Sunday, December 23, 2012

Rules for Husbands and Wives

Rules for Husbands and Wives published in the Grahamstown Journal of 1837.


1) Always regard your wife as an equal: treat her with kindness, respect and attention, and never address her with the appearance of an air of authority, as if she were, as some misguided husbands appear to regard their wives, a mere housekeeper.

2) Never interfere in her domestic concerns, hiring servants &c, except she consults you.

3) Always keep her properly supplied with money for furnishing your table in a style proportioned to your means, and for the purchase of dress, and whatever articles she may require, suitable for her station in life.

4) Cheerfully and promptly comply with all her reasonable requests; and as far as practicable, anticipate them. Whatever you accord to her wishes let it be done cheerfully and promptly, so as to enhance the merit of the matter by the manner.

5) Never be so unjust as to lose your temper towards her, in consequence of indifferent cookery, or irregularity in the hours of meals, or any other mismanagement of her domestics; knowing the difficulty of making many of them do their duty.

6) If she have prudence and good sense, consult her on all operations involving the risk of serious injury in case of failure. Many a man has been rescued from ruin by the wise counsels of his wife; and many a foolish husband has most seriously injured himself and family by the rejection of the advice of his wife, stupidly fearing, if he followed it, he would be regarded as henpecked.  A husband can never consult a counsellor more deeply interested in his welfare than his wife.

7) If distressed or embarrassed in your circumstances, communicate your situation to her with candour, that she may bear your difficulties in mind in her expenditures.  Wives, sometimes believing their husbands' circumstances better than they really are, disburse money which cannot be well afforded, and which if they knew the real circumstances of their husbands' affairs they would shrink from expending.

8) Never on any account chide or rebuke your wife in company, should she make any mistake in history, geography, grammar, or indeed on any other subject. There are, I am persuaded, many wives of such keen feelings and high spirit (and such wives deserve to be treated with the utmost delicacy) that they would rather receive a severe and bitter scolding in private than a comparatively mild rebuke in company, calculated to display their ignorance or folly, or to impair them in their own opinion or in that of others.


1) Always receive your husband with smiles - leaving nothing undone to render home disagreeable - endeavouring to win, and gradually reciprocating, his kindness and attention.

2) Study to gratify his inclination in regard to food and cookery; in the management of the family; in your dress, manners and deportment.

3) Never attempt to rule, or appear to rule, your husband.  Such conduct degrades husbands - and wives always partake largely in the degradation of their husbands.

4) In everything reasonable comply with his wishes with cheerfulness - and even, as far as possible, anticipate them.

5) Avoid all altercations or arguments leading to ill humour, and more especially before company. Few things are more disgusting than the altercations of the married, when in the company of friends or strangers.  There is one kind of conduct which is almost as revolting as this - but not of frequent occurrence - that is, a display of fondness before company.  There is time and place for all things.

6) Never attempt to interfere in his business unless he ask your advice and counsel; and never attempt to control him in the management of it.

7) Never confide to gossips any of the failings or imperfections of your husband - nor any of those little differences which occasionally arise in the married state. If you do, you may rest assured that, however strong the injunctions of secrecy on the one hand, or the pledge on the other, they will in a day or two become the common talk of the neighbourhood.

8) Avail yourself of every opportunity to cultivate your mind, so as, should your husband be intelligent and well-informed, you may join in rational conversation with him and his friends.

9) Think nothing beneath your attention that may produce even a momentary breach of harmony, or the slightest uneasy sensation.
Think naught a trifle, though it small appear;
Small sands the mountain, moments make the year,
And trifles life. Your care to trifles give,
Else you may die ere you have learned to live.  

10) If your husband be in business, always, in your expenditures, bear in mind the various vicissitudes to which trade and commerce are subject; and do not expose yourself to the painful self reproach, should he experience one of them of having unnecessarily expended money of which you and your offspring may afterwards be in the extreme want.

11) While you carefully shun, in providing for your family, the Scylla of meanness and parsimony, avoid equally the Charybdis of extravagance, an error too common in the United States, as remarked by most of the travellers who visit this country.

12) If you be disposed to economise, I beseech you not to extend your economy to the wages you pay to seamstresses or washerwomen, who are too frequently ground to the earth by the inadequacy of the wages they receive.  Economise, if you will, in shawls, bonnets and handkerchiefs; but, never, by exacting labour from the poor without adequate compensation, incur the dire anathemas pronounced in the Scriptures against the oppressor of the poor.

[Transcribed by Sue Mackay]

Saturday, December 15, 2012


Apologies to blog visitors trying to contact Mole: due to severe storms I have no phone, no internet facility. Hope to be online soon.  Best Wishes.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmas in Natal 1865

Wagon crossing a drift

On Christmas Eve 1865, Sidney Turner, a pioneer of the Natal South Coast and Pondoland, wrote from the Lower Umzimkulu Drift:
I should have gone up to the Umzinto till Christmas, but am expecting the Governor and suite to be here every day … They were to cross the Upper Drift and to come back to Durban (120 miles away) by the lower road, it will be an event if they do …

          December 25th, Evening, 9 o’clock
I hope you have been enjoying your plum pudding and cattle-plagued beef just at the same time that I was eating a hot fowl, sweet potatoes, French beans and cabbages, with a dessert of peaches, granadillas, pineapples and cucumber. I have some beauties in my garden. It was three o’clock when my dinner began, one o’clock with you. I drank all your healths in a glass of rum and water, in spite of my teetotal pledge, as that isn’t to be expected to be kept when I have to wish a merry Christmas and happy New Year to those 10, 000 miles away.
I have had lots of swimming today, while perhaps you have been skating. I should like to try to swim from Dover to Calais if ever I get Home.
In a letter to his parents at New Year Sidney remarked that he had thought about them all on Christmas Day. ‘ … It was the day before that on which I shot the lion, and I had forty miles to ride to catch the wagon’ - hardly reassuring news for his family over the festive season.

A year later Sidney was able to report that his new house was ready to be occupied: it had
A large sitting-room, two bedrooms, pantry and store, with verandah all round. It will seem really like getting to civilization when I go into it. There is a splendid view ... this is likely to be the first time since coming out that Christmas will seem to be really Christmas; not so much because of plum pudding or beef, but that it is the first time that I have felt really at home and comfortable.
 This in spite of soaring temperatures. But though Sidney remains cheerful there is, as in most emigrant journals and correspondence, nostalgia for the old country and people left behind. Christmas morning was ‘awfully hot’ and ‘would, I think, be almost too much for Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego …'.
My plum pudding came to a bad job … so I ate beef for dinner, and had the pudding out and baked it in a tin dish till 7 p.m. but it still kept a sort of paste. I have just been eating some of it with milk and sugar, but it sticks to the top of your mouth much worse than the old stickjaw we used to get at school … You are now no doubt getting ready for dancing … Couldn’t I, and wouldn’t I, just have a go were I at Home at the present minute.’

Turner spent forty years in South Africa between 1864 and his death in 1901. He made a happy marriage, his wife Bella surviving him for about thirty years; they had twenty-two grandchildren. Perhaps his most exciting and notable contribution to history, apart from his valuable letters, was his interest in the wreck of the East Indiaman, Grosvenor, of which he salvaged several relics.

Extracts from Portrait of a Pioneer: The Letters of Sidney Turner from South Africa 1864-1901, selected and edited by Daphne Child (MacMillan South Africa, 1980).
The originals, as well as Turner's Grosvenor relics, are held in the Local History Museum, Old Court House, Durban.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

A Natal Settler Christmas: 1853

The Feilden home, Feniscowles, Durban.

For British settlers who came to Natal in the 1850s, Christmas was very different from those they were used to ‘back home’. Despite the unusual experience of 25 December occurring in the midst of summer heat, most families tried to retain aspects of their familiar seasonal traditions – turkey, roast beef, plum pudding and as many trimmings as possible. This would be a pattern followed by generations of Natal settler descendants.

Eliza Feilden, emigrating with her husband Leyland on the Jane Morice and acquiring the farm Feniscowles in Durban, wrote letters home during their five year sojourn in the Colony. When the Feildens returned to England, Eliza published her letters together with selections from her journal (the original journal is held at the Local History Museum, Old Court House, Durban). The result is a fascinating, illustrated account of settler life in Natal and more particularly a settler wife’s reactions to her new environment.

Eliza wrote in December 1853:

I am sitting on the door-steps under our deep roof, sheltered from the intense heat of the sun this scorchingly hot day, the thermometer 78 degrees in our cool, shady, and airy room. I walked over the ploughed field at two o’clock, seeking for my husband, and the ground burnt my feet through my shoes …
The farm is looking quite beautiful again … the arrowroot and sugar-canes as well as they can look … I do think the climate – lovely and charming as it is – very wearing and enervating, with all the work that has to be done, but I enjoy it.
We had no plum pudding on Christmas Day. We ate our roast beef and calabash and our papaw tart with relish, and drank all your healths (i.e. the family in England). We rode into church in the morning, and partook of the sacrament. Most people made a holiday. We were invited to a picnic, but rode home quietly, and Leyland … planted arrowroot all the afternoon.

Extract from My African Home, or Bush Life in Natal 1852-7 by Eliza Whigham Feilden, 1887 Sampson Low, Marston, Searle and Rivington, London. A reprint edition was published fairly recently.

Natal: the Christmas land.

Vasco da Gama, the Portuguese explorer, sailed along the south-eastern coast of South Africa and on Christmas Day 1497 sighted the land which he named Natal in commemoration of the Nativity.

This familiar story is widely accepted as true and, certainly, the name has never been – and hopefully never will be – subjected to change. However, was it really the Natal stretch of coast, as we know it, that da Gama saw from the deck of his ship? Professor Eric Axelson, in various published accounts, has questioned the fact, stating that the Portuguese fleet was further south on that date in 1497, near to Port St Johns.

Professor Axelson based his theory on the distance – contemporaneously recorded as 70 leagues – sailed by da Gama’s vessels between 20 and 25 December. ‘On Christmas Day … the expedition had discovered 70 leagues, so a section of the Transkei coast received the name Natal. Three days later the mariners caught fish off what was probably Durban bluff.’

The many calculations made by Axelson and others in trying to determine precisely which area of coastline was viewed by da Gama’s fleet on 25 December are discussed in an article by Brian Stuckenberg in Natalia v27, Vasco da Gama and the naming of Natal. See

Stuckenberg remarks: ‘Fortunately, no evidence exists of any error in attribution of the name Natal to our Province. There are instead good reasons to accept that this was indeed the land along which Vasco da Gama … coasted on Christmas Day 1497 … en route to their first encounter with the fabulous Indies.’

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Natal Volunteer Units: Victoria Mounted Rifles 1862-1888

The Victoria Mounted Rifles were inaugurated September 1862, first parade at HQ Verulam on 1 November in that year. About 50 members were enrolled.

