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Cape and Natal News

Cape and Natal News 1858 October - December

07 October 1858

The chief topic of interest is the departure of the Governor to mediate between Free State Boers and the Basuta chief Mashesh.

On his Excellency’s leaving Cape Town it appears that very general arrangements were made to do honour to the occasion. The Cape Volunteer Corps mustered in strong numbers, and, as a mark of respect, many of the most influential inhabitants assembled at Government house.

The Legislature having been recently dissolved, the elections for the second Parliament of the Cape of Good Hope, under the new Constitution, are about to take place. The elections for the Legislative Council were to be decided on the 9th September. The following candidates have at present declared themselves :-
WesternProvince – Messrs. Barry, Van Breda, Jarvis, Reitz, Roubaix, Stein, Vigne, Wet, Wicht.
Eastern Province  -  Messrs. Cawood, Greathead, Von Malitz, Mosenthal, C. Poto, Paterson, Southey.
The election of the House of Assembly will not take place until the election of the Council is ended. Some of the constituencies are already moving. The following gentlemen have received and accepted requisitions –
Cape Town – Messrs J.D.THOMPSON, Saul SOLOMON
Cape Division – Messrs. M. BLAKE, M.J. LOUW, EKSTEEN.
Stellenbosch – Messrs. C.J. BRAND, P. BOSMAN, P.L. CLOETE, J.C.N. MARAIS
Malmesbury – Dr GIRD, Messrs. LEODOLFF, DUCKITT
Worcester – Messrs. R. LE SUEUR J.H. MUNNIK
Swellendam – Mr. J. FAIRBAIRN, Dr WHITE
George – Mr G.W.B. WEHMEYERr
Fort Beaufort – Mr R.J. PAINTER

Immigration is going on, but we shall soon be overdone with skilled labour. Blacksmiths and carpenters are very necessary, but they are only consumers and do not aid much in developing the resouseces of the country. We want more agricultural labourers. Wool is increasing daily in amount and improving in quality, but wheat, the staff of life and other cereals and necessaries of life, are grown to a ludicrously small extent in a country capable of any amount of production. We want more producers, for we have still to draw the most of our supplies of food from foreign sources. Slavery on the west coast is rampant, as, indeed, it seem to be everywhere just now. The capture of a Portuguese supposed slave cutter is affording employment at present to the Mix Commission.

A grand mass, followed by a Te Deum. was celebrated on Sunday last, in the Roman Catholic Cathedral in this city, in honour of the fete day of his Majesty the Emperor of the French. Mr HAUSSMAN, French consul, assisted in the ceremony – the first on record for this colony.

H.M.S. Megare and the screw steamer Prince Arthur are now in Simon’s Bay, preparing to embark troops for India. The only vessels of war, connected with the naval station, at present here are H.M. St. Hermes and H.M. St. Lynx. Two British ships – the Scotia and Carpentaria – are at present in Simon’s Bay, getting repairs, having put into port in a leaky condition.


A sad accident occurred in Table Bay on the night of Wednesday last by which five seaman lost their lives. The names of the deceased are Hendrik Adolfe POSTE and Frederick MARCUS of the cutter Rosebud, Thomas RATCLIFFE (a native of England) aged 19 years, of the cutter Barbara, and William REKKERS said to be a native of Holland. It appears that late on Wednesday night those men, together with another named John VAN DANGLE, went off from a central jetty in a small boat for the purpose of going on board the cutter Rosebud. Two of the men were intoxicated, and one of them sitting on the gunwale of the dingy in which they were, caused it to capsize. All six men were thus thrown into the water. The sea was rough at the time and the wind blowing very strong. DANGLE swam about and got hold of the chain moorings of some boat or cutter and he clung to this. He shouted for his companions to swim towards him, but they were drowned and he saw them no more until their bodies were washed on shore the following day. DANGLE  had a very narrow escape himself. Owing to the coldness of the weather during the night, it was with extreme difficulty he held on with his mouth and hands alternately to the chain. The bodies of his companions were washed ashore on Thursday, some near the Port Office and some towards Papendorp. The occurrence of this melancholy accident is another sad proof of the necessity for a harbour police.


