Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales
Letters from the Marsden family to Mary and John Stokes, 1794-1824, with related documents, 1885, 1962
Covering letter to Miss Stokes from Rev. S.E. Marsden, Bishop of Bathurst,
grandson of Rev. Samuel Marsden, 25 Jan. 1885
Jany. 25th 1885.
My dear Miss Stokes,
I think passages from the letters of my grandfather might interest some people, but as the language is antique this should be explained so that readers might understand that it is in accordance with the usage of the last Century - with many thanks,
S. E. Marsden
Bishop of Bathurst
Letter from Samuel Marsden to Mary Stokes, 24 Aug. 1794
Parramatta Augst. 24th. 1794
You probably will have heard, before this reaches England, of our safe Arrival in New South Wales - We have much to bless the Ld. for, who conducted us safe through the mighty waters and brought us to our desired Haven – I wish I had a greater Sense of the divine Mercies, and were more humbly dependent on the Gd.of Providence & Grace.
We are now pretty comfortably settled at Parramatta; and shall not be removed to Norfolk Island, while Major Grose is Lieut. Govr. You will have heard of Mr. Johnson’s Quarrel with the present Lieut Govr., and how uncomfortably we are situated in Point of Religion. Mr. John. Informs me that Things in that Respect were never any thing like as bad as at present. There is so little Attention paid even to mere Morality – The Difference between Mr. John. & the Lieut Govenr. hath gone to a very great Length wh. renderes it exceedingly unpleasant to me, as it gives me a Degree of Pain when in Company with either of the contending Parties as I am constrained then to be under a sort of Necessity of being guarded in my Expression –
I am resident about 14 miles fm. Mr. John’n. and have to preach at several Places, have no Church at any of them – I bless Gd. my Congregation is continually increasing, and two or three have begun to inquire what they must do to be saved – I hope our present dark Night is the womb of a bright Morning – not that I expect to see many turned from Darkness to Light; yet I have no doubt but he will own and bless his Word to the eternal Salvation of some of these unhappy People – Nothing can be done in Sydney while Mr. John. & the Govr. are so at variance – The Ld. will arise by & by and our Enemies will be scattered - Things are better on the whole than I expected to find them, amongst such abandoned People – I am not supprised to see them cast such Comtempt upon Gd. & Religion, knowing the human Heart to be so full of Enmity to Christ & his Gospel – What gives me the greatest uneasiness is the unhappy Difference wh. prevails between Mr. John. & the Lieut Gov. As I enjoy some Privileges wh. Mr. John. at present
does not, this hurts him a great deal – Tho’ I am favoured no more than any other Officer or than Mr. John. was before he quarreled with Majr. Gr. yet, to see the Govr. pay me more Attention than he does him gives him much pain – Mr. John. has been treated unkindly – I must & will take his Part in what I see he is right, but then I must not, it is not my Duty to be at Variance with the Govr. here, if I can consistent with my Duty and Conscience avoid it – I cannot describe our Situation it is such an uncommon one – All the higher Ranks ……lost to Gd. & Religion, and you may easily form an Idea of the Characters of the lower Orders – While we were at Mr. John.’s their House was broken open, and a good Quantity of Sugar was stolen belonging to Mr. J. & 70 lb, of Coffee belonging to me – I had also six pair of shoes stolen from me by Mr. John. Servant – we do in the literal Sense dwell amongst Lions – Mrs. M. is very well and our little Daughter.
She desires her kindest Love to you will write probably to you by the next Ship – present my Respects to Mr. Stokes
I am Dear Madam
Yours &c, &c,
Mrs. Mary Stokes
No. 8 Goldsmith Street
Recd. Febr. 28th 1795
[Previous pages are duplicate pages]
Letter from Elizabeth Marsden to Mary Stokes, 13 Dec. 1794
Parramatta December 13th 1794
I am convinced you will receive with peculiar Satifaction the Information of our safe Arrival in New South Wales – I shall not soon forget your kind Attention and Civility shewn to me in London tho transported to this distant part of the universe –
I have met with nothing so bad as I might have expected before we sailed from England.
Since we arrived in this Colony we have been provided with all the common Necessaries of Life – The Climate is fine & healthy – and agrees very well with my Constitution, I have not suffered one single Day of Sickness since we came here – The Country is very romantic beautifully formed by nature, and will be most
delligh delightful when it becomes a little more opened – It abounds
with Beautifull Shrubs, and Firns of various Kinds – We are settled at Parramatta about 14 miles distant from Sydney were Mr. John’n. resides - There is a fine River which runs up from Sydney to Parramatta, and Boats continually passing to and fro so that we can easily visit each other – I have one Companion at Parramatta, the Commanding Officers Wife, (Mrs. Mac’arthur) a very pleasant agreeable Lady, Mother of three fine Children – At Sydney here are several Ladies so that we have some respectable Society, upon the whole my Situation is far more comfortable than I expected to find -
I experience a great Loss of religious Society, our general Conversation in Company is very different from what
from what I have been accustomed to in England it all turns upon worldly Affairs – Religion is seldom a subject of Conversation, excepting to ridicule its Doctrines
or professors, never to edify one another – There appears (humanly speaking) little prospect of doing good – However I do not dispair for the work is not man’s but the Lord’s – I trust we are not forgotten at a Throne of Grace by the faithful in England –
The Lord has some grand design in sending his Gospel to this dark benighted part of the world – and therefore this Consideration [sho’d ?] resign us to his Dispensation’s who worketh all things according to the Counsel of ….. – You would hear by Miss Amey that I got a Daughter of the South Cape of New Holland the Lord preserved us both in a Wonderful manner – and by good Nursing of Mrs. Johnson we both of us soon recover’d the fatigues of a Storm - she is now nine months old and a very healthy Child –
Mr. M. joins with me in best respect to Mr. Stokes and family –
I am dear Madam yrs.
PS. Please to tell Edward that the Mellon seed he gave me is now growing up on Kingston’s Farm and sho’d. be happy if he cou’d partake of them when ripe –
No. 8 Goldsmith Street
Received July 29th 1795
Letter from Samuel Marsden to John Stokes, 16 Sept. 1795
Sydney September 16 ’95
Probably you will be a little surprised at receiving this unexpected line but as a circumstance hath occurred in this Colony wh. I am persuaded will be gratifying to you, I have taken the Liberty to Communicate it – On the Eleventh of this Month, the very Day Governor Hunter’s Commission was read, we received Information that the Cattle wh. were lost about Seven Years ago were found – They have not yet been brought into Camp, neither have their Number been fully ascertained. The Men who found them told thirty nine – Three large Bulls and the Rest Cows and Calfs, they imagine there are many more than the above Number - I remember you contended very strongly when I was in England, that the Cows were not destroyed, but that they in future wo’d. be found, wh. is now proven to be the Case
Another very singular Circumstance hath also happened lately – About five Years ago some Convicts left the Colony in an open Boat, in hopes of making their escape; four of whom a few Days ago were found by Captain Broughton (who commanded his Majesty’s Ship Providence of 20 Guns, wh. is sent out here on Discovery) in Port Stevens, and brought to Port Jackson – They have never been heard of in all these five Years past, and have all this Time been living amongst the Natives of New Holland – I have not yet had an Opportunity of learning how these men have spent their Time amongst the poor Savages – They were quite naked like the miserable Natives when Captn. Broughton met with them –
With Respect to the Colony it prospers much; Cultivation goes on very rapidly – At present we have the Prospect of a very large Crop of Wheat, which will be ready for reaping in November – I think it one of the finest Countries in the known world, and no people I believe will be more happy than the people of this Island in a short Time – Our live Stock increases very fast – I suppose there
are not less than 1400 female Goats and Sheep in the Colony at present, and these have young; twice in a Year – We are totally independent of foreign Countries for dry Provisions; and in three or four years shall have plenty of animal Food - I wish we had some thousands of poor English Families here; we w’d. soon make them very comfortable –
I had lately visited Norfolk Island – The Inhabitants there are well provided for – They have plenty of both dry Provisions, and also of animals raised by themselves – you may purchase a good Fowl for sixpence and a Duck for tenpence or a Shilling – They have the greatest Plenty of fresh Porke - Sh’d. you hear any Reports of the sufferings of the People here, they ought not to be believed; such Reports must be in a great measure be false – Sh’d. this short Letter, written in the greatest haste, as the Ship is already gone down the Harbour, afford you one moments Amusement, I shall be happily recompensed for my Trouble, Mrs. Mar’n. joins me in kind Respects to you and Mrs. Stokes,
I am Dear Sir yours &c, &c,
John Stokes Esqr.
No 8 Goldsmith Street
Recd. Feby. 20th 1797
Letter from Samuel Marsden to Mary Stokes, 24 Oct. 1795
Parramatta Octr. 24 1795
I received your kind Present of Candles and embrace the Opportunity to thank you for them – I writ to Mr. Stokes since Governor Hunter arrived to inform him that the Cows that were lost seven years ago are now found; and am not certain whether I gave you a Line at the same Time - Gover’n. Hunter’s Arrival hath given Mr. John’n. & myself a peculiar Satisfaction – We have some hopes that the wicked will not triumph so much as what they have done heretofore; Tho’ I do not yet expect to see any great Reformation. The Enemy hath so completely possessed himself of the Minds of all Ranks and Orders here; that it is a Matter of Doubt with me, that his Power will be ever seen in this Place to fall like Lightning from Heaven. I wish the unfortunate Convicts were the greatest Enemies to the Cross of Christ we had to encounter – Satan hath his Agents every where, and generally some Persons of Influence and Authority in the world – To do my Duty here as a Minister is extremely hard and burdensome – When I compare what I
do with what I think I ought to do, the whole of my work seems daily neglected – I am ashamed & confounded before Gd. for all my short comings – A Physician has no business when all the Inhabitants around him are whole – This is exactly my Case – I do not know one Person that wants the great Physician of Souls – I often wonder how some of your greatest Preachers ( Your Newtons & Fosters in London, ) Men of sound Piety and real Godliness, wo’d. feel, if they had to preach for six Months and knew that they had not for that Space of Time two Persons to preach to who ever made the Inquiry "Where is Gd. my Maker", or had the smallest Concern for their Souls – I sho’d like to know what Effect this supposed Situation would have on their great Minds – Tho’ I believe they co’d not tell me – I know this Situation hath produced a very odd, and I may add, a very unpleasant Effect upon mine –
My religious Feelings are very different from what they were – I am often lead to doubt that I was wrong in England, and much more so now – The Ld. search and try my Heart and make me sincere, and unblameable before him in Love – Government hath not provided me any Place to perform public worship in yet, neither do I know when they will. I am going to preach at the Hawkesbury Settlement on Sunday next, twenty miles distant from Home, and I know no more where I shall sleep, or perform divine Service than you to whom I am writing – And what is more trying, I expect the People will absent themselves as soon as they know I am coming -----
These Things render a Minister’s Duty painful and difficult
With regard to Temporals our Situation is much better than wd. be expected – Articles of Comfort are often very dear, but we are seldom without them - I paid a Guinea a Pound for the last Tea I bought here; and three Pounds a dozen for red & white wine – When I was at Norfolk Island about four Months ago Tea sold there for 27s. per Pound, and Tobacco 10s. Candles 3s. Spirits £1 5s. per Gallon and all other Articles wh. co’d, be procured fm. the Ship that was there were equally extravagantly dear - Tho’ this is the Case we have no Cause to complain of our outward Comforts taking them all together – If every thing was equally as agreeable we sh’d. be well situated – I have great Reason to be thankful that I am happy in my own Family. I believe few ….. As you are married, I may mention this to you, without any Risk of being laughed at – Did you know what …..
Feelings I sustained on Account of Mrs. M. in my late Voyage from Norfolk Island, for nearly a Forthnight together when every Day and Night too I expected to be buried in the great Deep you wd. not have dropt that kind hint in Mr.John.’s Letter "Tell Mr. M’n to be kind to Mrs. Mar’n". Your admonition is highly gratifying to me, as it only enjoins a Repetition of what I take Pleasure in – I sh’d. have been wretched and miserable here without a Wife; now I am happy and comfortable – Our little Daughter ( whom probably you may have heard of ) grows a fine Girl – Affords a little Amusement for Mrs. Mar’n.
Mrs. M. unites with me in every Christian Respect to you and your Family.
I am Dear Madam Yours &c.
In Haste late in the Evening
No. 8 Goldsmith Street
Recd. Augst. 4th 1796
Letter from Elizabeth Marsden to Mary Stokes, 1 May 1796
Parramatta – New South Wales
May 1st. – 1796
Your kind favor dated March 10th 1795 we received November 6th – 95 – but find myself at loss in what manner to express myself: your good Wishes and kind Remembrance merit my warmest Gratitude and that is the only tribute I can pay your Goodness – I long for an Opportunity of conversing with you face to face. This would enable me to open my Mind more fully than I can now do with Paper and Ink – but whether I shall ever be indulged with that priviledge or no is still in the dark womb of Providence.
We seem in our present Situation to be almost totally cut of from all Connexion with the World, especially the Virtuous part of it – Old England is no more than like a pleasing Dream – when I think of it it appears to have no Existence but in my own Imagination -
I feel as if I had once conversed with Friends united in Love by the same Spirit, some faint Remembrances of those pleasures still remain – and I cannot but flatter myself with some distant Hope that it will again be with me as in months past.
