Colonial Office Circular, 1 March 1831

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Colonial Office Circular, 1 March 1831  (1831) 


Information for the use of those who may
propose to embark as Settlers in the
new Settlement of Western Australia

It has been determined by His Majesty's Government that land shall in future be disposed of in Western Australia upon the same principles as in New South Wales and Van Viemen's Land; that the encouragement hitherto given to persons who might incur the expense of taking out labouring persons to the Colony will not be entirely withdrawn at present.

The following is a summmary of the Rules which it has been thought fit to substitute for those dated the 20th of July 1830.

1st. A Division of the whole Territory into Counties, Hundreds, and Parishes, is in progress. When that Division shall be completed, each Parish will comprise an area of about twenty-five square miles.

2nd. All the lands in the Colony not hitherto grants, and not appropriated for public purposes, will be put up to sale. The price will of course depend upon the quality of the land and its local situation; but no land will be sold below the value of five shillings per acre.

3rd. All persons proposing to purchase land not advertised for sale, must transmit a written application to the Governor, in a certain prescribed form, which will be delivered at the Surveyor's Office to all persons applying on payment of the requisite fee of two shillings and six pence.

4th. Those persons who are desirous of purchasing, will be allowed to select within certain defined limits, such portions of land as they may wish to acquire in that manner. These portions of land will be advertised for sale for three Calendar months; and will then be sold to the highest bidder provided that such bidding shall at least amount to the price fixed by the Article 2nd.

5th. A deposit of 10 per cent upon the whole value of the purchase, must be paid down at the time of sale, and the remainder must be paid within one calendar month from the day of sale; previous to which the purchaser will not be put into possession of the land; and in case of payment not being made within the prescribed period, the sale will be considered void and the deposit forfeited.

6th. On payment of the money a Grant will be made in fee simple to the purchaser, at the nominla Quit Rent of a peppercorn. Previous to the delivery of such Grant, a fee of forty shillings will be payable to the Colonial Secretary for preparing the Grant and another fee of five shillings for enrolling it.

7th. The land will generally be put up to sale in lots of one square mile, or 640 acres, but smaller lots that 640 acres may under particular circumstances be purchased on application to the Governor in writing, with full explanation the reasons for which parties wish to purchase a smaller quantity.

8th. The Crown reserves to itself the right of making and constructing such roads and bridges as may be necessary for public purposes, in all lands purchased as above, and also to such indigenous timber, stone, and other materials, the produce of the land, as may be required for making and keeping the said roads and bridges in repair, and for any other public work; the Crown further reserves to itself all mines of precious metals.

9th. Those settlers who may incur the expense of taking out labouring persons to the Settlement will be entitled to an abatement of the price at which the land may have ben purchased, at the rate of £20 for the passage of every married labourer and his family.

10th. Persons claiming such an abatement from the price paid for land will be held responsible for any expense the Colonial Authorities may be compelled to incur for the maintenance during the first year after the arrival of the labourers in respect of whom it has been allowed.

1st March, 1831

This work was published before January 1, 1926, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.