Earliest New Zealand
WHEN I arrived at the vessel, Tahrayha was gone on shore, and I returned to the Tee. Next morning I paid Tarayha for the land as follows:—five hatchets, twelve axes, eight plane irons, eight hoes, six chisels, one hundred and fifty fish-hooks.
Returned home in the evening much fatigued.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 30th.—Paid the natives, and employed in writing native language.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 31st.—Writing native language, etc. Natives employed in sawing for the school, threshing, fencing, etc., etc.
Wrote Mr. Marsden a letter concerning a seminary for New Zealand youths at Port Jackson.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 1st.—Took Mr. Marsden and Mrs. Leigh to Moturoa, and from thence I went to the Tee, and then to Rangee Hoo; slept Mr. Hall's, and preached from 13th Corinthians on the Sabbath morning. Administered the H.S. Churched Mrs. King. Christened Mrs. King's child—Joseph King; returned home in the evening, and had family prayer and with the natives as usual.
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 3rd, 1823.—This morning I went down to the brig “Dragon,” to examine the accommodations for my family for the voyage; I found them very bad, and a swearing, abusing captain to sail with; but we made up our minds to put up with all insults and privations, knowing that the voyage would be short.
During the remaining part of the week we were fully employed in making necessary preparations to embark. As soon as the poor natives found that I was going to leave them, they came from the distance of thirty miles to see me. They one and all asked in a tone of anxiety what I was going away for. “What have we done to you, pray tell us?”page 304
Placed in such peculiar circumstances I could scarcely teil how to answer them. However, I endeavoured to quiet them by telling them that I hoped it would be but a little while ere I should return. I then appealed to their parental feelings by bidding them behold my little daughter, who had been ill a long time; and told them it was my desire to take her to Port Jackson for advice, hoping that her health might be restored.
They replied: “That is very good; we all love little Hannah, but then there is no need for mother and you to go; let one go and the other stop behind.”
I answered, “We must both go for a little time, and then we would return.”
One and another kept saying, “My heart is very bad” (grieved for you); “I shall never see you again;” “Is Mr. Kendall angry with you?” “Tell us plainly what is the matter?”
I could not answer these pointed interrogatives direct as I ought to do; for, if I had, I believe there would have been a great disturbance immediately; and the best answers I was enabled to give, by no means satisfied them; they would still have it that some of the white people wanted me away in order to have my house, farm, garden, and karradees (general stock); “But,” they said in a tone of anger, “ no man shall have your house, for we will burn the whole premises to the ground.” This they told Mr. Marsden himself.
I begged them not to think of any such thing as that. I said, “The thought of such a thing grieves me to the heart; you must take care of it and let the missionaries live in it until my return, and then I will make you some little presents.”
Shunghee also came this morning to breakfast, bringing his youngest son, putting him under my care to take him to Port Jackson. Shunghee has been very often at my house lately, to breakfast, dine, etc., and one of his little daughters has been at our house a long time, learning to read and study, and household work. I took an opportunity the other day of asking him if his heart was good towards me, and he said it was; I then asked him if he wished me to go away, and he answered, “By no means.” I then asked him if Mr. Kendall was coming to live at Kiddee Kiddee; he said, “Perhaps he might. but,” said he, “that will not make any difference to page 305 you, as he will not come to live in the settlement, and he is not angry with you now.” I told him I was very sorry to leave him and his people for a time, but he might expect me back shortly. He replied: “Kapi; kapi!” (Good; good.)
In the evening, Shunghee's head wife, Turekotookee, came from Te Waimattie, and as Shunghee had not consulted her upon sending away her son, she was very angry, and insisted upon Shunghee's fetching the boy away from our house; and she, continuing her vociferations and entreaties, saying he would surely die, until at length Shunghee was obliged to yield, but appeared to do it very reluctantly. He then asked for a present before I went away, and I gave him and his son a tokee each, and he bade me and Mrs. Butler farewell.
Many of the chiefs and other natives continue about our house, expressing their sorrow on account of our going away, and have shown us their affection for us in every possible way. Indeed, it is a grievous trial to us to leave them at this juncture, being now prepared by the blessing of God to be permanently useful among them; I am enabled to preach to them in their own language the truth and doctrine of the blessed Gospel of Jesus; and I verily believe that if I remained, the Lord would abundantly bless my labours; (His word shall not return unto Him void). There are many pleasing hopes and prospects before me, having in my own house ten, sometimes twelve and sixteen natives who are taught to read, pray, and sing hymns in their own language; most of them can give satisfactory answers to many important questions in religion; these things appear to me like the opening buds of spring which foretell that summer is nigh.
One chief remained until the moment of our departure; they wept aloud frequently, and the old man, in token of his inward affection, insisted on my accepting a greenstone adze, one of the most valuable articles New Zealand produces, according to their estimation, and the greatest present he could make. At first I refused taking it, but at length I took it, and made him a small present in return.
The son of this chief has wrought for me in sawing timber, etc., for a length of time, and he is a clever youth. He can read his letters and repeat many prayers and hymns, and is page 306 very desirous of improvement. He wished to go to Port Jackson with me, but durst not attempt the voyage on account of the smallness of the vessel. On giving him my hand at my departure, he sighed, and said, “Good-bye, father, me no see you again.”
Can anyone read these accounts, these strong manifestations of their regard and esteem, and not say, “The field are white already to the harvest.”? If a spark of divine grace dwells in our breasts or remains in our hearts, we must cry out in earnest prayer, “Lord, send forth labourers into Thy harvest, and let them gather these precious souls into Thy gran-ary, O Lord!”
I have laboured exceedingly to put the settlement at Kiddee Kiddee on a permanent and firm footing; and to leave it just as I began to enter on my proper work as a missionary is too bad, as no just reason can be given for my removal. The following, however, is a copy of Mr. Marsden's letter to me on the subject of leaving. I might go on ad infinitum, but I have said sufficient.
page 307KIDDEE KIDDEE,
November 1st, 1823.
Revd. Sir,“ The Revd. J. Kendall having determined to remain in
“ New Zealand unless I will engage to do for him and his fam-
“ ily what is totally out of my power, I consider it absolutely
“ necessary that you should leave Kiddee Kiddee. You cannot
“ be ignorant what his feelings are towards you, and what
“ influence he has gained over Shunghee's mind. Should Mr.
“ Kendall come to reside at Kiddee Kiddee, what he told me
“ he would do, it will be impossible for you to live near each
“ other. The most fatal consequences will be likely to follow:
‘ A prudent man foreseeth the evil and hideth himself.' I
“ earnestly request you to take this matter into your serious
“ consideration, and weigh every existing circumstance.“ It is a most painful and distressing thought that all
“ the alarming evils have originated with the missionaries
“ themselves, and that the heathen whom they came to in-
“ struct are innocent. Whatever the future consequences may
“ be, the guilt must fall upon the heads of the Europeans. I
“ see danger in your removal, and danger in your remaining,
“ but the greatest, in my opinion, is in the latter.
“I am, Revd. Sir,
“Your most obedient humble servant
“Rev. John Butler.”
I could make a very long animadversion on the above letter, but I forbear lest I should be thought severe.
