Grahamstown Journal

Grahamstown Journal 1899 03 March

Wednesday 1 March 1899

A case of starvation occurred at Bloemfontein on Monday. A family named KROGER, father, mother and four children, were discovered in a hovel in great distress. One child was already dead, and the mother and another child were in a very precarious condition. Help has been provided, but the husband does not seem to have assisted his family at all.

A brutal murder was committed a few miles from Vryburg on Saturday morning, a white man named Tom RATHENBERG being killed at his wagon with a hatchet. The deceased was travelling from Krugersdorp, where he had been working as a transport rider, and robbery is supposed to have been the motive for the crime. Suspicion rests on his boy, a tall, well-built colonial Kafir named Jacob, who is supposed to have started by train for Kei Road.

Tuesday – A sad drowning fatality took place at Seapoint this morning. A lady and her two children were sitting on the rocks, when one of the children slipped and fell into the water. The child was immediately carried out to sea by a strong current, and the distressed mother, Mrs. BARNETT, a widow of Capetown, who followed, was soon also in great danger. The mother was rescued by passers-by who went to her assistance, but the child was drowned.

Thursday 2 March 1899

A terrible suicide is reported from Bathurst. Yesterday about noon Mr. Mitford HAYWARD shot himself with a shotgun, and died about three hours afterwards. At eleven o’clock he was at his daughter’s house and asked for a drink of water. The family was partaking of tea, and he had some. After this he said “I don’t suppose I shall have any more tea here: you will hear of something today!” He then went into his own house and shut himself in his bedroom. His wife told the daughter who is at home to go and look for him, but she did not go, and going herself to the door saw deceased standing with the gun under his left arm, the muzzle pointing towards his heart. She then heard a report, and on entering found deceased lying, bleeding from a wound in the left side. A great part of the charge had lodged in the lungs, the muscles of the left arm were torn away, and the rest of the charge had gone through the iron roof. He died three hours later.
Deceased was 75 years of age, and a hale and hearty old man. Dr. JONES, District Surgeon, held a post mortem examination, and it is thought probable the funeral will take place today.

In the Supreme Court on Tuesday the case of MAPPIN v MAPPIN was heard, being an action for a decree of nullity of marriage on the ground that defendant had previously been married, her former husband being still alive. James Arthur MAPPIN, the plaintiff, stated that he was formerly in the East Yorkshire Regiment, and was married to Jessie WHITE in November 1895. She had deceived him as to her being unmarried. A divorce was granted.

Friday 3 March 1899

The remains of a young white girl, named Miss Lily BELL, scarcely 20 years of age, were buried from the Johannesburg mortuary on Sunday afternoon. The girl (who lived with her parents and family at Mayfair) in a state of distraction partook of a quantity of embrocation on Saturday morning. On the matter being reported to the parents no time was lost in calling in two doctors, but the united efforts of these gentlemen could not stay the fatal effects of the poisonous solution. The girl gradually became worse and died.

Saturday 4 March 1899

Welshmen in South Africa will welcome this week by the Carisbrook Castle another of their fellow countrymen, the Rev. W. Owen LEWIS, of the Colonial Missionary Society, and late of the Memorial College, Brecon. He is on his way to Johannesburg, where he will succeed the Rev. H.W. NEWELL at Ophirton, who has come to Capetown to take charge of the Barrack Street Mission. Mr. LEWIS is an able preacher in Welsh and English.

Tuesday 7 March 1899

Mrs. S.J. ROBINSON, who for many years lived in Somerset East and was one of the original Settlers, has died at Kendrew. The old lady had reached the advanced age of 90.
[Transcriber’s note: She was born Mary SARGEANT. Her Death Notice gives her age at death as 84]

Wednesday 8 March 1899

The remains of Gabriel [BATES], the unfortunate policeman who shot himself, were consigned to their last resting place on Friday in Johannesburg. The sorrow stricken old mother fainted away. Two elders of the Dutch Church conducted that ceremony. One of them said that a few weeks ago the cap worn by the deceased, when hanging in the [....], was destroyed by lightning. That, the elder held, was a warning of death.

Rev. Dr. KOLBE, editor of the S.A. Catholic Magazine, has had a severe attack of fever while staying at the Transkei for a few weeks’ rest. He is now convalescent, but it will be some time before he is completely restored to health.

The sudden demise of Mrs. SCHOLEFIELD MORRIS, wife of the popular Wesleyan Minister at Pretoria, cast quite a gloom (says the S & D News) over the community. No less than five doctors attended, but notwithstanding every effort made, the deceased lady succumbed to septic poisoning at the early age of thirty. The funeral took place yesterday afternoon, the coffin being covered with lovely floral tributes, and a vast number of friends paying the last honours to one of Pretoria’s most esteemed and gentle lady residents.

