Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Andrew Sproul, Missionary: August – October 1841

Andrew Sproul, Missionary: August – October 1841

By: Ardis E. Parshall - June 29, 2014

Sunday, August 1st, 1841 – Brew & I according to appointment of the council started again for Nilston [Neilston] in company with B. Sawden & Findley for Barhead, we agreed to unite our hearts in prayer at the usual place before parting. Brew was very ill on the way & after prayer he desired the ordinance of laying on of hands, which was done after prayer & he was restored instantly to our joy. We came to Nilston. We went to our friend’s house, G. Caldwell, & sat with a few people reasoning from scripture for 2 hours. We came to B. Shanks & rested & got some food & returned to Nilston in the evening & preached the gospel in its simplicity. We said we or some others would be here next Sunday & we came away & 2 men came after us inquiring into those things concerning there peace. They came 4 miles & we parted.

Sunday, August 7th, 1841 – B. Camble & I went to Williamsburgh according to promise & we lifted a warning voice & told them where they would get more information, & we left them & we said we or some others would come again. the same day Brew & A. Sprowl started for Nilston & B. Sawden & b. Findley for Barhead. We again united in prayer & parted. We came to our friend’s house, G. Caldwell, we stayed a while & told the things of the Kingdom & we preached to a number of people in the evening at the cross & we said to them we or some others would be here next Sunday & we left them & desired God’s blessing with them & us.

13th August, 1841 – I met in council with my brethren. Brew said he felt so week after traveling so far & speaking so much that he thought he would not go any more, & B. Gibson, teacher, was appointed to go with me to Nilston. It was also agreed that I & B. Camble, Deacon, should go & lift a warning voice at the Cofen end of Paisley which we did on Sunday morning to a number of quiet people, we or some others would come again.

15th August, 1841 – I & B. Gibson started for Nilston in company with B. Sawden & B. Findley for Barhead. We again united in prayer in the retired place spoken of before & we parted. We preached to a very quiet people in the evening, we told them we or some others would be next Sunday, amen.

18th August, 1841 – The man to whose house we was so kindly received, since we went to Nilston, came to Paisley to be baptised, therefore I baptized him (George Caldwell) in Miclerigs Burn on the above date, praise God, and he was confirmed by Elder Jaap  on the 25th of August, 1841.

Sunday morning, 22nd August, 1841, I & B. Camble, Deacon, went to the Cofen end according to appointment of the council, & lifted a warning voice in the morning. We had a number of people hearing us. We invited them to our meeting & after laying before them the truth of heaven we left them & said we or some others would be next Sunday morning, & we left them. The same day I & b. Gibson according to council started for Nilston, in company with B. Findley & Camble for Barhead. We agreed to unite in prayer to God at the place before spoken of, & while I was praying B. Camble felt warm & a light passed before his eyes, & a glorious personage stood before him with his arms extended in the direction we all went to preach, & in his hand a large book & on the book written in large letters “Truth.” At this time I stopped praying and the vision closed, we parted & etc. We came to Nilston, went to brother Caldwell’s & rested a little & we came out & held meeting at the cross. A number of people was gathered together. I preached the gospel in its ancient order & told them that the Lord had sent a holy angel according to promise in these the last days with the gospel & etc. B. Gibson bore testimony & shortly after we came we said we would be there at night, but it being wet we bore our testimony & left the town. We told them we would come next Sunday, god permitting.

Monday, August 30, 1841, I was taken ill with scarlet fever. I got hands laid on & got better, but went to work too soon & fell back, after 4 weeks illness I got better & on Sunday, October 4th, 1841 I resumed my labours & preached in the morning along with B. Camble at the west end of Paisley. I & B. G. & B. F. Sproul went to Nilston. We held meeting at night in B. Caldwell’s house. After meeting B. F. Sproul confirmed Sister Caldwell & the meeting was closed.

Sunday, 11th October, 1841, I preached in the morning at the Cofen end of Paisley. B. Shanks bore testimony, the same day. B. Gibson & went to Nilston. We held meeting in B. Caldwell’s. A number of strangers was there.

B. Gibson laid before them the first principles of the gospel in plainness. I bore testimony & closed meeting, I opened meeting at night & preached to the Saints upon the necessity of being faithful to the end.


George Caldwell Baptised August 18, 1941, by A. Sproul. Confirmed Aug. 2th, 1841 by Thomas Jaap

John Busbay, do [i.e., baptized], Sept.1 9th, B. W. Gibbs. Confirmed by James Rew

Isobell Caldwell, do, Sept. 19th. Confirmed Oct. 4,1841, by Francis Sproul

Thomas Eccles, do, Oct. 10 Bapts. Confirmed Oct. 24, 1841 by James Rew

Jane Eccles, do, Oct. 10th. Confirmed Oct. 24th, 1841 by James Rew.

