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Charles Wyndham on Quebec

Letter from Charles Wyndham, Earl of Egremont and Secretary of State, to Jeffery Amherst, British Commander-in-Chief in North America, 12 December 1761.

... His Majesty observes, with Pleasure, the laudable Gentleness and Mildness, with which you offer his Royal Protection indiscriminately to all his Subjects, recommending it particularly to the Troops, to live in good harmony and brotherhood with the Canadians, and as Nothing can be more essential to His Majesty's Service, than to retain as many of the French subjects, as may be, and to prevent their leaving their homes to repair such Colonies, as shall remain in the possession of the French, when those, which are now His Majesty's by Conquest, shall be confirmed to him at the Peace, it is the King's pleasure that you should earnestly enforce, to the several Governors above mentioned, the conciliating part of the Instructions, which you have given, and that you Recommend it strongly to them to employ the most vigilant attention, and take the most effectual care that the French Inhabitants (who, as you very properly observe, being equally His Majesty's subjects are consequently Equally entitled to his Protection) be humanely and kindly treated, and that they do enjoy the full Benefit of that Indulgent and Benign Government, which already characterizes His Majesty's auspicious Reign, and constitutes the peculiar happiness of all, who are Subjects to the British Empire; and you will direct the said Governors, to give the strictest orders to prevent Soldiers, Mariners, and others His Majesty's Subjects, from insulting or reviling any of the French Inhabitants, now their fellow Subjects, either by ungenerous insinuation of that Inferiority, which the fate of War has decided, or by harsh and provoking observations on their language, dress, Manners, Customs, or Country, or by uncharitable Reflections on the Errors of that mistaken Religion, which they unhappily profess; and as there is yet no regular Civil Government Established in any of the said Conquered Countries, it is the King's Pleasure that the several Governors do properly exert that Authority, under which they at present act, to punish such persons, as shall disregard His Majesty's orders in a Matter so Essential to his Interests; and you will direct that His Majesty's Intentions in this behalf, be forthwith made know to all those, whom it may Concern, to the End that the King's British Subjects may not, thru Ignorance, disobey his orders, and that his French Subjects may feel and Relish the full Extent of His Majesty's Royal Protection.


Source: National Archives of Canada, Series B, Vol 37, pp. 10-12.


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