Proclamation, Province of Nova Scotia council chamber, Halifax, January 3rd, 1757

His Excellency the Governor, together with his Majesty’s Council, having had under mature Consideration, the necessary and most expedient Measures for carrying into Execution those Parts of his Majesty’s Commission and Instructions which relate to the Calling of General Assemblies within the Province, came to the following Resolutions thereon, Viz.

That a House of Representatives of the Inhabitants of this Province, be the Civil Legislature thereof, in Conjunction with his Majesty’s Governor or Commander in Chief for the Time being, and his Majesty’s Council of the said Province. The first House to be elected and convened in the following Manner, and to be stiled the GENERAL ASSEMBLY Viz.

That there shall be elected for the Province at large, until the same shall be divided into Counties: 12 Members

For the Township of Halifax4 Ditto
For the Township of Lunenburg2 Ditto
For the Township of Dartmouth1 Ditto
For the Township of Lawrence-Town1 Ditto
For the Township of Annapolis-Royal1 Ditto
For the Township of Cumberland1 Ditto

That until the said Townships can be more particularly described, the Limits thereof shall be deemed to be as follows, Viz. That the Township of Halifax comprehend all the Lands lying Southerly of a Line extending from the Westernmost Head of Bedford-Basin across to the North-easterly Head of St. Margarets-Bay, with all the Islands nearest to said Lands, together with the Islands called Cornwallis’s, Webb’s, and Rous’s Islands.

That the Township of Lunenburg comprehend all the Lands lying between Lahave-River, and the Easternmost Head of Mahone-Bay, with all the Islands within said Bay, and all the islands within Mirhguash-Bay, and those Islands lying to the Southward of the above Limits.

That the Township of Dartmouth comprehend all the Lands lying on the East Side of the Harbor of Halifax and Bedford Basin, and extending and bounded Easterly by the Grant to the Proprietors of Lawrence-Town, and extending from the North-easterly Head of Bedford-Basin into the Country, until One Hundred Thousand Acres be comprehended.

That the Township of Lawrence-Town be bounded on the Ocean, according to the Limits of the Grant to the Proprietors, and thence under the same Lines to extend into the Country ’til One Hundred Thousand Acres be comprehended

That the Township of Annapolis-Royal be bounded Northerly by the Bay of Fundy, and comprehend all the Lands from the Entrance of the Basin, to extend up the River as far as the late French Inhabitants have possessed, and all the Lands on the South Side of the Basin and River of Annapolis, under the fame Limits East and Weft, and to extend Southerly ’till One Hundred Thousand Acres be comprehended.

That the Township of Cumberland, in the District of Chignecto, comprehend all the Lands lying between the Ba/on formerly called Beaubasin, now called Cumberland-Basin, and the Bay Vert, and all those Lands lying within Seven Miles of the South-westward and North-westward of the Road leading from said Basin to said Bay

That when Twenty-five qualified Electors shall be fettled at Pisquid, Minas, Cobequid, or any other Townships which may hereafter be erected, each of the said Townships so settled shall, for their Encouragement, be intitled to send one Representative to the General-Assembly, and shall likewise have a Right of voting in the Election of Representatives for the Province at large.

That the House shall always consist of at least Sixteen Members present, besides the Speaker, before they enter upon Business.

That no Person shall be chosen as a Member of the said House, or shall have a Right of voting in the Election of any Member of the said House, who shall be a Popish Recusant, or shall be under the Age of Twenty-one Years, or who shall not at the Time of such Election, be possessed in his own Right of a Freehold Estate within the District for which he hall be elected, or hall so vote, nor shall any Elector have more than One Vote for each Member to be chosen for the Province at large, or for any Township and that each Freeholder present at such Election, and giving his Vote for One Member for the Province at large, hall be obliged to vote also for the other Eleven.

That respecting Freeholds which may have been conveyed by the Sheriff, by Virtue of an Execution, the Right of voting shall remain and be in the Persons from whom the fame were taken in Execution, until the Time of Redemption be elapsed.

