Life and Work of Samuel Marsden
Richard Baxter, after describing his ministerial labours at Kidderminster in preaching and visiting from house to house, has these remarkable words: “But all these, my labours, even preaching and preparing for it, were but my recreations, and, as it were, the work of my spare hours; for my writings were my chiefest daily labour.” Mr. Marsden had his recreations, too. Amidst the anxieties of his colonial chaplaincy he found or made opportunities to conduct a work which of itself would have been sufficient to exhaust the energies and to immortalise the memory of any other man. We devote this chapter to a short, and, of necessity, imperfect sketch of these his recreations in the missionary field.
On his return from England in 1810, he found disastrous tidings of the Tahitian mission awaiting his arrival. Disheartened by their utter want of success, divided amongst themselves, distracted with fears of danger from the natives, several of the missionaries had fled from their posts, and taken refuge in New South Wales. The work appeared to be on the eve of ruin, and it was owing in no small measure to the firmness and wise conduct of Mr. Marsden that it was not, for a time at least, abandoned. “Sooner,” he says, in one of his page 66 letters to the Society at Home, “than that shall be the case, I will give up my chaplaincy, and go myself and live at Otaheite.”
Yet it was no easy task to inspire others with his own courage, or to impart his hopeful spirit to a desponding band of men. He felt the difficulty, and acted towards them in the most considerate manner. Instead of at once insisting on their return, he received them into his family, where, it is scarcely necessary to say, they were treated with that patriarchal hospitality for which the parsonage of Parramatta was famed. When a few months had passed, and their spirits were cheered and their health restored, the question of their return to Tahiti was introduced and quietly discussed. Their kind and pious host had never for an instant doubted their ultimate success. We have perused numerous letters addressed by him to the London Missionary Society, and to various friends in England; but in not one of them is the shadow of a doubt expressed as to the triumph of the Gospel in Tahiti and the Society Islands; and we may extend the remark to the New Zealand mission, as shown by his correspondence with the Church Missionary Society a few years later.
About this period a reaction had taken place in England amongst religious people. The fond hopes they had unwisely entertained of seeing vast results wherever the Gospel was introduced among the heathen and upon the first proclamation of it had been grievously disturbed; and now the tide ran in the opposite page 67 direction. Nothing appears to have given Mr. Marsden more uneasiness than the general lukewarmness of the Church of Christ at Home, and their despondency as to the success of missions. He speaks of his “anxious days and sleepless nights.” But his own courage never failed; and this high undoubting faith rests always on the same foundation. The missionaries were induced to return to their deserted posts; and to resume their work in a higher spirit of faith and cheerfulness. It was not long before hopeful signs broke out, and within ten years Pomare, the sovereign, became a Christian king, and the island of Tahiti a Christian land.
The distance of these missions from Australia, and the difficulty of communicating with them, suggested to Mr. Marsden the advantage of employing a vessel entirely on missionary service. When his mind was once made up, he lost no time. The consent of the societies in England could not all at once be gained; so he resolved, at his own cost, to purchase a missionary ship, the first probably that ever floated on the sea, and bought the Active, a brig of 100 tons burden, for the service of the two great missions on which his heart was fixed.
The following letter, addressed to the Rev. George Burder, though written two years later, is introduced here to complete our summary of the re-establishment of the Tahitian mission:—
Parramatta, June 5th, 1815.
