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THE LIFE OP WILLIAM CAREY, D.D.




7




THE LIFE



OF



WILLIAM CAEEY, D.D

SHOEMAKEK AND MISSIONAKY

PROFESSOR OF SANSKRIT, BENGALI, AND MARATHI IN THE
COLLEGE OF FORT WILLIAM, CALCUTTA



BY GEORGE SMITH, LL.D. C.I.E.

FELLOW OF THE ROYAL GEOGRAPHICAL AND STATISTICAL SOCIETIES J MEMBER OF
COUNCIL OF THE SCOTTISH GEOGRAPHICAL SOCIETY; AUTHOR OF THE

'LIFE OF DUFF' AND 'LIFE OF WILSON,' ETC.



Uvp $\6ov paXelv ei's rty yijv.



WITH PORTRAIT AND ILLUSTRATIONS



LONDON
JOHN MUEEAY, ALBEMAELE STEEET

1885



The right of Translation is reserved.



HENRY MORSE STEPHEN*



Printed by R. & R. CLARK, Edinburgh.



TO

MY WIFE

FOR TWENTY YEARS MY FELLOW-WORKER IN

CALCUTTA AND SERAMPORE
IN THE SCENES CONSECRATED BY THE MEMORY OF

WILLIAM CAREY



5U701



PEEFACE.

ON the death of William Carey in 1834 Dr. Joshua Marsh-
man promised to write the Life of his great colleague, with
whom he had held almost daily converse since the beginning
of the century, but he survived too short a time to begin the
work. As a writer of culture, in full sympathy and frequent
correspondence with Carey, the Rev. Christopher Anderson,
of Edinburgh, was even better fitted for the task. In 1836
the Rev. Eustace Carey anticipated him by issuing what is
little better than a selection of mutilated letters and journals
made at the request of the Committee of the Baptist Mis-
sionary Society. It contains one passage of value, how-
ever. Dr. Carey once said to his nephew, whose design he
seems to have suspected, " Eustace, if after my removal any
one should think it worth his while to write my Life, I will
giye you a criterion by which you may judge of its correct-
ness. If he give me credit for being a plodder he will
describe me justly. Anything beyond this will be too much.
I can plod. I can persevere in any definite pursuit. To this
I owe everything."

The Rev. Dr. Belcher was the first to publish, at Phila-
delphia, U.S., in 1853, a brief biography showing the man
as he was. In 1859 Mr. John Marshman, after his final
return to England, published The Life and Times of Carey,



viii PREFACE.

Marshman, and Ward, a valuable history and defence of
the Serampore Mission, but rather a biography of his father
than of Carey. In 1881 the Rev. Dr. Culross wrote a short
and charming sketch of William Carey. Mr. John Taylor,
Northampton, has lately published a collection of facts and
extracts relating to Carey, in his Bibliotheca Northantonensis.
When I first went to Serampore the great missionary had
not been twenty years dead. During my long residence there
as Editor of The Friend of India, I came to know, in most of
its details, the nature of the work done by Carey for India
and for Christendom in the first third of the century. I
began to collect such materials for his Biography as were to
be found in the office, the press, and the college, and among
the Native Christians and Brahman pundits whom he had
influenced. In addition to such materials and experience I
have been favoured with the use of many -unpublished letters
written by Carey or referring to him ; for which courtesy I
here desire to thank his grandsons, Frederick George Carey,
Esq., LL.B., of Lincoln's Inn; and the Rev. Jonathan T.
Carey of Tiverton, whose son is now carrying on the Burrisal
Mission founded by his great-grandfather ; also the Rev. C.
B. Lewis, the biographer of Thomas, the first medical
missionary; and the venerable widow of the Rev. Chris-
topher Anderson. Mr. Baynes, the Secretary of the Baptist
Missionary Society which is worthily conducting in Africa,
on the Congo, an enterprise greater than even Carey prayed
for has generously granted me the use of several engravings
from photographs, which he had taken during a recent visit
to Serampore. Mr. R. Blechynden junr., of Calcutta, caused
the records of the Asiatic and Agricultural Societies there
to be searched and copied for use in these pages.



