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Caldwell, Robert (1814–1891), missionary and orientalist, was born near Belfast, Ulster, on 7 May 1814, into an impoverished family. He began working at the age of nine, after his family moved to Glasgow. Largely self-educated, at fifteen he went to live with his elder brother in ...

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William Carey (1761–1834) by Robert Home, 1811 [with his chief pandit, Mritunjaya] original owned by BMS World Mission, PO Box 49, Didcot, OX11 8XA, England

Article

Carey, William (1761–1834), orientalist and missionary, was born on 17 August 1761 at Paulerspury, Northamptonshire, the eldest of the five children of Edmund Carey and Elizabeth Wells. His father, originally a weaver, became in 1767 parish clerk and schoolmaster, which gave Carey access to a wide range of books. At the age of about fourteen he was apprenticed to a shoemaker in the hamlet of nearby ...

Article

Chalmers

revised by Richard F. Gombrich

Davids, Thomas William Rhys (1843–1922), orientalist, was born at Colchester on 12 May 1843, the eldest son of Thomas William Davids (1816–1884), ecclesiastical historian and Congregational minister at Colchester, and his wife, Louisa Winter. He was educated at Brighton School, Colchester, before a period of private tuition. He then went to ...

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Edwards, Owen (1933–2010), broadcasting executive and promoter of the Welsh language, was born on 26 December 1933 at Neuaddwen, Llanbadarn Road, Aberystwyth, the elder son of Sir Ifan ab Owen Edwards (1895–1970), educationist, and his wife, Eirys Mary, née Phillips (1897–1981). Both his father and his grandfather were pivotal in transforming the place of the Welsh language in Welsh society. His grandfather ...

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Farquhar, John Nicol (1861–1929), missionary and Indologist, was born on 6 April 1861 in Constitution Street, Aberdeen, the eldest of three children and only son of a local businessman, George Farquhar, and his wife, Christian Alexander. At the age of twelve he was apprenticed to an ...

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Gray, George Buchanan (1865–1922), Congregational minister and Hebrew scholar, was born at Blandford, Dorset, on 13 January 1865, the second son of the Revd Benjamin Gray, Congregational minister at Blandford, and his wife, Emma Jane, daughter of George Buchanan Kirkman. He was educated at private schools at ...

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Griffiths, Evan [pseud. Ieuan Ebblig] (1795–1873), Congregational minister and translator, was born on 18 January 1795 at Gellibeblig, Betws, near Bridgend, Glamorgan, the youngest of seven children. He was three years old when his father died, leaving his family in poverty. His mother taught him at home. He became a member of the neighbouring Independent church when he was thirteen, and at twenty-one was encouraged to preach. About this time he went for a year to a school kept by his own minister, the ...

Article

R. K. Douglas

revised by H. C. G. Matthew

Kidd, Samuel (1804–1843), missionary in Malacca and Chinese scholar, was born on 22 November 1804 at Welton, near Hull, and was educated at the village school in Welton. In 1818 he was sent to Hull, where his thoughts were directed towards a missionary career, and in 1820 he entered the ...

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Legge, James (1815–1897), Sinologist and missionary, was born on 20 December 1815 in Huntly, Aberdeenshire, the youngest of the four sons of Ebenezer Legge (1770–1848), a successful drapery merchant, and his first wife, Elizabeth (née Cruickshank; d. 1817). Born into in a 'middling class' household in a 'little grey town' in the lowlands of ...

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Robert Cotton Mather (1808–1877) by John Cochran (after Henry Room) © National Portrait Gallery, London

Article

C. W. Sutton

revised by Katherine Prior

Mather, Robert Cotton (1808–1877), missionary and translator, was born at New Windsor, Manchester, on 8 November 1808, the second son of James Mather, Congregational minister of Sheffield and formerly of Clapton. He was educated at Edinburgh and Glasgow universities (MA Glasgow 1831) and at ...

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Peers, Edgar Allison (1891–1952), Hispanic scholar and educationist, was born at Leighton Buzzard on 7 May 1891, the only son and elder child of John Thomas Peers (1860–1944), civil servant, and his wife, Jessie Dale (1865–1951), daughter of Charles Allison. In the years 1892 to 1903 his father made frequent moves, and ...

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Sassamon, John (c. 1620–1675), translator and minister in America, was born in coastal Massachusetts before it became an English colony. Little is known of his early life. His parents, both Algonquian Indians, may have converted to Christianity in 1633 during a smallpox epidemic occasioned by the recent arrival of English colonists in ...

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Wyon, Olive (1881–1966), translator and theologian, was born on 7 March 1881 at 53 Maitland Park Road, Kentish Town, London, the eldest of the two sons and three daughters of Allan Wyon [see under Wyon family] and his wife, Harriet Gairdner...

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Gladys Margaret Yang (1919–1999) by unknown photographer © reserved; News International Syndication; photograph National Portrait Gallery, London

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Yang [née Tayler], Gladys Margaret (1919–1999), translator, was born on 19 January 1919 at the Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Beijing, China, the second daughter and third of the five children of John Bernard Tayler (1878–1951), professor of economics at Yenching (Yanjing)...