John Dunmore Lang Australia Scotland

Biography of John Dunmore Lang

John Dunmore Lang (1799-1878) studied arts and theology at Glasgow University, graduating MA in 1822. His brother George, also an alumnus of the University, had gone to Australia in 1821, and John decided to follow him to minister to the Scottish Presbyterians in the colony. He built the Scots Church in Sydney in 1826 and opened the Caledonian Academy, a primary school. He returned to Britain in 1830 and brought back with him sixty skilled mechanics who secured their passage with an interest-free loan which they later repaid from their wages. These were the first skilled workers introduced into the country.

Lang organised several migration schemes, making nine voyages back to Britain in all. By 1832, he had built, and was the Principal of, the Australian College, the first higher education institution in Australia. Several hundreds were educated in this College, many becoming prominent citizens of the country. He was an elected member of the New South Wales Parliament for various periods between 1843 and 1869 and urged self-government for Australia. Sir Henry Parkes, 'the father of the Federation', said in his memorial tribute of Lang, "The colony owes more to him than to any other man. We may look to vain for his equal ... He has always been one of the boldest advocates for the political rights and liberties of the colonists."


John Dunmore Lang
GU Degrees: MA, 1820; DD, 1825;
University Link: Graduate
Record last updated: 26th Jan 2016

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