Rev. and Dear Sir,—I received a short letter from you by the late arrivals, and found you had not got page 68 any very interesting accounts from the brethren at Otaheite. The last account I had from them, they were going on exceedingly well, and the Lord was owning and blessing their labours. You will hear I lately visited New Zealand, and also my views of that island. Finding that the societies in London could not make up their minds, neither as a body nor as individuals, to send out a vessel, I at last determined to purchase one for the purpose on my own account. The various expenses attending it have created me some little pecuniary difficulties; but they are only known to myself, and not such as will be attended with any serious consequence. I hope in a little time I shall be able to surmount them; whether I shall keep the vessel in my own hands or not, I am not certain as yet. I cannot do it without some assistance at the first; if I could, I certainly would not trouble any of my friends. The vessel has been twice at New Zealand, and is gone a third time. When she returns I intend her to visit the brethren at Otaheite. It is my intention that she should sail in August next to Otaheite. The brethren there have been labouring hard to build a vessel for themselves, which is almost completed. I have agreed to take a share with them in her. During the time the brethren have been building their vessel, the work of the Lord appears to have prospered very much, far beyond all expectation. I estimate the expenses of the vessel at £1500 per annum, and I think, if I am not mistaken in my views, that her returns will not be less than £1000 per annum, and perhaps more. I may venture to say I should not call on the two Societies for more than the sum I have stated, namely £500 per annum from this time. I will not demand anything if the returns cover the expenses for the use of the vessel.
These returns were to be obtained by “freighting the Active with the produce of the page 69 industry of the natives, and trading with them in return.” This would “stimulate their exertions, correct their vagrant minds, and enrich them with the comforts and conveniences of civil life.” The letter concludes by suggesting yet another mission, for the large heart of the writer saw in the approaching triumph of the Gospel in his favourite missions only a call to fresh exertions.
I wish to mention to you that it would be a great object if the Society would turn their thoughts a little to the Friendly Islands. New Zealand being on one side, and the Society Islands on the other, with labourers now upon them, the Friendly Islands ought not to be left destitute. These islands are very populous, and as the London Missionary Society first began the work there, I think they should renew their attempt. I cannot recommend any establishment upon any of the islands in the South Seas, unless commerce is more or less attended to, in order to call forth the industry of the natives. Provided the Society as a body will not consent to have anything to do with commerce, I see no reason why a few pious friends might not, who wish to aid the missionary cause. You cannot form a nation without commerce and the civil arts. A person of information who is well acquainted with the Friendly Islands informed me that the labour of a hundred thousand men might be brought into action upon these islands in producing sugar, cordage, cotton, etc…. A hundred thousand men will never form themselves into any regular society, and enjoy the productions of their country, without commerce. Should the Society have any doubts upon the point, let them authorize an inquiry into the state of these islands, when there is an opportunity to examine them, and a report of their page 70 inhabitants and their productions laid out before them.
Mr. Marsden then describes the openings at New Zealand, and concludes a long letter thus:
I have stated my sentiments with great haste. You will excuse the hasty scrawl. I can assure you my sincere wish and prayer to the great Head of the Church is that all may prosper that love Him.
I am, dear sir, yours affectionately,
A postscript adds:—
Since writing this letter, I have determined to keep the Active in my own hands.
The designation of two laymen, Messrs. Hall and King, for the New Zealand mission by the Church Missionary Society in 1808 has been mentioned. They sailed from England, with Mr. Marsden, in 1810, and were soon after followed by Mr. Kendall, and the three assembled at New South Wales, intending to sail thence without delay for the scene of their future work. But here fresh difficulties arose. Mr. Marsden's intention was to accompany them, and in person to meet the first dangers, and lay, as it were, the first stone. But this the new Governor absolutely forbade. To him, and, in fact, to most men in his circumstances, the whole scheme seemed utterly preposterous. The idea of converting the savages of New Zealand was the chimera of a pious enthusiast, a good and useful man in his way, but one who was not to be allowed idly to squander the lives of others, to say nothing of his own life.page 71
Nor were the Governor's objections altogether without foundation. The latest news from New Zealand was that an English ship, the Boyd, had been seized and burned by the cannibals in the Bay of Islands, and every soul on board, seventy in all, killed and eaten. The report was true, except that, out of the whole of the ship's company, two women and a boy had been spared to live in slavery with the savages. A New Zealand chief had sailed on board, as it afterwards appeared, and had been treated with brutal indignities similar to those which Duaterra suffered from the captain of the Santa Anna. He smothered his resentment, and, waiting the return of the Boyd to the Bay of Islands, summoned his tribe, who, on various pretences, crowded the deck of the ship, and at a given signal rushed upon the crew, dispatched them with their clubs and hatchets, and then gorged themselves and their followers on the horrible repast.
