** Transcriber's Notes **
The printed edition from which this e-text has been produced retains the spelling and abbreviations of Hakluyt's 16th-century original. In this version, the spelling has been retained, but the following manuscript abbreviations have been silently expanded:
- vowels with macrons = vowel + 'n' or 'm' - q; = -que (in the Latin) - y'e = the; y't = that; w't = with
This edition contains footnotes and two types of sidenotes. Most footnotes are added by the editor. They follow modern (19th-century) spelling conventions. Those that don't are Hakluyt's (and are not always systematically marked as such by the editor). The sidenotes are Hakluyt's own. Summarizing sidenotes are labelled [Sidenote: ] and placed before the sentence to which they apply. Sidenotes that are keyed with a symbol are labeled [Marginal note: ] and placed at the point of the symbol, except in poetry, where they are placed at a convenient point. Additional notes on corrections, etc. are signed 'KTH'
** End Transcriber's Notes **
Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques
THE ENGLISH NATION.
RICHARD HAKLUYT, PREACHER.
EDMUND GOLDSMID, F.R.H.S.
AMERICA. PART I.
TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE SIR ROBERT CECIL KNIGHT.
Principall Secretarie to her Maiestie, Master of the Court of Wards and Liueries, and one of her Maiesties most honourable Priuie Councell.
Right honourable, your fauourable acceptance of my second volume of the English voyages offred vnto you the last yere, your perusing of the same at your conuenient leasure, your good testimony of my selfe and of my trauailes therein, together with the infallible signes of your earnest desire to doe mee good, which very lately, when I thought least thereof, brake forth into most bountiful and acceptable effects: these considerations haue throughly animated and encouraged me to present vnto your prudent censure this my third and last volume also. The subiect and matter herein contained is the fourth part of the world, which more commonly then properly is called America: but by the chiefest Authors The new world. New, in regard of the new and late discouery thereof made by Christopher Colon, alias Columbus, a Genouois by nation, in the yere of grace 1492. And world, in respect of the huge extension thereof, which to this day is not throughly discouered, neither within the Inland nor in the coast, especially toward the North and Northwest, although on the either side it be knowen vnto vs for the space of fiue thousand leagues at the least, compting and considering the trending of the land, and for 3000. more on the backeside in the South Sea from the Streight of Magellan to Cape Mendocino and Noua Albion. So that it seemeth very fitly to be called A newe worlde. Howbeit it cannot be denied but that Antiquitie had some kinde of dimme glimse, and vnperfect notice thereof. Which may appeare by the relation of Plato in his two worthy dialogues of Timaeus and Critias vnder the discourse of that mighty large yland called by him Atlantis, lying in the Ocean sea without the Streight of Hercules, now called the Straight of Gibraltar, being (as he there reporteth) bigger then Africa and Asia: And by that of Aristotle in his booke De admirandis auditionibus of the long nauigation of certaine Carthaginians, who sayling forth of the aforesaid Streight of Gibraltar into the maine Ocean for the space of many dayes, in the ende found a mighty and fruitfull yland, which they would haue inhabited, but were forbidden by their Senate and chiefe gouernours. Moreouer, aboue 300. yeeres after these wee haue the testimony of Diodorus Siculus lib. 5 cap. 7. of the like mighty yland discouered in the Westerne Ocean by the Tyrrheni, who were forbidden for certaine causes to inhabite the same by the foresaid Carthaginians. And Senecca in his tragedie intituled Medea foretold aboue 1500. yeeres past, that in the later ages the Ocean would discouer new worlds, and that the yle of Thule would no more be the vttermost limite of the earth. For whereas Virgile had said to Augustus Caesar, Tibi seruiat vltima Thule, alluding thereunto he contradicteth the same, and saith, Nec sit terris vltima Thule. Yea Tertullian, one of our most ancient and learned diuines, in the beginning of his treatise de Pallio alludeth vnto Plato his Westerne Atlantis, which there by another name he calleth Aeon, saying Aeon in Atlantico nunc quaeritur. And in his 40. chapter de Apologetico he reporteth the same to be bigger then all Africa and Asia. Of this new world and euery speciall part thereof in this my third volume I haue brought to light the best and most perfect relations of such as were chiefe actours in the particular discoueries and serches of the same, giuing vnto euery man his right, and leauing euery one to mainteine his owne credit. The order obserued in this worke is farre more exact, then heretofore I could attaine vnto: for whereas in my two former volumes I was enforced for lacke of sufficient store, in diuers places to vse the methode of time onely (which many worthy authors on the like occasion are enforced vnto) being now more plentifully furnished with matter, I alwayes follow the double order of time and place. Wherefore proposing vnto my selfe the right situation of this New world, I begin at the extreme Northerne limite, and put downe successiuely in one ranke or classis, according to the order aforesaide, all such voyages as haue bene made to the said part: which comming all together, and following orderly one vpon another, doe much more lighten the readers vnderstanding, and confirme his iudgment, then if they had bene scattered in sundry corners of the worke. Which methode I obserue from the highest North to the lowest South. Now where any country hath bene but seldome hanted, or any extraordinary or chiefe action occureth, if I finde one voyage well written by two seuerall persons, sometimes I make no difficultie to set downe both those iournals, as finding diuers things of good moment obserued in the one, which are quite omitted in the other. For commonly a souldier obserueth one thing, and a mariner another, and as your honour knoweth, Plus vident oculi, quam oculus. But this course I take very seldome and sparingly. And albeit my worke do cary the title of The English voyages, aswell in regard that the greatest part are theirs, and that my trauaile was chiefly vndertaken for preseruation of their memorable actions, yet where our owne mens experience is defectiue, there I haue bene careful to supply the same with the best and chiefest relations of strangers. As in the discouery of the Grand Bay, of the mighty riuer of S. Laurence, of the countries of Canada, Hochelaga, and Saguenay, of Florida, and the Inland of Cibola, Tiguex, Cicuic, and Quiuira, of The gulfe of California, and the North westerne sea-coast to Cabo Mendocino and Sierra Neuada: as also of the late and rich discouery of 15. prouinces on the backside of Florida and Virginia, the chiefest whereof is called the kingdome of New Mexico, for the wealth, ciuil gouernment, and populousnesse of the same. Moreouer because since our warres with Spaine, by the taking of their ships, and sacking of their townes and cities, most of all their secrets of the West Indies, and euery part thereof are fallen into our peoples hands (which in former time were for the most part vnknowen vnto vs,) I haue vsed the vttermost of my best endeuour, to get, and hauing gotten, to translate out of Spanish, and here in this present volume to publish such secrets of theirs, as may any way auaile vs or annoy them, if they driue and vrge vs by their sullen insolencies, to continue our courses of hostilitie against them, and shall cease to seeke a good and Christian peace vpon indifferent and equal conditions. What these things be, and of how great importance your honour in part may vnderstand, if it please you to vouchsafe to reade the Catalogues conteyning the 14 principal heads of this worke. Whereby your honor may farther perceiue that there is no chiefe riuer, no port, no towne, no citie, no prouince of any reckoning in the West Indies, that hath not here some good description thereof, aswell for the inland as the sea-coast. And for the knowledge of the true breadth of the Sea betweene Noua Albion on the Northwest part of America, and the yle of Iapan lying ouer against the kingdomes of Coray and China, which vntil these foure yeeres was neuer reueiled vnto vs, being a point of exceeding great consequence, I haue here inserted the voyage of one Francis Gualle a Spaniard made from Acapulco an hauen on the South sea on the coast of New Spaine, first to the Philippinas, and then to the citie of Macao in China, and homeward from Macao by the yles of Iapan, and thence to the back of the West Indies in the Northerly latitude of 37. degrees 1/2. In which course betweene the said ylands and the maine he found a wide and spacious open Ocean of 900. leagues broad, which a little more to the Northward hath bene set out as a Streight, and called in most mappes The Streight of Anian. In which relation to the viceroy hee constantly affirmeth three seuerall times, that there is a passage that way vnto the North parts of Asia. Moreouer, because I perceiue by a letter directed by her Maiestie to the Emperour of China (and sent in the last Fleet intended for those parts by The South Sea vnder the charge of Beniamin Wood, chiefly set out at the charges of sir Robert Duddeley, a gentleman of excellent parts) that she vseth her princely mediation for obtaining of freedome of traffique for her marchants in his dominions, for the better instruction of our people in the state of those countries, I haue brought to light certaine new aduertisements of the late alteration of the mightie monarchie of the confronting yle of Iapan, and of the new conquest of the kingdome of Coray, not long since tributarie to the king of China, by Quabacondono the monarch of all the yles and princedomes of Iapan; as also of the Tartars called Iezi, adioyning on the East and Northeast parts of Coray, where I thinke the best vtterance of our natural and chiefe commoditie of cloth is like to be, if it please God hereafter to reueile vnto vs the passage thither by the Northwest. The most exact and true information of the North parts of China I finde in a history of Tamerlan, which I haue in French, set out within these sixe yeeres by the abbat of Mortimer, dedicated to the French king that now reigneth, who confesseth that it was long since written in the Arabian tongue by one Alhacen a wise and valiant Captaine, employed by the said mighty prince in all his conquests of the foresaid kingdome. Which history I would not haue failed to haue translated into English, if I had not found it learnedly done vnto my hand.
