Richard Walker Allwright

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Richard Walker Allwright, SV/PROG

Birthdate: (49)
Birthplace: United Kingdom
Death: December 20, 1847 (49)
Whittlesea, Eastern Cape, South Africa
Immediate Family:

Son of Thomas Allwright and Martha Allwright
Husband of Mary May Allwright, SM/PROG
Father of Thomas John Allwright; George Moses Allwright; Charles Allwright; Richard Allwright; Martha Eva and 3 others
Brother of Maria Allwright; Ann Allwright and Martha Allwright

Managed by: Private User
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About Richard Walker Allwright

It is generally claimed in the Allwright Family that the original immigrant, Richard Allwright arrived in Cape Town in the S S Natalius in 1817. This may be true but the earliest mention of him in Official Records in South Africa is a letter, dated 9 Jan 1815, stating that he is fifteen years of age and asking for permission to do an apprenticeship with a Mr. Townsend as Gold and Silversmith in Cape Town. This letter also states that he was born in Westminster, London and his current address at the time was Plein Street No 16, Cape Town (Cape Town Archives CO 3901, no 48)

The next document states that he arrived in 1814 asking permission to stay in the Cape Colony as he has completed his apprenticeship with Mr. Townsend. This letter was signed by a W Allwright though and dated 17 September 1822. (Cape Town Archives CO 3923 no 301) We gather that he did receive his Colonial Passport which was granted by His Excellency Lord Charles Somerset. On the 30 September 1822 Richard wrote another letter to Lord Charles Henry Somerset asking permission to marry Mary May Broocke (spelling in document- could be correct or incorrect). (Cape Town Archives CO 3923, no 355)

The next document shows that on 11 November 1822, he married Mary May Brookes, who arrived in Cape Town from England. The marriage was performed by the Rev. George Hough, the Colonial Chaplan in Cape Town (A 1939, 1/1/1/2) and witnessed by John and Sarah Windell.

Richard was born about 1798 in Westminster, London. Richard was a small man +/- 5 feet inches tall, of fair complexion with brown hair and light blue eyes. Strangely no description could be found of Mary May Brooke. She was said to be a Medical Doctor's daughter.

Richard was a Silversmith and Jeweler by trade as we know, but found this unprofitable in the Cape Town of those days with a total population of 15 000 people. He therefore turned to masonry and building to make a living.

Richard and Mary continued living in Cape Town until at least December 1837, when a son, James, was baptized. Sometime after that date, he and his family, except the eldest son, Thomas, gravitated towards Somerset East where they apparently settled down to building and farming.

On the way to Somerset East Richard and his family apparently spent some time at George where he became acquainted with the writer, C. J. Langenhoven. This acquaintance appears to have inspired C. J. Langenhoven to write an amusing one-act play entitled "Die Kys about the Forro." It is included in C.J. Langenhoven's "Ons Weg Deur Die Wêreld" and is written in phonetically-spelt Afrikaans-English. In English the title would have been "The Case about the Furrow". It concerns a complaint brought before a Meeting of a Town Council about "Aalryt" diverting water from the river by a furrow situated at a point in the river above that from which the Town Council's canal supplying the town with water, was drawn.

Richard died n the house of his son-in- law, William Denham Eva, at Whittlesea on the 20 December 1847 at the age of 49. (Cape Town Archives MOOC 6/9/48, no 325). His wife had died from a stroke in their home in Somerset East in about 1842. His body is aid to have been buried with hers in the same grave. Her Death Notice has not been found.

Richard and Mary had seven sons and one daughter, all born in Cape Town. The third son, Charles, only lived for four months and was not baptized. The other seven children were all baptized in St. George's Cathedral, Cape Town.

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Richard Walker Allwright's Timeline

United Kingdom
November 16, 1823
Age 25
Cape Town, South Africa
July 9, 1825
Age 27
Cape Town, South Africa
November 25, 1825
Age 27
Cape Town, South Africa
October 2, 1826
Age 28
October 7, 1830
Age 32
Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
Age 33
Cape Town
Age 35
January 18, 1835
Age 37