Designated in 2017 as an Outstanding Historic Event.

Nominator: Carol Osmond, Sir William Vaughan Trust, Trepassey and St. John’s

In 1608 John Guy visited Newfoundland, returned to England, and began promoting the island as a place for English settlements. In 1610 Guy and 47 London and Bristol merchants formed the Newfoundland Company, were given a Royal charter for the entire island, and made plans to establish colonies here.

Guy was made governor of Newfoundland. He arrived at Cupids Cove in August of 1610 with settlers and began building the first colony. Guy left Newfoundland in the spring of 1613 but the Cupids Colony remained.

Following in Guy’s footsteps, Sir Percival Willoughby, William Payne, Sir William Vaughan and Lord Falkland sent colonists to Carbonear, St. John’s, Aquaforte and Renews respectively. None of these colonies found lasting success. And all were surpassed by the colony established at Ferryland.

In 1621 George Calvert sent settlers and tradespeople to Ferryland.  By 1625 it boasted 100 inhabitants. The Calvert’s moved there in 1628 but left after a harsh winter.  In 1638, David Kirke claimed Ferryland. Kirke, and later his wife Sarah and their 4 sons, ran a prosperous business at Ferryland until 1697.

By 1675, the English Shore had 28 settlements. The French raid in 1696-97 devastated the settlements but many rebuilt. 2 years later there were 3099 English settlers on the island.

LEARN MORE > Commemorations Research Paper – “Some Commendable Benefit”: Early Newfoundland Colonizers and the Beginning of Permanent Settlement on the Island, by William Gilbert