Saturday, June 1

Barnabas J Shaw (Jnr)

Barnabas J. SHAW, was born on the 1st February 1821 and was the son of the eminent missionary the Rev. Brnabas SHAW. Hewas educated at Woodhouse Grove School and won considerable distinction in classics and mathemathics. It was his intention to devote himself to Educational work, but after his conversion to God he heard the call to the higher tasks of the Christian Ministry. He was trained at the Hoxton Theological Institution, and offered himself for service in India. With a view to his new sphere he devoted himself to the study of Canarese. Circumstances however, prevented his going to India, and he laboured for a time in circuits in England. The Missionary Committee afterwards decided that he should join his father in South Africa, and to fit himself for his work he went to Holland to study the Dutch language. His first appointment in Africa was to the Cape Town Circuit, from whence he removed to Raithby, where failure of voice began to trouble him.

After a brief visit to England he settled at Salem as the first Principal of the Industrial School established by Sir George GREY, and when he spent many years of happy and prosperous life. He finally settled at Grahamstown and became eminently succesful as Head Master of a Private School. As a Christian educationist Mr. SHAW had few rivals in South Africa. Many of his pupils have attained high positions in various professions. Mr. Shaw rendered valuable service as a preacher of the Gospel. His sermons were deeply spiritual and instructive, and were delivered with peculiar grace and unction. He was a most lovable man, full of sympathy and always a welcome visitor to the homes of the people. His last days were marked by a singular calm and serenity of mind, and displayed in an eminent degree of beauty of Christian saintliness. He died at Grahamstown on the 15th of June 1902, in the 82nd year of his age.
Extract from History of Methodist Church in South Africa

The disappointed soldiers in Cape Town renewed their
appeal to the Missionary Committee, who, not without hope
that a second attempt might succeed, sent out the Rev.
Barnabas Shaw. He and his wife sailed in the Eclipse from
the Thames on December 20, 181 5. In order to take
advantage of the trade winds, the vessel crossed the South
Atlantic as far as Rio de Janeiro, where they remained two
weeks provisioning the ship. Then, putting again to sea, they
completed a weary voyage of 116 days, and landed at Cape
Town on April 14, 1816.

This man, to whom African missions became an exalted
passion, was born in 1 788, at EUoughton, a village about eight
miles from Hull, in Yorkshire. His father, Thomas Shaw,
was a yeoman farmer ; and from a boy Barnabas, like most
youths of his class, had to handle the plough, the sickle, and
the flail. Though tall and thin, he was strong, athletic, and
vigorous. The hard training of the farm fitted him to endure
the severe labours of a new mission in a desert land. He had
a taste for mechanics, and when occasion required he could
make a plough or build a house with his own hands. He was
converted when young, and at the age of twenty began to
preach. No difficulty or opposition daunted his buoyant
spirits. When designated by the Missionary Committee for
Cape Colony, he at once commenced the study of the Dutch
language, under Baldwin Janson, then resident in London,
and the author of a Dutch grammar ; and before Mr. Shaw
had been a year in South Africa he could preach fluently in
that language.

The spiritual condition of the population of Cape Town was
lamentable. The religious needs of the soldiers were supplied
by the military chaplains in a cold, perfunctory manner. The
few English families were unprovided with any pastor.
Thousands of slaves were without religious knowledge, and
their owners preferred that they should remain ignorant.
Official opposition continued, and Lord Somerset expressed
his regret that he could not sanction the commencement of
a Wesleyan Mission in Cape Town. But Mr. Shaw calmly
moved forward. * Having been refused the sanction of the
Governor,* he wrote, * on the following Sunday I commenced
without it. If His Excellency was afraid of giving oirence to
the Dutch ministers and the English chaplains, I had no
occasion to fear either the one or the other. My congregation
was at first chiefly composed of pious soldiers, and it was in
a room hired by them that I first preached Christ crucified
in South Africa.*

The military officers took alarm. They cherished the notion,
happily long ago exploded, that if soldiers became Christians
they would be spoilt as fighting-machines. At Wynberg the
men had built for themselves a little Wesleyan Church ; but
the colonel of the regiment ordered it to be burnt to the
ground. They then built another in the forest, on land
belonging to Captain Proctor, who did not share the colonel's
alarm, and in it Mr. Shaw held his services. At Simonstown,
the only place in which he could preach, was a small room
belonging to a soldier of the 83rd Regiment. Discouraged by
the persistent opposition, and chafing against the narrow limits
of his work, Mr. Shaw's thoughts began to turn to the heathen,
for whose evangelization he considered he had been chiefly
sent out.

But where was he to go ? He sought the advice of Lord
Charles Somerset, as one who had an extensive knowledge of
the country ; but the Governor, whilst expressing his readiness
to assist in having the heathen taught 'habits of industry,'
could not recommend any particular place, as the natives were
scattered thinly over the land. So Mr. Shaw prayed, and
waited for direction.

Several months elapsed, and then, as he believed, the direc-
tion came. The Rev. H. Schmelen, of the London Missionary
Society, and whose station was in
Great Namaqualand, arrived in Cape
Town, accompanied by about twelve
native Christians. Mr. Shaw invited
them to his house, and the account he
received of the degraded condition of
the various Hottentot clans, and of
their wiUingness to receive the Gospel,
deeply impressed him. He seemed to
hear a voice from the unknown beyond,
saying, * Come over and help us.'
Mr. Schmelen offered him the use of
part of his own house, and his aid in
acquiring a knowledge of the Namaqua
language. But the undertaking in-
volved such hardship and peril that
Mr. Shaw shrank from proposing it
to his wife. When, however, Mr. Schmelen spoke in her
presence of the desire of the Namaquas to receive the Gospel,
Mrs. Shaw exclaimed : * We will go with you. The Lord
is opening our way to the heathen.' Mr. Shaw, though
delighted with the heroic spirit of his wife, said : * But look at
the cost of a waggon, and oxen, and stores!' The brave
woman replied : * If the Missionary Society is offended, tell
them we will bear all the expense ourselves. We have a little
property in England, and for this let it go.' Mrs. Shaw shares
with her husband the honours of the Namaqua Mission.

When Lord Charles Somerset was applied to for a permit
to proceed beyond the frontier, he advised Mr. Shaw not to
leave the Colony, and even offered to appoint him as a minister
of one of the Dutch churches if he would remain ; but he
replied, * I feel my mission is to the heathen — I must go.*
Very reluctantly the passport was granted. The Governor
was autocratic, hot-tempered, and proud of his aristocratic
descent, but he could respect a man of Mr. Shaw's courage
and devotion.

A waggon and twelve oxen, with everything requisite for the
journey, were purchased, and, on September 6, 181 6, Mr. and
Mrs. Shaw set out with Mr. Schmelen on his return to Bethany,
intending to settle in Great Namaqualand. The country
through which they travelled was sparsely inhabited, and after
they had passed Picquetberg they entered a district utterly
destitute of roads. There were no waggon-tracks in the shift-
ing sands. Often the heat was excessive, and the oxen suffered
from the want of water. The Dutch farmers on the way
treated them with profuse hospitality. Mr. Van Aarde offered
them open house whilst they rested on his farm. Mr. Van
Zyl, of Uitkomst, supplied them with a bag of meal, three
goats, and five sheep, and, when payment was preferred,
generously said : * You come and dispense to me and my faniily
the bread of life. It would be strange indeed if I could not
give you a little provision to help you through the wilderness.*
These were not the only instances of Dutch hospitality. The
Rousseaus, of Picquetberg ; the Englebrechts and Coetzees, of
Kamiesberg ; and the Bassons of Groot Vallie, always extended
a hearty welcome to the Wesleyan missionaries in their
journeys to and from Namaqualand. After nearly a month's
travel the missionary party arrived at the Olifants River, which
was swollen by heavy rains. The contents of the waggons had
to be taken across in a boat, and the waggons were drawn
through the flooded stream with great difficulty. Then followed
a journey over the Karee, or arid desert, in which they found
a little water, but it was salt and black with impurity.

They had not advanced many miles across the Karee when
Mr. Shaw received what he considered to be a clear providen-
tial indication of his future sphere of labour. Wearily travel-
ling over the sandy plain, he was met by Jantje Wildschot,
the chief of Little Namaqualand, and four of his tribe, who
were on their way to Cape Town to procure a Christian teacher.
They had already come 200 miles, and Mr. Shaw was deeply
impressed by this unexpected meeting in the trackless desert.
Had either party started but half an hour earlier on its journey
they would not have met. He who brought Philip and the
eunuch together near Gaza — the one to receive, the other to
give, of the Word of Life — had again, in a far-distant scene,
brought together for a similar purpose Mr. Shaw and Jantje
Wildschot. Mr. Shaw readily consented to accompany the
Namaquas to their own country. When within a few miles of
the chief's winter residence, Naamrap, they were met by twenty
Namaquas riding on oxen, which were guided by wooden bits
thrust through the cartilage of the nose. Drawing up in line,
they uncovered their heads, and, waving their hands, they
shouted to Mr. and Mrs. Shaw : * Good day ! Welcome !
Welcome to our land !* They then rode off at full speed to
announce the approach of the visitors. If the reception was
somewhat dramatic, it was sincere, and augured well for the
future.

The day after their arrival a council of the tribe was held,
and Mr. Shaw preached to the people, Mr. Schmelen acting as
interpreter. Every face was lit up with a smile when it
became known that the Christian teacher was willing to dwell
among them. They would give land for a station, and water
with which to irrigate the garden. The missionary could keep
cows and goats for the use of his family. They would gladly
assist to erect a church and a house. They were eager to
learn the way of salvation, faint rumours of which had come
to them from other tribes. So the final step was taken. Mr.
Schmelen departed on his way to Great Namaqualand, and
left Mr. and Mrs. Shaw behind, not without tears on both sides
and warm hand-clasps, as of men and women who knew they
were not likely to see another white face for months, perhaps
for years.