For the information of the Irish, we are enabled to state that there is no foundation whatever for the report that Irish emigrants have been refused for this colony. The Emigration Commissioner has been over to Ireland himself to make arrangements for procuring emigrants from that country.


As a proof of the increased value of property at Simon’s Town, we may adduce the following – Mr R.D. JONES sold on Thursday, 15 lots of garden ground belonging to Commander BULL, for £396 and one
lot of ground with sundry outbuildings for £ 250 

CRIMINAL RETURNS – The criminal statistics of Cape Town,  taken from the report of the inspector of police, show a decrease of seventy six in the total number of persons apprehended during the last six months, as compared with the previous half year. The number of persons apprehended for –
Drunkenness  251, being drunk and disorderly 99, disturbing the peace 55, petty thefts 57, felonies
128. Number of seaman for refusing duty 87, deserted seaman 7, deserted seaman from the Royal navy 12, deserted servants 35.

The PORT ELIZABETH TELEGRAPH of July 7 has the following –
We are happy to be able to chronicle the arrival this week of the first immigrant vessel to our bay. The AURIFERA came to anchor on Tuesday last, after a splendid passage from England of 70 days. During the voyage, one death and two births have taken place. She dropped anchor by mistake in the bight on Tuesday, but on Wednesday morning she made up to the usual place of mooring, and the immigrants were landed by the Eastern Province Boating Company in fine style. The immigrants are a healthy and fine looking set of people and we bid them a hearty welcome to this their adopted land. They have been received for the present at the depot, where every provision has been made by the Immigration Board for their comfort. We are sorry to find that there are so few domestic servants amongst them. This is, without doubt, the great want of the place.

The  INDIAN QUEEN arrived at Port Elizabeth with her cargo of immigrants on the 23rd July. She left Liverpool on the 22nd May, thus making the passage in 62 days, with 403 immigrants. There occurred four births and one death – that of a child.

RESULTS ON IMMIGRATION – Some of the Scotch masons, lately arrived by WALDENSIAN, set about energetically exploring the neighbourhood of this town, and have been successful in discovering a bed of sandstone close to Cradock’s Town, beautifully fine in grain and capable of being easily wrought into all the purposes. We understand that the proprietor, Mr CHASE has given them the quarry on the most liberal terms, feeling that the reward and encouragement of such men individually and as a stimulus to others to develop resources of the country. We wish these deserving men every success and only hope that our townsmen will not be backward in according them such patronage as will remunerate them for their skill and enterprise. A small sample of the stone has been placed in the public library for inspection.

With respect to Natal, advices are very satisfactory . The foundation stone of the Maritzburg Bridge had been laid by the mayor of the city, after which sports were given for the old and young. Cultivation of sugar was increasing rapidly, and the yield was fully 2.5 tons per acre. Of arrowroot the quantity grown was in excess of former years, whilst the quality was so excellent that £50 and £42 per ton has been obtainedfor it for the English market. The unsettled state of affairs in the Free State had induced several of the farmers there to cross the border and settle in Natal, bringing with them about 10,000 sheep. The country is said to be admirable adapted for breeding them.

On the 22nd August say the Natal Mercury, the burgesses and their families assembled in goodly numbers on the occasion of the laying of the foundation stone of the first iron bridge imported into South Africa which, considering our infant settlement, certainly is a step in advance. We can only say -"God speed Young Natal": if she continues to take the lead in the manner she has done on this occasion and with our valuable exports, Natal will very soon take a high stand.