The following officers were immediately appointed:
 Geo Adams J.P.  Major
 J Vacey-Lyle J.P.  Captain  (sometimes Vacy-Lyle)
 Henry Binns  1st Lieutenant and Adjutant
 Wm Lister  2nd Lieutenant
 J Stanton  Quartermaster

In 1867 Major Adams retired and was succeeded by Captain H Townsend, then in 1868 Captain Anthony Wilkinson took over command of the Corps. He was succeeded by Captain Charles Manning in 1873.

September 1873 saw the coronation of the Zulu King, Cetewayo, and a detachment of ten volunteers from the Victoria Mounted Rifles, under Captain Harry Escombe, were part of Theophilus Shepstone's escort to Zululand on this occasion.

Captain Henry Binns, a founder member of the Corps, took over command in 1875. By the end of 1878 when the Zulu War broke out, Captain Charles Saner* was in command and the VMR were mobilized for active service. The following men left Verulam on 2 December 1878 for the Zululand frontier:

Captain Saner
Lieutenant Robarts
Lieutenant Acutt
Quarter-Master Plant
Quarter-Master Sergeant Foss
Sergeant Major Armstrong
Farrier Sergeant Grove
Sergeant Galloway
Corporal Knight
Corporal Hobday
Corporal Acutt
Lance Corporal Todd
A Blamey
J C Blamey
L Coates
E Coates
E Dykes
J Dykes
H Fynney
H Galloway
H Godden
J Jackson
C Manning
A Mitchell
H Plant
F Rathbone
H Reed
C Jackson

During the Anglo-Zulu War, the Corps, as part of the Natal Volunteer Force, saw action at the battle of Inyezane on 22 January 1879 and the relief of Eshowe.

Captain William R Cowley** took command of the Corps in 1886, followed by Captain Harry Sparks until 1887 when the Stanger Mounted Rifles were amalgamated with the Victoria Mounted Rifles and Captain Friend Addison, previously OC Stanger Mounted Rifles, took over command of the enlarged unit. When all the coastal units of Natal amalgamated in 1888 as the Natal Mounted Rifles, the VMR ceased to exist as a separate Corps.

* Charles Taylor Saner, born 1850 in Yorkshire, emigrated to Natal in the early 1870s and farmed at Verulam. He married Mary Blaine, daughter of Dr Blaine, magistrate of Verulam. After the Anglo-Zulu War, Saner joined a gold-mining company in the Transvaal and became manager of Van Rhyn Estates. His four sons served in the Anglo-Boer War.

** William Cowley, born 1852 in Fairford England, came to Natal in 1859, and farmed in the Little Umhlanga Valley. He was one of the VMR's best shottists. (The unit produced numerous brilliant marksmen.)

Uniform: Blue cloth, scarlet facings; black cloth helmet with white plume for officers, black plume for other ranks. Buttons and helmet badges were embossed with monogram V.M.R. surmounted with a crown, silver for officers and white metal for other ranks. The kepi replaced the helmet in undress order. No shoulder straps were worn and the Corps did not adopt a collar badge.

Members provided their own horses, uniforms, saddlery and other equipment. Arms, ammunition and field equipment were supplied by the Government. At first armed with the Terry and Snider carbine, this was replaced in 1875 by the Swinburn-Henry carbine firing a .450 lead bullet. Officers carried swords and revolvers. Ammunition was carried in a pouch slung to a cross-belt, white leather with black pouch for full dress, and brown leather belt for service order. Colonial pattern saddlery was used.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Natal Volunteer Units: Stanger Mounted Rifles 1875-1887

The Stanger Mounted Rifles were inaugurated in November 1875, with:

 Joel Lean  Captain
 H Warren  1st Lieutenant
 F Addison  2nd Lieutenant

On 1 December 1878 the Corps was mobilized; the 36 members were:

Captain Friend Addison OC *
Lieutenant Warren
Lieutenant Shuter
Quarter-Master Knox
Sergeant-Major Moore
Sergeant Fayle
Corporal Bumner
Corporal Davidson
Corporal Boyce
Trumpeter J W Colenbrander **
J Louw
C Gielink
A B Gielink
Johan Gielink
J W Gielink
C Hoogvorst
Jas. Robbins
Jacob Louw
W C Robbins
W Warren
C Warren

Further men joined subsequently, bringing the total to 43 members.

Anglo-Zulu War 1879:
The Stanger Mounted Rifles marched to Thring's Post where they were met by the Victoria Mounted Rifles and the Buffs; they proceeded to the Lower Drift and were joined by the Alexandra Mounted Rifles, Durban Mounted Rifles and the Natal Hussars, collectively named the Natal Volunteer Force. They formed the southern flank under Captain P H S Barrow, 19th Hussars, of Colonel Pearson's 3rd Buffs (3rd Regiment of Foot).

The battle of Inyezane and the relief of Eshowe followed.

* Friend Addison born 1848 in Kent, came to Natal on the Lalla Rookh in 1849.

** Johan Wilhelm Colenbrander born 1856, Pinetown Natal, of Dutch parents who emigrated from Java to Natal in 1854. Their indigo venture failed and the family founded the settlement of New Guelderland near Stanger. Johan married Mollie Mullins in 1883, and after her death, Yvonne Nunn in 1902. His third wife was Catherine Gloster. He founded Kitchener's Fighting Scouts during the Anglo-Boer War.

Note four members of the Gielink family: the Gielinks were among the New Guelderland settlers.

Uniform: Navy blue cloth, yellow facings and helmet. Badge was monogram S.M.R. surmounted by a crown, all in white metal, worn on the front of the helmet and on the ammunition pouch. The buttons also carried the monogram and crown. The kepi was worn in undress order. The Corps did not adopt a collar badge and had no motto. Officers carried swords and revolvers.

In the early stages members carried the Terry and Snider carbine, and later the Swinburn-Henry carbine.

In 1887 the Corps was absorbed into the Victoria Mounted Rifles with Captain Friend Addison as commanding officer.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Natal Volunteer Units: Alexandra Mounted Rifles 1865-1888

The Alexandra Mounted Rifles: this corps was formed in 1865, with the aim of covering the area from the Illovo River south to the Umtamvuna River and inland for 50 miles. Organised in three troops, its strength varied from 70 to 130.

According to G T Hurst*, the unit adopted khaki for its field service uniform in 1874, apparently the earliest recorded use of that colour for military purposes in South Africa. [A possible exception is the 2nd Highland Light Infantry (74th Highlanders) who in the 8th Frontier War 1850-1852, fought in doublets of that colour.]

Their badge was the monogram A.M.R. surmounted by a crown and worn on the front of the white helmet. There is no record of the unit adopting a motto or collar badge. Members were armed with the Terry and Snider carbine up to 1875, officers carrying swords. Later the Terry and Snider carbine was replaced by the Swinburn-Henry carbine, with bayonet - another unique distinction for the unit as this was the first occasion on which the bayonet was used with the carbine. It proved unsuccessful and was discontinued. Members provided their own horses and saddlery while the Government supplied arms, ammunition, some field equipment and an annual grant to each member for maintenance of his horse.

On formation, Major W J Dunbar Moodie was Commanding Officer; others who followed were Capt W T Arbuthnot, Capt Frank U Reynolds and Capt Fitz-James Arbuthnot, all from the Umzinto area.

In 1873 a detachment of the AMR joined the force under Capt Harry Escombe, accompanying Theophilus Shepstone to the Coronation of Cetewayo in Zululand.

In December 1878 the unit, commanded by Capt W T Arbuthnot, joined the invading British force at the start of the Anglo-Zulu War. The following members reported for service:

Arbuthnot, Capt. W. T.
Cooke, Lieut.
Kirkman, Lieut J.
Kirkman, Quarter-Master T.
Parkin, Sgt. Major
Bru-de-Wold, Acting Sgt. Major H. T.
Archibald, Sgt.
Bazley, Acting Sgt.
Arbuthnot, Corporal F. J.
Arbuthnot, Trumpeter St. George
Arbuthnot, Trooper M.
Arbuthnot, Trooper N.G.
Bazley, Trooper G.
Crocker, Trooper T.
Crocker, Trooper W.
Pennington, Trooper J.
Prescott, Trooper C.
Pigg, Trooper G.
Fayers, Trooper T.
Pearce, Trooper
Reynolds, Trooper S.
Shooter, Trooper B.C.
Shooter, Trooper W.
Reynolds, Trooper C.
Knox, Trooper A.
Hawksworth, Trooper F.
Hawkins, Trooper W.
Thomas, Trooper S.
Saunders, Trooper C.

The unit crossed the Tugela into Zululand as part of Colonel Pearson's Column and proceeded to Eshowe.

With the Durban Mounted Rifles, Victoria Mounted Rifles, Stanger Mounted Rifles, Isipingo Mounted Rifles and the Natal Hussars, the Alexandra Mounted Rifles kept up communications between Potspruit, Krantzkop, Balcomb, Thring's Post, McDonald's and Stanger.

The Battle Honour South Africa 1879 was awarded to the Alexandra Mounted Rifles for the campaign. Two of its members were mentioned in despatches for their services in the field.

When the Isipingo Mounted Rifles disbanded in 1880, members of that unit joined the A.M.R.

In 1884 the southern portion of the A.M.R. separated from the unit to form the Umzimkulu Mounted Rifles under command of Captain Bru-de Wold. The A.M.R. despite a reduction of numbers continued to function until 1888 when, after 23 years of service, it was absorbed into a larger entity with the amalgamation of all small units on the Natal coast to form the Natal Mounted Rifles. Nevertheless, muster rolls of much later date for 'the Alexandra Contingent of the Natal Mounted Rifles' show the continuity of family names from the Umzinto area: Arbuthnot, Pearce, Langton, Archibald, Smith (William Dixon) Arnott, Royston, Bazley, Gold, Cole and others.

In 1894 the left and right wings of the Natal Mounted Rifles became separate entities, named respectively the Border Mounted Rifles and Natal Mounted Rifles.

* 'History of the Natal Mounted Rifles' by Col. G T Hurst, 1935

Friday, November 30, 2012

Regiments garrisoned at Fort Napier Natal 1843-1914

In August 1843 two companies of the 45th Regiment, 1st Nottingham (Sherwood Foresters), with fifteen engineers and several artillery men marched the 52 miles from Durban to Pietermaritzburg in four days. On arrival they occupied a hill overlooking the town and this site was chosen for the construction of a fort to be named Fort Napier in honour of Sir George Napier, Military Governor and Governor of the Cape.

The officer in charge of the garrison was Major Thomas Charlton Smith who had, with his troops, been besieged at Durban in 1842. In 1843 a military cemetery was laid out: some graves date from 1846. Imperial troops occupied Fort Napier from 1843 to 1914, among them some famous regiments.

