Part I: Georgian Parsonage

By Michaela Ann Cameron

Supported by a Create NSW Arts and Cultural Grant


On her fifth birthday, 5 May 1816, the littlest Marsden laid the foundation stone of what would become her family’s new, grand parsonage-house at Parramatta, in Burramattagal Country.[1] No doubt the birthday girl had been given the special honour to mark her personal milestone in an extra effort to fill the anniversary of her birth with positive memories. For while birthdays were ordinarily joyous occasions, Martha Marsden’s would always be tinged with sadness, as it was also the anniversary of her mother’s stroke.

Mrs Marsden
Richard Read Senr, Mrs [Elizabeth] Marsden wife of Rev. S. Marsden, (Pinxt, 1821), MIN 74 / FL3147499, Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales.
Mrs. Elizabeth Marsden (née Fristan) had given birth to seven babies before Martha, five of whom had survived infancy.[2] Not even giving birth to her eldest child, Anne, on board a convict ship on the high seas in 1794 had bested Mrs. Marsden, yet giving her youngest, Martha, life at the age of thirty-nine left the Reverend Samuel Marsden’s wife in ‘a state of severe indisposition’—a loss of speech and paralysis of the right side of her body, the latter of which, sadly, turned out to be permanent, although it did improve somewhat in time.[3] The stroke was likely due to hypertension associated with severe preeclampsia, a condition that is more common in a ‘geriatric pregnancy,’ and left Mrs. Marsden reliant on her companion and faithful servant, the widow Mrs. Susan Bishop, to carry ‘much of the physical burden of bringing up the [six Marsden] children’ as well as running the parsonage in her stead.[4]

Reverend Samuel Marsden, Missionary, St. John's Cemetery Project, Old Parramattans, St. John's Cemetery, Parramatta, Principal Chaplain Colony of New South Wales
Portrait of Reverend Samuel Marsden, 1833. Watercolour, possibly by Richard Read Junior. ML 29 / FL1119855. Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales.

Even with Mrs. Bishop’s help, the fact that the building which then served as the Marsdens’ parsonage-house needed repairs would have only added to the physical and psychological challenges the Marsdens faced in the months and years following Mrs. Marsden’s stroke. The first parsonage, which reportedly stood on Macquarie Street, Parramatta, must have been in a woeful state, because within months of his youngest daughter’s arrival and the onset of his wife’s affliction, Reverend Marsden had spent £237, four shillings, and five pence on repairs in an attempt to improve his family’s living conditions.[5] The state of the first parsonage at Parramatta may have been partially due to the fact that the town’s early buildings had been constructed without limestone, causing them to quickly become, as David Collins noted in the 1790s, ‘so far decayed as to be scarcely able to support their weight’; if so, the building was probably beyond repair.[6] Fortunately for the Marsdens, the built environment of the Colony of New South Wales in general was about to vastly improve. There were two reasons for this: the colony was by then under the governorship of Lachlan Macquarie with his aesthete wife Elizabeth by his side, and a convict who had been spared from the hangman’s noose was on his way to the colony per General Hewitt under sentence of fourteen years transportation—his name was Francis Howard Greenway.

In March 1812, Francis Greenway, a thirty-five-year-old husband and father of three, had been found guilty and sentenced to death for forging a financial document. Forgery required literacy, skill, and access to implements that would produce passable false documents, so it is no surprise that, as convicts go, Greenway never fit the stereotype of a lower-class felon. He hailed from Mangotsfield near the port of Bristol, Gloucestershire, (the prosperity of which had been built on the transatlantic slave trade), could quote the likes of Cicero, Shakespeare and Laurence Sterne, and came from a long line of ‘West Country Greenways, Grinways or Greenaways, steeped for centuries in the ways of quarrymen, architects, builders, masons and weavers.’[7] Francis, himself, had formally trained as an architect with the prominent architect John Nash as his master, during which time he exhibited drawings or paintings at the Royal Academy of Arts in 1800 and designed a town hall and market house at Carmarthen, Cymru (Wales), though only the market house was ever built.[8] When Greenway again exhibited his work at the Royal Academy two years later he was probably already established in his own private practice, and by around 1806 he had been commissioned to design the Assembly Rooms and Clifton Hotel (present-day Grade II listed Clifton Club) in Bristol, the lone survivor of Greenway’s works in the United Kingdom.[9] In spite of this apparent professional success, by 1809 Greenway was bankrupt; a distressing situation that no doubt motivated him to utilise his precision and talent as an architect and painter to make the financial forgery that changed the course of his life.

Greenway’s years in private practice, which required him to showcase his portfolio and communicate his architectural visions to convince prospective clients that he was the architect for them, probably equipped him with the skill to set himself apart from the other convicts on the General Hewitt, because while still on board he lined up a private commission with fellow passenger, surgeon John Harris, Esquire, to renovate his Ultimo property on arrival in the colony.[10] Indeed, on the strength of this commission, he established his private practice immediately at 84 George Street, Cadi (Sydney) and, soon, none other than former governor, Admiral Arthur Phillip, was recommending him to the present governor, Macquarie.

Francis Greenway
Francis Howard Greenway, pencil portrait by unknown artist, ML 482 / FL3266814, Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales.

Governor Macquarie might have been shocked by the pomposity of the newly arrived convict in their initial July 1814 meeting when he sought to test his architectural abilities and Greenway—highly insulted—had no qualms about informing the governor that he found the test unworthy of his talents. Though many a spirit would have been broken by suffering the degrading fall from a lofty position in life to lowly convict status, the experience had not, evidently, changed Greenway’s own good opinion of himself whatsoever. Like most talented people with grand visions, exacting standards, and a healthy self awareness of their capabilities, Greenway could be temperamental, and this reportedly quite often affected his relationships. His relationship with ‘his sometime benefactor, protector and irritant, Governor Macquarie’ was no exception; it would be, in the long run, just as it began: turbulent but, ultimately, a great blessing, especially for the colony.[11] For, in one respect, the Macquaries and Greenway were very much on the same page: they shared a common aim for ‘a future, one rooted in the transformation of a ragtag place of banishment and perdition into a confident society of emancipists and free settlers.’[12] On a personal level Greenway quickly experienced this metamorphosis himself, thanks to his relationship with the governor; he soon had his ticket of leave in hand and his wife Mary and children George, William and Francis by his side once more.[13]

With his newly appointed acting civil architect Greenway, Governor Macquarie ordered a ‘flurry of public works’ projects and improvements in Cadi (Sydney), Cadigal Country, and Parramatta, Windsor and Liverpool in Dharug and Dharawal Country, including new churches and parsonages, to establish a stronger infrastructure that could support the ever-expanding population. Chief among the parsonages, of course, was a parsonage-house for Macquarie’s Principal Chaplain, Marsden, who, in addition to occupying the highest religious position in the colony was, on account of his large family and his wife’s chronic ill-health, in great personal need of a sturdier residence. Thus, the governor assigned ex-convict and surveyor James Meehan the task of marking out a glebe and a portion for Marsden’s new parsonage-house at Parramatta, and set Greenway to work on the design for what would, in fact, be the architect’s ‘first significant work in the colony.’[14] For, as Greenway biographer Alasdair McGregor notes, although Greenway had already been involved in numerous works in his role as civil architect, his participation in those earlier projects tended to be more a case of providing an ‘embellishing touch,’ an ‘addition’ such as new fortifications, or alterations to existing buildings, including the nearly twenty-year-old Government House at Parramatta in Burramattagal Country.

