1934 - Elder, J. Marsden's Lieutenants - CHAPTER IX. THE KENDALL CORRESPONDENCE, 1823-32, p 196-218

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  1934 - Elder, J. Marsden's Lieutenants - CHAPTER IX. THE KENDALL CORRESPONDENCE, 1823-32, p 196-218
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KENDALL'S position was now a peculiar one. Suspended from the work of the Church Missionary Society by Marsden, he continued to live in the settlement, supporting himself and his family by trade, and continuing to exert the greatest influence upon Hongi, for whom he had a high regard. His confession of wrongdoing had evidently given him some peace of mind, and he had set himself with renewed zest to his study of Maori and of the manners and customs of the New Zealanders, among whom he intended to continue to reside. Thus on January 1st, 1823, he wrote to his friend Francis Hall:--"You have already taken such great interest in my welfare that I am certain you will be glad to know how I am at present going on, and the state of my mind. I therefore proceed to tell you that my happiness increases by the blessing of God every day, and my mind is in a state of tranquility.

"As I wish not only to be happy but to be useful, I think the first step I ought to take, as soon as I can prudently do it, is to remove from this settlement. Mr. Cowell, I think, would remove with me, and I have every reason to hope we shall agree together very well. It is my opinion that our prospects of usefulness amongst the New Zealanders will in two or three years' time bid much fairer than hitherto they have done. We shall all of us then know much more of the New Zealand language and be better able than we are now to express ourselves in such a manner as to be understood by the natives."

Kendall, apparently, had no idea that his suspension from the work of the Mission would be other than temporary. Marsden was on the eve of his fourth voyage to New Zealand--he reached the Bay of Islands in the Brampton on August 3rd, 1823--and Kendall evidently thought that one result of the visit would be his own reinstatement after due admonition. On April 11th, 1823, therefore, he addressed himself to the Rev. J. Pratt to inform the Committee of the progress of his studies, acknowledging at the same time, "with deep contrition," his "late awful fall and dreadful state of mind."

"After a long, arduous, and painful study," he continued, "I have at length attained to such a knowledge of the language, religion, customs, and manners of the New Zealanders as to be enabled to communicate with a tolerable degree of precision an account of them to you. I shall now, therefore, with the Divine assistance, enter upon my work, trusting that the interesting,

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and at the present day extraordinary, natures of the notions of these pagan islanders will prove a sufficient apology for my long delay. I have already procured a large assortment of carved work, such as the New Zealanders themselves execute or cut out for the purpose of commemorating, preserving, and handing down the traditions of their forefathers to posterity. These it is my intention to forward to you as opportunity offers, it being absolutely necessary for me to do so in order to explain and illustrate my remarks.

"One case containing five pieces of carved work--viz., No. 1, a Trinity in perfection or in the first state; No. 2, a Trinity in creation or in the second state; Nos. 3 and 4, two New Zealand crowns for a house; and No. 5, the statue of a chief,--I have already sent by the ship Mariner, Captain Douglas; and Captain Gardiner of the ship Mariana, who will take his departure from hence direct for England in the course of three weeks, has kindly undertaken to take several pieces more.

"In giving you a brief account of the first groundwork or foundation of the difficult subjects with which I am about to acquaint you, it may be proper to notice that the language, idolatry, theology, mythology, traditions, etc., of the New Zealanders are inseparably blended together, and, if I am correct in my judgment, to study their ideas in the above respects is to study the science of metaphysics from Nature itself. This is a very difficult task for me to perform who am entirely unacquainted with such intricate and abstruse notions except only as I acquire a knowledge of them from the natives. I have been often at a loss for days and months together in finding out an English word suitable to express the true signification of a word or sound in the native tongue, and it now plainly appears to me that what I have been so many years in labouring to acquire a knowledge of, in the course of which I have spent many sleepless nights, some of the native children who are not more than six or seven years of age can explain to me with ease, so early are they initiated into the mysteries of their own system.

"There is also another inconvenience attached to the study of the ideas of the New Zealanders which has almost overpowered and overwhelmed me, and which I ought to mention, namely, that as they in all respects draw their spiritual and metaphysical notions from the study of Nature, they are of course frequently obtained from very impure sources. A public relation of them could not be endured amongst Christians, or only those at least whose professional office leads them to study midwifery, anatomy, etc. With them to study the different members and appendages of the human body with their uses, and the origin, progress, and end of Nature, is to study the Supreme Being with his various properties and attributes, the work of his creation, and what he is carrying on and accomplishing in the world. It is in fact to study

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the universe. As every part of man has its appropriate and distinct use and signification and every part is in union with the whole, so, according to their view, every part of man is emblematical of and applicable to the Supreme Being, who is and fills the universe. It is my intention to write with as much decency of sentiment and expression as possible, but should I in the course of my observations occasionally or necessarily deviate from this rule, I must nevertheless speak the truth, trusting that such a deviation will not be imputed to any other motive than an earnest desire to represent and expose the mysterious system of the natives with all its horrors, to point out the secret lurking place of the subtle deceiver of mankind, and not to write so much with a view of exciting the wonder as the compassion of the Christian world, and to stir them up to prayer and exertion in behalf of the natives of the South Seas, who have all of them been evidently more or less carried away with and sunk down under the same delusion. 1

"With respect to the Supreme Being, the universe, man, and the whole animal and vegetable world, the New Zealanders seem invariably to entertain the idea of three states or modes of existence.

"My next letter will acquaint you with the ideas entertained by the New Zealanders respecting the first state or mode of existence.

"Mem.--The idea of the first state of the Supreme Being etc., is to be taken from the word Presence, Universal Presence, and to you the ideas of the natives respecting the state will at the first appear to be absurd, being literally a state of death or a universe, a field of skulls, but to the natives it is a state of presence, peace, union, and perfection."

