History of the Colony of Avalon

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Ferryland names





Documents relating to Ferryland: 1597 to 1726

15 February, 1653; William Hill
Examination [in Baltimore vs. David Kirke]

Great Britain, PRO, High Court of Admiralty, HCA 13/67, n.p.
MHA 16-B-5-021. Transcribed by P.E. Pope.

Subjects: planter, houses, boats, harbours, fortifications, ordnance.


Examined upon the allegations given on the behalf of the said Sir David Kirke.

William Hill, of the parish of St. Andrews, Holburn [London], gentleman, aged 38 years or thereabouts, sworn and examined.

To the first article of the said allegations, he saith he cannot depose, for that he, this deponent, never knew the [said] Sir George Calvert [Lord Baltimore] nor can he of his own knowledge depose upon [whether] the said Sir George left and went away from the province of Avalon in Newfoundland. But saith that he, this deponent, being one that went over in the year 1638 with Sir David Kirke, the proponent [i.e., Kirke] did not at his arrival there find any deputy left there by the said Sir George Calvert (who as he hath heard it commonly reported there, was gone from thence to Maryland about 8 years before) to manage or look after any business or interest of his in Newfoundland nor did the deponent ever so much as hear that at the time of Sir David Kirke's arrival at Newfoundland the said Sir George Calvert had left any equipment behind him there, save only two planks or tables of wood and an old chair with a dresser board in the kitchen of the house wherein he had lived, in Avalon aforesaid - which he knoweth, being as aforesaid one that went to Newfoundland with the said Sir David Kirke and at his coming ashore in the Province of Avalon saw and took notice of the premises. And further he cannot depose.

To the second and third articles of the said allegation, he saith and deposeth that, of this deponent's knowledge, the said Sir David Kirke did not get over to Newfoundland until the year 1638, at which time this deponent went hither with him. And [he] saith that, at such time of his arrival there, there was not any stages, succours [havens] or defenses for fishing whatsoever, within the Province of Avalon or any isles, harbours creeks, havens, or other places thereabout, which were or had been made or left by the said Sir George Calvert or any deputy for or under him; nor any boats or other vessels for fishing, save only one boat, which was in a harbour there called Ferryland, which such boat was very old rotten and altogether useless without a thorough repair and amendment thereof. And saith that this same [boat], as he verily believeth and in conscience is persuaded, was not left there by the said Sir George Calvert, at his departure from thence, which was and had been so long before that the said boats in that time would have been quite rotten away to nothing. And so much he saith was and is well known unto this deponent and all the rest of the parties that then went over from England with the proponent [Sir David Kirke] and to all those inhabitants which dwelt in the said Province at that time. And further he cannot depose.

To the fourth article of the said Allegations he saith and deposeth That no stages boats or succours [havens] for fishing will last or continue in the province of Avalon in Newfoundland or in the isles, creeks, harbours, or ports thereabouts, or in any part used for fishing in Newfoundland, above the space of two years, or three years at the most in the most calm and quiet harbours; but the same, in that time, will, as he saith, be utterly spoiled, rotted and come to nothing, albeit the same should remain and abide at home in the winter time. And so much, he saith, was observed by this deponent at his being there and so much, he saith, was and is public and notorious to all such as dwell or use to fish yearly there. And further he cannot depose.

To the 5th article of the said Allegations he saith and deposeth that at such time as he this deponent went over as aforesaid, with Sir David Kirke, and arrived in Newfoundland, and at their arrival at the Province of Avalon, there was not, in any of the creeks, harbours, isles, or places thereabouts, that this deponent ever saw or hath heard of, any great guns or ordnance whatsoever, either mounted or on ground. But on the contrary, he saith he well knoweth that the said Sir David Kirke, at his said going thither, took with him from thence above twenty pieces of ordnance, which he there planted in several places and forts in Avalon for the better security of that place, for the interest and use of the English, of which the said place was altogether utterly destitute before at that time. And further he cannot depose.

[signed] William Hill

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