A study of the birth and development of the overseas missions of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland up to 1910

  • William Palmer Addley

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This dissertation seeks to describe the birth and development of the overseas missions of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. Discussion is limited to the
period up to 1910, the year of the Edinburgh Missionary Conference, and confined to the Foreign, Jewish, Jungle Tribes, and Zenana Missions of the PCI. The Colonial Mission is not discussed because it was not really a 'foreign mission' - it sought to serve Irish and other Presbyterian emigrants. The Continental Mission is also ignored for reasons of space, and because of its very restricted operations.

The period is divided into three parts: up to 1840, between 1840 and the 1860's, and then to 1910. The first period entitled, 'Mission outside the Church', was when the two synods were not involved directly in foreign missions, and such interest had to be channelled through independent missionary societies. The question is addressed as to why the Presbyterian Church in Ireland was so late entering the foreign mission field, and what finally got it there. The second section, 'the Church in Mission', examines the rise and development of the Foreign and Jewish Missions, and notes how they were organised and their relationship with the home church and churches.
The third period continues the story of these missions but also charts the
rise and development of 'voluntaryism' in both the creation of new missions (the Zenana and Jungle Tribes), and also in the forms of home support. Because of the importance of the 59 Revival to voluntaryism it is discussed between
the 2nd and 3rd sections.

The aim is to tell a story which has never been fully told, and in addition, by discussing the early rejection and later acceptance of voluntaryism contribute to the ongoing debate about the relationship between church and missionary society, and about the ways the overseas work should be related to the other ministries of the church.
Date of AwardJul 1995
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Queen's University Belfast
SupervisorFinlay Holmes (Supervisor)

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