Skip to main content

Samuel Marsden


Convict artist Joseph Backler's painting of Samuel Marsden shortly before his death in 1838

Known in Australia as the 'flogging parson', Marsden was once asked to give a reference for a boy. He claimed not to know the boy in question but added that 'if he had been bad I should have known him'.

Frustrated at his lack of success in Australia, Marsden saw New Zealand as his chance to make some progress in spreading the gospel.


Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington
Reference: G-620
Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Matauranga o Aotearoa must be obtained before any reuse of this image.

How to cite this page

Samuel Marsden, URL:, (Manatū Taonga — Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated