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out the colony, who are hereby authorized to grant the same ;
and all sums which thus accnie, and whatever surplus remains
of the sums collected as quitrents, after the pa3anent of the
indemnification to the native chiefs for the lands, and the
expense of the government aforesaid, shall be vested in a fund,
under the control of a Commission, composed of members of tiie
Dutch Reformed Church, appointed by Her Majesty's High



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1848] BRITISH SOVEREIGNTY 2>3

Commissioner, for the erection of churches on such spots as may
be selected and sanctioned, and for the provision of ministers,
and hereafter for the erection of schools and for their mainten-
ance, for the improvement of roads, etc., all for the exclusive
benefit of the population north of the Orange river. And
whatever sums may be subscribed for the erection of any church
or churches as Her Majesty's High Commissioner, 1 pledge
myself to advance on loan an equal sum.

And I hereby proclaim all the missionary stations within
the territories aforesaid, to be under the special protection of
Her Majesty the Queen of England.

And I hereby proclaim and declare, that this sovereignty
and paramount authority is for the sole protection and pre-
servation of the just and hereditary rights of all the native
chiefs as aforesaid, and for the rule and government of Her
Majesty's subjects, their interests and welfare. That no benefit
whatever accrues, or is desired by Her Majesty, beyond the
satisfaction Her Majesty the Queen will ever feel in tiie main-
tenance of a just peace, and the improvement of the condition
of her people, and in their advancement in the blessings of
Christianity, civilization, and those habits of industry and
honesty which will elevate and civilize the barbarian, and
support and uphold the Christian community, and thus will
that peace be established which Her Majesty desires to effect,
and has the power and determination to maintain.
God Save the Queen.

Given under my hand, and the seal of the Colony of the
Cape of Good Hope, on the Great Tugela river, this 3rd day of
February 1848.

(Signed) H. G. Smith.

By order of His Excellency, Her Majesty's High Com-
missioner.

(Signed) Richard Southey,
Secretary to High Commissioner.
Pari Papers, C. o/G, Hope, presented July 1848, p. 63.



PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT IN THE ORANGE
RIVER SOVEREIGNTY.

No. 16«. Extract of Proclamation by Sir Henry G. W. Smith.

[8 March 1848].
* * *

The British resident. Major Warden, in the absence of the
High Commissioner, is paramount, and is the President-in-
Chief of all Boards or Commissions, which may be formed
for all and whatever purposes.
18

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274 ORANGE FREE STATE [1848

The post of Major Warden, as British resident and magis-
trate, will be Bloem Fontein. A civil conunissioner and
resident magistrate, combined in one person, will be stationed
at Wenberg, and one in the most eligible and populous neigh-
bourhood of the Caledon river. These civil conmiissioners
and magistrates will have a clerk and two constables attached
to each, to issue and serve summonses, and to conduct
criminals to Colesberg. No person of colour is ever to be
employed in conveying summonses, or in the execution of any
point of law, nor are any of the military at present stationed
at Bloem Fontein to be employed in matters of a civil nature.

The civil commissioners and magistrates will collect the
quitrents of their respective districts, receive the amounts to
be derived from licenses to traders, fines, and monies, which
may arise as the revenue of Her Majesty's subjects beyond the
Orange river ; and will transmit to the High Conmiissioner
quarterly accounts of such receipts, and the disposal thereof,
for pubUcation in the English and Dutch languages, that all
may be acquainted with the state of the fimds.

The magistrates will keep a daily record of their proceed-
ings, cases, arid decisions, and every three months a siunmary
of the whole will be transmitted by the British resident and
other magistrates direct to the High Commissioner, who will
submit them to the chief justice, or one of the puisne judges,
for examination and comment, in order to ensure a correct and

imiform administration of justice.

* * *

A Land Commission will be formed, consisting of the British
resident, as President-in-Chief ; the civil commissioner and
magistrate of the district in which the board is held, who
will preside in the absence of the British resident ; two land
surveyors ; and one burgher of the district elected by the
people, as members ; and the clerk to the magistrate of the
district, in which the Commission are employed, will act as
clerk to the Land Commission.

