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 Issues | Church History | James Hannington

Bishop James Hannington (1847-1885)

Missionary Martyr to Uganda


  • 3rd Sep 1847 Born at Hurstpierpoint, Sussex, England.
  • Left school at 15 to work in his father's Brighton counting house.
  • 1868 entered St Mary's Hall, Oxford, ordained in Exeter Cathedral 1874.
  • First curacy - Martinhoe with Trentishoe, North Devon. At this point realised he was ‘not right with God', and it was not until he read the book ‘Grace and Truth’ by Dr. Mackay some months later that he realised that his sins were forgiven. ‘My eyes were opened’ he wrote.
  • 1877 Married
  • 1882 offered himself to the Church Missionary Society. Missionary to Zanzibar as head of six missionaries. Crippled by fever and dysentry forced to return to England in 1883.
  • 1884 consecrated bishop of Eastern Equatorial Africa.
  • 1885 returned to Africa and decided to focus on opening a new route to Uganda. Hanningon and Missionaries captured by King Mwanga II Buganda and imprisoned in Busoga. Hannington and his men were martyred on 29 October 1885. As he died, he told the soldiers who killed him to tell the king that he was about to die for the Ba-ganda, and that he purchased the road to Buganda with his life.
  • Hannington and his companions were among the first Martyrs of Uganda.
  • A dedication stone, erected in his memory along with the Bishop Hannington Memorial Church in 1938, bears the inscription "Thou hast turned my heaviness into joy".



Biography of James Hannington by F. E. Hansford

(Great Churchmen No. 22 - Published by Church Book Room Press)




My Journey in Africa - Part I. Churchman article from 1883 by James Hannington. (to be added)

My Journey in Africa - Part II. Churchman article from 1884 by James Hannington. (to be added)

My Journey in Africa - Part III. Churchman article from 1884 by James Hannington. (to be added)




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James Hannington
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BulletHansford - Consecration as Bishop
BulletHansford - Last Journey


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