p. 1371 N
LIMITED COMMISSION OF THE PEACE,
BY GOVERNOR DUCKWORTH.
RECORD BOOK, ST. JOHN'S, NEWFOUNDLAND. VOLUME, 21, p. 87.
By His Excellency Sir John Thomas Duckworth, K.B.,
Vice Admiral of the Red, Governor and Commander in
Chief in and over the Island of Newfoundland, &c. &c.&c.
By Virtue of the Power and authority to me given by His Majesty's letters made patent, bearing date at Westminster the fourth day of June, in the fiftieth year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord George the Third by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, to constitute and appoint Justices of the Peace with other necessary Officers and Ministers for the better administration of Justice, and keeping the peace and quiet of the Island of Newfoundland and Islands adjacent, and also on that part of the Coast of Labrador in lower Canada which has been re-annexed to the Government of Newfoundland by the 49th of Geo. 3rd, Cap. 27, I do constitute and appoint you residing in the district of in Newfoundland, His Majesty's Justice to keep the Peace in the said Island, and Islands adjacent, and said part of the Coast of Labrador, and to keep and cause to be kept all Ordinances and Statutes for the good of the Peace, and for the preservation of the same, and for the quiet rule and government of His Majesty's People made, in all and singular their Articles in the said Islands (as well within the liberties as without) according to the Force, Form and Effect of the same, and to Chastise and Punish all Persons that offend against the form of those Ordinances or Statutes, or any one of them in the aforesaid Islands or Coast of Labrador, as it ought to be done according to the form of those Ordinances and Statutes, and to cause to come before you all those who to any one or more of His Majesty's Subjects or the Native Savages of the Island of Newfoundland aforesaid concerning their Bodies or the firing of their Houses, have used threats to find security for the peace, or their good behaviour towards His Majesty, His People and the Native Savages aforesaid, and if they shall refuse to find such security, then to cause them to be kept safe in Prison until they shall find such security. I do also appoint you the aforesaid His Majesty's Justice to enquire the truth more fully by the Oath of good and lawful Men of the Islands, and Coast of Labrador aforesaid by whom the truth of the matter shall be better known, of all and all manner of Felonies, Trespasses, Forestallings, Regratings, Engrossings and Extortions whatsoever, and of all and singular other Crimes and offences of which the Justices of
His Majesty's Peace may or ought lawfully to enquire, by whomsoever and howsoever, in the said Islands and Coast of Labrador done or perpetrated, or which shall happen to be there done or attempted, and also of all those who in the aforesaid Islands and Coast of Labrador in Companies against His Majesty's Peace, in Disturbance of His People, with Armed Force have gone or rode, or hereafter shall presume to go or ride, and also of all those who have there lain in wait, or shall hereafter presume to lie in wait to maim, or cut, or kill His Majesty's Subjects or the Native Savages of the said Island of Newfoundland or Coast of Labrador, And also of all Victuallers, and all
and singular other Persons who in the abuse of weights and measures, or in selling Victuals against the Form of the Ordinances and Statutes or any one of them therefore made, for the common benefit of England, or of the said Island of Newfoundland, and Island's adjacent and Coast of Labrador, and of His Majesty's People thereof have offended, or attempted, or hereafter shall presume in the said Islands to offend or attempt and also of all Sheriffs, Bailiffs, Stewards, Constables, Keepers of Gaols and other Officers, who in the execution of their Offices about the Premises or any of them have unduly behaved themselves, or hereafter shall presume to behave themselves unduly, or have been, or hereafter shall happen to he careless, remiss or negligent in the aforesaid Islands and Coast of Labrador; and of all and singular Articles and circumstances, and all other things whatsoever that concern the Premises, or any of them, by whomsoever and after what manner soover, and to inspect all indictments whatsoever before you taken, or to be taken, or before others late His Majesty's Justices of the Peace in the
aforesaid Islands and Coast of Labrador made or taken and not yet determined, and to make and continue processes thereupon against all and singular the Persons so indicted, or who before you hereafter shall happen to be indicted, until they can be taken, surrender themselves, or be outlawed; and to hear and determine all and singular the Felonies, Poisonings, Trespasses, Forestallings, Regratings, Engrossings, Extortions, unlawful assemblies, Indictments aforesaid, and all and singular other the premises according to the laws and Statutes of England as in the like cases hath been accustomed or ought to be done, and the same offenders and every of them, for their offences by Fines, Ransoms, Americaments, Forfeitures, and other means, as according to the Law and custom of England, or form of the Ordinances and Statutes aforesaid it has been accustomed, or ought to be done to chastise and punish. Provided always that if a case of difficulty upon the determination of any of the Premises shall happen to arise before you, or if any Treasons, Robberies, Hurders and other Felonies brought before you, then do not you in any wise give judgment thereon, but take especial care that all persons guilty of such offences be committed to the prison at St. John's, in order to take their trial at the Assizes yearly to be field there, and therefore, I command you that to keeping the Peace, Ordinances and Statutes, and all and singular other the Premises, you diligently apply yourself hereby authorising you, on certain days, at such places as shall be for that purpose appuinted, to hold and keep General Quarter Sessions of
