Skip to main content
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.

CARLISLE, Frederick, 1825

National Archives, Kew, CO48/74, 144

No.12 Holborn Court

Grays Inn

Dec'r 17th 1825


I have taken the liberty of addressing the envelope of the enclosed communication to you in consequence of Mr. HAY's having mentioned his intention of leaving town (on Thursday last) and shall be happy to call at your office whenever it will suit your convenience.

I have the honor to be

Your obedient humble servant


[Enclosed letter to R. HAY Esq, Under Sec'y of State, Colonial Department]


December 16th 1825


Owing to the great deficiency of agricultural and mechanical labour which has long prevailed throughout the British settlement of Albany and serious depression arising from that circumstance it was some time back thought advisable by the settlers that some person acquainted with the particulars of their situation should proceed with a memorial to His Majesty's Government, praying for assistance in removing the evil complained of by supplying the expence of transport to a number of emigrants of the various descriptions required. Relative to this I beg to inform you Sir that I am the person deputed by the inhabitants of Albany for the above purpose, and having delivered to His Excellency the Governor of the Colony the memorial above mentioned I beg to announce to you my arrival in England and that I am now ready to give any information in my power on the subject that you may require, and shall also be able to superintend the collection embarkation &c of the persons composing the emigration should it eventually be the pleasure of His Majesty's Government to comply with the wishes of the settlers.

In order that the proof of the actual demand for labour and the due provision to be made for the people sent out might not rest upon mere assertion, a Tabular Document was prepared whereby the subscribers bind themselves to provide for a certain number of labourers according to particular terms therein stated. This document I presume has been forwarded to Earl BATHURST by His Excellency Lord Charles SOMERSET together with such representations as I trust will bring the case under his most serious consideration.

I shall now Sir proceed to detail to you the number and description of persons required by the subscribers of the above mentioned document, and also the rates of wages proposed to be given.

The aggregate number of mechanical and agricultural labourers together with the women and children amounts to 771, viz

Mechanics of the descriptions required 105

Agricultural labourers 200

Adult females 71

Boys between the ages of 16 & 18 years 90

Boys under the age of 15 years 190

Girls under the age of 15 years 115

Total 771

The rates of wages proposed to be given to the different descriptions of emigrant are as follows, viz.

To mechanics 250 Rixdollars Cape currency or £18 15s sterling per annum, making the daily rate of 1s 2d½ nearly. To this is to be added the daily allowance of 2lbs of meat and 1½ lbs of bread, which taken at 10d brings the whole to something more than 2s p. diem.

To agricultural labourers 150 Rds or £11 5s sterling per annum being 8d½ daily, which added to provisions as above makes in all 1s 6d p. diem.

To boys between the ages of 16 and 18, 100 Rds or £7 10s sterling per annum, being 5d¾ daily and with food as above makes in all 1s 3d¾ p. diem.

To female adults 80 Rds or £6 sterling per annum being 4d½ daily and together with 1½ lbs of meat and 1lb of bread makes in all 11d½ p. diem.

Children under the age of 15 are offered clothes and food only.

Relative to the period for which the services of the emigrants are to be engaged, I beg to state Sir that it is the general wish of the subscribers that the adult males and females should be indentured for 3 years, the boys between the ages of 16 and 18 until they are 21, and the children under 15 years of age until they are 18.

It is not Sir for a moment to be supposed that the number of labourers &c stated above will be sufficient for the whole settlement, as it will at once be seen that the subscribers to the document above alluded to compose but a small portion of the inhabitants, but this circumstance alone will enable you to judge of the great extent to which labour is required.

In the memorial which I had the honor to present to Lord Charles SOMERSET the petitioners pray that His Excellency will recommend to His Majesty's Government the expediency of providing the means of transport to the emigrants required, as owing to the reduced state of their funds it will be found quite impossible to meet the expence themselves. For the truth of this latter circumstance I can fully vouch, and His Excellency Lord Charles SOMERSET being also well aware of the same assured me whilst in Cape Town that he would use his interest with Earl BATHURST in supporting the prayer of the petitioners; should it however be ultimately the determination of His Majesty's Government to advance the sum requisite for the emigration, merely by way of loan, I beg Sir to say that I am not at present prepared to give an opinion as to the most practicable mode of repaying the same, this not having been contemplated by the petitioners previous to my leaving Albany.

In conclusion Sir may I presume to take the liberty of requesting that in bringing this subject under the consideration of Earl BATHURST you will not fail to impress upon his Lordship the vital importance of it to the welfare of the British settlement in Albany, and I have no doubt that the interest and attention which has on all occasions been so conspicuously displayed by his Lordship towards that class of His Majesty's subjects, will not be wanting on this.

I have the honor to be Sir

Your most obed't humble serv't


  • Hits: 5833