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Matthew Burnett
Title : Matthew Burnett Matthew Burnett
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Source : Frearson's monthly illustrated Adelaide news, March 1883, supplement
Date of creation : 1883
Format : Newspaper
Dimensions : 200 x 140 mm
Catalogue record
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Description :
Yorkshire born Matthew Burnett settled in Victoria in 1863. He was perhaps the most colourful of the early revivalist preachers. Burnett visited Adelaide in 1880, and subsequently spent almost 3 years in South Australia, visiting almost every town in the colony. Initially he held weekly meetings in the Adelaide Town Hall and open air meetings in Light Square - the latter included brass bands, singers and banners, and culminated in torch-lit processions to Pirie Street Wesleyan Church.
Combining a message of moral reform with abstinence from alcohol, Burnett induced many to sign a pledge promising teetotalism, including 1000 at Port Adelaide, and 2000 at Moonta Mines. He claimed to have induced six million Australians to sign the pledge. Burnett's mission  galvanized opposition to the opening of hotels on Sunday, but the South Australian Parliament was successfully lobbied against this move. Burnett was reportedly theatrical and flamboyant in his presentations. Critics referred to his 'screech-owl style of oratory' (Lantern, 8 May 1880, p. 9).
John Gore and Edward Saunders, who had previously joined the Salvation Army in England, met through Burnett's Light Square meetings and subsequently organised the first Salvation Army meetings in Adelaide, in which they chose a similar format to Burnett's assemblies.
Related names :

Burnett, Matthew, 1839-

Gore, John

Saunders, Edward

Adelaide Town Hall

Light Square (Adelaide, S. Aust.)

Pirie Street Wesleyan Church (Adelaide, S. Aust)

Salvation Army (Adelaide, S. Aust.)

Coverage year : 1883
Place : Adelaide (S. Aust.)
Region : Adelaide city
Further reading :
Hilliard, David. Popular revivalism in South Australia from the 1870s to the 1920s, Black Forest, S. Aust.: Uniting Church Historical Society, 2005



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