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Description found in Archives
Series consists of
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Scope and content
Series consists of despatches and enclosures received by the Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick or the Chief Administrative Officer of the Colony from the Secretary of State for the Colonies, the Governor-in-Chief of Canada, the British Minister at Washington, other Governors and Lieutenant Governors and other officials both public and private, 1784-1865; letter book and contemporary copies of numbered despatches and enclosures sent from the Office of the Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick to the Secretary of State for the Colonies, the Governor-in-Chief of Canada, the British Minister at Washington, other Governors and Lieutenant Governors in North America and other individuals, public and private, 1784-1853; letter book copies of numbered and private or confidential despatches sent by the Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick to the Secretary of State for the Colonies, the Governor-in-Chief, the British Minister at Washington and other Governors and Lieutenant Governors in British North America, 1824-1826 and 1861-1867; subject and nominal indexes to despatches received and sent between April 1848 and July 1867 and a schedule of despatches received and sent, 1789-1790. Despatches received from the Colonial Office and copies of despatches sent were filed and preserved in each Lieutenant Governor's office, although customs in recording and filing varied from province to province, and over time. The surviving records exhibit many similarities: chronological sequences, the use of entry books and the preparation of schedules or registers to provide ready access. While many of the surviving series of records from the Lieutenant Governors' offices are incomplete, the practice of recording the text of outgoing despatches in entry books, and of providing reference copies for interested parties, has created certain overlaps between the records preserved by the governors and by the Colonial Office. Taken together, the various series provide a comprehensive record.
Copyright belongs to the Crown.
In order to protect the fragile originals, many records in this series have been microfilmed and the originals withdrawn from circulation. The microfilm must be used for consultation and copying rather than the originals. Further details are provided in the relevant sub-series descriptions.
Finding aids that relate to the contents of specific sub-series are described in the entries for those lower levels. (Paper)
Biography / Administrative history
New Brunswick was made a separate jurisdiction in 1784, under a Lieutenant Governor. From 1786 until Confederation, the Governor-in-Chief of Quebec or Lower Canada held a Commission as Governor-in-Chief for each of the maritime provinces in British North America. While the Royal Instructions were addressed to the Governor-in-Chief, they were carried out by the respective Lieutenant Governors.
The Governor or Lieutenant Governor of each colony in British North America may be seen to have maintained three levels of communication, which are reflected in the structure of the record-keeping systems in their offices. At the first level were despatches exchanged with the Colonial Office (for which see the description of despatches in the Correspondence with the Colonial Office series, elsewhere within this fonds). At the second level were despatches exchanged with fellow governors and senior officials who might be categorized as colleagues. The entry books demonstrate substantial variations in place and time as to who was considered a colleague. At both levels, the despatches were prepared for the governor's signature (though rarely in his own hand). At the third level were letters addressed to and received from subordinates (for which see the description of the Secretaries' correspondence, in the Civil Secretary's correspondence received sub-series in the Office of the Governor-in-Chief of the Province of Canada series, elsewhere within this fonds). Responsibility for preparing and signing correspondence at this level was delegated to the Private, Civil or Military Secretaries. Great consistency is evident in the segregation of despatches prepared in the Governor's name (first and second levels) from letters prepared at his orders but signed by his Secretaries (third level).
As a representative of the Crown in and for the colonies of British North America, each Governor or Lieutenant Governor undertook certain responsibilities for external relations and was obliged to maintain a close degree of co-operation with the British Minister at Washington. Filing practices demonstrate that the despatches were considered as communications with colleagues. The same may be said of correspondence with the Commander of the Forces.
Lieutenant governors and administrators of New Brunswick between 1784 and 1867 include: Thomas Carleton, Governor, 22 November 1784; Lieutenant-Governor, 30 October 1786; went to England on leave 4 October 1803 and did not return. Gabriel Ludlow, Administrator, 5 October 1803; died 12 February 1808; Edward Winslow, Administrator, 12 February-23 May 1808; Martin Hunter, Administrator, 24 May 1808-15 June 1812. Short term administrators during this period were George Johnstone, 17 December 1808-26 April 1809 and William Balfour, 11 September-13 November 1811. George Strachey Smyth, Administrator, 15 June 1812-16 August 1813; Sir Thomas Saumarez, Administrator, 17 August 1813-3 July 1814; George Strachey Smyth, Administrator, 3 July 1814-24 June 1816; Harris William Hailes, Administrator, 2 July 1816-29 June 1817; George Strachey Smyth, Lieutenant-Governor, 29 June 1817; died 27 March 1823; Ward Chipman, Administrator, 1 April 1823; died 9 February 1824. James Murray Bliss, Administrator, 21 February-27 August 1824; Sir Howard Douglas, Lieutenant-Governor, 28 August 1824-8 September 1831. Douglas returned to England to help prepare the Marine Boundary case in 1829. The Administrator during his absence (30 March 1829-8 September 1831) was William Black. Sir Archibald Campbell, Lieutenant-Governor, 8 September 1831-1 June 1837; Sir John Harvey, Lieutenant-Governor, 1 June 1837-25 April 1841; Sir William Colebrooke, Lieutenant-Governor, 26 April 1841-10 April 1848; Sir Edmund Walker Head, Lieutenant-Governor, 11 April 1848-28 September 1854; John H.T. Manners-Sutton, Lieutenant-Governor, 7 October 1854-25 October 1861; Arthur Hamilton Gordon, Lieutenant-Governor, 26 October 1861- 30 September 1866. During this period John Amber Cole served as Administrator at intervals between, 7 September 1862 and 27 October 1865. The final Administer of New Brunswick before Confederation was Charles Hastings Doyle, Administrator, 1 October 1866-30 June 1867. RG7 General Inventory
The term letter book has been used generally to describe volumes in which the text of documents was recorded. Entry book is the more correct generic term for such volumes, when all manner of documents are recorded therein; letter book should be reserved for volumes in which only correspondence was recorded.
The index to an entry book can facilitate access to records outside the series in which it is located and to which it immediately relates. Incoming correspondence can be traced and identified through the dates and other clues provided in the replies.
Entry books customarily were prefaced with a table of contents or schedule listing the despatch number and date, the addressee, the subject, and details respecting enclosures. At various times, a separate register or index of despatches received or sent was compiled, but practices varied substantially over time and from province to province.
One additional volume, now described within the Indexes sub-series (volume 66), was among the duplicates from CO 412 that the Public Record Office transferred to the custody of the National Archives following the PRO reorganization of 1908-1910.
A photostat copy of an entry book, now described within the Civil Government letter books sub-series (volumes 60-61), was received in 1923 from a private source. Note that the originals from which the photostat copies were made, were subsequently acquired by the National Archives in 1931.
Provenance of volume 66 was established by examination. The provenance of the series was verified by consultation of R. B. Pugh's Colonial Office Handbook; the Files from the 1909-41 Central Registry System series (see file 24A) found elsewhere within this fonds; and by comparison of volumes 60-61 with volume 3 of the Sir Howard Douglas and family collection (R2455, formerly MG24-A3).
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