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1820 Settlers - Erith's Party

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  • William Robinson, b5 (1820 - 1914)
    Death Notice : "South Africa, Transvaal, Probate Records from the Master of the Supreme Court, 1869-1958," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 7 September 2018), 007806978 > image 596 of 1473; Piete...
  • Robert Robinson, SV/PROG (1794 - 1866)
    He apparently died on 16 Apr 1866 at the age of 73 years 5 months and 24 days but there is no documentary evidence.The gravestone that has the information doesn't look very clear and there is no indica...
  • Martha Rozina Robinson, SM/PROG (1794 - 1854)
    1820 British Settler Robert James Robinson 27, Butcher, together with his wife Martha Rozina Strutt 26, and 4 children, were members of Erith's Party of 120 Settlers on the Settler Ship Brilliant . ...
  • Robert Robinson, b3 (1815 - 1887)
    Background History: 1820 British Settler Robert James Robinson 27, Butcher, together with his wife Martha Rozina Strutt 26, and 4 children, were members of Erith's Party of 120 Settlers on the Sett...
  • Louisa Rosa Plewman, b1 SM (1814 - 1879)
    1820 British Settler Robert James Robinson 27, Butcher, together with his wife Martha Rozina Strutt 26, and 4 children, were members of Erith's Party of 120 Settlers on the Settler Ship Brilliant . ...

Erith's Party

1820 Settlers

Main Reference - The Settler Handbook by MD Nash

See also eGGSA - The 1820 Settler Correspondence and Return of Settlers - Erith's Party 21 people

Further information at 1820

The aim of this project is to link profiles on Geni to the names in the list, and to expand notes about individuals - mostly on the Profile page in the "About Me" field, or here if no profile exists.

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Party Details

  • Leader James Erith
  • Number in the Party 21
  • Area Party originated from Surrey
  • Area Allocated to the Party New Botany Bay on the Kaffir Kraal River
  • 1820 Settler Ship



  • Departure Gravesend, London 15 February 1820
  • Arrival Simon's Bay - 30 April 1820
  • Final Port - Algoa Bay, Port Elizabeth 15 May 1820

(Other parties on this voyage - Pringle, Gush's section of Sephton)

M.D. Nash 1987 - Settler Handbook

"No. 46 on the Colonial Department list, led by James Thomas Erith, a baker of 2 Bardon Place, Peckham, Surrey (now part of Greater London). Erith had made an earlier application in January 1819 [see Erith's correspondence at the end of this page] to take settlers to the Cape in partnership with Thomas Beale: a scheme that fell through, according to Beale, primarily because of Erith's bad faith. [Beale's correspondence also at the end of this page]

Shortly after the announcement of the Cape emigration scheme, John Deer of the Admiralty Office wrote to the Colonial Department on Erith's behalf to explain that he had withdrawn from the earlier proposal because Beale's debts had made it too risky a speculation, and he hoped this would not prejudice his chances of selection under the new scheme. With this letter was a list of Erith's proposed party, comprising his own family and two married and seven single men, all from Minster, Isle of Sheppey, Kent. (Erith himself was a Kentishman). Only three names from this list - Erith himself, his cousin Robert Robinson, and John Pankhurst - were in the final sailing list of the party, and it has not been established whether the seven substitutes for the men who dropped out were also recruited in Minster.

This was a proprietary party and deposits were paid for 10 men. They embarked at Deptford in the Brilliant, which sailed from Gravesend on 15 February 1820 and reached Simon's Bay on 30th April and Algoa Bay on 15 May. The party was initially located on land that was earmarked for commonage for the new town Bathurst, and was soon moved to a new location at the source of the Kaffir Kraal River. This land had been intended for Edward Damant and his party, but he had chosen not to occupy it. It was given the name New Botany Bay".

Members of Erith's party

[Bold links are to Geni profiles; other links are to other biographical notes]

Thomas Dry 21. Farmer

James Thomas Erith 320. Baker.

Wife. Jane Moody 30.


Robert Hughes 40. Master Mariner

John Pankhurst 20. Farmer. (Later married Lucy Pratt of this Party.)

John Ralph 20. Farmer

Robert Robinson 27. Butcher.

Wife. Martha Rozina Strutt 26.


George Shepherd 26. Farmer

John Tyler 18. Farmer

Thurston Whittle 29. Carpenter. (Later married Sarah Hunt of Calton's Party.)

Other members mentioned in letters and other sources

James Kemp. Born in the British Isles, probably in or near Surrey, in about 1796. James was a farmer. Aged 24.''

Wife. Hannah Brown 20. born in the British Isles, probably in or near Surrey, in about 1800.

James Roberson 21. Robinson?

