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Fitzherbert Adams Marriott (1811–1890)

by P. R. Hart

This article was published:

Fitzherbert Adams Marriott (1811-1890), by J. W. Beattie

Fitzherbert Adams Marriott (1811-1890), by J. W. Beattie

Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts, State Library of Tasmania, AUTAS001125882415

Fitzherbert Adams Marriott (1811-1890), Anglican priest, was born on 27 May 1811 at Lincoln's Inn Fields, London, the second son of George Wharton Marriott of St Giles and Middle Temple, London, and his wife Selina Anne, the daughter of Archdeacon Adams of Huntingdonshire. He was educated at Charterhouse, and read classics at Oriel College, Oxford (B.A., 1833; M.A., 1836). After ordination in 1836 he was appointed to Cotesbach, a Leicestershire parish of which his uncle held the patronage. Chosen by Bishop Francis Nixon, a family friend, as his chaplain, he sailed with the episcopal party in the Duke of Roxburgh and arrived at Hobart Town in July 1843. Within a week, he was appointed archdeacon and soon had the added duties of surrogate.

After assisting for some time in busy northern parishes, he was sent to England by Nixon to make good the bishop's disputed authority over the chaplains in the Convict Department, raise money for the colonial church, and plead the cause of religious education for the colony. He made many contacts among churchmen and philanthropists in England and collected £5000 for Christ's College as well as an anonymous gift through the bishop of Ripon of £5000 for general expansion. Persuaded by the conciliatory attitude at Downing Street and by his own willingness to co-operate with Nixon, Marriott ignored his instruction and accepted the office of superintendent of convict chaplains, in hope that, while he also remained subject as archdeacon to the bishop's authority, Nixon would agree to abandon claims for complete authority over the chaplains and accept an indirect responsibility through himself. He returned in February 1846 and found that his assumption was wrong, for Nixon refused to ordain the twelve men brought out by Marriott until his responsibility for them was recognized. After much discussion the men were designated religious instructors and Marriott's position was changed to superintendent of religious instructors. He resigned this office in July 1846 and, when Nixon went to England to take up the issues himself, Marriott became vicar-general and special commissary.

On Nixon's return in 1847 Marriott was appointed chaplain to New Norfolk, where he remained until he left the colony on sick leave in February 1853. During the ritualist controversy he was a strong supporter of the bishop. Aware of Nixon's high regard, he was disappointed in not being transferred to St David's on the death of Dr William Bedford, but the opposition of churchwardens and congregation to his ritualist stand would have made his ministry difficult. He was not expected to return to the colony and resigned his Tasmanian posts in September 1854, when he became curate of St Paul's, Knightsbridge, England. On 28 January 1860 he was appointed vicar of Chaddesley Corbett, Worcestershire, a post he held until his death on 19 October 1890. On 26 September 1848 he had married Anne Julia, the second daughter of Major Charles Schaw and his wife Anne Frances, née Cockburn. She predeceased him by less than four months. They had two sons.

Marriott was a scholarly preacher and three of his sermons were published by request in Hobart: The Parochial System (1844), Is a Penal Colony Reconcileable with God's Constitution of Human Society and the Laws of Christ's Kingdom? (1847) and The Church of the Incarnation, Our Guide and Refuge (1851). His Tasmanian career was marked by a succession of quarrels, both with the Evangelical clergy and with Lieutenant-Governor Sir John Wilmot whom he opposed strongly on the transportation question (Letter Addressed to His Excellency … Against the Renewal of Transportation, Hobart, 1847), and in the dispute over the bishop's authority. He was reputed to have spread rumours at the Colonial Office about Wilmot's private life which caused his dismissal. His responsible mission to England in the service of the colonial church won him wide esteem, and in 1856 his help to education was remembered in an honorary fellowship of Christ's College.

Select Bibliography

  • N. Nixon, The Pioneer Bishop in Van Diemen's Land 1843-1863 (Hob, 1954)
  • Examiner (Launceston), 20 Oct 1847
  • Church News (Hobart), Feb 1891
  • GO 33/55/766 (Archives Office of Tasmania).

Related Entries in NCB Sites

Citation details

P. R. Hart, 'Marriott, Fitzherbert Adams (1811–1890)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1967, accessed online 23 May 2024.

This article was published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 2, (Melbourne University Press), 1967

View the front pages for Volume 2

© Copyright Australian Dictionary of Biography, 2006-2024

Fitzherbert Adams Marriott (1811-1890), by J. W. Beattie

Fitzherbert Adams Marriott (1811-1890), by J. W. Beattie

Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts, State Library of Tasmania, AUTAS001125882415

Life Summary [details]


27 May, 1811
London, Middlesex, England


19 October, 1890 (aged 79)

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