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Full text of "The Canarian; or, Book of the conquest and conversion of the Canarians in the year 1402"

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and the AGE of DISCOVERY 




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Messire jean DE BETHEXCOURT, K'"., 

Lord of the Manors of BHJiencourt, Riville, Gourrel, and Grainville la Teinturiire, 

Baron of St. Martin le Gaillard, Councillor and Chamberlain in Ordinary 

to Charles V and Cliarles VI, 




iSIitf) Xotts anS an EntroBuction, 



M.nccc.i.xxii. y 

g7i ^^X7I-^<=^W) 




Livrc dc la conquefte et converfion fai(fle des 

Canarlens a la foy et Religion catholique apofto- 

lique et Romaine en Tan 1402 : par Meffire Jehan 

de Bethencourt, Chevalier, gentilhomme Cauchois, 

Seigneur du lieu de Bethencourt, Riville, 

Gourrel, Chaftelain de Grainville la Tain- 

turiere, Baron de Sain6l Martin le 

Gaillard, Confeiller et Chambellan 

ordinaire des Roys 

Charles 5 et 6. 


PIERRE BONTIER, moyne de Sainc Jouyn 
de Marnes, 




CO I' NC 1 I. 


The Rioht Hun. Sir DAVID DUNDAS, Pulsiuent. 


Majob-Gkn. Sir HENRY C. RAWLINSON, K.C.B., Pres.R.G.S. 


J. BARROW, Esq., F.R.S., F.R.G.S. 

Reab-Admiral COLLINSON, C.B., F.R.G.S. 

General C. FOX, F.R.G.S. 

W. E. FRERE, Esq., F.R.G.S. 

Captain J. G. GOODENOUGH, R.N., F.R.G.S. 




R. II. M.\JOR, Esq., F.S.A., Sec.R.G.S. 



Vice-Admiral ERASMUS OMMANNEY, C.B., F.R.S. 

Captain SHERARD OSBORN, R.N., C.B., F.R.S. 

The Lord STANLEY of Alderley. 


CLEMENTS R. MAUKIIAM, C.13., F.S.A. , Sec.UG.S., Hunorauy Skcuetary. 



It is a remarkable fact that in the proud list of the 
glories of noble France there is one class of achieve- 
ments for which she has claimed more, and at the 
same time received less, honour than she really 
deserves. She has put forth a claim to having 
preceded even Prince Henry of Portugal in lifting 
the veil from the Sea of Darkness, the mysterious 
Atlantic, and in colonising the west coast of Africa ; 
but although the most illustrious of her claimants 
to this distinction, the learned M. d'Avezac, still 
clings lovingly to his patriotic convictions on this 
head, the present writer has already demonstrated 
that that claim can by no means be maintained.* 
At the same time France is very far from having 
received the amount of honour which is her due for 
the boldness of her maritime explorations at a some- 
what later but still very early period. There can 
be no doubt that in the first half of the sixteenth 
century France was the nation which followed most 
boldly in the footsteps of Portugal, and it is possible 

^ See Life of Prince Henry the Navigator and its Results, London, 
1868, chapter of "The Sea of Darkness," pp. 117-128. 



that we have yet much to learn from unexamined 
manuscripts as to the exploits of the adventurous 
Dieppese at that interesting period in the history of 
navigation. The voyage treated of in the present 
volume holds an isolated and highly distinguished 
position midway as to date between the pretended 
and the real early achievements of the French 
nation at sea ; for whereas the former were said to 
have taken place in the fourteenth, and the latter 
unquestionably did take place in the sixteenth, this 
voyage of De Bethencourt was made at the very 
commencement of the fifteenth century. It is con- 
sequently the earliest authenticated distant voyage 
made by Frenchmen to the south. Had it been 
directed to unexplored latitudes it w^ould have 
eclipsed the glory even of Prince Henry himself, 
whose first expedition it preceded at least by 
thirteen years, if not more. But though its des- 
tination was only to the Canaries, a group of islands 
vi^hose position was well known, and which had been 
the subject of poetical allusion for more than two 
thousand years, yet as an early attempt at colonisa- 
tion, which has made the name of its orio-inator 
illustrious, it possesses a strong claim to insertion 
among the series of our Society's publications. As a 
mere maritime feat, the expedition was in no way 
remarkable. The track was a beaten one. For a 
century the Venetians had already been in the 
habit of making the voyage to Flanders, and the 

' Our learned compatriot, IMr. Rawdon Brown, wlio lias ibr 
so many years been an unwearied student of Venetian records, 


Spaniards and the Genoese not nnfreqiiently visited 
the Canaries for goat's-flesh, making their way by 
the west coast of Africa down to Cape Cantin, and 
so by a short traverse to Lancerote or Fuerte- 
ventiu'a. And while it is true that in this expedi- 
tion originated that colonisation of the Canaries 
from which sprung their present European popula- 
tion, yet it is not correct to suppose, as hitherto it 
has been generally asserted, that the principal 
islands of the group then received for the first time 
the names which they at present bear. But in order 
that the reader may form an idea of the true position 
and value of this expedition in the history of dis- 
covery, it will be necessary to take a brief survey of 
what had been previously known of these islands. 
In the poems of Homer the ocean is treated as a 
river beyond which at the earth's confines were the 
Elysian fields which Hesiod and Pindar made to be 
surrounded by water, so that the habitations of the 
blest were transformed into islands, and hence, pro- 
bably, originated the name of the Insulse Fortunatse 
or Fortunate Islands. On this point Strabo says, 
hb. 3 : — " The poets make mention of the Islands 
of the Blest, and we know that even now they are 
to be seen not far from the extremity of Mauritania, 
opposite Gades (Cadiz). Now I say that those who 
pointed out these things were the Phoenicians who. 

Las published, in his L'Archivio cli Venezia con riguardo speciale 
alia Storia Imjlese, Venezia e Torino, 18G5, 16mo, pp. 274-279, 
a list of the captains in the Flanders voyages from 1317 down to 




before the time of Homer, had possession of the best 
part of Africa and Spain." Here we see the Canaries 
evidently alluded to, and the inference suggested 
that they were known to the Phoenician colony of 
Carthaginians established at Cadiz three thousand 
years ago. About eighty-two years before our era, 
we find these islands afresh brought under notice. 
Some Lusitanian sea captains who had just returned 
from them, fell in with Sertorius, who, in his flight 
from the ships of Annius, had passed through the 
straits and landed near the mouth of the Quadal- 
quivir. Their glowing account of the fertility of the 
soil, the purity of the air, and the happiness of the 
people, inspired Sertorius with an ardent desire to 
withdraw from the business of life, and seek repose 
there, but fate decreed otherwise. It is to Plutarch 
(see Plutarch's Life of Sertorius) that we are in- 
debted for this account. Tw^o islands only were 
mentioned, probably Lancerote and Fuerteventura. 

Twenty years after the death of Sertorius, we 
have five islands specified by distinct names in a 
vague itinerary drawn up by one Statins Sebosus 
from the accounts of navigators of his time, and 
preserved to us by Pliny. He represents the group, 
to which he gives the name of Hesperides, as one 
day's sail from tJie western promontory (Cape Non). 
He names them (1) Junonia, at 750 miles from 
Gades (Cadiz), (2) Pluviillia, and (3) Capraria, 750 
miles west of Junonia, and 250 miles beyond, to the 
left of Mauritania and towards the ninth hour of the 
sun, were the great Fortunate Islands, one called (4) 


Convallis and the other (5) Planaria, on account of 
their form ; but all these indications are too indis- 
tinct to supply us with any information beyond the 
fact that in the time of Sebosus five islands of the 
Canary group had received individual names. 

Happily we are supplied also by Pliny with in- 
formation of a far more distinct character respecting 
these islands. When King Juba the Second was 
reinstated by Augustus on the throne which his 
father had lost, on his return to Mauritania he 
tiu'ned to account the geographical knowledge which 
he had acquired through his education in Italy, and 
sent out an expedition for the express purpose of 
exploring the Fortunate Islands. On the return of 
the navigators he wrote a narrative of the voyage 
from their report, and sent it to the emperor. A 
fragment only of that narrative survives, and has 
been transmitted to us by Pliny in the following 
shape: "The Fortunate Islands lie to the south-west, 
at 625 miles from the Purpurarise. To reach them 
from the latter they first sailed 250 miles westwards 
and then 375 miles to the east.^ The first is called 
Ombrios, and contains no traces of buildings. There 
is in it a pool in the midst of mountains, and trees 
like ferules, from which water may be pressed, which 

^ The " three hundred" is omitted in some editions of Pliny, 
but that they are necessary is evident from the account of Pliny 
himself. It is clear that the 625 miles are reckoned in making 
the periplus of the whole group, the 250 tallying with the 
distance from Fuerteventura, one of the Purpuraria), to Ombrios 
or Palma. The 375 would be the length of the eastern return 
track from Palma round the group. 


is bitter from the black kinds, but from the lighter 
ones pleasant to drink (sugar-cane). The second is 
called Junonia, and contains a small temple built 
entirely of stone. Near it is another smaller island 
having the same name. Then comes Capraria, which 
is full of large lizards. Within sight of these islands 
is Nivaria, so called from the snow and fogs with 
which it is constantly covered. Not far from Nivaria 
is Canaria, so called on account of the great number 
of large dogs therein, two of which were brought to 
King Juba. There were traces of buildings in this 
island. All the islands abound in apples and in 
birds of every kind, and in palms covered with 
dates, and in the pine nut. There is also plenty of 
honey. The papyrus grows there, and the Silurus 
fish is found in the rivers." (See Pliny, Nat. Hist., 
lib. 6, cap. 37.) In Ombrios we recognise the Plu- 
vialia of Sebosus, the words being synonymous. Con- 
vallis becomes Nivaria, and Planaria is replaced by 
Canaria, which name is still borne by the large 
central island, -and has now been given to the whole 
Archipelago. There is no difficulty in fixing the 
island named Nivaria, a name which clearly indicates 
the snowy peak of Teneriffe, almost constantly capped 
with clouds. In Ombrios or Pluvialia, with its pool 
in the midst of mountains, we recognise the island 
of Palma, with its famous Caldera or cauldron, the 
crater of an old volcano. The distance also of this 
island from Fuerteventura agrees with that of the 
250 miles indicated by Juba's navigators as existing 
between Ombrios and the Purpuraria^. It has been 


already seen that the latter agree with Lancerote 
and Fuerteventura in respect of their distance from 
the continent and from each other, as described by 
Plutarch. That the Purpurariac are not, as M. Bory 
de St. Vincent supposed, the Madeira group, is not 
only shown by the want of inhabitants in the latter, 
but by the orchil, which supplies the purple dye, 
being derived from and sought for specially from the 
Canaries and not the Madeira group, although it 
is to be found there. Junonia, the nearest to Ombrios, 
will be Gomera. It may be presumed that the 
temple found therein was, like the island, dedicated 
to Juno. Capraria, which implies the island of goats, 
agrees correctly with the island of Ferro, which 
occurs next in the order of the itinerary, for these 
animals were found there in large numbers when the 
island was invaded by Jean de Bethencourt in 1402, 
But a yet more striking proof of the identity of this 
island with Capraria is the account of the great 
number of large lizards found therein. Bethencourt s 
chaplains, describing their visit to the island in 1402, 
state : — " There are lizards in it as big as cats, but 
they are harmless, although very hideous to look at." 
It was probably the desire to bring these mysterious 
islands within the grasp of history that induced 
King Juba to send out this expedition; and although 
the blessedness that was looked for formed no part 
of the discovery, yet as these were the only islands 
that were lighted upon in the ocean where they were 
sought for, they were assumed to be the genuine 
Insulse Fortunatse, and accordingly retained the 


For thirteen centuries from the time of which we 
have been speaking, the Fortunate Islands were 
destined ao-ain to be ahnost buried in obUvion. The 
destruction of the Roman Empire re-plunged Europe 
into ignorance; and, although the Fortunate Islands 
were vaguely known to the Moors of Spain under 
the designation of the Islands of Khaledat, it has 
been elaborately shown by the eminent Portuguese 
savant, Senhor Joaquim Jose da Costa de Macedo, 
that the Arabs had no practical knowledge of the 
Canaries before the times of the Portuguese dis- 
coveries. He maintains that the only notions they 
had respecting them were such as they derived from 
Greek and Latin authors, and he seems satisfactorily 
to have proved his point. 

It was not till the beginning of the fifteenth cen- 
tury, when the Norman Jean de Bethencourt, the 
subject of the present narrative, established himself 
in the Canaries, that something like substantial 
mformation respecting these islands was made ac- 
cessible to Europeans. Much earlier expeditions, it 
is true, had been attempted, but of the navigators 
who visited them before the fifteenth century, 
some only landed accidentally, and others went for 
the purpose of taking slaves, or goats' flesh, or else 
to gather orchil for dyeing, and dragon's blood, or 
other products that might be useful in commerce. 

In the Bibliotheca Laiu'entiana, in Florence, is a 
portulano of the date of 1351, known as the Portu- 
lano Mediceo, which, although anonymous, has been 
satisfactorily proved by Count Baldelli Bojii, in his 


valuable edition of the MiUone of Marco Polo, pub- 
lished in Florence in 1827, to be of Genoese con- 
struction. On one of the maps in this Portulano, 
against the island of Lancerote in the Canaries, is 
inserted the shield of Genoa, distinctly claiming the 
priority of discovery in favour of that republic ; and 
Count Baldelli with reason remarks that no Venetian 
or Pisan or Catalan would be the first to lay down, 
on a map so important, a fact in favour of their 
rivals the Genoese, It is right, however, to observe 
that on the later Venetian map by the brothers 
Pizzigani of 1367, and in the Catalan map of 1375, 
this remarkable indication is inserted. Perhaps a 
stronger argument is derived from the use of the 
Genoese dialect m the names in preference to that of 
Venice or Pisa. M. d'Avezac, with his usual un- 
tiring research, has bestowed great labour upon the 
inquiry into the discovery and naming of the island 
of Lancerote. He has shown tliat the* discoverer 
was of the ancient, but now extinct, Genoese family 
of Malocello. In the visit of the Norman knight 
Jean de Bethencourt to that island in 1402, it is 
said that they stored their grain in an old castle 
reputed to be built by Lancelot Maloisel. In a 
Genoese map of the date of 1455, made by Barto- 
lommeo Pareto, are inserted against the same island 
the words " Lansaroto Maroxello Januensis"; and, 
further, we are led to believe that the discovery was 
made as early as the thirteenth century from a 
passage in Petrarch, which declares that a patrum 
memorid, i. e., a generation back, an armed fleet of 


Genoese had penetrated as far as the Fortunate 
Islands. Now as Petrarch was born in 1304, if, as 
is highly probable, Lancelote Malocello's voyage was 
the one alluded to, it will have taken place at the 
latest in the close of the thirteenth century. We 
thus find a reason for the reservation by Genoese 
map makers of the claim of their country to the 
island of Lancerote. 

That the Canaries were visited, but visited only, 
by the Portuguese, even earlier than the year 1345 is 
proved by a passage in a letter from Affonso IV, 
King of Portugal, to Pope Clement VI, which was 
written under the following circumstances. When 
Alfonso, the eldest son of the Infant Don Ferdinand, 
and grandson of King Alfonso the Wise, was deprived 
by his uncle Don Sancho of the succession to the 
Crown of Castile, he retired in indignation to France 
to the Court of his uncle Philippe le Bel. He there 
married Marhaut or Mafalda, daughter of Amery VI, 
Viscount of Narbonne, by whom he had Luis of 
Spain, called by almost all the Spanish historians 
Luis de la Cerda, Count of Talmond, and Admiral of 
France. On the death of John III, Duke of Brittany, 
a civil war divided the country into two parties. 
England took the part of the Count de Montfort, the 
Duke's brother, while the King of France maintained 
that of his nephew the Count de Blois, who had been 
called to the succession by the Duke himself. In this 
contest Don Luis commanded in several engagements 
against England, till at length Pope Clement VI 
obtaiued a truce, signed at Malestroit on the 19th 


January, 1343, Avliich was to last three years, so that 
terms of peace might in the interval be negotiated in 
the Pope's presence at Avignon. One of the pleni- 
potentiaries was Luis de la Cerda, and as the negotia- 
tions were greatly protracted by repeated delays on 
the part of the King of England, he remained there 
till the beginning of the year 1345. 

During his stay at Avignon, Don Luis represented 
to the Pope that there were islands in the ocean, 
named the Fortunate Islands, some of which were 
inhabited and others not, and that he wished to 
obtain possession of these for the exaltation of the 
Faith and the spread of Christianity, and for this 
purpose he prayed his Holiness to grant him the 
necessary authority and the title of King of these 
islands. The Pope granted his request, and by a 
Bull dated from Avignon, November 15th, 1334, 
bestowed on him the lordship of the fortunate Is- 
lands with the title of Prince of Fortune, to remain 
in perpetual fief to the Apostolic See, to which it 
should pay annually 400 florins of good and pure 
gold of Florentine coinage ; and Don Luis gave an 
acknowledgment of the fief on the 28 th of November 
of the same year. At the same time the Pope wrote 
letters to the Kings of France, of Sicily, of Aragon, 
of Castile, and Portugal, as well as to the Dauphin, 
and to the Doge of Genoa, desiring them to help the 
new king in this enterprise. The reply of the King 
of Portugal contains the passage to which allusion 
has been made. While submitting, from habitual 
reverence, to the desire of his Holiness, he reminded 


him that he had already sent out expeditions to 
those islands, and was only prevented from sending 
out a large armada by the wars in which he became 
involved, first with the King of Castile, and after- 
wards with the Saracens. The letter finished with 
the King's excusing himself on account of the ex- 
hausted condition of his treasury from supplying 
Don Luis with ships and soldiers, but expressing 
his willingness to furnish him to the extent of his 
power with provisions, and other suj^plies. This letter 
was dated from Monte Mor, 12th of February, 1345. 
The war with Spain, to which the King referred, 
broke out at the close of 1336, whence it follows that 
his assertion that he had thereby been prevented 
from sending out a large armada to those islands, 
either means that previously to that year the Portu- 
guese had sent out expeditions to the Canaries, or 
that expeditions which he had sent out durmg the 
war would, but for the war, have been equipped on 
a grander scale. 

By a treaty concluded in 1317, Denis the Labourer, 
King of Portugal, secured the services of the Genoese 
Emmanuele Pezagno as hereditary admiral of his 
fleet, with a distinct understanding that he and his 
successors should make unfailing provision of twenty 
Genoese captains experienced in navigation to com- 
mand the king's galleys. 

In the year 1326 we find this same Emmanuele 
Pezagno sent by Afibnso IV as ambassadoi- to our 
own King Edward III, who regarded him with such 
favour, that on July 24, 1332, he addressed a letter 


to Affonso, recommending both Emmannele and his 
son Carlo to his especial patronage. Even so late 
as 1373, we find the rank of admiral of the Portu- 
guese fleet remaining in the hands of Lancelot, 
son of Emmanuele Pezagno, who received it from 
Peter I by letters patent dated 26th June, 1357. 
So that in these facts we have a remarkable light 
thrown upon the declaration of Affonso IV to 
Pope Clement YI, that previous to 1334 he had 
abeady sent out expeditions to these islands. 

Meanwhile we have evidence to show that in 1341 
a voyage was made to the Canaries, under the aus- 
pices of the King of Portugal, in a narrative for which 
we are indebted to the poet Boccaccio, and which has 
been rescued from oblivion so recently as 1827 by the 
learned Sebastiano Ciampi. It was derived from 
letters written to Florence by certain Florentine 
merchants established at Seville, under date of the 
17 kalend of December, 1341. 

The narrative records that "On the 1st of July of 
that same year, two vessels, furnished by the King of 
Portugal with all the necessary provisions, and accom- 
panied by a smaller vessel, well armed and manned 
by Florentines, Genoese, Castilians, and other Span- 
iards, among whom were naturally mcluded Portu- 
guese, for the word Hispani included all inhabitants 
of the Peninsula, set sail for Lisbon, and put out 
into the open sea.-* They took with them horses, 

^ " The Florentine who went with these ships was Angeh'no 
del Tegghia del Corbizzi, a cousin of the sons of Gherardino 
Gianni," according to what we learn from a marginal note by 


arms, and warlike engines for storming towns and 
castles, in search of those islands commonly called 
the " Kediscovered." The wind was favourable, and 
on the 5th day they found land. They did not 
return till the month of November, when they 
brought back with them four of the natives, a large 
quantity of goat skins, the fat and oil of fish, and 
seal skins ; red wood which dyed almost as well as 
the verzino (Brazil wood), although connoisseurs pro- 
nounced it not to be the same ; the barks of trees to 
stain with a red colour ; red earth and other such 
things. Nicoloso de Kecco, a Genoese, the pilot of 
this expedition, stated that this archipelago was 
nearly nine hundred miles from the city of Seville ; 
but that reckoning from what now is called Cape St. 
Vincent, the islands were much nearer to the conti- 
nent, and that the first of those which they disco- 
vered [most probably Fuerteventura] was a hundred 
and fifty miles in circumference ; it was one mass of 
uncultivated stony land, but full of goats and other 
beasts, and inhabited by naked men and women, 
who were like savages in their appearance and de- 
meanour. He added that he and his companions 
obtained in this island the greater part of their cargo 
of skins and fat, but they did not dare to penetrate 
far into the country. Passing thence into another 
island [Great Canary], somewhat larger than the first, 
a great number of natives of both sexes, all nearly 
naked, came down to the shore to meet them. Some 
of them, who seemed superior to the rest, were 
covered with goats' skins covered yellow and red, 


and, as far as could be seen from a distance, the 
skins were fine and soft, and tolerably well sewn 
together with the intestines of animals. To judge 
from their gestures they seemed to have a prince, to 
whom they showed much respect and obedience. 
The islanders showed a wish to communicate with 
the people in the ship, but when the boats drew 
near the shore, the sailors who did not understand a 
word that they said did not dare to land. Their 
language however was soft, and their pronuncia- 
tion rapid and animated like Italian. Some of the 
islanders then swam to the boats, and four of 
them were taken on board and afterwards carried 
away. On the northern coasts of the island, which 
were much better cultivated than the southern, there 
were a great number of little houses, fig trees and 
other trees, palm trees which bore no fruit, and gar- 
dens with cabbages and other vegetables. Here 
twenty-five of the sailors landed, and found nearly 
thirty men quite naked, who took to flight when 
they saw their arms. The buildings were made with 
much skill of square stones, covered with large and 
handsome pieces of wood. Finding several of them 
closed, the sailors broke open the doors with stones, 
which enraged the fugitives, who filled the air with 
their cries. The houses were found to contain no- 
thing beyond some excellent dried figs, j^ reserved in 
palm baskets, like those made at Cesena, corn of a 
much finer quality than the Italian, not only in the 
length and thickness of its grain but its extreme 
whiteness, some barley and other grains. The houses 


were all very handsome and covered with very fine 
wood, and as clean inside as if they had been white- 
washed. The sailors also came upon a chapel or 
temple, in which there were no pictures or ornament, 
but only a stone statue representing a man with a 
ball in his hand. This idol, otherwise naked, wore 
an apron of palm-leaves. They took it away and car- 
ried it to Lisbon. The island seemed to be thickly 
peopled and well cultivated ; producing not only corn 
and other grain, but fruits, principally figs. The 
natives either ate the grain like birds, or else made 
it into flour, and ate it with water without kneading. 
On leaving this island they saw several others, at the 
distance of five, ten, twenty, or forty miles, and 
made for a third, in which they remarked nothing 
but an immense number of beautiful trees shooting 
straight up to the skies [most probably Ferro, re- 
markable for its magnificent pines]. Thence to 
another, which abounded in streams of excellent 
water and wood [Gomera]. They found also many 
wild pigeons, which they killed with sticks and 
stones. They were larger and of better flavour than 
those in Italy. Falcons and birds of prey were 
numerous. The sailors ventured but a very little 
way into the country. At length they discovered 
another island, the rocky mountains of which were of 
immense height and almost always covered with 
clouds, but what they could see during the clear 
weather seemed very agreeable, and it appeared to 
be inhabited [Palma]. They afterwards saw other 
islands, making in all thirteen, some of them inha- 


bitecl and some not, and the further they went the 
more they saw. They remarked the smoothness of 
tlie sea which separates these islands, and found 
good anchorage, although there were but few har- 
bours, but all the islands were well provided with 
water. Of the thirteen islands five were inhabited, 
but some were much more populous than others.^ 
The languages of these people were said to be so 
different, that those of one island did not understand 
those of another, and they had no means of commu- 
nication except by swimming. A phenomenon which 
they witnessed on one of these islands [TenerifFe] 
deterred them from landing. On the summit of a 
mountain which they reckoned to be more than 
tliirty thousand feet high they observed what from 
its whiteness looked like a fortress. It was, how- 
ever, nothing but a sharp point of rock, on the top 
of which was a mast, as large as a ship's mast, with 
a yard and a lateen sail set upon it. The sail when 
blown out by the wind took the form of a shield, 
and soon afterwards it would seem to be lowered, 
together with the mast, as if on board a vessel, then 
again it was raised and again would sink, and so 

"They sailed round the island, but on all sides 
they saw the same phenomenon, and thinking it the 
effect of some enchantment, they did not dare to 
land. They saw many other things also, which 

' Thirteen is correct if the desert islands be added to the seven 
inhabited ones. Those inhabited are here counted five instead 
of seven, doubtless from defective exploration. 



Niccoloso refused to relate. At any rate the islands 
do not seem to have been very rich, for the sailors 
hardly covered the expense of the voyage. 

"The four men whom they carried away were 
young and beardless, and had handsome faces. They 
wore nothing but a sort of apron made of cord, from 
which they hung a number of palm or reed fibres of 
a hairs-breadth and a half or two hairs'-breadth, 
which formed an effectual covering. They were un- 
circumcised. Their long light hair veiled their bodies 
down to the waist, and they went barefooted. The 
island whence they were taken was called Canary, 
and was more populous than the others. These men 
were spoken to in several languages, but they under- 
stood none of them. They did not exceed their 
captors in stature, but they were robust of limb, 
courageous, and very intelligent. When spoken to 
by signs they replied in the same manner, like 
mutes. There were marks of deference shown from 
one to another ; but one of them appeared more 
honoured than the rest. The apron of this chief was 
of palm leaves, wliile the others wore reeds painted 
in yellow and red. They sang very sweetly, and 
danced almost as well as Frenchmen. They were 
gay and merry, and much more civilised than many 
Spaniards. When they were brought on board, they 
ate some bread and figs, and seemed to like the 
bread, though they had never tasted it before. They 
absolutely refused wine, and only drank water. 
Wheat and barley they ate in plenty, as well as 
cheese and meat, whicli was abundant in the islands, 


and of good quality, for although tliere were no 
oxen, camels, or asses, there were plenty of goats, 
sheep, and wild hogs. They were shown some gold 
and silver money, but they were quite ignorant of 
the use of it ; and they knew as little of any kind of 
spice. Eings of gold and vases of carved work, 
swords and sabres, were shown to them ; but they 
seemed never to have seen such things, and did not 
know how to use them. They showed remarkable 
faithfulness and honesty, for if one of them received 
anything good to eat, before tasting it, he divided it 
into portions which he shared with the rest. Mar- 
riage was observed among them, and the married 
women wore aprons like the men, but the maidens 
went quite naked, without consciousness of shame." 

Meanwhile the Prince of Fortune made but little 
progress towards the acquirement of the royal do- 
main with which the Pope had endowed liim. In 
short, the whole project proved a mere abortion, and 
neither the treasury of the Pope, the property of 
Don Luis, nor the knowledge of the geography of 
the Canaries, were advanced one iota thereby. 

The enterprise undertaken a century and a half 
later by Jean de Bethencourt, of which this volume 
treats, was of a far more persistent and effectual 
character. During the century which preceded it, 
however, the Canaries were exposed to frequent 
ravages from corsairs and from adventurers of all 

On one occasion chance led to the landing of a 
party on the Great Canary, whicli, as it seems to be 

c 2 


referred to in the present work, deserves particular 
mention. In a MS. account by a Canarian writer, 
Don Pedro del Castillo (quoted at p. 41 of the 
Histoire Naturelle des lies Canaries, par MM. Barber 
Webb and Sabin Berthelot, Paris, 1842, 4to), is 
recorded an expedition, by Captain Francisco Lopez, 
from Seville to Galicia, in which his vessel was carried 
southward by a tempest and took refuge, on June 
5th, 1382, at the mouth of the Guiniguada in the 
Great Canary, where the capital has since been 
founded. Lopez and twelve of his companions were 
treated at first with humanity by the natives of this 
part of the island, and passed seven years peacefully 
occupied with the care of the flocks that had been 
granted them. They profited by this enforced sojourn 
to give Christian instruction to many young Cana- 
rians, some of whom had learned the Castilian lan- 
guage ; but suddenly the natives changed their con- 
duct towards them, and killed them all without 
exception. It seems, however, that before their 
death the unhappy Spaniards confided a written 
document to one of their pupils, and there is no 
doubt that it is this event that Bethencourt's chap- 
lains have mentioned in their history of the first 
attempt by the Chevalier Gadifer de la Salle upon the 
Grand Canary (see Chap. xl). A young islander had 
come on board Gadifer's ship to give him a parchment 
that was tied round his neck. "We have found," said 
the chaplains, " the testament of the Christian 
brothers, thirteen in number, whom they killed 
twelve years ago, which testament says also tliat 


none ought to trust them for thek fair outside 
demeanour, for they were traitors by nature." There 
can be Httle doubt that the party in question was 
that of Lopez (1382), mentioned by Castillo. It is 
probable that the mistrust aroused in the Canarians 
by the relations of their guests with the adventurers 
who frequented their shores, and the fear of some 
surprise on the part of the Europeans, determined 
them to get rid of these strangers, to whom they 
had shown tliemselves at first so friendly ; but, 
according to the historians of the conquest, the 
Canarian pretence was that the Spaniards had sent 
letters to the land of the Christians adverse to those 
with whom they had dwelt for seven years. 

M. d'Avezac, in his valuable work on the " lies 
d'Afrique," in the Univers Pittoresque, tells us that 
an official document, preserved in the Escurial, 
and embodying the results of an inquiry instituted 
in 1476 by Queen Tsabelle of Castile as to the 
respective rights of the various pretenders to the 
possession of the Canaries, declares formally that 
Jean de Bethencourt had received information in 
Normandy respecting these islands from two French 
adventurers, who had made incursions on them in 
company with a Spaniard named Alvaro Becerra, 
and that he was thereby induced to undertake the 
conquest, of which we will now proceed to give the 

Messire Jean de Bethencourt, Lord of Grainville 
la Teinturiere, in the Pais de Caux in Normandy, 
having conceived the project of conquering the 


Canaries, which were then only frequented by mer- 
chants or Spanish pirates, assembled a body of ad- 
venturers, among whom was a knight named Gadifer 
de la Salle, who joined him at Bochelle. M. de 
Bethencourt took with him his two chaplains, Brother 
Pierre Bontier, a monk of St. Jouin de Marnes, and 
Jean le Verrier, a priest, who were the historians of 
the expedition. They started from Bochelle on the 
1st of May, 1402, putting in at Corunna and at Cadiz, 
where they stayed till the month of July, the party 
meanwhile becoming reduced by the desertion of 
twenty-seven men to only fifty-three in number. 
Eight days from Cadiz brought them to the island 
of Graciosa ; thence they went to Lancerote, where 
they were well received and obtained permission to 
build a fort, which they named Rubicon. Leaving 
Bertin de Berneval in charge, Bethencourt went 
with Gadifer to Fuerteventura, but was obliged to 
return to Lancerote on account of mutiny among his 
sailors and want of provisions. 

It was then resolved that Bethencourt sliould go 
to Spain to get together what was necessary to 
complete the enterprise. Gadifer remained as lieu- 
tenant, and while he was absent at the Isle of Lobos, 
Bertin excited disaffection against him, drew together 
a faction of his own, with which he pillaged the 
castle of Bubicon and took a number of natives 
prisoners, including Guadarfia, the King of Lancerote, 
who had already made friendly submission to Bethen- 
court. Two Spanish ships had arrived meanwhile, 
and Bertin having gained over Ferdinand Ordonez, 


captain of the Tranchemar, took his spoils and 
prisoners on hoard, abandoned his ill-fated followers 
to perish miserably in Africa, and went himself to 

The unfortunate Gadifer was left by this treachery 
in the island of Lobos, without the supplies he 
expected to follow him, until the captain of the 
other Spanish ship, the Morelle, sent a canoe to his 
rescue, and he returned to E,ubicon. Here he found 
affairs in a sad state, no provisions, no stores, and an 
insufficient number of men to keep the natives in 

Meanwhile Bethencourt was obtaining from Henry 
III, King of Castillo, the supplies he wanted, on 
condition of doing homage ; and having sent home 
his wife in the charge of Enguerrand de la Boissiere, 
he preferred to return to Lancerote. He had learned 
the state of affau's on the arrival of the ship Morelle, 
which preceded by a short time the Trmichemar, in 
which the traitor Bertin arrived with his captives, 
and sent help to Gadifer from the king, with direc- 
tions to follow up the explorations. During Bethen- 
court's absence, there had been a rebellion against 
the King of Lancerote, which had been quelled, and 
the traitor put to death. 

Gadifer had been to Fuerteventura, the Grand 
Canary, Ferro, Gomera, and Palma, and returned to 
Bubicon after a voyage of three months. He had 
sent a ship to Spain with the account of his expedi- 
tion, but Bethencourt himself now arrived at Rubicon, 
where he was received with great demonstrations of 


joy. He proceeded vigorously with the conquest of 
the natives, and in a few days the king submitted 
and asked for baptism, which he received with many 
of his people. After this, Bethencourt and Gadifer 
were only withheld from further conquest by want 
of aid from the courts of France and Spain, though 
application was made especially to the former. On 
their return from an expedition to the coast of Africa, 
Gadifer showed discontent that Bethencourt had 
not considered his interests when he did homage to 
the King of Castile for the government of the 
islands. However, he took part in an expedition 
against the Grand Canary in 1404, but the dispute 
was afterwards renewed, and they set out for Spain 
to settle the question, travelling in different ships. 
Finally, however, Gadifer, knowing Bethen court's 
greater interest at the court of Castile, gave up his 
own cause in despair, and returned to France. Bethen- 
court proceeded to Castile and was solemnly invested 
with the government of the islands. On his return 
to the Canaries he had several encounters with the 
natives, but maintained his authority successfully, and 
the two kings of Fuerteventura, together with their 
people, became Christian. He then went to France, to 
obtain the materials for forming a colony, was warmly 
welcomed at Grainville, and obtained all he required. 
He returned to Lancerote witli his nephew Maciot 
de Bethencourt, and was received with great joy by his 
own people, as well as by the inhabitants of Fuerteven- 
tura. In October 1405 he set out on his expedition to 
the Grand Canary, wliich was unsuccessful from \av\- 


ous causes ; but in Palma and Feno, after some opposi- 
tion, lie formed colonies. Returning to Lancerote, 
he arranged everything for the good government of 
the islands which he had conquered and civilised, 
and leaving his nephew Maciot as his lieutenant- 
general, he departed universally regretted. He went 
thence to Spain, where the king received him warmly 
and gave him letters of recommendation to the 
Pope, from whom he was anxious to obtain the 
appointment of . a bishop for the islands. At Rome 
he was well received by the Pope, who granted 
all he requu-ed. He then returned to France, by 
way of Florence, where he was feted by the govern- 
ment. Tlience he went to Paris and so to his own 
house. Here he remained for several years, re- 
ceiving from the bishop news of the islands and the 
good government of his nephew, till, as he was pre- 
paring to visit them once more, he died at his house 
of Grain ville in 1425. 

It will be observed that the text of the MS. 
places the death of Bethencom-t in 1 422, but Bergeron, 
who was not an idle investigator, in fixing the 
date at 1425, says, " comme il appert par plusieurs 
actes." So that we may reasonably accept his deci- 
sion. With respect to the sepulture of Bethencourt, 
every memento would have been lost in the dim 
gloom of the past, had it not been for the laudable 
enthusiasm of a Norman antiquary, the Abbe Cochet, 
who seems to have been the only man of the age 
to take an interest in the local glory of the conqueror 
of the Canaries. Descril)ini»' his visit to Grainville 


in 1831 (see Les Eglises cle V Arrondissement cV Yvetot, 
par M. I'Abbe Cochet, Paris, 1832, torn, i, p. 151), 
he says, " In the church I looked with eagerness for 
the name of the hero whose memory had led my 
steps to the spot. To my sorrow I found not a 
single word, a single stone that spoke to me of him. 
His very name had perished from the traditions of the 
old gossips of the place, and there remained but a 
vague memory of his greatness, which faded like a 
distant echo. From that moment I resolved to 
labour at the restitution of that great memory, and 
I have had the happiness to convert the thought into 
a reality. At my request, supported by the Com- 
mission des Antiquites, M. E. Leroy, the honoured 
and enlightened Prefect of the Seine Inferieure, was 
pleased to grant a sum of two hundred francs from 
the historical funds (sur les fonds historiques) of his 
Department. With this small sum, managed with 
prudence, I have been able to have a commemorative 
inscription, surmounted by the arms of Bethencourt, 
made by Caulier, a sculptor at Dieppe. A black 
marble slab, embedded in a carved stone frame, bears 
the following inscription in gilt letters — 








EN 1425. 



With the authorisation of the Building Committee 
of Gi'ainville and the permission of the Archbishop 
of E-ouen and of the minister of pubhc worship, this 
inscription was placed on one of the pilasters of the 
choir on the 16th of December, 1851." 

There is much of picturesque beauty about the 
quaint old narrative of the adventures of the Sire de 
Bethencourt. We find ourselves in an atmosphere of 
romance, albeit the story is most essentially true. The 
mind's eye becomes famihar with the habergeon, the 
corslet, and the pennon, and the mind's ear — an 
organ, by the way, too little recognised — with the 
sound of the clarion and trumpet as realities which 
lend the charm of chivalry to an expedition of dis- 
covery undertaken at a period when chivalry was 
itself a reality. Of the manor-house of Grainville 
la Teinturiere, in the lovely valley of the Durdent, 
there remain only a moat filled with water, a vaulted 
cell, which was doubtless the donjon, and an old gate 
covered with ivy, seen by the Abbe Cochet in 1831, 
but which probably by this time has disappeared also. 

Here it will be interestino* to note the account 
given of the Canaries a few years later by Gomez 
Eannes de Azurara, who, in 1448, drew up a narra- 
tive of the conquest of Guinea under the direction 
of Prince Henry the Navigator. It was compiled 
from the rough narrative of one of Prince Henry's 
sailors, Alfonso de Cerreira, and consequently, though 
we do not know the exact year, was some time 
earlier than the date of Azurara's chronicle. 

In 1443 an expedition of six caravels, formed un- 


der the auspices of the Prince, explored the Bay of 
Arguin and part of the neighbouring coasts, two of 
which separated and turned northward. On their 
way they met with the caravel of Alvaro Gonzalves 
de Atayde, the captain of which was one Joao de 
Castilha, going to Guinea, whom they dissuaded from 
that voyage, and induced him to join them in an ex- 
pedition to the island of Palma. On reaching Gomera 
they were well received, and two chieftains of the 
island, named Bruco and Piste, after announcing 
themselves as grateful servants of Prince Henry, 
from whom they had received the most generous 
hospitality, declared their readiness to do anything to 
serve him. The Portuguese told them they were 
bound to the island of Palma for the purpose of 
capturing some of the natives, and a few of the 
chieftain's subjects would be of great use as guides 
and assistants, where both the country and the peo- 
ple's mode of fighting were alike unknown. Piste 
immediately offered to accompany them, and to take 
as many Canarians as they pleased, and with this 
help they set sail for Palma, which they reached a 
little before daybreak. Unsuitable as the hour 
might seem, they immediately landed, and presently 
sa,w some of the natives fleeing, but, as they were 
starting in pursuit, one of the men suggested that 
they would have a better chance of taking some 
shepherds, chiefly boys and women, whom they saw 
keeping their sheep and goats among the rocks. 
These drove their flocks into a valley that was so 
deep and d;ingcrous that it was a wonder that they 


could make their way at all. The islanders were 
naturally sure-footed to a wonderful degree, but 
several of them fell from the crags and were killed. 
The page Diogo Gonsalves, who had been the first 
to swim to the shore in the encounter near Tider, 
acfain distino-iiished himself. It was hard work for 
the Portuguese, for the Canarians hurled stones and 
lances with sharp horn points at them with great 
strength and precision. The contest ended in the 
capture of seventeen Canarians, men and women. 
One of the latter was of extraordinary size for a 
woman, and they said that she was the queen of a 
part of the island. In retiring to the boats with 
theu^ capture they were closely followed by the 
Canarians, and were obliged to leave the greater 
part of the cattle that they had had so much trouble 
in taking. 

On their return to Gomera they thanked the 
island chieftain for the good service he had rendered 
them, and afterwards, when Piste, with some of the 
islanders, went to Portugal, they were so well re- 
ceived by the Prince that he and some of his followers 
remained for the rest of their lives. 

As Joao de Castilha, the captain of the caravel of 
Gonsalvez de Atayde, had not reached Guinea as 
the others had done, and consequently had less booty 
than they to carry back to Portugal, he conceived 
the dastardly idea of capturing some of the Gome- 
rans, m spite of the pledge of security. As it seemed 
too hideous a piece of treachery to seize any of those 
who had helped them so well, he removed to another 


port, where some twenty-one of the natives, trusting 
to the Portuguese, came on board the caravel and 
were straightway carried to Portugal. When the 
Prince heai'd of it he was extremely angry, and had 
the Canarians brought to his house, and with rich 
presents sent them back to their own country. 

Alvaro Dornellas, after an unsuccessful attempt to 
make a capture in the Canary Islands, which re- 
sulted in his only taking two captives, remained at 
the islands, not caring to return to Lisbon without 
more booty. He sent Affonso Marta to Madeira to 
procure stores by the sale of the two Canarians. The 
weather prevented Marta making the island, and he 
was obliged to put in at Lisbon, where at that time 
was Joao Dornellas, squire to the king, and cousin 
to Alvaro. Joao had a joint interest in the caravel, 
and hearing of his cousin's difficulties, hastened to 
his assistance. Together they made a descent upon 
the island of Palma, having obtained help from the 
people of Gomera in the name of Prince Henry, and 
in a night attack, after a fierce encounter, took 
twenty captives. They returned to Gomera, where 
Alvaro had to remain, and his cousin left for Portu- 
gal. In the homeward passage, such a dearth of 
victuals supervened that they were well-nigh com- 
pelled to eat some of their captives, but happily, 
before they were driven to that extremity, they 
reached the port of Tavila, in the kingdom of Al- 

It has been already seen that Jean de Bethencourt, 
retiring to France in 1406, had left his nephew. 


Maciot de Betliencourt, as governor-general of his 
conquests in the Canaries, comprising Lancerote, 
Forteventura, and Ferro. Azurara gives the Christian 
population of Lancerote, Fuerteventura, and Ferro, in 
his time, as follows : "In Lancerote sixty men, in Fuer- 
teventura eighty, and in Ferro twelve. They had 
their churches and priests. 

" In the Pagan islands the numbers were, in 
Gomera^ about seven hundred men, in Palma five 
hundred, in Teneriffe six thousand bearing arms, and 
in the Great Canary five thousand fighting men. 
These had never been conquered, but some of their 
people had been taken, who gave information respect- 
ing their customs. 

"The Great Canary was ruled by two kings and a 
duke, who were elected, but the real governors of 
the island were an assembly of knights, who were 
not to be less than one hundred and ninety, nor so 
many as two hundred, and whose numbers were 
filled up by election from the sons of their own class. 
The people were intelligent, but little worthy of 
trust ; they were very active and powerful. Their 
only weapons were a short club and the stones with 
which their country abounded, and which supplied 
them also with building materials. Most of them 
went entirely naked, but some wore petticoats of 
palm leaves. They made no account of the precious 
metals, but set a high value on iron, which they 
worked with stones and made mto fishing-hooks ; 

* Maciot attempted, with the assistance of some Castilians, to 
subdue the island of Gomera, but without success. 


they even used stones for shaving. They had abund- 
ance of slieep, pigs, and goats, and tiieir iniimts were 
generally suckled by the latter. They had wheat, 
but had not the skill to make bread, and ate the 
meal with meat and butter. They had plenty of 
figs, dragon's-blood, and dates, but not of a good 
quality, and some useful herbs. They held it an 
abomination to kill animals, and emplo3^ed Christian 
captives as butchers when they could get them. 
They kindled fire by rubbing one stick against another. 
They believed in a God who would reward and 
punish, and some of them called themselves Christians. 

" The people of Gomera were less civilised. They 
had no clothing, no houses. Their women were 
regarded almost as common property, for it was a 
breach of hospitality for a man not to offer his wife 
to a visitor by way of welcome. They made their 
sisters' sons their heirs. They had a few pigs and 
goats, but lived chiefly on milk, herbs, and roots, 
like the beasts ; they also ate filthy things, such as 
rats and vermin. They spent their time chiefly in 
singing and dancing, for they had to make no exer- 
tion to gain their livelihood. They believed in a 
God, but were not taught obedience to any law. 
The fio-htino- men were seven hundred in nimiber, 
over whom was a captain with certain other oflicers. 

" In Tenerifle the people were much better ofl", 
and more civilised. They had plenty of wheat and 
vegetables, and abundance of pigs, sheep, and goats, 
and were dressed in skins. They had, however, 
no liouses, but passed their lives in huts and caves. 


Their cliief occupation was war, and they fouglit 
with lances of pine-wood, made like great darts, 
very sharp, and hardened in the fire. There were 
eight or nine tribes, each of which had two kings, 
one dead and one living, for they had the strange 
custom of keeping the dead king unburied till his 
successor died and took his place : the body was 
then thrown into a pit. They were strong and 
active men, and had their own wives, and lived more 
like men than some of the other islanders. They 
believed in the existence of a God. 

" The people of Palma had neither bread nor 
vegetables, but lived on mutton, milk, and herbs ; 
they did not even take the trouble to catch fish like 
the other islanders. They fought with spears like 
the men of Teneriffe, but pointed them with sharp 
horn instead of iron, and at the other end they also 
put another piece of horn, but not so sharp as that 
at the point. They had some chiefs who were called 
kings. They had no knowledge of God, nor any 
faith whatever." 

The following is the account given half a century 
after the date of Bethencourt's conquest, by the 
Venetian Alvise Cadamosto, who, in 14. "5 .5, visited 
them while in the service of Prince Henry the 

" Four of them," he says, " Lancerote, Fuerteven- 
tura, Gomera, and Ferro, were inhabited by Christians ; 
the other three. Grand Canary, Teneriffe, and Palma, 
by pagans. The governor of the former was a knight 
named Herrera, a native of Seville, and a subject of 



the King of Spain. Tliey had barley-bread, goats'- 
flesh, and milk in plenty, for goats were very numer- 
ous ; they had no wine nor corn, except what was 
imported, and the islands produced but little fruit. 
There were great numbers of wild asses, especially 
in the island of Ferro. Great quantities of orchil 
for dyeing were sent from these islands to Cadiz and 
Seville, and thence to other parts both east and 
west. The chief products were goats'-leather, very 
good and strong, tallow, and excellent cheeses. The 
inhabitants of the four Christian islands spoke differ- 
ent languages, so that they could with difficulty 
understand each other. There were no fortified 
places in them, only villages ; but the inhabitants 
had retreats in the mountains, to which the passes 
were so difficult that they could not be taken except 
by a siege. Of the three islands inhabited by pagans, 
two were the largest and most populous of the 
group, viz., the Grand Canary, in which were about 
eight or nine thousand inhabitants, and Teneriffe, 
the largest of all, which contained from fourteen to 
fifteen thousand. Palma was not so well peopled, 
being smaller, but a very beautiful island. The 
Christians have never been able to subdue these 
three islands, as there were plenty of men of arms 
to defend them, and the mountain heights were 
difficult of access. Teneriffe, of whose peak Cadamosto 
speaks as being visible, according to some sailors' 
accounts, at a distance of two hundred and fifty 
Italian miles, and sixty miles liigh from the foot to 
the summit, was governed by nine chiefs, bearing 


the title of dukes, wlio did not obtain the succession 
by iiiheritonce, but by force. Their weapons were 
stones, and javelins pointed with sharpened horn in- 
stead of iron, and sometimes the wood itself hardened 
by fire till it was as hard as iron itself. The inhabit- 
ants went naked, except some few who wore goats'- 
skins. They anointed their bodies with goats'-fat 
mixed with the juice of certain herbs, to harden 
their skins and defend them from cold, although the 
climate is mild. They also painted their bodies with 
the juice of herbs, green, red, and yellow, producing 
beautiful devices, and in this manner showed their 
individual character, much as civilised people do by 
their style of dress. They were wonderfully strong 
and active, could take enormous leaps, and throw 
with great strength and skill. They dwelt in caverns 
in the mountains. Their food was barley, goats'- 
flesh, and milk, which was plentiful. They had some 
fruits, chiefly figs, and the climate was so warm that 
they gathered in their harvest in March or April. 
They had no fixed religion, but some worshipped the 
sun, some the moon, and others the planets, with 
various forms of idolatry. The women were not 
taken in common among them, but each man might 
have as many wives as he liked. No maiden, how- 
ever, was taken till she had passed a night with the 
chief, which was held a great honour. These accounts 
were had from Christians of the four islands, who 
would occasionally go to Tenerifte by night and 
carry off men and women, whom they sent to Spain 
to be sold as slaves. It sometimes happened that 

d 2 


the Christians were captured in these expeditions, 
but the natives, instead of kilUng them, thought it 
sufficient punishment to make them butcher their 
goats, and skin them, and cut them up, an occupa- 
tion which they looked upon as the most degrading 
that a man could be put to ; and at this work they 
kept them till they might be able to obtain their 
ransom. Another of their customs was, that when 
one of their chiefs came into possession of liis estate, 
some one among them would offer himself to die in 
honour of the festival. On the day appointed they 
assembled in a deep valley, when, after certain 
ceremonies had been performed, the self-devoted 
victim of this hideous custom threw himself from a 
great height into the valley, and was dashed to 
pieces. The chief was held bound in gratitude to do 
the victim great honour, and to reward his family 
with ample gifts." Cadamosto was told of this in- 
human custom, not only by the natives, but also by 
Christians who had been kept prisoners in the island. 
Cadamosto visited the islands of Gomera and Ferro, 
and also touched at Palma, but did not land, because 
he was anxious to continue his voyage. 

In 1414, the exactions and tyranny of Maciot de 
Bethencourt had caused Queen Catherine of Castile 
to send out three war caravels under the command 
of Pedro Barba de Campos, Lord of Castro Forte, to 
control him. Maciot, although only regent, for Jean 
de Bethencourt was still alive, ceded the islands to 
Barba and then sailed to Madeii-a, where he sold to 
Prince Henry of Portugal, surnamed the Navigator, 


these very islands of which he had just made cession 
to another, together with those which still remained to 
be conquered. Maciot subsequently sold them to the 
Spanish Count de Niebla, Pedro Barba de Campos 
sold them to Fernando Perez of Seville, and the latter 
again to the aforesaid Count de Niebla, who disposed 
of them to Guillem de las Casas, and the latter to 
his son-in-law Fernam Peraza. Meanwhile, the legi- 
timate proprietor, Jean de Bethencourt, left them 
by will to his brother Reynaud. But as yet there 
still remained unconquered the Great Canary, Palma, 
Teneriffe, and the small islands about Lancerote, 
and, in 1424, Prince Henry sent out a fleet under 
the command of Fernando de Castro, with two 
thousand five hundred infantry and a hundred and 
twenty horse, to effect the conquest of the whole of 
the islands ; but the expense entailed thereby, com- 
bined with the expostulations of the King of Castile, 
caused him to withdraw for a time from the under- 

Subsequently, in the year 1446, he resumed his 
efforts at this conquest, but before taking any step 
he applied to his brother, Dom Pedro, who was then 
regent, to give him a charter prohibiting all Portu- 
guese subjects from going to the Canary Islands, 
either for purposes of war or commerce, except by 
his orders. This charter was conceded, with a further 
grant of a fifth of all imports from those islands. 
The concession was made in consideration of the 
great expenses which the Prince had incurred. In 
the following year, 1447, the Prince conferred the 


chief captaincy of the island of Lancerote on Antam 
Gonsalves, who went out to enforce his claim ; but 
unfortunately, Azurara, from whom we derive this 
date, and who, as it was very near the period of his 
writing, would be little likely to be in erroi^ fails to 
tell us the result of Gonsalves' expedition. If we 
were to follow Barros and the Spanish historians, 
the date of this expedition would be much earlier. 
Be this as it may, when, in 1455, King Henry IV 
of Castile was married to Joanna, the youngest 
daughter of Dom Duarte, King of Portugal, Dom 
Martinho de Atayde, Count d'Atouguia, who escorted 
the Princess to Castile, received from King Henry 
the Canary Islands as an honorary donation. De 
Atayde sold them to the Marques de Menesco, 
who again sold them to Dom Fernando, Prince 
Henry's nephew and adopted son. In 14GG Dom 
Fernando sent out a new expedition under Diogo 
da Silva, but if we are to believe Viera y Clavijo, 
it was as unfortunate as its predecessors. But 
meanwhile, at the death of Fernam Peraza, his 
daughter Inez, who had married Diogo Garcia de 
Herrera, inherited her father's rights in the Cana- 
ries, and one of her daughters married Diogo 
da Silva. Still Spain maintained its claims, and 
it was not till 1479, when, on the 4th of Sep- 
tember, the treaty of peace was signed at Alca9ova, 
between Affonso V of Portugal and Ferdinand and 
Isabella of Castile, that the disputes of the two 
nations on this point were settled. The sixth article 
of that treaty (Torre do Tombo, Gav. 1 7, Mac. G, n. 


