The Book of Common Prayer
United States England Scotland Ireland Wales Canada World

    The Book of Common Prayer
among the Nations of the World




Previous chapter


THE Wa-Sukuma (Basukuma), numbering about five hundred thousand, are an older Bantu tribe in Eastern Equatorial Africa, at the Na[s]sa along the shore of the Speke Gulf on the south coast of the Victoria Nyanza, in German territory. The real name of the tribe is Bagwi, singular Mgwi. The Basukuma are only a small inland district people who were the first of the nation with wham Europeans came into contact. In the matter of language and other things they are closely related to the great Unyamwezi people immediately to the south of them.

One of the early missionaries to this tribe was the Rev. Edward Henry Hubbard, a graduate of Islington College, 1888. Together with the Rev. J. P. Nickisson (died 1896) he did excellent work during the nineties af last century. The Basukuma are not like the Baganda, but rather like the people at Mamboya and Mpwapwa — slow, and of the earth earthy. After a furlough in England, Hubbard was accidentally shot on the journey back in March, 1898, and died at Mengo, after lingering three manths. A year before his death, and while on his furlough, he published, through the society, a Kisukuma primer and * Portions of the Book of Common Prayer. The title of the latter reads: Kitabo cha Kulomba | na | Kwita Sakramento, | na | Mihayo ingi ya Kanisa | kina | Chimi le cha Kanisa lya Kiingreza | mu Kisukuma. | London ... 1897. (4), 100 pages, fcap. 8vo. The book does not contain the Collects, Epistles and Gospels, nor the Psalter, and prints only a part of the Occasional Offices. The initial (4) pages contain English title, Kisukuma title, contents in English and in Kisukuma.


Griffiths 163:1; Griffiths calls this language Sukuma.




Nyanja, perhaps the most extensive group of cognate languages in the Bantu field, is principally associated with the east and west shores of the southern half of Lake Nyasa. The principal dialects of the Nyanja language are the Cinyanja (“The speech of the Lake”) of Eastern Nyasaland, Ci-peta and Ci-maravi of south-west Nyasaland to as far as the watershed of the Luangwa river.

In 1897 the Rev. Arthur George Barnard Glossop, of the Universities’ Mission at Likoma, Lake Nyasa, now archdeacon of Likoma, published through the S.P.C.K. Chinyanja Portions of the Book of Common Prayer. The same year he also published a Chinyanja Church History. The title of the Liturgy reads: Chikala-kala cha kuseli | ndi | Kutumikila Sacraments. | Chinyanja Lake Nyasa. | . . . (3), 289, (1) pages, fcap. 8vo. Contents (page 3): Morning and Evening Prayer, Litany, Prayers and Thanksgivings, Collects, Epistles, and Gospels, Holy Communion, Baptismal Service, Confirmation Service, Marriage Service. According to Darlow and Maule, Vol. II, part 3, p. 1159 (No. 7060), the translation was made by the Rev. William Percival Johnson (archdeacon of Nyasa, 1896-), of the Universities’ Mission. See, however, Allen and McClure, p. 222.

Griffiths 127:1; Griffiths call this language Nyanja; it is also known as Chinyanja.




A revised edition, containing the whole Liturgy, was prepared by a Committee including three missionaries of the Universities’ Mission to Central Africa and two native assistants. It was published in 1909; (12), 561, (2) pages, fcap. 8vo. It is entitled:

* Chikalakala cha | Mapempelo ya pamoji | ndi Kumtumikila Mlungu pa Sakraments, | ndi malamulo ena ena ndi makonjedwe yao | ya pa Church, | kwa mlingo wa | Chisimu chake Church la England; | Pamoji ndi | Zaburi za Daud, | zikonjedwa uma zikadanenedwa pena zikadaimbidwa pa ma Church: | Ndi chifa ndi makalidwe ya | Kuwachita, kuwaika pa mpingo, ndi kuwaika pa woka | Aaskaf, Akasis, ndi Ashemas. [The Book of Common Prayer in the Chinyanja language.]

