Lancelot Threlkeld

Lancelot Threlkeld (1788 – 1859) missionary and Congregational minister
With the assistance of the tribal leader, Biraban, Lancelot Threlkeld mastered the local dialect, acted as interpreter for Aboriginals on trial in Sydney, and printed regular reports. His published language studies are now regarded as landmarks in Aboriginal studies.

Lancelot Threlkeld, missionary and Congregational minister, was born on 20 October 1788 in Southwark, London.

On 20 October 1824 he married Sarah, daughter of Dr Thomas Arndell of Cattai Creek near Windsor; they had five children. Ten thousand acres (4047 ha) were reserved in trust for the mission. Threlkeld settled at Newcastle in May 1825; in 1826 he moved to his station Bahtahbah and began to instruct the Aboriginals in simple agriculture.

Soon afterwards he moved to Ebenezer (Toronto) on the opposite side of the lake. In the next ten years he consolidated his work; with the assistance of the tribal leader, Biraban, he mastered the dialect, acted as interpreter for Aboriginals on trial in Sydney, and printed regular reports. His published language studies are now regarded as landmarks in Aboriginal studies. The station became a show place.

Threlkeld’s principal publication was An Australian Grammar … of the Language, as Spoken by the Aborigines … of Hunter’s River, published at Sydney in 1834.

Complete biography : http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A020481b.htm

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