By a rough mountain journey over rugged and dangerous
passes, Mr. and Mrs. Shaw and the Namaquas proceeded to
Lilyfontein, in the Kamiesberg, the summer residence of the
tribe, and there, in the midst of barbarism, the missionary and
his heroic wife settled. The loneliness of their position was
often painfully felt. No postal system linked them with dis-
tant friends : they were effectually cut off from civilization. On
the other hand, the station was healthy ; the mountains rose
picturesquely 5,000 feet above sea-level, and a perennial stream
of pure water gushed out from under one of the peaks. The
air was dry and bracing. In the west, on a clear day, could
be seen the blue waters of the Atlantic. But that which
chiefest gave courage and hope was the conviction that they
had been led thither by the guiding hand of God.
THE MISSION TO THE NAMAQUAS.

THE Namaquas were a Hottentot tribe of unmixed
descent, for in their desert home they had come little
into contact with other races. They were of a yellowish
brown colour, and their hair grew on the head in tufts.
Their noses were flat and broad, their eyes wide apart, their
lips thick, and their cheek-bones prominent. They had small
hands and feet, and beautifully white teeth. Their dress, when
they wore any, consisted of a kaross made of the skins of goats
or wild cats. Their chief food was milk and the flesh of
animals killed in hunting. Their language abounded in clicks
made by striking the tongue against the palate or the teeth.
They lived in mat huts, which were an imperfect protection
against the cold mists and gales that occasionally rolled up
from the Atlantic.

• Sore pierced by wintry winds, they sink
Into the sordid hut of cheerless poverty.'

Of religious truth the Namaquas appeared to know little.
They had scarcely any knowledge of a Supreme Being, and
when taught they were puzzled with the problem of an omni-
potent God and human suffering. * If there is a God,* angrily
said an aged man, * why does He not cure the pains in my
back ?' Another, who had lost his horses, said : * If I find the
horses I will believe. If I do not, then there is no God.' Any
attempt by Mr. Shaw to explain the nature of sin, or the
necessity of conversion, was met by a shake of the head, and
the avowal : * I cannot understand it.* They had a feeble com-
prehension of numbers. * Many could not count five,' wrote
Mr. Shaw ; * a few could proceed as far as ten, and then only
by using the fingers.* One or two, clever beyond others, could
count up to twenty with the extra aid of the toes. If asked to
add two and four and six, they had to abandon the attempt in
despair. Yet these same men could detect the absence of a
single sheep or goat out of a flock of several hundreds. It
must not, therefore, be supposed that the Namaquas were
mentally feeble. In the desert, without written language or
literature, there was little to stimulate their mental develop-
ment. As might be expected, they were acute in observation,
but weak in abstract calculations.

The Namaquas had few wants, and were consequently
indolent. To have plenty of meat and milk, to lie in the sun
and smoke, to possess numerous wives who did the heavy
labour — this was a Namaqua paradise. They could not be said
to have any morals, and their feasts were scenes of gross sen-
suality. New-born children were often thrown into the bush
to die of cold or be devoured by wild beasts. The neighbouring
farmers were frequently heard to say, no doubt in scorn, that
the Namaquas were *a species of wild dogs, and had no souls/

The work of Christianizing these degraded people seemed
hopeless, but Mr. Shaw was full of enthusiasm. *Were I
seated on a throne,' he said, * I would gladly descend from it
to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ to these African
Gentiles.*

At first Mr. and Mrs. Shaw lived in a native hut, without
door, window, or chimney. It was so small that they thought
it was an advantage to have no furniture. They sat on boxes,
and slept on the floor. The erection of a small cottage was a
laborious task, for there was no suitable timber within thirty
miles, and besides the journey to the Naauwe River, the cutting
down of the trees, the sawing into planks, and the building of
the house, had to be done by Mr. Shaw himself. He also
made tables of slabs of granite. No corn or vegetables could
be obtained, so he dug up a piece of ground and sowed it with
lettuce, peas, onions, and radishes. The growth of the plants
was carefully watched, and when a little later Mr. and Mrs.
Shaw were seen eating the lettuces, the Namaquas, to whom
agriculture was an unknown art, exclaimed : * What a wonder-
ful thing is this, that the mistress and you can eat grass !
You will never die of starvation.' By the end of the year
Mr. Shaw was an adept in making his own butter and soap
and candles. His manual labour was a daily object lesson to
the Namaquas, teaching them the simpler crafts of civiliza-
tion. The evenings and the Sabbaths were devoted to religious
instruction.

Occasionally the difficulties of his position appalled him.
Here I toil and labour, and see but little fruit. The best of
my days are going, and I gain no useful knowledge, and I am
forgetting all I ever knew. My companions are ignorant
Hottentots. O ! this Africa ! this solitary land, this land of
darkness, of fatigue, and non-improvement !* This bittern-like
cry was, however, but for a moment. Courage and hopefulness
soon returned.

The Namaquas had hitherto led a nomadic life, subsisting
on the spoils of hunting. To induce them to settle on the soil
and become agriculturists Mr. Shaw made a plough. He had
brought with him from Capetown some ploughshares, coulters,
and tools. He made a rude forge, and the people flocked
around, watching with wonder the evolution of the strange
implement. When the iron was taken out of the fire and sub-
mitted to the strokes of the hammer, they fled before the sparks,
exclaiming: * We never saw anything like this before ; the fire
flies after us !' When the plough was finished and put to
work their astonishment was unlimited. They laughed and
shouted : * Look ! look at its mouth, how it bites and tears up
the ground !* The achievements of the plough excited many
of the Namaquas to desire one, and in a short time six ploughs
were made and put to work. The reproach that missionaries
devote too much time to spiritual duties and too little to
material improvement could not be cast at Mr. Shaw. With
him both were promoted with almost equal zeal. Before he
left Lilyfontein nearly 2,000 bags of wheat were annually
grown where before not a grain had been sown.

Mr. Shaw preached in Dutch, as many of the Namaquas
had acquired a knowledge of that language whilst in the employ
of Dutch farmers. For those who understood Namaqua only
it was easy to find an interpreter from amongst those who
understood both languages. At first the services were held
every Sabbath, and frequently during the week, in the open
air, in the shadow of a rock, or under the branches of a mimosa
tree, and often after the toils of a laborious day spent in building
or ploughing. But Mr. Shaw knew that the best results could
not bs obtained until a place was set apart for Divine worship.
In the second year of his residence he attempted to erect a
church. The building proceeded with painful slowness. A
drought had set in, food was scarce, and the people were too
weak to undertake heavy manual labour. Many were wearing

* hunger girdles,' straps drawn tightly round the waist to lessen
the pangs of hunger. Assisted by Jantje, the chief, Mr. Shaw
obtained a donation of about thirty sheep and goats from the
wealthier men and offered to feed the labourers in return for
their work. The building was now carried on with alacrity.
Aged men made the bricks, young men quarried the stone and
cut the timber, the women wove matting for the roof, and the
children tramped clay for mortar, singing in their toil verses
of Dutch hymns. When the building was completed, it was
dedicated to God with prayer and praise ; and though no lofty
spire rose above its roof, and no light fell on the congregation
from richly painted windows, within its humble walls many a
Namaqua found the Lord.

The services were from the first marked by deep attention
and great emotion. Savages are but children, and have no
idea of restraining their feelings. Often during the sermon
they would weep and moan over their sins. Individuals fell
prostrate upon the floor, and seemed unable to rise. Some of
the Gospel narratives, as the healing of blind Bartimeus, the
woman of Samaria, and the Canaanite mother who cried after
Jesus, made a deep impression on their untutored souls. Some
were plunged into deep distress, and lay on the ground weeping
bitterly. Jantje sobbed : * All the sins that I have committed
from my childhood to this day are put before my eyes.'
Hendrik lamented \ * After I heard the word, such was my
distress I fell to the ground, and my sins, like a great nail,
seemed to fasten me to the earth.* A woman said: * I feel
something like a serpent in my heart ; I hate it, but know not
how to get rid of it.*

These simple Namaquas in their distress cried unto the
Lord ; they resorted to the glens and the rocks and spent
hours in prayer. By faith they rested on Christ for salvation,
and their darkness was turned into day. A vein of surprise
runs through their confessions, as though they felt such wealth
of Divine mercy could not be intended for poor heathens like
themselves. With hand on mouth, an a^ed man said : * When
I think on the love of God in the gift of His Son, and of the
sufferings of Christ for me, my thoughts stand still, and I am
dumb.* Peter Links quaintly said : ' I have been like a poor
silly lamb that turns first to one bush and then to another, and
runs away from its mother. But the ewe will not forsake it,
and does all she can to induce it to follow. So has the Lord
cared for me.* Another convert expressed himself: * Before we
received the Gospel, we were like a chicken in the ^gg ere it is
hatched. We were surrounded with darkness and could see

nothing ; but the Gospel broke the shell, and now we see the
light of day.*

The Namaquas abandoned their deeds of evil. Formerly,
when the moon was at the full, they had been accustomed to
spend the night in Bacchanalian dancing, drunkenness, and
debauchery. Now they made the moonlight nights vocal with
song. The converts went from hut to hut, chanting some
favourite hymn, as :

• Faith loves the Saviour and beholds

His sufferings, death, and pain ;
And this shall ne'er be old or cold
Till we with Him shall reign. '

As the singers passed on and called upon the head of each
family to engage in prayer the night- fires brightened, and the
hills were covered with silvery beauty by the full-orbed moon.
In June, 181 7, the first two converts were baptized ; two were
united in matrimony ; and the sacrament of the Lord's Supper
was administered. Thus the churcjj grew and took form.

