Robert Morrison, an English missionary, born in Morpeth, Northumberland, Jan. 5, 1782, died in Canton, Aug. 1, 1834. He was apprenticed to his father as a last maker, but commenced the study of theology in 1801, and entered the Independent academy at Hoxton in 1803. In 1804 he offered his services to the London missionary society, and in 1805 removed to the mission college at Gosport, where he began the study of Chinese. In the winter of 1807 he was ordained, and in the following autumn went to Canton, being the first Protestant missionary to China. In 1808 he was appointed translator to the East India company's factory at Canton, and began translating the Scriptures into Chinese. The New Testament appeared in 1814, and the Old Testament, executed with the assistance of Mr. Milne, in 1818. In November of the latter year Mr. Morrison caused the foundation of an Anglo-Chinese college at Malacca. In 1823-'6 he was in England, and became a member of the royal society. His Chinese grammar (4to, Serampore, 1815) and his Chinese dictionary (5 vols., Macao, 1815-23) were his chief original works.
His "Memoirs" were compiled by his widow (2 vols., London, 1839).