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Printed lecture on Emigration delivered by Rev. John Dunmore Lang at the Australian College, Sydney

Date: 9 May 1833
Overall: 208 x 131 x 2 mm
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Booklet
Object No: 00051741
Related Place:Sydney,

User Terms

    This lecture is one of the earliest given by the Reverend John Dunmore Lang on the promotion of emigration to Australia and is also one of his most significant works on the subject. Lang arrived in the colony in 1823 and was the first Presbyterian minister in Sydney. He rapidly rose to popularity and became involved in many aspects of colonial life, including education, emigration and politics. He was a vocal promoter of emigration to Australia to relieve the poverty pressures in England. He arranged for many skilled tradespeople to emigrate to Sydney, particularly Scotsmen. The pamphlet was printed by Edward Smith Hall, one of the early printers active in Sydney prior to 1860. He was sole proprietor and printer of the 'Monitor', founded in 1826, which played an important role in contemporary politics. Hall was not only active as a printer from 1826 to 1841 but he was also active in other areas of the development of the colony, being one of the founders of the Bank of New South Wales and the Benevolent Society of New South Wales.
    SignificanceLang's lecture featured in this pamphlet is one of his earliest and most significant on the topic of emigration to Australia, something which he was a vocal promoter of for all of his life. From his staunch religious background, he supported education and free immigration as a means to improve the morality of the colony, not only to relieve the poverty pressures in England.
    HistoryJohn Dunmore Lang, a Presbyterian minister born in Scotland in 1799, arrived in the colony in 1823. He was possessed of enormous energy, and 'pushed his way to power at once', as H.M. Green says, with 'a great wave of popularity and dissension foaming at his bows and leaving a wide wake behind him'. Following his arrival, the Scottish community in Sydney welcomed Lang as their minister. His first task was to build a church, and despite a stoush with Governor Sir Thomas Brisbane which resulted in depriving Lang of financial support from influential sections of the community, he managed to achieve enough private funding to begin Scots Church, completed in 1826. He facilitated the establishment of several schools, colleges and churches both in Sydney and England.

    Lang was a great supporter and promoter not only of religion and morality, but of education and emigration. While in England in December 1830 Lang was struck by the country's poverty and thought a possible means to relieve the situation might be emigration. He believed the grinding poverty of Britain could be readily relieved by the boundless opportunities in Australia, and that a prosperous Protestant peasantry in Australia would ease the evils of English industrialism. In his eyes, an additional benefit of the emigration of well chosen migrants may also have been a kind of moral reformation in the colony of New South Wales. Lang was alarmed by the gross wickedness produced by transportation, and free emigration complemented his plans for education. He persuaded the Colonial Office to grant a loan of £3500 for the establishment of a college on condition that an equal sum was subscribed privately. He obtained an advance of £1500 on this loan to take free migrants to Australia. Lang selected about 140 persons, Scottish tradesmen and their families. They agreed to repay their fares out of wages received when building the college.

    The lecture featured in this pamphlet, one of his earliest and most significant works on the promotion of emigration to Australia, includes his reflections on the STIRLING CASTLE, which had arrived full of Scottish "mechanics" in 1831. The STIRLING CASTLE later wrecked en route to Singapore, and the survival of Eliza Fraser was one of the most famous events of the 1830s, later becoming the basis for Patrick White's 'A Fringe of Leaves'. Returning to Sydney in 1831 Lang was applauded for his patriotism and enterprise in bringing such valuable migrants, tradesmen better than any in the colony, who were to raise standards among Sydney builders. The Australian College buildings were commenced. Although a founder of the Australian College, Lang's tousle with the Church and School Corporation, the lands of which, he suggested, could be sold to pay for immigration, led to a censure by the Legislative Council in 1832. With lessened public and financial support, Lang was forced to use his own property to complete the buildings, and the Australian College opened in 1831. It survived with ups and downs till 1854. Throughout the 1840s and 1850s, Lang was also involved with Sir Henry Parkes, through the Australian League, pressing for a national identity, an end to convict transportation, and through moral means promoting the independence and federation of the Australian colonies.

