The south Avalon planters, 1630-1700 - residence, labour, demand and exchange in seventeenth-century Newfoundland

Pope, Peter Edward (1992) The south Avalon planters, 1630-1700 - residence, labour, demand and exchange in seventeenth-century Newfoundland. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

English settlement of Ferryland and other south Avalon communities, 1630 to 1700, is considered within the context of the early modern West Country migratory cod fishery at Newfoundland. The planter economy diversified but fishing remained the staple resource. In 1638 Sir David Kirke expropriated Ferryland from Sir George Calvert, who had invested in a permanent fishing station there. The Kirkes were wine merchants with commercial connections in London, Spain, the Atlantic Islands, New England and the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Archaeology at Ferryland suggests that Kirke and his partners invested as much as his predecessor. The Kirkes profited from their Newfoundland investment and remained important planters until 1696. -- The over-wintering population of the English Shore reached about 1500 by 1660 but did not grow much beyond 1700 for the rest of the century. Documents suggest the 1620s and 1640s were important for settlement in the study area. Demography and mobility rates indicate that heads of households were no more transient than in many communities elsewhere. The society of the English Shore can be understood as consisting of servants, planter employers and a planter gentry of literate merchants. The relation of planters and gentry was a form of clientage. The roles of women and religion are briefly considered. -- Fishermen's incomes in seventeenth-century Newfoundland were not as low as often assumed nor did payment by wages replace shares in this period. Comparative statistical analysis of archaeological assemblages confirms documentary indications that wine and tobacco were major components of demand. These preferences were related to contemporary consumption patterns and terms of exchange at the fishing periphery. These little luxuries functioned as symbols of warmth and sociability. Both supply and restriction of these goods can be understood as forms of social control. Retarded development c. 1700 had as much to do with devastation of the English Shore by the French, as it did with economic factors such as wage levels or socio-cultural factors such as consumption preferences.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/1558
Item ID: 1558
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 483-519
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > History
Date: 1992
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador; Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador--Ferryland; Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador--Southern Shore
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Newfoundland and Labrador--History--To 1763; Newfoundland and Labrador--Colonization; Southern Shore (N.L.)--History--To 1763; Ferryland (N.L.)--Antiquities

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