Standard Article

Venn, Henry (1796–1873)

  1. Kehinde Olabimtan

Published Online: 25 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470670606.wbecc1435

The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization

How to Cite

Olabimtan, K. 2011. Venn, Henry (1796–1873). The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 NOV 2011


English administrator of the Church Missionary Society and its mission theorist in the 19th century, Henry Venn was born in Clapham into a long line of clerics. His father, John Venn (1759–1813), was pastor to members of the Clapham Sect, the evangelical abolitionist movement that emerged in late 18th century England, and presided at the meeting in 1799 where the CMS was formed as a missionary society of the Anglican Church. Henry Venn trained at Queen's College, Cambridge, and was ordained a deacon in 1819 and a priest in 1821. He enrolled as a member of the CMS in 1820. After serving at the parishes of Drypool, Hull, where he married Martha Sykes in 1829, and St. John's, Holloway, he was made a prebendary of St. Paul's Cathedral in 1846. He assumed the office of CMS clerical secretary in 1841 and served the mission body for three decades, shaping its policies and making definitive contributions to the fledgling movement.


  • Venn, Henry (1796–1873);
  • evangelical abolitionist movement;
  • the Church missionary intelligencer (CMI);
  • friends of African civilization in Britain, liberated slaves in West Africa