The Psalter begins an p. 331, the Ordinal an p. 518. The introductory material: Proper Lessons, proper Psalms, Calendar, Tables and Rules, is printed in English, everything else in Chinyanja excepting a few headings, such as The Churching of Women, A Commination, etc., far which, perhaps, no proper equivalent could be found.


Griffiths 127:3

Chizwina has been finally adapted by the Mashonaland {Ma-Shona) Mission, “the sun-spot of the world,” to denote the language variously called Mashona, Shona, China, and Makalaka ar Makaranga. Father Torrend classes the Chizwina as a dialect of Karanga and “one step nearer to Sena than Karanga proper.” Sena is virtually identical with Nyanja. An examination of the few Chizwina texts available inclines one to the opinian that the differences between this idiom and Nyanja are no greater than the dialectical differences between various parts of Mashonaland. According to Darlow and Moule, Vol. II, part 4, p. 1365 : “Chiswina is an opprobrious term applied to the Mashona. people by the Matabele.”

In 1898 the S.P.C.K. published:

* Minamato Yamangwanani | na Mahuro. | Ne Shomashoma wa | Ivangeri noko nyora kwa Marka | ne | Zwiyimbo. | Matins and Evensong, a portion of St. Mark’s Gospel (Chapters 1-6,) and Hymns, in Chino, the language of Mashonaland.

52 pages, fcap. 8vo. The translation was made by the Rev. Douglas Raymond Pelly, of the S.P.G., assisted by a native preacher.

Griffiths calls this language Shona.



not listed by Griffiths

In 1903, and again in 1911, a revision was published, together with much new material, entitled: * Minamato | ne | Zwiyimbo. | [Portions of the Book of Common Prayer, with Psalms and Hymns, in Chizwina, the language of Mashonaland]. Reverse of title contains the printer’s name; text, pp. 3-268. The Prayer Book ends on page 217. Pp. 218-227 contain selected Psalms (Ndwiyo); pp. 228-268, Hymns (Zwiyimbo). There is no preliminary material, page 3 beginning with the Order for Morning Prayer. The translator was Edward Harold Etheridge, of the S.P.G., at present principal of St. Augustine’s native college, at Penhalonga, diocese of Mashonaland, hon. canon since 1909, and archdeacon of the Mashonaland archdeaconry, in charge of all the native missionary work of the diocese.



Griffiths 154:1 (1903, reissued 1907, 1909, 1911, 1912); Griffiths calls this language Shona.

With the Nyanja language may be associated the languages of the Portuguese coast region south of the Zambesi as far as Inhambane. Here are closely together the dialects — Ci-nanzwa in the region near the Victoria Falls; Ci-nyai, Shikalaña, Ci-shuna (Cigomo), Ci-loze, and possibly Ci-shangwe (or Ci-hlangane), and Shi-lenge, which link on to the Beira coast dialects. Chopi or Shi-lenge, and other dialects of the Beira and Inhambane coastlands, and of Manika, have been much influenced by Zulu dialects, such as Ronga and Tebele.

William Edmund Smyth, lord bishop of Lebombo, was born in 1858. He was ordained deacon in 1882 and priest in 1885. November 5, 1893, he was consecrated first bishop of Lebombo, after having served as a missionary to the Zulus for four years. In 1909 he published a book on The Work of a Missionary. Owing to ill-health he resigned in 1912.

In the S.P.G. Report for 1899, page 136, the bishop states:

"We have got printed locally in the course of the year a translation of part of matins and evensong into Chopi. . . . This is the only book in the Chopi language, except a small book printed by a missionary at Johannesburg, containing a few hymns and a few verses of the Bible”;

and on p. 138:

"I have almost the whole Prayer-book ready for the printer, but it is, of course, only a first tentative translation.”

