The Poems of Henry Kendall / With Biographical Note by Bertram Stevens
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Kendall was born in a settler's hut by Yackungarrah Creek in Yatte Yattah near Ulladulla, New South Wales. He was registered as Thomas Henry Kendall, but never appears to have used his first name. His three volumes of verse were all published under the name of "Henry Kendall". His father, Basil Kendall, was the son of the Rev. Thomas Kendall who came to Sydney in 1809 and five years later went as a missionary to New Zealand.
He received only a slight education. When he was 15 he went to sea with one of his uncles on a whaling voyage and was away for about two years. Returning to Sydney when 17 years old he found his mother keeping a boarding-school; it was necessary that he should do something to earn a living, and he became a shop-assistant. He had begun to write verses and this brought him in contact with two well-known verse writers of the day, Joseph Sheridan Moore who published a volume of verse, Spring Life Lyrics, in 1864, and James Lionel Michael. Michael, who was a solicitor, took Kendall into his office and gave him the run of his library. He removed to Grafton in 1861 and Kendall was again employed by him for about six months during the following year.