The Labrador Boundary

Privy Council Documents

Volume IV


[23 Feb.,


[2 March,


[8 April, 1720.]

April the th
Lr to Mr Secry
Craggs upon the
Petition of
Mr George Skeffing-
ton, relating to a
Salmon Fishery at


p. 1961                                  N


No. 797.


C.O. 194, VOL. 6, f. 332.

To George King of Great Britain in Counsel.

        The Humble Petition of George Skeffington Inhabitant of Indian Bay in Newfoundland, Humbly Sheweth

        That your Petitioner hath for about Twelve Years past Improved the Salmon Fishery in two or three Rivers or Brooks to the Northward of Cape Bonavista ; and hath at very great Expence and Labour near fforty miles up the Country cleared Lands of the wood, and the said Rivers or Brooks of rocks and stones and other obstructions ; built houses, Stages, ffatts, Works and other Conveniences for catching and Curing Salmon, which said Brooks or Rivers were never before Imployed frequented or occupied by any person whatsoever, and far distant from any place where any ffishing Ship hath used to fish.—

        Your Petitioner therefore most humbly prays, that he may be incouraged and protected in carrying on the said Fishery according to the Intention of the Act made in the 10 & 11th of King William the Third for Incouring* the Fishery of Newfoundland, That he may use occupy and enjoy all such houses, Stages and other works made by him for taking and Curing of Salmon without molestation or hindrance from any persons who may by fraud or force disturb him in the quiet possession thereof ; and that he may hold and possess all those Conveniences he may hereafter make or build for taking and Curing Salmon in such Brooks or Rivers as have never before been used by any other person in such manner as to your Majesty in your great Wisdom shall seem meet.

       And your Petitioner shall pray, &c.

At the Court at St James's 23d : February 1719/20.
        His Majty having been moved upon this Petition is graciously pleased to refer the same to the Right Honble the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations to consider thereof, and report their Opinion what his Majty may fitly do therein, whereupon his Majty will declare his further Pleasure.
J. CRAGGS.        

p. 1962


Reference from Mr. Secretary Craggs of the 23d Febry 1719–20 upn ye Petition of Mr. Geo. Skeffington to his Majesty praying to be protected in ye Improvement he has made (with great Expence) in the Salmon Fishery at Newfoundland.

Recd from Mr Joshua Gee.
Recd Febry 24th
Read Do. 25th
M. 97.
Ref. to Board of Trade.

C.O. 194, VOL. 6, f. 334.
To  the  Right Honorable  the  Lords
Commissioners  for  Trade  and
In Obedience to your Lordships Commands, I have perus’d and consider’d the Annex’d Petition of George Skeffington, and humbly certify to your Lordships, that I am of Opinion that the prayer of it is not Inconsistent with the Act made in the Tenth and Eleventh year of King William, for encouraging the trade to Newfoundland.
I am, My Lords,
Your Lordships
Most Obedient and
Most humble servant,

March 2d. 7 .
Copy of Petition of Geo. Skeffington.   (Copied on f. 332.)


Mr. West's Report upon Mr. Geo. Skeffington’s Petition relating to a Salmon Fishery at Newfoundland.
Dated March 2d 1719.
Recd March 2d Read Do 10th 1719/20.

M. 98.

Report on Mr. George Skeffington's Petition. Dat 2d Mar 7,

p. 1963                                  N

No. 798.
[Enclosure in No. 796.]

C.O. 195, VOL. 7, p. 36.
To the Rt Honble Mr. Secry Craggs.
In Obedience to His Majty’s Comands signify’d to Us by your Reference of 23d Febry. last, We have consider’d the Petition of George Skeffington, an Inhabitant of Newfoundland setting forth, that he has for about 12 Years past apply’d himself to, and improv’d the Salmon Fishery in two or three Rivers or Brooks to the Northward of Cape Bonavista in that Island, and has at very great Expence and Labour clear’d the Lands of the Wood about forty Miles up some of those Rivers, and the Rivers, & Brooks, Rocks, Stones and other Obstructions to that Fishery.  That he has built Houses, Stages, Fats and other Conveniencies for taking and curing of Salmon, that the Places where he has begun this Work were never before imploy’d or occupied by any Person whatsoever ;  And therefore he humbly prays that his Majty would be graciously pleas’d to permit him to enjoy the Houses, Stages and other Works made by him, for this Fishery without Molestation or Hindrance from any other Persons, who may attempt to disturb him therein, And that he may possess such Conveniences as he shall make hereafter in such Brooks or Rivers as have never before been used by any other Person.
We have upon this Occasion discours’d with the Petitioner and others who have appear’d in his behalf, and take Leave to observe yt the Places where he has begun this Fishery are between Bonavista and Cape John in the North East Part of Newfoundland, which Places have never been frequented by any Fishing Ships from this Kingdom.  And as the Petitioner is the first who has attempted to sett up a Salmon Fishery there, and as ye Prayer of his Petition is no ways inconsistent with the Act for encouraging the Trade to Newfoundland, We humbly offer that His Majesty be graciously pleas’d to grant the Petitioner for the Term of 21 Years or such other time as His Majesty shall think fit the Sole Fishery for Salmon in the Places call’d Fresh Water Bay, Ragged Harbour, Gander Bay & Dog Creek between Cape Bonavista & Cape John, where he has already built Houses and other Conveniences for that Purpose, And that he have Liberty to cut Boards and Timber for his own Use in the Parts adjacent to those Rivers Brooks or Creeks for the said Fishery only, provided it be at Six Miles distant from the Sea Shoar.
We are Sir
Your most Obedient & most humble Servants
April 8th, 1723.*



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