William Edward Soothill

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William Edward Soothill, FRGS (1861 – 1935) was a Methodist missionary to China who later became Professor of Chinese at University College, Oxford, and a leading British sinologist.

Life[edit]

Born in Halifax, Yorkshire in January 1861, Soothill matriculated at London University.[1] He entered the ministry of the United Methodist Free Church arriving in China in 1882 and spent 29 years as a missionary in Wenzhou, China. He founded a hospital, a training college, schools and 200 preaching stations. In 1911 Soothill became President of the Imperial University at Shansi. Upon his return to England in 1920 he was appointed the Shaw Professor of Chinese at Oxford University, becoming a Fellow of University College, Oxford.

In 1921, he was awarded the Order of Wen-Hu (third class) by the Republic of China in recognition of services rendered in connection with the Chinese Labour Corps in France. In 1926 he was a member of Lord Willingdon's delegation to China on the settlement of the Boxer Rebellion indemnities.

He is best known for his translation into English of the Analects of Confucius and his Dictionary of Chinese Buddhist Terms with Sanscrit and English Equivalents. He married Lucy Farrar in 1884. She wrote an account of their years in China entitled A Passport to China.

He and his wife Lucy were the parents of Dorothea, Lady Hosie, who was the wife of the diplomat Sir Alexander Hosie. Lady Hosie was the author of a number of books about China.[2][3]

Selected works[edit]

  • William Edward Soothill (1900). The student's four thousand [characters] and general pocket dictionary (2 ed.). American Presbyterian Mission Press. p. 420. Retrieved 2011-07-06.
  • William Edward Soothill (1903). The student's four thousand ...: characters and general pocket dictionary, Volume 3 (3 ed.). American Presbyterian Mission Press. p. 420. Retrieved 2011-07-06.
  • William Edward Soothill (1908). The student's four thousand tzu and general pocket dictionary (6 ed.). American Presbyterian Mission Press. p. 211. Retrieved 2011-07-06.
  • The Student's Four Thousand and General Pocket Dictionary (1899)
  • A Mission in China (1906,1907)
  • The Analects of Confucius (1910)
  • China and Education, with Special Reference to the University for China (1912)
  • The Three Religions of China (1913; revised edition 1929)
  • Timothy Richard of China (1924)
  • China and the West: A sketch of their Intercourse (1925)
  • A History of China (1927)
  • China and England (1928)
  • The Lotus of the Wonderful Law: or, The Lotus Gospel (1930)
  • A Dictionary of Chinese Buddhist Terms: with Sanskrit and English Equivalents and a Sanskrit-Pali Index (1937, with Lewis Hodous)
  • The Hall of Light: A study of Early Chinese Kingship, edited by Lady Hosie and G. F. Hudson (1951)

Sources[edit]

The Methodist Archives Biographical Index: Minutes of Conference 1958 and Encyclopedia of World Methodism (1974)

Notes[edit]

References and further reading[edit]

External links[edit]