Grahamstown Journal 1878 - 3 - July to September
Wednesday 3 July 1878
The Graaf-Reinet Advertiser says: Yesterday morning a young man named Koos VAN DER BERG died very suddenly. He was sitting at the fire, just having risen from bed, when he fell off the chair a corpse. He had been complaining for two or three days of his head. He was only about 30 years of age and always looked a healthy man. He leaves a wife and three children.
DEATH OF ANOTHER VOLUNTEER
We very much regret to record the death of another Volunteer, one of Capt. SAMPSON’s First City Troop, who breathed his last in the Albany Hospital on Monday, and was buried at the Church of England cemetery this morning at 8 o’clock. We have before us a letter written by one of the troop at Thackwray’s Farm, Claypits, on Friday last, in which the writer says: “We have sent another sick man into town, Corporal WATERS. He was very very bad when he left; sleeping out nights did him no good, but we could not help that, as the wagons did not catch up to us. He went in on Sunday morning on horseback, and I don’t know how he could... [ end of paragraph at the top of the next column is not legible].
Friday 5 July 1878
Mr. Jacobus GROBELAAR of the Cronstadt District O.F.S. committed suicide last week in a most determined manner. He went to his garden, where he sat down by a pool of water, and after having tied his feet and hands together as tightly as he himself was able to do, rolled into the pool and drowned himself. He was a wealthy man, who had only his wife and one child to support, but laboured under the idea that he was afflicted by all kinds of ill-luck, and could not and would not see his wife and child starving.
THE LATE COMMANDANT COMLEY
William COMLEY deserved well of his country. When the Government in sheer desperation resolved illegally to enforce the Burghers Act, and when the proceedings at Graaff-Reinet and Middelburg showed that the attempt to force people to go to the front was utterly useless, it was William COMLEY who first started the idea of getting the farmers to do willingly what they could not be compelled into doing. Quietly working in his own ward, quietly making use of his influence over his Dutch neighbours privately, and talking Dutch easily and good humouredly at private meetings, he got 41 men of his ward to come in with him, armed and mounted, and ready to follow him wherever he went. We all recollect that warm Thursday in January when the burghers met under the oak trees whilst the Magistrate used his eloquence in vain to induce the burghers to go to the front, and Mr. DE WET did his best to no purpose to induce them to volunteer; and when about a half dozen Bowker’s stood on one side looking vainly for recruits who never came. Then when everybody thought the movement would be a complete failure, William COMLEY cried out in Dutch “Let the men who came with me draw up in the street”. The 41 went out immediately and drew up in a line, and answered to their names. This was the turning point. The enthusiasm spread. Man after man joined them. Soon there were 80, before night there were a hundred, and in four days a force of more than 130 men started for the front. This was not all. The enthusiasm spread through the district, and in a couple of weeks Mr. BOTHA came in from Zwager’s Hoek with the information that 100 men were ready to start if Government required their services. Their services were declined, but the bravery of William COMLEY in the field, and his attention to the comfort and safety of his men, procured him such a high character that as soon as it was known that he was to lead the burghers a second time, so many offered themselves that it became possible to form a force of picked men. This force he again led to the front, and of this he is the first whose life has been lost in the war. Mr. COMLEY leaves a wife and two children, as well as an aged mother, and a large number of brothers and sisters to whom for many years he has acted as father. – Somerset Courant.
Monday 8 July 1878
BIRTH at Grahamstown on 6th July, the wife of T.J. COCKCROFT of a son.
DIED at Seven Fountains after a short illness, Sarah Jane, eldest and beloved daughter of William EMSLIE Sen, aged 34 years 5 months and 13 days
Her languishing head is at rest,
Its thinkings and achings are o’er,
Her quiet, immoveable breast
Will heave with affection no more.
We (Somerset Advertiser) regret to learn that Mr. Jan [VOSBON] died suddenly at his farm this week. He went out to the stable apparently in good health and strength, and when he [obscured] the door he suddenly dropped down and expired.
