Clumber Church of 1867
Established in 1825

 Clumber Church of 1867
Established in 1825

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THE SITUATION IN ENGLAND WHICH PROMPTED THE AUTHORITIES TO IMPLEMENT AN EMIGRATION POLICY ON A GRAND SCALE

WHY AN EMIGRATION POLICY?

St Mary's Nottingham where John Bradfield married Mary Dennis 23 November 1790 . They are buried at Clumber.*
St Mary's Nottingham where John Bradfield married Mary Dennis 23 November 1790 . They are buried at Clumber.*

Many People in England were Starving and there was Political Upheaval

 Nottinghamshire, and Nottingham in particular, was one of the areas worst hit by the Industrial Revolution and the effects of the end of the Napoleonic Wars and the collapse of the American market. This was a Centre where cottage industries such as lace and hosiery making, flourished. These home industries could not compete on costs with the new factories and so all these cottage industries shut down, putting thousands out of work. Families were starving and the people looked to the councillors of the town for financial assistance. Nottingham simply could not afford such massive amounts of support for the poor. There were riots and considerable social unrest. By August 1819 there were daily processions of protest.

 In the same month the unemployed people wrote an appeal to the Lord Lieutenant and the gentry and noblemen of the county in which they stated:

"From the various and low prices given by our employers, we have not, after working from sixteen to eighteen hours per day, been able to earn more than from four to six shillings per week, to maintain our wives and families upon, to pay taxes, house rent, &c., which has driven us to the necessity of applying for parochial aid,which after all has not in many instances left us sufficient to supply the calls of nature, even with the most parsimonious economy; and though we have substituted meal and water, for potatoes and salt, for that more wholesome food an Englishman's table used to abound with,we have repeatedly retired, after a hard day's labour, and been under the necessity of putting our children supperless to bed, to stifle the cries of hunger : nor think that we would give this picture too high a  colouring,when we can most solemnly declare, that for the last eighteen months we have scarcely known what it is to be free from the pangs of hunger."

 The pitiful conditions families found themselves in, resulted on 16 August in a Protest March of some 5000 men. The town's authorities were so fearful of trouble that they called in troops. Four companies of the 52nd Regiment of Foot took possession of Bromley House and several wagon loads of ammunition and stores were brought in. Memories of the Peterloo Massacre in Manchester in August 1819, where troops charged into a crowd, estimated to be some 60 000 strong, with their sabres drawn, leaving bodies of men, women and children in their wake, was fresh in the authorities minds. This protest in Nottingham raised the spectre of another Manchester protest march and the dire results coming from that. Women carried signs with the words " Pity our Distress!" "We ask for Bread ", "Pity our Children ".

There was also considerable dissatisfaction with the political and electoral system in England where the ordinary folk were denied voting rights. Voting was the preserve of the gentry and wealthy landowners who manipulated the markets and drove up prices . Bread, for example, was so expensive that,  although it was a staple commodity, it was beyond the reach of most.

So, when the opportunity of emigration arose many reached out to the lifeline presented to them. The majority that applied to join the Nottingham Party were out of work and destitute, totally in line with the Duke of Newcastle's proposal that the unemployed of the County should be encouraged to join the countrywide emigration plan. Only one man paid for his deposit, Thomas Webster.  This Party was among 4 of the total of 61 Emigration Parties of 1820 that consisted of the poor.  Parishes attempted to raise funds but they were not allowed to use money from the "poor relief" to pay the deposits for their members. The Duke of Newcastle lobbied wealthy patrons and got sponsorship for the Party. Some £3000 was collected and the most notable contributions were: 

£500 The Duke of Newcastle

£150 The Dowager Duchess of Newcastle

£500 The Duke of Portland

£500 Earl Manvers

£100 The Earl of Surrey

£100 Viscount Galway

£100 Hon. Rev. J. Lumped Saville

£100 Hon. J. Simpson

£100 Admiral Sotherton

£100 H. Gally Knight Esq.

A Colonization Committee was raised and comprised the following persons :

Edward Smith Godfrey, Organizer, Nottinghamshire Clerk of the Peace from Newark.

Rev. Thomas Becher, Assistant to Godfrey, clergyman and magistrate from Southwell.

