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The case of the disappearing chaplain: Reverend Richard Johnson's 'missing years'.

In October 1800, after 13 difficult years of service in the colony of New South Wales, the Reverend Richard Johnson sailed with Governor Hunter on the Buffalo, to arrive in England on 24 May 1801. (1) Johnson's biographers have left a gap in the account of his ministry career in the first years after he returned to England. (2) This article will provide the information necessary to locate Johnson's ministry more completely. In so doing, it will place him among a well-known network of evangelicals and raise the possibility that, soon after he arrived in England, Johnson exerted an influence over the Reverend William Cowper in regard to him coming to New South Wales.

The gap in the account

Although this article focuses upon the gap in Johnson's biography after his time in New South Wales, it is worth noting that gaps also exist in the account of his early career.

Gaps in his early career

Writers interested in Australia's first chaplain have often been content to pass over the early stages of his life, as if the real story began with his appointment to the Botany Bay chaplaincy on 24 October 1786. The date and place of his birth have varied in the accounts, although this has now been settled with him being born in Welton, Yorkshire, early in 1755. (3) The story then usually jumps to his attendance at Hull Grammar School, where he probably became acquainted with fellow-student William Wilberforce, and certainly with the master, Joseph Milner, the leading evangelical in Hull for many years, and his brother Isaac (later president of Queen's College Cambridge), who held an ushership there at that time. (4)

Mention of his presence at Magdalene College Cambridge from 1780 until he took out the BA in 1784 usually swiftly follows, passing over the fact that he entered Magdalene at the ripe old age of 23. (5) Some have filled this gap by placing him back on the farm, gaining the skills that would later earn him the title of 'the best farmer in the country [of NSW]'.

Occasionally his university has been confused, (7) and his ordination has regularly been placed under the hands of the wrong bishop. He was made deacon on 21 December 1783 by Brownlow North, Bishop of Winchester, and ordained priest on 31 October 1784, by the Bishop of Oxford on letters dimissory from Winchester. (8)

His curacies are also normally overlooked, despite the fact that he served two before being signed up for NSW. He was first licensed as a curate at Boldre on 21 December 1783, while still a deacon, to receive an income of 30 [pounds sterling] a year. (9) In 1975, Macintosh was able to inform his readers that Johnson:
   ... was ordained Deacon at the end of 1783 and served as Curate of
   the Parish of Boldre near Lymington in Hampshire, where he seems to
   have been virtually in charge of the parish, as the Vicar's name
   does not appear in the Register during the period Johnson was
   there. He was ordained priest at the end of 1784 and apparently
   transferred to another parish but its whereabouts is unknown. (10)

Johnson's curacy at Boldre was under the renowned naturalist and writer William Gilpin, who is famous for his biographies, religious writings, and especially his 'new class of travels', which were vehicles for his aesthetic views on 'the picturesque'. (11) He published several tour journals at a time when domestic travel was about to explode in the 1780s and 1790s. Even though his ideas were later satirised by some, his books met with success, and influenced aesthetic perception for amateur artists and travelers for the next generation. Ill health was the cause for appointing a curate in the mid-1790s, but we cannot be sure why he appointed Johnson earlier nor why his name is absent from the registers. Johnson looked back on this time with a great deal of fondness, and during his time in NSW he corresponded with Gilpin and with some of his parishioners from this first curacy. (12)

By the time Macintosh published his fuller biography, he had discovered the sermon preached by Henry George Watkins 'on the occasion of the decease' of Johnson, which gave a brief account of Johnson's ministry career, and included his second curacy. (13) For the years prior to our chaplain leaving England for NSW, he served as the assistant to the Reverend Henry Foster, a prominent evangelical who had himself served a curacy with William Romaine and was one of the founding members of the Eclectic Society. (14) Foster did not 'hold a living' as such, but a range of various positions, including being a lecturer, a curate, and the minister at a proprietary chapel. (15) Foster, who later acted as one of Johnson's agents, (16) conducted Johnson's marriage to Mary Burton on 4 December 1786, at St John's Clerkenwell, just in time for the Johnsons' departure the following April. (17) While waiting to embark, Johnson took his new bride back to see his friends at Lymington--something he was criticised for, but probably needlessly. (18) Presumably here, among the people he had fondly served in his first curacy, he would have also found a support base for his new venture. (19)

Gaps in his later career

Australia was hard on its first chaplain. Although he complained about his health from the early days, by 1791 Johnson was still able to reassure his friends that he had no thoughts of returning home in the next one or two years. (20) By 12 July 1798, however, he had written to request leave of absence due to declining health and the need to settle domestic concerns at home, (21) and in October 1800 he embarked with Governor Hunter on the Buffalo, never to see NSW again.

As far back as Watkins' sermon on Johnson's decease (1827), Johnson's several biographers have usually given a contracted account of his life after he returned to England, sometimes acknowledging the difficulty of obtaining proper information for this period. (22)

Mackaness, for example, indicated the state of play, by declaring that 'very little definite information regarding Johnson's later career has been discovered beyond the following': (23) He received a full salary until 10 October 1801; he had seven years 'wholly unprovided for'; he had come 'under painful necessity of serving as a curate'; he had served as a curate 'for some time' at West Thurcock; in 1810 he was appointed to St Antholin, in London; in 1817 he received the perpetual curacy at Ingham; and finally, on 13 March 1827, he died.

In fact, Mackaness's fairly sparse list needs to be trimmed even further. By the time Johnson died, he had served at St Antholin's, London, for 17 years since being appointed Rector in 1810. Although it has often been said that, from 1817, he was also the Curate of Ingham, Norfolk, this is actually a case of mistaken identity. As early as his obituary in the Gentleman's Magazine (May 1827), Johnson was confused with a namesake and this confusion has been regularly repeated since. (24) Ingham's curate was appointed on March 28, 1817, (25) and this Reverend Richard Johnson was still conducting funerals several months after the 'Bishop of Botany Bay' (as William Wilberforce called him) had died and been buried at St Antholin's. (26)

Johnson's 1810 appointment to St Antholin was per kind favour of 'Mr Percival, the then Chancellor of the Exchequer', (27) but the gift may have also been the somewhat delayed result of Marsden's supplications on his behalf, during Marsden's 1807-08 visit to England. (28) Under Elizabeth I St Antholin had been 'the chief London centre of the Puritans' and its daily morning lecture became something of a Puritan seminary. (29) Henry Foster, under whom Johnson had served his second curacy. (30) and who officiated at Johnson's wedding, had held a lectureship here, and Wilberforce several times went to hear him. (31) Johnson was instituted as Rector on 24 August 1810. (32)

