A missionary pamphlet

A 27 page pamphlet of nearly 10,000 words was written by my great grandfather William Henderson Stevenson and “published” in 1887. He wrote: “having had the privilege of labouring among this interesting people [The Santals in India] for over nine years, we have been asked to tell something of their habits and customs…”

Stevenson’s booklet is titled (or was Number 21 in a series titled) Woman’s Work in Heathen Lands, and I have scanned my copy, then used (free) optical character recognition to create a text-searchable version, some extracts from which appear here. The whole text will appear online soon.

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Out of India

Three siblings, born in North East India in the 1880s. My grandmother and her two brothers. When their father died, the children were brought back to Scotland by their mother. The brothers would return to Raj India as adults and it would shape their lives. But my grandmother? She didn’t have their opportunities, even if she had wanted to, and became a wife and mother in Scotland.

I had almost no information about my great uncles, and they were hard to find. Here, I’m just going to describe what I know about their childhood with my grandmother, and how I found them, as one way to introduce the various Stevenson stories.

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The Aitkens’ Coin-Glass Goblet

We have an antique vase from 1889. We didn’t know what it was, and more importantly we didn’t know who it was made for. Thanks to research then replies to this blog, the mysteries are solved (mostly). Wonderfully, we have heard from a descendant of the couple whose marriage it was made to commemorate (see below). The goblet is large (30cm tall with a 4 pint capacity) and beautifully engraved, with a floral thistle theme and pictorial images of Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Holyrood House. The lead crystal rings like a bell when tapped. And it has two coins/medals inside a blown glass cavity (“knop”) at the foot of its stem. 

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