General Murray' s Commission

v1:175

No˙ 2. Copy of a Commission for James Murray, Esq˙, to be Captain General and Governor-in-chief of the Province of Quebec, viz:

G˙R.

George the Third, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, and so forth, to our trusty and well-beloved James Murray, Esquire, greeting:

We, reposing especial trust and confidence in the prudence, courage, and loyalty of you, the said James Murray, of our especial grace, certain knowledge and mere motion, have thought fit to constitute and appoint, and by these presents do constitute and appoint you, the said James Murray, to be our Captain General and Governor-in-chief in and over our Province of Quebec, in America; bounded on the Labrador coast by the river St˙ John; and from thence by a line drawn from the head of that river through the Lake St˙ John to the South end of the Lake Nipissim, from whence the said line crossing the river St˙ Lawrence and the Lake Champlain, in forty-five degrees of northern latitude, passes along the highlands which divide the rivers that empty themselves into the said river St˙ Lawrence from those which fall into the sea; and also along the North coast of the Baye des Chaleurs and the coast of the Gulf of St˙ Lawrence to Cape Rosieres; and from thence crossing the mouth of the river St˙ Lawrence by the West end of the Island of Anticosti, terminates at the aforesaid river St˙ John: together with all the rights, members, and appurtenances whatsoever thereunto belonging.

And we do hereby require and command you to do and execute all things in due manner that shall belong to your said command and the trust we have reposed in you, according to the several powers and directions granted or appointed you by this present commission, and the instructions and authorities herewith given unto you, or by such other powers, instructions, and authorities as shall at any time hereafter be granted or appointed under our signet and sign manual, or by our order in our Privy Council, and according to such reasonable laws and statutes as shall hereafter be made and agreed upon by you with the advice and consent of the Council and Assembly of our said Province under your Government, in such manner and form as is hereinafter expressed.

And our will and pleasure is, that you, the said James Murray, do, after the publication of these our letters patent and after the appointment of our Council for our said Province, in such manner and form as is prescribed in the instructions which you will herewith receive, in the first place, take the oaths appointed to be taken by an Act passed in the first year of the reign of King George the

v1:176

First, intituled, "An Act for the further security of his Majesty' s person and Government, and the succession of the Crown in the heirs of the late Princess Sophia, being Protestants, and for extinguishing the hopes of the pretended Prince of Wales, and his open and secret abettors;" as also that you make and subscribe the declaration mentioned in an Act of Parliament made in the twenty-fifth year of the reign of King Charles the Second, intituled, "An Act for preventing dangers which may happen from Popish recusants;" and likewise, that you take the oath of office usually taken by our Governors in the other Colonies for the due execution of the office and trust of our Captain General and Governor-in-chief in and over our said Province, and for the due and impartial administration of justice; and further, that you take the oath required to be taken by the Governors of the Plantations, to do their utmost that the several laws relating to trade and plantations be duly observed: which said oaths and declarations our Council of our said Province, or any three of the members thereof, have hereby full power and authority and are hereby required, to tender and administer to you.

All which being duly performed, you shall yourself administer to each of the members of our said Council, and to the Lieutenant Governors of Montreal and Trois Rivieres, the said oaths mentioned in the said Act, intituled, "An Act for the further security of his Majesty' s person and Government, and the succession of the Crown in the heirs of the late Princess Sophia, being Protestants, and for extinguishing the hopes of the pretended Prince of Wales, and his open and secret abettors;" and also to cause them to make and subscribe the aforementioned declaration, and also shall administer unto them the usual oaths for the due execution of their places and trust.

And we do further give and grant unto you, the said James Murray, full power and authority from time to time and at any time hereafter, by yourself, or by any other to be authorized by you in this behalf, to administer and give the oaths mentioned in the said Act, "for the further security of his Majesty' s person and Government, and the succession of the Crown in the heirs of the late Princess Sophia, being Protestants, and for extinguishing the hopes of the pretended Prince of Wales, and his open and secret abettors;" to all and every such person or persons as you shall think fit, who shall at any time or times pass into our said Province, or shall be resident or abiding there.

And we do hereby authorize and empower you to keep and use the public seal which will herewith be delivered to you, or shall be hereafter sent to you, for scaling all things whatsoever that shall pass the great seal of our Province.