Because Samuel Marsden agitated among those who could secure Johnson this position, (33) his visit to England in 1807-08 was the 'turning point of [Johnson's] fortunes'. (34) Immediately prior to this appointment, Johnson was serving as curate in West Thurcock, Essex, where he had been since April 1809. (35) When Bonwick wrote his 1898 biography, this was the one place in which he was able to trace him, finding Johnson on a curates' list. (36) He therefore assumed that Marsden found him here when he visited. (37) Others, too, have followed this lead in contracting Johnson's career by placing him in Essex immediately following his resignation as Chaplain. (38) However, when Marsden found him, Johnson had not yet gone to West Thurcock; he was serving another curacy at Bunwell, in Norfolk. (39)


Even if Marsden knew of Johnson's circumstances before he saw them firsthand, it must have been a shock to find his former senior colleague, after so long in government employ as Chaplain to the Colony of New South Wales, serving once more as a curate. Probably at the urging of Marsden, on 2 December 1808 Johnson wrote to the government to draw attention to the circumstances that had reduced him to 'the painful necessity of serving as a curate'. (40)

The fact that Johnson left Australia in a state of much declined health, and that he had sold his land grants before he did so, have led to the conclusion that his return to England was immediately followed by two years of rest--since this is what he needed, and since he could afford to do without income while he rested. (41)

However, although there may have been some months of rest and visitation, the period was certainly not as long as two years, and Johnson's correspondence shows that he turned his mind to his precarious financial situation fairly quickly.

On 9 February 1802, just over seven months after he had returned home, Johnson wrote to Lord Hobart, noting that he had left NSW in October 1800 and arrived in England in May 1801, and that he had been unprovided for since. He therefore requested the payment of 'the moiety of [his] salary' until some provision for him was made in the Church. (42) It may be that he had been paid his full salary until 10 October 1801, which would mean that, by February, he had been living on his savings for about four months. (43) But the wording in this letter suggests that he had not received his pay at all since his departure from NSW.

According to his letter of 2 December 1808, in which he reviewed these earlier dealings, after writing to Lord Hobart, he had had a series of interviews in an attempt to gain support from the government. (44) On 20 March 1802, Johnson had seen Mr Sullivan, who asked him if he would be returning to NSW. Johnson replied that, because of the weak state of his health and little prospect of a speedy recovery, he 'durst not venture'. As he later explained, he had presumed that Sullivan took this verbal notification as his resignation. (45) The chaplain then solicited some indulgence due to his 14 years of service, and Sullivan asked him to call again. At their second meeting, on 23 March, Sullivan told Johnson that the utmost that could be done was to allow him his whole pay from the time he left the colony (22 October 1800) to the end of two years, and asked Johnson to come to see him again. Before leaving, Johnson wondered if Samuel Marsden would be entitled to a share of this pay, since he was doing his duty in NSW. The next day Johnson returned, when he was told that only one year would be given him (that is, to October 1801), which he duly received on 30 March. (46)

Thus it appears that Johnson had not received his salary at all since arriving in England (he therefore had to request it), and that when he did receive it eventually, he was paid only up until 10 October 1801--some months before his series of interviews. Writing in December 1808, Johnson recalls that he had embarked upon these inquiries expecting a half pay pension, or some small living. Lord Hobart had all but promised him the latter, and his expectations were high since the Archbishop of Canterbury had recommended that he write to Hobart in the first place, and the Bishop of London had also written promisingly. As he wrote again, at the end of 1808, Johnson hoped this latest request will see 'some humble situation in the Church, or otherwise, my half pay', for he notes that 'about seven years since I made that application; I remain wholly unprovided for, and am under the painful necessity of serving as a Curate'.

Although this necessity presumably became clear to Johnson when he was dismissed and paid off by Sullivan in March 1802, his biographers have had difficulty locating the curacies with which he was so painfully afflicted. To work backwards--and as we have already seen--the curacy at West Thurcock, which he commenced in April 1809, has been identified as his last before taking up St Antholin the following year. It has also been noted that, prior to West Thurcock, he served as curate at Bunwell in Norfolk. He was here when he wrote his letter in December 1808, and, from Church Missionary Society (CMS) records, he has also been located here in 1806. (47) But, at this point the gap in our biographers' accounts becomes clear:
   It is not known where be served in the first few years after his
   return, but from 1806 to 1808 he was curate of Bunwell in Norfolk,
   and in 1809 he was serving at West Thurcock in Essex. (48)

... and again:
   by 1806, he was curate of Bunwell in Norfolk, but it is not known
   when he had started there or if he had held other curacies between
   1802 and 1806. (49)

The gap filled

Despite the gap in previous accounts, Johnson's whereabouts in this phase of his ministry can be readily traced. To begin where we have just left the story, an examination of the Bunwell parish registers actually shows that Johnson began his ministry much earlier than 1806. Richard Johnson conducted his first wedding at Bunwell on 22 November 1803, joining William Ellis and Susannah Harvey in holy matrimony, and signing the register 'Richard Johnson, Curate'. (50) He continues to sign the marriage register for several years, with his last entry on 3 April 1809, after which time 'Garton Howard, Curate', takes over from 9 October 1809.

Although it was not usual to sign baptismal registers, the handwriting associated with Johnson's signature in the marriage register is easily spotted in the baptismal register, first appearing on 10 February 1804 and continuing until 2 April 1809. (51) The fact that both registers demonstrate Johnson's presence in Bunwell until early April 1809 is significant, for this was the month he went to West Thurcock.

Now that the Bunwell period has been more precisely delineated, which immediately preceded the West Thurcock period, the gap in Johnson's biography has narrowed to the period prior to November 1803. This deficiency can also be filled.

In 1849, John King published his Memoir of the the Reverend Thomas Dykes. Dykes (or Dikes, as he preferred) was the founding minister of St John's Hull, and a leading evangelical figure in that city. Dykes built St John's himself, using the funds he had received from an inheritance from his aunt. (52) St John's was consecrated in 1791 and completed in 1792, (53) in the hope that it would serve the population of Hull, then expanding to the west. In the beginning it was closely associated with Holy Trinity, the largest parish church in England. (54)

In Dykes' Memoir, King notes that, on 29 June 1801, Josiah Rodwell died, leaving the position of lecturer of Holy Trinity vacant. On 4 August, John Scott was appointed to the position, also assuming the mantle of Master of Hull Grammar School. (55) Scott was the son of the famous bible commentator, Thomas Scott, and before taking up the lectureship at Holy Trinity, he had been Thomas Dykes' curate. King goes on to record the succession:
   Mr Scott was succeeded in the curacy of St John's by the the
   Reverend John [sic] Johnson, who had held, for many years, the
   office of Chaplain at Botany Bay. He was a man of sincere piety,
   but of heavy manner in the delivery of his sermons. He served the
   church rather more than two years, and was succeeded by the the
   Reverend Walter Shirley, who held the curacy between three and four
   years. (56)

Despite the mistake in his first name, this note reveals that the Chaplain of Botany Bay became curate to Thomas Dykes in about August 1801, and he served at St John's Hull for just over two years--which would fit perfectly with his arrival at Bunwell for the Ellis-Harvey marriage in November 1803.

