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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.

GODFREY, Edward Smith re CALTON's Party, 1820 Settlers

National Archives, Kew CO48/43, 469/470


20th October 1819


I have the honor to inform you that a Subscription has been set on foot in this County by His Grace the Duke of Newcastle, the Lord Lieutenant, and by the Duke of Portland, Lord MANVERS and other Gentlemen of distinction, for the purpose of aiding such persons as may be disposed to Colonize at the Cape of Good Hope, and advertisements have been published by me in the County papers (under the direction of the Subscribers) referring Applications to me in that account. I now inclose you a List of persons who have already made application to take the benefit of this Subscription & other applications for the same purpose being expected. I shall be glad to know whether the particulars contained in it furnish all such information as Government require, upon the proposals being made, or if not, what further information is necessary. His Grace the Lord Lieutenant has put into my hands a copy of the Queries which were submitted to your Office on this subject, with the answers furnished to them, but it occurs to me to be necessary to inquire, previous to any further steps being taken, what measures are proposed to be adopted for selecting the applications, in order that the parties may be put to as little inconvenience as possible, and be able to ascertain, with as little delay as may be, whether their proposals are accepted; and it appears equally important to learn as precisely as the nature of the case will admit, how soon the Imbarkation must take place, and whether Government will undertake to conduct the Persons to the port assigned to them; and it will be also necessary to understand whether, under the particular circumstances of the plan adopted in this County, the Grant of Land will be made to any person or persons whom the Subscribers may select as a Trustee or Trustees for all the Settlers or whether Government will make the Grants to each Individual Head of a Family; as I conclude the Subscribers will not choose to make any arrangements with the different Parishes in regard to the return of the Settlers or their becoming chargeable in future.

Having stated to you these points I will only take the liberty of adding that if you conceive any further information necessary for the accomplishment of the object of the Subscribers (inasmuch as their plan differs in some measure from the proposals contemplated by Government) I shall be very much obliged to you to communicate it to me, and it is extremely important that I should receive your answer previous to the 2nd of next month, when a meeting of the Subscribers is to take place for carrying their plan into effect.

I have the honor to be, Sir,

Your most obedient & humble servant

Edward Smith GODFREY

Clerk of the Peace


National Archives, Kew CO48/43, 486/487


29 October 1819


I am sorry to be obliged to trouble you with some further Inquiries in consequence of your Letter to me of the 23rd inst. On the subject of Colonization to the Cape of Good Hope, as I fear it will be impossible to make such arrangements as may be necessary so early as I am led to suppose them requisite.

In the first place, I wish to premise that the List which I had the honor to transmit to you was not intended to be offered as a proposal from those particular persons to emigrate, because the Funds which have been raised by Subscriptions are likely to be very inadequate to the expense of sending all those who have offered & consequently the Subscribers must adopt some plan of selection in the first instances.

The inquiries which I now take the liberty of making for the further information of the Subscribers are

1st. Whether further time will be allowed and to what extent to send in the proposals for emigration.

2nd. What time the Settlers must assemble at the place of Embarkation and to what Port they are likely to be sent?

3rd. What money, implements of husbandry or other articles will e required to be sent with the Settlers?

4th. Whether there is a probability of any of the Settlers being rejected after they arrive at the Port of Embarkation?

As the Subscribers will meet me Tuesday next to decide upon the application of their Subscription I must request an answer to these Inquiries by return of Post and I have only to regret that my absence from home on public business had unavoidably delayed this application.

I have the honor to be, Sir,

Your most obedient & very humble servant

Chas. Smith GODFREY

P.S. If it should be impossible for you to answer this Letter by return of post I will beg the honor of you to address it to me by Monday's Post at the Swan Inn, Mansfield where I shall be attending the Subscribers, tho' the time of the Mail arriving there will be much later than they will probably wait.




National Archives, Kew CO48/43, 478



At a Meeting of the Subscribers

To the Plan


Relief by Colonization,

Held at the Swan Inn, in Mansfield

On Tuesday the 12th Day of October, 1819

(Pursuant to Advertisement)


His Grace the DUKE of NEWCASTLE, Chairman

(On behalf of himself and General Craufurd, and Dowager Duchess of Newcastle)

His Grace the DUKE of PORTLAND,

(On behalf of himself, and the Honourable and Reverend J Lumley SAVILE)


The Honourable J SIMPSON M.P



Lord Viscount GALWAY


(By Mr WEIGHTMAN, His Agent)



That an Advertisement be inserted in the County Papers, requesting all Persons who are disposed to proceed as COLONISTS to the Cape of Good Hope, to send in their Names and Residences, with their Ages, and Numbers of their Families, to the Office of the Clerk of the Peace, on or before the 31st of November next, at Eleven o'Clock in the Forenoon, to consider the Applications then made for Relief by Colonization, and to adopt such Measures as may be thought necessary for receiving further Applications, and carrying into effect he Purposes of the Subscription.

NEWCASTLE. Chairman.

In pursuance of the above Resolutions, I do hereby request all Persons who are disposed to proceed as Colonists to the Cape of Good Hope, to transmit by Letter, addressed to me at Newark, their Names and Residences, with such other Particulars, as are hereinafter specified, on or before the 31st instant, (viz.)

