National Archives, Kew CO48/42, 92
Hays Buildings No. 152
July 28th 1819
Rt Hon. Lord SIDMOUTH,
I having seen a few days ago in the newspapers men wanted by Government to go and be settlers in the Cape of Good Hope I have made bold to write your Lordship stating to you I have been bred from my infancy to the Berwickshire system of farming and perfectly understands agriculture in all its branches, draining not excepted, but having lost my farm some time ago my lease being out and the rent over reached after my forefathers and me being seventy years in it. I have a large family eight sons and five daughters and there is six of my sons anxious to go with myself along with them and I can get six more to go with me all young men of good character from the country inured with labour and I know I could establish a system of farming never yet knowing in that part of the world and I flatter myself if God spare me I might be a useful member of society among the new settlers, for I know a good many wishes to go knowing little about farming. But I will be ready at all times to go cheerfully forward and give my best advices to them upon the plan of farming best for advantage of the farmer and improving the ground.
I am sorry I should trouble your Lordship as I did not know where else to apply as there seems no Agent appointed here yet and likewise if my party be accepted I would like to know if the implements of husbandry be sent from this country or if one can get them where we are going. I can produce you good documents of ch[aracter] for myself and party and my abilities as aforesaid.
I am with respect your Lordship's devoted sevt
PS A few lines to this would gratifie much