Monday, November 24, 2014

The Newfoundland connection

Map of Ferryland 1693, From D.W. Prowse, A History of Newfoundland from the English, Colonial, and Foreign Records, 2nd edition (London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1896) 111. Caption beneath image reads, "Ferryland, showing Baltimore's House. From Fitzburgh's map, 1693." Image modified by Duleepa Wijayawardhana, 1999.
I am starting to find out about Bideford's relationship with Newfoundland as I have just been invited to join the steering group for a forthcoming project that the Devonshire Association are planning for 2017, celebrating the relationship between Devon and Newfoundland.

I have come across a fascinating book by Inkerman Rogers, geologist 1866 - 1959 who lived in Bideford. The chapter of his Ships and Shipyards of Bideford book, on the Newfoundland Fisheries starts with this quote:

The Spirits of our fathers
start from every wave!
For the deck it was their field of fame,
And ocean was their grave
- Campbell

The Magna Brittania of 1720 “stated that Bideford then was one of the best trading towns in England, sending every year great fleets to Newfoundland, to the West Indies and to Virginia”. (Inkerman Rogers, Ships and shipyards of Bideford, Devon, 1568 to 1938).

John Allan has told me that there are a great number of sherds of North Devon Pottery that have been found at Ferryland in Newfoundland, and that balluster jars (my favourite!) feature highly here.

Here begins another chapter in my journey and research.

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