About Richard Brangan Hulley
1880 11 Mar - Zululand under Dingaan
Account of the Rev Owen's visit to Zululand in the year 1837
As related by Mr. R.B. Hulley
(The Rev. Mr. Kirby, a neighbour of Mr Hulley, the interpreter to the Rev. Mr. Owen, Missionary at Dingaan's Kraal when Retief and his party were massacred, has taken down from Mr. Hulley's dictation the following narrative. We feel sure that this plain unvarnished tale will be read with great interest, and we hope that others may have similar opportunities of preserving accounts given by eye-witnesses of the stirring events in the earlier periods of our history, will be induced to commit them to writing before it is to late.)
In the month of June 1837, I was engaged by the Rev. Mr. Owen to accompany him to Zululand in the capacity of interpreter and artisan. We started in the same month from Butterworth, a Wesleyan Mission Station, in Gcalekaland, with three wagons, two for the conveyance of the Mission party, witch consisted of Mr. And Mrs. Owen and myself and family, the third wagon containing provisions for the journey. The Bulk of our goods were sent round by ship from Algoa Bay to wait our arrival at the Natal Port. Usarili (Kreli) then a young man was about this time acknowledged as paramount chief of his tribe - The Gcaleka.
On the third day after our departure from Butterworth, we crossed the Bashee River, about twelve miles below Clarkbury Mission Station. On the banks of the river near Clarkbury lived Ufadana, the Regent in Tambuki country during the minority of Umtikaka, son of the deceased Chief, Umguba Ucuka. With great difficulty we crossed the Umtata at the lower wagon drift. Three days after we reached the Mission Station near the Little Umgazi River in Pondoland. The station is about seven miles from the Chief's Great Kraal. Faku at that time was Chief of the Pondo's only. Sometime after he became an ally of our Government, and was made Paramount Chief over all the tribes in the territory, lying between the Umzimkulu and the Umtata. The Pondos were then living for the most part between the rivers Umtata and Umzimkulu, a few only residing on the northern side of the last mentioned river, and on neither side of the river were they residing more that twenty miles inland. The Amapondomise at this time were under their own Chief, Umeki, the grandfather of the present Umlondhlo, acknowledged Faku as paramount chief. This tribe, then very small, was living near the Umtata, between the present wagon drift and the abovementioned at which we had crossed. The Pondo people were in a state of great poverty, their country having been clean swept by the Zulus and but for the productiveness of the soil the people must have been scattered. The Rev. Mr. Boyce was then missionary with Faku. On our arrival he called the Chief, and in order to secure permission for our journey through the country, stated the object of our journey. Our trek from Buntingville to the Umzimvubu was over exceedingly broken and hilly country.
The Umzimvubu we crossed at the ebb and flow drift, so entering the country occupied by the Amabaca. These people were living mostly between the Gosa Bush and the Tabankulu Mountain. Uncapai was the Chief. His headman told me that the tribe had purchased the country in which they lived from Faku for one hundred oxen. The chief thus became an ally of Faku; the late Dama's sister was given into marriage to Uncapai to confirm their alliance of friendship. It was in this country, as I learned from the Bacas, near the junction of the rivers Umzimhlava and Umzimvuba, that copper ore was plentiful, the people living on the spot sold to the parts of the tribes living at a distance from this ore which the called Mqabu, (green paint.) The side of the Bacas also informed me that the Xesibes, then a small tribe, were living in this country, and tha the two tribes formed an alliance for mutual protection against their enemies. Leaving these tribes, we traveled on for about one hundred and twenty miles through entirely uninhabited country.
Nearing the Umzinto we found a few kraals belonging to the Fynns who had formerly resided in Kafirland. Passing on we crossed the Umzinto and Umkomasi, we neared the Jelovu, where were residing a few more Kafirs under John Cane and Ogle, we met with no natives. From this we trekked through heavy deep sand on to the Umlaas, where in the bush above the road, Dr. Adams, of the American Mission Board, had formed a station. On reaching what is now Durban, we made our way to Berea House which had been built by Captain Gardiner for the Church of England Mission. From this house the Berea took its name. At the Mangela we found a small cottage built of reeds called Kangela House, belonging to John Cane. Besides the two erections already mentioned we saw but one other, a stone building at the point.
On our arrival at Port Natal we found that the goods, which had been sent by ship, were already there. After a short stay at Berea Height leaving our wagons and families, we Mr. Owen and myself, accompanied by Captain Gardiner (at whose request Mr. Owen had been sent to establish a mission among the Zulus) went on to Zululand on horseback, in order the missionary might be introduced to Dingaan, the Zulu Chief. Accompanying is we had a number of natives on foot, carrying luggage and a few presents for the King, a circumstance that compelled us to travel slowly. On reaching the Great Place we met with friendly reception. An ox was killed for the missionary, and two houses placed at our disposal, one for the use of the Europeans of the party, the other for that of the native servants. The day after reaching the Great Place, we had an interview with the Chief, who expressed himself as quite willing that we should settle in his country. An arrangement was entered into by which we were to return at once for our wagons and building material, he then in the meantime was to build two huts, about half a mile from the Great Place, as temporary places of residence for us.
