Compared to missionaries like Timothy Richard (1845–1919) and Hudson Taylor (1832–1905), Dr Alexander Maclean Mackay is a name almost unknown in the annals of Christian evangelism in China. The personnel roster of the London Missionary Society, to which he initially belonged, did boast of such luminaries as Robert Morrison (1782–1834), a pioneering Protestant preacher in early nineteenth-century China and James Legge (1815–1897), a missionary turned Sinologist and Oxford don. But Mackay, as one of the Mission's numerous field workers, is not likely to be found in such distinguished company. In fact, his sojourn in China, in comparison, was relatively brief. It lasted not quite six years, from January 1891 to September 1896, when he died of cholera and was buried in China. In many ways, he was merely another missionary, one of the many men and women, Catholic and Protestant, who had toiled in China, then faded into oblivion, and have since eluded the eye of the historical researcher.