At celebrations held in 1908 to mark his Ministerial Jubilee, James ADAM recalled:
"... a quiet student room at 47 Bristo Street, Edinburgh, occupied by me. I had come to the end of my eight years university curriculum. My examination before the Presbytery had come to an end, and I had obtained license to preach the gospels. On taking up the 'Saturday Evening Post and Scottish Record,' my attention was arrested by an earnest application of the Colonial Committee of the Church of Scotland for a minister to labour in Carcoar and its surroundings. I offered myself for the post, and was set apart for the work by the Edinburgh Presbytery."
The Edinburgh Presbytery ordained James ADAM, M.A., on Wednesday 1 December 1858, as Minister for the Parish of Canowindra, N.S.W.
After being farewelled by what was left of his "family," James went to Liverpool, and on 6 December 1858, he embarked in the Chief Cabin of the Clipper Ship Ocean Chief, a vessel of the Black Ball Line of British and Australian Packets, of 1400 tons register, commanded by Captain J. BROWN, bound for Melbourne.
James had left his native Scotland, never to return.
THE ORIGINS OF JAMES ADAM.
The exact circumstances of James ADAM's birth are proving difficult to determine with certainty. He was born on 4 June, the date inscribed on his gravestone in Blayney Cemetery - it seems reasonable to assume his family celebrated his birthday on that date.
Family lore indicates that he believed that he was born in Coupar Angus, a town in Forfarshire, on the border with Perthshire. And James grew up believing that his father was James ADAM, Stonemason, and a native of Glamis in Forfarshire (born in Milton in the Glen of Ogilvy, son of John ADAM and Jean ANDERSON, and baptised at Glamis Church, 28 July 1805).
But there is no record of a birth or baptism of a James ADAM in the Coupar Angus Parish Register to those parents. What is there is a record of the marriage of his alleged father, James ADAM, Mason, to Margaret THOMSON, on 6 November 1831, after proclamation of Banns three times in church.
And if these were James's parents, and he was born, as indicated in a number of sources, in either of the years 1830 or 1831, then he was clearly illegitimate.
As to the year of his birth, we have the following indications:
1. It was recorded as 1830 on his gravestone in Blayney Cemetery.
2. The fly-leaf dedication to the Pulpit Bible in Blayney church gives it as 1831.
3. His entry in "Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae" records the year as 1835.
Official records are scant, but James was enumerated in the Scottish Census returns for both 1841 (aged 9) and 1851 (aged 19), which are neither infallible, but are remarkably consistent, and if correct, indicate a birth between June 1831 and March 1832.
But when James registered his own marriage, and subsequently registered the births of his four children, all in N.S.W., he recorded his various ages, which taken together indicate that he believed he was born at some time between 9 April and 13 July 1833.
And this is the only information about his age we have from his own hand - so it appears that 4 June 1833 was the date on which he was led to believe that he was born.
However, James ADAM may himself been at the church meeting in Blayney, 2 months before his death, which discussed the re-binding of the Pulpit Bible and the composition of the fly-leaf dedication, and the year date here, 1831, corresponds rather well with the Scottish Census information, and still satisfies the age-at-entry requirement for the Normal Institute .
Another difficulty arises over the identity of his parents, and in particular his mother.
James informed his father's death at Dundee in 1857, recording himself as the son, but was unable, despite undoubted requests from the Registrar, to name his father's late spouse - the space for her name was left blank. I do not know whether actual signatures are recorded on images of Scottish registrations, but the one for the informant James ADAM, evidently not in the same hand as the registrar, looks uncannily like that of James himself.
In 1858, James and his "brother" John erected a standing stone in Glamis Churchyard, and on it is recorded, among other details, the name of "... their mother, Margaret THOMSON"- undoubtedly she of the 1831 marriage in Coupar Angus.
But, by 1865, when James registered his own marriage in Sydney, he recorded his mother as Margaret PATON; and my grandmother, James's sole surviving daughter, Margaret Paton ADAM, was told that she was named for her paternal grandmother.
Curiously, his brother John, when he was married in Dundee in 1865, named his mother as Margaret THOMSON - which provides some indication that they were perhaps not born of the same mother.
[The standing stone which marks the ADAM family grave in Glamis Churchyard.]
It remains a possibility that James was not the son of James ADAM, Mason, and Margaret THOMSON, but was raised by them as if he was; and if so, the question arises as to who his parents actually were.
And it was of no help at all that the "mother" died on 25 July 1835, as indicated on the Glamis gravestone; nor that her burial was not recorded on that date in the Parish Register - although there was another burial, exactly 12 months later, for "Marg. McADAM or Wid. THOMSON, a travelling beggar, died Glammis 25 July 1836, said to be a native of Girvan in Ayrshire " - and this one has surprising similarities to the supposed wife of the Stonemason! The monumental mason may have mis-interpreted a handwritten "6" for a "5."
Not that the Girvan Parish Register is any help either!
There was a Margaret THOMSON, baptised at Girvan, 2 April 1807, daughter of Archibald THOMSON and Margaret DRYNAN, but she was 3 years younger than the Glamis burial. However, there was a Susan THOMSON living in Milton, Glen of Ogilvy, Glamis Parish, in 1841, aged 61, and there was another THOMSON family connected with Coupar Angus, both of which might more conceivably be the source of James Senior's wife Margaret.
But there was a baptism of possible interest.
In Perth, where we know from Census returns that James's "brother" John was born, we find the following baptism, recorded in the Pomarium West Parish Register, Perth:
"8th September 1834, was born James ADAMS, lawful son to James ADAMS, Mason in the said Parish, and Margaret THOMSON his spouse, and baptised the 14th day of Sept in the said year, by the Rev John NEWLANDS, Minister, United Church."
At first glance it looks like our James himself - but considering all of the above information, it seems plausible that this may instead have been the "brother" John's baptism, and that after his parents took in, as a son, another and older James ADAM already used to being called James, they then began calling the younger boy John.
It is possible to speculate yet another scenario.
James ADAM Senior was one of six known children of John ADAM and Jean ANDERSON, all of whom were born in Glamis between 1801 and 1809.
Three of them were daughters - Margaret (baptised 19 March 1801), Helen (baptised 5 August 1802) and Ann (baptised 7 April 1809) - of whom two left a trail in Scottish records.
