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Belize City
Friday, January 28, 2022


(Or, “Three Men Named William”)

George Price Day was January 15th. A risk of having a holiday named in one’s honor is that the heroic halo could wane as other “special” days intrude for our notice. In a week’s time it’ll be Valentine’s Day, then Heroes Day (March 9th), on the heels of which is the long Easter weekend.

Much was said and written about Mr. Price then; it has all been said and written before. He was a very private man by all accounts, and commentators must be willing to forego the safety of the known path in pursuit of fresh leads. His latest biographer, for instance, could have said more about the Cadle and Burn families, considering their tight weave into Mr. Price’s lineage.1

Nothing new there either: back in 2005 Mr. Clinton Luna had to red-flag the omission in an article titled, “Who were the Cadles…?”2 His enquiry arose partly because his abuelita’s surname was “Cadle.”

The 3 William men in this note are:
1. William Cadle
2. William Douglas Burn and
3. William Cadle Price.

Of the three, the first is the least well-known. His wife was Catherine Raybon, whose father George (a brick-maker), was a refugee from the Revolutionary War that freed the American colonies of Great Britain. William is the acknowledged head of the Cadle family,3 but information about him is wispy. He held no public office; was not inclined towards the magistracy or being a venireman; did not attend the June 1st, 1797 meeting, and had no professional pursuits. Nor was he in any court issue that I know of. An upright man, accounts of whom are mostly anecdotal.4

He lived in Burrell Boom village and had a brother named Henry. Henry married my ancestral grand-aunt, Eliza Anne Tillett, and moved to Crooked Tree, where he and Eliza began a dynasty that included Cadles, McCulloughs, Griffiths, Rhaburns and others. He died in 1855.5

William’s sister Ann, became a Mrs. Griffith, remaining in her village. William and Catherine had a daughter named Lydia Cadle.

William Douglas Burn and his wife, Jane, had four children: William (The Younger), George, James and Ann.6 George married Annie Wade, the daughter of another of my ancestral grand-aunts, Elizabeth Tillett, (1787-1836).7 William and Elizabeth knew each other well, of course. Prior to his death in 1812 he was a juryman in a successful lawsuit brought by Elizabeth in 1804 for the recovery of a misappropriated city lot. William also had a brother, Samuel, but Mr. Allan Burn (Belize City) attests to William’s being the patriarch of the family.8

William’s eldest son (The Younger) became Lydia Cadle’s husband. At the 1832 census they had 3 children: Margaret, George and James. Their daughter Lydia (the Younger)9 had not yet been born. Later on she did, and grew up to become Lydia Price in 1862. Her husband was Alfred Price, “a well-known grocer,”10 and the father of William Cadle Price, the 3rd William of this epic story.

George Cadle Price was William’s son. Smith has provided a full dozier on William, so there’s no cause for embellishment here. In brief, we learned he was “…a self-educated man with deep-set eyes and a narrow handsome face and lips…”11 Unlike William Cadle and William Burn, William Price was not the founder of the family. That may have been a Samuel Price, whose name appears in the list of settlement woodcutters demanded by Spain,12 and published in 1791. Not much is known of this earlier Price. But the fact that Alfred and William Price each named a son “Samuel” suggests lineage.

There’s a picture of Mr. Price (courtesy the Image Factory), on the wall above my computer. A really fine likeness.13 My thoughts, however, hover elsewhere. Clan genetic markers are in every package left by the stork, and our national hero was no exception. The slight displacement of his eyes—a Cadle dowry? The shallow chin? His nose appears Hispanic—Escalante? The height is Cadle-gifted, I’m sure. The bold, square forehead—Burn? What of the likable, nascent pout—Price? Like I said, a candid click of the camera.

Much of Mr. Price’s story remains untold. There’s the unwritten chapter on Nathaniel Frederick “Freddie” Cadle (1925-2006), for instance. Freddie, a rangy farmer/carpenter from Crooked Tree, stood head and shoulders above most men (including Mr. Price). He had blue eyes that lit up when he smiled, and spoke with a nasal drawl.

I first heard of Lydia Cadle from him. He referred to William Cadle (supra) as his grand uncle, and to George Cadle as “my cousin.” His Biscayne farm had only a clayey, bumpy access—one frequented by Mr. Price in his well-known Land Rover.

He told me of those visits to the farm by Mr. Price, mostly to talk “family.” On one occasion George Cadle told him about the funeral of a family patriarch he attended while on a visit to England!

Freddie and George chummed around some. I suspect that there are other “Freddies” with stories of their own: we actually could be spared some of the aridity of the oft-heard ballad—if we could just find them. It would delight the Father of the Nation (R.I.P.), too.

By the way, the original spelling of Cadle was “Caddle.”14

And, if it’s not too early, a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Hart Tillett

[PS: In the notes, W/A=Will Abstracts; B/A=Belize Archives.]

1 Godfrey Smith: George Price
—A Life Revealed (2011).
2 Clinton Luna: “Who were the Cadle and the Price?” [Amandala, 6/26/2005].
3 Interviews [Nathaniel Cadle, 1/17/1999.]
4 Cadle, op cit.; Interviews [Alice “Meg” Craig, 4/26/2000]
5 Henry Cadle, [W/A, 1/14/1855]; B/A.
6 Census of 1832 (B/A).
7 Elizabeth Tillett, W/A (3/01/1836); B/A.
8 Interviews [Allan Burn, 11/28/1998].
9 A common practice at the time.
10 Smith, op cit. p.9
11 Smith, op cit. p.8
12 Belize Historical Society Newsletter, June 1995.
13 NE Magazine, Sept., 2011; Print Belize Ltd.
14 Craig, op cit.

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