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Scripture lesson in Aboriginal language by Rev. William Ridley, ca. 1850; with a note by Dr A. Capell, 1969

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Call number: Aa 52/Item 3

Author: William Ridley

Date: ca. 1850; 7 August 1969

Description: An early manuscript used by missionaries to teach Christianity to Indigenous people. The note by Capell is on the first page and simply outlines the manuscript; it contains translations of the bible, a hymn and an illustration of Jesus. William Ridley (1819-1878), Presbyterian minister, arrived in Sydney in 1850 and soon became classics professor at the Australian College, despite his hope to work with Aboriginal people. He was soon reordained to Dungog where a friendship with Harry of Bungulgully, an Aboriginal man, led him to reconsider Aboriginal work. Thus, in May 1853 he began a widespread itinerant ministry in the New England district. In 1856 he refused to be reordained and his proposed mastership of an Anglican Aboriginal institution lapsed. After, he resumed parish work at Portland but soon returned to Sydney to become a journalist in 1861. Ridley served on committees of the Presbyterian Church, founded a Presbyterian cause at Kogarah, and preached most Sundays until his death. In 1864 he gained an M.A. at the University of Sydney; in 1867 he helped to found St Andrew's College there and became a theological tutor in 1875. A competent linguist, he had learnt Gaelic and, in 1877, Chinese in order to take charge of the Chinese Mission in Sydney, but devoted much of his time to his Indigenous studies. (Biography from

Communities: Gamilaraay / Gamilaroi / Kamilaroi