St. John's Parsonage and attached Glebe, St. John's Cemetery and St. John's Church, (1844)
Detail showing St. John’s Parsonage and attached glebe, St. John’s Cemetery (by 1844 known as the “Protestant Burial Ground”), and St. John’s Church, from Plan of the Town of Parramatta and the Adjacent Properties, as surveyed by W. Meadows Brownrigg (1844), M M4 811.1301/1844/1 / FL3690457, State Library of New South Wales.

Greenway’s vision for Marsden’s parsonage was a two-storeyed brick building, Palladian in form, designed in the Colonial Regency style of architecture of the broader Georgian era. The characteristically austere symmetry, grand proportions, and simplicity of this style would imbue the building with a ‘severity’ that, McGregor muses, mirrored the character of Marsden himself.[15]

On 2 December 1815, ‘By Command of His Excellency’ Governor Macquarie, John Gill, Captain of the 40th Regiment and Acting Engineer, announced:

Tenders for St. John's Parsonage, Parramatta, Sydney Gazette, Dec 1815
Tenders for St. John’s Parsonage, Parramatta, John Gill, “Government General Orders, Sydney, 2d Dec., 1815,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Saturday 9 December 1815, p. 1. National Library of Australia.

Construction on such a large scale project would not be without its dramas, of course, particularly since it was Greenway’s first opportunity to put into place a new system of contracts for the public works; a system, he promised with his usual extreme confidence, that would rectify many of the ‘evils’ of colonial building works up to that time. As Greenway himself explained in a letter to the editor of The Australian in 1825, when he came into office as civil architect, contractors on various public works had been claiming ‘considerable’ sums for ‘extras,’ prompting Governor Macquarie to order Greenway to determine whether such claims for extra work were justifiable via a survey. Not only did the architect find the quoted sums exorbitant, he also discovered that the quality of the contractors’ work was ‘unsound,’ ‘improper’ and ‘good for nothing,’ because ‘the contracts were mostly taken by persons who could have no pretentions [sic] whatever to the knowledge of building, and who ought not to have had any thing to do with it.’[16] Their buildings, subsequently, were in a number of cases ‘liable to be condemned’ as they ‘would soon fall to pieces.’[17] Nor would repairs rectify their shoddy work: ‘it would cost more to keep them in repair a few years, than they were worth,’ declared Greenway—Marsden’s own expenditure on repairs for the first parsonage just a few years prior certainly corroborates the argument.[18] Greenway also found that on one occasion (and likely many others) government had paid for a large quantity of building materials even though barely a third were ‘fit to be used’:[19]

The Governor feeling himself in an awkward situation, regretted he had ever entered into those contracts and wished that I had arrived earlier in the colony as he had no knowledge of building; and the colony was so circumstanced, that unless he had a professional man of integrity who would do his duty, it was impossible for him to prevent those evils. … I promised the Governor, with his support and protection, to do away that obnoxious system, and that I would bring forward contractors and form such contracts as would require no bondsmen, as in the way they would be made out, they would prove of sufficient security to government, as no money wold be paid without my report that work equal to the value of the instalment had been done and of good quality … I likewise promised, that … I would half the number of men then employed in the works, and the contracts being allowed to go on as proposed by me, do more work before the Commissioner of Inquiry could arrive here, than had been done since the colony had been settled, 30 years ago; and for less cost to the government than had been paid through the medium of the public for the General Hospital only…[20]

As a direct result of this change to the contract system, Greenway soon butted heads with Marsden’s ‘favoured builder’ for the new parsonage, Mr. James Smith.[21] As McGregor explains, initially ‘Marsden had agreed to a contract price with Smith that was twice what Greenway considered reasonable. The architect claimed that “every trick was resorted to, to make it appear that my bill of quantities was wrong.” Pressure was applied to Greenway to force him to “swerve from his duty,” but he held firm.’[22] Greenway, writing in 1825 recalled, ‘The first contract was taken by Mr. Smith, the builder, for a parsonage-house at Parramatta, the contract was made out according to my specification and system; it operated as stated by me in every sense of the word, and it was carried into effect for the sum of £2500.’[23] However, having been ‘[d]enied his contractual windfall,’ writes McGregor, ‘Smith simply chose to disregard much of the building’s internal detailing, and carried his resentment to his next encounter with Macquarie’s architect.’[24]

Convict labourers were still constructing the parsonage almost a year after Martha Marsden’s ceremonial placement of the foundation stone.[25] Macquarie, for example, mentioned in an April 1817 letter to Bathurst that ‘a very Elegant large Glebe House and Offices are now Erecting at Parramatta,’ and that other, (presumably less grand) parsonage-houses for ‘resident chaplains’ had been completed in the meantime at Liverpool and Castlereagh.[26] The Marsdens, therefore, would not settle into their new abode until around September 1817.[27]

In spite of Smith’s simplification of Greenway’s original vision as well as Greenway’s own self-reported frugality, St. John’s Parsonage, ‘the first complete house by a professional architect in Australia’ was a grand building for which it seemed ‘Time and material [had been] no object.’[28]

St. John's Parsonage, Parramatta (1870)
American & Australasian Photographic Company, “Unidentified Building [St. John’s Parsonage, Parramatta],” Album of Photographs of Sydney & Country New South Wales, (c. 1871), PXA 933 / FL1075994, Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales.
The walls were ‘two feet two inches in thickness, and the inner covered with lath and plaster. The inside staircase was a curiosity and a feature in itself. It was circular, and built of solid stone.’[29]  The front door contained ‘a simple cornice and porchlight with half sidelights, opening into a central hall off which were apparently four rooms on each side and repeated upstairs.’[30] Its ‘roofscape’ featured ‘cross gables with a chimney on the ridge above each gable,’ while ‘[t]hree of the five windows along the front were in recessed panels,’ the outbuildings were also gabled.[31] As indicated in a sketch by Edward Mason, drawn between 1821 and 1823, these outbuildings were initially separate from the central block.[32] All was set amongst ‘an extensive front garden.’[33] With the 1816 parsonage in place on the hill overlooking the 1790 cemetery and the 1803 St. John’s Church, which was soon adorned with twin towers, designed by Lieutenant John Cliff Watts at Elizabeth Macquarie’s request, the vision of a broader precinct, comprised of a trinity of important colonial religious sites, was also at last complete: ‘The Rev.d Mr. Marsden’s Parramatta.’

Reverend Samuel Marsden, Parramatta, Parsonage, St. John's Church, Old Parramattans, St. John's Cemetery, St. John's Cemetery Project
CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE. Edward Mason, “The Rev.d Mr. Marsden’s, Parramatta,” in Edward Mason, Views of Sydney and Surrounding District, (c.1821–1823; 1892), PXC 459 / FL1130954, State Library of New South Wales.

