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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 CO48/44, 575


8th July 1819

The petition of William MACGILVRAY residing in Brechin N.B.

Humbly sheweth

That the petitioner is very desirous of availing himself of the goodness of the Government in affording an opportunity of proceeding to the Cape of Good Hope.

That the petitioner has had the honor of serving as a Lieutenant in the Militia for some time and resigned under a promise of obtaining an Ensigncy in the Line by raising men but which was never fulfilled.

That the petitioner since he left the Army (having received a classical education) has been employed as a Schoolmaster, but is sorry to say that he is totally unable to earn a comfortable subsistence thereby, so many being in the line.

That the petitioner is desirous of proceeding to the Cape in the character of a teacher of youth, provided your Lordship shall be graciously pleased to grant any encouragement, as the petitioner besides teaching the common branches of learning would undertake to teach the people of the Colony Agriculture, Navigation &c

That the petitioner has no desire to quit this happy country from any dislike to the Laws or Constitution, on the contrary he has, and always will, regard this country as Blessed by enjoying such freedom and many Privileges both of a temporal & spiritual nature, above any other; & considers that they are truly infatuated & are unworthy who shew any contempt to the Government of this country, who has always evinced the deepest concern for the welfare of the people.

That the petitioner observes with the deepest concern & regret a spirit of sedition & rebellion in many of the lower order of society, to an alarming degree; and he knows that there are at this moment a correspondence carried on of a dangerous nature betwixt some of the great towns in England and some of the Manufacturing Districts of Scotland, entirely unknown to the civil authority, & which it would be very necessary for the Government to take steps to discover the leaders thereof, being hostile to the Constitution.

That the petitioner can produce satisfactory testimonials of his good character and of his loyalty to Government if necessary to forward his views of proceeding to the Cape. And the petitioner hopes as he has no family and he proceeds without any concern or connection with the labouring classes who may proceed, that your Lordship will be pleased to dispense with requiring a deposit from him & that your Lordship will also allow him a salary.

May it therefore please your Lordship to take this petition under your consideration and be graciously pleased to grant the desire thereof, and your petitioner shall ever pray.



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