In the month of August we started on our return journey to Zululand, with three wagons containing our families, building materials, provisions, etc. Mr. Richard King accompanied us as guide, there being no beaten track beyond the Tugela River, and only a faint track between that river and the Natal Bay. The raining season not having set in, we found no difficulty in traveling, beyond that we met in passing through deep sand. In five days from our starting from the bay, we reached the Tugela, and forded it with some difficulty. About ten miles beyond the river we came to an American Mission Station, occupied by the Rev. Mr. Champion and family, by whom we were received with great kindness. Here we also found Mr. Brownlee, then a youth. We rested at this station four days, then after more than a week's trek, we reached in safety Dingaan's Kraal, which contained at least a thousand huts. As the wagon came up to the King's Kraal, we were told to halt, in order that the white men, women and children might be brought into the chief's presence and introduced to him. This sudden summons was excusable, as he had never before seen an English woman. On looking at our wives he expressed his surprise that they should wear such a weight of clothes. One of the children of our party, on going up to shakes hands with him, picked up a stone and threw it in his direction, at which the chief broke into a laugh, and said, "What, does he think I am only an ordinary Kafir?" After chatting with us and asking a few questions he sent a man to show the way to the hut, which he had built for us. He told us that our oxen should be taken care of by his men, and that when we wanted them we were to let him know, and they should be sent to us.
For several days the King would send for us early in the morning, and until nine o'clock of each day would keep us to answer any questions that he might put, and also that we might observe in which manner he conducted his affairs with the people. During this time Mr. Owen made several requests that he might be allowed to speak to his people and pray with the. He made excuses of various kinds, but at length appointed a day - the Christian Sabbath - when the missionary was to conduct a religious service at the Great Place, that the King might hear for himself and see what it was like, but it was only to take place once; he did not wish to be troubled again. On the appointed morning the minister went to the Great place, and found nearly a thousand men gathered to hear the message he had to deliver. There was not a woman within sight or hearing. The congregation sat on the ground, inside the great enclosure, forming a half circle several rows deep. Before the service commenced, about a hundred large pots filled with kafir beers were brought and placed in front of the first row of men, and a large number of beer baskets given the men out of witch they were to drink. The Chief the said, "Now, my men, there is something to quench your thirst with while the white man is talking," and for with told the missionary to commence his address, which he did, through me, as interpreter. The missionary, after speaking for about half an hour, and putting as much gospel truth as he could into his message, was told by the King to stop, he had heard enough.
Dingaan then said, "I have a few questions to ask you that I may not misunderstand."
First: - "Do you say there is a God, and but one God?" the minister replied, "Yes"
Second - "Do you say there is a heaven for good people, and only one?" Reply "Yes"
Third: - "Do you say there is a devil?" Reply "Yes"
Fourth: - "Do you say there is a hell for the wicked people?" The minister replied, "Yes"
Said the King: "if that is your belief you are of no use to my people; we knew all before you came to preach to us. My people and I believe there is only one God - I am that God. We believe there is one place to which all good people go; the is Zululand. We believe that there is one place all bad people go. There he said, pointing to a rocky hill in the distance; there is hell where all my wicked people go. The Chief who lives there is Umatwane, the head of the Amangwane. I put him to death and made him the devil chief of all wicked people who die. You see that there are but two Chiefs in this country - Umatiwani and myself; I am the great Chief - the God of the living; Umatiwane is the Great Chief of the wicked. I have now told you my belief; O do not want you to trouble me again with the fiction of you English people. You can remain in my country as long as you conduct yourselves properly.
This was the first and last times that Mr. Owen was allowed to preach the Gospel to the Zulus. During the delivery of the King's speech after each sentence the men shouted with a might shout, "Hail, Great Father; thou art as great as an elephant!"
Mr. Owen, greatly disappointed with this dictum of Dingaanâ€™s still unwilling to give up all attempts to reach the people, requested permission to teach some of the children to read. â€œYes,â€ said the Chief. â€œProvided you begin with me.â€ This the missionary agreed to, and said he would teach the King and as many more as he would wish.â€ The Chief replied, â€œI wonâ€™t trouble you as we canâ€™t understand each other.â€ Pointing to me, he said, â€œI appoint your interpreter as my teacher.â€ This command was obeyed. The Chief commenced with the alphabet under my teaching, and very soon could read words of two syllables. At the end of two or three months he gave up his task; he had more important work to do. A war had broken out between the Boers and his people, which took up all his time and thought.
During this time Pieter Retief, Commandant of the emigrant Boers, with five Dutchmen, and an English youth from Natal, as interpreter, paid Dingaan a visit to report to him that the Boers had trekked from the Cape Colony, and were seeking a country where the might live in peace and quietness. The King asked him, â€œWhere is this place you would like to settle?â€ Retief answered, â€œIf I might choose I should like a tract of country near the Natal Bay, as we white people need many things that come from over the sea.â€ Dingaan thanked the party for coming to see him, and said he would grant their request on a certain condition. If it were fulfilled he would give them the country lying between the Tugela and the Umzimvuba rivers, and between the Drakensberg and the sea. The condition as this: â€œYou return and capture a certain Basuto Chief Sikonyeal, who had made a raid on the upper part of Zululand with mounted men and guns, sweeping away a large heard of cattle. You must bring this Chief to me with his men. His horses and his guns; then you shall have what you request.â€ Retief returned, accompanied with ten Zulus, with the answer of Dingaan to the headman of his party, who were encamped in Sikonyelaâ€™s country? The Boers seized Sitonyela, but promised to release him provide he would give up to them a certain number of cattle, horses and guns. These was complied with, and in a fortnight from the time that Retief left Dingaanâ€™s Kraal some of the Zulus were sent back to the Chief to tell him that the Boers were coming to see him having fulfilled the condition.