By the 1820s, parsonage hill was the venue for ‘Sunday-school feasts,’ which were ‘[f]or many years a great institution and…the delight of the Reverend Samuel Marsden, as long as he lived.’[34] This ‘great institution’ was something of a family affair. The first Sunday School in Australia had been opened in May 1813 by the Reverend Thomas Hassall at his parents’ home, George Street, Parramatta, which once stood roughly opposite Harrisford but, unlike the latter, is sadly no longer extant; by February 1822, Hassall was Marsden’s curate at St. John’s, and by August that year Hassall was also his son-in-law, having married Marsden’s eldest daughter, Anne.[35] The vital role the Sunday Schools subsequently played in educating the ‘currency lads and lasses’ of ‘the rising generation’ and improving public morality in what was still a penal colony with a largely convict or ex-convict population was by no means lost on commentators in this period. As one Sydney Gazette reporter enthused:

It must give great pleasure to every liberal and philanthropic mind to observe the progress of religious knowledge through the medium of Sunday Schools. By their instrumentality children are not only taught to read, who would never have learnt if Sunday Schools had not been introduced in the Colony, but they are also taught those lessons by which the vicious propensities of the heart are subdued, and by which they are capable of becoming ornaments to that society in which they may hereafter move as useful members thereof.[36]

Reverend Thomas Hassall, c.1818
Thomas Hassall, portrait, (c.1818), MIN 28 / FL3318359, State Library of New South Wales.

In opening Australia’s first Sunday School Hassall had established something of immense importance to the colony. In Marsden’s role as an examiner and as host of festivities celebrating the young scholars’ achievements in the impressive, picturesque venue of the parsonage, the Principal Chaplain of the Colony nurtured the Sunday School’s growth and, with it, the education of young Parramattans across all socio-economic strata. An article in the Sydney Gazette dated 14 April 1825 gives a detailed account of one of the early Sunday School examinations involving children from the Female Orphan School, as well as ‘New Zealanders, South-sea Island[er]s, and several aborigines [sic]’ before a ‘repast’ was enjoyed at the parsonage:

On Tuesday se’nnight a most interesting examination of the Church Sunday scholars took place at Parramatta. The business of the day was commenced with prayer by the Rev. S. MARSDEN, after which “Pope’s Dying Christian” was sung by about forty of the Orphan-house females, who were among the visitors on the occasion. The Reverend Messrs. Marsden, Hill, and Williamson, conducted the examination. One little girl (3 years old), it was reported, could repeat 25 hymns; and another has learned in the past year 400 hymns, 50 chapters, and 14 psalms! It was truly pleasing to behold a number of New Zealanders, the two visitors from the South-sea Islands, and several aborigines among the groupe [sic]. These exhibitions may greatly facilitate the labours of Missionaries.—The children partook of a repast provided at the parsonage, and separated.[37]

The following year, the Sunday School examinations were again a scene of great feats of memory among the 106 children aged between around four and nine years of age who were in attendance. After ‘the business of the day,’ which commenced with examinations from ‘about 10 in the morning’ and ended with the distribution of prizes ‘about 3 in the afternoon,’ the children once again ‘proceeded to the Parsonage, to partake of a repast under an extensive booth erected on the lawn.’[38] Of all the Anniversary Examination celebrations that took place on parsonage hill, though, the most notable has to have been that of April 1819: a year when the Native Institution pupils numbered only 20 compared to the 100-strong European children from the Sunday Schools and Orphan Schools of the district and an unnamed ‘black girl of fourteen years of age, between three and four years in the [Native Institution] school, bore away the chief prize’ at the annual examinations, ‘with much satisfaction to their worthy adjudgers and auditors.’[39] It is widely agreed that this outstanding young scholar, who would have celebrated her achievement on parsonage hill according to tradition, was the gifted interpreter Bolongaia (Maria Locke), the daughter of Yarramundi, Chief of the Boorooberongal People, and future wife of her classmate and (probable) fellow reveller, Digidigi ‘Dicky’ Bennelong, son of Wangal man Woollarawarre Bennelong and Burramattagaliang (Burramattagal woman) Boorong.

Mary Marsden aka Mrs. John Betts (Rev. Marsden's Daughter)
Mary Marsden (1806–1885), known as ‘Mrs. John Betts’ by the time this portrait was created, was one of Reverend Samuel Marsden and wife Elizabeth’s daughters. Mary, therefore, was yet another person who once called St. John’s Parsonage, Parramatta, ‘home’ in her youth. Portrait of Mrs John Betts, formerly Mary Marsden, (18??), PIC/10010/2 LOC Box PIC/10010, nla.obj-137157608, National Library of Australia.

While parsonage hill was regularly the scene of ‘a profusion of good cheer’ and festivity, and teeming with young children, it was not without its hazards.[40] In November 1822, ‘a fine and valuable mare, the property of the Rev. Mr. Hill, of Sydney,’ had fallen down ‘one of the hills adjoining the Parramatta parsonage-house, in the act of frisking with another horse, and so dreadfully shattered one of the fore legs as to render it necessary immediately to kill the noble and unfortunate animal.’[41] Roughly eighteen months later, the parsonage builder, Mr. James Smith was back on the property and had a decidedly unfamiliar experience in the parsonage grounds he knew so well when he ‘seated himself upon a rotten stump on the open ground near the parsonage-house, [and], in less than a moment, he felt the infliction of [a] wound, and beheld [a] reptile.’[42] He had been bitten by the snake ‘just above the ancle [sic] of his left leg.’[43]

Some mixture of the extract of the centipede and turpentine was immediately applied to the puncture, the bitten part incised by a person from the hospital; and a draught of turpentine and water administered internally. Medical aid too, was promptly afforded. We are happy to learn, that Mr. Smith is still alive, and doing well. A great portion of the success attending this case, notwithstanding the assistance that was given in about 15 minutes after the infliction of the wound, may unquestionably be attributed to the torpidity of the reptile race in the winter season.[44]

Despite the sometimes hidden dangers at this attractive location, there does not appear to have been any reports of children injured on parsonage-hill.

The parsonage-house itself would bear witness to its fair share of joy and sadness, too. Parramatta gentry, for instance, marked many a special occasion there. In 1823, Reverend Marsden officiated at the St. John’s Church wedding of Miss Augusta Bayly, the second daughter of the late Nicholas Bayly, and Andrew Allan Esquire, eldest son of Deputy Commissary General Allan, after which ‘the happy pair’ participated ‘in an elegant entertainment’ at his parsonage.[45]

Reverend James Samuel Hassall
Portrait of Reverend James S. Hassall, the son of Thomas Hassall and Anne (née Marsden), and grandson of Reverend Samuel Marsden and Elizabeth Marsden (née Fristan). James S. Hassall, In Old Australia: Records and Reminiscences from 1794, (Brisbane: R. S. Hews & Co, 1902).

