Richard Freemantle* was the eldest son of Richard Freemantle* and Elizabeth Freemantle nee Mitchell. He was born in England, probably in the Southampton district in 1803
[There is some confusion over the date of his birth as that given on his marriage certificate is not the same as elsewhere. It can be presumed that he was born between 1796 and 1803, and that he was married in 1823 at the age of 20 or more. As it is believed he was the eldest child, and that his brother John was probably born in 1806; followed by another brother, Samuel born in 1808.]
re: Richard Freemantle's age and date of birth:
On the shipping lists as quoted by H.E.Hockley, E. Morse Jones, I. Mitford-Barberton and in the appendage of 'Goldswain's Chronicle', which was probably compiled from Cory's 'Rise of South Africa', Richard Freemantle's age is given as 17 or he is given as the eldest son, with his brother Samuel's age being 11 and brother John being 14. Consequently this was the position recorded on the Freemantle tree drawn up in the early 1970's, before any other information came to hand. As a large number of the original prospective emigrants in Mahoney's party withdrew and were replaced by others wishing to come to the Cape Colony, and the Freemantle family fell into this latter group, it is possible that this confusion was caused by the many changes which were made in the various lists and led to mistakes arising in the information they contained.
As stated previously, in 'The Settler Handbook' M. D. Nash writes: 'A comparison of the two lists suggests that James Macfarland snr and jnr, Florence Carty, George Hamblin snr. and jnr., Alexander Patten and Charles (or Cornelius) Lamb, whose names appear on the Agent's list, did not in fact sail with the party. They seem to have been replaced by Richard Freemantle jnr, Samuel Freemantle, Thomas Alder, John Shearan, Denis Sullivan (all of whom signed the agreement) and Thomas Berrington. Berrington's signature does not appear on the agreement; he may have been an independent settler who paid his own deposit and was not bound in service to Mahony. References traced in colonial records confirm that all six of these 'replacements' were in fact at the Cape between 1820 and 1825.'
On the list of Mahony's party given in this same book Richard Freemantle is recorded as being 24 years of age and a wagon maker, like his father and brother, Samuel. Samuel's age is given as 18. It seems unlikely that they would have been required to sign the agreement unless they were considered adults (i.e. over 18).
In the introduction to this book, M. D. Nash states: 'there have been five published lists of names of the 1820 settlers, starting with Thomas Sheffield's 'Story of the Settlement' which was produced in 1884 to celebrate the opening of the Settler's Memorial Tower in Grahamstown two years earlier, and included a list of 'the Fathers of the Settlement, with their honoured wives and children'. The most recent list, E. Morse Jones' 'Roll of the British Settlers in South Africa', was published in 1970 under the auspices of the 1820 Settlers National Monument Committee to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the settler's landing. None of the five versions of the settler lists is still in print, and since publication of Morse Jones' work, detailed studies of the Nottingham and Irish settlers and the large groups who emigrated under the leadership of Shephton and Bailie have brought much new information to light.' And now, with the advent of the Internet and access to much more information additional entries will be needed and dates etc. updated.
Presumably Richard Freemantle* came out to the Cape Colony as a Settler with his father, stepmother, brothers and sister in Thomas Mahoney's party on the 'Northampton'. In December 1819, he was, probably, listed by Mahoney under a false name and, consequently, neither his own name nor age is shown on the shipping lists. As he and his family were in London prior to applying to emigrate, it can be accepted that they were in that city after his father's second marriage, so it may have been about (or between) 1809 to 1814. However, it could also be that his parents moved to London after their marriage and before his birth, as no record of his birth has been traced in the Southampton area.
[All these dates are very hard to trace as none are confirmed and they often seem to contradict each other, either because there was some reason to change those given to the authorities at the time of emigration or because people did not always remember or became confused. Those given on the Internet as in London and shown as 'about + the date' would appear to have been taken directly from the shipping lists and therefore, probably, unreliable]
The 'Northampton' sailed from England on 14th.December, 1819 and on 24.12.1819 Richard signed an agreement with Mahoney, the leader of the party, whilst on board 'in the Downs off Deal'. The ship reached Simon's Bay on 26.3.1820 after an extremely adverse voyage and they landed at Fort Frederick, together with the other passengers on 12.5.1820. They apparently only reached their [Mahoney's] allotted location on the Coombs River in October, 1820. Perhaps, like the Stubbs family, they were deposited at some place on the route and then had to find their way to join the rest of Mahoney's party near the Clay Pits, or maybe it simply took so many months just to sort out the new arrivals and transport them to their destination.