Correspondence regarding Rev Francis McCleland with Colonial Office in London

This correspondence provides one with an intimate look both at the concerns and the trials and tribulations of these Settlers who came from established towns and villages to a virgin country.

Pictures in this blog: They were all taken 120 years ago in Ireland when it was still impoverished and backward. Perhaps this was the impetus to emigrate to America or in the case of the Reverend Francis McCleland, to an equally improverished, far-off and backward land called the Cape of Good Hope.

Main picture: Nanny goat market

Correspondence with the former colonies is now stored in the National Archives in Kew.

CO48/41 National Archives, Kew, London ~ 1820 Settler Correspondence Transcribed by volunteers from the ZA-IB and ZA-EC Rootsweb mailing lists from digital photographs taken by Sue Mackay, Rowena Wattrus, Tessa King and others at The National Archives in Kew, London.

Boatmen at Ross Castle, Killarney

Boatmen at Ross Castle, Killarney

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. Letters were either addressed to Lord BATHURST, Secretary of State for the Colonies, (starting My Lord), or to his deputy Henry GOULBURN (starting Sir). 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. If a page number is not given then the date of the letter will give a good idea of its whereabouts in the file. Names in red in the letters actually became 1820 settlers to South Africa, as listed in ‘The Settler Handbook’ by M.D. Nash, not necessarily with the Party listed here.

Bringing home the turf

Bringing home the turf

Correspondence by the Rev Francis McCleland

Prior to 1820

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.

McCLELAND, Francis, 1820 Settler

Correspondence filed under C


Letter from Francis to Colonial Office dated 31st August 1819 from Longford

National Archives, Kew CO48/42, 263

Longford, Ireland

31st August 1819

Co Armagh Cottage

County Armagh Cottage

My Lord,

Now when the rage for emigration has in a great degree subsided, and allowed you to enjoy a little rest, I beg to apply to you to know what are the inducements which Government holds out to such of the established clergy as the emigrants may be willing to take out with them: and whether, in case they do not make any application for pastors, it is the intention of government to send out any themselves.

Building Sandcastles at Donaghadee, Co Down

Building Sandcastles at Donaghadee, Co Down

As a clergyman who may be a long time unemployed in my own country & one who would take delight in diffusing the light of the religion I profess among the benighted sons of Africa under British Auspices, I would [wish] to embark myself with [ten] people who may so shortly be leaving their friends and their homes, and I trust could a few more be procured who would make the olive the weapon of conquest; His Majesty’s Government would soon find British laws [obscured] at the Cape, on such a foundation as no power can shake and no art could undermine.

Causeway Cottages, Co Antrim

Causeway Cottages, Co Antrim

The British Constitution has been the theme of my continued panegyric and I have no doubt but I should be found a strenuous promoter of its rights and privileges wherever I may roam. I shall now only add that should your Lordship think proper to notice this application I shall be able to procure the strongest recommendations from Viscount FORBES, the new Bishop of Rapham and other revered and respected characters in this country.

I have the honour to remain with great respect

Your Lordship’s most obed’t and humble servt


Claddagh Village, Galway

Claddagh Village, Galway



Letter from F. McCleland to Colonial Office dated 16th September 1819 from Longford


National Archives, Kew CO48/42, 311/312


Sept 16th 1819

My Lord,

As I have taken some pains to make the individuals who intend emigrating from this country be acquainted with the conditions as specified in the circular letter (a copy of which I had the honour of receiving from Mr. Goulburn) under which the Government would be willing to grant them their passage, the persons whose names are mentioned on the other side have requested that I would inform your Lordship of their willingness to agree to the proposed conditions and beg that you would have the kindness to furnish me with such other instructions relative to carrying their resolution into effect as your Lordship has given to their intended emigration.

Co Cork Cottage — with Micky Drippin

Co Cork Cottage — with Micky Drippin

There are some questions which have been put to me on the subject which the circular letter did not enable me to explain satisfactorily, and I should feel particularly obliged if your Lordship would be so kind as to let me know, for the information of such individuals as they may refer to, the answer of His Majesty’s Government respecting them.

Co Kerry farmhouse

Co Kerry farmhouse

In the case of pensioners emigrating shall they be allowed to draw their allowance in the new Colony, and in case of their being so, suppose a pensioner could not deposit the sum required by Government would they be content to allow his pension to be applied for that purpose. I don’t mean that part of it which may fall due in October, as many of them would require that to pay their rent previous to their leaving this country, but that portion of it which may be due for instance at the time they arrive at the Cape.