All that Mr. Marsden could obtain at present was permission to charter a vessel if a captain could be found sufficiently courageous to risk his life and ship in such an enterprise, and to send out the three missionaries as pioneers; with a reluctant promise from the Governor that if, on the ship's return, all had turned out well, he should not be hindered from following. For some time no such adventurous captain could be found. At length, for the sum of £600 for a single voyage, an offer was made, but Mr. Marsden looked upon the sum as far too much; and this, with other considerations, page 72 induced him to purchase his own missionary brig, the Active, in which Messrs. Hall and Kendall finally set sail for the Bay of Islands. They carried a message to Duaterra, entreating him to receive them kindly, and inviting him, too, to return with them to Parramatta, bringing along with him two or three friendly chiefs.
Duaterra, after his visit to Mr. Marsden, on his way from England, had again suffered great hardships from the perfidy of the master of the Frederick, with whom he had embarked from New South Wales under an express engagement to be set on shore at the Bay of Islands, where his tribe dwelt. He was carried to Norfolk Island, and there left; and, to aggravate his wrongs and sorrows, the vessel passed within two miles of his own shores and in sight of his home. He was defrauded, also, of his share of the oil he had procured with his companions, worth £100. A whaler found him on Norfolk Island, almost naked and in the last stage of want, and brought him once more to Australia and to his friend and patron, Mr. Marsden. A short stay sufficed; he sailed again from Sydney, and soon found himself, to his great joy, amongst his friends in New Zealand.
On the arrival of the Active with its missionaries—the first messengers of Christ who landed on its shores—he was there to greet them, and to repay a thousandfold the kindness of his friend the minister of Parramatta, in the welcome he secured for these defenceless strangers. They carried with them a present page 73 which, trifling as it may seem, was not without its share of influence in the great work; the story is suggestive, and may serve a higher purpose than merely to amuse the reader.
Duaterra had been provided by Mr. Marsden with a supply of wheat for sowing on his return to New Zealand. No such thing as a field of grain of any kind had yet waved its golden ears on that fertile soil. To this accomplished savage the honour belongs of first introducing agriculture into an island destined, within forty years, to rival the best farms of England both in the value of its crops and the variety of its produce. The neighbouring chiefs and their tribes viewed with wonder first the green ears and then the growing corn. The wild potato,* the fern, and a few other roots were the only produce of the earth they were yet acquainted with, and when Duaterra assured them that his field of wheat was to yield the flour out of which the bread and biscuits they had tasted on English ships were made, they tore up several plants, expecting to find something resembling their own potato at the root. That the ears themselves should furnish the materials for a loaf was not to be believed. Duaterra meant to impose upon them, or else he had been duped himself, but they were not to be cajoled with the tales of a traveller.
* The Kumara, commonly called the sweet potato (Ipomœa chrysorrhizo).
At length the Active brought the important present of a hand-mill for grinding corn. Duaterra's friends assembled to watch the experiment, still incredulous of the promised result; but when the meal began to stream out beneath the machine their astonishment was unbounded; and when a cake was produced, hastily baked in a frying-pan, they shouted and danced for joy. Duaterra was now to be trusted when he told them that the missionaries were good men. And thus the first favourable impression was made upon the savage Maoris, whose race was in the next generation to become a civilized and Christian people.
* Hongi was one of the most celebrated of the Maori chiefs.