The first duty of this Commission is to divide the territory
under the sovereignty of Her Majesty, between the Great
Orange and Vaal rivers, into three districts ; the first to be
designated that of Bloem Fontein, the second that of the
Caledon river, the third that of Wenburg.

Each of these districts to be divided into field-commandant-
ships and field-cornetcies, the selection of persons for these
duties to be made by the majority of the people over whom
they are to exercise authority.

The Commission will then register each farm, take the
census of the population, record the size of the farm, and,
according to the value of the land, fix the amoimt of quit-



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18493 BRITISH SOVEREIGNTY 275

rent from £2 to £8 per annum, which are to be regarded as the
minimum and maxmium rates.

* * *

Pari, Papers, C. of G. Hope, presented
July 1848, p. 65.



No. 167. REGULATIONS FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF

THE ORANGE RIVER SOVEREIGNTY.

[Some of the farmers residinc^ in the northern half of the Sovereignty
asked and obtained assistance nrom the Emigrants to the north dTthe
Vaal. They expelled the British officials irom liie territory, but their
commando was defeated by a British force, marching from the Cape,
at Boomplaats on 29th August 1848. Most of the men then fled across
the Vaal, and the officials were reinstated.]

Proclamation by His Excellency Lieut.-General Sir Henry
George Wakelyn Smith, etc. etc. [14 March 1849.]

Whereas by my Proclamation bearing date the 3rd of
February 1848, I did, amongst other thmgs, proclaim and
make known the sovereignty of Her Majesty the Queen of
England over certain territories north of the Great Orange
River : And whereas it has become necessary to make pro-
vision for the better regulation of the said territories : Now,
therefore, I do hereby proclaim, declare, and make known,
that the series of Regulations hereto annexed shall, from and
after the 31st day of March 1849, be of force within the said
territories, and tiiat from thenceforth anything in my Pto-
damations of the 3rd of February 1848 and the 8th of March
1848 respectively ; and anything in any other former Pro-
clamation, repugnant to, or inconsistent with, any of the
said Regulations, shall be revoked, and the same is hereby
revoked accordingly.

God Save the Queen.

Given imder my hand and seal of the settlement of the Cape
of Good Hope, at Cape Town, this 14th day of March 1849.

(Signed) H. G. Smith.

By command of His Excellency the High Commissioner,
(Signed) Richard Southey,

Secretary to the High Commissioner.

Regulations for the Future Government of the
Sovereignty beyond the Orange River.

Name, Extent, and Mode of Government.
I. The territory between the Orange River, the Vaal
River, and the Draakberg Mountains, over which Her Majesty's
Sovereignty is proclaimed, shall be designated the " Orange
River Sovereignty."



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^^(^ ORANGE FREE STATE [1849

2. It is divided into four magistracies or districts, over
which Major Warden, the British Resident, is the paramount
authority, under his Excellency the High Conunissioner :

(1) The district of Griqua Land, of which Bloem Fontein

and " the Queen's Fort " is the seat of magis-
tracy, and to which Charles Urquhart Stuart,
Esq., is the appointed magistrate.

(2) The (fistrict of Winburg, of which the town of

Winburg is the seat of magistracy, and of which
Mr. Biddulph is the magistrate.

(3) The district of Vaal River, of which the new town

of Vreeddorp is the seat of magistracy, and Mr.
Paul Bester the magistrate.

(4) The district of Caledon River, of which Smithfield

is the seat of magistracy, and Mr. Vowe the
magistrate.

3. The Orange River SJovereignty will be governed by Her
Majesty's High Conunissioner, aided by a local Council, to
consist of the British Resident-in-Chief, the four otiier magis-
trates, and eight councillors, two for each district, to be nomi-
nated by his Excellency, from and out of the landowners of
such district holding their lands on quitrent.

4. The mode of calling together, adjourning, or dissolving
the Council will be regulated by the High Conunissioner,
and hereafter announced.

5. Every unofl&cial coimcillor shall serve for a term of three
years, unless the Council shall be sooner dissolved, or on his
own resignation or incapacity.

6. The British Resident will be the President of the Council,
which will meet with open doors, once a year, at Bloem
Fontein, and oftener, if sununoned by order of the High Com-
missioner, for the consideration of such matters as may be
suggested by his Excellency the High Conunissioner, or pro-
posed by the President, or any member, having for their object
the benefit of all classes of people within the sovereignty.

