Norwood, Surrey. Died 18. 10. 1887, Pietermaritzburg, Natal

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WHEELER, James Napoleon

Born c. 1821, Norwood, Surrey. Died 18.10.1887, Pietermaritzburg, Natal.

After many different jobs was appointed Assistant Town Clerk, Inspector of Meats and Inspector of Rates for Pietermaritzburg in1859. In addition to these posts was appointed Market Master in 1861. By 1862 he was also Inspector of Works.
1821c. b., date calculated from age given at time of death. (PGRD). b. Norwood, Surrey.

(HNS p. 12) (CSO 2282)

1826c. First wife Margaret Creedon b., date calculated from age given at time of death. (R. St P., Dbn)(NM 22.12.52)

1837c. Second wife Elizabeth McEvoy b., date calculated from age given on marriage licence. (CS0 2282)

1841c. m. Margaret Creedon in the Cape Colony. Date calculated from approx. year of marriage given in legal papers. (RSC I/5/10 no. 126)

1842.03.25 The brig Pilot arrived at Port Natal. (Davies p. 22). Wheeler was supercargo on board. (CDN p. 275)

1842.05.25 Helped to row Dick King [King, Richard Philip*] across the Bay preparatory to his great ride to Grahamstown. (BSN p. 83)

1842.05.26 He and McDonald [McDonald, Hugh*], the Master of the Pilot, were captured by the Boers and detained at Congella. (CDN p. 275)

1843.00.00 Came to Natal. (Composite photograph organized by James Brickhill*)(Thomas Green* in KBP)

1844c. Formerly a seaman on the Pilot during the Boer occupation, who had located himself at the mouth of the creek (Wheeler’s Creek) named after him, subsequently utilised by Mr John Milne*, C.E., for his drain. I believe Wheeler burnt lime (from shells) and supplied mangrove posts for building. There was generally a tent or two to be seen, also an outbuilding, giving the place the appearance of a small settlement. (ROD p. 116)

1845.09.29 Son Henry William b. (R. Wes., Dbn)

1846.03.20 In partnership with Edward Howard* as licensed victuallers and storekeepers. He abruptly terminated the partnership and took possession of the premises British Queen. (CSO 2236)

1846.07.10 He and E. Howard were defendants in a case brought against them by Henry Ogle*. (NW 10.07.46)

1846.07.14 A wagon of theirs being sold in execution of the judgment in the above case. ((De Natalier 14.07.46)

1847.08.27 Son James b. (R. Wes., Dbn)

1848.05.06 Made agreement with Sydney Peel* to hire himself as superintendent of the farm Meyers Hoek [Pietermaritzburg Division] for four years from 01.01.1848 to 31.12.1852 to cultivate Meyers Hoek [now part of the Baynesfield Estate on the Pmb./Richmond Rd] and herd all the cattle placed there by Peel, keep a proper register of births and deaths of cattle and provide 2/3 of all the seed he may plant or sow and also servants and labour as may be required for cultivation of the farm and to herding of the cattle at his own expense. Will keep the house and outbuildings as are there. Peel promises ¼ of all net increase of cows and heifers in lieu of wages, ½ of the butter made and 2/3 of the crops or produce of the soil. Wheeler not to derive any benefit from the oxen. Peel to provide 1/3 of the seed, will provide sufficient cows and bulls and oxen and a good wagon, gear and one team of draught oxen and all other farming implements, the said wagon, gear and oxen to become Wheeler’s on expiration of 12 months should he then be ready and willing to pay Peel £100 for the same, but not otherwise. Peel not to be responsible for any debts Wheeler contracts and Wheeler not to engage in any other business, trade or calling during this period. Peel will take off £30 from purchase price of the wagon if Wheeler erects and furnishes one dwelling house in addition to the shell now in progress of erection. Peel will not dispose of any of the stock (250 cows and heifers in number) during this period and Wheeler engages to deliver 250 back to Peel at the end. (RSC IV/18/11 no. 88)

1849c. Little could be seen of Durban from the vicinity of the Customs House. The short but tiresome journey through the bush brought the settler in two miles to the first group of cottages, that of [built by] Napoleon Wheeler being the nearest to the Point. (BSN p.204)

1849.10.09 According to Wheeler his wife left their home on this day and he suspected she had eloped with Moyle who had left on the same day on a trading expedition. He caught up with them at Riet Spruit [the second outspan after Pmb. on the road into the interior] and took his wife away with him. (RSC I/5/10 no. 126)

1849.10.00 A carrier of Pmb., he sued Moyle, a trader of Pmb., for £500. He accused Moyle of having seduced and committed adultery with his wife Margaret, b. Creedon, who he had m. in the Cape Colony about seven years previously. The Wheelers with their infant family had been in Natal for the last six years, lately in Pmb. (Ib.)

1849.10.16 Under the proceedings Moyle’s wagon and oxen were attached by the court while on their way between the Umgeni and Mooi rivers. Matthew John Moyle declared that on the 8th October Wheeler had given his wife a document giving her full permission to leave him at any time she pleased and with whom she pleased. That he knew her to be common before she eloped. Wheeler had also written to Moyle saying that if he put in writing what he knew of Margaret having had criminal connection with other parties he would not proceed against Moyle. This Moyle had done and Wheeler had come to the wagon and taken his wife away. (Ib.)

