CLOUGH, Benjamin

CLOUGH, Benjamin. Bradford, Yorkshire 1791 — Southwark, Kent 1853. British Methodist Missionary and Pāli Scholar in Ceylon. Joined the Methodists in the age of 17 and became a preacher. Arrived at Ceylon among the first Methodist missionaries in 1813. Worked as teacher and in Bible translation, after —> Tolfrey’s death in 1817 headed the Sinhalese Bible translation committee. Worked 25 years in the island, after return had a circuit ministry in England. Retired in 1852 and settled in London. Married Margaret Morley (1803–1827) on a furlough in England 1825, two children.

Clough was one of the very first Western Pāli and Sinhalese Scholars. His grammar was still used in the middle of the 19th century e.g. by Fausbøll. During —> Rask’s visit to Ceylon he became friend with him and helped him in Pāli studies. Participating in the translation of the Bible in Sinhalese and of the New Testament in Pāli.

Publications: Compendious Pali Grammar with a copious Vocabulary in the same Language. Colombo 1824.

translated: Karmawákya [Kammavācā]. The Ritual of the Buddhist Priesthood. 30 p. 1824.

A Sinhalese-English Dictionary. Colombo 1830, new and enl. ed. 828 p. Col. 1892.

Sources: scattered notes only; *Extracts from the Journal and Correspondence of the late Mrs. M. Clough. London 1829 (now in Google Books) – some extracts from this in Th. Timpson, Memoirs of British Female Missionaries. L. 1841, 66-84.


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