From: 'Roll of the British Settler' by E. Morse Jones:
Joseph Cox Warner (1808-1871)
Son of Henry Warner he sailed in 'Stentor' in 1820 and was married in 1831 to Matilda, daughter of John Stanford. He worked at Clarkebury Mission in 1834 and at Haslope Hills Mission in 1836 becoming Catechist at Clarkebury in 1838. In 1845 he was appointed to Invani Mission and was at Lesseyton Mission in 1849. He was Resident Agent with the Tembus in 1852 and member of the House of Assembly for Queenstown in 1871.
Extract from Goldswain's Chronicle:
"In 1831 Rev R. Haddy founded the mission at Clarkesbury with J. C. Warner and was succeeded by Rev. W. J. Davis."
See letter headed 'Clarkesbury Mission'
Reference: Grahamstown Journal:
"22.11.1852. Proclamation pardoning the rebel Thembu who wish to become British Subjects, depriving Mapussa's people ( Chief of the section of the Thembu who rebelled against British rule) of their lands and appointing Joseph Cox Warner Agent of the Thembu."
From: Goldswain's Chronicle:
Joseph Cox Warner was a missionary from the Methodist Church assisting the Reverend Richard Haddy at Clarkesbury before he moved to Imvani and Lesseyton. In 1853 he resigned and was appointed British Resident with the Thembu. He was elected member of the House of Assembly for Queenstown in 1871, but died before taking his seat.
From Theale's History of the Cape Colony:
Clarkebury Mission Station. April 1830 is founded in Tembuland by the Wesleyan Soc. (ii 52); during the Kaffir War of 1834-5 - is abandoned; in 1836 - is re-occupied (ii 32)
In 1852 J. C. Warner is placed at Glen Grey to represent the Cape Government (ii 113); transactions in connection with the removal of emigrant Tembus (iv. 18.104.22.168). In 1865 is stationed at Idutywa with the title British Resident (iv 54). In October, 1869 is withdrawn when the office is abolished (16).
Ref: from D. H. Patrick:
'J. C. Warner founded the Methodist Missionary at Clarkesbury in 1831 with Rev. R. Haddy. He moved to Imvani and Lesseyton. In 1853 he resigned and was appointed British Resident for the Thembu. He was in charge of the Wesleyan Mission at Haslope Hills after John Ayliff until after the 6th Kaffir war, when he moved to Tembu territory.'
'J.C.W. 1808-1871, eldest son of Settler Henry Warner. Married 1831 to Matilda, daughter of John Stanford. He worked at Clarkesbury Mission in 1834 and at Haslope Hills Mission in 1836, becoming Catechist at Clarkesbury in 1838. In 1845 he was appointed to Imvani Mission and was at Lesseyton Mission in 1849. He was Resident Agent with the Tembus in 1852 and a Member of the House of Assembly for Queenstown in 1871'.
An extract from a newspaper, apparently printed in 1882, as it records various births and deaths in Queenstown during that year and the following:
It is our melancholy and painful duty to record the death of JOSEPH COX WARNER Esq., recently elected to represent this division of the House of Assembly, which sad event took place at Balfour on Saturday afternoon last at half past two o'clock. Mr Warner left Queenstown early on the morning of 21st June, apparently in good health and spirits, though he had been suffering from indigestion for the past two or three days. Scarcely had he got to the Katberg before symptoms of illness began to appear, and on arrival at Balfour Mr. Warner had to alight and allow the mail cart to proceed without him. He was suffering from stricture of the bladder brought on by cold and exposure to the morning air, a complaint he had been subject to for some years though not to be seriously inconvenienced with it. The medical gentleman from Stockenstrom was at once summoned and when he arrived he expressed a wish to have a medical gentleman from Fort Beaufort, who was also sent for. Little resulted from the consultation, the late departed suffered extreme agony, at times being unconscious. On Wednesday Mr. E. J. Warner proceeded to Balfour to be with his father, and on Thursday Mrs. Warner, accompanied by Dr. Kranz, followed her son, to try to soothe the dying hours of the partner of joys and sorrows through a long life of vicissitude. Dr. Krantz did all that medical aid could do, but it was too late. Mr. Warner recognised his wife, and then was unconscious again, lingering up to Saturday, when he was again conscious for a short time, and then passed quietly away. Mrs. Warner, sickly and weak for many years, was wonderfully sustained by Divine Providence through this her saddest affliction, and must feel grateful that she was enabled to be present, and see her husband pass to his new home, where pain and suffering is unknown. Great sympathy is felt for the sorrowing widow, and the sons and relatives of the deceased. He was an indulgent husband and kind father, and many will miss the unbounded liberality of him who is now no more. Mr. Warner assisted not a few; in fact, we believe, that his large salary in years gone by, was all spent in helping others, and that he had little or nothing left, after years of labour and toil, except the farm Glen Grey.
