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47° Georgii III, Session 1, cap. XLIV

An Act for transferring to His Majesty, certain Possessions and Rights vested in the Sierre Leone Company, and for shortening the Duration of the said Company; and for preventing any dealing or traffiking in the buying or selling of Slaves within the Colony of Sierre Leane.

 

[8th August 1807.]

31 G.3 c.55. for establishing the Siena Leone Company, and enabling them to receive a Grant of certain Possessions from His Majesty. 'WHEREAS by an Act, passed in the Thirty-first Year of His present Majesty's Reign, intituled, An Act for establishing a Company for carrying on Trade between the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Coasts, Harbours, and Countries of Africa, and for enabling the said Company to hold by Grant from His Majesty, His Heirs and  Successors, and from the Native Princes of Africa, a certain District of Land, commonly called The Peninsula of Sierra Leone, now vested in His Majesty or belonging to the said Princes, for the better enabling the said Company to carry on the said Trade, it was amongst other Things enacted, That the several Persons therein named and described should be, and they were thereby created one distinct and separate Body Politic and Corporate, by the Name or Stile of The Sierra Leone Company; and it was also enacted, That it should be lawful for His Majesty, His Heirs and Successors, to make unto the said Company a Grant, by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of Great Britain, of so much and such Part of all that Tract or District of Land situate and being at Sierra Leone on the Coast of Africa, and commonly called or known by the Name or Description of The Peninsula of Sierra Leone, as then already might have, or should thereafter, by any Grant, Purchase, or Cession from any of the Kings, Princes, or Chiefs, having Right, become vested in His Majesty, His Heirs or Successors, with Power and Liberty to and for the said Company to purchase of and from all Kings, Princes, and Chiefs, or other Persons having Right to make Sale thereof, so much Land as should include the whole Tract or District so commonly called or known by the Name of The Peninsula of Sierra Leone as aforesaid, to hold the same to the said Company and their Assigns, upon such Terms, Conditions, and Reservations, as His Majesty, His Heirs and Successors, should judge expedient; and it was thereby further enacted, That the said Act should take place and have continuance from the First Day of July One thousand seven hundred and ninety-one, for the Term of Thirty-one Years, and from thence to the End of the next Session of Parliament: And Whereas by Letters Patent, bearing Date the Fifth Day of July in the Forty-first Year of His Majesty's Reign, His Majesty, by virtue and in pursuance of the said Act, did give and grant unto the said Company, their Successors and Assigns, the aforesaid Tract and District of Land with Liberty and Privilege to purchase Lands in addition thereto as aforesaid, all which Lands His Majesty by the said Letters Patent did make, erect, and create one independent and separate Colony, by the Name of The Colony of Sierre Leone, and did ordain, will, and establish, that the Court of Directors of the said Company assembled for that Purpose should and might make, enact, and declare Laws, Statutes, and Ordinances fit and necessary for and concerning the Government of the said Colony, and might appoint a Governor and Council for the Government of the said Colony; and His Majesty did give and grant that there should be within the Town of Free Town one Body Politic and Corporate, by the Name and Stile of The Mayor and Aldermen of Free Town, with Power to hold a Court of Record, by the Name of The Mayor's Court of Free Town, and divers other Officers to assist in the Administration of Justice, and in the Government of the said Colony, under the Superintendance and Controul of the Court of Directors of the said Company; And Whereas the said Company, convinced of the Expediency of relinquishing the Government and Management of the said Colony, have expressed a Desire to make, and have humbly intreated His Majesty to accept a Surrender to His Majesty of all the Tract or District of Land granted to them by the said Letters Patent, or of which the said Company are possessed, or which they do now enjoy by Purchase or otherwise, in Addition to the said Lands so granted to the said Company; and they are further desirous t hat their Existence as a Body Politick and Corporate should cease and determine within such Period of Time, shorter than that limited and declared in and by the said Statute, as is deemed by the said Company sufficient for them to settle their Affairs: for confirming and giving Effect to such intended Surrender, and for limiting the Duration of the said Company:'
The Letters Patent granting such Possessions declared void, and the same shall vest in His Majesty. May it therefore please Your Majesty that it may be enacted; and be it enacted by the King's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the Advice and Content of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the Authority of the same, That the said Letters Patent and Grant, and every Matter, Clause, and Thing therein contained, shall, and the same are hereby declared to be henceforth null and void; and the said Company shall be, and they are hereby divested of and from all that Tract or District of Land commonly called and known by the Name or Description of The Peninsula of Sierra Leone, and all Forts, Castles, Buildings, or Estate, which have been since purchased or otherwise acquired by the said Company in addition thereto, or which now are possessed or claimed by the said Company in or about the said Peninsula and the said Tract or District of Land, and all Forts, Castles, Buildings, or Estate so purchased or otherwise acquired, possessed, enjoyed, or claimed by the said Company, shall henceforth be, and the same and every of them are and is hereby declared and enacted to be fully and absolutely vested in His Majesty, His Heirs and Successors, for ever.
Sierra Leone Company shall determine in Seven Years. II. And be it further enacted, That, at the Expiration of Seven Years from and after the passing of this Act the said Sierre Leone Company shall cease to be a Body Politick and Corporate, to all Intents, Constructions and Purposes whatsoever; any Thing in the said Act to the contrary thereof in anywise notwithstanding.
Governor of the Colony shall decide what Buildings are to be surrendered and vested in His Majesty. III. And be it further enacted, That in case any Difference shall arise respecting any Building or Buildings as aforesaid, whether the same is or are such as within the Meaning of this Act are to be surrendered by the said Company, and vested in His Majesty, His Heirs and Successors, it shall and may be lawful for the Governor that shall be appointed by His Majesty for the Government of the said Colony, or in his Absence for the Lieutenant Governor, and he is hereby authorized and required, after due Examination of the Matter, to determine whether any such Building or Buildings is or are to be surrendered and vested in His Majesty, His Heirs and Successors, or to remain in the Possession of the said Company; and such Determination shall be final.
Dealing in Slaves in the Colony of Sierra Leone prohibited. IV. Provided always, and be it further enacted, That it shall not be lawful for any Person or Persons whatsoever, inhabiting, or being, or who shall at any Time hereafter inhabit or be within the said Peninsula or Colony of Sierre Leone, either directly or indirectly to deal or traffick in, buy or sell, or to be aiding or assisting in the dealing or trafficking in the buying or selling of Slaves, either within the said Peninsula or elsewhere.

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