93 North America

Hudson's Bay House
January 22. 1847
Printed for Parlt
10 Aug /48 (P.P. 619) 
My Lord
No 5 
Mr Under Secretary Hawes, in the letter which, by your Lordship's direction, he did me the honour to address to me on the 14th Ult, stated that you were prepared to assent, on Her Majesty's behalf, to my proposal
Ansd. 2d Feby 
that certain lands in Vancouver's Island, or in other parts of the Oregon Territory, should be granted to the Hudson's Bay Company; but that before making that grant, you would require the production, by the Company, of an Opinion from Her Majesty's Attorney and Solicitor General to the effect that the acceptance by the Company of such a grant would be consistent with their Charter of Incorporation 
On receiving this intimation I directed a Case to be drawn up for the Opinion of the Attorney and Solicitor General which Case, with their Opinion thereon, I have the honour to transmit to your Lordship herewith. 
Your Lordship will perceive that the question raised in the Case is confined to the single point on which you expressed a wish to receive information, namely, whether the Hudson's Bay Company have power under their Charter to hold lands, within Her Majesty's Dominions, westward of the Rocky Mountains
I have the honour to be
My Lord
Your Lordship's Obedient
humble Servant
JH Pelly
To the Right Honourable
The Earl Grey
&c &c &c.
Minutes by CO staff
25 Jany

The next step is, I apprehend to desire the Compy to transmit the Draft of such a Grant from the as they are desirous to receive from the Crown, of the Lands in question.  
Jy 25
Other documents included in the file
  • Draft, Hawes to Pelly, 2 February 1847, saying Grey is prepared to "receive and consider the Draft of such a Grant as the Company would desire to receive. . . ." 
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
  • Case presented by Crowder and Maynard on behalf of the Hudson's Bay Company, no date, as per despatch. 
Minutes by CO staff
For the opinions of the Atty Genl, & to confer with the Solr Genl
Compy  2
The charter ordains that the Company shall at all times thereafter be capable to purchase & retain lands. Their ability in that respect is not therefore limited to the lands specifically granted by the charter, and if, as is stated, the charter contains no limitation preventing them from acquiring land beyond a particular district, we are of opinion that they may receive & hold in their Corporate Capacity and lands within her Majestys Dominions situate westward of the Rocky Mountains — 
  19 Jany 47.
John Jervis.
David Dundas.
  1. This addressee information appears at the foot of the first page of the despatch.
  2. The following case, though not transcribed here at this time, is significant. It details a legal opinion as to whether or not, and to what extent, the Hudson's Bay Company is able "to receive and hold in their Corporate Capacity any Lands within the Dominions of the British Crown" westward of the Rocky Mountains. The basis for this legal argument invokes the "Charter granted by Charles the 2nd in the year 1670."
  3. The following minutes appear on the enclosure document.
  4. This text runs perpendicular to main body text; see image scan.
Public Offices document:
Pelly to Grey, 22 January 1847, National Archives of the UK, 93, CO 305/1. The Colonial Despatches of Vancouver Island and British Columbia 1846-1871. Ed. James Hendrickson and the Colonial Despatches project. Victoria: University of Victoria. http://bcgenesis.uvic.ca/getDoc.htm?id=V475HB01.scx. Accessed 22 May 2018. 

Last modified: 13:52:29, 16/2/2015