THE CALDECOTT CONNECTION.
From: 'The Story of the British Settlers of 1820 in South Africa' - H. E. Hockly
CALDECOTT - Charles 39, Surgeon; wife Mary 40; children Alphonso 17; Christina 11; Timothy 9; Mary 8; Charles 6; Frederick 4;
Ship Brilliant; party Shephton's - Gush's Division.
- 'from Huntingdonshire, independent settler, but associated with Pringle's party'.
A party of 24 from Scotland led by Thomas Pringle sailed in Brilliant. They were located on the Baviaans River. Thomas Pringle left early and was succeeded by his brother, William Pringle.
A number of persons who paid their passage sailed in Canada, Cumbrian. Dowson, Duke of Marlborough, Garland, Mary Ann Sophie, Medusa, Waterloo, and Westmoreland, and Surgeon Caldecott was in charge, during the passage, of several on Brilliant.
CALDECOTT - Charles - Surgeon
The doctor died in [this should read 'near' or ' after landing at'] the settler's camp, Algoa Bay, four weeks after landing. His son, Charles Henry became a member of the Legislative Council and was Mayor of Grahamstown; with one Vickers he owned and published the 'Eastern Province Mercantile Gazette' - 1860-63.
C. H. CALDECOTT:
In the early 60's C. H. Caldecott and one Vickers owned and published the 'Eastern Province Mercantile Gazette' ...He was a member of the Upper House in the Legislative Council.
From: 'The Settlers' Handbook' - M. D. Nash.
[An extrtact] ...Although the names of settlers in the charge of Mr. Richard Gush reflect on the Agent of Transports' Return, Dr. Caldecott is omitted. (His presence in the Brilliant , his death in Algoa Bay and the refund of his deposit to his widow are confirmed in Cape Archives. C.O. 178/122 and W/AY 8/71)
[NOTE: for SHEPHTON'S PARTY from 'The Settlers' Handbook' by M. D. Nash refer in this collection under JENKINS - see under W5/5. Ebenezer Joseph Warner = Emma Ruth Jenkins Warner nee Bradfield]
[Another reference: 'Record of the Caldecott Family in South Africa' C.T. 1944 and books on the life of Edgar Wallace for the history of the Caldecottfamily in Simonstown]
The name Caldecott comes from 'cold hut' or 'cottage'
From: 'Edgar Wallace - a Biography' - Margaret Lane.
Marion Caldecott, the missionary's wife, was known to the soldiers and sailors of Simonstown as 'Madam'. She had been pretty once, but now, thickened by child-bearing and middleage, attracted more by her radiant friendliness, her look of piercing good humour, than by any beauty of feature. Her eyes, indeed, were still remarkable. Deep-set, blue, startlingly alert, they looked our from under strong, well modelled brows and bespoke an honest, forceful, understanding nature. Her grey hair was brushed away from the temples and plaited into a little inverted basket on top of her head; she still had singularly beautiful hands and an upright, almost regal carriage. Her movements were slow without being languid; she was essentially an energetic woman, but ten successive confinements in primitive mission stations, where she herself had sometimes been the only white woman and often the only doctor had inflicted obscure injuries on her from which she had never recovered. Her daughters ran about the parsonage, fetched books, wrote letters, made coffee, but Mrs. Caldecott sat upright in her straight-backed chair and drew life to her with the magnet of personality ... an aura of power and benevolence surrounded her, ... a woman of charm and culture, who had read much and even written a little (a serial under her name appeared in the 'South African Methodist') ... However much Mr. Caldecott, disturbed in his Old Testament reading by the talk and laughter going on around his wife's chair, might scowl at the rash encouragement of a common Tommy and shake his head over the unnecessary friendliness of his daughters, the young soldier haunted the house with cheerful persistence ...
The Caldecotts were the first family he had encountered who possessed that mysterious thing - a background of culture, and listening to their conversation and the gentle piano-playing of the daughters he was drawn to them by the double attraction of novelty and envy. He was ill at ease in the presence of Mr. Caldecott, whose Old Testament harshness and family pride forbade any familiarity with a private soldier, but in the company of Mrs. Caldcott and her daughters he felt there was no limit to his own possibilities. Florence, very grown-up at twenty-one and engaged to be married, flattered him by her kindness, taking her tone of gracious encouragement from her mother. Ivy, vague and shy, her fair hair always a little untidy because she was not yet used to wearing it on top of her head, listened attentively to everything he said and followed him with her eyes. Gladys and Nellie, still in their middle teens, teased him and romped with him. With the dour exception of Mr. Caldecott they seemed to him an utterly enchanting family ...