And we do hereby give and grant unto you, the said James Murray, full power and authority, with the advice and consent of our said Council to be appointed as aforesaid, so soon as the situation and circumstances of our said Province under your Government will admit thereof, and when and as often as need shall require, to summon and call General Assemblies of the freeholders and planters within your Government, in such manner as you in your discretion shall judge most proper; or according to such further powers, instructions, and authorities, as shall be at any time hereafter granted or appointed you under our signet or sign manual, or by our order in our Privy Council.

And our will and pleasure is, that the persons thereupon duly elected by the major part of the freeholders of the respective parishes or precincts, and so returned, shall, before their sitting, take the oaths mentioned in the said Act, intituled, "An Act for the further security of his Majesty' s person and Government, and the succession of the Crown in the heirs of the late Princess Sophia, being Protestants, and for extinguishing the hopes of the pretended Prince of Wales, and his open and secret abettors;" and also make and subscribe the fore-mentioned declaration; which oaths and declaration you shall commissionate fit persons under the public seal of that our Province to tender and administer unto them; and, until the same shall be so taken and subscribed, no person shall be capable of sitting, though elected.

And we do hereby declare, that the persons so elected and qualified shall be called the Assembly of that our Province of Quebec; and that you, the said James Murray,

v1:177

by and with the advice and consent of our said Council and Assembly, or the major part of them, shall have full power and authority to make, constitute, and ordain, laws, statutes, and ordinances, for the public peace, welfare, and good Government of our said Province, and of the people and inhabitants thereof, and such others as shall resort thereunto, and for the benefit of us, our heirs and successors; which said laws, statutes, and ordinances, are not to be repugnant, but, as near as may be, agreeable to the laws and statutes of this our Kingdom of Great Britain.

Provided that all such laws, statutes, and ordinances, of what nature or duration so ever they be, shall be, within three months, or sooner, after the making thereof, transmitted to us, under our seal of our said Province, for our approbation or disallowance of the same, as also duplicates thereof, by the next conveyance.

And in case any, or all, of the said laws, statutes, and ordinances, not before confirmed by us, shall at any time be disallowed and not approved, and so signified by us, our heirs, and successors, under our, or their, signet and sign manual, or by order of our, or their, Privy Council, unto you, the said James Murray, or to the Commander-in-chief of our said Province for the time being, then such and so many of the said laws, statutes, and ordinances, as shall be so disallowed and not approved, shall from thenceforth cease, determine, and become utterly void and of no effect; any thing to the contrary thereof notwithstanding.

And to the end that nothing may be passed or done by our said Council or Assembly to the prejudice of us, our heirs, and successors, we will and ordain that you, the said James Murray, shall have and enjoy a negative voice in the making and passing all laws, statutes, and ordinances, as aforesaid; and that you shall and may likewise from time to time, as you shall judge necessary, adjourn, prorogue, or dissolve all General Assemblies as aforesaid.

And we do by these presents give and grant unto you, the said James Murray, full power and authority, with the advice and consent of our said Council, to erect, constitute, and establish such and so many courts of judicature and public justice within our said Province under your Government as you and they shall think fit and necessary, for the hearing and determining of all causes, as well criminal as civil, according to law and equity, and for awarding execution thereupon, with all reasonable and necessary powers, authorities, fees, and privileges belonging thereto; as also to appoint and commissionate fit persons in the several parts of your Government to administer the oaths mentioned in the aforesaid Act, intituled, "An Act for the further security of his Majesty' s person and Government, and the succession of the Crown in the heirs of the late Princess Sophia, being Protestants, and for extinguishing the hopes of the pretended Prince of Wales, and his open and secret abettors," as also to tender and administer the aforesaid declaration to such persons belonging to the said courts as shall be obliged to take the same.

And we do hereby grant unto you full power and authority to constitute and appoint Judges, and, in cases requisite, Commissioners of Oyer and Terminer, Justices of the Peace, and other necessary officers and ministers, in our said Province, for the better administration of justice, and putting the laws in execution; and to administer, or cause to be administered, unto them, such oath or oaths as are usually given for the due execution and performance of offices and places, and for clearing the truth in judicial causes.

