Burns, William Chalmers, Evangelist and pioneer Presbyterian Church of England missionary in China, born Kilsyth, Scotland, 1 April 1815, died Yingkou, China, 4 April 1868.

Burns studied law in Edinburgh and theology in Glasgow and was involved in revivals in Dundee and Kilsyth where he developed his gifts as an evangelist. After time in Ireland and Canada, in 1847 he was ordained and appointed to China as the first missionary of the Presbyterian Church of England. His itinerant minstry laid the foundation for their work in Guangzhou, Xiamen, Shanghai, Shantou, and Fujian. Known as “the man of the Book”, he translated Pilgrim’s Progress and the metrical Psalms and wrote a number of hymns in Chinese.

John Roxborogh