Mission Cemetery Serampore


Mission Cemetery Serampore

This is my third blog in the Danish Serampore series and this blog, we will visit another cemetery. This one is the Baptist Mission Cemetery located very near to Serampore college and is also very significant in the historic perspective of Christianity in India.

The Serampore Trio

Before understanding the significance of why this small cemetery is so important to Christianity in South Asia you have to first understand “The Serampore Trio”.

William Carey, Joshua Marshman, and William Ward were true icons when it came to education and translation in India. Together they were known as The Serampore Trio.

The Serampore Trio - Bust of Joshua Marshman, William Carey, and William Ward at Serampore College
The Serampore Trio – Bust of Joshua Marshman, William Carey, and William Ward at Serampore College

William Carey (1761 – 1834)

He was born in the year 1761 in rural Northamptonshire, England. He arrived in India on the 11th of November 1793 and initially tried to settle down in Calcutta but then moved on to North Bengal. He found it difficult for him to spread the Baptist mission in Calcutta which was then being dominated by other sects so he settled for Serampore which was then under Danish rule.

Out here on the 10th of July 1800, he started The Serampore Mission under Baptist Missionary Society. On 5th July 1818, he started the Serampore College along with Joshua Marshman and William Ward. The main reason behind starting this college was to train the local indigenous population in theology so that they can become ministers.

In 1827 Serampore College was granted a Royal Charter by Frederick VI, King of Denmark, that allowed the college to grant a degree which was first in Asia. Serampore College superseded the Bishop’s College which was then located in Shibpur to grant theological degrees and became the sole college in the whole of South Asia to have that power.

The other major accomplishment was the translation of The New Testament into Bengali language and then printing them for the very first time in Serampore where a printing press had been set up with the help of William Ward who was a printer. At a later stage, this very printing press managed to print Bible in 44 different languages.

Another interesting fact was the love for botany and Carey started a botanical garden in Serampore which unfortunately is no longer present at the moment. It was located in the same premises where we now see India Jute Mill. He founded the Agri Horticultural Society of India located in Alipore and also acted as a temporary caretaker of Botanical Gardens in Shibpur.

He died on the 9th of June 1834 and was buried at the Mission Cemetery.

Bust of William Carey at Serampore College
Bust of William Carey at Serampore College

Joshua Marshman (1768 – 1837)

He was born in the year 1768 at Westbury Leigh, Wiltshire in Britain. He came to Calcutta along with William Ward in 1799 along with his family and children. Being a scholar he was instrumental in translating the Bible along with William Carey in many Indian languages. They were also instrumental in the translation of Ramayana from Sanskrit to English.

He died on the 9th of June 1834 and was buried at the Mission Cemetery.

Bust of Joshua Marshman at Serampore College
Bust of Joshua Marshman at Serampore College

William Ward (1769–1823)

He was born on the 20th of October 1769 at Derby in England. He was the main person behind the setting up of the printing press in Serampore. He was a trained printer which he had learned in Derby. He came to India in 1799 along with Joshua Marshman and went to Serampore since they found it difficult to settle in Calcutta.

He was also instrumental in arranging funds for Serampore College which he managed through his visits to Europe and also to the United States.

He died on the 6th of December 1837 and was buried at the Mission Cemetery.

Bust of William Ward at Serampore College
Bust of William Ward at Serampore College

About Mission Cemetery Serampore

The name of this cemetery is Mission Cemetery and over the years people have started referring to this also as William Carey Graveyard which is incorrect. The simple reason being that in this very cemetery also lies two of his best colleagues and friend Joshua Marshman and William Ward.

This is the second Cemetery in Serampore the other one being Danish Cemetery which is in itself divided into two parts one for the Protestants and the other for the Roman Catholics. This Cemetery was created for the English Baptist Missionaries who had taken charge of church and college. More than the Danish contribution it is the contribution of Baptist missionaries that built the legacy of Serampore.

Entrance to Mission Cemetery at Serampore
Entrance to Mission Cemetery at Serampore
View of Entry Gate (from inside) at Mission Cemetery at Serampore
View of Entry Gate (from inside) at Mission Cemetery at Serampore

Grave of William Carey

As you enter on your extreme left you will see a large domed tomb-like structure. If you go towards that section of the cemetery then you will find the grave spot of William Carey himself and that of his wives and children. The grave of William Carey is very simple painted in red with a marble plaque on top.

Grave of William Carey & His Family at Mission Cemetery at Serampore
Grave of William Carey & His Family at Mission Cemetery at Serampore
Grave of William Carey & His Family at Mission Cemetery at Serampore
Grave of William Carey & His Family at Mission Cemetery at Serampore
Grave of William Carey at Mission Cemetery at Serampore
Grave of William Carey at Mission Cemetery at Serampore
Marble Plaque at the Grave of William Carey at Mission Cemetery at Serampore
Marble Plaque at the Grave of William Carey at Mission Cemetery at Serampore

On one side of the tomb, the Stone plaque mentions Charlotte Emilia who was the second wife of William Carey, and Grace Carey the third wife of William Carey.

On the other side of the tomb, the plaque is dedicated to Mrs. D. (Dorothy) Carey the first wife of William Carey.

These Plaques Are on The White Tomb Belonging to Mrs. D. (Dorothy) Carey, Charlotte Emilia, and Grace Carey at Mission Cemetery at Serampore
These Plaques Are on The White Tomb Belonging to Mrs. D. (Dorothy) Carey, Charlotte Emilia, and Grace Carey at Mission Cemetery at Serampore

The red grave in front of the tomb is that of Felix Carey the eldest son of William Carey.

