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the measures adopted by me, generally, in my administration of the government of the Cape of Good Hope; but particularly as to my measures for establishing above 5000 British settlers in that Colony, and those pursued by Lord Charles Somerset for the total subversion of all I had done under your Lordship’s instructions and sanction; and, I am proud to say, with your Lordship's entire approbation.

The late period to which the consideration of my petition to the House of Commons against an undue return for Stockbridge is deferred, coupled with the reports I hear, that Lord Charles Somerset announces, with much confidence, his return to the Cape of Good Hope at no distant period, renders it imperative on me, while he is present in this country, to afford to him an opportunity of explaining and justifying to your Lordship, if he ean, his conduct, in what I have ever considered as a wanton and very unjustifiable destruction of the hopes and actual prosperity of a large body of British settlers in Albany, the details of which will now thus meet your Lordship's eye, instead of being addressed to your Lordship’s ear, which in all probability they would have been, had I been deemed worthy of the honour of being admitted to a personal interview when I solicited, and when, I confess, I expected it.

But, my Lord, although I have the most entire reliance on the accuracy of my friend— I hope he will allow me to call him so—Mr. Hay, your Lordship’s Under-Secretary, in conveying to your Lord

ship my wishes to see you, and the objects I had in view, I will beg leave here to re-state, and to bring before you, not only what passed between Mr. Hay and myself, but what led to my requesting to be admitted into your Lordship’s presence.

Immediately on my arrival from the Cape in 1822, I waited on your Lordship, and I was received by you in the most flattering manner, and I then learnt from you, that a despatch had been written to me by your Lordship, conveying to me my Sovereign's most gracious approval of my conduct, in carrying on the government of the Cape of Good Hope, which information you were pleased to accompany by a repetition of your own entire satisfaction.

It naturally became an object of desire with me to get possession of the despatch in question, and which had passed me at sea; I therefore applied to the Under-Secretary of your Department for an authenticated copy of it, when I learned

I that it was contrary to official usage, to grant copies of any påpers to individuals from an office of a Secretary of State; but, by a courtesy which I have always acknowledged with thanks, and which tallies with all the conduct of Mr. Wilmot Horton towards me, that gentleman put me unofficially in possession of the general tenor of the despatch in question; but, as I obtained this unofficial information, through the personal kindness of Mr. Wilmot Horton, I felt that I could not with any sort of propriety, refer officially to any thing I had learned from him;

nor wait on your Lordship, to make any representations on the ground of a paper, of which you had a right to assume I could know nothing till the original reached me. Thus circumstanced, I wrote to the Secretary of the Colony at the Cape, claiming this despatch. The first answer I got consisted of a few lines, and on which I cannot now lay my hands, merely announcing to me, that they knew nothing of any such despatch at the Cape. I again wrote in vain; but lastly, I addressed a letter to the Secretary of the Colony as follows:

“ Cheltenham, August 16th, 1823.

16 SIR,

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“ In November last I addressed a letter to you, desiring that a despatch, which Earl Ba“ thurst had written to me on the close of my go“ vernment of the Cape of Good Hope, might be rero turned to me; and I expressed my surprise, as I “ must again do, that a communication so entirely personal to myself should not at once have been returned to me, without any application on my part. A

year and an half bas now elapsed “ since that despatch must have reached the Cape " of Good Hope, and it has not yet been sent to

I must, therefore, again call on you, “ either to forward it to me at once, and to ac“.count for the great delay which has occurred,

or that you will, in case the despatch in question “ has been destroyed, or suppressed, by any person whatever, acquaint me with the particulars,





" and by whom it may have been so destroyed, “ or suppressed; for, as it contained the King's “ gracious expression of his royal approbation, “ it is my intention to lay a Memorial at his “ Majesty's feet, in case any man shall have dared “ to intercept such a communication to me from my Sovereign. “ I have the honour to be, &c.

« R. S. DONKIN.” “ To Colonel Bird, Secretary to the Colony,

“ Cape of Good Hope."


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This produced an answer from Colonel Bird, the Secretary, which began by stating, that he had applied to the Postmaster-General at the Cape on the subject, whose reply simply was, “ that all despatches from the Secretary of “ State are contained in a box, or a leathern “ bag, which is delivered at the Government House) without being opened by any one of “ this (the Post-Office) department.” Colonel Bird's letter to me concludes with the following sentence : “ I have also communicated to his “ Excellency, Lord Charles Somerset, on the 2d day of this month, (December, 1823,) your

anxiety with respect to the despatch in question, when his Lofdship informed me, that he did not recollect having seen any despatch of the o nature of the one you

mention.“I regret the disappointment this fruitless inquiry will occasion, and have the honour to be,

(Signed) “C. BIRD."


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Here then is a distinct denial on the part of Lord Charles Somerset, of any knowledge of your Lordship’s despatch to me.

I began to think the search hopeless, when the appointment of my friend, General Bourke, to the Lieutenant Government, gave me reason to hope that I should succeed at last, and accordingly I gave him a written memorandum, claiming from him, as soon as he should be in authority, the despatch in question. Soon after his arrival, he wrote to me as follows; on the band or wrapper covering the authenticated copy of the despatch I had so long wanted—no date; but by his next letter it will appear that this first short memorandum must have been written March 2d, 1826.


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“ The original, of which the enclosed is a copy, having arrived after you had left the Co

lony, was returned to Lord Bathurst's Office “ for you, and a copy of it placed amongst the • records in the office here. It was thought you “ would wish to have the original, which was “ accordingly sent home for you. It is curious

how it has missed. Lord Charles Somerset " told Colonel Bird, some years since, the name “ of the ship conveying the mari, in which that “ letter went, but he cannot now recollect it.

6 Yours ever,


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