1843-59 45th Reg. (1st Sherwood Foresters)
1859-61 85th Reg. (2nd King’s Shropshire Light Infantry)
1861-62 59th Reg. (2nd East Lancashire)
1863-64 2/5th Reg. (2nd Northumberland Fusiliers)
1864-65 2/11th Reg. (2nd Devonshire)
1865-67 99th Reg. (2nd Wiltshire)
1870-71 32nd Reg. (1st Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry)
1871-75 75th Reg. (1st Gordon Highlanders)
1875-77 1/13th Reg. (1st Somerset Light Infantry)
1877-78 80th Reg. (2nd Staffordshire)
1877-78 2/3rd Reg. (2nd Buffs)
1878 1/24th Reg. (1st South Wales Borderers)
1878 2/24th Reg. (2nd South Wales Borderers)
1879-90 3/60th Reg. (King’s Royal Rifle Corps)
1880-84 58th Reg. (2nd Northamptonshire)
1881-86 Inniskilling Dragoons
1881-86 41st Reg. (1st Welsh)
1883-85 91st Reg. (1st Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders)
1884-87 82nd Reg. (2nd South Lancashire)
1886-88 27th Reg. (Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers)
1884-93 4th Mountain Battery
1884-93 1st Reg. (1st Royal Scots)
1887-90 64th Reg. (1st North Staffordshire)
1890-92 11th Hussars
1891-94 84th Reg. (2nd York and Lancaster)
1892-95 3rd Dragoon Guards
1893-98 10th Mountain Battery
1894-98 76th Reg. (2nd West Riding)
1895-98 7th Hussars
1896-97 9th Lancers
1897-99 1/3rd Reg. (2nd Royal Dublin Fusiliers)
1898-99 5th Royal Irish Lancers
1899-1902  Anglo Boer War
1902-03 2/4th Reg. (2nd King’s Own Royal Lancaster)
1902-03 2/14th Reg. (2nd West Yorkshire)
1904-08 1st Royal Garrison Regiment
1906 2/79th Reg. (2nd Cameron Highlanders)
1907-07 6th Reg. (3rd Royal Warwickshire)
1907-09 9th Reg. (2nd Norfolk)
1908-09 7th Reg. (3rd Royal Fusiliers)
1909-13 62nd Reg. (1st Wiltshire)
1913-14 38th Reg. (1st South Staffordshire)

Additional information provided by Peter Bathe:

Mole states::
At Fort Napier, 1865-67 99th Regiment                  
                         1870-71 32nd Regiment (1st Duke of Cornwall’s LI)

If it is evidence you need to fill the gap at Fort Napier, I offer this:
21 September 1868: George William Bathe (GWB) enlisted as private No 1711 in 2nd Battalion, 20th Regiment (East Devonshire) at Pietermaritzburg, Natal.

3 March 1869: letter from GWB 2nd/20th Regt, Fort Napier

21 Nov 1869: letter from GWB  2nd/20th Regt, Fort Napier

2 Aug 1870: letter from Edgell in Natal “I saw Bathe a month since. He has gone with the Regt to the Mauritius.”

21 April 1871: letter from Edgell in Natal “I have heard from Bathe at the Cape.”

12 May 1871: letter from GWB, King William’s Town, Cape Colony

22 February 1872: visited the School at Redhill, Surrey, England: 1711 2nd Batt 20th Regiment

22 April 1872: letter from GWB, 2nd/20th Regt, Buttevant, Co Cork, Ireland.

For more on George William Bathe in the context of Redhill Farm School Surrey see
and other links - enter redhill in the search facility on this blog to access earlier posts

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Regiments at the Old Fort, Durban 1859-1897

After 1859 the Old Fort was used as barracks for detachments of regiments as follows:

1859-1863 - The 45th Regiment
1863-1864 - The 5th, Northumberland Fusiliers
1864-1865 - The 11th Regiment, 2nd Battalion
1878          - The 80th Regiment
1878          - The 24th Regiment
1879          - Various (Zulu War)
1865-1867 - The 99th Regiment
1867-1870 - The 20th Regiment, 2nd Battalion
1870-1871 - The 32nd Light Infantry
1871-1874 - The 75th Regiment
1875-1877 - The 13th Regiment
1878          - The The Buffs, 2nd Battalion
1880          - The 3rd, 60th Regiment
1881-1882 - The Gordon Highlanders
1882-1883 - The 41st Welsh Regiment
1883-1885 - Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
1885          - The 27th, Inniskilling Fusiliers
1885-1897 - Details and Army Ordnance Corps

The first to occupy the Old Fort was the 27th Regiment, in 1842, and the last detachment stationed at the Fort was furnished by the same Regiment in 1885.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Natal Witness Birth Announcements 1876


Name, gender, date of event, date of announcement, details.

