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Description found in Archives

Clerk of the Crown in Chancery, election records. Lower Canada and Canada East [textual record]. 



Place of creation

Québec (Province)

3.9 m of textual records.

Scope and content

The records consist of Writs and Returns plus a variety of supporting documents (oaths of returning officers and polling clerks, proclamations of the polling date, Qualifications of candidates, Recapitulations of votes, etc.) for both general elections and by-elections, for the House of Assembly, 1792-1833 and 1844-1866, and for the Legislative Council, 1856-1864. Some correspondence of the Clerk, lists of candidates and of returning officers, and related records are included in the series, as are a few poll books. Included in horizontal storage are the following two items: proclamations of election in the electoral division of Montarville, 15 September 1858 and 7 May 1861. These documents are located in containers 44 and 45. Both are in a bilingual format. The first one measures 20.5 inches long by 27 inches wide; the second, 24.5 inches long by 36 inches wide. Of the records submitted to the Clerk after elections, what was preserved and where it has survived remains to be investigated.

Textual records
90: Open
from 1 to 41
90: Open
Former archival reference no.

Textual records The finding aid provides a checklist of the ridings for which Writs and Returns survive, and the quantity of records, without specifically identifying all the documents available for any one riding. The Introduction provides information on the reorganization of 1983, transfers to othe series and sources of further information. MSS1459 90 (Paper)

Biography / Administrative history

Responsibility for preparing the Writs of election for the Legislative Assembly, and of the Legislative Council after 1856, and for preparing the Writs summoning members to the Legislative Council lay with the Clerk of the Crown in Chancery. While the Clerk was an officer of Parliament, the office was generally held in plurality, notably by H.W. Ryland, Clerk of the Executive Council and Civil Secretary, or Thomas Douglas, an Assistant to the Civil Secretary.

Additional information

Related materials
Some poll books have been found in the judicial archives of Quebec (see MG 8, A 27). Poll books and other records relating to contested elections may have been forwarded to committees of Parliament for investigation and thus have suffered the same fate as the legislative records. Writs of summons for the Council and Proclamations summoning or dissolving Parliament are found in RG 4, B 7, or astray with correspondence of the Civil Secretary. Documents relating to election expenditures, most particularly to the Commissions of Inquiry into the accounts of returning officers in 1855 and 1856, should be sought in RG 4, C 1.

Availability of other formats note
Microfiche of many printed proclamations of the polls were made in 1986 by the Canadian Institute for Historical Microreproduction.

Exhibitions note
Exhibition Title: Bicentenaire des Institutions parlementaires de Québec. Curator: Musée de la civilisation de Québec, Québec; 1992.06-1992.09. (RG 4 B72 Vol. 1 pp. 56-57; Acte et retour d'élection, 1792)

Subject heading

1. Legislative bodies - Lower Canada, 1792-1866 Canada East.
2. Elections - Lower Canada, 1792-1866 Lower Canada. Legislative Council, 1856-1864.
3. Lower Canada. House of Assembly - Elections, 1792-1833, 1844-1866.
4. Oaths - Lower Canada, [1792-1866]
5. Poll books, [1792-1866]
6. Politicians - Lower Canada, 1792-1866.
7. Legislators - Lower Canada, 1792-1866.
8. Lower Canada - Officials and employees, 1792-1866.
9. Returning officers - Selections and appointments, 1792-1866.
10. Lower Canada - Officials and employees - Selection and appointment, 1792-1866.
11. Writs - Lower Canada, 1792-1866.


Other system control no.