1934 - Elder, J. Marsden's Lieutenants - [Front matter] p 1-14

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  1934 - Elder, J. Marsden's Lieutenants - [Front matter] p 1-14
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From the painting by James Barry in the possession of the New Zealand Government.

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Printed and Published for
the Otago University Council




All Rights Reserved



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The publication of Marsden's Lieutenants makes available to all who are interested in New Zealand history a further instalment of the rich treasures to be found in the library bequeathed by the late Dr. Hocken to the University of Otago.

It was my good fortune to know Dr. Hocken, and to spend some pleasant evenings with him while he brought down from his shelves for inspection many of the books, pamphlets, and manuscripts which he had collected during many years with tireless energy and passionate enthusiasm. I have good reason, therefore, to know how much it would have gratified Dr. Hocken to find that as years go by the value of his collection is being increasingly appreciated, and that a widening circle of people, both in New Zealand and overseas, are being led to realize the unique importance of his magnificent gift.

The Letters and Journals of Samuel Marsden, which were edited last year with such scholarly care and skill by Professor Elder, provided a rich feast not merely for the student of history but also for the general reader. The present volume will also prove of absorbing human interest, as it gives to the public for the first time the strange and dramatic story of the three missionary agents placed by Marsden in the Bay of Islands on his first visit to New Zealand.

May one express the hope that the issue of this volume will arouse such widespread interest as to facilitate and expedite the publication of more items from the wealth of material which is at present accessible only to those who have sufficient time and opportunity to visit the Hocken Library in person?


1st February, 1934.

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IN his preface to From Tasman to Marsden, the late Dr. McNab, after emphasising the great interest and importance to the student of early New Zealand history of the period which begins in 1814 with the establishment of the settlement of the Church Missionary Society at the Bay of Islands, writes as follows:-- "Of unpublished manuscripts relating to the Mission the largest collection in the world is in the Hocken Library in Dunedin, and it is to be hoped that at no distant date we may have these available for the general reader as well as the student." The first step towards the fulfilment of the hope thus expressed by Dr. McNab has already been taken by the publication, under the auspices of the University of Otago, of The Letters and Journals of Samuel Marsden. The present volume is the necessary second step in the work of publication thus undertaken as a contribution to the historical records of New Zealand.

The correspondence and diaries of Thomas Kendall, schoolmaster, William Hall, carpenter, and John King, flaxspinner and shoemaker, the three agents of the Church Missionary Society established at the Bay of Islands by Marsden when he first visited New Zealand from New South Wales in 1814-15, have a peculiar interest. Until Marsden again visited New Zealand in July, 1819, bringing with him in the General Gates the Rev. John Butler, James Kemp, and Francis Hall as reinforcements for the Mission, the first three settlers were left alone to guide the destinies of the Mission under the general superintendence of Marsden, whose communications took generally from a fortnight to three weeks to reach them. The enthusiasm and zeal of the great Apostle of New Zealand sustained them, while the reverence with which he was regarded by the Maoris in whose interests he laboured was undoubtedly a source of strength to his agents. He was, however, but the deus ex machina, keeping anxious watch over all that took place and using his influence as best he could, but hampered by difficulties of communication and by his own circumstances to such an extent that three and a half years elapsed between the establishment of the settlement and his second visit to New Zealand. During that period a curious drama unfolded itself. Of diverse training and temperament, the three Christian missionaries presented to a heathen world a spectacle of jealousy and discord. They differed in their ideas as to the part to be played by each on the New Zealand scene. Hall and King were determined that Kendall should not indulge his desire to deal with only spiritual

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teaching and education while they laboured as artisans. Neither were they willing to do much for each other. Difficulties arose which Marsden had not foreseen when he had suggested that like the early Christians the missionaries should have all things in common, and the idea of a commercial settlement was abandoned. To Marsden's intense indignation the settlers took advantage of the opportunity presenting itself for lucrative private trading, and gave way to the incessant demands of the natives for muskets and powder.