I told Mr. Marsden that I would go down to Kendall and talk to him, but he persuaded me not, saying there was no confidence to be placed on anything he might say or promise. Therefore, with very great reluctance, we consented to come away and leave that labour and service for the good of the New Zealanders, in which we took so much delight, and in which we have very much exhausted our strength and weakened our constitution. There was one thing, however, which afforded us some consolation; that was the thought of obtaining medical assistance for our little daughter, who has been greatly afflicted for a long time.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 9th.—Mr. Marsden preached in the morning; Mr. Butler read prayers. Afternoon, Divine Service with the natives; a pretty good congregation, and very attentive. I spoke to them about the fall of man, and his recovery by Jesus Christ. May the Lord make this handful of seed to spring up and grow, until New Zealand becomes full of the knowledge of the Lord, and every one of them bring forth the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ to the praise and glory of God.
I must now turn to the letter written to me by the Committee in London, dated September 10th, 1822, and its consequences.
In the first place it was a gratification to Revd. Mr. Marsden to have me completely in his power; this was all he wanted, and without any reference to my diligence, duty, or usefulness, he determined to have me out of the Mission. This must be clearly manifest, because he told it on board the “Brampton,” in a kind of triumph, before he came to New Zealand, that he had received orders to turn me out of the Mission.
When some of the parties came to the Kiddee Kiddee and were entertained at our place, and saw the order of our house, and the improvements made among the natives, as well as the settlement put upon a permanent footing, they remarked to me as we walked in the garden together, “What a pity it is for you, Mr. Butler, to go away.” To whom I replied I had no such thought, for I was only beginning my proper missionary work. Now, if I had done anything worthy of censure, or of being turned out of the Mission, it ill became Mr. Marsden as a minister of Christ to make known this sentence to strangers and the ungodly, before I knew it myself.page 308
As soon as I heard of the arrival of ye ship in the north harbour, I immediately set off to see what she was, fully be-lieving, from her coming into the north harbour, she must have missionaries or stores on board, or both. When I arrived I found her to be the “Brampton,” having on board Revd. Mr. Marsden, Revd. Mr. Williams and family, Mr. Fairburn and family, a carpenter, the notorious John —— as farmer, who was formerly sent back for bad conduct; and besides these, the Rev. Mr. Turner and family, and a young man named Hobbs, belonging to the Wesleyan Mission.
After saluting the captain in the usual manner, I asked after Mr. Marsden, and was informed that he was gone to Range Hoo, to the settlement, and had taken Revd. Mr. Williams and Mr. Turner with him. Being very desirous to see him, I waited on board, and had some conversation with Mrs. Williams and Mrs. Turner, who, I found, had brought a young female each as a servant, and they asked me what I thought of it. I told them I thought they had done wrong in bringing two young girls to such a place as New Zealand, and that they would be more likely to be a continual trouble rather than an advantage to them. Mrs. Williams found my words true in a little time by bitter experience.
After supper I asked Mr. Marsden if he had any letters for me, or stores for the settlement, as I would endeavour to make arrangements for getting them to the Kiddee Kiddee. He told me that Mr. Williams had got charge of the stores; but that he had a letter for me from the Society. Mr. Marsden then produced the letter, and I sat down in his cabin and read it over, and, as you must suppose, with very deep concern.
I then turned to Mr. Marsden and said, “Sir, all that I desire is, that the whole of my conduct may be fully investigated. With clean hands and pure motives, I have laboured more than any other missionary for the good of New Zealand; but if I have done anything worthy of death or of bonds, let me suffer both the one and the other.” I said, moreover, “I may (like Paul), have many and grievous things laid to my charge, but I defy any man to prove them; and as respects my quarrel with you, sir, I am exceedingly sorry that it ever took place. The recollection has often grieved my heart, and caused page 309 me to shed many tears, not from any untrue statements contained in my letters, but that such things should take place at all. Were the time to come over again, I would rather suffer the loss of everything I had than enter into such dispute, which has caused me so much pain ever since; and further, you know, sir, if I have fallen short of fulfilling my duty and obligations to the Society, the rest must be miserably deficient.
Mr. Marsden then informed me that he would hold a special committee on Wednesday, the 6th inst., to read certain resolutions from the Society, and other business.
I remained on board all night, and in the morning offered my services, my boat, and men, to take the missionaries on shore. As I had the most room, I offered to take into my house the Rev. Mr. Williams and family, to make them welcome and as comfortable as we could, until they should be provided for at their own station, wherever it might be.
I then conveyed such of them to Range Hoo as were going to that settlement (being about five miles off), and then returned to the ship and took Mrs. Williams and the children to my house at Kiddee Kiddee, being seven miles the other way.
On Wednesday, the day appointed for special business, all the brethren met at my house to hold the committee, and they dined with us.
Mr Marsden, having landed with the missionaries, they went to Mr. Hall's, and after some refreshment, Mr. Marsden called him down to the beach to inquire of him concerning the Mission and the missionaries. Mr. Hall informed me that the first man he inquired after was me, asking how I was going on. Mr. Hall answered, “Mr. Butler is a very zealous, and very industrious man, and a man of great exertion.” “Oh,” said Mr. Marsden, “ I have an order to remove him and Mr. Kendall likewise.”
Mr. Marsden then asked how Mr. Kemp was going on; Mr. Hall said, he believed, pretty well. “How,” said he, “does Shepherd get on?” Mr. Hall replied, “He is living at Kiddee Kiddee, but he is idle and doing nothing for the general good of the Mission.”page 310
Mr. Hall informed me also that Mr. Marsden was very hard upon me, and spoke in severe terms. I afterwards found this to be the case, as he left no means untried to find out some fault or other against me, whereby he might lay hold of me to get me away. However, as Mr. Williams was just come, and wanted to form a new settlement, and my men and myself were much wanted to assist in the business, things went on very smoothly for some time. I rendered all the assistance in my power at the new station, belonging to Mr. Williams, and lay many nights on the cold ground. My boat and men also were constantly employed in going from place to place, and Mrs. Butler had to provide and cook for the whole, in going out and coming in; so that our house was scarcely still night or day, and Mrs. Butler was much worn down by fatigue.
After the “Brampton” was wrecked, I ventured my life to save Mr. Marsden's and Mr. Leigh's luggage; and Mr. Leigh who was very ill, and Mrs. Leigh returned to and remained at our house, and Mr. Marsden's at Mr. Kemp's, until we embarked on board the “Dragon.”
During this interval of about eight weeks, Mr. Marsden got several strange notions in his head, and for no other purpose than serving himself.
Mr. Marsden now began to take against my son, who was at this time, with his wife, doing his utmost for the good of the cause in establishing another settlement at the head of north harbour, called the Tee, belonging to a chief named Tarayha, a man of extraordinary size, as his name imports. Mr. Marsden began by finding fault with the plan of his house, which was an L house, of three fourteen feet rooms with a veranda. This plan had passed through the committee and been approved of, three rooms being quite little enough, with two pantries taken out of the veranda, for a family in New Zealand, where everything wants keeping out of sight, as well as locking up from the natives.
Mr. Marsden spoke to me, saying he would enter a protest against it to the Committee at home, if it went on on the present plan, the ground plates being then laid, and the best that ever I saw put down in New Zealnd. The veranda, he page 311 said, should be cut off. Samuel told Mr. Marsden if he would let him have the veranda, it being so comfortable in New Zealand, he would be glad to pay the additional expense. But no; it must be cut off, and this was accordingly done.