And for an appendix vnto the ende of my worke, I haue thought it not impertinent, to exhibite to the graue and discreet iudgements of those which haue the chiefe places in the Admiraltie and marine causes of England, Certaine briefe extracts of the orders of the Contractation house of Siuil in Spaine, touching their gouernment in sea-matters: together with The streight and seuere examination of Pilots and Masters before they be admitted to take charge of ships, aswell by the Pilot mayor, and brotherhood of ancient Masters, as by the Kings reader of The lecture of the art of Nauigation, with the time that they be enioyned to bee his auditors, and some part of the questions that they are to answere vnto. Which if they finde good and beneficial for our seamen, I hope they wil gladly imbrace and imitate, or finding out some fitter course of their owne, will seeke to bring such as are of that calling vnto better gouernment and more perfection in that most laudable and needfull vocation. To leaue this point, I was once minded to haue added to the end of these my labours a short treatise, which I haue lying by me in writing, touching The curing of hot diseases incident to traueilers in long and Southerne voyages, which treatise was written in English, no doubt of a very honest mind, by one M. George Wateson, and dedicated vnto her sacred Maiestie. But being carefull to do nothing herein rashly, I shewed it to my worshipfull friend M. doctour Gilbert, a gentleman no lesse excellent in the chiefest secrets of the Mathematicks (as that rare iewel lately set foorth by him in Latine doeth euidently declare) then in his owne profession of physicke: who assured me, after hee had perused the said treatise, that it was very defectiue and vnperfect, and that if hee might haue leasure, which that argument would require, he would either write something thereof more aduisedly himselfe, or would conferre with the whole Colledge of the Physicions, and set downe some order by common consent for the preseruation of her Maiesties subjects. Now as the foresaid treatise touched the cure of diseases growing in hot regions, so being requested thereunto by some in authoritie they may adde their iudgments for the cure of diseases incident unto men employed in cold regions, which to good purpose may serue our peoples turnes, if they chance to prosecute the intermitted discouery by the Northwest, whereunto I finde diuers worshipfull citizens at this present much inclined. Now because long since I did foresee, that my profession of diuinitie, the care of my family, and other occasions might call and diuert me from these kinde of endeuours, I haue for these 3 yeeres last pasts encouraged and furthered in these studies of Cosmographie and forren histories, my very honest, industrious, and learned friend M. IOHN PORY, one of speciall skill and extraordinary hope to performe great matters in the same, and beneficial for the common wealth.
Thus Sir I haue portrayed out in rude lineaments my Westerne Atlantis or America: assuring you, that if I had bene able, I would haue limned her and set her out with farre more liuely and exquisite colours: yet, as she is, I humbly desire you to receiue her with your wonted and accustomed fauour at my handes, who alwayes wil remaine most ready and deuoted to do your honour any poore seruice that I may; and in the meane season will not faile vnfainedly to beseech the Almighty to powre vpon you the best of his temporall blessings in this world, and after this life ended with true and much honour, to make you partaker of his joyes eternall. From London the first of September, the yeere of our Lord God 1600.
Your Honours most humble to be commanded,
RICHARD HAKLVYT, Preacher.
Nauigations, Voyages, Traffiques, and Discoueries
ENGLISH NATION IN AMERICA.
* * * * *
The most ancient Discovery of the West Indies by Madoc the sonne of Owen Guyneth Prince of North-wales, in the yeere 1170: taken out of the history of Wales, lately published by M. Dauid Powel Doctor of Diuinity.
After the death of Owen Guyneth, his sonnes fell at debate who should inherit after him: for the eldest sonne borne in matrimony, Edward or Iorweth Drwydion, was counted vnmeet to gouerne, because of the maime upon his face: and Howell that tooke vpon him all the rule was a base sonne, begotten upon an Irish woman. Therefore Dauid gathered all the power he could, and came against Howel, and fighting with him, slew him; and afterwards inioyed quietly the whole land of Northwales, vntil his brother Iorwerths sonne came to age. [Sidenote: Madoc the son of Owen Guyneth.] Madoc another of Owen Guyneth his sonnes left the land in contention betwixt his brethren, and prepared certaine ships, with men and munition, and sought aduentures by Seas, sailing West, and leauing the coast of Ireland so farre North, that he came vnto a land vnknowen, where he saw many strange things.
[Sidenote: Humf. Llyod.] This land most needs be some part of that Countrey of which the Spanyards affirme themselues to be the first finders since Hannos time. Whereupon it is manifest that that countrey was by Britaines discouered, long before Columbus led any Spanyards thither.
Of the voyage and returne of this Madoc there be many fables feined, as the common people doe vse in distance of place and length of time rather to augment then to diminish: but sure it is there he was. [Sidenote: The second voyage of Madoc the sonne of Owen Guyneth.] And after he had returned home, and declared the pleasant and fruitfull countreys that he had seen without inhabitants, and vpon the contrary part, for what barren and wild ground his brethren and nephews did murther one another, he prepared a number of ships, and got with him such men and women as were desirous to liue in quietness: and taking leaue of his friends, tooke his journey thitherward againe. [Sidenote: Gomara. lib. 2. cap. 16.] Therefore it is to be supposed that he and his people inhabited part of those countreys: for it appeareth by Francis Lopez de Gomara, that in Acuzamil and other places the people honored the crosse. Wherby it may be gathered that Christians had bene there before the comming of the Spanyards. But because this people were not many, they followed the maners of the land which they came vnto, and vsed the language they found there.
[Sidenote: M. Powels addition. Gutyn Owen.] This Madoc arriuing in that Westerne countrey, vnto the which he came in the yere 1170, left most of his people there, and returning backe for more of his owne nation, acquaintance and friends to inhabit that faire and large countrey, went thither againe with ten sailes, as I find noted by Gutyn Owen. I am of opinion that the land whereunto he came was some part of the West Indies.
* * * * *
Carmina Meredith filij Rhesi mentionem facientia de Madoco filio Oweni Guynedd, et de sua nauigatione in terras incognitas. Vixit hic Meredith circiter annum Domini 1477.
Madoc wyf, mwyedic wedd, Iawn genau, Owyn Guynedd: Ni fynnum dir, fy enaid oedd Na da mawr, ond y moroedd.
The same in English.
Madoc I am the sonne of Owen Gwynedd With stature large, and comely grace adorned: No lands at home nor store of wealth me please, My minde was whole to search the Ocean seas.
* * * * *
The offer of the discouery of the West Indies by Christopher Columbus to king Henry the seuenth in the yeere 1488 the 13 of February: with the kings acceptation of the offer, and the cause whereupon hee was depriued of the same: recorded in the thirteenth chapter of the history of Don Fernand Columbus of the life and deeds of his father Christopher Columbus.
Christophero Colon temendo, se parimente i Re di Castiglia non assentissero alla sua impresa, non gli bisognasse proporla di nuouo a qualche alto principe, e cosi in cio passasse lungo tempo; mando in Inghilterra vn suo fratello, che haueua appresso di se, chiantato Bartholomeo Colon: il qual, quantunque non hauesse lettere Latine, era pero huomo prattico, e giudicioso nelle cose del mare, e sapea molto bene far carte da nauigare, e sphere, et altri instrumenti di quella professione, come dal suo fratello era instrutto. Partito adunque Bartholomeo Colon per Inghilterra, volle la sua sorte, che desse in man di cor sali, i quali lo spogliarono insieme con gli altri delta sua naue. Per la qual cosa, e per la sua pouerta et infirmita, che in cosi diuerse terre lo assalirono crudelmente, prolungo per gran tempo la sua ambasciata, fin che, aquistata vn poco di faculia con le carte, ch' ei fabricana, comincio a far pratiche co' il Re Enrico settimo padre de Enrico ottauo, che al presente regna: a cui appresento vn mappamondo, nel quale erano scritti questi versi, che fra le sue scriture lo trouai, e da me saranno qui posti piu rosto per l'antichita, che per la loro elganza.
Terraram quicunque cupis foeliciter oras Noscere, cuncta decens docte pictura docebit, Quam Strabo affirmat, Ptolomaeus, Plinius, atque Isidorus: non vno tamen sententia cuique. Pingitur hic etiam nuper sulcata carinis Hispanis Zona illa, prius incognita genti Torrida, quae tandem nunc est notissima multis.
Et piu di sotto diceua
Pro Authore siue Pictore.
Ianua cui patriae est nomen, cui Bartholomaeus Columbus de Terra Rubra, opus edidit istud, Londonijis anno Domini 1480 atque insuper anno Octauo, decimaque die cum tertia mensis Februarij. Laudes Christo cantentur abunde.
Et, percioche auuertira alcuno, che dice Columbus de Terra Rubra, dico medesimamente Io viddi alcune sotto scritioni dell'Ammiraglio, primo che acquistasse lo stato, ou' egli si sotto scriueua, Columbus de Terra Rubra. Ma, tornando al Re d'Inghilterra, dico, che, da lui il mappamondo veduto, et cio che i'Ammiraglio gli offeriua, con allegro volto accetto la sua offerta, e mandolo a chiamare. Ma, percioche Dio Phaueua per Cas. tiglia serbata, gia l'Ammiraglio in quel tempo era andato, e tornato con la vittoria della sua impresa, secondo che per ordine si raccontera. Lasciaro hora di raccontar cio, che Bartolomeo Colon hauena negociato in Inghilterra, e tornaro all'Ammiraglio, etc.
The same in English.
Christopher Columbus fearing least if the king of Castile in like manner (as the king of Portugall had done) should not condescend vnto his enterprise, he should be inforced to offer the same againe to some other prince, and so much time should be spent therein, sent into England a certaine brother of his which he had with him, whose name was Bartholomew Columbus, who, albeit he had not the Latine tongue, yet neuerthelesse was a man of experience and skilfull in Sea causes, and could very wel make sea cards and globes, and other instruments belonging to that profession, as he was instructed by his brother. Wherefore after that Bartholomew Columbus was departed for England, his lucke was to fall into the hands of pirats, which spoiled him with the rest of them which were in the ship which he went in. [Sidenote: The occasion why the West Indies were not discouered for England.] Vpon which occasion, and by reason of his pouerty and sicknesse which cruelly assaulted him in a countrey so farre distant from his friends, he deferred his embassage for a long while, until such time as he had gotten somewhat handsome about him with making of Sea Cards. At length he began to deale with King Henry the seuenth the father of Henry the eight, which reigneth at this present: vnto whom he presented a mappe of the world, wherein these verses were written, which I found among his papers: and I will here set them downe, rather for their antiquity then for their goodnesse.
Thou which desireth easily the coasts of lands to know, This comely mappe right learnedly the same to thee will shew: Which Strabo, Plinie, Ptolomew and Isodore maintaine: Yet for all that they do not all in one accord remaine. Here also is set downe the late discouered burning Zone By Portingals, vnto the world which whilom was vnknowen. Whereof the knowledge now at length thorow all the world is blowen.
And a little vnder he added:
For the Author or the Drawer.
