Thomas Stow

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Thomas Quinton Stow (7 July 1801 - 19 July 1862), generally referred to as the Rev. T. Q. Stow, was an Australian pioneer Congregational minister. [1]


Early life

Stow was born at Hadleigh, Suffolk, England, and began preaching at 17 years of age; he later studied for the Congregational ministry at the missionary college, Gosport under David Bogue. [1] From 1822-25 Stow was minister at Framlingham, Suffolk; later at Buntingford, Hertfordshire, then was transferred to Halstead in Essex. In 1833 Stow published the Memoirs of R. Taylor, LL.D., this was followed by The Scope of Piety (1836). [1] At Framlingham Stow married Elizabeth, daughter of William Eppes of Bristol and his wife Elizabeth, née Randolph, descendant of an old Virginia family. [1]

Hadleigh, Suffolk town in Suffolk, England

Hadleigh is an ancient market town and civil parish in South Suffolk, East Anglia, situated, next to the River Brett, between the larger towns of Sudbury and Ipswich. It had a population of 8,253 at the 2011 census. The headquarters of Babergh District Council were located in the town until 2017.

Gosport Town and Borough in England

Gosport is a town in Hampshire on the south coast of England. At the 2011 Census, its population was 82,622. It is situated on a peninsula on the western side of Portsmouth Harbour, opposite the city of Portsmouth, to which it is linked by the Gosport Ferry. Gosport lies south-east of Fareham, to which it is linked by a bus line and a road. Until the last quarter of the 20th century, Gosport was a major naval town associated with the defence and supply infrastructure of Her Majesty's Naval Base (HMNB) Portsmouth. As such over the years extensive fortifications were created. The town is still home to HMS Sultan and a Naval Armament Supply Facility, as well as a Helicopter Repair base. The Town area of the Borough, including Newtown, consists of the town centre, Stoke Road shopping area, Walpole Park, Royal Clarence Yard and three modern marinas: Royal Clarence, Gosport Marina and Haslar Marina. As part of the Renaissance of Portsmouth Harbour Millennium project, a large sundial, known as the Millennium Timespace, was installed on the harbour front in 2000.

David Bogue British nonconformist leader

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Career in Australia

On 12 October 1836 the Colonial Missionary Society in England accepted Stow and sent him to South Australia. Stow arrived at Adelaide on the Hartley in October 1837. [1] Stow began holding services in a marquee 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 November 1840 a more substantial church was opened in Freeman Street (now Gawler Place), and there Stow worked for many years. He also for a time taught a school at the corner of Freeman and Pirie Streets. From 1846 Stow fought in opposition to state aid for religion. [1] Stow's health, however, declined and in 1855 he found it necessary to have an assistant, [2] and in October 1855 the Rev. C. W. Evan arrived. In September 1856 Stow resigned his pastorate, [1] but continued to preach and work for his church as much as his health would allow. [2] In February 1862, hoping that a change of climate might be good for him, Stow went to Sydney to supply the pulpit in the Pitt Street Congregational church, and in March became so ill that he could not be taken back to Adelaide. Stow died at the house of John Fairfax on 19 July 1862. [1] Stow was survived by his wife and four sons. [2]

The Colonial Missionary Society was formed in May 1836 as a "distinct society for the Colonies" following the report of a deputation to Canada by representatives of Congregational churches from Britain. Its principal mission effort was directed towards promoting Congregationalist forms of Christianity among "British or other European settlers" rather than indigenous peoples. At first it functioned as part of the Congregational Union, which Andrew Reed, an early honorary secretary, described as 'a crippled and dependent existence'. In time it became an independent body.

Adelaide City in South Australia

Adelaide is the capital city of the state of South Australia, and the fifth-most populous city of Australia. In June 2017, greater Adelaide had an estimated resident population of 1,333,927. Adelaide is home to more than 75 percent of the South Australian population, making it the most centralised population of any state in Australia.

North Terrace, Adelaide road in Adelaide

North Terrace is one of the four terraces that bound the central business and residential district of Adelaide, the capital city of South Australia. It runs east-west, along the northern edge of "the square mile". The western end continues on to Port Road, and the eastern end continues across the Adelaide Parklands as Botanic Road.


Stow was an outstanding preacher in early Adelaide, [1] he was a good speaker who incorporated humour and satire. [2] Stow helped form the character of the growing settlement of Adelaide, which was appreciated at the time. Stow was twice given substantial pecuniary testimonials to which men of all sects contributed. [2] The Stow Memorial Church (now Pilgrim Uniting Church) in Adelaide was built as a memorial.

He was married in England and brought his wife Elizabeth Randolph Stow, née Eppes, (c. 1797 in Newfoundland – 8 July 1867), who survived him, and four sons with him:

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Brian L. Jones, 'Stow, Thomas Quinton (1801 - 1862)', Australian Dictionary of Biography , Volume 2, MUP, 1967, pp 491-492. Retrieved 30 March 2010
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Serle, Percival (1949). "Stow, Thomas Quinton". Dictionary of Australian Biography . Sydney: Angus and Robertson. Retrieved 2010-03-30.
  3. "The Late T. Q. Stow". South Australian Weekly Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1858 - 1867) . Adelaide, SA: National Library of Australia. 9 August 1862. p. 2. Retrieved 4 March 2015.