History of the Colony of Avalon

Special Documents:

Historical documents

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Ferryland names





Documents relating to Ferryland: 1597 to 1726

1625; William Alexander
extract from An Encouragement to Colonies (London, Wm Stansby, 1625), 25-26.

QE II Library, microfilm.

Subjects: planters, livestock, gardens.


"...but long before [Sir Humfrey Gilbert's] time [c. 1580] and ever since the English had used to fish upon the Bank, and within the bays of Newfoundland, and the sweetness of the benefit arising from thence, did persuade a company composed of Londoners and Westcountrymen to join together for sending some to inhabit there, where before howsoever the summer was large as hot as here, the winter was thought unsufferable.

The first houses for a habitation were built in Cupids Cove within the Bay of Conception [Conception Bay], where people did dwell for sundry years together, and some well satisfied both for pleasure, and profit, are dwelling there still, finding small difference between the season of the year in that climate, and here. There is another plantation begun at Harbour ... Grace [Harbour Grace] within the same Bay by the city of Bristol, called Bristol's Hope, whereas by the sowing and reaping of some corn [grain] of sundry sorts doth appear what further may possibly be expected. And within these three years Master Secretary Calvert [Sir George Calvert, later Lord Baltimore] hath planted a company at Ferryland, who both for building and making trial of the ground have done more than ever was performed before by any in so short a time, having already there a brood of horses, cows and other bestial, and by the industry of his people he is beginning to draw back yearly some benefit from thence already: which course, howsoever at first it prove good, or bad for his particular, is by the example beneficial for the public....

The most part of the bounds whereupon any hath planted as yet in Newfoundland is found to be rocky and not fit to be manured: it may be these that made choice thereof (neglecting the land) had only a regard to dwell commodiously for making use of the sea, the present profits of which doth recompense the loss of that which might be expected by the other....

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