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Historical Records of New Zealand

Rev. S. Marsden to Missionary Settlers, etc

Rev. S. Marsden to Missionary Settlers, etc.

Copy of a Letter from the Revd. S. Marsden to the Missionary Settlers and Mechanics employed in the Service of the Church Missionary Society in the Bay of Islands. Parramatta, Marc. 18, 1822.

Dear Sirs,—

As——* complained very much of my injustice towards himself and others employed in the service of the missions in charging to you, for the goods issued from the Society’s stores, the shipping expences and insurance, which amounted to about 6 1/2 p. cent., and which had been charged in the account current by the Society to me, I have to request you will inform me if you feel yourselves aggrieved by this charge, and whether you consider it just or unjust that you should pay the actual sum for the articles you receive that the Society have paid in London for them. I shall be happy to forward any complaint you have to make upon this subject against me to the Society. I thought it just, and I charged it. You may be of a different opinion. I derive no advantage from this. I do not make a gain of you. No part of the money ever comes to me, tho’ a very deep impression has been made here upon the public mind to my prejudice from the statements of ——, so much so that some of my friends strongly recommend me to bring the matter before a Court of justice previous to Mr. ——’s return, in order that he might prove that I had acted wrong, if he could. I beg to refer you to Mr. Williams, who knows what has been said upon this subject. If I have acted improperly in this matter, you had the Society to appeal to. There was no necessity to throw me into the hands of the enemy for the sake of a few pounds, and which I have not benefited by. I spend my time in looking after the concerns of the Society, in providing for your wants. I travel at my own expence; and have all the anxiety and responsibility page 579 of the mission upon me as far as it can be laid upon me. This is enough, without any criminal charges made against me by any of the missionaries, as they have the Society to appeal to to redress their wrongs.

I have only to request that you will state your complaints to me, and leave the Society to judge how far I have injured you as individuals; and give me an opportunity to reply to your charges, if you have any to make, and you will much oblige

Yours, &c.,

Samuel Marsden.

* One of the missionary settlers at New Zealand.

Mr. Williams, when at New Zealand, being asked as to this matter, replied that Mr. —— behaved in a very scandalous manner to Mr. Marsden.