Although the registers from St John's for this period have apparently not survived, (57) positive confirmation of Johnson's appointment can be gleaned from the Holy Trinity marriage register. Here we find Johnson, in mid-1803, interrupting a series of signatures from Curate Bernard Gilpin by conducting six weddings at Holy Trinity--four on 26 June and two on 3 July. He signed the register, 'Richard Johnson, assistant minister at St John's'. (58)

Thus we have now closed the gap in the biographies completely. Johnson was already serving alongside Dykes in Hull when he wrote to the government about his salary in February 1802, and when he had his interviews with Sullivan in March. It is also possible that he had already taken this position by the time his full salary ceased on 10 October 1801.

Filling out the picture

Here the 'new' story can be married with that already told. Fairly soon after arriving home, Johnson learned that he had been left the 'living' of Aston Sandford. (59) Thomas Scott (the commentator and father of John Scott, previously mentioned) tells of how he himself had become interested in this parish in Buckinghamshire, when he learned that the rector, George Campbell Brodbelt, had died:
   ... and, as it was in the gift of John Barber, Esq by virtue of his
   marriage with Miss Gines, who had been under my care at Olney, I
   applied for it. I never before had asked preferment of any one, and
   never in my life had any offered to me: but on this occasion I
   stated my circumstances and views to Mrs Barber, and received an
   answer peculiarly gratifying to me. After some deliberation, I
   considered the business as settled: but a demur subsequently arose,
   under the idea that Mrs B.'s mother had made a will, and bequeathed
   Aston to some other person. No will had before been noticed, but
   one was now found, which was not legally authenticated, but yet
   clearly showed that she desired the living to be given to the Rev
   Richard Johnson, who had been for many years Chaplain to the colony
   at New South Wales, and had just returned to England, unprovided
   for. On this I at once renounced all my pretensions, in his favour;
   though not, I own, without feelings of regret. For two months I
   seldom thought about it, except when distressed with some vexation.
   But one morning Mr Johnson called on me, and, when I congratulated
   him on his presentation to Aston, he, to my surprise, replied,
   that, as he had some ground of claim on government for a provision,
   he had been advised not to accept the living, and had come to say,
   that he wished me to have it.

   [...] the rest was soon settled in due order, and I was instituted
   at Buckden, July 22, 1801. (60)

Scott was already well acquainted with Johnson, since he was a member of the Eclectic Society whose members were instrumental in suggesting Johnson for NSW in 1786. Since he was also Elizabeth Marsden's uncle, (61) it is also safe to presume that he had continued to have an interest in, and a ready source of, regular news from New South Wales.

The timing is rather tight for these events. Macintosh is certainly correct to suggest that Johnson learned about the parochial gift 'almost immediately on his arrival'. This must be so, for Johnson arrived in England on 24 May, and Scott then required two months to 'seldom [think] about it' before being instituted on 22 July. Given that Mrs Gines had been at Olney when John Newton had been there, it is possible that Newton had suggested she alter her will in Johnson's favour. (62) The ex-slave trader cum hymn writer who penned 'Amazing Grace' had been involved in Johnson's original appointment to NSW, and had continued to encourage the chaplain ever since. (63) If Newton was behind this gift, this reveals that Johnson's friends and patrons were making provision for him, even if the government was tardy in doing so. It may also indicate that they had already suspected that a living would not be coming Johnson's way through official channels. Johnson's refusal of Aston, however, shows that the chaplain himself was at this stage (July 1801) still hopeful of some provision--hopeful enough not to take the parish, which may have been viewed as a resignation from the chaplaincy and so a renunciation of any claim on a pension or another position. (64)

Newton was one of the founding members of the Eclectic Society. In 1786, this group of evangelicals, which included Thomas Scott, had been instrumental in coming up with Johnson's name for Wilberforce to suggest to Pitt as a chaplain to sail with the First Fleet. At that time, as London was abuzz with the news of the new colony at Botany Bay, on 13 November 1786 this group met to discuss the question: 'What is the best method for planting and propagating the Gospel in Botany Bay?' Having already been appointed, Johnson was invited to that discussion, but did not attend. (65) On his return to London, however, he joined this circle several times. He was present at three meetings in 1801, and four in 1802. (66)

The Eclectic Society's discussion of how to propagate the Gospel at Botany Bay was the first of a series of similar discussions, which eventually led to the formation of the Church Missionary Society in 1799. (67) When Samuel Marsden returned in 1807-08, he persuaded this group of the needs in New Zealand, (68) and when he went back to Australia, two men (John King and William Hall) accompanied him, ready to begin the CMS work in that country. Johnson would also be aware of the mission field that would occupy much of his old assistant's energy and time for the next several decades.

Johnson, too, had been sent to NSW amidst hopes that he would be 'a means of introducing the Gospel to the Aborigines', and he certainly made his own efforts to take Christ's love to the indigenous people of Australia. (69) As early as 1791, he had already written home 'to some of our great ones, and I hope good ones, too, upon the propriety of sending out missionaries', and he hoped 'to see some come out soon'. (70) He and Marsden were both remembered in Hull as those whose dedication to Christ led them to give themselves as missionaries to the areas opening up in the South Seas. (71) It is therefore no surprise that Johnson was active in the CMS from the time he arrived home until his death. (72)

Although New South Wales had almost broken him, this did not dampen Johnson's abiding interest in Australian affairs. He gave evidence in 1812 before the Select Committee of the House of Commons on Transportation. (73) In 1815, he recommended John Youl (whom he had known in Sydney) for appointment as a chaplain to Port Dalrymple, Van Diemen's Land, and, in the process, offered his opinions about the qualities needed in a colonial chaplain. (74)

Richard Johnson and William Cowper

Now that Richard Johnson's English career is known from his arrival through to his grave, it is clear that he re-entered the evangelical circles that had formed his English support base from the beginning. Since the period of Johnson's curacies is the same as that leading up to the 1809 departure of the next Chaplain of NSW, William Cowper (1778-1858), it is significant to notice that these two men moved in the same evangelical network, both in London and in Hull. The awareness of Johnson's full ministry path once he returned to England also raises some questions about what influence he may have had personally in bringing the next person in the succession to NSW.