Abel m 15-Sept-1876, 22-Sept-1876, at PMBurg the wife of Mr Edmond Abel of a son
Acutt m 30-June-1876, 4-July-1876, at Trenance Estate, Victoria county, the wife of Mr Courtney Acutt of a son
Adams f  2-June-1876, 6-June-1876 at Hope Villa, Berea, the wife of Mr Stanhope Adams of a daughter
Ailkins f 10-Sept-1876, 22-Sept-1876 at Kimberley Diamond fields, Mrs L A Ailkins of a daughter
Airth f  7-Mar-1876, 14-Mar-1876 at the Point, Mrs Airth of a daughter
Allison f  9-June-1876, 8-Aug-1876 a Upper Tugela the wife of Mr A T Allison of a daughter
Allkins f  2-Feb-1876, 8-Feb-1876 at Ashton Plantation, Umhloti Mrs John Allkins of a daughter
Allsopp m 22-July-1876, 28-July-1876 at the Wesleyan Mission House, Verulam the wife of the Rev J Allsopp of a son
Andrews f 18-July-1876, 18-July-1876 at Petrus Stroom, Upper Umgeni, the wife of Mr James Andrews of a daughter
Andrews m 28-Aug-1876, 5-Sept-1876 at Greytown the wife of Mr G Andrews of a son
Arbuthnot m 30-Mar-1876, 7-April-1876  at Greenwood Home, Alexandra, the wife of TW Arbuthnot of a son
Ash m 14-Jan-1876, 21-Jan-1876 at New Guelderland the wife of W M Ash Esq. Of a son
Balance f 14-Mar-1876, 17-Mar-1876 at Essenwood, Berea, the wife of Mr J D Balance of a daughter
Ballenden m 29-Nov-1876, 8-Dec-1876 at Roseneath, Lower Umkomaas, the wife of Mr C J Ballenden of a son
Barber f 1-Aug-1876, 8-Aug-1876 at the Parsonage Umzinto the wife of Canon Barber of a daughter
Barrett f 6-Oct-1876, 27-Oct-1876 at Middleburg, S A Republic, the wife of Mr B R Barrett of a daughter
Baxter m 3-Feb-1876, 8-Feb-1876 at Durban on the Berea, the wife of Mr James Baxter of a son
Baxter f 18-Sept-1876, 22-Sept-1876 at PMBurg the wife of Mr Edward Baxter of a daughter
Baytopp m 30-Mar-1876, 7-April-1876 at Equeefa Estate Umzinto, the wife of A Baytopp of a son
Beale f  2-Jan-1876, 4-Jan-1876 at PMBurg, the wife of Mr A Beale (librarian) of a daughter
Becker f  7-June-1876, 9-June-1876 at Greytown the wife of Mr E Becker of a daughter
Beddoes f 15-Jan-1876, 25-Jan-1876 at the Harbour Works, Point, Natal the wife of Gilbert Beddoes of a daughter
Behrens m 20-Jan-1876, 1-Feb-1876 at PMBurg the wife of Mr C G Behrens of a son
Bennett m  2-Sept-1876, 5-Sept-1876 at Pine Terrace, Durban the wife of Mr M Bennett of a son
Bennett f  6-Nov-1876, 14-Nov-1876 at Musgrave Road, Berea the wife of Mr Alfred Bennett of a daughter
Benson f 25-Jan-1876, 1-Feb-1876 at Durban the wife of Mr H Benson of a daughter
Berning f 12-Dec-1876, 15-Dec-1876 the wife of Mr W F Berning of a daughter
Blacomb m 30-Jan-1876, 8-Feb-1876 at Clifton, Nonoti the wife of Mr Inigo Blacomb of a son
Blamey f  31-May-1876, 9-June-1876 at Mount Prospect Estate, Umhloti the wife of J Roach Blamey of a daughter
Borland m 24-Oct-1876, 27-Oct-1876 at PMBurg Street the wife of Mr Archibald Borland of a son
Brackenbury m 13-May-1876, 30-June-1876 at Belmont House, Heavitree, Exeter, England. The wife of EF Blackenbury Esq. Royal Horse Artillery of a son
Bresler f  27-April-1876, 5-May-1876 at PMBurg, Mrs John Bresler of a daughter
Breuen/Breur m 1-April-1876, 11-April-1876 at PMBurg the wife of Mr RG Breuen/Breur of a son
Brickhill f 15-Mar-1876, 28-Mar-1876 at Murchison, Alfred County, the wife of Mr W Brickhill (junior) of a daughter
Brickhill m 3-Sept-1876, 12-Sept-1876 at Umsinga the wife of Mr James Alexander Brickhill of a son
Brokensha m 1-Sept-1876, 5-Sept-1876 at Smith Street (West) Durban the wife of Mr CF Brokensha of a son
Bronkhorst m 5-Sept-1876, 5-Sept-1876 at Estcourt the wife of Mr HS Bronkhorst of a son
Bru de Wold f  26-Jan-1876, 11-Feb-1876 at Otterbourne, Ifafa, the wife of Mr H T Bru De Wold of a daughter
Buckle m 9-Feb-1876, 11-Feb-1876 at Graft Nonoti, the wife of Mr WC Buckle of a son
Campbell f 2-June-1876, 16-June-1876 at Likkewater, Klip River County, Mrs David Campbell of a daughter
Campbell m 19-Sept-1876, 28-Sept-1876 at Estcourt, Mrs AH Campbell of a son
Carbutt m 26-Mar-1876, 31-Mar-1876 the wife of Mr Hugh Lancaster Carbutt of Kruisfontein, Klip river County of a son
Cato f 1-Jan-1876, 14-Jan-1876 at Church St. PMBurg, the wife of Mr CA Cato of a daughter
Christian f 20-Dec-1876, 29-Dec-1876 at PMBurg the wife of Mr Jas Christian of a daughter
Clark f  6-Oct-1876, 10-Oct-1876 at Pine Terrace, Durban the wife of Mr William Clark, (wagon builder) of a daughter
Clarkson m 4-Dec-1876, 15-Dec-1876 at Wentworth the wife of Mr R Clarkson of a son
Colenbrander f 13-June-1876, 20-June-1876 at Hummelo, Nonoti, Mrs Adrian Colenbrander of a daughter
Colenbrander f 12-Dec-1876, 19-Dec-1876 at Herwen, Mrs JA Colenbrander of a daughter
Collier m 11-Jan-1876, 25-Jan-1876 at Orange Grove Durban, the wife of Mr James Collier of a son
Conyngham f 27-July-1876, 8-Aug-1876 at the Ifafa Estate the wife of Mr JD Conynham of a daughter
Cooke f  22-Oct-1876, 7-Nov-1876 at Pine Terrace Durban, the wife of Mr Robert Cooke of a daughter
Cooper f 11-Jan-1876, 4-Feb-1876 at Morning Sun Biggarsberg, the wife of Mr Thomas Cooper of a daughter
Coutts m 23-April-1876, 28-April-1876 at West Street Durban the wife of Mr William Coutts of a son
Crathorne f  27-April-1876, 28-April-1876 at PMBurg the wife of Mr J Crathorne of a daughter
Craw f 17-Dec-1875, 14-Jan-1876 at Almodell, near PMBurg the wife of Mr J Craw of a daughter
Crawford m 30-April-1876, 5-May-1876 at Milden Hall, Russell Street Durban, the wife of Mr Alex Crawford of a son
Crookes m 20-Feb-1876, 3-Mar-1876 at Ellingham, Alexandra County the wife of Mr S Crookes of a son
Crowder m 2-June-1876, 6-June-1876 at the Beach, Durban the wife of Mr S Crowder of a son
Cruikshank f 20-Mar-1876, 4-April-1876 at Potchefstroom the wife of Mr John Cruikshank of Bamangwato of a daughter
Cuthbert m 21-July-1876, 28-July-1876 at Melsetter the wife of Sydney Cuthbert Esq. of a son
Dacomb m 6-Oct-1876, 10-Oct-1876 at the Berea, Mrs Dacomb of a son
Dalgetty m 8-Jan-1876, 18-Jan-1876 at the Berea, Durban the wife of Mr William Dalgetty of a son
Dalton m 18-Jan-1876, 25-Jan-1876 at Field Street, Durban the wife of Mr George Dalton of a son
Darby m 14-Oct-1876, 20-Oct-1876 on the Berea, Durban Mrs WH Darby of a son
De Haas m 1-Aug-1876, 15-Aug-1876 at Berg Street PMBurg the wife of Mr JW De Haas of a son
Deane m 2-Nov-1876, 10-Nov-1876 at PMBurg the wife of Mr William Deane of a son
Denby m 7-Oct-1876, 13-Oct-1876 at PMBurg Street, the wife of Mr G Denby of a son
Dicks m 15-Sept-1876, 6-Oct-1876 at Springvale, Newcastle, the wife of Mr G W Dicks of a son
Dimock f 16-Feb-1876, 25-Feb-1876 at Fountain Dale, near Newcastle the wife of Mr WJ Dimock of a daughter
Douglas m 30-Mar-1876, 4-April-1876 at Durban, Mrs Douglas of a son
Downs m 10-Nov-1876, 17-Nov-1876 at Richmond, the wife of Mr RP Downs of a son
Duckham m 24-Mar-1876, 11-April-1876 at Greytown the wife of Mr JW Duckham of a son
Duff m 6-Dec-1876, 22-Dec-1876 at Cundy Clough, Klip River the wife of Mr William Duff of a son
Erskine f 17-Nov-1876, 21-Nov-1876 Mrs ST. Vincent Eskine of a daughter
Evans f 15-May-1876, 26-May-1876 at Alderley, Springvale, the wife of Morgan J Evans of a daughter
Evans m 24-Aug-1876, 1-Sept-1876 at PMBurg the wife of Mr D Evans of a son
Evans m 20-Aug-1876, 5-Sept-1876 at Montpellier, Berea the wife of Mr WH Evans of a son
Fairall f 17-April-1876, 21-April-1876 at PMBurg the wife of Mr E Fairall of a daughter
Fairbrother f 19-April-1876, 25-April-1876 at Sea Cow Lake the wife of the Rev James Fairbrother of a daughter
Fannin m 5-Mar-1876, 7-Mar-1876 at PMBurg Mrs J E Fannin of a son
Field f 10-April-1876, 11-April-1876 at Durban the wife of Mr GH Field of a daughter
Findlay f 26-Mar-1876, 31-Mar-1876 at the Berea, Durban the wife of Mr Archibald Findlay of a daughter
Fitzsimmons m 2-April-1876, 4-April-1876 at Church St PMBurg the wife of Mr C Fitzsimmons of a son
Forder f 19-Sept-1876, 22-Sept-1876 at PMBurg the wife of Mr James Forder of a daughter
Forrest m 13-June-1876, 27-June-1876 at Congella, the wife of Mr James P Forrest of a son
Fraser f  21-Jan-1876, 4-Feb-1876 at Stryd Kraal M.W. Stroom Mrs David Fraser of a daughter
Freeman f  26-Nov-1876, 1-Dec-1876 at PMBurg the wife of Mr John Freeman of a daughter
Friggins f 15-Aug-1876, 22-Aug-1876 at Smith Street, Durban Mrs W Friggins of a daughter
Fynn f  29-April-1876, 9-May-1876 at Umzinga Mrs Henry F Fynn of a daughter
Gadsden m 18-July-1876, 28-July-1876 at the Bluff the wife of Mr Thomas A Gadsden of a son
Galliers m 2-Feb-1876, 8-Feb-1876 at Durban, Mrs Galliers of a son
Glyn f  28-Oct-1876, 31-Oct-1876 at Desart, the wife of CB Glyn Esq. of a daughter
Gold m 9-June-1876, 16-June-1876 at Highflats the wife of Mr Robert Gold of a son
Gold f 11-Sept-1876, 22-Sept-1876 at  Highflats the wife of Mr William Gold of a daughter
Goldstone m 22-Oct-1876, 31-Oct-1876 at Durban the wife of Mr G Goldstone (junior) of a son
Goodwill f  24-Feb-1876, 7-Mar-1876 at Oakfield, PMBurg the wife of Mr LP Goodwill of a daughter
Goodwin m 18-Oct-1876, 27-Oct-1876 at Harding the wife of Mr Joseph Goodwin of a son
Gove f 5-Dec-1876, 12-Dec-1876 at Mount Pleasant, Sea Cow Lake, the wife of Mr A Gove of a daughter
Grant m 3-April-1876, 11-April-1876 at Tagosa Cottage, Stanger, the wife of Mr HA Grant of a son
Grant f  20-July-1876, 25-July-1876 at Mona Place, Durban the wife of Mr Grant of a daughter
Gray f 28-Oct-1876, 3-Nov-1876 at Gourton, Ulundi Mrs D Gray (junior) of a daughter
Hair m 19-Jan-1876, 25-Jan-1876 at Gretna Green Mooi River the wife of Mr Thomas Hair of a son
Hall m 5-Nov-1876, 10-Nov-1876 the wife of Mr a Hall of a son
Hampson m 6-Nov-1876, 21-Nov-1876 at Kimberley diamond Fields the wife of Mr JA Hampson of a son
Handley m 23-Nov-1876, 28-Nov-1876 at Hallcar, Greytown the wife of Mr Thomas Handley of a son
Harcourt f 17-Sep-1876, 22-Sept-1876 at Hilltop the wife of Mr Jos Harcourt of a daughter
Hardy f 15-June-1876, 27-June-1876 at Victoria Street, Durban the wife of S. Mr Hardy of a daughter
Harrison f  9-Sept-1876, 15-Sept-1876 at Durban the wife of Mr JR Harrison of a daughter
Hathorn f 10-Dec-1876, 12-Dec-1876 at 7 Loop Street, PMBurg the wife of Mr Fergus A Hathorn of a daughter
Hawksworth m 15-Jan-1876, 25-Jan-1876 at Equeefa Vale Hawkwood, Alexandra, Mrs Hawksworth of a son
Hayes f 13-Feb-1876, 22-Feb-1876 at the Mission House, Ladysmith the wife of the Rev R Hayes of a daughter
Henwood m 15-June-1876, 27-June-1876 at PMBurg the wife of Mr W Henwood of a son
Hime m 26-April-1876, 28-April-1876 at PMBurg the wife of Captain AH Hime, Royal Engineers, of a son
Hodgkins m 31-July-1876, 4-Aug-1876 at Burger Street, PMBurg the wife of Mr John Hodgkins of a son
Hodgson m 14-Mar-1876, 19-May-1876 at Weston, Mooi River, Mrs William Hodgson of a son
Holden m 31-Aug-1876, 5-Sept-1876 at Warley Place the wife of Mr JN Holden of a son
Holliday f 20-Dec-1876, 29-Dec-1876 the wife of Mr GT Holliday of a daughter
Horne f  9-July-1876, 14-July-1876 at Little Grey Street Durban, the wife of Mr DBA Horne of a daughter
Horton m 19-Nov-1876, 24-Nov-1876 at Pinetown, the wife of Mr E Horton of a son
Houghton m 15-June-1876, 27-June-1876 at Durban the wife of Mr HN Houghton of a son
Howe m 8-Dec-1876, 15-Dec-1876 at Howecastle, Stanger, the wife of Mr John Howe of a son
Hunter f 16-Oct-1876, 31-Oct-1876 the wife of the Rev W E Hunter of a son
Hutchinson f  30-July-1876, 1-Aug-1876 at PMBurg the wife of Mr J K Hutchinson of a daughter
Innes f 11-Jan-1876, 25-Jan-1876 at Blarerne Klip river County, the wife of Simpson Mitchell Innes of a daughter
James f 1-Mar-1876, 7-Mar-1876 at London House, Mrs William James (junior) of a daughter
Johnson m 5-Oct-1876, 24-Oct-1876 at West Street, Durban the wife of Mr IY Johnson of a son
Jones f  27-Jan-1876, 4-Feb-1876 at the Berea, Mrs James Jones W of a daughter
Jones f  20-Aug-1876, 25-Aug-1876 at Victoria Street Durban, the wife of Mr George Jones of a daughter
Jones m 27-Oct-1876, 10-Nov-1876 at Sand Spruit, Wakkerstroom, the wife of Mr Robert James Jones of a son
Juckes m 27-Nov-1876, 5-Dec-1876 at Durban, the wife of Mr A Juckes of a son
Keit  f  20-Aug-1876, 1-Sept-1876 at Botanic Gardens Durban Mrs William Keit of a daughter
Kember m 20-Jan-1876, 4-Feb-1876 at Stryd Kraal M.W. Stroom Mrs C Kember of a son
Kershaw f 17-Jan-1876, 21-Jan-1876 at PMBurg the wife of Mr a W Kershaw of a daughter
Kirby m 20-Feb-1876, 25-Feb-1876 at Greytown the wife of Mr HE Kirby of a son
Kisch f  22-Oct-1876, 27-Oct-1876 at Durban the wife of Mr B Kisch of a daughter
Knox f  20-Jan-1876, 25-Jan-1876 at Ambleside House, Umzinto, the wife of Charles Knox of a daughter
Koster m 7-Mar-1876, 14-Mar-1876 at Nijketh, near New Guilderland, Mrs H Koster of a son
Lamb f  30-Dec-1875, 17-Mar-1876 at Lakelands, LeFroy, Canada the wife of JGM Lamb Esq. of a daughter
Lean m 14-Aug-1876,19-Sept-1876 at Glencairn Estate, Blackburn, Mrs FH Lean of a son
