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Bonavista up to 1700

 

From a Royal Gazette print

 

If it is admitted that Newfoundland was the first land seen by Cabot all probabilities point to Cape Bonavista as the first point on our Coast discovered by the great Genoese sailor. An unbroken tradition of four centuries points to Bonavista as his landfall, certified moreover by two maps, one made by John Mason, Governor of Newfoundland, a Captain in the Royal Navy afterwards, Treasurer of the British Navy, and the founder of New Hampshire ; the other constructed by the celebrated French explorer and Geographer Dupont, both were published about 1625, but they had been prepared much earlier, Dupont's about 1605 and Mason's about 1617 or 1618. Mason marks on Cape Bonavista "a Caboto primum reperta."—First found by Cabot. And Dupont has written in red ink near Cape Bonavista, "prima inventa,"first found, and has also placed outside of Cape Bonavista an island of St. Marc.

 

These two maps make it quite clear that little more than one hundred years after the event, and when men were alive who had known Cabot and his companions, the tradition and belief common to both English and French sailors was in Cape Bonavista as Cabot's landfall ; strongly corroborative also are the names of King's Cove, the first good Harbour inside the Cape, and the adjoining Cove named Keels. In the foreign maps King's Cove is named med the Royal Port, here in all probability Cabot erected the Royal Arms of England and the emblem of Venice. Keels, or Keel's strand, was the name given by the old mariners to the first place where the keel of their boat grated on the shore ; it was their practice not to bring their vessels too close unto unknown shores, but to send out their great boat and sound and explore the new coasts before venturing to come close in with the land. Bonavista is the landfall usually made by vessels coming to Newfoundland from Scotland and the North of Europe ; it was the landfall of Cartier in his celebrated voyage. The name Bonavista given in very early maps, and Buonaventura and Buenaventura Island, placed on this prominent headland and the Island off the Cape, are very clear indications that this point was Cabot's landfall, no where else in North America is there a Cape Bonavista or a Cape Bonaventura. The names Bonavista, oh ! happy sight; Bonaventura, or happy find, are just the names the old explorer would give as coming from his long tempest tossed voyage over unknown seas ; he first beheld the bold headland bright and green with the springing verdure of June.

D.W. Prowse

Xxxxxx

Bonavista 1497

Newfoundland by Hatton & Harvey

What part of the New World was first seen by Cabot, And named by him "Prima Vista" ? The common account is that it was some part of the island of Newfoundland, most probably Bonavista, now the northern cape of Trinity Bay, in latitude 48" 50' N., the name " Prima Vista " having been afterwards changed to " Bonavista."

XXXXXX

John Wakeham, seaman, ship Blessing in Newfoundland 1647. HCA. 13/62: 21 Feb 1649/50. [TC Note – possibly the father of John Walcome/Wakam, Bonavista’s first born “man-child” in 1654. The following four named Wakeham from a Devon record for 1642 were fishing in Newfoundland waters but the record does not indicate where: Edmond, Edward, Thomas, and William.].

 

XXXXXX

From a letter dated 14 March 1764, written in Poole Harbour (Dorset) by George Davis, Merchant and Newfoundland trader, to Capt. James Cook:

 

          "...Mrs. Fizzard/ Tizzard? was born in Bonavista whose uncle Mr. John Walcome was the first man- child born there who was 80 years old when he dyed and has been dead upwards of 30 years..." [TC Note: Walcome was born 1654. I have had a Xeroxed copy of the original document in my possession for many years and F was written for Fizzard. Obviously, George Davis didn’t get the Tizzard name right; according to my copy, Walcome was the uncle of Mrs. Tizzard].

 

 

xxxxxx

 

HENRY BUCKLER- Deposition.

Henry Buckler was a sailor on the Little Lewis which left London in June 1655 to collect a cargo of fish at Newfoundland but which then went on a trading voyage to Cadiz, Genoa, Leghorn, Smyrna, Constantinople, Alexandria, Marseilles, Lisbon, Madeira, Angola, and finally Brazil. They were on a long trading venture before their vessel returned some five or six years later..."

 

PRO, HCA 13/74: 15 April 1662, Henry Buckler.

 

See also Cell, Gillian T., English Enterprise in Newfoundland 1577-1660. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1969.

