FOTHERBY, CHARLES, captain in the Royal Navy, commodore of the Newfoundland convoy, 1714; b. c. 1670–75; d. 1 Aug. 1720.
As captain of the 40-gun Lark, Fotherby sailed with Sir George Rocke on his expedition to the Mediterranean in 1704. There he served with notable success, particularly in the defence of Gibraltar, when both Rooke and Sir John Leake were absent with the main part of the fleet.
Fotherby was commodore of the Newfoundland convoy in 1714 and his report, like that of Kempthorne for the following year, shows how far the regulations for the fishery were ignored at this time. He notes that few of the fishing ships in Newfoundland had a certificate of clearance from an English port, “wether by neglect or otherwaise I could not tell.” The stipulation that a certain number of “green men” be included in the crew of each ship coming from England was probably being flouted, and, despite Fotherby’s orders to the contrary, there was a steady migration of “land men” from Newfoundland to New England. French brandy was being smuggled through Placentia (Plaisance), and although Fotherby did not go there himself he was informed that most of the inhabitants of the French settlement had left. His report illustrates the general decline and uncertainty which characterized the colony and the fishery just after the treaty of Utrecht.
PRO, CSP, Col., 1714–15. Charnock, Biographia navalis, III. Lounsbury, British fishery at Nfld.