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FIRST FIFTY YEARS OF BRITISH RULE 101

 

public service in connection with the military transport, and Colonel Frederick Haldimand, who succeeded Burton as Governor of Three Rivers, instructed the militia captain immediately concerned to call in the arms loaned.

The Treaty of Paris, which concluded a peace between Britain and France and ceded Canada to Britain, was signed on February 10th, 1763, but was not proclaimed in Canada until the following May. On October 7th of the same year a Royal Proclamation was issued, providing for the permanent civil government of the new colony somewhat along the lines of the temporary military system, but only so far as it did not conflict with British laws. "All persons" were guaranteed "the enjoyment of the benefit of the laws of our Realm of England," but failing the proclamation of new laws, many of the old French ones were, for the time being, continued in force, and many of the features of the military administration remained for some time subsequent to the proclamation of civil government. The French, but more particularly the seigneurs and gentry, who were in closest touch with the British colonial officers, rather favoured a continuation of military rule, as administered in Canada by the British, but it was irksome to the small British civilian population which had come to Canada since the Conquest. The Proclamation may be said to have established in Canada English criminal law, but to have recognized the "ancient customs" and civil laws of New France. For the interpretation of these, the administration continued to avail themselves of the services of some of the tribunals composed of militia officers.

In 1763 occurred Pontiac's Conspiracy, which caused the first appeal by the British authorities to Canadian militia for active service. Pontiac, an Indian of singular sagacity and courage, was a war-chief of the powerful Ottawas. As an ally of the French, he had looked askance at the British as they took possession of the French forts; in their victory he saw his own downfall. By June, 1763, he had matured a bold and comprehensive plan for


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