p. 624                                           C

No. 162.




C.O. 195.    VOL. 16, p. 151.
George R.

Instructions to Our Trusty and Wellbeloved John Holloway Esqre     Vice Admiral of the Red Squadron of Our Fleet Our Governor     and Commander in Chief in and over Our Island of     Newfoundland in America & the Islands adjacent including the     Islands of St Pierre and Miquelon as also of Our Forts and     Garrisons erected & established or that shall be erected or     established in Our said Island of Newfoundland and the     Islands aforesaid Given at Our Court at Saint James's the     Seventh day of May 1807 In the 47th Year of Our Reign.

    1st  With these Our Instructions You will receive Our Commission under Our Great Seal of Our United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland constituting you Our Governor and Commander in Chief in and over Our Island of Newfoundland in America & Islands adjacent including the Islands of St Pierre and Miquelon And also of all Our Forts & Garrisons erected and established or which shall be erected or established in Our said Islands with directions to obey and follow 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 prepare yourself with all convenient speed to repair to your said Command and being there arrived You are to take upon you the Execution of the Office and Trust which We have reposed in you and as soon as conveniently may be you are to assemble the principal Inhabitants of the said Island of Newfoundland and of such other of the Islands under your Command as you shall judge expedient and with all due solemnity you are to cause Our said Commission constituting you Our Governor and Commander in Chief as aforesaid to be read and published at such Meeting.

    2d  It is Our Will and Pleasure that you do from time* as the nature of the Service will allow visit all the Coasts and Harbours of the Islands

p. 625

under your Government You shall also procure accurate Drafts or Maps of such of the said several Harbours Bays and Coasts as are situated between Cape Bonavista and Cape St John it having been represented to Us that the other parts of the Coast of the said Island have already been carefully surveyed for the due Execution of which Service you will have Authority to employ a competent Officer with proper Assistants and to hire a small Vessel to attend him And in Case You cannot visit all the said Coasts and Harbours you are to give Directions to the Officers under your Command for the purposes beforementioned taking care to report to us through One of Our Principal Secretaries of State the Condition of Our said Forts and whether it may be necessary to erect any new Forts or Posts in the Islands under your Command You are also to transmit to the Master General of Our Ordnance an account of the Arms Ammunition and Stores in Our said Forts In which respect you are to follow such Directions as you shall receive from Our said Master General of the Ordnance.

    3d  You are to be particularly careful to enforce the Provisions of all Acts of Parliament for encouraging the Shipping Navigation and Trade of Our Diminions* and to prevent all Evasions and Frauds contrary to the same And you are not to suffer any Foreigners whatever to fish or dry or cure any Fish on any of the Coasts or Shores within your Government except in Cases in which the Subjects of any Foreign Power are entitled by Treaty to fish or dry or cure Fish there.

    4th  And Whereas by the Third Article of the Definitive Treaty of Peace between Us and the United States of America concluded at Paris the third day of September 1783 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 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 likewise that the Inhabitants of the said United States should have 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 and in the Bays and Creeks of all other of Our Dominions in America And that the American Fishermen should have liberty to dry and cure Fish in any of the unsettled Bays Harbours and Creeks of Nova Scotia and Magdalen Islands on the Coast of Labrador so long as the same should remain unsettled but so soon as the same or either of them should be settled it would not be lawful for the said Fishermen to dry or cure Fish at such Settlements without a previous Agreement for that purpose with the Inhabitants Proprietors or Possessors of the Ground It is Our Will and Pleasure that you do take due Care that the People of the United States of America shall 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 Our Island of Newfoundland or in any Bay Harbour or Creek of any other part of your Government which is settled.

p. 626

And you are on every occasion to exact and require a full and specific performance of the said Treaty on their parts within the limits of your Government.

