Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Passages to Natal 1865: Government-aided scheme


Free Passages are not granted in England to Natal. People resident here can, however, nominate their relations or friends for assisted passages in the Emigration Commissioners' ships, on giving to the Colonial Government a guarantee for the repayment of the passage monies, at the rate of £10 per statute adult, within 12 months after the landing of the immigrants. Married persons, with the members of their families over 12 years of age, are required to repay the advance at the rate of £10 per annum. Any excess of passage-money beyond the £10 is made good out of colonial funds.

When the Emigration Commissioners have colonial funds in their hands for the purpose, they can likewise grant assisted passages to eligible candidates, provided such candidates can pay to the Commissioners, before embarkation, towards their passage, for each adult person of the age of 12 years and upwards - 2 children between the ages of 1 and 12 counting as an adult - £3 pounds 6s and 8d, with £1 for bedding and mess utensils on the voyage. The immigrant must however enter into a bond to repay to the Colonial Government £6 13s and 4d for each such adult, at a rate of £10 per annum in the case of a family. In the case of a single individual, the amount is to be repaid within 12 months after arrival.

This scheme has not latterly been promoted to any particular extent; although now that the tide of emigration from Great Britain is about turning from America in consequence of the long-continued war, and directing itself into other channels, we think that it may be again advanced with benefit to the colony. English people in general, if not the Scotch and Irish, have become convinced that there is no safety for life and property in the North American states; Canada has never been a resort for any large numbers of the poorer emigrating class; and the southern colonies are gradually becoming better known than formerly, and more highly appreciated.

[from The Natal Almanac & Yearly Directory 1865]

Rennie's Aberdeen Line brought
 many colonists to Natal.

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