The 1820 Settler Correspondence
The Correspondence in connection with the 1820 Cape Settler Scheme is preserved at the UK National Archives at Kew and contained in class CO48. Each file is in fact a large leather bound volume into which the correspondence has been inserted (this is the cause of so many [obscured] words as they disappear into the binding, and of course one is not allowed to undo them). The letters were bound in the 19th century, and were filed in order of receipt so that, for example, the many letters of Miles Bowker are spread evenly throughout the B file. Letters were either addressed to Lord BATHURST, Secretary of State for the Colonies (starting My Lord) or to his deputy, Henry GOULBURN, (starting Sir).
On this web site, for ease of reading, letters of each writer have been collected together on one page. The numbers like 543-546 are stamped on page numbers that have been added to the file, and these should be used for locating the actual correspondence. Where such numbers exist they are prefixed to each letter in the form: National Archives, Kew CO48/41, 340. Where a page number is not given (sometimes there wasn't one and sometimes it got cut off the image) then the date should give a clue to its location in the file.
Users of this site have the option of browsing the names of the letter writers (from the alphabet links on the left) and following any links to post 1820 letters or additional information on that settler, or of searching all names mentioned in the correspondence by using the Search Box in the top right hand corner.
These several thousand letters were transcribed by volunteers from the ZA-IB and ZA-EC Rootsweb mailing lists from digital photographs taken by Sue Mackay, Rowena Wattrus and Tessa King at the UK National Archives, Kew. Original spelling has been maintained. To all of these our grateful thanks are due for this invaluable archive.
In 2016 some transcriptions were added of letters lodged in the Cape Archives CO6138 Volumes 1 and 2. These are clearly labelled as such.
A Polish academic website has published some 1820 settler correspondence which includes transcriptions of letters housed in the Cape Archives dated 1820-1825. The website can be found here.
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