Responsible Government and Elite Accommodations, 1848-1865


Melvin Baker


The return to the 1832 constitution did not please the Liberals and in May 1848 they held a large public meeting to press for the establishment of Responsible government. However, they found that they did not have a sympathetic supporter in Governor John Gaspard LeMarchant, who passed the meeting's resolutions on to the Colonial Office with the comment that Newfoundland was not yet ready politically and economically for Responsible government. Despite this call for Responsible government the Newfoundland political scene, as illustrated in the 1848 general election, was quiet as compared to pre-1842 political developments. In part, this was due to the disorganized nature of the Liberal Party and the lack of strong leadership. Carson had died in 1843, while Kent and Morris now enjoyed official patronage. Bishop Fleming retired from active politics because of both old age and a papal reprimand. Parsons was still the editor of the Patriot, but he was not completely acceptable as a leader to the Roman Catholics because he was a Protestant. Moreover, the liberal use of patronage under Governor Harvey's tenure had served its purpose of weakening Party ties to include Roman Catholics in the colonial patronage system.

In 1850 the Liberals gained new leaders in Bishop Thomas Mullock and lawyer Philip Little. Although an Irishman, Mullock did not share his predecessor's complete obsession with Irish nationalism and Fleming's desire to fight Ireland's struggles in Newfoundland. Mullock quickly identified himself with Newfoundland's general welfare and, soon after his arrival in 1848, championed such local improvements as telegraphic links with Europe, improved steamer communications, and more road building. Unlike Fleming, Mullock preferred a native priesthood for the Island instead of bringing out Irish priests and he set about to establish a local seminary to train local clergy. Rather than support the Irish-born Kent, Mullock threw his influence behind Little who, although not a native, did share many of the same views for promoting Newfoundland's political and economic development. In the early 1850s in a letter to Little he denounced the existing political system as "irresponsible drivelling despotism, and depending for support alone on bigotry and bribery." Mullock allowed his priests to act as election managers for the Liberal Party in its efforts to obtain Responsible government (see Frederick Jones, "John Thomas Mullock," Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 9). The Prince Edward Island-born Little came to Newfoundland in 1844 and became the only Catholic lawyer then practising in St. John's. Little's political career began in 1850 in a St. John's by-election, when the seat became vacant following LeMarchant's appointment of O'Brien to the Executive Council. Little ran against another Liberal, James Douglas, who now was the recipient of a public position, thus enabling Little to portray him as a government candidate. Little easily won the by-election much to the chagrin of the Conservative Public Ledger, which decried Mullock's active support for Little (see J.K. Hiller, "Philip Francis Little," Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 12).

With Little having assumed the leadership of the Liberals in the House of Assembly, politics once more became highly partisan as Little, Kent, and Parsons subsequently passed resolutions in the House calling for Responsible government. They also courted the support of Methodists to achieve this goal. Methodist concerns over Anglican proposals, to split the legislative grant for education to Protestants, provided them with the opportunity they needed (see Jones, Religion, Education, and Politics in Newfoundland, 1836­1875).

The concerns of Methodists over this grant must be seen against the developments in education since 1836. In 1836 the legislature enacted legislation providing funding for the establishment in each of the electoral districts of school boards made up of Roman Catholic and Protestant appointees. Bishop Fleming had found this arrangement to be unsatisfactory and in 1843 had convinced Governor Harvey to split, for a seven-year trial period, the education grant between Protestants and Roman Catholics. This arrangement thus gave Roman Catholics their own educational system. This was an arrangement that the new Anglican Bishop, Edward Feild who came to Newfoundland in 1844, considered desirable for Anglicans as well. To understand why, it must be remembered that Feild belonged to an intellectual development in the Anglican Church known as the Oxford Movement. This Movement believed that there were many similarities between Roman Catholic and Anglican doctrines. Those Anglicans holding such beliefs were called Tractarians, or High Churchmen. Feild has been described by historian Elinor Senior as an excellent church administrator who "permitted no compromise in matters which seemed to him to threaten the religious or financial position of the Church of England" (Edward Feild," Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. X). Upon assuming office in Newfoundland, Feild set about to make the Newfoundland Church Tractarian and refused to cooperate with the Methodists, because they were too evangelical and espoused a belief in a public, liberal education. He also angered Methodists by having his ministers remarry people who had received their marital rites from Methodist clergymen. Smaller in numbers than their Anglican counterparts, the Methodists believed that the only way they could provide an adequate education for their children was through the maintenance of a unified protestant education grant.