As the Principal Chaplain’s official residence, the spacious St. John’s Parsonage was also frequently a place for the most notable clergy of the day to stay as guests. ‘I remember at different times meeting several of the missionaries at the parsonage and elsewhere,’ Marsden’s grandson James S. Hassall, would later recall: ‘Among them were the Reverends William Williams, Davies, Yates, Maunsel, and Richard Taylor…[and] Bobart.’[46] Whether these guests were stopping there before taking up a new post as a parson in one of the outer settlements, or enthusiastic missionaries resting there before setting off on a new mission or upon their return full of stories to tell, the parsonage would have been a vibrant hub, buzzing with lively conversations between Marsden and his religious peers.[47]

Regular as the visits by clergymen and their families were, one was just as likely to see Māori ‘rubbing…noses’ and hearing them ‘crying for joy and meeting old friends’ at St. John’s Parsonage.[48] For in stark contrast to Marsden’s growing disinterest in the Aboriginal mission after his failed attempts to Europeanise two young Aboriginal boys he had adopted in the 1790s and early 1800s, and his support of military force to suppress Aboriginal resistance to pastoral expansion, Marsden welcomed the Māori, who called him ‘Te Mātenga’ (The Leader), and allotted an area of the parsonage to their accommodation during their frequent visits to Parramatta.[49]

St. John's Church, Parramatta featuring Maori People
Māori People depicted in front of St. John’s Church, Parramatta. “Paramatta Church [sic],” in Photographs Illustrating the Earliest Times of New South Wales (c. 1880–1889), DL PXX 67 / FL12628783, Dixson Library, State Library of New South Wales.
Marsden would later build Rangihou, a two-storey weatherboard house for the Māori on Marsden’s Newlands estate on the Parramatta River, and ‘laid out land for cultivation, so that they might be instructed in farming, as well as receive some education and religious teaching.’[50] But even when that was ‘given up…when a school’ was formed at Ipipiri (Pēwhairangi / Bay of Islands in Aotearoa (New Zealand), the Māori ‘continued to be made welcome at the old parsonage at Parramatta.’[51] As Marsden’s grandson, James S. Hassall, reminisced:

I recollect, as a boy, seeing a number of them who lived in a part of my grandfather’s house which he had allotted to their use. They went every morning to watch the soldiers on parade, and afterwards used to rehearse the whole performance on their own account, long sticks supplying the place of muskets. Their idea was, I fancy, to get themselves up in the practice of civilized [sic] warfare, and so steal a march on their tribal enemies in their native land.[52]

Somewhere ‘in one of the rooms,’ ‘a good picture of the Active’ hung on a wall.[53] While on holiday from the King’s School in the 1830s the young James S. Hassall regularly gazed upon that picture of the brig his maternal grandfather had purchased and sailed upon to Aotearoa (New Zealand) in 1814, thus securing his title as the ‘founder of the faith’ there. As he looked upon it, Hassall imagined ‘the joy and pleasure’ his grandfather ‘must have felt on going on board to enter on the fulfilment of this long-cherished hope of founding the mission,’ but also ruminated over all ‘the dangers that awaited him on the sea and on the farther shore’ of Aotearoa (New Zealand), where a mere five years before the Active sailed, European sailors on the Boyd had been killed and eaten by local Māori as utu (revenge) for what Marsden called ‘the wanton violence and cruelty’ of the European whaling crews.[54]

Rangihou 2
Rangihou, the two-storey weatherboard cottage Marsden built for the Māori on his Newlands estate, alongside the Parramatta River.

Notwithstanding all its foot traffic, the parsonage was commodious enough that it must have also offered its more permanent residents spaces of sanctuary to which they could withdraw. It therefore would have been a place where even a major and ever-controversial public figure like Reverend Marsden could process, in private, the emotional upsets that came with the territory of one in his position. When the colony’s Principal Chaplain found his ‘character most grossly vilified by various anonymous papers published in the Sydney Gazette’ under the name ‘Philo Umbrae’ in 1825, and felt ‘induced…to submit a few plain facts, from which an impartial public may form its own judgement,’ for instance, his ‘Vindication of the Rev. Samuel Marsden,’ published in The Australian, was penned at ‘Parsonage-house, Parramatta.’[55]

Trying as the attacks on Marsden’s character were, the emotional fallout associated with them would have been brought into perspective in the mid-1830s, when the occupants of the parsonage entered a particularly bleak period. On the evening of Friday 2 October 1835, Reverend Marsden’s sixty-three-year-old wife, Elizabeth, died at St. John’s Parsonage.[56] Mrs. Marsden’s funeral procession ‘moved from St. John’s Church, Parramatta’ on Monday 5 October at twelve o’clock to her final resting place at the Parramatta Burial Ground (St. John’s Cemetery), with Archdeacon William Cowper officiating.[57] The Marsdens could not have even begun to recover from the loss of their long suffering matriarch when Reverend Marsden’s infant grandson, Sidney Thomas, also died at the parsonage on Monday 14 December.[58] And yet another who would soon be a permanent citizen of the next world was already among them.

Rev H. H. Bobart
Portrait of Rev. H. H. Bobart, M.A. (between 1838 and 1854), PIC Box PIC/7905 #PIC/7905, nla.obj-136779600, National Library of Australia.

Reverend H. H. Bobart, M. A., and his twenty-eight-year-old wife Frances had arrived in the colony in the Lotus on Monday 2 November 1835, betwixt the deaths of the Marsden matriarch and the infant Marsden. Like many visiting clergy, the Bobarts were using Marsden’s parsonage as a base before setting off to join the Church Missionary Society (CMS) at Waimate, Aotearoa (New Zealand). Frances would never get there. On 12 January 1836, just over nine weeks since setting foot in New South Wales, only three months after Mrs. Marsden’s demise, and a month after baby Sidney Thomas passed away there, Frances also ‘died in Faith’ at the parsonage, the victim of ‘consumption’ (tuberculosis).[59] Known as phthisis, ‘the white death,’ ‘the great white plague, the ‘robber of youth,’ ‘Captain of all these men of Death,’ and the ‘graveyard cough’ among many others, tuberculosis typically affects the lungs, with symptoms including a fever, fatigue, night sweats and coughing of blood stained sputum, while ghostly pale skin and a very noticeable ‘wasting away’ of the body produce the telltale consumptive appearance.[60] Frances was one of the millions who succumbed to the killer disease, which reached epidemic proportions in Europe in the eighteenth and nineteenth-centuries and is thought to have potentially ‘killed more persons than any other microbial pathogen’ dating back to as early as 8000 BCE.[61] The disease has a very slow progression, so Frances must have been in late-stage tuberculosis and, thus, had to have known her fate when she embarked on the long sea voyage to the colony, yet she did not let it prevent her from attempting her missionary adventure. Perhaps her decision to travel regardless of her condition is indicative of her sense of piety, or that she thought she had more time but the journey exacerbated her symptoms and hastened her end, or even that she was determined to remain by her husband’s side for however many days she had left. On 14 January, Frances was buried in the cemetery she, as a doomed tuberculosis sufferer, may have pensively gazed upon during her final days at the parsonage. Reverends Marsden and Hill performed the burial service.[62] Her husband sailed for Waimate without her, arriving at the mission less than two months after her death, but his grief would compel him to leave the mission and return to Parramatta by the end of the year.

