CO 194/12 [Reel B-211 ]

Page

Date

From whom (where)

To whom (where)

Contents or nature of the document

1-2

6 Sept. 1743

John Masters, Trader to Newfoundland

Lords of Admiralty/Lords of trade

A representation from a trader to Newfoundland for the better security of the island against the French. Masters believes that the French will try to attack as soon as war breaks out. Their proximity at Cape Breton and in the Gulf as well as on the island itself presents a threat to the British fishery. Masters believes the French have 100 vessels yearly employed in the fishery. Their fish comes in three weeks earlier than ours. Cape Breton sits in a very strategic place and can easily cut us off from going to the Northern Colonies or the sugar islands. Louisbourg should fall easily and Quebec will soon fall. The French also have an important fishery in Bay Blanche [White Bay], Fleur de Lys, Bay de Orges. It would be very easy to take. He offers to go and capture it and keep the vessels to himself. "Our People that fish at Fogo, Twillingate and Bonavista...are within 10 leagues of the French fisheries...a great number of our people ...live at the French fishing Places in order to catch Furs and Seals and are able to give a good Description of that Coast and Harbours."

2v-3v

6 Sept. 1743

Chris Kilby, agent for the province of the Massashusets-Bay.

Lords of Trade

[Enclosed with above] Kilby delivered Master's letter to the Lords of Admiralty and Lords of Trade.

4-5v

13 April 1744

Thomas Corbett, Admiralty Office

Lords of Trade

The Kinsale commanded by Capt. Young is called to Newfoundland. Please forward the Heads of Enquiry.

6

23 May 1744

Newcastle, Whitehall

Lords of trade

Charles Hardy commander of the Jersey will be made Governor, please send in the instructions for His Majesty's signature.

7

30 May 1744

Sharpe, Council Chamber at Whitehall

    

Commission for Charles Hardy. Requests a draft for the Councils approval.

8-11v

30 May 1744

Sharpe

   

Order of Council stating that no alteration was made to the draft. It is the same as the one given to Thomas Smith. The document is ready for the King's signature.

12-15v

19 July 1744

Sharpe

    

Orders in Council. This concerns a report presented by the Lords about improving the defence of St. John's. The Lords have asked the Duke of Montagu, the Earl of Winchelsea and Lord Monson to look into the matter. They have consulted Thomas Smith. The forts and batteries in St. John's, Placentia, Ferryland and Carbonear should be completed asap. All fortifications except those at Placentia should be erected to save time. Some fortification for Trinity should be provided at the discretion of the Engineer. The report is approved and the Council are giving proper instructions to the Master general of Ordnance, the Treasury, and to the Secretary of War.

16

17 Jan. 1745

Newcastle, Whitehall

Lords

Richard Edwards was appointed to be Governor of Newfoundland. Please send a draft of his commission.

17

7 Feb. 1744/45

Sharpe, Court at St James

    

Order in Council. His Majesty approves the commission for Richard Edwards. Please send in a draft.

18-20v

7 Feb. 1745

Sharpe, Court at St James

Lords

No alterations was made to the commission given to Charles Hardy except for Article 62 of the 13th and 14th articles of the Treaty of Utrecht which was taken away from the instructions because of war. Please send in a final draft for signature.

21

7 Feb. 1745

Sharpe, Court at St James

Lords

Order in Council relating to the defence of St. John's, Carbonear and Ferryland.

23-28v

19 July 1744

    

     

[Enclosed with above] List of Ordnance and materials needed for the defence of St. John's, Ferryland and Carbonear. Prices included. P.23 includes the staff required for these new forts. P.24-26, contains the material needed.

29

9 Jan. 1745

Richard Edwards, Princess Mary (Spithead.)

Lords

He has prepared the State of the Fishery for 1744.

31v-32v

Ditto

Ditto

Ditto

[Enclosed with above] State of the Fishery. This document gives the closest account of how many ships visited the island, how much fish they caught, population, and more. Includes places such as Placentia ("could get no account from thence"), Renewse, Trepassey, Ferryland, Bay Bulls, Petty Harbour, St. John's, Torbay and more.

33-36v

18 June 1745

Sharpe, Council Chamber Whitehall

Lords Justices in Council

The defence of Trinity Harbour as proposed by James Wibault. The defence of Trinity is as important as Ferryland and Carbonear. Pages 34 and 35 contain the cost required for the personnel and material required for the defence of Trinity Harbour.

