SOUTH-AFRICA-EASTERN-CAPE-L ArchivesArchiver > SOUTH-AFRICA-EASTERN-CAPE > 2006-01 > 1137527417
From: "Becky Horne" <>
Subject: Reminiscences of Cradock - Part V
Date: Tue, 17 Jan 2006 21:50:17 +0200
Cory Library 14,680.2 (TS)
Reminiscences of Cradock
by Eliza Butler
Continued from Part IV.
The first tailor was the late Mr. FRANCIS Senr., and later on he was
about the first baker.
Daniel MAHONEY was the builder of the houses (called by some Packing
case architecture) from Garrett Brown to Webbers corner, the latter now
demolished and rebuilt.
In 1862 the foundation stone of the Court Room then known as the Town
Hall was laid.
The present Town Hall was built in the early eighties.
Essay Mr. GILFILLAN:
Until the railway came into existence the Wool washing business was
carried on near the warm Baths. This was to lighten the wool for
carriage by wagon down to the Bay. The water used by the wash girls was
afterwards saved because of soap in it used to wash the wool. A strange
custom these wash girls used to have of throwing pins needles, beads
etc. into the water before beginning their washing to propitiate the
“water spirit” or it would pull them in.
Wood was carried by women on their heads into town and sold to the
inhabitants for 6₫ or 1/- per load according to quantity and length.
Cradock has done good service in all the Kaffir Wars from 1846 to the
present day. Because of the readiness of the Cradock Mounted Volunteers
to go out to service they were called the Cradock Bricks. I read that in
those days people had to cast their own bullets and during fighting in
laager while the men were fighting the women made the bullets. At
Whittlesea for instance when the lead was all used. Mrs. LOXTON melted
her candlesticks to make bullets.
Mr. N. GILFILLAN, father of Mr. E. GILFILLAN came out to South Africa
first in 1812 and served in the 60th Rifles Brigade. He went back to
Scotland about 1818 and returned to South Africa in 1820 with the
Settlers. On board ship he met his future wife, and they were married at
Bathurst by the first Rev. William SHAW. From 1822 till 1835 he farmed
at the Kowie. Then the Kaffir war broke out and Mr. GILFILLAN was ruined
, for the Kaffirs robbed him of everything. He was put in command of
Hottentot Leeves and was present when the Kaffir Chief HINTZE was shot,
which deed he thoroughly justified. I have on the table here the diary
kept during the 1835 War by Mr. GILFILLAN. It is very interesting
reading and I have been allowed to copy any of it, but I will not weary
you with it tonight.
After the completion of the 1836 War, Mr. GILFILLAN was appointed
First-Civil Commissioner Resident Magistrate of Cradock. He built
Rocklands and resided there till his death in 1856. During the War of
1846 and 1851, he was Commandant of the Cradock Burghers, and saw a good
deal of service. In 1851 War Mr. GILFILLAN's house, now the Seminary,
was one night filled with crying babies, sheltered there during a panic.
The alarm was caused by a levee of Fingoes on their way to the Border,
who got drunk and began firing off their guns a small distance from
town. There were several other alarms but never any serious results. In
1850 the Cradock Volunteers relieved Post Retief and Whittlesea.
In the Galeka War of 1877 a telegram was sent to Cradock calling for
Volunteers. On a Tuesday evening a meeting was held and a corps formed.
They had to provide their own horses which were bought on the following
Wednesday and Thursday. They were armed on Friday and started for
Queenstown on Saturday morning and arrived in Queenstown Sunday
afternoon. Were detained in Queenstown on Monday and part of Tuesday
being provisioned and reported themselves at Ibeke in the Transkei on
the Saturday just a week after leaving Cradock.
Mr. HODGSONS business premises were used first by the 91st Regiment as
Barracks while on their way up to the Battle of Boom Blaatz.
Contributor: Fay Lea
More to follow.
|Reminiscences of Cradock - Part V by "Becky Horne" <>|