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

Nottinghamshire 1820 Settlers

These documents are housed in Nottinghamshire Archives and were transcribed by Rob Smith while researching for his book Nottinghamshire Settlers and Locations in the Eastern Cape of Good Hope  (Footprint Press, Hermanus, Western Cape). They are reproduced here by kind permission of Rob Smith and Nottinghamshire Archives. Surnames have been printed in block capitals to fit in with the other transcriptions on this site.

Most of the correspondence was addressed to Edward Smith GODFREY, Clerk of the Peace for Nottinghamshire, who was in charge of the selection of the Nottinghamshire settlers on the emigration scheme. He was assisted by the Rev. J.T. BECHER of Southwell.

Correspondence re appointing Thomas DRAPER as Party Leader

Nottinghamshire Archives C/QA/CP/5/1/6/12


Oct 8th 1820

Dear Sir
**** **** our uncertainty as to the **** or otherwise of CALTON’s conduct, I *** **** you will be very sorry to learn by the enclosed letter that he is dead.
Pray be so good as to inform me whether Mr DRAPER is likely to make a good leader and who he is – in conect[?] with Mr BECHER would you be good enough to make those arrangements which may appear to you most beneficial to promote those objects which the Subscribers had in view-
Perhaps it might be right to make public the death of poor CALTON & the appointment of the other persons [whoever they?] may be –
I remain
Dear Sir
Very Sincerely yrs

Nottinghamshire Archives C/QA/CP/5/1/6/13


Downing Street 27th October 1820

My Lord
I beg to transmit to your Grace a copy of a letter which has been received by my Under Secretary from the officer administering the Civil Government of the Cape, reporting the death of Mr CALTON, the person who proceeded to that Colony as the director of the Settlers who were fitted out by the subscriptions of a number of noblemen and gentlemen in Nottinghamshire. The settlers have elected another person as their director, and it will be for the Trustees, to whom a Control over the lands has been reserved to approve that choice, or to take such measures as they may think proper.
I have the honor to be
My Lord
Your Grace’s most obedient humble Servant

Nottinghamshire Archives C/QA/CP/5/1/6/21


30th Nov. 1820

My dear Sir
When your packet which I return, arrived, I was about removing from my own house into the Residence; I being unable to satisfy your inquiries concerning Thos DRAPER, who has been conditionally nominated the successor of Mr CALTON. I propose waiting upon you as soon as I could ascertain his general character. Meanwhile Mr CALTON Junr has called upon me and promised, as soon as you return from London, to state to you in person all the information in his possession. He deposited with me two letters which demand our attention & will be found in the packet. His father’s death has certainly been a melancholy event; and, at the present junction particularly unfortunate – but I really have not yet heard any circumstance calculated to defeat my expectation of a settlement highly beneficial to our Party.- Probably you will desire Mr CALTONs Son to attend you. T DRAPER is the Gardener of Wm ELLIOTT he bore a good Character according to the Representation made to us before his departure, but I am not competent to determine his sufficiency for the responsible situation to which he has been advanced- Would it not be well for you to address a line to Mr ELLIOTT upon the subject.
I shall be happy to attend your proposed meeting at Ollerton on 21 December, or to devote my attention to any objects calculated to promote the welfare of those who have emigrated to the Cape with our assistance.
Believe me
My dear Sir
Yours most truly

Nottinghamshire Archives C/QA/CP/5/1/6/47

John ELLIOTT at Nottingham to GODFREY

My Dear Sir
Your letter to my Brother of the 11 Inst was forwarded to me and which I only received Yesterday and have lost no time in Considering it agreeable to Your request and to give You my Sentiments & opinion of Tho. DRAPER who livd with me in the capacity of Gardener for near four Years and conducted himself with great propriety & regularity. I believe him to be perfectly honest & Industrious and for any thing I know to the contrary Sober but as he did not reside in my House being a Married Man with a family I cannot speak exactly to that fact – He left my Service after the death of His Wife, purposely to go out with CALTON to the Cape of Good Hope and I have only to assure You that I think him perfectly Qualified to succeed poor CALTON – and I sincerely hope he may obtain the Appointment, I remain
My Dear Sir
Yours most truly and Sincerely
15 Decemr 1820

Nottinghamshire Archives C/QA/CP/5/1/6/48


Nottm Dec 19th 1820

Dear Sir/
I am requested by Mrs CALTON to communicate to you my opinion respecting her present state of health for the purpose of laying it before the Gentlemen, who I understand, intend to meet on Friday next to take her situation under their consideration.
Mrs CALTON has for some time laboured under a severe pulmonory complaint, which has of late been gradually getting worse, till it has now assumed all the appearance of consumption which in my opinion must inevitably prove fatal, as many months have elapsed, unless some material (though scarcely to be expected) change for the better be affected by her return to her native climate.
Mrs CALTON speaks warmly of her Son’s kindness and attention during the voyage, as well as since her arrival. He appears to me a well disposed young man and anxious to contribute, as far as lies within his power to the comfort of his Mother.
I remain Dr Sir
Yours respectfully
P.S. Since writing the above, I have seen Dr STORER, who coincides with me in opinion.

