Provided always that it shall & may be lawful to & for every Person in the said Province, whether Canadian or English, that is Owner of any Goods or Credits in the same, and that has a right to alienate the said Lands, Goods or Credits in his Life time by Deed of Sale, Gift or otherwise to devise or bequeath the same at his or her death by his or her last Will & Testament to such Persons, & in such manner as he or she shall think fit, any Law, Usage or Custom; heretofore; or now prevailing in the Province, to the contrary hereof in any wise notwithstanding. And provided also that nothing in this Act shall extend or be construed to extend to any Lands that have been granted by His Majesty or shall hereafter be granted by His Majesty His Heirs & Successors to be holden in free & common soccage¹ & that it shall & may be lawful to & for any of His Majesty's Subjects at his, her or their respective Ages of 25 years to change the Tenure of Estate held of His Majesty, His Heirs or Successors into free & common soccage by any deed executed in the presence of two Witnesses & presented to the Chief Justice of the Province who shall summon a Jury to assess the sum to be paid to His Majesty in lieu of the Profits of the Seigniory & upon Payment thereof shall direct the Deed to be enrolled & the same being enrolled the Land shall from thenceforth be held as Lands in free & common soccage are held by the Laws of England.
And Whereas the Certainty & Lenity of the Criminal Law of England & the Benefits and Advantages resulting from the use of it have been sensibly felt by the Inhabitants from an Experience of more than nine years, during which it has been uniformly administered. Be it therefore enacted by the Authority aforesaid. That the same shall continue to be administered, and shall be observed as Law in the Province of Quebec and its Dependencies as well in the description & quality of the Offence, as in the method of Prosecution & Trial, and the Punishments & Forfeitures thereby inflicted to the exclusion of every other rule of Criminal Law, or mode of Proceeding thereon which did, or might prevail in the said Province before the year of Our Lord 1764. Anything in this Act contrary thereof in any respect notwithstanding
Subject nevertheless to such Alterations & Amendments as the Govr Lieut Govr or Commander in chief of the sd Province, by & with the advice & Consent of the Legislative Council of the said Province hereafter to be appointed, shall from time to time cause to be made therein in manner herein after directed.
And Whereas it may be necessary to ordain many Regulations for the future Welfare and good Government of the Province of Quebec, the occasions of which cannot now be foreseen, nor without much Delay & Inconvenience be provided for without intrusting that Authority for a certain time & under proper Restrictions to Persons resident there
And whereas it is at present inexpedient to call an Assembly; Be it therefore enacted by the Authority aforesaid that it shall & may be lawful
¹ The remainder of this clause is left out in the 4th draught, in accordance with the criticisms of Hillsborough and Carleton, as accepted by Dartmouth. See p. 573 & note 1, p. 554. Const. Docs.
for His Majesty, His Heirs and Successors by Warrant under His or Their Signet, or Sign Manual and with the Advice of the Privy Council to constitute and appoint a Council for the Affairs of the Province of Quebec & its Dependencies to consist of such Persons resident there, not exceeding (23) nor less than (17) as His Majesty, His Heirs and Successors shall be pleased to appoint, and upon the Death, Removal, or Absence of any of the Members of the said Council, in like manner to constitute & appoint such and so many other Person, or Persons as shall be necessary to supply the Vacancy, or Vacancies; which Council so appointed & nominated, or the major part thereof shall have full Power and Authority to make Ordinances for the Peace, Welfare and good Government of the said Province, with the Consent of His Majesty's Governor, or in his absence of the Lieutenant Governor or Commander in Chief for the time being.
Provided always That every Ordinance so to be made shall within Months be transmitted by the Governor or in his Absence by the Lieutenant Governor or Commander in Chief for the time being, and laid before His Majesty for his Royal Approbation; And if His Majesty shall think fit to disallow thereof, the same shall cease & be void from the time that His Majesty's Order in Council thereupon shall be promulgated at Quebec And provided also, That no Ordinance touching Religion, or by which any punishment may be inflicted greater than fine, or imprisonment for three Months shall be of any force or effect until the same shall have received His Majesty's Approbation: And provided also that no Ordinance shall be passed at any Meeting of the Council except between the day of and the day of unless upon some urgent occasion, in which Case, every Member thereof resident at Quebec, or within Miles thereof shall be personally summoned by the Governor, or in his absence by the Lieutenant Governor, or Commander in Chief for the time being to attend the same.
And be it further enacted &ca That nothing herein contained shall extend or be construed to extend to prevent or hinder His Majesty His Heirs or Successors by His or their Letters Patent under the Great Seal of Great Britain from erecting, constituting & appointing such Courts of Criminal, Civil and Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction within and for the said Province and its Dependencies, and appointing from time to time the Judges & Officers thereof as His Majesty, His Heirs and Successors shall think necessary & proper for the Circumstances of the said Province.
Endorsed:—Drat of Bill.