Robert Rundle was three years old when his grandfather, William
Carvosso, a Methodist preacher, came to live with the family. The
family also maintained close ties with his uncle, Reverend Benjamin
Carvosso, a prominent minister and missionary in New South Wales. Despite
this strong Methodist influence, Robert Rundle Sr. maintained his family's attachment to the Church of England.
young man Robert Jr. was attracted to the social compassion of the
Methodists and entered a Methodist Training College. Shortly after
his ordination he embarked upon a career as a
missionary in Western Canada.
It is evident from his journal entries that his inexperience weighed heavily on
Rundle during the early days
of his voyage. He expressed fears of living in the harsh Canadian
wilderness and meeting the Aboriginal people. However, as he encountered
both his doubts faded and his fascination grew, which
inspired him to set out and spread Christianity to the more remote
parts of the area:
What a contrast between my feelings now and on
my first undertaking the journey to this wilderness. Then the thought of
an Indian was almost accompanied with terror and dread but now my chief
delight is to be with them. -July 21, 1840
Rundle, Robert Terrill. Edited by Hugh A. Dempsey. The Rundle Journals,
1840-1848. Calgary: Alberta Records Publications Board, Historical
Society of Alberta and Glenbow-Alberta Institute, 1977.