History of Witnessing in the UK.

by Chariklo 34 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • slimboyfat

    The Memoirs of Aunt Sarah is an interesting booklet on early Bible Students in Scotland. A Watchtower from 1914 mentions that there was a memorial attendance of 16 in my hometown in that year, so they were already established then. Glasgow also had a reasonable number. James Beckford's book Trumpet of Prophecy has a good discussion of early Bible Student activity in the UK.

  • Black Sheep
    Black Sheep
    By 1891, when C. T. Russell personally made his first visit to Britain...

    I have a copy of a copy of a copy of a photo from that visit.

  • slimboyfat

    Wow Rob thanks for the reference. It looks like Hudson's book is online.


  • Chariklo

    Thanks again, everyone!

    What a good find, slimboyfat!

    Can't write any more tonight, and I'll get back to you all some time tomorrow. I'm more than half asleep!

  • AnnOMaly

    That IS a good find, slimboyfat! I was looking all over to see if Hudson's book was archived anywhere online and couldn't track it down.

  • slimboyfat

    I found this page with early Bible Student literature too. I thought the booklet on socialism was particularly interesting.


    What I have not been able to find anywhere is the Memoirs of John Edgar which I would really like to read.

  • slimboyfat

    Where Are the Dead? is also interesting as the booklet Fred Franz claimed brought him into the organisation.

    Plus there are some booklets advertised inside Where Are the Dead? that I don't know if they survive at all. The Preservation of Identity in the Resurrection sounds interesting, but I can't find copies anywhere.

  • Earnest

    The Memoirs of Aunt Sarah and the Memoirs of John Edgar can be obtained from the Portland Area Bible Students.

    They can be found in a compilation of 12 booklets entitled Faith's Foundations for $7 plus postage. The blurb regarding this compilation states :

    FAITH'S FOUNDATIONS - $ 7 (View Sample)
    414 pages, perfect bound: New and expanded edition: This is a compilation of 12 booklets first printed in Scotland mostly before 1914 by John, Morton and Minna Edgar. Here are a variety of devotional and doctrinal subjects, including: Abraham, Socialism, Trees, Where are the Dead, Resurrection, Faith, Waiting on God, Mythology, Israel, Prayer, Memoirs of Aunt Sarah and John Edgar.

    Also, of interest on the same website is

    GLEANINGS from GLASGOW - $ 15 (View Sample)
    792 pages, case bound: Gleanings assembles never before published or reprinted treatises, reports, discourses, notes, open letters and correspondence from John and Morton Edgar beween 1923 to 1950. This is supplementary to their more widely circulated publications. The format and fonts closely match the original documents. Subjects include the Great Pyramid, Chronology, Israel, Daniel, Restitution, Kingdom, Unity in Christ, Sin Offering, Faith, Memorial and numerous correspondence regarding Bible Student events.
    A CD in Adobe PDF fromat is included, or ordered separately for $2 (View CD face)

  • Chariklo

    Wow, this is really incredible! Oddly enough, for some reason, I'd heard of Faith's Foundations, though I can't think where. Could be from an old elder here.

    I have a copy of a copy of a copy of a photo from that visit.

    Black Sheep, that looks really interesting.

    Thanks again so much, all of you.

  • slimboyfat

    Hey Earnest, how are you doing? Thanks for the information. Presumably these are newly printed versions of the booklets that are on offer. I might buy them as a last resort, but in the meantime i'll keep any eye out for PDFs of the originals online. At least we know none of them have been lost. I already have physical copies of the pyramid booklets and the Aunt Sarah booklet, which is a fascinating insight into the early Bible Students in Scotland and features my hometown.

  • Pams girl
    Pams girl

    Chariklo, am excited about finding out what you're up too.....and if I can help, count me in!

  • bigmac

    the reference to Glasgow caught my eye.

    my first mother-in-law was from Glasgow--and as far as i know--was born into the religion. had she still been alive--she would be in her 90's now.

    i only knew her from the mid-60's to the early 80's. she was fanatical. i understood her mother was a jw too. it means that side of my family has 5 generations in the religion. overlapping of course.

  • slimboyfat

    It seems the Bible Students were active in Glasgow very early indeed, from the 1880s.

    Interestingly Morton Edgar did not break with Rutherford straight away but apparently only after 1928 when Rutherford rejected Pyramidology.

  • Rob Crompton
    Rob Crompton

    Hi, Big Mac, I might have known your mother in law cos I was a special pioneer in the mid sixties in Clydebank. I knew lots of the Glasgow folk.

    And carry on googling, folks. There are some fascinating documents turning up online. When I did my research it was way back before the internet and Iwas fortunate to have been given a complete set of Russell's Studies in the Scriptures. To find other books I needed to trawl around second-hand dealers. Then I came across a retired Methodist minister who seemed to be a magnet for old books and knowing my research and wanting to help, he kept a look-out for stuff that might be relevant. Every now and again I'd get a phone call and he'd say something like, "Harp of God, do you want it?" I acquired a lot of junk from Norman, but he also came up with some real gems.

    Btw, another title to look out for, though not particularly related to the Wt in the UK, is "What Pastor Russell Said," eidted by Leslie W Jones and published by the Bible Students' Bookstore in 1917. It's a compilation of answers Russell gave to questions people asked him. As I recall, it doesn't add anything to Russell's own writings but it gives a good insight into the character of Russell. It's not difficult to see why he was held in very high regard and affection. Highly intelligent guy - and a bit of a smartarse. Head and shoulders above any of his associates. Shame he got it all completely wrong!

    Rob Crompton http://snigsfoot.blogspot.com

  • Earnest

    Hi slim, just dipping my toes into JWN every now and again at the moment but hope to take up the cudgels again in the not too distant future.

    You will be pleased to know I have found a PDF of the Memoirs of John Edgar in the documents that Barbara Anderson has kindly made available on her website. In the PDF document entitled 1862-1950 Watchtower John and Morton Edgar it includes both Memoirs of Dr John Edwards (written by his sister) and The Preservation of Identity in the Resurrection by John Edgar (1919) as well as a number of other Edgar articles and publications.

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Topic Summary

when did things really take off for the wt in the uk?

can anyone help with some research ideas?.

the proclaimers book gives some ideas, but i'm wondering how quickly it grew.

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