PREFACE. ix

My three Biographies of Carey of Serampore, Duff of
Calcutta, and Wilson of Bombay, cover a period of nearly a
century and a quarter, from 1761 to 1878. They have been
written as contributions to that history of the Church of
India which one of its native sons must some day attempt ;
but also to the annals of the Evangelical Revival, which may
well be called the Second Reformation ; and to the history
of English-speaking peoples, whom the Foreign Missions
begun by Carey have made the rulers and civilisers of the
non-Christian world.

The Life of the Rev. Krishna Mohun Banerjea, D.L.,
C.I.E., Dr. Duff's second convert, and from his baptism in
1832 to his death in 1885 the leader of the Native Christians
of India, is being prepared by one of his grandsons. To
complete the story so far as India is concerned, we still
desiderate such a record of progress in South India from
Ziegenbalg and Schwartz to Anderson and Miller as Bishop
Caldwell could give us ; and a biography of Charles Grant, for
which, I believe, there are abundant materials.

SERAMPORE HOUSE, MERCHISTON,

EDINBURGH, 24th Augiist 1885.



CONTENTS.



CHAPTEE I.

PAGE

CAREY'S COLLEGE 1



CHAPTEE II.

THE BIRTH OF ENGLAND'S FOREIGN MISSIONS . . .27

CHAPTEE III.

INDIA AS CAREY FOUND IT . . . . . .55

CHAPTEE IV.

Six YEARS IN NORTH BENGAL MISSIONARY AND INDIGO

PLANTER ......... 79

CHAPTEE V.

THE NEW CRUSADE SERAMPORE AND THE BROTHERHOOD . Ill

CHAPTEE VI.

THE FIRST NATIVE CONVERTS AND CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS . 132

CHAPTEE VII.

CALCUTTA AND THE MISSION CENTRES FROM DELHI TO AMBOYNA . 157



xii CONTENTS.



CHAPTEE VIII.

PAGE

CAREY'S FAMILY AND FRIENDS . 178



CHAPTEE IX.

PROFESSOR OF SANSKRIT, BENGALI, AND MARATHI . 207

CHAPTEE X.

THE WICLIF OF THE EAST BIBLE TRANSLATION . . .235

CHAPTEE XL

WHAT CAREY DID FOR LITERATURE AND FOR HUMANITY . 272

CHAPTEE XII.

WHAT CAREY DID FOR SCIENCE FOUNDER OF THE AGRI-
CULTURAL AND HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY OF INDIA . 294

CHAPTEE XIII.

CAREY'S IMMEDIATE INFLUENCE IN GREAT BRITAIN AND AMERICA 330

CHAPTEE XIV.

CAREY AS AN EDUCATOR THE FIRST CHRISTIAN COLLEGE IN

THE EAST ......... 377

CHAPTEE XV.

CAREY'S LAST DAYS . .411



CONTENTS. xm



APPENDIX.

PAGE

1. THE BOND OF THE MISSIONARY BROTHERHOOD OF

SERAMPORE . . . . . . . .441

II. LATEST JUSTIFICATION OF CAREY'S PIONEER WORK . 451
III. THE ANGLO -ORIENTAL AND THE ANGLO -VERNACULAR v.
THE EXCLUSIVELY ENGLISH SYSTEM OF EDUCATION IN
INDIA ......... 452

INDEX 457



ILLUSTRATIONS.

WILLIAM CAREY AT FIFTY .... Frontispiece.

