CO 194/ 8 [Reel B- 210]



From whom (where)

To whom (where)

Contents or nature of the document


10 Oct. 1725

Capt. Robert Bowler (or Bouler)


Answers to the Heads of Enquiry for the year 1725. State of the Fishery on p.14v-15.


7 March 1726

Merchants of Poole


Representation asking the Lords to commission a survey of the West and Northwest parts of the island which the French relinquished by Treaty of Utrecht signed between Queen Anne and King Louis XIV. These parts are not well known to the English traders and they do not want to venture without proper survey. Every fifth name picked: John Henning, Thomas Pike, J. Hayter, John White, James Taverner, Joseph Bowles, Joseph White, Richard Sutton, Ben. Skeet?, Dan Courtin?, Robert Potter.


15 March 1726



Captain Bowler being ready to prepare to convoy to Newfoundland, please send the Heads of Enquiry.


28 March 1726 (rec'd); 29 March 1726 (read)

Capt. William Taverner


The captain wishes to offer his services for the survey of the West and Northwest parts of the island. He sends in a brief summary of the money required for such a survey.


25 Feb. 1727

H. Pelham, Whitehall


Representation from the merchants of Bideford and Barnstaples against Gledhill. Please examine the issue and report back to us.


? Feb. 1726

Merchants of Bideford and Barnstaples trading to Placentia


[Enclosed with above] Representation against Gledhill who discourages all "substantial and sober" planters from settling there. He should not meddle in the trade. All names here provided: Edmond Strange, George Phillips, William Hartnoll, Thomas Blake, John Commyns, william Chappell, John Strange, William Babbidge, J.Shapton, Thomas Vernam, J. Power, Alex Hooper, J. Brooks, C. Bennett, W. Yeo, Sam Chappell, W. Brooks, David Baker, C.Chappell, B. Shapton, Walter Tucker, Cha. Velley, Nich. Cooke, Richard Newel, Geo. Slee?, J. Benson, T. Smith J. Parminter, Robert Tristam, Edward Smith, Robert Stafford, Henry Servant, Cha. Davie, S. Berry, N. Ennys.


13 Oct. 1726

Capt. Bowler and endorsed by Popple (25 March 1727)


The Answers to the Heads of Enquiry for the year 1726. State of the Fishery for 1726 on p. 41v-43.


Blank pages and the clerical note identifying the Answers.


2 May 1727



Capt. Bowler (Argyle) and St. Lo (Ludlow Castle) are ready to convoy please provide the Heads.


8 May 1727

Thomas Corbett


The convoy ready to sail, you are requested to provide the Heads of Enquiry.


6 May 1727

Capt. St.Lo, on board Ludlow Castle


The captain has to go to the Downs to be fitted out and victualled for the trip to Newfoundland and cannot attend the Lords. Please forward any Heads to him.


3 Oct. 1725

Lt. Gov. Gledhill,



Answers to the accusations against him. When he took command of this place, he found the stores completely empty. The second year, the store ship bound for this place was lost. He has had to sacrifice his credit in order to support this place. He has supported many families complaining against him and he wishes that he wouldn't have to trade but they have to pay their debt to him. He has bought provisions from merchants and mortgaged his own private fortune in paying for it. Irish Papist and non-jurors infect this place. Mentions a rebellion. People are refusing to take the oath. Blames a Mr. Salmon. Gledhill claims his accusers are women under fictitious names (Harlotts) whom he expelled from their "Bawdy Houses."


5 June1718

Gledhill, Thomas Salmon


[Enclosed with above]The clerical note states that this document is: "Thomas Salmon's Conveyance of all his Effects to his Wife at Placentia in 1719"; This was signed by J. Linthorne and Thomas Pickstoock[?]. And a note was added by Lt.Gov. Gledhill. Thomas Salmon, Armourer of H.M. Garrison of Placentia, passes a debt of ₤150 to his widow Katherine Cole, to be paid on or before Aug. 1719. He bequeaths his shallop, salt, and everything else to Katherine Cole.


3 Oct. 1725

Gledhill, Placentia


[Enclosed with above] A set of affidavits produced by Gledhill in defence of charges by the estate of Thomas Salmon that he was abusing his authority. The accusations were passed to Whitehall and the papers were sent to Gledhill for his defence. Many mentions of debauchery, bawdy houses, and similar accusations.


