Skip to main content
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.

THOMAS, William

National Archives, Kew CO48/46, 43

No.4 Harper Street

New Kent Road

July 26th 1819


I would esteem it a great favour if you would oblige me with further information respecting the encouragement to individuals to emigrate to the Cape of Good Hope.

It as already been stated that a grant of 100 acres of land be given and that ten pounds be deposited in the hands of Government and to be returned on their arrival at the Cape, that the lands be measured and the individuals to be put into possession free of expence, but should those who are inclined to emigrate have nothing but the ten pounds I doubt but they will be seriously situated before they could receive any assistance from the land they are about to cultivate. The statement in the papers inform us that the victualling at the expence of the Government shall cease on their landing. I should suppose it meant on their arrival at the spot of ground allotted them. Thinking seriously of going, I beg you will oblige me with information on the following heads.

- Whether those who emigrate will be supplied with provisions till they arrive at the spot of ground allotted them or whether the victualling ceases at the landing on the Cape.

- Whether they will be supplied by Government with implements for agriculture, seed &c

- Whether they will be furnished with a horse, a cow and what other animals are actually wanted.

As an encouragement I suppose I need not mention whether Government will so order things as to put those who emigrate out of all fear of being molested by the natives around them, and lastly whether the sum of ten pounds (under whatsoever circumstances those emigrated are sent) used with economy is sufficient to support a man his wife & two children till the land he as cultivated will produce enough for their subsistence. I mention this last article as I am confident many who are inclined to emigrate are in those circumstances as even to find difficulty in raising this small sum. Your kindness in answering the above will anxiously be expected by

Your much obliged humble servant


PS I beg further to intrude on your kindness to state the distance from the Cape those emigrating are likely to be situated.


  • Hits: 5707