The Labrador Boundary


Privy Council Documents


Volume IV
Contents




[27 Jany., 1676.]

Confirmacond le
Newfoundland
Traders

Extct.


p. 1777                                          C



No. 736.

CHARTER OF THE WEST COUNTRY ADVENTURERS

FOR THE FISHERY AT NEWFOUNDLAND.    WESTMINSTER, 27TH JANUARY, 1676.



PATENT ROLL.    27 CHAS. II. PAR 11. NO. 12

        Charles the second by the grace of God &c whereas our late Royall ffather of blessed memory by his l'res Patentes under the greate Seale of England bearing date at Westm' the tenth day of ffebruary in the nineth Traders yeare of his reigne Thereby reciteing that the Region or Country called Newfoundland had been acquired to the dominion of his Progenitors which he held & his people had many yeares resorted to those partes where & in Extct. the Coastes adioyning they imployed themselves in ffishing whereby a greate number of his People had been sett on worke and the Navigaon & marriners of this Realme had been much increased & his subiectes resorting thither one by the other and the natives of those partes were orderly & gently intreated until then of late some of his subiectes of the Realme of England planting themselves in that Countrey & there resideing & inhabiting upon conceite that the wronges or Iniuries done there either on shoare or on the sea adioyning they could not bee here impeached And the rather for that hee or his Progenitors had not thentofore given laws to the Inhabitantes there & by that example his subiectes resorting thither iniured one another and used all manner of exesse to the greate hinderance of the voyage & comon damage of this Realme ffor p'venting of such inconveniences for the future hee did thereby declare in what manner his people in Newfoundland & upon the Sea adioyning & the Bayes Creekes or ffresh Rivers there should bee guided & governed And did Ordeyne and we by l'res Patentes under our greate Seale of England beareing date the six & twentieth day of January in the twelfth yeare of our reigne did renew ratify & confirme the lawes following in all thinges after specified comanding that the same should bee obeyed & putt in execuon.

        ffirst  If any man on the land there should kill another Or if any should secretly or forceably steal the goods of any other to the value of forty shillinges hee should bee forthwith apprehended & arrested deteyned & brought Prisoner into England and the crime comitted by him should bee made knowne to the Earle marshall of England for the tyme being to whome the Delinquent should be delivered as Prisoner.

        Secondly  That noe Ballast Presse Stones or any thing else hurtfull to the harbours should bee throwne out to the p'iudice of the said harbours

p. 1778

but that it should be carryed ashoare & layd where Itt might doe (noe) annoyance.

        Thirdly  That noe Person whatsoever either ffisherman or Inhabitants should destroy deface or worke any spoyle or detriment to any stage cooke roome fflakes spykes nayles or any other thing that belonged to any the stages whatsoever either att the end of the voyage when hee had done & was to departe the Countrey or to any such Stages as hee should fall withall at his comeing into the Countrey but that hee or they content themselves with such stage or stages onely as were needfull for them and that for repayreing of such stages as hee or they tooke they should fetch Tymber out of the woodes and not to doe itt with the ruining and tareing downe of other stages.

        ffourthly  That according to the Auncient custome every shipp or ffisher that first entreth a harbour in behalfe of shipp bee Admirall of the said harbour wherein for the time being hee should reserve onley soe much Beach or ffakes or both as was needfull for the number of boates which hee should use with an Overplus onely for one boate more then hee needed as a Priviledge for his first comeing And that every shipp comeing after content himselfe with what hee should have necessary use for without keeping or deteyning any more to the p'iudice of the others next comeing And that any that were possessed of several places in severall harbours with intent to keepe them all before they could resolve upon which of them to choose should bee bound to resolve or send advice to such Aftercomers in those places as expected his resolucon and that within forty eight houres if the weather soe served that the sayd Aftercomers might likewise choose their places & soe none receive p'iudice by others delay.

        ffifthly  That noe p'son cutt out deface or any wayes alter or change the markes of any Boates or Train fattes whereby to defraud the right owner & that noe person convert to his owne use the said boates or Trainfattes soe belonging to others without their Consentes nor remove nor take them from the places where they should bee left by the Owners Except in case of necessity & then to give notice thereof unto the Admirall & others whereby the right Owners might know what was become of them.

