Skip to main content
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.


(see also Edward FRANKS correspondence)

National Archives, Kew CO48/43, 261


March 3 1819


I was referr'd to you for information respecting the encouragement given to settlers on the Cape, on what terms the land is granted, the extent of choice, how near to cape Town, if any expence of the survey, if agricultural implements are given as they were in Canada, if the passage is granted – if not what the expence for a family with six children & the necessary luggage, what quantity of land granted to person taking out capital of £500, what for a capital £1000, what for £2000, if any natives granted as servants, if timber granted as by the Dutch for buildings. I hope the importance of the concern will be an apology for my asking so many questions. An early answer will be very highly esteemed by, Sir

Yr very hble svt


Address Mr. GORRINGE, Surgeon, Carlton Colonnade, Brighton, Sussex




National Archives, Kew CO48/43, 263

No.1 Carlton Colonnade


April 17 1819


I called at your office six weeks ago & was directed to address you by letter which I accordingly did, but not receiving an answer I again called & was introduced to a gentleman who repeated what was said in the outer office with further directions in the method of making an application. The present letter is in consequence of that interview & the object is to state my views & to say that I would be much obliged if you would have the goodness to inform me if two grants of land of a desirable nature can be obtained at the Cape of Good Hope, one for myself & family & one for the family of my Father in Law, Mr. FRANKS of Burwash. We have both applied and are anxious to know as we should choose to have land adjoining and greatly prefer being under the protection of His Majesty's Government to an American settlement in the United States. When last at your office I stated that my views were agricultural tho' I have been regularly educated in the profession of Surgeon and have carried on the practice in a country village for 18 years, yet I have always cultivated land altho it was situated unfortunately too far from the village to enable me to prevent imposition from the laborers during my absence and my profession being of that nature that it could not be left frequently when there was the greatest necessity for my presence on the land, which left me under much continual embarrassment and prevented my profitting much by either and I determined last year to relinquishing one of them and as my wife's father & family were going abroad I made up my mind to accompany them having no relations or friends as ties in this country and as we enjoy domestic happiness & seek not other society. We shall feel no solitude nor count the beauties of nature in Southern Africa dismal or dreary if we canot obtain a situation where industry will procure the necessarys & comforts to which we have been accustomed. My sons will all be able to assist me in the cultivation of land but if brought up in this country to the profession will become very expensive. Agriculture has long been with me a favorite object of pursuit & I should think the husbandry of Southern Africa from what I have read capable of great improvement. It appears likely that ?? I have cultivated in the garden & in the field for many years might be useful in dry summers as well as [saffron?] & hiccory. Turnips also appear desirable. I flatter myself that I am tolerably acquainted with the theory of agriculture as the practical results of 18 years have always corresponded with the theory learnt when a pupil in London which observations were elicited from the propriety of a medical man's enquiring into the nature of food proper for nourishment which naturally leads to an enquiry concerning the soil from which it is produced. No doubt this gave the first relish for agricultural pursuits which has ever remained. I am no Politician seldom spending five minutes in a month over a newspaper except when I took Evans & Ruffeys Farmers Journal but should as I said before prefer being under the protection of His Majesty's Government. My religious sentiments correspond with the articles of the Church of England. I should not have troubled you with saying so much of myself but observed you seemed desirous that I should state my views fully. I am desirous of knowing if a choice of a suitable grant of land supplied with wood & water during the summer fit for the purposes of tilling & grazing can be obtained on the eastern borders of the Neesna [Knysna?] River near Milkhout Kraal, if any choice in Long Kloof, if any choice in the borders of the Chamtoos River on this side next Algoa Bay and if you have any part more advantageous than the foregoing to offer I was referred by a friend to a copy of letter from yourself dated March 1818 in answer to a gentleman who applied for a grant of land in Canada in which you stated Lord BATHURST was ready to receive proposals from persons willing to undertake larger grants of land either in North America or at the Cape of Good Hope under the condition of their taking out ten settlers and the quantity of land granted will be in the proportion of 100 acres for every settler & ten pounds deposit required of the person applying for the grant for each settler he intends taking out to be repaid so soon after his arrival in the colony as the settler shall have been located on the land assigned. This letter also expresses that in the event of a proposal being approved of a grant will be made free of expence & necessary tonnage provided for the conveyance of the applicant or his agent & the settlers he may have ingaged to accompany him. I suppose this is a correct statement and under such conditions we should be happy to accept two grants of ten or twelve hundred acres each as that will be about the number of settlers each will take out. My family consists of myself, my wife, four sons & a daughter with a sister & servants. My property that I shall take out will be as near as I can judge about a thousand pounds, Mr. FRANKS about two or three thousand. I have but little acquaintance in London but can refer you to Mr. JONES, Chemist & Druggist St.Mary Axe with whom I have dealt for 10 years or Mr. CLARK in Goswell St. An early answer will be highly esteemed by Sir

Your hble sev't


[Transcriber's Note: Thomas Francis GORRINGE and his wife Harriet Elizabeth, nee FRANKS, were not accepted on to the settler scheme to the Cape but emigrated shortly afterwards to Tasmania. Dr GORRINGE and his family arrived in Hobart on the Surry in August 1820 along with his in-laws, the FRANKS family. The two families obtained land grants and established properties next to each other at Green Ponds.]

  • Hits: 7306