06 - Preaching under Persecution



by Margaret du Plessis




On arrival in Bombay Mrs Major Tucker shared in large meetings held shortly after her arrival in India. When the police persecutions began she was found with the little few, who would insist on marching through the streets, and although not arrested herself (she appeared in court once only), continually encouraged her husband to brave imprisonment rather than give way, and visited him in prison. 1

The Indian English War Cry records the following2  –

“Out of our six comrades who were charged before the chief Presidency Magistrate, three were discharged during the progress of the case. Captain Bullard and Cadet Carroll were released on the ground that that they obeyed and all along intended to obey the order of the Deputy Commissioner to stop singing and to disperse. And Mr Cleveland the Public Prosecutor kindly withdrew the charge against Mrs Tucker, as she became seriously ill during the progress of the case and it was acknowledged that she was acting under the orders of the Major .The case against the other three, Major Tucker, Lieutenant Thompson and Cadet Lane was carefully gone through, the Presidency Magistrate giving a most patient hearing. In pronouncing judgement on Monday morning, Mr Webb, after a few remarks, discharged the accused.


Within weeks of arrival in India, Mrs Major Tucker was already in demand as a preacher in Bombay. A large advertisement appears in the centre column of the Indian English War Cry  3

We are making arrangements for a


Which we expect to hold at the


Saturday 4th November.

Admission by Tickets Free.

A few reserved seats one rupee each.


Who is now recovering from her

recent illness, will address

the meeting.

Tickets can be obtained from Headquarters

or at any of the meetings

 “She was always ready for any duty that came to hand, whether it were to share in marches or meetings amongst the poor, to represent The Army in select meetings of the wealthy, or to toil at office work in order that her husband might be left more free for travelling”4

“Mrs Tucker was of great service, her preaching being greatly appreciated by members of the older missions.”  5  

“Mrs Tucker, living in the native quarter of Bombay, gladly endured hardship. She did much to win and consolidate the good opinion of the missionary churches there to the Army, and her power as a preacher was widely recognised. Her energy and enthusiasm amazed all who came in contact with her. She squandered her strength in the fight, but, much older in years than her husband, she suffered more than most. She and the Commissioner were, of necessity, much apart, for he was spending most of his time travelling throughout the land. As the Army grew in strength it became evident that he would in future remain more and more in Bombay to organize and control the growing staff there. Both of them greatly looked forward to this time when they could be more together.”  6

A Poem:


By Mrs Tucker


Gone with the sins that have stained

Full many a page so clear!

Gone with the sins of omission

Costing many a bitter tear!

Gone with the toys that have taken

My eyes from the things divine!

Gone with the Spirit’s mysteries,

That can never now be mine!

Gone, oh God, gone for ever!

How darkened my eyes have been,

That, had I gazed on thee only,

Had peered into things unseen!

So that from my heart o’erflowing,

I had uttered deep things of God,

And others had thus been carried

From earth to His glorious abode.

A Song:  7


By Mrs Tucker
Tune: “Woodman, spare that tree”

Step out, step out, lost soul,

For Jesus calls to thee –

Hell’s fires near thee roll,

Oh haste escape and flee!

One little step alone –

Decide to take it now!

I come, my Lord, I come, -

Lo at Thy feet I bow.

I here resign my sin,

No longer I am mine,-

Make a clean sweep within,

Henceforth my heart is Thine.

I do believe that now

Christ saves from all guilt past,

While at His feet I bow -

Thank God I’m saved at last!



[1]   International War Cry 12 March 1887

[2]    No 4 – November 1 1882

[3]   (No 4 – November 1 1882).

[4]   International War Cry March 12, 1887

[5]  As F A Mackenzie writes – page 81

[6]   As F A Mackenzie writes page 105

[7]   Indian English War Cry 13 June 1883