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CELEBRATING THE 200TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ARRIVAL OF THE NOTTINGHAM PARTY AT CLUMBER IN 2020

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Clumber Church
Clumber Church

200th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS

 There are many ways to celebrate and we feel that it would be good if the various families got together under their family banners and gather round a fire at a typical South African bring and braai. To those who are not familiar with South African customs this is a gathering around a fire for a barbecue where all bring their own food and refreshment. We will provide the wood or charcoal for the fires. This will give ample opportunity to renew old acquaintances and forge new friendships and maybe discover new families. The Common at Clumber Church has ample space for such a gathering. And this is the area , at the base of Mount Mercy, where the wagons rolled in on July 25 1820 with their precious cargo of the Nottingham Party. And this is the date for the planned celebrations; July 25 2020, a Saturday, and the exact date of their arrival, 200 years ago.

On Sunday July 26 2020 at 11h00 there will be a combined Port Alfred Circuit Service at Clumber in honour of those Methodists who ministered God's word and were responsible for planting so many Methodist Churches in the Albany District. Rev William Shaw was the first ordained minister to preach at Clumber. However there were many other lay preachers who provided spiritual guidance , such as William Pike, Henry Hare Dugmore and John Ayliff . 

It is up to the individual families to arrange their respective get togethers. The Clumber community will not get involved; all we ask is that you let us know of your group and the numbers of persons who will be gathering.

Prior to this gathering on 25 July 2020, Courteney Bradfield, a direct descendant of John and Mary Bradfield of the Nottingham Party, will be giving a talk on the Nottingham Party at Clumber Church at 10h30  on Saturday 8 February 2020. This in recognition of the Nottingham Party being all aboard the vessel Albury waiting for the final departure from Liverpool on the 13th February, 200 years ago. All are welcome to join us as we honour this very special group of people at an event which forms part of our Bi Centennial Celebrations.

Build these dates into your planning schedule and communicate with us on our email address on this site. We would appreciate hearing from you.

The Common at Clumber
The Common at Clumber

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Clumber Church 2020 Calendar


Herewith our full programme for 2020

As Clumber was the centre for schooling and worship for many of the 1820 Settler party's, Clumber may well be a specific point of interest for bicentenary tourists; and for descendants a visit to the graveyard will be an added interest.

Besides 2 specific events, interest may also be shown in attending a Sunday service in a functioning Settler Church - the third Church on this site, built in 1867, and established in 1825.

26 January 2020 Church Service 11h00

8 February 2020 Talk on Nottingham Party 10h00 by Courteney Bradfield, a direct descendant. On this day in 1820 the Nottingham Party was aboard the vessel Albury awaiting their departure which finally happened on 13 February

23 February Church Service 11h00

22 March Church Service 11h00

26 April Church Service 11h00

25 May Church Service 11h00

28 June Church Service 11h00

25 July Bicentennial Celebrations - 12h00 Bring and Braai on the Clumber common

26 July Combined Circuit Church Service 11h00

Should a guided tour of Clumber be requested then they may contact Courteney Bradfield on 0760611025 or email clumberchurch@gmail.com
Courteney Bradfield delivering his talk
Courteney Bradfield delivering his talk

Bi Centennial Talk

There have been so many requests for a copy of the talk on the Nottingham Party as part of the bicentennial celebrations presented at Clumber on 8 February 2020, that the complete transcription of that talk is presented below

Bi Centennial Celebratory talk on the Nottingham Party presented at Clumber

 Bi Centennial Talk at Clumber

2020 The Nottingham Party Story - Part 1

Good morning, for those who do not know me let me introduce myself - my name is Courteney Bradfield , a sixth generation descendant of the Bradfield family who came out from England as a member of the Nottingham Party. I am not a historian but I continue to be absorbed by the tale of the 1820 Settlers which was recently called by a historian as "probably the most callous act of mass settlement in the entire history of empire” 

