America and West Indies
December 1718, 11-19

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Institute of Historical Research

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Cecil Headlam (editor)

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1930

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404-424

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'America and West Indies: December 1718, 11-19', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 30: 1717-1718 (1930), pp. 404-424. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=74050 Date accessed: 30 September 2014.


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December 1718, 11-19

Dec. 11.786. Mr. West to the Council of Trade and Plantations. I have considered three Acts passed in New Jersey 1714, (i.) for shortning of law suits, (ii.) inforcing the observation of the ordinance for establishing fees and (iii.) for acknowledging and recording of deeds and conveyances of land etc. As to the generall purview of which Acts I have no objection. But inasmuch as those Acts are represented by the Governour and by the Judges of the Supream Courts of Justice in that Province to bee entirely destructive of their jurisdiction and as in their opinion not fitt to be pass'd into law especially considering that they are intended to be perpetuall and have also been represented unto me that those Acts are very prejudiciall to the right of those officers who are appointed by patents from the Crown by lessening their usuall and accustomed fees in such a manner as that there is not a sufficient encouragement for any person to undertake the execution of those offices, I am of opinion that those Acts are not proper to be passed, unlesse there be clauses inserted to save the jurisdiction of the Superior Courts and the rights of those few officers in the Province who are appointed by patent from the Crown. Signed, Richd. West. Endorsed, Recd., Read 12th Dec., 1718. 1½ pp. [C.O. 5, 971. No. 76; and 5, 995. pp. 451, 452.]
Dec. 12.
S. Carolina.
787. Governor and Council of South Carolina to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Wee had the honr. of laying before your Ldships., 21st Oct. last, the action of taking Majr. Stede Bonnet, and his crew at Cape Fear, by Collo. William Rhett. Wee then informed yr. Ldships of the apprehensions, wee lay under of further insults of those people. Those our apprehensions have proved too true, wee having been blocked up, and several ships taken in sight of the town, insomuch that the Governr. thought it proper, to press several ships and vessells, and fitt them out, at a very great expence to our Province to remove them, and went himself in person, and took a ship, and a sloop, after having killed, 26 men, among which was one Worley the commander. Wee hope this may convince yr. Ldships. of the reasonableness of our request, that a ship of warr, may be sent to our assistance, and protection, without which our trade must be inevitably ruined, which wee are the more perswaded, yr. Ldships will endeavour to prevent, by your sollicitations to H.M., when you shall be pleased to consider the newness of our Colony, and that nevertheless wee the last year shipped off, 32,000 barrels of tarr, 2643 barrels of pitch and 473 barrels of turpentine, all stores, very usefull for H.M. Navy. Signed, Robt. Johnson, A. Skene, Nicholas Trott, Tho. Broughton, Charles Hart, Fra. Yonge. Endorsed, Recd. 24th Feb., Read 3rd April, 1719. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 1265. No. 119; and 5, 1293. pp. 166, 167.]
Dec. 12.
Whitehall.
788. Mr. Tickell to Mr. Popple. Mr. Secretary Craggs desires a copie of the report made about three years ago by the Council of Trade and Plantations concerning the taking off the duties on American timber. Signed, Tickell. Endorsed, Recd., Read 12th Dec., 1718. 1 p. [C.O. 323, 7. No. 134; and 324, 10. p. 211.]
Dec. 13.
Annapolis Royal.
789. Lt. Governor Doucett to Governor Philipps. Refers to enclosures. As to what he (i.e. M. de Vaudreuil) mentions of River St. John sure he must be very much mistaken, for that river lyes in the same bay wth. us, and is but twelve leagues from hence, and much about the center of Nova Scotia. I hope Sir you will put a stop to their proceedings, or ellce they will claim everything to within cannon shott of this Fort, which has been often the topick of the inhabitants' discourse, and not long since I was oblidged to comitt one of them to prison, for saying so to me and being very insolent. In short Sir from the neglect of this place so long, they think it is allways to lye as it does, and I dare sware their is not one inhabitant believes, they shall ever see a Govenr. here etc. Your Excellency plainly sees the underhand dealing by the private letter of Monsr. Vaudreuil etc., as allso by M. St. Ovide's writeing one thing to me, and doing the reverse etc. (v. July 23, 1718 and March 24, 1719). Urges him to press for presents for the Indians and a man of war ut supra. Concludes:—My wife joynes with me in our most humble service to your Lady and self, and hope's the fox skin she has sent to Madam Phillips may be acceptable, etc. P.S.—I hope you will receive a draught wth. this from Capt. Southack, in which I have desire'd him to trace out in red, the antient bounds of Nova Scotia etc. Signed, John Doucett. Endorsed, Recd. (from Col. Philips) 23rd, Read 29th April, 1719. 2 pp. Enclosed,
789. i. Marquis de Vaudreuil to Lt. Governor Doucett. Quebec, 22nd Sept. (N.S.), 1718. Reply to letter of April 15 (v. 20th June). Refers to the new treaty of alliance between the two Crowns and his determination to maintain it etc. Continues:—But those who govern on behalf of the King your Master must contribute their share. I will never incite the savages to insult your Government, and if I knew of any Frenchman capable of doing so, would punish them severely. As regards the Missionaries, I can hardly believe them so ill advised as to stir up the people who have submitted. They ought to confine themselves to the functions of their ministry etc. I am sure that if they confine themselves to their duty, you will not refuse them the protection you owe them. Although in the 14th Article of the Treaty it is said that in the ceded Colonies French subjects shall be free to withdraw with their moveable effects etc., I am informed that you refuse them passports and liberty to take away their cattle and other moveable effects etc. I shall be obliged to complain of you if you persist in refusing to the French inhabitants the justice which is their due. I pray you also not to permit your English boats to go in the River St. John, which is still part of the French dominion, etc. Signed, Vaudreuil. Endorsed as preceding. French. 1¾ pp.
789. ii. Copy of No. 565 v.
789. iii. Marquis de Vaudreuil to M. Louis Allain at Port Royal. Quebec, 22nd Sept. (N.S.), 1718. I see by your letter of Nov. 25 last that the Governor of Port Royal is pressing you and the other inhabitants to take the oath of allegiance to his Britannic Majesty or to withdraw etc. It is for you to decide whether to remain in Nova Scotia or withdraw to the River St. John, as you appear to me to desire to do; if you wish to withdraw to the River St. John, which is not part of the English dominion, you ought to be allowed to take away all your moveable effects, in which effects are included cattle and everything that you can take from your mills without destroying the buildings. The buildings etc. you cannot take away etc. Signed, Vaudreuil. Same endorsement. French. Copy. 1 p.
