Carlton Congregational Chapel

After writing the post about the Joseph brothers, Moya Sharpe, a member of the Sorell Historical Society, asked if I could find any more information about the chapel I had written about in my post. Chris Wisbey and Sally Dakis now have the Carlton Congregational Chapel on their private property and on 10 January 2021, the chapel celebrated 180 years. Chris and Sally decided to hold a high tea on that date and invited members of the public to visit and join in the cucumber sandwiches and cup of tea in the afternoon. Thanks to Moya for the photo of her and Shirley Scott who can remember when the chapel was actually in use.

Here is my post from what I have learned. It will also be great as part of the One Place Studies #JanuaryLandmarks posts. Clicking on images or blue links will take you directly to the newspaper articles found in Trove digitized newspapers.

While researching for my post on the oldest gravestones in the district, I found that Rev Norman presided over the burial of Henry Morriss in 1838 at the Carlton Burial Ground. I am assuming this is the cemetery attached to the Carlton Congregational Chapel.

The first meeting to be held was advertised in January 1841 in The Courier newspaper in Hobart.

The Fourth Report of the Van Diemen’s Land Home Missionary and Christian Instruction Society mentions the chapel work was still in progress in February 1841. Reverend Alexander Morrison, who had been appointed to the District of Richmond, would preach in Carlton every fortnight. To read more about the report, click on the image below.

Many marriages in the 1850s and 1860s are mentioned as being at the Carlton, some at homes of  the bride’s father but not necessarily at the chapel. Upon more research Rev J Norman was a chaplain in Sorell district from 1832-1867, mainly Anglican churches rather than the Congregational.
MARRIAGES.
At the Carlton, on the 19th instant, by the Rev. J. Norman, Mr. A. Wyke Steele, third son of the late Lieutenant Steele, R.N., to Mary, second daughter of Thomas Manley, Esq. (19 May 1852)

The return of Ecclesiastical Endowments in Tasmania for the Church of England mentions in 1857 that a grant of 10 acres of land had been given in 1836 in Carlton for a church and it was also used for a school and burial ground. Does this relate to the congregational church or was there another church in Carlton?

The Home Missionary Society celebrated its 23rd anniversary and a report was read out. In 1858 a deputation of the committee had visited Bream Creek and Carlton, mentioning

it was with feelings of gratitude that the Committee were able to state that a new chapel was erecting at Bream Creek and the Carlton Chapel had been reopened.

MARRIAGES.
On the 17th instant, at Carlton, by the Rev. Mr. Miller, of Hobart Town, assisted by the Rev. Mr. Blackwood, of Cambridge, William Henry Thorne, to Charlotte, youngest daughter of Mr. William Morris. (17 May 1860)
MARRIAGES.
By special license, by the Rev. J. Norman, at Mr. Hazell’s, Carlton, on 17th October, Miss S. L Smith, youngest daughter of the late Dr. Smith, England, to James G Steele, Esq., seventh son of the late Lieutenant Steele, R. N., of the Carlton. (17 Oct 1860)
MARRIAGES.
On the 9th instant, at the residence of the bride’s father, Carlton, by the Rev. James Norman, Sorell, PHILIP, second son of the late Rev. Philip Palmer, M.A., to MARY ANN, fourth daughter of Mr. Ralph Dodge, Carlton, Pittwater. (9 Jan 1862)
MARRIAGES.
By Special license, at the Carlton, on the 12th November, by the Rev. J. Norman, Joseph, fifth son of Joseph Hayton, Esq., of Wood Brook, Sorell, to Anna Jane, seventh daughter of William Paterson, Esq., of Bream Creek, Tasmania. (12 Nov 1862)

In 1866, Reverend JP Sunderland, agent for the London Missionary Society in the colonies, visited the Carlton Chapel as well as many others while he was touring Tasmania.

In August 1867, five churches including Bream Creek and Carlton were formally received into the Congregational union and Mission of Tasmania. But by 1869, public meetings were being held  about the union and ministers from Hobart Town would attend to address the meetings.

ROLLINGS—DODGE.—On Thursday, 11th February, by Rev. C. J. Brammall, at the residence of the bride’s father, Carlton, Robert W., eldest son of Mr. J. J. Rollings, Forcett, to Elizabeth, fifth surviving daughter of Mr. Ralph Dodge. (11 Feb 1869)
DODGE—KINGSTON.—On the 25th February, by Rev. R. E. Dear, at the residence of the bride’s father, William Thomas, third son of Mr. Ralph Dodge, of the Carlton, to Eliza, eldest daughter of Mr. Charles Kingston, of Sedbury, Bream Creek. (25 Feb 1869)

Some deaths were also mentioned about moving to the Carlton Burial Ground.

