EXTRACTS FROM INSTRUCTIONS TO
AS COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF HIS MAJESTY'S SHIPS AND VESSELS EMPLOYED, AND TO BE EMPLOYED, IN THE RIVER ST. LAWRENCE AND ALONG THE COASTS OF NOVA SCOTIA, ISLANDS OF ST. JOHN AND CAPE BRETON, ETC., PROVIDING FOR THE SUPERVISION OF THE FISHERY ON THE SAID COASTS, DATED THE 23RD AUGUST, 1763.
By the Commissioners for executing the Office of
Lord High Admiral of Great Britain and Ireland, &ca.
WHEREAS, by our Commission of the 8th of June last, We have appointed you Commander in Chief of His Majesty's Ships and Vessels employed and to be employed in the River Saint Lawrence, and along the Coasts of Nova Scotia, the Islands of St John and Cape Breton, and thence to Cape Florida and the Bahama Islands ; And whereas we intend, that you shall hoist your Flag on board His Majesty's Ship the Romney, fitting at Plymouth, You are hereby required and directed to hoist your Flag on board that Ship accordingly ; And so soon as she shall be ready, you are to put to Sea in her, and make the best of your way to Halifax, in the Province of Nova Scotia.
And whereas the Ships and Vessels named in the inclosed List have been appointed by us to cruize upon the Stations expressed against their names, for guarding the Coasts of the Provinces within the extent of your Command, and protecting the Trade bound to and from those Provinces, and the Fishery upon the Coasts of some of them ; You will receive herewith Copies of the Instructions their Commanders are severally under, and you are to be very careful that they properly execute the same, as well as any others which you may think fit to send to them, if you shall find others necessary for more effectually answering the purposes of securing the said Provinces, Trade, and Fishery, from being molested ; And you are at liberty to change the Stations of the Ships and Vessels, from time to time, as you shall see occasion, in case you shall find that by doing so they can be better suited to the nature of the several Coasts, and that the service may be thereby better executed.
And whereas, by the 4th and 5th Articles of the Treaty of Peace concluded at Paris the 10th day of February 1763 (copies of which you will receive herewith) it is stipulated, that the Province of Canada with all its dependencies, as well as the Island of Cape Breton, and all the other Islands and Coasts in the Gulph and River of Saint Lawrence, and
all that depends upon them, shall belong to the Crown of Great Britain ; But His Majesty having, (by the said 5th Article) consented to leave to the Subjects of the Most Christian King the liberty of Fishing in the Gulph of Saint Lawrence, upon condition that they do not exercise the said Fishery but at the distance of Three Leagues from all the Coasts belonging to Great Britain, as well those of the Continent as those of the Islands situated in the Gulph of St. Lawrence, and as to the Fishery out of the said Gulph, it being thereby stipulated, that the Subjects of the Most Christian King shall not be permitted to exercise the said Fishery but at the distance of Fifteen Leagues from the Coasts of the Island of Cape Breton ; and that the Fishery upon the Coasts of Nova Scotia or Acadia, and every where else out of the said Gulph, shall remain upon the footing of former Treaties ; You are therefore to use your utmost care, diligence, and attention, that the several stipulations herein beforementioned be duly and strictly performed, according to the Tenor and intention thereof, as far as they shall come within the limits of your command ; as also to settle and guard the fishery of His Majesty's Subjects within those Limits, taking care to prevent the subjects of France from giving them any disturbance by Acts of violence or injustice, or by any evasion contrary to the spirit and intention of the said Treaties ; and likewise to prevent the French from catching Fish, except within the distances and in the manner beforementioned.
You are at the same time to be careful, that the Subjects of His Most Christian Majesty be permitted quietly and peaceably to enjoy the priviledge of Fishing within the distances herein beforementioned ; And to use your best endeavours to prevent His Majesty's Subjects from giving them any disturbance by Acts of violence, or injustice, or by any evasion contrary to the spirit and intention of the said Treaties.
And whereas, by the aforesaid Treaty of Paris, possession of the Islands of St. Peter and Miquelon is to be given up to France ; In case any endeavours shall be used to carry on an illicit Trade from those Islands with any part of His Majesty's Dominions in North America, you are to be particularly attentive to the same, and prevent all communication whatever between the said Islands of St. Peter and Miquelon, and any part of His Majesty's Dominions in North America.
And we having received information that three Ships are sent from Bourdeaux, laden with Wines and other French Commodities, to the amount of £30,000 Sterling, to the said Islands of Miquelon and St. Peter, to stay there 'til His Majesty's Ships have left the River St. Lawrence (which they expect will be the beginning of November) and then take the opportunity of the first Easterly Wind to push up as far as the lowest Settlements in Canada, such as the Island St. Barnabas the Isle of Beck, on the mouth of the River Tadusac, to dispose of their Cargoes ; And it having been suggested to us that in order to defeat the intention of the Freighters of those Ships, some Men of War should be left to Winter at Quebec, and ordered to keep their Boats amcngst the lower Settlements from the Isle of Barnabas as high as the Camariscas, until the Winter sets in so severe as to prevent
any Ships from attempting the River ; We do hereby signify the same to you, that you may, as far as you shall judge the same necessary, comply with what has been suggested as abovementioned, or take such other measures as may appear more effectual for entirely defeating any designs which may be formed by the French, or any other Foreigners, of carrying on any Trade with Canada, or with any other part of His Majesty's Dominions within the limits of your Command.
[The following paragraphs relate to the removal of people from the Northern Colonies to East and West Florida ; for a survey and charting of the Coasts and Harbours of Nova Scotia and of the Rivers and Harbours of Florida.]
Given &ca the 23d August 1763.
To the Rt Honble Lord Colvill, Rear Admiral
of the White, and Commander in Chief of
His Majts Ships & Vessels employed and
to be employed in the River St. Lawrence,
and along the Coasts of Nova Scotia, the
Islands of St. John and Cape Breton, and
thence to Cape Florida and the Bahama
By Command of their Lordships.
By Express to his Lordship at Plymouth,
the 24th at 10 o'Clo: P.M.