Hannah Kilham

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HK was remarkable as an early nineteenth-century activist, an advocate for the poor, for chimney-sweeping children, for the Irish, for slaves and ex-slaves, for Africans whom she saw as needing Christianity, and against the current practices of colonialism and colonial trade. A writer of diaries and letters from an early age and throughout her life, she became successively a moral and didactic writer, a producer of textbooks for the study of African languages, and a politically astute reporter on missionary and educational activity.

Milestones

12 August 1774
Hannah Spurr (later HK ) was born in Sheffield, her parents' seventh child.
Robertson, Fiona, and Fiona Robertson, editors. “Hannah Kilham (1774-1832)”. Women’s Writing 1778-1838, An Anthology, Oxford University Press, 2001, pp. 485 - 7.
485
Kilham, Hannah. Memoir of the late Hannah Killam. Biller, SarahEditor , Harvey and Darton, 1837.
1
2 July 1796
Hannah Spurr, later HK (who had kept a diary from the age of ten), began a religious journal in shorthand on loose leaves of paper: it opened: This morning I have given myself to God.
Blain, Virginia, Patricia Clements, and Isobel Grundy, editors. The Feminist Companion to Literature in English: Women Writers from the Middle Ages to the Present. Yale University Press; Batsford, 1990.
By October 1830
HK 's final book, published with her name, is her most ambitious: The Claims of West Africa to Christian Instruction, through the Native Languages.
British Library Catalogue.
1831
Extracts from HK 's letters appeared, first in the Friends' Magazine, then the same year at Bristol, as a pamphlet bearing her intials: Extracts from the Letters . . . at Sierra Leone.
British Library Catalogue.
OCLC WorldCat.
31 March 1832
HK died at sea between Liberia and Sierra Leone, three days after her ship was struck by lightning in a storm.
Dickson, Mora. The Powerful Bond: Hannah Kilham 1774-1832. Dobson, 1980.
240
Kilham, Hannah. Memoir of the late Hannah Killam. Biller, SarahEditor , Harvey and Darton, 1837.
474
Robertson, Fiona, and Fiona Robertson, editors. “Hannah Kilham (1774-1832)”. Women’s Writing 1778-1838, An Anthology, Oxford University Press, 2001, pp. 485 - 7.
487

Biography

Birth and Family

12 August 1774
Hannah Spurr (later HK ) was born in Sheffield, her parents' seventh child.
Robertson, Fiona, and Fiona Robertson, editors. “Hannah Kilham (1774-1832)”. Women’s Writing 1778-1838, An Anthology, Oxford University Press, 2001, pp. 485 - 7.
485
Kilham, Hannah. Memoir of the late Hannah Killam. Biller, SarahEditor , Harvey and Darton, 1837.
1