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THE invasion of Africa by modern missionaries, Roman Catholic and Protestant, has been one of the greatest forces in the opening-up of Africa. In the closing year of the eighteenth century the C.M.S. was founded with the special purpose of sending missionaries to the continent of Africa and the East. Together with other missionary societies, founded about the same time, missionaries were sent to the Sierra Leone and the adjoining parts of West Africa. For the social, educational and ethical development of Africa the missionaries have done more than any other class of men. They paid very little attention to the remonstrances and advice of stiff-necked military governors. They entered with wonderful rapidity into amicable relations with the native tribes, who had hitherto only looked upon the white man as a deadly foe. From Cape Colony the missionaries soon got beyond the sickly Hottentot and the furtive Bushman, amongst the big, black Bantu negroes, and the regions along the Orange and Vaal rivers, and far up into Bechuanaland, on the healthy open veld with its half-dried streams. Soon they had established themselves among the warlike Zulus.

After the death of Livingstone, in 1873, there was a great outburst of zeal on the part of the Protestant Churches of Great Britain and Ireland, especially in Scotland. This resulted in the creation of missionary settlements in Nyasaland, which led to the establishment of a protectorate over that region. Similarly, the pioneer work of the C.M.S. in Uganda brought about the Uganda protectorate, and the agents of the same society did much to bring about the foundation of British control over Northern and Southern Nigeria.

American Protestant missions have worked zealously to open up Liberia, and have done still more to explore the French territory of the Gabun. Others have done much to bring civilization to southern and central parts of Angola.

Posterity will realize the value of Christian mission work in Africa during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, not only in ethics, but in the contributions to science, more especially to geography, ethnology, folk-lore, zoology, and, above all, the study of African languages.

The opening up of Africa alone has occasioned the production of works in some dozens of languages which had previously not taken a literary shape, and some of which will, it is feared, become extinct in not many decades[1].

Previous chapter

The Liturgy of the Church of England has been translated, as a whole or in part, into languages belonging to some of the main groups making up the body of linguistic families of the continent of Africa.

According to the classification of the late Professor Friedrich Müller (1834-98), of the University of Vienna, followed by Dr. Robert Needham Cust (1821-1909), the main groups are: (1) The Semitic; (2) the Hamitic; (3) the Nuba-Fula; (4) the Nigerian or Negro languages; (5) the Bantu; and (6) the Hottentot-Bushman. A much more detailed arrangement will be found in Sir H. H. Johnston's Liberia, Vol. II, pp. 1100-06.

[1] See, especially, Sir Harry Hamilton Johnston, The Opening-up of Africa (1911), chap. Xiii; and the same writer's The Colonization of Africa (1899), chap. viii. “The ‘Bushman’ is all but extinct, though their caves and paintings remain. A small work goes on amongst the Hottentots, of whom comparatively few remain — ‘destroyed by brandy.’ ” — S.P.G. Report, 1912, p. 195.

The great Carl Richard Lepsius (1810-84) in the introduction to his Nuba grammar[2] maintains that the Semitic group must be set aside as an obvious intruder from Asia. He considers the Hamitic and Bantu elements as the sole factors, since the Hottentot-Bushman must be included as a Hamitic sub-division, and the great negro intermediate zone as the diversified product of the collision and mutual influence and mixture of the Hamitic and the Bantu. This classification appears from our own observation to be the best solution of the African language problem thus far offered. Accordingly, the Semitic translations of the Liturgy are treated above in Part the Third: Eastern Europe and the Near East, the latter constituting a connecting link between the languages of Asia and of Africa. The well-known ethnologist, Keane, The World's People, p. 71, states that: “The negro division forms two distinct groups — the northern Soudanese, commonly regarded as the true or typical negroes, and the southern Bantus, of mixed negroid type.”

South African missions were begun by the S.P.G. in 1819, mainly for the benefit of colonists, and by the C.M.S. in 1837. One of the subjects that occupied a large space in the mind of Robert Gray (1809-72), first bishop of Capetown (1847-72), was the condition of the native tribes. His desire was that the Church should everywhere befriend and teach Hottentot, Kafir, Bushman and Zulu. The painful crises of the Kafir wars again and again seemed destined to paralyse the hands of Christian missionaries. But the Church of England, assisted nobly by her sister Churches of Scotland and of Ireland, has been permitted to take a leading part in the evangelization of the natives. Bishop Gray's zeal was seconded by the noble devotion of one of his best clergy, Archdeacon Nathaniel James Merriman (1809-82), afterwards (1871-82) bishop of Grahamstown. The S.P.G. grants were soon enlarged from year to year, and from Bishop Gray's time to the present the evangelization of the African continent has been a leading object of this great society.


[2] Nubische Grammatik, mit einer Einleitung über die Volker und Sprachen Afrikas (Berlin, 1880); cxxvi, 506 pp.; 8vo. This important introduction was also published separately. (Weimar, 1880; 126 pp.; 8vo.).

The two largest races of natives which occupy Central and South Africa are the Gariepini[3], or yellow and oblique-eyed, and the Bantu, of a darker hue. The former include the Hottentots, Nama-quas[4], Koramas (Koraaquas), and Bushmen. They were first found in possession of the country at the south-west. They were pastoral, and had flocks and herds by the Orange river. The Bantu overlay and absorbed earlier tongues of the Hottentot and Bushman type, or a still more primitive speech of the Pygmies or forest negroes[5].

[3] Gariepini, from Gariep, the native name of the Orange river.

[4] qua = men, people.

The Bantu family of African languages occupies the greater part of Africa south of the Equator. The word. Bantu (literally Ba-ntu), coined by Wilhelm Heinrich Immanuel Bleek (1827-75), the founder of the study of the Bantu family of languages[6], is the most archaic and widely-spread term for “men,” “mankind,” “people” in these languages. According to Sir. H. H. Johnston[7], there are about forty-four groups and subdivisions in the Bantu family of speech, of which the following have translations of the Liturgy of the Church of England as a whole or in part, (1) The Uganda-Unyoro group; (2) Kavirondo-Lusoga; (3) Swahili; (4) Kaguru-Sagala-Kami group; (5) the Pokomo-Nyika-Giriama-Taveita group; (6) the Fan or Pangue forms of speech; (7) the Yao group; (8) the Nyanja group; (9) the Bechuana languages; and (10) the Kafir group.

