History of the Colony of Avalon

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Ferryland names





Documents relating to Ferryland: 1597 to 1726

24 August, 1652; John Stevens
Deposition taken at Ferryland, in Baltimore vs. D. Kirke.

Maryland Historical Society, Calvert Papers, 174/200.
Published in Louis D. Scisco, "Testimony Taken at Newfoundland in 1652", Canadian Historical Review 9 (1928) 239-251, see 241-242. Revised by P.E. Pope.

Subjects: planters, tax, fortifications, cod, fisheries, stages, houses, boats.


The Examination and Deposition of John Steephens [Stevens], inhabitant in Renews to all the articles contained in the Libel annexed to the Commission of Admiralty, taken before us Commissioners at Ferryland, August 24th, 1652.

1 To the first [as to a lawful grant to the elder Calvert] the said John Stevens, deponent, doth acknowledge the truth of what is expressed in the Article.

2 To the second [as to the Calvert right to levy imposition], he saith he never knew any imposition taken by the said Sir George Calvert [Lord Baltimore] or any of his agents, but for the other particulars contained in the article he can speak nothing.

3 To the third [as to occupation and investment by the elder Calvert], he doeth acknowledge the quiet entry and possession of the premises by the said Sir George Calvert and of his setting forth men of war to secure the country and strongly fortifying the harbour of Ferryland, but upon what account he knows not.

4 To the fourth [as to fishery work by the elder Calvert], he saith that a considerable quantity and number of boats were kept in the harbour of Ferryland and stages likewise erected for the making and drying of fish by the said Sir George Calvert, which is all the said deponent can speak concerning the particulars contained in the Article.

5 To the fifth [as to devolution of properties upon Cecil Calvert], he saith that for the death of the said Sir George Calvert it is unknown to him, as also whether he left behind him his son Cecil, Lord Baltimore, his heir.

6 To the sixth [as to agents in charge of Calvert properties], he saith there was an agent left here by the said Sir George Calvert, one Hoyle, to take into custody what he left behind him.

7 To the seventh [as to fishing and tax levies by Calvert agents], he saith that there was possession kept for divers years by the agents of the said Cecil, Lord Baltimore, but for rendering customs impositions or any such he knows nothing nor yet of the profit.

8 To the eighth [as to the manner in which Kirke took possession], he saith that the said Sir David Kirk did enter into possession of the said Mansion House at Ferryland and then the agent of Lord Baltimore departed, but for any force or violence used by the said Sir David Kirke to the agent of the said Lord Baltimore or dispoyling him in his goods, he knows nothing. Neither were there any ordinance left here nor boats, save only one old boat, which the said Sir David Kirke took and made use of, but for the other particulars contained in the article he knows nothing.

9 To the ninth [as to Kirke's use of the Calvert fishing boats], he saith no such quantity of boats were left, as in the eighth Article, but only one old boat no nor no [sic] such use of boats were made by the said Sir David Kirke, because they were not here left.

10 To the tenth [as to Kirke's levy of the imposition], he saith there was imposition taken by the said Sir David Kirke from foreigners but to what value he knows not.

11 To the eleventh [as to the beneficiary of Kirke's imposition], he saith he knows not whether those customs or impositions belonged to the said Lord Baltimore, because he never knew him receive any.

12 To the twelfth [as to Calvert's right to reparation], he saith nothing but leaveth it to them to judge.

13 To the thirteenth [as to the legality of Kirke's acts], he can speak nothing.

the mark of X John Stevens

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