Names of the Men – their Age, Profession, or Trade

Names of the Women, and their Age

Names of the Male Children, and their Age

Names of the Female Children, and their Age.

Edwd. Smith GODFREY.

Newark, 13th October, 1819

G. Stretton, Printer, Nottingham.




National Archives, Kew CO48/43, 496


25th November 1819


I have the honor to transmit to you the List of persons proposed to be sent out to the Cape of Good Hope by the Subscribers to the Fund for Relief by Colonization in this Country and I shall be much obliged to you to give me as early information as possible when the Settlers must arrive at the place of Embarkation, in order that they may be collected from their different places of residence. And it will be particularly essential to the views of the Subscribers to understand whether Government will make the grant of land in this particular case to some Gentlemen in this county as Trustees for the Subscribers, in lieu of the Head of the party going out with the Settlers; and also what will be the period prescribed by Government for forfeiture of the Land, in case of non-Cultivation.

As the two latter questions are material to be answered previous to entering into the necessary agreement with the Settlers I shall feel much obliged by a very early answer to them.

I have the honor to be Sir,

Your most obedient servant

Edw. Smith GODFREY




National Archives, Kew CO48/43, 506


3rd Dec. 1819


I have the honor to inform you that I have given directions to my Bankers in London to pay the sum of £737.10.0 being the deposit money for the Colonists to the Cape of Good Hope from this County agreeable to the directions contained in your Letter of the 29th Inst.

I shall be glad to be informed as early as possible when the Settlers must arrive at Liverpool for their Embarkation in order that they may have all the time that can be allowed for their being transmitted there.

An agreement is prepared for arranging the terms in which the Settlers are to be sent out; a copy of which shall be sent to you as soon as it is made out and I wish to know if a Duplication of such agreements must be sent to your office.

I have the honor to be Sir

Your most obedient servant

Edw. Smith GODFREY.




National Archives, Kew CO48/43, 512


6th December 1819


I beg to acquaint you, in answer to your last Letter, that the Head of the party sent out by the Nottinghamshire Subscribers to the Cape of Good Hope is Thomas CALTON of North Collingham, Notts, Surgeon being the first person named in the List transmitted to the Colonial office. The Grant of Land is proposed to be made to The Revd. John Thomas BECHER and myself as Trustees for the Subscribers at large as mentioned in one of my former Letters to which I was informed there would be no objection.

I am apprehensive that we shall have many dissentions from our List and I take for granted that if we do not wholly supply the numbers we shall be intitled to a return of a proportionate part of the Deposit money paid to Government on their behalf, and of this the subscribers would wish to be informed.

I have the honor to remain Sir

Your most obedient humble servant

Edw. Smith GODFREY

As much notice as possible should be given for the Embarkation, as the Settlers live at different places and are distant nearly 100 miles from Liverpool.

[Note of reverse written by Government Official:]

Write specially to Lord [C & S] as to the persons to whom the grant is to be made & to the Navy Board for their ship & acquaint him that it will be impossible to return any money on account of persons who having been once accepted may afterwards decline to proceed but that Lord B.[ATHURST) will have no difficulty in admitting a substitution of other persons so that there is no excess of the original number and the whole money deposited will be paid to the Leader of the party on his arrival at the Cape under the conditions.

[Transcriber's Note: The following letters are reproduced in “Settlers to the Cape of Good Hope: Organisation of the Nottinghamshire Party 1819-1820” by Clive M Burton]

[To the Duke of Newcastle]

30th Aug., 1819


I am one of those unfortunate manufacturers that are by the times entirely thrown out of work, without the most distant prospects of being reinstated.  With a wife and five children to support.  As the government have kindly held out an asylum at the Cape of Good Hope for the distressed.  I have to beg your Grace's interference in furthering my wishes in obtaining on the terms offered a passport to that country.  I beg leave to state to your Grace that it is not from disaffection or dislike that I wish to leave my dear native land, but an absolute and imperious call upon my feelings by my numerous family.



No. 1366 Close Court,



I have two sons and two daughters, we are Stocking makers, and wish to go as colonists to the Cape of Good Hope.  I beg leave to send you are names.

I am your obedient servant

Benj'm SMITH, aged 48, John aged 18, Lurus aged 17, Anne 15, Harriot 14

P.S. I beg you will excuse the payment of postage, we have no work and in very great distress.

29th Jan. 1820


In consequence of the greater part of the settlers not having money to buy iron, and Mr SMITH having purchased only ½ ton for the whole colony, I take the liberty of petitioning for 1½ tons more of that very necessary article,

I hope you will pardon my taking so great a liberty, as it was for the welfare of my fellow settlers that I have given you so much trouble.

Your humble servant


[Transcriber's Note: he was a blacksmith from Mansfield]

[Written to Edward S. GODFREY]


Oct. 22, 1819


I am informed you put the names down of those that wish to go to the Cape of Good Hope.  My name is Thomas MANNING, 24 years of age, and my wife Elizabeth aged 29 years.  I was brought up a labourer in the farming business and I would wish to go as a settler.  Please to send an answer by return of post, to be left at the Post Office and I will call for it.


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