p. 1117 C
DARTMOUTH'S REPLY TO HILLSBOROUGH.¹
Ld Hillsborough. 1 May 1774.
My DEAR LORD, Mr Knox has stated to me your Lordps two objections to the Canada Bill, wch I propose to lay before the House of Lords tomorrow & I have communicated them to the Cabinet, who are unanimously of opinion that the extension of the Province to the Ohio & Mississipi, is an essential & very useful part of the Bill; it provides for the establishment of civil government over many numerous settlements of french subjects, but does by no means imply an intention of further settling the Lands included within this extension, & if it is not wished that British Subjects should settle that country nothing can more effectually tend to discourage such attempts, wch in the present state of that Country, yr Lordp knows very well, it is impossible to prevent. Yr Objection to The clause allowing a change of Tenure their Lordps thought proper to come into & it is accordingly struck out of the Bill.
I am, my dear Lord,
Yr &c &c.
No. 293. C
THE QUEBEC BILL AS RETURNED FROM THE COMMONS.²
A Bill intituled An Act for making more effectual Provision for the Government of Quebec, in North America.
N.B.—The Words printed within Crochets [ ], in [Old English] Letter, denote what was left out by the Commons, and those printed with a Parenthesis in (Italick), what have been inserted by them.
Whereas His Majesty, by His Royal Proclamation, bearing Date the Seventh Day of October, in the Third Year of His Reign, thought fit to
¹ Canadian Archives, Dartmouth Papers, M. 385, p. 276.
² Canadian Archives, Dartmouth Papers, M 385, p. 283. On June 13th the Quebec Bill was returned from the Commons with the following note:—“My Lord. I have Lord North's orders to transmit to Your Lordship the inclosed papers being the Quebec Act compleat as it passed the House of Commons this day, and have the Honour to be with the highest respect My Lord Your
declare the Provisions which had been made in respect to certain Countries, Territories, and Islands in America, ceded to His Majesty by the definitive Treaty of Peace concluded at Paris, on the Tenth Day of February, One thousand seven hundred and sixty-three:
And whereas, by the Arrangements made by the said Royal Proclamation, a very large [Part of the Territory of Canada], (extent of Country), within which there were several Colonies and Settlements of the Subjects of France, who claimed to remain therein under the Faith of the said Treaty, was left, without any Provision being made for the Administration of Civil Government therein, and [other] (certain) Parts of the [Said Country] (Territory of Canada), where sedentary Fisheries had been established and carried on by the Subjects of France, Inhabiitants of the said Province of Canada, under Grants and Concessions from the Government thereof, were annexed to the Government of Newfoundland, and thereby subjected to Regulations inconsistent with the nature of such Fisheries:
May it therefore please Your most Excellent Majesty,
That it may be enacted; and be it enacted by the King's most Excellent Majesty; by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the Authority of the same. That all the [said] Territories, Islands, and Countries, [heretofore Part of the Province of Canada], in North America, [extending Southward to the Banks of] (belonging to the Crown of Great Britain, bounded on the South by a Line from the Bay of Chaleurs, along the High Lands which divide the Rivers that empty themselves into the River Saint Lawrence, from those which fall into the Sea, to a Point in Forty-five Degrees of Northern Latitude, on the Eastern Bank of the River Connecticut; Keeping the same Latitude directly West, through the Lake Champlain, until, in the same Latitude, it meets the River Saint Lawrence; from thence up the Eastern Bank of the said River, to the Lake Ontario; thence through the lake
Lordships Most Faithful and most obedient humble Servant John Robinson.” 13th June 1774. M 385, p. 282. As the note at the head of this document indicates, by reference to the two sets of brackets, it expresses at once the fourth draught of the bill, as it was introduced to the House of Lords on May 2nd., and such amendments and additions to it as were made while it was passing through the Commons and were accepted by Lord North, the Prime Minister. In addition to the alterations already noticed in connection with the criticisms on the third draught of the bill, and the introduction of a clause in the latter part of the bill relating to taxes or duties, a few other slight changes will be observed, as between the third and fourth draughts. Several of the changes made after the bill reached the Commons were undertaken by the Government itself, notably the new form of oath drawn up by Lord Mansfield and accepted by the Government. In the Dartmouth Papers two other clauses are given, marked (b) and (c), which were incorporated into the bill during its sojourn in the Commons. That marked (b) is the last clause in the bill, and relates to the regulation of trade. That marked (c) is the clause in the fifth paragraph of the bill safeguarding any right, title, or possession acquired under any grants made prior to this act. The additions and amendments introduced into the bill while in the Commons, as well as the numerous criticisms and amendments rejected by the Government, can best be followed in Cavendish's Debates on the Bill, which is indispensable to a proper understanding of the policy of the measure.
