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

Selected Settler Correspondence 1820 - 1837

Whereas ALL the 1819 correspondence was transcribed (see CO48/41 through CO48/46 at the National Archives), whether or not the writers emigrated to the Cape, here only letters by known settlers or their families, or letters of great relevance to the 1820 settlers, have been transcribed. There are many other letters in later files, thought not to be written by eventual settlers. However, if an ancestor is known to have emigrated after the 1820 settlers then it might be worth looking through the rest of the correspondence, which is arranged alphabetically. The relevant files for letters written in 1820 are CO48/52 (A-L) and CO48/53 (M-Y). Later files are labelled "Original Correspondence" followed by the year, and can be found from CO48/56 (1821) to CO48/186 (1837).

Unless otherwise stated letters were written to either the Secretary of State for the Colonies or his deputy. The original correspondence is filed in order of receipt. Here it has been placed in alphabetical order according to the surname of the writer, with letters by the same writer in chronological order, for ease of reading. Original spelling has been maintained. Reference numbers, where given, refer to printed page numbers stamped on the letters and will enable visitors to the National Archives to locate the letter more easily.

CAMERON, H.J. re family of John Mackenzie CAMERON, 1837

National Archives, Kew, London CO48/170, 113

 

Dingwall
May 1837

My Lord,
          I venture to renew an application I have before now presumed to bring before your Lordship in behalf of the family of a deceased brother, Captain John Mackenzie CAMERON, who died at the Cape of Good Hope in 1828.
   I am well aware of the many claims your Lordship must have upon your patronage, and that I am not entitled to solicit any favor; but I am equally sure your Lordship will not be displeased at my bringing under your notice the very straitened, if not destitute, circumstances of the Widow and Children of an Officer who served His Majesty for about thirty years.
   My brother first joined the 72nd and continued in that Corps until he obtained his Company. He afterwards went on Half Pay, but after no very long interval was appointed to a Company in the 55th Regiment, which he held till his death.
He left a Widow and Seven Children, of whom 4 sons and a daughter, besides Mrs. CAMERON, still survive. They have been supported until recently by the pension of £50 Mrs. CAMERON enjoys, and the allowance of £12 of each of the Children, but the provision has been greatly diminished by the cessation of the allowances to the Children, except those of the two youngest, and those also shortly cease.
   Among them all they now enjoy but £74 or £84 per annum, which is hardly sufficient to procure them the necessaries of life, and if their Mother, who is bowed down by suffering, be taken from them, they will be very helpless.
   John, the second son, served for upwards of five years, without I believe almost any emolument whatever, under Mr. MACKAY, an old friend of his Father's, in the Office of the Civil Commissioner, in the hope that his doing so might lead to some permanent employment, but the establishment of the Office being reduced, his hopes of getting forward were disappointed. After being for some time without any employment he became Clerk to Captain HILL, one of the Special Justices, in which situation he had served 15 months when he last wrote me in October.
   He writes me that two provisional battalions with an augmentation to the Cape Mounted Rifle Corps have been secretly raised in the Colony, and he entreats that I apply for his being appointed to an Ensigncy in one or other of them or to some Civil Employment under Government.
   His next brother, William, whose allowance of £12 ceased on his attaining 17 years, is supported by his eldest brother on a small farm at Green Point. The remaining Children, George aged 12 and Lilly 17, are maintained by their mother on her pension and their own small and temporary allowances.
   I very earnestly pray your Lordship to extend your favor to these young men. Apart from considerations of mere benevolence and charity, but which to your Lordship are never addressed in vain, I fondly hope that their father and four of his brothers having long and faithfully served their King and Country, on sea and land, and in many climes, will be a sufficient apology for my expectation that your Lordship will be pleased to bestow on my nephew such employment under Government, either at the Cape or in some other of His Majesty's Colonies, as will enable them to maintain themselves creditably and afford some assistance to their widowed mother, and younger brother and sister.
   Entreating your Lordship's forgiveness for my importunity, I have the honor to be, my Lord.
   Your Lordship's most obedient faithful serv't
   H.J. CAMERON

 

[Note written across bottom of page]

 

Mr. GRANT
I think this is hardly a proper letter to be answered as belonging to this department but that it rather belongs to Lord GLENELG's private papers and should be answered by you. JS

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