Friday 10 March 1899

DIED at Grahamstown on the 8th March 1899, Jane Ann, widow of the late Henry CLARK, in her 69th year.

The case of the Indian woman in Durban, who came to Natal with her Coolie husband and his other wife in 1895, and has now sought and obtained a divorce on the ground that the other wife was his first wife, and therefore she herself could not be married to him, is singular enough. The Magistrate said that though the second marriage was legal in India, where it was contracted, the law of Natal does not recognise any polygamous marriages whatever. Thus the second wife is pronounced to be in Natal a single woman, though in India she would be a wife equally with the other. What is worse, it is probable that neither is the first wife a wife in Natal. Those who remember the decision of the English Court in the case of BETHELL’s will, some years ago, will understand what we mean. BETHELL married a Bechuana woman, and on his death his son sought to inherit the father’s property. The decision of the Court in London was that he was not legitimate by the English law, and could not inherit – not that BETHELL had had any other wife before or since his Bechuana marriage, but because that marriage was one which (according to native custom) would have allowed him to add a second wife if he had wished to do so. No marriage which admitted the possibility of a plurality of wives could be recognised by English law. The case was hard: but there might be reason for insisting on English marriage laws, where it was a question of inheriting property in England. But, coming back to our Natal Indian, it seems that English law (to which the ultimate appeal would lie) must, according to the BETHELL decision, pronounce that he has no wife whom that law can recognise. It would even seem that there is no Indian in a British Colony who can be regarded as married, or whose wife, even though he may have but one, may not claim the right to leave him. Hindu law and custom admit of polygamy; every Hindu marriage therefore, it would appear, is invalid in territories where English law is supreme. The conclusion seems an absurdity. Marriage is older than Christianity, or even Judaism, and to overthrow the marriage laws of Eastern races because they differ from ours, can only lead to confusion and immorality. The English Court did not go so far as this: it did not say that BETHELL was not truly married according to Bechuana law, or that his children could not have inherited property that might fall to them as his successors by tribal law. But the Natal Magistrate’s decision, taken in connexion with the English case, appears to dissolve even a first Hindu marriage, though perfectly legal according to Indian law. The same rule must in fairness apply also to natives in Natal. We cannot but regard it as oppressive and mischievous: and we should hope a Higher Court would reverse the decision.

The marriage of that good old cricketer and sportsman, Mr. J.B. BOWKER, takes place at Kimberley on the 13th inst.

A pretty little wedding was solemnised at Holy Trinity Church, Port Elizabeth, on Saturday the 4th instant, by the Rev. Dr. HEWITT, the contracting parties being Spencer N. STONE and Lilian A. GOODYEAR, late of Aldershot and Plymouth respectively. The bride, who looked charming, was attired in white silk trimmed with chiffon and pearl passementerie, with chiffon sash. She also wore a white chiffon hat trimmed with ribbon bows and ostrich tips. Her ornaments were diamonds, brooch and bracelet, and she carried a handsome bouquet, all gifts of the bridegroom.

Saturday 11 March 1899

BIRTH at the Residency, Grahamstown, on the 10th inst, the wife of Dr. T. Duncan GREENLEES of a son.

The wedding was celebrated on Wednesday at St.Andrew’s Church, Somerset-road, Capetown, of Arthur W. STEER, of [Orange-street], and Gertrude, daughter of Mr. T.W. CAIRNCROSS, Waterworks Engineer of the City. The ceremony was performed by the Rev. J. RUSSELL, assisted by the Rev. J.J. [McC....], of the Gardens Presbyterian Church.

The news from Pretoria of the death of Mr. David FRASER will be received by a large circle with feelings of genuine regret. The tidings were not unexpected, as the deceased gentleman left Johannesburg in ill health, and his condition had occasioned anxiety for some time. Mr. FRASER’s connection with Johannesburg extended over a good many years, and was manager of the liquidated Cape of Good Hope Bank. Mr. FRASER was offered the managership of the A.B.C. Bank, a position he filled up to the time of his illness with conspicuous success.

Tuesday 14 March 1899

This is to notify the Public that I have taken out a Licence to buy and sell Game.
Butcher & Baker
February 23rd 1899

Monday – About 500 people attended the funeral yesterday of the late Thomas ROBBINS, who was a Colonist of thirty years standing and owner of Kentish Tavern.

The death is announced at Wellington, New Zealand, of the Rev. William COLENSO F.R.S., first cousin of the late Bishop of Natal. The rev. gentleman was in his 87th year.

Thursday 16 March 1899

BIRTH at Preston Cottage on the 15th inst, the wife of J.R. PHILLIPS of a son.

