p. 455                                 JOINT



No. 108.

Newfoundland.

EXTRACT FROM INSTRUCTIONS PASSED UNDER THE ROYAL SIGN-MANUAL AND SIGNET FOR JOHN BYRON

AS GOVERNOR AND COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF IN AND OVER THE ISLAND OF NEWFOUNDLAND, THE COAST OF LABRADOR, ETC. DATED
10 MAY 1769.

C. O. 195, vol. 10.

    Instructions to Our Trusty and Welbeloved John Byron Esquire Our Governor and Commander in Chief in and over Our Island of Newfoundland in America and all the Coast of Labrador from the entrance of Hudson's Streights to the River St. John's, which discharges itself into the Sea, nearly opposite to the West End of the Island of Anticosti, including that Island, and any other small Islands on the said Coast of Labrador, and also the Islands of Madelaine in the Gulph of St. Lawrence, as also of all Our Forts and Garrisons erected and established, or that shall be erected and established in our said Islands or on the Coast of Labrador, within the Limits aforesaid; Given at Our Court at St. James's the 10th Day of May and in the Ninth Year of Our Reign.

    With these Our Instructions you will receive Our Commission under Our Great Seal of Great Britain, constituting you Our Governor and Commander in Chief in and over Our Island of Newfoundland in America, and all the Coast of Labrador, from the entrance of Hudson's Streights to the River St. John's which discharges itself into the sea nearly opposite the West End of the Island of Anticosti including that Island, with any other small Islands on the Coast of Labrador, and also the Islands of Madelaine, in the Gulph of St. Lawrence, as also of all Our Forts and Garrisons erected and established, or that shall be erected and established in our said Islands, or on the Coast of Labrador, within the Limits aforesaid, with Directions to obey such Orders and Instructions as shall from Time to Time be given You under Our Signet and Sign Manual, or by Our Order in Our Privy Council.

    First, You are therefore to fit yourself with all convenient speed and to repair to your said Command, and being arrived, You are to take upon You the execution of the Place and Trust We have reposed in You and as soon as conveniently may be, to assemble the principal Inhabitants in the Island of Newfoundland, and in such other Places as you shall judge proper or necessary, within your said Government, and with all due Solemnity to cause Our said Commission under Our Great Seal of Great Britain, consti-

p. 456

tuting you Our Governor and Commander in Chief as aforesaid, to be read and published at such Meetings.
       3
to
16
same as 3
to
16
to Hugh Palliser, ante page 420.
except that where "the Commissioners for Trade and Plantations" are referred to "One of Our principal Secretaries of State" is to be substituted.

    17. You are likewise to enquire and report to Us by one of Our principal Secretaries of State, what is the extent of the Coast of Terra Labrador under Your Government.

    18. What is the nature of the Soil and Climate; What are its natural or improved Productions, whether any, and if any, what parts thereof are adapted to Inhabitancy.

    19. What are the principal Rivers, Bays or Harbours, their Situation and Capacity, and what convenience do they afford either for Navigation or Fishery.

    20. What is the nature and extent of the different Fisheries carried on upon that Coast; whether of Whales, Seals, Sea Cows, or any other species?

    21. What Establishments have been made for these Fisheries, at what Places and under what Authority?

    22. Whether any Places are occupied or possessed under exclusive Grants or Leases from the Governor of Quebec, or claimed or held under any Title derived from the Crown of France, while that Country was in her Possession, if so, by whom, under what conditions, and for what Term? And if any rents are reserved, what is the Amount, to whom payable, and whether any or what part thereof has been paid, and to whom, and what remains due?

    23. What is the extent of each Post so held or claimed, as well along the Coast as within the Land, the number of Men and Vessels employed at each and the quantity of Fish or Oil annually produced therefrom? And what is the peculiar Fishery carried on in each.

    24. What is the nature and disposition of the several Nations or Tribes of Savages inhabiting this Country?

    25. What Traffick or Commerce is or may be established or carried on with those savages? And if any such Traffick is established or carried on, at what Places and under what Regulations?
       26
to
27
same as 17
18
to Hugh Palliser, ante pp. 422, 423.
    28. Whereas it hath been represented unto Us, that several of Our Subjects, Inhabitants of, or resorting to Our said Island of Newfoundland under Your Government, have, upon various unwarrantable pretences, possessed themselves of; and do claim, as their private property, large Tracts of Land commodious for the Fishery lying within the several Harbours, and Rivers upon the coast of Newfoundland, and the Islands adjacent thereto between Bonavista and Point Riche, to the great prejudice and discouragement

p. 457

of the Ship-Fishery, not only of Our Subjects in general, but also of the Subjects of the Crown of France, allowed by treaty a concurrent Fishery within the Limits aforesaid; in order therefore to put a Stop for the future to such irregular practices, and unwarrantable Claims; to prevent all vexatious and expensive Litigations amongst Our Subjects; and to avoid Disputes between them and the Subjects of France; It is Our express Will and Pleasure, that you do not, upon any pretence whatsoever, allow any exclusive possession to be taken, as private property, of any Lands, Rivers, or Islands in the Northern parts of Newfoundland between Bonavista and Point Riche; taking especial care, that such Ships, as shall resort to that part of Our said Island for carrying on the Fishery, do cause their Stations, as they respectively arrive; and do take up and occupy, subject to your control, such space only of Beach, as shall be proportioned to the Number of their Boats, conformable to what has been prescribed by an Act passed in the Tenth and Eleventh Years of King William the third in respect to those parts of the Coast, which were in possession of Our Royal predecessor, at the time that Act was passed.
       29
to
61
same as 19
to
51
to Hugh Palliser, ante p. 423.
    62. 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? And whereas it has been represented unto Us, that Our Subjects, residing in Our said Island, during the Winter Season, instead of cultivating such a friendly Intercourse with the Savages inhabiting that Island, as might be for their mutual Benefit and Advantage, do treat the said Savages with the greatest Inhumanity, and frequently destroy them without the least provocation or remorse; In order therefore to put a Stop to such inhuman Barbarity, and that the perpetrators of such atrocious Crimes may be brought to due punishment, It is Our Will & Pleasure, that you do, as soon as conveniently may be, after your Arrival, in those Parts, cause a Proclamation in Our Name to be published & dispersed thro' the several Settlements in Our said Island, expressing Our abhorrence of such inhuman Barbarity, strictly enjoyning and requiring All Our Subjects to live in Amity & Brotherly kindness with the native Savages of that Island, and commanding and requiring all Officers and Magistrates to use their utmost diligence to discover and apprehend all Persons, who may be guilty of murdering any of the said Native Indians, in order that such Offender may be sent over to this Kingdom, to be tried for such capital Crime in the manner directed by the aforesaid Statute of the 10th and 11th years of the Reign of King William the 3d, for encouraging the Trade to Newfoundland.
       63
to
91
same as 53
to
81
to Hugh Palliser, ante p. 428.
except that where "the Commissioners for Trade and Plantations" are referred to "one of Our principal Secretaries of State" is to be substituted.

[1927lab]

 

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