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Newspaper Cuttings from the Eastern Cape

Newspaper Cuttings from the Eastern Cape - H


Newspaper cuttings from the Eastern Cape.
Source unknown - July 1971
Settler Son was a pioneer Editor

Last year's 150th anniversary celebrations of the British Settler's arrival and this year's events to mark the Kimberley centenary were of special significance to Mrs. Doreen EATON of Port Elizabeth. For she is a descendant of Casper Henry HARTLEY, son of an 1820 Settler and a pioneer newspaper editor in the diamond fields. Mrs. EATON, wife of Mr. F. Owen EATON, who played important roles in both the Settler centenary and 150th anniversary celebration, is a great-great-granddaughter of Casper's aunt, Sarah HARTLEY, who married John BATES. Mrs. EATON, whose brother is Walter BATTIS, the famous artist, has done a lot of fascinating research into her forefather's history.

Casper Henry HARTLEY owned and edited the Kimberly Daily Independent, which was the first daily newspaper published on the diamond fields and one of the first daily newspapers in South Africa. He was the son and grandson of 1820 Settlers, the HARTLEY's who came from Cuckney, a village near Mansfield, Nottinghamshire and sailed from Liverpool in the Nottingham party.

Their ship, the Albury, landed at Algoa Bay on May 27, 1820 and they travelled to Clumber by wagon, settling in Bathurst. Casper's grandfather Thomas HARTLEY, a metal craftsman, built the Bathurst Inn in 1831, owned Summerhill Park, a 1,600 hectare farm and a shop and smithy.

Caper's father, William , seems to have had a flair for writing, for he left what is a valuable document for historians today - 14 verses, "Trials and Tribulations" of the Settlers. Written in 1852, this gives a very personal account of their sufferings and of the political climate of the day. William and his wife Mary moved to Tarkastad, where Caper, the third of their eight children was born on the farm "Morning Sun" on March 6, 1836.

William was appointed a Municipal Commissioner and general government agent among the Boers, who inverted him to join on their treks., but he did not do so. When they grew up, Caper and some of his brothers and sisters settled on the diamond fields. Casper was editor and publisher of the Independent for 16 years, starting some time between 1875 and 1877. The newspaper became so popular that it became a daily from August 1879, but later financial depression caused it to cease publication. Caper, who married Emma FREEMANTLE, came of fine stock - hardy, enterprising and of integrity. His father's one brother, Jeremiah became an honoured Wesleyan missionary among the Bachuanas and Basutos.

The youngest brother, Henry HARTLEY, who settled in the Magaliesberg district, was a pioneer of Rhodesia. The town HARTLEY was named after him He was also a famous elephant hunter and discovered old gold near HARTLEY Hills. Among the many direct descendants of Casper's father, William is Mrs. Francis McPHEARSON, wife of Mr. Ian McPHEARSON , the Port Elizabeth Town Clerk.


Newspaper cuttings from the Eastern Cape.
Evening Post, 19 Feb 1983
Sad end for hero of Blood River
East London woman heard tales of pioneer days perched on Grandma's knee
by Keith ROSS

A 93-year-old East London woman, Mrs. Rhoda EKRON, still remembers many of the tales she heard while perched on the knee of her grandmother, an 1820 Settler. Her grandmother was Selina HAYWARD, who arrived in South Africa as a child with her parents, James and Tabatha HAYWARD, who were in the 60-strong party of S. JAMES from Wiltshire, on board the Weymouth Castle in 1820. A bell in the Campanile in Port Elizabeth is dedicated to the memory of James HAYWARD.

Selina HAYWARD told Mrs. EKRON the Weymouth Castle was a small boat that took a bettering in heavy seas and bad weather. It sailed from Portsmouth carrying a number of parties including those of Miles BOWKER, [23 from Wiltshire], Alexander BIGGAR, [55 from Hampshire] and William COCK, [91 from Oxfordshire]. After a journey of three months the Weymouth Castle brought its settlers into Algoa Bay, where they landed.

"My grandmother said they were taken on an open ox-wagon to the Bathurst district," Mrs. EKRON said. "It rained heavily along the way and they all had to huddle together for warmth."

Mrs. EKRON said many of the settlers believed they were going to established homes on the frontier. "They had been told they were going to new homes, so they expected to be given houses. My grandmother said it was a shock when they were offloaded next to a large boulder and told that this was their new home. For a long time they lived under a tree till they could build a house. That took a long time because they first had to make their own bricks."

Mrs. EKRON said her Grandmother had told her of they many hardships the family suffered and how they nearly starved. "Their farm was attacked by the Xhosa tribesmen several times. The Xhosas set the thatched roof of the house alight and at least once my grandmother and her parents had to abandon the farm and go to town for safety."

Mrs. EKRON said the hardships on the frontier made the settlers very self sufficient. "My Grandmother was wonderful with her hands. When I was a child she used to make all my clothes, including my leather boots. She used to come and measure my feet, and not long afterwards, she would produce a pair of boots."

Selina HAYWARD was married at fifteen to William BARTLETT and they had nine children. After the death of BARTLETT, she married George WILMOT and had another two daughters. WILMOT was also an 1820 Settler, who had sailed from London in the Aurora at the age of 13 with his elder brother, Joseph WILMOT, in the party of 344 under H. SEPHTON, the largest party of Settlers. One of the WILMOT daughters was Sarah, who married William COLLETT and had eight children, including Mrs. EKRON.

