5th General Assembly of Nova Scotia

The 5th General Assembly of Nova Scotia represented Nova Scotia between May 1770 to 1784, its membership being set in the 1770 Nova Scotia general election.

The 5th General Assembly is known as Nova Scotia's "Long Parliament" [1] as it sat for fourteen years, throughout the length of the rebellion of the thirteen colonies. William Nesbitt was chosen as speaker in 1770. Thomas Cochran became speaker in 1784 after Nesbitt's death.

A writ for the election of the 5th General Assembly of Nova Scotia was issued on 18 April 1770. The assembly convened on 6 June 1770, held seventeen sessions, and was dissolved on 20 October 1785.

It is known as the "Long Parliament"[1] as it sat for fifteen years, throughout the length of the rebellion of the thirteen colonies.

Due to the extreme length of this assembly, there were a very large number of seats declared vacant and by-elections. The house journal sometimes makes note of the circumstances, oftentimes coloured by political rhetoric of the time.

SessionsEdit

Dates of specific sessions are under research.

Governor and CouncilEdit

According to Allison, page 481, in 1774, the composition of His Majesties government in Nova Scotia was:

Note: this data is preliminary and is a work in progress. Many editors have gotten confused about the role of the Lt. Governor, and acting governor. They are not the same. Most but not all acting governors were Lt. Governors, and most but not all Lt. Governors served as acting governors for part or all of their terms. This section is subject to further research.

The members of the Council are currently under research.

The information below comes from an earlier version of this article and has not been verified:

In 1774, the composition of His Majesties government in Nova Scotia was:[2]

Governor – His Excellency Francis Legge
Lieutenant-Governor – The Hon. Michael Francklin

His Majesty's Legislative Council (appointed by the Governor, may or may not be from House):

Provincial Officers (appointed by the Governor, may or may not be from House):

  • Secretary of the Province – Honourable Richard Bulkeley
  • Attorney General – William Nesbitt
  • Treasurer – Benjamin Green
  • Register – Arthur Goold
  • Chief Surveyor of Lands – Charles Morris
  • Provost Marshal – John Fenton
  • Chief Receiver of His Majesty's Quit Rent – Joseph Woodmass
  • Deputy Auditor – John Breynron

House of AssemblyEdit

OfficersEdit

Division of seatsEdit

As in previous assemblies, there were 4 seats assigned to Halifax County, 2 seats to the other counties and to Halifax Township, and 1 seat to the other townships. There were 33 seats at the beginning of the assembly. During the assembly, Amherst and Windsor Townships, and Hants County were added, for a total of 37 seats.