In time, some happiness for Bobart and the Marsdens would come out of all this grief and tragedy, and the parsonage would witness that, too. For, like Thomas Hassall before him, Bobart became Marsden’s curate first, then his son-in-law after his September 1837 marriage to Elizabeth Mary, another of Marsden’s daughters. Marsden, of course, officiated. ‘I remember the Reverend Samuel Marsden very well at this time,’ recalled Marsden’s grandson James S. Hassall:

He was about seventy years of age, short and stout, clean-shaved, and rather bald, with white hair. He wore a broad-brimmed beaver hat, and drove himself about Parramatta in one of the old-fashioned gigs, with a splendid horse. He had two rings placed in the splashboard, to pass the reins through, for he would sometimes drive home without them in his hands, in the forgetfulness of old age. His horse, however, would always stop safely at the front door of the parsonage, quite the same as if driven there.[63]

The widower Reverend Marsden was, indeed, in the winter of his life, but even this reality teamed with the family trials of 1835 and 1836 could not dissuade him from making his seventh and final voyage to Aotearoa (New Zealand) with his youngest, twenty-six-year-old Martha, per Pyramus from early February to late July 1837.[64]

Despite having lived ‘for upwards of 20 years ‘neath the shelter of the old St. John’s Parsonage,’ unlike his wife, Marsden would not breathe his last breath there.[65] In early 1838, suffering from ‘ill-health,’ he had gone to St. Matthew’s Parsonage, Windsor in Dharug Country, for a rest, and it was there that he departed this life on 12 May 1838. The following month, he would have turned seventy-three. His funeral procession did, however, move ‘from his late residence, Parsonage House, Parramatta, on Tuesday morning,’ 15 May 1838, ‘at eleven o’clock.’[66] ‘[I]t was one of the largest and most respectably attended processions ever witnessed in the colony…’ with around ‘sixty carriages form[ing] the mourning train, and a numerous assemblage of mourners…follow[ing] him to the grave.’[67] Court Officers were among those in the procession, as ‘the Supreme Court and the Court of Quarter Sessions’ had been ‘adjourned, … in order to give the[m] an opportunity of paying the last tribute of respect to the deceased gentleman.’[68] The funeral was also attended by Marsden’s ‘early associates in the ministry,’ ‘His Excellency the Governor [Sir George Gipps], …the principal inhabitants of Parramatta… a number of Civil and Military Officers, the Chief Justice, Mr. Justice Burton, several Members of Council, the Attorney General [John Plunkett], besides nearly all the heads of the Government offices, who left Sydney for that purpose, anxious to pay the last tribute of respect to the memory of one who was endeared to them by many of the noblest virtues that adorn mankind.’[69] All of these high-ranking people of the colony witnessed the late senior Chaplain being laid to rest ‘within a stone’s throw’ of the parsonage, in the same vault as his ‘beloved wife’ Elizabeth and next to Bobart’s first wife, Frances, at the Parramatta Burial Ground (St. John’s Cemetery), with a burial service read by Reverend Dr. Cowper.[70]

Marsden, Bobart Grave
The Marsdens, Bettses and Bobarts are buried here at St. John’s Cemetery, Parramatta. E. W. Searle, “Tomb of the Reverend Samuel Marsden, St. John’s Anglican Church, Parramatta, New South Wales,” c. 1935, in E. W. Searle Collection of Photographs, PIC P838/903a LOC Cold store SEA Box 7, nla.obj-141918204, National Library of Australia.

Reverend Bobart and his second wife, Elizabeth Mary, continued to live at the parsonage with their three children during his time as parson of St. John’s until Bobart’s own death in 1854. His successor, the Reverend Robert Lethbridge King, appointed in 1855, however, ‘finding it too large, erected his own cottage near by and let the place.’[71]

When Mr. William James Günther, M. A. was appointed in late 1867, he did live in Marsden’s parsonage for the first ten years of his ‘energetic pastoral work,’ during which time the building ‘began to fall into bad repair.’[72] The by then fifty-year-old building’s increasing dilapidation prompted the trustees to build a new parsonage close by ‘at the corner of the Western-road and Marsden-street,’ which was noted at the time as being ‘by no means such a stately mansion as the house that is associated with the memory of Samuel Marsden.’[73] Be that as it may, in 1877, Günther, who was now ‘Canon Günther,’ ‘left the old parsonage…and took up his residence’ at the new one.[74]

William James Gunther, c.1864, Stapenhill
William James Günther, Anglican clergyman, c.1864, during his first clerical appointment to the curacy of Stapenhill, Derbyshire, photographed by J. Brennan (Derby, England, c.1864). Günther returned to Sydney in 1865. He would be the last parson to live at the Greenway-designed St. John’s Parsonage, Parramatta. P1 / 687 / FL3317057, State Library of New South Wales.

With Canon Günther settled in to his new, less stately abode, the trustees sold the parsonage house and surrounding glebe in 99 years’ leases. ‘Lot 4,’ upon which the parsonage stood, would reportedly change hands twice over the next three years, first to ‘importer, congregationalist and Parramatta resident Jonathan Forestor Wooster,’ then to ‘property speculator’ William Forlonge, ‘without any alteration.’[75] Nevertheless, however insulting it would have been to the building’s architect had he still been alive, it was about to be hauled out of Greenway and Marsden’s Georgian era and brought right into the Victorian age.

<< INTRODUCTION      ♦       PART II: VICTORIAN MANSION >>


CITE THIS

Michaela Ann Cameron, “Lost Landmark: St. John’s Parsonage, Parramatta,” St. John’s Online, (2020), https://stjohnsonline.org/about/the-parsonage/lost-landmark/part-i-georgian-parsonage/, accessed [insert current date].


Notes

[1]Historic Parramatta House. Over 100 Years Old. Now Being Demolished,” Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 – 1931), Saturday 2 January 1909, p. 3; “‘Old Parramatta.’ Lecture by Dr. Houison,” The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate (Parramatta, NSW : 1888 – 1950), Saturday 21 November 1903, p. 3; Bronwyn Hubbard, Tara: A Telling of the Tapestry, (Masons Drive, North Parramatta: Tara Anglican School, 1997), p. 39.

[2] The Marsdens’ first-born son, Charles Samuel, had died instantly after being ‘thrown from its mother’s arms by a sudden jerk of the gig in which they were seated’; John, a second son left under the watch of a domestic servant, ‘strayed into the kitchen unobserved, fell backwards into a pan of boiling water,’ and died of his burns soon after. J. B. Marsden, Life and Work of Samuel Marsden, (Melbourne: Whitcombe and Tombs, 1913), p. 14, http://www.chr.org.au/books/Life-and-Work-of-Samuel-Marsden_REDUCED.pdf, accessed 6 June 2020.

[3] The Marsdens arriver per William (1794) on 10 March 1794. A. T. Yarwood, “Marsden, Samuel (1765–1838),” Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/marsden-samuel-2433/text3237, published first in hardcopy 1967, accessed online 12 June 2020. “Birth,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Saturday 11 May 1811, p. 2. “At Parramatta, on Monday last, Mrs. MARSDEN, Wife of the Rev. Mr. MARSDEN, of a Daughter. We are sorry to add, that Mrs. Marsden has ever since continued in a state of severe indisposition.” Andrew Sharp, The World, the Flesh and the Devil: The Life and Opinions of Samuel Marsden in England and the Antipodes, 1765–1838, (Auckland: Auckland University Press, 2016).

[4] Andrew Sharp, The World, the Flesh and the Devil: The Life and Opinions of Samuel Marsden in England and the Antipodes, 1765–1838, (Auckland: Auckland University Press, 2016).

[5]Government and General Orders,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Saturday 1 February 1812, p. 2. John McClymont gives the location of the Marsdens’ first parsonage-house as Macquarie Street, Parramatta. See Terry Kass, Carol Liston, and John McClymont, Parramatta: A Past Revealed, (Parramatta: Parramatta City Council, 1996), p. 82. In July 1905, Parramatta historian William Freame erroneously stated that “Marsden’s first parsonage stood where his second still remains, but is now known as The Cedars, Western-road.” See William Freame, “Our Old Towns and Institutions,” The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate (Parramatta, NSW : 1888 – 1950), Saturday 15 July 1905, p. 11.

[6] David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, Vol. II, (London: T Cadell Jnr, and W Davies, 1802), p. 83.

