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1820 Settlers - Pringle's Party

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  • James Souness (c.1801 - d.)
    1820 British Settler= James Souness 21, a Ploughman, was a member of Pringle's Party of 24 Settlers on the Settler Ship Brilliant .Party originated from Scotland.Departure Gravesend, London 15 February...
  • James Ekron, SV/PROG (1794 - d.)
    1820 British Settler= James Eckron 25, Ploughman was a member of Pringle's Party of 24 Settlers on the Settler Ship Brilliant .Party originated from Scotland.Departure Gravesend, London 15 February 182...
  • John Brown Rennie, SV/PROG 1 (1799 - 1850)
    1820 British Settler= John Brown Rennie 20, together with his mother and 4 siblings, were members of Pringle's Party of 24 Settlers on the Settler Ship Brilliant .Party originated from Scotland.Departu...
  • Andrew Ridgard (1816 - c.1910)
    1820 British Settler= Andrew Ridgard 3, together with his parents and sibling, were members of Pringle's Party of 24 Settlers on the Settler Ship Brilliant .Party originated from Scotland.Departure Gra...
  • Elizabeth Mary Ridgard, SM/PROG (1796 - 1870)
    1820 British Settler= Elizabeth Ekron Keen 23 together with her husband Ezra Ridgard 29, Saddler and 2 children, were members of Pringle's Party of 24 Settlers on the Settler Ship Brilliant .Party orig...

Pringle's Party

Main Reference The Settler Handbook by MD Nash

The attached image is not of "The Brilliant" and is used purely to illustrate! CJB

Additional information from South African Settlers

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Party Details

  • Leader Thomas Pringle
  • Number 24
  • Area Party originated from Scotland
  • Area Allocated to the Party Baviaans River, Cradock
  • 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 - Erith, Gush's section of Sephton)

M.D. Nash 1987 - Settler Handbook

"No. 48 on the Colonial Department list, led by Thomas Pringle of 24 Salisbury Street, Edinburgh, a crippled journalist and poet who hoped to obtain a government clerkship at the Cape. He was recommended by his patron, Sir Walter Scott, and through Scott's influence by the Secretary to the Admiralty, JW Croker. This was a joint-stock party, possessing, according to its leader, 'some small capital, steadiness, enterprise and agricultural skill' - a claim justified by its subsequent history. The party was predominantly Scottish in origin: the Pringle family and their ploughman, James Eckron, came from Roxburghshire; Thomas Pringle's wife and her relatives, Janet Brown and the Rennie family, as well as Charles Sydserff and his servants, Mortimer and Souness, came from East Lothian (Haddingtonshire). The group travelled by sea from Leith to London where they were joined by the Ridgard family and their relative William Elliott, late additions to the party from England the Wales.

Deposits were paid for 12 men and their families, and the party embarked at Deptford in the Brilliant, which sailed from Gravesend on 15 February 1820 and arrived at Simon's Bay on 30 April and Algoa Bay on 15 May. Pringle's 'Scottish party' was unique in being the only settler party to be located in the far interior of the eastern Cape. Two other parties of settlers from Scotland had been accepted under the emigration scheme, and the colonial authorities proposed to settle all three in the Winterberg area. In accordance with this plan, Pringle's party was located on the Baviaans River, some 30 miles from the village of Cradock, and named its location Glen Lynden. In the event, the other Scottish parties never reached South Africa; a party of 500 Highlanders under Captain Grant withdrew from the scheme altogether, and a party under William Russell that sailed from Greenock in October 1820 was lost at sea when the transport Abeona caught fire and sank.

One member of Pringle's party, William Elliott, applied as soon as he reached Algoa Bay for permission to return to Simon's Town, from where he left for England to study for the ministry. He subsequently came back to South Africa as a missionary. Thomas Pringle left the Baviaans River for Cape Town in 1822, and was replaced as leader of the party by his brother William who emigrated from Scotland in that year".

Members of Pringle's Party

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

Janet Brown 44 (sister-in-law of Thomas Pringle)

James Eckron 25. Ploughman. (Later married Elizabeth Keen of this Party.)

William Elliott 27. Bookseller's assistant.

Alexander Mortimer 23. Baker.

Robert Pringle 65, Agriculturist.

Wife Beatrice Scott 49.

  • Thomas Pringle 31. Author and editor. (Son of Robert Pringle's first marriage).

Wife Margaret Brown 40.

Elizabeth Rennie, neé Brown 44.

Children :

Ezra Ridgard 29, Saddler.

Wife Elizabeth Keen 23.

Children :

James Souness 21. Ploughman.

Charles Jervis Buchan-Sydserff 22. Agriculturist. (Later married Elizabeth Kirkwood Rennie of this Party)

Main sources for party list

Agent of Transports' Return of settlers under the direction of Thomas Pringle (Cape Archives CO 6138/2,83). Correct names, ages on embarkation and occupations were supplied by Dr JVL Rennie, who has carried out extensive research on Pringle's party.

Further reading

Thomas Pringle, Narrative of a Residence in South Africa (London, Moxon, 1835, reprinted in 1966.

An edited version was published in 1970 under the title Thomas Pringle in South Africa);

J Meiring, Thomas Pringle: his life and times (Cape Town, AA Balkema, 1968); Eric, Mark E and JA Pringle, Pringles of the Valleys (Adelaide, Eric Pringle, 1957).

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