Additional information from South African Settlers
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- Leader William Parker
- Area Party originated from Cork, Ireland
- Area Allocated to the Party Clanwilliam and then the Albany District
- 1820 Settler Ship
- Departure Cork, Ireland 12 February 1820
- Arrival Simon's Bay, Cape Town - 1 May 1820
Final Port Saldhana Bay
(Other parties on this voyage - Scanlan] - see in description
M.D. Nash 1987 - Settler Handbook
"No. 52 on the Colonial Department list, led by William Parker, a merchant of Cork, Ireland, who had at various times been engaged in the sugar trade in the West Indies, farmed in Ireland and held a government post in London. A virulent anti-Papist, Parker managed by outrageous impertinence and importunity to obtain the patronage of Charles Grant, the Secretary for Ireland; Sir Nicholas Colthurst, the Member of Parliament for Cork; and the Earl of Rosse and Viscount Ennismore. He even approached the Prince Regent for approval of his schemes. His 'exorbitant demands and absurd pretensions', backed up by threats of the influence he could bring to bear in high places, created major difficulties for the Colonial Department and, later on, the Cape authorities, and more than justified the Acting Governor's opinion 'that this Individual is suffering under a degree of mental derangement'.
Parker first proposed to undertake the supervision of the entire body of emigrants, and when that suggestion was turned down, he offered to take 500 'starving Irish poor' to the Cape under his direction, in return for a grant of land at Knysna and various official appointments, both civil and military. The Colonial Department showed exemplary patience under a wordy bombardment of letters and personal visits from Parker, and courteously reiterated that he would be allowed to take a party of 100 families from Ireland according to the conditions laid down for the emigration scheme, but no special arrangements could be made for him. In spite of that, Parker's demands continued; he asked for and was refused, among other things, 500 hammocks and seven and a half tons of old sails for his settlers, and a full supply of arms and ammunition, including 100 000 musket balls. Since the scheme made provision for a clergyman to accompany a group of 100 or more settlers, he informed the Colonial Department that he had engaged the Rev Francis McCleland to minister to his party.
By late October 1819, however, Parker had not yet provided a detailed list of the party, and had fallen out with his Irish agent who was responsible for recruiting labourers. He was told that his place in the emigration scheme could not be reserved for him indefinitely, as there were many other appllicants 'perfectly prepared and equally anxious' to go.
In mid-November a list of the proposed party was finally submitted, and the sorely-tried Colonial Department lost patience at last when it was seen that nearly two-thirds of Parker's prospective settlers were from London, not Ireland. This not only disrupted shipping arrangements but defeated the Department's intention to devote a substantial share of the emigration grant to Irish poor relief. Parker was told that his English contingent - 'a body of persons hastily collected in London of whom you can know but little, and who are in many cases the very persons whose proposals to emigrate have already been considered and rejected by Lord Bathurst' - might proceed to the Cape, but would be treated as a separate party. (In the event this threat was not carried out: the English and Irish sections of the party were embarked separately at Deptford and Cork, on the transport East Indian, but were otherwise administered as one unit.) Permission was withdrawn and then grudgingly reinstated for the Rev Francis McCleland to accompany the Irish settlers and 'receive a moderate stipend for the discharge of clerical duties'.
There was a further hitch over Parker's belated payment of the deposit money before the East Indian finally left Deptford for Cork late in December 1819 with 48 men of the party and their families on board, under the temporary direction of DP Francis. The transport sailed from Cork for the Cape on 12 February 1820, after 27 more men (including Parker himself) with their families had embarked, making up a total of 75 men.
As it was finally constituted, this was a mixed party which included a number of different sub-groups. In the Irish section were Parker himself with his nephew William S Parker and several indentured servants. An independent group of 11 small farmers and artisans had applied to emigrate as a joint-stock party under the leadership of Wiliam Scanlan, a shoemaker and sergeant in the Longford Yeomanry, and when their application was rejected they had enrolled with Parker's party. This group comprised James, John, Laurence and Moses Armstrong, Alexander and Edward Forbes, Foster, Frayne, Fullard, Matthews and Scanlan himself. The balance of the Irish contingent were 'free' settlers who had paid their own deposits and in some cases that of one or more servants: John Archer paid for one manservant and SE Shawe for three. The Rev Francis McCleland, who had at one time proposed to form his own party, was given a free passage as official clergyman but paid the deposit for a manservant.
