Romaine to Rogers (Permanent Under-Secretary)
18th July 1864
With reference to Mr Elliot's Letter of the 18th Inst, enclosing a Copy of a Letter from the Governor of British Columbia relative to the Massacre of a Party of Roadmakers by Indians, and requesting that suitable support and protection may be afforded by the Naval Forces to the Governor; I am commanded by My Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to send you herewith, for the information of Mr Secretary Cardwell, a Copy of the Instructions on this subject sent to the Senior Officer of Her Majesty's Ships at Esquimalt by the Mail of the 16th Inst.  
My Lords observe that Governor Seymour in his Letter uses the expression "I dispatched a Gun Boat &c," but they hope that the expression has been used inadvertently and that it is not intended to imply that he has any authority over Her Majesty's Naval Officers.  
I am Sir,
Your most obedient Servt
W.G. Romaine
Minutes by CO staff
Sir F. Rogers
Copy to Governor Seymour, with reference to Mr Cardwell's desph of the 16th instt.  
Is it necessary to notice the observation of the Admy abt the despatch of the Gun boat. The Governor having succeeded in borrowing the assistance of a Gun boat she was necessarily sent by him, where, in his opinion, she cd be most useful. It is not to be implied, I think, that he meant to assume "authority over H.M. Naval Officers."  
19 July
No. But Governors are continually using expressions of this kind, of wh the Admy never fail to complain. It is therefore desirable that he shd be put on his guard. I shd add that Mr Cardwell takes it for granted that Mr Seymour is fully aware that the Govr has no authy over H.M's Ships & that the word noticed by the Lords Crs was used in the freedom of semi-official correspce.  
The tone of the Admy letter is rather calculated to discourage cooperation with the Governor.  
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
  • Copy, Romaine to Rear Admiral Denman, 16 July 1864, concerning his actions and responsibilities with regard to such instances as the massacre of road workers.  
  • Extract of Minute, Seymour to Rogers, 1 June 1864, concerning his securing of naval assistance after the massacre.  
Other documents included in the file
  • Draft reply, Cardwell to Seymour, No. 23, 16 July 1864.  
  • Memo
    Prepared and approved by Mr Cardwell; and despatched on the 16th Inst.  
    18 Jy
Other documents included in the file
  • Rough draft of despatch No. 23 as noted above, extensively revised, in Elliot's hand.  
  • Colonial Office to Secretary to the Admiralty, 16 July 1864, forwarding private letter of the governor reporting the state of affairs in the colony, and asking that appropriate instructions be issued to ensure provision of adequate naval support as required.  
  • Rogers to Secretary to the Admiralty, 1 August 1864, advising that "no interference was intended with the authority of the Naval Officers," but trusting that they would offer such assistance as requisite to ensure "efficient protection to life & property."  
Public Offices document:
Romaine to Rogers (Permanent Under-Secretary), 18 July 1864, National Archives of the UK, 6810, CO 60/20. The Colonial Despatches of Vancouver Island and British Columbia 1846-1871. Ed. James Hendrickson and the Colonial Despatches project. Victoria: University of Victoria. Accessed 10 December 2018. 

Last modified: 11:50:37, 4/12/2018