Wife. Charlotte Roberson 26


  • Ephraim Roberson 6
  • Stanley Roberson. 10 months

James Allen

William Clover

Richard Reader

George Pratt

Lucy Pratt 21. (Sister of George Pratt. Lucy later married John Pankhurst of this Party.) to
South Africans' Geni Landing Site. WELKOM CUZZINS!
First port of call for South African GENi
// this project is in History Link

1820 say there were 120 party members - this is not reflected in the lists of names.

ERITH, James Thomas, 1820 WRITTEN BY | 21 DECEMBER 2010 National Archives, Kew, CO48/52, 297 To the Earl BATHURST, one of His Majestys Principle Secretaries of State. The humble Petition of James Thomas ERITH of No 2 Barden Place, Packham [today Peckham], Baker Humbly showith – That your Petitioner having cawled his Party together and find that some have Hir'd themselves as yearly servants last Michaelmas I have got others to go in their place equally capable. I hope your Lordship will favour me with this alteration as the men are ready to go on Board and only wait your Lordship's answer. I am my Lord Your Lordship's Most Obedient Humble Servant James Thomas ERITH Their Names and their Ages

  • James Thomas ERITH, 30, Baker
  • Jane ERITH, 31, Wife
  • Jane ERITH, 3, Daughter
  • E ERITH, 2, Daughter
  • Robert ROBERSON, 27, Farmer
  • Martha ROBERSON, 26, Wife
  • Robert ROBERSON, 4, Son
  • John ROBERSON, 2, Son
  • Phillip ROBERSON, 1, Son
  • Luizar ROBERSON, 5, Daughter
  • James KEMP, 24, Farmer
  • Hannah KEMP, 20, Wife
  • John PANKHURST, 20, Farmer
  • John RALPH, 19, Farmer
  • Thomas DRY, 21, Farmer
  • Thurston WHITTLE, 29, Carpenter
  • Robert HUGHES, 40, Farmer
  • George SHEPHARD, 36, Farmer
  • John TAYLOR, 18, Farmer

[Clerk's notation]

  • Men 10
  • Women 3
  • Children under 14 6
  • Total 19
  • Deposit Money 105£

Correspondence James Thomas Erith

Bold names were actual settlers

eGGSA - 1820 Correspondence

National Archives, Kew CO48/43, 3

28 Wellington St

Newington Causeway

Jan 30th 1819


Excuse the liberty I have taken in addressing you but understanding that instructions have been issued from your office respecting settlers for the Cape of Good Hope & by which I am informed that Government franks those that go over free of expense and that after their arrival each settler at the Cape is to receive 50 acres of land as compensation for leaving this country and as many acres as they may wish by lease at a certain sum per Annum each acre. Trusting to your goodness to answer my petition

I remain Sir

Your Obedient Humble Servant



National Archives, Kew CO48/43, 7 28 Wellington St

Newington Causeway


My Lord,

As I have been favoured with one of your instructions concerning the Colony about to be formed at the Cape of Good Hope and as I am with several of my friends desirous of settling there [hole in paper] your Lordship will favour me with [every] particular and what part of the Cape the establishment will be at.

Your early reply will much oblige

My Lord, Your Lordships Most obedient Humble Servant

Jas. Thos. ERITH


National Archives, Kew CO48/43, 8

12 William St

Harper St

Kent Rd

May 18th 1819


I have had the honour to secure your letter of the 15th instant acquainting me that His Majesty's Government no longer gives encouragement to persons proceeding as Settlers to North America and I beg leave humbly to represent to you that my letter of the 15th instant written on behalf of myself and nine Others expressed our readiness to settle not in the British possessions in North America but at the Cape of Good Hope that we were ready to pay the usual deposit and to conform to any other conditions required by Government if His Majesty's secretary of State for the Colonies was pleased to encourage our views I have the honour to be Sir

Your most Obedient Humble Servant



National Archives, Kew CO48/43, 5

12 William St

Harper St

Kent Rd

May 29th 1819


I beg leave to state that I am ready to take out and locate upon land at the Cape of Good Hope ten settlers at the least and that we are ready to Pay down the deposit required by His Majesty's Government if the Hon Secretary of State for the Colonies should approve of this proposal and if any reference is further required I take the liberty of referring to Mr G THOMAS Iron Monger Strood near Rochester or Mr Robert FOWLER farmer Rochester who have known me long as a Free holder of the country of Kent. I am also known to Mr E. KNATCHBULL for whom I voted at the last election if this application not be precisely in the form required I will be happy to amend it on being made acquainted with the wishes of the Government.

I have the Honour to be Sir

your Ob Humble Servant


[written across bottom: Lord B has not thought it advisable to accept this proposal]


National Archives, Kew CO48/43, 50 No 2 Bardon Place


20th August 1819


I have the honour of receiving your letter of the 10th Inst requesting the ages of the several individuals that are to accompany me to the Cape of Good Hope. I beg leave to state that I should have answered it immediately but the Persons living at the Minster in the Isle of Sheppey Kent has caused this delay being so far off.

