GSSAThe 1820 Settler Correspondence
 as preserved in the National Archives, Kew
 and edited by Sue Mackay

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 CO48/41, 207

County Fire Office


July 17th 1819

My Lord,

I have a turn for devising and conducting beneficial associations amongst men which I have successfully exercised in the formation of the first Volunteer Rifle Corps in this country (the Duke of Cumberland Sharp Shooter) the Provident Life Office, the County Fire Office, the original Provident Institution or Banks for Savings (in 1806) &c.

In the further indulgences of this disposition I have planned and carried into effect the building of new villages on my land at each end of London viz at Shepherds Bush and at Stepney whereon I have caused to be erected upwards of two hundred new houses. But in these latter plans I have been counteracted and have lost many thousands pounds owing to the local justices refusing to allow beer to be sold on either of my estates.

I have in consequence looked about for a place where I might employ my capital free from such unreasonable prohibition and considering that we have an excess of population whose support as paupers or felons (in the absence of useful employment) is a great burthen to the honest and industrious remainder and that it would be a relief to the country and benefit to the individual to carry them to some fruitful soil in want of population and considering that such soil is not to be found in our possession in North America - considering further that it would be desirable to turn the tide of immigration to the United States from that direction to South America, I have made proposals to the government of Buenes Ayres for a large tract of land for the establishment of a colony of Englishmen, which proposal is now under the consideration (the favourable consideration I am told) of that government.

But having considered the newly proposed settlement on the coast of Africa and the terms set forth in the circular from the treasury, and presuming the land is to be by the sea, I wish to carry my plans into effect at that place. I therefore offer to send out 1,000 able bodied men, part of them with families, and to deposit £10,000 on the conditions stated in the circular. I will undertake to send out these to the extent of one hundred at least in every year so as to compleat the amount in ten years or two hundred in every year so as to compleat the amount in five years as Government may chose.

I ask for an allotment of 100,000 acres of land for which I am willing to pay a quit rent of five hundred pounds a year the land to be as nearly in a square form as may be with one side abutting a good bay or navigable river or with such river passing through the allotment, the land to be such as affords rich pasturage or can be easily brought into cultivation the tenure to be subject to the conditions stated.

Should my offer be accepted I hope for the honour of permission to inspect the map of the settlement and any descriptions thereof which are to be shown as also for information how soon it would suit the views of government to supply conveyance for 200 men and the families of some of them.

I have the Honour to be my Lord most respectfully Your Lordships humble servant





National Archives, Kew CO48/41, 221

County Fire Office

Southampton St

21st July 1819


A letter similar to the enclosed was sent addressed to Mr. VANSITTART who has favoured me with a letter stating that I may procure the information I need at Lord BATHURST's office. I called and enquired for you twice today & shall be happy to wait on you again any time you may do me the honor to appoint should my offer be deemed acceptable. I have the honour to be Sir

Your obedient humble servant





National Archives, Kew CO48/41, 275

County Fire Office

London July 29th 1819

My Lord

By way of postscript to my letter dated the 17th instant I beg to state to your Lordship that part of my plan is to send out men whose characters being stained by a single conviction or charge of dishonesty cannot find employment at home and alas men found begging-provided that they are not inveterately vicious or idle and are willing to immigrate.

I have the honour to be Your Lordships most obedient servant





National Archives, Kew CO48/41, 332

County Fire Offices

August 7th 1819


I respectfully ask whether my proposals to send out a thousand persons to the new settlement in Africa is accepted or rejected, as in the former case my arrangements ought to be put in train without loss of time.

I have the honour to be his very respectfully Servant


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