• Credits:
  • Compiled by: Joseph Metcalf

    Edited by: Mary van de Vyfer & Peter Metcalf

    Published by: Peter Metcalf 1982

    Computer by: Grant Metcalf 1995 et seq.

    Web by: Ken Metcalf 1998 et seq.

Metcalf Family History and Genealogy

The surname “Metcalf” belongs essentially to the north of England, and has its origin in Yorkshire. They were most plentiful in the district of Wensleydale. The history of the surname commences with a man who was called “Arkefrith”. He was a noble Danish warrior and commander who came over to England with King Canute in the year 1016 A D. In reward for his valuable services, King Canute granted him vast tracts of land and estates in northern Yorkshire. He was styled “Lord of Dent” and his name appeared as such in the DoomsdayBook.

He was succeeded in the ownership of his lands by his son Arkyll. Arkyl was succeeded by his son William, who in turn left left the estates to his eldest son Richard. Richard, however, seems to have ceded to his son Adam only a portion of the lands and estate of Dent, namely the lands extending to the top of the mountain known as “Calffe Fell”, on the borders of Westmorland ( the “Lake District” ).

This mountain was so named for the reason that in those times that neighbourhood abounded with wild deer and a deer up to the age of four years being called a “calffe” by the foresters. The mountain became known for short as “The Calffe”. By virtue of his owning half of the Calffe, in which neighbourhood he resided, Adam in due course became known as the man of “Half-the-Calffe”, and in time his son (also Adam) who succeeded him, took the name “de Medecalffe de Dent”. This was in 1278 AD. He was unfortunately “slain in single combat by one Richard de Steynbrigge who was mulct by ye coroner in a fine of 14/6d., but he himself died of wounds received in ye fight, before the sheriff could levy against him”.

He was survived by his eldest son who also bore the name of Adam, and who appears to be the first to use the surname in its more modern shortened form, being officially styled as “Adam Mede-calffe of Baynbridge, chief forester to the Earl of Richmond”. The name was spelt in this way for many generations, until, with modernised English spelling, it changed to the various forms in which it appears today.

In the senior male line of descent, the Christian name Adam recurs for many generations, until one comes to the name of James Metcalf, a very distinguished character, who, in the year 1415, was appointed Captain of the troops from Wensleydale area, and fought in the battle of Agincourt. He was the son of Thomas Metcalf of Bainbridge, in the District of Wensleydale, and for his services was knighted. He became Lord of the Manor of the magnificent and vast estate of Nappa Hill, on the shores of Lake Somerville.

On receiving his knighthood, he chose as device for his “pedigree” the symbol of three black calves on a silver background. This device was retained by his descendants for a long period of years, and only modified many generations later. He died in 1471.

From this nobleman and his descendants the name sprang into prominence: his sons and their children, in years to come, founding the feudal manors of Northallerton, Hoode Grange, Thorneborough, Bushby Hall, Beare Park and Leamington. From these main branches of the family descended many famous personages, such as Thomas Metcalf, Chanellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Miles Metcalf, Recorder of York, and others. The Hoode Grange branch could lay claim to be of Royal descent through such famous families as Astley, Woodhouse, Howard and Mortimer, dating directly back to King Edward III.

Camden, the writer,in mentioning the estate of Nappa Hall, describes it as “A faire house with towers, ye chief seat of ye Mede-calffes, counted at this day as ye most numerous family in all England”. Mary,Queen of Scots spent two nights at Nappa Hall when she was in the custody of Lord Scrope, at the neighbouring castle of Bolton in 1569.

[More recently, on 26th.June, 1982,Charles Harvey Metcalf(C.1.12) and his wife, Diana, spent a night at Nappa Hall - on a “b.-and-b.” basis] The bedstead she[M,QoS] slept on was carefully preserved at Nappa, as also was a pair of gloves she left there. She left also an autographed letter addressed to one of the Metcalf’s.

