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.

TAIT, William, 1820

National Archives, Kew, CO48/53, 403

6 Vauxhall Place

South Lambeth

March 30th 1820

Sir,

I have the honor to enclose a certificate from the Landrost of George of the location of the settlers sent out to my brother to the Cape of Good Hope and I will be much obliged if you will have the goodness to direct the deposit of £190 to be repaid to me.

I have the honor to be Sir

Your most obedient & very humble servant

Wm. TAIT

[enclosed]

 

article_separator

 

National Archives, Kew, CO48/53, 405/406

To all whom it may concern, these are to certify that Mr. Peter TAIT, who is a Resident in this District, has lately received from Scotland settlers to the amount of twenty six, including men, women and children who are at present residing at his estate called Klein Fonteyn

George Town. Cape of Good Hope

13th Oct 1819

[illegible signature]

Land't of George District

Dr. TAIT presents his compliments to Mr. SMITH and begs to enclose him a letter from his brother at the Cape in which the copy of a letter from Col. BIRD is inserted to the following effect.

Grahamstown

Oct 18th 1819

Sir,

In reply to your letter of the 16th Sept which has followed me to this place I have to say that upon your transmitting to me a certificate from the Landrost of your District of the number of persons located upon your farm I will communicate the same to the Secretary of State's Office in order that the money deposited by your brother may be released.

I am Sir your very humble servant

C. BIRD

PS perhaps you may meet me at George Town on the subject in a fortnight

In the postscript to my brother's letter he says “Col. BIRD said (at George Town) that the enclosed certificate was perfectly sufficient and it was not necessary for him to write on the subject” Under these circumstances it appears it was not the intention of the Government at the Cape to draw for the deposit of £190 and therefore if Mr. GOULBURN still thinks it better that the money should be paid at the Cape Dr. TAIT will be much obliged if he will again instruct Col. BIRD to draw for it as it appears probable that his brother may have some difficulty in obtaining it after having expressed to Col. BIRD that it might be paid to his brother Dr. T. in this country.

Dr. TAIT will thank Mr. SMITH to return the enclosed.

[note from GOULBURN]

Acquaint Dr. TAIT that under these circs he has no objection to paying him the £190 upon his assurance for the repayment in the event of its ultimately proving to have been paid to his brother in the Colony & if he will call on Friday will pay it

19 April

 

 

article_separator

 

National Archives, Kew, CO48/53, 408

[Transcriber's note: this letter from Peter TAIT is crossed, with very faint scrawl, and therefore extremely difficult to read]

Klein Fontein

2nd Nov 1819

My dear Brother,

I send enclosed a certificate from the new Landrost of George Town and here you will find a duplicate enclosed. The excuse of not sending it sooner by Colonel BIRDs letter will [be] the best apology I can offer. Upon receipt of yours advising me of the people coming out I instantly applied to Colonel BIRD to give me a free passage, people and traps, which would have been granted had the ??? not been in existence (which is now closed) I had saved a good deal of cash but the government vessels were all loaded with stores for the Frontier to supply the Army.

I shall give you Colonel BIRD's letter (true copy):

Grahamstown 18th Oct 1819,

Sir, In reply to your letter of the 16th Sept which has followed me to this place I have to say that upon your transmitting to me a certificate from the Landrost of your District of the number of persons located upon your farm I will communicate the same in proper form to the Secretary of State's Office in order that the money deposited there by your brother may be released. I am Sir your very humble servant

(Signed) C. BIRD

PS perhaps you may meet me at George Town on the subject in a fortnight

My dear Brother,

As you will see by the above that I am not losing sight of what I have a probability of saving. Colonel BIRD and those letters came to George Town on the same day - so much for the post in the interior. I accompanied Colonel BIRD as far as Mossel Bay and he paid every attention and enquired most particularly how I was getting on. I told him what uphill business I had & as George Town and ??????????? had been biased against me. It was indeed to such a length that I was under the necessity of challenging the Deputy Landdrost and as he would not meet me I painted him as a coward and necessity obliged me to take his [hole in paper] and had I not charged [hole in paper] have given up the [hole in paper] [I came?] before the Circuit of Commissioners and my defence from the case in such a clear light that this has not taken a feather out of my cap. I had a full explanation upon this subject with Colonel BIRD and he was (by what means) completely informed upon the subject and assured me that ?? Landdrost would keep the papers in George in proper order and that I might depend on peace and quietness for the future.

Colonel BIRD is a most sterling man and upon every occasion has behaved in a friendly manner ??

I have got a letter from my friend HARRINGTON on this subject wherein he says “right or wrong” I must submit as Government will support their own servants and HARRINGTON is one wrong and when you see him tell him so as Colonel BIRD acknowledged to him that the acting Landdrost had not done his duty. He openly refused to act for the purpose of [defeating?] my funds. I now tell you candidly William that necessity was the cause of it and I do assure you that you will not hear of any thing of the kind happening again ???? unless such a conspiracy was against that plan, which is not likely as we have got a very clever gentleman as Landdrost. The simple man is the beggar for that and I do assure you that it takes every eye to be on the lookout here.

The excuse of my silence since the arrival of the people here (who are all contented) was sickness. I have been in very bad health for six weeks back that I could not put pen to paper to say I'm taken with the ague. I shook from head to foot with violent perspiration which reduced me so much that I am at the moment only twelve and a half stone weight and on my arrival in this colony I was sixteen stone. [Line obscured in fold] would not allow me to be a friend and by taking laxatives added ?? altho ?? I am now in great good health and spirits but as lean as a craw.

On Sunday first I shall answer your long [spiells?] but I think it will take a quire of paper to do so, however I shall give you two or three sheets of the paper that this country affords. I pray my dear children are in good health and with my best respects to Mrs. TAIT

I remain my dear brother

Your most faithful brother

Peter TAIT

PS Colonel BIRD said that the enclosed certificate was perfectly sufficient and it was not necessary for him to write on the subject

 

article_separator

 

National Archives, Kew, CO48/53, 413

6 Vauxhall Place

South Lambeth

Apr 19 1820

Sir,

Dr. TAIT presents his respects to Mr. GOULBURN and will be much obliged if he will have the goodness to give him an answer on the subject of the deposit for his brother's settlers, as he is on the point of proceeding to the Continent for the benefit of Mrs. TAIT's health and he wishes to settle his money arrangements with his brother at the Cape before his departure.

Dr. TAIT laments that he should be so troublesome to Mr. GOULBURN and begs to offer his most respectful apology.

Print Email