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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.

THOMSON, Robert and George LAING

National Archives, Kew CO48/46, 98

North Brixton Ferry

21st August 1819

Sir,

I am aware it is my duty to have accompanied my joint application with Mr. R. THOMSON for a grant of land at the Colony near the Cape of Good Hope with a proper introduction to you and which is in a state of progress and withheld a few days only for the signatures of a few more friends of mine (now in the country) who are well known to His Majesty's Government, when on their arrival in Town it will be signed by them and sent in to you.

I respectfully am Sir

Your very ob't servant

George LAING

 

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National Archives, Kew CO48/46, 100

London

21st August 1819

Sir,

The enclosed letter of introduction from our friends to your address will shew it is our intention to emigrate with our families to the newly projected colony at the Cape of Good Hope.

The plan on which we intend to proceed is that after being favoured by His Majesty's Government with a grant of land there, then to engage from sixty to one hundred men and their families as labourers agreeably to the rules presented by Government in the circular letter issued from my Lord BATHURST's office on that subject.

For these reasons we beg leave to tender for a grant of land at the new Colony near the Cape of Good Hope in the proportion to a number of from sixty to one hundred labourers and their families with accommodation for them and some merchandise for their use &c to be embarked in and by the first transports which Government may intend to dispatch with settlers for that Colony.

The deposit of ten pounds per man as required by the Government circular is ready to be advanced on the number of men hereinbefore mentioned whenever and wherever Government may please to direct it to be paid.

We have agreed to admit two or three highly respected young men as junior partners in this undertaking. Waiting the favour of a reply we remain very respectfully Sir

Your most obedient humble servants

Robert THOMSON

George LAING

Robert THOMSON

3 Union Buildings

New Kent Road

[enclosed]

London

7 August 1819

Sir,

Mr. Robert THOMSON of the New Kent Road being desirous of emigrating with his family to the new Colony east of the Cape of Good Hope in conjunction with Mr. George LAING who is an experienced agriculturalist from the Colony of Demerara and Essequibo, we therefore beg leave to recommend Mr. THOMSON to the notice of His Majesty's Government as a person properly qualified to superintend and direct a colony of settlers in the newly projected settlement on the south east coast of Africa.

We are Sir

Your most obedient servants

[Signed]

Wm KIMBLE & Co

Denis LAMBERT & Co

Joseph THRUST? & Sons

HODGKINSON, BRANDISON & Co

NORTH, SIMPSON & GRAHAM

SAYER & GARDNER

Thos. WILSON

Robert FARRAND

[illegible signatures]

Do not know Mr. Robert THOMSON but the respectability of those persons who have signed this letter induces me that Mr. Robt THOMSON is properly qualified for the situation he requests

W. MELLISH

Office of Woods

London

31st July 1819

Sir,

Mr. Robert THOMSON of Union Buildings New Kent Road is desirous of joining Mr. George LAING of North Brixton Ferry (whose introduction to Government will appear in a few days) and two other gentlemen (as junior partners) for the purpose of taking out to the new settlement at the Cape of Good Hope as prescribed by Government one hundred families to be selected from the counties of Sutherland and Ross for the purpose of cultivating provision grounds, the sugar cane, [obscured] corn &c. For these reasons, having known Mr. THOMSON and his friends in Berwickshire many years, who are all employed in agriculture, we take the liberty of recommending him to the notice of His Majesty's Government as a person [obscured] for such an undertaking.

I have the honor to be Sir

Your most obedient and most humble servant

James KING

 

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National Archives, Kew CO48/46, 110

3 Union Buildings

New Kent Road

3 September 1819

Sir,

We beg leave to acknowledge the receipt of your favour of the 23rd ult. We have now the pleasure to hand you annexed Mr. LAING's introduction as promised by him in his letter to you, and enclosed under our former cover, which we hope may meet your approbation.

We presume it may be necessary to transmit to Government a detailed statement of all the number, names and ages of the labourers, their wives and children whom we intend to take out under our direction to the new Colony at the Cape of Good Hope, in immediately attending to which we only wait the instructions of Government so to do, and we hereby pledge ourselves as being ready to conform to all the conditions upon which His Majesty's Government have offered to grant lands in that Colony.

