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, 1834

National Archives, Kew CO48/159, 229


Port Elizabeth
Cape of Good Hope
Feb'y 20th 1834

   With reference to your letter of the 30th March I have the honor to acquaint you that the Rev'd CARLISLE returned to this country in December last, in consequence of which you will be the better judge as to the extracts from the Graham's Town Journal of the 20th instant, which I take the liberty of respectfully submitting to your notice.
   Respecting the merits of the case between Mr. CARLISLE and his parishioners I do not presume to [obscured] an opinion, but as it is possible that the Home Government may deem it proper to enable some changes I beg to obtrude my humble name before your notice again.
   I am now very nearly fourteen years in the service of the Colonial Government. For the first six years I had only £150 Sterling per annum without a house or any allowance for one. In 1826 an allowance of £40 was granted to me for house [cost], and two years after my salary was raised to £200. There are now two Episcopalian Churches in the Eastern division of the Colony, St.Mary's and St.George's, and at the opening of both, and at laying the foundation stone of one, it has fallen to my lot to be the only officiating clergyman. Shortly after the Reverend [Mr] IRELAND was removed from Graham's Town I tendered my services [obscured] to Government for the purpose of maintaining an Episcopalian Communion at that station, where in consequence of the absence of a clergyman of the Church of England dissenters were daily acquiring influence. The Government accepted my services but knowing the smallness of my salary were kind enough to allow me [£15?] for doing duty occasionally in Graham's Town [obscured] six months. This town is distant from Port Elizabeth some hundred miles, and in the above time I went there thrice, and remained from fourteen to twenty one days each time, at my own expense, the parsonage house being then occupied by the Resident Magistrate.
   Since my arrival in the Colony two gentlemen have been appointed to Chaplaincies, with more than double my salary in the first instance, although I am much their senior. One Mr. CARLISLE appointed in [1828?] had £400 a year and his house, while Mr. FRAZER (sent here in 1831 I believe) had £350 with a residence also, while I am fourteen years in the service with only £240 including house and salary. Nor is Port Elizabeth by any means the least worthy of notice, since I have reason to believe that the number of Baptisms, Marriages &c exceed those of Simon's Town more than twofold. Here too there is a Military Hospital and a small garrison, here is the place through which troops are constantly passing and repassing, and all their spiritual wants have been attended to by me without fee or reward for nearly eight years.
   Of all the Colonial Clergy I believe I have the most numerous family, consisting of daughters, with the exception of one son. Should it please Providence to remove me, these will be all thrown upon the [obscured.] My beloved Brother too still continues in the same melancholy state of mind, so that I hope you will pardon me for soliciting your kind interference in my behalf in the event of a vacancy in Graham's Town or to have a trifle added to my salary here. Length of service under one paternal Government appears almost universally to be attended with [proportionable?] reward and I do not see why this equitable rule should be departed from in my case.
   Trusting that you will have the goodness to excuse the great length of this communication, that by lending me your valuable assistance you will enable me to prove a friend to my [obscured] as well as greatful to yourself.
I beg to subscribe myself, Sir
Your most obed't serv't

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