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The Cotswolds to The Cape

About the Book:

Front CoverThe book “The Cotswolds to the Cape Isaac Wiggill 1820 Settler”, (ISBN 978-0-646-56945-1), covers the life and times of Isaac Wiggill, an illiterate, determined and forthright 1820 Settler to South Africa. A skilled craftsmen, a carpenter and millright from Painswick, Gloustershire, with his wife Elizabeth Grimes and 4 young children, they departed the King Road in the Severn Estuary near Bristol, aboard the Kennersley Castle in January 1820 for the “savage and unpromising” shores of South Africa. 

The British settlers of 1820 comprised mainly working  class people. The approximately 1000 families, or  around 4600 men women and children from Britain  were largely uninformed and ignorant of the hardships  and dangers that they were to face in their new  country. Eli Wiggill, eldest son of Isaac and Elizabeth, 9  years of age when he landed in Algoa Bay wrote in his memoirs; “upon landing, the settlers were disappointed to find their  destination fully 100 miles from the coast. 

They had left England with very little knowledge of this new home, but they were full of  courage these hardy pioneers, full of hope for the future. Times were hard in England, and  visions of a new land, of a freer life cheered them; but their hearts sank as they sat on the  baggage among the sand hills waiting conveyances which were to take them to their new  home.” The stories of hardship, bravery and achievement of the 1820 Settlers, including  Isaac Wiggill and his children and later grandchildren, against all odds, having left everything behind in Britain that was dear to them, are astonishing. 

The author, Theo Wiggill, at a book signing in South Africa this past May 5th, 2012.

Contact the author, Theo Wiggill, on his website: twiggill@bigpond.com

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