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George Collison Tuting (1814-1892)

an aspiring but ordinary nineteenth-century colonist

George Collison Tuting was not an outstanding figure in nineteenth-century NSW. Coming to the colony he hoped to better himself and his family in the drapery business which was a trade he knew well. On arrival he was socially well connected through marriage to the Farmer family (Farmers & Co). He was welcomed into the Pitt Street Congregational Church’s merchant circle (including G A Lloyd, Alfred Fairfax, David Jones) and while he had great aspirations he failed to convert them into business success. His early philanthropic endeavours were quickly extinguished by his failure in business; bankruptcy does not enhance one’s ability to be philanthropic.  In the latter phase of his life, having obtained a certain level of financial stability, he gave of his time to help organize various philanthropic activities mostly promoting spiritual engagement.

Tuting was born in Beverley, Yorkshire, England, in January 1814 and was the son of Jeremiah Tuting, variously a cordwainer (shoemaker) and sexton of St Marys’ Church, Beverley, and Sarah Collison.[1] In 1841, George married Eliza Bolton (1817-1847) and they had 5 children: William Collison (1841-1918), George Bolton (1843-1843), Eliza Bolton Kent (1844-1883), Emily Sarah Parsons (1846-1924) and Henry Gutteridge (1847-1847). Eliza died in March 1847[2] and on 9 February 1848, George married Mary Petford nee Farmer (1804-1868), the widow of Jason Petford, a draper in Brierley Hill. Mary and Jason, had married in 1827[3]  and had two daughters: Mary (1834-1858) and Amelia (1843–1928).

The Tuting family left England 8 November 1849, on the Prince of Wales and arrived in Sydney on 21 February 1850. The family group consisted of George and his wife Mary and George’s son William, his daughters Eliza and Emily, his nephew Thomas Shires Tuting together with Mary’s two daughters, Mary and Amelia.[4]

In England

George was a draper and his first shop was in the Market Place, Beverley, and while it is unknown when he began business, the first evidence of its existing is from 10 April 1840 when he sought to commend his goods to the public through the distribution of printed hand bills.[5] He was a religious man who, when advertising for staff, made a point of indicating that ‘a man of piety will be preferred’[6] and when seeking an apprentice gave the assurance that his ‘Moral and Religious training will be strictly attended to, as well as receiving a thorough knowledge of the Business.’[7] He was, as a churchman, a Congregationalist attending the Independent Chapel, Beverley, and later at Brierley Hill.[8]

It would appear that George was interested in missions, financially supporting a young Indian man from 1846-1849 so that he could undergo training for ministry at Bangalore, India.[9] He also gave money to a Medical Institution[10] and towards the building of a Mission College in Hong Kong.[11] The Missionary Magazine and Chronicle, a publication mostly concentrating on the work of the London Missionary Society, was itself largely supported by Independent Churches. That his financial support of missions was recorded in this publication is consistent with his churchmanship being congregational.

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Samuel Goold (1820-1899) Congregationalist, Bookseller and Temperance Advocate

Samuel Goold

Samuel Goold was born in 1820 in Norton Lindsay, Warwickshire, England, the son of William Goold, variously described as a miller[1] or a grocer,[2] and his wife Elizabeth Canning. Samuel was their fifth son of nine children. Two of his brothers, John and Jabez, also came to the colony of NSW at some stage.[3] In 1847, Samuel married Mary Ann Johnson at the Tottenham Baptist Chapel and his profession was given as ‘Missionary’.[4] Mary Ann was the daughter of Philip Johnson, a shoemaker, and his wife Mary and was born in 1819 at the workhouse of St Botolph, Aldgate, London.[5] At the age of 13 she became a member of the Congregational Church, worshipping in the Poultry Chapel, London, then under the care of the Rev John Clayton Jnr (1780-1865).[6]

Arrival in the colony of New South Wales

Together with Mary Ann’s mother and sister, Samuel arrived in Queensland in January 1849 aboard the Fortitude, Rev Dr John Dunmore Lang’s first chartered immigrant ship. Samuel had been an apprentice and was probably an apprentice draper,[7] but his profession on the shipping lists was given as ‘bricklayer’.[8] It has been suggested that he helped build the Roman Catholic Chapel in Elizabeth Street, Brisbane,[9] but this cannot be possible as the Fortitude arrived in Morton Bay on 21 January 1849, and its passengers were quarantined as there were cases of typhus on board. The first mention of ‘Mr Gould, the builder’ in connection with the Roman Catholic Chapel, is on 31 January 1849 while Samuel Goold was still in quarantine.[10]

The Fortitude (Queensland State Library)

Sydney bound

Samuel and his wife did not remain in Brisbane but travelled to Sydney in September 1849.[11] It is not known if their departure was a result of disillusionment with the unfulfilled promises of Lang concerning the provision of land for the immigrants or whether it was related to the death of their infant son, Samuel, which occurred a few weeks before.[12] In Sydney, however, they wasted no time linking with the (more…)

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