Joseph Oldham (c.1786 - 1858)

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Birthplace: Suffolk, UK
Death: Died in Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
Managed by: Roger Dixon
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Joseph Oldham

Joseph Oldham was a Master Mariner by trade.

BAILIE'S PARTY

No. 33 on the Colonial Department list, led by John Bailie of 7 Manchester Buildings, Westminster, London, a civil servant who had held the position of Secretary to the British War Claims Commission. Bailie was introduced to the Colonial Department by an influential patron, William Huskisson, MP for Chichester, Commissioner for Wood and Forests and a former Under-Secretary to the Colonial Department, and his application to emigrate was one of the first to be accepted.

This was one of the three large joint-stock parties (Bailie's, Sephton's and Willson's) with a high proportion of skilled tradesmen and professional men, which were intended to form 'village centres' in the new Albany settlement.

The party was first formed after a public meeting for prospective emigrants was held at the Crown and Anchor Tavern in the Strand, London, on 9 August 1819. Bailie made a speech in favour of the emigration scheme which was well received in spite of Radical opposition. Nearly 600 people applied to emigrate under his direction, and from them Bailie selected the hundred whose names were included in the first list he submitted to the Colonial Department. (Only a third of the names in this first list appeared in the party's final sailing list.) These were mostly men who possessed some means but could not afford to take out proprietary parties of their own. Many of them had already made independent enquiries to the Colonial Department and had been told that only applications from heads of parties would be considered.

There were numerous fluctuations and alterations in the composition of the party before and after the deposit money for 90 men and their families was remitted late in October. Many of the people whose names were on the early lists dropped out altogether and were replaced by others, some of them from other parties. Alexander Biggar and William Clark withdrew to form parties of their own, and Robert Holditch left Bailie to join Parker's party. George King and George Duffy changed to Bailie's party from Willson's. Patrick Bagley, John Goodwin and William Reed joined Bailie's party after they had applied to take out separate small parties and been rejected.

The remnants of two other London parties were absorbed into Bailie's: James Leader, John Leonard and William Nobbs with their leader James Hoole, and Thomas and Edwin Oldham, Richard Taylor, Thomas Mills and Thomas Saunders with their leader Joseph Oldham. A quarter of the party as it was finally constituted was made up of skilled London tradesmen, 'several of them the first rate tradespeople of their line', but Bailie himself remarked on his 'numerous country settlers' who included his brother-in-law Henry Crause from Kent, Robert Bovey from Devon and the Biddulph family from Staffordshire.

The Articles of Agreement of the party bound its members to mutual assistance. Two versions were drawn up: the first, dated 6 October 1819, stipulated that each of its signatories was to receive a full 100 acres of land. Latecomers to the party signed the second version which entitled them to 50 acres only. A village was planned with provision for public amenities, and ground was to be cleared at first and houses built by communal labour. Tools and implements and a library were to be held as common stock, and the purchase or employment of slaves and the sale of spirituous liquor were strictly forbidden.

This was almost certainly the wealthiest of the joint-stock parties, with the highest proportion of 'gentleman settlers'. Bailie, Biddulph, Chase, Crause and Ford were all accompanied by indentured servants, and the Biddulph, Reed and Hewson families had capital which they intended to invest in business enterprises at the Cape.

Unlike the directors of the other large settler parties, Bailie did not seek permission for a clergyman to accompany his party. He did, however, include three medical men: Dr Daniel O'Flinn (whose deposit he paid) and two surgeons, Edward Roberts and Peter Campbell. Campbell was one of several settlers who quarreled with Bailie before sailing and obtained permission to travel separately from the rest of the party. He sailed as surgeon in the Aurora and chose to be located with Sephton's party. Three 'gentleman settlers', Bishop Burnett, Henry Lovemore and John Goodwin, broke away from the party to sail as independent emigrants in the Ocean, Sir John Osborn and Medusa transports respectively; Burnett and Goodwin received land grants in Albany, and Lovemore purchased a farm near Algoa Bay.