Feild's actions towards the Methodists had the effect of driving the Methodists in the early 1850s into a political alliance with the Roman Catholics, because both groups also resented the fact that Anglicans monopolized public office and patronage. With the 1843 Education Act to expire in 1850, Anglican politicians led by Hugh Hoyles attempted in 1850 to get the Assembly to subdivide the Protestant Education Grant. Under Hoyles' proposal, Anglicans would have their own schools; the grant and any school property they shared with Methodists would be divided according to the proportional percentage each Protestant sect formed of the total Protestant population. Divided this way, the Methodists believed that it would be nearly impossible to maintain their own schools on a per capita basis. The Liberals supported the Methodists on this matter and in 1850 and 1851 defeated legislation in the Assembly Hoyles introduced for subdividing the grant.

Methodist support was important in several seats where neither the Roman Catholics nor the Anglicans formed a majority of voters and where the Methodists held the balance of power. These seats were Burin and four seats in Conception Bay. As matters stood, Liberal strength could be had in six seats: St. John's (3), Ferryland (1), and Placentia-St. Mary's (2). As for the Conservatives, they could be assured of victories in Trinity (1), Fogo-Twillingate (1), Bonavista Bay (1), and Fortune Bay (1). With the support of Methodists, the Liberals succeeded in the 1852 election to win a majority of seats in the Assembly. Both the Liberals and Conservatives in the early 1850s recognized the need for an increase in the number of seats in the Assembly, but could not agree upon the method for the increase. Both naturally wanted a method that favoured each other. In short, the Liberals simply wanted the existing number of representatives doubled without any change to district boundaries; the Conservatives sought a division of existing seats and the addition of members for several Protestant districts to give them a majority of seats in the Assembly. This difference over the redistribution of seats was a major issue among Liberal and Conservative politicians during the debate over whether Newfoundland should be granted Responsible government. At stake was political ascendancy in any enlarged Assembly.

As noted earlier, in 1850 and 1851 the Liberals passed resolutions in the Assembly calling for Responsible government. They also sent delegations to the Colonial Office to plead their case. The view of the Colonial Office was that, since Responsible government had been given to the other colonies, it could not be denied Newfoundland but, first, the people of the Island must clearly show that they wanted this form of government. In February 1852, Lord Grey informed Governor LeMarchant in a despatch, which the Governor tabled in the Assembly, that not only were the people's views not known, but that the Assembly was too small to carry on the functions associated with Responsible government. Some formula would have to be agreed upon first for increasing representation in the Assembly. Mullock reacted to this despatch by a strong attack in the press upon the local government, which he described as "bad," "weak," "irresponsible," and depending for support alone upon bigotry and bribery. Conservatives regarded Mullock's attack as confirming their worst fears that the Roman Catholics wished to dominate Newfoundland. Both the Commercial and Law Societies publicly declared that Responsible government should not be granted until there was a new representation act which ensured that the Liberal Party would not secure overwhelming political power.

The Liberals, with their newfound allies in the Methodists, regarded the outcome of the 1852 election as proof that the people wished to have Responsible government and called upon the Colonial Office in early 1853 to make the necessary constitutional changes. During the 1853 legislative session, the Liberals amended Governor Hamilton's Throne Speech to include a reference calling for Responsible government and threatened to withhold the vote for supply. However, they never carried through on this threat--presumably to show the Colonial Office how moderate they could be --and attempted to have a representation bill passed, but the Legislative Council blocked passage of this legislation. Knowing that Governor Hamilton would not impartially present their views to the Colonial Office, later in 1853 the Assembly decided to send to England a delegation which would argue their case for Responsible government directly to Imperial politicians. The two delegates chosen were Parsons and Little.

The two men received a sympathetic hearing from the Colonial Secretary, the Duke of Newcastle, who emphasized to them the necessity first of finding a suitable means for increasing representation in the Assembly. He also expressed concerns that Newfoundland may not have a sufficient number of men qualified by education, administrative experience, and property to conduct Responsible government. The delegates replied that the Island had, indeed, a sufficient number of qualified men who were knowledgeable of self-government and had political contact with the other colonies. As for Conservative fears that Responsible government meant Roman Catholic political domination, they demonstrated to Newcastle that Roman Catholics and non-Anglicans were under-represented both in the Legislative Council and in public office. As for Roman Catholic political domination, they noted that Roman Catholic districts had often elected Protestants as representatives, Carson and Parsons, for example, being but two examples. However, Newcastle refused to give the two men a reply to their request for Responsible government, pleading more time to consider the issue. They did return to Newfoundland believing that their request would soon be successfully acted upon.

