« Burnett Prizes and Lectures Burns, William Chalmers Burnt Offering »

Burns, William Chalmers

BURNS, WILLIAM CHALMERS: Missionary; b. at Dun (6 m. w. of Montrose), Forfarshire, Scotland, Apr. 1, 1815; d. at Niu-chwang, China, Apr. 4, 1868. He studied at Marischal College, Aberdeen; began the study of law, but decided to become a minister and reentered the university in 1832; studied theology at Glasgow and was licensed in 1839; preached first in Dundee, and then traveled through the British Islands and visited Canada (1844–46) as an evangelist, meeting with much success. On June 9, 1847, he sailed as first missionary to China of the English Presbyterian Missionary Society; he adopted the Chinese dress and life and lived in Hongkong, Canton, Amoy, Shanghai, Peking, and Niu-chwaag, choosing not to stay long in one place. He was one of the most devoted missionaries of modern times and won the respect of both the natives of China and the foreign residents. He translated Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress into Chinese.

Bibliography: I. Burns, Memoir of W. C. Burns, London, 1870 (by his brother); W. G. Blaikie, in Leaders in Modern Philanthropy, New York, 1884.

« Burnett Prizes and Lectures Burns, William Chalmers Burnt Offering »
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