The PHANTOM with 117 immigrants from Plymouth arrived out on the 10th July in 76 days. With respect to her arrival the Natal Mercury says –
One hundred and sixteen souls embarked on board this vessel and one hundred and seventeen have landed. An infant died of convulsions in the early part of the voyage, one was born at sea
and a second saw the light after the vessel was safe in harbour. From all we hear the passengers by this vessel are of the right sort. They are mostly agricultural labourers with a sprinkling of mechanics and a goodly array of wives and children.

2 November 1858

The steam-ship Abeona, Captain SMITH, arrived at Plymouth on Sunday last from the Cape and Calcutta. A severe storm was experienced before she reached the Cape of Good Hope on the 21st Sept, where coal was obtained. By her we learn that Cape Town has been divided into 10 medical districts and vaccination made compulsory, in consequence of those energetic measures smallpox is declining.

The Royal mail steam ship Danc, belonging to the Union Company, arrived at Plymouth on Thursday, having accomplished  the passage a week under the contract time. Her advices are - Table Bay Sept 21, St Helena Sept 30, Ascension Oct 4. She brings a full general cargo, principally wool and wine, 16 passengers and 28 invalids from India. The following is a list of her passengers:-
Mrs SALMOND and child
Mr BICKAM, child and servant
Mr BISHOP (2nd class)
Lieut. GAYER
Mr SOUDEN (2nd class)
Capt SAXON and 28 invalid soldiers

The Celt, Royal mail steamer, belonging to the Union Company from Plymouth with the mails of August 6 and a general cargo arrived Table Bay on Sept 14. Her passengers include :-
Mrs HESS and 2 children, Capt and Mrs JUTA, Messrs.BIRKENRUTH, SCHOTTENFELS, FORBES, OAKES, PORGESs, WIDDOWS, CRIGHTON and 2 sons, WICHT, HOFMEYER, Capt HARCOURT- 31st Regiment, Dr BOUCHIER- Sst. Staff Surgeon, Dr McEWAN, Dr WHITNEY, Sergent MORTIMER, wife and child and Mr DOOGE. The Celt, during her passage, sustained an accident which occasioned her detention. The intermediate shaft was broken and disabled one of the engines. Notwithstanding, Capt BROWN succeeded in making the voyage two days within the contract time. The passengers presented Captain BROWB with a congratulatory address.

The emigration of Germans to the Cape of Good Hope has increased very considerably during the last few months. The number who every week embark at Hamburg is very considerable, one vessel which lately left had on board 620


The crew and passengers from the burnt ship Eastern City were landed at Cape Town from the transport Merchantman, which had fortunately rescued them from their impending fate in lat 31 S,long.3 degs W. They were taken in charge by the Government and will be forwarded on to Australia in a few days in accordance with th provisions of the Passengers' Act.

The following from the Cape Argus will be found highly interesting to persons who desire information with respect to emigration to this colony:-
The population of South Africa has been considerably increased during the last four to five months by the arrival of immigrants from Europe. The total number of immigrants from Great Britain to this colony who have arrived since May last is about 1,600 in addition to them, a number of immigrants from Holland have been landed upon our shores and quietly absorbed into our population.

In a few months, the new line of railway from Cape Town to Wellington will be commenced - the Cape Dock and Railway Company having already obtained the contract for the work. Immediately too upon the arrival of the new Colonial Civil Engineer, we anticipate that the erection of a breakwater in Table Bay, a new hospital  and lunatic asylum in Cape Town, new prisons in various divisions of the colony and other public works will be carried out energetically and thus the demand for skilled and other labour will keep pace with the supply.

The last arrival of immigrants has been by the ship Edward Oliver, which reached here on the 12th. The total number of immigrants which arrived by this vessel is 473. On the passage out, fifteen children died from dysentery and exhaustion and there were seven births.