16) provided that tlie conquests from Cape Non to 
the Indies, with the seas and islands adjacent, should 
remain in possession of the Portuguese, but the 
Canaries and Granada should belong to the Cas- 

An ethnoloo'ical examination of the inhabitants of 
the Canaries at the time of Bethencourt's conquest, 
as based upon the descriptions of their persons and 
manners, the peculiarities of their languages and the 
characteristics of the mummies which have been 
found, leaves little reason to doubt that the archi- 
pelago was peopled by two distinct races, viz., Berbers 
and Arabs, and that the tribes of the latter, which 
were in the minority in the western islands, had 
maintained the superiority in numbers and gained 
political supremacy in the eastern. The chaplains 
describe the natives of Lancerote and Fuerteventura 
as tall. Those of Great Canary and of Palma seem 
to have been of middle stature. The people of 
Gomera and Ferro are described by Galindo as 
small, while the mummies of the Guanches of Teneriffe 
show that they did not much exceed the latter in 
height. The natives of Lancerote and Fuerteventura 
had very brown complexions, while most of the 
inhabitants of Canary, Teneriffe, Gomera, Palma, 
and Ferro were more or less fair, or even quite 
blonde. In Lancerote, and perhaps in Fuerteventura, 
polyandry existed, and a woman would often have 
as many as three husbands ; while in the other 
islands monogamy was strictly maintained by law. 
The inhabitants of Fuerteventura binned their dead 


in stone tombs. Those of Great Canary enclosed 
theirs in mounds of a conical or pyramidal shape. 
The Guanches of Teneriffe and of Palma embalmed 
the bodies of their relatives or simply deposited 
them in sepulchral caverns. 

The archipelago presented also great variety in 
the form of government. In the east, despotism and 
hereditary right, without distinction of sex, prevailed. 
In the west, women were entirely excluded from 
authority, and there existed a sort of aristocratic 
republicanism, in which authority was recognised 
and religiously preserved in certain families, but yet 
subjected, as each event occurred, to the sanction of a 
privileged body. The territory of the tribe was a sort 
of common patrimony, of which each member culti- 
vated his own part and enjoyed the proceeds, but the 
administration belonged only to the chief Venera- 
tion for age and submission to the experience of the 
head of the family was the principle which underlay 
this system of government. 

Don Antonio de Viana, who published in 1604 at 
Seville a work on the Antiguedades de las Islas Cana- 
rias, gives the following faithful summary of the cha- 
racteristics of the Guanches. He says — " They were 
virtuous, honest, and brave, and the finest qualities of 
humanity were found united in them : to wit, magna- 
nimity, skill, courage, athletic powers, strength of 
soul and of body, pride of character, nobleness of 
demeanour, a smiling physiognomy, an intelligent 
mind, and patriotic devotedness." 

Bontier and Le Verrier, hovvevei', dwelt much 


more upon the doings of the Norman baron and the 
adventurers whom he had brought in his suite than 
on the history of the conquered people themselves. 
Their narrative treats of successes obtained in this 
first invasion, of the occupation of Lancerote, Fuerte- 
ventura, and Ferro, of the different excursions of the 
Normans in other parts of the archipelago, of an 
expedition of the conqueror to the coast of Africa/ and 
of his voyages to Europe. The two authors speak 
at length of the quarrels of the adventurers, of their 
combats with the natives, and of the system of 
administration established by Bethencourt in the 
conquered islands. One of them, Father Bontier, who, 
as we have said, was a Franciscan monk of St. 
Jouin de Marnes, officiated at Lancerote in the 
church of St. Martial de Rubicon, which Bethen- 
court had built in the castle of that name. The 
second, Le Yerrier, who was a priest, was mstalled first 
at Fuerteventura, as vicar in the chapel of Ste. Marie 
de Bethencourt, and returned afterwards to France 
with his lord, whom he attended at his death-bed as 
his chaplain. The MS. record of their recollections, 
begun in 1402 and finished in 1406, seems to have 
been written by Bontier and finished by Le Yerrier, 
for Bontier says, on the last page, in speaking of his 
companion, " Messire Jean le Yerrier, his chaplain 
(Bethencourt's), whom he had taken to and from the 
Canary Isles, wrote his will, and was with him all the 
time of his last illness"; so that it would seem highly 

' This excursion, described on pp. 180-181, is, among others, 
the basis of the claim referred to on p. 1 of this Introduction. 


probable that the latter would record that of which he 
was the eye-witness. The MS. was brought to light by 
Galien de Bethencourt, Councillor of the parliament of 
Rouen, and edited in Paris, in 1 630,by Bergeron, whose 
opinion on the merits of this work is stated in the 
following terms in a Traicte des JVavigations -pvinted 
at the end of his edition, a learned and valuable 
piece of labour, but not free from inaccuracies. "With 
regard to this history, written according to the ignor- 
ance and simplicity of the time, it seems better to leave 
it in its rude and 7ia'ive, but sufficiently intelligible 
language, than to turn it into a more elegant form, 
as this gives one more confidence in its truth than 
all that one could now say. It has been taken from 
an ancient MS. made at the time, well painted and 
illuminated, and preserved in the library of M. de 
Bethencourt, which he has been so good as to com- 
municate to the public, an act for which he deserves 
the gratitude of all, on account of the interest that 
France must take in it." 

And here it will be well that we make some in- 
quiry into the antecedents and personal history of 
this Norman gentleman, in whose doings it was so 
justly said that " France must take an interest." 
Messire Jean de Bethencourt, Knight, Avas of noble 
birth, and held the title of Baron in right of the 
Barony of St. Martin le Gaillard in the Comte d'Eu, 
where he had a strong castle, which was taken and 
retaken several times in the wars with England. 
Monstrelet speaks of its final siege and ruin in 
1419. It pjimo bv iiihoritance to Messire do Bethen- 


court from his cfrandmotlier Dame Isabeau de St. 
Martin. The earliest of his ancestors of whom we 
find mention was Philippe, Seigneur de Bethencourt 
and de St. Vincent de Rouvray, Knight, of the time 
of Louis VIII, who was buried in the church of the 
Priory of Sigy, where his tomb, and those of others 
of the family of yet older date, had been seen, as 
Bergeron tells us, by persons living in his time, 
that is, in the early part of the seventeenth century, 
but were demolished in the civil wars. This Philippe 
was the father of Begnault de Bethencourt, lord of 
the same places, as recorded in a Latin charter of 
the year 1282. Begnault was the father of Jean I, 
mentioned in a deed of exchange of the date of 
1346, which latter married the above-mentioned 
Isabeau de St. Martin, by whom he had Jean II, as 
shown by other deeds of exchange of the date of 
1358. Jean I perished at Honfleur in the company 
of Marshal de Clermont about the year 1357, and 
his widow married Mathieu de Bracquemont. Jean II 
married, in 1358, Madame Marie, daughter of Mes- 
sire Begnault de Bracquemont,-' who died in the 
affair at Cocherel, in 1364, in the company of Mes- 
sire Bertrand du Guesclin. The offspring of this 
marriage were Jean III, the conqueror of the Canaries, 
and Messire Begnault de Bethencourt, surnamed 

* Marie de Bracquemont's brother Robert became greatly 
renowned in the histories of France and Spain, and was made 
Admiral of France in 1418 ; and it was to him that his nephew, 
the subject of the present story, mortgaged his lands of Bethen- 
court and Grainvillc, apparently for the very purpose of fitting 
out the expedition here treated of 


that photographs of two out of the numerous drawhigs 
which ilkistrate the vokime might be made for the 
purposes of the present edition. This was a great 
step gained, but with the above very reasonable 
embargo laid upon the employment of the MS., the 
result would have been but small, had it not been 
for such an exertion of friendship and of literary 
zeal on the part of M. d'Avezac as I, for one, never 
hope to find equalled in all my experience. Seventy 
winters had not sufiiciently cooled the generous 
blood of this venerable savant, the Hmnboldt of 
France, to deter him from the improhus labor of 
collating the whole of the manuscript with the text 
of Bergeron. This collation, written minutely in 
lines at distances of less than the eighth of an inch, 
and in a hand so firm and clear that I have never 
had to doubt the meaning of a single stroke, is a 
curiosity of caUgraphy. The neatness of the wanting 
is suggestive of the carefulness of the collation. 
Circumstances, which from motives of delicacy I 
refrain from describing, gave to this laborious act of 
kindness to myself a character of the noblest gene- 
rosity. The Hakluyt Society has only to do with 
the result, and their thanks are due to M. d'Avezac 
for the opportunity of issuing an edition of Bethen- 
court freed from the modifications of the ancient 
edition ; but I may be forgiven if I avail myself of 
the opportunity to say that the friendship talis 
tantique viri is one of the events in my life of which 
I have the greatest reason to be proud. 

Nor is this collation all for which I have to thank 



M. d'Avezac. No item of information lias he left 
unexamined or imdescribed for my guidance, and all 
the following facts are from his pen. 

The manuscript in Madame de Mont Ruffet's pos- 
session is in a volume thirty centimetres high and 
twenty broad, bound in wood, with a dark tawny 
gauffered cover. It has leather clasps with stamped 
brass clips, and there are four protruding bands at 
the back. Under the one cover are two works. 1. 
The Bethencourt MS. 2. A copy of a book (so says 
the explicit) without date, printed for Antoine Verard, 
and of which the following is the very instructive 
title : — " C'est la livre de la compilacion faicte par 
celluy qui point ne veult que gioire ne louenge len 
luy donne, pour son rude entendement et insufhsance, 
etc." The Bethencourt MS. consists of eighty-eight 
leaves, the first forty-eight of which have in the fili- 
grane a unicorn passant, placed across waterlines ; 
the following forty have in the filigrane the well known 
mark of the ox's head surmounted with a starred 
flower between the horns. The handwriting, which 
is unequal both as to carefulness and the distances 
of the lines, seems in one hand from the beginning 
down to the rest of leaf 83, where the text closes 
with what Bergeron reads as 1425 (the date of M. 
de Bethencourt's death), but which to M. d'Avezac 
has the appearance of 1422 (mil cccc et xxij). After 
which follow the words — " Cest livre est a Jehan de 
Bethencom't Escuier seio-neur De bethencourt." The 
five following leaves, which are devoted to genea- 
logical notices, are in different hands and of different 


dates, but the first three pages appear to be in the 
same hand as the body of the MS., except that on 
the third recto of leaf 85 there are interhnear and 
marginal additions made later. The latest date 
written by the first hand is the 2nd September, 
1482, the date of the birth of the fourth child of 
Jean IV de Bethencourt ; at the birth of the fifth 
child, on the 12th September, 1485, the ink is no 
longer the same, and the writing, though perhaps 
by the same hand, showed signs of the lapse of a 
considerable time. Similar shades of difference be- 
tween the fifth and the sixth, and again between 
the sixth and the seventh, and still more between 
the seventh and the eighth. From this circumstance, 
of all the first four entries of birth being in one 
hand, and that the same as the body of the MS., 
M. d'Avezac concludes that the MS. was executed, 
or at any rate finished, as far as the recto of leaf 85, 
at a date very little later than the 2nd September, 
1482, when the head of the family was Jean IV, son 
of Kegnault and nephew of Jean III, the conqueror 
of the Canaries. Without detailing the intervening 
genealogical entries, it will sufiice to state that the 
most recent addition is a marginal note on the recto 
of leaf 85, but undated, which mentions Galien de 
Bethencourt, Councillor of the Parliament of Ilouen, 
who was possessor of the MS. when Bergeron had it 
placed in his hands somewhat before 1630. The 
distribution of the chapters in the original MS. does 
not agree with that adopted by Bergeron, who, 
moreover, has altered the headings of manv of them. 


M. d'Avezac, with the considerate purpose of giving- 
nie as the editor the most perfect acquaintance 
with the differences between the original MS. and 
Bergeron's edition, has supphed me with a most 
painstaking and ehiborate detail of all the specialities 
of the former. I cannot speak too gratefully of 
the conscientiousness which, with this object in 
view, inspired the execution of so great an amount 
of hard work, rendered charming by that zealous 
interest in minute details which could only come from, 
or be appreciated by, a genuine antiquary. I do not 
however think it needful to lay before the reader 
more than a summary of that which was thus fully 
written for my own enlightenment. 

In the original MS. there occurred, at places 
where no headmgs or titles were supplied, "coupures" 
or divisions in the chapters, as if suggestive of new- 
chapters being there intended. The rubricated titles 
in the original were of the same period as the body 
of the MS., although, like the illuminated capitals, in- 
serted subsequently, and often in spaces insufficiently 
large. These titles are numbered up to Chapter l in- 
clusive, but the numbering is evidently a later addi- 
tion, probably by Galien de Bethencourt, whose hand- 
writing M. d'Avezac thinks he recognises therein. 
But this brings me to speak of another manuscript 
document connected with the edition prepared in 
1025 by Galien de Bethencourt, but published only 
in 1630 under the editorial care of Pierre Bergeron. 
It is written on paper folio size and covered witli 
parchment. It had passed in 1732 from tlie Coislin 


Library {olim Segueriana) to tliat of St. Germain 
des Pres, whence it migrated at the E-evolution to 
the National Library, where it bears the No. 18629 
among the French MSS. It is a series of notes and 
accessory pieces, which Bergeron appears to have 
thought useless, as he says nothing of them ; four- 
teen pieces of verse in Latin, French, and Greek, 
addressed generally " nobilissimo clarissimoque Viro 
Domino de Bethencourt, Senatus Bothomagensis 
Consiliario Begio," and beginning with a sextuple 
acrostic on the theme " Galenus Bethencurtius," in 
twenty verses, each of which repeats six times his 
initial letter, "Grande Genus Graio Generate Galene 
Galerio," and so on. Pro tota operis votiva dedica- 
tione Exachrosticon {sic). The author of most of 
these pieces is D. D. Petrus Quevilly, Bector of the 
church of Le Bosguerard. 

After the twelve leaves devoted to this poetical 
garland, formerly so much in fashion, follow five 
leaves, bearing above the left border the title, 
"Suitte des chapitres de I'Histoire." And here is an 
important point to notice : Bergeron, altering the 
original series of chapters and their titles after his 
own ideas, numbered them up to 93, while Galien 
de Bethencourt in this document makes them tally 
with the original MS., and, continuing the numbers 
(interrupted at No. 50 in the MS.), reaches a total 
of only 87 numbered chapters. He does not fail, 
however, to take scrupulous account of tlie "coupures," 
some of which Bergeron had entirely disregarded. 
The result Is, that chapters 52, 50, 03, 74, 70, 80, 



84 of Bergeron, are in tlie MS. 52, 55, Gl, 71, 72, 
70, 80, each in two parts, of which the first only bears 
a number, and thus chapter 93 of Bergeron is chapter 
87 and last of the MS. In compliance with a 
suggestion of M. d'Avezac, however, I have paid 
regard to every " coupure" in the original MS., 
restored the titles to their original form and place, 
as supplied to me by him, and, in the few places 
where titles were wanting, have supplied them in 
the concisest form possible, enclosing them in brackets 
to prevent any mistake as to their origin. The 
following table will show the mutual correspondence 
in the numeration of the chapters adopted respec- 
tively by M. d'Avezac, Bergeron, and Galien de 
Bethencourt, A standing for the first, B for the 
second, and G for the third. It must be premised 
that all three are in unison with respect to chapters 
5 to 51 inclusive. These chapters therefore are 
omitted. With Bergeron's edition in hand, it is 
hoped that the bibliographer, who takes an interest 
in the matter, will be enabled by the table clearly 
to recognise the modifications in each case. 


80 b 
86 a 
86 b 























Ib-f 2a 










2 b + 3 





76 a 

72 a 









76 b 

72 b 
















52 b 



























80 a 











80 b 






55 b 








93 b 

























1 o 





80 a 


The collation of the text whicli M. d'A vezac lias 
made does not profess to be literal, but only verbal ; 
and, altliougli in the first instance he had not 
anticipated that our Society would care to print the 
foreign text concurrently with the English version, 
I was happy to find that, in spite of the absence of 
absolute literal revision, the plan met with his strong 
approval. Speaking of the orthography of the ori- 
ginal, he says, "It is very variable, and often faulty. 
To meet the requirements of some hypercritical philo- 
logists, it would be requisite to reproduce the MS. 
scrupulously with all its varieties and orthographical 
errors. I do not share that opinion, and think it 
wiser to hold a uniform orthography, derived from 
the most frequent and best established examples in 
the MS. ; although for the proper names I would 
retain exactly the different spellings employed." In 
conforming practically to these suggestions, I have 
not simply acted from deference to M. d'A vezac, but 
from entire concurrence with his judgment. 

And here I may reasonably be asked why this manu- 
script, executed in 1482, or thereabouts, should be de- 
scribed as original, when the events recorded took place 
nearly sixty years earlier. It must be granted that 
the expression should be used in a modified sense. 
This MS. is the earliest fair transcrijjt of the original 
rough draft of the narrative of Bethencoiu't's chap- 
lains. It may well be conceived that that rough 
draft, precious indeed as it would be if it could be 
found, having been drawn up in the actual course of 
the cxiH'dition, and consequently under circumstances 

INTIlODll'TloX. Jill 

tlio most unfavouvabk', would exliibit 1)nt little of 
the symmetry, beauty, and dignity, which we should 
look for in a monumental record of a great achieve- 
ment. We may also venture on a shrewd guess 
that Regnault de Bethencourt, the successor of the 
conqueror, who had been left an impoverished in- 
heritance as the consequence of his brother's un- 
merited jealousy and revenge, would have but little 
heart, and perhaps less means, for the indulgence of 
the dilettante pleasure of having a costly copy made 
of the record of that brother's conquest. But when 
his son Jean [sans terres], fourth of the name, born 
in 1432, after long legal processes, recovered the 
domains of which his father had been deprived, it 
becomes easy to understand that he recollected that 
his uncle was a conqueror and a king, and that he 
would take a pride in the execution of this artistic 
monument to the flimily glory, which should be an 
heirloom and at the same time a register of the 
births of the legitimate inheritors of the hero's name. 
Furthermore, this MS. is the one M'hich, in due 
time descending to Galien de Bethencourt, formed 
the basis of the edition which he prepared in 1G2.5, 
and which, appeared in print under the editorship of 
Bergeron in 1G30. It is on these grounds that I 
have called it the original MS. It is handsomely 
illuminated with elaborate initial letters, with the 
arms of Bethencourt and with 85 illustrative draw- 
ings, Gl on a red, and 24 on a grey, ground. Per- 
mission being granted by Madame de Mont Uuflfet 
to have two of tliese photogra])li('d for this edition, 

liv INTilODUCriON. 

M. d'Avezac judiciously selected tlie one exhibiting 
the arms of Bethencourt, and a drawing on which 
were represented the banners of Bethencourt and 
Gadifer de la Salle, the latter of which bears a cross, 
M. d'Avezac has taken considerable pains to dis- 
cover the colours of the arms of the La Salles, but 
in vain. It may be mentioned that, although it was 
at La Bochelle that Gadifer de la Salle joined Bethen- 
court's expedition, the name is connected with more 
than one Norman locality, a fact which suggests a 
facility of introduction between the two adventurers. 

And now a word as to the title of the work. 
Bergeron, losing sight of what is said in the original 
introduction, or, as he calls it, " The Author's Pre- 
face," in which occurs the expression " Et pour ce 
est ce livre nonnue le Canarien," made up a title 
after his own fasliion ; but Galien de Bethencourt, 
ill his MS. of 1625, drew one up more in conformity 
with the primary intention. It is that which the 
reader will find preceding the text, and a translation 
of which has been adopted for the title of the present 

I must not close without recording the Society's 
indebtedness to the Bight Hon. Sir David Dundas for 
his kindness in lending me his very handsome copy of 
Bergeron's edition to work from ; a copy which has 
the rare advantage of containing the portrait of 
Bethencourt, a woodcut copy of which is given as a 
frontispiece to the present work. There is no warranty 
for the authenticity of the j^ortrait. The best argu- 
ments in favour of the supposition that it may have 


bcen derived from a P'eniiine orio-lnal are the followiiio-. 

o o o 

1. The conqueror survived his return from the Canaries 
to Normandy nineteen years, 2. The distinction 
whicli he had earned for himself, as one who was to 
hve in the minds of men, would suggest the desirable- 
ness of a j)ortrait of some kind. 3. The engraved 
portrait was issued with tlie sanction of Galien de 
Bethencoiu't, the hereditary possessor of the family 
documents. 4, It exhibits a remarkable distortion 
m the left eye which, if unwarranted by a prototype, 
would be a needless defect, very unlikely to be 
fancifully inserted in the portrait of an otherwise 
handsome man. 





Inasmuch as, through hearing the great adventures, bohl 
deeds, and fair exploits of those who in former times under- 
took voyages to conquer the heathen in the hope of con- 
verting them to the Christian faith, many knights have 
taken heart and sought to imitate them in their good 
deeds, to the end that by eschewing all vice, and following 
virtue, they might gain everlasting life ; in like manner did 
Jean de Bethencourt, knight, born in the kingdom of 
France, undertake this voyage, for the honour of God and 
the maintenance and advancement of our faith, to certain 
islands in the south called the Canary Islands, which are 
inhabited by unbelievers of various habits and languages. 
Of these the Great Canary is one of the best, largest, 
and most amply supplied with men, provisions, and every- 
thing else. For this reason this book is called the Canarian 

PovRCE qu'il est vray que maints cheualiers eu oliant retraire 
les grands auantures, les vaillances, at les biaux faits de ceux 
qui au temps passe ont entreprins de faire les voyages et les 
conqucstes sur mescreans, en esperance de les tourner et conuertir 
a la foy Chrestienne, out prins coeur hardiment, et volente de les 
ressembler en leurs bieu faicts, et afin d'euiter tous vices, et estro 
vertueux, et que a la fin de leurs iours puissent acquerir vie 
pernianable; Jean de Bethencourt, Cheualier, ne du Royaume de 
France, eut entreprins ce voyage a Fhonueur de Dieu, et au sous- 
tenement et accroissement de nostre foy, es parties Meridiennes, 
en certaines Isles qui scut sur celle bende, qui se dient les Isles 
de Canare, habitees de gens mescreans de diuerses loix et de 
diuers langages, dont la grand' Canare est vne des meilleures, et 
des plus principales et mieux peuplee de gens et de viures, et de 
toutcs autres choscs ; pour eo est ce liurc nomme le Canarien. 



book ; and in it, if so it please God, will bo found things 
whicli in time to come will be tliouglit very remarkable. 

We, Brother Pierre Bontier, monk of St. Jouin de Marnes, 
and Jean le Verrier, priest, servants of the aforesaid de 
Bethencourt, have begun to set down in writing most of 
what happened to him at the outset, and also the form of 
his government, which we had the opportunity of being 
thoroughly acquainted with, from the time of his leaving 
the kinsfdom of France until his arrival at the islands on the 
19th day of April, 1406.^ 

Thenceforward the description has passed into the hands 
of others, who will carry it to the conclusion of his conquest; 
and may God, Who sees and knows all things, grant, of 
His holy grace, to those who shall loyally persist therein, 
knowledge, understanding, strength, and power to complete 
the conquest and bring it to a happy end, so that it may be 
a good example to all those who, from devotion, have the 
courage and the will to employ their bodily energies for 
the maintenance and exaltation of the Catholic faith. 

auquel, s'il plaist a Dieu, on trouuera an temps aduenir de bien 
estranges choses en escrit. Et nous Freve Pierre Bontier, moine 
de Sainct Jouin de Marnes, & Jean le Verrier, prestre, et serai- 
teurs du dit de Bethencourt dessus nomme, auons commence a 
raettre en escrit le plus des choses qui luy sont aduenues a son 
commencement, & aussi la maniere de son gouuernement, dont 
nous pouuons auoir eu vraye connoissance des ce qui se partit du 
Royaume de France, iusques au 19 iour d'Auril, 1406, que le dit 
Bethencourt est arriue es Isles de par dc^a ; et la en auant est 
venue I'escriture en autres mains, qui la poursuiuront iusques a 
la fin de sa conqueste : & Dieu, qui tous voit & tout cognoist, 
veueille par sa saincte grace donner a ceux qui loyaument s'y 
sont mainteniis & maintiendront, sens, entenderaent, force, & 
pviissauce de parfaire la conqueste, & mener a bonne fin, en 
maniere que ce soit bo exemple a. tous ceux, qui par dcuotiou ont 
courage & voulcnte d'employer Icur corps & leur cheuance au 
soustenemcnt & a I'exaltation de la foy Catholiquo. 

^ This appears to be a niistako, for in chaiitiT -l.') Botlu'iicourt is said 
to first reacli the island of Lancerote in the month of July. 



CllAPTEU I. — How Mouseigneur de Betliencourt set out from Grain- 
ville, and went to La llochelle, and thence to Spain, and what 
befel him. 

It was the custom in old times to record in writing the 
deeds of chivahy and marvellous feats of the valiant con- 
querors of former days, as is seen in our ancient histories. 
We here propose to speak of the enterprise undertaken by 
the Sieur de Bethencourt, chevalier and baron, born in the 
kingdom of France in Norm an dy, who set out from his 
house of Grainville la Teinturiere en Caux, and came to 
Rochelle, and there fell in with Gadifer de la Sale, a good 
and worthy knight, who was then starting on his adventures. 
In a conversation between them, Monseigneur de Bethen- 

[Chapitre I.] — Cornme Monseigneur de Betliencourt se partit de 
Grainu'de, et s'en alia a la Bochelle, et de Id en Espaif/ne. 

Vn temps jadis souloit-on mettre en escrit les bonnes Cheualeries, 
et les estranges choses que les vaillans conquereurs sonloient 
faire au temps passe, ainsi qu'on trouue es auciennes liistoires ; 
Voulons nous icy faire mention de I'entreprise que Bethencourt, 
Cheualier et Baron, ne du Royaume de France en Normandie, 
lequel Bethencourt se partit de son hostel de Grainuille la 
Taincturiere en Caulx, et s'en vint a la Rochelle, ct la trouua 
Gadifer de la Sale, vn bon et honneste Cheualier, lequel alloit a 
son aduantures, et out parole entre le dit Bethencourt et Gadifer, 
et luy demanda Monseigneur de Bethencourt quelle part il 

li 2 


court asked Gadifer what he thought of doing; and when the 
latter replied that he was going to seek his fortune, Mon- 
seigneur de Bethencourt said that he was very glad to have 
met with him, and^ describing to him his own intended 
enterprise, asked Gadifer if it would be agreeable to him 
to join him in it. Gadifer was rejoiced to hear of the pro- 
posed expedition, and many courteous words passed be- 
tween the two which it would be tedious here to repeat. 

Accordingly, on the first of May, 1402, Monseigneur 
de Bethencourt, with Messer Gadifer and all his retinue, set 
sail from La Rochelle for the lands of Canary, to see and 
explore all the countiy, with the view of conquering the 
islands, and bringing the people to the Christian faith. They 
had a very good ship, well provided with men, victual, and 
everything requisite for their voyage. They had intended 
to make for Belle Isle, but at the Isle de Ec they met with 
a foul wind, and consequently steered a course for Spain, 
and arrived at the port of Vivicres (Vivero in Gallicia), 
where Monseigneur de Bethencourt and his company stayed 

vouloifc tirer, et le dit Gadifer disoit qu'il alloit a son aduanture, 
adonc Monseigneur de Bethencourt luy dIt qu'il estoit fort 
ioyeux de I'auoir trouue, et luy demanda s'il luy plaisoit de venir 
en sa compagnie, en contant au dit Gadifer son entreprinse, et 
tant que ledit Gadifer fut tout joyeux de I'ouir parler, et de 
Tentreprinse qui estoit faicte par ledit de Bethencourt. II y eut 
trop moult de belles paroles entre eux deux, qui trop longues 
seroient a raconter. Adonc se partit Monseigneur do Bethen- 
court et Messire Gadifer, et touto son armee de la Roclielle, le 
premier iour de May, mil quatre ecus et deux, pour venir es 
parties de Canare, pour voir et visiter tout le pays, en csperance 
do conquerir les isles, et mettre les gens a la foy Chrestienne, 
avec tres bon nauire, et suffisamment garny de gens et de 
vitailles, et de toutes les cboses qui lour ostoicnt necessaires pour 
leur voyage, et deuoient tenir le cliemin de Belle-Isle, mais au 
passer de I'isle de Re, ils eurent vent contraire, et addresserent 
Umr voye en Espagne, et arriverent au port de Viuieres, et la 
(It'ineuia Monseigneur do Betlionoourt et sa compagnie huit 


eiglit days. There was a great deal of disagreement between 
several of the ship's company, so that tho voyage was in 
great risk of coming to nothing, but the Sieur do Betheucourt 
and Messer Gadifer succeeded in quieting them. 

CllAPTEn II. — How Bethencourt and his army arrived at Corunna and 
there found the Earl of Cruuford and the Ijord de llely. 

Thence the Sieur de Betheucourt, Messer Gadifer de la Sale 
and the other nobles, came to la Coulogne (Corunna), where 
they found a Scottish earl, the Lord de Hely, Messer Rasse 
de Rent}^, and many others, with their retinue. 

Here Monseigneur de Bethencourt landed, and went to 
the town, where he had some business to do, and found 
that they were stripping many of the fittings from a ship 
which had been captured — we do not know from whom. 
AVhen Bethencourt saw this, he begged the earl that he 
might be allowed to take from the ship anything which 
might be of service to him, and the eai^l gave him leave, 

iours, et y eut grand discord entre plusieurs gens de la compagnie, 
tant que le voyage fnt en grand danger d'estre rompu, mais 
ledit Seig. de Bethencourt, et Messire Gadifer les rappaisserent. 

[Chapitre II.] — Comme Bethencourt et son armSe arrivirent d la 
Coulongne et trouverent le Comte de Crafort et le Sire de Hely. 

Adonc se partit de la le sieur Bethencourt, auec luy Messire 
Gadifer de la Sale, et autres Gentil-liomes, et vindrent Ji la 
Coulogne, et y trouuerent vn Comte d'Escosse, le Sire de Hely, 
Messire Rasse de Renty et plusieurs autres auec leur armee. Si 
descendit Monseigneur de Bethencourt a terre, et alia ii la ville 
ou il auoit a besongner, et trouua qu'il defaisoient vno nef de 
plusieurs habillemens qu'ils auoient prinse, nous ne s^auons sur 
qui. Quand Bethencourt vid cela, il pria le Comte qu'il pensfc 
prendre de la ncf aucuncs clioscs qui leur estoicnt nccessaires, ct 


whereupon Betliencourt went to the ship, and caused an 
anchor and a boat to be taken and brought to his own vessel. 
When, however, the Lord de Hely and his companions 
became aware of this they murmured and were displeased, 
and Messer Easse de Kenty went to them, and told them 
that the Lord de Hely did not at all approve of their taking 
either the boat or the anchor. 

Bethencourt answered that it was done with the sanction 
of the Earl of Crauford, and that they would not restore 
them. When the Lord de Hely heard this answer, he 
came to Monseigneur de Bethencourt, and told him that 
he must bring back, or cause to be brought back, what 
he had taken from the ship, but he still rephed that he 
had done it by leave of the earl, and many high words 
ensued. Whereupon, Monsieur de Bethencourt said to the 
Lord de Hely, " Take your boat and anchor in God^s name, 
and be off.^^ Nay, so please you, answered the Lord de 
Hely, I shall do nothing of the sort, but I insist on their 
being brought back to-day, or I shall take other steps. 
Bethencourt and Gadifer replied, '*^Take them if you will, 

le Corate lay octroya, et Bethencourt s'en alia en la nef, et fit 
prendre vne aricre et vn batel, et les fit amener a sa nef. Mais 
quand le Seigneur de Hely et ses corapagnons le sceurent, ils 
n'en furent mie contens, et leur en despleut ; et vint Messire 
Rasse de Renty vers eux, et leur dit qu'il ne plaisoit mie au 
Sire de Hely qu'ils eussent le batel, ne Tancre. Bethencourt 
leur respondit que c'estoit par la volonte du Comte de Craforde, 
et qu'ils ne le rendroyeut point : ouye leur response, le Sire de 
Hely vint vers Monseigneur de Betliencourt, et luy dit qu'il 
ramenast, ou fist ramener ce qu'il auoit prins de leur nef, et il 
luy respondit qu'il anoit fait par le conge du Comte. Si y eut 
de grosses paroles asscz. Quand Monsieur do Bethencourt vid 
cela, il dit au Sieur de Hely, prenez bate! et ancre de par Dieu, 
et vous en allcz. Puis qu'il vous plaist, respondit le Sire do 
Hely, ce ne feray-je mie, aincliois les y fcray mener aujourd'huy, 
ou i'y pouruoiray autremcnt : respondit ledit Bethencourt et 


for WO have sometliing- else to do." As he said this, 
Bethencourt was on the point of sailing, and was about 
to lift his anchors and leave the port. In fact immediately 
afterwards he set sail. 

When they saw this, they manned a boat and followed 
after Bethencourt, but came only within speaking distance, 
and much was said which would be tedious to relate. 

However, they received no other answer than what was 
given at the first, and so they were fain to return. 

Chaptek III. — How Monsieur de Bethcncourt was accused by the 
Genoese, Placentian, and English merchants. 

Monsieur de Bethencourt and his company then proceeded 
on their voyage, and after rounding Cape Finisterre, 
followed the coast of Portugal as far as Cape St. Vincent, 
and then changed their course and made for Seville. At 
Cadiz, which is near the strait of Marocco, they remained a 

Gadifer, prenez les si vous voulez, car nous auons autre chose a 
fuire. Ledit Bethencourt estoit sur son partir et vouloit leuer 
les ancres et soy tirer hors du port, et incontinent se partit. 

Qvant ils virent cela, ils armerent vne galiotte et vindrent apres 
ledit Bethencourt, mais ils n'ajDprocheret point plus pres, fors 
qu'on parla a eux, et y eut assez de paroles qui trop longues 
seroyent a raconter. Ils n'eurent one autre chose, ne autre 
response, que ainsi la premiere estoit, et s'eu retournerent a tant. 

[CiiAPn'RE III.] — Comme Monsleiir de Bethencourt fut accuse par les 
marchands Genevois, Plesautuis, et Aiujlois. 

Et Monsieur de Bethencourt et sa compagnie prindrent leur 
chemin, et quand ils eurent double le Cap de Fine-terre, ils 
suiuirent la costiere de Portugal, iusqucs au Cap de S. Vincent, 
puis reployercnt, et tindreut le chemin de Siuille, et arriuerent 
au port de Cali.v, qui est assez pres du destroit de Marroc, et ils 


long time. Here de Bethencourt was detained ; for the 
Genoese, Placentian, and English merchants resident at 
Seville, who had lost their goods at sea, although by 
whose hands they knew not, brought accusations against 
him and his before the King's Council, to the effect that 
they could recover none of their goods, for they said that 
he and his crew were robbers, and had sunk three ships, 
and taken and pillaged all the contents. 

Bethencourt landed and went to Port St. Mary's, to 
learn what had happened, and was there made prisoner 
and taken to Seville ; but when the King's Council had 
spoken to him, and he had made his reply, they begged 
him to let the matter rest, and that no more should be said 
about it at present, and so they set him at liberty. Whilst he 
was at Seville, some of the sailors, actuated by evil motives, so 
discouraged all the company, by saying that they had too 
little food, and that they were being brought out to die, 
that, out of eighty people only fifty-three remained. 
Bethencourt returned to the ship, and with this small 

y sejourneret longuemet. Et fut ledit de Bctliencourt empesche; 
car les marchands demourans en Seuille, qui auoient perdu le 
leur sur la mer, que Ton ne sgauoit parqui, e'est a scauoir les 
Janevois, Plesantins, et les Anglois, les accuserent tellement 
devers le Conseil du Roy, qu'ils ne peuvent rien recouurer, en 
disant qu'ils estoient robeurs, et qu'ils auoient affondre trois 
nauires, et prins et pille ce qui estoit dedans. 

Si descendit Bethencourt a terre, et alia a S. Marie du Port, 
pour scauoir que e'estoit, si fut prins et mene en Siuille : mais 
quand le Conseil du Roy eut parle j\ luy, et il lour eut fait 
response, ils luy prierenfc que la chose demourast ainsi, et qu'il 
n'en fust plus parle quanfc a present, et le deliurercnt tout au 
plain, et luy estant en Siuille, les mariniers mens de mauuais 
courages descouragerent tellement toute la copagnie, en disant 
qu'ils auoiet peu de viures, et qu'on les menoit niourir, que de 
quatre vingt porsonucs n'en demoura que cinquantc trois. Bethen- 
court s'cn reviut en la ncf, et auec ainsi peu do gens qui leur cu 


residue contiuued his voyage, in which those who I'cniiiined 
with liiin and had not consented to the evil doings of Berthin 
do ]icrneual' suffered much poverty, trouble, and labour in 
a variety of waj's, as you will hereafter hear. 

CiiArxER IV. — How they loft Spain and arrived at the island of 


So they left the port of Cadiz and put out to sea. For 
three days they were becalmed and made no progress. 
The weather then cleared, and in five days they came to the 
island of Graciosa. They embarked at the island of Lancerote, 
and Monsieur de Bethencourt went inland and made 
great efforts to capture some of the people of Canary, 
but without success, for as yet he did not know the 
country: so he returned to Port Joyeuse without doing any- 
thing more. 

demourerent prindrent leur voyage, auquel ceux qui sent de- 
rnourez auee Bethencourt, efc n'ont mie voulu consentir aux 
mauuais faicts de Berthin de Berneual, ont souffert moult de 
pauurete, de peine, et de trauail en plusieurs raanieres, ainsi que 
vous orrez cy apres. 

[Chapitre IV.] — Comme Us se partlrent (TEspagne, et arriuerent en 
lllle Lancelot. 

Et aprcs se partirent du Port de Calix, et se mirent en haute 
mer, et furent trois iours en bonasse, sans auancer leur cherain 
se peu non, et puis s'addressa le temps, et furent en cinq iours 
au port de I'lsle Gratieuse, et descendirent en I'lsle Lancelot, et 
entra Monsieur de Bethencourt par le pays, et mit grande 
diligence de prendre des gens de Canare, mais il ne peut, car il 
ne s9auoit mie encore le pays ; si retourna au port de loyeuse 
sans autre chose faire. Et lors Monsieur de Bethencourt de- 

^ The author's thouglits seem so full of this man's villainy that he 
imagines him already presented to the reader, who will, however, be- 
come better acquainted with him further on. 


M. de Bctlicncourt then asked Messer Gadifer de la Sale 
and the other nobles what they recommended to he done ; 
and it was determined that they should form themselves 
into companies and spread themselves over the country, and 
not leave until they had found some of the natives. Pre- 
sently some were perceived coming down from the moun- 
tains. These came forward, and made an arrangement with 
M. de Bethencourt that the King of the country should 
hold a conference with him in the presence of Gadifer and 
several other nobles. The King accordingly came and did 
homage to Bethencourt and his company, as a friend, not as 
a subject, and they promised to him and his protection from 
all those who might seek to harm them. But this promise 
was not kept, as you shall more fully hear hereafter. 

The Saracen King and M. de Bethencourt continued on 
friendly terms, and the Sieur de Bethencourt had a castle 
built there named Rubicon. There M. de Bethencourt left 
a part of his company, and as it appeared to him that one 
named Berthin de Berneual was a man of energy, he en- 

manda a Messiro Gatlifor de la Sale, et aux antres gCtilliommes, 
qa'il leur estoit aduis de faive ; fat aduise qu'ils prendroient des 
conipagnons, cfc se rcmottroient au pays, ct n'cn partii-oient 
iusques a tant qu'ils cusseut trouue des geus ; et tantost en fufc 
trouue qui descendirent des niontagnes, et vindrent par dcuer 
eux, et appointerent que le Roy da pays viendroit parler a M. de 
Bethencourt, en la presence de Gadifer et plusieurs autres 
Gentillioinraes, et se vint ledit Roy en I'obeissance dudit Bethen- 
court et de la compagnie, comrae amis, non mio comme sabicts, 
et leur prorait-on qu'on les gai'deroit a I'encontre de tout ceux 
qui leur voudroient mal faire. Mais on ne lour a mie bien tern 
conuenant, ainsi comme vous orrez plus ei plain cy ajircs declare. 
Et demom-crent ledit Roy Sarrasin ct M. de Bethencourt d'accord, 
et fit fairo le dit Sieur de Bethencourt vn chastel, qui s'appelle 
Rubicon. Et laissa M. do Bethencourt vno partio de sa coui- 
pagiiic! sciublant audil de Bothencoiirt qu'uu nomim'' Berthin do 
Uernevul esioit hoiniuc do bonne dih'gcMice, I'l hiy luiilla tout lo 


trusted to him the government of liis people and of tlio 
country; wliilc he liimself and Gadifer do hx Salle, with the 
rest of the company, passed over to the island of Erbanio 
called Forteventura. 

CuAPTEU V. — How INIonsicur do Betliciicourt, by the advice of Gadifer 
de la Salle, left the island of Lanccrote to go to the island of 
Erbanie called Forteventura. 

Soon afterwards Monsieur de Bethencourt advised with 
Gadifer that an expedition should go to the island of Forte- 
ventura by night, and accordingly it was done. Gadifer 
and Rcmouet de Levedan, with a company, pushed on as 
far as they could until they came to a mountain where 
was a fresh running spring. Here they made great 
efforts to find their enemies, and were much vexed that 
they could not fall in with them. These latter, however, 
had withdrawn to the further end of the country, as soon 
as they had seen the ships arrive in the port. Gadifer and 

gouuernement dc scs gens ct du pays : puis passa ledit dc 
Bethencourt et Gadifer do la Sale auec le surplus de suditc 
compagnie, en I'lsle d'Albainie nominee Forte- Aduantui'c. 

Chapitue V. — Comment Monsieur de Bethencourt se pari'd de VIsle 
Lancelot, pour alter en VIsle d'Erhane, nommee Forte Auanturc, 
par le conseil de Gadifer de la Salle. 

Et tantost apres Monsieur de Bethencourt print conseil do 
Gadifer qu'on iroit de nuict en ladite Isle de Forte- Ad uanture, 
et ainsi fut fait, le dit Gadifer et Remouet de Leuedan a tout 
vne partie des compagnons y allerent tout le plus auant qu'ils 
peuvent, ct iusques a vne montagne, la oil est vne fontainc viue 
et courante et mirent grande peine ct grande diligence d'encon- 
trer leurs enncmis, bien mai'ris qu'ils ne Ics peuvent trouuer ; 
niais s'estoient lesdits ennemis retraits en rautro bout du pays, 
des adonc ((u'ils virent arriucr la naiiires an j»or(, ct dcmeura 


his company stayed tliei'e eiglit days, and were then 
obliged to return for want of bread to the port of Lobos. 

The knights then held a council, and determined that 
they would go by land along the shore to a river called the 
Vien de Palme, and encamp at its mouth ; that the ship 
should haul in as close as possible, and send them their 
provisions on shore, and that they would fortify themselves 
at that point, and not leave until the country should be 
conquered and the inhabitants brought to the Catholic faith. 

Chapter VI. — How the mariners refused Gadifer admission on board of 
his own ship. 

Robin le Brument, master mariner of a ship which Gadifer 
affirmed to be his, would neither tarry nor receive either 
Gadifer or his companions on board, but agreed, on condi- 
tion of receiving hostages, to pass them over to the island 
of Lancerote ; otherwise they would be left behind without 

ledit Gadifer, et la compagnie huict iours, taut qu'il leur conuint 
retourner, par faute de pain, au port de Louppes, et puis prin- 
drent lesdits Cheualiers conseil ensemble, et ordounerent qu'ils 
s'en iroient par terre an long du pays iusqnes a vne riuiere 
nommee la Vien de Palme, et se logerent sur le bout d'icelle 
riuiere ; et que la nef se retrairoit tout le plus pres qu'elle 
pourroit, et leur descendroient leurs \dui'es a terre, et la se 
fortifieroient, et n'en partiroient iusques a tant que le pays 
seroit conquis, et mis les habitans a la foy Catholique. 

Chapitre Yl.—Comme les maronniers refmerent Gadifer de la 

nef mcsmes. 

Robin le Brument maistre marinier d'vne nef que ledit Gadifer 
disoit auoir, no vouloit pins dcmeurcr nc recueillir Gadifer et sos 
comi)agnons, ct conuint (ju'ils cussent ostagcs pour les rcpasser 
en rislc Lancelot, on autrcincnt ils fusscnt dcmourcz par dcla 



any provisions; and Kobiu 15rument luul Vincent Cerent sent 
word by Colin Brument^ a brother of the former, to say that 
Gadifer and his companions should not come on board with 
more men than they had in the ship ; and so they took 
Gadifer and his bastard son Hannibal as hostages on board 
the ship's boat, the former being- in great heaviness of 
heart at finding himself in such a state of subjection that 
he was debarred from the use of his own property. 

Chapter VII. — How Monsieur de Betlicncourt went away to Spain, 
and left Messire Gadifer in charge of the islands. 

Then Monsieur de Bethencourt and Gadifer returned to the 
castle of Rubicon, and while they were there many of the 
seamen who were very evilly inclined showed impatience to 
get away. Therefore the Sieur de Bethencourt, by the advice 
of Gadifer and many other nobles, resolved to go with the 
said seamen to satisfy their requirements, and to return as 
soon as might be possible with fresh men and victuals. 

sans viures nuls, et firent dire Robin Brument, et Vincent 
Cerent, par Colin Brument son frere a Gadifer, que luy et ses 
compagnos n'entroiet point plus forts qu'eux en la nef, et les 
rapasserent au bastel de la nef en laquelle il entra luy et Hannibal 
son bastard en grad douleur de coeur de ce qu'il estoit en telle 
subiection, qu'il no se pouuoit aider du sien propre. 

Chapitre VII. — Comment Monsieur de Bethencourt s'en alia en 
Espagne, et laissa Messire Gadifer, a qu' il donna lo clamje 
des Isles. 

Adonc Monsieur de Bethencourt, et Gadifer reuindrent au chastel 
de Rubicon, et quand il furent la, les maronniers pensans grand 
mauuaistie se hasterent moult d'eux en aller. Si ordonne ledit 
Sieur de Bethencourt par le conseil dudit Gadifer, et de plusieurs 
autres gentilshommes, qu'il s'en iroit auee lesdits maronniers, 
pour les venir secourir a leurs nccessitcz, et que le plutost qu'il 
pourroit rcuiendroit, et ameneroit aucuns refraichisscments de 


They tlieu desired the seamen to put on shore all the 
provisions that were in the ship except those necessary 
for their homeward voyage. And they did so, but not 
without doing as much damage as they could both to the 
artillery and other things which would afterwards have been 
of great service. 

Monsieur de Bethencourt now left the port of Rubicon 
with the seamen, and came to the other end of the island 
of LancerotOj and there remained. He then sent to Rubicon 
for Messire Jean le Verrier the priest, who was his chap- 
lain, to whom he said many things in confidence, as well as 
to one Jean le Courtois, to whose charge he committed all 
matters which might affect his honour and profit, and he 
enjoined on them to look well to everything that had to be 
done, and that they two should be united as brothers, and 
always maintain peace and harmony among the rest; for 
his own part he assured them that he should make every 
efibrt to retui'n as soon as possible. Bethencourt then took 

gens et de viures. Puis parlerent aux maronniers, que les 
viures qui sent au nauire fussent descendus a terra, excepte ceux 
qui leur auoit besoin pour leur retour. Et ainsi fat fait, ia^oit 
que lesdits maronniers en demusserent le plus qu'ils peuvent, et 
d'artillerie et d'autres choses qui leur eust este depuis bon besoin. 
Et se partit Monsieur de Bethencourt du port de Rubicon, 
aucc les maronniers en son nauire, et s'en vindrent en I'autre 
bout de risle Lancelot, et la dcmourercnt. Ledit Sieur de 
Bethencourt enuoya querir a Rubicon Messire Jean le Verrier 
Prestre, et chapellain du dit Seigneur a qui il dit plusieurs 
choses de segret, et a vn nomme Jean le Courtois, auquel il 
bailla aucuues charges, qui pouuoient toucher son honneur et 
profit, et luy enchargea qu'il print bien gai-de en toutes choses 
qu'ils verroient qu'il seroit de fairc, et qu'ils fussent eux deux 
comme freres, en gardant touioui'S paix ct vnion en la compagnie, 
et que le plutost qu'il pourroit il fcroit diligence de retourner. 
Et adonc ledit Bethencourt print congo do Messire Gadifer ct de 


Iciivc of ]\[cssiio CJadifer niul of all tlie company, and de- 
parted and returned to Spain. 

And here we will digress, in order to speak of the doings 
of Berthin de Berneval, a native of Caux in Normandy and 
a nobleman of name and renown in arms, in whom the said 
lord had placed great confidence, and who, as I said before, 
had been selected by him and Messer Gadifer as lieutenant and 
governor of the island of Lancerote and of the company. 
This Berthin did all the harm that he could, and acted very 
treasonably, as you shall hear more fully set forth. 

Chaptkr VIII. — How Berthin de Berneval began his malicious doings 
against Gadifer. 

It may be judged what evil designs Berthin de Berneval 
had conceived in his heart, from the fact that when he joined 
JMonseigneur de Bethencourt at la Rochelle, he began to 
attach to himself partizans, and to make allies of a great 

toute sa compagnie, et se partit ledit Sieiir et cinglerent tant 
qu'ils vindret en Espague. Cy laissons a parler de ceste matiere, 
et parlerons du fait de Berthin de Berneual, natif de Caux en 
Normandie, et gentil-homme de nom et d'armes, auquel ledit 
Sieur se fioit fort, et auoit este eslue de luy et de Messire 
Gadifer, comme i'ay deuant dit, lieutenant et gouuerneur de 
I'isle Lacelot et de la compagnie ; et ledit Berthin tout le pis 
qu'il peut faire, il le fit, et des grandes trahisons, comme vous 
orrez plus a plain declare. 

Chapitre VIII. — Comment Berthin de Berneual commenqa ses 
malices a Vencontre de Gadifer. 

Afin qn'on s^ache que Berthin de Berneual auoit pie9amauuaistie 
machiuee en son courage, il est vray que quand il fut venu 
deuers Monsieur de Bethencourt a la Rochelle, il commen^a a 
soy rallier des compagnons, il fit les alliances auec plusicurs 


miinber of people; and shortly after, through liim, there arose 
ill the ship a great dissension between the Gascons and the 
Normans, and truth to say, this ]3erthin did not at all like 
Mcssire Gadifer, and sought to do him despite by every 
means in his power. And it went so far that, while Gadifer 
was putting on his armour in his cabin, with the intention 
of going to appease the disorder among the seamen, who 
had retreated to the ship's forecastle, they hurled at him 
two darts, one of which passed between him and Hannibal, 
who was helping him on with his ai'mour, and stuck into a 
chest. Some of the seamen had gone up into the top and 
had darts and iron bars all ready to throw at us, and it was 
only with much trouble that the tumult was appeased. 
From that time commenced plots and dissensions amongst 
the crews, which grew to such an extent that, before 
the ship left Spain to sail to the Canary Islands, tlioy 
had lost a good two hundred of their ablest men. This 
subsequently proved a great mischief in many ways, for if 
they only had remained loyal, Bethencourt would already 

gents ; et vn peu apres par lay fut commcncce vne grande dis- 
sension en la ncf entre Ics Gascons et Norniands, et de vray ledit 
Berthin n'aimoit point Messire Gadifer, et clierchoit a lay faire 
lout Ic plus do dcsplaisir qu'il pouuoit. J]t tant aduint que 
Gadifer s'armoit en l;i chambre pour vouloir appaiser le debat 
d'enlre eux marinicrs qui s'esto3'ent rcfrais au chastcl de deuant 
en luditc nef, ils ietterent audit Gadifer deux dardes, dont I'viie 
passii par entre Iny et Hannibal, qui lay aidoii a soy ariner en sa 
chambre, et s'attaclia en vn colIVe, et estoient aucuns des 
maronniers montez au chaslel du mast, et auoient dardes et 
barros de fer toutes prestes pour letter snr nous, et en nionlt 
grand peine fut rapaisee ceste noise, et de la en auaiit com- 
mencerent bendes et dissensions les vns centre les autres. En 
telle maniere, quo deuant quo la nef partist d'Esi)agne, pour 
traucrser 6s Isles do Canare, ils perdirent bien deux cents 
liommes des mieux aparliez qui y fussent, dequoy on a eu depuis 
grand soulVrelie par plusicnrs fois. Car s'ils ousscntestc loyanlx, 


liavo boon lord of the Canary Islands, or of the greater part 

of tlu'lll. 

