The Reverend Richard Johnson (1753-1827 ) was the first Christian clergyman in Australia. After graduating from Cambridge University (1784), where he had been a sizar, Johnson was appointed chaplain of the prison colony at New South Wales in 1786. In June 1793, he began to build a church himself, and by September completed a building capable of holding 500 people. Even allowing for the difference in the purchasing power of money and the comparative flimsiness of the structure, this was a remarkable achievement. In 1794 he published An Address to the Inhabitants of the Colonies established in New South Wales and Norfolk Island, and in 1800 obtained leave of absence to visit England. He practically retired in 1802, but so late as July 1805 he appears on a list of officers as "On leave in England, no successor or second clergyman appointed".