BOWKER, Miles, 1820 Settler
National Archives, Kew CO48/41, 197
Manor House, So.Newton, Wilton
July 18 1819
Finding by a paper handed to me yesterday by the Revd. Wm. BOSCAWEN that it is the intention of His Majesty's Government to countenance emigration to the Cape & being for some time past determined with my family to take that step, I have to beg you will do me the favour to inform what encouragement can be given to a large family qualified by every practical opperation to promote the improvement of land and the welfare of such an establishment & the time when the first opportunity will be given to proceed to the Colony.
By constant application & industry in large concerns I have twice in my life been worth fourteen thousand pounds or upwards and twice by necessary political arrangements had that sum nearly annihilated, presently upon a large farm here where I can make a living, but cannot provide for a family of eight sons & one daughter without reducing them to the lowest ranks in Society, which ill accords with the previous knowledge of being desended from the first. We are unanimous in this resolution & though it is not our intention immediately to leave this situation yet we intend so to divide the family that whilst the one part is here drawing the business to such a conclusion as will enable us to settle our concerns properly in this country, the other part are ready to proceed in taking such steps as are found fittest to make an attempt to provide for the whole in a distant settlement.
As we consider ourselves so far respected by every class of our neibors as to be able to take out with us any number of able husbandmen that we could think would be well employed & with which our parish is at this time sadly over burthend, and as it is my wish to keep a considerable Merino flock which I have been long accustomd to which busness particularly the aporting and scouring the wool I have brought to a great perfection in the Spanish manner, I hope that a grant of one thousand acres will not be considerd too much for such an undertaking, as this is even considerably less than I have been accustomd to occupy for many years.
Originally largely concernd in wholesale merchantile and manufacturing ingagements & well accustomed to general busness first in Northumberland, I would be proud to lend my assistance in any way to promote the general views of His Majesty's Ministers in this concern & if needed I could promptly satisfy them of my ability & fitness for such employment. I have the honour to be Honourable Sir
Your obedient and very hble servant
National Archives, Kew CO48/41, 235/236
London, July 24 1819
Bell & Crown, Holborn
Having yesterday the honour of receiving your letter at So.Newton I have lost no time in waiting upon your Lord, requesting informations on the following queries; I am exceeding sorry to be thus troublesome, but well aware that many great undertakings of this sort have come to an unhappy issue for want of such circumspection, I trust the occasion will excuse the enquirys & I will wait upon you, or attend now to be informed to how the informations can be best procured & I have the honour to be Honourable Sir
Your most obedient hbl svt
- If a vessel could not go from Bristol in Oct or November to suit the West of England settlers
- What stowage room would be allowed each family or leading settler for bedding, furniture and husbandry utensils
- If any medicines will be provided for the passengers on the voyage
- If any means can be given of confining the people taken out as labourers for which time as will repay by their labour the expence occurred by the head settler & what is recommended as the best way of doing this part of the business
- What the distance of the intended settlement from the Cape, if near the coast, if near a port, or navigable water & the name
- The nature of the ground & whether fittest for the vine, tillage, sheep, other purpose
- Whether Indian wheat, potatoes & other esculents may be planted or sown with good prospect & when the properest time
- Some wheat from the Cape is most excellent – what culture does it generally require & when the best time of sowing wheat, barley beans &c & if it is recommended to take out any of these kinds of seeds
- What kinds of cattle or horses are to be had & which is esteemed fittest for the cultivation of the country & the general value of such stock
- What kind of sheep are used as fittest, if part of the country is not calculated for large sheep, & other parts hilly & fitt for highland or merinos & if merinos are to be had & considered fittest & the price - & if this kind of wool was well managed in the Saxon or Spanish way it would answer a good purpose for a Horn Market & if stout armed or piked hurdles would not be a needfull protection & easy means of securing sheep & other cattle there, as well as manuring the ground for tillage
- If pigs thrive well & the value
- If the land is generally close wooded, of what general quality if various, if road or communication is satisfactory – if immediate attention will be given on the vessels arriving to put the parties in possession of their portions, if they will be granted by lott or according to the different pursuits of the parties, if encouragement & assistance will be given for prosecuting the cultivation of the olive, vine, mulberry, fig, coffee, tobacco, rhewbarb or any other particular article
- If the planters will be protected in their situations by Government & if they will be allowd firearms and ammunitions &to be embodyed for their own protection & if they will be allowed to hunt & shoot to a sufficient distance to provide occasional food
- If tents will be necessary untill needfull houses can be built & if any old tents or others can be had from Government untill that period
- If head and petty constables will be appointed amongst the settlers to check the turbulent by handing them over to the proper Magistrate & in the case of one hundred familys going out & agreeing about a clergyman what would be Government allowance to sponsor approved
- May it be recommended that a threshing machine of moderate power be sent out with each certain portion of cultivators under proper regulations as the means of getting over one of the most difficult opperations that settlers will find themselves contending with
237 Printed Memorandum accompanying correspondence
Wimborne Dorset January 19th 1816.
