Gosset to Lytton
The Cloisters
Octr 12, 1858
1. Obliged, as I beg you to believe me, for your communication of yesterday's date, 1 I must trespass further on your courtesy, by requesting that the following remarks may be filed with the previous correspondencefor theManuscript image for the purpose, (reasonable I trust to demonstrate) of possible reference a future day. Were my income derivable from Official salary alone it would be out of my power to accept the offer you have been kind enough to make me, of transfer to an appointment in British Columbia on a salary of 500£ a year. Such a salary, in a country where by last accounts the wages of a couple of servants would absorb 300£ of it, being apparently insufficient to procurean officerManuscript image an officer more than the necessities of life, certainly too limited to afford him the power of keeping up that ordinary appearance of respectability, the exactions of society almost render it one duty of an officer to maintain.
Means from other sources however, enable me to adhere to the resolution, (formed when I was first consulted by Colonel Dawson on the question of a Government for British Columbia) of placing my services "unreservedly" at the disposal of Her Majesty's Government,withManuscript image with a firm trust, that the matter of salary may be reconsidered so soon as the condition of the New Colony may warrant attention to such subjects. Admitting the necessity for extreme caution in all financial arrangements for a Colony about to commence existence with a debt to the Imperial Government, the Colonial Legislature would doubtless desire to liquidate without delay; yet, as the prime ratio established between salaries, may, on any general revision, influencefutureManuscript image future propositions, I deem it justice to myself to express, (in no captious spirit, nor as scrutinizing your award, but to place it on record now, lest present silence should be misinterpreted a future day) my inability to recognize in 500£ a year, that that remuneration, which a comparison of the duties and pecuniary responsibilities attaching to each of the various offices in the New Settlement, would have led me suppose, might have been relatively awarded to the Chief Officer of Finance.
3. Adverting Manuscript image
2. Adverting to the allocation of those other duties, named in your letter under acknowledgement, I beg to repeat my readiness to give them my best attention, and to add, that should economical considerations suggest the idea of placing the inter-colonial audit, in the first instance, under the same direction as the Treasury, I will be happy to take the charge and responsibility of arranging the combination so that it shall work satisfactorily.
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3. To your expectations as regards my departure by Novr 11th, I have I hope responded as you will approve, by this day securing accommodation in a vessel advertized to sail on the 30th of this month.
I have the honor to be Sir
Your most obedient Servant
W. Driscoll Gosset

The Rt Honble
The Secy of State
for H.M. Colonies &c
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Elliot
In the necessary desire to observe the utmost possible economy in all the arrangements which have been made for the formation of a Civil Establishment in B. Columbia the salaries to public Officers (excepting always Colonel Moody's) have been fixed very low—which after they have secured their Appointments the Officers take care to represent to us. Like the rest Captain Gossett now acts but he does not complain. He only wishes that in the event of the Colony becoming prosperous & able to revise and improve the emoluments of the public Officers his position may not be overlooked. Looking upon Capn Gossett as the best selection that has been yet made for this new settlement I think we should by no means neglect his just interests; & I would recommend that a copy of this representation be sent to Govr Douglas with instructions to take his case into consideration should there ever be an oppy of improving his position.
If Sir Edd Lytton approves this view, write accy & to Capn Gossett acquainting him with the course taken.
ABd 14 Oct
I see no objection to so forwarding to the Govr
but the letter to Capn Gossett shd be most guarded & say only, I think, that no promise whatever can be held out, but that his application will be borne in mind if the future circumstances of theManuscript image Settlement should justify entertaining questions of an increase of Salary?
TFE 14 Octr
I feel that where the salary in B. Columbia has been fixed most low, both in proportion to the responsible duties to be discharged and to the capacity of the individual is in the case of the Govr; and I think that the first augmentation wh is possible sd be to him.
Answer however as proposed?
C Oct 14
Answer as proposed—& do not yet send copy to Govr. I am
informed today by a good authority that up to the 14th August only 2000£ worth of Gold had been actually discovered in B. Columbia all this year.
EBL Oct 14
Other documents included in the file
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Draft, Elliot to Gosset, 20 October 1858, asking that he communicate with Treasury and enter the necessary bonds for the office of treasurer.
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Draft, Elliot to C.E. Trevelyan, Treasury, 20 October 1858, requesting bonds be prepared for Gosset's use.
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Draft, Elliot to Gosset, 26 October 1858, stating that salaries may be reconsidered when circumstances warrant but offering no promise on the subject.
  1. = L-Gosset, 11 Oct 58 [Find??] For a copy of Carnarvon to Gosset, 11 October 1858, see Great Britain, Colonial Office, Despatches to British Columbia, C AB 10.2 1, British Columbia Archives.
People in this document

Blackwood, Arthur Johnstone

Carnarvon, Earl

Dawson, Robert Kearsley

Douglas, James

Elliot, Thomas Frederick

Gosset, William Driscoll

Lytton, Edward George Earle Bulwer

Moody, Richard Clement

Trevelyan, Charles Edward

Organizations in this document

Colonial Office


Places in this document

British Columbia