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 CO48/45, 476


27th July 1819

My Lord

I have the honor to observe in perusing a London newspaper extract of the conditions under which it is proposed to give encouragement to immagration to the Cape of good hope; I beg leave to offer self with family of five children & wife and servants in all twelve in number as settlers in the British dominion at the Cape, not more than 20 miles from Cape Town or False Bay of which place I have local knowledge and do give that place the decided preference to all my travels which have been very extensive.

The narative of my case is briefly as follows. I am descended from protestant Ancestors distinguished for their loyalty for past Centurys. I went out to India at an early period of my life as a [?seeker?] of fortune with letters of recommendation to some of the most respectable characters in the Hon'ble Company Service; I have been over the greatest part of the continent of India, I acted as an officer of Rank in a Corps of Cavalry in a campaign under the late Lord LAKE against the Mahratta power & French. On peace been concluded the Corps I belonged to was reduced when I availed myself of the opportunity of returning to my native country with the fleet accompaning Lord LAKE to England. I carryed letters of recommendation from an Hon'ble Gentleman in India to his exalted brother here. I am now in receipt of a reward granted me for my services by the Government at Calcutta, a reward I've got to say is but badly remitted - he would not sanction it to be paid me in London instead of Calcutta which I am sorry to say subjects me & my growing family to much inconvenience. This grievance in a great measure could be obviated by my residing at the cape of good hope. I brought part of my family with me from India; since I changed my situation here I have taken a farm of land in the neighbourhood of Enniskillen, it is called Churchland under the See of Cloghar subject to an anual increas of fine so unlimited that Bishop PORTER's fine is now £20 per annum for which my family's ancestors paid but 6 some thirty years back. This with taxation has baffled all economy and has hankered my limited pension, now more than a year in arear in such a manner that I begin to feel rather embarrassed but not more than my little [?proper?] will meet.

Should your Lordship deem this simple statemen deserving further notice I can refer your Lordship to Gentlemen in London of the first Merchant character for a coroborating proof of mine.

I have lately been employed here on the Companys Recruiting but now discontinued and I regret I am left without employ.

I have the honor to be

Your Lordships most obed hble servt


Major late Annuity, H. C. S.




National Archives, Kew CO48/45, 543


13th August 1819


In doing myself the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your printed letter dated the 2nd inst containing the conditions of Government under which it is proposed to give encouragement to emigrate to the Cape of good hope, the particulars I have given due attention, and I beg leave to state I have but little or no objection to avail myself of the encouragement held out to the public that wish to become Settlers there. Disposing of my property here is the greatest obstacle to prevent me with the consideration that they Government may be graciously pleased to hold out a little more liberal donation towards erecting a cottage or farm house of a moderate description. Should the emigrant have all the [obscured] to provide to make himself and family at all comfortable it might be attended with much inconvenience and sink his little all to obviate the result of so unpleasant a circumstance occurring, a trifling specific sum to be granted which could be no object on or after location would ultimately be attended with the wished for effect.

Beyond this present sum of things above these troubling regions we are to look for what is permanent and stable, the world passes away so have my ancestors some of whom in past centurys I have learned suffered and forfeited their inheritance for their loyalty and attachment to the Royal cause, they were not obscure but any connections are [obscured] and god and heaven & virtue continue unchangeably the same, we are to enter into eternal habitations and into these our works are to follow us, the consequence will ever remain of the fact we have acted as good or bad men, as faithful subjects of god or as servants of a vain world in which the present state of man is neither doomed to complete happiness nor designed for complete misery, it is in general a mixed state of comfort and misery of prosperity and adversaty nighther brightened by unending sun shine nor over cast with perpetual shade but subject to [allow] succession of one and the other, while such a state forbids despair it also checks presumption it is eaqual adverse to dispondency of mind & to high elevation of spirits. The temper which best suits a Traveler or Settler is moderation; it ought to be the tenor of existance that virtue consists in all equal balance of the soul, it imports such proper government of [passion] and pleasures as shall prevent from running into extremes of any kind it will produce a calm and temperate frame of mind it is useful in both prosperity and adversity, [in moderation], [delimits] the bounds within which it should remain but the active mind of man seldom or never remains satisfyed with its present condition how prosperous soever; originally designed for a wide range of objects for a higher sphere of enjoyment, it finds itself in every situation of fortune strengthened and confined, sensable of [illegible] in its state; it is ever sending forth the fond desire the aspiring wish after something beyond what is engaged at present; hence that [restlessness] which prevails so generally among mankind & that disgust of pleasure which the have tryed; fill up the ultimate wish of most men. These are the objects which engross their solitary musings & [illegible] their active labours and often keep alive & warm the desire of industrious men at a [torn page] period of life; I presume it may not be deemed amoral nor [illegible] in wishing to be free from what is disagreeable. I seek neither [illegible] nor riches but food and raiment convenient for a growing family and followers, but of this I am in a great measure deprived by taxation Bishops fines and by things which has deprived me of the advantage of [illegible] and most anxious hard labour for the last five or so years of my life. I wish for nothing more than a distant field in which I can follow the impute of my mind & to exert the talent with which god has blessed me. There is room for ambition at the Cape to act in a laudable sphere and to become the instrument of much public good. That passion for nobility that ambition of rising to some degree of eminence & which the mind forms but an indistinct idea, which may be considered as indication of a certain native original greatness in the human soul swelling beyond the limits of its present condition & pointing at the higher objects for which it was made, happy if this latent remains of a primitive state served to direct our works towards their proper destination & lead us into the path of true bliss.

Permit me to request you will please to inform me if pensioners are allowed to emigrate without prejudice to their pension; several have been speaking to me on the subject I could give no [illegible]. I have the honor to state for his Lordships information that I am in receipt of a reward from the Government of Bengal for my services which have been exerted in the british cause as far as the exertions of a humble individual could go over almost the entire continent of India a public letter to me from the Supreme Council at Calcutta and quiting India in the year 1818 acknowledging the ability of my conduct corroborates my statement. The reward granted me is eaqual to that of Major on the retired list from the Companys Service; the reward is paid to an agent for me in Calcutta instead of London or Dublin remitted by bills on London which is too often attended with much delay and very great inconvenience to me. I have a son now serving in India, I have two sons more, the eldest 9 years old three daughters & my wife with our domestick four. I can get ten able bodyed men to accompany me in the event of my case meeting with his Lordships further consideration and will permit me to proceed with some settlers to the Cape the first or second opportunity for the purpose of having [occular] demonstration of the nature of the soil & of its government whither any part of labour is subject to tything or any duty to be paid to the Governor; and to permit me to return by the Government transport, for my family in the course of a year after I embark in the event of the portion of land granted to me at the Cape will meet with any moderate and reasonable approbation of my wishes from the considerations I shall proceed

I have the honor to remain Sir

Your most obedient humble servant


I propose going to London in the course of the month or two on private business will do myself the honor to call at the Secretary of States office if I am permitted an audience. I can refer if required to high respectability in London for a long knowledge of me

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