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On 8 September 2016 in celebration of History Week, the University of New England‘s Dr Matthew Allen presented a fascinating talk about the famous colonial figure, Reverend Samuel Marsden, and his infamous nickname – ‘the flogging parson’.

Dr Allen challenged this notion of Marsden, exploring his role as magistrate in Parramatta. He notes that despite Marsden’s considerable authority, he was unable to control local society and his failed attempts reveal the complexity of this developing neighbourhood.

Our survey participants noted they found Dr Allen’s talk very ‘engaging’ and ‘inspirational’ and so we are pleased to share the following recording of the talk, which was kindly provided by the University of New England for those who could not attend in person. Click here to view the accompanying video footage or view below.

The History Council of NSW would like to thank Dr Allen, The University of New England as well as UNE staff member, Kathleen Trevena, for putting together this event.

If you have a History Week 2016 story you’d like us to share, email us at

Image: Samuel Marsden’s Parsonage at St John’s Parramatta, 1860, courtesy State Library of NSW