Rules and Regulations for the conduct of the Land Office Department.
Double column Broadside printed by Wm. Brown, in Mountain-street, Quebec, with English on the left and French on the right. The last paragraph suggests that it was distributed to the Land Boards, where it was to be made public.
[Double “S” or long “S” are transcribed to modern usage. Do not get double or long “S” and “F” mixed up. The “F” has a cross stroke, even if the stroke is hardly noticeable. The context can make clear whether the letter is a long “S” or an “F”. Writers would often use both long and short “S”, sometimes even in the same word.]
Transcriber: Edward KippJanuary 2011
Source: Library and Archives Canada
RG1 L4 Vol. 2. Rules and Regulations for the conduct of the Land Office Department. LAC mf C-14026. PP. 221A & B
Council-ChamberQuebec, 17th February, 1789
RULES and REGULATIONSFor the conduct of the Land Office Department
I. Every Board appointed, or to be appointed by the Governor in any part of the Province, for the more easy accommodation of persons desirous of forming immediate settlements on the waste land of the Crown, shall consist of not less than three Members, and if composed of more, any three of them shall be a Quorum for the business intrusted to the whole Board.
II. Every such Board shall be empowered to receive applications for grants of parcels of the waste lands of the Crown, within the extent of their trust, until the first day of May in the year one thousand seven hundred and ninety-one, when their authority shall be determined, unless continued by a new appointment; every such application shall be by petition to the Governor in Council, stating the quantity, and the situation of the land prayed for, and the merits and pretensions of the petitioners. And all his Majesty’s good and faithful subjects and all worthy of being admitted as such, shall be considered as proper objects for his bounty and grace, and within the sphere of this trust.
III. It shall be the duty of every such Board to hold stated and periodical meeting, made publicly known, to give free and easy access to petitioners, and to examine into their loyalty, character and pretentions, and upon these and all points requisite, to take sufficient and satisfactory proofs by affidavit, deposition or otherwise, and, to avoid discontents, all petitions and applications shall be taken up in order of their being preferred, where there is no special cause for a different course of proceeding.
IV. The safety and propriety of admitting the petitioner to become an inhabitant of this Province being well ascertained to the satisfaction of the Board, they shall administer to every such person the oaths of fidelity and allegiance directed by Law. After which the Board shall give every such petitioner a certificate to the Surveyor-General, or any person authorized to act as an agent or Deputy Surveyor for the District within the trust of that Board, expressing the ground of the petitioner’s admission. And such agent or Deputy Surveyor shall within two days, after the presentment of the certificate, assign the petitioner a single lot of about two hundred acres, describing the same with due certainty and accuracy under his signature. But the said certificate shall nevertheless have no effect, if the petitioner shall not enter upon the location and begin the improvement and cultivation thereof within one year from the date of such assignment, or if the petitioner shall have had lands assigned to him before that time, in any other part of the province.
V. Every such Board shall at the end of every three months or as soon after as opportunity offers, transmit to the Office of the Governor’s Secretary the petitions of that period, and a copy of the certificates given thereon; and when a petition contains a request for a greater quantity of land, than the Surveyor-general and his Agents or Deputy Surveyors are authorized by the fourth and seventh Articles of these Regulations to assign, upon certificates given by the said Boards, they shall report the ground of such claim and pretensions, the consideration of which is reserved to the Governor and Council; the Board transmitting with the petitions of every period a list expressing the names of the petitioners and the dates of their certificates, and the quantum of the locations.
VI. The Boards shall from time to time forward like lists to each other every three months, or as soon after as opportunity offers.
VII. The respective Boards shall, on petitions from Loyalists already settled in the upper Districts for further allotments of land under the instructions to the Deputy Surveyor-general, of the 2d of June, 1787, or under prior or other orders for assigning portions to their families, examine into the ground of such requests and claims, and being well satisfied of the justice thereof, they shall grant certificates for such further quantities of land, as the said instructions and orders may warrant, to the acting Surveyors of their districts respectively, to be by them made effectual in the manner before mentioned; but to be void nevertheless, if, prior to the passing the grant in form, it shall appear to the Government that such additional locations have been obtained by fraud. – And that of theses, the Boards transmit to the Office of the Governor’s Secretary, and to each other, like reports and lists as herein before, as to other locations, directed.
VIII. And to prevent individuals from monopolizing such spots as contain mines, minerals, fossils, and conveniences for mills and other singular advantages of a common and public nature, to the prejudice of the general interest of the settlers, the Surveyor-general and his Agents or Deputy Surveyors in the different Districts, shall confine themselves in the locations to be made by them upon certificates of the respective Boards, to such lands only as are fit for the common purposes of husbandry, and they shall reserve all other spots aforementioned, together with all such as may be fit and useful for ports and harbours, or works of defence, or such as contain valuable timber for ship-building or other purposes, conveniently situated for water-carriage, in the hands of the Crown.
