Francis de Witt Batty

History Seminar Series

School of Humanities and Social Science,
The University of Newcastle

2010, Semester 2


Held in the Cultural Collections (near the Information Desk)
Level 2, Auchmuty Library, Callaghan Campus
10am- 11am, followed by morning tea

29th October: Troy Duncan, University of Newcastle

“Francis de Witt Batty: advocate of the Middle Way and custodian of Empire”

Bishop Francis de Witt Batty

This paper examines the contribution made to national political debates by Francis de Witt Batty during the twenty-seven years he served as Bishop of Newcastle from 1931. A graduate of Balliol College Oxford and a convinced imperialist connected to the Round Table Movement, Batty used his position as bishop of one of the more important non-metropolitan dioceses to strengthen ties between Australia and the empire both before and after World War Two. While Batty had deep reservations about the political activism of Bishop Burgmann and argued that it was not the church’s duty to devise specific programs of social reform, he nevertheless came during the Depression of the 1930s to accept certain elements of the Social Gospel. In the 1940s, Batty hosted a series of interdenominational “Religion and Life” conferences in Newcastle which encouraged debate among church members about such issues as the creation of the Welfare State.

One thought on “Francis de Witt Batty

  1. Pingback: Francis de Witt Batty « UoN Cultural Collections club university

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