with physiographical features as mentioned before and close to Calcutta will naturally be
one of the most advanced districts from education and culture point of view. The river
board of the district had attracted the Portuguese as early as 1535 and the Dutch near
about 1615. The first Englishman to visit Bengal was Ralph Fitch
who came to Hooghly about 1588. The Danish East India Company had also tried their fortune
in Hooghly district just as the French, Prussians and the Flemish had done.
The Christian Missions have had their great contribution in and
through it the whole of Bengal. Among the first Christian Missionaries were the
Augustinian. Friars who came from Goa to Bandel in the second half of the 16th century and
built the Bandel Church and monastery in 1599. The Jesuits had come to Hooghly before the
close of the 16th century. There was a Jesuit College in Hooghly in 1623. According to an
uncontradicted account, two of the daughters of Nur Jahan had become Christian and taken
up their abode with the Jesuits in the Portuguese settlement of Hooghly.
The Capuchins had established them selves first in
Chandernagore in 1703.The first Protestantminister to visit an English factory in Hooghly
was Rev. John Evans in 1678. A chapel was in use in 1679. The first organized mission was
the Serampore mission where the Baptist Missionary Society was formed in 1792 and this
mission collected Carey, Ward,Marshman, Brunsdon and Grant soon after. This group
translated the Bible in Sanskrit, Persian and a large number of other Indian languages.
The preaching was done entirely in the vernaculars and a fairly wide Bengali Christian
literature was the direct outcome. They also contributed towards lexicon and general