At the public meeting of the inhabitants of the villages of Mowbray, Rondebosch, Newlands and Claremont held at the school room at Rondebosch, for the purpose of discussing the expediency of forming a "Volunteer Fire Brigade" the following resolutions were agreed to - Rev. John FRY in the chair-
1. That a Volunteer Fire Brigade be organised for the four villages.
2. That a list be at once opened for entering the names of persons willing to serve in the said Fire Brigade
3. That as soon as a sufficient number of volunteers shall have entered their names and enrolled themselves as members, a duplicate of such list together with a copy of these resolutions shall be forwarded to the different representativea and agents of the assurance offices having risks existing this neighbourhood, with a request that they will afford their co-operation in carrying out the objects of this meeting by providing free of expense a well appointed fire engine and other necessary apparatus for rendering the service of said Fire Brigade efficient and effective in all cases of conflagration.
4. That the following gentlemen form a committee for the purpose of carrying into effect the objects referred to in the foregoing resolutions- Chevalier DUPRAT, E.J. JERRAM Esq, Rondebosch, Mr LOGIE, Mr ARDENE, Claremont, Mr M BUTLER, Mr W HARE, Mowbray, Mr D CLOETE, Mr D WILLIAMS, Newlands. Upwards of fifty of the most respectable inhabitants have already enrolled themselves.- Argus

It is our intention to refer particularly to these valuable wines, both as regards the cultivation of the grape, its importance as an article of colonial export and more especially the value of pure cheap wines to the middle and humbler classes of this country. We have tasted the samples of those sold by Mr. J.L. Denman, who claims precedence in the introduction of  South African wines and can confidently recommend them to the public.

Provisions have never fetched such high prices in this colony as at the present moment. The retail prices in Cape Town are  as follows -
Beef 7d. to 8d., Steaks 9d to 1s., Mutton 7d. to 8d., Bacon 1s., Butter 1s. 8d. to 1s. 10d., Flour - Cape fine 4d.Chocolate 2s.,

No papers were received by the last mail from this colony.


30th Aug at Cape Town, Mr Peter CLARKE to Mrs Bridget THOMPSON
9th Aug at Rondebosch, Mr William HODSONn to Mrs Catherine SMITH
19th Aug at Cape Town, the Rev. William GORRIE, to Miss Mary BOON
21st Aug at Cape Town, Mr J.E.H. ENGLISH to Mrs Eglintine Louisa BERIDGE
21st Aug at Cape Town, Mr Isaac LENTHALL to Miss Margaret CRAMPTON
24th Aug at Cape Town, Mr Chas, KIMPTON, to Miss Catherine Olivia PHILLIPS
30 Aug at Cape Town, Mr W DALBY to Miss J.E. EDWARDS
31 Aug at Cape Town, Mr G.H. HOLT to Miss N.S. TILLE
01 Sep at Cape Town Mr G.S. DEVELL to Miss C.M.T.  CRUSOE
03 Sep at Cape Town, Mr W.T. PEARSON to Mrs H. WESCOTT

17 Aug at Cape Town, James John. son of  Mr J. TRENT aged 20 years
19 Aug at Cape Town, Antoinette Elizabeth, wife of Mr G. WILLIAMS aged 30 years
24 Aug at Cape Town, Eleanor Sarah, daughter of Mr. H. OLIVER aged 4 years
13 Sep at Cape Town, Martha, daughter of Mr. F. POWELL aged 1 year
14 Sep at Cape Town, Robert, son of Mr. P. HOLDEN aged 5 years
12 Sep at Cape Town, Mary Agnes, second daughter of Mr R. BURNIE aged 8 years
13 Sep at Cape Town, G TWYCROSS Esq, aged 57 years
31 Aug at Cape Town, Mr Henry DEWES aged 49 years
02 Sep at Cape Town, Anna Emelia, relict of the late E.F. WYLDE aged 45 years
02 Sep at Cape Town, Charles Richard John, son of Mr J.C. RAVEL, aged 3 years
03 Sep at Cape Town, Mr John BEAKIE, aged 45 years
04 Sep at Cape Town, William Michael, son of Mr J. MOSELY, aged 4 months