The undersigned as well for themselves as for a great majority of their farming Brethren in this district, solicitous to prevent the concurrences of opinion by public meetings, whilst they are conscious that Agriculture and Trade cannot have separate interests, thus humbly petition your powerful interest and attention in the expected meeting of Parliament, to our most melancholy situation, presented in the following statements.
We humbly make free to premise that within these few years, we have taken our farms at the high valuations that the currant prices at that time countenanced, and which then meeting extraordinary expenses and casualties, left the farmer only a fair remuneration. Should it then be observed that if during a period of twenty or thirty years, in which with industry pursuing their calling, the farming interest have improved their capitals, and placed the Agriculture of this Country in an enviable state, that at the close of this period wherein they had been at least instrumental in bringing most interesting events to an happy issue, that they should then in two or three seasons be compelled to give up the whole and in many instances not only that whole, but also the accumulations of their forefathers, and farmers and agriculture be again reduced to the meanest depression.
Has it not been proved by the closest and most correct examinations that with present rents, presents tythe rent, poor taxes, &c. that in average years, wheat cannot grow under 80s. per quarter, nor barley under 40s. to which we are still ready to give additional proofs; we therefore humbly state that the late and present average prices of grain, particularly in this quarter has reduced the farmer's capital and particularly the arable Farmer's, from 20 to 40 per cent per annum, for these three last seasons, and thus in so short a time consumed the savings of a generation as is corroborated by the multitude of failures that have already taken place, the misery endured by such as still hold out, and the general distress of the whole, and we briefly add that it is our belief that most arable farmers must continue to lose at the rate of at least £2 per acre per annum until a remedy is found for this distressing state of agriculture.
This sad state of farming has obliged the farmer to reduce his labourers, and their wages, until nearly all are compelled to seek parish relief, and unable to procure but the meanest and most pressing necessaries, whilst the farmer himself is existing under the melancholy reflection that he is necessarily compelled by engagements, to labour to continual loss and to live without hope, until his property is consumed, and his family brought to beggary.
If these melancholy circumstances have been brought on by overwhelming importations of all sorts, by a reduction of bank issues cramping every undertaking and compelling premature tales during reduced consumption; by checking every improvement and reducing labourers and labourers' wages, and consequently reducing all kinds of consumption and injuring trade; if many landlords still persevere in exacting rents that cannot be made, and Government persists in requiring from the farming interest property and other taxes from funds and means that have ceased to exist; is the present state of things otherwise than what might be expected, or what due perception should have anticipated and might have presented, and should not every interested party without delay endeavour by every possible means to prevent these ??? ere their effort be uncontrollably destructive ; one we may add that in our district that is the last three seasons, one third of the then existing farmers are sold off or compelled to give up that at this time one third more at least are in the most uncomfortable situation, and the remainder sadly depressed.
We fear that from the greatness of our distress, the landlord cannot so reduce his rent without reducing his consumption, as to check the operations of government, to give us the required relief.
That government cannot find at this time such an extent of substitutes as by taking off all taxes that oppress agriculture, would give the help required, without risking a deficiency of revenue, nor is it perhaps fit that produce should be so increased in value as to give relief without injuring every description of manufacture and trade, but with the different opposition that most afflict us, we make free humbly to say, that the cultivation of barley, turnips and cloves is of all others most conducive to the improvement of agriculture, the increase of corn and cattle and employment to the country and trade, that it is the mother of meat and drink, and consequently every thing that checks this culture is most injurious to these kingdoms.