Cottage interior - note the bare feet

Cottage interior – note the bare feet

Is a child who may be only a few months old to be paid for, and in what proportion? Should a man wish to emigrate who is more than eighteen years of age but who has no family, will it be necessary for him to deposit as much as one who has a wife and two children or is a single individual to be considered as are child between the ages of fourteen and eighteen? To this last question I [averred?] that it didn’t appear reasonable for a single person of either sex to be required to deposit ten pounds for the passage when a family of four might get one for the same sum and that as a man of eighteen would probably eat as much as a man of thirty I imagine that a single person of any age would not be required to deposit more than a man would for his son of eighteen years of age.

Dingle town centre

Dingle town centre

As every emigrant must be approved of by Government what steps are to be taken to ascertain their fitness and are such steps to be taken as [hidden in fold] consider it necessary for them to part with their effects before they are approved of?

And in case of any individual going out who can deposit money for others, is that individual to get [back] only his own deposit and likewise the sum advanced to others on his location, or is each person for whom the deposit had been made to receive that deposit and pay the person who advanced that sum for him by his labour, and in such circumstances will the person for whom money has been so advanced be entitled to any of the land granted by Government?

Donkey power

Donkey power

I have specified the religion of each individual after his name, and your Lordship may perceive that there are seven Roman Catholics among them who however would all be willing to unite with their Protestant Brethren in applying for permission for them to proceed with them. From knowing my family a long time they entertain the hope that I would be a useful mediator among them in a foreign land, and they are perfectly willing to attach themselves to any other party of settlers who may be in want of a clergyman to proceed with them. Some of them could bring over from twenty to sixty pounds inclusive of their deposit money and [things?] in appearance at least are strong and wholesome. I have no doubt that I shall be enabled to forward the names of another party who would go from the County of Cavan in a few days.

Dublin Sale Shop

Dublin Sale Shop

Should your Lordship find it necessary to make any immediate enquiries respecting me, my brother, who is a student at the Temple, lives at 18 Georges Street, Adelphi and can answer any questions that may be put to him.

Waiting your Lordship’s reply I have the honour to remain with great respect

Your Lordship’s most obed’t and humble servant

Francis McCleland

Fairhead Village, Co Galway

Fairhead Village, Co Galway

James HASHER* Protestant

___ HENNING Protestant

Sam’l WILSON Protestant

Will’m SCANLAN Wife & six children Protestant

Edw. FORBES* Wife & three children Protestant

Alex’r FORBES* Single man Protestant

___ HARRISON & wife Protestant

Will’m SIMPSON Wife & four children Protestant

John ARMSTRONG* & wife Protestant

John ROSS* & wife Protestant

John W. LAUGHLIN Single man Protestant

Bevan MATTHEWS* Single man Protestant

Robert CUNNINGHAM* Single man Protestant

Laurence ARMSTRONG* Single man Protestant

William FEER Single man Protestant

Joseph HARRISON Single man Protestant

Catherine HARRISON Single Protestant

John MATTHEWS Single Protestant

Patrick BYRNE Roman Catholic

Will’m ?? Roman Catholic

CUNNINGHAM Roman Catholic

Thos. CONNOR Roman Catholic

___ STAFFORD Roman Catholic

___ FARRAH Roman Catholic

Edw. McKEON Roman Catholic

* Of these I am not certain

Fishmarket in Galway

Fishmarket in Galway

Francis did travel to London some time prior to departure to the Cape Colony. From the address on this letter to the Colonial Office, it does appear that it was written whilst staying Adelphi, London. No such street as Georges currently exists according to Google Maps.

Letter from F. McCleland to Colonial Office dated 23rd November 1819 from Adelphi London

National Archives, Kew CO48/42, 511

18 Georges St,


23rd November 1819

My Lord,

At the suggestion of Mr Goulburn I beg leave to inform your Lordship that I have moved to London in order to accompany the Settlers proceeding under Mr Parker, to the Cape of Good Hope. I brought letters of introduction to Mr Goulburn, from Lord Forbes and Sir George Fetherstone, and though I called repeatedly at Downing St, I had not the honour of an interview with that Gentleman till yesterday.

Foxford, Co Mayo

Foxford, Co Mayo

On referring to the appointment under the Sanctions of which I came to London, I was very much astonished to find that Mr Goulburn expressed some doubts of my being enabled finally to proceed. Should this be the case words are inadequate to express the very great inconvenience and expense that I have been put to, and I should hope that your Lordship will be kind enough, when you consider this, to [obscured] it, in consequence of its having been [productive] of so much trouble to me.

Funeral procession in Donegal

Funeral procession in Donegal

With regard to the objection, which Mr Goulburn seemed to think would be namely, that I could not be expected to have any influence over the [settlers] as an Englishman, I have every reason to suppose, that they will to a man submit to any, conditions, which may be thought necessary, to secure their obedience to the laws of religion and morality.

