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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.

WAIT, William, 1820 Settler

National Archives, Kew CO48/46, 354

[Note at the top of the letter indicates it was “brought here by Mr. INGOT and Mr. CHESTER”]

Walnut Tree House

Near Brentford, Middlesex

August 14th, 1819


In conjunction with two friends, I wish to avail myself of the intentions of Government, by taking out to the Cape of good hope 50 laboring men and their families, consisting of about 200 individuals.

The arrangement of affairs and disposal of property previous to such a removal, would require the utmost possible time; the favor therefore of information as soon as convenient, as to the certainty of being included in the list of offers for the Cape, accepted by Government, is of much importance.

I have the honor to be Sir

Your most Obt. hble. servt.





National Archives, Kew CO48/46, 401

Walnut Tree House

Windmill Lane

Near Brentford

August 25, 1819


Conjointly with two friends, I wish to avail myself of the proposals of Government, by taking out to the Cape of Good Hope about 50 laboring men and their families.

The arrangements necessary for such an undertaking, requiring time; the favor of information as to the certainty of being admitted in the list of accepted offers is of much importance. I have the honor to be Sir

Your mo. Obt. Hble. Svt.





National Archives, Kew CO48/46, 448

Walnut Tree House

Near Brentford

13 September 1819


Should it not be contrary to the directions of your office, I should feel greatly obliged to you, to enable me to form some idea of the time it may probably be, before the decision take place, respecting my proposal to take a number of laborers to the Cape.

If it would facilitate the determination of Government, I could mention that I have been a resident House keeper here, on my own premises upwards of 15 years. That formerly I had much experience in agriculture, and well understand the management of the vine and its produce.

As it has been mentioned that the transports will sail in November, and as I much wish [to] go out by the earliest conveyance there is not too much time left [for] preparations, procuring labourers from the Country, & their characters.

The polite attention with which you favoured me, when I had the pleasure of seeing you, I am persuaded, will be continued on the present occasion which will much oblige Sir.

Your most Obdt. Svt.





National Archives, Kew CO48/46, 530

Walnut Tree House

Near Brentford

October 9th 1819

Permit me to return sincere thanks for your kind communication of my proposal having been accepted by Earl BATHURST; as also for your ready reply to my enquiries. As soon as possible I shall engage the whole of my Settlers, and without loss of a moment, return the list of names as directed.

May I be allowed the favor of an interview, of which I feel the necessity? On Thursday next, for a few days, I purpose a visit to Somersetshire.

I have the honor to be Sir

Your much obliged and most Obt. Servt.

William WAIT




National Archives, Kew CO48/46, 560


Oct 25 1819


I send herewith a return of the names and professions of the individuals with whom I have entered into engagements and who I am to take out to the Cape settlement.

I should feel obliged for information on the following points; and doubt not your readiness to afford me every facility to promote a happy result to what I feel an arduous undertaking.

Are stamps necessary, to render the agreement with the Laborers, binding and effectual?

Will the land allotted me by Government be pointed out by its Agent, or shall I be at liberty to choose for myself?

Will there be a choice for a ready communication by sea? As I propose to bring the whole of my allotment into immediate cultivation this will an essential object or the motive [for] exertion must subside, if placed at too great a distance.

May the purchase of corn at the place of settlement be depended upon at a reasonable price; or will it be prudent to take corn from hence for seed and bread as well as other provisions?

Will extra tonnage be allowed for the purpose of the last query; and at what rate, if otherwise, will it be charged?

Will instruments for the purpose of agriculture be included in the tonnage mentioned to be allowed, and could I be allowed any extra tonnage for myself, family and friends?

Will the baggage and stores of the party be conveyed from the place of [landing] to the place of location at the expense of Government? And will there be facilities [close] at hand, for that purpose?

Would Government be pleased to furnish me at a small expense from its [obscured] stores or otherwise, some tents, muskets, wagons, ammunition &c &c?

Will the stores of the Settlers on landing be free of duty?

Will the Settlers be permitted to take gunpowder with them to the settlement and to receive further supplies as occasion may require?

Will Government order a Cabin and suitable accommodations for myself and friends, or must I be at the expense of such an arrangement with the Captain?

In what mode will the repayment of the deposit, be made in the Colony?

Trusting to receive every encouragement from Government, with confidence I throw myself under its protection, and have the honor to remain Sir

Your most Obt. Servt.

William WAIT




National Archives, Kew CO48/46, 609

Dec. 16th 1819


As I have left Brentford and it will be necessary that I receive communication when the vessel is ready for the embarkation of our Settlers, be pleased to order it to be addressed to me as underneath. I have the honor to be Sir

Your most Obt.Hble. Sevt.


No. 31 Red Lion Square




National Archives, Kew CO48/46, 610

Adam Street No.10 Adelphi

23 Dec. 1819


A man with whom I have been unfortunately connected in a Partnership [with] – has ill naturedly proceeded by a law process to render my being able to go out in the same ship with my Settlers doubtful. Should it happen that he succeed in his endeavours to detain me for a while behind them, my worthy friend C. THORNHILL Esq. of 31 Red Lion Square, who is mentioned in my list, and who has a share in my concern, will take charge of the Settlers, and has my full authority to act in my behalf. I shall lose no time in following to the Cape, and have the honor to remain Sir.

Your most Obedt. Sevt.