I consider this talk a great honour and one which I approach with some trepidation; talking about the days of my ancestors. These peoples faith in God gave them the courage to surmount the troubles of each day. I have been privileged to be given access to the diary of Elijah Pike, son of William Pike , a local preacher and the third and final leader of the Party. I have been struck by the entries in his diary of the great depth of their faith - the prayer meetings they attended, the analysis of the sermons which were preached on a Sunday, their absolute faith in God, by the pouring out of the Holy Spirit in the prayer meetings on these people. For this reason I have asked Alan Pike , also a 6th generation descendant from William Pike, to read for us the well known Psalm 23 from Scripture which I consider would possibly be the prayer of these people to a God that they knew, a God they trusted, a God that gave them comfort and strength . I have asked Alan to alter the words of this psalm to read from the singular to the plural to represent a possible reading of the scriptures by the entire group . This is my dedication to a group of people at this exact moment in time 200 years ago on the vessel Albury , anchored in the River Mersey in Liverpool waiting to sail away. We have no records of what was said or sung or talked about at that moment in time on 13 February 1820 when the anchor was lifted. But listen to these words and I hope you would also consider it appropriate and befitting as their mindset then.
( " Reading of Psalm 23" THE LORD IS OUR SHEPHERD WE SHALL NOT WANT)
In my youth I went to Sunday School in the Clumber Hall which was located at the foot of Mount Mercy and went to School in this building behind us and naturally went to Church here, in this building.
 This morning I will be talking about the Nottingham Party of 1820 Settlers who made Clumber their new home. All the content of this talk is derived from what I have read in numerous historical volumes, letters and books and programmes of events which celebrated the arrival of the Settlers . But I am also deeply indebted to Rob Smith, a historian from Nottingham for digging up actual letters from the archives which I have woven into my story here this morning. I have only one Bradfield story which I am going to recount here and it concerns elephants. On the farm Bradville the farm allocated to Settler Joseph Bradfield, my father Granville Bradfield, pointed out to me the indentations in the ground which were apparently used by the elephants as mud wallows when they were in the area. Yes, elephants roamed this area - there is a record of some 40 elephants moving past The Church in April 1826. According to my Granny Grace, her mother in law, Julia, my great grandmother, saw the last of the elephants as they moved through the farm and carried away her washing that was hanging on the line. I have no further story or story's handed down over the generations which could be included as they cannot be verified .For example my grandmother, Grace Bradfield, nee Tarr talked a great deal about Grandfather Bradfield, Jonathan Bradfield - he was called Chachu - but there is no way I can confirm if my recollections of the stories heard in my boyhood years were genuine or not - so I have excluded these. To think that if I had paid attention I could have learnt a great deal as Chachu was a son of an 1820 Settler , Joseph, who came out as a 19 year old with his parents, John and Mary. Interestingly enough every single one of those of my direct forbears, 5 generations, are all buried here at Clumber. 
In those early years of establishing themselves here, Clumber would have looked much different. The farms were based on recreating what they knew - on English lines. Most probably they wanted Clumber to evolve into a village and the Nottingham Market here was such a step. Farms were small, growing vegetables, the Bradfield's were renowned for their floury potatoes, lots of fruit trees were planted - oranges and apples and vines and of course the cows and goats for milk and sheep for the table. Grain crops too , but , unlike today , not a pineapple in sight!
Before we can even start to talk about the Nottingham Party, though, there are background events which all led up to the fact that some 3800 people , called the British Settlers of 1820, left Britain for the Cape of Good Hope. Why? Why did they come here ? Why did they come to an empty stretch of land ? Devoid of any infrastructure except for a few cart tracks and a series of forts which were scattered along the Eastern boundary as well as certain internal portions of the Cape, but that was all. Remember, the seat of Government of the Cape of Good Hope was in Cape Town and access from there to this Eastern Border was tenuous to say the least. The Governor, Lord Charles Somerset, had his offices in Cape Town far removed from this hotspot. And I use the word hotspot purposefully. The Xhosa nation in the East of this border was being pushed further and further South and West by the expansionist Zulus. Little notice was taken by the Xhosas of the fact that the British had