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John Bailie

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John Bailie was an 1820 British Settler to South Africa at age 31 years. He was a lieutenant in the Royal Navy and was the leader of his own party of settlers from London. They trevelled on the ship Chapman to South Africa. His wife, Amelia, aged 29 years, and their children, Charles Theodore aged 10 years, Archibald Hope aged 8 years, Thomas Cockburn aged 6 years and John Amelius aged 4 years accompanied him to South Africa. They also brought a servant, Susan Kent aged 19, with them.

John surveyed the mouth of the Buffalo River and founded the town of East London there in 1836. There is a memorial that was erected on Signal Hill that commemorates the event.

John drowned while he attempted to rescue the crew of the wreck Hector off the Natal coast.

His son, Charles, was a member of the expedition into Tembuland and Pondoland in 1828 against the Fetcani. He was killed in the Sixth Frontier War in 1835. At the spot where he fell a memorial tablet was erected and the place was called Bailie's Grave Post.

His son, John, became a missionary in Namaqualand.

His son, Archibald, died of wounds sustained during the Seventh Frontier War in 1846.

Further notes are available on John Bailie and his family in I. Mitford-Barberton's The Barbers of the Peak (Oxford, 1934).[1]


  1. HOCKLY, Edward (1957). The Story of the British Settlers of 1820 in South Africa. Second Edition. Enlarged and revised. Cape Town and Johannesburg. Juta & Co., Limited, p. 204-205.

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