4 Oct. 1725?

Inhabitants of Placentia


A hurried affidavit simply stating that "... For many years, There has not been Two Planters in this Harbour, That hath been able to support Themselves and their Families with Bread; much less to Equip out their Boats for the Fishery, But by the Sole help & Assistance of the Honble Gov.r Gledhill of this Place." Signed by: Petter Steward, Edward Hopley, Richard Coke, William Gibbon, Thomas Proctor, W. Bouds?, Edward Brown, Moses Garland, Thomas Wilson, Richard Baldwin.


3 Oct. 1725



[Enclosed with above] More papers hurriedly computed in his defence against the accusations. Contains lists of victuals, provisions, handed to Thomas Salmon, Dr. Elliott and others. And more.


14 May 1727

Bowler, Argyle in the Downes


He is sending answers to articles 20, 24, 25, 27 and 45. Mentions New England Masters.





[Enclosed with above] Article 20: Inhabitants are supplied by England and Ireland. Article 24: Inhabitants generally employ themselves during the winter months to prepare for the next year. There is no justice in Newfoundland except in Placentia. Article25: No trading of furs with Indians. They are trapping but for their own purpose. Article 27: All fishing places and beaches are not free to the public use. Inhabitants have built some stages and claim them even though they do not use them. Article 45: This relates to the New England Bonds.





[Enclosed with above] Bonds taken for Roger Dench, J.W. Miller?, Ben. Parsons, Ben. Norton, Hezekiah Egglestone, Richard Mumford, J. Pickman, John Clarke, Jon Ela, John Moore, Nath. Freeman, Jos. Linton


11 Sept. 1727

Gledhill, Fort Frederick


Gledhill sends a letter attesting that he assembled all inhabitants and masters of ships and swore allegiance to the King George the II.


18 Aug. 1727

John St. Lo, Ludlow Castle, Placentia


He is preparing the State of the Fishery. In the mean time, he sends correspondence that has passed between him and Gledhill. He makes reference to practices that he cannot allow.


10 Aug. 1727

John Commyns, Admiral, William Chappell (Vice Admiral), William Brooks (Rear Admiral)


[Enclosed with above] Account of all the houses in Placentia under the protection of Fort Frederick. Some pay rent to Gledhill, others are gifts provided by the governor to soldiers. 27 in all. It mentions who is Roman Catholic and provides a few names. The total yearly amount that Gledhill receives from his rents is ₤131, 5 sh.


14 Aug. 1727-17 Aug. 1717

St. Lo and Gledhill, Placentia


[Enclosed with above] Copies of correspondence between Gledhill and St. Lo in regards to authority to make inquiries in the harbours. Issues of authority. St. Lo is trying to prove that Gledhill is illegally trading, owning houses and beaches. Gledhill is replying that he has authority over the whole island and that he is the only person "legally empowered to administer" the people here.


20 Sept. 1727

St. Lo, Ludlow Castle


This is a letter to announce that he is sending the State of the Fishery (4) for the year 1727





[Enclosed with above] State of the Fishery for the year 1727.


30 Sept. 1727

St. Lo, Ludlow Castle in Placentia Bay


Cover letter for the Answers to the Heads of Enquiry (which follow).





[Enclosed with above] Answers to the Heads of Enquiry for 1727.


15 Nov. 1727

St. Lo


He prays that the Lords should consider the representation of Thomas Salmon who was chased out of Placentia with his family. He resettled on Little Mortier and has produced much fish and built stages there but he requests to be allowed back to Placentia without molestation.


20 Sept. 1727

Thomas Salmon, Little Mortier, west side of Placentia Bay


[Enclosed with above] In Oct. 1724, he was forced to move away with wife, six children, and 14 servants to relocate. He built a house, store house, stage "for the advantage of the Fishery..." He asks to be allowed to return to Placentia.


6 Aug. 1724

St. Lo


[Enclosed with above] A collection of papers relating to the Thomas Salmon case, including his petition, Gledhill's answers, and St. Lo's ruling.


