Your browser does not support script
Baccalieu Trail Heritage Corporation |Home|Community Connections|Search|About Us|Visitor Information|Artifacts & Features|Whats Happening

> People & Terms
> Timeline
> Journal Entries & Letters

> New Discoveries
> Other Places
> Panoramas

Thomas Willoughby to Sir Percival Willoughby, from Cupers Cove (Cupids), August 4, 1616.

Thomas Willoughby, Sir Percival Willoughby's third son, was about 23 years old when he wrote this letter. He first came to Newfoundland with his guardian Henry Crout in May of 1612. In the summer of 1613 Thomas and Henry returned to England but by the summer of 1616 they were back in Newfoundland. Their plan to build a house in Carbonear and fish from there that summer did not work out and they spent the winter of 1617 at Cupers Cove.

To the right worshipful my
verrie lovinge Father Sir
Percivall Willoughby knight
at Wollaton giue these

From T. Wil
New Found Land

Most Loving and Kind Father,

The cause of this my writing vnto you is to lett you vnderstand that [of] the company which you sent there remaynes but three of vs in the country. The carpenter went away at Bristow and carried one of our best pieces [i.e. guns] with him and carried away my hat and my sword and wee know not what is become of him. I hold it good if hee could be taken [so] that the things might be restored again. The piper was sicke and he went away, and my uncle and Master Cranwell was desirous to come home.

So that in their roomes [i.e. place] we mean to take three men with Will Hatton and so to keep about to sea to take codfish for we have gotten some salt in the country and boats we have got some. And if ever you looke for your money agayne in this country you must send fishermen or else there will bee no good done. Master Cranwell can tell you as much. The men of war has been here this year and took away a frenchman's shipp out of Carboneare and gave them a portugal ship full of salt. And the salt Master Mason hath got.

I pray you remember good Father to send mee some apparel by the first shipping that comes for I have none but what is on my back. I pray also to send me some waistcoats to wear in the summer for the country is so hot that one cannot wear a doublet. And [I] am in great need for shoes and stockings and many other necessary things [of] which I will writ more att large hereafter.

I pray you pardon mee for not writing no better because I write in hast for I made account [that] they [that are carrying this letter] would not a gone away so soone. And by Randall's ship you shall hear all [the] business at large and what salt and boates Master Crout hath gott [so] that you need to provide so much the less [for] the next year. I pray you remember to send a couple of fowling pieces for wee haue but two in all.

Wee would have built at Carboneare this yeare if we had bin of strength but we will keepe a place there next yeare for to fish in. If wee haue you will [have to] send fishermen. For without fishermen there can bee no good done. Nor we cannot build [a house] except you send a house carpenter.

And so I cease at this tyme promising you to serue god daily and by serving of him I shall do well. Beseeching the all mighty to blesse you and send you your health, I leave you to the almighty.

From newfoundland the forth of August
Your dutifull and obedient sonn,
Thomas Willoughby

(Middleton Manuscript, Mi x 1/36, University of Nottingham)


This transcription is based on my reading and interpretation of a microfilm copy of the original document. Microfilm copies of this letter and the rest of the Willoughby Papers are housed at both the Provincial Archives of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Centre for Newfoundland Studies, Memorial University of Newfoundland. While every attempt has been made to present this document as originally written, certain changes have been made to render it more comprehensible to present day readers. In some cases the original punctuation has been altered and the spellings modernized. The text has also been broken down into paragraphs and, where deemed necessary, a word or two has been inserted within square brackets to clarify what is being said.