Colonial Office: Land and Emigration Commission, etc.

CO 386
Colonial Office: Land and Emigration Commission, etc.

This series contains original correspondence, entry books and registers of the Agent General for Emigration, the South Australian Commissioners and the Land and Emigration Commission. Amongst the miscellaneous contents are registers of births and deaths of emigrants at sea 1854-1869, lists of ships chartered 1847-1875, registers of surgeons appointed 1854-1894, and volumes of The Colonial Gazette 1838-1842.


Arrangement in the subseries original correspondence, entry books of out-letters, registers of correspondence, orders, statistics etc, and miscellaneous.

Related Material:
See also CO 384
Held by:
The National Archives, Kew
Legal status:
Public Record
Agent General for Emigration, 1837-1840
Colonisation Commissioners for South Australia, 1834-1840
Emigration Commission, 1855-1878
Land and Emigration Commission, 1840-1855
Physical description:
194 volume(s)
Access conditions:
Open unless otherwise stated
Administrative / biographical background:

A Colonial Land and Emigration Commission was created in 1840 to undertake the duties of two earlier and overlapping authorities which were both under the supervision of the secretary of state. These were the Colonisation Commissioners for South Australia, established under an act of 1834, and the agent general for emigration, appointed in 1837. The new commission dealt with grants of land, the outward movement of settlers, the administration of the Passenger Acts of 1855 and 1863 and, from 1846 to 1859, the scrutiny of colonial legislation.

In 1855 it became the Emigration Commission. In 1873 the administration of the Passenger Acts was transferred to the Board of Trade. The commission's powers were gradually given up to the larger colonies as they obtained self-government, and after 1873 its only duties were the control of the importation of Indian indentured labour into sugar-producing colonies and it was abolished in 1878.

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