PAGE

WILLIAM CAREY'S BIRTHPLACE .... 4

CAREY'S " COLLEGE," HACKLETON . . . .22

CAREY'S COTTAGE AND SCHOOL, PIDDINGTON . . 24

BIRTHPLACE OF ENGLAND'S FOREIGN MISSIONS, KETTERING . 53
FIRST MISSION HOUSE IN NORTH INDIA, DINAJPOOR . 99

DANISH LUTHERAN (NOW ANGLICAN) CHURCH, SERAMPORE . 123
PLAN OF SERAMPORE ON THE HOOGLI . . .125

THE FIRST BRAHMAN WHO PREACHED CHRIST . .140

CAREY'S CHRISTIAN VILLAGE BAPTISM IN THE TANK . 141
CHRISTIAN VILLAGERS, SERAMPORE . . . .145

KRISHNA CHANDRA PAL, THE FIRST CONVERT . . 160

HENRY MARTYN'S PAGODA, ALDEEN . . .191

SHEEV TEMPLE, SERAMPORE . . . .196

THE SERAMPORE COLLEGE ..... 384
NATIVE DIVINITY STUDENTS, SERAMPORE COLLEGE . . 397

CAREY'S OFFICIAL RESIDENCE AND BACK OF THE COLLEGE . 420
CAREY'S TOMB 433



As time passes it appears that we are in the hands of a Providence which
is greater than all statesmanship, that this fabric so blindly piled up
has a chance of becoming a part of the permanent edifice of civilisation,
and that the Indian achievement of England, as it is the strongest,
may after all turn out to be the greatest of all her achievements. "-
PROFESSOR J. R. SEELEY.



LIFE OF WILLIAM CAKEY, D.D.



CHAPTER I.

CAREY'S COLLEGE.
1761-1785.

The Heart of England The Weaver Carey who became a Peer, and the
weaver who was father of William Carey Early training in Paulers-
pury Impressions made by him on his sister On his companions and
the villagers His experience as son of the parish clerk Apprenticed
to a shoemaker of Hackleton Poverty Famous shoemakers from
Annianus and Crispin to Hans Sachs and Whittier From Pharisaism
to Christ The last shall be first The dissenting preacher in the
parish clerk's home He studies Latin, Greek and Hebrew, Dutch and
French The cobbler's shed is Carey's college.

WILLIAM CAREY, the first of her own children of the Eefor-
mation whom England sent forth as a missionary, who
became the most extensive translator of the Bible and
civiliser of India, was the son of a weaver, and was himself
a village shoemaker till he was twenty-eight years of age.
He was born on the 17th August 1761, in the very midland
of England, in the heart of the district which had produced
Shakspere, had fostered Wiclif and Hooker, had bred Fox and
Bunyan, had for a time been the scene of the lesser lights of
John Mason and Doddridge, of John Newton and Thomas
Scott. William Cowper, the poet of missions, made the
land his chosen home, writing Hope and The Task in Olney
while the shoemaker was studying theology under Sutcliff
on the opposite side of the market-place. Thomas Clarkson,

B



OF WITjLIAM CAREY. 1761



born a year before Carey, was beginning his assaults on the
slave-trade by translating into English his Latin prize poem
on the day-star of African liberty when the shoemaker, whom
no university knew, was writing his Enquiry into the Obli-
gations of Christians to use means for the Conversion of the
Heathen.

William Carey bore a name which had slowly fallen into
forgetfulness after services to the Stewarts, with whose cause
it had been identified. Professor Stephens, of Copenhagen,
traces it to the Scando-Anglian Car, C^ER or CARE, which
became a place-name as CAR-EY. Among scores of neigh-
bours called William, William of Car-ey would soon sink
into Carey, and this would again become the family name.
In Denmark the name Caroe is common. The oldest English
instance is the Cariet who coined money in London for
^Ethelred II. in 1016. Certainly the name, through its forms
of Crew, Carew, Carey, and Cary, still prevails on the Irish
coast from which depression of trade drove the family first
to Yorkshire, then to the Northamptonshire village of Yelver-
toft, and finally to Paulerspury, farther south as well as
over the whole Danegelt from Lincolnshire to Devonshire.
If thus there was Norse blood in William Carey it came out
in his persistent missionary daring, and it is pleasant even to
speculate on the possibility of such an origin in one who was
all his Indian life indebted to Denmark for the protection
which made his career possible.

