Celebrating South Australia

http://www.sahistorians.org.au/175/chronology/july/21-july-1838-the-first-baptism-at-trinity-anglican.shtml

21 July 1838 ….The first baptism at Holy Trinity North Terrace

 Miss Eliza Malpas, the author of this memoir written, was a sister in law of Charles Mann. This is a transcribed extract from her diary.[1] No other material from this diary exists. It is transcribed from a print displayed in the vestry at Holy Trinity Church, North Terrace Adelaide. No other source details are available. This piece may have appeared in an Adelaide newspaper in 1932, prompting the query from the Secretary of the Library. The State Library of SA holds no records of Eliza Malpas, or for that matter Charles Mann, Eliza’s relative in its collections. Mr James Hurtle Fisher was the Resident Land Commissioner for the Colony.



[1] Miss M. E. Malpas to the Secretary of the Library, Museum and Art Gallery of South Australia 7 April 1932, GRG19/17, 1932/M, State Records South Australia.

 

21 July 1838  The first baptism at Holy Trinity, North Terrace‘Mrs Stephen and myself were dressed for the christening by 2 o’clock. Mrs Cotter called for us and we walked from the S.A. Bank [cnr North Tce and Stephen Place] to the church [ie Trinity]. It was, for Adelaide, a very big building, but would have been thought small in England. The workmen were on the roof and looked with astonishment at the party below. The ceremony commenced. Mrs Fisher’s daughter of 18 months was the first. She was named Emily Anne (or Ann). Mrs Fisher was one godmother, and Mrs Cotter proxy for an aunt, and Mr Cotter for Charles Fisher. The next was Master Cotter aged two years and four months: Thomas Charles Edward, Miss Cotter 4 months, Ellen Fisher. After the ceremony we walked to Mr Fisher’s and in a few minutes the company assembled. Mr Fisher was dressed in uniform; Mrs Fisher wore a maroon cored silk with a very handsome worked collar. Mrs Cotter has a fawn silk with lace pelerine. Mrs Smart a lemon coloured `silk and pearl necklace. Mrs Stephens (or Stephen) pale green silk, white crepe scarf and sable boa. Mrs [sc Miss?] Fisher French poplin, of fawn and brown, and a ribbon round her head of white and green. Fanny had a frock like Mrs F’s dress and a ribbon like her sister’s round her head. I wore a white frock and blue scarf. There were several gentlemen present: Mr Morphett, Alan Hicks, John Hancock, James Fisher, Capt Pollard and Mr Brown. At 3 o’clock[1]
            we partook of an elegant cold collation and as I wish to be able at some future time to know the manners of the colony I hall insert the bill of fare as nearly as I can remember:-

            Giblet and gravy soup
            Cold roast suckling pig, Fowls roast and boiled, tongue, chicken pies

            Plum pudding, gooseberry pie, scalded codlings [unripe apples, preserved by scalding, and eaten as sweetmeats]
            Preserved ginger, tipsy cake, custard, open tart, preserved orange
            Plum cake
            Port, sherry, ale, cheese

I find I have omitted the Rev Howard, with wife and sister. Mrs Howard in stiff corded black silk, her hair tied with cherry ribbon. Sister [Miss Neville] in violet silk .

After dinner the ladies walked in the garden or stayed in the office, where supper was set out for the servants, consisting of round of beef and plum pudding. The gentlemen soon joined us and we returned to the sitting room. Miss Fisher was soon seated at the piano. Several stood round her, and others stood talking to the ladies. The instrument was a very fine toned one and we were favoured with some beautiful music, Weber and other composers. Coffee and tea was brought in and after that the company arranged the room for a dance. After several had been gone through, the ‘Coquette’ was proposed, and all joined with the exception of 2 or 3. Mr Morphett leading out Miss Fisher was the signal for a burst of applause. After an evening spent in a most delightful manner we separated and went home. Capt Pollard and Mr Brown accompanied us to the Bank, where they stayed some time.’



[1] The subsequent reference to ‘the office’ suggests that the Fishers were the hosts most probably at the Fisher residence and attached Land Office, on the parklands near the corner of North Terrace and West Terrace (i.e. the Newmarket Hotel site now) and with Colonel Light's hut adjacent. Both were subsequently destroyed by fire with resulting disastrous impacts on records of the early colony.