A Love of Scripture

Convict Ship Bible, c1819

This Bible belonged to and was used by the Reverend John Cross on his voyage to Australia in 1819. In 1818, Cross had been ordained deacon, then priest, and then appointed as a Chaplain to New South Wales. He set out on 27 January 1819, accompanied by his wife and three children, on the Baring, a vessel that also carried 300 convicts to whom he ministered using this Bible.

Reverend John Cross became a significant figure in the Church of England in NSW in the early 19th century, for his association with such well-known figures as Reverend Samuel Marsden and Reverend Rowland Hassall, and also for his association with the completion of significant colonial buildings including St Matthew’s Church and rectory at Windsor, and St Thomas’ Church, Port Macquarie.

On 4 December 1827, he was appointed as chaplain to St Thomas’ Church, Port Macquarie. The Cross family sailed from Sydney to Port Macquarie in the government barque, the Lucy Ann, on February 12, 1828. They arrived at the penal settlement where Cross would spend the rest of his life.

The Cross Bible is one of the few Bibles issued for use by chaplains on convict ships to survive.


What year did the construction begin of St Thomas Church in Port Macquarie?

Exhibition Theme
View Heritage Place
View Collection

Continue Your JourneyClick an object below to go back or forward in time!

Scroll to Top