37 Great Ormond Street
January 1852
My Lord,
Having greatly recovered my health & strength during the period of five months which have elapsed since I left the Governorship of Vancouver's Island & its dependencies, I take the liberty to bring my case before your Lordship and to express a hope that I may be permitted to look forward to another appointment in Her Majesty's service. I trust that I should be found fully competent for the duties of a Colonial Secretary, Consul, or Governor of any Insular territory, or as an Attache to an Embassy. I have taken the degree of Master of Arts at Cambridge & am a member of Lincolns Inn; but having a claim to considerable property in America I passed upwards of two years there and have not practised as a Barrister. In the year 1848 I was travelling in the Upper provincesof IndiaManuscript image of India when the Sikh War suddenly broke out, and my services were accepted as a volunteer. On the successful termination of the campaign I was invited to accept a commission in H.M. Service, but having received a letter from a relative in England informing me that Vancouvers Island was to be colonized on a large scale and that it had been intimated to him that he could procure the appointment of Governor for me, I relinquished other prospects and arrived in England towards the end of June 1849, when I had the honor of being introduced to your Lordship by JH Pelly. Having received the appointment I provided at my own expense a full and ample outfit including a service of plate and other appendages suitable for such a situation, And beyond a payment made by the Hudson's Bay Company my outward passage cost me a considerable sum, as I experienced a long detention at Panama and was further obliged to proceed to Callao to seek one of HM Ships, which I expected would have met me at Panama. On my arrival at Vancouvers Island there was not the slightest preparation for my reception, and jointly with my servant I occupied an empty store room for several months, until I was able to build myself a small log house. During the 18 months I was there I had to purchase every thing from the Hudson's Bay company's stores at excessive prices; twice I was called to proceed to the Northern part of the Island on account of differences between the Hudson's Bay Compy's Servants, and the natives, and on one occasion was under the necessity of making a passage of seven days in an open canoe duringManuscript imageduring the month of November, which acting on a constitution already enfeebled by repeated attacks of the ague, reduced me so low that on my return to Victoria, where there was not at that time any medical advice, I was unable to walk and my recovery was not expected. On the submission (by my relative) to your Lordship in March 1851 of medical certificates from two London Physicians, you permitted my resignation on which I left the Island on the first of September and reached London and reported my arrival to your Lordship on the 29 Novr. I returned to England at a great expense (upwards o. 300) & on my homeward passage lost the greater and most valuable part of my baggage by the wreck of a vessel in the river Chagres.
Melancholy as it is to reflect that I have borne H.M.'s commission for executing the office of Governor for a length of Service during which some benefit might have been expected from my exertions I am constrained to say that I have not accomplished the purposes for which sent out. There were not any materials to work wit. scarcely an inhabitant except the Indian tribes and the Hudson's bay Compy's servants, and no probability of colonization being encouraged. Under the combined circumstances of the great expense I have been put to, of the loss of time, of the prospects I abandoned, and the exposure to inclement weather which so greatly injured my health, without my having received the slightest recompence whatever, I trust I shall not be deemed presumptuous in expressing my hope that I may be permitted to look forward to somw futureManuscript imagesome future employment in H.M. Service whether colonial, consular, or Diplomatic.
In conclusion I take the liberty to enclose for your Lordships perusal the copy of an address which was presented to me after my embarkation without my previous knowledge of it, with copies of six certificates of my service in India, for which I have received an honorary medal.
I have the honor to be
My Lord
Your obedient Servant
Richard Blanshard
(late Governor of Vancouvers Island)

The Rt Honble
Earl Grey
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Merivale
This is an application from the late Governor of VanCouvers Island for employment, either Colonial or Diplomatic.
VJ 31 Jan
HM F 2
FP 2
I am afraid the only answer that can be returned is that I will not fail to bear the application in mind, & I shd be very glad if any opportunity were to offer of availg myself of his services, but the claims upon this departt are so numerous in proportn to the vacancies that occur that I much fear it will be out of my power to find the means of offering him employment.
G 4/
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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Copy, certificate from Lieutenant General Lord Viscount Gough, dated 2 September 1850, testifying to Blanshard's service in military operations in India in 1848-9.
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Copy, certificate from Sir William Sampson Whish and Major George Whish, no date, testifying to Blanshard's service in India.
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Copy, certificate from Colonel Andrew Hewey, no date, testifying to Blanshard's service in India and recommending him for decoration.
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Copy, Lieutenant Colonel Thomas H. Franks to Henry Blanshard, 14 July 1850, advising that he had recommended his son Richard for "some honorary reward" in respect of his service in India.
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Copy, certificate from Major Herbert Edwards, dated 3 June 1850, testifying to Blanshard's service in India.
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Copy, certificate from Captain T.S. Price, no date, testifying to Blanshard's service in India.
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Address from the inhabitants of Vancouver Island to Blanshard on his departure, dated 30 August 1851, signed by James Douglas and 40 others.
Other documents included in the file
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Draft, Colonial Office to Blanshard, 9 February 1852, advising that Grey would bear his application favourably in mind but was not able to promise him employment.
Minutes by CO staff
This should be passed to Mr Grey to make a note of.