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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.

PRINGLE, Thomas, 1820

National Archives, Kew, CO48/53, 149

London, 43 Princes' Street, Soho

January 8, 1820


I beg leave to inform you that the party of settlers proceeding under my direction to the Cape of Good Hope have now all arrived in London, and that I have notified their arrival to Captain YOUNG of the Transport Office, who has promised to have them embarked in a few days.

Previous to their departure from Scotland, however, some alterations had taken place in the names and numbers of the party, of which it is necessary to report to you. When nearly ready to sail from Leith, the servants, both those engaged by my father & our friend Mr. SYDSERFF, who had been all engaged on written agreement for four years, refused to embark unless certain extravagant demands were conceded to them, quite inconsistent with the terms they had engaged upon, & inconsistent with our future circumstances. Rather than submit to their conspiracy or incur the trouble of seeking legal redress, my friends discharged the whole of them and engaged other men in their stead. But not being able to find a smith and joiner on such short notice, my eldest brother had also remained behind in Scotland, with a view of joining us next year with some accessions of money and implements. In consequence of these changes the Party now consists of 21 individuals, in place of the 27 formerly stated in the official lists, viz. besides myself, 10 men, 6 women and 4 children, Alexander NOBLE's wife and four children being, of course, left with him. This man NOBLE was the instigator of the conspiracy for rise in wages &c.

With a view to fill the vacancy that now remains for one man, I have advertised yesterday, but we do not consider it of any importance, unless required by the Colonial Office. I enclose a list of the individuals withdrawn and of those added in their place, and hope that you will be pleased to allow of this alteration, especially as we now losing rather more capital and fewer persons.

Mr. BARROW of the Admiralty has informed me that you have been so good as promise me a letter of recommendation to the Governor. For this most important favour I beg to present my most grateful and respectful acknowledgements.

As a slight testimony of my sense of the obliging attentions you have bestowed on my concerns, I beg leave to request your acceptance of the little volume with (sic) accompanies this letter, & I remain with the highest respect Sir,

Your obliged & Obdt. Servt,


Names of the persons withdrawn from Thos. PRINGLE's Party of Settlers proceeding to the Cape of Good Hope.

William PRINGLE, agriculturist }

Alex. NOBLE, joiner }

Walter TURNBULL, Blacksmith } = 5 men

Andrew SCOTT, ploughman }

William RITCHIE, Ploughman }

Isabel SLORACH, wife of Alex. NOBLE = 1 woman.

Margaret NOBLE }

Mary NOBLE } children of Alex. NOBLE = 4 children

Isabel NOBLE }

Christian NOBLE }

Total 10 persons

Names of the persons engaged into the party in place of those withdrawn :-

Thomas DAVIDSON, agriculturist, aged 22 }

James ECKORN (sic), ploughman, aged 20 } = 4 men

Alexander MORTIMER, ploughman, aged 23 }

James SOUNESS, ploughman, aged 19 }

Of the four men last mentioned the two former are natives of Roxburghshire, the two latter servants of Mr. SYDSERFF are from East Lothian.

[Note from GOULBURN]

Alter his list accordingly – thank him for his book and say I will send him the instruction to Ld.Charles in a few days

10 Jan




National Archives, Kew, CO48/53, 152

London, 153 Princess Street, Soho

January 13, 1820


I had the honour to receive your note of 10th instant the day before yesterday, and would have more promptly obeyed your directions in returning the letter to the Governor had I not experienced some difficulty in getting it out of a trunk which my friends had left at the Wharf on their arrival. I now inclose it along with the full and final list of my party, which are now perfectly completed by the accession of Wm. ELLIOT and E. RIDGARD a saddler with his wife and two children. As the latter of these persons, besides possessing a trade which may be very useful to the party and neighbourhood, is possessed of considerable capital, I hope his joining in with his relation Wm. ELLIOT who is bred a farmer, will meet with your approbation.

As the list of alterations sent in a few days ago will be superseded if this is accepted of I have to prevent all mistakes inclosed first a list of the whole names withdrawn and those received in their room, and secondly a complete return of the whole names &c of the party as they will stand upon these alterations being made.

I have the honour to be with the highest respect Sir

Your much obliged and obdt. servt.


Names withdrawn from Tho. PRINGLE's party of settlers.

William PRINGLE, agriculturist

Alex. NOBLE, joiner

Walter TURNBULL, blacksmith,

Andrew SCOTT, ploughman

Wm. RITCHIE, ploughman = 5 men


Isabel SLORACH, wife of Alex. NOBLE = 2 women

Margaret, Mary, Isabel & Christian NOBLE = 4 children

Total 11 persons

Names of persons taken into the party in the room of those withdrawn :-

Alex. MORTIMER, ploughman, aged 23

James SOUNESS, ploughman, aged 19

James ECKORN [sic], ploughman, aged 20

William ELLIOT, agriculturist, aged 27

Ezra RIDGARD, saddler, aged 29. = 5 men

Elizabeth RIDGARD, wife of E. RIDGARD, aged 24 = 1 woman


Marianne RIDGARD, children of E. RIDGARD, aged 2 and 1 year = 2 children

Total 8 persons

Enclosure in letter of 13th Janry 1820

Return of Settlers proceeding to the Cape of Good Hope under the direction of Thomas PRINGLE.


Total No.of men (besides TP) 12

Total No.of women 6

Total No.of children under 14 years of age 6

Total No.of the whole party 24


Table showing Names of Men, Ages, Trade, Women, Ages, Male children, Ages, Female Children, Ages. [The amount of deposit money has been inserted in the last column; the figure is inserted below in square brackets]

Robert PRINGLE, 61, Agriculturist, Mrs. R. PRINGLE, 45, R. D. PRINGLE, 10, C.H.PRINGLE, 7, Beatrice PRINGLE, 3½ [10]

John PRINGLE ,29, Agriculturist. [10[

Charles SYDSERFF, 22, Agriculturist. [10]

George RENNIE, 23, Agriculturist, Mrs RENNIE (his mother), 44, C RENNIE, 11.[20]

John RENNIE, 22, Agriculturist, Eliz. RENNIE (his sister), 15 [20]

Peter RENNIE, 20, Agriculturist. [10]

Alex. MORTIMER, 23, Ploughman. [10]

James SOUNESS, 19 Ploughman. [10]

James ECKORN [sic] 20, Ploughman. [10]

Wm. ELLIOT, 27, Agriculturist. [10]

Ezra RIDGARD, 29, Saddler, Eliz. RIDGARD (his wife), 24, And. RIDGARD, 2, Marianne RIDGARD, 1. [20]

Th. PRINGLE, 30, Mrs. Tho. PRINGLE, 32, .Janet BROWN, 35 [20]





National Archives, Kew, CO48/53, 177

Deptford, On board the Brilliant Transport

February 1 1820


I beg to mention that I embarked here yesterday with my party, and we are appointed to sail on Thursday first. May I therefore take the liberty to solicit the obliging letter of introduction to Lord Charles SOMERSET which you were so kind as promised me – if it is not already inclosed in the personal letter which you so politely returned to me with the alterations in my party stated in it.

I take the opportunity to mention also, that my friends in leaving Scotland have forgotten to bring with them the official letter from the Colonial Office accepting my application and authorising me to take out twelve settlers &c. I do not know if this paper be of any essential importance - but as it may be useful in settling my friends in their respective allotments, I should wish to be favoured with a duplicate of it – if it be not troublesome to you. Begging your excuse for all the trouble which I have given you, of which the present I trust will be the last occasion, I have the honour to remain with sincere feelings of respect & gratitude, Sir,

Your much obliged & obdt. Sevt.



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