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Name: WATCHAM, Patrick Edgar

image of individual

Nee: son of Sarah Watcham

Birth Date: 1870 India

Death Date: 29.11.1945 Nairobi

First Date: 1899

Last Date: 1945

Profession: Farmer

Area: Riverside, Nairobi, 1930 Gilgil, 1909 Tanaland, Thomson's Falls

Married: No

Book Reference: HBEA, Cuckoo, KAD, Red 25, Red 31, EAS 1903, Hut, North, Drumkey, Red 22, Advertiser, Gazette, Nicholls, EAHB 1904, EAHB 1907, Barnes, Leader14, Red Book 1912

General Information:

Gazette 6 Dec 1938 Rift Valley Voters List farmer, T. Falls
Gazette 6 Dec 1938 Aberdare Voters List
EAS - 26-2-1903 - Advert - For Sale - A good strong cart with a pair of bulls thoroughly trained to plough and cart work. Price Rs. 200. - Apply Watcham, Riverside, Nairobi
North - Land Grant application 7/9/1903, Karuru with Miss D. Watcham; at Kikuyu 25/11/1899; OnLIst of 'Principal Inhabitants of Nairobi …. Riverside, Near Nairobi' (EAM) 20/9/1903; Member of shooting team at Mombasa Sept 1903; Agent for East Africa Cotton Syndicate (Chapman, Milne & Grenfell & Co) on the Tana River 18/5/1904; Working for EA Syndicate, due to be sacked 26/5/1904; Moved to Lamu for EA Cotton Syndicate June 1904; At Devani on the Tana 8/11/1904; Firearm registered Nairobi Oct-Dec 1905
Advertiser - 25/9/1908 - Cotton - Messrs Tost, Watcham & Rayne have ….. Large areas looking splendid.
Advertiser - 20/11/08 - Letter from P.E. Watcham, Tana Valley, via Lamu re land on Tana River
Gazette - 1914 - High Court Case - Patrick Edgar Watcham v Government
Gazette - 7/4/15 - Liable for Jury service, Kiambu - P. Watcham, St. Nevins, Nairobi
Nicholls - P.E. Watcham, who arrived in 1899, imported a Berkshire boar to cross with Seychelles sows …….
Gazette - 17/12/1902 - Plague compensation after bubonic plague in March 1902 - Rs 60
EAHB 1904 - Nairobi Residents - Watcham, P.E. - Riverside, near Nairobi
Barnes - Nairobi South Cemetery - Patrick Edgar Watcham, died 29 November 1945, son of Sarah Watcham
Red Book 1912 - P. Watcham - Nairobi
Gazette - 12/11/1919 - Register of Voters - Nairobi, South Area - Patrick Edgar Watcham - Coffee Planter - Riverside
Patricia Lott Page - The Watcham family were in Kenya, first arriving in Mombasa in 1899 from the Straits Settlements, originally from Bangalore. They were variously coffee planters and farmers, at the 'Riverside' plantation in Nairobi (the subject of the famous law case, which is often quoted in boundary disputes), Gilgil and Thomson's Falls.
Patrick Edgar Watcham - Did not marry
Cuckoo - mentions as a very early settler from India with his two sisters. Also mentions a Mr Watcham, brother of the Misses Watcham as having a larger farm up country.
Info from Noel Clark: He became a locomotive driver on the Larut Railway in the Malay State of Perak, and then moved to the East African Protectorate in July 1899 and became a coffee planter and farmer; it was he who obtained the land later known as the property “Riverside” in Nairobi. He did not marry and had no issue.
He arrived in EAP with the aim of growing coffee, and after briefly visiting Limuru made his way to the Nairobi area. Here on the 1st December 1899 under the East African Land Regulations (1897) he acquired a 99-year lease of land abutting the Nairobi River subsequently known as Riverside, and in 1904 he acquired further adjoining land from Kikuyu Chiefs Moya and Masondo, paying compensation for both and with the acquisition from Moya being accompanied by a permit issued by the Survey and Land Commissioner; in total he claimed to be entitled to the use of approximately 860 acres of land. However, he was using for cultivation purposes only 39.7 acres of this land, wholly within the 1899 lease.
In 1912 the Attorney-General of the East Africa Protectorate brought in the High Court of Eastern Africa a case (no. 55/1912) against PEW for the recovery of 753.5 acres of the 860 claimed by him and for repayments of any rents or profits he had made from the use of those 753½ acres (PEW had harvested timber from at least part). The case was bedevilled by the ambiguity of the original lease, which described boundaries that encompassed 160 acres but then specified an area of 66.91 acres (of which PEW was occupying 39.7), a lost “original plan”, several sketch maps drawn up at various times, and overlap between some of the land claimed by PEW and government leases of land to Mr. N. Wilson (Newton-Wilson) (1902) and Father Burke of the Holy Ghost Mission (1904). The judgement of this case was handed down on 8th May 1913 and found for the Attorney-General. The Court found that PEW was entitled only to 66.91 acres under the Riverside lease, 79 acres acquired from Moya and for which compensation had been paid, and 49.9 acres similarly acquired from Masondo, for a total of 195.81 acres. He was answerable to the Government for any rents or profits obtained from all land other than this entitlement, plus interest at 9% from the date of the case until payment, and ordered to pay Court costs.
PEW appealed the judgement in the Court of Appeal for Eastern Africa (case no. 6/1913 set down for hearing on 27th January 1914), but in a judgement dated 25th February 1915 the three judges by a 2:1 majority upheld the judgement in the High Court. PEW then took a further appeal to the Privy Council, where it was heard on 7th, 9th and 10th May 1918 and judgement delivered on 11th June 1918. Once more the decision in the Appeal Court and the High Court was upheld, and PEW was required to pay the costs of his appeal.
The land known as Riverside was situated on the south bank of the Nairobi River, between that river and its tributary the Kirikichwa Ndogo River (now known as the Kirichwa Dogo). The name “Riverside” is perpetuated in the street name “Riverside Drive.” At least part of Riverside was used as a coffee plantation. It remained in the possession of the Watcham family until at least 1938,

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