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INSTRUCTIONS PASSED UNDER THE ROYAL SIGN MANUAL
AND SIGNET FOR SIR THOMAS JOHN COCHRANE
AS GOVERNOR AND COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF IN AND OVER THE ISLAND OF NEWFOUNDLAND, THE COAST OF LABRADOR, ETC.1
INSTRUCTIONS to Our trusty and well-beloved Sir Thomas John Cochrane, Knight, Our Governor and Commander-in- Chief of Our Island of Newfoundland, or in his absence to the Lieutenant-governor or Officer administering the Government of Our said Island for the time being. Given at Our Court at St. James's, the 26th day of July 1832, in the third year of Our reign.
1. With these Our instructions you will receive Our Commission under Our Great Seal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland constituting you Our Governor and Commander-in-Chief in and over Our said island of Newfoundland and its dependencies. You are therefore with all convenient speed to assume and enter upon the execution of the trust We have reposed in you. And you are forthwith to call together the following persons, whom We do hereby appoint to be members of Our Council in Our said island, any three of Whom to be a quorum: viz. The Chief Justice for the time being of Our said island; the Chief Officer in command of Our land forces for the time being in Our said island next after Our Governor thereof for the time being; the Attorney-general for the time being of Our said island; the Collector or other Chief Officer of Customs for the time being of Our said island; the Colonial Secretary for the time being of Our said island, and William Haly, Esquire.
2. And you are with all due and usual solemnity to cause Our said Commission, constituting you Our Governor and Commander-in-Chief as aforesaid, to be read and published at the first meeting of Our said Council, and shall then take, and also administer to each of the members thereof, the several oaths therein required.
3. You shall administer or cause to be administered the several oaths mentioned in Our said Commission to all judges, justices, and other persons
1Reprinted from Com. Pap. No. 704, printed 7th August, 1832.
who hold any place of trust or profit in Our said island, without the doing of which you are not to admit any person whatsoever into any public office, nor suffer those who may have already been admitted to continue therein.
4. You are to communicate forthwith such of these Our instructions to Our said Council, wherein their advice and consent are mentioned to be requisite, and likewise all such others from time to time as you shall find convenient for Our service to be imparted to them.
5. You are to permit the members of Our said Council to have and enjoy freedom of debate, and vote in all affairs of public concern that may be submitted to their consideration in Council
6. And that we may be always informed of the names and characters of persons fit to supply the vacancies in Our said Council, you are from time to time, whenever any vacancy shall happen therein, forthwith to transmit unto Us, through one of Our Principal Secretaries of State, the names of three persons, inhabitants of the said Island, whom you shall esteem the best qualified for the trust.
7. And whereas by Our Commission you are empowered in case of the death or absence of any of the members of Our said Council to fill. up the vacancies therein to the number of three, and no more, you are therefore from time to time to send to Us, through one of Our Principal Secretaries of State, the names and qualifications of any members by you put into Our said Council by the first opportunity after so doing.
8. And in the choice and nomination of the members of Our said Council, as also of the judges, justices, and other officers, you are always to take care that they be men of good life, well affected to Our government, of good estates, and abilities suitable to their employments.
9. You are neither to augment nor diminish the number of the members of Our said Council as already established, nor to suspend any of them without good and sufficient cause, nor without the consent of the majority of the said Council, signified in Council after due examination of the charge against such Councillor, and his answer thereunto : and in case of the suspension of any of them you are to cause your reasons for so doing, together with the charges and proofs against such Councillor, and his answer thereunto, to be duly entered upon the Council-book, and forthwith to transmit copies to Us, through one of Our Principal Secretaries of State. Nevertheless, if it should happen that you should have reasons for suspending any of the members of Our said Council, not fit to be communicated to Our said Council, you may in that case suspend such member without their consent. But you are there upon immediately to send to Us, through one of Our Principal Secretaries of State, an account of your proceedings therein, together with your reasons at large for such suspension, and also your reasons for not communicating
the same to Our Council.
10. And whereas effectual care ought to be taken to oblige the members of Our said Council to a due attendance therein, and thereby to prevent the inconveniences that may happen from want of a quorum to transact business as occasion may require, it is Our will and pleasure that if any of the members of Our said Council shall hereafter absent themselves from the said Island, and continue absent above the space of six months together without leave from you or Our Commander-in-Chief for the time being first obtained under your or his hand or seal, or shall remain absent for the space of two years successively without leave given them under Our Royal Sign Manual and Signet, their place or places in the said Council shall immediately thereupon become void; and that if any of the members of Our said Council then residing within Our said island shall hereafter absent themselves when duly summoned without a sufficient cause, and shall persist in such absence after being thereof admonished by you, you suspend the said Councillors so absenting themselves till Our further will and pleasure therein be known, giving immediate notice thereof to Us, through one of Our Principal Secretaries of State: And we do hereby will and require that Our royal pleasure be
signified to the members of Our said Council and entered in the Council-book as a standing rule.
11. And whereas by Our aforesaid Commission you are authorized and empowered to summon and call General Assemblies of the freeholders and householders within Our said island, in such manner and form, and according to such powers, instructions and authorities as are granted or appointed by these Our instructions in that behalf, you are therefore, for the purpose of electing the members of such Assemblies, hereby authorized to issue a proclamation dividing Our said island in districts or counties, town or townships, and appointing the limits thereof, and declaring and appointing the number of representatives to be chosen by each of such districts or counties, town or townships respectively, and from time to time to nominate and appoint proper persons to execute the office of returning officer in each of the said districts or counties, towns or townships; and you are, so soon as you shall see expedient, to issue writs in Our name, directed to the proper officers in each district or county, town or township, directing them to summon the free holders and householders thereof to proceed to the election of persons to represent them in the General Assembly according to the regulations and directions to be signified in the proclamation to be issued by you as aforesaid.
