John Ross

John Ross

Charles Rawden Maclean, popularly known as John Ross, was born in Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire in Scotland in 1815. He was the sixth child of naval Lieutenant Francis MacLean and Charlotte Walker. He later went on to serve as a ship's apprentice and was only ten years old when his ship, the Mary, was wrecked off the Zululand coast in 1825. He survived the wreck and settled at Port Natal, which would later become known as Durban. He became one of the first white people to meet and befriend the great Zulu king Shaka, partly due to his distinctive red hair.

He achieved hero status when in 1827, the settlers at Port Natal were struck with sickness and suffered a shortage of supplies and medicines to survive. John Ross volunteered to trek to the Portuguese settlement at Delgoa Bay, now known as Maputo, in order to obtain the essential medicines and supplies for the colonists. Escorted by thirty Zulu warriors granted to him by King Shaka and led by the historic figure Langalibalele, the 15 year old boy set out on a 960 km journey travelling on foot through inhospitable territory and swollen rivers.

Ross accomplished the trip in three weeks covering a distance of over 30 miles a day. Upon his arrival in Portuguese East Africa (Mozambique) the Portuguese believed Ross to be a spy for Shaka because they were convinced that no Christian would send a boy on such a journey. It is said that without John Ross' help, the small settler community at Port Natal would have surely all died. Later in 1836, early settler Nathaniel Isaacs described the adventure in a series of tales of his experiences at the settlement. It is said the when Isaacs could not remember the boy's real name, he replaced it with the name John Ross. John died at sea in 1880 when the ship under his command, the SS Varne, hit rocks when heading to Southampton.

A statue was erected in honour of sailor John Ross, and stands on Durban's Margaret Mncadi Avenue, previously known as Victoria Embankment. A tablet at the Old Fort in Durban was also erected in his memory, and reads:

This tablet commemorates John Ross (Lieut J.S. King's apprentice) a lad of 15 years of age, who in 1827, braving the perils of an unexplored land inhabited by unknown people and abounding in wild animals, walked to Delagoa Bay and back (a distance of 600 miles) in order to obtain sorely needed medicines and other necessaries for the handful of pioneers at the Bay of Natal.

Accommodation Near John Ross

Sleeps: 18 in 8 units/rooms

Riviera Hotel

Hotel / Boutique Hotel Accommodation in Durban Beachfront

0.7km West of John Ross

The Riviera Hotel is a modern attractively decorated low budget tourist hotel offering excellent value and friendly efficient service.

Sleeps: 15 in 3 units/rooms

Penney Private Holiday Flats

Self Catering Apartment, Flatlet Accommodation in Durban Beachfront

1.1km North East of John Ross

Penney Holiday Flats, budget accommodation, only 1 minute's walk to Durban's main beach area, making it ideal accommodation for holiday makers looking for sun, sea and sand.

Sleeps: 8

61 Marlborough Holiday Accommodation

Self Catering Apartment, Flatlet Accommodation in Durban Beachfront

1.2km North East of John Ross

3 bedrooms 2 bathrooms 6 sleeper Kitchen lounge Dining Room and Huge Balcony sea facing self catering penthouse apartment on marine parade Durban

Sleeps: 8

Ocean View Apartment

Self Catering Apartment, Flatlet Accommodation in Durban Beachfront

1.2km North East of John Ross

This open plan beach apartment is newly renovated. Located on the second floor of a front row small complex, it offers the perfect beach spot for couples, solo adventurers, and business travelers. Although ideal for just 2 guests, it can accommodate up to

Sleeps: 352 in 88 units/rooms

Gooderson Beach Hotel Self Catering

Self Catering Apartment, Flatlet Accommodation in Durban Beachfront

1.2km North East of John Ross

Refresh at the Beach Hotel, right on the ocean's doorstep.  Enjoy awe inspiring beach and sea views and spectacular sunsets from the comfort of your spacious hotel room or self catering apartment.

Sleeps: 468 in 134 units/rooms

Gooderson Tropicana Hotel

Hotel / Boutique Hotel Accommodation in Durban Beachfront

1.2km North East of John Ross

Tropicana's versatile accommodation options cater for all. Enjoy a fun-filled family break, travel with a loved one or simply enjoy a private escape in one of our single rooms.

Graded:
Sleeps: 240 in 60 units/rooms

Gooderson Beach Hotel

Hotel / Boutique Hotel Accommodation in Durban Beachfront

1.2km North East of John Ross

Refresh at the Beach Hotel, right on the ocean's doorstep. Enjoy awe inspiring beach and sea views and spectacular sunsets from the comfort of your spacious hotel room or self catering apartment.

Sleeps: 79 in 17 units/rooms

Valley View Holiday Apartments

Self Catering Apartment, Flatlet Accommodation in Durban Beachfront

1.3km East of John Ross

Whether you are planning a holiday or traveling on business you will enjoy the relaxed and clean atmosphere of Valley View Apartments in Durban. The apartments are located one block up from popular Addington Beach. This relaxed self catering ...

Penthouse North Beach

Self Catering Apartment, Flatlet Accommodation in Durban Beachfront

1.4km North of John Ross

The Penthouse is situated in the heart of Durbans Golden Mile, and literally opposite Durbans North Beach. The Penthouse is on the fourth Floor and has an exclusive access to the rooftop. It is private and secluded with some wonderful ocean views of the

Sleeps: 4

Durban Beachfront Windermere Penthouse Flat

Self Catering Apartment, Flatlet Accommodation in Durban Beachfront

1.4km North of John Ross

Durban Beachfront (N Beach) 4person Penthouse Self Catering Holiday Flat on Marine Parade. Full views of beachfront and north side of city.