Dowsett to Under-Secretary of State
29a Lincoln's Inn Fields
February 12th 1864
As Agent in London to Captain Houghton late of H.M. Army, now a settler in British Columbia I have the honor to request the consideration of his Grace the Secretary of State to the following.
Captain Houghton resigned the Army bonâ fide for the purpose of settling in British Columbia and left England in July last for that Colony in consideration of a Colonial proclamation circulated to Officers of the Army offering a certain Scale of remissions on the purchase price of land sold by the Government of British Columbia to officers leaving the army and settling there which proclamation was the law when Captain Houghton left England but on arrival in the Colony he found the proclamation just altered by a new one virtually reducing the Encouragement to British Officers by Four Fifths.
The Amending Act was received on 29 June 63 and communicated to W.O. & Admy 30 July.
Captain Houghton when informed of the new proclamation on arrival in the Colony appealed to the Governor stating the circumstances of hisManuscript image case but the Governor refused redress on the grounds that he had issued the proclamation in British Columbia previous to the time Captain Houghton left H.M. Service entirely ignoring the fact that Captain Houghton could not possibly have known of the detrimental proclamation at the time he left the army even before he left England for the Horse Guards circular promulgating the new proclamation was not issued until the 31st day of August 1863.
As Captain Houghton bonâ fide resigned the Army on the faith of receiving certain advantages guaranteed by her Majesty's circulars to the army he claims to be dealt with in justice and to receive the amount of remission in the purchase of land in British Columbia which was promised to him or any officer of his rank at the time he resigned the Army to settle in that colony and which promise had not been withdrawn by any notification in England up to the time of his departure from Great Britain for British Columbia.
Captain Houghton left England via Panama last July sending forward his first purchase of goods to the amount of several hundred pounds via Cape Horn for the Up-Country of British Columbia previous to the arrival of which in the Colony CaptainManuscript image Houghton & party travelled into the interior and finally settled at the junction of the Oregon, Kamloops and Hope trails and subsequently on arrival of the goods—provisions, tools, farming implements and materials for building purposes—commenced establishing stores at his settlement.
I beg to apologize for trespassing on your valuable time by these details but I mention them to show that Captain Houghton left the army with the bonâ fide intention of settling in British Columbia and the inducement held out to him to adopt that course was the grant of land promised him by the proclamation referred to.
In conclusion permit me to direct the attention of his Grace the Duke of Newcastle to the discouraging influence on Military Settlement of the proclamation referred to. The boon held out for all other colonies is now in British Columbia reduced to one-fifth and I can state from personal experience in British Columbia and other Colonies that in no British Colony can I conceive it to be of equal importance to encourage Military settlement the population of British Columbia being alreadyManuscript image too foreign and being the most distant of English colonies more powerful inducements are required to get Englishmen out there.
Begging that this matter may have the earliest convenient consideration of his Grace the Secretary of State for the Colonies.
I have the honor to be, Sir
Your most obedient humble Servant
Charles Finch Dowsett

The Under Secretary of State for the Colonies
Colonial Office, Downing St
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Mr Elliot
Land Board.
ABd 13 Feb
TFE 19/2
Other documents included in the file
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Elliot to Emigration Commissioners, 16 February 1864, forwarding a copy of Dowsett's letter for suggestions and observations.