John Adam

Last Name: 
First Name: 
Grave Plot No.: 
Date of birth: 
year of death: 
date of death: 
Age at death: 
27 yrs
Full Epitaph: 
John Adam/Late Missionary to the Heathen/Under the Patronage of the London Missionary Society/Died April 21 1831/Aged 27 Years The Bengal Obituary states the following: The following inscription is on his tomb 'John Adam late Missionary to the heathen under the patronage of the London Missionary Society died April 21st 1831 aged 27 years He was a good man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost'
Missionary, London Missionary Society
Dhurmtollah, Calcutta
Place of birth / origin: 
Places mentioned 1: 
Gungree, Berhampore
Place of death: 
Kidderpore [Khidirpore], Calcutta
places mentioned 2: 
Cause of death: 
Bilious fever
Tomb architecture: 
Pedestal tomb with urn on top
Detailed information: 

In his memoirs, Adam mentions that he is greatly influenced by the Swiss preacher Malan and after spending a period of study in Continental Europe, he decided to join the University of Glasgow for advanced studies. He also went to the University of St.Andrews where he befriended John Urquhart, the missionary. According to the website,,

While at the University of St. Andrews Urquhart came under the Christian influence of Dr Thomas Chalmers. Along with Urquhart were three other young men (Alexander Duff, John Adam, and Robert Nesbit) who banded together, under the leadership of Chalmers, to form the University of St. Andrews Missionary Society (1824). The purpose of this society was to foster missionary zeal among themselves and their fellow students.

( Also see, Piggin, S. St. Andrews Seven. Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1985.)

Adam arrived in Calcutta in 1828 and stayed in the house of James Hill (See He mentions visits to Chinsurah and the Dutch governor, Daniel Overbeck in his memoir. Alphonse Lacroix, the Swiss missionary, receives much praise from Adam. Adam also records a meeting with William Carey in Serampore. He also speaks with expectation of the arrival of Rev. Alexander Duff, whom he describes as 'one from St. Andrews'.

He learned Bengali and started preaching in the language. See below for an excerpt from his memoirs:

He said he had been informed we had quitted our country and our home and had come to this far distant land for the purpose of teaching the religion of Jesus Christ He wished to hear some particulars concerning him and thought that perhaps our Jesus Christ was their Gouranga ie a late incarnation of the Deity as alleged by some or a remarkably holy man who is said to have wrought miracles and lived about two hundred years ago as asserted by others An account in form was given him by Mr Lacroix of the fall of man the incarnation miracles death and resurrection of Christ and considerable stress was laid on the necessity of a perfect atonement To this he listened with great attention The old man then gave a hint to a little boy to fetch from the house his manuscript books which were immediately brought carefully wrapped up in a cloth He selected one and read partly in Sungskrit partly in Bengalee some sentiments about attaining the favour of God by prayer and thus ultimately by dint of meditation and prayer attaining heaven He then asked permission to sing a hymn to which after being assured that it contained nothing impure and that it was not in praise of any of the idols we consented.

[Source: Adam, John. Memoir of John Adam, Late Missionary at Calcutta. J. Cross, 1833. ]

An account of Adam's illness and death can be found in the Missionary Register Vol. 20 (Missionary Register. Seeley, Jackson, & Halliday, 1832):

An obituary can be found in The Evangelical Magazine and Missionary Chronicle (See

Any reason for importance: 
Missionary. Friend of Duff, Urquhart, Lacroix and Carey. One of the early preachers in Bengali.
Tomb built by: 
Lindemann & Co. SCTS
Photo name/s: 
Photo 2 close up: 
This record has been created by:: 

Souvik M