C. T. Studd: A Cricketer Who Became a Missionary

Updated on March 29, 2019
John Welford profile image

John is a retired librarian who writes articles based on material gleaned mainly from obscure books and journals.

C. T. Studd
C. T. Studd

C. T. Studd: English Cricketer

There are many examples of famous sportsmen and women who have “given it all up” for the sake of a cause, abandoning fame and fortune in order to devote their lives to doing good deeds. Perhaps such examples are rarer today than they once were, but names such as Eric Liddell (featured in the film Chariots of Fire) come to mind. Another such was the cricketer C. T. Studd.

Charles Thomas Studd was born on 2nd December 1860 at Spratton, a small village in Northamptonshire. He was the third son of the second marriage of Edward Studd, an indigo planter who had made his fortune in India. C. T. was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he took a pass degree in 1883. Cricket was clearly of much greater interest to him than academic study and, like two of his brothers, he played cricket for both Eton and Cambridge University. The three brothers captained the University team in successive years from 1882 to 1884.

C. T. was an all-rounder who excelled with both bat and ball. In 1882 he became only the second Englishman to achieve the “double” of 1000 runs and 100 wickets in a season. He scored quickly when at the crease and was a right-arm fast-medium bowler with a round-arm action.

When aged only 21, he scored a century for the University in a victory over the touring Australian side and was picked to play for England, helping them to win the Ashes in Australia in 1882-3.

On leaving Cambridge, C. T. joined Middlesex where he averaged 30.49 with the bat and 17.36 with the ball. A great career looked to be stretching ahead of him, and he was a household name with the sporting public.

Cricketer to Missionary

However, in 1884 he created a sensation by abandoning cricket and announcing his intention to go to China as a Christian missionary. C. T. had had a strong religious faith since his time at Eton, as had his brothers, but this had taken a back seat while his cricket career had developed. However, in January 1884 he became concerned for the health of his brother G. B. and began thinking again about his faith. He joined the “China Inland Mission” and became one of the “Cambridge Seven” who set off for China in 1885.

C. T. Studd spent nine years in northern China, where he met and married Priscilla Livingstone, a missionary from Northern Ireland. They had four daughters.

He was invalided back to Britain in 1894 and suffered from poor health for the rest of his life. In 1896-8 he made a speaking tour of North American universities in a bid to interest students in becoming missionaries.

The Studds went to India from 1900 to 1906 before returning to Britain. In 1908, C. T. saw a poster with the intriguing wording of “Cannibals Want Missionaries.” Despite family pressure not to go, given his health problems, he set off for the Congo on yet another new mission, entitled “Heart of Africa.” He undertook this mission alone, with Priscilla staying behind in England from where she supported his activities.

The African adventure included a journey on a bicycle to East Africa in 1913, accompanied by his daughter’s fiancé. In 1919 he started a new pioneer mission, the Worldwide Evangelization Crusade, which Priscilla managed from England.

His Final Years

C. T. Studd spent the rest of his life in Africa and was very successful in his work. There were, however, criticisms of his methods, his autocratic style leading some of his fellow missionaries to resign. As his health got worse he became increasingly dependent on morphine. Despite these fears he lived to the age of 70, dying on 16th July 1931. His funeral was held in torrential rain, but more than 2,000 Africans turned up to mourn his passing. His wife Priscilla had died in 1929; they had spent the last 16 years of their marriage living apart, during which they only met once.

Questions & Answers

    © 2019 John Welford

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment
      • John Welford profile imageAUTHOR

        John Welford 

        5 months ago from Barlestone, Leicestershire

        Jo, Thanks for the comment. I agree!

      • jo miller profile image

        Jo Miller 

        5 months ago from Tennessee

        What an interesting story and man. His life story really is interesting.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, howtheyplay.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://howtheyplay.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)