1850.07.04 Elizabeth McEvoy arrived at Port Natal on board the Henrietta. She was travelling with her older sister Margaret. (Clark). Her name is not included in any of the passenger lists, but appears in a pencil list on the back of a letter from Robert Raw* to Moreland [Moreland, John Swales*]. (Moreland Papers).

1852.07.16 Margaret Wheeler purchased from James O’Brien the area marked 24 on the general plan of the farm Klein Bushman’s Rivier. Purchase price £50. (RSC I/5/52 no. 632)

1852.12.15 Margaret, wife of J.N. Wheeler, late of Pmb., d. aged 26. (NM 22.12.52). Margaret Wheeler, 26, of Dbn, bur. (R St P., Dbn)

1854.04.10 Widower, aged 30, b. at Norwood, Surrey, he took out licence in Pmb. to m.

Elizabeth McEvoy*, 17, b. in Macclesfield, Cheshire. Her brother-in-law George Octavius Matteson* gave consent. (CSO 2282)

1854.05.30 Storekeeper, 11 Longmarket St, Pmb., occupier. (NGG 30.05.54)

1854.08.08 Storekeeper, 11 Longmarket St, Pmb., renter. (NGG.08.08 54)

1855.03.00 Dau. Alma Mary b. (R. St P., Pmb.)

1856.09.17 His premises at 11 Longmarket St were taken over by J. Matterson [Matterson, John Kitching*} & G. Matterson where they have opened a general store. (NSEAT 17.09.56)

1856.11.00 Son George Charles b. (R. St P., Pmb.)

1856.12.00 Timber merchant, van Vuuren’s Post, when George Charles bap. [Van Vuuren’s was an outpost on today’s Merrivale/Boston Rd to protect the livestock of farmers from Bushman raids] (Ib.)

1857.01.19 Applied in the Magistrate’s Court for a retail licence to sell wines and spirits at No. 17 Church St, Pmb. Before his attorney had a chance to speak the magistrate, Sir Theophilus St George, said he had already decided to turn down the application as he would never allow a canteen at a church door. Wheeler’s attorney registered a protest against not being heard and said that Sir Theophilus had previously broken this rule by granting a licence to Egner’s canteen. (RSC I/5/47 no. 537)

1858.07.16 Has taken over the Albion Hotel, 18 Church St. Pmb., the above commodious premises known as the “ Exchange Room”. (NW 16.07.58)

1858.07.29 Made deposition in Pmb. that he lives at 18 Longmarket St which faces on to Church St, and has a shop at 5 Longmarket St which faces on to Longmarket St.** At present the shop is superintended by his son Henry Wheeler who sleeps in his father’s house. In the same deposition Henry says he is 12 years old and has charge of his father’s retail shop at 5 Longmarket St. He had locked up on the evening of 27 July and next morning found evidence of forced entry and theft of some goods. The deposition continues with Wheeler Snr saying that on the night of 28 July, at his request, his employee John Roy* slept in the store and was disturbed by a man whom he recognized as George Aldrich* trying to enter the store. (AGO Dep. I/4/4 pp 285-9)

1858.07.30 Aldrich arrested. In evidence Henry Wheeler testified that he had frequently seen Aldrich at his father’s canteen which used to be at 5 Longmarket St until the beginning of July when it was closed and the premises used as a k…. store. Aldridge had since then been into the store a few times wanting to purchase blankets at a reduced price but was refused. (Ib. 301)

1858.08.06 Aldrich discharged because of lack of evidence. (Ib. p.314)

1858.10.15 Wheeler occupied Town Lands owned by the Corporation (NW 15.10.58)

1858.10.26 Sued the executor of the estate of James O’Brien*, deceased, for transfer of property on the farm Klein Bushmans River marked 24 on the general plan. He claimed that O’Brien had sold this land to his wife, Margaret Wheeler, on 16.07.1852 for £50. His wife is now dead. They were m. in community of property. (RSC I/5/52 no. 632)

1858.12.00 Son Frank b. (R. St P., Pmb.)

1858.12.22 Letting the large and commodious house, formerly known as the Exchange Rooms, now as the Albion Inn, 18 Church St, Pmb. (NW 22.12.58)

1859.00.00 Was he the Wheeler who was a member of the Committee of the Evangelical Alliance? (ROD p. 402)

1859.02.00 He was a farmer at the time of the bap. of son Frank. (R. St P., Pmb.)

1859.03.24 Judgment in Wheeler vs O’Brien was in favour of Wheeler with costs. (RSC I/5/52 no. 632)

1859.09.12 In a meeting of the Town Council a letter from the Natal Fire Insurance and Trust Co. was tabled. It referred to the assigned estate of James Napoleon Wheeler and requested that the lease of town land held by him might not be transferred to any person other than the assignees. (NW 16.09.59)

1859.10.07 In a meeting of the Town Council Mr James Napoleon Wheeler was duly elected Assistant Town Clerk in the room of Mr J.D. Holliday [Holliday, John David*], resigned. (NW 07.10.59)

1859.10.20 Appointed Assistant Town Clerk, Inspector of Meats and Collector of Rates for the City of Pmb., at a salary of £80 p.a. by J.W. Akerman [Akerman, John William*], mayor. Had to supply security of £200. G.O & J.K. Matterson stood guarantors of this sum. Witnessed by J. Raw [Raw, James*]. (RSC IV/23/1 no. 128)

1860.02.00 Son Walter Alfred b. (R. St P., Pmb.)

1860s Together with Ebenezer Buchanan* was a city valuator. (BFR p. 85)

