In 1819, in response to the Settlement Scheme for the Cape Colony put forward by Lord Bathurst, Secretary for the Colonies, at the instigation in about 1815 by Lord Charles Somerset, Governor of the Cape, among many others, an Irishman named Thomas Mohoney organised a party of 42 people in London.
This party was originally larger but it was divided, Surgeon William Clarke leading 88 people as a separate party.
Richard* and Sarah* Freemantle and their children joined this party, signing the party agreement on 24.12.1819 and they set sail from England on 14th December, 1819, in the 'Northampton', arriving in Table Bay in March, 1820. The ship then proceeded to Simon's Bay and, thence, to Algoa Bay, which they reached in April, 1820. They landed at Fort Freedom on 1.5.1820.
On the shipping lists Richard* is designated as a 'Wheelwright' and the name of his eldest son, Richard*, then aged about 17, is not recorded although his wife, Sarah at 31 and children, John (shown as 14), Samuel(as 11), Eliza (as 5) and George (aged 2) are listed.
(The Morse Jones' card index suggests that the son, Richard, came out under an assumed name, but the source of this possibility has not been traced and therefore cannot be confirmed. For many reasons, this kind of thing did happen, and it could be an acceptable explanation for the omission of his name from the records. It seems unlikely that he did not emigrate with the rest of his family and there is no record of his following them out separately later.)
The voyage on the 'Northampton' proved to be an extremely unfortunate one, taking approximately four months, and with more than its share of unpleasant occurrences. Shortly after sailing, the 'Ocean' collided with the 'Northampton'; then small pox broke out on board; also the ship just escaped drifting onto the Goodwin Sands. During the voyage Thomas Mahoney, apparently fell foul of the Captain and crew and, as many of his party were Irishmen, tempers soon erupted, which kept the vessel in a state of turmoil throughout the voyage.
It is probably from this situation that another traditional family tale arose to the effect that there was so much disturbance on board that a number of settlers, including the Freemantles, were placed in irons on the Captain's orders! Consequently, the more cynical would relate with glee that the first members of the family to reach these shores landed in irons!