Important autograph letter signed from the "Flogging Parson" Samuel Marsden to the pastoralists' agent George Ranken. Samuel MARSDEN.
Important autograph letter signed from the "Flogging Parson" Samuel Marsden to the pastoralists' agent George Ranken.
Important autograph letter signed from the "Flogging Parson" Samuel Marsden to the pastoralists' agent George Ranken.
Important autograph letter signed from the "Flogging Parson" Samuel Marsden to the pastoralists' agent George Ranken.
Important autograph letter signed from the "Flogging Parson" Samuel Marsden to the pastoralists' agent George Ranken.
Important autograph letter signed from the "Flogging Parson" Samuel Marsden to the pastoralists' agent George Ranken.
Important autograph letter signed from the "Flogging Parson" Samuel Marsden to the pastoralists' agent George Ranken.

Important autograph letter signed to George Ranken…
Important autograph letter signed from the "Flogging Parson" Samuel Marsden to the pastoralists' agent George Ranken.

Parramatta: 29 April, 1831.

Two-page autograph letter by Marsden, on watermarked paper, 325 x 200 mm., original red wax seal, old folds; stamp for the Parramatta post office.

Marsden in Parramatta and New Zealand

A letter from the aging and indefatigable Marsden to the pastoralists' agent, George Ranken agreeing to terms, presumably for the leasing of a property. In his tenure as Chaplain to the Colony and incumbent of St John's Parramatta, Marsden had become a wealthy man and a considerable landowner. A controversial figure in New South Wales, Marsden had answered his sharpest critics, Governor Macquarie and William Wentworth, in his An Answer to Certain Calumnies in the Late Governor Macquarie's Pamphlet, and the Third Edition of Mr. Wentworth's Account of Australasia (London, 1826).

A letter from the aging and indefatigable Marsden to the pastoralists' agent, George Ranken agreeing to terms, presumably for the leasing of a property. In his tenure as Chaplain to the Colony and incumbent of St John's Parramatta, Marsden had become a wealthy man and a considerable landowner. A controversial figure in New South Wales, Marsden had answered his sharpest critics, Governor Macquarie and William Wentworth, in his An Answer to Certain Calumnies in the Late Governor Macquarie's Pamphlet, and the Third Edition of Mr. Wentworth's Account of Australasia (London, 1826).

In New Zealand, Marsden was not such a polarising figure: although stern and pious he had shown great energy in the establishment of the first school and opposing trade in arms. This letter is written after his sixth and penultimate visit there from March to May 1830. He had visited for the first time with his daughter Mary and at some personal cost 'played a vital part in restoring peace between the rival armies in the bloody Girls' War. A no less significant move was to set up a farm at Waimate North, to render the settlers less dependent on uncertain and expensive supplies from New South Wales and to set an example of peaceful, constructive industry. He threw himself into the work of teaching the small groups of anxious young inquirers who visited him in the evenings, and preaching in Maori to the crowds who gathered round him wherever he went.' (Dictionary of New Zealand Biography). Marsden had, with the backing of the Church Missionary Society, established the Church in New Zealand, and was responsible for transforming the Maori economy and making way for the annexation of New Zealand by the British.

In the wake of this visit, Marsden appears anxious for Kinghorne (Alexander Kinghorne, the Civil Engineer of the Colony) to visit New Zealand as soon as possible and to organise the establishment of a mill, to further ensure the growth of a stable society and a self-sustaining economy. The letter underlines the difficulties of distance and terrain: his beloved son Charles (who was largely to dissipate his father's bequest) is to travel to Bathurst as soon as the flooded South Creek Bridge will allow. The bridge, first built in 1813 by convict labour, was near Windsor on the Hawkesbury.

Letters by Marsden are important and rare on the market and this is a very good, late example.

A transcript is available on request.

Provenance: Private collection (Sydney).

Price (AUD): $5,850.00  other currencies Ref: #4211188

Condition Report