Summary

Prayer book published, according to the interior frontispiece for the book of Psalms, in 1842 in Dunedin, Scotland [spelt 'Duneidin' in the book]. It belonged to Alexander McKenzie, born in Gisborne, Victoria in 1863. He was the son of Kenneth McKenzie and Hannah Glass, who married in Melbourne in 1857 and lived in Gisborne. The prayer book came into Alexander's possession in Newham near Woodend around 1900, and was passed on from his youngest daughter Helen to her niece Valerie Roberts, around 2000.

This area was known from the 1850s for its strong settlement by emigrants from the Scottish Highlands. Gaelic church services were held in churches at Newham, Woodend and Bulla. Alexander's nephew Raymond recalled that his uncle used the Gaelic prayer book in the Newham Presbyterian Church up until the time Gaelic Services ceased.

Physical Description

Brown leather bound prayer book with decorative inlay impressions on cover. First few pages missing as a result of fire damage. Final section of psalms has publication date 1842. Entire text in Scottish Gaelic.

Significance

This is an important example of a nineteenth century Christian prayer book in a language other than English. It has a strong provenance and symbolises the significant migration experience of one cultural community from the mid nineteenth century, including the importance of both religion (in this case Presbyterian) and language (Gaelic).

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