Hodgson, Thomas Laidman

South Africa

Thomas Laidman Hodgson was an English Methodist missionary in southern Africa. Ordained in 1815, Hodgson sailed with his wife, Anne, to South Africa in 1821. He and his colleague, Samuel Broadbent, sought to work beyond the area already influenced by other missionaries. Making the very arduous journey to beyond the Vaal River, they contacted the Rolong division of the Tswana people. There, near present-day Wolmeransstad, they were pioneers in adding agricultural innovation to evangelism and education as part of the missionary task. After a brief stay in Cape Town in 1824, Hodgson returned to the Rolong in 1825, accompanied by James Archbell. In 1828 he went to work among unevangelized Griqua at Boetsap. His wife’s death while on leave in England in 1831 led to a decision not to return. However, after a few years he changed his mind and in 1838 arrived in Cape Town with his new wife, Elizabeth, to succeed Barnabas Shaw as chairman of the district. In these last years he made the so-called Cape Coloured people his main pastoral concern.

Andrew C. Ross


T. Smith, Memoirs of the Rev. Thomas Laidman Hodgson (1854).

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.