MARSHMAN, Joshua

MARSHMAN, Joshua. Westburg Leigh, Wiltshire 20.4.1768 — Serampur 5.12.1837. British Missionary and Pioneer of Indology in India. Son of John M., a weaver, educated at the village school of Westbury Leigh. Apprenticed to a bookseller he read extensively. In 1794-99 Master of a Baptist school in Bristol, studied classical languages. Hearing of Carey’s work he joined the Baptist Missionary Society and in 1799 left with his family, Ward and others for India (arrived in October). At the Missionary station in Serampur they collaborated preaching and translating the Bible or its parts into numerous Asian languages. At Serampur he also began to study Chinese in 1805. In 1818 Marshman founded together with his son the first monthly magazine and the first weekly in Bengali. Founder of the Serampore College 1818. In 1826-29 visited England and Denmark on the cause of missions. Interested both in Indology and Sinology. Hon. D.D. 1811 Brown University (U.S.A.). Married 1791 Hannah Shepherd (1768– 1847, daughter of J. Shepherd), of 12 children 6 survived, among them —> John Clark M.

Publications: Edited with W. Carey: The Ramayuna of Valmeeki, in the original Sungscrit with a prose translation and explanatory notes. 1-3. Serampore 1806-10.

Bible translations in Indian languages, with others; religious writings.

Edited Schröter’s A Dictionary of the Bhotanta or Boutan language, printed from a manuscript copy made by the late F. C. G. Schröter, ed. by J. Marshman; to which is prefixed a Grammar of the Bhootanta language, by F. C. G. Schröter, ed. by W. Carey. 3+35+6+475 p. Serampore 1826 (Tibetan).

– With W. Carey: A Dictionary of the Bengalee Language. 1.B. and English. 533 p. Serampore 1827, 9th ed. 1874 (Acc. to Ch. & Burn father compiled the abridged version of Carey’s B–E dict., son of E–B part).

The Works of Confucius, containing the original text, with a translation and a preliminary Dissertation on the language of China. 4+39+725+4 p. Serampore 1809 (Lun yü); A Dissertation on the Characters and Sounds of the Chinese Language. 113 p. (Serampore) 1809; Elements of Chinese Grammar, with preliminary Dissertation on the Characters, and the Colloquial Medium of the Chinese, and an Appendix, containing the Ta-Hyoh of Confucius with Translation. 16+9+566+56 p. Serampore 1814; Biblia Sinica. 1817.

Sources: Buckland, Dictionary (also separate article on Hannah M.); T.H[amilton] in D.N.B. 36, 1893, 255f.; *J.C. Marshman, Life and Times of the Serampore Missionaries. 1-2. L. 1859; *E.D. Potts, British Baptist Missionaries in India 1793–1837. Cambridge 1967; J.C. Ting, British Contribution to Chinese Studies. 1951, 1-15..

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