History of the Colony of Avalon

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Ferryland names





Documents relating to Ferryland: 1597 to 1726

16 December, 1691; [Captain] Charles Hawkins
extract from "Answers to the several heads of Inquiries from the Lords of the Committee of Trade concerning Newfoundland in the year 1691"

Great Britain, PRO, Colonial Office, CO 1/68 (92i), 259-262v, see 261v, 262.
MHA 16-D-2-009. Transcribed by P.E. Pope.

Subjects: France, war, ship, privateer.


...21. The French have only Placentia fortified, which in December 1689 was taken by Herman Williamson, commander of a privateer, with 35 men which he landed 8 miles from the place, and in the night surprised it and took it. He imprisoned the Governor and all the inhabitants for 6 weeks and then left it, loading his ship with plunder. He threw all the guns except five into the Sea, those he brought away and left at St. John's for their Majesties' service, where they now are. May following [1690] a privateer of 24 guns and 140 men came to Ferryland to revenge what Williamson had done, where he then was, who so briskly engaged them, though he had but 6 guns, that he [the French privateer] left the place and went for Bay Bulls, where he plundered the inhabitants and took a New England ketch, newly arrived with provisions, and a ship of Dartmouth, with 12 guns that was coming in with provisions. The August following [1690], another privateer of 30 guns and 200 men arrived at Ferryland and there took a ship of London with 18 guns empty, which he [the privateer] loaded with fish he took from the inhabitants and also two small vessels he had taken and brought in with him. This last May [1691], as it is reported, a governor with 200 men arrived at Placentia from France to fortify the place. Last year [1690] there was taken by the French upon the coast of New England and Newfoundland 16 sail and this year [1691], two....

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