Translation Heading

In rather a reversal of how things should be, one our two resident mothers, Younger Daughter, treated all of us to a lovely lunch at Caversham Mill in the Midlands. 

Of course, I went snap-happy.  All of these shots are taken right there:

Caversham 8 Caversham 1 Caversham 2 Caversham 3 Caversham 4 Caversham 5 Caversham 6 Caversham 7On the balcony of this delightfully rural restaurant is a plaque giving some of the history, and from the tale of the founders one is able to extract a charming romance:

Two young brothers, Richard Hodson (17) and his brother James (15) set sail for D’Urban (as Durban was then called) aboard the Nile on 14th June, 1850, under the care of their uncle and aunt, Dr and Mrs Gower, and in the company of the four Gower daughters.  Also aboard was a Mr and Mrs Franklin, with their two sons and four daughters.  During the four months of the voyage until their arrival on 15th September, James formed a deep mutual attachment with one of the Franklin daughters, Jane, who was of the same age.

Between 1852 and 1853 Richard and James, young though they were, built a mill on the Mpofana River (later to be known as Lions River).  It was the first water-driven one to be erected in Natal.  Richard then operated it, while James made a living from cutting timber in the forests nearby.

Tragedy had struck for James and Jane, though.  In 1852 the Franklins decided to relocate to Melbourne, Australia, and the two young lovers had to bid one another sad farewells.

I wish I could fill in the details of the Franklins’ experience, and whether James and Jane kept up some correspondence, but the important thing is that the Franklins returned four years later, in 1856.  One can just imagine the joy of the reunion, and of the discovery that the two were still in love with one another.  James and Jane, now both 20, were married on 14th January, 1857. 

That young romance had certainly stood the test of time, and it continued to do so.  James built a homestead at Caversham, and during an adventurous life together they had seven sons and four daughters.

Jane died on 28th February 1928, and James on 29th August 1929 having only survived her by 18 months.  Their ages are quoted on the plaque as 84 and 85 respectively, but that doesn’t tally with having been 15 in 1850.   By my reckoning, their shipboard romance lasted some 78 years.

They lie together in the Caversham churchyard.

Twelfth Night has some really apt quotes for this story: 

O Mistress mine, where are you roaming? …

Trip no further, pretty sweeting.
Journeys end in lovers meeting …

In delay there lies no plenty,
Then come kiss me, sweet and twenty.

© Colonialist May 2014 (WordPress)

About colonialist

Active septic geranium who plays with words writing fantasy novels and professionally editing, with notes writing classical music, and with riding a mountain bike, horses and dinghies. Recently Indie Publishing has been added to this list.
This entry was posted in History, Light romance, Personal Journal, Photography, Roving and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Desire says:

    Wow how beautiful!


  2. nrhatch says:

    WOW! Love that setting. I could sit by that mill stream and the waterfall for hours . . . as long as no unwanted visitors (read that: snakes) chased me away.


  3. Madhu says:

    A restaurant with a stunning view AND a mushy, romantic history……..how wonderful!! 🙂


  4. Harmony says:

    I love the first and last pics – I love the different perspectives.

    Looks like an absolutely heavenly place to enjoy a meal.


  5. The Asian says:

    Those are stunning pictures. It must have been really nice sitting out there and having a bite to eat


  6. 68ghia says:

    Such a lovely story 🙂
    and a wonderful place!
    I’m starting to think that only young love has the possibility of lasting – the second time around is not all it’s cracked up to be 😉


    • colonialist says:

      Second, third, or twenty-third – I think it is all a question of what is the really truly right one!


      • 68ghia says:

        Don’t even know if there is such a thing Col. Then again, my particular bran of humanity may just be a tad too much for mortals to handle – maybe I should just realise that once and for all – will save huge amounts of embarrassment not to mention agony to the people around me!!


        • colonialist says:

          Oh, there’s always the ideal one. Thing is, the fates sometimes enjoy zapping them together when they’re hardly out of nappies, and other times dangling them tantalizingly just out of sight for much of a lifetime.


  7. Lovely story, Col. Love your photos too.


  8. adeeyoyo says:

    What a lovely story, Col. So romantic… I think they must have kept in touch because letter writing was so popular in those days. They only really had ‘snail mail’ to rely on – and it was much more reliable than it is these days, lol, despite being sent by ship, horseback, etc, etc. 🙂


    • colonialist says:

      Yes, I assume they must have written to one another. And imagine those four months of the voyage, and falling in love. Then the sad parting. It really grabbed my imagination!.


  9. A lovely romantic story, Col. Your photos are quite outstanding, the first one, especially so. Glad you also got spoiled on Mother’s Day. 🙂


  10. cobbies69 says:

    I love to read these historical stories,, and your pictures are brill’ 😉


  11. Pussycat44 says:

    My bonnie lies over the ocean………….
    Beautiful pics.


  12. A superb post: photographs, landscape and story. Thank you.


  13. misswhiplash says:

    Whoops, nearly forgot…loved the good old fashioned romantic bit…life has changed a bit since then but I have heard of these lives where one can, t live without other.
    my only problem would be , who would chop the wood in winter and cut the grass in summer


  14. misswhiplash says:

    Now lookee here young man..those thar photos is very nice and I is glad you had a great time with the kiddiewinks and you all had a veree good time but old lady here is still awaiting on de tenderooks to zee de pictures of youuz beautiful ouse.you, z showed me the photos of de garden and the area surrounding but I want to be nosey, like what old ladies is and to see the lovely palace where thee lives with the Better Half and dee animals.
    comprendo amigo…send it via email if you like….please


  15. Arkenaten says:

    They don’t make ’em like that any more! Or do they…. 🙂


  16. gipsika says:

    How beautiful! And the lovely, lovely Midlands…


  17. disperser says:

    Always nice to read about long-lasting love.


  18. Anthony says:

    What a story indeed. Love have no boundaries. Thanks for sharing Col.


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