The main Nappa Hall branch of the family, founded by the noble Sir James Metcalf, continued to flourish, and continued in succession to own the estates, and retained the knighthood in right noble fashion for the next 200 years or so.

Sir James Had five sons, all of whom played prominent parts, and occupied exalted positions in their time. The eldest son, Thomas , succeeded to the ownership of the Nappa estates, and the second son, Bryan , built and established the House of Beare Park in Wensleydale. Thomas became a very famous and wealthy man, and in time was succeeded by his eldest son, Sir James, who became Knight High Sheriff of York, and Master of Game to the Royal Forests of Wensleydale and Woodhall in 1525. He was succeeded by his son, Christopher (1539 -1594), who, in 1556 rode out with a mounted escort to meet the visiting Judge of Assizes. This escort numbered 300 men, all by the name of Metcalf, and all mounted on white horses. He is reputed to have entertained Mary, Queen of Scots at Nappa.

[In 1955 it was managed to raise a Metcalf Eleven for a cricket match against Jack Gilbert’s (Cape-)Town Club team. Nine Metcalf’s were three of the sons and six of the grandsons of Henry Metcalf (1846 - 1936), and two were the son and grandson of John William Metcalf (1860 -1934) ]

The next in succession was James, who was in turn succeeded by a rather colourful character, Sir Thomas. He, early on, “by his demeanour earned for himself the sobriquet of ‘the Black Knight of Nappa’”. It is told that while King James I ( VI of Scotland, son of Mary) was on his way to Scotland, he was entertained by a stag-hunt at Nappa. During the course of the day they arrived at the bank of the river Yore [Ure ?] which the King was affeared to cross. Sir Thomas thereupon offered to carry the King over on his back; “but, being a fellow of some humour, half-way across he feigned to stumble, and doused His Majesty head over heels into the water”. During his heyday he somehow conceived the idea that the adjoining property of Raydale actually belonged to him, as part of Nappa Hall. This property was at the time owned by a Mr. Robinson. At a time when this Mr. Robinson was away from home, Sir Thomas promptly raised a private army of his own, and with 40 men armed with muskets, half a score of bill-hooks, picks, swords and other warlike implements, beset the house.

They were resisted by Mrs. Robinson and her retainers, and the siege lasted for several days, during which two men were killed, and several injured. The defenders at last succeeded in getting a messenger through, who went for help, and the siege was raised in 1617. This act of felony immediately brought all the King’s horses and all the King’s men thundering down upon him. He was cited before the Star Chamber, and ordered to pay heavy fines and forfeit some of his lands. All this had the effect of considerably reducing the size of the original large Nappa Estate, as well as crippling it financially. Records state that “After a life of roystering hospitality, Sir Thomas died, leaving the family fortunes impoverished”, in 1655.

Sir Thomas had married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Henry Slingsbury of Scriven. Their children were:-

(1) James, the heir, who married Margaret Hicks of London.He became Recorder of the Borough of Richmond in1665.

(2) Scrope, a Major in the army of King Charles, who was Commander of the Oxford troops in the attack on the Parliamentarians at Henley-on-Thames, where he

received wounds of which he died in 1665.

(3) Thomas, who was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Royal Army, and was still living in 1669. He married, firstly, Frances Burdett, and , secondly, Grace, the widow of Robert Hockley, by whom he had issue:-Thomas of Nappa, the eldest, a barrister-at- law, known as ‘the worthy Justice Metcalf ‘,who became next in seniority in the male line of descent; and there was also a second son, Henry, and five daughters, the youngest of whom married Sir William Robertson, Kt., of Newby, from whom descended the Marquis of Ripon,and the Robertsons who subsequently became the owners of Nappa Hall.

The “Worthy Justice Metcalf” proved to be the last of the Nappa line. Tradition has it that he refused to die until a giant elm tree, growing in the courtyard od Nappa Hall, had been hewn down and the timber used to make a coffin for him. At his death the senior male line became extinct. Apart from the male senior lineof descent, there were however numerous other offshoots of the House of Nappa.

