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Manuscript of "God's Irregular: Arthur Shearly Cripps, A Rhodesian Epic"


Held at: Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections [Contact Us]370 Lancaster Ave, Haverford, PA 19041

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Arthur Shearly Cripps (10 June 1869 – 1 August 1952) was an English Anglican priest and missionary who spent much of his life in Zimbabwe, then Southern Rhodesia. Cripps was born in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, and was educated at Charterhouse School and Trinity College, Oxford, where he read history. He then trained for the Anglican priesthood at Cuddesdon Theological College, coming under the influence of Charles Gore. From 1894 he held the parish Ford End in Essex.

A friend of Frank Weston, the leading Anglo Catholic priest who would become Bishop of Zanzibar he became a missionary for the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, intending to work in Mashonaland, after reading criticism of the methods of Cecil Rhodes. From 1902 he had a parish near Enkeldoorn (now known as Chivhu) in what was then Southern Rhodesia.

He was in conflict with the British South Africa Company over land distribution, taking the side of the African population. He was given the Shona name Mpandi, or 'the man who walks like thunder'. After more than 20 years he returned to England for a time after a quarrel with the British administration; but went back shortly afterwards for the rest of his life, having in 1927 published Africa for Africans, on the land issue.

Arthur Cripps lived for some time in Manyene Communal Lands, about 120 km South of Harare, 20 km North of Chivhu. An area of Manyene is now known by the name he gave it when he established the mission work there, Maronda Mashanu, which means "The Five Wounds" in the local Shona language.[1] Father Cripps was buried in the chancel of the church (now a ruin) at Maronda Mashanu.[1]

Some people from the area believe that Arthur Cripps performed miracles. For example, there are claims that a white man who wanted to assault him for associating with Africans was crippled the moment he raised his hand. They claim that the man was only healed when Father Cripps prayed for him.

source: wikipedia

Typed mansucript of the published autobiography "God's Irregular" written by Haverford Professor Douglas Steere.

Single manuscript, paginated.

Gift of Douglas V. Steere, 1974

Processed by Sandra Glascock, completed July 2013

Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
Sandra Glascock
Finding Aid Date
July, 2013
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research use

Use Restrictions

Standard Federal Copyright Law Applies (U.S. Title 17)

Collection Inventory

1/3, 1970.
Box 2
2/3, 1970.
Box 2
3/3, 1970.
Box 2

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