p. 718 JOINT
COMMISSION PASSED UNDER THE GREAT SEAL OF GREAT
BRITAIN APPOINTING SIR THOMAS COCHRANE
TO BE GOVERNOR AND COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF IN AND OVER THE ISLAND OF NEWFOUNDLAND AND THE COAST OF LABRADOR, ETC.
RECORD BOOK, ST. JOHN'S, NEWFOUNDLAND. Volume 35, page 1.
GEORGE THE FOURTH by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, To our trusty and well beloved Sir Thomas John Cochrane, Knight, Captain in our Royal Navy, Greeting. Whereas, our most dearly beloved father, His late Majesty King George the third, did by his Letters Patent, under the Great Seal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, bearing date at Westminster, the first day of June, in the fifty eighth year of his reign, constitute and appoint Sir Charles Hamilton Bart Vice Admiral of the Blue Squadron of His Majesty's Fleet, to be His Majesty's Governor, and Commander in Chief, in and over the Island of Newfoundland, and the Islands adjacent, and all the Coast of Labrador from Mount Joli, to the entrance of Hudson's Streights, and the Island of Anticosti, and all other Islands adjacent to the said Coast (the Islands of Madelaine excepted), as also, of all His Majesty's Forts and Garrisons erected, and established thereon, and during His Majesty's Will and Pleasure, as by the said Letters Patent, relation being thereunto had, will more fully and at large appear. NOW KNOW YOU that we have revoked and determined, and by these presents do revoke and determine, the said recited Letters Patent and every clause, Article and thing contained therein; and further, KNOW YOU, that We, reposing especial trust and confidence in the prudence, courage and Loyalty of you, the said Sir Thomas John Cochrane, of our especial grace, certain knowledge and meer motion, have thought fit to constitute, and appoint, and by these presents, do constitute and appoint you, the said Sir Thomas John Cochrane, to be our Governor and Commander in Chief, in and over, of our Island of Newfoundland, and the Islands adjacent, and all the Coast of Labrador, from the entrance of Hudsons Streights, to a line to be drawn due North and South from Anse Sablon, on the said Coast, to the Fifty second degree of North latitude, and all the Islands adjacent to the said part of the Coast of Labrador, as also, of all our Forts and Garrisons, erected, and established, or to be erected, and established, in the said Island of Newfoundland, and the Islands adjacent, or on the Coast of Labrador within the limits aforesaid, or in the said Islands adjacent to that part of the said Coast. And We do hereby require and Command you, to do and execute all things in due manner that shall belong to your said Command and the trust we have reposed in you according to the several powers and directions
granted or appointed you by this present Commission and the Instructions herewith given you, or according to such further powers, instructions and authorities as shall at any time hereafter be granted or appointed you under our Signet and Sign Manual, or by our Order in our Privy Council or by us through one of our Principal Secretaries of State. And our will and pleasure is that there shall henceforward be a Council within our said Islands and Territories to advise and assist the Government thereof. And we hereby will and require that you the said Sir Thomas John Cochrane shall upon your arrival in our said Island of Newfoundland forthwith call together so many as can be conveniently assembled of the persons whom by our Instructions under our Signet and Sign Manual herewith given to you, we have mominated[sic] and appointed to be Members of our said Council, and you shall cause these our Letters Patent to be read and published at such meeting, after which you are to take the Oaths appointed to be taken by an Act passed in the first year of the reign of King George the first intituled "An Act for the further security of His Majesty's person and Government and the succession of the Crown in the heirs of the late Princess Sophia, being Protestants, and for extinguishing the hopes of the pretended Princes of Wales and his open and secret abettors," as altered and explained by an Act passed in the sixth year of the reign of our most dearly beloved Father, His late Majesty King George the third intituled "An Act for altering the Oath of abjuration and the assurance and for amending so much of an Act of the seventh year of Her late Majesty Queen Anne, intituled "An Act for the improvement of the Union of the two Kingdoms as after the time therein limited requires the delivery of certain lists & Copies therein mentioned to persons indicted of High Treason or Misprison of Treason" as also you are to make and subscribe the declaration mentioned in an Act of Parliament made in the twenty fifth of the Reign of King Charles the second, intituled "An Act for preventing dangers which may happen from Popish Recusants" and likewise to take the usual oath for the due execution of the office and trust of our Governor and Commander in Chief in and over our said Islands and territories, and for the due and impartial administration of Justice, and further, to take the Oath required to be taken by Governors of Plantations to do their utmost that the several Laws relating to Trade and the Plantations be observed, which said Oaths and Declaration our Council of our said Islands and territories or any three or more of the Members thereof have hereby full power & authority and are required to tender and administer to you and in your absence to our Lieutenant Governor if there be any in the place, all which being duly performed you shall yourself administer unto each of the Members of our said Council the Oaths mentioned in the first recited Act of Parliament altered as above, and also cause them to make and subscribe the aforementioned declaration, and administer to them the usual Oath for the due execution of their places and trusts respectively, all which Oaths shall also be administered by the Governor or person administering the Government of our said Islands and territories for the time being to all such persons as shall hereafter be appointed to be of our said Council, and he shall cause them to make and