37-38v

1 March 1745

Thomas Corbett, Admiralty Office

    

Admiralty desire Lords of Trade to prepare Heads of Enquiry for the commodore to be stationed at Newfoundland

39-39v

Unknown

Joseph Gledhill, Placentia

Lords

"I herewith Send your Lordship's a Plan Elevation and Section of this Fort, another I have sent to His Grace My Lord Duke of Newcastle. I have likewise represented to him as I do to your Lordships, That the few men under my Command who are but Fourty Private, have neither Arms, Cloathing, Bedding nor Provisions as Yett. I am heartly sorry, this Place is so much neglected, because of Course Trade is intirely Decay'd, for there has not been a ship of Warr here these four Years Past. I would have been more Particular in this Letter to your Lordship's, but as I send it by Mr Fourmier, our Assistant Engineer to this Place, I Refer it to him to give Your Lordship's further Informations...."

40-40v

9 Oct. 1746

Joseph Gledhill, Placentia

Lords

A second letter stating that Placentia has been so neglected. He has not received clothing, bedding nor provisions for the last three years. He has been drawing on the Treasury and on his own pay. He is no longer able to withstand so much neglect. Only three fishing ships have come this summer because they have to go to St. John's to convoy. This month, it is dangerous to go round to St. John's. He humbly begs for redress.

41-45v

12 April 1747

James Douglas, Vigilant (St. Helen's)

Thomas Hill, secretary of the Lords of Trade

He asked the justices of the various harbours to fill in their scheme of the fishery but it has been delayed due to foggy weather.

46-48v

Ditto

Ditto

    

[Enclosed with above] Answers to the Heads of Enquiry. Note: A reminder that this document contains any information relating to conflicts on the island, the trade practices, the husbanding of the fish, the New England vessels, the master-servant relationship, the justices, and much more.

49v-50v

Ditto

Ditto

   

[Enclosed with above] Scheme of the fishery for the year 1746.

51-51v

31 Oct. 1747

Otho Hamilton, Placentia

Lords

He was appointed Lt. Governor of Placentia three years ago. The administration of the island has been handed to Justices of the Peace. As there has not been a Governor coming here fo the past four years, civil government has fallen to decay and must become extinct. The three civil positions created by Captain Smith have all gone. Hamilton requests instructions.

52

23 Feb. 1748

Sharpe, Council in Chamber Whitehall

Lords

They have received a letter from Otho Hamilton relating to the lack of civil government at Placentia and ask the Lords to consider the matter and report.

53-56v

31 Oct. 1747

Otho Hamilton

   

[Enclosed with above] Copy of Otho Hamilton's letter, featured at p.51 as well.

57

6 April 1748

Cleveland, Admiralty Office

Thomas Hill

Charles Watson is appointed to command a squadron of "His Majestie's Ships at Cape Breton, and the Parts adjacent." Please send in the Heads of Enquiry.

58

18 April 1748

Bedford, Whitehall

Lords

Order in Council. Charles Watson is to be governor, please send a draft for a commission and instructions.

59

5 May 1748

Sharpe, Court at St James

Lords

Order in Council. The draft is approved. A warrant is requested for signature.

60-64v

5 May 1748

Sharpe

Lords

Order in Council. His majesty is pleased to approve the warrant which includes the following changes. The 58th Article asks that the governor give the best account of the number of Irish Roman Catholics in the towns in Nfld, and article 63 has been rewritten to state "what justices of the peace are now in actual commission and do execute the same" in respective towns in Nfld particularly at Placentia. Pages 61v-64v are clerical notes and endorsements.

65

24 Nov. 1748

Charles Watson, Panther (Spithead)

Lords

Watson sends his Answers to the Heads of Enquiry. He has been ordered down to Louisbourg and leaves Captain Jekyll or Captain Pye to be in charge of the station in his absence.

66-71v

Ditto

Ditto

    

[Enclos'd with above] Begins at Article 16. The Scheme of the fishery will be provided by Capt Jekyll or Capt. Pye. Article 38: the Furring is carried on, in the Northern and Western Parts of the Island; the quantity taken last winter as yet unknown, but will be inserted in the general scheme. If any account can be got thereof. The furrers have no manner of traffick with the Indians. Article 43: No account is kept of the Bounds of every One's room, and that, of the ship's is known by most employed in the Fishery, Since the year 1685 And as every Possessor knows his own bound prevents in a great measure any disputes on that head.