1st. We therefore trust that the taking the duty off malt, would at once restore the culture to its full vigour, give a new spur to farming, enable the poor and middling class to enjoy comfortable and wholesome beverage, and greatly increase ease and cheerfulness once more through Society.
2nd. That the farmer's income tax be put on the footing of other tradesmen.
3rd. That a duty be put on foreign wool, skins, hides, beef, butter, cheese, bacon, &c. &c. and that a commensurate bounty or debenture be allowed on the exportation of fine woollens and manufactured leather.
4th. That a liberal system of bank discounting be encouraged.
5th. That a reduction of rents, and tythes be countenanced as far as is consistent with the proportionate fall of country productions.----And
6th. That as soon as possible a reasonable increase of labourers' wages be given or trade and farming cannot improve.
We at this time refrain from commenting on these subjects convinced that their notoriety must be satisfactory; but make free humbly to add, that as these aids must necessarily be slow in their operations, and as the distress of many is exceeding pressing, we hope that administration will, as they have always previously done to other trades so circumstanced; order under the care of commissioners for the purpose, such a sum to be disposed (perhaps through the medium of the country bankers) at interest, and with reasonable security, as may give immediate aid; and for all this your petitioners will ever pray &c.
In these representation we hope we are friends to landlord and tenant and conducting ourselves real patriots, for if this business proceeds but a little further, where will the cure be found?
J.R. BRAMBLE, Parley
W. MACKRELL, Sturminster
R.G. WITHERS, Handly
W. NEAVE, Knighton
C. GOULD, Kingston
W. HAYES, Almer
T. HOOPER, Canford
M. BOWKER, Charborough
J. BREWER, Witchampton
W.D. BUDDEN, Shapwick
C. SHAW, Merly
National Archives, Kew CO48/41, 261/262
So.Newton, Wilton, July 28 1819
Deeply impressed with the anxiety of a parent, I beg pardon for again addressing you on the subject of emmigration, making free to refer to two previous letters.
It will require a considerable time for several familys so to settle their affairs as to be ready to depart together & untill the busness is properly explained I cannot make known my intention to such as I think likely to undertake the expedition & consequently am anxious for early information.
Few people I believe that have had the respect shown them through a considerable part of life, that I have had, will be likely to become partys here & if I may be honord with any care for the welfare of such as may proceed with or near me it seems right as communications by letter is preferred to interview that you should be informed of my reasons for hoping for such a consideration.
The inclosed letter which I had the honour of addressing & writing to yourself & every Member of the Senate which I prevailed on the East side of the County of Dorset then in great distress to send rather than petition by Publick Meeting & the voluntarily granting so great a part of the prayer therin erased by the Minister & which certainly saved a great part in that & many other quarters from distruction, will sufficiently I hope explain my political sentiments.
A letter which I lately wrote in answer to a printed circular published by a very worthy magistrate in this neiborhood recommending grants of land to the labouring villager, shewing how it would increase rather than diminish present distress & stating the only present easy relief that can be afforded would give a good idea of my notions of District and parish economy & which I believe hath satisfied the quarter of the difficultys attending this proposed scheme. My proposal chiefly being what has always been my own & my father's practice, to furnish a labourer gratis with potatoes, rather than land, except 10 square lngs to a cottager for a garden, as the best of these have not leisure to work them & a man cannot serve two masters, this year I have salt for 55 familys in this Parish nearly all gratis, 540 gallons of potatoes & I have no fear of their being able to look a long winter in the face.
In all my adult time farming to a great extent I also for more than 20 years as a child carried on and managed a manufactory with success in Northumberland wherin I employed generally about fifty familys & during that whole time & in fact during my whole life, I never had occasion to go before a magistrate to help? one single person & untill the unprincipled tyrany of Buonaparte paralyzed our endeavour, though they did not ruin me, as I sold my interest in the Works 9 years ago when I came south & they are still carried on; I had always the comfort of seeing all these people thrive. I have had the pleasure at the prayer of the Parish of Great Canford Dorset to memorialise after viewing their extensive farms & with success the present Lord Chancellor in their behalf & thereby to relieve a most respectable sort of farmer (without remuneration of any kind).
