The Lammermuir Party was a British group of Protestant missionaries who travelled to China in 1866 aboard the tea clipper Lammermuir, accompanied by James Hudson Taylor, the founder of the China Inland Mission. Mission historians have indicated that this event was a turning point in the history of missionary work in China in the 19th century. This was the largest party of Protestant missionaries to date to arrive at one time on Chinese shores. It was also noteworthy that none of the members of the mission were ordained ministers, and only two had any previous overseas experience. In addition to this, there were among them nine unmarried women traveling to a place where single European women were rare for many reasons.
On the morning of 26 May 1866, the 34 sailors, 18 missionaries and four children boarded the Lammermuir, which lay tied up at London's East India Docks. Lammermuir was a two-year-old clipper ship with three masts and square-rigged sails. Her frame was built of iron, and by the standards of the day, she was a first-class sailing vessel. A voyage halfway around the world would only take four months; a fast trip compared to the six-month duration of some of the older ships of the previous decade.
Over the dark blue sea, over the trackless flood,
A little band is gone in the service of their God;
The lonely waste of waters they traverse to proclaim
In the distant land of Sinim, Immanuel’s saving Name.
They have heard from the far-off East the voice of their brothers’ blood:
A million a month in China are dying without God.
Hudson Taylor, the missionary, recalled the most perilous time in the voyage:
The appearance of things was now truly terrific. Rolling fearfully, the masts and yards hanging down were tearing our only sail... and battering like a ram against the main yard. The deck from forecastle to poop was one scarcely broken sea. The roar of the water, the clanging of chains, the beating of the dangling masts and yards, the sharp smack of the torn sails made it almost impossible to hear any orders that might be given.
Taylor wrote after twelve days of this experience:
And for three days after that the danger only increased, as the ship was making water fast. Fires were all out and cooking was impossible. For a time no drinking water was obtainable, and the women as well as the men worked at the pumps. But through it all prayer was so wonderfully answered that no lives were lost or serious injuries sustained.
The badly damaged ship caused a local stir in Shanghai. Emily Blatchley noted:
Our broken and dismantled condition made us an object of general curiosity; but we, in our hearts, thanked GOD for the great deliverance He had wrought for us in sparing the lives of all on board in such unusual peril-peril arising not only from the oversweeping waters themselves, but from the frequent falling of splintered yards, etc. But although Mr. Taylor had plenty of surgical practice with severe bruises and such-like hurts, not one life was lost, nor were any limbs broken. It is needless to say there were many narrow escapes. A vessel came in soon after we did, which had passed through the same typhoon, but only six lives remained out of twenty-two; sixteen had been drowned! It was well that we got in on the day we did, for they had some terribly stiff gales outside, which in our disabled condition we could scarcely have weathered.
Even more so, the intent of the passengers to wear native Chinese clothes and embark into the interior of China with single women among them caused a greater consternation among the “Westerners” in port settlement. This led to the agency being referred to by some Westerners as "The Pigtail Mission".
List of missionaries and children
- James Hudson Taylor
- Mrs. Maria Jane Taylor (Maria Jane Dyer) (died of cholera 4 years later - 1870)
- Lewis Nicol, Arbroath, Aberdeen, blacksmith. 1867 Xiaoshan outrage, sent back to England. 1868 dismissed from C.I.M.
- Mrs. Eliza Calder Nicol, Aberdeen, wife of Lewis Nicol.
- George Duncan, Banff, Scotland, stonemason. Assigned to Nanking & Tsing-kiangpu (traditional spelling). m. Catherine, 1868 in Shanghai. d.1873 in England.
- Josiah Alexander Jackson, Kingsland, carpenter/draper. Assigned to Taizchou and Wenzchou. m. Francis Wilson (also a C.I.M. missionary) in 1872. They had a daughter Emily. Franny died 1878. Jackson returned to England for the first time in 14 years. rem. Francis Hine in 1881. She died in China 1882. Jackson left CIM 1884. Returned to Shanhai as a Hotel Proprietor. rem. Sarah Gatrell in 1898. He died in Shanghai, China in 1909.
- William David Rudland, Little Eversden, Blacksmith. Evangelist. Supervised printing press. Translated New Testament and most of the Old testament to the Romanized Taizchou dialect.Last surviving adult member of the Lammermuir Party. d. 1912 in China. Daughter Grace joined C.I.M. 1895 in China.
- John Robert Sell, Romford (died of smallpox in the first year - 1867)
- James Williamson, Arbroath, carpenter. married his sweetheart 1873 in Scotland. d. Nov.1896 in Scotland.His daughter Mary joined C.I.M. in 1896 in China.
