View Full Version : Transcription Help Please

Sue Mackay
05-10-2014, 5:38 PM
I am transcribing letters and memorials written by 1820 settlers to the Cape of Good Hope, many of whom served in the Peninsular Wars.

Below is my transcription of a memorial by John Crause, which gives a lot of information about his military service, but I cannot make out the name of one Lieutenant Colonel, despite googling for army lists of the time. Does the name spring out at anyone?


Here is the whole memorial. The missing name is in red question marks.

To His Excellency Gen. Sir B. D’URBAN KCB, Governor and Commander in Chief of His Majesty’s Colony at the Cape of Good Hope, the memorial of Lieut. and Adjutant J. CRAUSE H.P. respectfully sheweth
That Memorialist entered the Service as a Cadet at the Royal Military College, and on receiving his commission in 1808, was ordered to join his Regiment the 58th Foot in Portugal, in that Country. Memorialist served in Gen. PICTON’s division until the retreat of the army on the lines of Torres Vedras.
During the occupation of that position Memorialist was attached to Gen’l SINTAG [transcriber’s note: should be General John SONTAG] and selected to take charge of redoubt no.5 near the Sea, with 200 Portuguese Militia, a detachment of the Royal Artillery and half a Company of British Infantry under his Command.
In the discharge of this duty Memorialist was exposed to the inclemency of the Winter Season, under canvas, and contracted a violent cold wch settled on his lungs, and caused an enlargement of the glands of the neck, and ultimately brought on spasmodic astma under which your Memorialist has still suffered.
Your Memorialist next served with his regiment in Sir Thomas GRAHAM’s division, until the advance of the Army on Madrid, after the Battle of Salamanca, when Memorialist in consequence of his Complaint increasing on him was recommended by a Medical to be sent to England, and in appearing before a Special board in London, was reported unfit for active service.
Having been recommended to the Notice of the Commander in Chief, His Grace was pleased to acquaint Memorialist that his name was on the list for a Company on a favourable opportunity offering.
Memorialist was ordered to proceed to his Regimental Depot and subsequently to Fort Pitt and report himself to Major R. CAMPBELL, 52nd Regt, & received the appointment of Staff Adjutant & Acting Staff Captain, to assist Major CAMPBELL in forming Invalid Depot, and adjusting the Claims of Invalids previous to their appearing before the Chelsea board.
At the time of the French Emperor’s escape from Elba the Depot was nearly 4,000 strong & orders were received to form of the most able men a Garrison Battalion.
Eight hundred men were selected and embodied for that purpose and afterwards delivered over to Lt. Col ?????. Orders were received for a veteran Batallion, wch was executed and this Regiment was handed over to Lieut. Col. BURTON.
The remainder of the men capable of bearing arms were kept for the Garrison’s duty at Chatham until the conclusion of the general peace when they were forwarded on to Chelsea from time to time, with such other men as were intended for the same destination, till the whole were discharged, when the Staff of the Depot were placed on half pay.
This climate being more favourable to Memorialist’s health than England, he emigrated to this Country in 1819 and was located on the Spanish Reed River.
In 1821 joined officers of the Royal Africa Corps in forming a settlement at Fredericksburgh, wch was afterwards abandoned. In 1823 Memorialist lost a fine herd of cattle by the Caffres, for these losses he has recovered no remuneration. In 1825 in consequence of his giving up his rights to his location on the Spanish Reed River, Memorialist received his present grant on the Carriega River, where he established himself in the greatest comfort. By the last Caffre depredations Memorialist proves by respectable Evidence that he has lost property to the amount of 1,000 Pounds.
From his present state of health (wch your Excellency will perceive from the enclosed certificate from Mr. EARLES, who has attended on Memorialist for the last eight years) your Memorialist does not feel himself able to undergo the fatigue of re-establishing himself on a Farm, for the fourth time in this country having already involved himself with a loan, wch was sunk in improvements of his late residence, wch are now all destroyed. Memorialist therefore prays that in consideration of his Services, loss of health in the army & his heavy losses and disappointments in this Country, Your Excellency will be pleased to give him some employment, by which he may gain a living & Memorialist as in duty bound will ever pray.
Lt. & Adj, H.P.
Invalid Depot

Megan Roberts
05-10-2014, 5:48 PM
Its a bit of a head scratcher, but it looks like DALTON SAU*****

Sorry not to be any more inspired.

05-10-2014, 6:22 PM
I have been looking at historyofwar.org but I'm not finding anything yet.

05-10-2014, 6:43 PM
Do you have the whole document in handwriting?

Sue Mackay
05-10-2014, 7:34 PM
Do you have the whole document in handwriting?

Yes, I have photographed the whole memorial at the National Archives (three pages) and it is pretty easy to read for the most part, except where a name is unfamiliar. I was able to decipher the name of the fort from googling forts around Chatham at the time. I first read this name as Dalton Smith, then realised that name was familiar to me because he is an ice hockey player :smile:

05-10-2014, 7:50 PM
What you might try doing is looking very careful at the structure of the letters and try and see if any other letters in the document look the same or similar.

And I couldn't agree with you more that some people's handwriting is unreal.

05-10-2014, 11:21 PM

06-10-2014, 10:40 AM
Sheton, it looks like, Sh?t?n

06-10-2014, 2:33 PM
Can I throw in what I see? I think it's Lt Col Dalten. Similar orders......


Sue Mackay
06-10-2014, 2:37 PM
Can I throw in what I see? I think it's Lt Col Dalten. Similar orders......


Brilliant! I think you're right, especially blowing up the original |bowdown|