HOME OF THE LADY DENMAN - Local history isn't always about the big story - the everyday story of life in the early development of the region can be a fascinating, entertaining and educational journey.

22 March 2016

1832. Jervis Bay. A sudden and awful death.

Rev. Thomas Kendall.

In August 1832 the wrecked cutter Brisbane was found by aboriginals on a beach inside Jervis Bay,  there was no sign of the crew.

The owner and master on the vessel was Rev. Thomas Kendall, a well known and respected member of Sydney society,  together with his son-in-law Surveyor Mr Florence and several other persons.

The vessel left Mr. Kendalls farm as Ulladulla or (Nulladulla) as it was then known,  bound for Sydney,  carrying a cargo of cedar, cheese and other articles,  to the value of 200 pounds.

Thomas Kendall was baptised on 13 December 1778 at North Thoresby, Lincolnshire, England.

After leaving home at the age of 14, Kendall became a school monitor in Immingham, Lincolnshire, and then an assistant school teacher in North Somercotes, Lincolnshire. On 21 November 1803 he married Jane Quickfall in Kirmington, Lincolnshire; there were nine children of the marriage

In 1808 Kendall applied to the Church Missionary Society to become a settler in New Zealand.

Kendall was one of the first and most indefatigable Missionaries to New Zealand.

He was an emotional, idealistic and self-torturing man, driven by evangelical zeal and seeking perfection, although believing at the same time in his own deep imperfection;  he was subject to outbursts of ungovernable temper.

He eventually returned to Europe and visited South America,  subsequently returning and resuming his Missionary labours in New Zealand.
While serving in New Zealand Thomas Kendall pioneered the transcription of the Maori language, and published the first grammar of the New Zealand tongue.
He moved to Australia and not wanting to live in Sydney applied to Governor Darling for a  land grant at Ulladulla,  there he entered into the cedar timber trade.

Watery Grave.
Mr. Kendall had frequently made the same voyage:  but in two, if not in three instances,  he had nearly met a watery grave by the upsetting of the vessel. but was providentially preserved.

The weather had been exceedingly boisterous for some time after the party had sailed, when the cutter failed to arrive in Sydney,  it was supposed they had run into some of the numerous bays or creeks on the coast,  seeking shelter. Unwilling to believe what a protracted absence could mean, their arrival was expected with the most intense anxiety.

Mr. Kendall's well known excellence of character and disposition,  and the respect in which he was held in society,  contributed to keep alive the excitement.

These hopes however,  were dissipated when news arrived that a party of black's scouring a beach in Jervis Bay found the remains of the cutter Brisbane ashore. None of the bodies were found so hopes were still high that somehow, someone could have survived.

But shoes of Mr Kendall,  and a small trunk,  which was recognised as the property,  having been picked up near the wreck,  leaves little doubt regarding the untimely fate of the whole party.



image Cutter - Traditionally a cutter sailing vessel is a small singlemasted  boat, fore-and-aft rigged, with two or more headsails and often a bowsprit. The cutter's mast may be set farther back than on a sloop.

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