Romaine to Under-Secretary of State
28 October 1863
In reply to your letter of the 24th Instant, requesting to be informed whether Naval Chaplains have any definite rank among Naval Officers which would admit them to the privileges of theBritishManuscript image British Columbia Military and Naval Settlers Act; with reference to an application from the Rev. Henry Alexander for information as to the amount of land to which he would have a claim, if emigrating; I am commanded by my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to acquaint you for the information of theDukeManuscript image Duke of Newcastle that Chaplains originally ranked with Lieutenants, Masters, Surgeons, Paymasters, &ca; that by Order in Council of 13th May 1859 Chaplains having ten years service ranked with Commanders; that, by Order in Council of 23rd February 1860, it was ordered that Chaplains should not hold any Military Rank, but should be treated with all the consideration due to theirsacredManuscript image sacred Office, and that by Order in Council of 11th June 1863, Chaplains are not awarded any Military Rank, but that they stand on the List of Officers of the Civil Rank of the Service, above Solicitor General of Hospitals and Fleet, who rank with Rear Admirals.
I am,
Your most obedient Servant
W.G. Romaine
Minutes by CO staff
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Sir F. Rogers
Inform Mr Alexander that the L.C. Admy having stated that Chaplains in the Navy hold no military rank he is not eligible to a free grant of Land in B.C.
Communicate a copy of this Letter to the Land Board for information.
ABd 28 Oct
I would simply say that Chaplains are not eligible and send (as Mr Blackwood proposes) to Land Bd for inf.
FR 28/10
It is clearly a right decision. Chaplains have not the qualifications for settling a country which Military & Naval Officers have, & in cons. of wh the privilege was given them.
Other documents included in the file
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Rogers to Reverend Alexander, 2 November 1863, advising chaplains were not eligible for grants of land.
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Elliot to Emigration Commissioners, 4 November 1863, forwarding copy of the Admiralty letter for information.