Grave of Felix Carey (Eldest son of William Carey) at Mission Cemetery at Serampore
Grave of Felix Carey (Eldest son of William Carey) at Mission Cemetery at Serampore
Memorial to Felix Carey (Eldest son of William Carey) at Mission Cemetery at SeramporeMemorial to Felix Carey (Eldest son of William Carey) at Mission Cemetery at Serampore
Memorial to Felix Carey (Eldest son of William Carey) at Mission Cemetery at Serampore

Grave of Joshua Marshman

This section is located right opposite the side of the cemetery from that of William Carey. This memorial site is the biggest in this cemetery marked by a domed structure with three arched entrances in the front and two on each side.

There are no visible graves here but just memorial plaques belonging to Joshua Marshman and that of his relatives.

Tomb of Marshman Family at Mission Cemetery at Serampore
Tomb of Marshman Family at Mission Cemetery at Serampore
Memorial Plaques inside Tomb of Marshman Family at Mission Cemetery at Serampore
Memorial Plaques inside Tomb of Marshman Family at Mission Cemetery at Serampore
Memorial Plaque of Johusa Marshman inside the Tomb of Marshman Family at Mission Cemetery at Serampore
Memorial Plaque of Johusa Marshman inside the Tomb of Marshman Family at Mission Cemetery at Serampore
Memorial Plaque of (Left) Margaret Norah Marshman Wife of John Clark Marshman (Right) Henry Allen William inside Marshman Family at Mission Cemetery at Serampore
Memorial Plaque of (Left) Margaret Norah Marshman Wife of John Clark Marshman (Right) Henry Allen William inside Marshman Family at Mission Cemetery at Serampore
Memorial Plaque of John Lionel Williams inside Marshman Family at Mission Cemetery at Serampore
Memorial Plaque of John Lionel Williams inside Marshman Family at Mission Cemetery at Serampore
(Top Left) New Born of I. O. and R. S. Voict (Top Right) Susana Lydia (Bottom Left) Rachel Shepherd Brandis (Bottom Right) Rosamond Norah at Mission Cemetery at Serampore
(Top Left) New Born of I. O. and R. S. Voict (Top Right) Susana Lydia (Bottom Left) Rachel Shepherd Brandis (Bottom Right) Rosamond Norah at Mission Cemetery at Serampore

Grave of William Ward

This is located at the end of the cemetery. From the main gate if you look straight then you will be able to see a circular dome-like structure with nine pillars. This place only has one plaque only dedicated to William Ward.

Tomb of William Ward at Mission Cemetery at Serampore
Tomb of William Ward at Mission Cemetery at Serampore
Memorial Plaque of William Ward at Mission Cemetery at Serampore
Memorial Plaque of William Ward at Mission Cemetery at Serampore

Other Graves at Mission Cemetery

Apart from the graves of William Carey, Joshua Marshman, and William Ward along with their relatives, there are other graves also in this cemetery. Some of them are in a very bad state requiring urgent repairs while some of them are freshly whitewashed. Some of the gravesites are marked with unique small pillar-like structures.

Other Graves at Mission Cemetery at Serampore – Alexander Hugh Kelly & John Malone Kelly
Other Graves at Mission Cemetery at Serampore – Alexander Hugh Kelly & John Malone Kelly
Other Graves at Mission Cemetery at Serampore – Amellia Williamson
Other Graves at Mission Cemetery at Serampore – Amellia Williamson
Other Graves at Mission Cemetery at Serampore
Other Graves at Mission Cemetery at Serampore
Other Graves at Mission Cemetery at Serampore – John Hutton
Other Graves at Mission Cemetery at Serampore – John Hutton
Other Unmarked Graves at Mission Cemetery at Serampore
Other Unmarked Graves at Mission Cemetery at Serampore
Other Graves at Mission Cemetery at Serampore
Other Graves at Mission Cemetery at Serampore
Other Graves at Mission Cemetery at Serampore
Other Graves at Mission Cemetery at Serampore
Other Graves at Mission Cemetery at Serampore
Other Graves at Mission Cemetery at Serampore
Other Graves at Mission Cemetery at Serampore
Other Graves at Mission Cemetery at Serampore
Other Graves at Mission Cemetery at Serampore Which Needs Urgent Maintenance
Other Graves at Mission Cemetery at Serampore Which Needs Urgent Maintenance
Other Graves at Mission Cemetery at Serampore Which Needs Urgent MaintenanceOther Graves at Mission Cemetery at Serampore Which Needs Urgent Maintenance
Other Graves at Mission Cemetery at Serampore Which Needs Urgent Maintenance
Other Graves at Mission Cemetery at Serampore Which Needs Urgent Maintenance
Other Graves at Mission Cemetery at Serampore Which Needs Urgent Maintenance
Other Graves at Mission Cemetery at Serampore Which Needs Urgent Maintenance
Other Graves at Mission Cemetery at Serampore Which Needs Urgent Maintenance

How to Visit Mission Cemetery in Serampore

The place is not open to visitors and you would need prior permission from Serampore College for entering this place. The caretaker stays within the cemetery compound but you will not be allowed entry unless you have written permission from the college authority.

How to Reach Mission Cemetery in Serampore

This place is located right next to Gopinath Saha Bridge on Brojo Dutta Lane (Kash Bagan) and although you can come by your car parking will be difficult due to the narrow lane. Ideally park on the main road which is approaching the bridge and then walk around fifty meters to reach the cemetery.

Location of Mission Cemetery Serampore

Other Blogs on Serampore

Danish Cemetery in Serampore

St. Olavs Church

Resources

William Carey University
Boston University
Columbia University
Serampore College

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.