The Labrador Boundary

Privy Council Documents

Volume III


N. Jacquin
P. Rustan

p. 966                                  C

No. 232.



No. 1.

To the Right Honourable the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations.

The Memorial of Sundry Merchants, whose Names are hereunto Subscribed, settlers in His Majesty's Province of Quebec, and of others Concerned in the trade of the said province, Humbly Sheweth,—

      That whilst the province of Quebec was in the Possession of His Most Christian Majesty, the Coast of Labrador was a part of the dependencies of the Government of Canada, and that several Inhabitants of the said province procured Grants from the Governors of Canada of sundry Settlements & fishing posts upon the said Coast, particularly upon that part thereof which is situate within the Streights of Belleisle, which Grants were afterwards duly ratified & confirmed by His Most Christian Majesty.
      That upon the Reduction of Canada by His Majesty's Arms it was stipulated amongst other things that the Inhabitants of that Country should retain the possession of that real & personal property, and that such of them, as were inclined to remove to Old France, should be at liberty within a Certain limited time to alienate their property to British Subjects.
      That upon the faith and Confidence of the terms of Capitulation, some of Your Memorialists purchased within the time limited by the said Articles of several of the proprietors of the said Settlements and posts their Right & Interest therein for a Valuable Consideration, and others procured from His Excellency General Murray Governor of the province of Quebec Grants of several other settlements and posts which were at that time unoccupied, and which said Grants given by General Murray were Antecedent to His Majesty's most gracious proclamation of the 7th October 1763, whereby the Coast of Labrador was annexed to the newly-established Government of Newfoundland.
      That His Majesty having been most graciously pleased by His Royal Proclamation above mentioned expressly to invite His Subjects without distinction to extend the Fishery carried on upon the Coast Labrador*, Many

Post 28 August, 1765 and ante 3 April, 1766.]

p. 967

of Your Memorialists and others His Majesty's Subjects residing in the province of Quebec being desirous of availing themselves, of the Seal fishery, which at great Hazard & expence had been established within the Streights of Belleisle, put themselves to a very Considerable expence, in Order to Carry on, extend & improve the fishery, which if they should be permitted to exercise without hindrance or Molestation, would prove not only Advantageous to the Individuals Concerned therein, but highly beneficial to Great Britain.
       That some of your Memorialists and others His Majesty's Subjects, Adventurers in the said fishing, being possessed of the Rights, and encouraged by the proclamation hereinbefore mentioned were in the Course of the last Years fishery dispossessed of their posts, their fishing tackle, and Utensils necessary for Carrying on the said fishery, which had been provided at a great expence, were seized, burnt and destroyed, & they otherwise greatly Molested in the enjoyment of what they Apprehend were their legal rights, and much injured and oppress'd by His Excellency Hugh Palliser Esqr Governor of the Island of Newfoundland, and the Coast of Labrador, &c and certain other persons Acting under his Authority.
       That the said Governor Pallisser published Certain Orders, Rules, & Regulations to be Observed on the Coast of Labrador, &ca. bearing date the 8th of April and 28th of August 1765, whereby, among other things, the said Governor arbitrarily imposes illegal and unwarrantable Restraints and Restrictions upon His Majesty's Subjects inhabiting His Colonies in America, and takes upon himself to declare, that Offenders against the said Orders, Rules and regulations shall be punished with Corporal punishments, & Confiscation of their goods and effects.
       That your Memorialists have Ready to produce Copies of the said Orders, Rules, and Regulations, by which it will appear (as they are advised) that the same are illegal, oppressive and prejudicial to the Rights & priviledges which the Inhabitants of the province of Quebec are entitled unto, as British Subjects.
       That Nevertheless the said Governor Pallisser pretends that the said Orders, Rules, & Regulations, and the Molestation and Disturbance given to some of Your Memorialists and others, as herein above set forth, were issued and given by him in Consequence of Certain instructions alledged by him to have been Received for that purpose from this Honourable Board, or under some powers otherwise vested in him, sufficiently Authorising him so to do, And your Memorialists further Shew unto your Lordships,
       That they doubt not to prove to the satisfaction of this Honourable Board, that the Rules established by Governor Pallisser for the Regulation & of the fishery upon the Coast of Labrador are very prejudicial to the extension and improvement of the said fishery, and particularly injurious to His Majesty's Subjects the Inhabitants of the province of Quebec, as above three hundred families of His Majesty's newly Acquired Subjects are employed in or Supported by the Winter's Seal fishery upon that Coast, which, if the said Rules shall be permitted to operate as laws, and continued to be enforced as they hitherto have been, will be Reduced to the greatest distress by being deprived of the

p. 968

employment in which they have been bred up from their infancy and by which they have hitherto earned their Subsistence.
      That your Memorialists are well convinced, that the protection and improvement of the Seal fishery aforesaid is of great importance to the trade of the Province of Quebec; but they are Apprehensive, that, without the interposition of this Honourable Board, several of the grievances herein Complained of will be continued and Remain unredressed, & Consequently the said fishery be entirely lost.

      Your Memorialists therefore humbly pray Your Lordships to take the premises into your Consideration, that they may be heard by their Council in Support of the several Matters and things herein alledged; That Your Memorialists and all others Concerned in the Subject Matter of this Memorial may be effectually reinstated in their Respective Rights & Possessions, and permitted to enjoy the same Unmolested.
      That Orders may be given to Governor Pallisser, declaratory of the sense of this Honourable Board in respect of the Aforesaid Rules Regulations established by him.
      And that Your Memorialists may have such other and further relief in the premises, as the Nature of the Case may require And Your Memorialists &c.

                        JOSEPH PHILIBOT        WM BRYMER
                        JAS TRYE                         J. GRAY
                        W. MACKENZIE            DANL BAYNE
                        DUNCAN & BELLER     CHAS GRANT
                        FS L'EVESQUE                BENJN PRICE
                        ROLLOT                          JAMES JOHNSTON
                                                                 GEORGE FULTON

Original in Board of Trade—Newfoundland '18. T. 86.



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