[7] Alasdair McGregor, A Forger’s Progress: The Life of Francis Greenway, (Sydney: NewSouth Publishing, 2014).

[8] It was on this occasion that he confirmed his affiliation with ‘Mr. Nash.’ See Alasdair McGregor, A Forger’s Progress: The Life of Francis Greenway, (Sydney: NewSouth Publishing, 2014).

[9] “The Clifton Club,” Historic England (1999–2008), https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1292433, accessed 6 June 2020.

[10] See Alexander Cameron-Smith, “A ‘Raw, Ignorant Boy’: John Harris, Esquire,” St. John’s Cemetery Project, (2020), https://stjohnscemeteryproject.org/bio/john-harris/, accessed 6 June 2020.

[11] Alasdair McGregor, A Forger’s Progress: The Life of Francis Greenway, (Sydney: NewSouth Publishing, 2014).

[12] Alasdair McGregor, A Forger’s Progress: The Life of Francis Greenway, (Sydney: NewSouth Publishing, 2014).

[13] Mary Greenway (née Moore) and the three children arrived as free passengers per Broxbornebury (1815). See Home Office: Settlers and Convicts, New South Wales and Tasmania, HO10; Pieces 21–28, (The National Archives of the UK (TNA), Kew, Surrey, England).

[14] Alasdair McGregor, A Forger’s Progress: The Life of Francis Greenway, (Sydney: NewSouth Publishing, 2014), ch. 12.

[15] Alasdair McGregor, A Forger’s Progress: The Life of Francis Greenway, (Sydney: NewSouth Publishing, 2014), ch. 12.

[16] F. H. Greenway, “To the Editor of the Australian,” The Australian (Sydney, NSW : 1824 – 1848), Thursday 10 March 1825, p. 1.

[17] F. H. Greenway, “To the Editor of the Australian,” The Australian (Sydney, NSW : 1824 – 1848), Thursday 10 March 1825, p. 1.

[18] F. H. Greenway, “To the Editor of the Australian,” The Australian (Sydney, NSW : 1824 – 1848), Thursday 10 March 1825, p. 1.

[19] F. H. Greenway, “To the Editor of the Australian,” The Australian (Sydney, NSW : 1824 – 1848), Thursday 10 March 1825, p. 1.

[20] F. H. Greenway, “To the Editor of the Australian,” The Australian (Sydney, NSW : 1824 – 1848), Thursday 10 March 1825, p. 1.

[21] Alasdair McGregor, A Forger’s Progress: The Life of Francis Greenway, (Sydney: NewSouth Publishing, 2014), ch. 12.

[22] Alasdair McGregor, A Forger’s Progress: The Life of Francis Greenway, (Sydney: NewSouth Publishing, 2014), ch. 12.

[23] F. H. Greenway, “To the Editor of the Australian,” The Australian (Sydney, NSW : 1824 – 1848), Thursday 10 March 1825, p. 1.

[24] Alasdair McGregor, A Forger’s Progress: The Life of Francis Greenway, (Sydney: NewSouth Publishing, 2014), ch. 12.

[25] Regarding convict labour at the parsonage see “The Cedars,” Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 – 1931), Saturday 26 September 1908, p. 10. The article only states that it was ‘probably’ convict labour, but given the era and that the construction of the parsonage was ordered by Governor Macquarie, there is no doubt convicts would have been responsible for building it.

[26] “I shall not fail to Avail Myself of Your Lordship’s Permission given Me for Erecting of Glebe Houses for Clergymen and School Houses in the different parts of the Colony, where the increase of population requires such Buildings. In pursuance of this Authority, I have already had a very Neat Commodious House Erected at Liverpool for the resident Chaplain there, and a very Elegant large Glebe House and Offices are now Erecting at Parramatta for the Accommodation of the Principal Chaplain, who has always resided at that Station since My taking Charge of the Government. A very good Glebe House was some time since Completed for the Accommodation of the resident Chaplain at Castlereagh, and Consequently there is only one Glebe House now Wanting in all the Colony, namely at Windsor, for the Accommodation of the resident Chaplain there, which shall be commenced as soon as the Church at that Station has been Erected.” Lachlan Macquarie, “Governor Macquarie to Earl Bathurst, Government House, Sydney, New South Wales, 4th April, 1817,” in Frederick Watson (ed.), Historical Records of Australia, Series I. Governors’ Despatches to and from England, Vol. IX, January, 1816–December, 1818, (Sydney: The Library Committee of the Commonwealth Parliament, 1917), p. 354.

[27] John McClymont mentions September 1817 as the approximate date the family had settled in; see Terry Kass, Carol Liston, and John McClymont, Parramatta: A Past Revealed, (Parramatta: Parramatta City Council, 1996), p. 82. A Government notice, signed “R[owland] Hassall, Superintendent of Government Stock, Parramatta, 20th Sept. 1817,” may have been the source of that date. See Rowland Hassall, “Government Public Notice,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Saturday 20 September 1817, p. 2. In 1818, the property was still receiving a few finishing touches; a contractor named James Turner was paid for ‘fencing the Parsonage Grounds.’ See J. T. Campbell, “Government and General Orders, Government House, 15th August, 181818, Civil Department,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Saturday 15 August 1818, p. 1.

[28] For Greenway’s self-reported frugality, see F. H. Greenway, “To the Editor of the Australian,” The Australian (Sydney, NSW : 1824 – 1848), Thursday 10 March 1825, p. 1. For the source of the point that it was Greenway’s first significant work in the colony, see Alasdair McGregor, A Forger’s Progress: The Life of Francis Greenway, (Sydney: NewSouth Publishing, 2014), ch. 12. For the quotation about time, expense, and the spiral staircase, see “Historic Parramatta House. Over 100 Years Old. Now Being Demolished,” Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 – 1931), Saturday 2 January 1909, p. 3.

[29]Historic Parramatta House. Over 100 Years Old. Now Being Demolished,” Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 – 1931), Saturday 2 January 1909, p. 3.

[30] Terry Kass, Carol Liston, and John McClymont, Parramatta: A Past Revealed, (Parramatta: Parramatta City Council, 1996), p. 82.

[31] Terry Kass, Carol Liston, and John McClymont, Parramatta: A Past Revealed, (Parramatta: Parramatta City Council, 1996), p. 82.

[32] John McClymont states that the outbuildings were connected by corridors to the main block (see Terry Kass, Carol Liston, and John McClymont, Parramatta: A Past Revealed, (Parramatta: Parramatta City Council, 1996), p. 82), but these corridors were added later on. See Edward Mason, “The Rev.d Mr. Marsden’s, Parramatta,” in Edward Mason, Views of Sydney and Surrounding District, (c.1821–1823; 1892), PXC 459 / FL1130954, State Library of New South Wales.

[33] Terry Kass, Carol Liston, and John McClymont, Parramatta: A Past Revealed, (Parramatta: Parramatta City Council, 1996), p. 82.

[34] James S. Hassall, In Old Australia: Records and Reminiscences from 1794, (Brisbane: R. S. Hews & Co., 1902), pp. 173–4. See also J. B. Marsden, Life and Work of Samuel Marsden, (Melbourne: Whitcombe and Tombs, 1913), p. 206, http://www.chr.org.au/books/Life-and-Work-of-Samuel-Marsden_REDUCED.pdf, accessed 6 June 2020. “The innocent games of children pleased him to the last. When such meetings were more rare than they have now become, the children of the Parramatta school once a year assembled on his lawn, and then his happiness was almost equal to their own. In his own family, and amongst the children of his friends, he would even take his share in their youthful gambols, and join the merry party at blind man’s bluff.”

