The Labrador Boundary

Privy Council Documents

Volume II

[14 May,


Zephir, Slo.

p. 438                                JOINT

No. 100.


14TH MAY, 1765.


WHEREAS We have thought fit that His M's Ships & Vessels named in the inclosed List shall be employed this year under your Command for the Protection of the Fisheries at & about Newfoundland and of the Fishing Ships and Vessels belonging to His Majty's Subjects in their Voyage to and from that Island, And whereas you have been already directed to take all command and have received from Us copies of the Instructions which We have given to the Commanders of the Pearl, Lark & Zephir for proceeding to different Parts of the said Island and cruising on the Stations against their Names expressed, as also a Copy of those which we have given to the Captain of the Niger for proceeding to such Station as you should appoint to the end that you might give them such further Instructions for their Proceedings as you should find necessary; And whereas we have Ordered the Commanders of Aquilon at Sheerness and Spy at Plymouth to put themselves under your Command, you are hereby required and directed to take them under your Command also, and put to Sea the first opportunity of Wind and Weather with the Guernsey and such of the Ships and Vessels abovementioned as are fitt for the Sea and are not already sailed leaving Orders for the others to follow you and Calling in your way down Channel off the Ports named in the Margin for any Fishing Ships or Vessels bound to Newfoundland which may be ready and willing to accompany you. You are to make the best of your way to that Island and having seen the said Fishing Ships & Vessels as near to the Coast as may be necessary for their Security you are to proceed with the Ship you Command and such of the others as have not had particular Stations assigned them by us in such manner as you shall judge best for carrying into Execution the following Instructions, viz.

    And whereas you have received His Majty's Commission appointing you Governor & Commander in Chief in and over the Island of Newfoundland, the Coast of Labrador, from the Entrance of Hudson's Streights to the River St John's, the Islands of Anticosti, Madelaine &c.a and of all the Forts & Garrisons erected, or that shall be erected in the said Islands, or on the said Coast, and also His Majty's Instructions for your Government therein; you are to take particular Care to act in all respects conformable to what is

p. 439

required by the said Commission & Instructions, and any other Instructions that you may receive from His Majty relating to the aforesaid Island of Newfoundland or any other Parts within the limits of your Command, taking Care to prevent all illegal Trade, during your Continuance on that Station, and also to secure and protect the Fisheries and Coasts, from Piratical Ships or Vessels, which you are to use your utmost Endeavours to take or destroy . . .

    You are agreable to an Act of Parliament of the 10th & 11th years of King William the third Entituled an Act to encourage the Trade to Newfoundland (which you will receive herewith) to be aiding & assisting to the Admirals, Vice Admirals, and Rear Admirals of the respective Ports & harbours of Newfoundland, from time to time as need shall require, in preserving the Peace & good Government among the Seamen & Fishermen, and in apprehending offenders.

    You are to be Careful that there be not taken into the Ships under your Command, to be transported to Newfoundland, any Seamen or others, than such as do belong to them; and as you are not to send any of the Ships Companies to any of the Fishing Ships, so neither are you to suffer to be taken on board them, any sort of Fish, either by way of Merchandize, Freight or otherwise; excepting what shall be necessary for the use and spending of the Ships Companies.

    And whereas the Lords Commissioners for Trade & Plantations have represented to us, that it is very prejudicial to this Kingdom that the Fishing Ships do not bring home from Newfoundland the Complement of Men they carry out, many of them being enticed away to New England, and others left in the Country; for which reason they have desired we would give you Directions to signify to the Masters of all British Ships at Newfoundland that they take Care to bring home the Number of Men they carry out (except in Case of Death) for that otherwise they will be prosecuted at their return; You are to let the Masters know the same accordingly, and to use Your best Endeavours to oblige them thereto, as far as in You lies.