declared the Great Fish River as the easternmost border of their territory , the Cape of Good Hope . The Cape of Good Hope stretched from here inland to Graaff Reinet and from there in a Westerly direction to the Atlantic Ocean. Soon , despite sporadic skirmishes, the Xhosa invaders had penetrated the border and were trying to settle as far West as what we know now as Kenton on Sea. In a well planned attack in 1819 on the fort in Grahamstown, they almost succeeded in overrunning the garrison there. That galvanized Somerset into action and he made a concerted effort to push the Xhosa back over the boundary to the Eastern side of the Great Fish River. In fact Somerset had recommended to his Government in England over a number years that the only way to promote stability along this border was to populate it and work the land thus forming a buffer zone. This was also a cheaper option than trying to increase the military presence to patrol the border.
In 1819, the Foreign Office in England started warming to this proposal because England had major problems of its own. The Napoleonic war was over and the returning soldiers struggled to find work. The industrial revolution was under way, putting the once flourishing cottage industries such as lace making and hosiery knitting under unbelievable pressure. So much so that the cottage industries started collapsing, putting huge numbers of people out of work. Not only was the unemployment figures staggeringly high , but there was huge discontent among the populace . Firstly the parliamentary proportionate representation was skewed and secondly only 2% of the population had the vote and thirdly the Corn Laws inflated the price of bread to a level which the normal folk could not afford to pay . And that was a staple commodity, bread..The populace was disgruntled and protest marches became the avenue for them to vent their frustrations. On 16 August 1819 a huge protest gathering was organised to take place in Manchester drawing people from the surrounding districts, not only Manchester itself.. The authorities despised and ridiculed those who protested as their marches were not orderly and in their everyday clothes the protesters presented themselves as a ragged lot and therefore not worthy of attention. This march was different, the organizers pressed for an orderly march and those who were protesting were requested to wear their Sunday best.The people were drilled and practiced so that in their marches they would ultimately present themselves to the authorities as an orderly group. These practices however had the opposite effect, creating alarm in the city authorities and the army was called in to monitor the situation. Some 60 thousand gathered , others estimate the gathering was 80 thousand strong - here were ordinary folk dressed in their Sunday best, orderly and disciplined, gathering to voice their grievances of ineligibility to vote and dissatisfaction with the Corn laws which made a few people wealthy and the majority unable to feed their families a basic commodity like bread due to the exorbitant costs. Into this mix a further element was introduced, the suffragette movement, so many women were present.
The authorities panicked when they saw the huge crowd and ordered them to disperse. As loud hailers were not yet invented, the shouting of instructions to such a huge crowd to disperse, proved ineffective and eventually , Sabres drawn, the soldiers rode into the crowd leaving some 18 people dead in their wake. This protest event, held in St Peters Field was dubbed the Peterloo Massacre in reference to the battle of Waterloo. The authorities held an inquiry and absolved the military of any blame. The populace was livid. This event has been swept under the carpet for 200 years and only recently, in 2019, has a monument been raised to the fallen in Manchester. Even a film has been made of the Peterloo Massacre and this was released last year. It remains a blot for England and has purposefully been underplayed all of this time.
In Nottingham there were now protest marches every day . Women carried banners "pity our Distress" "We ask for Bread" " Pity our Children" . In November 1819 there was a protest March by about 5000 men.                                             
The authorities, fearing another Manchester uprising called in the military who occupied Brompton House in readiness.
Against this background , and in Nottingham in particular, where the cottage industries once flourished, is it any wonder that a large number of people applied for emigration once this scheme to emigrate to the Cape of Good Hope was advertised. The Duke of Newcastle advocated that the unemployed of the country should be encouraged to emigrate and approached wealthy patrons to sponsor a party from Nottinghamshire and raised some £3 thousand to this end. The Nottingham Party as a result, was one of only 4 parties,of the total of 61 parties, that emigrated to the Cape in 1820,that consisted of the poor. The entire Nottingham Party, except one, were reliant on the their patron , the driving force behind the establishment of the Party, the Duke of Newcastle. The one man who paid his deposit , was Thomas Webster. Over 700 persons applied to join the party; only 164 travelled.