Ann ADAM was enumerated in Glamis in the 1841 and 1851 Censuses, living in the family home at Milton in the Glen of Ogilvy with her mother (1841) and brother James (1851), along with our James (1841) and nephew John (1841 and 1851); in the 1861 and 1871 Censuses, she was in Dundee, having taken over her brother James's Spirits Dealership in Hawkhill after his death in 1857.
Margaret ADAM was hauled up before a disciplinary meeting of the Glamis Kirk Session in December 1820 on a charge of fornication with Charles HENDERSON of Rochelhill, but although that was a decade too early for a pregnancy for our James, it does indicate that she had, perhaps, the beginnings of a track record of what might have been regarded as "errant" behaviour.
Time did not permit me, when I was last in Scotland, to make a full search of all neighbouring Session Records around the time of our James's birth.
It is not beyond the realms of possibility that our James could have been the son of one or other of these ADAM sisters, although I suspect we will never know the full truth.
And if so, it might suggest a father named PATON.
James's early education probably took place in Glamis.
In 1841, he was enumerated in the household of his "grandmother" Jean ADAM (aged 60+), with his "brother" John (aged 7), and his "aunt" Ann ADAM (aged 25+). In a later Census he would no doubt have been recorded as a Scholar, and his exact relationship to Jean ADAM would also have been stated - but this was 1841, and those additional details would not be recorded until the next decennial Census in 1851.
His "father" was absent, and as it would appear certain, off making a living by plying his trade as a Stone mason; and later employment on Railway building projects suggests that was a likely source of employment for him from early on.
On 14 January 1848, according to an entry in a diary James kept at this time of his life, he began to work for his father as a Mason's Assistant, and in particular on the job his father was then engaged in, at or near Maxwellheugh, Roxburghshire. The diary records much detail of work completed, probably by his father, with his help, and of the rates of pay, calculated at 4d per hour (and a half-penny less after 9 November 1848).
The Diary also recorded that James went up to Edinburgh on 5 October 1849, to commence matriculation studies at the Normal Institute in Johnstone Terrace. It was a residential Training College under control of the Education Committee of the Church of Scotland. The entry age was strictly 18 years, so James would have to have been born before October 1831 to have gained entry, unless he gave wrong information.
James visited his family in Dundee for Christmas; and was back with his father during the summer holidays, from 11 July to 3 September 1850, working at or near Heiton, and on the Roxburgh Bridge.
James was enumerated at the Normal Institute, Tolbooth, Edinburgh, in the 1851 Census, aged 19, Student, born Coupar Angus, Perthshire.
And in the same Census, James ADAM Senior was enumerated back at the family home, in Milton, Glen of Ogilvy, aged 45, Widower, Stonemason, born Glamis, with son John (aged 16, Handloom Weaver) and unmarried sister Ann (aged 41, Linen Handloom Weaver). James's grandmother, Jean ANDERSON, had died on 20 March 1846, aged 72.
Shortly after, James went up to his family in Dundee for the summer holidays, from 10 July to 15 September 1851. He was by now, or would soon after be attending Edinburgh University, and was awarded his B.A. on 21 April 1855. He received his M.A. on 19 April 1856. Books presented to him record his prizes - First Prize in Mathematics, April 1854; First Prize in Hebrew, April 1856. He was also awarded prizes in Metaphysics, Philosophy and Bible Criticism.
In 1854, James commenced work as Night Chaplain in the Night Asylum for Homeless Men, in Old Fishmarket Close, Edinburgh; after 4 and a half years service, he received, on 2 December 1858, a presentation from the Lord Provost of Edinburgh, acknowledging his efforts there. Press clippings of the presentation, probably brought out from Scotland by James ADAM, were republished in the Bathurst Free Press [Saturday 11 March 1859] shortly after his arrival, which noted that Mr Adam had received:
"... a most gratifying tribute of respect and admiration for the very able and zealous manner in which he executed the duties of Chaplain to the Night Asylum, at the hands of the Lord Provost..."
By 1856, his father James Senior had left his trade and followed his younger brother Thomas ADAM's lead into the Spirits Dealing trade, at 123 Hawkhill, Dundee. He was to die there on 23 October 1857, of Influenza, disease of chest, aged 53, son of John ADAM, deceased, and Jane ANDERSON, deceased, the death informed by James ADAM, Son.
And within a year, his uncle Thomas had died of the Delirium Tremens, shortly after his first grandchild was born and his younger daughter had married. James's aunt Ann ADAM died in 1864.
Which brings us to James sitting in that student's room in Bristo Street in 1858.
Why did an intelligent man with an M.A. degree from one of Britain's elite universities turn his back on his native land, where he might reasonably have expected to enjoyed a "stellar" career in the Church of Scotland?
We may never know, but it might be speculated that a combination of factors impacted on that decision:
1. He may have learnt something about his origins that gave him pause to think. It seems reasonable to assume that he believed James ADAM Senior, the Mason, was his father (although he may not have been, but almost certainly related, perhaps instead his biological uncle). That he was unable to name his father's spouse when he informed his father's death, clearly (in my view) suggests that James's biological mother was not that spouse. He appears to have discovered the spouse name - Margaret THOMSON - by the time he and his "brother" erected the stone on the family grave in Glamis Churchyard in 1858. And by the time he was to marry in 1865, he then "knew" further that his mother was not her, but instead Margaret PATON. I expect his father's death resulted in his finding out a few of these home truths, from somebody, and some of which may have been uncomfortable for him to deal with.
2. James had spent 4 years as chaplain to the Edinburgh Night Asylum for Homeless Men, and would have observed first hand the ravages of alcohol abuse. He must also have begun to see serious indications of decline in his own uncle, Thomas ADAM, who would, within a year or so, be dead from the D.T.'s.
Whatever the reasons, Scotland's loss became the Upper Lachlan District's gain, and James ADAM, M.A., headed off to the other side of the world, taking permanent leave of what was left of his family - his "brother" John, aged 23; his aunt Ann (aged 49, and now living at 123 Hawkhill, Dundee, where she continued her late brother's Spirits dealership - was she his mother?); his uncle Thomas (aged 51, a Spirits Dealer at 227 Hawkhill, Dundee) with aunt Agnes and cousins Jean (27) and Agnes (22); and perhaps even an illegitimate sister or cousin, Elizabeth ADAM (23).