Four unmarried women are known to have embarked with the Irish contingent: Ann Daniel, mother-in-law of Samuel Shawe, Elizabeth Coyle, a would-be missionary who had been engaged by Parker as governess to the children of the party, and two maidservants, Bridget Murphy (employed by Parker) and Mary Robinson (employed by McCleland). The three younger women were all listed as the 'wives' of unmarried male settlers to avoid payment of separate deposits.
As Lord Bathurst had perceived, the English section of the party included the remnants of several small groups that had been rejected by the Colonial Department. DP Francis, Joseph Latham, Thomas Seton and Thomas Woodcock had all made independent applications to emigrate, Latham and Woodcock with joint-stock parties and Francis and Seton with indentured servants, and Robert Holditch had tried to obtain an official appointment as surgeon to the settlers, before joining Parker. (A second medical man was recruited in England for the Party - John Addey, with his servant John Wolgrove. However, they did not sail in the East Indian but in her consort, the Fanny, which was short of a medical officer.)
The majority of Parker's own indentured servants - about 20 men in all - appear to have been recruited in London, where he was living from September to December 1819. His Irish servants were probably last minute recruits who filled the gaps left by deserters while the East Indian lay in Cork harbour.
The voyage to the Cape was a turbulent one. Quarrels at once erupted among the settlers on board, and by the time they reached Simon's Bay on 30 April 1820, Parker had drawn up official complaints against McCleland and Seton and had attempted to have Elizabeth Coyle certified insane.
It was the intention of the colonial authorities to locate the Irish settlers separately from the main body of English emigrants, and land had been allocated in the Clanwilliam district for the parties under Parker, Synnot, Ingram and Butler. On 16 May 1820 their transports, the East Indian and the Fanny, sailed from Simon's Bay for Saldanha Bay where the settlers were to disembark. Parker had made a preliminary reconnaissance overland and refused to accept the location that was offered him; instead, he demanded a grant of land at Saldanha Bay where he proposed to found the harbour city of New Cork. His demands were not met, and his refusal to take further responsibility for his party resulted in its subdivision under elected leaders. The Irish parties in general were dissatisified with their land at Clanwilliam, and were given the option of removing to Albany to join the main body of settlers. Thirty-one families of Parker's party, under the direction of Scanlan, Latham and Francis, chose to move to Albany, where they were located on the Kap River, the Assegai Bush River and the Nazaar River respectively, while others obtained colonial passes to enable them to seek work in Cape Town. By 1825 only six families of Parker's party were still in the Clanwilliam district.
William Parker himself was given a free passage back to Britain in 1822, but the authorities' relief at his departure was short-lived: he subsequently carried on a vituperative campaign, in print and in Parliament, against the Cape government and, in particular, the Roman Catholic colonial secretary, Colonel Bird, which culminated in Bird's dismissal".
Members of Parker's Party
[Bold links are to Geni profiles; other links are to other biographical notes]
- John Addey, 28. Apothecary.
- James Allison, 18. Painter.
- James Allison, 44. Turner and army pensioner. Wife. Ann 39.
- Sarah Allison 15,
- John Allison 12,
- Margaret Allison 10,
- Mary Allison 8,
- Joseph Allison 3,
- Anne Allison 1.
- John Archer, 21. Land surveyor. Wife. Jane 21.
- John Archer.
- James Armstrong. 28. Weaver.
- John Armstrong, 30. Shoemaker and army pensioner. Wife. Catherine 27.
- Laurence Armstrong, 28. Shoemaker. Wife Anne 25.
- Moses Armstrong, 26. Farmer. wife Jane 25.