9 December 1858

The Union Company's steam ship Dane sailed from New Plymouth on Tuesday, with mails for the Cape and Natal. She took out a valuable cargo and the following passengers-
Mr & Mrs ABRAHAMS  and four children and two servants
Mr & Mrs MAHER and two children

The Union Steam Ship Company's steamer Celt, Capt. BROWN. arrived at Plymouth on monday evening with valuable cargo and the following passengers-
Mr & Mrs  John PRINCE and child
Mr Maurice HART
Mr & Mrs Brebner and three children

The Union Steam Ship Company's steamer  Norman, Captain BOXER. anchored in Table Bay on the 18th Oct with a very full cargo comprising upwards of 200 tons of general merchandise on freight also the following passengers-
D.A.C. General DUNDEE
Captain Sir H.J.E. HUNTLEY
R.N. Captain J.E. VEITCH
R.N. Mr & Mrs M'PHERSON and two servants
Mr & Mrs WOODIFIELD and servant
Mrs COUSINS and four children
Mr & Mrs BIBBS and servant
Master TYARS
Mr THOMPSON - Engineer
Mrs SAWYER and infant

The Government emigrant ship Vocalist, 1004 tons, Captain FLEET, sailed from Liverpool on Tuesday the 16th  ult.for Algoa Bay, Cape of Good Hope in charge of Surgeon Superintendent Patrick CULBANE, with 59 married couples, 92 single men, 84 single women, 49 boys between the ages of 1 and 12, 58 girls between the same ages, 6 male infants and 6 female, making a total of 413 souls. The emigrants who embarked this vesssel were selected by the Hon. William  Field, the Emigration Commissioner for the Cape of Good Hope.

With respect to the Cape Town and Wellington Railway the Argus says - We are all looking forward, with a great deal of anxiety to the commencement of our first railway. The best results are expected from it.

Dr BROWN has been writing to one or two of the Cape Town papers on the subject of the small-pox and the state of the small-pox hospital. He expects there will be many fresh case the whole of the week, but trusts that the wole will be over before the middle of next month.

FUNERAL OF THE LATE MAJOR HOPE- The remains of Major HOPE were interred, on Tuesday afternoon in the burial ground at Wynberg. The funeral procession was exceedingly large and included about sixty carriages in addition to a great number of pedestrians.

22nd Sept at Cape Town, Mr George Wolfgang SPENGLER  to Miss Elizabeth Georgina PEDDER
20th Sept at Cape Town Mr Charles van Deurs WILSONto Miss Emma WALL

29 Sept at Cape Town, the infant daughter of Mr A.B. BAIRD
30 Sept at Cape Town, Mr Edward HINES aged 25 years
07 Oct at Cape Town,William Edward Robert, son of Mr James SYMS ages 6 years
03 Oct at Cape Town, Frederick Henry son of Mr. F. ROGUE aged 2 years
03 Oct at Cape Town, Sarah Caroline, daughter of Mr.George HASHAM, aged 6 years
06 Oct at Cape Town, Harriet Ann, wife of Mr John T. STANLEY, aged 32 years
07 Oct at Cape Town, Madaline Maria DANIELS aged 2 months
30 Sep at Cape Town, James QUINN,85th Regt. aged 35 years
12 Sep at Cape Town, Mary Agnes,second daughter of Mr.Richard BURNIE aged 8 years
13 Sep at Cape Town, George TWYCROSS Esq. aged 57 years
26 Sep at Cape Town, Mr Charles HOLT aged 43 years
26 Sep at Cape Town, Mr. E.O. FINNERAN, aged 22 years.


His Excellency the Governor, who was daily expected to arrive in Port Elizabeth, on his return from the Free State, has been requested to lay the foundation stone of the new Town Hall, which request Sir George GREY readily consented to. It is estimated that the building will not be completed for a less sum than £ 10,000, it will be one of the finest in the colony.