[An undated portrait photo of a young James ADAM, perhaps formal enough to be
around the time of his ordination in Edinburgh in 1858.
"Rev'd James Adam MA, 'The apostle of the saddle', Presbyterian minister of Carcoar, N.S.W. 1859-1877."]
JAMES GOES TO AUSTRALIA.
The Ocean Chief arrived in Melbourne on 23 February 1859, "... after a safe and pleasant voyage from Liverpool" of 80 days. James was to spend six days there, preaching his first Australian sermon, probably in the Scots Church in Collins Street, before concluding his sea travels on the Coastal Steamer Wonga Wonga, disembarking in Sydney on 5 March 1859. After preaching his second sermon, in Saint Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Kent Street, Sydney, he made the slow coach journey, probably from the then Railway terminus at Parramatta, "... over the Blue Mountains to the hospitable Manse of Saint Stephen's, Bathurst," where he was welcomed by Rev James Brotherston LAUGHTON on 11 March.
After receiving his first lessons in horsemanship, James accompanied LAUGHTON to the centre of his new "charge" at Carcoar, and in the Court House there, he preached his first sermon in his own parish, in the evening of Wednesday 23 March.
The "Apostle of the Saddle" had arrived.
Two weeks later, he celebrated his first marriage in the District (he was registered to do so by the N.S.W. Registrar-General on 28 March); and on 22 May, he conducted his first sad funeral, that of James SLOAN, whose homestead, "Glenlogan," on the Lachlan River near Cowra, was James's first "permanent" residence. He was formally inducted into his charge, at Carcoar, on 3 September 1859. And on the next day, James convened a public meeting in Carcoar to take steps towards the building of a Presbyterian Church there.
So began the extensive building career of James, Apostle of the Saddle
[Part of the Central Mapping Authority of N.S.W.'s Topographic Map of Cowra, showing the Glenlogan
ST JAMES'S CHURCH, CARCOAR.
On 1 May 1860, the foundation stone for Saint James's Church, Carcoar, was laid, although it would not open for Divine Service until 2 February 1862. Funds had been raised towards a church before James arrived in N.S.W., and further subscriptions were added to the sum, including an amount of £2 from his future father-in-law, Thomas SPENCE, a Sydney Builder.
The main cause for delay appears to have been the weather, and perhaps also problems with brick supplies.
The Bathurst Free Press reported that "... the foundation of this church has been completed for some time, the bricks are made, the timber, shingles and other materials for the building are all on the ground, and the building committee hope to commence putting up the walls in the course of a week or two" [Wednesday 29 August 1860]; ADAM himself related later that after the gable walls had been carried up to their full height, "... then the elements did war against them in no uncommon degree - for two months it rained continuously and the wind often blew violently"; and the Bathurst Free Press further reported that "... the walls of this building were erected some months ago, since which I am sorry to say nothing has been done towards its completion - the Rev James ADAM has been exerting himself very much in its behalf, by delivering lectures on Astronomy in every town or village within 100 miles of this place..." [14 August 1861].
John LOUDON and William BEDDIE were appointed Trustees.
The church was still in irregular use until recently. It stands on the northern side of Icely Street, immediately opposite the Public School, uphill of the Manse, on the western side of the intersection with Coombing Street.
In the meantime, James was busy.
ST PETER'S CHURCH, COWRA.
First tenders were called on 25 February 1860, for sawn timber required for the erection of a Presbyterian Church in Cowra, to be received by Mr William OUSBY of Cowra, or Mr George CAMPBELL of Jerula (two of the original Trustees, the third being Mr William HOOD).
The foundation stone to this, James ADAM's second church, Saint Peter's, Cowra, was laid on 20 September 1860. As with Carcoar, there were some problems and delays.
The Bathurst Free Press reported that the "... a beautiful description of hard free-stone has been discovered within 6 or 8 miles of the township, and large quantities of it are being used in the building of the Scotch Church and Roman Catholic Chapel" [Saturday 22 December 1860]; the "... Catholic Church is being finished inside, but the Scotch Church remains as it was, nothing doing there" [Wednesday 23 January 1861]; the "... Scotch Church has been set a-going again, fresh arrangements having been made with the contractor, Mr PINDER" [9 February 1861]; "... the roofing of the Scots Church has begun" [24 April 1861]; that "... the roof of this neat structure has been completed; the whole is creditable alike to the workmen and architect... stained glass after a design by townsman Mr HANSARD... pulpit of plain cedar..." [1 June 1861]; "... the whole of the flooring has been laid down, the windows have been fitted up, and the glass will shortly be put in" [Wednesday 26 June 1861]; and that it "... had been finished for some time, the ground has now been fenced off, and it looks something Kirk-like" [Wednesday 20 November 1861].
But this project was brought to a quicker conclusion than Saint James's in Carcoar, being opened for service on Sabbath, 24 November 1861.
[St Peter's, Cowra, as it looked in the early days.
This image appears on street signage just across Macquarie Street from the church site; the same image
appears on page 123 of "Cowra on the Lachlan," Edited by Joan MARRIOTT, Cowra Shire Council, 1988.]
The old church building still stands, behind the newer and larger church (foundation 7 February 1912, opened 22 October 1913) presently in use, on the western side of Macquarie Street, about 100 meters north of the intersection with Kendal Street (the Mid-Western Highway).
[Rear view of the original building, November 2012, with an evidently rebuilt main
roof (originally the same pitch as the rear "vestry" annex in the fore-ground),
ST JOHN'S CHURCH, ORANGE.
In quick succession, the foundations of his third church, Saint John's, Orange, was laid a week after Saint Peter's, on 27 September 1860; it was opened 8 weeks earlier than the same on 29 September 1861. The Trustees were Andrew KERR, John BUSBY and George McKAY.
ST PAUL'S CHURCH, BLAYNEY.
And on 3 July 1861, it was the turn of his fourth church, Saint Paul's, Blayney, and it was in turn opened on Sabbath, 13 April 1862. The Trustees were numerous, including Messrs William SCOTT, William CATHER, Adam KIRKPATRICK, John CATHER, Henry EWIN, William CHISHOLM, James BURTON and William MOORE.
