F.F.3 WILLIAM ROBERTS FREEMANTLE.
William Roberts Freemantle and Martha Margaretha
Freemantle nee Joubert.
F3/4. William Roberts Freemantle = Martha Margaretha Joubert.
(1854 - 1923) [m.1885] (1863 - 1931)
William Roberts Freemantle was the third child and eldest son of William Freemantle and Phillis Freemantle nee Pitt. He was born on 29th.September, 1854 in Burgersdorp, he was baptised in the Methodist Church on 24th.October, 1854 and was educated at the Albert Academy in that town. He undertook transport riding by ox wagon to the early Kimberley diggings.
On 8th.October, 1885, aged 31, he married in Burgersdorp, Martha Margaretha Joubert, [See under section on Joubert Connection F.F.3a], the eldest daughter (of a family of 12) of Jotham Joubert and Martha Margaretha Jacomin Joubert nee Oosthuizen of the farm 'Rietfontein', in the Albert district, near Burgersdorp. At the time of their wedding, she was twenty-one years old.
William's wife was born in Burgersdorp on 18th.October, 1863 and her father had been born in Heilbron, in the Colesberg dustrict. He was M.P. for Burgersdorp for twenty-one years and his name can be seen on the Taal monument erected there in the town square. He introduced into Parliament the act brought in to allow members to address the House in the language of their choice.
The Joubert family have owned 'Rietfontein', which lies quite close to the town, for several generations. It was entailed until quite recently. The original meaning of the name Joubert was 'God's Peace'.
William and Margaretha Freemantle remained in Burgersdorp until about 1897, when they moved to Cala. By then five children had been born of this marriage, although one son, Allen, who was born in Burgersdorp on 29th.November, 1894, died at about four years of age. They had eight children in all. But, unfortunately, the marriage was not a very happy one and eventually William parted from the family; their eldest son, Arthur remained with his grandparents at 'Rietfontein' and continued his schooling in Burgersdorp, the elder daughters married and Eric and the younger ones remained with their mother.
'The family came to Johannesburg in 1904, where they stayed mostly in the centre of the town, at one time occupying a double storey house on the ground on which the present Escom House is built [in Braamfontein] [i.e. in about 1980].'
But the father, William, settled in Potchefstroom and, later lived in Kroonstad, in both towns practicing as an auctioneer and agent. When the family moved again, it was to the suburb of Gardens and they remained in that vicinity for some years, but in 1915 the mother, Margaretha, was living in Norwood.
William Roberts Freemantle died on 2nd.August, 1923 at the farm 'Welgenoit' in the district of Marico, Transvaal, aged 65 and Margaretha Freemantle died on 28th.December, 1932 in Pretoria at the home of her daughter, May Cormack.
From Ruth May: My father dedicated a bed in a hospital in memory of his mother, placing above it a plaque with her name and date of death.