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Historical Records of New Zealand

Rev. S. Marsden to Rev. J. Pratt

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

New South Wales, November 17th, 1821.

Reverend and dear Sir,—

I am happy to inform you that Sir Thos. Brisbane arrived here on the 7th inst. I had an interview with him the day he landed, when he renewed to me the assurances of his countenance and support, which he had made to the deputation in London. I feel very thankful to the gentlemen who waited upon Sir Thomas previous to his leaving England, as their influence may in a great measure, if not altogether, prevent Gov. Mac. from making any unfavourable impressions upon the mind of his successor. When Sir Thomas will take the command is uncertain, as Gov. Macquarie is absent from headquarters at this time. I shall studiously avoid on my part every occasion of offence, and hope for better times. The struggle with my superiors has been very long and painful. I should long since have escaped from the colony if my way had not been hedged up. Whatever may be the result of the difference I have had with the Gov. as it respects myself, much public good must and will arise from it. I can truly say I never did a single act with an intention to offend the Governor, tho’ he has done many to injure me. His public letter addressed to Lord Sidmouth contains the most false and scandalous assertions respecting myself. It was my intention to call upon him for an explanation before he left the colony, but, as I have nothing to apprehend from Sir Thomas Brisbane, it may not be worth my while at present to take any further notice of what he hath said, but wait for the Commissioner’s report. He is well acquainted with the whole of my manner of life. As I am at a great distance, and cannot tell what may be the state of things at Home, I have sent three letters open for your inspection—one to the Bishop of London, one to the Commissioner, and one to Mr. Brereton—and shall leave it to your wisdom and existing circumstances to seal and forward them or to detain them. Should you forward my letter to the Bishop of London, be good enough to send all the accompanying documents with it, and the Gazette.

page 572

In the Gazette is Pomare’s action—men who could attempt to take such unfair advantage of a savage chief in his very first attempt to introduce himself to the civilised world are unworthy of the Christian name. I felt it my duty to step forwards on behalf of Pomare and the missionaries in the Society Islands, which has also given great offence, and I must expect to be calumniated for this act. I am in great hopes. if the evils attempted to be done at Otaheite can be prevented, and Pomare can establish a regular communication between Port Jackson and the Society Islands, I shall be enabled to make arrangements with him to do all the necessary business for the C. M. Society at New Zealand, and thro’ the medium of his vessel, to keep up a regular communication with the missionary settlements at New Zealand, and then the Active may be sold, and all the trouble and anxiety about her will be at an end.

It is my intention to close all the Society’s accounts every six months, or at least on the 31st of Decr. every year.

I have sold the Active’s oil which she got at the Derwent at Sydney to save riscue, trouble, and expence. The vessel is now fitting out for New Zealand, and will shortly sail for that island. The Revd. Mr. Leigh has applied for a passage for himself and wife, and servants. I have recommended him to form his first settlement at Mercury Bay—the inhabitants there will receive him very kindly—and to make this his north boundary. The C. M. Society will then have about 200 miles on the east coast and the same distance on the west for their operations. Mr. Leigh will extend his plan to the south of Mercury Bay. If Mr. Leigh goes down in the Active the Wesleyan Society must pay a proportion of the expense of the vessel while employed in that service. I am expecting the Westmoreland in from the islands, when I shall write to you more fully, and transmit the accounts.

I have, &c.,

Samuel Marsden

Revd. J. Pratt, S.C.M.S.