Archbishop of Canterbury to Lytton
Addington, Croyden
July 7 1858
I trust that the duty what seems to devolve upon me from my situation in the Church will be deemed sufficient excuse for my troubling you with my present communication.
It appears that the discovery of gold fields in Vancouver's island is already filling that country with a miscellaneous collection of immigrants, & that it is likely in a very short time to contain a large population.
What I venture to suggest is, that the same course should be followed there which has been so advantageously practised in Australia; &thatManuscript image that Government in parcelling out the country should reserve certain portions of land for the purpose of endowing those religious bodies who it is to be hoped & expected will soon follow the increasing population.
In the Australian colonies it has been usual I understand, to set apart certain reserves of 640 acres for the formation of villages. If a fourth part of such reserves was appropriated to the future maintenance of ministers of religion, a foundation would be laid for the prevention of some of those evils which may naturally be apprehended from such a population as collect together.
I beg to apologize for a suggestion which perhaps has been already anticipatedManuscript image in the Colonial Office, & have the honor to be
Your very obedient & humble
J.B. Cantuar
Right Honble Sir E.B. Lytton
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Merivale
This relates to a subject of great importance which will naturally obtain Sir E. Lytton's Attention—but the reestablishment of a system of Clergy Reserves on the N. American Continent sounds startling. Such a setting aside of land for the Clergy is of little value to them whilst the Colony has a sparse population; and when the Colony becomes inhabited & the land is wanted the reserves are a bone of contention & source of discord. I should think myself, that if any other means cd be devised of paying the Ministers of the Gospel, it wd be preferable to resort to them rather than to have recourse to Clergy Reserves.
ABd 9 July
I am not aware that the usage referred to has existed in any Australian colony—certainly not of late years.
HM Jy 9
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Reservation of Land in B. Columbia for Religious and Educational purposes
I annex the correspondence which passed between the Archbishop of Canterbury and Sir E. Lytton on this subject last year.
I have nothing to add to my minute on the Archbishop's Letter; unless it be to say that on no occasion whatever has this office given the slightest encouragement to any body to suppose that H.M. Govt would or could set apart any lands in B. Columbia or Van Couver's Isld. for the support of an Anglican or other Church. Nor indeedManuscript image has this Office taken any steps for the payment in any way of a Clergy in B. Columbia—the Bishop of the Colony being maintained by the means of Miss B. Coutts' munificent endowment, & the Clergy from the voluntary subscription of Religious Societies & private Individuals in this Country.
There wd however, be no objection, but in the infancy of the Colony quite the reverse, to the reservation in proper situations of Land for Educational purposes. A report is now in circulation from the Land Board on this very subject, & pointing out for what services—such as roads—parks—education—ground might be set aside. I think, therefore, that it wd be right to instruct the Governor to reserve land for educational purposesManuscript image whenever the Archbishop of Canterbury or Other authority, which shall establish a well founded claim to the indulgence, shall have asked for it.
ABd 20 July
Mr Blackwood does not point out that such reservations are recommended for sites &c and not for the purpose of endowment. I think sites for Churches & Schools might very properly be reserved.
N 26
I am sorry that I was not sufficiently clear, but I really understood the Archbishop's object to be mainly for the endowment of religious bodies. And IManuscript image further wrote my minute from recollection and without papers before me. Perhaps if I now add the following it will suffice for His Grace's purpose. Reserves might be made For public roads, or other internal communications whether by land or water, or for the use or benefit of the Aboriginal Inhabitants of the Country, or for the purposes of military defence or as the sites of places for public worshipschools or other public buildings; or as places for the interment of the dead, or places for the recreation & amusement of the inhabitants of any Town or village, or as the sites of public quays or landing places on the Sea Coast or shores of navigable Streams, or for any other purpose of public safety, convenience, health or enjoyment. The passage I have quoted is taken from an Imperial Act 15 and 16 V.C. 36, & yr Grace has within the last day or so signed a despatch to the Govr of B. Columbia, & V.C. Id telling him that he is at liberty to reserve lands for the above purposes.
ABd 29 July
Other documents included in the file
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Draft, Lytton to Archbishop of Canterbury, 26 July 1858, acknowledging receipt of his letter and providing assurance that his proposal would receive due consideration.