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The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Murphy, Right Rev. Francis

< The Dictionary of Australasian Biography

Murphy, Right Rev. Francis, D.D., first Roman Catholic Bishop of Adelaide, was born at Navan, co. Meath, Ireland, in 1796, and educated at the Diocesan Seminary in that town, and at St. Patrick's, Maynooth. At the latter College he was for some time Prefect of Studies, and was ordained in 1826. The scene of his early pastoral labours was at Bradford, in Yorkshire, and at Liverpool, but in 1838 he went on mission duty to New South Wales, succeeding the late Bishop Ullathorne as Vicar-General of the diocese of Sydney. When the suffragan sees of Adelaide, Perth and Hobart were constituted, in 1842, Father Murphy was appointed the first Bishop of the capital of South Australia, and was consecrated in Sydney in Sept. 1844, this being the first occasion on which the ceremony was performed in Australia. He assumed his episcopal functions at Adelaide in Nov. 1884, and consecrated St. Mary's, Morphett Vale—the first Roman Catholic church erected in South Australia—successfully superintending the early development of the various ecclesiastical institutions which have since multiplied so enormously. He died in Adelaide on April 26th, 1858.