"A Missionary Pioneer"

Derby Evening Telegraph

18 August 1961

Derby has more than a passing link with William Carey, the founder of the Baptist Missionary Society, the bi-centenary of whose birth fell yesterday.  Shortly after Carey had established his mission in Bengal and founded the famous Serampore College (now part of Calcutta University), he was joined by William Ward, one-time printer and editor of the old Derby Mercury.

The early efforts of these two men received scant recognition in this country.  Sidney Smith wrote of "these missionaries" who "deliberately, piously and conscientiously expose our whole Eastern empire to destruction, for the sake of converting half a dozen Brahmans, who, after stuffing themselves with rum and rice, and borrowing money from the missionaries, would runaway and cover the Gospel and its professors with every species of impious ridicule and abuse."

Carey even had to seek the protection of a foreign flag because the East India Company refused to recognise his work or even allow him to use their ships.

It was many years before the Company revised its charter and allowed Indian missionaries to carry out their work without hindrance.  It was Carey, more than any other who pioneered the golden age of the Protestant Mission in the first half of the 19th century.  Throughout his struggle he had the constant and unflagging support of William Ward, without whose aid nothing, he wrote, would ever have appeared in print.


The Center for Study of the Life and Work of William Carey, D.D. (1761-1834) gratefully acknowledges the Derby Evening Telegraph for its permission to post the article on this web site.  Also, the Center acknowledges Mr. Ronald Ellis of Derby, England, for his retrieval of the article.


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Created:    December 3, 2002            Updated:    December 18, 2002