One of the most outstanding of these was Theophilus Metcalf of the House of Nappa,who, as a barrister-at-law, settled in Ireland in 1695. His grandson, Sir Thomas, became a director of the East India Company. In India he acquired great wealth and position and was created a Baronet. Sir Charles Theophilus Metcalf,GCB, PC,the third baronet (b.1785), succeeded his brother. He also distinguished himself in India, becoming a member of the Supreme Court in Bengal, Governor of Agra, and later Governor of Jamaica and Governor-General of Canada. He was created Baron (i.e. Lord) in 1845,but died in 1846, when the barony became extinct.

Sir Thomas Theophilus (1795-1854) , heir to his brother, became the 4th.Baronet. He was also a well-known official of the East India Company, became a judge at Delhi, and was invested with the Order of the Bath His son, Sir Theophilus John (born in Delhi, 1828) succeeded him as 5th. Baronet. He saw service during the Indian Mutiny, and died in1882. Succeeding him as 6th. Baronet was his son, Sir Charles Herbert Theophilus (born 1853).

Among the many other descendants of the numerous House of Nappa, was one

John Metcalf. He was commonly known all over Yorkshire as ‘Blind Jack of Knaresborough’. Much has been written about the life of this remarkable character, but he truly deserves further mention. Born in Knaresborough in 1717, of parents in obscure cicumstances, he had the tragic misfortune to be stricken with blindness, after an attack of small-pox, at the age of six. Apparantly undeterred by his disability, we find him climbing ttrees and bird-nesting with other boys. Soon he began his long and useful career as an errand-runner about the neighbourhood,and to the nearby towns and villages. This he started from the age of nine, and soon gained for himself a thorough knowledge of the then involved and labyrinthine pattern of paths and roads across the Yorkshire moors. As he grew up, he became also agood boxer, wrestler and swimmer, as well as a good horseman; and an excellent musician, chiefly as violinist. It was as musician to the troops that in 1745 he joined Colonel Thornton’s troop of volunteers against the Pretender. At the battle of Falkirk he was taken prisoner, but was somehow released again. After the battle of Culloden he returned home. The campaign had however merely whetted his appetite for travel, and soon he set off again to explore the north of England, travelling sometimes on horseback, but mostly on foot, earning his way by playing the violin at village fairs and taverns. From the north he took ship to London. On arrival there he met up with a Colonel Liddle there who knew him. The Colonel offered him a seat in his carriage back to Yorkshire, but this he declined, saying he would get back there sooner on foot. And walk he did, the 200 odd miles, beating the carriage to it by more than a day. After that he turned his hand first to fish-dealing and then to cotton spinning, but these he gave up again, returning to his native moors, starting off first as a carrier and subsequently as a guide. From that he turned to road-making and bridge-building, at which he was highly successful, earning for himself a great reputation. He constructed miles and miles of road over the swamps and marshes of the district, building lots of culverts and bridges. These were soundly built, with-standing the test of time very well. His last road was constructed in1792, when he took a farm in Spofforth. He had married a Miss Benson, the daughter of the landlord of Granby Inn in Harrogate, with whom he eloped the night before her projected marriage to another man. At the age of 93 he died on his farm, and was buried in the churchyard at Spofforth in 1810. His descendants at the time of his death numbered 114 persons.

After the Nappa line had become extinct, the senior male line of descent passed to Sir James’ second son, named Bryan, who founded the estate of Beare Park in Wensleydale. He was known as ‘the Bryan of Beare’, and his name is perpetuated in the curious old English ballad - “The Felon Sow of Rokeby”. He was survived by his son, who in turn was succeeded by his son, Nicholas. He in time became the Reverend Nicholas Metcalf, DD, who became Master of St. John’s College, Cambridge, in 1516. He was a firm and intimate friend of the martyred Bishop Fisher, and took a firm stand against the opinion, expressed at that time, in favour of the divorce by Henrt VIII from Queen Katherine. Later in his career however, he preached a scathing sermon in the University against Latimer, for which he was compelled to resign his Mastership of St.John’s.He was nonetheless a pious and benevolent man and a good financier, and had helped to improve the revenues of the College considerably. He certainly was a good patron of promising scholars, especially those of Yorkshire. On his death in 1537, he left his estate “to be applied to the maintenance of poorer scholars at Cambridge by the name of Metcalf”. His memory is perpetuated by a brass plate in the chapel of St. John’s College, Cambridge.

