Historical Records of New Zealand
Rev. S. Marsden to Rev. J. Pratt
Rev. S. Marsden to Rev. J. Pratt.
Revd. and dear Sir,—
The Brixton has just arrived, and as a vessel is about to sail to the Isle of France, I embrace the opportunity of acknow- page 568 ledging the receipts of your letters by her. I have not seen the captain nor the Rev. Mr. Leigh as yet, and as the vessel is just leaving the harbour I shall not see them till my letter is closed.
I learn from Mr. Brown that he has accepted the bill for the oil sent in the Robt. Triale. I should not have allowed the Society to have run any risk of having the bill dishonored in the first instance if I had not been in New Zealand at the time the bill was drawn. The agreement was made with Mr. Kermode before any of the oil was procured, as I was leaving the colony for a time, and did not know what might happen in my absence. I shall be glad to hear of the safe arrival of the Shipley.
The Active has just come in from the Derwent. It is my intention to sell what black oil she may procure while in the service of the Society at Port Jackson. The proceeds will go towards the general expenses of the mission: no risk will then be run, or any further trouble to the Society at Home. The oil she has brought in this voyage I have had it sold; but not for private bills upon England, but will give the Society credit for what sum may be due, after the master and crew are paid, and other expenses. The oil is now landing, and will amount to £1,400 or upwards when it is all delivered. I have not drawn for any of the missionaries’ salaries for the present year, and hope to cover them by the proceeds of the vessel. As soon as the accounts can be made out I will forward them by the first opportunity.
I am happy to learn for certain that a new Governor is coming out. I can give thanks to God and take courage. I feel exceedingly indebted to President and Vice-Presidents for their kind consideration in waiting upon Sir Thomas Brisbane on my account. I hope this will prevent any unfavourable impressions from being made upon Sir Thomas’s mind by the Governor here. I have no doubt but he will remain till Sir Thomas arrives, and do all he can to injure those whom he does not esteem. I am much annoyed at the letter Gov. Macquarie has addressed to Lord Sidmouth and which has been printed and sent out here. In this letter he has not hesitated to make assertions relative to my conduct which he can never prove. He might as well have charged me with wilful murder at once. The letter is just arrived. I shall write to the Honorable Mr. Bennett on the subject and also to the Commissioner of Enquiry by the first opportunity.
With respect to selling the Active, I am as anxious that this should be done as the Society can possibly be. I have always wished for one vessel to do all the necessary service for the Society Islands and New Zealand. I am in some hopes of arranging this business with King Pomare in a short time, if the enemies here do not defeat my plan. A bold attempt has been made, but has not finally succeeded.page 569
I will thank you to inform Mr. Alert Hankey, Esq., that I have obtained a verdict in the Supreme Court against Edwards Eager for upwards of £1,200 in favour of Pomare. Eager has appealed to the Governor from this verdict, but I have no idea that he will even attempt to set it aside. Eager’s conduct to Pomare will show how little dependence can be placed on owners of vessels here when employed in any concerns with the islands. When the appeal is heard I shall transmit the whole account to the London M. Society. The accounts I sent to Mr. Hanky before the trial will shew the dreadful extortions of Eager, and what his intentions were. He hopes still to carry his point, and has sent a vessel down to Taheite with this view. Should he succeed, I apprehend the mission in the Society Islands will be greatly injured, tho’ at present in the most prosperous state. Should Eager come to London as a deligate from this country, appointed by the convicts or those who have been convicts, I do most sincerely hope he will meet with that reception from the religious world his conduct has so justly merited. The documents I forwarded to Mr. Hankey and to Lord Bathurst will shew the intentions he has in view. I am aware he will meet with the utmost support from the Governor, and all the influence he can exert will be called into action on his behalf. The Honorable Commissioner Bigge knows Eager well.
I have wrote these hasty lines as the ship has moved down the harbour. Whether I shall catch her or not I am uncertain.
Saml. MarsdenAddressed to Rev. J. Pratt.