No. 43, Separate
26th June 1865
Sir
Referring to my Separate Despatch No 38, dated 15th June 1865 I have the honor to transmit further papers named in the margin
Attorney General, 10th April 1863.
Colonial Treasurer, with Report of Board of Inquiry, 21st May 1863.
Colonial Secretary, 29th May 1863.
Colonial Secretary, 16th June 1863.
W.M. Tyrwhitt Drake, 18th June 1863.
on the subject of the irregularities or defalcations of Mr Thomas G. Williams, late Registrar of the Supreme Court in this Colony, of the transmission of which to Her Majesty's Secretary ofStateManuscript image State I can find no record.
The confused manner in which the Records have been hitherto kept will I hope be sufficient excuse for these papers being overlooked while writing my former Despatch.
These additional papers render it more difficult to understand Mr Williams being permitted to leave the Colony without closing his accounts or his sureties being held accountable.
It will be seen from the correspondence now transmitted that Mr Williams was actually admitted to practiseasManuscript image as an Attorney and Solicitor of the Supreme Court though I have not been able to find any record of a reply from Chief Justice Cameron to the letter of the Colonial Secretary dated 16th June 1863.
It is proper for me to add that I have not up to this date received any communication from His Honor Chief Justice Cameron in reply to the letter addressed to him on the 22nd April covering a copy of the Report of the Board of Inquiry.
I have the honor to be,
Sir,
Your most obedient Servant
A.E. Kennedy
Governor
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Elliot
I infer from the account of this discreditable business that Mr Cameron—the late Chief Justice—mixed himself up with the late Registrar, Mr Williams, in pecuniary transactions. I think it disgraceful & a neglect of duty on the part of Sir Jas Douglas that he did not report to the S. State the facts contained in these Papers. Had he done so the decision upon the Ch: Justices' Pension Act might have been different.
Mr Williams has absconded & there is nothing we can do with him. But I think Mr Cameron deserves another severe despatch reproving him for admitting Mr Williams to practise as an Attorney after it had been made clear that he had been dealing improperly with public money. I have no doubt that the local bar & the public knew all these factors but for various reasons & interests maintained silence. Governor Kennedy has, ever since his assumption of the Govt been a sort of political "Calcraft" in a den of thieves.
I annex the drafts of Mr Cardwells two last despes on the ill doing of the Judge in the Probate Court that he may see what he said on that point.
ABd 26 Augt
Mr Cardwell
Sir F. Rogers investigated the earlier reports on this subject. The constant disclosure ofManuscript image malpractices in Vancouver under the old regime are indeed discreditable.
[TFE]
Mr Blackwood
I shd like to see the papers respg the recent investigation of Mr Williams' delinquencies.
Annexed 7327.
[ABd]
1. It wd seem that Mr Williams was only required by the Supreme Court to produce the money entrusted to him when it was wanted—no rules being laid down respectg custody. That he kept an account at Macdonald's Bank
This Bank has failed: & the Principals or Managers have fled.
into wh he paid his official receipts & out of which he paid all his official payments—that he overdrew this account & endeavoured to satisfy the banker by placing in his hands—as the banker says by way of security, but as he says merely by way of deposit—an unendorsed official cheque (to order) for $3020, that thisManuscript image led to enquiry, in the course of wh Judge Cameron intervened & recovered from the bank the cheque wh as it happened the Registrar had no business to retain either officially or privately.
Mr Williams was dismissed: But was then admitted to practise by the C.J. The bar protested—but with what effect does not appear.
I do not see that there is anything to be done beyond referring to the dphes of 18 & 19 Augt.
FR 21/9
EC 22
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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George Hunter Cary to W.A.G. Young, Colonial Secretary, 10 April 1863, providing detailed explanation of the circumstances whereby "the Registrar of the Court raised money for his own purposes upon a check received by him in his Official capacity."
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Alexander Watson, Treasurer, to Colonial Secretary, 21 May 1863, forwarding copy of a "Report by the Commissioners appointed by His Excellency to enquire into certain charges against Thomas G. Williams, Registrar of the Supreme Court together with the minutes of the Commission."
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Report, as noted above, concluding that the charge against Williams had been proved, dated 21 May 1863, signed by Alexander Watson, E. Graham Alston and Robert Ker.
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Minutes of the Commission, as noted above (fifteen pages).
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Young to Chief Justice Cameron, 29 May 1863, conveying the verdict of the commission and advising that the governor "has confirmed the suspension of Mr Williams and directs that he be discharged from the Public Service."
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Young to Cameron, 16 June 1863, forwarding instructions from the governor that his recent appointment of Williams as an attorney and solicitor of the Supreme Court "be forthwith rescinded" in view of the circumstances of his dismissal from the public service.
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W.M. Tyrwhitt Drake to Young, 18 June 1863, forwarding letters recently submitted to the Acting Attorney General and the Chief Justice protesting the recent admittance of Williams to practise in the Supreme Court of the colony.
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Copy, Drake, Pearkes and Dennis to D.B. Ring, Acting Attorney General, no date, protesting the admittance of Williams to the Supreme Court in view of his recent discreditable performance in the public service.
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Drake, Pearkes and Dennis to Cameron, no date, protesting the admittance of Williams, on the grounds of his lack of qualifications, his recent dismissal from the public service, and the unorthodox manner in which the appointment took place.
Other documents included in the file
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Draft reply, Cardwell to Kennedy, No. 50, 25 September 1865.
Kennedy, Arthur to Cardwell, Edward 26 June 1865, CO 305:25, no. 8224, 699. The Colonial Despatches of Vancouver Island and British Columbia 1846-1871, Edition 2.2, ed. James Hendrickson and the Colonial Despatches project. Victoria, B.C.: University of Victoria. https://bcgenesis.uvic.ca/V65043.html.

Last modified: 2020-12-02 13:40:34 -0800 (Wed, 02 Dec 2020) (SVN revision: 5008)