Had we only a few pious Friends to pass away an Hour with it wo’d render this Colony more tolerable.
The want of a place for public worship is still to be regret’d: we have not one at Parramatta, nor any likely to be – So little Attention been paid to the Ministers makes Religion appear contemptable – some times Mr. Marsden preaches in a Convicts hut; some times in a (Grainary) place appropriated for Corn – and at times does not know where he is to perform it – which often makes him quite uneasy and puts him out of Temper both with the place and people.
With respect to myself I enjoy both Health and Spirits pretty well - equally as well as when in England – I thank you for kind Attention to my Daughter – the Book you sent her I hope she will live to benifit by – She now can talk pretty well
is an entertaining Companion to a fond Mother whose feelings you will readily excuse.
I have also a little native Boy, who takes up part of my attention - He is about six years old, and now begins to read English and wait at Table – and hope at some future Period he may be an useful member of Society – He has no Inclanation to go among the natives, and has quite forgot their Manners.
Present my best respects to Mr. Stokes, Miss Stokes & Master Edward and tell him we often talk of him when we are eating Melons – the seeds which he was kind to give me – with wishes you every Blessing in the life I reman dear Madam Yrs. Eliza Marsden
Mr. M. gives you a line, but two ships sails together – we divide the letters.
Mrs. Mary Stokes
No. 8 Goldsmith Street
Recd. May 14th 1797
Letter from Samuel Marsden to Mary Stokes, 3 Dec. 1796
Parramatta Decemb. 3rd. ’96
Tho’ I wrote to you lately, I embrace the earliest Opportunity to inform you, I have received your Letter by the Sylpyh & also Mrs. Mar’n. one. We feel ourself greatly indebted to you for your kind Remembrances of us in this distant Part. News from old England come from whom it may is welcome, & much more if it comes from a Lover of Jes[us]. We have many things to struggle with here, which have a natural Tendency to deaden our Affections & stupify our Souls. Happy should I be to see God reviving his Work of Grace in New S. Wales. "Our Land brings forth plentifully neither doeth he suffer our Cattle to decrease". The Bounties of Providence are bestowed upon us with a liberal Hand – no Poverty or want is experience by any – Have Plenty of Bread & to spare. Notwithstanding we are very ungrateful. We are unmindful of the God who gives us all things richly to enjoy. It is an unspeakable Happiness to see the kind Hand of Providence superintending all our ways. He both can & does make the barren Wilderness smile. His Goodness & Mercy hath followed me all the Day of my Life, & I humbly hope, Dear Madam, to dwell in his House for ever. I am so greatly blessed, that was I to murmur or Complain against any of his Dispensations towards me, it would almost be an unpardonable Sin.
You mention in your Letter you would be glad if I would collect you some Seeds and Plants from Norfolk Island – I was there better than a year ago, but do not know when I shall go again. I shall write to an Acquaintance who lives there, & endeavour to obtain some for you. Any thing that this Country affords and I can obtain, shall be very happy to send to you. I think it probable I shall be able to collect you some Seeds such as you never have yet received – As I sometimes visit different [parts] of the Settlement at the Distance of forty of fifty Miles from Sydney - Such as I can obtain you shall have -Tho’ I do not profess any great botanical Knowledge myself.
I have much to occupy my Time, a great Variety of Duties to perform – I am a Gardener, a Farmer, a Magistrate & Minister, so that when one Duty does not call me another always does. In this Infant Colony there is plenty of Manual Labor for every Body – I conceive it a Duty for all to take an active
Part Part – He who will not work, must not eat.
Now is our Harvest Time. Yesterday I was in the Harvest Field assisting in getting in my Wheat – To Day I have been sitting in the civil Court hearing the Complaints of the People – To morrow; if well, must ascent the Pulpit, and preach to my People. In this Manner I chiefly spend my Time. It may appear strange but
It is necessary situated as we are – you can form no Idea Madam of our State. I wish to be found faithful – to act like a Christian Minister – I can say this I do not eat the Bread of Idleness. It is my opinion God will ere long visit New S.Wales with his heavenly Grace. Out of these Stones he will raise up Children unto Abraham. There as not be any shaking yet amongst the dry Bones, but the Son of Man is commanded to prophesy & I hope by & by the Lord will command the Wind to blow - "Stir up thy Strength O God & come amongst us".
My little Family are well – Mrs. M. has not Time to write by this Conveyance. She enjoys her health well - I take more Care of her probably than you are aware of. I beg my kindest Respect to Mr. Stokes – inform him our Crops are immensely great. We have the greatest Abundance of Wheat now. Could maintain some Thousand more People if we had them with dry Provisions. We could also make Plenty of wine if we had Persons who understood the Operation properly. Should be very thankful if you could by any means send me out a few Hop – Cuttings. I think they would grow if they were packed properly with a little mould in a Case, and nailed down. And also a little Hop-Seed. Let it be put into a Bottle, and seal it up with a little Seal wax. A few Hop-Cuttings might also be put up with out
mould, & sealed at each End – this might be a means to preserve them. Should it not be too much Trouble for you to do this, I shall be greatly indebted to you. Hops would be of general good to this Colony. Mrs. M. joins me in every kind Respect to you & Mr. Stokes.
I am dear Madam
In haste Yours &c,&c,
No 8 Gold Smith Street
Recd. March 19th 1798
Letter from Elizabeth Marsden to Mary Stokes, 6 Sept. 1799
Parramatta Sept. 6th. 1799 N.S.W.
It is with pleasure I take up my pen to inform you I received yr. kind letter dated Sepr. 27th. 1798 by the Hillsborough July 99, and also your valuable present - accept dear Madam my most gratefull acknowledgments for you kind remembrance of me – not only for their being so acceptable in this dear Colony, as for the pleasing Idea of been still held in remembrance by so kind a friend. I regret much the loss of your present by the Lady Shore – if what Mr. Marsden had in her had come safe it would have made us very comfortable, as at that time we was without many of the Comforts of life, such as tea, sugar, Wine, Spirits, &c., it was very laughable to see us sit down so formally to Balm tea or Wheat Coffee – sometimes without sugar - since that we have been supply’d from India – which at that time we had been deprived of by the loss of the Sydney Cove. The Lady Shore was a loss to many Individuals.
I am happy to hear of the welfare of Mr. Edward. I am sure he must make an handsome Soldier – may he prove to be a second Colonel Gardiner has he like
him as the prayers as well as example of so amiable a Mother – when you write to him will you give my kind Respects to him – and I shall always be exceeding happy to hear of his been successful – the parting with him must have been a severe trial to you. I can in some measure feel for you, as I was near experienceing the loss of my dear Ann as we were going to send her home with a Mr. & Mrs. Cover, one of the Missionary’s that went to Otahiete and come to this Colony – their intention was to return to England – if they had it would have been a Good Opportunity to send her. Mrs. Cover is a kind good woman, they have no Children, they buried a boy about fourteen just as they left Spithead. I own it would have been a severe trial to part with her but the manners of the people here are so corrupt and we cannot get proper Servants about us, and there being not one good School, that I should been very happy to have heard of her being safe with my Mother. She is now 5 years 1/2 old. She reads a little and works very neat.
Last Christmas we were near losing her by an intermitting fever but the Lord in answer to our prayers spared her – I hope for his honor and
our Comfort. My Charles is seventeen months old an that is very Entertaining as well as Mischeiveous age. Your goodness will excuse me for saying so much of my Children –
you must remember I am a Young Mother. Mr. Marsden as wrote you a long letter -
Mention every information you may wish to about ourselves and the Colony.
Mr. Johnson is much better in health than when we wrote last. Mrs Johnson still continues to enjoy a good state of health. I am happy to have so kind a woman near me. Milbah & Henry are two [word obscured] Children. Milbah you will see what progress she as made in her writing, and it is a great pity that she is not in England – you can have no Idea what disadvantages the Children labors under unless you was to pay us a visit. Give my Respectfull Comp’ts. To Mr. Stokes and family, and Believe me to be with the greatest Esteem Dear Madam
We are supprised to see the alteration in the fashion-
The Bonnet with white Sattin ribbons is much admir’d.
Dear Madam your goodness induces me to take the liberty
to say a little white ribbon will be acceptable.
No. 39 Gutter Lane
Recd. June 2nd. 1800
Letter from Samuel Marsden to Mary Stokes, 22 Feb. 1800
Parramatta Feby. 22 – 1800
Tho’ I have wrote to you not long ago yet I am induced to give you a line again by this Conveyance. I have sent to England my oldest Daughter Ann under the Care of a Mr. & Mrs. Cover & have directed them to visit upon you with Ann before she goes down into Yorkshire. Mr. Cover is a worthy man and has conducted himself with great Propriety in the Settlement. He was sent out in the Ship Duff on the Mission to these Islands in our Seas – I shall refer you to him for any particular Information.
You will wish to hear how the Kingdom of our Lord succeeds amongst us. Satan’s Kingdom seems to be so fully established, and his Power & Influence so universal amongst us, that nothing but an uncommon Display of Almighty Power can shake his Throne. My Situation becomes disgusting and painful to the Last Degree. I long to quit the Colony & to retire from such Scenes of ungodliness & wrong.
Our Friends can form little more Idea of our Situation in the Country than they can of the invisible Region. I have made Application to Government to return, whether I shall obtain Permission or no I know not. If I do you may expect me in London in about 18 months, God willing, after you receive this. Sh’d. any material Change take Place so as to afford any Prospect of real Good to this Colony, I might be induced to remain longer. This depends wholy on Circumstances. I think it probable Mr. Johnson will return soon. It is his present Determination to do so. We may say on our Departure from this Country, we have been fairly hunted out of the Settlement. Our Life is one of continued Scene of Contention & opposition from the Begining to the End of the Year. Besides living where Iniquity abounds so much, and our civil Connexion with the worst of Men render our Souls dry and barren, we feel little of that real vital spiritual Life which is so essential to the Happiness & Progress of the real Christian. To be cut off from all the Society and Conversation of the righteous; and to hold a Situation
in the State that calls you forth to act continually with wicked Men in Power is painful & distressing. We are not situated in this Country like Clergymen in England, who have only to attend to their Studies and their Flock. Many other unpleasant Duties revolve upon me. In the midst of all my only Consolation is the Lord knows how I am situated, and foreknew it. I sometimes hope I am doing his will even under a thick & dark Cloud.
The End will come by & by, we shall then see why & wherefore we have met with this & that Evil. In every difficulty I have Cause to be thankful for good Health. Mrs. M. enjoys the same and our little Family. Mrs. M. wo’d have wrote but has been so busy getting Ann ready for Sea, and having only got her Bed about eight weeks ago, therefore hopes you will excuse her. It was my Intention to have made you a Collection of the Seeds of this Country and to have sent it by this Ship knowing they would have been taken care of, but it has not been in my Power for want of Time. The few I had collected with a Branch belonging to each kind according to their Number I have sent you under the Care of Mr. Cover – am sorry they are so few. They are all new and fresh – gathered with my own Hands.
Mr. Cover will inform you how few spare moments I have. I am busy building a Church at Parramatta. Shall be happy to see it compleated. I think it would never be done if I was to leave the Settlement. I can only say it is my present Intention to quit the Colony, yet my Times are in the Ld’s. Hands – it will be enough if I am found faithful when my work comes to be done. The building of an Orphan House is another Object that lies near my Heart – I shall feel uncommon Satisfaction in having it carried into Execution. The number of poor Children in this Colony I pity, who have either no Parents, or would have been better at this moment if they had never known them. I shall say nothing of the Monopolies, Extortions, & Oppressions of the great and of the Wickedness, Poverty & Ruin of the lower Ranks of the Inhabitants of N.S.W. You will hear of these things from other Quarters. They will & must become a national Concern speedily, or you will hear of the Murder of the greatest Part of us by & by.
Let me beg dear Madam an Interest in your Prayers – may the Ld. Bless you and yours – give my kindest Respects to Mr. Stokes – Mrs. M. joins me in every Christian Respect.
Letter from Elizabeth Marsden to Mary Stokes, 22 Aug. 1801
New South Wales
Parramatta August 22nd. 1801
My dear Madam
I now sit down to return you thanks for your kind letter and Present – also for the Books you sent my Daughter who was in England about the time the ship sail’d that they came in. I need express the pain it cost me in parting from her and the anxiety till I heard of her safe arrival – you who have felt the same can sympathize with me – but I trust it is for her good this been such a very bad place for Children – indeed I may say for people of every age.
Some good I hope will be done the rising Generation the Orphan house been open for 30 girls, and will be ready for thirty more in a short time. Mr. Marsden has sent the proceeding home, and Sermon he preach’d the first Sunday the Children attended –
the Governor gives it every support. Mrs. King and Mrs. Paterson attends every
day that it may be properly managed.
Before this you have had the pleasure of seeing our dear friends Mr. & Mrs. Johnson and Daughter. I feel great regret in their leaving the Colony, their kind attention to us will always endear them to me. I hope Mr. Johnson will recover his health now he is return’d to his native Country.
The prospect before us is rather unpleasant, we are upon short allowance of Meat and Grain from the public store and it wants 3 months to the harvest. Many of the Inhabitants have not a grain of Wheat or Corn in their possession, nor is it to be purchased. I hope he who feed Elijah in the wilderness will not let us feel the dreadful
Camility Calamity of famine the Harvest fail’d last year – the Settlers in general was not provident enough to provide against the latter end of the year.
