Launching Marsden's Mission: Mission in New Zealand, viewed from New South Wales

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In 1794 the Rev Samuel Marsden became the second Chaplain to the Colony of New South Wales. Both Marsden and the first Chaplain, the Rev Richard Johnson, came to the Colony under the sponsorship of the Church of England Evangelicals. They had high hopes that New South Wales would be the base from which the ‘everlasting gospel’ would sound forth to achieve the salvation of the ‘poor benighted heathens’ of the South Seas. To this end Marsden began the mission to New Zealand on Christmas Day, 1814. As the senior chaplain in New South Wales Marsden’s interest in the Maori people began in 1805 when chief Te Pahi from the Bay of Islands visited Sydney. Marsden developed close relationships with Te Pahi and later his nephew, Ruatara. 


After a two year furlough in England recruiting more chaplains and school teachers for the Colony and missionaries for New Zealand Marsden arrived back in New South Wales in February 1810 with Ruatara who had been in England. Plans for the mission were set back because of an incident in New Zealand, that saw most of the crew of the Boyd killed. Marsden spent the next four years getting to the bottom of the case and preparing for the mission.

  • Author

    Peter G Bolt and David B Pettett

  • Info

    ISBN: 978 1 906327 22 4

    160 pages

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