Charles Bulmer Maude

Charles Bulmer Maude

Charles Bulmer Maude served as the third incumbent at St Cyprian's Church, Kimberley, South Africa (1877–1881) and was afterwards the Vicar of Leek, Staffordshire.

St Cyprian's, Kimberley

Maude was one of four priests (the others being Fathers Borton, Balfour and Tobias) brought by Bishop Allan Becher Webb to the Diocese of Bloemfontein in 1876.[1] Maude succeeded Fr Neville Borton as Rector of St Cyprian's Church in Kimberley in 1877, having gone there with Maude upon their arrival from England. He left an account of the still primitive conditions that prevailed in the diamond mining town which was then still less than a decade old. Concerning the rectory, Maude related that: "We have a canvas house for our sitting room and a wooden one for our bedroom. The floors are made of brick dried in the sun, but the legs of beds or tables make holes in them."[2]

"The church floor is of mud and so is very dusty. It is a low building with an iron roof and when it rains we have to give up the service as we cannot be heard! But do not think we are badly off. We have a surpliced choir, 12 boys and 8 men, and a fully choral service. Every Sunday the church is crowded. It holds about 400. I hope we shall soon be able to build one more worthy of the worship of God. At present, too, we are without a school-house and are obliged to have both day and Sunday school in church."[3]

It was during Maude's incumbency that a church building was imported from England to be assembled in Kimberley. The foundation stone was laid in 1879 by Sir Charles Warren. His wife described a calamity which occurred as it neared completion: "Our new church which we were all looking forward to moving into for our Christmas services, and that seemed to be getting on so nicely, was blown over by a whirlwind and is lying a pitiable heap of ruins…it happened one Sunday morning. Our people were having services in the Odd Fellows’ Hall stifling under the heat of an unlined iron building when the crash came. Those who saw it say it was lifted three feet from the ground and dropped, utterly shapeless, like a street of cardhouses! And all our money gone, diamonds are down, and times are bad!"[3] The situation was however salvaged and on Low Sunday 1880 Bishop Webb of Bloemfontein dedicated the "re-erected 'church-like' church" and instituted C.B. Maude as Rector of Kimberley.[4]

Ill health soon forced him to resign, however, and he returned to England.

Maude Street in Kimberley is named after him.[5]

St Edward's, Leek

Maude served subsequently as Vicar of Leek in Staffordshire. The Maude Institute was built and presented for use by St Edward’s Church, Leek by parishioners, as a memento Maude’s vicariate, in 1896.[6]


  1. ^ Lewis, C & Edwards, G.E. 1934. Historical records of the Church of the Province of South Africa. London: SPCK, p. 420
  2. ^ Lewis, C & Edwards, G.E. 1934. Historical records of the Church of the Province of South Africa. London: SPCK, p 485
  3. ^ a b Lewis, C & Edwards, G.E. 1934. Historical records of the Church of the Province of South Africa. London: SPCK, p 485
  4. ^ Crisp, William. 1895. Some Account of the Diocese of Bloemfontein in the Province of South Africa from 1863 to 1894. Oxford: James Parker.
  5. ^ Braby's Street Map for Kimberley
  6. ^ Reference to Maude Institute building

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