Ernest Northcroft Merrington

Ernest Northcroft Merrington

Name: Ernest Northcroft Merrington

Epoch: Early 20th Century (the \'Long Early Twentieth Century\')

Grouping Field: Humanities (Ideas Formatted as Ideas) and Social Science (Models)

Location Grouping: Individual\'s Work Location

Map Coordinates: 27°27\'40.7\"S 153°01\'16.1\"E

Years At Location: 1911-1941

One Historical Setting: Rev. Dr Ernest Northcroft Merrington, Emmanuel College, 465 Wickham Terrace, Spring Hill (1916)

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E.N. Merrington was the prime mover in the founding of Emmanuel College, the first residential college within the University of Queensland. He served, like David Garland, as Senior Chaplain to the Australian and New Zealand Division. Merrington was elected Moderator of the Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Queensland in 1916-1917. Unfortunately, no substantive biographical work has been done on Merrington. The real story remains hidden beyond the hagiography of a few local Christians.

Impact On Brisbane Society

Currently, too little has been researched on the life of E.N. Merrington to indicate the nature of his impact. What is known is that he was a highly educated man, unlike David Garland, but, in the populist ‘collective memory’, Merrington has been shaped as a Garland figure. Merrington was a Medallist B.A. and M.A. graduate of Sydney University, a prizeman in mental and moral philosophy at the Edinburgh University, and obtained his Doctor of Philosophy of the University of Harvard. According to The Brisbane Courier, Merrington:

“…studied in the graduate school under such leading thinkers as Professor William James, Josiah Royce, and Hugh Muenstirberg, and his work, examinations, and thesis for the doctorate were under the direct supervision of these philosophers. At Edinburgh he attended the theological lectures of Professors Martin and Marcus Dods, of New College, which included, amongst others, the subjects of Apologetics, Christian Ethics, and New Testament. He also studied logic and metaphysics under Professor Seth Pringle Pattison, and moral philosophy under Professor James Seth,… His thesis on “The Metaphysical Problem of Personality’, a critical and constructive study in the light of recent thought was authorised by the Harvard Division of Philosophy for publication.”

Primary research work is currently being conducted on Merrington’s work.


Unnamed. (ed.) Rev. Ernest Northcroft Merrington, M.A., Ph.D: Testimonials, Presbyterian Church of Australia, Brisbane Qld, 1920.

Saint Andrew’s Uniting Church Heritage Committee Project.

Rev. Dr. E. N. Merrington. New Pastor of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church. The Brisbane Courier, Tuesday 26 July 1910, p. 5.

Image Citation

Ernest Northcroft Merrington. Archive: Saint Andrew’s Uniting Church Heritage Committee Project.