Evans to Secretary of State

To the Right Honble The Secretary of the Colonies &c &c &c

The Memorial of James Evans of Port Dover Canada West, Lieutenant Half pay, of the Galway Regiment of Militia Ireland

May it please your Lordship
Memorialist in the year 1813 then early in life entered as Ensign into the above Regiment with the view of volunteering to the line and making the army his profession for life, and ere three months elapsed was for merit promoted to a Lieutenancy by his Colonel the late Earl of Glencarty, in preference to Ensigns two years his seniors; but peace ensuing the year following Memst to his great disappointment was put on half pay, on which he remains to the present more than 40 years; Memst was one of a guard of honour and laid the British colours at the feet of the Prince Regent afterwards George 4th Louis 18th the Emperor of Russia &c in Dover castle after the peace of 1814.
Memst has now been residing in Canada for several years and God has blest him with a numerous family all thank God smart, intelligent and tolerably well educated, consisting of six sons, three daughters, two sons in law and a few grand children, all of whomareManuscript image are of strictly moral, religious and sober habits active industrious and enterprising.
Memst begs humbly to state that having he believes a tolerably correct knowledge of the agricultural and mercantile capabilities of Vancouvers Island west of this continent, and believing that now in a short time it must rise to importance and will be the principal way of travel from England to China &c he with his large family are desirous of migrating to it provided he may be sufficiently encouraged by the Government. He or they could not indulge at present in the idea of going there in its present state unless enticed by some extra inducements.
Your Memst and all his connexions in Ireland has always been distinguished as adhering from principle to the course of politics of which at present the noble Earl of Derby is the distinguished Leader, and would beg leave to refer your Lordship for character to the Earl of Glencarty, also to Thomas Horsefall M.P. of Liverpool who was Memst's particular friend in that town more than twenty years since when he acted as agent to the city Mission; also if necessary to the Honble D. Daly Governor of Prince Edwards island.
Memst would therefore humbly pray that a grant of land may be ceded in Vancouvers island to himself and each member of his large family similar to that given on the early settlement of this province viz. 500 acres to a Lieutenant, and 200 acres to each individualofManuscript image of his family.
Memst would also humbly state that at the commencement of the late Russian War he offered his services to the War Office, and was anxious and willing to be ac[tive]ly engaged, but was informed in reply that he was put on the retired list for life. He now though a little more than 60 years of age would offer his services if required and would gratefully accept an appointment in Vancouvers Island as a Government Agent or otherwise in superintending or directing in the Settlement of that country, which from its geographical position climate and soil, must in a few years become a valuable appendage to the Government of Great Britain.
All of which is humbly submitted
Jas Evans

Port Dover Canada West l 9th June 1858
Minutes by CO staff
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ABd 28 June
TFE 28 June
Answer that the island is still in the possession of the HB Co who can only dispose of the land by sale: that it may probably be soon in that of government, but that the Secy of State is not at present prepared to state the terms on which land would hereafter be offered to emigrants.
HM June 29
Annex draft.
C June 30
Other documents included in the file
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Draft, reply, Lytton to Edmund Head, Canada, No. ?, 3 July 1858.