Skip to main content
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.

Letter home from Thomas GOULDING

Nottinghamshire Archives DD1236/1-4

Letter addressed to Thos. GOULDING
Gamston Hill

Cow heel River july 15th 1820

Dearest of pearents I take opportunity of Righting these few Lines hoping these few will find you all in Good health As it Leves us all at this time that God
Whe Landed in this healthy Contery on the 12 of May after a teidous jurney but Rest ashuard that whe are well paid for our Labour I wish that you and all my Dear Brothers and sisters was hear for whe have got into a new world of plenty and we Cannot be appy with hout you the best of [bread?] is 3d pound wine 6d bottle Brandy 10d bottle sugar 3d pound Clothing is the only thing that is dear and pots my sister bought a small 6 [figged] jugg in Liverpool and sould hear for 2 Dollars my brother and myself hath bought 2 Cows for 3 pounds sheep is 4 to 5 shillings each Whe have got 2 hundred akers of Good Land so that in a few years with industery and the blessing of God whe shall be able to earn our Bread with ease and if you Can Possibly bring a Good Gun with you for there Sume willd beast but not as many now thear is plenty of Game for shooting and send a few [beggers] hear if you Can for whe have plenty of meat and no body will thank us for it Give our Lov to all my brothers and sisters unkels and Cusens and all **.

Please to send this Letter to our Dear sister Mearria as soon. Dear sister will you be so good as to Coppy Part of this Letter and send it to Thos wife mother.

Whe Remain your Dutyfull sons and Daughter Thos G E GOULDING
for Cost to bring [plenty] of pottaters and oringes to eat on the water for pottaters the best thing that you can bring

Direct Thos GOULDING
Cow heel River
Nottingham Party
Cape of Good Hope

[Transcriber’s Note: The following seems to be added randomly after the above but appears to be in the same handwriting]

Get will a mention you for your advice upon our Land and stock and I hope in a short time whe shall be able to pay the pasige of my Brothers and sisters for I should wish for all my freinds to Com hear – tell our Cusen John [HIBBID] that it will be worth his wile to Come for the Duch will Give a englishman aney thing that understands Cultivation and if he can Lend you as much money as you Can Get hear with whe will pay him when you Get hear and if he Doth Come buy as maney fine bigger Pots as he Can but pack [as] safeist Cases
Apply to the Duke of newcastol and tell him that you have two sons and that they have sent a very Good acount and that you should Like to Come I know he his a very worthy Gentleman for he hath been the making [of us?].


  • Hits: 2242