Jameson, William

, Nigeria

William Jameson was a Scottish Presbyterian missionary in Jamaica and Nigeria. Jameson was born in Methven, Perthshire, to a family of ministers. He studied at the University of Edinburgh and the Divinity Hall of the United Associate Synod. In 1838 he was licensed to preach by the United Associate Presbytery of Perth and spent some three years in missionary appointment before being ordained as a missionary to Jamaica in September 1836. The next day he married Nicolis Mackersy, also of Perthshire. The couple arrived in Jamaica in January 1837 and took up residence at Goshen, in the north-central part of the island. Jameson’s task was to establish a congregation among the newly emancipated slaves, or apprentices, as they were then called. Despite the usual difficulties, the work went well, and he was able to form a congregation in 1839. His wife died in July of the same year. In July 1840 the Jamaica Missionary Presbytery asked Jameson to take on the training of Scottish catechists working in the mission there who wished to become ministers. Among his students were William Anderson and Hugh Goldie, both of whom were soon to go to the Calabar mission. In 1846 the Presbytery appointed Jameson to their new mission in what is now Calabar, Nigeria. He arrived there in January 1847, taking up work in Creek Town. His genuine affection for people and acute sense of justice immediately won a place in the town’s affections. He died of fever a few months later.

Geoffrey Johnston


Alexander Robb, The Gospel to the Africans: A Narrative of the Life and Labours of The Rev. William Jameson in Jamaica and Old Calabar (2d. ed., 1861); Geoffrey Johnston, Of God and Maxim Guns: Presbyterianism in Nigeria, 1846-1966 (1988).

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.