Just let us pause here and consider what we have learnt about this group from Nottinghamshire. Firstly, I think we can safely say that they were fed up with the government of the day. Secondly, and more importantly, they were literally starving. Thirdly there was little hope of their circumstances improving in the immediate future.
Most that applied for emigration were linked to a specific cottage industry, one which had totally collapsed ; namely the framework knitters. Hosiery was knitted on a frame supplied by a distributor of the finished product. Houses of the framework knitters generally had a standard appearance. The frames were located on the top floor where many windows let in the light. The whole family were involved in the production process, with the males working the frames and the wives and daughters applying the finishing stitches. Maybe it was because of the experience of this collective family effort that ultimately led to perseverance and final success of their new venture here in Clumber - a venture which was totally foreign to them - namely farming.
The Duke of Newcastle was almost the last who applied to Earl Bathurst for permission to send a party to the Cape. Because of his standing, his request was approved but this led to delays. In the first week of December 1819 the Nottingham Party list was nowhere near being finalised; yet at this time two ships, the Chapman and Nautilus, had allready started on their voyages to the Cape. A ship to transport the Nottingham Party was requisitioned to sail from Liverpool and arrangements had to be made to transfer the emigrants to there from the central point of Nottingham. The possibility of using barges for this transfer was eventually discarded in favour of wagons for the luggage and provisions as well as four in hand coaches which could complete the journey in a day. The procurement of goods to support this group of people swung into overdrive. Wooden Boxes were requisitioned to be made to hold the personal belongings of the Settlers. Agricultural and gardening implements such as sickles and spades, reapers, scythes, Bill hooks etc were ordered. A vice and anvil and iron for the blacksmiths. Clothes such as waistcoats, trousers, cloaks, chemies, socks and shoes. Slates, rulers and pencils, Inkstands, quills, spelling and grammar books. Even the Dowager Duchess of Newcastle pitched in and ordered a box of baby linen. Most of these were delivered directly to the docks in Liverpool.
At the time of departure from Nottingham, the list was in a continual state of flux so the entire party could not travel as a group. It was decided to schedule regular departures by coach and on arrival in Liverpool they were to be accommodated at a grocer, William Whittaker, at 2 Xbow Lane, who had rooms at 19 pence per night . Women and children were destined to travel by coach with 4 traveling inside and 9 outside . Imagine how cold it must have been outside - we know that at this time the River Thames had frozen over , locking all shipping in its icy embrace. The men had a more arduous form of travel - they had to walk to Liverpool , some 110 miles or 180 Kilometres ,accompanying the convoy of wagons carrying the 16 tons of luggage and goods , under supervision of Sergeant Dennison. The men were the first to leave Nottingham, 10 January 1820 . The wagon route involved being 3 nights on the road and traversed the Pennine Moors. The first 4 in hand coach transporting the women and children left Nottingham on 12 January 1820. These coaches left regularly; the last on 21 January. There is an account of young Elijah Pike, aged 6 , son of William and Mary Pike, being in awe of the forest of masts and spars of the ships he saw as the coach drew in to Liverpool Harbour.
I have often wondered at this journey. Knowing now that these people were not well off, had they been on a long distance coach before? Had they ever travelled to the seaside? I think we can state with certainty that they had never boarded a ship before. What an adventure for them! Perhaps terrifying - perhaps so overwhelming that not much thought had been given to what awaited them at journeys end. Possibly just excitement and a hope that they were leaving grinding poverty behind. That flame of hope of new beginnings
All the luggage and goods which were on the wagon train were impounded at the docks due to a mix up concerning payment of the transport. This was only released on 26 January after payment had been made.
Their vessel, the Albury, was anchored in the River Mersey, not in the dock ; presumably to save money and let us not exclude the possibility of preventing those who had lost heart in the venture, of jumping ship. It was a vessel of 343 tons and had only one deck which was so low in height that one could not walk upright. The bottom was sheathed in copper to prevent leaks. The vessel was 96 feet long and the beam or width 24 feet wide.
