Hoole, Dr Elijah
1798-1872; e.m. 1819

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WM minister and missionary in India from 1820 to 1828, born in Manchester. Sent out to launch a mission in Bangalore, he lost all his clothing, books and other belongings when the ship was struck by lightning off the coast of Ceylon. He eventually reached Bangalore in May 1821. Being unmarried, he was able to travel widely between Bangalore and Madras and was the first Methodist missionary to master the Tamil language, making translations of John Wesley's Sunday Service, Wesley hymns etc.His expertise in oriental studies was used to good effect on the committee for revising the Tamil versions of the Bible. Returning home in 1828 because of ill health, he published a 'personal account' of his years in India. As a devoted Secretary of the WMMS from 1834 to 1872, he was gracious in personal relations, but firm over matters of dispute, and was not afraid to make hard decisions, especially about the financing of the mission stations. He died in London on 17 June 1872.

In 1835 he married Elizabeth Chubb (d.1880) of Portsea, who worked closely with him in missionary affairs. Their hospitality was proverbial. At a time when the Mission House served as a hostel for newly appointed missionaries, she excelled in their care and established communication with every part of the mission field. She was involved in the founding of the Ladies' Committee, forerunner of Women's Work and was its 'Foreign Correspondent'. Her letters, needlework and other gifts were more than welcome to missionary families.

Their son Elijah Hoole jun. RIBA (1837-March 1912) was a successful architect who was articled to James Simpson (1799-1869) in 1854 and remained his assistant until setting up his own practice in 1863. He specialized in nonconformist chapels, including many London churches, also Toynbee Hall and the Bermondsey Settlement. He supervised the 1891 restoration of Wesley's Chapel and worked with James Wilson on the extensions to Kingswood School (1882-83) and further alterations and the Gymnasium in 1891. He was the architect of the chapel in Naples and of the Fletcher Memorial College and chapel at Lausanne; and of two WM chapels in St. John's, Newfoundland, George Street (1873) and Gower Street (1892-6). He also did work for Octavia Hill, epecially social housing. He died on 27 March 1912. His wife Judith Lidgett (1845-1932) was an aunt of J.S. Lidgett.

  • William Moister, Missionary Worthies, 1782-1885 (1885) pp.182-83
  • G.G. Findlay and W.W. Holdsworth, The History of the Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society (1921-1924), vol. 5, pp.181, 183-4 etc.
  • Oxford DNB
  • Building News, 18 July 1890, 12 April 1912
  • Directory of British Architects 1834-1914
  • The Builder, 5 April 1873, 26 April 1912;