72-73v

15 Aug. 1748

Ditto

Ditto

[Enclosed with above] The State of Condition of Fort William in St. John's Newfoundland.

74-75v

16 Aug. 1745-30 July 1748

James Wibault

    

[Enclosed with above] Remains of Military Ordnance at St. John's.

76-77v

9 Feb. 1749

Charles Watson, Fougeux (Portsmouth)

    

He sends in the accounts of Issues remaining at Placentia, the plans of Fort Frederick, and the new fort erected on the north side of the harbour. Capt. Jekyll's information took a while to arrive at Louisbourg.

78-92v

    

Otho Hamilton

     

[Enclosed with above] "An Account of Ordnance Stores Issued and Expended at Placentia" from Aug. 1747-July 1748.

93-99v

    

William Sanderson, Storekeeper at Placentia

     

[Enclosed with above] Remains of Ordnance Stores, Placentia, Aug. 1747-Aug. 1748. From mortars to buckets, drills, and mallets.

100

Note from the Public Record Office that 2 plans of Fortresses at Placentia, Newfoundland have been removed to the Map Room. Map room reference M.P.G.559 Aug. 7 1930. However, the plans are in fact included, and can be found immediately after the last page (203) of this volume, and just before the next volume begins.

101

10 April 1749

Bedford, Whitehall

Lords

"The King having been pleased to appoint George Bridges Rodney Esq[r] to be Governor of Newfoundland; It is His Majesty's Pleasure, that the Draught of his Commission and Instructions be prepared, in order to be laid before his Majesty for his Approbation..."

102

March 1749

Capt. Pye, Norwich (Chatham)

Lords

As requested by Governor Watson, I am sending the State/Scheme of the fishery.

105-106v

Ditto

Ditto

     

[Enclosed with above] State of the Fishery for the year 1748.

107

2 May 1749

Sharpe, Court at St James

    

Order in Council for the appointment of George Bridges Rodney as Governor.

108

2 Aug. 1749

Corbyn Morris

Lords

Morris is asking the Lords to consider several papers kept in the Lords' office in relation to disputed points regarding Civil Economy and fishery. Please answer queries.

109-112v

19 Jan. 1750

Bedford, Whitehall

Lords

"The king having been pleased to appoint Francis William Drake... to be Governor of Newfoundland...prepare a draft of his Commission and Instructions..."

113

19 Jan. 1750

Thomas Corbett, Admiralty Office

    

Francis William Drake commander of the Mercury is appointed Governor, please send a draft of Instructions.

114

28 Dec. 1749

George Bridges Rodney, Rainbow (Woolwich)

Lords

Please lay the following papers before the Lords.

115-119

Ditto

Ditto

     

[Enclosed with above] Answers to the Heads of Enquiry for 1749.

119v

2 Oct. 1749

Ditto

    

[Enclosed with above] Names of the Justices of the Peace in the several districts in Nfld.

120v-122v

All clerical notes and endorsements for documents from p.113-119.

123v-124

28 Dec. 1749

Geroge Bridges Rodney

    

[Enclosed with above] Scheme of the Fishery for 1749.

125v-126v

Ditto

Ditto

    

[Enclosed with above] A return of His Majesty's Troops in the garrisons of Placentia, Ferryland, Trinity, Carbonear. Prisoners at Ferryland.

127-134v

1 Aug. 1748

Will Sanderson

    

[Enclosed with above] Remains of Ordnance at Placentia.

135v-142v

28 Dec. 1749

William Wigmore

    

[Enclosed with above] remains of Ordnance Stores at St. John's in Newfoundland. Oct. 1748 - Oct. 1749

143-150v

28 Dec. 1749

    

   

[Enclosed with above] Remains of Ordnance Stores at Ferryland.

151-156v

Ditto

    

   

[Enclosed with above] Remains of Ordnance Stores at Carbonear Island from 1 Oct. 1748 to 30 Sept. 1749.

157-166v

Ditto

    

     

[Enclosed with above] Remains of Ordnance Stores at Trinity in Newfoundland.

167-167v

29 Sept. 1749

Otho Hamilton (Placentia)

     

He is enquiring into any reports against him by the Justices of the Peace. He believes he has served his position well and kept from trading. There are people in the Train Oil industry who keep boats. He feels that Captain Rodney's orders are too strict.

168-169v

14 Aug. 1749

George Bridges Rodney

    

[Enclosed with above] Order to the Lieutenant Governor, all soldiers, and all others belonging to the Garrison, not to concern themselves in the fishery, to own beaches, stages, or cookrooms.

