Born in Bradley, Staffordshire, Broomhall was the eldest child of Charles and Jane Broomhall. He married Amelia Taylor, sister of J. Hudson Taylor, in 1859. They had ten children. Five of whom went as missionaries to China. After serving as secretary of the Anti-Slavery Association, Broomhall became the general secretary of the China Inland Mission, 1878-1895, and editor of the mission magazine, China’s Millions. He addressed breakfast gatherings in the homes of titled people and spoke for the mission at meetings throughout Britain. When the Cambridge Seven been accepted as missionary candidates, Broomhall organized large farewell gatherings in many centers and produced a book about the men, A Missionary Band (1876). A copy was accepted by Queen Victoria and some 20 copies were sold.
In 1888 Broomhall formed and became secretary of the Christian Union for the Severance of the British Empire with the Opium Traffic and editor of its periodical, National Righteousness. He lobbied the British Parliament the opium trade. He and James Maxwell appealed to the London Missionary Conference of 1888 and the Edinburgh Missionary Conference of 1910 to condemn the continuation of the trade. When Broomhall was dying, his son Marshall read to him from the Times the welcome news that an agreement had been signed ensuring the end of the opium trade within two years.
This article is reprinted from Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, Macmillan Reference USA, copyright (c) 1998 Gerald H. Anderson, by permission of The Gale Group; Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, Michigan. All rights reserved.
Anthony James Broomhall, Strong Tower (1947), Strong Man’s Prey (1953), Fields for Reaping (1953), Time for Action (1956), and his seven volume magnum opus, Hudson Taylor and China’s Open Century (1989). Obituaries in Fast Asia Millions, October-December 1994, pp.87, 88, and in Overseas Missionary Fellowship’s Pray for China Fellowship, September 1994, pp. 1, 2.