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1820 Settlers - Calton's Party

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  • Richard Radford, SV/PROG (1798 - d.)
    1820 British Settler Richard Radford 21, Labourer, together with his brother, were members of Thomas Calton's Party of 167 Settlers on the Settler Ship Albury . Party originated from Nottinghamsh...
  • Joseph Radford, SV/PROG (c.1799 - d.)
    1820 British Settler Joseph Radford 19, Framework Knitter, together with his brother, were members of Thomas Calton's Party of 167 Settlers on the Settler Ship Albury . Party originated from Nott...
  • William Goulding (c.1816 - d.)
    1820 British Settler William Goulding 4, together with his parents and brother, were members of Thomas Calton's Party of 167 Settlers on the Settler Ship Albury . Party originated from Nottingham...
  • George Goulding (c.1814 - d.)
    1820 British Settler George Goulding 6, together with his parents and brother, were members of Thomas Calton's Party of 167 Settlers on the Settler Ship Albury . Party originated from Nottinghams...
  • Elizabeth Goulding (1793 - d.)
    1820 British Settler Elizabeth Williams 27, together with her husband Thomas Goulding 30, Gardener, and their 2 sons, were members of Thomas Calton's Party of 167 Settlers on the Settler Ship Albur...

Calton's Party

Main reference The Settler Handbook by MD Nash

Additional information from South African Settlers

The aim of this project is to link profiles on Geni to the names in the list, and to expand notes about individuals - mostly on the Profile page in the "About Me" field, or here if no profile exists.

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Party Details

  • Leader Surgeon Thomas Calton
  • Number 167
  • Area Party originated from Nottinghamshire
  • Area Allocated to the Party Torrens River - named Clumber after Clumber Park, the seat of the Duke of Newcastle, Chairman of the Nottinghamshire Committee.
  • 1820 Settler Ship


  • Dates
    • Departure Liverpool, 13 February 1820
    • Arrival Simon's Bay, Cape Town - 1st May 1820
    • Final Port - Algoa Bay, Port Elizabeth - 15 May 1920

(No other parties on this voyage)

M.D. Nash 1987 - Settler Handbook

"No. 54 on the Colonial Department list, led by Thomas Calton, a surgeon of North Collingham, Nottinghamshire. The party was sponsored by a committee of subscribers headed by the Duke of Newcastle, and organised on joint-stock principles. Thomas Webster, a natural son of Thomas Calton, was the only man who paid his own deposit.

Nottingham was an area hard-hit by unemployment and unrest during the summer of 1819, and under the chairmanship of His Grace the Duke of Newcastle, the Lord Lieutenant of the county, a public subscription was raised to assist the unemployed to emigrate to the Cape under the government scheme. Contributors to the emigration fund included the Duke of Portland and other noblemen with seats in Nottinghamshire. The actual selection of the emigrants and the administration of the fund were carried out by the Clerk of the Peace for Nottinghamshire, ES Godfrey, assisted by the Rev JT Becher of Southwell, who was actively interested in poor relief. The lists of proposed emigrants from Nottingham were only sent to the Colonial Department in late October and November, and the final selection of parties had already been made; however, the distinguished patronage of the Nottingham party ensured its acceptance in spite of the lateness of the application. Deposits were paid for 60 men and their families under the leadership of Thomas Calton, a surgeon who had been appointed as supervisor by the subscribers' committee. Articles of Agreement, closely based on those of Bailie's party, bound the settlers to mutual help. Each man would be given his own 20-acre allotment as well as use of the commage, but when title to the land was eventually granted it was not be vested in the settlers themselves but in Godfrey and Becher as representatives of the subscribers' committee.

Although the organisers insisted on individual references from the parish authorities, the composition of the party changed continually 'from unfitness in some and unwillingness in others' and in December, when preparations were being made to leave Nottingham, Godfrey was 'still apprehensive of many desertions from the list'. The party travelled from Nottingham to Liverpool by road, the women and children by coach and the men on foot, marching for three days alongside the convoy of baggage wagons. The equipment provided by the subscribers' fund included agricultural implements, carpenters' and blacksmiths' tools and supplies, clothes, Bibles and writing materials and wooden chests for the emigrants' personal belongings. A number of people were at first refused permission to board the Albury because their names did not tally with those in the list held by the Agent of Transports, but an urgent appeal to the Colonial Department resulted in an official instruction to the Navy Board to embark any substitutes presented by Calton, so long as the total numbers did not exceed those of the original list. Several would-be emigrants had followed the party from Nottingham in the hope of last minute vacancies, and in fact cancellations and substitutions occurred almost until the time of sailing.

The embarkation proved so troublesome and his people at first so unruly that Calton complained, 'Were it not for some that I can trust I believe I would run away'. Because of delays with the delivery of the baggage, some of the emigrants had to sleep on bare boards. Calton had to buy vegetables, candles and tin chamber pots, as the emigrants had spent what money they had. One woman of doubtful character was turned away by the Albury's Captain 'for fear she would ruin all the sailors'. Calton predicted that the framework knitters in the party, 'better talkers than workers', had little chance of becoming successful settlers.