CiiArTF-K TX. — IIow Gadifor, who harl confidence in Bortliin, sent liim 
to sjieak to the captain of a sliip. 

Shortly after the departure of Monsieur de Bethcncourt 
from Rubicon, although he had laid his injunctions on 
Berthin de Berneval to do his duty in all things reasonable, 
and, like the rest, to obey Messire Gadifer, whom Monsieur 
de Bethencourt had made his associate, looking upon him 
as a good knight and a man of judgment, there arose great 
quarrels and dissensions between these two, as you shall 
presently hear. Monsieur de Bethencourt was now gone to 
Spain, and Gadifer, who put more trust in Berthin de 
Berneval than in any other, sent him across to a ship which 
had recently arrived at the port of Lobos. Berthin thought 
that it was the ship Tajamar, with whose captain, Fer- 

ledit Bethencourt fust ores Seigneur des isles de Canare, ou de 
la plus grande partie d'elles. 

CuAPri'RE IX. — Comment Gadifer qui auoit fiance a Bertm, Vemioya 
parler a vn patron d'vne nef. 

Et apres que Monsieur de Bethencourt fat party de Rubicon, et 
qu'il eut commande a Berthin de Berneual qu'il fist son deuoir 
en tout ce qu'il est de raison de faire, et qu'il obeist k Messire 
Gadifer, et tous les gents dudit Sieur de Bethencourt ; car Mon- 
sieur de Bethencourt tenoit Messire Gadifer pour vn bon cbeualier 
et sage; et estoit du bien de Messire Gadifer qu'il s'estoit boutte 
en la compagnie de Monseigneur de Bethencourt ; ja9oit que 
dedans vn pou de temps apres il y eust de grands dissensions et 
de grands noises entre eux deux, comme vous orrez cy-apres; 
or est parti Monsieur de Bethencourt de Rubicon, et est alle en 
Espagne, et Gadifer qui auoit plus de fiance a Berthin de 
Berneual qu'en nul autre, le transmit vers une nef qiii estoit 



nando d^Ordonez, he was intimately acquainted. It proved not 
to be that ship, but another, named Morella_, of which Fran- 
cisco Calvo had command. To him Bei-thin proposed, 
through one of the crew, named Ximenes, and in the pre- 
sence of some others^ that they should take him and thirty 
of tlie ship^s company with them, and so they would capture 
forty of the best of the natives of the island of Lancerote. 
But they would not consent to such great wickedness ; 
and Francisco Calvo said that it did not beseem Berthin 
to propose such a thing, and that, please God, they would 
never be so disloyal to good knights like Monsieur de 
Bethencourt and Messire Gadifer as to deprive them of the few 
men who remained to them, or to take by force those whom 
Bethencourt and all his people had assured of security and 
placed under their protection, in good hopes of seeing them 
baptized and brought into our faith. 

ariiuee au port de I'isle de Loupes, et ctiidoit que ce fufc la nef 
Tranchemar, de laquelle Ferrant d'Ordongnes en estoit maistre, 
aiiquel il cuidoit auoir grande accointance ; mais ce n'estoit elle 
mie, ains estoit vne autre nef qui s'appelloit la nef Morelle, de 
laquelle Francisque Calue auoit le gouvernement, et parla Berthin, 
ou fit parler a vn des compagnous de la nef, qui s'appelloit 
Simene, en la presence d'aucuns autres qu'ils I'emenasserent 
auec eux ; et trente des compagnons de la nef, et qu'il j^rendroit 
quarate hommcs des meilleurs qui fussent en I'isle Lancelot. 
Mais ils ne se voulurent m^^e consenfcir a cclle grande inauuaistie; 
et leur dit Francisque Calue qu'il n'appartenoit mye a Berthin, 
et que ja a Dieu ne pleust qu'ils fissent vne telle desloyaute a 
tels et si bons cheualiers comme estoient Monsieur de Bethencourt 
et Messire Gadifer, de les desgarnir ainsi d'vn pou de gens que 
demeure leur estoit ; et aussi de prendre et rauir ceux que ledit 
Bethencourt et toutes ses gens auoient asseurez et mis en leur 
sauuegarde, lesquels auoient bonne esperance d'cstrc baptiscz ct 
mis en nostre foy. 


CiiATTER X. — How Bertliin deceived his own confederates. 

Soon after this, Berthin, still clierisliing* treachery in 
his heart, sounded all those whom he thought to be 
as evilly disposed as himself, by holding out vague hopes 
of something that should be for their own welfare, advance- 
ment, and honour. He then suggested to them, under an 
oath of secrecy, that Bethencourt and Gadifer ought to 
send Remonnet de Leneden and himself with a certain sum 
of money in the first ship that sailed for France, and that 
meanwhile their companions should be portioned out amongst 
the islands till their return. He thus won over certain 
Gascons ; to wit, Pierre de Liens, Augerot de Montignac, 
Siort de Lartigue, Bernard de Chastelvary, Guillaume de 
Nau, Bernard de Mauleon called the Cock, William de 
Salerne called Labat, Morelet de Couroge, Jean de Bidou- 
ville, Bidaut de Hournau, Bernard de Montauban, and one 

Chapitke X. — Comment Bertlun donna faulx a entendre a ceux de 

son alliance. 

Apres vn peu de temps Berthin qui touioui'S auoit mauuaise 
voulente et trahison en sa pensee, parla a tous ceux qu'il pensa 
qu'ils fussent du niauuais coui*age qu'il estoit, et les enhorta et 
dit, qu'il leur diroit telle chose que ce seroit le bien, I'exaucement 
et I'honneur de leurs personnes, et a tous ceux que auec luy 
s'accorderent, il leur fit iurer qu'ils ne le descouuriroient point, 
puis leur donna a entendre comment Bethencourt et Gadifer 
leur deuoient donner, a Remonnet de Leneden, et a luy, certaine 
somme d'argent, et qu'ils s'en iroient au pi'emier nauire qui 
venroit en France, et que les compagnons seroient departis 
parmj les isles, et la demourroient iusques a leur retour, et auec 
ledit Berthin aucuns Gascons s'accorderent, desquels les noms 
s'ensuiuent, Piei're de Liens, Ogerot de Montignac, Siort de 
Lartigue, Bernard de Chastelvary, Guillaume do Nau, Bernard 

c 2 


from the country of Aunis, named Jean 1' Alien. All 
these agreed with Berthin, as well as several from other 
placeSj of whom mention shall be made hereafter. 

Chapter XI. — How Gadifer went to the island of Lobos, where he 
found himself deprived both of men and provisions. 

Meanwhile Gadifer^ in no wise suspecting that Berthin de 
Berneval, who was of noble lineage^ would be guilty of 
any baseness^ set sail with Eemonnet de Leneden and several 
others in his boat from Rubicon and passed to the island of 
Lobos to procure some seal skins, to make shoes for the 
crew ; and there they remained for some days, till at last 
their provisions failed them (for the island was barren, and 
there was no fresh water). Gadifer therefore sent back 
Remonnet de Leneden in the boat to the castle of Rubicon to 
procure some food, desiring him to return on the morrow, for 
he had only pi-ovisions for two days. When Remoimet 

de Mauleon dit le Coq, Guillaume de Salerne dit Labat, Morelet 
de Couroge, Jean de Bidouuille, Bidaut de Hournau, Bernard de 
Montauban, at vn du pays d'Aunys, nomine Jehan I'Alien ; et 
tons iceux s'accorderenfc auec ledit Berthin et plusiem's autres 
d'autre pays, desqaels mention sera faite cy-apres, ainsi qu'il 
escherra en leur endroit. 

Chapitre XI. — Comme Gadifer alia en lille de Louppes la ou il se 
trouva desgarmj des gens et de vitailles. 

Dcpnis Gadifer non doubtant rien en ancune manierc que Berthin 
de Bcrneual qui estoit de noble ligne deust faire nulle mauuaistie, 
se partit luy et Remonnet de Leneden, et plusieurs autres, auec 
son Bastel, de Rubicon, ct passerent en I'lsle de Loupe.'?, pour 
auoir des peaux dc Loups niarins, pour la necossito de chaus.senre 
qui failloit aux compag'nons, et la demourcrcnt par aucuns iours 
tant cpio viures leur faillirent : (car c'osfc vno isle descrto et .sans 

OP Till': CANARIKS. 21 

arrived at the port of Rubicon, lie found that as soon as 
Gadifer and his party had gone to the island of Lobos, 
Berthin had taken his confederates to a port in the island of 
Graciosa, where the ship Tajamar had arrived. To the master 
of this ship Berthin told a number of lies, promising that he 
would capture forty of the best men in the island of Lancerote, 
who would be worth two thousand francs, and deliver them 
to the said master, if he would receive himself and his com- 
panions into his ship, and so effectual were his falsehoods 
that the master, j-ieldiug to his cupidity, assented. This 
happened on the fifteenth day after Michaelmas, Oct. 14, 
1402, and Berthin at once returned, persevering in his malice 
and in his evil intentions. 

eaue douce ;) si I'enuoya Gadifer Remonnet de Leneden auec le 
bastel au chastel de Rubicon pour querir des viures, et qu'il 
retoui'nast le lendemain; car il n'auoit viures que pour deux 
iours. Quand Remonnet et le bastel furet arriuez au port de 
Rubicon, ils trouuerent que tantost que Gadifer et les dessusdits 
furent passez en I'lsle de Loupes, Berthin s'en estoit alle auec 
ses aliez h vn port nomme I'isle Gratieuse, oil estoit arriuee la 
nef TrancJiemare, et donna ledit Berthin au maistre de la nef 
assez de mensonges, et luy dit qu'il prendroit quarante hommes 
des meilleurs qui fussent en I'lsle Lancelot, qui valloient deux 
mil frans, afin que ledit maistre le vousit receuoir en la nef luy 
et ses compagnons, et tant fit par ses fausses paroles, que le 
maistre meu de grande conuoitise luy octroya; et ceste chose 
aduint le quinzieme iour apres la sainct Michel, mil quatre cens 
deux, et s'en retourna incontinent ; Berthin perseuerant en sa 
malice et en sa tres-mauuaise intention. 


Chapter XII. — How the traitor Berthin, with j^lausible pretences, in- 
duced the King of the Island of Lancerote and his people to come 
to him, that he might take them. 

While Gadifer was yet at the island of Lobos^ and shortly 
after the return of Berthin from the island of Graciosa to 
the castle of Rubicon in the island of Lancerote, two 
Canarians came to him, saying that the Spaniards had 
landed in order to capture them. Berthin told them to 
hold out till he came, and, promising to bring speedy 
assistance, dismissed them. Berthin then, holding a lance 
in his hand, said with a blasphemous oath, " I will go and 
speak to these Spaniards, and if they interfere, either 
I will kill them, or they shall kill me, and I pray God that if 
I do not effect my purpose I may never return." Where- 
upon some of the bystanders said, " That is ill spoken, 
Berthin;" but he again said, " On my life I pray it of the 
God of Heaven." He then left the castle of Rubicon, 
accompanied by several of his partisans — namely, Pierre de 

Chapitee XII. — Comment \Ig traitre Berthin souhs hemi semhlant 
fit venir le roy de Lancelot auec les slens po^ir les prendre. '\ 

Gadifer qui estoit en I'isle de Loupes et Berthin en I'isle 
Lancelot au chastel de Rubicon, tantost apres qu'il fut retourne 
de I'isle Gracieuse, la vint deux Canares vers luy, disant comment 
les Espagnols estoient descendus a terre pour eux pi-endro, 
ausquels Berthin respondit qu'ils s'en allassent et se tinssent 
ensemble ; car ils seroient tantost secouras, et ainsi s'en allerefc 
les deux Canares, et la dit Berthin qui tenoit vne lance k sa 
main, je renye Dicu ! J'iray parlor aux Espagnols et si ils y 
mettet la main ie les tueray, ou ils me tueront, car ie prie a Dieu 
que iamais ie n'en puisse retourner, dequoy aucuns de ceux qui 
la estoient luy dircnt, Berthin c'est mal dit, ct de rechief ma vye 
jo cmprie a Dieu de Paradis. Et cependat se partit du chastel 
de Rubicon, accompagne de plusieurs ses alliez, c'est a sQauoir 


Liens, Bernard de Moutauban, Olivier do Barre, Guillaunio 
the Bastard de Blessi, Phclipot de Baslieu, Michelcfc tho 
cook, Jacquct the baker, Peruet the blacksmith, with divers 
others, whose names are not here mentioned ; and the rest 
of his accomplices remained at the castle of Rubicon. Thus 
accompanied, Bcrthin went to a certain village named the 
Great Aldea, where he found some of the Canarian chiefs ; 
and he, with his mind full of treacherous intentions, said to 
them, *^'Go and fetch hither your king and his retinue, and I 
will protect them completely against the Spaniards/^ The 
Canarians believed in him, by reason of the confidence 
which they had in the Sieur de Bethencourt and his 
company ; and they came, four and twenty in number, to 
the said Aldea as to a place of safety and retreat. Berthin 
gave them welcome, and made them a supper, at which 
he had present two Canarians, one named Alphonse, and 
a woman named Isabelle, whom the Sieur de Bethencourt 
had brought to be their interpreters in the island of 

Pierre de Liens, Bernard de Montauban, Oliuier de Barre, 
Guillaume le Bastarfc de Blecy, Phelipot de Baslieu, Michelet le 
Cuisinier, Jacquet le Boulanger, Pernet le Mareschal, auec plu- 
sieurs que ne sent mye icy nommez ; et les autres ses complices 
demeurerent au chastel de Rabicon.. Bei"thin ainsi accompagne, 
s'en alia a un certain village nomme la Grad' Aldee, oh il trouua 
aucuns des grands Canares ; et luy ayant grand trahison en 
pensee, leur fit dire : allez, et me faites le Hoy venii' et ceux qui 
auec luy sont, et ie les garderay bien contre les Espagnols, et les 
Canares le creurent parmy la seui'ete et affiance que eux auoient 
du Sieur de Bethencourt et de sa compagnie, et vindrent a ladite 
Aldee comme a sauuete et retraict iusques au nombre do vingt- 
quatre, ausquels Berthin fit bonne chere, et les fit souper, et 
auec ce detenoit deux Canares, vn nomme Alphonce, et vne 
femme nominee Isabel, lesquels ledit Bethencourt auoit amenez 
pour estre leur truchement en I'isle Lancelot. 


Chapter XIII. — How that after Berthin had captured the king and 
his people, he took them to the ship Tajamar, and handed 
them over to the robbers. 

When tlie Oanarians liad supped, Berthin sent to them 
to sajj '' Sleep in peace and fear nothing, for I will protect 
you." Accordingly most of them went to rest ; and when 
Berthin saw that it was time, he placed himself before 
their doors with his drawn sword in his hand, and had 
them all taken and bound. One only, named Avago, 
escaped. When Berthin now plainly saw that he was dis- 
covered, and could capture no more, he took his departure, 
still cherishing his evil intentions, and went straight to 
the port of the island of Clraciosa, where was the vessel 
from Spain named Tajamar, and took the prisoners with 

Chapitre XIII. — Comment apres que Berthin eut prins le Hoy, et 
ses gens, il les mena a la ncf Tranchemare, et les bailla aux 

Quand les Canai'es eurent soupe, Berthin leur fit dire: dormez 
vous seurement et ne vous doutez dc rieus ; car ie vous garderay 
bien. Et cependant les vns s'endormirenfc et les autres non, et 
quand Berthin vit qu'il cstoit temps, il se nait deuant lour huis 
I'espee en la main toute nu.e, et les fit touts prendre et lier ; et 
ainsi fut il fait, fors que vn nomme Auago qui en escliapa, et 
quand il les eut prins et liez, et il vit bien qu'il estoit descouuert, 
ct qu'il n'en pouuet plus auoir, il se partit de la perscuerant en sa 
grandc malice, ct s'en alia droit au port de I'islo Gratieuse ou estoit 
la nef d'Espagne nomme Tranchemare, et amena les prisonniers 
auec luy. 

01-' THE CANARIES. 25 

CiiAi'TEu XIV. — How the king escaped from those into whose charge 
Bcrtliin had dolivorcd him. 

When tlie king found himself in this position^ and be- 
came aware of the treachery of Berthin and his companions 
and the outrage that they had done to him, being a brave 
and powerful man, he burst his bonds, and broke away from 
three men who had him in their charge. One of them, 
who was a Gascon, pursued him ; but the king turned 
most fiercely round upon him, and dealt him such a blow, that 
none of the rest dared to approach him. This was the sixth 
time that he had delivered himself from the hands of the 
Christians by his own prowess. There now remained only 
twenty-two prisoners, whom Berthin handed over to the 
Spaniards of the ship Tajamar, after the example of 
the traitor Judas Iscariot, who betrayed our Saviour 
Jesus Christ and delivered Him into the hands of the Jews 
to crucify Him, and put Him to death. So did Berthin, 
who delivered up these poor innocent people into the hands 
of robbers, who sold them into perpetual slavery in foreign 

Chapitke XIV. — Comment le Roy se deliura des larrons d qui 
Berthin les mioit livres. 
Quand le Roy se vit en tel poinct at cognut la traliison de 
Berthin et de ses compagnons, et Toutrage qu'ils leur faisoient, 
comme homme hardy, fort et puissant rompit ses liens, et se 
deliura de trois liommes qui en garde Tauoient, desquels estoit 
vn Gascon qui le poursuiuit ; mais le roy retourna moult aigre- 
ment sur luy, et luy donna vn tel coup, que nul ne I'osa plus 
aprocher ; et e'est la sixiesme fois qu'il s'est deliure des mains 
des Chrestiens par son apertise ; et n'en demeura que vingt et 
deux, lesquels Berthin bailla et deliura aux Espagnols de la nef 
Tranoliemare, a I'exemple du traistre Judas Iscariot qui trahit 
nostre Sauveur Jesus- Christ et le livra en la main des Juifs pour 
le crucifier et mettre a mort ; ainsi fit Berthin qui bailla et liura 
CCS pauures geus innocents en la main des larrons qui les 
niencrent vendre en estranges terres en perpetual seruage. 


Chapter XV. — How Berthiu's companions took the boat which Gadifer 
had sent for provisions. 

Berthin meanwliile being in the ship, sent the Bastard de 
Blessi and some of his allies to the castle of Rubicon. They 
there found Gadifer's boat, which, as already stated, he had 
sent to fetch provisions for himself and his companions who 
were in the island of Lobos, and being bent on accomplish- 
ing their wicked designs, they went in search of certain 
Gascons their sworn confederates, and together they took 
possession of the boat and went on board of it. When 
Remonnet de Leneden ran forward to recover it, the bastard 
de Blessi fell upon him with his drawn sword and would 
have slain him. The conspirators, however, pushed the 
boat off to sea, leaving the others on shore, and cried 
out — "H any one of Gadifer's men dares to lay hands on the 
boat we will put him to death, for, in any case, Berthin 
and all his people shall be received on board the ship even 

Chapitre XY. — Comment les comparj irons de Berthin 'prindrent 
le batel quo Gadifer auoit transmis i)our vmres. 

Cependant Berthin estant en la nef euuoya le Bastart de 
Blessi et aucuns autres de ses allies au cliastel de Rubicon, et 
trouuerent le bastel qui estoit a Gadifer, lequel il auois transmis 
pour querir viures pour luy et ses compaguons qui estoient de- 
mourez en I'isle de Loupes comme dessus est dit ; et adonc les 
compagnons Berthin pen sans du tout a accoraplir leur entre- 
prinse, se retirerent deuers aucuns Gascons leurs compagnons de 
serment, lesquels a I'aide les vns des autres se saisirent du 
bastel et entrerent dedans; raais Remonnet de Leneden y courut 
pour le reeouvrc. La estoit le bastard de Blessi qui courut sus a 
Remonnet I'espee tout nue en la main et le cuida tuer. Si 
eslargirentle bastel en la mer bien auant et les autres dcmcurcrent 
hors, disans, s'il y a si hardy des gens de Gadifer do mettre la 
main au bastel nous le tuerons sans remede : car qui poise et qui 
non, Berthin sera recueilly en la nof ct toutcs ses gens, et ain- 


though Gadifor and his men should never eat another mouth- 
ful." Some of Gadifer's men who were at the castle of 
Eubicon then spoke thus : "Fair sirs, you are well aware that 
Gadifer is gone yonder to the island of Lobos on account 
of the need of shoos for the crew, and that he has with him 
neither bi-ead nor flour, nor fresh water, nor can he receive 
any except by means of the boat ; pray, then, let us have 
it, that we may send him some victuals for himself and his 
people, or otherwise they will die of starvation." To 
which they replied : " Spare your breath ; for, once for 
all, we will do nothing of the sort until Berthin and all 
his people are safe in the ship Tajamar. 

Chapter XVI. — How Berthin sent the boat of the Tajamar to 
fetch Gadifer's provisions. 

The next day, at the hour of nones [3 p.m.], the boat of 
the ship Tajamar arrived at the port of Rubicon with 

chois que Gadifer ne ses gens mengeussent iamais. Aucuns de 
Gadifer estans au chastel de Rubicon dirent ainsi, beaux Seig- 
neurs, vous sqauez bien que Gadifer est passe par dela en I'isle 
de Loupes pour la necessite de chausseure qui estoit entre nous, 
et n'a deuers luy ne pain, ne farine, ne eau douce, et si n'en 
peut point auoir de ne recouurer se n'est par le bastel, plaise 
vous que nous I'ayons pour luy transmettre aucunes vitailles 
pour luy et pour ses gens, ou autrcment nous les tenons pour 
morts. Et ils respondirent : ne nous en parlez plus ; car nous 
n'en serous rien, c'est a bref parler, ainehois sera Berthin et 
toutes ses gens du tout retraits en la nef Tranchemare. 

Chapitre XVI. — Comment Berthin transmit le lasteldeTranchemare 
qucrir les viiires de Gadifer. 

Lendemain heure de nonno arriua le bastel de la nef Tranclie- 
mare au port de Rubicon auec sept compagnons dedans : le 


seven men in her. Gadifei's people asked them : " Fair 
sii's, what do you seek V and they in the boat answered, 
" Berthin sent us here, and he told us when we left the 
ship that he would be here as soon as we." Meanwhile, 
Berthings confederates inside the castle made great waste 
and destruction of the stores belonging to Monsieur de 
Bethencourt, which he had left for Gadifer and his com- 
panions, such as wine, biscuit, salt meat, and other 
victuals, although Gadifer himself had divided the pro- 
visions with perfect impartiality, allotting as much to 
the least as to the greatest, and had only kept for his 
own use his rightful portion, with the exception of one cask 
of wine which had not been yet served out. 

Chapter XVII. — How Berthin delivered up the women of the castle 
to the Spaniards, who violated them. 

The following evening Berthin came by land to the castle 

gens de Gadifer leur demanderent, beaux Seigneurs que querez 
vous, et respondirent dudit bastel, Berthin nous a enuoyez icy et 
nous dit au partir de la nef qu'il sei'oit icy aussitost comme 
nous : et les alliez dudit Berthin cependat estans au chastel de 
Rubicon firent grand degast et grand destruction de vivires qui 
IS, estoient appartenants a Monsieur de Bethencourt, Icsquels 
viures il auoit laisse audit Gadifer et a ses gens de la compagnie, 
comme de vins, de biscuit, de chair salee, et autres vitailles, non- 
obstant qu'il auoit departy les viures tout esgallement autant au 
petit comnic au grand, et ne luy estoit demoure tant seulement 
que sa droite portion, excepte vn tonucau do vin qui u'estoit mic 
encore desparty entre eux. 

CuAPrniE XVII. — Comment Berthin liura les fcmmes du chastel 
aux Es])acjiiols, et les ]}rindreiit d force. 

Et au vesprc cnsur, vint Berthin ])ar torrc au chaslcl do 


of Rubicon, followed by thirty men of tlie company of 
the ship Tajamar, to whom he said : '* Take bread and 
wine, and whatever there is ; and may he be hanged who 
spares anything, for it has cost me more than any of them ; 
and cursed be he who leaves anything which he can take 
away." Such and many other expressions did Berthin 
address to them, which it would be tedious here to write 
down ; he even took away by force, and against their will, 
some women who had come from France, and delivered 
them up to the Spaniards, who dragged them from the castle 
down to the beach, and violated them in spite of their loud 
cries and shrieks of distress. Furthermore, while at the 
same place, Berthin nsed the following expression — " I 
wish that Gadifer de la Salle should know that if he 
were as young as I am, I would certainly kill him, but as 
he is not, I may perhaps forego that wish ; yet if it takes 
my fancy, I will go and drown him off the island of Lobos, 
and let him fish for seals there." A very affectionate ex- 
pression this to use with regard to one who had never 
shown anj^thing but love and kindness to him. 

Kubicon accompagne de trente Lommes des compagnons de la 
nef Tranchemai-e, luy disant ainsi, prenez pain, et vin et ce qui y 
sera, pendu soit-il qui riens en espargnera : car il m'a plus 
couste que a nal d'eux, et maudit soit il qui riens y laissera 
qu'il puisse, et ce disoit Berthin et moult d'autres paroles qui 
longues seroient a escrire ; et mesmement aucunes femmes, les- 
quelles estoit du pays de France les bailla et liura parforce, et 
outre leur gre aux Espagnols ; et les traiuerent d'amont le 
ebastel iusques en bas sur la marine, et furent auec elles, et les 
efforcerent, nonobstant les grands cris et les grands griefs 
qu'elles faisoient, et ledit Berthin est ant audit lieu disant ainsi : 
ie veux bien que Gadifer de la Salle sQaclie qui si fust aussi 
ieune que moy, ie I'allasse tuer, mais pour ce qu'il ne Test mie, 
par auanture ie m'en deportcray ; s'y me monte vn pou a la teste 
ie I'iray faire noyer en I'isle de Loupes, s'y pescbera aux Loups- 
Marins ; c'estoit bien affect ueusenient parle contre celu}- qui 
oncques ne luy auoit faif fovs que amour et plaisir. 


Chapter XVIII. — How Berthin caused the two boats to be laden 
with provisions and other things. 

The next morning Berthin de Berneval had Gadifer's 
boat and that of the Tajamar laden with a variety of things, 
such as bags of flour in great quantity, armour of different 
kinds, and the only cask of wine which was there. They 
filled a small cask which they had brought with them, and 
drunk and wasted the rest. They also took several trunks, 
boxes, and packages of all sorts, with their contents, 
which will be spoken of at the proper time and place, as 
well as a good many cross-bows, and all the bows that there 
were, excepting those which Gadifer had with him at the 
island of Lobos. They carried off two hundred bowstrings and 
great quantities of line for making cross-bow strings. From 
the artillery,^ of which there was a large quantity both fair 

Chapitre XVIII. — Govi7nent Berthin fit charger les deux hatiatix 
de viures et d^autres choses. 

Et lendemain au matin fit charger Berthin de Berneval le 
bastel Gadifer et eelay de la nef Tranchemare de plusieurs 
choses, comme de sacs de farine h grande quantite, et du harnas 
de plusieurs guises, et vn tonneau de vin qui y estoit, et plus 
non y auoit; eux emplirent vne queue qu'ils amenerent auec eux, 
et le demourant beurent et gasterent, et plusieurs coffres, malles 
et bouges de plusieurs manieres auec toutes les choses qui 
dedas estoient, lesquelles seront declarees quand temps et lieu 
sera ; et plusieurs arbalestres, et tons les arcs qui y estoient, ex- 
cepte ceux que Gadifer auoit auec luy en I'isle de Loupes : et de 
deux cens cordes d'arcs qui y deuoient estre n'en demeura nulle, 
et de grand foison de fil pour faire cordes d'arbalestres, tout em- 
porterent auec eux ; et de toute I'artillerie, dequoy il y auoit 

^ At that period the word "artiHerie" was iised very vaguely, in- 
cluding even bows and cross-bows, whicli indeed seem to be meant in 
til is very passage. 


and good, they took whatever they pleased, and wo wero 
obliged to unlay an old cable which was left us to make 
strings for our bows and arblasts : and had it not been for 
this small remainder left to ns, we had all been in danger 
of being utterly destroyed; for the Canarians are more afraid 
of bows than anything else. Besides all these, the Spaniards 
carried away four dozen darts, and two coffers belonging to 
Gadifer, with their contents. 

Chapter XIX. — How Francisco Calvo sent in search of Gadifer in the 
island of Lobos. 

While the boats were going to the ship, Gadifer's people, 
taking into considei'ation the destitute condition of their 
captain, who was entirely deprived of provisions, despatched 
the two chaplains and two squires of the castle of Rubicon 
to beg assistance from the captain of the ship Morella, 

grand foison de belle et bonne ; ont prins et eniporte a leur 
plaisir, et nous a conuenu despesser vn vieux cable qui nous 
estoit demeure pour faire cordes pour arcs et pour arbalestres : 
et ce ne fust ce pou de trait que nous anions, nous estions en 
auanture d'estre tous perdus et destruits : car ilz craignent les 
arcs sur toutes riens ; et auec ce quatre douzaines de dardes que 
les Espag-nols emporterent en leurs mains, et prindrent deux 
cofFi-es a Gadifer, et ce qui estoit dedans. 

Chapitee XIX. — Comvient Fraiicisque Calue enuoya querir Gadifer 
en Visle de Loupes. 

Ce temps pendant que les batiaux s'en allerent en la nef, les 
gens de Gadifer considerans que le capitaine auoit telle necessite 
de viurcs, comme celuy qui point n'en auoit, lors se partirent les 
deux chappellains, et deux cscuyers du chastel de Rubicon, et 
s'en allerent doners le maistre de la nef Morclle, qui estoit au 


wliicli^ like the Tajamar^ was lying in the port of Graciosa. 
They prayed the captain, of his charity, to carry succour 
to Gadifer de la Salle, who, with eleven companions, 
was in the island of Lobos in peril of death, having 
been eight days without provisions. The master, moved 
with pity on hearing of Berthings great treachery to Gadifer, 
sent one of his comrades, named Ximenes, who came to 
Rubicon and set out with four of the Sieur de Bethencourt's 
company, namely, Guillaume the Monk, Jean the Chevalier, 
Thomas Richard, and Jean the Mason. They crossed 
to the island of Lobos in a little cockboat, which had 
been left there ; but although Berthin had left the cock- 
boat, he had taken away all the oars. Ximenes took 
what little provision he could carry, for although the dis- 
tance is only four leagues, it is the most horrible passage 
to be found in these seas, according to the account of all 
those who have tried it. 

port de I'isle Gratieuse, la ou estoit la nef Tranchemare, lesquels 
prierent le maistre d'icelle comme il luy plenst de sa grace se- 
courir Gadifer de la Salle, lequel estoit en I'isle de Loupes luy 
vnzieme en peril de mort sans viures nuls passe aiioit huict 
iours, et ledit maistre men de pitie regardant le grand' trahison 
que Berthin Iny anoit faite, Iny enuoya I'vn de ses eompagnons 
nomme Simene ; e luy venu a Rubicon, se mit a I'aduauture 
auec quatre eompagnons de la compagnie dudit Sieur de Betlien- 
court, c'est a s^auoir Guillaume le Moyne, Jean le Cheuulier, 
Thomas Richard, et Jean le Masson ; et passerent en I'isle de 
Loupes en vn petit coquet qui la estoit demoure : car combien 
que Berthin eust laisse le coquet, il emporta tons les auirons, et 
print ledit Simene tant pou de vivires qu'il peut porter : c'est le 
plus horrible passage que nuls S9achent tenir de tons ceux qui en 
la mer la eudroit conuerscnt, et ne dure que quatre liouos. 


CiiAPTEU XX. — How Gadifer returned in the little cockboat to the 
island of Lancerote. 

Meanwhile Gadifer was at tlie island of Lobos in sveat dis- 
tress from hunger and thirst, and looking to our Lord for 
mercy. Every night he spread out a linen cloth to catch the 
dew of heaven, then wrung it, and drank the drops to quench 
his thirst. He knew nothing of what Berthin had done, 
and was greatly astonished when he came to hear of it. 
Gadifer alone went into the cockboat, which was steered 
by Ximenes and his comrades, and they came to Rubicon. 
"I am much grieved," he said, "at the wickedness and great 
treachery which have been shewn to these poor people, to 
whom we had given our assurance of friendship. But we 
must needs let it pass, for it is beyond our power to remedy 
the mischief. Praised be God in all his works : He is 
the judge of this quarrel." Gadifer further said : '' Neither 
M. de Bethencourt nor mj^self could ever have supposed 
that this man would have dared to do or to imag^ine 

Chapitke XX. — Comment Gadifer repassa en vn petit coquet eii 
V isle Lancerote. 

Gadifer estant en I'isle de Loiipes en grand' destresse de faira 
et de soif attendant la mercy de nostre Seigneur, toutes les nuits 
mettoit vn drap de linge dehors a la rosee du ciel, puis le 
tordoit, ct buuoit les goutes pour estancher la soif, non S9acliant 
riens de tout le fait dudit Berthin : dequoy ledit Gadifer fut fort 
esmerueille quand il en ou'it parler. Adoc se mit tout seul dedans 
le coquet, auec le gouuernement dudit Simene et les compagnons 
dessusdits ; et vindrent a Rubicon, Gadifer disant ainsi : il me 
poise moult de la grand' mauuaistie et grande trahison qui a 
este faite sur ces pauures ges que nous anions asseurex. IMais 
de tout ce nous faut passer, nous n'y pouuons mettre remede, 
loue soit Dieu en tons ses ocuures, lequel est iuge en ceste 
querelle : et disoit ainsi ledit Gadifer, que Monsieur de Bethen- 
court et luy n'eussent iamais pense qu'il eust oze faire ne 



what lie has done ; for both tlie Sieur cle Betlieucourt and I 
chose him as being in our opinion one of the most service- 
able men in the company, but we were grievously mistaken/' 

Chaptp:r XXI. — How the two chaplains, Brother Pierre Bontier and 
Messire Jean le Verrier, went to the ship Tajamar. 

Some days afterwards, the two chaplains being in the ship 
Morella, saw (Berthin's) two boats leaving Rubicon, and 
carrying off the provisions intended for the support of the 
garrison, with many other things. They therefore begged 
the master of the ship to accompany them to the other vessel 
called Tajamar, which he did, and with them went two nobles, 
named Pierre du Plessis and Guillaume d'Allemagne. Then 
said Berthin, '' Do not suppose that any of these things 
are Bethencourt's or Gadifer's ; they are mine, as these two 
chaplains can bear witness." But they, in the presence of 

machiner ce qu'il a fait : car letlit Bethencourt et moy, nous 
I'esleuraes en nostre auis comme vn des plus sufEsans de la com- 
paguie, et le bon Seigneur et uioy fusmes bien mal auises. 

Chapitre XXI. — Comment les deux cliapelains, Vun nommS Frere 
Pierre Bontier, et Vautre Messire Jean le Vei'rier, alerent en la 
nef Trancheinare. 

Les deux chapellains estans a la nef Morelle, aucuns iours 
apres virent les deux bastiaux venir de Rubicon, qui estoifc 
chargez de vitailles, dequoy nous deuions viure, et de moult 
d'autres elioses. Adonc prieret le maistre de la nef qu'il luy 
plut aller auec eux en I'autre nef, ditc Trancliemare, lesquels y 
allerent tous ensemble et deux gcntils Lommes qui la estoient, 
I'vn nomme Pierre du Plessis, et I'autre Guillaume d'Aleniaigne. 
La disoit Berthin, ne cuidcz point que nulles de ces choses 
soient a Betliencourt ne a Gadiler, ils sout mienes, tcsvuoings ces 
deux chapollains-cy, lesquels luy dirent en la presence de tous, 


all, replied : " Bertliiiij -svliat we do know perfectly well is, 
tliat when you first came out witli M. de Betliencourt, you 
brong-lit little or nothing with you. And in fact, M. da 
Bethencourt at the beginning handed over to you in Paris a 
hundred francs in furtherance of our coininon enterprise, 
which please God shall issue to his honour and profit ; but 
these things here present are his property and Gadifer^s, 
as may be seen by the arms and device of the Sieur de 
Bethencourt." Berthin replied, " If it please God, I shall 
go straight to Spain, where M. de Bethencourt now is, and 
if I have anything belonging to him I will restore it to him; 
but do not you meddle in this matter, and be quite sure 
that M. de Bethencourt will put to rights certain matters 
which may easily be guessed without my mentioning them." 
Berthin did not like Messire Gadifer, because he held a 
higher position and was in greater authority than himself, 
and his idea was that his master M. de Bethencourt would 
not be so much displeased with him as the others imagined, 
or at any rate that if he were to fall under his displeasure, it 

Berthin nous s^auons bien que quand vous vintes premieremet 
auec Monsieur de Bethencourt vous n'auiez qui votre fust, se pou 
non ou neant, ainchois bailla mosieur de Bethencourt pour entre 
nous cent francs a Paris quand il entreprint remprise, que se 
Dieu plaist acheuera et viendra a son honour et proufit, mais ce 
qui est cy a present est audit Seigneur et a Monsieur Gadifer, et 
peut bien apparoir par les liurees et deuise dudit Seigneur de 
Bethencourt. Ledit Bei^thin respond et dit, se Dieu plaist, 
i'iray tout droit en Espagne la ou est Monsieur de Bethencourt, 
et se i'ay aucune chose de sien ie luy rendre bien, et de ce ne vous 
meslez, et ne doutez que ledit Sieur de Bethencourt mettra 
remede en aucunes choses dequoy on se peut bien douter, et de- 
quoy ie me peux bien taire ; ledit Berthin n'aimoit point ]\Iessire 
Gadifer pour ce qu'il estoit plus grand maistre que luy et de plus 
grade autorite, et ledit Berthin pensoit que ledit Seigneur de 
Bethencourt son maistre ne luy sgauroit pas si malgre, qu'il 
estoit aduis aus autres, et que s'il auoit quelque chose qui des- 

D 2 


would not be to tliem that he should look to make his peace. 
As they left the ship, they said to Berthin : " Since you are 
^ taking away those poor people, leave us at least Isabelle the 
Canarian, for without her we shall be unable to speak with 
the inhabitants of the island. Leave us also the boat which 
you have brought, for we cannot well find means of living 
without it.^' Berthin answered, ^^It is not mine, but belongs 
to my comrades; they can do as they please.^^ Then the two 
chaplains and the two squires who accompanied them took 
possession of the boat. Upon which Berthin's comrades took 
Isabelle the Canarian and threw her into the sea through the 
ship's porthole, and she would have been drowned had it 
not been for the chaplains and squires, who drew her out of 
the water into the boat ; and so the two parties separated, 
and soon afterwards the ship made ready to put out to sea. 
This is how things occmn^ed in the matter of Berthin, as 
above stated, and as you will hereafter hear. 

pleut a son dit Seigneur qu'il ne les appelleroit pas a en faire la 
paix, et a tant issirent de la nef, disans ainsi : Berthin puis que 
vous amenez ces pauures gens, laissez nous Isabel la Canare, car 
nous ne sgaurions parler aux habitas qui demeurent en cette isle ; 
et aussi laissez-nous vostre bastel que vous auez amene, car nous 
ne pouuons pas bonnement viui^e sans luy ; respond Berthin, ce 
n'est point a moy, mais a mes compagnons, ils en feront leur 
voulente, et lors se saisirent les deux chapellains et les deux 
escuiers qui estoient, dudit bastel. Adonc les compagnons de 
Berthin prindrent Isabel la Canare et par le sabort de la nef la 
jetterent en la mer, et elle eut este noyee ce ne fussent les dessus- 
dits chapelains et escuyers, lesquels la tirerent hors do la mer, et 
la mii-ent au bastel : et a tant partirent les vns dcs autres, et 
assez-tost apres s'aparlierent ceux de la nef pour eux en aller, et 
ainsi se porta le fait de Berthin comme dessus est dit et com me 
vous orroz cy apres. 


Chapter XXII. — How Berthin left his comrades on shore and went 
off with his booty. 

-And now that Berthin had all his companions with him 
on board the ship, he, having made up his mind to go all 
lengths in wickedness, so contrived as to get his more im- 
mediate accomplices on shore again, even those by whose 
help he had carried out all the treachery that has been 
described ; for if they had not been leagued with him, 
he never could have ventured on his treasonable practices. 
But now this miscreant said to them, " Shift for yourselves 
as best you can, for you shall not come with tne." Berthings 
reason for doing this was that he feared that they might do 
the same to him, and he also intended to tell his own tale to 
M. de Bethencourt when he arrived in Spain, and make his 
peace with him. And so in fact he did, by putting a good face 
upon his story, and making certain statements, which Mon- 
sieur de Bethencourt found to be partly true, as you shall 
hear further on. Nevertheless, M. de Bethencourt became 

Chapitre XXII. — Comment Berthin laissa ses compagnons a terre^ 
et s'en alia a tout sa proye. 

Efc combien que Berthin et ses compagnons fussent en la nef 
en sa conapagnie, luy ayant voulonte de tout nial accomplir fit 
tant que ses compagnons qui estoient de sa bende furent mis a 
terre ; par lesquels il auoit fait tout I'exploit deuant dit de sa 
trabison ; car s'ils n'eussent este auec luy et de son alliance, il 
n'eust oze faire ne entreprendre la trahison et la mauuaistie 
qu'il fit, et leur dit le tres-mauuais homme, donnes vous le meil- 
leur conseil que vous pourrez : car auec moy ne vous en vendres 
point, et pour ce le faisoit ledit Berthin qu'il auoit pour que 
ieeux ne luy fissent au cas pareil, et aussi ledit Berthin auoit in- 
tention de parler a Monsieur de Bethencourt quand il viendroit 
en Espagne et de faire sa paix enuers luy, laquelle il fit le micux 
qu'il peut, en luy donnant entendre aucunes choses dont vne 
partie ledit Seigneur de Bethencourt trouua verite, comme vn 


fully aware of what had taken place, and that Berthin had 
done it all fi^om avarice. 

Chapter XXIII. — Ilow the followers of Berthin, whom he had left on 
shore in despair, made their way straight to the land of the Saracen. 

Berthiu^s accomplices whom he had left on shore were in 
great dismay, for they dreaded the anger not only of M. de 
Betheucourt and of Gadifer, but of their companions. They 
poured out their complaints to the chaplains and squires, 
and said — " Berthin is a convicted traitor, for he has be- 
trayed not only his captain but us. Then some of them 
confessed to Messire Jean le Vei-rier, Monseigneur de 
Bethencoui^t's chaplain, and said, "'If our captain Gadifer 
would pardon the wickedness we have committed against 
him, we would bind ourselves to serve him all our lives ;" 
and they commissioned Guillaume d'Allemagne to lay their 
request before him, and to let them know the answer. 

temps aduenir vous orrez, ia^oit qne ledit Seigneur fust bien ad- 
nerty de son fait, et qu'il auoit tout ce fait par sou auarice. 

Chapitre XXIII. — Comment les compagnons qne Ijevtldn laissa a 
terre desesperez, prindrent leur chemin droit ct la terre des 

Iceux compagnons a terre tout desconfortcz doutans I'ire de 
Monsieur de Bethencourt, et de Gadifer, et aussi des compagnons 
qui y estoyent, se compleignerent aux cbapellains et escuyei'S 
dessusdits, disans ausai-bien est Berthin approuue traistre ; car 
il a trahy son capitaine aussi a-il nous-mcsmes, et la se confes- 
serenfc aucuns d'eux a Messire Jean le Verrier, cliapelain de 
Monseigneur de Bethencourt, et disoient ainsi ; se nostre capi- 
taine Gadifer nous vouloifc pardonncr la mauuaistie que nous 
auons faite centre lay, nous serious tonus a le seruir toute nostre 
vie ; et chargerent Guillaume d'Aleniaigne de luy requerir au 
nom d'eux, et de leur fairc as^auoir la responce ; et se partit in- 


Guillaume went oft' immediately on his message, but tliey 
soon afterwards, having misgivings about his return, and 
fearing the wrath of their captain whom they had so griev- 
ously offended, took the boat and put out to sea, steering 
straight for the country of the Moors, half way between the 
Canary islands and Spain. They were upset on the coast 
of Barbary near Morocco, and ten out of the twelve were 
drowned. The other two were made slaves. One is since 
dead, and the other, whose name is Siot de Lartigue, is still 
alive in the hands of the infidels. 

Chapter XXIV. — How, after M. de Bethencourt had reached Spain, 
Gadifer's ship was lost.^ 

We will return to M. de Bethencourt, who, on reaching 
Spain, anchored the ship (which is said to have belonged to 

continent ledit Guillaume pour aller deuers luy. Mais assez-tost 
apres, eux doutans sa venue, se saisirent du bastel et se mirent 
dedans, et s'eslargirent bien auant en la mer, eux considerans le 
mal et le peche enquoy ils auoient offense deuers vn tel cheualier 
et leur capitaine, enx craignans I'ire et le courroux d'iceluy 
comme gens desesperez prindrefc leur chemin a tout le bastel 
droit en terre des Mores, car les Mores peuuent bien estre myvoy 
de la et d'Espagne, et de leur gouuernemet. lis s'allerent noyer 
en la coste de Barbai-ie pres de Mai'oc, et de douze qu'ils estoient 
les dix furent noyez, et les deux furent esclaues : dequoy I'vn est 
depuis mort, et I'autre qui s'appelle Siot de Lartigue est de- 
moure vif en la main des Payens. 

Chapitbe XXIY.— Comment la nef de Messire Gadifer fut perie. 

Si retournerons a parler de Monsieur de Bethencourt, et dirons 
que la nef ou il estoit arriue en Espagne, laquelle on disoit 

' In order to place the narrative clearly before the reader, it has been 
found necessary to transpose the order of events in this chapter. 


Gadifer) in the liarbour of Cadiz. And knowing that the 
crew was mutinous and badly disposed, he lost no time in 
throwing the i-ingleaders into prison, and so secured the 
vessel to himself. As he could now leave the ship with 
safety, he set off to Seville, where was the King of Castile, 
and while there he encountered Francisco Calvo, who had 
just arrived from the Canaries, and who offered, if Bethen- 
court saw fit, to return thither and revictual Gadifer. 
Bethencourt replied that he would give the matter his 
earliest consideration, but that at present he must seek an 
audience of the King. This he did, as we shall hear more 
fully, and received a most gracious welcome. Several 
merchants made him offers for the purchase of the ship, 
but he refused them all, intending to take it and many 
others back with him to the Canaries laden with provisions, 
for he had risen high in the favour of the King of Castile. 
Accordingly he sent word for it to come from Cadiz to 
Seville, but on her road she was unfortunately wrecked and 

qu'elle estoit a Gadifer, et arriua an port de Calix, ledit sieur 
S9acliat bien que les maroniers de ladicte nef estoient mauuais efc 
malicieux, fit grand' diligence encontre eux ; et en fit mettre en 
prison aucuns des pins principaux et print la nef en sa main. II 
vint aucuns marchands pour I'achepter, mais ledit sieur ne le 
vouloit pas ; car son intention estoit do retourner dedans la nef 
et d'autres auee, esdites Isles de Canare, et y porter ct enuoycr 
de la vitaille: car il estoit fort entre en grace du Roy de Castillo. 
II fit laditc nef partir du port de Calix pour la mener en Siuille 
cuidant bicn faire, et en allant elle fut perdue et perie, dont fut 
vn grand dommage, et fut au port de Basremede, et ainsi qu'6 
dit, il y auoit des bagues qui valoiet de I'argent qui appartenoient 
a Messire Gadifer de la Salle, et ce qui en fut recueilly valoit 
bien cinq cens doubles, ainsi qu'on dit, qui ne vint point au pro- 
fit ne a la cognoissance dudit Gadifer. Et aucun pou dcuant que 
la nef fut perie, s'en estoit alle Monsieur de Bethencourt de 
Calix en Siuille la ou estoit le Roy de Castille ; et la vint Fran- 
cisque Caluo (jui promptement estoit arriue des Isles do Canare, 


lost ou the bax" of San Lucar de Barramedaj wliither he im- 
mediately hastened. It is said that several rings belonging 
to Messire Gadifer de la Salle were found, to the value of 
five hundred ducats, which the owner never saw or heard 
of airain. 

Chapter XXV. — How the ship Tajamar arrived at the port of Cadiz 
with the prisoners. 

Some days afterwards the ship Tajamar arrived at the 
port of Cadiz with Berthin on board and some of his par- 
tizans, the rest having in their desperation made their way 
to the Moorish coast and been drowned. With Berthin 
were the poor Canarians from Lancerote, who, under a 
semblance of good faith, had been treacherously captured, 
to be sold as slaves in foreign lands. But with him also 
came one Courtille, Gadifer^s trumpeter, who forthwith had 
Berthin arrested, with all his accomplices, proceeded against 

et se presenta de retourner deuers Gadifer s'il luy plaisoit de 
I'auitailler; et il luy dit qu'il en ordonneroit le plus tost qu'il 
pouiToit ; mais il falloit qu'il allast deuers le Roy de Castille qui 
adono estoit en Siuille, et ainsi fit-il, comme vous orrez plus a 
plain ; et la grand' chere et la bien-venue que ledit Roy luy fit. 

CuAPiTRE XXY. — La nef Tranchemare arriue au port de Callx auec 
les jprisonniers. 

En aucuns lours apres arriua la nef Trancliemare au port de 
Calix ; la ou estoit Berthin et vne partie de ceux qui auoient este 
consentans auecques lu}'- ; car les autres qui estoieut de son alli- 
ance par desespoir s'estoient allez noyer en la costiere de la terra 
des Mores. Et auoit Berthin auec luy les poures Canares 
habitans de I'lsle Lancelot, que soubz ombre de bonne foy ils 
auoient pris par trahison pour les mener vendre en estranges 
terres comme esclaues au perpetuel seruage; et la estoit Courtille, 
trompette de Gadifer, qui incontinent fit prendre Berthin et tous 
ses compagnons ; et fit faire Ic procez contre eux, ct par main de 


them at law, aud liad them put in chains and cast into the 
king's prison at Cadiz. At the same time he sent inform- 
ation to Monsieur de Bethencourt, who was then at Seville, 
of all that had occurred, and intimated that if he would 
come, he could rescue all the poor Canarians. Monsieur de 
Bethencoui't was much amazed to hear such news ; and 
sent to say that he would put all these matters to rights as 
soon as he was able, but that he could not leave Seville at 
once, as he was about to have an audience of the King of 
Castile to speak of that and other matters. But whilst 
Monsieur de Bethencourt was transacting his business with 
the King of Castile, Fernando d' Ordonez took the ship to 
Aragon with all her cargo and the prisoners and sold them. 

Chapter XXVI. — How M. de Bethencourt did homage to the Kiug 

of Spain. 

Before Monsieur de Bethencourt took his depai-ture from 
the island of Lancerote and the Canaries, he had put every- 

Jnstice les fit enchaisner et mettre es prisos du Roy en Calix, et 
fit s^auoir a Monsieur de Bethencourt qui estoit en Siuille, tout 
le faict, et que s'il vouloit la venir il recouureroit tons les pauures 
Canares. Ledit sieur fut bien esbahy d'ouyr telles nouuelles, et 
leur mada que le plus tost qu'il pourroit il y mettroit remede, 
Mais il ne se pouuoit partir pour ceste heure, car il estoit sur le 
poinct de parler au Roy de Castille pour cela et pour autre chose. 
Et tandis que ledit Seigneur de Bethencourt fit ses besongnes 
deuers le Roy de Castille, vn nomme Ferrant d'Ordongnes 
ammena la nef en Arragon et tout le fardage et les prisonniers, 
et les vendit. 

CuAPiTRE XXVI. — Comment Monsieur de Bethencourt fit hommage 
au Boy d'Espagne. 

