SOUTH-AFRICA-IMMIGRANTS-BRITISH-L ArchivesArchiver > SOUTH-AFRICA-IMMIGRANTS-BRITISH > 2004-02 > 1077182005
Subject: Re: [ZA-IB] Look up offered:SEPHTON party / Thomas Sellom KING
Date: Thu, 19 Feb 2004 04:13:32 -0500
On page 19 : " The intention of the government was to ship the 60 settler parties , comprising in all 3 700 souls in November, 1819, to ensure their arrival at the settlement at the beginning of the planting season. But the weather decided otherwise and the departure of the Sephton settlers was delayed for over two months. Storms and gales that had not been experienced in a lifetime lashed the London area during the last two months of the year. Temperatures dropped to below freezing point and the ice on the Thames was solid and six feet thick. The transports could not sail amd instructions to the Sephton party to embark were countermanded and the sailing date postponed indefinitely, much to the inconvenience of many.
The unexpected delay caused changed in the membership of the party. It gave everyone a chance to reflect on the wisdom of exchanging a familiar environment for one distant and untamed. About this time articles began appearing in some London newspapers casting some doubt upon the suitablility of the area set aside for the settlers and stressing the risks involved as neighbours to savage African tribes. As a result a few families backed out.
Still there were others eager to fill vacancies and only two days before the first group of settlers boarded Aurora, the families of Robert HARVEY, Philip DIXIE, Thomas KING, Thomas NORTON, Richard PICKSTOCK and George GRAVETT threw in their lot with Sephton...."
After having been settled in Salem climatic conditions proved disastrous.After the first failed wheat crop due to rust most of the settlers of Salem where still optimistic. However, there was talk from the government that the rations that they had been given since their arrival were now to be halved. With one failed crop and the look of another failed crop about to take place many of the settlers were promted to write and sign a memorial to the government.
Page 40: " 'That the regulations which order the settlers to be put on half rations bear pariticularly hard upon those who have continued upon the locations as they have not yet been able to derive from the produce of their land that which is absolutely necessary for their support:- while their time having been principally occupied in improving their farms they have not been able to earn anything by mechanical or other labour.
Your memorialists fully anticipate from the quantity of land ploughed by them ( nearly two hundred acres) that should the rations continue to be issued as heretofore until the close of the present year, they would then be in a situtaion which would render further supplies unnecessary :- but they have the unhappiness to state that the most general appearance of blight similar to that of last year has considerably shaken their confidence.
Your memorialists however trust that should all their remaing hopes of partial harvest fail of realization that they should not be left to struggle with the miseries that must follow without the aid of that Government whose paternal care is proverbial.'
The memorial was signed at Salem by the following settlers:
Wm. Henry MATTHEWS
The memorial brought no change to the government's decision, but Sir Rufane did make arrangements for the shipment of 76 tons of rice from India to be issued free during the first quarter of 1822 to any distressed persons still residing on the allotments...."
In 1824 the government lifted their ban of trading cattle with the natives.
Pg 51: " The measure was extremely popular and a large number of settlers availed themselves fo the new commercial opportunity. The undermentioned Sephton settlers, mostly residents of Grahamstown, applied for the necessary licences to trade at Fort Willshire:
Date 1824 Licence number Name
Aug 9 5 Peter WICHMANN
Aug 11 10 James HOWSE
Sept 1 24 William HAZELL
Oct 4 48 William SHEPHERD
Oct 4 49 David HALL
Oct 11 53 Philip DIXIE
Oct 12 55 James KIDD
Oct 27 69 Thomas KING
Nov 15 98 William TROTTER
Nov 15 102 William FOWLER
Nov 22 109 Charles PENNY
Nov 30 126 Samuel FIELD
Dec 20 133 William LEE Jnr.
1825 Licence number Name
Jan 4 140 Charles LEE
Jan 14 143 John TALBOT
Feb 12 152 James HANCOCK
Mar 8 165 John PAYNE
Mar 9 167 Charles WOOD
Mar 9 168 William PENNY
Mar 21 177 John EVANS
Apr 5 180 William RAYNER
Apr 16 181 James TEMLETT
Apr 19 184 Richard PAINTER
Apr 30 188 Christopher WEBB
The trade developed in time into an extensive and lucrative business - even during the first seven months of operation the official returns disclose that about 50 000 lbs. of ivory, 17 0000 lbs. of gum and 15 000 hides were bought by the traders. There was no cash involved in the trading, barter being the general custom. Beads and small buttons were the normal means of exchange for articles other than ivory which commanded the harder currency of head buttons, knives, tinder boxes, axes, blankets and handkerchiefs...."
Many of the settlers were given extra land at Rietfontien ( where they had originally been settled and then asked to move to Salem). However, Thomas KING is mentioned as occupying lot number 40 of Salem which was in the extent of 9 morgen and 540 roods.
On Page 62: Thomas KING eventually took up his allotment in Rietfontien ( Reed Fountain) occupying lot 2, while Thomas F. KING occupied lots 3 & 4.
" By the time the general registration of the allotments at Salem and Reed Fountain took place in the decade of 1840, some of the original settlers, or their heirs, owned large holdings in the two locations. At Salem two-thirds of the land rights were held by eight Sephton settlers or settler families - in order of size they were Charles Thomas CROFT, Thomas SEPHTON, William GRAVETT, the family FILMER, Richard GUSH, William H. MATTHEWS, Charles PENNY snr., amd the SLATER family. At Reed Fountain Charles PENNY jnr., owned 70% of the land, the KING family 10% and John TALBOT 6% - in all 85% of the 2, 084 morgen and 90 square roods. Eventually young Charles PENNY came into possession of all the ground at Reed Fountain.
From 1820 until the year 1903, when a Village Board of Management replaced the earlier system, the communal settlement at Salem was managed by the owners of the allotments. For the first few years after the establishment of the village the members appear to have represented regional groups of about ten settler families each, but within twenty years the membership of the committee consisted mainly of the larger landowners. William H. MATTEWS served almost without a break until his death in 1867, while his son, William D.H. MATTHEWS, the settlers Charles PENNY and Thomas KING and some of their sons, William GRAVETT, Charles TALBOT, Charles BUTT and members of the GUSH and HILL families also served as members at various times."
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