Harbour in Newfoundland from Portugal or other foreign parts, before any Ship that was cleared form this Kingdom, has been at any time permitted to be Admiral of the Harbour? or whether, according to the Custom of Newfoundland, such Ships only as are cleared from Great Britain, have a right to be Admirals?
55. Whether the Admirals, or any other Ships who arrive early at St John's or in the other Harbours, do put their Passengers, or any of them, into possession of the most convenient, or of any other fishing places, stages &ca upon pretence they are Freighters of their Ships, before the Arrival of the other fishing Ships, or before they are all provided?
56. Whether any of the By-boat keepers, who remain in the Country during the Winter, and that are not Inhabitants, do retain to their own use, or for the use of themselves and their Partners, who are expected by the fishing Ships, the fishing places, Stages, Beaches, Flakes, &ca which they possessed the preceding year? or whether they take Possession of any others that may be more convenient for them in the ensuing fishing season, before the arrival of the fishing Ships, or before the said Ships are well supplied?
57. Whether any of the fishing Ships pursue or follow the old laudable Custom of allowing their Ships Companies Shares of what they make in the Voyage, instead of Wages, and, in such case, how much doth the Charge of fitting out and maintaining a Ship of one hundred Tons with fifty Men and ten Boats amount to for the whole voyage?
58. Whether any Commodities of the Growth, Production or Manufacture of Europe, that are not bonâ fide & without Fraud laden and ship'd in this Kingdom, be imported and brought into Newfoundland, all such Commodities being prohibited by the 15th Car. 2d, Chap 7th except Salt for the fishery, Wine of the Growth of and from the Madeiras and the Azores or Western Islands, and Victuals &c., from Ireland?
59. How these Commodities are disposed of, whether only to the Fishery, vizt to the Seamen and Inhabitants? or whether any Trade be driven by selling those Goods to the Ships belonging to New England and other Plantations, in order to supply the said Plantations with such Commodities as they ought to have directly from Great Britain, and not otherwise?
60. What quantities of Rum and other Plantation Goods are brought to Newfoundland? more especially of those enumerated in former Acts of Parliamt? Whether any of these enumerated Commodities are sold to the Ships bound to Portugal and other foreign parts, so as to make an indirect Trade to those Countries in Goods which ought not to be carried thither before they have been first landed in Great Britain?
61. In what manner is the Trade between Newfoundland and any other or Our American Colonies carried on? What Quantities of Rum, Melasses[sic],
Wine, Sugar, Tobacco, Flour and other Provisions have been imported this year? to whom and at what prices are the said goods sold? are they paid for in Fish or in Bills? If in Fish, is it disposed of again, or loaded in the Sack Ships for Europe? and what Value is it computed, that the goods sold may annually amount to?
62. How many Taverns or publick Houses for Entertainment may there be kept in Newfoundland, or, at least, in the Harbour of St. John's? are they kept only by the Inhabitants or by the By-boat keepers, and the people of New England also? do they trust the Fishermen upon their own Credit, or do the Master of the Ships and of the By-boats permit them to trust their Crews, and deduct the same out of their respective Wages, Hire or Shares, in order to satisfy the said Tavern-keepers? are not the poor Seamen hereby tempted to spend the greatest part, or the full Amount of their wages, and frequently run so far in debt, that they are forced to remain as Servants to the Inhabitants, and at last constrained to betake themselves to New England?
63. Whether the Inhabitants do not usually trust their own Servants with Rum and other Stores to a greater Value than their Wages amount to? and whether they are not generally paid in the manner as in the aforegoing Article?
64. How much do the By-boatmen and the Inhabitants allow to the Masters of the fishing Ships for the Passage of their Servants, both out and home? in what manner do the said Inhabitants pay the Masters of the fishing Ships for the same, and for the several necessaries they supply them with? and whether a considerable part of these Debts is not secured by suffering their Seamen to run in debt to the Inhabitants?
65. Whether this method of trusting Fishermen is not the occasion of many Thefts & Disorders? are they not by their Debaucheries often withdrawn from and rendred[sic] unfit for their Labour, to the great Discouragement and Obstruction of the Fishery?
