Captain Elliot’s Proclamation (Hong Kong)

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Captain Elliot’s Proclamation  (1841) 
by Charles Elliot

Proclamation about Hong Kong. Date: Issued on 29 January 1841 but dated 2 February 1841.

For the Cantonese translation (粵語翻譯) of this work at the multilingual Wikisource, please see 義律公告.


(Note: The proclamation was actually issued on 29 January 1841 instead of 2 February 1841.)

PROCLAMATION

By Charles Elliot, Esquire, a captain in the Royal Navy, Chief Superintendent of the Trade of British subjects in China, and holding full powers, under the Great Seal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, to execute the office of Her Majesty's Commissioner, Procurator, and Plenipotentiary in China.

The island of Hongkong having been ceded to the British Crown under the seal of the Imperial Minister and High Commissioner Keshen, it has become necessary to provide for the Government thereof, pending Her Majesty's further pleasure.

By virtue of the authority, therefore, in me vested, all Her Majesty's rights, royalties, and privileges of all kinds whatever, in and over the said island of Hongkong whether to or over lands, harbours, property, or personal service, are hereby declared proclaimed, and to Her Majesty fully reserved.

And I do hereby declare and proclaim, that, pending Her Majesty's further pleasure, the government of the said island shall devolve upon, and be exercised by, the person filling the office of Chief Superintendent of the Trade of British subjects in China for the time being.

And I do hereby declare and proclaim, that, pending Her Majesty's further pleasure, the natives of the island of Hongkong, and all natives of China thereto resorting, shall be governed according to the laws and customs of China, every description of torture excepted.

And I do further declare and proclaim, that, pending Her Majesty's further pleasure, all offences committed in Hongkong by Her Majesty's subjects, or other persons than natives of the island or of China thereto resorting, shall fall under the cognizance of the Criminal and Admiralty Jurisdiction presently existing in China.

And I do further declare and proclaim, that, pending Her Majesty's further pleasure, such rules and regulations as may be necessary from time to time for the government of Hongkong shall be issued under the hand and seal of the person filling the office of Chief Superintendent of the Trade of British subjects in China for the time being.

And I do further declare and proclaim, that, pending Her Majesty's further pleasure, all British subjects and foreigners residing in, or resorting to, the island of Hongkong, shall enjoy full security and protection, according to the principles and practice of British law, so long as they shall continue to conform to the authority of Her Majesty's government in and over the island of Hongkong, hereby duly constituted and proclaimed.

Given under my hand and seal of office, on board of Her Majesty's ship Wellesley, at anchor in Hongkong Bay, this second day of February, in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty-one.

GOD SAVE THE QUEEN.

(signed) CHARLES ELLIOT

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