David Cawood, Snr, SV/PROG

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David Cawood, Snr, SV/PROG

Birthplace: Keighley, Yorkshire, England
Death: Died in Albany, Cape, South Africa
Place of Burial: Shaw Park, Bathurst, Cape, South Africa
Immediate Family:

Son of Joshua Cawood, Jnr and Mary Lister
Husband of Mary Cawood, SM/PROG
Father of James Cawood, b1; William Cawood; John Cawood, b3; Elizabeth Gradwell, SM; Mary Hartley and 5 others
Brother of James Cawood; Joshua Cawood; John Cawood; Mary Cawood; Samuel Cawood and 4 others

Occupation: Woollen Manufacturer
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About David Cawood, Snr, SV/PROG

1820 British Settler

David Cawood 43, Woollen manufacturer, together with his Mary Smith 33, and their 10 children, were members of Hayhurst's Party of 107 people on the Settler ship, John.

Party originated from Lancashire, England.

Departed Liverpool, 13 January 1820. Arrival Table Bay, Cape Town - 19 April 1820. Final Port - Algoa Bay, Port Elizabeth, May 1820.

Area allocated to the Party : Trappes Valley

Children :

  • James Cawood 21
  • William Cawood 19
  • John Cawood 18
  • Joshua Cawood 16
  • Elizabeth Cawood 13
  • Mary Cawood 12
  • Samuel Cawood 10
  • Sarah Cawood 9
  • Joseph Cawood 5
  • David Cawood 1




They had 10 children - 7 sons and 3 daughters. The three daughters married three 1820 settlers: Gradwell, Hartley and Kelbrick. Said to have left his "ancestral home, Way Bank Hall, Yorkshire" to emigrate. Said to be woollen manufacturers in Yorkshire.


The Story of the British Settlers of 1820 in South Africa by Harold Edward HOCKLY, Second edition SEP 1966, Juta & Co. Limited.

The sons Joshua, Samuel and David were famous big-game hunters and pioneers in Natal. The son Joseph was a member of the Legislative Council, 1859 - 1863. The son Joshua was a member of the House of Assembly, 1860 - 3. The son Samuel was a member of the House of Assembly, 1859, and of the Legislative Council, 1883.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The Cawoods by Mary Pearson: Thomas and Sarah’s daughter Mary Lister b. 1732 was one of at least 8 children. She married Joshua Cawood of Otley in 1756 and one of their children was David, our 1820 settler. Their grave at Keighley church has a handsome gravestone with Joshua and Mary’s names and those of four of their children.

As the Lister family of Bingley seems to have been quite wealthy, it seems likely that Thomas Lister financed or assisted the Cawoods away from the nailmaking industry of Otley to the textile manufacturing industry of Keighley and Bingley. Thomas was a wealthy man by 1753 when he restored the Buttercross and his daughter married three years later. In 1750 the cotton spinning industry had begun and the first cotton mill in Keighley was built in 1780, Airworth Mill. James Cawood, David’s older brother, was spinning cotton there with two others in 1787 at the age of 30. In 1798 David, already a ‘worsted manufacturer’, married Mary Smith (daughter of Mary Smith, which hints that she was illegitimate), a few months before their first child was born, with a John Smith (her grandfather?) as witness. (Many family trees have her parents wrongly as James Smith and Martha Sowden). Mills for worsted (woollen) manufacturing began to be built in 1801 in Keighley, and by 1804 our Cawood family were living in Harden, a small town near Keighley and Bingley, the same year that David’s father Joseph died. William Wilkinson, father of a brother in law of David, built a worsted mill in South Street in 1808. Our family are now given as ‘of Waybank Hall’ (presumably in Harden). The family tradition is that David was a wealthy cotton mill owner, when in fact he was a ‘worsted manufacturer’ (woollen manufacturer). Family tradition has it that David pioneered the switch over from hand-operated cotton looms to power-driven looms early in the 19th century, and that workers burned down his mill in protest. However, power looms were only introduced to Keighley in 1836 and protestors only started burning down mills after that, long after our family had emigrated in 1820. Also, the difficulties of the family were attributed to the ‘cotton famine’ whereas this was only experienced later in the century.

No record or trace can be found of ‘their ancestral home’ Waybank Hall or Cawood’s Mill in Harden where the family were living when their children were baptised according to the records. However, the hall may have been only a small house. Intriguingly, there is a Bank House in Harden, overlooking the river where there used to be a mill which was burned down. This may provide a hint as to where the family were living. The mill may have burned down by accident as so many did, and the family’s fortunes were ruined. Significantly, although they were still living in Harden for a couple of years, their children after 1808 were christened in Bingley rather than in Keighley.

By 1814 David’s brother in law Richard Wilkinson had persuaded the family to join him at the mills of Sabden, near Preston, according to Betty Cawood’s memoirs, where the last two children were born. Many worsted manufacturers got into financial difficulties and by the following year William Wilkinson was one of them. David’s mother Mary Lister died in 1818, and the family which by then consisted of David and Mary with 10 children, arranged their emigration to the Cape the year after.

Bank House overlooking the river that runs through Harden, below a steep bank, where there is a burned out mill.

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David Cawood, Snr, SV/PROG's Timeline

April 9, 1775
Keighley, Yorkshire, England
April 9, 1798
Age 23
Bingley, Yorkshire, England
October 21, 1798
Age 23
Cawoods Mill, Keighley, Yorkshire, England
August 3, 1799
Age 24
Keighley, West Yorkshire, UK
June 4, 1801
Age 26
Bingley, West Yorkshire, UK
June 13, 1805
Age 30
Waybank Hall, Bingley, Yorkshire, England
January 3, 1807
Age 31
Cawoods Mill, Keighley, Yorkshire, England
January 11, 1807
Age 31
Cawoods Mill, Bingley, Yorkshire, England
April 16, 1808
Age 33
Cawoods Mill, Keighley, Yorkshire, England
December 8, 1810
Age 35
Cawoods Mill, Keighley, Yorkshire, England