Et comme il soit ainsi que auant que Monsieur de Bethencourt 
sc partit de I'lsle Lancelot et dcs Isles do Canarc, ledit Seigneur 

OF TIUJ C'ANARll'lS. 43 

thing ill order to the best of his power, and had left Messire 
Gadifer the entire command, promising to return as soon as 
he could with reinforcements both of men and provisions, and 
never contemplating such disorder as afterwards ensued. 
Still, as one may readily understand, it is not easy to 
obtain an early audience of so great a prince as the King 
of Castile upon such a matter as this. When he had made 
his reverence to the King, who received him very graciously, 
and inquired what he wanted, Betheucourt said, ''I come. 
Sire, to pray you to be pleased to grant me permission to 
conquer and bring to the Christian faith certain islands 
called the Islands of Canary, in which I have been^ and 
have so far made a commencement, that I have left some of 
my people there, w^ho are daily looking for my return. I 
have also left a good knight named Master Gadifer de la 
Salle, who was pleased to join me in the expedition. And, 
inasmuch, Sire^ as you are king and lord of all the country 
adjacent to these islands, and the nearest Christian sovereign, 
I am come to ask that you will be graciously pleased to 

ordonna au mieux qu'il peut de ses besongnes, et laissa k Messire 
Gadiffer tout le gouuernement, luy promettant que le plus tost 
qu'il pourroit il reuiendroit le secourir, et rafraischir de gens et 
de viures, non pensant qu'il y eust vn tel defroy qu'il y a eu. 
Mais comme on peut s9auoir que auoir a besongner a vn tel 
Prince, comme le Roy de Castille, on ne peut pas auoir si tost 
fait, et pour vne telle matiere que c'est. Ledit Seigneur de 
Betheucourt vint faire la reuerece audit Roy, lequel le recent 
bien benignemet, et luy demanda qu'il vouloit, et ledit Betheu- 
court luy dit : Sire, ie viens a secours a vous. C'est qu'il vous 
plaise me donner conge de coquerir et mettre a la foy Chrestieile 
vnes isles qui s'appellent les Isles de Canare, esqueHes i'ay este, 
et commence tant que i'y ay laisse de ma compagnie, qui tous 
les iours m'atteudent, et y ay laisse vn bo cheualier nomme 
Messire Gadifer de la Salle, lequel il luy a pleu me tenir com- 
pagnie. Et pour ce, tres-cher Sire, que vous estes Roy et Sei- 
gneur de tout le pays a I'enuiro, et le plus prez Roy Chrcstie : Je 
suls vcnu requerat vostre grace, qu'il vous plaise me receuoir a 


permit me to do you homage for them." On hearing 
this, the king was very pleased, gave him welcome, and 
commended him highly for having conceived so good and 
honourable a project as to come from such a distance as the 
kingdom of France with the view of making conquests and 
winning honour. The king further said, " It shows a very 
good intention on his part to come to do me homage 
for a country which, as I understand, is at two hundred 
leagues distance, and of which I never heard before." 
The king then spoke encouragingly to De Bethencourt, and 
told him that he was pleased with his proposition and 
accepted his homage, and in so far as it was possible, gave 
him the lordship of those Canary islands. He also granted 
him the jBfth of the merchandise, which should come from 
those islands to Spain ; which fifth Monsieur de Bethencourt 
received for a long time. The king further made him an im- 
mediate grant of twenty thousand maravedies,^ to be received 
in Seville, for the purchase of provisions for Gadifer and those 
who were left with him. This money was made payable by 

vous en faire hommage. Le Roy que I'ouyt parler fufc fort 
ioyeux, et dit qu'il fust le bien venu, et le prisa fort d'auoir si 
bon et honneste vouloir de venir de si loin, comme du Royaume 
de France, conquerir et acquerir honneur. Et disoit ainsi le 
Roy : "II luy vient d'vn bon courage, de vouloir venir me faire 
homage d'vne chose qui est, ainsi que ie peux entendre, plus de 
deux cens lieues d'icy, et dequoy ie n'ouys oncques pai'ler." Le 
Roy luy dit qu'il fist bonne chere, et qu'il estoit content de tout 
ce qu'il voudroit, et le receut a I'hommage, et luy donna la 
Seigneurie, tout autant qu'il estoit possible, des dictes Isles de 
Canare ; et en outre luy donna Ic quint des marcliandises qui des 
dites isles iroyent en Espagne; lequel quint ledit sieur de Bethen- 
court leua vne grand' saison ; et encore donna le Roy, pour 
auitailler Gadiffer et ceux qui estoyent demourez aucc luy, vingt 
millo mai'auesins a les prendre en Siuille. Lequel argent fut 

' This coin was so named from the Moorish tribe of Ahnoravidcs, who 
introduced it into Spain. The smallness of its value may be judged by 
twenty thousand being given for tho puri)Osc' hero mentioned. 


order of Monsieur de Bethencourt to Enguerrant de la 
Boissiere, wlio seems not to have done his duty with respect 
to it, for it is said that he went off to France with all, or at any 
rate a part of it. However, Monsieur de Bethencourt soon 
supphed the loss by sending stores of provisions, and himself 
returned to the islands as soon as he could, as will be seen 
presently. The king also gave him leave to coin money in 
the Canaries, which he did, when he came into peaceful 
possession of those islands. 

Chapter XXVII. — How Enguerrand de la Boissiere sold the boat 
belonging to the lost ship. 

As Enguerrand de la Boissiere had sold the boat of the 
wrecked ship, had taken the money, and written letters in 
which he pretended to be about to send provisions, Gadifer 
and his party were in great want of necessaries till M. de 
Bethencourt sent to supply thcmj they even passed a whole 
Lent with nothing but flesh-meat.^ There is no one, how- 

baille par le commandemont de Monsieur de Bethencourt a 
Enguerrant de la Boissiere, lequel n'en fit pas fort son deuoir ; 
et dit on que ledit de la Boissiere s'en alia en France a tout, ou 
vne partie. Mais pourtant ledit sieur de Bethencourt y remedia 
bien bref, et tant qu'ils eurent des viures, et y retourna luy 
mesme tout le plus bref qu'il pent, comme vous y orrez cy apres. 
Le Roy luy donna conge de faire monnoye au pays de Canare, et 
aussi fit-il, quand il fut vestu et saisi paisiblement desdites isles. 

Chapitre XXVII. — Comment Angiierrand de la Boissiere vendit le 
hastel de la nefj)erie. 

Comme Enguen^at de la Boissiere le bastel de la nef qui fut 
perie il vendit, et en print I'argent, et feignit lettres qu'il leur 
vouloit transmettre vitailles; pour laquelle chose ils eurent grande 
deffaulte iusques a tant que Monsieur de Bethencourt y eust 
remedie : car ils vescurent vn caresme qui falut qu'ils mangeassent 

^ The meaning seems to be that they were destitute of all food except 
such meat — probably goat's flesh — as they could get. 


ever powerful^ who is not liable to deceit and treachery, and 
M. de Betliencourt, in entrusting the money of the King of 
Castile to the said Enguerrand, had full faith in his 
probity. A certain Jean de Lesecases informed him of 
Enguerrand's dishonesty, and he immediately applied to the 
King for a ship and men to go to the relief of his people in 
the islands. Accordingly the King gave him a well mounted 
vessel, with eighty active men, besides four tuns of wine, 
seventeen sacks of corn, and other useful things in the 
shape of arms and other provisions. And M. de Bethen- 
court wrote to Master Gadifer bidding him to manage 
matters as well as he could, and to keep the men he was 
sending well employed, promising to come himself as soon 
as possible. He also sent him word that he had done 
homage for the islands to the King of Castile and had been 
welcomed very graciously, and moreover had received a sum 
of money and many promises of future benefits, and that he 

de la chair ; et comme on peut SQauoir nully tant soit grand ne 
se peut garder de faulsete et de traliison. Ledifc Seig-neur auoit 
fait bailler I'argent que le Roy de Castille luy auoit donne, audit 
Enguerrant, cuidat qu'il en fist son deuoir. Yn nomme Jean de 
Lesecases encusa audit Bethencourfc lodit Enguerrant, et qu'il ne 
faisoit pas son deuoir de I'argent que le Roy luy auoit fait bailler. 
Adonc ledit Sieur de Bethencourt vint deuers le Roy, et luy 
pria qa'il luy pleust luy faire auoir vne nef et des gens pour 
secourir ceux des isles: laquelle chose luy fit bailler vne nef bien 
artillee, et en celle nef y auoit bien quatre vingt hommes de fait: 
et si luy fit bailler quatre tonneaux de vin, et dix-sept sacs de 
farinc, et plasieurs choses necessaircs qui leur falloit, feust artil- 
lerie et autres proui.sions ; et rescrit Monsieur de Bethencourt a 
Messire Gadifer, qu'il entretiust les choses tout le mieux qu'il 
peust, et qu'il seroit es isles tout le plus bref qu'il se pourra 
faire, et qu'il mist les gens qu'il luy enuo^^e en besogne et qu'ils 
besongnassent tousiours fermement : et si luy rescrit qu'il auoit 
fait hommage au Roy de Castille des Isles de Canare, et que le 
Roy luy a fait grad' chere et plus d'honneur qu'a, luy n'appartient, 
et si lui avoit donne dp I'argent et pi-onns de faire beaueoup de 


did not doubt to rejoin Gadifer very shortly. " The vessel," 
he wrote, "will be under your orders to make a tour of the 
islands, as I should counsel you to do, that you may better 
judge of your future line of conduct. I have been amazed 
at the treachery of Berthin de Berneval, who is sure to 
suffer for it sooner or later. He had given me no cause to 
suspect him; though I was told subsequently that he had no 
great affection for you, and wrote to warn you against him. 
My very dear brother and friend, one must suffer many 
things in this world ; it is best to forget what is past, and 
to do our duty to the best of our ability." 

Gadifer was very pleased at the arrival of the vessel and 
the contents of the letter, except at the announcement of 
the homage to the King of Castile, for he had expected to 
share in the possession and profits of the islands, which was 
not the intention of M. de Bethencourt, as will be seen. 
Consequently there arose disputes and quarrels between 
the two gentlemen, which very probably prevented the con- 

biens, et qu'il ne doutast point qu'il ue feust pas deuers luy bien 
bref, et tout le plustost qu'il se pourra faire, la barque ira la ou 
vous voudrez requerir d'allev antour des isles, laquelle chose ie 
conseille que faciez; pour tousiours sqauoir, comme on s'y deuera 
gouuerner. I'ay este bien esbaliy des grands faulsetes que 
Berthin de Berneual a fait, et ly en mesprendra quelle qui tarde: 
il ne m'a pas donne a entedre ainsi, que ie Fay sqen depuis, ie 
vous auois rescrit que on prinst garde a luy: car on m'auoit bie 
dit qu'il ne vous aimoit point de grand' amour ; mon tres-cher 
frere et amy, il faut souffrir beaneoup de clioses; ee qui est passe 
il le faut oublier, en faisant tousiours le mieux qu'o pourra. Le- 
dit Gadifer fut tout iouieux de tout, de la venue de la barque et 
de ee qu'il luy auoit rescrit, sinon de ce que il lui rescrisoit qu'il 
fait hommage au Roy de Castille : car il en pensoit auoir part et 
portion desdites isles de Canares, laquelle chose n'est pour I'in- 
tention dudit sieur de Bethencourt, comme il apperra de fait; 
iaqoit qu'il y aura de grosses pai'oles et des noises eutre les deux 
cheualiers ; et pent bien estre que les dites isles eussent este 
piessa conquises, ce ne fust este aucunes enuios. Car la com- 


quest of tlie islands ; for tlie crew would obey none but 
M. de Bethencourtj as was natural^ since be was tbe proper 
bead and leader, and tbe promoter of tbe expedition. 
Meanwbile M. de Betbencourt was making bis preparations 
witb all possible speed, for bis one only object was to 
accomplisb tbe conquest of tbe Canaries. Wben M. de 
Betbencourt left Lancerote, it bad been bis intention to go 
to France, and bring back Madame de Betbencourt ; and 
be did in fact bring ber as far as Cadiz, but no fartber 
(for reasons wbicb do not appear). And as soon as be 
bad done bomage to tbe King, be sent back Madame 
de Betbencourt witb great bonour to bis bouse of Grain- 
ville la Teinturiere in Normandy, under tbe care of Enguer- 
rand de la Boissiere. Soon afterwards M. de Betben- 
court left Seville witb a small escort wbicb tbe King bad 
given bim, togetber witb all sorts of arms, witb wbicb be 
was mucb gratified. Meanwbile, Mme. de Betbencourt 
arrived safely at Grainville, wbere sbe was joyfully wel- 

pagnie ne vouloit obeyr qn'a Monsieur de Betbencourt ; aussi 
e'estoit bien raison, car il estoit le droit clief et meneur, et 
premier mouuemet de la conqueste desdites isles : ledit de Bethen- 
court fait ses apprestes tant le plutost qu'il peut, car tout le 
desir qu'il a, c'est de venir parfaire la conqueste des isles de 
Canare. Quand ledit sieur de Betbencourt partit de I'isle Lance- 
lot, e'estoit son intention d'aller iusques en France et raraener 
Madame de Betbencourt, car il I'auoit fait venir auec luy iusques 
au port de Calix, et elle ne passa point ledit port de Calix et in- 
continent qu'il eust fait hommage au Roy, il fit ramcner raadite 
Dame sa femme en Normandie iusques a son Hostel de Grain- 
uille de Tanturiere, et Enguerrant de la Boissiere fat en sa com- 
pagnie, ledit Seigneur la fit mener bien bonnestcment: et tantost 
api'cs ledit Seigneur se partit de Siuille, a toute vne belle petite 
corapagnie que le Roy de Castille luy fit auoir ; et si luy donna 
le Roy de Castillo de rartilleric de toute maniere tant qu'il fut et 
dcuolt bien cstrc content. Or s'en va Madame de Betlioncourt 
en son pays de Normandie, en sondit Hostel de Grainuillo, au 


comecl by lior people^ and wIicm'c slic remained till her hus- 
band returned from the Canaries, as you will hear in the 

Chapter XXVIII. — The names of those who were treacherous to 
Gadifer, the natives of Lancerote, and their own comrades. 

The following are the names of those who were accom- 
plices in Berthin's treacheiy. After Berthin, Pierre des^ 
Liens, Augerot de Montignac, Ciot^ de Lartigue, Bernard 
de Castellenau,^ Guillaume de Nau, Bernard de Mauleon 
called the Cock, Guillaume de Salerne called Labat, Maui'elet 
de Conrenge,^ Jean de Bidouville, Bidaut de Hornay,^ Ber- 
nard de Montauban, Jean de PAleu,^ the Bastard de Blessi, 
Philippot de Baslieu, Olivier de la Barre, big Perrin, Gillet 
de la Bordeniere, Jean le Brun, Jean, Bethencourt^s seamster. 

pays de Caux, la ou ecux du pays luy firent grand' chere, et fufc 
la iusques a tant que mondit Seigneur reuinst de Canare comme 
vous orrez cy-apres. 

Chapitre XXYIIl. — Les noms de ceux qui trahirent Gadifer, et 
ceux de Visle Lancelot et leurs jpropres com]^agnons. 

Ce sent les noms tous ensemble de ceux qui ont este traistres 
auec Berthin ; et premicrement ledit Berthin et Pierre des Liens, 
Ogerot de Montignac, Ciot de Lartigue, Bernard de Castellenau, 
Guillaume de Nau, Bernard de Mauleon, dit le Coq, Guillaume 
de Salerne, dit Labat, Maurelet de Conrenge, Jean de Bidou- 
uille, Bidaut de Horna}', Bernard de Montauban, Jean de I'Aleu, 
le Bastart de Blessi, Plilippot de Baslieu, Oliuier de la BaiTe, le 
grand Perrin, Gillet dc la Bordeniere, Jean le Brun, Jean le 

^ In chapter 10, " de." * Inchap. 10, "MoreletdeCouroge." 

2 In chapter 10, " Siort." « In chapter 10, " Ilournau." 

' In chapter 10, " Chastelvary." " In chapter 10, " Alien." 



Pernet the blacksmith, Jacques the baker, Michelet the 
cook. All these were the cause of much mischief. Most 
of them were from Gascony, Aiijou, and Poitou. Three 
were from Normandy. But we will leave speaking of 
this matter, and return to Messire Gadifer and those who 
were with him. 

Chapter XXIX. — How the natives of Lancerote became alienated 
from the followers of Bethencourt after the treachery of Berthin. 

The people of Lancerote were much aggrieved at being 
thus betrayed and captured, and imagined that our faith 
and law could not be as good as we represented, since we 
betrayed each other, and wei'e not consistent in our actions. 
At last their rage and terror became so extreme, that they 
turned against us and killed our people. And because 

Cousturier de Bethencourt, Fernet le Mareschal, Jacqaet le 
Boulanger, Michelet le Cuisinier; tons iceux deuant dits ont este 
cause de beaucoup de mal, et la plupart estoient du pays de 
Gascongne, d'Anjou, de Poitou et trois de Normandie. Nous 
laissons a parler de celle maniere, et parlerons de Messire et de 
la compagnie. 

CllAPrrRE XXIX. — Comme ceux do Visle Lancerote s^estrangerent 
des gens de Monn'SMir de T/elhencourt apres la tnihison que 
Berthin leur auoit faitc. 

Les gens de I'isle Lancerote furent tres mal conteus de ce 
qu'ils furent prins et trahis, tant qu'ils disoient que nostre foy et 
nostrc loy n'estoit point si bonne que nous disions qnad nous 
traissons I'vn I'autre, et que nous faisions si terrible chose I'vn 
contre I'autrc, et quo uous n'estions point formes a nos faits : et 
furent iceux Payens do Lancerote tons mens contre nous, et 
s'cstrangeoient fort, tant qu'ils se rebellerent ct tnoreni de nos 
gens, dont co fut ])i(i('' i4 doiiiniago : of })our cc que Gadiflor no 


Gadifer had it not tbcn in his power to pursue the matter 
himself, he appealed to all the authorities in France and 
elsewhere to bring to justice the authors of all this mischief, 
if they should fall into their hands. 

CuAPTKU XXX. — How Asche, one of the principal men in Lanccrote, 
proposed to betray the King. 

Matters being brought to this pass^ that our religion was 
despised^ ourselves evil spoken of, and above all our com- 
panions killed and wounded^ Gadifer threatened to kill all 
upon whom he could lay hands unless those who had slain 
our companions were given up. About this time a certain 
native named Asche, who aspired to the throne of Lancerote, 
held much consultation with Messire Gadifer : presently he 
went away, and a few days after sent his nephew (whom M. 

pent, quant a present, le fait bonnement poursninre, ainsi qu'il 
desire, il requert tons iusticiers du Royaume de Fi-ance et 
d'ailleui's en ayde de droit, et que en cecy, lis accomplissent 
iustice, se aucuns des malfacteurs peuuent estre attains et cheoir 
a lenrs mains, ainsi comme a tel eas appartient. 

Chapitre XXX. — Comme Ache, vn des plus grands de lille 
Lancerote, fit traitor de prendre le Hoy. 

Or est ainsi que apres que ceste chose est aduenue, dequoy 
nous somraes fort diiFamez par de9a, et nostre foy desprisee, la- 
qaelle ils tenoient a bonne, et maintcnant tienncnt le contraire, 
et en outre ont tue nos compagnons ; et blesse plusieurs. Si leur 
manda Gadiffer qu'ils luy rendissent ceux qui ce auoient fait, ou 
qu'il feroit mourir tous ceux qu'il pourroit attaindre des leurs. 
Durant ces choses vint deuers luy vn nomrae Asche paycn de la- 
dite isle qui vouloit estre Roy do I'isle Lancerote, et parlerent 
Me.ssii'e Gadiifer et luy moult longuement sur celle matiere, Et 
tant s'en alia Asche, et aucuns iours apres il transmit son neveu; 

E 2 


de Betheuconrt bad sent from France as interpreter) to say 
that tlie King hated the Christians, so that during his hfe 
they would have little success ; that he had caused the 
death of our companions, but that Asche would find means 
to deliver him and all the other culprits into our hands. 
At this Gadifer rejoiced greatly, and sent word to him to 
take his measures well and to let him know the place and 
the hour, which was done. 

Chaptek XXXI. — How Asche betrayed his master in the hope of en- 
trapping Gadifer and his companions. 

Now this was a double treachery, for by betraying the 
King his master, he hoped, with the help of his nephew 
Alphonse, who was constantly with them, to entrap Gadifer 
and his men, thinking that their small numbers would ren- 

lequel Monsieur de Betbencourt auoit amene de France pour estre 
son trucbement, et luy manda que le Roy le bayoit, et que tant 
qu'il vesquist nous n'aurions riens d'eux sinon a grand' peine; et 
qu'il estoit du tout coulpable de la raort de ses gens ; et s'il vou- 
loit qu'il trouueroit bien maniere qu'il luy fairoit bien prendre le 
Roy et tons ceux qui furent a la raort de ses compagnons ; dont 
Gadiffer fut moult ioyeux, et luy manda qu'il appoinctast bien la 
besongnc, et quo il luy fit s9auoir le temps et I'lieurc, et ainsi fut 

CiiAi'irRE XXXI. — Conime Aclie traldt son Seigneur en esperance 
de traliir Gadifer et sa comparjnie. 

Or estoit cestc traison double, car il vouloit trayr le Roy son 
Seigneur et estoit son propos et son intention de trair apres 
Gadiffer et toutes ses gens, par renbortcmcnt de son novcu 
nomme Alpboncc, Icquel dcmcuroit eontinucllemcnt auec nous ; 
ct s^auoit que nous estions si pen de gens, qui luy scmbloit bien 
qu'il n'y auoit gueres affaire a nous destruire, car nous u'estions 


der them an easy prey. But we shall sec in the sequel liow 
he succeeded. When Ascho judj^cd that the opportunity 
was come, ho sent to summon Gadifer, telling him that the 
King was in one of his castles, in a village near Acatif, 
with fifty of his people. This was on the eve of St. Catharine, 
1402. Gadifcr immediately took nineteen men, and, march- 
ing all night, arrived at the spot before daybreak, and 
found them in a house taking counsel against the Christians. 
He thought to have entered without difficulty, but they had 
set a guard round the house, who made a desperate defence, 
and wounded several of our men. Five of those who killed our 
companions came out, three of whom received fearful wounds, 
one with the sword and the others with arrows. At last the 
Christians succeeded in forcing the house, but as Gadifer 
had found that the men in it were not guilty of the death of 
his men, he set them free at the instance of Asche. He only 
retained the King and another named Alby, and having 
chained them round the neck, led them straight to the 

demeurez en vie qu'vn bien peu de gens de defFence. Or orrez 
qa'il en aduint ; quand Asche vit sou poinct pour faire prendre 
le Roy, il manda a Gadifer qu'il vinst et que le Roy esfcoit en vn 
de ces chastiaux en vn village pros de rAcatif, et auoit ciuquante 
de ses gens auec luy, et fut la veille Saincte Catherine, mil quatre 
cans et deux, et s'en alia toute nnit et arriua sur eux ainchois 
qu'il fust iour, la ou ils estoiet tous en vne maison, et auoient 
leur couseil centre nous. Si cuida entver sur eux, mais ils 
garderent I'entree de la maison, et mirent grand' defFence en eux, 
et blesserent plusieurs de nos gens, et s'en yssirent cinq de ceux 
qui auoient este a tuer nos compagnons, dent les trois furent 
mallement blesses, I'vn d'vne espee parray le corps, les autres de 
flesches ; si entrerent nos gens sur eux a force et les prindrent ; 
mais pource que Gadifer ne les trouua point coulpables de la 
mort de ses gens, il les deliura a la requeste dudit Asche ; et fut 
rctenu le Roy et vn autre nomme Alby, lesquols il fit euchesncr 
par les cols, et les mcua tout droit en la place ou ses gens 


place where bis men had been killed. When he reached 
this spot, where the bodies had been covered over with 
earthj his anger overcame him, and seizing Alby, he would 
have struck off his head, but the King assured him that he 
had not been guilty of the death of the men, and offered 
his own head to the axe if he should be found either guilty 
or conniving at the slaughter. Gadifer warned him that 
what he said would be at his own peril, for he should in- 
form himself thoroughly on the matter. The King further 
promised Gadifer to give up all those who were concerned 
in the death of his men. They then returned all together 
to Rubicon, where the King was put into two sets of irons. 
After a few days he freed himself from one pair of fetters, 
which were too wide. When Gadifer saw this, he had him 
put in chains, and removed the other pair of fetters, which 
galled him badly. 

auoient este tuez, et les trouua oii il les auoient couuers de terre, 
et moult cource print ledit Alby, et luy voaloit faire trencher la 
teste ; mais le Roy luy dit enverite qu'il n'auoit point este a la 
mort des compagnons ; et s'il trouuoit qu'il en eust oncques este 
consentant ne coulpable, qu'il obligeoit sa teste a coupper. Lors 
dit Gadiffer que bien se gardat, et que ce seroit a son peril, car il 
s'informeroit tout a plain, et en outre le Roy luy promit qu'il luy 
bailleroit tons ceux qui furent a tuer ses gens, et ataut s'en 
allerent tons ensemble au chastel de Rubicon, la fut mis le Roy 
en deux peres de fers. Aucuns iours apres se deliura par faute 
de fers mal acoustres qui estoient trop largcs ; quand Gadifer vit 
cela, il fit enchainer ledit Roy, et luy fit oster vn pere de fers qui 
moult le blessoient. 


CiiAi'TKR XXXII. — How Asche stipulated with Gadifer that he should 
be made King. 

A few days after Asche came to the castle of Rubicon, and 
it was arranged that he should be made King on condition 
that he and his partisans should receive baptism. When 
the King saw him, he looked at him with indignation, exclaim- 
ing: "Fore tro7icqueuay ," which means "Wicked traitor." 
Aschc, however, took leave of Gadifer, and invested himself 
with the royal robes. A few days after, Gadifer sent 
seven men in quest of barley, for the store of bread was 
almost out. They collected a great quantity, and placed it 
in an old castle, which was said to have been built by 
Lancelot Maloisel,' and then set out to fetch men from 

Chapitkb XXXII. — Covime Asche appointa a Gadifer qii'tl seroit 


En aucuns iours apres vinfc Asche au chastel de Rubicon : et 
parlerent qu'il seroit Roy par condition qu'il feroit baptiser luy 
et tons ceux de sa part, et quand le Roy le vit venir, il le regarda 
moult despite ment en disant : ^^Fore troncqueuaij,^^ c'est a dire, 
Traistre mauuais. Et ainsi se partit Asche de Gadifer, et se 
vestit comme Roy ; et aucuns iours apres transmit Gadifer de 
ses gens pour querir de I'orge : car nous n'auions plus de pain si 
peu non. Si assemblerent grande quantite d'orge, et le mireut 
en vn vieil chastel que Lancerote Maloisel auoit jadis fait faire, 

^ This important reference to an earlier occupation of the island is 
connected with the naming of the island of Lancerote, and also carries 
us back to a fact in the history of Atlantic exploration which has been 
only recently developed. M. d'Avezac, with his usual untiring research, 
has shewn that the discoverer of this island was of the ancient, but now 
extinct, Genoese family of Malocello. In a Genoese map of the date of 
1-155, made by Bartolommeo Pareto, are inserted against the island the 
words "Lansaroto Maroxello Januensis ;" and a passage in Petrarch 
(born in 1304), to the effect that an armed Genoese fleet had penetrated 
as far as the Fortunate Islands a generation back (a patrum mcmoria), 


Eubicon to cany the barley. On their road they met the 
new King Asche with twenty-three men, who greeted them 
with great appearance of friendship, and joined company 
with them. But Jean le Courtois and his companions began 
to mistrust hira, and kept close together, except Guillaume 

selon que Ion dit, et de la se partirent et se mirent en cliemiu 
Bept compagncns pour venir a Rubicon querir des gens pour y 
porter I'orge, et quand ils furent sur le cliemin, ledit Asche qui 
estoit fait nouueau Roy, soy viugt-quatriesme, vint allencontre 
d'eux en semblance d'amitie et allerent longuement ensemble : 
mais Jean le Courtois et ses compagnous se commenceret a 
douter vn peu, et se tenoient tous ensemble, et ne vouloicnt 
point qu'ils assemblassenfc fors que Guillaume d'Andrac qui 

makes the voyage, which in all probability was that in which Lancelote 
Malocello sailed, to take place at latest in the close of the thirteenth 
century. In this fact we find the reason why Genoese map-makers of 
the fourteenth century affixed the arms of Genoa to this island by way 
of reserving a claim to it. But from this very reservation by the 
Genoese of a claim to the island of Lancjarote we are led to another 
most important fact, to which the present writer called especial atten- 
tion in his Life of Prince Henry the Navigator and its Results, London, 
1868, viz., that the Canaries in the year 1341, the Madeira group and 
the Azores at periods anterior to 1351, were discovered for the crown 
of Portugal by Portuguese vessels commanded by Genoese captains. 
These facts are based upon a Genoese map of the latter date in the 
Laurentian library at Florence, in which all these groups are laid down, 
but with the sole claim of Lancerote for Genoa, a sufficient proof that 
they had not been discovered by the Genoese on their own account. By a 
treaty concluded in 1317, Denis the Labourer, King of Portugal, had 
secured the services of the Genoese Enunanuele Pezagno as hereditary ad- 
miral of his fleet, on the condition that he and his successors should supjily 
annually twenty exjDericnced Genoese captains to command the King's 
galleys. The re-discovery of the Canaries in 1341 is shewn by a docu- 
ment in the handwriting of Boccaccio, discovered in 1827 by Sebastiano 
Ciampi, which informs us that in that year two Portuguese ves.sels, 
commanded by Genoese captains, but manned with Italians, Spaniards 
of Castile and other Spaniards (llispani, including Portuguese), made 
that re-discovery. — R. II. M. 


d'Aiulnic, who rodo with the iititivcs, and suspected notliing. 
AVhen the hitter saw their opportunity, they fell upon the 
said GuillaumCj and dragging him down gave him thirteen 
wounds, and would have killed him ; but Jean Ic Courtois 
and his companions hearing the noise, turned vigoi'ously 
upon them, rescued him with great difficulty, and carried 
liiiu back to the castle of Rubicon. 

CuAPTEii XXXIII. — How the King escaped from Gadifer's custody, 
and how he had Asche put to death. 

Now it happened that in the night of this same day the 
rightful King escaped from his prison at Rubicon, carrying 
with him the fetters and chains with which he was bound ; 
and as soon as he reached his own dwelling, he seized 
Asche (who had betrayed him, and made himself King), and 
had him stoned and afterwards burned. The next day but 
one, the garrison of the old castle, on learning how Asche 

cheminoit auec eux, et ne se doutoieut de riens. Quaud ils 
eurent cliemine vue piece, et ils virent leur poinct, ils chargerent 
sur ledit Guillaume, et I'abatirent a terra, et le blesserent de 
treize playes, et I'eussent paracheue, mais ledit Jean et les com- 
pagnons ouyrcnt le bruit et retournerent vigoureusenient sur 
eux, et le recouirent a grand peine, et le ramenereut au cliastel 
de Rubicon. 

Chapitre XXXIII. — Comment le Hoy eschapa des prisons de 
Gadiffer, et comment ilfd mourir Asche. 

Or aduint que ce iour propreoient par nuit Ic premier Roy 
eschapa de la prison de Rubicon, et emporta les fers et la chaino 
dent il estoit lie, et tantost qu'il fut a son hostel, il fit prendre 
ledit Asche qui s'estoit fait Roy, et aussi il I'auoit trahy, et le fit 
lapider de pierres, et puis le fit ardoyer. Le second iour apres, 
les compagnons, Icsquels cstoieut au vicil chastel sccurcnt com- 


Lad fallen upon Jean le Courtois, d'Andrac and their com- 
panions took one of their Canarian prisoners to a high 
mountain, and having cut off his head, stuck it on a high 
pole, so that everyone might see it, and opened war upon 
the natives. They captured great numbers of men, women, 
and children, and the remnant betook themselves for refuge 
to the caverns, not daring to wait for the approach of the 
Christians, the greater number of whom scoured the country, 
while the rest remained at home to guard the castle and 
the prisoners. They used all their efforts to make captives, 
for it was their only solace till the arrival of M. de Bethen- 
court, who, as you will hear, soon sent them relief. Berthin 
had caused them many troubles and difficulties, and had 
occasioned the loss of many lives. 

ment le nouueau Roy auoit couru sus a Jean le Courtois et a 
d'Andrac et aux compagnons. Si prindrent vn Canare qu'ils 
auoient et luy allerent trencher la teste sur vne haute montagne, 
et la mirent sur vn pal bien hault, afin que chacun le peut bien 
voir, et de la en auant commencerent guerre a I'eneontre de ceux 
du pays. On print grand foisou de leurs gens et femmes et en- 
fans, et le surplus sont en tel poinct, qu'ils se vont tapissans par 
les cauernes ; et n'osent nulluy attendre ; et sont tousiours sur 
les champs la plus grand' partie d'eux, et les autres demeurent 
a I'hostel pour garder le chastel et les prisonniers et mettcnt 
toute diligence qu'ils peuuent de prendre gens; car c'est tout 
leur reconfort, quant a present, en attendat Monsieur de Bethen- 
court, lequel enuoyra de bref reconfort comme vous orrez. 
Berthin leur a fait vn grand mal et dcstoubier, et est cause de 
mainte mort donnee. 


CiiAi'TER XXXIV. — Ilow Gadifer proposed to Icill all the fighting 
iiioii in the island of Lancerote. 

Gadifer and bis companions resolved, if they saw no other 
course open to them, to kill all the men of the country who 
bore arms, and to save the women and children, and have 
them baptised; and to remain there till God should provide 
otherwise for them. At Pentecost, in this year, more than 
eighty persons, men, women, and children, were baptised, 
with a good hope that God would confirm them in the 
fiiith, and make them a means of edification to all the 
country round about. There is no reason to doubt that if 
M. de Bethencourt had been able to return sooner to the 
Canaries, and if a few princes had given him their assist- 
ance, he might have conquered not only the Canaries, but 
many other great countries then very little known, but 
as profitable as any in the world, and full of misbelievers of 
divers laws and languages. If Gadifer and his companions 

Chapitre XXXIV. — Comment Gadifer eui propos de tuer tous les 
Jwmmes de deffence de lisle Lancerote. 

Si est le propos Gadififer et aux compagnons tel que si ne 
trouuent autre remede, lis tueront tous les hommes de deifence 
du pays ; et retendront les femes et les enfans, et les feront bap- 
tiser, et viuront comme eux iusques a tant que Dieu y ait autre- 
ment pourueu, et s'y out este a ceste Pentecoste que hommes et 
femmes et enfans plus de quatre vingts baptisez : et Dieu par sa 
grace leur vueille tellement confermer en nostra foy, que se soit 
bonne exemple a tout le pays de par de^a. II ne faut point fairc 
de doute que si Monsieur de Bethencourt pent venir, et qu'il 
east vn pen d'ayde de quelque Prince, on ne conquerroit pas 
seulement les isles de Canare, on conquerroit beaucoup de plus 
grands pays dequoy il est bien pcu de mention, et de bon, d'aussi 
bon s'il soit gueres au mondc, et do bien peuple de gens mescreaus, 
et de diuerses loix, et de diuers laugagcs. Se ledit Gadifer eust 


would have put their prisoners to ransom, they would soon 
have recovered the expenses of the expedition. But God 
forbid that they should have done so, for most of them re- 
ceived baptism. And God forbid that they should ever be 
forced to sell them ! But they were amazed at receiving no 
tidings from M. de Bethencourt, and at seeing no ships 
arrive from Spain or elsewhere which were wont to frequent 
those parts, for they stood in great need of refreshment and 
comfort, and prayed God of His mercy to send them relief. 

Chapter XXXV. — How ]\I. dc Bethencourt's vessel arrived with 


God's work is not long a-doing, and things are soon 
changed when it pleases Him ; for He sees and knows the 
thoughts and imaginations of the heart, and never forgets 
them who trust in Him, but brings them speedy comfort. 

voulu et ses compagnons prendre les prisonniers a renson, ils 
eussent bien recouuert les frais qui leur ont couste en ce voyage. 
Mais ja Dieu ne plaise, car la plupart se font baptizer, et ja 
Dieu ne plaise que necessite les contraigne qu'il conuinst qu'ils 
fussent vendus ; mais ils sont esbahies que Monsieur de Bethen- 
court n'envioye quelques nouuelles, ou qu'il ue vient quelque 
nauire d'Espagne ou d'ailleurs, qui ont accoustumc de venir et 
frequenter en ces marches ; car ils ont grande necessite d'estre 
rafraichis et reconfortez, que Dieu ])ar sa grace y veuille re- 

CuApn'RE XXXV. — Comment la barge do Monsieur de Bcthcncourt 
arriua Men authorisee. 

En pcu d'hcure Dieu labcurc, les clioses sont bie tost muees 
quaud il plaist a Dieu, car il voit et cognoist les ponscos cfc 
volonte des couurs, et u'oublie iamais ccux {|ui ont en luy bonne 
esperancc, et sout a ccste lieui'c reconfortez. 11 arriuu vne 


There arrived at the port of Graciosa a vessel from M. do 
Bethciicourt, which cheered their hearts, and supplied them 
with victuals and other necessities. There were in the 
vessel more than eighty men, although more than forty-four 
of them were almost laid up. The King of Castile had 
given them to M. dc Bethencourt, with a store of arms and 
provisions. And, as has before been said, M. de Betlien- 
court sent letters to Mcssire Gadifer de la Salle, in which, 
among other things, he informed him of his having done 
homage to the King of Castile for the Canary Islands. 
This vexed Gadifer, and made him less cheerful than usual 
in his manner, Avhich astonished his companions who were 
ignorant of the cause, and only knew of the reasons he had 
for rejoicing. Every one knew that M. de Bethencourt had 
done homage for the islands, but did not suspect that that was 
the cause of Gadifer's displeasure, and he enlightened none 
of them, but calmed himself and shewed his vexation as 

barque au port de I'lsle Graeieuse, que Monsieur de Bethen- 
court leur a transmis, dequoy ils furent tous ioyeux et en furent 
rafraischis et rauitaillez. II y auoit bien en la barque plus de 
quatrevingts hommes, dont il y en auoit plus de quarante-quatre 
en poinct de se trouuer sur les rens ; car le Roy de Castillo las 
auoit baillez a Monsieur de Bethencourt, et si y auoit de plusieurs 
artilleries et de viures assez : et comme i'ay deuant dit, le siour 
de Bethencourt a rescrit a Messire Gadiffer de la Salle vnes 
lettres ; ausquelles il lui rescriuoit plusieurs cliozcs, entre les- 
quelles il luy mandoit qu'il auoit fait bommage au Roy de Cas- 
tille des Isles de Canare de laquelle chose il n'en estoit pas 
ioyeux, et ne faisoit point si bonne chere qu'il vouloit faire. Les 
gentils-hommes et les compagnons s'en emerueilloient, car il 
scmbloit qu'il deuoit faire bonne chei'e, et qu'il n'auoit pas autre 
cause, mais nul ne peut s9auoir que c'estoit. Les nouuelles 
estoient par tout que Monsieur de Bethencourt auoit fait hom- 
mage au Roy de Castille, des Isles de Canare. Mais iamais per- 
sonne n'eust pense que ce fat este a cetto cause, et ledit Gadifer 
ne s'en fust dcscouucrt en nulluy : II s'appaisa, et en fit le moins 


little as possible. Also, tlie master of the ship and of the 
bark told them of the fate of the traitors who had injured 
them whose names are mentioned above, on whom God had 
worked His Will and punished them for their sins ; for 
some were drowned off the coast of Barbary, and some were 
in their own country in punishment and disgrace. And 
now occurred a great marvel; for one of the boats of 
Gadifer's ship — that one which the Gascons had taken in 
the month of October of 1402, when they were drowned off 
the coast of Barbary — returned safe and sound from the 
place where they had perished, a distance of five hundred 
leagues,^ and arrived at the port of Graciosa in the August 
of 1403, at the same place whence they had taken it when 
the traitor Berthin deserted them and set them on shore. 
This was hailed as a great boon, for they needed the boat 
greatly; and now that the bark was come with the men and 
provisions, Gadifer gave them the best welcome he could, 
though with a heavy heart. He asked what news they 

semblant qu'il pent : Item le maistre de la nef et barqtie leur dit 
au vray qu'estoient deueuus les traistres qui taut leur ont fait de 
mal, desquels les noms sont cy deuant declarez ; ausquels Dieu y 
a monstre son bon plaisir, et en a prins vengeace du mal qu'ils 
leur out fait. Car les vns sont en Barbarie noyez, et les autres 
sont a leur pays a honte et a des-honneur, et est aduenu vne 
grande m.erueille: car I'vn des bateaux de la nef Gadiffer, que les 
Gascons qui la estoient amenerent au mois d'Ofitobre mil quatre 
cens et deux, auquel ils sont noyez et perls en la costc de Bar- 
barie, est reuenu sain et entier de plus de cinq cens licues d'icy, 
la oil ils furent noyez, et arriua au port de I'isle Gratieuse au 
mois d'Aoust, mil quatre cens et trois, en la propre place oii ils 
auoient prins, quand le traisti'e Bertliin les cut trains, et fait 
bouter hors de la nef la oil ils estoient et mettrc ji terre ; et ce 
tenoicnt-ils a moult grand chose : car c'est vn grand reconfort 
jiour eux. Or est la barque recueillie et les gens et les viuros, et 
leur fit ledit Gadifer la raeilleure chare qu'il peut, prcuez qu'il ne 

An exat;;n:cr;itio)i, more likely twn liiiinlrcd iiiilos at tlio most. 


brought from Castile, and the master of the vessel replied : 
'^ I know of none but that the King had welcomed M. de 
Bethencourt, who will soon be here ; but he had sent Mme. 
de Betheucourt back to Normandy, where I believe she 
now is. It is now some time since I left the country, and 
even then he was making every preparation for his return 
hither, for which he is very anxious ; and we must not fail 
to do the best we can till he arrives." To which Gadifer 
replied : " We shall not fail, nor cease to labour, though he 
be absent, as we have hitherto done.^^ 

CHArxEii XXXVI. — How Gadifer left Lancerote in the barge to in- 
spect all tlie other islands. 

After M. de Bethencourt^s vessel had arrived at Rubicon 
and unloaded her cargo of provisions (wine, corn, etc.), 
Messire Gadifer went on board of her with the greater part 

fut pas trop ioyeux; il leur demanda des nouuelles de Castille, et 
le maistre de la nef luy respondit qu'il n'en s9auoit nulles, fors 
que le Roy f:iit bonne chore a Monsieur de Betbencourt, et sera 
de bref par de9a, mais qu'il ait fait mener Madame de Bethen- 
conrt en N'ormandie ; et ie cuide de ceste heure qu'elle y est ; B 
y a ja grand' piece que ie suis party du pays, et il se hastoit fort 
des a done de I'enuoyer, a celle fin qu'il retournast par de(^a: car 
il luy ennuye tres-fort qu'il n'est par de9a, et seurement il y sera 
de bref, il ne faut pas laisser a faire du mieux que Ton pourra 
tant qu'il soit veuu. Si respondit Gadiffer, aussi fera non dea, on 
ne lairra pas a besongncr si n'y est, nyent plus qu'on a fait. 

Chapitre XXXVI. — Comme celle targe partit dp. VIsle Lancerote 
pour visiter toutes les autres isles. 

Et apres que la barge de Monsieur de Bethencourt fut arriuee 
au port de Rubicon, et ils eurent recucillis tons les viures qui y 
estoient, vins, et farincs, et autres choscs ; Messire Gadifer se 


of his company, and put to sea to visit the other islands on 
behalf of M. de Bethencourt with a view to their future 
conquest. The master and crew of the bark were moreover 
very anxious to secure some of the produce of these parts, 
which would bring them great profit in Castile, such as 
skins, fat, orchil,^ (which is very valuable, and is used for 
dyeing), dates, dragon's blood, and many other things. For 

partit et se niit en la mer dedans la barque auec la pluspart de la 
compagnie, pour aller visiter les autres isles, pour Monsieur de 
Bethencourt, et pour la conqueste qui, se Dieu plaist, se fera a 
bonne fin. Aussi le maistre de barque et les compagnons 
auoient grand desir de gaigner, pour remporter des besougnes de 
par de9a, pour y gaigner en Castille, car ils peuuent emporter 
plusieurs manieres de marchandises, comrae cuirs, gresses, our- 
soUe, qui vaut beaucoup d'argent qui sert a tainture, dattes, sang 
drago, et plusieurs autres choses qui sont au pays : car lesdites 

• Orchil ; Ital. orciglia, Span, orchilla. This lichen yielding a beautiful 
purple dye was for centuries imported largely, and still is imported, 
from the Canaries and the other Atlantic islands, especially the Cape 
Verde Islands, though by far the largest quantity has in recent times 
been brought from the east coast of Africa. Some have supposed, from 
the passage now under the reader's notice, that this jalant was first 
found in the Canary Islands, but it was known and in use as a dye long 
before the time of Bethencourt. We learn from the Istoria Genealogica 
delle famiglie nohili Toscane of Eugenio Gamurrini, Fiorenza, 1668, 
vol. i, p. 274, that the noble Florentine family of the Rucellai derived 
their name from the secret of dyeing with orciglia, introduced for the 
first time into Italy from the Levant by one of their ancestors. The 
date of this event is placed by the Giornale de" Letter ati d' Italia., torn. 
33, part 1, art. 6, p. 231, about the year 1300. Hence the family were 
named Oricellari, frequently mentioned in the archives of Florence. 
This name by corruption became llucellari and llucellai, and from it 
comes the modern botanical name of the lichen " Koccella tinctoria." 
The dye itself is called " oricello," and I venture to surmise that this 
word is derived from the Latin "oricella" or "auricella" (the diminutive, 
of auricula), the lower fleshy part of the ear, an idea wliich the con- 
sistency and feel of the plaut wlien growing may have suggested. — 
R. II. IM. 


these islands were uuder the protection and dominion of M. 
de Bethencourt, who had made a proclamation on the part 
of the King' of Castile that none should visit them but by 
his permission, he having gained that privilege from the 
King, of which fact Gadifer, when he went to the islands, 
was ignorant. They arrived at the island of Erbanie, where 
Gadifer disembarked with Remonnet de Leneden, Hanne- 
quin d'Auberbosc, Pierre de Revil (or Eeuil), Jamet de 
Barege, and others of the company, together with their 
prisoners and two Canarian guides. 

Chapter XXXVIT. — How Gadifer landed on the island of Erbanie. 

A few days after the lauding of Gadifer in the island of 
Erbanie, he and Eemonnet de Leneden, with thirty-five 
companions, started for the river Vien de Palmes to see if 
they could come upon any of the natives, and nearly reached 

isles estoient et sont en la protection et seigneurie de Monsieur 
de Bethencourt et auoit-on crie de par le Roy de Castille que nul 
n'y allast sinon par son conge, car ainsi auoit il impetre du Roy ; 
lequel Gadiffer quand il vint es isles il ne sgauoit mie que c'estoit. 
Et arriuerent en I'isle d'Albanye, et descendit ledit Gadifer, 
Remonnet de Leneden, Hannequin d'Auberbosc, Pierre de Reuil, 
lamet de Barege, auec autres de ceux de la compagnie, et du 
nauire et des prisonniers qu'ils auoient, et deux Canariens pour 
les conduire. 

Chapitke XXXVII. — Gadifer part de la barge pour aller en VIsle 

d' Erbanie. 

Qvand Gadifer fut passe auec la barque en I'isle dAlbanie, 
aucuns iours apres se partit luy et Remonnet de Leneden, et les 
compagnous de la barque iusques au nombre de trente cinq 
hommes pour aller a Ruissel de Palmes veoir s'ils pourroient 
rencontrer aucuns de leurs ennemis : et arriuerent pres de la 



it by nightfall. They came upon a fountain^ by which they 
rested a while, and then began to climb a high mountain 
whence they could overlook a great jDart of the country; and 
when they were halfway up the mountain^the Spaniards would 
go no farther, but twenty-one of them turned back, most of 
them cross-bow men. Gadifer was much displeased, but 
kept on his road with his twelve remaining men, only two 
of whom were archers. After reaching the summit, 
he took six companions and went to the place where the 
river falls into the sea, to ascertain whether there were any 
harbour; and then returning up the stream, found Remonnet 
de Leneden and his companions waiting for him at the en- 
trance of the Palm Grove, which is wonderfully difficult of 
access, and is only two stones^ throw in length and two or three 
lances broad. They found it necessary to take off their shoes 
to pass over the slabs of marble, which were so smooth and 
slippery that they could only cross them on hands and feet, 
and even those who were behind had to hold the ends of 

par nuict, et ti-ouuerent vne fontaine la ou ils se reposeret vn 
peu, puis comencerent a moter vne haute motaigne ; dequo}'' Ton 
peut bie aduiser vne grand' partie du pays ; et quand ils furent 
bien my-voye de la montaigue, les Espagnols ne voulurent aller 
non plus auant, et s'en retournerent vingt et vn qu'ils estoient 
Arballestriers la plus grand' parfcie d'eux, et quand Gadifer vit 
cela il n'en fut pas ioyeux, et s'en alia son chemin luy treizieme, 
et n'y auoit que deux archers. Quand ils furent a mont, il print 
six compagnons, et s'en alia la ou le ruisseau chet en la mer, 
pour s9auou' s'il y auoit aucun port : et puis s'en retourna con- 
tremont le ruisseau, et trouua Remonnet de Leneden et les com- 
pagnons qui I'attendoient a I'entree dcs palmiers ; lii est I'entree 
si forte quo c'est vne merucille, et no dare pas plus de deux iets 
do picrre, efc do deux ou trois lances de large ; et lour coiuiiut 
deschuusser leurs soulliers pour passer sur les pierres de marbres 
et estoient si honnies et si glissantes qu'on no s'y pouuoit tenir 
fors a quati'e pieds, et encor conaonoit-il qvu^ les deniiers ap- 


their lances for the foremost to push their feet against, and 
they, when safely over, in their turn pulled the hindmost 
after them ; beyond, the valley was lovely and unbroken, 
and very pleasant : it was shaded by about eight hundred 
palm trees in groups of a hundred and twenty-six, with 
streams running between them; they were more than twenty 
fathoms high, like the masts of a ship, and were so green 
and leafy and full of fruit that they were a goodly sight to 
behold. There they dined in the shade on the turf, near 
the running brooks, and rested awhile, for they were very 

Chapter XXXVIIl. — How they came upon their enemies. 

They then resumed their journey, and climbed the side of 
a great hill, and sent forward three of their number, who, 

puyassent les pieds a ceux des autres de deuant auec les bouts 
des lances, et puis tu'oient les derniers apres eux : et quand on 
est outre, Ton trouue le val bel et honny, et moult delectable, et 
y peut bien auoir huict cens palmiers qui ombroient la vallee, et 
les ruisseaux des fontaines qui courent parmy, et sont par 
troupeaux cent et six vingts ensemble, aussi longs comma mats 
de nef, de plus de vingt brasses de hault, si verds et si feiiillus, 
et tant chargez de dattes que c'est vne moult belle chose a re- 
garder. Et la se disnerent sous le bel ombre sur I'herbe verte, 
pres des ruisseaux courans, et 1^ se reposerent vn petit, car ils 
estoient moult lassez. 

Chapitre XXXVIIl. — Comme ils s'entr'encontrerent sur leurs 

Apres se mirent au chemin et monterent vne grand coste, et 
ordona trois compagnons pour aller deuant assez longuet ; et 
qiiand ces trois compagnons furet vn peu eslongnez, ils encon- 



when tliey had gone some distance^ came upon their enemies, 
whom they attacked and put to flight. Pierre the Canarian 
captured a woman, and caught two others in a cavern, one 
of whom had a little child at the breast, which she strangled, 
it is supposed from fear of its crying. • Meanwhile Gadifer 
and the others knew nothing of all this, but suspecting that 
in so fruitful a country as the plain before them there must 
be inhabitants, he arranged his men wide apart, so as to 
cover as much ground as possible, for there were only 
eleven left. 

Chapter XXXIX. — How those whom they encountered in the 
fruitful country attacked the Castilians. 

It happened that the Castilians who remained with them 
came upon a band of about fifty natives, who ran at them 
and held them in check till their wives and children 
were out of reach. Their companions, who were scattered 

trerent leurs ennerais et leur coururent sus, et les mirent en 
chasse, et leur tollit Pierre le Canare vne femrae, et en prit 
deux autres en vne cauerne, dent I'vne auoit vn petit enfant 
allaitant qu'elle estrangla : en pense bien que ce fust pour doute 
qu'il ne criast. Mais Gadifer ne les antres ne s(j"auoient de tout 
ce fait, sinon qu'ils se douterent bien qu'eu vn fort pays qui 
estoit la deuat en la plaine auoit des gens. Si ordonna Gadifer 
de si peu de gens qu'il auoit a couiprendre tout ce mauuais 
pays; et se rengerent assez loing I'vn de I'autre: car ils n'estoient 
demeurez derriere que onze. 

Chapitre XXXIX. — Comment ceux qu'ils encontrerent att fort 
Pays coururent sus aiu Castilians. 

