SMITH, William Hart.
Born c. 02.04.1835, Stourport [-on- Severn], Worcestershire, England. Died 13.05.1914,
Pinetown, Natal.
Adventurer, hunter, cattle trader, transport rider, farmer.
1835.04.02c. Born near Stourport. (Year calculated from marriage licence). (CSO 2283). Place. (SS). Month and day of birth. (LS)

1850.06.18c. Left parent’s home near Stourport and went to London where he stayed six weeks in Fleet St. (SS)

1850.07.30. Sailed to Natal on the Justina from St Catherine’s Docks (sic), London. (Ibid)
1850.11.10 Justina arrived at Port Natal. (H)
1850.11.12 Landed at Durban after a voyage of 106 days. (LS). Passengers on board the Justina included Smith, William and Capt. J.M. Chadwick [Chadwick, John Moore Knighton*] and family. (Justina passenger list, NW 15/11/1850). On arrival he ‘looked up’ Mr Millar [Millar John*] who was very kind to him.

1852.03.19 Wrote home from Umtwalumi [Natal South Coast] where he was living with H.F. Fynn [Fynn, Henry Francis*] Had sailed on the ChristopherTanner or Taylor** as a servant with Capt Knighton Chadwick and had remained with him fifteen months. Mentions a Mr Brenton [Brenton, Henry*] and a Mr &
Mrs Foreside [Possibly Forsyth, Robert*] and his wife Mary Anne who had sailed with him and had been very kind to him. (CSO 56 No. 84 dated 21.08.1854)

1854.00.00 Rode in the Durban Races on a race horse belonging to William Adams [Adams, William b. c. 1820*]. (SS)

1855.01.05 When asked to comment on the above letter, Acting Resident Magistrate Fynn wrote – William Smith was in his service about six months, then broke his leg. After he recovered was advised by Fynn to get other employment as he didn’t need him. Last year had received a letter from Mrs Smith and replied informing her that William was living with a Mr Strydom by whom he was
employed wagon driving, but not allowed any wages. Fynn frequently sees William and has on several occasions tried to induce Capts of vessels to let him work his way back. (CSO 56 No. 85 dated 05.01.55)

1855.01.15 John Strydom wrote that – William Smith came to him saying Fynn was trying to get him a passage home and in the meantime begged Strydom to take him into his family and there he has been for two years and four months, obtaining
employment at various times and what he has earned he has used for his own benefit. (CSO 56 No. 86 dated 15.01.55)
1858.00.00 Enlisted in the Carbineers in Richmond. (LS)
1858.09.28 William Smith of Durban, 22, took out licence to marry Martha Hannah Gillitt [dau. of Gillitt, Willam*] 22, of New Germany. Licence taken out in Durban.
(CSO 2283). On the 28 th ult. at St Paul’s Church, Durban, by the Revd W.H.C. Lloyd MA [Lloyd, Revd William Henry Cynric*], Colonial Chaplin, Mr William Smith, trader of Pinetown, married to Miss Martha Hannah Gillett (sic) , daughter of J. Gillett (sic) Esq. of New Germany in this county. (NM 21.10.58). Married on the 28 th ult. by the Revd W.H.C. Lloyd, Mr William Smith trader of Pinetown to Miss Martha Hannah Gillett (sic) daughter of J. Gillett (sic) of New Germany. (NW 22.10.58)

1859.11.00 Son William Hart born. Parents of New Germany. Father a cattle trader. (R. St J., P.T.)

1860.08.00 Is he the William Smith who was living in Pinetown from whom William Gray stole ten sovereigns. He had been to the Bay that day to sell oxen. He [presumably Gray] could not read or write. (CSO 2251 No. E660) ?1861.06.20 Dau. Harriet Ellen b. Parents of New Germany. Father a farmer. (R .St J., P.T.)***

1863.05.00 Dau.Susannah Davis b. Father a farmer. (Ibid.)
1865.10.00 Son Sydney John Hull b. Father a farmer. (Ibid)
1867.10.00 Son Courtney James b. Father a farmer. (Ibid)
1870.02.00 Dau. Martha Hannah b. Parents of New Germany. Father a farmer. (Ibid)
1874.05.00 Dau. Fanny b. Parents of New Germany. Father a farmer. (Ibid)
?1880.03.06 Dau. Elizabeth Charlotte b. Father a farmer (Ibid)****
?1880.04.18 Dau.Isabella Ann Field b. Father a farmer (Ibid)****
1881.00.00c. After residing for a time in the neighbourhood of Pinetown, Mr Smith took the farm Langfontein near Hillcrest. (LS)