 

[TC Note – Some will argue that the Bucklers of early Bonavista are from Devon but I would suggest researchers take a close look at Woolcombe Matravers, Dorset where William Buckler married Mary Keats in 1582.]

Xxxxxx

Kerke or Cork Bay – old maps’ name for Bonavista Bay.

 

Xxxxxx

 

Bonavista 1675

The Story of Newfoundland by Lord Birkenhead.

Their Lordships of the Committee of Trade and Plantations were not superior to the prejudices of the day, and they resolved in 1675, " That all plantations in Newfoundland should be discouraged ... or that the western charter should from time to time be put in execution; by which charter all planters were forbid to inhabit within six miles of the shore from Cape Race to Cape Bonavista."

 

XXXXXX

[TC Note] The several records of planters in Newfoundland taken 1675 and later were not census as some assert but were the first steps by the Home Office to remove all planters from Newfoundland, either back home to England or to some other British colony.

 

xxxxxx

Bonavista

Berry’s List of Planters, 1675 (CO 1/35 f. 150 -156)

 

Planter

Status

[TC Notes]

Richard Wallis

wife

(1 son?) 1 daughter. from Weymouth or Poole.

John Curtis

single.

partnered with Phippard in 1678.

Richard Febberd

single

Phippard from Langton Matravers - mother Margaret - wife Dinah? Died pre 1705.

Thomas Crews

single

From Lymington - Hants.

Thomas Warrey

wife and 2 daughters

? Check Chardstock - Dorset?

James Shambler

single

?from Ringwood - Hants.?

Thomas Newell

single

Thomas the second? -Thomas the first is in English Harbour?.

Robert Newman

single

?son of William?

William Tilley

wife 7 sons 2 daughters

 

William Newman

wife 1 daughter

 

Thomas Urry

wife

 

 

Some of the planters listed here as single had a wife and family who were back home in England and obviously not here with them in this particular year. Some maintained a dual residency in Bonavista and in England.

 

Barrow Harbour-

Cooke, Christopher.

 

Salvage.

Cox, Christopher.

Buckler, William

 

Xxxxxx

Bonavista

Berry’s Ship List 1675 (CO 1/35 f. 137-148)

 

Ship

Home Port

Ship Master

[TC Note]

Resolution

Dartmouth

John Grigg

Bapt 1644 Brixham s/o Rich.

Bricksom Merchant

Brixham

Nicholas Newell

Nowell bapt Brixham 1630 s/o Philip.

Unity

Poole

Sidrack Beale

Wife Mary, will made 1716 in Poole.

David

Weymouth

Robert Barker

 

Rose

Weymouth

John Caswaye

Married in Cripplegate?

John

Poole

John Edwards

Poole area.

Mairmaid

Dartmouth

John Sweet

Bapt Dartmouth 1636 s/o John & Elizabeth (Hollett), made will 1692.

Providence

Southampton

James Stoke

Hampton, Middlesex?

John

London

John Bennet

London

Paragon

Dartmouth

Simon Skerton

Bapt Skerdon in Churston Ferrers 1615 s/o Nich.

Samuel and Elliz

Topsham

Henry Vinard

 

Success

Topsham

Thomas Rose

“Rous” in Topsham.

Dolphin

Weymouth

William Surrey

 

Ingram

London

John Crisp

 

Xxxxxx

Bonavista

Russel’s Ship List, 1676 (CO 1/38 f. 222-224)

 

Home Port

Ship Master

[TC Note]

Poole

Shadrick Bele (Admiral)

Beal

Dartmouth

Richard Greeke

 

Poole

Peter Shepherd

 

Dartmouth

Henry Webb

 

Dartmouth

Christopher Adams

Stoke Gabriel, Devon?

Dartmouth

John Effoot

Effor/Hefford married Eliz Martin, Brixham 1658.

Southampton

William Wall

 

Southampton

Peter Litfield

 

Weymouth

Henry Barker

 

XXXXXX

Bonavista planters

Wyborne List of English Inhabitants, 1676 (CO 1/38 ff. 239 - 242).

 

Planter

[TC Note]

Thomas Crew

Crew had a wife and 2 sons.

Thomas Morris

Thomas Morris first mention of him, likely a shipwright of Poole.

Richard Phipheard

Phipheard another spelling for Phippard.

