History of the Colony of Avalon

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Historical documents

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Ferryland names





Documents relating to Ferryland: 1597 to 1726

8 December, 1651; Cecil Calvert [Second Lord Baltimore]
extract from Libel [in Baltimore vs David Kirke]

Great Britain, PRO, High Court of Admiralty, HCA 24/110 (329).
MHA 16-B-5-020.
Published in Gillian T. Cell, ed., Newfoundland Discovered, English Attempts at Colonization, 1610-1630, Hakluyt Society 2nd series, no. 160 (London: Hakluyt Society, ©1982) 298-299. Revised by P.E. Pope.

Subjects: land grants, planters, cod, fisheries, stages, boats, finance.


... Sir George Calvert Knight [Lord Baltimore] deceased (who was in his life time Principal Secretary and one of the then Privy Council to the then King James [King James I]) was, by a grant by letters patents under the great seal of England, bearing date the seventh of April in the one and twentieth year of the late reign of the said late King James, and by a good, just and lawful right, truly and fully possessed of and had a good title and power to a certain part of Newfoundland called the Province of Avalon and of divers isles and islands and ports, stations and creeks of the sea, in the said letters mentioned.... Sir George Calvert had granted unto him, by the said letters patents, all the customs, subsidies and impositions, for all goods and merchandises exported to the said Province of Avalon, in all Dutch, French and other ships or vessels whatsoever, and also all impositions and customs for the stations of the said ships within the said ports, creeks, seas and places, in the said letters patents mentioned and in such sort as therein and thereby appeareth.... Sir George Calvert did, in his lifetime, by himself and other his factors, servants and agents, and at and upon his own proper costs and charges, duly and in good and rightful manner, make an entry into and enter upon the said part of Newfoundland called the Province of Avalon and of the seas, creeks, and ports thereunto belonging and adjacent, and took the actual and natural possession thereof, and was thereof fully and lawfully, both civilly and naturally, possessed. And the said Sir George Calvert did, within the seas adjacent or lying near unto the said Province, upon his own costs and charges, build stations for ships and vessels, and make and erect harbours, and provide vessels and boats for fishing, and make places for succour, defence and security of all manner of ships and vessels that came into those parts to fish, or otherwise to trade and traffic, and therein and thereabouts laid out and expended divers great and vast sums of money, extending in the whole to about twenty thousand pounds of lawful money of England [£ 20,000].... Sir George Calvert, Knight, did, in his life time, make and erect, at his own charges, to the quantity or number of one hundred fishing boats, and likewise divers stages out from the land upon the seas for the drying and making of the fish (after the same was taken), in the said seas, creeks, and ports, in or near adjoining to the said part of Newfoundland or Province of Avalon aforesaid. Every of which fishing boats were set out to sea, in those parts, to take fish, and did in fishing yield unto him the yearly proffitt of fifty, forty, thirty or at least twenty pounds per boat [£50 to £20 per boat].... Sir George Calvert, being so rightfully and peaceably possessed of the said premises, and fully possessed thereof and every part thereof, did depart this life in or about the month of April in the year 1632, leaving behind him his son and heir, the said Cecil, Lord Baltimore [Cecil Calvert, Second Lord Baltimore]....

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