GSSAThe 1820 Settler Correspondence
 as preserved in the National Archives, Kew
 and edited by Sue Mackay

Selected Settler Correspondence 1820 - 1837

Whereas ALL the 1819 correspondence was transcribed (see CO48/41 through CO48/46 at the National Archives), whether or not the writers emigrated to the Cape, here only letters by known settlers or their families, or letters of great relevance to the 1820 settlers, have been transcribed. There are many other letters in later files, thought not to be written by eventual settlers. However, if an ancestor is known to have emigrated after the 1820 settlers then it might be worth looking through the rest of the correspondence, which is arranged alphabetically. The relevant files for letters written in 1820 are CO48/52 (A-L) and CO48/53 (M-Y). Later files are labelled "Original Correspondence" followed by the year, and can be found from CO48/56 (1821) to CO48/186 (1837).

Unless otherwise stated letters were written to either the Secretary of State for the Colonies or his deputy. The original correspondence is filed in order of receipt. Here it has been placed in alphabetical order according to the surname of the writer, with letters by the same writer in chronological order, for ease of reading. Original spelling has been maintained. Reference numbers, where given, refer to printed page numbers stamped on the letters and will enable visitors to the National Archives to locate the letter more easily.

MURRAY, John re Rev. R. SHAND, 1835

National Archives, Kew, CO48/164, 168


25 March 1835

My Lord,
           I take the liberty to lay before your Lordship the accompanying Document, relative to the Rev's Robert SHAND of the Cape of Good Hope.
     By the letter of Mr. HAY of 18 May 1833 you will see that Lord STANLEY, when His Majesty's Secretary for the Colonies, appointed Mr. SHAND Assistant and Successor to the Rev'd Dr. THOM of Tulbagh. And by Mr. SHAND's letter of 21st Dec'r 1834 you will perceive that at that date he was not enjoying the advantage of that appointment, owing to his honourable feeling for Dr. THOM and his large family. Mr. SHAND would not have accepted the appointment referred to nor would we, who made application for him, have given our sanction to his doing so, but upon the supposition that suitable provision was made for Dr. THOM. No-one knows better than your Lordship that neither in the Dutch nor in the Scottish Church are Ministers superseded, as seems to have been proposed by the Local Government in the present case. I trust your Lordship will be pleased to convey instruction to the local authorities to make more suitable provision for Dr. THOM & to forward the induction of Mr. SHAND, in terms of his appointment.
     May I take leave to add that in no part of His Majesty's Dominions is an Established Church more highly prized or of greater importance than in the Colony of the Cape of Good Hope. The Colonists express themselves as deeply indebted to His Majesty's Government for having displayed such attention to their best interests. And I can assure your Lordship from the Testimony of various respectable Laymen, as well as from that of several excellent Clergymen, that they want to hail an extension of the Church, which they very much need, as the most precious Boon.
I have the honour to be, My Lord
Your Lordship's obed't serv't
Min'r of North Parish


[Enclosed letter to Rev John MURRAY et al]

170 Downing Street
18 May 1833

             With reference to your letter of the 26th February last I am directed by Mr. Secretary STANLEY to acquaint you that the advanced age and the infirmities of the present Minister at Tulbagh in the Cape of Good Hope render it necessary to appoint some other person to perform the duties of that Church.
     If, therefore, it would suit the views of Mr. SHAND to undertake those duties, with a Salary of £150 a year, during the lifetime of the present Incumbent, he will succeed to the full Salary of £200 on the death of that Gentleman.
     In the event of Mr. SHAND accepting this appointment it will be necessary for him to lose no time in qualifying himself to officiate in the Dutch Language, and when he shall have so done, and shall be ready to proceed to the Cape, he will receive the sum of £100 to defray the expenses of his journey to Holland, and also to enable him to provide himself with a passage to the Cape.
I am, Sir, your most obedient humble servant


[Also enclosed, a letter from Rev. SHAND to John MURRAY]