John Cats

Cats, Cates variant of Keats.

Richard Wallise

Wallis

Joseph Vickery

Vickery is Vicar/Vicars.

 

TC Notes

Surprisingly, others were present in Bonavista but not listed here! Perhaps they no longer functioned as planters and, as servants, they were only mentioned nominally.

 

Barrow Harbour

John Baly

Christopher Cook [TC Note married? 1683 Joan Elliott in Sopley nr Christchurch]

 

Salvage

All Planters

John Combers

Planter. Russel's List, 1676 (CO 1/38 ff. 237 - 238) gives the planter's name as John Chambers. ?Made his will 1751 at age 99 in Portsmouth, known as “admiral of the fishermen”?

Richard Stokes

Planter. Russel's List, 1676 (CO 1/38 ff. 237 - 238) gives the planter's name as Richard Stocks.

John Prichard

Pinchard?

John Pett

Pitt, Jon Pitt wife and 2 children in 1675.

John Knight

John Knight wife and 4 children in 1675.

John Warren

Probably from Kinson, Dorset.

 

Salvage

Russel Ship List, 1676 (CO 1/38 f. 222-224)

Walter Walsh, ship master from Poole (likely name Welch).

 

Keels

Russel Ship List, 1676 (CO 1/38 f. 222-224)

John Cason from Weymouth.

XXXXXX

 

Bonavista

Poole’s List, 1677 (CO 1/41 ff. 157 - 166).

 

Planter

[TC Note]

Thomas Newell

Wife & 3 Sons.

James Shambler

wife, 1 son, 1 daughter.

Thomas Warrey

Wife 1 son, 1 daughter.

Richard Wallis

wife, 1 son, 2 daughters.

Richard Phippard

Wife & 1 Son.

Thomas Urry

wife

John Kates

Wife 1 Son & 1 Daughter.

John Curtiss

wife attained since 1675.

Thomas Crew

Wife 2 Sons, Crews in 1675.

William Newman

Wife, (daughter married? George Williams)

Robert Newman

single

William Tilley

Wife 6 Sons & 2 Daughters.

Joseph Vickery

single

George Brent

Wife 2 Sons & 3 Daughters.

Barn. Gantlett

single

George Talbott

Wife 3 Sons & 2 Daughters

 

TC Notes:

Thomas Crew later found in Lymington, Hants, where he is a gunsmith and still held his plantation in Bonavista in 1704.

Barnaby Gantlett was of Cockington, Christchurch, left a will in 1690.

The name Fiford in Poole Saint James (c1758 marriage William Fiford = Lucy Porter) is Pippard/ Phippard as in Bonavista c1677 and Febberd in 1675].

As to the name Very/Wiry as recorded by others, I read it as Urry, and likely Thomas Urry bn IOW 1652, made his will 1698.

Richard Wallis is undoubtedly a Poole name and a more junior mariner  Richard Wallis was charged with assaulting Giles Hosier there in 1751. He was also in trouble in 1764 with Joseph Linthorne in Poole.

Joseph Vickery shown in 1675 as a single man, Joseph Vicax? In 1681. Also had an establishment in Salvage Bonavista Bay. This name is Vicars and is noted in East Parley near Christchurch.

 

 

Xxxxxx

1678

A list of planters names also an account of their concerns.

Port Bonavista.

Richd Wallis, wife, 1 son, 1 daughter.

Jno Curtis.

Richd FFibbord.

Tho. Crews.

Tho. Warry, wife, 1 son, 2 daughters.

James Shambler.

Tho. Newman.

Robt. Newman

Wm. Tilley, wife, 7 sons, 2 daughters.

Wm. Newman, wife, 1 daughter.

Tho. Urry, wife.

 

Notes on the 1678 list of planters in Bonavista:

1678 George Brent not listed. Shown in 1677 with wife, 2 sons & 3 daughters.

1678 Jno Curtis, wife not mentioned, partnered with Richard Phippard (1675 Curtis was single, 1677 had a wife with him).

1678 Thomas Morris not listed. Shown in 1676. Could very well be the same who was a shipwright in Poole 1702.

1678 Thomas Newell not listed instead there appears a Thomas Newman, clearly written and without a family. Thomas Newell is listed in English Harbour with a wife, one son and one daughter.