Evangelical interest in NSW

Johnson and Cowper were of vital interest to the wider circles of evangelicals who had a concern for taking the gospel to NSW, such as those who met as the Eclectic Society, the Elland Society, the Clapham sect, and the Church Missionary Society. Both men have demonstrable connections with this network, which included individuals such as John Newton (until his death in 1807), Charles Simeon, Henry (until 1797) and then John Venn, Henry and John Thornton, Thomas Scott, Thomas Dykes, Henry Foster, Miles Atkinson, William Wilberforce and Samuel Stones. The same circles were also well connected to Samuel Marsden, who, in a sense, acts as the bridge between Johnson and Cowper. (75)

Johnson, Cowper and London

Apart from these wider circles of evangelicals interested in chaplains for the mission field of NSW, Johnson and Cowper share two very particular connections in London.

First, a woman by the name of Margaret Amey acted as witness at both men's weddings, and for the sake of our second observation, we should also note that the other witness at Johnson's wedding was Edward Goff (76)--presumably the same Goff that he later describes as a friend. (77) Both Johnson and Cowper took brides at the last minute--almost as they embarked for NSW--probably because to be married was deemed necessary for the good of their ministry.

In January 1809, when William Cowper was about to marry Ann Barrell, before departing for NSW, he received a letter from the Reverend Samuel Stones. (78) Stones was the perpetual curate at Rawdon Chapel, a founding member of the Elland Society, and the clergyman with whom Marsden read theology before going to Cambridge. Cowper had spent a brief period of ministry with him at Rawdon, probably in the last months of 1808, after his wife Hannah's death had delayed departure for NSW. Six months later, along with news of the ministry and weather in Rawdon, and a recommendation to contact William Wilberforce, Henry Thornton and Henry Foster about his difficulties with 'money matters', Stones inquired whether there was yet a (new) Mrs Cowper, and, if so, passed on his greetings to her. This suggests Cowper had gone to London with a 'bride quest' in view. Perhaps, although decades apart, the otherwise unknown Margaret Amey was a friend of both women, and perhaps she had even played a part in introducing them to their departing husbands.

Second, Johnson and Cowper, and probably Margaret Amey, share an address in common. The portrait of Johnson engraved by G. Terry (1789) and the Chaplain's Address to the Settlers of New South Wales (1794) were both published and sold by 'Goff & Amey, 8 Ivy Lane, London'. (79) When Stones wrote to Cowper in January 1808, he sent his letter to '8 Ivy Lane, London', that is, he knew he could find Cowper at the premises of Goff and Amey.

According to Kent's Directory for 1794, Goff and Amey were not printers or booksellers, but silk dyers (80)--a profession common among the Huguenot community who had settled in this area of London (the names Amey and Barrell also suggest Huguenot extraction). Ivy Lane was right in the heart of the book publishing (rather than selling) district, and so the silk dying may have also been part of book production (for the ribbons and bindings, for example). On the other hand, the 'silkmen' were in this area, alongside mercers and 'lacemen', prior to the Great Fire, and the publishers moved in only after that great event, so Goff & Amey may have been a remnant of the old professions. (81)

But whatever the case, the fact that they published and sold Johnson's portrait and his Address, seems to indicate something special beyond their normal activity. It probably shows some personal connection with Johnson, and/or with his mission. If we can learn anything from Margaret Amey being involved in both weddings and the firm being associated with both men, at the least it seems to indicate that Goff and Amey were supporters of the endeavours to bring Christianity to the new colony of New South Wales through these two chaplains.

At this point it is also worth noting that Samuel Marsden was also probably acquainted with the Goffs. On 13 March 1804, when he wrote to Miss Mary Stokes--who lived nearby, on Cheapside--in the same breath that he spoke of the death of Milbah, the Johnsons' daughter, he also mentioned the death of a Mrs Goff, whom we might presume to be of the same family. (82)

There is nothing new in the observation that a tight network of relationships existed among evangelical clergy and laity, forged by friendships, patronage and family connections. This network was expressed and reinforced by the formation of various religious 'societies'. These may have been associated with particular local churches, formed for the purpose of such things as mid-week lectures and meetings--a tradition that continues in the 'home fellowships' or 'bible study groups' of many present-day churches. (83) Societies were also formed which drew clergy and laity from a number of different churches, often scattered fairly widely, such as the Eclectic Society in London, the Elland Society in West Riding, Yorkshire, the Rauceby Society--the three societies which were instrumental in the formation of the Church Missionary Society in 1799. (84)

The careful delineation of Johnson's ministry after his return, however, shows that he re-entered these networks as they enfolded him in his new hour of need. Newton was possibly behind the Aston offer, and Thomas Scott was prepared to let it go in his favour. Those who had sent Johnson on his way and supported him through perhaps finding him a wife, and through doing his printing, were also involved in sending a married Cowper on his way some years later. But there is still more to the picture that is emerging.

Johnson, Cowper and Hull

The London evangelical circles had so many family, political, friendship, and ministry tentacles reaching to Hull, that the evangelicals in this bustling Yorkshire port city have been called the 'provincial "Clapham Sect"'. (85) Rev Thomas Dykes, founding minister of St John's Hull, exercised strong leadership among this group. It is natural, therefore, to see Johnson's curacy at St John's as part of a happy conjunction of events. Just at the point when Johnson was feeling the 'painful necessity of being a curate', John Scott's departure left Dykes in need of a replacement, and so Johnson came to Hull.

Yorkshire was home for Johnson, as it was for Samuel Marsden. William Cowper also came to Australia from these same Yorkshire circles. Although he was born in Whittington, Lancashire, Cowper's family had roots in the western districts of Yorkshire, around Sedbergh. He had come to Hull as a freshly married 20-year-old soldier and had settled there after the 2nd North York Militia was disembodied in December 1799. As for many other soldiers, Cowper's parish was St Peter's Drypool, which was under the patronage of William Wilberforce. He soon also came under the influence of Thomas Dykes at St John's.