789. iv. Same to Same. Quebec. Sept. 22 (N.S.) I have just written a reply to your letter of Nov. 25th, which you will be able to show to the English, and this which accompanies it is a private letter which you must not show them; I pity you in that the fortune of war has subjected you to a foreign rule, which you find it hard to endure. You assure me of your desire to withdraw to the River St. John and that you hope to be able to bring there a good number of your inhabitants, if this river belongs to the French, asking me for this settlement the land which formerly belonged to the late M. Dubrauil. Whereupon I will tell you that the River St. John is not part of the English dominion, that I shall always support the French inhabitants who are there and those who shall go there to settle, and that I shall not suffer the English to take possession of it, you as well as the other families of inhabitants who shall wish to follow you can go and take the lands, and apply for that purpose to the Rev. Father Loyard, Jesuit, who is the missionary there, and to whom I have given a power of granting habitations to those who shall ask for them. I am writing to him with regard to you on this occasion, in order that he may grant to you the land you shall ask of him. You ought to lose no time in going there, and when you are there with your family and all your moveable effects, I shall be able to send you a passport for the voyage which you propose to make to the Islands with your ship, which I cannot do so long as you are at Port Royal under the English dominion. As to the oath which is required of you in case you remain, it is for you and the other inhabitants to decide whether it is in accordance with your religion, of which you will not have the free exercise, and which you ought to prefer to all temporal advantages etc. Signed, Vaudreuil. Endorsed as preceding. Copy. French. 1 p. [C.O. 217, 2. Nos. 64, 64 i.–iv.; and (without enclosures) 218, 1. pp. 394–397.]
Dec. 15.
Whitehall.
790. Reference by the Lords of the Committee of Council for Plantation Affairs to the Council of Trade and Plantations, for their report whether any and what liberty for fishing and curing ought to be reserved to H.M. subjects in such grants of land in Nova Scotia as desired by Sir A. Cairnes, 21st July, etc. Set out, A.P.C. II. No. 1299. q.v. Signed, Ja. Vernon. Endorsed, Recd., Read 18th Dec., 1718. 1 p. [C.O. 217, 2. No. 52; and 218, 1. p. 376.]
Dec. 16.
Whitehall.
791. Council of Trade and Plantations to Mr. Secretary Craggs. We are now writing to all H.M. Governors in America and should be glad to know H.M. pleasure whether they shou'd have any directions sent them from this Board upon ye present posture of affairs, and in case any directions are sent them from your Office; we shou'd be glad that they might be communicated to us for our better guidance in our future correspondence with the said Governors. [C.O. 324, 10. pp. 211, 212.]
Dec. 16.
St. James's.
792. H.M. Warrant granting to Thomas Betts, Naval Officer in Jamaica, leave of absence for 12 months, etc. Copy. [C.O. 324, 33. pp. 192, 193.]
Dec. 16.
St. James's.
793. H.M. Commission to Captain Henry Kelsey to be Governor and Commander in Chief of Hudson's Bay, to do "all manner of things (not being contrary to Law) which you shall judge necessary or convenient for Our service the advantage of the said Company, and the increase of the Beaver Trade" etc. Countersigned, J. Craggs. Copy. [C.O. 324, 33. pp. 194, 195.]
[Dec. 16.]794. Petition of Nathaniel Carpenter of London, merchant, to the Council of Trade and Plantations. As administrator to Edward Gillard decd. prays that the name of his former partner, Henry Burrell, may be erased from the debenture for his losses on a plantation in St. Kitts at the time of the French invasion. It was agreed to divide the loss, but two debentures were granted of £192 2s. 2d. each, one payable to Henry Burrell and Co. and the other to Edwd. Gillard and Henry Burrell. Endorsed, Recd., Read 16th Dec., 1718. 1 p. [C.O. 152, 12. No. 121.]
Dec. 17.
Whitehall.
795. Mr. Popple to Mr. Carkesse. Encloses extract of letter from Governor Sir N. Lawes, 1st Sept., whereby it is represented that the method of securing H.M. share of seizures there has been alter'd. The Council of Trade and Plantations desire you will let me know whether it has been done by directions from the Commissrs. of H.M. Customs, as soon as possible. [C.O. 138, 16. p. 153.]
[Dec. 18.]796. An account of timber exported from New Hampshire to Lisbon and Cadiz 1712–1718. There goes yearly to Barbados and the Leeward Islands out of this Province 5,000,000 ft. of boards, besides staves etc. No signature. Endorsed, Recd. 18th Dec., 1718. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 867. No. 20.]
Dec. 19.
St. Christophers.
797. Governor Hamilton to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Begins with duplicate of 26th Oct. Continues:—Since which I have visitted the other Islands of my Government and find that in the Island of Mountserratt there are only the following persons of the Council, viz. William Frye Esqr. President, John Daly Esqr., George Wyke Esqr., Edward Parsons Esqr., William White Esqr. and Anthony Fox Esqr.: William Mathew Esqr. Lieutenant General, Thomas Talmash Esqr. Lieutenant Governour, William Gerrish Esqr., Daniell Ravell Esqr. being all in Great Brittain, the first by leave of H.M., the second has not been at his post since my arrival to the Government, William Gerrish Esq. absent by leave from myself as also Daniel Ravell Esq.; John Bramble Esq. refuses to serve, Thomas Lee of whom I gave your Lordships formerly an account and William Barzey Esqrs. being dead. I therefore beg your Lordships will recommend the following persons to H.M. to be made Members of the Council for that Island they being well affected to H.M. person and Government, and of good estates in that Island vizt. Major John Cochran, Mr. Thomas Lee and Mr. William Irish. As for Nevis there are none wanting except Major Milliken who is removed from that Island and is now settled on the Island of St. Christopher's, whom I beg your Lordships will recommend to H.M. to be one of the Council for St. Christophers he being a person thoroughly well affected to H.M. person and Government. As for the Island of St. Christophers, here are remaining John Davis Esqr. President of the Council, Francis Phipps Esqr. John Bourryan Esqr. Joseph Estridge Esqr. John Willett Esqr. absent by forloe John Milward Esqr. and George Lyddell Esqr., to whom I have added and sworn of the Council, as mentioned in the foregoing letter, Colonel William Woodrope and Captain William McDowall, I have not called to the board as advised, Capt. John Garnett being very well inform'd that he has behaved himself very disrespectfully towards me, and therefore must recommend the forementioned James Milliken Esqr. in his stead. As for the Island of Antigua there are remaining Edward Byam Esqr. Lieutenant Governour, John Hamilton Esqr. who is almost superannuated, William Codrington Esqr. has not been in this Government since my arrival, and at least two years before, Thomas Morris Esqr. suspended, William Thomas Esqr. who I am informed died in September last in Great Brittain, William Byam Esqr. Edward Warner Esqr. Vallentine Morris Esqr. absent, in Brittain by a forloe, Nathaniel Crump Esqr. John Frye Esqr. absent by forloe in Great Brittain, Archibald Cochran Esqr. and John Gamble Esqr., so that we have now but barely seven with the Lieutenant Governour, upon that Island. I therefore humbly desire that your Lordships will be pleased to recommend George Lucas and Francis Carlile Esqrs. the latter I am informed has applied to your Lordships, and is now returning for the Island of Antigua, which if I had known that he had intended to have come out again should have long since recommended him to your Lordships, they are both persons very well qualified, of good interests, and truely zealously affected