Alexander Forbes

Alexander Forbes was a member of Parker's party on the ship 'East Indian'. An official list gives his family party as: Alexander Forbes (b. 1793) Occupation Farmer; Edward Forbes (b. 1790) Occupation: Shoemaker (brother of Alexander); Spouse: Harriet (b. 1793); Children...Alexander (b. 1818). Alexander Forbes was born of Protestant parentage in Longford in, Longford County, Ireland, in 1793. A bachelor and Shoemaker by trade, he sailed on the "East Indian" with William Parker's Party together with his brother Edward and his wife Harriet (nee McDowell) and their three children. They were all settled on 100 acre farms allocated to them on the lower County of Albany, Bathurst District, Cape Colony. Alexander's immediate neighbour was Percival Trayne. They built houses, bought cattle and planted crops. Alexander married Jane Thomas, aged 16, on 7/9/1826 when she signed the marriage certificate with a simple cross due to her young age. They had six children. Alexander was murdered on Christmas eve, 24/12/1834, in front of his wife, Jane, who was pregnant at the time with John Alexander, visitors Mrs Mahoney and a young girl only 6 years old. This was the start of the 6th. "Kaffir Wars" (now known as the Border Wars). Jane and her children fled into the bush where they hid until morning whilst the Xhosas ransacked and then burned their homestead. They were rescued by a group of commandos consisting of the sons of Miles Bowker and taken to Grahamstown. Alexander was buried on a farm called "Waaiplaats". The present whereabouts of his grave is unknown. A memorial stone lies in St. John's Church, Bathurst and he is also mentioned on the 1820 Settlers Memorial in Grahamstown.

• 1819: Joined William Scanlan's group from Co.Longford, Ireland..

• Feb 1820: Embarked with William Parker's party on board the transport East Indian at Cork, Ireland. Sailed on 12/2/1820.

• 30/4/1820: Arrived at Simons Bay, Cape Colony • May 1820: Departed for Saldanha Bay on 16/5/1820.

• May 1820: Disembarked from East Indian at Saldanha Bay, Cape Colony. Allotted land at Clanwilliam

• Nov 1820: Transferred from Clanwilliam to Kaprivier, Albany, Cape Colony.

• 7/11/1822: Raided by Xhosa tribesmen near Waaiplaats, Albany, Cape Colony.  An attempt was made by armed Xhosas to take Alexander Forbes's cattle.

• Dec 1834: Lived at Forbes' River, Waaiplaats, Albany, Cape Colony. Still making shoes • 24 Dec 1834: Killed at Waaiplaats by Xhosa tribesmen stealing his cattle. He was survived by his then pregnant wife Jane Thomas and his 5 children Maria, Jane, Annie, Catherine and and their young son Henry a babe in arms who was spared only because of his wearing a dress and having the appearance of a girl.

Supplied to me by Bill Nimmo