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.

WHITLEY, Michael, 1820

National Archives, Kew, CO48/53, 464


22 Jan'y 1820


We shall feel obliged by your informing us at your earliest convenience whether it is the intention of His majesty's Government to allow any more settlers to proceed to the Cape of Good Hope under the same considerations as those who have gone from this Port, as it is our intention to take out, if permitted, one hundred able bodied settlers to join our friends who sailed in the John, Lieutenant CHURCH.

We are most respectfully

Your most obed't serv't



School Lane




National Archives, Kew, CO48/53, 471


27 Jan'y 1820


We have your favor of the 25th inst stating that the number of persons which His Majesty's Government intends to send to the Cape of Good Hope was completed. As we consider this as relative only to those whom His Majesty's Government has furnished with necessaries &c we shall be further obliged by your informing us if we could be permitted to take out from fifty to one hundred able bodied settlers at our own expence and if we can obtain grants of land for them agreeable to the former arrangement.

We are respectfully

Your most obed't serv't





National Archives, Kew, CO48/53, 508

No.39 St.Thomas's Buildings


July 31st 1820

My Lord,

Since the news of the safe arrival of the emigrants who were sent out under the direction of our Mr. HAYHURST in the ship John, Lieut.CHURCH, in January last, we beg leave to acquaint your Lordship that numbers of families are making daily application to us for the purpose of emigrating in like manner, many of whom are friends and relatives of those already gone to the Cape.

We beg leave to submit the affair to your Lordship's kind consideration and should feel extremely obliged would your Lordship so condescend to say whether we may be permitted to take out from 40 to 50 families, the principal part of whom have been anxiously waiting an opportunity to follow their relatives and friends. They are the more eager at present, understanding that your Lordship has been pleased to confer grants to a number of individuals who are now preparing for their embarkation from Glasgow.

We in their behalf humbly beg that your Lordship would also permit these to go out under our direction from this Port agreeable to the manner their friends were permitted in January last.

Waiting your Lordship's reply we remain

Your Lordship's mo ob't hbl servant

Mich. WITLEY & Co.

[Note from GOULBURN]

The number of settlers whom it is at present possible to conveniently accommodate in the Colony being completed it is not probable that any encouragement on the part of Govt will be given beyond a grant of land to those persons who are conveying themselves to the Colony appearing to have the means of cultivating it.

  • Hits: 6096