When the legislature reconvened in 1854, the Assembly still had received no reply from the Colonial Office to the appeal of the delegates the previous year. Early in the session, Hugh Hoyles, the Conservative leader, aroused Liberal anger when he claimed the issue of Responsible government was religious, rather than political and was advocated by a church-directed Party bent on political domination. In response, the Liberals decided to await the reply from the Colonial Office and refused to consider any legislation under the existing constitution. They then adjourned the House until Newcastle's reply was received. During the adjournment, the Conservatives organized the Central Protestant Committee and secured 1600 signatures from male adults to a petition against Responsible government. These signatures came from St. John's which had a total Protestant population of about 6,210 people. Governor Hamilton immediately sent this petition to the Colonial Office along with his personal endorsement of it.

While these activities were ongoing in Newfoundland, the Duke of Newcastle had decided to give the Island Responsible government on three conditions: first, any government official who lost his job would be given a pension; second, any change in representation would be done along the lines suggested by the Conservatives; and third, in the future all candidates for election would have to pay their own expenses instead of being paid out of the general treasury. When Newcastle's despatch reached Newfoundland in March 1854, the Protestant community found the granting of Responsible government acceptable with these conditions. However, the Liberals disliked conditions one and three and, when the legislature reconvened, debate centred around the matter of increased representation. When no resolution could be reached, both the Liberals and Conservatives decided to send delegations to London to present their views on the matter.

The Assembly delegation had more success with the Colonial Secretary, Lord Grey, who decided that the Assembly's view should prevail on the representation question and that Responsible government should be put in place as soon as possible. Consequently, Grey instructed Governor Hamilton that both sides were to work out their differences, but if the Legislative Council were to continue to take an obstructionist stance on representation, then he was to appoint new councillors more amendable to the Assembly's demands. This threat had the desired affect and the Council accepted the representation bill it had so recently rejected. The Assembly would, henceforth, consist of 30 seats chosen from 15 electoral districts, with Burin, for instance, consisting now of two seats and St. John's being divided into two three-member districts. The doubling of seats in effect meant that the Methodists still held the balance of power between Roman Catholics and Anglicans.

Under the Responsible government system, Newfoundland remained subordinate to British policy and the British Parliament. The governor continued to represent imperial policies and interests as well as act as a channel of communication between the Newfoundland government and the Colonial Office. Under his instructions, he could reject his minister's advice, dissolve the legislature, and reserve bills passed by the local legislature for the opinion of the Colonial Office. The Imperial government still had the power to disallow the local legislation, which it did, for instance, in 1858 when the legislature passed a land tenure act imposing assessments on the St. John's property of imperial subjects not residing in Newfoundland. Given the fact that French and American fishermen had fishing rights in Newfoundland granted to them under certain imperial treaties (to be discussed later), the governor also had the important responsibility of ensuring that the Newfoundland legislature took no action at variance with French and American rights and upset British policy towards either power.

In the election held in May 1855, Methodist support for the Liberal Party was crucial in its victory. With the largest number of seats in the Assembly, Governor Darling called on Liberal leader Philip Little to form a ministry. Members of the Executive Council included four Roman Catholics (including John Kent) and two Protestants--Ferryland MHA Thomas Glen (a Congregationalist) and Legislative Councillor G.H. Emerson (a Low Churchman). As for the Legislative Council, Darling made appointments on Little's recommendation which included six Roman Catholics and four Protestants, the latter having been appointed in consultation with Conservative leader Hugh Hoyles. Little's government was St. John's-dominated, five of six members of the cabinet being town residents as were ten of the twelve Legislative Councillors. With the inauguration of self-government, Little and his colleagues confidently looked forward with great expectations to the Island's economic development, especially with legislation passed in 1855 providing for a reciprocity commercial agreement with the United States. Under it, American fishermen received admission to inshore fishing rights along the whole coast, while Newfoundland fish and fish products were to be admitted into the United States on a duty-free basis.