Thursday night, Oct. 15, 1841 – I & B. Gibson went to Charleston & held meeting, a few came. B. G. spoke first upon the doctrines of Christ. I bore testimony to what the Lord is doing in the last day & that we had come to lift a warning voice that they might repent & believe obey & be saved in the kingdom of God.

Sunday, Oct. 17, 1841 – I & B. Gibson went to Charleston and held a meeting in the morning at widow Inch’s house. A few came together. We laid the Gospel & its requirements before them. We said we would come on Thursday night. the same day we went to Nilston and held meeting in the Forenoon at B. Caldwell’s house. I preached & when done B. Gibson bore testimony. After meeting we went & baptised Adam Inch from Charleston, baptism by Wm. Gibson, Oct. 11th, 1841. We held meeting in the afternoon. We spoke to the Saints concerning their duty to take the Lord’s supper &c.

Sunday, Oct. 24, 1841 – B. Gibson & I started for Nilston morning, we called at widow Inch’s house according to promise to hold meeting but the people will not come out to hear. We came to Nilston & held meeting in B. Caldwell’s. I opened the meeting. A few strangers were there & E. Rew spoke after me, having come in after meeting was opened. B. Gibson bore testimony & after breaking of bread & drinking of wine, Elder Rew confirmed a brother & sister Eccels into the Church of God. We held meeting at night & we spake to the Saints of the coming of Christ from the prophets & of their duty towards one another. Elder Rew closed.

Thursday, 28th Oct., 1841 – I & B Camble went to widow Inch’s to lift a warning voice but they will not come to hear themselves & as they say they will not let them come that would. So we prayed & came away.

Sunday, Oct. 30, 1841 – Elder Gibson & I started for Nilston. We held meeting in B. Caldwell’s house. B. Gibson opened our meeting. He spake at great length on the justice of God in rewarding every man according to his works & when he was done I bore testimony & closed meeting. We met again in the afternoon, took the supper. He (Elder G.) taught the Saints to observe their duty to God, to each other & their fellow men, I spake when he was done on the principles of the gospel. A few strangers were present

These lines was given by the Spirit of the Lord on the morning of the 24th of August, 1841, to Brother Thomas Jaap, presiding Elder of a branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at Paisley:

L.D.S. Hymn, “Common Metre”

Awake, awake the sacred Muse,
And tune the heavenly lyre.
Let holy zeal, and love to God
Thy newborn soul inspire.

Let earth be glad and man rejoice
And each the other embrace.
The fullness of the gospel’s come
To raise our fallen race.

The great eventful day is dawned
On our benighted world,
When priestcraft from its lofty seat
Must down to hell be hurled.

The nations that hath long been held
In her unhallowed grasp,
They shall awake & will regain
Their liberty at last. Praise the Lord.



  1. Barhead = Barrhead, a small town outside Paisley.

    “Cofen end of Paisley” – ” The ‘Coffin End’ of Paisley”- still exists, a road junction in the West End of Paisley, at the corner of Sandholes Street and Broomlands Street. The buildings narrow to a shape at the road junction which resembles the shape of a coffin. Used to catch the bus there!

    Miclerigs Burn = Meikleriggs Burn, in Paisley.

    Williamsburgh and Charleston are correct. Both areas of the town.

    Comment by Anne (UK) — June 29, 2014 @ 2:13 pm

  2. This is very helpful, Anne. Thanks.

    Comment by Gary Bergera — June 29, 2014 @ 4:56 pm

  3. Excellent stuff, Ardis. I especially like that back then, a week was only six days (see first two dates) 😉
    Thanks for the local knowledge, Anne; I had no idea what the “Cofen” referred to!

    Comment by Alison — June 29, 2014 @ 5:43 pm

  4. Yes, thank you, Anne. I’ll go back and do what I did in the first chapter, enter the correct spelling in brackets on the first occurrence, and continue that practice throughout the series.

    The elders keep meeting at a “cross.” Is that simply a crossroads, perhaps marked by a signpost with arms pointing toward various destinations, or is there perhaps a stone cross commemorating something or other?

    And I’m also supposing that “Camble” is probably “Campbell,” but until I can dig into whatever local records might exist that early, that’s just a guess.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — June 29, 2014 @ 6:23 pm

  5. You’re welcome! Living in the area is useful, and I only found out about the Coffin End when I started working there. It was, and remains, the most deprived area of the town- little wonder he caught Scarlet Fever after visiting!