On receiving the message from the Boers, Dingaan called Mr. Owen, and requested him to write a letter to Captain Gardiner and John Cane, requesting them to be present at a meeting of the Boers, which was to be held at the Great Place. To this request Mr. Owen agreed, and I was sent with the letter. Twenty of the Chiefâ€™s men went with me, ostensibly to carry anything I might have to bring, but really to watch my movements, an to learn anything of importance that might arise. I delivered the letter to Captain Gardner. He declined to be present at the meeting, telling me he did not think it would be safe.
I returned with the Zulu guard; reached the Tugela to find it impassable there. I was detained eight days. Some time after crossing the river, and ascending a hill, we came to a ridge over looking the Great Place. To the right of the Great Place, in the direction of the execution ground, I observed a large flock of vultures hovering over the place of the dead. At once I suspected there had been some evil work going on during my absence. Leading my horse I descended the hill. About half way down I saw laying by the side of the path the sleeve of a white shirt, which had been forcibly torn from the garment; it was partly covered with blood. This greatly alarmed me, and I feared lest the mission party and my family had been put to death. When I reached the Kingâ€™s Kraal I rode up to the principal entrance, and from there saw a number of saddles piled one upon another. I sent a message in to Dingaan to give notice of my return, but I was so anxious about the safety of my family that without waiting for the messenger to come out I mounted my horse and galloped off on the way to our huts. To see if they were all right. On coming to the hut occupied by my family I glanced hurriedly in. On the table I saw plates and cups with the remains of a meal, but not a person to be seen. This seemed a terrible confirmation of my worst fears. I turned from the hut and hastened on to the Owenâ€™s. When I came near to it, my little son came running out towards me, shouting â€œFatherâ€™s come.â€
I found the rest of my family with the whole party safe. They were all assembled in Mr. Owenâ€™s hut for family worship. I cannot tell you how thankful I was to find them all safe. I had only to congratulate Mr. Owen and my family on their safety, and drink a cup of coffee, when a messenger came in great haste from the Chief to call me to his presence. I at once hurried away, anxious to know what would come next. I was conducted into the inner enclosure, where the was the Royal House, in which the King received me in the most affable manner. He congratulated me on my return, saying, â€œYou will have a great many things to tell me, and I shall have much to tell you. I suppose you will have been told by your people what has happened while you have been away?â€ I relied, â€œI have had not time, as I hardly arrived when your messenger summoned me, but my eyes have seen a great deal.â€ â€œI must tell you,â€ said the King. â€œThat during your absence the Boers arrived; I kept them waiting as long as I could, expecting you to return with Captain Gardner and John Cane, but when I could keep them no longer I had them put out of harmâ€™s way. I see that every white man is an enemy to the black, every black and enemy to the white, they do not love each other, and never will. I find fault with the Boers in that they disobeyed my instructions. The Chief that I told them to bring me, they let go.â€ When he told me this, he turned around and said, â€œDonâ€™ you think I have done a good thing in getting rid of my enemies at one stroke?â€ I replied, â€œI cannot say whether you have done a good thing or not.â€ He then asked, â€œWhat is it that Captain Gardiner and John Cane heard that led them to decline coming to the meeting?â€ I told him I could not inform him on the point. He replied, â€œI am sorry that they were not here, as they fully deserved what the Boers got. When I asked you to tell me if I had done a good thing you replied that you could not tell me. What was your reason for saying so?â€ I might have told you that yesterday my army was out, and part of it had gone today to attack the laager where the Boers were encamped, to kill all the men, women and children, and bring their property to me. Now I ask what you have heard in the way of news while you have been away?â€ I told him the news I had heard was that the Boers had camps reaching from that of Retiefâ€™s party to the banks of the Orange River. I added, why I told him that I did not know if he had done a wrong thing or not was that I understood he had killed some of the men from one camp only, and that there were others behind. He had begun war which neither he nor I could tell where it would end. The Chief said, â€œIf what you say is true, my men have deceived me. They told me there was only one camp - Retiefâ€s - and in that there were only about thirty old men and boys left to defend it.â€ This concluded the conversation for the time. He said, â€œYou had better go home and hear the end. There is a pot of beer to strengthen you, I will send you a beast to kill.â€
I learned that during my absence the Boers, numbering 60 armed men with the same number of after-riders had arrived, brining the cattle etc. which they took from the Basuto Chief, that they had what they considered a most satisfactory meeting; that up to the last half hour of the time they intended to start they thought all was well. The horsed had been brought up and they were preparing to start, when they requested by the Chief to enter the enclosure, to come to him in a body to say â€œGood-byeâ€ and to drink his health, then go home to their wives and children in peace. With this request was another, they should leave outside all firearms. Not suspecting and treachery, they did what the King wished, stacked their guns, went to drink to the Kingâ€™s health, and to receive cattle as food for the journey.
