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British arins to the present time; any laws, customs, or usages of England, or any ordinance of this province to the contrary hereof in any wise notwithstanding.
This ordinance shall extend only to such lands as were granted away by the French king before the conquest of this country by the British arms, and to the grants made thereof by the said French king to his several grantees, and the under-grants made of divers parts of the same by the said grantees of the French king, or their heirs or assigns, or other persons claiming under them, to inferior tenants or vaffals either before or since the said conquest, but not to grants of land made by the king's Majesty since the conquest.
Given by his excellency the honourable Guy Carleton, Esquire,
lieutenant-governour and conymander in chief of the province
year of his Majesty's reign, and in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and fixty-seven.
N. B. This is such an ordinance as is meant by the attorney general above-mentioned in his paper above recited, intitled, His opinion concerning the report made by Governour Carleton, where he says, page 50, that, if the measure he had before suggested of making a code of laws for the use of that province should not be thought adviseable, he is humbly of opinion that it would be most expedient to let the English law continue to be the general law of the province, and to pass an ordinance to revive those of the former French laws which relate to the tenure, alienation, and incumbrance, of landed property
SOON after the arrival of General Carleton as lieutenant
governour, William Hey, Esquire, as chief justice, and Francis Maseres, Esquire, as attorney general, of the province of Quebec, in that province (which was in September 1766) Mr. Hey conceived a design of holding very frequent feffions of the supreme court, or court of King's Bench (of which he was the only judge) in order to render his office as useful as possible to his Majesty's subjects in that province, and to gratify the Canadians in their delire of having the proceedings of the courts of justice carried on with more expedition than had yet been used, and in a manner that might bear some resemblance to the diligence they had been accustomed to see in the time of the French government, when all their courts of justice fat once a' werk. This design General Carleton highly approved, and accordingly directed the attorney general to prepare a draught of an ordinance for establishing twelve fefsions of the supreme court in every year, whereof ten were to be holden at the town of Quebec, and the other two at the town of Montreal. He accordingly prepared the following draught of an ordinance for this purpose: but (for reasons which it is not necessary to mention on this occasion) it has never been pafied. This draught was as follows.
A DRAUGHT of an ORDINANCE for Regulating the
Times and Number of the Sessions of the Supreme Court of Yudicature in the Province of Quebec.
WHEREAS it is judged expedient for the due administration of Preamble. justice in this province, that there should be frequent sessions of the supreme court of judicature in the same, to the end that his Majesty's subjects in the said province may prosecute their just claims and complaints in the said court with expedition, and obtain final judgment and execution thereon within a reasonable time, and that persons falsely accused of capital or other great offences may have a speedy opportunity of making their innocence appear and obtaining a discharge from their imprisonment for the same, andi those who are guilty be speedily brought to condign punishment;
his excellency the lieutenant-governour of this province, by and
of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and fixty-seven, Twelve sessions and in every year then after following, there shall be held twelve of the fupreme sessions of the supreme court of judicature of the province of held in every Quebec before the chief justice of the said province, whereof ten ica at Quebec, sessions Thall be held at the town of Quebec, and the other two at
the town of Montreal, on the days hereafter following: to wit,
The ad day of January,
The ist day of December,
and two at Montreal.
And the other two sessions of the supreme court of judicature shall be held at the town of Montreal on the first days of the months of February and September, except when those days happen to be Sundays or Lord's-Days : and in those cases the said sessions shall be held on the third day of February and second day of September.
And the said supreme court of judicature shall continue to fit day after day on every day of the week, except Sundays and the days appointed to be observed as feast-days in the church of England,
until the business of the said court shall be finished, unless the chief Power of ade justice Tall think fit at any time to adjourn the said court unto journing the some further day in the same session, or unto the first day of the next monthly session, which adjournments he is hereby impowered to make according to his own discretion.
Also it hall be lawful to the said chief justice, whenfoever he and of changing Mall think fit so to do, to change the beginning of the next ensuing the next enfunionthly festion from the usual day herein above-appointed to any ing teflion. other day in the same month, by giving public notice of such change in the Quebec Gazette a fortnight before the usual first day of the said session next ensuing.
And in the said sessions of the supreme court of judicature holden Indictments to at Montreal, all indictments for offences committed within the cried in the town and district of Montreal shall be found and presented to the diferite ice which court, and be there determined by lawful jurors of the said district, been committed. But judgement may be given, and motions may be made in arrest of judgement, and any other steps wherein the presence of a jury is not necessary, may be taken with respect to such indictments in the sessions holden at Quebec.
And in all civil actions, wherein the cause of action shall have Trials in civit
actions. arisen within the district of Montreal, it shall be lawful for the parties to enter their declarations, pleas, and demurrers in the said supreme court of judicature, and to take all other steps in the said actions whereto the presence of a jury shall not be necessary, in any
of the sessions of the said court held either at Montreal or Quebec, in order to prevent unnecessary delays in the said actions. But the issues joined in the said actions shall be tried only at the sessions of the said supreme court held at Montreal by lawful jurors of the district of Montreal, unless both the parties shall consent that the said issues shall be tried at the sessions at Quebec, and such consent be entered upon the record of the said court; and in that case the said issues may be tried at the sessions at Quebec by lawful jurors of the district of Quebec.
And in all inquests to be taken at Quebec the jurors shall be qualifications housekeepers of good repute of the district of Quebec ; or, if they are not housekeepers, they shall be persons that are owners of land to the amount of fixty French arpents of cleared land, or upwards; or are worth in money, or goods, the sum of one hundred pounds, or upwards, of lawful money of Great Britain ;
and they shall be upwards of twenty-five years old. And in all inquests to be taken at Montreal the jurors shall in like manner be housekeepers of good repute of the district of Montreal, or persons poffefsed of land in the said district to the amount of at least fixty French arpents of cleared land, or of money, or goods, to the value of one hundred pounds, or upwards, of lawful money of Great Britain, and shall be upwards of twenty-five years of
age. Oaths of jurors. Also the oaths which are taken by jurors shall be administered
to them in the manner usually practised in England, by touching and kissing the holy gospels, and in no other manner whatsoever.
Returns of wwrits.
And all writs and precepts directed to any provost-marshal, deputy provost-marshal, sheriff, coroner, or other ministerial officer, which are returnable into the supreme court of judicature of the said province, shall be returned into the said court on the first days of the said several monthly sessions thereof.
Given hy his excellency the honourable Guy Carleton, Esquire,
lieutenant-governour and commander in chief, &c. (as in
Remark on the Many people in the province were forry to see that this foregoing ordi
ordinance did not pass at the time it was proposed; and more