12. You are to observe in the passing of all laws, that the style of enacting the same be by the Governor, Council, and Assembly.
13. And We do hereby require and command that you do not, on any pretence whatever, give your assent to any law or laws to be passed by which the number of the Assembly shall be enlarged or diminished, the duration ascertained, the qualifications of the electors or the elected fixed or altered. or by which any regulations shall be established with respect thereto, until you shall have first transmitted unto Us, through one of Our Principal Secre-
taries of State, the draft of such Bill or Bills, and shall have received Our royal pleasure thereupon, unless you take care in the passing such Bill or Bills that a clause or clauses be inserted therein suspending and deferring the execution thereof until Our will and pleasure shall be known thereupon.
14. And you shall not re-enact any law to which the assent of Us or Our royal predecessors has once been refused, without express leave for that purpose first obtained from Us, upon a full representation by you, to be made to Us, through one of Our Principal Secretaries of State, of the reason and necessity for re-enacting such law.
15. And it is Our express will and pleasure, that no law for constituting and court or courts of judicature, or for establishing the militia, shall be a temporary law; and that no law for granting unto Us any sum or sums of money by duties of impost, tonnage, or excise, be made to continue for less than one whole year; as also that no other laws whatsoever be made to continue for less than two years, except only in cases where it may be necessary for some unforeseen emergency to make provision by law for a service in its nature temporary and contingent.
16. You are also, as much as possible, to observe in the passing of all laws, that each different matter be provided for by a different law, without intermixing in one and the same Act such things as have no proper relation to each other; and you are more especially to take care that no clause or clauses be inserted in, or annexed to, any Act which shall be foreign to what the title of such respective Act imports; and that no perpetual clause be part of any temporary law; and that no Act whatever be suspended, altered, continued, revived, or repealed by general words, but that the title and date of such Act so suspended, altered, continued, revived, or repealed, be particularly mentioned and expressed in the enacting part.
17. And you are particularly enjoined not to pass any law, or do any act, by grant, deed, conveyance, or otherwise, whereby Our revenue may be lessened or impaired without Our especial leave or command thereon
18. It is Our will and pleasure that you do not give your assent to any Bill or Bills for raising money by the institution of any public or private lotteries whatsoever until you shall have first transmitted unto Us, through one of our Principal Secretaries of State, a draft or drafts of such Bill or Bills, and shall have received our directions thereupon.
19. It is Our will and pleasure that you do not, on any pretence whatever, give your assent to, or pass any Bill or Bills in Our island under your government, by which the lands, tenements, goods, chattels, rights and credits of persons who have never resided within Our said island, shall be liable to be seized or taken in execution for the recovery of debts due from such persons, otherwise than is allowed by law in cases of a like nature within Our realm of England, until you shall have first transmitted unto Us, through one of Our Principal Secretaries of State, the draft of such Bill or Bills, and shall have
received Our royal pleasure thereupon, unless you take care, in the passing of such Bill or Bills, that a clause or clauses be inserted therein, suspending and deferring the execution thereof until Our royal will and pleasure shall be known thereupon.
20. It is Our further will and pleasure that you do not, upon any pretence whatsoever, give your assent to any Bill or Bills that may have been or shall hereafter be passed by the Council and Assembly of the island under your government for the naturalization of aliens, nor for the divorce of persons joined together in holy matrimony, nor for establishing a title in any person to lands, tenements, and real estates in Our said island, originally granted to or purchased by aliens antecedent to naturalization.
21. Whereas great mischiefs have arisen by the frequent passing of Bills of an unusual and extraordinary nature and importance in the plantations, which Bills remain in force there, from the time of enacting, until Our pleasure be signified to the contrary, We do hereby will and require you not to pass or give your assent to any Bill or Bills passed in the Assembly of an unusual and extraordinary nature and importance, whereby Our prerogative or the property of Our subjects may be prejudiced, nor to any Bill or Bills whereby the trade of shipping of this kingdom shall be in anywise affected, until you shall have first transmitted unto Us, through one of Our Principal Secretaries of State, a draft of such Bill or Bills, and shall have received Our royal pleasure thereupon, unless you take care in the passing any such Bills as afore mentioned that there be a clause inserted therein, suspending and deferring execution thereof until Our pleasure shall be known concerning the same.
22. You are also to take care that no private Act be passed, whereby the property of any private person may be affected, in which there is not a saving of the right of Us, Our heirs and successors, all bodies politic and corporate, and of all other, except such as are mentioned in the said Act, and those claiming by, from, and under them; and further, you shall take care that no such private Act be passed without a clause suspending the execution thereof until the same shall have received Our royal approbation. It is likewise Our will and pleasure that you do not give your assent to any private Act until proof be made before you in Council, and entered in the Council-book, that public notification was made of the parties' intention to apply for such an Act in the several parish churches where the premises in question lie, for three Sundays at least successively, before any such Act shall be brought into the Assembly, and that a certificate, under your hand, be transmitted with, and annexed to every such private Act, signifying that the same has passed through all the forms above mentioned.
23. You are to take care that in all Acts or Orders to be passed within Our said island, in any case for levying money or imposing fines and penalties, express mention be made that the same is granted or reserved to Us, Our heirs and successors, for the public uses of the said island, and the support of the government thereof, as by the said Act or Order shall be directed.