utmost endeavours to prevent the Commanders of His Majestys Ships or any other His Majestys 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 Kings Subjects within the limits therein described and also in the Harbour of Bona Vista as aforesaid either by burning their Boats or by any Violent or unfair proceedings; And for that purpose, you are to take great care that the subjects of France be not hindered from or obstructed in, resorting to any part of, those Harbours within the above limits, or in remaining on the Coasts thereof so long as they shall be actually engaged in the employment of fishing or drying their Fish, provided they be contented with such a just & moderate use of those priviledges as is warranted by the Letter & Spirrit of Treaties, and that they conform to such regulations founded on the said Treaties as may preserve that fair & equitable concurrence in the fishery as is the peculiar object of them; That such Ships & Vessels of both Nations as shall resort to any parts within those limits for carrying on the Fishery, do chuse their Stations as they respectively arrive, and that they do occupy such space only of Beach as shall be proportioned to the number of their Boats; And that the Subjects of France be not included within any of those restrictions which are, in their nature peculiar to, and were originally intended for, the fishery of His Majestys Subjects only, and are founded in the abovementioned Act of the 10th & 11th of King William the 3d which does not, in the opinion of His Majestys Law Servants extend to those parts of the Coast of Newfoundland which were not in the possession of the Crown of Great Britain at the time it was enacted, But
The French having, in the Year 1765, claimed a right of fishing on the Coasts of the Island of Belle-Isle at the entrance of the Straits of that name between the North Part of Newfoundland and the Coast of Labrador on the ground of its being an appendage to the former Commº Palliser was directed the succeeding Year to examine whether that Island was situated nearest to the Coast of Labrador or to the Coast of Newfoundland to determine which it belonged to, and to permit or restrain the French fishing on the Coast of that Island accordingly; And Mr Palliser having in consequence thereof reported to Us by his Letter of the 25th of August 1766, that he had forbid them resorting to that Island it lying indisputably nearest to Labrador; We signify the same for your information & guidance in case the French should attempt to Fish on the Coasts of the said Island of Belle Isle in the approaching Season.
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 & other parts of His Majestys Dominions in North America, as illicit Trade may be attempted
to be carried on between the British, Indian, or any other Inhabitants of His Majestys Dominions & 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 Majestys said Subjects & 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 Peter & Miquelon and any part of His Majestys Dominions in North America, contrary to the plain & direct meaning of this Instruction But,
The French having in the Year 1766 claimed a right of fishing on the Coasts of the abovementioned Islands of St Peter & Miquelon; the Duke of Richmond, one of His Majestys then Principal Secretaries of State signified to Us, that tho' we cannot admit, that, by the Treaties subsisting, the French have any right to the said Claim of fishing between those Islands and the Coast of Newfoundland & therefore that no such concession ought to be made to them yet, as Commº Palliser had reported that he had not found it immediately necessary to His Majestys Service to interrupt the French Boats fishing on the Coasts of those Islands, it was His Majestys pleasure that we should instruct him to hold the same conduct 'til further Orders or 'til the behaviour of the French, by an abuse of that liberty, should make it necessary for him to alter it; You are also to hold the like conduct in this respect until further Order or til the behaviour of the French, by an abuse of the said liberty shall make it necessary for you to alter it.
And, in order that these Services may be more effectually performed you are to assign to the several Ships & Vessels under your command such Stations on the Coast of Newfoundland & Labrador including the Islands of Madelaine & Anticosti in the Gulph of St Lawrence as shall be most proper; giving to their respective Commanders full & clear Instructions on the several points herein beforementioned conformable to the aforegoing Articles of these our Instructions to yourself, and directing them also very carefully to visit the several Coasts Harbours & Fishing Grounds within the limits of their respective Stations, and to make Charts of such parts of the Coasts & Draughts of such of the Harbours as have not already been surveyed; noting the depths of Water, conveniency for fishing & whatever observations occur worthy our knowledge, which are to be transmitted to you to be laid before Us; And you are yourself, if practicable, to visit such parts of the said Coasts &cª 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, before you transmit them to Us.
When the early Trade shall be ready about the latter end of August you are to order the Commander of one of the Frigates to take them under Convoy & proceed off Cape Finisterre, where he is to leave those bound to the Ports on the North Coasts of Spain, and proceed off the Coast of Portugal with the rest calling at Lisbon for any homeward bound Trade that may be ready, and after a stay there not exceding* Ten Days at farthest, to make the best of his Way with such as may be willing to accompany him to England seeing them in safety as far as his way and theirs may lie together.
