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James Dredge (1796-1846)

James Dredge was the son of a cabinet-maker of Salisbury in Wiltshire. He became a local preacher at a young age and started a school in his native town at the age of 21. In 1838 on the recommendation of Jabez Bunting, Dredge was appointed one of four Assistant Protectors of the Aborigines in South Australia by the Secretary of State for the Colonies.

Due to the hostility of the settlers, Dredge relinquished his post in 1840 and opened a china and glass business in Melbourne that failed the following year. He then obtained employment as a salaried local preacher in the Methodist Church stationed in Geelong. Dredge offered for the itinerancy but was turned down. His health started to decline and he was advised to return to England — he died at sea one day from home.

Source: A Dictionary of Methodism in Britain and Ireland, edited by John A. Vickers (Epworth Press, Peterborough 2000 and MAM Fl.6.2.22 (MARC)

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