George Dennison, Recorder, a half pay Chelsea Pensioner from the 79th Foot. He and and his wife Hannah and 4 children accompanied the Nottingham Party to The Cape of Good Hope.

The Nottingham Party was one of the last in the country to be accepted by Earl Bathurst, the Colonial Secretary. The original plan was for 300 settlers, but only 164 travelled. Over 700 persons are known to have applied with later applicants still being accepted just prior to actual embarkation. An analysis of these applicants reveals a pattern of distress in the County centered on the demise of the framework knitting industry. 


The majority of the applicants originated from the Borough of Nottingham which was a concern to Rev Becher who, in a letter to E S Godfrey, asked that other Parishes in the County be considered to redress this imbalance.

The application for emigration of John Bradfield, his wife Mary, and their children reveals that the letter was written on 27 October 1819. Only 2 1/2 months later they had moved out of their home, packed those possessions they could comfortably carry, and left the life they had known behind them. 

Dennison, as recorder, tried to keep abreast of the ever changing make up of the party and on 12 December 1819 he forwarded to Godfrey a list of 180 names of "persons desirous to Emigrate to the Cape of Good Hope".

 

* John Bradfield, his wife Mary, and their 7 children emigrated to the Cape Colony as part of the Nottingham Party of 1820 Settlers


John Bradfield's Letter of Application for Emigration, dated 27 October 1819
John Bradfield's Letter of Application for Emigration, dated 27 October 1819

The Original Articles of Agreement signed by members of the Nottingham Party and Representatives of the Goverment

The Nottingham Party had to sign a document, called "Articles of Agreement", upon approval of joining the Party, outlining policies covering all aspects of relocation from England to the Cape Colony. All married men, as heads of their respective families, and males above 18 years of age, were called upon to sign. Matters such as finance, severing the ties of their respective parishes, what was expected of them in building up their locations in the Cape Colony; were all outlined in this comprehensive document.
Agreement between the members of the Nottingham Party and Government
Agreement between the members of the Nottingham Party and Government
Content of Articles of Agreement between Government and Nottingham Party
Content of Articles of Agreement between Government and Nottingham Party
Articles of Agreement between Government and Nottingham Party
Articles of Agreement between Government and Nottingham Party
Signatures of those in the Nottingham Party which accompanied  the Articles of Agreement Document
Signatures of those in the Nottingham Party which accompanied the Articles of Agreement Document

ARTICLES OF AGREEMENT

THE TRANSCRIBED "ARTICLES OF AGREEMENT" SIGNED BY THE NOTTINGHAM PARTY



ARTICLES OF AGREEMENT

Below is a recent transcription of the original manuscript. The original manuscript was signed by the male heads of families and single adult males. In signing this agreement the emigrants forfeited any future rights to parish poor relief, which for most meant that once settled in the Cape Colony, they would be unable to return.

--------------------------------

Articles of Agreement made the seventh Day of December One Thousand eight hundred and nineteen, Between The REVEREND JOHN THOMAS BECHER, of Southwell, in the County of Nottingham, Clerk, and EDWARD SMITH GODFREY, of Newark upon Trent, in the said County, (on behalf of themselves, and of HIS GRACE THE DUKE OF NEWCASTLE, Lord Lieutenant of the said County, and several other Noblemen and Gentlemen, Subscribers to a Fund raised for relief of Persons resident in the said County, by Colonization to the Cape of Good Hope) of the first part ; THOMAS CALTON, of North Collingham, in the said County, Surgeon,of the second part ; AND THE SEVERAL OTHER PERSONS whose Names are hereunder written, of the third part.

WHEREAS the Subscribers to the Fund above mentioned, kave proposed to the Government of Great Britain, to send out a Party of able bodied Colonists with their Families to the Cape of Good Hope ; and they have agreed to appoint the said THOMAS CALTON the Superintendant or Head of the said Party, and to pay him the Sum of Two Hundred Pounds, as a remuneration for his care and superintedance of the said Colonists, on the Conditions hereinafter expressed. AND WHEREAS His Majesty’s Government have accepted such Proposal of the said Subscribers, and propose and intend to make to the said JOHN THOMAS BECHER, and EDWARD SMITH GODFREY, on behalf of themselves and the said other Subscribers, a Grant of Land to be assigned to them on the arrival of the said Party to the said Colony of the Cape of Good Hope, in conformity with the Regulations laid down by His Majesty’s Government. AND WHEREAS the several other Persons whose Names are hereunder written have severally and respectively agreed to and with the said JOHN THOMAS BECHER, and EDWARD SMITH GODFREY, to proceed with the said THOMAS CALTON to the said intended Settlement in the Colony of the Cape of Good Hope, upon the Terms, Conditions and Stipulations hereinafter expressed and contained.