When they reached near where the King stood, at a sign from him they were surrounded by a thousand Zuluâ€™s, who had come under cover of the night and filled the Kingâ€™s kraal; to prevent any resistance their necks were at once broken, then their bodies were carried to the execution ground to be mutilated, then left to decay. On the following morning I had a conversation with Mr. Owen about removing my wife and family to Natal. He told me to do so if I thought it necessary, but I had better first ask permission from Digaan. He at first declined to leave the country, but after thinking the matter over he also decided not to remain. He told me we had better go to the King together, and request to be allowed to remove. Before we had done talking a messenger came from the Chief saying he wanted to see us. We accordingly went. In reply to our request he said, â€œI must take time to think about it. I donâ€™t yet understand you. I believe you are as much my enemies as the Boers whom I killed. My people tell me that when the Dutch were put to death you set up a loud cry. Would you cry for me if I were killed? No, I donâ€™t think you would! I was also told that you stood on the front of the wagon with your glass in your hand, and that when you saw what was happening you fell down in a dead faint, and were taken insensible. No, you cannot be my friends, you are my deadly enemies.â€ Mr. Owen replied, â€œNo, you are mistaken; I am no manâ€™s enemy, much less yours.â€ â€œI want to hear no more of your lies,â€ said the Chief. I have proof that you are my enemy, and I believe it, whatever you may say to the contrary.â€ On this Mr. Owen turned to me and said, â€œI have nothing more to say. I see the Chief is in a great rage, and we may be prepared to die. If you have anything to say on your own behalf say it now.â€ For some minutes after this there was a dead silence when it occurred to me to ask the Chief what had become of the young English interpreter who was the Dutch at the Great Place. He replied, â€œYou do well to ask that. He is dead. In the confusion of the time he was killed with the rest. I am sorry, I did not intend to take his life, but why do you enquire after him?â€ I replied, â€œHe was an Englishman, not a Dutchman, and I understand that you do not look upon an English subject in the same light as you look upon the Boerâ€™s, and as you say you killed him accidentally, would it not be well to report the matter to the British authorities?â€ He replied, â€œHow is it to be done?â€ I replied. â€œThe matter is easy. Here is Mr. Owen asking permission to leave this country, so why not get him to write down your statement, and through him send it to the Government.â€ The Chief replied, â€œWhat you say is true. I see what you say is rightâ€ and turning to a boy standing near he said â€œGo to the missionaryâ€™s house and fetch pen, ink and paper.â€
The ladies, who were anxiously waiting to see what had became of us, on seeing the messenger were much frightened, thinking he had come to summon them to the Kingâ€™s kraal, but learning hi errand they were glad to know that no harm had come to us. When the messenger returned Mr. Owen wrote down at the Kingâ€™s dictation that the Boers had come into his country professing friendship, but he had no doubt they were his enemies. Treating them us suck he had taken the opportunity to put them to death. He did not think that the Government would censure him for what had been done. However, he wished to report the accidental death of a young Englishman, who, in the confusion, was killed with the Ditch.
â€œNow I have done,â€ said he. â€œLeave the country as soon as you like. I shall detain one of the wagons and a span of oxen; the oxen for the other you may have tomorrow. Mr. Owen thanked him for his permission to leave, and we returned to our homes. Next day we in spanned one wagon and trekked past the Great Place, but we were not allowed to leave until we had all been before Digaan.
I asked him if he thought it right for us to travel alone, as to use a native expression â€œthe country is dead.â€ He then gave instructions to two men who were standing by to go with us through the country, to see that we were not molested, and also that we were supplied with milk and meat until we reached the Tugela. These men conducted us safely to the border of Natal; there they left an ox with us to kill for food for the remainder of the journey.
They returned, bearing many greetings from Mr. Owen to the Chief, and thanks for the kindness he had shown us while in his country. We then proceed on our journey. As we passed the Mission Station of Mr. Champion, we found it deserted. The missionaries and families had left the night after the Boer massacre. The English having received a message from the American Missionaries of the intended attack on the Boerâ€™s laager, Richard King started with some natives on foot, walking night and day to reach the camp before the Zuluâ€™s should make the attack. He reached the first camp to find the Zuluâ€™s had surrounded it, he passed on to the main body of the Boers, reached them just in time to enter the laager before the Zuluâ€™s could cut him off. We trekked on from the Tugela, got safely to the port and shipped from there to Algoa Bay. Thus ended our mission in Zululand.
Whilst in Zululand I had many opportunities of seeing the summary way in which people were put to death on most trivial charges. One morning, when at the Great Place giving the King his reading lessons, I saw coming over the ridge in single file, sixty Zulu girls, each one with a pot of beer on her head. They came up singing, entered the enclosure and put down their burdens. As I passed them on my way home, I saw that a pot of beer had been given them to drink. About an hour afterwards, looking over towards the place of execution I saw a great commotion, but could not tell what it was, only supposed that someone or more victims were being put to death. On enquiring of a messenger, who had just come from the Kingâ€™s kraal, as to what it was, he asked me if I had seen the sixty young women sitting inside the kraalâ€ I told him I had. He said, â€œThey are all killed, and the vultures are now eating their bodies.â€ I asked the reason, he told me that the kraal from which they had come had shown disrespect for the King, and that was the way he had shown his disapproval of their conduct. This was one of the many cases, though I did not witness any other execution on so large a scale as this; but so often were the people put to death that the vultures were accustomed to sit round the Great Place outside the enclosure, and also within, without any fear whatever, and so soon as a man or women was pinioned ready to be carried away the vultures would run and fly on before, in order to be ready when the food which the King prepared so plentifully should be left for them.
