The Prospect Heritage Trust Inc.

Rev T Donkin

© Prospect Heritage Trust Inc.

Rev. Thomas Donkin   26/5/1800 – 25/11/1890. Rev, Donkin was born on 26 May, 1800 at Hunmanby, Yorkshire.

He was admitted ‘Sizar’ at St Catherine’s College, Cambridge on 21 May, 1829 and Matriculated  Michaelmas Term 1838. He received his Batchelor of Divinity Degree in 1839. During this time he was Curate of Holy Trinity Church, Huddersfield and Curate of the Parish Church, Stokesay.  1839 – 1840 he was Chaplain to the Isle of Thanet Union and Chaplain to the Romford  Union 1841 – 1849. He was the Preacher of St Boniface, Bunbury in Cheshire from 1849 – 1853.

On 2 April, 1833 Rev. Donkin married Harriet Marston, daughter of the Rector, Stokesay, in St John the Baptist Church.  

Their children were:

Sarah Ann  1833 – 1932

Thomas Clarke – 1835 – before 1914

Harriet Elizabeth – 1837 – 1928

Frederick William – 1839 – 1914

Edwin Davis – 1841 -1914

Henry, Knight of Cc – 1843 – c1911

John Boyd – 1848 – 1920

Francis Marion – 1850 - 1938

In 1853 the family sailed for Australia, leaving behind their eldest son, Clarke, who later became a lecturer at Cambridge University.

Rev. Donkin’s first appointment in Sydney was as Chaplain to the Darlinghurst goal. He remained there until he was appointed Incumbent of St Bartholomew’s, Prospect in 1855.   He was the first Minister to live in its Rectory, which, as suggested by Bishop Broughton on 16 August 1836, was built about half way between Prospect and Seven Hills. The land, about 11 acres (4.4Ha), was donated by the widow of Nelson Simmons Lawson. This land was sub-divided about 1970. The property is believed to be approximately in the vicinity of the present Amazon Road, Seven Hills.  Rev. Donkin continued to work at Prospect until he retired in 1875, being the longest serving  Minister of St Bartholomew’s.  A plaque in St Andrew’s Cathedral, Sydney reads: ‘In Memory of Thomas Donkin, D.D. 20 years incumbent of St Bartholomew’s, Prospect. Born 26 May 1800, Died 29 Nov. 1890.”

The 1863 Australian Almanac, in Ecclesiastical Lists, page 117, lists Rev. Donkin as being at Prospect and Seven Hills in the Diocese  of Sydney.,M1

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

Rev. and  Mrs Donkin  retired to their new home ’The Hermitage’ at Kurrajong.  Mrs Donkin died in 1889 and  Rev. Donkin died in 1890. They are buried in the churchyard of St. Stephens, Kurrajong.  

Source: Prospect Heritage Trust records

P. Donkin