W3/4. Joseph Cox Warner = Matilda Stanford
(1806 - 1871) [m. 1831] (1813/4 - 1875)
*Joseph Cox Warner was born in Bristol on 18th October, 1806 and he immigrated with his parents *Henry Warner and *Elizabeth Warner nee Blacker in 1820, although on the shipping lists his age is shown as 12. With them were his sisters, Mary Toye Warner, aged 13; Joanna Rosina Warner aged 7; and Caroline Elizabeth Warner aged 2. They travelled in Smith's party on the ship 'Stentor'. After arrival this party was located at George Vale near the Rufane River.
On 28th September, 1831 *Joseph Cox Warner was married in the English Episcopalian Church, Bathurst, Cape Colony to *Matilda Stanford. She was born in about 1813/4 in Wiltshire, England and was the daughter of *John and Maria Stanford, Settlers in Bowker's party on the ship 'Weymouth', the vessel onto which the Warner family had been transhipped in Simons Bay on the way to Algoa Bay and it may well have been where they first became acquainted because thereafter the Warner and Stanford families were closely connected as friends and by two marriages. However, her name was not shown on the shipping lists.
Matilda Warner nee Stanford's youngest sister, Mary Stanford, lived with them at Glen Grey, being a cripple and unmarried, she assisted with the education of their children, her nieces and nephews.
[Note: During the three years that Walter, her nephew, spent with the Rev Cox Warner and his wife Matilda, he received some education from her, his 'very dear maiden aunt'.
She grounded him well in the three 'R's and he was later able to take his place in the
classes at Lovedale College, in Alice, Cape Province.]
*Joseph Cox Warner became a missionary, a Justice of the Peace, and a Government agent. He died on 8.7.1871 at Balfour, Cape, on his journey to Cape Town where he was due to join the Legislative Council there, as the member for Queenstown. His widow *Matilda Warner nee Stanford died on 22.10.1875 in Queenstown, at the home of her sister, *Mary Toye Trollip nee Warner.
The following is reproduced from a document in the possession of the University of Cape Town Libraries, for Research Purposes only:
From: MS. of Rev. E. J. Warner
containing the history of his father,
Rev. Joseph Cox Warner,
born 18th October, 1806.
Joseph Cox Warner was born at 21, Mary-le-Port Street, Bristol, England, in 1806 and came out to South Africa with his parents (Henry and Elizabeth) with the settlers of 1820 (on the ship 'Stentor'). He being then about fourteen years of age.
As a young man he experienced all the rough and hard work of the early settlers. About 1830 he decoded to enter Mission work in Kaffirland, and offered himself to the Wesleyan Missionary Society, and was accepted as a Catechist.
He married on Sept. 28 1831, Matilda Stanford, daughter of John Stanford, one of the old Settlers.
His first appointment (in 1834) was with the Rev. Haddy, to form a Mission Station with the Tembus, under Gubencuka, paramount chief of the Tembus.
What is now known as Clarkesbury, was the spot selected for the Mission. In those days Mission work in Kaffirland was very different from what it is now. I remember my father telling me that at one time, for a whole year, they did not see a single white face, except the members of the Mission, of whom there were only a couple of families besides himself and his wife.
Both he and his wife threw themselves most heartily into the Mission work and did not mind the hardships they had to endure. In order to qualify themselves for their wok among the natives, they both set themselves to learn the language and soon acquired a sufficient knowledge of it to converse with the natives and give them instruction.
During the early days of the mission, my father had to work hard during the day, making bricks and building, and at night carried on his studies to qualify himself for the Ministry and to perfect himself in the Kaffir language. In this he soon became very proficient and was considered a thoroughly good Kaffir speaker.
When Mr. Haddy was removed from Clarkesbury, my father was left in charge of the Mission Station, and another Catechist, Mr. Rawlins was sent to assist him.
About this time Tembuland was invaded by the Fecani tribes of whom the Tembu and other Kaffir tribes were in great dread. (This was in ???[date omitted]).