On one occasion, when out with a gun, the game I was after ran up to the valley in the direction of the execution ground, and before I was aware I found myself in the midst of human skeletons. It was a valley full of bones - not all dry. A glance round showed armlets of brass and copper strewing the ground. Nothing here was ever touched by any human being; no one went to this spot as the King told me the next day, unless sent by him. I was in â€œDingaanâ€s Hell.â€ Forgetting all about my game I hastened out of the place, and got home as soon as possible.
(Sgd). R.B. Hulley
The above statement was taken down by me.
(Sgd) Thos. Kirby
Dated: March 11th, 1880
2006 23 Mar - The above information was passed to me by Dr. Brian Hulley
2005 26 Jan - Information received from Frank Hulley, New Zealand concerning "Hulley's Account -
Account of the Rev. Owen's visit to Zululand in the year 1837 as related by Mr R.B. Hully, the interpreter for Mr. Owen."
This first hand account of events involving Richard Brangan and his family has tied together in my mind many items of family lore which sometimes did not quite hang together properly, and it has given me a much deeper understanding of what actually took place.
Arising out of Richard Brangan's story, I have drawn the following conclusions. It seems that he spent from August 1837 to February 1838 at the "Great Place" of the Zulu king, Dingaan. Although he does not mention exactly when he departed, it is a historic fact that the massacre of the Voortrekker party under Pieter Retief took place in February 1838, and Richard only departed the Great Place after that tragic event. We in the family have long known that a child was born to Richard and his wife during their sojourn with the Zulus, and as the family tree records the birth of a son named Richard in November 1837, this must be the name of the child whose name we had not known. Richard describes how the white women in their party were the first white women Dingaan had ever seen. This being the case, his son Richard would have been the first white child born in the Kingdom of Zululand, which today forms part of Kwa Zulu/Natal.
Might I also make a comment on the standard of his literacy. Bearing in mind that he was the child of a low ranking regular soldier, and the fact that he would probably have been without the benefit of formal schooling after the age of 11, the standard of his writing of the English language is truly remarkable. He must have been an exceptionally bright person with a gift for languages as he had assimilated to his new environment so well that he had mastered the Xosa language sufficiently well enough to hire out as an interpreter to the Rev. Owen. The Xosa and Zulu languages stem from the same migration down the Eastern seaboard of Africa, and consequently he and Dingaan would have understood each other without any difficulty.
Frank Hulley NZ
2005 9 Feb - Information received from Frank Hulley (NZ) concerning the life and times of Richard Brangan Hulley. Richard Brangan was indeed a notable figure among the descendants of the original settler. Although he was never ordained, he carried the Word of the Lord to the people of the Transkei for most of his life, and I believe established 2 mission stations. I have read that he was a missionary that carried the Bible in one hand and a musket in the other, and that wherever he was he and his converts established a kind of law and order. There is a lovely story about how he came to acquire the farm Hopewell on which he finally retired and died. It seems that the chief of the coloured Griqua tribe, Adam Kok II, lost about 5000 head of cattle to rustlers from the Pondo tribe, and came to Richard Brangan seeking his help to recover them. A deal was struck whereby a fee of 20% of any cattle recovered and returned to the rightful owner would be paid.
Richard Brangan duly set off, accompanied by about 100 mounted converts, all armed, to the kraal of the Pondo chief Pondomisa, where spies had established the whereabouts of the missing cattle. It seems that RB told Pondomisa that he had "heard" that a large number of Adam Kok's had "strayed" onto his tribal land, and that he had come to "fetch" them. Pondomisa, it seems looked at the armed might of RB's escort and meekly handed the cattle back without a fight. Of course Adam Kok was pleased to recover his cattle, but when RB selected his 20% of the herd, Adam Kok took one look and decided to renegotiate the deal. He suggested that instead of receiving cattle as settlement, RB would be given a farm of his choice anywhere in East Griqualand. RB agreed, and pegged out the farm Hopewell on the southern bank of the Umzimkulu River, which was the boundary of the old Cape Colony, directly opposite the farm Cromwell, on the Natal side, owned by his brother in law Joseph Hancock who had married his sister Mary.
Frank Hulley NZ
There is a book called "Hancock's Drift" that I once read, which is the story of the Hancock brothers Joseph and Thomas who were the first white traders in the Transkei, and who eventually settled on the Natal side of the Umzimkulu River on the farms Cromwell and Hancock's Grange, which has quite a lot about RB in it. Unfortunately I cant remember who wrote it, but I have a feeling it was by one of the Hancock descendants. Sadly it disappeared from our family's possession when my sister Norah Alice died, as she had lent it to some unknown person! 2005 Mar - Note by Ray Hulley .
A Google search for Hancock's Drift has shown the following entry:
Powell, F. Whinchcombe. HANCOCK'S DRIFT: the story of the great wagon road.
Revised ed. ietermaritzburg: F.W. Powell, 1972. 92,  p.: ill., ports., map. Cloth spine, paper covered boards. No. 39 of a limited edition, signed by Powell. Hancock's Drift crosses the Umzimkulu River, near Kokstad. Powell had access to the notebook of James Hancock, an 1820 Settler. Through the means of a plain narrative based on the notebook and many other sources, Powell records the progress of Hancock and his family, from England to Algoa Bay, Salem, Grahamstown and Port Elizabeth. His sons, Joseph Ebenezer and Thomas, participated in the Frontier Wars, travelled north to Natal in 1849 after James Hancock had died in 1837 and they were pioneers of the Great Wagon Road which linked Umtata with Richmond and Pietermaritzburg.
