First woman missionary to India.
1800 – Hannah Marshman wrote in the mission journal that her outreach proved successful, for “The women appeared to have learned more of the Gospel than we expected. They declared for Christ at once.” She noticed when going to the bazaar’s that she never saw any women because of the Eastern culture. She knew that they would never be reached unless she visited them in their homes, so she tirelessly went house to house with the gospel. Hannah was the wife of Joshua Marshman, who along with William Carey and William Ward, have often been called the “triumvirate” in reference to the mission in India. In a letter to Andrew Fuller, Carey described Mrs. Marshman as “a prodigy of prudence.” She was certainly a Proverbs Chapter thirty-one woman. She was also the first woman missionary to India. She was born in 1767 in Bristol, England, but her parents died while she was an infant and she was reared by her grandfather, Rev. John Clark, a Baptist minister. Hannah was converted to Christ during her teen years and was baptized. She married Joshua Marshman in 1792, and he taught in the Christian school at the Broadmead Baptist Church in Bristol. Marshman studied Hebrew and Syriac under John Ryland and when William Carey appealed for a linguist the Marshmans sailed for India in 1795 with eight adult missionaries and their children. In Serampore they lived in a compound and it was Hannah’s duty to manage it. The Marshmans established a boarding school which also provided an education for the missionaries children. Hannah served for fifty years in India, taking one furlough. She died in 1847.
[This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 667-68. Nesta B. Shoddy, Great Baptist Women (London: Carey Kingsgate Press, Ltd. 1955), p.42.] Prepared by Dr. Greg Dixon