A few days after Mr. Marsden wrote me a letter saying that the plan of Samuel's house must be altered altogether, and the three rooms put in one range, and the house removed into another spot; the end room was accordingly cut off, and the whole removed to a place pointed out by Mr. Marsden, and again laid down according to his directions. Not long after he wrote me again, saying one of the front rooms must be cut off and two skillions formed at the back, one for a bedroom, and another for a kitchen.
At length Samuel got angry and grieved, and well he might; a missionary surely is not a post, he must certainly feel, and he did feel very much. Yet he said nothing to anyone but me. Is this sort of treatment according to the Gospel or mind of the blessed Jesus? and to those who have left their native land and all that an Englishman holds dear, for the great cause of Missions?
Mr. Marsden next made some observations on the expense of it; but I find it would not have cost more than £150, and the building would have been the most substantial little cottage belonging to the Society in New Zealand.
From these and many other circumstances which I could mention, I began to see Mr. Marsden's determination to get some pretext for removing Samuel as well as me. Tayrayha, the chief, and his son, Okeeda, and indeed all the natives, were particularly fond of Samuel and his wife. The young chief's wife lived in the house along with Samuel's wife, and a young girl, the daughter of another chief. They acted as servants, and were learning to sew and other household work, and their prayers in the native language, and came on very fast. Indeed, the married woman is one of the finest, quietest, and best behaved women I ever met with in New Zealand.
Samuel's rush house, which he had built to live in while his other was erecting, would have made a good school house for the natives, which was intended, it being fenced in, with a garden around it. He also had two sawpits, and two pair of native sawyers at work, besides four others employed in general work. In short, everything was going on in the most encouraging manner, and there was every prospect of success; but nothing can stand before envy and revenge.page 312
When I informed the natives that I would come and preach to them every other Sunday in their own language and sing hymns, they said it was very good, and promised to attend, and when I gave notice on the Saturday that I would preach on the morrow—being Sunday—they came punctually in the time, some of them four miles distance; behaved exceeding well, and wanted to begin building a rush house of any size I thought proper for a church for me to preach in. I must say I felt great encouragement, and blessed God for allowing me to witness a spirit of inquiry among these poor heathens.
And is it not wrong, exceeding wrong, with such views, with such prospects, and without any cause whatever, to give up this infant station? It puts me in mind of the passage of Holy Scripture which saith, “ The children are brought to the birth, and there is not strength to bring forth.
When I informed them that Samuel Butler was about to leave them, they seemed quite in a maze; sent for their friends immediately, and began to enquire what was the reason, and wherein they had offended?
I replied, “You have not offended in anything; you have been very kind to me and to Mr. Samuel and his wife. But he must go away for a little while, and then he will return.” They replied: “No more tiki tiki; we shall not see him again, nor you Nomadia; remain quiet, or where you are.”
They then sat down and wept aloud for a long time; and after they had given vent to their feelings, I endeavoured to console them as well as I could. This tribe had been trying to get my son amongst them for two years past; and to part with him, almost as soon as having received him, seemed a great trial to them. However, Tayrayha said, “If it must be so, now I desire that you render Mr. Samuel every assistance and not steal anything belonging to him.” This desire was strictly fulfilled, for they rendered all the assistance in their power, and did not steal anything from him. But I must drop this, lest I tire your patience, or else I could say much more on this subject.
I have already hinted that Mr. Marsden brought down again with him the notorious John—, who had been before sent back by the order of the whole committee for base conduct; and as the Revd. Mr. Williams and family were at our house, — of course came backwards and forwards to them. This certainly hurt my feelings, and my wife's like- page 313 wise; to have this man brought into our house who had formerly threatened to knock out our eyes, and one who lived in every sort of open wickedness—committing fornication first with one girl and then with another without shame.
I spoke to Mr. Marsden about him, and told him I thought it was wrong to bring him, as he knew (if he was not converted); he would swear, and thereby learn the natives to swear, and commit fornication among them. But in so doing, I found I was only giving offence to him. I spoke to Mr. Williams about him, who thought I was too officious, and said —— was under his charge now, and he would look after him.
This fellow is engaged at £30 per annum and his ration, the same as a missionary, making him quite equal to my son who was secretary to the Mission, as well as performing his other engagements in the cause with anxiety and care. My son has several times expressed his dislike to be put on a level with such a character. It proved to little purpose, however, for Mr. Marsden and Mr. Williams to justify such a man; for the very night (say November 13th, 1823), that I and my family embarked on board the “Dragon,” this —— was caught having in bed with him the carpenter's servant girl, and Mr. Marsden was sent to witness it with his own eyes. The news was sent to me on board the next morning, with all particulars. I again spake to Mr. Marsden, and asked him: “Sir, well, what do you think of —— now?” “Oh,” said he, “I have given orders for him to be sent back by the first ship.” But is it not wrong to give people trouble, and put the Society to the expense of feeding and transporting such fellows backwards and forwards? These are the men who being employed bring more scandal on the Mission, the Society and the cause than all the labours and integrity of the Society's faithful servants are able to eradicate. I have often wished that New Zealand was as near London as Madeira is, that some of its members might come over and see with their own eyes how things go on; they would then judge who does their duty, and who does not.
I must now speak about ——, the servant girl that Mr. Williams brought down with him to look after his children, etc., etc. Mrs. Williams I greatly pity; that she should be so unfortunate as to be troubled with such a servant, because I consider her an excellent woman, so far as my short acquaintance goes. This girl began to steal soon after she entered our house; the first thing that we found out was that she had page 314 stolen some essence of peppermint, and in the following man ner: she gave a small portion of it to one of our native servants, a chief's wife and relation to Shunghee. The young woman was almost distracted, and came to me with her tongue out, saying, the koateero, Mrs. Williams, had killed her. I immediately sent for the girl, and enquired what she had done; but she stiffly denied giving her anything; but, by and by, the peppermint bottle was found either on her person, or hid by her; and then she confessed her faults to her mistress; and Mrs. W. insisted on her being brought before me as a magistrate. I spoke roughly to her, and she cried, and promised to do so no more. The next thing we found out was that she had got the itch. This was a great trouble to all parties; but my family escaped without injury, tho' we were grieved to have such a disease brought into our house.
The time arrived for Mr. Williams to take his family to the station, and this girl contrived to steal from the drawers in the parlour some English print, a silver knife, and some silver moneys—keepsakes of my children. The print and knife we got back, but moneys we did not. This being the case, Mr. Williams determined to send her back, and she was put on board the “Brampton;” but when that ship was wrecked, Mr. Marsden would have nothing to do with her, and she was left on board till Mr. Cowell, out of pity, took her along with him to Range Hoo, and for his kindness she stole from him six dollars, but we got them again. From Mrs. Kendall she stole moneys and trinkets, etc., etc., most of which were got back.
Mr. Williams was remonstrated with about turning the girl adrift, however bad, after bringing her into a heathen land, and he sent for her to his station; and as neither Mr. Marsden nor anyone else would take the charge of her, she remains at the settlement, a disgrace to all belonging to it. Mr. Marsden told me over and over, that he had done all he could to persuade him not to take her; but he would not hearken.
