William Smith, SV/PROG (1793 - d.)

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Death: (Date and location unknown)
Occupation: Surveyor' Leader of his 1820 settler party
Managed by: Peter Dennis
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About William Smith, SV/PROG

MD Nash William Smith, a seafaring man and surveyor of 3 Barnards Inn, Holburn, London. Smith had served at sea in the India trade and had subsequently been engaged in commercial pursuits abroad. His initial application to the Colonial Department was made on behalf of an emigration society consisting of 'a number of respectable and intelligent individuals wishing to embrace the offers of Government and desirous of taking out the requisite number of labouring families'. They hoped to make up a party of 100 or more families by advertising. This proposal was not accepted, and Smith then applied on his own account to take out a party of 10 families. After a personal interview at the Colonial department, Smith was accepted to fill a vacancy created by the withdrawal of a party of 11 men, provided that he could supply a suitable reference from some 'respectable Gentleman'. This condition was fulfilled by an effusive letter of recommendation from an ex-member of Parliament, Benjamin Shaw.

Smith hastily organised a new small party from the remnants of the former one. Eight men whose names had been on the 'emigration society' list enrolled again under his leader­ ship. Two Northamptonshire farmers, Robert Bagot from Kingsthorpe and David Hobson from Cottesbrook, and Smith's brother-in-law, John Cornfield of Northampton, all from the earlier list, joined him as partners and were each to receive SO acres of his land grant, al­ though Smith reserved to himself the 'manorial rights' of hunting, hawking, shooting and fish­ ing. (Captain Bagot was clearly short of funds: he had already attempted, with predictable lack of success, to borrow £100 from the Colo­nial Department to enable him to form party of his own.) William Thackwray, an 'emigra­ tion society' member from Sheffield, had in the meantime enlisted with Bailie's party, but withdrew to rejoin Smith, who promised him and his son 100 acres of land. Two of the five indentured servants who made up the rest of the new party, Edkins and Warmington, had also been on Smith's earlier list; Picket, Rooke and Scott were new additions.

Deposits were paid for 11 men, and the party was instructed to embark at Deptford in the Nautilus transport in the third week of November 1819. At Smith's request, however, permission was granted for his party to embark a week later in the Northampton instead.

The Northampton sailed from Gravesend on 13 December and reached Table Bay on 26 March and Algoa Bay on 30 April 1820. A daughter was born at sea to the wife of John Cornfield. The party was located on the north­ern border of the Albany settlement, on the road to Trompetter's Drift, and the location was named Stoney Vale

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William Smith, SV/PROG's Timeline