STOW, Thomas Quinton (1801-1862)


STOW, Thomas Quinton (1801-1862)
pioneer clergyman
was born at Hadleigh, Suffolk, England, on 7 July, 180l. He studied for the Congregational ministry at the missionary college, Gosport, and was given a charge at Buntingford, Hertfordshire. He was transferred to Halstead in Essex, and in 1833 published a volume the Memoirs of R. Taylor, LL.D. Another work, The Scope of Piety, appeared in 1836. In 1837 the Colonial Missionary Society in connexion with the Congregational body in England sent him to South Australia. He arrived at Adelaide on the Hartley in October. He began holding services in a tent but shortly afterwards, partly with his own hands, built the first church in South Australia. It was constructed of pine logs thatched with reeds and stood in North Terrace. In 1840 a more substantial church was built in Freeman-street, and there Stow worked for many years. He also for a time taught a school at the corner of Freeman- and Pirie-streets. In 1848-9 he fought strongly in opposition to state aid for religion. His health, however, declined and in 1855 he found it necessary to have an assistant. About two years later he had to give up his charge, but continued to preach and work for his church as much as his health would allow. In February 1862, hoping that a change of climate might be good for him, he went to Sydney to supply the pulpit in the Pitt-street Congregational church, and in March became so ill that it was impossible for him to be taken back to Adelaide. He died at the house of John Fairfax (q.v.) on 19 July 1862.
Stow was a man of much ability and great honesty of purpose. He was a ready and efficient speaker, with a sense of humour and a turn for satire that was never ill-natured. He did much to form the character of the growing settlement, and this was fully appreciated at the time; twice he was given substantial pecuniary testimonials to which men of all sects contributed. The Stow Church at Adelaide stands as a memorial of him. He was married in England and brought his wife, who survived him, and four sons with him. Of his sons, Randolph Isham Stow is noticed separately. Other sons were Augustine Stow, who was a member of parliament for several years between 1863 and 1871, and entering the public service became chief clerk in the South Australian supreme court; and Jefferson Pickman Stow who went to the Northern Territory in 1864 and sailed in a ship's boat from Adam Bay in the Northern Territory to Champion Bay in Western Australia. He published an account of this voyage as a pamphlet in 1865, Voyage of the Forlorn Hope, and Notes on Western Australia. He was afterwards for a time editor of the South Australian Advertiser and was the author of South Australia, its History Productions and Natural Resources, published by the South Australian government in 1883, second edition, 1884.
The South Australian Register, 23 July 1862; The South Australian Advertiser, 21 July 1862; J. Blacket, The Early History of South Australia; British Museum Catalogue.

Dictionary of Australian Biography by PERCIVAL SERLE. . 1949.

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  • Thomas Stow — Thomas Quinton Stow (1801 1862) was an Australian pioneer clergyman. He was born at Hadleigh, Suffolk, England, on 7 July 1801. Stow studied for the Congregational ministry at the missionary college, Gosport, and was given a charge at Huntingford …   Wikipedia


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