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A Short History of the Church of England in Victoria 1847-1947

By H. W. Nunn

Issued by the Editorial Committee of the Centenary Celebrations, Melboune Diocese, 1947.


[80] Area of Dioceses in Australia and Tasmania

Province of New South Wales.

Sydney 10,000 (Square miles)
Newcastle 16,000
Goulburn 32,780
Armidale 49,000
Bathurst 83,000
Riverina 118,000
Grafton 14,000

Province of Victoria

Melbourne 7,000
Ballarat 26,694
Bendigo 15,000
Wangaratta 15,979
Gippsland 20,000
St. Armaud 15,850

Province of Queensland

Brisbane 209,278
North Queensland 162,500
Rockhampton 223,000
British New Guinea 90,000
Carpentaria 620,000

Province of Western Australia

Perth 81,700
Bunbury 60,000
Kalgoorlie 310,000
North-West Australia 600,000

Dioceses not included in any Province

Tasmania 26,215
Adelaide 39,058
Willochra 300,000

[83] A List of Schools under the aegis of the Church of England in the Diocese of Melbourne.

1. Secondary Schools for Boys.

Melbourne Church of England Grammar School.
Geelong C.E.G.S.
Trinity Grammar School.
Ivanhoe Grammar School.
Malvern C.E.G.S.
Caulfield Grammar School.
Brighton Grammar School.
Camberwell Grammar School.

2. Secondary Schools for Girls.

Melbourne C.E.G.G.S.
"The Hermitage" C.E.G.G.S., Geelong.
"Firbank" C.E.G.G.S.
"Tintern" C.E.G.G.S.
"Korowa" C.E.G.G.S.
"Lowther Hall" C.E.G.G.S.
Ivanhoe C.E.G.G.S.
"Shelford" C.E.G.G.S., Caulfield.
"St. Michael's" C.E.G.G.S.

3. Intermediate Schools.

Camberwell C.E.G.G.S.
Christ Church Grammar School, South Yarra.
"St. Peter's" Girls' School, Murrumbeena.

4. Primary Schools.

"Coreen" Girls' School, Heidelberg.
"St. Paul's" Preparatory School, Caulfield.

5. Free Kindergarten Schools.

St. James, West Melbourne.
St. Mary's, North Melbourne.
St. Jude's, Carlton.
St. Philip's, Collingwood.
Alice Lovell Clarke Memorial, Fitzroy.
St. Martin's, Carlton.
St. Luke's, South Melbourne.
St. Albans, North Melbourne.
Christ Church, Essendon.

[84] Chancellors of the Diocese of Melbourne.

Mr. C. F. Griffith, 1854-1863.
Mr. Justice J. Wilberforce Stephen, 1863-1872.
Dr. W. E. Hearn, 1872-1888.
Mr. Justice Hodges, 1889-1908.
Sir Edward Mitchell, K.C., 1908-1941.
His Honour the Chief Justice Sir E. F. Herring, K.B.E., 1941-.

Advocates of the Diocese of Melbourne.

J. B. Bennett, 1858-1885.
R. W. Dickson, 1887-1896.
F. A. Moule, 1896-1944.
E. C. Rigby, 1944-.

Registrars of the Diocese of Melbourne.

Henry Moor, 1848-1854.
T. T. a'Beckett, 1854-1887.
W. E. Morris, 1887-1910.
F. Eustace, 1910-1912.
A. E. McLennan, 1912-1932.
E. T. McDermott, 1932-1944.
R. C. Wardle, 1942-.




(1) The Colonial Church Chronicle, Vol. 1, July, 1847-June, 1848, p. 9.

CHAPTER 1.--EARLY YEARS, 1803-1847.

(2) J. T. Bigge, an English barrister was sent to N.S.W., in 1819-1821 as a Royal Commissioner to report "upon the state of the judicial, civil and ecclesiastical establishments, revenue, trade and resources" of the settlement on behalf of the Home Government.

(3) The sermon is published in the Church of England Messenger, 14th February, 1878.

(4) R. D. Boys, First Years at Port Phillip (Melbourne, 1935), p. 23.

(5) ibid., p. 47.

(6) William Kelly, Life in Victoria, or Victoria in 1853 and Victoria in 1858 (London, 1860), p. 35.

(7) R. D. Boys, op. cit., p. 47.

(8) H. G. Turner, A day in Melbourne in 1839, Victorian Historical Magazine, Vol. 1, p. 147.

(9) Bishop of Australia's Letter, dated June, 1840, in Report of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts for 1841, pp. 148-9.

[85] (10) R. D. Boys, op. cit., p. 70.

(11) Journal of Visitation (S.P.C.K., London, 1845), p. 30.

(12) ibid., p. 38.

