Skip to main content
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.

WESTMORLAND, Earl of re Alexander BIGGAR, 1820 Settler

(See also correspondence under B in CO48/41)

National Archives, Kew CO48/46, 506/508

Oct 4th 1819


I have received the enclosed letter and wd submit it to your kind consideration if you can comply with Mr. BIGGAR's application & place him on a list of colonists. Most sincerely do I lament with you the unfortunate loss of my very old friend. I hope Lady BATHURST's health is not injured by such a shock. I beg my remembrance to her.

Yours very sincerely



[Note from GOULBURN at foot]

Has Mr. BIGGAR been accepted?]

[Pencilled reply from Richard PENN]

Mr. BIGGAR has been accepted. He is the person for whom I interested myself at the request of Mrs. FANE, widow of [Earl] WESTMORLAND's late brother.

[enclosed letter, written to the Earl of WESTMORLAND]

27 St.Mary Axe


4th October 1819

My Lord,

I know not how to make a sufficient apology to your Lordship for this intrusion, nor have I any excuse to offer for the liberty but the charitable motive by which I am activated. Mr. John BIGGAR [sic] of Plymouth Dock, a man once in easy and independent circumstances but now reduced, with a family of ten children is amongst the candidates to emigrate with his family and ten artificers and others according to Lord BATHURST's regulations to the Cape of Good Hope. By some unlucky circumstance, occasioned I fear by the necessity I was under of seeing Mrs. RAWLINGS who is in a very bad state of health in Hampshire, his memorial was not produced in sufficient time at the Office in Downing Street to be taken into consideration, although I handed it in there myself this day.

There are few candidates better qualified in every respect to answer the [obscured] of His Majesty's Government in this new Colony than Mr. John BIGGAR, both from education and other qualifications and one to whom if would be an instance [of] greater charity considering his former society. I have been recommended at the office of my Lord BATHURST to cause him to be mentioned to his Lordship in the [event] that it may not yet be too late for him given the object of his wishes and it was my intention to have endeavoured to meet his Lordship in behalf of Mr. BIGGAR through the Lady Emily BARKELY, whom I have the honor of well knowing, had not the unexpected death of her brother the Duke of RICHMOND prevented my intruding upon her Ladyship at this moment of distress.

Your Lordship's many kindnesses to me on all occasions makes me of course the more loath in giving you the trouble of processing my application even when I am personally [unconcerned?] but much more so in behalf of another. If however your Lordship would with your usual goodness write to My Lord BATHURST or Mr, GOULBURN in behalf of Mr. BIGGAR your Lordship would not only confer a considerable obligation to those I have already received from your Lordship but would be the means of contributing to the comfort of a worthy man, his wife and ten children, who would ever bless your Lordship for such an act of kindness.

I am my Lord with much respect

Your Lordship's ever obliged and faithful servant


  • Hits: 6531