FAYERS, William

Born? Died 19.12.1853, England


?                     Born. Son of Robert Fayers. He had a brother James Fayers* who arrived at Port Natal with his wife and young son on the Gwalior**. Another brother was Robert Fayers [Jnr] who in 1862 was living in Kings Lynn, Norfolk. Other Norfolk relatives were John Fayers of Snettisham and Thomas Fayers, a farmer of Shouldham. (Spencer)

1822 c.                        Frances Martin b. [date calculated from age given at time of death]. (UGRD)

1842 c.            William Fayers married Frances Martin. [date estimated from birth of eldest child]. (RSC 1V/19/34 no.78)

1853.12.19      William Fayers, carpenter, Lamb Lane, Hackney, Middlesex, died. (Ib.)

1860.04.00      Frances Fayers (37), a nurse from London arrived at Port Natal on the Lady of the Lake with Frances (14), William (11), Ellen (7) and Thomas (5). She was the sister-in-law of James Fayers of Isipingo who stood surety for them. (EI 65)

1860.09.21      Frances Fayers (widow) m. George Fraser of Lower Umkomaas. She had four children by her first husband William Fayers – Frances, William, Ellen and Thomas. (RSC 1V/19/34 no.78)

1862.10.28      Frances Fraser gave P/A to Robert Fayers of Kings Lynn, Norfolk, to obtain her legacy under the will of John Fayers. In the letter of appointment she gives the ages of her children as Frances 19, William 16, Ellen 11 and Thomas 9. (Ib.)

?                      George Fraser d.

?                      Frances Fraser (widow) m. Frederick Thorpe (widower) whose late wife (widow Hawkins) had one child, William James Hawkins. (MSCE 49/221). Frederick Thorpe had been in the Rifle Brigade. His Zulu name meant “the man who turned the air blue”. It could be that he was stationed at King William’s Town as it seems that Mrs Hawkins was the widow of a fellow soldier in the Rifle Brigade. Frederick Thorpe and Mrs Hawkins were m. in the Cape and they arrived in Natal with two sons. For a while Thorpe farmed at Prospecton, Isipingo. While there his cattle were wiped out. At some stage he had the Royal Hotel at Isipingo. (SB)

1864.05.31      F. Thorpe, policeman, Yamula, took transfer of The Moat from J[oseph] Harcourt* (SGO III/11/13 p?)

1892.02.11      Frances Thorpe, aged 70, d. (UGRD). Frances Thorpe, b. in England, wife of Frederick Thorpe d. at Moat Farm, Ifafa. Children: Frances Lawson (since deceased), William Fayers of Richmond, Ellen Hawkins of Dbn and Thomas Fayers of Dbn. (MSCE 49/221). Aged 70, bur. in St Patrick’s churchyard, Umzinto. (R. St P., Umzinto)

1903.01.21      Frederick Thorpe, gentleman, d. at Ifafa aged 82. Wife’s name: Frances (formerly Fayers b. Martin). Place of marriage: Lower Umkomaas. Children [by previous m.]: Frederick Edmund [sic], Thomas Charles and Susan Elizabeth. Thomas Charles (illiterate) supplied the information for the Death Notice. (MSCE 16/114)

1903.01.22      Frederick Thorpe, aged 82, d. (UGRD). Aged 82, bur. St Patrick’s churchyard, Umzinto. (R. St P., Umzinto)




Frances (b. c. 1843, Deptford, England. d.22.06.1903, Umzinto, Natal)

1841 c.            b. Deptford. [date calculated from P/A appointment]. (RSC 1V/19/34 no.78). Place of b. taken from application for m. licence. (CSO 2283)

1860.04.00      Arrived at Port Natal on the Lady of the Lake with her widowed mother, Frances Fayers, and three siblings –William, Ellen and Thomas. (EI 65)

1861.08.05      James [Easton] Lawson, 23, b. Plymouth, now of Umzinto, and Frances Fayers, 19, b. Deptford, now of Lower Umkomaas, took out licence to m. Licence issued at Lower Umkomaas. (CSO 2283).

