National Archives, Kew CO48/41, 504
15 Charles Square
16 Sept 1819
My Son James St. BELL took the liberty of addressing you on the 23 of last month making offer to take out to the Cape of Good Hope 10 men as settlers there on the terms mentioned in your printed circular. He subsequently requested permission to extend his offer to 20 men.
As it was mentioned in the circular that the settlers would be sent out in Nov. & as the time betwixt this & November was short he thought it would be advisable for him to proceed to Scotland to see whether he could engage agriculturists conditionally if he got a grant of land from Government. He accordingly went there the beginning of the month.
I have a letter from him dated at Brora in the County of Sutherland in which he mentions that settlers would be willing to go with him but they hesitate much on account of alarming reports brought them by some person (who had lately come form Algoa Bay) of aggressive management & danger by incursions of the Caffres & that nothing will satisfy their minds on the subject but an assurance from Government that a different military force will be stationed to protect the position of that part of the Colony.
May I take the liberty of requesting the favour for you to write them such a letter of the intention of Government reflecting this as I might transmit there in order to quiet their apprehensions on this subject. It would add still more to he favor if you would be so good as reply to this with your earliest convenience as my son will wait an answer to his letter & he has afterwards to proceed to East Lothian in the [region] of Edinbro to endeavour to engage conditionally an experienced agriculturist there as an overseer.
With much respect I am Sir
Your most ob. Servt.