Macquarie University
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Brisbane Anglicans: 1842-1875

posted on 2022-03-28, 20:04 authored by Howard Philip Le Couteur
The mid-nineteenth century was marked by a rapid expansion of the Church of England throughout the British Empire, much of the impetus coming from missionary societies and ecclesiastical and political elites in England. In particular, High Churchmen promoted the extension of the episcopate to provide the colonies with a complete Anglican polity, and in an effort to transmit to the colony something of the Anglican/English culture they valued. The means used were the Colonial Bishoprics Fund (CBF) and the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (SPG), both of which were supported by a Tory paternalist elite in England. This study concerns the foundation of the Diocese of Brisbane in 1859, which was a part of this expansion, and which was effected during the brief Tory administration of Lord Derby. It is unsurprising then, that the first Bishop of Brisbane, the Right Reverend E.W. Tufnell, came from the Tory High Church tradition. The clergy he took to the diocese were of a similar theological and social outlook.--The period from the proclamation of free settlement in the Moreton Bay District in 1842 to the departure of the bishop for retirement in England in 1874, was a period of rapid population growth, immigrants arriving mainly from Britain and Ireland. The policy of the imperial government was to try to balance the emigration from Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales in proportion to their population and religious denomination. This meant that Anglicans were not as strongly represented in the colonial population as in England; emigrants from the other three countries being much less likely to be Anglicans. The bulk of those arriving in Queensland were working class or petit bourgeois, so consequently the socio-economic structure of Anglicanism in Queensland did not reflect that in England. Moreover, by the time the first Anglican bishop arrived in Brisbane, all state support for religious purposes was withdrawn. The Church of England in Queensland had to adapt to these significant differences of context.--Drawing on parish and diocesan records, the records of SPG, CBF and other organisations in England, personal documents (diaries and letters) and newspapers, this survey of Anglicanism in Brisbane diocese in the early colonial period, charts some of the ways Anglicans devised to create a distinctively Anglican community. The gendered roles of Anglican men and women; the various ways in which parishes came into being, were administered and financed; and the creation of a diocesan synod all bear testimony to the adaptability of Anglicans to their colonial context. Though the framework of this study is provided by the institutional church, diocesan records are sparse, and much of the content concerns the Anglican laity. This has provided an opportunity to explore heretofore neglected aspects of Anglicanism. It is a small beginning in the writing of a 'bottom-up' history of the Anglican Church in Australia.


Table of Contents

Introduction -- Founding a colonial settler society with 'the blessing of nobleman and parson' -- Exporting gentry values: Brisbane's first Anglican bishop -- A clerical caste? A different kind of gentleman? Clergy and their wives -- In their place: being English and being Anglican in early Queensland -- Brisbane Anglicans: a socio-economic profile -- Women's business: domesticity and upholding the faith -- Men's business: the public face of the Church -- Beyond one man's power: Anglican parish life -- Establishing a synod for the diocese -- Conclusion.


Bibliography: leaves 426-449

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis PhD


Thesis (PhD), Macquarie University, Division of Humanities, Department of Modern History

Department, Centre or School

Department of Modern History

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Ruth Frappell

Additional Supervisor 1

Duncan Waterson

Additional Supervisor 2

Mary Spongberg


Copyright disclaimer: Copyright Howard Philip Le Couteur 2007.




vi, 449 leaves ill

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