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William Marsden

(1754-1836), Orientalist and numismatist

Regency Portraits Catalogue Entry

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.

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William Marsden, attributed to Sir Francis Leggatt Chantrey - NPG 316a(85)

William Marsden

attributed to Sir Francis Leggatt Chantrey
silhouette, 1818
NPG 316a(85)

William Marsden, by Mary Dawson Turner (née Palgrave), after  Thomas Phillips - NPG D22585

William Marsden

by Mary Dawson Turner (née Palgrave), after Thomas Phillips
etching, (1815)
NPG D22585

William Marsden, by Samuel Cousins - NPG D38268

William Marsden

by Samuel Cousins
stipple engraving, 1820
NPG D38268


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