Rev. Septimus Hungerford
The second incumbent of St. Peter’s Church, Armidale, the Rev. Septimus Hungerford, came to Australia in May 1828 with his family as an Irish immigrant. The New South Wales Government census that year listed the members of the family as CF, Came Free, with Septimus, aged three years, the youngest boy in a family of eight children. They sailed from England on the 450 ton vessel the Alexander Henry, with their parents and four servants. After an adventurous voyage, in which they were chased by pirates, they berthed in Sydney, where they lived for a short time, after which Septimus’ father, a retired army officer, took up a property in the Hunter region, where the children grew up.
Septimus eventually trained for the ministry, and in February 1854, newly ordained and newly married, brought his bride, Eliza, from Sydney to the parsonage in Armidale, where they lived for 22 years. There four sons and two daughters were born, and it was a centre of hospitality for many visiting clergy and other church members.
Besides conducting regular services in Armidale and in the surrounding district, Septimus Hungerford was frequently on the road, travelling, usually on horseback, to the many centres of worship in his extensive and widespread parish.