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Rev J R Blomfield

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Rev. John Roe Blomfield (1824 - 1889)

Rev. Blomfield officiated at St Bartholomew’s on a few occasions either during or after Rev. Donkin’s incumbency of 1855 – 1875.

He was born on 27 October 1824 at Maitland, his parents being Thomas Valentine  Blomfield and Christiana Jane, nee  Brooks.  Christiana was the daughter of Captain Richard Brooks, who acquired a 500 acre (200ha) property later called ‘Denham Court’ from Judge Advocate Richard Atkins and then brought his family out from England in 1814.  He died in 1833 and his daughter, Christiana, inherited the property. In future years the property was run by her son Richard and then by his son Andrew.

When Captain Brooks died he was buried in a vault on the property. His wife died two years later and she was buried with her husband. She left 10 acres (4 ha) of land and 560 pounds for a chapel to be built over the vault.  The chapel, designed by John Verge, was called ‘St Mary the Virgin’. It was consecrated by Bishop Broughton on 25 August 1838, and was at first served by clergy from St Luke’s, Liverpool.

John Roe Blomfield entered Lyndhurst, which was Bishop Broughton’s colonial theological school when he was 24 years old. In 1849 the college closed and John then became a stipendiary reader to Rev. William Macquarie Cowper at Stroud. In 1851 Bishop Tyrell of Newcastle made John a Deacon and placed him in charge of the district of Lochinvar. On 19 December, 1852 he was Ordained to the Priesthood.

Bishop Tyrell’s records show that Rev. Blomfield was at Morpeth in 1852. In 1857 he was appointed to the District of Raymond Terrace and in 1861 he received a Commission as Surrogate in the Diocese of Newcastle In 1862, when St. John the Evangelist at Raymond Terrace was consecrated, he was the minister.

The 1863 Australian Almanac, in Ecclesiastical Lists, page 119, lists Rev. J. R. Blomfield at Raymond Terrace, Diocese of Newcastle.,M1

8 March 1864 he is listed in the Western Post and Mudgee Newspaper as being in the Diocese of Newcastle, and receiving an allowance of 200 pounds per annum.

In 1866, due to his wife’s ill health, the family moved to Sydney where Rev Blomfield was licensed to the Diocese of Sydney and placed in charge of St Luke’s Burwood with Five Dock for a year. After that he was transferred to Mulgoa. In 1858 he was the Incumbent at All Saints Parramatta. In 1883 he travelled to England with Rev Charles Garnsey. While he was in England he saw changes occurring in the way church services were conducted. When he returned to All Saints in 1885 he tried to introduce the changes he had observed in England, but the parishioners did not like the new ideas. In 1886 he resigned but remained Chaplain to the Parramatta Gaol and Asylum.

On 6 November 1851 Rev. Blomfield married Mary Rachael Wood, at St Mary’s , Maitland.  Mary died at Parramatta on 20 September 1870 and was buried at St Mary the Virgin, Denham Court.

They had 2 children:

Valentine John Stuart

born 1859 Raymond Terrace,

1883 married Mary Amelia Ann Scarvell nee Stewart at Parramatta

died  6 June 1929 at Williams, W.A.

Harold Arthur

born 1861 at Raymond Terrace

1885 married Ada E.F. Kidser at Parramatta

Died 16 January 1943 at West Maitland

Rev. Blomfield re-married on 10 October 1872, to Margaretta Caroline Thurburn, (daughter of Alexander T. and Ann Thurburn).

Margaretta died on 14 January 1875 at Liverpool and was buried at St Mary the Virgin, Denham Court.

Rev. Blomfield again re-married on 18 September 1876, to Frances Harriet Clarkson (daughter of Walter and Sarah M. Clarkson).

Frances died in 1878 at Parramatta and was buried at St Mary the Virgin, Denham Court.

Rev. Blomfield died on 1 May 1889 at Parramatta and was buried at St Mary the Virgin, Denham Court after a funeral service at St Marks, Granville.      

Source:  Campbelltown Pioneer Register.

Useful Servant, Nigel Hubbard

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