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Historical Records of New Zealand

J. M. Matra to Under Secretary Nepean.*

page 43

J. M. Matra to Under Secretary Nepean.*

Marston House, Frome, Somersetshire, 1st October [November], ’84.

Dear Sir,—

Of the many letters that I have long been pestered with on the subject of New South Wales, the enclosed is the only one that I am now desirous of answering, for which reason I take the liberty of sending it to you. I know that Mr. De Lancey, who is very sanguine on the business, has been active in procuring the consent of many people to go; and as a settlement somewhere is essentially necessary to them, I wish to be authorized to give him a decisive answer, which, whatever my private opinion may be, I think, would be improper till I hear from you. You will, therefore, do me a particular pleasure, if to the great trouble you have already taken in pushing forward this business for me you would be so obliging as to tell me if the Ministry have come to a decided resolution to reject the plan, or if there be any chance of its being entered on in the spring season. I shall go next Thursday for a few days to Ld. Craven’s, Benham Place, Berks., where your letter to me, under Ld. Cork’s cover, will safely reach me. My company, to be sure, is not politically orthodox, but when I assure you that I am not contaminated by their heresies, you will excuse the direction. I shall always be extremely cautious of obtruding on your time; and, were you to see but a list of the fiftieth part of the letters I am perplexed with about the S. Seas, I know you would pardon this instance.

I am, &c.,

James M. Matra.

* Evan Nepean, Under Secretary of the Home Department, which was charged with the administration of Colonial affairs. He was created a baronet in 1802. Mr. Matra’s letter and enclosure refer to a proposal to send American loyalists as emigrants to New South Wales. The American loyalists were the colonists who remained loyal to Great Britain in the War of Independence, and were punished by being driven from their homes. Mr. De Lancey’s suggestions did not meet with the approval of the British Government.