The last martyr of China’s Boxer Rebellion: Florence Constance Glover (1900)
Florence was the last martyr of the Boxer Rebellion in China which claimed the lives of thousands of Chinese Christians as well as around 230 foreign Christians. As the Boxers rampaged through the country, many missionaries were forced to flee, usually on foot, covering long distances to escape being captured by those who wanted to kill them.
Florence and her husband, who were stationed at Lu’an, decided to move with their two young children after coming under attack by Boxer rioters who threw stones and caused a disturbance outside their premises.
Heavily pregnant at the time, Florence undertook an arduous trek that lasted 40 days. Along the way they faced many ordeals including being stoned, robbed, surrounded by armed rebels and stripped of their clothing; they narrowly escaped death on several occasions. On 18 August, four days after their safe arrival at Han-Kow, an exhausted Florence gave birth to a baby girl called Faith. Sadly the new-born died just over a week later.
Barely recovered from the birth, Florence and her husband headed for Shanghai, but it was not long before she took a turn for the worse. She died on 25 October; the China Inland Mission in London received a cable to say that she had gone to be with Christ.
The sufferings are almost forgotten. All is deep praise to God, for the experience has been so blessed – the experience of His power to cover and keep in perfect peace, only seeing glory when face to face with death – the experience of His tender carrying and enabling love when brought nigh unto death on the road. All has been a blessed experience of Him.
Florence Glover, shortly before her death
Originally published in Heroes of our Faith by Patrick Sookhdeo (Isaac Publishing)