Ontario, and the River commonly called Niagara; and thence along by the Eastern and South Eastern Bank of Lake Erie, following the said Bank, until the same shall be intersected by the Northern Boundary, granted by the Charter of the Province of Pensylvania, in case the same shall be so intersected; and from thence along the said Northern and Western Boundaries of the said Province, until the said Western Boundary strike the Ohio: But in case the said Bank of the said Lake shall not be found to be so intersected, then following the said Bank, until it shall arrive at that Point of the said Bank which shall be nearest to the North Western Angle of the said Province of Pensylvania; and thence by a right Line to the said North Western Angle of the said Province; and thence along the Western Boundary of the said Province, until it strike) the River Ohio, (and along the Bank of the said River) Westward, to the Banks of Mississippi, and Northward to the Southern Boundary of the Territory granted to the Merchants Adventurers of England trading to Hudson's Bay; and [which said] (also all such) Territories, Islands, and Countries, [are not within the Limits of some other British Colony, as allowed and confirmed by the Crown or] which have, since the Tenth of February, One thousand seven hundred and sixty-three, been made Part of the Government of Newfoundland, be, and they are hereby, during His Majesty's Pleasure, annexed to, and made Part and Parcel of, the Province of Quebec, as created and established by the said Royal Proclamation of the Seventh of October, One thousand seven hundred and sixty-three.
(Provided always, and be it enacted, That nothing herein contained relative to the Boundary of the Province of Quebec, shall in any wise affect the Boundaries of any other Colonies.)
(Provided always, and be it enacted, That nothing in this Act contained shall extend, or be construed to extend, to make void, or to vary or alter, any Right, Title, or Possession, derived under any Grant, Conveyance, or otherwise howsoever, of or to any Lands within the said Province, or the Provinces thereto adjoining, but that the same shall remain and be in Force, and have Effect, as if this Act had never been made.)
And whereas the Provisions made by the said Proclamation, in respect to the Civil Government of the said Province of Quebec, and the Powers and Authorities given to the Governor and other Civil Officers of the said Province; by the Grants and Commissions issued in consequence thereof, have been found, upon Experience, to be inapplicable to the State and Circumstances of the said Province, the Inhabitants whereof [amounting] (amounted) at the Conquest, to above [One hundred] (sixty-five) thousand Persons, professing the Religion of the Church of Rome, and enjoying an established Form of Constitution, and System of Laws, by which their Persons and Property had been protected, governed, and ordered, for a long Series of Years, from the first Establishment of the said Province of Canada; be it therefore further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the said Proclamation, so far as the same relates to the said Province of Quebec, and the Commission under the Authority whereof the Government of the said Province is at present administered, and all and every the Ordinance and Ordinances made by the
Governor and Council of Quebec for the Time being, relative to the Civil Government and Administration of Justice in the said Province, and all Commissions to Judges and other Officers thereof, be, and the same are hereby revoked, annulled, and made void, from and after the First Day of May, One thousand seven hundred and seventy five.
And for the more perfect security and Ease of the Minds of the Inhabitants of the said Province, it is hereby declared, That His Majesty's Subjects professing the Religion of the Chuuch of Rome, of, and in the said Province of Quebec, [as the same is described in and by the said Proclamation and Commissions, and also of all the Territories, Part of the Province of Canada, at the time of the Conquest thereof, which are hereby annexed, during His Majesty's Pleasure, to the said Government of Quebec], may have, hold, and enjoy, the free Exercise of the Religion of the Church of Rome, subject to the Kings Supremacy, declared and established by an Act made in the First Year of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth, over all the Dominions and Countries which then did, or thereafter should, belong to the Imperial Crown of this Realm; and that the Clergy of the said Church may hold, receive, and enjoy their accustomed Dues and Rights, with respect to such Persons only as shall profess the said Religion.
