William Broughton (1788 – 1853) Church of England bishop
Under his leadership the church would have a paternal concern for convicts, Aboriginals and settlers in the new areas, and a special responsibility for the organization and control of education with the financial and official backing of the state, for it was above all the national church, established in law, charged with the care of all subjects of the Crown.
William Broughton had had an unusual early career. The need to help his widowed mother had delayed his university career and his entry into the church. Marriage barred him from a fellowship. He became an efficient parish clergyman but owed his reputation to literary research and his promotion to noble influence. Broughton had shown commonsense, political conservatism and sound churchmanship.
These qualities rather than his actual achievements recommended him to Wellington as suitable for the difficult position of head of the church in Australia. Broughton was not without ambition but he accepted the appointment with some reluctance—’there is no ground for congratulation on my appointment’—and with the expectation that his colonial term would be short. In fact he spent the rest of his life in Australia.
Broughton and his family left Sheerness in the convict ship John and reached Sydney on 13 September 1829. Scott handed over his authority on 16 September and Broughton preached his first sermon, at St Philip’s, on the 27th. At his primary visitation in St James’s Church on 3 December he announced the main points of his policy. The church would have a paternal concern for convicts, Aboriginals and settlers in the new areas, and a special responsibility for the organization and control of education with the financial and official backing of the state, for it was above all the national church, established in law, charged with the care of all subjects of the Crown, apostolic in its doctrine and government.
The opinion of Samuel Marsden, the senior chaplain, that the ‘Archdeacon is a very high Churchman, but not inimical to the Gospel. He will not countenance the smallest deviation from the rules of the Established Church’, was as accurate for 1829 as when it was expressed in 1834. It remained substantially true for the whole of his Australian career.
Broughton soon proved to be more popular and better tempered than Scott. He lacked the gift of ready friendship, but he won the good opinion of Governor (Sir) Ralph Darling, the respect of the officials with whom he sat in the Executive and Legislative Councils, and the co-operation of his clergy. He was a prodigious worker and an ardent writer of letters and pamphlets.
Since his undergraduate days he had been lame and often walked with a stick; this disability reduced his pleasure but not his performance in travelling through his extensive archdeaconry. His absences from Sydney and his retiring disposition held him aloof from colonial quarrels where the interests of his Church were not involved. Even the press, while often critical of his churchmanship and his ecclesiastical policy, could find little personal fault with him.
In his panegyric eulogy Chief Justice (Sir) Alfred Stephen said ‘if the late Bishop was not a man universally loved in the colony, he was a man universally respected and esteemed’.
Complete article : http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A010146b.htm
Men of the cloth
Frederic Barker, the second Anglican Bishop of Sydney : https://atributetoaustralianchristians.wordpress.com/2012/06/10/frederic-barker/
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