Wednesday, May 6, 2009

James ADAM, M.A.; Apostle of the Saddle and Master Builder of the West.

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 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 that 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).

[Milton in the Glen of Ogilvy, Parish of Glamis, about 4 kilometres south of the village of Glamis. Photo taken in 1992.]

But there is no record of a birth or baptism for 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" [1928 Edition, page 584], 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 - it would be interesting to know how they would have dealt with a candidate who had no baptismal certificate.
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, James's father James Senior had left his trade and followed his own 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 enjoy 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 - could she have been 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, or his very early days in Sydney. 
In the collection of the National Library of Australia, Negative number 41, and inscribed:
 "Rev'd James Adam MA, 'The apostle of the saddle', Presbyterian minister of Carcoar, N.S.W. 1859-1877."]


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 
district, on the road from Cowra heading north-west to Billimari, on the northern bank of the Lachlan.
The blue triangle between that road and the Lachlan River, opposite the present day homestead of "Warwick", highlighted in red, is where the cairn of stones lies, marking the original location of Glenlogan Homestead.]

About ten months after SLOAN's death, James moved to nearby "Warwick" homestead, about 8 miles out of Cowra on the Forbes Road. He was listed in published notices at Warwick, Cowra, between 24 March 1860 and 16 September 1862. I expect he probably remained here until the Manse in Carcoar was completed in mid-late 1864.


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.

[Artist's impression of Saint James's Church, above the Manse, Carcoar, in the 1908 Jubilee Address.]

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.

[Saint James's Presbyterian Church in Carcoar, November 2012.]

In the meantime, James was busy.


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.

[An artist's illustration of Saint Peter's, Cowra, in the 1908 Jubilee Address.]

[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), 
and without the entry porch and bell tower at the other (front) end.]


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 John's, Orange, as depicted on the 1908 Jubilee Address.]

[Image printed from an excellent wet-plate glass negative, taken of the original church in the early 1870s, 
and now in the Holtermann Collection, Mitchell Library, State Library of N.S.W., ON Box 41 No 78.
Reproduced by permission; Copyright remains with the State Library of N.S.W.]

Of the four original churches built by James ADAM, this is the only one not still standing, having been demolished to make way for the present church building on the same site. The Church's Honorary Secretary, W.C. HARRIS, inserted an advertisement in the Sydney Morning Herald, Thu 16 February 1899, asking for expressions of interest from Architects to design a church, to be built of brick on stone foundations, to seat 250 people, and cost no more than £2,250. A water-colour painting of the new church was commissioned in 1912 as a presentation to H.A. CROUCH, Esq, on the occasion of his retirement.


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.

[This water-colour image of Saint Paul's, Blayney, was reproduced from the 1908 Jubilee Memorial Address.
 The artist, unknown, appears to have somewhat exaggerated the scale, if the human figure is meant to represent 
a full-grown adult.]

And it appears that James had learned some lessons from the earlier churches in Carcoar, Cowra and Orange, as he expounded during the ceremony for the foundation stone at Blayney, alerting his listeners to possible delays, and perhaps forestalling their criticisms:
"First of all there is a difficulty about the plan, some thinking that an architect should be employed to draw out one and superintend the building, others that it would save money were someone interested in the undertaking to furnish it. Several months pass on before that a satisfactory one can be obtained, the foundations may perhaps be prepared without much trouble. Men are employed to make bricks, but in consequence of being otherwise employed at the time they are unable to commence them till it may be 6 months shall have elapsed. At length the bricks appear upon the hacks, are counted out, put into a kiln and burnt, the kiln is opened up and approved of, and the man paid. The brick-layers, in the meantime being engaged with other buildings, the bricks are allowed to stand. He, however, after a time gives information that he will be ready to commence the Church in about a fortnight; men are then engaged to draw the kiln up to where the bricks are to be used.
"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.


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.

[A portrait of James ADAM, ca 1863-64, aged about 30.
The photo, presented to the Ferguson Memorial Library by Annie NEASMITH of Blayney, 
was taken at DALTON's Royal Photographic Gallery, 320 George Street, Sydney.
DALTON was listed at this address in Sydney Postal Directories in 1863 and 1864 only.]