1678 Robert Newman. Shown as a single man 1675 and 1677. Also without a wife and family here in 1678.

1678 William Newman, with a wife and one daughter, partnered with Thomas Urry, (in 1675 and 1677 William Newman also had wife and one daughter).

?1678 George Perriman not listed – shown 1675?? only.

1678 James Shambler here without a family in 1678, by far the largest planter with 28 servants.

1678 William Tilly, with a wife, 7 sons & 2 daughters, ditto for 1675, one son was missing in 1677 from Bonavista – likely William Jr was away in Harbour Main.

1678 Thomas Urry with a wife, partnered with William Newman. Shown in 1675 with a wife, 1677 with a wife (misinterpreted by many historians as Wiry or Very). Check PCC will 1698 – Isle of Wight).

1678 Joseph Vickery not listed, shown in 1675 as a single man, Joseph Vicax? In 1681. This name is Vicars and is noted in East Parley near Christchurch.

XXXXXX

1678 ships in the Bonavista area.

ffrom English Harb to Port Bonavista is 14 leaugs and from thence to Cape Bonavista 2 leaugs:

 

Name

Ship

Where from

Where to

Jno Grigg

Resolution

Dartmo

England.

Nicho Newole

Brixon mar?

Brixsom

England.

Robt Barker

David

Weymo

Cadiz.

Jno Caswaye

Rose

Weymouth

Streights.

Sidraik Beele

Unity

Poole.

 

Jno Edwards

Jno

Poole.

 

Jno Sweet

Mairmaid

Dartmo

(a sack ship).

James Stoke

Pirodena

Hampton

Streights.

Jno Bennet

John

London

(a sack ship)

Simon Skerton

Paragon

Dartmo.

(a sack ship).

Thos Rose

Surrell?

Topsam.

(a sack ship).

Henr Irimard?

Sam & Ellen?

Topsam.

(a sack ship).

Wm Surrey

Dolphin

Weymouth

Bilboa.

Jno Crisp

Ingram

London

Streights.

 

[TC NOTES]

A sack ship would visit Newfoundland in the hopes of obtaining a load of fish from the planters.

Streights is a reference to Strait of Gibraltar.

Grigg, John born Brixham whose father Richard was in the Nfld trade c1642.

Nowell, Nicholas bn Brixham s/o Philip/brother John Noll in Bonavista 1705.

Caswaye, John married 1659 in Cripplegate.

Beal, Sidrach of Poole whose daughter Mary claims a descent from

Nicholas Carey.

Sweet, John Jr of Dartmouth whose father was bn Brixham and also in the Nfld trade c1642.

Skerdon, Simon is likely a son of earlier participants in the Nfld trade c1642.

 

Xxxxxx

The mayor of Poole, Dorset reported for the year 1680 that the Indians at Bonavista were scavenging: “The Indians having beene so bold this last yeare, as to come into our harbor and doe mischiefe.”

 

[TC Note – very interesting that the mayor of Poole referred to Bonavisa as “our harbor”!]

xxxxxx

From Beothucks or Red Indians by Howley

 

Formerly a very beneficial barter was carried on in the neighbourhood of Bonavista, by some of the inhabitants of that harbour. They used to lay a variety of goods at a certain place to which the Indians resorted, who took what they were in want of, and left furs in return. One day a villain hid himself near the deposit, and shot a woman dead, as she furnished herself with what pleased her best. Since that time they have been always hostile to Europeans.

 

[TC Note – just when this supposed event took place is not recorded. It was reported much earlier by Cartwright].

XXXXXX

Bonavista

Story’s List, 1681 (CO 1/47 f. 113 - 122)

 

Ship

Home Port

Master or Planter

[TC Notes]

William

Poole

William Phippard.

Sir Wm, Mayor of Poole 1697.

Providence

Poole

Henry Weston.

Lane House, Dorset married Mary Buckler

Mary

Dartmouth

John Griggs.

Ships Master (bn Brixham?).

Blackamore

Dartmouth

William Harniman.

Ships Master.

Content

Guernsey

William Vallott.

Follett? Sack Ship taking 1500 quintals outward.

George

Dartmouth

Lewis Griggs.

Grigg in 1684.

Nicholas

Dartmouth

Joseph Lee.

 

Providence

Poole

George Toms.

Thoms.

