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The 1820 Settler Correspondence
 as preserved in the National Archives, Kew
 and edited by Sue Mackay

Correspondence 1821 to 1837.

Here only letters by known settlers or their families, or letters of great relevance to the 1820 settlers, have been transcribed, whereas ALL the 1819 correspondence was transcribed (see CO48/41 through CO48/46) whether or not the writers emigrated to the Cape.

Unless otherwise stated letters were written to either the Secretary of State for the Colonies or his deputy.The original correspondence is filed in order of receipt. Here it has been placed in alphabetical order according to the surname of the writer, with letters by the same writer in chronological order, for ease of reading. Original spelling has been maintained. Reference numbers, where given, refer to printed page numbers stamped on the letters and will enable visitors to the National Archives to locate the letter more easily.

CRAUSE, Mary Ann re her brother John CRAUSE, 1837

National Archves, Kew, London CO48/186, 94


Wainscott near Rochester, Kent
March 1st 1837

My Lord,

   I take the liberty of sending the enclosed statement at the request of my brother Lieut. John CRAUSE of the Cape of Good Hope who has been a most severe sufferer in the Kafir War, having with the whole of my family been deprived of everything they possessed and unless some assistance is rendered them they will be utterly ruined. I do therefore most earnestly solicit your Lordship's kind patronage to present this statement to the House of Parliament praying that they will be pleased to take his claims into consideration and grant him compensation for his expected losses. My family have had the honor of serving as Officers with unblemished reputations under the last four reigning Monarchs. My sister's son who is a very meritorious young Officer was inhumanely murdered with his party in the last Kafir irruption. I trust that these circumstances will induce your Lordship to take our unfortunate claims into your humane consideration for which I shall ever feel most grateful.
I remain your Lordship's most obedient servant


[enclosed with above letter ~ some words obscured by the binding]


[Statement] of Lieut. John CRAUSE who came to the Cape of Good Hope in the year 1820 as a Settler:-
[I came] to this Colony in 1820 and was located on the banks of the Spanish Reed River where I built a house and outbuildings and [...] with a bank and ditch, and cultivated a garden and two fields. In [response] to the invitation of the Act'g Governor Sir R.S. DONKIN I joined a [party] for the purpose of forming a town and settlement at the [Bika? ...] eastward of the Great Fish River. Each settler was to have two [...] building lots in the town called Fredericksburgh. 40 acres [....] and two thousand morgens of land as a grazing farm. It was stipulated that a military post consisting of an Officer and 30 men would be established there for protection. On the return of Lord C. SOMERSET as Governor in 1822 the military post was withdrawn, most of the [....] officers on half pay were recalled into the Service, and the few that were left, not considering it safe to remain thus unprotected and absolutely at the mercy of the Kafirs, abandoned the town, which was shortly afterwards burnt, supposedly by the Kafirs. I built two houses there, one on each erf, [returned] to my location on the Spanish Reed River, and in March 1823 Kafirs stole the whole of my herd of cattle, consisting of superior cows and oxen. By this loss my wagon which had been profitably employed conveying goods from Port Elizabeth to the Frontier, was thrown out of work, my land lay uncultivated and my dairy yielded nothing. I received a written promise from the Colonial Government that I should be [remunerated] whenever cattle might be taken from or given up by the Kafirs- the only cattle I ever received as compensation from the time of this in 1823 until after the loss of another valuable herd in 1834 amounted to four head. Although from the time I took up a new residence at [Karrega] in 1826 until the end of 1834 robberies were repeatedly committed,[...] my herd and many of my cattle were successfully driven off by the Kafirs and many [attempts] to drive off others prevented by the vigilance of my herdsmen. I was able to recommence farming until 1826, when I began again on a piece of land about the junction of the [Assegaay Bush] and Karrega River. Which grant I obtained by giving up my rights and improvements at the Spanish Reed River, for the benefit of the party that came out from England with me, and who were too crowded to have a sufficiency of grass for their cattle. This exchange I made at the request of Lord C. SOMERSET, communicated to me by Sir R. HASKET. On this farm I built a large stone dwelling house and suitable outbuildings and made other extensive improvements at a considerable outlay of capital (at least Rd 8000). I also stocked it with upwards of 400 head of cattle and a fine flock of Merino sheep. In December 1834 at the beginning of the Kafir irruption hundreds of armed Kafirs rushed down on my farm, set fire to all the buildings and carried off or destroyed in cattle and property to the amount of 17,000 Rd, as the account of my loss transmitted through His Excellency the Governor to His Majesty's Secretary will show. From want of funds I have not been able to return to my farm, and as it was mortgaged to the Lombard Bank for Rd 2,500 with two years interest at 6 per cent due thereon, I sold it to pay those demands and to release my securities from their responsibility. My former losses placed me under the necessity of getting this loan. Owing to the destruction of all the buildings on the farm and the depression in value of property at the time it only realised Rd 3,500, at a credit of two years. On my loss of cattle in 1834 I received 15 per cent from those captured from the Kafirs in 1835, but these I sold at a further loss to provide the means to purchase household furniture, every article of the kind belonging to me having been destroyed at the farm, and I had been compelled for nearly a year to occupy furnished lodgings.
Thus has the whole of my property and the labour of 15 years of industry been mercilessly swept away by causes too heartrending to dwell upon.
Graham's Town [date obscured]


[Written across the corner of the envelope]

Acquaint the Governor that such a letter has been received & direct him to express to the writers Lord G regrets he can hold out no prospect of an application being made to Parliament to indemnify him for the losses which he has sustained by the late invasion of the Kaffirs. JS


Draft Letter to Sir B D'URBAN


18th March 1837

  A letter has been addressed to me by a Lady named CRAUSE who is resident in this Country, enclosing a statement which purports to have been drawn up and signed by her brother, Lieut. John CRAUSE at Graham's Town, on the 4th November, wherein he prays to receive compensation for losses sustained by him during the late Kafir War, and I have to request that you will intimate to Lieut. CRAUSE that his statement has been received at this Department and at the same time express to him my regret that I can hold out no prospect of complying with the wish expressed by his sister that an application should be made to Parliament to indemnify him for these losses.


National Archives, Kew, London CO48/186, 117


Wainscott near Rochester, Kent

June 14th 1837

My Lord,
         I took the liberty some time since of sending Lieut. CRAUSE's memorial requesting the favor of you to present it to the House of Parliament but after waiting in anxious suspence and not receiving any answer I am again necessitated to trespass on your kindness to learn the [obscured] of the application and should feel truly [obscured] if you would favor me with an answer.
I remain
Yours most respectfully

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