|Birth: ||May 19, 1874|
Aberdeen City, Scotland
|Death: ||Nov. 25, 1925|
Heifa (Haifa District), Israel
Dr. John E. Esslemont (1874-1925), was the well loved and respected author of 'Bahá'u'lláh and the New Era', the well known introductory book on the Baha'i Faith; a Prominent British Bahá'í from Scotland. Shoghi Effendi named him posthumously a Hand of the Cause and as one of the Disciples of `Abdu'l-Bahá.
He was the third son of John E. Esslemont, who started the confectionery, grocery and tea retail and wholesale business in Aberdeen, and Marjory Davidson. At Aberdeen University he graduated with honourable distinction in medicine, but unfortunately contracted tuberculosis during his time there. He spent some time in the warmer climes of Australia and South Africa, before taking up the post of resident medical officer at the Home Sanitorium for tuberculosis in Bournemouth, where he created a local Baha'i group. He was a keen photographer.
He was conversant in French, German, Spanish, and was a keen Esperantist, and after becoming a Bahá'í he also learnt Persian and Arabic. When Shoghi Effendi invited him to make Haifa his permanent home he soon became a close friend and companion to Shoghi Effendi, as well as an able assistant in his work as the head of the Bahá'í Faith. In 1925 the tuberculosis struck again and after several months in a much weakened state succumbed to two strokes in the same night and died on 22 November. He is buried in the Baha'i cemetery on Mount Carmel in Haifa.
There is a Bahá'í school named after Esslemont, The John Esslemont School, in the Grampian region of North East Scotland since 1987. There is also a John Esslemont Memorial Lecture held annually in June in Aberdeen, where speakers from medical backgrounds present research to fellow peers. There is also a John Esslemont walking path in the Black Forest community Finsterlingen, South Germany, overlooking Switzerland. Esslemont was invited here by German friends for recreation on his way towards Haifa in 1925.
Shoghi Effendi felt the loss of Esslemont keenly, for he had been a close friend and companion as well as an able assistant in Shoghi Effendi's work as the head of the Bahá'í Faith. In a moving letter written on 30 November, Shoghi Effendi paid tribute to Esslemont: ". . . he served even unto his last day with exemplary faith and unstinted devotion. His tenacity of faith, his high integrity, his self-effacement, his industry and painstaking labours were traits of a character the noble qualities of which will live and live forever after him. To me personally he was the warmest of friends, a trusted counsellor, an indefatigable collaborator, a lovable companion." In the same letter, Shoghi Effendi states that "by the beauty of his character, by his knowledge of the Cause, by the conspicuous achievements of his book, he has immortalised his name, and by sheer merit deserved to rank as one of the Hands of the Cause of God". Esslemont was the first Hand of the Cause named by Shoghi Effendi.
John Ebenezer Esslemont (1839 - 1927)
Margaret Davidson Esslemont (1844 - 1920)
Catherine Esslemont (1867 - 1877)*
Peter Esslemont (1870 - 1961)*
John Ebenezer Esslemont (1874 - 1925)
Anne Connon Esslemont (1876 - 1928)*
Henry Esslemont (1879 - 1880)*
David Beatt Esslemont (1882 - 1883)*
Heifa (Haifa District), Israel
Created by: Mary Frances
Record added: Aug 08, 2014
Find A Grave Memorial# 134034355