The Fecani army went through the country plundering and destroying all before them and taking captive women and children. My father decided to go and meet the Fecani army and see if he could not persuade them to restore the women and children to their own people. Mr. Rawlins accompanied him and they met the Fecani army at the Isitebe on the Bashee. Unfortunately, Rawlins, when starting from Clarkesbury, would take his gun with him, very much against my father's wishes - the latter went quite unarmed. When within speaking distance of the Fecani army, he and Rawlins halted and had a talk with the Chief, urging him to restore the captive women and children.
As the Chief did not seem inclined to comply with this request, Rawlins suggested firing off his gun to frighten them, as guns were not then known to the Fecani. Before my father could prevent him he then fired it into the air, thinking the natives would be scared by the sudden report. Unfortunately it proved otherwise, for as soon as it was heard, the whole Fecani army with a tremendous yell, made a rush for the rash man, and before Rawlins could mount his horse, he was stabbed to death.
By the time my father had mounted, he found himself nearly surrounded by the infuriated Fecani. However, he made a dash for his life where there was still an opening, but soon found himself stopped by a very steep donga - which he at once saw was too steep for the horse to take him through. Without a moment's hesitation he quickly jumped off and scrambled down the bank and up the opposite one as best he could, intending to make a run for it on foot. Fortunately, or rather as we may say, providentially, the horse, to his great surprise, at once followed him through the donga. So he was able to remount, and thus make his escape.
The Tembu army, which was watching the Fecani, on seeing what had happened to Rawlins and my father, at once fled without attempting to make a stand. The Fecani, however, did not attack the Mission Station, and the next day my father with a party of natives went out and brought in the body of poor Rawlins.
After this there was another invasion of the Fecani, and a wounded warrior was found hidden in some dongas near the Station. He was taken charge of by my father, who dressed his wounds and kept him till he was quite well. He then sent the man home to his Chief, under escort of two or three Station men.
At this time he had gained such influence over the Tembu tribe that although they were very bitter against the Fecani, they allowed the man to pass through their tribe without molesting him. The man had been given a loaf of bread when leaving the Station: this he kept and presented to his Chief, and told him what the Missionary had done for him. He even urged his Chief to get a Missionary for their tribe, so after this the Chief sent a deputation to ask for one, which request resulted in the first Mission Station with the Ama Baca tribe - generally called Fecani in those days.
About this time the Pondo army invaded Tembuland, and at one time surrounded the Clarkesbury Mission Station with the intention of attacking the place. My father accompanied by two or three of the Station men, rode up unarmed, to the Pondo army to interview the Chief and after a long talk succeeded, not only in preventing any harm being done to the Station, but also in obtaining the release of the women and children that the Pondos had taken captive. On parting, the Chief also gave my father a beast to kill for the women and children.
On account of the frequent invasion of his country by the Fecani and Pondo hordes, Umtirara, son of Gubeneuka then paramount Chief of the Tembus, decided to leave that part of his country bordering on, or near the hostile tribes, and to move up to the Hehu, now known as the Division of Queenstown, - at that time unoccupied.
As soon as he had settled in the new Territory, he sent a request to my father, who by now had acquired a great influence with the Tembus - to follow him and form a Mission Station with his tribe.
Having received the sanction of the Mission Authorities, my father then left Clarkesbury, and formed a new Station on the Imvani stream a few miles from Umtirara's ?Great Place'. This was about the year 1840. During the four or five years he was on the Imvani Station, besides carrying on the work of the Mission to which he and his wife were devoted, he often had to use his influence to keep matters quiet and peaceable between the Colonial Boers on the Border, and the natives. The cause of the trouble being the habit of the Boers of encroaching on the lands belonging to the Tembus.
The firm stand he took in this matter of protecting the rights of the Tembus, brought him into great disfavour with the Boers.
About 1845, my father, who had during the time of his residence on Imvani Station, been received into the full Ministry of the Wesleyan Missionary Society, was now removed to take charge of Haslope Hills Station. This was an old Station within the Colonial boundary, where there were a number of Tembus under the petty Chief Tabata. The Tembu Chief, Umtirara did not like this move as it took my father from his tribe.
