Rev. Samuel Marsden, Satan, and respectability of character in New South Wales and New Zealand

A New Zealand Studies Network (UK and Ireland) seminar

Friday 30th November 6 p.m.

Room  255  Birkbeck University, Malet Street, London


The years 1817-23 were very troubling for Samuel Marsden both in New Zealand and New South Wales. In New South Wales he fell foul of Governor Lachlan Macquarie. In New Zealand his relationships with the first two sets of missionaries in the Bay of Islands were uneasy. In Sydney the New Zealanders seemed evidently uncivilised and a danger to Europeans; but in the Bay, as well as inspiring fear among the missionaries and their helpers, they also inspired sexual desire (at least in some). The talk describes the way Marsden and his European contemporaries thought and talked about these matters, especially the way they prided themselves on their status and (the religious among them) feared Satan, the 'Prince of Darkness'

Andrew Sharp  is Emeritus Professor of Political Studies at the University of Auckland and Chair of the NZSN.  He will soon take up the 2013 University of Waikato/Creative New Zealand Residency Award to complete a book on the opinions of Samuel Marsden and his contemporaries in New Zealand, New South Wales and England. It will be called Civilisation and the Prince of Darkness.