This is an archived copy - GENUKI/Devon is now here.   

GENUKI Home page up Bideford ContentsContents & Search


Petition by Merchants of Bideford and Barnstaple 1706

National Archives - CO/194/3/363
Board of Trade Correspondence

Transcribed by

Brian Randell


Petition of the Merchants of Biddyford, praying that a Fort may be Built at Ferryland, and that a Man of War may be Ordered to Convoy the Ships from Milford to Newfoundland &c.
Rec[eive]d & read: 24 Jan 1706

To the Rt. Hon[ora]ble the Lords Com[issone]rs of Trade

The Humble Petition of the Merch[an]ts and traders &c. of Bideford in the County of Devon Trading to Newfoundland

Humbly Shewetts

That for many Years Past yo[u]r pet[itione]rs have sent from this Port 40 to 50 ships yearly on a fishing Voyage to Feryland & the parts adjacent to Newfoundland to the great advantage of Her Ma[j]esties Revenue, Bringing up thereby a Numerous Company of Seamen for the Queens Service to the Great benefit of the Country by taking of their Provisions.
And for as much as our Fishermen are unacquainted w[i]th Fishing in St Johns, or any of the Northern Harbours, there not being Room for o[u]r ships & boats should we send them thither:
And since Feryland has often been Insulted by the French, & Indians who no less than 3 times the last year burnt & destroyed all they could not carry away from thence, So that if Yo[u]r pet[itione]rs having no Fort should also be void of a Man of War to protect our Fishery during the Fishing season in the Country, yo[u]r pet[itione]rs will be most certainly ruined. And yo[ur] Pet[itione]rs having Advise That care is taken for the Erecting of Forts in other parts pf Newfoundland, & knowing th[at Feryland yo[ur] Pet[itione]rs usuall place of Fishing may be made a Good Fortification with littel Charge.
We most Humbly Pray That a Fort may be Erected in Feryland to protect our Fishery in the Sum[m]er and to preserve from Plundering and Burning what we must leave there during the Winter; And that Yo[u]r Hon[ou]rs would be pleased to Grant a Man of War to come to Milford by the 20th of Feb[ua]ry to take care of our ships & see them safe to Feryland, and that the Captain may have Yo[u]r Hon[ou]rs Orders to stay there in Harbour to Protect our men Untill a Fort can be Finished.
Yo[u]r Hon[ou]rs are the more Earnest in their Supplications for a timely Convoy for that the delay thereof has formerly almost Ruined our Fishing Voyage by o[u]r ships not arriving in the Land untill the Season was almost over.

And yo[u]r Pet[itione]rs as in duty bound shall ev[e]r pray &c.

...[?] Langdon
...[?] Meddon
John Davis
Dan Darracott
Jno. ...[?], J. Larkly
Jas. Dennard
Thomas Stuckey
[?] Power, Jnr.
Peter Willington
Geo Strange
John Buck
Peter Buck
John Darracott

Brian Randell, 25 Apr 2007

Note: The information provided by GENUKI must not be used for commercial purposes, and all specific restrictions concerning usage, copyright notices, etc., that are to be found on individual information pages within GENUKI must be strictly adhered to. Violation of these rules could gravely harm the cooperation that GENUKI is obtaining from many information providers, and hence threaten its whole future.