Leech m 4-Aug-1876, 18-Aug-1876 at Winburg, Orange Free State the wife of JR Leech M.D. of a son
Legg m 4-May-1876, 9-May-1876 at Russell Street Durban, Mrs GA Legg of a son
Lello m 4-Dec-1876, 22-Dec-1876 at Wentworth the wife of Mr W Lello of a son
Loram f 28-Mar-1876, 31-Mar-1876 at PMBurg the wife of Mr AE Loram of a daughter
Lovett f  5-Feb-1876, 11-Feb-1876 at West Street Durban the wife of Mr H Lovett of a daughter
Lumsden f 24-Sept-1876, 28-Sept-1876 at Montpellier, Berea, the wife of Mr DA Lumsden of a daughter
Lutman m 16-Oct-1876, 10-Nov-1876 at the Isipingo, the wife of Mr a Lutman of a son
Lyle f  15-May-1876, 19-May-1876 at PMBurg Tannery, the wife of Mr A Lyle of a daughter
Manisty f 17-Mar-1876, 28-Mar-1876 at Thorndean, Berea the wife of JF Manisty Esq. of a daughter
Mann m 3-Feb-1876, 8-Feb-1876 at Durban the wife of the Rev W H Mann of a son
Manners m 1-Jan-1876, 17-Mar-1876 at Eversley Cross, Winchfield, Hants, the wife of Edward Manners of a son
Mare f  3-Sept-1876, 12-Sept-1876 at New Howick the wife of Mr William Mare of a daughter
Markham f 2-May-1876, 5-May-1876 the Wife of the Rev. Mr Markham of a daughter
Marshall m 24-July-1876, 4-Aug-1876 at Cleveland, Biggarsberg, the wife of Mr Robert Marshall of a son
Mason f 15-Jan-1876, 25-Jan-1876 at Condelia near Durban the wife of Mr Robert Monk Mason of a daughter
Maxwell m 16-May-1876, 23-May-1876 at New Guelderland the wife of Mr James Maxwell of a son
McAlister m 12-Nov-1876, 17-Nov-1876 at Glen Isley, PMBurg the wife of Mr R McAlister of a son
McCubbin m 4-Feb-1876, 8-Feb-1876 at Smith St Durban Mrs T McCubbin of a son
McKenzie f 15-Sept-1876, 28-Sept-1876 at Underwood, Mrs RA McKenzie of Richmond of a daughter
Metcalf m 16-April-1876, 25-April-1876 at Government Sugar Mill, Umvoti the wife of Mr AT Metcalf of a son
Milne m 25-Mar-1876, 4-April-1876 at Rie Hill Cottage, Berea, Durban, the wife of Mr Andrew Milne of a son
Morling m 18-Feb-1876, 25-Feb-1876 at Smith Street Durban the wife of Mr A Morling of a son
Muir f  30-April-1876, 12-May-1876 at Howick Mrs I Muir of a daughter
Muirhead f  7-June-1876, 13-June-1876 at Hermansburg, the wife of Mr John Muirhead of a daughter
Murchie m 5-Nov-1876, 10-Nov-1876 Mrs A Murchie of a son
Nicolai f 15-Jan-1876, 25-Jan-1876 at the Lower Illovo the wife of Mr C Nicolai of a daughter
Odell m 30-Mar-1876, 21-April-1876 at Harrismith, Orange Free State, the wife of Mr HT Odell of a son
Oliver m 14-April-1876, 25-April-1876 at Verulam the wife of Mr Isaac Oliver of a son
Otto f  4-Aug-1876, 15-Aug-1876 at PMBurg the wife of Mr A Otto of a daughter
Pagan f  25-Feb-1876, 14-Mar-1876 at Heidelberg, Transvaal, the wife of Mr John Pagan of a daughter
Palmer f 11-June-1876, 16-June-1876 the wife of William Palmer of Durban of a daughter
Palmer f 2-Aug-1876, 8-Aug-1876 at Howick the wife of Mr Charles J Palmer of a daughter
Parker f 11-Nov-1876, 14-Nov-1876 at The Ferns, Longmarket Street, PMBurg the wife of Mr Hugh Parker of a daughter
Payne m 24-June-1876, 30-June-1876 at Musgrave Road, the wife of Mr George Payne of a son
Penington m 11-July-1876, 25-July-1876 at the Umbilo the wife of Mr R Penington of a son
Phipson m 12-June-1876, 16-June-1876 at Bishopstowe Mrs Martin F Phipson of a son
Phipson m 28-Aug-1876, 1-Sept-1876 at Smith Street, Durban the wife of Mr T Phipson (junior) of a son
Pickering m 12-Mar-1876, 21-Mar-1876 at Durban Mrs E Pickering of a son
Plant m 22-Sept-1876, 3-Oct-1876 at Verulam the wife of Mr R Plant of a son
Platt  f+f  14-Sept-1876, 19-Sept-1876 at the Syringa's, Berea, the wife of Mr EA Platt of twin daughters
Plowright f  5-Jan-1876, 14-Jan-1876 at Durban the wife of Mr Walter Plowright of a daughter
Pocklington m 30-Mar-1876, 7-April-1876 the Wife of R J Pocklington of a son
Potterill m 7-July-1876, 14-July-1876 the wife of Mr F Potterill of a son
Proksch m 21-Aug-1876, 25-Aug-1876 at Dresden Cottage, West Street East, Durban the wife of Mr F Proksch of a son
Pullock m 22-Oct-1876, 31-Oct-1876 at Addington the wife of Mr G Pullock of a son
Quicke m 17-Nov-1876, 24-Nov-1876 at Umzinto to the wife of Mr George B Quicke of a son
Radford m 28-Feb-1876, 3-Mar-1876 at Mowbray, Town Hill the wife of W Radford of a son
Randles m 10-Jan-1876, 18-Jan-1876 at Woodlands, Sydenham the wife of Mr W Randles of a son
Randles m 5-Aug-1876, 11-Aug-1876 at Woodlands, Sydenham the wife of Mr Jas. Randles of Ladysmith of a son
Raw  f  18-Aug-1876, 22-Aug-1876,At PMBurg the wife of Mr RH Raw of a daughter
Rawlinson f  7-Nov-1876, 14-Nov-1876 at Groot Riet Valle near Greytown, the wife of RW Rawlinson of a daughter
Remon m 16-Nov-1876, 24-Nov-1876 at Melchbourne Cottage, Umgeni Road, the wife of Mr E Remon of a son
Richmond m 29-Mar-1876, 31-Mar-1876 at PMBurg the wife of Mr FG Richmond of a son
Ridgway f 19-Aug-1876, 25-Aug-1876 at Prince Alfred Street. Durban the wife of Mr R Ridgway of a daughter
Robinson f  3-April-1876, 7-April-1876 at the Gables, St Andrew Street Durban, the wife of J Robinson M.L.C. of a daughter
Robinson f  8-Nov-1876, 14-Nov-1876 at the Parsonage Pinetown, the wife of the Rev T E Robinson of a daughter
Root  f  24-July-1876, 18-Aug-1876 at the Umkomazi, near Boston the wife of Mr John Root of a daughter
Rowles m 29-May-1876, 30-May-1876 at PMBurg the wife of Mr WB Rowles of a son
Roy m 22-Mar-1876, 30-May-1876 at Addington, Mrs James Roy of a son
Royston m 30-July-1876, 4-Aug-1876 at the foot of the Berea, the wife of Mr JF Royston of a son
Runciman f 17-Aug-1876, 22-Aug-1876 at PMBurg, Mrs Runciman of a daughter
Saker m 15-May-1876, 19-May-1876 at Mount Moreland, Umhloti, county of Victoria, the wife of GW Saker (junior) of a son
Schenk m 8-Aug-1876, 15-Aug-1876 at Victoria Street, Durban the wife of Mr Shenk of a son
Sell m 26-July-1876, 1-Aug-1876 at Umbilo Road, the wife of Mr RH Sell of a son
Serridge f  31-July-1876, 8-Aug-1876 at Addington the wife of Mr George Serridge of a daughter
Seymour f 10-Sept-1876, 10-Oct-1876 at Newcastle, Natal, the wife of Mr John Seymour of a daughter
Seymour m 7-Oct-1876, 20-Oct-1876 the wife of Mr C Seymour of a son
Shaw m 2-July-1876, 4-July-1876 at Clarendon Saw Mill the wife of Walter T Shaw of a son
Shears m 31-May-1876, 16-June-1876 at Howick the wife of the Rev Ernest H Shears of a son
Shepstone f  29-June-1876, 4-July-1876 at Greytown the wife of John Wesley Shepstone Esq. Resident Magistrate of a daughter
Simpson m 13-Aug-1876, 18-Aug-1876 at 18 Burger Street the wife of Mr William H Simpson of a son
Singer m 9-Sept-1876, 22-Sept-1876 at Langspruit, district Bethlehem, Orange Free State the wife of Mr EH Singer of a son
Sink m 1-Jan-1876, 7-Jan-1876 at Richmond the wife of Mr W Sink of a son
Skottowe m 16-May-1876, 19-May-1876 at Currey's Hotel, Houdboschrand, the wife of Mr WR Skottowe of a son
Smith f  5-Feb-1876, 11-Feb-1876 at PMBurg the wife of Mr Robert Cullen Smith of a daughter
Smith f  8-Oct-1876, 13-Oct-1876 at Bulgray, Dundee the wife of Mr W Craighead Smith of a daughter
Stafford f 16-Feb-1876, 25-Feb-1876 at Clydesdale, Upper Umzimkulu the wife of Mr GP Stafford of a daughter
Stanton f 17-Aug-1876, 22-Aug-1876 at the Berea the wife of J W Stanton of a daughter
Starkey f 16-Nov-1876, 24-Nov-1876 at the Umgeni, the wife of Mr Z Starkey of a daughter
Starr f  4-Sept-1876, 19-Sept-1876 at Buckhurst Estate, near Verulam the wife of Mr W Starr of a daughter
Steward f 23-May-1876, 2-June-1876 at Lambhill, the wife of Mr James Steward of a daughter
Stewart f 17-April-1876, 24-April-1876 at Wetherley, Sinquasi the wife of Mr G Stewart of a daughter
Stewart m 8-Sept-1876, 15-Sept-1876 at PMBurg Mrs Stewart of St Augustin's Mission, Mooi river of a son
Stoffels m 9-Aug-1876, 19-Sept-1876 at Stoffelsville, Sikisiki, Pondoland Mrs HE Stoffels of a son
Straker f 24-Jan-1876, 1-Feb-1876 at St George's Street Durban the wife of Mr EH Straker of a daughter
Sunkel m 21-June-1876, 30-June-1876 at Wilhelmsche, Ifafa the wife of Mr CP Sunkel of a son
Talbot m 13-Feb-1876, 11-Feb-1876 at PMBurg Mrs C Talbot of a son
Tanner m 4-April-1876, 11-April-1876 at Heilbron, Orange Free State, the wife of Mr VH Tanner of a son
Tatham m 27-Dec-1876, 29-Dec-1876 at PMBurg Mrs Robert B Tatham of a son
Taylor f 10-Feb-1876, 11-Feb-1876 at PMBurg the wife of Mr Joseph Taylor of a daughter
Taylor m 29-April-1876, 5-May-1876 at PMBurg the wife of Mr William Taylor of Fordown of a son
Taylor f  24-May-1876, 13-June-1876 at Sutherland Vale, Mooi River, the wife of Mr RC Taylor of a daughter
Taylor m 1-Oct-1876, 3-Oct-1876 at 21 Church Street, the wife of Mr Thomas H Taylor of a son
Taynton m 27-Feb-1876, 7-April-1876 at Karkloof the wife of J E Taynton of a son
Thompson f 18-July-1876, 21-July-1876 at PMBurg the wife of Mr J Boag Thompson of a daughter
Thomson f 12-Nov-1876, 24-Nov-1876 at Harrismith, Orange Free State, the wife of Mr W Burns Thomson of a daughter
Thring f  9-Mar-1876, 28-Mar-1876 at Ashley Hill the wife of Mr F Thring of a daughter
Tipper m 15-June-1876, 27-June-1876 at Ladysmith the wife of Mr Alfred Tipper of a son
Togwell m 15-April-1876, 5-May-1876 the wife of Mr Edward Togwell of a son
Tomsett f 7-Dec-1876, 15-Dec-1876 at Heilbron, Orange Free State, the wife of Mr W F Tomsett of a daughter
Toomey f  8-Mar-1876, 30-May-1876 at the Point, the wife of Mr T Toomey of a daughter
Tuffield f 16-April-1876, 18-April-1876 at PMBurg the wife of Mr Richard Tuffield of a daughter
Tuffield f 16-April-1876, 21-April-1876 at PMBurg the wife of Mr R Tuffield of a daughter
Tunmer m 2-Dec-1876, 8-Dec-1876 at Durban the wife of Mr G G Tunmer of a son
Turnbull f 1-Mar-1876, 14-Mar-1876 at PMBurg the wfe of J W Turnbull BA Barrister at Law of a daughter
Turner f 16-Oct-1876, 20-Oct-1876 at Willbrook, Estcourt the wife of Mr Edward J Turner of a daughter
Turner  m+f  23-Nov-1876, 28-Nov-1876 at Camperdown the wife of Mr James Turner of twins (son and daughter)
Turpin f 14-Mar-1876, 17-Mar-1876 at Bishoptowe, Mrs Phillip Turpin of a daughter
Turton f 11-Dec-1876, 22-Dec-1876 at Pilgrim's Rest the wife of Mr John Turton of a daughter
Twyman f  5-Oct-1876, 20-Oct-1876 at Mooi Plaats, Biggarsberg, the wife of Mr J Edwin Twyman of a daughter
Urquhart  f  10-Nov-1876, 1-Dec-1876 at Glenurquhart, Klip river the wife of Hector Urquhart of a daughter
Velkoop f  23-June-1876, 30-June-1876 at Addington, Mrs Velkoop of a daughter
Vincent m 28-Oct-1876, 3-Nov-1876 at the Point, the wife of Mr RC Vincent of a son
Visick m 8-Mar-1876, 14-Mar-1876 at the Berea the wife of Mr RC Visick of a son
Wakefield m 28-Sept-1876, 6-Oct-1876 at the Berea the wife of Mr Albert Wakefield of a son
Wallace m 27-May-1876, 6-June-1876 at Tarville, Little Umhlanga, the wife of Mr HU Wallace of a son
Waller m 27-Oct-1876, 3-Nov-1876 at Montpelier, Berea the wife of Mr JP Waller of a son
Wallis f 15-Aug-1876, 25-Aug-1876 at Durban the wife of Mr HB Wallis of a daughter
Warren f 15-Dec-1876, 22-Dec-1876 at Tongaat the wife of Mr H Warren of a daughter
Warwick f 17-July-1876, 18-July-1876,The wife of Mr E Warwick of a daughter
Waterhouse f  27-Feb-1876, 5-May-1876 at Hillside, Cotham, Briston, England, the wife of the Rev. S Waterhouse of a daughter
Watson m 18-Feb-1876, 25-Feb-1876 the  wife of Mr George Watson (Superintendent of Government Brickyard) of a son
Waugh f  28-Mar-1876, 11-April-1876 at Victoria Village, Tongaat the wife of Mr James Waugh of a daughter
West m 14-June-1876, 20-June-1876 at Richmond, Illovo the wife of Mr J West of a son
Wheeler m 23-Oct-1876, 27-Oct-1876 at the Hermitage, Durban the wife of Mr Walter W Wheeler of a son
Wheelwright m 7-July-1876, 14-July-1876 at the Parsonage, Addington, the wife of Mr WD Wheelwright R.M. Ulundi of a son
White m 14-April-1876, 28-April-1876 at the Green Hill York, the wife of Mr John White of a son
Willis m 23-Feb-1876, 17-Mar-1876 at Prospect Hall Mrs Robert Willis of a son
Willis m 6-Mar-1876, 17-Mar-1876 at Prospect Hall Mrs James Willis of a son
Winter f  22-Mar-1876, 24-Mar-1876 at Berg Street, PMBurg, the wife of HD Winter of Bushman's River, Weenen County of a daughter
Witt f  27-June-1876, 4-July-1876 at Greytown the wife of the Rev Peter Otto Hojer/Holjer Witt (Swedish Mission) of a daughter
Wolhuter m 28-Mar-1876, 31-Mar-1876 at the farm Waterfall County Umvoti Mrs P M Wolhuter of a son
Wood m 4-Mar-1876, 21-April-1876,D P Wood of a son
Wood f  9-May-1876, 12-May-1876 at Clairmont House, Clairemont, the wife of BH Wood of a daughter
Wooly m 4-Nov-1876, 14-Nov-1876 at Lower Umzimkulu the wife of Mr R H Wooley JP
Wynne f  8-Mar-1876, 14-Mar-1876 at the Parsonage, Harrismith, Orange Free State the wife of the Rev. William Wynne of a daughter
Zeeman f 14-Dec-1876, 19-Dec-1876 on the Berea, Durban the wife of Mr JCG Zeeman of a daughter

