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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.

WILKINSON, Rev. Thomas (father of George WILKINSON, 1820 Settler)

National Archives, Kew CO48/46, 416

RectoryBulvan near Orsett


1st Sept 1819


I called at the office last week with the enclosed letter from Lord KENYON but had not the good fortune to meet either with Lord BATHURST or yourself. I therefore now enclose his Lordship's letter.

My object is to get out one of my sons to the Cape. He is well calculated for the purpose being young, possessed of a strong constitution & much perseverance. Neither is he by any means unacquainted with Agriculture for his age. But I have been informed that the applications are very numerous, so much so that all cannot be accommodated, & the rest will be very much crowded. On [obscured] accounts a party going from this neighbourhood would sail at their own [expence] if Government wd make them a compensation in land allowing them at the same time the other privileges [offered] to the other settlers. It would also be desirable that their allotments [obscured] when they could add more land contiguous to the same, as 100 acres though [sufficient] to begin with will not be sufficient for a permanent establishment.

Another inquiry I take the liberty of making is whether any settlement cld be made in the neighbourhood of Saldanha Bay, which as a [obscured] station is far preferable to Algoa Bay & is protected from every wind, & might at a small expence be fortified from any attack by sea. The old objection of want of water then turns out erroneous and by the new practice of boring is completely removed. Even here when labor is so high, it costs 15£ only to go 120 foot, & excepting an iron pipe of 6 feet length labor is the only expence.

Perhaps as land is plentiful 3 or 400 acres might be allotted to those who go out at their own expence with [page cut] to each labourer they may take out [with] them, the plan of this party being to take each one laborer or mechanic. Being of course much interested in this matter I could come up to town & wait on you Sir or his Lordship personally if you think it convenient or necessary.

I remain

Your hble svt


[Notes for GOULBURN's reply]

I have received & laid before Lord B the letter which you did me the honor of addressing to me on the 1st inst & am directed to acquaint you in reply that although he has every disposition to forward the object of your wishes yet that he considers the plan of assigning larger grants of land to persons who proceed to the Cape at their own expence liable to serious objection. If however your son is disposed to proceed with settlers to the Cape & will specify the number whom he proposes to convey Lord B will readily take into consideration whether some arrangement may not be made for permitting them to [receive] their own passage recovery on his arrival at the Cape the sum which the Govt would have expended in providing them with tonnage.

[Enclosed letter]


Aug 25, 1819

My dear Lord

My worthy friend the Revd Mr WILKINSON of Bulvan in Essex desires me to introduce to your Lordships favourable attention the name of his son who wishes to go out to the Cape as a settler. Having for some years had the gratification of an intimate acquaintance with Mr W, whom I highly respect, I can not but anxiously wish him [all] success.

Believe me my dear Lord, with sincere respect from your Lordships obliged & faithful servt


My excellent Diocesan of Chester has recommended another distinction to the clergyman in whose behalf I addressed your Lordship lately.




National Archives, Kew CO48/46, 453

Bulvan Rectory near Orsett

17 Sept 1819


I called on Tuesday at the office to inquire if there were any answer to mine of the 26th ult inclosing a letter from Lord KENYON to Lord BATHURST. I was informed that the applications would receive their answers on 1st Nov. but that there was no reply to my application respecting parties going out at their own expence, & Mr PAYNE advised me to repeat that application, which I now do.

I take the liberty then Sir, of requesting to know what advantage would be given to those who went out at their own expence. In the first place it is obvious that there would be no occasion for the deposit of 10£ as their sailing at their own expence both insures their going out & their being possessed of pecuniary resources to a certain [extent]. As the party whose names I have inclosed would save Governmt, by going out at their own expence, at least 200£ & thus make room for others. They [hope] that some compensation would be made them in a way very easy indeed not in quantity of land, & that they should be reperated, as they would, if they receive a favorable answer, buy for the joint use a movable threshing* machine, corn mill & especially boring instruments, which are now used in this neighbourhood with great success, [producing] water at 120 foot depths for 2/2d labor per day. One of the party will learn the use of the instruments which are exceedingly simple soon as your determination is known.

