Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Williamson, Alexander

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WILLIAMSON, ALEXANDER (1829–1890), missionary to China, was born on 5 Dec. 1829, at Falkirk, studied at Glasgow, and was appointed missionary to China under the London Missionary Society. He was ordained at Glasgow in April 1855, and sailed in the following month for Shanghai, having previously married Miss Isabel Dougall. For two years he took part in missionary work at Shanghai and Pringhu; but, his health failing, he left China on sick leave, and arrived in England on 16 April 1858. His connection with the London Missionary Society terminated soon after his arrival in England. After some years spent in Scotland he returned to China as agent of the National Bible Society of Scotland, and arrived at Shanghai in December 1863. He died at Chefoo on 28 Aug. 1890. In 1879 he published a most interesting work on ‘Journeys in North China,’ in which he described the home of Confucius, and the district which is consecrated by associations with the sage. In addition he published a ‘Treatise on Botany’ in Chinese, entitled ‘Chih wu hsio,’ 1859.

[Personal knowledge; and Memorials of Protestant Missionaries to the Chinese, Shanghai, 1867.]

R. K. D.