While things were thus passing on, Mr. Marsden was at every house inquiring into and prying after every part of my conduct. He sent me letters to give an account of every article of trade that I had expended or given away among these poor heathen for two years past. I had already given in a regular return at the quarterly committees. However, this was no trouble to me, as I always keep a regular account for my own satisfaction, and I gave him a copy. He wanted to see if there was any appearance of neglect or dishonesty in me from page 315 this quarter, but he found none. He then charged me with not doing my utmost in establishing a public school, but happily for me, as false an assertion as ever was made. I have, and I again repeat it, taught more natives in the principles of religion than all the missionaries put together. No man can deny this. My grief has been that I could not get a school erected sooner. However, I had natives in the wood at Pookatoutarra falling timber, both for a school and a church, although I well knew that a great part of the heaviest labour would fall upon me, and also upon my wife, as we should have all the native workmen to feed, and she would have to cook for them all. But we should have a good school-room at the end of the stores, the two rooms which I formerly lived in, had not Mr. Marsden sent Mr. X to live in them, who is an idle man, and one who has committed fornication among the natives, and with more than one, beyond all doubt. If ever I see the Committee in London, and they should wish to know the particulars, I would give them, but I have no wish but to bury such things in everlasting oblivion.
Mr. Marsden came over to the house one day, and we went into the garden and sat down, and talked a good deal about the Mission, about right and wrong, about injuries and forgiving of injuries, and I again brought up our former grievances, and told him I was sorry they had ever taken place, and I was determined by the help of the Lord not to have words with any man again, but rather suffer anything for the sake of peace, except the sacrificing of my conscience, and that I could not nor would I do. Mr. Marsden said if any man endeavoured to wound his moral character, he would never forgive that man; “No!” said he again, “I would never forgive him!” and he illustrated his assertion by an example, saying, “There is a man in Port Jackson now, who endeavoured to injure me sixteen years ago, and I have not forgiven him, and I never will forgive him. When I meet him, I pass him, but I never speak to him, and I never will.”
“Well,” thinks I to myself, “this is a pretty good hint for me.”
[Mr. Marsden was no doubt annoyed that the Wesleyans had taken their station at Wangaroa. His biographers ap- page 316 plaud his assistance to the Wesleyans, extracted, of course, as usual, from his own letters. We are told he wrote to Mr. Butterworth, M.P., “I stood by him (Leigh) when the highest authority in the land would have banished him from the country, and will do it again if necessary.” No! Mr. Marsden, not quite. Leigh's journal, of which this extract has been lately printed, describes the incident—Macquarie speaking: “If you will take office under the government, I will find you a situation in which you may become rich, and one in which you will be much more comfortable, than in going about preaching in such a colony as this.” (New South Wales). But upon Mr. Leigh persisting in his determination to remain a Wesleyan missionary, Macquarie said, “If these be your objects, they are certainly of the first importance, and if you will endeavour to compass them, by the means you have specified, I cannot but wish you all the success you can reasonably expect or desire; call at the Surveyor-General's office, present my compliments, and say that I wish him to afford you every facility in his power in travelling from one township to another.” And now let us turn to the astute Mr. Marsden upon this subject ("Historical Records of N.Z.” Page 563.)
Marsden to Butterworth, Wesleyan Mission House.
July 21st, 1821.
I have learned that it is the intention of the Committee of the Wesleyan Missionary Society to send one missionary to New Zealand…
As there are three great Missionary Societies in London, the C.M. Society, The London, and the Wesleyan Societies, it appears to me that it would be a wise and prudent measure for each Society to select their separate fields for their missionaries to labour in…. . New Zealand for the C.M.S.; the Friendly Islands for the Wesleyans; and the Society Islands for the London M.S.”
And then follow general remarks as to the suitability of the Friendly Islands, etc. The brightest aspect of the effort in New Zealand is the friendly companionship of Butler, Leigh and White, in the trials and vicissitudes, and the heroic labours of their respective wives.]page 317
I said, “Sir, I have a letter fully to disprove that, from Shepherd himself at the time, wherein he declares that he has no instruction from you; but took those steps of his own accord, and would remain with Mr. Leigh until you came down.” “Well,” he said, “I gave instructions to Mr. Hall to go to Wangaroa to procure timber, and to have it ready, and Shepherd was to go with him.” I said, “Sir, I had the pleasure of seeing Mr. Wm. Hall's letter, and Mr. Shepherd's name is not so much as mentioned; and the reason Mr. Hall did not go was because he was fully aware that he could not obtain what you wanted without muskets and powder; and moreover,” said I, “when we started from the Bay of Islands we went to Wangaree, seventy miles the other way, and had no intention to go to Wangaroa. It was necessity alone that took us there.”
“Well,” said Mr. Marsden, “I have been given to understand by Mr. Leigh that he did not ask you to go with them.” I answered, “I cannot conceive how Mr. Leigh could inform you so, since I have his letter requesting me to accompany him.” Mr. Marsden said he doubted my having such a letter. I assured him I had, with letters of thanks for what I had done. Mr. Marsden then said he did not see any harm of any one's going to assist Mr. Leigh. I told him “No,” nor did I. But if anyone had left his station altogether as Mr. Shepherd did, and whom he was unfavourable to, I felt persuaded he would have taken the advantage of keeping him out of the Mission altogether.
Mr. Shepherd took a quantity of trade with him, and boards, etc., etc., for his use, belonging to the Society; all of which were lost, as you see by his own letter, which accompanies these papers; and the store at Kiddee Kidde was in consequence robbed of a large quantity of axes, hoes, etc., etc., for had he kept his place, it was next to impossible for the store to be robbed without his knowledge, as he lived in part of the store, and immediately under that part which was broken open above.
When I next saw Mr. Leigh, I asked him if he had said to Mr. Marsden that he never requested me to go with him to Wangaree to form their settlement. Mr. Leigh looked very page 318 hard, and said, “You have my letter if anyone doubts the matter.” I replied, “Yes, sir, I have.”
Mr. Marsden next charged me with making light of sin, and a sin which I hate and abominate. Being at our house one evening, he informed me he wished me to take him in the morning to the wreck, to give some instructions to Revd. Mr. Kendall and Mr. Cowell about getting things on shore, etc., etc.
When we were about starting, —— came up to us, and he, being an old captain of a ship, Mr. Marsden wished him to go with us, and steer the boat. —— accordingly jumped into the boat, and we went. When we came to Moturoa, an island within about a mile of the ship, there being a strong breeze and a good deal of sea on, Mr. Marsden wished to belanded on the island, and gave his orders to me, and I went forward and delivered them. But while I was transacting business with the captain, —— went below and got very drunk; when I went out on deek I was quite surprised, as he was just come up, and the natives had got him, making sport of him. I got him into the boat, and immediately set off to Mr. Marsden at the island. When Mr. Marsden saw him he was very angry, but I assured him I did not know from where he had gotten it.
Mr. Marsden then got into the boat, and I undertook to steer, and —— went to sleep.
