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COLONIAL OFFICE RECORDS
Proposals for Newfoundlanders Ransoming Goods 1709
1709. four that were sent to the Redoubt prisoners; some few days after was sent to St. John's one La Valleere with one French and two Indians, by whome the Governor gave leave and liberty to write to St. John's, upon delivering the letter with his perusall, and promised the prisoners that in a few days they should be set at liberty, the 26th arriv'd the Fiddell man of warr from France, 54 gunns, in which came over 200 soldiers, which were design'd for the reinforceing St. John's Forts, expecting the French had not quitted it, the Gentl. that was sent by St. Ovide with an express to Court, return'd in the Fidell, and St. Ovide recd. news of his being created Knight of the Military Order of St. Lewis, and the Governour of St. John's. June 2nd arriv'd the Galliard from Port Lewis, belonging to ye King and hired by merchants, 200 men, who was design'd to cruise on the coast of New England; the 4th return'd La Valleer from St. Johns and inform'd the Governour that if our fleet was not arrived, that there were two galleys that arrived off, to discover the arrivall of our Fleet, that the said galleys had been at Bay of Bulls for intelligence, to direct our forces, that were expected there. We imbarqu'd in a small ketch bought by the prisoners with the Grand Snr's. leave, for St. John's and arriv'd June 26; at my departure thence were arriv'd 43 sail of shipps, twelve from 10 to 20 guns each, their Fort is very much out of repaire, and a great number of men daily imploy'd at work in repaire of the same. They have double palisado'd the western-side of the same, and mounted severall gunns against the entrance. The Fort is only built with pallisadoes, and fill'd up with dirt, without any manner of ditch. The Fort has in it mounted upwards of 40 gunns; the Redoubt upon the Hill, which looks down into the Fort hath now in it about 16 gunns, which were cary'd from St. Johns, the Redoubt palisado'd round, and some small coverts built with palisadoes for the defence of their passage to the water, at the foot of the Hill on the larboard side, comeing in upon entrance, is a small battery of 10 gunns, and about a quarter of a mile from that Ives another small [?battery] of 6 guns, all their force lying on the larboard side aforesaid, at the narrow entrance of the Harbour is now fix'd two small chains and a new cable, the chains link about 4 inches diameter layd slanting by reason of the prodigious current. Endorsed, Recd. Read Dec. 5, 1709, 3½ pp.
890. iii. Copy of the proposals of the inhabitants of the English part of Newfoundland for ransoming their goods. We inhabitants of St. John's, Petty Harbour, Bay Bulls, Quidividi, Tar Bay, Portugal Cove and Parlican, have this day desired and do humbly desire Monsr. de Ovide de Bruillan, King's Lieutenant at Placentia and
AMERICA AND WEST INDIES.
1709. Commander in Chief of the Fort of St. Johns, and the Harbours abovementioned, to grant us the liberty (if it be his good pleasure) to ransom and buy our goods as they are specify'd in the 9 following articles. (1) We promise and engage one for the other to pay to M. St. Ovide de Brouillian 100 quintals of fish for each shallop, and 50 quintals for each half shallop (wch. shall be sent a fishing by said inhabitants) of the first fish that shall be cured, and in case the English or other nation take this Port, or that it be abandon'd by the French, we promise to pay to the said St. Ovide de Brouillian, or to his order in London, £70 sterl. per boat, in good bills of exchange, for performance of which we have deliver'd you 3 ransomers until perfect payment of said ransom, which shall be in Aug., Sept. or Oct. next. (2) That our houses situated in the harbours above-named may be preserved in the same estate as they are at this day, with all our cloaths, and the cloaths of our families. (3) There must be no manner of damage done to our stages, flakes, shallops and other utensils of the fishery that we have actually in possession. (4) M. de St. Ovide is only to furnish us with 20 hhds. of salt for each ransom'd shallop and 10 to each half shallop. (5) That no waste or damage