Mr. Warner came to this Colony a youth with the settlers of 1820 and has been a resident of the extreme front ever since. Early in life he became a member of the Wesleyan Church. Then his services were required in another sphere, and he was strongly solicited and reluctantly accepted, the office of British Agent with the Tambookios, at a time when none other fitted for the appointment could be found to take it.
Mr. Warner entered the Government service as Tambookie Agent at the close of the war in 1851, and successfully managed the settlement of the natives of the Tambookie location and their effective government while Queenstown was in its infancy and struggling to rise to strength and independence. During the cattle slaughtering of 1857 he did signal service to the country, by keeping government well informed of the very first movements of the Kaffirs, and preventing the Tambookies from joining the false prophet, and without doubt by this means preventing a general Kaffir war.
In 1863-4 when the plan was set on foot to make the vacant lands in the Transkei an European Settlement, Mr. Warner was appointed British Resident with the tribes beyond, to preserve the new frontier, as he had done that of Queenstown up to that time. He still held this office, though it was ultimately decided to locate natives in that country and not Europeans, being put in charge of the various tribal divisions and agencies. Under his management that country became one of the most prosperous and progressive of any country occupied by natives in South Africa.
About two years ago Mr. Warner retired on a well earned pension, and hoped to end his days in peace and quietness at Glen Grey, but it was willed otherwise. The electors of Queenstown called upon him to represent them in the Assembly. He consented, was elected, and on the journey down to fulfil his duty to his country, the sad event occurred which we have so imperfectly chronicled.
Mr. Warner will not only be a loss to Queenstown, but to the Colony and the tribes beyond. We cannot replace him or produce another with the same influence. The power of his name was felt far and near throughout Kaffirland and the mention of it in the remote corners of Kaffiraria Proper was sufficient to command respect from the native and induce him to listen with quietness, if not with awe.
The mini-biography included below mentions the meeting of Mrs. Warner of Queenstown, presumably the wife of J. C. Warner, Matilda Warner nee Stanford and another resident of Queenstown, George Barnes, and gives some insight into the life, atmosphere and attitudes of the people living in the town at that time.
The following is a full account which is held in the Albany Museum, Grahamstown, written by Eustace S. Barnes, including the copy of a letter from his grandfather, George Barnes, to his future bride, Mary Ann West, the daughter of Thomas Hermanus West and Mary Ann nee Roberts, giving insights into the Roberts family and a reference is made to George Barnes meeting Mrs Warner. Judging by the date of the letter, (31st October, 1853) this was presumably Matilda Warner nee Stanford (1813-1875), who like her three sisters-in-law all died in Queenstown.
A LETTER FROM GRANDFATHER
Eustace S. Barnes.
On the 1st November, 1837, two days after his twenty-second birthday, Grandfather, then a young clerk in Northampton, enlisted in the army, served as a sergeant in the 90th Regiment, and saw something of the world. After some years in service in Ceylon he found himself, while the rest of the regiment was in Ireland, on detached duty at the Cape of Good Hope when the time came for his discharge on 31st March, 1846.
A new life opened before grandfather and he decided to settle in that land of promise at the newly founded Queenstown, where he established one of the first businesses in the town and acted as the first Queenstown Auctioneer. He was the purchaser of thousands of skins which were brought in by the famished Kaffirs who, acting under the instructions of the deluded Umlangeni, had killed their cattle in the fantastic belief that by so doing and destroying their crops, their ancestors would rise on the 18th February, 1857 and drive the white men into the sea.
All seemed to be going well for grandfather. Arrangements were made for his youngest sister, Lucy, to go out to keep house for him. Being something of a versifier, he had sent her some very affectionate story as composed at Fort Beaufort and dated 26th February, 1853, in which he expressed his feelings for her and his intentions for the future. But before that happy prospect could materialise, 'cupid shot his arrow', and we have some verses entitled 'Speaking Eyes to M.A.W.'.
Events must have moved rapidly, for less than ten months after writing these verses, grandfather, then getting on for forty years of age, wrote the letter (extracts of which form the subject of this article) to his twenty-two years old bride to be.
My dear Mary Ann,
Ever since you left I have been head and heels in business. I have been thinking it was very fortunate for me you were away - had you been here I should never have been able to devote the attention to business which it has required. First, I was obliged to proceed to extremities with 'Stevens' and send the police to take back the property he had removed - in this I succeeded beyond expectations, recovering all except 1/- worth. Then I had no less than four small auctions sales after you left last week and as they were all for cash, they answered very well. Next, on Friday, the Governor arrived and I was chosen one of a deputation to present him with an address being also deputed to read it and so had the deputation and I can assure you I found it a harder task than I had anticipated. I trembled like a criminal before him, though he was very kind and his reply gave us all courage and renewed our hopes of prosperity. He has not made such a speech since he has been in the Colony before. It will be published I think in next Saturday's Journal and will, I expect, cause quite a sensation in Grahamstown. On Friday night we had an illumination, every house was lighted up and guns and fireworks kept up such a continual excitement as Queenstown has never witnessed before.