    5th  Several Observations apparently of Importance having been made by the two Governors who preceded you in the Government of Our Island of Newfoundland respecting various Measures likely in their Opinion greatly to promote the Success of the Fishery there as well as to encrease the advantages thereof to Great Britain many of which Measures (stated to have arisen from an unavoidable Change of Circumstances) requiring Alterations in the Laws now in force for regulating the said Fisheries and appearing to Us to deserve the most serious Consideration before any Proposal on the Subject shall be submitted to Parliament We have directed Copies of these Observations to be transmitted to you herewith. And it is Our Pleasure that you shall during the approaching Season while you remain on the Station obtain the best Information in your power from the most authentic Sources respecting the expediency of proposing to the Legislature any & what Alterations in the several Acts of the 10th & 11th W. 3d and the 15th 26th 28th and 33d Years of Our Reign particularly with respect
        1st  To confirming the Title of Persons to Ship Rooms and     Buildings which have for a considerable Time been in the     Possession of the present Holders without any legal Right     thereto or who derive their Claims from the Usurpation of     Others as well as with respect to the Governors of the Island     being authorized to grant Leases of such Ship Rooms as have     not been occupied and on what Conditions and for what Terms.
          2dly  With respect to the Provisions in the 10th & 11th W.     3. relative to the Fishing Admiral which it is represented have     long been in Dis-use and substituting some competent     Jurisdiction (if it shall be thought necessary) for settling disputes     about Fishing Rooms.
          3dly  Respecting the Employment of Two Green Men in     each Boat under a Provision in the same Act which for the     Reasons stated neither has been for some Time nor can     apparently be hereafter acted upon.
          4thly  The Provisions in the Act of the 15th Year of Our     Reign C. 31. Sec. 13 respecting the retaining 40s/to pay the     Passage of the Fishermen Home and in the 14th Section of the     same Act respecting Restrictions in the mode of paying the     Men neither of which it is stated can be enforced.
And it is Our Will and Pleasure that you do not upon any pretence whatever allow any new Possession to be taken of Lands or Rivers or Parts thereof on Our Island of Newfoundland or the Coast thereof or on the Islands adjacent including St Pierre and Miquelon until it shall be decided whether any Alteration of the Laws above referred to shall be proposed to Parliament. And you are in the mean time to take care that the Ancient Ship Rooms and Fishing Rooms do continue under the Provisions of Statute 10th & 11th W. 3. C. 25 for the Encouragement of New Adventurers that they may be sure of finding proper and convenient Places for curing salting drying and husbanding their Fish whenever they shall resort thither It is Our further Will and

p. 627

Pleasure that the remaining Shores of Newfoundland shall be held by such of Our Subjects resorting thither from Our Dominions in Europe as shall first arrive and take possession of the same for the like purpose of carrying on the Fishery in proportion to the number of Ships and Boats they shall employ and they shall continue to hold the same in like manner and for the like purpose so long as they shall carry on their Fishing there But in Case they shall neglect so to carry on the Fishery for one entire Season such Shores or Parts thereof as shall be neglected or deserted by such Possessors shall be held for the like purpose and in like manner by any of Our Subjects resorting thither from Our Dominions in Europe who shall first occupy the same for the purpose of carrying on the Fishery And you are to put and maintain such Persons in possession thereof. And Whereas it appears by the Observations of your Predecessors already alluded to that the Instructions from time to time given to prevent the Erection of any Buildings except Fishing Stages Cook Rooms Ship Rooms and Flakes or such Erections as shall be absolutely necessary for curing salting drying and husbanding Fish within two hundred Yards distance from High Water Mark have not for a considerable Period been enforced and Reasons have been submitted why that System should be departed from It is Our Will and Pleasure that you should while you remain on the Station inform yourself as fully as you can on that Subject also and report your Opinion thereupon on your return It is Our further Will and Pleasure nevertheless that all or any Buildings Erections Wharfs Slips or Fences already erected may remain provided the same are not erected or built upon ancient Ship Rooms and provided they are not in your Judgment considered to be Nuisances and detrimental to the Interest of the Fishery in general But ire case they shall clearly appear to you to be so you shall cause the same to be removed giving due and reasonable Notice to the Parties claiming or pretending any Interest therein if upon the Spot or to the Persons in Possession and Occupation thereof putting the said Parties or Persons to as little inconvenience as the Case will admit if such Parties or Persons do not choose to remove the same in due time after such Notice shall be given.

