Henry Callaway

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The Right Reverend
Henry Callaway
Bishop of St. John's
Henry Callaway.jpg
Church Anglican
See St. John's
In office 1873 – 1876
Predecessor (none)
Successor Bransby Lewis Key
Ordination 1855
by John William Colenso
Consecration 1 November 1873
by Robert Eden, Henry Cotterill and Alexander Forbes[1]
Personal details
Born January 17, 1817
either Lymington, Hampshire, or Somerset
Previous post Rector

Henry Callaway (January 17, 1817 in either Lymington, Hampshire, or Somerset – March 26, 1890) was a missionary for the Church of England and bishop of St John's, Kaffraria, in the Church of the Province of Southern Africa.

Pre-missionary life[edit]

Henry Callaway was the son of a bootmaker. He was educated at Crediton Grammar School and became a teacher in 1835. His headmaster was a Quaker, and Callaway soon joined the Society of Friends.

Later, he was a chemist's assistant and a surgeon's assistant. He began to study surgery and in 1842 he was licensed by the Royal College of Surgeons of England. He was licensed by the Apothecaries' Society in 1844.

He married Ann Chalk in 1845. In 1852, when his health began to fail, he sold his practice and spent a year in France. By the next year he had graduated from King's College, Aberdeen, with plans to become a physician.[2]

Missionary work[edit]

Soon after graduating, he became interested in missionary work. In 1854, he was made a deacon by John Colenso, bishop of Natal having become a member of the Church of England two years earlier. Soon afterwards, he went as a missionary to Africa. Initially, he was stationed at Ekukanyeni (near Pietermaritzburg), but, after being ordained as a priest in 1855, he was made rector of St. Andrew's church, Pietermaritzburg . [2]

In 1858, he was granted land near the Umkomazi River and settled on the banks of the Nsunguze River,30°05′53″S 30°17′42″E / 30.097929°S 30.295043°E / -30.097929; 30.295043 he named his settlement Springvale.[3] It was here that he began his study of the Zulu people, their religious beliefs and other customs and obtained the information which enabled him to write his books Nursery Tales, Traditions, and Histories of the Zulus (published in 1868) and The Religious System of the Amazulu (published in 1870). He also translated the Book of Psalms and the Book of Common Prayer into the Zulu language.[2][4]

In 1873, he was recalled to England so he could be consecrated[5] as the first missionary Bishop of St John's, Kaffraria. He left Great Britain the following year. In 1876, he moved the seat of his diocese to Umtata, where he founded St John's Theological College.[2]

His health, however, began to fail, and he resigned his post in 1886. The next year he returned to England, making his home at Ottery Saint Mary, where he lived until his death in 1890.



  1. ^ "Church News". Western Daily Press. 12 November 1873. Retrieved 2014-09-08 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)). 
  2. ^ a b c d Carlyle 1901.
  3. ^ Woodley 1984, p. 41.
  4. ^ Springvale 1866.
  5. ^ "Church News - A New African Bishopric". Hampshire Advertiser. 13 August 1873. Retrieved 2014-09-08 – via British Newspaper Archive. A new bishopric has been formed for British Kaffraria, and the Rev. H. Callaway, a Missionary of the Church of England at Spring Vale, Natal, has been named as the first occupant of the see. He will probably be consecrated by the Primus of the Episcopal Church in Scotland. The diocese will be between the Colonies of the Cape and Natal, and be in extent equal to the whole ef England. Dr. Callaway was some years ago an eminent surgeon in Southwark. 


Anglican Church of Southern Africa titles
New diocese Bishop of St John's
1873 – 1886
Succeeded by
Bransby Key