The Bias Against Christians in Australian History

19 February 2019

19.2 MINS

Robert Hughes vs Rev. Samuel Marsden

If the Rev. Samuel Marsden (25 June 1765 – 12 May 1838) and Robert Hughes (28 July 1938 – 6 August 2012) were both alive today, it is almost certain that the former would have sued the latter for defamation.[1] Indeed, there would have been something of a poetic justice in Marsden doing so, since he was the first person to be involved in a libel case.[2] Sadly, this is but one case among many showing the innate bias against Christians in Australian History.

While the New York Times claimed that Hughes “never wrote a bad sentence”[3], unfortunately, that didn’t mean he necessarily always wrote an accurate one.[4] Even though Hughes was a university dropout — whose real expertise was as a professional art critic — he is often attributed with having written one of the most popular, and therefore influential, histories of Australia, The Fatal Shore.[5]

Unfortunately, Marsden’s reputation has been almost universally maligned with the moniker of, “the flogging parson”, which was later culturally enshrined in Kenneth Slessor’s infamous, Vesper-Song of the Reverend Samuel Marsden.[6] Significantly, Hughes decided to completely ignore the work of A.T. Yarwood[7] — whose biography, Samuel Marsden: The Great Survivor (Melbourne University Press, 1977), was considered by the general editor of The Australian Dictionary of Biography to be one of the best biographies written by an Australian at the time — and instead chose to pursue an entirely negative caricature of Australia’s second chaplain.

For instance, Dr Stuart Piggin and Dr Robert Linder note that, “He [Marsden] never appears in Robert Hughes’ Fatal Shore without a derogatory epithet — ‘bigoted’, ‘ranting’, ‘sanctimonious’.”[8] There are, in fact, fifteen distinct references listed for ‘Marsden’ in The Fatal Shore’s index.[9] And as the following examples demonstrate, Piggin and Linder are correct in their observation that Marsden is unfavourably portrayed by Hughes via a plethora of pejorative insults:[10]