He, whose deare natiue soile hight stately Genua. Euen he whose name is Bartholomew Colon de Terra Rubra, The yeere of Grace a thousand and foure hundred and fourescore And eight, and on the thirteenth day of February more, In London published this worke. To Christ all laud therefore.
And because some peraduenture may obserue that he calleth himselfe Columbus de Terra Rubra, I say, that in like maner I haue seene some subscriptions of my father Christopher Columbus, before he had the degree of Admirall, wherein be signed his name thus, Columbus de Terra Rubra. [Sidenote: King Henry the seuenth his acceptation of Columbus offer.] But to returne to the king of England, I say, that after he had seene the map, and that which my father Christopher Columbus offered vnto him, he accepted the offer with ioyfull countenance, and sent to call him into England. But because God had reserued the said offer for Castile, Columbus was gone in the meane space, and also returned with the performance of his enterprise, as hereafter in order shall be rehearsed. Now will I leaue off from making any farther mention of that which Bartholomew Colon had negotiated in England, and I will returne vnto the Admirall, &c.
* * * * *
Another testimony taken out of the 60 chapter of the foresayd history of Ferdinando Columbus concerning the offer that Bartholomew Columbus made to king Henry the seuenth on the behalfe of his brother Christopher.
Tornato adunque l'Ammiraglio dallo scoprimento di Cuba and di Giamaica, torno nella Spagnuola Bartolomeo Colon suo fratello, quello, che era gia andato a trattare accordo col Re d'Inghilterra sopra lo scoprimento delle Indie, come di sopra habiam detto. Questo poi, ritornando sene verso Castiglia con capitoli conceduti, haueua inteso a Parigi dal re Carlo di Francia, l'Ammiraglio suo fratello hauer gia scorperte l'Indie: per che gli souenne per poter far il Viaggio di cento scudi. Et, Auenga che per cotal nuoua egli si fosse molto affrettato, per arriuar l'Ammiraglio in Spagna, quando non dimeno giunse a Siuiglia, egli era gia tornato alle Indie co' 17 nauigli. Perche, per asseguir quanto ei gli haueba lasciato, di subito al principio dell' anno del 1494 sen' ando a i Re Catholici, menando seco Don Diego Colon, mio fratello, e me ancora, accioche seruissimo di paggi al serenissimo principe Don Giouanni, il qual viua in gloria, si come hauea commandata la Catholica Reina donna Isabella, che alhora era in Vagliadolid. Tosto adunque che noi giungemmo, i Re chiamarono Don Bartolomeo, et mandaronlo alia Spagnuola centre naui, &c.
The same in English.
Christopher Columbus the Admirall being returned from the discouery of Cuba and Iamayca, found in Hispaniola his brother Bartholomew Columbus, who before had beene sent to intreat of an agreement with the king of England for the discouery of the Indies, as we haue sayd before. This Bartholomew therefore returning vnto Castile, with the capitulations granted by the king of England to his brother, vnderstood at Paris by Charles the king of France that the Admirall his brother had already performed that discouery: whereupon the French king gaue vnto the sayd Bartholomew an hundred French crownes to beare his charges into Spaine. And albeit he made great haste vpon this good newes to meet with the Admirall in Spaine, yet at his comming to Siuil his brother was already returned to the Indies with seuenteene saile of shipps. Wherefore to fulfill that which he had left him in charge in the beginning of the yeere 1494 he repaired to the Catholike princes, taking with him Diego Colon my brother and me also, which were to be preferred as Pages to the most excellent Prince Don Iohn, who now is with God, according to the commandement of the Catholic Queene Lady Isabell, which was then in Validolid. Assoone therefore as we came to the Court, the princes called for Don Bartholomew, and sent him to Hispaniola with three ships, &c.
* * * * *
THE ENGLISH VOYAGES, NAVIGATIONS, AND DISCOUERIES.
(Intended for the finding of a northwest passage) to the north parts of America, to meta incogita, and the backeside of Gronland, as farre as 72 degrees and 12 minuts: performed first by Sebastian Cabota, and since by Sir Martin Frobisher, and M. John Dauis, with the patents, discourses, and aduertisements thereto belonging.
The Letters patents of King Henry the seuenth granted vnto Iohn Cabot and his three sonnes, Lewis, Sebastian, and Sancius for the discouerie of new and vnknowen lands.
Henricus Dei gratia rex Angliae, et Franciae, et Dominus Hiberniae, omnibus, ad quos praesentes literae nostrae peruenerint, salutem.
Notum sit et manifestum, quod dedimus et concessimus, ac per praesentes damus et concedimus pro nobis et haeredibus nostris, dilectis nobis Ioanni Caboto ciui Venetiarum, Lodouico, Sebastiano, et Sancio, filijs dicti Ioannis, et eorum ac cuiuslibet eorum haeredibus et deputatis, plenam ac liberam authoritatem, facultatem, et potestatem nauigandi ad omnes partes, regiones, et sinus maris orientalis, occidentalis, et septentrionalis, sub banneris, vexillis, et insignijs nostris, cum quinque nauibus siue nauigijs, cuiuscunque portiturae et qualitatis existant, et cum tot et tantis nautis et hominibus, quot et quantos in dictis nauibus secum ducere voluerint, suis et eorum proprijs sumptibus et expensis, ad inueniendum, discooperiendum, et inuestigandum quascunque insulas, patrias, regiones siue prouincias gentilium et infidelium quorumcunque, in quacunque parte mundi positas, quae Christianis omnibus ante haec tempora fuerint incognitae. Concessimus etiam eisdem et eorum cuilibet, eorumque et cuiuslibet eorum haeredibus et deputatis, ac licentiam dedimus ad affigendum praedictas banneras nostras et insignia in quacunque villa, oppido, castro, insula seu terra firma a se nouiter inuentis. Et quod praenominatus Ioannes, et filij eiusdem, seu haeredes et eorum deputati, quascunque huiusmodi villas, castra, oppida, et insulas a se inuentas, quae subiugari, occupari, possideri possint, subiugare, occupare, possidere valeant tanquam vasalli nostri, et gubernatores, locatenentes, et deputati eorundem, dominium, titulum et iurisdictionem earundem villarum, castrorum, oppidorum, insularum, ac terrae firmae sic inuentorum nobis acquirendo. Ita tamen, vt ex omnibus fructibus, proficuis, emolumentis, commodis, lucris, et obuintionibus ex huiusmodi nauigatione prouenientibus, praefatus Iohannes, et filij ac haeredes, et eorum deputati, teneanter et sint obligati nobis pro omni viagio suo, toties quoties ad portum nostrum Bristolliae applicuerint (ad quem omnino applicare teneantur et sint astricti) deductis omnibus sumptibus et impensis necessarijs per eosdem factis, quintam partem capitalis lucri facti, siue in mercibus, siue in pecunijs persoluere: Dantes nos et concedentes eisdem suisque haeredibus et deputatis, vt ab omni solutione custumarum omnium et singulorum honorum et mercium, quas secum reportarint ab illis locis sic nouiter inuentis, liberi sint et immunes. Et insuper dedimus et concessimus eisdem ac suis haeredibus et deputatis, quod terrae omnes firmae, insulae, villae, oppida, castra, et loca quaecunque a se inuenta, quotquot ab eis inueniri contigerit, non possint ab alijs quibusuis nostris subditis frequentari seu visitari, absque licentia praedictorum Ioannis et eius filiorum, suorumque deputatoram, sub poena amissionis tam nauium quam bonorum omnium quorumcunque ad ea loca sic inuenta nauigare praesumentium. Volentes et strictissime mandantes omnibus et singulis nostris subditis, tam in terra quam in mari constitutis, vt praefato Ioanni et eius filijs ac deputatis, bonam assistentiam faciant, et tam in armandis nauibus seu nauigijs, quam in prouisione commeatus et victualium pro sua pecunia emendorum, atque aliarum omnium rerum sibi prouidendarum pro dicta nauigatione sumenda suos omnes fauore set auxilia impertiant. In cuius rei testimonium has literas nostras fieri fecimus patentes. [Sidenote: Ann. Dom. 1495.] Teste meipso apud Westmonasterium quinto die Martij anno regni nostri vndecimo.
The same in English.
Henry by the grace of God, king of England and France, and lord of Ireland, to all to whom these presents shall come, Greeting.
Be it knowen that we haue giuen and granted, and by these presents do giue and grant for vs and our heires, to our welbeloued Iohn Cabot citizen of Venice, to Lewis, Sebastian, and Santius, sonnes of the said Iohn, and to the heires of them, and euery of them, and their deputies, full and free authority, leaue, and power to saile to all parts, countreys, and seas of the East, of the West, and of the North, under our banners and ensignes, with fiue ships of what burthen or quality soeuer they be, and as many mariners or men as they will haue with them in the sayd ships, vpon their owne proper costs and charges, to seeke out, discouer, and finde whatsoeuer isles, countreys, regions or prouinces of the heathen and infidels whatsoeuer they be, and in what part of the world soeuer they be, which before this time haue bene vnknowen to all Christians; we haue granted to them, and also to euery of them, the heires of them, and their deputies, and haue giuen them licence to set vp our banners and ensignes in euery village, towne, castle, isle, or maine land of them newly found. And that the aforesayd Iohn and his sonnes, or their heires and assignes may subdue, occupy and possesse all such townes, cities, castles and isles of them found, which they can subdue, occupy and possesse, as our vassals, and lieutenants, getting vnto vs the rule, title, and iurisdiction of the same villages, townes, castles, and firme land so found. [Sidenote: Bristol thought the meetest port for Westerne discoueries.] Yet so that the aforesayd Iohn, and his sonnes and heires, and their deputies, be holden and bounden of all the fruits, profits, gaines, and commodities growing of such nauigation, for euery their voyage, as often as they shall arriue at our port of Bristoll (at the which port they shall be bound and holden onely to arriue) all maner of necessary costs and charges by them made, being deducted, to pay vnto vs in wares or money the fift part of the capitall gaine so gotten. [Sidenote: Freedome from custome.] We giuing and granting vnto them and to their heires and deputies, that they shall be free from all paying of customes of all and singular such merchandize as they shall bring with them from those places so newly found. And moreouer, we haue giuen and granted to them, their heires and deputies, that all the firme lands, isles, villages, townes, castles and places whatsoeuer they be that they shall chance to finde, may not of any other of our subiects be frequented or visited without the licence of the foresayd Iohn and his sonnes, and their deputies, vnder paine of forfeiture aswell of their shippes as of all and singuler goods of all them that shall presume to saile to those places so found. Willing, and most straightly commanding all and singuler our subiects aswell on land as on sea, to giue good assistance to the aforesayd Iohn and his sonnes and deputies, and that as well in arming and furnishing their ships or vessels, as in prouision of food, and in buying of victuals for their money, and all other things by them to be prouided necessary for the sayd nauigation, they do giue them all their helpe and fauour. In witnesse whereof we haue caused to be made these our Letters patents. Witnesse our selfe at Westminister the fift day of March, in the eleuenth yeere of our reigne.
