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1820 Settlers - William Smith's Party

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  • Anna Smith, SM/PROG (1796 - 1830)
    1820 British Settler= William Smith 27, Surveyor, together with his wife Anna 24, were members of William Smith's Party of 40 Settlers on the Settler Ship Northampton , of which William was the Leader....
  • John Josiah Smith (1803 - 1845)
    1820 British Settler= John Josiah Smith 16, was a brother of the Leader, William Smith of William Smith's Party of 40 Settlers on the Settler Ship Northampton .Party originated from London.Departed Por...
  • Henry Edgar Bagot (1820 - d.)
    Henry Edgar Bagot, second son of Capt Bagot, was baptised in Grahamstown in 1824. The baptismal register of St George's Church gives his date of birth as 11 March 1820. Since his birth is not recorded ...
  • Richard Bland. SV/PROG (1806 - 1835)
    Came to S Africa at the age of 13 with 1820 Settlers in the 'William Smith' party under the care of John Comfield on the 'Northampton' which sailed from Gravesend on 13/12/1819.
  • Letitia Bagot, SM/PROG (c.1784 - 1852)

William Smith's Party

Main References - The Settler Handbook by MD Nash and 1820

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Party Details

  • Leader William Smith
  • Number 40
  • Area Party originated from London
  • Area Allocated to the Party Stoney Vale, Trompetters Drift
  • 1820 Settler Ship


  • Dates
  • Departure Portsmouth 13 December 1819
  • Arrival Table Bay, Cape Town - 26 March 1820
  • Final Port - Algoa Bay, Port Elizabeth 30 April 1820

(Other parties on this voyage Clark, Dalgairn, Mahony, Pigot.)

M.D. Nash 1987 - Settler Handbook

"No. 7 on the Colonial Department list, led by William Smith, a seafaring man ans surveyor of 3 Barnards Inn, Holburn, London. Smith had served at sea in the India trade and had subsequently been engaged in commercial pursuits abroad. His initial application to the Colonial Department was made on behalf of an emigration society consisting of 'a number of respectable and intelligent individuals wishing to embrace the offers of Government and desirous of taking out the requisite number of labouring families'. They hoped to make up a party of 100 or more families by advertising. This proposal was not accepted, and Smith then applied on his own account to take out a party of 10 families. After a personal interview at the Colonial department, Smith was accepted to fill a vacancy created by the withdrawal of a party of 11 men, provided that he could supply a suitable reference from some 'respectable Gentleman'. This condition was fulfilled by an effusive letter of recommendation from an ex-member of Parliament, Benjamin Shaw.

Smith hastily organised a new small party from the remnants of the former one. Eight men whose names had been on the 'emigration society' list enrolled again under his leader­ ship. Two Northamptonshire farmers, Robert Bagot from Kingsthorpe and David Hobson from Cottesbrook, and Smith's brother-in-law, John Cornfield of Northampton, all from the earlier list, joined him as partners and were each to receive SO acres of his land grant, al­ though Smith reserved to himself the 'manorial rights' of hunting, hawking, shooting and fish­ ing. (Captain Bagot was clearly short of funds: he had already attempted, with predictable lack of success, to borrow £100 from the Colo­nial Department to enable him to form a party of his own.) William Thackwray, an 'emigra­ tion society' member from Sheffield, had in the meantime enlisted with Bailie's party, but withdrew to rejoin Smith, who promised him and his son 100 acres of land. Two of the five indentured servants who made up the rest of the new party, Edkins and Warmington, had also been on Smith's earlier list; Picket, Rooke and Scott were new additions.

Deposits were paid for 11 men, and the party was instructed to embark at Deptford in the Nautilus transport in the third week of November 1819. At Smith's request, however, permission was granted for his party to embark a week later in the Northampton instead.

The Northampton sailed from Gravesend on 13 December and reached Table Bay on 26 March and Algoa Bay on 30 April 1820. A daughter was born at sea to the wife of John Cornfield. The party was located on the north­ ern border of the Albany settlement, on the road to Trompetter's Drift, and the location was named Stoney Vale".

Members of William Smith's Party

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

Profiles are being added to an William Smith's Party Umbrella Profile pending tree development. Please feel free to expand individuals into trees if you have more information.

Robert Wood Bagot 35. Capt, 47th Regt (half-pay).

Wife Letitia Bagot 35.

Richard Bland 13 (in the care of John Com­field). (Later married Caroline Hepzibah Bonnin of Septon's Party.)

John Comfield 21. Artist.

Wife Eliza 27.

John Edkins 28. Carpenter.

Wife Ann 29.

David Hobson 24. Husbandman.

William Carey Hobson 15 (brother of David Hobson above). (Later married Susannah Bonin of Sephton's Party.)

Harriet O'Connor 17 (step-daughter of Capt Bagot).

Robert O'Connor 16 (step-son of Capt Bagot).

William Picket 27. Bricklayer.

James Rooke 25. Sawyer.

John Scott 20. Blacksmith.

John Josiah Smith 16 (brother of William Smith).

William Smith 27. Surveyor.

Wife Anna 24.

John Thackwray 18. Mechanist.

William Thackwray 40. Agricultural implement maker.

Wife Dorothy 43.

Alfred Warmington 19. Butcher.


John Todd Jakins (was apparently in this party - brought up by William Smith).

William Andrews 17. [See note §]

Thomas Doe 18. Blacksmith and farrier. [See note §]

Note §Neither Doe nor Andrews appears on any official party list, but both are mentioned in colonial records as members of Smith's party. According to his colonial pass, Doe was a farrier and blacksmith, aged 18. It seems likely that both these men joined the party as last minute substitutes for others who had dropped out, and travelled under the names of whoever they replaced - possibly Picket and Rooke, for whose presence at the Cape no confirmation has been found in colonial records.

Main source for party list

Agent of Transports' List of persons belonging to Mr Smith's party (Cape Archives CO 136); Special Commis­ sioner William Hayward's notes (Cape Archives CO 8543); Agreement betWeen W Smith, D Hobson, R W Bagot and J Cornfield (Cape Archives CO 6138/1) . This agreement was signed at sea on 22 February 1820, and witnessed by Alfred Warmington, John Edkins, William Andrews and Thomas Doe.

Further reading

The voyage to the Cape in the Northampton is described in The Journals of Sophia Pigat, ed Margaret Rainier (Cape Town, A A Balkema, 1974) and The Reminiscences of Thomas Stubbs, ed WA Maxwell and RT McGeogh (Cape Town, A A Balkema, 1978).

The 1820 Settler Correspondence - William Smith

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