Bishop in Honan: Mission and Museum in the Life of William C. White

By Lewis C. Walmsley

© 1974

William C. White (1873-1960) had two great careers, first as a missionary in China, and then as a collector and curator of one of the world’s greatest museum collections of Chinese archaeology. In 1897, he sailed to China, a precursor by some years of the great flood of missionaries after the Boxer Rebellion. There he adopted the Chinese way of life – their dress (including hair in a queue), language, and local customs. This account of White’s years in China is fascinating: he worked with lepers, sailed in sampans, organized flood relief, raised a family, dealt with bandits, and exchanged knowledge with scholars – impelled forward by his evangelical faith.

In 1909 White was consecrated Bishop in Honan, head of the first mission in China established by the Church of England in Canada. In this post he displayed a genius for organization that resulted in the construction of a church, residence, boys’ and girls’ schools, an orphanage, and a hospital.

In 1924, while on furlough, he met Charles T. Currelly, curator of archaeology at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. This marked the beginning of the second phase of his career. Entranced by China’s past, White proved a discerning and active collector exploiting to the utmost a rare opportunity in his field, and his contributions to the ROM’s Chinese collection have made it world famous. Among the objects he sent back were tomb furniture, bronzes, and most strikingly, the largest of three enormous wall paintings which stand in the museum gallery now named in his honour.

When he returned to Toronto in 1934, he became Keeper of the Museum’s Far Eastern Galleries, and founded the School of Chinese Studies at the University of Toronto. In both these capacities he proved a diligent and productive scholar.

This volume recounts the history of a rich life that bridged two diverse cultures.

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Product Details

  • Series: Heritage
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 280 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.0in x 9.0in
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SKU# SP005679

  • PUBLISHED DEC 1974

    From: $25.46

    Regular Price: $33.95

    ISBN 9781487585587
  • PUBLISHED DEC 1974

    From: $25.46

    Regular Price: $33.95

Quick Overview

This volume recounts the history of the rich life of William C. White, first as a missionary in China, and then as a collector and curator of Chinese archaeology.

Bishop in Honan: Mission and Museum in the Life of William C. White

By Lewis C. Walmsley

© 1974

William C. White (1873-1960) had two great careers, first as a missionary in China, and then as a collector and curator of one of the world’s greatest museum collections of Chinese archaeology. In 1897, he sailed to China, a precursor by some years of the great flood of missionaries after the Boxer Rebellion. There he adopted the Chinese way of life – their dress (including hair in a queue), language, and local customs. This account of White’s years in China is fascinating: he worked with lepers, sailed in sampans, organized flood relief, raised a family, dealt with bandits, and exchanged knowledge with scholars – impelled forward by his evangelical faith.

In 1909 White was consecrated Bishop in Honan, head of the first mission in China established by the Church of England in Canada. In this post he displayed a genius for organization that resulted in the construction of a church, residence, boys’ and girls’ schools, an orphanage, and a hospital.

In 1924, while on furlough, he met Charles T. Currelly, curator of archaeology at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. This marked the beginning of the second phase of his career. Entranced by China’s past, White proved a discerning and active collector exploiting to the utmost a rare opportunity in his field, and his contributions to the ROM’s Chinese collection have made it world famous. Among the objects he sent back were tomb furniture, bronzes, and most strikingly, the largest of three enormous wall paintings which stand in the museum gallery now named in his honour.

When he returned to Toronto in 1934, he became Keeper of the Museum’s Far Eastern Galleries, and founded the School of Chinese Studies at the University of Toronto. In both these capacities he proved a diligent and productive scholar.

This volume recounts the history of a rich life that bridged two diverse cultures.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: Heritage
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 280 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.0in x 9.0in
  • Author Information

    LEWIS C. WALMSLEY went to China as an educational missionary in 1921, under the auspices of the Canadian Methodist Church (later the United Church of Canada). For twenty-one year he was principal of the Canadian School at Chengtu, and from 1948 to 1963 he was associate professor of Chinese Studies at the University of Toronto. He is the author of several works in Chinese Studies.