7. The authority of the Council as to the framing of laws
shaU extend over all persons within the Orange River Sov-
ereignty, not belonging to the tribe or people of any native
cluef or captain within the sovereignty, in regard to acts done,
or matters arising, anywhere within the sovereignty, and over
all persons whomsoever, in regard to acts done or matters
arising within any of those parts of the said sovereignty not
belonging to any native chief or people. But in order that
the reasonable and rightful authority of the native chiefs over
their own people should be upheld, the Council will not be
competent to entertain any project by which the exdusive



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1849] BRITISH SOVEREIGNTY 277

jurisdiction of any chief over his own people, in regard to crimes
or claims arising within such chiefs land, and charged or made
against any of this people, should be taken away or abridged,
but, on the contrsuy, such exclusive jurisdiction, and the
maintenance, in regard to the determination of such crimes
or claims, of all native laws and usages not repugnant to
decency, himianity, or natural religion, is hereby guaranteed.

8. Every unofficial member of Council, who may desire
it, will receive ten shillings a day during the sitting of Coimcil,
as well as ten shillings for every forty miles he shall have to
travel to and from the place of meeting.

9. All measures resolved by a majority of votes in the
Council will be submitted through the President to his Ex-
cellency the High Commissioner, for his consideration and
sanction : but no legislative measure shall have the force of
law until the sanction of his Excellency the High Commis-
sioner shall be signified by a notice in the Governtnent GazeUe
of the Colony of the Cape of Good Hope. The High Commis-
sioner may, in such notice, fix whatever time he tmnks proper
for the bringing into operation of any such measure ; and if no
other time be fixed, then the measure shall come into operation
at the expiration of thirty-one clear days next after the day on
which such notice shall be first published.

10. The High Commissioner will cause a correct statement
of the receipts and expenditure of all public mone}^ raised
within the sovereignty for the past year, to be laid before the
Council at every annual meeting, as well as an estimate of the
probable revenue and expenditure for the year next ensuing.
It shall be competent for the Council to make to the High
Commissioner any representations upon the subject which
the members shall thmk desirable or likely to improve the
administration of the district. The British Resident shall be
the Treasurer-General of the sovereignty.

11. Considering the nature of the country and the pursuits
of the inhabitants, it is intended that the Council should
combine with its other functions 'those of an Agricultural
Society, and mature and propose to the High Commissioner
plans for the advancement of agriculture, — for promoting the
planting of trees, — for the construction of dams, many of
which have been already completed in Griqua Land, with
great labour, and consequent advantage to the proprietors.
In fine, it is meant that the people, acting through this Coimcil,
should devise measures calculated to advance their interests,
civil, social, and rdigious, and minor obstacles shall not be
suffered either to prevent or impede the accomplishment of
3.ny good object which they shall recommend.

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278 ORANGE FREE STATE [1849

Laws and Courts 0/ Justice,

12. Subject to future alteration hy the High Commissioner,
with the aavice and consent of the Council, ail persons within
the Orange River district, not belonging to the tribe or people
of any native chief within such district, shall be subject to the
provisions of the Roman-Dutch law, as received and admims-
tered in the Courts of the Cape Colony ; but no local ordinance
or enactment of the Cape Colony shall be in force in the Orange
River district, imless expressly re-enacted for such district.
And persons, although belonging to native tribes and chiefs,
shall be subject to the same law in regard to acts done or
matters arising within those parts of the district not belonging
to any native chief or people.

13. Every native chief and people shall be governed and
regulated by their own laws and usages, in regard to aU crimes
committed by and questions arising between any of such
people, within the peculiar territory gdlotted to such chief and
people, so long as such laws and usages are repugnant neither
to decency, humanity, nor natural religion, — and people
belonging to one native chief, committing crimes or contract-
ing obligations in the territory belonging to any other native
chief, shall be dealt with according to the native usage hereto-
fore in force in such cases, subject always to the right of inter-
ference by the British Resident, in order to prevent irregularity
or injustice.

14. Each of the four magistrates already mentioned shall
hold a Court, and shall possess jurisdiction in all civil cases^
in which the defendants, being resident within the magistracy
of such magistrate, shall be persons subject, under the I2tn
of these Re^gulations, in regard to the determination of such
case, to the provisions of the Roman-Dutch law, and in which
the sum or matter in dispute shall not exce^ the value of
500 rds.