Mr. Palmer had a great loss for himself and the Colony he had a large
Stack of Wheat calculat’d at a Thousand Bushel burnt. The Governor has sent the Porpoise to Otaheite and the other Islands to see if they can get Pork for us. The Governor seems desirous to establishing a Communication between Port Jackson and Otaheite this might prove a great advantage to the poor Missionaries and be a great Protection to them should a ship constantly visit them from this Colony. They would be able to keep a constant Correspondence with their Friends in England.
I hope dear Madam to be favoured with a line at every Opportunity it gives me the greatest pleasure to hear from you – cut of from our friends and connexions you do not know the Happiness it gives me not only for the moment. When I am alone and dull I amuse myself with reading my friends letters and find my mind refresh.
My family is the same has when I last wrote a boy and girl, Elizabeth is very engageing she is just begining to prattle. Please to give my best respect to Mr. Stokes and Miss and thanks to Charles for writing Anns name in her books. You must also Remember me to Mr. Edward. Let me beg an interest in
I am Madam your oblige and affe’t.
Mr. M writes by this ship
Letter from Samuel Marsden to Mary Stokes, 24 Aug. 1801
Aug’t. 24th 1801
Sydney N. South Wales.
I received your kind Favor by the Cornwallis. It always gives us peculiar Pleasure to hear from you in this distant Part of the Globe.
I hope ere this Period our Friends Mr. & Mrs. Johnson will have paid you a visit. From them you will learn the exact State of this Colony, and what a miserable Place it is in a moral & religious Sense. Since my Colleagues Departures it is quite changed. The greatest Alterations have been brought about from a Variety of Causes uniting together.
Our present Governor has almost put a total Stop to the Introduction of Spirits into the Colony. However strong an Inclination the common People may have to get intoxicated, they will not have it in their Power. We have also had a number of Ships from all Quarters will Commodities for sale which has reduced many Goods below their original Cost – and many thousands of Pounds worth of Goods have been taken out of the Settlement for want of Purchasers – and an immense Quantity of Goods remain unsold. We are at present in a great want of Bread. This is in a great measure to be attributed to the Extravagance & Idleness of the Farmers, who take little or no Care of their Crops when grown.
We have a good Prospect of a plentiful Harvest next Season – but before then the Sufferings of many will be very great. You would see from my Colleagues Papers when he returned that an Institution had been adopted for providing for the poor distressed Children in this Colony. The School is now opened, and more then 30 Girls received. I spent the last Evening with them for the first Time; and made a beginning to instruct them in the Principles of Christianity – sung a Hymn and went to prayer with them,
N.S.Wales while I was performing this Duty appeared more like a Christian Country, than it had ever done since I first entered it. I hope the Foundation is now laid for Religion & Morality, if God only furnish means to carry it on. It will meet, I am aware, with great Opposition, and have many Difficulties to surmount in order to carry it into full Effect. I shall exert my utmost abilities to promote it’s Prosperity; and like Nehemiah shall make Supplication to the God of Heaven, and say the "God of Heaven will prosper us therefore we his Servants will arise and build".
My Colleague may think himself happy that he is out of the Settlement at present. He would have been very miserable had he been here. There are still great Differences amongst our leading men; which renders the Situation of those who would be quiet far from pleasant. I make it my Study to avoid all Quarrels as much as possible, and sometimes
do violence to my own Feelings for the sake of Peace. After all ones Caution Troubles will come; they must be expected while we live in the midst of unreasonable and wicked men. I have lately had a difficult Task to perform in our Courts of Justice, where we are compelled to sit as Members to administer Justice, often expose an honest Man, who will do his Duty to great Troubles. He is constrained sometimes to condemn the Conduct of his equals or superiors – when he does this, tho’ no more than his Duty, the guilty will remember him and seek every occasion to do him an Injury. I hope from what has lately happened the mode of administering Justice will be completely changed in this Country.
I have seen a great of Mankind during my Residence in this Country, at least of the bad part, that I am quite tired of my Situation in many Respects. I have much to do more than is almost possible for one Person; but God is very gracious; he gives me Strength and Spirits… If I feel little Pleasure from the Multiplicity of other Business in Religion in the week Day, I am refreshed sometimes on the Sabbath, and find myself sweetly drawn after God. This is a very ungracious Soil for the Growth of Piety. The Lord knows best where to place me. In the midst of every Difficulty, I see Cause to rejoice that he has appointed me such a Post of Honor. Whatever I may meet with, if it comes in the way of my Piety, it does not become me to complain; but to be still and know that he is God. Mrs. Marsden has wrote you a Line – you will have seen Ann our little Girl. Her Mother did not wish to part with her, but I prevailed at length.
I do not suppose you will be able to make out this Scrawl – I am very weary this evening, having had much to do this day. The Kibbins came safe. Shall give Mr. Johnson an Account of them the next Conveyance. Give my respectful Compliments to Mr. Stokes. I would have wrote to him, but he may expect one by the next Ship. I want to give him some Account of the Progress of Agriculture, our Coal Mines &c. &c. I have the
Honor to remain
Dr. Madam yours respectfully
Mrs. Mary Stokes
Letter from Elizabeth Marsden to Mary Stokes, 13 Nov. 1802
Parramatta Novr. 13th. 1802
New South Wales
My Dear Madam
It is with Pleasure I take up my Pen to acknowledge the Receipt of your two last letters, and the Parcell received by the Atlass – for which I return you my sincere thanks. The things were exceedingly usefull, but consider them as the strongest proof I am not forgot by so good a Woman.
I rejoice that Mr. & Mrs. Johnson reached England in safety and had an happy meeting with their Friends: am glad to find from Mrs. Kent that Mr. Johnson had recovered his health so well and trust before this they are settled comfortable and to their own wishes.
I daily regret the loss of Mrs. Johnson’s soceity from this Country, so much so that I have not visited Sydney but once since she left it, and that was to wean my little Girl Elizabeth. Our Society of Married Ladies encrease we have now
Twenty. There never were so many at a time since the Colony was Established. I wish I could say we encreased in divine things but we still continue in the same depraved state has ever, You who have so many privileges can have no Idea of our Situation.
You have not doubt heard what an Affliction we have been visited with in the Death of our Dear little Boy. We was going to the Farm, a Servant was driving him and me in a single horse Chaise. Mr. Marsden was on horseback when a Man twenty yards from our own house carelessly ran a Wheelbarrow directly under the Wheels of the Chaise and overturned it; and my dear Child never stirred more. (I received no hurt myself tho’ I was but two months of my time) I am concious his was a happy translation, yet dear Madam picture to yourself my feelings to have him in health and spirits and the next moment to behold him in the Arms of Death. I was wonderfuly supported and one Consolation which as the World cannot give neither take away. He who is faithfull has promised when thou passest thro the Waters I will be with thee – and thro the rivers they shall not over flow thee. God his a refuge and a strength a very
present help in time of need. This is the first time I have taken up my Pen to write to England since I lost him tho’ it is now fifeteen months. I am afraid I am very sinful. I oft think could I know his little thoughts he would reprove me for wishing him back in this troublesome world, but his removal has stirred me up to be more earnest in divine things and tho’ he cannot come to me, I may meet him in that place where sin and sorrow and sighing is forever done away. I have still one little Girl and Boy with me. My Youngest John is a little turned of a twelve months old. This letter will be delivered by Mrs. Thomson the surgeon wife that left England a little after us – who I believe you saw.
I was very much disapoint’d in your letter that you did not mention in what part of the World Mr. Edward was, if he his with you beg my kind respects to him. Mrs. Hughes arrived safe here, they resides at Sydney. The Governor gave him a superintend’s place soon after their arrival so that I seldom see her. Mr. Marsden joins me with best respects to Mr. Stokes and Family. Let me intreat to be remembered in your prayers and
Believe me yours with respect
By Favor of Mrs. Thomson
Letter from Samuel Marsden to Mary Stokes, 27 April 1803
Parramatta April 27 1803.
I once more sit down to drop you a Line. As we are at all Times exceedingly glad to hear from you, it may give you the same Pleasure to hear from this part of the World. Last Easter Sunday I consecrated my Church at Parramatta. This Building proves a great Comfort to my Mind, as I can now perform divine Service in a Manner becoming the Worship of Almighty God.
At Sydney there is no place for public worship, and I fear will be none for a long Time to come. I do my Duty with great Reluctance there and few attend, for want of Accommodation. It is surely one of the most shameful Neglects of Government that perhaps was ever known since we became a Nation professing Godliness. Government have granted one of the Roman Priests, who was sent a Prisoner from Ireland, Permission to perform the Catholick Service here. I am apprehensive this Intercetion will be productive of some serious Evils . Satan has still his Friends in the world; and maintains his Cause in every Quarter. I did not expect
to see his Kingdom strengthened amongst us by the Addition of the Roman Religion.
God is all wise, and he governs, & orders all things according to his own Will. I cannot but lament the Evils, I have not Power to prevent. It has been with many years Labor, & Patience; I have got a Temple erected. It has also been built in troublesome Times; and had many to oppose it. Sometimes I contested against those who opposed my Church; and sometimes craved their Aid. At length I have had the Honor, & Happiness to dedicate it to the Worship of God; and shall retain a grateful Sense of his Goodness in opening the way to have it completed so far. I am surprised no Clergyman comes out in the Place of my former Colleague, Mr. Johnson. He tells me he has no Inclination to visit us again, and that none has been appointed to succeed him. The political State of the Colony is much changed since my Friend’s Departure. The Measures adopted by Government have made many very poor; who were lately in better Circumstances. I have no Cause myself to complain – God has blessed me in my Basket, & in my Stores. I may say he has given me all thing richly to enjoy. I labor hard, but the Toils of the Day makes rest sweet at Night, so that the Morning finds me ready for my Task. My Spirits and Strength seldom fail me. I should be happy in a Colleague. As I am constrained to travel from
Sydney to Parramatta every Sabbath; which is 16 miles; and preach at both Places. Another Clergyman wd. ease me in this Respect, and some others.
I am making great Progress in my Ortchard and Garden; Have got many hundred of different Fruit Trees; and great Abundance of some kinds of Fruit. I made more than 60 Gallons of Cider this Year; which promises to be very Good. This was made from Peaches; tho’ we have Apples, they are not of the Cider Kind. I have Hops also growing now well. The Vines have run more than two Feet. A man of the name of John Fleming is come to England in the Glatton. He is an uncommon clever man, as a Gardener & Botanist. Should he call upon you he will give you a better Idea, than any Person you have seen of this Colony. He was a Prisoner here, but an honester Man perhaps cannot be found in England. I have requested him to make a small Collection for me of such Things as he knows I want. Should he return to this Colony. I should wish him to call upon you; and then he will learn what kind of Seed and Plants you could wish to have.
Mrs. Marsden & my little Family are well. She returns Thanks for all Favors , and joins me in the Kindest Respects to Mr. Stokes & yourself.
I remain Dr. Madam
With greatest Respect
Gold Smith Street
Per John Fleming.
Parramatta March 13th 1804
I received yours by the Calcutta & need not inform you we were exceedingly glad to hear from you. The Seeds you wrote for Mrs. Marsden has put in a small Box with some others, which I hope you will receive safe. I have sent them by one of the Officers of the Calcutta to whom I refer you for Information of this Colony. This Gentleman can give Mr. Stokes a particular Account of the Wild Cattle, he having paid two visits to the Cow Pastures, Mrs Marsden has visited them once about a month ago. Where the Wild Cattle feed, it is the finest Country the Imagination can conceive. The Hills & Vales are so beautiful. It was my Intention to have sent you a good Collection of Seeds by the Calcutta, but have been prevented from collecting them by the Irish Rebels.
They have given us some Trouble lately, and put the Colony in much Danger. I hope they are subdued for the present. They had laid a Plan for a general Insurrection, fortunately for us it did not succeed.
I am truly sorry to hear of the Death of Mrs. Goff & also Milbah Johnson. Both Mr. & Mrs Johnson wd. be greatly afflicted – I can feel for them having lost two fine boys myself. They are not lost. In that glorious Morning of the Resurrection of the just we shall all meet again, Parents & Children shall see each other. If numbered amongst the Saints they part no more forever. If we are conducted to Glory from this Scene of Iniquity it will
[be] an eternal wonder. I often think I must return to England & enjoy the Society of God’s People again before my Soul can have any bright Prospects of Glory. The Thought may be vain; because Gods Power if infinite; & he is every where Present. Every thing here is so unlike Religion so unlike God & his Glory. I often feel an anxious wish to see my native Land; but when the Time will come I know not. Government seems not to pay much Attention to Religion here, as they send me no Assistance. My Duty is very hard.
The Colony has become very extensive now, & a great number of People in it, with only myself as a Minister. Should any come I hope he will be a pious Man; & hearty in the Cause of God. I wish you would inform me particularly what you want & if I can get it here you shall have it. The great Difficulty is to get an honest man to take what we wish to send without stealing it. Our private Letters are sometimes stolen, and if not stolen, opened by some Persons unknown. The greatest Rogues in the world come, & go from this Colony. If you ever get a Letter it must be a Chance Business. I think you will get this safe. The young Man has too much Honor to neglect delivering it, sh’d. he come himself. You will give my kindest Respects to Mr. Stokes, with Mrs. M.
I have the Honor to be
PS. Mrs. Marsden begs Miss Stokes Acceptance of a little netting Box made of the wood of this Country which you find in the Box of Seeds.
