Guano license for seven years, Benjamin Barnard Nicholson is associated with "a certain coral island", South Pacific Ocean approximate location located at these coordinates -6.456382, -160.450945
| Guano license for seven years, Benjamin Barnard Nicholson
|| Transcript Margin Notes
|| Body of Transcript
Discovery of Guano by Licensee.
Island uninhabited and unclaimed.
Application for Licence.
Application granted without any guarantee of protection or compensation.
Grant of exclusive right to raise and export Guano for seven years.
Covenants by the Lessee.
| Dated 19th October 1865
F & T 100 4 – 65
M 7221 / 65
[ Initials: ? W P ]
26 7 65
[ Stamp: ] LONDON 26.7.65
[ Coat of Arms ]
This Indenture made the 24th day of July 1865 One thousand eight hundred and sixty five between HER MOST GRACIOUS MAJESTY QUEEN VICTORIA of the one part and Benjamin Barnard Nicholson of Melbourne in the Colony of Victoria Esquire ( who with his executors administrators and assigns is hereinafter included in the term “Licensee” ) of the other part.
Whereas it hath been represented to HER MAJESTY by the said Licensee that there are certain Deposits of Guano and other substances capable of being profitably used for manuring of Land ( all which substances are hereinafter included under the term Guano ) on a certain Coral Island in the South Pacific Ocean [ called – struck out ] lying in or about 6° 45” S Latitude and in 160° 40” west Longitude and that said Island is uninhabited and does not belong to any recognized Foreign State or Power and that so far as he the said Licensee is aware no other person has previously discovered Guano on said Island or claims to have any right or interest therein
AND WHEREAS the said Licensee hath applied to HER said MAJESTY to grant to him as first Discoverer of Guano on the said Island an exclusive Licence to remove Guano therefrom for his own use and benefit------
AND WHEREAS HER said MAJESTY on the faith of such representations hath been graciously pleased to accede to such application subject nevertheless to the understanding that Her said Majesty’s Government do not undertake to maintain any Establishment or any officer on the said Island or to make any compensation to the said Licensee for any loss or damage he may sustain by reason of the absence thereof or if from political or other considerations HER MAJESTY shall not find it expedient to retain the sovereignty of the said Island or convenient to protect the said Licensee in the exclusive enjoyment of the privilege intended to be hereby granted
NOW THIS INDENTURE WITNESSETH that subject to the Royalty covenants and conditions hereinafter contained on the part of the said Licensee to be paid and performed HER said MAJESTY Doth hereby grant to the said Licensee the sole and exclusive right to raise and export from the said Island for his own use and benefit such quantities of Guano as he may think proper during the term of SEVEN YEARS to be computed from the day of the date of these presents with full power and permission to construct on the said Island all such buildings roads jetties or other works as may be requisite and necessary for his operations in the raising and exporting such Guano
AND THIS INDENTURE also WITNESSETH that in consideration of the premises he the said Licensee for himself his heirs executors administrators and assigns doth hereby covenant with Her said Majesty Her Heirs and successors in manner following that is to say
| Licence "a certain coral island" - p1
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|| Not to assign or underlet.
To render half-yearly accounts.
To pay the Royalty half-yearly.
To maintain good order, and properly treat the labourers on the Island.
To plant trees and erect a conspicuous land-mark.
Power to the Secretary of State to revoke the Licence in certain cases, or in breach of any of the covenants.
Not less than 1500 tons of guano to be exported annually.
At the termination of the Licence, all property of the Licensee to belong to the Crown.
If Licence revoked on political grounds, Licensee to be compensated for machinery and buildings unless removed.
Expenses to be paid by Licensee.
| 1. That he the said Licensee will not assign or underlet the present Licence or any interest therein without having first obtained the consent thereto in writing of Her said Majesty’s Secretary of State for the Colonies for the time being.
2. That the said Licensee shall render to such Secretary of State true and correct half-yearly Statements made up to the 1st day of July and the 1st day of January in each year specifying in tons the quantity of guano shipped from the said Island during the half year to which such statements respectively shall relate together with the names tonnage and destinations of the vessels in which the same shall have been shipped which statements respectively shall be signed by the said Licensee and the truth and correctness thereof solemnly declared to by him on oath to be taken before a Justice of the Peace or if there be a Law in the Colony in which the Licensee may reside substituting solemn declarations for oaths by solemn declaration to be made before such Justice And each of such half-yearly statements so signed and sworn or declared to as aforesaid shall be transmitted by the said Licensee to such Secretary of State so as to ensure that it shall reach him at the Colonial Office in London within six calendar months of theexpiration of every such half year
3. That the said Licensee shall half-yearly on the 1st day of January and the 1st day of July next after the expiration of the half year for which such statements respectively have been or ought to have been made up as aforesaid pay to the governor or officer for the time being administering the government of Victoria on behalf of Her Majesty or to any other person authorized by such Secretary of State to receive the same a royalty at the rate of two shillings for every ton of guano which shall be exported from the said island during the first two years of the said term of seven years and a royalty at the rate of four shillings for every ton which shall be exported during the remainder of the said term.