In S.P.G. Report for 1901, on p. 155, we read:

"The Society has been enabled to supply the diocese with a good stock of Gi-Tonga hymn-books, Chopi Prayer Books, the Morning and Evening Prayer in Ronga, and a revised Gi-Tonga portion of the Prayer Book.”

These were printed in 1896, at the Mission Press of Inhammbane. Tonga (Inhambane district) is in Portuguese East Africa. The language is spoken by the Wa (Va, Ba) -Tonga, a tribe living near Inhambane. They must not be confused with the Tonga people of Lake Nyasa, nor with the Ama-Tonga of North Zululand. Bishop Smyth and his co-labourer, the Rev. John Matthews, published, through the S.P.C.K.: A Vocabulary with a short Grammar of Xilenge and of the Shilengi languages. Crown 8vo.


Griffiths 176:1 (apparently untraced); Griffiths calls this language Tonga.





The extensive Yao genus of languages reaches from just behind the coast of the Lindi settlements in German East Africa south westward across the Ruvuma river to the north-east shores of Lake Nyasa, and thence to the valley of the Lujenda-Ruvuma, and southwards in various dialects of the Yao language to the south-east corner of Lake Nyasa and the region east of the Shire river, between Lake Nyasa, the Shire highlands and Mount Mlanje. It is only since the middle of the nineteenth century that the Yao language has conquered the territory to the south of Lake Nyasa.

Into the Yao language certain portions of the Book of Common Prayer were translated by an ordained native named Yohana Barnaba Abdallah, and printed at Likoma in 1902. The text was then revised by the translator, together with the Rev. A. G. de la Pryme and the Rev. C. Davies, and printed at Likoma in 1905. — Alexander George de la Pryme graduated B.A. Trinity College, Cambridge, 1892, and obtained M.A. in 1896. He joined the Universities’ Mission to Central Africa in 1899, and is at present stationed in Fort Jameson, N .E. Rhodesia.— Caradoc Davies graduated B.A., University of Oxford, 1898, and received M.A. in 1902. He is, likewise, a member of the Universities’ Mission to Central Africa. — Abdallah graduated from Kiungani College, Zanzibar, in 1892; was ordained deacon 1894, and priest in 1898. He has been priest in charge at Unangu, diocese of Nyasa, and is a member of the Universities’ Mission to Central Africa. Since 1911 he has been priest-in-charge at Matjesfontein, Cape Colony.



Griffiths 195:2 (1902)

Griffiths 195:3 (1904)



THE Bechuana are a branch of the great Bantu-Negroid family. They occupy not only Bechuanaland, to which they have given their name, and Basutoland, but are the most numerous race in the Orange River Colony and in the western and northern districts of the Transvaal. The Bechuana may be divided into two great divisions: the western, or Bechuana proper, and the eastern, or Basuto. Sechuana (Secoana, Chuana), the language of the Bechuana is copious, with but few slight dialectic differences, and is free from the Hottentot elements found in the Kafir and Zulu tongues. Its richness may be judged from the fact that, though only oral until reduced to writing by the missionaries, it has sufficed for the translation of the whole Bible. It differs from the Zulu as does the Scots differ from the English.

The Barolong tribe is a branch of the Bechuana nation; their language, the Serolong, a dialect of Sechuana. In order to escape the ravages of the Mantatees, they had migrated, under their chief, Moroko, from “the interior of Africa, north of the Vaal river,” and, settling at Thaba ’Nchu about 1834, formed there one of the largest native towns in South Africa. The Barolongs live in towns and cities; the Basutos, on the other hand, mostly in small villages with about 300 people in each.