To save costs, those who were staying at the Inn were transferred to the Albury as soon as possible. Every day there were new Settlers arriving and there is a report of Calton, the leader of the Party, on 16 January taking 30 people to the Albury , almost having a fatal accident on the way , where the rigging of the transfer craft was swept away. He was severely rapped over the knuckles by the authorities for putting the lives of his passengers on this transfer craft at risk. Then, going aboard, he found that 15 people were not registered. So, back to the wharf the 15 went and presumably they returned from whence they came. 
This incident gives an idea of the organised chaos that beset the Nottingham Party. It was not an orderly transition of an entire group of people from the central point of departure, Nottingham,to the docks at Liverpool. People appeared to be arriving on an ad hoc basis. Be this as it may, eventually by 26 January 1820 ALL the 164 members of the Nottingham Party were aboard. 58 men, 27 women and 79 children . On 27 January, Surgeon Thomas Calton with his family left his lodgings and boarded with all the luggage and equipment of the Nottingham Party. For the first time, the emigrants had access to their personal belongings. Everything was now set for departure; there could be no turning back now. On Friday 28 January the Liverpool Auxilliary Bible Society came aboard to establish the needs for Bibles. Their record states that there were "pious " people aboard. It is an unusual word in today's vocabulary , but it reinforces my earlier remarks about this deeply religious group. Once ascertaining that all could read , they left and returned on Monday 31 January with the Bibles.
That was an important passage for me "after ascertaining that all could read " it gave me another clue as to the make up of this group of people. Poor they may have been, but schooling must have filled their younger years as they all could read.
The final composition of the Party makes interesting reading. Of the 164 persons, 58 were males of either families or single adults , the breadwinners
Labourer ..............14 or 25%
Gardener....4
Sawyer.1
Turner.1
Draper.1
Framework Knitter..............14 or 25%
Ropemaker.1
Saddler and harness maker.1
Grocer..2
Surgeon.1
Wheelwright.1
Sergeant.1
Carpenter....4
Blacksmith...3
Brickmaker.1
Stonemason.1
Tailor..2
Farmer.1
Lawyers Clerk.1
Cordwainer.1
The authorities who vetted the applications obviously considered that it was not necessary to possess the knowledge of farming. In fact the sole farmer on this list died on the Albury on the journey to the Cape. It is nothing short of astonishing that those few who remained on the land at Clumber, made a success of their lives. However I am getting ahead of myself.
From 26 January the master of the Albury , Captain Cunningham, was waiting for favourable weather to set sail. However a series of cold fronts moved in and it was only on 13 February that it was deemed safe to sail away on the long journey to the Cape of Good Hope.
And this was the pattern of their journey, delays. Here, on the River Mersey they had waited for 18 days before sailing .
The day of sailing also saw the death of two infants - Susannah Hartley , 11 months, and John Cross 6 months. These deaths were attributed to being anchored for so long on what was deemed to be an unhealthy River. These deaths also were the spur for the womenfolk in washing their children daily as a deterrent to diseases.
After leaving Liverpool , the Albury encountered bad weather off the coast of Wales - so bad was it that the hatches had to be battened down, much to the consternation of the Nottingham Party below decks. Unable to reach the top deck they accused the captain of incompetence and were terrified of their possible impending fate, locked up below decks. They however came through this ordeal unscathed.
What were conditions on board like ? We do know that the Albury was not a clean vessel. Also, one could not walk upright below decks. Single men were given a blanket and had to lie where they could. Married folk were sometimes lying 4 to a bed and Calton often wondered that " no mistakes were made" . Singles were lying 4 and even 6 to a single bed. From this we can deduce that conditions could politely be called " cramped". To get a perspective of how much room these 164 people had, let us consider this. The square footage of the deck they occupied was 2304 and a tennis court 2808 - so the Albury deck was smaller than a tennis court by some 504 square feet. Naturally throwing together so many people in a confined space resulted in arguments and unpleasantness. Dr Calton had a rough time and he was at his wits end. In his correspondence he attacks the framework knitters saying that should another party be considered for emigration that framework knitters should definitely be excluded as they were more talkers than doers. Calton and Dennison were also at loggerheads with Calton accusing Dennison of undermining his authority. He accuses Denisson of spreading falsehoods that he , Calton, was going to keep most of the stores designated for distribution amongst the Settlers. He was also at loggerheads with William Pike, a local preacher