And, when the Service will admit, you are to send home the other Ships & Vessels; directing their Commanders to take under their Convoy any homeward bound Trade that may be ready & willing to accompany them, and to see them in safety as far as their way lies together; which Ships & Vessels as well as the others of your Squadron, are, on their return to England to repair to the following Ports Vizt
Rommey . . . . Plymouth or Portsmouth
Surprize . . . . Portsmouth
Alborough . . . Plymouth
Slo: Martin . . . Ditto
Lyon Transport . . Deptford
By the end of October, you are to take under your Convoy any Fishing Ships which may be then bound to Portugal & Spain & see them off their respective Ports as far to the Southward as Cadiz; And in case you shall find at that Port any homeward bound Trade ready & willing to accompany you to England you are to take them under your care & putting to Sea with the first opportunity of Wind & Weather proceed to Lisbon where you are in like manner to take under your care such homeward bound Trade as may be there, And then after a stay not exceeding Eight Days at furthest you are to leave that Port and make the best of your way with the whole of the aforesaid Trade to England; seeing them in safety as far as your way theirs may lie together; In case however it shall be necessary or more eligible for you to send a Frigate to perform this Service you are at liberty to do so, and to proceed yourself directly in the Romney to England with such homeward Trade as may be desirous & in readiness to accompany you; repairing into Hamoze, or going on to Portsmouth as you shall find most convenient, and sending Us an Account of your arrival and proceedings.
But, in pursuance of the Kings Pleasure signified to Us by the Earl of Rochford one of His Majs Principal Secretaries of State in his Letter of the 30th of August 1771 (a Copy of which as well as of the 16th, Article of the Treaty of 1667 which accompanied it, you will receive herewith) You are to
give the strictest Orders to the respective Captains & Commanders of the Ships & Vessels under your command who may be sent to the Coast of Spain, to take especial care to conform themselves, in going into & remaining in the Ports of that Kingdom, to the Treaties subsisting between the two Crowns; And to regulate your own proceedings accordingly in case you shall go thither yourself.
In case you shall, at any time find that a greater number of Ships & Vessels than those which may be under your command shall be necessary to enable you to execute the Service on which you are employed, you are to apply to Vice Adm¹ Graves or the Commander in Chief for the time being of His Majts Ships & Vessels employed & to be employed in the River St Lawrence and along the Coasts of Nova Scotia, the Islands of St John & Cape Breton, and thence to Cape Florida & the Bahama Islands for such reinforcements as you shall stand in need of, who has our Orders to supply you therewith.
For the better maintaining a proper Government & strict discipline in the Squadron under your command, We do hereby authorize & empower you
to call & assemble Courts Martial in Foreign Parts as often as you shall see occasion; And Commanders Ships in Foreign Parts have sometimes neglected to hold Courts Martial for enquiring into the occasion of the loss of His Majesty's Ships when such misfortunes have happened, whereby the Crown has been put to an unnecessary expence and the Officers & Companies to great inconveniences by being kept out of their Wages, You are, in case of such an Accident, to cause a Court Martial to be assembled, as soon afterwards as possible, to try the Officers & Company for the same; and to transmit to our Secretary the proceedings & judgment thereupon by the first safe conveyance afterwards.
In case of the Death of any Officer of the Ships or Vessels under your command or the dismission of them by a Court Martial, You are hereby empowered to appoint such other Persons as, by the quality of their Employments ought to succeed therein; particularly observing to appoint Commanders to be Captains of Post Ships in preference to Lieutenants; And you are to take notice that we will not confirm any Officers appointed to Vacancies arising in any other manner. In case of suspension you are only to give Orders to proper Persons to act until such suspension shall be removed or we shall think fit to give directions therein; And you are constantly to transmit to Us by the first opportunity after appointing any Officer as aforesaid, an Account thereof, with your reasons for appointing him; But Whereas, notwithstanding Commanders in Chief of His Majestys Ships employed Abroad have been only empowered to fill up Vacancies occasioned by the Death of Officers or their dismission by Courts Martial as
above directed, it hath frequently happened that they have permitted Captains & Lieutenants to resign their Employments on account of ill health & have appointed Officers, by Commission to fill up the Vacancies which have arisen by such resignation & sometimes removed Officers from one Ship to another on such occasions, which has not only been attended with with[sic] disapointment* to the new made Officers as they could not be confirmed but has subjected the King's Service to inconveniences and this Office to much perplexity; You are therefore hereby required & directed to be particularly careful never to allow of any such resignation unless you shall find it absolutely necessary from a thorough conviction that the Parties applying to quit are really in such ill health as to be incapable of any longer continuing to execute properly their respective Duties; And whenever you shall give such permission to the Captain or Commander of any Ship or Vessel under your command, you are to direct the Lieutenant of such Ship or Vessel to take upon him the Command, or, in case of giving such permission to a Lieutenant, to direct a Midshipman of the Ship or Vessel to which such Lieutenant belongs to act in his room (provided such Lieutenant or Midshipman be fitly qualified to take upon them such charge) until our pleasure be known.
You are to send, by all opportunities to our Secretary for our information an Account of your proceedings relative to the Service, and such intelligence as you may have collected proper for our knowledge; And you are moreover upon your return to England, to transmit to our Secretary to be laid before Us, a Journal of your proceedings with the Squadron under your command or any part thereof, & of the Services upon which you may send any of the Ships or Vessels with your reasons for the same; And to note therein all such particular & remarkable occurrences as may be proper for our information. Given &c. 22d May 1775.
Robert Duff Esqr
Rear Adm1 of the Blue, and Commander in
Chief of His Majts Ships & Vessels employed
and to be employed at, and about the Island
of Newfoundland: the Islands of Madelaine
& Anticosti, and upon the Coast of Labrador
from the River of St John to the entrance of
By &c. P. S.