A translation into Serolong, which had been reduced to writing with roman letters, was begun by the Rev. George Mitchell. Mitchell was born in 1835, near Mintford, England. He received his education at St. Augustine’s College, Canterbury; was ordained deacon in 1864 and priest in 1869. He was stationed at Thaba ’Nchu[1], the oldest mission station of Bloemfontein diocese, from 1865 to 1880, with the exception of one year’s stay (1867) at Bloemfontein, where he assisted in extending the work among the Kafirs, Griquas, Hottentots and others. In 1880 he was transferred to Griqualand West, and was stationed at Kimberley, 1881-1892, in charge of the compounds on the diamond fields. According to the S.P.G. Report for 1911 and the Clergy List of 1913, the aged missionary still resides at Kimberley, in active work. His translational work consisted mainly in the translation of the liturgical Epistles and Gospels and small portions of the Prayer Book. It was printed on the mission press at Thaba ’Nchu in 1875.

[1] Thaba ’Nchu, or Black Mountain, takes its name from a high. and widespreading kopje, at the foot of which the town is situated. A good description of the place is found in O’Rorke’s African Misssions, pp. 84-86.


Griffiths 182:1; Griffiths call this language Tswana, and attributes this translation to William Crisp.


Mitchell’s translations were revised and greatly enlarged in their scope by Archdeacon William Crisp. The revision of the Liturgy was published by the S.P.c.K. in 1887. It contained the Book of Psalms. Portions had been published separately before 1887. Crisp was born at Southwold, England, in 1842. He was ordained deacon in 1868 and priest four years later, at Bloemfontein. He was stationed at Thaba ’Nchu 1875-76 and 1881-86. From 1887 until about 1900 he was canon of Bloemfontein, and subsequently archdeacon. In 1885 he published at Thaba ’Nchu a Serolong translation of the New Testament [Testamente e Ncha]. Five years previous he had printed at the same press Notes towards a Secoana grammar, of which the S.P.C.K. published a second and enlarged edition in 1886 (104 pages, 8vo). He came to Capetown about 1900, and was shortly afterwards made canon of the cathedral. As secretary of the diocese and treasurer of the diocesan and provincial boards of trustees he did valuable work for the Church up to the time that illness compelled him to resign. He died in 1910. He was “the first and greatest apostle of the native races in this part of the province. He understood the native and had sympathy with the native point of view.” — S.P.G. Report, 1911, p. 186.

Griffiths 182:3 (1888, many reissues through 1928)

Crisp’s translation of the Liturgy was again revised by the Rev. Charles Clulee and Bishop Henry Brougham Bousfield, “with others more able,” and published by the S.P.C.K. A 1911 edition of this revision is entitled:

* Buka | ea | Merapèlo ea Pontsheñ | le ea | Tirèlo ea Lisakeramente, lIe ea | mekgoa e meñoe ea Kereke, | kafa temaloñ ea | Kereke ea Enyelane; | le | Lipesaleme tsa ga Tafita, | yaka li choanetse go opèloa kampo go baloa mo likerekeñ. [For departures from the English Prayer-book, see Advertisement on back of Title, and the Table of Contents.] . . . Published with the approval of the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury . . . 1911.

(1), xxvii, (I), 311 pages, fcap. 8vo. Printed in double columns. Page (1), facing the Sechuana (Serolong) title, reads: Secoana Version of the Book of Common Prayer.

Clulee was born in 1837, at Birmingham, England, and was educated at Queen’s College of his native town. He was ordained deacon in 1860 and priest in 1861. He was stationed at Fauresmith, Orange Free State, from 1863 to 1871. He was then transferred to Malmesbury, western division of Cape of Good Hope, and worked there for ten years. The last ten years of his life he worked in the Transvaal, where he died at Molote (Maloti), in 1892. - Bousfield was born in 1832, and graduated from Conville and Caius College, Cambridge, B.A. 1855, and M.A. 1858. He was ordained deacon in 1855 and priest in 1856. He was consecrated first bishop of Pretoria in 1878, and performed his episcopal duties until his death, in February, 1902. He published in 1886 reminiscences entitled Six years in the Transvaal.


Griffiths 182:3 (1888, many reissues through 1928)

For the use of the native Anglican congregations at Thlotse Heights and elsewhere the London society published Merapèlo le Lilitani le Lifela, Prayers, Litany and Hymns, in Sechuana. 8vo.