[5] A general survey of African Missions by the S.P.G. is also found in S.P.G. Report, 1911, pp. 177, 178.

[6] In his Comparativs Grammar of South African Languages, London, 1862-69.

[7] Article “Bantu Languages,” in the Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, Vol. III, pp. 356-363.

Broadly speaking, the domain of Bantu speech seems to be divided into four great sections: (a) The languages of the Great Lakes and the East Coast down to and including the Zambesi basin; (b) the south-central group (Bechuana-Zulu); (c) the languages of the south-west from the southern part of the Belgian Congo to Demaraland and the Angola-Congo coast; and (d) the Western group, including all the Central and Northern Congo and Cameroon languages. The Bantu languages are as closely related together as English, Dutch, German and the Scandinavian languages.

“To the author of this book,” says Johnston in his George Grenfell and the Congo, Vol. n, p. 826, “ it is obvious by now that the Bantu languages originated to the north of the Equator, in Eastern rather than in Western Central Africa. The basis of this remarkable language family was some generalized negro speech of Northern Equatorial Africa, in the region that extends from the White Nile right across the continent to Senegambia.”


Nigeria[8] is a British Protectorate in West Africa, occupying the lower basin of the Niger and the country between that river and Lake Chad, including the Fula empire, i.e., the Hausa States and the greater part of Bornu.

The population of Nigeria is estimated at fifteen millions. In the delta district and the forest zone the inhabitants are typical negroes. Besides the people of Benin, the coast tribes include the Shekiri (Jekri), living on the lower part -of the Benin river and akin to the Yoruba; the Idzos (Ijos), living in the delta east of the main mouth of the Niger; and the Ibos, occupying a wide tract of country just above the delta and extending for a hundred miles east from the Niger to the Cross river. South of the Ibos live the Aros, a tribe of relatively great intelligence, who dominated many of the surrounding tribes. On the middle Cross river live the Akuna-Kunas, an agricultural race; and in the Calabar region are the Efiks, Ibibios and Kwas. . . . Each tribe speaks a separate language or dialect, the most widely diffused tongues being the Ibo and Efik. In the northern parts of Nigeria the inhabitants are of more mixed blood, the negro substratum having been to a great extent driven out by the northern races of the continent. The most important race in Northern Nigeria is the Hausa, among whom the superior classes adopted Mohammedanism in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. At the beginning of the nineteenth century the Hausa territories were conquered by the dominant Mohammedan race, the Fula, who form a separate caste of cattle-raisers.

West Africa was first visited by the S.P.G. in 1752. The CM.S. came in 1804. Both have worked heroically and successfully, and in perfect harmony with the mission of the American Church. The alphabets of nearly all the nations and tribes of Nigeria have been reduced to writing by missionaries, the roman letters being used generally for purposes of writing and printing.






MADAGASCAR is, next to New Guinea and Borneo, the largest island in the world. It has been a French colony since the year 1896. The natives, collectively known as Malagasay, or (French) Malagache, are divided into a considerable number of tribes, each having its distinct customs. The Hova — a Bantu tribe — became the dominant power from the beginning of the nineteenth century. They appear to be the latest immigrants, and are the brightest in colour. They are also the most intelligent and civilized of all the peoples inhabiting the island[1]. There is substantially but one language spoken in Madagascar. A close relationship exists between the language of the Malagasay and those of the Malayo-Polynesian regions. Similar connections exist, especially in grammatical construction, between the Malagasy and Melanesian languages.

[1] According to Keane, pp. 150, 223. 224, the Malagasay are Negroid-Bantu people of Malayo-Polynesian speech.
The Malagasy language is spoken by practically all of the three million inhabitants of the island. It was reduced to writing with roman characters, and its orthography was. settled by English missionaries of the London Missionary Society, in 1820 and subsequent years[2]. They translated the Scriptures and other books, and engaged in teaching.
[2] See Canton, Vol. II, pp. 40-48.
The Church of England began work in the coast districts of the island in 1863 through the medium of the S.P.G. and the C.M.S. After some time the latter society withdrew, transferring its staff of missionaries to Japan and other missions. The field was thus left to the S.P.G. A bishop is now stationed at the capital, Antananarivo, with a theological college in its neighbourhood. But the chief work of the Anglican Mission has been, and still is, on the east coast.
In 1864 W. M. Watts, in London, printed for the S.P.C.K. a Malagasy translation of the Liturgy, entitled: Ny Fivavahana | amy ny Maraina sy ny | Hariva, | ny Salimo voa Soratry | Davidy, | ary | ny Fanavany | ny Fanasany ny Tompo, | ambany | ny Litany, | voa dikia | tamy ny Boky Ivavahany | ny Ingilisy. | 21, 494 pages, 24mo. The translation omitted the Occasional Offices, but included the Psalter, the liturgical Epistles and Gospels, etc. It was prepared by Edward Baker, a printer by trade, who had joined the London Missionary Society at Madagascar in 1828. He was compelled to leave Madagascar in July, 1836, with all the other Christian missionaries[3]. Baker’s translation was edited by the Rev. Thomas William Meller, rector of Woodbridge, England, who had been for years editorial superintendent for the British and Foreign Bible Society[4]. Meller resigned this post in 1867, but continued to devote part of his time to the work of the society. On the afternoon of January 17, 1871, while he was taking his usual walk, he died suddenly. He had been editorial superintendent from 1849 until 1867, and had been possessed of linguistic gifts of a remarkable order ..

Griffiths 95:1

[3] Author, also, of An Outline of a Grammar of the Malagasy Language, as Spoken by the Hovas. Mauritius, 1845, 44 pp. 8vo. It was set up and printed by the author, and is now very scarce. Second edition, London, 1864.

[4] See Canton, Vol. IV, pp. 26, 27.


The first two S.P.G. missionaries to Madagascar-the Rev. William Hey (1840-67), and the Rev. John Holding (born 1839) — translated portions of the Prayer Book, which were printed at the Mission Press at Tamatave, Madagascar, from 1865 to 1867. Hey died soon from the effects of the climate and the hardships to which he was exposed; and Holding, after repeated attacks of fever, had to return in 1869 to England permanently. A printing press had early been set up, and many hymns which had been translated were printed, together with Occasional Offices from the Prayer Book and other works. For several years Holding was the only ordained missionary of the Church of England, “clergyman, schoolmaster, musician, printer, doctor and general manager; and yet he made good progress.”

