W. S. Pakenham-Walsh

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W. S. Pakenham-Walsh
WS Pakenham-Walsh.jpg
Born William Sandford Pakenham-Walsh
Died 26 April 1960 (aged 92)
Occupation Christian missionary, scholar, educationalist, writer
Notable works A Tudor Story: The Return of Anne Boleyn

William Sandford Pakenham-Walsh (simplified Chinese: 万拔文; traditional Chinese: 萬拔文; Pinyin: Wàn Báwén; Foochow Romanized: Uâng Bĕk-ùng; 1868 – April 26, 1960) was a Christian clergyman, educationalist and writer, most famous for his work Tudor Story.


Pakenham-Walsh Tower (思萬樓) of Foochow Trinity College, erected in 1925. It is on the campus of Fuzhou Foreign Language School today.

W. S. Pakenham-Walsh was born in 1868 into a distinguished Irish clerical family.[1] His middle name, Sandford, was given to him by his father who used to work as curate and later Rector of Sandford Parish in Dublin.[2]

In 1897, W. S. Pakenham-Walsh went to China under the auspices of CMS to work with the Dublin University Fukien Mission as Chaplain to the British community in Foochow,[1][2] where he labored as a pastor of St. John's Church in Cangshan. In 1907, He opened "St. Mark's Anglo-Chinese College", later known as Foochow Trinity College, today the Fuzhou Foreign Language School.[3][4][5] W. S. Pakenham-Walsh retired in 1919, but he remained in China until 1921.[2] On his return to England he became Vicar of Sulgrave, Northamptonshire,[6] and also a keen scholar and educationalist.[7]

Sulgrave Billiard Club in the 1930s. Rev. Pakenham-Walsh was seated in the front row second from right

W. S. Pakenham-Walsh's most notable work is his Tudor Story that he completed at age 90. His strong interest in Anne Boleyn began in 1917 during his missionary trip in Foochow, when he found in the Foochow British Community Library books related to Anne Boleyn's life.[7] Since then W. S. Pakenham-Walsh had been compiling a summary of her life. Motivated by his desire to unveil the true Anne Boleyn, he claimed to have experienced a series of spiritual experiences following a prayer at Boleyn's burial site that she might become his guardian angel, which led him to seek clairvoyants who helped to channel the spirit of Anne Boleyn.[1] In his diary he said that for 30 years he had been in constant touch with King Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, and other figures of the Tudor Court.[8]

W. S. Pakenham-Walsh died on 26 April 1960.[8]

Selected works[edit]

  • Some Typical Christians of South China (1905)
  • Nestorius and the Nestorian Mission in China (1908)
  • Chants in War (1916)
  • Anne Boleyn: or, The queen of May – A Play in Four Acts (1921)
  • Three Medical Missionaries: in Memoriam (1922)
  • The Church of St. James, Sulgrave (Notes on Famous Churches and Abbeys) (1925)
  • Fifty Miles Around Sulgrave (1929)
  • Through Cloud and Sunshine (1932)
  • Twenty Years in China (1935)
  • A Tudor Story: The Return of Anne Boleyn (1963), ISBN 978-0-227-67678-3


  1. ^ a b c "A Tudor Story by W. S. Pakenham-Walsh and John D. Pearce-Higgins: booksamillion.com". Retrieved 11 October 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c Patrick Comerford: A Welcome Awaits You at Overseas House
  3. ^ "Cangshan District Records: Biographies" (in Chinese). Retrieved 11 October 2009. 
  4. ^ "Cangshan District Records: Education" (in Chinese). Retrieved 11 October 2009. 
  5. ^ "Eimhin Walsh, The Missionary Legacy of the Church of Ireland in China". Dublin University Far Eastern Mission. 6 June 2008. Retrieved 12 October 2009. 
  6. ^ "Sulgrave Billiard Club, "The Chronicles of a Country Parish" – A village Appraisal of Sulgrave Published in 1995". Retrieved 11 October 2009. 
  7. ^ a b "A Tudor Story: The Return of Anne Boleyn, by W. Pakenham-Walsh". Archived from the original on 21 November 2008. Retrieved 11 October 2009. 
  8. ^ a b "Vicar Who 'Talked' to Henry VIII". The Sydney Morning Herald. 31 July 1960. Retrieved 11 October 2009.