[Note on reverse from GOULBURN]

Acquaint Mr THORNHILL that in consequence of his statement and Mr WAIT's confirmation of it received nearly at the same time Lord BATHURST has directed his name to be substituted for that of Mr WAIT as the person having charge of the settlers who had been accepted – and that he will proceed accordingly. Add further that any proposition for recovering the deposit of the party otherwise than on arrival at the Cape can not be attended to. Write accordingly to the Navy Board.




NIND & COTTERELL re William WAIT (Filed under N in CO48/44)

National Archives, Kew CO48/44, 930

Throgmorton Street

Dec'r. 24th, 1819

My Lord,

Having learned that a Sum of £655 or thereabouts has been paid as a deposit by Mr William WAIT of Walnut Tree House, Brentford who was about to sail for the Cape of Good Hope on board the ship Zoroaster – we most respectfully take the liberty of stating to your Lordship that Mr WAIT was in partnership with Mr Peter LAFOSSE in a concern in which Mr LAFOSSE had provided almost the whole of the Capital and in respect of which Mr WAIT is largely indebted to him and Mr WAIT's intention of quitting the Kingdom had been studiously concealed from Mr LAFOSSE and he has recently collected considerable sums from the Debtors of the Partnership and retained them to himself and has clandestinely removed his private Property.

Mr LAFOSSE has therefore filed a Bill in the Court of Chancery against Mr WAIT to restrain him from leaving the Kingdom and to Dissolve the Partnership and receive the partnership Property and that Court has granted a Writ of Ne Exeat Regno* against Mr WAIT under which he is now in Custody of the Sheriff of Kent and the Court has also this day granted an Injunction to prevent him incurring any of the Partnership Property.

We have good reason to believe that the sum of £655 deposited by Mr. WAIT or the greater part of it is the Property of the Partnership improperly collected by Mr WAIT and as it is now evidently impossible for Mr WAIT to go to the Cape of Good Hope Mr LAFOSSE will seek in due course to receive this money for payment of the Debts of the concern to which it belongs and in the mean time we respectfully request your Lordship will prevent the money or any part of it from being paid to or applied for the use of Mr WAIT or any other Person.

We shall take the liberty of lodging a Copy of the Writ of Injunction with your Lordship as soon as it can be passed through the offices.

We have the honor to be, My Lord,

Your Lordship's most obed't. hum'l. servt.


[Note from GOULBURN across the bottom:

Let me know whether Mr THORNHILL's party [has] yet embarked or where ordered for embarkation.

Translation : Ne Exeat Regno : (let him not go out of the Kingdom) A writ to restrain a person from leaving the country, or the jurisdiction of the court. The writ was originally applicable to purposes of state, but is now an ordinary process of courts of equity, resorted to for the purposes of obtaining bail, or security to abide a decree. 1913 Webster



Cape Archives CO6138 Volume 2 pp 20-22

Memorandum and agreement made this the day and year hereinafter specified between the parties undersigned and Wm. WAIT of the Walnut Tree House, Windmill Lane, County of Middlesex of the other part, viz –
In consideration of the said Wm. WAIT taking us out to the settlement near the Cape of Good Hope, as his settlers upon the lands to be allotted by Government to the said Wm. WAIT, we the undersigned bind ourselves each for himself to the said Wm. WAIT his heirs or Assigns, him truly and faithfully to serve in the way of our trade or business or in any other capacity that he the said Wm. WAIT his Hears or Assigns may think necessary and direct, consistent with the health and strength of each individual for the space of six years, after the establishment of the settlement.
The said Wm. WAIT engages the several parties undersigned and the wives and children as specified when on board the ship to be appointed for the purpose, shall be taken to the aforesaid settlement near the Cape of Good Hope free of expence to them, and when there to provide them with provisions necessary for their support and maintenance until the commencement of their daily wages.
The said Wm. WAIT, as soon as their daily wages shall commence, engages to allow the several undersigned the value of half a bushel of wheat (the value of the said wheat to be taken from the average sales of each year) as his daily wages, to commence as soon as they shall begin to work on the said settlement.
The said Wm. WAIT also engages to provide each family as soon as it may be convenient to do so, with a suitable habitation and half an acre of garden ground, the said house and garden to be for the use of each individual as long as in the service of the said Wm. WAIT his Heirs or Assigns.
The said parties subscribers to this agreement agree to submit to said rules and regulations as may be thought fit to be established by the said Wm. WAIT for the general good of the settlement to which they hereby belong, and consistent with the laws of the Colony.
In proof of the full and entire approbation by the said parties to the foregoing contract each individual whose signature is hereunto affixed binds himself to the said Wm. WAIT his Heirs or Assigns in the final sum of one hundred pounds sterling of Great Britain to comply with and fulfil the same, in witness whereof he hereto affixes his hand this eleventh day of December 1819 – The following clause being first added, viz. Each individual binds himself likewise in the same final sum of one hundred pounds not to work himself, or to permit his wife or children or child to work for hire or otherwise for any other person or persons not belonging to the party subscribers hereto, without leave being first obtained in writing from the said Wm. WAIT his Heirs or Assigns.
Charles CLARK
Joseph LOFTS
Robert WEBB
Francis NIBBS
Thomas KEEN
Joseph SMITH
Signed in the presence of
Edw’d DELL
Thomas WHITE

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