William Carey (17 August 1761 – 9 June 1834) was a British Christian missionary, Particular Baptist minister, translator, social reformer and cultural anthropologist who founded the Serampore College and the Serampore University, the first degree-awarding university in India.
He went to Kolkata, West Bengal, India in 1793, but was forced to leave the British Indian territory by non-Baptist Christian missionaries. He joined the Baptist missionaries in the Danish colony of Frederiksnagar in India (Serampore). One of his first contributions was to start schools for impoverished children where they were taught reading, writing, accounting and Christianity. He opened the first theological university in Serampore (India) offering divinity degrees, and campaigned to end the practice of sati.
Carey is known as the “father of modern missions.” His essay, An Enquiry into the Obligations of Christians to Use Means for the Conversion of the Heathens, led to the founding of the Baptist Missionary Society. The Asiatic Society commended Carey for “his eminent services in opening the stores of Indian literature to the knowledge of Europe and for his extensive acquaintance with the science, the natural history and botany of this country and his useful contributions, in every branch.”
He translated the Hindu classic, the Ramayana, into English, and the Bible into Bengali, Oriya, Assamese, Marathi, Hindi and Sanskrit. William Carey has been called a reformer and illustrious Christian missionary.
- Born: 17 August 1761 August 1769, Paulerspury, Northampton
- Died: 09 June 1834, Serampore, Bengal Presidency, British India
- Family: Married Dorothy Plackett and had seven children. Then after Dorothy's death. married Charlotte Rhumohr, then after her death, Grace Hughes