(13) ibid., p. 35.

(14) J. B. Clutterbuck, M.D., Port Phillip in 1849 (London, 1850), p. 67.


(15) A contemporary observer (William Kelly, op. cit., vol. 2, p. 301), states that "if popular opinion on the subject . . . was to be inferred from the size and glare of placards, the multiplication of pamphlets, the countless advertisements, and the multitudinous public meetings, denunciatory of a State Alliance with the Church, it would seem that ... the Act would be defeated by the impossibility of finding any recipients." However, the "placards were always fabricated by the same cliques, the pamphlets and advertisements always emanated from the selfsame committees, and the public meetings were always presided over by the same chairman, and dosed by the same lugubrious spouters."

(16) T. T. a'Beckett in Hansard, Parliamentary Debates, 1870, Vol. 10, p. 1039.

(17) Parliamentary Debates, 1860-1, Vol. 7, p. 670.

(18) Perry mislaid his Letters Patent on arrival in Melbourne. They were thought to be left on board ship, but were subsequently found in a London secondhand book shop, in 1930, and are now at St. Paul's Cathedral, Melbourne. Their interim history is obscure.

(19) 18 Victoria, No. 45, 30th November, 1854.

(20) G. Goodman, The Church in Victoria during the Episcopate of the Right Reverend Charles Perry (Melbourne, 1882), p. 223.

(21) Strong feelings were aroused in Australia as elsewhere through the recently pronounced Gorham Judgment. The Bishop of Exeter, Dr. Phillpotts, had refused to institute the Rev. G. C. Gorham to a living in his diocese, on the ground that, having denied baptismal regeneration, he held heretical opinions on the subject of Holy Baptism. The Bishop's action was held by the Court of Arches to be justified, but the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council decided on appeal, that Gorham's language was not incompatible with one interpretation of the Church of England's formularies. The Gorham case caused two difficulties. First, it was thought to show that "the Church as by law established" was tolerant of undoubted heresy, and secondly, it raised the whole question of what the supreme court of spiritual appeal ought to be, and appeared to convict the English Church of hopeless Erastianism.

In Australia, at the 1850 Conference of Bishops, Perry refused to sign a resolution dealing with Holy Baptism, and drew up a different statement of his view, and although he stated "his firm belief that infants do receive in Baptism the grace of Regeneration," his interpretation leaves little doubt that his sympathies were on the side of the Crown in the Gorham Judgment. The fact that it was just at this critical [85/86] moment in the history of the Australian Church that the Baptismal controversy was uppermost in men's minds, meant that those who were in sympathy with the Crown would tend to look to State Control as the ideal method of Church Government; those in sympathy with the Bishop of Exeter on the other hand would prefer a constitution which enabled the bishops to legislate, unfettered by state control. (See R. A. Giles, The Constitutional History of the Australian Church (London, 1929), p. 81.

(22) Charles Perry, Charge to the Clergy of the Diocese of Melbourne (Melbourne, 1866), p. 1.

(23) Dunbabin, The Making of Australia, p. 192.

(24) Mrs. Perry's Diary, quoted Goodman, op. cit., p. 160.


(25) C. C. Ling, The Establishment of the National System of Education in N.S.W. Report, Australian Council for Educational Research, No. 51 (Melbourne, 1938).

(26) As Port Phillip District, before 1851, was subject to the control of the Government of Sydney, the educational system of N.S.W. was imposed on the people of Port Phillip. The system existing, known as the Denominational System, was that the religious denominations held the control of education. They erected schools, provided masters, and each denomination made the teaching of its religious tenets essential. The cost of education was borne partly by the respective Churches, the Government, and partly covered by fees. Government funds were divided amongst the denominations on the basis of census returns. The method of establishing schools under the system was as follows:--If an Anglican clergyman desired to have a school in his parish, he procured a building, and engaged a teacher who remained under his control and direction. The regulations required that the teacher should attend for an indefinite period at the Model School of his Denomination, and once appointed the teacher received all instructions from the clergyman.

(27) Letter 49/170, Letter Book 1, Diocesan Registry, Melbourne, October 12, 1849.

(28) C. Perry, Address, Royal Colonial Institute; Proceedings (England, 1875-76), Vol. 7, p. 262.


(29) Brian Fitzpatrick, The Australian People, 1788-1945, (M.U.P., 1946), p. 202.

(30) J. D. Clutterbuck, op. cit., p. 64. (31) ibid., p. 67.

(32) ibid., p. 67.

(33) In 1850, the population was 76,000; in 1854, 250,000; in 1859, 500,000; viz., Brian Fitzpatrick, The British Empire in Australia (M.U.P., 1941), pp. 137, 160, 167.

(34) Brian Fitzpatrick, The Australian People, 1788-1945, p. 162.