Mrs. EKRON lived with her grandmother on the family farm, Standerwig in the Bathurst district till she was six. It was during those years that she heard so many tales about the settlers and their hardships. When she was six her grandmother died and the family moved to Bolo in the Stutterheim district.

Mrs. EKRON has two younger sisters living in East London, Mrs. Ruby HOAR and Mrs. Blanche CLASSEN. They are too young to remember their grandmother, who died in 1892.


EP Herald, 13 Jun 1980
100 years not out.

Kenton-on-Sea's grand old lady, Mrs. Myrtle Gwendoline HILL, will celebrate her 100th birthday at her home in Bathurst Street, Kenton-on-Sea on June 17.

Mrs. HILL, formerly REED was born and brought up in the Alexandria district and came to live in Bathurst district when she married **Mr. G. H. HILL, a well-known farmer who, later was for many years, a member of the Albany Divisional Council. The couple had four children, but one died and the survivors are Mrs. Thelma LESLIE, who lives with her mother, Mrs. Marge DIXON, who lives almost next door and Mr. Lauri HILL, who lives in Port Elizabeth.

For all her married life Mrs. HILL lived on the family farm, Melville, 16 kilometres out of Kenton on the Salem Road, although her husband died 40 years ago. Long before Kenton-on-Sea was even thought of, the HILLs owned a camping site on the West Bank of the Kariega River Mouth. It was there that Mrs. HILL built a house in which she has lived for the past 14 years.

Up to about 5 years ago Mrs. HILL was a familiar sight as she walked all round the village, but she had been declining since then and although we will not be having the extensive celebrations we held for her 90th birthday and which she thoroughly enjoyed, her friends will be very welcome to pop in to see her," says her daughter Marge.

EP Herald, 28 Jun 1982
Myrtle 102

It is as well that I wrote about Mrs. Muriel HOBSON as possibly the oldest Old Collegiate girl alive earlier this year. Mrs. HOBSON is in 100th year. Mrs. Myrtle Gwendoline HILL of Kenton-on-Sea turned 102 last week and attended Collegiate as Myrtle REED.

She was one of the 14 children of the REED family who farmed Thornhill in Zuney Valley near Grahamstown. She didn't matriculate from Collegiate, but spent the last two years at Holy Rosary Convent, I was told. Now in failing health she is the only one left alive of seven brothers and seven sisters. All the REED girls were named after flowers.

Her son, Mr. Laurie HILL of Port Elizabeth, retired as groundsman of Collegiate School only a few days ago. He was groundsman at Collegiate for 11 years and is one of Mrs. HILL's ¹ three children.

**Charles George Henry HILL
m1. Jessie Amanda PERRING - Five children
m2. Myrtle Gwendoline REED - Four children
Granny HILL died at Kenton-on-Sea in 27 Jul 1982

I have four children
¹ Thelma LESLIE née HILL, Marjorie DIXON née HILL, Charles and Laurie HILL.

Charles George Henry HILL was the third child of Henry HILL and Clarissa Ann Seadon CROFT
Henry was the fifth child of Charles HILL and Elizabeth BERESFORD, 1820 Settlers


EP Herald, 29 March 1982
Collegiate Old girl a lively 99.

Possibly the oldest Old Collegiate girl alive celebrated her 99th-birthday in Maritzburg last week. She is Mrs. Muriel HOBSON who, with her daughter Mrs. Marjorie SMALL, flew to Durban the day before her birthday in order to spend it with her younger son, Mr. Peter HOBSON. Her elder son Jack lives at Laubscher Park, Port Elizabeth, where Mrs. HOBSON too has a flat. Two of her four sons are no longer living and Mrs. SMALL is her only daughter. Next month the first of the great-great-grandchildren is due to be born in Zimbabwe, and next year there might well be a five-generation family party.

Mrs. HOBSON is the grand-daughter of the Hon. Richard Joseph PAINTER, Member of the Legislative Assembly who lived in Fort Beaufort. She is the eldest of Mr. and Mrs. Sidney PAINTER's seven daughters, five of whom attended Collegiate School for Girls. Mrs. HOBSON was there in the days of Miss Elizabeth MOLTENO and her assistant, Miss Alice GREENE, who wrote the school song. Because the school didn't have a boarding house at that time, she lived with an uncle and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. Ebbie GEARD of 80 Park Drive, Port Elizabeth. That house was where Craighall flats now stand.

Talking of her many sisters and brother she jokes: "My parents had five daughters and then came a son. So they thought they had the answer. But two more daughters arrived." She married Mr. Woodford HOBSON when she was very young. He was her father's farm manager and they lived on the main farm at "Longnor Park", near Fort Beaufort. They left to live in what was then Northern Rhodesia in 1926. "Longnor Park" is still in the family and Mrs. HOBSON often visits relatives.

She has no regrets about having had a pretty hard life. "I've had an interesting life and that's the important thing." For 28 years she ran the library in Luanshya and twice travelled extensively overseas. "There was no such thing as carrying your own luggage in those days - I don't think I'd like to travel overseas now." Her daughter says she has come to live in Port Elizabeth with her mother, just to make sure that she makes the centenary.

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