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object of his tender emotions, being wrecked, many years after, off the Саре.

On the homeward-bound voyage, Diaz discovered the great and famous Cape, to which he, by no means as friendly disposed as to his little cross upon his lone island in Algoa Bay, gave the ominous name of Cabo das Tormentas, or the Cape of Storms, altered afterwards, by the sage Henry, into that of Buona Esperanza, or Good Hope, from the expectations it afforded of reaching, by sea, the grand goal-Eastern India.

From the period of the discovery of the South Coast of Africa, by Diaz, no notice of Algoa Bay appears to be recorded, until the visit of the celebrated Sir James Lancaster, (who attempted the north-west pas sage, and gave the name to Lancaster Sound,) who, in 1593, anchored in its capacious waters for six weeks, during the prevalence of contrary winds.

In 1652, the colony of the Cape of Good IIope was established by old Surgeon Van Rebeek who had for some years recommended it as a valuable settlement to the Dutch government; and Algoa Bay (the Bahia de la Goa, distinguished by the Portuguese navigator from the Rio de la Goa, or Delagoa Bay), appears to have been first visited by the Dutch in 1669. In 1772, the Dutch East India Company set up several beacons, or perpetual land-marks, along the coast; one at Zwartkops River, and another on a sand-hill, at the Sharks' River, to the southward of the anchorage, where it is still to be seen,-a small obelisk, of Robben Island blue slate, on which the Company's cypher is engraven.

The acquisition of such a valuable means of commercial intercourse was, of course, not appreciated at the time of its discovery. It was through a mere accident that the importance became apparent; and that was a chance visit of an Englishman, whose countrymen were destined; within a very few years afterwards, to occupy in full sovereignty, this vanguard of the Dutch possession of her Indian empire.

On the 2nd of May, 1785, an event occurred which drew the particular attention of the Cape government to Algoa Bay. The English East India Company's ship Pigot, put in there, and, with the permission of the country authorities, landed upwards of one hundred scorbutic patients, who were lodged in the farm of F. Potgleter, (now Michael Muller's, or, as the estate is called, Welbedagt). The notification of this event did not reach the then nearest government authority, at Swellendam, until the 10th of July, a distance of 350 miles, so slow was como munication in those days. Colonel Dalrymple, a passenger by the vessel, hired a wagon from that place, and, to the astonishment of the somnolent heads of office in Cape Town, appeared there, and seems to have awakened them from a quiet, and perhaps, pleasant, slumber!

Visited from such an unexpected quarter, by a British officer, who had the reputation of being a very skilful engineer and surveyor, the Dutch Government took alarm, and the immediate consequence was the formation of a new district, Swellendam and Stellenbosch, districts which had hitherto gloried in boundaries in some terra-incognita to the east, were shorn of those unknown regions, and the site of a new magistracy, at Graaff Reinet, was fixed, including the Bay; the object being, as then stated, “ to prevent any Foreign Power from settling at the Bahia Delagoa.”

In 1797, the state of the Kafir boundary led Lord Macartney to contemplate removing the seat of magistracy from Graaff-Reinet to Zwartkops River, but the design was abandoned until the year 1804, when the town of Uitenhage was founded on the banks of that stream.

In 1799, the site of the present town of Port Elizabeth was occupied by British troops, in consequence of the disturbances on the Frontier. Fort Frederick, a small work, still existing, was built at this time, but given up at the peace of Amiens, along with the rest of the colonial dependencies, all of which were restored to the British after the second capture of the colony in 1806.

The year 1820 witnessed the arrival of the immigration of British settlers, when 2,020 men, 607 women, and 2,032 children were safely landed, owing to the security of the bay, and the kind vigilance of Capt. Evatt, the hospitable and attentive commandant of the Port. The first party of these settlers arrived in the bay on the 10th of April; a day much to be remembered in the annals of the Cape colony. In the same year, Sir Rufane Shaw Donkin visited the port, to locate the settlers, when he ordered the erection of a small pyramidal monument, in memory of his lately deceased lady, on the height above the rising village, to which he gave her name, “ Elizabeth."

