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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 CO48/43, 140/141

28 July 1819

22 James St.

Covent Garden


In consequence of the overtures made by Government to the British public, and the inducements held out for settlers, to emigrate to the Cape of Good Hope, I am induced to trouble you, requesting to be furnished with particulars further than those of the late Circular. I should wish to be informed at what part of the Cape the intended settlement is to be offered?

What may be the state of protection which Government would afford the settlers against the incursions of the Caffrers, the Bushmen &c? Whether there are military posts established for their protection in case of need? I take it for granted that the jurisprudence of the Cape and interior partakes or will partake of the English Laws.

My own family consists of self, wife and 4 children, 2 girls & 2 boys, the eldest (a girl) of 16 yrs of age, the youngest a boy abt. 11 yrs. My own age 42, in the former part of my life was [had?] up to farming pursuits tho' not continued in that line for some years past but now pursuing the [command?] seed trade which are in some respects concomitants of husbandry.

As, the probable distance from the Cape where the settlement may be fixed will be at least 500 miles what civil controuling [sic] power will there be to preserve a due equipoise of equity amongst the settlers. There may be probably some persons who may join me or if not, should any of the seats of the Westleyan[sic] dissenters go out its possible I may join their body (tho I am not connected with that body in their religious views) It may be necessary also to enquire if Government are disposed to assist settlers with any portion of the parlimentary grant on their location, independant of the return of the deposit and what portion of land, a man his wife & 4 children will have alloted to them; on the due cultivation of the lands, will Government permit the settlers to trade with the natives or others, with a view of importing of merchandize to England or at her ports that may be open to them.

It is very desirable that the fullest information should be had previous to the undertaking so hazardous a speculation and I shall feel personally obliged by your furnishing me this all the information Government may feel necessary to communicate.

I am respectfully your obt. servt.





National Archives, Kew CO48/43, 150

22 James St.


I am favoured with your circular of the 29th inst. in answer to my letter of the 28th, but it does not embrace the explanations I wish for.

On reconsidering the subject, I perceive one person is to be made responsible for those who may go out with him. I will put a case, suppose eleven men with their families (agreeable to the already conditions of passage & deposit) are desirious of going out to form a part of the colonists to the Cape of Good Hope, of the Wesleyian persuasion (and Government are well acquainted with their social friendly & persevering habits) and they agree by a written document to form a joint stock company and their capital will amt. to 550£ over and above their deposits, if they select from their own body, one capable person [in point?] of integrity and of judgement as their ostensible Agent, will the Government under these considerations make a grant of land equal to 1100 acres of land to be apportioned out in eleven allotments, would Government undertake to grant eleven settlers or must their be only one title to the agent and would he have the power subsequently of giving title of 100 acres to each of his friends at some trivial nominal value under the original title, after they had been located 3 years?

Will the government require any other and what security otherwise that their deposits. I should feel obliged if you could furnish me with the names of the particular parts of the Cape which the Government have in view in colonizing. I trust to stand excused for thus troubling you but its desirable to have information as such as possible previous to making an offer.

Awaiting the favour of your reply

I am Sir! Your very obt. servt.


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