The Labrador Boundary

Privy Council Documents

Volume II

    [6 May, 1779.]    

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p. 516                                           C

No. 125.




C.O. 195     VOL. 10.

    Instructions to Our Trusty and Welbeloved Richard Edwards           Esquire Our Governor and Commander in Chief in and           over our Island of Newfoundland in America, and of the           Islands of Madelaine in the Gulph of St Lawrence as           also of all our Forts and Garrisons erected & Established           or that shall be erected and established in our Said           Islands of Newfoundland and Madelaine, Given at our           Court at St James the * sixth * day of * May 1779 *           in the * nineteenth * Year of Our Reign.

    lst    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 of the Islands of Madelaine 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, 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, 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 of 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 constituting you Our Governor and Commander in Chief as aforesaid, to be read and published at such meetings.

    2.    It is Our Will and Pleasure that you do from time to time as the nature of the Service will allow visit all the Coasts and Harbours of the Said Islands under Your Government in order to inspect and Examine the state and condition of the Fisheries which are or may be carried on upon the Said

p. 517

Coasts and Islands You shall also use your best Endeavours to procure Accurate Draughts or Maps of the Several Harbours Coasts and Bays of Newfoundland and the other Islands under your Government and you are more particularly to direct the Officer of any Vessel under your Command which may be appointed to visit that part of the Coast of Labradore which lies between Hudson's Streights and the Streights of Bellisle to search and Explore the Great Inlet commonly known by the name of Davis Inlet in order to Discover, whether the Same has or has not any Passage to Hudson's Bay or any other Inclosed Sea.

    3.    You are also to enquire and report to Us by one of Our Principal Secretaries of State whether any or what further Establishment may be necessary to be made or Forts erected in any Part of Newfoundland or the other Islands under Your Government either for the protection of the Fishery the Security of the Country or the Establishing and carrying on a commerce with the Indians residing in or resorting to the said Islands.

    4.    You are not to permit the Subjects of any Foreign Prince or State Whatever to carry on any Commerce with the said Indians and to use your best endeavours to conciliate their affections and to induce them to trade with our Subjects, reporting to us by one of our Principal Secretaries of State the best Account you can obtain of the Number of the Said Indians, the Places they Frequent the nature and Extent of the Commerce that is or may be carried on with them and how the same may in your opinion be further Extended and improved.

    5.    You are to use your best Endeavours to prevent any Aliens or Strangers whatever from fishing or drying fish on any of the Coasts or in any of the Harbours of the Islands under your Government. And whereas it has been represented unto us that Foreigners are Sharers in the Fishery and Commerce of our said Island by being part Owners of the Ships Employed therein under English Names, by means whereof the Said Ships are supplied from Foreign Countries with all kinds of Materials as well for the Use of the Fishery as for the use of the said Vessels, It is therefore our Will and Pleasure that you do make the most diligent Enquiry into the Nature and Extent of such illicit practice and unwarrantable Combination and report to us by one of our Principal Secretaries of State the result of your Enquiry in order to such further Directions as We may think fit to give thereupon and in the mean time you are to use your best Endeavours to put a Stop to such unlawful Proceedings and to take the most Effectual mesaures[sic] for the Discovery and prevention of all Illicit and Contraband Trade of every kind.

    6.    And whereas we have been informed that a very considerable and advantageous Whale and Sea Cow Fishery may be carried on in the Gulph of St Lawrence and upon the Labrador Coast, It is therefore Our Will and Pleasure that you do give all possible Encouragement to such Fishery and report to us by one of Our Principal. Secretaries of State in what way and by what means so valuable a branch of Commerce may be extended and improved.

p. 518

same as 17
  to Rear Admiral Robert Duff, ante
  pp. 482-483.

