On this day in 1769, William Ward, the third of the famous Serampore triumvirate, was born at Derby, England.
He served an apprenticeship to a printer in his native town, and for a time edited the Derby Mercury. But in 1796, he was saved, and joined the Baptist church in Hull. Hearing that the Missionary Society wanted a printer to print the Bengalee translations of the Scriptures, he began to investigate the possibility of going himself. He was soon introduces to a man named William Carey, who was preparing to set sail to India. Carey, seeing the skills and ability Wade possessed, told him, “If the Lord bless us, we shall want a person of your business to enable us to print the Scriptures; I hope you will come after us.” Three years later, Ward sailed to join Carey in India. Almost as soon as he arrived, he printed the New Testament in Bengalese. He set up a large printing house in Serampore, where translations of the Bible (Bengáli, Mahratta, Tamil, and twenty-three other languages) , tracts, and other books were printed and distributed all over India and the orient.
In 1819, Ward returned to England due to health complications. He spent this time traveling to churches, raising money for the mission and the new college they just started in India, the Serampore College. He was the first missionary who had ever returned from the East. His warm and animated addresses were well adapted to move popular assemblies. He also visited Holland, and then proceeded to this country, where he spent three months, and raised $10,000 for Serampore College. He was everywhere greeted with the warmest welcome.
He returned to India in 1821, where he picked up the work he left behind. His influence on the work in India have caused many to refer to him, along with Marshman & Carey, as one of the Serampore trio, the men who helped shine the light of the Gospel throughout India in their day.