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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.


National Archives, Kew CO48/42, 291

September 8th 1819

My Lord,

I am a clergyman residing in the Parish of Minchinhampton, which parish as well as the adjoining ones is full of weavers and other persons engaged in the manufacture of woollen cloth. The cloathing trade is at present at a very low ebb, nor is there probability of its being any better, which fills this neighbourhood with great distress. I have recommended to many poor people accepting the very liberal offers made by government of sending settlers to the Cape of Good Hope and many of them are very desirous of availing themselves of going there. But as I do not know the details of the plan of Government as to sending them out I cannot satisfy the people. I should feel much obliged if I could have the exact plan of Government in this business transmitted to me that I might make it more extensively known. I also subjoin the names and descriptions of those persons who are desirous of being sent out and beg to know whether they are of that kind which Government will approve of.

I am my Lord with great respect

Your Lordship's most obed't sevt.


Names & Descriptions of persons desirous of being sent to Cape of Good Hope & the ages of their children

Enoch DYER aged 36, weaver, has wife & seven children viz: boy 18 boy 15 boy 13 boy 10 girl 8 girl 6 girl 3

George OCKFORD, weaver, has wife and three children, boy 16 boy [age obscured] boy 7

Charles PHILLIPS, haymaker, has wife & an infant girl

James ADAMS, weaver, has two children, girl 14 girl 7

John SIMS has wife and two infants

James EDWARDS, aged 26, has wife & infant

Rolfe? GARDINER, single aged 18

Abraham PHELPS, single aged 18

James WHEELER, single aged 18

Matthew GARDNER, barge builder, aged 27, has wife and infant

Thomas BEARD, weaver, aged 39, has a wife & five children viz: girl 16 girl 14 boy 11 boy 7 boy 6

In case these or any of them should be thought eligible I shall be glad to be informed by what ship & when they may sail.




National Archives, Kew CO48/42, 341



Sept 27th 1819


I return you many thanks for your prompt & very kind reply to my former letter concerning emigration & for the papers you had the kindness to enclose for me.

There is a subject however I wish to trouble you upon. A blacksmith has applied who I think a very proper person to go out but he wishes to know if he may take out his tools. He can do nothing without his bellows and anvil which are heavy & cumbersome. If they are purchased at the Cape they must be first sent out from England therefore he might (I presume) as well take them as buy them there. Other mechanics such as carpenters, weavers &c wish to know if they may take their tools. The next point is whether they will be permitted to take household furniture & if they are permitted which furniture and what quantity of bedding seems necessary.

The next question is at what [port] nearest to this neighbourhood may people from hence embark. Bristol would be very convenient as all goods could go down the river whereas they must cross Wiltshire and Hampshire to go to Portsmouth. I presume no money will be allo[ted] from Government for the carriage of the goods & themselves to the port. I am convinced that a transport at Bristol would be highly desirable as there are a number of persons from hence wishing to go who are detered from the distance to a probable place of embarkation such as Portsmouth, Plymouth or the Downs.

Government very properly wishes one of the emigrants to act in the name of the rest & to him the grant of land will be made at the rate of 100 acres for each family, but is it intended that he may keep all the land to himself if he so pleases & employ the other families as his labourers, or will he be obliged to divide the land with them at 100 acres to each family. Can he prevent them from becoming proprietors & oblige them to be merely his servants?

Is it necessary that the person to act in the name of the rest should be a person of property sufficient to make him responsible or will one of the same moneyless sort as the generality of them do merely to be the organ of communication with Government. How are the Emigrants to obtain tools for cultivating the land, may they take them out with them? If so what will be necessary for them to take?

Your most obed't

Rev'd Henry CAMPBELL

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