be done by the French to the victuals that we have in our houses for the subsistence of our families. (6) After we have began the Fishery, there shall be no manner of hindrance, but all shallops suffer'd to go to sea, as heretofore. (7) If anything be taken from an inhabitant, or any spoil made by the French, contrary to the above articles, the same shall be returned or the value, and the offender punished as M. de St. Ovide shall judge proper. (8) We promise upon our word and honour not to commit any acts of hostility against the French, but to live as neuters, until our ransom be comply'd with and paid. (9) If after said time the French dwell masters and peaceable possessors of this port and harbours above-named, then we shall have free liberty to buy or ransom some small vessels sufficient to transport us to New or Old England, with our effects, after our ransom be paid and acquitted. And if any inhabitants have a mind to reside in the land, they shall have free liberty, and their houses and effects shall be defended. St. Johns, Newfoundland, Feb. 2, 1708/9. Signed. St. Johns, owners of shallops, John Marshall, Gilbert Jane, James Fuss, Thomas Greeny, William Roberts, (1½), Giles Goree, Richard Goodbed, Nehemiah Hore, John Studley, Edward Sheppard, John Martin, Bartho. Webber, Samuel Nick, Richard Miller, John Tucker, Henry Jeffry, Rupert Harris, Pancras Collin, John Drew. Petty Harbour: - Thomas Ford (2), Richard Colesworthy (1½),
1709. John Lee (1½), Elias Cunditt (2), John Stripling, Richard Willson, Nicholas Langley, William Langmayd, John Chasse, Edward Hill, Adam Shiliver, John Wakem, Andrew Holman, John Marshall. Bay of Bulls: - William Hancock, William Squarry (2), Joseph Knill (½), Edward Weeks, William Bole, John Chasse, Samuel Hendly, William Woodmason, John Campion, Samuel Windsor, John Rex (2), Nicholas Cunnitt, John Wallis, John Mitchell, Sarah Short. Quidividi: - John Elliott, William Nicholls and Richard Tapley (3), Robert Sellman, Gregory Cole, William Bargus (2), Richard Bawden Rowland Martin, Thomas Roberts, Thomas Carter, George Laudly, Thomas Johnson (1½). Tar Bay and Portugal Cove: - John Cock (2), Philip Stuckey, Abraham Barrett, Alexander Green. Same Endorsement. 1 large p.
890. iv. Copy of the Ratification of the Articles made with M. de St. Ovide. This day, May 6, 1709, at Placentia, at the Government House before Mons. de Costebelle, Governor, etc., Alyn Southmayd, Thomas Russell, Wm. Keen, Richard Colesworthy, John Collin, Wm. Nicholls, William Squarry, English merchants residing at St. Johns, declare that there has been nothing done contrary to the Laws of war, and have done nothing in all the articles by them made with M. de St. Ovide, wch. are not accomplished and ratifyed, before us the Governor confirming the said articles of St. Johns, for the accomplishing of which we have detained and do retain for hostages Thomas Greeny, Richard Page and William Nicholls, until intire payment of the summs in the general covenant made between the said inhabitants of the harbours of St. Johns Quidividi, and Petty Harbour, etc., the which are obliged equally one for the other; etc. Signed, De Costebelle. Same endorsement. 1 p.
890. v. Observations made by Mr. Allen Southmayd and Jno. Collin in Placentia, June 1709. Description of the Fort, Castle, Batteries etc. Cf. No. ii. They have now 50 men constantly in the Castle, and upon an allarme M. St. Ovide takes his place there; the Castle itself is scarce large enough to hold 150 men when they come to a reall engagement. The 6 brass gunns from St. Johns are mounted here, and all the choicest of their cannon, esteeming that place their only security, it being impossible for the Fort or any part of the harbour to hold out one hour after the takeing this castle.... When we came from Placentia there was 43 sail of shipps with one man of warr of 56 gunns, and 6 or 8 shipps that mounted from 14 to 26 gunns, the rest being generally large fly-boats but without force. They reckon there is belonging to the shipps about 3000 men, including those that fish at Cape St. Maries and
Page Contributed by: Pete Noel, Cha Am, Thailand
Transcribed by Ivy F. Benoit
Page Revised by Ivy F. Benoit (Thursday April 25, 2013)