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 November 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.

[The original Hobby's Yards Church as depicted by an artist on the 1908 Jubilee Address.]

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.

[Artist's impression of the church at Neville in the 1908 Jubilee Address.]

[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 November 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 September 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].

[The corrugated-iron clad church at Brown's Creek, just south of Browns Creek Road
about 500 metres west of the bridge over what is now known as Cowriga Creek, in November 2012.
It is now stands on private property, behind a boom gate with a sign warning of security patrols,
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!


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; they had no issue.

James preached his last farewell at Cowra on 26 August 1877, " 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.

[The silver salver presented to James ADAM by his Cowra Congregation, 1877. It remains in family possession.]

On the following day, he was formally farewelled at a meeting in Carcoar, attended by 300 residents, and presented with a "beautifully illuminated" address, a costly gold watch and chain, a splendid silver tea service, and a purse of 40 sovereigns.

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 terraced 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.


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.

[Part of Sydney Water plan dated 1889, reproduced on page 88 of Enoch Matthew STRANGE's Dissertation for a degree at Southern Queensland University, Faculty of Health, Engineering and Services, October 2019, entitled "Monitoring survey of heritage listed fencing using terrestrial scanners..."
"The Briars" is in the centre of the page, just to the left of "Woereden," situated on the south-western corner of Cambridge and Merchant Streets.]

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:

Sanctioned by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church
of New South Wales.
Principal - The Rev James ADAM, M.A.
Resident Tutor - Samuel MOORE, B.A.
In this establishment a limited number of young gentlemen 
attending the Grammar School are received as Boarders, and 
enjoy all the comforts of a home, with moral supervision,
tutorial assistance, and religious instruction.
The Course of Education in the Grammar School embraces the 
Classical languages, with French, Drawing, Mathematics, and all 
the branches of an English and Commercial Education.
Application for particulars to be made to the Principal
 whose address till the 10th January will be Penrith."

Quite how this appointment had come about is also a bit of a mystery, although it appears that during the "negotiations" which led to it (and the confidentially surrounding them, which prevented him from informing his parishioners until after it had become a fait accomplis), he made a very sad journey to visit the family of a pioneer settler family at Dryburg, on the Fish River, where Mrs BALGOWAN had been buried several months earlier - James had first met her, her husband William and their and children just several years after he arrived in N.S.W., and he had subsequently visited them every 3 months to dispense the sacraments; and he greatly lamented that his removal from Carcoar had left them without any pastoral care.

[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 VILLA, 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 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.

[Artist's impression of Saint David's, Moorilda, 1908 Jubilee Address.]

[St David's Church, on the Newbridge-Hobbys Yard Road, near Moorilda, in November 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.
The pulpit in the Moorilda church was a James ADAM original, recycled from the Blayney Church.]

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.

[St Margaret's, Tuena.]

And he travelled, preaching in January 1888 at Queanbeyan, Bombala and Cooma - at this last engagement, he may well have first made the acquaintance of the Accountant of the Australian Joint Stock Bank - Harry PIGOTT later transferred as Manager to the Blayney Branch, and eventually became James's son-in-law.

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.

[The church at Trunkey Creek, at the south end of Church Street, up on the western hill-side - still in use, November 2012.]

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 " 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:
"In kirk and bush he's done his share;
His duties he fulfilled wi' care.
We'll say we verrie ill can spare
His loss ava';
I'm sure we'll value him the mair
When he's awa'.
But let us all in joyful glee
Wish him and his prosperity,
And may we aver mindful be
O' his land love;
And when we part may they and we
A' meet above." J.L.

But James did not relax for long.

[The "evil" left eye is probably due to later pen additions probably made by a mischievous child;
the senior portrait at the head of this article indicates that both his eyeballs appeared quite normal.]


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.

[James ADAM's signature, attached to a Moorilda baptism in November 1895.]

[An artist's impression of the Blayney Manse, from the 1908 Jubilee Address.]

He had one more construction project to oversee - the building of the "Queen Anne" style Manse in Blayney, which was completed by early 1898, and is still in use as a residence. It stands on the south side of Church Street, about 100 metres west of Adelaide Street.

