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The Founders of Canterbury

Reigate, 6th March, 1850

Reigate, 6th March, 1850.

My Dear FitzGerald,

—The final decision of Sir Wm. Bellairs against pledging himself to emigrate, has set me free to explain something. All the while we were writing and talking about the Emigrating Agency for you, I knew that it had not in fact been given up by the Captain. But my knowledge of this fact was a secret, which I was deeply bound to have kept from a nearest relative or dearest friend. You will now understand some things which may have seemed strange. Nobody more than myself will rejoice if you are enlisted for Canterbury by being appointed to the Emigration Agency. It was a whim of Sir Wm. Bellairs that his son should hold some office of work and responsibility; and if another emigrant of the same class should turn up, the chances are a thousand, nay a million to one, that he will not desire any office either for himself or his eldest son. So, now, your appointment cannot hurt the undertaking: it would have done so, if it had prevented such a family as the Bellairs from taking £70,000 to the colony: you know I think it will do much good; and I hope you believe that I sincerely rejoice in it for your sake. It gives you a real and fine career.