5 March 1728

St.Lo, London


He is sending a plan of the beach in Placentia which should be used for the advantage of the fishery. He mentions French Inhabitants who took the Oath but were forced to relocate as they were "maletreated" and their plantations were taken by Gledhill. Note: there is no "plan" except for a list he sent before, which is found at p.117


6 Sept. 1725



[Enclosed with above] St.Lo copied this document signed by Gledhill to prove that Gledhill is overstating his authority. This is a document proving the sale of a plantation formerly belonging to a Corbin to a L'Mesurier and Gledhill will "indemnify ... Capt. L'Mesurier...from any Persons that may disturb of Molest his possession thereof."


16 Oct. 1727

Bowler, St. John's/font>


Heads of Enquiry and State of the Fishery for 1727.


4 April 1728

St. Lo


The captain sends his remarks about the state of fishery at Placentia. This describes how many families live there, how much fish and seals they catch every year, train oil produced, mentions the consumption of woolen manufacture. He also tries to evaluate the rate fish brings in at Lisbon or Alicante.


12 April 1728



Lord Vere Beauclerk is commodore this year (Kinsale) with the Squirrel. Capt. Henry Reddish (Experiment). They are designed for Placentia and Canso. Please send the Heads.


18 Oct. 1728

Duke of Newcastle


This is a letter to the Lords sent by Newcastle alluding to a letter (below) sent by the Lords of the Admiralty in relation to the poor government in Newfoundland. They ask that the Lords look at it and advise the King on the actions to take.


19 Aug. 1728

Vere Beauclerk

Burchett, Lords of the Admiralty

[Enclosed with above] He lays the complaints of inhabitants of Placentia. Plantations were destroyed for fire wood. The planters blame the soldiers and the soldiers blame the planters. The planters cannot produce titles for the beach rooms they are supposed to own, the Governor will not produce the titles either. His excuse is that Gov. Phillips has given him orders not to obey .


3 Oct. 1728

William Keen, St. John's


The murder of Anthony Steel's servant. He sends witnesses and the evidence in the brigantine of Capt. C. Glass. There is a great need of a proper person to administer justice, especially in the Winter. No officers of justice and no one willing to take on the cost of sending away criminals. He hopes that their complaints will be heard.


19 Dec. 1728

Fran. Fane


This regards the 7th, 10th and 11th clauses of William the Third (III) of the Act of Parliament to encourage the Trade in Newfoundland. And in particular the right to own houses for life, inheritance, and other legal rights of the Newfoundland men. Note: this has to do with Placentia.


30 Oct. 1728

William Keen, St. John's

Lords of Trade

He hopes that the Lords have taken measures about Anthony Steel alias Lee. He tells about the conditions in the winter, theft, produce of gardens stolen, crimes go unpunished. The trade suffers from poor culling.


30 Oct. 1728

William Keen


Duplicate of above letter


4 Oct. 1728

Vere Beauclerk

The Admirals of Renewse, Ben. Jolley [?] of Topsham.

This relates to a Cook room and land marks belonging to John Jenkin that were removed. The Admirals had to repay it and because they did not make reparations, they are disobeying orders. The Lords of Trade will make the admirals answer "for all irregularities you have committed under the protection of being the admiralty of the Harbour."


21 Oct. 1728

John Jenkins, Renouse

Mr Keen

The fishing admirals say that they will answer to the Lords of Trade and that what they have done is legal about the cook room.


7 Feb. 1726

Merchants of Bideford and Barnestaples


The petition on p.192 is against Samuell Gledhill. They attest that this petition and the contents are true. George Buck, John Webber Alderman, William Chaple, John Strange, David Baker, William Brooks, James Chapple, John Brooks, John Power, Christopher Bennett, William Yeo, Christopher Chapple, John Shapton, William Babbidge, Alexander Hooper, Thomas Vernam, Edmond Strange, George Phillips, William Hartnoll, Thomas Blake, William Commins.


28 Nov. 1728

Richard Newell, Mayor

Lords of Trade

Similar petition against Gledhill. Signed by: Rich Parminter, J. Christmas, B. Baller, S. Berry, Walter Tucker, Charles Velley, J. Webber, G. Wiskey.


2 May 1729



The Oxford is ready to sail commanded by Lord Vere Beauclerk, Squirrel, commanded by Capt. Osborne, and the Rose commanded by Capt. Weller. They are designed for Canso, please send Heads of Enquiry.


