[Enclosure in No. 828.]
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.*