1.

THAT the said THOMAS CALTON, his Heirs, Executors, or Administrators, shall and may take to and for his own benefit, and shall and will also set out and distribute to or for the benefit of the undersigned Persons, Parties to these presents of the third part, their respective Wives or Children, with the exceptions hereinafter mentioned, such allotment of Land as shall after the necessary deductions are made thereout for public purposes hereinafter specified, be their and each of their full and proportionate share of the grant of Land, which shall or may be received by or in trust for the said Subscribers, from His Majesty’s Government, save and except to the undersigned who have agreed to go out as Servants of the said THOMAS CALTON, and in consideration of his protection and expenditure on their account, to relinquish to him two third parts of their allotments, which he is to take to his own use and benefit. Such several allotments to be subject to a proportionate share of the Quit-Rent, Taxes, and other charges that may be imposed thereon by His Majesty’s Government for the time being of the said Colony. AND IT IS HEREBY MUTUALLY AGREED between all the said Parties hereto, that the said several allotments of Land so to be maid as aforesaid shall be laid out in one or more Towns or Villages as the position or form of the Land so to be granted by His Majesty’s Government may require, or allow, for the more convenient location, and for the benefit and safety of all the said Colonists. But inasmuch as it will be for the benefit of the said Colonists, and tend to the better and more regular Cultivation of the said Lands, and the more commodious establishment of the said Settlement, that the whole quantity of Land so to be allotted to or for all the said several Persons as aforesaid, (except the said THOMAS CALTON, and his said Servants, and the undersigned THOMAS CALTON the younger his Son) shall not in the first instance be held or occupied in severalty by them. IT IS HEREBY AGREED that the following proportions or quantities only shall be first allotted to and occupied in severalty by the said other Colonists, (that is to say) To every Single Man or Man and his Wife twenty Acres, and for each Male Child under fourteen years of Age, and for every Femeal Child of any Age, five Acres, (provided that such allotment to each of the said several Persons or their respective Families, shall not in any case exceed One Hundred Acres, subject to the deductions before mentioned.) And that the said allotments of Land so to be held in severalty shall be fenced off, and divided from the residue of the Land so to be granted by His Majesty’s Government, and which residue shall be held and occupied in common by all the said Colonists, under such regulations as the said THOMS CALTON shall seem just and equitable, until the whole shall be brought into Cultivation, shall revert or be forfeited to the said Subscribers, or to His Majesty’s Government. AND IT IS MOREOVER AGREED that whenever any of the said several Persons shall have brought into Cultivation, the specific share or allotment of Land so first held in severalty as aforesaid, then an additional portion not exceeding one fourth part of his original share shall be further allotted to him in severalty, and so from time to time as the Land last allotted shall be brought into Cultivation, until the whole of his share or portion shall be allotted to and held in severalty by him. But in case any of the several Persons shall neglect or be unable to bring into Cultivation the whole of their respective allotments, or portions, or shall abandon the same, within six Months previous to the period prescribed by Government for the forfeiture of the same for want of Cultivation, then all such parts of the said several allotments so uncultivated or abandoned shall immediately revert to and become the property of the said Subscribers, the the general purposes and advantage of the intended Colony.

II.

THAT in case the said THOMAS CALTON shall die, or depart from the said Colony, or conduct himself in any manner injurious to the Interests of the several Parties hereto, then it shall and may be lawful for the said Subscribers or a Majority of them, to appoint some other fit and proper Person (if necessary) to undertake the superintendance of the said Colony, in the place of the said THOMAS CALTON.

III.

THAT such a Town or Towns, Village or Villages, (should it be so found necessary) shall each contain a Church or Place of Public Worship, with a Burial Ground ; a Hall to be subdivided into whatever Rooms or Compartments the circumstances of such Town or Village may require, and a Space of Ground not less than ten Acres, as a Place for Recreation and for a Market.

