« PreviousContinue »
America, that are under his immediate government, to wit, by a governour, council, and affembly of the freeholders and planters of the same, and in the mean time, shall enjoy the benefit of the laws of England ;-—fourthly, the commission of captain-general and governour in chief of the said province under the great feal of Great-Britain, given to major-general Murray in November, 1964, impowering him; amongst other things, to call an assembly of protestants in the said province, as foon as he shall find it practicable, and, with the consent of such assembly and of the council of the province, to make laws and ordinances for the benefit of the said province, but not giving him any power to make any laws, or ordinances, whatsoever by the advice and consent of the council of the province only; and impowering him likewise to collate persons (protestant priests, as it is fupposed) to all the ecclesiastical benefices in the said province ;--- and fifthly, the ordinances made by the said governour of that province, with the consent of the council of the fame only, by virtue of an instruction for that purpose under the King's fignet and sign manual (purporting to impower him to make rules and regulations in the said province, by the advice and consent of the council of the said province only, provided that the said rules and regulations do not tend to affect either the life, or limb, or liberty of the subject, or to the raising any duties or taxes) for erecting courts of justice in the said province; in which ordinances the chief justice of the said province, who is the only judge of the court of King's Bench thereby erected, is directed to determine all matters, criminal and civil, according to the laws of England;
and fixthly, the commission of vice-admiral, granted to the said major-general Murray, whereby all the laws of the English court of admiralty were introduced into the faid province; and seventhly and lastly, the statute of the firft of Queen Elizabeth, for restoring to the crown of England the antient jurisdiction over the estate ecclesiastical and spiritual; which prohibits all exercise of the Pope's pretended power and jurisdiction in all the dominions of the crown of England, as well in those that hereafter should belong to it, as in those that belonged to it at that time, and consequently in the faid province of Quebec; and soine other acts of parliament both before and fince the conquest of the said province, which manifestly extend to and bind it. All these instruments are evidently neceffary to be carefully considered upon this occafion by the members of his Majesty's privy-council ; and, if (as there is good reason to hope it will) this important subject should be brought before the two houses of parliament, to be considered also by the members of those. houses. Now this could not easily be done without the help of some such collection as the present: because the above-mentioned instruments are no where else to be found printed together; and many of them are not printed at all in any other book, but lie dispersed in the original manuscripts only, or in the records of the several public offices; from which it would be very expensive, and be attended with great delay, to cause a sufficient number of copies for the use of so many persons to be transcribed. It is therefore hoped that the present collection of them will be thought a proper and useful work. tains, besides the important inftruments above-mentioned,
some other papers of a public nature, or that have a tendency to explain the present condition of the province of Quebec. Such are the reports concerning the state of the laws in the said province, and the administration of justice in the same, in pages i -48, and 50-56; the plan for the administration of justice in the said province, in pages 58-67; the draughts of two intended ordinances concerning the laws and the administration of justice, the one for continuing the French laws relating to landed property, in pages 68– -70, the other for establishing monthly sessions of the supreme court of justice in the said province, in pages 71-74; the account of the King's iron mines near Three Rivers in the said province, in
pages 207, et seq. and the account of the French duties on wine, rum, and brandy, imported into the said province before the conquest of it, and of the trials of the suits instituted at Quebec for the recovery of those duties for the crown in October, 1766; and July, 1769, in pages 288-311; and a few more papers of the like kind, which, it is hoped, will be found to be of some use towards attaining a right knowledge of the condition of the said province. But for a more particular account, of the matters comprized in this collection, I must refer the reader to the following table of contents.
The T A B L E of
NUM B E R , X.