ST. JAMES'S CHURCH, SYDNEY.
St. James's Church, Sydney.
The accompanying view will be familiar to a large number of our readers. St. James's Church is one of the oldest sacred edifices in Australia. It is situated at the top of King-street, near Hyde Park Barracks, Sydney. The spot, it has been truly remarked, is one calculated to awaken many an interesting reminiscence in the minds of old Australian colonists. According to an account now before the writer, St. James's Church was the first substantial place of worship erected in Sydney. The foundations were originally laid for a court house, but when Mr. Commissioner Bigge came out from England to inquire into the state of the colony, about the year 1815, he reported that a church was much more needed than a court house, whereupon Governor Macquarie, acting upon his recommendation, altered the building to a church, and afterwards a spire was added to give the structure a more ecclesiastical appear- ance. On the eastern wall of the edifice there is an inscription as follows: "St. James' Church, erected A.D. 1820, L. Macquarie, Esq., Governor." The main features of St. James's Church certainly do not convey any very strong resemblance to ordinary church architec- ture; but the building is, both in its interior and exterior, substantial in aspect and commanding in appearance. After explaining his desire to see the interior, the writer was informed by tho resident officer in charge, Mr. James McCabe, that he had been 31 years sexton, and that he distinctly remembered when the prisoners confined in Hyde Park Barracks opposite used to march up in irons to the gallery for divine service on Sundays. Entering tho vestry, a lofty and spacious room, some old records were shown which threw light on the early history of the church. The first incum- bent was the Rev. Richard Hill, "who, after officiating in St. James's for 16 years, died sud- denly in the performance of his duty within its walls, on the 30th May, 1836, aged 54 years." From June, 1836, to November, 1837, the Rev. Wm. Cowper, Wm. Yates, and Robert Cartwright performed the duties until a successor to Mr. Hill was appointed. From November, 1837, to November, 1839, tho Rev. George N. Woodd was the incumbent. From November, 1839, to the present day, the incumbent has been the Rev. Canon Allwood. So it may be said that for a period of 56 years there have been only three clergymen and two sextons connected with St. James's
Entering the church the visitor is struck with its old-fashioned rather than venerable appearance. The pews nearly approach what are often known as "cattle pens" in similar cases in the old country, and the sombre heavy furniture is particularly noticeable. Yet the church is very interesting. On the walls are many tablets, which are full of sad memories to the old in- habitants, interesting reminiscences to those who have studied Australian history. Over the entrance door is a tablet to tho memory of the first incumbent, the Rev. Richard Hill. On the western wall the first that attracts attention is to the me- mory of Lieutenant-General Sir Maurice O'Con- nell, K.O.H., Colonel of tho 80th Regiment, Acting-Governor of the colony at one period, and Com- mander of the Forces in New South Wales from 1838 to 1847 ; ho died May 25th, 1848. At the side of this is a tablet to the memory of Robert Wardell, L.L.D., aged 41, who took a prominent part in the early history of the colony, and whose murder, at his estate at Peter-
sham, threw a gloom over the community about 40 years
ago. Further on there is a tablet to the memory of Commodore Sir James Brisbane, K.O.B, K.W., of "The Warspite," who, after taking a prominent part in the Burmese war, died in Sydney on the 19th December,
aged 52. Another tablet is to the memory of Lord ??? Gordon, third son of the Marquis of Huntley,
who died on 10th August, 1869, aged 19 years, erected by his mother, Mary Antoinetta, Dowager Marchioness of Huntley. Another tablet is to the memory of Wil- liam Sharp Macleay, died 7th January, 1836, aged 72. A beautiful tablet near this is to the memory of Frances Leonora Harrington, eldest daughter of Alexander and Eliza Macleay, who died after a brief union, having been married only six weeks, and contains in simple language an interesting panegyric of her virtues. The next tablet is to the memory of Captain William Russell, 28th Regiment, and Lieutenant J. W. Russell. At the side of this is a tablet to -the memory of the lamented Bishop Patteson, the sad story of whose murder by the Islanders is so well