Samuel Marsden: Australian Pioneer

As a chaplain in New South Wales, Marsden from Yorkshire became one of the founders of Australian sheep-farming. By M.L. Ryder.

On March 10th, 1794, only six years after the colony of New South Wales had been founded, there sailed into what is now Sydney harbour a man who was to influence the economic history of Australia more than any other.

Aged not quite thirty, and newly married, the Rev. Samuel Marsden took up the post of Assistant Chaplain in this penal colony; much has been written about his preaching and missionary work, latterly in New Zealand, but his contribution towards the establishment of a wool-growing industry in Australia had more lasting importance.

Others were, of course, involved, and Capt. John Macarthur (1767-1834) is usually given the credit of being the sole founder of the industry, with the result that the vital part played by the shrewd yet reticent Yorkshireman, Marsden, has been neglected.

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