The Bryan of Beare, departing from what had been the custom in the past, chose as his pedigree the device:-

“ Upon a helm with a wreath of silver, a Satyr with spiked club ( or morning star )”.

This device however was not retained for very long, and about four generations later one sees that a descendant of his, one Matthew Metcalfe, in 1581 was granted another crest:-

“ To the said Matthew Metcalffe, gentleman, and his prosteryte,is granted the crest hereafter following, namely: Upon a healme with a wreath of silver, a hound sejant and proper, passing the forefoote upon an escutcheon gold”.

The above crest was later adopted by other branches of the family, and retained right up to modern times. It was later referred to as “the Talbot Hound”.

Oswald, the second son of Thomas of Nappa (and grandson of “noble Sir James”), leased from the Prior of Newbury a certain property for the sum of £10-13-4 annually in 1551.Here, in due course, his son, George founded the house of Hoode Grange. He received from the Pror of Newbury for his offices, “Three yards of broadcloth for his livery, or 10/- in lieu thereof”. He became the ancestor of the Suffolk branch of the family

George of Hoode Grange had four sons, the eldest being Gilbert. The youngest son, Anthony, was a participant in the “Rising of the North”. For this he was arrested, tried and condemned to death. His sentence was however reprieved later, and he got off with only the confiscation of his lands.

Gilbert had five sons, George , John of Tameton , Anthony, Leonard and James. From John of Tameton are descended the Metcalf’s of Hawstead and Leamington , in the County of Essex. The descendants were within living memory still residing at Gestringthorpe Hall in County Essex. The Essex branch could, through the Hoode Grange family, claim royal descent, Walter Charles Metcalf of Epping, Co. Essex, being in 1871 the 28th. in direct descent from King Edward III, through the families of Astley, Wodehouse, Cotton, Howard, Stafford, Mortimer and Platagenet.

Richard ,the third son of George of Hoode Grange, was the founder of the 10H35 Northallerton branch of the family. Here in 1584 he built the famous old Metcalf Manor known as “The Porch House”. This was an unusually fine and noble building, and must have weathered the passing of the years well. When it was being modernised as late 1844, an oaken beam was uncovered with the initials of the original owner and his wife ( R.M. and H.M.) carved threon with the date 1584. The porch of the building itself bears the initials of a subsequent owner, a descendant and his wife ( W.M. & A.M. ) and the date 1874 10H43.At the time it was the most imposing building in the neighbourhood. King Charles I was once entertained there, and again rested there on his way south as a prisoner in 1647. Tradition has it that he tried to make his escape from a window on the south side of the house. Richard, the founder, died in 1616.

The eldest son of Richard of Northallerton had a son George, who in 1666 established himself at Thornborough Hall in Romanby. He was succeeded by his heir George, and a second son , Gilbert, who became Sir Gilbert Metcalf, Lord Mayor of York, in 1695. George, the eldest, married the daughter of Sir William Talbot of Knayton, and also adopted as his crest the Talbot Hound. He had issue: two sons and three daughters. William, the eldest, resided in York, and married the daughter of Sir George Marwood of Little Bushby. ( This estate of Little Bushby was later ceded in 1762 to another William Metcalf of Northallerton by his great-aunt, and he took the name and arms of Marwood ). William’s eldest son was Thomas and there were six others:- Athony, Richard, Henry, George, Gilbert and Walter and one daughter, Margaret, who married Lascelles, and became the grandmother of Baron Harewood. William died in 1698.