The Active reached New South Wales on the 22nd of August, 1814. Nothing could exceed the joy which Mr. Marsden experienced on the successful termination of the voyage, and being filled with an earnest desire to promote the dissemination of the Gospel amongst the New Zealanders, and having obtained the Governor's permission, he determined to accompany the missionaries on their return to the Bay of Islands. To his friend, Mr. Avison Terry, he wrote just before he sailed, the 7th of October, 1814:—
It is my intention to visit New Zealand and see what can be done to promote the eternal welfare of the inhabitants of that island. I have now several of the chiefs living with me at Parramatta. They are as noble a race of men as are to be met with in any part of the world. I trust I shall be able, in some measure, to put a stop to those dreadful murders which have been committed upon the island for some years past, both by the Europeans and the natives. They are a much injured people, notwithstanding all that has been advanced against them. The time is now come, in my opinion, for them to be favoured with the everlasting Gospel; and I trust to hear the joyful sound in those dark and dreary regions of sin and spiritual bondage. I have long had the most ardent wish to visit these poor heathen, but have never till the present time obtained permission. I have submitted my views to the Church Missionary Society, and solicited their aid. The expense of establishing a mission here will at first be very considerable. Should the Society approve of my views, no doubt they will give their page 76 support, but if they cannot enter into them in the manner I do, I cannot expect that assistance from them which may be required. My own means will enable me to set the mission on foot in the first instance, and I have little doubt but it will succeed.
On the 19th of November, 1814, he embarked on his great mission, with a motley crew, such as, except perhaps on some other missionary ship, has seldom sailed in one small vessel—savages and Christian teachers and enterprising mechanics, their wives and children, cattle and horses. Of this strangely assorted company he gives the following description:—
The number of persons on board the Active, including women and children, was thirty-five; the master, his wife and son, Messrs. Kendall, Hall, and King, with their wives and children, eight New Zealanders, (including Duaterra and his uncle the great warrior Shunghie or Hongi), two Otaheitans, and four Europeans belonging to the vessel, besides Mr. John Lydiard Nicholas* and myself; there were also two sawyers, one smith, and a runaway convict whom we afterwards found on board, a horse and two mares, one bull and two cows, with a few sheep and poultry. The bull and cows have been presented by Governor Macquarie from his Majesty's herd.
* John Liddiard Nicholas, an Australian landowner, who published his New Zealand experiences in “A Narrative of a Voyage to New Zealand, performed in the years 1814 and 1815, in company with the Rev. Samuel Marsden.”
Landing of Samuel Marsden at Bay of Islands, Dec. 19th. 1814.
Mr. Marsden's fame, as the friend of the New Zealanders, had arrived before him: “I told them my name, with which they were all well acquainted…. We were now quite free from all fear, as the natives seemed desirous to show us attention by every possible means in their power.”
The Active dropped her anchor a few days after at Whangaroa, near the Bay of Islands, the scene of the massacre of the Boyd's crew, and there amongst the very cannibals by whose hands their countrymen had fallen so recently the first Christian mission to New Zealand was opened. A fierce and unholy revenge had been taken, in the murder of Tippahee,* a native chief, and all his family, by an English crew who had visited Whangaroa after the Boyd's destruction, and Tippahee, as Mr. Marsden always maintained, suffered unjustly, having had no share in the dreadful massacre.
* Te Pahi.
Duaterra and Shunghie had often told of the bloody war, arising out of the affair of the Boyd, that was raging while they were at Parramatta, between the people of Whangaroa (the tribe of Tippahee) and the inhabitants of the Bay of Islands, who were their own friends and followers; the Whangaroans accusing the people of the Bay of Islands of having conspired with the English in the murder of Tippahee. When the Active arrived, several desperate battles had been fought, and the war was likely to continue.
Mr. Marsden was determined to establish peace amongst these contending tribes. He was known already as the friend of Duaterra and Shunghie; he now felt that he must convince the other party of his good intentions. He did not come amongst them as an ally of either, but as the friend of both; he resolved therefore to page 79 pass some time with the Whangaroans; and, with a degree of intrepidity truly astonishing even in him, not only ventured on shore, but actually passed the night, accompanied by his friend Mr. Nicholas alone, with the very savages who had killed and eaten his countrymen.
