Guide to the Papers of Reverend Henry Stobart (as filmed by the AJCP)



National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Created: 2018

Collection Summary

Papers of Reverend Henry Stobart (as filmed by the AJCP)
Date Range
1846 - 1896
Collection Number
22 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

1) Letters from Stobart to his mother, Mrs Thomas Chilton, 15 Aug. 1846, Oct. 1852-Apr.1856, on board the ships Resolute, Early Bird, Singapore, Bengal, Calcutta, Indus and Lotus and from Sydney, Brisbane, Wollongong, Ceylon, India, the Nile, Cairo, Jerusalem, Paris and Cannes. Many are written in diary form and they are chiefly descriptive.

2) Journal of Stobart commenced on board the ship Resolute in Nov. 1852 and continued until 7 July New South Wales and Queensland with notes on the prices of commodities, land and livestock at this time.

3) Sketches, including views of Armidale Church. Nobby's Head, Newcastle, and a station residence.

4) Newspaper clippings on the death of Stobart, Jan. 1896.

5) Portrait of Stobart.

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-23 September 1770, British Library Add. MS 27885 (AJCP ref:

Archival History

Filmed at the private residence of Miss M.G. Newman, Sussex, as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project, 1964 (AJCP Reel: M467). Original microfilm digitised as part of the NLA AJCP Online Delivery Project, 2017-2020.

Existence and Location of Originals

Private Residence: Miss M.G. Newman, Sussex, England.

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 Note

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 2018. 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.


Indigenous Australians; Armidale, New South Wales; Australia: visits to; Bengal (ship); Brisbane, Queensland: visits to; Cairo, Egypt; Calcutta, HMS (ship); Cannes, France; Chilton, Thomas, Mrs; Clergymen; Early Bird (ship); Egypt; France; India; Indus, emigrant ship; Jerusalem; Land: New South Wales; Land: Queensland; Lotus (ship); New South Wales; Newcastle, New South Wales; Nobby's Head, New South Wales; Paintings, drawings, and prints; Pans, France; Queensland; Resolute (ship); Scott, Lord Henry; Singapore (ship); Sri Lanka; Stobart, Henry, Rev.; Sydney, New South Wales ; Wollongong, New South Wales


Originally cited in Australian Joint Copying Project Handbook. Part 8: Miscellaneous (M) Series. Third Edition, published 1998. Entry 438, p. 171.

Biographical / Historical

Henry Stobart (1824-1895), the son of William and Barbara Stobart, was born at Chester le Street, County Durham. He was educated at the Grange School, Sunderland, Queen's College, Oxford, and Wells Theological College. He was ordained as a deacon in 1849 and as a priest in 1852. He was a curate in Yorkshire in 1849-1851 and then spent about five years travelling overseas as the tutor and companion of Lord Henry Scott, the son of the Duke of Buccleuch. In 1853-54 Stobart and Scott, together with Lord Schomberg Kerr and the Reverend Thomas Bowles, spent several months in Australia before sailing to the New Hebrides, New Caledonia, Hong Kong, Canton, Singapore, Ceylon and India. In the following two years Stobart spent much of his time travelling in Egypt, the Middle East and Europe.

In 1857 Stobart married Annie Mulholland. In the following few years he was the curate of parishes in Gloucester, Sussex and Staffordshire. In 1865 the Duke of Buccleuch appointed him Rector of Warkton, Northamptonshire, where he remained until 1881. He was chiefly responsible for the substantial restoration of St Edmund's Church, which he partly funded himself. He died in 1895 at Funchal, Madeira.

Lord Henry Scott (1832-1905) was the second son of the 5th Duke of Buccleuch. From 1861 to 1884 he was a Conservative member of the House of Commons. In 1885 he was created Baron Montagu of Beaulieu. One of his brothers, Lord Charles Scott, was Admiral of the Australian Station in 1889-1892. The John Oxley Library at the State Library of Queensland holds a sketchbook containing nine watercolours and pencil sketches by Lord Henry Scott.

Lord Schomberg Kerr (1833-1900) was the second son of the 7th Marquess of Lothian. He was educated at Trinity College, Glenalmond, and New College, Oxford. From 1854 to 1870 he served in the British Diplomatic Service. In 1865 he married Lady Victoria Scott, the sister of Lord Henry Scott. He succeeded his brother as the 9th Marquess of Lothian in 1870. He was Secretary for Scotland in the second ministry of Lord Salisbury in 1887-1892 and was the elected Rector of Edinburgh University in 1887-1890.

Item Descriptions

Series. Letters and letter-diaries of Henry Stobart, 1846 - 1856

20 items

Most of the letters from Stobart to his mother are very lengthy and are in diary form, with each letter covering a period of days or weeks.