to H.M. person and Government. Here arrived this week one Abraham Howell, who was one of the persons taken at Crabb Island and carried away by the Spaniards who informs me that after they had carried him through all their ports at Porto Rico, Hispaniola, Cuba and at Laverre a Cruix they at last suffered him upon the intercession of the Agent of the Royal Assiento Company to return (with two or three more that were with him taken) in a Jamaica sloop, to that Island, from whence he got up here and informs me that when he left Laverre a Croix which was about the 27th of August last, that the Spaniards were fitting out at that place severall vessells with whom they were to go to the Havana there to join others, and to take in four or five thousand men with a design to destroy the settlement at Providence. Refers to former request for a ship of 40 guns to protect the Islands against Pirates. Continues:—The man of war that is on this station not being capable of doing any service against that vermin, for I have now lately received an account of three pirate vessells that are cruising amongst these Islands, to wit a ship of 24 guns, commanded by one Captain William Moody, a brigantine of eight guns, commanded by one Captain Frowd, and a sloop of six or eight guns, they have taken, stranded, and burnt several vessells between this Island and Santa Cruix, particularly stranded one, and burnt another belonging to trading persons of this Island, they were several days at an anchor off of the Harbour's mouth of the Island of St. Thomas, from which Island it's said they were supplied with provisions, and it's very probable they were so, for that is a nest that harbours all villains, and vagabonds. They appeared off of this Island standing to windward, and I am not without fear that they will intercept some of our provision ships, it being now the season for them to drop in, or may even attempt the man of war, if they meet her she being gone for Barbados to victual which she is always obliged to do, there being no person appointed in any of these Islands by the undertakers to supply them, which is, and may prove vastly detrimental to H.M. service, and the great discouragement of trade; I therefore humbly recommend this to your Lordships' consideration whether it would not be for H.M. service that the undertakers should be obliged to appoint a person or persons in some of these Islands to supply the man of war attending this station etc., for at any time she is obliged to go to Barbados, she is absent at least a month, or six weeks. I this week have an account given me by a person that came from Providence that some of those pirates that had surrendred themselves, soon after surprized a vessell, and went out again upon the same account, I therefore once more beg your Lordships will represent this matter so to H.M. that the evil which may otherwise proceed therefrom, may be effectually remedied. I formerly wrote your Lordships about the trade that is carried on in the Island of St. Eustatia but have had no answer thereto. I must now further acquaint your Lordships that we have daily soldiers of H.M. Regiment of Foot quartered in these Islands (from this Island in particular) desert and are entertained, and I cannot but believe are encouraged by the Dutch Governour there, for that I have several times sent an officer down to demand them who have been put of from time to time with fair promises that I should have them returned, but never have had any performances, although some of the Officers have seen some of their men upon the Island at a distance, but could never obtain them, which is so very prejudicial to H.M. service that I cannot omit to lay this before your Lordships, in order to represent it to H.M. that an order might be obtained from the States of Holland to the Dutch Governour of that Island for the restoring all such soldiers, as also white servants that some times run off of this Island, without which it will be almost impossible for Officers to keep their Companies compleat, or for masters to keep their servants. P.S.—Since the foregoing I have an account given me by the master of a New York sloop, one Mr. Dane that he was taken in the latitude of 28 by the beforementioned sloop that run away from Providence which they call the Duke and Duchess, commanded by one Captain David, they had fifty-five men, they plundered and took away almost all his water and provisions, and took away two of his men. Signed, W. Hamilton. Endorsed, Recd. 15th May, Read 9th June, 1719. 6¾ large pp. Enclosed,
797. i. Deposition of John Brown, late Commander of the brigantine John and Thomas of Road Island. Antigua, 12th March, 1718/19. On Nov. 5th last he was taken off the Bay of Carolina by a pirate ship, the Rising Sun, William Moudy Commander, mounted with 36 guns and having on board 130 men, white and black. They came to St. Thomas at the end of Nov. where they stayed two or three days and took three vessells belonging to Martinico. They sent the master of each vessell ashoar to the Governor to demand provisions for their ransom otherwise they threatned to burn their vessells; they had thereupon from St. Thomas about 30 barrels of beef as much flower with wine etc. Thence they went to Saint Cruise to water, where they took three or four vessels etc. In latitude 34 they fought and took a Dutch ship from Guinea, and used the master and sailers barberously. Refers to 3 other captures. They used deponent and the master of the ship very barberously during the time they were detained on board etc. Signed, Jno. Brown. Same endorsement. 1½ pp.
797. ii. Deposition of John Bois, Carpenter of the Wade frigate, — Edwards Commander. Antigua, Feb. 24th, 1718(9). Bound for Jamaica, he was taken by a French pirate ship, the Mary Anne. The pirates plundered and drove the ship ashore after using the Captain very barbarously, upon suspicion of his having concealed mony. Their consort the Postillion took a French pink, which they fitted out and then sank the Mary Anne in Samana Bay. They pretended to trade with Spanish merchants upon the coast, but robbed them when they got them on board. They afterwards took several vessels belonging to New England, one belonging to Bermudas, and one to Jamaica. They were afterwards engaged by an English pirate off Samana Bay which plundered them and took off deponent. These plundered another vessel, and sent deponent and one Isaac Wackee on board because they refused to go with the pirates. The pirates had on board about 130 white men, and about 50 Spaniards, negroes and Indians, 26 guns and 4 swivel guns, commanded by Edward England an Irishman. They designed to go to the latitude of Barbados to get bread or flower and a better ship, and from thence to the coast of Guinea and Brazil. Sumana Bay and Scots Bay and the Island of Mona are places of rendezvous for the pirates. Signed, John Bois, his mark. Same endorsement. 2¾ pp.
797. iii. Duplicate of preceding.
797. iv. Deposition of Jonathan Bull, Commander of the ship Christiana of Boston. Antigua, 17th Jan., 1718(9). Bound from Surinam to Boston, deponent on Dec. 5th last, was taken and plundered off Barbados by a pirate brigantine mounted with 12 guns, about 90 men on board, commanded by Edward England, with a sloop their tender. An hour before, they took a sloop belonging to Col. Lesley of Barbados, which they sank. The night following they took a vessel bound to Barbados from Guinea with 250 negroes, and some small time after another ship from Madera bound for Barbados with provisions etc. On 28th they took a small sloop belonging to Martinico etc. Believes they intend to fit out the Guinea man for their man of war somewhere near St. Vincents. When they sent him and his men off in their own vessel, they had on board 5 commanders with their men, including the Commander of a briganteen belonging to Piscataqua taken about 18th Dec. They were about 125 in number when he left them etc. Signed, Jona. Bull. Same endorsement. 2¼ pp.
