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Henry KendallPrint Page Print this page

Monument on grave commemorates the poet Henry Kendall who died in 1882. 

Thomas Henry Kendall (1839 – 1882) was a nineteenth-century Australian author and bush poet, who was particularly known for his poems and tales set in a natural environment setting.

In 1859-69, Henry Kendall won repute as a poet by regular contributions to newspapers and periodicals in Sydney and Melbourne and by the publication in 1862 of Poems and Songs. G. B. Barton praised him for `his distinctly Australian poetry` and R. H. Horne compared him favourably with Wordsworth. Unable to support his family on the meagre pay for poems and articles and lacking the flair and training for journalism, he spiralled into poverty, ill health and drunkenness. Intervals of dogged literary effort alternated with lapses into melancholia. In December 1870 he was charged with forging and uttering a cheque and was found not guilty on the ground of insanity. In December 1880 he published Songs from the Mountains which was an outstanding success. His reputation re-established, he sought help from Henry Parkes who in April 1881 had him appointed inspector of forests for which he was admirably fitted by his knowledge of native timbers. Unfortunately he could not cope with the long rides to inspect reserves in all weathers and in 1882 he collapsed at Wagga Wagga and died in Sydney on 1 August 1882. Kendall was once regarded as the finest poet Australia had produced.

The ceremony of unveiling the monument erected to the memory of the Australian poet, Henry Kendall, was performed in Waverley Cemetery on Saturday afternoon by his Excellency the Governor, in the presence of a large assemblage. The site upon which the monument stands is at the northeast corner of the vault section of the Church of England burial ground, and was given by the Waverley Council for the purpose to which it has been put. A little more than a month ago, the remains of the deceased poet were removed to their present resting place, after having lain for four years in that part of the cemetery known as the selected section.

The monument rises to a height of 25 feet above the adjacent pathway, and is of Italian marble. It exhibits three columns, the centre one being 20 feet high, and the one on either side being much smaller. They rest upon a bluestone pedestal, which, in its turn, is affixed to a base of blue granite inlaid with marble. Each column supports an urn upon which is depicted a scroll and some drapery. The memorial bears the inscription-" Here lies Henry Kendall, poet: Born, 18th April, 1841, died 1st August, 1882. Some of those who loved and admired him have in grateful and lasting remembrance of his genius built this monument above his ashes."  Beneath this are written the words of Shelley: " Awake him not ! Surely he takes his fill of deep and liquid rest, forgetful of all ill." The monument is surrounded with chains, supported by eight small iron standards. It was erected under the supervision of a committee composed as follows :-Messrs. D. O'Connor, M.L.A., Thomas Butler, Peter F. Fagan, T. J. Murray, W. Martin (Mayor), and P J. Holdsworth (honorary secretary).
Excerpt from the The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW), 
22 November 1886.

Location

Address:Trafalgar & St Thomas Streets, Waverley Cemetery, Bronte, 2024
State:NSW
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.907222
Long: 151.264167
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Grave
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Arts
Link:http://adbonline.anu.edu.au/adbonli…

Dedication

Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 20th November, 1886
Front Inscription

      Here lies
HENRY KENDALL
         Poet 
Born 18th April 1841,
Died 1st August 1882
Some of those who loved and
admired him have in grateful and
lasting remembrance of his genius built
this monument above his
          ashes.

"Awake him not ! Surely he takes his fill
O ! deep and liquid rest, forgetful of all ill."

 

Source: MA,ADB
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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