Reverend Francis McCleland per Theal’s “Records of the Cape Colony”

George McCall Theal was the most prolific and influential South African historian, archivist and genealogist of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. In his epic compendium Records of the Cape Colony, he records all the correspondence by and to the Colonial Office in Cape Town for the period 1793 to 1827. As the last seven years coincide with the arrival of the original batch of Settlers, this series of 35 books contains a rich vein of data to be mined. 

Before even landing in Saldanha Bay, Francis McCleland had already made a name for himself as a heavy drinker and troublesome priest. As well, William Parker – the Party Leader – and Francis McCleland were a volatile mix, ever on the brink of ignition. 

For these reasons, the McCleland name is often fairly and sometimes unfairly denigrated in these pages. For ease of reference, I have extracted all references to the irascible Irish clergyman however oblique. 

Main picture: George McCall Theal

This information has been set out by volume


Volume 12

Pg # Letter from & to Location & Date Topic
374-375 Rev McCleland to Earl Bathurst Adelphi, London-22nd Nov 1819 Accompanying settlers
398 Lord Bathurst to Lord Charles Somerset Downing Str, 16th Dec 1819 Accompanying settlers


Pages 374 & 375:



Page 398:


Volume 13 

Pg # Letter from & to Location & date Topic
150-152 W Parker to Colonial Secretary Saldanha Bay–27th  May 1820 Reprehensible conduct by McCleland
225-228 W Parker to Deputy Colonial Secretary Saldanha Bay-5th Aug 1820 Reprehensible conduct
267-279 W Parker to Earl Bathurst-20th September 1820 Saldanha Bay-20th Sep 1820 Reprehensible conduct
284-287 W Parker to Deputy Colonial Secretary Saldanha Bay-3rd Oct 1820 Reprehensible conduct
406-407 W Parker to Lieut. Col. Bird Burgher’s Post- 20th Feb 1821 Reprehensible conduct
283 Extracts of complaints to Acting Governor by Deputy Landdrost at Clanwilliam 2nd October 1820 Land allocation
302 Deputy Landdrost to Colonial Secretary Clanwilliam-22nd Oct 1820 Land allocation
304-306 Colonial Secretary to Deputy Landdrost at Clanwilliam Colonial Office-25th October 1820 Land allocation
312-313 McCleland to Earl Bathurst Cape Town-9th Nov 1820 Complaint
314 McCleland to Earl Bathurst Cape Town-9th Nov 1820 Salary increase
397 W Parker to Ralph Rogerson Cape Town-10th Oct 1821 Deposit
454-455 Petition of John Quin to Sir Rufane Donkin Charity received from McCleland


Pages 150 to 152:





Pages 225 to 228:






Pages 267 to 279:














Pages 284 to 287

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Pages 406 & 407:



Page 283:


Pages 304 to 306:

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Pages 312 to 313:

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Page 397

Page 454 to 455:


Volume 17

Pg # Letter from & to Location & Date Topic
4-5 McCleland to Bishop of Waterford Clanwilliam, 15th Jan 1824 Conditions in Clanwilliam




Volume 18

Pg # Letter from & to Location & Date Topic
10-11 Earl Bathurst to Lord Charles Somerset Downing Street, London-26th June 1824 Accommodation for Rev McCleland
144-146 Evidence of Synnot to Commission of Enquiry Cape Town-16th July 1824
203-205 Queries raised to Synnot by Deputy Landdrost of Clanwilliam Cape Town
274-279 Evidence given by OM Bergh to Comm. Of Enquiry Cape Town-2nd Sept 1824

Pages 10 & 11:vol-18-page-010

Page 144 to 146: Owner of a slave:

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Pages 203 to 205:

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Pages 274 to 279:

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Volume 19


Pg # Letter from & to Location & Date Topic
132-135 Evidence given by Robert Woodcock to the Comm. Of Enquiry Cape Town-13th November 1824


Page 132 to 135:

vol-19-page-132 vol-19-page-133 vol-19-page-134 vol-19-page-135


Volume 22


Pg # Letter from & to Location & Date Topic
60 Report of Commission of Enquiry to Earl Bathurst
84 Evidence given by William Hayward to Comm. of Enquiry




Volume 24


Pg # Letter from & to Location & Date Topic
231 List of Appointments F. McCleland appointed effective as from 10th November 1825


Note:  The are discrepancies between the Date of Appointment between the various official documents.


Volume 25


Pg # Letter from & to Location & Date Topic
261-262 Salary list Date of Appointment 1st Oct 1825 at a salary of £ 150
293-294 McCleland to Earl Bathurst Port Elizabeth, 9th Jan 1826 Requests a parsonage house & a farm Gora in the Uitenhage District




vol-25-page-293 vol-25-page-294


Volume 26


Pg # Letter from & to Location & Date Topic
15 Lord Somerset to Earl Bathurst Cape Town, 12th Feb 1826 Appointment of McCleland as a Chaplain in PE
16-18 McCleland to Sir Richard Plasket Port Elizabeth, 13th December 1825 Request for a Parsonage House with a garden


vol-26-page-015 vol-26-page-016 vol-26-page-017 vol-26-page-018

Volume 27 

Pg # Letter from & to Location & Date Topic
61 Earl Bathurst to Major General Bourke Downing Street, London, 12th July 1826 Requesting a residential house or a housing allowance
250 McCleland to Earl Bathhurst Port Elizabeth, 8th August 1826 Bishop to administer conformation; building at 14 feet by shortage of funds to continue




Volume 28


Pg # Letter from & to Location & Date Topic
331 RW Hay to TP Courtney Downing Street, 18th November 1826 Bishop for confirmation




Other blogs on Francis McCleland:

Rev Francis McCleland: From Birth to London – 1793 to 1819

Rev Francis McCleland: From Passage West to the Cape – 1820


Rev Francis McCleland: An Interlude in Clanwilliam 1820 – 1825

The Reverend Francis McCleland – A Life of Service



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