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GSSA
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.

THORNHILL, Christopher, 1820

National Archives, Kew, CO48/53, 377

31 Red Lion Square

January 7th 1820

Sir

Having with every wish to promote the welfare of the several men and families going out under my direction, as well as to secure as far as possible success to the undertaking of myself and my family emigrating to the new Colony at the Cape of Good Hope, collected at a considerable expense a quantity of such articles which I conceive, and was made to understand, would be necessary for the cultivation of the ground, erecting of habitations, and the comforts of my own family as well as those young out under my care; but owing to some disappointments by Mr. WAIT's detention and other causes, most of the several articles could not be collected in readiness but lately, finding on sending some on board the Zoroaster Transport that not sufficient room was left after placing the several settlers, for receiving the said goods and being still desirous of proceeding with the same vessel I beg to request that my Agents Messrs STROMBOM and Co. of 65 Broad Street may be permitted to ship the several articles left out and such others found necessary for the forestated specific purpose – to be shipped on my account and those under my direction on board the Aurora or some other transport proceeding immediately after the Zoroaster.

Which request I should hope may be the more readily granted being fully assured it is the wish of Government and the Earl of BATHURST in particular to promote the comfort and future success of the Emigrants as far as conveniently can be done.

I have the honor to be Sir

Your most obedient humble servant

C. THORNHILL

 

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National Archives, Kew, CO48/53, 379

31 Red Lion Square

18th January 1820

Sir

I beg to apologise for the delay that has taken place in sending you the Receipt for the deposit – it has however arisen from circumstances not under my control. As I before stated Mr. WAIT and I entered into an agreement to advance the deposit in equal moieties and also to share equally in the Grant of Land and in all the advantages to be deserved therefrom or from the families taken out subject to other stipulations for securing any excess of capital that might be advanced by either party. The deposit was accordingly advanced by us in equal shares or thereabouts – but in consequence of the difficulties which Mr. WAIT had afterwards to encounter and which are referred to in his letter he was unable to advance any further sum of money and did not expect to be able to accompany the party – under these circumstances it was arranged that the Grant should be in my name (but of course subject to the terms of our agreement the same as if in his) and I accordingly returned to you the letter to Lord C. SOMERSET and also a letter to Mr. WAIT which I had conceived since all the documents necessary to be returned. In consequence, however, of the last letter I had the honor to receive from you on that subject I applied to Mr. WAIT (then in the country) for the Receipt but he has hitherto declined to give it up considering that he has now so far surmounted his difficulties as to be able to go out.

Supposing the Grant would be made out and that I should be thereby secured for any advances I might make I continued to lay out several sums of money on such things as we had considered proper and necessary for the undertaking – but in case the Grant should be made to Mr. WAIT solely since he has failed to make any advance beyond his share of the deposit and since it has turned out contrary to his representation that he has no property I shall be in danger of losing the whole and having myself and my family brought to utter ruin and want having nothing but his personal responsibility for fulfilling his agreement.

Under these circumstances I beg most respectfully to request that the Grant may be either made to us in our joint names as Tenants in Common or that one moiety may be made to each leaving us to arrange for such sums as we have advanced beyond the deposit between ourselves.

As this would be but just and reasonable between the parties I humbly hope that Lord BATHURST may be pleased to comply with my request.

I have the honor to be

Sir your most obedient Humble servant

C.T. THORNHILL

PS. Altho. Mr. WAIT may withhold the Receipt for the deposit money I can if necessary produce his acknowledgement of the sum advanced by me.

 

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National Archives, Kew, CO48/53, 381

Red Lion Square

19th January 1820

Mr. THORNHILL begs leave to send Mr. GOULBURN an amended list of the persons going out as settlers to the Cape of Good Hope. Several of the persons mentioned in the original list given in by Mr. WAIT and for whom the deposit was paid having declined to go out it has been found necessary to substitute others in their stead. Mr. THORNHILL hopes no inconvenience will arise from this circumstance which if it could have been foreseen he would of course have endeavoured to avoid.

 

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National Archives, Kew, CO48/53, 383

31 Red Lion Square

19th January 1820

Sir,

I am sorry to be obliged again to trouble you with reference to the settlers going to the Cape of Good Hope, but the circumstances under which I now take the liberty of addressing you are of that nature as to render it a duty incumbent upon me both as it respects my own Family and the other passengers on board the Zoroaster.

Mrs. THORNHILL had for some days been on board and I yesterday received a communication from her stating that the person mentioned on the list under the name of Mrs. WAIT was not Mr. WAIT's wife and that under such circumstances it would be impossible to associate with her on the voyage. On receiving this intelligence I made the necessary enquiries and I am sorry to say their remains no doubt of the truth of it.

It is not for me to dictate as to the course proper to be pursued and therefore I beg to submit the case for the consideration of Lord BATHURST. Independent of the bad consequences likely to result from taking persons of this description to an infant Colony she sails to which the families on board will be liable are of too serious a nature to be overlooked – besides my own wife and [our?] four children there are several married ladies with families of children, some having attained an age when it might be injurious in an extra degree to be obliged to associate for the whole of [a] voyage of not less than three months with [such] an individual. The importance of the [?situation] I hope will be considered a sufficient apology for troubling you with this letter.