Per Lieut. Cortoys.
Letter from Samuel Marsden to Mary Stokes [undated, possibly early 1804]
As a Gentleman is returning to England from this Colony to London I shall just drop you a Line to let you know we are all well, and anxiously expecting to hear from England. C. Grimes Esqr. who will deliver you this will inform you how we are going on. His stay in England probably will be but very short; as his Duty will require him to return by an early Conveyance. I am very uneasy at Times about Mr. Johnson’s Affairs in this Colony since the Failure of the Paymaster of the N.S.W. Corps. He was considerably in debt to Mr. Johnson. I had done my utmost to obtain the money for him, and believe he will be one of the least Sufferers of Mr. Cox’s Creditors considering the Sum he left me to
[PS note in margin]
Mrs. M. joins me in kind Remembrances to Mr. Stokes & your Family.
recover for him. Mr. Johnson unless he was to visit us again could not believe the great Change in the political State of the Colony. Many things are altered for the better. I shall be happy sho’d. I ever live to see Religion flourish amongst us. There is no Prospect of this. I often think the Gospel, if we may judge by Appearances, in the Settlement, was only intended for Children, the common Soldier, and the Convict in Irons. The military Officer will march the Soldiers to the Church Door; and then return; the Gaoler will unlock his Cells, and turn his Prisoners out to public worship, but has no Idea of attending himself. Such is the afflicting Situation I am placed in; my Soul is pained within me; I cannot but mourn for the Abominations that are committed in the Land. With Respect to temporal Things we have Aboundance in the Colony. Our present Crops are very promising and Cultivation goes on very fast. Our Flocks & Herds increase & multiply very much. Beef & Mutton will soon be plentiful.
This Country at some future Period will become great, from the kindness of it’s Soil, and the Healthiness of its Climate. I have no Complaint to prefer on temporal Accounts. I labour hard, enjoy my Health & Family. I generally to weary to Bed, my Rest is very sweet, and the Morning finds me ready for the Toils of the Day. I feel a longing for my native Land, and wish to revisit old England again; it cannot be yet; but hope the Time will come when I shall have that Happiness. We have an addition to our family of another Boy, about two months ago. Mrs. M. is very well. She is very contented in her Situation. Suffers little Affliction either of Body or Mind. She rides a good deal for Amusement & Exercise on Horse back, being a good Horse woman. She will ride to Sydney and return the same Day which is 20 miles very well. I keep a good Horse entirely for her use, and Convenience; we have not much agreeable Society; and therefore endeavour to supply the want of it in the most pleasant Manner we can.
We shall be happy to hear from you at all Times; and believe me Dr. Madam to remain yours in every Chr. Respect
Per C. Grimes Esqr.
Letter from Elizabeth Mardsen to Mary Stokes, 15 Jan. 1805
Parramatta Jany. 15th. 1805. New South Wales.
My Dear Madam
It is so long since I have had the Pleasure of hearing from you, that at times I think you have forgotten us, which if the case would give me great uneasiness. The last letter I wrote you was by the Calcutta Fav’d. by Mr. Courtire who promised to call on you and deliver a Letter and smal Box, containing some Native Pears, and a netting Box for Miss Stokes, made of the Beef Wood, and a few other things which I hoped would be acceptable as they were not common.
You no doubt wonder how we are going on much in the old, dull, and uncomfortable way with respect to Religion. Yet there is one thing that has a promising appearance, there is more attention paid to the Sabbath. Mr. Marsden has both at Sydney and Parramatta a very large Congregation which is
voluntary, so that by degrees they may be brought to fear his name, and we do not know what the Lord may do for this Colony. He may yet raise up a faithful People to publish his name, and tho’ I may not live to see it, yet it is a consoling hope, that he will not entirely forsake this Place, which at times I am almost tempted to think he would do, for it’s great Wickedness. You that live in the mist of Gospel blaze, know not what it is to live among a people intirely ingroant of God and his ways. At times I feel so dead and lifeless, that I think I have never been a Child of Grace, and doubt whether I shall ever enjoy those Seasons of grace, which has afforded me such real Comfort. Let me beg dear Madam an intrest in your Prayers, that I may be enabled so to run that I may gain the prize of everlasting Life.
Permit me to return you my sincere thanks for your kind attention to my Dear Ann when she was in London. Mrs. Scott wrote me of your hansome present to her. I am anxiously looking for a Ship from England, as it is a twelve month since
I have had letters from Yorkshire.
Poor Mrs. Johnson I fels much for here, it was a hard trial to part with so fine a Girl as Milbah, but the Lord knows what is best for his Children.
My Family is the same in Number as when I wrote last, a Girl and Boy. Elizabeth grows a great Girl, and it is time she was in England, but I do not think I can muster courage to part with her. Charles is also an engaging little fellow and I trust he will be spared to us.
Mrs. Hughes begs her kind Respects to you. When I see her she always enquires when I have heard from you. I believe I sent you word before that her Husband is Master Blacksmith at Sydney, and what with their Salary and other indulgences they are very comfortable.
Mr. Marsden joins with me in kind Remembrances to Mr. Stokes and Family, and accept the same
from Dear Madam
Yr. Obliged Friend
If you will please to send your Letters
to Mr. Wilson to William Wilson Esqr.
Monument Yard London, they will be forward’d to Mr. Marsden.
Recd. July 11th 1805.
Letter from Samuel Marsden to Mary Stokes, 7 Dec. 1808
Hull Decr. 7 1808
I have the Pleasure to inform you that I arrived safe in Hull on Sunday morning, and found Mrs. M. and the Children well – and this afternoon Mrs. M. was brought to bed of a Daughter, both her and the Child thro’ mercy are likely to do well. It was a great satisfaction to her, that I was so fortunate to be with her at Home at the time. The Lord orders all things well; he suffers us to be tried to shew us how weak and foolish we are; and afterwards rewards us with his delivering mercy – with Respect to myself; tho’ my Passage has not been very smooth thro’ Life, yet I do not see one single Circumstance that has befallen me at any time, that would justify the smallest Murmur against the divine Conduct. "Goodness and mercy have followed me all my days."
I have had a great Share of human Happiness, and
temporal Comforts, much more than fall to the Lot of Mankind in general. I think I may say with humility that I feel satisfied with all God’s dealing with me, and grateful lying down and rising up; going out, and coming in. Much evil remains within unsubdued, and much unbelief. I want more of the pure Spirit of Religion, that heavenly Love, that meekness of wisdom. I do not feel that esteem for the Saviour of the world my Soul wishes and longs for. He has not that Place in my Affections, which his Love demands. I think I do not feel very anxious about this world, and its trifling Concerns, and in some measure can with Jacob of old " if God will be with me, and will keep me in the way that I go, and give me meat to eat and Raiment to put on, then shall the Lord be my God". I well know that I have much to do yet with unreasonable and wicked men, and shall have frequent Cause to pray "deliver me O God out of the Hand of the
ungodly, out of the hand of the wicked and cruel men". When I look back, and view past Circumstances , I cannot recollect on Instance when the ungodly did me a serious Injury, but many where their Wrath hath turned to my Advantage. It is our Privilege to go on in the Path of Duty; and God will take Care of us, and do us Good in spite of earth and Hell. I wrote afore to Miss Amey before Mrs. M. was confined, will you have the Goodness to inform her, and Miss Dearle when you see them, Mrs. M. has a strong desire to communicate this News to them both as well as to yourself. Except my Acknowledgement for you many kind Attentions, and present my best Respects to all your Family, and believe me to be
Saml. Marsden. Excuse haste
To be left at Mrs. Amey’s No.8
Ivy Lane, Newgate Street.
Letter from Samuel Marsden to John Stokes, 1 Dec. 1809
On Board the Ann
Rio Decr. 1 1809
You will have heard of our safe arrival at Rio before this comes to hand. We intended to have sailed yesterday morning, and got nearly out, when the wind came against us, and we were compelled to drop our Anchor again. This morning we shall sail if possible.
I have not been able to get the Seeds which I intended to sent from here, as they are not ripe at this Season. Lady Gambier has promised to make a collection for me as they come in; and I have requested her to give them to Mr. Harris, one of the Missionaries who is here, and
intends to return to England in about six weeks. Mr. Harris has been School – master many years in New South Wales. Should Mr. Harris bring the Seeds, which I think he will, I will thank you to give some of them to Mr. L. at Hackney: Some to Mr. Brown at the Botanic Gardens in Cambridge, and a few to Mr. John Terry, Hull. Some you will keep for yourself, such as you like. My Cattle got out to New South Wales very safe. I have seven Spanish sheep with me aboard the Ann, two males , and five females. Two Hives of Bees which I found in Rio
and shall attempt to take them out. The Gooseberry, and Currants I took from England are also alive, I think it probable I shall get them out. I am happy to say we are all well, and in good Spirits. Capn. Brooks came in yesterday from England he is bound also to New South Wales. We have been more than one month here, this City is much changed since we were here, about two years ago. …….are much dearer, and many other things; the English change all the markets wherever they go. Mrs. M. unites with me in kindest Respects to Mrs. Stokes and all your Family. I have just sent you these few lines in haste.
Dr. Sir yours sincerely
P.S. We have found our accommodations excellent,
and have been very happy with the Captain.
John Stokes Esqr.
Letter from Samuel Marsden to John Stokes, 4 May 1810
Parramatta May 4th 1810
My dear Sir
I am persuaded you will be glad to hear of our safe arrival in New S.Wales after a very pleasant Passage of 20 weeks at Sea. I was much astonished to find Govr. Bligh still in the Colony, and the 102 Regiment containing many of my old Friends. We met with a very kind Reception from the Inhabitants in general. They expressed much Pleasure at our Return, many had been great Sufferers during the Revolution. I believe both Parties will have little more than Vexation Trouble & Expense. The Colony at large has been much injured, and its Prosperity checked. It will require some time to recover so very severe a Shock. The only thing that has apparently increased during my Absence is the Horned Cattle. Notwithstanding the great Slaughter that has been made, they are become very numerous. Fine beef is now sold to Government for victualling the Troops at nine pence per lb. and will in a short time be much less. It is the finest Country in the world for Cattle.
my Stock has done well in my Absence, and all my Servants have behaved well, I find them all as I left them, excepting one man. I think this is very much to the Credit of Men who are or have been Convicts, that such a number of them should do their duty for three years without their Master’s Eye. I am happy to inform you also, that I have got in a very fine State the Gooseberry, Currant and Vine. I also took out two Hives of Bees from Rio, and got them out safe, but I am afraid many of them are dead since. I have had so much to attend to since we landed, that I nearly forgot them, and left them in the Governor’s Garden where I fear the heavy Rains have injured them. I took five Spanish Sheep from Portsmouth, which I received as a Present from His Majesty four of these I landed safe, and two Lambs. I think I have been exceeding fortunate in all these valuable Things: many more useful Things I collected, and have introduced into the Colony. Every little adds to our Stock. I hope the Settlement will now have a little quiet, and
then it will get on well. Money is very scarce in the Settlement. The Revolution has checked Agriculture so much that there is not grain sufficient grown for the Support of the Inhabitants, so that we are compelled to sent to India for wheat.
Hassall I find has only remitted one hundred Pounds for the Goods which were sent to him, and that in a private Bill. This Bill may be paid, and I hope it will, as the woman who is in this Country had considerable Property in England, as her uncle informed me, whom I saw at Woolwich, and who called upon me about her, but I do not like private Bills. I shall endeavour to get Hassall to remit the remainder in Government Money.
The Revolution has injured the Colony much and almost ruined many. It has been a means of preventing Hassall from getting Government Bills, as the Bills drawn by those who had usurped the Government were not considered good. I am sorry for your disappointment but, you need not be under any apprehension of
losing the money. Mr. Oakes the bearer of this will give you any further Information you may wish. Mr. Oakes was Head-Constable here, and is ordered Home as an Evidence upon the Arrest of the Late Governor Bligh, and will return again when that Business is settled. Mrs. M. unites with me in kind Rememberances to Mrs. Stokes Mrs. & Mr. Hughes, and all your Family.
I am dr. Sir
Yours much obliged
Manuscript copy of a letter from Samuel Marsden to John Stokes, 26 Nov. 1811
Nov 26th. 1811.
My very dear Sir
I have sent by the bearer Mr. John Grant a drawing of one of my horses as you have a drawing of the Bull. He is a very fine animal and fit for any nobleman. I saw few superior when in England. His grandfather and grandmother both came from India. She was the best for the road we ever had in the country would trot 15 miles in an hour. I shall some day perhaps send you a drawing of a Ram, you will then have the heads of my flocks, herds and horses. My English Cow & Bull are very fine. The officers of the 73rd. Regt. brought a Cow along with them from England. This I purchased on my arrival. I offered them £40 stg for her which was a temptation they could not pass over. I thought her cheap and we were all satisfied.
The Cow I sent out has brought me two female Calves, and is now in Calf again, and that I bought from the officers one. I shall soon have a fine herd of English cattle. I have got most of the artificial grasses now growing which are cultivated in England. One field all English grass, I have mowed and made into hay. Were
you now to visit us you would imagine you were in England, excepting the pleasure you would feel in breathing a pure air.
