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, Captain re John SCOTT, 1820

National Archives, Kew, CO48/53, 509


To the Hon'ble Commissioners of HM Navy

Transport Office


12th January 1820

Hon'ble Sirs,

I return herewith Mr. GOULBURN's letter to you of the 8th instant together with a copy of a petition to Earl BATHURST from John SCOTT and three other settlers embarked on board La Belle Alliance Transport complaining of the manner in which that ship had been fitted up by a partition being placed in the middle of the ship so as to prevent a free circulation of air &c.

I beg to acquaint you I have been on board and examined into the circumstances stated, and find that there is not the slightest foundation for such a complaint, there not being any such partition in the tween decks, and the excuse made for making the application to Earl BATHURST most frivolous. One of the persons (Charles LEE) [Transcriber's note: should be SLEE], who signed the petition, when called upon to assign his reason for not calling upon Mr. WILLSON, the head of the Party, Lt. WILLIAMS, Agent for Transports on board, or myself, in case he had any cause of complaint, expressed himself in rude and insolent terms and it appears by the letter from Mr. WILLSON to me of this herewith inclosed he has ordered him on shore. I consider that man as likely to be troublesome on board, being of a discontented spirit, without knowing how to conduct himself for the general good. Mr. WILLSON's letter will explain the general satisfaction of the Party embarked at the arrangements made for the comfort and accommodation of the whole, as far as circumstances will admit.

I am &c

(Signed) W. YOUNG



To Captain YOUNG

La Belle Alliance


12th January 1820


I have to express my regret that any representation has been made by individuals of my party to Earl BATHURST complaining of a want of attention to their health or of the general accommodation provided in the La Belle Alliance, more particularly as I find after duly investigating the matter that such representation is utterly devoid of truth (no such partition as stated having existed at all). The whole appears to have originated in some petty jealousy of the individuals, one of whom I have found it prudent to send on shore. The signatures I understand were unduly obtained, one being that of a female and the other readily admitted to be the effect of misrepresentation. It is but justice, Sir, due to you and a pleasant duty to myself to bear testimony of the general satisfaction of my party for the excellent arrangement and accommodation which has been made under your direction, and an unprejudiced mind must readily perceive that every human consideration has been judiciously combined with public economy and the arduous duties of office. A feeling that I shall ever feel proud and grateful to acknowledge in subscribing myself Sir

Your most obedient and very humble servant

(Signed) Thos. WILLSON

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