- Samuel Armstrong 6,
- William Armstrong 2.
- George Baker, 46. Machinist. Wife. Ann 47.
- Richard Baker 16,
- George Baker 13.
- William Barber, 20. Farmer. w Anne 25.
- John Barry, 42. Mason. Wife Margaret 36.
- John Barry, 16,
- Michael Barry 13,
- Eleanor Barry 9,
- Johanna Barry 8,
- William Barry 7,
- Jehu Barry 5,
- Mary Barry, 1.
- Ralph Baruk, 25. Apothecary.
- Nathaniel Blythe, 25. Clerk.
- Charles Boucher, 22. Fisherman. Wife. Mary 22.
- Patrick Bryne, 30 Labourer.
- George Clarke, 24. Labourer.
- Thomas Clarke, 38. Labourer. Wife. Ann 38.
- Joseph Clarke, 15,
- Anne Clarke, 13,
- Elizabeth Clarke, 8,
- Susannah Clarke, 5,
- Harriet Clarke, 4.
- William Conn, 26. Victualler.
- Simon Cooney, (or Samuel) 22. Labourer. Wife. Margaret 18.
- Cornelius Coughlan, 20. Labourer.
- Elizabeth Coyle, 21. Governess.
- Anne Daniel, 49 (mother-in-law of S E Shawe).
- Robert Dickason 45. Cabinetmaker.
- William Douglass, 39. Bricklayer.
- Peter Ella, 33. Farmer. Wife. Effie 30.
- Elizabeth Ella, 6,
- David Ella 3.
- John Foley, 40. Carpenter. Wife. Barbara 33.
- Mary Foley, 10,
- Joanna Foley, 8,
- Thomas Foley, 5.
- John Folliott (or Fullard), 24. Farmer. Wife. Eleanor 23.
- Alexander Forbes 27. Farmer.
- Edward Forbes 30. Shoemaker. Wife Harriet McDowell 27.
- James Foster, 21. Farmer.
- David Polley Francis, 36. Gentleman. Wife. Anna 28.
- Pierce (or Percival) Frayne, 23. Wheelwright.
- Richard Fryer, 25. Shipbuilder. w Elizabeth 20.
- Thomas Grunwell (or Greenwell), 30. Labourer. Wife. Ann 30.
- Edward Grunwell (or Greenwell), 6,
- Thomas Grunwell (or Greenwell), 5.
- John Hare, 34. Master baker. Wife. Hester Agnes 28.
- William Hare, 7,
- Martha Hare, 4,
- John Hare 2.
- George Hawkes, 21. Ropemaker.
- John Hayes 40. Quarryman. Wife. Mary 34.
- Robert Hayes 16,
- Michael Hayes, 13,
- Anne Hayes 12,
- Mary Hayes, 10,
- Jeremiah Hayes, 5,
- Catherine Hayes, 3.
- Robert Holditch, 30. Surgeon. Wife. Mary Murly 22.
- Harriet Holditch, 4,
- Charlotte Holditch, 2.
- Thomas Hunt, 35. Carpenter. Wife. Sophia 25.
- John Jobson, 21, Labourer. Wife Sarah Butler 20.
- James (or John) Johnson, 28. Labourer. Wife. Margaret 27.
- James Kavanough (or Cavenough), 24. Cooper.
- James Laker, 28. Smith. Wife. Sophia 21.
- Ann Laker 1.
- Henry Latham, 20. Carpenter.
- Joseph Layham, 30. Gentleman.
- William Layham, 16.
- Timothy Leary (or O'Leary), 24. Butcher.
- Francis McCleland 24, Clergyman. Wife Elizabeth Clarke 20.
- Bevan Matthews, 21. Carpenter.
- John Moore, 20. Labourer.
- William Moore, 21. Weaver.
- John Pinnill Moss, 42. Farmer.
- Bridget Murray, 20 (servant of William Parker).
- James Murray, 48. Gardener. Wife. Sarah Armstrong 40.
- Matthew Nelson, 32. Sawyer. wife. Elizabeth 31.
