Broadmead Baptist Church, Bristol UK
                                                           "The Church Above the Shops"

Joshua Marshman

Joshua Marshman (after whom our Marshman Room is named) was born in 1768. He married Hannah Shepherd in 1791 and in 1794 the couple moved from Westbury Leigh in Wiltshire to Bristol. Here they joined this church and Joshua taught in a Charity School (which it supported). He also studied at Bristol Baptist College, On 29th May 1799 Joshua, Hannah and their two children set out from Portsmouth for India aboard the Criterion. The threat of French Naval attack added extra peril to the voyage but the family landed safely at the Danish settlement of Serampore (a few miles north of Calcutta) on 13th October 1799.

Like pioneer missionary William Carey (with whom he had come to work) Joshua Marshman was a gifted scholar. The pair translated the Bible into Indian Languages and classic Indian literature into English. Joshua also translated the Bible into Chinese - and had a significant role in the development of Indian newspapers. He was keen to apply new developments in educational practice and to encourage teaching in local languages. (The colonial establishment wished that instruction be given through the medium of English.) He saw all his varied forms of service as means by which he could achieve his main aim - the telling of the Good News of Jesus Christ.

On 15th July, 1818, William Carey, Joshua Marshman and William Ward (another able member of the missionary team) took a step whose breadth of vision was typical of the trio and far in advance of the times. They issued a prospectus (written by Joshua) of a proposed "College for the instruction of Asiatic, Christian, and other youth in Eastern literature and European science". So was born Serampore College - which in 1998 continues to provide broad-based high quality education. Currently a hundred students from a wide range of denominations are taught theology while two and a half thousand others study in the Arts-Science-Commerce Department (which is affiliated to Calcutta University).

The group 'Friends of Serampore' provides a link for those who wish to support the College with their interest and prayers.

David Loveridge