Si aduint que les Castilians qui estoient demourez auec cux, si 
arriuerent sur vne compagnie de gens qui estoient enuiron 
cinquante personnes ; Icsquels coururent aux Castilians, et les 
enchanterent, tant que leurs femnios et leurs enfaus fui'ent 


ill difFereiit directions, hastened to their help with all 
speed, the first who arrived being Remonnet de Leneden all 
alone, wlio threw himself upon the natives, but was sur- 
rounded, and but for Hannequin d^Auberbosc, who attacked 
them vigorousl}^, and made them give way, would have 
been in peril of his life. Then in the moment of need came 
Geoffrey d'Auzonville, armed with a bow, and completed 
the discomfiture of the natives. Gadifer, who was near 
the scene of the encounter with three companions, came up 
as quickly as he could and made straight for the mountains, 
whither the Canarians had fled; but before thej could meet, 
the night overtook them, and though they came within 
speaking distance, they could hardly see one another. It 
was so dark that with great difficulty he collected his men 
together; and when, after walking all night, they reached 
the vessel, they had only taken four women, though the 
chase had lasted from vespers till midnight, and they were 
so tired that they could liardly drag one step before the 
other. But for the sudden nightfall which surprised 

esloignez. Les autres compagnons qui estoient de bien loin 
espartis se tray ret vers le cry le plus tost qu'ils purent, efc arriua 
premier Remonnet de Leneden tout seul, qui leur courut sus, 
mais lis rencloiret entre eux : et ne se fust Hannequin d'Auber- 
bose, qui la serrement vint ferir entre eux, et apertement fit 
guerpir la place ; Remonnet esi^oit en peril de mort. Aussi il 
survint Geoflfroy dAuzonuille atout un arc en sa main, et bien 
leur estoit besoin, et les mit du tout en fuite. Mais Gadifer qui 
estoit bien auant au fort pays venoit tant qu'il pouuoit, soy 
quatriesme, et print le cliemin droit aux montagnes, la ou ils 
tiroient leur en aller ; et vcuoit au deuant quand la nuict le sur- 
print, et en fut si pres qu'il parla a eux, et a grand' peine s'entre 
trouuerent entre eux, tant faisoit obscur, et s'eu reuindrent tout 
nuict a la barque, et ne peurent riens prindre fors que quatre 
femmes, et dura la cbasse de haute-heure de vespre iusques a la 
nuit, et furent si lassez d'vne part et d'autre que a peine peurent 
ils haster leurs pas, et se n'eust esle robscurite de la nuict qui 


Gadifer and his companions^ not one of the Canarians would 
have escaped them, though the Castilians had hung back from 
the beginning and had not joined in the chase. After this, 
Gadifer would not trust them throughout the voyage, 
which lasted for about three months, till M. de Bethencourt 
came to the country with an entirely fresh crew. 

Chapter XL. — How Gadifer passed over into the Great Canary, and 
spoke with the people of the country. 

They then quitted Erbanie, and arriving at the Great 
Canary at the hour of prime, they entered a large harbour, 
between Feldes and Argonnez, where about five hundred 
Canarians came out to speak with them, two-and-twenty of 
whom were persuaded to come on to the vessel and ex- 
change figs and dragon^s blood for fishing hooks, old iron, 
and little knives. The drag-on^s blood was well worth two 

surprint Gadifer et ses copagnons, il n'en fust ia eschape nulluy, 
et des le commencement les Castilians s'arresterent, et ne 
furent point a la chasse. Et oncques puis Gadifer ne s'y voulut 
fier en tout le voyage, trois mois ou enuiron, iusques a tant que 
Monsieur de Bethencourt vinst au pays a tout vne autre com- 

Chapitbe XL. — Comment Gadifer passa d, la grand' Canare et 
parla aux gens du pays. 

Et lors se partirent d'Erbanie et arriuereut en la grand Canare 
a heure de Prime, entrerent en vn grand port, qui est entre 
Eeldes et Argonnez, et la sur le port vindrent des Canares 
enuiron cinq cens, et parlerent a eux, et venoient a la barque 
vingt et deux tous ensemble, apres qu'ils les auoient asseurez, et 
leur apportoient des figixes et du sang du dragon, qu'ils changeoiet 
pour haing a pescher, et pour vieille ferraille de fer, et pour 
petits cousteaux, et eurent du sang du dragon, qui valloit bicn 


hundred ducats, while what was given in exchange was 
hardly worth two francs. When they had gone away and 
their hoat was near the shore, they began quarrelling, and 
the commotion lasted for a long while. When it was over, 
they put out to sea again, and came to the bark as before, 
bringing their articles of traffic, and this lasted all through 
the two days that the ship remained there. Gadifer also 
sent Pierre the Canarian to speak with the King, who was 
five leagues distant, and as he did not return exactly at the 
appointed time, the Spaniards who were masters of the 
vessel, would not. wait, but set sail, and went four leagues 
off to take in water, but were prevented from landing by 
the Canarians, who never fail to attack any small force 
which seeks to enter their country, for there are a great 
number of nobles amongst them, according to their condition 
and manner of life. In this place we found the testament of 
the thirteen Christian brothers who had been killed by the 
natives twelve years before. The Canarians killed them. 

deux cens doubles d'or, et tout tant qu'ils leur baillerent ne 
valloit mie deux francs. Et puis quand ils estoient retraits, et 
le bastel s'accoustoit a terre, ils couroient sus I'vn a I'autre, et 
duroit rescarmouche vne grand' piece. Quand cela estoit passe, 
ils se remettoient en la mer, et venoient en la barque comme 
deuant, et apportoient de leurs choses, et dura ce fait deux iours 
qu'ils furent la ; et transmit Gadifer Pierre de Canare parler au 
Roy, qui estoit a cinq lieues de la. Et pource qu'il ne retourna 
mie a la droite heure qu'il deuoit retourner, las Espagnols qui 
estoient maistres de la barque ne vouloient plus attendre, ains 
firent voile, et s'en allerent a quatre lieues de la, et cuiderent 
prendre eau, mais les Canares ne les laisserent prendre terre, et 
sans faute ils combattront qui y entrera a peu de gens, car ils 
font grand quantite de nobles gens selon leur estat et leur 
maniere; et nous auons trouue le testament dcs Freres Chrestiens 
qu'ils tuerent ores a douze ans qui estoient treize j^ersonnes ; 
pour ce les tuerent selon que dieut les Canares, car ils auoient 


according to their own account^ for having sent into Christian 
countries a bad account of these people, among whom they 
had lived seven years promulgating the articles of the faith. 
The testament warned all who might read it to beware of trust- 
ing the natives, in spite of their fair seeming, for that they were 
traitors by nature, although six thousand of them were of 
gentle blood. Nevertheless, Gadifer resolved, if he could get a 
hundred archers and as many fighting men, to enter the 
country, take up a strong position, and there remain till by 
God^s help he had subjugated the people and converted 
them to the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Chapter XLI. — How the company left the Great Canary, and, 
passing by Ferro, came to Gomera. 

The company then departed and resumed their journey 
to the other islands, and when they came to Ferro, they 
coasted along it without landing, and passed straight on to 
Gomera, where they arrived in the night, and found the 

transmis lettres en terre des Chrestiens alencoatre d'eux auec 
lesquels lis auoient demoure sept ans, qui de iour en ioiir leur 
annoncerent les articles de la foy ; lequel testament dit ainsi, que 
nul ne se doit fier a eux pour beau serablant qu'ils facent, car ils 
sont traistres de nature, et se disent entre eux six mille gentils- 
homraes. Si est le propos Gadifer que s'il pent finer de cent 
archers ; et autant d'autres gens, d'entrer au pays, et soy fortifier 
et demourer iusques a taut que a Taido de Dieu il soy mis en 
nostre subicctiou ot a la foy de nostra Seigneur lesus Christ. 

Chapitue XLI. — Comment la compagnie se partit de la Grand' 
Canare, et passa Visle de Fer, iusques d V isle de Gomere. 

Et lors se partircnt la compagnie, et prindrent le chemin pour 
aller visiter toutes les autres isles ; et vindrent a I'isle de Fer, et 
les cosfcierent tout du long sans prendre terre, efc passerent tout 
droit en I'isle de Gomere, et arriuerent par nnit, ct ceux de I'islc 


natives making fires on the shore. They accordingly sent 
some of the crow in a boat in the direction of the fires^ who, 
finding a man and three women, captured them and brought 
them back to the vessel. There they remained till day- 
break, when some of them landed to take in water, but the 
people of the country assembled and attacked them, so that, 
the position of the ground being against them, they were 
forced to return to the ship without taking in water. 

Chapter XLII. — How Gadifer and his company left Gomera and 
came to Ferro, where they remained twenty-two days. 

Soon afterwards they departed and took the road to the 
island of Palma, but a great storm and a contrary wind 
drove them towards Ferro, where they arrived in the day- 
time and landed. There they remained at least twenty-two 
days, and took four women and a child. They found great 

faisoient du feu en aucuns heux sur le riuage de la mer, si se 
mirent les compagnons en vn coquet, et descendirent au feu, et 
trouuerent vn homnae et trois femmes qu'ils prindrent et les 
amenerent a la barque, et la demeurerent iusques au iour, et puis 
descendirent aucuns pour prendre eau ; mais les gens du pays 
s'assemblerent, et leur coururenfc sus, et tant qu'ils furent con- 
traincts eux en retourner a la barque saus prendre eau ; car la 
place estoit en trop grand desauantage pour nos gens. 

Chapitre XLII. — Comment Gadifer et la compagnie se partlrent de 
la Gomere, et vindrent en Visle de Fer, la otl Us demourent 
vingt deux iours. 

Apres se partirent de la, et prindrent leur chemin en I'isle de 
Palmes, mais ils eurent vent contraire et grand tourment ; et 
leur conuint tenir le chemin de I'isle de Fer, et y arriuerent de 
iour et prindrent terre : et la demourerent bonne piece vingt 
deux iours : et prindrent quatre femmes et vn enfant, ct trouuerent 


numbers of pigs^ goats^ and sheep, though the country is 
very barren all round for a league from the shore ; but in 
the centre of the island, which is very high, the country is 
fertile and pleasant, and full of large groves, which are 
green in all seasons ; it contains more than a hundred 
thousand pine trees, most of which are so thick that two 
men can hardly make their arms meet round them ; the 
water is good and plentiful, for it often rains in those parts; 
and quails abound in astonishing quantities. There are now 
very few inhabitants in this place, for every year some of 
them are carried off" captive, and in 1402, it is said that 
no less than four hundred of them were taken ; still, those 
who were then in the island would have spoken with the 
Christians if they had had an interpreter. 

Chapter XLIII. — Ilow they passed over into Palma and returned 
from the other group, coasting along the islands. 

Having found means to secure an interpreter, who knew 

pores, chieures, brebis grand plaute, et est le pays tres mauuais, 
vne lieue tout en tout par deuers la mer ; mais sur le milieu du 
pays qui est moult haut, est beau pays et delectable, et y sont les 
boccages grands, et sont vers en toutes saisons, et y a des pins 
plus de cent mille, dequoy la plus grande partie sont si gros que 
deux bommes ne les sgauroient embrasscr, et y sont les eaux 
bones a grand plante, et tant de cailles que raerueilles, et y pleut 
souuent ; et ne sont or endroit que peu des gens, car cbacun an 
on les prend : et encor I'an mil quatre cens et deux, il fut prins, 
selon ce que Ion dit, quatre ceus personnes; mais ceux qui y sont 
a present feussent veims s'il y oust eu quelquc truchenient. 

CiiAPiTRE XLIII. — Cunimerd Us passevent en, Vide de Palmes, puis 
retournerent de Vautre Bende, costeaut les Isles. 

Si a dcpuis trouue maniere d'auoir vn truchemcnt qui S9ache 


the country and spoke the language of this island and the 
others, they departed and went straight on to Palma, where 
they anchored to the right of a river which fell into the sea, 
and having supplied themselves with water for their return, 
again set sail. When they had passed the island of Palma, 
they had so good a wind that in two days and nights they 
reached the port of Eubicon, a distance of five hundred 
miles, having coasted along the other group of islands with- 
out landing anywhere. After an absence of about three 
months, they found their companions like themselves well 
and hearty, and more than a hundred prisoners in the castle 
of Rubicon. They had killed many natives, and reduced 
the others to such extremity that they knew no longer what 
to do, but came from day to day to throw themselves upon 
their mercy, so that hardly any who remained alive were 
unbaptised, especially of those who might have given trouble 
and been too much for them. The island of Lancerote, in 
which there were only three hundred men when they first 

le pays, et parler le langage pour entrer en icelle isle et es autres; 
puis se partirent, et s'en allereut tout entour par dela droit en 
I'isle de Palmes, et print port au droit dVne riuiere qui chat en 
la mer, et la se fournireut d'eau pour leur retour, et se partirent 
de la : et quand ils em-ent double I'isle de Palmes, ils eurent si 
bon vent qu'ils furent en deux iours et deux nuits au port de 
Rubicon, la oii il y a cinq cens mil entre deux ; et s'en vindrent 
costeant de I'autre bende toutes les isles iusques audit port sans 
predre port nulle part; et auoient demeure trois mois on enuiron 
et reuindrent sains et haitiez, et trouuerent les compagnons en 
bon poinct, qui auoient plus de cent prisonniers en chastel de 
Rubicon ; et y en auoit en grand foison de morts, et tenoient 
leurs ennemis en telle necessite qu'ils ne sgauoient plus que faire, 
et se venoient de iour en iour reudre en leur mercy; puis les vns 
puis les autres ; tant qu'ils sont demourez pen de gens en vie 
qu'ils ne soient baptizes ; et specialement des gens qui les 
puissent greuer et sont au dessus de leur fait. Quant a I'isle de 
Lancerote en laquelle auoit plus de deulx cens homnics, quad ils 


arrivedj is a pleasant little island^ twelve leagues in length 
by four in breadth^ and here M. de Bethencourt landed in 
July 1402. 

Chapter XLIV. — How Gadifer visited all the other islands, and what 
advantages they possessed. 

Gadifer also visited all the other islands by the direction 
of M. de Bethencourtj in order to discover the best means 
of conquering them. Having visited and remained in them 
some time, he was able to observe their peculiarities and 
the profit to which they might be put. They were very 
fruitful and pleasant, with a healthy and agreeable climate, 
and he saw no reason to doubt that if they fell into skilful 
hands, such as there were in France, they would prove very 
profitable, and that if, please God, M. de Bethencourt would 
return, the enterprise might be brought to a successful con- 

y arriuerent ; c'est vne bonne petite isle qui ne contient que 
dotize lioues de long et quatre de large, et y descendit Monsieur 
de Bethencourt au niois de Juillet, mil quatre cens et deux. 

Chapitre XLIV. — Comment toutes les autres Isles ftirent vlsltees 
de Gadifer, et de quelles vertus elles estoievt. 

Et quant des autres isles, Monsieur de Bethencourt les a faict 
visiter par Messire Gadiffer et autres cliargez de ce faire, et tant 
qu'ils ont aduise comment elles seront conquises, et y ont fre- 
quente et demeure par espace de temps, et ont veu et cogncu de 
quelles maniei'os et de quel profit ils sont ; et sont de grand pro- 
fit et fort plaisantes, et en bon air et gracieux, et ne faut point 
doubter que s'il y auoit des gens commo il y a en France, qui 
sceussent faire leur profit, ce seroicnt vncs fort bonnes isles, et 
profitables; et si phxist a Dieu que ]\[onsieur de Betliencourt soit 
Venn, au plaisir de Dieu on en viendra a cliof el bonne intention. 


CuAPTKR XLV. — How ISI. de Bethencourt arrived at Rubicon in the 
island of Lanceroto and the welcome he received. 

On the same day that the bark arrived at Rubicon, on re- 
turning from the islands, she again set sail and anchored in 
another port, called Aratif, [or Alcatif ] and made the natives 
supply her with meat for her return. Thence she set sail for 
Spain, carrying with her a gentleman named Geoffrey 
d'Ausonville, whom Gadifer had sent with letters to M. de 
Bethencourt acquainting him with the state of things, and 
of all that had been done in the said bark. But before the 
vessel reached Spain, M. de Bethencourt had arrived at 
Rubicon with a small but gallant company, and received 
such a welcome from Gadifer and his companions as would 
be difficult to describe. Then came the Canarians who had been 
baptized, and prostrated themselves upon the ground to do 
him reverence, according to the custom of their country, signi- 
fying by this action that in everything they threw them- 

Chapitre XLV. — Comment Monsieur de Bethencoiirt arriua a 
Rubicon en VIsle Lancerote, et la chere qri'on luy fit. 

Le iour proprement que la barque arriua au port de Rubicon 
au retour des isles, la barque se partit et s'en alia en vn autre 
port nomme I'Aratif, la leur fit-on liurer chair pour leur retour, 
et se partirent de la pour eux en aller en leurs pa3's en Espagne, 
et la transmit veoir M. de Bethencourt par GadifFer vn gentil- 
homme nome Geofray d'Ausonuille, lequel porta lettres a Mon- 
sieur de Betlieucourt come tout se portoit, et tout le demaine que 
ladite barque auoit faict; mais deuant qu'icelle barque arriuait en 
Espagne, Monsieur de Betbencourt fut arriue au port de Rubicon 
a belle petite compagnie, et Messire Gadifer et toute la com- 
pagnie vindrent au deuant de luy, on ne sgauroit dire la grand' 
chere qu'on luy faisoit. La y vindrent les Canariens qui s'estoient 
faict baptiser, qui se couchoient a terre en luy cuidant faire 
reuerence, disant que c'est la coustume du pais, et leur maniere 
et disont que c'est a dire quand ils se couchent que dn tout ils se 


selves upon liis clemency and mercy ; both, great and small 
miglit be seen weeping for joy^ so that the news reached the 
King who had so often been taken and escaped again ; and 
he and his party were so terrified that before three days 
were out, he was taken again, with eighteen companions, 
though not without difficulty. When he was taken, they 
found plenty of barley and other provisions ; and when the 
other Canarians saw that their King was taken, and that 
they could no longer hold out, they came every day to yield 
obeisance to M. de Bethencourt, of whom at last the King 
begged an audience. He was led before him in the presence 
of Messire Gadifer and several others, and prostrated himself 
before him, owning himself conquered, and throwing himself 
upon the mercy of M. de Bethencourt, of whom and of Messire 
Gadifer he besought pity, and promised to be baptized and 
all his house, at which all rejoiced, for they hoped it was a 
good opening for taking the other islands and bringing 

mettent en la grace et a la mercy de celuy a qui eela se faict ; 
vous eussiez veu pleurer tous grands et petits de ioye et tant que 
les nouuelles vindrent au Roy qui taut de fois auoit este pris, et 
s'est tousioura eschappe, et luy et tous ses alliez eurent si grand 
peur que deuat qu'il fust trois iours accomplis ledit Roy fut pris 
luy dix-neufiesme, qui leur auoit faict beaucoup de peine : ils 
trouuerent a cause de sa prise assez de viures, orges a plante et 
plusieurs autres choses ; et adonc quand le deraeurant des Canares 
vid que leur Roy estoit pris, et qu'ils n'y pouuoiet plus resister, 
ils se venoient tous les iours rendre a la mercy de Monsieur de 
Betliecourt. Le Roy requerant qu'il parlast a Monsieur de 
Bethencourt, et fut mcne vers ledit Seigneur en la presence de 
Messire Gadifer et plusieurs autres ; et adonc ledit Roy se print 
a se coucher disant qu'il se tenoit vaincu, et se mettoit en la 
mercy de Monsieur de Bethencourt, et luy cria mercy et k 
Messire Gadifer, et leur dit qu'il sc vouloit faire baptizer et tout 
son hostel, dont Monsieur de Bethencourt fut bien ioj^eux et 
touto sa compagnie; car ils esperoient que c'estoit vn grand com- 
mencement pour auoir lo dcmourant des isles, ot pour les tirer 


them to tlie Christian faith. M. de Bethencourt and Messire 
Gadifer then went and spoke together apart, and embraced 
each other, weeping for joy at having been the means of 
bringing so many souls into the way of salvation, and then 
arranged how and when they should be baptized. 

Chaptkr XLYI. — How the King of Ijancerote besought M. dc Bethen- 
court that he might be baptised. 

On Thursday, the 20th of February, 1404, just before 
Lent, the pagan King of Lancerote begged M. de Bethen- 
court to have him baptised, and accordingly he and all his 
house received baptism, at the hands of Messire Jean le 
Verrier, chaplain to M. de Bethencourt, on the first day of 
Lent. He shewed every appearance of sincerity and every hope 
of becomingagood Christian,and received from Bethen- 
court the name of Louis. After this, all in the island came 

tous a la foy Chrestienne. Monsieur de Bethencourt et Messire 
Gadifer se tirerent a part, et parlerent ensemble et s'entre- 
accollerent et baiserent pleurans IVn et I'autre de grand ioye 
qu'ils auoient d'estre cause de mettre en la voye de saluation 
tant d'ames et de personnes; et conclurent eux deux comment et 
quand ils seroient baptisez. 

Chapitre XLVI. — Comme le Hoy de Lancerote requit Monsieur de 
Bethencourt qu'ilfust haptise. 

L'an mil quatre cens et quatre, le ieudy xxv* iour de Feurier, 
deuant Caresme-prenant, le Roy de Lancerote payen, requit 
Monsieur de Bethencourt qu'il fust baptise, lequel fut baptise 
luy et son mesnage le premier iour de Caresme; et monstroit par 
semblant qu'il auoit bon vouloir et bonne esperance d'estre bon 
Chrestien, et le baptisa Messire Jean Verrier chappellain de 
Moseigneur de Bethencourt, et fut nomme de par Icdit Seigneur 
Lovys. Adonc tout le pays I'vn aprcs I'autrc se faisoit baptiser 


one by one to be baptized^ both small and great ; and there- 
fore an instruction was drawn up as simple as possible for 
the guidance of those who were already baptized, and for 
the preparation of those who by the grace of God should 
afterwards receive baptism. Brother Pierre Bontier, and 
Messire Jean le Verrier, priest, both learned clerks, com- 
piled it to the best of their ability. 

Chapter XLVII. — Of the Introduction to the Faith which M. de 
Bethencourt gave to the newly baptized Canarians. 

Firstly, there is one only Almighty God, who, in the 
beginning of the world, made the heaven and the earth, the 
sun, moon, and stars, the sea, the fishes, beasts, and birds, 
and the man who was named Adam, from one of whose 
sides He formed the woman who was named Eve, the 
mother of all living, and called her Virago, the wife of my 
side. He formed and ordained all things under Heaven, 
and created a place of great delight called the terrestrial 

et petits et grands ; et pour ce, on a ordonne vne instruction 
ainsi comme ils ont sgeu faire le plus legerement qu'ils ont peu, 
pour introduire ceux qu'ils ont baptisez, et qu'ils pensent qui 
seront baptisez d'oresnauant s'il plaist a Dieu, ledit religieux 
Messire Pierre Bontier et Messire Jean Verrier estoient assez 
bons clercs qui la firent au mieux qu'ils peurent. 

Chapitre XLVII. — G'est V introduction que Monsieur de Bethen- 
court haille aux Canariens Chrestiens baptisez. 

Premierement il est vn seul Dieu tout puissant qui au comence- 
raeut du mode forma la ciel et la terre, les estoilles, la lune et 
le soleil, la mer, les poissons, les bestes, les oiseaux, Thomme 
nomme Adam, et de I'vne des costes forma la femme nommee 
Eue, la more de tons viuans et la nomma Virago, femme de ma 
coste et forma et ordonna toutes les choses qui sont soubs le 
Cicl, et fit vn lieu moult delectable nomme Paradis Tcrrestre, la 


Paradise, in which He placed the man and the woman ; and 
there was in the beginning one only woman united to one 
only man (and whoever believes otherwise sins), and Ho 
gave them to eat of all the fruits which were therein, save 
only of one, which was expressly forbidden to them, but 
soon after, through the persuasions of the devil, who dis- 
guised himself as a serpent and tempted the woman, she 
ate of the forbidden fruit, and gave of it to her husband ; 
and for this sin God drove them from the terrestrial Para- 
dise and its pleasures, and uttered three maledictions against 
the serpent, two against the woman, and one against the 
man ; and thenceforward were condemned the souls of all 
those who should die before the Resurrection of our Lord 
Jesus Christ, who willed to take a human body of the 
Virgin Mary to redeem us from the pains of Hell to which 
all had previously been condemned. 

ou il mit rhomme et la femme; et la fut premierement vne seule 
femme conioincte en vn seul homme ; et qui autrement le croit il 
peche ; et leur abandonna a manger de tons les fruits qui la 
estoient, excepte d'vn, lequel il leur defFenclit expressement ; 
mais tantost apres par I'exhortement du diable qui se mit en 
guise d'vn serpent, et parla a la femme, et luy fit manger du 
fi'uict lequel Dieu auoit defeudu, laquelle en fit manger a son 
mary ; et par ce peche les fit Dieu bouter liors du Paradis 
terrestre et delices, et donna trois maledictions au serpent, et 
deux a la femme, et I'vne a 1' homme ; et de la en auant furent 
condamnes les ames de tous ceux qui auant la Resurrection de 
nostre Seigneur Iesvs Christ trespassoient, lequel voulut prendre 
chair humaine en la Vierge Marie pour nous tous rachepter 
des peiues d'enfer ou tous alloient iusques au temps dessus dit. 


CllArTER XLVIII. — In like manner of Noah's Ark, for the introduction 
of the natives of the island to the Faith. 

And after men had begun to multiply upon the earth, 
they committed many bad and horrible sins, at which the 
Lord's wrath was kindled, and He caused it to rain so as to 
destroy all flesh which was upon the earth ; but Noah, who 
was a just man and feared God, found grace in His sight, so 
that He warned him that He was about to destroy all flesh 
from men down to the birds, and that His Spirit should no 
longer abide among men, but that He would send upon 
them the waters of the Deluge. And He commanded him 
to make an ark of wood squared and polished, and to 
smear it within and without with bitumen. Bitumen is a 
glue so strong and tenacious that when two pieces are 
brought together and joined with it, they cannot be separated 
by any means except by the natural blood of women's 
flowers. It is found on the water in the great lakes of 
India. The ark was to be of a certain length and breadth, 

Chapitre XLVIII. — Dg mesme exemple de I'Arche de Nouel iioxir 
mtroduire ceulx de lille. 

Et apres que les gens commencerent a multiplier sur tcrre ils 
firent moult de maux et d'horriblcs pechez, dequoy nostre 
Seigneur se corron9a, et dit qu'il pleuueroit tant qu'il destruiroit 
toute chair qui estoit dessus terre. Mais Noe qui estoit homme 
iuste et Dieu craignant, trouua grace deuant luy, auquel il dit 
qu'il vouloit destruire toute chair de I'liomme iusques aux 
oiseaux, et que son esprit ue demeureroit mye en I'homme per- 
nianablement, et qu'il ameneroit les eaux du deluge sur eux, et 
luy commanda qu'il fist vne arclio de bois carre, poly, et qu'il 
I'oindroit deuant et dehors de Betun ; Bctun est vn glu si fort et 
si tenant, que quand deux pieces de fait en sent assemblees et 
ioinctes, on no les pcut par nul art des-assemblcr sinon par sang 
naturel do flours do femmes ; et le trouuo Ton flottant es grands 
lacs do Indie sur les aygues ; et qu'cllo fust de certaiue longueur 


SO that ho might place therein his wife and his three sons 
with their three wives, and of all things in which was life 
one pair of each with him. Hence do we all proceed. 
After the Deluge, when they saw that they were increased 
to great numbers, one named Nimrod sought to reign by 
force, and gathered every one to him in a plain called the 
plain of Sanaar, and they resolved to make a general divi- 
sion of the three parts of the world. Those which were 
descended from Shem, the eldest son of Noah, should have 
Asia. Those who were sprung from Ham, the second son 
of Noah, should have Africa ; and the descendants of Japhet, 
the third son, should have Europe. But before they sepa- 
rated, they commenced a tower so large and so strong that 
they intended it to reach to heaven in perpetual memorial 
of them. But God, who saw that they did not cease from 
their work, confounded their tongues in such a manner 
that no one could understand what his neighbour said ; and 
hence came the languages which we now have. Then God 
sent His Angels, who caused so strong a wind to blow that 
they overturned the tower even to near the foundations, 

et largeur, la ou il mettroit sa femme et ses trois fils et leurs 
trois femmes ; et de toutes choses portant vie mit auee luy vne 
paire de cbacun ; dequoy nous sommes tous issus. Apres le 
deluge quand ils virent qu'ils fureut multipliez grand nombre, vn 
nomme Nimbrod voulut regiier par force, et s'assemblerent tous 
en vn champ nomme le chap de Sanaar, et ordonnerent a com- 
prendre de coramun les trois parties du raonde ; et que ceux qui 
estoient descedus de Sem I'aisne fils de Noe teudroient Asie ; et 
ceux qui estoient clescendus de Cam I'autre fils de Noe tendroient 
Afrique. Mais ainchois qu'ils se departissent, ils commenceret 
vne tour si grand' et si forte, laquelle ils vouloient qu'elle vinst 
iusque au ciel en perpetuelle mcmoirc d'eux ; niais Dieu qui voit 
qu'ils ne cesseroient leur ouurage, leur confondit leur langages en 
telle maniere que nul n'entendroit la voix de I'autre, et la furent 
les langages qui au iourd'liuy sont, et puis enuoya les Anges 
qui firent si grand vent venter qu'ils abatirent la tour iusques 

G 2 


which are still visible, as reported by those who have seen 

Chapter XLIX. — Continuation of the Instruction in the Faith. 

And after that they wandered out into the three parts of 
the globe, and the generations descended from them still 
exist. Of one of their tribes issued Abraham, a perfect 
man and who feared God, to whom God gave the Promised 
Land, that is, to his descendants. And God loved them 
much and made them His holy people, and called them the 
Children of Israel, and brought them out from the bondage 
of Egypt and did great wonders for them, exalting them 
above all the nations of the world, as long as they were 
good and obedient to Him. But, in defiance of His will 
and His laws, they took to themselves women of other 
faiths, and worshipped idols and golden calves which Jero- 
boam had set up in Samaria, wherefore His anger was 
kindled against them and He destroyed them and delivered 

pres des fondemens qui encore y paroissent, ce dient ccux qui 
les ont veus. 

Chapitre XLIX. — Encore pour introduire ceulx des illes. 

Et apres se departirent es trois parties du monde, et encores 
sont les generations qui d'eux sent descendues ; et de Inno de 
ses generacions yssit Abraham homme parfait et Dieu craiguant, 
a qui Dieu donna la terro de promission, voire a ceux qui de luy 
yssiront ; et Dieu les ayma moult et les fit son sainct peuple, et 
s'appellerent les fils Israel, et les mit hors du seruage d'Egypte, 
et fit de grades merueilles pour eux, et les exauga sur toutes les 
gens du monde tant comme il les ti'ouua bons et obeissans a luy. 
Mais centre son commandement et sa volonte, ils se prindrent 
aux femmes d'autres loix, et adorerent les idoles et les viaulx 
d'or que Jeroboam avait faits en Samarie, pourquoy il se cour- 
ronca a cux, les fit destruire et les bailla es mains des paycns, et 


them into the hands of the heathen, and to the Philistinea 
many times. But as soon as they repented and appealed to 
His mercy. He deHvered them and brought them into great 
prosperity, and did for them such things as Ho did for no 
other people ; for He gave them Prophets who spoke by 
the Mouth of His Holy Spirit, and foretold things to 
come and the advent of our Lord Jesus Ciiuist, who 
should be born of a Virgin (that is to say of the Virgin 
Mary, who was descended from this people, of the race of 
King David, who was of the line of Judah, the son of 
Jacob) and that He should redeem all those who had been 
condemned by the sin of Adam. But they would not 
believe nor take knowledge of His coming, but crucified 
Him and put Him to death, notwithstanding the great 
miracles He had done before them. And therefore they 
were destroyed as everyone knows, for go where you will, 
you will find no Jews who are not in subjection to others, 
and who are not day and night in fear and dread for their 
lives ; this is how they have become so pale, as you now 
see them. 

les Pliilistins par plusieurs fois; mais tatost qu'ils sc repentoient, 
et ils luy crioient mercy il les releuoit, et les mettoit en graude 
prosperite, et fit telles choses pour eux qu'il ne fit one pour nul 
autre peuplc, car il leur donna les Prophetes qui parlerent par la 
bouche du sainct Esprit, et leur annongoient les choses a aduenir, 
et I'aduenement de nostre lesus-Christ, qui deuoit naistre d'vne 
Vierge, c'est a s9auoir la Vierge Marie, laquelle descendit de ce 
peuple, de la lignee du Roy Dauid, lequel Roy descendit de la 
lignee de lada tils de lacob, et qu'il rachepteroit tous ceux qui 
estoient condamnez par le pecbe d'Adam. Mais ils ne voulureut 
croire ne cognoistre son aduenement, ains le crucifierefc et le 
mirent a mort, nouobstant les grands miracles qu'il faisoit en 
leur presence, et pour ce sont ils ainsi destruits comme cliacun 
SQait ; car allez par tout le monde, vous ne trouuerez luifs qui ne 
soieut en suiectio d'autruy, et qui ne soit iour et nuit en peur et 
en ci'ainte tie sa vie, et pour ce sout ils aiusi descoulourez comiuo 
vous vecz. 


Chapter L. — Of the same matter for the instruction of the Canarians. 

Now, at the time that the Jews put our Lord to death, He 
had many disciples, and specially twelve (one of whom be- 
trayed Him), who were continually with Him and saw His 
great miracles : wherefore they had a firm faith, and wit- 
nessed His death, and, after His Eesurrection, He ap- 
peared to them several times, and illuminated them with 
His Holy Spirit, and commanded them to go out into all 
the world to preach concerning Him the things which they 
had seen, and told them that whosoever should believe 
in Him and be baptised should be saved ; but that all those 
who believed not in Him should be condemned. Let us, 
therefore, believe firmly that He is an Almighty All-knowing 
God, Who came down to earth, and took human flesh in 
the womb of the Virgin Mary, and lived more than two and 
thirty years, suffered and died on the tree of the Cross to 

Chapitee L. — Encores de celle mesme inatiere pour introduire les 


Or il est vraj que aincliois que les luifs mirent a mort nostre 
Seigneur lesus, il auoit moult de gens qui estoicnt ses disciples, 
et specialeraent il en auoit douze, dequoy I'vn deux le trahit ; les- 
quels estoient continuellement auec luy, et luy voyoient faire les 
grands miracles ; parquoy ils creurent fermement, ot le virent 
mourir, et apres sa resurrection s'aparut-il a eux par plusieurs 
fois, et les enlumina de son sainct Esprit, et leur comnianda 
qu'ils allassent par toutes les parties du monde preschor do hiy 
toutes les choses qu'ils avoient veues, et leur dit que tous ceux 
qui croiroient en luy et seroient baptisez seroient sauuez, et 
tous ceux qui en luy ne ci'oyoient seroient condamnez. Or 
croyons done fermement qu'il est vn Dieu tout puissant et tout 
S9acliant, qui dcscendit en terra, et print chair humaine au 
ventre de la Vierge Marie, et vesquit trento deux ans et plus ; et 
puis ])rint mort et passion en I'arbro do la Croix, pour nous 


redeem us from the pains of Hell (into which we were 
falling throuf^h the sin of Adam, our first father), and rose 
again the third day, and, between the hour of His Death 
and the liour of His Resurrection, descended into Hell, and 
drew out thence His friends and those who had been cast 
therein through the sin of Adam, and thenceforward for that 
sin none shall be cast therein. 

CriAPTEK LI. — How Ave must believe the ten Commaudincnts of the Law. 

We must believe the Ten Commandments of the Law, 
which God wrote with His Finger on two tables of stone on 
Mount Sinai a very long time ago, and gave them to Moses 
to shew to the people of Israel. There are two chief com- 
mandments : First, to believe in, to fear, and to love God 
above all things, and with all one^s heart ; and second, never 
to do to others what we would not have them do to our- 
selves. And whosoever shall keep these Commandments, 

rachcpter des pcines d'Enfer, en quoy nous descendions tous pour 
le peche d'Adam nostra premier pere, at resuscita au tiers iour, 
et entire I'heure qu'il mourut, et I'liaure qu'il rasuscita, descendit 
en enfer ; et en tira hors ses amis et ceux qui par le pecbe 
d'Adam y estoiant trasbuchez at de la en auant par ce peche nul 
n'y entrera. 

[Chapitre LI.] — Comment on doit croire les dix Commandemens 

de la Loy. 

Novs deuons croire les dix Commandements de la Loy que 
Dieu ascriuit da son doigt en deux tables au Mont de Sinay 
moult long temps deuant, et les bailla a. Moyse pour monstrer au 
peuple d'Israal, dont il y an a daux das plus principaux ; c'ast 
que Ton doit ci'oire, craindre, et ayraer Dieu sur toutes choses, et 
de tout son courage, et I'autre que Ton na doit faire a autruy co 
que I'o ne voudroit qu'autruy luy fist ; et qui gardera bien cas 
Commandements et les choses dessusdictes croira fermcmant, 


and believe firmly the above-mentioned tilings, shall be 
saved ; and we know of a truth that everything' which God 
commanded in the Old Law prefigures what He has com- 
manded in the New, as, for instance, the brazen serpent 
which Moses set up on a staff in the wilderness to cure the 
bite of the serpents, prefigures our Lord Jesus Christ, who 
was suspended on the tree of the Cross and raised on high 
to protect and defend all who should believe on Him from 
the teeth of the devil, who before that had power over all 
the souls which he had up to that time ruined. 

Chapter LII. — How we must believe in the Holy Sacrament of the Altar. 

In those days the Jews killed a lamb, which they sacrificed 
at the Passover, none of whose bones they broke, which 
prefigured our Lord Jesus Christ, Who was crucified and 
put to death on the Cross by the Jews on the day [or 
rather at the season] of the Passover, but without breaking 
his bones ; and they ate this lamb with unleavened bread, 

il sera saune. Et s^achons de vray que toutes les choses que 
Dieu commanda en hx vieille Ley, sent par figures en celles du 
nouueau testament, ainsi que seroit par figure par le serpent 
derrain que Moyse fit dresser au desert bien haut sur vn fust 
contre la morsure des serpents, qixi parfigure nostre Seigneur 
Icsus Christ qui fut pendu et leue bien haut en I'arbrc de la 
Croix, pour garder et deffendre tons ceux qui en hiy croycnt, 
contre la morsure du Diable, qui parauant auoit puissance sur 
toutes les ames lesquelles il pcrdit adoncqucs. 

[CiiApri'KE LII.] — Comme oil doit eroire le Sacremcnt de VAustel. 

En ce temps les luifs tuoicnt vn aignel dequoy ils faisoient 
leurs sacrifices Ji leurs Pasqucs, et ne luy brisoient nuls os ; 
Icquel poui'figurc nostre Seigneur Jesus Christ qui fut crucifie 
ct Tnort en la croix par les luifs le ionr dc leurs Pasqucs, sans 
liiy l>riscr nuls os, et mangerent icelny aignel auec pain azymc, 


and with tho juice of wild lettuces. Tins shews that the 
wafers for the Sacrament of the Mass should bo made with- 
out leaven, though the Greek Church holds othei*wise, and 
that because our Lord, knowing that He should die on tho 
Friday, anticipated the Passover and kept it on tho Thurs- 
day, so He probably had leavened bread ; but we, who hold 
the law of Rome, maintain that He used unleavened bread 
and the juice of wild lettuces, which is bitter and prefigures 
the bitterness of the servitude of the children of Israel in 
Egypt, from which they were delivered by the direction 
and will of God. And there are many other things which 
He said and did which are full of so great mystery that 
none but great scholars can understand them ; and for the 
sins which we have committed we must never despair, as 
did the traitor Judas, but must seek for pardon with great 
contrition of heart, confessing them devoutly, and He will 
pardon us ; also, we must never be idle, which is a great 
danger, for by the state in which He finds us when He 
comes we shall be judged. We must also keep ourselves 

c'est pain sans leuain, et auec ius de laitues champestres ; lequel 
pain nous pourfigure que Ton doit faire le Sacrament de la 
Masse sans leuain, mais les Grecs ont la contraire ; et pour ce 
que 'nostra Seigneur sgauoit qu'il dauoit mourlr le Yendredy 
auanga-il sa Pasqua et la fit le leudy ; et peut estre qu'il la fist 
de pain leue. Mais nous qui tenons la Loy de Romme, disons 
qu'il la fit de pain sans leuain; et le ius des laictues champestres, 
qui est amer, qui nous prefigure I'amertume en quoy les fils 
d' Israel estoient en Egypte en seruage ; duquel lis furent de- 
liurez par le commandement et volonte de Dieu. Et y a taut 
d'autres choses qu'il dit et qu'il fit, qui sent pleines de si grands 
mysteres que nul ne les pent entendre, s'il n'est moult grand 
clerc ; et pour peche que nous facions ne nous desperons mie, 
ainsi que fit ludas le traistre, mais en querons pardon auec 
grand' contrition de cceur, et nous en confessons dcuotement, et 
il nous pardonnera ; et ne soyons mie parcsseux, c'est vn trop 
grand peril ; car scion I'cstat on il nous trouucra nous serous 


from mortal sin as much as possible, which will be the 
salvation of us and of our souls, and let us always remember 
the words which are here written, and shew them and teach 
them to those who shall be baptised in these parts, for in so 
doing we may gain much of the love of God and obtain tbe 
salvation of their souls and ours ; and, in order that it may 
be the better understood, we have drawn up this instruc- 
tion as simply as we could according to the knowledge 
which God has given us ; for we have a good hope in Him 
that one of these days some good and learned clerks shall 
come out hither who shall arrange all in good form and 
order, and shall explain the Articles of the Faith better 
than we have been able to do, and shall bring forward the 
miracles which God has worked for them and for us in 
days gone by, and the judgment to come, and the general 
resurrection, so as to root out the false beliefs which have 
long existed and still remain among many of the people of 
these islands. 

iugez. Si nous gardens de pecher mortellement le plus que 
nous pourrons, et ce sera le sauuement de nous et de nos araes, 
et ayons tousiours memoire des paroles qui icy sent escriptes, et 
les monstrous et apprenons a ceux que nous faisons baptiser 
parde<5^a, car en ce faisant nous pouuons grandement acquerir 
I'amour de Dieu et le sauuement de nos ames et des leurs. Et 
afin que mieux le puissent entendre nous auons fait et ordonne 
ceste introduction le plus legerement que nous auons sceu faire 
selon le peu d'entedement que Dieu nous a donne ; car nous 
auons bon esperance en Dieu que aucuns bons clercs preud'homraes 
venront vn do ces ioui's parde9a qui addresseront et mettront 
tout en bonne forme et en bonne ordonnance, et leur feront 
entendre les articles de la Foy mieux que nous ne scauons faire, 
et lour appliqueront des miracles que Dieu a foits pour eux et 
pour nous au temps passe ; et du lugement aduenir, et de la 
generale Resurrection, afin d'oster leurs coeurs du tout de la 
mauuaisc creance en quoy ils out longuement este et sont encore 
on la plus grand' partio d'eux. 


CuArxKU LTII. — (Of the excellence of the islands, and of the facility of 
subduing them with the other countries of Africa.) 

It must not be wondered at that Monsieur de Bethencourt 
should have undertaken such a conquest as tliat of these 
islands, for many others in times past have undertaken 
equally strange enterprises in which they have succeeded ; 
and there is no doubt that, if Christian men would give a 
Httle support to the undertaking, all the islands, both great 
and small, would be conquered, from which might accrue so 
much good that it would rejoice all Christendom. M. de 
Bethencourt, who, together with Messire Gadifer de la Salle, 
visited and inspected the islands as well as the coasts of the 
Moors, from the Straits of Morocco to the approach to the 
islands, said that if any noble Prince of the Kingdom of 
France or elsewhere would undertake any considerable con- 
quest on this side, a most feasible and reasonable under- 
taking, he might do so at little cost ; for Portugal, Spain, 

[Chapitee LIII.] — (Be la honU des isles et facilite de les conquerir 
avec les autres pays de V Afriqice.') 

Nulz ne se doit esmerueiller si Monsieur de Bethencourt a 
entrepi'ins de faille vne telle conqueste, comma est celle des isles 
de parde^a ; car maints autres au temps passe ont fait d'aussi 
estranges entreprises dont ils sont bien venus a chef, et ne doute 
Ton point que si les Chrestiens vouloient vn peu secourir le fait, 
toutes les isles et vnes et autres, et grandes et petites, seroient 
conquises ; dont si grand bien pourroit aduenir que toute Chres- 
tiente s'en reiouyroit, et Bethencourt, qui toutes ces Isles Cana- 
rianes a veu et visite, et aussi a fait Messire Gadiffer de la 
Salle bon cheualier et sage, et aussi out-ils toute la costiere des 
Mores et du destroit de Maroch en venat vers les isles, dit ainsi, 
que si aucun noble Prince du Royaume de France ou d'ailleurs vou- 
loit entreprendre aucune grand' conqueste par dec^-a, qui seroit vno 
chose bien faisable et bien raisonable, il le poui'roit faire a peu de 
frais : car Portugal, ct Espagnc, et Aragon les fouruiroiet pour 


and Aragon would supply them for money witli victuals of 
all sortSj with ships better than any other country, and with 
pilots who knew the harbours and these countries. Besides, 
there could be no point more favourable for the conquest of 
the Saracens, nor from which they could be attacked with 
less trouble or cost than from here. The journey thither is 
easy and short, and comparatively uncostly ; and, as to the 
islands themselves, especially the Canary Islands, they have 
the most healthy climate of any, and contain no venomous 
auimals,'^for during all the long time that Bethencourt and 
his company remained there, no one suffered from sick- 
ness, which surprised them greatly. Moreover, the islands 
may be reached, in favourable weather, from Rochelle in 
less than a fortnight, from Seville in five or six days, and 
from all other parts in the same proportion. Another ar- 
gument is that the country is flat, wide, and broad ; and 
supplied with all good things, with fine rivers and lai-ge 
towns. Then, again, the infidels have no armour nor any 

leur argent de toutes vitailles, et de nauires plus que nul autre 
pays, et aussi de pilots qui S9auent les ports et les coutrees, et si 
on ne s9auroit dire par oil ne par quelle part qu'il voudroit faire 
conqueste sur les Sarrasins, plus licite ne plus propre, ne qui 
plus legerement se peast faire et a mendre peine et mendre 
const qu'elle seroit par de9a. Car la raison y est telle que le 
chemin est aise, bref et court, et peu coustable au regard des 
autres chemins. Et quant aux isles de parde^a, le plus sain pays 
est qu'on ne pent trouuer, et n'y habite nul beste qui porte velin, 
et specialemet es isles Cauariennes, et si y a demoure ledit de 
Bethencourt bien longuemont et sa compagnie, que nuls n'y out 
este malades, dequoy lis out este bien esbays. Et si y feroit-on 
en temps couenable de la Rochelle en molns de quinze iours, et 
de Siuille en cinq ou six iours, et de tons les autres ports sem- 
blablcment. Vne grand' raison y est ; que c'est vn plain pais 
grand et large ct garuy de tous biens, de bonnes riuicres et do 
grosses villes. Encor y a-il vne autre raison, les mescreans sont 
tels qu'ils n'ont nuUcs aruuircs (lucloonqucs, ne sons de I'aire 


knowleclo-o of warftiro, and they can receive no help from 
their neighbours, for the lofty and astonishing Montes 
Cleros divide them from the people of Barbary, who are 
also situated at a great distance from them. They are not, 
therefore, to be dreaded like other nations, for they have no 
projectile weapons, which are thoroughly proved by Mon- 
sieur de Bourbon and many others who were at the siege of 
Africa in [1390,^] to be the best and most important of 
African weapons. Indeed, every one knows that in battle 
nothing is more formidable than the bow, especially in 
these regions, for this people cannot carry so much armour 
as they do in France on account of the length of the roads 

batailles. lis ne SQauent que c'est de guerre, et si ne peuuent 
auoir secours d'autre gens : car les monts de Clere, qui sent si 
grands et si merueilleux, sent antra eux et las Barbarians qui 
leur sent moult lointaius ; et si na sent mia gens qui soiant a ra- 
douter, ainsi qua saroiant autras nations ; car ils sent gens sans 
traict, et Ton la paut bien prouuer par Monsieur da Bourbon, at 
par maints autras qui furent deuant Afriqua, I'an [13'J0]\ que 1^ 
est la meillaur at le plus bel de toutes laurs puissances ; et c'est 
vna ohosa que chacun sQait qu'en bataille c'est la chose qui est 
plus crainta qua trait, at par special es marches de par de9a ; car 
on ne pent estre si fort arme comme Ton seroit en Fx'ance pour 
la longueur du chemin, et aussi pour le pays qui est vn peu plus 

1 Tliis date was left in blank in the MS. Africa was an ancient and 
very splendid city, the Aphrodisium of Ptolemy, standing on a point of 
land projecting into the sea, now known as Has Mehediah, some ninety 
miles south-east of Tunis. It had been destroyed by the Mahometans 
when they took Carthage, but was rebuilt and fortified by the Caliph 
Mehedi, who named it Mehedia. At a later period it fell into the 
hands of the pirates of Sicily, by whom it was called Africa. Andrea 
Dorio captured it from the pirate Dragut. Charles V, fearing it might 
fall again into the hands of the Mahometans, and begrudging the 
immense expense of maintaining it, razed it to the ground. For the 
description of the attack on Africa by Louis II, Duke of Bourbon, 
referred to in the text, see Froissart, torn, iv, p. 211. 


and the heat of the climate. Again, here one may easily 
learn news of Prester John ; and, once in the country, one 
may encounter a certain people called Farfus,^ who are 
Christians, and who might afford much valuable informa- 
tion, for they are acquainted with the neighbouring countries 
and speak the languages. One of these accompanied Be- 
thencourt and his companions in the conquest of the islands, 
and through him they learned many useful things. 

Chapter LIV. — How M. de Bethencoiirt rode over the couutry to 
make himself acquainted with its different localities. 

Now, it is the intention of M. de Bethencourt to examine 

chaut : et ]30uri'oit on auoir legeremet des nouuelles du Prestre- 
Jean ; et qui seroit entre au pays, on trouueroit assez pi^es de la 
vue maniere de gens qui s'appellent Farfus^ qui sonfc Chrestiens, 
et pourroient addresser de moult de choses qui seroient grande- 
ment profitables ; car ils sgauent les pays et les contrees, et 
parlent les langages, et en cette compaguie en a-U vn qui tous- 
iours a este en la eonqueste visitant lesdites isles, et par luy s'est 
on informe de moult de choses. 

[Chapitbe LIV.] — Comment Monsieur de Bethencourt clievatiche le 
2Jais pour le savoir et congnoistre. 
Or est I'intention de Monsieur de Bethencourt de visiter la 

1 Eergeron, in his edition of Bethencourt of 1630, offers in a side-note 
the following illustration : — " Chrestiens Africains dits Farfanes a Marroc, 
et llabatins h Tunis"; for the following explanation of which I am 
indel)ted to my learned friend Seiior de Gayangos. There is even now 
existing in Spain a family of the name of Farfan, deriving its descent 
from a baud of warriors, fifty in number, who served in the wars in 
Morocco, and, returning to Spain in the time of John II of Castile, 
received the name of " Caballeros Farfanes." Being Spaniards they 
were Christians, and hence the reference to their being found in ^Morocco. 
Bergeron's use of the word "Rabatins" as applying to these knights is 
simply in the sense of "warriors," the word being derived from the 
fortified city of llal)at, on the west coast of Morocco. It is in no way 
connected with Tunis. 


the country from Capo Can tin, which is half-way between 
the Canaries and Spain, to Cape Bojador, a promontory to 
the right of the Canaries, extending on the other side to the 
Rio d'Ouro,^ to see if ho can find a good harbour, or any 
place which ho may fortify and make tenable, when place 
and time may serve, so as to obtain a footing in the coun- 
try, and be able to put it to tribute if he succeeds. And 
had he received any assistance from France, there is no 
reason to doubt that, either now or later he would succeed 
in his attempt, especially with regard to the Canary Islands, 
for with God's permission and under the advice of his sove- 
reign lord and master the King of France, his intention was 
and still is to carry out his enterprise still farther. But 
without aid he could not carry it on to any perfection, to the 
honour and advancement of the Christian Faith, which is 
not as yet known in those parts, through the fault of those 

contree de la terre ferme de Cap de Cantin, qui est mi-voye d'icy 
et d'Espagne, iusques au Cap de Bugeder qui fait la pointe de la 
terre ferme au droit de nous, et s'estend de I'autre baiide iusques 
au fleuue de I'or,^ pour voir s'il pourra trouuer aucun bon port et 
lieu qui se peust fortifier et estre tenable quand temps et lieu 
sera, pour auoir I'entree du pays, et pour le mettre en treu s'il 
chet a poinct. Et si ledit Seigneur de Bethencourt eust trouue 
quelque confort au Royaume de France, il ne faut point douter 
que de present, ou bien-tost apres, qui ne fust venu a son 
attente ; et specialement des Isles Canariennes, comme, se Dieu 
plaist, ledit Seigneur y aduiendra et du surplus par le conseil de 
son Prince et souuerain Seigneur, le Roy de France, son inten- 
tion estoit et est encores de bouter le fait plus auant : mais sans 
ayde il ne le pourroit mie bien mainteuir pour venir en vne 
grande perfection, a I'honneur ct exaucement de la foy Chres- 
tienne, qui n'est mie de^a cognue par faute de ceux qui telles 

' With reference to this Rio d'Ouro or River of Gold, on which have 
been raised questions of great importance in the history of geograpliical 
discovery, see note on page 102. 


who onglit to have undertaken the task long ago to in- 
struct these people in the knowledge of God^ whereby they 
would have gained great honour in this world, and in the 
sight of God great glory and merit. 