At the same time as he wrote thus to the Rev. J. Pratt, Kendall sent a letter to the Rev. Thomas Hassall, Marsden's son-in-law, a chaplain in New South Wales, * couched in identical terms. Writing to the Rev. J. Pratt on April 19th, 1823, with regard to this matter, Marsden commented bluntly "Mr. Kendall's letter to Mr. Hassall is of a singular nature. If I am not much mistaken, his motive for writing in such a style is to find some apology for living in adultery. He means to say in plain language, according to my opinion of what he has stated, that by prying into the obscure mysteries of the natives in order to ascertain their notions of the Supreme Being, etc., etc., his own mind was polluted, his natural corruptions excited, and his vile passions inflamed, by which means he fell into their vices. This idea is strongly though covertly implied in one paragraph particularly, which I have marked. At the same time I cannot but draw this inference from the whole tenor of his letter. You may perhaps view it in a more favourable light.

"Whatever defiling effect may have been produced upon Mr. Kendall's mind by his examination into the obscene notions entertained by the natives of the Supreme Being and their own

* Cf. The Letters and Journals of Samuel Marsden, pp. 2511 and 4cm.

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lascivious customs, I am of opinion that whenever we come to the true knowledge of the character of the New Zealanders, they will not be found much worse than the ancient heathens mentioned by St. Paul in the 1st chapter of Romans, who 'changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image like to corruptible man and to birds and four-footed beasts and creeping things.'

"I consider the whole of Mr. Kendall's letter a masterpiece of subtlety, a letter which few men would have had assurance to have written in his circumstances. A stranger reading this letter would suppose that he was in the confidence and esteem of the Society, in the actual discharge of his public duty as a missionary, and doing all in his power to promote the good of the heathen. Mr. Kendall was well aware this letter would be put into my hands by Mr. Hassall. He might think it possible that I should not discover the spirit under which he wrote and by that means I might be induced to interest myself on his behalf again from his great exertions. Had I seen any signs of penitence, had he any deep sense of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, I should have rejoiced. The whole that he has stated, in my view, may be summed up in the words of Eve--'The serpent beguiled me and I did eat.'"

On June 12th, 1823, Marsden again wrote to the Rev. Josiah Pratt with regard to Kendall's fall, which naturally caused him the greatest trouble and anxiety:--"This will be delivered to you," he wrote, "by Mr. Francis Hall, should he arrive safe. The Society may rely with confidence upon the information he may communicate to them. In consequence of Mr. Hall's return it will not be necessary for me to make many remarks upon the conduct of the other missionaries. However, I shall take the liberty to make a few.

"I am of opinion that the Rev. Mr. Kendall will never recover himself out of the snare of the devil while he remains in New Zealand. I lament his fall, but it has not been sudden. He never could have acted as he has done, both before his visit to England and since his return, unless he had been under the government of unruly passions. His conduct was extremely improper when in Port Jackson, and nothing has happened at New Zealand but what I was prepared to expect. I only wonder that he was not murdered by the New Zealanders. The young woman he cohabited with was set apart for a chief's wife, and I am astonished that he did not take vengeance upon him.

"I have already said Mr. Kendall's fall was not sudden. I am strongly inclined to think that some of his evil habits are confirmed. He yields too much also to his thirst for ardent spirits. This is a habit I fear he will never lay aside. So long as he indulges himself in this sin, there is no hope of his recovery. I am sorry to be compelled to mention these things, but I felt it my duty to do this in order that the Society may form an opinion of his real state of mind. I do not place any more confidence in what he

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says than I should in any other man who was guilty of the same sins. In his more serious moments I have no doubt but he mourns over his own fall, but he is a man now without strength. In New Zealand the same temptations will occur again, and into them he will fall again. His vows and promises are only like a spider's web when they have to oppose the power of unsubdued lusts. I have some time apprehended that Satan would move him to overturn the whole Mission. No doubt he could do much evil from his influence with the natives through the powder and muskets, but I believe the work is of God and therefore cannot be overthrown. I sent a copy of my letter to him when I suspended him, and told him that I should withdraw my countenance and support from him. You will not mistake my meaning in this. I did not intend to leave his family to want. All I intended was that I could no longer acknowledge him as a missionary while living in open fornication or adultery, until the Society's pleasure was known. His fall is a most painful circumstance. However, I have no doubt but the Mission will prosper and God will raise up others to fill the ranks of those who retire from the work.

"With respect to the Rev. J. Butler, I shall make no observations upon him. His habits are fixed and he will remain the same man.

"Messrs. Kemp and Shepherd give me great pleasure. They are missionaries of the right sort, and God will prosper their labours. I have sent you Mr. Shepherd's journal, which will give you some information. He is a young man devoted to the cause, and will soon speak the language well. He possesses very considerable natural abilities, but wants education. He is the son of a poor pious man and has had to work for his bread from a child. I have no doubt but he will be a complete master of the language, though he will not be able to prepare it for the press for want of education. Perhaps a man of learning may in time perform that task.

"When I consider what great public evils existed amongst the first missionaries who were sent out to the Society Islands, and what a deal of vexation and trouble I had with some of them, and that after all God should in so wonderful a manner bless the labours of a few, I am encouraged to hope the same blessing will attend this Mission."

Meanwhile Marsden had been preparing for his journey to New Zealand. He reached the Bay of Islands on August 3rd, accompanied by the Rev. Henry Williams and Mr. Fairburn, with their families. A new epoch in the history of the Mission in New Zealand had been reached. Williams--fearless, untiring, resolute, a terror to evildoers, with ideas of discipline derived from his career in the British Navy--brought a spirit to the Mission which it had not yet known. Marsden's first task was to call together the missionary committee and exact from all a resolution to act

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for the future in a different manner. Next, on Friday, August 8th, he visited Kendall, thinking it proper to prepare his mind for the reception of the Society's resolution regarding his dismissal. He found him "considerably agitated," but quite opposed to Marsden's idea that his only hope of escape "from the snare of the devil" was to leave New Zealand. * On the next day, August 9th, Marsden sent to Kendall a formal letter in which he announced to him the sentence of dismissal passed upon him by the Committee of the Church Missionary Society. "It has become my painful duty," Marsden wrote, "to communicate to you the enclosed letters, which contain your dismissal from the service of the Church Missionary Society. When I saw you yesterday, you seemed to think that the Society had not done right in dismissing you from their service; that by punishing you they were punishing your children, which was unjust. Allow me to say that you form an unscriptural opinion upon this point. The punishment of your children is a natural consequence of your own transgression in the case in question.

