The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Kendall, Henry Clarence

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Kendall, Henry Clarence, the well-known poet, was the grandson of a missionary who worked under the indefatigable Samuel Marsden. He was the son of Basil Kendall and Melinda MᶜNally, his wife, and was born at Ulladulla, N.S.W., in 1842. He went to sea in a South Sea whaling ship, and was afterwards clerk to a lawyer. He commenced his literary career by contributing poems to the Empire newspaper in Sydney, and one or two of his pieces found admission to the London Athenæum. In 1862 he published "Poems and Songs," which he suppressed in 1865, owing to what he regarded as their crudity. In 1863 he obtained a situation in the New South Wales Lands Office, and was subsequently employed in the Colonial Secretary's Department, but resigned in 1869; and went to Melbourne, where he contributed largely to the press, and gained a prize for the best poem on an Australian subject. He was prominently associated with Marcus Clarke, George Gordon McCrae, and other Melbourne littérateurs, in the attempt to establish a high-class literary magazine, the Colonial Monthly, which, however, proved a failure. He also, in conjunction with Mr. C. E. Horsley, composed the cantata for the opening of the Melbourne Town Hall. Mr. Kendall subsequently returned to New South Wales, and wrote the cantata for the opening of the Sydney International Exhibition in 1879. He published two other volumes—"Leaves from an Australian Forest" and "Songs from the Mountains," the former his chef d’œuvre. He was much indebted throughout his life to the friendship of Sir Henry Parkes, who conducted the Empire, in which his maiden efforts at versification appeared. He married, in 1867, a daughter of Dr. Butter, of Woolloomooloo, Sydney. Mr. Kendall died at Redfern, near Sydney, on August 1st, 1882.