THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF TRINIDAD
Publication No. 306.
A Proclamation by the Governor of Trinidad as to the introduction
of improper persons.
Source :-Public Record Office. State Papers Colonial.
Published by the courtesy of the Master of the Rolls and the
Deputy Keeper of the Public Records.
i4th August, 1804.
By His Excellency Brigadier General Thomas Hislop Lieutenant
Governor of the said Island and its Dependencies.
Whereas in defiance of the most positive injunctions and
regulations contained in Our Proclamation of the Ist day of
August in the year 1803, it has been discovered that many
persons have found the means of introducing themselves
into the Island without previous permission had and obtained,
and have for a considerable period taken up their abode
in several parts of this Colony and particularly in and about
the Town of Port D'Espagne withholding themselves from
tendering the oath of fidelity and allegiance to His Majest,
as also from enrollment in the Militia.
And Whereas it also appears that this disobedience and
contempt of regulations calculated for preserving the safety
and tranquillity of the Colony and of His Majesty's loyal
subjects resident therein, has been uniformly known to certain
individuals without due information being given by them
to us His Majesty's Lieutenant Governor or to any other
constituted authority and in direct violation of their own
duty and Our Ordinance.
Now Therefore in order to prevent the recurrence of such
evils in future as well as to make immediate discovery of the
number of improper persons so clandestinely introduced,
encouraged and daringly living in this Government
We do by and with the advice of His Majesty's Council
hereby thinks fit to proclaim and direct that the Commandants
of the several districts within the Island and their Adjoints
as also the Alcaldes in Oldinary and of the eight Barrios in
Port D'Espagne, do cause immediate strict search and enquiry
to be made for all persons of the description hereinbefore
mentioned and upon discovery of any such, to have them
conveyed instantly to Government House as also the person
or persons harboring, concealing or abetting such person
And We do hereby also order that the Commandants of
Quarters and Adjoints, the Alcaldes in Ordinary and the
Alcaldes de Barrio in Port D'Espagne cause frequent and
diligent search and enquiry to be made b) night as by day for
the discovery and apprehension of suspected persons of all
descriptions and to have them conveyed to Government House.
And We do hereby also further order and declare that
the penalty for concealing, comforting and aiding persons
remaining in the Colony without the sanction of Government
and compliance with the existing regulations and ordinances,
to be confiscation of goods and chattels and instant banishment
of the Offender or offenders from the Colony and the person
or persons found so contravening the laws shall he sent to
work upon the fortifications in the Island during our will
And for the further security\ of the Island and for the
maintenance of the public tranquillity thereof, We do hereby
order and direct the Alcaldes in Ordinary and de Barrio
in Port D'Espagne, to cause the several houses therein to be
numbered and each housekeeper, white or coloured, to
affix to his or their street doors upon a card or sheet of paper,
the names of the persons living therein and aloo the names
of all inmates and lodgers and the several servants and slaves,
male and female, therein employed and upon arrival and
departure of any one or more of them, to cause the same
to be notified upon such card or paper by adding to or taking
away the name or names and the same to be instantly reported
to the Alcaldes de Barrio who will from time to time inspect
such names and cause the same to be transcribed and reported
at Government House and in case of noncompliance by such
housekeepers of affixing correctlyy the names and noticing
the arrival and departure of servants and slaves and lodgers
and inmates at his or their street doors and reporting the
same as aforesaid, the said Alcaldes in Ordinary and the
Alcaldes de Barrio are hereby authorised and empowered
to levy a fine of twenty dollars upon the person or persons
so neglecting or refusing and in cae of non-payment of such
fine, they shall commit the offender or offenders to the Common
Gaol for the space of ten davs.
And in order further to ensure the tranquillity of the said
Colony and to hinder the coming in of improper and dangerous
persons, we do hereby also (by and with the consent and
advice of His Majesty's Council' think fit to create a Board
of Superintendance and Control to consist of the following
persons to wit: Andrew Clarke, William Harrison, Abraham
Pinto, James Eccles and Robert Prentice Esquires who shall
sit every day in the Town of Port D'Espagne for the purpose
of examining into and ascertaining the characters of persons
resorting to this Colony and the Harbour Master is hereby
enjoined to conduct every person coming inio the Colony
immediately to such Board and after due examination at
such Board and approval in writing or otherwise such person
shall be brought to Government House with the report of the
said Board for our further enquiry and determination.
And We do hereby further direct the said Harbour Master
of Port D'Espagne strictly to visit and search every vessel
coming to the harbour and particularly Spanish Launches
and to take the names of all persons on board in writing,
a copy thereof to be left with such Board of Control and another
copy at Government House and again at the moment of
departure, to muster the several persons reported to be on
board such several vessels and if any of the crew or passengers
should be wanting, to stop and detain the said vessel until
the person or persons so missing is or are accounted for.
And all His Majesty's liege subjects in this Colony are
hereby also enjoined to be aiding and assisting in the detection
and apprehension of persons coming within the intent and
meaning of this Our Proclamation and to be strictly attentive
to and watchful in preventing the introduction of dangerous
and improper persons, a point of such essential importance
to the public safety and tranquillity.
Given under Our Hand and Seal at Arms at Government
House in the Town of Port D'Espagne this i4th day of August
in the year of Our Lord, 1804 and of His Majesty's reign.
By His Excellency's Command
WM. HOLMES, Secretary.
GOD SAVE THE KING.