4th Article –1820 settlers the story The Abeona
In November 1820, the transport-ship Abeona was chartered by the Government for the conveyance of emigrants to the Cape of Good Hope. Having taken on board fourteen passengers at London she proceeded to the Clyde, where 126 emigrants embarked. There were 21 crew on board and with a fair wind the ship left Greenock, Scotland on the 13th October 1820 and began her voyage down South.
She caught fire at 4°30’N, 25°30’W and burnt for 15 hours. She was completely destroyed.
Three boatloads of survivors were rescued by a Portuguese merchant ship and taken to Lisbon.
“Arrived here yesterday, the Royal Charlotte, from Lisbon, in 17 days, having on board the surgeon, second mate, carpenter, one seaman, and three boys; and also 22 emigrants, part of those saved by the boats from the wreck of the Abeona transport, Capt. Pritchard.” from The Asiatic Journal and Monthly Register for India and its Dependencies, Vol 2, page 206-7
The following year 6 survivors set off for the Cape in HMS Sappho, arriving in Simon’s Bay in August 1821. Who were they?
“May it please your Excellency, We the undersigned five men of the few survivors that were saved from the Abeona after losing all our families and property in that melancholy catastrophe and after our return finding little comfort at home again petitioned Government through the medium of the Magistrates of Glasgow to grant us lands as near as possible to Cape Town consistent with the views of Government and at the same time petitioned for agricultural implements and seeds to our farms, which petition being kindly granted us along with passage, we accordingly proceeded.
Signed: James Clark, John McLaren (a joiner, lost his wife and 4 children), John McLean (lost his wife and son) Thomas (a sawyer, lost his wife as per our list) and his wife, Agnes Reid, Robert Thompson (a bricklayer, maybe the Thomson below).” As per M D Nash.