After 1713, with the Treaty of Utrecht , the French ceded control of south and north shores of the island to the British. They kept only the nearby islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon , located in the fish-rich Grand Banks off the south coast. Despite some early settlements by the English, the Crown discouraged permanent, year-round settlement of Newfoundland by migratory fishery workers. Thomas Nash was an Irish Catholic fisherman who permanently settled in Newfoundland despite English rule. He established the fishing town of Branch .  He and his cousin Father Patrick Power of Callan , County Kilkenny , spread Catholicism in Newfoundland. This settlement attracted a major migration of Irish Catholic immigrants to Newfoundland in the early eighteenth century.