Taylor to Newcastle
6 Queen Street Place
Upper Thames Street
London
7 April 1853
My Lord Duke,
I have the honor to avail myself of Your Grace's permission to lay before you some further particulars of the discovery of a vein of Auriferous Quartz in Queen Charlotte's Island, and to submit to you in writing some of the considerations which, in the interview Your Grace was pleased to favor me with, I stated in support of the application made by the discoverers for a Lease to enable them to work for gold silver and other metallic minerals within a certain portion of the Island.
Particulars of the precise position of the vein andofManuscript image of the circumstances which led to its discovery, together with the expenditure and loss incurred by Mr Easterby and his partners are contained in the accompanying Statement and map.
Mr Easterby has come to England in the hope of obtaining such a grant as will enable him to make arrangements for applying a sufficient Capital to the works necessary for realizing some of the fruits of the discovery made through the enterprize of himself and partners in exploring the shores of a portion of Her Majesty's dominions almost unknown and which has hitherto contributed nothing to the commerce or wealth of Great Britain.
Mr Easterby has broughtwithManuscript image with him specimens of the ore contained in the vein, which shew clearly that it is auriferious quartz of a character and richness similar to that obtained from the mines of California. Some of these specimens have been assayed by Mr Arthur Phillips, an eminent metallurgical Chemist, and have yielded gold equivalent to 10 ounces and upwards per ton of ore; but from all the information I can gather I am satisfied that the average produce of the ore ought not to be estimated at a higher rate than 4 ounces per ton, which appears to be the ordinary return from such of the quartz veins of California as have been worked on an extensive scale.
Your Grace will readilyperceiveManuscript image perceive that ores of this quality can only be profitably worked upon a large scale and by means of systematic and well arranged Mining operations, carried on with the aid of Machinery and other applications of Modern Engineering, by which manual labour may be economized and large quantities of the material may be won at a moderate expense.
These requirements appear to me to render it impossible that veins of this kind should be successfully worked by 'diggers' on their own account, and to make it manifest that for the full developement of the value of such deposits of gold it must be necessary to secure to Capitalists, who will undertake the Mining operations, a certaindefinedManuscript image defined area or extent of ground for a fixed turn of years and upon terms as to Royalty or Rent proportioned to the circumstances of the case.
Mr Easterby having furnished me with a map of that portion of Queen Charlotte's Island in which the gold has been found, and having described to me the course of the vein and the range of the stratification of the country, I am enabled to suggest as the "limits" for the grant, that the area should be "bounded" on the North or N.W. by the sea or channel, and on all other sides by a line forming the segment of a circle, the radius of which should be five miles and the centre at Una point in Mitchell's Harbour.
The term proposed for the Lease is Sixty years, andtheManuscript image the Royalty five per cent, that being the rate paid upon the produce of the Mines of the precious Metals to the Governments of Spain and other countries where they have been extensively worked.
I am requested by Mr Easterby to state on behalf of his partners and himself, that they can offer to the Crown security for the payment of the Royalty and also facilities for its collection, from the circumstance of their intending to ship the entire produce of the mines direct to London for reduction at the works of the Colonial Gold Company or some similar Establishment, from whom the Royalty can be directly obtained: but I would suggest that if it be Your Grace's opinion thatthereManuscript image there would be risk of evasion under such a system that in lieu of a Royalty the Lessees shall pay a rent or license fee proportioned to the number of men employed monthly, guaranteeing such a minimum payment as may be deemed reasonable.
I may add that I know these gentlemen to be highly respectable, and that they may safely be accepted as Lessees under the Crown: further being thoroughly acquainted with California and the adjacent countries and the difficulties encountered, they would be able to take measures for their own safety and would not require from Her Majestys Government any special protection.
I have the honor to be My Lord Duke
Your Grace's faithful & obedt Servant
Richard Taylor

To His Grace the Duke of Newcastle
&c &c &c
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Mr Merivale
Are you aware whether the minerals are granted in this Island to the Hudson's Bay Company? I send you the Grant of V.Couver's Island to inspect.
ABd 9 April
Nothing is granted to the Company in Q Charlotte's Island so far as
I know. Their only right there is under their trading license, and determinable if any settlement of the land is contemplated. The question I believe to be merely one of expediency.
HM Apl 13
FP 13
Before deciding upon this application I should wish for some
information as to the number & character of the Natives in this Island—
Have we any such information?
also a reference to the Director of the Museum of Practical Geology for information as to the terms for such a Mining Lease as is here asked for.
N 13
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
Manuscript image
Statement of Anthony Easterby on behalf of himself and partners regarding their discovery of gold in April 1852 on Queen Charlotte's Island, and requesting a lease to lands in Mitchell's Harbour. Coloured map enclosed, about 10"x14", showing two Indigenous villages.
Other documents included in the file
Manuscript image
Draft, Colonial Office to H.T. De la Becke, Museum of Practical Geology, 22 April 1853, forwarding copy of the letter and enclosures and asking for any information he may have to offer on the terms and conditions requested.
Minutes by CO staff
In ansr to the Duke of Newcastle's enquiry concerning the number and character of the Natives in Queen Charlotte Island I am sorry to state that we have scarcely any information. The best, if not the only knowledge we possess about them is contained in Captain Kuper's report (in 8866/52) which I annex, having marked the Passage.
Taylor, Richard to Pelham-Clinton, Henry Pelham Fiennes 7 April 1853, CO 305:4, no. 4079, 306. The Colonial Despatches of Vancouver Island and British Columbia 1846-1871, Edition 2.2, ed. James Hendrickson and the Colonial Despatches project. Victoria, B.C.: University of Victoria. https://bcgenesis.uvic.ca/V536T01.html.

Last modified: 2020-12-02 13:40:34 -0800 (Wed, 02 Dec 2020) (SVN revision: 5008)