Worse things were to come. Kendall, the scholar of the party, an eager student of the language and customs of the New Zealanders, was so much affected by his environment and the general lack of restraining influences as to give way to immorality and drunkenness. The inner conflict revealed in his correspondence, as he strove to reconcile his mode of life with his continued teaching of Christian ethics to the New Zealanders, is a psychological study of the most intense type. There is all the more reason for wonder since Kendall was already a middle-aged man when he reached New Zealand, and had a family of nine at the date of his dismissal from the service of the Church Missionary Society in 1823. Until he reached his tragic end by drowning on the New South Wales coast in 1832, Kendall's life was a long struggle with self. It is to his credit, however, that he was animated throughout his missionary career by an intense desire to put on record the result of his researches into the customs, ideas, and language of the New Zealanders. He maintained his interest in the Maori from the day when he first set foot in New Zealand as the leader of the pioneer party sent by Marsden to make in the Active the reconnaissance of 1814. An educated man of literary tastes, he set down his impressions in a manner impossible for his two colleagues, and his letters and journals are therefore of the greatest importance for the student of the manners and customs of the Maori. He had not Marsden's acuteness of observation and eagerness to record every impression, but he was in daily contact with the Maoris of the Bay of Islands, while Marsden was but a visitor who had to rely upon Kendall for much of his information.

To Kendall is also due the credit of having first essayed the task of reducing the New Zealand language to writing, and of having been the man upon whom Professor Lee, of Cambridge, relied when, as the result of their joint efforts, the New Zealand Grammar of 1820 was produced. Kendall's writings thus deal with the vicissitudes of the New Zealand Mission, his friendships with the great Hongi and other New Zealand chiefs, his researches into Maori religion and ethics, and his ideas with regard to the Maori language. Taken as a whole they are documents of outstanding interest.

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The letters of William Hall and John King are naturally of less importance. At the same time they throw many sidelights upon the dangers and difficulties that beset these earliest settlers, and are a record of sturdy persistence and endurance. Till 1825, when William Hall, broken in health and a victim to asthma, was compelled to leave the New Zealand station, no convert had come forward in spite of ten years of effort. John King was privileged to see the great change wrought by the advent of the strong man, Henry Williams, and his pious brother William, the future first Bishop of Waiapu. By the time of King's death in 1854 the victory was assured; the New Zealanders were a changed people.

The valuable manuscripts which embody the work of the men who thus laid the foundation of the Church Missionary Society in New Zealand form part of the Marsden collection of the late Dr. Thomas Morland Hocken, now housed in the Hocken wing of the Otago University Museum, Dunedin. It is impossible to emphasize too much the indebtedness of New Zealand to the man whose enthusiasm for her early records resulted in the collection and preservation of so much invaluable material. The publication of this complementary volume to The Letters and Journals of Samuel Marsden is a pious tribute to the memory of Dr. Hocken.

My grateful thanks are due to the Otago University Council and its Hocken Library Committee for the facilities which have been granted me in connection with the work of transcribing and editing the various letters and journals included in this book. I am, in particular, indebted to the courtesy and kindness of Professor W. B. Benham, F.R.S., Curator of the Otago University Museum, and Mrs. Macdonald, Librarian of the Hocken Library.

Mr. H. D. Skinner, M.A. (Cantab.), Lecturer in Ethnology in the University of Otago and Assistant-Curator of the Otago University Museum, has, with great generosity, given me the benefit of his deep knowledge of Maori culture and art; he has not only elucidated the text by many careful annotations, but has supervised the selection and preparation of such illustrations as deal with ethnological matter. Mr. George Graham, Hon. Secretary of the Te Akarana Maori Association of Auckland, has rendered invaluable assistance by giving authoritative renderings of many Maori names, along with explanatory notes concerning much that must otherwise have remained obscure. The members of the Te Akarana Maori Association (Ngapuhi Section) heartily co-operated with Mr. Graham in this work of identifying the names of their ancestors and the various scenes amid which they moved. I have also to thank Mr. Leslie G. Kelly, of Te Kuiti, for many valuable notes, and particularly for carefully worked out genealogical trees (Whakapapa) of the great northern chiefs, which I have placed in the Hocken Library.