* * * * *
Billa signata anno 13 Henrici septimi.
[Sidenote: A record of the rolls touching the voyage of Iohn Cabot and Sebastian his sonne.] Rex tertio die Februarij, anno 13, licentiam dedit Ioanni Caboto, quod ipse capere possit sex naues Anglicanas, in aliquo portu, siue portibus regni Angliae, ita quod sint de portagio 200. doliorum, vel subtus, cum apparatu requisito, et quod recipere possint in dictas naues omnes tales magistros, marinarios, et subditos regis, qui cum eo exire voluerint, &c.
The same in English.
The king vpon the third day of February, in the 13 yeere of his reigne, gaue licence to Iohn Cabot to take sixe English ships in any hauen or hauens of the realme of England, being of the burden of 200 tunnes, or vnder, with all necessary furniture, and to take also into the said ships all such masters, mariners, and subjects of the king as willingly will go with him, &c.
* * * * *
An extract taken out of the map of Sebastian Cabot, cut by Clement Adams, concerning his discouery of the West Indies, which is to be seene in her Maiesties priuie gallerie at Westminster, and in many other ancient merchants houses.
Anno Domini 1497 Ioannes Cabotus Venetus, et Sebastianus illius filius eam terram fecerunt peruiam, quam nullus prius adire ausus fuit, die 24 Junij, circiter horam quintam bene mane. Hanc autem appellauit Terram primum visam, credo quod ex mari in eam partem primum oculos iniecerat. Nam quae ex aduerso sita est insula eam appellauit insulam Diui Ioannis, hac opinor ratione, quod aperta fuit eo die qui est sacer Diuo Ioanni Baptistae: Huius incolae pelles animalium, exuuiasque ferarum pro indumentis habent, easque tanti faciunt, quanti nos vestes preciosissimas. Cum bellum gerunt, vtuntur arcu, sagittis, hastis, spiculis, clauis ligneis et fundis. Tellus sterilis est, neque vllos fructus affert, ex quo fit, vt vrsis albo colore, et ceruis inusitatae apud nos magnitudinis referta sit: piscibus abundat, ijsque sane magnis, quales sunt lupi marini, et quos salmones vulgus appellat; soleae autem reperiuntur tam longae, vt vlnae mensuram excedant. Imprimis autem magna est copia eorum piscium, quos vulgari sermone vocant Bacallaos. Gignuntur in ea insula accipitres ita nigri, vt coruorum similitudinem mirum in modum exprimant, perdices autem et aquilae sunt nigri coloris.
The same in English.
In the yeere of our Lord 1497 Iohn Cabot a Venetian, and his sonne Sebastian (with an English fleet set out from Bristoll) discouered that land which no man before that time had attempted, on the 24 of Iune, about fiue of the clocke early in the morning. This land he called Prima vista, that is to say, First seene, because as I suppose it was that part whereof they had the first sight from sea. That Island which lieth out before the land, he called the Island of S. Iohn vpon this occasion, as I thinke, because it was discouered vpon the day of Iohn the Baptist. The inhabitants of this Island vse to weare beasts skinnes, and haue them in as great estimation as we haue our finest garments. In their warres they vse bowes, arrowes, pikes, darts, woodden clubs, and slings. The soile is barren in some places, and yeeldeth litle fruit, but it is full of white beares, and stagges farre greater then ours. It yeeldeth plenty of fish, and those very great, as seales, and those which commonly we call salmons: there are soles also aboue a yard in length: but especially there is great abundance of that kinde of fish which the Sauages call baccalaos. In the same Island also there breed hauks, but they are so blacke that they are very like to rauens, as also their partridges, and egles, which are in like sort blacke.
* * * * *
A discourse of Sebastian Cabot touching his discouery of part of the West India out of England in the time of king Henry the seuenth, vsed to Galeacius Butrigarius the Popes Legate in Spaine, and reported by the sayd Legate in this sort.
[Sidenote: This discourse is taken out of the second volume of the voyages of Baptista Ramusius.] Doe you not vnderstand sayd he (speaking to certaine Gentlemen of Venice) how to passe to India toward the Northwest, as did of late a citizen of Venice, so valiant a man, and so well practised in all things pertaining to nauigations, and the science of Cosmographie, that at this present he hath not his like in Spaine, insomuch that for his virtues he is preferred aboue all other pilots that saile to the West Indies, who may not passe thither without his licence, and is therefore called Piloto mayor, that is, the grand Pilot. [Sidenote: Sebastian Cabota Pilot mayor of Spaine.] And when we sayd that we knew him not, he proceeded, saying, that being certaine yeres in the city of Siuil, and desirous to haue some knowledge of the nauigations of the Spanyards, it was tolde him that there was in the city a valiant man, a Venetian borne named Sebastian Cabot, who had the charge of those things, being an expert man in that science, and one that coulde make Cardes for the Sea, with his owne hand, and by this report, seeking his acquaintance, hee found him a very gentle person, who intertained him friendly, and shewed him many things, and among other a large Mappe of the world, with certaine particular Nauigations, as well of the Portugals, as of the Spaniards, and that he spake further vnto him to this effect.
When my father departed from Venice many yeeres since to dwell in England, to follow the trade of marchandises, hee tooke mee with him to the citie of London, while I was very yong, yet hauing neuerthelesse some knowledge of letters of humanitie, and of the Sphere. And when my father died in that time when newes were brought that Don Christopher Colonus Genuese had discouered the coasts of India, whereof was great talke in all the Court of king Henry the 7, who then raigned, insomuch that all men with great admiration affirmed it to be a thing more diuine then humane, to saile by the West into the East where spices growe, by a way that was neuer knowen before, by this fame and report there increased in my heart a great flame of desire to attempt some notable thing. And vnderstanding by reason of the Sphere, that if I should saile by way of the Northwest, I should by a shorter tract come into India, I thereupon caused the King to be aduertised of my deuise, who immediatly commanded two Caruels to bee furnished with all things appertayning to the voyage, which was as farre as I remember in the yeere 1496. in the beginning of Sommer. I began therefore to saile toward the Northwest, not thinking to finde any other land then that of Cathay, and from thence to turne toward India, but after certaine dayes I found that the land ranne towards the North, which was to mee a great displeasure. Neuerthelesse, sayling along by the coast to see if I could finde any gulfe that turned, I found the lande still continent to the 56. degree vnder our Pole. And seeing that there the coast turned toward the East, despairing to finde the passage, I turned backe againe, and sailed downe by the coast of that land toward the Equinoctiall (euer with intent to finde the saide passage to India) and came to that part of this firme lande which is nowe called Florida, where my victuals failing, I departed from thence and returned into England, where I found great tumults among the people, and preparation for wanes in Scotland; by reason whereof there was no more consideration had to this voyage.
[Sidenote: The second voyage of Cabot to the land of Brazil, and Rio de Plata.] Whereupon I went into Spaine to the Catholique king, and Queene Elizabeth, which being aduertised what I had done, intertained me, and at their charges furnished certaine ships, wherewith they caused me to saile to discouer the coastes of Brazile, where I found an exceeding great and large riuer named at this present Rio de la plata, that is, the riuer of siluer, into the which I sailed and followed it into the firme land, more then sixe score leagues, finding it euery where very faire, and inhabited with infinite people, which with admiration came running dayly to our ships. Into this Riuer runne so many other riuers, that it is in maner incredible.
[Sidenote: The office of Pilote maior.] After this I made many other voyages, which I nowe pretermit, and waxing olde, I giue myselfe to rest from such trauels, because there are nowe many yong and lustie Pilots and Mariners of good experience, by whose forwardnesse I doe reioyce in the fruit of my labours, and rest with the charge of this office, as you see.
* * * * *
The foresaide Baptista Ramusius in his preface to the thirde volume of the Nauigations writeth thus of Sebastian Cabot.
In the latter part of this volume are put certaine relations of Iohn de Vararzana, Florentine, and of a great captaine a Frenchman, and the two voyages of Iaques Cartier a Briton, who sailed vnto the land situate in 50. degrees of latitude to the North, which is called New France, which landes hitherto are not throughly knowen, whether they doe ioyne with the firme lande of Florida and Noua Hispania, or whether they bee separated and diuided all by the Sea as Ilands: and whether that by that way one may goe by Sea vnto the countrey of Cathaia. [Sidenote: The great probabilitie of this North-west passage.] As many yeeres past it was written vnto mee by Sebastian Cabota our Countrey man a Venetian, a man of great experience, and very rare in the art of Nauigation, and the knowledge of Cosmographie, who sailed along and beyond this land of New France, at the charge of King Henry the seuenth king of England: and he aduertised mee, that hauing sailed a long time West and by North, beyond those Ilands vnto the Latitude of 67. degrees and an halfe, vnder the North pole, and at the 11. day of Iune finding still the open Sea without any manner of impediment, he thought verily by that way to haue passed on still the way to Cathaia, which is in the East, and would haue done it, if the mutinie of the ship-master and Mariners had not hindered him and made him to returne homewards from that place. But it seemeth that God doeth yet still reserue this great enterprise for some great prince to discouer this voyage of Cathaia by this way, which for the bringing of the Spiceries from India into Europe, were the most easy and shortest of all other wayes hitherto found out. And surely this enterprise would be the most glorious, and of most importance of all other that can be imagined to make his name great, and fame immortall, to all ages to come, farre more then can be done by any of all these great troubles and warres which dayly are used in Europe among the miserable Christian people.