The territory of Basutoland (Ba-Súto-land) is an inland state and British Crown Colony. In 1871 it had been annexed to Cape Colony, but was placed directly under the authority of the Crown in 1894. On every side it is surrounded by British colonies — north by the Orange River Colony, south-west and south by Cape Colony, and east by Natal. Basutoland, or Lesuto (Lesotho), as the natives call it, forms the south-eastern edge of the interior tableland of South Africa. The aspect of the country is everywhere grand, and open beautiful, fully justifying the title, “the Switzerland of South Africa.” The population in 1904 numbered 348,848. The Lesuto is also spoken far away in the north, in the Barotse Valley by the Zambesi river, whither it was carried nearly a century ago by the Makololo, a Suto tribe driven from their former home. Education among the Basutos is mostly obtained in schools founded by missionary societies. A large proportion of the people can read and write Lesuto and English, the former having been reduced to writing with roman letters.

not listed by Griffiths
According to the Digest of the S.P.G., the S.P.C.K. published in 1877 portions of the Prayer Book, translated by the Rev. Canon Henry Frederick Beckett. Beckett was in charge of the missionary brotherhood which had been organised in England and began work in the Orange Free State in 1867, erecting a settlement after the manner of the Moravians. Canon Beckett’s translation was revised by the Rev. John Widdicombe (Allen & McClure, p. 214).
Griffiths notes this book also, but it is untraced and unconfirmed. Griffiths calls this language Sotho.

In 1892 another revised edition of portions of the Liturgy was published, entitled (p. iii.) :

* Buka | ea | Merapelo ea Pontseng, | le ea | Disakeramente, | le ea | Melao ea Tsebeletso e meng | ea | Kereke, | ka mokhoa oa | Kereke ea Enyelane. | [The Book of Common Prayer in the Sesutho language.]

vii, (1), 357, (1) pages, fcap. 8vo. Only selected Psalms .are printed, and the long exhortations and most of the Ordinal, is omitted. The revision was often reprinted; thus in 1900,1907, 1911. P. iv contains an advertisement in English as to the omissions in this translation, and the new .additions not found in the English book.

The work of revision was done by Canon Widdicombe, Canon Thomas Woodman, and other clergy in Basutoland.

John Widdicombe was born in 1839, at Brixham, England. He was ordained deacon in 1863 and priest in 1869 by the bishop of Cape Colony. He worked in this same diocese from 1865 until 1870. He was then transferred to the Orange Free State and stationed at Thaba ’Nchu, the great centre of missionary work among the Barolong. In 1876 he moved to Thlotse Heights, in charge of St. Saviour’s Mission. He retired from active mission work in 1908. In 1885 he published at the Mission Press, Thaba ’Nchu, a Catechism of Christian Doctrine, translated by Canon Beckett and revised by Widdicombe. A Hymnal (consisting of sixty-one hymns, being mainly translations or paraphrases .of well-known hymns), mostly written, and all revised and edited by Widdicombe, appeared in a third edition at Bloemfontein, in 1887. Together with the Rev. Richard Keble Champernowne he compiled and translated a Manual of Christian Doctrine, with the Communion Service, Prayers, etc., and a short Life of Our Blessed Lord. London, 1885. — Canon Woodman worked in Basutoland since his ordination in 1878. He built up a flourishing mission, begun in 1884, .at Masite, among Barolong immigrants from Thaba ’Nchu, as well as the native Basuto. He retired from missionary work about 1903 and returned to England.



Griffiths 161:2 (1892, reissued 8 times through 1924)



THE Kafirs[1] are divided into two great branches: the Ama-Zulu, with the Ama-Swazi and Ama- Tonga, and the Kafirs proper, represented by the Ama-Xosa[2], the Tembu and the Pondo.

