The Prospect Heritage Trust Inc.

Rev T Druitt

© Prospect Heritage Trust Inc.

Rev. Thomas Druitt (1817-1891) Between January and August 1855 Rev. Thomas Druitt officiated for short periods of time at St  Bartholomew’s. Rev. Druitt was born on 21 October 1817 at Wimborne Minster, Dorset, England. He educated at Wimborne Grammar School. He started his career as a teacher, but went to Portugal to gain experience in the commercial business world. In Lisbon, on 14 August 1845 he married Helena Hediveges Clementina Purvis, who was the daughter of a Scottish merchant, William Purvis.

They returned to England in 1847, and then set sail for Sydney in November of that year.

Their children were:

Charles J.  born 1848

Robert H.  born 1850

Helena E.  born 1851

Georgina Jane  born 1853

Frederick J.  born 1855, died 1856 at Sydney

Edward Frederick born 1856

Mary E.  born 1859

Anna B.C.  born 1861

Alfred J.  born 1863

Ethel Robina  born 1/11/1867 at  ’Christchurch’, the Cooma Parsonage,  died of scarlet fever, 25/3/1876 at Cooma  (source: C. Shaw)

Thomas Druitt returned to the profession of teaching and in June 1848 he was appointed as the second master of St James's Grammar School. Mrs Druitt also worked at the school, teaching French and Portuguese.

On 3 June 1849 Bishop Broughton of Sydney made Thomas Druitt a Deacon. On 22 September 1850, in the presence of Bishop Selwyn of New Zealand, he was ordained priest by Broughton.  He assisted at the services of St James's Church and took charge at St Bartholomew's, Pyrmont. He also acted as a Chaplain at Victoria Barracks and served as honorary secretary of the Destitute Children's Asylum and on the committee of the Sydney Female Refuge. His interest in music led him to become the secretary of the Sydney Choral Society..

When Rev. Thomas Wall Bodenham resigned as headmaster of the St James Grammar School, Druitt was given the position.  The school prospered under his direction, he also provided lodging for many students at his home in Elizabeth Street.

During  1854 and 1855 Druitt acted as the headmaster of The King's School., Parramatta, after which he returned to St James Grammar School.  When the Sydney Grammar School opened, with financial support from the government, St James Grammar School suffered. Druitt resigned from St James's at the end of 1856 and moved to the Cooma district.

The 1863 Australian Almanac, page 117, lists Rev. Druitt as being at Cooma in the Diocese  of Sydney.,M1

In 1866  his parish covered 10,000 square miles (25,900 km, encompassing not only  Cooma, but coastal areas and remote farms. During his time in the area he had St Paul's Church  built, it was consecrated in 1872, as well as a new parsonage, which was called ‘Christchurch’  and a school hall.

In 1877 Druitt became a canon of St Saviour's Cathedral, Goulburn, and in 1884 an archdeacon of the South Coast. After leaving Cooma in 1890 Druitt spent a short time at Murrumburrah, then retired to Sydney.

He died at Petersham on 30 December 1891, survived by his wife, five sons and four married daughters.

Druitt is honoured by a memorial window at St Paul's, Cooma.

In 1936 the ruined Christ Church was restored as a memorial to Bishop Broughton, Rev. Edward Gifford Pryce, a pioneer of Anglican work in the Monaro, and Druitt.