known. Another tablet is to the memory of Charles Nathan, F.R.O.S., died September, 1872, one of Sydney's most popular and respected medi- cal practitioners. Near this is a tablet to the memory of the Hon Charles Kemp, M.L.O., one of the proprie- tors of the Sydney Herald, who died August 25th, 1864, aged 51 years. A fine tablet near this is to the memory of Captain William John Dumaresq, of the Royal Staff Corps, who served in the Peninsula, in Canada, and in New South Wales ; he died in 1868, aged 76 years. Another tablet is in memory of Captain J. S. Phelps, only son of Mr. J. O. Phelps, of Gostwyck, Paterson River, who died fighting in the New Zealand war in 1863, aged 34 years. A fine large tablet near this is in memory of Alexander Macleay, F.R.S., L.S., formerly Colonial Secretary of New South Wales. The inscrip- tion states that he occupied positions of high trust in the Civil Service during eventful periods in the history of the colony, and after a long career of varied useful- ness, died in 1848, aged 81 years. There is another tablet in memory of Eliza, his wife, "mother of 17 children, who died in August, 1847, preceding her hus- band by a few months, after a happy union of more than 50 years." Another tablet was erected by the officers of the 12th Regiment to the memories of Captain J. L. Wilkie, who died at Lambing Flat on February 1st, 1862, and to Lieutenant T. H. Oliver, who was acciden- tally drowned at Perth, WA., on the 5th July, 1862. There are two other tablets on the west side ; one to the memory of Robert John Birch, aged 8 years, drowned at Middle Harbour, December 7th, 1865, erected by a number of his school-follows of St. James's School, and the other to the memory of the wife of Mr.
R. W. Newman.
On the north side there is a tablet to the memory of Captain Green, of the Dunbar, who, with all his passen- gers and crew, save one, were drowned on 20th August, 1857. Another tablet at its side is in memory of J. B. McAvoy, Paymaster, R.N., and Lieutenant T. T. A. Smith, R.N., erected by the captain and officers of the Blanche. A fine tablet to the east of this was erected by the Government in memory of E. B. O. Kennedy, the explorer, who was slain by the aborigines near Escape River, on the 13th December, 1848. The tablet also contains the names of other members of the ill-fated expedition, and most particularly the name of Jackey-Jackey, a faith- ful aboriginal follower of Kennedy. Another tablet is to the memory of John Gilbert, ornithologist, who was speared by the blacks on January 29th, 1845, when on the first exploring expedition to Port Essington, with Leichhardt. The next tablet is to tho memory of the wife of Deputy-Com missioner-General Ramsay, who died at sea, on board the ship Vimeira, 4th February, 1853. Another tablet is to the memory of Sir James Everard Home, Bart., captain of H.M.S. Calliope, and senior officer on the Australian station, who died in Sydney on the 1st November, 1853, aged 55, erected by the officers mid ship's company Another tablet is to the memory of William V. Wild, barrister-at-law, who died 25th May, 1861. He was elected to represent his native county, Camden, N.S.W., when 22 years of age, and continued to sit as member till within a few mouths of his death.
There is also a tablet to the memory of Lady Mary Fitzroy, wife of Sir Charles Fitzroy, and daughter of Charles, fourth Duke of Richmond, who was acciden- tally killed at Parramatta, December 7, 1847. Another tablet is in memory of Robert Campbell, Esq., and members of his family. Another tablet is erected by Captain Linsday, and brother officers, in memory of Captain Callet Barker, 59th Regiment, murdered by the blacks while exploring between Lake Alexandrina and the Gulf of St. Vincent, on the 30th April, 1831. Another tablet is to the memory of James Laidley, Esq., Deputy Commissary-General, who died August 80th, 1835 There are several tablets to the memory of the following officers who fell in the New Zealand war:-Ensign H. M. Blackburn, 99th Regiment ; Lieu- tenant Geo. Philpotts, R N. ; Lieutenant Ed. Beatty, 94th Regiment ; Lieutenant E. M. Tupper, R.N. ; and Wm. Kennedy, of the Iris. There is also a tablet to the memory of the wife of Rev. A. W. Wallis, of Calcutta; and to Francis M. Noel, of the " Calliope," who was drowned off Sydney Heads on the 12th November, 1852, aged 22 years. The inscriptions on these and tablets are all in good taste, and worth an hour's inspection. There is also in St. James' Church a fine organ, and the services on Sunday evenings are very crowded.