William Hopkins Pearce

Last Name: 
First Name: 
William Hopkins
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year of death: 
Ethnicity / Origin: 
Eldest son of Rev. Samuel Pearce (who passed away when William Hopkins was only 5 years old and his wife followed soon, a year later). Married to Martha Hodson Pearce. Foster-parented by William Nichols. Brother of Anna Pearce
Full Epitaph: 
Sacred to the Memory of the Rev William Hopkins Pearce Eldest son of the Rev Samuel Pearce AM Birmingham for more than twenty years a zealous and devoted Missionary the founder of the Baptist Mission Press Calcutta Pastor of the Native Church in South Colinga one of the first movers of native female education in India and the constant and zealous advocate of whatever tended to promote the glory of God and the present happiness and eternal welfare of men He was born in Birmingham Jan 14th 1794 arrived in India Aug 26th 1817 and died in the Lord March 17th 1840 Life's duty done as sinks the clay Light from its load the spirit flies While heaven and earth combine to say "How blest the righteous when he dies"
South Colinga [near modern-day Ripon Street]
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Places mentioned 1: 
Place of death: 
places mentioned 2: 
Oxford; Denmark Hill
Cause of death: 
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Pearce is a major proponent of women's education in India and is the author of books such as Pītāmbara Siṃhera Caritra and Satya Asraya. He trained at the Clarendon Press, Oxford and when in India, became the founder of the Baptist Mission Press. Some of his poems, 'The Uncongenial Clime', 'God the Best Friend' and 'Lines Repeated by a Little Boy at the Annual Examination of the Native Christian Boarding School at Chitpore' are to be found here: http://tinyurl.com/ox24afv.

His belongings, after his death are given to his widow Martha Hodson Pearce, who was living in Entally, a suburb of Calcutta then. After his death,in the same year (1840), Reverend Edward Steane wrote a memoir of him in the 12th edition of the 8th volume of the Foreign Missionary Chronicle, from London. Another biography of his was publihed in the Memoir of William Yates, D.D., of Calcutta (1847). His will can be found at : http://tinyurl.com/pdrvbsf

See The Foreign Missionary Chronicle (http://tinyurl.com/p9vb8mc) for his biography. Also see The Baptist Magazine for a sermon occasioned by his death. Pearce's father, Samuel Pearce, was also a famous missionary (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Pearce). See http://www.biblicalstudies.org.uk/pdf/bq/18-1_026.pdf for writings by Samuel Pearce. William Hopkins Pearce's wife, Martha married the missionary William Yates who translated the Greek Bible into Bengali (http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Yates,_William_(DNB00))

Pearce's sister Anna married Jonathan Carey, son of William Carey.

See http://www.bonhams.com/auctions/16441/lot/799/?page_lots=10 for a sample of Pearce's printing. This is a book on geography in Bengali. The plaque from his grave has been moved to the South Park Street Cemetery.

The Foreign Missionary Chronicle: Containing a Particular Account of the Proceedings of the Western Foreign Missionary Society, and a General View of the Transactions of Other Similar Institutions. s.n., 1840.
Betteridge, Alan. Deep Roots, Living Branches: A History of Baptists in the English Western Midlands. Troubador Publishing Ltd, 2010.
Pearce, William Hopkins. Satya āśraẏa. Calcutta Christian Tract and Book Society, 1829.
PEARCE, William Howard. Memoirs of the Rev. W. H. Pearce ... by His Friend and Companion ... in the Kingdom and Patience of Jesus Christ. (Appendix. Pieces of Poetry.). Baptist Mission Press, 1841.

Any reason for importance: 
Proponent of female education in India. Founder of Baptist Mission Press
Notes on burial: 
Plaque in South Park Street Cemetery. We find his name in the death duties register of Calcutta and also a page of his will in the records of Fort William, Calcutta
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This record has been created by:: 

Sudipto Mitra