30 April 1729

Ja. Vernon,

Lords of the Privy Concil

Lords of Trade

Official document stating the need for government in Newfoundland. Heads were drawn to form a report on the state of Newfoundland. Vere Beauclerk is mentioned. "...a Commission to be given by His Majesty to a person skilled in the Laws who to Accompany the said Lord Beauclerk for Appointing Justices of the Peace & Establishing [?] some Form of Civil Government among its people who have settled themselves in that Island that they may not be left in a State of Anarchy upon the Departure of His Majesty's Ships of Warr;..."


19 April 1729

Committee of the Lords of His Majesty's most Honourable Privy Council


"Your Majesty having been pleased by Your Order in Council of the 26th of last month to refer into the Consideration of this Committee a Report from the Lords [Commissioners] for Trade and Plantations relating to the present State of the Fishery at Newfoundland, and to the great Disorders it labours under, The Lords of the Committee this day look the same into their consideration, whereby it appears That the ill conduct of the garrison, The Disorders of the Inhabitants, the pretentions set up to the best Fishing stages, under colour of a certain Clause in the Act of the 10th & 11th of King William the Third, and Titles purchased from the late French Inhabitants and Planters since the Peace of Utrecht, by permission from Her late majesty Queen Anne, in exclusion of the Fishing Ships; The want of sufficient Powers in the Commadore for Enforcing the Several Provisions made by the aforesaid Act of Parliament, and the General Contempt of the Authority vested by Law in Fishing Admirals (who are the Captains of Fishing Ships first arriving in the respective Harbours)..."


7 May 1729 (rec'd); 8 May 1729 (read)

sent at 3 o'clock (no date)

Vere Beauclerk, Pall Mall


Answers to the Heads regarding the fishing admirals and the lack of justice. He will send the State of the Fishery in a few days.


12 Feb. 1729

Merchants of Poole


Petition against the merchants of New England who come and take bait here and fish contrary to an Act of Parliament. J. Strong, (Mayor), W. Weston, Ben. Skutt or Skeet, Rob Lewin. Alex Smith, W. Therring, Samuel White, J. Linthorn, Joseph White, J. Clark, J. Duvell, W. White, Thomas Pike, Timothy Spurrier, J. Sheppard.


22 May 1729

Court at Kensington


Order in Council. The Queen was pleased with all draughts relating to the instructions to give to Lord Vere Beauclerk in relation to new commissions and asks that final copies be sent for signature.


22 May 1729

Court at Kensington


Order in Council. They will separate the Government of Placentia from Nova Scotia. Osborne is named Commodore and Governor for the time being, and Gledhill is called home to answer for his conduct. Chaplains are to return to their posts. Coll Phillips' Company of Foot at Placentia should be replaced by an independent company.


22 May 1729

Queen in Council,

Court at Kensington


Order in Council. A Clergyman of the Church of England should be sent by the Bishop of London in St. John's.


9 July 1729

Cha. Carkesse, Customs House in London


This relates to a duty on Train Oil.


13 Feb. 1727/8 [?]

Brian Fairfax, Walter Yonge, Thomas Walker, John Evelyn, Customs House in London

Collector of Customs at Poole

Complaints form the Custom House in Bristol that English Ships bound for England with train oil pay no duty but Colonies Ships pay a duty.


1 July 1729

Custom House in London

Customs at Poole

Mr Popple has transmitted a letter from Poole complaining about the duties for Train Oil. Ships from the colonies bound for England and owned by Great Britain can import train oil free. But they must present proof that the oil was caught in the colonies. If no such proof is presented, duties apply.


18 Aug. 1729

Lord Vere Beauclerk, Oxford at St. John's


He is acquainting the Lords that Osborne has made districts and appointed Justices of the Peace appropriate for the position. He has not been able to complete a State of the Fishery yet.


14 Aug. 1729 (rec'd); 17 Sept. 1729 (read)

Mr. Stephen Godin


A small and unsigned letter, entitled "Extrait d'une partie d'une lettre venue de France" stating that two or three merchants from Rouen were given permission to go fish and settle at the northern point of Gaspet. They sent approximately 200 peasants, they hope to send 5 or 6 ships next year. Note: In French, en franšais.