In conclusion, I shall only ask that should I go out, I shall leave my native land with the most fervent of heartfelt wishes for its welfare and happiness under the present government, and that my attachment to its laws will be displayed in my humble endeavours to establish a similar regard in the breast of those, over whom, I am appointed to act as Clergyman.

Glenoe Village, Co Antrim

Glenoe Village, Co Antrim

I have the honour to remain with great respect,

Your Lordship’s most obedient, very honourable servant

Francis McCleland

Glenoe, Co Antrim

Glenoe, Co Antrim

Houses in St George's Square London

Houses in St George’s Square London

Letter from F. McCleland to Colonial Office dated 1st December 1819 from Adelphi London

National Archives, Kew CO48/42, 537

18 George’s Square


1 December 1819


I had the honour of receiving your very kind letter on Saturday night and I would have answered it before this had I not wished to have the precise numbers of persons Mr. Parker could be prepared to take out. Permit me through you to return my most sincere thanks to Earl Bathhurst for his kind consideration of the inconvenience I have been put to and to Henry Goulburn Esq. allow me to add that I feel that that kindness is in a great measure attributed to your promised interference on my behalf.

Going to the Killarney fair

Going to the Killarney fair

As Mr. Parker is now about to pay into the Treasury the deposits for seventy five families I should look upon it as a particular favour if you would let me know definitely whether I am to proceed or not, as I have made no arrangements whatever for my embarkation.

Allow me to subscribe myself with sincerity,

Your much obliged and very humble servant

Francis McCleland

Haslett Square, Belfast

Haslett Square, Belfast

Letter from F. McC to Colonial Office dated 10th December 1819 from Adelphi London

National Archives, Kew CO48/42, 539

18 George’s Square


10 December 1819



As Mr. Parker’s settlers are to embark on Wednesday next I must esteem it a favour if you would let me know whether I am to receive any further directions or appointment from Earl Bathurst previous to my departure. You could also much oblige me by informing me whether my salary is to be paid by the Government of this country or that of the Cape, as in the former case I should like to empower Sam Gordon to receive it for me, and if the testimonials of my character are not required to be produced you would add to the many obligations already conferred on me by letting me have them as they might be of service to me on a future day.

Having fun at the Market day Fair, Galway

Having fun at the Market day Fair, Galway

I have the honour to remain

Your much obliged and very humble servant



Correspondence in 1826

Here only letters by known settlers or their families, or letters of great relevance to the 1820 settlers, have been transcribed, whereas ALL the 1819 correspondence was transcribed (see CO48/41 through CO48/46) whether or not the writers emigrated to the Cape.

Herding the pigs

Herding the pigs

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.

McCLELAND, Francis, 1826

Transcribed by Sue Mackay


High Fashion on O'Connell Street, Dublin

High Fashion on O’Connell Street, Dublin

Letter from F. McC to Colonial Office dated 9th Jan 1826 from Port Elizabeth

National Archives, Kew, CO48/86, 260

Port Elizabeth

9th Jan’y 1826


My Lord,

I have the honor to transmit herewith a copy of a letter from the Colonial Office to which I respectfully solicit your Lordship’s kind attention.

During five years and upwards that I have been in the Colony I have to all intents and purposes acted as a District Clergyman, and though in every other district the clergy are allowed a house and garden I have been excepted from the general rule; and this after paying six or seven hundred dollars annually out of two thousand for house rent, placed as to emolument on an equality with the lowest mechanic.

Home sweet home

Home sweet home

I beg moreover to apprize your Lordship that divine service according to the English Ritual is performed by me (I believe exclusively) in the Dutch language to the old inhabitants, and yet though my duty is twofold my allowance is not equal to half what my Brethren of the Established Church receive. I almost feel assured that were my case properly represented your Lordship would not only allow me a house but raise my salary and compensate me for the time that is past.

In my present circumstances I cannot long continue. I am involved in debt, and with an increasing family have nothing to look to but your Lordship’s justice. There is a farm named “Gora” in the District of Uitenhage at present unappropriated, and if your Lordship would have the goodness to advise my getting a grant of it or of some other ground in this neighbourhood, it might serve to relieve my difficulties and enable me to do something for my children.

Howth, Co Dublin

Howth, County Dublin

I cannot suffer the present opportunity to pass without impressing on your Lordship the detriment likely to accrue to the Established Church in this Colony by reason of there not being any person here qualified to confirm the members of that communion when they arrive to years of discretion. This is a serious evil, and is hourly increasing, and merits the grave consideration of every friend of the Establishment.

I have the honor to be

Your Lordship’s most obed’t humble servant


[Note across second page: What the emoluments of this chaplain’s situation as compared with others?

