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.

RAE, William re Neil MACNEILL

National Archives, Kew CO48/45, 674


Dec'r 15 1819


I have the honor to inclose for Lord BATHURST's consideration a petition for Neil MacNEILL which I should hope will be deemed not unworthy of attention. Any communication which his Lordship may be pleased to send on the subject had best be addressed to the Lord Provost of Glasgow, from whom it has come annexed to me.

I have the honor &c

Your obedient servant


Note from GOULBURN: let me see this man's original proposal

Clerk's reply: I have made diligent search for this man's original proposal but it cannot be found

[Transcriber's note: The original proposal from Neil MacNEILL, dated 19 October 1819, is filed (and transcribed) under M at CO48/44, together with a letter from Henry MONTEITH, the Lord Provost of Glasgow]

[enclosed letter]


1 December 1819

The Memorial for Neil MacNEILL for himself and others

Respectfully states

That the memorialists had the honor lately of transmitting thro' the medium of the Lord Provost of Glasgow an application to your Lordship relative to the aid proposed by Government encouraging settlers emigrating to the Cape of Good Hope, and in consequence of, and in adherence to your Lordship's directions, had forwarded the necessary documents.

That your memorialists in the firm expectation of their offer being accepted had many of them disposed of their effects, relinquished their former possessions and employment and had made every preparation for their long and arduous voyage, contenting themselves in the meantime with every possible privation untill the period of their sailing should be fixed and the same announced to them.

The hopes your memorialists fondly entertained of forming part of the colony were soon dissipated by your Lordship's answer to the Lord provost on 2nd November and they found to their great dissapointment that they were too late in forwarding their offer and were doomed to wait another season in anxious and doubtfull expectation.

Your memorialists in requesting your Lordship's attention to the case beg leave to state the following facts:

That many of their number are now without any permanent home

That several have quitted possessions which they cannot again reoccupy, and

That in general they have relinquished their employments which it would be now in vain to attempt returning, as the present distressed state of trade has already filled their places with others who were before then starving.

Your memorialists are now expending in idleness the means which they trusted would ensure their immediate support at the Cape and if not soon relieved many will be rendered incapable of proceeding. Yet trusting to the favorable intentions of Government and in the hope of the present Session of Parliament of an additional aid for further emigration they have resolved to abide by their original determination untill they ascertain whether they will be accepted in a second emigration.

Your memorialists conclude by referring their case to your Lordship and trust that Government taking their present situation and unavoidable expences into consideration will grant the prayer of their former memorial and order their embarkation from the Clyde as early as the same is deemed proper.

In the name of the memorialists


[Note from GOULBURN across page]

Write to the Lord Provost of Glasgow stating that this memorial has been received through the Lord Advocate and acquaint him that as from some of the settlers engaged having declined to proceed Lord B has an opportunity of accepting their party & requesting that a list of names &c may be forwarded (in the usual form) when they will be informed of the amount of deposit to be paid & the period at which they may embark

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