Many of the converts became school teachers, local preachers,
and class leaders, and proved to be faithful Christians. Not
a few carried the Gospel to other tribes. Robert Links was
a hero in his way. With gun in hand, and a water-vessel
slung at his back, and depending for food on what he might
shoot, he explored for weeks at a time the dreary Kalahari
Desert, that he might preach to the wild Bushmen. His
sufferings on these trips broke down his constitution, and he
died early. Johannes Jager, in his eagerness to learn, carried
his book into the lands that he might learn in spare moments.
Jacob Links was simple, but intensely earnest. When an
mquirer, he climbed to the roof of his hut, thinking that God
would hear him better if he were higher up ; but his passion to
do good led him far and wide, and he lived for a time with
Bushmen, subsisting on their famine fare that he might teach
them the way of salvation. Peter Links, his brother, was
a remarkable man, and could work as thatcher, mason,
carpenter, and blacksmith. He was an eloquent preacher in
Namaqua. He went through all kinds of danger, and once,
when hunting, was severely lacerated by a lion, which, leaping
upon him dashed him to the ground, and crunched his arm
between its teeth. His brother Robert shot it through the
head, kilHng it immediately ; but it was months before Peter
recovered.
The physical aspect of Lilyfontein changed. Instead of the
wild, unfenced veldt, were gardens and lands ; and in harvest-
time were fields of wheat. The Namaquas acquired civilized
manners. Men who had been accustomed to lay all hard work
on their wives took their full share of labour. Instead of
living on ant larvae, roots, and locusts, they had com and fruit.
They appeared in the house of God decently clothed. The
contrast between their present and former mode of life was so
striking that one of the Namaquas said : ' I would rather that
a bullet were shot through my head than the time should
come that we should be without the Gospel of Christ*
Another declared : ' Formerly I used to hunt dassies (rock
rabbits) and other wild animals; but I have a better living
now. When did we eat such bread before? When did we
buy so many clothes of the merchant ? Who could hunt
better than I? Yet I live better than I ever did.* Peace
reigned where once wars were frequent. The Bushmen dared
not attack the Namaquas now that they were dwelling
together, and the Namaquas had no desire to harry their
former enemies. Their cattle and sheep multiplied, and the
general comfort of the people increased. Within fifteen years
of the commencement of the mission, the inhabitants of Lily-
fontein possessed 3,000 sheep, 3,000 goats, 150 horses, and
400 head of cattle.

When Lord Charles Somerset heard of the success of the
settlement, he took steps to make it permanent. He granted
the Namaquas a tract of country, containing about 200,000
morgen, on which they were given rights of grazing and
cultivation. He placed the district under the control of a raad
or board, elected from amongst themselves on the first day in
each year, and the Wesleyan missionary in residence was
appointed chairman. This raad still meets once a month, and
manages the commonage and the lands, grants grazing rights,
and settles disputes.

In 181 7 the Missionary Committee in London sent out the
Rev. E. Edwards to assist Mr. Shaw. After landing at Cape
Town, he rode all the way to Lilyfontein on horseback, a
distance of 400 miles, rather than wait for a waggon. Mr.
Shaw was now able to visit some of the adjacent tribes. More
than once in his journeys he was lost in the desert, and nearly
perished from hunger and thirst. The following year, the
Rev. and Mrs. Archbell arrived, and a new station was formed
at Reitfontein, a place about three days* travel north of Lily-
fontein, in Bushmanland, with the hope that access would be
gained to those shy, diminutive people. In 1820 the Rev. S.
Kay arrived; but within the year he removed to Salem, to
assist the Rev. W. Shaw, then commencing his work among
the British settlers.

In the year 1826 Mr. Shaw was requested by the Missionary
Committee to proceed to Cape Town, where his presence was
considered necessary. His departure caused consternation
among the Namaquas, who loved him lor his work's sake. At
his last service, the church was crowded to the door with
a congregation speechless with grief. Prayers and addresses
were begun, only to be interrupted by the sobs and cries of the
people. When Mr. and Mrs. Shaw and their children had
mounted the waggon, and the oxen commenced to move, some
of the Namaquas lay on the ground in an agony of grief;
others clung to the rails of the waggon until their tired hands
could cling no longer. A number followed as far as the first
outspan and slept among the bushes. The following morning
they stood weeping and waving their hands until a turn in the
road hid the waggon from view.

Lilyfontein was left in the spiritual care of the Rev. E.
Edwards, with Jacob Links as assistant. In 1828 a new and
larger church was built. In successsion, the Revs. R. Haddy,
J. Jackson, J. A. Bailie, G. Parsonson, M. Godman, H. Tin-
dall, and many others, had charge of the station, and rendered
valuable service.

In 1855 a still larger church was completed, capable of seat-
ing 700 persons. It was of Gothic design, and cost over ;^i,ooo
sterling, nearly all of which was given by the Namaquas. Of
money they had little, and their gifts were chiefly in horses,
sheep, oxen, and grain. The manual labour was done by the
Namaquas, under the direction of Mr. J. A. Bailie, and the
church is a monument of his skill and of their industry. The
dedicatory service was conducted by the Rev. R. Ridgill.

The years 1882-83 were calamitous to the Namaquas at Lily-
fontein. An unusually prolonged and severe drought withered
their crops, and made the ground hard and barren as ironstone.
Gradually the stores of food, even the seed corn, were consumed,
and the starving people had to subsist on roots and bits of skins.
Many of the men left for O'okiep and elsewhere in search of work.
Others roamed about with the cattle in order to find pasture.
During the drought a violent wind took away the roof of the
church at Norap,and left only bare walls and rafters. The people
were too poor to repair the damage, and church and school work
were for a time suspended. When rain at last fell, there was
no seed wheat left, and the people had no money to purchase
any. The Rev. H. Tindall, then at Stellenbosch, did not for-
get his former congregation, and, by the help of a few friends
in Cape Town, he sent them seventy bags of wheat, for which
they were to pay if they had a good harvest.

But the black years left their mark on the religious and
social life of the Namaquas. They were scattered, weakened
physically, and dispirited. When the Rev. G. Robson arrived

at Lilyfontein in 1887, the condition of the mission distressed
him. The mission property was in a dilapidated condition, the
church was almost deserted, the society classes had not met for
months, the day-school was as good as closed, and the people,
scattered all over the extensive commonage, were lapsing into
their old heathen customs. By hard manual labour the build-
ings were improved, but years elapsed before the disastrous
results of drought and compulsory dispersion were overcome.

Lilyfontein as a mission station is difficult to work. Every
winter, about the month of May, the Namaquas remove down
to the lower and warmer veldt, and they do not return until
the end of the following harvest in January. From about
January to May the missionary has a good congregation at
Lilyfontein, but scarcely has he arranged the classes and re-
organized the school, when the people again disband, and the
work is arrested. A winter church and schoolroom were built
in the Underveldt by Mr. Jackson, and for many years a num-
ber of persons collected there during the winter months. Large
dams were constructed, and when rains fell there was a good
supply of water ; but in dry years it was not possible for the
people to assemble there. The buildings were chiefly of wood,
and ultimately they were destroyed by the white ants. When
the Rev. M. Godman was at Lilyfontein he devised a plan for
the establishment of a number of out-
stations, under the care of native
catechists, who were to be visited
periodically by the resident missionary.
But the plan proved impracticable .
from the paucity of men fit to occupy
such a position.

During his pastorate, the Rev. G.
Robson built a stone dwelling at
Karkams, and there the minister lives
in the midst of his people during the
winter. At other places the Namaquas
are away from church and school for
months, pasturing their sheep and
cattle on the mountains, or cultivating
patches in the valleys. The educa- rev. m. godman.

tion of the children is interrupted, and

the Sabbath services are suspended. Upon reassembUng at
Lilyfontein for the summer, much of the work of training and
evangelizing has to be recommenced. Continuous progress is
almost impossible.

Centuries of wandering life, with the uncertainty of the
climate, have moulded Namaqua habits. To live in a hut
without furniture, to sit upon the ground doing nothing but
talking and smoking, destitute of trade or literature— this is the
normal condition of a Namaqua. The people enjoy Christian
teaching, but it has too little influence on tribal characteristics.
To preach the Gospel to them is not sufficient. The social
condition of the Namaquas has to receive the careful attention
of the Christian teacher.

The effect of prolonged droughts cannot be overlooked.
Sometimes no rain falls for eighteen or twenty months. No
ploughing can be done. The veldt becomes dry, and brown,
and barren, and cattle and sheep die. The people are reduced

to live on bulbs and boiled ox-hides. Hunger-belts are drawn
tighter and tighter, and some actually perish of starvation.
The families wander far seeking for grass and water for their
live-stock. Every department of mission work suffers. When
at last rain falls, and the Namaquas can return to Lilyfontein,
much of the instruction of previous years has been lost.

But a more dangerous foe than drought is strong drink.
With the opening of the copper mines at O'okiep and Spring-
bok came canteens, and a class of Europeans who demoralized
the natives by the sale of Cape brandy. No alcoholic drink is
allowed to be sold within the area of the mission settlement ;
but, in addition to the temptations of the mines, the Namaqua
Licensing Court has allowed a canteen to be opened just
beyond the southern boundary at Garies. Here any native
can procure drink. The Namaquas are a simple, impulsive
people, and unable to resist the fascinations of spirituous
liquors, and some of them have been known to lose their sheep,
cattle, and goats to pay an unscrupulous canteen-keeper. If
the Licensing Board of Namaqualand had desired to destroy
the mission work of years, they could not more effectually have
accomplished their purpose than by planting a canteen at
Garies. If the Namaquas can be protected from one of the
worst vices of the European, they will triumph over all the
difficulties arising from drought and annual dispersion. Surely
this protection is not beyond the power of Christian statesman-
ship to provide.