1903.06.21      Frances Lawson (b. Fayers) d. aged 66 [sic]. (UGRD). Aged 60, bur. St Patrick’s churchyard, Umzinto. (R. St P., Umzinto)

1903.06.22      Frances, widow Lawson, d. at the home of her son-in-law F.E. Thorpe at Umzinto. (MSCE 18/78)

William (b. c 1846, England. d. 01.10.1914, Byrne)

1844 c.            b. England. [date calculated from P/A appointment]. (RSC 1V/19/34 no.78)

1873.05.21      William Fayers m Ellen McLeod, eldest dau. of George More McLeod * and his wife Ellen. (Gordon p. 167). William was a talented wood carver and numerous items carved by him are on display in the Richmond, Byrne and District Museum. (BS.)

1914.10.01      William Fayers d. aged 69. (Tomb St M., Byrne)

1923.05.00      Ellen Fayers d. (Tomb St M., Byrne)

Ellen (b. c. 1851, England. d. 27.02.1929, Scottburgh)

1849 c.            b. England. [date calculated from P/A appointment]. (RSC 1V/19/34 no. 78)

1869.05.24      Ellen Fayers, full age, spinster, Ifafa, m. William James Hawkins, full age, bachelor, storekeeper, Ifafa, at St Patrick’s, Umzinto: Witnesses Charles and Martha Knox. (R. Bellair)

1929.02.27      Ellen Hawkins, 78, b.Eng., widow, d. at Scottburgh – lived in Dbn – bur. in Stellawood cemetery, Dbn. (UGRD)

Thomas (b. c. 1853, England. d. ?)

1851 c.            b. England. [date calculated from P/A appointment]. (RSC 1V/19/34 no. 78)

1878.07.17      Thomas Fayers, bachelor, overseer, 25, m. Anne Maria Pearce, spinster, 21. [dau. of John Pearce*] (R. St P., Umzinto). At St Bride’s, Lower Umkomaas, Thomas Fayers of Ifafa, son of the late William Fayers, m. Anne Maria, eldest dau. of the late John Pearce. (NM 12.08.78)(NW 15.08.78)


Books, Periodicals and Directories

Gordon. R.E. Dear Louisa: history of a pioneer family in Natal 1850-1888. Ellen McLeod’s letters to her sister in England from the Byrne valley. Cape Town: Balkema, 1970.

Knox, Charles. An old sailor-boy’s log book… Privately printed, 1909.

Spencer, Shelagh O’Byrne. British settlers in Natal 1824-1857: a biographical register. Vol. 6. Pietermaritzburg: University of Natal Press, 1992.


Tomb St M., Byrne – Gravestone, St Mary Magdalene, Anglican Church, Byrne.

Tomb St P., Umzinto – Gravestone, St Patrick’s, Anglican Church, Umzinto.

Church Registers

  1. Bellair – Register All Saint’s Anglican Church, Bellair.
  2. St P., Umzinto – Register St Patrick’s Anglican Church, Umzinto.


Jenkinson, Mary Emily. Diaries 1873-1877 (Natal Archives Repository, Pietermaritzburg)


NM Natal Mercury.

NWNatal Witness.

Personal Communication

BS – Brian Spencer.

MK – Maureen Kruger (g.g.grandaughter of James Easton Lawson).

SB – Mrs Sheila Bizley (Deceased, granddaughter of Frances Maria Lawson and Frederick Emanuel Thorpe).

Unpublished Official Papers

EI 65 – European Immigration.

MSC – Master of the Supreme Court. Wills. (Master’s Office, Pietermaritzburg)

MSCE – Master of the Supreme Court. Estates.

RSC – Registrar of the Supreme Court.

SGO – Surveyor General’s Office.

UGRD – Umzinto Government Register of Deaths.

(All but RSC in Natal Archives Repository, Pietermaritzburg)


Neither Frances Fayers nor James Easton Lawson qualify for an entry in Shelagh Spencer’s British Settlers of Natal 1824-1857. Nevertheless, the above biographies were compiled from information contained in her settler research as connections of James Fayers.