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, 642

Laggan near Inverness

18th October 1819

My Lord,

There are a number of persons in this district, some of whom from want of employment and others from being removed from the lands they have occupied are desirous to embrace the offer of Government to emigrate with their families to the Cape of Good Hope, and as I have for some time past entertained a similar intention various applications have been made to me on the subject: but there is a species of information required by them which I am incompetent to afford. It would therefore be gratefully felt by a number of industrious individuals if your Lordship would cause replies to be made to the following queries, even in the most abridged manner.

1st As some of the applicants find it impracticable to embark so soon as November next, how soon thereafter and at what port will another embarkation take place?

2nd Is it the intention of Government to form the settlers on their arrival into a Militia?

3rd Is the situation fixed on by Government near the coast, and is there a sufficient supply of water

4th Among the applicants there is a young woman who receives a small allowance from the Compassionate List who wishes to accompany her friends – will her allowance be paid to her there or would Government advance her a sum of money in lieu of all other claims?

I am aware that on the subject of this application your Lordship will be troubled with various and frivolous communications and it is with diffidence that I annex a query personally relating to myself. I am at this time on the reduced allowance of Adjutant of the 1st Regiment of Inverness Local Militia, have for thirteen years past occupied a farm of considerable extent: by the failure of a relation have lost a considerable part of my capital – the revision I wish to employ for the interests of my family which consists of 2 daughters above and 4 sons under fourteen years of age; under these circumstances what quantity of land may I expect to be allotted to me and will any preference or additional encouragement be given to those already in the service of Government who embark with the view of becoming permanent settlers and must consequently conduce to the advancement and prosperity of the colony? If deemed necessary I will furnish your Lordship with satisfactory references.

I have the honor to be my Lord

Your Lordship's most obedient humble servant

John ROBERTSON Capt & Adjt late 1st Inverness Local Militia

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