1861.08.07 Asst. Town Clerk, Pmb. (NCPA 07.08.61)

1861.10.09 Appointed Market Master in addition to other offices already held. Salary for

additional office being £30 p.a. Had to find security to value of £200. Has G.O. & J.K. Matterson as guarantors. (RSC IV/23/1 no. 128)

1861.10.30 Meetings of Building Societies nos 1, 8, 10 and 11 will in future be held in Mr Wheeler’s Photographic Room next door above Dawney’s [Dawney, Robert*] chemist shop. (NCPA 30.10.61)

1862.07.02 Mr Brock of Dbn has taken Mr Wheeler’s studio near Dawney’s. Will execute cartes de visite and portraits. Will also take views of residences. (NCPA 02.07.62)

1862.08.19 Mr J.N.Wheeler, Church St., confinement. (Aldridge p. 111). A dau b. at Church St., Pmb. (NW 29.08.62)(NM.00.09.62)

1862.09.17 Inspector of Works, Pmb. (NCPA 17.09.62)

1862.09.21 Mr J.N. Wheeler, Church St, infant d. (Aldridge p. 111)

1863.11.00 Patrick Donehoe works for Napoleon Wheeler. (Aldridge p. 1011)

1863.12.24 Dau. [Ada Rebecca] b. at Pmb. (NM 00.01.64)

1863 end Brock & Bowman, photographers, at Mr J.N. Wheeler’s new portrait gallery, Pmb. (DNA 1864 p.27)

1864.02.28 Robert Smith works for J.N. Wheeler. Only consult. No charge. (Aldridge p. 259)

1864.03.11 Mr Pinson expressed his opinion that Mr Wheeler, the Market Master, for £175 was very competent, a man of experience, could lay his hand on this or that, an old servant, no new broom.(NW 1864.03.11)

1864.11.23 J.W. Turnbull, Sec. Natal Fire Assurance Trust Co, applied for a restraining order on J.N. Wheeler, Inspector of Nuisances for the Corporation, from preventing the workmen building a verandah on the front of the office of the Co. Turnbull said he had applied to the Council for permission to build it and when he received no definite reply had gone ahead, employed workmen, acquired materials and started building. J.N. Wheeler had then arrived with six or seven men, including white men and natives, and threatened to remove the stones and woodwork. A restraining order was granted. (RSC I/8/4 no. 249)

1864.11.26 Turnbull applied to have the restraining order extended preventing Wheeler from disturbing the materials used. Ebenezer Buchanan, Town Clerk, said he had told Turnbull that he could not build the verandah as it encroached on the street and was against the new laws. Wheeler was instructed to prevent the erection of the verandah. Turnbull’s application was refused with costs. (Ib.)

1865.11.06 Son Herbert Edwin b. (R. St P., Pmb.)

1865 late City Inspector of Works. An infant son of his bap. by Bishop Colenso [Colenso, John William*], but the Dean refused to allow the bap. to be registered in the parish books.*** (HPP p. 60)

1866.01.06 Wheeler vs Dean Green [Green, James*]. Wheeler has applied to the Supreme Court for a rule nisi calling on the Dean to show why due registration of his child’s bap. should not be made. (T of N 06.01.66)

1866.01.15 Made application to have the name of his child entered into the Cathedral Baptism Register. His affidavit of that date says he has been a resident of Pmb. for many years and has attended services at St Peter’s church and his children Alma May, George Charles, Frank, Walter Alfred, Fanny Amy and Ada Rebecca were bap. and registered there. He knows James Green who usually officiates as clergyman under the Bishop of Natal in St Peter’s He says James Green has no private rights to the Baptismal Register. On 31.12.65 he took his infant child for bap. to the then officiating clergyman who was J.W. Colenso, Bishop of Natal, who performed the bap. On going to the vestry to register same they were informed by Mason, the vestry clerk, that the bap. could not be entered because James Green had locked up the box and taken the key. On 03.01.66 he went to Green and asked to have the Baptismal Register. The Dean’s reply was. “I am very sorry for you Mr Wheeler, very sorry indeed, but I really cannot let the child be registered, for you see if I were to do so it would be acknowledging the Bishop’s acts. I am very sorry for you. Sorry I cannot do it. (RSC I/8/20 no. 1790)

1866.01.23 The Court ordered Green to show cause why he should not enter the bap. of Wheeler’s child in the register. The case was discharged. (Ib.).Wheeler vs the Dean. The Supreme Court debated on it yesterday and discharged the rule with costs, without calling on the Dean to reply. (T of N 24.01.66)

1866.01.27 It was reported that after the collapse of the Victoria bridge the Mayor took the Inspector of Works and some workmen to Scott’s bridge which was not yet in a fit state to be opened and some planks were hastily laid down to enable the omnibus, expected any minute, to pass over. A town Council meeting has since been held when it was decided that the Inspector of Works should proceed with the erection of a temporary bridge without delay. Scott’s bridge is now sufficiently repaired for traffic to use it. (Ib. 24.01.66)

1866.01.31 Wheeler is rapidly proceeding with the temporary bridge near the late Victoria bridge. (Ib. 31.01.66)

1866.02.21 Within 20 days, at a cost of £150, a wooden bridge has been thrown across the Little Bushman’s river [today known as the Umsinduzi] under the superintendence of Mr J.N. Wheeler. (Ib. 21.02.66)