 Bi Centennial Talk at Clumber

2020 The Nottingham Party Story - Part 2

and a Methodist, for preaching on board and holding prayer meetings; threatening Pike with expropriation of his land allotment. William Pike, despite this dire threat, continued with his work of ministering to the folk on board.
The journey to the Cape of Good Hope followed a route to Maderia where the Albury anchored on 27 February 1820. On 1 March they passed the Canary Islands and on 15 March they crossed the equator ; having been almost becalmed since 10 March. On 20 March , John Sykes, the only farmer in the Party, died at midnight. 
Following an almost direct Southerly course they finally picked up the trade winds on 27 March. Between 8 th and 17th April they encountered gales and strong headwinds before swinging due East to Simmons Bay where they anchored at midnight on 1 May having now spent 77 days under sail from Liverpool and 95 nights since all were aboard at Liverpool.
Much to the disappointment of the Nottingham Party they were not allowed on shore. Elizabeth Sykes wife of John who had died at sea had requested her return to England, disembarked here. To add to the already cramped conditions on the Albury, a further 142 passengers from the vessel Zoroaster were transferred to the Albury; Dyason's party from London numbering 67, Wait's party from Middlesex, 40 persons, and Thornhills party numbering 35. From Jeremiah Goldswain of the Wait party we have this comment about the Albury:
"We got on board to see the difference between the two ships . I was astonished. The Zoroaster was as clean as possible for a vessel to be, but the Albury you could not walk upright between her decks and she was not the cleanest vessel I ever saw"
From Simmons Bay the Albury sailed on to Algoa Bay which was reached on 15 May 1820 and 3 other ships also anchored here on this date - Aurora carrying 344, Brilliant carrying 144 and Weymouth carrying 478. Due to heavy seas the Nottingham party could not disembark. In any case they had to wait their turn as all ships were disembarked in strict rotation according to their arrival. Finally , after 14 days anchored in the Bay, on 28 May , their turn came to disembark. There was no pier or wharf where one could step ashore in comfort. A captain Evatt was in charge of landing operations. All settlers were transferred to flat bottomed boats and pulled ashore. From the flat bottomed boat women and children were carried ashore whilst the men had to step into the shallows for the last yard or two and wade ashore. What a liberating experience that must have been ,to be on land after spending all of 3 months in cramped conditions on board. 
The landing at Fort Frederick however must have given the Party some food for thought. There was no town here, only a few houses and the Fort. Accommodation for them was in tents neatly placed in rows on the sand dunes, some 2000 of them. Dubbed by the Settlers, Tent Town, it was to be their home for many weeks before the wagons would take them away to their location at Clumber. Based on the principle of first come, first served , the convoys of wagons provided by the Dutch farmers , some from as far away as Graaff Reinet, were insufficient to cater for the sudden influx of Settlers. So they had to make themselves at home here, knowing that the tents they occupied were also to be loaded on the wagons when they left and would be their new home until permanent structures could be built.
It was here, on the dunes at Tent Town, that we get a glimpse of the character of William Pike. As we know, William Pike had been providing spiritual guidance to the Nottingham Party on the voyage and he continued doing so in Tent Town. But here he had a larger audience and commenced regular preaching to all who would listen. John Ayliff , like Pike, a Methodist local preacher, describes his first encounter with William Pike on the dunes as : " a small,thin man in a long blue gown. This surprised me for I have never seen any minister in a blue gown before." My personal observation is this : despite being on the receiving end of the wrath of Calton for ministering to the Party, and almost losing the source of his future livelihood, his land, here Pike seems to be trying to be as conspicuous as possible, dressed in a blue gown against the white backdrop of the dunes. He seems to be saying to Calton - I will preach no matter what you try and do to me . 
Calton died suddenly on 8 July.. Elijah Pike in his Reminices says the Party regarded Calton as a stingy man . He said that they were God fearing people and the mood in the Party was that Calton had been removed so that he would not harass them any more. A case of divine retribution as it were.
On 10 July the Party nominated Thomas Draper as the new head but this had to be ratified by the Foreign Office in England.

The British Govt in setting up the scheme had agreed to giving rations to the settlers for the first three years, or until they became self sufficient in providing their own rations, which ever came first. Rations meant 3/4 of a pound of ground wheat or corn per man per day and 2 pounds of meat per man per day. Women received half a man's ration, and children a third of a man's ration. Other vegies, fruit etc, were expected to be purchased by the settlers or grown by them.

Donkin , the acting Governor , in his wisdom, organised for 60,000 'starter' ration packs worth to be available (2000 people x 30 days) from mid April at Algoa Bay, and a further 40,000 to be available at Grahamstown.  