Lilyfontein suffered severely during the Anglo- Boer War.
About 300 of the Namaquas were employed by the Government
as scouts, and this excited the wrath of the Dutch commandoes.
The station was left in the care of a few old men, most of
whom were without arms. A body of Dutch burghers advanced
on Lilyfontein, took possession of the station, seized the year's
harvest, which had just been garnered, and burnt down about
forty huts. The Namaquas attempted to oppose the spoliation,
but they were armed only with kerries, and could offer but a
feeble resistance. The Dutch retaliated by shooting down
eight in front of the church, and twenty-two the following day
among the hills, to which they had fled. The church was
battered, the mission house was looted, and books and furniture
were destroyed. The people were scattered over an area ex-
tending from Garies to Port Nolloth. When, at the close of
the war, the Namaquas were able to return to Lilyfontein,
they found that their huts, their grain, their cattle, and their
sheep had all been swept away. They owned simply the
clothes in which they stood. The Rev. J. G. Locke could find
no shelter but a cowshed, and no sleeping- place but a little
room used for the storage of straw. For months the problem
was how to feed and clothe the people. But the Namaquas
did not murmur, and believed that the hand of God was in it
all. They reverently collected the bones of their slain com-
rades from the veldt, and laid them to rest in the burial ground
on the quiet mountain top. Their sufferings seemed to
strengthen and purify their spiritual life, and the latest phase
of their history is a revival, in which 135 persons sought the
Lord, and have been * added to the church.'

More to follow





History of The Methodist Church in The Cape



The story of the Central Methodist Mission (CMM), Cape Town began at the turn of the last century. Methodism first came to South Africa with the British soldiers stationed in the Cape Colony. The first Methodist convert in South Africa was a soldier by the name of John Irwin. He wrote: I found out four or five men of the other regiments who met together and were called Methodists. We hired the use of a very small room in the town for two hours in a week, to hold a prayer meeting: there we read, sang and prayed, at length I got faith.

It has also been recorded that Sergeant John Kendrick of the 21st Yorkshire Light Dragoons, a Methodist local preacher, conducted services at the Cape in 1806, and that John Middlemiss was the first Methodist leader. He told in a letter dated 16 September 1807 how, in 1806, he and a few other Christians… ‘tried to trace the Methodists or any that were striving to work out their own salvation among the regiments at the Cape. About forty-two Christians were traced – a few of these were ‘sincere Methodists’.

These early meetings and services were held in adapted buildings: a hayloft above the stable in Plein Street and a disused wine store in Barrack Street. In 1822 a church a mission house was erected (also in Barrack Street) at a cost of £600. Dr. John Phillip conducted the official opening and the building served as both a school and a church.

A key figure in the church in Cape Town at this time was the Rev. Barnabas Shaw who arrived in Cape Town in 1816. Together with the Rev. E. Edwards and the Rev. T. Hodgson, Shaw played a major role in the growth of the church in Cape Town and this culminated in the erection of the Wesleyan Methodist Church on the corner of Burg and Church Streets in 1829 (Methodist House now stands on this site). A memorial tombstone in memory of Barnabas Shaw, who is regarded as the founder of South African Methodism, can be found on the ground floor beneath the gallery at the back of the existing church.

After some time back in England, Thomas Hodgson returned to Cape Town in 1836. He set about seeking to reach the many slaves and ex-slaves who never attended church, by preaching on the Grand Parade. His preaching met with a violent response and Hodgson started raising funds for the erection of a church where he could preach without disturbance.

As a result of his efforts, the Sidney Street Church was opened in 1837 and, although it grew rapidly, it tragically marked the beginning of the racial separation of Methodists in Cape Town. The church in Burg Street became a predominantly White church and Sidney Street became a predominantly Coloured church.

The Wesleyan Church in Burg Street gradually felt the need for a larger church and in 1875 purchased the site on which the Metropolitan Church now stands for £1 850. The church was built under the supervision of Charles Freeman (architect) and TJC Ingelesby (builder) in 1878/79 at a cost of £17 700 and opened on 12 November 1879.

The church was attended by many prominent citizens of Cape Town and was famous for its fine preachers and outstanding choirs. The Rev. Ernest Titcomb conducted the first radio broadcast of a church service in South Africa from the Metropolitan Church in 1928 and large crowds gathered to hear his fine preaching. Metro (as it was affectionately called) continued to attract large congregations until the 1960s when urban sprawl and other factors began to take their toll and attendance and membership declined. By the late 1980s only a few dozen people attended services.

The Sidney Street church was sold in 1882 and in 1883 a large wine store was purchased on the corner of Buitenkant and Albertus Streets and converted into a place of worship for the congregation.

Buitenkant Street Methodist Church (as it was known) served the people of District Six and was a thriving congregation until District Six was declared a White Group Area in 1966. Thousands of people were forcibly removed from their homes, including most members of the Buitenkant Street congregation. During this time of upheaval the congregation participated in the growing resistance to apartheid and in particular to the destruction of District Six. A Plaque of Shame was mounted on the church building to remind passers-by of the injustice that had taken place (the plaque is still in place). Despite attempts to break the spirit of the people through forced removals, detention and harassment, the congregation continued to commute from the suburbs to Buitenkant Street on Sundays and a lively congregation of more than 100 people still worshipped regularly in the late 1980s. The congregation never lost its passion for caring for people, and in 1976 the Stepping Stones Children’s Centre was started to cater for the children of working parents. In later years the church was a venue for many anti-apartheid meetings.

These two congregations, although hewn from the same rock and with ancestors who had worshipped together in the early days of Methodism, maintained their separate witness until 1988 when they decided to amalgamate and form the Central Methodist Mission. This commitment to be obedient to God’s call to unity has borne much fruit, and today a vibrant congregation with more than 200 members worship at the church on Greenmarket Square. The Buitenkant Street church accommodates a number of outreach projects to the people of the city, including the Ons Plek Shelter for Female Street Children, Stepping Stones Children’s Centre and the District Six Museum.

Apart from worship services, both Buitenkant Street Church and (since 1988) the church on the Square have been venues for protest and other community events. Many regarded Buitenkant Street Church as a place of sanctuary during the turbulent 1980s. Families of detainees and victims of police brutality were offered sanctuary whilst trade unions and other community-based organisations used the venue for public meetings.

In 1990 the Metropolitan Hall hosted the first ANC press conference after the unbanning of the organisation. Protest meetings were held in the church on a regular basis until 1994 and large crowds gathered to hear speakers such as Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki.

More recently the church hosted the launch of the Gun Free South Africa campaign where many children handed in their toy guns as a sign of their commitment to the campaign. CMM also hosted the World Methodist Council Peace Award Ceremony for Nelson Mandela in September 2000.

All of this has happened as a result of the church’s commitment to seek to be relevant to the issues of the day. Our church buildings are places that ring with the sound of people praising Jesus Christ, but also places where people can find sanctuary and encouragement to relate their faith to the challenges of the day.

Shut on dvd
MINISTERS

The first minister of the Methodist Church in Cape Town and the founder of South African Methodism,
The Revd. Barnabas Shaw, arrived in Cape Town on 14 April 1816.

Ministers of the Methodist Church in Barrack Street
1820 – 1822 Edward Edwards
1823 – 1826 James Archbell
1826 – 1829 Barnabas Shaw

Ministers of the Wesleyan Church in Burg Street
1829 – 1835 Barnabas Shaw
1836 – 1850 Thomas Hodgson
1851 – 1861 William Moister
1861 – 1878 Samuel Hardy

Ministers of the Metropolitan Church
1879 – 1885 J. Smith Spencer
1886 – 1893 James Thompson
1894 Albert H. Hodges
1895 – 1904 Ezra Nuttall
1905 – 1912 Griffith W. Rogers
1913 – 1920 Albert Hodges
1921 – 1933 Ernest Titcomb
1934 – 1936 Allen Lea
1937 Alison Garrett
1938 – 1944 Alfred Walls
1945 – 1950 Stanley B. Sudbury
1950 – 1954 John W. Watson
1955 – 1960 C. Edgar Wilkinson
1961 – 1971 Derrick W. Timm
1972 – 1976 Jack Cook
1977 – 1982 Ian W. Mutton
1983 – 1988 W. Allister Rundle

Ministers of the Buitenkant Street Methodist Church
1883 – 1892 Richard Ridgill
1893 – 1922 George Robson
1922 – 1939 William Mason
1940 – 1942 John R.L. Kingon
1943 – 1950 H. Gwyn Leverton
1951 – 1952 Duncan M. Wyllie
1953 – 1955 E.C.W. Beynon
1956 – 1958 Martin H. Miller
1959 – 1962 W. Horace Stanton
1963 – 1965 J. Francis McCreath
1966 – 1970 Peter J. Storey
1971 – 1972 James V. Leatt
1973 – 1974 Trevor V. de Bruyn
1975 – 1976 Charles M.L. Villa-Vicencio
1977 – 1979 Douglas Barnes
1980 – 1983 Derrick Jolliffe
1984 – 1987 Alan S. Brews

Ministers of Central Methodist Mission
1988 – 1989 Alan S. Brews
1988 – 1989 Jackie Jooste
1990 – 1991 Gavin Taylor
1990 – 2000 David J. Newby
2001 – 2002 Michael T. Crockett
2003 – 2003 Leigh Stewart
2004 – 2008 Themba Mntambo
2009 – Alan Storey
In 1835 at a quiet village outside Cape Town, the rev Barnabas Shaw used to walk up and down what is now the Main Road, ringing a bell to call people to worship under an old oak tree. That was probably the start of the Methodist work in Rosebank.

Three years later the Rev T L Hodgson, then chairman of the District, bought part of the farm “Zorgvliet”, apparently out of his own pocket. This is the ground on which we now meet. A Sunday school with 101 children is reported two years later plus a day school. But it was only in 1845 that the Chapel was built and opened – known today as the Hodgson Hall.
Above: View of the 1845 church, now known as Hodgson Hall. (The porch was added later.) The picture was taken in 1960 during the construction of the CK Storey Hall complex, with the current stone church to the right and the Victorian manse in the middle.
The first sermon was preached, appropriately, by the Rev Barnabas Shaw and services were held regularly in both English and Dutch.
When the Rev Henry Cotton was the residing minister a new church was opened in 1901. It is quite striking that when the foundation stones were laid on 17 March 1900, the Methodist influence in this part of the world was such that four neighbouring mayors were all Methodists, and each laid a stone – Thomas Ball, Mayor of Cape Town; Mr G B Attwell, Mayor of Mowbray , Mr G S Withinshaw, Mayor of Wynberg ; and Mr G Wunder, Mayor of Sea Point.
Above: The original architect’s drawing showing the front view of the Stone Church and spire.
 
