p. 1752 C
MEMORIAL FOR REMOVAL OF FRENCH AND ESTABLISHMENT OF GOVERNMENT.
CAL. STATE PAPERS, AM. & W. I., 1661-1668, p. 557.
1729. Memorial concerning Newfoundland fishing. Two years since the French planted upon Newfoundland eight or ten guns and 30 or 40 men, and last year 20 pieces of ordnance and 90 or 100 men, showing their King's broad seal for government of the island, and driving the English from their habitations who will desert the land if there be not some timely remedy. This proceeds because the island (except the province of Avalon) is without government, the forts all ruined, and all in confusion. The fishermen rob, kill, and spoil the inhabitants as bad now as before his Majesty's restoration. It is humbly desired on behalf of the inhabitants that a frigate or two may remove the French, that a Government may be settled, and for defraying the charge that every boat may pay one quintal, which is a very small charge, every boat ordinarily catching three or four hundred quintals. Indorsed, “Read in Council, April 15th. Memorial exhibited by the Duke of York. Ordered ditto.” Annexed, 1729. 1. Deposition of John Rayner, late Deputy Governor in Newfoundland. In 1662 a great French ship full of men and women put into Grand Placentia, where she landed a great number of soldiers and passengers, who fortified the harbour with 18 pieces of ordnance, as one Isaac Dethick, who was there, affirmed. Dethick saw the Governor's Commission under the Great Seal of France for the command of the whole country of Newfoundland, and the following year was forced to remove from his plantation and settle at the Bay of Ards, where deponent found him and took from him an account of the French proceedings, which he sent for England by Mr. Robert Prowse, to be presented to the King. On the 6th June 1665 the harbour of St. John's was invaded by De Ruyter, who took all the ships and goods, and destroyed cattle and houses, and made the like spoil in the Bay of Butts and Petty Harbour, but De Ruyter said if there had been but six guns mounted in St. John's he would not have adventured in. Deponent was present and lost his whole estate there, to the value of 2,000l. Jurat 2 January 1668.