66. Whether the Masters of the fishing Ships and By-boats do not connive at or encourage their Men to remain in the Land, that they may save the Charge of carrying them home? What number of Men do stay behind yearly, and particularly last year? what number of Irish Catholicks is there in all the Towns in Newfoundland, and what proportion do they bear to the Protestants?
67. Whether the American traders do still continue to entice and carry thither numbers of Handicraft men, Seamen and Fishermen, and whether any of the Inhabitants do favor or assist them therein?
68. And whereas this practise must be prevented, if possible, you are to require all the Masters of the American Ships and Vessels, before their departure from Newfoundland, to enter into Obligation not to carry away
any of the Seamen &c, and all possible care must be taken to have those Obligations so witnessed, that, in case it be thought proper to put them in execution, they may not be invalidated for want of Evidence. And you are likewise to be as strict as is practicable to oblige all such American Ships as may be in Newfoundland to sail from thence at the same time you shall leave the Land, and to get all the proof that can be had of the Breach of any Obligations, enter'd into as aforesaid, and to transmit an Account thereof to Our Commissioners for Trade and Plantations.
69. And whereas Complaints have formerly been made that, by reason of the ill curing of the Fish in Newfoundland, the Consumption thereof has been considerably lessen'd; and that the Trade would be lost if effectual care was not taken to reform the same.
You are therefore to command the Admirals of the Harbours strictly to enjoin the Masters of the fishing Ships, the By-boat keepers & Inhabitants to take the greatest care in curing their Fish with good Salt and with a sufficient quantity, and in preparing, husbanding & ordering the same; that the credit thereof may be again recovered; and that it may be well received and esteemed in several places to which it is carried for Sale.
And as the said Admirals are obliged to have a watchful Eye upon such as are negligent herein, so they are to return to you the Names of those, who will not comply with this Admonition.
And further you are upon this occasion very particularly to enquire into their manner and method of taking and curing their Fish; What quantity of Salt they allow for the curing every hundred Quintals? whether they are guilty of any Abuse in the ordering thereof? whether the Fish taken at a distance from the Land by their small Vessels, is not prejudiced before it is brought on shore? whether the Inhabitants, the fishing Ships, or the By-boat keepers are most to be blamed? and, in short, from whence these Complaints did arise, and what methods are to be taken to prevent or rectify whatsoever is amiss?
70. And whereas there is a Salmon Fishery erected in Freshwater Bay, Ragget Harbour, Gander Bay and Dog-Creek, between Cape Bona Vista and Cape John in Newfoundland, and a second, which is since erected by other Persons at Grand Salmonier, Little Salmonier &ca in the same Island, which may prove of Advantage to Great Britain, it will be necessary that you give all due Encouragement and protection to those undertakings, whereof you will inform yourself, & transmit the fullest Account you can get of the same to Our Commissioners for Trade & Plantations.
71. And whereas Our late Royal Grandfather did, by His Letters Patent under the Great Seal of Great Britain bearing date at Westminster the 31st day of May in the second year of his Reign, constitute and appoint Henry Osborne Esqr to be Governor & Commander in Chief in and over the said island of Newfoundland, with power to constitute and appoint Justices of the Peace, with other necessary Officers and Ministers, for the better Administration of Justice, and keeping the Peace and Quiet of the said
Island, which powers have been continued to all the subsequent Governors there, and are contained in our Commission to you; You are, upon your Arrival in the Island, to make Enquiry what Effect that Commission has had; what Justices of the Peace are now in actual Commission, and do execute the same in the respective Towns in Newfdland, particularly at Placentia; how and in what manner such Justices of the Peace behave in the execution of that Power; Whether the Inhabitants & Planters have duly submitted thereto; and what (if any) Obstructions have been given to the Execution of that Authority; and to return your Observations thereupon, with what you think may be further done for keeping the Peace & Quiet of the said Island, & of the Inhabitants residing therein, to Our Commissrs for Trade & Plantations.