The church building is of Gothic design and has seating for about 400 people including the organ cost 6000 pounds. Although the church is exceptionally well sited, in the earlier days there were many complaints about the dust from the road and then the noise from the trams that
would often drown proceedings inside the church.

In 1961 the President of the Conference (Rev Dr J B Webb) opened the Clifford Storey Hall, a fine building honouring one of Rosebank’s outstanding ministers, Rev C K Storey, also a former President of Conference,who died while at Rosebank.

A cottage originally called “Kismet” was acquired in 1961 and renamed Elloughton House, the name given by Rev Barnabas Shaw to his cottage at Rosebank in 1848. Elloughton was Shaw’s birthplace in Yorkshire. Elloughton House now forms the office block and provides space for small meetings.

Rosebank has been very fortunate in its heritage of those who have served here both as ministers, leaders and lay persons.

Above: The Stone Church and CK Storey Hall as seen from the Main Road at Rosebank, looking up to the University of Cape Town campus and Table Mountain beyond. A very strategic position in the centre of a suburb known for its schools, colleges and university residences where many of the country's future leaders are educated and nurtured.
On 10th May, 2013 I made my first visit to Leliefontein.  Possibly one of less that a dozen of Barnabas Shaw's descendants who have made the pilgimage.

Leliefontein is situated some 35 Kilometers south of Khamieskroon in the Northern Cape.

The mission station is situated atop a hill overlooking some very rugged, but beautiful granite countryside.

Immedietly apparent was the run down condition of the church grounds.  This sad neglect is an indictment to the caretakers of the heritage that Barnabas Shaw left behind.

The very least that could be done is some simple upkeep.  It was also very sad that apart from Barnabas Shaw's name on a derelict hall named after him there is nothing to commemorate the good that this great man did for the surrounding Namaqua community.

It was wonderful to note the rather valuable sundial donated by Barnabas Shaw is still in situ. Sadly the parsonage garden where it is sited in derelict.

I have posted photographs below.

The Methodist Church in Leliefontein

Another View of The Methodist Church in Lekliefontein



Brarnabas Shaw Memorial Hall in Leliefontein with Great, Great, Great Grandson Owen Shaw pictured

Ceremonial Sundial Presnted to Barnabas Shaw in the 1820's And Sill in Use Today

View of Leliefontein from the Road in Front of the Church

View of the Church

The Welcome Sign to Leliefontein in Disrepair

The Sundial Presented to Barnabas Shaw in the 1820's

View of Countryside Near Leliefontein

Saturday, April 20


Stains Farm

Stains Farm.

 Those two words evoke so many memories. Some sad, but mostly happy memories of young boys on a farm with tall blue skies, leafy green Msasa trees, mielie fields, panting dogs with long dripping tongues.

Gordon Shaw, my Grandpa, was in the sunset of his life when we were very young boys. Grandpa had been a farmer all his life. Once he was described as not being a very progressive farmer. Stains Farm in the 1960’s was caught in a time warp somewhere in the 1930’s or even earlier. Trek oxen were still in employment. The fields were ploughed using ox drawn ploughs. The ripened crop was brought in on a 16 span trek wagon. Exactly the same wagons used by the early pioneers. I recall metal licences nailed to the wagon which had been issued in the 1920’s.

The homestead comprised of pole and daga buildings with thatched roofs. The main building was rectangular in shape comprising of a dining room, bathroom, pantry and kitchen. A later addition was a front stoep which was brick with a corrugated iron roof. A Welcome-Dover wood stove in the kitchen was kept going all day fuelled by Msasa wood. A coffee pot with Breakfast Coffee bubbled away on the stove.

The bedrooms were separate pole and daga rondavels built in a semicircle to the front of the main building. Water was provided by a well straddled by a windmill. Both the wind and the water table were not constant. Water from the well was strictly reserved for drinking / food and bathing. Water for the garden was carted from the Vungu river, some 3 kilometers away, by a scotch cart. Four 44 gallon drums were loaded on the cart which was despatched daily to collect water from the river. The cart was pulled by four donkeys, one of which was named “Jack”.

Bathing water was heated by a “Rhodesian” boiler. A Rhodesian bolier was an ingenious contraption of plumbing and brickwork centered around a 44 gallon drum. The boiler is heated by a wood fire. It has an inlet supply of water, a venting pipe and an outlet pipe to the bathroom.

The toilet was a long drop comprising of a corrugated iron “hunderbox” perched over a 5m pit situated about 100 m from the main farmhouse. Toilet paper was in the form of old Chronicle newspapers and UK Daily Mail newspapers. The toilet was inhabited by hundreds of flies and some of the most humungous daddy long leg spiders I have ever seen. Needless to say, the toilet was avoided at night at all costs. It was a long lonely walk with a flickering hurricane light. The night sounds were eerie. Owls hooting, the churring call of a Nightjar and Jackalls howling … very spooky!

The nearest thing to electricity on the farm were the batteries that powered the flashlight’s. Night lighting was supplied by Tilley pressure paraffin lights. Lights out was no later than 21h00. After blights out we would light candles to read with. The refrigerator was powered by paraffin and lived in the bathroom. It was tiny and only had sufficient space for a weeks supply of meat, butter and milk. No such luxury as a cold coke or ice for your drink. The pantry had an old style food safe. Cooked salted beef was always resident in the safe.

Granny raised chickens to supply eggs to the city. Every Friday the vannette (they were not called bakkies in those days) was loaded with crates of eggs and Gran and Driver would head off to Gwelo some 16 miles distant on a corrugated sandy road. Several cases off eggs were delivered to the Rhodesia Railways parcels office for despatch to The Market Master, Bulawayo. After delivering the eggs to the railways and the cream to DMB (Dairy Marketing Board) Gran would head off to the suburb of Lundi Park where she spent the morning with Driver delivering eggs to the mainly Italian community who lived in that area. In the summer months the egg sales would be supplemented by sales of prickly pears. Granny also manufactured Barbie type dolls with clothing made from foam rubber and sold these to the Italian ladies to adorn their Dolly Vaarden's.


The afternoon was spent stocking up with groceries at E Peledis stores, mealie meal at Midlands Milling Co . In the early days Grandpa would be collected from The Midlands Hotel where he had spent the day having a few pints with his cronies. And then back to the farm.

Grandpa Gordon Shaw’s first wife, my Grandmother Shaw passed away from a stroke in 1957. After hear death Grandpa did not look after himself properly. I recall arriving at Staines in the early 60’s when Daddy was stationed with Veterinary Services in Enkeldoorn. The main farmhouse was rampant with rats, Clearly law and order was needed. My maternal Grandmother Jooste lived in Middleburg, Transvaal. She was a widow. I am sure wil collusion from my parents she visited my Grandfathers farm and then started corresponding with Grandpa. We were not surprised when it was announced that Granny and Grandpa were to be married.

The ceremony was held in ouy garnen in Gwelo and was not well attended other than us kids, Pastor Ogden, Mrs Ogden Aunt June Mum and of course the happy couple. Gran’s arrival at the farm saw order being restored. The biggest spin off of this marriage is that we were allowed to spend school holidays on Staines Farm.

Saturday, January 28

William Locke Shaw

Sadly the last of Gordon Locke Shaw's sons, William Locke Shaw, passed away at Flame Lilly Cottages near Durban early on the morning of 28th January, 2012. (co-incidentally on Gordon Locke Shaw's 124th birthday). Willian was born in Gwelo, Southern Rhodesia on 14th September, 1938. He was schooled at Chaplin High School in Gwelo. He completed his national service with the Southern Rhodesian Army and did a short stint in Nyasaland during the pre-independence uprising. He qualified as a Motor Mechanic and worked for Midlands Garage in Gwelo for many years. He married a Gwelo girl, Maureen McDonald. They had four children; Charlene (now Edwards), Donald, Debbie (now Meyer) and William.

Sunday, September 13

Barnabas Shaw Tombstone Location

The story of the Central Methodist Mission (CMM), Cape Town began at the turn of the last century. Methodism first came to South Africa with the British soldiers stationed in the Cape Colony. The first Methodist convert in South Africa was a soldier by the name of John Irwin. He wrote: I found out four or five men of the other regiments who met together and were called Methodists. We hired the use of a very small room in the town for two hours in a week, to hold a prayer meeting: there we read, sang and prayed, at length I got faith.

It has also been recorded that Sergeant John Kendrick of the 21st Yorkshire Light Dragoons, a Methodist local preacher, conducted services at the Cape in 1806, and that John Middlemiss was the first Methodist leader. He told in a letter dated 16 September 1807 how, in 1806, he and a few other Christians… ‘tried to trace the Methodists or any that were striving to work out their own salvation among the regiments at the Cape. About forty-two Christians were traced – a few of these were ‘sincere Methodists’.

These early meetings and services were held in adapted buildings: a hayloft above the stable in Plein Street and a disused wine store in Barrack Street. In 1822 a church a mission house was erected (also in Barrack Street) at a cost of £600. Dr. John Phillip conducted the official opening and the building served as both a school and a church.

A key figure in the church in Cape Town at this time was the Rev. Barnabas Shaw who arrived in Cape Town in 1816. Together with the Rev. E. Edwards and the Rev. T. Hodgson, Shaw played a major role in the growth of the church in Cape Town and this culminated in the erection of the Wesleyan Methodist Church on the corner of Burg and Church Streets in 1829 (Methodist House now stands on this site). A memorial tombstone in memory of Barnabas Shaw, who is regarded as the founder of South African Methodism, can be found on the ground floor beneath the gallery at the back of the existing church.

