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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.

CAPE, William

National Archives, Kew CO48/42, 181/182

10th Aug 1819


I beg leave to hand enclosed letter from my worthy friend the Rt. Hon. Lord Mayor which will partly explain my wishes – I should inform you that His Lordship had not time or opportunity to go so fully into my little history or I am sure he would have done so. Having a family of 8 children, viz:

William CAPE aged 13 at Hall Place Academy, Bexley

Richard CAPE 12 at ditto

John CAPE 10 at ditto

Henry CAPE 9 at ditto

Mary Ann CAPE 8 at Mrs. HAY's Preparatory School, Walworth

Eliza CAPE 7 at ditto

Rosa CAPE 5 in nursery

Emma CAPE 10 months in nursery

For the space of 25 years I was principal and confidential clerk in the banking firm of BOWLES, BROWN, COBB & Co, bankers at the very house I now rent, was promised and had the choice of becoming partner in the Banking House, but finding my employers had lost £60,000 in ban[king it] did not answer my purpose to join BC&Co. In 1815 it was resolved that BC&Co [would] retire from business giving me the opportunity to form a fresh connexion in which my worthy friend Mr.ATKINS, the MP for our City, was my principal advisor, many fit names were introduced and certainly if BC&Co could have allowed me more time I no doubt would have been able to have a strong firm although 1815 was not a year to form a new banking establishment – my employers anxious to pay over their customers balances. I selected the firm of WILLIAMS, WILLIAMS & Co – whom no doubt you know the former being the member for Dorchester and the latter for Weymouth – in consideration of which £5,000 (as loan) was advanced me to begin a Trade, and alas a man by the name of ROBINSON was introduced, knowing the Tea Trade which he set forth as being [obscured]. I was tempted to embark in less than 2 months I found him embarrassed and left me with a great loss in bad debts, the rent of a large house and taxes thereon which I have for the last 4 years paid - together with the family enumerated makes me look round for some employment more certain than trade, confident that my experience in money transactions might be useful to government, and that in those new establishments at the Cape of Good Hope or any foreign place where living is cheaper and where at an early age I could bring into use my four boys, whom I intend to leave at Hall Place School till Providence and my good Government shall be pleased to fix me – I am known and of course have the kind wishes of Williams's ?MD? Sir H. GRAHAM Bt, whose letter I enclose. My friends Sir James SHAW Bart, R. SHELDON Esq MP, Thos. WILSON Esq & Sir Wm. CURTIS, who has always had my vote.

I throw myself entirely on your Lordship's recommendation and whatever you can do for me I shall be joined with the grateful thanks of my wife and children be ready at any time to attend an interview on my humble case.

I have the honour to be Sir your faithful servant

William CAPE

[enclosed letter to William CAPE]

Thirksfall, Leeds

25th July 1819

Dear Sir,

I left London on the 19th and found your favour & inclosure of the 21st on my arrival at this place where I must be some time on my own concerns and shall then proceed to Carlisle & its environs & not be in London for 6 mos. or more. I read your interesting narrative of your affairs with great pain, the more so as it will be quite out of my power to obtain any suitable situation for you. I am sure I have had within the last two years several hundred applications for situations & many most distressing cases. Most anxious have I been to serve them but have succeeded in very few indeed – I find my noble friends are even more overwhelmed than I am & with all their interest & just influence they are not able to provide for one in one hundred of the applicants.

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