Ward's Book of Days.

Pages of interesting anniversaries.

What happened on this day in history.


On this day in history in 1890, died Catherine Mumford Booth.

Catherine, wife of the alleged founder of the Salvation Army, was, in fact, the founder of the Salvation Army.

Catherine’s family were both lay preachers. Catherine was an invalid during childhood and therefore was educated at home, the emphasis of her learning being on theology. It is said that Catherine had read the bible eight times by the age of twelve.

Catherine was a firm believer in temperance. She believed in the power of preaching and that a woman had an equal right to preach as a man. When a group of reformers were expelled, for similar views, from the Wesleyan chapel in Brixton, where she worshipped, Catherine left too and formed them into a new society. When William Booth was invited to preach to them in 1852, Catherine formed an attachment to him and they were married in 1855.

Catherine piloted a group known as the Christian Mission. She was a formidable orator. She addressed churches throughout the land and conducted meetings at hired halls in the West End of London. She preached particularly to alcoholics and made countless converts to her movements. She led a campaign that led to the passing of the Criminal Law Amendment Act, designed to protect young girls.

In 1878, the Christian Mission was reorganised as the Salvation Army, with Catherine’s husband William Booth as the titular ‘general’. Catherine took the appellation ‘Mother of the Salvation Army’.

Catherine is buried in Abney Park Cemetery, Newington High Street, London N16 0LH, with her beloved husband, William. The tombstone gives William the credit for founding the Salvation Army but history shows otherwise.

Previous day       Next day      


©2006 Ward’s Book of Days