15. Every such magistrate's court shall possess jurisdiction
in all cases of crimes and offences, wherein any person, subject
under the 12th of these Regulations to the Roman-Dutch law,
as contradistinguished to native law, in regard to such crime
or offence, — shall be accused of any crime or offence committed
within the magistracy of such magistrate ; but no such magis-
trate shall punish any offender in any higher or more severe
manner than by a fine not exceeding 300 rds., and imprison-
ment with or without hard labour, for not more than four
montiis ; and such magistrate may, either with imprisonment
or without, adjudge the offender to receive corporal punish-
ment in any number of lashes not exce^ing twenty-five.

j6. The magistrates aforesaid, in the exercise of thei|-



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1849] BRITISH SOVEREIGNTY 279

jurisdiction both civil and criminal, shall conform themselves
to the rules for the time being in force in regard to the courts
of resident magistrate of the Cape Colony, with such alterations
and adaptations as the High Commissioner shall sanction and
approve.

17. For the trial of any person subject under these regula-
tions to the Roman-Dutch law, in regard to such crime or
offence, who shall be accused of any crime or offence committed
within the Orange River sovereignty, which from its nature
or circimistances shall be of too aggravated a character to be
dealt with under the summary jurisdiction of the magistrate,
a court, to consist of not less tiian three out of the four magis-
trates, shall be holden at such times and places and before
such magistrates as the British Resident shall appoint ; and
such court shall be competent to adjudge any such punishment
as may lawfully be adjudged by a Circuit Court of the Colony
of the Cape of Good Hope, — subject, nevertheless, to the two
following restrictions : first, that in regard to any person who
shaU, as a British subject, be liable, under the Act 6 & 7
Will, rv., chap. 57, to be tried by the courts of the said colony,
for the crime of which he is accused, such court shall not be
competent to punish such person in any higher or more severe
manner than by fine not exceeding 1000 rds., and imprisonment
with or without hard labour, for a period not exceeding two
years ; but such court may, either with or without imprison-
ment, adjudge the offender to receive corporal punishment
in any number of lashes not exceeding 50 ; and secondly,
subject to the restriction, that in every case in which the
accused person shall be one of the people of any native chief
within the said district, charged with having committed a
crime in a part of the said district not belonging to any native
chief or people, the chief to whom such accused person shall
belong shall have due notice of the time and place of trial,
and shall be invited to be present at the same, or to send some-
one to represent him thereat ; and such chief or other person
shall have liberty to put such questions and make such remarks
as he may think necessary to the right of determination of
the case. Such court as aforesaid may consist, when the
British Resident shall so appoint, of the whole four magis-
trates, and unanimity shall be necessary in every verdict of
guilty, and in the degree of every pimishment awarded.

18. Every such court as in the last preceding section men-
tioned shall possess jurisdiction in all civil cases in which the
defendants, being persons resident within the Orange River
sovereignty, shall be subject under the 12th of these Regula-
tions, to the Roman-Dutch law.

19. Every such last-mentioned court shall, in the exercise



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28o ORANGE FREE STATE [1849

of its jurisdiction, conform, as much as may be, to the practice
of the magistrates' courts, imless in so far as the High Commis-
sioner may otherwise provide.

20. Every magistrate within whose district any crime
shall be conunitted by any person subject as to such crime to
the Roman-Dutch law, a^ contradistinguished from native law,
may issue his warrant for apprehending the offender or supposed
offender, which warrant shall be executable in any part of the
Orange River sovereignty not belonging to any native chief,
and also in the lands of any such chief who shall so direct.
But such chief, should he prefer it, may himself arrest and
deliver up the alleged offender to be dealt with according to law.

21. The High Commissioner will appoint justices of the
peace, and fidd-comets, and the several magistrates will,
subject to his Excellency's approval, appoint constables, and
every justice of the peace, field-comet, and constable shall
possess and exercise, within those parts of the sovereignty
not belonging to any native chief or people, all powers, auth-
orities, and duties, belonging to the like oflBice in the colony of
the Cape.

