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William Campbell (missionary)

William Campbell Chinese: 甘為霖; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Kam Ûi-lîm 1841–1921 was a Scottish Presbyterian missionary to Formosa Qing Taiwan He wrote extensively on topics related to Taiwan and was also responsible for founding the island's first school for the blind1 Interested in the early history of the island particularly the Dutch era, his knowledge of the time was such that he was called "without doubt the greatest authority on this subject living"2 He was probably the first European to see Sun-Moon Lake,3 which he named Lake Candidius in honour of the seventeenth century Dutch missionary George Candidius


  • 1 Mission to Taiwan
  • 2 Published works
  • 3 Notes
  • 4 References

Mission to Taiwanedit

Campbell arrived in Qing-era Taiwan in 1871 to begin his mission in southern Taiwan, being stationed in Taiwan-fu, the capital of Taiwan Prefecture modern-day Tainan and serving both Han Chinese and Taiwanese aborigines in the area4 He was a contemporary of Thomas Barclay, James Laidlaw Maxwell and George Leslie Mackay, who were all engaged in missionary work in Taiwan

A strong supporter of "native ministers" ie Han and aborigine clergy, Campbell wrote concerning one particular incident that

our worthy Chinese colleague received a most hearty welcome from the brethren He seemed to have great power in speaking to them at our forenoon service Whilst listening to him, one could not but feel the importance of having an educated native ministry in every part of China Men like Pastor Iap are able to adapt themselves in a way the missionary can never do, and to overcome difficulties which must always hamper any mere sojourner in the country5

Campbell witnessed Taiwan's transition to Japanese rule His mission lasted for forty-six years, until he left Taiwan for the last time in 1917 to return to his native Scotland, where he died in 1921

Published worksedit

  • Campbell, W; Gravius, Daniel 1888 The Gospel of St Matthew in Formosan Sinkang Dialect with corresponding versions in Dutch and English London: Trübner LCCN 2006478012 OCLC 844610148 
  • —————; Sibelius, Caspar 1889 An Account of Missionary Success in Island of Formosa London: Trübner OCLC 8390478 OL 25396942M 
  • ————— 1896 Past and Future of Formosa: With a New Map of the Island Hong Kong: Kelly and Walsh LCCN 05007841 OCLC 64871726: reprinted from Campbell, W August 1896 "The island of Formosa: Its past and future" Scottish Geographical Magazine 12 8: 385–399 doi:101080/00369229608732903  
  • Psalmanazar, George; Vertrecht, Jacobus; Happart, Gilbert 1896 Campbell, W, ed The articles of Christian instruction in Favorlang-Formosan, Dutch and English, from Vertrecht's manuscript of 1650, with Psalmanazar's dialogue between a Japanese and a Formosan, and Happart's Favorlang vocabulary London: K Paul, Trench, Trübner & co OCLC 4658625 OL 13995018M 
  • ————— 1902 Notes on a visit to the Taichu prefecture of Formosa Helensburgh: J Lamont OCLC 558224246 
  • ————— 1903 Formosa under the Dutch: Described from Contemporary Records London: Kegan Paul LCCN 04007338 OCLC 644323041 
  • ————— 1906 Memorandum on Printing Missionary Books in the So-called South Formosa Dialect Tainan OCLC 40859076 
  • ————— 1910 Handbook of the English Presbyterian mission in south Formosa Hastings: FJ Parsons OCLC 37352945 
  • ————— 1915 Sketches from Formosa London: Marshall Brothers OL 7051071M 
  • ————— 1913 A Dictionary of the Amoy Vernacular spoken throughout the prefectures of Chin-chiu, Chiang-chiu and Formosa in Southern Min Tainan: Taiwan Church Press OCLC 867068660 CS1 maint: Unrecognized language link
    • ————— 1923 1913 A Dictionary of the Amoy Vernacular spoken throughout the prefectures of Chin-chiu, Chiang-chiu and Formosa 2nd ed Yokohama: Fukuin Print Co OCLC 43655590with preface by Thomas Barclay 


  1. ^ Chang, Teresa "Taiwan's Medical Pioneers" Tzu Chi Retrieved 2008-08-11 
  2. ^ Davidson 1903, p 606
  3. ^ Otness 1999, p 25
  4. ^ Covell 1998, p 119
  5. ^ Campbell 1915, p 24


  • Campbell, William 1915 Sketches from Formosa London: Marshall Brothers OL 7051071M 
  • Covell, Ralph 1998 Pentecost of the hills in Taiwan : the Christian faith among the original inhabitants Pasadena, Calif: Hope Pub House ISBN 978-0-932727-90-9 OL 681169M 
  • Davidson, James W 1903 "Chapter XXXI: Formosa of To-day" The Island of Formosa, Past and Present : history, people, resources, and commercial prospects : tea, camphor, sugar, gold, coal, sulphur, economical plants, and other productions London and New York: Macmillan OCLC 1887893 OL 6931635M 
  • Otness, Harold M 1999 One Thousand Westerners in Taiwan, to 1945: A Biographical and Bibliographical Dictionary 1st ed Taibei Shi Nangang qu: Institute of Taiwan History, Preparatory Office, Academic Sinica ISBN 957-671-618-7 

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