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.

HEATH, Matthew (uncle of John Henry HEATH), 1824

National Archives, Kew, CO48/67, 122

10 King's Bench Walk

Temple

17th Jan'y 1824

Sir,

I am induced to trouble you with the present application in consequence of having read the following extract from the Report of a Committee of Gentlemen at Cape Town respecting the destitute situation of the settlers who went out to Algoa Bay under the protection of Government; and as I am apprehensive that the individual alluded to under the name of H_____ is a nephew of mine, and the report has created the most painful emotions in the breasts of all his relatives, I trust I shall stand excused for the liberty I have taken in addressing myself to you on the subject, to request you would inform me whether any information has been received by Government in corroboration of the melancholy details which are stated in the Report to which I have alluded and more particularly whether the name of the individual is mentioned at length, and if so whether it corresponds with the signature here subscribed. I trust I shall not be transgressing the bounds of propriety if I also venture to inquire if any measures have been or are intended to be taken by Government for the relief of the distressed sufferers who have embarked in so unfortunate a speculation, either by removal to some other settlement or otherwise.

I must again apologise for the liberty I have thus presumed to take and resting in the hope that I shall be favoured with an early reply I have the honor to be Sir

Your most obed't serv't

Matthew HEATH

Copy extract alluded to:

“BAILIE's Party – Mr. ADAMS, who is head of one division of this party, informed me that there were only thirteen or fourteen families now remaining on the location, out of the whole of this large settlement. He added that there was much distress among those who remained: and instanced one person of the name of H____, who had formerly been in good circumstances, but who, from the failure of every other resource, had that day been forced to go to Graham's Town, to sell some of the small remaining part of his clothes, to keep himself and his family from starving, for absolute want.”

The letter containing the above particulars it appears by the Report is from a Mr. F. and is dated the 1st April last.

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