"No person will regret your unhappy situation more than myself. I had flattered myself so much and so often with the idea of your usefulness amongst the heathen that I am now and have been distressed for a long time at the events that have happened and at the misconduct not only of yourself, but others also in the Mission. The subject is too painful for me to dwell upon. I must therefore leave you in the hands of a merciful God, Who can pardon and absolve all them that truly repent and turn unto Him."

Kendall replied to this letter upon the same day, August 9th, asking that, in view of the peculiar circumstances in which he had been placed, his whole case should be submitted to the Committee of the Church Missionary Society for reconsideration. "Ever since my first departure from New South Wales for this island in the brig Active," he wrote, "I have been, in consequence of the peculiar difficulties of my situation, the natural perverseness of my disposition, and various other causes, frequently passing through scenes of sorrow. I have no less than six times been on the brink of eternity. I have been very frequently thwarted in my course; yet in the midst of all this I have never yet entertained one secret wish to desert the service of the Society, and I can say with strict adherence to truth that my earnest desire to promote the temporal, spiritual, and eternal interests of the natives has been, except in my darkest moments, the same from the time I first saw you in London, which was about sixteen years ago, to the present hour. ** I have, it is true, been sorely oppressed and brought down by domestic troubles 2 and by the temptations of

* Cf. The Letters and Journals of Samuel Marsden, pp. 344-5.
** Marsden was on furlough in England from November, 1807, to August, 1809.--Ibid., p. 42n

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my great adversary the Devil,who, hating the cause of the Redeemer, has always been harassing and tormenting me. But do you think, Sir, that that subtle deceiver will now triumph less by this decision of the Society, by which I am, as far as they are concerned, completely driven out of the field of action? When the Society first accepted my proposals to them, I engaged on my part to do all in my power to promote their benevolent views amongst the people of this country, but I never did, nor never would, engage to keep myself free from the overwhelming power of temptation, should it ever be, as it has been, the will of a merciful Saviour to permit me to do wrong; and I am at a real loss to conjecture what the reason can be, that I suffer more by allowing my temptation and sin to be open and exposed, and being thus enabled through the Divine assistance to get rid of them altogether, than I would have suffered if I had concealed them from the world.

"According to my views the Society are not bound to keep their servants longer than they wish, giving them a fair notice to quit and landing them upon the same spot from whence they sent them. Why have they not acted upon such principles with me? I am a man to be spoken to or written to. If they had told me to leave them, I should have settled my accounts with them and acquiesced after I had had an interview with them. It appears from your conversation with me a few days ago that a different course is to be taken. I received a letter of suspension from you from New South Wales, and the Committee in England agreed to dismiss me, as I am told, long before I knew that any charges were sent to you or them against me by any of my colleagues; and now my salary and the support of myself and family is withdrawn from us, and we are to be left to shift for ourselves in a heathen land without any prospect of a passage being provided for us to our native country. I am not idle, but am making all the preparations I can make for future usefulness; and let me humbly recommend you to recall to your remembrance the various pursuits of your unworthy servant--the instructions I have from time to time given the natives, the books I have written, and the progress I have made in the language and in the knowledge of the religion, customs, and manners of the natives.

"Think also on the incessant toil of my wife, the labours of my eldest son, and the conciliating deportment of the whole of my family; that I have no fewer than nine children, some of whom have already, to my unspeakable gratitude, thankfulness, and joy, religious impressions on their minds. Think moreover of the wide field of usefulness that is open, and how few there are to labour in it, and then say whether you can see any charitable reason for anyone to aim at my dismissal, or at making my conduct appear so notorious to the world. O let truth speak one word to your attentive ears. Has not my situation been peculiarly distressing? Have not I been in a state of delirium next to madness during the

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time I have been giving way to those foolish and abominable ideas which have occupied my mind?

"The above, however, are considerations which a feeling mind would not lose sight of; nor do I think the Society will after a more mature deliberation wish to part these links in the chain of my destiny--viz., that I embarked in their service at their command; that I have laboured in their service; that I have sinned in their service; that I have repented in their service; and that I am still promoting, according to my feeble abilities, the object they have in view, and am still desirous to serve them."

Four days later, however, on August 13th, Kendall wrote to the Rev. Josiah Pratt in much more moderate language. In the interval Marsden had delivered to him the Society's letter of September 6th, 1822, with reference to the reports which had reached London regarding his conduct. "I know my conduct must have hurt the feelings of the Committee exceedingly," Kendall now wrote, "and I grieve to think that I have sinned so greatly against the Lord and against the Society. After long and sore temptation I myself fell. From December, 1821, until April, I was completely under the influence of Satan. I was reduced to such a dreadful state of mind that I had no thought whatever as to what might happen to me in this world. I was both a fool and a madman.

"Had I seen your letter before I wrote my last public letter to the Rev. Samuel Marsden, I should have omitted some observations contained in it. From the reports I heard I thought myself rather severely dealt with. I felt very much for my large family.

"I thank you and the Committee for all your past kindnesses and pious wishes to me."

The following day, on August 14th, Kendall wrote to Marsden in similarly humble language, his main request now being that, since he had confessed his sin and been openly rebuked, he might be allowed to remain in New Zealand and continue the work for which he felt himself peculiarly fitted. "Now the Church Missionary Society has been under the painful necessity of writing to me saying that they have dissolved their connection with me," he wrote, "I hope all strife and jealousy between me and my colleagues are at an end. I have removed from the scene of my distress, and as I feel my mind tranquil and easy I feel it an imperious duty, not only on account of the infinite obligations I am under to my Divine Master, but also on account of the many former kindnesses of the Society to me, to do many little things among the natives before I take my last farewell. If I feel myself disposed to run into sin, or if it should so happen that I should not in future be able to stem the torrent of temptation, I should quit by the first opportunity; but whilst I am firm in these respects, how can I quit such a scene of usefulness as I humbly trust is open before me? I have only one life, Sir, and that may probably

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be a very short one. My youngest sons know much of the language, and they can be of great service to me in translating it, at least for a year or two, after which I shall endeavour to take care of them and introduce them into more suitable society than they can obtain here. I have talents, Sir, entrusted to my care, which I am commanded no longer to abuse and which, as they are the gift of God, if well used may possibly be blessed.

