Minutes : 1749-1841.

Call Number: HIL-MICL FC LPR .N6E9M5
Category: Nova Scotia
Creator: Nova Scotia. Executive Council.
Description: 6 microfilm textual records (13 volumes) ; 35 mm
            The seat of government in Nova Scotia was initially located at Annapolis Royal beginning in 1720 and consisted of a Governor (Richard Philipps) and a Council of twelve members.  The Council members were appointed by the Lords of the Board of Trade and Plantations in London and acted as the British administrative and judicial body for the colony.  The Board of Trade was supplied with a list of recommended nominees for members by the Governor.  The appointed Council was termed the “Council of Twelve” or “Annapolis Council.”   The seat of government moved to Halifax upon the founding of the city in 1749 under Governor Edward Cornwallis, and thereafter the Council was commonly called the “Halifax Council”.  In 1758 the first legislative assembly in Canada was elected in Nova Scotia, partially with the aim of attracting new settlers.  The House of Assembly convened in Halifax for the first time on October 2, 1758 under Governor Charles Lawrence.  The members of the “Nova Scotia Council,” or as it was contemporaneously called “His Majesty’s Council,” remained advisors to the Governor in both legislative and executive matters, for which they held separate meetings and formed the upper house of the government.  Most members of the Council were from the Halifax area, as travel during the period precluded members from further afield.  During the years 1758 to 1838, the government of the province was composed of three branches:  the Governor, the Nova Scotia Council with both legislative and executive functions, and the elected Assembly.  This arrangement continued until 1838 when concerns regarding the legality of the powers of the Council came to a head and the executive and legislative functions of the Council were separated, creating the Executive Council and Legislative Council.  With the coming of responsible government in 1848, the Executive Council was made responsible to the Legislative Assembly rather than to the Governor.  									            
            The Minutes are a record of all the business that came before the Council and Governor in their executive capacity within the administration of the colonial government.  Included are addresses by the Lieutenant Governor; appointments; memorials; petitions; resolutions; extracts of correspondence; oaths; estimates of expenditures; reports of committees; and many other records.  Topics which were considered involved granting of land, councils of war, and sale of intestate estates. Minutes from the period of the American Revolution and the settlement of the Loyalists are particularly interesting.  Subject matter in the Minutes concerns government, politics, land, and economics.  	            

The original Minutes are held by the Nova Scotia Archives.

Archival Ref. No.: (NSA) PANS RG 1, vols. 186-187. See also RG 3, Section 2. Title: “Minutes of His Majesty’s Council,” Creator: Nova Scotia Commissioner of Public Records.
Finding Aids:
            Internal indexes are located at the beginning or at the end of each volume. Only two volumes are not indexed.

A microfilm shelf list giving reel number, volume number, dates, and index information, is available electronically and in print.

Electronic Finding Aid Record: NS Executive Council Minutes Shelf List.pdf
Notes: Reel 1 begins with information concerning appointments and oaths of office contained in volumes 185, 1836-1863.
Part Of:
Other With:

Nova Scotia. Legislative Council. Journals: 1758 – 1835. MIC-Loyalist FC LPR .N6L4J

Nova Scotia. Legislative Council. Petitions, Reports, Resolutions, and Misc. Papers: 1760-1841. MIC-Loyalist FC LPR .N6L4P4