DEATHS
ROGERS.—On the 10th May, at Carlton, Emily Cockborne, the beloved wife of Mr. A. Rogers, in the 49th year of her age. The funeral will leave her husband’s residence, on Saturday next, the 15th inst., at one o’clock, for the Carlton Burial Ground. Sydney and Melbourne papers please copy. (10 May 1869)

There was a very descriptive write up of the 1870 anniversaries of the Carlton and Bream Creek chapels – looks like the ladies of the area were rivals in who could make the best spread for the visitors to their district. Also mentioned the danger of travelling on Dodge’s ferry with horses and carts. At the 1871 anniversary, over 150 people attended enjoying a meal, a service by Rev Dear and making connections with other locals, some from remote areas of the district.

In 1871 Reverend R.E. Dear preached at the chapel and gave great discourse on the origins of the Bible Society and how the money it gathers is dispersed. There was also a great description of the chapel and its surroundings. Click on the image to read more about the Bible Society.

According to the Mercury of 29 February 1872, Carlton Chapel was celebrating its anniversary on Tuesday, 5 March 1872, when a deputation from Hobart Town would be attending.

DEATH

In May 1872, there was an inquest into the death of Mr JA Luttrell. After the inquest was finished the body was removed to the Carlton Burial Ground.

By 1874, a public meeting about total abstinence was held at the chapel. This was then followed by a meeting of those wishing to join the GWCT – Grand Lodge of the Good Templars.

In the annual meeting of the Congregational Union and Mission of 1876, it is mentioned that the chapels in Carlton and Bream Creek are thriving often with attendance of 50-80 worshippers.

The 23rd anniversary tea for the Congregational Chapel, Carlton  was to be held on 13 November 1882.

The Carlton chapel was often used as meeting rooms as in July 1883 when a Bill to be brought before Parliament was discussed and voters were asked to collect signatures.

July 1888, Rev Mr Moorehouse becomes the new Congregational pastor for the Carlton and Bream Creek chapels but in May 1890 he is farewelled. At the November anniversary in 1888, the newspaper reports there are coaches available for visitors wanting to attend and they would leave Hobart at 8am.

The 1889 celebrations had lower number of attendees due to inclement weather.

A letter to the editor of the local paper appeared in December 1890, asking horse owners to think about their relatives who might be buried at the Carlton Burial Ground.

A church social was organized in August 1895, by Mrs McGuinness to help raise funds for re-shingling the church roof.

In May 1898, Mr Hebblethwaite takes over the ministerial duties in the district and a meeting was held where it was discussed about taking up a collection for the new preacher. Apparently, the new preacher was a great salesman as mentioned in the harvest service article in the paper in 1899.

November 1900 the members of the chapel were planning to welcome back the Tasmanian contingent from the Boer War which included two of the McGuinniss boys. The service was held on December 16 with Rev Crocker giving the service.

A concert was held at Carlton school in April 1903 in aid of funding the repairs for the chapel. It was well patronised mainly due to the efforts of Mrs Morris Joseph. December 1904 another concert held for repairs to the chapel, the main organizer this time being Mr McGuinniss sen.

In 1905, a silver wedding anniversary was mentioned. The golden wedding anniversary and the diamond wedding anniversary as well.

Transport to the annual tea meeting at Carlton now included the S.S. Seabird from Hobart in 1905.

In January 1910, a farewell social was held for Mr Albiston and a gift of sovereigns was given to him for his hard work in the district especially for starting the M.I.A in Carlton. Not sure if this is missing in action or another group.

In August 1919, the Chapel was used for a Welcome Home event for returned soldier Corporal C McGinnis A.I.F.

 

In 1938, the centenary of congregationalism in the district was celebrated and there was a very interesting write up in the local paper. This included photo of the church, a history of the church including preachers but also information on the local supporters and workers in the church.

Local pioneer, Mrs Joseph, mentioned often in the anniversary tea articles, celebrated her 80th birthday in June 1938.

But on 10 January 1941, the centenary of the actual church was celebrated and articles in the paper mentioned that land was given by Mr Hugh McGuinniss to erect the church and that Reverend Dear was the first resident pastor.

Readers: Have you or a family member had something to do with the chapel? Did you attend the high tea last week?

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2 thoughts on “Carlton Congregational Chapel

  1. My nephew attended representing the McGuinness family and reported a most interesting and informative afternoon was had by all. Well done Chris and Sally.

  2. I have come across this information about the old Congregational Church in Carlton, after hearing from my aunt that it was being cared for and not allowed to fall down. That was good news because our relative, Richard Edward Dear, had been a minister there in the 1850’s through to the 1870’s. His son, William Smith Dear married Rosa McGuinnes.
    Richard Edward Dear was an interesting man, who left London with eight children to pursue missionary work. He must have been very motivated to have made such an enormous move.
    Good luck with your work on the old Church.

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