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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, 285

Northfleet near Gravesend

July 22, 1819

My lord!

I beg leave most respectfully to apologise for the liberty in addressing you on the subject of soliciting a grant of land on the south east coast of Africa, near the Cape of Good Hope.

I have been a practical farmer in this county many years, to a considerable extent, and am perfectly acquainted in all its branches, likewise of feeding and breeding of cattle.

I have from mercantile losses been induced to solicit this favour sir which if not trespassing on your favor, would wish for another grant of land for my son, now 20 years of age.

I beg leave to state to your Lordship that during the late war when in affluence I held for his Majesty services fifteen hundred pounds worth of meal, forage, etc, without either expecting or wishing for a remuneration, nor would I have mentioned them but to show my [reliable] loyalty to my Sovereign. My name is familiar to Sir Ed. KNATCHBULL & Sir Fr. [GEARY], of this County, if your Lordship should require testimonials of my conduct during this late endeavour [your] and in which I held for many years a Captain's commissing in the West Kent Regt of Militia [transcriber's note: most likely referring to the West Kent Militia, as the West Kent Regiment of Militia was founded only in 1881] under the late Duke of Dorset, & who was pleased to be particularly satisfied with my conduct, I can readily procure it.

I am, my lord

your Lordship's very humble servant





National Archives, Kew CO48/43, 322

Northfleet near Gravesend


August 2, 1819

My lord

I duly acknowledge the receipt of circular letter forwarded to me on the 24th ultimo and upon perusing it am satisfied you will allow me the particular honor of receiving a grant of land near the Cape of Good Hope and I will be prepared to embark for the colony at the time specified in November.

Probably it may be requisite for further encouragement for any number of men I may take out for agriculture, and may it please your Lordship to allow a grant of 50 or 100 acres of land to each of them provided they serve me seven years with diligence and fidelity.

An early reply will my Lord add an additional obligation on

Your Lordship's obedient humble servt





National Archives, Kew CO48/43, 359

Northfleet near Gravesend

August 13, 1819

My lord!

I was duly honored with Your Lordships letter of the 12th inst. It is my wish to sollicit the favor of a grant of 1000 acres of land at the Cape of Good Hope - agreeable to the circular letter - and to be prepared with ten men to cultivate the same.

There are some persons equally anxious to avail themselves of his Majesty's gracious grant, but they are informed, they will be compelled to give up a [?mority?] of the land to the men after having been at the expence of clearing the same. If this is his Majesty's intention I fear it will be injurious to the success of the intended colony.

If your Lordship could offer this then, a small quantity of land for this important use after a certain period of service the colony would be simultaneously attended and his Majesty might select from them a colonial militia if required that would be a security against the natives, and at no further expense [other] than Arms & ammunition.

I shall consider myself honoured by Your Lordships early reply to my offer of services.

I am my lord

Your very obedt and humble servt





National Archives, Kew CO48/43, 433

Northfleet near Gravesend

Oct 1, 1819

My Lord

As the time is fast approaching for persons who may be permitted to settle at the Cape of Good Hope to embark I hope your Lordship will pardon this intrusion. I have provided ten able men to accompany me to the settlement provided your Lordship approved of our services. Waiting your further commands.

I am, my Lord

Your Lordship's very obed servt





National Archives, Kew CO48/43, 467

Northfleet near Gravesend

October 20, 1819

My lord!

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of Mr GOULBURNs circular letter of the 14th inst. apprizing me that the whole number of persons intended to be sent to the Cape of Good Hope for the present year are completed.

I feel considerable disappointed, as I was early in my application to your Lordship for a grant of land in that colony. I was in hopes my services to his Majesty during the threatened invasion of this country would have met your Lordship's favour.

Altho' I am at present disappointed still I am in hopes, your Lordship as one of his Majesty's ministers & advisers, you will not allow my past services to pass unrequited and that your Lordship will be enabled to place me in a situation of comfort & at the same time enable me to show my gratitude, not only to my King & country, but also to your Lordship.

I have to lament the death of my respected friend Sir Ed. KNATCHBULL [transcriber's note:- 8th Baronet, of Mersham Hatch, 1760-1819] who was with Sir Fr. [GEARY] acquainted with my services and my loyalty.

I have the honour to be

My Lord!

Your Lordship's obed and humble servt


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