1811  — 1896

William Lockhart

First British medical missionary.

Born in Liverpool, Lockhart was trained at the Meath Hospital, Dublin, and at Guy’s Hospital, London, and was sent to China by the London Missionary Society (LMS). Arriving in China early in 1839, he married Catherine Parkes (d. 1918) in 1841. Lockhart worked at various places—-Macao, Chou-shan (Zhoushan), Tientsin, (Tianjin), Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Peking (Beijing)—-but his main station was Shanghai, where he worked for 14 years. When he returned to England in 1864, he served the LMS as one of their directors and in 1878 became the president of the newly formed Medical Missionary Association, London.

Lockhart advocated a strict separation of the vocations of preacher and physician, a maxim he propounded in his book The Medical Missionary in China: A Narrative of Twenty Years’ Experience(1861). Thus, he always concentrated on medical work in the hospitals that he directed.


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. Photo from Horne, C. Sylvester, The Story of the L.M.S. (1904). London: London Missionary Society.


The Medical Missionary Record 6 (1891): 198-200; much from Lockhart’s pen and about him appears in the pages of Medical Missions at Home and Abroad, the monthly publication of the Medical Missionary Association, London, during the years 1879-1888.

About the Author

Christoffer H. Grundmann

Lecturer, Department of Missions Oecumenics and Religion, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany