History of the Colony of Avalon

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Ferryland names





Documents relating to Ferryland: 1597 to 1726

30 August, 1652; John Slaughter
Examination on the Interrogatories of David Kirke, 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 250-251. Revised by P.E. Pope.

Subjects: planters, govern, house, material, culture, livestock, boats.


The answer of John Slaughter, inhabitant in Caplin Bay, to his examination upon Interrogatories ministered on the part and behalf of Sir David Kirke, Monday August the 30th, 1652.

1 To the first [re the personal bias of the witness], he answers that he came here to be examined by order of the Commissioners and has no share or interest in either nor doth he think to get any benefit by either of them and therefore cares not which of them doth prevail. And he doth also know the old Lord Baltimore [Sir George Calvert] and Sir David Kirke - but for his affection he doth affect one as well as the other, though for the young Lord [Cecil Calvert, Second Lord Baltimore] he never knew. And for his depositions he doth not expect any benefit but labour for his pains.

2 To the second [re previous coaching of the witness], he answers that he was never taught or instructed by any one before he came to be examined in this cause. Neither hath he any suits or pretenses [claims] to or against the said Sir David Kirke.

3 To the third [re extent of personal knowledge of the Calvert business], he answers that he was here in the years thirty eight [1638] and thirty nine [1639] but did not see the Lord Baltimore here. But here was one Captain Hill [William Hill] that was the said Lord Baltimore's agent and was here by virtue of the said Lord Baltimore's patent, which he had from King James [King James I] for to keep the possession of it.

4 To the fourth [re personal knowledge of the use of Calvert properties], he answers that he was here in the said Land [Newfoundland] when the said Sir David Kirke came over, but the Lord of Baltimore was not here then, but only one Captain William Hill, who had been here in possession for the said Lord Baltimore 2 or 3 years before the coming of the said Sir David Kirke, and saw some goods in the possession of the said Captain William Hill, at the arrival of the said Sir David Kirke, which were the Lord Baltimore's, because they were left here by him, which were: six or seven horses, 3 chairs, a table board, and an old bedstead, one old French boat of the burden of five tons. All which was prized [priced] to the value of fifty pounds [£ 50] or thereabouts.

5 To the fifth [re personal knowledge of Calvert's patent and of receipts from Kirke's imposition], he answers that he did see the Lord Baltimore's patent for to receive the Land [Newfoundland] into his own possession. And he did also see the said Sir David Kirke take and receive duties and customs for fishing from strangers; but what value it might amount to, he knows not.

John Slaughter

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