1866.12.15 Superintendent of Works, has been instructed by the Council to make a foot bridge over the Little Bushman’s river at the foot of Chapel St. (Ib. 15.12.66)

1867.06.29 Saturday, a gang of paid watchers occupied the Cathedral all night under the charge of Mr Wheeler, one of Dr Colenso’s sidesmen. These men had to be fed, and the Cathedral was desecrated with ale-sloppings and broken victuals. On the Sunday morning, at 7 a.m., the Sheriff broke open the Cathedral doors with sledge hammers, and the party within resisted by piling up forms and benches against the doors. Ultimately an entrance was effected and some of the wreckage cleared away, so that the Dean was able to have his usual 8 a.m. Eucharist. (Wirgman p. 241)

1867.12.00 Son Louis Napoleon b. (R. St P., Pmb.)

1867.12.09 At Pmb., the wife of J.N. Wheeler, City Market Master, a son (NM 00.01.68)

1868.00.00 Napoleon Wheeler set up on the market square the first town pump for the use of all. (HPP p. 100)

1868.11.04 At the Cathedral, Pmb., by the Lord Bishop of Natal. Mr S. Brown to Ellen Sophia, eldest dau. of Mr J. Napoleon Wheeler of Pmb. (NM 00.11.68)

1869.02.22 His estate assigned to Samuel Button acting as trustee for the creditors. (RSC IV/2/72 no. 670)

1869.07.00 Dau. Amy Elizabeth b., father Town Clerk. (R. St P., Pmb.)

1870.03.00 Amy d. aged 8 mths., father the Market Master. (PGRD)

1870.04.00 Son Henry William d. (MSC 3/21 no. W26)

1870.05.11 J.N. Wheeler came to talk about Dean Gray. (CD. 11.05.70)

1870.11.00 Son Percy McEvoy b., father the Market Master. (PGRB)

1871.01.02 Dau. Margaret m. Francis Lane Watson, hotelkeeper, Greytown. (R. St J., GT)

1872.03.00 Louis Napoleon, son of J.N. Wheeler, d. aged 3 [sic] in Alexandra Park. (PGRD)

1873.04.00 Son Ernest John b. (R. St P., Pmb.)

1873.10.00 Wheeler’s farm beyond the Victoria Bridge occupied by Fawcett. (AGO I/4/14 p. 436)

1874.06.00 At the end of June the Dramatic Hall was closed as a theatre. (Schauffer p.233)

1875.11.00 Dau Eva b. (R. St P., Pmb.)

1875.12.00 Eva d. aged 17 days. (PGRD)

1876.10.00 During the months Oct. and Nov. Wheeler restored the Dramatic Hall as a theatre. (Schauffer p. 233)

1876.12.02 Eldest dau Ellen Sophia (widow of Samuel Brown) m. Robert Hamilton, both of Dbn. (NM 30.12.76)(NW 02.01.77)

1876 end J.N. Wheeler & Co, Wine and Spirits Vaults, 18 Longmarket St, Pmb. (DNA 1877. Ads)

1877.12.00 Advertised the lease, goodwill, furniture and fittings of the Dramatic hall. £350 for goodwill etc, £13.3.6d rent p.m. (Schauffer p. 227)

1879.11.14 Is he the Wheeler who was, “getting on capitally with his house, it will be a very nice structure. His grounds are also getting improved famously”? (J.D. Holliday to W.H. Walton 14.11.79)

1880.09.03 “Wheeler wants another £100 on his place. You may very wisely do it as he has a very nice house upon it and has improved the ground wonderfully. That you may better judge of its value Turnbull has offered him £1 500 for It …. Wheeler’s balance of interest is mixed up with some other matters he is in debt to me. The item stands thus: Interest on £500 from 01.08.1879 - 15.12.1879 @ 8% = £15.0.3d”. (Ib 03.09.80)

1881 end Market Master, Town Lands. (DNA 1882)

1882.02.13 “I have a three-cornered account to make up, viz yours, Wheeler’s and John Freeman’s, and cannot get either on account of not knowing what interest Wheeler has paid up to the time of your ceding the bond to Freeman …. Please let me know early as I want to square up with all three. (J.D. Holliday to W.H. Walton)

1883 end Market Master. (DNA 1884)

1887.10.08 Made will, auctioneer of Pmb. Leaves his property to the children of his m. with Elizabeth McEvoy. (MSC 64/1887)

1887.10.00 Market Master, d. aged 66. (PGRD). In early life took an active interest in amateur theatricals and was one of the founders of the Maritzburg Drama Club. A St Peter’s man, and several times churchwarden. (NW 00.10.87)

1887.10.18 d. (Tomb CRC). Pmb. aged 66. (MSC 64/1887). Wheeler spent some of his early years in the Royal Navy. He devoted the last 29 years of his life to the service of the [Maritzburg] Municipality, laying out Alexandra Park and building bridges across the swollen Umsinduzi River. (POC pp 89, 90). Mr Wheeler removed to Pmb., where as Market Master for many years, he was known and respected by all the colonial world. (ROD p. 116).

1899.02.00 His widow Elizabeth d. aged 62. (PGRD)

1899.02.12 Elizabeth Wheeler, wife of James Napoleon Wheeler, d. Stone erected by her dau. Ada. (Tomb CRC). Widow Elizabeth (née McEvoy) b. in Manchester [sic] d. in Pmb. aged 62. Surviving children Alma (Finlayson), George, Frank, Ada (Griffin), Herbert, Percy and Ernest. (MSCE 9/311)

First Marriage
Henry William (29.09.1845, Dbn – 23.04.1870, Pmb.)

