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

Correspondence 1821 to 1837.

Here only letters by known settlers or their families, or letters of great relevance to the 1820 settlers, have been transcribed, whereas ALL the 1819 correspondence was transcribed (see CO48/41 through CO48/46) whether or not the writers emigrated to the Cape.

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.

BARRY, James, 1826

National Archives, Kew, CO48/86, 66

Cape Town

Nov 1st 1826

My Lord

I did myself the honor to address a letter to Your Lordship several months since thro' HM Commissioners of Inquiry referring to the cruel, disgraceful & I contend unjustifiable manner in which I had been deprived of my office, my professional character materially injured & my fair prospects in life quickly blighted. I did set forth the proximate cause of these transactions but the first, the predisposing cause, I held back, trusting that when Lord Charles SOMERSET reflected coolly and dispassionately upon the circumstance his sense of justice would induce him to see me righted. I have waited; nothing has been done; but to my uttermost astonishment I have just learned thro' my friends in England that my conduct respecting a statement that I had made of an opinion of Col. BIRD's regarding Lord C.H. SOMERSET has been much misrepresented to Your Lordship. This indeed accounts for the delay. I therefore hasten to inform you that I have consequently communicated confidentially the whole and every circumstance in detail to my friend Sir Jahleel BRENTON, who is authorised by me to communicate the same personally to your Lordship if necessary, and in the event of his not being able to do so, thro' either of my friends Mr James STUART or Mr. Henry ELLIS. And I have only further to say that my silence hitherto on this subject arose (and my present backwardness arises) from my sincere and ardent wish to do nothing that could in any way injure Lord Charles; but solely to rescue my good name from dishonor, and this I have endeavoured to impress thoroughly on the minds of my friends, who are men of strict honor.

I have the honor to remain

Your Lordship's most obed't serv't





National Archives, Kew, CO48/86, 79

Cape Town

Nov 20th 1826


I have this morning received your letter of the 25th June last, acquainting me that Earl BATHURST “sees no reason to doubt the propriety of the arrangement which has been recently made by the Government of the Cape for investing in a Medicine Board the execution of the duties which had previously been assigned to the Colonial Medical Inspector.” This death blow to my well founded hopes that Earl BATHURST would not sanction the ruin which I have been so unmeritedly involved in compels me once more to bring my case to his Lordship's notice. To prevent to motives of my application being misunderstood I beg to disclaim any intention of requesting the restoration of my situation as Colonial Medical Inspector. Since I do not complain of the abolition of the office or of its duties being transferred to a Medical Board, but I do complain of the unprecedented & to me injurious & disgraceful manner in which it was done & in which I was so abruptly removed - & also I contend the injustice in not being placed at the head of that Board after the arduous and zealous professional labours in which I had been engaged for a series of years without any imputation on my conduct during that period.

On the 1st of this month I addressed a letter to Earl BATHURST of which the enclosed is a copy. I beg to express thro' you my hopes that when his Lordship shall have considered the circumstances under which I was deprived of my situation, my professional reputation defamed & my peace of mind destroyed (which will be laid before him by my friends) his Lordship's sense of justice will induce him to consider me as entitled to that redress which an injured man has a right to expect at his hands. It is here perhaps needless for me to enforce how dear, how very dear, to me my good name is, and how very anxious I am to make every human effort in order to avert the heavy calamities consequent to the loss of it. I therefore deem it my bounden duty to vindicate my integrity & to rescue it as soon as possible from the unworthy imputations which have been heaped upon it; and to manifest my honorable transactions to the world, without which even my fair claims to, and anxious expectations of, military promotion may continue to be obstructed if not totally annihilated.

I am Sir your most obedient Servant


[Transcriber's Note: James BARRY was a fascinating character and was in fact a woman! See: Jame Barry: Wikipedia article]

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