1820 Settler Party : Dyason

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Party  Dyason 
Leader  George Dyason 
Number in the Party  67 
Area Party originated from  London, England 
Area allocated to the party  Lushington Valley on the Torrens River 
1820 Settler Ship  Zoroaster,    
Surnames in party  A'Bear, Allen, Austin, Bennett, Challis, Chandler, Dyason, Eley, Gray, Hudson, Hutchinson, Lilly, Marshall, Maytham, McKenzie, Newton, Ratcliff, Rowland, Rye, Smith, Stock, Unknown, Walker, Wicks, Wright
Other Information  A party of 67 from London led by George DYSON sailed in "Zoraster". In Simon's Bay they were transferred to "Albury". They were located on the right bank of the Torrens River, the location becoming known as Lushington Valley
Settler Handbook Content:   No. 43 on the Colonial Department list, led by George Dyason, a wine merchant of Ramsgate, Kent, whose London address was 12 Old Cavendish Street. George Dyason was the nominal head of a party consisting of six equal partners - the four brothers George, Isaac, Robert and Joseph Dyason, Samuel Bennett and Hougham Hudson - and 14 indentured labourers. The party was recruited in Kent; in his memoir, 'Rough outlines of the life of a British settler', Isaac Dyason junior called it 'the Isle of Thanet party'. He claimed that it owed its selection to the influence of Sir William Curtis, one-time Lord Mayor and Member of Parliament for London, and Stephen Lushington, MP for Canterbury, after whom the party's location in Albany was named. The Colonial Department received other recommendations for the Dyasons from the Ramsgate parish authorities and a well-connected acquaintance of the family who involked the interest of Henry Clive, MP for Montgomery, on their behalf.

Deposits were paid for 20 men, and after an unsuccessful attempt by Robert Dyason's creditors to prevent him from leaving the country, the party embarked on board the Zoroaster at Deptford in December 1819. Departure was delayed for several weeks by the freezing of the Thames, and until a thaw set in the ship was unable to drop down the river. She finally sailed from the Downs on 12 February 1820, arriving in Simon's Bay on 30 April. The Zoroaster's charter terminated at this point, and the party was transshipped to the Brilliant for the voyage to Algoa Bay, which was reached on 15 May. The 3-year-old son of Henry Gray died at sea in the Zoroaster.

The party was located on the right bank of the Torrens River and named its location Lushington Valley. After complaints about inadequate food and clothing on the one part and insubordination and idleness on the other, most of the labourers deserted their masters or were dismissed, and the partnership was dissolved in June 1821.


ALLEN, Samuel 26. Agriculturist. w Sarah 30.

AUSTIN, John 24. Baker. w Catharine 22. c John 1.

BEAR, William 26. Blacksmith. w Sarah 22.

BENNETT, Samuel 39. Farmer.

CHALLIS, Charles 20. Husbandman. w Amy 20.

CHANDLER, William 29. Plumber and glazier.

DYASON, George 30. Wine merchant. w Frances 29. c George 2, Frances Ann 1.

DYASON, Isaac 39. Brazier. w Sarah 39. c Isaac 16, Roger 11, Sarah 9, Elizabeth 8.

DYASON, Joseph 36. Master mariner. c Joseph 13, Ann 7.

DYASON, Robert 37. Saddler. c Bayly 16, Tassell 11, Jane 8.

GRAY, Henry 35. Gardener. w Mary 30. c Henry (died at sea), Mary 2, Jane.

HUDSON, Hougham 26. Farmer and grazier. w Elizabeth 23.

MARSHALL, Robert 21. Bricklayer.

McKENZIE, Archibald 38. Agriculturist. w Amelia 31. c Adam James 7, Marion 6, John Thomas 4, Agnes 3,
another daughter born at sea.

MAYTHAM, John 30. Bricklayer. w Catherine 30. c John 15, Henry 8, Elizabeth 5, William 3, Cornelius.

RATCLIFF, Thomas 27. Carpenter and wheelwright. w Elizabeth 28. c John 3, Mary Ann 2, Elizabeth 1.

SMITH, Enos 20. Labourer.

STOCK, Robert 23. Ship's carpenter. w Sarah 19.

WICKS, Robert 25. Mariner. w Mary 28. c Sarah 6, Robert 4, Sophia 1.

WRIGHT, James 29. Butcher.

*RYE, George 22. Husbandman.

Main sources for party list

Agent of Transports' Return of settlers under the direction of Messrs Wait, Thornhill and Dyason (Cape Archives CO 6138/2,98); Complaints of Dyason's party (Cape Archives 1/AY 8/71). William Hudson, the 10-year-old brother of Hougham Hudson, appears on the London list but not in the Agent's Return. An infant daughter of Archibald McKenzie is included in the Agent's Return but not the London list; she may have been born at sea.

*George Rye, who died at Baviaans Kloof, Uitenhage, in 1877 at the age of 80, claimed to have emigrated as a labourer with Dyason's party and was described as such in his application for a colonial pass in 1823. He may have been a last minute replacement for one of the listed emigrants, and travelled under the name of the man whose place he took. No reference to Enos Smith has been traced in colonial records, and it is possible that he failed to emigrate and Rye took his place.

Further reading

The Chronicle of Jeremiah Goldswain vol l, ed Una Long (Cape Town, Van Riebeeck Society, 1946).
Goldswain was with Wait's party on board the Zoroaster .

Isaac Dyason jnr, 'Rough outlines of the life of a British settler of 1820', a series of articles published in a Grahamstown newspaper, the Anglo African, in 1866. (A typescript copy is available in the Cory Library, Rhodes University, Grahamstown.)

from THE SETTLER HANDBOOK by MD Nash page 69 

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