Skip to Content

Original Documents on Aborigines and Law, 1797-1840

Document 35

Original Document 35

Copy circular room citing the Aboriginal inhabitants of the British Colonies. Demand for humanity towards natives: 1834

[138]   [addressed at bottom of page to Major General Bourke]

Downing ST

1st August 1834



The House of Commons have presented a humble address to His Majesty praying 'that His Majesty will take such measures, and give such directions to the Governors, and Officers, of His Majesty's Colonies, Settlements, and Plantations, as shall secure to the Natives the due observance of Justice, and the protection of their rights - promote the spread of Civilization among them, and lead them to the peaceful and voluntary reception of the Christian Religion.'

And His Majesty having been graciously pleased to accede to this address, I feel that I cannot take more effectual means for realizing the wishes expressed by the House of Commons, and sincerely entertained by His [139] Majesty, than by directing your attention to the principles contained in the Address adverted to. I am quite aware that these principles are not now laid down for the first time, but that they will be found to have governed the conduct of my Predecessors in this Office, and to have been embodied in such instructions as have been issued by this Department for the improvement of the condition of the Aboriginal Inhabitants of His Majesty's colonies.

Entertaining the fullest confidence that in relation to the Territories of which the Government has been entrusted by His Majesty to you, the most earnest and anxious attention will be given to he subject, I am commanded by His Majesty to assure you that your efforts in the discharge of this important, and interesting duty shall be seconded by the utmost support which you can claim from [139] His Majesty.

I am


Your Most Obedient

Humble Servant

J Spring Rice


Copy of Circular respecting the Aboriginal Tribes of the British Colonies


No 35

Published by the Centre for Comparative Law History and Governance of Macquarie University, and State Records NSW