Emily May Grimes Crawford

Short Name: Emily May Grimes Crawford
Full Name: Crawford, Emily May Grimes
Birth Year: 1864
Death Year: 1927

Born: May 10, 1864, Lam­beth, Sur­rey, Eng­land.
Died: Ju­ly 9, 1927, Folke­stone, Kent, Eng­land.

Crawford went to Pon­do­land, South Af­ri­ca, in 1893. In 1904, she mar­ried Dr. T. W. W. Craw­ford of the Chris­tian Miss­ion­ary So­ci­e­ty in Ki­ku­yu, Brit­ish East Af­ri­ca.



Emily May Crawford is described in the author index of the Book of Common Praise (Toronto, 1938) as a Canadian Anglican [as author of "The Master comes! He calls for thee], which she altogether was nor was not. The hymn was first published in London by the Church Missionary Society (CMS) in 1890, before Emily May Grimes had ever left her native England. In 1893, she went to South Africa under CMS sponsorship to work among the Pondo tribe; then, in 1904, she married T.W.W. Crawford, M.D., and went to work with him among the Kikuyu of Kenya. Her career thus far is outlined in Julian (1907), p. 1712.

The mission station at which the bride arrived had indeed been started by the CMS, but had been turned over to the newly-formed missionary department of the Church of England in Canada (MSCC); most of her colleagues were Canadian-born like her husband--to add a grace note of confusion--his brother! Both hailed from western Ontario, where Thomas had trained in medicine at the University of Western Ontario (London), while Edward took theology at Huron College. Thus all three of them were working under Canadian sponsorship until 1913, when Thomas and Emily left for England, she in quest of treatment for arthritis, he for further medical training--which perhaps he needed, if he thought the English climate would help anybody's arthritis! Rev. E.W. Crawford continued on in Kenya; his subsequent career can be traced through Crockford's Clerical Dictionary.

Whatever plans for their future they may have made were necessarily altered by the outbreak of World War I, which found, and kept, them in England. They may have intended to come to Canada when they could, but in fact they never did: they were still in England when Emily died in 1927. She wrote, and the British Museum Catalogue lists, under her maiden name, all the books she published after her marriage.

Although at the time a woman automatically acquired the citizenship of the man she married, Emily was never a Canadian citizen: no such status existed until twenty years after she died. Although she and Dr. Crawford hailed from different parts of the Empire, they were both British subjects by birth, and remained such. Therefore her connection with Canada was never more than indirect, though this may not have been what she intended.

--Hugh McKellar, DNAH Archives

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