A Yard From Hell: Samuel Marsden Flogging Parson
By Doug Buckley
”Some want to live within the sound
of church or chapel bell.
I want to run a rescue shop
within a yard of hell.”
C T Studd, pioneer missionary
When writer Doug Buckley’s town of Sydney staged Alex Buzo’s play, Macquarie, the Reverend Samuel Marsden was kitted out throughout with a very long black stock-whip stuck in his belt. Indeed, enunciate Samuel Marsden to a Sydney-sider and the comeback, even by Christians, will be The Flogging Parson.
This offensive label was attached generations after Marsden’s death by lesser men who never knew him. Yet does it convey serious truth? Who indeed was the diminutive, larger-than-life senior chaplain to the brutal British convict colony of New South Wales?
Novelist and poet Doug Buckley now retells some of the story of this versatile and innovative minister, but with a difference. He writes as Sam himself might have written.