Emigration Regulations

Information for the use of Military and Naval Officers Purposing (sic.) to settle in the British Colonies.


Admiralty 1st May, 1843

The Lord Commissioners of the Admiralty are pleased to direct that the annexed Memorandum, which has been transmitted from the Colonial Department, be promulgated for the information of Officers of the Royal Navy and Marines proposing to settle in the Australian Colonies.

All former notices on the subject of Officers settling in the Colonies are to be considered as obsolete.

By Command of their Lordships,

John Barrow


The Colonies in which Military and Naval Officers are allowed privileges in the acquisition of public lands are the following:-

  • First, the Australian Settlements, consisting of New South Wales, Van Diemen's Land. South Australia, Western Australia, and New Zealand;

  • Secondly, Ceylon;

  • Thirdly, Nova Scotia and Cape Breton the only province in North America where privileges are still allowed.

2. In the different Australian Settlements, and in Ceylon, land is disposed of by sale only; but Officers purchasing land, are allowed a remission of the purchase money, according to the under-mentioned scale:

Field Officers, of 25 years' service and upwards in the whole 300.
Field Officers, of 20 years' service and upwards, in the whole 250.
Field Officers, of 15 or less years' service, in the whole 200.
Captains, of 20 years' service and upwards, in the whole 200.
Captains, of 15 years' service or less, in the whole 150
Subalterns, of 20 years' service and upwards, in the whole 150
Subalterns, of 7 years' service and upwards, in the whole 100.
Subalterns, under 7 years' standing, are not entitled to any remission in the purchase of land.

Regimental Staff Officers, and Medical Officers of the Army and Navy, are allowed the benefit of this Rule.

In Nova Scotia and Cape Breton, allotments of Land are granted to Officers on, the following scale and conditions, viz.:

To a Lieut. Colonel 1200 acres.
To a Major 1000 acres.
To a Captain 800 acres.
To a Subaltern 500 acres.

3. Officers of the Army or Navy, proposing to proceed to the Colonies, in order to take advantage of this indulgence, should provide themselves with Certificates from the office of the General Commanding in Chief, or of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, or of the Master General of the Ordnance, showing that their emigration has been sanctioned, and stating exactly their rank and length of service. No document from the office of the Secretary or State is necessary.

4. Officers on half pay, residing in the Colony where they propose to settle, are admitted to the privileges of Military and Naval Settlers, without referring to this country for testimonials, provided they can satisfy the Governor that there is no objection to their being allowed the indulgence, and that the statement of their rank and length of service is accurate ; and provided, if they belong to the Navy, that they produce their letter of leave of absence from the Admiralty.

5 Military Chaplains, Commissariat Officers, and Officers of any of the Civil Departments of the Army; Pursers, Chaplains, Midshipmen, Warrant Officers of every description, and Officers of any of the Civil Departments of the Navy, are not allowed any privileges in respect of land. Although members of these classes may have been admitted formerly, and under different circumstances, they are now excluded. Mates in the Royal Navy rank with Ensigns in the Army, and Mates of three years' standing, with Lieutenants in the Army, and are entitled respectively to corresponding privileges in the acquisition of Lands.

6. Gentlemen who have ceased to belong to Her Majesty's Service are not allowed the advantages to which they were entitled while in the Army or Navy. This rule, however, is not to affect Officers who desire to quit the service, for the express purpose of settling in the Colonies : it is only required, that when they resign their Commissions, they should apply for a certificate from the General Commanding in Chief, or from the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, or from the Master General of the Ordnance, that they do so with the view of emigrating, and such certificate, if produced to the Governor of any of the Colonies before-mentioned within one year from its date, but not otherwise will be a sufficient warrant for allowing the bearer the same advantages as Officers who are still in Her Majesty's Service.

7. An actual residence of two years in the Colony must be proved before the titles can be granted, except in cases in which death may have occurred before the expiration of that period.

8. For the convenience of Officers, the following heads are subjoined of the Rules for the Sale of Land to the Australian Settlements:

All Lands are disposed of by sale alone, and must have been once at least exposed to public auction.

The lowest upset price is not less than 1 per acre; but the Government has power to raise the same by Proclamation, though not again to reduce it.

The Lands are distinguished into three different classes ; viz. town Lots, Suburban Lots, and Country Lots.

Upon Town and Suburban Lots, as well as upon a proportion not exceeding one tenth of the whole of the Country Lots offered for sale at any auction, the Governor has the power of naming a higher than the general or lowest upset price : these last to be designated " Special Country Lots."

Town and Suburban Lots are in no case disposed of except by public auction ; but Country Lots, which have already been put up to public auction, and not sold, may be disposed of afterwards by private contract at the upset price.

No Lands are sold by private contract, except for ready money. When sold by public auction, one-tenth at least of the whole purchase money must he put down, and the remainder within one calendar month, or the deposit is forfeited.

Lands are put up for sale in Lots not exceeding one square mile in extent.

9. In Ceylon, land is sold by auction at an upset price of 5s. per acre, generally in lots of 100 acres each.

10. The several prices above mentioned are of course subject to revision at any time by the proper Authorities, and the pecuniary amount of the Remission made to Officers cannot be increased on account of an increased value set upon the Lands.

September, 1843.

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