HALLORAN, Laurence Hynes (c. 1765-1831)

HALLORAN, Laurence Hynes (c. 1765-1831)
writer and early schoolmaster
was born about the year 1765. He was stated to be 65 at the time of his death on 8 March 1831. There is some disagreement about his name the Gentleman's Magazine and the British Museum Calalogue both give Hynes as his second name, the Australian Encyclopaedia gives Henry. He habitually signed letters with the initials only. One dispatch from England calls him O'Halloran. Nothing appears to be known of his parents or of his education, but he first came into notice by the publication of two volumes of verse, Odes, Poems and Translations (1790), and Poems on Various Occasions (1791), and probably about this period became master of Alphington Academy near Exeter; one of his pupils was Robert first Baron Gifford who was born in 1779. Halloran afterwards became a chaplain in the navy, and in 1805 was on the Britannia at the battle of Trafalgar. In 1811 he was rector of the grammar school at the Cape of Good Hope and a chaplain to the forces. He interfered in a duel between two officers and was removed to Simon's Town. He then resigned his position as chaplain and published a satire Cap-abilities or South African Characteristics. Proceedings were taken against him and he was sentenced to be banished from the colony. Returning to England, in November 1818 he was charged with forging a frank worth ten-pence, pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to seven years transportation.
Halloran arrived in Sydney in 1819, was soon given a ticket of leave, and established a school for "Classical, Mathematical and Commercial Education". When news of this reached London obstacles were put in his way by the English authorities, but Macquarie (q.v.) and Brisbane (q.v.) successively supported him, and he established a high reputation as a teacher. In February 1827 he applied for a grant of land for a free grammar school which he proposed to establish at Sydney. Darling was, however, less sympathetic, and Halloran had great difficulty in providing for his family of nine children. He founded a weekly paper, the Gleaner, of which the first number appeared on 5 April 1827. However, in September, an action against the paper for libel was successful, and its last number came out on 29 September. In 1828 Darling for the sake of his children gave him the office of coroner but he did not keep the position long, and in the same year was in trouble with Archdeacon Scott (q.v.), who objected to Halloran's prefacing some public lectures he was giving with part of the Anglican church service. In 1830 he established a "Memorial Office" the intention being that he should draw up statements for people desiring to bring their grievances before the government. He died at Sydney on 7 March 1831. In addition to the works mentioned Halloran, before leaving England, published four volumes of poems and a play, which are listed in Serle's Bibliography of Australasian Poetry and Verse.
Halloran was a good schoolmaster who honestly endeavoured to re-establish his reputation in Sydney. It was hard on him that his past sins were never allowed to rest. Unfortunately for himself he was of a quarrelsome nature and owed much of his misfortune to this throughout his life. The statement that he had forged his clerical orders is based on a private letter from Henry Hobhouse, under-secretary of state, to Earl Bathurst. But Halloran was not charged with this offence, and in the absence of sworn evidence it would be unjust to assume that the statement was correct. His son, Henry Halloran, born in 1811, became a leading public servant at Sydney and was created C.M.G. in 1878. He was the author of much verse which like his father's was of only mediocre quality. He was well-known in the literary circles of his day, and was a good friend to Kendall (q.v.).
The Gentleman's Magazine, 1818, vol. II, p. 462, 1831, vol. II, pp. 416-7, 482; Historical Records of Australia, ser. I, vols. X to XV; G. A. Wood, Journal and Proceedings Royal Australian Historical Society, vol. VIII, pp. 191-3; Debrett's Peerage, etc., 1888.

Dictionary of Australian Biography by PERCIVAL SERLE. . 1949.

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