No. 34, Ecclesiastical
7 May 1861
I have the honour to transmit a Memorial to Your Grace from the Reverend Edward Cridge B.A., District Minister of Victoria, praying fortheManuscript image the fulfilment of the agreement with the Hudson's Bay Company under which he was appointed District Minister of Victoria; and also for the conveyance in trust of a portion of about 23 acres of land near the Victoria Church, known as the Church Reserve.
2. In forwarding these papers, I beg to apprize Your Grace that I have laid the MemorialbeforeManuscript image before the Attorney General, who is of opinion that Mr Cridge has no legal rights as against either the Hudson's Bay Company, or Her Majesty's Government.
3. The Local Legislature in their last Session declined to make any provision to meet Mr Cridge's Salary, and I am unable to see any method whereby such provision can be made from any Funds undermyManuscript image my controul. I nevertheless forward the memorial, and trust it may be within the power of Her Majesty's Government to administer to the relief of the Memorialist, whose case has excited much sympathy in this Colony.
4. With regard to the conveyance of the Church Reserve, which certainly was intended solely as an endowment for the Victoria Episcopal Church, andwillManuscript image will in all probability, become, in due course, its possession, I would advise Her Majesty's Government not to move in the question at present; because their interference could not forward the object in view, and would give rise to dissatisfaction whatever course may be taken; and I am of opinion that the decision of the question may be safelyleftManuscript image left to the local tribunals.
I have the honor to be
My Lord Duke,
Your Grace's most obedient
and humble Servant
James Douglas
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Elliot
Mr Cridge has no claim on H.M. Govt whatever he may have in equity on the H.B.Co and I am acquainted with no source from which a salary can be provided for him. There is not a single Clergyman of the Church of E., or of any other Church that I know of in Van C. Isld & B. Columbia, Bishop included, who receives emolument from public funds. I apprehend Mr CridgeManuscript image cannot be made an exception to what seems to be the rule in those Colonies.
See 5176/59 and minutes thereon.
ABd 9 July
TFE 10 July
Duke of Newcastle
I annex a letter on this subject wh. I have received from the Bishop of Columbia—but I do not see what we can do.
Direct the Govr to inform Mr Cridge that as it rested entirely with the Legislature of V. Id to renew his engagement with the H.B.Co. wh. had expired, and as they have declined to vote the necessary salary, you regret that it is not in your power to comply with his request—and that with respect to the "Church Reserve", no step can be taken by the Govt, pending the settlement of the questions at issue between them & the H.B. Co.—with respect to Lands claimed by the Co. at Victoria.
CF 10
This is the only answer that can be given.
N 11
Other documents included in the file
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Draft reply, Newcastle to Douglas, No. 67, 23 August 1861, acknowledging his despatch and forwarding additional documentation from the HBC regarding control of the Church Reserve. Newcastle recommends that, apart from the cemetery, which must remain open to persons of all religious persuasions, this Church Reserve might be transferred to the Church of England, so long as that transfer does not affect the ongoing dispute between the government and the HBC regarding the company's land claims around Victoria.
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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Cridge to Douglas, 23 April 1861, requesting that he forward the enclosed memorial to the Secretary of State.
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Memorial, Cridge to Newcastle, 23 April 1861, as per despatch (seven pages).
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Documents annexed to memorial, relative to Cridge's original appointment and his request for renewal (11 pages), as follows: A. Barclay, Secretary, Hudson's Bay Company, to Cridge, 13 September 1854. Memorandum of Agreement, signed on 12 August 1854 by A. Colvile, Governor, HBC, and on 13 September 1854 by Cridge. Cridge to Douglas, 24 February 1859. H.H. Berens, Governor, HBC, to Lytton, 20 May 1859. Merivale to Berens, 3 June 1859. Douglas to House of Assembly, 10 September 1859. Thomas Fraser, Secretary, HBC, to Cridge, no date. Resolution of the House of Assembly, 20 September 1859. Douglas to House of Assembly, 21 October 1859. Resolution of the House of Assembly, 29 October 1859. William A.G. Young, Acting Colonial Secretary, to Cridge, 8 August 1860. Map of Victoria, 1861, by Surveyor General J.D. Pemberton. Proceedings of the House of Assembly, 20 September 1859 (printed in unnamed Victoria newspaper dated 22 September 1859).
Documents enclosed with the main document (transcribed)
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"Church Reserve" Vancouver's Island
The question is concerning certain land surrounding Christ Church Victoria, given to that Church by the Hudson's Bay Co.—but never formally & legally conveyed. At present, a movement is going on in the Colony, to evict the Church of Engd out of this land & to make it a second Public Park there being one such Park already.
2. In consequence of certain pendingManuscript image questions between the H.B.Co & H.M. Government, the former declines to affix its seal to the legal conveyance of this land, lest such a step shd prejudice their other claims.
3. Meantime, the inconvenience to the Church is most serious— (1) The Church cannot be consecrated. (2) The Burial ground cannot be consecrated. (3) The Land cannot be let or turned to account.
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4. The Bishops residence—built on this land with a view to Ch[rist] Ch[urch] being his Cathedral—is placed under dispute. A Lawsuit has been commenced agst the [Bishop?] with the object of disturbing his possession.
5. The Church is in danger of continual annoyances & persecutions at the hands of men, newly arriving in the Colony, who refuse to acknowledge the Church'sManuscript image prescriptive right of possession to w[hi]ch the old established residents willingly yield. The Colonial Office & the H.B.C. have the power of settling the question, without entangling it with the other subjects in dispute.
7. The C.O. & H.B.Cy might combine to take this land devoted to religious purposesManuscript image & involving the future welfare of the Ch. of E. in the Colony, from the Category of other lands in a similar state of suspense. And it might, at once, be conveyed legally, by their common consent, to Trustees [marginal note: Who?], for the purposes to wch it was originally destined.
8. Should the fact of the Cemetery having hithertoManuscript image been used by all Denominations of religion in Victoria, be raised into a difficulty, it would be easy to establish the same rule wch prevails at home—to divide the ground into a consecrated & an unconsecrated part.
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May 15 1861
My dear Sir,
By this mail the Governor has forwarded a Memorial from the Rev. Ed. Cridge, Minister of Victoria District Church.
I beg earnestly to recommend him as an estimable clergyman, and his case as one of hardship.
He rests his claim on an agreement with the Hudsons Bay Cy to the responsibility of which the Govt succeeded in resuming the Island.
He would consider an equitable adjustment to be the sanction of H.M. Govt to the payment of such amount as [may not be?] provided by the land surrounding his Church.
This land called the Church Reserve was set apart several years ago to that Church. The legal tenure is retained by the H.B.C. pending their settlement with Govt.Manuscript image An application has been made to them to withdraw this from the dispute, and allow it to be conveyed to the purposes for which it has been already given.
We trust H.M. Govt will permit this arrangement & allow the formal appropriation to be made.
At present much inconvenience and injury is caused. Several important measures of our Church organization are obstructed. I am unable to designate the Cathedral Church. Both the Church and Burial ground are unconsecrated. The land cannot be leased. [Illegible] Moreover want of the Legal title threaten to produce difficulties and contention in a countryManuscript image where land is so exciting a subject.
Permit me to thank you for the kind and valuable assistance you have rendered the cause of one Mission by your advocacy at the [Mansion?] House Meeting.
Believe me my dear Sir
Very faithfully yours
G. Columbia