WHITFIELD, Charlotte

Female 1790 - 1875  (~ 85 years)

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  • Name WHITFIELD, Charlotte  [1
    Born Feb 1790  London, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Female 
    Died 21 Jun 1875  Gum Gove Farm, Taba Ndoda, District Fort White, South Africa Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I1156  My Genealogy
    Last Modified 29 Oct 2008 

    Family 1 BROWN, John,   b. Abt 1790, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    +1. WHITFIELD, Leo Africanus,   b. 1822, Near Zwaartkops River, Cape, South Africa Find all individuals with events at this location
    Last Modified 17 Oct 2017 
    Family ID F513  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 TURKINGTON, William Henry,   b. Abt 1790, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Bef 1862  (Age ~ 71 years) 
    Married 25 Jul 1835  St Georges, Grahamstown, South Africa Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Last Modified 17 Oct 2017 
    Family ID F514  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • Charlotte Whitfield 1790 - 1875
      Born in London during Feb 1790. A son Leo Africanus was born to her near Zwartskop River in 1822, a daughter Mary Margaret in 1825 and another daughter Charlotte Belinda was born at Bathurst in 1826. (D/N 264/1897)?? [perhaps 204/1897]
      On the 16th Jan 1827 Miss Charlotte Whitfield was granted permission to leave the Cape Colony (got off records Permits to leave the Country 1826/7). On the 9th Feb 1827 Charlotte sailed in the English Schooner "Ann" bound for Rio de Janeiro (got off Records Ships Arrivals & Departures). Another son was born to her on 28th Feb 1828 in London. (D/N 204/1897 & John's D/N 2677).
      She left England from the "Downs" on the 12th June 1828 in the "Barbara" and arrived at Table Bay on the 15th Sept 1828. The passenger list records her as Miss Whitfield but no mention is made of her son John (Chamber of Commerce Records CC 45. Ships Arrivals)
      Her last child William Henry Lancaster was born on 16.1.1829 ??
      She married William Henry Turkington on the 25th July 1835 at St Georges Church Grahamstown by the Rev John Heavyside acting Chaplain of Grahamstown. The witnesses were G Blakemoore, Harriet Blackmore and I H Dixon. Charlotte being recorded as Spinster and William as bachelor.
      According to records William Turkington was an independent settler who came to the Colony with his son George aged 6 and who was granted a permit to return to England on the 10.7.1823 (1820 Settler Asc Office East London). It is known that sometime between 1827 - 1835 he contributed &1 towards defraying the expenses of procuring a Roman Catholic Clergyman for the Frontier. In 1832 he was living in the Bathurst district and was a shareholder in the Bathurst Church Building. He died about 18?6.
      Mrs Charlotte Turkington was present at the wedding of her son John Whitfield to Ann Wallis on 2nd Sept 1862 at Cuylerville.
      According to her daughter-in-law Ann, wife of John, Charlotte was an autocratic and cultured person, tiny in stature and always calm. She came from a wealthy and aristocratic family with whom she quarreled and came out to the Cape Colony.
      Ann was often frightened of her and once overheard her mother-in-law remark that Ann's parents were "in trade".
      Charlotte educated her children and was held in great esteem by both relations and her friends.
      In later life she lived with her son Leo Africanus Whitfield and his family at Gum Grove Farm on the slopes of Taba Ndoda near Fort White where she died on 21st June 1875 and was buried in the small private cemetery on the farm.
      She died intestate and although left no removable or immovable property, her death notice, made out and filed some 22 years later by her son John, recorded that a sum of about 3800 was being held in Chancery. This money was left to Charlotte or her heirs possibly by her brother Henry Whitfield who it was thought at one time owned sugar estates in Jamaica.


      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
      John 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.
      On departure to SA Charlotte's age was given as 23 in which case she would have been born in 1796 or 1797 [1]

  • Sources 
    1. [S65] Whitfields in South Africa, Whitfield.

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