Copy of the Friendly Society’s Certificate in Justification of Chief Justice Gibbons,
with an Added Affadavit from one of the Grand Jurors, 28 February 1788

Transcribed by Janice Fralic-Brown

                We the Subscribers Members of a Society called the Friendly Society – Do Certify & Declare that we did Associate ourselves together in said Society, and did form signs & present Petitions to His Honor Lieutenant Governor Macarmick to be selected into a Company of Volunteer Militia wholly without the recommendation, Advice, direction, Approbation, Privity & as we believe Knowledge directly or indirectly of Richard Gibbons, Esquire this? his Majesty’s Chief Justice of Cape Breton And that we neither directly or indirectly by ourselves or others communicated any of our consultations, intentions or Proceedings to the said Chief Justice nor ever had directly or indirectly asked, applied for, had any opinion, approbation or advice from him respecting all or any of our said Proceedings nor ever had or carried on any kind of Correspondence whatever with him thereupon, nor did he on those subjects, except what he said in Council to such of us as were called before that Board on an Enquiry into those Matters, nor did the Chief Justice either directly or indirectly recommend to, or advise, us to make Remonstrances.

                Witness our Hands at Sydney the twelfth Day of March 1788.



John Smith            } Stewarts

C. Cope                 }

John O’Brien        }
Thos Jenner          }
Mo Rundle            } Asst.
Wm Brown            } Stewarts
Archibald Forrest }
Saml Smith           }
Wm Smith
Robt. Graham
I. Williams
Henry Roberts
William Davidson
Thomas Buchanan
Smith Woodruffe
Joseph Bartlett
Robert Anderson
Hugh Hora?<
Wm Thompson
Noah Morriss
Ambrose Boole
James Holt
Jesse Richards
Robert Richardson CLK?
A True Copy

R. Gibbons [signature]


Transcriber’s Note: DesBarres had, before his removal, supported the formation of a volunteer militia. It appears The Friendly Society was a group of men who had supported DesBarres and opposed the followers of Cuyler, Matthews and consequently Macarmick. In his article, "The Loyalists of Cape Breton" in Cape Breton Historical Essays (College of Cape Breton Press, 1980), Dr. Robert Morgan says that "It is plain that the Society was composed of settlers from the Blenheim." Some may also have been pre-Loyalist settlers.

Certificate of Richard Peter Tonge, Grand Jury member

I do hereby certify that His Majesty’s Attorney General was pleased to say that His Majesty’s Chief Justice and all the Grand Jury were a set of Rebel Rascals and that a Rebellion was commencing as before.

Expressed at the Governor’s the last Day of the Supreme Court.

Richd Peter Tonge
One of the Grand Jurors

Sydney, 28th February 1788

Source: Colonial Correspondence, Cape Breton: CO 217, Vol. 105, p. 163, 165




Contributed by Janice Fralic-Brown
Page written 24 April 1999
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