William Chalmers Burns

1815-1868. Scottish missionary to China. Son of a Forfarshire minister, he was educated at Aberdeen University and was licensed to preach by the Church of Scotland in 1839. He wished to go to the mission field, but for some years delayed his departure to engage in remarkably fruitful evangelism in Scotland, Ireland, and Canada. Finally in 1846 he went to China as agent of the Presbyterian Church of England. He began the patient study of Chinese, adopted native dress, and endured years that showed little outward response to his labors. Nevertheless he laid the foundations for the main centers of English Presbyterian work in China, both in the south around Amoy and in the north in Manchuria. In the 1850s Burns had been an inspiration and help to the young Hudson Taylor.* He translated into Chinese Pilgrim's Progress and some hymns. He died in a remote spot he had chosen to visit because of its destitution.