SCHWARTZ, Christian Friedrich

SCHWARTZ, Christian Friedrich (Schwarz, in India also called Swartz). Sonnenburg, Prussia (now Slońsk in Poland) 22.10.1726 (or 8.10. or 26.10.) — Tanjore (Tañcāvūr) 13.2.1798. German Missionary in India. Son of Georg Schwartz, a baker master, and Margaret Gruner, lost early his mother. Educated in Sonnenburg and Küstrin, then studies at Halle University. In Halle assisted Schultz in editing the Tamil Bible, thus learning the language. Ordained 1749 in Copenhagen and went as Danish missionary to Cuddalore, in 1750 to Tranquebar. Learned Indian languages, worked in Trichinopoly (Tiruchirapalli) and Madurai (in the 1760s), under the Socity for Promoting Christian Knowledge. In 1768-78 Chaplain to the troops at Trichinopoly, then worked in Tanjore. Carried a secret mission of Madras Government to Hyder Ali in Seringapatam. He founded government schools and churches (in Madurai, Tanjore and Tinnevelly). Interpreter, then guardian of the young Raja Serfoji in Tanjore. Unmarried.

He is said to have known, beside English, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Sanskrit, Tamil, Urdu, Persian, Marathi, and Telugu, but he was no scholar.

Publications: Defence of Missions in India … A letter. 15 p. L. (1796?).

Remains of the Rev. C. F. Schwartz consisting of his letters and journals, with a sketch of his life. 18??, 2nd ed. 4+316 p. L. 1826.

– H. N. Pearson, Memoirs of the Life and Correspondence of the Rev. Christian Frederick Swartz. 2nd ed. 1-2. L. 1834, 3rd ed. L. 1839, also in German translation.

Vigraha-battikkaranukkum kiristavanukkum und’ana sambhashanai. 246 p. Madras 1827 (“dialogue in Tamil between an idolater and a Christian, based on a manual of Christian doctrine by Ziegenhagen [?]” – Dogra 381).

Sources: Buckland, Dictionary; V. Hantzsch, A.D.B. 54, 1908, 273-277; *D. Jeyaraj (ed.), C.F.S.: his contributions in South India. Madras 1999; *S. Lee, D.N.B. 50, 1897, 443-446; Mohanavelu 1993, 195; R. Schwarze, A.D.B. 33, 1891, 205-208; Wikipedia with portrait.

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