John Woolley P005

John Woolley (1816-1866) MA DCL (Oxon), first Professor of Classics was born in Hampshire, England, the son of a physician. He entered University College, London in 1830, studying Logic and Classics. In 1832 he won a scholarship to Exeter College, Oxford. In 1836 he took a first in Literae Humaniores, and an MA in 1839. In 1840 he was awarded a Stowell graduate scholarship to University College, and later that year was elected a fellow. In 1841 he was ordained in the Church of England. He married the same year and resigned his fellowship of University College. Woolley now became a schoolmaster, first being appointed Headmaster of the Free Grammar School at Hereford in 1842. From 1844 to 1849 he was Headmaster of Rossall School, Lancashire. In 1849 Woollley became Headmaster of Norwich Grammar School, but stayed only until 1851. In 1852 he was appointed Principal and Professor of Classics at the University of Sydney, taking up his duties in July 1852 as Australia's first Professor.

Woolley was a dedicated teacher and inspiring lecturer. However, his attitude to the proper role of the Church in education and society, and his religious liberalism, kept him isolated from Sydney society. Woolley was an active Freemason and involved in many religious organisations in the colony. He was also an elected trustee of the Australian Museum and a councillor of the Philosophical Society of NSW.

In late 1864 Woolley left for England, without his family, feeling he had failed in his work. Apparently, he tried to obtain an academic post in England, but did not find one. On his return to Sydney in 1866 the ship was lost in a storm and Woolley drowned.

	Item   Description                                  Date Range
	 No.
	1      Notebook containing notes on Euripides play  n.d.       
	       "Agamemnon".                                
	2      Notebook entitled "Mr Sewell Woolley (sent   25 Nov     
	       1835)".                                      1835      
	3      Testimonials to Rev. John Woolley,           n.d.       
	       headmaster of Rossall College, Fleetwood,   
	       England.                                    
	4      Printed copy of sermon given by Woolley at   14 Jul     
	       the Cromer Parish Church, entitled           1850      
	       "Religious Education the safeguard of the   
	       state".                                     
	5      Handwritten draft of lecture given by        27 Nov     
	       Woolley, entitled "The Idylls of the King",  1860      
	       dated Randwick 29 November 1860.            
	6      Inaugural lecture given by Woolley at the    28 May     
	       School of Arts Wollongong on 28 May 1861,    1861      
	       entitled "Schools of Art and Colonial       
	       Nationality".                               
	7      Printed copy of lecture given to the Darling 18 Dec     
	       Point Mutual Improvement Association on      1860      
	       Tuesday 18 December 1860, entitled "The     
	       Idylls of the King".                        
	8      Printed copy of sermon preached at a special 6 Apr 1862 
	       parade of the volunteer forces at Christ    
	       Church Sydney, entitled "The Soldier's      
	       Ministry".                                  
	9      Undated letter sent to Mr Manning.           n.d.       
	10     Printed extract of resolutions passed at a   26 Mar     
	       meeting at the Prince of Wales' Theatre,     1866      
	       Sydney, "for the purpose of certifying the  
	       public sympathy with Dr Woolley's family".  
	11     Mr Cope's speaking notes about the life of   n.d.       
	       Woolley (8 pages).                          
	12     Loose, printed copy of testimonials to Rev.  n.d.       
	       John Woolley [see item 3].                  

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