SMITH, P re Mrs GOODE, 1820
National Archives, Kew, CO48/53, 321
26th January 1820
In compliance with your directions I went this morning to see the poor woman whose case was imperfectly related to you in the letter addressed to you by Mrs. R. GRAY.
As you had also desired me to proceed to Deptford upon business relative to the Cape settlers I determined to go on board the Aurora Transport, the ship referred to by Mrs. GRAY, and there endeavour to find out the woman's name and at the same time take measures if necessary for securing her late husband's deposit money and baggage.
I was informed by SEPHTON, the leader of the party of Wesleyans who are on board that ship, that the name of the woman after whom I enquired must be GOODE; that her husband had belonged to his party but that he had been prevented by illness from coming on board the ship; but he had seen him five weeks ago in good health. A man named TALBOT, a friend of GOODEs, who was present, told me that he had died of a liver complaint. It was true that GOODE had paid SEPHTON 35£ as deposit money and 2£ 7s the share of the settlers' subscription among themselves to purchase tools &c. The former sum SEPHTON meant to return to the widow; but without harbouring any suspicion of his integrity I suggested that the money should immediately be lodged at this office, conceiving that to be the best means of satisfying you that Mrs. GOODEs claim would be attended to without delay.
With respect to the small sum, SEPHTON stated that according to the regulations adopted by his fellow settlers it had become forfeited to the Society, but I urged him to endeavour if possible to obtain the consent of the people to return that money also, which he promised to do.
The baggage and bedding of the poor family had already been returned to them by Captain YOUNG's order.
I then went to see Mrs. GOODE, & Captain YOUNG, who had business in town, was good enough to accompany me. She seemed to be a very decent woman and told me her case very shortly. Her husband having left his occupation and being burthened with a large family, had fretted very much at not receiving orders to embark so soon as he had expected. He felt sick and took to his bed. An apothecary who was sent for from the Borough, after seeing the poor man, told Mrs. GOODE that he was dying of a broken heart.
I should observe that the period which elapsed between GOODE's leaving his occupation and the order of embarkation ( the ) [left blank] did not exceed four or five weeks.
Mrs. GOODE further mentioned that in order to support her dying husband and her family she had gradually sold their bedding, that the expences of his funeral amounting to 6 guineas remained unpaid and that she had only a few shillings in her possession.
I enquired whether in her embarrassing situation she would not be glad to proceed with her family to the Cape. Her eldest son, who is 18 years of age, had been entered as a settler; he was entitled to a grant of one hundred acres of land and I had received an assurance from Mr. SEPHTON that he and his party would most willingly take them and assist them so far as their means would allow. Mrs. GOODE, however, disliked the proposal. She appeared confused and frightened at the idea of removing her family to an unknown country without the protection of which she had so recently been deprived.
I proposed that she should at least not repel the opportunity of providing for some of her boys by allowing them to proceed to the Cape, but she was unwilling to part from them and burst into tears.
Captain YOUNG had the humanity to offer to provide for one of her sons in the Navy, but she was again overpowered by her feelings.
I then begged her to think these matters over; gave her a pound to provide for her immediate wants and left her with the assurance that her husband's deposit money would be returned to her tomorrow or the day following.
I have the honour to be, dear Sir
Your most faithful humble servant