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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.

McCLELAND, Francis, 1820 Settler

Correspondence filed under C

National Archives, Kew CO48/42, 263

Longford, Ireland

31st August 1819

My Lord,

Now when the rage for emigration has in a great degree subsided, and allowed you to enjoy a little rest, I beg to apply to you to know what are the inducements which Government holds out to such of the established clergy as the emigrants may be willing to take out with them: and whether, in case they do not make any application for pastors, it is the intention of government to send out any themselves.

As a clergyman who may be a long time unemployed in my own country & one who would take delight in diffusing the light of the religion I profess among the benighted sons of Africa under British Auspices, I would [wish] to embark myself with [ten] people who may so shortly be leaving their friends and their homes, and I trust could a few more be procured who would make the olive the weapon of conquest; His Majesty's Government would soon find British laws [obscured] at the Cape, on such a foundation as no power can shake and no art could undermine.

The British Constitution has been the theme of my continued panegyric and I have no doubt but I should be found a strenuous promoter of its rights and privileges wherever I may roam. I shall now only add that should your Lordship think proper to notice this application I shall be able to procure the strongest recommendations from Viscount FORBES, the new Bishop of Rapham and other revered and respected characters in this country.

I have the honour to remain with great respect

Your Lordship's most obed't and humble servt





National Archives, Kew CO48/42, 311/312


Sept 16th 1819

My Lord,

As I have taken some pains to make the individuals who intend emigrating from this country be acquainted with the conditions as specified in the circular letter (a copy of which I had the honour of receiving from Mr. GOULBURN) under which the Government would be willing to grant them their passage, the persons whose names are mentioned on the other side have requested that I would inform your Lordship of their willingness to agree to the proposed conditions and beg that you would have the kindness to furnish me with such other instructions relative to carrying their resolution into effect as your Lordship has given to their intended emigration.

There are some questions which have been put to me on the subject which the circular letter did not enable me to explain satisfactorily, and I should feel particularly obliged if your Lordship would be so kind as to let me know, for the information of such individuals as they may refer to, the answer of His Majesty's Government respecting them.

In the case of pensioners emigrating shall they be allowed to draw their allowance in the new Colony, and in case of their being so, suppose a pensioner could not deposit the sum required by Government would they be content to allow his pension to be applied for that purpose. I don't mean that part of it which may fall due in October, as many of them would require that to pay their rent previous to their leaving this country, but that portion of it which may be due for instance at the time they arrive at the Cape.

Is a child who may be only a few months old to be paid for, and in what proportion? Should a man wish to emigrate who is more than eighteen years of age but who has no family, will it be necessary for him to deposit as much as one who has a wife and two children or is a single individual to be considered as are child between the ages of fourteen and eighteen? To this last question I [averred?] that it didn't appear reasonable for a single person of either sex to be required to deposit ten pounds for the passage when a family of four might get one for the same sum and that as a man of eighteen would probably eat as much as a man of thirty I imagine that a single person of any age would not be required to deposit more than a man would for his son of eighteen years of age.

As every emigrant must be approved of by Government what steps are to be taken to ascertain their fitness and are such steps to be taken as [hidden in fold] consider it necessary for them to part with their effects before they are approved of?

And in case of any individual going out who can deposit money for others, is that individual to get [back] only his own deposit and likewise the sum advanced to others on his location, or is each person for whom the deposit had been made to receive that deposit and pay the person who advanced that sum for him by his labour, and in such circumstances will the person for whom money has been so advanced be entitled to any of the land granted by Government?

I have specified the religion of each individual after his name, and your Lordship may perceive that there are seven Roman Catholics among them who however would all be willing to unite with their Protestant Brethren in applying for permission for them to proceed with them. From knowing my family a long time they entertain the hope that I would be a useful mediator among them in a foreign land, and they are perfectly willing to attach themselves to any other party of settlers who may be in want of a clergyman to proceed with them. Some of them could bring over from twenty to sixty pounds inclusive of their deposit money and [things?] in appearance at least are strong and wholesome. I have no doubt that I shall be enabled to forward the names of another party who would go from the County of Cavan in a few days.

Should your Lordship find it necessary to make any immediate enquiries respecting me, my brother, who is a student at the Temple, lives at 18 Georges Street, Adelphi and can answer any questions that may be put to him.