Experience

Dartmouth

Richard Griggs.

? bn Brixham?

Charles

Dartmouth

Alexander Miller.

Ship Master

Exchange

Poole

William Bird.

Sack Ship/Bird of Poole and Sturminster Newton, married Joanna Ancksill (Antle).

Providence

Southampton

William Wall.

Sack Ship taking 800 quintals outward.

Friends Adventure

London

Capt. Downes.

Sack Ship / Down, Downe (bn Brixham?).

 

Plymouth

Mr. Tucker.

Sack Ship / see nfld 1675 Richard Tucker/ married in 1653 in Plymouth to Mary Joslin.

Ana

London

Mr. Anthony.

Sack Ship / Matthew Anthony St. John's 1704, Trinity 1709.

 

Dartmouth

Mr. Dixon.

Sack Ship.

 

Southampton

Mr. Tyler.

Sack Ship /????Taylor???.

 

 

Arthur Houldon.

Planter

 

 

William Downe.

Planter / fr Brixham?

 

 

Barn.d Gantlett.

Planter /Barnaby Gaunlett (fr Christchurch)

 

 

William Buckler.

Planter /(fr Woolcombe Matravers?, Dorset?/Salvage 1675. Wm Bucher 1708.

 

 

William Newmand.

Planter

 

 

Robert Newman.

Planter

 

 

John Wakeham.

Planter /John Wakeham Sr./John Welcome Jr bn Bonavista 1654.

 

 

Thomas Newell.

Planter /Thomas ?Jr?

 

 

Thomas Vry.

Planter / Thomas Urry/ Very in 1675/ Wiry in 1677/?Freshwater IOW?

 

 

James Shambler.

Planter / ?Ringwood Hampshire?

 

 

Thomas Warry.

Planter /?Chardstock?Dorset?

 

 

Richard Marsh.

Mesh - Planter /?Sopley, nr Christhurch???

 

 

John Datten.

Planter /?Batten? Fr Ringwood?

 

 

 

Thomas Shepard.

Planter /?Hampshire? ?married Elizabeth? sister of Thomas Crew.

 

 

William Bockford.

Planter /Bickford? Fr Exeter?

 

 

Hugh Lane.

Planter /?Christchurch?

 

 

Richard Sheppard.

Planter /Brockenhurst? Hampshire?

 

 

Joseph Vicax.

Planter Vicar/s, Vickery in 1675.

 

 

Richard Wallis

Planter /Poole area, Dorset.

 

 

John Lakeman.

Planter /??John Wakeham Jr.??

 

 

Christopher Martin.

Planter /Plymouth?

 

 

Christopher Cox.

Planter / Cooke in Barrow Harbour 1675 (fr Sopley Hampshire).

 

 

Walter Wyatt.

Planter /Christchurch.

 

 

Miles Juniper.

 

 

 

William Phippard junior

Fr Poole.

 

Barrow Harbour

 

Planter

[TC Note]

Ralph Trevers

Travers from Powerstock and Poole, Dorset.

William Danvers

 

 

Catalina

Society, Dartmouth, British, George Williams, Fishing Amiral.

Unknown, London, British, Mr. Reedon, Record lists Mr. Reedon as being on the French Account. Sack Ship taking 1800 quintals

 

Fair Islands

 

 

Planter

[TC Note]

William King.

?fr Kinson, Dorset?

William Smith.

?fr Poole, Dorset?

John Brent.

From Ringwood, Hants.

 

Keels

Story’s List, 1681 (CO 1/47 f. 113 - 122)

 

All planters except Cheeke

 

Henry Hopkins.

From Christchurch, also known as Harry, made his will 1728 before departing for Newfoundland.

John Cockes.

 

John Marshall.

In Fermeuse 1675 ship’s capt from Bideford. In Ferryland 1676, ship’s capt from Barnstaple. In Aquafort 1681, ship’s captain from Barnstaple.

William Stephens.

Check? Same married at Winterborne Whitcombe 1674 to Anne Bayley.

Joseph Shambler.

Christchurch, court probate 1694.

Benjamin Howard.

This is a misreading of Haward/Hayward.

Thomas Howard.

This is a misreading of Haward/Hayward.

Robert Cheeke Ship Master.

Ship’s captain from Hampton.

