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 The Horsley Familey

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littlehand

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PostSubject: The Horsley Familey   Mon Mar 11, 2013 11:26 pm

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"Robert Horsley and Mary Lovell came from Kilham, Humberside, England where their first six children were born; John, William, Robert, Richard, Margaret and Jane.

John Hosrley was 22 years old when his family immigrated to Natal on the ship Phantom. At the London docks, before boarding the ship, his brother Richard stole an apple from an apple monger. He was tied to the leg of a table with a rope when the family found him, and pleaded for his forgiveness. This event took place on the 10th of April 1858, and almost caused the Horsley’s to miss their steerage passage to the New Colony of Natal.

He married the widow Mrs. Mary Pinkney, born Osbourn, who had come to Natal with her late husband Richard Pinkney and two children George and Ann. Richard had unfortunately died in the January of 1864, leaving Mary with two young children. At some time John and Mary moved to Ladysmith where they purchased The Crown Hotel, and Warrock farm, which were both sold to John’s brother, Richard in 1875/6. Their son Fred Lovell was born was born at Warrock however, John and Mary made their new home at Oppermanskraal, which adjoined the Coventry Brothers farm Acton Home, John also owned Mulderskraal. These properties and other assets of John’s, were sold on auction along with farm implements and household in the closing of John’s Estate in 1879 which suggests that John had been declared insolvent. John moved back to Middle Drift and was resident there at the time of his death. Mary went to live with her children after John’s death and she was recorded as a resident in Ladysmith at the time of her death.

William Horsley worked at the Rietvlei farm with Robert and later at Pietermaritzburg farming and building wagons. The family later moved to the Middle Drift area where Robert farmed for many years. William was married at the age of 27 to Sarah Wardell, firstly living at the Bluff and then, settled in the Middle Drift area where his father and brother John were also farming. Private W Horsley of the Durban Light Infantry was killed in action on 7 Jun 1900 during the Boer War.

Robert Horsley was set up as a transport rider by his father who supplied his outfit and first load of merchandise. Bob made his first trip sometime before 1870 into the Zululand,

Swaziland area, and followed that same route for many years. The Horsley Family disinherited Robert because “he had fallen in love with a black woman ‘from the Zulu Royal House’, and was never heard of again. Robert was the Horsley who had two black Zulu wives; firstly, he married Jane Mbata who is recorded as dying at the battle of Rorks Drift. Bob then took a second black wife, not by Christian rite, namely Peleleya, which means last child. Bob and his family lived at “Fairbank” near Helpmakaar. Robert was a member of the Natal Carbineers and fought in the battle of Rorks Drift.



Richard, like half the young male population of Natal believed that their fortunes lay in transport riding because this was the only means of transport between the OFS, Transvaal and Natal. Ladysmith was the town where oxen were rested for three days before attempting the Van Reenen’s Pass. Richard recalled stories of entire wagonloads and oxen slipping down the sides of this feared mountain pass. On their return trips, transport rates were halved and this was usually an enjoyable trip home when riders hunted, made biltong, salted hundreds of skins for export at Port Natal, and traded with the Boer farmers on route. After only one year of trading, Richard developed the dreaded diamond fever.

In 1870, Richard and his Braithwaite cousin and old Henry Kirkby left on their first transport ride to the Colesburg diamond rush. Richard then joined in a partnership known as “Richard Horsley, De Kock, and Bresler’. These three men ran a Trading Store and had unknowingly purchased their diamond plots in the present big hole at Kimberley. After five years he sold his claim and went dry digging outside Kimberley, but those diamonds were hard to come by, so he moved back to Kimberley and repurchased his original plot at an inflated price. It was not long after this when most diggers sold their claims to Barney Banato and Rhodes who formed the companies like De Beers.

Richard returned home in 1876 as a 23 year-old man, worth a large fortune in gold nuggets and uncut diamonds. He settled in Ladysmith which boasted 17 brick houses, and where other members of the Horsley family already lived.