On the breaking out of the Kaffir War of 1846, though he was then some distance from Umtirara, he was in constant communication with him, and used his influence with the Tembu tribe to keep them from joining the Gaika tribes in the war against the Colony. In this he succeeded so well, that the Chief Mapassa with his tribe was the only one of all the Tembus who joined the war against us, and for this Mapassa was himself punished by Umtirara, who attacked him and seized a large number of his cattle, which he handed over to the Colonial Government.
The Tembus, after the war was over, urgently requested my father to be sent back to their tribe, and to choose any spot he wished for a Mission and also to bring with him Tabata's clan from Haslope Hills. For this purpose he therefore selected the Ndlovukazi, now known as Lesseyton, (near Queenstown).
During the time he was there he and my mother devoted themselves to the Mission work and were very successful. Many of the people embraced Christianity and adopted civilised habits, and were generally known as a law-abiding and industrious community. At the same time he was again found fighting the battle of the Tembus against the Boers, who were now more than ever determined to encroach on the lands of the Tembus.
About this time ( ?.. [undated]) he was surprised to see a Proclamation issued by the Governor, Sir Harry Smith, declaring the whole of Tembuland, as far as the Indwe, British Territory within the Colonial boundary.
The Chief Umtirara was very indignant about this arbitrary and unjust act on the part of our Government, but my father pacified him as well as he could, at the same time protesting to the Governor against such an unjust and unwise measure, which was likely to bring about trouble with the Tembu tribes which had always been peaceable towards the Colonists. But of course the thing was done and could not be undone.
It appeared afterwards that this act on the part of the Governor was brought about by the Boers who had sent a Petition to him, urging the necessity and desirability of bringing the whole of that country occupied by the Tembus, within the Colonial boundary. No doubt hoping by this means to get possession of the whole or part of the country for their own use or occupation.
To make matters worse the Commissioner sent to manage the Tembu tribe, now in the Colony, was accompanied by a force of Police recruited from the Gaikas who had just been at war with us. These Gaika policemen often taunted the Tembus by saying, 'Yes, we fought against the white man and you would not help us, and now we are sent to govern you.'
It was a very unwise policy and created a very bad feeling towards our Government, and this policy was protested against by my father. At this time ( ?..[undated]) the Chief Umtirara died . He was considered to be one of the best of the Kaffir Chiefs and thoroughly loyal towards the British Government. My father was also of the opinion that Umtirara and his tribe had been badly treated by our Government.
One little incident was very galling to Umtirara, and made my father very indignant. At the close of the war of 1846, all the Gaika Chiefs, who had been fighting against us were summoned to appear before the Governor, Sir Harry Smith. Umtirara was also summoned and he asked my father to accompany him. At the meeting Umtirara, who had during the late war restrained his people from joining the war party, and even punished Mapassa for doing so, was made to stand with the rebel and Gaika Chiefs who had been fighting, and when these Chiefs were commanded to lie down and the Governor put his foot on their necks, Umtirara was included with them.
Soon after the death of Umtirara, the Kaffir prophet, Umlanjeni started his scheme to bring about the combined movement of all the tribes against the White Man. Our late policy with the Tembus had by this time very much unsettled the whole tribe. But even then, my father, who still exercised very great influence with them and with the paramount Regent Nonesi, was still in hopes of preventing them from joining the war party.
Whittlesea, on the border of Tembuland, was at this time already surrounded by the Gaikas and rebel Hottentots, and the whole of the Colony was hard pressed by the enemy. My father was therefore urgently requested by the Authorities to remain as long as he could at Lesseyton and do his best to influence the Tembu tribe to remain quiet as long as possible, until the troops could be sent to the relief of Whittlesea and to strengthen the forces on the border.
He succeeded well in this, for through his exertions and influence the Tembus did not join the war party until matters began to mend a little in our favour along the border. It was his form conviction that had it not been for the conduct of the Boers on the border, he would have succeeded in keeping the Tembu tribe clear of the war altogether. But soon after the war started the Boers commenced forming laagers on the border and sending patrols into Tembuland on some pretext or other.