As they are all agriculturists & as my son is to form one of the party so going out, instead of Mr BAILEYs, I take the liberty of carrying on this correspondence for them. You will perceive from the list inclosed that their plans are well laid. They have all held or managed farms. Mr MORTONs father was steward for Lord PETRE'S Estates, part of which is in this Parish. He afterwards assisted his father in a farm at Fyfield near Ongar, & I have a very good account of him from the Clergyman there. Their ages range between 20 & 35.

It will be obvious, I am sure to you, that 100 acres is too small a quantity for a farm at the Cape, & if the occupier has his portion hedged in by his neighbours if he hereafter procures more, it must be at a distance from his first settlement whilst on the other hand the three miles allowed by the Dutch Government were as much in the opposite extreme. If each party be allowed to select a spot at any appointed Bay, & no party allowed to settle near them [for] the distance of 5 or 8 miles for a given number of years, the distance varying according to the number of the settlers, perhaps the objections above made would be provided agst [against]. I have taken the liberty of suggesting as above from having seen a letter of Mr PITTs in answer to some suggestion made to him & apologizing for so doing, in which he said such suggestion was at all times most acceptable to him for he had not Leisure to turn his attention to particular objects as those who were solely occupied in those objects could more easily do. An early answer would be a particular favor to us.

Your obdt srvt


*The present practice is the dirty mode of treading out by oxen. No laborer at the Cape will thresh




National Archives, Kew CO48/46, 483

Rectory Bulvan

27 Sept 1819


Having heard nothing to the contrary I presume there is no objection to the party whose names & descriptions I [disclosed] on the 17th. There is a vessel, The Garland, Capt Brown which sails Oct 14 by which they are all prepared to go, if there be no objection on the part of Government, and as it will be necessary for them to produce to the Governor some documents in proof of their coming with Earl BATHURST's approbation I take the liberty of applying to you now on that point. They have engaged an additional Sawyer & wish to procure a collar maker & blacksmith provided there be no objection. The men they have already procured are in the prime of life & excepting the carpenter brought up from their childhood as working labourers. If you choose to [meet] the principals Mr MORTON & my son will wait upon you at the office any day you should appoint.

I have the honor to be

Yr obdt hbl svt


Be so good as to inform Mr CHAPMAN that at a neighbouring farm water has [just] been procured at 170 feet which seems [obscured] by the mode I mentioned to him & we intend introducing at the Cape. A line directed to Barnards Inn Coffee House Holborn will find me there the three last [days] of this week.




National Archives, Kew CO48/46, 519

Rectory Bulvan near Orsett

7th Octr 1819


I have herewith inclosed an accurate list of the party intending to go out to the Cape in a private ship as already explained & respectfully request that you will have the goodness to inform us of the documents which must be taken with them to satisfy Lord SOMERSET that they come with the approbation of this Government & are therefore entitled to the specified quantity of land. It will also be esteemed a great favor, if those documents be speedily prepared as they hope to sail by Oct 20th.

Your obliged humble servt


The sealed paper is on a different subject.

please to turn over

As the party have been fortunate enough to engage a ship which will take them to any part of the Coast, it would be of advantage & a saving of considerable expence if they could have the place [plan] of landing assigned before they sail and if they might be permitted to they would prefer Saldanha Bay.

Mr W will be in London at Barnard's Coffee House Holborn the beginning of next week where an answer is requested to be sent, if not sent before that time.