Thursday, May 15

Barnabas Shaw Article

000301Shaw, Barnabas * 12.04.1788 at Elloughton, England+ 21.06.1857 at Mowbray, South Africa---Barnabas Shaw was born on 12.04.1788 at Elloughton, Yorkshire in England. He was a Wesleyan Methodist Missionary, founder of Methodism and of its first mission stations in southern Africa. He was the son of a small farmer, Thomas Shaw, and his wife, Elizabeth Best. Shaw joined the Methodist Society and began to preach in 1808. After the customary probationary period he was ordained a minister in 1814. Offering his services for the foreign mission field, he was directed to work in Cape Town. Before setting out for South Africa in December 1815, he took lessons in Dutch in London. Shaw and his wife arrived at the Cape on 13.04.1816. He was refused permission to preach in Cape Town by the then Governor, Lord Charles Somerset, and when he met Johann Heinrich Schmelen of the London Missionary Society in early 1816, he decided to travel with him to identify a suitable site for mission work, which he founded at Lilyfontein near the Kamiesberg in the northern Cape Colony as the first Wesleyan mission station. Notable early baptised Christians were Jacob Links (+ August 1825) and Johannes Jager. Links had become a probationary minister and, in 1822, an ordained minister of the church. During his stay at Lilyfontein, he both made and initiated several trips into Bushmanland with a view to establish stations there. In July 1819 the Rev. J. Archbell joined the mission staff as Shaw's assistant. Accompanied by the Rev. J.J. Kicherer, Shaw visited in 1820 the London Missionary Schmelen at Bethany in Great Namaqualand. Together they explored the Fish River area in search for a site for another mission station. The Kaikhaun (Red Nation) Chief Tsawúb Gamab (1814-1824) welcomed the idea. In furtherance of the idea Shaw, sent Archbell and Links to consult Tsawúb Gamab and establish a mission station. Bosfontein (to-day Grootfontein South) was identified as a site, but for many years not realised. In 1825 he agreed to allow Links, Jager and the Rev. William Threlfall, missionary in Lily Fountain, to again explore the possibility of opening a mission station in the Fish River area. Not long after they had left (probably August 1825) they were all murdered by the San Naughaap north-west of Warmbad, for the sake of their possessions. Following the killing of Threlfall and his party, Europeans avoided to travel to Great Namaqualand until the mid-1830s. In 1826 Shaw left Lilyfontein permanently and settled at Cape Town in order to start a Methodist missionary service there until 1837. A donation in 1832 by Josiah Nisbett of the Madras Civil Service, made the establishment of a mission station at Warmbad in Great Namaqualand possible, permanently to head the Methodist mission at the town. Shaw recommended to the missionary committee in England that the Rev. Edward Boyer Cook, his assistant, be sent to found the station. The Wesleyan Missionary Society took over all missionary activities from the London Missionary Society (until 1840). Consequently on 16.07.1834 Cook (until 09.03.1843) revived the missionary work in Warmbad which was dormant since 1811, the days of the London Missionary Society and after the Warmbad mission station was destroyed by the Orlam Afrikaners under Jager and Titus Afrikaner. Cook called Warmbad "Nisbett Bath" in honour of Josiah Nisbett. He worked there with Peter Links (until 1839). The Wesleyan Missionary Society called the missionary work in Great Namaqualand which later expanded to the north (Naosanabis (Leonardville)(1843), Windhoek (1844) and Gobabis (1845)) the "Damara Mission". In 1838 5Hawoben (Veldskoendragers) began to settle at 5Khauxa!nas. The Wesleyan missionaries Joseph Tindall, Benjamin Ridsdale and John A. Bailie worked among the 5Hawoben. In 1839 Wesleyan missionary Joseph Tindall (until April 1842) worked with missionary Cook at Warmbad. Tindall was followed by Benjamin Ridsdale (01.02.1844-1847) who meticulously described 5Khauxa!nas (or Schans Vlakte which was re-discovered by Klaus Dierks in 1986). He was followed by missionaries Macleod (from 01.02.1844), John A. Bailie (1848-1850), Richard Ridgill (1855-1858), John Thomas (1857-1859), J. Priestley (1859-1864) and Timotheus Sneeue (1863-1864), as well as M. Godman (1864-1866), the last of the Wesleyan missionaries. Due to financial constraints the Wesleyan Missionary Society transferred the business of the Damara Mission to the Rhenish Missionary Society in 1866. With the exception of a six year stay in England from 1837 until 1843, Shaw remained at the Cape until he died on 21.06.1857 at Mowbray. He was married to Jane Butler in 1814. They had one son, Rev. Barnabas J. Shaw.---Gender: mField of activity: RELProfession: MissionaryMarried to: Jane Shaw, née Butler, married 1814 RAW DATA: DSAB I:709-711; Chronology of Namibian History, 2003 (Dierks);

Friday, April 4

My Direct Lineage

Alan Locke Shaw (Above Picture)
My late father 1928 - 2005. Alan grew up on a farm outside Gwelo in Southern Rhodesia. He was schooled at Chaplin where he was a school prefect. On leaving school dad joined the Gwelo Times as a trainee printing technician. In 1951 Alan volunteered for service with the Southern Rhodesia Far East Volunteer Unit of The Southern Rhodesia Defence Force. He served with C Squadron Special Air Service (Malayan Scouts) under Peter Walls. In 1952 Alan was invalided from the army due to a lung infection. When he retuned to Rhodesia he joined the railways as a trainee Station Foreman. While he was at Balla Balla in 1952 he began a pen friend correspondence with Eileen Jooste in Middleberg, Transvaal. This lead to their marriage on 11th July, 1953. On returning to Rhodesia Alan was stationed at Dett near Wankie. His eldest son, Owen was born in May 1954 while Alan was at Dett.

Alan joined the Department of veterinary Services in 1955 and was stationed at Chipinga. His second son, Gordon Bevis was born that year. Alan was then transferred to Enkledoors and the twins Glenn and Colin were born. Youngest son, Grant, was born in 1963. Alan was also stationed at Gwelo and Fort Victoria. His happiest days were when stationed in Victoria Province.

During the Rhodesian Bush War Alan was exposed to danger in the field. As a consequence of his bravery and dedication to duty he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal in 1979.

Alan retired when stationed at Bulawayo in 1983 where he was Chief Provincial Animal Health Inspector for Matabeleland Province.

He spent ten years on a farm near Heidelburg South Africa before retiring to Kariba in 1993. Ill health forced him to leave Kariba in 1996 and he returned to Bulawayo. In 2004 due to ill health he moved to an old age home in Benoni, South Africa. Alan passed away on 20 August, 2005.

One of the twins, Colin died in a boating accident in 2002. Alan never recovered from this loss.

Eileen sadly passed away less than a year after Alan.

Both Alan and Eileen were victims of Robert Mugabe's hatred towards white people.


Gordon Locke Shaw

Gordon Locke Shaw was born near Bushmans River in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. He moved to Rhodesia with Ambrose Shaw's whole family in the 1920's. Gordon farmed at Bijou and then Staines farm near Gwelo. Gordon had one daughter and four sons. Gordon passed away in October 1968.



Ambrose George Shaw

Barnabas Shaw Tree

Descendants of Rev Barnabas SHAW
Page 1
28 Oct 2003
1. Rev Barnabas SHAW (b.12 Apr 1788-Elloughton,nr Hull,Y,England;d.21 Jun 1857-MS,M,WC,South Africa)
sp: Jane BUTLER (b.1793/1794-Bidlington Quay,Yorkshire,England;m.24 Jul 1815;d.21 Mar 1861-Mowbray,CT,W,South Africa)
2. Infant SHAW (b.23 Mar 1816-High seas;d.1816-High seas)
2. Infant SHAW (b.1816-Lily Fountain,Namaqualand,South Africa;d.1816-Lily Fountain,Namaqualand,South Africa)
2. Infant SHAW (b.2 Jun 1818-Lily Fountain,Namaqualand,South Africa;d.6 Jun 1818-Lily Fountain,Namaqualand,South Africa)
2. Barnabas (John) James SHAW Jnr (b.1 Feb 1820-South Africa;d.Jun 1907)
sp: Barbara WAKINSHAW (b.Abt 1820-Newcastle-on-Tyne,England;m.27 Jul 1843;d.17 Nov 1914)
3. Barnabas John SHAW (b.23 Apr 1844-Wynberg,Cape Town,South Africa;d.8 Dec 1898-Bathurst,EC,South Africa)
sp: Mary Ann DOLD (b.23 Oct 1850;m.21 Oct;d.3 Jun 1948)
4. Barnabas James Dold SHAW (d.1942)
4. Barbara Wakinshaw SHAW (b.Abt 1881;d.30 Oct 1966)
4. Gertrude SHAW (b.Abt 1886;d.29 Aug 1859)
4. Son SHAW
4. Daughter SHAW
3. Susannah Jane SHAW (b.27 Oct 1845)
sp: Frederick Mouncey GILFILLAN (b.13 Jun 1824-,Eastern Cape. South;m.18 Dec 1867;d.5 Jun 1885-P,,South Africa)
4. Ernest GILFILLAN (b.1861;d.30 Jul 1953)
sp: Minnie SMITH (b.17 Nov 1884;d.27 May 1968)
5. Verona GILFILLAN
sp: Gilbert Horace WILMOT
6. Lysle WILMOT
sp: HEATHCOTE
6. Jenny-Lynn WILMOT
5. Sydney Smith GILFILLAN
sp: Beryl HEATHCOTE
5. Florence Pearl GILFILLAN (b.1908)
sp: Walter Henry WEBSTER
6. Yolande Elaine WEBSTER
sp: Thomas Trevor HOOLE
7. Margaret Lynne HOOLE
7. Patricia Mary HOOLE
sp: Julian Oscar Hillston SOUTHEY
8. Jacqueline Patricia SOUTHEY
8. Robert Oscar SOUTHEY
8. Stuart Julian SOUTHEY
7. Trevor Tamplin HOOLE
6. Kevin Michael WEBSTER
6. Desmond Keith WEBSTER
5. Beryl Eda GILFILLAN
sp: Edward George Bramwell SHAW
6. Rosemary Coral SHAW
sp: Peter Henry LIBBY
6. Wendy Edineen SHAW
sp: Pieter Olivier HUGO
6. George Bramwell SHAW
sp: Peta SWEET
5. Minnie Miriam GILFILLAN (b.7 Jul 1918;d.2 Jun 1919)
4. Alfred Edwin GILFILLAN
sp: Muriel Constance Starr BEAUCHAMP
5. Alfred Edwin Shaw GILFILLAN
sp: Elizabeth Marion SPROT
5. Barbara Mary GILFILLAN
sp: Alan Power DE KOCH
5. Cynthia Beauchamp GILFILLAN
5. Muriel Mouncey GILFILLAN
sp: Thomas Burnham KING
sp: Alex Frederick STUAT
4. Florrie GILFILLAN
4. Fred GILFILLAN



