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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.

LATHAM, Joseph, 1820 Settler

National Archives, Kew CO48/44, 404

No. 20 Essex Street


Septr. 10th 1819

My Lord,

First craving Your Lordships' pardon for this intrusion I humbly beg leave to state to Your Lordship that, as well at the request of several respectable families possessed of moderate capital, now forming a society for the purpose of Emigrating to the Cape of Good Hope, under the provisions of the present Parliamentary Grant / as on my own behalf – I respectfully apply to Your Lordship, for information respecting that clause in the Circular issued from Your Lordships Office on the subject of Emigration to Southern Africa, which stated,

“ that at the expiration of three years during which the party and number of families in the proportion of one for every hundred acre must have resided on the Estate / the Land shall be measured at the expense of Government and the Holder shall obtain without fee his title thereto” &c&c

The information humbly solicited from Your Lordship is, - whether the word “Holder” has reference to the principal Emigrator under whom Individuals, or families, are necessarily obliged to Emigrate in conformity to the conditions, contained in the circular or to the Individual or families, severally and separately, that may have continued from the time of their first location in the Colony, upon the Lands allotted to them to the time specified by his Majestys Government, when the same is to be measured, and granted at a quit Rent to the Holder thereof.

It is conceived, the information required is of the utmost importance to persons desirous of Emigrating as it will materially affect the Agreement necessary to be entered into previous to quitting this country.

I have the Honor to be

Your Lordships most obedient Humble Servant





National Archives, Kew CO48/44, 424

No. 20 Essex Street


Oct. 20th 1819

My Lord,

I most respectfully beg leave to apply to Your Lordship under the following circumstances –

Being desirous of emigrating to the Cape of Good Hope but too late in my application for that purpose, to advance myself of the benefit of the Parliamentary Grant, I beg leave to solicit Your Lordship for a Grant of Land in the New Colony, or such other part as Your Lordship may think proper and pleased to direct –

I further beg leave to state to Your Lordship that my views and intentions are to cultivate the Land and in other respects, generally to contribute towards the welfare and interests of the Cape Colony for which purpose I humbly submit to Your Lordship I am possessed of sufficient and competent means, beyond the expenses of conveying myself and followers to the place of settlement.

As all persons not Emigrating under the immediate benefit of the late Parliamentary Grant will be obliged to embark in vessels that will proceed no further than Table Bay and consequently will be put to very great expense in conveying themselves and property overland or otherwise to the new Settlement, may I be allowed most respectfully to enquire of Your Lordship if a Grant of Land would be made in Saldannah Bay, or such other part of the Cape District as might be eligible to the Settler and his Dependants – If the wishes of a fellow Settler will be cond[ucive to] this request. I most respectfully solicit Your Lordship direct a Grant to be made on my behalf to that effect.

I have the Honor to be with the most profoundest respect

Your Lordships Most Obedient Humble Servant


[on reverse]

I George NOTT of No. 20 Essex Street Strand do hereby certify that I verily believe this statement contained on the other side of this paper and signed by Joseph LATHAM is true and that he is a respectable and intelligent person.


Oct 20th 1819

[note from Graham DICKASON, author of ‘Irish Settlers to the Cape':

Joseph LATHAM, born 1789, in his application form to be considered for the settler scheme CO48/44 letter 404 of 18Sep 1819, gave his address as 20 Essex Street, Strand (London). Ultimately, he was not an emigrant under the terms of the parliamentary grant. He notionally came under the leadership of William PARKER of Cork, sailing in the same ship, the East Indian when it departed from Deptford en route to Cork. When the East Indian arrived at Simon's Bay, permission to leave the ship was refused He subsequently requested a grant of land at Saldanha Bay when PARKER's Party was disembarked there. This was also refused by the authorities. He then joined those who accepted the offer to be removed from Clanwilliam to the originally intended destination of Albany. He became the titular head of a small party of settlers who received a grant of land at Zuurplaats, renamed Seven Fountains in recognition of the specific instruction that each allotment had to have its own water source.This group arrived in the Sir George Osborn from Saldanha Bay at Algoa Bay on 30th Sept 1820. LATHAM later applied for and was granted a larger allocation for his own purpose, today known as Lathams Farm. He seems to have been accompanied by a younger brother, Henry LATHAM, age 20.]

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