At that time the only buildings were the fort just alluded to, a small barrack, a mess-house, the Commandant's quarters, a few temporary huts, besides the original farm house, (almost all of perishable materials) belonging to a Boor of the name of Hartman. The population was about 35 souls, and its trade confined to the occasional visit of a coasting vessel, with long lapses between each voyage, bringing in exchange for butter, a few articles of clothing, and supplies for the military. The progressive state of the trade of this port is as follows:Vessels. Imports.

Vessels. Exports.


1842 95



94,674 135,919


118,860 1845





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The population, two-thirds of whom are English, has increased to 3,382 souls. The number of houses inhabited by one or more persons is 416. Huts or other dwellings without walls, 278. The value of fixed property as assessed for road rates is £125,780.

A splendid pile of bnildings has been completed for the use of the Commissariat, and a place d'armes, at a cost of about £14,000. There is a church for the Episcopal congregation, called St. Mary; a Wesleyan and Independent chapel , besides a place of worship for the Roman

Catholics. There is also a small court-house, with public offices attached, a gaol, and a very neat and ornamental structure, intended for an Exchange.

A fine steamer, the Phaniz, regularly plies, between Table Bay and Port Elizabeth, the passage occupying each way, the average period, of from three to four days.

There is no correct Chart of Algoa Bay, published at present, Lieut. Rice's sketch, made in 1797, to be found in Barrow's Travels, and reprinted by the Hydrographical Office, in 1801, is the only one extant, and used by navigators; and as there is only one danger in entering the anchorage—the Roman Rock, as it is denominated, the imperfect chart has, perhaps, been thought sufficient for the common purposes of navigation; but the rapidly increasing commerce of the port, imperatively calls for a fresh and more accurate survey,

Rice's chart represents the bay as open to nearly half the compass, whereas it is now well known, beyond all possibility of dispute, that, from the anchorage, the extremes of the land, (that is, the horns of the bay,) extended only six points—which is from E. S. to S.b.E. 1 E.; and it is only when the wind blows within six points, that ships can be placed in danger at the anchorage. For the observation of these bearings, we are indebted to Sir John Marshall, commanding H.M. frigate Isis, on his visit here, in July, 1813--when they were taken by his orders with an improved azimuth compass. Taking a fair average of the year, it may be safely said, that the wind blows four days from the land to one day upon it.

A reference to the chart in question; as well as to the various maps of the south-east coast of the Colony, copied from Lieut. Rice's sketches, will shew that Algoa Bay is there represented as little better than a mere open roadstead; whereas it is, in fact, a deep, horse-shoe shaped indentation, well protected from the violence of the wind-except under peculiar visitations, occurring at long intervals apart.

A slight survey—perhaps it should rather be called an inspection of the bay-was made in 1820, by Capt. Fairfax Mortsby, of the Menai; and, in his report, he states : Should Port Elizabeth ever become a place of commercial consequence (which there is no doubt it soon will,) chain-moorings, or even anchors of a large size, with chain cable, should be laid down for the ships that wish to approach near shore, for the purpose of loading or unloading.” “I do not,” adds he, “make the remark from the insecurity of the bay for I consider it, at all times, equal to Table Bay, and, for six months, very far its superior.” And the gallant commander goes on to say—“ Had I my choice of trusting my ship for the year round to Torbay, in England, Palermo Bay, in Sicily, or Algoa Bay, I should without hesitation prefer the anchorage of Port Elizabeth, (Algoa Bay.)”

To make this bay what it deserves to be, and must sooner or later become, a place of extensive commerce, there are four improvements yet to be introduced, viz.:-a landing jetty, a supply of water to the beach, a buoy on the Roman, or Despatch rock, and a lighthouse on Cape Recife. It is satisfactory to state, that arrangements have been made for the commencement of the latter immediately.

