The Labrador Boundary

Privy Council Documents

Volume III

[20 Dec.

See Copy in
C.O. 194.
vol. 16, T 55.

Case of Capt Philibot.


[21 Dec.,




p. 951                                  C

No. 225.


S.P. DOM. ENT. BK. VOL. 141.
ST JAMES'S 20th Decr 1765.
Commodre Palliser,
      SIR,—By Mr Secretary Conway's directions I inclose You a Copy of the Case of Capt. Philibot, and am to desire you to let me know for Mr Secretary Conway's Information how far he is founded in his Allegations.
I am, &ca.


The Case of Captain Philibot.

      In August 1763 Governor Murray (for the reasons mentioned in his Letter of recommendation to Genl Conway) gave to Capt Philibot the Post of Forteaux on the Coast of Labrador for 4 Years for the purpose of curring Seals caught in certain limits; on the following conditions. That the Governor only granted this Priviledge as far as in him lay, till the Kings further Pleasure was known, & provided no other just claim could be laid thereto.
      In August 1765 Govr Palliser who stills* himself Commander in Chief of Newfoundland the Coast of Labrador &ca published an Instrument for the reasons he gave General Conway before he left the Coast) importing that no Person from any of the Colonies should on any pretence go to the Coast of Labrador except whale Fishers, on pain of the Penalties therein set forth, or be suffered to Winter there.
      Therefore these subsequent Orders of Govr Palliser having rendered void the Grant of Govr Murray above-mentioned Capt Philibot by virtue of this Grant of the latter has entered a formal Protest against the former for having refused him any longer access and admittance to the Post of Forteaux & an account is delivered in to Gen1 Conway by Capt. Philibot, & his Owners of the prime or first Cost of his Ship; of the Expense of fitting her out, & the Effects she had on board when she was forced to return to Quebec, & of the Effects belonging to him & the other Proprietors, left at

p. 952

the Post of Forteaux, all which objects they value at about £1870 of Province Money.

      No absolute demand seems to be made for the 1870£ nor indeed could it be demanded because tho' Govr Palliser annulled the Priviledge granted by Govr Murray (who seem'd diffident of his Authority to allow such Privileges) still the only positive Injury done Capt Phillibot, & the other Owners by Palliser was the seizing or destroying their Effects left bona fide, if he did destroy them which I cannot find was or was not the Case by these Papers at the Post of Forteaux which they estimated at no more than ™680 of Province Money for the Vessel & her Cargoe; tho' disappointed in the View with which she was fitted out, returned untouched to Quebec, tho' it is apparent the Proprietors must from this Circumstance have been at an obvious useless Expense. How far Captain Philibot as an Individual is an Object of the Governments Notice, is another Consideration.

No. 226.                                C


B. T. NEWFOUNDLD VOL. 18.   T. 56.

21st December 1765.    
      As to the Particulars said to be set forth in the Case of Capt. Philibot, I know nothing of, nor of Him, having never heard his name before; but I can undertake to assure Mr Secretary Conway that no Damage has been done to any Vessels, or Effects of the said Philibot, as is suggested, either by me, or any other Person under my Government; His real Complaint seems to be against the Regulations made by me last Summer, for the Coast of Labrador, by which He is no longer to enjoy the exclusive Privileges pretended to be granted to Him by Govr Merry; I am informed many Grants of the same kind for all the best Fishing Places, including above 140 Leagues of Sea Coast within my Government, are extant from Govr Merry; How, or upon what Terms, those Grants have been obtained I know not, but I have been informed, they are for Three Years, The Grantees have enjoyed the Advantages of the Grants during that Time, therefore may be supposed to be reimbursed any pretended Expences, besides they have had ample Notice of those Grants not being valid, as well by His Ma'ty's Proclamation in 1763, for establishing the Bounds of The New Governments in which it is expressly

p. 953

said The Fisheries shall be open & free to His Majestys Subjects on The Coast of Labrador,) as by Notice from the Officers that I have Yearly sent along that Coast.
      The Consequence of those Grants, is, that hitherto no other Persons have ventured to undertake any Fishery upon that Coast, & the People to whom these Grants were made, instead of carrying on The Fishery, have used those Posts (as all Setlers upon These Coasts allways do) only for carrying on a Clandestine Trade with the French at Petit Nord, at St Pierres, & even directly with France, for supplying all Canada with French Goods & Manufactures; they also admit many Frenchmen amongst them, of all which, I have the fullest Proofs in my Hands; It was therefore Time, & my indispensable Duty, to anull those monopolizing pernicious Grants from Govr Merry, so injurious to the Rest of the King's Subjects, so prejudicial to the Shipping, Trade & Manufacturers of this Kingdom, & to lay the Fisheries open to all His Ma'ty's Subjects from Britain, & not suffer it to run into a Colony Fishery, but keep it a free British Fishery agreable to the Laws, & to what has ever been the Policy of the Nation respecting the Fisheries.
      Since publishing my above mentioned regulations, several Gentlemen have assured me (& I am informed of many more) that will now immediately undertake the Fisheries on that Coast, with Ships & men from Britain, as Capt. Philibot may do under those Regulations, a copy of which I had the Honor to transmit to Mr Secretary Conway from that Coast, by which I have linked together the several Branches of the Fishery and Trade as seemed best for encouraging new adventurers, & which I am satisfied will have the desired Effect, if an End is put to all Expectations of obtaining exclusive Grants & Privileges; in that Case, (but not otherways) I am confident that Coast will very soon prove a most valuable Source of great Wealth, & naval Strength for the Safety of this Kingdom.

      P.S.—The Post of Forteaux is about the Middle of the above mentioned Extent of 140 Leagues of Sea Coast.


Copy of Comm. Pallisser's Answer to Philibots Case
21st Decr 1765.

In Mr Roberts's Letter of 17 Febry 1766.
        Read Febry 25 1766.
               T. 56.



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