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THOMAS KENDALL – Quick facts about our first J.P.

Ric Carlyon - Thursday, August 14, 2014


                                THOMAS KENDALL – Quick facts about our first J.P.


Thomas Kendall, J.P., b. 1778 – d. 1832*

    • Born Lincolnshire, 13th December 1778, younger son of farmer Edward  and Susanna
    • He grew up in rural North Thoresby, Lincolnshire
    • Married Jane Quickfall in November 1803
    • Had a ‘religious experience’ in London in 1808 and moved his family to Marylebone
    • Accepted into the Church of England Missionary Society and sailed for Sydney in 1813
    • June 1814 - First exploratory trip aboard “Active” to set up a Mission in Bay of Islands
    • June 19 Kendall leads a church service aboard “Active”, attended by Maori leaders 
    • July returns to NSW accompanied by influential Maori chiefs Hongi Hika and Ruatara
    • Appointed first J.P. for New Zealand by NSW Governor, Macquarie, 12 November 1814

Rev. Samuel Marsden’s party arrives Bay of Islands, December 1814**

    • Arrives back in Bay of Islands mid-December 1814, with Samuel Marsden and others
    • 5 prisoners, seamen-deserters, held by Kendall in Bay of Islands and sent to Sydney in 1815 
    • 1815:  wrote “New Zealander’s First Book” published in Sydney - first Maori words in print
    • With J. L. Nicholas and Maori chiefs, in 1815, signed the sale of the first plot of land in N.Z. 
    • Started first school in Rangihoua, August, 1816
    • Made an unauthorised visit to London in 1820 with chiefs Hongi Hika and Waikato
    • Met Charles H. P. de Thierry in the UK and agreed to buy land for him in Bay of Islands   
    • Kendall is ordained a priest in England in November 1820, his licence limited to N.Z.
    • Collaborated with Professor S. Lee at Cambridge on his book about the Maori language…
    • … “A Grammar and Vocabulary of the Language of New Zealand” is published in 1820.
    • De Thierry’s fantastic plan to colonise NZ is revealed, based on land purchased by Kendall
    • July 1821 – Kendall returns to Bay of Islands 
    • He has an affair with Tungaroa, a tohunga’s daughter: his wife elopes with a convict-servant 
    • Sought favours with the natives by condoning trading land and firearms with them
    • Was gifted a tract of land by Maoris (for De Thierry?) provided Kendall would reside there
    • August 1822 he is dismissed from the Church Missionary Society, but remains in NZ
    • In August 1823 Marsden returns to NZ to personally banish Kendall…
    • ….but his wife takes him back and they continue living at Matauwhi, away from the Station 
    • In 1825 the Kendall family leaves New Zealand for missionary work in Valparaiso, Chile 
    • In 1827 the family returns to NSW where he receives a land grant at Kiama and farms 
    • Died 1832, presumed drowned when “Brisbane” foundered at Shoalhaven River, NSW 
    • 1837- De Thierry arrives in NZ bombastically styled as "Charles, by the grace of God, Sovereign Chief of New Zealand" only to find Maori are disputing the land which Kendall said he had purchased on De Thierry’s behalf***. Instead, De Theirry bought land at Hokianga, again “the start of a colony” with France’s permission. The intiative salled, and then curtailed, when British sovereignty over New Zealand followed the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.

* Kendall from "The chiefs Waikato and Hongi Hika with misssionary Thomas Kendall in England" oil, by James Barry, 1820. Alexander Turnbull Library Wellington, New Zealand (ref G-618) 

 **   Artist unknown, engraving, 1913. Marsden, J. B. : Life and work of Samuel Marsden. Christchurch, Whitcombe & Tombs, 1913. Ref: PUBL-0158-76. Alexander Turnbull Library http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22412925

***   Dr John Dunmore Lang in his 4th letter to Rt Hon Lord Durham



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