Report on the Affairs of British North America/Commission
Victoria, by the grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Queen, Defender of the Faith. TO Our right trusty and right well-beloved Cousin and Councillor, John George Earl of Durham, Knight Grand Cross of the Most Noble Order of the Bath, Greeting : Whereas, by five several Commissions under the Great Seal of Our United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, We have constituted and appointed you, the said John George Earl of Durham, to be Our Captain General and Governor-in-Chief in and over each of Our Provinces of Lower Canada, Upper Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, and in and over Our Island of Prince Edward, in North America: And We have, by the said several Commissions, made provision for the administration of the government of Our said Provinces and of the said Island respectively, in the event of your absence, by authorizing the respective Lieutenant-Governors or Administrators of the Governments of the said Provinces and of the said Islands respectively, in that contingency, to exercise the powers by the said Commissions respectively granted to you: And whereas We have, by a Commission under the Great Seal of Our said United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, constituted and appointed our trusty and well-beloved Henry Prescott, Esquire, Captain in Our Royal Navy, to be Our Governor and Commander-in-Chief in and over our Island of Newfoundland and its dependencies: And whereas there are at present certain weighty affairs to be adjusted in the said Provinces of Lower and Upper Canada: Now know you, That We, reposing especial trust and confidence in the prudence, courage and loyalty of you, the said John George Earl of Durham, have, of Our especial grace, certain knowledge, and mere motion, thought fit to constitute and appoint, and do hereby constitute and appoint you, the said John George Earl of Durham, to be Our High Commissioner for the adjustment of certain important questions depending in the said Provinces of Lower and Upper Canada respecting the form and future government of the said Provinces: And We do hereby give and grant unto you, the said John George Earl of Durham, as such High Commissioner as aforesaid, full power and authority in Our name and in Our behalf, by all lawful ways and means, to inquire into, and, as far as may be possible, to adjust all questions depending in the said Provinces of Lower and Upper Canada, or either of them, respecting the Form and Administration of the Civil Government thereof respectively: And whereas, with a view to the adjustment of such questions. We have deemed it expedient to invest you with the further powers hereinafter mentioned: Now know you, That We do in like manner constitute and appoint you, the said John George Earl of Durham, to be Our Governor-General of all the said Provinces on the Continent of North America, and of the said Islands of Prince Edward and Newfoundland: And We do hereby require and command all Our Officers, Civil and Military, and all other Inhabitants of Our said Provinces, and of Our said Islands respectively, to be obedient, aiding and assisting unto you, the said John George Earl of Durham, in the execution of this Our Commission, and of the several powers and authorities herein contained: Provided nevertheless, and We do hereby declare Our pleasure to be, that in the execution of the powers hereby vested in you, the said John George Earl of Durham, you do in all things conform to such instructions as may from time to time be addressed to you for your guidance by Us, under Our Sign Manual and Signet, or by Our Order in Our Privy Council, or through one of Our Principal Secretaries of State: Provided also, and We do hereby declare Our pleasure to be, that nothing herein contained shall extend, or be construed to extend, to revoke or to abrogate the said Commission under the Great Seal of Our said United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland appointing the said Henry Prescott Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Our said Island of Newfoundland, and its dependencies, as aforesaid: And We do hereby declare, ordain and appoint that you, the said John George Earl of Durham, shall and may hold, execute and enjoy the said offices of High Commissioner and Governor-General of Our said Provinces on the Continent of North America, and of the said Islands of Prince Edward and Newfoundland, as aforesaid, together 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 Thirty-first day of March, in the First year of Our Reign.
By Writ of Privy Seal.