By the Admiral Gambier I have sent to England 4,000 to 5,000 lbs of wool. This will be the beginning of the commerce of this new World. Many think nothing of these things now. They
cannot see any advantage to be derived to them, their children, or this settlement by improving the fleeces of our Sheep. But I anticipate immense National wealth to spring from this source of Commerce in time. The ant though it is a small creature, yet we see their numbers uniting together raising large Hillocks, particularly here. The Bee can carry but little honey, but in time the Hive is filled. When I consider we have not much less than 50,000 Sheep in the settlement, and that these 50.000 Sheep will produce while I sleep or wake as many fleeces of wool, it is a National object to attend to them. Should their fleeces be worth no more than as many dollars, yet the slave condemned to the mines must sweat and toil and dig for a long time before he can drag from the bowels of the earth so much wealth.
I have produced fleeces of very fine wool this year weighing 3 1/2 & 4 lb each. What can be done in one instance in this respect may in 10.000. The wars on the Continent of Europe must eventually open New Channel of Commerce. Spain may never recover her former greatness with respect to her wool. She may never be able to replenish her flocks and to bring them into the productive state that they were before the present war.
What may be the state of their flocks at the close of the present contest we cannot tell. It is our duty to leave future events to the wisdom of Him who knows all things from the beginning and to act for the present moment. My views may be too extended when I anticipate the greatness and wealth of this Country in future, the civilization of the surrounding savage Nations and the cultivation of their Islands. Everything must have a beginning, the foundation must be laid before the house can be built. I think you will hear of wheat and other kinds of grain being grown in New Zealand before two years are over. My friend one of the chiefs who has lived with me and acquired a knowledge of agriculture will introduce cultivation among his countrymen. This will add greatly to their civilization and comfort and prepare the way for greater blessings. I may be too fond perhaps of the garden, the field and the fleece.
These would be the first object of my attention was I placed among a savage nation. The man who introduced the potato into Ireland and England merited more from those nations than any General who may have slain thousands of their enemies.
Divine Goodness has intimated that a time shall come when men shall beat their swords into plough shares and their spears into pruning hooks. Then agriculture will be the principal occupation of mankind. I think we should enjoy as much as this promise now as the world will allow us. Men who can, should all beat their swords into plough shares, and follow the simple life found only in the field and garden. I have attended to your recommendation with respect to enclosing my grounds and have fenced in more than a hundred acres since my return. Ever since my arrival I have retired from the bustle and noise of Politics. They may contend who like to contend, I wish to live a quiet life and gratify my natural inclinations which I trust will injure no person. I mentioned in a former letter Mrs. Marsden’s affliction. She is now a little better and can ride about
with me in the chaise. I am in hopes she will continue to recover. All the children are well. Remember us kindly to Mrs. Stokes Mrs. Hughes and all your family. Mr. Hassall remitted you some money and I hope the bills have been paid. Mr. Wilson’s failure has unsettled my little plans in England. Till I get my accounts settled with him or his assignees I shall not know how to act. I expect to hear from him soon.
I had almost forgotten to mention the bearer of this letter Mr. Grant. He was transported to this country some years ago in consequence of firing at a gentleman, whom he had challenged and who refused to fight him. The difference originated about a young woman to whom he was attached. His case was always considered a hard one in this Colony. His conduct has been very good strictly moral and sober. There is a wildness about him probably occasioned by his troubles. I have no wish that you should pay any particular attention to him as he has friends in London, and it might not be pleasant for you. I pitied his poor Mother who I saw in London and interested myself about him. He was sent out for life but his pardon has been obtained from the governor.
I am Dear Sir
Your most obt. Servant
P.S. Will you have the goodness at some time or other to show
Mr. Goode of Caroline Place the drawing of the Horse.
Letter from Samuel Marsden to Mary Stokes, 7 Nov. 1812
Novr. 7, 1812
I shall not have time to write to Mr. Ths. Stokes, I did not know but the Account had been settled between Mr. Hassall and him, till I received his Letter. He will however receive the whole Amount by this Conveyance in a Bill upon his Majesty’s Treasury.
The Revolution has very much injured the private Affairs of some; but will prove a great Benefit to the Colony at large. It has been owing to the State of the Colony, that the
money was not paid long since. I was sorry in my own mind that I had recommended Mr. Hassall without first knowing what wd. be the pecuniary State of the Colony. I cannot but blame myself a little for not calling upon Mr. Hassall before, and knowing possitively that the money had been paid.
You will have heard of our Affliction on Account of Mrs. Marsden. This is a very heavy Trial, and Loss to me, none knew the value of such a Companion as she has been to me, I am thankful that she is spared, and is some thing better. She is able to walk about a little
and can make herself understood, and manage the Family to a certain Extent. One Hand is in a great measure useless, and she is very lame. Complains frequently of Pain in her Head. It was a great Blessing that I took out with me a Female Servant, Mrs. Bishop. She proves a very valuable woman in my little Family, and is such a comfort to Mrs. Marsden, as she is a sensible woman, and a very faithful Servant. Providence is particularly kind to us, and always has been. The Ld. will provide, I have no Cause to Complain of the divine Goodness. He has blessed me in
"my going out and coming in, in my Basket, and in my Store" , we have all good things now to enjoy. My Return to England will I trust be the means of laying the Foundation of Christ’s Church upon so firm a Foundation, that Satan shall never be able to overturn it in this part of the world. We have now cleared the Colony of all Catholic Priests: have Schools established in almost every district, so that the rising Generation will be brought up in the Principles of the Protestant Religion. We have five pious Schoolmasters and with my two Colleagues I hope something will be done.
I shall be always happy to hear that you and your Family are well, and of Mr. & Mrs. Hughes; you have the Prospect of leaving behind you a Seed to serve the Lord, may the good Lord add to their number, till not a single Hough is left behind in Egypt. The times with you appear to us from the public Prints to be awful. God is punishing the Inhabitants of the world for their wickedness in a very distressing manner. What will be the End of these things? I think we are happy in being at such a distance from the Seat of war, and all it’s Calamities.
Our Settlement abounds with Plenty. I wish you could take some of our Surplus Grain.
We had many thousands of Bushels this year that we could not consume. Our Harvest is just to Hand, and very heavy Crops, and our Stores in a great measure full. We have about 20,000 Head of Cattle and about 50,000 Sheep. I think this will in time become one of the finest Countries in the World. I wish many of my pious Friends were as well provided for as we are. I hope Mr. Stokes is well, give my kind Respects to him,
and to all your Family, and to Mr. & Mrs. Hughes. I feel grateful to you all for your past Attentions. Should the Rev’d. Mr. Foster be still alive give our most affectionate Regards to him and Miss Deare; all my daughters unite with me in the best wishes for you and yours.
Recd. Feby 28th 1814.
Answer’d in July or August 1814.
Manuscript copy of a letter from Ann Marsden to Mary Stokes, 18 June 1813
Parramatta June 18th. 1813.
My dear Madam,
A ship being on the point of sailing, my Mana is not willing to let another opportunity pass without making some acknowledgement to you & your family for your kindness to us when we were in England. You have not doubt before this heard of my Mama’s severe indisposition, which prevents her from writing this herself, & tho’ her health is much recovered is yet far from being well: she feels severely every change of weather & having lost the use of her right arm is deprived of every means of employing herself.
If you have heard of the female Missionaries I know you will feel interested in their welfare. I am sorry to inform you that two died soon after their arrival at Otaheite. Mrs. Davidson in
children child-bed, & Mrs. Haywood of a dropsical complaint. Poor Mrs. Henry is also dead: she came out in the Duff with Mr. Cover. My Mama regrets her death very much & is afraid it will be felt severely as she was of a true Missionary Spirit. Mr. Henry came to Port Jackson for another wife & was married last week: He brings us welcome tidings that Pomare the king of Otaheite & some of his subjects have embraced Christianity; even Religion in our part of the world wears a fairer aspect than formerly. The Governor is a great friend to the Gospel, tho’ not pious yet he is what the world calls a very moral man, which is much more than any of our predecessors; he has also made great improvements in the Colony, particularly at Sydney. Mr. Cowper & family are very well also Mr. Cartwright. Mrs. C. & all her children are spending a short time with us at Parramatta. I am afraid you will find very little amusement in this letter: but
I hope my dear Mrs. Stokes will excuse it; my apology must be I was afraid she should think we had all forgot our Gutter Lane friends.
My Papa & Mama unite with me in best regards to you & Mr. Stokes. & will thank you to remember us to Mr. & Mrs. Hughes, Mr. Faster, & Mrs Amey, begging you will accept the same,
My dear Madam,
from your’s ever affectionately,
(signed) A. Marsden
A postscript follows containing a request for Mrs. S. to send out different articles of ladies dress.
Received Feby. 28th 1814
Letter from Samuel Marsden to Mary Stokes, 25 June 1813
Parramatta June 25, 1813
Mrs. Marsden has requested me to write to you for a few Ribbons Sewing Silk &c. you will know what she will want. She will also thank you to send to Mr. Green, Glover Newport Street for about £5 worth of Gloves. Mr. Green knows what sort to send. I have directed Mr. Alexander Birnie to let you have £25 to pay for the ribbons &c. You will have the Goodness to send to Mr. Birnie for the Money before you send the things out; he lives in great St. Helens. Mr. Wilson failing greatly deranged my little Plans when in England, and has given me some Concern
I perhaps in the End shall not be any great Sufferer, but this I cannot tell, as I have received no Account either of the Remittances which I sent Home amounting to upwards of £1,000, not of my Salary since the Day I left England. Till I can obtain this I shall remain ignorant of my Affairs in England. I hope Mr. Birnie will furnish me with this in time. I hope Mr. Stokes received the money I sent him on Mr. Hassall’s Account for the Balance of his Account. I am happy to say Mrs. M. is much recovered; all the rest of my family are well. My Colleagues and Families are well, and Schoolmasters. We have now a Prospect of doing good. A wonderful Change has taken Place since my return with Respect to the Moral Situation of the Colony
The Govr. is very attentive to the Sabbath Day and a very moral man. A very good understanding has existed between him and me for some time past, he very readily meets all my wishes with Respect to the good order, and moral Improvement of the Inhabitants. I must now work while it is day. I have applied for three more Clergymen, and some Schoolmasters. Should you know of any that will answer me, will you communicate their names to Mr. Wilberforce. I have written to him on the Subject. I am certain Government will allow of two more Clergymen, should none be sent out before this arrives. This will become a great Country in time, and the wool will soon make a Remittance to the mother Country. I send Home by this Vessel more than 8,000 lb. The last I sent to England Averaged 3s. 9d. per lb. What this will sell for I know not. Our wool will be fine in time.
I always foresaw that wool would be of vast importance to this Settlement, and have now convinced the Farmers here, so that they will now attend to their Flocks. You will hear that King Pomare has enbraced Christianity. The New Zealand Chief who lived with me has at last got to his Native Land. I have heard the most flattering Accounts of him, and trust he will open the way for the Introduction of the Gospel into that Island. God had very important Designs in View when he induced the British Govt. to establish a Colony here. Give my kindest Respects to Mr. Stokes, your Sons, Thomas, Charles & George & also, to Mr. & Mrs. Hughes, and the Revd. Mr. Foster & Miss Dearle, in which Mrs. M. most cordially unites.
Yours most respectfully
Letter from Samuel Marsden to John Stokes, 8 Oct. 1814
Parramatta Octr. 8th. 1814
I received your last, and we were glad to hear that you and your Family were all pretty well. By this Conveyance I have sent you the first Pair of Stockings made in this Colony from my Spanish wool. I have also sent you Samples of wool from some of my Sheep: Five Samples from five Rams, and two from two ewes. From these you will see the Quality of our wool. I have made a great Progress since my Return in the improvement of my Flocks. I have for years been convinced that the wool would be the gold mines of this Country, and of vast national Importance, and I trust a Spirit of Improvement will be excited thro’ the Farmers of this Colony to grow fine wool. We must have an expert or the Settlement will never prosper, and this promises to be of the first. I have also sent you a Sample of Cotton wool grown in the South Sea Islands, with a little Encouragement the Natives of Otaheite, and the other Islands would grow great Quantities. You will also find one Skein of
Thread made from the flax which I had lately brought from New Zealand. This is a natural Production of that Island and may turn to great national Account. You will learn from other Accounts that it is my Intention to visit that Island in a little time. No doubt but many natural Productions will be found there advantageous for Commerce when that Country is once examined. We greatly want a Person here in authority who has a turn for examining the Islands in these Seas. I am fully convinced that there will be found in them many valuable Articles. With respect to this Colony, it improves fast, and must be in time a great Country. The mountains have lately been crossed which hitherto had prevented all Communication between the present Settlement, and the Country beyond them. A number of men are now employed making a Road over the mountains as a pass has been found. The Country is said to be very fine beyond them. One Gentleman travelled more than 100 miles after he had past the mountains, and found the Country very good, and a fine River runing thro’ it towards the west abounding with Fish. I have no doubt, but when we get into the Country beyond the
mountains we shall find some of the finest Ground, and very probably some large Rivers, which may empty themselves into the Sea on the west Side of New Holland.
