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.

HEWSON, Thomas, 1833

National Archives, Kew CO48/152 281

 

Graham's Town, Albany
2nd November 1833

To the Rt Honorable E.G.S. STANLEY, Secretary to the British Colonies &c

Memorial of Thomas HEWSON of Graham's Town, Cape of Good Hope, British Emigrant,
Humbly Sheweth
That your Memorialist with his wife and a family of five children (the oldest a son of eighteen years of age) emigrated to this Colony with Mr. John BAILIE, being the first party of settlers that arrived here under the sanction of the British Government in 1820.
That Memorialist brought with him a capital of £1000 and continued on the land allotted to him 18 months, where he built a house, cultivated land and was the first of the party to possess a wagon and oxen, having at the same time the largest herd of cattle in the party; but from the many annoyances arising from the individuals being too closely located to each other on a small stream with a frontage to each location of only 39 yards by about 150 yards deep, continual altercations and disputes originated, and Memorialist removed with his family to Bathurst 12 miles distant from his location; but without any intention of vacating or prejudicing his rights to the same. On the contrary Memorialist to secure his land let his homestead and improvements to his next Neighbour for the consideration of one Muid of Indian Corn per annum.
That Memorialist at Bathurst built a house and incurred considerable expences in improving his property there, from the assurance of the then Colonial Authorities that Bathurst was to become the Capital of the Settlement.
Hat Memorialist had the promise of a Grant of Land in the neighbourhood from the Acting Governor, Sir Ruffane Shaw DONKIN, and Major JONES, then Landdrost of the District, promised to put Memorialist in possession of the same, but from the suddenness of his departure from the Settlement he was prevented from so doing.
That soon afterwards Graham's Town became, and still continues to be the seat of Magistracy and Bathurst has consequently dwindled to a deserted village, and Memorialist's property there become of little value.
That Memorialist was assured by Major JONES a few days before his departure that written instructions respecting the said Grant of Land were lodged in the Landdrost's Office, and that his successor Mr. H. RIVERS would in such respect fulfil the intention of Government towards Memorialist.
That Mr. RIVERS upon his arrival in Graham's Town acknowledged the claim of Memorialist to the said Grant, promising at the same time to attend to it, as soon as time would permit, and continued so to promise during a period of three years, when His Majesty's Commissioners of Inquiry arrived in the Settlement, and Major COLEBROOK, one of the Commissioners, upon application to him, recommended Memorialist not to press for the Grant of Land before stated, but to apply for other Land, and Memorialist accordingly requested from His Excellency Lord Charles SOMERSET a Grant of Land on the Klien Mentjes, a place situated near the mouth of the Great Fish River, and Mr. Commissioner HAYWARD appointed by the Colonial Government to adjust the claims of the British Settlers in the District of Albany gave Memorialist hopes that such Grant would be made in lieu of his two shares to the Party location: and Sir Richard PLASKET, Secretary to the Government in March 1825 assured Memorialist that his said request would be complied with; yet Memorialist was afterwards informed that the said requested Land was given to another person.
That Memorialist has severely felt these repeated disappointments from the consequent loss of time, outlay in the purchase of farming implements, livestock and other requisites, Memorialist having 300 head of cattle, as well as having lost two shares of the Location, nearly 2,000 acres.
That Memorialist although repeatedly informed by the Authorities that there was no land to be given, yet subsequently many persons have had Grants of Land, numbers of whom had no claim as Emigrants under the sanction of the British Government.
You Memorialist therefore humbly prays that a Grant of Land in some part of the unappropriated territory of this Colony between the Great Fish and Keiskamma Rivers to be made to your Memorialist
And your Memorialist as in duty bound &c &c
Tho's HEWSON

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