[Enclosed letter addressed to the Chaplain at Port Elizabeth]


Irish country village

Irish country village


Letter from F. McC to Colonial Office dated 29th Dec 1825 from Port Elizabeth

Colonial Office

29th Dec 1825


In reply to your letter of the 13th inst soliciting to be placed on the same footing with the District Clergymen by being allowed a Parsonage House, I am directed by His Excellency the Governor to acquaint you that he will submit your request to Earl Bathurst.

I have the honor to be Sir

Your obedient servant


Sec’y to the Gov’r.

Irwin Street, Belfast... notice the absence of footwear

Irwin Street, Belfast… notice the absence of footwear



Letter from F. McC to Colonial Office dated 8th August 1826 from Port Elizabeth

National Archives, Kew, CO48/86, 279

Port Elizabeth

August 8 1826

My Lord,

I had the honor in the month of January last to call your Lordship’s mention to the serious injury likely to accrue to the Established Church of England in this Colony in consequence of its young members being unable to have themselves confirmed.

Killarney sheep fair

Killarney sheep fair

The last advices from India have brought the melancholy news of the death of the Lord Bishop of Calcutta, and I am induced very respectfully to suggest to your Lordship the propriety of recommending his successor to touch at this Colony on his passage to India for the purpose of administering the rite of confirmation to such persons as his Lordship should find qualified.

As a clergyman of the Church of England I hope your Lordship will excuse the liberty I take in acquainting you that the Church of this Parish after being raised about fourteen feet above the foundations is likely to be at a stand for want of funds. Unless we obtain assistance from home the work it is to be feared will be abandoned, but in the hope that your Lordship will interfere to prevent so deplorable an event I have presumed to submit the case to your kind consideration.

Market day, Kanturk, Co Cork

Market day, Kanturk, County Cork

I have the honor to be, my Lord

Your Lordship’s most obed’t humble serv’ant



[Note at foot of page: this ought to have been done? Thro’ the Governor a recommendation to be made to the India Board on the subject of the suggestion for supplying the means of confirmation.

Old Dublin gentleman

Old Dublin gentleman

Correspondence in 1832


Letter from F. McC to Colonial Office dated 22nd Dec 1832 from Port Elizabeth

National Archives, Kew CO48/147, 381

Port Elizabeth

Cape of Good Hope

Dec 22nd 1832


Sir,     The Rev’s W. CARLISLE the Chaplain of Grahams Town is about to return to England and not very likely to visit this Colony again.

Old spinning wheel

Old spinning wheel

Permit me most respectfully to intreat your assistance in having me nominated his successor, or at least to have my salary increased. After twelve years’ service, I think it not unreasonable to look for promotion, but as almost all my friends reside in Ireland the only chance of success seems to be a direct application, shewing the justice of my claims. My unhappy brother after returning from Van Diemens Land is now confined as a lunatic in Dublin, where he is supported at the expense of an only aged parent, who can very badly afford to pay for him. I have reason to suppose that my brother always looked upon you as a friend from the time he was introduced to you previous to his going as Attorney General to Van Diemens Land. Let him then in a lucid moment learn the fact that he was not deceived, and that in consideration perhaps of his deplorable state you seized the earliest opportunity to serve him thro’ his brother.

Returning from the market

Returning from the market

I have often officiated in Grahams Town, Colonel Somerset is now at home, and can testify as to the manner in which duty was done, as he can also bear witness to the lamentable decrease of the members of the Church of England since I gave up the charge. Do then Sir be so kind as to give me your good word. Believe me I shall be thankful, and that the first effect of your interference in my behalf will be the securing to my beloved brother a sum out of my increased salary that may enable him to pass his melancholy days in some comfort.
I have the honor to be, Sir     Your most obed’t serv’t     F. McCLELAND     Col. Chaplain, Port Elizabeth

Sheep fair, Killarney

Sheep fair, Killarney

Correspondence in 1834


Letter from F. McCleland to Colonial Office dated 20th Feb 1834 from Port Elizabeth

National Archives, Kew CO48/159, 229

Port Elizabeth

Cape of Good Hope

Feb’y 20th 1834



With reference to your letter of the 30th March I have the honor to acquaint you that the Rev’d Carlisle returned to this country in December last, in consequence of which you will be the better judge as to the extracts from the Graham’s Town Journal of the 20th instant, which I take the liberty of respectfully submitting to your notice.
Respecting the merits of the case between Mr. Carlisle and his parishioners I do not presume to [obscured] an opinion, but as it is possible that the Home Government may deem it proper to enable some changes I beg to obtrude my humble name before your notice again.

