Born c. 1812, ?Dublin, Ireland. Died 1869, Byrne Valley, Richmond District, Natal.
1812c. b. Calculated from age given in document requesting land grant. (CSO 2249, no.390 of 27.10.1859). Sixth son of Brabazon Smith Stafford (ST) and brother of H.H. Flood* and B.B. Talbot*. For further family information see entry for H.H. Flood. (SO’BS Vol.6, pp142-145)
1839 The list of barristers-at-law shows William A. Stafford, 14 Upper Gloucester St, North, as having been admitted at Michaelmas 1839. (TIA, 1845, p.398 via McC)
1845 Stafford, William A. Esq, bar., listed as being resident at14 Upper Gloucester St. (TIA, 1845, p.830 via McC.)
1846c. Resided in the colony [of Natal] for a few weeks. (CSO 2249, no.390 of 27.10.59)
1858.05.25 Sailed from Port of London [for Natal] on the Yarra, Matheson, master. (Ib.)
1858.08.27 Arrived in the colony and presently residing at Drie Fontein, County of Pietermartzburg [property of his brother Hugh Flood]. (Ib.).
1858.11.05 Writing from Drie Fontein states his brother, who had been in Natal for upwards of 12 years, had forwarded him information relating to the Proclamation of 29.04.1857 and, together with other relatives resident in Natal, had urged him to take advantage thereof. As soon as he could arrange his affairs in England he had proceeded to Natal on the Yarra to find on arrival that the Proclamation had been withdrawn. Under these circumstances he asks for a farm and if necessary an approach to be made on his behalf to the Secretary of State. Reply – the Lt-Gov. cannot comply and no good would come from approaching the Secretary of State. (CSO 2248 no E131)
1859.10.27 Applied for land grant giving details as already quoted above. (CSO 2249, no 390 of 27.10.59)
1860.12.31 Makes further application for land. Residing at Drie Fontein, Pmb Co., he nominates John Ireland as his agent. P/A witnessed by Hugh Flood and B.B. Talbot both of Drie Fontein. His seal shows a sitting swan with wings extended and the words “Garde la foy”. (SGO III/5/51 dated 31.12.1860).[Given grant] To a piece of land containing 1 500 acres and named Sydenham**, being Lot 90 less 113 acres, Ward no. 5, Pmb. Co., bound on the northeast by the farm Elands River, northwestward by Lot no.89 and otherwise by Crownlands. Annual Quit Rent in each year £1.11.3 payable on 31 December in each year. The first payment being due on 31 December 1861. (SGO III/11/9, QRF Vol.1, p.144)
1861.01.09 John Ireland signed for the title deeds. (SGO III/12/1 p.100) The records show that on 8 August 1861 the property passed into the ownership of Jonas Bergtheil, passing on 10 Aug 1861 to Samuel Rudolf. After being owned by various others on 30 December 1880 it became the property of James Stewart***. (SGO III/11/9, QRF Vol.1, p. 144)
1867.08.06 Farmer, occupier, Byrne. (NGG 06.08.67)(2.3). He owned the following Byrne
village plots – Block B, 9: Block F, 19 & 20; Block G, 4 & 5; Block K, 13, 14a, 14b, 15a, 15 & 17. (Colony of Natal Valuation Roll, 1877 in NGG 08.03.1881)(Byrne Village Plan)****.
1869.00.00 Died a bachelor, buried at Byrne. (ST). There is no gravestone for him in St Mary Magdalene churchyard, Byrne. It is not known where he lived when he was resident in the valley. (BMS)
1870.08.16 Farmer, occupier, Byrne [sic]. (NGG 16.08.70)
*After a name indicates that person as the head of a family and therefore qualified for an entry in Shelagh Spencer’s biographical register.
**Sydenham is approx. 3½ miles west of Elandskop with Driefontein (present spelling) being approx. 5½ miles south east of Elandskop, both distances are as the crow flies. (BMS)
***Sydenham remained in Stewart ownership until a large acreage of the Impendhle district was expropriated by the Government in the mid-1970s.
****Multiple plans of the proposed Village of Byrne showing the allocation of plots were made in 1850. The plan that Ruth Gordon used in Dear Louisa (pp 270-271) happens to have the 11 plots acquired by W.A.T marked by a hand-drawn x in circle.
Books and Directories
Gordon, Dr R.E. Dear Louisa: history of a pioneer family in Natal in 1850–1888. Cape Town: Balkema, 1970.
SO’BS – Spencer, Shelagh O’Byrne. British Settlers in Natal 1824–1857: a biographical register. Vol. 6. Pietermaritzburg: University of Natal Press, 1992.
TIA – Thomas’ Irish Almanac. 1845.
BMS – Brian Mitchell Spencer.
McC – Prof. J.L. McCracken, deceased.
ST – Stafford Talbot, deceased.
Unpublished Official Sources
CSO – Colonial Secretary’s Office
NGG – Natal Government Gazette
QRF – Quit Rent Folio
SGO – Surveyor General’s Office
Compiled from Shelagh O’Byrne Spencer’s records of the British settlers of Natal 1824–1857.