Price, William Salter

Anglican Communion (Church Missionary Society)

William Salter Price was an agent of the Church Missionary Society (CMS) in India and East Africa. Price, who came from Staffordshire, England, received his theological education at the Church Missionary College, Islington (London). He arrived in Bombay in 1849 and was involved in educational work there, and later at Sharanpur, near Nasik. At this time the British Navy was landing freed slaves at Bombay, and in 1860, C. W. Isenberg, in charge of the work in Sharanpur, began to accept them. Known as the “Nasik boys,” they were educated and taught crafts, and many were baptized. David Livingstone recruited a number of them to work with him in central Africa. In 1864 several went to Mombasa to aid Johannes Rebmann. In November 1874 Price, who had been in England since April 1873, was transferred to Mombasa to revitalize CMS work in East Africa. He was accompanied by Jacob Wainwright, a “Nasik boy” who had been with Livingstone. Rebmann, blind and weak, was sent back to Germany; Price established Frere Town, and from 1875 Africans freed by the British Navy were settled there. He stayed only until July 1876, when he retired to Suffolk. But in 1881 and again in 1888 he returned in emergencies to Frere Town. Men from Frere Town were with Bishop James Hannington on his last journey, their leader, William Henry Jones, had gone to Mombasa in 1864. The freed slaves trained by Price accompanied many other explorers and missionaries

Jocelyn Murray


Donald Simpson, Dark Companions: The African Contribution to the European Exploration of East Africa (1975); Eugene Stock, The History of the Church Missionary Society: Its Environment, Its Men and Its Work (1899).

This article is reproduced, with permission, from Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, copyright © 1998, by Gerald H. Anderson, W. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan. All rights reserved.