"I hope time will alter the determination of the Society respecting me: if not, it is my wish to return to England, except I could serve the Society better at Port Jackson."

"You have asked me the question," Kendall continued to Marsden in another communication of the same date, August 14th, 1823, "whether an attempt might not now be made to instruct the native children, and whether there is any probability of success. I will freely state to you my opinion as to the order of proceeding which would be most likely, under the Divine Blessing, to accomplish that desirable end. Nothing can be done of a general nature until the whole of the missionaries with their families are comfortably lodged. As soon as this is done, there must in the next place be conveniences made for the scholars to be instructed in and to eat in and to lodge in. There must also be always in the store for their use a quantity of rice and potatoes. At first they might each of them be provided with two suits of clothing and be permitted to wear them on the Lord's Day and on particular occasions. It would be the wisest plan for each missionary to begin with a few, say ten. Little prayers, themes, catechisms, etc., might be taught them until a regular assortment of books could be written and printed for their instruction.

"The native children in general, particularly chiefs' sons, have been very wild and unsettled of late, but some children would, in my opinion, attend; and I have no doubt but the Lord would in time vouchsafe His blessing."

On the next day, August 15th, Kendall, still in a mood of abject repentance, wrote in the following terms to Marsden:--

"I have been free and open in the acknowledgment of my sins, not only on my own account, but on account of some others who are or have been united with the Mission, and have fallen into gross sins of the same or of a different nature, and who I hope have repented with me.

"I hope, Sir, you will consider the perilous situation of the missionaries before you suffer the mode recommended in the instructions of the Society to the Rev. Mr. Butler and friends in future to be lost sight of. Missionaries here ought not to be treated by each other like ministers in England when they do not enjoy an equal share of their rich privileges.

"Having now said all I wish to say, I shall make no more concessions to man, who is a guilty creature like myself. I desire to trust in God and not to fear what man can do unto me."

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On the same day, August 15th, 1823, Kendall wrote to the Rev. Josiah Pratt acknowledging his error in taking part in the sale of muskets and powder to the natives. "I have certainly done very wrong as a missionary," he wrote, "in being too easily prevailed upon by the New Zealanders to barter with them for muskets and powder. I have nevertheless no doubt but, were the Society well acquainted with the difficulties of our situation formerly in this respect, they would feel for those who have through fear or through kindness yielded to their wishes.

"I can say no more on this subject, wishing rather to do right than to promise and do wrong. I have sold no muskets and powder since April, 1822, to the natives."

Marsden, having persuaded Kendall to embark with him in the Brampton for Sydney, was now preparing for his departure on September 7th. A final act was to address a letter of advice to the missionaries. "Previous to my departure," he wrote, "I have taken the liberty to address a few lines to you. I feel justified in saying some have mingled amongst the heathen and have learnt their ways. Such abominations have been committed as decency forbids me to mention. When fleshly lusts have obtained the dominion by which the body is defiled, spiritual sins will obtain very easily dominion over the soul. Envy, pride, hatred, malice, evil surmisings, and every devilish disposition will reign in the heart and will break forth on every occasion in bitterness, in evil speaking, slandering, and backbiting. You become unhappy in your own minds, and out of temper with yourselves and one another; and bite and devour one another, and expose the whole body of the Mission to the reproaches of the heathen amongst whom you dwell, instead of constraining them like the primitive Christians to say 'See how these Christians love.'

"I am aware that by living amongst the New Zealanders you become more or less familiar with indecencies. You cannot always shut your eyes to what you see nor your ears to what you hear. You are in danger of gradually losing those delicate feelings which, like watchful sentinels in the breast of the virtuous, repel every impure and intruding thought and suppress every lustful desire. You should always bear in mind that you are not called upon in New Zealand to strive against sin upon common Christian ground, but in the very heart of Satan's dominion. You are not surrounded by a multitude of Christian soldiers to assist you in the fiery combat, to protect you in danger, to support you when falling, or to carry you off the field of battle when wounded. An ungodly world will make no allowances for you when you fall into sin, however great your temptations may be, nor will the Christian world. Men of sound piety who have never been placed in a similar situation of temptation and trial sympathize with you when you are overcome of evil, but all will condemn you and your warmest friends will not be able to defend you. Let me earnestly

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entreat you who have sinned to sin no more, but to repent and do your first work and confess your sins one to another and pray one for another that you may be healed.

"Avoid as much as possible all communications with such vessels as put into your harbour; these common sinks of vice and wickedness. The masters of ships and their crews are generally wicked men, and their vessels common brothels while they remain in New Zealand. Be very careful not to speak evil of one another to any strangers who may visit your shores. This evil has existed to a very great extent amongst you, and has injured your public characters as missionaries exceedingly, as well as the interest of the Mission. All the evil you say of one another is carried to distant parts of the globe and related with many additions, to the joy of the infidels and to the disgrace of the Mission.

"Before I conclude let me warn you of what you must expect if any of you in future disgrace the Mission by immoral conduct or by neglecting to do the duties of your respective situations as servants of the Society. Such persons so offending will be dismissed from the Mission. At the same time it is hoped that the example made by the dismission of the Rev. Thos. Kendall, who stood so high in the good opinion of the Society and had such powerful friends in the Committee, and the retirement of Mr. Cowell from the Mission will impress upon all your minds with sufficient force to induce you to do your duty as men who expect to give up their account at the last day with joy to God, the Judge of all, Who will reward every man according to his works."

The Brampton, however, had scarcely left her moorings, on September 7th, when she was wrecked on a reef, still known as the Brampton Reef, which lies midway between Moturoa Island and the Waitangi River. All on board were saved. * Before Marsden succeeded in obtaining a passage to Sydney in the Dragon, which did not sail from the Bay of Islands till November 14th, momentous events had happened for the future of the Mission. Marsden had for some time been convinced that Butler was of too irascible a temper for the post of superintendent. ** He was now compelled to ask the committee of missionaries to investigate a charge of drunkenness that had been brought against Butler. The committee met on November 6th, when Butler failed to vindicate himself; and Marsden thereupon suspended him from the service of the Society and asked him to embark with him on board the Dragon. Although Butler continued to deny the charges brought against him, he could do nothing in face of the action of his colleagues and Marsden, and yielded to authority. *** Kendall afforded a much more difficult problem. After his return to New Zealand

* Cf. The Letters and Journals of Samuel Marsden, pp. 366 et seq.
** Ibid., p. 394 et seq.
*** R. J. Barton, Earliest New Zealand, pp. 331-2, 341-2 ; The Letters and Journals of Samuel Marsden, p. 4140.

