p. 1751 C
MEMORIAL RESPECTING OCCUPATION OF PLACENTIA BY THE FRENCH.
CAL. STATE PAPERS, AM. & W. I., 1661-1668, p. 537.
1666. Address to his Majesty showing the present condition of Newfoundland, drawn from the evidence of Major John Scott, Capt. Wm. Hill, John Hoyle, Mr. Wacombe, Capt. John Rayner, the petitioning merchants, and others. From its first discovery in 1496 till the treaty of 1632 the French were not permitted to fish at Newfoundland, or in any place on the main of America; but after that treaty the French trading to Canada and Acadia presumed to make dry fish on Newfoundland; for prevention whereof Sir David Kirke was sent there Governor, in whose time every French ship trading or making dry fish there was forced to pay 5 or 10 per cent.; and in the time of the late rebellion they were compelled to do the like. But about five years past the French planted there, and presumed to raise a garrison of 18 guns (since made 32) in Placentia. Four years since Capt. Rayner, then Deputy Governor, sent to his Majesty by Robert Prouse of Dartmouth information concerning the French proceedings on the oath of Issac Dethick; and 2 ½ years past the inhabitants sent a petition to his Majesty by Nehemiah Froute of Plymouth, setting forth the prejudice they sustained by the Dutch under de Ruyter in June 1665, by calculation 36,0001., and their great fear of the French now planted there, and praying his Majesty to secure the country from Rochelle with two stout ships of war, &c.; and the French planters being now more than the English, and thus fortified, make dry fish where they please and load therewith at least 100 great ships, whereas last year there were not above 10 or 12. By the product of this fish his Majesty's Customs have amounted to 40,0001. per ann. and the return to the nation 300,000l.; and the merchants of London, Bristol, Hampton, Weymouth, and other parts petitioning and consenting to the settlement and securing of Newfoundland are concerned three-quarter parts in carrying on the fishing trade. Indorsed, “recd. the 8th of Jan. 1667-8.” 1 p. (Col. Papers, Vol. XXII., No. 5.)