No. 69
7 January 1859
I have the honor to forward to you herewith copy of a letter addressed to me by the Reverend W.B. Crickmer, enclosing his License from the Bishop of London to fulfil the office of Chaplain to the British Residents in British Columbia.
IManuscript image2. I also forward a copy of my reply, from which you will perceive that I propose to put him in possession of the Parsonage and Church it is contemplated to build at Fort Langley as soon as circumstances may permit, and I have further offered him, for the present, any assistance in my power; but as I have no official intimation of the appointment of Mr Crickmer, and no instructions respecting him, I have to solicit your directions concerning him at your earliest convenience.
I have etc.
James Douglas
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Merivale
Apprize the Colonial Church & School Society of what the Govr has done for Mr Crickmer. Ansr the Govr that the course he has pursued is very proper; but that this Clergyman was neither selected nor paid by the Imp: Govt & that, under those circes, Sir E. Lytton has no communication to make to the Govr respecting him.
ABd 15/3
Copy of the correspe should also be sent to the Bishop.
HM Mh 15
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Sir Edward Lytton
I am sorry to interfere between Mr Crickmer and Govr Douglas' good intentions towards him but I must say that I think that the circumstances brought before us by this desp. for the first time require some further explanation before you can assent to the arrangements involved.
We have by this desp. [learned] of the formal appointment of Mr Crickmer by the Bp of London to an office called "the Colonial Chaplaincy" of which the Sec. of State knows nothing, but which if it existed at all wd be a appointment by the Colonial Minister & not by the bishop of London. It wd be therefore desirable to know 1st whether the Bp of London did ever give such credentials—2nd to see copies of them—3rd to have it distinctly understood that they convey no authority under which Mr Crickmer can Manuscript imageclaim particular power or privileges.
The history of the case is this—the S.P.G. applied last year for assistance to their endeavour which they were then making to meet the religious destitution of the Colony. We declined on the ground of a want of funds but offered their missionary a free passage which was accepted. The Church Missionary Socy then in turn made the same request which was answered in the same terms but they declined the passage. Mr Gammage, who was first appointed has sailed—but meanwhile it appears that Mr Crickmer has anticipated him by going out on his own account & armed with the Bp of London's credentials seems likely to monopolise whatever ecclesiastical preferment—little enough I sd think—there may be in the Colony &—which mainly concerns us—Manuscript imageto assume an official position as the Colonial Chaplain which the Sec. of State has not conferred. It must be borne in mind that there is now a bishop for B. Columbia and that no ecclesiastical arrangement ought to be agreed to as permanent until he can reach his own See and decide for himself. I cannot but suspect in this affair some desire on the part of Mr Crickmer to forestall every other clergyman who might be bound for the Colony & to secure for himself a priority of position—which it wd be very undesirable to concede without full consideration.
I wd therefore guard this point in your reply to the Govrs desp. and I wd write to the Bp of London to ask for information as to the nature of the credentials which he is said to have given to Mr Crickmer.
C Mch 16
As Ld C suggests.
EBL M 17
Other documents included in the file
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Draft, Lytton to Lord Bishop of London, 24 March 1859, forwarding copy of Crickmer's letter and asking for clarification.
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Draft reply, Lytton to Douglas, No. 38, 24 March 1859.
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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Douglas to Crickmer, 7 January 1859, acknowledging his letter and promising assistance.
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W. Burton Crickmer to Douglas, 6 January 1859 forwarding his credentials as colonial chaplain.