THE HALL FAMILY CONNECTION.
From: 'The Roll of the British Settlers in South Africa - E. Morse Jones. (1820 Settlers)
HALL Benjamin Hall, aged 29, wife Frances Hall, aged 28, children: Frances, aged 5; Hannah, aged 4; Mary, aged 3; in Willson's party on 'La Belle Alliance'.
Benjamin was a farmer.
E. Morse Jones also lists the birth of a daughter, Emma, born at sea to the wife of Benjamin Hall.
From: 'The Settler Handbook' - M. D. Nash
No. 17 on the Colonial Department list, led by Thomas Willson, an architect and commercial agent of Bridge Cottage, Chelsea Waterworks, London. Along with Bailie, Parker and Edward Wynne (who was later succeeded by Hezekiah Sephton) Willson was given permission to take out one of the four largest settler parties, consisting of 100 able-bodied men and their families. Wynne's application was well received because of his party's religious convictions, and Bailie and Parker had powerful patrons in Government, but the Colonial Department later admitted that Willson's selection was a mistake that was not discovered until it was too late to rectify it. One Edward Webb Wilson had applied to emigrate with the influential backing of J. Kynaston Powell of Ellesmere, and the Colonial Department confused the two similar names and accepted Willson's proposal in error.
This was a joint stock party, recruited by advertisement, and like Parker's and Baillie's, it served to absorb the remnants of smaller parties whose applications had been rejected or whose numbers had diminished. Many of these men were London tradesmen ...
Early in September 1819, before Willson had been notified of the success of his application, he claimed a first instalment of five pounds from his prospective settlers, who were required to pay two further instalments of five pounds per man to cover the cost of their deposits and the 'necessary stores', which Willson proposed to purchase for the party. In addition, he levied a five per cent surcharge on the total amount paid, as a personal fee for his efforts on their behalf. In October he issued a printed circular containing a bewildering set of proposals for the organisation and management of the party.
He suggested that ten men of the party should form a 'society', each contributing an equal amount of capital and five labourers, and constitute themselves a Committee of Management to oversee the erection of houses and the cultivation of their land. In addition to this party within a party, he proposed that every ten settlers should select a Director to represent them, who would assist Willson himself in 'the dispensation of benefits'. In the distribution of land to the members of his party he would be as generous as was consistent with 'the public good' and the preservation of his 'own individual rights as Lord of the Manor'. He was willing to give a written guarantee of his intention to grant land to any settler who was entitled to a share, and who would 'pay a stipulated sum towards a Fund of Indemnity' intended to go into Willson's own pocket. All that emerges clearly from this extraordinarily unclear document is that Willson is anxious to avoid responsibility for the management of the Party, as he was to ensure his own 'adequate pecuniary support'. Willson's settlers subsequently denied that they had given their approval to these confused proposals, 'nor was it ever asked'.
Although most of the party were 'free' settlers who paid their own deposits, there were not many among them whom their contemporaries would have classed as 'gentlemen'. Several men, however, were sufficiently well-off to take servants with them: the Wilmots employed four servants, as did Collis; Cock, Currie and Willson each employed three; and Bisset, Lloyd, John Smith, Webb and the Rev. William Boardman had one servant each. The size of the party called for the inclusion of at least one medical man, and at one stage, in fact, had three: Thomas Cock, James Pawle and William Combley. Combley did not remain with the party; he was seconded to travel in the 'Sir George Osborn', which had no surgeon on board, but shortly before sailing he decided not to emigrate after all. His servant, Charles Bowsher sailed in the 'Sir George Osborn' but it is not known whether he rejoined Willson's party on its location.
Under the terms of the emigration scheme, any party of 100 settlers could be accompanied by a clergyman, who would receive a government stipend. Willson saw this as an opportunity not only to provide for his settlers spiritual welfare but also to establish a 'classical academy' at the new settlement. His first nomination was the Rev. Edward Pizey, who was rejected as ineligible by the Colonial Department; he was more successful with his second nomination, the Rev. William Boardman. Boardman was the headmaster of Blackburn School in Lancashire, and was desperate to emigrate: he hoped to attach himself to Hayhurst's party, but it was not large enough to qualify for the services of a clergyman. The Colonial Department accepted Boardman's nomination on the recommendation of his patron, Thomas Claughton, Member of Parliament for Newton, which was counter-signed by the Bishop of Chester, as well as numerous testimonials to Boardman's good character, strenuously denying allegations of drunkenness which he feared would prejudice his chances of success.
Deposits were paid for 102 men and their families, and the party boarded 'La Belle Alliance' at Deptford. One of the men withdrew at the last minute because of illness. After more than a month's delay before leaving the ill-bound Thames, the ship sailed from the Downs on 12 February 1820. Thomas Cock's wife and three of his children and one of Wilmot's servants died on the passage out, and Thomas Henderson and Thomas Randall obtained permission to disembark at Simon's Town with their families and leave the party.
When 'La Belle Alliance' sailed from Simon's Bay on the last leg of her voyage to Algoa Bay, Willson distributed another circular to his party, claiming 'indemnification' for the effort and expense he had been put to and the right as 'Lord of the Manor' to hunt, fish and cut timber on the party's lands and call on its members for labour. The 'free' settlers under his direction were unanimous in their determination to resist these demands, and on arrival at Algoa Bay toward the end of May, they submitted a petition to the Acting Governor, Sir Rufane Donkin, asking for his intervention. Their anger was exacerbated by Willson's refusal to issue them either with regular rations or the additional 'necessary supplies' for which they had been required to pay in England. Donkin held a meeting with Willson and the petitioners, and 'after explaining and exhorting, and deciding rather against Mr.W', he believed that 'union was restored'. The party was located on the Bush River, a tributary of the Torrens.
Willson, however, abandoned his settlers as soon as they reached their location and returned to Algoa Bay, from where he retreated to Cape Town, claiming that 'the wretched-minded classes' had threatened to put a bullet through his head. The direction of the party was left in the hands of the Rev. William Boardman. Willson had planned to found a town called Angloville, where he hoped to erect 'a colossal Monument to our beloved Sovereign' but the name eventually given to the location was Beaufort Vale.
Note: there was a poem written by A. Vine Hall called 'The 1820 Settlers' - reference is made to it in 'The Story of the British Settlers of 1820 in South Africa' by H. E. Hockly.
From: 'Albany Chronicle' - E. Morse Jones - references to the Hall family.
1831 - 10/21 - Ann, widow of David Hall married James Smith
1826 - 1/21 - Benj. Hall of Beaufort Vale completed repairs to Port Francis
Residency. He and William Roberts tendered for re-roofing
the Harbour Master's residence.
1826 - 7/3 - Benj. Hall tendered for repairs to Gov. bldgs.
1828 - 1/22 - Benj. Hall tendered for school furnishing and painting
1828 - 5/28 - Benj. Hall & Wm. Roberts surveyed the 2 life-boats in Port
Francis at the request of Harbour master.
1834 - 4/15 - Mary, dau. Of Benj.Hall married in Gmt. Dennis Brien
1831 - 4/10 - David Hall ...
1834 - 4/ - Hannah Hall ...
1833 - 10/ - Sarah Hall was married (by Rev. Heavyside) to William Crout