subscribe the aforementioned declaration before they respectively enter upon the execution of the duties of such their offices. And we do further give and grant unto you the said Sir Thomas John Cochrane full power and Authority and require you from time to time by yourself or by any other to be authorised by you in that behalf to administer & give to all Judges, Justices of the Peace, Sheriffs & other persons holding any Civil Office or place of trust or emolument within the said Islands & territories by virtue of any Commission or Warrant issued or to be issued by us or in our name the Oaths mentioned in the first recited Acts of Parliament altered as above, and to cause them to make and subscribe the aforementioned declaration and to administer to them such other Oath or Oaths as are usually taken for the due execution and performance of the Offices and places held by such persons respectively. And we do authorise you also to given and administer the Oaths mentioned in the said first recited Acts of Parliament altered as above and tender the said declaration to any other Person or persons resident within our said Islands or territories or who shall at any time or times pass into or enter the same. AND we do hereby give and grant unto you full power and authority to suspend any of the Members of our said Council from sitting, voting or assisting therein, if you shall find just cause for so doing, and if in consequence of a vacancy or of such suspension as aforesaid, or of the unavoidable absence or inability to attend of any of the Members of our said Council, there should not be a sufficient number of Councillors on the spot to form a quorum which we do hereby appoint to be three, you are hereby authorised if you shall deem it necessary by Warrant or Commission under the Seal of our said Island of Newfoundland and its dependencies to appoint to be Members of our said Council, so many fit and proper persons as shall make up the number present to be five and no more it being nevertheless our will and pleasure that you do signify to us by the first opportunity every such vacancy with the occasion thereof, as also the names and qualifications of the persons appointed by you to the intent that such appointment may be either disallowed or confirmed by us—and until such disallowance or confirmation by us shall be signified and made known to you, the persons so appointed by you shall be to all intents and purposes Councillors within our said Islands and territories. AND it is our further will and pleasure that you shall and
may keep and use the Public Seal of our said Island of Newfoundland and its dependencies for sealing all things whatsoever that pass the Seal of our said Island & its dependencies—and we do by these presents give and grant unto you full power and Authority to constitute and appoint Justices of the Peace and all other necessary Officers and Ministers for the better maintaining and keeping the peace and quietness of the said Islands and territories under your Government some of which Justices of the Peace shall as mentioned in an Act of Parliament passed in the fifth year of our Reign Intituled "An Act for the better administration of Justice in Newfoundland and for other purposes" be nominated from time to time by you to serve as Assessors of the Circuit Courts instituted or to be instituted by us by our Charter or Letters Patent and the Justices of the Peace shall hold and keep general
Quarter Sessions of the Peace at such times and places at Newfoundland and its dependencies as you shall by your Proclamation appoint according to the provisions of the said Act of Parliament. AND we do hereby give and grant unto you full power & authority when you shall see cause or shall judge any offender or offenders in Criminal Matters or for any Fines or Forfeitures due unto us fit objects of our Mercy to pardon such offenders and to remit all such offences fines and forfeitures (Treason and wilful murder only excepted) in which cases you shall likewise have power upon extraordinary occasions to grant reprieves to the offenders until and to the intent that our Royal pleasure be known therein. And we do hereby give and grant unto the said Sir Thomas John Cochrane full power and authority by and with the advice and consent of our said Council to erect and appoint or set apart convenient Court Houses for the holding the Supreme Court and Circuit Courts within the said Islands and territories, and also for the more orderly meeting of the Justices of the Peace in order to hold their Quarter or other Sessions with one or more convenient prison or prisons for the keeping of offenders against our laws, or the peace of our