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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.

BUTLER, Thomas, 1820 Settler

National Archives, Kew CO48/41, 517

Baltinglass, 18th Sept 1819

My Lord

I have the honour of enclosing for you Mr. GRANT's recommendation of me as a fit and proper person to become (with ten families) a Settler in Africa. I have been strongly recommended to Mr. GRANT by some of the most respectable men in this Island who have known me for twenty years. My claims are also something as I lost nearly 20 yrs of my life as a Subaltern and Capt. of Militia during all the Disturbances here and am now without any provision whatever except my own property – The Heads of the Ten Families who have agreed to come with me are mostly men who have been in the service and are like myself trained to arms as well as to labour. I have the hundred pounds ready to send wherever you direct and am perfectly willing to comply with the prescribed regulations (sent to me by Mr. GRANT) in every particular. The most expensive part of this undertaking will be conveying the people to the place of embarkation, and on that account I will thank you to let me know whether the fleet will touch at any which of our sea ports, when it will sail, and as provisions seem from the last accounts I see from the Cape to be scarce whether I will be allowed to bring out a reasonable quantity of what I think might be serviceable as I will support them all untill the crops are sown our arrival comes round – From the printed pages? I see the Government have reserved to themselves a degree of selecting the most eligible of the officers, but my being eligible trusts my claim, as I will have much to do between this and the time of embarkation. I beg the favour of a speedy answer.

And have the honour to be My Lord

Your most ob't humble servt


I would not emigrate to any place where I had not the protection of the British laws. I have always supported them and will do so as long as I breathe.




National Archives, Kew CO48/41, 519

Dublin, Sept 15 1819


You will be annoyed by my frequent letters. But I beg, thro' you, to present to Lord BATHURST Captain BUTLER, who is desirous to settle at the Cape, with some number of families. I have only to state that, upon the authority of very respectable persons, I am induced to believe him in every respect fitted for the employment, and of excellent character.

Always my dear GOULBURN yours truly





National Archives, Kew CO48/41, 565


30 September 1819

My Lord,

On the 17th inst I had the honour of addressing you in respect to my wish to proceed and being ten families with me to the new settlements being established in Africa. I also enclosed your Lordship in that letter Mr. GRANT's (the Lord Lieutenant's secretary) recommendation as being an eligible person for that undertaking. I have most anxiously awaited an answer to this letter to which I refer you, should the fleet sail in November I have but a short time to prepare & I have a good deal to dispose of. I have the L100 ready to lodge. The ten families are ready and I am willing to comply in every respect with the wish of government. Should you require any further recommendation of me I can procure the very best in this Island. Intreat your answer as soon as possible as my anxiety is very great.

Have the honour your most obdt sevt





National Archives, Kew CO48/41, 605

Baltinglass, 10th October 1819


Agreeable to your instructions I enclose you the three lists filled up. The men are all fit for service and their families small. I have given at foot an account of my own family which least I should not insert properly I leave for you to fill up. I have had as Male and Female servants for many years who wish to accompany me. I suppose they will be included in my own Family.

I have the honour to be

Yr most ob't sevt.


Capt.Thos. BUTLER aged 43 years, his wife Elizabeth 35 years

Eldest son John 19 years, second son Joseph 11 years, third son James aged 6 years and only daughter Matilda aged one year.




National Archives, Kew CO48/41, 669

Baltinglass 29th October 1819


According to your directions in your last letter I have directed my friend Mr. Joseph LAPHAM of Cork Street, Dublin to forward to the Treasury in London one hundred and twenty two pounds ten shillings being the amount of my deposit for bringing out ten families to the new settlements in Africa. As I have some things yet to dispose of and other arrangements to make you will serve me materially by letting me know when tis probable the fleet will sail and if it is at Cork my party and myself will be picked up.

I have the honour to be most obediently yours





National Archives, Kew CO48/41, 707

Baltinglass, 21st November 1819


Yesterday I had the honour of receiving yours of the 15th inst containing all the necessary papers and instructions, to those of which are very explicit I shall most carefully attend – you will excessively oblige me and serve me materially by letting me know when you think the fleet will sail and at what port here we will be taken up. I have two very strong reasons for wishing to get this information. The first is that I might forward my baggage which will require many necessary going to settle where there is nothing and I wish to bring out seeds of different kinds as well as implements. Secondly both myself and those who have placed themselves under my directions will require to regulate affairs in respect to provisions as long as we might remain here. Indeed some of them are without any support except in my house, more buying, others besides myself having some things to dispose of – Will you also have the goodness to let me know whether I will be allowed for my own family more than the ship allowance.

Most obediently yours,


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