1845.09.29 Son Henry William b. (R. Wes. Dbn)

1845.11.02 Son Henry William bap. by Rev. Archbell [Archbell, James*]. (R.Wes. Dbn)

1858.07.29 In a deposition stated he was 12 years old and had charge of his father’s retail shop at 5 Longmarket St. Had locked up on the evening of 27th and next morning found evidence of forced entry and theft of some goods. (AGO Dep. I/4/4 p. 289)

1858.07.30 George Aldridge arrested as suspect of robbery. Henry testified that he had frequently seen Aldridge at his father’s canteen which used to be at 5 Longmarket St until the beginning of the month when it was closed and the premises used as a k…. store. Aldridge had since then been into the store a few times wanting to purchase blankets at a reduced price but had been refused. (Ib. p. 301)

1861.02.01 Apprenticed to Hill [Hill, John Barnby*] and Long [Long, Charles*] from 01.02.61 – 01.02.66 [a firm of carpenters and builders]. (RSC IV/2/69 no. 565 dated 14.01.63)

1870.04.00 Farmer of Pmb., b. in Dbn, d. aged 24, unmarried. (MSC 3/21 no. 26)

1870.04.23 J.N. Wheeler’s son d. of fever. (CD 23 04 70)

1870.04.24 Drove in rain in afternoon to bury young Napoleon Wheeler. (Ib. 24.04.70). Henry William bur. aged 24. (R. St P., Pmb.). Amongst receipts in his estate were those for work done at Spring Valley Farm by Jesse Smith* (stone cutter), W. Dowsett (fencing), W. Hodgkins (painter), H[enry] Chatterton* (bricks and tiles), T. Chaplin (carpentry), W[illiam b. c. 1814] Watson* (bricks and tiles), J[ohn] Fettyplace* (for work done). (RSC I/8/65 no. 5996)

James (27.08.1847, Dbn – )

1847.08.27 James b., son of J.N. and Margaret Wheeler. (R. Wes., Dbn)

1847.09.22 James bap. (Ib.)

Ellen Sophia (1847 c. – 08.10.1878, Dbn)

1847 c. Ellen Sophia b. Date of birth calculated from age at time of death. (DGRD)

1860.00.00 Her second husband, Robert Hamilton, b. at St Just Cornwall. (Dickason p. 94)

1868.11.04 At the Cathedral, Pmb., by the Lord Bishop of Natal, Mr S. Brown to Ellen Sophia, eldest dau. of Mr J. Napoleon Wheeler of Pmb. (NM 00.11.68)

1874.05.02 Samuel Brown, clerk, d. aged 27. (DGRD). At his residence of disease of the lungs, Mr Brown, aged 27, d. (NM 23.05.74)

1876.11.00 Widow b. Dbn and Robert Hamilton b. Penzance, Cornwall, took out licence to m. They were to be m. in Dbn. She had a dau Ellen Amelia Florence Brown aged 7. (CSO 2286)

1876.12.00 Robert Hamilton, salesman, m. Ellen Sophia Brown, widow. (R. Wes., Dbn)

1876.12.02 Robert Hamilton m. Ellen Sophia, eldest dau. of J.N. Wheeler, Pmb., widow of the late Samuel Brown, both of Dbn. (NM 30.12.76)(NW 02.01.76)

1878.10.08 Ellen Sophia d. aged 31. (DGRD)

1878.10.09 d. at Smith St, Dbn., the wife of R. Hamilton, eldest dau. of J.N. Wheeler, Pmb., aged 31 yrs. (NM 22.10.78)(NW 18.10.78)

Margaret (1850 c. – 26.05.1926, Dbn)

1846 c. First husband F.L. Watson b. Date calculated from age at time of d. (R. St J., GT)

1850 c. Margaret b. Date calculated from age at time of m. to Watson. (Ib.)

1861.04.01 Second husband Joseph Risley b. (Risley Papers via Robert King)

1871.01.02 Margaret, 21, spinster, m. Francis Lane Watson, 23, bachelor, hotelkeeper, Greytown. Witnesses: James Wheeler and John K. Matterson. (R. St J., GT). Married at the Masonic Hotel, Greytown, by the Rev. T. Taylor, Mr Francis L. Watson to Miss Margaret Wheeler, dau. of Mr J.N. Wheeler, Market Master, Pmb. (NM 07.01.71)

1871.09.17 Lillian Frances b. to Francis Lane and Margaret Watson. Father a hotelkeeper of Greytown (GTGRB)

1874.10.16 Watson still a hotelkeeper in Greytown when son Hugh Napoleon bap. (R. St J., GT)

1876.09.04 Female b. to Francis Lane and Margaret Watson, father a farmer. (GTGRB)

1879.08.06 When above child, Daisy Violet Winifred, bap. father was a hotel keeper of Ketelfontein [the first outspan after Maritzburg on the road to the interior]. (R. Ang. How.)

1881.05.15 When Walter Henry Malcom, son of Margaret and Frank Lane Wheeler, was bap., father was a transport rider of Howick. (Ib.)

