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1820 Settlers - Dyason's Party

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Dyason's Party

Main reference The Settler Handbook by MD Nash

Additional information from South African Settlers

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Party Details

  • Leader George Dyason
  • Number 67
  • Area Party originated from London
  • Area Allocated to the Party Lushington Valley on the Torrens River
  • 1820 Settler Ship

Zoroaster

  • Dates
  • Departure London, 12 February 1820
  • Arrival Simon's Bay, Cape Town - 30 April 1820 (Final Port)

(Other parties on this voyage - Thornhill, Wait.)

M.D. Nash 1987 - Settler Handbook

"No. 43 on the Colonial Department list, led by George Dyason, a wine merchant of Ramsgate, Kent, whose London address was 12 Old Cavendish Street. George Dyason was the nominal head of a party consisting of six equal partners - the four brothers George, Isaac, Robert and Joseph Dyason, Samuel Bennett and Hougham Hudson - and 14 indentured labourers. The party was recruited in Kent; in his memoir, 'Rough outlines of the life of a British settler', Isaac Dyason junior called it 'the Isle of Thanet party'. He claimed that it owed its selection to the influence of Sir William Curtis, one-time Lord Mayor and Member of Parliament for London, and Stephen Lushington, MP for Canterbury, after whom the party's location in Albany was named. The Colonial Department received other recommendations for the Dyasons from the Ramsgate parish authorities and a well-connected acquaintance of the family who involked the interest of Henry Clive, MP for Montgomery, on their behalf.

Deposits were paid for 20 men, and after an unsuccessful attempt by Robert Dyason's creditors to prevent him from leaving the country, the party embarked on board the Zoroaster at Deptford in December 1819. Departure was delayed for several weeks by the freezing of the Thames, and until a thaw set in the ship was unable to drop down the river. She finally sailed from the Downs on 12 February 1820, arriving in Simon's Bay on 30 April. The Zoroaster's charter terminated at this point, and the party was transshipped to the Brilliant for the voyage to Algoa Bay, which was reached on 15 May. The 3-year-old son of Henry Gray died at sea in the Zoroaster.

The party was located on the right bank of the Torrens River and named its location Lushington Valley. After complaints about inadequate food and clothing on the one part and insubordination and idleness on the other, most of the labourers deserted their masters or were dismissed, and the partnership was dissolved in June 1821".

Members of Dyason's Party

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

Samuel Allen 26. Agriculturist.

  • Wife Sarah 30.

John Austin 24. Baker.

  • Wife Catharine 22.
  • Child
  • John 1.

William Bear 26. Blacksmith.

  • Wife Sarah 22.

Samuel Bennett 39. Farmer.

Charles Challis 20. Husbandman.

  • Wife Amy 20.

William Chandler 29. Plumber and glazier.

George Dyason 30. Wine merchant.

Isaac Dyason 39. Brazier.

(Brother of Leader George Dyason).

Joseph Dyason 36. Master mariner.

(Brother of Leader George Dyason)

  • Children :

William Robert Dyason 37, Saddler.

(Robert is variously referred to as a brother or a cousin of George).


  • Children :

Henry Gray 35. Gardener.

  • Wife Mary 30.
  • Children :
  • Henry Gray (died at sea),
  • Mary Gray 2, Jane.

Hougham Hudson 26, farmer and grazier.

Robert Marshall 21. Bricklayer.

Archibald McKenzie 38, Agriculturist.

John Maytham 30. Bricklayer.

Thomas Ratcliffe 27. Carpenter and wheelwright.

  • Wife Elizabeth 28.
  • Children
  • John 3,
  • Mary Ann 2,
  • Elizabeth 1.

Enos Smith 20. Labourer.

Robert Stock 23, Ship's carpenter.

Robert Wicks 25. Mariner.

James Wright 29. Butcher.

George Rye 22. Husbandman.

Main sources for party list

Agent of Transports' Return of settlers under the direction of Messrs Wait, Thornhill and Dyason (Cape Archives CO 6138/2,98); Complaints of Dyason's party (Cape Archives 1/AY 8/71). William Hudson, the 10-year-old brother of Hougham Hudson, appears on the London list but not in the Agent's Return. An infant daughter of Archibald McKenzie is included in the Agent's Return but not the London list; she may have been born at sea.

  • George Rye, who died at Baviaans Kloof, Uitenhage, in 1877 at the age of 80, claimed to have emigrated as a labourer with Dyason's party and was described as such in his application for a colonial pass in 1823. He may have been a last minute replacement for one of the listed emigrants, and travelled under the name of the man whose place he took. No reference to Enos Smith has been traced in colonial records, and it is possible that he failed to emigrate and Rye took his place.

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