November 13,1865: Abner Hunt Francis is elected as a municipal councillor representing the Yates St. ward … then resigns!

In November 1865, nominations for Mayor of Victoria and 6 councillors were called for. Abner Francis is nominated by Willis Bond. (Colonist, November 9, 1865). The election took place on November 13th, Mayor-elect Lumley Franklin and Councillors Charles Gowan, Richard Lewis, Joseph Jeffrey, Abner Hunt Francis, and Robert Layzell were sworn in and took the Oath of Allegiance.

Surprisingly, the next day Francis resigned!, and posted the notice in the Colonist.
The issue was property ownership. Francis is on the “Real Estate Assessment Roll July 1,1864 to June 30,1865” with 2 properties; 1 on Quadra and 1 noted as Quadra/Fisgard. However, to determine eligibility for this election, the 1863 Property Assessment Roll was used and Francis did not own property in that year.

On November 17th, an editorial in the Colonist questioned the use of the Assessment Roll in determining candidacy for elections, and specifically why was the most recent (1865) assessment roll not used? “The assessment of 1862-3 is no more than a piece of waste paper …. The whole affair from beginning to end is a ‘mass’ of the most outrageous absurdity…

newspaper notice
“YATES SREET WARD. To Lumley Franklin, Esq, Mayor-elect Sir, – Doubt having been cast upon the validity of my election as a City Councillor, and not being desirous to combat with such, I beg to resign into your hands all right or claim to a seat at the Board of the City Council of Victoria. Dated this 15th day of November, 1865 A.D. ABNER HUNT FRANCIS. Witness John Copeland, Solicitor, Supreme Court.