Petition by Merchants of Barnstaple and Bideford 1707
National Archives - CO/194/4/40-41 Board of Trade Correspondence
Memorial of the Merchants and Inhabitants of Barnstaple &c Trading to Newfoundland relating to a convoy, And praying that Ferriland may be Fortified, or that a Man of War may attend there yearly.
Rec[eive]d 10 January
Read 24th Do. 1706/7
The unfeigned Thanks and Humble Petition of the Commanders of Barnestaple and Bitheford Ships Resorting to Ferreland as Also of the Merchants Trading and the Inhabitants living There.
To the Right Honourable The Lords Commissioners Appointed for Trade and Plantations
Wee Returne your Lordships our most sincere and unfeigned thanks for the great care you took in providing a Convoy for our Barnestaple and Biddeford ships for Newfoundland And the ordering said Convoy to guard and protect us in our Fishery att Ferreland which proved beneficiall and advantagious to us in our voyages and more particularly by the Industry Forewardness and Assistance of Capt. George Paddon commander of her Majesties Ship Swallow price our convoy who himself and Ships company did with the greatest cheerfullness and forwardness assist us in every Respect in providing us with boats from other harbours catching of Baite for us and fortificing the the place to our great and Generall satisfaction without which wee could not have caught near the quantity of fish we did which wee wholly attribute to your Lordships and his assistance wee Crave your favour to continue the said Captaine Paddon for our convoy the year Ensuing.
Wee are very sensible of your Lordships forwardness in promoting and Protecting this Noble Fishery and The Harbour of Ferreland being the Cheife harbour where all our ships Resort and soe advantagiously situate and naturally fortified Begg leave humbly to Request your Lordships that your Lordships woul[l]d be pleased in your Great wisdom to Promote the Fortificing of said place or that a man of war might be yearly ordered to Attend and Guard Ferriland Harbour that the Fishery may againe be promoted which hath so much decayed of late years. For in Ferreland and the adjoining harbours Capeling bay Cave Broyle Aquafort Fermisle and Remuse there hath been Kept Eighty six boat by Inhabitants and now in all those harbours but seaven boats Kept which is at Ferreland and years together. In those above harbours have been forty saile of fishing Ships soe our Lordships may plainly see the great decay of this Noble Fishery and the Southern ports being soe well furnished with good and Convenient harbours and the most principal part of all the Country in the English possession for Fishing Ground that if Ferreland be taken care of itt will much incourage both shipping and inhabitants to resort thither that soe beneficiall a Trade may be supported which we humbly submit to your Lordships neat wisdom and Consideration.
And your petitioners shall ever pray
(The mark of) Jno. Parker
Brian Randell, 25 Apr 2007