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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.

IRVING, Reid & Co on behalf of John THOMSON


National Archives, Kew CO48/44, 8

Broad Street Buildings

16 July 1819


We have the honour to lay before you the accompanying letter of our correspondent Mr. John THOMSON, a considerable ship owner in Dumfries, who requires information from us as to the intentions of his Majesty's Government in the appropriation of the grant of £50,000 given for the relief of intending emigrants to the British Colonies; a subject of considerable importance to him, in case of any part being appropriated to the extensive district in which he has residence in the Port. You will therefore confer an obligation on us by enabling us to give him such information as may guide him in his view of offering some of his shipping for this service.

We have the honour to be very respectfully, Sir

You most obed't sevt

Reid IRVING & Co



10 July 1819


I observe by the public papers the Chancellor of the Exchequer has given notice of his intention to make the grant of a sum of money to enable emigrants to go out an settle in the British Colonies. I have for some years taken out a large number of emigrants to the British States and in the last three years about 20,000, a considerable number of whom were from Cumberland & Westmoreland, and many of their families sent out at the expence of the parishes. From my having five vessels in the trade, each Captain tries to give more comfort than another to the Passengers; and on which account those landed write their friends to come out by my ships. May I again use the freedom to ask the particular favour of your House interesting themselves with Government in allowing a part of the grant to be sent to this district, where from distress emigration is thus been so prevalent. And should it be that Government allows a part of that money to this Port, no doubt a person must be appointed agent for the purpose, in my humble opinion Mr James ARTHUR, agent for Lloyds, would act most independently and would be a fit person to fill that situation; but this I by no means convey to you as an interest done to me, but from my extent of shipping and my masters being partly interested I humbly set myself to give accommodation & comfort to emigrants equal to any ship owner, our ships being all of the first class. Begging you will excuse this freedom as the request is of great importance to me.

I have the honor &c

(signed) John THOMSON

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