47. Whether the said Inhabitants are wholly supplied with Sail Cloth, Nets, & Tackle, for their Fishery, and with Woollen, Linen, Leather, & other Manufactures, for their use and wear, from this Kingdom; or whether they are furnished with any of the aforesaid necessaries from the Plantations, or from any foreign Country whatsoever?
48. What Wages do the said Inhabitants allow to their Servants; and in what manner do they pay them?
49. How much does the Charge of fitting out and maintaining one of their Fishing-boats for the whole Season amount to?
50. Whether the Inhabitants have any other Employment in the Fishing-Season for their Servants than taking and curing of Fish? whether they are diligent therein? how many Men they allow to each of their Fishing Boats? whether they can afford their Fish as cheap as the Fishing Ships, and the Bye-Boats, or what difference is made between the price of the one and the other?
51. In what manner they employ themselves and their Servants after the Fishing-Season is over & during the Winter? whether they are industrious in providing and making necessaries for the next Fishing Season? or, on the contrary, whether they mispend a great part of their Time in Debaucheries and Excesses.
52. Whether any Trade is carried on for Beaver and other Furs by the Inhabitants, or by any others who remain in the country? what Quantity they have taken this last Winter, and whether they have any Traffick with the Indians?
53. Whether the Houses, Buildings and inclosures of the Inhabitants are at such distance from the Waterside, as not to hinder or obstruct the Fishermen in making their Flakes, or in drying and curing their Fish?
54. Whether the Inhabitants claim a right to all such Stages, Cookrooms, Flakes &ca as they have made or built in their fishing-Places, which have not been possessed by the Fishing Ships since the Year 1685, tho' they make no use of them?
55. Whether such Fishing Places and Conveniences are free for the Public Use of the Fishing Ships arriving there, and nothing insisted on, or demanded by the said Inhabitants for their use and hire?
56. How many Flakes are allowed to each Fishing-Boat, and of what length? whether they are extended in length according to the ancient Custom from the Shore up into the Land? or whether any of the Inhabitants or Fishermen extend their Flakes along the Shore, or possess a larger Front to the Waterside, according to the number of their Boats, than was formerly allowed.
57. Whether it was every ascertained or determined in the several, or in any of the Harbours in Newfoundland, what Fishing Places did belong to the Fishing Ships before the year 1685? And whether any Account is kept of those Fishing Places, which they have been in possession of since that year, in order to prevent such disputes, as must otherwise very frequently happen between the Masters of the Ships and the Inhabitants.
58. Whether the Fishing Ships, that proceed directly from this Kingdom to Newfoundland, are victualled here, and provided with all other necessaries of British Produce and Manufacture for the whole Voyage? or whether the Masters or Freighters do not furnish themselves with Provisions, that are brought from the Plantations, or other Parts to Newfoundland?
59. Whether any British Ships arriving at St Johns, or in any other Harbours 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?
60. Whether the Admirals, or any other Ships, who arrive yearly 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?
61. Whether any of the Bye Boatkeepers, 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 & 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?
62. Whether any of the Fishing Ships pursue or follow the old laudable Custom of allowing their Ship's 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?
63. Whether any Commodities of the Growth, Production or Manufacture of Europe, that are not bonâ fide and without Fraud laden and shipt 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 Medeiras, and the Azores, or Western Islands, and Victuals &ca from Ireland?
64. 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?
65. What Quantities of Rum and other Plantation-Goods are brought to Newfoundland? more especially of those enumerated in former Acts of Parliament? Whether any of the 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 had been first landed in Great Britain?
66. In what manner is the Trade between Newfoundland and any other of our American Colonies carried on? what quantities of Rum, Melasses, 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?
67. How many Taverns, or Public Houses for entertainment may there be kept in Newfoundland, or at least in the Harbour of St John? are they kept only by the Inhabitants, or by the Bye-Boatkeepers, and the People of New England also? do they trust the Fishermen upon their own Credit; or do the Masters of the Ships, and of the Bye-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?
68. 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 foregoing Article?
69. How much do the Bye-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?
70. Whether this method of trusting the Fishermen is not the occasion of many Thefts and Disorders? are they not by their Debaucheries often withdrawn from, and rendered unfit for their Labour, to the Great discouragement & obstruction of the Fishery?
71. Whether the Masters of the Fishing Ships & Bye Boats do not connive at, or encourage their men to remain in the Land, that they might 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?
72. Whether the American Traders do still continue to entice and carry thither numbers of Handycraft Men, Seamen, and Fishermen? and whether any of the Inhabitants so favour, or assist them therein?
73. And whereas this practice 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 Obligations not to carry any of the Seamen &ca, 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, entered into, as aforesaid, and to transmit an account thereof to Our Commission for Trade and Plantations.
74. 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 lessened; 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 Bye-Boatkeepers, and 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 the 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 quality 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 Bye-Boatkeepers 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?
75. And whereas there is a Salmon-Fishery erected in Fresh Water 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, and transmit the fullest Account you can get of the same to Our Commissioners for Trade and Plantations.
76. And Whereas Our late Royal Grandfather did, by His Letters Patent under the Great Seal of Great Britain, bearing the date at Westminster the 31st day of May in the second year of His Reign, constitute and appoint Henry Osborne Esquire to be Governor and 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 continued 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 Newfoundland, particularly at Placentia; how, and in what manner such Justices of the Peace behave in the execution of that Power; Whether the Inhabitants and 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 and Quiet of the said Island, and of the Inhabitants residing therein, to Our Commissioners for Trade and Plantations.
77. And whereas Complaints have been made to Us, that notwithstanding all the precautions taken by Our said Governor 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 inquire 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 strictly to prohibit those, who are, or shall be appointed Justices, form 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 your Observations upon these Subjects, which you are to return to Our Commissioners for Trade and Plantations in order to be laid before Us.
78. 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