  • James Thomas ERITH aged thirty years
  • Jane ERITH wife aged thirty years
  • Jane ERITH dau aged three years
  • Eleanor ERITH dau aged eighteen months
  • Mary ERITH sister aged twenty nine years
  • William ERITH her son aged ten years
  • Mary Ann ERITH her dau aged nine years
  • Robert ROBERSON aged twenty seven years
  • Martha ROBERSON wife aged twenty six years
  • Robert ROBERSON son aged four years
  • John ROBERSON son aged two years
  • Philip ROBERSON son aged five months
  • Louisa ROBERSON dau aged five years
  • Mical HAROM Single aged thirty five years
  • William CLOVER Single aged thirty five years
  • James ALLEN Single aged thirty seven years
  • Robert KEMSLEY Single aged twenty one years
  • John PANKHURST Single aged twenty four years
  • James STRUTT Single aged twenty one years
  • Richard READER Single aged twenty four years
  • James ROBERSON Single aged twenty one years
  • Charlotte ROBERSON his wife aged twenty six years
  • Ephraim ROBERSON son aged six years
  • Stanley ROBERSON son aged ten months


I have the honour to be Sir

Your Most Ob.Humble Serv

Jas. Thos. ERITH

National Archives, Kew CO48/43, 51 August 1819

The humble partition of James Thomas ERITH of No 2 Bardon Place, Peckham Baker – Humbly shewth,

That your petitioner being desirous of proceeding to the Cape of Good Hope with his wife and family for the purpose of cultivating such parts of the soil as may be allotted to him by His Majesties Government accompanied by the persons named on the other side hereof is willing to deposit the usual sums required of persons under similar circumstances and therefore most humbly pray, that your Lordship will be pleased to authorise your petition and the several persons above referred to proceed to the Cape of Good Hope and to allow them such portion of land subject to the usual conditions as may be judged proper – engaging for him self and the persons in question to render due obedience to His Majesties Government and to conform to all and every regulation required of the persons emigrating to the aforesaid Colony.

  • James Thomas ERITH, wife and two children.
  • Mary ERITH, sister, two children No 2 Coalman St Woolwich Kent
  • Robert ROBERSON, wife and four children Minster Isle of Sheppey.
  • James ROBERSON, wife and two children Minster Isle of Sheppey.
  • William ALLEN single man Minster Isle of Sheppey
  • Michal HAROM single man Minster Isle of Sheppey
  • William CLOVER single man Minster Isle of Sheppey
  • Robert KEMSLEY single man Minster Isle of Sheppey
  • Richard READER single man Minster Isle of Sheppey
  • James STRUTT single man Minster Isle of Sheppey
  • John PANKHURST single man Minster Isle of Sheppey
  • [Transcriber's Note: Robert ROBERSON appears in The Settler Handbook with ERITH's Party as ROBINSON. James ROBERSON appears in Hockly's ‘Story of the British Settlers of 1820']


Correspondence of Thomas Beale

National Archives, Kew CO48/41, 175

5 Chapel Street

Grosvenor Square

4th January 1819


I am induced to trespass again on your time in consequence of the disquietude of some who have engage to accompany me to the Cape of Good Hope as also from my own anxiety to arrive at that Colony previous to the departure therefrom of the present Governor, Lord Charles SOMERSET, to whom I have the honour of being personally known. It may also be necessary to acquaint you for the information of Lord BATHURST that those of the number whose names I had the honour to lay before you have relinquished their engagements too as I am informed to proceed to the United States of America. I beg however to state that should his Lordship be pleased to approve of my proceeding to that Colony I shall have no difficulty in completing the numbers already proposed on the terms and plan stated in your printed letter of the 27th October last. But should it meet the approbation of his Lordship to deviate from the plan therein laid down and allow the settlers who may engage to emigrate to that Colony rations on their passage thereto, I will engage within three weeks from receiving notice thereof to take with me from twenty to thirty settlers with their families, for each of whom I will deposit the security required by the said letter to be returned to me on their being located on the land assigned.

I have the honour to be Sir your most obedient humble servant


178 (written by his wife)

5 Chapel Street

Grosvenor Square

17th March 1819


Your letter of the 8th did not reach me till the morning of the 11th instant, too late to send to Mr. BEALE by the post that morning, who being at Ludlow in Shropshire could not possibly receive it till the 14th, but as he has not yet arrived in Town I think it necessary to inform you of the cause of the apparent neglect on his part as he has fully determined on proceeding to the Cape of Good Hope as early as possible. I feel that I can with confidence assure you that he will take the earliest opportunity on his arrival of communicating with you on the subject thereof.

