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

pre 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.

CLARK, George, 1820 Settler

National Archives, Kew CO48/42, 241


Near Sittingbourne


Aug 23rd 1819


Being in London I received your fist circular at your office in Downing Street on the 13th of this inst, which informed me the conditions of emigration to the Cape of Good Hope.

I have to inform you that I am acquainted in every part of the farming business. I know the value of land being in the habit of measuring upwards of two thousand acres, normally of different qualities, and I can't select the number specified to be taken out as settlers all of that description of men who have been brought up to husbandry from their infancy.

I wish to be acquainted if you can inform me what capital a person taking out this number ought to have to ensure any share of success over and above the deposit paid before embarkation and which is to be repaid at different periods after landing.

I further wish to enquire immediately if I may expect any encouragement as a Surveyor and Maper of London as I see at the expiration of three years the land is to be measured at the expense of Government, but I should suppose it would be expedient for some bounds to be set out at first landing to prevent controversy among the settlers, as several may prefer one and the same spot of ground as most eligible for their purpose.

I am Sir your most dutiful and obt hbl svt





National Archives, Kew CO48/42, 428

15 October 1819


I hope you will pardon me in asking a question which may be out of the usual course. Being one of ten with Mr. J. HONEY (at our head) of Charing in the County of Kent I wish to know if he has transmited a list of names to you and if not whether it is to late to do so now. My object in asking this is that I may have the opportunity of joining some other party that is accepted, should shuch opportunity offer to me. A verbal answer will suffice should it be customary or convenient.

I am your obdt hbl sevt


At Mr. HOY's 327 Strand




National Archives, Kew CO48/42, 549

Dec 20th 1819


I beg pardon in thus troubling you and the situation in which I am placed is the only cause of my doing so. Having been accepted in Mr. Thos. WILLSON's party (of Chelsea) to proceed as a settler to the Cape of Good Hope and having finally settled with him to that effect on the 10th Nov last I immediately proceeded to dispose of my property when I had the letter inclosed dated the 27th of that month which states he might have taken me out had I not refused his last letter, whereas he never wrote to me after the 10th to the 27th and the letter alluded to was wrote on the 21st Oct and was by mistake returned to him when it should have been sent to me, I being then in London.

Under these circumstances I apply to you for instruction having disposed of all my property and have now got my family at Deptford to embark. I think if you examine Mr. WILLSON's list you will find my name and family's, viz: George CLARK 36, Eliz'th his wife 31, and George 8, Frances 6, Mary Ann 4 years their children (had four but one is dead)

Enclosed are a list of certificates which [obscured] you to examine and I beg you to understand that I shall be completely ruined if not allowed to [go]. If you will allow me a personal interview I will explain these circumstances more fully. I will call again at your office for an answer if you cannot give me one at this time.

I am Sir your dutiful obed't sevt


PS Mr. WILLSON has said this morning he should wish to take me if it could be made convenient.

[see also the correspondence of Thomas WILLSON at CO48/46 which includes the following letter}

Dover Castle Inn



Your letter of the 22nd instant refers me to Mr. WILLSON on the subject of my going out to the Cape. I called on him and he informed me he had your positive orders not to allow a name or the number of any family in his list, at which I am not surprised as I am well aware he has done so already beyond the limits at first prescribed otherwise he could not have taken into his list another family in the room of mine (to my ruin) when so firm an agreement was made between him and me for me to be one of his party.

I therefore beg this may be laid before Earl BATHURST and I hope and pray his Lordship will take this my humble petition into his consideration and allow me to be joined to some party going out or allow me to proceed as a single family, having provided myself with such things as are thought nessessary for a settler to take out and likewise having disposed of my little furniture and concerns whereby I maintained my family and I was recomended by His Royal Highness the Duke of York to apply to a settler on a large scale, and having done so and been accepted by him but afterwards rejected most unjustifiably. I hope under all these circumstances his Lordship will allow me to go out as there will be many vacancies by people changing their minds to remain in this country.

I am Sir your dutiful obd't hbl serv't


[attached is a letter addressed to George CLARK at Doddington, near Sittingbourne, Kent]

Bridge Cottage

Chelsea Water Works

21 October 1819


It is impossible for me to hold a place for you unless you call upon me immediately

Yors obed'y


[Transcriber's note: George CLARK actually sailed with SEPHTON's party. Nash includes one year old Catherine (who died) presumably as she was on the original return]

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