The Road is now completed upon the mountains, which extend near 30 miles. I wish to visit that Part of the Country, but shall not be able till my Return from New Zealand, as the passage will not be opened before I sail. We are getting on with good Schools for the Children in all the districts. I am now putting the Roof upon a Female Orphan House at Parramatta, which will contain about 200 Girls. It is a noble Building. If the young Girls are only taken Care of and kept from Vice, the Colony will prosper, as they will be a principal means of checking the growing national Sins, by correcting the Vicious Inclinations of young Men. No Young Man need be afraid to marry here, lest he should be not able to provide for a Family. In a new Country like this, there are always plenty of means at Hand, for a man to support himself, and those belonging to him. I have just wrote these few words in great haste. We all beg to be kindly remembered to Mrs. Stokes, and all the Branches of your Family. I shall ever retain a grateful Rememberance of your past kind attentions. Mrs. M. is a little
better. She often mentions Mrs. Stokes with the warmest Affection.
I remain dr. Sir
Yours very sincerely
Mr. John Stokes Senior
Gutter Lane No. 33
Manuscript copy of letter from Samuel Marsden to Mary Stokes, 15 June 1815
15th June 1815
I had the pleasure to receive you kind letter and was happy to learn that your late dear Husband towards the setting of his Sun was not without hope. It must be a great consolation to your Mind to entertain the pleasing idea that the Father of Mercies looked down upon him when he was in want of his aid. I always esteemed him much for his Sound Mind and good understanding. As a man few possessed a stronger Mind, and I always saw in him a shy partiality for pious men, he could not but esteem those whom he believed to be possessed of true Religion. God is good unto Israel & we may expect his blessing upon our fervent prayers in the End. My own life has been checquered with various scenes, I have seen much of the kind providences of God in time of danger & trouble. Had I known the warfare I should have had to maintain in the beginning of the Christian life, I should have chosen strangling and death rather than have entered upon it. However one Contest got over another comes, but by & bye they will all have an end. I know the place I fill in society is my own
I am not out of my station, and therefore I may expect to meet with all needful support and comfort. I have written often to you and yours but my letters may have been lost at Sea as several vessels have from our Country. If you do not hear from us you must not conclude that you are not kindly remembered by us all. We bear an affectionate regard for our pious friends in England and talk and think of them with much satisfaction.
I have lately visited New Zealand and spent a little time with the inhabitants. It has long been my ardent wish to form a little settlement among that Noble race of People, and at length I have accomplished that object and hope that the first foundation stone is now laid for a Christian Church to be built upon and that the Gates of Hell shall never prevail against it. These poor Heathens are literally without hope and without God in the World. You will perhaps hear some account of these people and their Islands as I have transmitted my account to the Church Missionary Society, who may probably make some part of it
public. I sat down and conversed with these people as a man with his friend and then laid down amongst them and slept in safety. When I viewed the men whom I knew had massacred and afterwards eat our people, particularly in the case of Boyd, I cannot express what my feelings were, how dreadfully has been debased the human mind, when men were intelligent kind and friendly and shewed a readiness to do every thing that was proper and yet could be guilty of a Crime so repugnant to the feelings of Nature.
Amongst heathen Nations we may see more into the dreadful nature of sin, than in civilized nations but are we better than they. In no wise. Though we may not be Cannibals we may be Murderers, and we are unbelievers and guilty of all other Crimes.
I am persuaded the inhabitants of New Zealand will become a great and a powerful nation when once the light of Divine Revalation begins to dawn upon them. While I was in that dark and beautiful land it appeared to me as if the Christian World was situated in some intermediate state between Heaven & Earth. The happiness of the people who live in a Civilized society & enjoy the Gospel is so far above that of an Heathen that those who have not seen the state of these people who
who are totally under the dominion of the Prince of Darkness can form no idea of. I appears to me to be a darkness that may be felt. When I returned to New South Wales and stood up in my own pulpit and viewed my congregation and compared our situation with the above Islanders I appeared as one not upon Earth. But we are not sensible of these infinite blessings because we have enjoyed them from our birth. I hope the foundation stone is now laid in New Zealand for the Church of Christ, the building will be erected in time.
My soul has been so vexed with the wickedness of some in this Colony that I have been strongly tempted to leave it altogether. I have wished myself in any corner of the world only let me get from this present Society. I have spoken several times lately to Mrs. M. and told her I wished to be off. Her answer is What will New Zealand do? What will the Missionaries at Otaheite do? My burden is sometimes greater than I can bear. We have need of patience in this miserable world, and to look for our reward in the next. We are sure not to have it here. I have seen much of men, and human things
things, few have had to contend for 20 Years as I have done with men of all ranks & spotted with all crimes, and I am led to think that the miseries of Hell will be greatly increased by all restraints being removed from the minds of the wicked. The Wills and affections of Sinful men are at present over ruled by an invisible agency so that they cannot do all the evil they would. I see no other way for the Christian to act than to be resigned to the Divine Will and to commit all his ways to God. Mrs. M. received the box you were so kind as to send her by Mr. Burnie’s vessel and all her little thing safe which were very acceptable to them all. We are all through mercy pretty well. Mrs. M. is considerably recovered from what she was. She has no use in one arm, but is able to attend to the concerns of the family. I was very glad that she was so far recovered as to allow me to visit New Zealand. It is wonderful how Divine Providence opens a way for me to accomplish my desires for the promotion of his Gospel. For many years I have ardently wished to visit New Zealand. I had neither pecuniary means nor could I gain permission from the Governor here. Mr. Vale coming out as a Clergyman I obtained leave
of absence for four months. I had previously purchased a vessel for the purpose which came to more money than I could command. I however ventured and am now in hopes I shall soon be able to call the vessel my own by paying the remainder of the money I was compelled to borrow. I intend to fly over these Seas like the Dove with the olive branch to carry the glad tidings of Salvation to all these Islands.
You will be gratified with my account of New Zealand as it will give you an idea what state the people are in who have never seen anything of Civil life or Known anything of the Gospel. I slept in safety among these Cannibals and was received in every part with the warmest expressions of friendship and have no doubt that these are a people who will be brought into the Church of Christ. I shall refer you to my narrative for particulars.
[Mr. Vale]…………I am afraid will not answer this Colony as a pious man. He is very light and trifling and too fond of low Company. He seldom visits me or my colleagues. I am by no means satisfied with him and have told him he had better return but am afraid he will not. Had he been a steady man
he would have been very acceptable indeed.
I beg my kindest remembrance to all your family and also to Mr. & Mrs. Hughes in which Mrs. M. and my daughters join and I shall be glad to hear from you at all times.
Yours very much obliged
(signed) Saml. Marsden.
Letter from Ann Marsden to Mary Stokes, 11 Mar. 1816
Parramatta March 11th 1816
My dear Mrs. Stokes
We return you many, many thanks for your kind remembrances which we received by Mr. Youl; the pleasure was so much greater as it was unexpected, for the time is so short since your other kind presents reached us: my Mama is much afraid that you fatigued and exerted yourself too much to get the things ready, as Mr. Youl informs us your notice was very short. He regrets extremely his acquaintance with you did not begin when he first went to England. I think if you would have seen Mary & Jane when they first saw the little Baskets with their initials on, you would have been as much delighted as they were; nothing but Mrs. Stokes was talked of for several days, and they were all anxious to know if they had seen you when in London, even little Martha who was born here wishes to claim an acquaintance with you and was quite hurt when she found she had no pretentions to it: As there was nothing marked M. M…n, we gave her the little Bird’s nest and I can assure you she was not a little proud of her present. Elizabeth and myself admire the Card-racks extremely, we are going to have a new Parsonage House built and my Mama intends to keep them to decorate the Parlours with. Charles has some thoughts of writing to thank you for the book you sent him,
but I much fear he will not have time. We are happy to hear such a pleasing account of Henry Johnson, that he was married and grown quite steady. I have often written to
Mrs. J. but Mr. Johnson never mentions whether the letters were ever received, tho’ he repeatedly writes to my Father, nor does he ever enquire after our Family individually. We are daily expecting the Missionaries from England for Otaheite. The Active sailed for that Place a few weeks back with Mr. & Mrs. Crook and Family on board; my Father’s time is now completely occupied with the Mission. When the Active is in port, he is almost always in Sydney preparing things to send to New Zealand, or else employed with the New Zealanders, who are at our house: and when she is not here he is generally engaged in writing letters to the Church Missionary Society or the other Persons respecting the Mission, that his own Concerns are much neglected through it. Many People wonder that his health does not suffer from so much fatigue, neither does he get as much encouragement from the Great Folk as he hoped he should, he is not able to establish a Church Missionary Society at all, but he intends to have another trial at the Bible Society. I wrote to you last Novr. by our Friend Mr. Nicholas, but as the Ship goes round by China it is most likely you will receive the Letters about the same time
I hope you will see Mr. Nicholas for he spend so much of his time at our house that he will be able to give every information respecting us and I think you will be pleased with him. In my last Letter I believe I told you we were suffering greatly from lack of rain, since then we have had such abundance that we have been in danger of flood. I think the Climate is almost as unsettled as England, tho’ we seldom feel any effects from it, in the Morning it will be extremely hot, and in the Evening as cold. I am happy to say that my Mama enjoys her health on the whole very well, it was her speech that was effected and not her memory, that is, and always was, as good as before she was first taken ill, she does not get the least strength in Arm that still remains quite useless. She begs you will give her kind Regards to Mr. & Mrs. Hughes, and also request you to remember her to Miss Janet and Miss Amy. I have nothing to write worth your reading but it would have been unpardonable in me had I neglected this opportunity of thanking you for your kindness to us. My Father is now writing to you and my Mama & Sisters send their kindest Love, accept also the sincere love of
My dear Mrs. Stokes
Your’s very affectionately
No, 39 Gutter Lane
Letter from Samuel Marsden to Mary Stokes, 14 Mar. 1816
Parramatta March 14th 1816
P.S. I have sent in a box one meant for Mr. Charles Stones to the Society – and a little Trifle from New Zealand.
My dear Madam
We had the Pleasure to receive your kind Remembrances fro me and mine – we are always happy to hear of & from you. The Inkstand I shall much esteem, as it keeps me in mind of many pleasing Circumstances that have past. I was much rejoiced to hear from you respecting your dear departed Companion; and trust that your long fervent and ardent Prayers were heard for him. I find by every Vessel that my old Friends are dropping off, and that I am likely to be left alone in the Earth. I think little of common Acquaintance but much were the Friendship has been long and sincere. Our best Friend will not die, he remains unchangeable, and to him we may at all time apply for Comfort in the Day of Trouble. I am happy to say we are all pretty well thro’ divine mercy. I have had my vexations in this Reign, but it will soon be over now; what the next will be I know not, but the Spirit of the evil will continue to be Enmity to God and Godliness, and therefore I think things will be probably nearly the same to the end of Life. The Lord is good, and kind and gracious. I have obtained one object that was much upon my mind by my Returning, the Establishment of a Mission at New Zealand. This is a great work and I trust will be attended with the divine Blessing. All has gone on well hitherto; and I have only to regret the Death of that great man Duaterra
in whom I had placed much Confidence for carrying on the Mission in N.Zealand, but in this respect my Hopes are now blasted. Probably you will see some Account of his death in the Missionary Register, as I sent it to the Secretary. I should be happy to spend my remaining days at New Zealand, could I do this with Propriety, but many ties secure my Stay here at present, tho’ my Life is a continual warfare, and I have fightings without and Fears within. We have some very profane and wicked men in Power here; and it is impossible to conciliate their Favor or to avoid the Shafts of their Hatred. I know that some of my Friends in England will not always approve of my public Conduct; but they can neither enter into my Feelings or comprehend the Reasons for my Actions. I feel myself agrieved and I have appealed unto Caesar again and again. Men in Power like Religion as far as it accords with their political measures; and tends to support their dignity and Consequence but no further. Ahab will never die as long as there is an Elijah upon the Earth, and Elijah will always be considered as one who troubleth Israel. I shall refer to the Revd. Mr. Vale for further Information respecting this Colony. Mr. Vale is now before a General Court Martial, and no doubt, but he will return to Europe. I do not approve of the matter that led to his Arrest and Trial, but the higher Powers must settle this. It rests between the Governor and him. Few Clergymen are fit for this Colony. It is a very extraordinary Place and requires much Prudence,
solid Piety, and the Exercise of much common Sense to do any thing with the Inhabitants; I mean the whole body: those in and out of Power. I mentioned to you in a former Letter that Mr. Vale would not answer, he is not at all suited to this Country, tho’ possest of Ability . In the present difference between Mr. Vale and the Governor I think they are both very much in the wrong. The former as a Clergyman and the latter as a Governor, but this time will determine. I should be sorry to do any thing by which the Ministry would be blamed. I am glad Mr. Youle is arrived, as he will be a useful man where he is going; there has been no minister in that Settlement since it was established more than ten years ago: he is a quiet prudent man, tho’ not equal to the Situation of a Clergyman at Port Jackson. I wish you knew of a Person you could recommend to come out, I am much in want of assistance. I am happy to say the Schools are going on well. I do not think there is any part of the Globe where the common Peoples Children are so well instructed as they are here and I feel much Pleasure in seeing the Young men of the Colony, tho’ born of the most depraved Parents, in general sober, honest and industrious; and many of the poor orphan Girls who were received into the Orphan House married well, and become respectable mothers, and members of Society. This is a very gratifying Sight to me. In about six months I hope
to open a large new Building at Parramatta, which will contain about 200 Girls as an Orphan House; and then the Benefits will be more extensive. I now want to see an House built for the Accommodation of the Female Convicts, where they can be comfortably lodged, and usefully employed. When in England I urged this object very strongly upon his Grace the Archbishop, and upon his Majesty’s Ministers but it is not done yet. I have also remonstrated with our present Governor upon this Subject, but as yet nothing is done. I have made another Application to Lord Bathurst, and if I cannot obtain this necessary Building for these poor Exiles (these objects of vice and woe) I have determined to lay their Situation before the British nation, and then I am sure it will be done.