After a supper of fish and potatoes in the camp of Shunghie, they walked over to the hostile camp, distant about a mile. The Maoris received the two white strangers very cordially. “We sat down amongst them, and the chiefs surrounded us.” Mr. Marsden then introduced the subject of his embassy, explained the object of the missionaries in coming to live amongst them, and showed how much peace would conduce in every way to the welfare of all parties. A chief, to whom the Europeans gave the name of George, acted as interpreter; he had sailed on board an English ship, and spoke English well. Mr. Marsden tells us how the first night was passed:—
As the evening advanced the people began to retire to rest in different groups. About eleven o'clock Mr. Nicholas and I wrapped ourselves in our great coats, and prepared for rest. George directed me to lie by his side. His wife and child lay on the right hand, and Mr. Nicholas close by. The night was clear; the stars shone bright, and the sea in our front was smooth; around us were innumerable spears stuck upright in the ground, and groups of natives lying in all directions, like a flock of sheep upon the grass, as there were neither tents nor huts to cover them. I viewed our present situation with sensations and page 80 feelings that I cannot express, surrounded by cannibals who had massacred and devoured our countrymen. I wondered much at the mysteries of providence, and how these things could be. Never did I behold the blessed advantage of civilization in a more grateful light than now. I did not sleep much during the night. My mind was too seriously occupied by the present scene, and the new and strange ideas it naturally excited. About three in the morning I rose and walked about the camp, surveying the different groups of natives. When the morning light returned we beheld men, women, and children, asleep in all directions like the beasts of the field. I had ordered the boat to come on shore for us at daylight; and soon after Duaterra arrived in the camp.
In the morning he gave an invitation to the chiefs to breakfast on board the Active, which they readily accepted:—
At first I entertained doubts whether the chiefs would trust themselves with us or not, on account of the Boyd, lest we should detain them when we had them in our power; but they showed no signs of fear, and went on board with apparent confidence. The axes, billhooks, prints, etc., I intended to give them were all got ready after breakfast; the chiefs were seated in the cabin in great form to receive the presents, I sat on the one side, and they on the other side of the table; Duaterra stood and handed me each article separately that I was to give them. Messrs. Kendall, Hall, and King, with the master of the Active and his son, were all one after the other introduced to the chiefs. The chiefs were at the same time informed what duty each of the three persons were appointed to do—Mr. Kendall to instruct their children, Mr. Hall to build houses, boats, etc., Mr. King to make fishing lines, and Mr. Hanson to command the Active, page 81 which would be employed in bringing axes and such things as were wanted from Sydney, to enable them to cultivate their lands and improve their country. When these ceremonies were over, I expressed my hope that they would have no more wars, but from that time would be reconciled to each other. Duaterra, Shunghie, and Koro Koro shook hands with the chiefs of Whangaroa, and saluted each other as a token of reconciliation by joining their noses together. I was much gratified to see these men at amity once more.
The chiefs now took their leave, much pleased with the attention of Mr. Marsden, and still more so with his presents; and they promised for the future to protect the missionaries and never to injure the European traders. Some of the presents excited no little wonder; no New Zealander, except the few who, like Duaterra, had been on foreign travel, had even seen either cows or horses, for the largest quadruped yet naturalized in the island was the pig, and even that had been introduced recently. Duaterra had often told his countrymen of the horse and its rider, and in return was always laughed at; but when the horses were now landed and Mr. Marsden actually mounted one of them, they stood in crowds and gazed in astonishment.