Provided nevertheless, That [nothing herein contained shall extend, or be construed to extend, to the disabling] (it shall be lawful for) His Majesty, His Heirs or Successors, [from making] (to make) such Provision (out of the rest of the said accustomed Dues and Rights,) for the Encouragement of the Protestant Religion, and for the Maintenance and Support of a Protestant Clergy within the said Province, as he or they shall, from Time to Time, think necessary and expedient.
(Provided always, and be it enacted, That no Person professing the Religion of the Church of Rome, and residing in the said Province, shall be obliged to take the Oath required by the said Statute, passed in the First Year of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth, or any other Oaths substituted by any other Act in the Place thereof, but that every such Person, who by the said Statute is required to take the Oath therein mentioned, shall be obliged, and is hereby required to take and subscribe the following Oath before the Governor or such other Person, or in such Court of Record as His Majesty shall appoint, who are hereby authorised to administer the same; videlicet,
“I A. B. do sincerely promise and swear, That I will be faithful, and bear true Allegiance to His Majesty King George, and Him will defend to the utmost of my Power, against all Traiterous Conspiracies and Attempts whatsoever, which shall be made against His Person, Crown, and Dignity; and I will do my utmost Endeavour to disclose and make known to His Majesty, His Heirs, and Successors, all Treasons, and Traiterous Conspiracies and Attempts, which I shall know to be against Him, or any of Them; and all this I do swear, without Equivocation, mental Evasion, or secret Reservation; and renouncing all Pardons and Dispensations from any Power or Persons whomsoever to the Contrary.
So help me God.”
And every such Person who shall neglect or refuse to take the said Oath before mentioned, shall incur and be liable to the same Penalties, Forfeitures, Disabilities, and Incapacities, as he would have incurred and been liable to, for neglecting or refusing to take the Oath required by the said statute, passed in the First Year of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth.)
And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That all His Majesty's Canadian Subjects within the Province of Quebec, the Religious Orders and Communities only excepted, may also hold and enjoy their Property and Possessions, together with all Customs and Usages, relative thereto, and all other Civil Rights, in as large, ample and beneficial Manner, as if the said Proclamation, Commissions, Ordinances, and other Acts and Instruments, had not been made, and as may consist with their Allegiance to His Majesty, and Subjection to the Crown and Parliament of Great Britain; and that in all Matters of Controversy relative to Property and Civil Rights, Resort shall be had to the Laws of Canada, (as the Rule) for the Decision of the same; and all Causes that shall hereafter be instituted in any of the Courts of Justice, to be appointed within and, for the said Province by His Majesty, His Heirs and Successors, shall, with respect to such Property and Rights, be determined [by the Judges of the same], agreeably to the said Laws and Customs of Canada, [and the several] (until they shall be varied or altered by any) Ordinances that shall, from Time to Time, be passed in the said Province by the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, or Commander in Chief for the time being, by and with the advice and Consent of the Legislative Council of the same, to be appointed in Manner hereinafter mentioned.
(Provided always, That nothing in this Act contained 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 and Successors, to be holden in free and common Soccage.)
Provided [always] (also) That it shall and may be lawful to and for every Person that is Owner of any Lands, Goods, or Credits in the said Province, and that has a Right to alienate the said Lands, Goods, or Credits, in his or her Lifetime, by Deed of Sale, Gift or otherwise, to devise or bequeath the same, at his or her Death, or by his or her Last Will and Testament; any Law, Usage, or Custom heretofore or now prevailing in the Province, to the Contrary hereof in any-wise notwithstanding.
[Provided also, That nothing in this Act contained 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 and Successors, to be holden in free and common Soccage:] (Such Will being executed either according to the Laws of Canada, or according to the Forms prescribed by the Laws of England.)
And whereas the Certain and Lenity of the Criminal Law of England, and the Benefits and Advantages resulting from the Use of it, have been sensibly felt by the Inhabitants from an Experience of more than Nine