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

Correspondence 1821 to 1837.

Here only letters by known settlers or their families, or letters of great relevance to the 1820 settlers, have been transcribed, whereas ALL the 1819 correspondence was transcribed (see CO48/41 through CO48/46) whether or not the writers emigrated to the Cape.

Unless otherwise stated letters were written to either the Secretary of State for the Colonies or his deputy.The original correspondence is filed in order of receipt. Here it has been placed in alphabetical order according to the surname of the writer, with letters by the same writer in chronological order, for ease of reading. Original spelling has been maintained. Reference numbers, where given, refer to printed page numbers stamped on the letters and will enable visitors to the National Archives to locate the letter more easily.

CARLISLE, Frederick, 1826

National Archives, Kew, CO48/86, 95


6th March 1826


May I beg to call your attention again to the subject of the Memorial of the British Settlers at the Cape of Good Hope. My reason for troubling you with the present communication arises from uncertainty as to whether you may not be awaiting a further application from me before you proceed in that subject. The last time I had the honor of an interview with Mr, HORTON he informed me that nothing more could then be done, in consequence of which intimation I left town and have not yet returned. As a guide therefore to my doing so, may I presume to request, Sir, the favor of your informing me when Earl BATHURST will be at leisure to take the question into consideration, for should his Lordship be pleased to comply with the wishes of the Settlers by recommending their application to the favorable notice of His Majesty's Government, I have no doubt that many persons would now be glad to avail themselves of the opportunity of removing to one of His Majesty's colonies.

If I am not trespassing too far, Sir, on your attention, I will take the liberty of saying a few words relative to the possibility of reimbursing HM Government for any sums which it may be thought advisable to advance for the purpose of transporting British labourers to the Cape of Good Hope. It will be, I fear, a most difficult matter to point out any mode by which such reimbursement could be affected on the part of the settlers, or secured to the satisfaction of Government. In fact after the most mature consideration I strongly regard it as being next to impracticable. The rate of wages stated in the documents I have already laid before you being as high as the settlers can possibly offer without precluding entirely the probability of profitable returns, it cannot be supposed that they are capable of anything more than the payment and maintenance of the emigrants when landed in the Colony – their funds being so reduced (by various causes, with the nature of which you are probably, Sir, in some measure already acquainted) as to render it extremely difficult for them to proceed in their undertaking. On the other hand if we are to look to the labourers themselves for repayment, the subject appears involved in equal difficulty. Considering that the term for which it is proposed to indenture them is only three years (for I take it there can be no security after the term of indenture has expired) if an instalment amounting to one third of the expence incurred upon each individual should be deducted by the employer from the amount of wages due to the labourer at the end of each year, the remaining sum would be considerably too trifling to induce people to leave this country, whatever might be the distress of their circumstances, or whatever representations were made to them of the advantages they would reap after their term of servitude was expired from the encouragement held out by the Colony to labouring population in general. Even this method will apply merely to that portion of the emigrants who are to receive wages, and not to apprentices who are to receive clothing only, consequently if feasible would be by no means complete. Again were this or any similar one adopted, a difficulty would arise respecting the security for the money advanced, and as the only apparent and tangible person would be the individual who conducts the emigration it appears to me that to become personally liable for the whole amount would be a responsibility by far too great for any individual to incur.

I have much now, Sir, to offer on the subject but will not now further encroach upon your valuable time, but as I cannot set forth or elucidate any plan by which the desired object can be attained my future applications must be appeals to the often-tried and never failing generosity of HM Government.

I have the honor to be Sir

Your most obed't humble servant





National Archives, Kew, CO48/86, 97

10 Grays Inn Square

23rd May 1826


In response to the proceedings of the Committee of Emigration relative to the proposition given in by me, as it appears there is considerable disapprobation manifested of the scheme therein detailed of an Emigration to the Cape of Good Hope, I am now rather at a loss how to act, and a desire of obtaining some information for my future guidance is the occasion of my troubling you with the present communication.

If it should appear that Government are not hostile to the principle but only to the particular plan of the proposed emigration, may I beg the favour of your informing me whether, upon learning the views of Government on the subject, it would be advisable for me to submit any such altered and amended proposition as shall in its detail be more conformable to those views, or whether it will be the pleasure of Government that the Colonial Department do lay down some rule whereby the same shall be conducted.

I hope Sir you will excuse any apparent anxiety on my part to obtain as early information as possible of the probable issue of my proposition as the expence and loss of time incurred since leaving the Cape will be to me of material consequence before I can return thither, and I should be much obliged by your stating if there is any probability (provided Government should finally reject the application) that my Lord BATHURST may think such expenditure and loss of time worthy of remuneration.

I have the honor to be Sir

Your most obed't humble servant


  • Hits: 5999