Zululand forms the north-western part of the Province of Natal, in the Union of South Africa. The population in 1904 was estimated at 230,000. There is a settlement of some 2,000 Basutos in the Nqutu district of Zululand. The Zulu-Kafir language, though it exhibits marked changes and deviations in vocabulary and phonetics-both probably of recent date-preserves a few characteristics of the hypothetical Bantu mother tongue; so much so, that until the languages of the Great Lakes came to be known, it was regarded as the most archaic type of the Bantu speech. The Zulu-Kafir occupied parts of Rhodesia, the eastern portion of the Transvaal, Swaziland, Natal and the eastern half of the Cape Colony. The language has been reduced to writing by missionaries, the roman alphabet, slightly modified, being used .

[1] Kafir from Arabic kafr, meaning a gentile, infidel. with the same development as pagan from paganus. It is a name given by the Arabs to the native races of the east coast of Africa. The term has no real ethnological value, for the Kafirs have no national unity. To-day it is used to describe that large family of Bantu negroes inhabiting the greater part of the Cape, the whole of Natal and Zululand, and the Portuguese dominions on the east coast south of the Zambesi. The name is also loosely applied to any negro inhabitant of South Africa. For example, the Bechuana of the Transvaal and Orange Free State are usually called Kafirs.

[2] I.e., “the people of Xosa,” Xosa being a somewhat mythical chief supposed to have flourished about the year 1530. The Ama-Xosa land lies mainly between the Keiska(m)-ma and Umtata. rivers.

In 1856 there was published a Zulu translation of selected portions of the Liturgy, at Emgungunhlovu, (i.e., Pieterrmaritzburg), May & Davis, entitled: Church of England Missions. | Incwadi Yokukuleka | Jenga-so isimiso | Sebanhla las’England. | 128 pages, 16mo. Title, reverse blank; text, pages 3 foll. On p. 55 begins the selection from the Psalter (Izihlabelelo). Hymns are printed on pp. 94-127.

In 1865 a printing press was established at Springvale, at which many translations of the Rev. (afterwards Bishop) Henry Callaway, M.D., D.D., LL.D., were printed. The translations were made with the aid of trained and intelligent natives-notably Umpengula Mbanda, through whose ear, eye and mouth every sentence was made to pass, thus assuring as near an approach to absolute correctness as it was possible at that time to attain. Mbanda, a born Zulu, was baptized and educated by Bishop Callaway. He was ordained deacon in 1871 by Bishop William Kenneth Macrorie, of Maritzburg (born 1831, died 1905). He was one of the first two natives ordained in Natal, the other being William Ngewensa. Mbanda died of fever in 1874.

Henry Callaway, first missionary bishop of St. John’s, Kaffraria, was born in 1817. In his younger years he was a practising physician. Gradually the idea of mission work took hold of him, and he offered his services in 1854 to John William Colenso (1814-83), bishop of Natal (1853-83). He went to Africa as a S.P.G. missionary, was ordained deacon before leaving England, and priest in 1855 by the bishop of Natal. He founded in 1858 Springvale settlement, consisting of about 5,000 acres, and began there the life among the natives which has made his name a household word in South Africa. Between 1868 and 1870 he published his greatest work, The Religious System of the Amazulu, which appeared in four parts. He was consecrated in 1873 missionary bishop of St. John’s, Kaffraria. The failure of his health brought about in 1883 the consecration of Bransby Lewis Key as coadjutor bishop. In June, 1886, Callaway resigned his bishopric and returned to England, where he died in 1890. Callaway was a giant among men, intellectually and spiritually. He knew the native mind, language, habits and traditions as few others, .and produced works which the present generation is just about to recognise as to their intrinsic value.


