The timing of this address in favor of the “rights” of those who considered Nova Scotia their proprietary colony, in 1848, immediately after Nova Scotia had successfully won a measure of self government thanks to the efforts of Joseph Howe and others, says so much, and perhaps points to part of the impetus behind the obstinacy of the British Crown in regards to “confederation”.
“As regards justice, the crown charters, of combined justice, policy, and humanity. acts of parliament, and other legal instruments founded upon (upwards of two hundred in number,) demonstrate, beyond all doubt or cavil, that the rights and privileges which they vest in the Order are still valid, subsisting, and effectual. The policy of restoring to activity and usefulness such a great monarchical institute as the Baronetage of Scotland and Nova Scotia, would be a means of rapidly settling, with a loyal and attached landocracy, yeomanry, and peasantry (the main constituent elements of British society,) that portion of our vast trans- atlantic empire which, from geographical position, mineral resources, and water facilities, is, and must ever be, the arx et domicilium of British power, industry, and enterprise, in the western hemisphere, is too self-apparent to require comment.”
“The charters, acts, and other documents referred to in the compilation on the Nova Scotia Question – a copy of which publication is placed herewith in the hands of the Colonial Minister constitute a complete chain of historical and legal evidence in support of the claim of right preferred by the Baronets. With such indefeasible grounds to proceed upon, and seeing that questions connected with subsistence and population will successively arise to embarrass the nation, the Deputation deem it to be impossible that a wise and paternal government, actuated by due fidelity to the Crown, and love for the people, will fail to recognise the duty of restoring the rights in Nova Scotia of the Scottish Baronetage, and making the Older again subservient for the great and paramount ends for which it was devised by the wisdom and patriotism of former sovereigns, privy councils, and parliaments.
The duty of restoring the public functions and utility of the Scottish Baronetage, as a body constituted for ever to advance ‘the opulence, prosperity, and peace’ of Scotland, by and through the right colonization and settlement of Nova Scotia, is one alike onerous upon its members and the Crown. Corruption or non- utility in a great monarchical institute is, under any circumstances, a state evil of enormous magnitude one which reflects equally upon the reigning Sovereign, as the representative of the Royal founder, and upon those whose titles and prerogatives have descended upon them as retaining fees for personal exertions. When James I. annexed Nova Scotia to his ancient kingdom, ‘that its use might arise to the benefit of that kingdom,’ and projected the erection of the Baronetage to superintend its plantation, he declared he would make the business a ‘Royal work of his own.’ And his last injunction to the Privy council of Scotland, dated from his death-bed, on the 23rd of March, 1625, was, ‘Persevere for the furtherance of this Royal work that it may be brought to a full perfection because it is to be the foundation of so great a work, both for the good of the kingdom in general, and for the particular interest of every Baronet’ Whilst, then, in compliance with that Royal commandment, and in consideration of the necessities now pressing upon all ranks and classes of the subject in Scotland, the Baronets are bound in honour and conscience to revive the uses of their Order, our gracious Queen, her ministers and government, are no less bound in honour and conscience to facilitate the restoration of the Baronetage, and to do whatever is needful to render it again the state organ of utility, in that noble but neglected domain of social happiness and national aggrandisement, which its Royal institutor intended it hereditarily to be.”
Committee of the Baronets of Scotland and Nova Scotia for Nova Scotia Rights. “Colonization : Nova Scotia Baronet rights : copy of the memorandum and protest placed in Earl Grey’s hands by a deputation on the 2nd of June, 1848, and of the address of the Hon. Sir Richard Broun, Bart., delivered before the Committee of the Baronets of Scotland and Nova Scotia for Nova Scotia Rights, on the 16th of October, 1848.” [London : s.n., 1848?] (London : Blackburn and Burt) https://www.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.4841