries financially and spiritually. In order to oversee the work of the missionaries and ensure their funds were spent appropriately, the missionaries would send annual report back to the society. These reports, and other correspondence, although they are focused mainly on missionary work, are a wonderful resource that give us glimpses of their individual lives at that time.
One of those missionaries was my ancestor Robert Tomlinson who was sent to British Columbia in 1867. He worked as a missionary from 1867 until he left the church in 1883. His work with the First Nations was very important to him, as were his friends. Although his faith was his top priority, the church was not as is evidenced in the papers. Many of his arguments with Bishop Hills and Ridley take on the style of a soap opera.
The following is a collection of transcripts of 59 of these documents in the CMS archives (plus one map). The original records were viewed at the University of Victoria Mearns-McPherson Library on microfilm and are part of the Church Missionary Society Archive. Section V, Missions to the Americas and are labelled CC2016 Original Papers Letters, Journals and Papers of missionaries and others Rev Robert Tomlinson Kincolith and Ankihtlast 1867-1880; and GIC 20 Original Papers 1881.
Please be aware that the language used in these documents is from the mid to late nineteenth century and does not reflect current values and appropriate language.
These writings are the writings of Robert Tomlinson and other church members. They do not reflect the stories from others. There are many stories, including First Nations stories, which are not recorded here.
There are also other papers that mention Robert Tomlinson from the Bishop, Duncan, Collison, and Schutt that have not been transcribed here (a project for another month)