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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.

SHANLY, Michael

National Archives, Kew CO48/45, 924

Killashee near Longford in Ireland

8th September 1819

My Lord

Your humble petitioner (who is an Excellent Land Surveyor & Mathematical Scholar & free from any bodily impediment & about 40 years of age) having by the particular desire & at the request of many of his neighbours in this county who would wish to emigrate to the Cape of Good hope petitioned his Royal Highness the Commander in Chief on the subject as your petitioner & those who wish to accompany him to the Cape have to inform your Lordship that they are very Anxious to proceed as settlers to the Cape immediately on their receiving instructions & also a Copy of the Arrangements & encouragement for their preceding thereto (your petitioner encloses your Lordship the Commander in Chiefs answer to him & refers him to your Lordship for the Arrangements in question & Prays therefore that an answer may be sent your petitioner by return of post with a copy of the Arrangements enclosed or a detailed account of them & as your petitioner considers the new settlement of the Cape would answer a person of his Abilities as men of his Description will be found necessary in these new Modelled Colonies your petitioner can produce Characters from Noblemen of the first Rank in Ireland of his Integrity & abilities provided your Lordship was pleased to give your petitioner any Situation in the Cape either as a Land Surveyor or recommending him to any other lucrative Situation as there is no doubt but your petitioner would be the greatest acquisition to the Cape provided he only taught a school there.

Your petitioner prays that your Lordship will inform him what provision is made or how are settlers to subsist in the Cape from the time of their location until they can have sown & reaped their crops in that country or from the time that victualling at the expense of the British Government ceases.

Your petitioner has 4 sons & 2 daughters, himself & his wife making a total family of 8.

Your petitioner most humbly prays that your Lordship will issue the necessary instructions to have an answer directed to Michael SHANLY of Killashee near Longford Post Town in Ireland - & your petitioner also prays to be informed to what Seaport Town in Ireland himself and his companions are to repair to for the purpose of taking Shipping for the Cape & your humble petitioner most humbly prays to be informed what part of the Cape of Good hope he would get his portion of land in & for which your humble petitioner will ever pray.

Michael SHANLY

[Enclosed letter]

Horse Guards

26th August 1819

Major General Sir Henry TORRENS is directed by the Commander in Chief to acquaint Michael SHANLY, in reply to his position of the 22nd inst that as all arrangements attending the proposed new settlement at the Cape of Good Hope, rest exclusively with the Secretary of State for the Colonies, his Royal Highness can give him no information on the subject, & can only recommend him to make known to Earl BATHURST his wish to proceed to that Station.




[the letter below is filed under G in CO48/43]

National Archives, Kew CO48/43, 460

Killashee near Longford

6th October 1819

To his Excellency the Lord Lieut General & General Governor of Ireland &c &c &c

The humble petition of 28 persons in the parish of Killashee in the County of Longford.

Most humbly sheweth-

That the greater part of the above 28 persons are Discharged soldiers from the Army & have unanimously agreed to proceed to the Cape of Good Hope as settlers belonging to His Majesty agreeable to the late Act of Parliament.

That the said 28 persons have memorialed the Earl of BATHURST Secretary of State for the Colony who has transmitted them the Circular letter relative to how they are to proceed & also every regulation relative thereto.

That the only thing that stops us & makes us anxious to be informed where Contractors are to be found to take us out agreeable to the Act as there is not a Contractor to be heard of in this place & as to ourselves advancing money we are unable so doing, some of us having no Pensions & having large families. In addition to this the Act of Parliament does not allow the Settler to be at any expense for either Passage, Victualling, or depositing money.

We therefore humbly pray that your Excellency will issue the necessary orders to inform us by Return of Post if there is in Dublin, Cork, Limerick or any other sea port in Ireland any Contractors to take us out & we beg if there is that your Excellency will order us to be informed of the Names of the Contractors, the City they reside in, the street & number of where their Office or Residence is in such City or sea port – or if there be any Office established for this purpose as the Earl of Bathurst leaves us to the Irish establishment for this information & has given us all the information in his department & please to direct your answer as soon as possible (as the transports will soon be sailing for the Cape) to Mr Michael SHANLY of Killashee near Longford.

Michael SHANLY



Alexander THOMPSON

George SPEAR


George DEVAN

Michael BYRNE




Thomas KILKENNY X his mark









Thomas FARRELL X his mark








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