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The 1820 Settler Correspondence
 as preserved in the National Archives, Kew
 and edited by Sue Mackay

Additonal Information

This is pre 1820 information mainly taken from actual images of UK parish registers and other primary sources which I have personally researched. Further information about the settlers and their families once they reached the Cape can be found at

Sue Mackay

PURDON, John - Extra Data


(member of WILLSON's Party)


Death Notice (Cape Archives) for John PURDON and his wife Mary HARRISON both filed in 1901 by their son John Charles.


From original image at

John PURDON married Mary HARRISON on 1 October 1804 in St.Paul's, Dublin


National Archives, Kew, London


WO25/413 Regimental Book of HM 53rd Regiment
John PURDON Height 5'3", Aged 16 years, Fresh Complexion, Round Visage, Grey Eyes, Brown Hair
Born Lanarkshire, Glasgow (Barony)
Former Service: Weaver, 2 Years


WO97/666/75 Discharge Papers (Royal Hospital Chelsea)
His Majesty's Fifty Third Regiment of Foot
Whereof Lieutenant General Rowland Lord Hill GCB is Colonel
These are to certify
1st that John PURDON, Serjeant, born in the Parish of Barrondry in or near the County of Lanark was Enlisted for aforesaid Regiment at Southampton on the 24th September 1795 at the age of Sixteen for Unlimited Service
2nd that he hath served in the Army for the space of Twenty Years after the age of Eighteen according to the subjoining Statement of Service
109 Regiment from 24th September 1793 to 24th September 1795
53rd Regiment from 24th September 1795 to 25th August 1818
3rd that in consequence of a Chronic Hepatitis he is hereby Discharged
4th that he is not to my knowledge incapacitated by the Sentence of a General Court Martial from receiving Pension
5th that his general conduct as a Soldier has been Very Good
6th that he has received all just Demands of Pay Clothing &c from his Entry into the Service to the date of his Discharge as appears by his receipt underneath.
I John PURDON do hereby acknowledge that I have received all my Clothing, Pay, Arrears of Pay and all just demands whatsoever from the time of my Entry into the Service to the date of this Discharge
John PURDON (signed)
Witnesses: John LEWIS, A. DALGETY Capt, Isaac DENNING [and one other not legible]
To prevent any improper use being made of this Discharge by its falling into other Hands, the following is a Description of the said John PURDON. He is about Five Eleven Inches in Height, Dark Brown Hair, Grey Eyes, Fresh Complexion and by Trade or Occupation a Labourer.
Given under my Hand and Seal of the Regiment at [obscured] 24th day of September 1817
[illegible signature] Lt.Col. 53rd Foot
Horse Guards 25th August 1818 R. DARLING


New Register  House, Edinburgh


Baptisms for Barony, Glasgow January 1779

James PURDON & Janet BROWN had their child born January [15th] bapt. 24th named John.
Witnesses: John [BROWN] and Jas. [S.....LING]


Death Notice (Cape Archives) for eldest son William Henry says he was born in Cawnpore, India on 26 September 1808.

Death Notice (Cape Archives) for second son Henry suggests he was also born in India.


British Library (British India Office Baptisms)


30th December 1810, Henry, son of John PURDON Serg't HM 23rd Regiment and Mary his wife, Cawnpore, Bengal


Elizabeth PURDON also said to have been born in Cawnpore on 4 December 1812.


Family Search


Charles, son of John and Mary PURDON, baptised 8 March 1817 in Trichinopoly, Madras, India (born 20 February 1817)


Grahamstown Journal  6 December 1894

We have to announce the decease of Mr. William Henry PURDON, who died at Pinedon, Clumber on Dec 2nd 1894, at the good old age of 86 years and 2 months. Mr. PURDON was born at Cawnpore, India on Sept. 26th 1808, but subsequently left India and went to England, where he stayed for 2 years, after which he embarked on a sailing vessel and arrived here in 1820 with the British Settlers, being then 12 years of age.....


London Metropolitan Archives


Isabella Austen, daughter of John and Mary PURDON, labourer, Willow Street, baptised 28 November 1819 in St.Leonard, Shoreditch.

Willow Street was the address from which John PURDON applied to join the settler scheme in August 1819

Isabella assumed to have died in infancy. 

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