"But O, sad and vexatious! The very first load reveals that none of them will do for the outside of the building. The frosts and black winds of winter having gone, the genial breath of spring brings back the brick makers, who are again engaged to make a number of suitable bricks, and in order that there may be enough made, the brick maker is asked how many will be required. The specified number is accordingly made, and the bricklayer now begins to put them together in the shape of a building.
"The carpenter, however, at this late hour of the day discovers that the window and door frames have not been ordered, and that some of the timbers has been wrong cut. The bricklayer, after waiting a few weeks upon the necessary timber being brought in, moves on a little further.
"But before the building is ready for the coping, he uses up the whole of the bricks. He is several thousands short. A man in the neighbourhood has a kiln out of which he promises to give the required number, but before a month passes he either uses them all for his own building or sells them to other people.
"Few have patience to endure these annoyances, and to struggle with the adverse tide, encouraged only by a humble attempt to discharge their duties. Such is the dreary history of many a church. The cause no doubt of many of the difficulties connected with public buildings is that men do not act as if the undertaking were their own. Were it a dwelling house for themselves, the same trouble and annoyance would be borne without a murmur."
An apologetic James ADAM, probably not having controlled the earlier projects to his own satisfaction.
[A contemporary view of the southern side of the body of Saint Paul's Church, Blayney, November 2012.]
The church is still in regular use. It stands on the western side of Adelaide Street (Mid Western Highway) between Church and Water Streets.
THE PRESBYTERIANS DIVIDED IN FORBES.
Not satisfied with founding the four pillar churches in his extensive parish, James looked further afield.
A number of his parishioners had joined the rush to the newly discovered Lachlan Goldfields, and by the time Rev John Dunmore LANG visited there in May 1862, the population had risen to 25,000.
But LANG was a Presbyterian of a very different type to James ADAM, and was motivated by a deep mistrust of, and vehement opposition to, Government funding for religious organisations; and even more so than the breakaway faction known as The Free Church of Scotland, whose original "disruption" of 1843 had a lot to do with the sufferings of crofters and their families as they were displaced by their Lairds, with implicit support of their Established Church Ministers. Which displaced crofters were assisted in large numbers by LANG's energy and compassion in delivering them to the new world in the south, for which he was ever remembered by them with great gratitude.
James was of the Established Church of Scotland, and when he arrived in Forbes, the new town a-building on the Lachlan Goldfields, and held a meeting of Presbyterians on 12 May 1862, little did he realise what troubles lay ahead. A number of resolutions were agreed to, subscriptions were raised, and tenders for the building of a church were invited, closing 22 May 1862. On that day, a Committee of Management meeting was addressed, probably in James ADAM's absence, by Rev Hugh SEABORN, who was, it turns out, of the Free Church persuasion. But James seems to have been unaware of how things were developing.
On 9 June 1862, two supporters of the Free Church in general, and LANG's faction in particular, wrote a letter to LANG, advising him of the progress of fundraising at the Lachlan Diggings, which letter stung LANG into action. He wrote to the Editor of the Lachlan Observer, which published his letter on 14 June 1862, informing readers that one of his ministers was on his way to preside over the Presbyterians of Forbes, in the person of Rev Robert KERR, and in the interests of the Presbyterian Church with no connection to the State. KERR arrived, and advertised his intention to hold his first service on Sun 6 July. Meetings of subscribers were called, and, once again in James ADAM's absence, the numbers moved further towards the LANG factional position.
When James did finally arrive in Forbes on 19 July, things began to turn nasty. KERR wrote to LANG on 22 Jul, advising him of:
"... troubles and annoyances from some quarters from which I believe they [the committee] desire to be saved - not that they had any doubt as to their right, but because of the grasping dispositions of some who would lay their hands on what they have no right to, as Mr ADAM is now trying to do."
KERR went on to say that the subscribers were:
"... unanimous and decided against having anything to do with him or his party."
KERR wrote again to LANG on 26 July, stating that:
"... Mr ADAM has been here from Saturday 19th to Wednesday last, and made a strong effort to lay his hands on the whole, though he has done nothing and paid nothing towards the building, and cannot show the slightest claim to it... He had the boldness and presumption to go to the Court here with the matter, and also battled the Committee at two different meetings, Monday and Tuesday evenings last. But I understand they handled him pretty well, and were firm, decided and unanimous..."
LANG's supporters had won the moment, and their church was opened in early August, the services being postponed by bad weather. James was to write later, after Church Union had been achieved in 1865, that:
"... Forbes, in its palmy days, presented a very painful spectacle. There was almost daily litigation about claims being jumped; but it was quite a new thing to have a church jumped, and that had been done at Forbes. Eventually the difficulty was got over - the church was blown down."
And James ADAM had the "last laugh" - the moneys he had collected remained under his control, and was probably the object of a further visit to Forbes to withdraw the sum of nearly £80 and remove it to Cowra - although he nearly lost the lot to Bushrangers.
William R. GLASSON relates the details in his "Musings in My Saddle" [Epworth Press, London, 1937]:
"Rounding a bend of the road, Mr ADAM found, apparently waiting for him, five tall, rough looking and ill-dressed men, each carrying fire-arms, their horses tethered nearby. Without any hesitation, Mr ADAM advanced towards them and then dismounted. The glove was removed from his hand as usual, and lifting his hat, he warmly shook hands with each one. He then asked if they lived in the neighbourhood, he would like to visit their homes and give to their children some religious instruction. He was told none of them lived thereabouts. He asked further if they were in regular employment? Again the answer was in the negative. With evident and increased sympathy, Mr ADAM observed that work was hard to find and usually hard in itself when obtained, but if they had faith in God and in themselves, He would open them a way to honourable employment. After further inquiry into their circumstances and needs, it being obvious that his sole desire was to help them, Mr ADAM stated that he must now proceed upon his journey, he was far from home and his horse was slow, but before parting he would esteem it a great privilege to be allowed to pray with them. The five bushrangers, following his example, removed their hats and bowed their heads, and standing in the roadway, that little company united in worship. In a few words of compassionate entreaty, Mr ADAM sought for all present the guiding and protecting mercy of God, with His forgiveness for all that He saw in each to be amiss. Then raising his right hand he pronounced the benediction. Mr ADAM once more shook hands with each one, his hat and glove were replaced, and remounting his horse, with a final courteous and friendly bow to the five men, he slowly rode away."