    From the start, Lang was incredibly vocal and active in the religious, civil and political life of the colony, and was involved in many public controversies. His achievements in promoting education and immigration bear comparison with those of any of his contemporaries. Throughout Lang's political career, which finished in 1870, he witnessed the achievement of almost all his political aims: the cessation of transportation, the separation of Victoria and of Queensland, the introduction of responsible and democratic government, radical land reform, National education and the abolition of state aid to religion. His was undoubtedly one of the most powerful voices of the time extolling the virtues of liberal and secular values. His published works, whether of a polemical propagandist or more broadly educational nature, were not confined to his numerous books and pamphlets, for he was prolific in his writings for and to the press. His writings, together with innumerable lectures given in Sydney or in the bush on his never-ending colonial journeyings, must have had a large, though unmeasurable, influence in inculcating the colonial values which were dominant in Australia by the end of the nineteenth century.

    Adapted from:
    Hordern House catalogue 'July 2011, Sydney Printers before 1860, chiefly from the Robert Edwards library'.
    Baker, D. W. A., 'Lang, John Dunmore (1799–1878)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 5 October 2011.

    This lecture pamphlet was published by E S Hall, one of Sydney's early printers. Edward Smith Hall (1786-1860), banker, newspaper editor and grazier, was born on 28 March 1786 in London. He engaged in religious and social work and so impressed leaders in these fields that their friendships were helpful when he decided to migrate to New South Wales. Hall left England in the 'Friends' and arrived in the colony on 10 October 1811.

    Governor Macquarie granted Hall various parcels of land, however, Hall's hopes of supporting himself and his family as a gentleman farmer were not realized. Macquarie reported him as 'a Useless and discontented Free Gentleman Settler … without making the least attempt at Industry...', but soon modified this opinion and appointed Hall a member of the Governor's Court in July 1813, April 1814 and January 1816.

    Hall continued religious and social work, and in 1813 with five others founded the New South Wales Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge and Benevolence, which added to the colony's much needed private forms of charity; this society was discontinued in 1818 after he helped to form the Benevolent Society of New South Wales. He also was a founder in 1817 of the New South Wales auxiliary of the British and Foreign Bible Society. Hall's first notable activity in the public affairs of the colony was his association with the Bank of New South Wales. He supported the establishment of the bank in 1816, and in 1817 was appointed cashier and secretary, a post which he left in 1918.

    Despite his many disappointments since arriving in New South Wales, he was active in numerous interests and soon found new professions. In 1820 Macquarie appointed him coroner, a position which he filled most conscientiously. After a period on the land at Lake Bathurst, he returned to Sydney, where he established himself as a printer and on 19 May 1826 he and Arthur Hill published the first issue of the 'Monitor'. Hall was the sole-proprietor and printer of the 'Monitor', which played an important role in contemporary politics; it was one of the papers that Governor Darling tried to curb with his so-called "gagging Act", and Hall was routinely in the dock regarding the endless libel cases that clogged the Supreme Court of the day. In this newspaper Hall took up the cause of the poor whose plight he had seen in his Benevolent Society work and 'espoused the cause of any convict, who should he be ever so vile, was punished contrary to law'. In a society where freemen increasingly out-numbered convicts, the 'Monitor' influenced public opinion by its advocacy of a representative assembly and trial by common jury, though he was opposed to emancipists in the jury box.

    His many instances of libel landed him in prison during 1829-1830, but following Darling's departure Hall's life became less turbulent. In 1838 he sold the Monitor, and was joint editor of the 'Australian' until 1848, after which he formed an association with Sir Henry Parkes's 'Empire'. Financial losses resulted in Hall's obtaining an appointment in the colonial secretary's office, which he held from 1857 to his death on 18 September 1860.

    Hall's last years as a public servant did not obscure his reputation as a strenuous advocate of a free press, representative government and trial by common jury. Perhaps a greater claim to respectful notice was the passion for nascent nationalism that surged through his writings as he championed the colonial born, 'who owed their prosperity to themselves', and exhorted them to fight for 'Liberal Principles and Free Institutions, Rational Liberty and Equal Justice'.

    Adapted From:
    Hordern House catalogue 'July 2011, Sydney Printers before 1860, chiefly from the Robert Edwards library'.
    J.A. Ferguson, 'Edward Smith Hall and the "Monitor", ' JRAHS, XVII, pp. 163-200.
    Kenny, M. J. B., 'Hall, Edward Smith (1786–1860)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 5 October 2011.
    Additional Titles

    Assigned title: Printed lecture on Emigration delivered by Rev. John Dunmore Lang at the Australian College Sydney, 9 May 1833

    Web title: Printed lecture on Emigration delivered by Rev. John Dunmore Lang at the Australian College, Sydney

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