797. v. Deposition of Robert Leathes, Commander of the Upton pink of Belfast. Antigua, 12th March, 1718/19. On 17th Jan. he was taken by a pirate brigantine, Richard Frowd Commander, in latitude 35 North, in his voyage from Belfast to South Carolina. The brigantine had about 4 guns and 60 men whites and blacks, and was tender to the pirate ship Rising Sun etc. Confirms Encl. No. i. Signed, Robert Leathes. Same endorsement. 2 pp.
797. vi. Deposition of Robert Leonard, Commander of the snow Eagle of New York. Antigua, 24th Feb., 1718/19. In latitude of 23, Feb. 15th, deponent was taken and his ship plundered by a pirate ship. The Commander beat him with his cutlass for not bringing to at first shot, and the pirates threatned to sink his vessell and throw him overboard with a double headed shot about his neck, if he concealed where his money was. They said they had taken a French pirate in Scots Bay at the N. end of Hispaniola. The Captain's name was Edward England and the Master, who sailed with deponent about six months ago as boatswain, was Alexander Ure etc. Signed, Robt. Leonard. Same endorsement. 1½ pp. [C.O. 152, 12. Nos. 136, 136 i.–vi.]
Dec. 19.
Whitehall.
798. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. The Fishery at Newfoundland having been obstructed and discouraged for many years past, not only by the late wars but by the irregularities of the inhabitants, traders and fishermen who reside in and resort to that Island, We have in obedience to your Majesty's Commission, whereby we are directed to enquire into the several obstructions of trade, and the means of removing the same considered the past and present state of the aforesaid Fishery, etc., and thereupon crave leave to represent, That the Fishery in Newfoundland was at first settled by merchants and other Adventurers, inhabiting the Western parts of this Kingdom, and successfully carry'd on for many years, under the restriction of such customs and laws as were agreed upon by the fishermen among themselves. Altho the harbours and fishing places were for some time left open and free (Purchase Pilgrim fol. 1877) to all Nations (without prejudice however to the Sovereignty of your Majesty's Royal Predecessors) nevertheless great numbers of ships and seamen were annually employ'd by the sd. Adventurers, some in fishing and others in supplying them with salt from France and Portugal, and in carrying their fish to foreign markets, which ships being furnished with provisions and all other necessaries of English production and manufacture, for ye whole voyage, it was not only a particular advantage to the Western Counties, but likewise to the Nation in general, by encreasing the factories in foreign Countries and by promoting the consumption of our manufactures. And forasmuch as the fishing ships required more hands than were barely necessary to navigate them, the masters and owners constantly bred up (Wade, 2.) many servants and others unacquainted with the sea, by which method the charge of the voyage was lessen'd, and the number of seamen for the service of the Crown and Kingdom was wonderfully encreased, and to excite their industry, as well as to reward their labour (Wade, 1) instead of allowing them wages by the month or voyage, according to ye present practise of ye fishing towns, every one had a certain share or shares in the fish and oyle that was taken and made during the voyage and upon their return ye whole cargo was sold, and the proceed divided, 2/3 to the owners and ⅓ to the ship's Compa., in such proportions as were agreed on, which made it their intrest, to attend diligently to their employment, and raised an emulation among them to outvy one another. The first account of this Fishery we have met with is from Mr. Antho. Parkhurst (Hackluyt, 3 vol. 132.) who relates, that in 1574, thirty English ships were employ'd in fishing at Newfoundland, and in 1578, fifty. The succeeding war with Spain checked the increase of the Fishery for some years, but after the peace, 1604, it flourish'd exceedingly. (Purchase, 4 vol., 1886). Which encouraged the merchants of London and Bristol in 1610 to solicit a grant which they obtained from King James I for a considerable part of Newfoundland, (Purchase, Pilgrim 1876, 1877. Vol. 1. Cap. 12.) in order to settle Colonies that by their assistance they might be enabled to share the advantages of the Fishery with the Western Adventurers. But after they had expended large sums to no purpose, they quitted their design, being convinced, that the country was not capable of subsisting English Colonies and if it had, that the charge of supporting and governing them, was too great to be born by a Fishery. Afterwards in 1615 Cap. Richard Whitburn, who was sent to Newfoundland with a Commission from the Court of Admiralty to enquire into ye disorders and abuses committed on that coast reported that 250 ships belonging to this Kingdom, were engaged in the Fishery, which he computed one with another at 60 tons and 20 mariners, and that each ship had taken 120,000 fish, and made 5 tons of train oyle etc. However as some of the looser sort, both of the planters and mariners remained in the country, because they vainly immagined, that they could not be impeached there for such injuries and wrongs as they had committed and were supply'd with rum, strong liquors and tobacco from New England and other parts. They retailed them contrary to ye rules of the Fishery among the seamen; whereupon idleness and debauchery soon prevailed and increased to that degree, that at last the masters and owners of ye ships were obliged to petition King Charles I to restrain by His Royal authority those disorders which evidently tended to the ruin of the Fishery. H.M., to prevent these irregularities and excesses for the future, upon granting the Propriety of Newfoundland to several noblemen and others, ordain'd that no person should plant or inhabit within six miles of the sea shore, between Cape Race and Cape Bonavista. (13th Nov., 1637. Vol. 1. c. 12.) And that nothing might be wanting to encourage the Adventurers dilligently to attend to, and vigorously to prosecute the aforesaid fishery, the Star Chamber in Jan. 1633(4), adjusted and settled several orders for the regulation and government thereof, and on 20th Feb. following H.M. was graciously pleased to grant a Charter to all his subjects, trading to Newfoundland, according to the tenor of the said Orders, which was commonly called the Western Charter. Provisions of the Charter enumerated. The ancient customs and constitutions of the Fishery, being in this manner confirm'd, and the Magistrates in the Western Counties impower'd to put the aforesaid laws in execution the fishing trade was again revived, and at length by the frugal management and industrious application of the Adventurers (notwithstanding they were frequently obstructed and injured by the Governor and inhabitants contrary to the conditions of the grant in 1628 by virtue of which they had settled there) most of their foreign competitors were constrained to abandon the said fishery, and the European markets were plentifully supply'd with dry fish, by the subjects of this Kingdom at such moderate rates, as promoted and secured its consumption, to the vast encouragement and encrease both of Navigation and Trade. The best and exactest account of the Fishery under this regulation, that is to be found in our Office, is a Representation of the merchants etc. of the Western Ports (v. C.S.P. 1674, No. 362 i.) wherein it is asserted that about 1644 at least 270 fishing ships were annually employ'd in the Newfoundland Fishery, besides those that supply'd them with salt etc., and that carry'd their fish to market. The burthen of these 270 sail may be computed 21,600 tons, and for every 100 tons 50 men and at least 10 boats. To each boat they generally allow'd 5 men, and usually made 200 to 300 quintals of fish pr. boat, which was then sold in ye country at 14 to 16 rials, or from 7s. to 8s. pr. quintal etc. But the course of this success was soon after interrupted by that unnatural war, which broke out in this