2008 10 Jan - information supplied by Mary Pearson (Pearsonfamily @dsl.pipex.com)
A. RICHARD BRANGAN HULLEY 1810 - 1886
Richard B. was born on the 5th September 1810 around Sheffield but the exact parish is unknown.
An extract from the narrative "A visit to South Africa" by James Backhouse (1838 - 1839). "After some religious services at the Kaffir District Post, we rode to Clumber, a pretty natural town in the Albany District, where the Wesleyans had a small church. On the way, we called on Richard Brangan HULLEY who related to us the following which occurred, which effectively turned him to the Lord. He was neglectful of religious things and the peace of his soul. He was asked to provide wild honey for a missionary who was ill. In endeavouring to do so, he fell from the branch on which he stood, to another branch, and eventually onto the ground, breaking one or more ribs. The injury caused great pain and lock-jaw, so that he was extremely ill for 3 weeks. When in this state, he was alone and felt that unless divine mercy was extended to him, he would surely die. He arose from his bed and on bended knees, implored the deliverance. While praying he thought he heard a voice encouraging him to persevere, that his prayer would prevail. Soon after he felt a change in himself; he found his broken ribs restored to soundness; his mind filled with peace; and his body comforted. He wept with tears of joy and thanksgiving. During his illness he was unable to sleep and now lay praising the Lord for his assistance until he fell asleep. When he awoke he was still reduced in flesh, but was in good health and continued so until his full recovery."
(Account of Rev Francis Owen's visit to Zululand in the year 1837, related by Richard Brangan Hulley)
Richard Brangan HULLEY was engaged in the month of June 1837, by the Rev. Francis Owen, to accompany him to Zululand as interpreter and artisan. The party started from Butterworth Mission, in Goalekaland, and consisted of the Reverend Francis Owen, Church of England, his wife and sister, a young man named Wood, Mr and Mrs Hulley and family (William, born 1835), and Miss Jane Williams.
En route to what is now Durban, The Rev Mr Joyce, missionary to Paramount Chief Faku, and Dr Adams of the American Mission Board, on the Umlaas River, were called on. In Durban, the party went to Berea House which had been built by Captain Gardiner for the Church of England Mission.
After permission was obtained from Chief Dingaan to settle in his country, the party left Durban in August 1837 in three ox-wagons, with Mr Richard King as their guide.
Five days after leaving the bay, the Tugela River was crossed and ten miles further on the party reached an American Mission, under the supervision of Reverend Mr Champion, who received them with great kindness. Here they also met a Mr Brownlee, later to become an authority on Native Affairs in the Transkei. After a further 5 days trek, they reached Dingaan
s kraal of 1000 huts.
Except for one meeting when the Reverend Owen preached to the Zulus, he was not allowed to preach again.
As Richard Brangan could speak to Dingaan in the vernacular, he was commanded by Dingaan to teach him to read and to write, but Dingaan became too occupied with his wars with the Boers to continue his studies.
About this time, a son was born to Richard Brangan at Dingaan's Mission site. This was probably Richard's second son, Richard, b. 1838.
Early in 1838, Dingaan requested Mr Owen to write a letter to Captain Gardiner and one John Crane, requesting them to be present at a meeting with the Boers, which was to be held at his Great Place, 'Gungundhlovu'. Richard Brangan was sent with this letter.
On the morning of the 6th February 1838, after having given breakfast to two of Piet Retief
s party, Mr Owen and his helpers heard the frenzied shouts of the blood- inflamed warriors as the Boers and their servants were massacred.
Richard Brangan's return journey was delayed by the flooded Tugela River, but, on reaching a ridge overlooking the "Great Place" and in the direction of the execution ground, he observed a large flock of vultures hovering over the "place of the dead". About halfway down the ridge, as he travelled, he saw a white shirt sleeve covered in blood, torn from its garment, lying beside the path, which filled him with fear, lest the Mission Party had been put to death.
When he reached the principal entrance to the kraal, he saw a pile of saddles piled one upon another. He sent a message to Dingaan reporting his return, but being anxious about his family, rode off to see. His house was empty, but with the tea things not cleared away. So he went on to Mr Owenâ€™s where he found his family all safe and gathered in family worship.
After reporting back to Dingaan, Richard Brangan learnt that during his absence, the Boers (numbering about 60 men with the same number of after-riders) had arrived and had what was thought to be a satisfactory meeting with Dingaan. When the horses were brought up and they were preparing to depart, they were requested by the Chief to enter the enclosure and to come to him in a body, to drink his health, and he requested them to leave their arms outside. On a sign from the Chief, they were attacked by 1000 warriors. The Boersâ€™ necks were broken and they were carried to the execution ground and left to decay.
Thereafter, the missionaries felt their safety was insecure, so asked Dingaan for permission to leave his country. This was granted. Two men were sent with them to assure safe passage to the Tugela River. The party reached the port safely and shipped back to Algoa Bay. Thus ended the mission to Zululand.
