No. 34
27 November 1858
I have the honor to communicate for your information, that I proceeded, on the 16th of instant, by Her Majesty's Ship "Satellite" to Point Roberts, and from thence by the Hudson's Bay Company's steamers "Otter" and "Beaver" 1 to Fort Langley to proclaim the Act of Parliament providingManuscript image for the Government of British Columbia.
2. I was kindly accompanied by Rear Admiral Baynes, on that occasion, by Mr Cameron Chief Justice of Vancouver's Island, and Mr Begbie the Judge of British Columbia, who arrived from San Francisco on the Evening of the 15th of instant, just in time to take part in the solemnity.
3. Capt Parsons with the first Detachment of Royal Engineers also accompanied me from this place, Captain Grant with the second detachmentandManuscript image and also Inspector Brew having preceeded me by a few days.
4. The ceremony was performed at Fort Langley with becoming solemnity on the 19th inst. in the presence of these Gentlemen, Her Majesty's Troops, and the inhabitants of the place, and the officers holding appointments from Her Majesty were installed in the usual manner, and with the accustomed forms.
5. Proclamations were then made
1st of the Revocation by Her Majesty of alltheManuscript image the exclusive privileges of the Hudson's Bay Company. 2
2nd Indemnifying the Officers of Government from all irregularities previous to the proclamation of the act. 3
3rd Proclaiming English Law to be the Law of the Colony. 4
6. Copies of those Proclamations are herewith transmitted for the information of Her Majesty's Government.
7. I returned to this place on the 21st of inst. with Rear Admiral Baynes and all the other Gentlemen who accompaniedmeManuscript image me to Fort Langley, except Inspector Brew and Captain's Grant and Parsons who were left with the Royal Engineers at old Fort Langley.
I have etc.
James Douglas
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Mr Merivale
Signify approval of the steps taken by the Governor for the inauguration of the Colony of B. Columbia.
Apprize the Hudson's Bay Co of the fact of the revocation of their License in the Colony having been promulgated there on the [blank].
Communicate to Parlt with the other papers which areManuscript image in preparation for that object.
It would, I think, be very desirable that all the B. Columbia papers which are to be given to Parlt should be placed immediately in the hands of the Parliamentary Clerk as an early account of what H.M. Govt have done in the matter will enhance the good effect, which I trust will be produced on the public, when the details in the establishment of this new Colony are known.
ABd 31 Jany
Very desirable indeed.
HM Jan 31
Annex drafts as proposed to Govr & H.B.C.
C Feby 1
Other documents included in the file
Manuscript image
Draft reply, Lytton to Douglas, No. 21, 11 February 1859.
Manuscript image
Carnarvon to H. Berens, Hudson's Bay Company, 15 February 1859, informing him of the revocation of the license.
Minutes by CO staff
This letter to be inserted in substitution for one of the same date.
  1. The Beaver, one of British Columbia's best-known steamships, was a wooden sidewheeler, 100' 9" x 20 ' x 11', built for the Hudson's Bay Company by Green, Wigrams and Green, in Blackwall, England and launched in May 1835. It arrived at Fort Vancouver in April 1836 and was used by the company until 1874, when it was sold to ?? for ?? The ship was wrecked at Prospect Point in Burrard Inlet in July 1888. For a history of the ship's construction and arrival in the colony, see W. Kaye Lamb, The Advent of the 'Beaver', BCHQ 2 (1938): 163-84.
  2. = Proclamation, 19 Nov 58, HBC license Revocation of license of 30th May, 1838, to Hudson's Bay Company, for Exclusive Trading with Indigenous peoples, in so far as the same embraces the Territories comprised in British Columbia, 3 November 1858, in Revised Statutes of British Columbia 1871, Appendix, pp. 228-29). Cf fn in Douglas to Lytton, 26 October 1858, No. 6, 12724, CO 60/1, p. 245.
  3. = Proclamation, 19 Nov 58, Indemnification Proclamation having the Force of Law to indemnify the Governor and other Officers for Acts done before the Establishment of any Legitimate Authority in British Columbia, 19 November 1858, in Revised Statutes of British Columbia 1871, Appendix, pp. 230-31).
  4. Proclamation Having the Force of Law to Declare that English Law Is in Force in British Columbia, 19 November 1858, British Columbia, List of Proclamations. Or in Papers?? Delete from 7016, ??
People in this document

Baynes, Robert Lambert

Begbie, Matthew Baillie

Berens, Henry Hulse

Blackwood, Arthur Johnstone

Brew, Chartres

Cameron, David

Carnarvon, Earl

Douglas, James

Grant, John Marshall

Lytton, Edward George Earle Bulwer

Merivale, Herman

Parsons, Robert Mann

Organizations in this document

Hudson's Bay Company

Vessels in this document

Beaver, 1835-1888

Otter, 1852-1861

HMS Satellite, 1855-1879

Places in this document

British Columbia

Burrard Inlet

Fort Vancouver


Old Fort Langley

Point Roberts

Prospect Point

San Francisco

Vancouver Island