No. 168
8 June 1859
Referring to my Despatch No 133 of the 11th of April last, in which I report having made arrangements for the removal of the volunteer Force of Royal Marines arrived at Vancouver's Island in Her Majesty's Ship Tribune, from Esquimalt to Queensborough for service in British Columbia, I have nowManuscript imagenow the honor to acquaint you that 6 Officers and 133 Non-Commissioned Officers and Privates were embarked onboard the Satellite in Esquimalt Harbour on the 14th April, were transferred to the Plumper at the entrance of Fraser's River on the 15th April, and were shortly afterwards disembarked at Queensborough.
2. The remainder of the Detachment consisting of about 1 Officer & 27 Men including the Sick, were retained at Esquimalt, principally as a Guard for the Treasury
What has the Governor got in it? He keeps drawing on home fund for the Engineers, as if he had no money in said Treasury.
of British Columbia temporarily established for the sake of greater convenience at Victoria.
3. It is a source of much comfortManuscript imagecomfort to me to have so able and efficient a body of men, as this Detachment appears to be, at my disposal, but I am at the present time troubled at finding the ways and means for their proper support.
Reason for their withdrawal.
It appears that they all volunteered from China for service in British Columbia, and that in China they were in the receipt of double pay together with various rates of working pay when employed upon extra duties. Considering the manifold temptations to Desertion which exist in a gold producing Country, where the mining population are ever more or less in a state of excitement, it requires more than the common rateManuscript imagerate of pay to a private soldier to ensure his fidelity, and as a matter of justness the superior Officer
But no other Superior Officer is as yet so compensated.
must be compensated for the additional expense to which he is exposed, but apart from these considerations, it was obvious that the Force should not be placed in a worse position than they enjoyed in China, under the circumstances of their volunteering
No orders that I know of were [copied?] sanctioning volunteering. They were, I conceive, simply sent to B.C. as a matter of duty, the Canton War being over.
for special service in British Columbia and, indeed, it would seem that they were actually promised
By whose authority?
not only a continance of the benefits they were enjoying, but the greater inducement of a grant of land, after six years faithful service, was held out to them.
By whom.
ItManuscript image4. It was, therefore, incumbent on me, in the absence of any direct instructions upon the subject, to keep faith with the men to the best of my ability. I consequently addressed a letter to Colonel Moody calling upon him to furnish me with any suggestions he might have to offer. I enclose herewith his reply, together with a letter from Captain Magin the Officer Commanding the Force, which details the circumstances of the promises made in China.
5. After due consideration, and viewing the rates of Colonial Pay granted to the Officers and Men of the Royal Engineers I have decided upon the following rates of Colonial Pay for theManuscript imagethe officers and men of the Royal Marines, it being intended that the same shall cover all claims for extra work, or for any extra service whatsoever. .in +6 -3
To the Captains..........14/s per Diem
" " Subalterns........9/s " "
" " Sergeants.........3/s not to exceed 4/s per Diem
" " Corporals.........1/s " " " 3/6 " "
" " Rank & File.......1/s " " " 3/s " "
To be awarded discriminatingly according to conduct, work performed &c &c. .in -6 +3
6. The remaining question of the grant of land I submit for the consideration of Her Majesty's Government. I concur in its general expediency, and consider it would be a beneficial measure on behalf of the Colony, the more particularly under the circumstances ofManuscript imageof the situation of the Colony bordering as it does upon the possessions of a Foreign Power, and it is upon the Frontier that we propose to make the Free Grants.
7. I also forward herewith, a Copy of Colonel Moody's letter requesting me to transfer the Force of Royal Marines to Queensborough, and pointing out how they could be profitably employed. I am sorry to say, however, that Colonel Moody's anticipations as to the return to be expected from their labor by the sale of the wood cut, have not been realized.
Trusting my proceedings herein may meet with your approval.
This phrase rather implies a doubt.
I have etc.
James Douglas
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Mr Merivale
The expense which is cast upon us on account of a force sent to B. Columbia solely with a view to protective objects, at a time when the reports from the Governor gave us reason to apprehend disturbances from a rough foreign mining population, is becoming very serious, & as it seems to me requiring as to be immediately and peremptorily checked. If this should be the view taken by the Duke of Newcastle I suppose that it should be conveyed to the War Office and the Admiralty, to whom copies of these papers should be sent. You remember that on the 9th instant we told the War Office that the Supernumerary Marines of the "Tribune" might be withdrawn, & that the Govr shd be instructed not to employ the remainder of the Crews of H.M. Ships on land services, unless it was absolutely necessary so to do.