The Friend of the Free State records the death of Mr. MONTGOMERY, the Founder of Burghersdorp (as the deceased styled himself) who departed this life, after a few hours’ illness, at Brandfort in the district of Bloemfontein, at the patriarchal age of 75. Few men in South Africa were better known or more deservedly esteemed and respected. He was born in Dublin in 1803 and came out with the British Settlers in 1820.
Wednesday 10 July 1878
MARRIED at Grahamstown on the 9th July by the Rev J.A. Chalmers, William, second son of Mr. W. WENTWORTH to Harriette, second daughter of the late Mr. John CARNEY.
A boy named Henry HEARD, about 12 years of age, in the employ of Mr. KAY, was thrown from a horse in Graaff-Reinet the other day and received such injuries that he died the next morning.
We regret to hear of the death from fever, at Panmure, of Mrs. CUMMING, daughter of Mr. W. ATTWELL of this city. The deceased [lately] with her husband and family left their farm and resided at Panmure for greater security. Here the children were attacked by fever, which subsequently extended to the mother, with the result stated.
DIED on board the Nyansa, June 2nd, three days after leaving Madeira, Mabel, infant daughter of the Rev John and Catherine SMITH of Maritsburg, Natal.
Wednesday 17 July 1878
The Free Press records the death of Mr. G. STILWELL Sen, father to Messrs. STILWEELL of Queenstown, which took place on Monday last week. Although not a British settler, Mr. STILWELL arrived in the colony in 1820. He was first employed as contractor and builder of the Scotch Church in Capetown – then foreman of Engineers, and during Lord Charles SOMERSET’s Governorship was Deputy Sheriff of Capetown. In 1832 he removed to the frontier, and has ever since encountered all the ups and downs and vicissitudes of frontier life, reaching the ripe old age of nearly 83 years, and retaining all his faculties till the very last.
Friday 19 July 1878
BIRTH at Grahamstown, July 18th, the wife of [R] DIXON of a daughter.
Wednesday 24 July 1878
BIRTH on board the Conway Castle, on the 12th June, the wife of Mr. Albert KING of a son.
With deep regret we (Colesberg Advertiser) record the sudden death of Mr. John R. KIDD at Philipstown on Tuesday last. We have heard no particulars except that Mrs. KIDD left her husband in his usual state of health, and on her return to the room a very short time afterwards found him dead. The deceased gentleman leaves a widow and small family to mourn his loss, to whom we tender our sincerest sympathy in their affliction.
MR. FRANCIS THOMPSON AND SON MURDERED
Mutilation of Mr. THOMPSON’s body.
The following is a telegram to the P.E. Telegraph from Kimberley, dated Friday:-
Last night sad news arrived that Francis THOMPSON’s place was attacked last week by Kaal Kaffirs under Gasibone’s Sons. Young THOMPSON shot and THOMPSON Sen taken prisoner. Three others escaped to SPALDING’s. Latter place hourly expects an attack.
Mutilated remains of Francis THOMPSON brought into Barkly yesterday and buried. The fiends had cut out all the flesh from the bones, and a ramrod was driven through the body. No hopes of young THOMPSON’s life; wound mortal.
The late Mr. Francis THOMPSON was well known in Port Elizabeth, where he was a partner of Mr. VAN [ROBB]’s. This sad news has caused a great shock to all who knew him.
Wednesday 31 July 1878
DIED suddenly at Clarksbury, July 19th, Mary Tozer (Minnie), daughter of H. and Elizabeth A. SCOTT, aged 4 years and 5 months.
Friday 2 August 1878
MARRIED on Tuesday July 30th 1878, at Commemoration Chapel by the Rev G. Chapman, Mr. Lawrence Edward WALKER of Tarkastad to Ellen Janet, second daughter of Mr. Samuel HANCOCK, Grahamstown.
DIED at Kuruman, Griqualand West, on the 17th July, Harry FORD, aged 29, son of John H. FORD Esq. This young man, of great promise, beloved by all who knew him, was under the effects of a wound received at the battle of Mazeppa, while fighting beside his father, who was also wounded in the same engagement. May he rest in peace.
WE regret to hear of the death, somewhat suddenly, of Mr. Geo. HOOLE, a younger son of the late Mr. J.C.. HOOLE. The death took place in the latter part of June (about five weeks after the death of his father) in Oatlands, where deceased had nearly completed his studies for the medical profession with much credit to himself and promise for the future.
