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

pre 1820 Settler Correspondence before emigration

ALL the 1819 correspondence from CO48/41 through CO48/46 has been transcribed whether or not the writers emigrated to the Cape. Those written by people who did become settlers, as listed in "The Settler Handbook" by M.D. Nash (Chameleon Press 1987), are labelled 1820 Settler and the names of actual settlers in the text appear in red.

ADDEY, John, 1820 Settler

National Archives, Kew CO48/41, 76/77

65 Upper Berkeley Street

Portman Square

August 24th 1819

My Lord,

Insurmountable obstacles operating to prevent my advancement beyond the degree of an assistant in the medical profession to which I have devoted the morning of my life, a rank for which age will render me unfit, and the emoluments arising therefrom barely suffering the support of a respectable appearance, allow of no provision for futurity, I can only look forward to an old age of penury & pain unless before all my best days have passed in vain I am removed to some more open field for enterprise than England at present affords me, and where I may have success and by the industrious exertion of a healthy body and not inactive mind I may enjoy my present years and provide for those in which the power of exertion may no longer be mine. With this in view in my 28th year I beg leave to offer myself as a candidate for a share in the advantageous offer by His Majesty's Ministry to those who are willing to emigrate to the Cape, either as a colonist or a servant of the state. Being destitute of friends possessed of the power to assist me I am left to my own resources, which will allow of my advancing the £10 should it be required. I must further solicit as early a determination as to my eligibility as may be possibly convenient that I may have time to intimate my intention of leaving the gentleman whose assistant I have been during the last eight years and make any other necessary preparations.

But in case an individual application should be inadmissible would the following friends be sufficient as a party – or could they be joined by you to others.

Mr. C.H. aged about 30, medical assistant I hear in actual practice of physic more than 10 years

His mother and her daughter

J.A. medical assistant and wife

A.C. upholsterer, aged about 22 & wife

C.H. cabinet maker, 21

J.H. saddler and harnessmaker, 24

in all five males and four females for the latter of whom if the circular is rightly understood no deposit is required.

An early note informing me how far I shall or any part of the beforementioned persons will be acceptable as colonists in the Cape will greatly oblige, My Lord

Your Lordship's most obedient humble servant





National Archives, Kew CO48/41, 116

65 Upper Berkeley Street

Portman Square

Sept 22nd 1819


Being very desirous of proceeding to the Cape, from the circumstances I had the honour of detailing in my communication of the 24th ult I embraced the only immediate means which presented by replying to an advertisement which appeared in the Times newspaper of the 3rd instant inviting applications “to Mr. J at the Library opposite the Queen's Riding House, Buckingham Gate”.

In answer to my note Mr. WILLSON of Bridge Cottage, Chelsea Waterworks requested an interview at which he surprised me with the information that Government required an additional deposit of £5 to be returned on stores, besides the £10 as specified in the circular. To this, as he assumed an air of connection with Government which defied doubt, I could not object. My confidence in his power was further established by his decidedly assuring me, when I offered a Friend, his mother and two sisters (each of the latter being above 18) that they would “pass as one family” and require but one deposit of £15, the same as for an individual. He further gave me to understand that the deposits were required by Government in three instalments of £5 each, to be paid five days after our names are accepted, the 2nd in the first week of October and the 3rd in the [obscured] week of the same month. To these terms myself and friend at first agreed. But having since been informed that other persons who are forming parties, and have made the necessary enquiries at your office, differ in their statements from Mr.W on all the above points, am doubtful of the propriety of placing dependence on his honour, especially as I have no acquaintance with him but through an advertisement, and observe that he withheld his Christian name from his notes, which I therefore have no means of obtaining only by putting the direct question which politeness will hardly admit.

I have been thus minute that if necessary the problem may be placed on their [obscured] and wishing before it is too late to connect myself with a few on whom I may depend, should Mr.W's responsibility prove fallacious; I have to solicit that the enclosed paper may be returned me with such answers affixed to each question as it may be in your present power to give, whereby you will confer an important obligation on Sir

Your obed't sev't





National Archives, Kew CO48/41, 127

65 Upper Berkeley Street

Portman Square

September 30th 1819


Your very obliging attention to the queries submitted in my last has enabled me to determine the very great incorrectness of Mr. WILLSON's statements and pretensions; I have therefore to request that my name may be erased from his list of persons proposed by Mr. James ELLIOTT of Cloth Fair, whose sanction to this measure I have obtained, as will be communicated to you by him.

I am Sir

Your obliged and obedient servant


November 13th 1819


Having engaged to accompany Mr. PARKER to the new colony at the Cape of Good Hope as apothecary &c to his party of settlers I beg leave to enquire:

Will medicines be provided by Government for the use of the settlers during the voyage?

Will the medical men in attendance be remunerated by Government for their advices during the voyage?

Should application be made for appointment to such duties or will the medical attendants in the party be received and acknowledged by Government?

Information on the above particulars as it will materially influence preparations about to be made will greatly oblige Sir

Your obedient humble sevt





[The following letter from John ADDEY to William PARKER isfiled under P CO48/45]

National Archives, Kew CO48/45, 350

Saturday morning

Oct 30th 1819


            I intended calling on you in the course of today. I certainly intend accompanying you to the Cape as before agreed between us and enclose the corrected copy of the articles between us which if you approve we can ratify on Monday evening in the presence of any party who are accompanying us. I shall wish to take my sister with me and my servants names are subjoined – but cannot make the deposits untill Monday evg or I would do so today. I remain Sir

Your obed't serv't


Names &c for your list

John ADDEY 28 Apothecary & Accoucheur

Elizabeth ADDEY 21 Sister of the above

John WORLGROVE 35 Servant to the above

The above has resided at the Cape 3 years

[Transcriber's note: Elizabeth ADDEY does not appear in The Settler Handbook but is listed as John ADDEY's wife in Hockly's ‘Story of the British Settlers of 1820']

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