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1820 Settlers - Stanley's Party

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  • Mary Cowie, SM/PROG (c.1792 - aft.1825)
    1820 Settler Departed 13 Jan 1820 Liverpool, Lancashire, England Stanley's party on the John
  • James Cowie, SV/PROG (c.1792 - d.)
    Stanley's party on the John 1820 Settler Departed 13 Jan 1820 Liverpool, Lancashire, England Stanley's party on the John James Cowie - an 1820s Settler
  • Henry William Samuel Wild, (1) a2b3 (c.1819 - 1857)
    1820 British Settler Henry Wild 1, together with his parents and 2 siblings, were members of Stanley's Party of 32 Settlers on the Settler Ship John . Party originated from Lancashire. Departur...
  • Ann Wild, SM/PROG (c.1791 - 1845)
    1820 British Settler Ann Thornton 29, together with her husband Abraham Wild 30, Labourer, and their 3 children, were members of Stanley's Party of 32 Settlers on the Settler Ship John . Party orig...
  • Abraham Wild, Snr, SV/PROG (1790 - 1853)
    Death Notice : "South Africa, Cape Province, Probate Records of the Master of the High Court, 1834-1989," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 12 September 2017), 004433417 > image 2060 of 2173; Pi...

Stanley's Party

Main References - The Settler Handbook by MD Nash and 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 John Stanley
  • Number 32
  • Area Party originated from Lancashire, England
  • Area Allocated to the Party Trentham Park on the Blaauwkrantz River
  • 1820 Settler Ship


  • Dates
  • Departure Liverpool, 13 January 1820
  • Arrival Table Bay, Cape Town - 19 April 1820
  • Final Port Algoa Bay, Port Elizabeth, May 1820

(Other parties on this voyage - Hayhurst, Liversage, Mouncey, Wainwright.)

M.D. Nash 1987 - Settler Handbook

"No 29 on the Colonial Department list, led by John Stanley, a merchant of 11 Mulberry Street, Manchester. In his application to the Colonial Department he claimed to have a small amount of capital and to have been known in Manchester for 20 years as a 'respect­ able individual'. He named as reference Wil­ liam Beetham of the Eagle Office, Comhill. He wanted his application accepted in principle before he actually recruited his party of labour­ers, as premature public knowledge of his intention to emigrate might result in loss of business, and an equally undesirable loss of face - 'should my offer not be accepted, I should be laughed at. ' He guaranteed, how­ever, that when the time came he would be particular in selecting his settlers, whose knowledge of agriculture would make up for his own lack of it. He would ensure that they would be 'capable of bearing arms, good labourers, heal­thy, strong, capable of going properly through the business of a farm, or capable as mechanics to build a house or outbuilding ... Men of good character, inoffensive in manners, whose minds are not yet polluted with Radical Reform.'

This was to be a proprietary party, and by September of 1819 Stanley had engaged ten labourers who contracted to work for him for three years. A month later, half of them had withdrawn and had to be replaced with others, 'having heard that Government allows the head of a party £5 for every settler going out and when they arrive there, they are to be made slaves.' Manchester in 1819 was a focus for political disaffection, and after the infamous 'Peterloo Massacre' of 16 August, there could have been few minds left undisturbed by the ideas of 'Radical Reform'. Desertions from the party continued to occur up to and even after the time of embarkation; a fortnight before sailing, Stanley submitted the names of further replacements, with no confidence that these would be the last: 'When the ship gets into the River, I may be under some certainty of their coming - but as long as they are on land nothing can be depended upon.' His men refused point blank to proceed unless they could take with them firearms and ammunition for defence, and official permission was granted for them to do so. Less forethought was shown about the provision of bedding for the voyage out; after the party had boarded the John at Liverpool, the settlers slept on bare boards in a temperature of fourteen degrees below freezing until bedding was issued by the Navy Board, 'as it was not in Mr S's power to provide beds at his own expense'.

Deposits were paid for 11 men, and the party sailed from Liverpool in the John on 13 January 1820, reaching Table Bay on 19 April and Algoa Bay in May. Stanley and his settlers came in for much criticism from the colonial officials assisting with the disembarkation; Stanley 'caused infinite trouble' and his men were dissatisfied with him and close to 'open acts of violence'.

The party was located in Albany on the Blaauwkrantz River, and its location was named Trentham Park".

Members of Stanley's Party

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

George Ashbrook 27. Labourer.

Wife Catherine 24.


  • Mary Ashbrook 6,
  • Eliza Ashbrook 4,
  • George Ashbrook 2,
  • an infant Ashbrook daughter.

Thomas Bowker 25. Labourer.

John Brogden 22. Labourer.

Thomas Calverley 18. Labourer.

William Calverley 35, Labourer.

Wife Jane Stuart 28.


James Cowie 28, Labourer.

Wife Mary Warburton 28.


Hugh Mellon 21. Labourer.

William Penflebury 24. Labourer.

John Stanley 37. Merchant.

Wife Sarah 27.

Abraham Wild 30, Labourer.

Wife Ann Thornton 29.


Harriet Percival (servant to Stanley), and child.

Thomas Savell Shipbuilder.

Richard Simpson Labourer.

Richard Simpson, a labourer, and Harriet Percival, a maidservant with a child, sailed in the John as replacements for a married man with a wife and child who deserted the party at the last minute. According to colonial records, Thomas Savell, a shipbuilder, was a member of the party; his name is not on the official list and he may have replaced Ashbrook, T Calverley or Pendlebury, none of whose presence in the colony has been confirmed.

Main source for party list

Return of settlers under the direction of John Stanley (Cape Archives CO 6138/1,85), amended in the light of Stanley's correspondence with the Colonial Department (Public Record Office, London, CO 48/45) and depositions made on the break-up of the party (Cape Archives CO 2629). No Agent of Transports' Return has been traced showing the state of the party on its arrival at the Cape.

The 1820 Settler Correspondence

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