Quebec Act

June 22, 1774

…Be it enacted… That all the territories, islands, and countries in North America, belonging to the crown of Great Britain, bounded on the south by a line from the bay of Chaleurs, along the high lands which divide the rivers that empty themselves into the river Saint Lawrence from those which fall into the sea, to a point in forty-five degrees of northern latitude, on the eastern bank of the river Connecticut, keeping the same latitude directly west, through the lake Champlain, unil, in the same latitude, it meets the river Saint Lawrence; from thence up the eastern bank of the said river to the lake Ontario; thence through the lake Ontario, and the river commonly called Niagara; and thence along by the eastern and south-eastern bank of lake erie, following the said bank, until the same shall be intersected by the northern boundary, granted by the charter of the province of Pennsylvania, in case the same shall be so intersected; and from thence along the said northern and western boundaries of the said province, until the said western boundary strike the Ohio: but in case the said bank of the said lake shall not be found to be so intersected, then following the said bank until it shall arrive at that point of the said bank which shall be nearest to the northwestern angle of the said province of Pennsylvania; and thence, by a right line, to the said north-western angle of the said province; and thence along the western boundary of the said province, until it strike the river Ohio; and along the bank of the said river westward, to the banks of the Mississippi, and northward to the southern boundary of the territory granted to the merchants adventurers of England, trading to Hudson’s Bay; and also all such territories, islands, and countries, which have, since the tenth of February, one thousand seven hundred and sixty-three, been made part of the government of Newfoundland, be, and they are hereby, during his Majesty’s pleasure, annexed to, and made part and parcel of the province of Quebec, as created and established by the said royal proclamation of the seventh of October, one thousand seven hundred and sixty-three…

V. And, for the more perfect security and ease of the minds of the inhabitants of the said province, it is hereby declared, That his Majesty’s subjects, professing the religion of the church of Rome of and in the said province of Quebec, may have, hold, and enjoy, the free exercise of the religion of the church of Rome, subject to the King’s supremacy, declared and established by an act, made in the first year of the reign of Queen Elizabeth, over all the dominions and countries which then did, or thereafter should belong, to the imperial crown of this realm; and that the clergy of the said colony may hold, receive, and enjoy, their accustomed dues and rights, with respect to such persons only as shall profess the said religion…

VIII. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That his Majesty’s Canadian subjects, within the province of Quebec, the religious orders and communities only expected, may also hold and enjoy their property and possessions, together with all customs and usages relative thereto, and all other their civil rights, in as large, ample, and beneficial manner, as if the said proclamation, commissions, ordinances, and other acts and instructions, had not been made, and as may consist with their allegiance to his Majesty, and subjection to the crown and parliament of Great Britain; and that in all matters of controversy, relative to property and civil rights, resort shall be had to the laws of Canada, as the rule for the decision of the same…

XII. And whereas it may be necessary to ordain many regulations for the future welfare and good government of the province of Quebec, the occasions of which cannot now be foreseen, nor, without much delay and inconvenience, be provided for, without much intrusting that authority, for a certain time, and under proper restrictions, to persons resident there: and whereas it is at present inexpedient to call an assembly; be it therefore enacted by the authority aforesaid, That it shall and may be lawful for his Majesty, his heirs and successors, by warrant under his or their signet or sign manual, and with the advice of the privy council, to constitute and appoint a council for the affairs of the province of Quebec, to consist of such persons resident there, not exceeding twenty-three, nor less than seventeen, as his Majesty, his heirs and successors, shall be pleased to appoint; and, upon the death, removal, or absence of any of the members of the said council, in like manner to constitute and appoint such and so many other person or persons as shall be necessary to supply the vacancy or vacancies; which council, so appointed and nominated, or the major part thereof, shall have power and authority to make ordinances for the peace, welfare, and good government, of the said province, with the consent of his Majesty’s governor, or, in his absence, of the lieutenant-governor, or commander in chief for the time being.

XIII. Provided always, That nothing in this act contained shall extend to authorise or impower the said legislative council to lay any taxes or duties within the said province, such rates and taxes only excepted as the inhabitants of any town or district within the said province may be authorized by the said council to assess, levy, and apply, within the said town or district, for the purpose of making roads, erecting and repairing public buildings, or for any other purpose respecting the local convenience and oeconomy of such town or district.

XIV. Provided also, and be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, That every ordinance so to be made, shall, within six months, be transmitted by the governor, or, in his absence, by the lieutenant-governor, or commander in chief for the time being, and laid before his Majesty for his royal approbation; and if his Majesty shall think fit to disallow thereof, the same shall cease and be void from the time that his Majesty order in council thereupon shall promulgated at Quebec

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