Kingdom; by the measures that were concerted and taken by the Governmt. in 1650 and 1655 for settling a Governor and Colonies in Newfoundland, by the many losses sustained by the Adventurers during ye wars, first with Holland and then with Spain, especially in the latter, and by a pernicious practice lately introduced by the masters and owners of the fishing ships, of carrying to Newfoundland by-boat keepers and their crews, and servants to assist the inhabitants in their fishing. So that at the time of ye Restauration of K. Charles II, the Fishery was very inconsiderable. In order therefore to retrieve and recover the fishing trade, H.M. was graciously pleased, upon the humble petition by the Western Adventurers, by Letters Patents bearing date 26th Jan., 1660, to confirm the aforesd. Charter, with an additional clause to prevent ye transporting of by-boat keepers and servants (quoted). But this prohibition not being inforced by proper penalties (which were now become more necessary than formerly) it was evaded and opposed by some of the masters and owners of fishing ships, who chose rather to quit part of their annual fishery, by lessening the complements of their men and boats, than to lose the advantage they made by carrying of passengers, and by disposing of their trifling adventures to ye inhabitants, from whence several unhappy consequences ensued, vizt. That the number of the fishing ships and seamen employ'd in Newfoundland, was considerably reduced, and that ye breeding up of young men for that service was generally neglected. That the price of fish in Newfoundland was enhanced from 14 or 16 ryals pr. quintal to about 24, whereby the consumption thereof was lessen'd in all foreign ports (Sir Josia Child, fol. 206). That the merchants of London were induced to set up a fishery in New England, which has been ever since carry'd on to ye great discouragement. of the Adventurers; and tho it may possibly be a question, whether this unlucky management did not first prompt and encourage the French to settle at Placentia in 1662, yet 'tis not to be doubted, but that it contributed to the establishment of their Fishery, and enabled them to supply not only their own markets, but to rival us in Portugal, Spain and Italy. However these innovations by the remissness of some and by the contrivance of others, were not restrained, nor does it appear, that any notice was taken of the complaints, exhibited against those that had violated the aforesaid law and constitution, until the latter end of 1663, when by H.M. command, circular letters were wrote by the Lords of the Council to the Mayors and Magistrates of the Western Corporations, requiring them to be careful that the said law should be punctually observed and duly executed, and at the same time the Officers of ye Customs were directed to charge all masters of ships to observe and keep the said rule: But this Order being likewise eluded in Feb. 1669 H.M. in Council again enjoyn'd the observance thereof, and commanded that a return should be made of the names of offenders and in the mean time to stop their proceeding on ye voyage. And whereas the Western Adventurers had been for some time past opposing the placing of Govr. in Newfoundland, which was proposed, as absolutely necessary to check the encroachments of the French, H.M. on the 4th Feb., upon the report of the Lords of the Council for Foreign Plantations rejected the said proposal and thereby removed the fears and jealousies, that the Adventurers had entertained to the great discouragement of the fishing trade. Nevertheless the Fishery was so severely effected by the aforesaid disorders and disputes that the merchants, owners and masters of ships and inhabitants of the Western parts of this Kingdom adventuring to Newfoundland were obliged in Dec. 1670 to petition H.M.; That the said Fishery might be maintained by fishing ships, according to its ancient custom, that encroachments thereupon might be removed, and that the Mayors mentioned in their Patent might be impowered to depute from time to time persons to execute the laws and constitution of the Fishery etc. Refer to procedure summarised C.S.P. 1670. Nos. 362 iii.–v. The Council of Foreign Plantations made their report on the 2nd of March following, (C.S.P. 1670. No. 362 iv.) and offer'd that several new regulations be added to the Charter, and on the 10th March, after the said new regulations had been seriously considered by H.M. in Council, those that related to the Adventurers, were all approved, except one, whereby it was proposed: That encouragement might be given to the inhabitants to transport themselves and their families to Jamaica, St. Christophers, or some others of H.M. Plantations, etc. But when the Adventurers found, that the removal of the inhabitants from Newfoundland could not be obtained, they seemed to be very indifferent, about renewing of ye Charter, so the Trade was left to take its course, and in 1671 Cap. Davies affirmed that "the said trade was not then by two third parts so good as he remembered it" etc., with which acct. the memorials of the Adventurers agree. In 1674, the solicitations for a Governor were again renewed. Quote Report of the Committee for Foreign Plantations on the progress of the French and New England fisheries, and the decay of the Newfoundland fisheries, approving of rules settled in Council 10th March 1670, but proposing the discouragement of any settling there, and if no Colony, no Governor etc. (v. C.S.P. 1675. No. 550). Continue:—On 5th May following H.M. in Council thought fit for the several considerations in the said Report mentioned, to order ye Commander of his convoy bound to Newfoundland to admonish the inhabitants either to return home or betake themselves to others of his Plantations etc. (v. C.S.P. 1675. No. 550). And on 27th Jan. 1675 H.M. passed the New Charter, which recited and confirmed all the old laws, and several others were added for the better Government of the Fishery, which if they had been as steadily supported and executed, as they were carefully concerted, in all probability the subjects of France and the people of New England, had reaped very little benefit by their fisheries, and this valuable branch of the British trade had been firmly re-established and secured. Quote the Additional Regulations of the New Charter. Continue:—Upon these encouragements and assurances the Western Adventurers immediately returned to the Fishery and employed in 1675, 105 fishing ships; in 1676, 126; in 1677, 109, etc. (v. C.S.P. No. 1175 etc.), and in the same years the numbers of inhabitants, besides women and children, was planters, 140, 138, 152, and servants, 1250, 943, 1355. For notwithstanding H.M. orders as aforesaid they still remained in the country. However the Adventurers being encouraged by the Lords of the Committee to put the laws of the Charter in executions they began in 1676 to restrain the disorders of the Planters and to prevent ye transportation of their servants but upon the petition of the said planters in Novr. following and the solicitation of those, who were either excited by the hopes of procuring advantages for themselves or influenced by ye French, whose fishery must have been soon render'd precarious if the Charter had been observed, an Order was obtained on 18th May, 1677 that the planters be continued in possession of their houses etc. (v. C.S.P. 1677. No. 256). The said inhabitants being flushed with this success, the old schemes for establishing the Colony and settling a Govr. were again revived, and the necessity thereof strenuously asserted by some and opposed by others. Quote adverse report of Commrs. of Customs, 26th March, 1680. Continue:—These arguments had not their due effect and on 18th April, 1680 it was ordered, that H.M. intentions to settle a Govr. and erect a Fort in Newfoundland for the preservation of his sovereignty and good of the fishery, should be signify'd unto the Magistrates of such towns in the West of England, as were chiefly concerned in that trade etc. The Western Corporations represented the hardships and difficulties they