 

Melrose

Thomas Mincham, Planter.

 

Salvage

All Planters

 

 

Arthur Planker

?Blanchard? fr Ringwood.

John Poncard

Pinchard bapt 1627 Sturinster Marshall, Dorset s/o William & Dorothy (White).

William Adlom

Adleham from Christchurch.

William Warren

Likely a son of John Warren of 1675?

John Pett

Pitt

Richard Succles

*Stokes in 1675, Stocks & Stokes in 1676, 1681 Succles, 1708 Stukles.

Thomas Bishop

 

*This is the same family later found in Fogo where the name is further mutilated into Stuckless.

Xxxxxx

 

John Brent of Fair Islands, Bonavista Bay, 1681 (CO 1).

William Buckler of Bonavista, 1681 (CO 1).

 

William Down 1681, capt of the London ship, Friend’s Adventure (sure sounds like a Quaker ship!). William Down was in St. John’s 1675 and 1678.

Miles Juniper 1681

 

 

[TC Notes] –

John Brent, Newfoundland planter left a will in Upper Kingston, Ringwood, Hants. 1738. He left a wife and unmarried daughter, both named Elizabeth. He was a mite too young to have been the John Brent of Fair Island but likely there is a connection.

 

William Buckler is likely from Woolcombe Matravers, Dorset, grandson of William Buckler and Mary Keats.

XXXXXX

Bonavista

Wheeler’s Fishing Ships List, 1684 (CO 1/55 f. 254)

 

 

 

[TC NOTES]

Experience

Dartmouth

Symod Seardon.

[?Skerdon/Skerton?].

Mary and Lamb

Dartmouth

John Griggs.

Brixham, Devon

Blackamoore

Dartmouth

Lewis Griggs.

 

Pommery

Dartmouth

Lewis Madox.

 

 

Unknown

Henry Weston.

[Poole area].

Concord

Poole

George Williams

[fr Poole married a daughter of William Newman planter of Bonavista].

 

Xxxxxx

Benjamin Hayward, early Planter in the Bonavista area.

 

Capt. Francis Wheler, writing in 1684, said: “There is hardly a planter in the country but is a great deal worse then nothing and, although they are almost sure to loose, yet they must goe on.” Capt. George Larkin in 1701 said of the inhabitants: “poor, indigent, and withal a profuse sort of people.”

 

These learned gentlemen, whose job it was to deliver a true report of the Planters in Newfoundland, were obviously speaking of the Avalon area of Newfoundland and hadn’t ventured beyond it. Had they visited Bonavista they would have encountered fishermen planters of the caliber of Benjamin Hayward who in his will of 1693 left, besides properties in Blashford, Hants to his wife, ₤100 to each of his five daughters. To put this in perspective a male servant back in England at this time would earn about ₤3 annually; a female servant far less. Benjamin Hayward then was leaving to each of his daughters more than they could earn in thirty years.

 

XXXXX

Prowse, DW., A History of Newfoundland From The English, Colonial, and Foreign Records, 1895.  Belleville: Canadiana reprint series 33, Mika Studio, Belleville, Ontario. 1972, page 280:-

 

Letter from Wm Coch of Bonavista to Col. Norris 7 Sep. 1698.

 

I think it my duty to acquaint your Honour that to the north side of this bay are many extraordinary harbours and better fishing; one William Wyng has fished there some years (it being 14 leagues NWN from this place) who has still increased the inhabitants of this place very considerably, and this year one Nowill (Newell) has been that way who has more fish for his two boats than they have for shallops, so that next summer severall of the inhabitants of this harbour design to remove thither and their masters of ships that have fished there this year intend to be likewise, for it is certain the fewer boats are kept in a place the better the fishing.

 

I write this that those sent to settle affairs may have power as far as Cape Frills. I think a draught ought to be drawn of that place. There is room for five hundred sail.

 

TC Notes:

William Coch is likely William Cock of Poole married to Joan Durell, daughter of Moses Durell and Joan Gigger. Both names Durell and Gigger were involved in the Newfoundland trade.

 

William Wing probably the same bn 1644 in Ringwood, son of Henry Wing and Eleanor Ayles.

 

xxxxxx

 

Contributed and transcribed by Thomas Cole (July 2012)

Page Last Modified July 23, 2012 (Don Tate)

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