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.

YOUNG, Robert, 1820

National Archives, Kew, CO48/53, 523


Simons Bay

May the 2nd 1820

The humble memorial of Robert YOUNG on board the Fanny sheweth

That memorialist agreed with Capt. SENNOT to gow with him to the Cape of Good Hope as a settler. That memorialist lodged a sum of money in his hands which he was to lodge in a bank in Dublin in memorialists name, that if any accident should happen to memorialist his heirs might recover the property; for which he said he would get a draft on a merchant in Cape Town. That when Capt. SYNNOT got the money in his possession he converted it to his own use and gave memorialist no acknowledgement for it, nor does he seem inclined to give a return for it now. That the agreement memorialist made with Capt. SYNNOT was to receive one hundred acres of land as he had paid his own deposit: there was no articles signed before he got memorialist on board; and memorialist depended on his word and honor which memorialist has since found to be a very poor security. That when on the point of sailing Capt SENNOT sent for memorialist to sign a paper he had drawn out: and memorialist found he was necessitated to do it or gow on shore that moment. That as memorialist found he had no alternative but sign the paper or lose his money he chose the later in hopes of redress from Your Excellency, it being then out his power to get any there as the ship was [at] anchor. That memorialist was then obliged to sign the following agreement viz to [obscured] Capt SYNNOT three years for board and clothing, Capt SYNNOT was then to reward him with [obscured] or fifty acres of land at his pleasure. Your Excellency may plainly see what memorialist may expect from a man of his sordid [dispo]sition. That memorialist brought a young lad with him who also paid his own [deposit] and was obliged to sign the same agreement contrary to his inclination, as the same circumstances affected him; they and another [obscured] were the only persons who came free of [obscured] to Capt SYNNOT and if they refused to sign to the terms he offered they had only to gow two hundred miles without a penny as he had all they possessed. That memorialist remained ten days in Cork and kept his wife and child there on expenses (which cost him twenty five pound from his leaving home to his coming on board) helping Capt SENNOT to buy and send his goods on board, and the treatment already mentioned is the only recompense he received or is likely to receive.

McDONNALD and memorialist wish to serve Capt SENNOT according to his original agreement but humbly solicit your Excellency to allow them their full complement of land (one hundred acres) and to annull the agreement they were obliged to make, as they paid their own deposit and were people of good circumstance in Ireland, and memorialist as in duty bound will ever pray.

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