The Albury's departure was delayed by bad weather but she finally sailed from Liverpool on 13 February 1820, arriving in Simon's Bay on 1 May and in Algoa Bay on 15 May. The deaths are known to have occurred at sea of two infants, John Cross and Susannah Hartley, and of an adult settler, John Sykes, whose widow was disembarked at Simon's Bay to await an opportunity to return to England. The birth of a daughter, Elizabeth , to the wife of George Sansom has been traced by E Morse Jones. Dr Calton died unexpectedly on 8 July while the party was encamped at Algoa Bay awaiting transport to its location, and Thomas Draper was elected supervisor in his place.

The party was located on the Torrens River, and the location was named Clumber after the seat of the Duke of Newcastle".

Members of Calton's Party

[Bold links are to Geni profiles; other links are to other biographical notes]

  • George Bager, 36. Gardener.
  • Thomas Bilson 26. Sawyer. Wife Mary 27.
  • Children
  • Eliza Bilson 5,
  • Thomas Bilson 4
  • John Bilson.
  • Edward Branford 23. Rope maker.
  • Thomas Brooks 24. Saddler and harness maker. (Later married Elizabeth Senior of Richardson's Party.)
  • George Brown, 22. Labourer.
  • Thomas Calton 40. * Leader Surgeon. Wife Martha Maria O'Brien 39. (Martha must have returned to England with the children after Thomas died; her date of death is given as about 1830 on an tree owned by Phillip Pauley. A number of their children are known to have gone to Australia.)
  • Children those who were on the voyage are marked§
  • Helen chr. 4 Jul 1801 St. Mary Nottingham
  • § Thomas 18, Grocer chr. 11 Jul 1802, St. Mary Nottingham. Died 27 Jun 1854 Portsmouth. Married Martha Nance in 1824.
  • Richard John chr. 8 Jan 1805 St. Mary Nottingham died 18 Feb 1854 Portsmouth
  • § Charles 12, - Died 11 Oct 1862 in Australia. Married Mary Ann Peach in 1828 in England.
  • § Henry 10, born 29 May 1809 England, died 12 Jun 1852 Iron Bark Gully, Bendigo, Victoria, Australia. He married on 26 Aug 1837 in Southwark, Surrey, England, to Catherine Reed, born 25 Dec 1813, St. Luke, England, died 13 Aug 1890 Snowtown, South Australia, Australia.
  • § Sarah 7, Born 21 Mar 1813 Nottinghamshire, Died 27 Feb 1876 in Australia. Married Thomas Dickson in 1859 in Australia
  • § Mary 3,
  • § Frederick 1.
  • William Crooks 23. Labourer.
  • John Cross, 36. Wheelwright. Wife Mary 31.
  • Children
  • Matilda Cross 9
  • William Cross 7
  • Charles Cross 6
  • Mary Ann Cross 3
  • John Cross (died at sea).
  • Thomas Draper, 33. Gardener.
  • Child
  • Thomas Draper 8.
  • Edward Driver, 23. Grocer.
  • Thomas Edleston, 45. Labourer.
  • Mark Elliot, 21. Framework knitter. Wife Sarah 20.

Child :

  • Alfred 1.
  • Children
  • William Morris 8,
  • Jane Morris 6.
  • Henry Shepherd, 28. Framework knitter. Wife Hannah 26.
  • Children
  • William Shepherd 6,
  • Eliza Shepherd 3,
  • Ann Shepherd
  • John Smith, 20. Labourer.
  • John Sykes, 32. Farmer (died at sea). Wife Elizabeth 36.
  • William Sykes, 44. Carpenter.
  • Thomas Henry Tarr or Torr 28. Carpenter. Wife Ann Radford 28.
  • Children
  • Peter Valentine 24. Cordwainer.
  • Thomas Webster, 21. Tailor.
  • Joseph Wright 22, Framework knitter. Wife Elizabeth Richardson 21.
  • William Wright, 23. Framework knitter.

Main sources for party list

Agent of Transports' Return of settlers under the direction of Thomas Calton, and Articles of Agreement (Cape Archives CO 6138/2, 59-61 and 101-2); the Godfrey papers held in the Nottinghamshire Record Office, County House, Nottingham. The spelling of names conforms with the signatures to the Articles of Agreement, except for Thomas Tarr. His name in all the party lists and in Special Commissioner Haryward's notes, is spelled 'Torr', and his signature to the Articles of Agreement is clearly written 'Thomas Torr'; however, his Will (drawn in 1856) is signed 'Thomas Henry Tarr', apparently in the same hand. His children all spelled their name Tarr, and this is the spelling used in official documents relating to the family from at least the 1840s. The reason for the variation in spelling is not know. The Christian names of Thomas Tarr's wife and elder daughter are given in the Nottingham lists of the party as Mary and Ann; the Agent's Return gives their names as Ann and Selina, which are confirmed as correct by Thomas Tarr's Death Notice.

The names of William Pike's youngest children are given variously in the party lists as Elisa or Elizabeth and Robert or Mary; family records show that they were Elijah (6) and Rosa (4).

Further reading

Clive M Burton, Settlers to the Cape of Good Hope: organisation of the Nottinghamshire Party 1819-1820

(Port Elizabeth Historical Society, 1971);

Doris Stirk, Southwell Settlers (Southwell, the author, 1971).

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