William Carey: The Christian History Timeline

William Carey

1761–1792, Cobbler and Pastor in England

1761 Aug. 17, Carey born at Paulserspury, Northamptonshire

1773 Teaches himself Latin

1775 Becomes apprentice shoemaker; religious talks with John Warr

1776 Dec., conscience stricken over stolen shilling, begins serious spiritual search

1779 Feb., leaves Church of England; Sept., apprentices with Thomas Old

1781 Marries Dorothy “Dolly” Plackett

1782 June, begins preaching every other week; daughter Ann born

1783 Oct.,baptized by John Ryland, Jr.; daughter Ann dies; seriously ill and loses hair; Dec., when Thomas Old dies, takes over business and cares for Old’s family

1785 Son Felix born; summer, fails trial sermon for ordination; Aug., begins pastoring in Moulton on trial basis; reads Captain Cook’s Journals and begins thinking about missions

1787 Aug., ordained; Oct., baptizes his wife, Dorothy

1788 Son William, Jr., born

1789 Begins pastorate at Baptist church in Harvey Lane, Leicester; son Peter born

1791 Daughter Lucy born?

1792 May 12, publishes An Enquiry on missions; May 31, preaches “Expect great things, attempt great things” sermon; Oct. 2, helps to found Baptist Missionary Society (BMS); daughter Lucy dies

1793–1834, Missionary and Professor in India

1793 Jan. 9, commissioned as missionary to Bengal; May? son Jabez born; June 13, sails from Dover with family; Nov. 11, arrives in India

1794 Feb., settles in Sundarbans jungle; June, moves to Mudnabatti to manage indigo factory; Oct., son Peter dies; suffers attack of malaria

1795 Mar., Dorothy slips into delusions

1796 Son Jonathan born

1797 Completes draft of Bengali New Testament

1799 Summer, moves to Kidderpore; Oct., William Ward, Joshua and Hannah Marshman, and others arrive

1800 Jan., moves to Serampore, helps organize missionary community ; Dec., baptizes son Felix and first Indian convert, Krishna Pal

1801 Feb., first Bengali NT printed by Serampore Press; Apr., appointed teacher at Fort William College, Calcutta

1804 First of 19 mission stations established

1807 Ordains son Felix; granted doctorate by Brown University; Dec., Dorothy dies

1808 May, marries Charlotte Rumohr; Sanskrit NT published

1812 Fire at Serampore destroys years of translation work

1815 Andrew Fuller, last of BMS founders, dies; tensions increase between BMS and Serampore mission

1817 Younger missionaries leave Serampore to form rival mission

1818 Serampore College founded; Sanskrit Bible published

1820 Organizes Agricultural Society of Bengal

1821 May, Charlotte dies

1822 Summer, marries Grace Hughes; son Felix dies

1823 William Ward dies

1827 Serampore severs ties with BMS

1830 Calcutta bank crash; Serampore in financial jeopardy; Serampore reunites with BMS

1834 June 9, Carey dies at Serampore

1837 Joshua Marshman dies; Serampore mission closed

Christianity & Missions

1761–1792, Cobbler and Pastor in England

1769 Junípero Serra founds mission at San Diego

1770 Evangelist George Whitefield dies

1771 Francis Asbury brings Methodism to America

1779 “Amazing Grace” published

1784 New “Sunday school ” movement enrolls 250,000 children

1791 John Wesley dies

1793–1834, Missionary and Professor in India

1795 London Missionary Society (LMS) founded

1796 Scottish and Glasgow missionary societies founded

1797 America’s 2nd Great Awakening begins in Kentucky

1799 Church Missionary Society (CMS) founded in England

1804 British and Foreign Bible Society founded

1807 British slave trade abolished

1810 First American foreign missions group, American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions

1813 Adoniram and Ann Judson arrive in Burma

1816 Richard Allen elected bishop of African Methodist Episcopal Church

1817 Robert Moffat arrives in South Africa, begins 50 years of work; John Williams, famous South Seas missionary, sent

1820 American missionaries arrive in Hawaii

1825 Charles Finney ignites revival in New York

World Events

1761–1792, Cobbler and Pastor in England

1769 James Watt patents steam engine

1776 Declaration of Independence

1778 James Cook discovers Hawaii; Voltaire dies

1780 Benedict Arnold’s plot

1781 Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason; planet Uranus discovered; British surrender at Yorktown

1783 Montgolfier brothers’ hot-air balloon

1784 Benjamin Franklin invents bifocals

1785 Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro

1789 French Revolution begins; Washington begins 1st term

1791 U.S. Bill of Rights

1793–1834, Missionary and Professor in India

1793 Eli Whitney invents cotton gin

1796 Edward Jenner improves vaccination against smallpox

1800 Washington, D.C. replaces New York as U.S. capital

1812 Napoleon invades Russia; U.S. declares war on Britain; Grimm’s Fairy Tales

1818 Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

1819 Beethoven goes deaf; five years later writes 9th Symphony (“Ode to Joy”)

1820 U.S. Land Law fixes land price at minimum of $1.25 per acre

1826 The Last of the Mohicans

1834 Spanish Inquisition abolished; Abraham Lincoln elected to Illinois legislature

By Mark Galli

[Christian History originally published this article in Christian History Issue #36 in 1992]

Mark Galli is associate editor of Christian History.
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