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Benjamin Clough (1791-1853)

Benjamin Clough was born at Bradford, Yorkshire. At the age of twelve, he started to attend the weekly meetings for young people organised by the Anglican evangelical John Crosse and was converted. Clough joined the Methodists at the age of seventeen and became a local preacher. His reputation was such that he was recommended to Thomas Coke as a travelling companion and in 1813 entered the itinerancy with the intention of accompanying Coke to Ceylon.

After the mission's arrival in the east, Clough started to teach at a school and was soon fluent in the local and classical languages of Ceylon. He went on to translate the bible into Singhalese and compiled an English-Singhalese dictionary which was widely used by the colonial administration. Clough also assisted in the preparation of the New Testament into Pali.

Clough served twenty-five years in Ceylon until failing health forced him to return to England, where he exercised an active circuit ministry until superannuation in 1852. He settled in Southwark, London.

Source: Minutes of Conference 1853

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