Richard had a lengthy and notable service in Pondoland. As a Catechist at Clarkbury, Richard did valuable pioneering work but was driven out by the Kaffir Wars with a number of his converts, and subsequently settled in Shawbury - another Mission. He laboured during a stormy and troublesome period here, but his efficient and vigorous leadership carried him through.
When appointed to Tsungwana (Osborne) many of his people followed him there. He did wonderful work among the AmaBaca, wielding a tremendous influence. He retired to Entembeni, starting service on his own farm and laid the foundations for the Entembeni Circuit. A large church has been erected at Entembeni to his memory.
It should be remembered that Richard Brangan would have known Piet Retief and other members of his party, since Piet Retief had lived in Grahamstown where he was much liked by the settlers.
Extract from 'They came from a Far Land' by Mary Bell (Maskew Miller, 1963):
'When Piet Retief's English friends heard that he too was leaving, a deputation rode out to his farm to try to dissuade him, but it was useless. Uys's party, on their way north, camped on the flats above Grahamstown, and a large number of the townsfolk rode out to present them with a Bible and to say:
â€œWe offer this book to you as a proof of our regard and with expressions of sorrow that you are going so far from us...Ever since we, the British Settlers, arrived...the greatest cordiality has continued to be maintained between us and our Dutch neighbours ...We trust therefore that although widely separated, you will hold is in remembrance, and we wish that all will retain for each other the warmest sentiments of friendshipâ€.
The news (of the massacre) shocked Grahamstown. Bertram Bowker thought how, but for the trip which led him to his wife, â€œI should have gone with old Piet Uys to Fort Natal and perhaps been killed with him...We had hunted many a day together but the love of the girl was stronger that Uys's persuasion to go into the wildernessâ€. '
Extract from 'The Settlers and Methodists, 1820 - 1920', by Rev William Everleigh.
'Mr Hulley was away at Port Natal, securing provisions when the massacre of Piet Retief and his party took place. Mrs Hulley and the members of the Owen family prepared for death, but their lives were spared. It was only with the exercise of great care and tact that Mr Hulley whe he returned was able to get the whole party away from the scene of such horrors, as Dingaan was inclined to murder the whole lot of them, and rid himself of all the White people in his vicinity.'
Richard Brangan died on 9th December 1880 and was buried in the family cemetery at Hopewell Umzimkulu East Griqualand. His second wife Caroline Dugmore, who was born in England on 23rd October 1817 and died on the 12th December 1898 was buried, too, in the Hopewell cemetery.
C:\Documents and Settings\Shaz\Sharon's Stuff\Genealogy Tracking\Hulley Family History.htm
Richard Brangan HULLEY b. 5 Sep 1810, Bandon, Co. Cork, Ireland, bap. 19 Dec 1810, m. (1) 18 Nov 1831, in Bathurst, Cape, Jane HARDEN, b. c1815, England, (daughter of William HARDEN and Maria DARVILL) d. 29 Mar 1849, m. (2) 17 Nov 1853, in Albany, Cape, Caroline DUGMORE, b. 23 Oct 1817, England, (daughter of Isaac DUGMORE and Maria -----) d. 12 Oct 1898, Hopewell Farm, Umzimkulu district, buried: Hopewell Farm Cemetery. Richard died 9 Dec 1888, Umzimkulu District, Natal.
Richard Brangan HULLEY
1810 to 1888.
Richard Brangan HULLEY was born on the 5th September 1810,In 1820. accompanied by his parents and family, Richard Brangan HULLEY (aged 9) arrived in Algoa Bay, South Africa.
An extract from the narrative "A visit to South Africa" by James Backhouse (1838 - 1839). "After some religious services at the Kaffir District Post, we rode to Clumber, a pretty natural town in the Albany District, where the Wesleyans had a small church. On the way, we called on Richard Brangan HULLEY who related to us the following which occurred, which effectively turned him to the Lord.
He was neglectful of religious things and the peace of his soul. He was asked to provide wild honey for a missionary who was ill. In endeavouring to do so, he fell from the branch on which he stood, to another branch, and eventually onto the ground, breaking one or more ribs. The injury caused great pain and lock-jaw, so that he was extremely ill of 3 weeks. When in this state, he was alone and felt that unless divine mercy was extended to him, he would surely die. He arose from his bed and on bended knees, implored the deliverance. While praying he thought he heard a voice encouraging him to persevere, that his prayer would prevail. Soon after he felt a change in himself; he found his broken ribs restored to soundness; his mind filled with peace; and his body comforted. he wept with tears of joy and thanksgiving. During his illness he was unable to sleep and now lay praising the Lord for his assistance until he fell asleep. When he awoke he was still reduced in flesh, but was in good health and continued so until his full recovery."
An extract taken from Reverend Owen
s visit to Zululand in 1837.
"Richard Brangan HULLEY was engaged in the month June 1837, by Francis Owen, to accompany him to Zululand as interpreter and artisan. (It is not known just where Richard learnt to speak Zulu - or maybe he could speak Xhosa, which would help to understand and speak a little Zulu)
The party started from Butterworth Mission, in Gealeland and consisted of the Reverend Francis Owen, his wife, Richard Brangan HULLEY, his wife Jane, their 4 years old son, William, and a young man by the name of Wood.
