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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.


National Archives, Kew CO48/43, 756

Silkstone near Barnsley

Monday Morning 4 o'clock August 30th 1819


I seeing a advertisement in the Leeds Mercury of the 21st instant that 50,000 aplicants had made application to go to the new Colony at the Cape of Good Hope I thought proper to add one more to the number along with other two Benjamin EXLEY and Timothy MITCHELL one a family the other none myself & wife and 5 children whom I support or keep alive at my own table & in different servitudes. I myself anxious to know on what conditions you wish them to go to the New Place; submit them to your humane considerations hoping in your goodness that you will let industry meet its due reward in so distant a land. I should hope that you will consider that we are all under one Supreem God and our stay in this world but of short duration and full of trouble mine has been more unfortunate of late than a deal False Imprisonment, Bankruptcy &c &c has been my heavy lot last of all sickness. I have been assisted by Town but their hearts are as hard as the nether millstone; I would if please God go any where before I would ask their favours and work has been so scarce before harvest that a man could scarce get employ at all at not more than 12/0d per week; and look'd on worse than dogs are in general.

If you find land I should hope all kinds of impliments will be found such as spades - paring spades, axes hammers saws, plows &c also the passage from home found us as their is few people in England would go if trade was good here but by our utmost endeavours we cannot get a livelihood here and its worse every day.

I propose if we have land given to us that we have wages for working that land and if improvements be made and we wish to leave the country again a fair valuation being made for these improvements either for going to Cape Poland or America, I care not were I go there is same supreem in all nations but it seems as if England was still likely to be worse for some time except something could be done to better the condition of the working classes in general.

I remain Yours Truly a sincere friend to the Established Church and a Englishman.


P.S. Hope you'l have the goodness to send me a answer as my companions seems anxious to know the result of your present Committee, excuse haste as my time is expired to begin my day to Labour but harvest is nearly over and very good crops indeed.

There is at present 500 acres of land to sell on [Middop] new inclosure near Pennistone at Pennistone on Thursday 10th Sep'r next. This land if Government thought fit to buy it I think I could buy it from 5- to 10£ per acre in lots - and s[h]ould get it cultivated at about from 10 to 15£ per acre more but would take it at what it costs allowing 3£ per cent or £3-10- if bargain be made well for the property the land would grow rape seed, turnips, oats, grass and potatoes &c &c. Its in general a dry soil but 2 1/2 or 3 degrees colder than at London. Should you take that into your immediate considerations if you apply to James ARCHABEL steward WORTLEY Esq, Wortley Hall he knows me and any instructions you have to give or in any monied matters respecting the same intrust him with the money or Lord MILTON Wentworth House as they both know me - but I can buy it lower than if a Gentleman were to apply.

From your humble servant James HARROP

Late a carrier from Barnsley to Manchester

P.S. I should advise this land to be bought as its at home and I have a method of cultivating wasteland of that kind that I have yet never made known and could get it all cultivated this winter and next summer if the needful was found.




National Archives, Kew CO48/43, 810

Silkstone near Barnsley

Sept 27th 1819


in answer to your letter received on the fifth September instant we this day have met in order to consult about going to the new colony at the Cape of Good Hope at the Red Lion Inn Silkstone 20th instant were it was agreed upon to write up to Government. Through the distress of times and badness of trade we are reduced to that state that we are unable to find money for the purport (according to your first article). But we wish to know if the money voted in the House of Commons whether we could get money for the purport from you or the Parishes were we belong to find the same. Altho we are petitioning for money by some means to deposit into your hands according to articles, when we land at the Cape we should hope that we receive the money back according to your articles at the landing location, & at the end of three months, also impliments for husbandry. We have seen in the Geography that money will be found for cultivation by receiving a tenth of produce if so we agree to that but pray inform us. We have no connection with any Redundancy of Population with Parishes as we vote to go all of our own free will - we all go of our own free will and are capable of work and if government requires it we will be viewed by Lord MILTON and Lord WORTLEY as one of us has seen Lord WORTLEY and he says he will render us what assistance lays in his power.

In respect to their minister we wish to have a charitable good man of the church religion but that we put to your choice as our number is few at present but we expect to have more.

In respect to bringing the land into a good state of cultivation we wish to know what time you give but not to be strict to a few years.

We wish to know what time the vessels sails and what port we take shipping and also what necessarys we can take such as cloathing bedding etc etc.

We are further informed that the Caffers makes sallys upon the colony we wish to have guns etc for self defence.

I remain with all due respect waiting your answer for myself and others as below. Yours respectfully

James HARROP, farmer, wife & 6 children

John HAWCROFT, miner, wife & 2 children

Timothy MITCHEL, farmer, single man

Mark DYSON, farmer, single man

Mark HUNT, farmer, wife & 3 children

Eli HOTLING, miner, single man

William CHARLSWORTH, farmer, wife & 2 children

Timothy CROW, farmer, single man

James BEDFORD, miner, wife & 7 sons

John FISH, farmer, wife & 3 children

Thomas LEATHERWOOD, farmer, single man

John MILNER,, single man

PS since I wrote to you last I have took a road to make which will be finished in a week or two. Which I hope will clear me a little money and I mean to go but the others do as they will therefore hope you will not fail to write. I understand planning and making roads.





National Archives, Kew CO48/43, 865

[This letter is written in a hand different to the previous letters, suggesting HARROP dictated it]

Silkstone near Barnsley

13th October 1819


I wrote you on the 27th Ult by order of a majority of a meeting called at Silkstone 22nd Ult which letter I told them at the time was not likely to be answered (and we rather doubt the Person we intrusted the letter with putting it in the Post Office.) I know [sic] write for myself and 2 others viz John BATTY Cropper Thurlstone and John FISH Cawthorn. We went to Lord WORTLEYS Wortley Hall yesterday but he being gone to stop at York till after the county meeting we got disappointed of any further information. Therefore we have concluded to fall into your conditions of the letter if we knew which way to do or whether the money must be paid into the hands of Joseph BECKETT Esq Banker Barnsley or to you or were you appoint. Allso when and were the ships sails from as the time grows very short. Or if you can inform us were there is a number going as we can class along with the nearest party to us - it will very much oblige your hmble servant


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