Submitted by Garth Bulman - email@example.com
Affidavit of Charles Stewart Attorney General filed in court
Reference: Acc. 2849 Item 131 PEIPA
01 November, 1811
Transcribed by: Garth Bulman 23 April, 2002
Prince Edward Island
Charles Stewart of Charlotte Town in the said Island Esq. His Majesty’s Attorney General of the said Island, Maketh Oath and saith that he this Deponent on or about the latter end of the month of September received from Charly Serani Esq. the Clerk of His Honorable Court and acting Clerk of His Majesty’s Council a copy of an Affidavit or deposition which appears to have been sworn on the sixteenth day of August last by William Haszard Esq. of Bellview before the Honorable Caesar Colclough Esq. Chief Justice of this Honorable Court.
The said copy being in the Hand writing of Benjamin Grovesnor the original of which is in the files of this Honorable Court, wherein among other scandalous and defamatory matter are the following - ???- Deponent and sundry established and respectable Settlers associated together at Charlotte Town under the title of "Loyal Electors" for the purpose of promoting the improvement and prosperity of this Colony by selecting such members for the House of Assembly as were most capable and best inclined to effect those measures and who would be most likely to make such representations to His Majesty’s Ministers as would place in a fair and proper light the conduct of a number of Land Lubbers, by whose means, artifice and contrivance the settlement of the usually respectable and active Proprietors was essentially injured many of whom were totally ignorant of the misconduct of their Agents which tended in a great degree to estrange and draw away the affection of the People from the constituted authorities who too frequently moved in concert with the speculators party now and for some time past well known by the title of The Cabal – and Deponent as evidence of the artifice of this Cabal of Speculators begs leave to insert in this his deposition a true copy of a paper written as deponent verily believes by Charles Stewart Esq. now Attorney General of this Island which said paper is in the words and figures following from Lord Hobart to Lieut. Governor Fanning -
"With respect to the steps necessary to be taken for revesting His Majesty with such Lands as may be liable to be escheated for non payment of Quit Rents, non-improvement or non-performance of any of the conditions of the Grants, and it is presumed the mode adopted in Nova Scotia will be a sufficient Guide to You and it is His Majesty’s pleasure that you follow the practice there established reporting to me for His Majesty’s information from time to time the circumstances that may arise and the steps that may in consequence be taken – Full instructions will shortly be sent to You with respect to the disposal of such Lands as may be revested in the Crown" as by the said original paper in the handwriting of the said Charles Stewart now in deponent’s custody and possession , and to which he craves leave to refer, reference being thereunto had will fully appear - And this Deponent further saith that the said paper was written at the eve of an Election, and as this Deponent verily believes for the purpose of beguiling and misleading the Public – And this Deponent the said Charly Stewart saith that the before mentioned extract of a Letter from Lord Hobart to L. Governor Fanning is a true extract of a dispatch from the right Honorable Lord Hobart, then one of His Majesty’s principle Secretaries of State to Lieut. Governor Fanning and upon which was founded the various proceedings of the Legislature of the Island, respecting the Lands liable to Forfeiture for non-payment of Quit Rents or nonperformance of any other of the conditions of the Grants, that this Deponent was not then an agent for as concerned for any one proprietor of this Island to the best of this Deponent’s recollection and belief and that he doth not know nor did he ever hear of any associations of persons in this Island called or known by the name of a Cabal or Speculators, nor is there any such persons in this Island or any association of Persons known to this Deponent saving the Club calling itself Loyal Electors, and this Deponent saith that the aforesaid deposition of the said William Haszard is a false scandalsy malicious and defamatory Lible against the Deponent.
Sworn in Court
This 1st Nov. 1811
Charles Serani C. C.
A true Copy
Chs. Serani C. C.