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Letter from Samuel Marsden to the Missionary Settlers and Mechanics Employed in the Service of the Church Missionary Society, Bay of Islands, March 18th, 1822

March 18th, 1822.

Dear Sirs,

As — complained very much of my injustice towards himself and others employed in the service of the Mission, in charging to you for the goods issued from the Society's store, the shipping expenses and insurance, which amounted to about 6 ½ per cent., and which had been charged in the account current by the Society to me, I have to request you will inform me if you feel yourself aggrieved by this charge, and whether you consider it just or unjust that you should pay the actual sum for the articles you receive, that the Society have paid in London for them. I shall be happy to forward any complaint you have to make upon this subject against me to the Society. I thought it just and I charged it—you may be of a different opinion. I derive no advantage from this. I do not make a gain of you. No part of the money ever comes to me, tho' a very deep impression has been made here upon the public mind, to my prejudice, from the statements of —, so much so that some of my friends strongly recommend me to bring the matter before a court of justice previous to Mr. —'s return, in order that he might prove that I had acted wrong, if he could. I beg to refer you to Mr. Williams, who knows what has been said upon this subject.

(Evidently John Williams). [Readers please note that Mr Henry Williams landed for the first time in New Zealand on August 3rd 1823, or nearly eighteen months after this letter was dated. He came to Australia in the Lord Sid-mouth, about June 1823, and left Port Jackson for New Zealand on the 23rd July in the Brampton.]

If I had acted improperly in this matter, you had the Society to appeal to. There was no necessity to throw me into the hands of the enemy for the sake of a few pounds, and which I have not benefited by. I spend my time in looking after the concerns of the Society, in providing for your wants. I travel at my own expense; and have all the anxiety and responsibility of the Mission upon me; as far as it can be laid upon me. This is enough, without any criminal charges being made against me by any of the missionaries, as they have the Society to appeal to to redress their wrongs.

I have only to request that you will state your complaints to me, and leave the Society to judge how far I have injured you as individuals; and give me an opportunity to reply to your charges, if you have any to make, and you will oblige.

Yours, etc.,