Waiting your Lordship's reply I have the honour to remain with great respect

Your Lordship's most obed't and humble servant


James HASHER* Protestant

___ HENNING Protestant

Sam'l WILSON Protestant

Will'm SCANLAN Wife & six children Protestant

Edw. FORBES* Wife & three children Protestant

Alex'r FORBES* Single man Protestant

___ HARRISON & wife Protestant

Will'm SIMPSON Wife & four children Protestant

John ARMSTRONG* & wife Protestant

John ROSS* & wife Protestant

John W. LAUGHLIN Single man Protestant

Bevan MATTHEWS* Single man Protestant

Robert CUNNINGHAM* Single man Protestant

Laurence ARMSTRONG* Single man Protestant

William FEER Single man Protestant

Joseph HARRISON Single man Protestant

Catherine HARRISON Single Protestant

John MATTHEWS Single Protestant

Patrick BYRNE Roman Catholic

Will'm ?? Roman Catholic

P. CUNNINGHAM Roman Catholic

Thos. CONNOR Roman Catholic

___ STAFFORD Roman Catholic

___ FARRAH Roman Catholic

Edw. McKEON Roman Catholic

* Of these I am not certain




National Archives, Kew CO48/42, 511

18 Georges St,


23rd November 1819

My Lord,

At the suggestion of Mr GOULBURN I beg leave to inform your Lordship, that I have moved to London in order to accompany the Settlers proceeding under Mr PARKER, to the Cape of Good Hope. I brought letters of introduction to Mr GOULBURN, from Lord FORBES and Sir George FETHERSTONE, and though I called repeatedly at Downing St, I had not the honour of an interview with that Gentleman till yesterday.

On referring to the appointment under the Sanctions of which I cam to London, I was very much astonished to find that Mr GOULBURN expressed some doubts of my being enabled finally to proceed. Should this be the case words are inadequate to express the very great inconvenience and expense that I have been put to, and I should hope that your Lordship will be kind enough, when you consider this, to [obscured] it, in consequence of it's having been [productive] of so much trouble to me.

With regard to the objection, which Mr GOULBURN seemed to think would be namely, that I could not be expected to have any influence over the [settlers] as an Englishman, I have every reason to suppose, that they will to a man submit to any, conditions, which may be thought necessary, to secure their obedience to the laws of religion and morality.

In conclusion, I shall only ask that should I go out, I shall leave my native land with the most fervent of heartfelt wishes for its welfare and happiness under the present government, and that my attachment to its laws will be displayed in my humble endeavours to establish a similar regard in the breast of those, over whom, I am appointed to act as Clergyman.

I have the honour to remain with great respect,

Your Lordship's most obedient, very honourable servant





National Archives, Kew CO48/42, 537

18 George's Square


1 December 1819


I had the honour of receiving your very kind letter on Saturday night and I would have answered it before this had I not wished to have the precise numbers of persons Mr. PARKER could be prepared to take out. Permit me through you to return my most sincere thanks to Earl BATHURST for his kind consideration of the inconvenience I have been put to and to Henry GOULBURN Esq. allow me to add that I feel that that kindness is in a great measure attributed to your promised interference on my behalf.

As Mr. PARKER is now about to pay into the Treasury the deposits for seventy five families I should look upon it as a particular favour if you would let me know definitely whether I am to proceed or not, as I have made no arrangements whatever for my embarkation.

Allow me to subscribe myself with sincerity,

Your much obliged and very humble servant





National Archives, Kew CO48/42, 539

18 George's Square


10 December 1819


As Mr. PARKER's settlers are to embark on Wednesday next I must esteem it a favour if you would let me know whether I am to receive any further directions or appointment from Earl BATHURST previous to my departure. You could also much oblige me by informing me whether my salary is to be paid by the Government of this country or that of the Cape, as in the former case I should like to empower Sam GORDON to receive it for me, and if the testimonials of my character are not required to be produced you would add to the many obligations already conferred on me by letting me have them as they might be of service to me on a future day.

I have the honour to remain

Your much obliged and very humble servant


[Note written by GOULBURN across the corner]
Give him a letter to the Gov'r stating that he has been accepted as Clergyman & is to be located as such [receiving] a modest stipend for the discharge of Clerical duties
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