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Marshman, Joshua

MARSHMAN, JOSHUA (1768-1837), English Baptist missionary and orientalist, was born on the zoth of April 1768, at Westbury Leigh, in Wiltshire. He followed the occupation of a weaver until 1794, but having meanwhile devoted himself to study he removed to Broadmead, Bristol, to take charge of a small school. In 1799 he was sent by the Baptist Missionary Society to join their mission at Serampur. Here, in addition to his more special duties, he studied Bengali and Sanskrit, and afterwards Chinese. He translated the Bible into various dialects, and, aided by his son, established newspapers and founded Serampur College. He received the degree of D.D. from Brown University, U.S.A., in 1810. He died at Serampur on the 5th of December 1837. His son, John Clark Marshman (1794-1877), was official Bengali translator; he published a Guide to the Civil Law which, before the work of Macaulay, was the civil code of India, and wrote a History of India (1842).

Marshman translated into Chinese the book of Genesis, .the Gospels, and the Epistles of Paul to the Romans and the Corinthians; in 1811 he published The Works of Confucius, containing the Original Text, with a Translation, and in 1814 his Clavis Sinica. He was also the author of Elements of Chinese Grammar, with Preliminary Dissertation on the Characters and Colloquial Mediums of the Chinese, and was associated with W. Carey in the preparation of a Sanskrit grammar and of a Bengali-English dictionary.

See J. C. Marshman, Life arid Times of Carey, Marshman and Ward (2 vols., 1859).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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