* * * * *
Another testunonie of the voyage of Sebastian Cabot to the West and Northwest, taken out of the sixt Chapter of the third Decade of Peter Martyr of Angleria.
Scrutatus est oras glaciales Sebastianus quidam Cabotus genere Venetus, sed a parentibus in Britanniam insulam tendentibus (vti moris est Venetorum, qui commercij causa terrarum omnium sunt hospites) transportatus pene infans. Duo is sibi nauigia, propria pecunia in Britannia ipsa instruxit, et primo tentens cum hominibus tercentum ad Septentrionem donec etiam Iulio mense vastas repererit glaciates moles pelago natantes, et lucem fere perpetuam, tellure tamen libera, gelu liquefacto: quare coactus fuit, vti ait, vela vertere et occidentem sequi: tetenditque tantum ad meridiem littore sese incuruante, vt Herculei freti latitudinis fere gradus aequarit: ad occidentemque profectus tantum est vt Cubam Insulam a Iaeua, longitudine graduum pene parem, habuerit. Is ea littora percurrens, quae Baccalaos appelauit, eosdem se reperisse aquarum, sed lenes delapsus ad Occidentem ait, quos Castellani, meridionales suas regiones adnauigantes, inuenient. Ergo non modo verisimilius, sed necessario concludendum est, vastos inter vtramque ignotam hactenus tellurem iacere hiatus, qui viam praebeant aquis ab oriente cadentibus in Occidentem. Quas arbitror impulsu coelorum circulariter agi in gyrum circa terrae globum, non autem Demogorgone anhelante vomi, absorberique vt nonnulli senserunt, quod influxu, et refluxu forsan assentire daretur. Baccalaos, Cabotus ipse terras illas appellauit, eo quod in earum pelago tantam reperierit magnorum quorundam piscium, tynnos aemulantium, sic vocatorum ab indigenis, multitudinem, vt etiam illi interdum nauigia detardarent. Earum Regionum homines pellibus tantum coopertos reperiebat, rationis haudquaquam expertes. Vrsorum inesse regionibus copiam ingentem refert, qui et ipsi piscibus vescantur. Inter densa namque piscium illorum agmina sese immergunt vrsi, et singulos singuli complexos, vnguibusque inter squammas immissis in terram raptant et comedunt. Propterea minime noxios hominibus visos esse ait Orichalcum in plerisque locis se vidisse apud incolas praedicat. Familiarem habeo domi Cabotum ipsum, et contubernalem interdum. Vocatus namque ex Britannia a Rege nostro Catholico, post Henrici Maioris Britanniae Regis mortem, concurialis noster est, expectatque indies, vt nauigia sibi parentur, quibus arcanum hoc naturae latens iam tandem detegatur.
The same in English.
These North Seas haue bene searched by one Sebastian Cabot, a Venetian borne, whom being yet but in maner an infant, his parents carried with them into England, hauing occasion to resort thither for trade of marchandise, as in the maner of the Venetians to leaue no part of the world vnsearched to obtaine riches. Hee therefore furnished two ships in England at his owne charges, and first with 300 men directed his course so farre towards the North pole, that euen in the moneth of Iuly he found monstrous heapes of ice swimming on the sea, and in maner continuall day light, yet saw he the land in that tract free from ice, which had bene molten by the heat of the Sunne. Thus seeing such heapes of yce before him, hee was enforced to turne his sailes and follow the West, so coasting still by the shore, that hee was thereby brought so farre into the South, by reason of the land bending so much Southwards, that it was there almost equal in latitude, with the sea Fretum Hercoleum, hauing the Northpole eleuate in maner in the same degree. He sailed likewise in this tract so farre towards the West, that hee had the Island of Cuba on his left hand, in maner in the same degree of longitude. [Sidenote: A current toward the West.] As hee traueiled by the coastes of this great land, (which he named Baccalaos) he saith that hee found the like course of the waters toward the West, but the same to runne more softly and gently then the swift waters which the Spaniards found in their Nauigations Southwards. Wherefore it is not onely more like to be true, but ought also of necessitie to be concluded that betweene both the lands hitherto vnknown, there should be certaine great open places whereby the waters should thus continually passe from the East vnto the West: [Sidenote: The people of Island say the Sea and yce setteth also West. (Ionas Arngrimus.)] which waters I suppose to be driuen about the globe of the earth by the uncessant mouing and impulsion of the heauens, and not to bee swallowed vp and cast vp againe by the breathing of Demogorgon, as some haue imagined, because they see the seas by increase and decrease to ebbe and flowe. Sebastian Cabot himselfe named those lands Baccalaos, because that in the Seas thereabout hee found so great multitudes of certaine bigge fishes much like vnto Tunies, (which the inhabitants called Baccalaos) that they sometimes stayed his shippes. He found also the people of those regions couered with beastes skinnes, yet not without the vse of reason. He also saieth there is great plentie of Beares in those regions which vse to eate fish: for plunging themselues into the water, where they perceiue a multitude of these fishes to lie, they fasten their clawes in their scales, and so draw them to land and eate them, so (as he saith) the Beares being thus satisfied with fish, are not noisome to men. [Sidenote: Copper found in many places by Cabote.] Hee declareth further, that in many places of these Regions he saw great plentie of Copper among the inhabitants. Cabot is my very friend, whom I vse familiarly, and delight to haue sometimes keepe mee company in mine owne house. For being called out of England by the commandement of the Catholique King of Castile, after the death of King Henry the seuenth of that name king of England, he was made one of our council and Assistants, as touching the affaires of the new Indies, looking for ships dayly to be furnished for him to discouer this hid secret of Nature.
* * * * *
The testimonie of Francis Lopez de Gomara a Spaniard, in the fourth Chapter of the second Booke of his generall history of the West Indies concerning the first discouerie of a great part of the West Indies, to wit, from 58. to 38. degrees of latitude, by Sebastian Cabota out of England.
He which brought most certaine newes of the countrey and people of Baccalaos, saith Gomara, was Sebastian Cabote a Venetian, which rigged vp two ships at the cost of K. Henry the 7. of England, hauing great desire to traffique for the spices as the Portingalls did. He carried with him 300. men, and tooke the way towards Island from beyond the Cape of Labrador, vntill he found himselfe in 58. degrees and better. He made relation that in the moneth of Iuly it was so cold, and the ice so great, that hee durst not passe any further: that the dayes were long, in a maner without any night, and for that short night that they had, it was very cleare. Cabot feeling the cold, turned towards the West, refreshing himselfe at Baccalaos: and afterwards he sayled along the coast vnto 38. degrees, and from thence he shaped his course to returne into England.
* * * * *
A note of Sebastian Cabots first discouerie of part of the Indies taken out of the latter part of Robert Fabians Chronicle not hitherto printed, which is in the custodie of M. Iohn Stow a diligent preseruer of Antiquities.
[Sidenote: Cabots voyage (from Bristol) wherein he discouered Newfound land and the Northerne parts of that land, and from thence almost as farre as Florida.] In the 13. yeere of K. Henry the 7. (by meanes of one Iohn Cabot a Venetian which made himselfe very expert and cunning in knowledge of the circuit of the world and Ilands of the same, as by a Sea card and other demonstrations reasonable he shewed) the King caused to man and victuall a ship at Bristow, to search for an Island, which he said hee knew well was rich, and replenished with great commodities: Which shippe thus manned and victualled at the kings cost, diuers Merchants of London ventured in her small stocks, being in her as chiefe patron the said Venetian. And in the company of the said ship, sailed also out of Bristow three or foure small ships fraught with sleight and grosse marchandizes, as course cloth, caps, laces, points and other trifles. And so departed from Bristow in the beginning of May, of whom in this Maiors time returned no tidings.
Of three Sauages which Cabot brought home and presented vnto the King in the foureteenth yere of his raigne, mentioned by the foresaid Robert Fabian.
This yeere also were brought vnto the king three men taken in the Newfound Island that before I spake of, in William Purchas time being Maior: These were clothed in beasts skins, and did eate raw flesh, and spake such speach that no man could vnderstand them, and in their demeanour like to bruite beastes, whom the King kept a time after. Of the which vpon two yeeres after, I saw two apparelled after the maner of Englishmen in Westminster pallace, which that time I could not discerne from Englishmen, til I was learned what they were, but as for speach, I heard none of them vtter one word.
* * * * *
A briefe extract concerning the discouene of Newfound-land, taken out of the booke of M. Robert Thorne, to Doctor Leigh, &c.
I Reason, that as some sicknesses are hereditarie, so this inclination or desire of this discouerie I inherited from my father, which with another marchant of Bristol named Hugh Eliot, were the discouerours of the Newfound-lands; of the which there is no doubt (as nowe plainely appeareth) if the mariners would then haue bene ruled, and followed their Pilots minde, but the lands of the West Indies, from whence all the golde cometh, had bene ours; for all is one coast as by the Card appeareth, and is aforesaid.
* * * * *
The large pension granted by K. Edward the 6. to Sebastian Cabot, constituting him grand Pilot of England.
