Mark Cockcroft, 1820 Settler

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Mark Cockcroft, 1820 Settler

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Leeds, Yorkshire, England
Death: Died in Dordrecht, Stormberg District, Eastern Cape, South Africa
Place of Burial: South Africa
Immediate Family:

Son of Charles Cockcroft, SV/PROG and Harriet Ann Cockcroft, SM/PROG
Husband of Elizabeth Ann Cockcroft, 1820 Settler and Anna Magrieta Cockcroft
Father of Mary Harriet Cockcroft; Charles William Rufus Cockcroft; Isabella Austen Robey; John Henry Cockcroft; George Harrison Cockcroft and 5 others
Brother of Thomas Cockcroft, Snr and William Cockcroft

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Mark Cockcroft, 1820 Settler

1820 British Settler


Mark Cockcroft (7) together with his parents Harriet Farrar Bailie (36), and Charles Cockcroft (35), a Cloth dresser, and 2 siblings, were members of Jonathan Wainwright's Party of 24 Settlers on "The John.

Party originated from Yorkshire, England.

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

Area Allocated to the Party : Harewood, Lynedoch River.

Siblings :

   
  • Thomas Cockcroft 13
  • William Cockcroft 9

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ATTACK ON MR. M. COCKROFT'S STATION

Graham's Town June 2nd 1846

To the Editor: Sir, Having seen an incorrect statement in the Frontier Times of the attack on my camp, and pursuit of the cattle after being taken by the Kaffirs, I beg to send you the following true version of the case. The reason that no report has been sent to you before this is that our leader, Mr. BRADSHAW, promised to send it, and we were not aware but he had done so.

On the 24th April, about half past six o'clock, the Kaffirs attacked our cattle kraal and house, keeping up a constant firing on both. Our little party were completely taken by surprise ... it being the first attack made in that neighbourhood, and the party only consisting at the time of eight men, including Mr. PURDON senior, Mr. DAVIS and Mr. BROWN, all aged persons, besides about seven herds, only two of whom had time to run from the kraal and get their guns, firing several shots at the Kaffirs; the others retreated into the kloof below the kraal. The remainder of our party were out on patrol with Mr. BRADSHAW at the time. It is supposed from the heavy firing that there were at least one or two hundred Kaffirs. These got into a position, so as to prevent any of us coming out of our barricading. Their balls were well directed, a great many striking the barricade and the house from 2 to 4 feet high. They must have fired some hundreds of shots, as such as did not strike the house went whizzing over our heads like hails stones. The firing was retuned by our party, whenever we could see anything to fire at. We all kept in readiness, expecting the Kaffirs to close in upon us, when we should have been able to make them pay dearly for our cattle. Mr. BRADSHAW, with his usual promptness, came down with his men from the Kaffir pass to our assistance, but he was too late, the whole of our cattle, with the exception a few old cows, some calves and two old oxen, being gone, The cattle were in number about 811 head. Thus in one short hour we were stripped of what we have been working hard for for the last eleven years. This is the second time that most of us have had our houses and oat hay burnt. Poor old Mr. PURDON's case I think is very hard. He is now in his old age, almost 70 years, once more brought down to nearly actual want. His house, a good substantial stone building, containing five rooms, together with the whole of his oat hay, is burnt, and he has not so much as an ox to span in, or a milch cow left. In fact the whole of our wagons are now standing still for want of oxen to work them. At daylight on the following morning some of our party, with Mr. BRADSHAW and his party, and Mr. O'BRIEN, and about ten of his men from Cawood's Post, proceeded on the spoor of the cattle, which passed near Mr. DRIVER's place, through the Fish River Bush, and then went on the wagon road to Committees. They went across the Fish River a few hundred yards above the post. On our route to Committees we met with no opposition from the Kaffirs, but before we arrived at the post we could see our cattle passing through Stock's Country, past Breakfast Vley. On account of the jaded state of our horses, night coming on, and not being able to get any assistance from the post, it was not thought prudent to proceed any further. We left the post about 10 the following morning for Graham's Town. After proceeding about six miles we fell in with a very large drove of cattle. As far as we could see the road appeared one mass of cattle and Kaffirs. The first lot that we came in contact with had no doubt been selected, they being nearly all choice black cattle, and well guarded ... a strong party of Kaffirs being both in front and behind the cattle. When we advanced they all fell in the rear of the cattle, and opened a brisk fire on us, which was as gallantly returned by those of our party who were in the advance. We are happy to say that, under Divine providence, we sustained no loss on our side, except one horse shot. The Kaffirs shot too high, and most of us were dismounted. The loss on the side of the Kaffirs was but very small, not being more than from four to six killed, and about the same number wounded, and which was the consequence of one of the party calling out to retreat, an order that was unfortunately obeyed by many of the party retiring about three quarters of a mile, leaving but a very few of us to combat with the Kaffirs. Finding ourselves thus abandoned by so many of our party, we were obliged to leave the [words at end of lines unclear on digital photo]??? and fall back on Committees, just at the time when we were getting in position to have done some work ??? the Kaffirs before they could receive a reinforcement. After halting about an hour, we proceeded from Committees to Trompetters, where we remained all night. Next morning we proceeded through the ?bush? when Mr. O.BRIEN and his party left for Graham's Town, Mr. BRADSHAW and his party taking the direction FRASER's ?house?. On arriving at the Clay Pits some hundreds of Kaffirs were lying in wait in the bush along the path we were going, but some of them being seen and ?trackable? Kaffir spoors being visible in the path, we immediately altered our course, and dashed through the wagon road. On ascending the opposite hill we perceived the ?narrow? escape we had had, the Kaffirs pouring out of the bush like ants, and whom we then challenged to come on. Had we not seen them, and got into the buob, it is our opinion that very few if any of us would have come out again. Our party being only 25 men, we did not think it prudent to attack them. We are bound to speak highly of Mr. O'BRIEN, and some few of his party, in the whole of the affair, and especially of our old tried friend and leader, Mr. BRADSHAW.

This statement is given by several of those who were on the spot and who will vouch for the correctness of it. We are sorry that such a statement as that in the Times has appeared, and which, in recording that 100 Kaffirs were killed, instead of about 10, is calculated to make a very false impression upon the public in respect to the present warfare.

M. COCKROFT

On behalf of several others

"South Africa, Church of the Province of South Africa, Parish Registers, 1801-2004," images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-23580-59418-55?cc=1468076&wc=MCM6-QWB:44975801,44975802,49887301,49891401 : accessed 12 Jul 2014), South Africa > Cape of Good Hope > Grahamstown, Bathurst, St John the Evangelist > Baptisms, marriages, burials 1829-1849 > image 33 of 108; citing William Cullen Library, Wits University, Johannesburg.

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Mark Cockcroft, 1820 Settler's Timeline

1811
December 7, 1811
Leeds, Yorkshire, England
1832
December 31, 1832
Age 21
Bathurst, Cape, South Africa
1833
June 10, 1833
Age 21
Bathurst, Western District, Eastern Cape, South Africa
1835
May 27, 1835
Age 23
Bathurst, Eastern Cape, South Africa
1837
July 30, 1837
Age 25
Eastern Cape, South Africa
1840
August 4, 1840
Age 28
New Bristol, Lower Albany, Cape Province, South Africa
1841
August 20, 1841
Age 29
Amatole, Eastern Cape, South Africa
1843
September 8, 1843
Age 31
New Bristol Farm, Albany District, South Africa
1845
November 25, 1845
Age 33
Eastern Cape, South Africa
1848
May 30, 1848
Age 36
Grahamstown, Western District, Eastern Cape, South Africa