Main referenceThe Settler Handbook by MD Nash
Additional information from South African Settlers
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Leader Capt.Thomas Butler
- Number 27
- Area Party originated from Wicklow, Ireland
- Area Allocated to the Party Originally to Clanwilliam, then to the Assegai Bush River, Alban
- 1820 Settler Ship
- Departure Cork, Ireland 12 February 1820
- Arrival Simon's Bay, Cape Town - 1st May 1820
- Final Port - Saldhana Bay - Mid May 1920
M.D. Nash 1987 - Settler Handbook
"No. 36 on the Colonial Department list, led by Thomas Butler of Baltinglass, county Wicklow, Ireland, a Captain in the Dublin Militia. He was recommended by Charles Grant, Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.
This was a proprietary party; Butler's labourers were recruited in Wicklow, and by the terms of their agreement Butler was to supply each family with 10 acres of land, 'to build a house on it, to crop it and stock it and to support each family until the crop comes round'. In return he was to receive 200 days' work every year for four years from the head of each family.
Arrangements were made for all four Irish parties (under Butler, Ingram, Parker and Synnot) to sail from Passage West, Cork. Under Butler's supervision, his labourers made the journey from Wicklow to Cork on foot, marching alongside the baggage wagons. Deposits were paid for 12 men, and the party embarked in the Fanny which sailed from the Cove of Cork in company with her consort, the East Indian, on 12 February 1820. The ships anchored in Simon's Bay on 1 May. It was official policy to locate the Irish settlers separately from the main body of emigrants, to avoid friction between people of 'different habits, tastes and manners', and in mid-May the ships were sent on to Saldanha Bay where the settlers were disembarked. Butler's party was located at Taaiboskraal on the Jan Dissels River in the Clanwilliam district.
The Irish settlers were dissatisfied with conditions at Clanwilliam and were subsequently given the option of relocation in Albany at government expense. Butler with nine of his men chose to move to Albany and was located on the Assegai Bush River. Fowler, Harrington and Toole elected to remain in the western Cape".
Members of Butler's Party
Bold links are to Geni profiles; other links are to other biographical notes
Thomas Butler 43, Captain, Dublin Militia.
Wife Elizabeth 35.
Murtagh Byrne 33. Labourer.
Wife Jane 30.
- Patrick Byrne 13,
- William Byrne 7.
James Devine 36. Labourer.
Wife Margaret 26.
Thomas Fowler 36. Carpenter
Michael Goss 21. Labourer.
James Harrington 22. Labourer.
Wife Frances 20.
John Healey 21. Labourer.
William Mageer 36. Labourer.
Montgomery John 16 (listed as 'John Fowler').
Edward Murray 21. Labourer.
Wife Jane 19.
- a daughter born at sea.
Michael Toole 21. Labourer.
Wife Honora 20.
Laurence Walsh 40. Labourer.
- Elizabeth Walsh 8,
- James Walsh 7.
John Whelen 21. Labourer.
Main sources for party list
Agent of Transports' Return of settlers under the direction of Captain Thomas Butler, and Articles of Agreement (Cape Archives CO 6138/2, 88-92). John Montgomery attached himself to the party shortly before it embarked. He was listed as the 13-year-old 'son' of Thomas Fowler to avoid paying a deposit, and worked his passage as a seaman in order to draw a full food ration.
- The names of Thomas Sadler and John Butler do not appear in the Agent's Return but were both included in a list of Butler's settlers relocated in Albany (Cape Archives CO 136). It is not known whether John Butler sailed in the Fanny or joined the party later.
GB Dickason, Irish Settlers to the Cape (Cape Town, AA Balkema, 1973);
The Reminiscences of John Montgomery, ed A Giffard (Cape Town, AA Balkema, 1981).