Griffiths 95:2, apparently untraced

The first complete translation of the Prayer Book, excepting the Psalms, was made by the Rev. Alfred Chiswell, entitled: Ny Boky Fivavahana sy fanolorana ny Sakramenta sy ny fomba hafa any ny Ekklesia, araka ny fomban’ ny Ekklesia eto Madagascar miray amy ny Church of England; ary ny Salamony Davida, etc . . . Antananarivo: Church of England Mission Press, 1877. 59, 361 pages, 16mo. The Psalter usually bound up with this edition was published by the British and Foreign Bible Society in 1870.

Chiswell was born in 1844; educated at Saint Augustine’s College, Canterbury; ordained deacon 1867, and priest 1869. He was stationed at Tamatave from 1867-72 and 1878-79, and at Antananarivo from 1872-78. Shortly after 1879 he returned to England. In 1875 he was made archdeacon of Madagascar. He received the Lambeth degree of B.D. in 1883, “in recognition of his missionary labours and his share in translating the Liturgy into Malagasy.”


Griffiths 95:3

A revised version of Portions of the Liturgy by various S.P.G. missionaries in Madagascar was published by the S.P.C.K. in 1888. Its title reads: Ny Boky Fivavahana mbamy ny fomba hafa sy ny filaharana fanao ao amy ny fomban’ ny Ekklesia Anglikana, etc. 234, 82, 40, 30 pages, 12mo. This edition does not contain the Psalter. There are three English title-pages — for Morning and Evening Prayer, for the Ordinal, and for the Occasional Offices, and a half-title for the Communion Office.

The work was done mainly by the Rev. Francis Ambrose Gregory and the Rev. Alfred Smith. Another edition of this translation appeared in 1904.

Gregory, a son of the late dean of St. Paul’s, Robert Gregory (1819-1911), is an Oxford University graduate; was ordained deacon 1873, and priest 1874. The same year he began his missionary work in Madagascar. He was offered the bishopric of Madagascar in 1897; but he declined it, because, in common with the other English missionaries, he felt it desirable that the next bishop should be new to the mission. After twenty-six years of faithful service he resigned from work in Madagascar in 1900. The French Government conferred on him the cross of the Legion of Honour in recognition both of what he had done for the natives of Madagascar and of his courtesy to the representatives of France. In 1903 he was consecrated bishop of Mauritius.— Smith was born in 1851; ordained deacon in 1876, and priest in 1877, by the first bishop in Madagascar, the Right Rev. Robert Kestell Cornish (1874-96; died in 1909, at the age of eighty-four). He was stationed in several places from 1879 until 1903, when he returned to England.


Griffiths 95:4 (1888?, reissued 1905, 1909)

The most recent edition, dated 1909, fcap. 8vo, has a Malagasy title as well as an English. The former reads:

* Ny Boky Fivavahana | mbamy | ny fomba hafa sy ny filaharana fanao ao | amy ny Ekklesia, | araka ny fomban’ | ny Ekklesia Anglikana | (na Church of England), | ary koa | ny Saltera | dia | ny Salamo Nataony Davida, | sy | ny fomba fanao | amy ny | fanaovana, fanendrena, sy fanamasinana | ny Eveka, sy ny Presbytera, ary ny | Diakono. . . . | London: | . . . 1909.

Reverse of this title is blank; follows the English title: Portions of the Book of Common Prayer in Malagasy. Containing: A table of proper Lessons and Psalms; the Calendar, with the Table of Lessons; the Order for Morning Prayer; the Order for Evening Prayer; the Creed of St. Athanasius; the Litany. . . . Reverse, blank. The English title covers only the first part of the Liturgy, as printed on pp. 1-60. On pp. 61-64 is. added the Prayer of St. Chrysostom. Follows Part II, with special title-page, reading: Ny Kolekta sy ny | Epistola ary ny Filazantsara | hatao Mandritra ny Taona. Reverse blank. Text, pp.65-234. Part III, with special pagination and an English 1itle-page; contains the Offices from Baptism to A Commination. Reverse of this title-page blank; text 82 pages. Part IV contains the Ordinal, (1),40 pages.


Griffiths 95:4 (reissue of 1888 edition)



THE Uganda-Unyoro group includes all the dialects between the Victoria Nile and Busoga on the east and north; the east coast of Lake Albert, the range of Ruwenzori and the Congo forest on the west; on the south-east and south, the south coast of the Victoria Nyanza, and a line from near Emin Pasha Gulf to the Malagarazi river and the east coast of Tanganyika. On the south-west this district is bounded more or less by the Rusizi river down to Tanganyika. The present Uganda Protectorate derives its name from the Bantu kingdom of Buganda, which is one of the five provinces of the protectorate. The Bantu negroes of the protectorate include the Banyoro, Bairu, Basese, Basoga, Bakonjo, Baganda, Masaba and Kavirondo. “Uganda” and “Unyoro” are, of course, popular misspellings. The countries should be called Buganda and Bunyoro, their language Luganda and Runyoro. The pronunciation “Uganda,” etc., has been adopted from the Swahili followers of the first explorers. They pronounced the territorial prefix Bu- as a simple vowel U-. They call the people Wa-ganda and their language Ki-ganda. These forms are, to be sure, only coast forms. In general, it may be said that in the Bantu languages (1) the prefixes Bu- or U- indicate the country; (2) Wa- or Ba-, the people as a whole; (3) Mu- and M-, the individual, e.g., Mu-ganda | a Ganda native, a Ganda man; and (4) Lu-, Ru- and Ki-, the language.

Allied to, yet quite distinct from, the speech of the Uganda is that which is usually classified as the language of the Unyoro. The Urunyoro speech, though divided into a number of local dialects, extends at the present day from the Albert Nyanza and the Victoria Nile south and southwest to within hail of the north end of Tanganyika. The Luganda and the Runyoro are considered by many the most archaic dialects of Bantu.

