Bamboo headrest, bench-form with two folding legs.

The Church Missionary Society was founded in 1799 by a group of evangelical Christians, including William Wilberforce, the CMS was committed to the abolition of slavery, British social reform and world evangelisation. The overseas work began in 1804 in Sierra Leone and in China (at Ningpo and Shanghai) in 1844 following the opening of three Chinese ports to foreigners. Despite conflicts the work, in education and medicine, prospered and by 1899 there were 196 CMS missionaries working in China. By 1910 the work of the CMS had spread throughout China. 20 years of peaceful consolidation followed. However, when the war with Japan broke out in 1937, many missionaries were forced to leave. Some returned at the end of the Second World War but by 1951 all missionaries were expelled.

Collection Information

These objects are only a part of our collections, of which there are more than 350,000 objects. This information comes from our collections database. Some of this is incomplete and there may be errors. This part of the website is also still under construction, so there may be some fields repeated or incorrectly formatted information.

The database sometimes uses language taken from historical documents to help research, which may now appear outdated and even offensive. The database also includes information on objects that are considered secret or sacred by some communities.

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