DREW, William Hoyles. Plymouth 21.12.1805 — Pulicat May 1856. Rev. British Missionary in South India. Son of William Dr., a merchant, who died when he was three. Grew up in Dartmouth and early entered the service of a local trading company, which involved two or three trips to Newfoundland. Soon turned to religion and despite financial difficulties went 1827 to London to study theology. After ordination left for India in 1832. Worked in Madras, travelled in Bangalore and the Nilghiris. In 1840-41 on sick leave in England, visited Belgium, Germany and Switzerland. Returned to India in 1845 using the land route (France–Italy–Egypt–Bombay), visited Kerala and in 1846 arrived at Madras. Worked in Madras, travelled much in South India. Collaborated with Caldwell. Learnt Tamil from the poet Ramanujan. Married 1833 Anna Sheridan (1813–1838), one daughter. Died in cholera.
www.spuddybike.org.uk/familyhistory/madras/churches/detail/church_4.html claims that he was the chaplain of the Madras Chapel of London Missionary Society in 1843-52, but if the detailed biography (294 p.) holds true, this is impossible.
Publications: translated Tirukkural. 1840 (1-63).
Sources: J.S. Wardlaw, Memoir of the late Rev. W.H. Drews. Vizagapatam 1857.