VIVIENNE KEELY. Dixon of Botany Bay: the Convict Priest from Wexford. St Pauls Publications, Sydney, 2003; ISBN 1 876295 63 5; 96 pages.
This is a worthy example of the new scholarship on the early colonial history of New South Wales. It draws on new research on the 1798 Rebellion in Ireland and Father James Dixon's role (or lack of it), as well as his career as the first Prefect Apostolic of New Holland. It depicts the colourful rebels in Dixon's family, his dramatic rescue by a Protestant clergyman from an angry mob in Wales, his transportation to Botany Bay and his appointment by Governor King to celebrate the first officially-authorised Masses in Sydney, Parramatta and the Hawkesbury in 1803.
The author grew up in Dublin and is a member of the Sisters of...
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