Benjamin Glennie was born in Dulwich, Surrey, England, the 12th son of Dr William Glennie, principal of a private school in Dulwich. Glennie arrived in Sydney on 16 January 1848 and was ordained deacon on 19 March.

On 29 July, 1850 he was appointed by Bishop Tyrell to be incumbent for the Darling Downs, resident at Drayton, the parish being called St. Matthew’s. Official records show that the first service of the Church of England on the Darling Downs was held by the Rev. Benjamin Glennie on 20 August 1848 in the Bull’s Head Inn, Drayton.

Throughout his appointment he travelled thousands of miles ministering to his widely spread flock. Late in 1850 Benjamin Glennie purchased two allotments in Drayton, comprising five acres, in trust for the Church of England. In 1851 the parsonage with its slab walls and shingle roof was completed, two of the rooms being used as a church.

The founding of the four evangelist churches – St. Matthew’s Drayton, St. Mark’s, Warwick, St Luke’s, Toowoomba and St. John’s Dalby, is directly attributable to his efforts. He is also honoured as the founder of the Glennie Memorial School.

In 1860 Glennie left Drayton and moved to Warwick where he remained till about 1872. While there, at the age of 56, he married Mary Broughton Crawshaw. He returned to Drayton about 1872. 1876 saw Glennie return to Brisbane to take charge of the Parish of Toowong from which he resigned the following year.

He remained as Archdeacon of Brisbane till 1886 and was then appointed the first honorary Canon of St. John’s Cathedral. From then until his death in 1900 he lived in retirement.


LH Files – LH/Glennie, Benjamin, Rev.
Brightman, Max – “Benjamin Glennie apostle of the Downs” Toowoomba, M. Brightman, 1983
Watson, Tom – “The Reverend Benjamin Glennie : a lone survivor?” Royal Historical Society of Qld Journal Vol. 14, no. 11, May 1992, Pp 433-448