Old news from Armidale and New England

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Death of centenarian clergyman

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Tuesday 5 July 1927, The Sydney Morning Herald


The Rev. Septimus Hungerford, whose death occurred early this morning, would have reached the remarkable age of 102 years if he bad lived until the twelfth of next month. His life was full of romantic interest, and with his wonderful memory he could carry his many friends back to days that have now passed into history.

He was born in England in 1825, and was brought to Australia by his parents while still very young.

Soon after landing in Sydney – the colony was at the time ruled by Governor Macquarie – Mr Hungerford accompanied his parents to West Maitland, and his father purchased a property where East Greta now stands. Septimus Hungerford was articled to Mr. N. de Stair Parker, a solicitor of West Maitland and later accompanied Mr. Parker to Sydney when the latter went into partnership under the firm name of Dillon and Parker. That was in 1843, and Mr Hungerford lodged at Hereford House, at Glebe Point then rented as a schoolhouse by Mr Hatch. Hereford House was then surrounded by bush and tracks of kangaroos and emus could easily be discerned. In those days the young lawyers clerk either rode or walked into the city from Glebe. Point, and Mr Hungerford was wont to laughingly refer to the duststorms. known as “brickfielders.” which arose from the source of Sydney’s brick supply.

Mr Hungerford decided to enter the ministry and was ordained by the Bishop of Newcastle (Dr. Tyrell) in 1854. Mr Hungerford always recalled with pride that he was confirmed by Bishop Broughton, and that he was acquainted with the Rev. Samuel Marsden, “whose parish was the whole of Australia.”

Immediately after being ordained, the Rev. S. Hungerford was appointed to the parish of Armidale, which embraced the whole of the New England tableland, extending as far as Tenterfield on the north, to Bendemeer and Walcha on the south, and from Inverell and Bundarra on the west, to Hernani and Cedar Brush (now Dorrigo) on the east. It was only possible to move about the Cedar Bush by cattle tracks, and on one occasion he was lost in the big timber for three days. During Mr Hungerford’s administration of the New England parish he built churches at Uralla and Walcha. The parish developed into a diocese, and the Cathedral of Armidale was erected. The Rev. William Collison Sawyer was the first Bishop of Grafton and Armidale, but after being in New South Wales for only three months he was drowned in the Clarence River.

After an incumbency of 21 years at Armidale, the Rev. S. Hungerford came to Sydney and was for some time at Miller’s Point and Ashfield and assisted Canon Taylor at Newtown. In 1879 he removed to St Thomas’s Enfield, and remained there until 1895. In the latter year Mr Hungerford retired from parochial work and settled at Cremorne, occasionally acting as locum tenens at various centres. Some years ago he visited Tasmania and relieved Archdeacon Hales for some time. One of Archdeacon Hales’ sons is married to one of Mr Hungerford’s daughters, and the veteran’s grandchildren include Dr. Geoffrey M. B. Hales, M.B. Ch.M.. and Dr Marjorie Hales, B.A., M.B., Ch.M., of Oberon.

The funeral will take place at Rookwood on Wednesday.

Written by macalba

May 25, 2010 at 8:00 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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