1820 Settler Party : Pringle

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Party  Pringle 
Leader  Thomas Pringle 
Number in the Party  24 
Area Party originated from  Scotland 
Area allocated to the party  Baviaans River, Cradock 
1820 Settler Ship  Brilliant,    
Surnames in party  Brown, Ekron, Elliott, Keen, Mortimer, Pringle, Rennie, Ridgard, Scott, Souness, Sydserff
Other Information  A party of 24 from Scotland led by Thomas PRINGLE sailed in "Brilliant", They were located on the Baviaans River. Thomas PRINGLE left early and was succeeded by his brother, William PRINGLE, in charge.
Settler Handbook Content:   No. 48 on the Colonial Department list, led by Thomas Pringle of 24 Salisbury Street, Edinburgh, a crippled journalist and poet who hoped to obtain a government clerkship at the Cape. He was recommended by his patron, Sir Walter Scott, and through Scott's influence by the Secretary to the Admiralty, JW Croker. This was a joint-stock party, possessing, according to its leader, 'some small capital, steadiness, enterprise and agricultural skill' - a claim justified by its subsequent history. The party was predominantly Scottish in origin: the Pringle family and their ploughman, James Eckron, came from Roxburghshire; Thomas Pringle's wife and her relatives, Janet Brown and the Rennie family, as well as Charles Sydserff and his servants, Mortimer and Souness, came from East Lothian (Haddingtonshire). The group travelled by sea from Leith to London where they were joined by the Ridgard family and their relative William Elliott, late additions to the party from England the Wales.

Deposits were paid for 12 men and their families, and the party embarked at Deptford in the Brilliant, which sailed from Gravesend on 15 February 1820 and arrived at Simon's Bay on 30 April and Algoa Bay on 15 May. Pringle's 'Scottish party' was unique in being the only settler party to be located in the far interior of the eastern Cape. Two other parties of settlers from Scotland had been accepted under the emigration scheme, and the colonial authorities proposed to settle all three in the Winterberg area. In accordance with this plan, Pringle's party was located on the Baviaans River, some 30 miles from the village of Cradock, and named its location Glen Lynden. In the event, the other Scottish parties never reached South Africa; a party of 500 Highlanders under Captain Grant withdrew from the scheme altogether, and a party under William Russell that sailed from Greenock in October 1820 was lost at sea when the transport Abeona caught fire and sank.

One member of Pringle's party, William Elliott, applied as soon as he reached Algoa Bay for permission to return to Simon's Town, from where he left for England to study for the ministry. He subsequently came back to South Africa as a missionary. Thomas Pringle left the Baviaans River for Cape Town in 1822, and was replaced as leader of the party by his brother William who emigrated from Scotland in that year.


BROWN, Janet 44 (sister-in-law of Thomas Pringle).

ECKRON, James 25. Ploughman.

ELLIOTT, William 27. Bookseller's assistant.

MORTIMER, Alexander 23. Baker.

PRINGLE, John 28. Agriculturist.

PRINGLE, Robert 65. Agriculturist. w Beatrice 49. c William Dods 11, Catherine Heatlie 9, Beatrice Scott 3.

PRINGLE, Thomas 31. Author and editor. w Margaret 40.

RENNIE, Elizabeth 44. c Elizabeth Kirkwood 17, Charles 9.

RENNIE, George 21. Agriculturist.

RENNIE, John Brown 20. Agriculturist.

RENNIE, Peter 19. Agriculturist.

RIDGARD, Ezra 29. Saddler. w Elizabeth 23. c Andrew 3, Mary Ann.

SOUNESS, James 21. Ploughman.

SYDSERFF, Charles Jervis Buchan 22. Agriculturist.

Main sources for party list

Agent of Transports' Return of settlers under the direction of Thomas Pringle (Cape Archives CO 6138/2,83). Correct names, ages on embarkation and occupations were supplied by Dr JVL Rennie, who has carried out extensive research on Pringle's party.

Further reading

Thomas Pringle, Narrative of a Residence in South Africa (London, Moxon, 1835, reprinted in 1966.
An edited version was published in 1970 under the title Thomas Pringle in South Africa);
J Meiring, Thomas Pringle: his life and times (Cape Town, AA Balkema, 1968);
Eric, Mark E and JA Pringle, Pringles of the Valleys (Adelaide, Eric Pringle, 1957).

from THE SETTLER HANDBOOK by MD Nash page 108

the following from The Scottish Settler Party of 1820 by Professor Rennie
The party left Algoa Bay on 13 June and first collected salt at Swartkops.
They then went up the Coega Valley and crossed over Addo Heights to cross the Bushmans River at Rautenbachs Drift.
The drift is still there in the present Shamwari Reserve and in later years there was a hotel nearby.
They skirted Grahamstown, crossed the Little Fish and then arrived near the present Cookhouse at the left. After spending two days at Roodewal, the party was given new wagons and guides and was escorted up the Baviaans River by Field Cornet Opperman with an armed escort of Boers.
Near the present Eildon, on a ridge, Opperman said, "Daar leg uwe veld" 

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