[35] Niel Gunson, “Hassall, Thomas (1794–1868),” Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, published first in hardcopy 1966, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/hassall-thomas-2167/text2779, accessed online 8 May 2020.

[36]No title,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Saturday 1 April 1826, p. 2.

[37]No title,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Thursday 14 April 1825, p. 2.

[38]No title,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Thursday 14 April 1825, p. 2. The report goes on to say that while the children were enjoying themselves on parsonage hill, “The teachers and friends of the Institution all took tea together at the residence of Mrs E. Hassall [i.e. Aldine House, George St, Parramatta], and this concluded the affairs of this interesting day.” “No title,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Saturday 1 April 1826, p. 2. See also “Parramatta Church-Sunday-School,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Saturday 28 April 1832, p. 3.

[39]On Tuesday last an Anniversary School Examination…,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Saturday 17 April 1819, p. 2.

[40]Parramatta Church-Sunday-School,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Saturday 28 April 1832, p. 3.

[41]Sydney,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Friday 22 November 1822, p. 2.

[42]No title [On Thursday se’nnight, Mr. James Smith…],” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Thursday 17 June 1824, p. 2.

[43]No title [On Thursday se’nnight, Mr. James Smith…],” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Thursday 17 June 1824, p. 2.

[44]No title [On Thursday se’nnight, Mr. James Smith…],” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Thursday 17 June 1824, p. 2. A few more snake encounters reported in Parramatta over the years include: “Thrilling Snake Adventure,” The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate (Parramatta, NSW : 1888 – 1950), Saturday 24 February 1900, p. 4; “Woman Bitten. Snake at Parramatta,” Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate (NSW: 1876 – 1954), Monday 25 April 1932, p. 7; “Baby Bitten by Snake,” Barrier Miner (Broken Hill, NSW : 1888 – 1954), Wednesday 2 November 1932, p. 2; “Man’s Promptitude After Snake-Bite,” Barrier Miner (Broken Hill, NSW : 1888 – 1954), Tuesday 4 February 1936, p. 1. In Sydney, too, came the following account of a snake bite:  “Last Sunday evening, between 7 and 8 o’clock, as James O’Berne was walking from the Hospital Wharf up George-street, a snake coiled round his leg and thigh, and bit him on the ancle [sic]. He applied immediately to the General Hospital for relief; and after enduring several hours acute pain, was perfectly recovered.—The reptile that inflicted the wound was killed; was about six feet long, and proved to be of the diamond species.” See: “Sydney,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Saturday 6 March 1813, p. 2.

[45]Married,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Thursday 11 December 1823, p. 2.

[46] James S. Hassall, In Old Australia: Records and Reminiscences from 1794, (Brisbane: R. S. Hews & Co., 1902), pp. 170–1.

[47] James S. Hassall, In Old Australia: Records and Reminiscences from 1794, (Brisbane: R. S. Hews & Co., 1902), pp. 168–9, 170–1. Regarding Sunday School feasts see Hassall pp. 173–4 and the following selected newspaper articles: “No title [On Tuesday se’nnight a most interesting examination…],” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Thursday 14 April 1825, p. 2; “No title, [On Tuesday, the 28th instant, an examination of the children…],” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Saturday 1 April 1826, p. 2; For the name the Māori gave to Marsden, see Maarama Kamira, Māori Trade & Relations in Parramatta, (Parramatta: City of Parramatta Council, 2016), p. 7 and Alison Jones and Kuni Kaa Jenkins, Tuai: A Traveller in Two Worlds, (Wellington, New Zealand: Bridget Williams Books,  2017).

[48] James S. Hassall, In Old Australia: Records and Reminiscences from 1794, (Brisbane: R. S. Hews & Co., 1902), pp. 168–9.

[49] For more on Marsden’s attitudes to Australia’s First Peoples see Matthew Allen, “Samuel Marsden: A Contested Life,” St. John’s Cemetery Project, (2020), https://stjohnscemeteryproject.org/bio/samuel-marsden/, accessed 23 April 2020. See also Meredith Lake, “Samuel Marsden, Work and the Limits of Evangelical Humanitarianism,” History Australia Vol. 7, No. 3 (2010): 57.1–57.23; A. T. Yarwood, Samuel Marsden: The Great Survivor, (Carlton, Vic: Melbourne University Press, 1996), pp. 112–3.

[50] James S. Hassall, In Old Australia: Records and Reminiscences from 1794, (Brisbane: R. S. Hews & Co., 1902), pp. 168–9.

[51] James S. Hassall, In Old Australia: Records and Reminiscences from 1794, (Brisbane: R. S. Hews & Co., 1902), pp. 168–9.

[52] James S. Hassall, In Old Australia: Records and Reminiscences from 1794, (Brisbane: R. S. Hews & Co., 1902), pp. 168–9.

[53] For the information about the picture of the Active hanging on the wall in one of the parsonage rooms, see James S. Hassall, In Old Australia: Records and Reminiscences from 1794, (Brisbane: R. S. Hews & Co., 1902), pp. 164–5. Regarding ‘founder of the faith,’ see Matthew Allen, “Samuel Marsden: a Contested Life,” St. John’s Cemetery Project, (2020), https://stjohnscemeteryproject.org/bio/samuel-marsden, accessed 17 April 2020. Samuel and Elizabeth Marsden had eight children in total—Ann Marsden (1794–1885), Charles Simeon Marsden (1798–1801), Elizabeth Mary Marsden (1799–1879), John Marsden (1801–1803), Charles Simeon Marsden (1803–1868), Mary Marsden (1806–1885), Jane Catherine Marsden (1808–1885), and Martha Marsden (1811–1895) —but two of the sons died well before the parsonage was built.

[54] See Elizabeth de Réland, “Catherine Leigh: Faithful Coadjutor,” St. John’s Cemetery Project, (2019), https://stjohnscemeteryproject.org/bio/catherine-leigh, accessed 17 April 2020 and Matthew Allen, “Samuel Marsden: a Contested Life,” St. John’s Cemetery Project, (2020), https://stjohnscemeteryproject.org/bio/samuel-marsden, accessed 17 April 2020. Samuel Marsden to Lachlan Macquarie, November 1813, cited in: Andrew Sharp, The World, the Flesh and the Devil: The Life and Opinions of Samuel Marsden in England and the Antipodes, 1765–1838, (Auckland University Press, 2016), p. 375. On the massacre see: Kelly K. Chaves, “‘Great Violence Has Been Done’: The Collision of Maori Culture and British Seafaring Culture 1803–1817,” The Great Circle: Journal of the Australian Association for Maritime History, Vol. 29, No. 1, (2007): 22.

[55] S. Marsden to the Editor of The Australian, “The Case of Downes and Carrol; The Vindication of the Rev. Samuel Marsden, Parsonage-house, Parramatta, September 21, 1825,” The Australian (Sydney, NSW : 1824 – 1848), Thursday 22 September 1825, p. 1.

