Arthur Shearly Cripps was born in Tunbridge Wells, Kent. He was an English Anglican priest, missionary and activist, short story writer, and poet who spent most of his life in Southern Rhodesia. He was educated at Charterhouse School and Trinity College, Oxford. He became a missionary for the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, intending to work in Mashonaland, after reading criticism of the methods of Cecil Rhodes. After more than 20 years he returned to England for a time after a quarrel with the British administration; but went back shortly for the rest of his life, having in 1927 published Africa for Africans, on the land issue.