Edwardus sextus Dei gratia Angliae, Franciae, et Hiberniae rex, omnibus Christi fidelibus ad quos praesentes hae literae nostrae peruenerint, salutem. Sciatis quod nos in consideratione boni et acceptabilis seruitij, nobis per dilectum seruientem nostrum Sebastianum Cabotam impensi atque impendendi, de gratia nostra speciali, ac ex certa scientia, et mero motu nostro, nec non de aduisamento, et consensu praeclarissimi auunculi nostri Edwardi Ducis Somerseti personae nostrae Gubernatoris, ac Regnorum, dominiorum, subditorumque nostrorum protectoris, et caeterorum consiliariorum nostrorum, dedimus et concessimus, ac per praesentes damus, et concedimus eidem Sebastiano Cabotae, quandam annuitatem siue annualem reditum, centum sexaginta et sex librarum, tresdecim solidorum, et quatuor denariorum sterlingorum, habendam, gandendam, et annuatim percipiendam praedictam annuitatem, siue annalem reditum eidem Sebastiano Cabotae, durante vita sua naturali, de thesauro nostro ad receptum scacarij nostri Westmonasterij per manus thesaurariorum, et Camerariorum nostrorum, ibidem pro tempore existentium, ad festa annuntiationis beatae Mariae Virginis, natiuitatis sancti Ioannis Baptistae, Sancti Michaelis Archangeli, et Natalis Domini per aequales portiones soluendam. Et vlterius de vberiori gratia nostra, ac de aduisamento, et consensu praedictis damus, et per praesentes concedimus praefato Sebastiano Cabotae, tot et tantas Denariorum summas, ad quot et quantas dicta annuitas siue annalis reditus centum sexaginta sex librarum, tresdecim solidorum, et quatuor denariorum, a festo sancti Michaelis Archangeli vltimo praeterito hue vsque se extendit, et attingit, habendas et recipiendas praefato Sebastiano Cabotae et assignatis suis de thesauro nostro praedicto per manus praedictoram Thesaurariorum, et Camerarioram nostrorum de dono nostro absque computo, seu aliquo alio nobis, haeredibus, vel successoribus nostris proinde reddendo, soluendo, vel faciendo: eo quod expressa mentio, &c. In cuius rei testimonium, &c. [Sidenote: Anno D. 1549] Teste Rege, apud Westmonasterium 6. die Ianuarij, Anno 2. Regis Edwardi sexti.
The same in English.
Edward the sixt by the grace of God, King of England, France and Ireland, defender of the faith, to all Christian people to whom these presents shall come, sendeth greeting. Know yee that we, in consideration of the good and acceptable seruice done, and to be done, vnto vs by our beloued seruant Sebastian Cabota, of our speciall grace, certaine knowledge, meere motion, and by the aduice and counsel of our most honourable vncle Edward duke of Somerset gouernour of our person, and Protector of our kingdomes, dominions, and subiects, and of the rest of our Counsaile, haue giuen and granted, and by these presents do giue and graunt to the said Sebastian Cabota, a certaine annuitie, or yerely reuenue of one hundreth, three-score and sixe pounds, thirteene shillings foure pence sterling, to haue, enioy, and yerely receiue the foresaid annuitie, or yerely reuenue, to the foresaid Sebastian Cabota during his natural life, out of our Treasurie at the receit of our Exchequer at Westminster, at the hands of our Treasurers and paymasters, there remayning for the time being, at the feasts of the Annuntiation of the blessed Virgin Mary, the Natiuitie of S. Iohn Baptist, S. Michael the Archangel, and the Natiuitie of our Lord, to be paid by equal portions.
And further, of our more speciall grace, and by the aduise and consent aforesaide wee doe giue, and by these presents do graunt vnto the aforesaide Sebastian Cabota, so many, and so great summes of money as the saide annuitie or yeerely reuenue of an hundreth, three-score and sixe pounds, thirteene shillings 4. pence, doeth amount and rise vnto from the feast of S. Michael the Archangel last past vnto this present time, to be had and receiued by the aforesaid Sebastian Cabota, and his assignes out of our aforesaid Treasurie, at the handes of our aforesaide Treasurers, and officers of our Exchequer of our free gift without accompt, or any thing else therefore to be yeelded, payed, or made, to vs, our heires or successours, forasmuch as herein expresse mention is made to the contrary.
In witnesse whereof we haue caused these our Letters to be made patents: Witnesse the King at Westminster the sixt day of Ianuarie, in the second yeere of his raigne. The yeere of our Lord 1548.
* * * * *
A discourse written by Sir Humphrey Gilbert Knight, to proue a passage by the Northwest to Cathaia, and the East Indies.
The Table of the matters in euery Chapter of this discourse.
To prone by anthoritie a passage to be on the North side of America, to goe to Cataia, China, and to the East India.
To prone by reason a passage to be on the North side of America, to goe to Cataia, Moluccae, &c.
To proue by experience of sundry mens trauailes the opening of this Northwest passage, whereby good hope remaineth of the rest.
To proue by circumstance, that the Northwest passage hath bene sailed throughout.
To proue that such Indians as haue bene driuen vpon the coastes of Germanie came not thither by the Southeast, and Southwest, nor from any part of Afrike or America.
To prooue that the Indians aforenamed came not by the Northeast, and that there is no thorow passage nauigable that way.
To proue that these Indians came by the Northwest, which induceth a certaintie of this passage by experience.
What seuerall reasons were alleaged before the Queenes Maiestie, and certaine Lords of her Highnesse priuie Council, by M. Anth. Ienkinson a Gentleman of great trauaile and experience, to proue this passage by the Northeast, with my seuerall answers then alleaged to the same.
How that this passage by the Northwest is more commodious for our traffike, then the other by the Northeast, if there were any such.
What commodities would ensue, this passage being once discouered.
To proue by authoritie a passage to be on the Northside of America, to goe to Cathaia, and the East India.
When I gaue my selfe to the studie of Geographie, after I had perused and diligently scanned the descriptions of Europe, Asia, and Afrike, and conferred them with the Mappes and Globes both Antique and Moderne: I came in fine to the fourth part of the world, commonly called America, which by all descriptions I found to bee an Iland enuironed round about with Sea, hauing on the Southside of it the frete or straight of Magellan, on the West side Mar del Sur, which Sea runneth towards the North, separating it from the East parts of Asia, where the Dominions of the Cathaians are: On the East part our West Ocean, and on the North side the sea that seuereth it from Groneland, thorow which Northern Seas the Passage lyeth, which I take now in hand to discouer.
Plato in Timaeo, and in the Dialogue called Critias, discourseth of an incomparable great Iland then called Atlantis, being greater then all Afrike and Asia, which lay Westward from the Straights of Gibraltar, nauigable round about: affirming also that the Princes of Atlantis did as well enioy the gouernance of all Affrike, and the most part of Europe, as of Atlantis it selfe.
Also to proue Platos opinion of this Iland, and the inhabiting of it in ancient time by them of Europe, to be of the more credite; Marinaeus Siculus in his Chronicle of Spaine, reporteth that there haue bene found by the Spaniards in the gold Mines of America, certaine pieces of Money ingraued with the Image of Augustus Caesar: which pieces were sent to the Pope for a testimonie of the matter, by Iohn Rufus Archbishop of Consentinum.
[Sidenote: Prodns pag. 24.] Moreouer, this was not only thought of Plato, but by Marsilius Ficinus, an excellent Florentine Philosopher, Crantor the Graecian, and Proclus, and Philo the famous Iew (as appeareth in his booke De Mundo, and in the Commentaries vpon Plato,) to be ouerflowen and swallowed vp with water, by reason of a mightie earthquake, and streaming downe of the heauenly Fludgates. [Sidenote: Iustine Lib. 4.] The like whereof happened vnto some part of Italy, when by the forciblenes of the Sea, called Superum, it cut off Sicilia from the Continent of Calabria, as appeareth in Iustine, in the beginning of his fourth booke. Also there chanced the like in Zeland a part of Flanders.
[Sidenote: Plinie.] And also the Cities of Pyrrha and Antissa, about Meotis palus: and also the Citie Burys, in the Corynthian bosome, commonly called Sinus Corinthiacus, haue bene swallowed vp with the Sea, and are not at this day to be discerned: By which accident America grew to be ['be be' in original—KTH] vnknowen of long time, vnto vs of the later ages, and was lately discouered againe by Americus Vespucius, in the yeere of our Lord 1497. which some say to haue bene first discouered by Christophorus Columbus a Genuois, Anno 1492.
The same calamitie happened vnto this Isle of Atlantis 600. and odde yeres before Plato his time, which some of the people of the Southeast parts of the world accompted as 9000. yeeres: for the maner then was to reckon the Moone her Period of the Zodiak for a yeere, which is our vsual moneth, depending a Luminari minori.
So that in these our dayes there can no other mayne or Islande be found or iudged to bee parcell of this Atlantis, then those Westerne Islands, which beare now the name of America: counteruailing thereby the name of Atlantis, in the knowledge of our age.
[Sidenote: A minore ad maius.] Then, if when no part of the sayd Atlantis, was oppressed by water, and earthquake, the coast round about the same were nauigable: a farre greater hope now remaineth of the same by the Northwest, seeing the most part of it was (since that time) swallowed vp with water, which could not vtterly take away the olde deeps and chanels, but rather be an occasion of the inlarging of the olde, and also an inforcing of a great many new: why then should we now doubt of our Northwest passage and nauigation from England to India? &c. seeing that Atlantis now called America, was euer knowen to be an Island, and in those dayes nauigable round about, which by accesse of more water could not be diminished.
Also Aristotle in his booke De Mundo, and the learned Germaine Simon Gryneus in his annotations vpon the same, saith that the whole earth (meaning thereby, as manifestly doth appeare, Asia, Africk and Europe, being all the countreys then knowen) is but one Island, compassed about with the reach of the sea Atlantine: which likewise prooueth America to be an Island, and in no part adioyning to Asia, or the rest.
[Sidenote: Strabo lib. 15] Also many ancient writers, as Strabo and others, called both the Ocean Sea, (which lieth East of India) Atlanticum pelagus, and that sea also on the West coasts of Spaine and Africk, Mare Atlanticum: the distance betweene the two coasts is almost halfe the compasse of the earth.
[Sidenote: Valerius Anselmus in Catalogo annorum et principum. fol. 6. Gen. 9. 10.] So that it is incredible, as by Plato appeareth manifestly, that the East Indian Sea had the name Atlanticum pelagus of the mountaine Atlas in Africk, or yet the sea adioining to Africk, had the name Oceanus Atlanticus of the same mountaine: but that those seas and the mountaine Atlas were so called of this great Island Atlantis, and that the one and the other had their names for a memorial of the mighty prince Atlas, sometimes king thereof, who was Iaphet yongest sonne to Noah, in whose time the whole earth was diuided between the three brethren, Sem, Cam, and Iaphet.
