FF6 FREEMANTLE FAMILY - 1820 Settlers (Part 2)
F6/ 2 Samuel Freemantle* = Sarah Elizabeth Paxton*.
(1802/1809 - 1879) [m. 1827] (1809 - 1879)
Samuel Freemantle* was the son of Settler Richard Freemantle*(1st) [See Section F1/1. in F.F.1] and his first wife, Elizabeth Freemantle nee Mitchell and he was probably born in the Southampton district or in London. There is some uncertainty as to the date of his birth and neither his birth certificate nor the church registering of his Christening have been traced as yet.
[Note: Source - IGI has three entries for Samuel Freemantle, son of Richard Freemantle and Elizabeth Mitchell. (i) birth 1808, London; (ii) and (iii) birth 1.1.1809, London, but no other information has been obtained]
He came out to the Cape Colony with his father, stepmother, three brothers and a sister with Mahoney's party on the 'Northampton'.
[Note: 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' his age is given as eleven (which would confirm the date given on the IGI) Consequently this was the figure recorded on the Freemantle family tree drawn up in the early 1970's, before any other information came to hand.]
However, on his death certificate his date of birth is shown as 1.2.1802 and this is probably correct and as he signed the contract with Mahoney that would confirm he was 18 or over in 1820.
Although this latter date is most likely to be correct, it cannot be taken for granted as one can observe that, in a number of cases when people live to or exceed the biblical 'three score years and ten', there is a tendency for them to accumulate a few extra numerals to enhance their longevity; also it seems difficult to imagine that seven years added to the life of a teenager would go unnoticed, even though there were, in fact, many reasons for misinformation regarding the ages on the Settler lists. For instance, at that time and in those circumstances, one could understand the temptation to claim manhood at 18 and the opportunity of being eligible for an allocation of land in the Colony or, conversely, a reduction in the children's ages to eliminate the need for a payment of a man's deposit for all of them when they joined the party. As a large number of the original prospective emigrants in Mahoney's party withdrew and were replaced by others, the Freemantle family falling into this latter group, it is possible that the cause for this confusion lies in the many changes which were made in the various lists drawn up then; or eleven years may have been the age of the person whom he replaced at the last minute.
In the 'Settler Handbook', M. D. Nash writes:
A comparison of the two lists suggests that James Masfarland snr and jnr, Florence Carty, George Hamblin snr and jnr, Alexander Patten and Charles (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. Samual Freemantle, Thomas Alder, John Shearan, Dennis 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 Samuel Freemantle* is recorded as being 18 years of age and a wagon maker. It seems unlikely he would have been required to sign the agreement unless considered an adult.
[Refer to Samuel's* father, F1/1. Richard Freemantle*(1st) in F.F.1 for details given in this book on Mahony's party]
Additional support for the older age, as given on the death certificate, is the oft repeated story of Samuel's attempt to carry his brother, John, back to Mahoney's Location - a very difficult feat if in fact he was three years younger than his 14 year old brother. On the assumption that he was indeed born in 1802, then the possibility arises that he was the second born child as the only source of information previously uncovered led one to believe that his brother, John, was born in 1806, being 14 at the time of emigration (or 13 according to M. D. Nash's record). Because of what is obviously the careful research undertaken by M. D. Nash and the meticulous comparisons made between the various lists that were compiled, the date regarding the three Freemantle brothers have been amended in this collection to coincide with these later findings. [Refer to the extract regarding the various lists given at the end of this account]
It is probable that Samuel Freemantle* would have been in London with his father, Richard* and step-mother, Sarah Freemantle nee Kent* and the rest of the family from about the age of 13 until aged 18, leaving with them in Thomas Mahoney's party from London, which sailed on 14th. December 1819. On 24th December he, with all the others, signed the party agreement. After many unfortunate occurrences on the voyage [refer under his father, F1/1 Richard Freemantle*(1st) in F.F.1 for details] they landed at Fort Frederick on 1.5.1820. From there they were eventually located at Coombs, close to the Clay Pits.
Probably also from M. D. Nash: [This reference has been mislaid]
'On 23.8.1822, travelling with his father and his brother John from Bathurst to the Coombs they were attacked by Xhosas. His father was killed and he and John were wounded. He carried John for half a mile although he himself was assegaied in the leg without avail. John died of his wounds. Samuel was taken by Thomas Mahoney to Kaffir Drift Post, where he was attended to by a surgeon.'
[For many years the assega,i which wounded Samuel, was retained on display in the Albany Museum in Grahamstown - but latterly, this was removed and mixed in with the collection of cultural weapons held in the Natural & Cultural section of the museum.]
Probably also from M. D. Nash: [As above]
'It is recorded that the widow Sarah Freemantle was supporting four children by needlework in 1823, but no information is given as to where the family was then living. They moved into Grahamstown not later than the year 1825, when Thomas Mahoney was the only person then living in Coombs.'
And another note:
'Samuel took care of his step-mother and her three children and he later adopted her first-born, George. Widow Freemantle married a man called Stephens, which greatly displeased her children. They had a family of two - Joseph and Isabelle. George lived with his step-brother, Samuel, and was employed by Thomas King.'