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from the wreck of the Brampton he changed entirely in mind and temper. The humble and repentant sinner became obstinate and truculent in manner, inveighed fiercely against the Society and Marsden, and announced his fixed determination to remain at Kerikeri under the protection of his friend Hongi. Marsden, indeed, feared lest he should persuade Hongi to take up his quarrel, to the great prejudice of the Mission. On October 14th Kendall addressed a letter to Marsden in which he emphasised his position with regard to remaining in New Zealand.

"I absolutely deny," he declared, "that I was either in a passion or moved at all by the influence of passion when I spoke to you on Saturday evening, the 4th inst., at Te Kiddee Kiddee (Kerikeri), and am astonished that you do not know my manner of speaking when I am in earnest. 3 You will recollect that it was in obedience to your public order as agent of the Church Missionary Society that I reluctantly consented, as soon as I found I could have no future support from the Society's stores even for payment, to leave the scene of my labours and embark with my family on board the ship Brampton. As soon as the said ship was wrecked, I told some of the missionaries that I then intended to take my family amongst them, considering myself, as I had indeed at all times, fully entitled to support. I applied to you by letter for support. You gave me to understand that I should have it if I returned to this place. I do not like to be disappointed by persons who have not only a right to be careful of the Society's stores but who have a right as trustees to do all the missionaries and their families equal justice. Give me leave, Sir, to tell you that there are very few of those pious persons whose province it is to plead in England in behalf of this Mission who would not sympathise with me and my family after my openness and candour and after such providential escapes as we have received, rather than listen to long and endless suspicions. I again repeat the assurance that I am ready to write or to do anything in order to promote the object of the Society at New Zealand, and this with pay or without pay, with support or without support, with kind treatment or with contempt. Indeed I hope I shall never hesitate to do this. Nor am I, nor need I be, anxious concerning the excessive haste of any man to get rid of me out of this island. The men, whoever they may be, who may think they have swallowed me up, have not yet begun their imaginary feast. Nor need anyone be much delighted or encouraged with the idea of sending me away while the ship Brampton lies a wreck almost in sight of my own door. If you wish to see me on account of the book I am writing, I will pledge my word not to be in a passion."

Meanwhile, Marsden, on September 20th, had sent the following report of his New Zealand experiences to the Secretary of the Church Missionary Society:--"As it is probable that a letter may reach you from New Zealand before I can write to you

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from New South Wales, i have judged it prudent to drop you a few lines:--

"I sailed from Port Jackson on the 22nd of July, 1823, in the Brampton, with the Rev. Henry Williams and family, and we arrived in the Bay of Islands on Sunday, August 3rd. I found the missionaries all well in health. The Rev. Thomas Kendall had separated from the rest and was living about nine miles from Rangheehoo (Rangihoua). Shortly after my arrival I had an interview with him. He then expressed his determination to remain in the island. He appeared to be in a very unsettled as well as wretched state of mind. I found that his conduct had been very immoral, which he admitted. I considered him a lost man as far as concerned the Mission. After some days he consented to return with me to Port Jackson.

"I took a passage for him and his family in the Brampton, and when the ship was ready they all embarked. On Sunday the 7th of September we attempted to get out of the harbour. There was a strong gale from the east. In working out the ship missed stays and was driven amongst the rocks, where she was wrecked. No lives were lost, though our situation was very awful. This was a very distressing calamity to all. The bottom of the vessel was soon beaten out so that we had no hopes of ever returning in the Brampton. There was no other vessel in the harbour, nor none expected for some time. In a few days we were all landed again with our baggage, as the vessel did not go to pieces. We met with no loss excepting the ship. The natives behaved exceedingly well, and did not take from us the smallest article. Upon the whole it was a merciful shipwreck. I shall send you the particulars from New South Wales.

"I also had Mr. Cowell 4 and family on board. The whole number under my charge was sixteen Europeans and twelve natives. We have had a very anxious time. I am sorry to say Mr. Cowell has acted as I thought he would do before he left the Colony. To say the least he is an extremely inactive man and totally unfit for a missionary in every respect--a perfect drone in the hive. I think I never knew a man so completely idle. I had many differences with him at Port Jackson on account of his idleness and expenses, but at one time he had his friends in the Corresponding Committee, which gave him an advantage over me. I shall leave him to himself when he once lands in New South Wales.

"Mr. Kendall admits he was wrong in bartering with the natives for their property with muskets and gunpowder. All the missionaries have given up that barter now, and are convinced of the evil of it. The chiefs do not expect to receive either muskets or powder from the missionaries. This barter had a very prejudicial effect upon the chiefs of the distant parts of the island, who were not able to procure muskets. They complained much

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to me of the missionaries for selling muskets, and when they have been brought prisoners of war to the missionary settlement they have made the same complaint.

"On my arrival I found the missionaries had fallen into another serious error. Some of them had purchased provisions from the natives with dollars. Many of the natives applied to me for dollars. I saw this evil would be as great as the other, as this would furnish the natives with the means of purchasing muskets either from the ships or Port Jackson. I enjoined upon the missionaries not to pay for anything in dollars. If they can get our silver, the natives will never take our iron. The missionaries are under no necessity of doing this. They want for nothing. No persons can have more of the comforts of this life than they enjoy. The difficulties the missionaries have met with in New Zealand have originated from amongst themselves, from their perverse tempers, their pride, envy, and a secular spirit. There was no subordination, no union of sentiment, no co-operation, no regular system of action. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes, and most neglected the work of the Mission. There are some pious and sincere, who wish to promote the object of the Mission, but these were overpowered by the ill tempers or opposition of others. When men will not do their duty it is best to dismiss them at once, because they are a hindrance to those that would. I have endeavoured to arrange the concerns of the Mission as well as I am able, and I hope they will as a body go on much better. Mr. and Mrs. Kemp are very choice people. When Messrs. Kendall and Cowell are removed, I think others will act with more propriety.