    6th  And Whereas it has also been represented to Us that divers of Our Subjects residing in Newfoundland Sell Mortgage and Lease for considerable Sums Houses Lands Fishing Stages Cook Rooms and Flakes of which they have been in possession either under Grants or Permission from former Governors or otherwise as if they had an exclusive and indefeasible Right therein contrary to the Intention of Us and Our Predecessors and contrary to the Laws made for preventing the same Now in order that We may be better informed concerning the Premises as well with a view to enable a Judgment being formed relative to Lands &ca of which Persons have already possessed themselves as to a due Consideration of what Measures in this respect should be pursued in future It is Our Will and Pleasure that you in conjunction with Our Chief Justice of Our said Island do cause such Enquiry to be made as You and he shall judge most proper using very great Caution

p. 628

in the manner of conducting this Enquiry so as to avoid most carefully creating unnecessary Alarms in the minds of Persons in Possession of the Lands &ca suggesting to them that it is equally the Interest of themselves and of the Public that the Question should be put at rest and that if any Proceeding on the part of the Public shall be thought necessary there is every reason to believe attention will be paid to the Interests of the Parties liable to be affected thereby In the course of that Enquiry it will be important to ascertain as accurately as you can the nature of the Titles and Claims under which such Property is held The length of time that the present Possessors or those under whom they claim have enjoyed the same and the Extent supposed Rent and value of such Property And you are further to enquire whether it has ever been ascertained in the several Harbours of Newfoundland what Fishing Places did belong to the Fishing Ships before the Year 1685 and whether any Account is kept of such Fishing Places as have been possessed since that Year in order to prevent the disputes that may otherwise happen between the Masters of Ships and the Inhabitants And whether there is any want of convenient Places unoccupied on the Beach or Shores of Newfoundland fit for the purpose of carrying on the Fishery by the Adventurers who may arrive from His Majesty's European Dominions.

    7th  You are not to permit or allow any of Our Officers or Soldiers or other Persons whatever belonging to the Garrisons within your Government to engage or be in any way concerned or employed directly or indirectly in any Branch of the Fisheries carried on within your Government or to take up for themselves any Beaches Stages or Cook Rooms upon any pretence whatever or in any manner to interrupt the Fishermen in catching drying or curing their Fish And if any such Officers Soldiers or other Persons shall act in Contradiction to this Our Instruction you are to report the same to Us through one of Our Principal Secretaries of State that such Persons may be made sensible of Our highest displeasure.

    8th  And Whereas it is of great Importance to the Prosperity and extension of the Fishery that the Fish caught by Our Subjects should be properly cured and fitted for Sale at the Foreign Markets you are therefore to cause strict Injunctions to be given to the Masters of the Fishing Ships the Bye Boat Keepers and Inhabitants to take the greatest care in curing the Fish with a proper and sufficient Quantity of good Salt and in preparing husbanding and ordering the same that the Credit thereof may be maintained and augmented in the several Places to which it is carried for Sale And in order to render the attainment of that Object effectual as far as possible It is Our Pleasure that you shall consider & report to Us for Our Royal Consideration whether any & what means can be devised for observing whether the said Injunction is duly complied with And you are while on the Station to make very particular enquiries into the manner and method of taking and curing the Fish what Quantity of Salt is allowed for the curing of every One hundred Quintals Whether the Parties are guilty of any abuse in the ordering thereof and whether any Improvements can be made in any



Partnered Projects Government and Politics - Table of Contents Site Map Search Heritage Web Site Home