History of the Colony of Avalon

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Ferryland names





Documents relating to Ferryland: 1597 to 1726

30 August, 1663; William Swanley [agent for Cecil Calvert, second Lord Baltimore] et al.
"An Act Made by the Tenants of Avalon"

Maryland Historical Society, Baltimore, Maryland, Calvert Papers 174/210.
Transcription by James P. Howley, in the Howley Papers, Basilica Archives, St. John's.

Subjects: planters, govern, cod, fisheries, boats, stages, tax, commerce.


August the 30th, anno 1663

At a court Held In Ferryland, in the name of the Right Honourable Cecil, Lord Baltimore [Cecil Calvert, Second Lord Baltimore], absolute Lord and Proprietor of the Province of Maryland and Avalon in America and in the thirty-one year of his dominion viz.

Be it enacted, by and with the consent of the inhabitants here under written, that every householder shall pay for his grant of land twenty shillings sterling. And those that keep fishing shall pay yearly one quintal of dry merchantable fish for every boat and five shillings for every boats room to make the fish on the shore. And so, in proportion, for more or less, with all the rents in arrears, the fifth day of September next [1663], in the Bay of Bulls [Bay Bulls] to Mr Robert Dench, or in Ferryland to Mr. William Swanley. And, for the time to come, the rent to be paid the 20th day of August, upon the forfeiture of double the rent. And, for every big planter, be it enacted and agreed that for every boat they keep afishing, be it more or less, shall pay yearly one quintal of good merchantable dry fish. And be it enacted and agreed that any ship or ships or any other vessels that brings in provision or merchandise into any creek or harbour of this province, shall not unload or discharge any of the goods or commodities, nor sell or dispose, till [the ship's agents] have acquainted the chief magistrate of the said place from whence he came and what his loading is. And that the master or merchant give the magistrate and inhabitants the [first] refusal in buying such goods or provision, if they have occasion of it and will give as much as any others. Which, who shall refuse so to do, shall pay five pounds [£ 5] for a fine: that is fifty shillings for the chief magistrate and fifty shillings for the Lord Proprietor. And be it further enacted that all ships, except fishermen, shall pay for their anchorage twelve pence, and five shillings for a bill of health, and sixpence for registering - for which the said magistrate shall keep a book and give an account the 20th day of August every year. And be it further enacted that whatever ship shall heave any press or stones overboard in the harbour, to spoil the place, shall pay twenty shillings, that is, ten shillings to the chief magistrate and ten shillings to the Lord Baltimore, propriator. This above being enacted by us, the six persons chosen for the confirmation of the Lord Propriator's title and interest to the province of Avalon.

Robert Dench Thomas Augar
John Oliver
Robert Willsheare
Arthur Moone
William Roberts the elder
John Daile
Ezor. Mintor
Petter Conde
Christopher Polerds
George William Roberts the younger
Richd Hunirwell
George Wallis
William Swanley

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