1820 Settler Party : George Smith

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Party  George Smith 
Leader  George Smith 
Number in the Party  71 
Area Party originated from  Lancashire, England 
Area allocated to the party  Rufane and George Rivers 
1820 Settler Ship  Stentor,    
Surnames in party  Beardmore, Benson, Blacker, Bonsall, Buckley, Bullock, Capper, Dorrington, Duxbury, Elliott, Flinn, Forrest, Haddon, Hayes, Holt, James, Kirkman, Littlewood, Long, Manchester, Mitton, Quail, Rigby, Simpson, Smith, Unknown, Walker, Warburton, Warner, Wedderburn, Whittaker
Other Information  A party of 71 from Lancashire led by Lieutenant George SMITH sailed in "Stentor". In Simon's Bay they were transferred to "Weymouth". They were located between the Rufane and George Rivers. The location was called George Vale. Later John BUCKLEY became responsible for the party.
Settler Handbook Content:   No. 23 on the Colonial Department list, led by George Smith, a shopkeeper and Chelsea Hospital out-pensioner of 12 Southern Street, Manchester. Smith had served with the 95th Regt (Rifle Brigade) during the Peninsular War and was wounded and taken prisoner at Corunna in 1809. After the defeat of the French in 1814 he rejoined the British army in Paris, and served as one of the escort party that accompanied the exiled Napoleon to Elba. A year later, he fought and was again wounded at Waterloo, when Napoleon suffered his final defeat.

Smith's initial application to emigrate was submitted through the Commander in Chief of the army, but he was informed that no individual applications could be considered. However, he was subsequently selected by the churchwardens and parish overseers of Manchester to lead a parish-assisted party of 20 families; they were given financial assistance on condition that 'no part of their families should be left chargeable to the Parish, neither would they in the event of their return to this country ever become burdensome to any Parish therein'. This was a joint-stock party, and Smith complained to the Colonial Deparment soon after embarkation that 'several of the individuals considers that as they paid their own deposit money there is no Respect due to me'. Unless he was given proper authority he could 'in no wise keep order and regularity which is requisite for so long a voyage'. However, once the party was at sea Smith appears to have been persuaded to let democratic principles prevail, and he submitted a formal request for equal deposit repayments and shares of land to be made on arrival in the colony to all the men of the party except Thomas Rigby, a runaway who had come aboard with the pilot-boat and been allowed to remain in the place of a last minute drop-out.

Manchester was at the centre of the political disturbances that affected England in 1819, and the scene of the ill-fated reform meeting at St. Peter's Field on 16 August. The events leading up to the 'Peterloo Massacre', and the out-cry that followed it, had their effect on the composition of Smith's party; of the 21 names he submitted to the Colonial Department at the beginning of September, only three besides Smith's own were on the final sailing list. He blamed the frequent changes on 'the disaffection that has taken place', and claimed that some of his settlers had withdrawn because they were 'unwilling for political reasons to conform to the rules laid down by His Majesty's Government'.

Deposits were paid for 21 men, and all but one (for whom Thomas Rigby became an unofficial replacement) embarked at Liverpool in the Stentor, which sailed on 13 January 1820, reaching Table Bay on 19 April. As the ship's charter expired at this port, the parties under Smith and James Richardson were transshipped to HM Store Ship Weymouth for the voyage to Algoa Bay, which they reached on 15 May.

Smith's party was located between the Rufane and George Rivers, and its location was named George Vale.


BEARDMORE, Thomas 47. Smith. w Ann 42. c Maria 13, Ann 5.

BONSALL, George 24. Schoolmaster. w Sarah 21. c Henry 2, Ann 1.

BUCKLEY, John 28. Farmer and cloth dresser. w Sarah 32. c Hannah 8, Jane 7, John 5, Alfred 2, Edward.

CAPPER, Thomas 34. Weaver. w Mary 30.

DUXBURY, Samuel 40. Weaver. w Margaret 39. c William 15, Hannah 5, John 3.

ELLIOTT, William 23. Smith and turner. w Ellen 22. c Jane 5.

FLINN, Daniel 42. Farmer and army pensioner. w Catherine 42. c Ann 13, John 9.

FORREST, Ralph 26. Weaver.

HAYES, Thomas 47. Weaver and army pensioner.

HOLT, John 38. Farmer.

JAMES, John 26. Well-sinker. w Mary 27. c Ann 10.

KIRKMAN, John 33. Labourer. w Mary 31. c Hannah 11, Albert 7, Mary 4, Margaret 2, Martha 1.

LONG, Jeremiah 40. Gardener and botanist. w Ann 33. c James 13, Jeremiah 11.

MITTON, John 35. Joiner and builder. w Ellen 39. c Elizabeth 15.

RIGBY, Thomas. Shoemaker.

SMITH, George 34. Shopkeeper and army pensioner. w Mary 27.

WALKER, Joseph 22. Agriculturist.

WALKER, Richard 29. Agriculturist. w Martha 28. c Joseph 2, Elizabeth.

WARNER, Henry 37. Basket and brush maker. w Elizabeth Caroline 34. c Mary 13, Joseph 12, Rosina 7,

Caroline 2.

WEDDERBURN, Christopher 45. Tailor. w Ann 45. c Ann 16, George 10, Elizabeth 8.

WEDDERBURN, William 19. Tailor.

Main sources for party list

Return of settlers under the direction of George Smith (Cape Archives CO 6138/1,69); List of settlers actually embarked in Stentor, 24.12.1819 (Public Record Office, London, CO 48/45,1124); Special Commissioner William Hayward's notes (Cape Archives CO 8544).

from THE SETTLER HANDBOOK by MD Nash page 119 

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