Thomas Dykes was a close friend of Miles Atkinson, (86) of Leeds, a key member of the Elland Society. In 1803, when Marsden was labouring on as sole Chaplain of New South Wales and dreaming of a few more colleagues, he wrote to Atkinson:
   I wish that some person could be sent out to assist me ... Should
   you have any young man belonging to the [Elland] Society fit for
   this situation, I should be exceeding happy if he could be sent out
   ... He must be married, have a good Constitution, not afraid of
   toil and labour, and have by nature an active turn of mind. Such a
   young man would be very acceptable in this Country; and might be
   very useful. (87)

Four years later, when Marsden arrived in England on his own recruiting drive, he no doubt sought the advice of Atkinson and the other English brethren. But he would have been especially interested in any advice Johnson may have had, since he alone among these circles knew exactly what would be required of the man. All advice taken, Marsden proceeded to Hull and recruited William Cowper. Even though Marsden only stepped off the Buffalo on 8 November 1807, Cowper had requested leave of absence from the Royal Engineers in late November 1807.88 He then received a commission as Chaplain for New South Wales in January 1808, (89) was made deacon in March (90) and ordained priest in April, and finally resigned from the Royal Engineers and ceased work in May, (91) ready for departure in June. (92)

This whirlwind sequence of events came to an abrupt halt with the tragic death of his wife Hannah, as their belongings were already loaded on the ship. Cowper, now caring for his four young children alone, was forced to put the plans for NSW on hold until the following year.

Cowper's recruitment happened with such haste that it seems likely that he had been already well prepared. He had certainly been under the watchful eye of Dykes for some time, and perhaps when Atkinson received Marsden's letter in 1803, he could have viewed Cowper--although not formally connected with the Elland Society--as a possible candidate.

But without minimising the influence of any other person, now that Johnson's movements are known, it becomes highly likely that Cowper was also influenced by someone 'closer to home'. The former Chaplain to New South Wales--still with a keen interest in the colony as a mission field--began to mix in exactly the same circles in which the young Cowper moved, now contemplating thoughts of entering the ministry. According to the later account given by his son, Cowper received the encouragement of others in this direction, and with this in view, he began theological reading, under Dykes' guidance. (93) Although the exact timing still remains something of a mystery, it seems most probable that this all took place before April 1804. (94) In other words, with the encouragement of others, Cowper was preparing himself for the ministry at exactly the same time that Richard Johnson was working at St John's as Thomas Dykes' assistant. It seems impossible that the two men would not have had fairly close dealings with each other in this period.

In 1801-1803, Johnson was fresh back from the 'mission field', well aware of the needs in New South Wales, enjoying a little fame among the citizens of Hull for being the first missionary ever sent to the South Seas, and moving in exactly the same circles as William Cowper, now keenly preparing for a major change in life direction.

It is interesting to speculate how much influence Johnson may have had over Cowper's life during those two years. When Marsden visited Johnson at Bunwell, seeking advice about recruits, was the young man Cowper still fresh in Johnson's mind, and did he therefore suggest his name to Marsden as an able person to be next in their succession? When Marsden proceeded to Hull and placed his hand upon this young man's shoulder, did Cowper respond so readily because, some time previously, Johnson's had already been laid firmly upon the other? (95)

Moore College, Sydney


(1) N. K. Macintosh, Richard Johnson. Chaplain to the Colony of New South Wales. His Life and Times 1755-1827 (Sydney: Library of Australian History, 1978), p. 93; N. K. Macintosh, The Reverend Richard Johnson. First to Preach the Gospel in Parramatta Town 1788-1800 (Sydney: Pilgrim International, 2000 [original: 1975]), p. 21; J. Bonwick, Australia's First Preacher. The Reverend Richard Johnson, First Chaplain of New South Wales (London: Sampson, Low, Marston & Co, 1898), p. 249.

(2) Macintosh, Richard Johnson. Chaplain, pp. 11-12, lists the studies prior to his own as: W. J. Gunther, The Church of England in Australia from 1788 to 1829 (Parramatta: Fuller's, 1888) and S. Smith, 'Australian Churchmen: no. 2. Richard Johnson, His Majesty's First Chaplain of NSW', The Australasian Missionary News 1 (1888), pp. 8-10, both 'scanty and not always accurate'; Bonwick (1898), 'still useful despite some major confusions and many gaps'; G. A. Wood, 'The Reverend Richard Johnson, Australia's First Clergyman', Journal and Proceedings of the Royal Australian Historical Society, 12.5 (1926), pp. 237-70, still suffering from incomplete source material; W. H. Rainey, The Real Richard Johnson (Melbourne: S. John Bacon [Marshall, Morgan & Scott], 1947), 'brief and not entirely convincing', but used some Johnson letters held by the library of St Paul's Cathedral, Melbourne; G. Mackaness (ed), Some Letters of the Reverend Richard Johnson, First Chaplain of New South Wales (2 vols.; Sydney: D. S. Ford, 1954), and extracts 'Some Letters of the Reverend Richard Johnson', Church of England Historical Society Journal 23.3 (1979), pp. 54-57 and 'The Reverend Richard Johnson', Church of England Historical Society Journal 24.1 (1979), pp. 7-11, published the then known letters of Johnson, and was 'a major contribution to the study of Johnson's time'; K. J. Cable, 'Johnson, Richard (1753?- 1827)', Australian Dictionary of Biography (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1967), 2: pp. 17-19, and M. L. Loane, 'The First Two Chaplains. 1788-1838', Hewn from The Rock. Origins & Traditions of the Church in Sydney (The Moorhouse Lectures 1976; Sydney: Anglican Information Office, 2000), pp. 1-20, are sympathetic studies, but do not make use of all the sources; Macintosh also mentioned C. M. H. Clark, A History of Australia I: From the Earliest Times to the Age of Macquarie (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1968), and B. Wannan, Early Colonial Scandals (Melbourne: Lansdowne, 1972), as having a view of Johnson in the context of wider interests. Macintosh then went on to publish, Richard Johnson. Chaplain (1978), which is the most complete and definitive biography so far, utilising discoveries made during the Joint Copying Project of the early 1950s and other primary source material newly garnered. Two summaries of his major work later appeared in 'Johnson, Richard', in B. Dickey (ed), The Australian Dictionary of Evangelical Biography (Sydney: Evangelical History Association, 1994), pp. 187-189, and 'Johnson, Richard', in D. M. Lewis (ed), The Blackwell Dictionary of Evangelical Biography: 1730-1860 (2 vols; Oxford & Cambridge, Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishers, 1995), I. p. 613. Besides those mentioned by Macintosh, other shorter treatments of Johnson have also appeared, largely dependent for their biographical details upon those already listed: H. McCallum, 'Richard Johnson and Samuel Marsden: Pioneers of the Church of England in New South Wales', St Mark's Review 24 (May 1961), pp. 11-23; 'Pioneer Churchmen: Richard Johnson, 1753-1827', Church of England Historical Society Journal 15.2 (1970), pp. 53-55; M. Solling, 'The Reverend Richard Johnson and the years prior to the subdivision and sale of the Glebe in 1828', Church of England Historical Society Journal 15.1 (1970), pp. 24-28; D. Robinson, 'Richard Johnson Faithful Minister', Australian Church Record (25 January, 1951), and 'Richard Johnson: An Unlikely Hero (1999)', in P. G. Bolt and M. D. Thompson (eds), Donald Robinson. Selected Works. 3: Listening To God's Past (Camperdown, NSW: Australian Church Record and Moore College, 2009 [forthcoming]); and, most recently, a pamphlet by J. Moore, Reverend Richard Johnson, 1755-1827: Chaplain to the Colony of New South Wales, 1788-1800 (Brisbane: John Moore, 2006), which I have been unfortunately unable to locate and examine.

