Bishop Francis NixonPrint Page
A stained glass window commemorates Francis Russell Nixon who was the first Bishop of Tasmania.
Francis Russell Nixon (August 1803 – 7 April 1879) was consecrated the first Bishop of Tasmania, and arrived in the colony (then still called Van Diemen's Land) in June 1843. His first task was the organisation of the church in Tasmania, and being a moderate high churchman he came into conflict with some of the clergy of evangelical views. His Lectures, Historical, Doctrinal, and Practical on the Catechism of the Church of England, a volume of over 600 pages, was published in London in 1843, and a second edition was called for in the following year. His letters patent declared his jurisdiction "spiritual and ecclesiastical throughout the diocese according to the ecclesiastical laws of England". Endeavouring to act on his letters of appointment, he came into conflict with the governor, John Eardley-Wilmot, and the Presbyterian and other denominations petitioned the Queen on the subject.
Nixon's administration of the diocese was firm and energetic, and he set a good example to the colonists by devoting a large proportion of his own income to the needs of the church and education. Like his father he practised painting, his sketchbook containing drawings and paintings of Tasmanian scenes is at the Mitchell Library, Sydney.
He resigned on account of ill health in March 1863, and was given a valuable living at Bolton Percy, Yorkshire, England; but finding his health would not allow him to give proper attention to his duties he resigned it in 1865, and went to live near Lake Maggiore in Italy wher he died in 1879.
Yesterday afternoon the Dean of Hobart the Very Rev. Chas. Leslie Dundas M.A., formally laid the apex stone of the chancel of St. David's Cathedral. The east window is a very beautiful piece of masonry. The heads of the five lights are foiled, as are the apertures in the tracery. The side windows are scarcely less graceful in design. The decorative stone-work is especially worthy of commendation, an the compliment paid by the Dean to the architect and the builders was well-earned. The windows are to be fitted with plain cathedral glass at present, but the beauty of the chancel would be greatly enhanced were they of stained glass, in keeping with the exquisite designs to be seen in the nave of the cathedral. Beneath the window are five shields, upon which it is intended to carve the armorial bearings of the first five Tasmanian Bishops. Bishop Nixon`s, will be the first emblazoned there, and will occupy the centre shield. There is to be a chapel at the side, which will be called the Nixon chapel, after the first Bishop of Tasmania, the Right Rev. F. R. Nixon, who was enthroned on July 27, 1843, just 50 years ago.
The Mercury (Hobart), 20th July 1893.
|Address:||125 Macquarie Street, St Davids Cathedral, Hobart, 7000|
|GPS Coordinates:||Lat: -42.883865|
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
In loving and grateful remembrance of the episcopate of Francis Russell Dixon, D.D.
First Bishop of Tasmania Consecrated St. Bartholomew`s Day 1842. Resigned December, 17th 1863.
A ripe scholar, ana eloquent speaker, a faithful friend, and firm but just ruler, with a large and generous heart.