Subseries consists of court documents relating to civil cases in British Columbia between 1864 and 1903. The cases comprise a variety of document types, including: judge’s orders; affidavits; writs of summons; correspondence; bills of costs; jury lists; judgments; notices; statements of account; motions; bonds; speakers’ certificates; indentures; agreements; receipts of sale; complaints; notices of intention; mortgages; requests; wills; and subpoenas. As a whole, they are indicative of the development of civil and criminal law in the region at the time, closely reflecting British standards and precedence. Differences did develop, however, as circumstances required.
It is important to note that the time period represented in these cases includes years before and after the colonies were converged on August 6th, 1866. Before the unification, the Colony of Vancouver Island and the Colony of British Columbia were separate entities in which civil suits at the local level were a vital part of the decentralized colonial government. Initially, the mainland was governed from New Westminster, but once they were merged into the new Colony of British Columbia, governance took place in Victoria on Vancouver Island.
In total, there are 155 files comprised of roughly 900 documents, wherein each file represents a different case. Of those, the donor has confirmed that 157 are from Vancouver Island and 35 are from the mainland.