John Kitto

1804-1854. English biblical scholar. Born in Plymouth, Kitto at the age of twelve sustained an accident while assisting his father, a drunken stonemason, which left him permanently deaf. Dragging out a miserable existence first as a workhouse inmate and then a shoemaker's apprentice, he showed a great interest in books and, having been converted in 1824, was rescued by A.N. Groves,* who sent him to Islington Missionary College to train as a printer for the Church Missionary Society. This body found his services both in London and Malta (1827-29) unsatisfactory, and in 1829 he traveled to Muslim lands as one of Groves's party of Brethren missionaries. In Baghdad he set up a missionary school which was destroyed in 1832 when he returned to England. He now broke with the Brethren and began to write for the wider evangelical world. His Pictorial Bible (1836f.), History of Palestine (1843f.), Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature (1845f.), Journal of Sacred Literature (1848f.), and the Daily Bible Illustrations (1850f.) were once well-known works of devotion and popular scholarship. Latterly academically honored, he struggled against severe physical and pecuniary hardships till his death.