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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.

LEE, William (1), 1820 Settler


National Archives, Kew CO48/44, 343

No. 52 Greek Street

Soho Square

August 17th 1819

Honour'd Sir

With the deepest humility I take the liberty to address your Lordship induc'd only from two motives your Lordship's kindness & my own extreme distress'd situation. for some time my Lord have I been striving to maintain a family of five children my wife & myself & had an excellent business as a butcher a few years & little thought my situation would be as it now is - but as I am in the Hands of him who is the disposer of all events I desire to lay passive in his Hands still looking for his deliverance and now I would just state to your Lordship - my reason for this trespass as their does not appear a probability of providing for my family by my business having had many losses - by giving credit to my customers as well as other ways - that instead of having a good supply of meat in my shop, I am frequently my Lord without a joint. Consequently my connection is quite dwindled away & my case growing worse & worse daily therefore my Lord I consider it quite prudent to be looking for something to support my family quite dependent upon me for the same - and as I have a friend or two now going out as settlers to the Cape they would advise me to go with them & I am induced to continue by Gods Help in the same undertaking but as I have a difficulty stands in my way at present I do intreat your Lordships aid to deliver me. My business falling off by degrees has of course caused one to contract Debts with persons I have been buying my meat of but if any thing offers that I am likely to pay them a part they will give me any time to do it but my great difficulty my Lord is this [:] having borrowed two hundred pounds some time ago I found two friends to become security for the same which is to be paid in about three years & by selling the lease of my house [reserving] my furniture to [sell] to carry us out I shall leave about eighty or one hundred pounds unpaid[.] [H]ere my Lord is my great difficulty but as I am informed there will be official situations to be filled at this place & at your Lordships disposall I would humbly venture to intreat your Lordship to regard my petition in money not that I am making for myself to be [earn'd] from Labour or to get a salary but only that I may shew to them I have a dependance let it be ever so small that I may send it to them as its [receiv'd] so that they may let me go in peace casting myself & family once more on the good Providence of the Almighty.

Now my Lord I have as briefly as possible laid before you a case which I trust will have your Lordships commiseration and were it not for intruding on your Lordships most valuable time I could relate to you our present distressing circumstances that I am confident would [excite] your Lordships sympathy in the first place & would save me I believe from a prison & leaving a wife and five children without a home but I do anticipate better things. I would now my Lord only add with respect to character it does not belong to me to boast I can have the the [sic] most respectable reference in London - the Rev'd Saxby PENFOLD Upper [torn page - Berkeley St., Mr BUTTERWORTH of Bedford & late [member] of Parliament (both good friends) & I believe fifty more as respectable families whom I have formally serv'd with meat would give the most satisfactory Acct of my character & family. I again beg your Lordships pardon for intruding on your time leaving my case in your Lordships hands hoping for success.

Subscribe myself

Your Lordships most unworthy and humble servant





National Archives, Kew CO48/44, 381

London. Sept 9 th 1819

No. 52 Greek Street Soho


I received your letter dated the 7th inst and feel myself greatly oblig'd for your kind attention and with respect to the question you ask where I am acquainted with a party going out I thought I had fully explained in my letter address'd to Lord BATHURST wen I stated I was going with a party of Mr WESLEY'S people about one hundred in number (whose names have been sent to the office some time) and I am to have the charge over ten of them, therefore Sir as [ten] from the statement in your letter I have reason to hope my Lord will confer on me this favor which will be the only means of my going comfortable as I have also stated in the same letter therefore Sir I humbly request you will make this statement to his Lordship and your interest us'd for me in this occasion will not be forgotten. As soon as convenient I shall be glad to hear again as I can make no arrangements until I am satisfied on this [head] as all my hopes depend on this one point but from the contents of your letter I trust I shall not be disappointed. I hope Sir you'll pardon me for the trouble I am giving you & remain your most humble serv't.


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