National Archives, Kew CO48/45, 376
September 9th 1819
The writer hereof is going a settler to the Cape of Good Hope haveing made inprovements on several nautical instruments wishis for an order from the Secretary of States office to saile with some captain to the Cape who is an expert navigator and a judge of instruments in general where the write and the captain may have an opertunity to prove the instruments in question thinks they will be of importance to communaty at large.
First instrument is an iron binnacle
Second is a portable diping needle that will show the depresion of the magnetis needle by whitch latitude may be known
Thirdly two artifical horizons one for ship and one for quadrant.
I will atend if directed to explain the perticulars. I am your humble servant
[letter filed under R as Benjamin ROBERT
National Archives, Kew CO48/45, 660
56 Penny Fields
November 25th 1819
I wrote to the Colonial Office about a month ago desiring an interview with the Secretary of the Colonial Department or his secretary to show an Iron Binnacle with Compass of a new invention the writer hereof believes will be of a national importance. The reason why I wrote is this, I am going to the Colony at the Cape of good hope and wishing for an oportunity of seeing it tryd and proveing it myself if my request is met with aprobation I could be oblidged for an order to go in the ship that is to convey the Party No.40, my reason for this request is that the gentleman I am going with has but small brigs for conveyance, the oportunity of proveing will not be so favourable in a brig of two or three hundred tons as in one larger and an order from Government to try it will be attended to with punctuality.
You will Sir see that in my first letter there is two more instruments mentioned for trial, a horizon for quadrant and dipping needle – that may be used in a ship by night as well as by day, thinks it will be of very great utility to [comminity?] sloops.
Your humble servant
[Note from GOULBURN]
Is this man an accepted settler? If so I do not see how he can be separated from his party & he must be told that it is now too late to alter the arrangements]