170

24 March 1750

Aldworth, Whitehall

Lords

The Duke of Bedford has sent Aldworth a letter from late Governor Rodney concerning taking the charge for criminal cases in Newfoundland. The appointment of necessary personnel to take care of these matters. The Lords are asked to consider this matter and report to the King asap.

171

28 Dec. 1749

George Bridges Rodney

    

[Enclosed with above] Extract of a letter sent to the Duke of Bedford. Criminal cases represent a great expense to the inhabitants. Murders and robberies are too frequent. Taking prisoners away means losing your fishing season. "I humbly pray your Grace will please to represent to His Majesty, that Power may be granted to take cognizance of Capital Crimes committed in Newfoundland."

172-174v

30 Jan. 1749

D. Ryder

Lords of trade

He has considered the matter of erecting a court of justice to handle Capital Crimes in Newfoundland and has found that His Majesty does has a prerogative right to do so. The Act of the 10th and 11th of King William the Third does not take away or affect that power. He points out that this same concern was presented by the Board in 1738 in a clause that was rejected.

175

27 May 1750

D. Ryder

Lords of Trade

The way in which the Governor will be given power should be given under the Great Seal in his Instructions. He shall stick to carefully drafted instructions, as provided in 1738, and stick to them or else be answerable. He shall not have the power of trying treasons, or the power of pardon.

176-176v

2 April 1750

Bedford, Whitehall

Lords of Trade

Letter signifying that the Lords shall prepare a draft of instructions similar to the one given to Philip Vanbrugh [in 1738]. These new instructions will be added to the Commission intended for Captain Francis William Drake.

177-177v

11 April 1750

Court at St James

    

Order in Council. The new commission for Francis William Drake Esq including the new clause which was prepared for Vanbrugh in 1738, shall be approved. The Lords are to present a Warrant for the King's signature.

178-178v

26 Dec. 1750

Francis William Drake

Lords

As per his instructions, he is forwarding the Muster rolls, the answers to the Heads of Enquiry, and a Scheme of the Fishery. He cannot send accounts of the ordnance from Placentia because it is not ready yet, and Carbonear, Trinity and Ferryland are in the process of moving to St. John's. "I beg leave to acquaint your Lordships that the Power given for appointing Commissions of Oyer and Terminer, have had so great an Effect that no Murder has been committed since the Inhabitants have has the knowledge thereof;..." He further asks for a better prison to be erected.

179-182v

Endorsements and clerical notes.

183-190v

24 Dec. 1750

Ditto

    

[Enclosed with above] Answers to the Heads of Enquiry for 1750. Includes Article 70 about the first criminal court of Oyer and Terminer. The cases of the death of John Kelly and Lawrance Kneeves found guilty of manslaughter (will be burnt on the hand with the letter R).

191-193v

Blank pages and Clerical note.

194-195v

26 Dec. 1750

Francis William Drake

    

[Enclosed with above] State of the Fishery for the year 1750.

196-196v

Ditto

Ditto

    

[Enclosed with above] A return of the company of Edward Cornwallis Regiment of the Detachment of Artillery at St. John's, Placentia, Ferryland, Carbonear, and Trinity.

197

30 April 1751

Bedford, Whitehall

    

Please lay the Draft of the Commission for Francis William Drake before the king for approval.

198-198v

16 May 1751

Ryder

Lords

The powers given to the governor in trying criminal law should be limited in cases depriving of life or limb (he should ask the King's permission), and in terms of trying for treason, or for his own ship's Officers, or any of the Trading ships that shall be there. Otherwise, Ryder gives his approval for the erection of a prison.

199-200v

13 May 1751

Sharpe, Court at St James

    

Order in Council. The draft being presented for the commission of Francis William Drake being the same as last year's, the Lords are therefore asked to present a warrant for the King's signature.

201-203

Endorsements and clerical notes.

End of Volume.

Although it was stated on p.100 that the plans were removed to the map room, both appear after the final page of the volume (.e., after "End of Volume").

"Plan of Fort Frederick at Placentia on the south side of the harbour" showing a half moon battery, the Laboratory, a four gun battery of wood, officers quarters, storehouse, gunners and soldiers barracks, Mr. Fournier's bastion, The "Earl of Ha's" [Halifax's?] Battery, Gates, The Parade, and much more. And the second plan is the "Plan of the New Fort Erecting at Placentia on the north side of the Harbour."