Griffiths 199:1

Title page, Zulu BCP
BCP in Zulu, 1915 printing of Griffiths 199:9


A translation of the Book of Common Prayer into the Zulu-Kafir language was made by Callaway, and published, 1866-71, by Blair, at Springvale and Maritzburg. Toward this publication and Callaway’s translation of the Bible into Zulu the S.P.C.K. made a grant in 1869. A portion of the translation of the Liturgy was published by the S.P.C.K. in 1866: Izik celo, nezinncwadi, nezindab’ ezinhle, . . . 104 pages. fcap. 8vo. It contains the Collects, Epistles and Gospels. According to Allen and McClure, p. 215, and British Museum Catalogue, Liturgies, col. 413, the same society put out in 1882 a revised and enlarged edition of this translation: Incwadi yokukuleka yabantu abakristu. . . . Book of Common Prayer, etc. . . . translated into the Zulu tongue, 416 pages, fcap. 8vo.


Griffiths 199:2 (1866); 199:3 (1869); 199:4 (1871, reissued 1876)



Griffiths 199:6 (1881, reissued 1882, 1914)

About the year 1875 the Rev. Sivert Martin Samuelson had completed a translation of portions of the Liturgy to the end of the General Thanksgiving. The translation was not printed, but was used in the revised edition of a portion of the Prayer Book, chiefly by Bishop Douglas McKenzie, assisted by the missionaries in synod, the Rev. Samuelson, the Rev. Charles Johnson and others. It was printed in 1885 on the Mission Press at Isandhlwana. At present the S.P.C.K. is aiding the bishop of Zululand, the Right Rev. Dr. Vyvyan, to bring out a revised and fuller translation of the Prayer Book that has yet been published.

Samuelson's MS is Griffiths 199:5, who states rather that it was used as a basis for 199:6, above.

1885 printing not listed by Griffiths

Griffiths 199:9

Samuelson was born a Norwegian. In 1861 he was ordained deacon by Bishop Colenso, and priest in 1871 by Bishop Thomas Edward Wilkinson, of Zululand. He. was a missionary in South Africa from 1865 on. He retired in 1897 on a small pension, but continued the work of instruction until the most recent time[3]. He translated also the Church Catechism, which, with corrections by the Rev. Robert Robertson, was published by the S.P.C.K. in 1875. Robertson was the first S.P.G. missionary in Zululand, breaking ground in 1860. He worked for four years in close proximity and warmest friendship with Archdeacon Charles Frederick Mackenzie (1825-62), the martyr bishop of the Zambesi, consecrated for Central Africa on January 1, 1861, in the cathedral of Cape Town, and founder of the Universities’ Mission to Central Africa. Robertson died in November, 1897.
[3] See S.P.G. Report, 1909, p. 196; 1912, p. 178.

Charles Johnson began his work as S.P.G. missionary at St. Augustine’s, in the Zululand diocese in 1881. In 1900 he became missionary archdeacon in Zululand, and in 1904 he was made archdeacon of Vryheid and canon of St. Peter’s pro-cathedral, Vryheid.

Xosa is the main language of Kaffraria, and is spoken in one form or another, by about 250,000 people belonging to various tribes, including the Xosas, Tembus, Pondos, Gaikas, Fingoes and others.

Griffiths calls this language Xhosa.