In the absence of any elected body at the municipal level, the Little Ministry centralized further the administration of government. It established a Board of Revenue to regulate customs management and combined the offices of Colonial Treasurer and Collector of Customs into the position of Receiver General. It also set up the office of Financial Secretary to audit government accounts and the Board of Works to manage all public property and oversee all public works expenditures. The Board of Works in particular would prove to be a powerful political machine for the Party in office, disposing of public monies to local communities. Generally, this funding was made at the recommendation of the local MHA, thus making him an important intermediary between the central government and the people. The Little government also changed the poor relief system through the abolition of the system of Commissioners of the Poor and the substitution of a committee of the Executive Council and the hiring of one paid commissioner.

For the most part, the Liberal Party, so long shut out from the avenues of power and patronage, proved to be arrogant in office and enjoyed the perks of patronage. Indeed, by 1858 there were only four out of the eighteen Liberal MHAs, who were not receiving some form of public money in addition to their sessional allowances. Indeed, as one Liberal noted in the Assembly, there was a "necessity for Party combination, and how could it be effected in a country like Newfoundland without patronage? a new country there would be no stability in any government not having patronage at its command..." (J.K. Hiller, "Newfoundland 1855­1865," Unpublished paper).

In 1857 there occurred an event which, according to historian Peter Neary, provided an "issue around which people otherwise badly divided could unite..."and which produced a "sense of struggle among Newfoundlanders and a combative style that worked to hold their shaky political edifice together." That event was the "French Shore Question"-- details of which you will find in Neary's The French and American Shore Questions--and concerned the matter of what fishing rights Newfoundlanders had to the Treaty Shore area (that part of the Newfoundland coastline between Cape St. John and Cape Ray). France had received fishing rights to areas of Newfoundland under the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, the Treaty of Paris in 1763, and the Treaty of Paris in 1815. The French view was that they had an exclusive fishery, while the British claimed it was a concurrent one, whereby her fishermen (mainly Newfoundlanders) could fish alongside of the French.

The dispute with the French over fishing rights presented many problems for the Newfoundland government, not the least of which was its denial of local access to the Treaty Shore for the expansion of settlement and the development of the fishery. This expansion was necessary to relieve the demands of a growing population on existing fishing areas. Other questions the presence of the French raised were: Were the French subject to colonial fisheries law?; Did they have to pay local customs duties?; Could they catch lobsters and fish in fresh water?; and, Did the French have rights on land? After two decades of intermittent negotiations, in 1857 the French and British governments signed a convention in London most favourably to the French, much to the disappointment of the Newfoundland government since the French claim of a concurrent fishery was recognized.

In Newfoundland news of the convention was met by considerable protest. The British flag was lowered over the Colonial Building (Governor Darling had to remove the flag from the Building) and over St. John's mercantile houses, American flags were flown by some residents. There was even talk of possible annexation of Newfoundland with the United States. The legislature condemned the convention and sent a delegation, which included Premier Little and Conservative leader Hugh Hoyles--only recently strong political enemies over the issue of Responsible government--to London to press the Island's protest. Bishop Mullock denounced the convention in a letter to the Newfoundlander as making "Newfoundlanders aliens in their own land."

Fortunately, for Newfoundland the convention had to be ratified by both the British parliament and the Newfoundland legislature. The Newfoundland protest had the desired effect and on March 26, 1857 Henry Labouchere, the Secretary of State for the colonies, informed Governor Darling that "the proposals contained in the Convention having been unequivocally refused by the Colony, they will of course fall to the ground. And you are authorized to give such assurance as you may think proper that the consent of the community of Newfoundland is regarded by Her Majesty's government as the essential preliminary to any modification of their territorial or maritime rights." This dispatch was considered in Newfoundland as a victory for its viewpoint and regarded as a "Magna Carta" of its rights in this matter. Hence, the Newfoundland government took strong comfort in the fact that any future change in British policy concerning the French Shore must first have its concurrence. Newfoundland's national pride had been reinforced by this action; the French Shore, however, remained a major irritant in Newfoundland's desire to develop its resources on the French Shore and any attempt by Newfoundland politicians to compromise on French fishing rights was regarded as a sellout and one to be avoided at all cost by politicians.

In 1858 Little resigned the Premiership and accepted a Supreme Court Judgeship. His successor was John Kent, whose political career dated back to the inauguration in 1832 of Representative government. Unlike Little, Kent was unable to hold the two factions of the Liberal Party together--one pro-clerical, St. John's-based and largely Irish-born, the other outport-oriented, nativist in sentiment and anti-clerical, in addition to maintaining the support of the Methodists. Under Little, the clerical wing was kept from dominating the Party. Indeed, during the 1855 general election, Little downplayed the influence of Bishop Mullock and emphasized the role of the Party as middle class champions of the fishermen in their struggles with merchants. In districts where the campaign would be between clerical and anti-clerical Liberals as well as with the Conservatives, Little had Mullock persuade pro-clerical candidates to withdraw from the campaign if it meant that Liberals would lose the district. Not only did Kent favour the pro-clerical wing of the Party but he also tended to ignore the concerns of native-born Liberals.