Ladysmith was the fastest growing town in the Colony after Durban and the railway line built between Durban and Johannesburg reached Ladysmith in 1886. In the year of 1890 an average of 2.500 wagons still passed through Ladysmith because that means of transport was still cheaper than the railways. These transport riders rested, bathed and did repairs in the town which then had a population of 2000 Europeans. Between 1896 and 1897, the Rinderpest raged through the country killing off one third of all the cattle. Most transport riders went out of business, but the railways still used Ladysmith as a night stop and Richard remained in a prime position as proprietor of the Crown Hotel.

Richard purchased the Crown Hotel from his brother John and two farms named Warrock and Dewdrop. Richard’s younger brother James owned the adjoining farm named Nooitgedacht. Over the years, Richard owned six farms in the Ladysmith area, 6 houses in Ladysmith and six roadside Trading Store’s. Richard was married to Mary Fanny Clark. Richard and Mary made their home in Ladysmith where they ran the Crown Hotel for many years.

The Horsley’s were recorded as a resident family on the role call during the 1900 Siege of Ladysmith. Their youngest daughter Elaine Myrtle Siege was born on the 4th January 1900 during the ordeals of this siege, while her two younger brothers’ were near death with enteric.

The Horsley’s sold the Crown Hotel to Charles Jones just before the siege and retired to Warrock where they farmed and raised their family of twelve children. In 1902, Richard and Mary’s six year-old son, Oswald Bernard was run over by a sand wagon on their farm Olivedale. In 1916, Walter Basil at the age of 19 was killed at the Battle of Delvillewood,

The sons of Richard and Mary each received a farm as a wedding gift, and their daughters received a Trading Store and a pouch of approximately 30 uncut Kimberley diamonds. Mary died in 1936 with pneumonia.

When Mary died in 1936, Richard at the age of 85 embarrassed his children by living with Mrs. Edith Chandler, a woman half his age who ran a boarding house in Ladysmith. The children of Richard refused to speak to him for some time and would not acknowledge this woman’s existence. In about 1940 Richard became frail and left Edith to live with his children. Firstly with Bernie on the Westfield farm, and then as his health deteriorated with Gertrude in town where he was nursed. Richard died in 1942, and was buried at the Ladysmith Horsley family plot alongside his late wife Mary Fanny Horsley. In his “last will andtestament”, Richard who had in his lifetime given all his money to his children, now left to his consort Mrs. Chandler, his last £100.

Richard died in 1942 aged 90, and was buried at the Ladysmith Horsley family plot alongside his late wife Mary Fanny Horsley.

James Horsley was set up in business by his father Robert, who supplied each of his sons with a transport rider’s outfit. James and his brother Bob covered the Swaziland and Zululand area where the Zulu Chief Chamu permitted entry to white men. During these travels James met, and was to Miss Frances Elizabeth Mc Gillavary. At some time before 1885 James and Frances settled at the Nooitdacht farm near Ladysmith where their children were born, and where they lived until James Horsley’s death.

Margaret Olive Horsley, with twin sister Jane, grew up at Rietvlei farm in PMB. Margaret married William Judson whose parents were Greytown farmers. William and Margaret made their home at the Oakdale farm in the farming district of Harrismith. William died in Harrismith and Margaret returned to her former home Middle Drift, where her brother William ran the farm. According to family sources Margaret was remarried to George Cookman Robinson a Rietvlei farmer.

Jane Hannah Horsley married William Wilson, generally known to all as “Bryce”, and was the son of a local farmer. During Brice and Jane’s lifetime they were Hotelier’s and farmers, but not in Ladysmith.

Lucy Sarah Horsley, the youngest Horsley child born in York Natal, probably spent most of her childhood at Middle Drift at the family farm and in PMB. She was married to Martin Whalen however, he died early in their marriage. Lucy’s second marriage was to George Stewart Saunders and served as an officer in the Colonial Scouts during the Anglo-Zulu wars of 1879. His squadron was stationed at Fort Helpmekaar which they built during the Anglo-Zulu Wars. After the war George found employment as a School Attendance Officer. He served the northern Natal area in this position until his death in 1898. After George’s death, Grandmother Sarah Horsley went to live with Lucy at Helpmekaar, and continued living there until her death.

