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

pre 1820 Settler Correspondence before emigration

ALL the 1819 correspondence from CO48/41 through CO48/46 has been transcribed whether or not the writers emigrated to the Cape. Those written by people who did become settlers, as listed in "The Settler Handbook" by M.D. Nash (Chameleon Press 1987), are labelled 1820 Settler and the names of actual settlers in the text appear in red.

BONSALL, George, 1820 Settler

National Archives, Kew CO48/41, 593


6th October 1819

Honoured Sir,

George BONSALL Schoolmaster doth most humbly pray that he may have the privilege of laying before you a few particulars of the circumstances of which he is unacquainted with, as the circular issued by his Lordship's permission respecting the Cape of Good Hope does not make mention of the subject. I am the friend and colleague of Mr. George SMITH and as being so I have to the utmost of my power done everything to select and unite the Party you have been so graciously pleased to include in the Privileges of the Grant of Government. I have also been honoured in being appointed by our Party to act in the Department of Clerk to regulate their affairs, write their letters &c. My house I opened for their general Reception, and I have given my time and services gratuitously during the whole time of our meeting since we first took the affair into consideration. I have thought myself honoured in doing this inasmuch as I am convinced that it is my Duty to render every assistance in my power to the Party as in the event of our proceeding to the Cape of Good Hope I, as one of the Number, am favoured by Government with a share in the Privileges – Hon.Sir, the enquiries I beg leave to make in whether encouragement is given to schoolmasters to act in that capacity at the Cape under the sanction of Government and if they may obtain a supply of Bibles, school books &c or if there is granted a Liquidation of the sum requested as a deposit providing a schoolmaster take a stock out at his own expence for the instruction and convenience of the Party. I should rejoice were it in my power to do this, but cannot through misfortunes in business, but I trust I shall lay myself out in every way of usefulness to the Party, they having unitedly proposed me to instruct the families connected with them. Should it meet with your Hon's approbation they proposed to forward signatures to that effect. I can likewise obtain recommendations from the church wardens and other respectable Gentlemen of the Town respecting my character and abilities and though I should not obtain your approbation in these respects yet I shall in Duty be bound to disseminate civil and religious knowledge and inculcate principles of loyalty and obedience to our excellent Government and conformity to the laws of God. I hope your Honour will pardon my presumption in taking up so much of your time, but the questions appeared of such importance that I was induced to lay them before your Honour. I humbly hope you will with your usual sanity and condescension deign to answer them, in doing which you will ever have the prayers of

Your most humble and obedient servant


  • Hits: 5451