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Henry Ogle


Henry Ogle was born in Yorkshire in 1800. He was a mason by trade, and came to South Africa as an unmarried man, aboard the ship 'John' as a member of Charles Mouncey's party of 1820 settlers. They left Liverpool on the 13th January 1820 and arrived, via Cape Town, in Algoa Bay on the 1st May 1820.


Ogle did not settle down, and eventually arrived at Port Natal in May 1824 as a member of the advance party under Henry Francis Fynn, aboard the vessel 'Julia' and were exploring the possibility of trade within the interior for the newly founded Farewell Trading Company - set up by Lt. F. G. Farewell.


Ogle was one of the signatories of Shaka's deed of cession of August 1824 which granted the territory round Port Natal to Lt. F. G. Farewell.


Ogle established himself as a trader at Port Natal, and in 1835 he assisted Capt. A. F. Gardiner, the naval officer turned missionary to establish a mission on the Berea.


Because of the cruelty of Shaka and Dingane, many of their subjects fled to Port Natal for protection. These refugees attached themselves to some of the white men, whom they then regarded as their chief. In this way Ogle became the chief of the Tholane refugees under the amaThuli chiefdom of Chief Mnini.


Although Henry Ogle married an Englishwoman, named Jane, and had one son whom they named Henry, he fathered many coloured children with the African concubines at his Kraal north of the Umzimkulu river near modern day Umkomaas.


He became a Captain in the defence force organised at the bay in 1837, although he did not take part in the attacks on the Zulus in 1838. He then had a very colourful few years, holding peace talks with Dingane, jailed by the Voortrekkers at Pietermaritzburg in 1839 and again in 1842.


He accompanied Commissioner H. Cloete on his mission to Mpande in 1843, when on October 5th, the boundary between British Natal and Zululand was settled. Ogle and Fynn were the only original settlers who remained to see Natal become a British colony in 1844.


Once the British were firmly settled in Natal, Ogle retired to his Kraal near Umkomaas. He died at Pietermaritzburg on 20th February 1860.


One of Henry Ogles 'coloured' children was Benjamin Ogle, born in 1855, although we have no information regarding the mother, or the actual date of birth.