THE MILLER FAMILY CONNECTION.
From: 'Roll of the British Settlers in South Africa' - E. Morse Jones.
MILLER - John 29, Farmer; party: Sephton's; ship 'Brilliant'.
- William, 40, Farmer; wife: Elizabeth, 42; children: Elizabeth, 8; Mary, 6; John, 2; party Sephton's; ship 'Brilliant'
'Brilliant' - Left London January 1820, arrived Table Bay in April, Simon's Bay also in April and Algoa Bay in May, 1820.
John Miller 1817 - 1887. Son of William Miller he was a member of the House of Assembly for Port Elizabeth in 1865. He was buried at Rondebosch [Cape].
Sephton's Party - Edward Wynne recruited a party of 344 in London. Thomas Colling was given charge of it, but was unable to embark on the appointed sailing date and Hezekiah Sephton was appointed to take charge of them. Most of them sailed in the 'Aurora', with the balance in the 'Brilliant' under the temporary care of Richard Gush. They were located on the Assegai Bush River their centre being called Salem. Thomas Colling's three elder sons sailed with the party. He followed with the remainder of his family in 'Sir George Osborn', Edward Wynne landed in 1840. In 1845 it was agreed that the location's water supply was inadequate and 100 persons were moved to Reed Fountain (now called Elmhurst).
From: 'The Story of the British Settlers of 1820 in South Africa' - H.E. Hockley.
One of the lay-settlers, William Miller, was responsible for the foundation of the Baptist Church at Salem and Grahamstown, being later ordained as a Minister.
(Opposite page 180 in this book there is a picture of the Rev. William Miller.)
MILLER - John 29; party Gush's; ship 'Brilliant'. Member of the House of Assembly 1854-8.
From: 'The Settler Handbook' - M. D. Nash.
Sephton's Party. No: 40 on the Colonial Department list, led by Hezekiah Sephton, a carpenter of 1, Bedford Court, New North Street, Red Lion Square, London. This was a joint-stock party consisting mainly of small tradesmen, its members united by a common religious faith.
The party's original leader was Edward Wynne of Lincoln's Inn Fields, London, a smith by trade and an active member of the Great Queen Street Wesleyan Methodist Chapel. In July, 1819, a week after the announcement of the emigration scheme, he submitted an application on behalf of 10 families of the Great Queen Street congregation. He hoped eventually to increase the number to 100, so that the party would be entitled to nominate a clergyman to accompany it, whose salary would be paid by government.
By September, Wynne had enrolled 96 dissenter families wishing to emigrate, some of them from further afield than Great Queen Street - Samuel Bonnin, for instance, applied to join them from Shillington in Bedfordshire. They formed themselves into the United Wesleyan Methodist Society, with a committee responsible for the organisation of the party. The Selection of the clergyman was put in the hands of the committee of the General Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society, whose choice fell on the Rev. William Shaw.
In October the death of Wynne's wife led him to withdraw altogether from the emigration scheme, and he nominated Thomas Colling, a builder of Wapping, to replace him as head of the party. Before joining Wynne, Colling had applied without success to take out a small party of his own. Colling did not last long as leader, however; in November he stood down and was succeeded by Hezekiah Sephton. Although three of Colling's adult son's emigrated with a division of the party, Colling himself, with his wife and younger children, delayed his departure for another month and sailed for the Cape in the last of the settler transports, the 'Sir George Osborn'.
Deposits were paid for 101 men and their families, and the party embarked at Deptford in two divisions, the larger one of 66 families in the 'Aurora' under Hezekiah Sephton, and the remaining 35 families in the 'Brilliant' under Richard Gush. They sailed from Gravesend on 15 February 1820. Each division was accompanied by a surgeon; Dr. Peter Campbell (officially a member of Bailie's party, with which his deposit had been paid) in the 'Aurora', and Dr. Charles Caldecott, who had applied unsuccessfully to take out a small party of his own before joining Sephton's, in 'Brilliant'. Two emigrants died on board the 'Aurora' before she sailed: Elizabeth Croft, the wife of Charles Croft, and Joseph Goode, whose berth and that of his son (who stayed in England) were taken by George Clarke, formerly of Willson's party, and by Thomas Isted. The Rev. William Shaw's journal records that Elizabeth Jones, the 21-year-old wife of John Jones, died at sea, and 'several children were born and some died'.
Seven deaths were recorded among the party on board the 'Brillient'; Joseph, the infant son of Richard Gush; Sarah, the wife of William Shepherd, and their daughter Mary Ann aged 3 and infant son William, all from consumption; Frances, wife of George Brown, and her newborn child; and George Bray, a 39-year-old coachmaker, who died while the ship lay at anchor in Algoa Bay. Mrs. Bray and her children did not disembark but returned in the 'Brilliant' to Simon's Town. The surgeon of the party, Dr. Charles Caldecott, died at Algoa Bay soon after landing. Besides Mrs. Brown's ill-fated infant, four children were born at sea; Joseph Webb, James Temlett, W.B. Jenkinson and Frances Maria Searle.
The 'Brilliant' anchored in Simon's Bay on 30th April 1820, and the 'Aurora' a day later. Both ships reached Algoa Bay on 15th May The two sections of the party were reunited on disembarking at Algoa Bay, and located at Rietfontein, but orders were soon received for their removal to a new location on the Assegai Bush River, as the first site had been earmarked for a party expected under the leadership of Major Charles Campbell. The new location was named Salem, meaning 'peace'; here an attractive village arose (the only village founded by a settler party that still exists today) with a community notable among the settlers for 'the order with which its affairs were conducted, both spiritual and temporal'.
The Maynard family obtained permission to settle in Cape Town.