1820 Settler Party : William Smith

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Party  William Smith 
Leader  William Smith 
Number in the Party  40 
Area Party originated from  London, England 
Area allocated to the party  Stoney Vale, Trompetters Drift 
1820 Settler Ship  Northampton,    
Surnames in party  Andrews, Bagot, Bland, Comfield, DeMain, Doe, Edkins, Hobson, Jakins, O'Connor, Picket, Pownall, Rooke, Scott, Smith, Thackwray, Unknown, Warmington
Other Information  A party of 40 from London led by William SMITH sailed in "Weymouth". Their location was named Stony Vale.
Settler Handbook Content:   No. 7 on the Colonial Department list, led by William Smith, a seafaring man and surveyor of 3 Barnards Inn, Holburn, London. Smith had served at sea in the India trade and had subsequently been engaged in commercial pursuits abroad. His initial application to the Colonial Department was made on behalf of an emigration society consisting of 'a number of respectable and intelligent individuals wishing to embrace the offers of Government and desirous of taking out the requisite number of labouring families'. They hoped to make up a party of 100 or more families by advertising. This proposal was not accepted, and Smith then applied on his own account to take out a party of 10 families. After a personal interview at the Colonial Department, Smith was accepted to fill a vacancy created by the withdrawal of a party of 11 men, provided that he could supply a suitable reference from some 'respectable Gentleman'. This condition was fulfilled by an effusive letter of recommentation from an ex-Member of Parliament, Benjamin Shaw.

Smith hastily organised a new small party from the remnants of the former one. Eight men whose names had been on the 'emigration society' list enrolled again under his leadership. Two Northamptonshire farmers, Robert Bagot from Kingsthorpe and David Hobson from Cottesbrook, and Smith's brother-in-law, John Comfield of Northampton, all from the earlier list, joined him as partners and were each to receive 50 acres of his land grant, although Smith reserved to himself the 'manorial rights' of hunting, hawking, shooting and fishing. (Captain Bagot was clearly short of funds: he had already attempted, with predictable lack of success, to borrow £100 from the Colonial Department to enable him to form a party of his own.) William Thackwray, an 'emigration society' member from Sheffield, had in the meantime enlisted with Bailie's party, but withdrew to rejoin Smith, who promised him and his son 100 acres of land. Two of the five indentured servants who made up the rest of the new party, Edkins and Warmington, had also been on Smith's earlier list; Picket, Rooke and Scott were new additions.

Deposits were paid for 11 men, and the party was instructed to embark at Deptford in the Nautilus transport in the third week of November 1819. At Smith's request, however, permission was granted for his party to embark a week later in the Northampton instead.

The Northampton sailed from Gravesend on 13 December and reached Table Bay on 26 March and Algoa Bay on 30 April 1820. A daughter was born at sea to the wife of John Comfield. The party was located on the northern border of the Albany settlement, on the road to Trompetter's Drift, and the location was named Stoney Vale.


BAGOT, Robert Wood 35. Capt, 47th Regt (half-pay). w Letitia 35. c Edward.

BLAND, Richard 13 (in the care of John Comfield).

COMFIELD, John 21. Artist. w Eliza 27. c Eliza (born at sea).

EDKINS, John 28. Carpenter. w Ann 29. c John 7, Joseph.

HOBSON, David 24. Husbandman.

HOBSON, Willliam Carey 15 (brother of David Hobson).

O'CONNOR, Harriet 17 (stepdaughter of Capt Bagot).

O'CONNOR, Robert 16 (stepson of Capt Bagot).

PICKET, William 27. Bricklayer.

ROOKE, James 25. Sawyer.

SCOTT, John 20. Blacksmith.

SMITH, John Josiah 16 (brother of William Smith).

SMITH, William 27. Surveyor. w Anna 24.

THACKWRAY, John 18. Mechanist.

THACKWRAY, William 40. Agricultural implement maker. w Dorothy 43. c Dorothy 15, Ann 13, William 11,
Joseph 9, James 4.

WARMINGTON, Alfred 19. Butcher.

*ANDREWS, William 17.

*DOE, Thomas 18. Blacksmith and farrier.

Main sources for party list

Agent of Transports' List of persons belonging to Mr Smith's party (Cape Archives CO 136); Special Commissoner William Hayward's notes (Cape Archives CO 8543); Agreement between W Smith, D Hobson, RW Bagot and J Comfield (Cape Archives CO 6138/1). This agreement was signed at sea on 22 Februry 1820, and witnessed by Alfred Warmington, John Edkins, William Andrews and Thomas Doe.

*Neither Doe nor Andrews appears on any official party list, but both are mentioned in colonial records as members of Smith's party. According to his colonial pass, Doe was a farrier and blacksmith, aged 18. It seems likely that both these men joined the party as last minute substitutes for others who had dropped out, and travelled under the name of whoever they replaced - possibly Picket and Rooke, for whose presence at the Cape no confirmation has been found in colonial records.

Henry Edgar Bagot, second son of Capt Bagot, was baptised in Grahamstown in 1824. The baptismal register of St. George's Church gives his date of birth as 11 March 1820. Since his birth is not recorded in the Agent's Return, this date is presumed to be erroneous and he has not been listed as a settler.

Further reading

The voyage to the Cape in the Northampton is described in
The Journals of Sophia Pigot, ed Margaret Rainier (Cape Town, AA Balkema, 1974) and

The Reminiscences of Thomas Stubbs, ed WA Maxwell and RT McGeogh (Cape Town, AA Balkema, 1978).

from THE SETTLER HANDBOOK by MD Nash page 121 

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