Wherefore I am of opinion that America by the Northwest will be found fauourable to this our enterprise, and am the rather imboldened to beleeue the same, for that I finde it not onely confirmed by Plato, Aristotle, and other ancient Phylosophers: but also by all the best moderne Geographers, as Gemma Frisius, Munsterus, Appianus, Hunterus, Gastaldus, Guyccardinus, Michael Tramasinus, Franciscus Demongenitus, Bernardus Puteanus, Andreas Vauasor, Tramontanus, Petrus Martyr, and also Ortelius, who doth coast out in his generall Mappe set out Anno 1569, all the countreys and Capes, on the Northwest side of America, from Hochalega to Cape de Paramantia: describing likewise the sea coastes of Cataia and Gronland, towards any part of America, making both Gronland and America, Islands disioyned by a great Sea, from any part of Asia.
All which learned men and paineful trauellers haue affirmed with one consent and voice, that America was an Island: and that there lyeth a great Sea betweene it, Cataia, and Grondland, by which any man of our countrey, that will giue the attempt, may with small danger passe to Cataia, the Molluccae, India, and all other places in the East, in much shorter time, than either the Spaniard, or Portugal doeth, or may doe, from the neerest parte, of any of their countreys within Europe.
What moued these learned men to affirme thus much, I know not, or to what ende so many and sundry trauellers of both ages haue allowed the same: [Marginal note: We ought by reasons right to haue a reuerent opinion of worthy men.] But I coniecture that they would neuer haue so constantly affirmed, or notified their opinions therein to the world, if they had not had great good cause, and many probable reasons, to haue lead them therevnto.
[Sidenote: A Nauigation of one Ochther made in king Alfreds time.] Now least you should make small accompt of ancient writers or of their experiences which trauelled long before our times, reckoning their authority amongst fables of no importance: I haue for the better assurance of those proofes, set downe some part of a discourse, written in the Saxon tongue and translated into English by M. Nowel seruant to Sir William Cecil, lord Burleigh, and lord high treasurer of England, wherein there is described a Nauigation which one Ochther made, in the time of king Alfred, king of Westsaxe Anno 871. the words of which discourse were these: [Sidenote: A perfect description of our Moscouie voyage.] Hee sailed right North, hauing alwaies the desert land on the Starborde, and on the Larbord the maine sea, continuing his course, vntill hee perceiued that the coast bowed directly towards the East, or else the Sea opened into the land he could not tell how farre, where he was compelled to stay vntil he had a westerne winde, or somewhat upon the North, and sayled thence directly East alongst the coast, so farre as hee was able in foure dayes, where he was againe inforced to tary vntill hee had a North winde, because the coast there bowed directly towards the South, or at least opened he knew not howe farre into the land, so that he sayled thence along the coast continually full South, so farre as he could trauell in the space of fiue dayes, where hee discouered a mighty riuer, which opened farre into the land, and in the entrie of this riuer he turned backe againe.
[Sidenote: By Sir Hugh Willoughbie knight, Chancellor and Borough.] Whereby it appeareth that he went the very same way, that we now doe yerely trade by S. Nicholas into Moscouia, which no man in our age knew for certaintie to be by sea, vntil it was since discouered by our English men, in the time of King Edward the sixt; but thought before that time that Groneland had ioyned to Normoria, Byarmia, &c. and therefore was accompted a new discouery, being nothing so indeede, as by this discourse of Ochther it appeareth.
Neuerthelesse if any man should haue taken this voyage in hand by the encouragement of this onely author, he should haue bene thought but simple: considering that this Nauigation was written so many yeres past, in so barbarous a tongue by one onely obscure author, and yet we in these our dayes finde by our owne experiences his former reports to be true.
How much more then ought we to beleeue this passage to Cataia to bee, being verified by the opinions of all the best, both Antique, and Moderne Geographers, and plainely set out in the best and most allowed Mappes, Charts, Globes, Cosmographical tables and discourses of this our age, and by the rest not denied but left as a matter doubtfull.
To prooue by reason, a passage to be on the Northside of America, to goe to Cataia, &c.
Chap. 2. [3 in original—KTH]
[Sidenote: Experimented by our English fishers.] First, all seas are maintained by the abundance of water, so that the neerer the end any Riuer, Bay, or Hauen is, the shallower it waxeth, (although by some accidentall barre, it is sometime found otherwise) But the farther you sayle West from Island towards the place, where this fret is thought to be, the more deepe are the seas: which giueth vs good hope of continuance of the same Sea with Mar del Sur, by some fret that lyeth betweene America, Groneland and Cataia.
2 Also if that America were not an Island, but a part of the continent adioyning to Asia, either the people which inhabite Mangia, Anian, and Quinsay, &c. being borderers vpon it, would before this time haue made some road into it hoping to haue found some like commodities to their owne.
[Sidenote: Neede makes the old wife to trotte.] 3 Or els the Scythians and Tartarians (which often times heretofore haue sought farre and neere for new seats, driuen therevnto through the necessitie of their cold and miserable countreys) would in all this time haue found the way to America, and entred the same, had the passages bene neuer so straite or difficult; the countrey being so temperate pleasant and fruitfull, in comparison of their owne. But there was neuer any such people found there by any of the Spaniards, Portugals, or Frenchmen, who first discouered the Inland of that countrey: which Spaniards or Frenchmen must then of necessitie haue seene some one ciuil man in America, considering how full of ciuill people Asia is; But they neuer saw so much as one token or signe, that euer any man of the knowen part of the world had bene there.
4 Furthermore it is to be thought, that if by reason of mountaines, or other craggy places, the people neither of Cataia or Tartarie could enter the countrey of America, or they of America haue entred Asia, if it were so ioyned: yet some one sauage or wandring beast would in so many yeres haue passed into it: but there hath not any time bene found any of the beasts proper to Cataia, or Tartarie &c. in America: nor of those proper to America, in Tartarie, Cataia, &c. or any part of Asia. Which thing proueth America, not onely to be one Island, and in no part adioyning to Asia: But also that the people of those Countreys, haue not had any traffique with each other.
5 Moreouer at the least some one of those paineful trauellers, which of purpose haue passed the confines of both countreys, with intent only to discouer, would as it is most likely haue gone from the one to the other: if there had bene any piece of land, or Isthmos, to haue ioyned them together, or els haue declared some cause to the contrary.
6 But neither Paulus Venetus, who liued and dwelt a long time in Cataia, euer came into America, and yet was at the sea coastes of Mangia, ouer against it where he was embarked, and performed a great Nauigation along those seas: Neither yet Verarzanus, or Franciscus Vasques de Coronado, who trauelled the North part of America by land, euer found entry from thence by land to Cataia, or any part of Asia.
7 Also it appeareth to be an Island, insomuch as the Sea [Marginal note: The Sea hath three motions. 1 Motum ab oriente in occidentem. 2 Motum fluxus et refluxus. 3 Motum circularem. Ad caeli motum elementa omnia (excepta terra) mouentur.] runneth by nature circularly from the East to the West, following the diurnal motion of Primum Mobile, which carieth with it all inferiour bodies moueable, aswel celestiall as elemental; which motion of the waters is most euidently seene in the Sea, which lieth on the Southside of Afrike where the current that runneth from the East to the West is so strong (by reason of such motion) that the Portugals in their voyages Eastward to Calicut, in passing by Cap. de buona Speranca are enforced to make diuers courses, the current there being so swift as it striketh from thence all along Westward vpon the fret of Magellan, being distant from thence, neere the fourth part of the longitude of the earth; and not hauing free passage and entrance thorow, the fret towards the West, by reason of the narrownesse of the sayd Straite of Magelian [sic—KTH], it runneth to salue this wrong, (Nature not yeelding to accidentall restraints) all along the Easterne coastes of America, Northwards so far as Cape Fredo, being the farthest knowne place of the same continent towards the North: which is about 4800 leagues, reckoning therewithall the trending of the land.
[Sidenote: Posita causa ponitur effectus.] 8 So that this current being continually maintained with such force, as Iaques Cartier affirmeth it to be, who met with the same being at Baccalaos, as he sayled along the coastes of America, then either it must be of necessitie haue way to passe from Cape Fredo, thorow this fret, Westward towards Cataia, being knowen to come so farre, onely to salue his former wrongs, by the authority before named: or els it must needes strike ouer, vpon the coast of Island, Norway, Finmarke, and Lappia, (which are East from the sayd place about 360 leagues) with greater force then it did from Cape de buona Speranca, vpon the fret of Magellan, or from the fret of Magellan to Cape Fredo, vpon which coastes Iaques Cartier met with the same, considering the shortnesse of the Cut from the sayd Cape Fredo, to Island, Lappia, &c. And so the cause Efficient remaining, it would haue continually followed along our coasts, through the narrow seas, which it doth not, but is digested about the North of Labrador, by some through passage there thorow this fret.
[Sidenote: Conterenus.] The like course of the water in some respect happeneth in the Mediterrane sea, (as affirmeth Conterenus) whereas the current which cometh from Tanais, and Pontus Euxinus, running along all the coasts of Greece, Italy, France, and Spaine, and not finding sufficient way out through Gibraltar, by meanes of the straitnesse of the fret it runneth backe againe along the coastes of Barbary, by Alexandria, Natolia, &c.
[Sidenote: An objection answered.] It may (peraduenture) bee thought that this course of the sea doth sometime surcease, and thereby impugne this principle, because it is not discerned all along the coast of America, in such sort as Iaques Cartier found it: Wherevnto I answere this: that albeit, in euery part of the Coast of America, or elswhere this current is not sensibly perceuied, yet it hath euermore such like motion, either in the vppermost or nethermost part of the sea; as it may be proued true, if ye sinke a sayle by a couple of ropes, neere the ground, fastening to the nethermost corners two gunne chambers or other weights: by the driuing whereof you shall plainely perceiue, the course of the water, and current running with such course in the bottome. [Marginal note: The sea doth euermore performe this circular motion, either in Suprema, or concaua superficie aquae.]
By the like experiment, you may finde the ordinary motion of the sea, in the Ocean: howe farre soeuer you be off the land.