[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."

[The 1900 Address, gifted by Dr Frank PIGOTT to the Carcoar and District Historical Society, Inc.,
and preserved in the Carcoar Court House Museum.]

And the impact of the accident was final - he relinquished the Blayney charge in July 1899, and on 4 May 1900, was farewelled by his Blayney congregation with purse of 68 sovereigns, and an address, in monochrome blue print on white silk covered cards bound in leather, now in possession of the Carcoar and District Historical Society, and kept in the Museum in the old Carcoar Courthouse.

[A family group at the Manse in Blayney, about 1900.
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.
 The older girl, with doll, and the bespectacled boy remain unidentified.]

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 and Bessie ADAM began their retirement with a "holiday" in Wollongong - they left Blayney on Wednesday 5 June 1900, with their daughter Mrs PIGOTT, where they were to spend about a month [Blayney Advocate and Carcoar Herald, Saturday 23 April].
They 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:
"... a splendid reception. Mr ADAM took most of us by storm. We knew of his increasing feebleness; we thought to hear an old man speak a few trembling words of appreciation of the recognition by the Assembly of his jubilee; and we were electrified by a speech that, after a few sentences, rang through the whole building, and captured out hearts. Mr ADAM, on the Assembly platform, renewed his youth."

[Embossed initials of James ADAM on the gold-inlaid leather-bound cover of the 1908 Jubilee Address, 
enclosing the four illustrated leaves shown below.]
[The Illustrated Address presented to James ADAM on the occasion of his Ministerial Jubilee, 1908.
Gifted by James ADAM's youngest grandson, Dr Frank PIGOTT, the Address is  presently preserved
 in the old Court House Museum, by the Carcoar and District Historical Society Inc.
Detail of the subscribers listed on page 4 of the address, below.]

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 ADAM survived her beloved James by another 21 years, reaching the grand old age of 96, having remained in control of her business interests until the last.

She continued to spend the winter months with Miss TAIT in Randwick until 1922, after which she joined her daughter's annual pilgrimage to "Cadara," during which, as they travelled by train separately from the men in the car, they would break their journey at Medley's Hotel in Parkes.
And in November 1924, she unveiled the foundation stone for a new Presbyterian Church at Mandurama, between Carcoar and Lyndhurst.

[The Presbyterian Church, Mandurama, on a side street west of and parallel to the highway, southern end.]

[The foundation stone of the Mandurama Church, to the right of the entry porch.]

In May 1926, her grandson Robbie PIGOTT was staying with her at Rushcutters Bay, when he wrote to his brother Jim about going to see a performance by the ballerina Pavlova with his sister Elsa; this was probably Park Lane Mansions, Waratah Street, Rushcutters Bay, where in November 1926, she wrote to her grandson Jim PIGOTT.

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.

James and Bessie had four children:
1. Thomas Hyde ADAM. See next below.
2. Esther Spence ADAM, born at Carcoar, 2 June 1869; died at Carcoar, 1 February 1870, of diarrhoea (2 days), aged 9 months; buried at Carcoar Cemetery. There is no gravestone, no Monumental Inscription.

[Part of the Presbyterian Section, Carcoar Cemetery.]

3. James ADAM, born at Carcoar, 11 March 1871; died at Carcoar, 26 November 1871, also of diarrhoea (10 days), also aged 9 months; also buried Carcoar Cemetery. Likewise, no M.I.
4. Margaret Paton ADAM, born at Carcoar, 26 August 1874.

Maggie attended the Junior Division of Argyle School, Albion Street, Surry Hills, 1883 and 1884; she probably attended the Public School in Carcoar, immediately across the street from the Manse; enrolled as a Boarder at the Presbyterian Ladies College, "Fernlea," corner of Victoria and Roberts Streets, Ashfield, in 1889, and was awarded a Prize in English, Class III Lower, at the Speech Day in December 1890; organist in the Blayney church before her marriage; she died at Parramatta, 17 March 1960; she was married at Blayney, on 23 March 1898, to Henry Robert Maguire PIGOTT. See his separate blog on this blog-page.


