Orders in Council, old charts and the PCO

Last week I was asked to locate “the Order in Council dated 19th December 1913 (made pursuant to the Dockyard Ports Regulation Act 1865)” and concerning the Dockyard Port of Cromarty. You know I love these old ones!

Orders in Council are orders which have been personally approved, at a meeting of the Privy Council, by the monarch. If the order had been recent it might have been available via the Privy Council website – but 1913 is not recent (even by our standards).

Orders in Council fall into two broad categories, Statutory and Prerogative:

  • Statutory Orders in Council are issued as Statutory Instruments – they are numbered and are published with other SIs
  • Prerogative Orders are not SIs. They are published in the London Gazette and Edinburgh Gazette.

I had no way of knowing which I was looking for…

I began by checking our holdings of published SIs and our unique collection of local SIs (ones which don’t get re-printed). I did find a reference to the Order in Council in the back of the published volume but there was no detail there. Next, I checked online and quickly found what I wanted in the Edinburgh Gazette.

So far, so disappointingly easy.

However, my enquirer soon got back to me. The Order in Council stated:

On the chart accompanying this Order are marked all the limits referred to therein.

“On the chart”? There was no chart reproduced in the Edinburgh Gazette. I had a quick check in the National Records of Scotland online catalogue but they don’t seem to hold anything on this Order. I decided to try contacting the Privy Council Office – the first time I’ve done so. I emailed and explained my request. Today I got a lovely wee message back:

We have searched our archive records and managed to find a copy of the chart. Unfortunately it is extremely large – much too big  for our copier and scanner.

Therefore we have done a ‘cut and paste’ job and I am putting a paper copy in the post to you.

Best regards…

I fervently hope any cutting was only figurative in nature. I would hate to be in anyway connected to the disassembly of a 102 year old sea chart…

Anyway, after a wee bit of treasure-hunting and the help of the friendly folk at the PCO, my patchwork chart is in the post it seems. I really do love these old ones  🙂

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2 thoughts on “Orders in Council, old charts and the PCO

  1. Pingback: Order in Council – update | A Very Fine Library

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