John Allen Manton

John Allen Manton, an Australian Methodist Missionary and Educationalist, was born on 17th August 1807 in Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, England to his parents, Thomas and Jane Manton. At the age of fifteen, he was admitted on trial to the Methodist Society in 1823, beginning a life of vital Christian commitment and piety. After six years of lay preaching, in 1830, he accepted the Wesleyan Ministry. Called to the Missionary work, he was ordained at London as a missionary on 13th January 1831 and sailed for Australia, arrived at Sydney in 1831.

        On his arrival in Australia in 1831, Rev.John Allen Manton was appointed to Parramatta. He married Ann Green on 13th April, 1833 at Greater Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Ann Green was born on 21st May, 1809 at Spilsby, Lincolnshire, England, United Kingdom. Manton was designated to Van Diemen's Land (VDL) for most of his ministry, sailed to Macquarie Harbour, in Van Diemen's Land as chaplain to its infamous convict settlement. In 1833, he became first chaplain to the new Port Arthur penal colony and nearby Point Puer, where he established a school for juvenile convicts. His evangelistic witness with prisoners and staff bore fruit and his dedicated work was acknowledged by the colonial authorities. From 1834, he also conducted a successful Ministry in Launceston. After several short appointments, he was reappointed to Port Arthur and served from 1840 to 1843, remaining there until Wesleyan chaplains were withdrawn from service. He later served as Superintendent Minister in Hobart.

Newington College
        In 1855, he opened Horton College, Campbell Town, Tasmania, and became its first Principal. He asked to be relieved of its oversight in 1857 and moved to New South Wales. In 1857, he was elected President of the Australasian Wesleyan Methodist Conference 1862. During the conference, he proposed the establishment of a Wesleyan Collegiate Institution, "decidedly Wesleyan in character", be founded in Sydney. On 16th July 1863, the Wesleyan Collegiate Institute was opened with 16 boys and a small number of theological students. As no suitable buildings were available in Sydney at the time, Newington House, the centerpiece of the 1,200-acre (4.9 km2) John Blaxland's estate at Silverwater, was leased and it was opened as Newington College and he worked as President of Newington College at Sydney.

        His health had never been vigorous and he died on 9th September 1864 at Sydney City, Greater Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, survived by his widow, Ann and several children. At the age of 72, Mrs.Ann Green expired on 27th December 27, 1881 at Parramatta, Greater Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Manton’s last words being 'O wondrous grace, saved at last', funeral tributes lauded his devotion to the Lord, educational vision, and example of Christian grace and liberality.


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