Samuel Marsden was born in Yorkshire on 25th June1765. He first learned to be a blacksmith and then trained to be a minister. He came to Australia with his wife in 1794. He was only the second chaplain in the colony and his church was St. John's at Parramatta. He lived in the rectory there.
He received the first land grant (1030 acres) at South Creek given by Governor King (1804), and started farming there. He called the property "Mamre" which means 'a place of promise'. He built "Mamre House" in the 1820's and that was his country home. he grew different kinds of grass, fruit trees and vegetables to find out what would grow best in the area.
He ran sheep there and took the first wool from Australia to England. He had the wool made into cloth and had a suit made from it. He wore the suit when he met King Geotge III.The King was so impressed he had a coat made from the same cloth.
Samuel Marsden also became a magistrate at the court in Parramatta. When the convicts tried to escape and were captured they had to go up to the court. Marsden ordered that they be flogged. He became known as the "flogging parson".
When he died his son Charles became the owner of "Mamre". Charles didn't work as hard as his father and he got into debt. Charles had to sell the property.
Richard Rouse bought Mamre and gave it to his daughter, Elizabeth, when she married Robert Fitzgerald. It then became a horse property. My great great great great grandfather, John Mallard, worked at Mamre for Fitzgeralds in 1850. Today, Mamre has been restored and is used as a training centre for unemployed people. There is a lovely tearoom in the homestead.
Elizabeth Henrietta Rouse Fitzgerald
The Hon. Robert Fitzgerald