Major Robert Charles Harker SV / PROG

Major R. C. Harker SV/ PROG
Mayo Map
Islands of Jersey & Guernsey
Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia
Fort St. Catherine St. Georges, Bermuda,_ST._GEORGES,_BERMUDA.jpg
Map of the Western Cape
Plattenberg Bay South Africa
Swinford, Co. Mayo

Military Officer / Town Founder

This military officer led an interesting life post service with British army.

Robert Charles Harker was born in Swinford, Co. Mayo on 17th September 1780.  His parents were General & Francis Harker.  Scant information is available re his youth, but he emigrated to England.[i]

Military Career

R. C. Harker was attached to both the 96th & 15th Regiments of the British army for a total of twenty years. His posts were besides Ireland to England, Jersey, Guernsey, Nova Scotia also Bermuda. He retired with the attainment of the rank of Major.[ii]


Robert Charles Harker married Maria Berrick during 1809 in Cork City.  They had sons: Edward Herrick, Charles Barron, William Augustine, John (born in South Africa ), also daughters: Julia Maria, Rosa Elizabeth, Maria West, Olivia Maria.  His wife’s demise occurred on 18th December1834.  Harker had a son Henry Adolphus with Julia Armoed.[iii]

South Africa

His arrival with family to South Africa was completed during December 1823. Initially he farmed at Woodville, east of George.  Upon retirement from farming Harker was appointed a Government Resident of the Prettenberg Bay: a position that lasted from November 1826 to December 1847 when the post was abolished.  He was granted a pension also use of residency during his lifetime.  Major Harker was appointed a Justice of the Peace.  He acted as a post master for his area.[iv]


Major Harker’s demise occurred at his home in Harkerville, Krantshoek, W. C. South Africa on 16th March 1859.  He was aged seventy – nine.  His internment took place at Plettenberg Bay graveyard in South Africa.[v]

Six members of the Harker family were interred within Plettenberg Bay graveyard.  There is an explanatory text that provides a brief outline of those buried there. according to an article by Patricia Storrar (at this link ) which had been published previously in the 1977 edition of Restorica,  the Journal of the Simon van der Stel Foundation  at Pretoria University.  This site also provides an image of R. C. Harker’s grave.[vi]


Ciaran O Reilly historian in an article A little bit of Mayo in South Africa  in The Mayo News 30th June 2020 referenced Major Harker of Swinford who founded the town of Harkerville in the Western Cape near Plettenberg Bay. [vii]

Major R. C. Harker is referenced  among people connected to Mayo at this link. [viii]


[i] Major R. C. Harker ( [Assessed 30th June 2020]

[ii] Ibid.

[iii] Ibid.

[iv] Ibid.

[v] Ibid.

[vi] A Short History of the Graves ( [Assessed 30th June 2020]

[vii] Mayo News 30thJune 2020

[viii] People Connected to Mayo (  [Assessed 30th June 2020]

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