had formerly strugled with under a Govr. in Newfoundland and that they apprehended the fishing trade wou'd be greatly discouraged and prejudiced if a Govr. was settled there and therefore pray that H.M. Sovereignty may be maintained by ships of war to be sent annually thither and that the Charter be enforced etc. These representations had so much weight, that the proposals relating to a Govr. were laid aside, but the regulations and laws of the Charter being enervated by these disputes, the fishing trade very sensibly declined from the time that the Order for removing the planters was revoked. And in 1682 it was reduced to 32 fishing ships, 1012 seamen and 183 boats and in 1684 to 43, 1489 and 294, tho' the inhabitants employed in the same years 299 and 304 boats. But this decay of the fishing trade was not the only loss this Kingdom sustained on this occasion, for as Cap. Jones one of the Commanders of the Convoy in 1682 hath affirmed, the traders from New England to Newfoundland yearly made voyages for the sake of spiriting away the fishermen; so that the Newfoundland Fishery, which was formerly the great nursery for breeding up stout and able mariners, was now become a meer drain that carry'd off very many of the best and most useful of all the British sailors, and it is too notorious, that this practise has prevailed ever since. Quote Sir Francis Wheler's report (C.S.P. 1684. No. 1907) as to the high wages paid by planters, their sale of liquor, and its effect in driving away the Western Adventurers from the Fishery. Continue:—Nor doth it appear to us, that the fishing trade was afterwards, during ye reign of K. James II upon a better foot, or that the least care was taken to remove the aforesaid obstructions, (Note in margin: No accots. of the Fishery in this reign) much less to retrieve trade, but on the contrary, notwithstanding the French fishery was prodigiously encreased both at Placentia and to the northward of Cape Bonavista, and that the value of the fish taken by the English Adventurers after 1682 fell short of the value of what was taken in 1676, at least £100,000 pr. annum, nevertheless the subjects of this Kingdom were restrained by the Treaty of 1686 from fishing in such places as were held or possessed by His Most Christian Majty. in America, which seems derogatory to the Charter, and to the Statute of 15 Car. II. c. 16, whereby several regulations are prescribed and ordained to be observed in any of the harbours in Newfoundland. Moreover the war in 1689 still added to ye misfortunes of the said trade, not only as it was thereby rendered impracticable to pursue such measures, as were necessary to reform ye aforesaid disorders and mismanagement, but from the difficulties and hazards that unavoidably attended the Adventurers in prosecuting the same, however they employ'd every year some ships, more or less, as they could obtain protection for their men, and the inhabitants maintain'd (as formerly) about 300 boats pr. annum until the French in 1696, without any regard to what was stipulated by the 18th Article in the Treaty of 1686, ravaged several of the harbours in Newfoundland and destroy'd all that appertained to ye fishermen; Whereupon his late Majesty King William the 3rd erected a fort at St. Johns, for the better security and protection of his subjects and their trade. But upon the conclusion of the Peace at Ryswick, the Adventurers, either forgetting the difficulties their predecessors were not able to surmount, or imagining that the inhabitants by reason of the severe losses they had lately suffered were rendered incapable of carrying on the Fishery, or else very probably adhering (for their own private ends) to the practise of those refractory masters of ships, who could not be restrained from transporting passengers, they reassumed and returned to their old trade with fresh vigour. And in 1698 there were imploy'd by the Adventurers 143 fishing ships and 532 boats, and by the inhabitants and by boat keepers 397 boats. In all 929 boats who took 265,198 quintals of fish. The Fishery at Newfoundd. being thus revived, etc. the Act to encourage the Trade to Newfoundland was passed. Abstract given. Upon which, and the success of the Fishery in the last year the Adventurers, by-boat keepers and inhabitants apply'd themselves very earnestly to the Fishery, and there was imploy'd by the Adventurers in 1699, fishing ships, 168, boats 669, and in 1700 fishing ships 171, boats, 800; and by by-boat keepers, in 1699, 115 boats, in 1700, 90 boats; and by the inhabitants, in 1699, 457 boats, in 1700, 674 boats. But as this Act had not that good effect which the Adventurers expected, they were from this time forwards constrained to give place to the inhabitants, for in 1701, the fishery of the Adventurers was reduced to 75 fishing ships and 338 boats. Whereas there was then kept by the by-boatmen 97 boats, and by the inhabitants 558 boats. Quote figures during the war, 1702–1712, shewing average of 41 ships per annum and 1713–1716, an average of 86 ships and 324 boats, and 177 by-boats and 381 inhabitants' boats (v. C.S.P. 1702–1716). According to the preceding accounts of the Fishery it may be asserted:—that the Western Adventurers in 1615 whilst the trade was open and free to all strangers employ'd 1250 fishing ships' boats. About 1694, when ye Colony was in a manner deserted, and the foreigners fairly driven out of the trade, at least, 2160. Before 1660, and for several years after, it was generally agreed that ye Fishery was reduced by divers misfortunes and evil practises, to less than one third part, or 720. Upon restraining the transportation of passengers by the New Charter, and enjoyning the planters to remove by a special order, the trade began to revive again in 1676, and maintain'd 894 fishing ships' boats, 206 by-boats and inhabitants' boats. Upon the revocation of the said Order and the design to settle a Governor, a full stop was put to the increase of the Trade, and in 1684 it sunk to 294 and 304 respectively. And it is computed that it continued (communibus annis) near upon the same foot, from that time to the conclusion of the Peace at Ryswick in 1697. In the three following years there was annually employ'd in a medium 677 fishing ships' boats, 577 by-boats and inhabitants' boats. But in 1701,. the Adventurers being discouraged, the trade fell off, to 338 and 655 respectively. Afterwards during the war 1701–1712, it was carryed on, communibus annis, by no more than 120 and 300 respectively. And on a medium of four years from the conclusion of the Peace, by 324 and 558 respectively. So that the difference between the Fishery in 1644 and since the present Peace may be computed as follows:—In 1644 the Adventurers employ'd 2160 boats, and by the great industry of the fishermen, there was seldom less taken than 250 quintals of fish pr. boat. In all quintals 540,000 pr. annum which produced about 3375 tons of train oyle, at one hhd. for 40 quintals; And since the Peace the Adventurers, by-boatmen and inhabitants have employ'd comm. annis 882 boats; and have taken 95,424 quintals of fish, that is 108 quintals pr. boat and 365½ tons of train oyle at one hhd. pr. 64 quintals. Consequently therefore the quantity of fish taken in 1644, and about that time exceeded what has been taken since ye Peace 444,576 quintals pr. annum, which at 8s. pr. quintal amounts to £177,830 0s. 0d., and of train oyle 3009½ tons, which at £12 pr. ton amounts to £36,114. Freight for said fish to Europe = £100,029. Lost annually to England by the decay of the trade, £313,973. Not including in this account what was gained by the merchants upon the sale thereof in foreign markets, nor what was paid for provision, strong liquors etc. to New England and other places. It is therefore very apparent, that the Fishery at Newfoundland from its first establishment has either flourished or languished, according as the inhabitants have been discouraged or incouraged. That the principal obstructions which have attended that trade since the reign of King Charles I, when it was at the greatest height (exclusive