The party embarked in the Chapman transport at Deptford, in company with a small party led by John Carlisle - a last minute arrangement resulting from the reduction in size of Bailie's party which was to have occupied the whole ship. Patrick Bagley, a veteran soldier and shoemaker, missed the Chapman's sailing and was permitted to join Willson's party on La Belle Alliance instead. The Chapman sailed from Gravesend on 3 December 1819, and on 9 December dropped her pilot, as well as several seasick settlers, at the Downs.

Six babies were born at sea, and an epidemic of whooping-cough on board resulted in the deaths of five children under the age of 2 and one 5-year-old boy. The Chapman anchored in Table Bay on 17 March 1820, and was placed under quarantine; however, Sarah Reed was allowed to go on shore to marry the Chapman's Captain, John Milbank. A printing press belonging to Edward Roberts, Thomas Stringfellow and Robert Godlonton was confiscated by the authorities.

The Chapman was the first of the settler ships to anchor in Algoa Bay on 10 April 1820. William Low, one of Bailie's servants, did not land with the other settlers but remained on the ship as a sailor. Another servant, Christopher Franz, and Daniel Hockly, WD Cowper and John Leonard were offered employment while at Algoa Bay and permitted to leave the party. The remainder of the party was escorted by the Landdrost of Uitenhage, Colonel Cuyler, to its location at the mouth of the Great Fish River. Sixty-four one-acre lots were measured for a village which was named Cuyler Town (later Cuylerville). Bailie received a separate grant of land (The Hope) as did Simon Biddulph (Birbury).

In the confined quarters of an emigrant ship during their four months at sea, friction had developed among the settlers and Bailie's authoritarian attitude had created resentment. Soon after locating, permission was given for the party to subdivide into five smaller groups under Bailie, TP Adams, George Anderson, James Ford and Thomas Wakeford.

