Papers relating to Robert Morrison, comprising typescript transcript  of Robert Morrison's manuscript 'Domestic Memoir of Mrs Morrison' , written as a memorial to his first wife Mary after her death, and including a letter of advice, 1824, to his two eldest children, Mary Rebecca and John Robert, his chronology of his life and family (1782-1823), genealogy of the Morrison family, including notes on Robert and Mary Morrison's parents, memoir of his life with Mary, extracts (not chronological) of letters between the couple (1811-1821), with observations on domestic and other affairs, including long periods when Mary remained in England with the children, and account of Mary's death and notes on her tombstone. Also a photocopy of an obituary of Morrison's second wife Eliza , and a copy of the Morrison family tree (c1770-1988).
Transcripts relating to Robert Morrison
- This material is held at
- ReferenceGB 102 MS 380583
- Dates of Creationc1824, 1989
- Name of Creator
- Language of MaterialEnglish
- Physical Description1 file
- Direct Link
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
Robert Morrison: born near Morpeth, Northumberland, England, 1782; grew up in Newcastle-upon-Tyne; following a rudimentary education, apprenticed to his father as a last and boot-tree maker; joined the Presbyterian church, 1798; decided to prepare for missionary work; studied at Hoxton Academy (later Highbury College), London, 1803; studied at the Missionary Academy, Gosport, Hampshire, 1804; appointed by the London Missionary Society (LMS) and studied medicine, astronomy and Chinese in London, 1805; ordained and sailed via Philadelphia and New York to Canton, 1807; pioneering Protestant missionary to China, though he saw few conversions himself; married Mary Morton (1791-1821), daughter of an East India Company surgeon, in Macau, 1809; became translator to the East India Company's factory in Canton, securing a legal basis for residence and a means of supporting himself, 1809; completed the translation of the New Testament into Chinese, 1813; it was printed, 1814; viewed with hostility by Chinese officials; baptised the first Protestant Chinese Christian, 1814; served as translator on Lord Amherst's abortive embassy to Peking (Beijing), 1816-1817; returned to Canton, 1817; on the completion of his Anglo-Chinese dictionary, received the degree of Doctor of Divinity, University of Glasgow, 1817; with William Milne (1785-1822) founded the Anglo-Chinese College, Malacca, for training missionaries in the Far East, 1818; with Milne, completed the translation of the Bible, 1819; visited Malacca, 1823; travelled to England, 1823-1824; Fellow of the Royal Society, 1824; helped to established the short-lived Language Institution in London; ordained the first Chinese Indigenous pastor, 1825; married Eliza Armstrong (1795-1874), 1825; left England and returned to Canton, 1826; died at Canton, 1834. Publications include: Dictionary of the Chinese Language (1815-1823); Grammar of the Chinese Language (1815); Chinese Bible and numerous Chinese tracts, translations, and works on philology. His son from his first marriage, John Robert Morrison (1814-1843), succeeded his father at the East India Company and became secretary to the Hong Kong government.
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Donated by descendants of Robert Morrison in 1989.
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