John Burdon (bishop)

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John Shaw Burdon
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Missionary to China
Born 1826
Glasgow, Scotland
Died 5 January 1907
Royston, Glasgow, Scotland
John Burdon
Traditional Chinese 包爾騰
Simplified Chinese 包尔腾

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]


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.

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.[5] His second marriage in 1857 was to Burella Hunter Dyer, the daughter of missionary Rev.Samuel Dyer.[6] She died the following year of cholera, also in Shanghai. His third wife also predeceased him.

The school, named Tong Wen Guan, was officially opened on 11 June 1862 and Burdon was hired as the first English instructor.[7]

He died at Bedford on 5 January 1907, and was buried at Royston. [8]


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.[8]


  • 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, Aug 04, 1896; pg. 3; Issue 34960
  5. Ellison, E. S.; Shantung Road Cemetery 1846-1868.
  6. "The Gentlemen's Magazine" July–December, 1858, p. 646.
  7. Broomhall (1983), 443
  8. 8.0 8.1 Lee 1912.


  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain[ "Burdon, John Shaw" ] Check |ws link in chapter= value (help). Dictionary of National Biography (1st supplement). London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1901.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Broomhall, Alfred (1983). Hudson Taylor and China's Open Century: Over The Treaty Wall. London: Hodder and Stoughton.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • John S. Burdon 1826 – 1907
Academic offices
Preceded by
Charles Richard Alford
Principal of St. Paul's College, Hong Kong
Succeeded by
Joseph Charles Hoare