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.

READ, James

National Archives, Kew CO48/45, 446

16 Clements Inn

22nd July 1819

My Lord,

I have to offer my most humble apology for the freedom I am about to take in introducing myself to your notice, and for trespassing upon your valuable time, but as the matter upon which I write is I believe under your jurisdiction I trust your Lordship will not consider the liberty inexcusable.

Allow me to state that I am the son of the late John READ, some years Chairman of the Commissioners of Land Tax for the City of London, the duties of which situation were discharged by my father with the utmost ability, integrity and honor (to the period of his death which happened in 1801) without either salary, gratuity or reward; for though his merit procured for him the promise of remuneration, yet it was never fulfilled from the circumstance of his death; his zeal and ability in promoting the public service in that situation I can fully prove by letters of the late Right Hon'ble G. ROSE and others, now in my possession. I beg leave also to mention the services of my uncle James READ, the late Chief Magistrate of Bow St. I have myself been serving my country in Walcheren, the Baltic, America, Cape of Good Hope &c in the capacity of 2nd Lieutenant of Marines.

Having made these statements allow me my Lord to ask if you are aware if it is the intention of Government (in promoting emigration to the Cape of Good Hope) to render any assistance to a better sort of emigrant; I mean such as those possessing small capitals, and who are not compelled to quit their native country by any of the many causes which generally render emigration necessary. From the circumstance of my having been in the country I am fully persuaded of the merits of the plan, and am willing (if consistent with the plans of government) to take upon myself the management and superintendence of any number of persons, and trust that from the services I have stated above (particularly those of my father, never having been rewarded) I might be thought a fit and proper person to fill any official situation, if any should arise.

It is to learn every particular upon this subject that I have taken the liberty of troubling your Lordship, and if I should be thought worthy of an interview would be most happy to wait upon your Lordship whenever you may be pleased to appoint.

With the greatest respect I have the honor to be, my Lord

Your Lordship's most obed't and most humble serv't

James READ

[note from GOULBURN]

Acquaint him that there is no intention of appointing any superintendents to take charge of the settlers at the Cape and that therefore Lord B can give no encouragement to his expectations although perfectly ready to admit the merits of his family

Print Email