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.

FIELD, Thomas (Samuel), 1821


[Transcriber's Note: This memorial clearly says Samuel FIELD and the enclosed letter from Col. BIRD clearly refers to him as Timothy FIELD. Both Nash and Hockly list the settler who sailed on the Salisbury with Major General CAMPBELL as Thomas FIELD]




National Archives, Kew, CO48/67, 81

The humble memorial of Samuel FIELD, Pensioner of His Majesty's Royal Hospital of Chelsea, late of Algoa Bay in His Majesty's Colony of the Cape of Good Hope and now of No.12 Red Lion Court, Spital Fields, London

Humbly sheweth

That your Memorialist having served 21½ years as a Serjeant in the East Norfolk Militia was discharged in the year 1816 and afterwards placed on the Pension List of the Royal Hospital Chelsea as an out pensioner at the rate of one shilling per day.

That your Memorialist left England in the month of July 1821 in the Salisbury, Captain KING, as a free passenger and at his own expence, for the purpose and with the intention of becoming a settler in the Colony of the Cape of Good Hope, to which place the vessel was bound agreeable to instructions received from His Majesty's Office of the Colonial Department and by which instructions your Memorialist understood that all persons emigrating to the said Colony were to have grants of land given to them according to the means the said individuals possessed of cultivating the same.

That your Memorialist on his arrival in Cape Town memorialized His Excellency Lord Charles SOMERSET, Commander of His Majesty's Forces in the said Colony, praying him to make your Memorialist a grant of land in the Albany District, but was informed that he must proceed with the vessell to its place of destination. Your Memorialist did proceed accordingly to Algoa Bay, but although repeated applications were made to the Colonial Office during two years residence, and up to the period of your Memorialist leaving the Colony (Sept.1823) he was wholly unable to procure any grant of land whatever.

That your Memorialist also made application to the proper authorities in the Colony to receive the amount of pension due to him, but in consequence of not having certain certificates in his possession (and which your Memorialist knew not it was necessary to procure previous to leaving England) he was informed it could not be paid to him.

That your Memorialist having expended a considerable sum of money in the purchase of land, building a house and procuring live stock, together with the necessary implements of agriculture, found himself reduced to the painful alternative of undertaking a long and expensive voyage to procure the said certificates or of resigning that pension which had been conferred on him as a reward for upwards of 21 years service. Your Memorialist having arrived in England and accomplished this object at a very considerable expense and great difficulty, is desirous of returning to the property he has left, but is at present without the means of so doing. He therefore humbly prays your Lordship to take his case into consideration and provide himself and family with some means of returning to Algoa Bay with such things as he can procure, that he may find necessary, and that may be conducive to the improvement of the Colony; and also that your Lordship will be pleased to grant him a certain portion of land in the Albany District, to such extent as to your Lordship may seem good.

Your Memorialist also humbly begs leave to submit to your Lordship's consideration that the Officers, Merchants and Tradesmen resident in the said Colony are greatly inconvenienced by the present inefficient mode of travelling, there being no public conveyance other than by waggons and oxen in any part of the interior of the Colony. Your Memorialist therefore humbly prays that he might be allowed to take out free of expense a carriage which may run as a Public Stage Coach between Port Elizabeth and Bathurst Town, including the towns of Bethelsdorf, Uteneg, Graham's Town &c including an extent of upwards of 100 miles.

Your Memorialist humbly begs leave to submit the enclosed documents to your Lordship's consideration in support of his requests and earnestly hopes that your Lordship will adopt some measures to restore him to his property and possessions and your Memorialist as in duty bound will ever pray.


Colonial Office

10th December 1821

Reply to memorial of Timothy FIELD praying for a grant of land in the Albany District according to the means he possesses of cultivating the same.

The Memorialist having arrived here in the Salisbury under the direction of Major General CAMPBELL, no separate grant of land can be made to him, but he must proceed in the above vessel to his destination.

By His Excellency's Command


  • Hits: 6445