William Cock

Hero of Villain?


  • Jacklyn Cock University of Witwatersrand


The answer to this question lies in whether the reader believes that the present social order in South Africa is just and sustainable, and how the colonialism contributed to that order. The question that follows is whether the 1820 settlers warrant our contempt or admiration? An honest answer involves discarding the conventional view of them as a homogenous social category. Instead, we need to recognize that they included very different people, some of whom brought indentured servants with them, some were professional people, but the majority of the settlers were the victims of a heartless colonial project.

Author Biography

Jacklyn Cock, University of Witwatersrand

Position PROFESSOR EMERITUS Qualifications BA, HEd(PG), BSocScHon, PhD Phone 0117174439 Email Jacklyn.Cock@wits.ac.za Organisational Unit Sociology


Anderson, C. (2012) Subaltern Lives: Biographies of Colonialism in the Indian Ocean World 1790 – 1920. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Beck, R. (1989) Bibles and beads: missionaries as raiders in Southern Africa in the early nineteenth century Journal of African History 30, 2 pp 211-225

Bond, J. (1971) They were South Africans. Cape Town: Oxford University Press.

Butler, G. (Ed.). (1974) The 1820 Settlers: An Illustrated Commentary. Cape Town: Human and Rousseau

Cock: MS 14, 262 Cory Library.

Cory, G. (1965) The Rise of South Africa. Cape Town: Struik

Crais, C. (1992) The making of the colonial order: white supremacy and black resistance in the Eastern Cape, 1770-1865. Johannesburg: Witwatersrand University Press.

D’Urban Papers, Campbell Collections, U.K.Z.N.

Galbraith, J. (1963) Reluctant Empire. British Policy on the South African Frontier 1834 – 1854. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Gledhill, E. (1969) William Cock: A Pioneer of Commerce. Africana Notes and News, Africana Museum, Johannesburg. Graham’s Town Journal.

Hattersley, A. (1965) The Convict Crisis and the Growth of Unity. Pietermaritzburg Press U.K.Z.N.

Kay, S. (1833) Travels and Researches in Caffraria. London: John Mason.

Keegan, T. (1996) Colonial South Africa and the origins of the racial order. Cape Town: David Philip.

Keegan, T. (2016) Dr Philip’s Empire. Cape Town: David Philip.

Keegan, T. (1989) The origins of agrarian capitalism in South Africa. Journal of Southern African Studies. 15 (3) pp 666-684

Le Cordeur, B. (1981) The politics of Eastern Cape separatism. Cape Town: Oxford University Press

Legassick, M. (2010) The struggle for the Eastern Cape 1800 -1854: Subjugation and the roots of South African Democracy. Johannesburg: KMM Review.

Morse Jones, E. (1968) The Lower Albany Chronicle. Port Alfred Historical Society.

Mostert, N. (1992) Frontiers: The epic of South Africa’s creation and the tragedy of the Xhosa people. London: Cape Town.

Neethling, E. (2007) Pioneer’s Castle is still landmark’ 22.6.2007, Talk of the Town. S.A. History online

Peires, J. (1981) The House of Phalo: A History of the Xhosa people in the Days of their Independence. Johannesburg: Ravan Press.

Reddy. (2016) Rivett-Carnac, D. (1961) Thus Came the English in 1820. Cape Town: Howard Timmins.

Stretch, C. (1876/1988) The Journal of Charles Lennox Stretch. Cape Town: Maskew Miller.

Maxwell, W. and McGeogh, T. (eds) (1978) The Reminiscences of Thomas Stubbs. Cape Town: Balkema.

Tucker, E. (1970) The castle above the Kowie. Eastern Province Herald 12.08.

Turpin, E. (1964) Basket Work Harbour: The Story of the Kowie. Cape Town: Howard Timmins.

Wells, J.C. (2012) The Return of Makhanda: Exploring the Legend. Pietermaritzburg: U.K.Z.N. Press

Williams, R. (1980) Keywords. Harmondsworth: Penguin