John Burdon (bishop)

John Shaw Burdon[1] (simplified Chinese: 包尔腾; traditional Chinese: 包爾騰; 1826 – 5 January 1907) was a British Christian missionary to China with the Church Mission Society who in time became a bishop.[2]

John Shaw Burdon
JS Burdon.jpg
Missionary to China
Died5 January 1907
John Burdon
Traditional Chinese包爾騰
Simplified Chinese包尔腾


Burdon was ordained to the priesthood by the Bishop of London in December 1852;[3] and resigned in 1896.[4] He opposed Britain's part in the Anglo-Chinese First and Second Opium Wars. In March 1874 he was consecrated bishop of the South China diocese of the Anglican Church in Victoria and Hong Kong. Burdon was a translator with Samuel Isaac Joseph Schereschewsky of the Book of Common Prayer.[5]

Burdon was a friend and fellow travelling evangelist of the young Hudson Taylor. He married Harriet Ann, whom he lost to illness in 1854 in Shanghai.[6] His second marriage in 1857 was to Burella Hunter Dyer, the daughter of missionary Rev.Samuel Dyer.[7] She died the following year of cholera, also in Shanghai. His third wife also predeceased him. Burton is fluent in Shanghainese. In April 1855, Burdon and Hudson Taylor stationed in Chongming Island, adjacent to Shanghai. When they preached, Hudson Taylor spoke first in Mandarin, then Burton interpreted into Shanghainese, which is native to the island.[8]

The school, named Tong Wen Guan, was officially opened on 11 June 1862 and Burdon was hired as the first English instructor.[9]

He died at Bedford on 5 January 1907, and was buried at Royston. [10]


Burdon was married three times: first, to Harriet Anne Forshaw on 30 March 1853, who died at Shanghai on 26 September 1854 ; second, to Burella Hunter Dyer, on 11 November 1857, who died on 16 Aug. 1858; third, to Phoebe Esther, daughter of E. T. Alder, vicar of Bungay on 14 June 1865. She died on 14 June 1898; they had three sons.[10]


  • Old Testament Manual
  • Christian Joy: A Sermon, Preached in the London Mission Chapel, Shanghai, 25 November 1858, the Last Thursday in the Month, Usually Observed in the United States of America as Thanksgiving Day (1858)
  • The Chinese Term for God: A Letter to the Protestant Missionaries of China (1877)
  • Colloquial Versions of the Chinese Scriptures: A Paper to be read at the Shanghai Missionary Conference (1890)


  1. ^ NPG details
  2. ^ Archive.Org
  3. ^ 'BURDON, Rt Rev. John Shaw', Who Was Who, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 1920–2008; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2007 accessed 17 Sept 2013
  4. ^ Ecclesiastical Intelligence The Times (London, England), Tuesday, 4 Aug 1896; pg. 3; Issue 34960
  5. ^ Wickeri, Philip L. (2 February 2017), "Anglicanism in China and East Asia, 1819–1912", The Oxford History of Anglicanism, Volume III, Oxford University Press, pp. 318–337, doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199699704.003.0015, ISBN 9780199699704, retrieved 19 July 2018
  6. ^ Ellison, E. S.; Shantung Road Cemetery 1846-1868.
  7. ^ "The Gentleman's Magazine" July–December, 1858, p. 646.
  8. ^ 宋莉华 (2012). "19世纪传教士汉语方言小说述略" (PDF). 文学遗产 (4): 137. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 September 2020.
  9. ^ Broomhall (1983), 443
  10. ^ a b Lee 1912.


Academic offices
Preceded by
Charles Richard Alford
Principal of St. Paul's College, Hong Kong
Succeeded by
Joseph Charles Hoare