RUN OVER. The Independent of Kimberley says: on Saturday last a child, of six years old, a daughter of Mr. N.J. DE VILLIERS, met with its death through being run over by a Scotch cart loaded with blue ground. The child was taken up and died immediately. The person in charge of the cart was brought up yesterday on a charge of culpable homicide.
Friday 9 August 1878
BIRTH at Grahamstown on Saturday 3rd August, the wife of Mr. John LOCKE of a son.
BIRTH at Oatlands, Grahamstown on August 3rd 1878, Mrs. L.A. EDDIE of a daughter.
Sentence of Death has been passed by Mr. Justice KOTSE on the prisoner BOOTH, charged with murdering Colour-sergeant NEWMAN, of the same regiment in which prisoner was a private. There was recommendation to mercy attached to the verdict.
Monday 12 August 1878
BIRTH at Grahamstown on the 12th August 1878, the wife of Dr. Edwin ATHERSTONE of a son.
MEDICAL. We (Telegraph) are glad to notice among the names of the gentlemen who have passed in Edinburgh for the degree of M.B. that of Mr. B. Blaine SLATER, son of Mr. E. SLATER of Port Elizabeth, and whose success is the more gratifying in consequence of his having been born and brought up in Port Elizabeth.
Monday 19 August 1878
DIED at King Williamstown on Thursday 15th August 1878, Ben. E. CAWOOD, fourth son of the Hon. S. CAWOOD MLC, aged 29 years and 9 months.
DIED at Griquatown, Province of Griqualand West, Antonie ALDENI, a native of St.Helena, aged 65.
Grahamstown papers please copy.
DIED after a long illness at the residence of her son-in-law, J. WOODLAND, at Cradock on 10th August, Sarah, the beloved wife of Samuel FREEMANTLE, aged 75 years and 4 months.
DIED at Grahamstown on the 10th August 1878, Frances Jane, the fifth and beloved daughter of William and Emma Alliance WEBSTER, after a severe illness of 15 days, deeply regretted by all who knew her. Aged 22 years and 8 days.
DIED on the 8th August 1878 of fever, at the Retreat, near Bedford, Stonewall Thomas, second son of Thos. And Jane P. LEPPAN.
The parents tender their warmest thanks to Mr. HAREBOTTLE and the two Policemen who rendered so much assistance during the time of trouble: also to the many friends who attended the Funeral. Friends at a distance will kindly accept this intimation.
We hear with great regret of the unexpected death of Mrs. JONES, the wife of our townsman Councillor P.T. JONES. The lady, we understand, was on her way from up-country to the city, and was taken suddenly ill, and breathed her last at Middleburg yesterday. She was in the prime of life and great sympathy will be felt on every hand for the bereaved family.
Wednesday 21 August 1878
The Watchman says: The funeral of Mr. Ben CAWOOD, fourth son of the Hon. Samuel CAWOOD Esq MLC, took place on Friday last, the Rev John GORDON officiating at the grave, and the Brethren of the Kaffrarian Lodge of Freemasons completing the ceremony with the ritual of their order. There was a goodly attendance of the Brethren, as also of townspeople, the latter actuated no doubt by sympathy with a family whose name has become so well-known and so highly respected on the Frontier.
A man named Bernard McDONALD, aged 63, died very suddenly at a boarding house in Strand Street, Port Elizabeth, last Monday night. An inquest was held on the body, and a verdict returned that death resulted from congestion of the brain occasioned by the excessive use of alcohol.
Friday 23 August 1878
DIED at Great Fountain near Middelburg on August 18th 1878, Mary, the much beloved wife of Philip T. JONES, aged 33 years  months and 22 days.
It is with feelings of regret that we (Courant) have to announce the death on his farm, Zwager’s Hoek, of Mr. Gideon JORDAAN on Sunday last. His death was an irreparable loss not only to the district but to the whole colony. He was one of the most energetic, enterprising and honest farmers in the district.
