History of the Colony of Avalon

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Documents relating to Ferryland: 1597 to 1726

2 October, 1639; [Sir] David Kirke
Letter to Archbishop Laud [from Ferryland]

Great Britain, PRO, Colonial Office, CO 1/10 (40), 119.
MHA 16-B-3-031. Transcribed by P.E. Pope.

Subjects: planters, health, weather, religion, Anglican Church.


Most Reverend Father;

I do, with joy and a grateful heart, acknowledge the favour I received from your Grace, in your good wishes for our prosperity in this country, after it had pleased his Majesty to grant it to us by his patent. My Lord, I doubt not but God hath blessed us the more, for your Grace's blessing upon us, for we have found the country so good and healthful that since our arrival here, of about 100 persons which we brought over, to this day we have lost but one of sickness, and he a diseased man before we departed out of England. Concerning the temperature of the clime and the general estate of the country, your Grace may be at large informed by those relations which are sent over to the Company and shall be presented to your Grace, if your more serious and great employments may allow any time of leisure for their perusal. I shall only add this one particular observation, out of what hath happened in the country heretofore and what I hope shall follow hereafter, that the air of Newfoundland agrees perfectly well with all God's creatures except Jesuits [Roman Catholics] and Scismaticks [Puritans]. A great mortality amongst the former tribe so affrighted my Lord of Baltimore [Sir George Calvert, Lord Baltimore], that he utterly deserted the country. And of the other sect, we have heard so many frenzies from our next neighbouring plantation [Massachusetts Bay], the greatest his Majesty hath in America, that we hope our strict observance and use of the rites and service of the Church of England, as it is our chiefest safety, by the blessing of God, whose ordinance we are constantly persuaded it is. So may it discourage forever all seditious spirits to mingle with us, to the disturbance of that happy conformity which we desire, may be established in this Land. To this good end, if it shall please your Grace to give us directions, for the time to come (for we doubt not but the country may be peopled in a short time, with a numerous plantation of his Majesty's subjects) we shall with all respect and faithfulness, receive and practice your Grace's injunctions. And I in my particular shall rest ever

Ferryland,
Your Grace's most obedient,
October 2, 1639
David Kirke

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