Very few physical descriptions of James ADAM appear in the literature, despite the evident high esteem in which he was held by the communities in which he was known. It was a little surprising to see his height  - at least in comparison with his wife and daughter, in a photograph of the very new Manse in Blayney, probably taken in late 1897 or very early 1898:

One description does survive, from the pen of Rev James H. TERRAS (Minister of Greta, 1890), who described him as:
"... typically a bush minister, physically and pastoral. Physically... he was slightly built and wiry. Intellectually, like most of the early pioneers, he could take his place amongst scholars..."
The Presbyterian newspaper wrote of his:
"... kind, affable and unobtrusive manner..."
And William GLASSON wrote of the:
"... somewhat halting manner in which he always spoke."

William R. GLASSON wrote his "Musings in My Saddle" which was published by Epworth Press in London in 1937, where he acknowledged that he had "... a special fondness for the memory of the Rev James ADAM, M.A., for he was the officiating minister at the wedding of my parents, and he christened my unworthy self..."
In addition to the story of James ADAM's encounter with Ben HALL and his men on the Forbes-Cowra Road (see above), he related two other tales about the peripatetic pioneering Presbyterian parson, the second no doubt re-drafting the words of his father into the first person:
1. "Especially the Parchments.
"The Rev James ADAM, M.A., spent his closing years in Blayney, where he was cared for with rare devotion by his wife and his daughter Mrs PIGOTT, the wife of H.R.M. PIGOTT, ex-M.H.R. In the home of Mr and Mrs PIGOTT is still preserved all that now remains of Mr ADAM's library. The extraordinary treatment meted out by Mr ADAM to his favourite books was the result of the extraordinary conditions under which he lived and laboured in his early ministry in this country...
"All Mr ADAM's travelling was done on horseback. Leaving his home for some distant part of his parish, he would sometimes be away for a month. All that he could carry on such a journey had to be compressed into the narrow limits of the valise which he would strap across the pommel of his saddle...
"Mr ADAM decided to carry his own lighting with him so that whether he was staying at some pioneer's home or, as sometimes happened, sleeping alone in the bush, he would be independent. This decision, as we shall see, served a double purpose. Mrs ADAM, an excellent housewife, knowing the studious habits of her loved and honoured James, took a pride in providing for him the choicest sperm candles obtainable in distant Sydney. Whatever other economies might be compulsory, no expense was spared in the purchase of candles. Before her husband departed on his long journey the devoted wife would take the loose leaves, so greatly prized, which had been removed from the volume, and wrap them one by one around her best candle, then exerting her delicate strength, somehow or other, she would force that roll into the already overcrowded valise..."
2. "A Righteous Man Regardeth the Life of his Beast [Proverbs 12, 10].
"Years ago when my wife and I were new arrivals in this country, I selected a few acres of land near Orange. I built on it a very small dwelling, only two rooms, a bedroom and a living room; it had a thatch roof, slab walls and mother earth for a floor. I was anxious to get the land fenced and cleared as soon as possible and begin farming.
"One very wet and cold Sunday afternoon in mid-winter as we sat reading before the fire, there was a knock at the door, and opening it we found Parson ADAM, and we pressed him to enter and warm himself. Mr ADAM always rode to his preaching appointments, and as he stood before us, he held the bridle of his horse. He hesitated before entering, and then in that somewhat halting manner in which he always spoke, he asked if he might bring his horse in too. It was intensely cold outside, and there was no other shelter, so in the horse came, and I can tell you our little room was very crowded.
"What a strange scene is presented here! Without was the cold blast and sleety rain; within that small room the young pioneering Scotch couple, the Rev James ADAM, M.A., the distinguished graduate of a Scottish university... and almost pressing upon them, the raindrops dripping from his sides, stood the faithful horse..."