En route to Port Natal (now Durban), a call was made on Mr J Joyce (missionary to Paramount Chief Faku) and Dr Adams of the American Mission Board. In Port Natal, the party went to Berea House which had been build by Captain Gardiner for the Church of England Mission.
After permission was obtained from Chief Dingaan to settle in his country, the party left Port Natal in August 1837 in three ox-wagons, with Mr Richard (Dick) King as their guide. (Dick King is famous for his ride to Grahamstown from Port Natal to seek British force to come relieve Port Natal from the Boers)
Five days after leaving Port Natal, the Tugela River was crossed. Ten miles further on an American Mission, under the supervision of Reverend Champion, received the travelling party with great kindness. Here they also met a Mr Brownlee, who later became an authority on Native Affairs and Law in the Transkei. After a further 5 days trek, Dingaan
s kraal of some 1000 huts was reached.
Except for one meeting when the Reverend Owen preached to the Zulu, he was not allowed to preach again.
As Richard Brangan HULLEY could speak to Dingaan in his own tongue (or there abouts from Xhosa ??) he was engaged by Dingaan to teach him to read and to write, and to act as his interpreter. However, Dingaan became too occupied with his wars with the Boers to continue his studies.
At about this time, a son was born to Richard and Jane - probably his second child, which was named Richard. Richard Brangan HULLEY was the only white man who ever presumed to make a joke with Dingaan. At the birth of this child. This was done by announcing to Dingaan that a white stranger had arrived during the night and was now at the Mission House. Dingaan had an extraordinary system of espionage; no stranger came into his domain without the information being conveyed to him; and any neglect to acquaint him of this stranger's presence meant certain death to a score of people in the vicinity. When Richard Brangan HULLEY made his statement, the Councillors around Dingaan were seen to squirm with fear. Dingaan was incredulous; such a thing could never happen without his knowledge. Richard Brangan HULLEY affirmed it to be as he said it was, but as the stranger was too weak to walk, he invited Dingaan to come and see for himself.
Once at the Mission House, Richard Brangan HULLEY introduced Dingaan to his newborn son who had arrived during the night. Dingaan enjoyed the joke so thoroughly that he promptly ordered that 10 head of cattle be given to the stranger at once. In delight at the escape, the councillors gave an impromptu war dance. This is the first and only European child to be born at Dingaan's 'Great Place'.
Early in 1838, Dingaan requested that Reverend Owen write a letter to Captain Gardiner in Durban, and also to John Crane, requesting the two of them to be present at a meeting with the Boers to be held at the "Great Place", Gingindhlovu. Richard Brangan HULLEY was sent to deliver these letters.
On the morning of the 6th February 1838, after having given breakfast to 2 of Piet Retief
s party, Reverend Owen and his party heard the inflamed shouts of the blood inflamed warriors as the Boers and their servants were massacred.
Richard Brangan HULLEY's return was delayed by the flood of the Tugela River, but, on reaching the ridge overlooking the "Great Place" and in the direction of the execution ground, he observed a large flock of vultures hovering over the "place of the dead". About halfway down the ridge, as he travelled, he saw a white shirt sleeve torn from its garment, lying beside the path, which filled him with fear, lest the Mission Party had been put to death.
When he reached the principal entrance to the kraal, he saw a pile of saddles piled one upon another. He sent a message to Dingaan reporting his return, but being anxious about his family, went off to check on the situation. His house was empty, but with the tea things not cleared away. So he went to Reverend Owen's house where he hound his family all safe and gathered in prayer.
Richard Brangan HULLEY reported back to Dingaan, where he learnt that during his absence, the Boers (numbering about 60 men with the same number of after-riders) had arrived and had what was presumed to be a satisfactory meeting with Dingaan. However, when their horses were brought up and they were preparing to depart, they were requested to enter the enclosure and to come to Dingaan to drink to his good health. He requested them to leave their arms outside the enclosure. On a sign from Dingaan, they were attacked by 1000 warriors. The Boers' necks were broken.
The dead bodies of the Boers were taken to the execution ground and left out there to decay.
Thereafter, the missionaries felt their safety insecure and so asked permission from Dingaan to leave his country. This was granted. Two men were sent with them to secure safe passage to the Tugela River. The party reached Port Natal (Durban) safely. Thus ended the mission to Zululand and Dingaan
Richard Brangan HULLEY then had a lengthy and notable service in Pondoland. As a Catechist at Clarkbury, he did valuable pioneering work but was driven out by the Kaffir Wars (also known as the Frontier Wars) with a number of his converts. He subsequently settled in Shawbury - another Mission. He laboured between troublesome times here, but his efficient and vigorous leadership carried him through.
When he was appointed to Tsungwana (Osborne) many of his people followed him there. He did wonderful work among the AmaBaca, wielding a tremendous influence. He retired to Entambeni and started service of his own on his own farm. Here he laid the foundations for the Entambeni Missionary Circuit. A large church has been erected at this place to his memory. -------------------- 1820 Settler 13 Jan 1820 Liverpool, Lancashire, England
Richardson's party on the Stentor
Richard Brangan Hulley's Timeline
September 5, 1810
Bandon, Cork, County Cork, Ireland
November 18, 1831
May 22, 1833
September 27, 1835
Clumber, Albany, Cape Colony, South Africa
June 22, 1836
March 31, 1849
November 17, 1853
Albany, Cape Colony, South Africa
September 11, 1854