The Careys who became famous in English history sprang
from Devon. For two and a half centuries, from the second
Kichard to the second Charles, they gave statesmen and
soldiers, scholars and bishops, to the service of their country.
Henry Carey, first cousin of Queen Elizabeth, was the com-
mon ancestor of two ennobled houses long since extinct
the Earls of Dover and the Earls of Monmouth. A third
peerage won by the Careys has been made historic by the



1761 WEAVERS AND PEERS. 3

patriotic counsels and self- sacrificing fate of Viscount Falk-
land, whose present representative was Governor of Bombay
for a time. Two of the heroic Falkland's descendants, aged
ladies, addressed a pathetic letter to Parliament about the
time that the great missionary died, praying that they might
not be doomed to starvation by being deprived of a Crown
pension of 80 a year. The older branch of the Careys also
had fallen on evil times, and it became extinct while the
future missionary was yet four years old. The seventh lord
was a weaver when he succeeded to the title, and he died
childless. The eighth was a Dutchman who had to be
naturalised, and he was the last. The Careys fell lower still.
One of them bore to the brilliant and reckless Marquis of
Halifax, Henry Carey who wrote one of the few English
ballads that live. Another, the poet's granddaughter, was the
mother of Edmund Kean, and he at first was known by her
name on the stage.

At the time when the weaver became the lord the grand-
father of the missionary was parish clerk and first school-
master of the village of Paulerspury, eleven miles south of
Northampton, and near the ancient posting town of Tow-
cester, on the old Roman road from London to Chester. The
free school was at the east or " church end " of the village,
which, after crossing the old Watling Street, straggles for a
mile over a sluggish burn to the " Pury end." One son,
Thomas, had enlisted and was in Canada. Edmund Carey, the
second, set up the loom on which he wove the woollen cloth
known as "tammy," in a two-storied cottage. There his
eldest child, WILLIAM, was born, and lived for six years till
his father was appointed schoolmaster, when the family
removed to the free schoolhouse. The cottage was demol-
ished in 1854 by one Richard Linnell, who placed on the still
meaner structure now occupying the site the memorial slab
that guides many visitors to the spot. The school-house, in



4 LIFE OF WILLIAM CAREY. 1761

which William Carey spent the eight most important years
of his childhood till he was fourteen, and the school have
more recently made way for the present pretty buildings.

The village surroundings and the county scenery coloured
the whole of the boy's after life, and did much to make him
the first agricultural improver and naturalist of Bengal,
which he became. The lordship of Pirie, as it was called by
Gitda, its Saxon owner, was given by the Conqueror, with
much else, to his natural son, William Peverel, as we see
from the Domesday survey. His descendants passed it on




WILLIAM CAREY'S BIRTHPLACE.

to Robert de Paveli, whence its present name, but in Carey's
time it was held by the second Earl of Bathurst, who was
Lord Chancellor. Up to the very schoolhouse came the
royal forest of Whittlebury, its walks leading north to the
woods of Salcey, of Yardley Chase and Eockingham, from the
beeches which give Buckingham its name. Carey must have
often sat under the Queen's Oak, still venerable in its riven
form, where Edward IV., when hunting, first saw Elizabeth,
unhappy mother of the two princes murdered in the Tower.
The silent robbery of the people's rights called " inclosures "
has done much, before and since Carey's time, to sweep away
or shut up the woodlands. The country may be less beautiful,
while the population has grown so that Paulerspury has now



1761 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE AND ITS SHOEMAKERS. 5

nearly double the eight hundred inhabitants of a century ago.
But its oolitic hills, gently swelling to above "ZOO feet, and
the valleys of the many rivers which flow from this central
watershed, west and east, are covered with fat vegetation
almost equally divided between grass and corn and green
crops. The many large estates are rich in gardens and
orchards. The farmers, chiefly on small holdings, are famous
for their shorthorns and Leicester sheep. Except for the
rapidly developing production of iron from the Lias, begun
by the Eomans, there is but one manufacture, that of shoes.
It is now centred by modern machinery and labour arrange-
ments in Northampton itself, which has 24,000 shoemakers,
and in the other towns, but a century ago the craft was
common to every hamlet. For botany and agriculture, how-
ever, Northamptonshire was the finest county in England,
and young Carey had trodden many a mile of it, as boy and
man, before he left home for ever for Bengal.

