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Volume 47, Number 1 (2018)

Weighing the Evidence: Restoration Policymaking and the 1675 Order to Evict Newfoundland’s English Residents

May 22, 2018
May 10, 2018


In 1675, King Charles II approved an order to evict all English residents from Newfoundland. To make this decision, government officials, particularly the Committee for Trade and Plantations, engaged in a wide-ranging information collection process to assess conditions in Newfoundland and how to resolve complaints of lawlessness and economic decline. The captain tasked with carrying out the eviction, however, found that the committee’s conclusions were incorrect, and he challenged the evidence underpinning them. This article examines how the committee’s various decisions regarding Newfoundland in 1675 followed a larger change in the role of data collection and analysis in English policymaking.