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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.



August 6th 1819


I have the honour to enclose a memorial for the Right Honourable Earl BATHURST and request you will lay the same before his Lordship with your convenience. Please address to me at Plocktown, Lochalsh, County of Ross, by Lochcarron NB

I have the honor to be

Your most obd't humb sev't

John MACKA, Surgeon

The Memorial of John MACKA


That your memorialist after his return from North America in August 1817 did memorial your Lordship for a recommendation to the Governor of Canada for a grant of lands having then in view to return to America but from unforeseen accidents he could not accomplish his design of returning again to North America.

Your memorialist took the liberty then of stating to your Lordship that he had served for several years both in a medical and military capacity in the Fraser Fencibles in Ireland during the rebellion and afterwards in the Ross-shire Militia in Scotland until the peace and consequent reduction of the Regiment in the 1802.

That whilst the memorialist was serving in Ireland the trouble in that country occasioned considerable fatigue to the troops owing to which the memorialist contracted a weakness & swelling of his right leg which threatened serious consequences – in this situation he attended his Regt. in the action of Castlebar where his horse was shot under him and himself obliged to march thirty miles that day, a circumstance which rendered the complaint of his leg still more distressing but from a strong desire of serving his King and Country the memorialist accepted of his appointment as Surgeon & Ensign in the 2nd Regt. North British Militia. He still finds the increasing weakness & swelling of his leg disables him from any active service or fatigue.

That your memorialist did apply to His Royal Highness the Commander in Chief to give any Pension or situation that might to him seem proper but was informed it was inconsistent with the [seal?] of office to grant any compensation to a man in the situation of your memorialist which he must consider a great grievance after spending the best years of his life in the service of his King and Country the only in Fencible and Militia Regiments and being now reduced to live in retirement in a remote corner of the country with a wife and three children to support by his feeble exertion in a poor country.

The memorialist trusts that your Lordship will commiserate his situation and consider him entitled to the particular recommendation and protection of Government: and therefore the memorialist humbly requests as Government are now to form settlements in the Cape of Good Hope he will be appointed to a situation in that country and to the usual grant of lands his situation formerly in the Army entitles him to receive with the appointment of being Surgeon to any of the ships going to the Cape of Good Hope.

Your memorialist begs leave to state that having much professional experience together with a thorough knowledge of the Gaelic language he conceives he might be of no small service to his countrymen in particular and that all the facts set forth in this memorial can be easily authenticated to his Lordship.

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