4. That the said Licensee shall with his own resources and to the satisfaction of such Secretary of State maintain good order on the said Island and shall properly feed support and treat all labourers and others who may be employed by him on the said island and shall also conform to and enforce all such rules and regulations if any as may from time to time be established by or by the authority of such Secretary of State for maintaining good order on the said Island and the said Licensee shall not practise or resort to any punishments or methods of coercing labour which in the opinion of the Secretary of State shall be unjustifiable.
5. That for the purposes of land marks and so as to be visible to vessels approaching or passing near the said Island the said Licensee shall within one year from the date hereof plant and during the continuance of this Licence maintain on at least two conspicuous spots on the said Island Cocoa Nut Trees Palms or other quick growing trees and shall also build in a permanent manner and maintain a substantial column or beacon of not less than ten feet square at the base nor less than 25 feet in height. Provided that it shall be lawful for the commanding Officer of any of Her Majesty’s Ships of War to inspect the said beacon and if such Commanding Officer shall be dissatisfied with the mode in which the same shall have been built or with the place at which it shall have been erected it shall be lawful for such Commanding Officer to require the said Licensee to amend or alter the mode of construction of the said beacon or to require the same to be removed or erected upon some other part of the said island whereupon the said Licensee shall forthwith as may be so required amend or alter the mode of construction of the said beacon or remove and re-erect the same at such other place as shall be directed by such Commanding Officer.
And this Indenture further witnesseth that in case any of the hereinbefore recited representations of the said Licensee shall prove to be incorrect or in case any of the above covenants on the part of the said Licensee shall be broken or left unfulfilled or in case it shall be made to appear to the satisfaction of the said Secretary of State that the said Licensee has not exported from the said Island in any one year from the first day of January 1866 as much as fifteen hundred tons of guano or in case it shall appear to such Secretary of State expedient on political grounds to revoke this present Licence it shall be lawful for such Secretary of State on behalf of Her Majesty by notice under his hand to be forwarded by post to the said Licensee at his last known place of abode or of business in the United Kingdom or in any of Her Majesty’s possessions abroad to declare that on a day to be named in such notice not being less than four calendar months after the date thereof the Licence hereby granted to the said Licensee to raise and export guano as aforesaid shall cease and determine and the same shall accordingly cease and determine on that day Provided nevertheless that in case it shall be deemed expedient to determine the said Licence on political grounds or on account of disorders not in the opinion of the Secretary of State imputable to the Licensee or his agents the day so to be named for such determination shall not be less than twelve calendar months after the date of such notice.
And it is hereby further agreed that on the termination of the present Licence either by the efflux of time or on account of the breach of any conditions aforesaid all property machinery buildings and works placed or erected by the said Licensee on the said Island and all guano being thereon shall be and become the property of Her Majesty and Her Successors Provided nevertheless that in case these Presents shall be annulled or the said Licence revoked on the ground of political expediency the said Licensee in that case only shall be entitled to compensation for any machinery and buildings then on the said Island and belonging to the said Licensee which he may not elect at once to remove such compensation to be fixed by arbitrators to be chosen one by the said Secretary of State and the other by the said Licensee or by an umpire to be named by such arbitrators before they enter upon the arbitration
And it is hereby lastly agreed that all expenses incurred or to be incurred in the preparation and execution of these presents and in carrying out the provisions thereof shall be borne by the said Licensee and that the opinion of the Solicitor of Her Majesty’s Treasury as to the amount of such expenses shall in all respects be final
IN WITNESS whereof the Thomas William Clinton Murdoch and Stephen Walcott Esquires Her Majesty’s Emigration Commissioners have hereunto set their hands and seals on behalf of her Majesty and the said Benjamin Barnard Nicholson hath hereunto set his hand and seal the day and year first above written
Signed sealed and delivered by the said Thomas William Clinton Murdoch and Stephen Walcott, as such Emigration Commissioners as aforesaid, in the presence of Wm R Pownall. 8 Park St. [ ?? ]
T. W. C. Murdoch [ seal ]
S Walcott [ seal ]
Signed sealed and delivered by the said B B Nicholson in the presence of W Warden Priv Sec y
B B Nicholson. [ seal ]
19th October 1865
| Licence "a certain coral island" - p2
The location specified in the Licence does not produce a result in the famous Online Mapping service. The location entered here is the nearest possible land. Not to be relied on as accurate.
Benjamin Barnard Nicholson appears a few times in the National Library of Australia's online archive Trove but there is no apparent record of the "coral island" expedition. It may not have happened as Trove shows that B B Nicholson died less than two years later.
The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) Saturday 6 April 1867