9 Also there commeth another current from out the Northeast from the Scythian Sea (as M. Ienkinson a man of rare vertue, great trauail and experience, told me) which runneth Westward towardes Labrador, [Marginal note: The yce set westward euery yeere from Island. Auth. Iona Arngriimo.] as the other did, which commeth from the South: so that both these currents, must haue way thorow this our fret, or else encounter together and runne contrarie courses; in one line, but no such conflicts of streames, or contrary courses are found about any part of Labrador, or Terra noua, as witnesse our yeerely fishers, and other saylers that way, but is there disgested, as aforesayd, and found by experience of Barnard de la Torre, to fall into Mar del Sur.
10 Furthermore, the current in the great Ocean, could not haue beene maintained to runne continually one way, from the beginning of the world vnto this day, had there not beene some thorow passage by the fret aforesayd, and so by circular motion bee brought againe to maintaine it selfe: For the Tides and courses of the sea are maintayned by their interchangeable motions: as fresh riuers are by springs, by ebbing and flowing, by rarefaction and condensation.
So that it resteth not possible (so farre as my simple reason can comprehend) that this perpetuall current can by any meanes be maintained, but onely by continuall reaccesse of the same water, which passeth thorow the fret, and is brought about thither againe, by such circular motion as aforesayd. [Marginal note: The flowing is occasioned by reason that the heate of the moone boyleth, and maketh the water thinne by way of rarefaction.] And the certaine falling thereof by this fret into Mar del Sur [Marginal note: An experience to prooue the falling of this current into Mar del Sur.] is prooued by the testimonie and experience of Bernard de la Torre, who was sent from P. de la Natiuidad to the Moluccae, Anno domini 1542. by commandement of Anthony Mendoza, then Viceroy of Noua Hispania, which Bernard sayled 750. Leagues, on the Northside of the Aequator, and there met with a current, which came from the Northeast, the which droue him backe againe to Tidore.
Wherfore, this current being proued to come from C. de buona Speranca to the fret of Magellan, and wanting sufficient entrance there, by narrownes of the straite, is by the necessitie of natures force, brought to Terra de Labrador, where Iaques Cartier met the same, and thence certainly knowen, not to strike ouer vpon Island, Lappia, &c. and found by Bernard de la Torre in Mar del Sur, on the backeside of America: therefore this current (hauing none other passage) must of necessity fall out thorow this our fret into Mar del Sur, and so trending by the Moluccae, China, and C. de buona Speranca, maintaineth it selfe, by circular motion, which is all one in nature, with Motus ab Oriente in Occidentem.
So that it seemeth, we haue now more occasion to doubt of our returne, then whether there be a passage that way, yea or no: which doubt, hereafter shall be sufficiently remooued. Wherefore, in mine opinion, reason it self, grounded vpon experience, assureth vs of this passage, if there were nothing els to put vs in hope thereof. But least these might not suffice, I haue added in this chapter following, some further proofe hereof, by the experience of such as haue passed some part of this discouerie: and in the next adioining to that the authority of those, which haue sailed wholy, thorow euery part thereof.
To proue by experience of sundry mens trauels, the opening of some part of this Northwest passage: whereby good hope remaineth of the rest.
Paulus Venetus, who dwelt many yeres in Cataia, affirmed that hee sayled 1500 miles vpon the coastes of Mangia, and Anian, towards the Northeast: alwayes finding the Seas open before him, not onely as farre as he went, but also as farre as he could discerne.
[Sidenote: Alcatrarzi be Pelicanes.] 2 Also Franciscus Vasques de Coronado passing from Mexico by Ceuola, through the country of Quiuira, to Siera Neuada, found there a great sea, where were certaine ships laden with Merchandise, carrying on their prowes the pictures of certaine birds called Alcatrarzi, part whereof were made of golde, and part of siluer, who signified by signes, that they were thirty dayes comming thither: which likewise proueth America by experience to be disioyned from Cataia: on that part by a great Sea, because they could not come from any part of America, as Natiues thereof: for that so farre as is discouered, there hath not bene found there any one Shippe of that countrey.
[Sidenote: Baros lib. 9. Of his first Decas cap 1.] 3. In like maner, Iohn Baros testifieth that the Cosmographers of China (where he himselfe had bene) affirme that the Sea coast trendeth from thence Northeast, to 50 degrees of Septentrional latitude, being the furthest part that way which the Portugals had then knowledge of: And that the said Cosmographers knew no cause to the contrary, but that it might continue further.
By whose experiences America is prooued to be separate from those parts of Asia, directly against the same. And not contented with the iudgements of these learned men only, I haue searched what might be further sayd for the confirmation hereof.
4 And I found that Franciscus Lopez de Gomara affirmeth America to be an Island, and likewise Gronland: and that Gronland is distant from Lappia 40 leagues, and from Terra de Labrador, 50.
5 Moreouer, Aluaros Nunnius a Spaniard, and learned Cosmographer, and Iacobus Cartier, who made two voyages into those parts, and sayled 900 miles upon the Northeast coastes of America doe in part confirme the same.
6 Likewise Hieronymus Fracastorius, a learned Italian, and trauailer in the North parts of the same land.
7 Also Iaques Cartier hauing done the like, heard say at Hochelaga in Noua Francia, how that there was a great Sea at Saguinay, whereof the end was not knowen: which they presupposed to be the passage to Cataia.
[Sidenote: Written in the discourses of Nauigation.] Furthermore, Sebastian Cabota by his personal experience and trauel hath set foorth, and described this passage in his Charts, which are yet to be seene in the Queens Maiesties priuie Gallerie at Whitehall, who was sent to make this discouery by king Henrie the seuenth, and entred the same fret: affirming that he sayled very farre Westward, with a quarter of the North, on the Northside of Terra de Labrador the eleuenth of Iune, vntill he came to the Septentrionall latitude of 67 degrees and a halfe,and finding the Seas still open, sayd, that he might, and would haue gone to Cataia, if the mutinie of the Master and Mariners had not bene.
Now as these mens experience hath proued some part of this passage: so the chapter following shal put you in full assurance of the rest, by their experiences which haue passed through euery part thereof.
To prooue by circumstance that the Northwest passage hath bene sayled throughout.
The diuersitie betwene bruite beastes and men, or betweene the wise and the simple is, that the one iudgeth by sense onely, [Marginal note: Quinque sensus. 1 Visus. 2 Auditus. 3 Olfactus. 4 Gustus. 5 Tactus. Singularia sensu, vniuersalia vero mente percipiuntur.] and gathereth no surety of any thing that he hath not seene, felt, heard, tasted, or smelled: And the other not so onely, but also findeth the certaintie of things by reason, before they happen to be tryed. Wherefore I haue added proofes of both sorts, that the one and the other might thereby be satisfied.
1 First, as Gemma Frisius reciteth, there went from Europe three brethren through this passage: whereof it tooke the name of Fretum trium fratrum.
3 Also Plinie affirmeth out of Cornelius Nepos, (who wrote 57 yeeres before Christ) that there were certaine Indians driuen by tempest, vpon the coast of Germanie which were presented by the king of Sueuia, vnto Quintus Metellus Celer, the Proconsull of France.
[Sidenote: Lib. 2. cap. 66.] 3 And Plinie vpon the same sayth, that it is no maruel though there be Sea by the North, where there is such abundance of moisture: which argueth that hee doubted not of a nauigable passage that way, through which those Indians came.
[Sidenote: Pag. 590.] 4 And for the better proofe that the same authoritie of Cornelius Nepos is not by me wrested, to proue my opinion of the Northwest passage: you shall finde the same affirmed more plainly in that behalfe, by the excellent Geographer Dominicus Marius Niger, who sheweth how many wayes the Indian sea stretcheth it selfe, making in that place recital of certaine Indians, that were likewise driuen through the North Seas from India, vpon the coastes of Germany, by great tempest, as they were sayling in trade of marchandize.
5 Also while Frederic Barbarossa reigned Emperour, Anno Do. 1160. there came certaine other Indians vpon the coast of Germanie. [Marginal note: Auouched by Franciscus Lopes de Gomara in his historie of India, lib. I. cap. 10.]
6 Likewise Othon in the storie of the Gothes affirmeth, that in the time of the Germane Emperours there were also certaine Indians cast by force of weather, vpon the coast of the sayd countrey, which foresaid Indians could not possibly haue come by the Southeast, Southwest, nor from any part of Afrike or America, nor yet by the Northeast: therefore they came of necessitie by this our Northwest passage.
To prooue that these Indians aforenamed came not by the Southeast, Southwest, nor from any other part of Afrike, or America.
First, they could not come from the Southeast by the Cape de bona Speranca, because the roughnes of the Seas there is such (occasioned by the currents and great winds in that part) that the greatest armadas the king of Portugal hath, cannot without great difficulty passe that way, much lesse then a Canoa of India could liue in those outragious seas without shipwracke (being a vessel of very small burden) and haue conducted themselues to the place aforesayd, being men vnexpert in the Arte of nauigation.
2 Also, it appeareth plainely that they were not able to come from alongst the coast of Afrike aforesayd, to those parts of Europe, because the winds doe (for the most part) blow there Easterly off from the shore, and the current running that way in like sort, should haue driuen them Westward vpon some part of America: for such winds and tides could neuer haue led them from thence to the said place where they were found, nor yet could they haue come from any of the countries aforesayd, keeping the seas alwayes, without skilful mariners to haue conducted them such like courses as were necessary to performe such a voiage.
3 Presupposing also, if they had bene driuen to the West (as they must haue bene, comming that way) then they should haue perished, wanting supplie of victuals, not hauing any place (once leauing the coast of Afrike) vntill they came to America, nor from America vntill they arriued vpon some part of Europe, or the Islands adioyning to it, to haue refreshed themselues.
4 Also, if (notwithstanding such impossibilities) they might haue recouered Germanie by comming from India by the Southeast, yet must they without all doubt haue stricken vpon some other part of Europe before their arriuall there, as the Isles of the Acores, Portugal, Spaine, France, England, Ireland, &c. which if they had done, it is not credible that they should or would haue departed vndiscovered of the inhabitants: but there was neuer found in those dayes any such ship or men but only vpon the coasts of Germanie, where they haue bene sundry times and in sundry ages cast aland: neither is it like that they would haue committed themselues againe to sea, if they had so arriued, not knowing where they were, nor whither to haue gone.