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Prelude to Confederation
Mockbeggar Plantation Provincial Historic Site (The)
St. John's , Newfoundland and Labrador

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of the Mockbeggar Plantation,
which stretches back to the
discovery of North America by
John Cabot, back to the first
European settlement when it
was considered the “best room
in Bonavista,” and back to
the French–English wars when
the treaty of Utrecht divided
Newfoundland between the two

warring countries and put the
English settlers of Bonavista
behind enemy lines on the
“French Shore.” At that time,
a small fort was built at
Mockbeggar for protection
from French raiding parties,
through the time of the West
Country, when English
merchants who exploited the

Newfoundland fishery and
built the economy of Britain
as it became a great world
power. The “Quaker miser,”
Joseph White, owned the
Mockbeggar room and built the
Big Store, which still stands
on the Plantation grounds. It
remained an important
business concern in the early

19th century, during the rise
of the St. John’s merchant
families and the Outport
Merchants, who traded
internationally from towns
all along the coast of
Newfoundland and Labrador.
The Mockbeggar Plantation was
an important part of the
establishment of Methodism in

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