Mr. Hepburn did not come to Queenstown yesterday but he sent me a note to say our banns had been published at Lesseyton, so I am in good hopes I shall be able to prevail upon him to publish them twice next Sunday, once in Lessyton and the third time in Queenstown, and if so I shall be able to leave on Monday morning with the certificate in my pocket, and you may expect to see me on Wednesday evening.
This morning I had a parting visit from Mrs Warner. She gave me some very excellent advice with regard to the contemplated change in my position. I was enabled to tell her that we had unitedly determined our eternal interests, our chief aim, and that I felt assured in seeking a union with you. I was pursuing that path which had been opened for me by a gracious Providence.
I am not writing to you a letter such as might be expected by a young lady placed in the circumstances in which you are towards me, but if I know you - if - as I believe, you have been open and candid with me - you would not be pleased with a string of complimentary epithets and I trust you are already fully assured of my warm affection, therefore I have endeavoured to write you a plain letter on subjects in which I think you may feel interested, and I have done so tonight because although I have been very busy all day and feel disposed for bed, I think I may perhaps be more so tomorrow and the next day. I have had 2 carpenters and 2 masons at work all day and shall have tomorrow and the next day - it causes great confusion and inconvenience but I think it better to get everything done before I leave, and I have determined on having the rooms papered ...
I have just heard from Mr. Beale of your arrival at Elands Post and uncomfortable circumstances in which you have been placed. While I regret the difficulties of your journey I must beg you to remember that 'alls well that ends well' and I hope these difficulties will prove the prelude to a long career of uninterrupted happiness. I had almost forgotten to thank you for the kind regards your scrap of paper conveyed to me - I must confess I was a little disappointed as I hoped you would have favoured me with a few lines. I am happy to tell you everything is progressing favourably here.
I heard from Messrs. Blaine by this post. They offer anything I require and invite me to call when I reach town - so you see, all is right in that respect.
Now I must conclude - I shall start on Monday morning and God willing shall be with [you] to tea on this day week - Give my kindest regards to all your relatives. Accept my warmest love and believe me,
Ever affectionately yours,
Grandfather had an eventful journey. He left Queenstown for Grahamstown on horseback and, being alone, he was not safe from the evil intentions of villains of the road. One desperado he felt convinced was following him for no good purpose, but by riding hard he managed to outstrip him, and upon a fellow traveller appearing, the suspect slunk off. Soon after he came to a river swollen by the recent heavy rains. There was no bridge, no way across but by the ford, called 'drift' out there, and the swirling waters threatened to wash the horse and his rider away. But time was precious. In he plunged. The horse swam bravely, but he was gradually being carried down towards a whirlpool. Things looked ugly, but just then the front hoof struck the bank, and he was able to recover himself. With a desperate plunge, while grandfather sat tight, he got out bringing his rider, wet to the skin, safely to land. At the end of the second day Grahamstown came into sight, and it was there, on 15th November, 1853, at Commemoration Chapel, that the marriage ceremony was performed by the Rev. William Shaw.
The bride, my grandmother, was the third daughter of the late Thomas Hermanus WEST of Grahamstown, and his wife, Mary Ann ROBERTS, who, with her two brothers, Daniel and Samuel, had gone out to South Africa with the 1820 settlers. Their parents wer Daniel and Harriet ROBERTS, whose tombstone can still be seen in the 'Settlers' cemetery at Grahamstown with its, fortunately, very clear inscription:
In memory to Daniel ROBERTS Sen. Of Bristol, England, who died on the 14th November 1844 aged 64 years. Also Harriet his beloved wife who died on the 22nd February 1845 aged 63 years.
Here we have an example of the value of monumental inscriptions in the fascinating pursuit of ancestors. Research in Bristol, with its twenty-one parishes, seemed a foridable task, but it has been rewarded with the discovery in the parish of St. Philips and Jacob of the baptism on 9th December, 1781, of Daniel ROBERTS, son of James and Susannah ROBERTS, cordwainer of Lawrence Hill. In this family we have an example of the old custom of sons following in their father's footsteps and of the descent of family names, for Daniel was also a cordwainer in South Africa, and all his children gave the name James to a son, while one of my grandmother's sisters was named Susannah.
In 1881, my grandparents returned to England and finally settled in a house which grandfather bought in Tyne Road, Bishopston, where he died on 24th May, 1888, and was interned in the cemetery at Arnos Vale.