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Marsden S. 1815. Report on Phormium tenax. MSS 54/87, Hocken Library.

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Notes in a letter from Samuel Marsden to Rev. J. Pratt (?), Church Missionary House, Salisbury Square, London,  13 June 1815. 

Marsden sent a box containing various articles, principally "wearing apparel such as are manufactured and used by the natives of New Zealand" Included a small quantity of dressed fibre and asked for comments on its potential commercial value. Articles in box are named. "..the thick canvas mat is worn in the Field of Battle. 4? of them will resist any spear, and in action, are worn by the Chiefs as a Coat of Mail. before they put them on they soak them, in Order that they may resist the force of the spear more effectually. I recommend you to put the thick mat into water, and you will see an instantaneous effect produced, the Canvas will be rendered stiffened and more like a board, which appears to be the peculiar quality of the New Zealand Flax."

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Report on Phormium tenax

Marsden S.
MSS 54/87

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12 June 2007
9 July 2020
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