Guide to the Papers of the Bishop Mathew Blagden Hale (as filmed by the AJCP)



National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Created: 2019

Collection Summary

Hale, Matthew Blagden, 1811-1895
Papers of Bishop Mathew Blagden Hale (as filmed by the AJCP)
Date Range
1850 - May 1885
Collection Number
25 items
Language of Materials
Australian Joint Copying Project
The Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP) online portal was created with the assistance of the Australian Public Service Modernisation Fund, 2017-2020. The National Library of Australia gratefully acknowledges the contribution of the other foundation AJCP partners, the State Library of New South Wales and The National Archives of the UK, and all other organisations which supported the work of the AJCP, the world's most extensive collaborative copying project, operating from 1948 to 1997.


Scope and Contents

Papers of Bishop Mathew Blagden Hale including: personal diaries; four letters 1883-1884 from Edward Benson, Archbishop of Canterbury, to Hale; Copies of Letters Patent 1857 creating the See of Perth and the act of consecration of Hale as first Bishop; correspondence, reports and press cuttings 1850-1875 relating to the Poonindie Mission.

Press cuttings, letters and farewell addresses 1875 and 1885, on Hale's departure from Western Australia and from Australia for England.

Addresses 1858-1882 by Hale relating to the Elementary Education Bill 1871 in Western Australia, support of Aboriginal Australian children, the responsibility of the Church of England for the welfare of Australian Aboriginals, and the transportation of convicts to Western Australia.

Conditions Governing Access

Available for Access.

Conditions Governing Use

Many of the records digitised as part of the AJCP are still in copyright. Readers wishing to publish or reproduce documents should seek permission, in the first instance, from the owner of the original material.

Preferred Citation

Acknowledgement of use of this material should refer to the location of the original material and to the Australian Joint Copying Project.

Items from this collection should include references to the location of the original material and to the AJCP nla.obj number, which serves as the online identifier for the digital copy.

Example: M Series: Journal of Capt. James Cook, 18 February 1770, British Library Add. MS 27885 (AJCP ref:

Archival History

Material selectively filmed at the University of Bristol Library, Bristol, as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project, 1958 (AJCP Reel: M381). Original microfilm digitised as part of the NLA AJCP Online Delivery Project, 2017-2020.

Existence and Location of Originals

University of Bristol Library, Tyndall Avenue, Bristol, England.

Collection reference: DM130. For further information see Matthew Blagden Hale Papers at the Univeristy of Bristol Library. []

Existence and Location of Copies

The original AJCP microfilm of the records filmed from this collection is available at the National Library of Australia [] as well as other institutions holding AJCP microfilm.

Finding-aid Notes

This finding aid is a revised online version of the original finding aid prepared by the Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP), published by the National Library of Australia in 2019. The original AJCP finding aids were unpublished typescripts or photocopies available from libraries that held copies of the original microfilm.

Dates used in this finding aid refer to the date range of the records selected for filming rather than to the date range of the Series or Files.

Advisory Statement

Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this Finding Aid contains material and descriptive information which may be considered culturally sensitive and may cause distress, including names and images of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people now deceased. This Finding Aid contains terms that reflect authors' views or those of the historical period, but which may not be considered appropriate today. While the information may not reflect current understanding, it is provided in an historical context.


Australia; Adelaide, South Australia; Anglican Church: Australia; Benson, Edward W., Archbishop; Brisbane, Queensland; Canterbury, Archbishops of; Convicts: Western Australia; Hale, Mathew B., Bishop; Great Britain; Indigneous Australians: South Australia; Indigenous Australians: missions and missionaries; Indigneous Australians: Western Australia; Missions and missionaries: South Australia; Missions and missionaries: Western Australia; Perth, Western Australia; Poonindie, South Australia; Queensland; South Australia: politics and government; Transportation of convicts; Western Australia; Western Australia: Education; Western Australia: laws


Originally cited in Australian Joint Copying Project Handbook. Part 8: Miscellaneous (M) Series. Third Edition, published 1998. Entry 205, p77. []

Biographical / Historical

Mathew Blagden Hale (1811-1895) was born at Alderley, Gloucester, and educated at Lady Berkeley's School, Wotton-under-Edge, and Trinity College, Cambridge. He was ordained priest in 1837 and in the next ten years was curate in a number of parishes in Gloucestershire. He married Sophia Clode in 1840 and they had two daughters. His wife died in 1845.

In 1847 Augustus Short, the first Bishop of Adelaide, invited Hale to be archdeacon and examining chaplain in South Australia. Hale and his daughters arrived in Adelaide in December 1847, where he took charge of St Matthew's Church, Kensington, and St John's Church, Adelaide. In 1848 Short and Hale visited the Western Australia part of the diocese and during the visit Hale met the Molloy Family at the Vasse. He married Sabina Molloy at Busselton on 31 December 1848.

In 1850 Hale obtained a grant to establish a mission where Indigenous Australians from Adelaide could be taught farming and other practical pursuits. He bought the lease of Poonindie run near Port Lincoln. After a time, Hale agreed to accept Indigneous Australians from any part of the colony on the advice of the 'Protector of Aborigines'. By 1856 there were 62 residents at Poonindie and, despite rising costs and crop failures, the mission became self-supporting. It was eventually closed in 1894.

In 1857 Hale was consecrated as the first Bishop of Perth. In the following year he opened a boys' school, known as the Bishop's School, which he funded for several years. (The name of the school was changed from the High School to Hale School in 1929.) He introduced synodical government in the diocese in 1872. In 1875 Hale was installed as Bishop of Brisbane, with a diocese that covered the whole of Queensland. The ardours of travelling eased a little when the diocese of North Queensland was created in 1878. Between 1881 and 1884, as senior bishop, he presided over the General Synod of the Church of England in Australia.