[56]Family Notices. Deaths,” The Australian (Sydney, NSW : 1824 – 1848), Tuesday 6 October 1835, p. 3. “Deaths. On Friday evening, 2d October, at the Parsonage House, Parramatta, Mr-[sic] Marsden, Wife of the Reverend Samuel Marsdeh [sic], Senior, Chaplain to the Colony, aged 63 years, deeply regretted by her family and a large circle of friends. She would never get to live at the unfinished Newlands House, a new two-storey home Marsden had started building for his wife on the Newlands estate that same year, and, thus, neither would Marsden.

[57]Family Notices. Deaths,” The Sydney Herald (NSW : 1831 0 1842), Monday 5 October 1835, p. 3.

[58]Deaths,” The Sydney Herald (NSW : 1831 – 1842), Thursday 17 December 1835, p. 3. Sidney Thomas Marsden was the son of Reverend Marsden’s daughter Jane Catherine and her husband (whose surname was also Marsden), Thomas Marsden, Esquire, of Pitt Street, Sydney.

[59] Frances Bobart is buried in Section 1, Row U, No. 2, St. John’s Cemetery, Parramatta. ‘…died in Faith’ is inscribed on her headstone. See Judith Dunn, The Parramatta Cemeteries: Stt. John’s, (Parramatta, NSW: Parraatta and District Historical Society, 1991), p. 92. “Family Notices. Deaths,” The Sydney Herald (NSW : 1831 – 1842), Thursday 14 January 1836, p. 3. “Deaths. On Thursday, the 12th instant, at the Parsonage, Parramatta, of consumption, Frances, the Wife of the Rev. H. H. Bobart, M. A., who arrived November 2nd, 1835, in the Lotus, to join the Church Mission at New Zealand.”

[60] John Frith, “History of Tuberculosis. Part 1 — Phthisis, consumption and the White Plague,” Journal of Military and Veterans’ Health (JMVH), Vol. 22, No. 2 (June 2014): 29–35, accessed 8 May 2020.

[61] John Frith, “History of Tuberculosis. Part 1 — Phthisis, consumption and the White Plague,” Journal of Military and Veterans’ Health (JMVH), Vol. 22, No. 2 (June 2014): 29–35, accessed 8 May 2020.

[62] Parish Burial Registers, Textual Records, St. John’s Anglican Church Parramatta, New South Wales.

[63] James S. Hassall, In Old Australia: Records and Reminiscences from 1794, (Brisbane: R. S. Hews & Co., 1902), p. 23.

[64] J. B. Marsden, Life and Work of Samuel Marsden, (Melbourne: Whitcombe and Tombs, 1913), p. 187, http://www.chr.org.au/books/Life-and-Work-of-Samuel-Marsden_REDUCED.pdf, accessed 6 June 2020.

[65] For the ‘neath the shelter quotation see, “Historic Parramatta House. Over 100 Years Old. Now Being Demolished,” Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 – 1931), Saturday 2 January 1909, p. 3. The parsonage was erroneously recorded by one reporter as Marsden’s death place when news of the parsonage’s demolition was being discussed—a ‘bloomer’ that was quickly picked up by a rival newspaper. “Personal,” The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate (Parramatta, NSW : 1888 – 1950), Wednesday 2 December 1908, p. 2. “The “Bulletin” makes this “bloomer”: ‘The old home of Parson Marsden at Parramatta is to be demolished. Parson Marsden died there in 1838.’ Marsden died at the old parsonage of St. Matthew’s, Windsor, in the time of the Rev. Mr. Stiles.”

[66]Advertising. The Friends of the late Rev. Samuel Marsden…,” The Sydney Herald (NSW : 1831 – 1842), Monday 14 May 1838, p. 6; “No title. The funeral of the Rev. Samuel Marsden…,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Tuesday 15 May 1838, p. 2; “No title. The funeral of the late Rev. Samuel Marsden took place…,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Thursday 17 May 1838, p. 2; Philomath, “The Rev. Mr. Marsden. To the Editor of the Colonist, Parramatta, May 21, 1838,” The Colonist (Sydney, NSW : 1835 – 1840), Saturday 26 May 1838, p. 2.

[67]No title. The funeral of the late Rev. Samuel Marsden took place…,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Thursday 17 May 1838, p. 2; J. B. Marsden, Life and Work of Samuel Marsden, (Melbourne: Whitcombe and Tombs, 1913), p. 214, http://www.chr.org.au/books/Life-and-Work-of-Samuel-Marsden_REDUCED.pdf, accessed 6 June 2020.

[68]  “No title. In consequence of the funeral…,” The Australian (Sydney, NSW : 1824 – 1848), Friday 18 May 1838, p. 3l.

[69] J. B. Marsden, Life and Work of Samuel Marsden, (Melbourne: Whitcombe and Tombs, 1913), p. 215, http://www.chr.org.au/books/Life-and-Work-of-Samuel-Marsden_REDUCED.pdf, accessed 6 June 2020. “No title. The funeral of the late Rev. Samuel Marsden took place…,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Thursday 17 May 1838, p. 2; “No title,” The Australian (Sydney, NSW : 1824 – 1848), Friday 18 May 1838, p. 3.

[70] Elizabeth Marsden is referred to as his ‘beloved wife’ on her headstone. Samuel and Elizabeth Marsden are buried in Section 1, Row U, No. 2, St. John’s Cemetery, Parramatta, but as Judith Dunn notes, the Marsden plot extends across rows U. V. W. Judith Dunn, The Parramatta Cemeteries: St. John’s, (Parramatta, NSW: Parramatta and District Historical Society, 1991), p. 92. The Marsdens’ son, Charles Simeon, daughters Mary and Martha, as well as a number of grandchildren and sons-in-law, including H. H. Bobart, would all join them in the extensive Marsden plot in the years to come. The ‘stone’s throw’ quotation is from “Historic Parramatta House. Over 100 Years Old. Now Being Demolished,” Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 – 1931), Saturday 2 January 1909, p. 3. J. B. Marsden, Life and Work of Samuel Marsden, (Melbourne: Whitcombe and Tombs, 1913), p. 215, http://www.chr.org.au/books/Life-and-Work-of-Samuel-Marsden_REDUCED.pdf, accessed 6 June 2020.

[71] For the source stating that King found the parsonage too large for his needs see, “Parramatta and its Associations — the Old Parsonage Modernised,” Illustrated Sydney News (NSW : 1881 – 1894), Saturday 17 March 1883, p. 3. For King’s appointment year see http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/king-robert-lethbridge-3958

[72] , “Parramatta and its Associations — the Old Parsonage Modernised,” Illustrated Sydney News (NSW : 1881 – 1894), Saturday 17 March 1883, p. 3.

[73]Parramatta and its Associations — the Old Parsonage Modernised,” Illustrated Sydney News (NSW : 1881 – 1894), Saturday 17 March 1883, p. 3. “Our Local Public Men. The Archdeacon of Camden: The Ven. William James Günther, M. A.,” The Cumberland Mercury (Parramatta, NSW : 1875 – 1895), Saturday 13 August 1887, p. 4.

[74]Our Local Public Men. The Archdeacon of Camden: The Ven. William James Günther, M. A.,” The Cumberland Mercury (Parramatta, NSW : 1875 – 1895), Saturday 13 August 1887, p. 4.

[75] Bronwyn Hubbard, Tara: A Telling of the Tapestry, (Masons Drive, North Parramatta: Tara Anglican School, 1997), p. 39 and “Parramatta and its Associations — the Old Parsonage Modernised,” Illustrated Sydney News (NSW : 1881 – 1894), Saturday 17 March 1883, p. 3.