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Museum of Oxford Digital Exhibitions

A missionary martyr

Photo credit: Photographed by Simon Bradley, CC BY 4.0

St Aldates_Window Detail.jpg

Photographed by Simon Bradley, CC BY 4.0

This window depicts James Hannington (1847-1885), a missionary to Uganda, alongside Christ, saints and Henry Martyn (1781-1812), another missionary who travelled to Persia and India. The window was created for the 1905 retirement of A. M. W. Christopher (1820-1913), the rector of St Aldates, who was involved with the Church Missionary Society (CMS). Hannington had studied at St Mary Hall in Oxford before becoming an Anglican curate at St George's, Hurstpierpoint. He joined the CMS Victoria Nyanza mission to Uganda but, on his first journey, ill health forced him to return home. He was later chosen to be Bishop of the mission churches across Kenya and Uganda. During his passage from Mombasa to Uganda, he was shot and came to be considered a martyr in both Britain and Uganda. Also pictured is the Cathedral church of St Paul's, Namirembe in Uganda. This was the third church to be built on the site and was consecrated just a year before this window, in 1904. The land for the Cathedral was given to Protestant missionaries in 1889 by Kabaka Mwanga II, the Ugandan leader who had ordered Hannington's death.