Through a letter of the late Sir Henry Morton Stanley (1841-1904) the C.M.S. was led, in 1876, to undertake a mission to Uganda. One of the early missionaries sent out by that society reduced the language to writing in the roman character.

Luganda portions of the Prayer Book were translated by R. P. Ashe, A. M. Mackay and Ph. O’Flaherty. The book was published by the S.P.C.K. in 1887. In 1893 the society put out: Ebigambo ebyo kusaba katonda, etc. (the Collects for Sundays and Saints’ Days . . . translated into Luganda). 32 pages. G. L. Pilkington revised the Liturgy, which was published in 1896, entitled: Ekitabo Ekyokusaba kwabantu Bona. . . . Portions of the Book of Common Prayer in the Luganda language. 345 pages, 16mo. It contained the whole Book of Common Prayer except a few of the Occasional Offices. An edition of 1900, numbers xlviii, 486 pages, fcap. 8vo. The latest edition was published in 1909. Its title reads:

Griffiths calls this language Ganda
Griffiths 38:1 (~1886, apparently untraced)
Griffiths 38:2 (1893?)

Griffiths 38:3 (1896)


Griffiths 38:4 (1900)

* Ekitabo | Ekyokusaba Kwabantu Bona, | Nekyokugaba Sakramento, nempisa endala | Ezekanisa, nga bweisa | Ekanisa Eye Bungreza: | Ne Zaburi za Daudi nga zawulibwa | nga bweziragirwa okuimbirwa mu kanisa oba okusomebwa; | nebigambo nengeri ebyokulonda, nebyokusawo, | nebyokwāwula Abalabirizi, Nabakade, Nabadikoni. [Luganda Prayer Book.] London. . . . 1909.

xlviii, 429 pages, fcap. 8vo. Introductory matter, headlines and headings are in Luganda, not in English, as is the case with many other similar publications of the society.

Of the three translators of the first Luganda Liturgy, suffice it to say that the Rev. Robert Pickering Ashe is a graduate of St. John’s College, Cambridge, B.A. 1879, M.A. 1887. He arrived in Uganda in 1882, serving as C.M.S. missionary from 1882-88 and again from 1891-93. In August, 1886, he was permitted by M(u)tesa’s successor, King Mwanga, to leave for England with the ghastly details of his barbarity, while Mackay was a hostage whom the king refused to release. Ashe is at present stationed at Boudjah, Smyrna. He is the author of Two Kings of Uganda, third edition, 1897, and of Chronicles of Uganda, 1894. — The Rev. Philip O’Flaherty came to Uganda in 1881, and left at the end of 1885. He was not a young man any more, for he had been a sergeant in the army, and had fought in the Crimea. Alexander Murdoch Mackay was born in 1849. He was the son of the Rev. Alexander Mackay, LL.D., Free Church minister at Rhynie, Scotland. Mackay was a man of great mechanical ingenuity. At the time of his offer to the C.M.S. he was chief constructor of a great engineering factory near Berlin. He left England as a C.M.S. missioner in 1876, reached Uganda in November; 1878, and worked there in company with the Rev. Charles Thomas Wilson, the pioneer missionary. The latter returned to England the following year on account of ill-health, after an actual residence of thirteen months in Mtesa’s kingdom. Mackay soon became one of the chief assistants of the heroic Bishop Hannington, who, together with his men, was mercilessly slaughtered at Busoga, in October, 1885, by Mwanga (died 1900), the depraved seventeen year old son of King Mtesa, who had died in 1884. Mackay used at first Swahili in his communication with the Baganda; but after acquiring the native language he reduced it to writing, and taught the people to read by means of sheets roughly printed from wooden type cut by hand. On February 4, 1890, he caught a malarial fever, and four days later the bright and intrepid leader of the mission and faithful soldier of the Cross died at Usambiro.

Mackay’s work was ably continued by George Lawrence Pilkington. The latter was born in Dublin, June 4, 1865. He went to the Uppenham School of Thring, and thence, in 1884, to Pembroke College, Cambridge. In due time he obtained his B.A. and M.A. degrees, and was for some time assistant master at Harrow. Late in 1889 he went to Africa as a C.M.S. missionary, and arrived in Uganda the following year. At the call of the authorities he took part, as an interpreter, in the suppression of the mutiny of the Sudanese soldiery. In this Nubian rebellion the loyalty and valor of the native Christians alone saved Uganda. Pilkington lost his life, December 11, 1897, at Busoga, after the betrayal of Fort Lubwas. He was a great evangelist and a good linguist; a man who filled Mackay’s place perfectly. He was young and strong, full of enthusiasm, and always buoyant and hopeful. In one of his letters to his mother he wrote, September 3, 1892 :.

“I hope to live to see the whole of Africa evangelized. If only Christian England made an earnest effort, it wouldn’t take many decades to do it. But England, I’m afraid, is in earnest about one thing only-;-making money.”


Griffiths 38:5 (1905, many reprintings through 1937 & after)

He was a first-rate classical scholar, a man almost divinely appointed to the task to give to the Baganda the Word of God in their own tongue. In literary work he wrote a grammar of Luganda, and a handbook; translated into the vernacular the Book of Common Prayer and the whole Bible, “the latter a stupendous work indeed” (Bishop Tucker)[1]. The translation of the Bible appeared in 1898, published by the British and Foreign Bible Society. Only the Minor Prophets were translated by Pilkington’s colleague, the Rev. W. A. Crabtree[2]. In his translational work Pilkington had much the same assistance which Mackay had, viz.: the Rev. Henry Wright Duta (died 1913; Guardian, June 20, 1913, p. 777, cols.1, 2) and the lay-reader, Sembera Mackay, two faithful native Christians.


[1] See also chaps. x and xiv of Hartford-Battersby, Pilkington of Uganda.

[2] On this first edition of the Bible in Ganda see Darlow and Moule, Vol. II, part i, p. 474, No. 4141.


In 1902 the Rev. Harry Edward Maddox published, through the S.P.C.K., an excellent Elementary Grammar of the Lunyoro Language, with Lunyoro-English Vocabulary. About the same time the venerable society published also a Lunyoro version of the greater part of the Prayer Book. It reads:
Griffiths calls this language Nyoro

* Ekitabu | Ekyokusaba Kwabantu Bona | nekyokugaba Esakaramento, nengeso | Ezindi Ezekanisa, nkokwegira | Ekanisa Eyengereza: | Na | Zabuli za Daudi | Zibaganizibwemu nkokuziragirwa okuzinirwa omu kanisa rundi okusomwa. [Portions of the Book of Common Prayer in the Lunyoro language.] . . . 1902.

