Case File No. 19

Barbara (also Barbary) Murphy

Order of Governor John Byron
29 October 1770

By His Excell. the Hon. Jno. Byron
Govr. &c. ~

Whereas it has been represented unto me by Willm. Coombs that he is in Possession of a Fishing Roome known by the Name of Langworthys Room on the South side of Petty Harbour containing in length along shore 20 feet; also in length East and West on the back thereof 220 feet, and in breadth North and South 205 feet; that he is Tenant to the Widow Barbara Murphy of Ferryland who has Let it to the said Coombs on a Building Lease; and that part of the said Premisses has laid waste & unoccupied for the Fishery for upwards of 20 years past, as appears by a Certificate under the hands of five of the most ancient Inhabitants of Petty Harbour. And Whereas the said William Coombs to comply with the Terms of the said Lease by erecting Fishing Works thereon and prayed me to secure the Proprietor & himself in the Peaceable and quiet Possession thereof; I do therefore hereby Order and direct that all the Houses, Stages Cookrooms, Trainfats Flakes and other Fishing Conveniences now standing on the said Premisses, & wch. shall and may hereafter be Built, Cut out and made thereof (if the same or any part thereof since the 25th. of March 1685 did not belong to Fishing Ships) the said Barbara Murphy shall and may peaceably and quietly enjoy to her own Use witht. any Disturbance of or from any Person or Persons whatsoever agreeable to the Act of the 10th. and 11th. of William the 3d. for encouraging the Trade to Newfoundland, she or the Tenant or Tenants in Possession thereof complying with the 9th. and 10th. Sections thereof; by employing the Fresh Men required by the said Act and producing Certificates thereof when lawfully Demanded. But it is to be observed that in case the Fishing Works so to be Erected as aforesaid, are not completed within two Years from the Date hereof; or if at any time hereafter the said Fishing Works shall be Neglected and fall to Decay, and not be employed for the purposes of taking Bait and Fishing; or for drying, curing or husbanding of Fish, it will revert to the Public and Fishing Conveniences may be Built Cut out and made thereon by any Person or Persons (except the said William Coombs) for his, her or their own Use, by Permission in Writing from the Govr. and Commodore for the time being; witht. being Accountable to the said Barbara Murphy, her Executors, Admirs. or Assigns or her or their Tenant or Tenants for the same. Given under my Hand at St. Johns, this 29th. Octr. 1770.

J. Byron

By Command of His Excelly.
the Govr. and Commodore
Hen Stacy

Deposition of Maurice Kane
Before Jonathon Pitts, Admiral, and Nicholas Mudge, Rear Admiral, Petty Harbour
12 September 1772

In the matter of a complaint by William Keen, merchant of St. John's, in relation to an alleged encroachment on his Fishing Room in Petty Harbour, known as "Paradice"

Maurice Kane being first duly Sworn Deposeth That about forty one or Forty two years ago, this Deponent bound himself an Apprentice to Hon. T. Efford of Brixham in the County of Devon Boatkeeper, who at time lived on a Fishing Room in Petty Harbour in Newfoundland known by the name of Paradice, which Room the said Hon. T. Efford Rented from Willm. Keen Esqr. of St. John's, on which this Deponent lived two years and a half, at which time George Efford Occupied the other part of the said Room; the whole being four Boats Room, that some time after this Deponent became a Boatkeeper and rented a Fishing Room of Barbary Murphy next adjoining, and behind the Room belonging to said William Keen consisting of three Boats Room which he held fifteen years, and which he held as the whole of her Room at that time, and that about four years ago the said Barbary Murphy lett her Room to Willm Coombs and Partner at which time this Deponent was called upon by Barbary Murphy to point out and shew the Bounds of her Rooms, which he had Occupied as aforesaid, which this Deponent accordingly did and shew'd to her how far her Room extended, and where it [obliteration] Paradice Room [obliteration] to Willm. Keen [obliteration] present, the said Keens Room extending from a small run of Water which bound the Western part as Saml Chafes Room does the Eastward part of the said Paradice Room belonging to Willm. Keen as aforesaid and the Back part towards the Woods being bounded by the said Barbary Murphy's Room; this Deponent further Sayeth that being now called by Willm. Keen of St. John's Merchant to examine whether any Person or Persons have made any Encroachments on his said Room called Paradice; and after carefully examining the same finds that Willm. Coombs and Partner Tenants to Barbary Murphy have made great Encroachments on the said Room of the said Willm Keen, by Building a Fish Flake on the Westward part adjoining the run of Water mentioned by [previous deponent] Wm. Bailey with a small Studded House or Platform and a small Garden adjoining the Stage Occupied by Willm. Coombs at this time which Platform and Garden are Built on the said Keen's Room and obstruct the path from his Stage to the Flakes which path went from the Stage by a Well of water which was on the left hand of the said path, and he further Sayeth that the upper Flake built by said Coombs extends down the Hill even below their Right, and are entered on the Room of the said Keen some small matter, and further Sayeth that the Bound Stone placed at the Eastern bounds of the said Keen's has been moved some distance in on his Room and should be Close to Saml Chafes Flake. ~

Sworn before us in Petty Harbr. (Signed) Mce. Kane
this 12 September 1772. ~
(Signed) Jno. Pitts ~ Admiral
Nichs. Mudge. R. Adml.

Sources: PANL, GN2/1/A: vol. 4, 283-84, Order, Governor John Byron, 29 October 1770; and vol. 5, 134-36, Deposition of Maurice Kane before Jonathan Pitt, Admiral, and Nicholas Mudge, Rear Admiral, at Petty Harbour, 12 September 1772.