Powles to Newcastle
Austin Friars
27 January 1863
My Lord Duke,
The directors of the Port Phillip Company (incorporated by Royal Charter) of which I am Chairman, are about to send a small party to Van Couvers Island and British Columbia for the purpose of taking measures for the Establishment of a Company, to carry on the business of Mining and the reduction of Ores there, in a systematic manner, as is done by the Port Phillip Company in the Colony of Victoria.
Believing that theManuscript image formation of such a Company, with suitable Capital will tend to promote the welfare of the Colony, I take the liberty to ask the favor of a letter of introduction to His Excellency the Governor thereof, in favor of Mr Robert Plummer Junr of Newcastle on Tyne, who is going to the Colony as Superintendent of the undertaking in contemplation.
I have the honor to be,
My Lord Duke,
Your faithful Servant
J.D. Powles
Minutes by CO staff
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VJ 28 Jan
Mr Cox
Is anything known in the Office of the Port Phillip Company or of the gentleman who signs this letter? If not, we had better find out by a private note to Mr Julyan what may be the character of the Company and of it's Chairman.
TFE 28 Janry
Mr Elliot
See Board ofManuscript image Trade letter 1150 Australia of 8 Feby 1852 & the answer from this office. B. of Trade no doubt satisfied itself of the respectability to whom the Charter of Incorporation was given. Mr Julyan knows nothing of the Coy.
CC 31 Jan 63
This Port Phillips company is one of the Gold Mining Companies formed in 1852. It may be a respectable Company, but neither this Department nor the Colonial Agents haveanyManuscript image any knowledge either of the Company or of it's Chairman who signs the present letter, and still less of it's projected offshoot in B. Columbia. I can hardly think that a gentleman, unknown at the Office, is entitled to ask the Secretary of State to give a letter of introduction to another unknown gentleman, merely because it will be acceptable. On the other hand one should of course avoid appearing to discourage any enterprize that may be useful.
Perhaps the answer might be that the Secretary of State, not having any knowledge of the projected Company or of the gentleman who is going out on it's behalf, cannot undertake to furnish him with any special introduction or recommendation to the Governor, but that there can be no doubt that Mr Douglas will afford to him, if his undertaking appears likely to be beneficial, that countenance and aid which it is the Governor's duty to give impartially to all legitimate Enterprize in the Colony.
TFE 31 Janry
Answer as proposed. The name of the Writer was at one time well known to the Shipping & Mercantile Interest in the City, but I do not know whether this is the same individual.
N 1-2
Other documents included in the file
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Elliot to Powles, 5 February 1863, explaining why a special introduction or recommendation could not be given, but providing assurance that the governor would do all in his power to help any legitimate business enterprise in the colony.