National Archives, Kew CO48/43, 268
No. 27 Southampton Buildings
15 July 1819
In reference to the Times Paper of yesterday in which it announces the intention of Government to encourage English families to emigrate to the Cape of Good Hope, I am induced to trouble you on the subject. But as I am unacquainted with the intentions of Government as to whether the Fathers of those Families are required to be mecanics or artisans I can only answer for myself and leave it to your judgement as to my situation being one coming under the intention of Government.
I am bred up to the profession of the Law, and I am a member of that Society, but from a combination of misfortunes I am literally reduced to that state of want, & to be dependent on the generosity of friends for my daily support! My resources being now quite exhausted, I tremble at the coming day! And while I see the miseries of a poorhouse before my eyes and hear my 3 children crying to me for bread my heart is nearly broken. To throw myself on the Humanity of Government, is a beam of Hope I eagerly fly to: [viz.] if I shall be deemed a fit person I shall cheerfully join those who are about to go to the Cape.
My family consists of myself (aged 36) my wife (same age) her sister (33) and three female children ages 5 years, 2½ years and two months old - all healthy and of an active turn of mind, but borne down by oppression. During the time I have been married (10 years) I have been the father of 6 children 3 of whom I have buried. To ward off so dreadful a blow as that of seeing my family perish for want of assistance or of becoming a burthen on the parish I trust will plead my excuse for this application.
I can say so now in the present stage of the business because I am wholly unacquainted with the plans & ideas of Government, but if you will do me the honor to address me, I shall be happy to give you every Explanation and I trust satisfactorily.
I have the honour to be Sir
Your very obed humble ser't