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GSSA
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.

MYLNE, William

National Archives, Kew CO48/44, 482

Leith

16th July 1819

My Lord,

I observe in the newspapers that it is the intention of His Majesty's Ministers to encourage emigration of British subjects to the Cape of Good Hope, that your Lordship will furnish to those that wish it the particulars of the arrangements that may be resolved upon for carrying it into effect.

Being Secretary to the Forth Shipping Association, consisting of the principal ship owners of this part of the country, I take the liberty of applying to your Lordship for these particulars for their information, and should it form a part of the scheme that vessels are to be provided in this country for the purpose of transporting these emigrants to the Cape to state to your Lordship that from my connection with the shipping interest here I am enabled to do it upon the most advantageous terms.

I have the honor to be with the greatest respect

Your Lordship's most obed't humble serv't

William MYLNE

 

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National Archives, Kew CO48/44, 541

Leith

30th July 1819

Sir,

I received the circular relative to the intended emigration to the Cape of Good Hope, which you did me the honor to transmit; being well acquainted with the mode in which emigration to America has been conducted, I have presumed to take the liberty of addressing you upon the subject. Emigration from this neighbourhood to the United States and Canada has for some years past taken place to a considerable extent. All those that have emigrated paid their passage money previous to their leaving this country, consequently were in possession of a sum at least equal to that proposed to be deposited, upon then leaving this for the Cape and those that still propose to emigrate have it in their power to comply with the terms proposed by Government and in all probability would do so, were the same facility of embarking offered to the one country as to the other. There are vessels here constantly (during the season) on the berth for America – they are regularly advertised in all the provincial newspapers, and the people thus informed of the time of their sailing & every other particular which gives them time to provide for their departure. In order to put both country on the same footing in this respect, I would humbly submit to you the propriety of following the same course. There are several very fine copper'd vessels of from 2 to 300 tons belonging to the Society to which I am Secretary, if you will give me permission I will advertise one of them for the Cape and forward to you for the approval of His Majesty's Ministers the characters &c of such as may offer, upon the sole condition that these vessels shall have a preference on equal terms provided a sufficient number come forward.

As I am a stranger to you if you should wish any information about me I take the liberty of referring you to Robert FARRAND Esq MP, London. I am with the greatest respect

Your Lordship's most obed't humble serv't

William MYLNE

[Note at foot from GOULBURN: If an adequate proportion of settlers offer from Scotland tonnage will of course be provided for them in the [obscured]ports of that country]

 

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National Archives, Kew CO48/44, 593

Leith

13th August 1819

Sir,

I was duly honored with your communication of the 9th inst that a number of settlers would proceed to the Cape from this, I think more than probable, provided they were allowed to go to that quarter in the same manner that they do to America, but as the principles lais down in the printed circular are completely different to those upon which emigration to the later place was provided, I think it at least doubtful. Since March last exactly 800 emigrants have gone from this to America – they consisted principally of small farmers, farm servants, tradesmen from the neighbouring country who had saved a little money and in general were respectable in their line. One of their strongest inducements to emigrate was to become owners of land. Few I am inclined to think went out with the intention of becoming servants on their arrival, whatever they might afterwards be obliged to do. This motive by the regulations for emigration to the Cape is done away with and will prevent many from availing themselves of the liberal proposal by Government; indeed they would not be able for want of means, as although, as individuals, they must all have been possessed of a sum sufficient for the deposit required, yet few or none of them would be able to deposit for ten, or be able to get that number to go out under him as settlers, suppose he had the means. Those therefore that proceed to the Cape from this country must be in different circumstances to those that have gone to America. The emigration to this quarter has been yearly increasing, originating probably from those that are settled there writing to their relations & acquaintances to join them, & knowing that on their arrival they will meet with some of their friends, and if a settlement was established at the Cape the same thing would take place, and Government be enabled to extend it to any number that might be deemed advisable. Judging from the previous years I think it may be fairly anticipated that seven or eight hundred will leave this next year and that part of those would proceed to the Cape but for the reason I have stated it would be presumption in me to give any opinion on the subject. You are much more capable of judging than I am, I would however hope that what I have taken the liberty of stating may not be altogether unworthy of your notice. I will take it upon me to let it be generally known that if a sufficient number of settlers offer & are approved of for the Cape that a vessel will be provided here for them.