As we went along, Mr. Marsden said, “This is too bad, Mr. Butler.” I said, “Sir, this is nothing.” So after we got home, Mr. Marsden said to me: “Mr. Butler, you seem to thing light of —— 's drunkenness;” and I said, “No, sir, far from that; but I again repeat it is nothing in comparison to what I have known when he had liquor from the store formerly; he has nearly killed himself, and his wife the same, and able to do scarcely any work while it lasted, and my wife and myself have often been called up at midnight, supposing them to be a-dying. But, sir,” said I, “you hired this man and his wife, knowing them to be complete sots; for the very words you made use of when I went with you to engage him were these: ‘I am come to take you away to New Zealand, ——, for if you stop here you will be in prison again ere another month.' “
Next morning, —— got a reproof for his conduct from Mr. Marsden, and sent to his work at Tee. ——, finding himself in the background, and knowing Mr. Marsden had a page 319 pique against me, he endeavoured to get into favour with Mr. Marsden by slandering me and my son behind our backs; and is it not wonderful that Mr. Marsden should listen to such a man? Yet so it was. For, not many days after, he found means to accuse Samuel to Mr. Marsden, telling him that Samuel was so angry at having his house cut and mangled in such a manner, that he declared he would do no more at it, nor fetch any more timber, nor lend the boat to go after any, with many other aggravating things. It ought to be remembered that the boat was my son's private property, and bought by me for £20, Mr. Marsden having first objected to purchase one for the use of the station, although he knew the business of the settlement could not be carried on without one, as there was no going from one settlement to another but by boat.
He had, of course, enough to make him a little nettled, all things taken into consideration, to make him as a young man speak unadvisedly with his lips; he considered himself unkindly treated, and without knowing why or wherefore.
However, Samuel went to Mr. Marsden and fully cleared up his point as soon as he knew of ——'s calumnies. Previous to this, Mr. Marsden had requested me to draw out the deeds for the estate at Samuel's place, which I had prepared, and the morning when this accusation was made by ——, I was going by Mr. Marsden's appointment to pay the chief, Tarayha, and his son, for the land, and to take Mr. Shepherd with me as a third man, to witness the transaction.
I arose at five o'clock in the morning, in order to get away as soon as possible, as we had fourteen miles to go by sea. After breakfast and prayers in the family and with the natives, I got the trade and went into the boat, and sent for Mr. Shepherd
As we were upon the point of starting, Mr. Marsden sent for me out of the boat into Mr. Kemp's parlour; when I entered he bade me sit down, which I did. I said also, “Sir, I hope you will not detain me long, as we have a long way to go.” He said, “Never mind; I have something to say.” “Well, sir,” said I, “go on.” “——,” said he, “his informed me that Samuel says he will no longer assist in building his house, nor lend his boat to fetch timber.” I said, “Sir, I do not believe it, for everyone knows and will say he is a very industrious lad, and has lain out more nights in the cold air and fetched more timber for the Society's purpose than any page 320 other servant of the Society ever did.” Mr. Marsden said, “Perhaps so, but you know, and you know;” and I said, “Sir, one thing I know; you want me and mine out of the Mission, and I now plainly tell you if you employ such a man as —— to be your eye at New Zealand, I will have no more to do with the Mission.” I said, moreover, “Sir, I am not angry, but my heart is fairly broken, and my strength gone, in endeavouring to bear up under such accumulated and protracted wrongs.”
Having said this I was obliged to go out and sit down and weep. My men observing this, went quickly to our house and informed Mrs. Butler, who came over immediately, and kindly asked Mr. Marsden what was the matter. Mr. Marsden said there was nothing the matter, but that —— had been making complaint against Samuel about not lending his aid to build his house.
Mrs. Butler said, “Sir, if you pay attention to the tattle of such a man as that, you will indeed have enough to do. You can be assured of my son's industry from his work, and that should be your guide.”
I forgot to say that —— was present with me and Mr. Marsden at Mr. Kemp's, and said in his presence, and in my presence, that I had spoken to Mr. Marsden about his drunkenness, and he would tell Mr. Marsden everything about me that lay in his power.
Mr. Marsden sat and heard this, but did not rebuke his audacity or say anything to him.
Let me ask, with the meekness and gentleness of Christ, if such things, combined with all our local difficulties and hardships, if such things are not enough to drive a wise man out of his senses, and make him commit things which he would not?
Mrs. Butler, seeing my agitation of mind, and knowing my nervous habit of constitution, determined to go and put on proper things and go with me, leaving the house in charge of Mrs. Leigh. I waited, therefore, for Mrs. Butler, and as soon as she was ready, we started for Mongo Newee—to the Tee. After we had got about half way, the wind sprang up against us, and we had much to do in conflicting with the wind and waves. On our arrival at my son's, it being about eleven o'clock, we took some bread and meat and a small glass of spirits and water each for a refreshment.page 321
After our refreshment I told Samuel what —— had been saying to Mr. Marsden, and Samuel said, “Father, it's false and very wrong, and I will go to Mr. Marsden to the Kiddee Kiddee this day and convince him of it.”
After our refreshment, we took a walk over some parts of the estate, and consulted together as to the quantity of trade we should put up for it.
Tarayha was not at the settlement, but gone down to the brig “Dragon” with hogs for a musket.
We dined together at two o'clock, and after dinner, Tarayha not returning, we went first to pray for divine guidance in this important undertaking, and then to business, setting apart such articles of barter as we intended to put away. When we had done this, we waited until five o'clock for Tarayha, but he did not return. Mrs. Butler said to me, “Father, I must return home to-night, on account of our natives and the stock, etc., and as it is now between five and six in the evening, and we have fourteen miles to go on the water, we must set off immediately, and you had better stay and pay for the land.” To this we all agreed, and Mr. Shepherd and Mr. Saml. Butler signed their names to the deeds and left me to finish the business. But as it was uncertain when Tarayha would return, it became necessary for me to go to the vessel after him, then lying in the harbour, seven miles off. As the vessel was lying in the road to Kiddee Kiddee, we set off with two boats.
When we came within about a mile of the vessel, I wished them good evening, and went on board after the chief. Captain Walker met me on the deck, and I informed him of my business, and he replied, “Tarayha has gone to the opposite shore, but his son is below. Be so good as to go down and speak to him.” I went down accordingly, and saw the steward (who is a Chinaman) handing muskets to A Keedo (Kira), for him to choose one in payment of hogs delivered to Capt. Walker.
This young chief seemed very hard to please, and Walker (who is one of the most foul-mouthed men I ever met with) out with an oath at the chief, and then begged I would speak to him and show him a good gun. Akeedo also called me to choose a gun for him, which I did.page 322
Captn. Walker and Captn. Moore then began to tell what they had been doing during the day. They had been to Kiddee Kiddee to see Mr. Marsden about taking up the vessel, to take him and such of the Society's servants as were going with him, to Sydney. Moore said he had offered £400, and Mr. Marsden £300, making £700 between them, but Walker said he should have to unload his vessel, and leave many things in New Zealand, besides a great deal of other work, to prepare the vessel for the reception of such a number of persons, etc., and he did not like the thought of going unless he had £1000. While this conversation was passing, Capt. Walker begged me to take a glass of Hollands and water with him and Capt. Moore; I did so. I took one small glass of Hollands and water with them, and stopped about three-quarters of an hour on board and returned, it being now quite dark, Tarayha's son assuring me that his father and himself would be at my son's by six in the morning, which promise was punctually fulfilled.
We arrived about nine o'clock and took (as we had had none) some tea for supper, then prayers and to rest. Next morning Tarayha came at six, and I immediately went to business, and satisfied them with respect to the payment before breakfast.
After breakfast and prayer, I proceeded to get the signatures of the chiefs and to complete the thing. The chiefs having signed the deeds in their usual way, I felt anxious to return, as I had many things to do, and especially as I expected to leave New Zealand in the “Dragon.” The thought of leaving the natives at this time, when I was likely to be most useful to them, preyed upon my spirits and very much agitated my mind, but I bore up as well as I could, and having obtained help of God, I continue unto this day.
