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Historical Records of New Zealand

Massacre of The Boyd, 1809

Massacre of The Boyd, 1809.

Letter from Mr. Kendall to the Church Mission in New Zealand, as given in the Cork Missionary Miscellany, 1815.)

The people of England, through a natural bias in favour of their own countrymen, can dwell on the cruelties and savage habits of the people of New Zealand. But the time is now arrived when they must hear of the cruelties of men who bear the Christian name among these very savages; and this by official documents, supported and established by respectable witnesses.

“We heard in England with horror of the massacre of Capt. Thompson of the Boyd and his men. I am not disposed to plead in favour of a law which does not discriminate the innocent from the guilty. Yet we were not at that time told the whole of the truth. Previous to this fatal catastrophe, some of our page 407 countrymen had been committing great depredations at New Zealand. The tops of the growing potatoes had been pulled up. The stores had been broken open by force, and the potatoes which the natives greatly valued and wanted, and which they had preserved with such care for their own support until the next potato season, had been violently taken away. This conduct, added to the cruel behaviour of Captain Thompson in flogging a young chief whom he had on board, taking from him the property which he possessed and had procured at Port Jackson, and sending him naked on shore, led to the destruction of the Boyd.“