William Ridley (1819 – 1878) Presbyterian minister
William Ridley served on committees of the Presbyterian Church. In 1864 he gained an M.A. at the University of Sydney; in 1867. He helped to found St Andrew’s College there and became a theological tutor in 1875. Besides contributions to learned societies Ridley published Kamilaroi, Dippil, and Turrubul: Languages Spoken by Australian Aborigines (Sydney, 1866).
In 1850 William Ridley was ordained in the Scots Church by Lang and on 11 April married Isabella, daughter of Rev. J. R. Cotter, rector of Donoughmore, Cork, Ireland. In 1851 he was appointed to Dungog where friendship with an Aboriginal, Harry of Bungulgully, and the failure of Lang’s Grafton mission led him to reconsider Aboriginal work and in May 1853 he began a widespread itinerant ministry in the New England district. In 1855 he extended his mission to Moreton Bay, formed the Moreton Bay Aborigines Friends’ Society in February and itinerated through the Darling Downs.
His Report … of a Journey Along the Condamine, Barwan and Namoi Rivers (Sydney, 1855) was reprinted by Lang in 1861. He published Gurre Kamilaroi: or Kamilaroi Sayings in Sydney in 1856. The same year he refused to be reordained by Bishop Barker and his proposed mastership of an Anglican Aboriginal institution lapsed.
Frustrated and indigent, Ridley resumed parish work in 1857 with the United Presbyterian Church of Victoria at Portland. Next year he returned to pastoral work in Sydney because of his wife’s health and in 1861 became a journalist. As assistant editor of the Empire, and then editor of the Evening News in 1873, and the Australian Town and Country Journal, he won repute for his writing and ‘English liberal’ political views. He also helped to edit the Australian Witness for two years and wrote for the Sydney University Magazine.
Ridley served on committees of the Presbyterian Church, founded a Presbyterian cause at Kogarah, and preached most Sundays until his death. In 1864 he gained an M.A. at the University of Sydney; in 1867 he helped to found St Andrew’s College there and became a theological tutor in 1875. A competent linguist, he had learnt Gaelic and, in 1877, Chinese in order to take charge of the Chinese Mission in Sydney, but devoted much of his time to his Aboriginal studies. With Dr R. Steel he obtained government aid for the Maloga mission.
Besides contributions to learned societies Ridley published Kamilaroi, Dippil, and Turrubul: Languages Spoken by Australian Aborigines (Sydney, 1866), revised and enlarged as Kamilaroi and Other Australian Languages in 1875: it won him the acclaim of ethnologists, notably Professor Max Müller. He also contributed to the works of R. B. Smyth and E. M. Curr and several of his sermons and lectures were published.
Ridley treated all men with equal consideration and earned a reputation for transparent goodness. Even-tempered, his friendship with Lang was ‘never once broken by a quarrel’.
Complete article : http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A060037b.htm
Kámilarói and other Australian languages
Other Australian Christians named Ridley.
John Ridley (1) – https://atributetoaustralianchristians.wordpress.com/2010/10/22/john-ridley/ ¶
John G Ridley (2) https://atributetoaustralianchristians.wordpress.com/2010/10/31/john-g-ridley/
Leave a Reply, comments are welcome.