Photocopies of correspondence of Rev Barzillai Quaife

Scope and Content

Photocopies of three letters from Revd Barzillai Quaife in New Zealand to the Colonial Missionary Society, with transcipts prepared by Margaret Frankcorm.

Administrative / Biographical History

Barzillai Quaife, (1798-1873), Congregational and Presbyterian minister, was born at Lenham, Kent, England, the son of Thomas Quaife and Amelia, née Austin. He was educated at Hoxton Academy, London, in 1824 and later served as teacher and minister at Collompton, Devon, at St Leonards-on-Sea, Sussex. In 1835 he submitted to the South Australian Colonization Commissioners a 'Plan to provide the New Settlement of South Australia with the means of Religious instruction on the Congregational principle'. In 1836 his offer of service was declined by the Colonial Missionary Society. He arrived in Adelaide in September 1839, established a Bible and tract depot, and for six months wrote for Archibald Macdougall's 'Southern Australian'. Macdougall's offer of a partnership sent Quaife to Kororareka (Russell), New Zealand, where on 15 June 1840 he began to publish the 'New Zealand Advertiser and Bay of Islands Gazette'. In February 1842 he became editor of the 'Bay of Islands Observer'. His main work at Kororareka was the formation of the first Congregational church in New Zealand where he ministered from May 1840 until April 1844.

Quaife left for Sydney in May 1844. He preached in Parramatta, formed a Congregational church and erected a chapel. He continued as supervising pastor of the Parramatta church until it closed in 1850. In 1850, Quaife was appointed Professor of Mental Philosophy and Divinity at the Australian College. He became a foundation member of Lang's Synod of New South Wales (1850) and of the reunited synods (1865). He continued in this role until 1852. From 1853 to 1855 he lived at Parramatta. In 1855 Quaife moved to Paddington where he taught a school and ministered to a congregation in his home. In 1863, he closed his school, merged his congregation with the Ocean Street Congregational Church, Woollahra, and, between July 1863 and September 1864, devoted himself to the tuition of his students. He died on 3 March 1873.

[Based on article by G. L. Lockley, 'Quaife, Barzillai (1798 - 1873)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 2, Melbourne University Press, 1967, pp 356-357].

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Acquisition Information

Donated in January 2005.

Geographical Names