Shoeless Ballycastle housewife

Shoeless Ballycastle housewife

I am now very nearly fourteen years in the service of the Colonial Government. For the first six years I had only £150 Sterling per annum without a house or any allowance for one. In 1826 an allowance of £40 was granted to me for house [cost], and two years after my salary was raised to £200. There are now two Episcopalian Churches in the Eastern division of the Colony, St.Mary’s and St.George’s, and at the opening of both, and at laying the foundation stone of one, it has fallen to my lot to be the only officiating clergyman. Shortly after the Reverend [Mr] IRELAND was removed from Graham’s Town I tendered my services [obscured] to Government for the purpose of maintaining an Episcopalian Communion at that station, where in consequence of the absence of a clergyman of the Church of England dissenters were daily acquiring influence. The Government accepted my services but knowing the smallness of my salary were kind enough to allow me [£15?] for doing duty occasionally in Graham’s Town [obscured] six months. This town is distant from Port Elizabeth some hundred miles, and in the above time I went there thrice, and remained from fourteen to twenty one days each time, at my own expense, the parsonage house being then occupied by the Resident Magistrate.

Spinning in Co Donegal

Spinning in Co Donegal

Since my arrival in the Colony two gentlemen have been appointed to Chaplaincies, with more than double my salary in the first instance, although I am much their senior. One Mr. Carlisle appointed in [1828?] had £400 a year and his house, while Mr. Frazer (sent here in 1831 I believe) had £350 with a residence also, while I am fourteen years in the service with only £240 including house and salary. Nor is Port Elizabeth by any means the least worthy of notice, since I have reason to believe that the number of Baptisms, Marriages &c exceed those of Simon’s Town more than twofold. Here too there is a Military Hospital and a small garrison, here is the place through which troops are constantly passing and repassing, and all their spiritual wants have been attended to by me without fee or reward for nearly eight years.

Strabane, Co Tyrone

Strabane, Co Tyrone

Of all the Colonial Clergy I believe I have the most numerous family, consisting of daughters, with the exception of one son. Should it please Providence to remove me, these will be all thrown upon the [obscured.] My beloved Brother too still continues in the same melancholy state of mind, so that I hope you will pardon me for soliciting your kind interference in my behalf in the event of a vacancy in Graham’s Town or to have a trifle added to my salary here. Length of service under one paternal Government appears almost universally to be attended with [proportionable?] reward and I do not see why this equitable rule should be departed from in my case.
Trusting that you will have the goodness to excuse the great length of this communication, that by lending me your valuable assistance you will enable me to prove a friend to my [obscured] as well as greatful to yourself.

I beg to subscribe myself,

Sir Your most obed’t serv’t


The Duke of York on a visit to Adare Castle 1897

The Duke of York on a visit to Adare Castle 1897

Correspondence in 1835


Letter from F. McC to Colonial Office undated

National Archives, Kew CO48/164, 36



It is now nearly twenty years since I had the happiness of spending a few days in your society at the home of the Rev’d Mr. BERESFORD in the County Tyrone and I have since that time frequently mentioned the urbanity with which you used to treat me on that occasion although only an humble tutor in the family.

Turfcutting at Kiltoom, Co Roscommon

Turfcutting at Kiltoom, Co Roscommon

In the year 1819 I was admitted into holy orders by the Bishop of Kilmore and contrary to the wishes of his late Uncle the Arch Bishop of [obscured] I determined on leaving my native land. In consequence of the rapid increase in my family, and the death of some friends, I am now unable to support myself with any appearance of acceptability upon my limited income and as the Earl of ABERDEEN has lately deprived me of all hopes of having my salary augmented under a Tory administration. I am about to appeal to their successors. Of the present government I believe you have always been the constant friend, and as consistency is very rare in these days I have no doubt where it has been so long tried it must be sure to be respected. With this means I take the liberty to enclose herewith a copy of a memorial which I transmitted through our present excellent Governor to the Colonial Secretary last year. Lord ABERDEEN does not see the justice of my claim to an increase of salary but perhaps the present Secretary might think differently. Could I prevail upon you to say a word in my behalf. I have no doubt that my application would be carefully attended to, and if you would be so kind as to use your influence, I hope I shall not be forgetful of your kindness. It is possible that you may have heard of some of my connexions and I am sure if you ever did you would regret to find the friends of those who lost their lives for their country reduced so low as we are. My wife’s father was the brother of Major General Sir W. CLARKE Bart. and of Major CLARKE late of the 35 Foot and her mother was the sister of Lt. Col. BOLAND late inspecting Field Officer at Bristol and of Mrs. FARRINGTON who married the late General of that name.

Visiting Nurse on Aran Island

Visiting Nurse on Aran Island

If I be not mistaken Mrs. Byng used to be very fond of flowers. In that case let her only command and any plant that can be procured here will be carefully looked for in order that it may be transferred to Wrotham.