And we do hereby give and grant unto you full power and authority, when you shall see cause, or shall judge any offender or offenders in criminal matters, or for any fines or forfeitures due unto us, fit objects of our mercy, to pardon all such offenders, and remit all such offences, fines, and forfeitures, treason and wilful murder only excepted; in which cases you shall likewise have power, upon extraordinary occasions, to grant reprieves to the offender until, and to the intent that, our royal pleasure may be known therein.

And we do by these presents give and grant unto you full power and authority to collate any person or persons to any churches, chapels, or other ecclesiastical benefices within our said Province, as often as any of them shall happen to be void.

v1:178

And we do hereby give and grant unto you, the said James Murray, by yourself, or by your Captains and Commanders by you to be authorized, full power and authority to levy, arm, muster, command, and employ all persons whatsoever residing within our said Province; and, as occasion shall serve, them to march, embark, or transport, from one place to another, for the resisting and withstanding of all enemies, pirates, and rebels, both at land and sea; and to transport such forces to any of our Plantations in America, if necessity shall require, for the defence of the same against the invasion or attempts of any of our enemies; and such enemies, pirates, and rebels, if there should be occasion, to pursue and prosecute in or out of the limits of our said Province: and, if it shall so please God, them to vanquish, apprehend, and take; and, being taken, according to law to put to death, or keep and preserve alive, at your discretion; and to execute martial law in time of invasion, war, other times, when by law it may be executed; and to do and execute all and every other thing and things which to our Captain General and Governor-in-chief doth, or of right ought to belong.

And we do hereby give and grant unto you full power and authority, by and with the advice and consent of our said Council, to erect, raise, and build in our said Province, such and so many forts, platforms, castles, cities, boroughs, towns, and fortifications, as you, by the advice aforesaid, shall judge necessary, and the same, or any of them, to fortify and furnish with ordinance, ammunition, and all sorts of arms fit and necessary for the security and defence of our said Province; and by the advice aforesaid, the same again, or any of them, to demolish or dismantle as may be most convenient.

And forasmuch as divers mutinies and disorders may happen by persons shipped and employed at sea during the time of war, and to the end that such as shall be shipped and employed at sea during the time of war may be better governed and ordered, we hereby give and grant unto you, the said James Murray, full power and authority to constitute and appoint Captains, Lieutenants, Masters of Ships, and other Commanders and Officers; and to grant to such Captains, Lieutenants, Masters of Ships, and other Commanders and Officers, commissions to execute the law martial, during the time of war, according to the directions of an Act passed in the twenty-second year of the reign of our late royal grandfather, intituled, "An Act for amending, explaining, and reducing into one act of Parliament, the laws relating to the Government of his Majesty' s ships, vessels, and forces, by sea;" and to use such proceedings, authorities, punishments, corrections, and executions upon every offender or offenders, who shall be mutinous, seditious, disorderly, or any way unruly, either at sea, or during the time of their abode or residence in any of the ports, harbours, or bays in our said Province, as the case shall be found to require, according to martial law; and the said directions, during the time of war, as aforesaid.

Provided, that nothing herein contained shall be construed to the enabling you, or any by your authority, to hold plea, or have any jurisdiction of any offence, cause, matter, or thing committed or done upon the high sea, or within any of the havens, rivers, or creeks of our said Province under your Government, by any Captain, Commander, Lieutenant, Master, Officer, Seaman, Soldier, or person whatsoever, who shall be in actual service and pay, in or on board any of our ships of war, or other vessels acting by immediate commission or warrant from our Commissioners for executing the office of High Admiral of Great Britain, or from our High Admiral of Great Britain, for the time being, under the seal of our Admiralty; but that such Captain, Commander, Lieutenant, Master, Officer, Seaman, Soldier, or other person, so offending, shall be left to be proceeded against, and tried, as their offences shall require, either by commission under our great seal of this Kingdom, as the statute of the twenty-eighth of Henry VIII˙ directs; or by commission from our said Commissioners for executing the office of High Admiral of Great Britain, or from our High Admiral of Great Britain, for the time being, according to the aforementioned Act, intituled, "An Act for amending, explaining, and reducing, into one act of Parliament, the laws relating to the Government of his Majesty' s ships, vessels, and forces, by sea;" and not otherwise.

