Van die menigte skeepswrakke aan die Suid-Afrikaanse kus, het die Grosvenor beslis een van die meer romantiese verhale.

Hierdie volume bestaan uit twee manuskripte:

  1. Die verhaal van die Grosvenor se stranding aan die kus van Caffraria, 1782, soos saamgestel deur Mnr George Carter, gebaseer op die oorvertelling van John Hynes, ‘n oorlewende, in Londen, 1791, en
  2. Die joernaal van Jacob van Reenen, geskryf tydens ‘n soektog na die skeepswrak en enige oorlewendes in 1790. Die joernaal is ‘n direkte vertaling van die oorspronklike Nederlands deur Kaptein Edward Riou, Londen, 1792.

Die Grosvenor, ‘n Engelse skip onder die vaandel van die Britse Oos-Indiese Kompanjie, verlaat Ceylon (hedendaagse Sri Lanka) in Junie 1782 op pad na Engeland, maar loop op die rotse naby die Umzimvuburivier (hedendaagse Port St. Johns). Daar was 150 passasiers aan boord. Na die stranding bevind 136 passasiers hulself in ‘n deel van Afrika wat deur die inboorlinge van die kontinent bewoon word. Die hele groep, behalwe vir twee persone, besluit om na die Kaap van Goeie Hoop te reis. Hulle glo hulle sou binne sestien dae hul bestemming bereik. Die reistog neem hulle egter drie maande – ‘n tyd van uiterse swaarkry en ellende. Slegs agt persone, onder andere ‘n elf-jarige seun, bereik die Kaap.

Die Verhaal deur John Hynes – ‘n Oorlewende

Omdat die vrouens en kinders stadiger as die jong mans gestap het, word daar besluit om in kleiner groepe te verdeel. John Hynes is lid van ‘n groep van ongeveer 43 jonger mans wat vooruit gereis het. Hulle neem egter ‘n sewe-jarige seuntjie, Law, saam en kom ooreen om beurte te maak om hom te dra wanneer hy te moeg word.

Hynes se verhaal beskryf in detail hoe die groep oorleef deur kos uit die see te verkry, onder andere dooie walvisse, wat hulle doen om hul dors te les wanneer daar nie vars water beskikbaar is nie, en hoe die groep een vir een afsterf, insluitende die jong seun.

Die ellendige lot van die seun ‘Master Law’

Die Joernaal van Jacob van Reenen (1790–91) oor die soektog na die wrak en enige oorlewendes (‘n direkte vertaling vanuit die oorspronklike Nederlands deur Kaptein Riou in 1792)

Toe die nuus van die skeepswrak Kaapstad bereik, stuur die Nederlandse owerhede ‘n reddings ekspedisie uit. Die ekspedisie moet egter terug draai weens die vyandige houding van die Thembu stamme. Hulle vind egter agt oorlewendes en neem hul terug Kaapstad toe.

Van Reenen was ‘n lid van die ekspedisie wat in 1790 uitgestuur is om na oorlewendes te soek na gerugte van blanke vrouens wat saam met die amaXhosa woon Kaapstad bereik het. Die groep vind die wrak van die Grosvenor naby die hedendaagse Port St. Johns. Die inboorlinge verduidelik aan die groep dat die opdrifsels verkoop is by die Portugese handelstasie in Delagoabaai. Die blanke vrouens wat volgens berigte saam met die inboorlinge gewoon het, is nie gevind nie.

Die kaart is deur Kaptein Riou saamgestel toe hy die vertaling van Van Reenen se joernaal in 1792 gepubliseer het. Riou verduidelik in die voorwoord dat hy verskeie kaarte gebruik het om die kaart saam te stel. Hy gebruik onder ander ‘n maritieme opname van 1785 en, vir die binnelandse gedeeltes, kaarte van Sparrman en Patterson se reistogte wat in die vroeë 1770s plaasgevind het.

UITTREKSEL VANUIT DIE TEKS

[…] by signs advised them to go inland, and pointed out to them the path they were to pursue. This path they accordingly took, and after having travelled about three miles, came to a village where they found only women and children.

Here they rested awhile, and the women brought out a little milk, which they gave to master Law. The milk was contained in a small basket, curiously formed of rushes, and so compact as to hold any liquid. During their stay, they examined several of their huts, where they had an opportunity of seeing the manner in which they churned their butter: The milk was put into a leather bag, which being hung up in the middle of the hut, was pushed backward and forward by two persons standing at the sides; and this they continued to do, till the butter was arrived at a proper state of consistence.

When it is properly prepared, they mix soot with it, to anoint their bodies. This operation not only serves them as a security against the intense heats of the climate, but renders them active, and gives them that agility which the inhabitants of Africa are well known to exhibit both in the chace and in battle.

While the travellers were resting themselves, the men belonging to the village returned from hunting, each bearing upon the point of his assaygay, his division of the spoil they had taken, which consisted of a piece of a deer, weighing about ten pounds.

As soon as they saw the strangers, they gathered round them in a ring, and seemed to gaze on them with admiration. After which, they shewed them two bowls of milk, which they appeared to be willing to barter; but as the English had nothing left that would prove acceptable to the natives, they had the mortification to see it applied to other purposes.

The bargain being declined, the savages brought from their huts sticks fuzzed at the ends, and seating themselves round the bowls, dipped their sticks into the milk, and thus, in a short time sucked the whole of it up.

They had scarcely finished their meal, than they all rose hastily up, and in an instant went off in different directions, at which our people were very much surprized. There were at least forty of them. The noise of some of their companions at a distance seeming to have awakened their attention, they scampered into the woods, and were out of sight in an instant.

It was not long, however, before they returned with a deer they had killed; which our people begged very fervently to be permitted to partake of, but in vain; and night coming on, they insisted that their visitors should quit the Kraal. This they were forced to comply with, and after walking four or five miles, they laid themselves down to rest.