Colvile to Newcastle
Hudsons Bay House
Februy 18, 1853
My Lord Duke,
I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of Mr Merivale's letter of the 14th Instant transmitting an Extract of a Despatch from the Governor of Vancouver's Island dated 11th Novemr, and have to express the thanks of the Governor and Committee for the communication.
The religious and moral instruction of the Colonists, referred to in Governor Douglas's despatch, and recommended by your Grace to the attention of the Governor & Committee, has always been considered by them an object of great importance, and they have every desire to make such provision for it as the wants of theManuscript image Settlers may seem from time to time to require, and as the means at the Company's disposal may permit. By reference to my letter to the late Secretary for the Colonies under the date of the 1st December last, it will be seen that a Clergyman of the Church of England was engaged in 1848 to act as Chaplain to the Company at Fort Victoria, and to conduct a school for boys. The Reverend Gentleman has, as far as the Directors have been informed, performed Divine Service regularly twice every Sunday, and discharged the other duties required of a Clergyman, while his wife has conducted a school for girls. There is likewise a school for the poorer class of the community, and another schoolmaster was sent out in August last to conduct a school in the neighbourhood of the farms about to be established by the Puget Sound Agricultural Company.
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The building set apart at Fort Victoria for religious worship having been intended to answer only a temporary purpose, was adapted to the then state of things in the Settlement, but in order to provide for the wants of an increasing population instructions have been sent to Mr Douglas, as will be seen by the following extract of a letter from the Secretary to Mr Douglas, dated Januy 14 1853.
It will be necessary to provide Churches for the several districts or parishes as the population increases, and it will no doubt tend to concentrate the Settlements, and to form villages if they are built as soon as there may appear to be a determination of the Settlements to any particular place. At an early period therefore, the site for the Church, Burying ground, and School house of the district should be carefully selected and a reserve made for these buildings,Manuscript image and for the residences of the Clergyman and Schoolmaster, so that they may be placed near and convenient to the Church. The buildings should be of a simple and convenient form, without expensive ornaments or construction, and be erected upon dwarf walls to keep them dry, and be strong frame houses, weather boarded outside, and lath and plaster or close lined with wood inside. When it is proposed to erect any such buildings, you will have to send home a plan and estimate of the cost, as the Colonial Office requires that these should be submitted to them, and their sanction obtained before the work is commenced.
As it appears that a workable Seam of Coal has been discovered, a considerable number of vessels may be expected to resort to the Island for that article, whichManuscript image is required in large quantities at San Francisco and Panama. It is therefore highly necessary that one of Her Majesty's cruizers should be stationed there to preserve the peace and good order; and I submit that this matter deserves your Grace's early consideration.
I have the honour to be
My Lord Duke
Your Grace's most obedt humble Servant
A. Colvile

His Grace The Duke of Newcastle
Principal Secretary of State for the Colonies.
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Merivale
As the Governor was told on the 10 Feby that the Duke of Newcastle had called the attention of the H.B. Co to the necessity of making better provision for the religious wants of the Settlement, and the Company appear in their Letter of Jany last to have anticipated the requirements of the Govt in this respect, I shd imagine it to be scarcely necessary for the S. of State to write more to the Governor on the subject.
2. The Rear Admiral on the Station ordered the Thetis to remain offManuscript image VanCouvers & Queen Charlotte's Island till the end of Jany. The "Thetis" has now left that Station, but what she has been relieved by we do not know. I think it wd be very advisable to remind the Admiralty of the wish of this Office to have a Man of War constantly stationed off the Coasts, & enquire what Vessel has taken the place of the "Thetis." I have no doubt that the Company fear the Man of War will not beManuscript image replaced, & hence their observation.
ABd 19 Feby
HM F 21
FP 21
N 21
Other documents included in the file
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Draft, Colonial Office to Captain Hamilton, Admiralty, 28 February 1853, asking what measures had been taken for replacing the Thetis at Vancouver Island.