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Chapter I. The Moment and the Man
Chapter II. Early Days
Chapter III. Great Decisions
Chapter IV. The Story of Uganda
Chapter V. The Beginning of the Adventure
Chapter VI. The Peacemakers
Chapter VII. Claiming a Blood Debt
Chapter VIII. The Uganda Protectorate
Chapter IX. Famine and Fever: Taking Another Risk
Chapter X. A Missionary Church
Chapter XI. Champion of the Captive
Chapter XII. Bearing the Light Afar
Chapter XIII. Church and State and Home
Chapter XIV. Father and Friend
Chapter XV. Building for the Future
Chapter XVI. "Life in the Old Dog Yet"
Chapter XVII. Pioneering Still--Triumph out of Disaster
Chapter XVIII. Durham Bells again


THIS volume is the ninth of a uniform series of new missionary biographies, in the production of which a group of unusually able writers are collaborating.

While these volumes contain valuable new material, this is not their main objective. The aim rather is to give to the world of to-day a fresh interpretation and a richer understanding of the life and work of great missionaries.

The enterprise is being undertaken by the United Council for Missionary Education, for whom the series is published by the Student Christian Movement.

K. M.
E. S.


OUR happily increasing care about foreign missions bids us make the most of missionary biographies. Among these the Life of Alfred Tucker is indispensable for the right understanding of missionary work in Africa to-day. And the story of his life, in all respects notable, is in some respects unique. There has been no other instance in English history of a prominent artist, whose pictures are to be seen in the Royal Academy and elsewhere, hearing a sudden call to Holy Orders and responding to it with enthusiasm. Again, there is, I think, no parallel, in modern times at least, to the universal acclaim which greeted the selection of a young priest of seven years' standing to become the bishop of a great area upon which were fixed the eyes of all sorts of people, political, social, and scientific, as well as missionary, at an exciting and even momentous juncture. Eager politicians had denounced from a Radical standpoint England's response to the appeals on behalf of Uganda and the opening of a road thither, and the martyrdoms of a great number of young converts had elicited sympathy in quarters not accustomed to take much interest in foreign missions. It cannot but be a wonderful thing to read the story of how a man thus equipped and suddenly launched into missionary effort was to become not a missionary only, but a constructive statesman of the first order among peoples for whose handling we had little precedent or example. This little book tells us with straightforward simplicity the story of that young man's adventure and achievement.

Familiar as his name became in church circles, and far beyond them, during the last twenty years of his life, I do not think that his greatness has ever been appreciated to the full. It was my good fortune to see much of him in the 'nineties when, during his necessarily frequent visits to England, some of his most difficult work was being planned and executed. In my then position as Bishop of Winchester I had no special relation to him or to his diocese, but he was good enough again and again to seek my counsel either in London or at Farnham, and I was increasingly impressed with a sense of his outstanding prowess among the contemporary leaders of the Church's expanding life. From whatever aspect one looked upon his work, its indomitable vigour seemed to outshine the powers of other men. First and simplest was his wonderful physical robustness. His iron frame enabled him to emerge year after year victorious, though not unharmed, from the perils and fatigue of terrible journeyings through the fever-swept swamps and forests of East Africa, which proved fatal to a whole series of our bravest and most promising missionaries. But his physical endurance and recuperative powers were a comparatively small thing when compared with his capacity of forward vision into Africa's coming years, and the ready resource and persistent courage with which he fearlessly faced year after year the recurrent problems of racial, political and ecclesiastical difficulty which confronted him. This little book will help every thoughtful reader to gain a glimpse of these, and will stimulate many to use the ample material which he and others have provided for the understanding of the great issues which in those eventful years were already at stake.

From the year 1903 onwards I was, as Archbishop of Canterbury, in constant touch with him upon those questions, and I have seldom, in a long experience of such interviews and correspondence, been more deeply impressed than I was by his breadth of vision, his wise balance of conflicting possibilities of action, his ingenuity of plan, and his unfailing power of bringing such difficulties to the touchstone of the deepest and soundest Christian principles. I did not always agree with him, but I never parted from him without a sense of having been in the presence of a Christian statesman endowed with unusual width of vision and with a penetrating power of loyal Christian judgment. For those who remember the Lambeth Conference of 1908, the recollection of Alfred Tucker's contribution to our debates is an outstanding one. He belongs to the same type of missionary statesman as do some of the early and mediaeval missionaries of Europe, and, more markedly perhaps than any of them, he was able ere he died to see in the adolescence of a Christian state whose infancy he had tended, the fruit of his tireless courage and resource in the service of the Master whom he loved.

August 1929


ALFRED TUCKER died in 1914, and this, his first biography, may well appear somewhat belated. This delay was due primarily to the War, for, though a start was made almost immediately after his death to collect material for his biography, the book itself was postponed, and even in the earlier post-war years was not taken in hand owing to the many difficulties of publication.

The Uganda Mission Jubilee in 1927 created a special demand that the book should be written, but Mrs Ashley Carus Wilson, the original author, no longer felt able to proceed with it, and the present writer, who is the vicar of a town parish, has found the task so difficult amongst other claims that the publication has been even longer delayed.

However, this gap of fifteen years has not been without advantage, for Alfred Tucker's policy was so far in advance of his time that his life will be better appreciated in these present days when, for the first time, many of his ideals are being accepted, his visions fulfilled, and his policies justified.

The main sources of this biography are Bishop Tucker's own book, Eighteen Years in Uganda (published by Arnold & Co., 7s. 6d., from which the majority of the quotations are taken), and the contemporary numbers of the C.M.S. Intelligencer and Record, together with a number of letters, covering the greater part of his ministry in Africa, written to his two former vicars, the Rev. E. P. Hathaway and Prebendary H. E. Fox, and to the late Mrs Charles Carus Wilson. Other sources are short memoranda by his contemporaries in Uganda, Archdeacons Walker and Baskerville, Drs A. R. and J. H. Cook, and the Rev. A. B. Fisher, and some personal notes by Mrs Tucker. The writer is deeply indebted to Mrs Ashley Carus Wilson, who had originally collected the letters and memoranda and generously put them all at his disposal, and also to the editorial committee of the U.C.M.E. for most valuable criticism and advice.


LEICESTER, July 1929

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