p. 556 C
ADMIRALTY INSTRUCTIONS TO JOHN ELLIOT
AS COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF HIS MAJESTY'S SHIPS ON THE NEW-
ADTY SECRY OUT LETTERS. VOL. 117.
By &cª [p. 36.]
Instructions for John Elliot Esqr Commander in Chief of a Squadron of His Majesty's ships and vessels employed and to be employed at and about the Island of Newfoundland, the Islands of Madelaine and Anticosti, and upon the Coast of Labrador from the River St John to the Entrance of Hudson's Straits.
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[Art. 1 same as Art. to Rear Admiral Richard Edwards, ante p. 522, but substituting "Piratical Ships or Vessels" for "Ships or vessels belonging to the French King, etc." Art. 2 same as Art. 2 to Vice Admiral John Campbell, ante p. 542 with the addition of Statute 26 Geo. Ill., c, 26. Art. 3 same as Art. 3 to Rear Admiral Robert Duff, ante p. 497. Art. 4 same as Art. 4 to Vice Admiral John Campbell, ante p. 543.]
And whereas no Foreign Ships and Vessels whatever (except as hereinafter excepted) have any right to fish at or about Newfoundland and the Commanders of the Ships of 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 therein be strictly complied with: And, if you shall find any Foreign ships fishing at or about Newfoundland, you are to oblige them to desist and depart from off the Coast, excepting Ships and Vessels belonging to the Subjects of the most Christian King and to the People of the United States of America, fishing according to the Stipulations contained in the Definitive Treaties of Peace concluded at Versailles on the 3d September 1783 between His Majesty, the most Christian King, and the United States abovementioned; printed Copies of which you will receive herewith.
And whereas, by the 4th 5th & 6th Articles of the first mentioned Treaty, His Majesty is maintained in his Right to the Island of Newfoundland and to the adjacent Islands, as the whole were assured to him by the 13th Article of the Treaty of Utrecht excepting the Islands of St Pierre and Miquelon which are ceded in full Right to His Most Christian Majesty, who, in order to prevent the Quarrels which had before arisen, has consented to renounce the right of fishing which belonged to him in virtue of the aforesaid Article of the Treaty of Utrecht from Cape Bonavista to Cape St John, situated on the Eastern Coast of Newfoundland in 50 Degrees Nº Latitude; And His Majesty has consented, on his part, that the Fishery assigned to the Subjects of His Most Christian Majesty, beginning at the said Cape St John, passing to the North and descending by the Western Coast of the Island of Newfoundland, shall extend to the place called Cape Raye situated in 47 Degrees 50 Min. Latitude; And that, with regard to the Fishery in the Gulph of St Lawrence, the French shall continue to exercise it conformably to the 5th Article of the Definitive Treaty of peace between His Majesty & the most Christian King, and the King of Spain, concluded at Paris on the 10th of Febry 1763; You are, therefore, to use your utmost diligence and attention that the several stipulations hereimentioned* and referred to be suitably performed as far as they shall come within the Limits of your Command, and, upon every occasion, to take particular care that the Subjects of His Most Christian Majesty have full & ample enjoyment of the Fishery within the Limits and Boundaries assign'd to them as aforesaid as they have a right to enjoy the same under the said Treaty of Utrecht: And, for this purpose, you are to give the most positive Orders and Injunctions to all Officers and others under your Command, that they do not, in their several Stations and as far as depends on each of them respectively, permit or allow that any obstructions or Interruptions be, upon any pretence, given to the Subjects of His Most Christian Majesty, in the Enjoyment of the said Fishery as it is allowed to them by the Treaties beforementioned within the limits above described; but that they do give them all reasonable countenance therein. You are, nevertheless, to take due care that no Subject of His Most Christian Majesty be permitted to reside or remain in any part whatever of the said Island of Newfoundland after the Fishing Season is over and during the Winter; and also that His Majesty's Subjects be not allowed to take charge of, preserve, or prepare any Boat, Stage, Flake, or Erection, whatever for the purpose of the Fishery on account, or for the use of any Subject of His Most Christian Majesty for the ensuing Fishing Season. And you are strictly charged not to allow any of the Subjects of His Most Christian Majesty to cut down and carry off any Wood or Timber from the said Island of Newfoundland and the Islands adjacent for any purpose whatever, unless His Majesty's pleasure therein shall in that respect be duly signified to you; allowing them, however, to cut any Wood necessary for the repair of their Scaffolds, Huts and Fishing vessels on the spot; And, in case it shall happen that any of His Majesty's Subjects shall, in any wise, act contrary to
the true Intent and meaning of the Stipulations made by the Treaty of Versailles, or the Treaty of Utrecht aforesaid; and the Subjects of His Most Christian Majesty shall, in that respect, have just cause of Complaint; you are immediately to remove the same by granting them due redress, and exercising the authority vested in you by His Majesty's Commission and Instructions, or by any Act of Parliament in force for that purpose. You are, nevertheless, to take due care that no Subject or Officer of His Most Christian Majesty do exercise any Act of Authority upon the Island of Newfoundland or the adjacent Islands or the Coasts thereof, in derogation to His Majesty's Sovereignty over the same; but that, in every case of just Complaint on their parts, they do apply to you, or His Majs Officers in Command under you, for redress.
