Frederick Baedeker, Horace Underwood and Arthur Neve – Heroes of the Cross

Frontispiece: Dr. Baedeker preaching and distributing books to convicts in Siberia
Frontispiece: Dr. Baedeker preaching and distributing books to convicts in Siberia

Christine Isabel Tinling [1869-1943], one of the founders of the Algiers Evangelistic Band, wrote short biographies of three other missionary heroes who inspired her: Frederick Baedeker, Horace Underwood and Arthur Neve of Kashmir. My thanks to Book Aid for making a copy of this public domain title available for digitisation.

Christine Isabel Tinling [1869-1943], Heroes of the Cross. Dr Frederick Baedeker :: Horace Underwood :: Arthur Neve of Kashmir. London: Marshall, Morgan & Scott. Ltd., [1933]. Hbk. pp.96. [Click here to visit the download page for this title]


  • Frederick Baedeker the Prisoners’ Friend
  • Horace Underwood of Korea
  • Arthur Neve of Kashmir

Frederick Baedeker the Prisoners’ Friend

Baedeker! Have you ever heard that name before? Perhaps not. Ask those who have travelled abroad and they will say at once, ” Oh, yes, the guide book man!” Try it and see if they don’t. His name is so well known that it has almost become a common noun. People speak of taking their Baedeker with them, as they would speak of taking their umbrella or their purse.

Karl Baedeker was a German book-seller and publisher, and he brought out guide-books of different countries till he had described most of the civilised lands of the world. They were packed full of useful information and told you where to go and what to see and what to pay. They were printed in German and French and English and Baedeker thus became famous. His success was due to hard work: he was very careful and exact in all he wrote, and then too, he employed good scholars to help him.

But our story is about another Baedeker, not that one. The guide-book man had a cousin who sometimes W’I’ote for him, and he also became famous, in a different way. Karl was a guide to all parts of the earth and a very good one to: Frederick was to thousands of people a guide to heaven. He showed them the way to God; he taught them to put their trust in Jesus, who is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

Frederick became known as Doctor Baedeker, becauae of the letters Ph.D. after his name, which mean “doctor of philosophy ” not medicine. But the Russian peasants to whom he afterwards went called him “Dedouchka”  or “Dear Grandfather!’ In this story I shall use all these names and you can pick out the one you like the best.

But first we must call him Frederick and begin with his boyhood for, of course, it was only long afterwards that he earned his other names.

The little town of Witten, where he was born, is near the river Rhine, which is very beautiful thereabouts. In the Baedeker home there were four boys and two girls, and Frederick was the youngest son but one. They called him Fritz for short. Their father was a naturalist; he studied animals and particularly birds. This was very jolly for the children, for he could tell them no end of interesting things and they could help him hunt for specimens.

Mr. Baedeker had a big collection of birds and their eggs, some of them very rare. There were eggs of different shades and colours, brown and blue and green, pearly white ones and pretty speckled ones. They were all sizes too, from the big eggs of the eagle and the stork down to the tiny ones of the little hedge wren. He knew them all, and the children learned to know them too. Mr. Baedeker was so famous that when people in far away parts of Europe found some egg that they could not name, they would pack it up and send it to him and he would tell them what it was. He wrote a book about birds’ eggs and painted the pictures himself. After he died his collection was taken to Berlin and placed in a natural history museum.

Fritz’s mother was rather strict, but I expect those four boys needed to be kept in order and perhaps even the girls too. Six children are quite a houseful, and I dare say they made plenty of noise. Fritz was specially fond of his elder sister Pauline, and when he was in trouble it was to her he went….

Pages 5-6

Life of George Borrow and the Bible in Spain

George Borrow [1803–1881]

George Borrow, a Norfolk man, served with the British and Foreign Bible Society. His first posting was to Russia in 1833, where he oversaw the printing of a Manchu New Testament and then to Portugal and Spain (1835-1840) as a colporteur. In his native Norfolk he spent much of his time among the Romanies, so it was natural that he should seek these people out in Spain also. He learnt their language sufficiently to compile a Romani-English Dictionary and to translate the Gospel of Luke into it. He wrote of his adventures on the Iberian Peninsula in The Bible in Spain (1843).

Visit the George Borrow page for the download links to his Biography by Herbert Jenkins and to The Bible in Spain.

Copies of these public domain works were kindly provided by Redcliffe College and Book Aid respectively.


During the whole of Borrow’s manhood there was probably only one period when he was unquestionably happy in his work and content with his surroundings. He may almost be said to have concentrated into the seven years (1833-1840) that he was employed by the British and Foreign Bible Society in Russia, Portugal and Spain, a lifetime’s energy and resource. From an unknown hackwriter, who hawked about unsaleable translations of Welsh and Danish bards, a travelling tinker and a vagabond Ulysses, he became a person of considerable importance. His name was acclaimed with praise and enthusiasm at Bible meetings from one end of the country to the other. He developed an astonishing aptitude for affairs, a tireless energy, and a diplomatic resourcefulness that aroused silent wonder in . those who had hitherto regarded him as a failure. His illegal imprisonment in Madrid nearly brought about a diplomatic rupture between Great Britain and Spain, and later his missionary work in the Peninsula was referred to by Sir Robert Peel in the House of Commons as an instance of what could be achieved by courage and determination in the face of great difficulties.

Page ix

Richard Knill of St Petersburg

The Rev Richard Knill [1887-1957]
The Rev Richard Knill [1887-1957]. Frontispiece
The Rev. Richard Knill [14 April 1787 – 2 January 1857] was a missionary with the London Missionary Society. He served first in India, but after a bout of cholera was assigned to Russia where his ministry was far more successful. With the assistance of members of the nobility he was instrumental in the establishment of a Protestant Bible society in that country. Following his return to England in 1842 he became a Congregationalist minister in Gloucestershire. [See Wikipedia article here]

My thanks to Redcliffe College for providing a copy of this book for digitisation. This title is in the public domain.

C.M. Birrell [1811-1880], The Life of the Rev. Richard Knill of St. Petersburg. London: The Religious Tract Society, [1859]. Hbk. pp.272. [Click here to visit the download page]

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Preface to First Edition
  1. Early Days A.D. 1792-1812
  2. Missionary Consecration A.D. 1812-1814
  3. Putting on the Armour A.D. 1814, 1815
  4. The First Campaign, A.D. 1816-1818
  5. The Russian Capital, 1820-1823
  6. Storms, 1824, 1825
  7. Gleams, A.D. 1826
  8. Blue Skies, A.D. 1828, 1829
  9. Shadows of the Pestilence, A.D. 1830-1832
  10. Widening Horizon, 1834-1847
  11. Sunset, A.D. 1814-1857
  12. Review of Mr Knills Life and Character by the Rev John Angell
  • Postscript by the Editor


It was during a visit to St. Petersburg in the winter of 1831-32,-the last winter but one of his own residence in the country, that I became acquainted with Mr. Knill and the small circle of English Christians which there surrounded him. There was nothing in the city at that time more deserving of the admiration of a stranger than the union in these men of the habits of commercial life and the elevated tone of Christians-of the spirit of enterprise, nurtured by faith, with the submissive adjustment of conduct to the course rendered possible by jealous hierarchy and the absolute civil government under which they lived. At a time when the smallest measure of haste or imprudence would have imperilled their personal liberty or their leave to remain longer in the country, they were able first to translate, then to pass through the censorship, and eventually to disseminate far and wide, a large number of select religious publications; while the copies of the New Testament which had been arrested by Imperial decree and stored away in the cellars of the Holy Synod….