- Susan Barnes, Limerick, Resigned from C.I.M. to join London Missionary Society, 1868.
- Mary Elizabeth Bausum, Walthamstow,step-sister of Maria Taylor, on her way to join their mother, Mrs. Lord in Ningpo. m. Dr. Stephen Barchett in 1868.
- Emily Blatchley, London, Secretary to Hudson Taylor, Editor of the Occasional Papers, and governess for the Taylor children. d. July 1874 in London from tuberculosis.
- Mary Bell, [Great Waltham, Essex], Governess for the Taylor children on-board ship and in China. m. William D. Rudland, 25 December 1867. Her work with women in the Taizhou district opened doors to the district expansion. She d. 23 October 1874 in London from Remittant Fever.
- Mary Bowyer, Mildmay-London, worked at school in Hangzchou. m.F.W. Baller, 1875.d. 1909
- Louise Desgraz, Liverpool & Switzerland, Started a children's home in Hangzchou. She adopted several abandoned children using her own funds. m. Edward Tomalin, 1878. She directed the Chefoo school. d. 1907 in China.
- Jane Elizabeth Faulding, London. Started a school near Hangzchou. m. Hudson Taylor 1871. First western woman to enter inland China. d.1904 in Switzerland.
- Jane McLean, Inverness. Known as the "bible woman". engaged to John Sell in 1867. After his death she resigned C.I.M. in 1868 to join London Missionary Society in Shanghai.
- Elisabeth Rose, Barnsley, joined the group to marry James Meadows. m.1866. She d. 1890. Daughters Louise joined C.I.M. in 1893 and Minnie joined C.I.M. in 1895.
Chronology of voyage
- 26 May 1866: Depart East India Docks, London
- Last sight of England is Start Point lighthouse, Devon
- 3 June: near Cape Finisterre
- 12 June: near Canary Islands
- 18 June: near Cape Verde Islands
- June Atlantic Ocean doldrums
- c. 7 July: near Trinidad Island
- pass The Great Tea Race of 1866 Fiery Cross, Taeping, Ariel, Serica, and Taitsing (later 3 others) bound for London
- pass Belted Will, Flying Spur bound for London
- sight Cape Town lighthouse
- pass the Min and Falcon bound for London
- conversion of many of crew to Christianity
- 3 August: early morning Taylor wakes several to tell of First Mate Brunton’s conversion
- 4 August: heavy seas–sternsail boom breaks and hits William Carron. Jennie Faulding talks with Grace Taylor and it is evident that she has had a Christian conversion experience
- c. 14 August: near Amsterdam Island
- sight flying fish in Indian Ocean
- 27 August: Sunda Strait past Mt. Krakatoa
- 28 August: Anjer Roads, Java: shore leave & baptism service
- 31 August: Selat Gelasa (Gaspar Strait), past wrecks of other ships including the first Lammermuir, wrecked in 1863
- 1 September: South China Sea cross Equator
- 10 September–14 September: first typhoon in the East China Sea
- 14 September–19 September: stormy detour around Taiwan
- 18 September: near Fujian coast
- 20 September–24 September: second typhoon in Pacific Ocean nearly wrecks the ship
- 21 September: bulwarks gone
- 22 September: all three topmasts gone
- 23 September: Hudson Taylor kisses children and then goes out in storm to help crew
- 28 September: near Ma-an Liedao (Saddle Islands)
- 29 September: The Lammermuir arrives near Wusong, China
- 30 September 1866: arrives Shanghai
- Broomhall, Alfred (1984). Hudson Taylor and China's Open Century: Survivors' Pact. London: Hodder and Stoughton.
- Broomhall, Marshall (1915). The Jubilee Story of the China Inland Mission. London: Morgan and Scott.
- Guinness, Mary Geraldine (1893). The Story of the China Inland Mission vol II. London: Morgan and Scott.
- Knill, James L (2017). Mary and Annie Bell - Unsung Pioneers of the China Inland Mission. Charleston, SC: Amazon. ISBN 9781542522557.
- Pollock, John (1964). Hudson Taylor and Maria Pioneers in China.
- Steer, Roger (1990). Hudson Taylor: A Man In Christ. London: Hodder and Stoughton.
- Taylor, Dr. and Mrs. Howard (1918). Hudson Taylor and the China Inland Mission; The Growth of a Work of God. London: Morgan and Scott.
- Tucker, Ruth (1983). From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya A Biographical History of Christian Missions. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan. ISBN 0-310-23937-0.
- OMF International (formerly China Inland Mission and Overseas Missionary Fellowship)
- Christian Biography Resources
- Historical Bibliography of the China Inland Mission
- "Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret" by Geraldine Taylor, Ed. Gwen Hanna 2007