Province of Quebec (1763–91)

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Province of Quebec
British colony

1763–1791
 

 


Flag

A portion of eastern North America in 1774 after the Quebec Act; Quebec extends all the way to the Mississippi River.
Capital Quebec
Languages French, English
Religion Roman Catholicism, Protestantism
Government Constitutional monarchy
King George III
Governor See list of Governors
History
 -  Royal Proclamation October 7, 1763
 -  Quebec Act 1774
 -  Treaty of Paris (1763) 1763
 -  Constitutional Act December 26, 1791
Currency Canadian pound
Today part of  Canada(part of Ontario, Quebec, Labrador)
 United States (most of Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin)

The Province of Quebec was a colony in North America created by Great Britain after the Seven Years' War. Great Britain acquired Canada by the Treaty of Paris and (after a long debate) decided to let France have the small but very rich sugar island of Guadeloupe instead.[1] By Britain's Royal Proclamation of 1763, Canada (part of New France) was renamed the Province of Quebec. The province extended from the coast of Labrador on the Atlantic Ocean, southwest through the Saint Lawrence River Valley to the Great Lakes and beyond to the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. Portions of its southwest were later ceded to the United States in a later Treaty of Paris (1783) at the conclusion of the American Revolution.

History[edit]

In 1774, the British Parliament passed the Quebec Act that allowed Quebec to restore the use of French customary law ("Coutume de Paris") in private matters alongside the British common law system, and allowing the Catholic Church to collect tithes. The act also enlarged the boundaries of Quebec to include the Ohio Country and Illinois Country, from the Appalachian Mountains on the east, south to the Ohio River, west to the Mississippi River and north to the southern boundary of lands owned by the Hudson's Bay Company, or Rupert's Land.

Through Quebec, the British Crown retained access to the Ohio and Illinois Countries even after the Treaty of Paris, which was meant to have ceded this land to the United States. By well-established trade and military routes across the Great Lakes, the British continued to supply not only their own troops but a wide alliance of Native American nations through Detroit, Fort Niagara, Fort Michilimackinac, and so on, until these posts were turned over to the United States following the Jay Treaty (1794).

Quebec retained its seigneurial system after the conquest. Owing to an influx of Loyalist refugees from the American Revolutionary War, the demographics of Quebec came to shift and now included a substantial English-speaking, Anglican or Protestant element from the former Thirteen Colonies. These United Empire Loyalists settled mainly in the Eastern Townships, Montreal, and what was known then as the pays d'en haut (high country) west of the Ottawa River. The Constitutional Act of 1791 divided the colony in two at the Ottawa River, so that the western part (Upper Canada) could be under the British legal system, with English speakers in the majority. The eastern part was named Lower Canada.

Governors of the Province of Quebec 1763–1791[edit]

After the capitulation of Montreal in 1760, New France was placed under military government. Civil government was instituted in 1764. The following were the governors:

There were also "lieutenant governors", but these were merely the deputies of the governors, and should not be confused with the modern-day Lieutenant-Governor of Quebec.

  • Guy Carleton (lieutenant governor to James Murray) 1766-1768
  • Hector Theophilus de Cramahé (lieutenant governor to Guy Carleton) 1771-1782
  • Henry Hamilton (lieutenant governor to Frederick Haldimand) 1782-1785
  • Henry Hope (lieutenant governor to the Lord Dorchester) 1785-1788
  • Alured Clarke (lieutenant governor to the Lord Dorchester) 1790

Counsellors to the governor[edit]

The Province of Quebec did not have an elected legislature and was ruled directly by the governor with advice from counsellors. A council responsible to advise the governor (then James Murray) on all affairs of state was created in 1764. In 1774, the Quebec Act created a Council for the Affairs of the Province of Quebec to advise the governor on legislative affairs. The Legislative Council served as an advisory council to the governor until a legislative assembly was established after 1791.