  • “A grasping Evangelical missionary with heavy shoulders and the face of a petulant ox, had sailed to New South Wales in 1793 as the protégé of William Wilberforce, who recommended him as assistant to the chaplain of the colony. Once there, the protégé showed few of his patron’s instincts to mercy, but focused his considerable energies on getting land, breeding sturdy Suffolk sheep, preaching hellfire sermons and (as magistrate at Parramatta) subjecting convicts to draconic punishment — hence his nickname, “The Flogging Parson”. Marsden soon became the chief Anglican clergyman in New South Wales, and his hatred for the Irish Catholics knew no bounds. It spilled into his sermons, pervaded his table talk and was set down at length in a ranting memo to his church superiors in London, which for bigotry, rivals William Dampier’s thoughts on the Australian blacks.”[11]
  • Marsden was set on finding the pikes… Marsden was so certain they were hiding something that he resolved to have some of them “punished very severely” until they talked. Joseph Holt — who, as a voluntary transportee, could not so easily be tortured — was brought up to Toongabbie to watch the Lord’s representative in Australia, the Flogging Parson, at work. In his description of Marsden’s interrogations under the blue indifferent Australian sky, one sees the heroic determination to resist the tyrant that some of the Irish felt and paid for, as their spines were slowly opened to the air and the blowflies.”[12]
  • The frustrated Marsden reported to Governor King…”[13]
  • “To the disgust of Samuel Marsden, King permitted Father Dixon to say Mass once a month, “under stipulated restrictions” — meaning police surveillance. The first Mass and the first Catholic marriage in Australia were celebrated in Sydney on Sunday, May 15, 1803.”[14]
  • “The respectable saw “prostitution” everywhere, even in sturdy matches that had lasted years out of wedlock and produced broods of children… One notorious result of such thinking was the “Female Register” drawn up by the Reverend Samuel Marsden in 1806, an inspired piece of creative bigotry in which every woman in the colony, except for a few widows, was classified as either “married” or “concubine”.[15]
  • “Yet when it [the female register] reached London, this absurdly pharisaical document was read and apparently believed by Lord Castlereagh and William Wilberforce, and it became an authoritative text on colonial morality.”[16]
  • “Marsden was not alone in his prejudices; and as people are named, so they will be treated.”[17]
  • “Macquarie reported that almost any night one could see up to three hundred convicts of both sexes roaming the town “at full liberty.” And the Reverend Samuel Marsden complained that, “There is not a bushel of wheat or maize in the farmer’s barn, nor a sheep in his fold, nor a hog in his stye (sic) — nor even a potatoe (sic), turnip or cabbage in his garden — but what he is likely to be robbed of every night… to supply the wants of these abandoned women, to whom the men can gain access at all times of the night.”[18]
  • “It may be that the reproofs of lower-class colonial boozing that came from the upper colonial crust should be treated with caution, like the pronouncements of Marsden and others on convict sexuality.”[19]
  • “… the Reverend Samuel Marsden, senior chaplain of the colony and one of its biggest landowners, a merciless pharisee — was so piqued in his clerical dignity that he refused to serve. This in turn sent the governor into one of his military rages, and the feud between the two men poisoned relations between Church and State in New South Wales for the rest of Macquarie’s term.”[20]
  • “It is not easy to exaggerate the entrenched mentality of the dozen or so clans, starting with the Macarthurs and their allies like Samuel Marsden, who made up the leading free families of Australia between 1800 and 1840.”[21]
  • Hughes fails to give credit to Marsden’s introduction of the Merino sheep into the colony by simply putting his limited contribution in brackets. What’s more, he also fails to acknowledge that Marsden was the first in the colony to commercially export wool.[22]
  • “… railing against well-known targets to whom they gave easily decodable names — “Parson Rapine,” for instance, for the sanctimonious Dr Samuel Marsden”.[23]
  • After someone burned down the only church in the colony, Hughes says that Marsden blamed the Catholics. ‘They were “depraved beyond conception… designing and treacherous,” ranted the Reverend Samuel Marsden from the depth of his bigotry…”[24]
  • “Two years earlier, Lachlan Macquarie, hailed in departure as the “Patriot-Chief,” had retired to England, and to his obsessive, time-wasting efforts to rebut the criticism of the Exclusives’ allies, chiefly Bigge and Marsden.”[25]
  • “He also incurred Marsden’s wrath by suggesting that the Protestant clergy should live on their stipends, not their trade.”[26]
  • “Most floggings by then were confined to 25, 50, 75, 100 or, on very rare occasions, 150 lashes. By the standards of earlier days when punishments of 500 lashes were handed out by the likes of Foveaus and Marsden, such inflictions may sound light. But they were not; and in any case, a magistrate could stack up separate floggings for different aspects of the same deed.”[27]
  • “Through the summer of 1833-34, the prisoners’ barracks seethed with rumours of a coming outbreak. According to Frayne, Morisset was on the point of flogging confessions out of him and other convicts, as the Reverend Samuel Marsden had done thirty years before to the Irish at Parramatta.”[28]

Upon closer examination, though, nearly all of these descriptions are either completely unwarranted, or quite frankly, wrong. For instance, what should we make of the charge — made by Hughes — that Marsden was a ‘merciless pharisee’ whose ‘hatred for the Irish Catholic convicts knew no bounds. It spilled into his sermons…”

What is now clear, is that Hughes had not actually read any of Marsden’s sermons. We know this is the case because Dr David Pettett recently examined all 135 extant sermons of the Anglican clergyman and he discovered that Marsden never once made a direct reference to either the Irish or Roman Catholics in any of his sermons.[29]

Then there is Hughes’ critique of the distinction Marsden made between those who were living in a married or de-facto (the latter is what Marsden referred to with the Biblical term as ‘concubine’) relationship. Hughes states that:

‘The respectable saw “prostitution” everywhere, even in sturdy matches that had lasted years out of wedlock and produced broods of children… One notorious result of such thinking was the “female Register” drawn up by the Reverend Samuel Marsden in 1806, an inspired piece of creative bigotry in which every woman in the colony, except for a few widows, was classified as either “married” or “concubine.” By Marsden’s count, there were 395 of the former and 1,035 of the latter. The only kind of marriage he recognised was one performed by a Church of England clergyman — ideally, himself. It followed that all Catholic and Jewish women who married within the form of their religion were automatically listed as “concubines”, as were all common-law wives whose relationship with their men, however durable, went unsanctified by Anglican rite.’[30]

However, the basis of Hughes’ argument falls apart upon closer inspection because rather than use the term ‘prostitution’, instead Marsden specifically chose to use the term ‘concubine’. This explicitly Biblical expression referred to those is a committed ‘de facto’ relationship and yet had not legally covenanted themselves to another. This distinction is all the more significant when one realises that the secondary source that Hughes relies on — by the historian Michael Sturma — is concerned almost exclusively with cohabiting partnerships being viewed as a form of ‘personal prostitution’, an expression that Marsden prudently avoids.[31]

What’s more, since there were no Catholic or Jewish clergy present in the opening decades of the settlement, it would have been impossible for Catholics or Jews to have been married under the rites of their respective religions. Further, according to Yarwood, “… two of his [Marsden’s] servants were [later] allowed to be married according to the rites of the Catholic Church.”[32] So much for Marsden being a religious bigot.

However, even more seriously, Hughes fails to properly acknowledge the valiant and persistent efforts of Marsden to secure safe and hygienic lodgings for the female convicts.[33] This is all the more significant when one realises that Hughes himself acknowledged the appalling living conditions they had to endure.[34]

In fact, in the ten years of his governorship, Macquarie consistently failed to act on doing anything to relieve the situation, despite Marsden’s continual requests for government assistance. Rather than provide for the women, though, Macquarie’s response was to increase the number of town constables and their patrols “for the protection of the persons and property of the inhabitants, and for preserving the tranquillity of the town”. But as the sole religious chaplain in the colony, the female convicts continued to regularly come to Marsden for assistance and to act as their advocate to Governor Macquarie. As Marsden explained:

Nothing can be more distressing to the serious, reflecting mind, than to see the vices and miseries of these abandoned females. When I am called upon in the hour of sickness and want, to visit them in the general hospital, or in the wretched hovels where they lodge, my mind is often oppressed beyond measure at their sufferings. Though their vices have rendered them loathsome to the better part of society, yet these females are the objects of the greatest commiseration, from the certain miseries that attend them through a life of dissipation while here on earth; and if their dreary prospect beyond the grave be viewed in a religious light, it far exceeds in horror the bounds of human imagination.

At this point, it is worth familiarising oneself in more detail the horrific conditions endured especially by the female convicts. Marsden himself described their plight as follows:

It has been a common Custom… that shortly after a Ship has anchored in the Cove with female Convicts; Settlers, Soldiers, and Prisoners, have been permitted to go on Board; and make their respective Selection amongst them, and to induce these unfortunate women, some by Threats and some by Promises, to accompany them to their Habitations & to become their Mistresses; and to make Room for them a former Wife or Mistress with their Children are not unfrequently turned out into the Street in the utmost want and distress.

These women having never set Foot in N.S.Wales (sic) and being totally ignorant of the Circumstances, Characters and Dispositions of the Admirers; are not likely to derive any Happiness from their new Connections; but almost certain accumulated misery, and wretchedness.

These abandoned men will keep them as long as it is agreeable or convenient or until some other female object strikes their Fancy when they are immediately turned off with perhaps one or more natural Children to struggle with.