    And whereas no Foreign Ships or Vessels whatever (except as in herein aftermentioned) have any right to fish at or about Newfoundland, and the Commanders of the Ships or War bound as Convoy thither, have at all Times past been directed not to allow of their fishing in those Parts; It is therefore His Majesty's Pleasure that You take especial Care to prevent the same, and that, His Orders given herein be strictly complied with; And if You shall meet with any Foreign Ships fishing at or about Newfoundland, You are to oblige them to desist & depart from off the Coast, excepting Ships & Vessels

p. 440

belonging to the subjects of His Most Christian Majesty, fishing agreably to to[sic] the 13th Article of the Treaty of Peace concluded with France at Utrecht in the Year 1713, and to the 4th 5th & 6th Articles of the Treaty of Peace concluded at Paris the 10th day of Febry. 1763, Copies of which you will receive herewith.

    And whereas by the said Articles of the Treaty of Paris, it is stipulated that the Province of Canada with all it's Dependencies, as well as the Island of Cape Breton, and all the other Islands and Coasts in the Gulph and River of St Lawrence, and all that depends upon them, shall belong to the Crown of Great Britain; but that the Subjects of France shall have the Liberty of catching & drying their fish upon a Part of the Coast of Newfoundland only, to wit, from Cape Bonavista to the northward, and as far as Point Riche, but not to remain there beyond the Time necessary for that Purpose, agreable to the said 13th Article of the Treaty of Utrecht, by which the Property of the whole Island of Newfoundland is ceded to Great Britain; and His Majesty has, by the said 5th Article of the Treaty of Paris consented to leave to the Subjects of the Most C. King the Liberty of fishing in the Gulph of St Lawrence, and as to the Fishery out of the said Gulph it is hereby stipulated that the Subjects of the Most C. King shall not be permitted to exercise the said Fishery but at the Distance of Fifteen Leagues from the Coasts of the Island of Cape Breton; and that the Fishery upon the Coasts of Nova Scotia or Acadia, and every where else out of the said Gulph, shall remain upon the Footing of the former Treaties; You are therefore to use Your utmost Care, diligence, and Attention that the several Stipulations hereinbefore mentioned & referred to be duly & strictly performed according to the Tenor & Intention thereof, as far as they shall come within the Limits of Your command.

    And you are to exert Your best Endeavors to encourage & support the Whale Fishery in the Straits of Belle Isle, and more particularly the Fishery in York Harbour, and on the other Parts of the Coast of Labrador, and to hinder any Trade and Intercourse being carried on by any Persons whatever, other than the Subjects of Great Britain, with the Inhabitants of that Country, which of Right belongs solely to His Majesty; and you are likewise to protect the Salmon & Seal Fishery along the Coast and likewise the Fisheries carried out by His Majesty's Subjects in the Gulph of St Lawrence, near the Islands of Madelaine &c.a and to settle & guard the Fishery not only at Placentia & St John's, but as far to the Continent of Labrador, as your Command extends, taking care to prevent the Subjects of France from giving them any Disturbance by Acts of Violence or Injustice, or by any Evasion,

p. 441

contrary to the Spirit and Intention of the said Treaties and the Provisions contained in the Statute of 10th & 11th of William 3d Chap. 25th and also to prevent the French from catching or drying their Fish, except within the Limits & Distances, & in the manner beforementioned.

    You are at the same Time to be careful, that the subjects of His Most C. Majesty may not be interrupted in their Fishery as stipulated by, or to be exercised pursuant to the Treaties of Utrect and Paris beforementioned, or in the drying their Fish upon the Coast of Newfoundland according to the said Treaties; and You are to use Your best Endeavors to prevent His Majesty's subjects from giving them any Disturbance in their said Fishery, or in drying their Fish, as aforesaid, by any Acts of Violence or Injustice, or by any Evasion contrary to the Spirit & Intention of the said Treaties.

