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Richard Clement Moody, in his words “merely a subaltern of Engineers”, was chosen 22 July 1841 at the age of 28 to proceed to the Falkland Islands.  At the time of his selection no firm decision had been reached in London on the future of the small British settlement at Port Louis.  Moody was instructed to proceed to the Falkland Islands for “'the purpose of superintendence and of making certain enquiries on the result of which steps will here­after be taken for establishing a regular authority in those Islands'.  On 23 August 1841 Moody was appointed Lieutenant Governor of the Falkland Islands.  As the Falkland Islands did not afford the means of representative institutions the Colony was to remain for a time without a Legislature or Courts of Justice and the commencement of his government was to be “one of influence, persuasion and example, rather than of direct authority”

The Colombian Packet arrived at Anson 23 November 1843 with two Instruments under the Great Seal; the first erecting the settlement at the Falkland Islands into a Colony and the second constituting Moody its Governor and Commander in Chief over the Falkland Islands and their Dependencies, both dated 23 June 1843.  The latter was accompanied by Instructions under the Royal Sign Manual.  The Charter of the Colony set out the constitution of the government of the settlement and instructions to set up Legislative and Executive Councils.

The Falkland Islands Letters Patent of 1843 stated that Legislative Council would comprise of the Governor plus not less than two others appointed by the Crown, these to be “Public Officers or of such other  persons within the said Settlements and their Dependencies as should from time to time be named or designated for that purpose…and that all such Councillors should hold their places in the said Council at our pleasure with full power and authority to make and establish all such Laws, Institutions and Ordinances, as might be required for the peace, order and good Government of the said Settlements and their Dependencies…”

From Thursday 1st January 1891 the laws and ordinances of the Falkland Islands were published in the Falkland Islands Gazette.  Earlier laws and ordinances may have been posted on the Government Official Gazette Board situated on Ross Road. 

The Archives hold three volumes of handwritten copies of these early laws and ordinances:

  • Volume E6 covers the period 1846 to 1853.
  • Volume E7 covers the period 1850 to 1853.
  • Volume E8 covers the period 1853 to 1876.

The Archives also hold printed copies of the Laws and Ordinances of the Falkland Islands which covers the period 1843 to 1884, and bound copies from 1920 under Series O.

pdfLaws and Ordinances of the Falkland Islands - 1843 to 1884 - O1-21.pdf9.21 MB


pdf1846-1853 Legislation - E6.pdf28.39 MB 

pdfPrinted ordinances 1867 to 1899 - incomplete set - O1-1 to O1-20.pdf9.11 MB

pdfSubsidiary Legislation etc 1894 to 1913 - O1-22.pdf5.47 MB

pdfBound ordinances 1920 to 1932 - includes rules and regulations from 1926 - O2-1 to O2-13.pdf15.2 MB

pdfBound Ordinances Rules Regulations etc 1933 to 1939 - O2-14 to O2-22.pdf17.23 MB


Current laws and ordinances may be accessed by following the link to the Falkland Islands Statute Law database:-



While every effort has been taken to ensure accuracy the Jane Cameron National Archives does not accept responsibility for any errors or omissions in these records.


Copyright guide

Copies of government records may be used freely for private research and educational purposes. If material is to be used for commercial publication, exhibition or broadcast the written permission of the Jane Cameron National Archives must first be obtained. Whenever material from the Jane Cameron National Archives is reproduced in any form or in any medium, the user must acknowledge the Jane Cameron National Archives as the source and give all document references. For non-government records it is your responsibility as the user to ensure that copyright is not infringed and any infringement that does occur is your responsibility.