(3) Bonwick (followed by McCallum, p. 12) mistakenly placed his birth in Stalham, Norfolk (see below). It has been variously dated to 1753, 1757, etc. For 1755, see Macintosh, Richard Johnson. Chaplain, p. 31, and also n.69.

(4) Macintosh, Richard Johnson. Chaplain, p. 31.

(5) See Rainey, p. 9.

(6) W. Tench, Sydney's First Four Years, being a reprint of 'A Narrative of the Expedition to Botany Bay' and 'A Complete Account of the Settlement at Port Jackson' (L. F. Fitzhardinge, ed; Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1961), p. 193. Both CEHSJ 15.2 (1970), p. 54, and Cable, 'Johnson', have him 'fanning and teaching'.

(7) Rainey sends him to Cambridge on p. 9, then graduates him from Oxford on p. 10.

(8) See The Clergy of the Church of England Database (CCEd),, Person ID: 34505. Macintosh, Richard Johnson. Curate, p. 35. He was not directly ordained by the Archbishop of Canterbury (pace Rainey, p. 10; Mackaness, Johnson, I, p. 6; Robinson [ 1951]), nor was he ordained by the Bishop of London (pace CEHSJ 5.2 [1970], p. 54), although, once appointed Chaplain to NSW, he would come under his authority as Bishop of the colonies.

(9) CCEd 80349.

(10) Macintosh, Richard Johnson. Parramatta, p. 5-6.

(11) See G. S. Boulger, 'Gilpin, William (1724-1804)', in L. Stephen and S. Lee (eds), Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1917, repr. 1949-50), VII, pp.12621264.

(12) For Gilpin, see R. Johnson to W. Gilpin, 5 Nov 1798 and 15 Jan 1802, both in the British Library (see Macintosh, Richard Johnson. Curate, pp. 35, 112). For the parishioners, see references in the letters of R. Johnson to Henry Fricker: 10 Feb 1788 (Mackaness, Johnson, no. 2, I, p. 16); 9 April 1790 (Mackaness, Johnson, no. 8; I, p. 29); 18 Mar 1791 (Mackaness, Johnson, no. 11, p. 38), which mentions 'my old hostess, Mrs King', for whom see also R. Johnson to Mary King, 17 Sep 1791 (Hampshire Record Office: 90M90/1).

(13) H. G. Watkins, A sermon on occasion of the decease of the Reverend Richard Johnson, BA, Rector of St. Antholin's and St John Baptist: preached in the church of St Antholin, Watling Street, on Sunday, March 25th, 1827 (London: W. Gilbert, 1827). Cf. Macintosh, Richard Johnson. Chaplain, p. 35.

(14) For much of this paragraph, see Macintosh, Richard Johnson. Chaplain, pp. 21,27,35,40, 97.

(15) Macintosh, Richard Johnson. Chaplain, pp. 35-36.

(16) Richard Johnson to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, 6 Dec 1794 (Mackaness Johnson, no. 22, II, p. 10).

(17) Macintosh, Richard Johnson. Parramatta, p. 7; Macintosh, 'Johnson' [Lewis], p. 613.

(18) Macintosh, Richard Johnson. Parramatta, p. 6.

(19) See Richard Johnson to Mrs Mary King, 17 Sep 1791 (Hampshire Record Office: 90M90/1), in which he remembers 'those happy seasons which I have enjoyed at Boldre Bridge', particularly his spiritual work there.

(20) R. Johnson to Henry Fricker, 4 Oct 1791 (Mackaness, Johnson, no.12, I, p. 41). Wood is unimpressed with Johnson's complaints, noting that they appeared to be long-term, and so probably reflecting a flaw in his psychological make-up.

(21) R. Johnson to Portland, 12 July 1798 (Mackaness, Johnson, no. 29, II, pp. 27-28); Bonwick, p. 246. Just one week earlier he had assured Hunter that he would be happy to stay longer if his health improved, but he did not hold hope of this happening; R. Johnson to Governor J. Hunter, 5 July 1798 (Mackaness, Johnson, no. 28, II, p. 27); Bonwick, p. 195. As Wood points out, despite his health complaints, he survived another 27 years in active ministry once he returned to England. When his church was burned down on 1 October that year, it would not have helped Johnson's failing spirits.

(22) For example, Bonwick, p. 255. Presumably Watkins would have had little difficulty in finding the necessary information, but he nevertheless passed immediately from Johnson's arrival in England (1801) to his appointment to St Antholin' s (1810); Watkins, p. 18.

(23) Mackaness, Johnson, II, p. 56.

(24) Macintosh, Richard Johnson. Chaplain, p. 104. Those who repeated the error include Bonwick, p. 257; J. A. Venn, Alumni Cantabrigienses. Pt.2:1752-1900 (6 vols; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1940-54); Rainey, p. 30; Mackaness, Johnson, I, p. 10 and II, p. 56; Clark, I, p.159; see also CCEd Person ID: 34505, which draws upon J. Foster, Alumni Oxoniensis, 1715-1886 (4 vols [in 2]; Repr. of the ed of 1887, p. 88; Nendeln: Kraus Reprint, 1968) and the obituary in the Gentleman's Magazine (May, 1827, I, p. 473); Cable's mention of a curacy in Kent appears to be likewise mistaken. Watkins' sermon makes no mention of a curacy in Ingham.

(25) D. Turner, List of Norfolk Benefices (Norwich: Charles Musket, 1847), p. 64: 'Ingham, C[uracy], Rd Johnson, seq. Mar 28, 1817'.

