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Historical Records of New Zealand

Rev. S. Marsden To Rev. D. Coates

Rev. S. Marsden To Rev. D. Coates.

Parramatta, 14th Octr., 1829.

Dear Sir,—

The Revd. Mr. Brown has just arrived, from whom I learn that it is finally arranged by the Society that the missionary children are to be educated in New Zealand. In consequence of this determination, the seminary at Parramatta, intended for the missionaries’ children, will not now be required. Mr. Lisk and his family will leave Parramatta in a day or two in order to embark for England, and leaves the seminary where he has hitherto resided. From this arrangement I must prepare to refund the amount of the money I received from the Society on account of the building. The seminary cost me about £1,200; upwards of £800 I received from the Society, page 699 which sum I am very willing to return as soon as convenient. I think in 18 months or less I may be able to pay the whole, unless I should be greatly disappointed. Until it is paid I shall allow the Society what interest may be right. I will thank you to communicate to me the wishes of the Society by the first opportunity on this subject. I had made a provision some months ago for the payment of the whole amount should the children remain in New Zealand, but the person in whose hands I had deposited the funds has, unfortunately for me, become involved in his circumstances; in consequence I shall suffer a very serious loss; but the Society will not suffer by me, only a delay.

I may here observe that the whole of the corresponding committee perfectly agree with me in opinion that the missionaries’ children should be educated in civil society. We form our judgment partly from what we have seen of the children who have come to the colony from the different islands in the South Seas. All that we have seen appeared to have suffered much from their intercourse with the children of the heathens amongst whom they lived.…

I did what appeared to me to be absolutely necessary when I prepared the seminary for the welfare of the children; but, as the plan does not meet the views of the missionaries themselves, I have no more to say on the subject.…

With respect to the sum advanced to me by the Society on account of the seminary, I shall begin to refund it at the end of this quarter, and continue until that it is all paid, as I may find it convenient. The Revd. R. Hill will write to the Society by Mr. Lisk. Our new Archdeacon has arrived. I have had some conversation with him about the mission. He promised me he would do all in his power to promote the views of the Society, and I believe he will. I am much pleased with him, and I think we have the prospect of going on well. Our late Archdeacon, the Revd. Thos. Hobbs Scott, dined with me to-day for the last time. Mr. Scott has been traduced in the public papers, and in every possible way, as much as any man could be. We have agreed pretty well. The publishing of my last pamphlet produced a very extraordinary effect in the colony in my favour amongst all ranks. The truth had been concealed from the public mind. And it was not credited that the Legislative Council, the Court of enquiry, and the Magistrates could have done such acts of injustice towards me as were done. Archdeacon Scott was a member of the Court of enquiry, and also a member of the Legislative Council, and was supposed to have sanctioned all those proceedings against me which were so unjust, and so void of truth. Mr. Scott being my superior in the Church, page 700 his manner gave weight to the many false statements against me, both in the colony and in the Colonial Office. I had Sir Th. Brisbane, Chief Justice Forbes, Archdeacon Scott, the Colonial Secretary, the Lieut.-Governor, Col. Steward, and the Clerk of the Council, Dr. Douglass, all supported by the Editor of the Government Gazette, to contend with, in vindication of my character. I was obliged to bear every reproach at the time, and to wait for an opportunity to set my character right, and I embraced the first that offered. My original offence was reproving public crime. I bless God I am now quiet, and enjoy the testimony of a good conscience.

I remain, &c.,

D. Coates, Esq. Saml. Marsden.