Horne, Melville

Anglican Communion
Sierra Leone

Melville Horne was an Anglican clergyman and British missionary advocate. Horne began his ministry in Madeley, Shropshire, England, where he was deeply involved in the Methodist movement. In January 1792 he and his brother-in-law, Nathaniel Gilbert, went to Sierra Leone as chaplains to the Sierra Leone Company. Although Horne saw his role as a missionary one, he never learned an African language, and the adverse climate forced him to return home in 1793. In 1794 he published Letters on Missions: Addressed to the Protestant Ministers of the British Churches, which called on all British Protestants to unite in a common missionary enterprise. His appeal was taken up by Thomas Haweis and led to the formation of the London Missionary Society in 1795; but after the Church Mission Society (CMS) was founded in 1799, Horne transferred his support there. In 1811 he was one of the first to urge the CMS to send a mission to revive the Syrian church of Malabar.

Brian Stanley


Charles Hole, The Early History of the Church Missionary Society for Africa and the East (1896); Stiv Jakobsson, Am I Not a Man and a Brother? British Missions and the Abolition of the Slave Trade and Slavery in West Africa and the West Indies, 1786-1838 (1972); Roger H. Martin, Evangelicals United: Ecumenical Stirrings in Pre-Victorian Britain, 1795-1830 (1983).

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.