Mary Benger [Mary Kirke]; 23 March, 1708
Great Britain, PRO, Colonial Office,
CO 194/4 (62), 210.
CNS microfilm. Transcribed by P.E. Pope.
Mary Benger [Mary Kirke] maketh oath that she, this deponent, hath heard and verily believes that Sir David Kirke, in the reign of King Charles Sr. [Charles I], first being Governor of Newfoundland, became possessed of Ferryland and in particular of Pool Plantation, and there being so possessed left, at the time of his decease, four sons, after which David Kirke [II], the second son of the said Sir David, purchased all the part interests and estates of the rest of his brothers of and in Pool Plantation, aforesaid, and possessed himself thereof accordingly. And this deponent saith that the other brothers [George Kirke, Phillip Kirke and Jarvis Kirke] did all of them live several years; and the eldest of them seventeen years or thereabouts after the purchase and possession aforesaid [which must therefore have been c.1680], during which time the said David Kirke [II], son of the said Sir David, who was this deponent's late husband, deceased, enjoyed the same without having his possession interrupted or impoverished by his oldest brother [George Kirke] or any of his other brothers [Jarvis Kirke or Phillip Kirke]. And this deponent further saith that by the will of her said husband and the death of his brother Phillip without issue, the said plantation, called Pool Plantation, came to and vested in this deponent and her heirs and that this deponent further saith that she, this deponent, produced the said will and made out her title before Commodore Leake [Andrew Leake, Captain HMS HAMPSHIRE, 1699] and Captain Cleasby [Thomas Cleasby, Captain HMS MARY GALLY, 1699] and they approved thereof and gave this deponent possession of the same. But, upon this deponent's return from imprisonment at Placentia [in 1697], this deponent hath been lately disturbed in the enjoyment thereof, by Major Lloyd [Thomas Lloyd, garrison commander at St. John's from 1705], with which the said Major Lloyd doth not content himself, but threatens as far to disquiet this deponent in the enjoyment of her plantation at St. John's harbour, the property of which were settled by Commodore Fairbourne [Stafford Fairbourne, Commander at Newfoundland, 1700], and appears by a decision made and subscribed by him to a plan of the said plantation, marked letter (A) in the chart whereof, for the better ascertaining the same this deponent hath endorsed. And this deponent further saith that she hath read the oath made by Captain Cleasby before Mr Justice Downer -- the greatest part of the contents whereof she knows to be true and she assuredly believes the rest to be so also.
[signed] Mary Benger
Jurat 23 die Martii, 1707 [Sworn
23rd day of March, 1707]
Coram me [Before me]
[signed] Robert Downer