Nice one, Mr ADAM! Having survived his confrontation with the LANG faction in Forbes, he wasn't going to put out by a group of armed bushrangers, even if they were the Ben HALL gang. Although there is a suggestion that James had already met HALL and had offered him spiritual guidance.
And GLASSON gives the last word, from information given by James's widow Bessie, related to her many years later by one of the men after he was released for a long prison term:
"The armed but ill-clad men in silence watched him go, till a turn in the road hid the venerable rider from sight... When Mr ADAM had disappeared, the strange silence was broken, and Ben HALL spoke - 'If any man interferes with Parson ADAM, if any man dares to lay a hand on parson ADAM, I'll put a bullet through him'."
James was aged about 30; Ben HALL was to die a violent death in May 1865.
was taken at DALTON's Royal Photographic Gallery, 320 George Street, Sydney.
JAMES CONCENTRATES HIS EFFORTS AROUND THE CARCOAR AREA.
In October 1862, a meeting was held in the Carcoar Church, which resolved that the district in which James ADAM worked was too large; that Orange and Blayney both desired more regular services, and were able to promise amounts necessary for a stipend; and to build a Manse in Carcoar, the most central place.
So began yet another round of fund-raising and building arrangements; a contract was signed on 28 January 1863, and the new residence was completed by the end of 1864, at a cost exceeding £670.
James's first child, a son named Thomas Hyde ADAM, was born there in July 1866; as were the other three children (Esther Spence in June 1869; James in March 1871; Margaret Paton in August 1874); and the middle two died there (Esther in February 1870; James in November 1871).
It is still in use as a residence today.
[The old Carcoar Manse, at the bottom of the hill below Saint James's Church, in Nov 2012.]
James ADAM built yet another church, on ground donated by Archibald McKELLAR at Hobby's Yards, a "... neat weatherboard building, well put together, and 30 feet long by 17 feet broad, having a gothic appearance" which was opened on 29 May 1864.
It was replaced during the 1930's by the present brick church building; there is a burial ground attached.
Rev J.B. LAUGHTON opened a small brick church at Rockley on 24 May 1863, and it appears to have been built through the joint activity of the both the Bathurst and Carcoar congregations.
The church has not survived, and it's former location is indicated in a plan of the town in a services notice-board in the town park, just opposite the hotel, which showed it on the south side of Pepper Street, west of Hill Street, where it bends towards the south to meet Market Street and becomes the road to Trunkey.
And on 21 November 1866, James ADAM opened yet another timber church at Number One Swamp, now known as Neville. It is probable that this was the church occasionally referred to as the Mount Macquarie Church, before the name Neville was settled on the village - there is certainly no evidence among the cluster of buildings at the foot of Mount Macquarie (today known as the district of Shaw) of any structure resembling a church.
[The church at Neville, on the main road junction in the north-west corner of the town, November 2012.
Apparently modified (the original porch appears to have been absorbed into an enlargement?) - still in use.]
In 1867, the Presbyterian Parish of Saint John's, Orange, was disjoined from the Carcoar charge; the first Minister, Rev James PATERSON, was ordained and inducted there in July 1867.
During this period, a landmark in internal church affairs was created with the formal Union of disparate Presbyterian factions in 1865. Earlier attempts had been made in 1854, even before ADAM's arrival. Rev Dr Robert STEEL (Free Church, Macquarie Street, Sydney) came out in 1862, with the express purpose of effecting such a Union; and the proposal to pass a Bill in Parliament abolishing State Aid to Religion looked set fair to neutralise the disruptive behaviour of Rev John Dunmore LANG, long a thorn on the side of the Established Church of Scotland, to which ADAM belonged.
Committees of both the Synod of Australia (Established Church) and the Synod of Eastern Australia (Free Church) met in November 1862, and invited the U.P. (United Presbyterian Church) to join them, but not LANG. It achieved little progress, and another round of meetings was convened in Nov 1863, by which time LANG had been successful in obtaining a reversal of the 1842 decision of the Synod of Irvine (Scotland) to depose him from the Ministry.
On 6 November the Synod of Australia voted narrowly to accept the reversal of LANG's deposing, but made it clear he would not be appointed to a Ministerial post; whereupon it was agreed that the Synod of Eastern Australia would merge with LANG's Synod of N.S.W., which occurred on 15 November 1864, as the necessary precursor to full Union. This was finally achieved in June 1865, when the Synod of the Presbyterian Church of N.S.W. was formed, with Rev Adam THOMPSON (formerly U.P. Synod) the first Moderator of it, to LANG's evident distaste.
James ADAM was only 10 when the Disruption of 1843 resulted in the formation of the Free Church; he was educated in Edinburgh to serve the Established Church of Scotland; and he had eagerly taken advantage of government support in N.S.W. for the erection of Churches and Manses, and the support of Ministers stipends (usually by matching subscriber and donor funds raised for the purpose).
James's "frenetic" church building in his early days was probably a direct result of the perceived need for it, combined with ADAM's youthful experience in the building trade, assisting his father as a Stonemason; but it may well have been fast-tracked by a realisation that that level of financial support would probably not last indefinitely.
On 1 June 1872, property deeds for Portion 66 (1 acre) and 66a (2 roods), Parish of Lucan, County of Bathurst, set aside for the site of a Presbyterian Church and Manse near Grubbenbong (alias Grubbenbun) Creek as early as Sep 1869, were signed over to the nominated Trustees, John LOUDON, John TOSHACK and Robert TOSHACK (who had been Gazetted as such on 31 January 1872).
Immediately north of the Burkeville Public School, Saint Andrew's Church was opened by rev J.B. LAUGHTON on 3 July 1879, nearly 2 years after James ADAM had left for Penrith.
Neither the church nor the school have survived - the church being demolished in 1961 due to it's unsafe condition - the school, rebuilt in 1900, was eventually removed to the grounds of the Lyndhurst Primary School where it is still in use. A plaque was installed on the site of the church, indicating the original location, "... just north of the MUGGLETON's house" [see "Lyndhurst and Garland, Memories, 1800's to 1900's", by Susanna GORDON and Betty FERSON, Bathurst, 2010, p. 28].