Monday 26 August 1878
The following notice appears in the Capetown papers: By Special Licence on Wednesday the 21st inst, at St.George’s Cathedral by the Very Rev the Dean of Capetown, Petrus Johannes DENYSSEN LLD, Senior Puisne Judge of the Supreme Court, to Clara Esther, only remaining daughter of the late John LAW of Bolton.
Wednesday 28 August 1878
DIED at Kuruman on the 9th August 1878, John William, eldest son of John and Eleanor Jane CHAPMAN, aged 26 years 5 months and 4 days. Friends at a distance please accept this notice.
DIED on the 22nd inst at the residence of her nephew, Jesse ALBERT Esq, Two Waters, Great Winterhoek, Uitenhage District, Lucy Ann WAYLAND, eldest daughter of C.J. WAYLAND Sen Esq, aged 63 years.
We (Cape Mercury) hear that banns of marriage have been published by the native minister at Cokalin, near the Umtata, between a Miss H. SHARPLEY, daughter of a trader in that vicinity, and Tom UNMONGO, son of Umkole, a Kaffir. Our informant adds “This is the first public celebration of the kind which has occurred in these parts, but from rumours afloat I infer that there are more upon the tapis.”
Friday 30 August 1878
MARRIED at Grahamstown by Special Licence on Thursday the 29th August 1878, by the Rev J.A. Chalmers, Richard TROWER of Maseru, Basutoland, to Catherine Bennett, eldest daughter of Mr. J.L. JAFFRAY of this City.
DIED at Aliwal North, August 9th, after a long and painful illness, George, youngest son of the late James COLLETT, aged 35 years, leaving a widow and six children. Friends will please accept this notice.
Wednesday 4 September 1878
A MOTHER SHOT BY HER SON
We find the following in the letter of the Potchefstroom correspondent in the Friend: Yesterday, about 12 o’clock, a frightful accident occurred here. Only a few days ago a watchmaker named PURCHASE settled himself here with his family. Yesterday his son, a youth of some 16 or 17 years old, went out shooting, and left the gun (a Westley-Richards rifle), loaded with a bullet, in the house. Upon coming back it appears that his younger brother, a boy of about seven years, took the gun and threatened to frighten his mother with it, who was sitting on a chair with a child sucking on her lap. While playing with the rifle the shot went off, striking his mother below the right shoulder, near the neck. Death was instantaneous. The husband, who was absent, was sent for, and frightful must it have been for him to behold his wife lying dead on the ground. Although only shortly residents of this place, the sympathy with the bereaved husband is great and unanimous.
The Argus says: Private letters received by the mail steamer yesterday convey the sad tidings of the decease of Mr. Archibald S. ROBERTSON, an old and valued Cape colonist, who breathed his last in Kelso in Scotland on the 30th July. Mr. ROBERTSON’s first connection with the Cape dates back to fifty years ago, and in those early days he had the honour of being associated with Mr. FAIRBAIRN and Mr. GREIG in their heroic efforts to establish a colonial free press.
Friday 6 September 1878
DIED on the 1st September 1878 at Doorn Berg, District of Cradock (the residence of her son-in-law Mr. Joseph TROLLIP) Sarah, the relict of the late John WHITEHEAD (one of the Settlers of 1820, of COCK’s Party), in the 95th year of her age. “Her end was peace”.
Monday 9 September 1878
DEATH OF MR. J.H. DINGLE
We learn that intelligence has been received here of the death of Mr. DINGLE, lately of Church-square, Grahamstown, whose estate passed into the Insolvency Court some six or eight weeks ago. It is pretty well known to our readers that Mr. DINGLE disappeared at the time under circumstances of which we need say but little, but which did not leave his good name unblemished. Nothing has been publicly heard of him since that time, though of course there were the usual rumours about his being gone to England, gone to Mauritius, gone to the Transvaal, and gone into Lower Albany. The members of the Bar, with Mr. Reuben AYLIFF, who are at present on circuit, arrived the other day at Mr. STOCK’s Hotel on the road between Somerset East and Graaff-Reinet. Here Mr. AYLIFF, in conversation with the landlord, heard of a man having been ill there for some little time, having died in the hotel the day before, and being then lying in his coffin ready for burial. He had told the landlord at first his name was HERBERT, and afterwards that it was DINGLE; that he had been unfortunate in business in the colony; and that he was then making his way to England. Upon this Mr. AYLIFF, as well as Mrs Advocate BROWN, thought it advisable to see the corpse, which was accordingly shown to them as it lay in the coffin, and they had no difficulty in recognising the features as those of Mr. DINGLE. These are the particulars, as far as we have been able to gather, of what is the end of a sad case. It transpires that the life of the deceased was insured for £3,000, and we are glad to hear that the large family will receive some benefit from this source.