Nottinghamshire Archives C/QA/CP/5/1/9/7

[From transcriptions by Thoroton Historical Society, Nottingham]

Port Elizabeth
Algoa Bay 10th July 1820

In consequence of the death of Mr. Thomas CALTON lately landed at Port Elizabeth, as head of a Party of Settlers from Nottingham and in reference to the Agreement between the said Party: It is pointedly stated in the second Article of the same that in case the said Thomas CALTON shall die or depart from the Colony, etc. etc., Then it shall and may be lawful for the Subscribers or a Majority of them to appoint some other fit and proper Person to undertake the Superintendance of the said Party in place of the said Thomas CALTON.
Lieutenant Colonel CUYLER, Landdrost of the District of Uitenhage, having assembled the said Party of Settlers this day and proposed to them to elect a Head, when by a majority Thomas DRAPER was nominated Head of the said Party until the pleasure of His Excellency The Governor of the Colony may be known.

Sigs, or marks of:-

George PALMER [X his mark] Henry HOLLAND
Thomas PALMER George SANSOM [X his mark]
Thomas WEBSTER Thomas BILLSON [X his mark]
Thomas JURMAN [X his mark] Thos. HARTLEY juner [sic]
Edmd. BRADFIELD Francis ALLISON [X his mark]
John BRADFIELD senr. William CROOKS [X his mark]
William PIKE George BROWN
John CROSS William MEATS
Joseph WRIGHT William HUNT [X his mark]
Richard RADFORD Joseph RADFORD [X his mark]
Benjamin KEETON Matthew POOLE
Thos. NELSON [X his mark] Joseph BRADFIELD [X his mark]

I do accept the Superintendance of this party
(sig.) Thomas DRAPER

The said Thomas DRAPER having accepted the Superintendance of this Party, he is hereby authorised to take the management and responsibility of the same.
All accounts of a Public Nature Deposit etc. etc., he is to hold himself responsible for and all the public stores belonging to the said Party with an Inventory of the same having been delivered to the said Mr. Thomas DRAPER.
(sig.) J. S. CUYLER

Nottinghamshire Archives C/QA/CP/5/1/9/10


[From transcriptions by Thoroton Historical Society, Nottingham]

Port Elizabeth Algoa Bay,
Colony Cape of Good Hope.
July 11th 1820

It is with regret I have to inform you of the Death of Mr. Tho. CALTON at this place on the 8th of this month, the Head of the party of settlers you had sent out to Colonise with us. On which event I came over here, and agreeably to the terms of the Articles of Agreement, I assembled the party and their resolution in consequence I have the Honor herewith to transmit, which I hope may prove satisfactory to His Grace the Duke of New Castle and yourselves. The party are now only waiting waggons to proceed in a few days to their Location where I hope they may prosper under the superintendance of Mr. DRAPER.
I cannot conclude this letter without recommending the Widow and Fatherless Children of the late Mr. CALTON, who are resolved to return Home, to your protection - the conduct of the eldest son has been most exemplary upon this melancholy occasion - and from the information I have received from Capt. EVATT the Commandant at this place, the late Mr. CALTON will be a serious loss as he was a most active and zealous man.
I have the Hon to be Gentlemen
Your Most Ob. Ser.
The Reverend J. T. BECHER of Southwell
Edward Smith GODFREY Esq. of New Castle upon Trent,
County Nottingham.

Nottinghamshire Archives C/QA/CP/5/1/9/11

[From transcriptions by Thoroton Historical Society, Nottingham]

Cape of Good Hope
26th July 1820

I have the honor to state for the information of the Earl BATHURST that Mr. Thomas CALTON who arrived in this Colony with a party of Settlers, for whom the requisite funds were supplied by the Subscriptions of certain Noblemen and Gentlemen in Nottinghamshire and who through the Agency of the Trustees the Revd. Thos. BECHER and Mr. Edward GODFREY received control over the lands to be granted, died at Algo Bay on the 8 Inst. The party has elected Mr. Thomas DRAPER to succeed to the Situation of Head, subject of course, to the approval or otherwise of the Trustees.
I have etc.
Major General Comm.

To Henry GOULBURN, Esq.

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