The Home Mission Committee referred to James's arduous work in a parish which was " large as Scotland" when be began his Ministry:
"He soon got to know where the stations and farms and boundary riders huts were, and on his way from place to place he would call at their lonely homes and spend an hour. He spoke to them of the church, of the love of God, and the friendship of Jesus, told them the news of the day, heard their story of labour, hardship, how the harvest had turned out, the cruel effects of the drought on cattle and sheep, or heard of their thankfulness for a good season, and ended by reading a chapter with them, after which they would kneel together and lift up their hearts to God in prayer. 'It was a bit of a Scottish Sunday when he came,' said one. 'He was so cheery and yet so reverent, able to understand just what we were feeling, and able to say the very word that gave us heart and hope in the hard days'...
"No storm ever kept him from keeping an appointment. Once he was forced to take refuge for a night in a deserted hut - a thunderstorm had filled the watercourses with raging torrents, and in the darkness he had lost his way... Some members were discussing whether they should go to service, the weather was so threatening. One said, 'Mr ADAM will ride 35 miles to be there,' and that settled the question. They all went."

Watson A. STEEL, in his "History of Rockley" [R.A.H.S. Journal, Vol. 15] went so far as to assert that James ADAM was:
"... the real founder of Presbyterianism in the Lachlan Valley."

A delightful and atmospheric pen-picture was painted by an unidentified "New Chum Among the Churches" alias "Hoonos" and which was published in the Presbyterian [19 December 1885]:
"Up hill, down dale, past paddocks burnt and brown; here seeing workmen engaged upon the new railway line, then losing sight of them for a time; now hearing the sound of the blast as they were getting out stone for ballasting; and then only the thud of our horses' feet upon the dusty roadway. So sped my friend and myself towards Carcoar.
"Then, over the hills, lay the prettiest little village I have seen in all Australia; just like a breeze from home, nestled as the houses were on each side of the creek. Such pretty yards, clean streets and nice cottages! At once you forgot that you were in a new country. The tents of the railway workmen upon the side of the hill rather distracted from the picturesqueness of the scene. The manse is nicely situated, and the church is upon the hillside, overlooking it, a very pretty situation indeed.
"Entering, the man of whom I had heard so much as a pioneer soon appeared, and he filled expectation to the full, for the leggings which he wore told that he had just left the saddle, or was going to get into it. The latter proved to be the case. He had been 10 miles away to baptise a child on Monday, had returned to visit it on Tuesday because it was ill, and now this was Wednesday, and sad to say, the little one had passed away. He was going to try and comfort the bereaved parents.
"He could not wait, but told us Mrs ADAM would soon be in. She was out making arrangements for a sale of goods - one of the necessary evils which have to be endured. If they could only be cured it would indeed save plenty of heart-burning and any amount of trouble. I am glad that they succeeded so well, as set forth last week under 'Church News.'
"Although they had lunched, nothing would do Mrs ADAM but we must partake again.
"After refreshment we rode to Mount Macquarie where there was a kangaroo hunt. On returning to Carcoar, we found that Mr ADAM had come back. What a large district he has; no one works more efficiently. Lyndhurst, Number One, and number how many more I cannot tell. He is a pioneer in season and out of season; in the Manse and by the way; on foot and riding and driving. He has a good word, and a shake of the hand, for all. There are very few Presbyterians in the district that have not been gathered into the church; and everybody looks anxiously for a visit from Mr ADAM. It is such ministers as these who lay the foundations of a church so strongly that nothing can overthrow them. No word of praise is too great to be given Mr ADAM in his arduous labours.
"The evening was most pleasantly spent in the Manse. A number of young people gathered in, and with sweet music wiled the hours away. It just seemed to be a home company; no formality, and everyone vied with the other to make you feel that you had always known them. So quickly sped the evening that it was almost 11 o'clock before we started our ride to Blayney. It was our own choice, for Mrs ADAM almost compelled us to remain until morning. The moonlight was bright. Across the road, every now and then, darted an opossum. The song-note of night birds fell ever and again upon our ears, and a couple of hours brought us to our starting place, feeling that we had met with a thoroughly missionary family, whose labours of love will continue to bear fruitage in the years to come. They have done nobly.
"From the proceeds of this sale of work they hope to repay the money expended by the Church Extension Committee during their vacancy. If all the charges would only do likewise, soon, instead of a deficit in our church fund, there would be an overplus."