IV.

THAT the Ground required to be employed for the above mentioned public purposes, and for such Streets and Roads as may be required for the convenience of such Towns or Villages as may be laid out, shall be in deduction from the Allotment of Land to be made to the said Colonists, rateably and in proportion to their several Allotments.

V.

THAT the undersigned Persons of the third part, do hereby bind themselves severally and respectively to assist each other, and all the Party in labour in whatever way they can severally and respectively be rendered most serviceable and available, until the Public Works hereinbefore mentioned shall be fully completed, and a House or Hut be erected and built for each and every one of the said Parties (the said Houses of Huts to be erected and built of equal dimensions) and four Acres of Land to be cleared and fenced for each of the said Parties ; and a Fold therein made calculated to shelter the Cattle of each ; and shall and will also assist each other in digging such Wells as may be found requisite for supplying sufficient quantities of Water for the use of all the said Parties.

VI.

IT IS HEREBY MUTUALLY AGREED by and between the several Persons, Parties hereto, that if the said Colonists Parties hereto, or any or either of them shall or do neglect or refuse to comply with the Stipulations and Conditions contained in the last Article, he or they so refusing to comply therewith, shall forfeit and pay the Sum of Twenty Pounds, British Sterling, or such Sum in the Currency of the Colony as may be of equal value ; and also that he or they so offending, shall be deprived of the gratuitous Services of the other and others of the Parties hereto, in building, clearing, and fencing his her or their Allotments, and shall also be deprived of the use of the common Stock of Tools, Implements and Library. AND FURTHER, that should the Parties or Party so offending, not be possessed of such pecuniary means as will enable them to pay such Forfieture of Twenty Pounds, British Sterling, then he or they so offending, shall respectively forfeit in lieu thereof, a certain portion of the Allotment of Land, not more than Twenty Acres, nor less than Ten Acres, to be taken from his or their respective Allotments, such Forfeiture to be adjudged by the finding and award of a Jury, to be composed of twelve of the undersigned Parties hereto of the third part, to be selected and appointed by lot.

VII.

AND WHEREAS it is necessary for th preservation of good order and moral and industrious habits, that all Owners or Occupiers of Shops or Stores, or Houses of Booths, of whatsoever description, whether errant or stationary, be totally prohibited from selling retailing or serving out in any shape or quantity whatsoever, Spiritous Liquors of all and every denomination within the Precincts, Boundaries, Limits and Premises of the Grant of Land which may be made by His Majesty’s Government, for the use and benefit of the aforesaid Colonists ; such prohibition shall be enforced by the forfeiture of the stock or quantity of Spiritous Liquors which shall or may be found in the possession of any of the said Parties, which Spirits so to be found in the possession of any of the said Parties for the purpose of Sale, shall be poured out, and scattered on the Earth, and a forfeiture of One Hundred Pounds Colonial Currency (if such Currency shall exist) or Fifty Pounds British Sterling, shall be incurred and levied for every such Offence, or failing the pecuniary means of the Party of Parties so offending, such other forfeiture of Land shall be incurred as may be ordered by finding and award of a Jury of twelve of the Parties hereto of the third part to be selected and appointed by lot.

VIII.

AND IT HEREBY FURTHER MUTUALLY AGREED by and between all the Parties to these presents, that in consideration of the great importance of due subordination and for the formation of good Government of such Colony, the said THOMAS CALTON as Superintendant shall have the nomination of such Committee or Committees of Management, as he may deem necessary from time to time to assist him in the superintendance of the same, and also to fill up such vacancies as shall or may occur from time to time in such Committee or Committees.

IX.

THAT all Forfeitures and Penalties hereby imposed whether in Money, Land, or otherwise, shall be paid to or vested in such Committee of Management for the benefit of the Town or Village where the Offence of Offences may have been committed.

X.

IT IS HEREBY FURTHER FULLY UNDERSTOOD AND AGREED that these Articles, can only be of force and available inasmuch as they may be found in conformity with the existing Laws in the Colony or Settlement, or with such Laws as may in future be established and enacted in the Colony or Settlement, in which it may please His Majesty’s Government to locate the undersigned Colonists, and in as far as these Articles of Agreement may meet the approbation of His Majesty’s Government.
Courteney George Bradfield