This kept the Tembus in a state of great excitement. The crisis was reached at last when a Commando of Boers (under ?.. [omitted]) entered Tembuland for the purpose of escorting out Mr. Reed and the Hottentots of Bushman's School ( ? ) near what is now known as Mount Arthur Station. It appears Mr. Reed was rather doubtful of the loyalty of these Hottentots and feared they might join the Rebels (Hottentots) of Shiloh, and so, hearing of the Commando of Boers, got the Commandant to come as far as Bushman School and escort the whole lot into the Colony. As soon as my father heard of this Commando being in Tembuland, he at once started to meet the Commandant, at the same time sending word to the Tembu Chiefs to explain the object of the Commando being in Tembuland, and to urge the Chiefs to restrain their people so as to prevent any collision between them and the Boers.
In this he succeeded, and on meeting the Commandant urged him, after sending a small escort with the Bushman School Hottentots, to proceed with the rest of his Commando to strengthen our forces at Whittlesea.
The Commandant promised to do so, and so my father returned to Lesseyton. He had only just reached home when firing could be distinctly heard in the direction of the Boer Commando, which it appeared, instead of going on to Whittlesea had turned off and commenced looting the Tembu cattle, moving up the Klass Smits River through Querbias (?) tribe, in which Lesseyton was situated.
The same day the Chief sent word to my father, that, on account of what the Boers had done in seizing and driving off Tembu cattle and firing on his people, it was now impossible for him to restrain them from joining the Gaike war. He advised him to leave Lesseyton, which he at once did, followed by all the Mission Station people.
He did not, however, leave Tembuland at once, but decided to remain with the Amahala tribe under the paramount Regent Nonesi, this tribe still being determined to keep clear of the war. But he had only been about a week or two there when another Boer Commando entered the northern part of Tembuland and without any provocation attacked the Tembus and drove off their cattle.
He was now convinced that the Boers were determined to carry the war into Tembuland, and that he could do nothing more to prevent it, so decided to leave Tembuland altogether.
He advised Nonesi, with the Amahala tribe, to leave the country and join the lower Tembus on the Bashee near Clarkesbury; this she did with all her people.
He then made up his mind to proceed with the Lesseyton people to the Kamastone Mission Station near Whittlesea, but was prevented by the Boers, who would not allow him to pass through their farms. He was therefore obliged to encamp on the Border, until he could get authority from Captain Tylden at Whittlesea, who had been appointed Commandant of the Colonial forces, to proceed to Kamastone.
For this purpose, with an escort of three or four men he proceeded to Whittlesea and on his way passed a Boer Commando off saddled just near the road. On passing he, and the escort heard one Boer say 'Who is that?" and another immediately answered, "It is that Warner", at the same time a couple of shots were fired, one bullet passing between my father and his younger son who was riding with him.
On reaching Whittlesea he reported this matter to Commandant Tylden, who demanded an explanation from the Boer Commandant, who excused himself by saying the man who fired was drunk.
Having obtained Captain Tylden's authority to move with the Lesseyton people to Kamastone, my father at once did so in spite of the opposition shown by the Boers.
On arrival he took charge of the Mission there during the absence of Rev. W. Shepstone, and remained until the close of the war. (This was in ?? [undated])
The Lesseyton Tembus who accompanied him (Warner) were about forty or fifty families, and the men formed themselves into a Volunteer Corps under my father's eldest son (i.e. H.B.Warner) and did good service during the war, although fighting against their own tribe. For which services they were publicly thanked by Cammandant Tylden at the close of the war.
When my father abandoned Lesseyton he had to leave everything belonging to him, and only took with hima few groceries, bedding and clothes, which could be put into a small wagon. The Lesseyton people also lost all that they had with the exception of their livestock. The whole station, including the Church and Mission House, were looted and burnt down a few days after it was abandoned. Some of the natives said this was done by the Boers, but it was impossible to say, as the natives themselves, especially the war party would think nothing of doing it! On the other hand the Boers were very bitter against my father for defending the Tembus, and thought nothing of calling him a rebel, and they laboured to intensify the war, to get the land.