Further tributes were published during his own lifetime, in particular at the occasion of his Ministerial Jubilee in 1908.
Rev J.C. MacDONALD, Minister of Orange, wrote that:
"... the regard in which he was held in his old district was something more than the affection cherished towards a minister who was appreciated by his people; there was a depth and tenderness about the way people spoke of Mr ADAM that was very touching. There was a tradition out there that Mr ADAM never missed an appointment, that he was never late for an appointment, and that he was never in a hurry."
At a gathering in Blayney in November 1908, the then Moderator (probably Rev John MACAULAY) said that he:
"... came at the behest of the General Assembly to offer congratulations to Mr and Mrs ADAM, than whom none were more honoured and revered in the whole church. No minister had covered more ground than Mr ADAM in endeavouring to minister to his people...Whoever had come under his ministry could not fail to wish to do him honour... few had commended themselves to his people as Mr ADAM had. His unassuming manner had earned him the esteem and affection of all, whilst his self-sacrificing, self-denying spirit on behalf of his Master and great work suggested what a Christian minister's life should be... His work would live long after he had gone to his rest, and would continue in the lives of others."
And at the same meeting, the Financial Secretary, Mr William WOOD, stated that he had been:
"... associated with Mr ADAM for 25 years, and could truthfully say that to attempt to do the work that Mr ADAM had done would appal most men."

And the Messenger [5 June 1908] reported some words of James ADAM himself, from his "ringing" speech at the Assembly in Sydney:
"... There are things that I have done and ought not to have done, and there are things that I have not done that I ought to have done. These bristle out in every part of my career, forming an alarming and threatening and overwhelming aspect...
"I have had many regrets throughout my life, but I have never had one regret that I was led to comply with the call presented to me from the Western District of New South Wales. I had formed a resolution in my mind to take the first thing if possible, that was presented to me in the course of the providences of God, and while carrying out this resolution in this instance, I little thought of the great and increasing enjoyment that awaited me.
"...[March 1859]... I found my way over the Blue Mountains to the hospitable Manse of Saint Stephen's, Bathurst. There, on obtaining my first lesson in horsemanship, I set out with the Rev J.B. LAUGHTON for the district over which I had been appointed. No objections reached me, except for my youthful appearance, and long before I left the district, there was nothing mooted on that point."

[A relatively youthful James ADAM
The same image appears on page 123 of "Cowra on the Lachlan,"
 Ed Joan MARRIOTT, Cowra Shire Council, 1988.]

But it was in the obituaries that were written after his death that we find the greatest tributes of respect.
As an indication of the impact he still had on an old parish, we find, in a news item published in The Sydney Morning Herald [11 July 1911], indications of the "profound grief" that his death elicited:

COWRA, Monday.
"When the Rev. George CRANSTON  announced on Sunday, in the Presbyterian Church, that news had been received of the death of the Rev. James ADAM, M.A., at Randwick, and that an in-memoriam service would be held next Sunday, profound grief was manifested by the congregation.
"The Rev. J. ADAM was induced by the late Mr HAMILTON, owner of Tomanbil station, near Forbes, to come to New South Wales, and as a young man he resided several years at Warwick, seven miles from Cowra, which was then a small hamlet, and Cowra was one of his first preaching stations.
"Fifty years ago he had the present church erected. His district extended from Forbes, which was then a goldfield, to near Bathurst, with an almost equal area north and south. The Rev Mr ADAM was instrumental in having places of worship built  at the principal centres of settlement.
"He was respected by all classes of the community, and beloved by Presbyterians far and near."

The Messenger published an Obituary which stated that:
"... he was untiring in his efforts, and was greatly beloved by his scattered parishioners, and also by his brethren. His tasks were great, the difficulties many; yet he fulfilled them with a great patience and faithfulness which were ever an outstanding feature of his character...
"He was a fine character, modest and retiring, yet earnest, upright and faithful. Patience, endurance, intense earnestness, indomitable zeal and energy, with a sympathy which by instinct seemed to read the hearts of others; these were among his most prominent qualities.
"His sermons, while not in the common sense eloquent, were ever practical and helpful. Probably no minister in Australia covered more ground than he, and probably, also, no minister was more beloved by his people. Wherever he went he was as welcome as the sunshine after rain; his quiet unassuming manner, his wisdom, and his spirit of self-sacrifice and self-denial appealing to, and winning for him, the lasting esteem and affection of all."

