Joseph Richards (1795 - 1841)

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Birthplace: Flushing, Cornwall, England
Death: Died in Grahamstown, Cape Province, South Africa
Cause of death: Consumption (tuberculosis)
Managed by: Zoe Jeffery
Last Updated:

About Joseph Richards

1820 British Settler

Joseph Richards 25, was part of Osler's Party of 32 people on the Weymouth.

Party originated from Cornwall.

Departure Portsmouth, 7 January 1820. Arrival Table Bay, Cape Town - 16 April 1820. Final Port - Algoa Bay, Port Elizabeth 15 May 1820

Area Allocated to the Party : Mansfield River. The party was located on the left bank of the Mansfield River and Benjamin named the location Pendennis. (Pendennis Head and Pendennis castle are landmarks overlooking Falmouth Bay).

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Nash speculates in The Settler Handbook that "Joseph Richards" was actually a son of Benjamin Osler, in which case "Sally" (3) and "Phillis" (1) could be Joseph's two youngest siblings.

http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/SOUTH-AFRICA-IMMIGRANTS-BRITISH/2010-10/1287611850

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Died at Graham's Town on Friday 22nd inst Mr.Joseph Richards, a native of Truro, Cornwall, aged 43 years. He was an 1820 Settler and had passed through the various gradations of an immigrant's life with credit to himself and was an asset to his adopted country. Though of retiring habits and seldom moving out of the domestic circle, he was justly esteemed by those who knew him for his general intelligence and scrupulous integrity in all his dealings. The disease which terminated his mortal career was consumption, greatly aggravated by being driven from his farm, with the loss of all his property, by the Kafir eruption of 1835. For the last twelve months of his life his sufferings were great, but he bore them with the firmness of a man and the patience and resignation of a Christian. A widow and a family of seven children were left to deplore this most afflictive bereavement. To his personal friends his memory would be ever cherished as a bright example of steady attachment and for an exhibition of what the poet meant when he recorded that "An Honest Man is the Noblest Work of God".

Grahamstown Journal : Jul-Dec 1841

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Came out to the Eastern Cape with Osler's Party - all Cornishmen. Lost everything during the 'Great Kafir eruption' of 1835 (known now as the 6th Frontier War 1834-1835), having been settled right on the then frontier. Hordes of warriors poured over the frontier laying waste to homesteads. Things got very hairy in Grahamstown at the time - the town almost fell. Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Harry Smith was sent to take over the garrison to save the situation, hence his famed 6 day, 600 mile Cape Town to Graham'stown ride. Joseph was forced to give up farming as a result & return to original trade as boot & shoemaker. He was not alone - over 800 homesteads had been destroyed in the invasion. The Richards family and other Settlers were mere pawns in the Colonial politics of the time, as were the hapless indigenous people. Colonial arrogance and inconsistency were major causes of most ,if not all of the frontier wars. The Xhosa people were, and are, extremely proud. They could bear the indignities heaped on them and especially their chiefs only for so long. Unfortunately, even the most liberal European did not even see a Xhosa chief or king as an equal, where the latter might sometimes have seen even a high-ranking colonial official as someone of lower rank! [According to JB Peires]. Continual cattle-raiding reprisals, massacres and seizure or annexations of ancestral land were another source of indignation. War was inevitable. The 6th Frontier War began as a result of Xhoxho, the bother of chief Tyhali ,being shot in the head while defiantly grazing the chief's cattle in forbidden territory. This was the last straw. 'Pro-Colonial writers have made much of the slightness of the wound, but there can be little doubt that the indignation was genuine. Xhoxho was wounded in the head; in intention he was dead. The reaction of the people was spontaneous: "Every Caffre who saw Xoxo's wound went back to his hut, took his assagay, and shield, and set out to fight, and said 'It is better that we die than be treated thus...Life is no use to us if they shoot our chiefs' "[JB Peires again].

'The chiefs themselves were more conciliatory, and Tyhali sent a letter to Commandant Somerset,saying [essentially] that he could no longer restrain his followers and that only a strong show of force by the Colony could prevent a full-scale war. The Xhosa rushed into the Colony to avenge their chiefs, their lands, their losses at the hands of the commandos [usually punitive patrols intended to recapture stolen cattle/horses,but more often than not reprisals to seize livestock from innocent kraals and even a pretext to seize more than was stolen in the first place]. Their initial successes forced the initially reluctant chiefs to throw themselves wholeheartedly into the fray. ' [JB Peires] 'This frontier war was primarily a Ngqika [affair], but it involved all the Xhosa. Hintsa was consulted and approved. He was in touch with the frontier Xhosa and aware of their difficulties. Chiefs were being shot, their cattle seized, their lands appropriated. He must have felt he was next in line. Moreover,these chiefs were his relatives ,members of the clan of which he was the head.' [JB Peires].

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Joseph Richards's Timeline

1795
1795
Cornwall, England
1824
September 23, 1824
Age 29
Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, South Africa
1825
September 11, 1825
Age 30
Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, South Africa
1827
January 31, 1827
Age 32
South Africa
1829
June 15, 1829
Age 34
Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, South Africa
1830
October 7, 1830
Age 35
1831
December 29, 1831
Age 36
Grahamstown, Albany, Eastern Cape, South Africa
1833
August 17, 1833
Age 38
Grahamstown, Western District, Eastern Cape, South Africa
1835
July 7, 1835
Age 40
South Africa
1840
November 11, 1840
Age 45
South Africa