On 15 July, 48 days after landing, 30 odd wagons ,at a hire cost of £8 each, were finally loaded and the last stage of their incredible journey could begin.Their route took them from Algoa Bay North then East , crossing the Zwartkops and Cougo Rivers near the coast. Then inland over Grass Ridge to Addo Drift across the Sunday's River about 20 miles from the mouth and then over Addo Heights where the route forked ; one inland to Grahamstown and the other a coastal route which they followed. Turning South East they passed Congo's Kraal and Jagers Drift on the Bushmans River. After the Mission Station at Theopolis they then crossed the Kowie River close to the mouth. Once fording the river they turned inland to Bathurst and after a couple of miles to their final destination which lay in a valley they called Clumber, after the seat of their patron, the Duke of Newcastle, Clumber Park. Once their possessions were offloaded the wagons immediately turned round to head back to Algoa Bay. The Nottingham Party was finally on its own. In a wilderness . Amongst the scrub, thorn and trees. It was now up to them to make a go of it. There was no possibility of a return to England; their financial situation did not allow that. 
Young Rosa Pike remembered running down to investigate the small stream nearby , the Torrens River, and on her return found her mother, Mary, seated on a box and crying, frightened that the wolves and tigers would come that night to eat them up. One of the first thing this Party did on that day, 24 July, was to ascend the small hill at the bottom of which their possessions were now strewn and gave thanks to God for safe deliverance. They named the knoll Mount Mercy, and it was on this knoll that the future places of worship were built.
Tents were raised and these were home until they built temporary wattle and daub structures on their allotments. Thomas Draper, the new leader, left shortly after arriving and William Pike was then elected as the 3rd and final leader. The first priority was the clearing of the bush to plow fields for crops of wheat and vegetables. And here I think it appropriate to read a letter written by William Pike which to me reflects a hope and appreciation for a positive change in their lives. This despite not having a permanent home, nor the support of a fully functional village for shops and the like. Also, a wonderful appreciation of the countryside of their new home.

(*** Reading of William Pike letter). 

 Those that watched the wheat grow at the end of 1820 were filled with hope until the crop failed due to rust. Nothing daunted they tried again in 1821 with the same result. Rust. 1822 the pattern repeated itself. The situation was now dire. Rations were now at an end and the government seeing their precarious situation supplied rice to alleviate the pangs of hunger. Then in Octoberof 1823 a disastrous Great Flood wreaked havoc on the District. The first week it began to rain steadily giving way in the second week to torrential downpours and finally in the third week it became gentle showers. The lands which had been laboriously cleared were washed away and the wattle and daub houses with it. So they had to start all over again. 
Visitors to the region in 1823 were appalled at the state the Settlers were in. They were still in the same clothes they had arrived in. Hats of plaited palm fronds were now the norm. Many were barefooted. Animal skins were used as jackets. But from these disasters arose a determination to adapt to their new found occupations as farmers. Others could not take the hardship and left to ply their skills in Grahamstown, and Port Elizabeth and further afield. A further realization was that bigger farms were needed rather than the small allocation which was provided .Also, a change of farming direction was needed. Soil and climate conditions were vastly different from England so plants and animals more suited to the new environment were put on trial.
From a very rocky start, things started improving. Clumber was the one region where most of the Party who initially settled here, took root , and adapted to the local circumstances. Initially, with Donkin in charge as acting Governor, Bathurst was to become the main town of the region which was contrary to what Governor Somerset wanted. On his return from leave he overturned Donkin's plans and reverted to placing emphasis on Grahamstown as the chief town of the region. With the demise of Bathurst, Clumber found itself in the Centre of numerous Parties establishing themselves in the immediate region. No wonder then that Clumber advanced to be a Centre for worship and schooling. 
With William Pike as lay preacher, Church services were held at William Pikes home in inclement weather and under the trees at John Bradfields home when the weather was good. Sometimes they even held Services on Mount Mercy. The first Service conducted by an ordained minister occurred on 11 January 1821 when Rev William Shaw visited Clumber. Following this , a preaching plan in conjunction with Salem was drawn up. But, for some reason, numbers started dwindling and Pike used to attend Services further afield. On foot one day returning from a Service with Jeremiah Goldswain accompanying him, Jeremiah asked Pike to try holding Services once more at Clumber. The rest as they say, is history. In 1825 the first Church was built on Mount Mercy - only 5 years after the arrival of an impoverished Party. Quite a remarkable and astonishing achievement. Towns such as Grahamstown and Port Elizabeth started burgeoning thanks to the influx of Settlers who had vacated the land and applied their skills in new ventures. In short, success was in the air. Times were still tough but people were adapting.
It unfortunately was not to last. The optimism would soon be replaced by despair and dismay. In December 1834 some 10,000 Xhosa swept across the border of the Great Fish River on a broad front, taking everybody by surprise. Burning and pillaging along their way, many Settlers lost their lives in the Xhosa onslaught. The Nottingham Party abandoned their homes and farms and gathered in Bathurst for protection. This was deemed impossible to provide so on 24 December 1834 they were relocated to Grahamstown under guard where they took refuge in St. Patrick's Church. Returning in 1835 they discovered that their Church had been entered and damaged by the invaders so another Church was built and opened in 1837 ; the design of which was to provide protection in case of another War. The Settlers had to start again as many houses were burnt, their stock carried away and the fields were laid to waste. Maybe , because of their experience in the last 15 years it became easier to find their feet , but it must have been a heart wrenching time. 
In 1837 a day school was in operation in the Church with Thomas Peel as schoolmaster, a position he held up to 1848. By November 1837, tenders were called for the erection of a schoolmaster's house next to the Church.
Very good rains fell in 1842 and in March of 1843 significant rains fell , causing the Torrens River to rise three times. In fact there was so much rain that it damaged crops.
Peace ,however, was short lived and unfortunately war broke out again in 1846. This time, rather than evacuating the area, defense stations were planned. In April, Clumber Church became the Clumber command station with Thomas Cockroft as Commandant and women and children had the relative safety of the Church should it be needed when the men were out on reconnaissance duties.
The shadow of War appeared again in October 1850 and this time the base camp was established on Edward Timm's farm, Prospect, as it was considered easier to defend than the Church. Settlers set up their wagons here and erected wattle and daub huts and they stayed at the farm Prospect till the end of hostilities in 1853.
The Cape of Good Hope in the meanwhile, was maturing. In 1854 the first Parliament met in Cape Town. This must have led to a feeling of stability and hope for the future for the British Settlers of 1820; especially after the Wars they had experienced.
In 1856/ 1857 an event unfolded which eventually broke the back of the might of the Xhosa nation. This was the great Xhosa Cattle Killing when the Xhosa people were induced by the prophetess Nonggawuse to slaughter their cattle in a mass sacrifice that was predicted to be followed by a miraculous overthrow of the British. Historians estimate that some 300000 or 400000 head of cattle were killed. Because of this , a famine ensued, with some 40 to 50000 people dying of starvation- there are records of corpses littering the streets of KingWilliamsTown.

