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Photographs supplied by John Huth / Arthur Garland

A plaque commemorates Henry Dowling who was a pastor of the old York Street Baptist Church for 34 years from 1835 to 1869.

Henry Dowling was born in 1780 near Bath, Somerset, England. At 13 years of age he went to sea, serving in the East India Company's fleet, but abandoned the sea four years later and worked in London. There he was attracted by and became an ardent worker for the strongly Calvinist London Itinerant Society, formed specifically to extend Sunday School teaching to villages within ten miles of the city. In 1804 he married Lucy Copas, but she died less than a year later. Henry married again in 1805; his second wife was Elizabeth Darke, from Gloucester, whom he met while working in Worcester as a lay preacher. They had eight children, of whom the eldest was Henry Dowling, one of the first aldermen elected to the Launceston Town Council and the town's mayor from 1857 to 1861.

He was ordained when in 1814 he accepted a call to be pastor of a newly-established Baptist church at Colchester where he remained there for twenty years.

As his family grew in numbers, Henry found it increasingly difficult to support them and was attracted, by reports from relatives, to the idea of emigrating to Van Diemen's Land. Two sons and a daughter preceded him, and in 1834, Henry, his wife and two other sons arrived in Hobart Town. They moved to Launceston and there, on the last Sunday of the year, Henry Dowling preached three sermons and established his first Baptist congregation.

With some government assistance, Henry opened the York Street Chapel on 27th December 1840. Thirty-seven years later he retired, at the age of 87, having been sixty-one years altogether as a minister of the Gospel. His second wife died in 1853 and he married a widow, Hannah Reid, in 1854.

During his long ministry the Reverend Henry Dowling had travelled about 1600 miles each year, had strongly supported the Temperance and Total Abstinence Movements, had preached and worked against the transportation of convicts, and had won the esteem and friendship of many people, both high and low and of all faiths. He had little learning but had a ready wit and quaint humour and, in his addresses, could be graphic, forcible and highly interesting. Having retired in 1867, 'Old Daddy Dowling', as he was affectionately known then, lived on in the house next to the chapel and died there on 29th March 1869 in the 89th year of his life. 


Address:11 Frederick Street, City Baptist Church, Launceston, 7250
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -41.441204
Long: 147.140858
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:People


Front Inscription

In memory of Henry Dowling, twenty-one years pastor of the Baptist Church, Stanwell Street, Colchester, Essex ; and thirty-four years pastor of this church ; who departed this life on the 29th of March 1869, the 89th year of his age.

Affection`s tribute

This tablet from the Old York St Baptist Church

Source: MA,JG
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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