the Peace in the said Island of Newfoundland and Coast of Labrador, according to the custom of England, and to adjourn such Court of Sessions from time to time and from place to place as shall be most convenient and necessary for the Peace and welfare of His Majesty's Subjects, inhabiting there, to make enquiries into the Premises, and all and singular the premises hear and determine, perform and fulfil them in the aforesaid form, doing therein what to justice appertains according to the law and custom of England, so far as the same shall be applicable in the aforesaid Island of Newfoundland. And I do command by the tenor of these presents the High Sheriff of Newfoundland, or his Deputy, at certain days and places which you shall make known to him, to cause to come before you so many and such good and lawful Men of the Islands aforesaid and Coast of Labrador as well within the liberties as without, by whom the truth of the matter in the premises shall be better known and enquired into. And furthermore you are hereby authorised and required at such General Quarter Sessions to appoint from such of the Inhabitants and Planters as shall reside and abide during the Winter in the Islands aforesaid and Coast of Labrador, a proper number of Constables and other Ministers of Justice as may be necessary for preserving the Peace and quiet of His Majesty's Subjects. Provided that neither you nor any such Officer or Minister of Justice by you appointed, do presume or be suffered to Act in your respective Offices or places until you and they have taken the Oaths mentioned in the Act passed in the first year of King George the First, intituled “An Act for the further security of His Majesty's Person and Government and the succession of the Crown in the Heirs of the late Princess Sophia being Protestants and for extinguishing the hopes of the pretended Prince of Wales and his open and secret abettors,” as the same is altered and explained by an Act passed in the sixth year of the present reign intituled “An Act for altering the Oath of Abjuration and the assurance, and for amending so much of an Act of the Seventh year of Her late Majesty Queen Anne intituled An Act for the improvement of the union of the two Kingdoms, as after the time therein limited requires the delivery of certain Lists and Copies therein mentioned to Persona indicted of High Treason or misprision of Treason” as also made and subscribed the Declaration mentioned in an Act made in the twenty fifth year of the reign of King Charles the Second, intituled “An Act for preventing dangers which may happen from Popish Recusants,” and also taken such proper Oath or Oaths as are usually taken in England by persons executing such Offices and Trusts, which Oaths and Declaration you are jointly and severally hereby authorised and empowered to administer and give to all and every person or persons that ought to take the same according to the law and Custom of England; And I do strictly require and enjoin you and all such inferior Officers and Ministers of Justice who shall be appointed by you as is aforesaid, amongst the Inhabitants of the said Islands and Coast of Labrador in all cases and times whenever it may be necessary to be aiding and assisting to the utmost of your power to the Commanders of His Majesty's Ships of War in the discharge of their several duties. And
I do hereby strictly require all Officers Civil and Military and all other the Inhabitants of the Islands aforesaid and Coast of Labrador to afford all lawful aid and assistance to you and to the Officers and Ministers of Justice appointed by you as is aforesaid, in preserving the peace and executing the power hereby given as they will answer the Contrary.
But you are especially to take notice, and be it therefore hereby most clearly and positively understood, that you are not on any account or pretence whatever to presume to hold Plea of any disputes which shall arise concerning the Fishermen's or Seamen's Wages, nor of any Actions for debt of any description or in any case, nor concerning Seamen or Fishermen absenting themselves from their duty or employ, nor concerning the Penalties or Forfeitures incurred by any Act of Parliament relative to the Island of Newfoundland which you are not authorised but on the Contrary, are hereby strictly forbidden to inflict.
Given under my Hand and Seal on board
His Majesty's Ship the Antelope (at the
out Harbours) and Fort Townshend at
J. T. DUCKWORTH.
By Command of His Excellency,
R. C. SCONCE.