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1820 Settler Party : Erith



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Party  Erith 
Leader  James Erith 
Number in the Party  120 
Area Party originated from  Surrey, England 
Area allocated to the party  New Botany Bay on the Kaffir Kraal River 
Ship  Brilliant,    
Surnames in party  Allen, Clover, Dry, Erith, Hughes, Kemp, Moody, Pankhurst, Ralph, Reader, Robinson, Shepherd, Strutt, Tyler, Unknown, Whittle
Other Information  A party of 120 from Surrey led by James ERITH sailed in "Brilliant". They were located on land then forming part of the Bathurst Commonage on the bank of the Torrens River but were shortly moved to the location at the Kaffir Kraal River source rejected by DAMANT's party. They named it New Botany Bay. The party had dispersed by 1823 and the Government resumed the land. It is now called Botany.
 
Settler Handbook Content:   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 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. 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scheme, John Deer of the Admiralty Office wrote to the Colonial Department on Erith's behalf to explain that he had withdrawn from the earlier proposal because Beale's debts had made it too risky a speculation, and he hoped this would not prejudice his chances of selection under the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 30 April and Algoa Bay on 15 May. The party was initially located on land that was earmarked for commonage for the new town of 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 of New Botany Bay.


Erith's men did not remain with him for long; they complained that he refused to draw rations for them, and applied successfully to have their service agreements cancelled. By 1823 the abandoned location had been reclaimed by government, and Erith and his wife had embarked on a long campaign to gain redress for what they saw as the wrongs inflicted on them by the colonial authorities.


LIST OF ERITH'S PARTY


DRY, Thomas 21. Farmer

ERITH, James Thomas 30. Baker. w Jane 30. c Jane Moody 4, Eleanor Moody 2.

HUGHES, Robert 40. Master mariner.

KEMP, James 24. Farmer. w Hannah 20.

PANKHURST, John 20. Farmer.

RALPH, John 20. Farmer

ROBINSON, Robert 27. Butcher. w Martha 26. c Louisa 5, John 4, Robert 2, Philip 1.

SHEPHERD, George 36. Farmer.

TYLER, John 18. Farmer.

WHITTLE, Thurston 29. Carpenter.


Main sources for party list


Agent of Transports' Return of settlers under the direction of James T Erith, dated Simon's Bay, 1 May 1820 (Cape Archives CO 6138/2,82). Names have been spelled in accordance with the signatures to the formal complaint laid against Erith by his party (Cape Archives CO 2629).


Further reading

T P Woods, 'The case of James Erith, 1820 Settler and his struggle for compensation'. Unpublished MA thesis, Rhodes University, 1968. (This can be borrowed on inter-library loan through a public library.)


from THE SETTLER HANDBOOK by MD Nash page 71 


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