Lynch, James
c.1775-1858; e.m. 1808

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Missionary in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) and India, born in Co. Donegal and converted from Roman Catholicism in his youth. He was one of the missionaries accompanying Dr Thomas Coke in 1813 on a mission to Asia. After Coke's death at sea, he became the leader of the team and in due course the Missionary Committee appointed him Superintendent of the Ceylon Mission 'until a person be appointed from England to take general superintendence of the Eastern Mission'. He served in Jaffna, Ceylon until 1817, then moved to Madras to extend the mission to India. He recognized the importance of education and of a trained local ministry and was open to the possibility that Hindus were not idol-worshippers in the biblical sense. His relations with the WMMS became strained owing to poor communication and he returned to Irish circuits in 1824, retiring to Leeds in 1842, where he died on 21 March 1858.

  • William M. Harvard, A Narrative of the establishment and progress of the missions to Ceylon (1823)
  • N.W. Taggart, The Irish in World Methodism (1986) pp.104-28