Quebec Act, 1774: Document

Selected text of the Quebec Act:
An Act for making more effectual Provision for the Government of the Province of Quebec in North America.

V. And, for the more perfect Security and Ease of the Minds of the Inhabitants of the said Province, it is hereby declared,

That his Majesty's Subjects, professing the religion of the Church of Rome, of and in the said Province of Quebec, may have, hold, and enjoy, the free Exercise of the Religion of the Church of Rome, subject to the King's Supremacy ... and that the Clergy of the said Church may hold, receive, and enjoy, their accustomed Dues and Rights, with respect to such Persons only as shall profess the said Religion.

VI. Provided, nevertheless, That it shall be lawful for His Majesty, His Heirs or Successors, to make such Provision out of the rest of the said accustomed Dues and Rights, for the Encouragement of the Protestant Religion, and for the Maintenance and Support of a Protestant Clergy within the said Province, as he or they shall, from Time to Time, think necessary and expedient.

VII. [Catholic office-holders are excused from taking the oath acknowledging the Queen's headship of the Church and are required instead to subscribe to the following oath]: ... "I, A.B., do sincerely promise and swear, That I will be faithful, and bear true Allegiance to His Majesty King George, and him will defend to the utmost of my Power, against all traiterous Conspiracies, and Attempts whatsoever, which shall be made against His Person, Crown and Dignity; and I will do my utmost Endeavour to disclose and make known to His Majesty, His Heirs and Successors, all Treasons, and traiterous Conspiracies, and Attempts, which I shall know to be against Him or any of Them; and all this I do swear without any Equivocation, mental Evasion, or secret Reservation, and renouncing all Pardons and Dispensations from any Power or Person whomsoever to the Contrary."

"So Help Me GOD."

VIII. And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That all His Majesty's Canadian Subjects, within the Province of Quebec, the religious Orders and Communities only excepted, may also hold and enjoy their Property and Possessions, together with all Customs and Usages relative thereto, and all other their Civil Rights, in as large, ample, and beneficial Manner, as if the said Proclamation, Commissions, Ordinances, and others Acts and Instruments had not been made, ... and that in all Matters of Controversy, relative to Property and Civil Rights, Resort shall be had to the Laws of Canada, as the Rule for the Decision of the same....

XI. And whereas the Certainty and Lenity of the Criminal Law of England, and the Benefits and Advantages resulting from the use of it, have been sensibly felt by the Inhabitants, from an Experience of more than Nine Years, during which it has been uniformly administered; be it therefore enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the same shall continue to be administered, and shall be observed as Law in the Province of Quebec....

XII. ... And whereas it is at present inexpedient to call an Assembly; be it therefore enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That it shall and may be lawful for His Majesty, His Heirs and Successors ... and with the Advice of the Privy Council to constitute and appoint a Council for the Affairs of the Province of Quebec, to consist of such Persons resident there, not exceeding Twenty-three, nor less than Seventeen, as His Majesty, His Heirs and Successors, shall be pleased to appoint; ... which Council, so appointed and nominated, or the major Part thereof, shall have Power and Authority to make Ordinances for the Peace, Welfare, and good Government of the said Province, with the Consent of His Majesty's Governor....