Hoping you will have the goodness to excuse the liberty I have taken in thus obtruding myself upon your notice,

I remain

Sir your very obed’t servant

F. McCLELAND AB C. Chaplain.

[Transcriber’s Note: It is not clear exactly who this is written to, but the BYNG family lived at Wrotham Park in Hertfordshire]

Correspondence by third parties referring to the Rev Francis McCleland




Settler Returns

These are the final settler returns for each party, transcribed from CO48/47 at the National Archives, Kew, London. They formed the basis of “The Settler Handbook” by M.D. Nash, although there are some differences, as she used returns held at the Cape as well. Earlier versions of the returns can often be found amongst the 1819 settler correspondence. With the exception of capital letters for surnames, the tables are true transcriptions of the file in the National Archives, although occasionally comments have been added below in square brackets.

There are no returns in CO47/48 for Charles CAMPBELL, Richard DANIELL, Christopher THORNHILL or William WAIT, all of whom sailed later (see post 1820 correspondence), or for the ill-fated RUSSELL’s Party who sailed on the Abeona. There is also no return for WILKINSON’s Party, who sailed in the privately chartered Amphitrite. The return for STANLEY’s Party can be found in his correspondence dated 4th January 1820.


PARKER’s Party

Party No.52


Settlers proceeding to the Cape of Good Hope under the Direction of William PARKER Esq

No Names of the Settlers Profession

or Trade

Age Names of

the Women

Age Male Children Age Female Children Age Remarks
1 Will’m PARKER Merchant 42 Eleanor Alice  39 Thomas Somerville 9 Mary  16 Men                75
Wm. D’Esterre 4 Ann D’Esterre  13 Women            47
Norcott D’Esterre 1 Lucia  6 Persons ab.14  11
2 The Rev Francis McCLELAND Clergyman 27 Children           87
3 John JOHNSON Labourer 28 Margaret 27                      220
4 Patrick BYRN do 30 Deposit £882:10
5 John ARCHER Land Surveyor 21 Jane ARCHER 21
6 Sam’l Edw’d SHAW Gent. 32 Ann SHAW 23 Edw’d SHAW 1
7 Will’m ROBERTS House Carpenter 29 Sarah ROBERTS 24 John 1
8 Geo. DORMER Labourer 18
9 James MURRAY Gardener 48 Sarah 40 Rich’d 16 Mary 10
George 13 Margaret 8
James  2 Martha 6
Sarah 4
10 Jno. ARMSTRONG Shoemaker 30 Catherine 27 Jane 4 Military Pensioner

60th Regt

11 Laurence ARMSTRONG do 28 Ann 25 Elizabeth 4
12 James ARMSTRONG Farmer 28
13 Moses ARMSTRONG do 26 Jane 25 Sam’l 6
William 2
14 Percival FRAYNE Wheelwright 23
15 Alexander FORBES Farmer 27
16 Edw’d FORBES do 30 Harriet 27 Alexander 2 Harriet  1
17 James FOSTER do 21
18 Wm. BARBER do 21 Ann 25
19 John FOLLIOT do 24 Eleanor 23
20 Wm. SCANLON Shoemaker 40 Hannah 34 William 16 Hannah  5
John 13
Charles 10
Thomas 7
George 2
21 Thomas HUNT Carpenter 35 Sophie 25 Mary Ann 5
Eliza Emma 1
22 Wm. NORMAN Labourer 36 Jane 33 Maria 8
23 James ALLISON Turner 44 Ann 39 John 12 Ann 15 A Military Pensioner

Late Serg’t Major 23rd

Light Dragoons

Joseph 3 Margaret 10
Mary 8
Sarah 1
24 James ALLISON Jr Painter 18
25 Abel Alleyn WALTER Gent. 31 Jane 30 Abel Ed. 2
26 Robert HOLDITCH Surgeon 30 Mary 22 Harriet Ann 4
Charlotte 2
27 Rob’t WOODCOCK Merchant 37 Susannah 36 Sam’l 7 Charlotte 5
28 Rich’d FRYER Ship Builder 25 Eliza 20
29 Nathan’l BLYTH Writ’g Clerk 25
30 Anthony WALMSLEY Carpenter 27 Sarah 25
31 Charles BOUCHER Fisherman 22 Mary 22
32 Rob’t DICKASON Cabinet Maker 45 Fred’k 11 Emily 13
Alfred 9
Henry 6
33 Thos. GRANWELL Labourer 30 Ann  30 Edw’d 6
Thomas 5 Ann  2
34 Joseph LATHAM Gent. 30 Will’m 16
35 Henry LATHAM Carpenter 20
36 George BAKER Machinist 46 Ann 47 Rich’d 16
George 13
37 John ADDEY Apothecary 28
38 John WOODGROVE Labourer 34
39 Rob’t POTE Farmer 34 Margaret 34 Charles  10 Agnes Eliza 7
Harriet Donata 5
Ann Maria 2
40 James LAKER Smith 28 Sophia 21 Ann 1
41 James KAVANOUGH Cooper 24 Eleanor 19
42 Jas. STONE Gardener 22 Charlotte 22
43 Chas. STONE Gardener 30
44 David P. FRANCIS Gent. 36 Anna 38
45 Geo. TILBROOK Labourer 26 Anne 22
46 John SHELDON Wheelwright 27
47 Peter ELLA Farmer 32 Effy David 3 Elizabeth 6
48 John Pinnel MOSS do 42
49 Ralph BARUK Gentle’n 23
50 Wm. DOUGLAS Bricklayer 39
51 Thos. SEATON Late Capt