PORT INSTRUCTIONS FOR ALGOA BAY. Should it be the intention of the master of a vessel to discharge or receive on board any considerable quantity of cargo, a convenient berth will be pointed out by the Port Captain, as close to the landing place as the safety of the vessel and other circumstances will admit. The vessel must then be moored with two bower anchors, with an open hawse to the S. E. and especial care taken not to overlay the anchors of other vessels, or in any way to give them a foul berth. Ships or vessels touching for water and refreshments, may ride at single anchor, but they must then anchor well to the northward, so as to prevent danger (in case of drifting) to the vessels moored, aud it is particularly recommended, when riding at single anchor to veer out 70 or 80 fathoms of chain, the other bower cable should be ranged and the anchor kept in perfect readiness to let go; strict attention should be paid to keep a clear hawse, (when moored,) the more so when it is probable the wind may blow from the S.E., and whether at single anchor or moored, the sheet anchor should be ready for immediate use. The situation of the vessel must be taken by land marks, and the depth of water, and should any accident occur by which she may drift from such situation, or lose her anchors, the same must be notified in writing to the Port Captain.

It is recommended that vessels be kept as snug as possible; especially such as may have to remain some time in the anchorage, for the periodical winds blow occasionally with much violence.

Vessels having Marryatt's Code of Signals, can make their wishes known to their agents, in blowing weather through the Port Office;—Vessels not having the Code, can make the following with their Ensigos:

1.-Ensign in the Fore Top-mast Rigging I am in want of a Cable. 2.- Ensign in the Main Top-mast Rigging.--I am in want of an Anchor. 3.-Ensign in the Fore Rigging:- I have parted a Bower Cable. 4.-Ensign in the Main Rigging.-I am in want of an Anchor and Cable. 5.-Whift, where best seen. -Send off a Boat.

Whenever a red Flag may be biosted at the Port Office, it denotes that it is unsafe for any boat to land.

(Signed) H. G, DUNSTERVILLE, Port Captain. Approved.

By Command of His Excellency the Governor,
(Sigued) John MONTAGO,

Sec. to Government.
Colonial Office, 6th February, 1844.

Roman Rock, Algoa Bay, Position of the Roman Rock in Algoa Bay, in some Charts culled Despatch

Rock. The following bearings are taken by compass from the rock, which has from 7 to 8 feet of water upon it at low water.

The outermost rocks of Cape Recife bear S.b.W. distant five miles. The Breast beacons, W, one mile and a half.

A whitish looking rock off Rocky point, on with the flag staff at the Fishery W.N.W. N.

Pyramid over the Town, N.W.N.
Store on the beach in a line with the Church, N.W.IN.
Anchorage N.W, distant five miles.

The beacons are crected near the beach, that next the sea has a tar barrel on the top, painted white; the mason work also shows white, at the bottom the space between the two is black.

The inland beacon has a white cross; and when brought in a line with the other beacons forms like a small windmill, bearing due W. from the rock.

A vessel entering the bay, round Cape Recife, with a proper offing, to steer N.N.E. until the Breast Beacons are in one; and when the cross is well open with the other beacon two or three ships' lengths, she may haul up for the anchorage N.W.

There is sufficient room and depth of water for any ship between the Roman Rock and the Main, the channel lying S.b. E. and N.b.W.

Ileights of Mountains, 8c.-Uitenhage District.

Cock's Comb................5,400 feet
Winterhoek Peak.........2,752, "
Latitude of Uitenhage, 33° 45' 57"

Chamtoos River Ferry. Is 430 feet wide, 9 feet deep, the Pont or floating Bridge cost £300, takes over 1 wagon with 16 oxen, laden with 15 muids of meal at a time, within 3 minutes.


queries thereon. Report of the Board, for the Examination of Masters and Mates, appointed

in pursuance of the recommendation of the Board of Trade, for this port, at the meeting of Commissioners, held in the Town Hall, in October, 1845.

The Board may be permitted to premise their report by a few observations on the nature of, and necessity for, this institution.

The institution is not for the especial benefit of shipowners; as they, when appointing masters and mates to their vessels, require a knowledge of many qualifications beyond those of nautical skill, science, and general character, which alone can form the subjects of a public examination.

But the objects sought by this institution are, principally for the public good and safety, by preventing unqualified persons from being entrusted with the charge of vessels, and of the lives and property embarked therein: and also to promote education, knowledge, and good conduct throughout the mercantile marine; so, that, the advancement and improvement of officers therein may be, at least, concurrent with the improvement now taking place amongst seamen, by the exertions of wise and benevolent individuals, in establishing Sailors' Homes, &c.

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