Chapter LV. — How M. de Bethencourt took measures for learning the 
ports and passages of the land of the Saracens. 

As M. de Bethencourt had a great desire to learn the true 
state and government of the land of the Saracens and their 
sea-ports, which were reported to be good on the main 
land for twelve leagues towards us to the right of Cape 
Bojador and the island of Erbanie, where M. de Bethen- 
court now is, we have here inserted sundry notes on this 
subject, extracted from a book by a mendicant friar who 
made the tour of this country and visited all the sea-ports, 
which he mentions by name. He went through all the 
countries. Christian, Pagan, and Saracen, of those parts. 

Glioses deussent entreprendre, et qui pieqa le deusseut auoir 
entreprins, pour monstrer au peuple qui y habite la cognoissance 
de Dieu, et en ce faisant, il puisse acquerir grand honneur en ce 
inonde et de Dieu grand gloire et grand merite. 

[Chapitrb LV.] — Comment Monsieur de Bethencourt met 'peine do 
savoir les port et passagez des pais des Sarazins. 

Et pour ce que ledit de Bethencourt a grand' voulente de 
S9auoir la verlte de I'estat et gouuernement du pays des Sarrasins, 
et des ports de mcr, que Ton leur dit estre bons du costc de la 
terre forme que marche douze lieues pres de nous au droit dn 
Cap du Bugeder, et de I'lsle d'Erbanye la ou ledit Sieur de 
Bethencourt est a present ; auons cy endroit mis aucunes choses, 
touchant cos marches, extraits d'vn livre que fit vn Frere mendeat, 
qui enuironna iceluy paj'^s, et fut a tous les ports de mer, 
Icsquels il deuise et nommc, et alia par tous les Royaumes 
Chrestiens, et des Paycns, et des Sarrazins qui sont de cette 


and names them all. He mentions the names of the pro- 
vinces, and the arms of the kings and princes, which it 
would be tedious to describe. We therefore have only 
selected for the present those portions which bear upon 
subjects relating to the projected conquest. Finding his 
account correct of the countries they already knew, they 
relied on his information with regard to all the other coun- 
ti'ies ; they have therefore inserted in the sequel other ex- 
tracts from his book, as they found occasion. 

Chapter LVI. — How a Mendicant Friar explains the things which 
he had seen by a book that he had made about them. 

"We will begin at the part where, being outside of the 
Montes Clares,^ he came to the city of Marocco, which was con- 
quered by Scipio Africanus, and which formerly used to be 

bende, et les nomme tons ; et deuise les noms des Prouinces, les 
armes des Roys et des Princes ; qui seroit longue chose a 
descrire. Si n'en prendrons, quamt a present, fors ce qui nous 
est mestier pour nous addresser de moult de choses au fait de la 
conqueste la ou il eschei'ra a poinct. Et pour ce qu'il parle si 
au vray des contrees et des pays dont nous auons vraye cognois- 
sance, il nous semble que ainsi doit-il faire de tous les autres 
pais et pour ce auons nous cy-apres mis aucunes choses qui sont 
en son liure, dont nous auons mestier. 

[Chapitre LVI.] — Comment un Frere mandeant devise des choses 
qu'il a veues par uu livre qii'tl en fit. 

Et coramencerons quand il fut outre les monts de Clere, il vint 
en la cite de Maroch, laquelle Scipion I'Africain conquit, qui 
jadis souloit estre nommee Carthago, et estoit chef de toute 

1 The Atlas Mountains, called by Bergeron "Montes Claros" from the 
Spanish, and translated " Monts de Clere" in the text. The name, which is 
not, I think, traceable to any ancient source, seems arbitrarily given in 
the sense of the range being " illustrious" or widely known. 



called Carthage,^ and was the capital of all Africa. From 
thence lie went towards the ocean to Nifet- and Samor^ and to 
SaflB, which last place is very near Cape Cantin: he then pro- 
ceeded to Mogador, which is in another province called 
GasuUe/ and there commences the chain of the Montes 
Glares. Thence he came to the aforesaid Gasulle, which is 
an extensive country, well stored with all good things. He 
then proceeded towards the coast to a port called Samateue,'^ 
and thence to Cape Non, which presents itself in coming 
near our islands. Thence he put to sea in a pensil,^ and 
came to port Saubrun/ and coasted along the country of 
the Moors, which is called the Sandy Shores, as far as 
Cape Bojador, which is twelve leagues from us. It is in a 
great kingdom called Guinea. There they took their way 

Afrique, et de la s'en vint vers la mer Oceane a Nifet et Samor 
et a Saphi, qui est bien pres du cap de Cantin, et puis vint a 
Moguedor, qui est en vne autre Prouince qui s'appelle la Gasulle, 
et la commencent les Monts de Clere, et de la s'en vint a la 
Gasulle dessusdite, qui est vn grand pays garny de tons biens, et 
s'en alia vers la marine a vn port qui se nonime Samateue ; et 
de la au Cap de Non, qui est en venant vers nos isles ; et la se 
mit en mer en vn pensil, et viut au port de Saubrun, et toute 
la costiere des Mores qui se nomme Les Plaigues Arcncuses 
iusques au cap de Bugeder, qui marclie deux lieues pres de nous, 
et est en vn grand Royaume qui s'appelle la Guinoye, et la 

^ A blunder so manifest as to need no comment. 
2 Anafe or Anf, the ancient name of Dahr-el-beida. 
^ Azamor. 

* Variously spelt Gozola, Godala, Guzzula, and Gaziila, from tiie 
ancient well known form Gajtulia. 

* An irrecognisable name, probably Cape Sim or Tafolane, alias 

* I have failed entirely in tracking this word. ]\I. C'liarton, iu his 
Voyaqeurs anciens et modernes, translates it "barque." 

' Bergeron renders this Port Sabreira, but I find no authority for 
either name. Query, Porto Cansado. 


and proceeded to see and take cognisance of the islands of 
tLis side, and they went in search of many other countries 
by sou and land of which wc make no mention. The Friar 
then parted from his com23auions and went eastwards through 
many countries till he reached a kingdom called Dongalla, 
in the province of Nubia, inhabited by Christians. The 
Patriarch of Nubia has for one of his titles the name of 
Prestcr John. Nubia extends on one side to the deserts of 
Egypt, and on the other to the Nile, which comes out of 
the domains of Prester John ; and the kingdom of Dongalla 
extends to the point where the river Nile divides into two 
branches,^ one of which forms the Eiver of Gold, which 
flows towards us, while the other runs through Egypt and 
falls into the sea at Damietta. From these countries the 
Friar went into Egypt as far as Cairo, and at Damietta 
went on board a vessel manned by Christians and came 
back to Sarretta,^ which is opposite Granada, and proceeded 
thence over land to the city of Marocco ; he then crossed 
the Montes Claros and passed into Gazula : there he found 

prJndrent leur chemin et allerent voir et aduiser les isles de par 
dega : et chercherent maints autres pays par mer et par terra, 
dont nous ne faisons nulle mention ; et se partit le Frere d'eux, 
et s'en alia centre Orient par maintes contrees^ iusques a vn 
Royaume qui s'appelle Dongala, qui est en la prouince de Nubie, 
habite de Chrestiens, et s'appelle le Prestre-Jean, en vn de ses 
tiltres, Patriarche de Nubie ; qui marchit d'vn des costes aux 
deserts d'Egypte, et de I'autre coste a la Riuiere de Nil qui vient 
des Marches du Prestre Jean, et s'estend le Royaume de Don- 
gale iusques oil la riuiere de Nil fourche en deux parties, dont 
I'vne fait le fleuve de I'Or qui vient vers nous, et I'autre s'en va 
en Egypte, et entre en mer a Damiette, et de celles marches s'en 
alia le Frere en Egypte au Caire; et a Damyate entra en vne nef 
de Chrestiens, et depuis reuint a Sarette, qui est front a front de 
Grenade, et s'en alia arriere par terre a la cite de Maroch, et 
trauersa les monts de Clere, et passa par la Gasulle; et la trouua 

* See note on page 102. * Zera? 

H 2 


the Moors, fitting out a vessel to go to the Eiver of 
Gold, with whom he made terms and put to sea with 
them. They directed their course to Cape Non and Cape 
Saubrun, and then to Cape Bojador, and so along the 
whole coast southwards as far as the Kiver of Gold.^ 

Chapter LVII. — Continuation of the same. 

According to the Friar's book, when they gained this 
river, they found on its banks ants of very great size, which 
drew up the grains of gold^ from under the ground, and the 
merchants made wonderfully large profits by this voyage. 
They then departed from this river and held their course 
along the sea-shore, until they found a rich and fertile 
island called Gulpis, where they made large profits. The 
inhabitants are idolaters. Thence they went on till they 

Mores qui armoient vne galei'e pour aller au fleuue de Tor, at se 
loiia auec eux, et entrorent en mer, et tindret le chemin au cap 
de Non, et au cap de Saubrun, et puis au cap de Bugeder, efc 
toute la costiere deuers Midy iusques au fleuue de I'or. 

[Chapitre LVII.] — Encore de mcsmes. 

Et selon que dit le livre du Frere, quand ils furcnfc la oil ils 
trouuerent fermis sur la riuage du fleuue, dont les fermis estoient 
moult grands, qui tiroient grauelle d'or de dessoubs la terre, et 
gagnerent les marchands merueilleusement en ce voyage ; puis se 
partii^ent de 1^ et tindrent le chemin selon le riuage de la mer, et 
trouuerent vne Insula moult bonne et riche, ou ils firent grande- 
ment leur proffit, qui s'appelle isle Gulpis, la sont les gens 
idolatres, et de la se partirent et allerent plus auant, et trouuerent 

1 See note on page 102. 

* This is but the old story from Herodotus of the Indian ants, which 
were smaller than a dog but larger than a fox, and which, in making 
their subterranean dwt-llings, pushed up sand cliargod with gold. 


came to another isle called Caable, which they left on the 
right hand. 'JMien they fonnd on the mainland a mouutaiu 
called Alboc, very lofty and abounding in natural wealth, 
in which rises a very large river. Here the Moorish galley 
turned back_, but the Friar remained some time there, and 
then entered the kingdom of Gotome (Ghoroma ?), where 
the mountains are so high that they are said to be the 
loftiest in the world, and some call them in their language 
the Mountains of the Moon, while others call them the 
Gold Mountains : they are six in number, and from them 
spring six large rivers, which all fall into the River of Gold 
and foi-m a great lake. In the midst of this lake is an 
island named Palloya, peopled with blacks. Thence the 
Friar proceeded further till he came to a river named 
Euphrates, which comes from the Terrestrial Paradise. 
He crossed it and passed through many countries and 
regions till he came to the city of Melee, which was the 
residence of Prester John. He remained there several days, 
for he saw there a considerable number of marvellous 

vne autre isle qui s'appelle Caable, et la laissereut a main dextre. 
Et puis trouuerent vne montaigne en terre ferme moult haulte et 
moulte abondante de tous biens, qui s'appelle Alboc, de laquelle 
naist vne riuiere moult grande ; et de la s'en retourna la galere 
des Mores, et le Frere demoura aucun temps illec ; puis s'en 
antra au Royaume de Gotome ; la sent les montagnes si hautes 
que Ton dit que ce sent les plus hautes du monde, et aucuns les 
appellent en leurs langages les monts de la Lune, et les autres 
les monts de Tor; et sent six, et naissent d'elles six grosses 
riuieres qui toutes cheent au fleuue de I'or, et y font vn grand 
lac ; et dedans ce lac a vne isle qui s'appelle Paloye, qui est 
peuplee de gens noirs. Et de la s'en alia le frere tousiours auant 
iusqu'en vne riuiere nomme Eufrate, qui vient du Parradis 
Terrestre, et la trauersa, et s'en alia par maints pais et par 
maintes diuerses cotrees iusques a la cite de Melee, la oil de- 
meuroit le Prestre Jean ; et la demoura moult de iours, pour ce 
qu'il y voyoit assez de choses mei-ueilleuses, des quelles nous ne 


tilings, of which at present we make no mention in tliis book, 
in order to hasten on to other matters, and for fear the 
reader might take them for lies. In like manner the season 
before Monsieur de Bethencourt set out in a boat, with fifteen 
companions, fi'om one of the islands called Erbania and 
went to Cape Bojador, which lies in the kingdom of Guiuea, 
about twelve leagues from us, and they took some of the 
people of the country and returned to the Great Canary, 
where they found their companions and their vessel awaiting 

Chapter LVIII. — The Mendicant Friar speaks of the River of Gold. 

And as the Mendicant Friar asserts in his book that it is 
only a hundred and fifty French leagues from Cape Bojador to 
the Biver of Gold^ — and so the map has shown it to be — it is 

faisons nulle mention, quant a present, en ce liure, pour plus 
brieuement passer outi'e, et pour doute que se ne semblast au 
lisant estre inensonges. Et mesinemet se partit la salson auant 
Monsieur de Bethencourt, et vint par dega vn basteau auec 
quinze compagnons dedans, d'vne des isles nommees Erbanie, et 
s'en alia au cap de Bugeder, qui siet au royaume de la Guinoye, 
a douze lieues pres de nous ; et la prindrent des gens du pays, et 
s'en retournerent a la grand' Canare, la oii ils trouuerent leurs 
compagnons et lour nauii^e qui les attendoient. 

[Chapitre LVIII.] — Si i^arle lefrere mandeant dufleuve de Vor. 

Et diet ainsi lo frere mandeant en son liure, que Ton ne compte 
du cap de Bugeder iusques au fleuue de I'or que cent cinquante 
lieues Francoises ; et ainsi la monstre la carte, ce n'est singlure 

1 This story of tlie Mendicant Friar is a confused onibodimont of the 
geographical traditions of the period. The Rio d'Oro, or River of 
Gold, here mentioned, is laid down on three maps anterior to the time 
of Bethencourt: viz., on the Portulauo Mediceo, of the date of 1351, in 
the Laurentian Lil)rary at Fluronco ; on tlie map made by the Venetian 


only a three days' voyage of ships and sailing boats ; for 
galleys, that hug the shore, take longer. Therefore, to get 

que pour trois iours pour naues et. pour barges ; car gallees qui 
vont terre a terre prendrent plus long ohemin ; ct quand pour 

brothers Pizzigaui in 1367, uow in the Libraiy at Parma ; and on the 
famous Catalan map, or rather atlas, of the date of 1375, in the Paris 
Imperial Library. On the third sheet of this last is the representation 
of a boat-load of explorers off the coast to the south of Cape Bojador, 
accompanied by a legend in Catalan, which, as it bears in a very 
interesting manner upon the ^Mendicant Friar's story, as well as upon a 
very important question in the history of national priority in discovery, 
I shall here quote and comment upon. The legend runs thus :— 

" Partich luxer dii Jac. Ferer, per anar al riu de I'or, al gorn de Sen 
Lorens qui es k X de Agost, y fo en I'an mcccxlvi": " The ship of 
Jaime Ferrer started to go to the River of Gold on St. Lawrence's day, 
the 10th of August, 1346." The event here recorded is corroborated 
by the following legend, which occurs in a collection of papers, pre- 
sented to the Archives of Genoa in 1660 by M. Federico Federici, and 
discovered in 1802, by M. Griiberg de Hemsb. 

"Recessit de civitate majorisarum Galeatia una Joannis Feme Catalan! 
in festo Sancti Laureutii, quod est in decima die mensis Augusti, anno 
Domini 1346, causa euudi ad Rujaura, et de ipsa Galeatia nunquam 
postea aliquid novum habueruut. Istud flumen de longitudine vocatur 
Vedamel et similiter vocatur Ruiauri, quia in eo recolligitur aurum de 
pajola. Et scire debeatis quod major pars gentium in partibus istis 
habitantium sunt electi ad colligendum aurum in ipso fiumiue, qui 
habet latitudinem unius legue et fondum pro majori nave mundi. 

" Jstud est caput finis Terrarum Affricte occideutalis, etc." 

"On St. Lawrence's day, viz., the 10th of August, 1346, a galley 
belonging to the Catalan John Feme, left the city of the Majorcans 
with the purpose of going to Rujaura [the River of Gold], but of said 
galley no news has since been received. On account of its length that 
river is called Vedamel. It is also called Ruiauri, because the gold of 
Pajola is collected in it. You must also know that the majority of the 
inhabitants of these parts are employed in collecting gold in this river, 
which is a league wide, and deep enough for the largest ship in the 

" This is the Cape Finisterre of West Africa." 

Now I have had occasion, in my Life of Prince Ilenry the Navigator, 
to demonstrate that Cape Bojador, here stated by the Mendicant Friar 
t<) be north of the River of Gold only one hundred and fifty French 


from here to there we do not hold to be a difficult matter; and 
if things in that country are such as they are described in the 

y aller d'icy nous n'en tenons pas grand' compte; et si les choses 
de par deQti sont telles commes le liure du frere Espaguol le deuise, 

leagues, had proved the 7iec plus ultra of Atlantic exploration until 
rounded by Gileaunes in the service of Prince Henry, in 1434. The 
Dieppese claim to have passed it in the previous century ; and M. 
d'Avezac has drawn the inference from these two legends that this 
voyage must have been preceded by many others, " because," he argues, 
" one does not fit out an armament with a fixed destination without 
knowing, approximately at least, the point one has to arrive at." 

I have shewn, and here repeat, that the contrary was the case, and 
that the expedition was fitted out for the express purpose of finding the 
unknown mouth of a river in which gold was collected, and the existence 
of which had become known to the mercantile populations in the 
Mediterranean through the medium of commercial intercourse with the 
Arabs. The fact of the voyage having been recorded not only in the 
archives of Genoa, but also on the face of a remarkably handsome map 
prepared with extreme carefulness and labour, is a proof that the 
expedition was one of unusual importance and anxiety, such as the 
purpose I have suggested would involve. Had it been merely an un- 
successful venture to a point already known even approximately, we 
should not expect to find the expedition recorded on the face of a map 
at all, but we should reasonably IiojDe to find that point laid down with 
an approximation at least to accuracy on charts of the period, and 
especially on the one on which this individual expedition was recorded. 
As, fortunately, the maps are existing on which the river indicated by 
the legends is laid down, we have by their help, in conjunction with 
the wording of the legends themselves, an opportunity of testing how 
far the geographical information they convey is, either approximately 
or at all, in accordance with the knowledge which would be derived 
from even one antecedent maritime exploration. 

The two legends manifestly refer to the same event : they both 
record an expedition which started on the same day /or (he purpose of 
going (in the Catalan per anar, and in the Latin causA eundi) to the 
same river. This river, the Ruiauri or River of Ciold, was so called 
because gold of Pajola was collected in it, and from its length it was 
called Vedamel. Now, in the Venetian map of the brothere Pizzigani, 
made in 1367, twenty-one years after the expedition of Jaime Ferrer, 
we find laid down, iii a latitude a little south of the Canaries, the river 
Palolus, rising in a large lake, on which is the following legend in 


book of the Spanish FriaVj aud as those who have explored 
those parts assert, it is Monsieur de Bethencourt's intention, 

et aussi ceux qui ont frequente en ces marches dient et racomp- 
tcnt, a Tayde de Dieu et des Princes et du pcuple Chrestien, I'in- 

Latiu : — "This lake proceeds from the ^Mountain of the Moon, and 
passes through saudy deserts." lu the middle of its course the river 
bifm-cates, aud again joins, forming an island, on which in Latin is the 
inscription — "The island Palola : here gold is gathered." Into the 
opposite or eastern extremity of the lake flows the Nile, the eastern 
branch of which takes its northward course towards the INIediterrancan, 
in its well-known position. "We thus find a river exactly corresponding 
with the description of that for which Jaime Ferrer started on St. 
Lawrence's day, in the year 13-iG. Three of the four specialities 
indicated in the Genoese document are here substantiated by Venetians 
who, like the Genoese, had commercial relations with the Arabs ; and 
that on a map bearing no reference whatever to the voyage of Jaime 
Ferrer. AVe have a river on which gold is collected, and it is the gold 
of Palola or Paiola, and we also have an explanation of the expression 
that from its length it is called Vedamel. That length may be judged 
when it is made to extend from the Nile, delineated in its true position 
as falling into the ^Mediterranean, to another outlet into the Atlantic a 
little south of the Canaries. The fourth speciality of the river, as given 
in the Genoese document, is the name Yedamel itself, which I think 
I can shew to mean River of Nile, in conforndty with the old idea 
of the Nile having a western outlet into the Atlantic, as referred to in 
the Mendicant Friar's narrative, see page 98. 

The Genoese document in which the name Vedamel occurs is so care- 
lessly spelt that the name of " Jayme Ferrer," a well recognisable 
Catalan name (see " Ferrer," in Torres Amat's Escritores Catalanes)^ is 
misspelt " Joannes Feme"; and the Genoese form for the Rio d'Oro is 
in the course of two or three lines spelt both " Rujaura" and " Ruiauri." 
It is not difficult, therefore to suppose that "Vedamel" is a misspelling 
for "Vedanill," in which we recognise the Arabic words "Ved" or 
" Wadi," a river, and " Nill," the Nile. Pliny had long ago declared 
that a branch of the Nile debouched on the west coast of Africa, and an 
ample description of it is given by the Arab geographer Edrisi in the 
middle of the twelfth century, who, after speaking of the sources of the 
eastern Nile, says, "The other arm of the Nile (the Nile of the Blacks) 
flows into the western districts, and, reaching from the east to the 
extreme west, empties itself into the sea not far from the island of 
Ulil, which is a day's sail from its mouth ; and on that Nile of the 


with the help of God, and of Christian princes and people, to 
open the road to the River of Gold ; and if he succeeds, it 

tention de Monsionr de Bethencourt est d'ouurir le chemin du 
fleuue de Tor : car s'il en venoit a bonne fin ce seroit grande- 

Negroes, or on another river which mixes its waters with it, are situated 
the abodes of the people of Nigritia." 

A reference to the map of Abul-Hassan Ali Ben Omar (1230) shews 
us this Western Nile, under the name of Nil Gana, falling into the 
Atlantic in about the latitude of the Gambia. The map of Ibn Said 
(1274) has it, under the name of Os Nili Ganah, a little more noi-th- 
ward. That of Abulfeda (1331) with the same name, yet a little more 
northward. The retention of the belief in this river as a branch of the 
Nile by the Arab geographers is shewn by an Arabic map, preserved to 
us by M. Jomard in his Monuments de la Geographies by a Moor named 
Mohammed Ebn-Aly Ebn- Ahmed al Charfy of Sfax, and bearing date 
1009 of the Plegira, which corresponds with a.d. IfiOO. That the river 
itself was the Senegal is shewn by Azurara, the chronicler of the con- 
quest of Guinea in the time of Prince Henry, who speaks of it as the 
Ryo do Nillo, which they call the Canega. Both in the Pizzigani map 
and in the Catalan map which records the voyage of Ferrer, this river, 
whose existence was thus learned from Arab sources, is called the 
River of Gold. 

But while this notion of a river of gold, debouching on the west 
coast of Africa, was thus handed down geographically from ancient 
times, the mercantile cities of Italy would have the impression more 
immediately brought home to them by the gold brought across the 
desert from Guinea into the Mediterranean, We find in the treatise 
Delia Decivia of Balducci Pegolotti, who was a factor in the great 
Florentine house of the Bardi, and who wrote in the firet half of the 
fourteenth century that the malaguette pepper, which was the product 
of the Guinea coast, was then among the articles impoi'ted into Nismes 
and Montpellier ; and De Barros expressly states (Dec. I, fol. 33) that 
the malaguette imported into Italy before Prince Henry's time was 
brought from Guinea by the ]\Ioors, who, crossing tlie vast empire of 
]\landingo and the deserts of Libya, readied the Mediterranean at a 
port named Muudi Barca, corrupted into Monte da Barca, and as the 
Italians were not acquainted with the locality whence it came, they 
called it "grains of Paradise." It would be unreasonable to doubt that, 
with the malaguette from Guinea, gold was also transi)()rted by these 
merchants across tiic desert to their port in the Mediterranean, and 
though the Italians were ignorant of tiie country whence it came, they 


will be greatly to tlio honour and profit of tho kingdom of 
Franco and of all Christian kingdoms ; inasmuch as access 

merit I'lionncur ct le profit du Royaume tie France ct de tous les 
lloyaumes Clircstiens ; veu que Ton approcheroit les marches du 

would not fail to learn that it lay somewhere on the western coast of 
Africa. "We have therefore but to rejjeat the poet's apostrophe to the 
" auri sacra fames," to perceive the motive which would induce an 
enterprising party of men to encounter extreme danger for the sake of 
discovering a sea-path to the mouth of such a river. 

But these very maps themselves prove how utterly ignorant the bold 
Majorcan adventurer was of the position of that mouth. The Pizzigani 
map places it north of Cape Bojador ; the Catalan map itself offei'S a 
suggestion only of where that mouth might be, some short distance south 
of that cape. But both these indications resolve themselves simply into 
conjectures, inasmuch as neither north nor south of Cape Doyador is 
there any river at all which could hy any pretence he made to correspond 
with the Vedamel or Rujauri till we come to the Senegal, which is at least 
seven hundred miles south of Cape Bojador. Whether Ferrer himself 
passed Cape Bojador or not it is impossible to state and futile to 
conjecture, for the legend itself tells us that nothing more was heard of 
the expedition. That which was subsequently named the Rio d'Ouro 
by the Portuguese could by no possibility have anything to do with the 
Kio d'Oro which Ferrer went to seek, for the simple reason that the 
former is no river at all, but only an arm of the sea, the appearance of 
which deceived the Portuguese, and to which they gave the name of the 
llio d'Ouro because there they first received gold in ransom for captives. 

For precisely the same reason it is clear that the Rio d'Ouro of the 
Portuguese can in no sense be identical with the Fleuve d'Or referred to 
in this and the two preceding chajiters and in Chapter LVI, where the 
Spanish mendicant friar lyingly asserts that he had accompanied some 
^Moors in a galley to that river. How far credence is to be conceded to 
this narrative may be judged from a perusal of Chaj). LVII. That an 
European should, as there described, cross the continent of Africa and 
escape to tell the tale is not very probable, and the narrator betrays his 
misgiving that his story may be taken for lies. But I think I can 
throw some light on thi^ matter. In speaking of a famous and very 
largo city of the negroes named Kucu, Edrisi says, " Some negroes 
thiuk that this city lies on the Nile itself, others on a river flowing into 
the Nile ; but in truth the Nile passes through the city Kucu, and then 
diffuses itself through sandy plains into the desert, and thence merges 
into lakes, just as the Euphrates does in Mesopotamia. The reader has 


would be obtained to the territories of Prester John, from 
which comes so great a variety of rich commodities. It 
cannot be doubted that progress has often been retarded in 
past times for want of enterprise, and without boasting too 
much of this undertaking [Monsieur Bethencourt and his 
people], will do as much as in them lies to vindicate their 
credit therein; for he will take pains to ascertain whether the 
thing is feasible, or whether it be utterly impossible to carry 
it out in any way. And so, by God's help, he will overcome 
much people, and bring them over to the Christian faith, 
which is always lost for want of teaching and instruction. 
And this is a great pity ; for in all the world you will no- 
where meet with a finer or better formed race, both male 
and female, than the people of these islands. They are 
very intelligent, and only require instruction ; and as the 
Sieur de Bethencourt is very anxious to know the state of 
the neighbouring countries, both islands and terra firma, he 

Prestre Jean dont tant de biens et de ricliesses viennet. Et ne 
doit on point doubter que moult de choses sont demourees au 
temps passe par default d'entrcprise, et si ne se vauteut mie de 
ce faire ; mais ils feroient bien taat que Ten deura tenir pour 
excusez luy et toute sa compaignie ; ear il mettra peine s^auoir 
s'il se pourra faire ou non ; et s'il ne se peult ores faire en nulle 
maniere ; si conquerra-il a I'aide de Dieu moult de peuple, et le 
mettra a la foy Chrestienne, qui s'est tousiours perdu par fault,e 
de doctrine et d'enseignement, dequoy e'est gi-and pitie : car 
allcz par tout le raonde uous ne trouuerez nulle part plus belles 
gens, ne raieux formez qui sont es isles de parde9a, et liomraes et 
feuimes, et sont de grand entendement, s'ils eussent qui leur 
nionstrast : et pour ce qu'il a grande vouletc de s^auoir I'estast 
de tous les autres pays qui leurs sot prochains, taut isles que 

only to recognise in the mendicant friar's language, as he easily may do, 
a rechauffe of the confused geograjjhy of Edrisi, not losing sight of tl)e 
good fiiars stiunble over the reference to the Euphrates, to judge 
whether the fear of the narrator as to his credit for veracity is a reason- 
able one. ^\'hat tlien becomes of the voyage of the Moors to tlie 
Fleuve dol'Or? 


will spare noitlier pains nor exertion in making himself 
acquainted, as fully as possible, with all these countries.^ 

CilAPTKR LIX. — How Monsieur de Bethcncourt, INIcssire Gadifcr, and 
their companions, had a great deal to suffer in many ways. 

We must now return to our first subject, and recount the 
events thereto relating in due order; and we must first state 
that after the capture of the King of Lancerote, and when 
the provisions which de Bethencourt and Gadifer had ob- 
tained by his capture were exhausted, they experienced 
much sufi'ering, having been accustomed to good and plen- 
tiful fare. For the space of a year they were without 
bread and wine, and lived upon flesh and fish as well as 
they could. For a very long time they slept upon the bare 
ground, without either woollen or linen covering beyond the 
tattered dress which they wore in the day-time. This was 

terres fermes, le dlt Seigneur de Bethencourt meltra, peine et 
diligence de foy informer tout a plain de toutes ces marches. 

[Chapitre LIX.] — Corame le dlt Sieur de Bethencoiirt, Gadifer et 
leur compagnie eurent heaucoup a souffnr en plusieurs manieres. 
Or faut il retourner a nostre premiere matiere, et la pour- 
suiure ainsi que les choses escheent dorenauant icy endroit ; et 
dirons apres la prinse du Roy de I'isle Lancelot, et que les viures 
que le dit Bethencourt et Gadifer eurent recouuers a sa prinse 
furent despedus, ils auoient eu moulte a soufFrir, eux qui auoient 
accoustume de bien viure. lis ont este par Tespace d'vn an sans 
pain et sans vin, et vescu de chair et de poisson, car faire le 
conuenoit ; et ont este moult long temps couchans a terre plaine 
sans draps, linge ne langes, fors en la pauure robbe deschiree 
qu'ils auoient vestue, dont ils sont moult greuez, et en outre 

^ No better evidence than this fifty-eighth chapter is needed to shew 
that the French had not previously passed Cape Bojador. Let the 
reader specially notice, on page 10(5, *' It is Monsieur de Bethencourt's 
intention to open the road to the River of Gold." 


a grievous trial to tliera^ independently of tlie great exer- 
tions which they had to make against their enemies^ but 
which finally resulted in bringing them into subjection. 
By God^s grace^ they are baptized and brought into our 
faith, although, in consequence of the treachery before 
described, they had rebelled against the French and waged 
mortal war with them, especially the inhabitants of the 
island of Lancerote. 

Chapter LX. — How Monsieur de Bethencourt and Messire Gadifer 
liad words together. 

One day, during the year one thousand four hundred and 
four. Master Gadifer de la Salle appeared very thoughtful, 
so much so, that Monsieur de Bethencourt asked him what 
was the matter with him, and why he wore so strange a 
mien ; upon which Gadifer replied that he had been a long 
time in his company, and had undergone great hardships, 
and that it would be hard upon him to have had to undergo 
so much for nothing. He therefore desired that one or 

pour le grand trauail qu'il leur a conuenu prendre centre leurs 
ennemis, lesquels ils ont tous mis a mercy, et par la grace de 
Dieu ils sent baptisez et mis en nostre foy, qui par la trahison 
qui leur fut faicte, comme dessus est diet, se rebellerent eontre 
eux, en eux faisant guerre mortelle, et par especial ceux de I'isle 

[Chapitre LX.] — Comment Monsieur de Bethencourt et Messire 
Gadiffer eurent paroles eitsemble. 

Vng iour aduint que en I'an mil quatrc cens et quatre, Messire 
Gadifer de la Salle estoit tres-fort pensif j tant que Monsieur de 
Bethencourt luy demanda qu'il auoit et pourquoy il faisoit si 
estrange cliere : adonc le dit Gadifer luy dit, qu'il auoit este vn 
grand espace de temps en sa conipaguie, la oil il auoit eu de 
grands travaux, et qu'il luy fairoit bien nial d'auoir perdu sa 
peine, et qu'il luy vaillast vno ou deux de ses isles, a cello fin 


two of the islands should be delivered over to him, that he 
might improve them and increase their value for himself 
and his descendants. He further asked de Bethencourt to 
let him have Erbauia, another island called Enfer,^ and 
Gomera, all these islands being as yet unconquered and 
having much remaining to be done to them. When Mon- 
sieur de Bethencourt had hoard all that he had to say, he 
replied: " Monsieur de la Salle, my brother and my friend, it 
is quite certain that when I found you at La Rochelle you 
were willing to come with me, and we were pleased with 
one another and had no words. The expedition which I 
have made thus far was commenced from my house of 
Grainville in Normandy, and I took out my own people, my 
own ship, my own provisions, and artillery, and everything 
that I could provide, to La Eochelle, where I met with 
you, and finally, by God^s help, I arrived here in your 
company and in that of all the worthy gentlemen and other 
leaders of my company ; and now let me remind you that 

qu'il les augmentast et mist en valeur pour luy et les siens ; et 
outre diet au dit de Bethencourt qu'il luy vaillast I'isle d'Erbanie, 
et vne autre isle qui s'appelle Enfer et la Gomere, toutefois 
toutes icelles isles n'estoient pas encor conquises ; et y auoit 
beaucoup a faire a les auoir. Et quand Monsieur de Bethen- 
court I'eut assez ouy parler, il luy respondit : Monsieur de la 
Salle, men frere et mou amy, il est bien vray que quand il vous 
trouuay a la Rochelle vous fustes content de venir auec moy et 
estions fort contens I'vn de I'autre sans quelques paroles : le 
voyage que i'ay faict iusques icy fut commences des mon hostel 
de Grainuille en Normandie, et ay amene mes gens, mon nauire, 
viures, et artillerie, et tout ce que i'ay peu faire, iusquez en 
ycelle ville de la Rochelle, 1^ oii il vous trouuay, comme jay dit 
sidevant, tant qu'a la fin ou ie suis venu, a I'ayde do Dien, de 
vous, et de tons les bons Gentilshommes et autres bons champions 
de ma copagnie : et pour vous respondre a ce que me demandes, 

' TenerifFe. 


the islands and countries which you demand are not yet 
conquered, nor brought to that condition to which, please 
God, they by and bye will be brought, for I trust they will 
all be conquered and the inhabitants be baptized. I entreat 
you, therefore, as I am not tired of your company, be not 
you tired of mine. It is my intention that your trouble 
shall not be thrown away, but you shall receive the reward 
which is most justly your due. Let us now, I pray you, 
dismiss this subject, and do all in our power to remain as 
brothers and good friends. ^^ " That is very well,^^ said 
Messii-e Gadifer, " but there is one thing which causes me 
dissatisfaction, namely, that you should already have done 
homage of the Canary Islands to the King of Castillo, and 
you call yourself sole lord of them, and even have caused 
the said King to pi'oclaim, through the greater part of his 
kingdom, and especially at Seville, that you are the Lord of 
them, and that none should enter the Canary Islands with- 
out your permission ; the King has further issued a decree 
that you are to have a fifth, either in kind or in money, 

les isles et pays que demanclez ne sont pas encor conquis, ne mis 
la, Oil, se Dieu plaist, ils fei-ont ; car i'espere qu'ils seronfc conquis 
et baptisez, ie vous prie qu'il ne vous ennnye point, car il ne 
m'ennuye pas d'estre auec vous : mon intention n'est point que 
perdiez vostre peine, et que vous ne soyez rcmuuere, car il vous 
appartient bien. Ie vous prie que nous paraclieuions et faisions 
tant que nous soyons fi'eres et amis. C'est tres-bien diet, ce 
diet Messire Gadiffer de la Salle a Monsieur de Bethencourt, mais 
il y a vne chose dont ie ne suis pas content, car vous auez desia 
faict rhommage au Roy de Castillo des isles Canariennes, et 
vous en dictcs du tout Seigneur, et mesmes a faict crier ledict 
Roy de Castillo par la pluspart de son Royaume, et en especial 
en Siuille, que vous en estes Seigneur, et que nuls ne viennent 
parde^a esdictes isles Canarienes sans vostre conge ; et outre a 
faict crier, que il veut que de toutes les marcliandizes qui seront 
prinses esdictes isles, et seront portccs au Royaume de Castille, 
quo vous on ayez Ie quint de la raarchandise ou Ie quint denier. 

OV THE CAXAlMi:S. 1 1 -"i 

of all the commodities exported from these islands into the 
kingdom of Castille." 

" With respect to that," said Bethoncourt, " It is indeed 
true that I have done homage, and that I hold myself to be 
the true lord of these islands, since such is the pleasure of 
the King of Castille. But to satisfy you, I hereby promise, 
if you will only wait for the completion of our undertaking, 
to leave you that which shall give you perfect satisfaction." 
Messire Gadifer replied : " I shall not remain long enough 
in this country, for I must return to France. 1 do not wish 
to stay here any longer." Monsieur de Bethencourt could 
not at that time hold any further conference with Gadifer. 
It was evident that Gadifer was by no means satisfied. 
Nevertheless he had really lost nothing, but had been a 
gainer in many ways, as, for instance, in prisoners and 
other things which he had taken in these islands ; and if he 
had not lost his vessel, his condition would have been still 
more improved. However, these two knights made as 
amicable a settlement as they could for the time being, and, 
leaving the island of Laucerote, they came to Erbania, named 

Qnant au regard de ce que vous dictes, diet Bethencourt, il est 
bien vray que i'en ay faict rhommage, et aussi ie m'en tiens le 
vray Seigneur, puis qu'il plaist au Roy de Castille. Mais quand 
pour vous contenter, s'il vous plaist attendre la diffinitiue de 
nostre aflfaire, ie vous bailleray et laisseray telle chose dequoy 
vous serez content. Cedict Messire Gadiffer, ie ne feray pas 
tant en ce pais, car il faut que ie m'en retourne en France, ie ne 
veux plus icy estre. Monsieur de Bethencourt ne peut oncques 
pour I'beure auoir plus j^aroles de luy, et paroist bien que ledit 
Gadiffer n'estoit point content, si pourtant n'auoit-il riens perdu, 
mais auoit gagne en plusieurs manieres, comme prisonniers et 
autres choses qu'il auoit eu et prins esdites isles ; et s'il n'eust 
perdu la nef, il en eust encores plus amende. Lesdits Cheualiers 
pour celle heure s'appaiserent le mieux qu'ils peurent, tant que 
ils se partirent de I'isle Lancelot, et vindrent en I'isle d'Erbanie 



Forteveutura^ and occupied theinselves veiy well, as you 
will hereafter hear. 

Chapter LXI. — How M. de Bethencourt went to Erbanie, and 
from thence made a long and profitable journey, for it occupied 
his attention more than ever. 

Then M. de Bethencourt proceeded to the island of Erbanie, 
where he made a great raid upon the enemy, and captured 
several, and sent them to the island of Lancerote. Then M. 
de Bethencourt began to fortify himself against attacks from 
enemies, in order to place the country in subjection, and 
also because he had been given to understand that the 
King of Fez was making preparations to attack him and 
his company, declaring that all the islands belonged to him. 
Accordingly, M. de Bethencourt remained in that island 
three months, and explored the whole country. He found 
the inhabitants to be men of large stature, powerful, and 
firmly attached to their forms of government. Monsieur de 

nomniee Fort' uuenture, et besongnerent tres-bien comma vous 
oi-rez cy-apres. 

[CuAPrrRK LXI.] — Comment Monsieur de Bethencourt s'en alia 
en Visle cV Erbanie, et Id Jit vn fort grand voyage, et ban, car il 
lug besongna iilus que oncqucs mes. 

Puis apres passa Monsieur de Bethencourt en I'lsle d'Erbanie, 
et fit vne grand rose, et out prins de leurs ennemis, et les ont 
passez en I'lsle Lancelot. Et apres a commence Monsieur de 
Bethencourt a se fortifier a rencontre des ennemis, afin do mettre 
le pays en sa subiection ; et aussi pour ce qu'on leur a donne a 
entendre que le Roy de Fez se vent armer contre luy et sa coni- 
pagnie, et dit que toutes les Isles luy doivent appartonir; et a 
este Monsieur de Bcthencovu't en icelle Isle bien trois mois, et 
couru tout le pais ; et a trouuc Icdit sieur des gens de grand 
stature, fors et moult fermcs en lour loy. Monsieur de Betlien- 

OK rilK (.'ANAKIKS. 115 

Hctlu'iiooiirt knew very well how to fortify liiinself, and 
cominenced a fortress on the broad brow of a mountain 
near a fresh spring at a league's distance from the sea. He 
called it Richcroque. This fortress the Canarians took after 
M. de Bcthenconrt had returned to Spain^ and they killed 
some of the people whom he had left behind to defend it. 

(^iiAPTKR LXII. — llow Bethencourt and Gadifor again had words 


After Monsieur do Bethencourt had begun to fortify him- 
self, he and Messire Gadifer had several woi'ds together 
which were not very pleasant. Messire Gadifer was in a 
place that he had to a certain extent fortified. A corre- 
spondence took place between the two; and in Messire 
Gadifer's letters to Monsieur de Bethencourt there v?ere 
only these words : " If you come here ; if you come here ; 
if you come here," and nothing more. To which M. de 

court a fort entendu a soy fortifier, et a commence vne forteresse 
en vn grand pendant d'vne montagne, sur vne fontaine vifve a 
vne licue pres de la mer, qui s'appelle Richeroque ; laquelle les 
Canares ont prins depiiis que Monsieur de Bethencoui't retourna 
en Espagne, et tuerent vne partie des gens que ledit sieur y 
auoit laisse. 

[CilAPriRE LXII.] — Comment BethencouH et Gadiffer eurent \_encore\ 
2mroUes ensemble. 

Appres que Monsienr de Bethencourt eust commence a, soy 
fortifier, ledit sieur et Messire Gadifer eurent plusieurs paroles 
ensemble, lesquelles n'estoient pas fort plaisantes I'vn a I'autre 
et estoit ledit Messire Gadifer en vne place qu'il auoit aucune- 
ment fortifiee ; et rescrirent I'vn a I'autre ; et y auoit aux lettres 
que Messire Gadifer rescrit a Monsieur de Bethencourt seulement 
pour toute escriture, se vous y venez, se vous y venez, se vous y 
venex, et non autre chose. Et a done !^^onsicHr dc Bethencourt 

i 2 


Betliencourt replied, by his poursuivant, named Sejcpuis: "If 
YOU show yourself here; if you sliow yourself here; if you show 
yourself here''; and for a time the two felt great hatred to- 
wards each other, and used angry words; till, at the end of a 
fortnight, Monsieur de Bethencourt sent a fair little com- 
pany to the Grand Canary, and Messire Gadifer went also. 
This took place on the twenty-fifth of June, one thousand 
four hundred and four, and he proceeded to the Grand 
Canary in Monsieur de Betheucourt's barge, in order to see 
the country in company with the party which that nobleman 
had sent out ; and accordingly they put out to sea. But a 
few days afterwards they experienced a dreadful storm, for 
in one day they were driven a hundred miles by a contrary 
wind. They subsequently reached the Great Canary near 
Telde, but they dared not enter the harbour, for the wind 
was too strong, and it was nightfall ; so they proceeded 
twenty-five miles further to a town called Argygneguy, 
and there they put into port and remained at anchor 
eleven days. At this place Peter the Canarian came to 
speak with them, and afterwards the son of Artamy, 

luy rescrit par son poursaiuant, nomme Sejepuis, se vous y 
trouuez, se vous y trouuez, se vous y trouuez ; et furent vne espace 
de temps en grosse haine et en grosses paroles ; iusque au bout 
de qviinze iours, que Monsieur de Bethencourt enuoya vne belle 
petite compagnie en la grand' Canare ; adonc Messire .Gadifer y 
alia; ce fut le vingt-cinquiesme ionr de Juillet mil quatre cens 
et quatre, et passa a la grand' Canare en la barge de Monsieur 
de Bethencourt, pour voir le pays auec la comj>agnie que ^Mon- 
sieur de Bethencourt auoit ordonne, et entrerent en mcr. Mais 
en aucuns iours apres ils enrent merneilleuse tourniente, car ils 
singlcrent en vn iour entre deux soleils cent niilles auec vent 
contraire ; et apres arriuei'ent en la grand' Canare prcs de Teldes, 
mais ils u'orent prendre port, ear le vent venoit trop fort, et 
cstoit sur hi nuitee ; et passerent vingt cinq inille plus auant, 
iusques a vne ville nomme Argygneguy, et \ii prindront port, et 
demcurercnt onze iours a I'atiero. Illec vint Piotre le Canare 
parler ?i rux, et puis y vinf h> Ills d'Artamy le Roy du pays, et 


Kinji; of tlie country, and other Canarians, came in great 
ininihors to the vessel, as they h:ul dune on Ibrniei- occa- 
sions. But when they saw our party, and how few we were 
in number, they determined to entrap us, and Peter the 
Canariau told us they would give us fresh water, and they 
brouirht some hog-s as a present for us. lie tlien set an 
ambush, and when the boat touched the shore in order to 
take these things on board, the Canarians seized the end of 
the rope ^yh^ch was thrown to them out of the boat, while 
the boatmen held the other, and at this moment the am- 
bush sallied out and pelted our people with large stones, so 
that they were all wounded. They then seized two oars, 
and two barrels full of water, and a cable, and prepared to 
rush into the water to capture the boat ; but Hannibal, 
Gadifer's bastard son, all wounded as he was, seized an oar 
and drove the Canarians back, at the same time pushing 
the boat well out to sea ; for several of the company were 
lying in the bottom of the boat and dared not raise their 
heads : there were two or three of the srentlemen of Mon- 

clcs autres Canares grand foison, ec venoient a, la barge ainsi 
qu'ils auoient fait autre fois. Mais quaud ils vireut nostre com- 
ruune, et que nous estions peu de gens, a la fin ils nous caidereut 
ti'uhir; et nous dit Pietre le Canare qu'ils nous donneroient de 
I'eau fraiche ; et nous fit venir des pourceaux qu'ils nous deuoient 
donner, et mit vne embusche ; et quaud le bastel fut aborde pres 
de la terra pour recueilllr les choses, Ics Canares tenoiet le bout 
d'vne corde en terra et ceux du batel tenoient I'autre ; adoc 
saillit rembuche sur eux et leschargerent de moult grand iet de 
pierre ; tellement qu'ils fureut tous blessez, et leurs tollirent 
deux auirons, trois barils plains d'eau, et vn chable, et saillirant 
tout a coup en la raer pour cuider prendre le bastel : mais 
Hanibal, bastart de Gadifer, tout ainsi blesse qu'il estoit, print vn 
auirons en sa main, et les rebouta, et eslargit le bastel bien auant 
en la mer, car plusieurs des autres s'estoiant laissez clioir au 
fons de bastel et n'osoient dresser la teste. II y eut deux ou 
trois gcntils-hommes de Monsieur de Bcthencourt qui auoient 


sieur de Bethoncourt who did good service, and then the 
party returned to the vessel much beaten and hurt, and a 
fresh company put off in the boat. It being now quite 
evident that truce was broken, they returned to the skirmish, 
but the Canai-ians came against them with shields emblazoned 
with the arras of Castile, which they had taken from the 
Spaniards the previous season, and our companions suffered 
considerable loss, while they inflicted little on the enemy. 
So they returned to the ship, weighed anchor, and proceeded 
to the port of Telde, and there they remained two days. 

CiiAPTEU LXIII. — How Gadifer and the master of a veseel held a 
conversation, as you will hear. 

Then they departed and returned to the island of Erbania, 
to Monseigneur de Bethencourt ; and when they neared 
the coast the wind proved contrary, so Gadifer went by 
land, and came upon an ambuscade of Castilians who had 

pauois qui y seruirent beaiiconp, et puis s'en rcuindrent a la 
barge bien battus efc navrez ; puis rnirent des autres compagnons 
frais aa bastel. Quand ils virent que treues estoient rompues, 
ils retournerent pour escarmoucher a eux, mais les Canares 
vindrent contre eux auec pauois armoyez des armes dc Castillo, 
quils auoient I'autre saison gagne sur les Bspagniols ; et gasterent 
nos compagnons assez de bon trait saus porter dommage a leurg 
ennemis si peu que nou. Si s'en retournerent a la barge et 
leuerent leurs ancres et s'en allerent au port de Teldes, et la 
dcmourerent deux iours. 

[Chapitre LXIII ] — ComiiiG Gadifer et le mestre tVune [»</] 
eure)i.t j^arloiucnt, couDiie vans orrcs. 

Puis s'en partirent de la, et s'en retournerent en I'isle cVErbanie 
vers Monseigneur de Bethencourt ; et quand ils furent acostez a 
la terre, le vent leur fut contraire ; si dcsccndit Gadifer et s'en 

vint par forrc vi arrina sur viio rinlnisclio do Casiillans ([iii 


arrived iti a barge, and had brouglit a large supply of pro- 
visions for Monsieur de Bethencourt, and they said that one 
day of that week forty-two Canarians had met ten of their 
companions well accoutred, and had severely routed them ; 
but perhaps they wore well aware that they were new 
comers, for tliey never gave way to such violence against 
their neighbours with whom they were acquainted. And 
when Gadifer, who was already very down-hearted at wit- 
nessing many things which displeased him, reached the 
company, he perceived plainly, and decided in his own 
mind, that the longer he remained in the country the less 
he would gain ; and that Monsieur de Bethencourt was 
altogether in favour with the King of Castile. Besides 
which, he learned from the master of the vessel which had 
brought the provisions for Monsieur de Bethencourt, that 
the King had sent him thither for the purpose of reinforcing 
him with provisions ; and many things he said in favour of 
the said De Bethencourt. Gadifer was very downcast at all 
this, and could not refrain from telling the master of the 

estoient venus en vnc barge, et estoit arrim' la barge a tous 
grand plaule de viures pour Monsieur de Bethencoart ; et disoient 
qu'vn iour de celle sepraaiuc quarante deux Canares ancient 
encontre dix de leurs compagnons tres-bien apparliez, et qu'ils 
les auoient tres asprcment chassez, mais peut estre qu'ils 
cognoissoient bien que c'estoiciit gens nouueaux. Car ils ne 
s'abandonnoient mie ainsi sur leui's voisins qu'il cognoissoient. 
Et quand Gadifer fut arriue a tout la compagnie luy estant bien 
fort lasse de voir beauconp de eboses qui luy desplaisoient, et 
voyoit, et pensoit bien que taut plus il seroit au pays et tant 
mains acquerroit, et que Monsieur de Bethencourt estoit de 
tout poinct en la grace du Roy de Castille ; et encor outre ce 
qu'il ouit dire au maistre de la barge qui auoit amene les viures 
a, Monsieur de Bethencourt, car il disoit que le dit Roy I'auoit 
enuoye par de^a pour le constiiler et rauitailler ; et des biens 
bcaucoup qu'il rapportoit et disoit du dit Bethencourt, et tant 
(pic ledit Gadifer s'cii csliabii fort, ot ne se pcut tcuir qu'il ne 


vessel that M. de Bethencourt had not done everything by 
himself, and if others had not seconded him, matters would 
not have advanced so far ; and if he had brought these pro- 
visions a year or two earHer, it would have been more to 
the purpose, and many angry words passed ; in fact, so 
many, that they were repeated by the master to M. de 
Bethencourt, who was much hurt and annoyed that Gadifer 
should be so jealous of him. So much so, that shortly 
afterwards, when they met each other, M. de Bethencourt 
said to him: '^I am very grieved, my brother, that you 
should show so much jealousy of my welfare and of my 
honour ; and did not think that you would exhibit so much 
animosity against me." Then Gadifer replied, that it was 
not fair that his trouble should be unrewarded ; that he had 
been long away from his country ; and that he clearly saw 
that the longer he stayed where he was, the less it would be 
to his advantage. 