In this miserable Situation, oppressed with Hunger, and in want of every necessity, the unfortunate woman is happy to form a second Connection with the meanest wretch, who will receive her into his Hut; and give her and her starving Children a Loaf of Bread.[35]

What’s more, Marsden’s evidence was not merely anecdotal, but based upon a thorough statistical investigation of the people living in the settlement at the time. Marsden’s proposed solution to this dire situation was for the government to encourage matrimony. This was for the benefit of both the people themselves — especially the women and children — as well as the future good economic governance of the fledging colony.

In response, Hughes tries to argue that “the idea that convicts shared the same ideas about sexual behaviour as their superiors is very dubious”.[36] And in support of this highly dubious contention, Hughes goes on to quote the historian Portia Robinson who states:

That few women were legally married did not necessarily imply that the conduct of the remainder made New South Wales “a sink of infamy”. It simply meant that the standards of morality and the defamations of marriage familiar to the women concerned did not agree with those imposed on society by Samuel Marsden. Contemporaries accepted his conclusions as to the nature of the women of Botany Bay and modern historians have continued to perpetuate this view.[37]

Robinson’s analysis, though, is confused. She states that the two official reports that Marsden made — and which are widely accepted by all historians — in regards to the Female Factor in Parramatta and his Female Register are “… not only highly selective and partial, referring only to one category of colonial women, the convicts, but are misleading in relation to contemporary definitions of marriage, morality and prostitution.”[38] Then on the very next page Robinson contradicts her accusation of Marsden being ‘selective’ in acknowledging that:

In 1806, the year of the Muster, Marsden drew up a list of all the adult female inhabitants in New South Wales, ‘A Female Register’. He designated every woman as either ‘Married’ or ‘Concubine’; there were only one or two exceptions, when a woman was described as a widow.[39]

Society has always understood prostitution as involving the exchange of sexual acts for monetary compensation or benefit. And as such, Marsden’s distinction between those who were ‘married’ and those who were in the category of ‘concubine’ has nothing to do with social class but a clear moral and legal distinction. In short, many of the common-law ‘marriages’ were, in fact, acts of bigamy. Hence, Marsden was right to classify them as ‘concubine’. Pettett sums up the situation accurately when he concludes:

The issue was not simply that men and women were living in de facto relationships but that many of them had left wives and husbands back in England and had taken up temporary cohabitation in the colony. Further, their living together in the colony was producing offspring. Once a man had served his time and wished to return to England these children and their mothers were abandoned as the man returned to his legal spouse and their legitimate children.[40]

In fact, there was a number of times when, after many years, the legal spouse of the convict made their way to the colony only to find their wife in a ‘common-law’ marriage to another man. In an important footnote, Pettett describes the following example:

I remember also a man named John Jennings, who was a Chief Constable at Parramatta and succeeded G. Barrington. He called upon me one day and told me that his lawful wife had arrived at Sydney & wished that I could advise him what step to take, as he had 2 children by the women with whom he was then cohabiting. He was greatly distressed, & I told him that he would be obliged to receive his wife tho he said that he had been separated from her for 9 years. He could not muster resolution to go to Sydney and see his wife, but she at length arrived at Parramatta and after learning where he lived knocked at the door & asked whether John Jennings lived there. The woman with whom he lived having heard something of it, said that no John Jennings lived there. Jennings was in the next room and called out before he saw her, ‘Fanny I am here’. They met, & in great distress of mind he furnished the other woman with means to live and return home and she went to England to her friends. On my arrival there I enquired after her, & I was informed that she had been hung for some crime that she had committed. Jennings himself died of a broken heart very soon after the woman quitted him.[41]

Following on from this, another area that Hughes overlooks is Marsden’s integral leadership and involvement in seeing that female orphans in particular were cared for, educated and themselves escaped the vicious cycle of crime. As Piggin and Linder state:

Marsden strongly supported Anna King, the Governor’s wife, in the foundation of the orphanage, and, as its first treasurer, he worked assiduously on the project, and returned to the fund and commission due to him as treasurer. He was motivated by a desire to protect the Colony’s youth, four out of every ten of whom he calculated were at risk of falling into moral turpitude. Within twenty years, observers were remarking on the freedom from vice among convicts’ children. Marsden deserves credit for giving them protection when they were most vulnerable.[42]

