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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 CO48/45, 685

London, 16 Jan'y 1819

Most honoured Sir,

I hope you will excuse the liberty I take in thus addressing you but necessity compels me to do it. My name his Joseph STAMFORD. I am a colloured man a native of Amboyna in the East Indies [Transcriber's Note: Amboyna is an archaic name for Ambon Island, part of the Maluku Islands of Indonesia] which is under the Dutch Government but I have been fighting in His British Majesty's Service in the ships in the Margin* for fourteen years but have no pension for my services and I was discharged from His Majesty's ship Argo in 1816 & have since been out to Indies but am not allowed to settle any where haveing been driven from the Islands to Calcuta & from there to the Cape – but it was just the same & the different governments informed me that I must get a letter from His Britanick Majesty's Sec'y of State for the Colonial Department or such proper officer appointed for that purpose. Hon'd Sir, as I have been at a great deal of trouble & expence in going to the different places & that being well enough [educated?] to get my livelyhood in England, I do most humbly solicit a Free Letter to settle in any of His Britanick Majesty's Collonys abroad & as I can bring refferences as to my character while in His Britanick Majesty's Service as well as to my moral character since, I most ardently hope you will have the goodness to take my case into consideration as well as my character during the time I have been in His Majesty's Service & comply with the prayer of my petition, & by so doing you will ever oblige your Honour's very humble & most obed't serv't


*NB This his my statement of [ships?] &c in His Majesty's Service

Ship's Name

Captain's Name











Dolores (Schooner)

Lieut TREACHER commanding





Holly (3 Mast Schooner)




Wm. FOTHERGILL now deceaced





PS The reason I have no pension is I was at that time a boy, which deprived me of the benefit of the act of 1815

Address: Joseph STAMFORD at Mr. Thos. FOTHERGILL, No.8 West Square, Lambeth, Surrey

[Written at the foot of the page]

Acquaint him that if his wish is to settle in the [??] of the Hon'ble East India Company he should address himself to the Court of Directors, India House

Letter to the Governor of the Cape

Feby 3rd 1819





National Archives, Kew CO48/45, 687


22 January 1819

Hon Sir,

I am very sorry to trouble you but necessity compels me to do it. My name is Joseph STAMFORD. I was born in the Island of Amboyna and takeing from there into His Britanick Majesty's Navy by J.S. RAINIER Esq into His Majesty's ship Centurion & from there drafted into the ships in the margin from 1799 untill 1815 when I was discharged on the reduction of the fleet. Hon Sir I have since been out to my native place but hearing of the ill treatment exercised by the Dutch government on individuals that had been in His Britanick Majesty's Service I was persuaded not to say that I belonged there for if I had they would have treated me as a slave. I then went to different places; Bombay, Calcutta & Madaras & lastly at the Cape but in consequence of my not haveing any thing to certify that I had been more than 14 years in His Majesty's Service the[y] could not let me settle but did advise me to come to England & make applycation to His Majesty's Under Secretairy of State or the proper officer appointed for that duty that his authorised to grant a free letter or a certifycate to that effect. Hon Sir I have been at a very great expence in going out & coming back to England & as I am not capable of geting my bread in this country but perfectly well assured I could in any of His Britanick Majesty's Collonys I most humbly implore your assistance in geting me a grant of a free letter (in consequence of my serving His Britanick Majesty's navy near 16 years) and by so doing you will ever oblige & I as in duty bound shall ever pray &c

From your Honour's very humble & most obed't serv't


Ships/Captain's Names

Centurion J.S. RAINIER


Lancaster LARKIN

De Lorious Lt. TREACHER

Polyphemus HAYWOOD

Holly (Schooner) Lt. TREACHER



NB My servitude is now at the Admiralty but as I had some small time boys [??] I could not get any pension

Address: Joseph STAMFORD, at Mr. FOTHERGILL's No.8 West Square Southwark, near the obelisk

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