RBCM Archives

Series GR-0813 - Acts

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Acts

General material designation

  • textual record

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Series

Reference code

GR-0813

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area

Date(s)

  • 1865 (Creation)
    Creator
    Vancouver Island. Colonial Secretary

Physical description area

Physical description

Originals, 2 cm

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Archival description area

Name of creator

Vancouver Island. Colonial Secretary (1859-1866)

Biographical history

The first Colonial Secretary of the Colony of Vancouver Island, William A.G. Young, was appointed by Governor James Douglas in 1859. Prior to that, the affairs of the colony were also the affairs of the Hudson’s Bay Company and were administered by the chief factor (Douglas) and employees of the company. The Colonial Secretary was the administrative assistant to the Governor as well as keeper of the official record for the council, and later, of the Executive and Legislative Councils. From 1859 to 1863, one Colonial Secretary (William Young) served both the Colony of British Columbia and the Colony of Vancouver Island under Governor Douglas. In 1863, the Colonial Office in England instituted constitutional changes that required a separate government for each colony. Along with James Douglas, Young relinquished his position with the Colony of British Columbia but they kept their positions with the Colony of Vancouver Island. Douglas appointed Young, as Colonial Secretary, to the Executive Council, along with the Attorney-General, Treasurer, and Surveyor-General. The Governor was the presiding member, but in the event of his incapacity or absence from the colony, the Colonial Secretary became the officer administering the government. Young travelled to England in 1864/65, during which time Henry P. Wakeford, private secretary to Arthur Kennedy, the new governor of Vancouver Island (1864-1866), performed the duties of the Acting Colonial Secretary. Young returned to the position from 1865 to 1866. In November 1866, the Colony of Vancouver Island was united with the Colony of British Columbia, after which time there was a single Colonial Secretary for the united colony. Edwin Nesbitt served briefly as Colonial Secretary during the transition period. Arthur N. Birch was the first Colonial Secretary for the united Colony of British Columbia.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Acts of the Legislature of the Colony of Vancouver Island. Original manuscript copies signed by Governor Kennedy.

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There are no access restrictions.

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General note

Accession number(s): GR-0813

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Physical storage

  • Box: GR0813-0001