1882.10.02 Charles Coombs of Camperdown made affidavit – his father (George Coombs) drank heavily. After a dispute with his children he took a wagon and belongings and left saying he was going for a load of wood. After a week Charles went to look for him and met W. Smith of near Botha’s Hill who told him his father had sailed from Natal, did not intend to return and had given
him (Smith) his P/A to sell the lease of his farm. Charles Coombs asked for the P/A to be set aside. (RSC I/8/98 No. 9149)

1882.10.10 In another affidavit Charles Coombs said that it was in a drunken stupor that his father had sold his wagon to Smith on the Durban road. In the same affidavit Albert Charles Wheeler stated that W. Smith, to whom Coombs had sold his wagon on the road to Durban, was a total stranger to Coombs and that Smith was with him when he booked for Port Elizabeth under a false name.
The P/A/ of Coombs to Smith was set aside. Could the above refer to William Hart Smith [who did not seem to use his second name at that time]? (RSC I/8/98 No. 9165)

1883.07.00 Dau. Fanny d. at Lang Fontein. (Tomb PAC 2)
1884.12.02 Susanna (sic) Davis Smith, 21yrs 8mths, b. Pinetown and John Herman Henry Davidson [Son of Davidson, Peter Patrick Johnston*], 27, b. Pinetown took out licence to marry. (CSO 2289)

1894 end Smith, William, farmer of KransKloof, Pinetown. (DNA 1895) 1897.05.00 Dau. Martha Hannah, 24, m. John Pierce [Son of Pierce, Grenville Hugh*], 26, farmer, Nottingham Road. (R. St J., P.T.)

1900.03.00 Wife Martha Hannah of Langfontein, Gillitts d. aged 63. (Ibid). Died at Addington Hospital aged 63. (Tomb PAC 2)

1900.03.27 Smith, Martha H. d. in Durban aged 63. Born at Emberton, Bucks., wife of W. Smith of Langfontein, near Gillitts. Dau. of William and Maria Gillitt of Clifton Farm, near Gillitts. Married at St Paul’s, Dbn. Left nine children all majors. Death notice filled in by A. Paterson. (MSC 22/194)

1905.09.28 Mrs John Pierce, wife of John Pierce of The Bend, Fort Nottingham, d. at the Sanatorium, Nottingham Road. (NW 02.10.1905)

1906 c. Fever played havoc with his cattle and he gave up farming. (LS)
1913.03.04 Living with his dau. in Boom St, Pietermaritzburg. (Ibid)
1913.04.02 Turns 78. (Ibid)
1914.05.00 William Smith d. aged 79. (R. St J., P.T.). William Smith Snr of Pinetown d. aged 79. (NM 18.05.14)

1914.05.13 Smith, William (Gentleman), d. aged 79 yrs, Government Hospital, bur. Pinetown. (DGRD)

Willian Hart (00.11.1859, New Germany – 27.09.1930, Pinetown)
1859.11.00 b. (R. St J., P.T.)
1860.01.00 Smith, William Hart bapt. Son of William and Martha H. Smith of New Germany. Father a cattle trader. Sponsors: William and Mary Ann Gillitt and W. Smith. (R. St J., P.T.)

1930.09.27 Smith, William Hart d. aged 70 yrs. Overseer of the P.W. Dept of Pinetown.
Bur. St John’s. (PTGRD). Smith,William Hart d. aged 70. (R. St J., P.T.).
William Hart Smith d. aged 70 yrs and 10 mths. Was b. in Natal and was a road overseer and pensioner of Pinetown where he d. Wife was Emilie Fredrika Schafer whom he m. in Pinetown. Son signed Death Notice. (MSC 16120). Is Dodo who lived in Pinetown and worked in the Public Works Dept his son? (ND)

Harriet Ellen (?1861.06.20, New Germany – )
?1861.06.20 b. (R. St J., P.T.)***
1874.06.16 Smith, Harriet Ellen bapt. Dau. of William and Martha Hannah of New Germany. Father a farmer. (Ibid)

Susannah Davis (00.05.1863 Pinetown – 09.06.1918, Underwood Farm, Sarnia)
1863.05.00 b. (R. St J., P.T.)
1880.09.00 Smith, Susannah Davis bapt. Dau. of William and Martha Hannah Smith. Father a farmer. (Ibid)

1884.12.02 Susanna (sic) Davis Smith, 21yrs 8mths, b. Pinetown and John Herman Henry Davidson, 27, b. Pinetown took out licence to marry. (CSO 2289) 1884.12.00 Dau. Susannah Davis, 27, of Kranskloof m. John Hermann (sic) Henry Davidson, 26, farmer, Waterfall Farm in Pinetown. Married at Underwood House. (R. St J. P.T.)