1883.01.24 Frank Lane Watson of Howick bur., aged. (Ib.)

1898. 06.30 Margaret Watson, 44, widow and Joseph Risley, 37, bachelor, carpenter, m. by the Rev. John Darragh in St Mary’s, Johannesburg. Witnesses: E.R. Moorby and W. Watson. (Risley Papers via Robert King)

1926.05.26 Margaret Risley, formerly Watson, b. Wheeler d. aged 71, Dbn. Place of residence 53 Leathern Rd, Dbn. (Ib.)
Second Marriage
Alma Mary (00.03.1855 – )

1855.03.00 b. (R. St P., Pmb.)

1855.06.00 bap., dau. of J.N. and Elizabeth Wheeler, father a storekeeper. Sponsors: Charles Buck [Buck, Charles Samuel*], Margaret Matterson and Mary Kenyon. (Ib.)

1875.05.28 Alma’s husband Harry Boyd was in the Standard Bank for eight years. For five of these he was teller, including the period 28.05.1875-11.07.1875, after the theft of £3 000. (J.W.Colenso to J.N. Wheeler. Bishopstowe, 24.06.1876 in CP)

1875.10.27 Boyd was tried on seven counts and was found guilty by the Jury (7–2) of having stolen £400 in £20 notes. The other charges were not proven. He was sentenced to one year’s imprisonment with a recommendation to mercy because of the careless way the bank’s business was carried out. (Ib.)

1875.11.02 Been reading trial of Harry Boyd for fraud at Standard Bank, Dbn branch, £ 3 000 being missing (he was the cashier). Got one year’s hard labour. (BGD 02.11.75)

1888.07.00 Alma May [sic], 33, widow Boyd, Pmb. and Lennox Samuel Finlayson, 24, merchant’s clerk, b. in PE got licence in Pmb. to m. (CSO 2288). m. in Pmb. Witnesses: Geo. C. Wheeler, Frank Wheeler and H.E. Wheeler. (R. Wes., Pmb.)

1899.02.12 Alma still alive when her mother d. (MSC 9/311)

George Charles (00.11.1856 – 07.08.1946, Pmb.)

1856.11.00 b. (R. St P., Pmb.)

1856.12.00 bap., son of J.N. and Elizabeth Wheeler of van Vuuren’s Post, father a timber-merchant. Sponsors: G.O. and J.K. Matterson and Rebecca Schofield. (Ib.)

1883.06.02 Aged 27, bachelor, farmer Umvoti Flats m. Harriet Bamber, 30, of Ashenden Farm. Witnesses: William Bamber and Frank Wheeler. (R. St J., GT). George Charles m. Emily Harriet Bamber at St Anne’s, Ravensworth. Her parents were John William Bamber and his wife Louise b. Gilbert. George and Harriet’s home was The Mount, Mayor’s Walk. Pmb. (Don Wheeler)

1929.06.00 Emily Harriet, b. England, d. aged 76 yrs7mths. (PGRD)

1929.06.29 Emily Harriet, wife of George Charles, d/bur. aged 76. (Tomb CRC)

1946.08.07 George Charles, spouse of Emily H. d. aged 89. (Tomb CRC)

1946.08.08 George Charles bur. aged 89. (C of E, burial register CRC)

2004.00.00 There was a big refugee concentration camp where the Maritzburg market gardens (Mayor’s Walk, Botanical Gardens way) is and close by on the hillside opposite and across the Dorpspruit lived an old couple (the Wheelers) who were family connections called by us Aunt Emily and Uncle Ginger. The Wheelers’ house was called The Mount. My Uncle Frank Wheeler lived at Jesmond and we used to often go there during holidays and walk over to The Mount to see ‘Aunt Emily’. I saw many Dutch women and children from the camp visiting Aunt Emily and we all met on the best of terms. Aunt Emily had been governess to a Boer family named Jacobs from Harrismith in the Free State and could speak Dutch. She had a constant stream of visitors from the refugee camp – the distance being only a few hundred yards. [Aunt Emily’s sister was m. to Robert Dunn]. (Memoirs of A.S. Dunn in GNUS**** vol. 4, 2004)

Frank (00.12.1858 – 00.12.1916, Pmb.)

1858.12.00 b. (R.St P., Pmb.)

1859.02.00 bap., son of J.N. and Elizabeth Wheeler, father a farmer. Sponsors: Father, Henry McEvoy and Rebecca Schofield. (Ib.)

1888.12.10 Frank, bachelor, Market Master, Pmb., m. Harriette Frances Gibson, spinster, York. Witnesses: Harriet Gibson and Alex Ryles. (R. Ang., How.)

1905.10.00 Frank,s wife Harriet Frances d. aged 38. (PGRD)

1905.10.16 Frank’s wife Harriett Frances, b. at Bentley, Newcastle-on-Tyne, dau. of Dr George Gibson, deceased, and Mrs Harriett Gibson, d. aged 38 at Jesmond, Town Hill, Pmb. Husband, Market Master, filled in the Death Notice. (MSC 24/134)

1905.10.17 The funeral of Mrs Harriett Frances Wheeler, wife of Frank Wheeler, Market Master, left from the residence Jesmond, Town Hill. (NW 17.10.1905)

1906 Market Master, Maritzburg. Has been for many years in the employ of the Corporation. Res., Town Hill, Maritzburg. (NWW 1906)

1906.10.03 Frank’s mother-in-law Harriet Gibson d. in Pmb. (MSC 27/166).

1916.12.00 Frank, 58, auctioneer. b. Natal, widower, d. (PGRD)

1916.12.13 Aged 58, of Town Hill, bur. (Burial R. St P.)

Walter Alfred (00.02.1860 – 07.08.1883, Pmb.)

