Coutts to Granville

My Dear Lord Granville
I have been for some time considering whether it was not my duty to forward you the enclosed copy of a letter received by my Solicitors from the Gentlemen, acting as Solicitors to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel and I presume also for The Trustees to the Colonial Bishopricks Fund. It struck me as a most singular, not to say unparalled suggestion that a Crown Dependency Would probably & that shortly "select a Sovereign power for itself," and that any deed which a British Subject may be called upon to execute,Manuscript image Should be framed with a consideration to such a contingency; most certainly it is a position totally alien to any I contemplated when I provided Emoluments in English Colonies to which arrangement the whole of the Archbishops & Bishops of the Church were parties and which was satisfied by the Crown. In consequence of the illness of the Archbishop of Canterbury I have been unable to communicate with him and I am therefore unaware whether the letter from the Solicitors of the Society at 77 Pall Mall has come under His GracesManuscript image Notice. I however thought it possible that they might be aware of some intention on the part of the Government to give up British Columbia.
The recent debate in Parliament and the answer given by the Home Secretary to a Deputation, which visited upon him upon the subject of Emigration seems to negative such a supposition, and I think it therefore right to place the subjoined copy of the letter in your hands. The actual subject under discussion relates to the establishment of the Archdeacouries of British Columbia and the question is, with whom the the reversionary interest shouldManuscript image rest.
Whether with me and my heirs or with the Socty for the Propagation of the Gospel, Should the object Fail, which I had in view when I provided the Emoluments, which object was set forward in the Declaration of Lambeth in 1843 by the Archbishop & Bishops and subsequently received the approbation of the Queen in Council—but it is not to discussions on account of this, that I am induced to place this letter in Your Lordships hands, but that I have been so much impressed with the very unusual contingency set before me, by persons representing Individuals holding high State offices that it has scarcely seemed to me right not to communicate its contents to you.
I am My dear Lord Granville
Sincerely Yours
A.G. Burdett Coutts

[Ehunbury?] Hall
Feby 23d 1870
Minutes by CO staff
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C 26/2
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A puzzling kind of letter. In substance I suppose the answer is that Ld G seriously desires that B. Columbia may long remain a British Colony, but that seeing what opinions are current and what possibilities are imaginable, he cannot blame any lawyer who being employed as laywers are to provide for all imaginable contingencies, provides among the rest for that of Separation.
FR 26/2
WM 26/2
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Put by.
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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Nicholl Burnett & Newman, Lawyers for The Society for Propagation of the Gospel and The Archdeacouries of Columbia & Vancouver, to Messrs. Farrer Ouvry & Co., Lawyers for Miss Burdett Coutts, 28 December 1869, detailing the position of the society in relation to policy and deeds of trust and explaining why suggested amendments to the rules should not be allowed to stand.