Settlers and ships

Serendipity with Bev Young

LITTLE thought has been given to how the 1820 settlers disembarked from the ships that brought them here.

COMING BY SEA: An example of disembarking from ship via a ‘tender’, a small boat which rowed the passengers to shore

After months of hideous discomfort, even worse food, sickness, death and infighting, the first 1820 Settlers landed in Port Elizabeth. They would be loaded into these baskets, then dropped into a “tender” (small boat) and rowed ashore.

In 2020, it will be 200 years since that momentous occasion. This period saw one of the largest stages of British settlement in Africa, and about 4 000 settlers arrived in the Cape, in around 60 different parties, between April and June 1820.

The settlers were granted farms near the village of Bathurst, and supplied equipment and food against their deposits. A combination of factors caused many of the settlers to leave these farms for the surrounding towns.

The interesting aspect of our region, is that settler families have thrived, intermarried, embellished legends and continue to embrace “new” settlers from all walks of life.