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.

VICKERS, John

National Archives, Kew CO48/46, 197

King's Bench Prison

Aug 12th 1819

My Lord,

I am one of those unfortunate men that the pressure of the times & the prosecution of a mercenary landlord have driven in here, from whence however I expect to be discharged about the latter end of this month, The purport of the present is to offer my services to Government to go out as settlers to the Cape of Good Hope. I am a married man having a wife and five children, two boys and three girls, myself and my wife forty years of age, all of us both strong and healthy. I some time ago occupied a large farm in Warwickshire near Stratford on Avon. I afterwards was induced to take a large farm in South Wales, of twelve hundred pounds per annum, and very unfortunately for me the next year after I entered upon it both stock and the produce of land fell nearly one half in price, and as the landlord would neither take up the lease nor lower the rent my utter ruin was inevitable, and after selling everything I had (at a very low rate) to the amount of one thousand five hundred pounds, all which was not adequate to satisfy his demand upon me for rent &c, and after harassing me in every way he possibly could he has at length succeeded in shutting me up in prison. In consequence of such unmerited prosecution I have resolved (when I have my discharge from this place) to leave this country. I am thoroughly acquainted with agriculture in all its branches and have been accustomed from my youth up not only to habits of industry & to superintend but to labour hard myself. I know all the improved methods of cultivating both light & strong soils & I have a thorough knowledge of breeding & of improving the breed of all kinds of live stock. I likewise understand planting, horticulture &c and my wife understands dairying &c. Under these circumstances should your Lordship think me a proper person to send out to the Cape I shall thankfully embrace the opportunity and will give your Lordship the most satisfactory reference. I beg further to state to your Lordship that an acquaintance of mine, an expert carpenter and builder, will join me in the undertaking. I expect that my friends will do something for me in a pecuniary way when I regain my liberty but I cannot at the present moment say to what amount. I should be extremely oblidged if your Lordship would condescend to give me what information you can upon the subject and to inform me whether my services are likely to be accepted or not.

I am my Lord

Your Lordship's obedient servant

John VICKERS

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