And in order effectually to prevent any Disputes from arising between His Majesty's Subjects and those of His Most Christian Majesty carrying on the Fisheries on the Coasts of the Island of Newfoundland; you are, in pursuance of His Majesty's pleasure, to prevent as far as possible, any of His Subjects from fishing within the limits herein before described, and within which the Subjects of His Most Christian Majesty are now allowed to carry on the fishery.
And whereas, by the abovementioned Treaty of Peace between His Majesty and the United States of America, the Provinces of New Hampshire, Massachusets Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pensylvannia, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, were declared by His Majesty to be free and independent States, and, by the Third Article of the said Treaty, "The People of the said United States were allowed to continue to enjoy unmolested the Right to take Fish of every kind on the Grand Bank, and on all the other Banks of Newfoundland; also in the Gulph of St Lawrence, and at all other places in the sea, where the Inhabitants of both Countries used at any time theretofore to fish; and also liberty to take Fish of every kind on such part of the Coast of Newfoundland as British Fishermen should use (but not to dry or cure the same on that Island) and also on the Coasts, Bays and Creeks of all other of His Majesty's Dominions in America; and the American Fishermen were to have liberty to dry and cure Fish, in any of the unsettled Bays, Harbours and Creeks of Nova Scotia, Magdalen Islands and Labrador, so long as the same should remain unsettled; but so soon as the same, or either of them, should be settled, it should not be lawful for the said Fishermen to dry or cure Fish at such Settlement without a previous Agreement for that purpose, with the Inhabitants, Proprietors, or Possessors of the Ground." You are, therefore in pursuance of His Majesty's pleasure to take due care that the People of the United States of America do fully and amply enjoy every Right of fishing, drying and curing of Fish, allowed them by the said Third Article of the Treaty above recited, not allowing them however to dry or cure their Fish on His Majs Island of Newfoundland, or in any Bay, Harbour or Creek of any other part within the Limits of your Government, which is settled. And you are on every occasion to exact and require a full and specific performance of the said Treaty on their parts within those Limits.
You are for the abovementioned purposes, to visit the several Bays and places in Newfoundland between Cape St John (passing to the North and descending by the Western Coast) and Cape Raye or cause them to be visited by any of the Ships of your Squadron, as you shall judge best; having due regard also to such part of His Majesty's Declaration and the Counter Declaration of His Most Christian Majesty subjoined to the abovemend Treaty between their Majesty's which was concluded at Versailles on the 3d September 1783, as relates to the Fishery between the Islands of St Pierre and Miquelon. And as, from the vicinity of those Islands to 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 Majs Dominions, and the Subjects of France residing on the said Islands of St Pierre and Miquelon, or employed in the Fishery by virtue of Treaty, or between His Majesty's said Subjects and other Subjects of France; or other Powers trading, or pretending to trade to, or with the said Islands of St Pierre and 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 and to prevent if possible all Communication whatever between the said Islands of St Pierre and Miquelon, and Newfoundland, or any part of His Majs Dominions in North America contrary to the plain & strict meaning of this Instruction.
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[Arts. 8 and 9 same as Arts. 6 and 7 to Rear Admiral Richard Edwards, ante pp. 522, 523.]
Besides the Superintendance and Regulation of the Fisheries of the Island of Newfoundland and the Coast of Labrador, you are to afford every protection in your power to those which are carried on in the Gulph of St. Laurence within the limits of your command, and also upon the Islands in that Gulph, and to take particular care that the Sea Cow Fisheries which have been or may be established on the Islands of Madelaine, &c., by His Majesty's Subjects be not disturbed by the crews of any ships or vessels whatever, destroying these animals in the water, or by any means deterring them from the usual places of landing; disposing of some of the ships or vessels under your command in such manner as shall best serve for that purpose, without prejudice to the more material parts of the important service committed to your care.
[Art. 11 same as Art. 11 to Rear Admiral Richard Edwards, ante p. 525, but omitting reference to Anticosta.
Art. 12, 14, 16 similar to Art. 10 to Rear Admiral Richard Edwards, ante p. 524, as Art. 20 to Rear Admiral Robert Duff, ante p. 505.]
And when the Service will admit, you are to send home the other Ships and Vessels of your Squadron; directing their Commanders to repair to Spithead and remain there 'til further orders, bringing with them any homeward bound Trade that may be ready and willing to accompany them, and seeing such Trade in Safety as far as their way may lie together.
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Given &cª 26th May 1786.
By Command of their Lordships RD HOPKINS
P: STEPHENS. J. L. GOWER