A View of the History, Literature, and

Religion of the Hindoos:

Including a Minute Description of their Manners and Customs,

and Translations from Their Principal Works


In Two Volumes.


By W. Ward.


The Second Edition,

Carefully Abridged, and Greatly Improved.

Volume II.

Serampore: Printed at the Mission Press,



William Ward (1769-1823), a colleague of William Carey's in Serampore, was both a Baptist minister and a printer by trade.  Originally from Derby, England, Ward had been a printer apprentice and editor of several newspapers including Derby Mercury and Hull Advertiser.  In 1793, Ward met Carey prior to Carey's departure for India, and Carey remarked to Ward, "If the Lord bless us, we shall want a person of your business to enable us to print the Scriptures; I hope you will come after us" (Memoir of the Rev. William Ward, p. 5).  For a brief biographical entry on Ward, click here [William Cathcart, ed., The Baptist Encyclopedia,  2 vols.,  rev. ed. (Philadelphia: Louis H. Everts, 1883), II:1210]  

Ward preached at the Cannon Street Church, Birmingham, England, where he became associated with Rev. Samuel Pearce (biography, p. 1, biography, p. 2), one of the founders of the Baptist Missionary Society.  On May 25, 1799, under the auspices of the Society, Ward and Joshua Marshman, along with several other Britishers, left England for India on the American vessel Criterion.  Arriving in Calcutta on October 11 without British passports, the group proceeded to the Danish settlement of Serampore where the Governor, Colonel Bie, issued Ward a Danish passport to visit Carey at Kidderpore.  Carey joined Ward and Marshman in Serampore, arriving on January 10, 1800.  In missiological history, Carey, Marshman, and Ward became known as the Serampore Trio.  

In 1800 at the Serampore Press, Ward printed Carey's newly-translated Bengali New Testament, which included 800 pages in octavo format.  At the time of his death from cholera in 1823, Ward had fulfilled his purpose of going to India to "publish among the heathen, the unsearchable riches of Christ" (Memoir of the Rev. William Ward, p. 35), for he had completed the publication of twenty versions of the Bible into various languages.

A prolific author in addition to his printing and preaching, Ward published the four volume, Account of the Writings, Religion, and Manners of the Hindoos (1811) from which the 800+ page, second edition came in 1815 (vol. II) and 1818 (vol. I) under the title A View of the History, Literature and Mythology of the Hindoos: Including a Minute Description of Their Manners and Customs, and Translations from Their Principal Works.  Ward also published a volume on the biographical accounts of four converted Hindoos, a funeral sermon for the wife of Dr. Nathaniel Wallich, a biographical sketch of his late friend, the Rev. Andrew Fuller (biography, p. 1, biography, p. 2biography, p. 3), Farewell Letters to a Few Friends in Britain and America upon Returning to Bengal in 1821, a memoir of Krishna Pal, and a set of daily meditations on selected Scripture texts (click here for bibliography).

Between 1819 and 1821, Ward toured Great Britain, Holland, and the United States for the purpose of raising support for Serampore College.  Drawing large and interested crowds in the United States, he raised $26,000 for the College (Memoir of the Rev. William Ward, pp. 12-13).  Undoubtedly, Ward drew upon his extensive knowledge of Hindu culture and religion to evoke Western interest in the Serampore Christian mission.

A View of the History, Literature and Mythology of the Hindoos: Including a Minute Description of Their Manners and Customs, and Translations from Their Principal Works is a lengthy description of Hindu history, culture, literature, and religion.  In vol. II, Ward offers details of the Hindu religion, including his eighty page introductory essay.

Book Spines, Vols. I-II  Book Spine Vol. II   Title Page, Vol. II


Table of Contents, Vol. II

Page 1    Page 2    Page 3    Page 4    Page 5    Page 6    Page 7    Page 8


"Introductory Remarks on the Hindoo Religion," pp. i - lxxx [1 - 80]

    i    ii    iii    iv    v    vi    vii    viii    ix    x    

    xi    xii    xiii    xiv    xv    xvi    xvii    xviii    xix    xx    

    xxi    xxii    xxiii    xxiv    xxv    xxvi    xxvii    xxviii    xxix    xxx    

    xxxi    xxxii    xxxiii    xxxiv    xxxv    xxxvi    xxxvii    xxxviii    xxxix    xl    

    xli    xlii    xliii    xliv    xlv    xlvi    xlvii    xlviii    xlix    l    

    li    lii    liii    liv    lv    lvi    lvii    lviii    lix    lx    

    lxi    lxii    lxiii    lxiv    lxv    lxvi    lxvii    lxiii    lxix    lxx    

    lxxi    lxxii    lxxiii    lxxiv    lxxv    lxxvi    lxxvii    lxxviii    lxxix    lxxx


[As Ward describes above on pp. liii-lv, the practice of burying widows alive appears in Quarterly Papers, No. 22 (April 1827) in News from Afar or Missionary Varieties; Chiefly Relating to The Baptist Missionary Society, 4th ed. (London: Printed and Published for the Society, 1830), pp. 85-86.    Page 85    Page 86]


"Burning of Widows alive" (pp. 298-312) [Suttee]

    298    299    300    301    302    303    304    305    

    306    307    308    309    310    311    312   


"Voluntary Suicide" and "Drowning in the Ganges" (pp. 313-317)

    313    314    315    316    317    


"Dying under the wheels of Jugunnathu's car" (pp. 317-318)

    317    318    


"Infanticide, still very prevalent" (pp. 318-321)

    318    319    320    321    


"Ascetics devoured in forests by wild beasts" and 

"Perishing in cold regions"(p. 321)



Estimates of Hindoos who perish annually (pp. 322-324)

    322    323    324    


"Ceremonies performed on visiting holy places (pp. 324-325)

    324     325    


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Created:  May 31, 2001                Updated:  April 8, 2005