You will have heard of my Visit to New Zealand and the Reception I met with there. I shall try to send your Son a little Iron Stone, or anything of that nature that I can procure as soon as I can. A Captain Brabazon, who now returns to England, and will shortly come out again to N.S,Wales , may probably give you a Call. He is an old Acquaintance of mine, tho’ not a pious man, we have served many years together. He will bring out a Letter from you, should you find it convenient to write. Mrs. M. and all my daughters and Charles feel grateful to you for your Kindness, and beg to be remembered most affectionately to you and yours. Give my Christian Regards to Mr. & Mrs. Hughes & Mr. Stokes, and believe me
dear Madam your in the bonds of Christian Love
Letter from Ann Marsden to Mary Stokes, 26 Mar. 1817
Parramatta 25th March 1817
My dear Mrs. Stokes,
I always willingly obey my Mother when she requests me to write to you, for I know that the goodness of your heart makes you interested with all our welfare, and that a few lines from any of us will not be unwelcomely received. I am happy to inform you that the Box which was retained so long in England arrived safe, none of the things (except the lilac silk) were in the least damaged. How much does your kindness my dear Madam make us all indebted to you, for have we not individually received tokens of remembrance from you : my Mother says that you are still the same good Mrs. Stokes you were, as when she first knew you, & that she has now for more than twenty years been continually receiving some proof of your affection for her. Accept our best thanks for so many favors. I hope you had the letters safe we forwarded by Mr. Nicholas. The bearer of this is a young friend who is going home with the intention of entering College. During his stay in London how much shall we feel obliged by your sometimes allowing him to visit you. I believe he is a truly pious young man, & the hopes of his being useful to this Colony some years hence (should his life be spared) induces him to leave his friends. He is the son of Mr. Hassall, who came out on the Duff, as a Missionary to Otaheite, you have heard of him no doubt. I think you will be pleased to hear that a Bible Society was formed at Sydney a few week since; the Governor was president; & upon the whole it was very well attended; my Father gave a short address wh. was so well received that the Lieut. Governor expressed a wish that it might be published. I think I mentioned in my last letter that a school was established at Parramatta for the native children. There are now 17 scholars so that in the end I hope it will have the desired effect. Mr. & Mrs. Ellis & Mr. & Mrs. Orsmond have left us for Otaheite & I hope are now near
the place of their destination. Mr. & Mrs. Barff remain a short time longer at Parramatta, on account of Mrs.B., who was confined at the time the ship sailed. The Missionaries at New Zealand were all well when the Active left them. I
must need say nothing of them as it will be only to repeat what is written in the "Missionary Register", extracted from my Father’s letters.
That you may have some idea of Parramatta I send you a view of it, which I believe very much like it, tho’ wretchedly painted; our house is not in it, but when I have another favourable opportunity, I will send you that & the Church. My Mother requests me to say how much she should be gratified if you would favor her with a few lines; that tho’ you write to my Father, which is nearly the same thing, yet still she wishes to hear from you herself; she regrets extremely that she is deprived the pleasure of writing to you, but both her & us, ought to be very thankful that she enjoys her health so well & that her memory is not in the least impaired.
My Father is also very well, still as busy as ever. Should you see Mr. Thos. Hassall, he will be much better able to give you every information both respecting us & the Country than I can write. Elizabeth, Charles, Mary, Jane & Martha are all well; my Mother say I must tell you all their names as she finds you did not know them till you saw them in my Father’s letter to Duaterra. Mary will not be satisfied till she writes to Miss Hughes: She says she knows it was Mrs. Stokes that sent out the dolls, ribbands &c. but she thinks that Miss H. must have sent some of the pincushions, & therefore she will write to thank her for them. My Father & Mother beg their kindest regards to Mr. & Mrs. Hughes, & yourself, & believe me to be
My dear Madam,
Your’s very affectionately,
Received Feby. 23rd.. 1818
Letter from Samuel Marsden to Mary Stokes, 27 Mar. 1817
March 27, 1817.
My very dear Madam
This will be delivered to you by a pious young man who is coming to England with the Intention of entering into Holy Orders as soon as he can attain the requisite literary Qualifications. I hope he will stand in my Place when I have finished my Labors and preserve the holy Seed in this distant Land. I consider him a little like young Timothy, and I hope he will be an Honor and a Blessing to the Church of Christ. Your long looked for Box arrived by the Lieut Governor to the no small Joy of all my Girls. The day was too short for them to examine your presents, and to point out all the Beauties of the Dolls and Dresses. I shall pay particular Attention to your Request regarding the Minerals, and have sent to the Derwent to see what can be found there
As I advance in Years I am involved in greater difficulties. It will be no small Portion of the Happiness of the Saints to be where the wicked cease from troubling. I have had harder to contend than ever lately, and never past thro’ so much Anxiety in a given time at any former Period in my Life. I must prevail in the end, tho’ the Struggle is very painful. Should you see my Friend Mr. Good he will explain more fully my Situation. Unconverted men in Power roar like Lions at the Sound of the Gospel. Every King of Babylon has his golden Image; and whosoever will not fall down and worship his God, must be cast into the burning fiery Furnace. I now move slowly like a loaded waggon pressed beneath the Sheaves of Wheat. Fightings without and Fears within attend me. "They that will live Godly in Christ Jesus must suffer Persecution." This will hold good in all Countries, and particularly in this.
Some ministers are bold in preaching the Gospel in the Pulpit; but out of it they are very careful what they say or do, lest they should give offence to the ungodly. I see such men, but I cannot approve of their Plan. I have lately in some heavy Storms stood alone; and the Storm is not over yet. From a wicked world I expect no Favor, no Peace. The Mission to New Zealand has also added much to my Anxiety. All things have gone on as well there as I could have expected as far as concerning the Natives; but the pecuniary Concerns have been distressing to me, they have far exceeded what I had reason to expect from various Causes. I wish I was free from these, or at least that my Colleagues would enter heartly into the work to assist me. I find it too heavy a Responsibility for me. I am in Hopes now the Settlement is formed, that things will go on more to my Satisfaction; and that the Expenses will be greatly reduced. I beg my kind Regards to all your Family, and to Mrs. Hughes and Mr. Hughes – in which Mrs. M. joins.
If I can get anything to send by Mr. Hassall I will.
P.S. My little girls talk much about Mrs. Stokes.
When they heard of the Box, every Ship excited their anxious
wishes to see what was in it. At length it came to all their Joy.
Received by Mr. T. Hassel Feby. 23rd. 1818 M. Stokes.
Letter from Samuel Marsden to Mary Stokes, 16 Dec. 1817
Parramatta Decr. 16th 1817
My dear Madam
I had great pleasure to receive your Letter by the Duke of Wellington with the Gloves &c. which you were kind as to send, and the little Blocks for the Children, which created great Joy in their little Hearts. I wish you could have seen them dancing about the Ribbons the night I brought them Home. Mrs. M. and myself are thankful to you for your kind Remembrances and wish it was in our Power to make you any return. Should I visit New Zealand again I will see if I can meet with any dry Minerals &c, and send them to your Son. I have sent a few by the Bearer, and a few Seeds for your Friends Gardens. Miss Hall will I have no doubt deliver them safe. The Seeds are quite fresh; I am sorry I have not more for your Son, but I will not forget him. I have sent him a little blew Paint from New Zealand in a whafer Box, whether it is or ever will be of any value I know not. Perhaps your Son can inform me when you
write again. There are also a few small Stones from Cape barren, but I know not that they are good for any thing. I will procure more Iron Stone from Port Dalrymple as soon as I can, and send it.
I am happy to say the Missions go on well in the Islands. These nations have changed their Gods, and have cast them in to the Fire. 4,000 of the natives in the South Sea Islands can now read, and have embraced Christianity as their national Religion. God had done great things for them. Perhaps his Power has not been more visibly displayed since the Apostle’s time than amongst these Natives. At New Zealand the prospect bids fair. A good School is established there, and all the Missionaries are well and kindly treated by the Natives. I will lay out your five pounds for them when the Active returns, and am much obliged to you for your kind Consideration. It will be many Years to come before every New Zealander is worth an Ax. They are all wants; they are in a State of Nature, and therefore must put an high value upon a Needle or a Nail. I wish to introduce amongst them Agriculture. This will immediately apply to their real wants, and will be the first thing that will raise them into a civilized nation. I have five now
living with me, instructing them in Agriculture. I cannot entertain doubt, but that the time is now come for these People to be blessed with the Gospel of Peace, and that the way is now opened for them. There is great opposition to the work in this Colony, but I trust that God in his own good time will remove the Enemy, and give a little Peace. I have been tried more this last Year than at any former period of my Life but blessed be God I still stand my Ground, against all the Powers that be and hope I shall continue to stand.
I often wish to return to the Bosom of my Country, and frequently resolve to do this, but then I am immediately checked by the Thought what will New Zealand do? What will all the Missionaries in the Islands do, if there is none to care for them under their difficulties? Will England make me happy, and relieve my Anxiety about the Natives of the South Sea Islands? These Considerations make me again resolve to meet all difficulties and to contend with them to the last. I have always overcome in time, tho’ the Contest has sometimes been long, and severe. He that hath helped can and will help at all times if we can only depend on his Power and Goodness. No doubt but you will learn some thing of our late Struggles, tho’ all has turned out well for the Cause of Religion in the End. I am happy to say that Mrs. M. and all my Family continue
well; my daughters are all much obliged to you for you Kindness to them, and if you will lay out the £5, for them in Bonnets, (I mean Straw Bonnets,) which you have instructed me to lay out for you for the Natives of N. Zealand, I will execute your Commands here.
I have sent you also by Miss Hall a small New Zealand Funnel, which will shew you what neat Carvers they are and with little or no Tools. I beg you to refer to Miss Hall for further Accounts. Mrs. M. & My Daughters desire their kind Love to you and your Family.
The man Massiter whom Mr. Hughes recommended to me put it out of my Power to do any thing for him. I got him into a good Situation or two; but he was so addicted to drunkenness; and made such Game of every thing Sacred, and religious, I was obliged to leave him to himself, and I fear he will do some things or other that will involve him in difficulties here. Mr. Vale will have got Home before this, and perhaps you may have seen him. I do not think he will come out any more here, as Mrs. Vale did not like the Country. The rest of my Colleagues are all well. Remember us kindly to Mr. & Mrs. Hughes, and to all your Family, we shall always rejoice to hear from you. I remain dear Madam
With much esteem Yours respectfully
Mrs. Mary Stokes.
[Rec’d. June 29th 1818, by Miss Hall ]
Letter from Samuel Marsden to Mary Stokes, 4 June 1819
June 4th. 1819
My Dear Madam
I have just received your Letter dated 16th of Novr. 1818, and as a Ship sails next week for England I embrace the Opportunity to drop you a Line. I think you would receive Letters from me before the end of Novr. last, as Mrs. Cartwright had arrived in the Downs about the time your wrote. I have just received Letters along with yours on the same day from Otaheite & New Zealand. The Missionaries write from Otaheite, that Pomare has built a Chapel or Church which will contain 3 times the number of Persons that St. Pauls will hold. It is 760 feet long. The Great meeting was to take Place there in May, when all the Chiefs of the different Islands were to assemble for Purposes of devotion. I apprehend nothing like this has happened since the Apostles days. I hope they would have a real Pentecost, and that the Holy Spirit would be poured out upon all above measure, so that the Missionaries may ask can any man forbid water that these shall not be baptized, who have received
the Holy Ghost as well as we. I am astonished above measure at the Success of the Mission. Never were there perhaps more weak and unlikely Instruments than have been employed in this work. Previous to my return to England, the Missionaries had relinquished the work twice. Two only remained the last time. When I arrived in N.S.Wales I found the Missionaries again in the Colony, they told me they would not return again. Their Labors were all in vain. I wanted to know why they had left their Stations with a Resolution never to return again. They stated their Reasons, which I have no doubt satisfied them, that the South Sea Islands were not the Field in which they were destined by the Head of the Church to labour. I had very different Views of the Subject; tho’ it did not appear at that time proper for me to State my Sentiments; their minds were too weak; their feelings of disappointment too keen, and without Hope. Time relieved their minds, a little. The Mission became a Subject of frequent Conversation and at last I wrote to them, calling upon them to work once more; expressing my humble Confidence they would succeed in the End. When their Consent was obtained, I took up two Colonial Vessels, in which they embarked, and were landed again in Satan’s dark dominions. They surrounded his
City, blew their Rams Horns, and the walls of the Otaheitian Jericho fell. The Heathen Altars no more streamed with human blood; the new born infant no more expired beneath the murderer’s Grasp; the Habitations of Cruelty were illumined by the morning Star, which indicated the speedy rising of the Sun of Righteousness with healing on his wings. The Lord is now risen indeed. The name of Jesus is precious to many a Soul, and the incorruptible Seed is sown, which will live and abide forever.