Griffiths 128:2 (1902, reissued 1904)
xxxiii, 146, 204 pages, fcap. 8vo. Text, including headings, in Lunyoro. Revised editions were put out in 1904, and again in 1909 and * 1912 (xxxiv, (1), 353, (1) pages). These editions contain also a translation of the Psalter. In all other respects the later editions are almost identical with the issue of 1902, except for a few verbal corrections and the inclusion of the Athanasian Creed. The Lunyoro Prayer Book is published in three forms, for use in the three provinces of Bunyoro, Toro and Ankole respectively. The only point of difference is the name inserted in the State Prayers, this being in the first case Daudi (Cwa Kabaka), King of Uganda; in the second, Andereya, King of Toro; and in the third “Edwade Sulimani”[3], Ankole (Nkole) having no chief in a similar position to the former two, but being directly under the British Crown. These three provinces, though politically distinct, have one language; which is in many ways interesting to philologists, being considered older than Luganda, which it strongly resembles.

Griffiths 128:3 (1909)


Maddox was stationed until 1911 at Toro as a C.M.S. missionary; since 1909 as an ordained priest. He had been stationed there and in the neighbourhood long before that time. He graduated from the University of London in 1888, and from Ridley Hall, Cambridge, in 1908. He was ordered deacon by the bishop of Uganda, the Right Rev. Alfred R. Tucker, in 1908, and ordained priest the following year for the colonies by the bishop of London. He first reduced the language to writing, and is responsible for all translation work hitherto achieved in Nyoro[4].


[3] The name “Ed wade” is now, of course, changed to that of his successor, King George. “In versions for use in countries outside of the British Empire the State Prayers are omitted, and others inserted in their stead in favour of the sovereigns and governments of the respective countries.” — W. ST. CLAIR TISDALL.

In November, 1900, the Rev. William Arthur Crabtree, who had been engaged for some time in linguistic work at Gayaza — a very populous centre some twelve miles from Mengo, in the province of Kyadondo, started with his wife on a holiday tour. He made his way eventually to Masaba, in the district of Mount Elgon, north-east of Lake Victoria Nyanza. Here he established himself at a place called Nabumale, among the Bagishu, a large tribe, said to be almost as numerous as the Baganda. So attractive did Crabtree find the opening, and so great the opportunity for work, that he wrote to Bishop Tucker and asked his permission to remain .. This was readily accorded. Crabtree stayed for a number of years, and, in addition to pastoral work, he did notable linguistic work. The language of the Bagishu is an archaic form of Bantu, and has in it many words closely allied both to Luganda and Lunyoro. The first reading-book, a hymn book, the Prayer Book, a book of Bible stories of some one hundred pages, all most beautifully printed, tell of the missionary’s most unsparing efforts, both intellectual and physical.

It was Crabtree also who reduced to writing the Lumasaba, the language of the Bantu-speaking (Wa-)Kavirondo — “the fair Kavirondo” of Bishop Hannington — a language more archaic than Luganda or Lunyoro.

[4] See Canton, Vol. IV, pp. 449, 450; Darlow and Moule. Vol. II, part ii, pp. 1167. 1168, Nos. 7,129-35. Speaking of the relation of Luganda to Lunyoro, Bishop Tucker, Eighteen Years in Uganda and East Africa, Vol. II, p. 252, end, says: “The King [of the Bunyoro] and many of the principal chiefs understand Luganda; but outside of that comparatively small circle it is practically an unknown tongue”; and on pp. 233, 234: “The language of the Banyankole is, broadly speaking, Lunyoro, a Bantu tongue, but differing from the dialects spoken in Toro and Bunyoro in several important particulars. It is a very widely spoken language-much more widely spoken, indeed, than Luganda. It is the language of the Baziba, the Baruanda, and also the people of Karagwe. It extends as far south as Lake Tanganyika, if not further, and as far north as the Victoria Nile.”

In 1907 the S.P.C.K. published the Service Book, Hymns and Occasional Prayers, in Lumasaba, entitled:

* Kulomba | Kwikumutikinyi ni Kwihangolobe | mu | Bakiri kubatisiwal ni mu | Bana bakeche | ne | Kulomba kwimubiro bikali bitwera | ne | Tsinyimbo tsikuboleresa were | mu | Babandu bosi.

48 pages, fcap. 8vo. It contains Morning and Evening service, sentences from the Litany, the Ten Commandments, Occasional Prayers and Hymns.

Griffiths calls this language Masaba.

Griffiths 108:1

The same missionary translated also into Lusoga, the language of Busoga in the eastern province of the Uganda Protectorate, a catechism (1985), a reader and hymn book (1896), and Portions of the Book of Common Prayer (1897). These were printed at the C.M.S. press of Busoga. The press was established at the station known as Lubwas (Luba’s), and books were there printed on the same hand-press which had formerly been used by Mackay at Usambiro, on the north side of the lake. Inasmuch as Luganda is now used by the missionaries at Busoga, it is unlikely that any further translations into Lusoga will be made.


Griffiths calls this language Soga.

Griffiths 159:1 (1897)




THE Swahili language[1] falls into two main divisions: the central or Mombasa, and the southern or Zanzibar dialect. In its roots, but not in its prefixes, the ki-Swahili of Zanzibar is one of the most archaic dialects of Bantu. The Swahili is the lingua franca, the “Hindûstâni” of Equatorial Africa. It is, in its present form, a compromise between Bantu and Arabic, and has served as a means by which Arabs of the coast and negro tribesmen from the interior can understand each other. It is usually written with Arabic letters; but missionaries have succeeded to some degree in introducing the roman letters for their purposes. Swahili, as stated, is a somewhat archaic Bantu dialect, indigenous, probably, to the East African coast south of the Ruvu (Pangáni) river. It is almost certainly of mainland origin, distinct from the original local dialects of Zanzibar and Pemba. There are colonies of Swahili-speaking people at Mombasa, Malindi[2], the Vale of Lamu — once the dolorous entrepôt of the slave-trade — and even as far north as the Shebeli river in Somaliland; also along the coast of German and Portuguese East Africa as far south as Angoche. In the coastlands between the Ruvu river on the north and the Kilwa settlements on the south the local languages and dialects are more or less related to Swahili, though they are independent languages. Among these belong the Bondei, Shambala, Kaguru (Nguru), etc.
[1] Swahili means “coast language,” from Arabic Sawáhil, plural of Sahil, coast.