To which M. de Bethencourt rejoined : '' That is ill said 
of you, my brother ; for I have no such dishonest wish as 

dil au maistre de la barge que ledit Sieur Betliencoui't u'avoit 
pas tout fait de luy, at que se autres gens que luy n'y eussent 
dusogne, les choses ne fussent pas si auancees ; at qua s'il fust 
venu a tout les viures qu'il auoit aportes depuis vn an ou deux, 
ils feussent venus encor plus a poinct ; at y aust beaucoup de 
paroles, et tant que les paroles vindrent par la dit maistre a 
Monsieur Bethencourt, dont Monsieur de Bethencourt fut bieu 
esbaliy at bien cource que le dit Gadifer auoit si grande euuie 
sur luy ; et taut que tantost apres ils s'entra rencontrerent : et 
luy dit Monsieur de Bethencourt, Ja suis bien esbahy, mou 
frere, comment vous auaz si grand cnuie de mon bien et honnaui', 
at na cuidons pas que vous eussiez vn tel courage contra moy ; 
et adonc respondit Messire Gadifer, qu'il ne dauoit pas auoir 
perdu sa peine, at qu'il auoit este grande aspassa de temps hers 
de son pays ; et qu'il voyoit bien que tant plus il seroit la et 
tant moins gaigneroit. Monsieur da Bethencourt luy respondit, 
Mon frere, c'ast mal dit a vous; car ie n'ay pas si dcs-honneste 


to witliliolc] the duo recognition of your rights so soon as, 
by God^s grace, things shall have reached a better state of 
perfection than at present." Gadifcr then said : " If you 
would concede to me the islands of which I formerly spoke 
to you, I would be content.'' Monsieur de Bethencourt 
replied that, having done homage of them to the King of 
Castile, he could not undo that act. Upon which more 
hard words passed between them, which would be too long 
to repeat. So it fell out that within eight days M. do 
Bethencourt, having got together his people and his supplies, 
he aud Gadifer left the Canaries for Spain, neither of them 
very well pleased with the other. M. de Bethencourt went 
in one vessel, and Gadifer in another ; and settled their 
mattei's in Spain, in the manner that you will presently 

vouloir que ie ne le vueille recognoistre quand les choses seront, 
se Dieu plaist, venues a plus grande perfection qu'elles ne sont. 
Cedit Gadifer, si me vouliez baillir les isles qu'autre fois voas ay 
parle, ie serois content. Respond Monsieur de Bethencourfc 
qu'il en auoifc fait bommage au Roy de Castille, et qu'il ne s'en 
deferoit point ; et il y eut de grans paroUes qui trop longuez 
seroient a raconter et de quoy je me passe pour le present. 
Auint dedans huict iours apres que Monsieur Bethencourt eust 
arrune ses gens et ses besongnes, ledit Bethencourt et Gadifer 
se partirent des pays des Caiiares, et s'en allerent en Espagne, 
non pas fort bien contens I'vn de I'autre ; et se mit Monsieur de 
Bethencourt en sa nef, et ledit Gadifer en vne autre, et beson- 
gnereut ensemble quand ils furent en Espagne, comma vous 
orrez cyapres. 


CirAi'TER LXIV. — How the Sieur de Bethencourt and Gadifer arrived 
in Spain, and Gadifer, not being able to gain his point against 
Bethencourt, returned to France, and Bethencourt to the Islands. 

A sliort time after Monsieur de Bethencourt and Messire 
Gadifer de la Salle left Erbanie in no very good humour 
with each other. Monsieur de Bethencourt sailed for Spain 
in one vessel and Gadifer in another, but when they reached 
Seville, M. de Bethencourt took possession of several things 
that Gadifer said belonged to him ; and the King of Castile 
was informed of the whole dispute, but Gadifei-^s assertions 
were not believed. Whereupon he declared that he would 
return to France, where he had much to attend to. In 
short, he clearly saw that no other course was open to him. 
Accordingly, he left Spain and returned to France, nor did 
he ever again make his appearance in the Canary Isles. M. 
de Bethencourt had much ti'ouble afterwards in subduing 
the said islands, as you will hear moi'e fully by and bye. 

[Chapitre LXIV. — Comvie le Sieur de Bethencourt et Gadifer 
arriuerent en Espague, et Gadifer ne pomiant gaguer autre 
chose contre luij, s'en retourne en France et Bethencourt es isles. '\ 

Dedens ung pou de temps apros se partit derbanne Monsieur 
de Bethencourt et Messire Gadiffer de la Salle noii mye trop 
bien dascort. Monsieur de Bethencourt estoit en une barge et 
Gadiffer en une autre pour passer la mer en Espaigne ; mais 
quant ilz furent en Syville Monsieur de Bethencourt empescha 
plusieurs choses que le dit Gadiffer disoit luy appartcnir, tant 
que le Roy de Castillo en east les nouuellcs ; mais ricn ne valut 
pour ledit Gadifer, et incontinent dit qu'il vouloit aller eu France 
en son pais et qu'il y a\ioit bien affaire ; le dit Gadifer voyoit 
bien qu'il n'y pouuoit autre chose faire, et pour co cen vouloit il 
aler. Et se partit le dit Gadiffer du royaume d'Espaigne, et 
s'on alia en France en son pays, et oncqnes puis on no Ic vit 
csdites isles de Cauare : et eut depuis Monsieur do Bethencourt 
bien a besongner a conquerir ledites isles de Canare ainsi commc 
vous orrc/ plus a plain oy nprcs. Sy nous tairons dc cesto 


But for the pvcscnt wc will leave this matter, and will 
speak of tlioso islands wliicli M. de Bethencourt visited or 
caused to be visited, and of the manners, customs, and 
government of the people. 

Chapter LXV. — Here in the first place the island of Furro is treated of. 

We will first speak of the island of Ferro, which is one of 
the most distant. It is a very beautiful island, seven leagues 
in length and five- in breadth: it is in the shape of a crescent, 
and is very difficult of access, for it has no good port or en- 
trance; but it has been visited by the Sieur de Bethencourtand 
by others, for Gadifer was there a considerable time. Formerly 
it had been extensively inhabited, but the natives had been 
captured at different periods and been made slaves of in 
foreign countries, so that few now remained. The surface 
of the island is a high table-land, covered with large forests 
of pine and laurel, bearing wonderfully large and long- 
berries. The ground is good to till and suitable for corn, 

raatiere quant a present, et parlerons des isles que Monsieur de 
Bethencourt a visitees et fait visiter, des manieres et des con- 
ditions, et gouuernement des isles. 

[Chapitee LXV.] — Yoj pade preinierement de lille de For. 

Si parlerons premierement de I'isle de Fer, qui est vne des 
plus lointaincs, et dit que c'est vue moult belle isle, et contieut 
sept lieues de long et cinq de large : et est en maniei-e d'vn 
croissant, et est tres forte : car il n'y a bon port nc bon enti'age, 
et a este visitee par ledit sieur et par autres ; car Gadifer y fut 
bien longuement, et souloit estre bien peuplee de gens, mais ils 
ont este prins par plusieurs fois et menez en clietifuoisson en 
estrangez contrces; et y sont au iourd'hui demourez pea de gens, 
et est le pays haut et assez plain ; gamy de grands bocages de 
pins et de lauriers portans meures si grosses et si longues que 
nicrucilles; et sent les terres bonnes pour labourer, pour blcds, 


for vines, and all other things. There are many kinds of 
fruit-bearing trees. There are falcons, hawks, larks, and 
quails in great numbers ; and also a kind of bird with a 
pheasant's plumage^ but of the size of a parrot^ and of small 
flying power. The water is good, and there is great abund- 
ance of animals, such as hogs, goats, and sheep. There 
are lizards as large as cats, but harmless, although very 
hideous to look at. The inhabitants are a very fine race, 
both men and women. The men use long lances without 
iron points, for they have no iron,^ nor any other metal. 
They grow a considerable quantity of grain of all sorts. 
In the highest part of the island are some trees which 

pour vin et pour toutes autres choses ; et si on y trouueroit 
mains autres arbres portans fruict de diuerses conditions : et y 
sent faucons, espreuiers, alloiJettes et cailles a grand plante, et 
vne maniere d'oiseaux qui ont plume de faisant, et est de la 
taille d'vn papegaux, et ont courte voUee. Les eaues y sent 
bonnes, et y a grand plante de bastes ; c'est as9auoir pourceaux, 
chievres, et bi'cbis, et y a des lesai'ds grandes comme vn chat, 
mais elles ne font nul mal, et si sent bien hideuses a regarder. 
Les habitans d'illec sent moult belles gens hommes et femmes, et 
portent les hommes greds lances qui ne sont point ferrees : car 
ils n'ont point de fer ne d'autre metail : et y croit blcds de 
toutes maniere assez. Et au plus liaut du pays sont arbres qui 

1 This passage shows that this island did not derive its name, as it 
would seem to do, from iron. On inquiring why this island was called 
Ilierro or Ferro [1. e. iron], Galindo found that the natives called it 
Esero, which in their language means " strong"; and as they had no iron 
in use aniongat them, when tht;y saw that it was a "strong" material 
corresponding to the name of their island, thoy called iron inditVerontly 
by the name of Esero or Hierro, the Spanish word for that metal, so 
that at last they translated the real name of the island Esero into the 
Si)anish one Ilierro, of which Ferro is the Portuguese form. This seems 
a very unsatisfactory solution. It appears that in the Guanche language 
"hero "or "herro" means a well or cistern, such as are used in this 
island for preserving rain-water, and hence the easy lajjse into "hierro," 
" ferro," or, as the French chaplains make it, " fer." 


arc nlwfiys dripping with a most clear delicious water, which 
falls into a pool nc^ar llio trees formed by the continual 
dropping ;^ it is the most excellent for drinking that can 

tousiours degouteiit eau bt'lle et clere qui diet on fosse aupres 
des arbrcs, la mcilleare pour boire que Ton s^auroit trouuer ; efc 

' One of these trees, called the "Garoe" or "Holy Tree," has been 
made famous both by those who have exaggerated its merits, and by its 
depreciators and those who have denied its existence. All sorts of in- 
accuracies have been stated both on the one side and the other. For- 
tunately we possess a detailed description of it by Father .Fuan de 
Abreu (ialindo, who had the curiosity to pay a visit to this remarkable 
tree, and whose account may be seen at page 47 of his Hixtoria de la 
Coiiquisla de las siete islas de Gran Canaria^ written in 1(132, and pub- 
lished at Santa Cruz de Teuerife in 1848. It was a gigantic til {Laurus 
foetens), standing by itself on the top of a steep rock, about a league and 
a half from the sea, in the district of Tigulahe. The circumference of 
the trunk was twelve spans, the diameter four, and its height, to the 
topmost branch, was forty spans. The circumference of all the branches 
was 120 feet. The branches were thick and extended, and the leaves 
distilled sufficient water to furnish drink to every living creature in 
Ferro. On the north side was a cistern divided into two, each half 
being twenty feet square and sixteen spans deep. One of these was for 
the inhabitants, the other for cattle. At this part of the island a cloud 
or mist arose in the morning, and was carried by the south-easterly 
winds along a narrow gully which reached from the sea to the cliff, and 
being there checked by the face of the rock, rested on the thick leaves 
and wide- spreading branches of the tree, and thence distilled in drops 
during the day. Of the age of the tree, reputed to be very great, we 
have no authentic record. The date of its final destruction has been 
mis-stated by many. Leopold von Buch tells us, without giving his 
authority, that it still existed in 1689 ; Father Nieremberg places its 
downfall in 1629 ; and Nufiez de la Pefia in 1625. It happens, however, 
that an official record of the event survives which shows them all to be 
wrong. In a work entitled Noticias del Ilierro, by Bartholome Garcia 
del Castillo, it is recorded that the tree was overthrown in a hurricane ; 
and that, at page 184 of the second " Libro Capitular "of the island, 
stands the following memorandum, made by the ayuntamiento, under 
date of 12th June, 1612. '^ Since the Arbre Santo (Holy Tree) has 
fallen, and the cisterns in which the water used to be collected are 
blocked up with the trunk and the branches, and as it is necessary that 
all of it must be removed, and the earth which fell at the same time 
cleared away: it is ordered and commanded," etc. 


be found anywhere. The quality of this water is such 
that, if any one had eaten till he could eat no more, 
and were to drink of this water, in one hour the food 
would be entirely digested, and the man would have as 
great an appetite as he had before having eaten. 

CiiArxER LXVI. — Of the island of Palina, tlie most distant of all. 

The island of Palma, which is farthest out in the ocean, ^ 
is larger than the map describes it; it is very high and veiy 
steep, covered with large forests of various sorts of trees, 
such as pines and dragon-trees, bearing dragon's blood, 
and other trees yielding milk of great medicinal vakie, and 
fruits of various kinds. There are good rivers flowing 
through it, and the land is excellent for agriculture of all 
sorts, and the pastures are excellent. The country is 

est icelle eau de telle condition que quand on a tant nienge que 
on ne pent 23lus, et on boit d'icelle eau, aincliois qii'il soit vne 
heure la viande est toute digeree, tant qu'on a aussi grand 
voulente de menger qu'on auoit aupavauant qu'on avoit mange. 

[Chapitre LXVI.] —De Vlsle de Palme qui est la iilus lointaine. 

L'isle de Palme, qui est la plus auant d'vn coste de la mer 
Oceane, est plus grande qu'elle ne se monstre en la carte, et est 
tres-haute et tres foi'te, garnie de grads bocages de diuerses 
conditions, comme de pins et do dragonniers portant sang de 
dragon, et d'autres arbres portant laict do grande medccine, et 
de fruictage de diuerses manieres, et y court bonnes riuieres 
parmy, et y sont les terres bonnes pour to us labouragcs et bien 

' This statement, although nearly correct, is not perfectly so, as the 
reader will immediately recognise from the early European geographei-s 
having made the first meridian to ])ass through the island of Fcrro as 
hcing the westernmost of the group. 

OF THE CAN A i; IKS. 127 

sti-ony- Mini woll peopled, for this island lias not been so much 
visited as the others. The inhabitants arc a fine people, and 
only live upon flesh. It is the most delightful country that 
we have found amongst all those islands, but it is very 
much out of the way, being the most distant from the maiu 
land. It is only a hundred French leagues, however, distant 
from Cape Bojador, which is on the main land of the 
Saracens. The climate of the island, moreover, is extremely 
good, for, unless by accident, the people are never ill, and 
thev live to a e-reat ajje. 

Chapter LXVII. — After that of the island of Gomcra. 

The island of Gomera is fourteen leagues from the last 
mentioned. It is a very steep island, in the shape of a 
trefoil. It is very high and tolerably level, but the gorges 
ai-c wonderfully wide and deep. This country is inhabited 
by a tall people who speak the most remarkable of all the 
languages of these islands, and speak with their lips, as if 

garnies d'herbages. Le pays est fort et bien peuple de gens ; 
car il n'a mie este ainsi foulle comme Ics autres pais ont este. 
lis sent belles gens et ne viuent que de chair : et est le plus 
delectable pais que nous ayous trouue es isles de parde9a, mais 
il est bien adesmain, car c'est la plus loiutainne isle de terre 
ferine. Toutefois il n'y a du cap de Bugeder, qui est teri'c fermc 
des Sarrasins, que cent lieaes Frangoises, et aussi c'est vne isle 
ou il y a fort bon air, ne iamais voulentiers on n'y est malade, et 
les gens y viuent longuement. 

[Chapitre LXVII.] —St/ apres de I' Isle Gomere. 

L'Isle de Gomere est quatorze lieues parde^a, qui est tres 
forte isle, en maniere d'vne trefle ; et le pais bie-hault et assez 
plain, mais les baricanes y sot merueilleusemcnt grandes et 
parfondes, et est le pais habite de grand peuple qui parle le plus 
estrange langaige de tons les autres pais de parde<^'a ; et parlent 


they had no tongues ; and they have a tradition that a 
great prince, for no fault of theirs, caused them to be 
banished and had their tongues cut out; and, judging 
by the wa}^ tbey speak, one could well believe it. The 
country abounds in dragon-trees and other kinds of wood, 
and in small cattle. There are also many other notable 
thino-s which it would be tedious to describe. 

Chapter LXVIII. — Of tlie island which is called Tonerfiz, but which 
some call the Island of Hell. 

The island of Hell, which is called Tonerfis [Teneriffe], is 
shaped like a harrow, almost the same as the Great Canary. It 
is about eighteen French leagues in length and ten in breadth. 
In the middle there is a large mountain, the highest that 
there is in all the Canary Islands ; and the base of the 
mountain extends over the greater part of the island, and 
all round are valleys well wooded and intersected with 
running streams, and abounding in dragon-trees and many 

des baulievres ainsi que si feussent sans langue, efc diet on 
parde^a que vng grand prince pour aucun meffaict les fit la 
rnettre en exil, et leur fit tailler leurs langues, et selon la maniere 
de leur parler on le pourroit croire. Le pais est garnj de dragon- 
niers et d'autre bois assez, ot de bestiail menu, et de moult 
d'autres choses estranges qui seroient longuez choses a raoontor. 

[Chapitre LXVIII.] — De lille rpii sappelle lijUe [_Toncrfiz] aucnns 
lappellejit lille Jeuffer. 

Lille denffer, qui se dit Tonerfis, est en maniere d'vne lierclio, 
presque ainsi que la grand' Canare, et contient enuiron di.\- 
huict lieues Francoises de long et dix de large, et en tour le 
meilleur a vne grand' montagnc la plus havite qui soit en toutes 
les isles Canariennes, et s'estent la parte de la montagne de tous 
costez par la plus grand partie de tonte I'isle ; et tout entour 
sont les baricanes garnis de grands bocages et de belles fontaines 
oourantes, de dragonniers et do inonlt d'nntros nrhres do dinors(>s 


otlicr kinJs of wood.^ The country is very good for all 
kiuds of agriculture, and numerously inhabited by the hardiest 
race to bo found in all these islands. They have never been 
run down or carried into servitude like those of tho other 
islands." Their island is ten leagues south of Gomera, and 
on the other side towards the north it is four leagues 
distant from the Groat Canary ; and in those parts it is 
pronounced to be one of the best islands there is. 

mauieres et conditions. Le pays est raout bon pour tous les 
labourages, et moult grand peuple y habite, qui sont les plus 
hardis de tous les autres peuples qui habite es isles; et ne furent 
oncques courus ne menez en seruage comme ceux des autres. Et 
marche leur pays pres de la Gomere a six lieues deuers le midy 
et de I'autre eoste deuers le nort a quatre lieues de la grand' 
Canare ; et dit on par deqa. que c'est vne des [plus ?] bonnes isles 
qui y soit. 

^ The Teyde or Peak of Teneriffe, one of the largest volcanic cones 
known, is more than ten leagues in circumference at the base, and 
towers 11,430 feet above the level of the ocean. The crater on 
the summit presents a solfatara of about 300 feet in diameter and 
100 feet deep. The view from the top, as described by Sabin 
Berthelot, took in a range the diameter of which exceeded 100 leagues. 
Lancerote was seen on the verge of the horizon at a distance of 160 
miles. Then Fuerteventura, stretching its length towards the Great 
Canary. Westward the shadow of the Peak spread itself out in an 
immense triangle so as to lap over Gomera, while Palma and Ferro 
showed their scarped summits a little beyond. Thus the entire Archi- 
pelago of the Canaries lay like a relief map under his eyes. 

2 Nuilez de la Pena tells us that the natives of Teneriffe called them- 
selves " Guanchinet," which the Spaniards corrupted into " Guanche." 
" Guan" meant " person," and " Chinet " was the same as " Teneriffe"; 
so the two words combined meant "a man of Teneriffe." Of all the 
Canariaus, the Guanches of Teneriffe held out the longest against their 
conquerors. It was not till 1490 that they lost their independence, and 
were entirely subdued by the Spaniards. 


Chapter LXIX. — Of the Great Canary and its inhabitants. 

The Great Canary is twenty leagues long^ and twelve 
broadj and is shaped like a harrow ; it is distant twelve 
leagues from the island of Erbanie. It is the most 
celebrated of all the islands. On the south side there 
are large and remarkable mountains, but on the north 
the country is tolerably flat and good for agriculture. The 
country is well wooded with pines, firs, dragon-trees, olive- 
trees, fig-trees, date-palms, and many other fruit-bearing 
trees. The inhabitants are tall, and look upon themselves 
as noble,^ having none of the lower orders amongst them. 

[Chapitee LXIX.] — Sy parlle de lillc de la Grand' Canarie, et 
des gens qui y sont. 

La grand' Canare contient vingt lieues de long et douze de 
large ; et est en maniere de herche, et conte Ton douze lieues de 
la grand Canare iusques en I'isle d'Erbannie, et est la plus 
renommee de toutes les autres isles, et y sont Ics montagnes 
grandes et merueilleuses du coste de Mid}", et deuers le nort 
assez plain pays et bon pour labourage. C'est vn paj'^s garny 
de grand boccages de pins et de sapins, de dragonniers, d'oliuiers, 
de figuiers, de palmiers portans dattes, et de moult autres 
arbres portans fruicts de diuerses manieres. Les gens qui y 
habitcnt sont grand peuple, et se dient gentilshommes, sans 

1 It may be here stated, once for all, that the various measurements 
and distances given by Bethencourt's cliaplains arc, as might be ex- 
pected, very inaccurate : as, for example, in the present instance ; the 
Great Canary, whicli is nearly round, has for its greatest diameter 
thirty miles, and is about fifty-five distant from Fuerteventura. 

2 Viera tells us that the nobles of the Great Canary wore recognised 
by sjiecial distinctions and enjoyed particular iirivilogos. They wore 
the beard and hair long. The foi/can or liigh priest, whose authority 
was equal to that of the princes, had the sole right of conferring nobility 
and arming knights. The law required that the aspirant should be 
known to possess lands and flocks, should be of noble descent, and in 
conilition to bear arms. 

OP Til 10 CANARIES. 131 

Tliey Lave barley, beans, and g-raiu of every sort. Every- 
thing grows there. They are great fishermen,^ and net (or 
hunt) very well. They go quite naked, save for a girdle of 
palm-leaves. Most of them print devices on their bodies, 
according to their various tastes, and wear their hair tied 
behind in the fashion of tresses. They are a handsome and 
well-formed people. Their women are very beautiful. They 
wear skins round the middle of the body. The people are 
well off for animals, such as hogs, goats, and sheep ; there 
is also a kind of wild dog~ like a wolf, but small. M. de 
Bethencourt, Gadifer, and several of the company went to 
the island to study their habits and their government, and 
to look out for landing places and the entrances into the 
country, which are good and free from danger, but of which 

ceux d'autre condition. lis ont forment, feuves, bleds de toutes 
series ; tout y croit, et sent grands pesclieurs de poisson, et 
noiient merueilleuseraent bien : ils vont tous nuds fors que les 
brayez qui sont de feiiilles de palmiers, et la plus grand' partie 
d'eux portent denises entaillees sur leur chair de diuerses manieres, 
chacun selon sa plaisance ; et portent leurs cheveux liez par 
derriere ainsi qu'en maniere de tresses. Ils sont belles gens et 
bien formez, et leurs femmes sont bien belles ; affublez de peaux 
pour couurir leurs membres honteux ; ils sont bien garnis de 
bastes, c'est a sgauoir pourciaux, chievres et brebis, et de chiens 
sauuages qui semblent loups, mais ils sont petits ; Monsieur de 
Betlieneourt, et Gadifer, et plusieurs autres de sa comj^agnie y 
out este, tout en effet pour voir leur maniere et leur gouuerne- 
ment, et pour aduiser les descendues et les entrees du pays qui 
sont bonnes et sans danger, mais qu'on y tiengne ordonnance, 

1 Viera speaks of two modes of fishing in use by the Canarians : the 
one spearing by torchlight ; the other by poisoning the water with the 
juice of the '■Habaiba,^'' a species of Euphorbia piscatoria. A species of the 
same genus, the Eitphorbia hijberna, is used by the peasants of Kerry for 
the same purpose. It is so powerful, tliat a small creel, filled with the 
bruised plant, suffices to poison the fish for several miles down a river. 

2 Following the narrative of King Juba, Pliny derives the name of 
Canaria from the great number of dogs that the Mauritanian explorers 
found in the island. 



they took due note, sounding and measuring the harbours 
and coasts wherever a vessel could put in. Half a league 
from the sea on the north-east are two towns, two leagues 
distant from each other, one called Telde and the other 
Argones, situated on the banks of running streams. Twenty- 
five miles thence to the south-east is another town, situated 
on the sea, which beats against it and serves admirably as 
a fortification on one side, while there is a sti'eam of fresh 
water on the other. This town is called Arginegy,^ and a 
very good harbour might be made of it for little vessels in 
danger from the fortress. It must be acknowledged that 

et assonde et mesure les ports et les costieres de la terre par 
tout oil nauire peat approcher, A demy lieue pres de la mer du 
coste du nordest sent deux villes a deux lieues I'vne de I'autre, 
I'vne nommee Telde, et I'autre Argone, assises sur ruisseaux 
courans. Et a vingi-cinq mille de la du coste de suest, si est vne 
autre ville sur la taer en tres bon lieu pour fortifEer et illec luy 
bat la mer entres bon lieu pour fortifier et d'un coste a vn 
ruisseaux d'eaue douce de I'autre coste, laquelle se nomme Argi- 
negy ; et y pourroit on faire tres -bon port pour petits naulres au 
danger de la forteresse. II ne faut point dire que ce ne soit vne 

' Sabin Berthelot, in his Histoire Natii,relle des Canaries, thus de- 
scribes the little town of Argyneguy, or rather Arguineguin. He says 
it might have contained about four hundred houses, the remains of 
which are seen in a ravine of the same name. They stand in several 
rows around a great circle, in the centre of which are the ruins of a 
more considerable building. In front of the entrance to this building 
is an enormous semicircular seat with a back to it, made of stones joined 
without cement. The idea suggests itself that this house was the residence 
of a chief, and that the council assembled in this spot. Long stout beams 
made of laurel (barbusano), an almost indestructible wood, now extremely 
valuable for its excellence and rarity, still cover some of these dwellings, 
the shape of which is elliptical. Inside are seen three recesses sunk into the 
thickness of the wall, which is eight or nine feet thick. The fireplace is 
near the entrance-gate, and faces the recesses at the end. The wall is 
without cement and constructed of stones, rude and unchiselled on the out- 
side, but in the interior perfectly cut and worked to measure. These stones 
are as well joined together as the best of our nuisons could do it. 


the island is a most excellent one^ and replete with ad- 
vantages ; corn grows twice a year without the land requir- 
ing any improvement, and if the land was not so badly 
cultivated more things would grow than one would be able 
to mention. 

Chapter LXX. — Of the island of Erbauia, called Fortaventura, in 
■which were two kings. 

The island of Fuerteventure, whicli we call Erbannie, as 
also do the people of the Great Canary, is twelve leagues 
from that island on the north-east. It is about seventeen 
leagues long and eight broad, but in one place it is only a 
league and a half in breadth from sea to sea. The soil is 
sandy, and a great stone wall traverses the island right 
across from one side to the other. The country is varied 
by plains and mountains, and one can ride on horseback 
from one end to the other. In four or five places there are 
running streams of fresh water, which might be made to 
turn mills ; and on the banks of these streams are large 

fort bonne isle plaine des tons bies ; et y viennent les bleds deux 
fois I'an sans y faire nul ameudement, et si ne sQaaroit-on trop mal- 
aisement labourer la terra qu'il n'y viengne plus de biens qu'ou 
ne sgauroit dire. 

[Chapitke LXX.] — Sij parle de lille derhanye dit Fortauenture, en 
laquelle y avoit deulx Boys. 
L'Isle de Fort auenture, que nous appellons Erbanne, aussi 
font ceux de la gi'and' Canare, est douze lieues par de^a du 
coste de nort est, laquelle contient enuiron dix-sept lieues de 
long, et huict de large, mais en tel lieu y a qu'elle ne contient 
qu'vne lieue d'vne mer a autre. La est pays de sablo, et est la 
vn grand mur de pierre qui comprend le pays tout au trauers 
d'vn coste a I'autre : le pais est garny de plain et de montagne, 
et peut-on cheuauclier d'vn bout a I'autre, et y trouue Ton en 
quatre ou en cinq lieues ruisseaux courans d'eau douce, dequoy 
nioulins pourroicnt moudre, et a sur ccs naisseaux de grands 


groves of trees called tarhais,^ which produce a salt g'um, 
fine and white, but it is not a wood to be turned to any 
serviceable account, for it is twisted, and its foliage is like 
heath. The country is plentifully furnished with other 
trees, which produce a milk of great medicinal value, like 
balm, and there are other trees of marvellous beauty which 
contain more milk even than the others. They are divided 
into squares, and each square bears a kind of thorn like 
brambles. The branches are as large as a man^s arm, and 
when they are cut the wound is filled with a milk of 
marvellous virtue.^ There are other trees also, such as 
date-palms and olives, and mastic trees in great abundance. 
A plant also grows there which is very valuable, called 
orchil. It is used for dyeing cloth and other things, and 
is the best plant for that purpose that is known anywhere ; 

bocages de bois qui s'appellent Tarbais, qui portent gomme de 
sel bel et blanc ; mais ce n'est mie bois de quoy on peut fairs 
bonne ouuraige, car il est tortu et semble bruyere, de la feiiille. 
Le pays est moult garny d'aufcre bois qui porte laict de grand' 
medecine en maniere de baulme, et autres arbres de merueilleuse 
beaute qui portent plus de laict que ne fot les autres arbres, et 
sont carrez de plnsieres carres ; et sur chacune carre a vn reg 
d'espine en maniere de ronces, et sont les branches grosses 
comme le bras d'vn home, et quand on les couppe tout est plain 
de laict qui est de merueilleuse vei'tu : d'autre bois comme de 
palmiers portans dattes, d'oliuiers, et de mastiquers y a grand 
plate, et y croit vne graine qui vaut beaucoup qu'on appelle 
orsolle ; elle sort a teindre drap ou autres cboses, et est la 
meillure grayne dicelle que Ton s9acbe trouuer en nul pais 

' The Rev. R. T. Lowe, author of The Flora of Madeira, who has 
made the botany of this group of ishands a special study, gives lue the 
following note on this word. " I can find nothing at all like this in my 
(carefully identified) vernacular names of Fuerteventuran jilants, but 
the plant meant was probably Erica arborea^ L., though now quite 
extinct in Fuerteventura, and called in the other islands ' Breuo.' " 

- The Euphorbia Canariensis. When tlie skin of this plant is in- 


and if only this island be once conquered and brought into 
the Christian faith, this plant will prove of great value to 
the lord of the country. The people of the country are not 
very numerous, but very tall, and difficult to take alive ; 
and so formidable are they that, if any one of them is 
taken by the Christians, and turns upon them, they give 
him no quarter, but kill him forthwith. They have villages 
in great number, and they live more closely together than is 
the custom with the inhabitants of the island of Lanzerote. 
They eat no salt, and live only on flesh, which they preserve 
without salt, hanging it up in their houses till it is quite 
dry, and then they eat it. This meat is much more savoury, 
and beyond all comparison finer, than any that is prepared 
in France. The houses smell very bad, on account of the 
flesh that is hung up in them. They have good store of 
tallow, which they eat with as much relish as we do bread. 
They are well ofi" for cheeses, which are superlatively good, 

pour la condition d'icelle ; et si lille est vne fois conquise et 
niise a la foy chrestieune, icelle graine sera de grad valeur au 
sieur du pais : le pais n'est pas trop fort peuple de gens ; mais 
eeux qui y sont, sont de grande stature, et a peine les peut-on 
prendre vifs, et sont de telle condition que si aucun d'eux est 
prius des chresties, et il retourne deuers eux, ils le tuent sans 
reraede nul. lis ont villages grand foison, et se logent plus 
ensemble que eeux de I'isle Lancelot. lis ne mangent point de 
sel, et ne viuent que de chair, et en font grand garnison sans 
saler, et la pendent en leur hostieulx, et la font seiclier iusques a 
tant qu'elle est bien fanee, et puis la menget, et est icelle chair 
beaucoup plus sauoureuse, et de meillure condition que celle du 
pais de Franco sans nulle compai'aison. Les niaisons sentent 
tres-mal, par cause des chairs qui y sont pendues : ils sont bien 
garnis de suif, et le mangent aussi sauoureusement comme nous 
faisons le pain. Ils sont bien garnis de formaiges, et si sont 

cised, an acrid milk exudes which contains active medicinal properties, 
and, when dried, furnishes the drug known as euphorbium. 


the best tLat are made anywhere about. They are made of 
the milk of goats^ with which this island is more numerously 
stocked than any of the rest. Sixty thousand might be 
taken every year, and great pi^ofit made of the hides and 
fat^ of which each animal yields full thirty or forty pounds. 
The abundance of the fat and the excellence of the meat 
are astonishing, far superior to what they have in France. 
There is no good harbour for large vessels to winter in, 
but very good ones for small craft. Throughout the whole 
of the plain country, wells might be sunk for soft water 
for watering the gardens and other purposes. There are 
some good districts for agi-iculture. The inhabitants are of 
a resolute character, very firm in their religion, and they 
have temples in which they ofPer their sacrifices.^ This 
island is the nearest to the country of the Saracens, for 
there are only twelve French leagues between it and Cape 
Bojador, which is the main land of Africa. 

souueraineraent bos, les meilleures que on sache es parties 
d'enuiroii: et si ne sont faits que de laict de chieure, dont tous le 
pais est fort peuple plus que nulle des autres isles, et en pourroit- 
on prendre chacun au soixante mille, et mettre a profit les cuirs 
et graiffes, dont chacune beste rend beaucoup, bien trente efc 
quarante liures : c'est merueilles de la graisse qu'ils rendent, et 
si est merveille que la cher est bonne trop biaucoup meilleur que 
ceulx de France sans nulle coraparaison. II n'y a point de bon 
port pour niuerner gros nauire, mais pour petit nauire il y a 
tres-bons ports : et par tout le plain pais pourroit-on faire puits 
pour auoir eaue douce, pour arrouser iardins, et faire ce qu'on 
voudroit. II y a de bones veines de terre pour labourages ; les 
habitans sont de dur entendement, et moult fermes en leur loy, 
et ont esglise oil ils font leurs sacrifices. C'est la plus pres isle 
qui y soit de terre dcs Sarrasins, car il n'y a que douze lioues 
FrauQoises du cap de Bugeder qui est terre fcrme. 

' Vicra tells us tliat at Fuerteventura there existed remains of large 
circular stone buildings, called ^' efeqitenes,'" devoted to woi-ship. They 
gciuM'ally stood on the top of a mountain. The sacritices wei'e offerings 
of liuttcr and liliations of goats' milk. 


CiiArrKu LXXI. — Of the island of Laiicerote. 

The island of Lancerote lies four leagues north-north- 
east from the island of Fuerteventura. Between these two 
is the island of Lobos, which is not peopled, and is nearly- 
round. It is a league in length and the same in breadth ; 
it is a quarter of a league from Fuerteventura on one side, 
and three leagues from Laucerote on the other side. On 
the side of Erbanie there is a very good harbour for galleys. 
The number of sea-wolves that come there is astonishing, 
and every year might be got a sufficient quantity of skins 
and fat to fetch five hundred gold doubloons and more. As 
for the island of Laucerote, which is called in their lan- 
guage Tite-roy-gatra, it is of the size and shape of the 
island of Rhodes. It contains many villages and fair houses, 
and used to be well peopled, but the Spaniards and other 
corsairs of the sea have so fi'equently made captures among 
them, and thrown them into slavery, that now there are 
but few remaining, for when M. de Bethencourt arrived 

[Chapitre LXXL] — Sy parle de Idle Lanlot. 

L'isle de Lancelot est a quafcre lieues de I'isle de Forte-auenture 
du coste de nort nort-est; et est entre deux l'isle de Louppes, qui 
est despeuplee, et est presque ronde, et ne contient que vne 
lyeue de long et autant de large, a vn quart de lyeue derbanne 
dit Forte-aueture, et de I'autre part a trois lieuees de l'isle 
Lancelot. Du coste d' Erbanie est tres-bon port pour galleres. 
La viennent tant de Lous-marins que c'est merueilles, et pourroit- 
on auoir chacun an des peaux et des graiffes cinq cens doubles 
d'or ou plus. Et quand a l'isle Lancelot, qui s'appele en lour 
langaige Tlte-Boy-gatra, elle est aveques du grant et de la fa^on 
de l'isle de Rhodes. H y a gi*and foison de villages et de belles 
maisons, et souloit estre moult peuplee de gens. Mais les Espagnols 
et auti'es corsaires de mer les ont par maintes fois prins et menez 
en seruaige, tant qu'ils sont demourez pcu de gens. Car quand 
Monsieur do Bethencourt y arriua, ils n'estoient enuiron que 


there were scarcely three hundred people. These he con- 
quered, though with great trouble and difficulty, and, by 
the grace of God, had them baptized. On the side towards 
the island of Graciosa the country is so inaccessible, that it 
would be impossible to enter it by force ; but on the other 
side, towards Guinea, which is the main land of the Saracens, 
the country is tolerably flat and free from wood, with the 
exception of some brushwood useful for fuel, and a kind 
of wood called Hyguerres,^ with which all the country 
abounds from one end to the other. It contains milk of 
great medicinal virtue. There is great abundance of springs 
and reservoirs of water, as also of pasture land and good 
land for tillage. A great quantity of barley grows there, 
of which they make excellent bread. The country is well 
supplied with salt. The inhabitants are a fine race. The 
men go quite naked ; excepting for a cloak over their 
shoulders, which reaches to their thighs, they are indifferent 

trois cens personnes qu'il conquesta a grand' peine et a grand 
trauail et, par la grace de Dieu, baptisez ont este. Et du coste 
de I'isle Gracieuse, le pays et I'etree est si forte que nul n'y 
pourroit entrer a force ; et de I'autre coste deuers la Guinoye, 
qui est terre ferme de Sarazins, est plain pays ; est asses plain, 
et n'y a nuls bois, fors que petits buissons pour ardoir, si ce n'est 
vne raaniere de bois qui s'appelle Hygueres, dequoy tout le pays 
est gamy d'vn bout a I'autre, et portent laict de grand raedecine. 
II y a grand foison de fontaignes et de cisternes, et de pasturages 
et de bonnes terres a labourer; et y croist grand' quantite d'orge, 
dequoy on fait de tres bon pain. Le pays est bien gamy de sel, 
les habitans sont belles gens, les liommes vont toiis nuds fors 
qu'vne ruantel par dei^riere iusques au jaret, et ne sont point 

^ 1 am indebted for the following note to the Rev. R. T. Lowe. 
'" From one or two herbaceous species of Euphorbia being still called in 
Lanzerote ' Iliguerilla,' it is probable that the two common shrubby 
species E. Regis Julxje^ Webb, and E. balsamifera, Ait., now called 
' 'J'abayba,' were the plants intended. Von Ruch says that the closely 
allied shrubby E. piscatoria, Ait., is called in Palma ' higerilla.'" 


to other covering. The women are beautiful and modest. 
They wear long leather robes, which reach down to the 
ground. Most of them have three husbands, who wait 
upon them alternately by months, the husband that is to 
live with the wife the following month waits upon her and 
her other husband the whole of the month that the latter 
has her, and so each takes his turn. The women have a 
great many children, but have no milk in their breasts ; 
they therefore feed them with their mouths^ and thus their 
under lips are longer than their upper ones, which is an 
ugly thing to see. The island of Lanzerote is an excellent 
and charming island, and might well be extensively visited 
by merchants ; and much business might be carried on, for 
there are two harbours in particular which are exceedingly 
good and easy of access. Orchil grows here, and a large 
and profitable trade is carried on in it. But we will dwell 
no longer on this subject, but return to M. de Bethencourt, 
who is in the kingdom of Castille, in communication with 
the sovereign of the country. 

lionteux de leurs membres. Les femmes sont belles et lionnestes, 
vestues de grands houppelandes de cuirs trainans iusques a terre. 
La plus grand' partie d'elles ont ti'ois maris, et seruent par mois; 
et celuy qui la doit auoir apres, les sert tout le mois que I'autre 
la tient, et sont tovisiours ainsi a leur tour. Les femmes portet 
moult d'enfans, et n'ont point de laict en leurs mammelles, ainsi 
allectent leurs enfans a la bonche, et pour ce ont elles les 
boullieuses de dessoubs plus longues que celles de dessus ; qui 
est laide chose a voir. L'isle Lancelot est vne fort plaisante isle 
et bonne, et y peut arriuer beaucoup de marchands et de 
marchandises, car il y a par especial deux bons ports et aisez. 
II y croit de I'oursolle qui est fort marchande et profitable. 
Nous laissei'ous a parler de ceste niatiere, et parlerons de Mon- 
sieur de Bethencourt, qui est au royaume de Castille deuers le 
roy du pais. 


Chapter LXXII. — How M. de Bethencourt took leave of the 
King of Spain. 

When M. de Bethencourt had got rid of Master Gadifer, 
he procured letters patent from the King of Castillo^ to the 
effect that he had done homage for the Canary Isles, and 
then took leave of the said king to return to the islands, for 
he was wanted there. Gadifer had left his natural son and 
several others behind him, and for this reason the Sieur de 
Bethencourt was anxious to return with as little delay as 
possible. Indeed he would not have gone to Castillo had he 
not feared that Master Gadifer might steal a march upon him, 
and make some statement to the King of Castillo which he 
would not like. Not that he could say that the Sieur de 
Bethencourt had done anything wrong, but, as I have 
already said, he was anxious to have his letters all made 
out and engrossed and sealed. The king had previously 
granted and caused to be delivered to him certain letters 
patent in Seville, but they were not as important as these 

[Chapitke LXXII.] — Comment Monsieur de Betliencourt prit conge 
die Roy d'Espagne. 

Qvand Monsieur de Bethecourfc eust faict a Messire Gadifer, il 
recueillit lettres au Roy de Castille comme il auoit fait sou 
liommage des isles de Quenare, et print conge dudit roy pour 
s'en retourner es isles ; car il en estoit besoing. Ledit Gadifer 
auoit laisse son bastard et aulcuns autres auec luy, pour laquelle 
cause ledit Sieur de Bethecourt vouloit retourner le plus brief 
qu'il pourroit. II ne fust ja alle en Castille, si ce n'eust este 
qu'il doubtoit que Messire Gadifer eust entreprins sur luy, et 
qu'il eust rapporte quelque chose au Roy de Castille dequoy il 
n'eust pas esie content : non pas qu'ou luy sceust dire chose que 
ledit Sieur eust deseruy ; mais comme i'ay dit par cy-devant, il 
desiroit auoir ses lettres toutcs faictes, grosses et seellees. Le 
roy luy en auoit en parauant bailie ct fait bailler lettres en 
Siuillo, mais ils n'estoient point comme dernieres. Le roy luy 


last. In those tlio king gave him full power to coin money 
in the country, and granted him a fifth of all the mer- 
chandise which should be imported from the said islands 
into Spain. The letters were passed before a notary 
named Sariche, living in Seville ; and in the said town will 
be found all the acts and regulations of the said de Bethen- 
court. And seeing that the king was highly pleased with him, 
several of the citizens of Seville took a great liking to hiin, 
and made him very handsome and gratifying presents in the 
way of armour, provisions, money, and gold, to meet his more 
pressing necessities. He was very well known in that city, 
and greatly beloved. The said Seigneur de Bethencourt took 
leave of the king and returned to the islands in high spii-its, 
like a man who felt that he had managed his matters well. 
On reaching the island of Fuerteventnra, he was received 
by his people with great joy, as you shall presently hear 
more in detail. 

donna plain pouuoir de faire monnoye au pais ; et luy donna le 
cinquiesme denier de toutes les marcbandises qui vendroient des 
dites isles en Espagne ; et furenfc les lettres passees deuant vn 
tabellion nomme Sariche demeurant en Siuille ; et en ladite 
ville de Seuille on troauera tout le faict et gouuernement du dit 
Bethencourt. Et auecques ce que le roy estoit fort content de 
luy aucnns bourgeois de Siuille I'aimoient fort, et luy firent beau- 
coup de plaisir, come d'armures, de viures, d'or et d'ai'gent a 
son grand besoin. II estoit fort bien cogneu en la dite ville et 
fort ayme. Ledit Seigneur de Bethencourt print conge du Roy, 
et s'en retourna aux isles tout joyeux, come celuy a qui il sem- 
bloit qu'il auoit bien fait ses besongnes, et arriua a I'isle de 
Forteauenture, la oil il fut recueilly de ses gens bien joyeusement, 
comme vous orrez cy-apres plus a plain. 


Chapter LXXIII. — How the Sienr de Bcthencomt arrived in the 
island of Erbanie. 

When Monsieur de Bethencourt arrived in tlie island of 
Erbania, called Fuerteventura, lie found there Hannibal, 
Gadifer's bastard son, who came forward to greet him; and 
the Sieur de Bethencourt gave him a very courteous recep- 
tion. " Sieur/^ said Hannibal, " what has become of my 
master ?^^ ''He is returned/^ said Monsieur de Bethencourt, 
to France, to his own country." " I should much like to be 
with him," replied Hannibal. '' Please God," said M. de 
Bethencourt, " I will take you thither when my enterprise 
is completed." " I am very distressed," said Hannibal, 
''that he has left us without sending us any intimation." 
" I think," answered M. de Bethencourt, " that he has 
written to you by my pursuivant." And so he had. The 
Sieur de Bethencourt then proceeded to a fortress named 
Eicherocque, which he had caused to be constructed, 
and there he found some of his people. Fifteen of them 
had that day made a sally against the encoiy, but the 

Chapitre LXXIII. — Comme ledit Seigneur arriua en lille derhane. 

Or est arriue Monsieiir de Bethencourt en I'isle d'Erbanne 
nommee Fort'auenture, et a trouue Hannibal bastart de Messire 
Gadifer, lequel luy vint au deuant luy faii-e la reuerence, et ledit 
Seigneur le receut honnestement. Monsieur, dit Hannibal, qu'est 
deuenu Monsieur men maistre, ce dit Monsieur de Bethencourt 
il s'en est alle en France en son piiLs. Adonc ce dit Hannibal, 
je voudrois bien que ie feusse auec luy, ce dit ledit Sieur, ie vous 
y meneray, si Dieu plaisf, mais que i'aye fait mon entreprise : ie 
suis fort esbaliy, eo dit Hannibal, comment il nous a luissez sans 
nous enuoyer quelqno nouuelle : ie pense, ce dit ^lonsieur de 
Befcliencoui't, qu'il vous ait rescript par mon poursuiuant, aussi 
auoit-il ; ledit Seigneur arriua en vue forteressc nommee liirJic- 
rocque, laquellc il auoit fait faire, et trouua vne partio de ses 
gens en icello place, il en estoit sailly quinzo de la place iceluy 
iour, et estoient allcz courir sur Icurs ennemis, ct lours enncmys 


Canariaiis opposed them so vigorously^ that tliey killed 
six outrifrht, and the remainder, much beaten and dis- 
heartened, retreated to their fortress. M. de Bethencourt 
soon devised a remedy for this. There was another fortress 
there, named Baltarhayz, in which were quartered another 
portion of the company, and among them Hannibal. Mon- 
sieur de Bethencourt took his departure with all his com- 
pany from Eicherocque, which he left empty in order to take 
the more people with him to Baltarhayz. As soon as he was 
gone, the Canarians broke into Richerocque and destroyed 
it," and thence proceeded to the port of Gardins, at a 
league's distance, where M. de Bethencourt had stored his 
provisions. They burned a chapel that was there, and 
seized the supplies, consisting of a great quantity of iron 

Caiiariens vindrent sur eux et leur coururent sus vigoureuse- 
ment, et en tuerent incontinent six et les autres moult batus et 
froissez se retrairent en la forteresse. Adonc ledit Bethencourt 
y mit reraede bien tost. Or y auoit-il vne autre forteresse la oil 
se tenoit vne partie de la compaiguie, et y estoit Hannibal, et so 
nomme ladite forteresse BaltarliaAjz. Monsieur de Bethencourt 
se partit a tout sa compaiguie, et laissa Richerocque despourveu, 
pour plus se saisir de gens pour venir a Baltai'hays, et incontinent 
qu'il fut party les Canariens vindrent rompre et destruire Riche- 
rocque, et s'en allerent au port des Gardins qui est vne lieue 
pres de la ou estoient les viures de Monsieur de Bethecourt, et 
ardirent vne chappelle qui y estoit, et gaignerent de leurs 
habillemes, c'est assauoir force fer et canons, et rompirent coffres 

1 Father Galindo says that the natives of Fuerteveutura are remark- 
ably ■well built, strong, and courageous ; and those in the north part of 
the island, called Maxorata, were distinguished for their talness. They 
could, in successive leaps, clear three lances placed parallel to each 
other at the height of a man, and at different distances. The steepest 
ravine formed no obstacle to the Guanche shepherd in pursuit of a kid 
down the mountain's side. 

"^ The ruins are still seen. Richerocque is one of ten hamlets in the 
district of Oliva, in the north part of the island. 


and cannons. They burst open cliests and barrels, and took 
and destroyed everything that was there. Then M. de 
Bethencourt mustered together all the people that could be 
found in the island, for some were away in the island of 
Lancerote, and consequently were not forthcoming. He 
took the field and had several engagements with the enemy, 
coming off victorious every time. On two days in especial, 
a considerable number of Canarians were slain ; and those 
whom they succeeded in taking alive, were passed on to 
the island of Lancerote with their king, who had remained 
with them after the departure of M. de Bethencourt and 
Gadifer, for he wished to restore and reopen the fountains 
and reservoirs, which, for certain reasons, M. de Bethen- 
court had caused to be destroyed by Gadifer and his 
company during the war, before the country was subdued. 
In that part there is such a quantity of cattle, both wild and 
domestic, that it is a matter of necessity that these fountains 
should be opened, for otherwise the cattle could not live. The 
king also desired M. de Bethencourt to send him cloth for 

et tonneaux, et pi'iuclreut et destriiirent tout ce qui la estoit. Si 
asscmbla Monsieur de Bethencourt tout tant qu'il peut trouuer 
de gens en ladicte isle, car il en auoit en I'isle de Lancelot qui 
n'y poui'roient estre, et se mit le bon Seigneur sur las champs, et 
ont eu affaire auecque leurs ennemis par plusieurs fois, et tous- 
iours ont eu victoire, et specialeniet en deux iournees, esquelles 
ont este morts plusieurs Canariens : et ceux qu'ils ont peu prendre 
vifs, ils les ont fait passer en I'isle Lancelot, auecques leur roj, 
qui auoit demoure auec eux, depuis que Monsieur de Bethen- 
court et Gadifer se partii'ent de la, afin qu'il fist labourer et 
rouui'ir les fotaines et les cisternes que Monsieur de Bethen- 
court auoit fait destruire par Gadifer et la compagnie duraut la 
guerre d'entre eux pour certaines causes parauant qu'il eust le 
pais conquis. Et or endx'oit y a tant de bestiail, taut de priue 
corame sauuage, qu'il est de necessite qu'elles soient ouuertes, 
car autrenient les bestes ne pourroiet viure. Et a mande ledit 
roy a Monsieur de Betliencourl (ju'ou luy cnuoye draps pour 


clothing, and bows and arrows, for all the inhabitants of 
the island of Lancerote take readily to archery and warlike 
exercises, and behave themselves valiantly in the Christian 
ranks against the people of Erbanie. This they do daily, 
and several of them have died in the war, fighting for and 
helping our people. In order to carry on the contest better 
against them, the inhabitants of Erbanie this season mustered 
all the youths of eighteen and upwards, so that the war has 
occasioned them great losses ; for, although they have the 
strongest castles that can be found anywhere, they have 
been obliged to abandon them, and dare not take refuge in 
them for fear of being shut in ; for, as they only live on 
flesh, if they were hemmed in in their fortresses, they could 
not subsist, for they do not salt their meat, so that it could 
not last long. It is not to be wondered at that we on the 
main land, with great multitudes of people and gi'eat extent 
of country, make war upon one another, when we see these 
people, who are thus shut up in islands in the sea, making 
war and killing- each other. But God allows all these 

vestir, efc artillerie, car tous les habitans de I'isle Lancelot se 
prennent a estre archers et gens de guerre, et se sent tres- 
vaillammet maintenus auecque les Clirestiens contre ceux d'Er- 
bannie, et font en cor de iour en iour, et ont este morts plusieurs 
d'eux en la guerre combatans et aidans aux nostres ; et ont ceux 
d'Erbanne, pour mieux soustenir leur guerre contre eux ceste 
saison, mis ensemble tous les homraes de dix-huict ans en sus, 
et pert bien qu'ils ont eu guerre contre eux, car ils ont les plus 
forts chasteaux que on puit trouuer uulle part, lesquels ils ont 
abandonnez et ne se y restrayent plus pour doubte qu'ils ue 
soient enclos, car ils ne viuet que de chair ; et qui les enclorroit 
en leurs forteresses, ils ne pourroiet viure, car ils ne salent point 
leur chair, pourquoy elle ne pourroit louguement durer, et ce 
n'est mie de merueille se entre nous qui sommes en terre ferme 
grand' multitude de peupie, et en grand esteudue de pais, faisons 
guerre les ungs les autres lun contre I'autre, puis que ceux qui 
sont ainsi enclos es isles de mer se guerroicut et occient I'vn 
I'autre ; mais Dieu souflVe toutes tellcs clioses, afin qu'en nos 



things, in order that, in our tribulations, we may have the 
true knowledge of him ; for the more adversity we meet 
with in this world, the more we ought to humble ourselves 
before him ; as in the above-mentioned case of the death of 
M. de Bethencourt^s people, which happened on the seventh 
day of October, 1404. 