- Harriet Nelson, 12,
- William Nelson 6,
- Elizabeth Nelson 2.
- William Norman 36. Labourer. Wife Jane Bradbury 33.
- James Nowlan (or Noolan), 21. Carpenter.
- William Page, 16 (servant of Thomas Seton).
- William Parker, 42. Merchant. Wife. Eleanor Alice 39.
- Mary Townsend Parker, 16,
- Ann d'Esterre Parker, 13,
- Thomas Somerville Parker, 9,
- Lucia Parker, 6,
- William d'Esterre Parker, 4,
- Norcott e'Esterre Parker, 1.
- John Quinn, 30. Labourer. Wife. Mary 26.
- Anne Quinn, 10,
- John Quinn, 8,
- Jane Quinn, 6,
- Elizabeth Quinn, 3.
- John Quinn, 40. Labourer. Wife. Mary 27.
- Michael Quinn, 8,
- John Quinn, 6,
- Catherine Quinn, 1.
- William Roberts, 29. House carpenter. Wife. Sarah 24.
- John Roberts, 1.
- Mary Robinson, 24 (servant of Rev Francis McCleland).
- Mary Ross, 17 (in the care of Richard Ross).
- Richard Ross, 24. Carpenter. Wife. Elizabeth 24.
- Colin Ross, 2.
- Thomas Seton, 44. Late Capt, Madras Establishment, Wife. Sarah 22.
- Samuel Edward Shawe 32. Gentleman. Wife Ann Daniel 23.
- Edward Shawe 1.
- Jonathan Shelver 26. Wheelwright. (Later married Amelia Dickason of this Party.)
- John Smith, 41. Labourer. Wife. Mary 31.
- John Smith, 13,
- Jane Smith, 11.
- Thomas Smith, 18. Tailor.
- Charles Stone, 23. Gardener.
- James Stone, 22. Gardener. Wife. Charlotte 22.
- John Taylor, 20. Farmer.
- George Tilbrook, 27. Labourer. Wife. Ann 22.
- William Walsh, 22. Labourer.
- Abel Alleyn Walter, 31. Gentleman. Wife. Jane 30.
- Abel Walter, 2,
- George Walter.
- William Whelan 42. Labourer. wife Mary 40.
- John Wolgrove, 34 (servant to John Addey).
- Robert Woodcock, 37. Merchant. Wife. Susannah 36.
- Samuel Woodcock, 7,
- Charlotte Woodcock, 4.
- Two seamen from the East Indian joined Parker's party at Saldanha Bay: James Clarke and William Watson, a ship's carpenter who arranged to change places with one of the settlers, Anthony Wolmsley. Wolmsley remained on the ship and Clarke went ashore to marry a settler girl.
- James Clarke.
- William Watson, 26.
Main sources for party list
Agent of Transports' Return of settlers under the direction of William Parker (Cape Archives CO 6138/2,71); List of Scanlan's proposed party (Public Record Office, London, CO 48/45,971); List of settlers who have arrived in the ship East Indian from London and Cork (Cape Archives Co 4446); Special Commissioner William Hayward's notes (Cape Archives CO 8547).
GB Dickason's list of Parker's party in his study, Irish Settlers to the Cape, includes six children whose names were omitted from the Agent's Return. They are:
- Jane Armstrong 4, daughter of John Armstrong;
- Elizabeth Armstrong 4, daughter of Laurence Armstrong;
- Harriet Forbes 1, daughter of Edward Forbes;
- Maria Norman 9;
- George Scanlan 2;
- Ann Stone 1, daughter of James Stone.
No confirmation of their presence at the Cape has been traced, and they have not been included in the party list as given here.
- GB Dickason, Irish Settlers to the Cape (Cape Town, AA Balkema, 1973);
- G Churchhouse, The Reverend Francis McCleland (Pretoria, Human Sciences Research Council, 1976);
- DE Rowse, 'William Parker and the Somerset administration', unpublished MA thesis, UNISA 1981.