[2] The Melind of Paradise Lost, where is still found the pillar erected by Vasco da Gama when he visited the port in I498. — On Mombasa see O’Rorke, African Missions, pp. 169-181.



The Mombasa dialect of Swahili, called Kimvita, was the first of the two dialects made known to European scholars through the labours of Johann Ludwig Krapf (1810-81). In his original opinion the Mombasa dialect was far superior to the language spoken at Zanzibar[3]. As early as 1854 this intrepid C.M.S. missionary, who had landed at Mommbasa, January 3, 1844, published in Tübingen, Germany: Salla sa subuçi na jioni sasallhvaso Katika Kiriaki ja Kienglese siku sothe sa muaka, i.e., Morning and Evening Prayers, said in the Church of England, daily throughout the year, translated into Ki-Suahili by L. Krapf, 18mo. Later on Krapf changed his views, and most emphatically refused to call the modification by Arabic and other alien influences, noticeable in the Zanzibar dialect, a corruption.

Each dialect has now obtained an independent literary standing; that of Zanzibar being chiefly indebted to the exertions of Bishop Steere and his successors in the Universities’ Mission, and also to Mr. Arthur Cornwallis Madan.

[3] “For the best and most original dialect of Kisuahili itself, the people of Patta, Lamu, Malindi, Mombas, and Tanga. claim pre-eminence over the inhabitants of Zanzibar and Pemba. And it must be admitted that the Kisuahili spoken at Zanzibar has a very large infusion of Arabic and other foreign words.” — Preface, page xi, to Krapf, A Dictionary of the Suahili Language. With introduction containing an outline of a Suahili grammar. The native name of Mombasa is “Kisiwa Mvita” or “Isle of War,” hence the dialect Kimvita.


Edward Steere was born in London, May 4, 1828. He graduated B.A. from the University of London, 1847, LL.B. in 1848, and LL.D., with the gold medal for law, in 1850. He soon gave up the law, and was ordained deacon at Exeter Cathedral, September 21, 1856, and admitted priest at Lincoln Cathedral in 1858. In 1863 he began his memorable career as a missionary, going out to Central Africa with his friend, W. G. Tozer, the new missionary bishop of the Universities’ Mission to Central Africa. He was active not only in the practical work at Zanzibar, the centre of East African slave-trade, but also produced a handbook to the Swahili language[4], reduced to writing the dialect of the Usambara country, and wrote a Shambala grammar. From 1868 until 1872 he lived in England, occupied mainly with the Swahili translation of the Bible. From 1874 until his death, August 28, 1882, he was Tozer’s success or as bishop of Central Africa. In 1879 he issued his .complete translation of the New Testament and of the Prayer Book in the Zanzibar dialect of Swahili. His linguistic power was great. He carefully studied the Swahili and Yao dialects, each of which he first made practicable as a written language, and devoted much attention to other native dialects.

[4] A Handbook of the Swahili Language, as Spoken at Zanzibar. . . . Third Edition, by A. C. Madan. London, S.P.C.K.; Crown 8vo.




In 1870 Steere had printed in London a small pamphlet, entitled: Sala za Subui na Jioni, containing two forms of services, for the Morning Prayer and the Evening Prayer, 17 pages. In 1876 the S.P.C.K. published his Swahili version of the Morning and Evening Prayer, the Litany and .other portions of the Book of Common Prayer, including the Psalter, 231 pages. A revision of the same was put out in 1880, and again in 1893 (xxv, 486 pages), and in 1896 (xxv, 494 pages), fcap. 8vo. The 1896 edition is entitled:

* Kitabu cha | Sala ya watu wote, | na kutenda siri, | na taratibu zingine na kawaida za Kanisa, | Ilivyo desturi ya | Kanisa la Ki-ingereza; | pamoja na | Zaburi za Daud, | zime pigwa chapa, ginsi ilivyopasa kuziimba, ao kunena Makanisani: | tena ginsi | Wataka vyofanyara, Kuamriwa na Kufanya wakfu, | Maaskofu, Makasisi, na Mashemasi. | London . . . 1896.

It contains an English title on the opposite page. The revision was made by Madan and others. It includes the liturgical Epistles and Gospels and the Psalter. The latest edition appears to be that of 1907. The Swahili title of this edition differs slightly from that just quoted. It reads:



Griffiths 166:1 (1876, reissued 1880, 1885)

Griffiths 166:2 (1893, reissued 1896)

* Kitabu cha Sala kwa watu wote, na kukhudumu Sacramenti, na ibada zingine na kawaida za Kanisa, kama ilivyo dasturi ya Kanisa la Kiingereza; pamoja na Zaburi za Daud, zimepigwa chapa, jinsi ipasavyo kuimbwa au kusemwa Makanisani; tena jinsi ya kufanya, kuamuru, na kuweka ukufu, Maaskofu, Makasisi, na Mashemasi.

xxv, (1), 494, (1) pages. fcap. 8vo. Page iv contains the “Contents” (in. English), beginning with “The Order how the Psalter is appointed to be read,” and ending with (25) “The table of kindred and affinity.” This table of contents is repeated in Swahili on page v.

Griffiths 166:3 (1907, reissued 1917)
The cultivation of the Mombasa dialect has somewhat lagged behind, by comparison, since the days of the pioneers,. at least in English hands. While the Zanzibar Prayer Book was early published and often reprinted, the Mombasa Prayer Book did not reach a complete form until 1909. It was translated, in the first instance, by the Rev. William Ernest Taylor[5], except the Epistles, which were rendered by the Rev. Harry Kerr Binns, and the Ordinal. The whole was then thoroughly revised and considerably altered by a committee at Freretown. xxvi, 517 pages, fcap. 8vo . The chief dialectical differences are the substitution in the north (i.e., Mombasa) of t and d for the Zanzibar ch and f (ata for acha; ndia for nfia) , and the use of the pronouns ewe, swiswi, enywi, for wewe, sisi and ninyi. Different words are used in many cases, those current at Mombasa being often more readily assignable to a common Bantu root. . . . A cursory inspection of the Mombasa book, however, seems to show almost as large a proportion of Arabic words as the Zanzibar one. Perhaps this was inevitable in view of the nature of the work; and some of these words may have been introduced by the missionaries themselves[6].


