Quidi Vidi. Pop. 599. An ancient and picturesque fishing settlement a mile or so outside the eastern limit of St. John’s, lying between Quidi Vidi Lake and Quidi Vidi Gut. First settled probably in the early 16th century. Here in the 1650s and later lived the Newfoundland patriot John Downing, the planter who in 1675 went as the people’s delegate to England to procure the rescinding of the Royal Proclamation ordering all settlers to remove from the country. In 1705 it had 20 houses and families. A battle was fought near here in 1762, when the British troops landed at Torbay and marched overland to recapture St. John’s from the French. The French had held the capital for several weeks that summer, and in anticipation of a probable attempt by the British to land their forces at Quidi Vidi Gut (or entrance to the sea) the French barred it by sinking rock-filled shallop boats in it. Nearby the settlement on the lower north side of the lake the U.S. Government is at present constructing an important military base.
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