Details of the founding of the corrugated-iron clad church at Brown's Creek are not yet forthcoming; it appears that it was a "Union Church" which serviced the Anglican, Presbyterian, Methodist and Baptist congregations; by the 1960's, the land on which it stands was first registered by the Lands Department of N.S.W. as Portion 78, Parish of Beaufort, county of Bathurst; prior to this it appears to have been part of a Gold Mining Lease, on Crown Land, but apparently never leased to particular Trustees for the specific purpose of building a church on it. In 1970 the Anglicans took it over and dedicated it as Saint Luke's; and due to dwindling numbers, closed up in 1985 and leased it to B.H.P. [see "The Glint of Gold" by Kevin COOK and Daniel GARVEY, Orange, 1999, pp.70-71].
and apparently in use as a store-room.]
Several mentions are made in Gold Mining reports of "Church and School Lands" at Brown's Creek in the early 1870s; in one report, in the S.M.H. of 20 January 1873, mention was made of there now being at Brown's Creek "... a small village with two inns and a school" (the Public School site lay immediately to the north of the Church site), which indicates that it was built after that date.
It was the church where James ADAM had gone to preach, many years later, in 1898, and on which journey he met his almost fatal accident.
It was certainly in existence before James ADAM commenced his second stint at Carcoar in 1884; this is also confirmed by the notice, in May 1885, of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church's Committee on Religion and Morals resolution to send two evangelistic deputies to preach at a number of country centres, including Brown's Creek in the Presbytery of Bathurst [S.M.H., Saturday 7 March 1885].
At Hogmanay, 1 January 1874, the Presbyterians in Blayney held an anniversary tea meeting, with many Carcoar friends attending, which raised £40 towards the cost of a new tower and spire then under construction at Saint Paul's Church, facing Adelaide Street.
[The 1874 tower with spire, added to the Adelaide Street frontage of the 1862 church of Saint Paul's in Blayney.]
On 4 April 1865, at her father's residence at 108 Palmer Street, Woolloomooloo, Rev James ADAM, M.A., and Elizabeth SPENCE were married by the Rev Dr Robert STEEL, with witnesses being her sister Esther and brother-in-law Nathaniel NEALE.
In the marriage registration, James informed the details of his age - 31; his birthplace - Coupar Angus, Scotland; and his parentage - James ADAM, Builder, and Margaret PATON.
Elizabeth was 28, born Manchester, parents Thomas SPENCE and Esther HYDE (see his separate blog on this blog-spot).
[Elizabeth "Bessie" SPENCE - a portrait photo taken probably around the time of her marriage.]
Where and when James and Elizabeth first met is unknown - James certainly visited Sydney on a regular basis on church business, particularly at Assembly time, but Thomas SPENCE does not appear to have been an ardent churchgoer, having only signed up with the Pitt Street Free Church Congregation (Rev Alex SALMON) as late as November 1852, after more than 10 years in the colony. Elizabeth herself came to be very much in the public eye in 1863, when she represented her late mother at Civic functions attended by her father as the Mayor of Sydney, and James may well have shared an occasional speaking platform in that year, on civil liberty matters, chaired by his future father-in-law.
But it does appear that James collected a subscription of £2 from Thomas SPENCE, sometime during the latter half of 1861, towards the costs of building Saint James's Church in Carcoar - but it is unclear whether James made that collection in Sydney (probable), or SPENCE may instead have been visiting the Blayney district (I know of no reason why he would have done so).
And on 19 April 1865, after what can only have been a short "honeymoon," James was back at work, examining the children in their Scripture History and Shorter Catechism at a Sabbath School "treat" in Blayney, where Sunday School Teacher Mr CRAWFORD referred to "... the happy coincidence that their first treat was honoured with the presence of the minister's beloved wife, on the first occasion of that good lady's visiting Blayney."
It has been observed that Bessie ADAM was probably the only Presbyterian Minister's wife in Australia who had one time in her career been feted as the Mayoress of a major colonial city!
JAMES MAKES A MOVE CLOSER TO FAMILY IN SYDNEY.
In July 1877, the name of Rev James ADAM, was inserted in a call by the Congregation of Penrith-St Marys, to fill the vacancy that existed there.
There had been a death in the family circle in Sydney, which prompted James to seek a post closer to the metropolis.
That death was almost certainly that of Bessie's sister Esther, who lived with her husband Nathaniel NEALE in the house of her widowed 72 year-old father, Thomas SPENCE, in Palmer Street, Woolloomooloo, and was probably acting as a sort of "carer" for him in his retirement. James had married the pair in the SPENCE family home in November 1869; and they had no issue.
James preached his last farewell at Cowra on 26 August 1877, "...to the largest congregation which ever assembled in that township"; the congregation presented James with an address, and two pieces of plate, one of which was an inscribed 15-inch silver salver, which remains in family possession.
James's first formal activity in his new parish was familiar territory to him - on 3 October 1877, he attended the laying of foundation stone ceremony for a new church at South Creek. It was opened on 14 April following.
But by the time it was opened, James had been elevated to the highest office his church could offer - on 31 October 1877, before a large attendance, the 13th Annual session of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in N.S.W. formally elected Rev James ADAM, M.A., to serve as its Moderator for the year 1878.
During James ADAM's Moderatorship, on 1 August 1878, his father-in-law, Thomas SPENCE, died at his residence in Palmer Street, Woolloomooloo.
James was appointed a joint-trustee in his will, and managed the transfer of his estate to his wife, Thomas SPENCE's only surviving daughter Bessie ADAM.
The property portfolio included two adjacent premises at 94 and 96 (where Bessie's mother Esther SPENCE had died in 1857) William Street, Woolloomooloo, both residential shop-fronts, and both now demolished, making way for the vehicular entrance into the car-park under the Boulevarde Hotel; and two adjacent and substantial brick residences, just around the corner at 126 (his residence) and 128 Palmer Street, situated immediately north of Spence Lane, and both also likewise demolished, by the Department of Main Roads back in the 1980s to make way for the Bourke Street by-pass under William Street.
What this inheritance meant to James and Bessie was degree of greater financial Independence arising from the rental income they generated.
