MARTYN, HENRY, 1781-1812; b. Truro, co. of Cornwall, England; of humble origin, his father being a laborer in the mines of Gwenap. At the age of seven he was placed at the grammar school of Truro with Dr. Carden, where he made great proficiency in the classics. Remaining here till the age of fourteen, he offered himself as a candidate for a vacant scholarship at Corpus Claristi collbge, Oxford, but, being unsuccessful, he returned to Dr. Carden's school, and after two years' study entered, in 1797, St. John's college, Cambridge; obtained in 1801 the highest academical honor of " senior wrangler" and the prize for the greatest proficiency in mathematics; in 1802 was chosen fellow of his college, besides gaining the first prize for the best Latin prose composition. The sudden death of his father and the earnest preaching with the faithful counsel of Mr. Simeon, the university preacher, led to his conversion and dedication to the ministry. A remark of Mr. Simeon on the good resulting from the services of Dr. Carey in India, and a perusal of the Lffe of David Brainerd, led to his deciding to be a missionary. Bright prospects of honorable distinction at Cambridge, intense enthusiasm in literary pursuits, an exquisite relish for the refined enjoyments of social life, affected not his purpose. After receiving ordination in 1803, he was curate of the rev. C. Simeon; in 1804 he was public examiner in St. John's in the classics and Locke's treatise on the understauding; in 1805 he sailed for India as chaplain in the East India company's service, and reached Calcutta in May,1806; in September received his appointment to Dina pore, and soon conducted worship among the natives in their own vernacular, and established schools for their instruction. He engaged while here in the study of Sanskrit, in revising the sheets of his Hindustani version of the New Testament, and superin tending the Persian translation made by Sabat. He had religious discussions daily with his moonshee and pundit. In 1807 he completed the translation of the Book of Common Prayer into Hindustani. In March of the same year he finished a Commentary on the Parables. In 1809 his ministry among the heathen began and lie was stationed at Cawnpore. He suffered exceedingly in the journey from Dinapore from the intense heat. And soon after his arrival he preached to a thousand soldiers in a hollow square, in the open air, with the heat so great that even before sunrise many dropped down from its effect. He continued his work among the hundreds of heathen mendicants who crowded
around him. Having perfected himself in the Persian language, he decided to extend his labors to that country, and took up his residence at Shiraz, where he revised, with the aid of learned natives, his Persian and Arabic translation of the New Testament, and held discussions with the mollahs and sufis, many of whom were greatly impressed. " Henry Martyn," said a Persian mollah, " was never beaten in argument; he was a good man, a man of God." In view of the effect of his frequent discussions, and of his being engaged in a translation ofthe .New Testament into Persian, the preceptor of all the mollalis wrote an Arabic defense of Mohammedanism. To this Martyn replied in Persian. At Shiraz he held a public discussion with a professor of Mohammedan law, and another more important with Mirza Ibraheem in a court of the palace of one of the Persian princes, where was collected a large body of mollahs. Having finished his translation of the New Testament, he commenced a version of the Psalms from the Hebrew. Having ordered two copies of the New Testament to be prepared, one for the king of Persia, the other for the prince Abbas Mirza, his son, he left Shiraz for Talaiz to make the presentation, but was seized with fever on the way and so prostrated that he found it necessary to seek a change of climate. Compelled thus so relinquish his purpose, sir Gore Ouseley, the British ambassador, promised to present the New Testi ment at court, which he did, and the king publicly expressed his approbation of the work. The ambassador also carried the .MS. to St. Petersburg, where, under his superintendence, it was printed and put into circulation. Martyn now decided to return to England, and Sept., 1812, set out for Constantinople, reaching Tocat in Asia Minor, where his utter prostration compelled him to stop. Either falling a victim to the plague then raging or sinking under the disease which had so greatly reduced him, he died Oct. 16, 1812, in the 32d year of his age. A monument was erected at Tocat in 1856. He was the author of Sermons, Controversial Tracts, Journals and Letters.