Royal Gazette - St. John's, Newfoundland


The Newfoundland Gazette began publication as the Royal Gazette and was Newfoundland's first newspaper. The early issues contained extensive reprints from the foreign press, a very small amount of local news, shipping news, reports of associations such as the Benevolent Irish Society, very long rambling letters from readers (invariably unsigned), legal and official notices, and advertisements of all types, including ones seeking to apprehend deserting seamen and indentured servants. As other newspapers began publication in the Colony, the Gazette published extracts from their columns as well as letters from government officials disputing statements in other papers. After the establishment of the Legislature and the Supreme and Circuit Courts, the proceedings of these bodies were included. In the last half of the nineteenth century, the Gazette had its own London correspondent. Because the Gazette was a semi-official publication, it was expected to maintain an impartial editorial policy and the other papers were quick to criticize the slightest digression from the straight and narrow.

By 1924, when the Royal Gazette became the Newfoundland Gazette, everything except government notices had disappeared from the paper. The basic format and contents have remained unchanged since that time.

Information above courtesy of: Bibliographical Control Services Division, QEII Library, Memorial University of Newfoundland.


Land Petitions - Caplin Bay area

Below are a number of selected entries, extracted from early issues of the Royal Gazette by the late Ray Curran, that mention certain individuals who petitioned for land at Caplin Bay. I have also included a few individuals, who petitioned for land in the area that now falls within the town of Ferryland. However, at the time of the petitions, the area was probably considered part of Caplin Bay. In several of the earliest voters lists, the south side of the bay, extending to Scoggin's Head, is included in the listing for Caplin Bay. The outcomes of these petitions are unknown; records of the earliest Crown Land grants were destroyed in the Great Fire (St. John's) of 1892.

Royal Gazette and Newfoundland Advertiser, Aug. 27, 1807 - July 5, 1892; Oct. 11, 1892 - Sept. 30, 1924.


Date Petitioner's Name Location of property
October 6, 1827 Bartlett, Lydia Petitioned for a grant of land in Ferryland Road/Deep Cove.
October 13, 1828 Brown, Timothy Rev. Petitioned for a grant of land in Ferryland, Road to Caplin Bay.
September 12, 1827 Bryan, Lambert Petitioned for a grant of land in Ferryland, Path to Scroggings.
September 15, 1827 Morrison, Andrew Petitioned for a grant of land in Ferryland, Road to Caplin Bay.
September 20, 1829 Redigan, Richard Petitioned for a grant of land in Caplin Bay.
August 5, 1830 Sweetland, Benjamin Petitioned for a grant of land in Caplin Bay.

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