Two unfinished autobiographical sketches, written from
India at the request of Fuller and of Eyland, and letters of
his youngest sister Mary, his favourite " Polly " who survived
him, have preserved for us in still vivid characters the
details of the early training of William Carey. He was the
eldest of five children. He was the special care of their grand-
mother, a woman of a delicate nature and devout habits, who
closed her sad widowhood in the weaver-son's cottage. En-
compassed by such a living influence the grandson spent his
first six years. Already the child unconsciously showed the
eager thirst for knowledge, and perseverance in attaining his
object, which made him chiefly what he became. His mother
would often be awoke in the night by the pleasant lisping of
a voice " casting accompts ; so intent was he from childhood
in the pursuit of knowledge. Whatever he began he finished;
difficulties never seemed to discourage his mind." On
removal to the ancestral schoolhouse the boy had a room to



6 LIFE OF WILLIAM CAREY. 1775

himself. His sister describes it as full of insects stuck in
every corner that he might observe their progress. His many
birds he entrusted to her care when he was from home. In
this picture we see the exact foreshadowing of the man.
" Though I often used to kill his birds by kindness, yet when
he saw my grief for it he always indulged me with the plea-
sure of serving them again; and often took me over the
dirtiest roads to get at a plant or an insect. He never walked
out, I think, when quite a boy, without observation on the
hedges as he passed ; and when he took up a plant of any
kind he always observed it with care. Though I was but a
child I well remember his pursuits. He always seemed in
earnest in his recreations as well as in school. He was
generally one of the most active in all the amusements and
recreations that boys in general pursue. He was always beloved
by the boys about his own age." To climb the highest tree
was the object of their ambition ; he fell often in the attempt,
but did not rest till he had the nest he coveted. His uncle
Peter was a gardener in the same village, and gave him his
first lessons in botany and horticulture. He soon became
responsible for his father's official garden, till it was the best
kept in the neighbourhood. Wherever after that he lived,
as boy or man, poor or in comfort, "William Carey made and
perfected his garden, and always for others, until he created
at Serampore the botanical park which for more than half a
century was unique in Southern Asia.

We have in a letter from the Manse, Paulerspury, a tradi-
tion of the impression made on the dull rustics by the dawn-
ing genius and loftier pursuits and character of the youth
whom they but dimly comprehended. When fourteen or
fifteen years of age he was most awkward and useless at any
agricultural work. He had no desire to join with other boys
in play and games. He went amongst them under the nick-
name of Columbus, and they would say, " Well, if you won't



1775 NATURALIST AND LOVER OF BOOKS. 7

play, preach us a sermon," which he would do. Mounting
on an old dwarf witch-elm about 7 feet high (standing till
recently), where several could sit, he would hold forth. This
seems to have been a resort of his for reading, his favourite
occupation. The parents said he seemed to be always awake
at whatever time of the night they might speak to him. The
same authority tells how, when suffering toothache, he
allowed his companions to drag the tooth from his head with
a violent jerk, by tying around it a string attached to a wheel
used to grind malt, to which they gave a sharp turn.

The boy's own peculiar room was a little library as
well as a museum of natural history. He possessed a few
books, which indeed were many for those days, but he
borrowed more from the whole country-side. Eecalling the
eight years of his intellectual apprenticeship till he was four-
teen, from the serene height of his missionary standard, he
wrote long after : " I chose to read books of science, history,
voyages, etc., more than any others. Novels and plays always
disgusted me, and I avoided them as much as I did books of
religion, and perhaps from the same motive. I was better
pleased with romances, and this circumstance made me read
the Pilgrim's Progress with eagerness, though to no purpose."
The new era, of which he was to be the aggressive spiritual
representative from Christendom, had not dawned. Walter
Scott was ten years his junior. Captain Cook had not dis-
covered the Sandwich Islands, and was only returning from
the second of his three voyages while Carey was still at
school. The church services and the watchfulness of his
father supplied the directly moral training which his grand-
mother had begun.

