CO 194/19 [Reel B-213]



From whom

To whom

Contents or nature of the document


18 July 1775

Principal Merchants and Traders of St. John's

Robert Duff (Governor of Newfoundland)

Memorial of said merchants stating some grievances which the trade there is burdened with and certain innovations which threaten destitution to the fishery; and praying relief. This document can be quite difficult to read partly because of some minor damage to the original paper, partly because the script is quite faint in places and partly because it is written in a two page spread fashion.

2 B 2v

20 Oct. 1773

Principal Merchants and Traders of St. John's

The Governor of Newfoundland

Memorial of traders complaining about the establishment of a custom house and the burden brought upon the trade by the payment to the collector and other officers of fees defined in Governor Shuldham's of 5 November, 1773 . This document is very difficult to read in places as much damage has occurred to the original paper, especially around the top, left-hand and bottom edges. The script is faint, but easy to read in and of itself.

4 B 7

9 Nov. 1775

James Hutton, secretary of the Unitas Fratrum [Moravians] (King's Road, Chelsea)

The Board of Trade and Plantations

Report of the Unitas Fratrum [Moravian Missionaries] in Labrador. They travelled on the sloop Good Intent. Mentions difficulties in reaching the community of Nain due to ice conditions; did not reach said community until 16 August. Mentions later in the report that this said winter was unusually long and hard and many Eskimo starved because of it. Mentions the relations among the Missionaries and Eskimo are much improved and many of the missionaries can speak the Eskimo language to some degree. Also mentions the death of an Eskimo named Manumina who had converted to Christianity and before his death encouraged his sister to do the same. Talks about a new mission station to be settled further north at approximately 58 degrees latitude. This land was sold to the Brethren (Missionaries) by the Eskimo who happily agreed to the sale and helped to set up the boundary markers of this land. Mentions the murder of some sailors and their captain by the Eskimo in 1752 and how these graves have been rediscovered and accordingly kept up.

9 B 17

6 Dec. 1773

James Hutton, secretary of the Unitas Fratrum [Moravians] (King's Road, Chelsea)

Earl of Dartmouth, Secretary of State for the Colonies &  The Right Honourable the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations.

Report of the state of the Brethren's mission on the Coast of Labrador for September 1773. A report from the Unitas Fratrum based on observations made by Reverend Mr. Layritz who had travelled to Labrador with his wife. Outlines the difficulties of maintaining an existence as the climate is extremely cold and not conducive to agriculture. There are many problems with the Eskimo dogs as well, they attack any sheep that are brought over and they eat the salmon out of the nets, destroying the nets in the process. Mentions the good relationship that has built up between the Missionaries and the Eskimo peoples. Mentions two Eskimos who froze to death on an expedition to a dead whale up the coast from their settlement.

18 B 18v

24 March 1778

Merchants & others trading from Dartmouth to Newfoundland

Board of Trade

A memorial concerning the lack of seamen to man vessels coming from England to prosecute the fishery and to bring provisions to those who have wintered in Newfoundland. The men who would normally come to Newfoundland are needed on the King's ships. The merchants and traders beg some sort of relief from this situation as they are afraid that if something is not done soon the Newfoundland fishery will collapse and be forever ruined.


8 Feb. 1776

Paul Farr, Master (Merchants Hall, Bristol)

Richard Cumberland, Secretary to the Board of Trade (Whitehall)

Letter confirming that a recent bill that has been passed will be sufficient to regulate American vessels coming to fish in Newfoundland waters. Written in response to a memorial from some of the principal merchants & traders from Newfoundland who were concerned about the American fishery.

22 B 22v

6 Feb. 1776

Saunders and Luscombe, (Plymouth)

Ralph Michell, Mayor of Plymouth

A letter from the merchants of Plymouth who trade to Newfoundland containing their sentiments on the subject of the Memorial presented to Admiral Duff by the Merchants of St. John's in Newfoundland. It had concerned the American trade and fishery in Newfoundland. The merchants and traders of Plymouth do not feel they can compete with the American traders and they feel the Americans have some unfair advantages over them.


5 Feb. 1776

Samuel Bowden, Mayor of Poole

Richard Cumberland, Secretary to the Board of Trade and Plantations

Letter to the Secretary of the Board in answer to his letter of 6 January 1776.


20 Feb. 1777

W. Knox, (Whitehall)

The Board of Trade and Plantations

A letter to the Board transmitting papers concerning the Magdalen Islands and the Sea Cow [walrus] fishery and Mr. Read of Bristol who wishes to receive a grant to these islands to carry out said fishery.

28 B 28v

26 June 1773

Governor Shuldham

Earl of Dartmouth

[Enclosed with above] A letter from Shuldham concerning the flourishing state of the fishery at Newfoundland, the protection of the Sea Cow [Walrus] fishery at the Magdalen Islands, the concurrent fishery of the French at the Harbour of Bonavista and the King's pardon granted to Mary Power convicted of the murder of her husband, Maurice.


6 Feb. 1776

Ralph Michell, Mayor of Plymouth

Board of Trade

A cover letter introducing a memorial from the merchants of Plymouth to the merchants of St. John's providing answers to the merchants of St. John's on the subject of the fishery.

32 B 32v

8 Feb. 1776

Various merchants and traders (Dartmouth)

The Board of Trade and Plantations

[Enclosed with above] Letter concerning a memorial sent previously to the Board by a group of merchants and traders in St. John's. The Dartmouth merchants contest the claims made by those in St. John's; they enclose an Act of Parliament with their comments regarding the regulation of the Newfoundland trade

34 B 36

18 July 1775

Principal Merchants and Traders in St. John's

Robert Duff, Governor of Newfoundland

[Enclosed with above] A petition of these merchants that has been commented upon and answered by the merchants and traders of Dartmouth mentioned above. Addresses issues concerning American operations in Newfoundland. Includes things like Americans bringing their own cargoes of salt to Newfoundland when they come to fish, keeping their own warehouses in Newfoundland, bringing articles to sell on their fishing ships, and taking seamen from Newfoundland back to the continent of America with them in the fall.

37 B 41




[Enclosed with above] The Act of Parliament with the added remarks that is mentioned above, made by the merchants of Dartmouth. Page 41 also has a note added by the Merchants of Teignmouth that they have read and approve of the reply to the petition with the remarks on the Act for the regulation of the Newfoundland fishery.

42 B 43

24 Jan. 1774

Unitas Fratrum [Moravians] (Lindsey House, Chelsea)

Earl of Dartmouth & the Board of Trade and Plantations.

Memorial of the Unitas Fratrum accompanying a report of the state of their establishment on the Coast of Labrador and praying that they may have permission to form establishments at two other places upon the Coast.

End of Volume