GSSAThe 1820 Settler Correspondence
 as preserved in the National Archives, Kew
 and edited by Sue Mackay

Selected Settler Correspondence 1820 - 1837

Whereas ALL the 1819 correspondence was transcribed (see CO48/41 through CO48/46 at the National Archives), whether or not the writers emigrated to the Cape, here only letters by known settlers or their families, or letters of great relevance to the 1820 settlers, have been transcribed. There are many other letters in later files, thought not to be written by eventual settlers. However, if an ancestor is known to have emigrated after the 1820 settlers then it might be worth looking through the rest of the correspondence, which is arranged alphabetically. The relevant files for letters written in 1820 are CO48/52 (A-L) and CO48/53 (M-Y). Later files are labelled "Original Correspondence" followed by the year, and can be found from CO48/56 (1821) to CO48/186 (1837).

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.

MURPHY, Henry 1830

National Archives, Kew CO48/137, 322

Cape Town
Cape of Good Hope

The memorial of Henry MURPHY of Cape Town, Cape of Good Hope, respectfully sheweth
That your Memorialist has served under the Government of this Colony ever since its surrender to nearly the present time, namely from 1806 to the latter end of 1814 as Chief Clerk of the Fiscal's Office and Interpreter to the former Court of Justice, from that date to the close of 1827 as English Assistant Secretary of the said Court, and from January 1828 to August 1829 as Guardian of Slaves, where he was directed to resume his duties as Interpreter in the Supreme Court but from which Office as well as from the Public Service he was removed by letter from the Colonial Government dated 7th April last with a communication that he would be allowed a pension of £166:13:4 per annum.
That on receiving this disposition it is painful to Memorialist to be obliged to observe that he cannot but consider himself hardly dealt with, and most inadequately remunerated for a laborious, zealous & faithful service of nearly twenty five years, by an arrangement which (totally overlooking an unwearied toil from 1806 to 1814 as Chief Clerk in the Fiscal's Office) reduces him and his family to absolute penury in the evening of life, in as much as the emoluments of his several employments have been insufficient to enable him to make provision for that period which he now sees fast approaching.
That Memorialist further takes the liberty to solicit your attention to a subject which although perhaps not affording any tangible ground of legal claim, nevertheless forms a peculiarly hard feature in his case. Memorialist alludes to the bona fide manumission of his Slaves at the recommendation of the Lieutenant Governor, in order to enable Memorialist to hold the situation of Guardian, by which he not only gave up what he might have converted into a considerable sum, but has thereby increased his domestic expenses through the payment of Servants' wages, so high in this Colony.
That as all the situations under this Government, for which your Memorialist might be found qualified, and to which he would have a reasonable right to look up, are filled by men much younger than himself, the prospect of Memorialist being again employed is far too distant to afford any probable ground of timely relief, & it is therefore that your Memorialist most respectfully prays that you will be pleased to reconsider all the circumstances of his distressing case, and to augment his pension (until such time as a favourable opportunity may offer for otherwise providing for him) to that fair amount of compensation, which his long and faithful service shall be found deserving of, to take effect from such period as you may think proper to direct.
And your Memorialist in duty bound will ever pray

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