# 42878


The rules and regulations of the District Committee of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, established in New South Wales, 1826 : to which is added, a catalogue of the books and tracts for sale, or gratuitous distribution, by the subscribing members. (Edward Wise’s copy)

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Sydney : Printed by R. Howe, Government Printer, 1826.Octavo (175 x 120 mm), modern half navy calf over blue crushed morocco, spine lettered in gilt; original grey wrappers bound in, the upper wrapper with fully contemporary title in manuscript in black ink; pp. 12 (including title-leaf, blank on the verso); printed on letterpress; title inscribed in ink ‘B. Plashett Rodd, from Mr. Justice Wise, Nov. 1864’; a very good example.

This rare Robert Howe printing has added significance due to the fact that its original owner, Justice Edward Wise (1818-1865), is acknowledged as the first systematic collector of Australiana. Wise gave this pamphlet away shortly before his death, to Brent Plashett Rodd (1842-1942). It was therefore not included in the part of his library that was bequeathed by his widow to the people of New South Wales, and which is now held in the Mitchell Library.

Founding members of the New South Wales District Committee of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge were Samuel Marsden, William Cowper, Robert Cartwright, Henry Fulton, Richard Hill, John Cross, F. Wilkinson, M. D. Meares, Thomas Hassall, and John Espie Keane. All of these Church of England clergymen were present at the Committee’s foundation meeting, held in the Vestry of St. John’s Church, Parramatta on 9 January 1826. (This particular District Committee should not be confused with The New South Wales Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge and Benevolence, later known as The Benevolent Society, which was formed on 8 May 1813 by Edward Smith Hall, Rev. William Cowper and five others).

The six main aims of the District Committee are enumerated on page 4 of the present pamphlet. They were:

  1. To extend the usefulness of the Society, to increase its influence and means of circulating religious Books at home ….
  2. To invite all Persons in the District, whether Clergy or Laity, who have the ability to become subscribing Members to the Society, with a Contribution of not less than One Guinea annually.
  3. To promote Parochial Collections, whether annual or occasional, and to receive Contributions, however small, for the uses of the Society, or for a supply of Books to the District.
  4. To afford to Members of the Society, a facility of obtaining Books upon the very favourable terms of the Society, and of paying their Subscriptions, &c. through the Secretary of the District.
  5. To ascertain the wants of the several parts of each District, and by giving assistance to the less opulent parishioners to enlarge their means of obtaining religious instruction.
  6. [To promote] a more frequent and friendly intercourse among the Members ….

Ferguson, 1089.

Trove locates only three copies in Australian libraries (NLA; SLNSW; SLV)