p. 1154 N
REPORT re AGNEW'S GRANT.
PRIVY COUNCIL 2 / 118. pp. 283-286.
See also C. O. RECORDS 195 / 10.
At the Council Chamber, Whitehall, the 2nd day of December 1774.
By a Committee of the Lords of his Majesty's most Honourable
Privy Council for Plantation affairs.
Your Majesty having been pleased by your order in council of the 19th of May 1773 to refer to the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations the humble petition of John Agnew of Sheuchan and associates in the county of Wigton in North America * humbly praying that your Majesty would be pleased to grant unto them all mines, minerals and metals, already discovered or hereafter to be discovered in the island of Newfoundland and on the coast or country of Labrador between the River St. Lawrence and Hudsons Streights, at a certain limited distance not exceeding sixty miles from the sea or flowing of the sea-water on any part of the said coast of Labrador under such reservations and restrictions as have been usual on like occasions, with directions to them to consider thereof, and report their opinion thereon to this Committee.
Whereupon the said Lords Commissioners have reported:—
That the proposition contained in the petition does not in the general view of it appear liable to objection, but observe that the description of the limits within which the petitioners propose the grant to be made to them, appears so far as it regards the Labrador coast, to be attended with some difficulty, for, as on the one hand the proposing the River St. Lawrence as the boundary to the South is not sufficiently precise, so, on the other hand, by extending the grant northward to Hudsons Streights they will take in a very large part of what has been already granted to the Hudsons Bay Company, who are entitled by their charter to all mines and minerals within the territories granted to them; but they see no objection to advising your Majesty to grant to the petitioners all mines and minerals, that either have been or shall hereafter be discovered by them or their associates within the Island of Newfoundland and upon the coast of Labrador between the River St. John's and the southern limits of the territory granted to the Hudsons Bay Company; Provided such grant be accompanied with the following condition and restrictions, viz.:—
First. That the petitioners shall annually lay before your Majesty in
* Must be mistake for North Britain; every other case North Britain.
Council an account, attested upon oath, of the state of their works, the number of persons employed therein, the quantity of ore, mineral, and metal dug up, and to what places exported.
Second. That in case the petitioners shall not lay before your Majesty in Council satisfactory proof of their having within seven years from the date of their charter caused diligent search to be made for, and used their endeavours to discover some mine or mines, and shall not within fourteen years from the said date lay full evidence, if required, before your Majesty as aforesaid, of their having opened, dug, and effectually worked some mine or mines or extracted some mineral, or metal, then and in either case upon an order or declaration of your Majesty in Council the Letters Patent shall cease, determine and become void.
Third. That there be reserved to your Majesty, your heirs and successors, one tenth of all ores, minerals and metals that shall be discovered, dug up or extracted by the petrs.
Fourth. That the said grant shall be made without prejudice to any right or possession of your Majesty's Canadian subjects, which may be claimed by them upon the coast of Labrador in virtue of the late Treaty of Paris.
Fifth. That a proper clause be inserted in the grant such as your Majesty's law servants shall judge proper, and effectual for preventing any establishments being made by the grantees to the prejudice and obstruction of the fishery.
Sixth. That it be expressly provided; that the said grant shall not be construed—to extend to prevent your Majesty, your heirs and successors from granting to any other persons within the said limits a liberty of searching and digging for minerals and metals; Provided such persons do not search for or dig within four miles of any shaft, pit, or place, where the petitioners or any of them, or their agents now have or hereafter shall have discovered any mine or mines, minerals or metals, or ores whatsoever.
The Lords of the Committee did on 3rd July 1773 take the said Report into consideration, and thought proper to order your Majesty's Attorney and Solicitor General to prepare a draught of a proper instrument to be passed under the Great Seal of Great Britain, containing a grant to the petitioners their heirs and assigns of all mines and minerals, which either have, or shall hereafter be discovered by them or their associates within the island of Newfoundland and upon the coast of Labrador between the River St. Johns and the Southern limits of the territory granted to the Hudsons Bay Company, inserting in the said draught conditions and restrictions proposed in the said report of the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations; And your Majesty's Attorney and Solicitor General, having accordingly prepared a draught of a grant to pass the Great Seal, of such mines, minerals and ores, and of a licence to dig and search for the same for the term of nine hundred and ninety nine years. The Lords of the Committee taking the same into consideration do agree humbly to lay the same draught of a grant before your Majesty for your Royal confirmation. [See also P.C. 1/60.]