Descendants of Rev Barnabas SHAW
Page 2
28 Oct 2003
3. James Wakinshaw SHAW (b.11 Jun 1847;d.18 Jan 1946)
sp: Lucy ELLIOTT
4. James Wakinshaw SHAW (b.15 Jan 1886;d.14 Jul 1944)
sp: Alice Marie Poulton TIMM (b.22 Dec 1883;m.27 Mar 1912;d.5 Aug 1968-Peddie,Eastern Cape,South Africa)
5. Marjorie Alice SHAW (b.12 Oct 1912-Salem,Eastern Cape,South Africa;d.1993-Port Alfred,EC,South Africa)
sp: Alex Percy LLOYD (b.10 Jul 1906;d.12 Sep 1971-East London,Eastern Cape,South Africa)
6. Bruce Alex LLOYD
6. Ian Alex LLOYD
sp: Elaine BRENT
4. Etta Emmaline SHAW (d.18 Jul 1974)
sp: Owen Percival PIKE
5. Aubrey Jonathan PIKE
5. Gladys PIKE
5. Harold Shaw PIKE
sp: UNKNOWN
6. Terence PIKE
5. Hope Gwendoline PIKE
5. Eileen Joyce PIKE
5. AG PIKE
sp: UNKNOWN
6. Basil PIKE
5. HH PIKE
4. Willie SHAW
4. Florence SHAW (b.Abt 1900;d.30 Jun 1968)
sp: Harold James BRADFIELD (b.Abt 1896;d.15 Aug 1966)
5. Allan Clyde BRADFIELD (b.26 May 1929;d.26 Jun 1929)
3. George Henry Bramwell SHAW (b.19 Jan 1851-Salem,Eastern Cape,South Africa)
sp: Engela Anne COPEMAN (d.13 Mar 1890)
sp: Sarah Roberta HOOLE (b.5 Dec 1870-Grahamstown,Eastern Cape,South Africa;m.9 May 1895)
4. Arnold Bramwell SHAW (b.1895;d.Abt 1975-Canada)
sp: Helen TREDGOLD (m.6 Apr 1920)
5. John Arnold SHAW
sp: Patricia Mary FISHER
6. Allan John SHAW
4. Ada SHAW (b.1897-Cape Town,South Africa;d.1979-Cape Town,South Africa)
sp: Rev CAWOOD (m.1917)
sp: Ren WILLIAMS
sp: Rev Samuel Barrett CAWOOD (b.5 Sep 1849-Cradock,Eastern Cape,South Africa)
4. Bessie Bramwell SHAW
4. Hettie Emmaline Bramwell SHAW (b.24 Jan 1907-Colesberg,EC,South Africa;d.28 Nov 1919-AH,G,EC,South Africa)
4. Edward George Bramwell SHAW
sp: Louise GREY (b.24 May 1908-Johannesburg,Gauteng,South Africa;d.21 Aug 1980-J,Gauteng,South Africa)
5. Lenore Cecily SHAW
sp: Beryl Eda GILFILLAN
5. Rosemary Coral SHAW ** Printed on Page 1 **
5. Wendy Edineen SHAW ** Printed on Page 1 **
5. George Bramwell SHAW ** Printed on Page 1 **
sp: Olive MCCULLOUGH (d.25 Dec 1985-Kenton on Sea,Eastern Cape,South Africa)
sp: Elizabeth Madeleine SCHOEMAN
sp: Maisie WRIGHT (d.21 Dec 1990-Kenton on Sea,Eastern Cape,South Africa)
3. John Reay SHAW (b.9 Mar 1853-Salem,Eastern Cape,South Africa;d.1931-Stutterheim,Eastern Cape,South Africa)
sp: Charlotte Louise VAN RYNEVELD (b.1855-Graaff Reinet,Eastern Cape,South Africa;d.1936-S,EC,South Africa)
3. Barbara SHAW (b.28 Nov 1854-Salem,Eastern Cape,South Africa;d.21 Mar 1923)
3. Samuel Charles SHAW (b.7 Sep 1857-Salem,Eastern Cape,South Africa;d.17 Jan 1930-Salem,Eastern Cape,South Africa)
sp: Mildred Amelia ELLIOTT (b.Abt 1863;d.7 Jan 1937-Salem,Eastern Cape,South Africa)
3. Ambrose George Campbell SHAW (b.17 Jul 1860-Salem,Eastern Cape,South Africa;d.Abt 1952)
sp: Emmie
sp: Mary Ellen LOCKE (b.2 Feb 1866-Maitland,Cape,South Africa;m.6 Apr 1889)
4. Gordon Locke SHAW (b.28 Jan 1888-Gwelo,Zimbabwe)



Descendants of Rev Barnabas SHAW
Page 3
28 Oct 2003
sp: Gwen FERGUSON
4. Engela Starr SHAW (b.4 Nov 1889)
sp: JUBBA
sp: Cyril HEATHCOTE
sp: MEEK
4. Emily Locke SHAW (b.3 Aug 1891-Glen Shaw,Alexandria,EC,South Africa;d.29 Oct 1956-The Post,A,EC,South Africa)
sp: Albert Cameron CHOWLES (b.21 Jan 1891-Alexandria,EC,South Africa;m.23 Mar 1918;d.11 Nov 1972-)
4. George Henry Locke SHAW (b.14 Jun 1893)
sp: Violet SMITH
4. Ambrose Drew SHAW (b.25 Mar 1895;d.3 Dec 1967)
4. Edwin Locke SHAW (b.10 Mar 1897;d.5 Jul 1972)
sp: Stella CILLIERS
4. Florence Mary Helen SHAW (b.7 Mar 1899)
sp: Sandy RANKIN
4. Gwendoline Louise SHAW (b.12 May 1902)
sp: Errol ROBERTS
4. Jean Thompson SHAW (b.24 Sep 1904-Glen Shaw,Alexandria,Eastern Cape,South Africa)
sp: Basil DICKS
4. Thora Winifred SHAW
sp: Murray BENNETT
2. Charlotte Elizabeth SHAW (b.26 Jan 1823)
sp: WL BLORE
2. Jane Butler SHAW (b.6 May 1825-Cape Town,Western Cape,South Africa;d.14 Jan 1910-Kensington,London,England)
sp: John AYLIFF (b.19 May 1821-Albany,Eastern Cape,South Africa;d.3 Dec 1878-At sea)
3. John Barnabas AYLIFF (b.19 Oct 1849;d.1849)
3. Wiliam Edward AYLIFF (b.1851)
sp: Miriam RICKETTTS
4. Ethel AYLIFF
sp: Thomas TODD
4. George AYLIFF
4. Fred AYLIFF
4. Douglas AYLIFF
3. Arthur AYLIFF (b.1854;d.1862)
3. George AYLIFF (b.24 Aug 1856;d.Bef 1910)
3. Edith Charlotte AYLIFF (b.2 Jan 1860;d.Bef 1910)
3. Emily Annie AYLIFF
2. Samuel Best SHAW (b.29 Sep 1828-Hull,England;d.24 Jun 1889-Grahamstown,Eastern Cape,South Africa)
sp: Mary Ann BARNES (b.25 Jul 1838;d.13 Jun 1917)
3. Barnie SHAW (d.31 Jan 1939)
3. Anne SHAW
sp:
4. Enid Anne
sp: MOFFITT
3. George SHAW (b.Abt 1865)
3. Edward SHAW (b.12 Apr 1877-Salem,Eastern Cape,South Africa;d.28 Apr 1877-Salem,Eastern Cape,South Africa)
3. Samuel Best 'Boysie' SHAW (b.12 Apr 1877-Salem,Eastern Cape,South Africa;d.12 Aug 1888-Salem,EC,South Africa)
3. Hetty SHAW (b.Jun 1878-Salem,Eastern Cape,South Africa;d.16 Nov 1893-Salem,Eastern Cape,South Africa)
3. D'Urban SHAW (b.Abt 1884;d.7 Mar 1902)
2. Infant SHAW (b.15 Nov 1832;d.15 Nov 1832)
2. Daniel SHAW (b.Bef 1833;d.Bef 1861)
2. Catherine Esperance SHAW

Sunday, March 23

Barnabas Shaw: My Great, Great, Great Grandfather

(Exctract from:)
A brief history of Methodism in the Cape By Tim Attwell


Cape Town, 6th September 1816

There was an urgency about the tall, athletic twenty eight year old Barnabas Shaw as he heaved the last sacks of seed into the wagon and secured them with the ploughshare, tools and wooden boxes and climbed up beside his wife, Jane Shaw. Twelve oxen ponderously hauled the wagon through the cobbled streets of Cape Town and found the track that led northwards through the grey rhenosterveld. They had bought the oxen, wagon and supplies with funds from the sale of their small property in England. There wasn’t time to wait ten months for a letter requesting funds to reach London and be answered.
They had been at the Cape for five months. The ministry among the soldiers was secure under lay leadership for the time being. Meanwhile, the Governor, Lord Charles Somerset, had refused to allow Shaw to work among the slave and indigenous population for fear of offending the slave owners and local Dutch citizenry. Shaw was frustrated, believing that they were vulnerable to exploitation and prey to the vices of the expanding empire. These were the ones he believed ‘wanted him most’ and if he was to be prevented from serving those who lived under the shadow of Table Mountain and the Governor, he would go to those beyond the reach of the Colonial administration, but not the degrading effect of modernity. Conversations with the Rev H Schmelen of the London Missionary Society and a compelling sense of God’s call convinced Jane and Barnabas Shaw that they must go to Namaqualand.