About two o'clock we started, and arrived safe in the evening at Te Kiddee Kiddee, all well.
A few days after, Mr. Marsden, who had gone to Pyhea, came to Kiddee Kiddee and wrote me a note from Mr. Kemp's saying I was charged with going on board the “Dragon” in a state of intemperance. I immediately begged Mr. Marsden to bring my accuser to face, but that he would not do, saying that time must be taken for inquiry, etc., etc. Being conscious of my innocence I gave myself no further trouble, but sent for James Spencer, who was with me the whole day, my wife, son, and Shepherd also, who, if Mr. Marsden would have given up his author, could have cleared me on the spot.page 323
But no, Mr. Marsden determined to make the best handle of the matter he could. He therefore went down to the vessel with Capt. Moore in his boat, and from this time Mr. Marsden treated Capt. Moore as a bosom friend, and during the day he was almost constantly in his company; altho' no man formerly inveighed against Moore with so much bitterness as Mr. Marsden, and certainly with too much reason, as assuredly he is a man of a most base character, and is treated as such by the respectable part of society in this colony.
Mr. Marsden then wrote me a very specious letter, whereby he would make it appear that he was willing to give me every chance to clear myself; but he had already got the captains to assure him that they would come forward and swear they knew not what, nor cared not what, because they both had an end to obtain thereby. Captn. Moore was afraid Mr. Marsden should maintain against him what he roundly asserted, when he returned from the wreck at Kiddee Kiddee, viz., that the “Brampton” was lost by obstinacy and neglect; “For when the natives,” said he, “who were on board going to Sydney, told him there was no water ahead, he would not put the ship about, but threatened to throw them overboard if they did not hold their tongues, and cursed them.”
A change, therefore, in Mr. Marsden's sentiments was of consequence to Moore; and such a base fellow would do anything to obtain it.
Walker wanted to get a few hundreds out of the Society's purse by taking Mr. Marsden to Port Jackson.
It is no wonder, therefore, that men of such base character should say and swear anything about a poor missionary, when it would serve their interest and they could do it, not only with impunity, but get applause for it. Being thus encouraged, they did not fail to take Mr. Kendall's part against the whole Mission, and represented his case as a very hard one, and more especially as they considered him as good a man as any in the Mission. But here, mind again, Mr. Kendall laid out £100 with Moore for boat and stores after the “Brampton” was wrecked; and Walker was going to put the stores in his vessel under Mr. Kendall's charge until he returned from Port Jackson.
I have heard this Moore call Mr. Wm. Hall a d——d scoundrel, and one who ought not to be employed in any Mission. Yes, I have heard him call the whole body of missionaries in N.Zd. a set of cut-throats altogether.page 324
Mr. Leigh being at our house, very ill, I related the whole circumstances unto him, and he said, “Brother Butler, do you feel particularly innocent?” To whom I replied, “Yes, sir, I do.” “Then,” said he, “if you must suffer, suffer patiently. I would go at the time appointed, and hear what they had to say, but I would not have anything to say to them.”
I did so. I heard all they had to say, but I asked them no questions; not because I was not able to contradict the lies they told, but from my knowledge of the whole plan to get me away with some disgrace at last, if possible.
After all was over, these infamous men were asked to dinner at Mr. Williams's, and they sat down in company with Mr. Marsden and the missionaries, Mrs. Williams being at the head of the table, which was under a canopy out doors. These men took wine with Mr. Marsden, and Mr. Williams and part of the company besides. But my mind became so full of, I trust, righteous indignation at seeing such things, that I could not eat. But as I have to speak more particularly about this business in another place, I shall drop the subject for the present.
Having got our trunks, etc., on board, we embarked on board the “Dragon” on Thursday, November 13th, 1823.
On Friday morning the vessel sailed, and on Sunday fortnight, about eight o'clock in the morning, we came to an anchor in Sydney Cove.
I must now make a few remarks on what passed during our voyage.
Mrs. Butler, myself, and our little daughter, had only our sofa widened by boxes for us all to rest upon during our voyage, and a bit of old canvas nailed up before us to keep us from the sight of all belonging to the cabin table, stewards, etc., etc.
Where we sat to eat, there we were obliged to sit and dress and undress, etc. But even this Mrs. Butler and myself would not complain of for a moment, were it not coupled with other things of a more serious nature.
Captain ——, as I have said before, is a man of reprobate character; he had on board a woman who personated his lawful wife, who is now living in Sydney.page 325
Mr. Marsden well knew this before he took up the vessel. He therefore never came to table during the voyage lest he should be defiled; nor did Mr. Leigh or Mrs. Leigh, as they had a cabin provided for them by Mr. Marsden. But where could the rest all go, but to the cabin table, since we had no other place? This was a matter of great affliction to myself, but more especially to Mrs. Butler. But what could she do? She had no cabin, nor any place to sit down but on the table bench, and my little daughter at death's door at the same time. But is this Christian feeling to bring us into such a place? Is this Christian kindness to those who have left their native land and friends? for what! to spend their strength in a savage land for the salvation of a race of cannibals?
I would wish the Society to remember that Mrs. Butler is not at present (blessed be God) company for ——, altho' by Mr. Marsden's arrangements she was obliged to be so, as well as Mrs. Samuel Butler for a season. It may be asked, what could Mr. Marsden do in this case? Why, he could almost effectually have prevented the evil by speaking to ——; but when I spoke to him on the subject, he refused to take any part in the matter, and saying, moreover, that he did not feel himself annoyed by it. And for why? Because —— had served his turn in N.Zd.
Rev. Mr. White felt himself so much annoyed the first few days that he withdrew from the table, got his food on deck, and never came to it again during the voyage. But as a man he could do what a woman could not do.
My wife had a sick child to look after, and Mrs. Samuel Butler was ill herself during the whole voyage; and when the weather was fine, the vessel was so cumbered on deck with things belonging to the “Brampton,” and about a hundred souls besides, that it was almost impossible to get out of the way anywhere, but by lying down in your berth. But this was not all; the most abominable and filthy conversation was continually going at table. Capt. Moore used to come to table frequently with his red cap on, and once or twice sat down with his hat on; and because I would not drink with them at table, they used to go on in a very disgusting manner about all the parsons, as they called them; but we never made any reply, as it could do no good, but make them worse.
One day however, Moore in giving a bone of mutton to the steward, said unto him: “Here, take this devil to Hell to one of my imps, and tell him to roast it and bring it back.” page 326 Mrs. Butler and my daughter had not been accustomed to hear such language, and were quite ashamed; and I felt so much indignation at it that I said to him, “Capt. Moore, if the Bible be true, as it certainly is, and there be a Hell to be endured, without repentance, into that Hell you will go, and be tormented for ever and ever.”
He made some frivolous reply, and then went on deck.
In this manner we were living for sixteen days, when the vessel let go her anchor in Sydney Cove. Mr. Marsden seemed in haste to get on shore, and I said to him, “Sir, will you be so good as to give us some instructions what you would have us do?” He said, “Do as you like; you know Sydney as well as I do.”
But how could this be? as we knew but few folks in it. And moreover, we considered ourselves as under Mr. Marsden's protection, and expected he would provide for us. But away he went, and we were left behind. A boat soon came for Mr. and Mrs. Leigh, and all the passengers left but Mrs. Butler and me and my little daughter. Mrs. Butler was so affected by this treatment, and the thought of being left on board all day on Sunday in the company of —— that she sat down and wept sore.