I shall send a few Lines to Mr. Burden with a private Letter or two addressed to me from the Missionaries, as they have sent no public Letters. I am sure the Private Letters will give the Society the most heartfelt Satisfaction. I am happy to say all is well at New Zealand. I cannot doubt but that the time has come for these Cannibals, who were a terror to the civilized world, to become the Children of our God. N.S.Wales would not have detained me had it not been the Post which the great Captain of Salvation assigned me for the Good of the Heathen. I would not have lived under the Rod of Oppression for any human Authority, unless I had been chained Hand and Foot. The Question which I often have put to myself, when smarting under Scourge of Power and Injustice is am I at my Post? Do I believe God sent me here? The answer of my mind has always been Yes. I will then defend my Post, I will not quit till I am relieved.
I have little Communication with the Great men of this world and never enter Government House but twice in the Year as a matter of Form on public days. The following little Circumstance will shew you the Spirit of the times. News of the Queen’s death arrived last week. I looked for the General order for mourning on the Occasion, but instead of mourning the Feast of Pentecost has been consecrated to Horse Racing all this week, Cock fighting &c. by the Sanction of the Government. The annual Feast has been thus observed. I have little Hope of doing much good in this Colony. God is making here and there young Fools wise unto Salvation. A young man born in the Colony, whose Parents were convicts, and still wicked, offered his Services to me this night to assist me in teaching and instructing the New Zealanders who are living with me, from a real Love to the Gospel and experimental Knowledge of the Truth. God is from these very Stones, from the Sweepings of Jails Hulks and Brothels, raising up the Children unto Abraham.
I must conclude, but first let me tell you I intend sending my only Son Charles to England the next Ship. His passage is taken, and I hope dear Madam, you will live to see him arrive safe. Mrs. M. and my daughters are well. The night before the news of the Bonnets arrived, my daughter Elizabeth dreamed Mrs. Stokes had sent some Bonnets. I do not believe much in dreams , I only state the Fact. Mrs. M. & I smiled at her dream, however it so happened that the event corresponded with the dream. Mr. Hill has not yet arrived
at Sydney. The Ship Hibernia is at the Derwent and the Letters were forwarded by another vessel. We expect him hourly. I am happy to say Mrs. M. is wonderfully well considering her affliction. You mention the Trial, that the damages were small. I did not seek for damages, this the Judge, and Court were sensible of. All I wanted was to set my Character right with the public and to prove the Conduct of those in Authority towards the Cause in which I was engaged, and towards me individually. I received none of the money, nor ever intended. I did not turn and attack the Enemy till I could flee no longer from him: and then I was …… moved to vindicate my Cause by an appeal to Cesar; and I was saved out of the mouth of the Lion. How long the warfare will continue I know not, or when a Change will come. I view God governing the world, he puts down one, and raises up another according to his Sovereign will. I esteem the excellent ones of the Earth, and I wish to be esteemed by them, as I hope to live with them ere long, "where the wicked cease from troubling" ; but I value little the Friendship of those who are enemies to the Cross of Christ. I have had my Share of their Hatred; and yet I have no Reason to believe that it has been in their Power to do me any real Injury. I did not intend when I sat down to write half as much
but I feel as if I was in Gutter Lane again and in the Eye of the Mind I see you, your daughter, your Sons and Grandchildren. Is that little red-faced Girl with her ruddy Cheeks grown any? I should not know her.
I must drop my pen. We regret to hear Mr. Johnson is so poorly. I purpose to write to him by Charles. Give my most affectionate Regards to Mrs. Amey, Mrs. Dearle, Revd. & Mrs. Wilkson, Mr. & Mrs. Hughes and all your Family, whom I shall ever esteem, and accept the same from
Your very much obliged
And affectionate Friend
No.29 Gutter Lane
Fav’d. by Master Youl
Received Novr. 4th 1819.
Letter from Samuel Marsden to Mary Stokes, 14 July 1819
Parramatta July 14th 1819
My dear Madam
We received all your Letters by the Surry & Hibernian, but the Box you mention has not yet come to Hand and is not on board these Ships as I can learn. It may come by some other Conveyance. I will pay particular Attention to your Son Charles’ Request, and will follow his direction in sending them Home, when obtained. I received his Letter. I am now preparing to embark for New Zealand with the Clergymen &c. &c. Should I meet with any thing in my voyage that I think will be acceptable to Mr. C. Stokes I will bring it with me, and then answer his Letter. By this Ship I have sent Home my Son Charles for his Education and wish to place him in the same Seminary with Mr. Hassall in Wales, as he will be a Companion for him, and a Guardian till he gains more Knowledge of the World. I have directed him to visit upon you when he arrives in London, and have requested my Friend Mr. Goode to provide for him in my Account while he remains in Town. I need not say how Mrs. M. feels on parting with him to
England and me to New Zealand at the same time. The Promise is as thy day thy strength shall be: They are both needful tho’ not joyous at the present time. We must commit all into his Hands who ordereth all things well, I bless God that the Enemy hath not triumphed over me, I am alive to this day and as firm at my Post thro’ Mercy as ever.
Hard has been the Struggle, and painful the Contest, but the Issue will be for the Good of the Church of Christ. Fightings without and Fears within have literally attended me. I have lived like a Spark in the Ocean. Wave after wave have rolled over me, but not swallowed me up. I shall be very glad when a Change of Government is made. Things may be better. They will not be better under the present System. Nor am I to expect any cordial Reconciliation to take Place between me, and the existing Authority. Had I been vanquished, the Enemy would then have been more inclined to a Reconciliation – as this is not the Case, the Enmity will only lie like hot Embers under a Heap of Ashes, ready to be blown up into a Flame by the first Gust of Temptation. For this Reason I must not sleep as do others, but watch and be sober, and pray for divine wisdom that I may walk wisely towards them that
are without; and with well doing put to Silence the Ignorance of foolish men.
I was very much rejoiced to receive Tooi & Teeterree both well. And I thank you for your kind attentions to them. Tooi tells me you have given him two Gowns for his wife. I am glad they behaved well, and have no doubt that their Country will become a great Nation in a little time. They speak of you with much affection. The Rev’d. Messrs. Hill and Cross have arrived. Mr. H:ill answers m y wishes as far as I can judge, and think he will be a great Blessing to this Colony; my opinion of Mr. Cross I shall suspend for the present, and shall rejoice if he honours his holy Profession. I have not had much opportunity yet to judge. If the Gov’r. would have allowed me I should have seen you with Mr. Cartwright, but he would not grant me leave. I have now gained Permission to return from England but I cannot embrace the Opportunity at present.
Mrs. M. and my Family are all pretty well, and beg to be affectionately remembered to you and yours and to Mr. Hughes & his family. You will excuse this hasty scrawl as I am much pressed for time. I refer you to Charles for particulars, and remain
Letter from Ann Marsden to Mary Stokes, 20 Aug. 1820
Sydney New South Wales. August 20th. 1820.
My dear & esteemed Mrs. Stokes,
My Mother received you affectionate letter dated April 3rd. 1820 last week & is happy to find that notwithstanding your complain of the indolence attending old age, you are enabled to write to & think of her & hers: for my part I find it very difficult to fancy you what you
describe represent yourself as, "very old & infirm". I can only remember you as the kind indulgent Mrs. Stokes, endeavouring to satisfy my childish curiosity by accompanying me into various toy shops, on my first arrival in England; & presenting me with the largest doll I had ever seen! What a treasure I thought I was possessed of. Twenty years have rolled away since those events happened, & made them "the tale of other times".
I am very happy to say we have received the box of bonnets &c safe; it was packed in a case of books directed to the Missionaries in New Zealand, which place it would have gone to; had not the Rev. Mr. Hill received intelligence that he had some letters in the case & wished it to be opened when our box was discovered. The parcel which you mention to have sent I fear we shall never receive, for the young man whose care it was entrusted to forwarded it in his box by the Sar
racen, which ship sailed from Sydney before his arrival. Mr. Hill delivered the letter & books which you sent by him, for which we return you many thanks. I think you would be surprised to see my dear brother in England, it was a great trial to my Mother to part with him; but it was obliged to be so or he never would have received an Education to have enabled him to support the character of a gentleman. We conceived ourselves highly favoured in being permitted to receive accounts of him within 10 months after his departure. My Mother is surprised to find he has had Measles, as she thought he had that disorder when he was with her on the Buffalo. I am sure you will find much sorrow, on Mr. Thos. Hassall’s account, to hear of the death of his Father; he was died after a very short illness, but that was of no moment with him, for I am persuaded he was many [ years prepared for] his next great change, whenever it should please his Master [to call him].
A Bible Society has been established lately at Parramatta & a female Committee is also formed to act in conjunction with it. I am proud to say the Ladies’ prosper the best. We collect about £5 monthly. The people evince a greater readiness to pay free subscriptions; they do not appear anxious to possess a Bible; our greatest expectations are from the rising generation. We have I am happy to say a good Sunday School, about 110 children attend constantly. The little black children make rapid improvement. The girls can read fluently & write & sew very neatly. You have of course heard before that this though my Father went in the Dromedary to New Zealand, he is not returned yet, altho’ he has been absent 6 months: we are now daily expecting him. Mr. Cartwright is anxiously awaiting the arrival of Mrs. C. from England. Mr Youl was very unwell the last time we heard from him; his health has been very indifferent for many months past; he is extremely subject to an inflamation on the lungs. We are all just recovering from a severe cold which is very prevalent in the Colony. My Mother was exceeding ill for some days & also Elizabeth; they unite with me in kindest regards to Mr. & Mrs. Hughes & affectionate love to yourself, & believe me, your very affectionate
Received Feby. 5th 1821.
Letter from Samuel Marsden to Mary Stokes, 12 Feb. 1824
Parramatta Feby. 12th 1824
It is now a long time since I wrote to you, tho’ I often think of your Kindness to me and mine, and am grateful for all your past Attentions. As the bearer of this, Mr. Woodhouse who resides in London will have an opportunity to see you after his Return I have determined to give you a Line by him, and shall refer you to Mr. Woodhouse for any Information you may wish as he can tell you what we are doing. I have still to contend with unreasonable and wicked men, and believe I shall have to the end of Life. However much good has been done in the Colony in various ways for the [furtherance ?] Funderance of Religion. On the 11th Inst. I consecrated a very fine Church in Sydney in which I trust the everlasting Gospel will be preached to the end of time. I have now consecrated five Churches in this Part of the world, and shall soon have the Pleasure, God willing, to set apart another for his immediate worship. God has overruled the wickedness of man for the Advancement of his Glory. I have lately returned from New Zealand and brought back with me a few natives. I have no doubt but we shall establish Christianity amongst that barbarous Race of men. They are making advances in Civilization, and improving very fast.
I this day marked out a Building which I purpose to erect at Parramatta for a Seminary for the natives of New Zealand and have the Labourers at work. It is my Intention to have the Missionaries Children brought over for their Education to N.S.Wales, and some of the Children of the Chiefs with them, which may be of infinite Advantage to them both. I am sorry to say some of the Missionaries have not behaved well. This has given me much trouble; as I have been obliged to dismiss some from the mission entirely. Those things are very grievous. Moses when he selected 12 Princes, Heads of the Tribes of Israel to examine the Land of Canaan only two were found to be faithful, and even these all the Congregation had stoned with Stones; we must not expect to meet with more success than Moses in our undertakings. The last year was a year of Toil and Danger and much vexation. I spent near three months in different parts of Van Diemans Land and travelled from Sea to Sea. On my Return I sailed for New Zealand, and was there Shipwrecked, and the Ship was lost. We had many Dangers, as I sailed in four different Vessel during the Year. I had my Troubles on Shore as well as on the water, and was compelled to appeal unto Cesar for Redress. Who can tell what he may meet with in his Pilgrimage thro’ Life ? Infinite wisdom
cannot err. All we want is to commit our way to him, and he will direct our Paths.
Should you be in London and see Mr. Justice Field or his Lady you may know all our Concerns from them. Mr. Justice Field was one of our Judges, and sailed for Europe a few Days ago, we were very intimate, and have found him at all time very friendly. I esteemed him, and Mrs. Field very much, and regret their departure. Mr. & Mrs. Hassall are very well. Mr. Hassall retains his Spirituality, his pious feelings; and promises to be an useful minister to the Gospel of Christ. He has got no appointment yet. I believe it is partly owing to the very little Esteem some of the ruling Powers have for me that he is not provided for. Many Settlements are totally without Clergy. At one Settlement there are nearly 1,500 Convicts and no minister. I have written to the Bishop of London on the Subject, and hope some Remedy will be provided. If Government will not employ Mr. Hassall I must do it myself. In short I have ever since he came to the Colony. The Lord will provide. If I could make up my mind to court the Friendship of the World, all would be well. But this will not do for a Christian; who hopes to enter a better world than this in due time. You my dear Madam must now be near your Prize. Your Race must be nearly run, and your Reward in full view; you have had a long experience of the Goodness of the Lord; and must
now be ready to say with Jacob, "I have waited for thy Salvation O Lord". I am happy to say Mrs. M. is pretty well and all my Family. She often speaks of you with much affection, and now begs me to give her kindest Love to you, Mr. & Mrs. Hughes and all your Sons. How you must rejoice to see your Children walking in the Fear of the Lord.
I have not heard from the Revd. R. Johnson for a long time. He must be near his end now. I purpose to write a Line to him this evening, which I hope will find him in the Land of the living. Referring you to Mr. Justice Field should you have an opportunity of seeing him and his Lady
with much esteem
Rec’d. Augst. 6th 1824
[Transcribed by Jacqueline Lamprecht for the State Library of New South Wales]