1884.12.09 Married at Pinetown, John Herman Henry, eldest son of P.P.J. Davidson of Underwood, to Susannah Davis Smith, third dau. of W. Smith of Krans-Kloof. ( NM 12.12.84)

1918.06.00 Susannah Davis d. aged 54. (PAC 2)
1918.06.09 Susannah Davis d. at Underwood Farm, Sarnia, aged 54. Was m. at Underwood Farm. When she d. she owned a piece of land in Pretoria. Her PNC was dated 07,07.1903. She was m. to J.H.H. Davidson on 09.12.1884. (MSC 2729/1918)

1944.08.00 John Herman Henry d. aged 87. (Tomb PAC 2)
Sydney John Hull (00.10.1865 ?Pinetown – )
1865.10.00 b. ?Pinetown. (R. St J., P.T.)
1880.09.00 Smith, Sydney John Hull bapt. Son of William and Martha Hannah Smith. Father a farmer. (Ibid)

Courtney James (00.10.1867 ?Pinetown – 00.08.1952, ?Pinetown)
1867.10.00 b. ?Pinetown. (R. St J., P.T.)
1880.09.00 Smith, Courtney James bapt. Son of William and Martha Hannah Smith. Father a farmer. (Ibid)

1952.08.00 Smith, Courtney James d. aged 84. (Tomb PAC 2)
Martha Hannah (00.02.1870 New Germany – 28.09.1905 Nottingham Road)
1870.02.00 b. New Germany. (R. St J., P.T.)
1874.06.16 Smith, Martha Hannah bapt. Dau of William and Martha Hannah Smith of New Germany. Father a farmer. (Ibid)

1897.05.00 Martha Hannah, 24, m. John Pierce, 26, farmer, Nottingham Road. (Ibid)
1905.09.28 Mrs John Pierce d. at the Sanatorium, Nottingham Road, wife of John Pierce, The Bend, Nottingham Road. (NW 06.10.05)
Fanny (00.05.1874 New Germany – 00.07.1883 Lang Fontein)
1874.05.00 b. New Germany. (R. St J., P.T.)
1874.06.16 Smith, Fanny bapt. Dau. of William and Martha Hannah Smith of New Germany, Father a farmer. (Ibid)

1883.07.00 Fanny d. at Lang Fontein aged 9 yrs and 2 mths. (Tomb PAC 2) Elizabeth Charlotte (06.03.1880 ?Pinetown – )
?1880.03.06 b. ?Pinetown. (R. St J., P.T.)****
1880.09.00 Smith, Elizabeth Charlotte bapt. Dau. of William and Martha Hannah Smith.(Ibid)

Isabella Ann Field (?18.04.1880 ?Pinetown – )
?1880.04.18 b. ?Pinetown. (R. St J., P.T.)****
1880.09.00 Smith, Isabella Ann Field bapt. Dau. of William and Martha Hannah Smith. Father a farmer. (Ibid)

*After a name indicates that person as the head of a family and therefore qualified for an entry in Shelagh Spencer’s biographical register.
**In a letter dated 21.08.1854, and written on behalf of William’s anxious parents, a Mr Henry Court wrote to the Colonial Secretary of Natal asking for news of their son’s whereabouts from whom they had last had a letter dated 19.03.1852. Some of the contents of
this letter is quoted. There was a ship, the Henry Tanner, that sailed from London for Port Natal on 25.06.1849. The reason for the confusion of ship’s names is not known.
***In the Church Register it is noted that Harriet Ellen was bapt. on 16.06.1874 and was b. on the 20 th June with no year given. I have therefore placed her higher up in the list of children b. in the only place where there is a suitable gap.
****As two births so close together are not possible there must be an error either in the church records or in the transcription.