1860.02.00 b. (R.St P., Pmb.)

1861.04.00 bap., son of J.N. and Elizabeth Wheeler. Sponsors: G.O., J.K. and Margaret Matterson. (Ib.)

1883.08.00 Walter Alfred, 22, farmer, d. Zwartkop Valley. (PGRD)

1883.08.07 d. leaving a son. (Tomb CRC)

1883.08.08 bur. aged 22. (R. St P., Pmb)

Fanny Amy (19.08.1862, Pmb. – 21.09.1862, Pmb.)

1862.08.00 b. (R. St P., Pmb)

1862.08.19 Mr J.N. Wheeler, Church St, confinement. (Aldridge p.111). To N. Wheeler, a dau. b. at Church St, Pmb. (NW 29.08.62)(NM 00.09.62)

1862.09.00 Fanny Amy bap. clinically. Parents J.N. and Elizabeth Wheeler, father Assistant Town Clerk. (R St P., Pmb.)

1862.09.21 Infant d. (Aldridge p. 111). Child of J.N. Wheeler bur. (R. St P., Pmb.)

Ada Rebecca (24.12.1863, Pmb. – 22.09.1939, Pmb

1857.10.22 Husband Arthur Charles Griffin b. (Tomb CRC)

1863.12.00 Ada Rebecca b. (R. St P.,

1863.12.24 At Pmb., Mrs J.N. Wheeler, a dau. (NM 00.01.64). b. (Tomb CRC)

1864.03.00 Ada Rebecca, dau of J.N. and Elizabeth Wheeler bap. Sponsors: J.K., Margaret and Mary Matterson. (Ib.)

1932.12.09 Arthur Charles Griffin d. aged 75. (Tomb CRC)

1933 Youngest [surviving] dau. Ada R. Wheeler who m. Arthur Charles Griffin. (NWW 1933 p. 110)

1939.09.22 Ada Rebecca d. aged 74yrs9mths at Pmb. She was b. in Pmb. and was m. to Arthur Charles Griffin in Pmb. She lived in Prince Alfred St. Death Notice filled in by a dau. She owned houses in Prince Alfred St on Erfs 56, 57, and 58 (MSCE 29613)

Herbert Edwin (00.11 1865, Pmb. – 03.07.1947, Pmb)

1865.11.00 b. (R.St P., Pmb.)

1865.12.00 Herbert Edwin bap., son of James Napoleon and Elizabeth Wheeler. Sponsors: Father, Mark Henry and Ellen Bruce Pratt. (R. St P., Pmb.)

1891.03.04 Aged 25, salesman m. Margaret Buchanan Lyle, 22. (R. St J., Pmb.). Married at the Tannery, Herbert Edwin, 4th son of the late J.N. Wheeler to Maggie Buchanan Lyle, granddaughter of the late Alexander Lyle* (NW 10.03.1891)

1947.06.13 Wife, Margaret Buchanan d. (Tomb CRC)

1947.07.01 Herbert Edwin d. aged 81. (Tomb CRC)

1947.07.03 Herbert Edwin bur. aged 80. (R.Gen. bur., CRC)

Louis Napoleon (09.12.1867, PMB. – 00.03.1872, Pmb.)

1867.12.00 b. (R. St P., Pmb.)

1867.12.09 At Pmb., the wife of J.N. Wheeler, City Market Master, a son. (NW 00.01.1868)

1868.01.00 Louis Napoleon bap., son of J.N. and Elizabeth Wheeler, father Market Master. (R. St P., Pmb.)

1872.03.00 Louis Napoleon, son of J.N. Wheeler, d. aged 3 [sic] in Alexandra Park. (PGRD)

Amy Elizabeth (00.07.1869, Pmb. – 00.03.1870, Pmb.)

1869.07.00 b. (R, St P., Pmb.). Female b., child of J.N. and Elizabeth (McEvoy) Wheeler. Father Market Master. (PGRB)

1869.08.29 Amy Elizabeth, dau. of J.N. and Elizabeth Wheeler, bap., father Town Clerk. Sponsors: John Kitchen, Isabelle and Emily Matterson. (R.St P. Pmb.)

1870. 03.00 Amy Elizabeth d. aged 8 months. (PGRD)

Percy McEvoy (02.11.1870, Pmb. – )

1870.11.00 b. (R.St P., Pmb.). Percy McEvoy b., son of J.N. and Elizabeth (McEvoy) Wheeler. Father Market Master. (PGRB)

1870.11.02 At Pmb., the wife of J.N. Wheeler, a son (NM 26.11.70)

1870.12.11 Percy McEvoy bap. (R. St P., PMB.)

1905.07.00 Aged 32, farmer of Germiston, m. Aldytha Ann Fisher of Westville, 29. (R. St J., PT)

1899.02.12 Percy McEvoy still alive when his mother d. (MSC 9/311)

Ernest John (00.04.1873, Pmb. – )

1873.04.00 b. (R. St P., Pmb,)

1873.09.21 Ernest John bap., son of J.N. and Elizabeth Wheeler, father Market Master. Sponsors: G.O and Isabella Mary Matterson and father. (Ib.)

1899.02.00 Still alive when his mother d. (MSC 9/311)

Eva (00.11.1875, Pmb. – )

1875.11.00 b. (R. St P., Pmb.)