Subjects. AND we do by these presents authorise and empower you to collate to any Churchs[sic], Chapels or Ecclesiastical benefices within our said Islands and territories as often as any of them shall happen to be void, such person or persons as we shall think fit. AND we do hereby give and grant unto you the said Sir Thomas John Cochrane by, yourself, or by your Captains or Commanders by you to be authorised, full power and authority to levy, arm, muster, command and employ all persons whatsoever residing within our said Islands and territories under your Government and as occasion shall serve to march them from one place to another or to embark them for the resisting and withstanding of all Enemies, Pirates and Rebels both by Sea and Land, and to transport such forces to any of our Plantations in America if necessity shall require for the defence of the same, against the invasion or attempts of any of our Enemies, and such Enemies Pirates and Rebels if there shall be occasion to pursue and prosecute in or out of the limits of our said Islands and territories and to vanquish, apprehend and take them, and being taken according to law, to put to death or keep and preserve them alive at your discretion, and to execute Martial law in time of Invasion or at other times when by law it may be executed and to do and execute all and every thing & things which to our Governor and Commander in Chief of our said Islands & territories doth or ought of right to belong. AND we do hereby give and grant unto you full power and authority to erect, raise and build in our said Islands and territories, such and so many Forts, and Platforms, Castles, Cities, Boroughs, Towns and Fortifications as you shall judge necessary and the same or any of them, to fortify and furnish with Ordnance and Ammunition, and all sorts of Arms, fit and necessary for the security and defence of our said Islands and territories, and the same again or any of them to demolish or dismantle as may be most convenient. AND we do hereby likewise give and grant unto you full power and authority with the advice and consent of our said Council to settle and agree with the Inhabitants of our said Islands and territories, for such lands,
tenements and hereditaments as are now or hereafter shall be in our power to dispose of, and them to grant to any person or persons upon such terms and under such moderate Quit Rents, Services and acknowledgements to be thereupon reserved unto us as you shall think fit, which said Grants are to pass and be sealed by our Seal of our said Island of Newfoundland and its dependencies; and being entered upon Record by such Officer or Officers as you shall appoint thereunto shall be good in Law against us our heirs and successors. AND we do hereby give you the said Sir Thomas John Cochrane full power to order and appoint Fairs, Marts and Markets, as also such and so many Ports, Harbours, Bays, Havens, and other places for the convenience and security of Shipping, and for the loading and unloading of Goods and Merchandises as by you with the advice and consent of our said Council shall be thought fit and necessary. AND we do hereby require and Command all Officers and Ministers Civil and Military and all other Inhabitants of our said Islands & territories to be obedient, aiding and assisting unto you the said Sir Thomas John Cochrane in the execution of this our Commission and of the Powers & authorities herein contained, ana in case of your death or absence out of our said Islands and territories to be obedient, aiding and assisting unto such person as shall be appointed by us to be our Lieutenant Governor or to administer the Government of our said Islands and Territories to whom we do therefore by these presents give and grant all and singular the powers and authorities herein granted to be by him executed and enjoyed during our pleasure or until your arrival within our said Islands and Territories, and if upon your death or absence out of our said Islands and territories there be no person therein commissioned or appointed by us to administer the Government within our said Islands and territories in case of the death or absence of you or our Lietuenant[sic] Governor OUR Will and PLEASURE is that the
Councillor whose name is first placed in our said Instructions to you and who shal[sic] be at the time of your death or absence residing within our said Islands
and Territories or such other Councillor as may be required so to do in our said Instructions shall take upon him the administration of the Government and execute this our Commission and our said Instructions and the several powers and authorities therein contained in the same manner and to all intents and purposes as our Governor & Commander in Chief, Lieutenant Governor or person appointed by us to administer the Government should or ought to do in case of your absence, until your return or until our further pleasure be known thereon. AND we do hereby declare ordain and appoint that you the said Sir Thomas John Cochrane shall and may execute hold and enjoy the office and place of our Governor and Commander in Chief in and over our said Islands and territories together with all and singular the powers and authorities hereby granted unto you for and during our Will and pleasure. IN WITNESS whereof we have caused these our letters to be made patent. WITNESS ourself at Westminster the twentieth day of August in the sixth year of our Reign.
By Writ of Privy Seal,