        Sixthly  That noe person doe diminish take away purloyne or steale any the ffish or Trayne or salt putt in the Caske Trainfattes or Cooke roomes or other house in any the harbours or ffishing places of the Countrey or any other Provision belonging to the ffishing trade or shipps.

        Seventhly  That noe person sett ffire on any of the woodes of the Country or worke any detriment or destrucon to the same by rending of the trees either for the Sealeing of shipps holdes or Roomes on shoare or for any other uses Except for the covering of Roomes for Cookeroomes to dresse their meate in and those roomes not to extend above eighteen foot in length at the most.

p. 1779

        Eighthly  That noe man cast anchor or doe ought else hurtfull which may breede annoyance or hinder the hayleing of sayles for bayting places accustomed thereunto.

        Ninethly.  That noe persons robb the nettes of others out of any drift Boate or drover for bayte by night nor take away any bayte out of their ffishing boates by their shipps side nor robb or steale any of their nettes or any parte of them.

        Tenthly  That noe person sett upp any Taverne for selling of wine beere strong water sider or Tobacco to entertayne the ffishermen because It was found that by such meanes they were debauched neglecting their labours and poor illgovern'd men not onely spend most of their wares before they come home upon which the lives & maintenance of their wives & children depended but were likewise hurtfull in divers other wayes as by neglecting & makeing themselves unfitt for their labors by purloyning & stealeing from their owners & by makeing unlawfull shift to supply their disorders &c which they frequently followed since those occasions had p'sented themselves.

        Eleventhly  That upon Sundayes the Company assemble in meet places & heare divine service to bee said by some of the masters of the shipps or some others which Prayers should bee such as were in the booke of Comon Prayers. And for the encouragement of our subiectes in the said Newfoundland & in the seas adioyning and for the benefitt of the said trade there wee did streightly charge prohibitt & forbidd all & every the Owners of shipps tradeing in the said Newfoundland ffishery That they nor any of them should carry or transporte or mitt or suffer any person or sons to bee carryed or transported in any of their shipps to the said Newfoundland other than such as were of his or their owne or other shipps Company or belonging thereunto and upon the said Shipps hire & employment or such as were to plant & did intend to settle there.

        And because that speedy punishnt might bee inflicted upon the Offenders against the lawes & Constituons aforesaid wee did Ordeyne as was forly ordeyned by our said late Father That every of the mayors of Southton Weymouth & Melcombe Regis lyme Plymouth Dartmouth East Looe ffoy and Barnestable for the tyme being might take cognizance of the Complayntes made of any Offenders against any of the lawes or Ordinances aforesaid upon the land And by the Oath of Witnesses examine the trueth thereof & award amendes to the Parties greeved & punish the Delinquentes by ffine & Imprisonmt or either of them And of their goods found in the Partes of Newfoundland or in the sea cause satisfacon thereof to bee made by warrant under their handes and seales. And that the Vice admiralls in our Counties of Southon Dorsett Devon and Cornewall upon Complaint made of any of the misses comitted upon the Seas should speedily & effectually proceed against the Offenders. Alsoe wee did will & Ordeyne that those lawes & Ordinances should stand in force & bee putt in due execuon until wee should

p. 1780

otherwise provide and Ordeyne As in and by the said severall letters Patentes may appeare.
        Now know yee that wee upon the humble Petion of the merchantes Owners & masters of shipps & Inhabitantes of the westerne parts of this kingdome the Newfoundland in ffishing voyages And after due considaon had of the best wayes & meanes of regulateing secureing & improveing the fishing trade in Newfoundland have thought fitt to ratify & confirme the said lawes & orders And accordingly wee doe hereby ratify & confirme the same other then such of them as are hereby altered or otherwise provided for And wee doe further also for us our heires and successors grant declare & enioyne as an addion & alteraon to the said former lawes & Rules for the better government of the said ffishery the severall powers rules & Orders following that is to say

        ffirst  That all our Subiectes of the kingdome of England shall & may forever hereafter peaceably hold and enioy the ffreedome of takeing bayte & fishing in any of the Rivers lakes Creekes harbors or Roades in or about Newfoundland or any of the Islandes adioyneing thereto with liberty to goe on shoare in any parte of the Newfoundland or the said Islandes for the Cureing salting drying & Husbanding of their ffish & makeing of Oyle & for the cutting of all manner of wood & trees for the building & makeing of stages Roomes Trainfattes hurdles Shipps Boates & other necessaries for themselves & their Servantes Seamen & ffishermen & all thinges which may be usefull or advan- tageous to their ffishing trade as fully & freely as at any tyme heretofore hath been used & enioyed there by any of the Subiectes of our Royall Pre- decessors soe as they submitt unto & observe all such rules & Orders as now are or hereafter shallbee established by us our heires or successors for the government of the said ffishery in Newfoundland.

