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Correspondence of Robert Clark, missionary in the Punjab, India 1863-96

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.7667

Scope and Contents

For more than forty years Robert Clark was the senior Church Missionary Society representative in the Punjab, organising the building of missions in the province and on the frontier, founding schools for both sexes, establishing hospitals, dispensaries and agricultural settlements, encouraging Indian converts to play active roles in the church, and (with an Indian colleague) writing scriptural commentaries for their use. Light is thrown on many aspects of Clark’s work in the correspondence catalogued here, which consists principally of letters to Clark from officers of the CMS in London and Calcutta (half of them from his close friend the Reverend Joseph Welland, officiating secretary of the Calcutta committee of the CMS during the mid 1870s).


  • Creation: 1863-1896

Conditions Governing Access

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Biographical / Historical

Robert Clark, the son of a Church of England clergyman, was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge (BA 1850, MA 1857). Ordained to the priesthood in 1851, he was in the same year despatched by the Church Missionary Society to the Punjab as one of its first missionaries in the recently annexed province. He was to spend almost the whole of his long career there, based at Amritsar (1851-53 and 1865-1900) and Peshawar (1854-64). While on leave in England in 1858 he married Elizabeth Browne, a nursing sister, who was to be a great source of assistance and support to Clark in his work, as well as raising a large family of children.

A detailed account of Robert Clark’s life and activities will be found in the biography written by his adopted (Indian) son Henry. H.M. Clark, 'Robert Clark of the Panjab. Pioneer and missionary statesman' (London, 1907). Although Henry had access to the present correspondence, he appears to have made little direct use of it. He prints extracts from only two of the letters: Joseph Welland to Clark, 13 April 1875 (Add.7667/54) and T.V. French to Clark, 21 December 1887 (Add.7667/109).


2 archive box(es)

Language of Materials



Letters are to Robert Clark unless otherwise stated, arranged in date order.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This correspondence was presented to Cambridge University Library in 1938 by Dr R.E.D. Clark, a grandson of Robert Clark.

Language of description
Uncoded languages
Script of description
Code for uncoded script

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

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