I had the honour to be solicited by the farmers in Northumberland in company with Mr. JOBSON of Turnlaws? & the late Mr. BAYLY of Chillingham to petition Mr. PERCIVAL through the favour of the present Duke of Northumberland to take their situation into consideration & I represented the case to Mr. P from whom we had a kind & ingenious though not favourable answer. I have long had the honour of successfully arranging large farms & farming conveniences & managing extensive manors & districts for my own and wife's friends & relations.
I have had the honour of being introduced and taken to the Bath Agricultural Society by my late Landlord Mr. DRAX-GROSVENOR as worthy of their society & I am presently with my whole family employed with the utmost care & industry in every part of the best approved modes of practicable husbandry & looking upon Sir John SINCLAIR's code rather as one practice than our pattern; & at this time I am parting with a young man who has been a year with me at one hundred per anm for instruction in husbandry; remaining myself open to conviction to correct my mistakes or adopt improvements & may I add a constant practical Botanist which may be valuable in an new country – yet conscious that nothing but an anxiety for a sett of fine lads who have lived without occasion of reproach can excuse this statement to which much might be added & which I trust you will have the goodness to excuse & waiting your answer I have the honour to be Honourable Sir your truly obedient & very hbl servant
National Archives, Kew CO48/41, 403
Manor House, So.Newton, Salisbury
August 18 1819
I am honoured by your letter of the 16th instant & consider myself greatly obliged thereby – finding it likely that you will have a number of settlers & that it may not be convenient to extend your invitation to an unlimited number I purpose confining myself to ten individuals or familys to be strictly regulated by the terms proposed by His Majesty's Government, on an early day you will have the goodness to order information at what port & about what time in November the vessels will be ready. The people that will accompany that part of my family now intending to go will chiefly be young married husbandmen & their wives &c. I have the honour to be Honourable Sir
Your obedient & much obligd hbl servant
National Archives, Kew CO48/41, 427/428
Manor House, So.Newton, Wilts
Aug 29 1819
Most Honourable Sir,
I was in hopes that I had most explicitly declared my intention of strictly conforming in every respect to the terms specified in the circular letter in my last, which I again here declare to be my purposed intentions; whilst I am exceedingly gratefull to my Lord Bathurst and yourself for the opportunity; & I make free to add that I think it in every respect the best calculated attempt to speedily establish a prosperous Colony that could be immagined.
The other side contains the list of people selected from our Township out of a multitude of individuals left that would gladly have accompanied their neibors. As my own family is so large I have chiefly selected young able men of good characters to go with us & without incumbrances whilst if other descriptions of people were wanted they could still easily be had. Chearfully then waiting our summons I have the honour to be most honourable Sir
Your obdeient & greatly oblgd & very hbl servant
[note at foot: Mr. BOWKER is a tenant of Lord PEMBROKE's, who came here to speak about him]
List of Miles BOWKER's party purposing going to the Cape Settlement
Miles BOWKER 54
Anna Maria BOWKER 35 his wife
John Mitford BOWKER 19 }
Wm.Monkhouse BOWKER 17 } brought up to agriculture & gardening with good educations
Miles Brabin BOWKER 15 }
Thomas Holden BOWKER 13 }
Bertram Egerton BOWKER 11
Robert Mitford BOWKER 9
Septimus Bourchier BOWKER 7
Octavius Bourchier BOWKER 5
Mary Elizabeth BOWKER 2
Jane COOMS 18 servant girl
Bertram MITFORD 28 farmer
Stephen FORD 19 husbandman & gardener
Isaac BLAKE 19 do. & do.
Simon BLAKE 20 do. & shepherd
Reuben BLAKE 19 do. & do.
Michael MARSHALL 24 do. & shoemaker
Harriet MARSHALL his wife 20
Do. MARSHALL child 2
Sam'l BLAKE 24 carter & countryman
Honor BLAKE his wife 25
Charles BLAKE their child 1½ yr old
National Archives, Kew CO48/41, 579
So.Newton, near Salisbury Oct 4 1819
I have the honour of your letter of the yesterday and on Wednesday a vestry meeting is to be held when the business of the Emigrant Parishioners will be settled and in a few days the lists will be filled and forwarded with many gratefull thanks to my Lord Bathurst and yourself.