[Enclosed list]

Principals, age, occupation

John MORTON, 28, Farmer

George WILKINSON, 20, Farmer

Richard SATCHWELL, 21, Farmer

Peter GAUGAIN, 31, Silversmith*

John ANDERSON, 30, Farmer

Stephen ALGAR, 26, Farmer

Robert KING, 28, Farmer

John CLEAVER, 28, Soapmaker

Joseph CLEAVER, 24, Soapmaker

James SMITH, 37, Carpenter

Mary Anne SMITH, 25, his wife

Sarah Fish SMITH, 8, his child

James SMITH, 3, his child

Sophia SMITH, 2, his child


Charles CLACEY, 29, Carpenter

James NEAL, 26, Carpenter

Edward REGAN, 21, Carpenter

James CANNON, 28, Carpenter

James LAY, 26, farming labourer

Charlotte LAY, 21, his wife & 2 children

William BULLOCK, 30, Collar maker**

Mary BULLOCK, 26, his wife & two children

John ASTHORP, 30, Carpenter

Ann ASTHORP, 27, his wife

Thomas ASTHORP, 10, his son

John HARRIS, 26, farming labourer

James WELCH, 26, farming labourer

Edward FLETCHER, 27, farming labourer

James JENKINS, 28, farming labourer

Charles JENKINS, 25, farming labourer

Joseph JENKINS, 22, farming labourer

George TUCKER, 26, farming labourer

John SORRELL, 38, farming labourer

In all

Men principals 10, 1 wife & 3 children

Servants 15, 3 wives & 5 children

Total - Men 25, Wives 4, children 8




National Archives, Kew CO48/46, 37

[Transcriber's Note}

* The man listed here as Peter GAUGAIN was actually Philip John GAUGAIN, who had originally applied to take out a party which included George WILKINSON and John MORTON (see CO48/43)

** William and Mary BULLOCK are not listed in The Settler Handbook but they did go to the Cape, as this is mentioned in letters from William's mother and brother in 1823 (see CO48/61)




National Archives, Kew CO48/46, 551

[Undated, probably late October 1819]


Understanding that it is your wish I should name a sum for the conveyance of our party to the Cape, I beg leave to say that we shall be satisfied with the repayment of twelve pounds per head although we have already contracted at a larger sum for the steerage, & still more for the cabin passengers. I have inclosed the list as it stands at present but it is every day varying. Therefore I promise on Honor to give in an exact list of those who shall sail from Gravesend countersigned by any officer of the Customs there or other you may appoint. Being acquainted with both the Col & the Major of [blurred] I would request either to [countersign] the same if you thought proper.

Let me intreat dispatch on these terms as the ship is engaged to [obscured] Gravesend next week.

Yr obt hle svt


N.B. we have agreed with our party that the 3 children should pass as one as to payment.


Messrs MORTON, 28, Farmer

WILKINSON, 20, Farmer

GAUGAIN, 31, Farmer

SATCHWELL, 21, Farmer

SMITH, 37, Carpenter

wife, 25, 3 children & boy all young

J. CLEAVER, 28, Grower of [tropical] plants

HARRIS, 26, ditto

Jo CLEAVER, 24, ditto



James NEALE, 25

J. OAKES, 21



& 2 boys servants to Messrs CLEAVER

James JENKINS, 28


Joseph JENKINS, 20

John JENKINS, 18

James CANNON, 26

George TUCKER, 25

19 men

1 woman

3 boys

3 children

26 in all




National Archives, Kew CO48/46, 579

Rectory Bulvan


12 Nov 1819


After returning you my sincere thanks for the attention paid to my former letters permit me to make another request which I hope under present circumstances will be deemed trifling.

Your liberal conduct towards the party conducted by Mr MORTON & my son has enabled them to add five more labourers to their list, a gardener, a blacksmith & three common hands, & all they request is to have land for them as for the rest. If for this purpose any further order be necessary beyond what you have already sent I hope it will be intruding too much if I should beg of you to send it per post directed to Messrs MORTON, WILKINSON & Co on board the Amphitrite off Gravesend.

After many delays she leaves dock this evening, will be at Gravesend tomorrow & sail on Monday [late] or Tuesday.

As a very considerable party belonging to Mr LEIGH* will probably locate near them I hope soon to be enabled to request the appointment of a clergyman.

Your much obliged & very humble servt


[note from GOULBURN across second page]

Acquaint him that it will be too late to allow the [illegible] to be given to the Governor but that a further memorandum will be made to him by an early opportunity

* [Transcriber's Note: See the correspondence of John LEIGH in CO48/44]

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