MembersEdit

  • Amherst Township
  • Annapolis County
    • Phineas Lovett, Sr. -seat declared vacant 10 December 1774, for non-attendance.
    • Joseph Patten -seat declared vacant 10 December 1774, for non-attendance.
      • William Shaw -by-election, took seat 12 June 1775, seat declared vacant 29 November 1784 for contempt of House (refusing to attend and produce public accounts)
      • John Hall -by-election, took seat 17 June 1775, seat declared vacant 28 June 1776 for non-attendance.
      • Henry Evans -by-election, return 20 August 1776, seat declared vacant 4 July 1782 for non-attendance, died 2 November 1782.
      • John Ritchie -by-election, took seat 8 October 1783
  • Annapolis Township
  • Barrington Township
  • Cornwallis Township
    • Samuel Willoughby -suspended 21 October 1774, to 8 December 1774, pending trial for usury. Seat declared vacant 28 June 1776 for non-attendance.
      • John Chipman -by-election, 14 August 1776, took seat 10 June 1777.
  • Cumberland County
    • John Huston -seat declared vacant 10 December 1774 for non-attendance
      • William Scurr -by-election, took seat 12 June 1775, seat declared vacant 28 June 1776 for non-attendance.
      • Thomas Dickson -by-election 20 August 1776, took seat 20 June 1777, not in attendance 1783.
    • Joshua Winslow -seat declared vacant 8 July 1772 for non-attendance.
      • Jotham Gay -by-election 23 September 1772, seat declared vacant 10 December 1774 for non-attendance. Reelected, took seat 12 June 1775.
  • Cumberland Township
    • Jonathan Eddy -seat declared vacant 20 July 1775 for non-attendance "afterwards turned Rebble"
      • John Allan -by-election, took seat 30 October 1775, seat declared vacant 28 June 1776 for non-attendance.
      • Hezekiah King -by-election 21 August 1776, seat declared vacant 4 July 1782. House journal states "The member elected several years ago has never attended."
      • Martin Gay -by-election, took seat 14 October 1783
  • Falmouth Township
    • Isaac Deschamps -elected for both Falmouth and Newport Townships, gave up this seat.
      • Edward York -by-election, took seat 17 June 1771, seat declared vacant 20 July 1775 for non-attendance.
      • Jeremiah Northup -by-election, took seat 24 October 1775.
  • Granville Township
  • Halifax County
  • Halifax Township
  • Hants County
    • George Brightman -initial by-election, writ 4 July 1782, took seat 6 October 1783.
    • Benjamin DeWolf -initial by-election, writ July 1782, took seat 7 October 1783.
  • Horton Township
    • Charles Dickson -seat declared vacant 28 June 1776 due to illness.
      • Joseph Pierce -by-election, return 19 August 1776, took seat 16 June 1777, resigned 25 June 1778 due to age.
      • Thomas Caldwell -by-election, return 28 January 1779, took seat 9 June 1779.
  • Kings County
  • Liverpool Township
    • John Doggett -died 20 March 1772.
      • Samuel Doggett -by-election, 26 May 1772, sailed for West Indies 14 June 1772, seat reported vacant 8 July 1772 and 24 April 1773.
      • Seth Harding -by-election, 2 July 1773, took seat 12 October 1773, seat declared vacant 10 December 1774 for non-attendance.
      • Thomas Cochran -by-election, 3 July 1775, took seat 13 July 1775.
  • Londonderry Township
    • John Morrison -seat declared vacant 8 July 1772 for non-attendance. Reelected, writ issued 21 January, returned 20 February 1773, took seat 1 November 1774. Left for New Hampshire 1777. House journal on 25 June 1778 reports "member has absconded and is gone out of the province."
  • Lunenburg County
  • Lunenberg Township
  • Newport Township
  • Onslow Township
    • Joshua Lamb -seat declared vacant 8 July 1772, 6 October – 10 December 1774 for non-attendance.
      • Richard Upham -by-election, took seat 12 June 1775. Apparently died September 1775.
      • Joshua Lamb -by-election, writ issued 21 November 1775, return 17 February 1776, seat reported vacant 28 June 1776.
      • Charles Dickson -by-election, writ issued 17 July, return 6 August 1776, seat reported vacant 11 June 1777. (Elliott notes that in this period, the inhabitants of Onslow were refusing to take the Oath of Allegiance, and the vacancy may have been declared to deny representation.) Seat again declared vacant 4 July 1782 for non-attendance. Apparently reelected in another by-election, took seat again 27 October 1783.
  • Queens County
  • Sackville Township
    • Robert Foster -seat declared vacant 8 July 1772 for non-attendance.
      • Samuel Rogers -by-election, 6 November 1773, took seat 17 July 1775, seat declared vacant 28 June 1776 for non-attendance.
      • Robert Foster -by-election, writ issued 17 July 1776, return 22 August 1776, seat declared vacant 4 July 1782. House journal reports "member has absconded".
      • Richard John Uniacke -by-election, took seat 6 October 1783.
  • Sunbury County -became part of New Brunswick in 1784.
  • Truro Township
    • William Fisher -may have never sat, seat declared vacant 8 July 1772 for non-attendance. Re-elected 4 February 1773, seat again declared vacant 10 December 1774 for non-attendance.
      • Samuel Archibald -by-election, took seat 12 June 1775, denied seat 13 June 1777. (The inhabitants of Truro, Onslow and Londonderry were refusing to take the Oath of Allegiance.)
      • John Harris -by-election, took seat 18 June 1781.
  • Windsor Township
  • Yarmouth Township
    • Malachy Salter -elected in 1770, took seat 11 June 1772, election declared invalid 2 July 1772.
      • John Crawley -by-election 3 December 1772, may not have sat, seat declared vacant 10 December 1774 and 12 June 1775 for non-attendance.
      • James Monk -by-election, took seat 15 June 1775, seat declared vacant 28 June 1776 for non-attendance, went to Quebec.
      • Richard Cunningham -by-election, 12 April 1779, took seat 9 October 1780, appointed Clerk of the House and seat declared vacant 26 November 1783.

Note: Unless otherwise noted, members were elected at the general election, and took their seats at the convening of the assembly. By-elections are special elections held to fill specific vacancies. When a member is noted as having taking their seat on a certain date, but a by-election isn't noted, the member was elected at the general election but arrived late.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ David Allison; "History of Nova Scotia", Bowen, Halifax, 1916. Vol. 3
  2. ^ David Allison; "History of Nova Scotia", Bowen, Halifax, 1916. Vol. 2, page 481
  3. ^ "The Gentleman's Magazine". 1792.



Preceded by General Assemblies of Nova Scotia
1770–1784
Succeeded by