Thomas, the eldest, married first Faith, the widow of Sir Mark Milbanks, and secondly, Anne Greene, by whom he had issue:-

William, his heir;

The Reverend Thomas, heir to his brother;

John of Scarborough ( 1708 - 1760 );

George, born and died in 1709;

Anne, Henrietta, Mary and Frances.

The third son, John of Scarborough, was succeeded by his eldest son John Metcalf, who lived in the Wesleydale district. He married Elizabeth Ryecroft of Tidla , who died in 1787 whilst he lived till 1795.

His eldest son, also John, was born in Leeds on March 8th. 1752. At an early age he entered the cotton-spinning industry in the city of Leeds where he lived, dying in 1809. In 1778 he married Mary Farrar. Their family consisted of: -

(1) Joshua (1779 - 1862) (5) Mary (1786 - )

(2) Sarah (1780 - 1818) (6) Joseph (1788 - )

(3) David (1783 - 1867) (7) Benjamin (1791 dd )

(4) John (1785 - 1789)

Of these, the second daughter, Mary, married Oates, and in time became the grandmother of Captain Lawrence (“Teddy”) Oates, who, after serving in the Anglo-Boer War, where he was seriously wounded in action, was nursed back to recovery in the house of Mrs. Harvey in Aberdeen, Cape. [ See also later under B12 Joseph Metcalf ] Oates in the end perished so nobly with Captain Scott at the South Pole. Much has been written about him, and he is always referred to as “a very gallant gentleman”.

The second son David, (1783 -1867) married in 1810 Miss Sarah Blackburn (1783-1831) and had the following large family:-

David, John, Thomas, Joshua, Mary, Martha, Joseph, George, James and Sarah.

Many of these children unfortunately died in infancy, including the eldest son, David. The second son, John, however grew up and later joined the party, made up of the family of his uncle Joshua, who emigrated to South Africa. Joshua (1779 - 1862) had followed his father, John of Leeds, into the spinning industry in Leeds, where he also was born. Spinning was fast becoming one of the major industries in England. He entered the business at an early age, and was soon making such satisfactory progress that, as quite a young man, he was selected by his seniors to proceed to the Continent to open up more marketing outlets for their products. On this mission he crossed over and back for a couple of years, visiting most of the European capitals and larger cities in Belgium, Holland, France, Germany and even Russia.

In St. Petersburg (now renamed Leningrad) he even succeeded in gaining access to the Russian Court. There he met a young English lady who was lady-in-waiting to the Tsarina. This lady was Miss Elizabeth Beadle, of whom he became greatly enamoured

It may have been partly due to this lady’s influence that he, in about 1806, decided it would be more convenient for him to reside permanently on the Continent, instead of having to cross the Channel every time he wanted to go home. To this end he then purchased in Belgium a very large estate with a huge castle-like manor house. This estate bore the name of Schuttenhof, and was situated on the outskirts of Antwerp. Copies of paintings of the house have been preserved, but later investigations revealed that ( in 1925 ) nothing of this estate remained, except only a small ruined building at the end of the lane, said to have been the remains of what used to be the gatekeeper’s lodge at the entrance to the estate. A peculiar remark however was found in the Municipal Archives of the City of Antwerp, viz:-“The last mention of this property, is that it was sold for half its value, by some fool named Metcalf”.

On a subsequent visit to Russia, Joshua, in 1808, married Elizabeth Beadle in St.Petersburg, and they set off for their new home in Belgium. Arrived at the Russian frontier however,they found themselves confronted by a new problem : Joshua had no passport for his wife to cross the border, and they were stuck. Going back some distance from the border, they encountered a carter with a wagon-load of hay. Immediately he arranged with the carter to sell him the load of hay, with the proviso that he deliver it on the other side of the border. Carefully concealing his bride under the hay with her baggage, he smuggled her safely across and continued the journey.