Friday 13 September 1878
BIRTH at Grahamstown on 10th Sept, the wife of W.O. WEBB of a son.
BIRTH at Seymour, Stockenstrom on the 6th September 1878, the wife of Mr. N.H. SMIT of a son.
MARRIED on the 5th instant by Special Licence, at Blauwkoppen, Mount Stewart, the residence of the father of the bride, Henry, third son of Thomas STRINGER Esq, Sycamore Hill, Macclesfield, Cheshire, England, to Margaret Zipporah, eldest daughter of J.H. FEATHERSTONE Esq.
Charles BACON, chief clerk to the district engineer at Groetfontein, on the Beaufort West Extension Railway, committed suicide by shooting himself through the brain with a revolver. Mr. BACON was a fine young man of about twenty-six years of age, and was favourably known and deservedly respected at Natal and at the Diamond Fields. For the last three years he has been employed on the Beaufort West Extension Railway.
Wednesday 18 September 1878
DIED at Grahamstown, South Africa, on the 10th inst, Mr. Robert HARDY of Carlisle, Cumberland, aged 37.
Friday 27 September 1878
MARRIED on September 24th at the Presbyterian Church, Port Elizabeth, by the Rev Robert Johnston, Albert Barnes CHAPMAN od Grahamstown, second son of Joseph CHAPMAN, Architect, of Frome, Somersetshire, to Agnes Elizabeth, second daughter of John V. TOONE Esq of Warminster, Wilts, England.
DIED at Springvale on 26th September, Jno. Cochrane Browning, youngest surviving son of Rev William SMITH of Bannockburn, Scotland, aged 23 years and 5 months. Dearly loved by all who knew him.
DROWNING OF A ST.AIDAN’S BOY
We mentioned in our last the fatal accident which had just happened to a pupil at St.Aidan’s College. The following is the deposition of one of the pupils named James Percy FITZPATRICK, made before the Resident Magistrate. “I am in my seventeenth year and a pupil at St.Aidan’s College. I knew John WALSH. He was a pupil at St.Aidan’s, and drowned yesterday. He was in his 16th year. A number of the pupils, about ten, went to bathe at the [...]water dam in [Cutler]’s Kloof, Oatlands. We started at 1:30 pm, but did not bathe until 2pm. WALSH and ourselves went into the water. He could not swim, and whilst bathing was accidentally drowned. There were six of us in the water when he sank. After this one of the boys named WILMOT remained on the bank, the rest tried to dive. But in consequence of the great depth we could not get at the body. Four or five dived and four managed to get to the bottom. Where we dived there must have been twelve feet of water. I think I saw the top of his hands as he sank. He did not call out, but sank at once. He was walking within his depth where the dam slopes. He was last seen up to the shoulders. I think he must have suddenly slipped in a hole. He was a very nervous boy, but he did not complain of being unwell; he was quite lively before bathing.”
On the Civil Commissioner receiving information on the accident he sent up two of his best policemen, [HAMMERELL] and Sergeant HAY, at once. A small boat was obtained from Capt. JAY’s and amongst others who hastened up was Mr. F. BARR, as well as the professors at St.Aidan’s. There was sufficient help at hand by that time, but some difficulty was experienced through a grappling iron being nowhere available. The boat leaked, and it was more than an hour before the body was recovered, although every effort was used, when of course life was extinct. The Rev Father LAW and others were swimming in the water for a long time; at length the body was found at a spot pointed out by one of the boys as being about where he saw the lad sink. The funeral took place this morning and was largely attended.