All of the above information was kindly donated by Gail Durham Brink.

Richard Horsley was a much sought after teller of tales! One of his favourite tales was that of his pointer bitch. This particular bitch was the apple of his eye and, according to him, a game dog of no small ability. During one shooting season in the Berg, he took her with him. He shot at a partridge, which had got up. He discovered that his bitch had disappeared and after much calling, whistling and searching he eventually gave up, as the grass was too long for him to see any sign of her, and he presumed that she would find her own way home. Alas, his beautiful pointer never returned. A year after the disappearance of the pointer he again went to the Berg to shoot, covering more or less the same ground. That year it had been drier and the grass correspondingly shorter. He retraced more or less his steps of the previous year and, much to his amazement, he came across the skeleton of his lost pointer bitch and the partridge, as well as the skeletons of her six puppies which she, faithful hound, had given birth to whilst waiting upon his command to cease pointing. The most amazing part was that all seven skeletons were pointing at the partridge – hers and the puppies!"

Source:ladysmithhistory
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Dave

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PostSubject: Re: The Horsley Familey   Tue Mar 12, 2013 12:44 am

Quote :
"Jane Mbata who is recorded as dying at the battle of Rorks Drift"

Never heard of this?
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90th

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PostSubject: The Horsley Family    Tue Mar 12, 2013 6:16 am

I'm not to sure what to make of that post regarding the Horsley family , certainly now nothing of a woman being at R.D , let alone dying
there as well during the battle ! . I checked the N. Carbineers Roll and not surprisingly no '' Horsley '' , also checked NMP , NNC , NLH etc etc
still no '' Horsley ''. As the story progresses it mentions a Lucy Horsley married to a George Stewart Saunders an officer in the Colonial Scouts during the Anglo Zulu War , sorry to say this unit didnt exist during the AZW , from memory we may have had reason to discuss the '' Colonial Scouts '' previously and I think they were involved in the 1899 - 1902 war . I'm fairly certain a lot of the facts arent facts but guesswork . I got a headache reading it as it was all over the place ! Suspect
Cheers 90th. Shocked


Last edited by 90th on Tue Mar 12, 2013 6:49 am; edited 1 time in total
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: The Horsley Familey   Tue Mar 12, 2013 6:46 am

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90th

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PostSubject: The Horsley family    Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:57 am

Hi Littlehand .
I didnt find anyone by the name of Horsley in either roll for the N.Carbs in the Forsyth Roll or Terry Sole's ' For God , Queen & Colony '.
Cheers 90th. Salute
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John

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PostSubject: Re: The Horsley Familey   Wed Mar 13, 2013 7:58 am

90th wrote:
Hi Littlehand .
I didnt find anyone by the name of Horsley in either roll for the N.Carbs in the Forsyth Roll or Terry Sole's ' For God , Queen & Colony '.
Cheers 90th. Salute

I think Mr Forsyth and Mr Sole should join the forum to enable them to up-date thier lists.
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90th

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PostSubject: The Horsely Family    Wed Mar 13, 2013 8:51 am

Hi John
I dont know if its a case of Forsyth or Sole joining the forum to update their lists Salute . Just because a family member says they were in the zulu war doesnt mean they were , we come across this all the time , the Forsyth Roll is from the original records and is old , the Sole publication is the result of over 25 years of research and was only released a year or two ago . Salute . He may well have been in the N.Carbs but who knows when , possibly in the Rebellion , who knows , on the other side of the argument the records may have been lost , we'll never know till more evidence is found , but at this stage I dont think he was in the zulu war because there is no evidence to link him there outside of family talk . Very Happy
Cheers 90th. Salute
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24th

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PostSubject: Re: The Horsley Familey   Thu Mar 14, 2013 7:29 pm

There's an awkfull lot of information about someone who wasn't in the Zulu War scratch
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90th

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PostSubject: Re: The Horsley Familey   Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:32 am

24th .
There is a lot of family information but none about his possible doings in the Zulu War , unless I missed it !
No info on any of the Rolls !
90th.
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