(35) G. Goodman, op. cit., quoted pp. 174-5.

(36) Anthony Trollope, in his descriptive work on Victoria and Tasmania.

[87] (37) Brian Fitzpatrick, The British Empire in Australia, Introductory, p. XIII.

(38) G. H. Wathen, The Golden Colony, or Victoria in 1854 (London, 1855), p. 174.

(39) ibid.

(40) E. Conybeare, Highways and Byways in Cambridge and Ely (London, 1910), p. 156.

(41) The Church of England Messenger, 12th July, 1872, p. 7.

(42) There is a copy of Mrs. Perry's diary in the Melbourne University Library.

(43) G. Goodman, op. cit., quoted p. 81.

(44) ibid., p. 71.

(45) ibid.; p. 109.

(46) ibid., p. 163.

(47) ibid., p. 165.

(48) ibid., p. 167.

(49) Letter Book 1, 48/26, Diocesan Registry, Melbourne, 1848.

(50) ibid.

(51) The Church of England Messenger, Vol. 1, 1850, p. 2.

(52) H. G. Turner, A History of the Colony of Victoria (London, 1904),Vol. 1, p. 269.

(53) The Church of England Messenger, 25th Feb., 1869, p. 1.


(54) Bishop Moorhouse ultimately became Chancellor of the University of Melbourne in 1884, and says Professor Scott, "the eminence and great capacity for leadership of that very popular man made the choice of him a happy one, promising rich results." Professor Ernest Scott, A History of the University of Melbourne (M.U.P., 1936), p. 123.

(55) The Argus (Melbourne), 27th January, 1886.

(56) The Church of England Messenger, 18th January, 1877, p. 12.

(57) ibid., 18th. January, 1878.

(58) ibid., 9th August, 1877, p. 5.

(59) ibid., 18th January, 1877, p. 12.

(60) ibid., 9th August, 1877, p. 5.

(61) ibid., 7th July, 1879, p. 15.

(62) E. Rickards, Bishop Moorhouse of Melbourne and Manchester (London, 1920), p. 90.

(63) ibid., p. 90.

(64) Year Books, Diocese of Melbourne, 1876, 1886.

(65) The Argus (Melbourne), 27th January, 1886, p. 9.

(66) The Age (Melbourne), 9th March, 1886, p. 4.

(67) The Church of England Messenger, 12th November, 1903, p. 125.

(68) E. Rickards, op. cit., p. 117.

(69) ibid., pp. 111-112.

(70) ibid., p. 133.

(71) ibid., p. 127.

(72) ibid., p. 77.

[88] (73) Supplement to the Church of England Messenger, 17th March, 1886., p. 4.

(74) E. Rickards, op. cit., p. 122.

(75) During the years 1876 to 1886, the number of clergy had increased from 90 to 152, the number of readers 25 to 55, Lay Helpers 60 to 180, churches 169 to 273, Sunday Schools 164 to 324, parsonages 24 to 105, and the attendance at an average main Service on Sunday from 30,169 to 45,053. Sunday School Scholars increased from 19,215 to 29,053, and the provision of accommodation from 49,821 to 73,710. Viz., Year Books, Diocesan Registry, 1876, 1886.

(76) The Church of England Messenger, 8th October, 1879.


(a) Framework and Architects.

(77) The Church of England Messenger, 1st May, 1902, p. 63, viz., Minutes of the Ballarat Assembly.

(78) Dr. Lowther Clarke (1902-1920); Harrington Claire Lees (1921-1929); Frederick Waldegrave Head (1929-1941); and the present Archbishop Joseph John Booth (1941-)

(79) Proceedings of Conference (Melbourne, 27th, 28th July, 19b4), p. 5.

(80) For the Constitution of the Province of Victoria, see R. A. Giles, The Constitutional History of the Australian Church, appendix, document M., p. 251 ff.

(81) The Church of England Messenger, 19th March, 1920, p. 127.

(82) A list of schools under the aegis of the Church of England will be found in an Appendix.


(83) J. S. Needham, White and Black in Australia (S.P.C.K., London, 1935), quoted p. 42.

(84) ibid., p. 42.

(85) E. J. B. Foxcroft, Historical Studies, Australia and New Zealand, Vol. 3, No. 3, p. 151.

(86) ibid., p. 166.

(87) Letter Book 1, 49/108, 26th June, 1849.

(88) J. S. Needham, op. cit., quoted p. 81.

(89) ibid.

(90) Brian Fitzpatrick, The Australian People, 1788-1945, p.164.

(91) Goodman, op. cit. p. 407.

(92) H. G. Turner, op. cit., Vol. 2., p. 234.

(93) Goodman, op. cit., quoted p. 407-8.


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