No. 37
14th June 1864
I have the honor to transmit the copy of a memorandum which explains itself.
My attention was drawn to the fact that a small detached rock upon which a Lighthouse is built at the entrance of Esquimalt Harbour (called Fisgard Island) was claimed to be private property and I therefore instituted an inquiry into the tenure by which it was held by the government.
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It will appear from the accompanying memorandum of the Treasurer that the sum of £150 was paid to Mr W.A.G. Young, the Colonial Secretary, by the Surveyor General on 20th December 1859 "being the purchase money for Fisgard Island", and that no conveyance to the Government has been executed.
I cannot ascertain any reason why this money should have been paid till the conveyance was completed. The Surveyor General informs me that the money was paid by order of the Colonial Secretary.
Mr Young is now in England and I would recommend that heshouldManuscript image should be called upon to execute a legal conveyance of this Island.
I do not know, nor can I discover any record of the basis of this purchase by the government, but it appears to me questionable that a bare rock devoid of all verdure beyond low water mark could be claimed as other than belonging to the Crown. Its intrinsic value is certainly merely nominal.
Captain Richards R.N., Hydrographer to the Navy can probably afford information on the subject.
I have the honor to be
Your most obedient Servant
A.E. Kennedy
Minutes by CO staff
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Sir F. Rogers
See 7399. The Governor's suggestion might be acted upon, and Captain Richards requested to give any information in his power, but before doing so it will be necessary to have the enclosures. Wait for their arrival?
VJ 8 Aug
Mr Jadis
Wait for memorandum.
FR 8/7 [8/8]
The enclosures are now arrived.
VJ 13 Augt
To Captain Richards first: hereafter we may have to call on Mr Young for information.
TFE 15 Augt
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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Memorandum signed by E.J. Nesbitt, Chief Clerk, Colonial Secretary's office, 4 June 1864, stating that the "Indenture conveying to the Government of Vancouver Island the rock on which the Lighthouse at Esquimalt stands does not appear to be in the Colonial Secretary's Office."
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Statements received from the Light House Board (Edmund Hope Verney, Secretary), 6 June 1864, and Alexander Watson, Colonial Treasurer, 9 June 1864, relative to the ownership of Fisgard Island.
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Extracts from minutes of the Executive Council, 1 June 1864, relative to the question of ownership of Fisgard Island.
Other documents included in the file
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Elliot to Captain Richards, R.N., 19 August 1864, forwarding copies of the despatch and enclosures and asking him to supply any information he might have on the subject.