14 Oct. 1729

Henry Osborne, St. John's


Account of the proceedings at Newfoundland. Has organised the island into convenient districts, he has appointed justices of the Peace and Constables according to the "bigness of the fishery they preside over". He has ordered a duty of half a quintal of merchantable fish for the building of the prison. As the best of these, the magistrates are "but mean people, & not used to be subject to any Government." Lord Vere and he have returned plantations to their owners at Placentia. Gledhill still holds many. Disorders committed by Roman Catholics remaining in the winter.





[Enclosed with above] "The Division of the Island of Newfoundland into convenient Districts with the Limits of the same and places wherein the several Magistrates reside." No Names of the magistrates are missing.



Henry Osborne, Governor


[Enclosed with above] Blank copy of the appointment of Justices of the Peace where the name would be inserted and the town. Orders and instructions are detailed in this document.


9 Dec. 1729 (rec'd) 11 Dec. 1729 (read)

Merchants of London, Bristol, Dartmouth, Whitehaven


They are in support of Col. Gledhill. Thomas Kennedy, J. Duboies, Durand [?], Bertenan [?], F. Picote, R. Hanarer [?], J. Benn, Robert Harris, G. Hall, B. Barnard, William Crosse, J. London, William Woodrop, John Farmer, William Newcommin, Sam Levit [?]


10 Dec. 1729 (rec'd) 11 Dec. 1729 (read)



Memorial of Samuel Gledhill answers allegations against him.


3 April 1730



Lord Vere Beauclerk in the Oxford and the Squirrel under the command of Capt. Osborne, are ready to sail. Please send the Heads or Enquiry.


14 Oct. 1729

H. Osborne


This appears to be a duplicate of the letter at 223. Osborne gives an account of his proceedings in setting up Justices of the Peace.





This appears to be a copy of orders and instructions to the Justices of the Peace found at p. 228.





This appears to be a copy of the Division of Districts found at p. 226.


23 Aug. 1729

Henry Osborne


William Keen, William Weston and Alyn Southmay were appointed Justices of the Peace. They are to levy the money necessary to build a prison. This will serve as their order.


25 Aug. 1729

William Keen, william Weston, Alyn Southway, St. John's

H. Osborne

Document stating that they approve of building the prison, gives dimension, and provide a list of rates to be levied from each merchant, owners of boats and rooms. A total of ₤150 should be enough.


26 Aug. 1729

Henry Osborne

Keen, Weston and Southmay

He approves and they are hereby ordered to levy the rates and give timely notice for the payment. If any refuse, you are to proceed against them.


5 Oct. 1729

Henry Osborne

To all Inhabitants

Copy. This is a document announcing that the Justices of the Peace are going to levy amounts of fish for the construction of a prison in St. John's and that all should comply.


6 Nov. 1729

Henry Osborne, Squirrel in Lisbon


He left further instructions with Gledhill for his conduct during Osborne's absence. The prison will be ready to be worked upon in the spring.


11 Oct. 1729

Henry Osborne


[Enclosed with above] Further instructions for the building of the prison.


6 Sept. 1729



[Enclosed with above] Further instructions to Sam. Gledhill. He is instructed to obey all his orders and obey him. To stop any soldiers from trading in the fishery. No clandestine trade shall be tolerated. Not to carry any seamen away from the island. He is commanded to help the Justices of the Peace. He is also commanded to send the Majesty and the Lords of trade any proceedings accounts.


9 Sept. 1729

Charles Trowe


[Enclosed with above] Copy. "An Account of Ordnance and Stores at Placentia in Fort Frederick..."


14 Oct. 1729

Vere Beauclerk, Oxford, St. John's


Answers to the Heads of Enquiry p.264-276v. State of the Fishery p.278v-280. Bonavista, Trinity and Carbonear missing because the Fishing Admirals have not forwarded their information.





[Enclosed with above] Account of the names of the Justices of the Peace. In Bonavista: John Clarke, Reverend Henry Jones, and John Henning. In Trinity: Jacob Taverner, Francis Squibb, Thomas Lloyd[!]. In Carbonear (no time to appoint justices.) In St. John's William Keen, William Weston, Allen Southmay. In Ferryland: John Ludwigg, John Keates, James Hutchings, John Jenkins, William Jackson. In Placentia: Peter Signac, Thomas Salmon [!], and Thomas Buchanan.


