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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.

POPHAM, Richard

National Archives, Kew CO48/45, 19

Somerset Coffee House, Strand

July 20th 1819


Wishing to obtain every information possible relative to the encouragement about to be given to families going as settlers to the Cape of Good Hope, I called at the Colonial Department and was informed whatever I wish to state must be by letter addressed to you. It was my intention previous to my seeing your circular to have went to upper Canada, but it struck me that if my means could reach the plan laid down for the Cape it would be more advantag[eous]. Men I could procure in almost any number in the County of Cork, my native place, therefore should wish to be informed if any vessel taking out settlers would be likely to touch at Cork, as the expence of conveying men to this City, or Liverpool, would be very heavy. Having arrived at the Cape, the probable expences attending ten families, say one man, one woman & one child on an average, till the ground with every industry attended to would be capable of maintaining them, taking care that necessary clothing should be provided for three years. Of what nature is the farmed, plain or wood land, what security for the men you take out of them doing their duty and not making off into other parts of the country, the probable expences of laboring ten hours for the people and one for the manager. One hundred acres is to be allowed for each family, is it intended that the whole of this should be given to each or only a certain proportion after a given time, as it strikes me that without looking forward at a future period to an independence for themselves they would not be induced to emigrate, at same time the manager would be left with but a small proportion of land after heavy expences if the whole one hundred acres was intended for each.

Should I wish to take out families at my own expence from what Port I thought proper, would I be allowed the average expence it may cost the Government conveying them, on my arrival out, or in the proportion as the deposit for each family is repaid, observing all the rules & regulations the same as if I went in a ship provided by Government, as in such case I should feel it more respectable, and altho' my means are not equal to a great undertaking, yet I feel a pride and a wish to go out a little independent, being of respectable connections both here and in Ireland.

I am now about fifty two years of age of a good constitution and well used to the tropical climates, having followed my relative to Buenos Ayres after the capture of that place, between which place and other parts of South America I continued for some years. I have two sons whom I should take with me accustomed to agriculture & for the last six years I have followed it myself so that I should hope to derive some advantage from my experience in that way. If any other information that you think may forward my views that you could give I shall be greatly obliged. I ask pardon for being so prolific but the undertaking to me would be of much moment, I trust will plead for me

I am most respect'y Sir

Your mo. Hbl.


PS Since writing I again looked at the circular and find the grant of land is to be made to the person taking out the families.




National Archives, Kew CO48/45, 61

Somerset Coffee House

29 July 1819


I had the honor of addressing you a short time since on the subject of the settlement about to be formed at the Cape of Good Hope. I then requested to be informed if it was probable any of the transports going outward would touch at any of the ports in Ireland, as it would be attended with a very heavy expence bringing people from thence to be put on board here. I also wished to be informed whether after a given time the families I take out may expect each a small proportion of land, as without having something more than merely employment I should fear it would be difficult to procure a sufficient number of families of regular good habits to accompany a person undertaking such an establishment. It would also be necessary to know what the probable expence may be maintaining ten families say to average each a man, wife & two children over and above the deposit of ten pounds for each to be refunded after arriving out – the nature of the soil &c and what other information you may think useful. I have since learned that the necessary arrangement is not finally made and that the plan of the settlement is not as yet matured.

You will greatly oblige me when matters are decided on if you will favor me with the particulars, as I not only require the information for myself but for others who only wait to decide on their offering themselves when the plans are more fully understood. As I shall leave this on Sunday you will please any information you may think proper to give me, to address me at Bandon Co.Cork, from which place I shall collect those families who wish to accompany me.

I have the honor to be Sir

Your mo obt svt


PS It is natural for people in even so humble a situation, when leaving their homes for a foreign climate, to look forward to a little independence in the course of their lives.

[note from GOULBURN at foot]

If settlers from Ireland offer in sufficient numbers & are accepted they will be conveyed from an Irish port. The principal settler may allot to his people any proportion of land he pleases.


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