Ironically, the reason why Hughes was so likely hostile to Marsden’s distinction between those who were ‘married’ and ‘concubine’ could well be because Hughes had personally rebelled against so many of the accepted sexual mores of society himself. For example, The Sydney Morning Herald describes Hughes’ personal life as follows:

… writing for several newspapers and diving into the glamorous hedonism of the ’60s London, an experience that confirmed him in a kind of counter-counter culturalism — not that he didn’t indulge himself during those years. As he related in his memoir, he was so under the influence of drugs when Time magazine called to offer him a job that he thought that it might be a trick by the C.I.A. (He wrote that he contracted gonorrhoea from his first wife, Dane Patricia Emerson, who, he believed, had contracted it from Jimi Hendrix.)[43]

Significantly, it is probably Hughes’ own religious upbringing’ — and then later unbelief — which could play the greatest influence upon his own hostility towards Marsden than the Christian minister’s own personal shortcomings. According to The Sydney Morning Herald:

Although the clan’s wealth had been significantly reduced by Sir Thomas’s largesse toward the Catholic church, Robert had a privileged childhood. He attended St Ignatius College, Riverview, where his facility with words coalesced as debating society captain. He also preached at Speakers’ Corner, part of an unsuccessful effort to revive his fading Catholic faith through intellectual engagement. He was virtually an atheist by the time he graduated in 1955…[44]

Sadly, Marsden’s character has been much maligned. And Hughes has only contributed to the greater populace’s negative perception of a man who did so much to benefit the fledging colony. And as such, it’s prudent to hear a quote from Richard Jones Esq who, on the 1st July, 1809, is reported as having said to the House of Commons:[45]

Are you acquainted with Mr Marsden?

I am.

What character does he bear in the Colony?

It is impossible for a man to bear a better; both as a moral and good man in the country, in every point of view, his character is unexceptionable.

Is his removal from the magistracy of the country considered as a public loss?

I think it is: he has been universally allowed to be the best magistrate in New South Wales: there is not a magistrate or person in New South Wales who will not say that he was, during the period he was in the magistracy, the best magistrate we had.

Unfortunately, as has been shown, exactly the same assessment could be made of the history writing that Hughes made of his country of origin. As Sandy Yarwood references—somewhat ironically—at the beginning of his biography on Marsden:

“The evil that men do lives after them;

The good is oft interred with their bones.”


Tragically William Shakespeare is right when it comes to modern interpretations of influential Christians in Australian history, truthful unbiased scholarship is a relatively rare occurrence.


[1] In 1826, Marsden was compelled to defend himself in response to the accusations which were levelled against him by Governor Macquarie in An Answer to the Calumnies of the Late Governor Macquarie’s Pamphlet, which is a somewhat neglected primary source.

[2] Peter G. Bolt and Malcolm Falloon (Eds.) Freedom to Libel? – Samuel Marsden V Philo Free: Australia’s First Libel Case (Bolt Publishing Services, 2017).

[3] “The Quotable Robert Hughes”, The New York Times

[4] Peter Stothard has written, in The Australian Book Review, regarding the quality of Hughes’ ‘historical research’ as follows: “There are two sorts of carelessness that a reviewer of history books will regularly see. The first is a minor marring of virtue: a small blot on a show of swashbuckling confidence and command over grand themes, a lack of care for what lesser men may think, arrogance even. We often call this being carefree rather than careless. The critic can correct and admire and move on. The second sort of carelessness is unsettling, almost a vice: a show of unconcern and shallow understanding, an arrogance of a different kind, a lack of care of any kind. In his lengthy account of the history of Rome, Robert Hughes is doubly, gloriously, and disgracefully careless.”

[5] Robert Hughes, The Fatal Shore (Pan, 1987).

