William Grant Broughton

(1788—1853) Anglican bishop in Australia

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Richard Bourke (1777—1855) army officer and colonial governor


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(1788–1853) was head of the Anglican Church in Australia, as archdeacon from 1829, and after 1836 as first bishop. He was a high churchman who came to NSW under the patronage of the Duke of Wellington thinking he was to head the established church. His position was almost immediately undermined by the suspension and then the abandonment of the Church and Schools Corporation, which was to have given the church an independent income. Then Governor Bourke's 1836 Church Act, which gave financial support to Anglicans, Presbyterians, and Catholics on the same basis, put an end to Anglican pre-eminence. Over the next 20 years Broughton fought a rearguard action in defence of his church, while at the same time he worked creatively to establish a new basis for its financial support and governance. He was determinedly anti-Catholic and cleverly used general Protestant distrust of Rome to defeat Bourke's plan for national schools. He succeeded in keeping state support for his church schools. His conservatism and high-churchmanship made him suspect in the colony, but he was respected for his devotion to his calling. wrote his biography (Patriarch and Patriot, 1978).

From The Oxford Companion to Australian History in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Australasian and Pacific History.

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