Hong Kong Letters Patent 1877
Victoria, by the grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Queen, Defender of the Faith, Empress of India: To all to whom these Presents shall come, Greeting:
WHEREAS We did, by certain Letters-Patent (hereinafter called Our said Charter) under the Great Seal of Our United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, bearing date at Westminster the fifth day of April, 1843, in the sixth year of Our reign, erect the Island of Hong Kong and its Dependencies into a separate Colony, to be known and designated as the Colony of Hong Kong, and did make provision for the Government of Our said Colony: And whereas by Our Order in Our Privy Council, bearing date the fourth day of February, 1861, in the twenty-fourth year of Our reign, it was ordered that the Kowloon District therein described should be part and parcel of Our said Colony: And whereas We did, by certain other Letters-Patent, under the Great Seal of Our United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, bearing date at Westminster the thirteenth day of February, 1872, in the thirty-fifth year of Our reign, constitute and appoint Our trusty and well beloved Sir ARTHUR Edward Kennedy, Knight Commander of Our Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George, Companion of Our Most Honourable Order of the Bath, to be, during Our will and pleasure, Our Governor and Commander-in-chief in and over Our said Colony of Hong Kong and its Dependencies, and over all forts and garrisons which are now or may hereafter be erected and established therein: And whereas We did, by certain other Letters-Patent, under the Great Seal of Our United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, bearing date at Westminster the eighth day of June, 1875, in the thirty-eighth year of Our reign, amend Our said Charter: And whereas We are desirous of making effectual and permanent provision for the Office of Governor and Commander-in-chief in and over our said Colony of Hong Kong and its Dependencies, without making new Letters-Patent on each demise of the said Office: Now know ye that We have revoked and determined, and by these presents do revoke and determine, the said recited Letters-Patent of the thirteenth day of February, 1872, and the eighth day of June, 1875, and every clause, article, and thing therein contained, provided that such revocation shall not extend to or affect the repeal of the eleventh clause of Our said Charter, contained in the last-mentioned Letters-Patent, but that the said eleventh clause shall be and remain repealed: And further know ye, that We, of Our special grace, certain knowledge, and mere motion, have thought fit to constitute, order, and declare, and do by these presents constitute, order, and declare, that there shall be a Governor and Commander-in-chief (hereinafter called Our said Governor) in and over Our Colony of Hong Kong and its Dependencies (hereinafter called Our said Colony), and that the person who shall fill the said Office of Governor shall be from time to time appointed by Commission under Our Sign Manual and Signet: And We do hereby authorize and command Our said Governor to do and execute in due manner all things that shall belong to his said command, and to the trust We have reposed in him, according to the several powers and authorities granted or appointed him by virtue of Our said Charter of the fifth day of February, 1843, and these present Letters-Patent, and of such Commission as may be issued to him under Our Sign Manual an Signet, and according to such Instructions as may from time to time be given to him, under Our Sign Manual and Signet, or by Our Order in Our Privy Council, or by Us through one of Our Principal Secretaries of State, and to such Laws as are or shall hereafter be in force in Our Said Colony.
II. And whereas, by Article IV of Our said Charter, We did make provision for the constitution of an Executive Council for Our said Colony of Hong Kong: Now We do hereby declare Our pleasure to be that, henceforth, any person or persons may be named or designated by Us as Members of Our said Executive Council of Our said Colony by Warrant, under Our Sign Manual and Signet, as well as by any Instruction or Instructions addressed by Us to Our said Governor, and that Our said Governor shall summon to Our said Executive Council any person or persons so named or designated.
III. And We do hereby declare Our pleasure to be that, in addition to the power of granting pardons conferred upon Our said Governor by Articles VIII and IX of Our said Charter, Our said Governor shall be authorized, and he is hereby empowered, as he shall see occasion, in Our name and on Our behalf, when any crime has been committed within Our said Colony, or for which the offender may be tried therein, to grant a pardon to any accomplice, not being the actual perpetrator of such crime, who shall give such information as shall lead to the conviction of the principal offender; and to remit any fines, penalties, or forfeitures whatsoever, which may become due and payable to Us, notwithstanding that the same may exceed the sum of Fifty pounds sterling in any case.
IV. And whereas by Article XI of Our said Charter We did make provision for the administration of the Government of Our said Colony, in the event of the death or absence of the Governor, for the time being thereof: And whereas We have revoked that Article of Our said Charter, and We do hereby further declare Our will and pleasure to be that in the event of the death, incapacity, or absence out of Our said Colony, of such person as may be commissioned and appointed by Us to be the Governor thereof, all and every the powers and authorities by Our said Charter, or by these Presents, granted to the Governor of Our said Colony, for the time being, shall be, and the same are hereby vested in such person as may be appointed by Us, by warrant under Our Sign Manual and Signet, to be Our Lieutenant-Governor of Our said Colony, or if there shall be no such Lieutenant-Governor in Our said Colony, then in such person or persons as may be appointed by Us under Our Sign-Manual and Signet to administer the Government of Our said Colony; or in the event of there being no person in Our said Colony commissioned and appointed by Us to be such Lieutenant-Governor or such Colonial Secretary or person lawfully discharging the function of Colonial Secretary for the time being, shall execute all and every the said powers and authorities until Our further pleasure shall be signified therein, and according to such Instructions as Our said Governor may have received, and such further instructions as such Lieutenant-Governor, Colonial Secretary, or other person as aforesaid, may receive from Us, either under Our Sign Manual and Signet, or by Instructions under the hand of one of Our Principal Secretaries of State.
V. And We do hereby require and command all Our Officers and Ministers, Civil and Military, and all other inhabitants of Our said Colony, to be obedient, aiding and assisting unto Our said Governor, or in the event of his death, incapacity, removal or absence, to such person or persons as may under the provisions of Our said Charter, and these Letters-Patent, administer the Government of our said Colony. VI. And We do hereby reserve to Ourselves, Our heirs, and successors, full power and authority from time to time to revoke, alter, or amend these Our Letters-Patent as to Us or them shall seem meet. VII. And We do further direct and enjoin that these Our Letters-Patent shall be read and proclaimed at such place or places as Our said Governor shall think fit within Our said Colony of Hong Kong. In witness whereof We have caused these Our Letters to be made Patent. Witness Ourself at Westminster, the Ninth day of April, in the Fortieth year of Our Reign. By Warrant under the Queen’s Sign Manual.