CHARLOTTE WHITFIELD SHIPS OUT TO SOUTH AFRICA
Charlotte Whitfield, a spinster, came out to South Africa with the British Settlers, and landed at Algoa Bay in 1820.
However she travelled, or rather voyaged, as Charlotte Brown, sister of John Brown, who was on the same ship, "Northampton" and in Clarke's party. John Brown was married. His wife, Ann and their 2 small daughters aged 4 and 2 respectively, were also in the party. No one seems to know what happened subsequently to John Brown's wife, but at one time she lived with John at the "Clay Pits" in the Coombes Valley approx. 30 miles (48kms) from Grahamstown. Charlotte Whitfield too lived with them. It has been said that the Clay Pits were bought with Charlotte's money. She came from a good family which had means.
John Brown was a man with considerable education for those times.
John and Charlotte were romantically involved and because his wife Ann was Catholic, divorce was out of the question.
The upshot was that Charlotte Whitfield and John Brown had five (5) children. Their names were as follows :-
Leo Africanus Whitfield
Henry William Lancaster Whitfield
Mary Ann Whitfield, who married Henry Blackbeard
Charlotte Whitfield, who married a Mr Thomas, and when she was widowed, she married a Mr Manley.
John Brown was killed at the Clay Pitts when he went to parley with the rebel Hottentots. [Wyndham informed PBW that this is not so - apparently John Brown sold/gave the Hottentots some cattle and these were taken back by other whites accusing the Hottentots of stealing the cattle. These Hottentots then called John Brown out and killed him believing that he was responsible.]
Charlotte was left with five young children. I understand that her children were embarrassed by the circumstances of their birth, and one can quite imagine the cruel things that were said in those old days. One feels, however, that Charlotte is to be admired for sticking to the man she loved.
After John Brown was killed, Charlotte, in due course, married a Mr Turkington who was probably in the army. [He was a bricklayer].
There were no children of that marriage.
The three sons of Charlotte all distinguished themselves, and showed great courage and bravery in the wars on the frontier.
Edna Whitfield's grandfather Henry William Lancaster bought a farm in the Komgha district. He was not there for long. He and his wife were divorced and he is thought to have been killed fighting the Bantu at Lydenburg in the Transvaal.
On departure to SA Charlotte's age was given as 23 in which case she would have been born in 1796 or 1797