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One of the most colourful characters in the new colonies of Australia. Lang was born in Scotland in 1799 to a strict Presbyterian family. He graduated from Glasgow University and was ordained a Presbyterian minister in 1822. He travelled to Australia the following year and was appalled at the lack of morals in the colony. He raised the funds to build Australia's first Presbyterian church in 1824, and returned to England to recruit clergy in 1831.

On his return in 1837 he attempted to form the Australian College, but sectarian disputes led to its demise in 1854. Lang was prepared to work with the Catholics to defeat the Anglicans, much to the disgust of the largely Anglican authorities. He founded the Colonist newspaper to air his views and was repeatedly fined and even gaoled for libel and slander. He became known as "Dr Spluttermud" by his political adversaries.

Lang later became a representative of Port Phillip and campaigned for separation of the Victorian colony and an end to transportation. He died in 1878.

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