British Columbia (Colony). Colonial Secretary

Identity area

Type of entity

Government

Authorized form of name

British Columbia (Colony). Colonial Secretary

Parallel form(s) of name

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

Other form(s) of name

  • Colonial Secretary

Identifiers for corporate bodies

Description area

Dates of existence

1859-1871

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 territories known as New Caledonia were under grant to the Hudson’s Bay Company and were administered by the chief factor (Douglas) and employees of the company. The Government of British Columbia Act (21-22 Vict., c. 99) provided for a legislature with a council and an assembly, but from 1858 to 1864 absolute power and authority for the colony was invested by the Crown in the Governor James Douglas. 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.

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, serving from 1864-1867. He was appointed by the Colonial Office in England where he had been private secretary to Edward Lytton, Secretary of State for the Colonies.

During the 1865/66 term, Birch was replaced by Henry M. Ball in an acting position while Birch acted as the officer administering the government in the absence of Governor Seymour. Ball was a County Court Judge in Lytton and a member of the Legislative Council. In 1867, when Victoria was designated the capital of the colony, Birch left the colony and William Young took on the dual appointments of Acting Colonial Secretary and Acting Treasurer, and served as the Acting Colonial Secretary until 1869. Philip J. Hankin, former secretary to Arthur Kennedy, Governor of the Colony of Vancouver Island, and also Superintendent of Police (1864-1866), was appointed by the Colonial Office, over Young, as the last Colonial Secretary for the Colony of British Columbia. Hankin served in the position from 1869 to 1871, except for a few months when Charles Good, chief clerk in the office of the Colonial Secretary, was acting in the position.

In 1871, the Colony of British Columbia joined confederation as a province of the Dominion of Canada. The position of Colonial Secretary remained as a provincial office and, in 1872, was renamed to Provincial Secretary.

Places

Legal status

Functions, occupations and activities

Administrative assistant to the governor and keeper of the official record.

Mandates/sources of authority

Internal structures/genealogy

A Government Name

General context

Relationships area

Related entity

British Columbia. Colonial Secretary (1871-1872)

Identifier of related entity

101

Category of relationship

temporal

Type of relationship

British Columbia. Colonial Secretary

is the successor of

British Columbia (Colony). Colonial Secretary

Dates of relationship

Description of relationship

Related entity

Vancouver Island. Colonial Secretary (1859-1866)

Identifier of related entity

4

Category of relationship

temporal

Type of relationship

Vancouver Island. Colonial Secretary

is the predecessor of

British Columbia (Colony). Colonial Secretary

Dates of relationship

Description of relationship

Access points area

Subject access points

Place access points

Occupations

Control area

Authority record identifier

3

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used

ISAAR(CPF)

Status

Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Michael Carter 2008-07-28
Revised: RMCRORY 2021-02-29

Language(s)

Script(s)

Sources

Central Name Authority File

Maintenance notes

Created by: Michael Carter

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