Newfoundland and Labrador Britain’s Oldest Colony – Canada’s Newest Province

Kingwell By Kingwell, 30th Mar 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/am6hf__s/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>History

Although fishermen came to Newfoundland from other nations, notably Spain and Portugal, The French were the only real rivals of the English, especially when it came to settlement.

Newfoundland and Labrador Britain’s Oldest Colony – Canada’s Newest Province.

Chapter VII
Please see Chapter VI.
The first clash between the English and French in Newfoundland and Labrador occurred in 1635 when the British Government imposed a tariff of 5 percent on all produce taken from the colony by foreigners. This was for the privilege of curing its fish on the shores of a British Possession. The two countries were often at war in Europe and France began thinking of settling in Newfoundland with an eye on taking it from the British and making it a colony of France. In 1660 they decided on the easily fortified harbour of Placentia as their headquarters and eventual Capital. Meanwhile back in Europe a secret agreement between the powerful King Louis XIV of France and the weak Charles II of Britain, not only saw the duty levied on foreign fishermen lifted, but the coast of the island from Cape Race to Cape Ray, given over the French! Because the agreement was secret, no one back in the colony understood why the protests made to the British Government about the French raids on British Settlements were completely ignored.
By the time William III ascended the throne of England in 1889, a great deal of damage had already been done to the British settlers in Newfoundland and Labrador. The French it appears considered the colony as their own and were determined to drive out the British. The English merchants had up until now had the ear of the British parliament and because of this, settlement on the island was still illegal. The French meanwhile was very much in favour of settlement and had a resident governor at Placentia. In 1889 the French attacked, eventually captured and practically destroyed St. John’s, the principle British settlement and from there went on to pillage smaller communities. When the news eventually reached Britain, a squadron was sent out to recapture St. John’s but finding the place abandoned, simply took possession and proceeded to rebuild. A permanent garrison was set up in St. John’s, but the French remained in possession of the south coast of the island. The British and French continued to bicker and although the French finally recognized Newfoundland and Labrador as a British colony, they continued to argue their exclusive right to fish what was known as ‘The French Shore’. The whole question wasn’t settled until 1904 when the French finally gave up all rights in the territory. While all this was happening a few small changes were coming about in regard to living conditions among the English speaking population. The first governor was appointed in 1729 but for nearly ninety years these governors spent only about three months in the colony, coming out in August and returning to England in early November. Around the year 1800, the English merchants in a complete ‘about face’ decided that settlement in Newfoundland and Labrador would be a good thing after all, since they would not have to bring out fishermen from England every year. Then as now it appears, business was only interested in the bottom line! In 1817 A Resident Governor one who would spend the entire year in the colony, was finally appointed.
The beginning of the nineteenth century marked a turning point in the bleak history of Newfoundland and Labrador. A measure of justice was finally being given to the residents of this land, but times were still difficult. Many houses were little more than a ramshackle collection of unpainted huts and most had been erected when settlement was still illegal. While some residents were hard working men of high character, others were fugitives from English and Irish justice. We must remember too that many generations were born, lived and died without the advantages of religion, education or law! The coming of representatives of the churches and the establishment of schools was the beginning of some reform but in other areas, such as the continuation of the credit system, which we shall discuss in more detail later, there was no improvement.
To be continued.

Tags

Britain, Canada, Cape Race, Cape Ray, England, France, King Charles Ii Of England, King Louis Xiv Of France, King William Iii Of England, Kingwell, Newfoundland And Labrador, Placentia, St Johns, The French Shore, William Of Orange

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author avatar Kingwell
I am 75 years old and retired.I like writing short stories, poetry as well other articles of interest.

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Comments

author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
31st Mar 2013 (#)

Fascinating narration of history, Kingwell, thanks. You make one era to another pass in front of our eyes - siva

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author avatar Kingwell
31st Mar 2013 (#)

Thanks for your comment Siva

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author avatar Delicia Powers
1st Apr 2013 (#)

Well be reading Kingwell and many thanks...

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author avatar Kingwell
1st Apr 2013 (#)

Thank you Delicia.

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
6th Apr 2013 (#)

this history you are writing is superb and I hope you make it into a book...

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author avatar Kingwell
6th Apr 2013 (#)

Thank you cn, your appreciation for the work means a lot to me.

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author avatar Songbird B
23rd Apr 2013 (#)

Another enjoyable chapter my friend. I am a little behind on your pages and hope to catch up Kingwell, but I wonder if it might be worth adding the chapter numbers to your title page as well so it makes them easier to locate? Just a thought dear friend..Am enjoying this historical series..\0/x

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author avatar Kingwell
23rd Apr 2013 (#)

Thank you Songbird. I have been adding the Chapter number but not to the title page. I think I understand what you mean now. I will remember this for any future series. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

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