(26) Bonwick, p. 257, noted a funeral was taken by the Ingham curate on 4 June 1827, but declared the date mistaken because 'the worthy Minister of Ingham left this world' in March. In fact, it was the identification of the person, not the funeral date, that was mistaken. The association with Ingham also led Bonwick to wrongly name Stalham, Norfolk, as Chaplain Johnson's birthplace (in 1753, on this view), on the authority of the memory of some elderly parishioners at Ingham about their minister (p. 3). The mistaken identity also led to the further erroneous belief that Johnson had descendants who emigrated to Australia, which is unlikely for the Chaplain, but probable for the Ingham Curate (see Macintosh, Richard Johnson. Chaplain, p. 99, n. 542). Since it rests on the Ingham memory, Bonwick's birth date (1753) is also suspect, despite it being recorded in the St Antholin's memorial to Johnson (now apparently in St Mary, Aldermary; see CEHSJ 15.1 [1970], pp. 54-55). He is said to have been 23 when he entered Magdalene on 1 January 1780 (Foster, Index Eccles.), which would identify his year of birth as 1756, but Macintosh, Richard Johnson. Chaplain, p. 31, having uncovered evidence that he was christened in Welton Parish Church on 15 March 1755, presumes that he was bom earlier that year (n. 69 addresses the Stalham confusion). For Wilberforce's playful title for Johnson, see Mackaness, Johnson, I, p. 6.

(27) Watkins, p. 18.

(28) Macintosh, Richard Johnson. Parramatta, p. 22.

(29) Macintosh, Richard Johnson. Parramatta, p. 23.

(30) Macintosh, Richard Johnson. Chaplain, p. 35.

(31) Macintosh, Richard Johnson. Chaplain, p. 97.

(32) Macintosh, Richard Johnson. Parramatta, p. 23.

(33) Bonwick, p. 255.

(34) Macintosh, Richard Johnson, Parramatta, p. 22.

(35) Macintosh, Richard Johnson. Chaplain, p. 95.

(36) Bonwick, p. 256.

(37) Bonwick, p. 253.

(38) Rainey, p. 30; Mackaness, Johnson, I, p. 9: 'Then on being asked to resume his post, he resigned and took a curacy in Essex.' Cf. Clark, I, p. 159.

(39) Some imprecision of language enables Macintosh, Richard Johnson. Chaplain, p. 96, to be read as saying that Marsden visited him at Bunwell early in 1807. Although the location is correct, Marsden did not leave Australia on the Buffalo until 10 February 1807 (on a more careful reading, this is what Macintosh states); A. T. Yarwood, Samuel Marsden. The Great Survivor (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1977, rev. 1989, repr. 1996), p. 108. The earliest he could have reached Johnson would be soon after his arrival in England, which was on 8 November 1807 (see Morning Chronicle, 11 Nov 1807).

(40) Cf. Bonwick, pp. 248,254,256. The quotation is from Johnson's own description of events, R. Johnson to Under-Secretary J. Chapman, 2 Dec 1808 (Mackaness, Johnson, No 38, II, p.49).

(41) Bonwick, p. 247: 'He was fortunate in not needing immediate assistance. He could afford to rest, and recruit his health, which had suffered by the real hardships and annoyances of his position in such times'; p. 256: 'After visiting friends, and resting awhile for health sake, he had to seek employment in his profession'; Rainey, p. 30: 'After 13 years in New South Wales, the the Reverend Richard Johnson, worn out by hard work, privations and opposition, returned to England on furlough. After two years' rest ...'; Mackaness, 'Some Letters' (1979), p. 11: 'spent two years resting in England'; See also Mackaness, Johnson, I, p. 9.

(42) R. Johnson to Lord Hobart, 9 Feb 1802 (Mackaness, Johnson, no. 37, II, p. 46); Bonwick, p. 249.

(43) R. Johnson to Under-Secretary J. Chapman, 29 May 1809 (Mackaness, Johnson, no. 39, II, p. 50); Bonwick, p. 254.

(44) R. Johnson to Under-Secretary J. Chapman, 2 Dec 1808 (Mackaness, Johnson, no. 38, II, pp. 47-50). See Bonwick, p. 250.

(45) R. Johnson to Under-Secretary J. Chapman, 29 May 1809 (Mackaness, Johnson, no. 39, II, p. 50).

(46) Bonwick, p. 251.

(47) Macintosh, Richard Johnson, Parramatta, p. 22; Richard Johnson. Chaplain, p. 95.

(48) Macintosh, Richard Johnson, Parramatta, p. 22.

(49) Macintosh, Richard Johnson. Chaplain, p. 95.

(50) Bunwell Marriage and Banns Register 1754-1812 (Norfolk Record Office: PD 712/6).

(51) Bunwell Parish Register: baptisms 1788-1812; burials 1789-1812 (Norfolk Record Office: PD 712/4).

(52) J. King (ed), Memoir of the the Reverend Thomas Dykes, LL.B., incumbent of St John's Church, Hull: with copious extracts from his correspondence: also sermons by the Reverend Thomas Dykes, LL.B., edited by the Reverend William Knight (London: Seeleys, 1849), p. 21.

(53) King, Memoir of T. Dykes, pp. 25-26.

(54) For the association with Holy Trinity, see King, for the size of the building, see A. T. Yarwood, 'The Making of a Colonial Chaplain: Samuel Marsden and the Elland Society, 176593', [Australian] Historical Studies 16 (1974), p. 372.

(55) King, pp. 57-58.

(56) King, p. 58. Although it is impossible to account for this confusion, we can note that Richard's father was John Johnson, of Welton, Yorkshire; Macintosh, Richard Johnson. Chaplain, p. 31; and that a John Johnson witnessed Samuel Marsden's wedding at Holy Trinity, Hull.

(57) They are not deposited in the Yorkshire East Riding Records Office, nor in the Borthwick Institute, nor does York Diocese know of their whereabouts. They are not kept with the records of Holy Trinity.

(58) Nos. 7969-72, 7975-76, Hull, Holy Trinity, Marriage Register 1802-1807 (Yorkshire East Riding RO: PE 158/26).

(59) Macintosh, Richard Johnson. Chaplain, pp. 93-94.

(60) John Scott, Thomas Scott, The Life of the the Reverend Thomas Scott, Rector of Aston Sandford, Bucks (London: L. B. Seeley, 1822), pp. 365-366. Scott was chaplain at the Lock Hospital in London when Johnson called upon him.

(61) Yarwood, 'Making of a Colonial Chaplain', p. 379.

(62) Macintosh, Richard Johnson. Chaplain, p. 93.

(63) Macintosh, Richard Johnson. Chaplain, n. 502.

(64) Cf. Macintosh, Richard Johnson. Chaplain, p. 93.

(65) The question was announced (30 October) 'with a view to the the Reverend R. Johnson, whose company was desired for the next meeting', but when the discussion occurred, Johnson did not attend. J & J. H. Pratt, Memoir of the the Reverend Josiah Pratt: late vicar of St Stephens's (London: Seeleys, 1849), p. 383.