Griffiths 165:3 (1909); Griffiths also lists realtively complete BCP's in the Mombasa dialect from 1883 (165:1) and 1886 (165:2)

[5] Taylor has done great service in literary work. In 1902 he published Church Services and Offices in Swahili, and the same year The Communion Office and Collects in Swahili, besides numerous other contributions and revisions of other work. He is the author of a Swahili Hymn-book, 1897, and The Groundwork of the Swahili Language, 1897; both published by the S.P.C.K.

Kibondei[7], the language of a tribe in Usambara, Gerrman East Africa, is spoken in the low-lying districts north of Ruvu (Pangani) river, and between the coast and the range of hills running -in a north and south direction some sixty miles inland. Collections for a Boondéi-Handbook were pubblished in 1881 by the S.P.C.K. for the Rev. Herbert Willoughby Woodward, who in the following year caused the society to publish the Litany, Office for the Admission of Catechumens, the Ministration of Public Baptism of Infants and Adults, and the Order for the Burial of the Dead. 27 pages, 12mo. Since 1899 Woodward has been archdeacon of Magila in Usambara, a station of the Universities’ Mission. In 1910 he was transferred as vicar general to the archdiocese of Zanzibar. He was ordered deacon, 1878 and ordained priest in 1882. “He was not only able to preach in the Bondei language, but Bishop Steere certifies that he was understood.” -CUST.


[6] The Athenthæum, London, August 13, 191O; No. 4320, p. 180, col. 2.

[7] According to Cust, The Modern Languages of Africa, p. 353, Wa-Bondei = “the people of the valley.”

Griffiths does not list any BCP's in this language



THE Kaguru-Sagala-Kami group is one of the Bantu groups which occupies the inland territories of German East Africa between the Swahili coast dialects on the east and the domain of the Nyamwezi on the west. On the north this group is bounded by the non-Bantu languages of the Masai, Mbugu and Tatúru — belonging to the Nuba-Fula group — and on the south by the Ruaha river. This group included Kigogo and Irangi.

The Wa-gál(l)a are an Eastern Bantu tribe of considerable antiquity. They number about forty thousand, inhabiting the Taita country on the route between Mombasa and Mount Kilimanjaro. Missionary work here is carried on, since 1882, by the Rev. Joseph Alfred Wray, the missionary of the neighbouring Wataita. The mission station established by Wray was intended to be one of the first links in the chain of stations across Africa, in pursuance of Krapf’s scheme[1]. Wray reduced the language to writing, and translated St. Mark’s Gospel. In 1892 the S.P.C.K. published at London: First Reading Lessons, Lord’s Prayer, Apostles’ Creed, Ten Commandments, and two hymns in the Sagalla language, fcap. 8vo, and also a Catechism, all prepared by Wray. A second edition of this primer appeared in 1903. In 1907 the same society published an edition of portions of the Book of Common Prayer translated by J. A. Wray. 104 pages, fcap. 8vo. A translation of the major portion of the Liturgy appeared in 1912, entitled:

[1] See above, Chap. XXIII, p. 173.

none of these listed by Griffiths




* Chuo cha Kulomba | kwa wandu wose, | na | Uaafwariro ’gwa Sakramenti, | na | Vilambo vizima na madeo ’ga ikanisa | sa kweni vatumilo kele | Church of England. | Andu kumoju na | Kushoma kwa Hambiri Jumweni | kwa | Kulomba kwa Ikesho. [The Book of Common Prayer in Kisagalla.] Translated by the Rev. J. Alfred Wray.

470, (1) pages, 16mo. Text, headlines, rubrics, etc., are all in Kisagalla. It is thus rather surprising to read on p. 314 the line in English: [End of Book of Common Prayer].


Griffiths 144:1 (1912, reissued 1913, 1957)

The Wagurus live in Mamboya. They are a Bantu tribe of recent immigration. Their language is considered by Last a dialect of the Sagala. They themselves claim to be the northern part of the great Sagala tribe. They are a very quiet, friendly and peace-loving people. Among them was established the Usagara Mission, in the present territory of German East Africa, and the Rev. Arthur North Wood laboured here faithfully for a number of years. In 1895 the S.P.C.K. published Wood’s translation of Kaguru portions of the Prayer Book, entitled * Cha Kufugila. | . . . | Mu Nonga ya Kaguru. | Facing this title on the left-hand side is the English title: [Portions of Book of Common Prayer, in the Kaguru language]. An English table of contents and one in Kaguru are added on the title-pages. 196 pages, fcap. 8vo. Pp. 1 and 4 are blank, pp. 2 and 3 contain the English and the Kaguru title, etc. Text, pp. 5-196, viz., Morning and Evening Prayer, Litany, Prayers and Thanksgivings upon Special Occasions, Collects, Epistles and Gospels, the Order for the Administration of Holy Communion, the Order of Ministration of Baptism, the Catechism, Confirmation, Matrimony.

J. T. Last also began his work at Mamboya in 1880. Six years later he published a Kaguru grammar (London: S.P.C.K., fcap. 8vo). When he left Mamboya his work was continued by John Roscoe.


Griffiths 70:1


The Wagogo are likewise a Bantu tribe, of recent immigration to Uganda. They have possibly Masai elements in their make-up. They live to the west of the Sagala. Among them were at work in Kisokwe, in 1890, the Rev. Henry Cole, C.M.S. missionary at Mpwapwa, German East Africa, 1885-1907, and the Rev. John Edward Beverley, C.M.S. missionary at Shimba, Eastern Equatorial Africa, 1888-98. Both missionaries engaged in translational work. A Gogo hymn book was their joint work. It was published by the S.P.C.K. in 1896. Later on Beverley carried through the press another edition of the same, revised and enlarged. In 1900 the society published the translation of the Liturgy (6), 300 pages, fcap. 8vo. Of the (6) initial pages the first has the words: * Common Prayer [Cigogo]. P. (2), Walaka wo | Wulombe we wanhu wose, | no kunoze Sukaramenti, | Kuhanga no Wityatye wunji wunji wo | Mukung’ano wa Cinjereza. P. (3): The Book of Common Prayer ...• [Cigogo Version.]. P. (4), Contents (in English); (5) same in Kigogo. The text begins with the Morning Prayer and ends with A Commination.




