Pettman, Charles
1851-1935; e.m. 1875

WM missionary in South Africa, born on 14 August 1851 at Seasalter, Whitstable into a Baptist family. As a young man he was attracted to Methodism, became a local preacher in Folkestone and was accepted for the WM ministry in 1873. After training at Richmond College he left for South Africa, surviving a shipwreck on the way. His ministry was spent mainly in the Eastern Cape. He was Chairman of the Queenstown District between 1908 and 1912 and President of the South African Conference in 1910. His interests included botany and horticulture, lexicography and astronomy. He mastered German and Xhosa and his extensive collection of books on Africa was left to the Queenstown Public Library. His interest in lexicography led to the writing of several books on South African English and contributed to the Oxford English Dictionary. He also lectured to the South African Association for the Advancement of Science. Retiring to Queenstown in 1920, he died there on 4 April 1935.

  • Oxford DNB