And they shall without delay give full particular information to the Governor or Commander in chief for the time being, of all such spots as are herein before directed to be reserved for the Crown, that order may be taken respecting the same.
And the more effectually to prevent abuses, and to put individuals on their guard in this respect, any certificate of location given contrary to the true intent and meaning of this regulation is hereby declared to be null and void, and a special order of the Governor and Council made necessary to pledge the faith of Government for granting of any such spots as are directed to be reserved.
IX. The Surveyor-general’s Office for the purpose of combining the strength of the settlers and rendering them mutually assistant to each other, shall lay out the tracts or Townships to be granted as nearly contiguous to each other as the nature of the country will permit; exercising all due care to give them certainty in the descriptions of their boundaries and locations, observing in each Township to lay out Town plots, Glebes and other spaces for public uses, and certain equal portions at the corners thereof, to remain unlocated by any certificates to be given to individuals, by the authority of either of the Boards above mentioned; the grant of such portions of every Township so to remain to the Crown, being reserved to the future consideration of the Governor and Council, or as his Majesty shall be pleased to command respecting the same.
X. The dimensions of every inland Township shall be ten miles square, and such as are situated upon a navigable river or water shall have a front of nine miles, and be twelve miles in depth, and they shall be laid out and subdivided respectively in the following manner, viz.
(See The Note)
Note. The detail for the subdivision of Townships, above alluded to, referring to the Diagrams to be filed in the Council Office, is omitted.
And the Surveyor-general’s Office shall prepare accurate plans according to the above particulars, which shall be filed in the Council Office to be followed as a general model, subject to such deviations respecting the scite of the Town and direction of the roads, as local circumstances may render more elegible for the general convenience of the settlers. But in every such case it shall be the duty of the Surveyor-general and his Agents or Deputy Surveyors to report the reason for such deviation to the Governor or Commander in Chief for the time being with all convenient speed.
XI. The Surveyor-general’s Office shall prepare a plan of each District of the Province exhibiting thereon every tract granted under certificate of location, and there shall be added to it from time to time all tracts hereafter to be pledged or promised or granted; and as often as a petition shall have the proper function for the patent therein prayed for, the Surveyor-general shall without delay file in the Council Office his returns of survey with such clear description of the tract as shall enable the Attorney-general to prepare the draft of the patent or grant intended to be engrossed for the Great Seal.
XII. The Clerk of the Council shall out the same returns of survey into the hands of the Attorney-general, who shall return them with his draft of the patent into the Office of the Governor’s Secretary, to be there stayed, or thence issued, as the Governor may see cause to direct.
XIII. The Surveyor-general’s Office shall consult the best means and give correspondent orders to its Deputies for presenting unnecessary expence in the surveys; the Crown’s interest requiring that the patentee receive no more, nor any other tract, than it shall appear from the patent to be the intention of the government to grant him, and the patentee having cause to be contented if the descriptive words in his grant shall enable him to locate and discover with due certainty what tract he is to take; and it being manifest that after such actual surveys as shall be requisite to ascertain an particular Township or tract, the description of another contiguous thereto or depending thereon, will not require any field work previous to the grant thereof; all subsequent grants in contiguity and succession properly described in the returns of survey being connected with or dependant upon the accurate description and ascertainment of the first tract surveyed.
XIV. The Committee of the Council for reporting upon petitions for lands shall lay aside all such as contain no specific quantity or location of lands desired, and from time to time cause a notification of such imperfect petitions to be published in the Quebec Gazette.
XV. The faith of the Government being to be considered as pledged to all such as have acquired or shall in future acquire certificates of occupation in due course, the Surveyor-general’s Office shall form a schedule of all lots under such certificates in any part of the Province, specifying the petitioners names, the quantum of the location, the place where, and the date, and a copy thereof shall be lodged in the Office of the Governor’s Secretary, another in the Office of the Clerk of the Council, and a copy shall be sent to each of the Boards in the different parts of the Province, and the like practice shall be continued as to all subsequent certificates, at the end of every three months.
XVI. And to the intent that there may be as little trouble and as much expedition as possible, with a saving of all unnecessary expence in obtaining grants and patents, and more especially to favour the Loyalists and other settlers remote from the capital of the province, the Secretary shall from time to time notify in the Gazette, all such applications for lands as are so far advanced as to be ready for the Great Seal.
Ordered, that all Boards and officers of the Land-granting Department govern themselves according to the foregoing Rules and Regulations; and that the Clerk of the Council cause the same to be printed, and transmit copies thereof to the different Boards, to be made public in their respective Districts, and to all Officers concerned.
By His Excellency’s Command,
QUEBEC: Printed by Wm. Brown, in Mountain-street.