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I am greatly indebted to Mr. Horace Fildes, of Wellington, who brought to my notice the existence of the group portrait of Kendall, Hongi Hika, and Waikato which has been used as a frontispiece, and who, in addition, gave me the interesting information with regard to the history of the picture, printed in the Appendix.

I would further express my gratitude to Mr. H. Greenwood, Librarian of the Dunedin Athenaeum, for his valuable assistance in the correction of proofs; to Mr. J. L. Gregory, of Messrs. Coulls Somerville Wilkie, Ltd., who compiled the Index; and to Mr. E. M. Elder for his supervision of the publication while in the hands of the printers.

Finally, I would place on record my sincere appreciation of the public spirit displayed by Messrs. Coulls Somerville Wilkie and Mr. A. H. Reed, who have undertaken the full financial responsibility connected with the publication of these records of early New Zealand, and have thus again placed in their debt all who are interested in the history of the origin and growth of European influences in New Zealand and the Pacific.


History Department,
University of Otago,
February 6th, 1934.


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Preface ..................... 7

I--The Genesis of the New Zealand Mission......15

II--The Voyage of Kendall and Hall to New Zealand, 1814..................37

III--Kendall's Journal, 1815 ............75

IV--The Settlement during 1815............97

V--The Settlement in 1816 ............119

VI--The Settlement, 1817-19 ............133

VII--Kendall's Visit to England, 1820.........152

VIII--The Kendall Correspondence, 1821-22......172

IX--The Kendall Correspondence, 1823-32......196

X--William Hall's Journal, 1819-25.........219

XI--William Hall's Correspondence, 1820-32......241

XII--John King's Journal, 1819-33.........251

Appendix A ..................261
The Rev. Thomas Kendall, Hongi, and Waikato. Oil Painting by James Barry, 1820.

Appendix B ..................262
Expenses of the brig Active.

Appendix C ..................264
A Contemporary French Account of Hongi.

Appendix D ..................266
The Pratt Letters.

Index .....................271


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List of Illustrations

The Rev. Thomas Kendall, with Hongi and Waikato .....Frontispiece
...From the painting by James Barry in the possession of the New Zealand Government

Samuel Marsden circiter 1790-2 ......... Facing 32
...From the original in Magdalen College, Cambridge

Vue du Cap Wangari (Nouvelle Zelande) ...... Facing 48
...From the Atlas of the Voyage de la Corvette VAstrolabe (Paris, 1830)

The Rev. Josiah Pratt, B.D. (1768-1844) ...... Facing 80
...The First Secretary of the Church Missionary Society

Etablissement des Missionnaires (Nouvelle Zelande) Facing 112
...From the Atlas of the Voyage de la Corvette l'Astrolabe (Paris, 1830)

The First New Zealand School Register ...... Facing 128
...From the Kendall MSS. in the Hocken Library

J. S. C. Dumont D'Urville ............ Facing 160
...Commandant l'Expedition de VAstrolabe en 1826, 1827, 1828, 1829

Vue Interieure du Pa de Kahouwera... ...... Facing 192
...From the Atlas of the Voyage de la Corvette VAstrolabe (Paris, 1830)

Marriage Certificate of Philip Tapsell and Maria Ringa, June 23rd, 1823 ......... Facing 224
...From the Kendall MSS. in the Hocken Library

Mouillage de Korora-reka (Baie des Isles)...... Facing 248
...From the Voyage au Pole Sud et Dans L'Oceanie sur les Corvettes UAstrolabe et la Zelee (Paris, 1846)

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List of Maps

Northern New Zealand.........60
...From The Church Missionary Register, 1822

The Bay of Islands .........207
...From The Church Missionary Registers 1822

The Bay of Islands and Hokianga River...................253
...Drawn by N. G. Buchanan

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