And Rev J.C. MacDONALD added to his earlier comments, which the Messenger [21 July 1911] published:
"... The sphere of Mr ADAM's labours was mostly in the silent places of the land, where life is large, inarticulate, and so it may easily be that many to whom his name is familiar enough have little conception of his manifold labours, or of their permanent value to the people among whom they were rendered...
"He moved unrestingly through the hills and valleys, and rolling uplands and silent plains of that parish, which was rather a principality than a parish. Perhaps one might say unhastingly as well as unrestingly; for one of the peculiarities of our revered father was the steady, deliberate mode of his progress, and the manner of his movement as he passed from place to place was but the reflection of his character.
"It is said of him that he was never in a hurry, and that he never missed an appointment. And one can easily believe this; for he was a man of great deliberation and of great determination. Nothing could turn him aside from his duty. And of duty he had a very high and a very acute sense. He was a man of strong character, and withal of great patience and gentleness, and the crown of his toil, and the secret of his success, lay in his character..."

The words leave a ringing in the ear - so often repeated as to be utterly undeniable.

But there are some words that ring more truly, to at least one of his great-grandsons, than most of them.
In particular the reference to the things that "... bristled" with an "... alarming and threatening and overwhelming aspect" - especially in the "... silent places of the land, where life is large, inarticulate..."
And may well have, in part, had some bearing on his reflections, in his student rooms in Edinburgh, before his great journey to the south, with which we began this story.

And it is about the things unknown, and unsaid, about James ADAM himself.
The absence of the name of his "father's" spouse on a death registration. The absence of a baptism for himself. The things he "... didn't do" but should have, and the things he "... should have done" but didn't.
And the absence of any detailed explanation for the severe punishment he meted out to his only surviving son Thomas, with whom I conclude this story.
Not because it tells us so much about Thomas Hyde ADAM.
But perhaps there is something to be found in the following story that tells us more about the Reverend James ADAM, M.A.


The entry for James ADAM appears in the 1928 Edition, at page 584, under Australia, as follows:

"ADAM, James, born Coupar-Angus, 1835, son of James A. and Margaret PATON; educated at Univ. of Edinburgh; M.A. (19 April 1856); licen. by Presb. of Edinburgh in 1858; ord. by Presb. of Edinburgh tht year; arrived in New South Wales 5th March 1859; min. at Carcoar that year, at Penrith 1877; Moderator of General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of New South Wales same year; in Tutorial institute at Sydney 1881, at Blayney (part of his original parish of Carcoar) 1885; res. 1900; died 7th July 1911. He marr. 4th April 1865, Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Thomas SPENCE and Esther HYDE, and had issue - Thomas Hyde, born 26th July 1866, died 1921; Margaret Paton, born 26th Aug. 1876 (marr. H.R.M. PIGOTT, Grazier); two others died in infancy."

Not all of this information is accurate  - in particular his birth year (as discussed above).


At the Carcoar Manse, on 26 July 1866, Bessie gave birth to their first of her four children, a son, Thomas Hyde ADAM, named for his maternal grandparents Thomas [SPENCE] and [Esther] HYDE.

Family folklore has it that Thomas was expelled from school for having certain knowledge about a theft, but refusing to divulge the name of the thief. It was believed that James was so stricken by his son's fall from grace, that he banished him from the family circle.

While the details of this particular part of the tale are very hard to come by, we do have a brief trace of him subsequently in Government records.

In 1906, he was recorded on the Commonwealth Electoral Roll, for the South Australian Division of Grey, at Mount Lyndhurst Station, as a Boundary Rider. Located just off the Strzelecki Track to Innamincka, the Station had no trace of old staff records when I made enquiries of the then owners in the 1990s.

In an obituary to his father, published in the S.M.H. [Sat 8 July 1911], he was recorded as the only son, "... Mr Thomas ADAM, Pastoralist, of South Australia."

On 12 July 1912, he was one of three men (Thomas Alexander McKELLAR and Maurice BRATON were the other two) who were jointly granted a Mining Lease at McArthur River by the Crown Lands Office in Darwin [N.T. Gazette].

