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MANY of the documents of the series of this Part of the Record Group properly belong to the correspondence records of Part 1, but for various reasons they were kept apart from the files when the latter were bound, and this separation has been preserved in their classification as archives. The deeds of CSO57 are found in this Record Group because of the practice of registering these documents in the Colonial Secretary's Office (see General Introduction), and of returning them for cancellation; many others are large and unwieldy parchment documents which it would have been impracticable to bind; some of them are instruments of special contemporary significance, kept separately for the sake of safety and separately registered; and a few were probably even then in too damaged a condition to be bound.
The location of those that bear correspondence registration numbers has been indicated in the appropriate place in the correspondence series by cross reference slips.
These forty-seven parchment deeds, arranged alphabetically by name of grantee, were all apparently regularly drawn up and legally current at the time; it is not therefore clear why they were deposited with the Colonial Secretary, but it seems likely that they are related to CSO60, differing from that series in that they were not registered. There is an index to the grantees.
Land grant deeds were returned to the Colonial Secretary's Office for cancellation if some error was found in the document, or if a new deed was required as a result of investigation by the Caveat Commissioners. These deeds fall into the latter category. They are of parchment, are arranged alphabetically by name of grantee, and there is an index to grantees.
These documents, consisting of grant deeds, Lieutenant-Governor's proclamations, Arthur's oath of allegiance, memorials and bonds, are mostly of parchment and were not bound with their appropriate files because of their unwieldy size; most of them bear registration numbers (in CSO1 and CSO24), and reference to them is facilitated by the fact that in each file from which they have been extracted there is a cross-reference slip referring the student to this series.
Like the documents described under CSO59, these records, many of which bear registration numbers, belong to the correspondence series of Part 1, and they were not bound there because they were either too unwieldy, or they were considered of special importance and were kept in a safe (the "Iron Chest"). They are to be distinguished from CSO59 because they were re-registered in a separate volume (CSO61). The contents of the first two bundles are arranged according to the registration numbers of that volume (1-186); but after that the documents follow the order of their listing in the register. The types of instruments included are: leases, releases, bonds, conveyances, powers of attorney, mortgages, transfers, Lieutenant-Governor's proclamations, Commissions of the Peace, newspaper proprietors' affidavits, Royal Warrants of appointment, land grants, etc. Most documents relate to some transaction in which the Government was directly involved, or in which one party was an official acting for the Government.
This volume registers the documents described under CSO60; a note on the fly-leaf reads: "Register of Deeds deposited in the Iron Chest, placed in the Colonial Secretary's Room". The information given is: number (of document); names of the parties to the transaction; description of the document; number of documents involved in the transaction. All the documents here registered are not to be found in CSO60, and have been missing since the time a clerk went through the volume writing "not here" against many entries. After No. 186 the documents are not numbered, but entered hurriedly one after the other. The volume carries its own index to names of the parties concerned in the transactions documented.
None of these documents is registered in any way; they were not apparently considered of comparable importance to the documents kept in the "Iron Chest" (see under CSO60 and CSO61), and a note on the cover of one reads: "I forward this as a specimen of the condition in which many of the papers and documents in the Colonial Secretary's Office are from the ravages of rats and other vermin which abound in that wretched building. J[ohn]. B[urnett]. 26 April 1830". The documents include grant deeds, mortgages, cancelled grant deeds, applications for publicans' licences, conveyances, surrenders, disclaimers, declarations of trust, releases, warrants of appointment; also several estrays, such as isolated pieces of correspondence and sentences. There is no index.