After he had settled down at Kamastone, the Boers sent a document to the Governor accusing him of being a rebel! Mr. Calderwood, Civil Commissioner of Alice, was therefore sent to Whittlesea to investigate the charges made. A day was appointed and the Boers warned to appear, but not a single one put in an appearance to substantiate the charges made.
On the other hand, my father showed very clearly how the Boers had, in spite of all he could do to prevent them, brought on the war with the Tembus, by sending armed parties into Tembuland, which at last resulted in a collision and brought on the war. Of course he was honourably acquitted.
The war had now lasted about two years, when the Hoem Government, realising that the Tembus were now thoroughly subdued and sufficiently punished, wished to bring about the peace of the country.
By this time the Governor, Sir George Cathcart, had fully realised the valuable services rendered by my father to the country, in restraining the Tembus as long as he did from joining the war, and thus giving the Colony, especially that part bordering on Tembuland, time to move up forces to protect the border; and also knowing of his great influence with the Tembus, sent for him, and asked him if he could in any way bring about the desired peace.
He consented to do his best, and at once sent three or four of the leading men from Lesseyton, to the Regent Nonesi, who, as already mentioned, acting on my father's advice, had moved down to Lower Tembuland with her tribe in order to keep clear of the war. These men, although it was still war time and they had to pass through the hostile tribes, yet when known to be messengers from 'Warner' were well received and allowed to proceed through the country.
The Regent Nonesi at once returned with the messengers bringing with her two or three of the principal Tembu Chiefs who had joined in the war. Still acting on my father's advice, she went with him to the Governor to sue for peace, which was accordingly granted. Nonesi and her tribe, who had not entered the war, were invited by the Governor to return to her former possessions.
The other Tembu chiefs who had been fighting against us, were pardoned on condition that they gave up their arms and part of their country - that is the whole part that is now known as the Division of Queenstown.
He was then asked by the Governor if he would accept the appointment of Tembu Agent, as it was then called, that is the Government Officer in charge of the Tembu tribes. After consulting with his personal friends, and at the urgent request of the Tembus, he accepted the appointment, concluding that he could do as much good in that position as in the work of the ministry.
In November, 1852 he removed to what is now known as Glen Grey, for the purpose of locating the different Tembu tribes on the lands allotted to them. What is now known as the Glen Grey District was the land reserved for their occupation.
In undertaking what we may call the ruling and governing of the Tembu tribes, consisting then of about sixty thousand people, within the Colony and subject to Colonial law, he had a very difficult task before him. His work, however, was easier because the Governor had such confidence in his ability and judgement that he was left almost entirely to himself as to the ways and means of governing this large tribe.
His great influence with both Chiefs and people, who now looked upon him as their 'Father', was of course in his favour.
About the year 1857 the Kaffir prophet, Umhlakaza, started his scheme for bringing about another combined movement of the native tribes against the White Man. His first step being to call upon them to slaughter all their cattle and destroy their corn (the idea being that they would then unite and drive the Europeans into the sea).
My father, however, succeeded in preventing the Tembus - with the exception of a small clan, from joining the other Kaffirs in following the mad scheme of the false prophet.
After the terrible loss of life by starvation, which followed the destruction of the corn and cattle, the Tembus realised their indebtedness to him for their salvation. They saw how the other tribes had destroyed themselves by obeying the false prophet.
For about twelve years, my father, was in charge of the Tembus at Glen Grey, and during that time with no force whatever at his disposal, he carried on the Government of this large tribe without a single hitch or disturbance.
So successful was he that when he left Glen Grey to take up a higher position, he had given complete satisfaction to the Government he faithfully served, and also to the European population on the Border, especially the farmers, who realised fully his successful endeavours to put down stealing, so that their live stock ran in the veld night and day in safety although in those days farms were not fenced in.
His method of dealing with the Tembus, was to govern them principally through their own Chiels and in accordance with Kaffir laws and customs, when not opposed to justice or humanity. His knowledge of Kaffir laws and customs was full and complete so that he could safely rely on his own judgement.
