The Prospect Heritage Trust Inc.

Rev H H Bobart

© Prospect Heritage Trust Inc.

Special thanks goes to Lyn Grono and Janice Byrne (volunteer guides at St John’s Church Parramatta)

Henry Hodgkinson Bobart (1807-1854) arrived in New South Wales, Australia on the 2 November 1835 with wife Frances on the ship ‘Lotus’ Due to illness (consumption), Frances passed away on 12 January 1836. Frances is buried at St Johns Cemetary, Parramatta.

In 1835 The Christian Missionary Society at Waimate NZ were advised that they were being sent Rev. Bobart to take charge of the school for the missionaries' children. Rev. Bobart arrived on March 3rd, 1836, and took up his duties at Waimate a fortnight later. This for a time enabled Rev. W. Williams to devote more attention to his work among the Maoris, and to the translation and revision work which was steadily continued throughout the year. Rev. Bobart recorded the examination and baptism of considerable numbers of natives, both adults and children.

While Mr. Bobart was teaching at Waimate he worked well with his scholars, and Mrs. Williams wrote on 29 March 1836 “Leonard is a general favorite, and is improving fast. His father had kept him back a little that he might not get before some of his seniors, but he is beginning Latin with Mr. Bobart, and amuses himself with learning the Greek Alphabet. May the love of God be poured into his heart that he may be devoted to his Father's service.” (He was then 6 ½ years of age.)

The death of his wife affected him so much that he decided to leave the Mission, and went back to Sydney at the end 1836.

Rev. Bobart became curate at St Johns Anglican Church, Parramatta NSW to Rev. Samuel Marsden. Rev. Bobart married Elizabeth, Rev. Marsdens Daughter on 28 September 1837. Rev. Bobart and Elizabeth lived in the Parsonage so Elizabeth could care for her bed ridden mother due to a stroke. Rev. Bobart and Elizabeth had three Children (Mary Elizabeth (B 1838), Henry Charles (B 1839, D 1879) and Charlotte (B 1841, D 1908))

The first organ in St John’s, owned by Rev. Bobart, was installed in 1841. It was removed in 1863 by Thomas Bridson, who installed it in St Paul’s Anglican Church, West Maitland, where it was destroyed by fire in 1866. There is a tablet (erected 1855) in the St Johns Church Parramatta dedicated to Rev Bobart M.A. Who was the second Minister of the Parish (18 years as Minister) “The sick and needy, the fatherless and the widow, were his peculiar care. His last work was to the building of this church after XVIII years labour in the service of Christ”

The Sydney Morning Herald of Saturday April 17 1841 reported that "On Wednesday last the Bishop of Australia laid the foundation of a Parochial Church at Prospect." (St Bartholomews Church). The Rev H H Bobart was appointed and performed the first services. The first baptism was of Margaret Goodin on May 2. 1841, the first marriage was of Thomas Moreing to Sarah McDonald on November 23 1841 and the first burial was of Ann Goodin, aged 15, on July 18 1841.

Rev Bobart died 19 July, 1854 aged 47 and is buried at St Johns Cemetery Parramatta.

(Section 1, Row U, Site 2)

Elizabeth Bobart Died 1879 and is buried at St Johns Cemetery Parramatta.

(Section 1, Row U, Site 2)

Frances Bobart Died 1836 aged 28 and is buried at St Johns Cemetery Parramatta.

(Section 1, Row U, Site 3)

Source of information

Blacktown City Council

New Zealand Electronic Text Centre

Parramatta & District Historical Society