We remain Sir very respectfully

Your most obedient humble servants

Robert THOMSON

George LAING

[enclosed]

London

25 August 1819

Sir,

Mr. George LAING of North Brixton Surry having been from 1797 to 1812 a Settler & Sugar & Cotton Planter in the Colonies of Demerera & Essequibo and during that period in the constant habit of following up and superintending the labour of Negroes in the cultivation and planting of new lands &c, we therefore beg leave to recommend him to the notice of His Majesty's Government as a person properly qualified to superintend and direct a colony of settlers in the newly projected settlement on the south east coast of Africa near the Cape of Good Hope.

We are Sir your obedient servants

Thomas WILLIAMS, Tower Street

John LOWE

Thos. WILSON

Robt. FARRAND

A. ROLAND

Denis LAMBERT

W, LUCKINGTON

 

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National Archives, Kew CO48/46, 140

3 Union Buildings

New Kent Road

6 October 1819

Sir,

We have the pleasure of owning receipt of your favour of the 30th ulto advising that our application of the 17th August made through you to his Majesty's Government for leave to carry out to the newly projected settlement near the Cape of Good Hope one hundred able bodied labourers and their families under the regulations prescribed in the Government circular has been accepted, and therefore requesting we will forthwith render in to you a list of all such labourers &c specifically detailed on the three blank schedules which we have also received enclosed from you for that purpose.

For which communication we beg leave to return you our best thanks and we will forthwith proceed to prepare the schedules as desired and forward them to you, and we remain very respectfully

Your most obedient humble servants

Robert THOMSON

George LAING

 

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National Archives, Kew CO48/46, 148

3 Union Buildings

New Kent Road

15th October 1819

Sir,

Referring you to our letter of the 7th inst we have now the honour of acknowledging receipt of your letter of the 13th inst in reply to which we will provide ourselves with a medical practitioner who will be properly qualified to accompany the settlers which Lord BATHURST has been pleased through you to grant us permission to take out to the Cape of Good Hope, and the name and particulars of which medical gentleman will accompany the schedule.

We respectfully are Sir

Your very humble servants

Robert THOMSON

George LAING

 

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National Archives, Kew CO48/46, 163

3 Union Buildings

New Kent Road

25th October 1819

Sir,

The period having arrived when, by your notice to us, our schedules containing the names of all the settlers whom we intend to take with us to the Cape Colony should be handed in to the office of Earl BATHURST, we beg leave to represent to you why we are not prepared so to do.

Mr. LAING has some business to arrange which will occupy his attention during the whole of the next month and Mrs. THOMSON is hourly expected to be laid in childbed, besides two of her children are ill of the hooping cough and two children are ill also of the scarlet fever.

We therefore submit that if not trespassing too far on His Majesty's Service to solicit the favour of an [extension] of six or eight weeks of more time from the date hereof to enable us to overcome these obstacles and be more satisfactorily prepared for the voyage.

Our numbers will consist of one hundred able bodied men, about twenty five women and fifty children. We respectfully are Sir

Your very obedient servants

Robert THOMSON

George LAING

 

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National Archives, Kew CO48/46, 169

London

1 November 1819

Sir,

We are favoured with your letter of the 29th ult informing us that as we have not transmitted our returns into your office within the period fixed for receiving them you were therefore directed by Lord BATHURST to acquaint us the acceptance of our proposal to take one hundred families to the Cape of Good Hope must be considered as cancelled.

However much we may lament the receipt of this intelligence we considered it a duty under all the circumstances which we owed to you, to His Majesty's Government and to ourselves to inform you with our reasons as stated in our letter of the 25th ult for not seeing our way clear to comply with Earl BATHURST's former instructions communicated to us through you on that subject.

Our numbers being chiefly engaged and made up for the purposes before mentioned we shall therefore continue our arrangements on the undertaking and so soon as the obstacles which have detained us at present are removed we will then complete our schedules, propose the charter of a ship for our conveyance to the Cape of Good Hope and submit the whole through you to His Majesty's Government and from the accustomed liberality of which we will hope for a favourable result!

We respectfully are Sir

Your very obedient servants

Robert THOMSON

George LAING

[Note from GOULBURN]

Lord B will of course consider any proposition which may be submitted but he thinks it right to warn them if they expect any assistance from Govt against engaging any persons or embarking in any expence without the previous sanction of this department

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