John Brownlee was a pioneer Scottish missionary among the Xhosa of South Africa. Brownlee went to South Africa with the London Missionary Society (LMS) in 1817. After a year in the Cape Colony, he went beyond the colonial frontier to work among the Xhosa. His subsequent acceptance of the colonial authorities’ request to be their agent led to his resignation fro the LMS. But in 1825 John Philip proposed that Brownlee resign from government service and serve the LMS again. He agreed and began a new station among the Xhosa (now King William’s Town), where he was ordained as a Congregationalist. With the exception of two interruptions, first in the war of 1835 and then again in the war of 1846, he spent the rest of his life among the Xhosa and Mfengu there.
Andrew C. Ross
B. F. Holt, Greatheart of the Border: A Life of John Brownlee (1976); Richard Lovett, The History of the London Missionary Society, 1795-1895 (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.