[6] David Pettett, “Marsden in the hands of Australasian Historians,” in Freedom to Libel 46. In reviewing the different conclusions Australasian historians have made regarding Marsden, Pettett makes the following observation that many writers still, uncritically accept a negative assessment of Marsden and write unthinkingly, perpetuating the stereotypes. These authors tend to be those who do not share Marsden’s evangelical faith. The older writers who do share this faith have tended to write in terms far too glowing and have glossed over the more difficult issues. In more recent times, with some exceptions, both those who share and those who do not share Marsden’s Christian convictions and imperatives of mission, are presenting a more balanced picture of the man and his times.

[7] “The Missionary Marsden: An Australian View”

[8] Dr Stuart Piggin and Dr Robert Linder, The Fountain of Public Prosperity (Monash University Press, 2018): 86.

[9] Hughes, The Fatal Shore, 681.

[10] One could argue that the work by Richard Quinn, Samuel Marsden: Altar Ego (Wellington: Dunmore Publishing, 2008) is just as negative, if not worse. In his index under Marsden are listed the following references: aberrant personality, bigot, dried heads trader, flogger, forger, gunrunner, hypocrite, liar, misogynist, political reactionary, racist, social climber and thief. Pages 185-186. Strangely, Quinn references Hughes, The Fatal Shore, twenty-eight times but his name never appears in the index.

[11] Hughes, 187. However, not the observation by A.T. Yarwood, Samuel Marsden: The Great Survivor (Melbourne University Press, 1977): “Few people seem to realize the vital contribution made by far-sighted colonists, among them Samuel Marsden, to the shipment of such stock, taking huge risks with scarce capital. We should recall that Australia until the late eighteenth century had no cows, sheep, horses and other animals on which civilisation depends.” Xix.

[12] Hughes, 188. What’s more, note how Hughes downplays the testimony of eyewitnesses, “… [Marsden’s] belief in conspiracy was confirmed by such vague observations as this from Hester Stroud, an illiterate prisoner from off the Sugar Cane: “From what she saw of the Irishmen being in small parties off the Camp of Toongabbie and by their walking about together and talking very earnestly in Irish, deponent verily believes they were intent on something improper.” Hester Stroud, deposition to Marsden, Irish Conspiracy Papers, Historical Records of Australia (Series 1) iii:641.

[13] Hughes, 189.

[14] Hughes, 190.

[15] Hughes, 247.

[16] Hughes, 247-248.

[17] Hughes, 248.

[18] Hughes 255. The reference here is to, in context, convict women who had become so destitute that they were forced into prostitution. A situation Marsden obviously viewed as being undesirable and had continually petitioned Governor Macquarie to urgently address.

[19] Hughes, 291.

[20] Hughes, 324-325.

[21] Hughes, 326.

[22] Hughes, 327. However, note the assessment of A.T. Yarwood, Samuel Marsden: The Great Survivor (Melbourne University Press, 1977): “His positive achievements were immense, being deliberately aimed at creating industries that would generate employment—as the best antidote to crime, and as a basis for national independence. It was in this light that he perceived the introduction of rye and clover to improve his pastures, using seed he had bought during his leave in England. He was the first colonist to do so, and was soon able to support great flocks of sheep. Marsden, not Macarthur, sent the first commercial cargo of wool to England in November 1811…though the latter finally prevailed, and was awarded the gold medals of the Royal Society of Arts in 1822 and 1824 in recognition of the quality and size of his (and Elizabeth’s) contribution to the Australian wool trade.” Xix.

[23] Hughes, 340.

[24] Hughes, 352.

[25] Hughes, 365.

[26] Hughes, 366.

[27] Hughes, 427.

[28] Hughes, 470.

[29] David B. Pettett, “Marsden in the Hands of Australasian Historians,” Eds. Peter G. Bolt and Malcolm Falloon, Freedom to Libel? – Samuel Marsden V Philo Free: Australia’s First Libel Case (Bolt Publishing Services Pty.Ltd, 2017): 37.