    And Whereas great Complaints have been made by the Court of France, that several Acts of Violence were committed, in the year 1763, on the French Fishermen at Newfoundland, by the Commanders of His Majesty's Ships stationed on that Coast, in burning their Boats, & driving them off the Coast before the Season of Fishing and drying of Fish was expired, whereby the Fishery of the Subjects of France with those of Great Britain was greatly interrupted; And Whereas it is the firm Intention of the King to maintain, with the utmost Justice, Probity, and good Faith, as well the Subjects of France as those of His own Dominions in the Enjoyment of that Fishery which is allowed them, in common with His Majesty's own Subjects, upon the Coast of Newfoundland, between Cape Bonavista and Point Riche, & elsewhere, within the Distances prescribed by the Treaties of Utrecht, and Paris beforementioned; You are hereby positively, enjoined, in Pursuance of His Majesty's express Commands signified to us for that Purpose, to abstain, and to use Your utmost Endeavors to prevent the Commanders of His Majesty's Ships, or any other of His Majesty's Subjects, from giving any Interruption to the Subjects of France, in carrying on that Fishery, which they are allowed by Treaties to enjoy, in common with the King's Subjects, within the Limits therein described as aforesaid, either by burning their Boats, or by any violent or unfair Proceedings; And You are to take Care that the French be suffered to remain on the said Coast so long as they shall be actually engaged in the Employment of Fishing, and drying of Fish.

    And in order that this Service may be more effectually performed, We have ordered the Commanders of the Ships & Sloop named in the margin carefully to visit the several Harbours, Coasts, and Fishing Grounds, as well those upon the Coasts of Newfoundland, as those upon the Coasts of Labrador,

p. 442

& to the Northward, with Directions to them to prevent the French from drying their Fish, or continuing thereon, otherwise than is herein before-mentioned, between Cape Bonavista & Point Riche, or to fish nearer than the Distances allowed by the before-mentioned Treaties; and at the same Time We have ordered them to make Charts of all the said Coasts, with Drafts of the Harbors, noting the Depths of Water, Conveniences for Fishing, and whatever Observations may occur worthy of our Knowledge, which are to be transmitted by them to You, that they may be laid before Us: all of which You are to take Care they punctually comply with, unless, from unforeseen Events, You shall find it absolutely necessary for the King's Service to employ them in any other manner, which You are at Liberty to do, but will be responsible to Us for your Conduct therein: And we expect, that each of them should give Us as exact & Satisfactory Information upon the several Heads herein before-mentioned, as they can possibly procure; for which Purpose, notwithstanding the Stations allotted to them, You are at Liberty to employ any of them, as far as is consistent with the Protection of the Fishery, in such Manner, & on such Part of the Coasts before-mentioned, as will best enable them to comply with our Instructions on this Subject; And You are yourself if practicable, to visit such of the said Coasts as your necessary Attention to the other Branches of your Duty will admit of, in the Course of the Season, that You may compare the Reports made to You with your own Observations.

    And Whereas, pursuant to the 24th Article of the said Treaty of Paris, Possession of the Islands of St Peter & Miquelon has been given to France; and from their Vicinity to the Island of Newfoundland, and other Parts of His Majesty's Dominions in North America, an illicit Trade may be attempted to be carried on between the British, Indian, or any other Inhabitants of His Majesty's Dominions, and the Subjects of France, residing in the said Islands of St Peter & Miquelon, or employed in the Fishery, by virtue of the said Treaties, or between His Majesty's said Subjects, and other Subjects of France, or of other Powers trading or pretending to trade, to or with the said Islands of St Peter & Miquelon; In case any Endeavours shall be used to carry on such illicit Trade as aforesaid, You are to be particularly attentive to the same, & prevent (if possible) all Communication whatever between the said Islands of St Pere & Miquelon, and any Part of His Majesty's Dominions in North America, contrary to the plain and direct Meaning of this Instruction.

    When the early Trade shall be ready, about the later End of August, You are to order one of the Frigates to take them under Convoy, and proceed off Cape Finisterre, where he is to leave those bound to the Ports of the North Coast of Spain, & proceed off the Coast of Portugal with the rest, calling at Lisbon for any Trade that may be ready in ten Days, beyond which Time she is on no account to tarry there, but is then to proceed to Sea with such Trade



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