No. 31 on the Colonial Department list was a joint-stock party of 40 men (including 11 servants) who formed themselves into a 'Society of Free Settlers' under the name of the Hardwick Society, with a President (William Cock), Secretary (Thomas Jarman), Treasurer and committee of
six. They agreed to put themselves under military discipline after they had been located, and to select an officer and non-commissioned officers from their number. They planned to erect a place of worship where Church of England prayers and lessons would be read by the settlers in rotation, but all 'doctrinal discussion' was forbidden. Unlike most of the joint-stock agreements, no liquor restrictions were imposed, but they were all to have the use of a common stock of implements, and those members with extra capital would be allowed to advance money to the less well-off at 15 per cent interest. As with nearly all the joint-stock parties, the Articles of Agreement were, in the event, never put into effect.
The first man appointed to lead the party was John Hawkins, a farmer of Brighthampton, near Witney in Oxfordshire. He had already applied for permission to take out a party of his own, and his eagerness to learn the outcome of his application prompted him to send a bribe of £20 to the Under-Secretary to the Colonial Department, Henry Goulburn, as 'a small remuneration for the trouble given him'. Needless to say, the money was returned forthwith; it is only surprising that Hawkins' application was not rejected as rapidly.
Like the other large London parties, the Hardwick Society served to absorb would-be emigrants from other groups that had disintegrated or been rejected by the Colonial Department. John Staples of Bermondsey applied unsuccessfully to take out a small party of tradesmen; seven of his people eventually emigrated under other leaders, among them Staples himself, Edward Martin and Charles Dean who joined Hawkins. Three prospective settlers from Hull in Yorkshire - Emslie, Dugleby and Rhodes - who could not make up a party of their own, cast in their lot with Hawkins in preference to joining Hayhurst of Liverpool who charged his people an extra premium.
Hawkins' shaky (and shady) financial affairs were the cause of considerable anxiety to him and to his party. Several people complained that they had sold all their property in the expectation of emigrating, and paid their deposit money to Hawkins, but their names had not been included in the list submitted to the Colonial Department. Matters came to a head at the end of November 1819 when Hawkins was arrested for debt and detained in the King's Bench prison, and the members of the Hardwick Society nominated their President, William Cock, a printer of Penryn, Cornwall, to lead the party in his place. Cock was paid a fee of £20 from the Society's funds to compensate him for his time and any incidental expenses.
Hawkins' original party had been recruited in Oxfordshire,and scheduled to embark at Portsmouth. Since the members of the Hardwick Socity were mostly from London, Cock sought permission for the party to embark at Deptford instead. This was not agreed to, however, and his people had to make their way to Portsmouth at considerable cost, to find on arrival that HM Store Ship Weymouth was not yet ready to take her passengers on board. To avoid the extra expense of hiring lodgings, permission was asked and granted for the party in the meantime to join other prospective settlers on board the three-decker hulk that served as tender to the Weymouth.
The Weymouth sailed from Portsmouth on 7 January 1820, arriving in Table Bay on 26 April and Algoa Bay on 15 May. Elizabeth, wife of William Forword, and four 2-year-old children died at sea. One of the settlers, John Colman, worked his passage out as a seaman. John Roe Palin was given permission to land at Cape Town and John Wilkins left the party after landing at Algoa Bay. Cock's party was located at Green Fountain on the Rufane River and named its location Charles Town (probably for Captain Charles Trappes, the local magistrate). William Cock left the party in October 1820 and was replaced as leader by William Beale.
LIST OF COCK'S PARTY
BAGLEY, Simon 27. Agriculturist and army pensioner. w Ann 29. c Clara 6.
BASSETT, William 33. Agriculturist.
BEALE, William 42. Agriculturist. w Mary 35. c William 13, George 11, Henry 8, Mary Ann 6.
BROWN, Stephen 48. Agriculturist. w Sarah 36. c Willliam 4.
COCK, William 26. Printer. w Elizabeth 27. c William Frederick 4, John Underson 2 (died at sea), Loveday Ann.
COLLIER, Abraham 38. Agriculturist and naval pensioner. w Mary 30.
COLMAN, John 28. Seaman.
DEAN, Charles 30. Carpenter. w Mary.
DUGLEBY, Samuel 32. Agriculturist and army pensioner. w Mary 27. c Fanny 6, Samuel 2 (died at sea).
ELMSLIE, Robert 48. Weaver and army pensioner. w Sarah 34. c Elizabeth 7, Sarah 5, William 3.
EVANS, Charles 43. Agriculturist. w Mary 26.
FIELD, Thomas 25. Carpenter.
FORWORD, William 33. Mason . w Elizabeth 28 (died at sea). c William 2 (died at sea).
IVATTS, John 36. Shoemaker.
JAMES, George 20. Agriculturist.
JAMES, John 38. Carpenter.
JARMAN, Thomas 26. Wine merchant.
JONES, William 26. Agriculturist.
LEPPAN, James Thomas 30. Smith and wheelwright. w Ann 25. c Ann 5, Christopher 2, Mary 1.
LYON, George 46. Agriculturist.
MARTIN, Edward 21. Carpenter.
MARTIN, Edward 40. Carpenter. w Ann 38.
OVERA, John 48. Agriculturist.
OVERA, Thomas 24. Agriculturist.
PALIN, John Roe 22. Agriculturist.
RAY, John 13 (nephew of William Verity).
RHODES, Joseph 46, Watchmaker. w Harriet 38. c George 8, Charles 6, Edward 3.
SANDERS, John 30. Agriculturist. w Martha 27. c Sarah.
SIMPSON, Thomas 48. Carpenter. w Ann 43. c Dorothy 10, Thomas 3.
STAPLES, John Bath 22. Agriculturist.
THOMAS, Joseph 28. Wheelwright. w Susannah 24. c John.
VERITY, William 40. Tailor. w Elizabeth 33. c Elizabeth 12, James 5, Thomas.
WARDEN, Benjamin 23. Saddler. w Elizabeth 24. c Elizabeth.
WHITEHEAD, John 37. Carpenter. w Sarah 36. c Thomas 15, George 6, Phoebe 4, Sarah 2 (died at sea).
WILKINS, John 24. Agriculturist.
WILLIAMS, Thomas 30. Agriculturist.
WOODMAN, William 29. Glazier.
*COOK, William (servant to William Cock).
*WHITE, James. Carpenter and joiner. (Names of wife and children not know).
Main sources for party list
Return of settlers under the direction of William Cock (Cape Archives CO 6138/1,89); Articles of Agreement (Public Record Office CO 48/43,534); Muster-book and Log of HM Store Ship Weymouth (Public Record Office, London); Special Commissioner William Hayward's notes (Cape Archives CO 8541).
Henry Booth, John Bradley, Charles Ingram and Philip Rogers, whose names appear on the official sailing list, did not embark. Thomas Henry Cheshire, who replaced Ingram, left the ship at the Isle of Wight. Charles Dean's wife Mary was not entered in the official return of the party, but was found on board the Weymouth after the ship left England.
*The list of Cock's party compiled by Special Commissioner Hayward in 1824 included four men whose names do not appear on the sailing list: William Cook (Cock's servant), George Gatehouse, James White (a carpenter with a wife and family) and John Williamson. These men may have sailed in the Weymouth as unofficial replacements for those who withdrew, or may have joined the party in Albany.
from THE SETTLER HANDBOOK by MD Nash page 61