[30] Hughes, 247.

[31] See Michael Sturma, “Eye of the Beholder: The Stereotype of Women Convicts, 1788-1852,” Labour History, No. 34 (May, 1978): 3-10.

[32] Yarwood, The Great Survivor, xxii.

[33] See Samuel Marsden, “A few Observations on the Situation of the Female Convict in New South Wales”

[34] Hughes, ‘…a scene of disgusting squalor. The Female Factory was a loft above a jail, some sixty feet by twenty. This loft was filthy and its floor could not, in any case, be washed, since its boards had warped so much that water went straight through the cracks onto the heads of prisoners below. The roof leaked, the privies stank, and the kitchen was just a fireplace. Here, the women were expected to card and spin wool into yearn, and from the yarn weave the coarse “Parramatta cloth” from which convicts’ winter clothes were made. Those who had not managed to bring their bedding from the transport ship had to sleep on piles of scungy raw wool, full of ticks and dags; the government did not give mattresses or blankets to Parramatta women.’ 255.

[35] This is what Sturma—and Hughes—misrepresent and understand arguing instead that the problem was a failure to understand that working -class sexual mores and values were not the same as the middle and upper-class. See, Sturma, “Eye of the Beholder”. “Working-class mores [in England] differed markedly from those of the upper and middle classes… [A]mong the British working-class, cohabitation was prevalent. It is highly unlikely that working-class men, and in particular male convicts, considered the women convicts to be in some way sexually immoral… The stereotype of women convicts as prostitutes from… an ignorance of working-class habits.” Qu0te by Hughes, 247.

[36] Hughes, 247.

[37] Portia Robinson, The Hatch and Brood of Time: A study of the first generation of native-born white Australians 1788-1828. Vol. 1 (Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1985): 77. Quoted by Marsden, 248.

[38] Robinson, The Hatch and the Brood of Time, 74.

[39] Robinson, Ibid, 75.

[40] David Pettett, “Samuel Marsden, Blinkered Visionary: A re-examination of his character and circumstances through the study of his sermons” (Unpublished PhD Thesis, Macquarie University, 2016): 160.

[41] Marsden’s evidence to Bigge, 27 December, 1820. Quoted in Pettett, “Samuel Marsden, Blinkered Visionary,” page 161, footnote 274. Pettett gives another example from Marsden as well: “I have seen several instances of this kind, and one very affecting instance in a person named Patrick Emmentter, who lived at Parramatta. He married a prisoner here, a young woman of two or three and twenty and they seemed to be very happy. Walking down the street one evening with her husband she came up to me and in great agitation said, My first husband is come Sir, & is now at the Derwent. She was so distressed she did not know what to do, her first husband had gone on board a man of war and she thought he had been dead. I told her she did very wrong not to inform me that she was married and that she deserved to be severely punished. In a short time her first husband arrived & they all three, the 1st & 2nd husband & the wife came to my house. She said that her 2nd husband had been a kind and good husband to her, & he said that she had been a good wife & lived happily together. They were all three greatly affected. I said to the woman you now have 2 husbands, with which do you think you can be the most happy. She said I have been very happy with the 2nd husband but if I could have my choice I would take the first. I told her she had done very wrong, but that as the 1st husband had a legal claim upon her she must adopt him. The 2nd husband was much affected, & indeed they all were, and she left Parramatta that evening with the 1st husband. The 2nd husband had been very unhappy ever since.” 160-161, footnote 274.

[42] Piggin and Linders, The Fountain of Public Prosperity, 127-128.

[43] Patricia Maunder, “Robert Hughes Turned Criticism into an Art“, The Sydney Morning Herald, 7 August 2012.

[44] Ibid.

[45] Samuel Marsden, An answer to certain calumnies in the late Governor Macquarie’s pamphlet: and the third edition of Mr. Wentworth’s Account of Australasia, pp. 44-55.

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