William Carey

William Carey, the "the Father of Modern Missions", an English Baptist missionary and a Reformed Baptist Minister, was born on 17th August 1761 in a small cottage at Paulerspury, Northamptonshire Dist in England, in the heart of the district which had produced Shakespeare. His parents Edmund and Elizabeth had five children; Carey was the eldest of five children. His life was hard and his parents, who were weavers, were both literate and devout. A major change in the family took place when his father was appointed the village Schoolmaster in the year 1767. They moved to Paulerspury School House meant more space for the family. His own peculiar room was a little library as well as museum of natural history, which he filled his collection of plants, stones, insects and books, etc. He was in twelve, learning more languages and reading travel books.

In 1777, Carey was started shoemaking trade and a shoemaker from sixteen to twenty-eight years. Under scarcity situations and the grace of God had turned him a preacher. He was baptized by Mr.John Ryland, on October 5th 1783 and joined in Baptist Missions. Carey's family was desperately hard up, so he sought to turn his learning to effect and set up a small school. At the same time he took the decision to leave Hackleton dissenters and become a Baptist. He started to preach in the Northamptonshire villages. But they were so poor that his family had to bail him out with a significant sum. Carey got their first break when he was asked to run the new Baptist chapel at Moulton in 1785. Carey preached and studied languages including Greek, Hebrew, Dutch, Italian, French, etc. and taught at school in Moulton and made shoes. This was the time when the idea of overseas preaching first came to him.

Carey and Pundit
During the year 1789, Carey had left Moulton for Leicester, where he was summoned to build a congregation. When Carey called preacher and Ryland, Sutcliff and Fuller were asked to ordain him on the 10th August 1786. Then at the ministers’ meeting at Kettering, October 2nd, 1792, the public services of the day were ended, the ministers retired to consult further on the matter and to lay a foundation for Baptists Missionary Society and the society supported to Carey to publish his “Enquiry” during the period 1792. Carey and Thomas, an ordained minister and a medical evangelist, were at the Baptists Missionary Society meeting in Kettering, on 10th January 1793, appointed missionaries to “The East India for preaching the gospel to the heathen” and they left for East India from Leicester on March 20th 1793.

Carey was in his thirty-third year when he landed in Bengal on November 11th 1793, he found himself surrounded with a population of heathens amounting to at least one hundred millions of souls. He had two principles (1) a missionary must be one of the companions and equals of the people to whom he is sent; and (2) a missionary must as soon as possible become indigenous, self-supporting, self-propagating, alike by the labours of the mission and of the converts.

After reached Bengal, Carey and his companion lost all their property in the Hugli; but, having received the charge of an indigo-factory at Malda, he cut off his pecuniary connection with the missionary society and began in earnest what, instead of regular missionary labor, was to be the work of his life, they study of and translation both from and into the languages of India. In 1796, he baptized a Portuguese, his first convert. In 1799 the factory was closed; and he went with Thomas to Kidderpur, where he had purchased a small indigo-plantation. Here joined by Marshman and Ward, started bright hopes, a mission, but soon encountered the opposition of the Indian government, which forbade the mission's enlargement and compelled its removal, at a great pecuniary loss to Serampur, a Danish settlement (1800), where it took a fresh lease of life. On 28th December 1800 he baptized Krishna Pal, first Bengali convert, 28 December, elected Professor of Sanskrit and Bengali languages at Fort Williams College.

Krishnapal Meditation Centre
They translated New Testament in Bengali and they published a version of the New Testament in Bengali on 7th February 1801. About the same time the Marquis of Wellesley appointed him professor of Oriental languages in the Fort William College. Carey held this position for thirty years and taught Bengali, Marathi and Sanskrit. He wrote articles upon the natural history and botany of India for the Asiatic Society. In 1805, the Serampur press, under his direction, rendered the Bible accessible to more than three hundred million human beings. In 1808 New Testament in Sanskrit published, on 24 June 1809 completed translation of Bible in Bengali, in 1811 New Testament in Marathi, in 1815 New Testament in Punjabi¸ in 1818 Old Testament in Sanskrit, in 1820 Marathi Old Testament published.

Besides, he prepared grammars and dictionaries of several tongues; e.g., Maratha Grammar-1805, Sanskrit Grammar-1806, Maratha Dictionary-1810, Bengali Dictionary-1818 and a dictionary of all Sanskrit-derived languages, which unhappily was destroyed by a fire in the printing establishment in. Carey also achieved some of important, the enquiry, leading to Foundation of the Baptist Missionary Society. A translation Enterprise that encompassed over 40 oriental languages, The printing of over 44 vernacular languages and first vernacular newspapers in India, Professor of Sanskrit at Fort William College for 30 years. Foundation of vernacular village schools throughout India, first degree collage in India-Serampur 1824. In 1825 completed Dictionary of Bengali and English. In 1807 the Doctor of Divinity conferred him by Brown University of U.S.A and he elected the member of Bengali Asiatic Society. He had more suffering in India Dorothy Carey died in 1807, still insane and his son Felix died early in 1821 aged 36 and he married Charlotte Emilia Rumohr, in 1808 as second. Carey’s father died on 15th June 1818.

Carey’s most personal achievement was the foundation of the Horticultural and Agricultural Society of India, in September 1820, with the Governor-General as Patron, and Lady Hastings as Sponsor, the missions collected specimens from all their countries and Carey kept them in the garden of Serampore College. His second wife Charlotte Emilia Rumohr died in 1820 and he married Grace Hughes in 1823. Meantime Danish King granted charter for college at Serampore in 1820 and the college opened in 1821. In 1826 the Government gave Carey "Grant in Aid" for education and the sati prohibited through Carey's efforts on 4th December 1829. These things were entirely common in the India of the time. William Carey himself survived all these vicissitudes till his own death of old age 8th June 1834 aged 73. His own summary of his legacy was - 'Give me credit for being a plodder, anything beyond this will be too much. I can plod. I can persevere in any definite Pursuit. To this I owe everything”.

William Carey Tomb


  1. William Carey, the Father of Modern Missions.


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