No. 34
Victoria Vancouver's Island
27 November 1858
I have the honor to communicate for your information,
  • Ships
    • Satellite
  • Ships
    • Otter
  • Government
    • establishment of
that I proceeded, on the 16th of instant, by Her Majesty's Ship "Satellite" to Point Roberts, and from thence by the Hudson's Bay Company's steamers "Otter" and "Beaver" to Fort Langley to proclaim the Act of Parliament providing
  • Fort Langley
    • proclamation of government
for the Government of British Columbia.  
2. I was kindly accompanied by Rear Admiral Baynes,
  • Baynes, Rear Admiral Robert, L.
    • attends inauguration of goverment
on that occasion, by Mr Cameron Chief Justice of Vancouver's
  • Begbie, Matthew B.
    • attends inauguration of government
  • Begbie, Matthew B.
    • arrival in colony
, and Mr Begbie the Judge of British Columbia, who arrived from San Francisco on the Evening of the 15th of instant, just in time to take part in the solemnity.  
3. Capt Parsons with the first Detachment of Royal
  • Parsons, Capt. Robert M.
    • attends inqauguration of government
  • Grant, Capt. John M.
    • attends inauguration of government
  • Brew, Chartres
    • attends inauguration of government
Engineers also accompanied me from this place, Captain Grant with the second detachment
and also Inspector Brew having preceeded me by a few days.  
4. The ceremony was performed at Fort Langley with becoming solemnity on the 19th inst. in the presence of these Gentlemen, Her Majesty's Troops, and the inhabitants of the place, and the officers holding appointments from Her Majesty were installed in the usual manner, and with the accustomed forms.  
5. Proclamations were then made
  • Proclamations
    • revoking rights of HBC
1st of the Revocation by Her Majesty of all
the exclusive privileges of the Hudson's Bay Company.  
2nd Indemnifying the Officers of Government from
  • Proclamations
    • indemnifying officers of government
all irregularities previous to the proclamation of the act.  
3rd Proclaiming English Law to be the Law of the
  • Proclamations
    • English law operative in colony
6. Copies of those Proclamations are herewith transmitted for the information of Her Majesty's Government.  
7. I returned to this place on the 21st of inst. with Rear Admiral Baynes and all the other Gentlemen who accompanied
me to Fort Langley, except Inspector Brew and Captain's Grant and Parsons who were left with the Royal Engineers at old Fort Langley.  
I have etc.
James Douglas
Minutes by CO staff
Mr Merivale
Signify approval of the steps taken by the Governor for the inauguration of the Colony of B. Columbia.  
Apprize the Hudson's Bay Co of the fact of the revocation of their License in the Colony having been promulgated there on the [blank].  
Communicate to Parlt with the other papers which are in preparation for that object.  
It would, I think, be very desirable that all the B. Columbia papers which are to be given to Parlt should be placed immediately in the hands of the Parliamentary Clerk as an early account of what H.M. Govt have done in the matter will enhance the good effect, which I trust will be produced on the public, when the details in the establishment of this new Colony are known.  
31 Jany
Very desirable indeed.  
Jan 31
Annex drafts as proposed to Govr & H.B.C.  
Feby 1
Other documents included in the file
  • Draft reply, Lytton to Douglas, No. 21, 11 February 1859.  
  • Carnarvon to H. Berens, Hudson's Bay Company, 15 February 1859, informing him of the revocation of the license.  
  • This letter to be inserted in substitution for one of the same date.  
  1. 1, "Beaver" The Beaver, one of British Columbia's best-known steamships, was a wooden sidewheeler, 100' 9" x 20 ' x 11', built for the Hudson's Bay Company by Green, Wigrams and Green, in Blackwall, England and launched in May 1835. It arrived at Fort Vancouver in April 1836 and was used by the company until 1874, when it was sold to ?? for ?? The ship was wrecked at Prospect Point in Burrard Inlet in July 1888. For a history of the ship's construction and arrival in the colony, see W. Kaye Lamb, The Advent of the 'Beaver', BCHQ 2 (1938): 163-84.
  2. 5, Bay Company. = Proclamation, 19 Nov 58, HBC license Revocation of license of 30th May, 1838, to Hudson's Bay Company, for Exclusive Trading with Indigenous peoples, in so far as the same embraces the Territories comprised in British Columbia, 3 November 1858, in Revised Statutes of British Columbia 1871, Appendix, pp. 228-29). Cf fn in Douglas to Lytton, 26 October 1858, No. 6, 12724, CO 60/1, p. 245.
  3. 5, of the act. = Proclamation, 19 Nov 58, Indemnification Proclamation having the Force of Law to indemnify the Governor and other Officers for Acts done before the Establishment of any Legitimate Authority in British Columbia, 19 November 1858, in Revised Statutes of British Columbia 1871, Appendix, pp. 230-31).
  4. 5, of the Colony. Proclamation Having the Force of Law to Declare that English Law Is in Force in British Columbia, 19 November 1858, British Columbia, List of Proclamations. Or in Papers?? Delete from 7016, ??
Despatch to London:
Douglas to Lytton, 27 November 1858, National Archives of the UK, 1050, CO 60/1. The Colonial Despatches of Vancouver Island and British Columbia 1846-1871. Ed. James Hendrickson and the Colonial Despatches project. Victoria: University of Victoria. Accessed 15 December 2018. 

Last modified: 11:45:24, 4/12/2018