Madras Establishment

44 Sarah 22
52 John HARE  Master baker 34 Hester Agnes 28 William 7 Martha 1
John 2
53* John HAYES Quarry Master   40 Mary  34  Robert 16 Ann  12 
Mich’l  13  Mary  10 
Jeremiah  Catherine 
54 Mich’l MULCAHY Baker 22
55 Tim’y LEARY Butcher 24
56 John BARRY Mason 42 Margaret 36 John C. 16 Eleanor 9
Mich’l 13 Johana 8
William 7 Mary 1
Jehu 5
57 John FOLEY Carpenter 44 Barbara 33 Thomas 5 Mary 10
Johanna 8
58 Bevan MATTHEWS do 21
59 George CLARKE Labourer 24
60 John QUINN do 40 Mary 27 Mich’l 8 Catherine 1
John 6
61 Samuel COONY Labourer 22 Margaret 18
62 Will’m WHELAN do 42 Mary 40 Patrick 17
63 Thos. CLARKE do 38 Anne 38 Joseph 15 Anne 13
Elizabeth 8
Harriet 4
Susannah 3
64 John JOBSON do 21 Sarah 20
65 Matt’w NELSON Sawyer 32 Elizabeth 31 Wm. H. 6 Harriet 12
Elizabeth  2
66 John SMITH Tailor 18
67 Thos. SMITH Labourer 32 Mary 31 John 13 Jane 11
Maria 2
68 John QUINN Labourer 30 Mary 26 John 8 Ann 10
Jane 6
Elizabeth 3
69 Geo. HAWKS Rope Maker 21
70 Mich’l CONNOLLY House Carp’t 21
71 John TAYLOR Writing Clerk 20 Elizabeth 22
72 Rich’d ROSS Ship Carp’t 24 Elizabeth 24 Colin 2 Mary 17
73 Wm. Francis MOORE Weaver 21
74 John MOORE Labourer 20
75 Will’m CONN Victualler 30 Bridget 24
76 Wm. J. PARKER Gentleman 20


* [Written in the Comments column at the top of the first page, underneath the numbers emigrating]

No.53 erased from the List to prevent an increase in the No. of abled bodied Settlers


[Transcriber’s Note: William PARKER’s correspondence was ten times the length of any other settler. He also submitted multiple returns, some not on the normal official form but on much larger sheets which then had to be folded over to fit them into the file. They were quite difficult to photograph as a result. For this reason I have only transcribed the final return, which is closest to the list in The Settler Handbook, and one earlier return which was on a standard form – the various pages of this return have multiple copies in the file.]


RETURN of SETTLERS proceeding to the CAPE OF GOOD HOPE under the Direction of William PARKER Esq of Cork, now residing at Westminster

Total Number of the Men 124
Total Number of the Women 68
Total Number of Persons above Fourteen Years of Age 11
Total Number of Children under Fourteen Years of Age 138
Total Number of the Whole Party 341
Total Amount of Deposit Money for the Whole Party £1460


who are Military Pensioners

John LEARY 24 Butcher  Private of the 44th Regt of Foot

James ALLISON Late Serjeant Major 23rd Light Dragoons on the Half Pay of the Bury Recruiting District

HOWARD, William, memorial, 1826


National Archives, Kew, CO48/86, 200

Graham’s Town

Cape of Good Hope

1st March 1826


We the undersigned, inhabitants of Albany, having heard that William HOWARD, School Master of one of the free schools at Graham’s Town, has prepared and is about to transmit to England a Memorial or Petition to the House of Commons, in Parliament assembled, wherein he has made the most unwarrantable insinuations, tending to indicate criminally the conduct and scandalize the character of several of the authorities and others in this District, and that he has in order to give the appearance of weight and authority to the said Memorial or Petition insidiously obtained the signatures of a number of persons, which are to form an application thereto; and conceiving that should such a document be laid before the Parliament of Great Britain without observation or contradiction that it might have the effect of creating an unfavourable impression on the minds of His Majesty’s Ministers and the Public towards those whom we consider undeserving the stigma which he is endeavouring by these means to cast upon them,


Do hereby certify in order to counteract its mischievous tendency that in our opinion the said William HOWARD has always been an active fomenter of litigious disputes amongst the British Settlers and that it is our decided conviction that the document alluded to is a tissue of falsehood and misrepresentation, and therefore quite unworthy of the serious consideration of the British House of Commons.


