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.

McCLELAND, Francis, 1826

National Archives, Kew, CO48/86, 260

Port Elizabeth

9th Jan'y 1826

My Lord,

I have the honor to transmit herewith a copy of a letter from the Colonial Office to which I respectfully solicit your Lordship's kind attention.

During five years and upwards that I have been in the Colony I have to all intents and purposes acted as a District Clergyman, and though in every other district the clergy are allowed a house and garden I have been excepted from the general rule; and this after paying six or seven hundred dollars annually out of two thousand for house rent, placed as to emolument on an equality with the lowest mechanic.

I beg moreover to apprize your Lordship that divine service according to the English Ritual is performed by me (I believe exclusively) in the Dutch language to the old inhabitants, and yet though my duty is twofold my allowance is not equal to half what my Brethren of the Established Church receive. I almost feel assured that were my case properly represented your Lordship would not only allow me a house but raise my salary and compensate me for the time that is past.

In my present circumstances I cannot long continue. I am involved in debt, and with an increasing family have nothing to look to but your Lordship's justice. There is a farm named “Gora” in the District of Uitenhage at present unappropriated, and if your Lordship would have the goodness to advise my getting a grant of it or of some other ground in this neighbourhood, it might serve to relieve my difficulties and enable me to do something for my children.

I cannot suffer the present opportunity to pass without impressing on your Lordship the detriment likely to accrue to the Established Church in this Colony by reason of there not being any person here qualified to confirm the members of that communion when they arrive to years of discretion. This is a serious evil, and is hourly increasing, and merits the grave consideration of every friend of the Establishment.

I have the honor to be

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


[Note across second page: What the emoluments of this chaplain's situation as compared with others?

[Enclosed letter addressed to the Chaplain at Port Elizabeth]

Colonial Office

29th Dec 1825


In reply to your letter of the 13th inst soliciting to be placed on the same footing with the District Clergymen by being allowed a Parsonage House, I am directed by His Excellency the Governor to acquaint you that he will submit your request to Earl BATHURST.

I have the honor to be Sir

Your obedient servant


Sec'y to the Gov'r.




National Archives, Kew, CO48/86, 279

Port Elizabeth

August 8 1826

My Lord,

I had the honor in the month of January last to call your Lordship's mention to the serious injury likely to accrue to the Established Church of England in this Colony in consequence of its young members being unable to have themselves confirmed.

The last advices from India have brought the melancholy news of the death of the Lord Bishop of Calcutta, and I am induced very respectfully to suggest to your Lordship the propriety of recommending his successor to touch at this Colony on his passage to India for the purpose of administering the rite of confirmation to such persons as his Lordship should find qualified.

As a clergyman of the Church of England I hope your Lordship will excuse the liberty I take in acquainting you that the Church of this Parish after being raised about fourteen feet above the foundations is likely to be at a stand for want of funds. Unless we obtain assistance from home the work it is to be feared will be abandoned, but in the hope that your Lordship will interfere to prevent so deplorable an event I have presumed to submit the case to your kind consideration.

I have the honor to be, my Lord

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



[note at foot of page: this ought to have been done? Thro' the Governor a recommendation to be made to the India Board on the subject of the suggestion for supplying the means of confirmation.


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