I have the honor to be with the greatest respect

Your most obed't

William MYLNE

 

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National Archives, Kew CO48/44, 648

Leith

27th August 1819

Sir,

I hereby make offer to you for consideration of His Majesty's Ministers to proceed to the Cape of Good Hope in terms of the circular letter signed by you dated the 24th July and to carry out with me one hundred heads of families or individuals upwards of eighteen years of age not infirm or incapable of working.

In order that a judgment may be found of the propriety of accepting or refusing this offer, I think it proper to state to you who I am and what I conceive qualifies me for this undertaking. I was bred a merchant in this place and have been extremely engaged in business and have a fair knowledge of merchandise in general and am, at present, in addition to my other concerns, Secretary to the Forth Insurance Association of Ship Owners. My father was a proprietor of land and an extensive farmer in East Lothian, where my nearest connections are all considerable farmers. George RENNIE Esq of Lantassel and Wm. AITCHESON Esq of Drum{obscured] are my uncle and brother-in-law, both gentlemen well known in that line in that county. Altho not bred a farmer I acquired a knowledge of the business in acting as trustee for my oldest brother's family, who are still minors, and the land they have under tillage there amounts to 700 acres, all arable. My own character I flatter myself will bear any scrutiny that may be deemed necessary, for which I can with safety refer to any respectable gentleman in this place to Robt. FARRAND MP or to his partner Mr. BEGBIE both of the House of BEGBIE & FARRAND, London, to whom I am well known. My age is forty two & my health and constitution good. My principles have always been that of His Majesty's present government. I was a Captain in the Leith Regiment of Volunteers consisting of 630 men from its institution untill disbanded.

In the event of my offer being accepted an early answer would be desirable to enable me to complete my arrangements so as to proceed in November.

I am with the greatest respect

Your most obedient servant

William MYLNE

 

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National Archives, Kew CO48/44, 774

Leith

Oct 29th 1819

Sir,

I rec'd yours of the 18th current declining my offer to proceed with settlers to the Cape of Good Hope. Were I alone interested I should not gain have addressed you upon the subject but as I find that many of those who meant to proceed with me are much disappointed, I have taken the liberty of again intruding upon you.

From its being known that I had proposed to proceed to the Cape with settlers the applications from those who wished to accompany me have been innumerable, many of whom possessed capital as well as experience to make them valuable settlers that they would proceed upon such terms as would not only indemnify Government for every expense that may be incurred forwarding them to the Cape, or otherwise, but also would have been a considerable revenue. I know this to be the case and that they could afford to do so I have no doubt. KOLBEN, who was for many years Secretary to two of the Dutch settlements, on his return to Holland, wrote a History of the Hottentots as also a Natural History of the Cape, in which he states that those who secured grants of land for tillage paid one tenth of the produce to the Dutch Company, and this they found so easy that the whole succeeded beyond expectations. The produce in grain & the grounds he rates higher than we do in this country but were it equal to the rent paid would in no year be less at the present prices than 10/- and in many years more than 20/- per acre. His authority on this as well as many other particulars connected with the settlement I should think undoubted, and from which I conclude that were the present settlers proceeding to it to agree to pay 4/- or 5/- per acre after a short period that they could afford to do it and which would leave a revenue sufficient to answer any contingency as well as to repay any advance Government may be brought under by forwarding them to that colony.

Impressed with this conviction I take the liberty of submitting for the consideration of Lord BATHURST the propriety of accepting of such as may offer from this country and who are possessed of the means of complying with the wishes of Government by making their deposits &c and who should agree to pay a certain rate for the ground assigned to them, which might be from 50 to 100 acres, and that instead of making the assignment to a person for him to do as he may think proper, that Government should appoint a person properly qualified to go out with every hundred families or more to see them settled and collect the revenue. That many hundred would proceed from this country I have not the smallest doubt of, and of whom, if it was the wish of Government, a most efficient Militia for the protection of the settlement might be formed, a great many of those who wished to proceed being army pensioners and almost the whole drill'd in that had either served in the Militia or Volunteers of this country. If Government has any intention of entering into such an arrangement I should be happy to be the means of communicating to those who I know will wish to proceed from this country – June, July and August being the spring months at the Cape, Jan'y or Feb'y may be a proper time for proceeding

I have the honor to be with the greatest respect

William MYLNE

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