Dec'r 31st 1834

My Dear Friend,
                     You will be grieved to hear that in consequence of a material alteration made in the terms of my appointment I have for the present been shut out from the situation to which I was appointed. The terms of my appointment are to you well known & I merely add that no official notice of any new arrangement was given me previous to my arrival in the Colony. I had a note from Mr. HAY the night before I left London in which it was stated that he had enclosed me a letter notifying to the Governor of the Cape of Good Hope my appointment as Minister at Tulbagh. Of this I took no particular notice at the time I received it. It really intimates no change in the terms of my appointment as I would to all intents and purposes have been Minister at Tulbagh, ie officiant Clergyman there according to the only appointment I ever was offered or consented to. And even had it occurred to me that a new arrangement was thereby intimated, I would not have had the opportunity of remonstrating or calling for an explanation as I was obliged to leave London the next day.
     Soon after my arrival in Cape Town I was gazetted by order of His Excellency the Governor as "Minister of Tulbagh vice the Rev'd Dr. THOM" & informed more particularly "that according to the instructions received by His Excellency Dr.THOM was to be removed from his situation and mr. SHAND appointed in his place and that £50 was to be given by me to Dr. THOM out of my annual pecuniary allowance as Minister of Tulbagh, while no pecuniary allowance whatsoever – no house – no provision of any kind would be given him by Government.
     Little reflection, deliberation or consultation was needed to satisfy me that I could never, while I possessed the fear of God in my heart, or had any due regard to my own peace, comfort & usefulness, acquiesce in any such arrangement. Had I done so, I would in the very face of the only arrangement ever entered into with me by the Secretary of State for the Colonies have become the voluntary instrument in the hand of Government of depriving Dr THOM, his Wife & nine children of the means of temporal support - & thus with open eyes incurred the guilt of palpable injustice – offended God – wounded my own conscience – tarnished my name, character & profession – frustrated my usefulness – and ruined my peace & happiness for ever.
This I would not and could not do; accordingly I made it known to the Governor that I could not agreeably to the terms of my appointment permit myself to be installed at Tulbagh according to this new arrangement of Government. Soon after I had a letter from Colonel BELL the Secretary asking me if I still adhered to such a declaration, to which I answered most decidedly in the affirmative – entered into particulars & alleged reasons. The consequence has been that I have for the present been shut out from performing any one Ministerial duty at Tulbagh and denied any part of the pecuniary allowance guaranteed me in terms of my appointment & placed in circumstances most unfavourable in a land where I have at present none to befriend me.
     You will therefore have the kindness in [conjunction] with my other dear Friends who united with you in the application to Government on my account to remonstrate with the Right Honourable Secretary on account of this breach of contract & to insist either on the fulfilment of the original appointment or to solicit that Dr. THOM may be removed on condition of a sufficient allowance for himself & family, and I appointed full Minister of Tulbagh. This Dr. THOM wishes- this the congregation wish - & till this is done matters cannot be rightly managed here. I will write you soon in a very different style. In the meantime I remain, my dear Friend
Yours affectionately

PS You have the Government documents in your hands & if you should consider it advisable to have also a copy of my ordination & letter of acceptance you may have both by writing to Dr BET...., Dingwall


National Archives, Kew CO48/164, 182


20 October 1835

    The Bearer, Rev'd Thomas REID, who had the honour of receiving from His Majesty's Government a Presentation to the Church of Colesberg, in the Colony of the Cape of Good Hope, has now received ordination by our Church and is anxious to proceed to the Place of his Destination. His majesty's Secretary for the Colonies not only granted the Rev's SHAND of Tulbagh £100 to defray expenses in Holland, with his passage to the Cape, but generously allowed £50 additional on the ground that Mr. S had protracted his stay in Holland in the view of realizing a more perfect acquaintance with the Dutch language.
   Mr. REID's stay in Holland has been protracted on the same ground and he presumes to hope that it may please Lord GLENELG to confer on him a similar indulgence.
I have the honour to be, Sir
Your must obed't serv't
Minister of North parish

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