of those that proceeded from the wars this Kingdom has been engaged in) are intirely owing to the project for carrying on the said trade by a Colony of fishermen, in opposition to the fishing ships belonging to the Adventurers. That the first immediate cause of the decay of the fishing trade and of the disorders that have depressed it ever since, was from the encouragement that was given to the transportation of passengers, by appointing a Governor in 1650, and by granting a patent to Sir David Kirk etc. in 1655. That the pernicious consequences, which evidently ensued upon the diverting the course of the Fishery into this new Channel, were the only motives that induced K. Charles II (after every circumstance, relating to the Trade had been strictly examined and seriously considered) to order the Commander of the convoy in 1675 to admonish the planters to return home, and to grant in the same year a New Charter, which provided and guarded against every inconveniency and abuse that had interrupted the Adventurers in the prosecution of their fishing trade. That when these regulations were settled there was a fair prospect of retrieving and reviving the trade, but that the indulgence shewn to the planters in 1677, by permitting them to remain in the country, rendred the Charter ineffectual, reduced the Fishery to the lowest ebb and favoured both the French and New Englanders in carrying on their fishing trade. And that the unhappy state of the trade from that time to this (which is upwards of 40 years) is an undeniable argument, that it cannot flourish under the present regulations, which will be farther demonstrated by examining and comparing the rules and methods that were formerly observed by the Western Adventurers, with the extravagant and irregular measures and practises that of late years have been introduced, and pursued in the management of the Fishery. For instance, Before the fishing ships became transports to the planters and by-boat-keepers, the usual complement of a ship containing 100 tons fitted out for a fishing voyage, was 50 men and 10 boats, and this practise was continued until 1677, in which year according to Sir Wm. Poole's accounts, there were employed in the fishery 109 fishing ships containing 9035 tons and 4475 men, which amounted to upwards of 49 men for every 100 tons, but upon a medium of 4 years, since the Peace of Utrecht, the 86 fishing ships annually employ'd contained 9010 tons and but 1839 men, which is little more than 20 men for every 100 tons; The present Adventurers have therefore annually wanted 2666 men to compleat the number their predecessors maintained formerly on the same tonnage; and had their ships been fully manned the aforesaid 2666 men would have taken to the value of at least £20 each, that is in the whole £53,320 pr. annum over and above what they have now gained, and whatsoever, is taken by the Fishing ships entirely belongs to, and is a certain addition to the stock of your Majesty's subjects residing in this Kingdom. Whereas all the advantages that the inhabitants enjoy at present by the Fishery (unless the season proves exceeding favourable) never answers their charge; for as they are in general very idle, indigent and necessitous, they are always indebted and enslav'd to the traders from New England, and other parts, by whom they are supply'd with provisions for their subsistance, and with vast quantities of strong liquors, molosses and tobacco for sale, and many of them not having wherewithal to satisfy their said creditors; they are in course stript of all they have taken, before the Fishery is well over and the rest, when their debts are discharged have seldom enough left to secure a sufficient stock for their own and their servants support and debaucheries in the winter; so that New England reaps all ye fruit of their labour, except what is paid for the passage of their servants, and for the goods, that are exported from Great Britain for their consumption. How much the transportation of their servants out and home, may amount to, is uncertain: but since few return from thence, we compute it cannot exceed £4,500. And the value of the goods exported thither, according to the Custom House Accots., upon a medium of three years, after the present Peace, was £8133. Another instance of the prejudice that Great Britain receives by the inhabitants of Newfoundland, is from their abuse of that liberty which is given them to transport servants to assist them in carrying on their fishery. For in 1677 and 1701 the number of the inhabitants and their men servants amounted to 1507 and 2159, and they maintained 337 and 558 boats. Which in the first year falls short of men 4½, and in the last year of 4 men to each boat. But in 1715 and 1716 the number of inhabitants was 3153 and 2611, and they maintained, only 464 and 408 boats. Which being after the rate of 63/5 men to every boat it necessarily follows, they were supply'd in 1715 and 1716 with 920 men pr. annum more than they would have employ'd in the same number of boats, according to their management in 1677; and since the fishing ships in proportion to their men, have taken a greater quantity of fish, than was taken at the same time by the inhabitants, and that in 1716 servants were so scarce in Newfoundland, that they were forced to give £18 to £20 pr. man for the fishing season; it can never be pretended that the said 920 Supernumeraries were employed in the fishery; But it manifestly confirms the truth of all those complaints, that have been made for upwards of 40 years past, that the New Englanders by ye assistance of the planters of Newfoundland have carried away every year from thence as many of the English fishermen, as they could perswade or seduce to proceed with them; By which means they have established a very considerable Navigation, and gained a fishery on their own coast, which at present is probably superiour to that at Newfoundland; moreover it will serve to justify and support what Capn. Passenger has advised us (v. 1st Oct.). From hence therefore it plainly appears, that the Navigation of this Kingdom has suffered exceedingly ever since the transportation of passengers to Newfoundland has been connived at, and there can be no doubt but that it has been one of the principal causes of the want of seamen for your Majesty's service. The next irregular and pernicious practise of the inhabitants, that must be taken notice of, is, their retaling of rum and other strong liquors among the fishermen. That the Fishery was severely affected by the unhappy consequences of this practise soon after the first planters were settled in Newfoundland, is apparent from the Charter of K. Charles I, whereby it is ordained in the 10th Article "That no person shall set up any tavern for selling of wine, beer etc. to entertain the fishermen, etc." And it is certain that ye flourishing state of the fishing trade, during the aforesd. reign, was in a great measure owing to this wholesome prohibition; For as long as it was maintained, so long the trade prospered, and it was no sooner dispensed with, but the trade sensibly declined, and altho' the planters were afterwards kept in awe for some time by the Charters, that were granted by K. Charles II which confirmed the said prohibition, nevertheless when that difficulty was surmounted, and they were at liberty to pursue their own measures, the Fishery immediately languished, nor has it render'd to this Kingdom, from that time, above one third part of the profit, that was formerly enjoy'd thereby, excepting only after the conclusion of the Peace at Ryswick, when for three years the fishing trade was vigourously carried on in hopes that the said Peace would have favoured the consumption of their fish in foreign parts, and that the settling of the trade by an Act of Parliament, would have effectually prevented all abuses and disorders, and restored good order and government in the Fishery; But the said Act having only restrained the inhabitants, who keep public houses from selling upon the Lord's Day or Sunday, any liquors whatsoever, and without imposing any