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Passengers to Natal: Kinfauns Castle 1880 Natal Mounted Police

This steamer of Donald Currie’s Line sailed from London for Natal on 26 October 1880, carrying 15 recruits for the Natal Mounted Police. All the men were single; their ages are given, as well as their previous occupations.

Manning, Montague, 20, clerk
Davis, Oliver, 18, farmer’s son
Miller, William, 20, sailor
Rooney, William, 24, clerk
Pengilly (Pengelly?), Fred W C, 19, farmer
Gordon, H A W, 26, farmer
Watts, Isaac, 25, sheep farming
Couch, Claude, 20, assistant
Albert, Harry, 20, clerk
Doland, Edward, 20, agent
Searle, Henry Arthur, 18, army
Milward, Henry Arthur, 23, clerk
Cummings, Frank, 20, gas fitter
Eaton, Wallace Bertram, 21, warehouseman
Eaton, T A, 23, Cape Mounted Police

The list was signed by W Peace, Emigration Agent for Natal.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Railway workers to Natal 1880s

Inchanga Viaduct
During the 1880s, the extension of the railways was a matter of life and death to the commercial interests of Natal. The first railway, from the Point to the Umgeni, was incorporated into the new Natal Government Railways. The line to Pietermaritzburg was opened officially on 1 December 1880. The Inchanga Viaduct had been completed in July of that year.

Construction commenced on the section beyond Pietermaritzburg in 1883, Howick being reached in 1884, then Estcourt 1885, Ladysmith 1886 and Charlestown (the Transvaal border) opened 7 April 1891.

For more details, see The Birth & Development of the Natal Railways by E D Campbell, (Shuter & Shooter PMB 1951).

The Colony of Natal: An Official Illustrated Handbook & Railway Guide by J Forsyth Ingram (Sir Joseph Causton & Sons London 1895) has a good map of the Natal railway system at that date including details of agricultural production in each area.

Railway workers of varying levels of skill were imported from Britain specifically for the development of the Natal rail network. The selected lists below show contingents of platelayers* ‘engaged by the Crown Agents for service on Natal Government Railways’ and brought out, most with their families, in 1885 on these and other vessels. The date shown is that of arrival at Natal and where not otherwise stated all were accompanied by wives and in some cases, children.

Some of the passengers' names shown here appear in the Natal Civil Service Lists, giving clues as to their later careers. It’s evident that many of them settled permanently in Natal.

*A platelayer fastens or repairs fastenings on railway lines. The term derives from the rectangular metal plates that bolt or rivet the ends of the lines to each other so joining the expansion gap that causes the familiar clickety-click as the train wheels pass over them. The plate is known as a fish-plate.

SS NORHAM CASTLE 12 February 1885
Hollister Robert
Forster George
Hawkwood H
Hazell H
Pearce J
(Sailed 22 souls, Landed 22, 14 adults)

MEXICAN 25 February 1885
Massey W
Sellors S
Palmer T
Rich A
(Embarked 10 souls, Landed 10, 7 1/16 adults)

TROJAN 13 March 1885
Huggins J H & wife
Brusby (?) M single
Ridley W
Double (sic - perhaps Doubell) J
(Embarked 12 souls, Landed 12 souls, 7 11/16 adults)

SPARTAN 24 May 1885
Lake H C
Coxhill G
(Embarked 9 souls, Arrived 9 souls, 4 12/16 adults)

ATHENIAN 10 April 1885
Coppin J
(Sailed 3 souls Landed 3, 2 9/16 adults)
More railway workers subsequently arrived on the Roslin Castle.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Lest we forget: Remembrance Day 11 November 2012

A day for remembering family members lost during wartime - not only in World Wars I and II,  but in all conflicts, everywhere.