Typical of the native-born Liberals, and their most prominent spokesman, was Ambrose Shea. Born in St. John's in 1815, Shea was a shipbroker and commission merchant who entered elective politics in 1848 for the district of Placentia-St. Mary's and exhibited strong independence over the next four decades. According to his biographer, Shea as a native Newfoundlander came from

a family which espoused the older Irish tradition of cooperation with the British authorities. In the 1830s the Newfoundland Roman Catholic church, and the Liberal Party which emerged after 1832, became dominated by immigrant Irishmen whose political attitudes were conditioned by the more aggressive nationalism of the period. Moreover, the Party became closely allied with the ecclesiastical hierarchy. The Shea family had always opposed clerical interference in public life, and as editor of the Newfoundlander, Ambrose had consistently promoted the interests of native Newfoundlanders regardless of denomination. He welcomed the foundation of the non-sectarian Newfoundland Natives' Society in 1840, and he joined its management committee in 1842 and became president in 1846 in the face of fierce attacks on the society from "priests' Party" Catholics and from the priests themselves. (J.K. Hiller, "Sir Ambrose Shea," Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. XIII)

Shea's identification was with "fellow natives of a similar social class than with the network of immigrant Catholic families headed by such figures as John Kent and Patrick Morris, that clustered around the Benevolent Irish Society, of which, significantly, Shea was not a member" (Hiller, "Shea"). In the early 1850s Shea broke Party ranks with his fellow Liberals by refusing, for instance, to support their position on the redistribution of seats under a future Responsible government. Following the inauguration of Responsible government in 1855, Shea was elected speaker of the House of Assembly, but his relationship with Kent was lukewarm and did little to support the premier in his problems with Governor Sir Alexander Bannerman.

Rather than loosen his ties with the pro-clerics, Kent thus also risked losing Methodist support by refusing to give the Methodists positions in government and their share of patronage. In his first eighteen months in office, only three of the nine appointments he made to the Executive and Legislative Councils were Protestants. And that there would be problems for him with native-born Liberals was clearly demonstrated in the 1858 St. John's byelection held to fill the vacant seat created by Philip Little's resignation. Despite the support of Kent and Mullock, Little's brother lost the seat to a native-born Liberal who had opposed him. Such strains within the Liberal Party continued into the 1859 general election won by the Liberals, but which saw native-born Liberals run against candidates either born in Ireland or in St. John's. While the Methodists continued to support the Liberal Party, they increasingly resented Kent's favouritism of his fellow co-religionists over Methodists in matters of public office and patronage. In 1860 Kent again filled three vacant seats on the Legislative Council with Roman Catholics.

Also, in 1860 Kent encountered several major political problems. The first was the withdrawal of support by Bishop Mullock for his government after Kent refused to accept the contractual arrangements the Bishop had made without government approval for the hiring of a coastal steamer for Newfoundland. Mullock blasted Kent's decision to use the money the legislature had voted for this service to provide more funding for relief expenditures. Because of poor economic conditions, the cost of relief expenditures had been rising in the late 1850s. For the 1860­1861 fiscal year, the government had already spent by October 1860 the legislative grant for relief, yet found itself in a situation where demands for relief were running at £1,000 a month. Mullock objected, in particular, to the fact that MHAs had been permitted, along with clergymen and magistrates, to certify those applicants looking for relief. Not only did this practice allow for political abuse of the system, but it enabled MHAs to establish a power base in their districts independent of the political influence the clergy had over constituents, a situation he found most intolerable. It was also a situation which enabled the anti-clerical wing of the Liberal Party, especially in the outports, to be less influenced by him. Mullock's disassociation from the Liberal Party was welcome news for Governor Bannerman, who had believed that the Kent government was unfit to administer Newfoundland and who wished to see it replaced by a more responsible ministry less interested in patronage. Bannerman's view of Responsible government was that it increased rather than diminished the governor's powers in that he was under no obligation to follow the advice of his ministers if he believed their advice was wrong. When the government failed in late 1859 to inform him about election riots in Harbour Grace a few days earlier (he was told of the incident by the local magistrate), he sternly warned his ministers that a recurrence of such behaviour would lead to him dispensing with their services (Edward Moulton and Ian Robertson, "Sir Alexander Bannerman" Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. IX).

