Henry Hartley, Snr

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Henry Hartley, Snr

Also Known As: "The Hunter", "Oude Baas"
Birthplace: Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, England
Death: Died
Immediate Family:

Son of Thomas William Hartley, Snr. SV/PROG and Sarah Hartley, SM/PROG
Husband of Emma Whitcombe Hartley; Elizabeth Hope Hartley and Mary Ann Molony
Father of Sarah Ann Hann; Mary Elizabeth Thackwray; Frederick Hartley; Thomas John Hartley; William James Hartley and 1 other
Brother of Jeremiah Hartley and Susannah Hartley
Half brother of Jeremiah Hartley; Henry Hartley; William John Hartley, Snr SV/PROG; Mary Ann Palmer; Ann Meats, SM and 7 others

Managed by: Private User
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About Henry Hartley, Snr

1820 British Settler


Henry Hartley 4, together with his parents and 9 Siblings, were members of Thomas Calton's 's Party of 167 Settlers on the Settler Ship Albury.

Party originated from Nottinghamshire.

Departed Liverpool, 13 February 1820. Arrived Simon's Bay, Cape Town - 1st May 1820. Final Port - Algoa Bay, Port Elizabeth 15 May 1820.

Area Allocated to the Party : Torrens River - named Clumber after Clumber Park, the seat of the Duke of Newcastle, Chairman of the Nottinghamshire Committee

Siblings :

  • William Hartley, 24
  • Ann Hartley 20
  • Thomas Hartley 18
  • Hannah Hartley 16
  • Elizabeth Hartley 13
  • Sarah Hartley 12
  • Jeremiah Hartley 7
  • Susannah Hartley (died at sea).


 The Tale of Henry Hartley of Thorndale


With the private native trading licenses having been issued to numerous persons of good character for use beyond the colonial boundaries, native trade soon became a very profitable business. The trade in ivory, hides, and gum for this period was estimated at about $200,000 annually, and increased each succeeding year. All traffic in arms, ammunition and liquor was prohibited and strictly enforced. It was in this period that some of the most adventurous Settlers awoke to the realization the big game hunting for elephants, lion, buffalo, hippopotamus, and rhinoceros could become a very profitable business. In the past the traders had relied on the natives to bring in the game.

In A. J. Chaplin's Biography of Henry Hartley, and who is accredited with a record of 1200 elephants killed in one year, the following incident is related:

"While he and his sons were way-laying some elephants at a drift, a lion was prowling about and become troublesome. His sons suggested the happy dispatch but he would not permit the shooting as the report of the rifles would have dispersed the elephants. The lion was walking in the direction of a low bush, and Mr. Hartley managed to crawl, unperceived by the beast, behind the bush. When the great brute was quite near, Hartley suddenly popped his head over the bush and shook his massive beard, making at the same time a loud roaring noise. This apparition was too much for his majesty the King of the forest, as the royal beast incontinently fled, leaving the Hartleys convulsed with laughter, but absolute masters of the situation.”

He emigrated with his parents in 1820 at the age of 4 years. He was a hunter and pioneer of Northern Goldfields

My father Derek Molony had a copy of Thomas Baines' Goldfields Diaries, three volumes. The travels of Hartley, Thomas William Molony and Baines, are described in detail. I now have these precious books.

Henry Hartley farmed in the Magaliesberg area - "Thorndale Farm"

"Lost Trails of the Transvaal" by T.V. Bulpin mentions Henry Hartley on pages 168-170. Hartley fought in several of the frontier wars on the Cape and eventually began hunting and trading in the Transvaal and eventually settled on what he called "Thorndale" farm, on the southern slopes of the Magaliesberg. Stories about Hartley were legion all over South Africa. The book discusses Thomas Baines visit to Thorndale farm to see Hartley. Baines and his party joined Hartley on a winter hunt in the north. Hartley was known as "Oude Baas" and was a wealth of knowledge about the wilds of Africa. After leading Baines to the Rhodesian goldfields, he went hunting. He shot a rhino and saw it fall. He went up to it, thinking it was dead. Instead, it struggled to its feet and tossed him into the air. He came down on its back. As the rhino turned to get him it fell dead, literally on top of Hartley, breaking several of his ribs and generally injuring him internally so much that, although he hunted for a few more years, he eventually died at age sixty-one at his farm on the 8th February 1876 as a delayed result of this misadventure. "Henry Hartley came from England to the Cape at the age of eight with his parents who were 1820 settlers." Actually, Hartley is listed among the 1820 Settlers, but he was four years old in 1820. This also is consistant with his age at the time of his death.

Henry Hartley was married to an Alice Rorke (could be Mary Ann Rorke) who later married Thomas Molony. I have been trying to clarify the specific Rorke that Henry was married too. This is difficult as family memories are vague. Hartley's widow remarried however to Thomas Maloney.

In. Feb. 1868, Charles Benjamin Rorke moved to the Hartley farm. A descendants journal states that Hartley had died and his widow was Alice Rorke, daughter of Capt. Michael Rorke. She had since married Tom Maloney and they farmed near Bailey Station, outside Queenstown. (Please note: Michael Rorke didn't have a daughter named Alice and Hartley didn't die until 1876)

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Henry Hartley, Snr's Timeline

August 11, 1815
Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, England
September 16, 1839
Age 24
July 19, 1841
Age 25
District Bathurst, Eastern Cape, South Africa
March 27, 1844
Age 28
September 3, 1846
Age 31
Somerset East, Western District, Eastern Cape, South Africa
Age 37
November 21, 1860
Age 45