# 42881

WOOLLS, William (1814-1893)

A short account of the character and labours of the Rev. Samuel Marsden, (Alfred Hewlett Stephen’s copy)

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formerly Principal Chaplain of the Church of England, in New South Wales ; written for the express purpose of raising funds towards the erection of a church in the Parish of Marsfield, Parramatta. Parramatta : Printed and published by B. Isaacs, George-street, 1844. Small octavo (185 x 115 mm), modern quarter calf over cloth, spine lettered in gilt; pp. iv, [5]-84; printed on letterpress; bound without the original printed wrappers; top corners of Preface leaf and last leaf with expert restoration, otherwise condition is excellent throughout; title with ownership inscription of Alfred Hewlett Stephen (1826-1884), eldest son son of Sir Alfred Stephen, Chief Justice of New South Wales, who served as canon of St Andrew’s Cathedral, Sydney from 1869; front pastedown with the ex libris of G. & N. Ingleton.

A rare pamphlet written in defence of the reputation of controversial colonial clergyman, Samuel Marsden (1765-1838), published in Parramatta some six years after his death.

Marsden was a divisive figure in his own lifetime, admired for his zealous evangelism and regarded as morally incorruptible by his supporters, yet perceived as venal and cruel by his detractors. His reputation has been contested, to some degree, ever since.

This laudatory biographical account of Marsden’s achievements in New South Wales and New Zealand, where he was founder of the mission to the Māori, was penned by William Woolls (1814-1893), a staunch Anglican and schoolmaster at Parramatta, where Marsden was minister at St. John’s for nearly half a century. The pamphlet was actually printed on Marsden’s old press by Benjamin Isaacs, who in 1840 had founded the Bay of Islands Advocate, one of the first newspapers in New Zealand. Marsden had given the press to Rev. W. Yate to take to New Zealand in 1830; Isaacs evidently brought it back to Sydney when he relocated there some time prior to 1844.

Ferguson, 3958; Bagnall, 6178