Besides a hostile governor, other problems faced by Kent include a protest in 1861 by some Liberal MHAs when, in December 1860, the government formulated new relief regulations giving the right of certification only to magistrates and clergymen. At the sitting of the Assembly in January 1861 Patrick Nowlan, Harbour Main MHA, attacked the new regulations as improper for they ignored the "just influences of the representatives of the people." Initially, Kent criticized Nowlan and four colleagues for their desire not to see the relief system reformed and their wish to have the government defeated. Later, Kent changed his position for political expediency, permitting MHAs the right once more to certify relief applications. Unimpressed with Kent's flip-flop on the relief issue, Mullock privately wrote Governor Bannerman, describing the MHAs as the "representative beggars of a set of paupers," the perpetrators of the "worst species of political robbery." Such criticisms of Kent served to convince Bannerman that Mullock would not object to any effort by him to dismiss the Kent government from office.

Later in the 1861 legislative session an opportunity arose for Bannerman to take such action, although it had nothing directly to do with the relief problem itself. The occasion was a proposed currency bill the government planned to introduce that would pay public salaries in Newfoundland pound sterling instead of imperial pound sterling, the former being of a lower value. This legislation would only legitimatize a practice which the government had already undertaken. However, some judges objected to this practice and had a petition pending before the Supreme Court. However, the proposed currency legislation would supersede this petition. The Conservative leader, Hugh Hoyles, criticized the bill in the Assembly since it denied the right of the judges to a fair hearing in the Court through their petition. He also noted that the judges, on his advice, had petitioned the governor to have the bill changed. However, Kent knew nothing of this petition to the governor and became furious that the judges and Hoyles had gone to the governor without his knowledge on the matter. He claimed in the Assembly that "secret plottings and conspiracies had been going on among...the judges and the lawyers, which had operated upon the mind of His Excellency the Governor...." Such behaviour was most "contemptible in secretly plotting to defeat any measure of this government." Bannerman asked Kent to apologize for these comments, but, when the latter refused, he had the Kent ministry dismissed. He then called upon Hoyles to form a minority ministry, which subsequently lost a non-confidence vote in the legislature. Writs were then issued for an election in May 1861. Although it was dismayed over Bannerman's obvious partisanship in having Kent removed from office, the Colonial Office took the view that "nothing can justify this extreme step except that which is generally held to justify strong measures--success." Only the election of a Conservative government could be regarded as adequate justification for the dismissal.

The 1861 election saw the Hoyles government returned with Methodist support in an election campaign marred by considerable sectarianism with Bishops Mullock and Feild intervening on behalf of the Liberal and Conservative parties respectively. Mullock found himself having to support the notion that "good Catholics must be Liberals" and endorse Kent in the campaign. In a letter to the Record, Mullock wrote that his clergy were "the fathers and founders of civilization in Newfoundland" and accept the advice of his priests for "if catholics be advised by them, they will do right, if not, they will only injure themselves... if you reject this advice you will deservedly be the tool of unprincipled schemers, and the slaves of a ruthless faction who have always, when they would, crush you and hope by dividing you to do so again." Feild wrote the press thanking Bannerman for dismissing an incompetent administration and for installing a competent one (see Frederick Jones, "Bishops in Politics: Roman Catholic v. Protestant in Newfoundland 1860­2," Canadian Historical Review, vol. 55, December 1974, pp. 408­21). Violence between various factions of political supporters occurred both during and after the election campaign. The consequence was that both Bishops decided to refrain from future involvement in politics, while the politicians realized that the government and the civil service must be formed on the basis of denominational representation. Hoyles attempted unsuccessfully to include moderate Catholic politicians into his cabinet, and followed a policy of distributing public patronage according to the numerical strength of the three major denominations. In 1865 the political situation changed with the formation of a coalition government led by Frederick Carter and including prominent Roman Catholic politicians such as Ambrose Shea and John Kent. It was only through such coalitions that Roman Catholics after 1861 would be able to share political power in the colony. Source: Melvin Baker, "History 3120 Manual: Newfoundland History, 1815-1972", Division of Continuing Studies, Memorial University, 1994, revision of 1986 edition)