Phillimore to Cardwell
Doctors Commons
4th October 1865
I am honoured with Your commands, signified in Sir F. Rogers' Letter of the 27th Ultimo, stating that he was directed to transmit to me an Ordinance passed by the Legislature of British Columbia entitled "No 21—An Ordinance respecting Marriages in British Columbia," together with the local Attorney General's Report thereon; and Sir F. Rogers was pleased to request that IwouldManuscript image would furnish you with my opinion, whether this Ordinance may properly be confirmed by Her Majesty.
In obedience to Your commands, I have taken these papers into consideration, and have the honour to Report,
That in the opinion of the Attorney General of Columbia it is stated that there is "a large Indian Community in this Colony." The Act speaks of "Ministers" and "Religious denominations," and expressly excludes from its operations Jews and Quakers. I am notsureManuscript image sure whether it is intended to include Indians within the provisions of this Statute, and to permit them to be married before the Registrar. But such would I think be the effect of the Statute.
Looking to the 17th Clause, it is difficult to say that the effect of this Statute would not be to render invalid for the future all Marriages celebrated by Native Indians among themselves. I think it would be expedient to ascertain whether this point has been considered by the Legislature of Columbia before the Act be confirmed by Her Majesty.
I have the honor to be,
Your most obedient, humble Servant,
Robert Phillimore
Minutes by CO staff
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ABd 4 Oct
I wd write that before submitting this Act for HM's confn Mr C. wd be glad to learn what is its intended effect upon the Indian population some of whom appear to be under Christian teaching—and that Mr C. wd suggest that this Act shd be made clear in this respect. Also (I think, though the QA does not suggest it) that the Lr shd be invited to consider whether it will not be difficult to secure any efficient notice of marriage beforehand or any proper record subsequently, if they may be celebrated and the banns published in any place calling itself a place of worship and whether therefore it wd not be wise to require that these ceremonies shd take place in some place of worship licensed for the celebration of marriages.
FR 5/10
EC 7
Other documents included in the file
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Draft reply, Cardwell to Seymour, No. 81, 12 October 1865.