The first Sunday on which Divine Service was held in New Zealand was Christmas Day, the 25th of December, 1814, “a day much to be remembered.” Mr. Marsden thus describes it:
Duaterra passed the remaining part of the previous day in preparing for the Sabbath. He inclosed about half an acre of land with a fence, erected a pulpit and reading desk in the centre, and covered the whole page 82 either with black native cloth or some duck which he had brought with him from Port Jackson. He also procured some bottoms of old canoes, and fixed them up as seats on each side of the pulpit, for the Europeans to sit upon; intending to have Divine Service performed there the next day. These preparations he made of his own accord; and in the evening informed me that everything was ready for Divine Service. I was much pleased with this singular mark of his attention. The reading-desk was about three feet from the ground, and the pulpit about six feet. The black cloth covered the top of the pulpit, and hung over the sides; the bottom of the pulpit, as well as the reading-desk, was part of a canoe. The whole was becoming, and had a solemn appearance. He had also erected a flagstaff on the highest hill in the village, which had a very commanding view.
On Sunday morning, when I was upon deck, I saw the English flag flying, which was a pleasing sight in New Zealand. I considered it as the signal and the dawn of civilization, liberty and religion, in that dark and benighted land. I never viewed the British colours with more gratification; and flattered myself they would never be removed, till the natives of that island enjoyed all the happiness of British subjects.
About ten o'clock we prepared to go ashore, to publish for the first time the glad tidings of the Gospel. I was under no apprehension for the safety of the vessel; and, therefore, ordered all on board to go on shore to attend Divine Service, except the master and one man. When we landed, we found Koro Koro, Duaterra, and Shunghie, dressed in regimentals, which Governor Macquarie had given them, with their men drawn up, ready to be marched into the inclosure to attend Divine Service. They had their swords by their sides, and switches in their hands. We entered the inclosure, and were placed on the seats on each page 83 side of the pulpit. Koro Koro marched his men, and placed them on my right hand, in the rear of the Europeans: and Duaterra placed his men on the left. The inhabitants of the town, with the women and children, and a number of other chiefs, formed a circle round the whole. A very solemn silence prevailed—the sight was truly impressive. I rose up and began the service with singing the “Old Hundredth” Psalm; and felt my very soul melt within me when I viewed my congregation, and considered the state they were in. After reading the service, during which the natives stood up and sat down at the signals given by Koro Koro's switch, which was regulated by the movement of the Europeans, it being Christmas Day, I preached from the second chapter of St. Luke's Gospel and tenth verse, “Behold, I bring you glad tidings of great joy,” etc. The natives told Duaterra that they could not understand what I meant. He replied, that they were not to mind that now, for they would understand by-and-by; and that he would explain my meaning as far as he could. When I had done preaching, he informed them what I had been talking about. Duaterra was very much pleased that he had been able to make all the necessary preparations for the performance of Divine worship in so short a time, and we felt much obliged to him for his attention. He was extremely anxious to convince us that he would do everything in his power, and that the good of his country was his principal consideration. In this manner, the Gospel has been introduced into New Zealand; and I fervently pray that the glory of it may never depart from its inhabitants till time shall be no more.
The confidence of the natives in Mr. Marsden was now unbounded, and scarcely less was the page 84 confidence he reposed in them; and he resolved upon a short coasting voyage with the view of exploring their different harbours, and making arrangements for the future extension of the missions. Many of the chiefs and warriors, led by Duaterra, wished to sail with him, and without the slightest misgiving twenty-eight savages, fully armed after the fashion of their country, were invited on board the Active, manned as she was by only seven Europeans. “I do not believe,” Mr. Nicholas observes, “that a similar instance can be shown of such unlimited confidence placed in a race of savages known to be cannibals. We are wholly in their power, and what is there to hinder them from abusing it? Next to the overruling providence of God, there is nothing but the character of the ship, which seems to have something almost sacred in their eyes, and the influence of Mr. Marsden's name, which acts as a talisman amongst them. They feel convinced that he is sacrificing his own ease and comfort to promote their welfare.”
Their leave of absence having nearly expired, Mr. Marsden and his companions were now obliged to prepare for their voyage homeward. They had laid the foundations of a great work—how great, none of them could tell. But they were full of faith in God, while, as patriots, they exulted in the prospect of extending the renown of dear old England.
