Berens to Newcastle
Hudson's Bay House
15 July 1861
It is with great reluctance that I have to trouble your Grace upon the subject of an outrage committed by the Representatives of the Government in Vancouver's Island in respect of some Land which had been sold by the Agents of this Company to a Mr Lowenberg who had paid for the same and who was in possession of it at the time that Mr Dallas, the Agent of the Company, left Vancouver's Island for this Country.
The land in question formed a portion of the 3084 Acres which are claimed by this Company as having been possessed by them before the Grant of the Island to the Company, and adjoining aportionManuscript image portion of the same property which had been appropriated for the erection of buildings for the accommodation of the Government. From the Government land it was separated by a ditch or fence. The piece of ground referred to formed part of a farm which had long been under cultivation by the Servants of this Company, by whom it had been cropped for a series of years, and a proposal having been made to form a Street which passed through the farm and severed this piece from the remainder of the farm, Mr Dallas thought it right to dispose of the land, consisting of about 2 acres 3 roods and 17 poles, and accordingly did so under the authority held by him, for the purpose, from this Company.
It now appears that sinceMrManuscript image Mr Dallas' departure from the Island a Mr Tiedeman, who is in the employ of the Land Office at Victoria, endeavoured to prevent Mr Lowenberg from proceeding with some fencing which he was putting up stating that he claimed the land as Government property, and on Mr Lowenberg resisting this interference with his property a Warrant was obtained from the Police Magistrate for his arrest, under which he was taken to prison and only discharged upon giving Bail. Under these circumstances he seeks redress from this Company for the injury which he has sustained, as well as compensation for the land from which he has been dispossessed.
This proceeding is so extraordinary and so entirely at variance with theunderstandingManuscript image understanding come to between your Grace and this Company, to the effect that the representatives of the Government should not seek to interfere with the land claimed by this Company and for years past registered in the Land Office as belonging to them, that I feel assured your Grace will at once give the necessary directions for Mr Lowenberg being reinstated in the possession of his property and for proper measures being taken to compensate him for the indignities to which he has been subjected.
I have etc.
H.H. Berens
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Elliot
No report of this affair has reached this Office from the Governor. Call upon him for a report and acquaint Mr Berens accly.
ABd 17 July
Mr Fortescue
So proceed?
TFE 18/7
CF 18
N 19
Other documents included in the file
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Elliot to Berens, 29 July 1861, advising that Douglas would be asked to report on the incident.
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Draft reply, Newcastle to Douglas, No. 65, 26 July 1861, forwarding a copy of Berens's letter and asking Douglas to provide Newcastle with an explanation.