"I have put what restrictions I could upon the expenditure of the public stores. A proper value has not been put upon them by the missionaries. They would have thought more of them had they laboured for them. I shall set what schools I can on foot while I am here. The natives generally behave well and are ready for instruction. There can be no doubt of the final success of the Mission if those employed in the work will only do their duty. The Rev. Henry Williams I think will set them an example. I have placed him by himself in a good situation * where his colleagues can neither influence the minds of the natives nor throw many difficulties in his way. I could have wished to place Mr. Kemp with him, but he cannot be spared from Kiddee Kiddee (Kerikeri). Shunghee (Hongi) is at the southward at war." **

On November ioth Marsden supplemented the above report as follows:--

"I wrote to you in September last in hopes that some vessel might touch at New Zealand for Europe, but none has done so

* At Paibia.
** Hongi's Wars, 1821-3.--A full note on these is given in The Letters and Journals of Samuel Marsden, p. 342.

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yet. As I am now just on the point of embarking this morning, I have thought proper to add a few more lines. Several circumstances have occurred since the loss of the Brampton which could not be foreseen at that time. A small brig has come into the harbour on her way to Otaheite (Tahiti), * which the master of the Brampton and myself have taken up to convey us to New South Wales. I must return to my public duty as soon as possible, as my leave of absence has expired some time. Mr. Kendall gave me reason to believe that he would accompany me to Port Jackson, as I did not take up the brig until he informed me that he would follow my directions, when I applied to him to know what his intentions were. After I had engaged a passage for him and his family, he then informed me he was determined to remain in New Zealand. I am therefore constrained to leave him. Several circumstances have happened which have rendered the Rev. J. Butler's removal necessary. I shall communicate the particulars to you on my arrival in New South Wales.

"Mr. Butler accompanies me, as well as his son. *** I believe his removal will be a great blessing to the Mission. His moral conduct is not correct. You can form but a very little idea of the anxiety, vexation, and pain of mind which the misconduct of the missionaries has occasioned to me. Their conduct has been extremely bad. Some have behaved well, and I have no doubt but they will continue to do so. I hope the Mission will now be put upon a better footing by far than it ever has been. Mr. Cowell also returns with me. He has been an unprofitable man ever since the day I saw him.

"I am happy to say the natives behave well. There is nothing to be apprehended from them. They are very attentive to the missionaries, and there never was a fairer prospect of usefulness than there is at present amongst this extraordinary nation. Their minds are enlarging very fast, and very great alteration is made in their manners and general conduct. They are most urgent to introduce themselves into civil society. The Society's labours have already been an infinite blessing to this people. If the missionaries had only followed up the spades, the axes, and the hoes which have broken up the fallow ground, with moral and religious instruction, New Zealand would have put on a different appearance in a moral sense. Cultivation has been greatly increased. In Wymattee (Waimate), Shunghee's principal district, there is at this time more, it is said by Mr. Shepherd who constantly visits this settlement, than two hundred acres in sweet potatoes. In every district there are more than forty acres in cultivation to one from what there were before tools of agriculture were introduced amongst them in those places where the influence of the Society's benevolence has been felt. You may be perfectly easy as far as concerns the natives.

* The Dragon.
** Samuel Butler, drowned in the Hokianga River in 1836.

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"It is a most melancholy reflection that the clergy should be the destruction to the Mission, that their conduct should be so unchristianlike and sinful. It is wonderful that the Mission has existed to the present time under all the evils that have affected it from the Europeans. I hope a great change will now be made by the removal of the clergy from the Mission. I have fully explained to Shunghee (Hongi) and the other chiefs the cause of Mr. Kendall's removal and also Mr. Butler's. Shunghee is under great obligation to Mr. Kendall, and feels grateful to him for the assistance he has given him in muskets and powder, and he pleads for him. Mr. Kendall works upon his mind by stating to him how ill he has been treated by me, the Society, and the missionaries. Shunghee contends that we should forgive him as he has now put away the woman. I am sure Shunghee will not like to do anything against the Mission, whatever he may feel for Mr. Kendall. I give Shunghee great credit for his prudence. When I first saw him he said, 'I told you to come no more to New Zealand, when I was at Port Jackson, but I see you are not afraid of New Zealand men. Your anger was not in your heart when we parted, but only in your mouth, or you would have come no more.' Shunghee when at Port Jackson asked me at Mr. Kendall's directions for things I could not give him. I was angry at Mr. Kendall for encouraging Shunghee to do this, which caused a coolness between us and we parted very distant."

The Dragon with Marsden and his party sailed for Sydney on November 14th, leaving Kendall behind, obdurate to the last. Marsden had prepared against eventualities by instructing Kemp, who acted as storekeeper, with regard to his line of conduct in the difficult situation that presented itself. "The Rev. Thomas Kendall having repeatedly told me that he has as great a right to be supplied from the Society's stores as any missionary in New Zealand," he wrote to Kemp on November 8th, "it is uncertain what he will do when I am gone. It is probable he may make a demand for supplies. Should he do this you must object in the first instance to comply with his demands. Should he persist in his application, you must then grant him what he wants if the stores will allow, on his paying for it at the price the other missionaries are charged. If he objects to pay for them and throws out any threat he will have them, in that case you must yield to his wishes until you receive instructions how to act. He will not do this unless he has Shunghee on his side to support him by force. You have nothing whatever to apprehend from Shunghee unless at Mr. Kendall's instigation. He has obtained great influence over Shunghee, and to him he will apply if he cannot gain his wishes any other way. In times of difficulty you will consult your colleagues and take their advice. I have thought it necessary to give you the above instructions in order that you may act with confidence should you meet with any of the above difficulties."