penalty upon the transgressors, even upon that day; Newfoundland is now become a perfect scene of drunkeness and debauchery; nor can it be otherwise, whilst such vast quantities of rum and strong liquors, tobacco and other stores are annually imported from New England, the Leeward Islands and other places, and that the inhabitants who carry on their fishing trade at a much greater charge than the fishing ships, and are under the necessity of selling their fish at the same price, have no other way to reduce the price thereof, but by what they gain upon the sale of their said liquors to the poor fishermen, who being always too prone to drink, are easily drawn into debaucheries and excesses, until they have profusely expended and consumed, all or at least a large part of their wages, to the great prejudice of their families; and as this has been always justly resented, as an intollerable abuse and burthen, so the disorders, that naturally arise from the said debaucheries have obstructed the trade by discouraging the masters and owners of the fishing ships from engaging in these voyages, it being evident, that the fishermen are become negligent and careless in their employment, that they are hereby render'd unfit for their labour, that they are often refractory and ungovernable, and that to support their extravagancies, they are guilty of many embezlements and thefts, which are difficulties that are insuperable in a fishing voyage, the success whereof absolutely depends upon the utmost care and frugality of the master, and the diligence and hard labour of the fishermen, especially when they are to contend with a foreign rival, who cherishes industry and crushes every irregularity, that increases the charge of their Fishery. Neither are these the only hardships under which the fishing ships labour, for upon their fitting out, the best and ablest fishermen generally decline serving in them, until the boat-keepers have their full compliments, the boat-keepers crews being exempted from working on board ship in their passage and in Newfoundland, when bad weather hinders their attendance on the Fishery. And whereas the said by-boat-keepers always take their passage on the earliest ships and best sailers, the Fishing Admirals under the pretence of their being freighters of ships put them in possession of the best and most convenient places by the waterside, to the great prejudice and discouragement of the later ships, whose masters have been frequently constrained to hire both stages and room from the said boat-keepers and obliged to carry their fish so far backward, that they could not avoid allowing one man extraordinary to each boat. Moreover since it is now customary for many of the by-boat-keepers to remain every winter in the country, to secure their stages and rooms against the next fishing season, and that the aforesaid Act of 10th and 11th William III has provided, "That all such persons as since 25th March 1685 have built etc. or hereafter shall build any houses, stages etc. for fishing there etc., may peacefully enjoy the same etc." It is found by experience, that the fishing shipping, which was employ'd in the Fishery, about the time K. Charles II, granted his second Charter, cannot be now accommodated as formerly, in the principal harbours where the planters generally remain. For the number of those ships being reduced some years before 1685, to one third part or thereabouts of the number that was annually imploy'd in 1675, 1676 and 1677, and the trade continuing near upon the same foot from 1685 to the time the said Act was under consideration, the said ships neither did, nor could occupy in that interval more than one third part of the stages and rooms, which had been in the possession of the fishing ships in the aforesaid three years; and without doubt the rest were either decay'd or destroy'd in their absence. But the inhabitants having built, cut out and made since 1685, several houses, stages, trainfats etc. in the same places where the other two third parts of the fishing ships' rooms and stages were formerly erected and fix'd; the fishing ships are deprived by ye Act, of the right they had to ye said places: Wheresoever therefore they shall to again encouraged to return to the Fishery, they will be obliged to hire their conveniencies of the planters in the same manner as in 1698, in which year according to the accounts transmitted by Sir John Norris they paid from 5 to £15 pr. boat, which must be assigned for one of the reasons why they quited the fishing trade so soon after the Act passed, and why they have declined it ever since. Nevertheless as the said Act has directed by a preceding clause, that those who had detained after 1685, any beach or other places for curing, drying or husbanding of fish, which before that time belonged to the fishing ships, should relinquish the same, to the publick use of the fishing ships arriving there, it cannot be imagined, that the aforesaid proviso was intended to abridge them of so great and necessary a privilege, much less to permit the planters to possess more flakes and beach, than they actually want for curing and drying their fish in proportion to the number of boats they imploy, or to extend their flakes and huts by the waterside or behind those of the fishing ships, contrary to ye ancient custom of the fishery. It must be remarked, that notwithstanding Placentia and several other places lately possessed by the French in Newfoundland, were surrendred to Great Britain in compliance with the Treaty of Utrecht, the fishing ships enjoy no other advantage thereby, than by fishing at the Island of St. Peters, the stages, beaches, etc. at Placentia and in those parts, being engrossed by some of your Majesty's subjects inhabiting there. For altho' the French by the 14th Article of the said Treaty, were only allowed to remove with their movable effects; yet her late Majesty by her letter of 23rd June, 1713, to Col. Nicholson, having permitted them to dispose of their houses, beaches and other immoveables, they were bought up by particular persons in hopes of letting them out annually to the fishermen, which has effectually discouraged the fishing trade in that part of the country. To which may be added, that the importation of wine and all other necessaries (except salt) for the fishery by the ships, which proceed to Newfoundland, from Portugal, Spain and other foreign parts, is a discouragement to the Adventurers in general, whose ships are victualed and stores provided in this Kingdom. Nor can we conclude, without taking notice, that we have lately received letters from your Majesty's Consuls, and the merchants residing in Spain, Portugal and Italy, that the fish brought to those markets from Newfoundland, for some years past, has been for the most part so very ill cured, that the consumption thereof is greatly abated, and that the trade is in danger of being thereby lost. Upon the whole therefore, We most humbely crave leave to offer it as our opinion to your Majesty, that this important Fishery can never be revived or restored to its former flourishing state and condition until it be again wholly carried on by fishing ships, according to its ancient custom, and regulated by laws agreeable thereunto. And that the most effectual method to remove all the aforementioned obstructions, and to restrain the irregularities and disorders of the fishermen as well as to encourage ye Adventurers to return to their employmt. would be to remove the inhabitants or planters to Nova Scotia, or to some other of your Majesty's Plantations in America. Nevertheless, least this should be esteemed a hardship on such of the inhabitants as have erected houses or made any other conveniencies for their fishing in Newfoundland under ye encouragemt. which seems to have been given them by the Act of the 10th and 11th Gul. III, we shall shortly beg leave to offer to your Majesty some heads of a Bill for remedying the difficulties and abuses the said fishing trade doth at present labour under, to the great prejudice of your Majesty's British Dominions. [C.O. 195, 6. pp. 416–464.]