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Thomas Stephen Buston

Jesuit missionary and author, b. 1549, in the Diocese of Salisbury, England; d. at Goa, 1619

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Buston (or BUSTEN), THOMAS STEPHEN, Jesuit missionary and author, b. 1549, in the Diocese of Salisbury, England; d. at Goa, 1619. He entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus on October 11, 1576, and in the following year sailed for India, landing at Goa on October 24, 1578. He settled in the island of Salsette, on the west coast of the peninsula, and in 1584 he became superior of the Jesuits in that district, retaining the office until his death thirty-five years later. Buston wrote several works to further the instruction and conversion to Christianity of the natives; his writings are the earliest known to have been printed in Hindustan. Buston’s published works are: “Arte da lingoa canarina”, a grammar of the language spoken in Canara, a district on the Malabar coast. It is written in Portuguese, the language used by Europeans on that coast. Father Diogo de Ribeiro had the work printed, with his own additions, at Goa, in 1640. “Doutrina christa em lingua bramana” (1632); “Discurso sobre a vida de Jesus Christo” (Rachol, 1649); “Purana”, a collection of poems written in the Indian language, illustrating the chief mysteries of Christianity. Buston, at the time of his death, was held in general repute as an apostle and a saint.

D. O. HUNTER-BLAIR.


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