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.

FOULGER, John re distressed settlers, 1824

National Archives, Kew, CO48/67, 56

25 Rood Lane

Fenchurch Street

Feb'y 12 1824

My Lord,

It is with much diffidence I venture on the liberty of drawing your Lordship's attention for a few moments to the situation of the settlers in South Africa, which is now distressing in the extreme.

I am aware that your Lordship's time must be fully occupied but I am sure that your [obscured] heart will feel for the miseries of the unfortunate.

Perhaps your Lordship knows that the crops have failed ever since the Emigrants were located in Albany, and the inundation this season has swept away all their remaining hopes.

The class of persons suffering is not the labouring poor, but that class which was more respectable in this happy country & were able to take with them some property, but the crops failing, their money expended, without decent clothing & almost without food, they are reduced to a wretched state.

As a merchant trading to the Cape I flatter myself that I possess correct information, and my brother in law having taken on himself the situation of gratuitous Secretary to the Society formed in Cape Town for the Relief of the Suffering Settlers [Transcriber's Note: This was H.E. RUTHERFOORD] my information is derived from close investigation on his part – this Society has done what it could but the mass of misery is greater than it has means to remove.

It is the wish of several persons, well acquainted with their distresses, to call a public meeting in the City to open a subscription on their behalf and it would afford them sincere gratification if your Lordship would condescend to take the Chair on that occasion, and I beg further to solicit that your Lordship would allow myself & one or two gentlemen who have been at the Cape (not as settlers) the honour of an audience for a few minutes, when we should be better able to explain the situation of those on whose behalf I have ventured to obtrude on your Lordship's notice.

I have the honour to be

Your Lordship's most humble obed't serv't

John FOULGER

[Filed with this letter was a printed copy of the 1823 Report of the Society for the Relief of Distressed Settlers, which has been transcribed and posted separately at Distressed Settlers' Report - 1823 or see 'See Also' to the right of this article]

 

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National Archives, Kew, CO48/67, 74

25 Rood Lane

Fenchurch Street

25 Feb'y 1824

Sir,

I feel confident from the politeness evidenced towards the deputation on behalf of the distressed settlers of the Cape of Good Hope that I may be permitted to occupy your time for a few moments.

I beg to inform you that since the deputation had the honour of an interview with yourself & Lord BATHURST that a private meeting has been held in the City, a Committee chosen, & is strong of resolutions this day passed; which resolutions it is the wish of the Committee to advertise.

The object of my communication at this time is this. My Lord BATHURST most politely and condescendingly said when the deputation had the privilege of an interview with him that we had his permission to make any use of his name calculated to promote the object we have in view; but the Committee do not feel justified in availing themselves of his Lordship's permission without submitting for his approbation what they have prepared, and I have to beg you would be pleased to allow the same deputation an early opportunity of exhibiting to yourself and his Lordship the resolutions. I need not say with what satisfaction the Committee received his Lordship's communication.

May I be excused if I urge an early audience, as we only want his Lordship's approbation to commence advertising.

I have the honour to be Sir

Your most humble serv't

John FOULGER

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