Although the letters are mostly numbered and are in one chronological sequence, they cover at least three separate journeys: the journey to Australia, Canton, Ceylon and India in 1852-1854 and travels in Egypt in 1854-1855 and 1856. The list below gives details of the contents of the letters written in Australia, the Pacific and South East Asia.

Stobart (Constantinople) to his mother Barbara Stobart, 15 August 1846 (File 1)

Impending visit to Rhodes and Beirut; best wishes for her marriage to Thomas Chilton.

Stobart (London, Plymouth) to his mother Barbara Chilton, October 1852 - November 1852 (File 2-8)

Preparations for departure of the Resolute; financial matters; Thomas Bowles; travel plans of Lord Henry Scott; frustrations with delay. (ms and typescript copy)

Stobart (on board Resolute) to Barbara Chilton, 4 December 1852 - 31 January 1853 (File 9)

Departure; ferocious storm; daily routine; health; fellow-passengers; church services; difficulties of reading; character of Lord Henry Scott and his dislike of studies; 'the Doldrums'; encounters with other ships; 'Crossing the Line' ceremony; Christmas Day; chess tournament; Trinidad Island; observation of stars; shortage of provisions; sighting of Cape of Good Hope; slowness of voyage; arrival at Cape Town; visit to Wynberg and Constantia. (ms and typescript copy)

Stobart (Cape Town) to Barbara Chilton, 1 February 1853 (File 10)

Despatch of Constantia wine; meetings with clergy in Cape Town. (typescript copy only)

Stobart (Sydney) to Barbara Chilton, 29 March 1853 - 31 March 1853 (File 11)

Voyage to Australia; improved health of Lord Henry Scott; climate of Sydney; plans for rest of the journey; visit to Cox Family at Mulgoa; effects of gold discoveries; high prices and wages; distressing accounts of life of diggers on Victorian goldfields. (ms and typescript copy)

Stobart (Wollongong) to Barbara Chilton, 8 May 1853 (File 12)

Receipt of letters; tour of interior of the colony; hospitality of Australians; Bathurst diggings; failure of gentlemen unused to manual work; wheat farms; beauty of the Illawarra; tropical climate. (ms and typescript copy)

Stobart (Sydney) to Barbara Chilton, 26 May 1853 (File 13)

Beauty of Sydney Harbour; view of villas extending as far as the entrance of the harbour; Botanic Gardens; death of Bishop of Sydney (William G. Broughton); departure of Thomas Bowles for New Zealand; Queen's Birthday levee at Government House; impossibility of keeping Lord Henry Scott at his studies; Lord Schomberg Kerr; clouds of dust in Sydney streets; shortage of servants; influx of Chinese immigrants; Australian wines. (ms and typescript copy)

Stobart (Moreton Bay) to Barbara Chilton, 8 July 1853 (File 14)

Long ride from Newcastle to Moreton Bay; Brisbane River; trees; distinction between settled, intermediate and unsettled districts; lands held by squatters; New England and its climate; houses of squatters; shortage of servants and young unmarried labourers; party has abandoned plans of going to New Zealand. (ms and typescript copy)

Stobart (Brisbane) to Barbara Chilton, 9 July 1853 - 8 August 1853 (File 15)

Conversations with Capt. J.C. Wickham and Rev. W.B. Clarke; arrangements for settlers to marry immigrant girls; Newstead House; excursions into bush; church services; sermon of Rev. Henry Irwin; Moreton Bay fig trees; Australian Aboriginals and their 'singular costumes; horticultural show; food prices; Stobart's botanical and conchological researches; cannibalism; use of porpoises by Aboriginals to drive in mullet on sea coasts; a colony of Germans outside Brisbane; Mr Fairholme; walks around Brisbane; land sales; a visit to Stradbroke Island; Aboriginal burial practices; family relations; dugong fishing; corroborees; failure to convert Aboriginals to Christianity; Bribie Island; views of Glasshouse Mountains; a night in the bush. (ms and typescript copy)

Stobart (Brisbane, Sydney) to Barbara Chilton, 15 August 1853 - 18 September 1853 (File 16)

Visits to cattle stations; snakes; Aboriginal camps; canoes; a journey with Lord Schomberg Kerr to the Bunya Scrub and Glasshouse Mountains; bunya trees; difficulties of travelling in the bush; discovery of ferns; a visit to Henry Irwin's school in Brisbane; Brisbane society divided into cliques; departure from Brisbane; St Helena Island in Moreton Bay; flying foxes; Stradbroke Island; observations of Aboriginals fishing and hunting. (ms and typescript copy)

Stobart (Sydney) to Barbara Chilton, 4 September 1853 - 4 October 1853 (File 17)