At the Circuit Court, Kingwilliamstown, on Monday morning, an interesting divorce case was heard, in which Gilbert BRENT, Sanitary [Pitman], and Emily BRENT, his wife, with BOCK, proprietor of the Merry-go-round which was at the Exhibition, as the co-respondent, for divorce and £500 damages [sic].
Mr. MAASDORP for plaintiff. Mr. HUTTON for defendants.
The declaration set forth that plaintiff was resident in Kingwilliamstown. First named defendant is plaintiff’s wife, and they were married in the division of Peddie in 1871. The said marriage still subsisted. There were five children of the marriage, of whom four were living, the youngest being a minor. It was shown that between 1st and 8th December defendants cohabited together at Queenstown, and again on diverse occasions during the month of December, and at Grahamstown during the months of December 1898 and January of this year. The plaintiff, in consequence, had suffered damages to the extent of £500, which he now claimed, decree of divorce, custody of minor child and forfeiture of benefits under the marriage in community of property.
After hearing evidence in the case, His Lordship Sir J.D. BARRY granted decree of divorce, BRENT to have custody of the minor child, and all rights forfeited under marriage in community of property.
BOCK was ordered to pay £50 damages and costs of the case.
[Transcriber’s note: The marriage certificate of Gilbert BRENT to Emily Ann TARR is here]

Saturday 18 March 1899

I wish to thank all kind friends for their kindness and deep sympathy shown to the late Mr. OXLEY and myself, especially his officers, Inspector SCHENK and Sub-Inspector [CROMER], also Sergt. GLOVER, and all the men stationed in this city, who showed much regret and sympathy for their late Non Com. Officer, Mr. OXLEY. I also tender many thanks to Mr. and Mrs. P.W. PAGE and Miss J. FOX, who have shown great kindness and sympathy to the late Mr. OXLEY and myself.
[Transcriber’s note: The Civil Death Notice for Francis Arthur OXLEY shows that he was a police officer who died on 15 March following a fall from his horse.]

The death has taken place at Durban of Mrs. Ann BARRATT, who landed at the Cape in [1839], and while at Butterworth fled with Dick KING in his historic ride to Grahamstown for the relief of Natal. During Sandilli’s revolt, she with her family fled to Natal, thus becoming one of its earliest settlers.

Hearty congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. E. COCKCROFT of this city, who today are celebrating the twenty-fifth anniversary of their happy wedded life.

Tuesday 21 March 1899

Married on the 8th March 1899, at Shrewsbury Church, District Peddie, by the Rev. E.P. Thomas, Herbert Rhodes McLUCKIE, of Bathurst, to Ethel Emily, second daughter of Mr. F.W.G. PENN, of [Permont] Farm, District Peddie.

Wednesday 22 March 1899

A sad accident happened at Thomas River last week, at which Mr. James HOBBS lost his second son, a young man of about 21 summers. It appears that young HOBBS went out with some natives for the purpose of cutting some wood, and whilst in the act of felling a tree it somehow fell on him, and on being released from the tree it was found that he was quite dead.
[Transcriber’s note: Deceased was Archibald Gilbert HOBBS, my grandmother’s first cousin]

Friday 24 March1899

DIED at Spitzkop on the 21st March 1899, Andrietta Smith, widow of the late W. NICOL.

Tuesday 28 March 1899

Mr. Herbert WALLACE, the well-known farmer of Collingham, near Grahamstown, had a narrow escape the other Saturday afternoon during a thunderstorm. He went outside and was standing near the dairy, watching the storm. A few feet off was a great blackwood tree wherein the fowls roost. The feathered bipeds, according to their custom, had retired to their virtuous couches, when suddenly the tree was struck by lightning. Mr. WALLACE was flung to the ground and experienced a severe shock, though fortunately he was unhurt. The fowls came tumbling out of the tree like falling fruit, and two or three were picked up dead. The tree was not damaged, but a [....]-wood pole under it, which formed part of a wire fence, was split to matchwood. Collingham seems to have been right in the tract of the summer storms this season. We congratulate Mr. WALLACE on his lucky escape.

Wednesday 29 March 1899

An old Natal Colonist, Mr. Joseph HENDERSON C.M.G., has passed away. He went to Pretoria with Sir Theophilus SHEPSTONE as Treasurer-General.

Mr. George BOWNESS, Manager of the Consort Consolidated Mines, Barberton, a leading man there since the early days of the fields, has died of malarial fever.

Thursday 30 March 1899

BIRTH at Hillside, Palmerston, Pondoland, on March 17th, the wife of C.H. BRENT of a daughter.

[There was no issue on 31 March as it was Good Friday]

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1880 to 1899