I have the honor to remain

Sir, your most obedient Humble servant

C.T. THORNHILL

 

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National Archives, Kew, CO48/53, 385

31 Red Lion Square

Friday evening [no date is given, but was presumably 21st January 1820]

Mr. THORNHILL begs leave to inclose to Mr. GOULBURN the letter addressed to Lord Charles SOMERSET and delivered to Mr. WAIT and at the same time begs to request that he may be favoured with the letter to Lord Charles SOMERSET to make the Grant in his name as early as may suit Mr. GOULBURN's convenience.

Mr. THORNHILL's name is “Christopher Thornhill THORNHILL”.

 

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National Archives, Kew, CO48/53, 387

31 Red Lion Square

January 24th 1820

Sir

It is with great reluctance I again take the liberty of troubling you. But I feel that I should not do justice to myself and family were I to depart without first calling your attention to some circumstances which have not hitherto been brought particularly under your observation either by myself or the letter written by Mr. FISHER in my absence.

It has already been mentioned that the party are bound to serve me on their arrival at the Cape, and that this agreement was entered into in consequence of my being told that the grant would be made in my name. This agreement is mutual and in consideration of their services I am bound to support the Settlers. If I had not been told that the grant would be made to me (and that unsolicited) I should have had no reason perhaps to complain of the non-interference of Earl BATHURST in anything between Mr. WAIT and myself, but having acted upon the faith of that promise, I became bound to support the settlers; I do feel injured when I am deprived of the means of doing so by the whole of the land being to Mr. WAIT. It was on the grounds of this understanding that when Mr. WAIT's party fell off to nearly (if not more) than one half that I sought for others to supply their places. But if this point has been finally decided I do not wish further to agitate it; and shall therefore turn to others yet in the power of Earl BATHURST to remedy. If the grant given to Mr. WAIT will entitle him to receive back my deposit as well as his own. I shall still further be injured [?if] he will receive the money, and I shall have the men to support. This can easily be remedied, and surely it can never be intended when the state of the case has been made known to Earl BATHURST, to give the property of one person to another. The same question arises as to the grant of land, I shall state it as arising more particularly with another individual than my self, that I may be the better understood. There is an individual of the name of BARKER to whom about 10 of the families included in Mr. WAIT's list belong; these persons neither Mr. WAIT nor I, have anything to do with, except, that the deposit was paid along with ours and formed part of the £650. As I presume that it would not be left to Mr. WAIT to deprive this person of the land granted in respect of his 10 families. I should hope that I might find some remedy to protect me against any attempt to deprive me of what in fact belongs to me; being totally ignorant of the arrangements of Earl BATHURST in these respects, I should feel greatly obliged by any information you may think proper to communicate.

I might perhaps, properly, be told that as I have entered into contracts with Mr. WAIT I had my remedy else where. It is true I have agreements sufficient to establish my right in an English Court of Law, but I know nothing of the Laws at the Cape, and what can be done with a man without property (and in my opinion) without principal. What can be done with a man, who, when he was fleeing from Justice until he was arrested on a “Ne exeat regno” [Transcriber's Note: this is a writ to restrain a person from leaving the country] professes that he was going out before the party to prepare for their arrival, and at the same time gave me Bills accepted by himself and partner to the amount of £1500 which he knew were not drawn for the partnership purposes, and could not be paid when due – these Bills when I found out Mr. WAITs improper conduct, I returned to his solicitor Mr. ADAMS who can attest the fact – other acts might be [more?] mentioned, but my object is to protect myself and not injure him.

To prevent any doubts being thrown on anything I state from other quarters I beg to add that every fact I have stated can be attested by proof if necessary.

I have the honor to be Sir

Your most obedient servant

C.T. THORNHILL

 

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National Archives, Kew, CO48/53, 391

31 Red Lion Square

[possibly 25January 1820 or later]

Mr. THORNHILL presents his compliments to Mr. GOULBURN, and begs to acknowledge the receipt of Mr. GOULBURNs note of the 12th inst. And in reply Mr. THORNHILL would ask the favor of 8 or 10 ton to be put onboard any of the Transports going to the new settlement at the Cape of Good Hope.

[Note in faint pencil below this letter presumably from GOULBURN reads: “Mr. THORNHILL has not yet sent the Treasury Receipt requested of him”]

 

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National Archives, Kew, CO48/53, 395

[no address or date is given apart from “Thursday morning”]

Mr. THORNHILL begs leave to express his grateful acknowledgements for the interference of the Earl BATHURST to put an end to the unfortunate disputes which had prevailed between Mr. WAIT and himself; and for the very prompt and equitable manner in which his Lordship's intentions have been executed.

The settlers by their agreement with Mr. THORNHILL have become bound implicitly to obey all the laws and regulations which may be made for the Government of the Colony, but if any motive had been wanting to excite his zeal to promote the welfare and peace of the Settlement the very just and liberal treatment he has experienced could not have failed to produce a very powerful one.

[The letter is not signed]

 

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National Archives, Kew, CO48/53, 399

Ship Zoroaster

Downs, 5th February 1820

Sir,

I beg leave to acquaint you that a man by name PUZEY, his wife, and three children having left the ship at Deptford I have procured another in the room of him by name John STOKES, and wife.

The Agent Lieut. WILLIAMS of the ship Bell Alliance objects to allow him rations, because his name is not in the original list. I have to request Lord BATHURST will do me the favor to order the Agent to issue his rations with the rest of my settlers, otherwise the Captain means to send him on shore, which will be attended with great loss to me and much distress to the man and his wife, who have been a burthen to the parish; as our detention here may admit of a letter from his Lordship.

I would humbly request that favor, and have the honor to be Sir

Your most obedient servant

C.T. THORNHILL

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