LIST OF BAILIE'S PARTY

ADAMS, Matthew 20. Watchmaker. ADAMS, Thomas Price 39. Wine merchant. w Mary 30. c Mary Price 4, Frances 1 (died at sea). ANDERSON, George 48. Carpenter. w Isabella 45. c Benjamin 14, Isabella 8. ANDERSON, George 24. Carpenter. ANDERSON, Robert 26. Carpenter. ANDERSON, William 21. Carpenter. BAILIE, John 31. Civil servant. w Amelia 28. c Charles Theodore 10, Archibald Hope 8, Thomas Cockburn 6, John Amelius 4. BALL, William 31. Pensioner, 24th Regt (servant to JC Chase). BARTON, George 21. Farmer. BELMOUR, Henry 29. Labourer (servant to Henry Lovemore). w Ann 28. BIDDULPH, James Henry 20. Grocer. BIDDULPH, John Burnet 23. Midshipman RN. BIDDULPH, Louisa 24 (daughter of Simon Biddulph). BIDDULPH, Simon 58. Farmer. w Ann 48. c William Burnet 14, Frances Maria 12. BLAIR, William 47. Baker and mealman. w Jane 50. BOVEY, Robert Michelmore 27. Farmer. BYRNE, Alexander 36. Shoemaker. w Elizabeth 33. c Rhoda 11, Jane 6, Robert 4, Alexander 2. CHASE, John Centlivres 24. Merchant. w Arabella 21. c Louisa 1 (died at sea). COLLEN, William Thomas 19. Labourer (servant to Henry Lovemore). COWPER, James 10 (in the care of WD Cowper). COWPER, William Devereaux 21. Farmer. COX, Edward John 25. Watchmaker. c Edward 2. CRAUSE, Henry Augustus 29. Capt, 2nd Garrison Battn (half-pay). w Helen 25. c Charles 6. DEVINE, Timothy 33. Carpenter. w Eleanor 30. c John 11, Bridget 6, Jeremiah 4, Catherine 2. DUFFY, John 42. Pensioner, 47th/81st Regt. w Ann 44, c Charles 10, John 8, George 4. EVENDEN, Mary 17 (servant to Henry Crause). FLANEGAN, Timothy 38. Gunsmith. w Mary 40. c Mary Anne 15, James Frederick 10, Arthur Stephen 7, Elizabeth 3. FORBES, William 27. Shoemaker. FORD, James Edward 50. Woolstapler. w Frances 40. c Frances Jane 14, James Samuel 13, George Henry 11, Edward Stransham 9, Adelaide Elizabeth 8, Jane Murray 6, John Henry 3. FRANZ, John Christopher 29. Vine dresser. w Ann 25. c Ann 7, Helen 4, a boy born at sea. FULGON, George Vernon 23. Sugar planter. FUTTER, George 38. Shoemaker. w Sarah 35. c George 9, John 7, Sarah Jane 5, Elizabeth 2. GARLAND, Joseph 44. Naval pensioner. w Ann 42. GODLONTON, Robert 25. Printer. w Mary Ann 27. c Mary Ann 4. GOODES, John 25. Plumber. w Anna 24. c Sarah 3, Charlotte 1 (died at sea). GOODES, Joseph William 29. Plumber. w Mary 28. c Mary Anne 3, Elizabeth 2. GRAY, William 18. Labourer (servant to JE Ford). GRIFFIN, Thomas 34. Gunsmith. w Sarah 31. c Sarah 9, Thomas 8, Elizabeth 6, Harriet 4, Joseph 3, James 2, Margaret (born at sea). GUNNING, Bartholomew 42. Hatter. w Mary 32. HARDEN, William 25. Cabinetmaker and upholsterer. w Maria 25. c Jane 4, Maria 2. HARRISON, William 30. Farmer and miller. w Ann 30. c George 2, Mary (born at sea). HART, Eliza 19 (daughter of William Hart). HART, William 46. Cornet, Royal Wagon Train (half-pay). c Henry George 10. HEATH, John Henry 26. Attorney. w Maria 23. c John Henry 2. HEWSON, Edwin Benjamin 19. Gunsmith. HEWSON, Thomas William 42. Gunsmith. w Elizabeth 38. c Isabella 14, Eliza 11, Emma 8, Frederick William 3. HEX, William 17 (brother-in-law to Robert Godlonton). HEZELL (or HAZELL), Thomas 19. Labourer. HOCKLY, Daniel 32. Silversmith. w Elizabeth 29. c Daniel 6 (died at sea), Elizabeth Ann 4, Harriet 3, Frances Chapman (born at sea). HOOLE, James 31. Dyer and straw plat dealer. w Jane 32. c Abel Worth 8, James Cotterell 4, Jane 1 (died at sea). KING, George 31. 2nd Lieut Royal Marines (half-pay). KING, Richard 27. Clerk. KNOTT, Kemp (the real name of William Harrison: see above). LAWLER, John 32. Sawyer. w Ann 30. c Mary (born at sea). LEADER, James 28. Farmer. w Ann 30. c Ann 3, James 1. LEECH, John 39. Pensioner. Corpl 22nd Light Dragoons (servant to Simon Biddulph). LEONARD, John 29. Tanner. w Elizabeth 25. c Mary Ann 3, Elizabeth 2. LLOYD, Henry James 28. Worsted twister. w Rebecca 26. c Henry Thomas 6, William Richard 4, Charles 1. LOW, James 20. Carpenter. LOW, William 19. Carpenter (remained in Chapman as a member of the crew). McNAMARA, Mary 28 (sister-in-law of John Lawler). MARILLIER, Philip Richard 27. Businessman. MATHEW, Augustus Thomas 19. Linen-draper. MEAD, Thomas 19. Wheelwright (servant to Henry Lovemore). MILLS, Thomas 21. Corn dealer. NOBBS, William 31. Farmer. O'FLINN, Daniel 27. Physician and surgeon. w Margaret 28. OLDHAM, Edwin 21. Shopkeeper. OLDHAM, Joseph 33. Master mariner. w Dorcas 30. c Harriet 12, Mary Anne 7, Lucretia 3, Josepha 1. OLDHAM, Thomas Wesley 27. Shopkeeper. PLOWMAN (or PLEWMAN), Michael 40. Pensioner, Sergt of Marines. w Isabella 37. PLOWMAN (or PLEWMAN), Thomas 23. Cabinetmaker. REED, Henry John 18. Farmer. REED, Sarah Eliza 20 (daughter of W Reed). REED, William 45. Farmer. w Elizabeth 37. c Charles 11, Louisa 9, James Samuel 7, George Thomas 1. REED, William James 22. Farmer. ROBERTS, Edward 27. Surgeon. ROSE, John 27. Silversmith. ROWLES, John 29. Clerk. w Sarah 27. c Amelia 2, John 1 (died at sea). SAUNDERS, John 22. Shoemaker. SEYMOUR, William 32. Baker. w Sarah 29. SHORTMAN, James 19. Labourer. SOMERVILLE, James Quaile 29. Baker. STOKES, George 25. Bookbinder. STRINGFELLOW, Thomas King 30. Printer. w Ann 30. c Ann Maria 5, Mary Ann 3 Sarah 1. TAYLOR, Richard 30. Clerk. THOMPSON, John 26. Baker. w Mary 29. c John 6, James (born at sea). TUCKER, Henry 31. Clerk. VOKINS, Henry 38. Shoemaker. w Lucy 36. c Mary Anne 17. WADE, William 20. Druggist. w Sarah. WAKEFORD, Thomas 34. Gardener. W Mary 36. c Thomas 13. WAKEFORD, William 12 (in the care of Thomas Wakeford). WALKER, John 21. Apothecary. WHITTAL, Francis 22. Farmer. WILLIAMS, Mary 30 (servant to JC Chase).

