SHIELLS, William

National Archives, Kew CO48/45, 959


23 Sept 1819

My Lord,

I have used the freedom of troubling your Lordship to learn if I could be included in the number of those Government intend sending to the Cape of Good Hope, as I could command the sum necessary to make a deposit of £10 each for at least 10 settlers. I have hitherto been employed as a nursery and seedsman and in business in that line for the last 12 years with a small farm attach'd and from my knowledge and experience in botany and the qualities of soil necessary for propagating different vegetables I flatter myself I could benefit both the colony & myself in introducing or propagating vegetable productions not naturalized there, and also in supplying this country through the nurserymen &c in London & Edinburgh with new or scarce plants which are in much request. In contemplation of this I have for some time past been collecting seeds of different vegetables & fruits – gooseberries I have seeds from upwards of 100 varieties & with all the sorts of currants & rasps which plants I understand have as yet fail'd at the colony, and as I understand the kinds of apples and pears they have are bad I would take a collection of the best sorts, which I am well acquainted with. I am just now also collecting seeds of forrest trees which I would endeavour to cultivate any sorts that might be found usefull.

I have held a commission since 1803 in the Dalkeith Volunteers and transferred with them into the Local Militia (1st Midlothian) and as I attended regularly and took much interest in it I could take an active part in assisting to drill the settlers if found necessary. My age is 35 and have a wife and four children under 13. I humbly request your Lordship will have the goodness to cause me to be informed if I can be admitted as one of those sent out, that I might make the necessary arrangements, as in that event I would wish to take out an iron plough and other agricultural implements in use here. I would wish also to know how far the settlement is to be from the coast or any river and what time and from what ports the vessels will [sail]

I am most respectfully my Lord

Your Lordship's most humble servant


At Mr. James SCOTT

No.1 Park Street