About NN wife of Richard Pierce
Minna was possibly Mary Wilmot, the 7yr old survivor of the wreck of the East Indiaman, the Grosvenor in 1782. In 1907 William Bazley describes how, “after the women and children were abandoned by Capt. Cox and his officers, one little girl, who he calls Minna, was carried across the Mzimvubu River by a Lascar man. … Bazley calls her maMolo [so] she was probably raised by the amaMolo.” [Crampton, p299.]
Said to have married a soldier who had deserted from the Cape. Crampton speculates that it might have been one of the four Englishmen deserters who associated with the rebel boers: John Madder, Thomas Bentley; Harry Obry; Coves Bork associated with Willem & Nicholas Lochenburg (the old boer who guided the first missionaries to Bessie’s son, Mdepa in 1827) [Crampton, p299.]
Minna – or Minnie – as Bazley sometimes calls her, is said to have had children with this man, before he died. He says that she then married an escaped slave (or one of the Lascars who survived the Grosvenor) – ‘Domosi’. Crampton suggests the name could be a corruption of ‘Damin’ – a runaway Bengalese slave, who spoke Dutch and acted as Ngqika’s mother’s interpreter, and who is known to have lived alongside the boers.
A missionary, van der Kemp, at Ngqiuka’s Great place, taught Damin – who he called a ‘Mahometan Hindoo’ to read and write. Another of van der Kemp’s pupils was the Khoi woman Sarah, who later married Nicholas Lochenberg, and a ‘Heathen’ woman called Mary… As Minna, like Sarah, eventually settled at the Butterworth mission station, it seems like to Compton, that Minna – the child survivor of the Grosvenor, Mary, the convert, and Mary Wilmot – the 7 year old Grosvenor survivor were the same person. [Crampton p300]
Crampton, Hazel. ‘The Sunburnt Queen’. Johannesburg: Jacana. 2004. Print. Contact Sharon Doubell