CHASE, John Centlivres, 1834
National Archives, Kew CO48/159, 148
The memorial of John Centlivres CHASE Humbly Sheweth
That your Memorialist from the period of his arrival in this Colony as a British Settler in the great Emigration originated and carried into effect by the Home Government in the year 1820 in order to people the Eastern Frontier of this Settlement, has devoted much of his time in Geographical Researches, especially of the countries surrounding the Colony.
That in the prosecution of this interesting study your Memorialist has personally visited considerable portions of Caffraria as well as the Bechuana Territory to a point far beyond Leetako, and has traversed a large space of the country to the North East of that place at very heavy expence to himself and frequently with considerable peril and much privation.
That from your Memorialist's generally known attachment to Geographical Discovery he has been exclusively entrusted with the original notes and sketches of most of the travellers who have visited the Interior, either in the capacity of Traders or for the purposes of Science, among whom he may particularly name the following, viz:
First. Dr. COWIE and Mr. GREEN, who were the first Europeans who ever visited Dela Goa Bay from the Colony overland.
Secondly. Messrs. SIVON and McLUCKIE, Traders, who penetrated eastwards from the native town of Kurrichane (first visited by the Reverend Missionary J. CAMPBELL in 1820) when they discovered two very large and fine Rivers, the Moriqua and Maritice, running to the Eastern Coast.
Thirdly. Messrs. BAIN and BIDDULPH, who in 1826 reached a point (Litabaruba) about forty miles south of the Tropic.
Outlines of the routes and observations of the former two of which have been published by your Memorialist in the pages of the Journal of the South African Literary and Scientific Institution.
That your Memorialist from his own personal observations and from the notes and sketches just referred to was enabled in the year 1830 to compile an extensive map of the hitherto unknown extra colonial regions, the principal features of which were: A large number of positions to the Northward and beyond the route of the traveller Mr. BURCHELL; The complete Northern Branch of the Orange River; and of the entire country between the Keiskamma River and De La Goa Bay, an extent of coast and country more than equal to that of the whole Colony itself, none of which had ever appeared upon any previous map of South Africa.
That in gratitude for favors received from the Government as a British settler I common with his fellow Immigrants, as a token of respect to the country of his birth, and (as he is not ashamed to confess) in the hope that such a step might benefit his progress in the Colonial Civil Service, into which he had been introduced in the year 1825, at the instance of the then Colonial Secretary Sir Richard PLASKET, your Memorialist having completed his sketch transmitted the same in the year 1830 through His Excellency Sir Galbraith Lowry COLE to the Right Honorable Lord GODERICH, offering its use to the British Government, as he understood from Sir Richard PLASKET (who also advised him to send it to Government) that it was itself about to publish a map of the Colony, at the same time stating Memorialist's intention to make use of his sketch for the purpose of illustrating a work which he was about preparing for the press.
That neither your Memorialist nor even the Governor of the Colony ever received any acknowledgement whatever of the receipt of this sketch from the Colonial Office in London, but from a letter from Memorialist's friend, the late mr. W. H. NUTHALL of the Honorable East India Company's Home Service, when he had deputed to enquire after its fate, he was informed that it had been delivered to him on the 9th November 1831 by the Librarian, who stated to him "that extracts had been made as fara as were required and that the maps were quite done with", adding that the compiler was entitled to much praise, and that Mr. ARROWSMITH, the Engraver who had seen it, was desirous of purchasing it.
That with some surprize your Memorialist noticed a few months back in the 2nd Part of Volume 3rd of the Journal of the Royal Geographical Society a sketch appended to a paper by W.D. COOLEY Esq "on the Civilization of the Tribes of the Highlands above De La Goa Bay", in which the Rivers Maritice and Moriqua discovered by Messrs. SIVON and McLUCKIE in 1829 were exhibited in the precise position as they were laid down by Memorialist from Documents never in any hands but his own and those of the Discoverers, and which had evidently been transcribed from the copy of Memorialist's Map confidentially entrusted to the Home Government.
That with greater surprize and deep regret your Memorialist perceives in the 46th Number of the Series of Maps publishing by the Society for the Diffusion of useful Knowledge, the whole of his labors already mentioned, (which took him ten years exertions to prepare, and the collection of the information for which cost him great pecuniary outlays), made use of and incorporated in the Map of South Africa, confessedly on its face "compiled from the M.S.S. Maps in the Colonial Office" without even the acknowledgement of Memorialist's name as their author – the use of which by third parties was never contemplated by him, on the transfer of which to others his wishes were never consulted, and for which he has never received any remuneration whatever, either by the Government or by those who have thus availed themselves of his labors and outlay.
That Memorialist has never multiplied copies of the sketch he sent to the Home Government and that that is the only one which has ever been sent out of the Colony, that he has invariably refused to give transcripts to numerous applicants, with the exception of one for the use of the Expedition under DR. A. SMITH lately despatched into the Interior, and another sent to a Trader who visited Natal and the country beyond for the purpose of its verification, the original of which was returned by the Trader (Mr. James COLLIS) with the assurance of its geographical accuracy, and that at the instance of Memorialist's friend, the late Mr. NUTHALL, he refused to negotiate its sale with Mr. ARROWSMITH.
That your Memorialist under all the circumstances of the case set forth now throws himself upon the sense of justice and generosity of His Majesty's Government and begs that as his labors hence been taken from him without his consent or concurrence and even without the acknowledgement of his name, by which he is prevented illustrating a work he has ready for the press relative to the Colony and the Interior by his own original Map, that such remuneration may be granted to him as the Government may deem equitable.
And as in duty bound Memorialist will ever pray,
John Centlivres CHASE
A map was transmitted with the original Memorial shewing the parts contributed by Memorialist, these parts being coloured lake.