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Historical Records of New Zealand

Rev. S. Marsden to Rev. J. Pratt

Rev. S. Marsden to Rev. J. Pratt.

Sydney, Augt. 11th, 1821.

Revd. and dear Sir,—

On my application to the Governor to accompany the Revd. J. Butler and his colleagues to New Zealand, His Excellency complied with my request, on the condition that I furnished lodgings at my own expenses for the clergyman who did my duty till I returned. As Government were then paying rent both for the Revds. R. Hill and J. Cross, and had paid for several years £100 per annum, I thought this condition rather hard, but at the same time it would have been of no use to have made any objection. I therefore looked out for a house for Mr. Cross, which he approved, and I agreed to take for him. In a few days Mr. Cross, from something that had been said to him, informed me the house was not good enough for him. I could not get a better in the Town of Parramatta. Finding that I could meet with no house good enough that I could get for him—at least one that he approved, I was obliged to take him and his family into my own house. He had a wife, three children, and one man servant. This was attended with some inconvenience, as my own family was large. Mr. Cross remained in my house till my return.

page 567

Shortly after His Majesty’s ship the Dromedary arrived from England, when Captain Skinner applied to the Governor, and wished me to accompany him to New Zealand, as I might prevent any difference between the natives and the ship’s company. I also offered my services to Capn. Skinner. The Govr. consented to my going in the Dromedary upon the former conditions, that Government should not pay any rent for the clergyman who did my duty during my absence. The Revd. Mr. Middleton was appointed. He was a young man, with only one child, his wife dead. Mr. Middleton took up his residence in my house. I was almost a year absent. He lived at my table at my expense till my return, and four or five months afterward, till Government had provided him with a station of his own. Tho’ Captain Skinner was very kind to me, yet I could not live at his table without making him some consideration.

In my two visits to New Zealand I was put to considerable expense. The Revd. J. Butler also killed five head of my cattle, and served the meat to the settlement. Under the above circumstances I feel I have a claim upon the Society to remunerate me in some degree for my losses and expenses. It is not necessary for me to make out any regular account, but to leave the matter to the consideration of the Committee. I have therefore taken the liberty to draw upon you for the sum of £100 on the above account. I flatter myself the Society will not think that sum too much, as I conceive the cattle would have been worth nearly that sum in Port Jackson, independent of the expenses of sending them to New Zealand. Should the Committee not approve of the bill, I will thank you to honour it, and I will settle with you when I receive information from you on the subject.…

I am anxious/to hear if the bill for the Active oil is paid which was forwarded when I was at New Zealand. The Active is now at the Derwent, and has been very successful, as you will hear from Mr. Campbell. I hope the vessel will not burden the Society with any material expense.

I remain, &c.,

Samuel Marsden. Revd. J. Pratt.

P.S.—A Mr. Dixon, master of the Regalia, will deliver this, and if he should come out again, you may send anything by him, for he is a very careful man.