JAMES GOES BACK TO SCHOOL.
When ADAM was awarded his M.A. in Edinburgh in 1857, there may have been a perception, among some of his Professors at least, that James may have had a future in education. Whether he was aware of the potential that early we shall probably never know, but after nearly 22 years of hard toil, that is exactly what James decided to do.
In Stanmore, just west of Sydney, the Church had established a Tutorial Institute, in a house named "The Briars" in Cambridge Street, whose purpose was to provide domestic accommodation for a small number of Presbyterian boys from outside Sydney who were attending the Sydney Grammar School.
In early 1881, despite the marked displeasure of his parishioners, who had apparently been kept in the dark about his intentions, James took up his appointment as Principal of the Tutorial Institute; he had already advertised his new role, in the Sydney Morning Herald of 25 December 1880:
of New South Wales.
attending the Grammar School are received as Boarders, and
enjoy all the comforts of a home, with moral supervision,
tutorial assistance, and religious instruction.
Classical languages, with French, Drawing, Mathematics, and all
the branches of an English and Commercial Education.
whose address till the 10th January will be Penrith."
[Rev James ADAM surrounded by a group of the Tutorial Institute boys.
A question arises as to whether his son Thomas Hyde ADAM may have been in this group?
The date of this photograph is uncertain, as is the provenance.]
The year 1881 saw 12 pupils in residence at Stanmore; and by August 1882, pressure on places demanded bigger premises. As a result, James and Bessie ADAM, with their own two young children in tow, removed the Institute to premises at 125 Botany Street, Moore Park (present day Flinders Street), and were established there by 7 October, with 15 pupils in residence.
In a Real Estate advertisement in the Sydney Morning Herald, Monday 12 February 1883, The Briars was put on the market. It was described as "... a most faithfully built and conveniently arranged GOTHIC VILA, adjoining WOERDEN HOUSE, the beautiful mansion residence and grounds of W. H. PALING, Esq..." It was evidently situated "... on an elevated site on the high ridge, from which is commanded extensive and lovely views."
By January 1883, after prolonged moves within the Presbyterian community, the first Presbyterian Boarding School was established at Bowenfels, near Lithgow. Named Cooerwull Academy, it was built largely due to the benevolence of Mr Andrew BROWN of Bowenfels. And it effectively made The Tutorial Institute redundant.
On 6 January, James ADAM made a nostalgic visit to Grubbenbong Creek (later known as Garland) - and he preached in the Presbyterian Church of Saint Andrew's, which had been opened in July 1879 (largely due to the efforts of John LOUDOUN, one of ADAM's most stalwart supporters in the district), some 2 years after James had left Carcoar parish for Penrith.
For James, the next stage of his career had arrived - he was overwhelmed by the warmth with which his old parishioners welcomed him back.
And their intent was soon made very clear - they wanted him back at the spiritual helm in Carcoar-Blayney parish, and at a meeting in Carcoar on 7 February, they issued him with a "pressing" call; a correspondent reported in the "Presbyterian" that:
"... when a show of hands was called for, every right hand was up; and if one could have judged by appearances, some would have held up both."
JAMES RETURNS FOR THE SECOND TIME TO CARCOAR.
James ADAM was inducted at Carcoar on 15 April 1884, and "...heartily welcomed back to his old charge."
But it was now much reduced in size, due to the raising of both Cowra and Blayney to Sanctioned status (in 1883 and1884 respectively), leaving in Carcoar "... a string of villages unevenly spaced along a mountainous road extending from Grubbenbong Creek through Mandurama, Carcoar, Neville, Trunkey Creek and across the Abercrombie River to Tuena and Peelwood, a distance of about 70 miles" [Robert WILLSON, in his "The Apostle of the Saddle"].
There was to be no rest for here the returning minister.
The unfinished church of Saint David's, near Moorilda, had been founded on 2 April 1877, a few months before he left for Penrith/St Marys. It was opened in September 1883; a Tea meeting and concert in connection with the opening was held there on Monday 24 September, and the church was opened "... free of debt" [Australian Town and Country Journal, Saturday 29 September] . The church is still in use; there is a burial ground attached.
[St David's Church, on the Newbridge-Hobbys Yard Road, near Moorilda, in Nov 2012, when 12 descendants of
Rev James ADAM joined the local Presbyterian community, led by Rev Angus EWIN, to celebrate
the 135th anniversary of the foundation.
New members were recruited to his communicant's roll; extensive repairs were made to church and manse; Tea-meetings, Sales of Goods, Concerts with Tableaux-vivants and "Services of Song" were held to support the Kirk finances, and the usual business of Sabbath School award presentations; he was appointed Moderator of the Presbytery of Bathurst for the year of 1887; inducted the new minister at Blayney, Rev J.J. JENNINGS, on 12 May 1887; and he even added yet another church to his "portfolio," at Tuena, where Saint Margaret's, built of stone by Mr D. BREMNER in accordance with his tender accepted on 24 September 1887, was opened in 1888.
Yet another new church, and probably James's last, was opened for divine service on 24 August 1890, this time in Trunkey, having been erected by Mr F.H. GREENSTEDT, the Contractor; on a plan of 30 feet by 20, in weatherboard and corrugated iron roof, and windows of cathedral glass with coloured borders. Tea meetings and concerts were conducted there on 26 December 1890 and 26 and 27 December 1891 to help pay off the debt.
But James was no longer a young man. At nearly 60 years of age, the trials and tribulations had taken their toll, and on 12 January 1891, he advised a representative gathering of the various centres of the Carcoar parish that he intended to resign "...through failing health" and to take up residence "...in one of the Sydney suburbs" - the meeting, at Saint James's Church, was advised that since James's return in 1884, the central church and manse had been repaired and altered to the amount of £400; the church extension fund had been reduced from £200 to £20; and that 2 substantial churches had been built, at Trunkey and at Tuena [S.M.H., Wednesday 14 January 1891].
And once again, his congregation found it hard to let him go; capacity crowds attended his farewell services at Grubbenbong Creek (9 March - to the largest congregation ever seen there), Mount Macquarie (4 April - the crowd forced the service to be transferred from the Church to the School of Arts) and at Carcoar (5 April).
