The Labrador Boundary

Privy Council Documents

Volume II

[19 March, 1813.]

p. 35.
Sir R. G. Keats.
Instructions to him as Commander in Chief at Newfd.

p. 681                                           C

No. 171.




ADM. SEC. 2.    VOL. 164.
By &c
    Whereas you have received a commission from His Royal Highness Prince Regent acting in the name and on behalf of His Majesty, appointing you Governor and Commander-in-Chief in and over the Island of Newfoundland etc. and of all the forts and garrisons erected and established in the said Island and also His Royal Highness's Instructions for your Government therein: You are therefore to take particular care to act in all respects conformably to what is required by the said Commission and Instructions, and any other Instructions you may receive from His Royal Highness relating to the aforesaid Island of Newfoundland or any other parts within the limits of your Command doing every thing in your power to prevent any illegal Trade during your continuance on that Station and also to secure and protect the Fisheries and Coasts from any annoyance of the enemy, as well as from piratical Ships or Vessels, which you are to use your utmost endeavour to take or destroy.

    You are to use your Utmost endeavours, agreeably to the powers vested in you, in preserving the peace, & good Government among the Seamen & Fishermen, & in apprehending Offenders, and you are as far as the same may relate to you as Commdr in Chief of H. M. Ships & Vessels at & about Newfoundland, to comply with the following Acts of Parliament Copies of which you will also receive herewith Vizt
15th  Geo: 3d    Cap  31
18       „     „        „    55
20       „     „        „      6
20       „     „        „    10
26       „     „        „    26
49       „     „        „    27
51       „     „        „    45

    And Whereas it is very prejudicial to this Kingdom that the Fishing Vessels do not bring home from Newfoundland, the Complement of men,

p. 682

they carry out, many of them being enticed away to other places; You are to use your best endeavours to oblige them to return with the Ships in which they went out, so far as in you lies, except only with regard to such of their Men, as shall have entered into H. M. Service ; and you are to prevent as much as possible such men from emigrating to the Territories of the United States causing all such, to be impressed into H. M. Service, as shall be found embarked on board any Ships or Vessels except Ships of War, belonging to Neutral States, with that intent.

    And Whereas no foreign Ships or Vessels whatever have any right to fish at or about Newfoundland and the Commander of Ships of War bound on Convoy, have at all times been directed not to allow of their fishing in these situations: It is therefore H.R.H. the Prince Regent's pleasure that you do take especial Care to prevent the same, and that his orders given therein be strictly complied with, and if you should find any neutral Ships or Vessels fishing at or about Newfoundland you are to oblige them to desist and to depart from off the Coast.
[There was no Article 5 to these Instructions.]

    You are to take such steps as you shall judge necessary for the protection of St. Pierre and Micqulen[sic].

    You are to settle and guard the Fisheries not only at St. John's but on all the Coasts of Newfoundland and upon those of the Continent of Labrador as far to the Northward as your command extends, to use your best endeavour to encourage and support the Cod Fishery in York Harbour, and on the other part of the Coasts of the above mentioned Continent, as also the Seal and Salmon Fisheries on the said Coast and to hinder any trade and intercourse being carried on by any persons whomsoever other than the Subjects of the United Kingdom, with the Inhabitants of that Country which of right belongs solely to His Majesty.
same as   9
 [to Rear Admiral Sir Richard King, ante
    pp. 585, 586, but omitting the reference
    to Anticosti in Art. 11.]
    *                *                 *                *    
    You are on your arrival at Newfdland to obtain from the Merchants a Notice of the periods at which they will require Convoys for the Season to the West Indies, Portugal, Spain into the Mediterranean & to Great Britain, & to make such arrangements as your means will best admit of, for complying

p. 683

with their wishes. The Ships which accompany the Convoys to Portugal, Spain & into the Mediterranean are after having seen them in safety to their destinations (as far as Gibraltar if any Vessel should be bound thither) to repair to Spithead & wait for further orders, & those which bring home the Trade to Great Britain, are, in like manner to be ordered to Spithead, the provision for these Convoys being the Chief cause for detaining any of the Squadron at Newfdland after the fishing Season, you are to send home all such Ships & Vessels as are not wanted for this purpose, so soon as the Service will admit-excepting such as under existing circumstances You may deem it absolutely necessary for the welfare of H. M. Service, to order to Winter at Newfoundland.

[Art. 12 relates to officers in Naval Departments on foreign stations.]
    *                *                 *                *    
    You are to take care that Prisoners of War be not put on board Neutral Vessels to be conveyed to England excepting in cases of urgent Necessity, nor unless the Masters of such Vessels will agree to receive them without charge to this Country & you are to give orders accordingly to all the Captains & Commanders of H. M. Ships & Vessels under your command.

    You are to consider the limits of your Station to be as follows Vizt
    At and about the Island of Newfdland, but having for it's Western boundary a strait line drawn from the Latitude of 40° North and Longitude West to a position midway between Cape Ray on the Newfoundland Coast & the Island of St Paul off the Northern point of Cape Breton Island; & from thence in a direct Line to Mount Joli, on the Labrador Coast; and you are to restrict your Cruizers to these limits accordingly.

    By the end of October you are to leave the Station & repair to Spithead, taking under your Convoy if it should be necessary such of the homeward bound Trade, as may be in readiness to accompany You; And You are to send to Our Secretary, for our information an account of your arrival and Proceedings.
Given &ca 19th March 1813.
WM DOMETT       
J. S. YORKE        
To Vice Admiral                                                J. OSBORN
      Sir R. G. Keats K.B.
          &c.      &c.      &c.
      By command &c.
          J. W. Croker.



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