May I make free to observe that greatly interested in the welfare of this Colony I think it will be of the utmost importance to the agricultural part of it that land to be allotted to each family should be so arranged that each should have their fair? share of natural advantages – It has been necessarily the practice in many divisions of Commons & Wastes of late in this Kingdom perhaps on account of the multitude of claimants, too much to divide these pieces into square or nearly square portions, desorting the beautiful, picturesque and valuable practices of our Ancestors, from remotest antiquity, making the new divisions more like the portions of a backgammon board rather than the naturally beautiful situations formerly established around them & frequently by intercepting by crop fencing banks the natural decent of the water, making ground worse by the opperation that should have made an improvement.
By recurring to any ancient division of grounds you will observe that each proprietor's limmits was defined by the summit of each surrounding high ground, as far as it was possible, that by descending from thence each proprietor? and succeeding occupiers might have the natural advantage of upland pasture, middle ground for agricultural practices, pasturage and residence & water and waterside lands. Succession as near as was consistent with health and convenience, dividing lands according to the natural declensions would best accommodate with live? stock thereon, if not at all times, yet so long as the season served, & thereby opportunity to take advantage of the natural deposits of water in such a way to make them valuable for occasional supplies, or as in this neiborhood, extensive irrigations, whilst the more distant and less valuable parts were ? in wolds, wood, heaths or wilds? for the improvement of future generations & the convenience of supplying wood, firing.. as might be fitt to appropriate to each for ? or district or otherways.
Much other valuable arrangement should be in this state cautiously attended or unintentional sufferings may take place which a little ? & experience might avert. Proud to give every gratefull assistance that can be afforded from extensive practice and observation & have the honour to be Honourable Sir
Your very obedient and gratefull humble servant
National Archives, Kew CO48/41, 607
So.Newton, Oct 11 1819
I have the honour to inclose the three lists of the party going out to the Cape with me from hence, and I have concluded that it is likely to answer the best purpose to accompany them at this time. Leaving my eldest son and my wife & the remainder of my family untill I return to them, or untill they may have properly settled our affairs here as circumstances may prompt.
I want your further directions respecting the payment of the head money & instructions to what port & when to proceed & I have the honour to be RH Sir,
Your very obedient and very humble servant
National Archives, Kew CO48/41, 665
So.Newton, near Salisbury Oct 25 1819
Returning from a short absence I had the honour of your favour respecting the head money which I shall immediately set about raising and either send it to Mr. HILL as directed or desire my Brother in Law Mr. RENSHAW of Euston Place to call upon Mr. HILL with it.
May I presume to desire the favour of being informed as soon as convenient at what place this party will be embarked & about what time as the different individuals have little engagements to fulfill & sales to make which they must accomplish at the last turn & I have ordered some parcels from different manufactories which are waiting for a proper address to save expence of circuitous carring & I have the honour to be Honourable Sir
Your very obedient & greatly obligd humble servant
National Archives, Kew CO48/41, 675
Manor House So. Newton Oct 31 1819
I am extremely sorry to have given you occasion to write on the subject of the head money expecting to have sent the form this time – always proposing to keep the form for a part of my family which settlement could be made I know the money for the adventure could not come from hence but from my friend in the north to which place the needful information is sent & every post we expect the necessary amount which shall be sent as the direction without delay & gratefull for your goodness and anxious for its accomplishment & I have the honour to be Honourable Sir
Your very obedient and very humble servant
National Archives, Kew CO48/41, 682
Nov 8th 1819
Having unluckyly mislaid the directions kindly sent to whence the Head money was to be forwarded, for the settlers accompanying my young men I make free to inclose the bill value 112.10s to yourself and shall be proud of receiving your further instructions and to have the honour to be, Honourable Sir
Your very obedient humble servant
National Archives, Kew CO48/41, 698
So.Newton, Salisbury Nov 19 1819
Most Noble Lord,
When the head money for the party of settlers going out under my directions to the Cape was sent to Mr.HILL he referred me to your Lordship for further instructions.