His stalwart old supporter, John LOUDON, related the tale of "...the auld Scotch wife: she said that her minister was like to an auld horse-shoe - the longer it was worn, it turned the brighter..."; and there is no doubt it was he who published a memorial in verse in the Presbyterian:
His duties he fulfilled wi' care.
But James did not relax for long.
[The "evil" left eye is probably due to later pen additions probably made by a mischievous child;
JAMES RETURNS TO BLAYNEY.
In fact, James did not even retire - he maintained his membership of the Bathurst Presbytery, and he provided casual pulpit supply at Blayney after Rev J.J. JENNINGS vacated it in April 1892. He was still "casually" supplying it in November 1892.
And he brought a new recruit to his work - his daughter Margaret, now nearly 20, was a proficient organist, and his thanks to his daughter for her efforts at Choral Concerts and Services of Song were now being seconded by his future son-in-law, Harry PIGOTT, who had arrived in Blayney in January 1893 to Manage the Blayney Branch of the A.J.S. Bank.
The formal arrangements about the prolonged vacancy were attended to at a Congregational meeting in September 1894, at which it was made evidently clear that it was due to James ADAM's presence that all the Kirk overdraft had been paid off, the church cleaned and repaired, £130 had been collected towards the building of a Manse; numerous outstanding debts in Blayney and at Moorilda had been liquidated, and the church at Rockley, which had been closed 6 years, was re-opened.
The congregation expressed its recognition in the usual way, and placed in his hands another "...very extensively signed" Call to become their Pastor.
And so, James ADAM was inducted, for the last time in his career, as Minister of the Blayney Church, on 22 January 1895, in the church he had built some 30 years earlier.
[The old Manse in Church Street, Blayney, little changed, in November 2012.]
In it, on 23 March 1898, and in a private ceremony, James married his daughter Margaret Paton ADAM, with the assistance of Rev Henry Robert PIGOTT (Anglican Curate of Castle Hill), to his son Henry Robert Maguire PIGOTT, of Blayney. It was recorded that the church was not chosen for the marriage because it would not have been big enough to accommodate those who would have attended a public ceremony.
And 14 months later, his first grandchild was born in the Manse.
But before this second happy occasion, James had met with a very nasty accident.
On the afternoon of Sunday 7 August 1898, James made his usual visit to Brown's Creek to conduct the mid-afternoon service in the corrugated-iron clad church there. It had rained heavily, so his congregation stayed at home, presuming ADAM had also done so - memories of earlier floods there must have remained fresh. So as not to waste the trip, he paid a visit to Mrs CLEMENTS, who had been on the sick-list. After turning into their gate, and a short distance from the homestead, his horse shied, possibly at a snake, and unseated hits rider, who was knocked temporarily unconscious by his fall, but caught his foot fast in the stirrup in the process. By a stroke of extra-ordinary good fortune, James's horse found itself in the very same predicament, his front hoof getting caught fast in the fence. There was a general feeling of those who found him that had the horses hoof not become fouled, James may not have survived to tell the tale.
His recuperation was slow, and he suffered several set-backs; his Congregation fretted over his condition; and after yet another relapse in March 1899, it was reported that large numbers of friends:
"... call at the Manse daily to make anxious enquiries as to the Rev gentleman's health."
Rev James ADAM is seated; his wife Bessie (centre) is probably nursing their grandson Robbie PIGOTT (born May 1899); their daughter Maggie sits on the left, with her husband Harry PIGOTT standing behind.
His successor, Rev Samuel Glasgow CRAWFORD, was inducted on 13 June 1900; he died in 1911, and was buried in the Blayney Cemetery beside his father.
JAMES GOES INTO RETIREMENT.
James and Bessie ADAM began their retirement with a month's "holiday" in Wollongong; and spent the rest of it mostly in Blayney and in Sydney.
In August 1901, their son-in-law Harry PIGOTT purchased the dwelling "Iona" in Clarke Street, Blayney, at the end of Albion Lane. And there James and Bessie continued to reside with the growing young family (subsequent grandchildren were born there in October 1902 and August 1906), spending time each year, to escape Blayney's harsh winters, with friends in Randwick.
In June 1908, James ADAM celebrated his Ministerial Jubilee, and was feted by a very large meeting convened as an evening session of the General Assembly. After a number of valedictory speeches, James rose to speak in reply, and, in the words of a contributor to the Messenger, was given:
[Embossed initials of James ADAM on the gold-inlaid leather-bound cover of the 1908 Jubilee Address,
On 12 May 1911, the Presbyterian Messenger reported that Rev James and Mrs ADAM had left Blayney for Sydney, "... where they will, as usual, spend the winter months."
It was to be his last sight of the old charge he had first set foot in some 52 years earlier.
On 7 July 1911, at "Melrose" in Rae Street, Randwick, the residence of Miss Robina TAIT, suddenly, about 4 in the morning, James ADAM died of heart failure.
After a funeral service at the Randwick Presbyterian Church, presided over by the Moderator, Rev Robert MACKAY, his coffin was entrained to Blayney for burial in the Presbyterian Section of Blayney Cemetery - the service, on 9 July, was conducted by Rev Charles CRANE, and as reported in the Messenger of 21 July 1911:
"... the assemblage of sympathisers at the funeral was one of the largest Blayney has seen. From all parts of the district people came to pay their last tribute of respect to their old pastor and friend."
Bessie's thoughtfulness was prodigious - as she travelled with her daughter to their winter retreat away from Blayney's cold, at "Cadara," her son-in-law's property near Tottenham, she would, towards the end, always pack her "grave clothes" with her, so as not to inconvenience her family if she died at "Cadara" - which is where she died on 21 June 1932.
The same image appears on p.123 of "Cowra on the Lachlan,"
Ed Joan MARRIOTT, Cowra Shire Council, 1988.]
In it are a number of drawings, illustrations, verses, etcetera; on one page, it appears that a cut-out drawing had been pasted over another entry, and when that was eased off, a handwritten transcript of a poem by Robbie BURNS was uncovered - "A Guid Ale Comes" - in praise of beer; although it is entirely unclear as to who did the censoring paste-over; the mature hand-writing may not have been Thomas's, and another hidden verse on another page - "A Kiss" - may have been written by Thomas's Catechism tutor, Mr G. DUNKLEY, of Bowenfels.