During this time, Grahamstown was growing too, and its importance was recognized when the second Parliament met here in 1864.

The second Church here at Clumber was now in a dilapidated state after so much usage as a place of worship , of schooling and as a defense station. So a third Church was planned , this one, which was completed in 1867. After the completion of the third Church, the second was still standing and so continued being used as a School . 
At this moment in time in this narrative, at the building of this Church , I think it appropriate to cease the narrative on the Nottingham Party. Sure , descendants of the Nottingham Party still populate the vale of Clumber, but as an entity, the Nottingham Party was by now fragmented, with new descendants of other Parties populating Clumber. Their legacy however lives on in this beautiful , but simple Church. So many of the original features are still with us.
Under our feet, out of sight, the sneezewood joists , in sight,the yellowwood floor, the yellowwood pews. The Windows and doors of teak and many panes of 1867 glass in the Windows. The ceiling too is original with the Oregon trusses above it ,and not a nail in sight . Look at the magnificent ceiling vent . The pulpit was bought in Grahamstown and made by an 1820 Settler. All the walls are of stone and plastered. The vestry however was added on later to commemorate the centenary of the 1820 Settlers and is constructed of brick on a stone foundation. 

To end, I would like you to go back in time and contemplate the losses experienced in the Colony following the 6th Border War which erupted in 1834. In the diary of Elijah Pike he lists all that which was lost . We all talk so glibly about the effects of war. Can we really grasp the immense loss and devastation ? The numbers are terrifying 
5715 horses
111, 930 head of cattle
161,930 sheep and goats
436 houses and 58 wagons consumed by fire
300 houses pillaged
Standing crops and gardens entirely destroyed.

 These people deserve our admiration for standing firm and not abandoning that which they had painstakingly built up.

About the Nottingham Party we say this.
We will continue to honour their incredible tenacity, strength of will , their faith, in building a new future, full of promise and hope , for their descendants. We will never know the depths of the lows which they experienced , but the proof is , they rose above it , and left us, their descendants , an incredible story of which we can be immensely proud. We will remember them.

Thank you for listening 














Video of Courteney Bradfield's Talk at Clumber on 8 February 2020 as part of the Bi Centennial Celebrations

Video of Nottingham Party Talk at Clumber 8 February 2020

https://photos.app.goo.gl/G13CHhnYJgR8WCsw6

Courteney George Bradfield