72. And whereas Complaints have been made to Us that, notwithstanding all the precautions taken by Our said Governors for preserving the Peace in Newfoundland, Disputes have arisen between the fishing Admirals and Our Justices of the Peace in the said Island, and that some of Our said Justices had been guilty of great Irregularities, to the Oppression of Our good Subjects; Now you are, upon your arrival at Newfoundland, to enquire into the truth of all such Complaints, and to supersede such Justices of the Peace as shall appear to you to have acted unwarrantably in the execution of their Office. And you are strictly to prohibit those, who are or shall be appointed Justices, from interfering in any degree with the fishing Admirals, appointed Justices, from interfering in any degree with the fishing Admirals, in such matters relating to the Fishery as are reserved for their Jurisdiction by the aforesaid Act for encouraging the Trade to Newfoundland; taking care at the same time, that the said fishing Admirals do their duty also, according to the intention of the said Act. You are to be very particular in you Observations upon these Subjects, which you are to return to Our Commissioners for Trade & Plantations, in order to be laid before Us.
73. Whereas Complaint has been heretofore made, that the Sack Ships, always jealous of each other, and contriving who shall carry their Fish first to Market, frequently ship it before it is cured, whereby it suffers in the passage, and brings the Fishery into discredit in foreign Markets, you shall make particular enquiry into this Complaint, and suggest to Us the best means that occur to you, for preventing the said Evil for the future.
74. Whereas in the Answers returned to the like Queries by some former Commodores, some of the Columns in the Scheme of the Fishery have been returned blank, in case you find it necessary to do so likewise, you are then to mention in such Column, whether the Numbers, Prices and Quantities belonging thereto are included in any other Column, and in which Column they are so included, or whether there was no fishing this year in those Harbours, or that there was fishing, but that you had not obtained any Account thereof. And, if there be any Fishing in any other River or Harbour in Newfoundland, or the other Islands and Coasts under your Government, not in this Scheme mentioned, you are to add a Column or Columns for the same, and insert therein the best Account you can get, with
your Remarks on such as you think imperfect or doubtful in any of the particulars.
75. And whereas the Answers to the several Heads of Enquiry contained in the Instructions to former Governors of Newfoundland, and the Returns made of the Trade and Fishery thereof, according to the usual form hereunto annexed, have frequently been very defective and inaccurate, you are hereby strictly commanded to be very exact in your Enquiry and Examination into every particular to which these Our Instructions have reference; to endeavour to collect the Material, from which your Answers are to be formed, from the best Authorities; and to enjoin the Admirals or other proper Officers, in those Harbours, to which your personal Inspection make to you, that those Returns be properly attested and signed by them, and that the number of Ships, their Tonnage, their number of Men, the Places from whence they come, and the Quantity of Fish taken, cured and carried to Market by each ship, be particularly expressed. And you are likewise to transmit to Our Commissioners for Trade & Plantations, in order to be laid before Us, all such other Information, with respect to the Fishery, as may enable Us to judge of the true and precise State of it in every particular, and of what may be further necessary for extending and improving so valuable a Branch of the Commerce of these Kingdoms.
76. Whereas We have thought fit by Our Commission to you, to give & grant unto you full Power & Authority to constitute and appoint Judges, and, in cases requisite; Commissioners of Oyer and Terminer for the Hearing and determining of all Criminal Causes, Treason excepted, Justices of the Peace, and other Officers and Ministers for the Administration of Justice, with Power also to pardon Offenders, and to remit all Offences, Fines & Forfeitures, willful Murther only excepted, in which case you have likewise power, on extraordinary Occasions, to grant Reprieves; it is Our express Will and Pleasure that you do not appoint any such Commissioners of Oyer & Terminer to meet or hold Assizes more than once a year, and that only during the time you or the Governor for the time being shall be resident there, and that you do not suffer any of the Officers of Our Ships of War or of any of the trading Ships of Our Subjects, which shall happen to be there, to be deprived of Life or Limb by any Sentence of such Court, but in such case you shall reprieve the Criminal until Our Pleasure be known therein. And you shall take especial Care, that all Persons guilty of Treason be sent over to this Kingdom with Witnesses and sufficient proof of the Crime along with them. And it is also Our express Will and Pleasure, that you do, with your Answer to the foregoing Enquiries, return also a full Account of what you shall have done in pursuance of this Power of appointing Judges; what Proceedings have been had before the said Judges, what Obstructions or difficulties you or they have met with (if any) in putting the said Powers in Execution; and which way you conceive We may contribute to render it more usefull and beneficial to all Our Subjects, residing in or resorting to the Islands & Territories under your Government. COPY.