2. I am unacquainted with any order from this Office sanctioning double pay & grants of Land to the Marines when they reached B. Columbia. We had better ask the Admy to explain adding that such double pay cannot be derived from Imperial funds—no provision being made for the same.
ABd 30 July
HM Aug 1
CF 2
A copy of this should go to Admiralty.
N 3
Manuscript image
Question of Colonial Pay to the Royal Marines
Sir E.B. Lytton particularly desired that a party of Marines might be transferred from China for service in British Columbia or Vancouver's Island. They volunteered for the purpose. When they arrived the Governor reported (on the 8th June 1859) that they had been in receipt of double pay in China, together with working pay when employed on extra duties, and that they had been led by the Captain in command to expect at least equal advantages in British Columbia. Governor Douglas added that on the recommendation of Colonel Moody he had agreed to give these men whilstManuscript imagewhilst employed as working parties, certain rates of working pay equal to those of the Royal Engineers.
By subsequent letters from the Admiralty it appeared that the Captain had possessed no due authority for holding out the expectation to the men, but still as it was in fact held out to them, it seems undesirable that they should be disappointed. All accounts agree in representing that it is impossible for either Officers or men to live on their simple pay in these Colonies.
But by a recent letter from the Admiral it appears that after all none of these Marines have received extra pay. Perhaps the reason is, that in consequence of the trouble at San Juan, they wereManuscript imagewere soon withdrawn from British Columbia, where alone they could have been so employed as to earn working pay. The Admiral represents that it is hard to give them no extra allowance. About 160 arrived from China, but they were rapidly diminished by distribution amongst different Ships of War, and I believe that their number is now less than 100. They form the English Force in the Island of San Juan.
Under these circumstances I would recommend that the Governor be authorized to grant double pay to the Officers and Men, by allotting to them a Colonial rate exactly equal to their English rate of pay, and that it be explained to him that this Colonial pay will only be issuable to Officers and Men landed for someManuscript imagesome permanent duty on shore, but that to all who come within that description it may be issued retrospectively upon receiving from the Admiral or Senior Officer present accounts showing the sums properly due under these directions.
TFE 14 June
CF 14
Manuscript image
I approve.
N 18
Other documents included in the file
Manuscript image
Draft, Colonial Office to Secretary to the Admiralty, 11 August 1859, forwarding copy of the despatch for report.
Manuscript image
Draft, Colonial Office to Under-Secretary to the War Office, 13 August 1859, forwarding copy of the despatch for information.
Minutes by CO staff
Mr Merivale
It will be necessary, I think, to keep the War Office duly informed, as we have communicated so much with that Dt on the subject.
Other documents included in the file
Manuscript image
Draft reply, Newcastle to Douglas, no number, no date.
Minutes by CO staff
It seems to me that this is rather an unlucky moment for diminishing the force of Marines, & that this despatch had better be suspended for the present; writing to the War Dt only?
I sh think so.
CF 25 S
Other documents included in the file
Manuscript image
Draft reply, Newcastle to Douglas, No. 37, 2 July 1860.
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
Manuscript image
Moody to Douglas, 12 April 1859, forwarding copy of letter from Captain Magin and further discussing rates of pay and land grants for soldiers serving in the colony.
Manuscript image
Thomas Magin, Captain Commanding Detachment of Royal Marines, to Moody, 9 April 1859, explaining that the force volunteered for special service because they would receive double pay.
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Is it not usual always to give double pay to forces serving in the East?
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
Manuscript image
Return describing the strength and rate of pay for the detachment under Magin's command.
Manuscript image
Moody to Douglas, 1 April 1859, requesting the transfer of the Royal Marines to Queensborough in order to clear ground and cut trees.
Douglas, James to Lytton, Edward George Earle Bulwer 8 June 1859, CO 60:4, no. 7339, 500. The Colonial Despatches of Vancouver Island and British Columbia 1846-1871, Edition 2.2, ed. James Hendrickson and the Colonial Despatches project. Victoria, B.C.: University of Victoria.

Last modified: 2020-12-02 13:40:34 -0800 (Wed, 02 Dec 2020) (SVN revision: 5008)