It was a point of pride with the family that both Mr. Caldcott's maternal and paternal grandparents has first set foot in South Africa with the original British settlers in 1820. Settlers had, of course, reached the Cape long before this and in the course of nearly a hundred years made straggling advances into the interior, but it was not until 1819 that the Regent's Government decided that the province was too sparsely populated for safety, and invited volunteers for emigration. Fifty thousand pounds was the sum voted by Parliament for the settlement, which was to consist of five thousand men and women sufficiently varied in occupation to make a self-supporting community; a hundred thousand besieged the Government with applications. 'I have been liberally educated and brought up to the profession of surgeon' wrote Dr. Charles Caldecott, a hot-headed Baptist doctor, to Lord Bathurst, then Colonial Secretary, 'but failing through want of means my family has had to endure for the last six months the most severe privations ...Under these circumstances I venture to solicit your Lordship kindly to afford me your sanction in emigrating to the Cape of Good Hope'. His solititations being favourably received, he was given the responsibilities of Ship's doctor on board the Brilliant, which with about twenty other ships sailed from the Downs on the 10th of December, 1819. William Wright, a Yorkshire Quaker, whose daughter eventually married Dr. Caldecott's son, was at the same time put in charge of a number of families in another vessel.
During the voyage, which lasted for more than three months, Dr. Caldecott's Methodist fevour caused some trouble, since he was fond of testifying to the chosen and unable to resist quarrelling with a rival preacher. 'Having little else to occupy their attention,' wrote Thomas Pringle, a notable Scottish emigrant who afterwards compiled an account of the settlement, 'they engaged keenly in polemical discussions; and under the guidance of the two local preachers - tall, grave Wesleyan coach-maker and a little dogmatic Anabaptist surgeon - they soon split into two discordant factions of Arminians and High Calvinists. Heated by incessant controversy for three months, many of them, who had wont formerly to associate on friendly terms, ceased to regard each other with sentiments of Christian forbearance; and the two rival leaders, after many obstinate disputations, which became more intemperate every time they were renewed, had at length parted in flaming wrath, and for several weeks past had paced the quarter-deck together without speaking or exchanging salutations.' Arrived at Algoa Bay, where the settlers landed their household possessions ...Dr. Caldecott gave further evidence of a rash and fervid disposition by deciding to walk to a Moravian mission station established in the bush some miles from Algoa Bay - presumably to see whether or not the Word was being preached to his liking. The heat was intense, and the distance greater than he had supposed, so that when he eventually reached the station and made himself known to the surprised missionaries he was in such a state of exhaustion that he had no more sense than to drink a great quantity of cold water - an imprudence which resulted in severe inflammation of the stomach, from which he died two days later. It was regarded by the settlers as no coincidence that his enemy the Wesleyan had succumbed meanwhile to a mysterious disorder, and had been buried near the beach. 'Being the only individuals who died at Algoa Bay,' recorded Thomas Pringle, 'out of more than one hundred and fifty conveyed hither by the Brilliant'. The event seemed to be viewed by their surviving associates as a solemn rebuke for the indulgence of that human pride and wrath 'that worketh not the righteousness of God. At all events, the moral lesson was a striking one'
His widow, left destitute with three small children, and in infinitely worse case that when suffering 'the most severe privations' in London, was forced to settle in a new country as best she might. This she apparently contrived with some success, for thirteen years later one of her sons married the eldest daughter of the Quaker emigrant, Thomas Wright, and optimistically established himself as a farmer in hostile Kaffir territory on the Great Fish River. The Kaffirs, being as yet imperfectly informed of the advantages of civilization, looked on the settlers as invaders, and lost few opportunities of harrying them, both by organised warfare and impetuous burnings of single farms ... By the time that his son (William Shaw Caldecott) who was to look with such disfavour on Private Edgar Wallace some fifty years later) was six years old the Kaffir raids had become intolerable, and it was only through the warnings of a friendly native that he was able to escape with his wife and children before his farm was burned to the ground - a sight which the family watched with terror from the bushes only a few hundred yards away, their wagon having stuck in the mud, making flight impossible. This disconcerting incident seems to have turned him against farming, for he removed his family forthwith to Cradock and started business as a wool merchant, making for himself at the same time a respectable civic career which culminated in his being elected for three successive years mayor of Grahamstown.