20 Nov. 1729

William Taverner


Taverner recounts his activities since arriving in Nfld. 9 July. Sailed north with a cargo of goods (presumably to trade with the French). At Cape Grotte (i.e, Cape Degrat at the top of the Northern Peninsula) he encountered French fishing ships of St. Malo who immobilized his ship (took away his sails & rudder) though he claims to have known many of them. He seems to want compensation, claiming that he was working not only for his own interest but that of government. Reports seeing three Indians and about 50 fires ("they are a Nation") somewhere on the coast between French & English fisheries. Offers to go back on government "service" and contact them


10 April 1730 (read and received)

J. Clarke

Henry Osborne

Having received letters from inhabitants of Bonavista about the Justices of the Peace there, he asks that the Justices of the Peace instructions may be made clear and that they do not overstate their powers.


8 Dec. 1729

Henry Jones, John Henning, Bonavista

Henry Osborne

They state that they are not "learned in the Law" which renders them incapable of determining cases: We are not empowered to seize for debts, etc. We are unacquainted with what court charges, charges of warrant, jail and jail keeper charges. "We have opened our minds freely to Mr Robert Jaffray."


10 April 1730 (rec'd and read)

S. Fabian on behalf of Joseph Fabian's children


In 1722, William Taverner purchased a plantation for a considerable amount of fish for his brother. The brother died and left it to your petitioner for the use of his children. William Taverner is trying to dispossess the children of their plantation. In Jan. 1723, Capt. Taverner upon petition to you, found the possession well grounded. He is trying to get Lord Vere Beauclerk to stop the rents being paid to your petitioner.


17 April 1730

Capt. Osborne, Lord Vere Beauclerk


Queries about the tax levied for erecting a prison, how to punish if they find that the inhabitants have destroyed the whipping posts or stocks, how to punish if they have mistreated the justices of the peace.


24 April 1730

Burchett, Admiralty Office


Please forward the Heads to the captains. The Winchelsea is sailing this year.


The following documents relate to the queries made by Capt. Osborne and Lord Vere Beauclerk about a tax to build a prison and the powers of Justices of the Peace in Newfoundland. The queries are introduced at p.291 but they can also be found at p.297. The documents that follow pertain to the matter of government and justice in Newfoundland.


27 April 1730

P. Yorke, Attorney General's Office


In response to the queries made in relation to the Justices of the Peace and their power to levy a tax, the attorney explains what the Act of 10 & 11 William III allow them to do, talks about free trade, the power of Justices, imprisonment, power to indict, no power to raise taxes without consent of the Assembly of people. p.297 provides a list of the queries.





Appears to be a copy of a draft for a commission. This commission appears to have been given to Richard Phillips for the position of Governor in Placentia. His powers and jurisdiction are described. There is mention of the justices of the peace as well.


27 April 1730

Henry Osborne


This appears to be another copy of the order given to Osborne to appoint Justices of the Peace also found at page 228.


26 April 1730

Fran. Fane


This attorney sees that the justices had a power in raising money for the goal but that the methods could not be followed according to the Acts of Parliament. They have no power to decide matters of Property. Osborne has no power to levy taxes for repairing the church or any other public works. The questions about the Justices of the Peace's powers, or the queries are annexed at p.309


30 April 1730 (rec'd); 1 May 1730 (read)



[Enclosed with above] Another blank commission appointing Richard Philipps Governor of Placentia. Grants him the right to appoint court houses, justices, etc. It mentions the right to give oaths according to this act of parliament: "An Act for the further Security of his Majesty's Person and Government, and the Succession of the Crown in the Heirs of the late Princess Sophia, being Protestants, and for Extinguishing the hopes of the Pretended Prince of Wales and his Open and Secret Abetters"


30 April 1730 (rec'd); 1 May 1730 (read)

H. Osborne


[Enclosed with above] Another blank copy of the order appointing Justices of the Peace and laying out their instructions and powers.


28 March 1730

H. Osborne


He is asking how he can punish the people who do not want to pay the tax for the purpose of setting up courthouses and the justices. He appears to have secured houses already in place for that purpose.


13 May 1730

Fran. Fane


He thinks Osborne has acted appropriately and that he should levy the tax according to the Act. However, he should not be prosecuted because his methods were not entirely agreeable to that law. It seems to be the only way that the design and intentions of his Majesty can be executed.


End of Volume