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

Candidates running for election to the Victoria municipal council in 1865 were required to be property owners. While Abner Francis was on the “Real Estate Assessment Roll July 1, 1864 to June 30,1865” as owner of two properties, the 1862-1863 Property Assessment Roll was used to determine eligibility, and Francis did not own property in that year. Because of this discrepancy, Francis resigned the day after he was sworn in.

On November 17th, an editorial in the Colonist questioned why the most recent assessment roll was 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.