A Pittance of Time: download the video at

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Passengers to Natal: Dunrobin August 1880

DUNROBIN arrived at Cape Town 16 August 1880. The Natal Witness reported on 4 September 1880 as follows:

The Dunrobin at the Cape
The Home Government and the Basuto War
Cape Town, August 16
The Dunrobin Castle arrived at 2 p.m. today.

Regret is felt in England at the Basutoland news. The Home Government is firm in its resolution not to interfere between the Cape Ministry and the Basutos, and will not send forces.

General Bisset is a passenger by the Dunrobin, and brings out 20 young gentlemen to establish farming operations on St. John's River.*

Passengers for Natal by the Dunrobin Castle:
General Bisset
Mrs Carmichael and family
Mrs Winsor
Miss Winsor
Lieut. Read
Mrs Arundel
Mrs Barrett
Mrs Smith

*No further information at present on these proposed farming operations or whether these young gentlemen settled successfully at the St John's River.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Durban West Street views ca 1902 and 1910

Central West Street, Durban circa 1902 showing double-decker horse-drawn tram and rickshas. The clock tower of the then City Hall (now main Post Office, built 1885) can be seen above other buildings at left. The present City Hall was yet to be built (1910): on its site was the Market Square, see treed area opposite the present Post Office. Rickshas came into use in Durban in 1893, electric trams in 1902.

Later ... a view from the opposite direction:

In this postcard the (rear of the) new City Hall is shown at left, dating the picture to post-1910. The old City Hall (now Post Office) is at right in the middle distance. Note the double-decker electric tram in West Street.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Passengers to Natal: Danube July 1880

On 17 July 1880 the Natal Witness reported the arrival on 14 July of U.R.M.S. Danube, of Southampton, 2,200 tons, Draper R.N.R., from Cape and intermediate ports, with passengers and a general cargo.

Passengers for Natal:
Mrs and Miss Ayliff
Mr Curry
Passengers arrived on the Danube, 14 July 1880
Rev. Otto Witt
Mr and Mrs Dentzelmann
Miss and Master Dentzelmann and maid
Rev. and Mrs Slade and four children
Miss Bester
Mrs Schroeder and two Misses Schroeder
Mrs Narren and infant
Mr, Mrs and Miss Jurgens
Mrs Muller
Miss Schiewger
Miss Becket
Miss Girtman
Miss Loose
Miss Johannes
Miss Branmer
Miss Schulz
Miss Henry
Miss Walsh
Capt. Brown
Mr and Mrs Bruggeman
two Masters Bruggeman
and two native boys

- E. Baynton, agent.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Passengers to Natal: Venice July 1880

The Natal Witness of 15 July 1880 reported the arrival, 12 July, of Venice, C.R.M., of London, Brown, from Cape and intermediate ports, carrying passengers and a general cargo.

Passengers from Cape Town:
Captain and Mrs Heavy, two children, and servant
Mrs Staple, three children, and servant
Mr Bruss
Mr and Mrs Van Coller and child
Mrs F Wilson
Venice Passenger List: Natal Witness 15 July 1880
Mr Rossenburg
Messrs Dark and Stoner

From Algoa Bay:
Mr Kisher

From East London:
Miss and Master Butler
Mr Herman Rule
Bonsseimer (?) and Dach

From London:
C Holland
H Levy
HJ Poole
J Schoultz
Miss M Hunter
Mr and Mrs Everst and child
Mr and Mrs Watson and child
Mr and Mrs Pawson and two children
Miss Jane McQuadrie
Mrs Sullivan and three children
Mrs McKwan and three children
Mr and Mrs Locke and infant
Mr TBL Edgecome
Mr and Mrs Hopkins and child
Mr Walter Brayshaw
Mr and Mrs Gorrie and three children
J Watson
D Jeckie
J Patterson
G Adamson
D McLellan
A McAlpine

Agent: DC Andrew

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Passengers to Natal on Nyanza: the Willowfountain settlers


In February 1878 the Natal Land and Immigration Board (LIB) acquired 5000 acres of farmland south of Pietermaritzburg for the purpose of bringing settlers from England to farm there. This land had been granted to a former Voortrekker, Paulus Hermanus Zietsman, who had named it Wilgefontein. In August 1879, the LIB commissioned James Methley to sail to England and find agricultural families for thirty of the forty plots; the remaining ten plots were to be sold to farmers who were already in Natal.

The plan was for all families to live on their own capital for the first two years, until houses, fences, roads, irrigation and crops were established, before they had to start paying for their land in ten instalments over the next ten years. These prospective settlers had to not only produce proof of enough capital, but had to deposit it into a bank in England and were unable to access it until their arrival in Natal. This was to prevent the same mistakes made with the Byrne settler programme, in which settlers had delved into their capital before arriving in the colony. Because of both the stringent requirements and the penalties for default, Methley only managed to find twenty-three families, many of which were not even farmers.

Passengers on deck of  Nyanza 1877
The settlers came mainly from the Midlands of England, with a few from Scotland, southern England and Wales. They departed from Southampton on the S.S. Nyanza on June 11th 1880, and arrived at Durban via Madeira and Cape Town on the 12th July 1880.
While anchored in Durban bay that evening, the male heads of the families gathered in the ship's saloon with the representatives of the LIB to draw slips of paper from a bag for their Lot numbers.

The following day, because there was no actual quay, the disembarkation process took most of the day. Each person had to be lowered in a basket down to a tug next to the ship, and then transported ashore in the tugboat. Late that afternoon, a specially commissioned train carried the settlers inland to Inchanga Station, which was as far as the railway line had been constructed. The journey was continued over the next three days in twelve ox-wagons.

At around noon on Friday 16th July, the wagon train came over the crest of a hill, giving the settlers the first sight of their new home. The so-called 'promised land' did not look impressive, mainly because a veld-fire had blackened the land in recent weeks, adding to the bleak, treeless appearance. Three of the families - the Hanns, the Liddels and the Rowlings - elected to stay on the wagons and continue into Pietermaritzburg to either settle there or return to England in due course. The accommodation on the lots consisted of tents, which were supposed to be available to the settlers for the first three months, but were never claimed back by the LIB. One lucky man, a bachelor called William Clarke, had drawn the lot with a shale house on it. Another, larger house was on the Government Reserve land, which was to be common property for the use of all the settlers. In 1884 it was put to use as a school for male children of the settlers, and the motto was 'Semper Paratus' - Always Prepared. This farmhouse was the same one later inhabited by the last members of the Hall family, the last people to move in 1975 from their farm, which they had called Brandon. The papers and documents collected and kept by Dudley T. Hall (himself a descendant of original settlers Brown and Clarke), form the basis of the Willowfountain file in the Killie Campbell Africana Library in Durban, from which much of this material was sourced.

Some of those who chose to stay were soon to regret their decision, upon realisation that their new land was steep and stony, did not have enough fertile soil, decent roads, reasonable access to water, or even trees for firewood. In fact, the local farmers had been aware of the poor conditions there, so the ten plots originally intended for sale locally had never found buyers for this very reason. Within a few months all unoccupied lots were offered to the new settlers as well. Many settlers acquired a second lot in the hope of farming for profit rather than mere subsistence, which was all the original small lots could promise. The most popular crop to be grown was barley, which was needed to supply the garrison at Fort Napier. Due to the increased presence of Imperial Troops in the Colony, fodder was needed for cavalry horses, as well as mealies for the troops fighting in the Basuto War. Many settlers also kept cattle, which were allowed to graze on the twelve or so acres of common land.

Some families fell on bad times personally, with death or illness, crop failure or the lack of roads causing delays in getting their produce to the Market, thus spoiling on the wagons and failing to fetch the intended price. Barnett left after the first year when he realised he would never be able to make a living from his land, and Hamlyn left soon after to work for Natal Government Railways (NGR) in Durban in order to have a steady income and to live closer to a school for his children. After the first year, Mr CA Butler from the Land and Immigration Board (LIB) visited the settlement and was satisfied that most of the eighteen families of settlers that were left were progressing well, except for Bradley, Walker and Roberts. The Bradley brothers left during the second year. Unfortunately, floods, drought and Rinderpest disease took their toll on many settlements before the first instalment fell due after two years. Once the repayments began, only about two families were not in arrears at any one time.

In the Spring of 1886, the discovery of gold on the Witwatersrand, combined with a drought in Natal, tempted the sons of settlers, if not the settlers themselves, to leave Willowfountain and journey north in search of the fortunes needed to pay off their farms. In 1888, having exhausted their original capital, both Aitchison and Haworth joined the gold rush and illegally sublet their farms.

Many petitions were sent to the LIB regarding lack of roads and right of way of water. In April 1887, Roberts, Walker, Oldfield and Powdrill spearheaded a petition to reduce the original purchase price of the land by 50%. Eventually, in 1888, the LIB agreed to reduce the price by 10% and to give the settlers an extra four years to pay, but at an interest rate of 5%. Pleas and petitions abounded from desperate settlers who had sunk life savings into their plots and couldn't afford the interest, especially since the land was clearly not worth it. Their cries were eventually heeded, and the prices were reduced by 20%, and the extension was granted for another four years, at no interest, meaning that all plots had to be paid for by 1900.

In 1889, another law was relaxed, enabling settlers to sublet their allotments and seek employment elsewhere. This was necessary because at least two settlers, Parkin and Clements, had died, leaving their widows to bring up several children and work on the farm alone - an impossible task under the circumstances. Haworth had died in Johannesburg and his widow left Willowfountain to settle in Pietermaritzburg. Christieson left to become a carpenter in Pietermaritzburg. By 1889, the population of Willowfountain had reduced from 137 to 65.

Only four families paid off their allotments within the original 12 years, and another three had paid by the end of 1892. The LIB disbanded in 1894, and the Willowfountain community began to break up as most settlers sold their allotments immediately they received their title deed upon full payment. The Surveyor-General's Office (SGO) sent letters to the remaining ten defaulters in 1895, reminding them they were in arrears. Most settlers acknowledged this and assured the SGO that they intended to pay as soon as they were able. A further five settlers paid by 1900. All allotments were eventually paid for, with the last payment being made only in 1927, having thus taken 47 years for the owner to pay it off!

A Wesleyan Church was constructed on the settlement, as well as a graveyard, and some settlers were buried there. Those settlers of the Anglican and Presbyterian faiths went to Church in town, and when they died, they were buried there. In 1932, a Memorial to the settlers was erected next to the Wesleyan Church and cemetery at Willowfountain, to commemorate those who stayed to become part of South Africa's history. This stone, unveiled by the Honourable Dr W J O'Brien, mentioned the names of the original heads of families who settled there.

Names of the original settlers and their apprentices and wards include Aitchison, Barnett, Bradley, Brown, Christieson, Clarke, Clements, Delvin, Hadden, Hamlyn, Haworth, Leiper, Martin, Neden, Oldfield, Parkin, Pearse, Powdrill, Roberts, Symons, Thornycroft and Walker, who later changed their name to St Goran.