That no non-commissioned Officer, or private Soldier, in actual Service, shall have a Right of voting, by Virtue of any Dwelling built upon Sufferance, nor any (unintelligible) Possession of Freehold, unless the fame be registered to him.
That all the Electors shall, if so required at the Time of the Election, take the usual State Oaths appointed by Law, and declare and subscribe the Test.

That any Voter hall, at the Request of any Candidate, be obliged to take the following Oath ; which Oath, together with the State Oaths, the Returning Officer is hereby empowered to administer.

A B. do swear, that I am a Freeholder in the Township of in the Province of Nova-Scotia, and have
Hereditaments lying or being at ____________ within the said Township; and that such Freehold Estate hath not been made or granted to me fraudulently, on purpose to qualify me to give my Vote; and that I have not received, or had, by myself, or any Person whatsoever in Trust for me, or for my Use and Benefit, directly or indirectly, any Sum or Sums of Money, Office, Place or Employment, Gift or Reward, or any Promise or Security for any Money, Office, Employment or Gift, in order to give my Vote at this Election and that I have not before been polled at this Election, and that the Place of my abode is at ____________

That a Precept be issued by his Excellency the Governor to the Provost-Marshal or Sheriff of the Province, requiring him, by himself or his Deputies, to summon the Freeholders of the Province to meet within their respective Districts, at some convenient Place and Time, to be by the said Provost-Marshal, or one of his Deputies, appointed, and of which he or they hall give Twenty Days Notice, then and there to elect (agreeable to the Regulations hereby prescribed ) such a Number of Representatives, as shall in the said Precept be expressed, agreeable to the preceding Detail.
That (on Account of the present rigorous Season ) the Precept for convening the first Assembly, be made returnable in Sixty Days from the Date thereof, at which Time the Assembly shall meat at such Place as his Excellency the Governor shall appoint in the Precept.

That the Provost-Marshal, or his Deputy, shall be the Returning Officer of the Elections, to be held by him with the Assistance of Three of the Freeholders present, to be appointed and sworn by the Returning Officer for that Purpose; and in Case a Scrutiny hall be demanded, the fame hall be made by them; and in Case of further Contest, the fane to be determined by the House Eight Hours from the Time of it’s being opened; and for the Province at large, the Poll after Four Days from the Time of it’s being opened for the Election, shall be sealed up by the Returning Officer for each Township, and transmitted to the Provost-Marshal by the first Opportunity, that reasonable Notice may be given to the Persons who shall, upon Examination, appear to have been chosen by the greatest Number of the said Votes.
Provided nevertheless, That if the Votes in the Townships of Annapolis Royal and Cumberland, for the first Members for the Province at large, shall hot be returned Eight Days before the Expiration of the time limited for returning the Precept, the Provost-Marshal shall, in such Case, proceed to declare who are the Persons elected from the other Votes in his Hands.

That the Provost-Marshal, or his Deputy, shall appoint for each Candidate, such one Person as hall be nominated so him by each Candidate, to be Inspectors of the Returning-Officer and his Assistants.
That no Person shall be deemed duly elected, who shall not have the Votes of a Majority of the Electors present,
That the Names of all Persons voted for, together with the Names of the Voters, shall, at the time of voting, be publicly declared and entered on a Book kept for that Purpose.

That in Case of the Absence of any of the Members from the Province, for the term of two Months it shall and may be lawful for the Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, or Commander in Chief, (if he shall judge it necessary) to issue his Precept for the Choice of Others in their Stead.

That the Returning Officer shall cause the foregoing Resolution to be publicly read at the Opening of each Meeting for the Elections, and to govern the said Meetings agreeable thereto,

By His Excellency’s Command,
with the Advice and Consent
of His Majesty’s Council,
J. Duport, Secr. Conc.

Cha Lawrence.

“Proclamation, Governor Charles Lawrence – official announcement and details about the election of representatives to the new General Assembly”, Colonial Office and Predecessors: Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Original Correspondence. CO 21/16 ff. 154. 1757.,