        secondly  That noe aliene or stranger shall or shalbe mitted to take Bayte or ffish in any of the Rivers lakes Creekes harbours or Roades in Newfoundland betweene Cape Race & Cape bonavista or in any of the Islandes thereunto adioyning.

        thirdly  That according to the establishment of our Royall ffather in the thirteenth yeare of his Reigne noe Planter or Inhabitant in or upon the said Newfoundland shall or shalbee mitted to fell cutt downe rook upp wast burne or destroy any wood or Timber trees or erect or make any houses buildinges gardens &c or Inhabitt or Plant within six miles of the shoare or in any parte of the said Newfoundland Betweene the Cape de Race lying in or about forty six degrees of North latitude and the Cape de bona vista lying in or about forty nine & an halfe degrees of North latitude now upon any Island within tenn Leagues of the shoare betweene the said Capes.

        ffourthly  That noe Planter or Inhabitant in Newfoundland doe or shall take upp or possesse any of the stages Cooke roomes & Beaches or places for takeing bayte or ffishing before the arrivall of the ffishermen out of England and that they bee all provided for.

p. 1781

        ffithly  That noe master or owner of any ffishing shipp doe transporte or carry any Seamen ffishermen or other Persons in his Shipp to Newfoundland other then such as are truely belonging to his or their shipps Company & such as are ingaged in the voyage and have or shall have share or shares or hyre of the sayd shipp.

        Sixthly  That noe master or Owner of any ffishing shipp doe transporte or carry in any one shipp for a ffishing voyage more than sixty persons to one hundred Tunns burthen of the said shipp & doe orconably for all shipps of a greater or lesser burthen.

        seventhly  That every ffisherman yeerly carryed out of England bee a Greenman and not a Seaman And that the masters & Owners of all ffishing shipps tradeing out of England to Newfoundland according to the number of men in their respective shipps doe provide in England Victualls & other necessaries (salt onely excepted) for the whole voyage or ffishing Season for themselves and Companies & putt the same on shippboard before the goeing out of Porte here.

        Eightly  That noe ffishing shipp or Company doe departe out of England directly for Newfoundland on any ffishing voyage in any yeare before the first day of March now to the Isles of Cape de Verde intending from thence to Newfoundland before the fifteenth day of January.

        Ninthly  That from henceforward all masters of ffishing shipps tradeing to Newfoundland shall yearly before the begining of their Voyage give bond to us our heires or successors before the mayors for the tyme being of the respective Portes of Southton Poole Weymouth Melcombe Regis lyme Exeter Dartmouth Plymouth Eastlooe flowery fflalmouth Biddeford Barnstable & Bristol & all other Portes & Townes upon the Coast of England respectively according to the Porte or place from whence they shall sett out of the penalty of one hundred poundes condiconed that they shall not carry out any seamen ffishermen or other Persons other then such as are truely belonging to his or their or other shipps Company & such as are engaged in the voyage & have share or shares or hire of or in the said shipp or shipps respectively And that they shall bring or cause to bee brought backe into England all such seamen ffishermen & other persons as they shall carry out (mortality & danger of Seas excepted)  And alsoe such persons as shall bee imployed from the Newfoundland in English shipps with ffish for markett voyages provided nevertheles that if any of the said seamen ffishermen or sons aforesaid shall runn away or desert their shipps The master or masters of such shipp or shipps paying such persons share or Shares or hire to the major of the place from whence the said shipp sett out shalbee discharged of his or their bondes respectively Or if noe Complaint shall bee made against the said masters in three months after their returne from the said voyage then his or their bondes to be delivered up unto them respectively.

        Tenthly  That noe master of any ffishing shipp or others doe take up or use any Stage already built in any Porte harbour or Bay between Cape Race

[1927lab]



 

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