iv. 5 July 1832
[Noted] Rec’d Octr 19/32
Sydney 5 July 1832
Rev. and Dear Sirs
The "Ship" Mary Anne, by which this will be forwarded, will [depart] either this evening or early tomorrow morning. I have only time to prepare a short communication. The Rev. Rd Hill has this morning return’d from a 3 weeks visit into the country. I suppose he will not write by the present, but will embrace the first, next coming, opportunity of informing you of our departure, which I trust will not be more than 3 or 4 weeks hence at the farthest. The death of the wife of his Excellency the Governor; the absence of the Archdeacon from Sydney; my not bringing official dispatches from His Majestys Government; a desire to obtain information respecting what Stores, agricultural implements &c were at Wellington before we advertis’d for any requisites for the Mission, were circumstances that render’d our remaining in Sydney longer than it were otherwise desirable to be. - The Rev. J. C. S. Handt was yesterday married to Miss Crook, eldest daughter to Mr Crook, 15 years a missionary in the service of the L.M.S. at Ota’heite. The ceremony was performed by the Rev. S. Marsden at St James Ch., Sydney. In the absence of the Rev. R Hill I suggested to Rev. S Marsden, who was at Sydney, that it was desirable they should be married by the Father, Friend and principal Advocate of Missions, in this part of the world; and the proposal was readily acceded to on [all] hands. I am happy to say so far as I have seen & been able to judge of the different members of the Committee here they fully answer that high tone of Xtn & paternal character, in which they were represented to me by the worthy Secty, D. Coates Esquire. & I hope & trust thro’ Divine grace and guidance, our Confidence and Xn regards will be mutual.
Herewith you will receive a request from the Venble the Archdeacon of N.S.Wales to His Grace the Abp. of Canterbury (whose province it appears to be during the Vacancy of the See of Calcutta) to forward me a Licence in order that I may be placed on the same footings as other clergymen of the Establishment (ie the Ch. of Engl.) As my time is now so narrowly limited I am not able to send you a full copy of the correspondence between the Venble the Archdeacon & myself on this subject, but they will be duly forwarded by the next vessel which will leave this Port for England (perhaps in Octr). In this correspondence I acted on my own responsibility for 3 reasons. I: Because the matter in hand was applicable to myself, alone, individually & personally. 2: Because I was anxious to avoid any unpleasant feeling being occasioned in the mind of the Venble the Archdeacon toward the members of the Committee who are chaplains and who might otherwise have been involved in difficulties on my account. 3 Because I believed if I ask’d advice I should have been dissuaded. Afterwards I thought it my duty to inform them individually of the result. I always, in my own mind, anticipated some difficulty of this nature as I had neither a Commission from His Majesty, nor a Licence from the Ld Bp of the Diocese. It will be my duty to present you in a brief manner with as clear a statement of the case as possible. As soon as the Venble the Archdeacon return’d home, from the Country I waited on him, being introduced by the Revd Rd Hill. I submitted my Letters of Orders, he gave me a kind and Xnly welcome to N.S.Wales, look’d over the Letters of Orders & returned them, saying he wd afterwds have them entd on record as I was a clergyman in English Orders & employed in the service of H.M. Government. Mr Hill ask’d if I should be allow’d to assist him. The Archdeacon, in the most free & unhesitating manner, reply’d O yes to be sure. The Instructions of the Committee, of the Parent Society to the Committee of Correspondence here were left for his inspection. In the course of a fortnight Rev R Hill applied to the Venble the Archdeacon for leave of absence for 3 weeks for the reestablishment of Mrs Hill’s health, proposing one of two, named clergymen, resident in Sydney, to take the Charge of his Parish with my occasional assistance as might be found necessary. The answer to this included a paragraph in which
the Venerable the Archdeacon said he could make no arrangements which depended on the assurance of Mr Watson, and he desired that I might be so informed as likewise that he did not see what canonical authority he had over me; and that therefore my submission of my Letters of Orders to him was merely voluntary on my part. This in a Postscript to the above letter addressed as above to Mr Hill the Archdeacon said would constitute an answer to my request forwarded to him (the Archdeacon) that morning. In that letter I merely requested a statement of the reasons why I was not allowed to officiate as Clergyman; & whether such reasons would have been operative had I, though specially appointed to & exclusively engaged in, labour among the Aboriginees of N. Holland, been commissioned as a Chaplain of the Colony. In this I observed that the communication was “private” & without the knowledge of Revd Mr Hill. I afterwards wrote to the archdeacon saying that I thought it incumbent on me to state by what motives I was influenced in submitting my Letters of Orders to him, observing at the same time that I apprehended without such explanation he might be induced to view my character in the same Suspicious light, as my not being allow’d to officiate had led the church and public in Sydney to esteem it. I said that I acted under a conviction of its being a duty I, as a clergyman in English Orders, & especially as employ’d in the service & supported by his majesty’s Government, owed to my Diocesan, & in his absence to his Lordship’s Representative. I referr’d him to the line pursued by clergymen employ’d in the Service of the Society for Propagation &c, the Society fr Promoting Xn Knowledge and the C.M.S. I instanced the Conduct of the 3 last Bps of Calcutta towards the Clergyman employed in the Service of the latter Society in India &c &c &c, to which I recd an answer express’d in very affectionate terms expressing sorrow that he was compelled by a sense of duty to do what in this instance was a scource[sic] of great pain to his mind. I then wrote soliciting the favour of his “Notification” that I had submitted my Letters of Orders to him & that they were satisfactory. The reason I assign’d for this was that as a Ship was about to leave Sydney for Calcutta I was writing to my friends there and was anxious of embracing that opportunity of engaging them to procure a licence for me when the Lord’s Bp should arrive. To this the Archdeacon reply’d that he was highly satisfied with the measure I had proposed but during the vacancy of the See the Abp of Canterbury was the only person whose province it was to grant the same & that he would write to the Abp on the subject. and he forwarded to me the Notification which I now
transmit for you to procure its being sent to the Abp of Canterbury with such representation as you think proper or in a Blank envelope. The Archdeacon advised me to forward it to his Grace with such representation as I though proper not doubting but, all things would by this means be so arranged as to satisfy both himself and me. I hope the Committee will not think that I have acted in an unbecoming manner. I consider that the way will be made smooth for those clergymen who shall follow to labour either with or after me in the same part of the field. With Xtn regards and duty to all engaged in the immediate department at home to whom I have the honor to be known and praying that the great head of the Church may pour out of his spirit on all engaged in every part of the Society’s op[erations].
your and the Society’s
Faithful, humbl, obedt Servant
P.S. Thro’ mercy, Mrs W and myself are well in health and have been since our arrival.
[Stamped] SHIP LETTER GRAVESEND
[Addressed to The Revd The Secretaries of the Church Missy Society,
Salisbury Square, Fleet St, London
[Note] Sydney July 5/32
Rev. Wm Watson
People in WellPro Directory: Coates, Dandeson