    Re : The Cross; you’re right, it’s usually a major crossroads. (In Scotland; in England, more often than not, there is a physical stone cross). The definition of “major” of course depends on the size of the city/town/village. For instance, Paisley Cross is currently on the edge of a pedestrianised shopping area, and still a favourite haunt for missionaries attempting street contacting.

    Agree about “Campbell”.

    Comment by Anne (UK) — June 30, 2014 @ 3:43 am

  6. I believe that Paisley claims to be the location of the longest continuously existing unit of the Church in Scotland, having been established in May 1840.

    Comment by Alison — June 30, 2014 @ 6:40 am

  7. Scratch my last comment – there was a bit of a hiatus in the first half of the 20th century!

    Comment by Alison — June 30, 2014 @ 6:59 am

  8. um……when was the hiatus, out of interest? The “longest continuous existing unit” tag was the basis on which the reorganisation 6 years ago took place.

    Comment by Anne (UK) — June 30, 2014 @ 8:19 am

  9. By the way, it’s really terrific to have commentary from the ladies “on the ground” in Scotland–helps us former Colonials to make sense of Elder Sproul’s text. Thanks to you, Anne and Alison!

    Comment by Mark B. — June 30, 2014 @ 8:30 am

  10. It was a puzzle not to be able to track down the author of the hymn. Finally I went back to the first installment and read the notes there. There was an English Mormon pioneer family named Tapp, but the only Thomas in the family was born in 1840.

    This Thomas is more likely to have been Thomas Jaap from Paisley, born about 1780, died around 1842, married to Janet Harvey or Harvie. (Not finding much about him although he is listed in Susan Easton Black Durrant’s Membership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1830-1848.) Here’s his daughter’s gravestone in Utah:

    Elizabeth Jaap Thomas

    The family name may be commonly misread and misspelled.

    Anyway, I was just going to note that the poem is very Methodist in its language. I guess it’s an illustration of the verse of scripture that says that the Lord God speaks unto men according to their language, unto their understanding.

    Comment by Amy T — June 30, 2014 @ 10:58 am

  11. Okay, I’ve changed “Tapp” back to “Jaap” — thanks. As I said in introducing the first installment, some parts of this work would be much easier if I had images from the holograph original rather than having to rely on the reading of an intermediary typist. The typescript generally seems to be very good, but there are some places (misreading an ampersand (&) as an “E” or an “S”, for instance) where I’m pretty sure the typist has made errors. When unfamiliar names of people and places are in question, though, it’s hard to correct the typist or Andrew Sproul himself without researching every questionable word … which Amy and Anne are saving me from doing. :)

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — June 30, 2014 @ 11:10 am

  12. I was actually just guessing about the Methodist influence, but it looks like another (?) Thomas Jaap founded a reformed Methodist church in Glasgow.

    According to a history of the building of the Nauvoo temple found at BOAP, there was a Thomas Jaap involved in the building of the temple. So his death date shown in FamilySearch Family Tree or elsewhere of 1840 or 1842 might not be correct.

    Comment by Amy T — June 30, 2014 @ 1:44 pm

  13. The earliest of the Paisley Trade Directories I can access online is that for 1829-30.

    It lists 3 Japp names:

    John, spirit dealer, 226 High St
    Matthew, letter carrier, 14 Wardrop St
    Thomas, boot and shoe maker, 164 George St

    That is the only mention of any Thomas.

    In 1832 a John Japp, boot and shoe maker, 2 High St is listed, and from then until 1842 he seems to be the only Japp listed.

    Trade Directories exist from 1810 but the earlier editions aren’t online, and the library unfortunately isn’t accessible for me at the moment.

    No idea what- if anything- that achieves, but in the wonderful world of Keepa, it will make sense to someone somewhere, if not now, then later!

    Comment by Anne (UK) — June 30, 2014 @ 3:00 pm

  14. That’s the spirit [dealer or not]! Record it all here, and maybe there will be something later in the journal that will suddenly pull it all together!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — June 30, 2014 @ 3:02 pm

  15. And there’s a mention in the Mormon Church History Blogspot of an accident at the construction site on 25 Sept 1844 :

    “The third crane toppled when raising a sunstone, just missing Thomas Japp, who might have been killed in the accident. The crane was repaired and work continued”

    so as Amy surmised, his death date on Familysearch must be incorrect, unless we are looking at son of Thomas.

    Comment by Anne (UK) — June 30, 2014 @ 3:21 pm

Leave a comment

RSS feed for comments on this post.
TrackBack URI