The Paulerspury living of St. James is a valuable rectory
in the gift of New College, Oxford. Originally built in Early
English, and rebuilt in 1844, the church must have pre-
sented a still more venerable appearance a century ago than



8 LIFE OF WILLIAM CAREY. 1777

it does now, with its noble tower in the Perpendicular, and
chancel in the Decorated style, dominating all the county
from its position on the ridge of the Watling Street. Then,
as still, effigies of a Paveli and his wife, and of Sir Arthur
Throckmorton and his wife recumbent head to head, covered a
large altar-tomb in the chancel, and with the Bathurst and other
monuments called forth first the fear and then the pride of the
parish-clerk's eldest son. In those simpler and possibly not
less really reverent days the clerk had just below the pulpit
the desk from which his sonorous " Amen " sounded forth,
while his family occupied a low gallery rising from the same
level up behind the pulpit. There the boys of the free school
also could be under the master's eye, and with instruments of
music like those of King David, but now banished from even
village churches, would accompany him in the doggerel strains
of Sternhold and Hopkins immortalised by Cowper. To the
far right the boys could see and long for the ropes under
the tower in which the bell-ringers of his day, as of Bunyan's
not long before, delighted. The preaching of the time did
nothing more for young Carey than for the rest of England and
Scotland, whom the parish church had not driven into dissent
or secession. But he could not help knowing the Prayer-
Book, and especially its psalms and lessons, and he was duly
confirmed. The family training, too, was exceptionally
scriptural and thorough, though not evangelical. " I had
many stirrings of mind occasioned by being often obliged to
read books of a religious character ; and, having been accus-
tomed from my infancy to read the Scriptures, I had a con-
siderable acquaintance therewith, especially with the historical
parts." So he wrote long after. The books were such as
the sermons of Jeremy Taylor. The first result of all this, in
family, and school, and church, was to make him despise dis-
senters. But, undoubtedly, this eldest son of the schoolmaster
and the clerk of the parish had at fourteen received an educa-



1777 A SHOEMAKER'S APPRENTICE. 9

tion from parents, nature, and books which, with his habits
of observation, love of reading, and industrious perseverance,
made him better instructed than most boys of fourteen far
above the peasant class to which he belonged.

Buried in this obscure little village in the heart of Eng-
land, in the dullest period of the dullest of all centuries, the
boy had no better prospect before him than that of a weaver
or labourer, or possibly a schoolmaster like one of his uncles
in the neighbouring town of Towcester. Paulerspury could
indeed boast of one son, Edward Bernard, D.D., who, two
centuries before, had made for himself a name in Oxford,
where he was Savilian Professor of Astronomy. But Carey
was not a Scotsman, and therefore the university was not for
such as he. Like his schoolfellows he seemed born to the
English labourer's fate of five shillings a week, and the poor-
house in sickness and old age. From this, in the first instance,
he was saved by a disease which affected his face and hands
most painfully whenever he was long exposed to the sun.
For several years he had failed to find relief. His attempts
at work in the field were for two years followed by distress-
ing agony at night. He was now sixteen, and his father
sought out a good man who would receive him as apprentice
to the shoemaking trade. The man was not difficult to find,
in the hamlet of Hackleton, nine miles off, in the person of
one Clarke Nichols. The lad afterwards described him as
" a strict churchman and, what I thought, a very moral man.
It is true he sometimes drank rather too freely, and generally
employed me in carrying out goods on the Lord's Day morn-
ing ; but he was an inveterate enemy to lying, a vice to
which I was awfully addicted." The senior apprentice was
a dissenter, and the master and his boys gave much of their
talk over their work to disputes upon religious subjects.
Carey " had always looked upon dissenters with contempt.



Online LibraryGeorge SmithThe life of William Carey, D. D.; → online text (page 1 of 40)