(66) Bonwick, p. 36.

(67) See the sequence in E. Stock, One Hundred Years, being the Short History of the Church Missionary Society (London: CMS, 1899), pp. 8-10; and Pratt, Appendix.

(68) He also spoke to the London Missionary Society about their missionaries to Tahiti. For a review of this history, see Samuel Marsden to Commissioner Bigge, 28 Dec 1819 (Bigge Appendix, vol. 130; HRNZ I, p. 449).

(69) Bonwick, p. 37. Bull's letter of 1 November 1786 spoke of 'your copper-coloured neighbours, and your copper-hearted companions, when you get there, must have a gospel of but few ideas and fireworks'. Rainey, p. 30: notes that Johnson was called 'a pioneer in education, Aboriginal welfare, and farming'; Macintosh, Richard Johnson. Chaplain, p. 188: 'He also concerned himself with ... the welfare and evangelisation of the Aborigines.' His concern for indigenous Australians comes through in his correspondence from time to time; for example, R. Johnson to Henry Fricker, 9 April 1790 (Mackaness, Johnson, no. 8, I, p. 29): 'Wish to see these poor heathens brought to the knowledge of Christianity and hope in time to see or hear of the dawnings of that time when these shall be given for our Lord's heritage, and the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession.' (cf. Psalm 2)

(70) R. Johnson to Henry Fricker, 18 Mar 1791 (Mackaness, Johnson, no. 11, I, p. 38).

(71) J. Lawson, A Town Grammar School through Six Centuries. A History of Hull Grammar School against its Local Background (Hull: University of Hull, 1963), p. 173. Cf. King, p. 58.

(72) Macintosh, Richard Johnson, Parramatta, p. 22.

(73) Macintosh, Richard Johnson, Parramatta, p. 23.

(74) R. Johnson to Henry Goulburn, 15 Dec 1815 (Mackaness, Johnson, no. 40, II, p. 50-51); Bonwick, pp. 257-259.

(75) Although discussing Marsden, Yarwood, in 'Making', shows the range of interconnectedness that existed among these circles.

(76) Application for Marriage Licence in Bishop of London's Register of Marriage Licences (Guildhall Library MS 10,091/155). See Macintosh, Richard Johnson. Chaplain, n. 110.

(77) Richard Johnson to Jonathan Stonard, 27 Nov 1795 (Mackaness, Johnson, no. 23, II, p. 11): Johnson thanked Stonard for various items, but explains that he had 'intended for my f[riend] Goff to pay you for the starch, and must request, s[houl]d he call again upon a similar occasion you will take pay for what you send'.

(78) Samuel Stones to William Cowper, 17 Jan 1809. This letter, which has only come to light in 2008, is in the possession of Keith Cowper. It also shows that Cowper is in touch with Henry Thornton, William Wilberforce and the Reverend Henry Foster.

(79) See Macintosh, Richard Johnson. Chaplain, n. 110.

(80) 'Goff & Amey, Silk dyers, 8, Ivey lane, Newgate Street', Kent's Directory for the Year 1794. Cities of London and Westminster, & Borough of Southwark, kents-g.htm.

(81) William Roberts, The Book-Hunter in London (1895), pp. 208-209,

(82) 'I am truly sorry to hear of the death of Mrs Goff & also of poor Milbah Johnson--both Mr and Mrs Johnson would be greatly afflicted', S. Marsden to Miss Mary Stokes, 13 Mar 1804; G. Mackaness, Some Private Correspondence of the the Reverend Samuel Marsden and Family 1794-1824 (Sydney: Mackaness, 1942; Australian Historical Monographs; Vol. 12, Dubbo: Review, 1976). Mackaness tells us that Mary Stokes was the daughter of George Stokes, who began the Parker Society. Her address is given as no. 8 Goldsmith Street, Cheapside, and later at 39 Gutter Lane, Cheapside. Some letters are directed to Mr John Stokes, Senior, at 33 Gutter Lane.

(83) Cf. the monthly meeting of evangelicals and dissenting ministers at Hull, in which Dykes was involved (King, p. 28); and the midweek lectures that were a feature of evangelical churches, such as that at Rawdon (S. Stones to W. Cowper, 17 Jan 1809 [Keith Cowper Family Archive]).

(84) Pratt, Appendix.

(85) M. E. Ingram, Drypool. Being the History of the Ancient Parish of Drypool cure Southcoates (Gloucester: British Publishing Company, 1959), p. 43. Now published


(86) Dykes preached at Atkinson's funeral in 1811. For more on their relationship, see King.

(87) Samuel Marsden to Miles Atkinson, 19 May 1803 (NLA MS 4049).

(88) S. R. Chapman to Ordinance Office, 2 Dec 1807 and 7 Mar 1808 (NA-UK: WO 45/81).

(89) Returns of the Colony (Blue Books), 4/251.

(90) Willis, Winchester Ordinations, p. 118: #2245, 'COWPER, Wm for the Church of New South Wales. Dim from Cant. D. 20 Mar 1808', (Hampshire Record Office, 21 M65 A2/4 (Act Book 1802-24). See also, 'Death of the Venerable Archdeacon Cowper', Sydney Empire 10/7/1858; reprinted in London's Morning Chronicle 6/9/1858.

(91) S. R. Chapman to Ordinance Office, 13 May 1808, cf. 11 Jun 1808 (NA-UK: WO 45/82); S. R. Chapman to Gen Morse, 16 May 1808 (NA-UK: WO 55/714 Engineer Papers - Northern District, 1797-1811); S. R. Chapman to Gen Morse, 28 May 1808 (NA-UK: WO 55/714 Engineer Papers--Northern District, 1797-1811).

(92) W. Cowper to Under-Secretary Chapman, 27 May 1808 (HRNSW 6, pp. 647-648).

(93) W. M. Cowper, The Autobiography and Reminiscences of William Macquarie Cowper, Dean of Sydney (Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1902), p. 8.

(94) A series of letters from the Royal Engineers Department in Hull show that Cowper was employed as Clerk of Works probably from early April 1804 through to May 1808. For his commencement and completion, in particular, see S. R. Chapman to Brig Maj Rowley, 5 April 1804 (NA-UK: WO 55/714 Engineer Papers--Northern District, 1797-1811) and S. R. Chapman to Gen Morse, 28 May 1808 (NA-UK: WO 55/714 Engineer Papers--Northern District, 17971811).

(95) For more on Cowper, see P. G. Bolt, William Cowper (1778-1858): The Indispensable Parson. The Life And Influence Of Australia's First Parish Clergyman (Camperdown: Bolt Publishing Services, 2009).
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