National Archives, Kew CO48/44, 234
Parish of Liverpool
30th November 1819
Permit me to enquire whether in the arrangements for conveying persons who wish to embark voluntarily for the Cape of Good Hope one could be made or permitted for a number of male individuals (at present fifty nine) that we have burdensome to the Parish and to which they belong – they are chiefly young men & youths who have no visible means of obtaining a livelihood beyond the miserable pittance derived from the Parish by picking oakrum at one penny per pound – with this they can but barely keep up an existence & after the hours of work they are left to wander about in the evening & too frequently are induced to commit depredations, by which some of them have been repeatedly in the House of Correction – and from the want of friends, connections or trades they are again let loose upon Society.
This class is composed of good & bad who can receive no effectual relief from the Parish, not being proper objects for our House of Industry, which already contains nearly sixteen hundred, principally composed of the aged, infirm & children. In addition to these we have about three thousand four hundred and twenty families who receive weekly relief at their own homes.
It has occurred to me that the greater number of the before mentioned individuals might be made useful members in the new colony could employment be marked out for them when arrived there – and I have little doubt they would readily embark, by which they would be saved from more vicious habits & perhaps untimely ends.
Your Lordship will understand the persons to whom I allude are ignorant of trade or agriculture & that from various causes & circumstances they are in the greatest poverty & distress, without a prospect of being otherwise – good seamen can be obtained at 40/- per month – it naturally follows that these persons have no chance of employment from the Merchants Service. The Parish could not object to contribute towards the expence but the certainty of employment when there will be the object of your Lordships consideration, combined with the wish, as it must be, of softening human woe. Respecting females I forbear to outlay beyond the assurance of their being numbers in great distress from the want of employment. The motive of my troubling your Lordship I trust will secure me an apology for being [obscured] as I am with due respect
Your Lordship's very ob't hum serv't
Draft of GOULBURN's reply:
I am directed by Lord B to acknowledge rec't of your letter requesting to be informed whether a number of underclass? in Liverpool who are now burdensome to the parish might not be conveyed to the Cape of Good Hope & there placed in a situation to provide their own maintenance. I have to acquaint you in reply that the number of persons whom it was thought possible conveniently to convey to the Cape colony the present year has been some time since completed. Lord B would feel himself precluded under ordinary circs from giving encouragement to any additional number, but at the same time as the case of the persons stated in your letter is in some degree so peculiar Lord B will have no objection to take into consideration whether it may not be possible to extend the regulations in their favour if you shall be able to procure some respectable person willing & capable of taking charge of them under the regulations laid down in the enclosed printed letter – and if you will transmit to Lord B a statement of the number of persons for whom the parish is desirous of so forwarding. Upon the receipt of this information no time shall be lost in giving you a final decision.