22. Officers of the law, and private persons, respectively,
may arrest without warrant in the Orange River sovereignty,
persons accused of crimes committed within the sovereignty,
and triable by the Roman-Dutch law, which persons migjfat
lawfully have been arrested by the same or similar parties
within the colony of the Cape, if accused of crimes committed
therein.

23. [Records of all cases tried must be submitted to the
High Commissioner. Sentences may not be carried out with-
out his approval if they involve imprisonment exceeding
six months, fines exceedmg 150 rds., punishment with any
number of lashes exceeding 50,* etc.]

24. The duties of public prosecutor, when necessary to be
performed, shall be discharged by such officer or person as the
High Commissioner shall direct.

25. Whenever any person shall be accused of any crime
or offence of too grave a nature to be tried either by the magis-
trate under his summary jurisdiction, or by the court of com-
bined ma^strates already described, and such person shall,
as a British subject, be liable under the Act 6 & 7 Will. iv..
chap. 57, to be tried by the courts of the Cape Colony ; such
accused person shall be sent into the colony to be dealt with
according to law.

26. As often as any crime shall be committed in any
territory within the said sovereignty belonging to any native

1 This seems to be the intention of a long and muddled dause which does
pot keep account with the provisioas of pre<^ding clauses.



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i854] BLOEMFONTEIN CONVENTION 281

chief or people, by any person belonging to any native chief
within the said sovereignty, the nearest magistrate, upon
being applied to for that purpose by any person injured by the
crime, and not being one of the people of the same chief who
shall, by native law or usage, have jurisdiction over the accused
party, shall make, if necessary, such representations to such
chief as shall tend to secure or further the ends of justice.

27. When any doubt or question shall anse as to the
court to which any accused person should be sent for trial,
the matter shall be decided by the British Resident.

Tenure of Land,

28. To avoid occasions of contention, prevent unjust
encroachments in any quarter arid preserve the just rights of
all, the lands of which tne continued and exclusive use ^all be
secured to the several native chiefs and people within the Orange
River sovereignty, are to be carefully ascertained and defined.

29. The lands within the Orange River sovereignty belong-
ing to any native chief and people, are to be protected for
the use of such chief and people, and shall be regulated by
the laws and usages of such chi^ and people in regard to all
rights of occupation or inheritance, and all questions touching
the same shall, as heretofore, be determined by the tribunals
of such chief and people.

30. All lands within the Orange River sovereignty, not
allotted to any native chief or people, shall be held of Her
Majesty the Queen, by grant, on such moderate quitrents
as may be fixed ; such grants to be in the name of the High
Commissioner, acting on Her Majesty's behalf, and to be
signed, under his Excellency's order, by the British Resident.

31. The amount of such quit-rents, together with every
sort and description of revenue raised within the sovereignty,
shall be applied exclusively for the benefit of the same.

32-34. [About licenses.]
35-36. [About churches and schools.]
37-38. [About the post and roads.]

[The foregoing Regulations are subject to alteration from
time to time.]

(Signed) H. G. Smith.
Pari. Papers, C. of G. Hope, presented 19 May 1851, p. 3.



Ho. 168. THE BLOEMFONTEIN CONVENTION.

[23 Feb. 1854.]

[The defence of the country was a costly undertaking, especially
as its white inhabitants were almost continually being plundered by
the people of the powerful Basuto king, Moshesh. Towards the end of



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282 ORANGE FREE STATE [1854

1852 an attempt was made to chastise that chieftain, but little was
effected. The half-formed resolution of the Britidi Govemmeat
to abandon the Sovereignty was then definitely adopted ; but the
condition of the country was at a very low ebb, many of the efficient
fighting men among the white inhabitants had proceeded across the
\^Lal, and under the circumstances the majority of the inhabitants
were strongly desirous of retaining British protection, though they
asked for a liberal form of government. The British Commissioner
had some difficulty in persuading representatives of the people dected
for the purpose to take over the government ; but on jotn January
1854 a royal proclamation was issued, renouncing all dominion over
the Territory, and a little later the agreement given here was arrived at.]

Articles of Convention entered into between Sir George



Online LibraryG.W. EybersSelect constitutional documents illustrating South African history, 1795-1910 → online text (page 37 of 70)