William Marsden(1754-1836), Orientalist and numismatist
Sitter in 5 portraits
At sixteen, William Marsden followed his brother's example and obtained a civil service appointment with the East India Company in Sumatra. He was promoted to the position of Principal Secretary to the Government, and acquired a knowledge of the Malay language and country. On returning to England, Marsden wrote his History of Sumatra (1783). He served as Second, then First Secretary to the Admiralty and continued the private study of oriental languages, publishing Grammar and Dictionary of the Malay Language in 1812 and a translation of the Travels of Marco Polo in 1818. Marsden was a member of many learned societies, and was Treasurer and Vice-President of the Royal Society.