Griffiths 43:1 (Griffiths calls this language Gogo)

The Taita mission, as stated before, was planned by Krapf in the early years of the sixth decade of the last century, but nothing was accomplished at that time. One of the zealous C.M.S. men, the Rev. Joseph Alfred Wray, began in 1882 a mission among the wild and degraded tribe on the Taita hills, about one hundred miles inland from Mombasa. The people, the Wa-Taita, a Bantu tribe of recent immigration, were cruel and superstitious, with no idea of God save as a malign being “making and marring clay at will.” Wray learned the language from the children, and persevered for several years with a dogged determination which gradually made him recognised by the people as one who was ready to bear any hardships and incur any perils for their sake. And yet for quite a while the station was a great source of trouble on account of the fickleness of the natives, so that Mr. Wray had to leave them once and work in Mombasa. After a while he could return again, and was assisted by one of the lay missionaries from Australia, Mr. R. A. Maynard. The people had become more responsive, and many called themselves Christians, though as yet shrinking from baptism. By patient work Wray made himself master of Kitaita, and is even to this day perhaps the only white man who understands it. “So perfect is his mastery of it,” says Bishop Tucker, Vol. I, p. 352, “that the report was spread abroad some time ago that there was a white Mteita living on the mountain.”

For the assistance of his fellow-labourers and his successors, Wray published in 1895 A n Elementary Introduction to the Taita Language, Eastern Equatorial Africa, and translated for congregational service Portions of the Book of Common Prayer. Both were published by the S.P.C.K. London, fcap. 8vo.


not listed by Griffiths, who says see Dabida and Sagalla.



The Pokomo-Nyika-Giriama-Taveita group represents the Bantu dialects of the east province of British East Africa, between (and including) the Tana river on the north and the frontier of German East Africa on the south. The Giriama language is spoken along the coast north of Mombasa, and is in its origin closely akin to Swahili. It still preserves much of the vocabulary and many of the grammatical characteristics of the old Ngozi language, on which modern Swahili is based. The Wa-Giriama have only recently immigrated to their present location. A mission among them was started by a fugitive native, Abe Ngoa, one of Rebmann’s Wanika converts. He settled down in the Giriama forest thirty miles to the north of Rabai. The growth of the mission is admirably described by Stock in Vol. III, pp. 88-92, of his centennial history.

In 1876 the Rev. Harry Kerr Binns went out to Giriama as missionary, and he had his name identified with it for many years. He resided at Rabai from 1876 until 1881, and again from 1886 until 1887; at Freretown[2] from 1882 to 1883, 1894-1900, and 1906 to the present day. From 1901 to 1903 he again lived among the Giriama. He is at present archdeacon of Freretown, Mombasa. In 1880 the Rev. William Ernest Taylor, an Oxford University graduate, was appointed an additional missionary to the C.M.S. Nyanza mission, and soon became known as one of the most proficient linguists in Swahili (second only to Bishop Steere), in Giriama and other related tongues. Almost all the Giriama literature published by the S.P.C.K. and the British and Foreign Bible Society is from the pen of this exceptional man. In 1892 the S.P.C.K. published for him: Giriama Bible Stories from the Old Testament [Maworo ga Jeri]; Vocabulary and Collections, and a Giriama Primer [Chaho cha Ufundi]. A Giriama Book of Common Prayer is now being printed by the same society. A vivid description of the Giriama country and the mission work among the people is given by Taylor in Vol. I, pp. 353-358, of Bishop Tucker’s book on his work in Uganda.


[2] On Freretown, called thus in honour of Sir Henry Bartle Edward Frere, first baronet (1815-84) and on its founder, the Rev. William Salter Price (died, 1911, at the age of eighty-five), see O’Rorke, African Missions, pp. 150-168. Price was the predecessor of the Rev. Mr. Binns.

Griffiths 41:1 (1912)



Taveta is a settlement in British East Africa, situated south-east of Mount Kilimanjaro, on the railroad from Mombasa to Uganda. The language is practically a dialect of the Swahili, and is spoken by about three to four thousand people. In 1894 the S.P.C.K. published Portions of the Book of Common Prayer, after the use of the Church of England, in the language of Taveta, Eastern Equatorial Africa. The native title reads: * Kitamo cha Kuomba | Kwa wandu wose | (Hena fwana la Kanisa la Kiengereza). 79, (1) pages, fcap. 8vo. It contains the Order for the Morning and Evening Prayer, the Administration of the Holy Communion, Baptism of Infants and of such as are of riper years, the Catechism, and the Order of Confirmation. P. 1, blank; 2, English title; 3, Native title; 4, Contents in English; 5, the same in Taveta; 6, blank; 7-79, text as mentioned.
Griffiths 171:1

The translator is the Rev. Albert Remington Steggall, a graduate of Durham University, B.A. 1883; Lic. Theol. and M.A. 1886. He went out in 1889 as a C.M.S. man to Nochi, on the Kilimanjaro, in German East Africa, whence he was transferred to Taveta in 1892. He laboured here from 1892 until 1905, made of Taveta an oasis in the East African wilderness, and established a station which has come to be known as Mahoo (Happy Land). His work has been exceptionally interesting and hopeful. From 1905 until 1906 he was acting secretary of the C.MS. in British East Africa, acting archdeacon of Mombasa, and bishop’s commissary. He resigned his mission work in 1906 and returned to England. In 1895 he published, through the S.P.C.K., Hymns in the language of Taveta, and somewhat later a Taveta translation of the Psalms of David[3].


[3] On Taveta and Steggall’s work, see also Tucker, loc. cit., Vol. I, pp. 159, 185-190, 344-349; II, pp. 108-111.


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