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Kendall now lived at Matahui, styled in his letters Pater Noster Valley, under the protection of Pomare, and devoted himself to the study of the Maori language and the collection of information regarding New Zealand manners and customs. * The officers of la Coquille, the French vessel which anchored in the Bay of Islands on April 4th, 1824, and spent a fortnight, found Kendall thus employed, and had no hesitation in stating that he was the only man among the missionaries who was studying the Maori people in a scientific manner. ** D'Urville thought Kendall's views with regard to missionary work most sensible. He had set himself to gain the affection of the New Zealanders by living amongst them and providing them as far as possible with such articles as were thought useful by them. He maintained that the time had not yet come for asking them to become Christians, that the importunities of the missionaries only served to annoy the natives, and that for the time being the effort should be merely to gain their confidence, learn their language, and make them see the ridiculous side of their ideas and customs. 5

In spite of his being no longer in the service of the Society Kendall still wrote to that body from time to time. Thus on July 25th, 1824, he wrote in terms which showed him thoroughly repentant and convinced of his guilt, ready to acknowledge the justice of the treatment accorded him:--

"I have received your letters bearing date May 22nd, 1823, and desire to return to you the most unfeigned thanks for the Christian counsel it contains, as I do to the Church Missionary Society for all the past favours which they have conferred upon me. How could I expect that they would view my conduct but with abhorrence? But I was in a state of total darkness. That disordered state of mind which I complained of in writing to the Committee when I had my first interview with them in my visit to England, from one cause to another was not removed as I wished and prayed it might have been, but it followed me throughout, although it was one of the leading causes which moved me to pay that visit to England without leave from the Society. I could then lay before the Society complaints of a different nature, but in this case it is my desire to strip myself of every excuse: to abhor myself for my mad, rash, and abominable conduct towards God, and for that wound which I have inflicted, at almost my first setting out, in my sacred character as a clergyman. I do also desire and entreat this favour of Him, that as He has spared me to this present hour, as I am still in New Zealand and have still an opportunity of serving Him amongst the poor deluded natives, if it is not altogether my own fault, that He will accept my poor services. The Church Missionary Society has a glorious object

* Dumont d'Urville, Voyage de l'Astrolabe (Paris, 1830), Vol. II, p. 323; Ibid., Vol. Ill, p. 673.
** Ibid., Vol. III.

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in view at New Zealand. I thank God that in happier times I have laboured to promote that object; and even in times when I have been most unhappy, when I have thought of the natives I have felt for them, and have wept and mourned over the strength of those chains which prevented me administering to their relief. I am willing to hope that I do not deceive myself now in thinking that I entertain a sincere desire to promote their spiritual welfare. I am distressed on account of the dreadful breach that is made between the Church Missionary Society and myself, but I cannot now help it. When I reflect on some part of my conduct, I can scarce account for it. I know that man when left to himself is deplorably wretched, but I really am a wonder to myself. The Society's object here ought also to be my object, although a separation has taken place. I despair not of the ultimate success of missionaries here, and though one of the most unworthy myself, I hope that that Divine Saviour Whom I have pierced by my manifold transgressions will undertake for me and my family, both in temporal and spiritual concerns.

"It is my intention after a while to make some improvements in my New Zealand Grammar. I am certain the mode of pronouncing the vowels as adopted by Professor Lee will be found to be far the best. The missionaries at Whangaroa and some of the missionaries at the Bay of Islands are of the same opinion. I have also seen gentlemen of talent from both Spain and France who fully agree with me in my ideas. I began to copy a few sheets for Mr. Marsden with a different spelling, but in my opinion they will not answer. I did them at his request.

"There is a great deal of matter contained in my former letters to you and Mr. Marsden which I really now disapprove of. I am accustomed fully to open my mind when I write, wishing to write the truth.

"I have not, as has been reported, disposed of any of the Society's property at any time for my own private interest. I have not sold to shipping a single nail. All the stores I received when in England have almost without exception been given up to the Society's store. I have now scarce anything belonging to the Society except my gown and surplice, my church Bible and Prayer Book, and my son Thomas's carpenters' tool chest. Those books which were some years ago selected for my use by yourself and Rev. Basil Woodd have been delivered up. I do not mean to behave dishonestly."

On January 7th, 1825, Kendall wrote to Professor Lee of Cambridge with regard to the work that had been done on the New Zealand language.

"In addressing you as a religious friend and a minister," he wrote, "I desire to acknowledge with deep contrition my late awful fall and most dreadful state of mind.

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"It has been doubted by some whether the plan you adopted in the New Zealand Grammar is a proper one or not, but I am glad to inform you that the Church and Wesleyan missionaries after trying other methods now generally agree that yours best suits the idiom of the New Zealand language. The fact is that the New Zealand Grammar and Vocabulary which was compiled under your inspection may be considerably improved, but neither the sounds of the vowels, nor the orthography, can be changed for the better.

"The missionaries must live amongst the natives some years longer before any of them can acquire a competent knowledge of the language to enable them to translate the Scriptures. The missionaries can make themselves understood by the natives in matters of commerce and in the ordinary subjects of conversation, but I do not think they are yet acquainted with one of their songs or themes. The New Zealand language is very imperfectly understood. A man may be tempted to make the language to correspond with his own ideas of it, but time will convince him, in such a case, of his error. It will be found that the sounds of the vowels not only express the names of them, but each sound has a particular meaning which is applied to all the purposes of language, and therefore each sound must be carefully preserved throughout and each letter must keep its place in writing or print, or else the language will never be understood, nor can it be taught.

"How can any man wish to assimilate the sounds of the New Zealand vowels to those of the English when so many other living languages such as French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, and the Hebrew itself will suit the purpose better? Is it because the English is more perfect than any of the other languages? If any think so, cannot you try to remove this difficulty?

"My dear Sir, I am sure my woeful case must have mortified you exceedingly. I am really and truly sorry for the pain I have given you. You know how I was harassed when I was with you. I was afterwards reduced to a state so dreadful that I had given myself entirely up and was utterly regardless of what would become both of body and soul."

