Born c.1828

1850.00.00      Early in 1850 the Hebrides left London, calling at Plymouth for West-country passengers. (HAT p.114). On board was Matthew Orgill aged 22. (PRO Shipping list via AFH). There were eleven settlement schemes that brought British settlers to Natal in the 1800s. The scheme that brought the largest number of settlers was J.C. Byrne & Co’s Natal Emigration and Colonization Company which, in basic terms, for a down payment of £10 offered a steerage passage to Natal and 20 acres of land. The Hebrides came out under the scheme organized by Richard Merchant Hackett, a London shipowner, which for £10 offered a steerage passage to Natal and 30 acres of land. This scheme aimed at attracting Wesleyans. (SO’BS1824–1857 p.xviii).

1850.05.10      The Hebrides anchored off Port Natal. (HOL p.288). Mathew was granted 47 acres of land being Sub 68 of Lot 1 of the property Karkloof. (NGG 08.03.1881 p.8)

1851.03.00      Messrs Robert and Matthew Orgill sailed from Durban on the Natal for Cape Town. (EI 73)

1851.04.28      One hundred and nine of the Hebrides 120 passengers had been approved by the emigration commissioners and drawback certificates were issued in Hackett’s favour. He made no further deposits, but he co-operated with John Lidgett [another emigration promoter] in the dispatch of the Nile, Choice and John Bright. (HAT pp 114-115)

1861.04.22      Charles Johnston*[Johnston, Dr Charles], surgeon of Pietermaritzburg, memorialized the Lt Gov. saying during the first years of colonization 1850/51, several immigrants had become dissatisfied, and previous to their return home, or departure elsewhere, had disposed of their land claims. He names five settlers from whom he had bought claims, one being Matthew Orgill whose claim was for 47acres on the Karkloof [River]. He [Dr Johnston] did not take title to these claims, but on the eve of his departure from Natal he now wishes to take title. Report: There is no declaration of sale, but there is a power of attorney executed by Orgill in favour of Buchanan* & Roberts*[Buchanan, D.D. & Roberts, A.B.] to give transfer to C. Johnston and he can have this title on lodging deed of sale. (CSO 2251 no.E716). The Buchanan/ Roberts partnership lasted from Dec. 1850 to Oct.1852.  (SS)

1862.00.00      The settlement was not a success. Samuel Stead rode over the allotments in 1862 to find signs of occupation only at one point, where a notice attached to a solitary shanty conveyed the melancholy information ‘gone away’. (HAT p.114)

1877.00.00      The Valuation Roll of the Colony of Natal, County of Pietermaritzburg, Umgeni Division, shows Mathew Orgill as owner of Sub 68 of Lot 1 Karkloof, 47 acres. Value of land £10.15.00, buildings nil. (NGG 08.03.1881, p.8)


ORGILL, Robert


1851.03.00      Messrs Robert and Matthew Orgill sailed from Durban on the Natal for Cape Town. (EI 73)

1851.07.18      Durban Post Office. List of people whose residence is not known and for whom letters are waiting. Under heading “Cape” – Orgill, Robert. (NW 18.07.51)



*After a name indicates the person as the head of a family and therefore qualified for an entry in

Shelagh Spencer’s biographical register.



Books and Directories

HAT – Hattersley, Alan F. The British settlement of Natal. A study in imperial migration.

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1950.

HOL – Holden, Revd William C. History of the colony of Natal. Cape Town: Struik, 1963.

(Africana Collectanea Vol. 4)

SO’BS – Spencer, Shelagh O’Byrne. British Settlers in Natal, 1824–1857a biographical

register. Vol.1–. Pietermaritzburg: University of Natal Press, 1981–.


NW – Natal Witness

Personal Communication

AFH – Alan F. Hattersley

SS – Shelagh Spencer

Unpublished Official Sources

CSO – Colonial Secretary’s Office

EI – European Immigration

NGG – Natal Government Gazette

PRO – Public Record Office (London)


Compiled from Shelagh O’Byrne Spencer’s records of the British Settlers of Natal 1824–1857.