[Actual signatures]




William BEALE Merchant

John NORTON Merchant

Will’m E. SMITH Merchant

James WARD


[Enefer?] GREEN Merchant



John MANDY Head of Party


Richard HAYHURST Head of Party

[F. FYNN?] Jun.

Frederick HAWKES






John BROWN Head of Party


[illegible signature]



John [FRAZER?]





Nath’l MORGAN Head of Party Asst Surgeon Half Pay

Philip DIXIE








  1. [RICHARDS?]



Robert PIRIE




National Archives, Kew, CO48/86, 226

On this 31st Day of October 1825 I the undersigned Messenger of Albany have repaired to and in the presence of William HOWARD only summoned him to appear before the Board of Landdrost and Heemraaden in Albany of Thursday 3rd November nigh at 9 o clock in the morning, and received as answer

“I shall defend it; as I consider it an unjust Bill”


[Note at top from Wm. HOWARD]

The date of this is incorrect. It was Saturday 29th October instead of the 31st as under written.


[Note at foot of page in HOWARD’s hand]

The Messenger done me great injustice by recording the above answer. The answer returned to him by me, W.H. was “Tell Mr. CLOETE that although I consider the (enclosed) Bill an unjust one, yet rather than offend the Local authorities I will pay it if they will give me a little time, as I have several just debts which I wish to discharge first.” and the Messenger was particularly cautioned to deliver the answer in my very words and he said he would, but no mercy was shown for me and I was obliged to pay the amount under great disadvantages or my property must have been sold.


A persecuted man

Did not know this answer until the Bill was paid.


Chabaud, John Anthony, 1826


National Archives, Kew, CO48/86, 93


[Port Elizabeth?]

Cape of Good Hope

[February?] 13 1826


My Lord,

Two years since [the landrost?] of this [region?] commenced a subscription for the purpose of building a church of the Established faith of the Church of England…. which I am directed to inform you is rapidly progressing under the management of a Committee which has desired me to solicit your Lordship that the Chaplain appointed to this township may be placed on the same footing as the Dutch clergy in the several districts by being allowed a house and other privileges at present not enjoyed by him. The Committee are induced to make this appeal to your Lordship in consequence of the reference made by His Excellency the Governor to an application made to him on the subject and desirous that the church establishment of their native country should be placed on an equally respectable footing with that of the Colony – the present Minister for Port Elizabeth, Revd. F. McCleland has merely his salary of Rd2000 per annum or £150, without any privileges. Trusting that your Lordship’s answer will be favourable to the wishes of the Committee


I have the honor to be, my Lord

Your Lordship’s most obed’t serv’t

John Ant’y CHABAUD

Letters by the Reverend Francis McCleland to the Colonial Office




Date Address Reference at National Archives, Kew Issue raised
31st August 1819 Longford, Ireland CO48/42, 263
Sept 16th 1819 Longford CO48/42, 311/312
23rd November 1819 18 Georges St, Adelphi CO48/42, 511
1 December 1819 18 George’s Square, Adelphi CO48/42, 537
10 December 1819 18 George’s Square, Adelphi CO48/42, 539
9th Jan’y 1826 Port Elizabeth CO48/86, 260
29th Dec 1825 Colonial Office
August 8 1826 Port Elizabeth CO48/86, 279
Dec 22nd 1832 Port Elizabeth Cape of Good Hope CO48/147, 381
Feb’y 20th 1834


Port Elizabeth Cape of Good Hope CO48/159, 229
1835 CO48/164, 36


Blogs on the life of the Rev Francis McCleland:

Kirkcudbright Document: Establishing the McCleland’s Right to Peerage

The Reverend Francis McCleland – A Life of Service

Correspondence regarding Rev Francis McCleland with Colonial Office in London

Rev Francis McCleland: From Birth to London – 1793 to 1819

Rev Francis McCleland: From Passage West to the Cape – 1820



The Parsonage House at Number 7 Castle Hill Port Elizabeth


Correspondence with the former colonies is now stored in the National Archives in Kew. Details can be found on the following websites:





  1. I found it a very interesting read, very factual and the photographs
    In Ireland clearly indicate the very poor economic circumstances that
    Forced so many to emigrate. You have done well by your subject.

    • Hi Bev
      I found all this correspondence when I performed the research on my great great grandfather.
      Amazingly, it is still extant.
      Dean McCleland

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