He was one of the three who was asked by the Governor to write a Compendium of Kaffir Laws and Customs for the use of Government Officers. He not only used his influence with the Tembus to preserve the peace of the country and to prevent stealing from the farmers, but also to encourage Christianity and industrious habits among them. In this too he was very successful, for a number of them came out of heathenism entirely and adopted civilised habits.
Some of them built good substantial European houses and improved their lands by European cultivation, planting trees, orchards, etc. When he was leaving Glen Grey District, he used his influence with the Governor to grant small farms to several of these natives, who had by perseverance and industry improved their lands and homesteads. He had previously, in 1852, succeeded in getting the Governor to recognise the claim of the Lesseyton people to the lands they had to abandon in order to preserve their loyalty to the British Government. He had, however, a very hard fight to gain his object, many of the farmers - English and Dutch - being opposed to the grant as they wished to secure such a fine bit of land as Lesseyton for themselves. He succeeded and a title to this land was given to the Lesseyton people.
The fruit of his labours is still seen in the number of civilised natives in the Glen Grey District, and also in the Cala District, where a number of those originally in the Glen Grey District are now located. These two Districts are considered the most civilised of any of those reserved for natives.
About 1864, after the Gcaleka and Gaika tribes had been expelled from their lands for marauding acts in the Colony - this was after the 'cattle killing' episode - the Governor decided to full up the vacant country beyond the Kei River with European farmers. So my father was requested by him to take charge of all the Tribes, as British Resident, his son E. J. Warner (i.e. myself) succeeding him as the officer in charge of the Tembus in the Glen Grey District.
The scheme, however, of settling European farmers in the vacant country, was not approved by the Home Government, so was not carried out.
My father viewed the policy of the Home Government in this respect as a great mistake, as he believed the occupation of that country, by a large European population, would have effectively prevented any possibility of future wars between the native tribes and the Colony. The proposed scheme having failed, the Governor did the best he could by filling up the country with the Fingoes and the native tribes more loyal to our Government.
This was done in order to prevent the country being re-occupied by the Gcalekas and Gaikas , who had been expelled for their hostility to the British Government.
In carrying out this plan my father was asked to do his best to induce the Tembus in the Glen Grey District to remove to the unoccupied lands in the Transkei in exchange for the Glen Grey District. At first there seemed to be every probability of his succeeding, and the country allotted to the Tembus was already pointed out to them, when for some reason or other, the Governor altered the boundaries, giving the Tembus a smaller tract of country than was at first intimated to them. This caused the Tembus to hesitate in accepting the Governor's offer, and ultimately the scheme failed - only a portion of the Tembus leaving the Glen Grey District for the Transkei.
After filling up the unoccupied country with different tribes from the Colony, and after allotting Kreli, Chief of the Gcalekas, sufficient land for the remnant of his tribe, my father's term of Office in the Transkei was a quiet one, nothing of much importance occurring.
In 1868 or 1869 he expressed his desire to the Governor to be allowed to retire. This was granted and he was given a well earned pension. It may be mentioned here, that he was not one to keep in Office only on account of the position or salary. The whole plan or scheme which was intended to be carried out, when he accepted the position of British Resident, was, through the policy of the Home Government, abandoned.
When therefore, all the different tribes had their own officers in charge of each one, he found his position altogether different to what had first been intended, hence his desire to retire. No one else was appointed to succeed him.
On his retirement he returned to Glen Grey, his former residence, which had been granted to him by the Governor on account of the losses he sustained during the war, at Lesseyton, and also in recognition of his services.
A year or two after he had left the Government Service, he was asked by the inhabitants of Queenstown, to represent them in Parliament, and was elected by them in opposition to Sir Gordon Sprigg (then Mr. Sprigg).
Great things were expected of him by his constituency, as he had the knowledge and ability to render good service to the Colony. But, unfortunately, he was taken ill on his way to Cape Town and died at Balfour on 8th July 1871. He was buried at Balfour.