1875.12.09 Eva bap., dau. of J.N. and Elizabeth Wheeler. (Ib.) Eva d., dau. of J.N. Wheeler. (PGRD).

1875.12.11 Eva bur. (R. St., P.)


*After a surname indicates that person as the head of a family and therefore qualified for an

entry in Shelagh Spencer’s biographical register.

**Pietermaritzburg being a Voortrekker town was laid out in a grid system. The Long Streets

running from west to east and the shorter cross streets running from south to north. The Erfs run

from south to north between the long streets, being numbered and named from the south. This is

how Wheeler could have premises on 5 Longmarket St that faced onto Longmarket St and

premises on 18 Longmarket St that faced onto Church St.

***The advanced theological thinking of Bishop Colenso had caused a split in the Anglican

communion and in Pmb., the seat of the controversy, there were those who supported Bishop

Grey, Bishop of Cape Town and Dean Green and those who remained faithful to Colenso,

Bishop of Natal. Today (2015) 12 of the 13 acts of heresy on which Colenso was charged would

no longer stand.

**** Genealogical News, Utterances and Scribblings. Quarterly news letter of the Natal Inland

Family History Society.


Books, Periodicals and Directories

BFR – Buchanan, Barbara. Buchanan family records: James Buchanan and his descendants.

Cape Town, Priv. Print, 1923.

BSN – Hattersley, Alan F. British settlement of Natal: a study in imperial migration. Cambridge:

University Press, 1950.

CDN – Mackeurtan, Graham. Cradle days of Natal 1497-1845.Pietermaritzburg: Shuter &

Shooter, 1948.

Clark – Clark, John. Natal Settler-Agent: the career of John Moreland agent for the Byrne

emigration-scheme of 1849-31.Cape Town: Balkema, 1972.

Dickason, G.B. Cornish Immigrants to South Africa: the cousin Jack’s contribution to the

development of mining and commerce 1820-1920. Cape Town: Balkema, 1978.

DNA – Natal almanac, directory and yearly register. Pietermaritzburg: P. Davis, 1863-1901.

GNUS vol.4, 2004. Pietermaritzburg: Natal Inland Family History Society, September, 2004.

HNS – Hattersley, Alan F. Natal Settlers1849-1851. Pietermaritzburg: Shuter & Shooter, 1949.

HPP – Hattersley, Alan F. Pietermaritzburg Panorama: a survey of one hundred years of an

African city. Pietermaritzburg: Shuter & Shooter, 1938.

NWW – Natal who’s who: an illustrated biographical sketch book of Natalians. Durban: Natal

Who’s Who Publishing Co., 1906.

POC – Hattersley, Alan F. Portrait of a city. Pietermaritzburg: Shuter & Shooter, 1951.

ROD – Russell, George. History of old Durban and reminiscences of an emigrant of 1850.

Durban: P. Davis & Sons, 1899.

Wirgman, A. Theodore. Life of James Green DD: Rector and Dean of Maritzburg from

February, 1849, to January, 1906. London: Longmans Green & Co., 1909.


Tomb CRC –Gravestone Commercial Road cemetery, Pietermaritzburg.

Church Registers

R. Ang., How – Register Anglicans Howick

R. St J., GT – Register St James, Greytown. Anglican

R. St J., PT – Register St Johns, Pinetown. Anglican.

R. St P., Dbn – Register St Pauls, Durban. Anglican

R. St P., Pmb. – Register St Peters, Pietermaritzburg. Anglican

R. Wes., Dbn – Register Wesleyan, Durban

R Wes.., Pmb. – Register Wesleyan, Pietermaritzburg


Aldridge, Dr C.M. Ledger. Alan Paton Centre & Struggle Archives, UKZN, Pietermaritzburg.

BGD – Gelder, Betsy: Diary. Private ownership.

CD – Colenso, John William. Diary. Pietermaritzburg Archives Repository.

CP – Colenso, John William. Papers. Pietermaritznurg Archives Repository.

Holliday, J.D. to Walton, H.W., letters via J.M. Clarke.

Davies, J.H. Sailing vessels engaged in trading on the South African coast, 1806-1849.

Typescript, 1942. Pietermaritzburg Archives repository

KBP – Kit (Christopher) Bird. Papers. Pietermaritzburg Archives Repository.

MP – Moreland, John Swales. Papers. Pietermaritzburg Archives Repository.

Risley, Joseph. Papers via Robert King.


De NatalierDe Natalier and Pietermaritzburg True Recorder, 1844-1846

NCPANatal Courier and Pietermaritzburg Advertiser, 1859-1865

NMNatal Mercury, 1852-

NSEATTimes, Natal and South-East Africa, 1851-1853

NW Natal Witness, 1846-

T of NTimes of Natal, 1865-1927 (researched to 1868)

Personal Communication

Don Wheeler

Unpublished Official papers

AGO – Attorney General’s Office

AGO Dep. – Attorney General’s Office. Depositions.

CSO – Colonial Secretary’s Office

GTGRB – Greytown Government Register. Births

MSC – Master of the Supreme Court

MSCE – Master of the Supreme Court. Estates

NGG – Natal Government Gazette

PGRB – Pietermaritzburg Government Register. Births

PGRD – Pietermaritzburg Government Register. Deaths

RSC – Registrar of the Supreme Court

Unpublished Theses

Schauffer, D.L. Establishment of a theatrical tradition in Pietermaritzburg, prior to the opening

of the first civilian playhouse. Thesis, PhD (Natal), 1978.
Compiled from Shelagh Spencer’s records on the British Settlers of Natal 1824-1857.
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