The Circuit Court was opened by Chief Justice HODGES.The criminal roll was not heavy. The cause in the civil list of greatest interest was that of Clairmonte & Co. v. the Port Elizabeth Fire Insurance Company. After the proceedings had continued for two days, on the suggestion of the judge arrangements were made and the plaintiff received£10,000 on the whole claim. The one for which hte action was brought was£ 3,000 buth other demands were made to the amount of £17,000.

Employers of labour throughout the Easter Province were anxiously waiting to learn when the next batch of immigrants may be expected to arrive in Algoa Bay, as labour was still very much in request and the daily demand increasing notwithstanding the large amount who arrived only a fw months ago.

GRAAFF REINET- Graaff Reinet at this season is looking very beautiful and showing itself worthy of its appellation - the "Gem of the Desert". The fruit trees are everywhere in full blossom and the syringa or Indian Pride which lines the streets loads the air with the perfume from its blossoms.

On the south-west border there had been a great deal of fighting among the native petty chiefs. The question of federation, lately so much talked of in the colony, was partially discussed also in Natal, but in a cautious manner.

A commission had been appointed to inquire into and report on some suitable scheme for public education for the colony.  The commissioners are - The Bishop of the English Episcopal Church, the Bishop of the Roman Catholic Church, the first Puisne Judge, Mr CONNOR, the Colonial Secretary, the Attorney General, the Rev Dr FAURE of the Dutch Reformed Church, the Rev W. CAMPBELL of the Presbyterian Church, the Rev H. PEARSE of the Wesleyan Church.

The Hanoverian brig Candace, after being about five months on the East African coast had returned to Port Natal. She left with a number of German missionaries. Her voyage has been disastrous, having failed in landing on the Zanzibar coast grounded and fever carried off one of the missionaries and attacked others of the party and crew.The missionaries will be landed at Natal and will probably join the Hanoverian mission in this colony.

02 October at D'Urban, William Robert Shaw, only son of the late William WILSON Esq of Londonderry, Ireland, aged 38 years.

The Cape Division including the Cape, Wynberg and Simon's Town districts is the oldest and most important of the whole colony.
In Cape Town and the Cape district there are several manufactories of hats, candles,soap, snuff. A very superior  description of hat is made in Cape Town and sold as cheap as the same description of article of English manufacture. There are several steam mills in Cape Town and several wind and water mills in its vicinty, employed in grinding wheat for the use of bakers and private families. Also several iron foundries, tanniers, breweries and limekilns. Large quantities of fish are caught in Table Bay and along the neighbouring coast, both for home consumption and exportation, giving employment to between 300 and 400 fisherman.
In the district of Wynberg, within a couple of hours ride from Cape Town are situated the interesting farms of Constantia, where the celebrated wine of that name is grown.
Malmesbury formed till lately, part of the Cape Division. Formerly it was known by the name of Zwartland and the chief township by that of Zwartland's Kerk. The beautiful Saldanha Bay Harbour is situated in this division. The entrance of this bay which is through a ridge of granite hills is not quite three miles broad. Its northern arm is called Hoetjes Bay.
The town from which the division of Stellenbosch gets its name is one of the oldest in the colony. It is pleasantly situated along the north bank of the Eerste River at the head of a beautiful valley formed by magnificent mountains.Stellenbosch has become a favourite resort to strangers and invalids. Its delightful climate, shaded walks and extensive gardens render it a cool and agreeable retreat. An omnibus runs to and from Cape Town daily - the hard road having thus brought one of the finest country towns in the colony within four hours ride of the metropolis. The late Drostdy House and buildings and gardens having been bought for 1,105 14s. and transfer rendered to the synod of the Dutch Reformed Church for the purpose of establishing a Theological Seminary. According to an accurate census taken in 1856, it has been ascertained that the township contains 1,226 males and 1,293 female inhabitants and it has been estimated the total population of the division including that of the townships amounts to about 8,000.


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