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Harvard, William Martin
1790-1857; e.m. 1810

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Missionary to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), born on 6 March 1790. He was one of the young missionaries who accompanied Thomas Coke to Asia in 1814. Arriving in Bombay, he delayed leaving for Ceylon until his wife had given birth to their child. He arrived in Colombo in the spring of 1815, where his experience as a printer stood him in good stead. Along with Benjamin Clough he took pains to understand the Buddhist tradition. The Missionary Committee's proposal to move him to Calcutta in 1816 came to nothing. After four years in Colombo, he returned home in poor health in 1819. He wrote a detailed Narrative of the... Mission to Ceylon and India (1823). He later served in the Isle of France and Madagascar and was sent to Canada in 1836, a time of political unrest. His insensitive handling, as President of the Canadian Conference, of the situation at the time of the 1837 rebellion created problems for the Church there. From 1855 to 1857 he was Governor of Richmond College. He died at the college on 15 December 1857.


  • Elizabeth Harris, 'Wesleyan Witness in an Interreligious Context', In Windows on Wesley, ed. P.R. Meadows (Oxford, 1997), pp.64-6

Entry written by: JAV
Category: Person

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