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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.

WOODCOCK, Robert, 1820 Settler

National Archives, Kew CO48/46, 227

Golders Green


July 19 1819


It being my intention to make application to His Majesty's Government for a grant of land at the Cape of Good Hope and to take out a number of settlers under my direction, I beg leave to submit the following queries, which I hope may not be deemed impertinent & shall be very thankful for such information as I may be favoured with in reply.

I am Sir your most obed't humble serv't



1st What form of application will be required by Government on the part of the settlers who may be desirous of emigrating to the Cape?

2nd What accommodation will be afforded on the passage to the settlers generally – will the head of each little colony & his family be entitled to a cabin passage or any different accommodation from others?

3rd Is it intended that emigrants shall be landed near the spot upon which they are to be settled or on the other hand is it probable that they may have a journey to make by land. If so, to what distance and at what expence?

4th As I understand from the best information of writers and others that there is much difference in the quality of land in the colony & that even in the same neighbourhood many barren and otherwise ineligible spots frequently occur, I am desirous of information as to the grant or allotments that are proposed to be made to settlers, as for instance whether any choice as to local situation will be allowed or whether they are expected to locate themselves on a certain allotment whether adapted for profitable cultivation or otherwise. The importance of some information on this point induces me to entreat your kind attention to the subject, knowing as I do the anxiety with which it is contemplated by many. Fuel, water, fertility of soil, healthfulness of location & facility of communication with the towns of the colony are naturally most important considerations and I therefore trust I may be excused for saying so much respecting them?

5th Will the settlers be governed by the laws of England and in particular I request to be informed whether trial by jury is now established in the colony?

6th By what authority are the colonial taxes levied, what may be their present amount and what limit if any to the liability of settlers to the expence of making & repairing roads?

7th Are there any colonial duties on the import or export of merchandise?

8th Will the head or director of each 10 or more settlers be allowed to make his own terms with the persons he takes out in respect to their division of the land or will he on the contrary be confined to his equal proportion of only 100 acres?

9th Will Government under any circumstances be induced to make somewhat larger grants to intelligent settlers than 100 acres & how may such extension be obtained?

10th If a proposal be made to Government and accepted how soon afterwards would the colonists probably be sent out from England?

11th Will Government accommodate the settlers with tents or any other mode of shelter until they can erect habitations for themselves? Or with any implements of husbandry?

12th Is that part of the colony where the new settlers are to be established near the coast or navigable river & how supplied with the essential articles of wood & water?

13th If a considerable number of settlers should agree to emigrate together from Ireland would Government send a ship to Cork or Waterford to take them out?





National Archives, Kew CO48/46, 322

Golders Green

7th Aug 1819


In answer to some enquiries relative to the Cape of Good Hope which I took the liberty of making at the Colonial Office in Downing Street I was desired to submit these enquiries in writing, addressed to Henry GOULBURN Esq. which I had the honour of doing about 10 days ago but having received as yet no reply I fear that my letter may have been overlooked amongst the numerous applications that are probably making on this subject. If I may be favoured with any information I shall be very thankful, addressed as at foot.

I am Sir your obed't hbl st


Golders Green



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