1853: 16 & 17 Victoria c.86: An Act to remove Doubts as to the Rights of the liberated Africans in Sierra Leone.
[20th August 1853.]
WHEREAS Doubts have been entertained whether Africans who have been liberated, or taken and received under the Protection of the Crown, under the Provisions of the Acts for the Abolition and Suppression of the Slave Trade, and are domiciled in the Colony of Sierra Leone and its Dependencies, are British Subjects, and Doubts have been also entertained as to the Authority of the local Legislature of that Colony in legislating in relation to the Rights and Obligations of such Africans; Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the Authority of the same, as follows:
[Liberated Africans in Sierra Leone to be deemed for all Purposes in Africa natural-born Subjects.]
I. All liberated Africans domiciled or resident, or who hereafter may be domiciled or resident, in the Colony of Sierra Leone or its Dependencies, shall be deemed to be and to have been for all Purposes as from the Date of their being brought into or of their Arrival in the said Colony natural-born Subjects of Her Majesty, and to be and to have been capable of taking, holding, conveying, devising, and transmitting any Estate, real or personal, within the said Colony of Sierra Leone and its Dependencies: Provided always, that it shall be
[Local Legislature may make Laws in relation to the Property in Land in the Colony.]
lawful for the Legislature of Sierra Leone by any Ordinance to be passed in the Manner subject to the Conditions which are or may be by Law required in respect of such Ordinances, to alter or repeal any of the Provisions of this Act, so far as they relate to Rights to Real Property within the Colony of Sierra Leone and its Dependencies, and generally to make such Provisions in relation to such Rights as to such Legislature may seem expedient.
[Liberated Africans to be British Subjects for the Purposes of Treaties with Native Chiefs.]
II. And whereas Treaties have been from Time to Time entered into, by or on the Behalf and with the Sanction of Her Majesty, with the Kings and Chiefs of certain African Territories and Tribes in the Neighbourhood of the said Colony of Sierra Leone, for the Purpose (amongst others) of providing for the Security of the Persons and Property of British Subjects, and for the Surrender of Criminals, being British Subjects, guilty of any Offence cognizable by the Laws of England, for Trial in such Colony as Her Majesty may appoint: In all such Treaties as aforesaid made or which may be made between the Officer administering the Government of Sierra Leone for the Time being and such Kings or Chiefs as aforesaid, and sanctioned by Her Majesty, Her Heirs and Successors, the Terms “British Subjects” and “Subjects of the Queen of England” shall be held for the Purposes of such Treaty to comprehend all liberated Africans domiciled or residing in Sierra Leone and its Dependencies.
[Governor may appoint Officers to demand or take charge of British Subjects under these Treaties.]
III. Any Magistrate or other Officer whom the Officer administering the Government of Sierra Leone shall appoint to demand or to take charge of any British Subject who shall be surrendered according to the Provisions of any such Treaty for Trial in Sierra Leone shall be deemed and taken to be an Officer of Her Majesty, to whom the Cognizance of the Crime or Offence with which such British Subject may be charged appertains,
[6 & 7 Vict. c. 94.]
within the Meaning of the Act of the Sixth and Seventh Year of the Reign of Her present Majesty, Chapter Ninety-four, entitled An Act to remove Doubts as to the Exercise of Power and Jurisdiction by Her Majesty within divers Countries and Places out of Her Majesty’s Dominions, and to render the same more effectual.
[Who to be deemed Liberated Africans.]
IV. For the Purposes of this Act the Words “liberated Africans” shall mean and include all Persons dealt with or detained as Slaves who heretofore have been or hereafter may be seized or taken, under any of the Acts for the Abolition or Suppression of the Slave Trade, by Her Majesty’s Ships of War or otherwise, and liberated or delivered to the Officers appointed to protect, receive, or provide for such Persons, and all other Persons who, as having been dealt with, carried, kept, or detained as Slaves, may have been taken and liberated, or received, protected, or provided for, under any of the said Acts.
[Provisions of Acts against Slave Trade not to be affected.]
V. Provided always, That nothing in this Act shall in anywise prejudice or interfere with any of the Provisions in relation to such liberated Africans as aforesaid of the Laws in force for the Abolition or Suppression of the Slave Trade.