Thomas Cave Childs: Pioneer chaplain to female emigrants and the Missions to Seamen

By Robert W. H. Miller, published November 2020

Abstract

Thomas Cave Childs (1819–67), a vicar in the worst part of Devonport, was a pioneer in the welfare of female emigrants and was involved in the foundation of the Missions to Seamen. Childs, the real link with the remnants of John Ashley’s missionary work with seafarers, was the catalyst which brought W. H. G. Kingston into the equation, leading ultimately to the formation of the Missions to Seamen. He was briefly one of its chaplains, based on the Solent, but a redistribution of the mission’s efforts, coupled with ill health, led to his departure from the organization. He died in tragic circumstances at the age of 46. His contribution to the welfare of female emigrants and to the Church of England’s work among seafarers generally has largely been forgotten, but deserves far greater recognition. This article looks at these aspects of his ministry.

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Filed under: English Channel
Subjects include: Manpower & Life at Sea

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