Nciemies, Namaqualand, September 1816

Chief Jaantjie Wildschutt and four chosen companions left Nciemies, their Khoi/Namaqua gathering place, and set off south, paused at the top of the pass through the Kamiesberg and looked back down to the valley below, dotted with matjieshuise and ablaze with its carpet of Spring flowers. The peace could not last. The people had to be prepared for the unscrupulous traders and land hungry trekboers who would inevitably come. How to manage the coming storm of change? The question knotted the Chief’s stomach by day and tormented his sleep at night. ‘We will go to Cape Town and find a teacher,’ he had decided.
For two weeks they marched south, covering three hundred kilometers of arid mountains. Eventually, in the distance they spied a wagon making its painstaking way north of the Olifants River. The chance meeting of Chief Wildschutt and Barnabas Shaw ‘in the middle of nowhere’ set a pattern of partnership between Wesleyan missionaries and leaders of African communities that would be repeated often in coming years. The timing had been perfect and their shared urgency more than coincidental. Both believed God had brought them together.
When the desert bloomed in Namaqualand

Leliefontein, Namaqualand, October 1816

There was a festive atmosphere as Chief Wildschutt and the Elders brought Barnabas and Jane Shaw to the gathering place at Nciemies, later re-named ‘Leliefontein’. Shaw wrote in his journal: ‘We took up our abode in a hut which had neither chimney nor even a door, and in all it was of small dimension.’ Just as well they had no furniture, sat on boxes and slept on the floor.
The Khoi/Namaqua nomadic way of life was not sustainable. A pastoral economy, supplemented by hunting in times of drought, is no match for an encroaching economy based on trade and agriculture. If they did not engage with the new economic order, learn its skills, share its trade and settle the land, the Khoi/Namaqua community would be pushed to the margins, despised as vagrants and persecuted as the San already were.
Within days Shaw began teaching agriculture and soon fast growing crops of lettuce, peas, onions and radishes augmented the traditional diet. Shaw, a capable amateur blacksmith, forged ploughs, expanding the lands under cultivation. The Khoi/Namaqua community quickly applied the lessons. Wheat became a major crop for local use and sale. With wheat came fodder and the traditional stock, hitherto fed by wandering from pasture to pasture, was fattened in the home fields. The manufacture of butter, soap and candles was achieved by the end of 1816. Carpentry, brick making, stonemasonry and construction followed, including the building of a church. By the 1830’s Leliefontein annually produced 2000 bags of wheat and boasted 3000 sheep, 3000 goats, 400 head of cattle and 150 horses, an economic hub in the region.
Meanwhile Barnabas and Jane Shaw, joined in 1817 by the Rev Edward Edwards, ensured that spiritual formation went on. Conversion to faith in Jesus Christ was followed by literacy and the training of school teachers, local preachers and class leaders. These made Leliefontein’s transforming Christian influence possible in communities throughout Namaqualand and the formation of the Namaqualand Mission.
Today the Namaqualand Mission numbers twenty six Societies, two Ministers and a host of deeply committed Local Preachers and Leaders, proud of their heritage and steeped in the traditions of Leliefontein. The Leliefontein history of wholistic mission that, ‘does every possible kind of good to people’s souls as well as to their bodies’, where people discover dignity and reconciled community through faith in Jesus Christ and express that dignity and reconciliation through economic empowerment and development, sets the standard and pattern for all Southern African Methodist Mission.
In June, 1825, two Namaqua preachers, products of Leliefontein, Johannes Jager and Jacob Links, accompanied by a visiting English missionary, William Threlfall, set off to re-establish a mission community at Warmbad, among the Bondleswart people in ‘Great Namaqualand’, now Namibia. The Warmbad mission was an initiative of the London Missionary Society, but the outbreak of war among local tribes had caused it to be abandoned. On reaching Warmbad, the San guides that Jager, Links and Threlfall employed on the way, attacked and killed them while they slept, taking their meagre possessions. Johannes Jager, Jacob Links and William Threlfall are revered as Southern African Methodism’s first martyrs and their memory is cherished to this day among the people of Namaqualand.
But the mission to Great Namaqualand did not fail. Five mission communities, including Warmbad, were established north of the Orange River, with Leliefontein as their base, eventually to be taken over by the Rhenish Mission.
A new people, a new era

Cape Town. 1820

When he arrived back in Cape Town from Leliefontein, the Rev Edward Edwards’s first concerns were the soldiers, the slaves and the Khoisan. Having spent three years with Barnabas and Jane Shaw at Leliefontein, the Wesleyan Missionary Committee in London sent him to Cape Town to take up the ministry that had been impossible, even for the likes of Barnabas Shaw, four years before. His brief was to take charge of the work that Sergeant John Kendrick had started and still flourished through the faithfulness of Kendrick’s men; to build a church and commence work among the slave and Khoisan population.
The majority of Cape Town’s population in 1820 was made up of slaves, a variegated community taken from Indonesia, West and East Africa, Mozambique, Madagascar and Mauritius. Meanwhile, although the resident Khoisan people were not slaves, they were treated by the Dutch as if they were.
These were the victims of empire. For a hundred and fifty years Cape Dutch policy had been to prevent, as far as they could, the preaching of the Gospel to slaves and the Khoisan. Advocacy for them and humanitarian work among them was regarded as treasonous. When the American Declaration of Independence declared it ‘to be self evident that all men are created equal’, Jean Jacques Rousseau, in France, declared the same, and John Wesley wrote to William Wilberforce to encourage him in his campaign to end slavery, the Dutch Governor at the Cape, Ryk Tulbagh, directed that any slave found at the entrance of a church when the congregation left should be flogged. These attitudes had been unchallenged, indeed deferred to, by Lord Charles Somerset, the British Governor at the Cape in 1816. The Wesleyan Missionary Committee and Edward Edwards were about to challenge them.
It would have been uncharacteristic of a Wesleyan Methodist of those days to engage in political activism. Instead Edwards went to the marginalized people themselves and began creating cohesive communities of faith. Dignity for the oppressed was to be found, neither in changing the minds of the oppressors nor challenging oppressive customs and policies, but first in the discovery of grace, in encounter with the Lord who loved them and gave himself for them, in the inner transformation of the new birth and the outer expressions of holiness, of love for one another, of disciplined lives and the arts of co-operation and mutual support. The time would come when oppressive customs and policies would not be sustainable against the emergence of a strong body of people made new. In 1828 the Colonial Administration declared by Ordinance that Hottentots [sic] were “entitled to every privilege to which any other British subjects are entitled.”
Edwards began his services in a hayloft in Plein Street. Services for soldiers were in English; for slaves and Khoisan in Dutch, which Edwards made a point of learning, as had Barnabas Shaw. The hayloft gave way to a disused wine store which, in 1822, was replaced by a newly built and simple church in Barrack Street. The church was opened by the renowned London Missionary Society minister, the Rev Dr. Philip. Other church buildings followed, more ministers arrived: Samuel Broadbent, James Archbell, William Shrewsbury, William Threlfall. Shaw returned from Namaqualand in 1826 and was joined by Robert Snowdall. In 1828 the church was built at Simonstown and is still in use today, its spire a hillside landmark that helped generations of ship’s pilots to find safe passage into the harbour. In 1829 a new church was built in Wynberg. But services and Societies were not limited to churches. Societies were formed in private homes in the most impoverished neighbourhoods, on Robben Island, on the farms at Rondebosch, Diep River, Somerset West, Stellenbosch and as far afield as Caledon, a sixty mile ride on horseback, east across the Hottentots Holland Mountains.
Thanks to laity and ministers like John Kendrick, George Middlemiss, Barnabas Shaw, Edward Edwards and many more, the Wesleyan Methodist Church was ready when life at the Cape was changed forever: 1st August 1834, the freeing of the slaves.
Proclaiming liberty to the captives

Cape Town, Monday, 31st July 1834

Although it was “business as usual” in Cape Town, there really was only one topic of conversation. In August 1833 King William IV of Great Britain had signed into Law an Act of Parliament that declared that slaves throughout the British Empire would be free on the 1st August 1834.
With 39000 slaves in the Cape Colony, a larger group than any other, a mixture of dread and expectancy filled the air. Fears of vengeance were whispered over dinner in wealthy homes, there was talk of widespread vagrancy, homelessness, drunkenness and disorder, prediction of financial ruin for slave owners, complaint about the cumbersome arrangements made for compensation. But also in the air was a sense of wonder, of beginning, of release, of the eventual triumph of right over wrong and deliverance from sin that brings a freshness to the faces of people, both sinners and sinned against, a sense of privilege at being part of a moment when history takes a decisive turn toward the good.
Since the 1770’s, sixty years before, the campaign for the Abolition of Slavery had been gaining ground in Britain, a movement that British Methodists had supported wholeheartedly with petitions to Parliament, pamphlets raising the awareness of the evils of slavery, public meetings addressed by missionaries on home leave, prayers and sermons in class meetings and worship services.
At the Cape there were already many Methodist Societies made up of English immigrants, Slaves and Khoisan. Class meetings were routinely mixed. Services in Dutch and English had been the pattern from the beginning.
As the afternoon of the 31st July 1834 wore into evening people began to move toward Cape Town’s churches. Most were slaves, but there were others who had, like Simeon, prayed, waited and worked for this salvation. Soon the churches were packed and worship was passionate, prayers full of emotion. Barnabas Shaw presided over the service in the Wesleyan Methodist Church and, at the stroke of midnight, with a voice breaking with emotion, cried out: “Slavery is dead!” The Service could not continue as the congregation broke out in loud shouts of thanksgiving and praise to God, newly freed men and women wept with great sobs.
The next day, 1st August 1834, the first day of the Emancipation of the Slaves, was celebrated in the Government Gardens in Cape Town with a huge feast of meat and bread given to thousands of newly freed slave children.