Very gratefull for your great kindness to my young men – I make free to say that my people are very anxious to know from what place & about what time they must be ready to proceed – which directions your Lordship will be so good as order to be sent as soon as needfull. I have the honour to be Most Noble Lord
Your very obedient and very hbl servant
Gosport, Dec 14 1819
Right Honourable Sir,
Having reported now to Lieut. CHEESMAN that my list was unavoidable alterd by accidents that could not be forevisited & their placed filld by others of the same number, age & other similar circumstances he informed me that it would be necessary for me to send this information to you that a correction of the list might be made properly, & I have therefore made free to state the alterations on the other side of this sheet & as they have been from unavoidable casualties I hope there will be no difficulty in the correction, Lieut. CHEESMAN's polite and friendly attention on this busness requires my gratefull thanks. The vessel is to haul off on Monday and then begin to load and he informs my family and party must be now on Monday first at the latest. I have the honour to be RH Sir
Your very obedient and greatly obliged humble servant
People on Mr.BOWKER's list that are prevented from going to the Cape
Mich. MARSHALL shoemaker about 25 }
Wife about 24 } his wife brought to bed and cannot go
Child 1½ }
Mr. WARREN husbandman 28 this man was my tenant but he is run off and left his rent unpaid
W. WARREN son 9
M. WARREN daughter 5
Sa WARREN do. 2
James SELF weaver 50 gone to Trowbridge
People now on M.BOWKER's list in place of those gone
Anna Maria BOWKER, my wife 35 years old
Bertram Egerton BOWKER son 10
Robert Mitford BOWKER 8 yrs
Septimus BOWKER 6
Octavius BOWKER 4
Mary Elizabeth BOWKER 17m
Wm. INGRAM joiner and countryman 24
Thos. JOHNSON sawier 26
W. BOWLES Labourer 17
As my attention has been paid to keep the parties as near the ages of the previous list as possible, & as Mrs. BOWKER wishes to go with her children I hope party will be considered better than before for the intend purpose.
National Archives, Kew CO48/41, 751
Gosport, December 20 1819
By direction of Lieut. CHEESMAN of this transport office I made free to note the necessary alteration of names in the list of the party going with me to the Cape, & this being the latest day allowed for our being now in readiness, my part arrived on Saturday & the old names on the list were admitted on board the hulk untill the Weymouth is ready, but untill your order for allowing the names that are changed arrives they cannot be admitted on board & consequently my family & three men are living at the Inn here at a considerable expence to me, which I believe was not intended, as the alteration has improved the party in respectability as well as ability without altering materially the ages & consequently promoting better your intention. I am satisfied that your goodness will as easily as possable do away with this unlucky state of things by sending the corrected list to Lieutenant CHEESMAN & I have the honour to be Rt. Honourable Sir
Your obedient and very hbl servant
National Archives, Kew CO48/41, 755
Gosport December 23rd 1819
Rt. Honourable Sir,
Lieut.CHEESMAN having no directions respecting the changes in my list desires me to inclose my old list with the names of the changes, which I have made free to send inclosed, as he cannot allow their embarkation untill that takes place & Capt. TURNER has got his sailing orders. My distress on this occasion must apologise for thus troubling you & your goodness will relieve us by sending the corrected list as soon as can be done. I have the honour to be Rt. Honourable Sir
Your obedient and much obliged humble servant
National Archives, Kew CO48/41, 761/762
Gosport December 26th 1819
Right Honourable Sir,
Lieut. CHEESMAN favourd one with the corrected list from you this morning, for which I am truly gratefull, but the packages in which the letter to Lord Charles SOMERSET was placed are so situated on board as not to be come at under the present circumstances of the vessel, exceedingly crowded and bussied in getting ready for sea. May I beg the favour of having a correct substitute & I have the honour to be Rt. Honourable Sir
Your obedient and most obliged humble servant
Names of the people not going to the Cape in Miles BOWKER's list
Mich. MARSHALL 25
Harrt. MARSHALL 21
An. MARSHALL 17m
Wm. WARREN 28
An. WARREN 25
W. WARREN 9?
Mary WARREN 5
Sa WARREN infant
James SELF 50
Rich.J. LINES? 20
Names of people going in lieu of the above with Miles BOWKER
Anna Maria BOWKER, his wife, age 24
Bertram Egerton BOWKER son 10
Robert Mitford BOWKER do. 8
Septimus Bourchier BOWKER do. 6
Octavius do. do. 4
Mary Elizabeth daughter 2
Wm. INGRAM joiner 2
Henry ADAM mason 36
Charles BESANT labourer 34
William BOWLES countryman 17
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