Right Reverend Samuel ThorntonPrint Page Print this page


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A brass plaque erected by the diocese in memory of the Right Reverend Samuel Thornton who was the first Bishop of Ballarat. 

On 1 May 1875 at Westminster Abbey, Thornton was consecrated first bishop of Ballarat. He arrived in Melbourne with his wife on 5 August in the Lord Warden and on the 11th was installed in Christ Church Pro-Cathedral, Ballarat, at a service conducted by Archdeacon Theodore Carlos Stretch. In December 1876 he was admitted M.A. (ad eund.) at the University of Melbourne. With 'conspicuous energy' and great organizing capacity, he tackled the task of bringing orderly administration to a diocese that extended to Mildura and the South Australian border.

He attracted men of high calibre, one of whom described him as 'probably the best scholar on the Australian Episcopal Bench of his day'. He was a brilliant extempore preacher and speaker. In 1900 Thornton resigned and returned to England via South Africa in July; he became assistant bishop of Manchester and vicar of Blackburn, retiring from active ministry in 1910. He died on 27 November 1917 in London. 

The memorial tablet to the memory of the late Bishop Thornton, the first Anglican Bishop of Ballarat, was unveiled in Christ Church Cathedral yesterday afternoon in the presence of a large congregation. The memorial brass was beautifully executed by Mr Barbery (of Ballarat), to the design of Mr W. H. Chandler, and at the cost of the diocese. The service was conducted by the Dean of Ballarat, the Very Rev. Julius Lewis, who was assisted by the Ven. Archdeacon Tucker and the Rev. Canon Davies. Bishop Maxwell-Gumbleton unveiled and dedicated the tablet.
The Ballarat Star (Vic), 22 July 1918.


Address:Lydiard Street South, Christ Church Cathedral, Ballarat, 3350
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.563665
Long: 143.857769
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:People
Monument Designer:Mr. W. H. Chandler (designer)
Monument Manufacturer:Mr Barbery (Ballarat, VIC)
Link: http://adbonline.anu.edu.au/adbonl…


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 21st July, 1918
Front Inscription

To the Glory of God
In memory of
The Right Revd. Samuel Thornton
First Bishop of Ballarat
1875 - 1900
Who as a wise master builder laid the foundations of this Diocese and for 25 years lovingly and unsparingly devoted to its welfare all the many talents with which God had gifted him.
Died in England 25th Nov. 1917. This tablet is erected by the Diocese.


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