British Colonial Developments, 1774-1834

By Vincent Harlow; Frederick Madden | Go to book overview

detailed the principal civil offices which are to be filled by British subjects, I proceed to point out the objects to which it is necessary you should give your earliest attention upon assuming the Government. . . .

That in regard to the laws by which the Maltese have been accustomed to be governed, and the proceedings of the courts of judicature, the Prince Regent has commanded that such alterations only should be introduced as appear to be imperiously called for by the improved circumstances of the Island, and to be necessary for ensuring to all classes of the inhabitants an equal dispensation of justice and for guarding against abuses and delays in the proceedings of the courts. Finally, that His Royal Highness has given to you full powers and instructions to carry into effect such changes as may appear indispensable, and to take the necessary measures for improving the revenue, extending the commerce, and securing to the Maltese people those articles of primary necessity which must be derived from other countries.

I am inclined to believe that a declaration of this nature will be productive of very beneficial effects, and that the boon the Maltese receive in their annexation to the British dominion will outweigh the considerations of any partial shock, which the first introduction of British principles might occasion to one or other of the classes of society. Immediately after the issuing of a Proclamation to this effect you will cause the arms or emblems of the Order of St. John to be removed from all the public buildings, and likewise the armorial bearings of the different Langues and Grand Masters, and you will cause His Majesty's arms to be affixed, with due ceremony, to the Governor's Palace, and to any other edifices, when you may think it advisable. . . .


31
MALTA: PETITION TO WILLIAM IV (July 1832)1

SIRE,

The undersigned inhabitants of the island of Malta and its dependencies, faithful and loyal subjects of Your Majesty, grieved at the progressive deterioration of their country and alarmed at the prospect of a future still worse, in confirmation of a similar petition laid before the Throne through the means of the Lieutenant Governor on the 18th May 1832, humbly venture to lay at Your Majesty's feet their earnest supplications, entreating from Your Majesty a relief for present and a remedy against future evils. . . .

Since the year 1800 a remarkable and successive change has taken place in the fundamental laws of the country, the national privileges

____________________
1
C.O. 158/73. Enclosed in Ponsonby to Goderich, 20 July 1832. No date.

-134-

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