And on 28 August 1921, he died of fever, and his body was found "... in a public place" at Emu Creek, near Willeroo, late of Wave Hill Station, "... aged 54, height 5 feet 8 inches, medium build, blue eyes, hair turning grey, fair complexion - mother residing at Iona, Blayney, N.S.W." [N.T. Times and Gazette, 9 July 1922].

The school Thomas was said to have been expelled from was identified in family folk-lore as Cooerwull Academy in Bowenfels. However, the scant records of the Academy that still exist, in the Archives of Saint Andrew's College, Sydney University, and several additional items held in the Mitchell Library (School Magazines), contain no reference to Thomas Hyde ADAM as having ever attended.
There could be several explanations for this omission - firstly, he may not have gone there, which makes some sense, as it did not open until early 1883, when Thomas was nearing 17 - or secondly, he did, and his records expunged - or thirdly, he may have attended under special circumstances (non-fee paying, perhaps) as a "... son of the Manse" and so not recorded as a regular admission.

If he did attend, it seems unlikely, given his age, that he would have been there for long, anyway.
But if it was Cooerwull, and if it was originally intended to serve as a training academy for prospective Presbyterian Ministers, then the list of names associated with the Board of Trustees and Management Committee would well explain James's acute embarrassment, and the severity of his punishment of Thomas - among them were the Reverends Robert STEEL (1827-1893; 3rd Moderator of the General Assembly, 1867-69), James CAMERON (1827-1905; Minister at Carcoar, 1854-56, Minister at Richmond from 1875; Moderator in 1875 and 1901, and Chairman of the Committee of Management for Cooerwul Academy), James FULLARTON (1807-1886, Minister at Pitt Street Church), and John KINROSS (1833-1908; Minister at Kiama, 1858-75; Principal of Saint Andrew's College, Sydney University, 1875-1901; Moderator in 1873).

If Thomas did not attend Cooerwul Academy, then it is possible that the "indiscretion" may have taken place at the Tutorial Institute. Thomas undoubtedly resided there, but was unlikely to have attended the Grammar School - however he may well have sat in on some of the Tutorial classes of Mr MOORE.
And if so, it would certainly have been an acute embarrassment to his father, the Principal.

But it does appear that, despite the family folk-lore, his father may have offered Thomas a second chance.
We find a mention of Thomas ADAM at Grubbenbong Creek in July 1885, involved in the presentation of an amateur concert in Burkeville Public School - it having been deemed, perhaps by his father, that the content of the second part, a Drawing Room Comedy called "The Broken-Hearted Club," rendered it not fit to be performed in the church. At age 19, it is unlikely that Thomas was still at school.

And this was the last mention of Thomas yet found in newspapers covering his father's parish district around Blayney.

There are some "dots" which the amateur sleuth in me is inclined to try and join.
1. On his 13th birthday, James and Bessie gave their son Thomas a scrap book.

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.

2. In mid-late 1879, a Penrith newspaper reported that two young boys, "... just into their teens" and both from "... well-connected" families, were seen "... reeling up the street intoxicated with beer"; no names were recorded, but the Police were notified, and appear to have had words with the respective parents.

3. On 20 December 1885, just 6 months after Thomas was involved in the Grubbenbong Creek Concert and Comedy presentation, his father delivered to the congregation there a "... powerful discourse... on temperance and the evils of drunkenness..."

There is no evidence that the last two entries involved young Thomas Hyde ADAM.
But what we can confidently speculate is that, had it been, Rev James ADAM may have been given a very stark reminder of scenes he must have witnessed more than once during his four years as Night Chaplain at Edinburgh's Night Asylum for Homeless Men, and reminded also about the progress he must have witnessed in the deterioration his own uncle, Thomas ADAM of Dundee, who was to die of the Delirium Tremens just a year after James left Scotland.
And if James was in any doubt as to where the genes he gave to his son had actually come from, then the severity of James's reaction would appear to make all the more sense.
But, of course, we do not know if this was the real reason behind Thomas's banishment.

Finally, I suppose that it remains a possibility that Thomas may have found the life of a son of the Manse to be a little too stifling, and perhaps "engineered" his own freedom by pushing the boundary just one more time, just one step too far.



James ADAM was my great-grandfather.