Wednesday, May 5, 2010

19th c immigration to South Africa: a chronology

1795-1803 First British Occupation of the Cape

1814 Cape formally ceded to Britain

1817 Benjamin Moodie’s private scheme: 200 Artisans from Scotland to the Cape

1818 Henry Nourse’s private scheme brought his employees from Ireland to the Cape

1820 Government scheme brought 4 000 British Settlers to Albany, Cape; now known as The 1820 Settlers

1823 John Ingram’s scheme: contract labourers from Ireland to the Cape in the Barossa

1830s and 1840s Small parties brought by agents such as JS Christopher from Britain to the Cape.

1844 Government sponsored immigration: children and single Irish women from Britain to the Cape

1848 Jonas Bergtheil’s private scheme to bring German settlers to Natal: known as the Bergtheil Settlers or the Cotton Germans

1849 Emigration Philanthropic Society of England sponsored 20 women from British workhouses to the Cape.

1849 William Garrod and Dr Charles Johnston brought out British emigrants on the John Gibson to settle on Natal north coast at Tongaat

1849-1851 Natal Emigration and Colonization Company i.e. the Byrne scheme, brought 2 200 British Settlers; now known as the Byrne Settlers

1849-1851 W J Iron’s Christian Emigration & Colonization Society brought out 400 Wesleyan Methodists from Britain to settle at Verulam, Natal. Irons’s scheme piggy-backed on Byrne’s scheme, the Wesleyans making the voyage in Byrne’s ships.

1849-51 Immigrants from the Duke of Buccleuch’s estate in Hampshire travelled to Natal on Byrne’s ship the Lady Bruce; another piggy-back scheme.

1856 Alexander McCorkindale brought 80 British immigrants to Natal

1856 German settlers to Kaffraria, Cape

1857 Irish women immigrants and some artisan families on the Lady Kennaway to Kaffraria

1857-62 Assisted immigration provided by Natal Government: 1 342 British immigrants in 5 years

1858 New Gelderland settlers brought from Holland to Natal by T C Colenbrander

1857-67 Government aided immigration: the largest Cape scheme, 12 000 Settlers from Britain (including 74 immigrants from Germany)

1880 Willowfountain (Wilgefontein) settlers from Britain to Natal

1882 Norwegian immigrants to Natal: now known as the Marburg settlers

Note: use the search facility on this blog to find further detail and useful links relating to the above phases of immigration to South Africa in the 19th c.

The Last of England
by Ford Madox Brown

Ford Madox Brown's famous painting The Last of England encapsulates in a romantic, personal and unparalleled way, the story of emigration from Britain. The artist shows the moment of departure, with the white cliffs of Dover receding ever further in the background, and in the foreground a young couple huddled close together in the prow of the boat taking them away from everything they knew as home, towards the sailing ship which will transport them across the ocean into an uncertain future in a strange land. Beneath the woman's cloak, a small child is almost hidden from view and the parents' faces show their sadness and courage while they resolutely face their destiny, never looking back.  It's said that Brown intended to depict two friends who were leaving for Australia, but his picture transcends such details and gives us the archetypal 19th century British emigrant family.

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