The individuals James Murray called into the council from 1764 to 1766:

Member Appointment Notes
Chief Justice William Gregory 1764 served until 1766
Chief Justice William Hey (1733–1797)[3] 1764 Chief Justice of Quebec 1766-1773
Attorney General George Suckling (1759-178?) 1764 lawyer; served until 1766; most of his career was in the West Indies
Lieutenant Paulus Aemilius Irving (1714–1796) 1764 served until 1768; acting President of the Council 1766-1768; commander-in-Chief of British Forces in Quebec and administrator 1766-1768
Hector Theophilus de Cramahé (1720–1788) 1764 served until 1766 Lieutenant Governor of Quebec 1771-1782; later member of the Legislative Council
Adam Mabane (1734–1792) 1764 served until 1766; British Army physician and judge; later member of the Legislative Council 1775-1792
Walter Murray[disambiguation needed] (1701?-1772) 1764 served until 1771; relative to then Governor Murray; British Army officer under James Wolfe; head of the Port of Quebec and justice of the peace and Receiver General
Captain Samuel Holland (1728–1801) 1764 served until 1770?; British Army officer and served as first Surveyor General of British North America
Thomas Dunn (1729–1818) 1764 served until 1774; colonial administrator and soldier; merchant; master in the Court of Chancery 1764; later member of the Legislative Council
François Mounier (?-1769) 1764 served until 1769; Huguenot merchant, justice of the peace; examiner in the Court of Chancery and judge of the Court of Common Pleas 1764-1769
Captain James Cuthbert Sr. (1719–1798) 1766 served until 1774; army officer (15th Regiment of Foot), merchant, justice of the peace; Seigneur of Berthier
Benjamin Price (?-1768 or 1769) 1764 served until 1768; merchant, justice of the peace, master in the Court of Chancery 1764-1768

List of councillors under Carleton from 1766 to 1774:

Member Appointment Notes
Chief Justice William Hey 1766 appointed during Murray's term as Governor; Chief Justice of Quebec 1766-1773
Attorney General Francis Maseres (1731-1724) 1766 served until 1769; lawyer, office holder, and author
Lieutenant Paulus Aemilius Irving (1714–1796) 1764 appointed during Murray's term as governor and till 1768; acting President of the Council 1766-1768; commander-in-chief of British Forces in Quebec and administrator 1766-1768
Hector Theophilus de Cramahé (1720–1788) 1764 appointed during Murray's term as governor and served until 1771; Lieutenant Governor of Quebec 1771-1782; later member of the Legislative Council
Adam Mabane (1734–1792) 1764 appointed during Murray's term as governor and served until 1766; British Army physician and judge; later member of the Legislative Council 1775-1792
Walter Murray[disambiguation needed] (1701?-1772) 1764 appointed during Murray's term as governor and served until 1771; relative to then Governor Murray; British Army officer under James Wolfe; head of the Port of Quebec and justice of the peace and Receiver General
Captain Samuel Holland (1728–1801) 1764 appointed during Murray's term as governor and served until 1770; British Army officer and served as first Surveyor General of British North America
Thomas Dunn (1729–1818) 1764 appointed during Murray's term as governor and unilt 1774; colonial administrator and soldier; merchant; master in the Court of Chancery 1764; later member of the Legislative Council
François Mounier 1764 appointed during Murray's term as governor and served until 1769; Huguenot merchant, justice of the peace; examiner in the Court of Chancery and judge of the Court of Common Pleas 1764-1769
Captain James Cuthbert Sr. (1719–1798) 1766 appointed during Murray's term as governor and served until 1774; army officer (15th Regiment of Foot), merchant, justice of the peace; Seigneur of Berthier
Benjamin Price (?-1768 or 1769) 1764 appointed during Murray's term as governor and served until 1768; merchant, justice of the peace, master in the Court of Chancery 1764-1768

Geography[edit]

Around 1763 to 1764 the province was divided into two judicial districts

  • Montreal District - covering the western parts of Quebec along the St. Lawrence River including Montreal and much of Ontario (Eastern and Southern Ontario)
  • Quebec District - covering the eastern parts of Quebec along the St. Lawrence and Labrador

Before the creation of Lower Canada third district was formed, Trois-Rivières District in 1790 out of the Quebec District.

The districts continued on after 1791 when Lower Canada came into existence and Montreal District west of the Ottawa River became Upper Canada.

See also[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Burt, Alfred LeRoy. The Old Province of Quebec. Toronto: Ryerson Press; Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1933. Reprinted Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1968.
  • Lahaise, Robert and Vallerand, Noël. Le Québec sous le régime anglais : les Canadiens français, la colonisation britannique et la formation du Canada continental. Outremont, Québec : Lanctôt, 1999.
  • Neatby, Hilda. Quebec: the revolutionary age 1760-1791. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1966.

References[edit]