I am Sir your very obedient humble servant

Eliza Ann BEALE


National Archives, Kew CO48/41, 182/183

5 Chapel Street

Grosvenor Square

2nd April 1819


I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 8th ultimo which was forwarded to me at Ludlow where I detained some days from unforeseen family occurrences and on my arrival in Town, to which I hastened in consequence thereof, met with undesirable obstruction from having lost my acceptance to some Bills for a supposed friend. That difficulty no sooner removed than another more formidable presented itself & Mr. J.T. ERITH, who is engaged to accompany me to the Cape of Good Hope, taking advantage of my absence and subsequent misfortune has from his own acknowledgement made application to Earl BATHURST for a similar grant with a view of prevailing on those engaged with me to accompany him to that BrilliantColony. I have however the pleasure to inform you that the number engaged to accompany me is now complete, that a meeting is to take place on Monday after which I shall be prepared to wait upon you as early as you may be pleased to appoint to make the final arrangements previous to sailing for that Colony. I herewith transmit you a list and description of the persons engaged and have the honour to be Sir

Your most obedient humble servant


  • Thos. BEALE Gent Wife
  • Bernard George BEALE Do.
  • W.S. SIMONS Do. Wife
  • Thos. KIMBER Cook Wife 1 Child
  • Jas. Thos. ERITH Baker Wife 2 Do.
  • John CLARK Farmer & Grazier
  • Servants to Messrs. BEALES, SIMONS & ERITH & Wifes


National Archives, Kew CO48/41, 180

Navy Office

5th April 1819

Mr. HARDING presents his compliments to Mr. BARNARD and has reason to believe that Mr. BEALE and 9 other persons who are to embark at Deptford on the “Pilot” have not joined that vessel, and inform him that it is necessary they should be hastened on board as the vessel is about to sail.


National Archives, Kew CO48/41, 184/185

5 Chapel Street

Grosvenor Square

13th April 1819


It is with the most heart felt sorrow I have again the honour of addressing you on the subject of my emigration to the Cape of Good Hope. The period for which I have most anxiously looked for during the last six months since which I have expended upwards of eighty pounds and declined several offers of a settlement at home whereby I had an opportunity of supporting my family with some degree of credit and respectability. I now however find I have placed too much confidence in those I expected would accompany me, but two of whom are now ready to do so, relying on the promises and considering them men of honour I did not enforce the payment of the sums necessary to accomplish the object in view, and which they were assured would be required of them. For one I inadvertently endorsed some Bills for which I was obliged to pay on Saturday last upwards of seventy seven pounds, making together near one hundred and sixty pounds already expended on this enterprize with but two persons left to accompany me and without the means of paying down an hundred pounds as required by the instructions received from you and victualling near twenty passengers for a voyage of twelve or fourteen weeks. If however a free passage can be granted for three settlers, two with wives and two children, I am ready to proceed immediately with such grant as you may be pleased to confer on us, & I will with as little delay as possible procure three persons who shall immediately deposit a sum necessary to accomplish the object or enter into an agreement to do so when called on.

I am extremely anxious to arrive in the Colony during the Government of His Excellency Lord Charles SOMERSET, to whom I have the honour of being personally known, as also from being the bearer of settlers to him from several persons of distinction, particularly the Viscountess LAKE.

The payment of an hundred pounds into the hands of the person you may appoint to receive it will preclude the possibility of another disappointment which is felt by none so sincerely as by myself.

I have the honour to be Sir your most obedient humble servant



DEER (or DYER), J.W. re James ERITH, 1820 Settler

National Archives, Kew CO48/42, 707

Admiralty Office 14 Aug 1819

Being acquainted with some of the connexions of Mr. James Thomas ERITH the writer [of] the accompanying Petition, I beg leave to acquaint you that I understand him to be a man of good character and integrity and in possession of about £1000. It is right however to observe [it is] some time since he applied for permission to proceed to the Cape of Good Hope which was [obscured], and it is supposed in consequence of [obscured] representation made by a person of the name of BEALE that the latter was unable to proceed to the Cape with certain other [persons] in consequence of Mr. ERITH having refused to abide by an engagement to accompany [him] but it appears that after the negotiation BEALE was entered into, the latter was [discovered].to be a Prisoner in the King's Bench f[or debt] & as he was anxious to obtain from ERITH [the] deposits required from him and the persons who were to accompany him, he considered that he was in danger of losing his money [and] therefore declined any further communication with him. Under these circumstances I hope that the prayer of the Petitioner will be complied with.

I have the honor to be Sir your most obedient and humble servant


[Transcriber's [Sue MacKay] note: the name is given as DEER in The Settler Handbook, but the signature looks more like DYER]