At Schuttenhof they resided for nearly thirty years, and raised a family of four sons and two daughters. They were:-

(1) John (1810 - 1864)* (4) Frederick (1821 - 1898)*

(2) Eliza Mary (1812 - 1836) (5) George (1822 - 1899)*

(3) Sarah (1817 - 1891)* (6) Henry (1825 - 1846)

[* indicates that these persons are buried at Caledon]

These all grew up in Belgium, receiving their schooling there, the boys later attending boarding-school in Germany. As the boys grew into manhood, however, a new problem arose. According to the law of Belgium at that time, they had attained the age at which they had to enrol in the Belgian army for the period of their compulsory service. This the old man was in no little way averse to, being known to have remarked “I’ll have no son of mine serve in any damn foreign army”.

By various means he seemed to have evaded the issue for some time, but the authorities remained adamant. One fine day, when they were all out on the fields of the estate watching some ploughing that was going on, they suddenly espied the recruiting sergeant and his “press-gang” crew closing in on them from some distance. Quick as lightning the old man had the two elder boys lying dead flat in the ploughed furrow, and, as the plough passed by them, it covered them deep under the earth. The recruiting sergeant spluttered and fumed and swore by all that was frightful that he had seen the two men he wanted on the field. The old man gave him full permission to search the whole estate, swearing that he had no two such sons. Search they did, the whole estate, and the buildings from cellar to attic, with no success. At length the livid and frustrated sergeant gave up, called his gang off and left. The coast was clear again.

This episode the old man considered to be the last straw, and soon set about winding up his business affairs, determined to leave the country. Without delay, he sold the estate of Schuttenhof, and soon after sailed, with his family, to England. Early then in 1837 Joshua arrived back in Leeds with his family of four sons and one daughter, his eldest daughter Eliza Mary having died at Schuttenhof in 1836.

He then decided ther would be a better future for his sons in South Africa, which was then one of the newer of the British Colonies. The party that sailed for South Africa was thus composed of three of Joshua’s sons, John, Frederick and George, and their elder cousin John [buried at Caledon], the son of Joshua’s brother, David. They arrived in Cape Town at the end of 1841. At first they resided around the Peninsula, chiefly at Wynberg, while they looked around to see what the country was like. Early the following year they were joined by their father, Joshua, now 63, [also buried at Caledon], and their mother, with their youngest brother, Henry, and only sister Sarah.

Their first move was made to Somerset West, to a house just across the Lourens River, where Joshua lived, while his sons took a farm called Gustrouw at the foot of the Hottentots Holland mountain, a few miles from Gordon’s Bay. They did not reside there long, in time crossing the mountain into the Overberg. John, the eldest son, took the farm called Somersfontein, situated along the Palmiet River. The rest of the party moved further inland, the second son, Frederick, establishing himself on the farm Steenbergsfontein, to the west of the town of Caledon. Here he stayed for more than six years, when he sold the farm and trekked to the farm Voorhoede, 3 miles east of Caledon, immediately over the mountain from his brother George, who had acquired the farm Diep River, which lies to the north of the mountain behind Caledon.


[Monday,10th. Feb.,1851 This day bought the farm Voorhoede from Mrs.Abraham Swart [for the sum of £1000 sterling

[Wednesday,23rd.April,1851 Sold the farm Steenbergs fontein to Mr.Jacobus Viljoen of [Hammansdal for £600 sterling]

Their cousin John acquired the farm Jagersbosch along the Zonder End River, not far from the Genadendal Mission Station.Henry, Joshua’s youngest son, as a young man, joined the forces for service in the Kaffir Wars. After a hard and trying campaign on the Eastern Frontier, he took a bad chill while embarking for home at Waterloo Bay. Arriving at Simon’s Town sick, he died and was buried there in 1846.

Joshua, having seen his sons settled on their respective farms[Each of the three brothers is survived by a granddaughter(1982)], returned to his home at Somerset West to live. After afew years however, he became estranged from his wife, due to a habit she had formed of “tipping the flagon” too generously. Unable to live with his wife any longer, he left her, and, with his only daughter, Sarah, moved to Stellenbosch in 1851. His wife, meanwhile, seems to have befriended a dubious sort of character, reputed to have been some sort of lawyer, supposedly to help her manage her affairs. He however figured more in the rôle of drinking partner, and spending her money.