Books, Directories, Pamphlets
DNA – Natal almanac and yearly register, 1863-1905. Pietermaritzburg: P. Davis, 1895.
H – Holden, Rev. William C. History of the colony of Natal, Facsim. Capetown: Struik ,1963.
ND – Dales, Nora. A history of Pinetown produced for the van Riebeek festival. Typescript,
24 p. Pinetown: No publisher, 1952.
Tomb PAC 2 – Gravestone Pinetown Anglican Cemetery No 2 (Anti-Crompton people).

Church Registers
R. St J., P.T. – Register St John’s, Pinetown. Anglican.
JC – Stuart, James. Notes in Killie Campbell Africana Library, Fynn Papers, v.22974 pp 49-
LS – Life story of William Smith a South African veteran. (With photograph), published in
The Natal Witness, 04.03.1913. (Not transcribed as an appendix as being a newspaper article
it will be easier to access)
SS – Smith, William Hart. A sketch of my life in Natal. Type script, no date, lent by Mrs Kay
Dales, Pinetown.
NM – Natal Mercury
NW – Natal Witness
Unpublished Official Papers
CSO – Colonial Secretary’s Office
DGRD – Durban Government Register Deaths
MSCE – Master of the Supreme Court Estates
PTGRD – Pinetown Government Register Deaths
RSC – Registrar of the Supreme Court

Smith, William Hart. A sketch of my life in Natal.
Left his parent’s home near Stourport, Worcestershire, on 18 June 1850 and went to London where he stayed six weeks in Fleet St. Sailed to Natal on the Justina from St Catherine’s Docks (sic) arriving in Natal on 12 November. On arrival he ‘looked up’ Mr Millar [Millar, John*] , who was very kind to him. Spent a fortnight in Durban, then went to Pietermaritzburg by ox-wagon. From Pietermaritzburg he went to Howick and then returned to Durban. Then for about twelve months or more spent his time mainly between Durban and Pietermaritzbur shooting and hunting. Then went to Pondoland with H.F. Fynn. From there he went on to St John’s river and then returned to Pondoland. On return to Natal did transport riding between Durban and Pietermaritzburg and occasionally to Ladysmith, loads being chiefly merchandise and returning with yellow wood planks, hides, small kegs of butter and
wool. In 1854 he rode in the Durban races. Broke his leg while riding from the Bluff to the Umlhtzana and lay all night in the open. Went trading and shooting in Zululand, travelling to Eshowe with Mr Adams and Piet Hogg [son of Hogg, John*] and their wives and John
Joubert and family. We made our headquarters in the Ngoye.forest. After some days’ hunting I returned to the camp and found Adams and his wife busy making articles from hide –
‘trektous’ (buffalo hide cut into strips and plaited, and used for tow-ropes for wagons), sea-cow whips and sjamboks. The whips sold at 10/- each, and the sjamboks at 7/6d. (SS).
Incomplete and rough transcript by S. O’B. S.
Interview with James Stewart
William Smith, 12 Murphy St, Pmb. (Just below Merryweather’s) made statement – I came to Natal in 1850. I shall be 77 on Tuesday next. I met Mr Fynn in Dbn in 1852. He was then living in a place called the Pavilion, near Cato’s Creek, in Smith St. I was doing nothing just then and he asked me if I would like to go on a trip. They started for Pondoland 25 Feb. 1852 and went along the coast in a tent wagon, just the two of them. They had five horses. There
was a kind of road, but in parts they had to make their own road, for no one had gone that way since Capt Smith in 1842. They were away about four months, there and back. Took about three or four weeks to get to Pondoland and they stayed at eGogo in the building where
Fynn used to live, about three or four miles from Faku’s. All the way the Africans showed great respect and affection for Fynn. Fynn gave Smith a white man, Gallant, as guide as far as the St John’s River. At St John’s he met Thomas and Joseph Hancock who in 1850 came to
be at Upper Umzimkulu…….After returning from Pondoland Fynn moved from the house near Cato’s Creek to a house next door to Beningfield’s. Smith lived with the Fynns for about
eighteen months, this was while they were in town.
On 29 March 1912 this interview was continued – Smith said he was writing a book on his various, especially hunting, adventures. He had lived most of his life in the vicinity of Pinetown, Botha’s Hill and Krantzkloof. Did much transport riding in the earlier days Kept a
store at Hancock’s Drift, Umzimkulu from 1858. Was there before T. & J. Hancock. Went on a hunting trip to Zululand in 1855. Incomplete and rough transcript by S. O’B. S.
Compiled from Shelagh O’Byrne Spencer’s records of the British Settlers in Natal