Brief History

Whitbourne, Newfoundland’s first inland town, is named after Sir Richard Whitbourne, one of the most colourful early settlers of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador who wrote a book about Newfoundland that was published in 1620. Sir Richard was appointed by the High Court of the Admiralty to set up the first English law court in the New World in 1615 in Trinity. He was kidnapped and held by the notorious Pirate Peter Easton in Harbour Grace. He also described a mermaid that he saw in St. John's harbour. Later, he became governor of Renews on the Southern Shore.

Whitbourne, unlike most communities on the Island of Newfoundland is inland. It was founded in about 1880 during the construction of the Newfoundland Railway. The railway continued to be an important employer in the Town until its abandonment in 1988, although its economic significance declined gradually throughout the twentieth century.

Sir Robert Bond, the Prime Minister from 1900 to 1909, played a role in the expansion and planning of the Town and developed an elaborate country home, the "Grange", there.


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