Kidd, Samuel (DNB00)


KIDD, SAMUEL (1804–1843), missionary at Malacca and professor of Chinese at University College, London, born 22 Nov. 1804 at Welton, near Hull, was educated at the village school of that place. In 1818 he was sent to Hull, where his thoughts were directed towards a missionary career, and in 1820 he entered the London Missionary Society's training college at Gosport. In April 1824 he married Hannah, second daughter of William Irving of Hull. At the end of the same month he sailed under the auspices of the London Missionary Society to Madras, and thence to Malacca, where he arrived in the November following. He at once began the study of the Fuhkien dialect of Chinese, and under the advice and direction of the Rev. David Collie made rapid progress. In the course of 1826 he published several small tracts in Chinese, and in the year following he was appointed professor of Chinese in the Anglo-Chinese College of Malacca. From this time he took an active part in missionary labours, preaching constantly and preparing tracts for publication. In 1829 Mrs. Kidd was obliged to return to England on account of her health, and three years later attacks of epilepsy, to which he had become subject, compelled Kidd himself to adopt the same remedy. He had fully intended to return to Malacca, but the state of his health forbade him, and in 1833 he was appointed pastor of a church at Manningtree in Essex. In 1837 he was appointed professor of Chinese at University College, London, for a term of five years. It was understood at the time of his nomination that his appointment would be renewed at the end of that term, but the condition was disregarded, and it was while the matter was in debate that he died suddenly on 12 June 1843, at his residence in Camden Town. Besides a number of small Chinese tracts, Kidd was the author of ‘Critical Notices of Dr. Robert Morrison's Literary Labours’ in ‘Memoir of Morrison,’ 1838, ii. 1–87; an inaugural lecture at University College on the Chinese language, 1838; a catalogue of the Chinese library at the Royal Asiatic Society; and ‘China, or Illustrations of the Philosophy, Government, and Literature of the Chinese,’ London, 1841, 8vo.

[Evangelical Magazine, 1843, p. 585; Gent. Mag. 1843, pt. ii. p. 209; information kindly supplied by W. G. B. Page, esq., of Hull.]

R. K. D.