Stobart (Sydney) to Barbara Chilton, Sept.-4 Oct. 1853: voyage to Sydney; Petty's Hotel; return of Thomas Bowles from New Zealand; social events; meetings with W.C. Wentworth, Edward Deas Thomson, Lord Audley and Sir Charles Nicholson; plans for the voyage to India; a ride along the coast to Botany Bay; a musical party; a visit to the Emigrant Depot; a picnic at Middle Harbour; a conversation with Dr James Mitchell about coalfields in Australia; a trip to Mulgoa; homes of George Cox and other old colonists; views from the mountains; a ride to Mt Toomah; a journey to Richmond and Parramatta; preparations for departure; visits to the homes of Sir Alfred Stephen and Thomas S. Mort; services at Christ Church; a meeting with Conrad Martens. (ms and typescript copy)

Stobart (on board the Early Bird) to Barbara Chilton, 12 October 1853 - 16 December 1853 (File 18)

Last days in Sydney; Mrs Naylor's recollections of Sir John Franklin in Van Diemen's Land; prevalence of swearing in Australia; departure on the barque Early Bird (Capt. Park); seasickness; Herman Melville's book Typee; arrival at the Isle of Pines, New Hebrides (18 Oct.); description of native huts; bartering; ameeting with Capt. H.M. Denham (HMS Herald) and his officers; a visit to a chief's house; clothes and ornaments of the Islanders; food; fauna and flora; walks around the island; sighting of the missionary ship John Williams; cruises among the islands; voyage to New Caledonia; Port Resolution, Tanna; trade in sandalwood and beche-de-mer; ascent of a volcano; discoveries of new ferns and shells; Islander customs and beliefs; cannibalism; thoughts on death of Rev. John Williams at Eromanga (1839); missionary work of London Missionary Society and Bishop G.A. Selwyn; payment of Islanders collecting sandalwood; the taste of kava; earthquakes; departure from Tanna (6 Nov.); sighting of birds; boredom of the voyage; arrival at Hong Kong (16 Dec.); Chinese pilot; a walk around the town; joss houses. (ms and typescript copy)

Stobart (on board SS Singapore) to Barbara Chilton, 31 December 1853 - 12 January 1854 (File 19)

Impressions of Hong Kong; voyage to Canton; a Chinese dinner; voyage to Singapore and stay at Government House; abundance of pineapples; Penang; arrival at Point de Galle, Ceylon; clothes and ornaments of Singhalese. (typescript copy only)

Stobart (Ceylon) to Barbara Chilton, 14 January 1854 - 22 January 1854 (File 20)

Voyage from Hong Kong on SS Singapore; meetings with European residents and soldiers in Ceylon; journey to Colombo; a meeting with the Bishop of Colombo; missionaries in Ceylon; impressions of Kandy. (ms and typescript copy)

Stobart (on board SS Bengal) to Barbara Chilton, 27 January 1854 - 4 February 1854 (File 21)

Voyage to Madras and Calcutta; Government House, Calcutta; Lord Dalhousie.

Stobart (India) to Barbara Chilton, February 1854 - May 1854 (File 22-26)

Travels in India, including visits to Barrackpore, Benares, Lucknow, Agra and Serampore.

Stobart (on board SS Calcutta) to Barbara Chilton, 5 May 1854 - 9 May 1854 (File 27)

Voyage from Alexandria to Trieste.

Stobart to Barbara Chilton, November 1854 - June 1855 (File 29-38)

Voyage to Egypt on SS Indus; travels in Egypt including impressions of Cairo and the surrounding region, a journey up the Nile and a visit to Thebes; a journey from Cairo to Palestine including visits to Jerusalem, Hebron, Jericho, Bethlehem and Tiberias; and a voyage to Alexandretta and Smyrna in Turkey.

Stobart (Paris, Cannes) to Barbara Chilton, 22 November 1855 - 28 November 1855 (File 39-40)

Stobart to Barbara Chilton, January 1856 - April 1856 (File 41-45)

Travels in Egypt.

Series. Sketches made by Stobart in Australia and the New Hebrides, 1853

A folder of small sketches by Stobart, the subjects including Armidale Church, New England, Nobby Head, Newcastle, a sailing ship, Australian scenes and a double canoe on the Isle of Pines. There are also prints of Farm Cove, Sydney. In addition, there are two newspaper cuttings from the Guardian with obituaries of Stobart, February 1896.

Series. Journal of Henry Stobart, 1853

Stobart commenced the journal on 30 January 1853 at Cape Town, on his voyage to Australia, and the last entry was written on his arrival in Brisbane on 7 July 1853. There is considerable duplication between the journal and his letters to his mother. The journal, however, contains a more detailed account of the travels of Stobart and his companions in New South Wales. The first journey in April and May 1853 was inland from Sydney to Emu Plains, Bathurst, Carcoa, Sofala, Mudgee, the Blue Mountains and the Illawarra. The second journey in June and July 1853 was the long ride from Newcastle to Maitland, Muswellbrook, Tamworth, Armidale, Tenterfield, Warwick and Ipswich. (ms and typescript copy, 100pp.)

The last item in the collection is an undated portrait of Henry Stobart.