Mr. Marsden, in his conversations with the natives, explained to them the nature of our government, and the form of trial by jury; he page 85 discoursed with them upon the evils of polygamy, and showed his marked abhorrence of their darling vices, theft and lying. A chisel being lost from the Active, a boat was sent on shore, manned by Duaterra and other chiefs, to demand restitution; the culprit was not found, nor the implement restored; but a whole village was aroused from its slumbers at midnight, and the inhabitants literally trembled with fear of the consequences when they saw the angry chiefs, though no harm was permitted to ensue.
An example of high integrity was always set. Mr. Marsden might, for instance, have obtained land, or timber, or, in short, whatever he required in exchange for ammunition and muskets; but he sternly interdicted the sale or barter of these articles upon any terms whatever, and to this resolution he always adhered. Again and again does he express his determination, as well in this its earliest stage as in later periods of the mission, rather to abandon the whole work, which was far dearer to him than life itself, than to suffer it to be tainted by what he considered so nefarious a barter. “I further told them,” he says, “that the smith should make axes or hoes, or any other tools they wanted; but that he was on no account to repair any pistols or muskets, or make any warlike instruments, no not even for the greatest chiefs upon the island.” And he “took an opportunity upon all occasions to impress upon their minds the horrors their cannibalism excited; how page 86 much their nation was disgraced by it, and dreaded on this account.”
One thing still remained to be done. The missionaries possessed no land, and were liable, after his departure, to be removed or driven out at the mere caprice of the tribes amongst whom they settled. He therefore determined, if possible, to purchase for them a small estate. It consisted of about two hundred acres; and the first plot of ground to which England can lay claim in New Zealand was formally made over in a deed, of which Mr. Nicholas has fortunately preserved a transcript. It was executed in the presence of a number of chiefs, who were assembled to take leave of the Active on the day before she sailed, and ran as follows:—
Know all men to whom these presents shall come, that I, Anodee O Gunna, king of Rangheehoo, in the island of New Zealand, have in consideration of twelve axes to me in hand now paid and delivered by the Reverend Samuel Marsden of Parramatta, in the territory of New South Wales, given, granted, bargained, and sold; and by this present instrument do give, grant, bargain, and sell unto the committee of the Church Missionary Society for Africa and the East, instituted in London, in the kingdom of Great Britain, and to their heirs and successors, all that piece and parcel of land situate in the district of Hoshee, in the island of New Zealand, bounded on the south side by the bay of Lippouna and the town of Rangheehoo, on the north side by a creek of fresh water, and on the west by a public road page 87 into the interior, together with all the rights, members, privileges, and appurtenances thereto belonging; to have and to hold to the aforesaid committee of the Church Missionary Society for Africa and the East, instituted in London, in the kingdom of Great Britain, their heirs, successors, and assigns, for ever, clear and freed from all taxes, charges, impositions, and contributions whatsoever, as and for their own absolute and proper estate for ever.
In testimony whereof I have to these presents, thus done and given, set my hand at Hoshee, in the island of New Zealand, this twenty-fourth day of February, in the year of Christ, one thousand eight hundred and fifteen.(Signatures to the grant.)
J. L. Nicholas.
To this was affixed a complete drawing of the “amoco,”* or tattooing of Gunna's face, done by Shunghie, on one side of which he set his mark.
His own name appears on the instrument only as the agent or representative of a Missionary Society in whom the property was vested; and yet at the time the purchase was made he was uncertain whether the bare expenses of his voyage, or even the cost and charges of his vessel, would ever be repaid to him. He sought neither wealth, nor honour, nor preferment, but acted with a simple aim to the glory of God. The memorial of such a name can never perish amongst men; and should it be forgotten, still his record is on high.
Mr. Marsden returned from his first voyage to New Zealand accompanied by no fewer than ten chiefs, and landed at Sydney on the 23rd of March, 1815. He and Mr. Nicholas immediately presented themselves to the Governor, who “congratulated them on their safe return,” from what, in common with all the colony, he regarded as a most perilous and rash adventure.