License to raise and export guano from the eastern position of Starbuck Island, Joseph Askunas is associated with Starbuck Island located at these coordinates -5.6425944232724, -155.87995561318
| License to raise and export guano from the eastern position of Starbuck Island, Joseph Askunas
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|| Dated 9th June 1870
Her Majesty Queen Victoria to Mr Joseph Askunas
to raise and export Guano from the Eastern portion of Starbuck Island in the South Pacific
C. S. Cartwright
50 Great [ ? ] Alley
Sold by Waterlow & Sons
12 Birchin Lane
This Indenture made the nineth day of June One thousand eight hundred and seventyBetween Her Most Gracious Majesty Queen Victoria of the one part and Joseph Askunas now of Melbourne in the Colony of Victoria Merchant ( who with his executors administrators and assigns is hereinafter included in the term “Licensee” ) of the other part.
Whereas by an Indenture bearing date the nineteenth day od May One thousand eight hundred and sixty six Her said Majesty was pleased to grant to the said Licensee Her Royal licence for the term of Seven years to raise and export certain deposits of guano and other substances capable of being profitably used for the manuring of Land ( all which substances were therein and are hereinafter included under the term Guano ) from the eastern portion of a certain Island in the South Pacific situated in Latitude 5°. 20’ South and in Longitude 155° 56” West ( as laid down in the Admiralty chart ) called Starbuck Island subject to the Royalties Covenants and Conditions therein contained.
And whereas the said Licensee failed to fulfil such Covenants and Conditions whereby the said Licence became revokable, and the same has accordingly been duly revoked on the manner prescribed in and by the said Licence as he the said Licensee doth hereby admit.
And whereas the said Licensee hath applied to Her said Majesty to grant to him a fresh Licence to raise and export Guano from the said Eastern portion of the said Island subject to the payment of a fixed annual rent instead of a Royalty on the quantity of Guano exported as stipulated in the said revoked Licence.
And whereas Her said Majesty 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 rent 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 during the term of Seven years to be computed from the first day of January last past to raise and export Guano for his own use and benefit from such portion of the said Island of Starbuck as lies to the East of a straight line drawn from north to south across the said Island and at a distance of not more than three miles in a straight line from the most western point of the said Island or at such lesser distance from such most western point as will leave at least half the said Island to the east of such transverse line With full power and permission to construct on the
| Licence Starbuck Island - p1
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|| 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
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 a true and correct Statement made up to the thirty first day of December in each year specifying in tons the quantity of Guano shipped from the said Island during the year to which such statement shall relate together with the names tonnage and destinations of the Vessels in which the same shall have been shipped each of which statements shall be signed and declared by the said Licensee as true and correct and 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 expiration of the year to which it relates.
3. That the said Licensee shall half yearly on the first day of January and the first day of July in each year 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 yearly rent of Fifty pounds without any deduction or abatement whatsoever the first of such half yearly payments to be made on the thirtieth day of June next.
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 laborers 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 such Secretary of State shall be unjustifiable.
5. That the said Licensee his agents and workmen shall not raise or carry away Guano from any part of the said Island lying to the West of such transverse line as aforesaid nor do any act or thing which may prejudice or interfere with the rights or privileges of any person or persons holding a Licence from Her said Majesty to raise and export Guano or other materials from such western portion of the said Island, nor molest on any way the agents or workmen of such person or persons in carrying out their operations under or in virtue of such Licence
6. 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 Twenty five 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 above Covenants on the part of the said Licensee shall be broken or left unfulfilled 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 from any cause 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.
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 Right Honorable John Henry Thomas Viscount Canterbury Knight Commander of the most Honorable Order of the Bath Governor of the Colony of Victoria hath hereunto on Her Majesty’s behalf set his hand and seal and the said Joseph Askunas his hand and seal the day and year first above written [ illegible initials ].
[ in faint pencil: ] Signed sealed and delivered
Canterbury. [ seal ]
Signed sealed and delivered by the above named Joseph Askunas in the presence of
Joseph Askunas [ seal ]
| Licence Starbuck Island - p2
Somewhat ironically, The Australian National Library digital archive Trove reveals that Joseph Askunas died two days after the granting of this Licence.
The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) Monday 13 June 1870 Funeral of Joseph Askunas
For a bit of background see his Advertisements on Trove, e.g.:-
The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946) Saturday 8 May 1869 Advertisement for Guano