Murdoch to Rogers (Permanent Under-Secretary)
Emigration Office
8 December 1863
I have to acknowledge your letter of 2nd instant, with the copy of a Despatch from the Governor of Vancouvers Island, accompanied by a Draft of a Conveyance to Trustees of certain land at Victoria known as "the Church Reserve," which it is intended to devote to religious purposes in connection with the Church of England.
2. This land contains in the whole 22 41/100 Acres, and is divided into three portions, on one of whichManuscript image containing 1 80/100 Acre the Church stands on the second containing 2 25/100 Acres is the Rectors house—and the third consisting of 18 36/100 Acres is to provide a stipend for the Clergyman (£600 a year or if the Trustees think fit £800 a year) and for the scholastic and other purposes mentioned in the Deed of endowment.
3. The Governor in his despatch suggests three points for consideration namely (1) the persons who shall be named Trustees in the Deed, (2) the person in whom the patronage should be vested, and (3) the retention for the present in the hands of the Crown of a CemeteryManuscript image used by Christians of all Denominations, which for sanitary reasons it may become expedient shortly to shut up.
4. As regards the first point the Duke of Newcastle will probably concur in Governor Douglas' opinion that the Governor and Bishop for the time being should be Trustees.
A third Trustee as umpire wd be surely desirable.
5. On the second point I believe it has been heretofore the practice, when endowments in the Colonies have been granted out of the Crown lands, to reserve to the Governor of the Colony the right of presentation to the Church. Mr Douglas suggests, however, that it should be vested in the present instance in theManuscript image Bishop. But before a conclusion is arrived at on these two points it will probably be deemed expedient to ascertain the views of the Bishop of Columbia who I believe is now in this Country, and who, in his Letter to the Duke of Newcastle of the 26th June last, requested that he might have an opportunity of seeing the Draft of the Conveyance before it was executed.
6. On the third point I presume that the Governor's view will be adopted, and the Cemetery excluded from the Conveyance.
7. I see no objection to the Draft of the Conveyance preparedManuscript image in the Colony.
8. It conveys the three lots of land to Trustees upon trust as to the first two, that they shall continue to be used as at present for the Church and Rectory, and as to the third for the purpose of securing (1) the Rectors stipend (2) the maintenance of the Church (3) the stipend of any assistant clergy that may be appointed (4) the maintenance of schools in connection with Christ Church and (5) the establishment and maintenance of other Churches and Schools in the Island in connection with the Church of England. For these purposes the Trustees are empowered to grant leases in possession, not exceedingManuscript image 21 years at rack rent or they may grant building leases in possession for 99 years without fine or premium except that the rent may be a nonimal one for the first five years.
9. Only two observations occur to me on the Draft Conveyance. (1) As the Governor is required in the body of the Instrument to assent on the part of the Crown to the grant of the land, which is to be made by the Hudsons Bay Company it is desirable that he should be a party to the Deed. (2) In that part of the Trust which assigns the Stipend, the Trustees are directedManuscript image to pay it to the Revd Edward Cridge the present Incumbent of Christ Church "for the term of his natural life." It appears to me that it should be instead "during so long as he continues Incumbent of Christ Church aforesaid." This would be in harmony with other parts of the Deed and doubtless with the intention.
10. It only remains to suggest that in accordance with the promise made to his Lordship the Draft Conveyance should be submitted to the Bishop of Columbia for any remarks he might wish to make on it.
This has been done.
I have the honor to be
Your obedient
Humble Servant
T.W.C. Murdoch
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Elliot
The Bishop of B. Columbia has not yet replied to the letter addressed to him, enclosing copies of the Draft Conveyance & Despatch.
VJ 9 Decr
Mr Jadis
It seems to have been sent to him on the 2nd, so only a week has yet elapsed. Wait another week, & then remind him if we have not heard.
TFE 9/12
Other documents included in the file
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Elliot to Lord Bishop of British Columbia, 24 December 1863, calling his attention to their previous letter and asking that he forward his observations on the draft as soon as convenient.