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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.

CORNISH, Christopher

National Archives, Kew CO48/42, 83

No.42 Vineyard Tooley St

27th July 1819


Having understood that Government intends giving encouragement to such as are willing to emigrate to His Majesty's colony at the Cape of Good Hope induced me to think the engagement offered might be such as an humble individual could take the benefit of it. I have therefore taken the present opportunity of acquainting your Lordship that it is my earnest wish and desire to go there to settle together with my family, consisting of my wife

Elizabeth CORNISH aged 27 years


Elizabeth CORNISH aged 5 years 6 mo

Christopher CORNISH aged 3 years 9 mo

Thomasin CORNISH aged 2 years 2 mo

all born at Penzance in Cornwall, of which I am myself and wife are both natives. I was born in March 1792 and was brought up to husbandry till the 17th year of my age during which time I acquired a tolerable knowledge of the different branches connected with farming, but at that age I bound myself an apprentice to sea and served out my apprenticeship after which I was impressed into H.M. service to get out of which I paid £60. I was after that Master of a Merchant vessel but being unfortunate I soon became reduced to very low circumstances, Trade also being very dull in this country that I have been able to obtain a situation as master on another vessel and the wages being so low to common seamen so that it is impossible to maintain a family & I have been several short periods at work in the farming line since my first going to sea that I can work [all] of its branches. I also thoroughly understand the art of Navigation and seamanship in every branch which might be of service to me after my settling thither.

Sir having also understood that a security of £10 deposit in the hands of Government for each person by any person that wish to take out people to become settlers there. I should feel extremely obliged Sir if it is not too much of your Lordship's time to know the [details] of the obligation and contract that must consequently exist between the said settler and the individuals [going] out.

I have only to say should this undertaking offer anything that I can embrace for the support of my family I shall be happy in accepting it and even gratefull to the proposer of it.

I am Sir your Lordship's most obedient humbell servant

Christopher CORNISH

Aged 27 years

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