The Labrador Boundary


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Volume IV
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[12 Sept., 1675.]

Sept. 12.
H.M.S. Bristol,
Bay Bulls,
Newfoundland.
1675.


p. 1774                                         C



No. 734.

REPORT OF SIR JOHN BERRY

ON CONDITIONS IN NEWFOUNDLAND.



CAL. STATE PAPERS AM & W. I., 1675-1676, p. 275

        665.  Sir John Berry to Secretary Sir Joseph Williamson. Refers to his former letter of 24th July (see ante, No. 628). Encloses a perfect account of all the fishing ships employed by the merchant adventurers from Cape de Race to Cape Bonavista, with their boats, men, and where bound. This year there are 175 ships, with 4,309 men, and 688 boats which at 250 kentalls per boat at 12s. per kentall amounts to 103,200 l.; 7 hhds. of train oil per boat at 40s. per hhd. is 9,816 l.; and 20 kentalls of core fish per boat at 5s. per kentall is 3,440 1.; which in all comes to 116,272 l. Has likewise sent an exact account of the planters, who are 1,655 men, women, and children, they employ 277 boats, and cured upwards of 69,250 kentalls of merchantile fish, most of it shipped in English vessels, which, with their core fish and oil will amount to 46,813 l., upwards of one-third of the fish taken by the merchant adventurers. By this his Honour may see what a loss his Majesty will have if those poor people should remove, for they design to settle amongst the French on the other side of Cape de Race, unless his Majesty will let them continue. Stands in admiration how people could appear before his Majesty with so many untruths against the inhabitants. It was never known since the memory of the oldest man using the trade that any New England ship brought wine or brandy for exchange for fish, only some provisions, taking those goods for payment. For better satisfaction, encloses a list of all ships that have furnished them this year, with master's names, and where they belong. The masters are the beginners in destroying the stages, and to save 30s. for a seaman's passage care not how many are left behind. Believes his Majesty will never have a regulation of this fishery unless a governor be settled, for the strongest treads down the weakest. Most of the ships bound to a market are gone away two or three in company, scorning convoy. Shall not be above 30 sail, and the weather proving ill for curing will keep them till the 20th or 25th instant. Has sent home one Jno. Bastard, who was apprehended for the supposed murder of John Tozer, his fellow boatman, in May before his arrival, and having examined the matter, has bound over four witnesses to prosecute. Cannot get any certain account of the French and their ships; they have two men-of-war of 40 and 30 guns for convoy, and

p. 1775

rendezvous at Trepassey, near Cape de Race; the St. Maio fleet of 20 sail go without convoy, being all considerable ships, and about 40 or 50 with convoy. Endorsed, “r. 11 Oct. 1675.” Encloses,

 

      665.  1., II. Duplicates of inclosures Nos. 1., II. to Sir J. Berry's letter of this date to Sir Robert Southwell. Together, 14 pp. (Col. Papers, Vol. 35, Nos. 16, 16 I., II.)

[1927lab]


 

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