  • BURNETT, Bishop 33. Farmer. w Mary Ann 28. c Edward Burnett 6, Thomas Deans 5. (Sailed in Ocean).
  • GOODWIN, John Foulis 46. Wine merchant. w Mary Ann 39. c Mary Ann 17, John Francis 11, Henry Samuel 7. (Sailed in Medusa).
  • LOVEMORE, Henry 35. Wine merchant. w Ann 29, c Eliza 15, Robert 6, Henry 5, Nancy 3, Maria 2, Sophia. (Sailed in Sir George Osborn).
  • PAGE, George 26 (servant to John Goodwin). w Mary 23. (Sailed in Medusa).
  • WAY, Robert 51. Merchant (father-in-law to Henry Lovemore). (Sailed in Sir George Osborn).

Main sources for party list Return of Settlers under the direction of John Bailie (Cape Archives CO 6138/1,94). This return was submitted by Bailie to the colonial office in Cape Town and includes births and deaths that occurred during the voyage.

George Stokes, a late addition to the party, was unaccountably omitted from the final return. WT Collen, an indentured servant of Henry Lovemore, was incorrectly listed as William Collins. 'William Harrison' is believed to have been an alias for Kemp Knott, whose reason for emigrating under a false name is not known; he reverted to the use of his real name about 1822. John Duffy, aged 8, was not listed in the final return but evidently emigrated with the rest of his family, as colonial records show he was on the location early in 1821.

  • The names of Bishop Burnett, John Goodwin and his servant George Page, and Henry Lovemore and his father-in-law Robert Way have been added to the list of Bailie's party for ease of reference, although they separated from the party in England and sailed as independent settlers in different ships. They did not associate themselves with any other party. Two other former members of Bailie's party, Patrick Bagley and Peter Campbell, have been listed with Willson's and Sephton's parties respectively since they not only sailed with them but were located with them in Albany.

Further reading MD Nash, Bailie's Party of 1820 Settlers (Cape Town, AA Balkema, 1892).

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Joseph Oldham's Timeline

1786
January 16, 1786
1786
Suffolk, UK
1807
March 31, 1807
Age 21
1812
February 29, 1812
Age 26
1814
April 5, 1814
Age 28
1816
May 20, 1816
Age 30
1819
April 16, 1819
Age 33
City of London, Greater London, UK
1858
April 27, 1858
Age 72
Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
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