No. 50 on the Colonial Department list, led by Edward Gardner, a plater of Nelson Street, Sand Pits, Birmingham. The party was organised and all its correspondence with the Colonial Department conducted by the Governor of Birmingham Workhouse, William Cheshire, on behalf of the parish overseers. He forwarded the party's deposit money with the comment that the men had 'sold their little all' in order to emigrate, and it seems likely that their deposits were paid at least in part by the parish. Birmingham was hard-hit by the industrial recession, and one of the party members, Isaac Dugmore, informed the Colonial Department soon after the emigration scheme was announced that a number of families were anxious to emigrate and that he had already appealed for help to the parish authorities.
This was a joint-stock party made up of independent settlers with the exception of Gardner's servant William Abbott. It was the only case in which a party with less than the official minimum of 10 men was accepted: Cheshire was informed in November 1819 that the nine men whose names he had submitted had been approved, but there were to be no further additions to the party.
Early in December, Gardner and his party arrived in London to find they had misunderstood instructions about their port of embarkation: they were in fact scheduled to sail from Liverpool, not London. Almost all their money had been spent on the journey, and Gardner appealed to the authorities to allow the party to embark in the Thames.
Permission was granted, but as it turned out, the alteration in the sailing arrangements was to mean a three-month delay before they finally left England. The party embarked at Deptford in the Sir George Osborn, and a few days before she was due to sail a January gale drove her from her moorings and she ran aground opposite Greenwich Hospital. After undergoing repairs, she finally sailed from the Downs on 16 March 1820 and reached Simon's Bay on 17 June and Algoa Bay early in July, the last of the settler transports to arrive. Two children were born during the voyage and one, Elizabeth Gardner, died at sea. The party was located south-west of Grahamstown in the Kariega River valley, and named the location New Birmingham.
LIST OF GARDNERS'S PARTY
ABBOTT, William 39. File maker.
BAILISS, Benjamin 24. Coach harness buckle-maker.
DUDLEY, Edmund 26. Ironmonger.
DUDLEY, John 36. Toolmaker. w Sarah 24. c Matilda 8, Frances 1, Sarah (born at sea).
DUGMORE, Isaac 34. Clerk. w Maria 36. c Henry 9, Ann 7, William 6, Louisa 4, Caroline 2, John (born at sea).
GARDNER, Edward 31. Plater. w Mary 31. c Hezekiah 8, James 5, Elizabeth 5 (died at sea).
ROE, Robert 30. Carpenter.
SEAL, William 21. Plater.
WRIGHT, John Cecil 22. Coach painter.
Main source for party list
Agent of Transports' Return of settlers arrived at Simon's Bay under the direction of Messrs Mills, Turvey and Gardner (Cape Archives CO 6138/2,95). The return of Gardner's party agrees with the final list submitted to William Cheshire before the party boarded, except that Abraham Beesley is replaced by Robert Roe, and two of the women of the party are listed as 'Mary Hare (alias Beales)' and 'Sarah Williams (alias Wright)' instead of 'Mary Beesley' and 'Ann Wright' as they were shown on Cheshire's list. (It was a common strategem to list single women as the 'wives' of single men in order to avoid paying separate deposits.)
HH Dugmore, The Reminiscences of an Albany Settler (Grahamstown, Grocott and Sherry, 1958).
from THE SETTLER HANDBOOK by MD Nash page 73