On Monday he came on board, and brought Revd. Richd. Hill with him; and he thus began to address me: “What do you mean to do?” I said, “Sir, I do not understand the question, but we must get on shore somewhere before we can do anything.”
“But,” said he, “I want to know what you mean to do on shore?” “Indeed, sir,” said I, “I cannot tell, but you seem to me to be forestalling things in general. I mean to act as a Christian ought to do, both toward myself and the Society to which I belong.”
“I wish to know,” said he, “how you mean to act? as I shall then know what to do. I mean,” said he, “to have the advice of all my friends, and shew these papers to the Governor.”
“You are at liberty, Sir,” said I, “to do as you please; I care not to whom you shew them, only let me have an opportunity of facing them with such evidence as I shall bring, and then the falsehood will soon be manifest. I am in a British colony now, and shall have justice done me.”page 327
But Mr. Marsden has not brought me before his friends as he threatened, though I know he has had his lawyer's and Judge Field's advice. And what is the reason? Why, because they are false.
Mr. Marsden, however, does not appear to have much influence with the Governor, as he is turned out of all his public offices, as treasurer, etc., etc., etc., for the three public institutions in this colony, viz., the Male Orphan School at Sydney, and the Female Orphan School at Parramatta, and the Native Institution for the Blacks. But Mr. Marsden is not the only one who is put out of office, but the whole of the old Committee and officers are dispensed with. How far this is right or wrong in Government, I will not pretend to say. Politics are not my object, and I will only say that such is the case.
We are at this time living in a little house at Parramatta, near Mr. Marsden.
I must now speak a little in commendation of Captn. Beveridge, of the “St. Michael,” who has lately returned from Tongataboo, and has brought back my much esteemed friend, Revd. Mr. Lawrey and family. His ship was lying near the “Dragon,” and he knew Mrs. Butler and me in New Zealand, and knew our uncomfortable situation in the “Dragon.” He came to us, and in the most friendly manner offered to take Mrs. Butler and daughter on board the “St. Michael,” and our luggage, and there to stay with him and Mrs. Beveridge until we got a place to go to. “And as the ship is laid up for a time, and the men discharged, you will,” said he, “find yourselves comfortable.”
We could not but bless God, our heavenly Father, Who has thus provided for us at the very moment the very friend we needed. As Captn. Beveridge is decidedly a religious character, we the more readily embraced his kind offer, and went on board the “St. Michael,” and remained on board, I think, nine days, and we received every kindness and attention, both from Captn. Beveridge and his wife, without money and without price, and enjoyed the comfort of family worship morning and evening, which we had not enjoyed since we left New Zealand. We feel thankful to our gracious God, and to our friends, and we pray the Lord to reward them sevenfold into their own bosoms for all their kindness shown.
We have also received much kindness from many religious and respectable families, so that amidst all our troubles page 328 we have much to be thankful for; and I trust we are thankful, and do consider these things as a token for good, but we must wait the Lord's leisure, until He plead our cause; He hath delivered us; He doth deliver us, and we trust will deliver us from every evil work, and preserve us unto His heavenly kingdom.
When we were coming over in the vessel, Mr. Marsden took out of his pocket letters and resolutions of the missionaries in New Zealand, and gave them into the hands of Captn. Walker and Captn. Moore to read, who from Mr. Marsden's comments on them laughed much, and ridiculed them. But let me in meekness ask: What end could this serve but a bad one? If, in case there was anything wrong, or any errors in them, would these wicked men mend or correct them? No, it would only serve for them to laugh and talk about, in the company they came into, and add perhaps, tenfold unto them, and thus the poor missionaries are made the sport of the wicked, and the song of the drunkards; these things ought not so to be.
There is one thing more I must be allowed to mention, and it is this: In my correspondence with Mr. Marsden, he has not strictly adhered to truth; missionaries are, while they maintain their proper character as the servants of Xt, men of truth; they must be men of truth; they must be men of integrity, too, and I will never give up my integrity, but with my life.
I well know a plan, which if I had acted upon it, I should have been at this time in the very highest estimation with Mr. Marsden, and consequently with the Society; but my conscience, blessed by God, is not quite so callous at present as to let me act a double part; I am quite sensible of the danger which I have exposed myself to, in opposing what I conceived to be wrong; and this has brought on me the invective of all whom I have opposed. But be it so, “the time is short” to light, and “then shall every man receive according to his works.”
I now beg leave to make a few remarks relative to James Spencer. He was, as has already been observed, at our house for some months, and conducted himself with much propriety. This man Mr. Marsden wished to engage to look after the cattle in New Zealand, and spoke to me concerning him. He also spoke to the man himself. Spencer said to me and Mr. Marsden that he would stop in New Zealand and look after page 329 the cattle for £30 for one year; and then if he was satisfied with his job he would stop longer; but Mr. Marsden did not give him an answer at that time.
When James Spencer appeared on my behalf at Pyhea, and fully contradicted what the captains asserted, Mr. Marsden immediately turned his back on this man, and called him a vagabond, because what he said tended to overthrow his designs; and he informed the captains of all that this man had said, and that I threatened to bring them to account at Port Jackson.
Two days before the ship sailed, Jas. Spencer went down with my boxes to the brig “Dragon,” and he then asked Capt. Walker to give him ship room to Sydney, telling him how he had been ship-wrecked and lost all that he had. He further told Captn. Walker that he would bring plenty of provisions for the voyage, and all that he wanted was permission to be on board; but Captn. Walker said, “No, I have no room for you.”
Spencer then said, “Sir, the men will find me room with them, if you will give permission;” but he said, “No,” and gave orders to the chief officer, saying, “Take care that this man does not come on board.”
Spencer did not return with the natives to my house, but remained on shore near the vessel. In the night, however, before we sailed, James Spencer got alongside, and the sailors took him on board and hid him in their cabin.
Some days after we had got to sea, Revd. Mr. Marsden said to me, “Mr. Butler, I am afraid Vagabond Jem is on board.” I said, “Sir, I cannot tell whether he is on board or not (nor could I tell, as I did not know it at this time), but as to his being a vagabond, Sir, I have never seen anything that can apply to him as such; his behaviour in New Zealand has been quite the contrary.”
Some days after this the matter was talked of at table, and Walker determined to have the vessel searched, and sent his chief officer forward to enquire after James Spencer, who as soon as his name was called for by the chief officer, came upon deck and came aft. Captn. Walker and Captn. Moore then began upon him in a very outrageous manner, but the man answered them never a word, save only that he told them what they already knew, that he was a ship-wrecked mariner in distress.page 330
Walker and Moore then said, “I will have you put into prison, sir, as soon as you reach Sydney.”
“I cannot help it,” replied the man.
They then turned round upon me, and said, “He is your man, Mr. Butler, and I will,” said Walker, “charge you £25 for his passage.”
“Do your utmost,” said I to Walker, “I am not afraid of what you may do, or can do; you know that you are stating wilful falsehoods; you know, and so does Moore, that he is a distressed ship-wrecked mariner, and Moore received him on board the “Brampton” as such, to give him a passage to Sydney, and he was again wrecked and cast on shore in New Zealand, and as the man had met with good usage at my house before, he returned to his old quarters.”
Moore said, “He is a bad fellow, and Mr. Marsden says so.”