The writer of this article (Susan Roberts) is indebted to the 1949 thesis of Donald William Bosch for much of the information contained herein.

BOSCH, Donald William; 1949; The Wilgefontein Settlement 1880, thesis presented in the University of Natal for the degree of Master of Arts; University of Natal; Pietermaritzburg.

Susan Roberts

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Passengers to Natal: Nyanza July 1880

The Natal Witness July 15 1880 reported the following:

Arrived: July 12, Nyanza, U.R.M.S., of Southampton, 2128 tons, Ballard RNR, from England and the Cape. Cargo general.

Passengers from England:
Nyanza passengers arrived Natal 12 July 1880
Reported in The Natal Witness 15 July 1880
Mr, Mrs, Miss and Master Methley
A Stanley
W Clifford
JB Gribble
Mr and Mrs Neden
Messrs W and J Neden
Misses Neden (5)
Mr, Mrs and Misses (3) Laddle
Mr, Mrs and Masters (3) Aitchesen
Brudley (4)
Mr and Mrs Barnett
Misses Barnett (2)
Master Barnett
Mr an Mrs Clements
Master Clements (3)
Misses Clements (4)
Mr, Mrs, Miss and Master Clarke
Mr and Mrs Christieson
L Hadden
Mr and Mrs Oldfield
Masters Oldfield (6)
Miss Oldfield
Mr and Mrs Roberts
Messrs Roberts (2)
Miss B Roberts
Mr and Mrs Symons
Mr, Mrs and Miss Martin
Mr and Mrs Rowlings, Masters (4), and Misses (2) Rowlings
Messrs Liepir (2)
Miss Liepir (2)
Mr and Mrs Haworth
Misses Haworth (3)
Masters Haworth (4)
Mr Clark
Mr and Mrs Powdrill
Misses Powdrill (4)
Master Powdrill
Mr and Mrs Walker
Misses Walker (8)
Masters Walker (3)
Mr and Mrs Hamlyn
Masters Hamlyn (2)
Misses Hamlyn (5)
Mr and Mrs Neden
Master Neden
Misses Neden (3)
Mr, Mrs and Miss Hann
Mr and Mrs Brown
J Brown
Masters Brown (2)
Misses Brown (3)
Mr and Mrs Parkin
J Parkin
G Parkin
Miss Morriss
Mr Barrett (2)

From Cape Town:
Mr Thirsby

- E. Baynton, agent.

See also on this blog:

Friday, October 19, 2012

Passengers to Natal: the Roman December 1878

The Times of Natal reported in its edition of December 11 1878, the arrival on the 6th of the Union Royal Mail Steamer Roman, of Southampton, 1200 t, Captain Caines RNR, from England and Cape ports with passengers and a general cargo.

Arrival of URMS Roman
 Times of Natal 11 Dec 1878
Troop movements related to the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879 are evident. Note that though higher ranks are named, '80 non-commissioned officers' are not. Invisible ancestors. In this instance, their regiment is not given.

From England
Captain the hon. A Campbell
Major Bangeugh and man servant
Capt Cherry
Capt Buller
Capt Mackregor and man servant
Capt Hart
Capt Essex
Capt Gardiner
Capt Barton
Capt Huntley
Capt Bacon
Mr C Bartlett
Mr Schubert
Mr H Granger
Mr A Short
Mr G Bates
Mr E Forster
Mr J Henwood
Mrs S Winter
Mrs S Clarke
Mr W Thomas
Mrs Thomas
Mr W Griffin
Mr G Dykes
Mr W Dykes
Mr W Peach
Mrs Peach
Mr S Peach
Master W Peach
Miss N Peach
Mr A Woodward
Mr J Reed
Mr W Pascoe
Mrs R Window
Miss A Window
Mr D Petrie
Mr J Smith
Mr St Frei
Mr Donald
Messrs Kneebone (3)
Mr Lawn
Mr Davidson
Major Hall
Mr Walker
Mr Gauph
Captain de Burgh
Captain Carrol
Captain Holder
80 non-commissioned officers
3 Zulus
R Baynton, agent.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Death at Sea: Tragedy on the Conway Castle 1880

This was the headline in the Natal Witness of January 8 1880 and the original report follows:
A tragic event occurred on the Conway Castle during her voyage out this last time, particulars of which have been furnished us (Advertiser) by a gentleman who arrived here on Melrose and was a witness of the whole affair. It appears that a man named Robert Ross took a steerage passage in this steamer and came out to work for a firm in Durban. He had not been long at sea, in fact was in the Bay of Biscay, when he expressed himself dissatisfied with the arrangements below, and told some to whom he was known that he should sleep upon the deck. This was on Sunday night before reaching Madeira and the next morning (Monday) at 7.30, there was a cry of 'man overboard', and it was found that Ross had disappeared in the sea. The boatswain states that Ross leaped overboard, but there were many who had their doubts of this. Anyway, the ship was stopped for half an hour and Mr Brown, the first officer, in a very smart manner, got a boat lowered and went down himself in charge. The search proved unsuccessful and the boat was hauled up, when, just as the vessel was under weigh, they passed the body floating face upward in the water. The captain was on the bridge, but said it was no use stopping, the man's head was knocked in and he was dead, and the vessel proceeded on her voyage. Our informant asks the rather pertinent questions: How could Captain Jones  know this? And would it not have been more satisfactory to make himself and all on board assured of the fact? For our own part, having known Captain Jones when on the Florence, we cannot believe him capable of doing anything that lacks of courtesy and consideration for the feelings of others, but at the same time are fully convinced of the correctness of our informant's story. Ross leaves a wife and family at home to mourn his untimely end. The passengers on board got up a subscription for them. 

The story illustrates the fact that even by 1880, there was a chance that those leaving England for South Africa may well have said a last farewell to their home and loved ones and that the great adventure held as many hazards as did the days of sail.

It's also useful as a practical example of how to find maritime events: the precise death date of the unfortunate Robert Ross is given on under the collection 'United Kingdom, Maritime Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1787-1933':  Robert Ross, death, 1 Dec 1879, vessel Conway Castle. The Conway Castle reached Natal by 8 January 1880 but the death at sea occurred about a month before while the ship was in the Bay of Biscay, as reported in the Natal Witness. From the FamilySearch site there's a facility to follow up the information on and, for a fee or through subscription to the latter site, to obtain an image of the register page giving further details.

Conway Castle (2,966 tons) built in Glasgow in 1878, was a regular mail steamer until 1883, during which period the above tragedy occurred, and was later transferred to the intermediate service when the Roslin Castle, Norham Castle and Hawarden Castle joined the Line. She underwent considerable improvements in 1892, fitted with triple-expansion engines, her funnel lengthened and with iron bulwarks replacing the open deck rails. The passenger accommodation was upgraded too, with refrigerating machinery and electric light being installed. Not long afterwards, on the Mauritius route, she ran ashore on May 10th 1893 50 miles south of Tamatave while on a voyage to Durban. Her passengers were ashore for 10 days until the Union liner Arab conveyed them to South Africa. But it was the end of the Conway, which could not be brought off the rocks and finally broke up.

Friday, October 12, 2012

A Diary of the Siege of Ladysmith on Kindle

A Diary of the Siege of Ladysmith by Brian Kaighin is now available in a Kindle Edition.

It is a day by day account of the struggle for Ladysmith during the Anglo-Boer War of 1899 to 1902.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Passengers to Natal: the Elizabeth Martin 1873

On 5 August 1873 the Natal Mercury announced in eulogistic terms the arrival on the 3rd of the Currie Line steamer Elizabeth Martin from East London from which she had sailed on the 2 August under Captain Deacon. She carried a general cargo and only 8 passengers were named, viz:

Mr W Palmer
Mr Fuller
Mr and Mrs Garbut
Mr N Garbut
Mr Steel
Mr MacKenzie
Mr Deare

Black, Baxter & Co were the agents.

At three o'clock last Sunday afternoon (3rd August) a large steamer was sighted to the westward. She steamed round the Bluff at 3.40 p.m., anchored in the roadstead, and was made out to be the Elizabeth Martin, 906 tons, Captain Deacon (late of the Gothland), of Messrs. Donald Currie & Co's line. The tug went out to her about half past four o'clock, towing a cargo boat. The bar was rough, and the sea outside ran so high that the mails could not be put on board the tug. They were trans-shipped into the lighter, which arrived back in the bay very soon after the tug. There were 33 bags of mails, and our packet of extras, containing the latest European news, to the 25th June.
The Elizabeth Martin is a very fine, handsome, smart, and comfortable steamer. The passengers who have come up in her speak in the highest terms of her steaming capabilities, and of the courtesy and ability of her commander and his officers. She had a head wind all the way up from East London, and yet she made the run in about 24 hours. She was off the Umkomaas about 1 o'clock on Sunday afternoon. We are glad to hear that she is to be kept on the coast until the Florence arrives out, about the end of September.
She has brought up eight passengers, whose names will be found in our shipping column. Amongst them we are glad to welcome back our much-respected fellow-townsman, Mr W Palmer, who has had a pleasant trip through the Transvaal, Diamond Fields, and Cape Colony; whose health, we are glad to say, is thoroughly re-established; and who has many an interesting tale to tell of absent Natalians with whom he met and conversed during his wanderings.
The steamer's mail bags arrived at the post-office in town about six o'clock in the evening, and were delivered about nine o'clock. The steamer has only a small quantity of cargo for Natal, the manifest of which, together with that per Teuton, will be found in our extra. She discharged a great deal of cargo at Algoa Bay and East London. She is to come inside to-day, and all who can should pay her a visit. She is the largest steamer that will have crossed our bar, her gross tonnage being 1260.  

Natal Mercury 7 August 1873:
The entrance of the Elizabeth Martin into our inner harbour is an event worthy of special notice in the records of our port. This fine steamer is much the largest vessel that has yet crossed the bar. Her burthen is over 1200 tons, her register shows upwards of 800 tons. She is 250 feet long. Nevertheless she entered the harbour safely and easily at dead neap tides. We congratulate both her commander and our Port Captain upon this interesting fact. Some months ago, when referring to the trade of the River Plate, we pointed out that there was no reason why vessels of large tonnage should not be built so as to come inside, and the present incident is proof of the fact. If a permanent depth of 18 feet could be secured on the bar steamers of 2000 tons might ply direct between England and Natal without the drawback of detention at the outer anchorage. It is of the utmost importance however, that the condition of the inner harbour should be improved, and the present channels, which are ever shifting and shoaling, be permanently straightened and deepened. We are glad to hear that Sir Benjamin Pine intends to visit Durban next week, with the especial purpose of inspecting both the harbour and the works.