Shortly after this letter was written, in the early months of 1825, Kendall, convinced at last, apparently, that a change of environment would benefit both his family and himself, set sail in the St. Patrick for Valparaiso, where until June, 1827, he acted as clergyman and schoolmaster. From Valparaiso he wrote on September 13th, 1825, to the Rev. E. Bickersteth of the Church Missionary Society, to inform him of his change of work and of scene. "Now I am situated at this great distance from the scene of my former labours and distresses," he wrote, "it would be a real pleasure to me to communicate to the Society, without any expectation of pecuniary reward, the knowledge I have acquired of the New Zealand language for the benefit of the Mission, did

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I know that such a communication would be acceptable. I know that books of Elementary Instruction are much wanted in the New Zealand schools, and any little productions of mine would not, I think, at all interfere with or supersede the necessity of the labours of the missionaries who now reside in the island.

"I desire freely and candidly to avow to the Society that a necessary attention to the comfort of my own mind, the duty which I owed to my family and the propriety of removing all occasions of jealousy and offence, required our removal from New Zealand long before we left it, and the Society will, I trust, do me the justice to believe that I was actuated by no other motive than an earnest desire to regain their favour and to become useful amongst the natives in remaining in New Zealand so long, and that I was to the last hour so reluctant to take perhaps my final leave of that country."

"As I have no other channel so good as that of the Church Missionary House through which I can forward my letters and little packages to my friends in England," he continued, "I have to beg the favour of you to request of the Committee to allow me that privilege. I avail myself of this opportunity of expressing my real sorrow for the pain I gave you more than once when I was in England with the native chiefs, to whom I had made myself such a slave that I unthinkingly and very improperly took such steps to serve them as could not be allowed by a religious and charitable society. Believe me, I did not then conceive I was acting wrong."

On May 24th, 1827, Kendall again wrote to Mr. Bickersteth, to inform him that the British merchants at Valparaiso had decided that they could no longer support a clergyman, and that, since he was therefore unemployed, he had decided to sail with his family for Sydney on the Elizabeth.

"You have seen by my Easy Lessons in the New Zealand Language," he wrote, "that I have employed some of my leisure hours in endeavouring to do a little for the New Zealanders since I have resided here. I am now ready to embark with my family in the ship Elizabeth, which is bound from hence to Tahiti and New South Wales. Should it please God to conduct us thither in safety, I shall very probably reside for some months in Parramatta, where I shall have an opportunity of conversing with some of the New Zealanders in order to refresh my memory in the language. If Professor Lee approves of my manuscript of Easy Lessons, etc., have the goodness to send some printed copies, or otherwise the manuscript itself, and let me know at the same time if a revision of the New Zealand Grammar and Vocabulary will be acceptable to the Society."

The final letter in the Kendall correspondence is dated from the Elizabeth, Valparaiso Bay, May 27th, 1827, and is addressed to the Secretary of the Church Missionary Society. "My family

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and property," he wrote, "are now on board of this ship. I subjoin the copy of a public document respecting me which I hope will not be unacceptable to those who may yet feel an interest in my welfare:--

"(Copy.)--'This is to certify that the Rev. Thos. Kendall performed the clerical duties in the house of His Britannic Majesty's Consul from the 10th day of April, 1825, to the 10th day of May, 1827, and that for the first year of his service he was paid by subscription and for the second year the same--he received no other remuneration than surplice fees; that for a considerable period of his being at Valparaiso he was employed in teaching the children of His Britannic Majesty's Consul; that during the whole time of his services before mentioned his attention was unremitting and his moral character unimpeachable.

"'Given under my hand at the British Consulate at Valparaiso this 24th day of May, 1827.

"'H.B.M. Vice Consul for Chile.
"'The above certificate was given by order of C. R. Nugent, Esq., H.B.M. Consul General for Chile.

"'H.B.M. Vice Consul for Chile.

"The British merchants at Valparaiso have expressed a wish not to support a clergyman. I am very happy to say that I leave them in an agreeable manner and they have presented me with £100 sterling in order to assist me in defraying the expenses of my passage from hence to New South Wales. My son Basil is situated with Commodore Wooster and will remain in Chile. 6

"Very sincerely but very unfaithfully yours,
"Thomas Kendall."

In consideration of his services in New Zealand, Kendall was allotted a grant of land by Governor Darling. It consisted of 1,280 acres situated in Ulladulla, in the south of New South Wales. Here Kendall engaged in the timber trade, acting himself as skipper of a small vessel which he had bought. He was an unhappy man, troubled by the recollection of his fall and unable to conquer his own weakness for drink. An accident ended his tragic career. About September, 1832, his little vessel was caught in a squall near the entrance to the Shoalhaven River, not far from Port Jackson Heads, driven ashore and wrecked with the loss of all hands. *

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[Footnotes to Chapter IX]

1   At an early stage in his linguistic studies Kendall sensed the strong element of sex pervading Maori philosophy. In his correspondence with Marsden he broached the question with the utmost caution, suggesting that the investigation of the philosophy of Maori art would prove a fruitful field. Marsden, in his turn, sensed what underlay Kendall's suggestion and poured cold water on it. Important as such an investigation, in the right hands, would have been, Kendall had shown himself wholly unfitted for the task.
2   It is to be noted that in various passages in his letters, not quoted here, William Hall clearly indicates that in his opinion and that of some others in the settlement Mrs. Kendall's disposition and conduct were, in some measure at least, to be blamed for her husband's numerous lapses.
3   "The Rev. Thomas Kendall paid me a visit. He appeared very much agitated in his mind and under the government of a very unchristianlike spirit. He told me he would not leave New Zealand but was determined to come and live at Kiddee Kiddee."--Marsden's Journal, October 4th, 1823.
4   John Cowell, a twine-spinner, had joined the Church Missionary Society in 1819, but proved an unsatisfactory servant from the outset.
5   "Enfin M. Kendall etait le seul jusqu'alors qui se fut occupe de recueillir des documents sur ce peuple extraordinaire; sous ce rapport on doit regretter qu'il n'ait pas pu prolonger son sejour dans ces contrees."
6   Basil Kendall, father of Henry Clarence Kendall (1841-82), the celebrated Australian poet, was Kendall's second son. He served under Lord Dundonald in the navies of Chile and Brazil, and in 1827 retired from the naval service in order to join his father in New South Wales.--Cf. The Letters and Journals of Samuel Marsden, p. 417n.

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