Elizabeth died in 1856, but Joshua for some reason did not get the news of her death till some days afterwards. Hurrying back to Somerset West as fast as he could, he found that everything of value had disappeared from the house, including the valuable silver cutlery he had brought with him from overseas. The lawyer’s whereabouts could also not be traced.

Elizabeth was buried in the old Dutch Reformed Churchyard, where the grave, still in good order, can be seen to this day. The house stood for many years a deserted ruin. A couple of doors were later taken to Voorhoede.

Soon after his wife’s death, Joshua left Stellenbosch and, with his daughter, went to live in the little village of Greyton, in the Caledon district. He died there in 1862. Sarah lived on alone until her death in 1891. Both are buried at Caledon.

When Joshua had first started the idea of taking his family to South Africa, his nephew John, David’s son, (referred to as ‘cousin John’) was very actively encouraged by his parents to join their party. This was done to get him away from one of the gay belles of Leeds, a certain Widow Smirthwaite, who had first been a Widow Bell. This scheme, however, did not work out too well, as they had not been in the country very long, when who should turn up in Table Bay but the Widow Smirthwaite herself, bringing with her her four glamorous daughters, the Misses Bell. To crown it all, not only did the widow marry cousin John, but her two daughters, Elizabeth and Jane, married the two brothers John and George respectively. They must have had plenty of bells at the weddings!

Joshuas other son, Frederick, married Marianne, the daughter of Captain John Duke Jackson of “The Honourable East India Company”. He was a short, stocky, fiery old sea-dog, as tough as nails, with sharp blue eyes, a fierce temper and a very apt nautical vocabulary. As a younger man he had run of with the young and attractive wife of another man, taken her on his ship and sailed away. After voyaging around for several years, including being shipwrecked, they arrived at the Cape. Here he decided to retire. For services rendered he was given a grant of land in the Houw Hoek valley, in the Caledon district. [Marked by a white K (for Korteshoven) on a hillside near the road- N2,Y2K]

Eventually, in 1829, in one of the earliest divorces granted in the old Cape Supreme Court, his wife was given her freedom from her original husband, and the subsequent children could thus be considered fully legitimate. This was fortunate for the Metcalf descendants.

‘Cousin’ John in his prime had always been a gay, carefree character, and more of a cavalier gentleman than a settler of the land. Mostly he was to be seen riding about, wel mounted and dandily dressed, with silver spurs and silver hip-flask. Often he was known to have remarked that “All Metcalf’s were gentlemen born and never intended to do any sort of work”!. He died in 1847, a comparatively young man of 34,and was buried in the churchyard of the old Dutch Reformed Church at Caledon. When this historic building was ruthlessly demolished in 1950, Joseph Metcalf had the tombstone transferred to its present position in the Old English Church cemetery.

‘Cousin ‘ John and his wife, the former Widow Smirthwaite (1804 - 1862) - also buried at Caledon in the Old English Church cemetery - had two children, David and Sarah. Both David and his sister received their education in Cape Town; when their father died in 1847, they were both very young. When David had finished school he went to live with George Metcalfe at Diep River, where he worked as farm overseer and learned to farm. While he was there he seems to have beenthe cause of a certain amount of strained feeling between the Voorhoede and Diep River branches of the family, the one side contending that he was not decently treated, and the other side denying it. These insinuations and strained relations were fortunately con fined to only the large female sections of both families, the two seniors, Fred and George, living on in complete harmony and enjoying their periodic lunch meetings. In time, all this blew over.

David, when he reached manhood and came of age, went to farm on his own on the farm Jagersbos. Here he lived for about 15 years. His grandfather David in England, however, had for a long time been very concerned about him and had repeatedly written, urging him to return to England. This he eventually agreed to, and with his sister Sarah, took the ship back. He died there in 1892. This branch of the family is not included in the family tree below.