GSSAThe 1820 Settler Correspondence
 as preserved in the National Archives, Kew
 and edited by Sue Mackay

1820 Settler Correspondence before emigration

ALL the 1819 correspondence from CO48/41 through CO48/46 has been transcribed whether or not the writers emigrated to the Cape. Those written by people who did become settlers, as listed in "The Settler Handbook" by M.D. Nash (Chameleon Press 1987), are labelled 1820 Settler and the names of actual settlers in the text appear in red.

BOWDLER, Astley

National Archives, Kew CO48/41, 307/308

Shrewsbury

Aug 3rd 1819

Sir,

Having observed in a paper that Government have granted a sum of money to encourage emigration to the Cape of Good Hope as settlers but not being informed how to apply I wrote to Lord CASTLEREAGH on the 17th ult who has informed me I must apply to the Colonial Office. I have to beg to be informed the encouragement intended to be offered by Government also the terms under which the grant of land will be held.

I am 42 years of age with a wife and 3 children, 2 boys an 1 girl. I was brought up a farmer, land surveyor, engineer &c, which I have all my life practised in an extensive general way in the cultivation and valuation of land, timber &c &c. Surveying, map & inclosing of land, ornamental and forest plantations, drainage, irrigation, canals, iron railways, public roads, sea & river embankments &c and from an early age have had considerable practical experience of building, collieries, mining & the iron trade.

Having a few years back embarked on considerable property in an extensive and flattering speculation which turned out unfortunate and having abandoned my professional business to give thorough attention to the endeavour to mature it by counteracting villainous combinations. When I wished to return to my profession I found my commission lost and the times so changed that little has been to be done in any branch of it and hundreds like myself ready to catch at the little offering. I have consequently not been getting a living for a few years back nor do I see any prospect of amendment. I shall therefore be glad to emigrate with a prospect of remuneration for industry, convinced we are much too thick upon this little island.

Having all my life been accustomed to very active outdoor employment I prefer a continuance, and not having the means of entering into the agricultural line again in this country. I would soon prefer hard labour of the cultivating of a spot of my own to any precarious subordinate situation or sedentary life and having long relinquished the gaieties of life retirement and domestic comfort are now my pursuit.

I have the honour to be obediently

Astley BOWDLER

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