The Liturgy was translated into Xosa by the Rev. Canon Henry Reade Woodrooffe, assisted by other S.P.G. missionaries, including the Rev. Theophilus A. W. Liefeldt and Rev. William Greenstock. This translation; Incwadi Yemiitandazo, neyemimiselo yokwenziwa kwe-Sacramente. . . . was published by the S.P.C.K. in 1865, xi, 573 pages, 24mo. It has been many times revised and reprinted down to the year 1906.
Griffiths 193:3 (1865, reissued 1870, 1873, 1879, 1881, 1893, etc.)
Canon Woodrooffe graduated B.A., Christ Church College, Oxford, in 1856, and commenced M.A. 1876. He was ordained deacon in 1857, and priest 1858. In 1876 he became canon of Grahamstown, and chancellor in 1906. In 1909 he was made archdeacon of Cradock.- Canon Greenstock began work in 1854 in the diocese of Kaffraria, at Kreli’s country, receiving ordination December 23, 1855· He was soon transferred to work in the diocese of the Cape of Good Hope, eastern division. Here he began his translational work. From 1879 to 1885 he worked at Springvale. After a ministry of thirty-two years in South Africa, he began in his old age a fresh career in Siam, serving since 1894 the native church at Bangkok. Although eighty years of age, the faithful missionary continued to minister to the spiritual wants of his congregation [4). He died at Bangkok during the year 1912 (S.P.G. Report, 1912, pp. 28 and 144)·
Canon Woodrooffe graduated B.A., Christ Church College, Oxford, in 1856, and commenced M.A. 1876. He was ordained deacon in 1857, and priest 1858. In 1876 he became canon of Grahamstown, and chancellor in 1906. In 1909 he was made archdeacon of Cradock. — Canon Greenstock began work in 1854 in the diocese of Kaffraria, at Kreli’s country, receiving ordination December 23, 1855· He was soon transferred to work in the diocese of the Cape of Good Hope, eastern division. Here he began his translational work. From 1879 to 1885 he worked at Springvale. After a ministry of thirty-two years in South Africa, he began in his old age a fresh career in Siam, serving since 1894 the native church at Bangkok. Although eighty years of age, the faithful missionary continued to minister to the spiritual wants of his congregation[4]. He died at Bangkok during the year 1912 (S.P.G. Report, 1912, pp. 28 and 144).

[4] See, further, S.P.G. Report, 1905, pp. 113, 114.


In 1879 a revision in manuscript was made by Bishop Callaway. This served, later on, as a basis for the revision which was undertaken by Bishop Key (1838-1901)[5], assisted by Canon Woodrooffe and the Rev. William Philip. In 1897 the S.P.C.K. published for the bishop a revised translation of the Communion Office in Xosa-Kafir, entitled: Incwadi Yabantu abasondelayo. . . . Ihlanganisiwe ngu-Bransby i-Bishop Yasema-Xoseni. Xosa Communion Book, 59 pages, fcap. 8vo.

Bishop Key’s revision of the Liturgy was published in 1906, and re-issued almost annually. The latest edition 1911, reads:

[5] Key was lord bishop of St. John’s, Kaffraria, from 1886 (co-adjutor, since 1883) until his death, January 12, 1901. He was one of the greatest missionaries of the Church of England in South Africa. See, especially, Godfrey Callaway, A Shepherd of the Veld. Bransby Lewis Key, Bishop of St. John’s, Kaffraria. . . . London, 1911; xxii, 215 pp.; portraits, plates; 12mo.

Griffiths 193:4 (1897, reissued 1900, 1904)

* Incwadi Yemitandazo, | Neyemimiselo yokwenziwal kwe-Sacramente, | nezinye inkonzo ze-Kerike, | Ngokwe — “Church of England”; | ndawonye | Nendumiso Zika-Davide, | nenkonzo yokwenza ama-Dikoni |. Neyokumisa aba-Priste. | . . . . Ishicilelwe. E-London. | . . . 1911.

(20), 463 pages. fcap. 8vo. Printed in long lines. Rubrics, headings, etc., also in Xosa. But the preliminary material, i.e., Proper Lessons, the Calendar, and Tables and Rules (pp. 3-19) are in English.

William Philip graduated from the Kafir Institute at Grahamstown in 1877, was ordained deacon in 1879, and priest in 1885 by the bishop of Grahamstown. He was master in the Kafir Institute from 1879 to 1882; curate at Gwaba, Cape Colony, 1882-1903; S.P.G. assistant missionary at Lady Frere, 1903-7, and from 1907 on the same at Macubeni, Dordrecht, Cape Colony.


Griffiths 193:5 (1906, reissued 1909, 1911, 1914, 1915, etc.)

Title page, Xhosa BCP
Xhosa Prayer Book, 1949 printing of Griffiths 193:5


Next Chapter
Return to the Book of Common Prayer among the Nations of the World

Web author: Charles Wohlers U. S. EnglandScotlandIrelandWalesCanadaWorld