I answered, “It is but very lately that Mr. Marsden has harboured the opinion, for a little before he came from New Zealand he wished to engage him as stock-keeper to the Mission, but he would not stay under £30 per annum.”
Mr. Marsden did not understand me, and said, “Mr. Butler, I did not offer James £30 per annum.”
“I know that sir; I did not say you did, but that you had spoken to him, and commissioned Mr. Kemp, as well as myself, to speak to him about staying, but he would not without having £30 per annum for his stipend.”
“Yes,” said Mr. Marsden, “but I saw more of him afterwards, and then I gave contrary orders.”
“That's very strange, sir,” said I, “since it was on the day we returned from the meeting atPyhea, and only a few days before we started, that Mr. Kemp, as we were returning in my boat, asked him in your name if he was willing to stop, and he said, ‘Yes, for £30, but not less.' Now, sir, I verily believe you never saw the man afterwards, until you saw him to-day on this ship's deck.”
When we arrived at Sydney, however, they thought better than to meddle with the man; for he went on shore in a few hours after the ship had been at anchor, in the presence of the chief officer, with part of the “Brampton” crew, and no one opened his lips against him. This I am sure of, because page 331 I was an eye-witness. The whole of this business must be clear and evident to every unbiassed mind, that they did all in their power to keep him back, lest he should appear as an evidence against them in the court at Sydney.
It may well be asked: How can these things be? But so they are. I have been since informed by a professional gentleman that if these things were brought before the court, Captn. Walker, as master of the ship, would get a severe reprimand for his conduct in this affair; and Moore also for saying things about him, for which he had not the least foundation or shadow of proof. How long will the ungodly triumph?
The following is a true narrative of facts relative to the papers now in your possession:—
On Monday morning, October 27th, 1823, I arose at five o'clock in the morning, and prepared myself and men as early as possible to go to the Tee (the station of my son—fourteen miles distant from my own), according to Mr. Marsden's appointment, to pay the chief and his son for the land chosen for that station. I had previously drawn up the deeds for this purpose, and got everything ready which was necessary for this business; and Mr. Shepherd, one of my colleagues, was appointed to go with me to witness the transaction.
After breakfast, all things being ready, we got into my whaleboat, having for my crew four of my native workmen and a young man named James Spencer, who formerly belonged to the American schooner “Cossack,” which was wrecked at the heads of the river Shukeanga, and who was living at my house, waiting an opportunity to get away out of the island.
Just as we were starting, Revd. Mr. Marsden sent for me out of the boat, to the house of Mr. Kemp, that the carpenter, whose name is ——, had been laying certain charges against my son, saying he would not lend his boat for the Society's purpose, to fetch timber, etc., etc. Altho' every man has a just right to do what he will with his own, I felt confident that my son would do no such thing, Altho' Mr. Marsden had done to him that which no honourable man would do. I did, of course, feel myself much exasperated at this intelligence, and told Mr. Marsden I knew it to be false; and it was proved so in the end. I moreover told Mr. Marsden if he intended to keep such a dissolute character as —— in the Mission, to pry into and scrutinize my actions, and those of my son, it was time for me to leave the Mission altogether, and this I certainly would do.
My natives seeing me much agitated, went and informed Mrs. Butler, who came over and asked Mr. Marsden what was the matter, and he had nothing to say. Mrs. Butler did not like to see me thus harassed and distressed, and she therefore determined to go with me and leave our house in the charge of Revd. Mr. and Mrs. Leigh, who were living at our house at this time.
As soon as Mrs. Butler was ready, we set off, and we had a strong wind and a heavy sea against us a great part of the way. When we arrived at our place of destination, we stood in need of some refresh- page 332 ment, which my son furnished for us. After which, the chief and his son being gone down to the brig “Dragon” to barter hogs for a musket and powder, we went and examined that part of the estate where the buildings were to be erected, and the garden planted, which occupied our time until dinner was ready.
We sat down to dinner—Mrs. Butler and myself, my son and his wife, and Mr. Shepherd; our beverage at dinner was water from the spring, and at the close we each took a small quantity of spirits in the bottom of the glass, and filled it up with water and drank it.
Dinner being over, and the chiefs having not returned, we first went to prayers, and then set out as much trade as we intended to give for the land, and then Mr. Shepherd and my son signed the deeds, as I was likely to have the finishing stroke, viz., to the chief's signature by myself; as unless he returned very shortly they would have to return to my station without seeing him, as everyone must be at his own place at night. However, they waited until between five and six o'clock in the evening, and as Tarayha, the chief, did not return, my son agreed to take his mother and Mr. Shepherd home to Kiddee Kiddee, and leave me at his place to settle for the land.
Now Sir, this is all the foundation that those wicked men have for the falsehoods contained in those papers. I was never out of the company of the persons above named; nor did I eat or drink anything but in their presence, and at the time they both ate and drank. The fact is this: I was, as before stated, in much agitation of mind, but as for drinking, I had not what might be deemed necessary, much less to make me in a state of inebriety considering the fatigue I had had during the day.
When I got on board I was met on the deck by Captain Walker and Captn. Moore, to whom I said, “Gentlemen, I wish to be informed if the chief Tarayha is on board.” They answered, “No, Sir, he is gone to the opposite shore to get his food, but his son is below looking at a musket; be so good as to step below in the cabin;” which I did, and as they could not speak the language, they wished me to speak to the young chief, and look out a gun for him, which I did. Captn. Walker then ordered some Hollands on the table, which was done immediately by his steward, a Chinaman. Captns. Moore and Walker then helped themselves to a glass of Hollands and water each, and begged me to take a little, observing I had a great way to go on the water, and at night. At their request, therefore, I took a little Hollands in the bottom of a half-pint tumbler—I am sure not more than half a quarter—and poured water into it from an earthen vessel which they had in the cabin, filling it up to the brim. I stopped with them about half an hour, talking about Mr. Moore and Mr. Marsden taking up the vessel to bring away the crew of the “Brampton,” and Mr. Marsden and such other passengers as were coming away with him. I then wished them good-night, got into my boat, and returned to the Tee to my son's, and arrived about nine o'clock; I then took some tea with my supper, and retired to rest—perfectly sober.
This is the simple truth concerning those papers, and the statements contained in them, and this is for your guidance in your animadversion upon them.
And am, very respectfully,
Your obt. servant,
Rev. S. Marsden to Rev. J. Pratt.
November 10th, 1823.
I wrote you in September last, in hopes that some vessel might touch at New Zealand for Europe, but none has done so yet. As I am now just on the point of embarking this morning, I thought it proper to add a few more lines. Several circumstances have occurred since the loss of the “Brampton,” which could not be foreseen at the time. A small brig has come into the harbour, on her way to Otaheite, which the master of the “Brampton,” in conjunction with myself, have taken up to convey us to New South Wales. I must return to my public duty as soon as possible, as my leave of absence has expired some time. Mr. Kendall gave me reason to believe he would accompany me to Port Jackson, as I did not take up the brig until he informed me that he would follow my direction, when I applied to him to know what his intentions were. After I had engaged a passage for him and his family, he then informed me he was determined to remain in New Zealand. I am therefore constrained to leave him. Several circumstances have happened which have rendered the Rev. John Butler's removal necessary. I shall communicate the particulars to you on my arrival in New South Wales.
Mrs. B. accompanies me as well as his son.…. . I am happy to say the natives behave well; there is nothing to be apprehended from them.
I remain, etc.,