v1:179

Provided nevertheless, that all disorders and misdemeanors committed on shore by any Captain, Commander, Lieutenant, Master, Officer, Seaman, Soldier, or other person whatsoever, belonging to any of our ships of war, or other vessels acting by immediate commission or warrant from our Commissioners for executing the office of High Admiral of Great Britain, or from our High Admiral of Great Britain, for the time being, under the seal of our Admiralty, may be tried and punished according to the laws of the place, where any such disorders, offences, and misdemeanors shall be committed on shore; notwithstanding such offender be in our actual service, and borne in our pay on board any of our ships of war, or other vessels acting by our immediate commission, or warrant from our Commissioners for executing the office of High Admiral of Great Britain, or from our High Admiral of Great Britain, for the time being, as aforesaid, so as he shall not receive any protection for the avoiding of justice for such offences committed on shore from any pretence of his being employed in our service at sea.

And our further will and pleasure is, that all public moneys raised, or which shall be raised, by any act hereafter to be made within our said Province, be issued out by warrant from you, by and with the advice and consent of our Council, as aforesaid, for the support of the Government, and not otherwise.

And we likewise give and grant unto you full power and authority, by and with the advice and consent of our said Council, to settle and agree with the inhabitants of our said Province, for such lands, tenements, and hereditaments, as now are, or hereafter shall be in our power to dispose of, and them to grant to any person or persons upon such terms and under such moderate quit-rents, services, and acknowledgments to be thereupon reserved unto us, as you, with the advice aforesaid, shall think fit; which said grants are to pass, and be sealed by our public seal of our said Province, and being entered upon record by such officer or officers as shall be appointed thereunto, shall be good and effectual in law against us, our heirs, and successors.

Provided the same be conformable to the instructions herewith delivered to you, or to such other instructions as may hereafter be sent to you under our signet and sign manual, or by our order in our Privy Council; which instructions, or any articles contained therein, or any such order made in our Privy Council, so far as the same shall relate to the granting of lands as aforesaid, shall from time to time be published in the Province, and entered on record in like manner as the said grants are hereby directed to be entered.

And we do hereby give you, the said James Murray, full power and authority to order fairs, marts, and markets; and also such and so many ports, harbours, bays, havens, and other places for the conveniency or security of shipping, and for the better loading and unloading of goods and merchandises, in such and so many places, as by you, with the advice and consent of our said Council, shall be thought fit and necessary.

And we do hereby require and command all officers and ministers, civil and military, and all other inhabitants of our said Province to be obedient, aiding, and assisting unto you, the said James Murray, in the execution of this our commission, and of the powers and authorities therein contained; and in case of your death or absence from our said Province and Government, to be obedient, aiding, and assisting, as aforesaid, to the Commander-in-chief for the time being, to whom we do therefore by these presents give and grant all and singular the powers and authorities herein granted to be by him executed and enjoyed, during our pleasure, or until your arrival within our said Province.

And in case of your death or absence from our said Province, our will and pleasure is, that our Lieutenant Governor of Montreal or Trois Rivieres, according to the priority of their commissions of Lieutenant Governor, do execute our said commission with all the powers and authorities therein mentioned, as aforesaid. And in case of the death or absence of our Lieutenant Governors of Montreal and Trois Rivieres from our said Province, and that there shall be no person within our said Province appointed by us to be Lieutenant Governor or Commander-in-chief of our said Province, our will and pleasure is, that the eldest Counsellor, who shall be, at the time of your

v1:180

death or absence, residing within our said Province, shall take upon him the administration of the Government, and execute our said commission and instructions, and the several powers and authorities therein contained, in the same manner and to all intents and purposes, as other our Governor or Commander-in-chief should or ought to do, in case of your absence, or until your return, or in all cases until our further pleasure be known.

And we do hereby declare, ordain, and appoint, that you, the said James Murray, shall and may hold, execute, and enjoy the office and place of our Captain General and Governor-in-chief, in and over our said Province of Quebec, and all the territories dependant thereon, with all and singular the powers and authorities hereby granted unto you, for and during our will and pleasure.

In witness whereof we have caused these our letters to be made patent.

Witness ourself at Westminster, the twenty-first day of November, in the fourth year of our reign. By writ of Privy Seal.

(Signed) YORKE & YORKE.