    12.    It being our Intention that all Persons inhabiting Our Islands under your Government should have full liberty of conscience and the free exercise of all such modes of Religious Worship as are not Prohibited by Law, We do therefore hereby require you to permit all Persons within our said Islands to have such liberty and to exercise such modes of Religious Worship as are not prohibited by Law provided they be contented with a quiet and peaceable enjoyment of the same not giving offence or scandal to the Government.

same as 23
and to Rear Admiral Robert Duff, ante
pp. 484-494.
same as 28

    71.    Whereas an Act was passed in the Sixteenth Year of Our Reign intituled, An Act to Prohibit all Trade and intercourse with the Colonies of New Hampshire Massachusets Bay Rhode Island Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pensylvania, the three Lower Countries on Delaware Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, during the Continuance of the Present Rebellion, within the said Colonies respectively, for repealing An Act made in the fourteenth Year of the Reign of his Present Majesty to discontinue the Landing and discharging lading or shipping of Goods, Wares & Merchandise, at the Town and within the Harbour of Boston, in the Province of Massachusets Bay and also two Acts made in the last Session of Parliament for Restraining the Trade & Commerce of the Colonies in the Said Acts Respectively mentioned, and to enable any Person or Persons appointed and authorized by his Majesty to grant Pardons, to issue Proclamations in the Cases & for the Purposes therein Mentioned, It is Our Royal Will and Pleasure; and you are hereby instructed and required to have especial care that the Said Act be duly observed by all persons within Your Government and it will be your particular duty in granting Lice[n]ses in writing under Your hand and Seal to Ships and Vessels for going to any Port or Place in the Afore mentioned Colonies to see that the Said Licenses be granted to Such Ships and Vessels only, as are specified and described in the said Act; and that the Form or Forms observed by you in granting the said Licenses be strictly Agreeable to what is therein Prescribed and laid Down for your better Government & Direction wherein we have hereunto Annexed the Form to be observed by You as follows Viz:

p. 519

    To all Flag Officers, Captains, Commanders, and other Commissioned Officers in his Majesty's Pay, and also to all others whom these Presents Shall or may concern. In pursuance of an Act passed in the Sixteenth Year of his Majesty's Reign intituled, An Act to prohibit all Trade and Intercourse with the Several Colonies in North America therein mentioned, I do hereby Authorize and permit*    *Master of the Ship*  &  *of the burthen*    *[to proceed with the Said Ship and Cargo consisting of the Particulars Specified in the Schedule annexed, from the Port of*    *to the Port of*    *there to unload and deliver the said Cargo and to return from thence with his Said Ship to*
    This license to subsist and be in force from the day of the Date Hereof, until her return, as aforesaid.]
    In the case of Transports employed in our Service, the Words between Hooks shall be omitted and the following ones shall be adopted Viz [being a Transport employed in his Majesty's Service to proceed in his said Ship to some Port or Ports in North America, and to return from thence with his said Ship to*    *This License to Subsist and be in force from the day of the date hereof, until the day of*    *or for so long as she shall be employed in his Majesty's Service, as aforesaid, Given under my Hand Seal    *    the    *    day of.*

    72.    Whereas we have thought fit by Our Commission to you to give & grant unto you full power and 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 & Ministers for the Administration of Justice with power also to pardon all Offenders and remit all Offences, Fines and Forfeitures, wilful Murther only excepted, in which case you have likewise power on extraordinary Occasions to grant reprieves, It is Our Express Will & 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 to 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 & 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 Power in Execution and which way you conceive we may contribute to render it more useful and beneficial to all our Subjects residing in or resorting to the Islands under Your Government.

p. 520

    73.    Whereas report hath been made to us in Our Privy Council by Thomas Halse Overseer & director and John Dunn Clerk to the Mines & Works now carrying on at Shoal Bay on the South East side of our Island of Newfoundland in virtue of a Grant Passed by us in the fifteenth Year of our Reign to John Agnew Sheuchan in the County of Wigtown in North Britain and his Associates which Report was prepared in pursuance of certain directions contained in the said Grant, And whereas the said report Sets forth that Certain Quantities of Copper Ores have already been raised and extracted from these mines One tenth part of all which is by the special Condition of Our Grant aforesaid reserved to ourselves, Our Heirs & Successors We do therefore hereby direct and impower You our Governor or our Commander in Chief for the time being of our Said Island of Newfoundland to take & receive one tenth part of all Such Metals Ores and Minerals as now are or hereafter shall be raised and extracted from the said Mines and then to pay & make over to such person or persons as the Commissioners of our Treasury shall think proper to appoint for that Purpose.

    74.    And you are upon all occasions to send unto us by one of our Principal Secretaries of State a particular Account of all your Proceedings and of the Condition of the Affairs of the Islands under your Government & the Trade and Fishery thereof and of the Banks Seas & Parts Adjacent.




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