The Baptist-Quaker household was conducted along the usuak rigid lines of Victorian nonconformity, but its religious atmosphere was not dense enough to suit the temperament of the Mayor's son, who seems to have inherited all his grandfather's dislike of spiritual half-measures ... Disturbed by the worldly frivolity of the nonconformist community, he was gratified to receive the Call at a Grahamstown prayer meeting, and dedicated himself to the Methodist ministry. His father, not taking this self-dedication quite so seriously as William might have wished, heartlessly got him a job as a clerk in a Port Elizabeth wool firm ...After two years ...he took the law into his own hands, and with thirty pounds, part of a hundred pound legacy which his maternal grandfather, William Wright, had left him, paid for a passage in a slow schooner to England, and enrolled himself as a candidate for the Methodist ministry at Richmond College.
One of the tutors at the theological college was saintly Benjamin Hellier ... For the young theological student at Richmond in the 'sixties he had more than a purely spiritual attraction, for before his preparation for the ministry was complete he had become engaged to Mr. Hellier's seventeen-year-old daughter. The engagement was a long one, for the Wesleyan Conference looked with disfavour on the early marriage of its young ministers, and it was not until he had served a term on the Spennymoor circuit (where he suffered attacks of nerves from 'excessive tea-drinking') and another in a mission station on Mauritius, working through the terrible malaria epidemic of 1867, in which sixteen thousand people were buried in plague pits in the course of four months, that the young couple, risking the disapproval of authority, suddenly got married. As a disciplinary measure they were kept for some time on a single man's stipend, and began their married life in evangelical poverty. In Marion Hellier, however, the Rev. William Shaw Caldecott had chosen better than he knew, for she threw herself into the practical side of missionary work with zeal and good humour, accompanying him from one missionary circuit to another, and in the intervals of her common-sense work for the physical welfares of her husband's flocks cheerfully facing nine successive confinements in Mauritius, Malta, England, and remote native districts of South Africa. She was rarely able to travel without two or three small children clinging to her skirts and another on the way, and in spite of several deaths in unfriendly climates the young family grew and multiplied in the most unpromising places.
It was in the native mission of Tsomo, in the Transkei, that her most active and valuable work was done. She formed an association of more than two thousand native women converts, and, with a sense of the practical which her husband lacked, combined elemental medical and hygienic teaching with evangelism. Mr. Caldecott's missionary talent was, to tell the truth, of a doctrinaire rather than a practical nature ...(refer to 'Laeves of Life' by William Shaw Caldecott, 1912 ) ...
Simonstown, to which Mr. Caldecott was transferred as army and navy chaplain after six years of lightening heathen darkness in the Transkei, was his last circuit. He undertook it conscientiously, but without enthusiasm, for his affections were already turned more upon Biblical research than on the well-worn routine of a mission station. ...
In Ivy Caldecott's eyes, as in her mother's, Dick Wallace (or Edgar, as he preferred to be called in public) was now something more than a clever Tommy of whom great things might one day be expected; ...
[Edgar Wallace] asked to be transferred, under the provisions of a recent army order, to the Reserve, where he would have a better chance of pursuing his activities without interference. This request, since there was every likelihood of war in South Africa, was curtly refused; but he also discovered that it was possibly to buy one's discharge for the sum of eighteen pounds, so long as war had not actually been declared, and in a sudden panic flew to Mrs. Caldecott for the money. She was not, as it happened, able to produce such a sum, but she obligingly wrote to her son, Arthur Caldecott, a successful metallurgist in the Rand mines, and borrowed it. ...
In the Caldecott family, meanwhile, a storm was brewing. Mr. Caldcott, ostensibly for reasons of health, had suddenly retired from active ministry and carried off his wife and younger daughters to Plumstead, a suburb of Cape Town, .... The little house at Plumstead, surrounded by a forbidding hedge of prickly pear, was cheap and convenient ...
[Note: 1899 - Edgar Wallace appointed Daily Mail Correspondent.
First week in April he married Ivy Caldecott (Emily's sister)
23. 5.1902 birth of their daughter, Eleanore Clare Hellier Wallace. Died.
1904 birth of a son, Bryan Edgar Wallace, in April ]
*Charles Henry Caldecott (b 1814) MLA and Mayor of Grahamstown for 3 years; also a wool merchant in Cradock was the father of William Shaw Caldecott, who married in 1867 Marion Hellier, the daughter of Rev. J. B. Hellier. They had ten children, some of whom died young. One daughter, Emily Jessica married Clarence J. Warner and another, Ivy, married Horatio Edgar Clare Wallace (b1874 d. 1932 - They had four children: c.1. Eleanor Clare Wallace (b.23.5.1902 d. 1903) c.2. Bryan Edgar Wallace (b. April 1904) c.3. Patricia Marion Wallace (b. 1907/8) c.4. Michael Fair Wallace (b. September 1917). Three of the Caldecott sisters were; Florence Caldecott (b. 1875); Gladys (b. ca. 1880) and Nellie (b. ca. 1882)