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Cap. Charles Elliot, Chief Superintendent of Trade, to Hong Kong Residents (February 2, 1841)

Cap. Charles Elliot, Chief Superintendent of Trade, to Hong Kong Residents (February 2, 1841)

Cap. Charles Elliot, Chief Superintendent of Trade,
to Hong Kong Residents (February 2, 1841)

Quoted in Steve Tsang, Government and Politics, pp.16-17

The island of Hong Kong having been ceded to the British Crown under the Seal of the Imperial Minister and High Commissioner Keshen [Ch'i-shan], it has become necessary to provide for the government thereof, pending Her Majesty's further pleasure.

By virtue of the authority, therefore, in me vested, all Her Majesty's rights, royalties, and privileges of all kinds whatever, in and over the said island of Hong Kong whether to or over lands, harbours, property, or personal service, are hereby declared proclaimed and to Her Majesty fully reserved.

And I do hereby declare and proclaim, that, pending Her Majesty's further pleasure, the government of the said island shall devolve upon, and be exercised by, the person filling the office of Chief Superintendent of the Trade of British Subjects in China for the time being.

And I do hereby declare and proclaim, that, pending Her Majesty's further pleasure, the natives of the island of Hong Kong and all natives of China thereto resorting, shall be governed according to the laws and customs of China, every description of torture excepted.

And I do further declare and proclaim, that, pending Her Majesty's further pleasure, all offences committed in Hong Kong by Her Majesty's subjects, or other persons than natives of the island or of China thereto resorting, shall fall under the cognizance of the Criminal and Admiralty Jurisdiction presently existing in China.

And I do further declare and proclaim, that, pending Her Majesty's further pleasure, such rules and regulations as may be necessary from time to time for the government of Hong Kong shall be issued under the hand and seal of the person filling the office of Chief Superintendent of the Trade of British Subjects in China for the time being.

And I do further declare and proclaim, that, pending Her Majesty's further pleasure, all British subjects and foreigners residing in, or resorting to, the island of Hong Kong, shall enjoy full security and protection, according to the principles and practice of British law, so long as they shall continue to conform to the authority of Her Majesty's Government in and over the island of Hong Kong, hereby duly constituted and proclaimed.

 

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