BUDDEN, Mary (wife of Richard BUDDEN) 1835
National Archives, Kew, CO48/164, 46
Dec'r 18 1835
I have the melancholy task to submit for your Lordship's benevolent consideration, as Secretary of State for the Colonies, the following facts relating to the death of my husband, who was barbarously murdered in Kafferland in the early part of the present year. The subject is so very painful for me to dwell upon, that I will merely transcribe a letter which I have received from his employer and state my present unfortunate condition, not without the anxious hope that an appeal for remuneration to His Majesty's government will not be made in vain although it proceeds from a destitute Widow.
Graham's Town, District of Albany
Cape of Good Hope, South Affrica
August 6 1835
By the movements of Divine Providence it is my painful duty to inform you that your lamented husband was employed by me as a Trader in Kafferland, among the heathen Tribes of Kaffers, during a considerable time with every appearance of security and tranquillity, but from secret machinations (yes! very secret) urged on and promoted no doubt by the ferocious and unprincipled Hintra (the savage Chief of the whole county but who was shot dead by his Treachery and villainy by a Juvenile British Settler on the 12th day of last May) they at length suddenly and perfidiously burst out into open hostilities against His Majesty's subjects – seized upon the property of the master traders and murdered many of their unoffending servants in various parts of that Heathen county at the same time, and from their own regions "the habitations of Cruelty" they ferociously entered the British Dominions, which were then in a state of great commercial prosperity, but which their numerous hordes very soon metamorphosed into a desolate wilderness, burning the farm houses in every direction and murdering the unsuspecting and defenceless Inhabitants – stealing their cattle to the number of upwards of one hundred thousand, and it is to me a very painful duty to state that your unfortunate husband fell a victim to savage cruelty and treachery in the early part of the present year, and is therefore now no more, but the precise day cannot possibly be ascertained. I have no doubt but that your late husband was in possession of money, as well as other property, but it has all been taken or destroyed by the savages for not a vestige remained on the spot after his decease, either of his or my property, and I assure you that my case is a very unfortunate one, for the losses I sustained by the hostilities of the Kaffer savages ( who have been shamefully represented to the people of England as being converted to the Christian Faith by thousands as living under the influence of that Gospel wh. I am sure breathes nothing but "Peace and Good Will to Men") I believe there are a few debts due by your departed husband in this town but I have not time at present to make the necessary enquiries as to the amount, but if I can be of any service to you in reference to his affairs I shall be very happy to do so, and am, Madam, your obed't serv't
No words of mine can add force to the truth of this heart rending narrative. I will therefore very briefly relate my present unfortunate position, and leave my case in the hands of Your Lordship. From a respectable and comfortable situation in life I have been reduced to the necessity of supporting myself and four children by working at my needle, and finding my means from that source totally insufficient to maintain them even in the humblest way, I have lately undertaken the management of the Parish School. Misfortune induced my late husband (Richard BUDDEN) to emigrate to the Cape of Good Hope. It was his intention as soon as he had realised a sufficient sum to support us to have sent for me and my children, and I have every reason to believe that he had nearly accomplished this desirable object, when Death under the most horrid circumstances put an end to his projects, and at the same time deprived me of a husband, and of the little all which he by his industry had accumulated.
I will add no more for fewest words on this occasion are the best, but I humbly hope that Your Lordship will grant the object of my application and although I shall be able to make you no return adequate to the gratitude I shall feel for your kindness, yet the consciousness that you have assisted a destitute widow and alleviated her distress will I am persuaded afford you that consolation and reward which the World can neither give nor take away.
I am your most obed't humble serv't