Hale returned to England in 1885, where he continued to support the work of the Anglican Church with the Aboriginal Australians. He died in Bristol in 1895.

Item Descriptions

Diary of Mathew Hale, 1 January 1851 - 31 December 1851 (File 4)

Diary records Bishop Hale's work with the Aboriginal Mission at Poonindie, near Port Lincoln. The diary also refers to Bishop Hale's travel especially in South Australia, the Aboriginal Australian families and children, sermons, livestock and crops, correspondence and his reading.

Diary of Mathew Hale, 1852-01-01-1852-08-29; 1853-03-23-1853-03-29 (File 5)

The diary refers to his travels in South Australia, the Aboriginal Mission at Poonindie, church services, farming and visits to neighbouring stations.

The last few entries have been altered to 1853.

Diary of Mathew Hale, 1 January 1855 - 24 January 1855 (File 6)

Diary discusses his work at the Aboriginal Mission at Poonindie, near Port Lincoln. Mostly discusses travel plans, affairs relating to the Mission and its communinity, farming in the area and social news.

Diary of Mathew Hale, 1855-01-01-1855-04-11; 1860-08-16-1860-09-13 (File 7)

This diary describes his life in Adelaide, social events, court cases, visits to schools, meetings of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, and meetings of the Diocesan Assembly and the Synod.

Also describes journey from Port Lincoln to Adelaide and back, sermons, crops, cattle and sheep, , church services and attendances, baptisms and marriages, letters written and his reading.

Diary of Mathew Hale, 1 January 1876 - 26 April 1876 (File 8)

Written when Hale was Bishop of Brisbane. It mostly describes his travels, including journeys to Ipswich, Toowoomba, Warwick, Stanthorpe, Dalby and Roma. It also refers to confirmations, committee meetings, visitors and Archdeacon Benjamin Glennie.

Extracts from a diary, 30 December 1851 - 9 January 1852 (File 20)

An account of the illness and death of Takarnarro, an Aboriginal Australian man at Poonindie. (12 pp.)

Archbishop Edward C. Benson (Croydon, UK) to Hale, 1883 - 1884 (File 108-111)

The election of Alfred Barry, Bishop of Sydney; the Diocesan Synod in Brisbane; the selection of a successor to Hale; the possibility of a translation from an Australian see. (4 letters)

Queen Victoria, letters patent creating the See of Perth and appointing Mathew Hale as Bishop of Perth (Copy), n.d. (File 129)

Act of consecration of Mathew Hale as Bishop of Perth, 25 July 1857 (File 130)

Performed at Lambeth Palace by John Sumner, Archbishop of Canterbury.

Correspondence concerning the Poonindie Mission, Port Lincoln, 1850 - 1856 (File 133-66)

Correspondence concerning the affairs of the Aboriginal Mission Station between Hale and the Governor of South Australia, Sir Henry Young, the Colonial Secretaries Charles Sturt and B.T. Finniss, the Surveyor-General George Goyder, Oliver Richardson and others. It includes drafts of Hale's letters.

Drafts of reports by Hale to the South Australian Government concerning the Poonindie Mission, 1853 - 1855 (File 167-74)

4 reports.

Octavius Hammond. Report on the Poonindie Mission ( Parliamentary Paper, 4pp.), 19 September 1857 (File 175)

G.W. Hawkes. Account of the present state of the Poonindie Mission, Observer, 18 September 1858 (File 176)

George H. Farr and William Hawkes. Official report on the Poonindie Mission (copy), 28 August 1875 (File 180)

Report of the Protector of Aborigines, Native School Establishment, Adelaide, for the quarters ending (printed), 1849-12-31; 1850-03-31; 1850-06-30 and 1859-03-31 (File 181-84)

Correspondence concerning the Poonindie Mission, Port Lincoln, 1850-1854, 1895 (File 185-208)

The correspondents include Bishop Augustus Short (Adelaide), Matthew Moorhouse (Adelaide), Charles Driver (Port Lincoln), Captain John Bishop (Port Lincoln), C. Scott, G.W. Hawkes (Point Pearce) and Tom Adams (Point Pearce).

Press cuttings concerning the Poonindie Mission, 1850 - 1880 (File 209-14)

Press cuttings relating to the departure of Hale from Perth, 1875 (File 245-49)

M.B. Hale. Reply to friends at Port Lincoln, written at Fremantle, Western Australia, (printed leaflet), 16 February 1857 (File 250)

Addresses and newspaper cuttings on the occasion of Hale's departure from Australia, March 1885 - May 1885 (File 253-67)

An address delivered by the Bishop of Perth to the boys of the Bishop's School, Perth, 22 February 1862 (File 277)

On the occasion of the death of his son, Mathew Edward Hale, aged 10 years (printed, 10pp).

M.B. Hale. The Government and the opposition to certain rejected clauses of the Education Bill, 13 September 1871 (File 278)

Reprinted from The Inquirer, 20 September 1871.

Letter from His Lordship the Bishop of Perth relating to the support of Aboriginal native children, 23 August 1873 (File 279)

Parliamentary Paper (6pp).

M.B. Hale. A paper on the responsibility of the Church of England as regards the Aborigines of Australia, November 1882 (File 280)

Read at the Church Congress held at Melbourne (8pp, printed).

Extracts from the Independent Journal, 9 July 1858 (File 282-83)

Containing two letters from the Bishop of Perth concerning the transportation of convicts to Western Australia.