Chapter LXXIV. — How the Lord de Bethencourt restored the castle 
of Richerocque, and of his combats with the Canarians. 

After this, on the first day of November following [1404], 
Monsieur de Bethencourt came back to Richerocque, and 
had it carefully restored, and sent for a great number of 
his people from the island of Lancerote, both natives and 
others, and they came to him. He then sent Jean le Cour- 
tois and Guillaume d'Andrac and the people of Lancerote 
and several others out to sea, to try and see whether the 
enemy would come out at all against them ; and while they 
were out fishing with the line, sixty Canarians came down 

tribulations nous puissions auoir de luy vraye cognoissauce, car 
de tant que nous aurons plus d'aduersitez en ce monde, de tant 
nous deuons nous plus humilier deuers luy; et comme dessus est 
dit de la mort des gens de Mosieur de Bethencourt le fait aduint 
le vii'' iour Doctobre MCCCCini. 

[Chapitre LXXIV.] — Comme ledll Seigneur fit ahiUer le chastia 
de Richeroque. 

Apres ce, le premier iour de Nouembre ensuiuant, Monsieur 
reuint a Riclierocque et le fit remettre en poinct, et enuoya 
querir grande quantite de ses geus eu I'isle de Lancelot, fust de 
ceux du pays et d'autres, lesquels vindrent vers luy : et puis 
enuoya Jean le Courfcois et Guillaume d'Andrac, et iceux de 
Lancelot, et plusieurs aufcres en la mer, pour escouter et pour 
voir s'il vendroit rien sur eux : et s'en alloieut en pcschant a la 
lignc, si vindrent sur nos gens soixante Canariens et leur coururent 


very sharply upon tlieni, but our people defended themselves 
so well and so vigorously that tlicy were able to retreat to their 
quai'ters, which lay at a distance of two French leagues, con- 
stantly fighting with their enemies, but without loss. But 
had it not been for some darts that they had with them, 
they would never have got off uninjured. On the third 
day following, some of the company were gone out to the 
field together with the men of Lancerote, in as good order 
as they could, and had a long encounter with their enemies, 
but at last those of Erbanie were discomfited and put to 
flight. A short time afterwards, Jean le Courtois and 
Hannibal, Gadifer's bastard son, took their departure from 
Baltarhayz. Monsieur de Bethencourt was at Eicherocque, 
which he was having restored. Then Courtois and Han- 
nibal took some companions from the island of Lancerote, 
and went out seeking adventures. The}^ came to a village, 
where they found a great number of the natives assembled, 
whom they attacked so sharply that ten were slain on the 

sus moult asprement, et nos gens se defendirent si bien et si 
vigoureusement qu'ils s'en viudrent a Thostel qui estoit a deux 
lieues Francoises de la tousiours combatans auec leurs ennemis 
sans rien perdre. Mais se n'y eust este vn peu de trait qu'ils 
auoient, ils n'en feussent iamais retournes sans perte. Et le 
troisiesme iour ensuiuant estoient allez sur les champs aucuns 
des compagnons de la compagnie auec eeux de I'isle Lancelot 
les mieux aparliez qu'ils peurent, et s'entre-encontrerent auec 
leurs ennemis qui leur courui'ent sus et combatireut longuement, 
mais en la fin eeux d' Erbanie fui'ent descouHts et mis en chasse. 
Item tautest apres Jean le Courtois, et Hannibal bastart de 
Gadifer, se parti rent de Baltarhays. Monsieur de Bethencourt 
estoit a Richerocque ou il la faisoit rabiller : iceux Courtois et 
Hannibal prindrent des compagnons de I'isle Lancelot et s'en 
allerent a leur aduanture. Si viudrent a vn village la oil ils 
trouuerent vne grande partie des gens du pays assembles, si 
leur coururent sus et combatirent a eux bien apperteraent, en 
telle maniere que leurs ennemis furcnt desconfits, et en mourut 

L 2 


spot, one of them being a giant nine feet high. Monsieur 
cle Bethencourt, however, had expressly forbidden that any- 
one should be killed, but that, if possible, they were to be 
taken alive. But they said that they could not do other- 
wise, for he [the giant] was so strong, and fought so well 
against them, that if they had spared him they would per- 
haps have been all defeated and slain. So Hannibal and 
those of the company returned much punished and down- 
hearted to the dwelling-house, and brought with them 
a thousand milch goats. 

Chapter LXXV. — Various encounters and combats with the Canarians. 

At this time and previously, Gadifer's bastard son and 
some of his allies were jealous of Monsieur de Bethencourt's 
people, although the whole conquest, from first to last, had 
been efiected by him ; and if they had been the stronger 
party, they would have done despite to Monsieur de Bethen- 

en la place dix, dent I'vn estoit geant de neuf pieds de long ; 
nonobstant que Monsieur de Bethencourt leur auoit expresse- 
ment defendu que nul ne I'occist, s'il leur estoit possible, et que 
ils le prissent vif : mais ils dirent qu'ils ne le pourroient autre- 
ment faire, car il estoit si fort, et se combatoit si bien contre eux, 
que s'ils I'cussent espargne ils estoient en aduanture d'estre tons 
desconfits et morts. Si s'en retourna Hannibal et aucuns de la 
compagnie a I'hostel bien battus et navrez, et amenereut auec 
eux mille clneure a lait. 

[Chapitre LXXV.] — (Biucrses rencontres et combats contre les 


En ce temps et en par advent, Icdit bastart de Gadifer et 
aucuns de ses alliez auoiet enuie sur les ges de Mosieur de 
Bethencourt, lequcl par luy a cste faite toute la conquoste, et lo 
commencement et la fin, et non pourtant, s'ils eusscnt peu estre 
les plus forts, ils cussent fait hontc aux gens dudit Sieur de Bethcn- 


court's company. But whatever they might say to him, he al- 
ways controlled himself, because he had need of them ; and as 
he was in a strange country, he was anxious to avoid causing 
them any displeasure, unless there wei*e a good reason. 
Nevertheless, Jean le Courtois and some of his companions 
of the household of Monsieur de Bethencourt armed them- 
selves well, as if about to engage with the enemy, and took the 
field early in the morning. It was thought that they were go- 
ing to effect a surprise; for some four days previously a great 
number of Canarians had concealed themselves for the pur- 
pose of encountering some of us, and a little time be- 
fore they had beaten a party of our people, and obliged 
them to retreat to their quarters with their heads bleed- 
ing and their arms and legs broken by the stones that 
were thrown at them. For these people have no other 
weapons ; and, believe me, they can throw and handle a 
stone much better than a Christian can. It seems like a 
shot from a crossbow when they hurl it ; and they them- 
selves are extremely swift of foot, and run like hares. 
Thank God, whatever injury they did us, they took none of 

court : mais quelque chose qu'on dist au dit Bethencourfc, il 
dissimuloit tousiours pour cause qu'il auoifc aide d'eux, et aussi 
qu'il estoit en estrange pays, et ne vouloit point qu'on leur fist 
nul desplaisir, si non a raisou, Toutefois Jean le Courtois et des 
compagnons de I'hostel de mondit Seigneur s'armerent tres-bien 
comme s'ils vouloieut aller combattre centre leurs ennemis, et 
estoit bien matin quand ils viudrent, et cuidoit-on qu'ils allassent 
en embusche ; car il n'auoit pas quatre iours qu'ils s'estoient 
embuschez moult de Canares pour cuider encontrer aucuns de 
nous, il n'y auoit gueres de temps qu'ils nous auoient bien battus 
tant qu'ils nous ont renuoye a I'hostel les testes sanglantes, les 
bras et les iambes rompues de coups de pierre ; car d'auti'es 
harnois ils n'ont point, et ci-oyez qu'ils iettent et manient beau- 
coup mieux vne j^ieri-e que ne fait vn Chrestien ; il semble quo 
se soit vn carreau d'avballestre quand ils la iettent ; et sont fort 
legeres gens; ils couront comme lievres. La mercy Dieu, quelque 
chose qu'ils nous fisscnt, ils n'ourent nuls do nous. Si aduint 


our people prisoners. It happened, some days afterwards, 
that the children who had charge of the cattle discovered 
the places where the Canarians had lain during the night. 
So they came to the place where Hannibal and Bethen- 
court's archers and crossbow-men were lodging, to tell them 
how they had fallen upon the traces of the enemy. Then 
one named d'Andrac, who had been a servant of Gadifer^s, 
asked the rest if they would go with them to see if they 
could fall in with the Canarians, but they had other designs 
and did not go. Then went six of Gadifer's party — for they 
numbered no more, two remaining to guard the place where 
they were lodging — and set out at night, each with his bow 
in his hand, to a mountain in the neighbourhood where 
the Canarians had been on the night before. D'Andrac 
started in the morning to join them, together with some 
companions from M. de Bethencourt^s quarters and some 
from the island of Lancerote, and they took dogs with them 
as if they were going sporting down the island. When 
they reached the foot of the mountain where the ambush 

aucuns iours apres cela que les enfans qui gardoient les bestes 
trouuerent les lieux ou ils auoient couche la nuictee. Sj le 
vindrent dire la ou Hannibal estoit loge, efc ceux de Bethencourt 
estoient qui tiroient de Tare at de I'arbaleste, at leur dirant com- 
ment ils auoient trouiie la trace des ennemis : done demanda vn 
nomme d'Andrac, qui auoit seruy Gadifer, aux autres ; s'ils 
vouloient aller aueeques aux pour voir s'ils les pourroient en- 
contrer, mais ils auoient autre propos, et n'y allerent point. 
Adonc y allerent incontinent six des compagnons Gadifer : car 
ils n'estoient nient plus, sinon deux qvii gardoient le logis la oii 
ils se tenoient, et se partirent par nuit chacun son arc en sa 
main eux embuscher en vne montaigne pr^s de la; ou les Canares 
auoient cste I'autre nuict denant ; si s'en partit d'Andrac pour 
aller vers eux lendcmain au matin aecompagne des conijiagiions 
de rhostol de modit Seigneur, et do ceux de I'isle Lancelot ; et 
auoient des chiens auec eux comme s'ils s'allasscnt esbanoyaut a 
val I'islc. Qiiand ils furent au pied dc la montaigne oii rcmbusclio 


la}', tliey perceived the enemy following them ; whereupon 
the}' sent one of their companions to tell d'Andrac to make 
for the mountain, for the Canarians were in great numbers. 
They gained the mountain, and the enemy drew themselves 
out in a line as if they meant to hem them in. Upon this 
our people ran down to the encounter. One of our party 
closed with them, and with a blow of his sword struck 
down a Canarian who had attempted to throw his arms 
around him. The others fled when they so clearly saw our 
people iinited against them, and betook themselves to the 
mountains, and our men returned to their quarters. 

Chapter LXXVI. — How the Sieur de Bethencourt sent Jean de 
Courtois to speak to Hannibal, who was at Baltharays. 

After this, M. de Bethencourt sent John le Courtois and 
some others to the tower of Baltharhayz to speak with 
Hannibal and d'Andrac, who were of Gadifer's party ; for 
these latter said many things which were not verj' agree- 

estoit, ils aduiserent leurs ennemis qui les suiuoient. Adonc 
enuoyerent vn des compagnons pour dire a Dandrac qu'ils 
gagnassent la montaigne: car les Canares estoient gTand nombre 
de gens. Si mouterent amont la montaigne, et les ennemis 
les costoyoient comme s'ils les vouloient enclorre. Adonc de- 
scendii'ent nos gens allencontre deux, et se ferifc vn des com- 
pagnons parmy eux, et emporta ius vn, d'vn coup d'espee, qui 
le cuidoit saisir eutre ses bras, et les autres s'enfuirent quad ils 
vireut nos gens assembles a eux si appertemet, et se reti'airet 
aux motagnes, et nos gens s'eu reuindi'et a I'hostel. 

[Chapitre LXXVI.] — Comment ledlt Seigneur enuoia Jean le 
Courtois parler a Hanyhal, qui estoit a Baltarliaijs. 

A pros Monsieur de Bethencourt enuoya Jean le Courtois et 
aucuns autres a la tour de Baltarhays parler a Hanybal et a 
Dendrac serviteurs de Gadifer : car ils disoient beaucoup de 
paroles qui ue plaisuiet point fort a modit sieur, ct leur nianda 


able to my said lord, and lie desired them, by the said 
Courtois, to observe the oath which they had taken. They 
answered that they would be careful to keep it. Jean le 
Courtois then asked Hannibal and d'Andrac why they had 
torn in pieces a letter sent by Monsieur de B. They an- 
swered that it had been done by the desii-e of Alphonse 
Martin and others ; upon which many words ensued, which 
it would be tedious to relate. John le Courtois demanded, 
by an interpreter, the Canarian prisoners who wei'e in the 
hands of Hannibal; for at least thirty had been entrusted to 
his care, who wei^e portioned out to various vocations, such 
as minding the cattle, and other things which they were set 
to do. When the prisoners arrived, John le Courtois de- 
sired his interpreter to conduct them to his lodging, which 
was done. At this d'Andrac was greatly enraged, and told 
him it was not his business to do this, for he had no 
authority to command them, even if Gadifer had. To w^hich 
John le Courtois replied that Gadifer himself had no autho- 
rity. '' Suppose," said John, ^' that you are or have been 

par ledit Courtois qu'ils tinssent le sermet qu'ils deuoiet faii'e et 
ils rcspoudiret qu'ils se voudroiefc garder de mespredre. Adonc 
demanda Jehan le Courtois a Hanybal et Dendran pourquoy ils 
auoiefc despece vues letfcres que Monsieur de B. auoit enuoyees ; 
ils respondirent que par la volonte d'Alpboce Martin et d'autres, 
il auoit este fait ; il y cut beaucoup de pai'oles qui loguos seroient 
a raconter. Jehan le Courtois mauda par vn truchcmet les 
Canaries prisonniers qui estoient es mains d'iceluy Hanybal : 
car on luy en auoit bailie en garde bien vne trcntaine, lesquels 
estoient espartis a faire aucunes vocatios, comrae a garder bcstes, 
on autrcs choses a qiioy on les auoit mis u ce faire. Et quand 
ils furcnt venus, Jehan le Courtois dit a sou truchemet, qu'il les 
menast a son logls, et ainsi fut faitc. Adoc d'Eudrac fut moult 
yre et courouce cotre luy, et dit (|u'il iu> lay appartenoit point 
de CO faii'e, et qu'il n'auoit point do puissance de comandcr sur 
eux, sois Gadifer. Adoc luy respddit Joan le Courtois, quo 
(biditbi- n'auoil nulle puissacc ; ])rciu''s, dit-il, (juo vous soyc's on 


his sorvants, iicitlior 3'on nor lie have any authority in this 
place ; it has pleased M. de Bethencourt to a})point me his 
lieutenant, and unworthy though I am of the honour, still, 
as it is his pleasure, I shall do my duty in his service to the 
best of my ability. But I am amazed that you dare act 
iu this manner, for I know well that Gadifer did the best 
he could against M. de Bethencourt our master, and it has 
been so arranged that the said Gadifer, whom you call 
your master, will never return to this country to claim any- 
thing." D'Andi-ac was excessively angry at hearing these 
words, and required that he would desist from doing and 
sa3'ing such dishonourable things with respect to his master, 
who had not done any injury to M. de B,, and he declared 
that if it had not been for their master the islands would 
not have been in the advanced state in which they then 
were ; '^ but," said he, " I clearly see that I am too weak to 
resist you, or to refute your words : so I appeal for help to 
all Christian kings, who shall decide the case.^' D'Andrac 
and Hannibal were chiefly enraged at being deprived of 
their share of the prisoners, which was not the intention of 

ayes este son serviteur, si n'aues-vous ne vous ne luy nulla 
puissace en cet endroit ; il a pleu a monsieur de B. que ie sois 
son Lieutenant, moy indigne, mais puis qu'il luy plaist, ie Ie 
seruiray ainsi que ie doit faire. Mais suis esbaby come vous 
osez mouuoir, car ie S9ay bie que Gadifer a fait Ie mieux qu'il a 
peu enuers mosieur de B. nostre maistre ; et tat ont besongne 
ensemble que ledit Gadifer que vous dites vostre maistre : ne 
reueudra iamals en ce pa'is pour y rien demander. Ledit Endrac 
fut moult cource d'ouir dire telles paroles ; et luy requerut qu'il 
se deportast de faire et dire vn tel deshoneur de son maistre, et 
qu'il n'auoit pas deseruy a monsieur de B. et que ce n'eust este 
mosieur lour maistre, les isles ne fusscnt pas si auances qu'ils 
sont, mais ie vois bie que ie suis trop foible de resister cotre 
vous, et fais clameur allencontre de vous, et demande I'ayde de 
tous les Roys Christiens, ainsi que Ie cas appartient. Ledit 
d'Andrac et Hanibal estoient principaleraet cources de ce qu'on 
lour vouloit tollir Icur part des prisonuiers : cc n'cstoit pas 


M. de Betlieiicourt^ who afterwards appeased them. But 
d'Andrac and Hannibal were always jealous of the people 
of my said lord ; and had they been the strongest^ they 
would have done them harm and despite, but M. de Bethen- 
court's people were always ten to one ; and when Hannibal 
and d^Andrac saw that they could do nothing else, and that no 
notice was taken of what they said, they were compelled to 
submit. So Jeau le Courtois departed with all these prisoners 
and returned to M. de B. at Kicherocque, and began telling 
him what terrible and proud people he had encountered, 
and how haughtily they answered. " And who may they 
be ?" asked M. de B. " They are/' said John le Courtois, 
" Hannibal and d'Andrac, and all because I wished to have 
the prisoners they had in their hands, in whom the others 
have a share as well as they. It is not their business to 
have charge of them ; but, to hear them talk, one would 
think they were lords of all the country, and that, had it 
not been for them, nothing would have been dcine ; and, in 
good sooth, Monsieur, anybody who believed them would 

rentente de monsieur de B. qui depuis les appaisa. Mais de 
tousiours ledit Endrac et Hanybal auoiet enuie sur les ges de 
raodit Seigneur de Betliencourt ; et s'ils eussent este les plus 
forts, ils leur eusset fait desplaisir et despie9a ; mais ceux de 
tnosieur de B. esfcoient tousiours dix cotre vn. Quad ledit 
Hanybal et d'Andrac virent qu'ils ne pourroient faire autre 
chose, efc qu'ils ne tenoient conte de nulles paroles qu'ils disseut, 
il fallut qu'ils obeysseat. Ledit Jean le Coui-tois s'en alia a tout 
ses prisonniers, et s'en vint deuers monsieur de B. k Richeroque, 
et commenga a dire a Monsieur qu'il auoit trouue de teri'ibles 
gens et de bie orguilleux, et qu'ils ont respondu fort fierement; 
et qui est-ce, ce dit Monsieur de B. C'est (ce dit Jehan le 
Courtois) Hannibal et d'Andrac, pource que i'ay voulu auoir les 
prisonniers qu'ils auoient, les autres y ont part aussi bicn qu'eux, 
et n'api)artit't point qu'ils en ayt't la gai'de, et senible a, les oui'r 
parler qu'ils doiuet cstre Seigneurs du pa'is, et qu'on n'eust ricu 
fait sc u'eusset ils este : et en bonne f'03', INfonsieur, qui los eiit 


think that you aud your people were far other than what 
you are. I wish that you had witnessed the thing your- 
self." " Silence," answered Monsieur ; " you must not 
repeat these things to me, for I know well the general dis- 
content. I wish their master had written to them, aud 
told them how he had fared with the King of Castillo. I 
am not pleased that you should have acted thus unreason- 
ably towards them, and I wish them to have their pai*t and 
share in the prisoners like the rest ; but, however, I will so 
arrange that everyone shall be contented. When I go away, 
I will take them with me to their own country, and so we 
shall be freed from them. We must not act hastily, but be 
always on our guard, and keep in view our honour rather 
than our profit." 

Chapter LXXYII. — How Jean le Courtois retook the castle from 
Ilauuibal aud d'Andrac. 

After several days, Courtois sent a man named Michelet 
Helye and some others of his company to Hannibal and 

vonlu tousiours ci'oire ne vous ne vos gens ne fussiez pas aiiisi 
come vous estes, et ie cuide que vous I'auez bien apperceu. 
" Taisez vous (ce dit M5sieur) il ne faut point que vous m'en 
parliez, ear ie s<;'ay bien le comun despieca. Ie cuide que leur 
maistre leur ait rescrit de ses nouuelles, et comment il a besongne 
en Casiille deuers le roy. Se dit Monsieur de Bethencourfc : Ie 
ne suis pas contet que vous leur faciez aucune desraiso, et aussi 
qu'il ayet leur part et portion des prisonniers comma les autres, 
an surplus i'y mettray si bon remede que cbacun sera content ; 
quand il m'en iray, ie les araeneray auec moy en leurs pais, ainsi 
on en sera deliure. II ne faut pas faire tout tat que Ton pourroit 
bien faire; on doit tousiours dissimuler, et gardor son honneur 
plus que son profiBt." 

[Chapitke LXXVII. — Comment Jehan le Courtois reprlt le chastiait 
a Hanyhal et d^Andrac.l 
Dedans aucuns iours apres enuoya ledit Courtois vne nome 
Michelet lielye et autres en sa compagnie deuers Hannibal ct 


d'Andrac, to tell them that Courtois desired them, on the 
part of M. de Bethencoui-t, to send to him all the Canarian 
women that they had. To which d'Andrac replied that 
through him they should have none; but by force and vio- 
lence^ as they had taken the other prisoners, so they might 
take these, for they had no intention of fighting with him 
or anybody else. When Jean le Courtois received this 
answer, he came to make his attempt, and found his com- 
panions more busy than ever covering their dwellings, on 
account of the bad weather and rain. There were few people 
in the house; and so they came, in accordance with the precon- 
certed plan, and placed themselves between it and them, 
by the side of a tower which was there. When d'Andrac 
saw that, he ran towards them with all speed, and thus 
addressed them : '^ What is this, fair sirs, that you propose 
to do ? Are you not satisfied with what you have done 
already? Have you not effected enough mischief, dishonour, 
and villainy in what you have already done to our master, 
Messire Gadifer ? Do you not remember the help we have 

d'Andrac, qui leur dit, comment Courtois leur mandoit de par 
Monsieur de Betliencourt que Ton luy enuoyast toutes les femraes 
Canares qu'ils auoient. Adonc respodit d'Andrac, que par luy 
n'eii auroit il point : mais a force et outrage, comme ils auoieut 
prins les autres prisonniers, le pourroient ils faire : car ils ne s'en 
pensoiet point a cobatrc contre luy ne autre. Apres ce que Jean 
le Courtois east eu la responce il vint et y fit son effort, et 
trouua les compagnons plus embesongnez que pie^a n' auoient 
este, qui couuroient leurs maisons pour la force du temps et de 
la pluye qu'il faisoit. lis cstoient peu de gens a rbostcl. Si 
viiidrent ainsi qu'ils auoient entrcprins, et se mirent entre I'hostel 
et eux. II y auoifc vne tour, et la, se mirent a eoste ; et quand 
d'Andrac vit cela il y accourut taut qu'il pcut courrc, et leur 
eommen^a a dire : Et qu'est-ce cy, beaux Seigneurs, que nous 
peusez-vous faire ? no vous sufiit il pas ? no nous auez-vous pas 
fait assez de mal, du deslionncur ct villenie que auez fait a nostre 
inaistrc Messlrc Gadifer ? ne vous souuieiit-il pas de I'aiJe que 


afforded you in times past, a matter which it seems to us 
that you do not take into any account ?" To which John lo 
Courto'S repHed : " Have those women fetched out to us ;" 
and ho commanded his people to break through everything 
until they got them. Then a German called out in his 
language for fire, to burn the tower. D'Andrac understood 
him perfectly, and said, "Fair sirs, you can burn everything 
down if you will •/' and said much more to them which it 
would take long to relate ; but he told them that they 
were doing great dishonour to M. de la Salle in thus seiz- 
ing his house and possessions/^ which he left," he said, " in our 
charge, and you are not doing honourably, and I call all pre- 
sent to witness the outrage which you are perpetrating upon 
us.'' To this John le Courtois replied, that the house, as well 
as all the country, belonged to Monsieur de Bethencourt, 
and that the said Sieur was lord and king of the whole, and 
that before Messire Gadifer left the islands he was aware 
of that fact. " I am amazed," continued Courtois, " that 
you should venture to rebel against M. de Bethencourt, 

nous vous auons faite au teps passe, de laquelle chose il nous 
seble que vous ne faites point de compte ? Adonc dit Jehan de 
Courtois : faites nous mettre ces femmes dehors, at commenda a 
ses gens que Ton rompist tout, et Ton fit tant qu'on las eust. 
Adonc demanda vn Allamant en son langage, du feu pour 
ardoyer la tour, et dAndrac I'entendit bien : et dit, beaux 
Seigneurs vous pouuez bien tout ardoyer si vous voulez, et leur 
dit beaucoup de paroles qui seroiet longues a dire et raconter. 
Mais il leur dit qu'ils faisoient grand deshonneur a Monsieur do 
la Salle de prendre ainsi son hostel et ses besongnes qu'il nous 
auoit laissez en gai^de, et ne faites pas bien, et ceux icy ie las en 
en appelle a tesmoings de I'outrage que vous nous faites. Adonc 
dit Jean le Courtois, que I'hostel estoit a Monsieur de Bethen- 
court, non pas seulemet le pais, et que ledit sieur en estoit roy, 
seigneur et maistre, et que dies deuat que Messire Gadifer se 
partist des isles, il le s9auoit bien. " Je suis bien esbahy, cedit 
Courtois, commc vous osez rebcller a I'encontre de Monsieur de 


who is even now at this time in this country, and when he 
hears of it will be very displeased, whereas your master is 
in his own country far away from here. Moreover he had be- 
fore leaving used all his endeavours with the King of Castillo, 
but in vain, so that he returned to France and parted with M. 
de Bethencourt on fair terms. If you will believe me, you will 
do well to come to my lord, who is a man to treat you better 
than you have deserved.^' Then said d'Andrac and Hannibal, 
'' We will go gladly, for we firmly believe that he will listen to 
reason and will restore us our prisoners, or such portion of 
them as is due to us." Le Courtois then went into the tower 
and the house, and took the women and brought them with all 
the other Canarians to the island of Lanzerote, and so they 
departed and went their way. 

Bethencourt qui encore de present est en ceste isle, et quad il 
le sera, jagre ne vous en sQaura, et encore plus y a vostre maistre 
est en son pays qui est si Icing d'icy ; et encores y a-il plus, 
qu'il en a fait tout son effort enuers le Roy de Castille, tant 
qu'il s'en est alle comme jay dit en son pais et si est party assez 
d'accord de Monsieur de Bethencourt. Se me croyez, vous 
vedrez vers Monsieur de Bethencourt, il est tel qu'il vous fera 
mieux que ne I'auez deseruy. Ce dirent d'Andrac et Hannibal, 
nous irons voirement, et croy fermement qu'il nous fera raison, 
et qu'il nous fera reudre nos prisonniers, ou telle part que nous 
deuros auoir. Le dit Courtois entra dedans la tour et hostel, et 
print les femmes ct les araenerent avec tons les autres Canares 
cu I'isle Lancelot, et a tant se partirent et s'en allerent. 


Chapter LXXVIII. — How the two Saracen Kings of Fuerteventura 
agreed to sun-ender and become Christians, for they saw that tliey 
could hold out no longer. 

Some little time afterwards, when tlie people of the island 
of Erbanie, who were unaware of the discord that existed 
between the Christians, saw the war that M. do Bethencourt 
had carried on against them, and considered that the 
Christians were armed with arrows, which they were not 
(for, as we have elsewhere said, they had no armour and 
were only clothed in goat-skins and leather, and could 
only retaliate with stones and wooden lances untipped with 
iron, although they did a good deal of mischief), they 
began to perceive clearly that they could not hold out long. 
And when they heard from those who had been made prisoners 
their report of the government and the conduct of the 
Christians, and how considerately they treated those who con- 
sented to be subject to them, these islanders determined 

[Chapitre LXXVIII.] — Comment les deux Roys Sarrazins de Vlsle 
d'Arhanije imrleinenterent pour eux rendre et faire Crestiois, 
car ilz voient que ilz ne povent plus durer. 

En aucun pou de temps apres, ccux de I'isle d'Erbanne, non 
sgachant le discord d'enti''eux, voyans la guerre que Monsieur 
leur auoit faite, eonsiderans qu'il ue la pourroient longuement 
raaintenir allencontre d'iceluy seigneur et les Chresties, et que 
les Chrestiens estoient armes et avtilles, ce qu'ils n'estoient pas : 
car comme autre fois i'ay dit, ils u'ont nulles armures, et si ne 
sent vestus que de peaux de chievres et de cuirs, et si ne se 
reuenget que de pierres et de lances de bois non ferrees qui 
faisoient beaucoup de mal : ils sent surges et allegres, ils vojent 
bien qu'ils ne pourroient longuement durer : et veu la relation 
d'aucuns de la part qui out este prisonniers entre eux, qui leur 
ont raporte la maniere du gouuernement des Chrestiens et de 
leur emprinse, et comme ils traictent gracieusement tons ceux 
qui veulent estre leurs subgiets. Et pour ce ont en en leur 


in cGUBcil that they would present themselves before the 
said Sieur de Bethencourtj as the chief of the company, and 
king and lord of the country, and as the first conqueror of 
these unbelievers; for they had never been Christians, nor 
had any other Christian before him been known to undertake 
this enterprise. Now in this island of Erbanie were two 
kings who had made war upon each other for a long period, 
during which many lives had been lost, and both sides had 
become much enfeebled j for, as has been said before, they 
had suffered great losses from intestine wars, for they have 
the strongest castles, built after their fashion, that could be 
found anywhere, and in the middle of the country there 
is also a very strong stone wall, which extends from one 
sea to the other. 

coseil qu'ils vendroiefc par devers le dit Sieur de Bethencourt qui 
estoit le chef de la compagnie, roy et seigneur da pais, come tout 
nouuel conquesteur sur les mescreans, car oncques ils ne furet 
Chresties, ne iamais navoit Chrestien que on puisse SQauoir ne 
I'auoit entreprins : et est de vray qu'ils sont en icelle isle 
d'Erbanie deux roys qui long-temps out eu guerre ensemble, en 
laquelle guerre il en y a eu par plusieurs fois beaucoup de morts, 
tant qu'ils sont bien afFoiblis, et, comme deuat est dit, il y pert 
bien qu'ils ont eu guerre entre-eux, car ils ont les plus forts 
chasteanx edifiez selon leur raaniei'e qu'on pourroit ti-ouuer nulle 
part, et ont aussi comme an milieu du pais vne tres-grand mur 
de pierre qui comprend la eu droit tout en trauers de I'vne mer 
a I'autre. 


Chapter LXXTX. — ITow the two Kiiiffs of Fuerteventura sent 
a Canai'iun to the siiid Sieur de Bethcncourt. 

Now there came to M. de Betliencourt a Canarian, who 
was sent by the two pagan kings of Erbanie, with a re- 
quest that he would be pleased to allow them to appear 
before him on pacific terms, for they wished much to see 
and speak with him, their wish and desire being to be- 
come Christians. WhenM. deBethencourt understood this 
through the medium of his interpreter, he was overjoyed, 
and replied to the Canarian, through his interpreter, that 
whenever it should please them to come for the purpose 
which he announced, he would be rejoiced to receive them 
with all hospitality, and make them right welcome. On his 
return, the said Canarian was accompanied by the Canarian 
Alphonse, who had become a Christian, and who was re- 
ceived with great cordiality. When they presented them- 
selves before the two kings, the latter rejoiced greatly on 

[Chapitke LXXIX.] — Comment les deulx Boys derhanye enuoy- 
ereiit ung Canare uers ledit slew de Betliencourt. 

Or est venu deuers Monsieur vng Canarian qui a este envoye par 
les deux Roys d'Erbanne Payens, lesquels maudent a Monsieur de 
Betliencourt qu'il luy plaise qu'ils vieiment parler a luy a Ireues, 
et qu'ils auoient grand desir de le voir, et de j^arler a lui et leur 
vouloir estoit d'estre erestiens ; et a ceste cause cestoit quil 
avoit desir de parler au dit Seigneur. Et quand Monsieur de 
Bethencourt eust ce entendu, par vng truchement qu'il auoit dit 
que cestoit la voulonte de yceulx deulx Rois de venir vers lui 
pour eulx faire erestiens, il fut bien fort ioyeux, et rendit response 
audit Canarien, et lui fit dire par son truchement, que quad 
il leur plaira a venir pour faire ce qu'il rapportoit et disoit, que 
il leur feroit tres-bonne chere, et ioyeuse, et seront les tres-bien 
venus quand ils vendront. Et s'en retourna auecques ledit Cana- 
rien vng nomnae Alfonce, Canarien, qui s'estoit faict Cbrestien, 
auquel Ton fit tres-bonne chere. Quand ils furent venus deuers 
les deux Roys lesquieulx furent fort ioyeux quand ils ouyrent la 



receiving the answer of M. de Bethencourt. They wished 
to retain Alphonse the interpreter, in order that he might 
be their guide when they came to present themselves before 
M. de Bethencourt; but he would not remain, not having re- 
ceived orders to that effect. Then the two kings had him 
conducted in safety to M. de Bethencourt's house, and he re- 
lated to him all they had said and done, and was the bearer of a 
handsome present of I do not know what fruit, which grows a 
great way off, and its odour is wonderfully fragrant. 

Chapter LXXX. — How tbe Saracen King of the Island of 
Lancerote came to be baptized. 

The king who came first to M. de Bethencourt was the 
one who ruled that part of the island towards Lancerote ; 
and he was baptized, and all the people he brought with 
him, on the eighteenth day of January, one thousand four 
hundred and five. He received the name of Lewis ; and 

response que auoit fait Monsieur de Bethencourt. Les deulx 
Rois voulurent retenir Alfonce le trucbement pour et afin qu'il 
les conduisist qiiand ils vendroient vers mondit Sieur de Beth- 
encourt, mais il ne le voulut pas, car on ne luy auoit pas com- 
mande. A done les Roys le iirent conuoj^er seuremeut iusques h. 
I'hostel de mondit Sieur, et raporta au dit Sieur de Bethencourt 
toute la maniere qu'ils auoient dit et fait, et vng beau present de 
ie ne sgay quel fruict qui croist en pais bien lointain, et odoroit 
si tres-bon que c'estoit merueille. 

[CiJAPiTRE LXXX.] — Comment le Boy Sarazin do lille lancclot 
vlnt et se fit crestieti. 

II est venu premieremet vng des Roys deuers Monseignour de 
Bethencourt, celuy du coste de I'isle Lancelot soy quarante- 
deuxiesme, et fut baptise luy et ses gens qu'il auoit amenez auec 
luy, le dix-huictiesine iour de Januier mil (piati-e cens et cinq, et 
fut nonnuc Louijs, ct trois iours aprcs viiulrcnt vingt-deux per- 


three days afterwards came twenty-two persons, and tliey 
were baptized on the day of their arrival. On the twenty-fifth 
day of January, the king of that part of the island which 
lies towards the Great Canary presented himself to M. de 
Betheucourt with forty-seven of his people, Lut they wex'o 
not baptized until the third day from their arrival. The 
king received the name of Alphonse. From that time 
forward all the people came to be baptized; some now, some 
then, according as their dwellings might happen to bo 
scattered about the countr}'^ ; so that by this time, thank 
God, they are all Christians, and bring their little children, 
as soon as they are born, to the court of Baltarhayz, where 
they are baptized in a chapel that M. de Bethencourt has 
had built ; and they mingle wuth his people and share all 
their comforts. The said Lord de Bethencourt has com- 
manded that they should be treated with the utmost gentle- 
ness ; and he issued an order, in the presence of the two 
kings, that John le Courtois should continue to be his 
lieutenant as he had hitherto been, for he himself wished to 

sonnes et furent baptisez iceluy iour mesmes. Le vingt-cin- 
quiesme iour de Januier ensuiuant vint le Roy qui estoit du coste 
deuers la grand' Canare, deuers ledit Seigneur soy quarantc- 
septiesme de ses ges, et ne furent mie baptiser celuy iour ; ils 
le furent le tiers iour apres, et fut ledit Roy nomme Alfonce, Et 
de la en auant se venoient tous baptisez, puis les vns, puis les 
autiTs, ainsi comme ils cstoieut logez et espars parmy le pais, 
tant que auiourd'huy, la mei'cy Dieu, ils sont tous CUresticns, efc 
apporte len les petits enfans, tantost qu'ils sont nez, a la court de 
Baltarhays, et la sont baptisez en une chappelle que Monsieur do 
Bethencourt a fait faire ; et vont et vienuent auecques les gens 
de Monsieur de Bethencourt, et qui leur adrainistrent ce qui leur 
faut de tout ce que Ton peult finer. Ledit Seigneur a commande 
qu'on leur face la plus grand' douceur que I'on pourra; et ordonna 
en la presence des deux Roys que Jean le Courtois seroit tous- 
iours son Lieutenant come il auoit este, et que il s'en vouloit aller 



visit his own country of France, wliere lie proposed to stay- 
as sliort a time as possible. He kept his word ; for he had 
such favourable weather, that he only spent four months and 
a half from the time of his departure till his return. He 
desired Messire John le Yerrier and Messire Pierre Bontier to 
remain, in order to explain and teach without intermission the 
Catholic faith. He took as few people as possible with him; 
but among them wei-e three Canarian men and one Canarian 
woman, as he wished them to see for themselves the manners 
and customs of the kingdom of France, and to give an 
account of them when he brought them back to the Canaries. 
So he left the island of Erbanie on the last day of January 
with tears of joy ; and all those whom he left behind wept 
on account of his departure, and the Canarians even more 
than the others, for the said lord had always treated them 
with great kindness. He took also with him some of Gadifer's 
people, but not d^Andrac or Hannibal, and so he took his 
leave. May God protect him and bring him safely back. 

vn tour en Frace en son pais, et qu'il demoui'oit tout le moins qu'il 
pourroit, et aussi fit-il; car il eut si bou temps, qu'il n'y demoura, 
que d'aller que de venir, que quatre mois et demy. II ordonna a 
Messire Jeau le Verrier, et Messire Pierre Boutier qu'ils demou- 
rei'oiet, pour tousiours monstrer et enseigner la foy Catholique, et 
amena le moins qu'il peut de gens auec luy, sinon qu'il en amena 
trois Canariens et une Canarienne avec lai pour veoir le pais de 
France, pour rapporter quad il les ramenroit au pais de Canai'e. 
Et se partit le derrain iour do Januier Monsieur de Betbencourt 
de risle d'Erbenne en pleurant do ioj'e, et tous les autres de lille 
derbanne pleuroient de ce qu'il s'en alloit, et plus en cor les 
Canariens que les autres, car ledit Seigneur les auoit douceraent 
traictez : le dit Monsieur de Betlicncourt amena aucc lui aucuns 
des gens de Gadifcr, non pas d'Andrac ue Hannibal, ct se partit : 
Dieu le veuille conduire et recouduire. 


CiiArTKU LXXXI. — How tlie Siour de Hethoncourt left the Island of 
Lancerote and arrived at Ilarfleur.' 

The said Lord de Betlieucourt left the island of Erbanie 
and set sail, and in twenty-one days he reached the port of 
Harfleur. There he found Messire Hector de Bacqueville, 
who made him very welcome, as also did several others of 
his acquaintance. He passed only two nights at Harfleur, 
and then proceeded to his own house at Grainville, where he 
found Messire Eobert de Bracquemont, knight, his near rela- 
tion, in fact his uncle. M. de Bethencourt had let to him, for 
a certain time, the lands of Bethencourt and the barony of 
Grainville, and received from him a certain yearly rent. The 
said Braquemont did not know of his arrival until he was 
informed that he was at the end of the town of Grainville, 
and then he left the chateau- and met him on the road. It is 
needless to ask whether their greeting was a warm one. 

Chapitre LXXXI. — Comment le dit Sieur separtit de lille lancelot 
et arruta a herjleu. 
Ledit Seigneur de Bethencourt partit de I'isle d'Erbenne, et se 
mit en nier, et singla tant qu'en vingt et vng iour il arriua au 
port de Herfleur, la oii il trouva Messire Hector de Bacqueuille, 
leqnel luy fit grand' bienvenue et plusieurs du pais qui le cognois- 
soient, et ne fut que deux nuicts a Herfleur qu'il vint a Grain- 
uille son hostel, et la trouua Messire Robert de Bracquemont 
Cheualier et proche parent, oncle dud it sieur. Ledit Seigneur lay 
auoit bailie pour aucun certain temps la terre de Bethencourt et la 
Baronnerie de Grainuille, et luy en faisoit certaine somme de 
deniers jus chaoun an jusquez au bout du terme. Ledit Bracque- 
mot ne sceut oncques riens tant qu'on luy dit qu'il estoit au bout 
de la ville de Grainuille, et adonc saillit hors du Chastel, et 
s'entre encontrerent sur le marche ; il ne faut pas demander s'ils 
firent grand chere I'vn a I'autre. Les Gentils homes d'autour y 

' It will be seen that the heading of the chapter makes Bethencourt 
sail from Lancerote, and the text from Fucrteventura. The discrepancy 
appears to occur in the early MS. 


The noblemen of the neighbourhood and the townsfolk, who 
were dependents of the said Lord de Bethencourtj came to 
meet him ; and it is impossible to describe the hearty re- 
ception they gave him every day. Members of his family 
and other noblemen were continually arriving from the 
country. There were Messire Ystace d^Erneville and his 
son Ystace d^Erneville, the Baron de la Heuse, and several 
other great lords whose names I cannot mention. They had 
heard speak of the conquest of the Canary Islands, and of the 
labour and toil which the said lord had undergone ; for 
Madame de Bethencourt, whom her lord had sent back from 
Spain, had brought the first news of the conquest. Bertin 
de Berneval also, who had come without permission, had 
also brought some news : he was not very well received, as 
you may have heard ali*eady. Moreover, M. de Bethencourt 
himself wrote often, so they had received constant news. 

vindret, et les liommes de la ville, qui estoiet homes dudit Sei- 
gneur de Bethecourt ; il ne faut point demander la chere qu'6 
luy faisoit tous les iours. II ne cessoit de venir de ses parens et 
autres Gentils-hommes du pais. II y vint Messire Ystace d'Erne- 
ville, and Ystasse derneville son filz ; le Baron de la Heuse le vint 
voir, et plusieurs autres grands Seigneurs que il ne sgaurois 
dire ; ils auoient bien ouy parler de la conqueste des Isles de 
Quenare, et de la grand' peine et trauail que ledit Seigneur de 
Bethencourt yauoit eue; car premierement Madame de Bethen- 
court, que ledit Seigneur auoit renuoyee du Royaume d'Espagne, 
auoit apporte les premieres nouuelles de la conqueste ; et aussi 
auoit fait Bertin de Berneual qui s'en estoit venu sans conge, et 
n'y a pas eu fort grand honneur comme vous auez pen oiiyr cy 
deuant ; aussi ledit Seigneur rescripuoit fort souuent, parquoy 
on auoit tousiours des nouuelles. 


workmen to go out to the Canaries. 

M. de Bethencourt did not find his wife at Grainville, for 
she was at Bethencourt ; he sent for her, and when she 
arrived we need not say how joyous was their meeting. 
Never had Monsieur rejoiced so much at meeting Madame, for 
whom he had brought many curiosities as presents from those 
distant countries. With the said lady came Messire Renault 
de Bethencourt, my lord^s brother. After a stay of about 
a week at Grainville, Messire Ystace d^Erneville and others 
proposed to take leave of M. de Bethencourt. He then in- 
formed them that he meant to return to the Canaries as 
soon as possible, and to take as many people as he could from 
Normandy ; and that it was his intention to conquer the 
Great Canary if possible, or at least to have a touch at it. 
Messire Ystace, who was present, said that, with his leave, 
he would go with him. "My nephew,^^ answered de Bethen- 
court, '^ I will not give you this trouble : I will take less 

[Chafitre LXXXII.] — l_Comment Bethencourt engagea plusieurs 
gentilz hommes et gens de mestiers pour les amener aux Canaries.^ 

Mosieur de Bethencourt ne trouua point sa femme a Grain- 
uille, car elle estoit a Bethencourt. II I'enuoya querir, et quand 
elle fut venue, il ne faut point deraander la chere qu'ils firent 
ensemble; oncques mais Monsieur ne fit si grand chere a Madame, 
et luy demanda et apporta des nouueautez du pais de par dela ; 
et vint auec ladite dame Messix'e Renault de Bethencourt son 
frere : et quand le seigneur eust este a Grainuille enuirou huict 
iours, ledit Messire Ystasse d'Erneville et autres voulurent 
prendre conge du dit Sieur. Adonc il leur dit que le plutost 
qu'il pourroit il retourneroit en Canare, et qu'il amenoit le plus 
des gens du pays de Norraandie qu'il pourroit, et que son 
intentio estoit qu'il coquerroit, s'il pouuoit, la grand' Canare, au 
molns il luy bailleroit vne touche. Le dit Messire Ytasse, qui 
present estoit, dit que " s'il luy plaisoit il ii'oit. Mon nepveu 
(ce dit Monsieur de Bethencourt) ie ne vous veux pas donner 


important persons than you." Upon this several noblemen 
then present volunteered their services ; for example, one 
named Richard de Grainville, a relative of de Bethencourt's, 
one named Jean de BovillOj another named Jean de Plessis, 
as well as Maciot de Bethen court and some of his brothers : 
indeed, the greater part of the company, consisting of people 
of various stations in life, were willing to go. M. de 
Bethencourt then said : '' I wish to take with me people of 
all the different trades that can be mentioned or thought of; 
and when they arrive there they need have no doubt of 
finding a profitable country and one easy to live in without 
hard labour ; and to those who come I will give sufficient 
land to till,, if they will only undertake the trouble. There 
are many mechanics in this country who have not a foot of 
ground of their own, and who live very hardly ; now if they 
will come with me yonder, I promise them that I will do 
the best for them that I can, better than for any others 
that may come in future, and much better even than for the 

ceste peine, ie prendray auec raoy de plus legeres gens que vous." 
Aussi plusieurs gen tils -hommes, qui la estoiet, s'y offrirent, il si 
olfrit vn nomme Richard de Grainuille pai'et dudit Seigneur ; 
vng nomme Jelian de Bouille lequel y fut, vng nomme Jehan du 
Plessis qui y fut, ung nomme Maciot de Bethencourt, et aulcuns 
de ses freres ; lesquieux y furent, et plusieurs autres quilz 
sofTrirent audit Seigneur, desquels y eut grand' partie qui y furent 
auec ledit Seigneur de Bethencourt, et des gens de plusieurs 
conditions; car, cedit Monsieur de Bethencourt, "i^ veux mener 
des gens de tons mestiers que Ton s^auroit dire ne deuiser ; et 
quand ils y seront, il ne faut point doubter qu'ils seront en bon 
pays pour viure bie-ayses, et sans grand' peine de corps ; et ceux 
qui y veudront ie leur donneray assez de terre pour laboui-er 
s'ils veulent prendre celle peine : il y a beaucoup de gens 
mcchanicques en ce pays qui n'ont pied de terre, et qui viueut a 
grand' peine, et s'ils veulent venir par dela ie leur promets que 
ie luur feray tout Ic mieux que ie pourray, et mieux que a nuls 
autres qui y s^achent venir, et beaucoup plus que aux gens du 


natives who luivc embraced Christianity." Every one then 
took leave of the said loi'd, except Messire Renault de 
I'ethencourt his brother, and Messire Robert de Bracqiie- 
niont, who was residing in the chateau of Grainville at the 
time of his arrival. Before long all the country became 
aware that M. de Bethcncoart intended to return to the 
Canary Islands, and wished to take with him people of 
various trades, both married and marriageable, as many as 
were willing to go; so that you might see every day arrivals 
of first ten, then a dozen, and at length thirty in a day, 
who otlered to accompany him without asking for wages. 
Some even were willing to bring their own provisions. 
Thus M. de Bethencourt mustered a good many people of 
position, as well as others of various grades. He took 
eight score people of position, of whom twenty-three brought 
their wives. First, John de Boville, John du Plessis, 
Maciot de Bethencourt and several of his brothers, all 
noblemen, accompanied the said lord ; the remainder were 

pais qui sont du j^ais raesmes faits Chrestiens." Chacun print 
conge dudit sieur, fors Messire Renault de Bethencourt son 
frere, et Messire Robert de Bracquemont qui estoifc demourant 
au chasteau de Grainuille quand Monsieur arriua. Et tantosfc 
apres tout le pays sceut que Monsieur de Bethencourt vouloit 
retouruer esdites isles de Canare, et vouloit mener gens de tous 
mesticrs et gens mariez et a marier, ainsi qu'il les pouuoit 
trouuer, et qui auoient bonne voulente d'y aller, et tant que vous 
eussiez veu tous les iours venir puis x, puis xii [xx ?], puis xxx pour 
vng iour, qui soffroient a Monsieur de Bethencourt a lui tenir 
compagnie sans demander nuls gages quelsconqucs ; encore y en 
auoit-il qui estoient contens d'y porter leur prouision de viures. 
Ledit Seigneur y assembla beaucoup de ges de bien et d'vne 
maniere et d'autre. II y mena huict vingts hommes de deffence 
dot il y en eut vingt et trois qui y menerent leurs femmes. 
Premieroment Jean de Bouille, Jehan du Plessis, Maciot de 
Bethencourt, et aucuns de ses freres, qui tous estoient gentils- 
honuues, vindrent aucc ledit Seigneur, et le demourant estoient 


all mechanics or labourers. Eleven came from Grainville : 
one was named Jean Anice, and another Pierre Girard. 
Three came from Boville, from d'Hanouard, and from Beuze- 
ville ; many from the villages of Caux ; from Bethencourt 
Jean le Verrier ; Pierre Loisel, and four or five others from 
Picy and the country round. There were amongst them all 
sorts of handicraftsmen^ so that the Sieur de Bethencourt, 
having now got together the number that he required, 
made his preparations for returning to the Canaries. He 
bought a vessel belonging to Messire Robert de Bracque- 
mont : he had already two ships of his own, and he devoted 
all his attention to the preparations for his return to the 
Canaries. When his arrangements were completed, he 
ordered all those who intended to accompany him to be 
ready to start on the sixth of May, and to meet at Harfleur, 
where the two barges were. He then intimated to all his 
friends and neighbours the day of his intended departure, 
and announced that on the first of May he would take leave 
of all his friends, and wish them " God speed." On the 

tous gens mechaniques et gens de labour. II y en eut vnze de 
Grainuille, dont I'vn auoit nom Jehan Anisse, et vng autre 
Pierre Girard. II y en eut trois de Bouille et de Hanouarfr, de 
Beuzeuille ; de beaucoup des villag-es de Caux ; de Bethencourt, 
Jean le Verrier, Pierre Loisel, et quatre ou cinq aultres de Picy, 
et du pays enuiron, et y en auoit de tons metiers, tant que ledit 
Seigneur eut le nombre qu'il vouloit auoir; et quant il vit quil 
eut son nombre quil vouloit avoir il fit les aprestes pour s'en 
retourner en Canare. II acbepfca vne nef qui estoit a Messire 
Robert de Bracquemont, et auoit deux nefs au voyage, lesqieulx 
estoient siennes, et fit la plus grand' diligence qu'il peust pour s'en 
retourner en Canare. Et quand il east fait les apprestes, et qu'il 
cut mande a tous ccux qui vouloient venir auecques hiy, que ils 
fusscnt prez de partir le sixiesnie iour do May ensuiuant, et qu'ils 
Re trouuasscnt ii llerfleur La ou estoiet les deux barges, il nuula a 
tous ses amis et voisins qu'il se partiroit audit iour, vi" iour de 
May, et quo Ic premier do May il prcndroit conge de ses amis. 


appointed day, the knights and nobles presented themselves 
at Grainvillc, and were received with great hospitality by 
the Sieur de Bethcncourt. Many a lady and fair maiden 
was there beyond my power to name, and for three days 
tlic feasting and rejoicing lasted. On the fourth day the 
Sicur de Bethcncourt took his departure from Grainville, 
and went to join his company at Harfleur on the appointed 
sixth of May, and on the ninth they set sail with a favour- 
able wind. 

Chapter LXXXIII. — How Monsieur de Bethencourt, on his return 
from xsormaudy, arrived at Lancerote, where he was received with 
great demonstration. 

Thus M. de Bethencourt started on the ninth of May, 
1405, and continued his voyage until he reached the island 
of Lancerote, where he landed. In the island of Fuerte- 
ventura he was welcomed with the music of trumpets. 

et payeroit sa bien allee. Les sieurs cheualiers et gentils-hommes 
se trouuerent a iceluy iour a son hostel a Grainuille, et la furent 
receuz dudit sieur qui leur fit grand cbere, et y eut dames et 
damoiselles plusieurs que ie ne sgaurois dire ne escrire, fors que 
ledit Seigneur leur fit la plus grant chere que ilz pent ; et dura la 
feste et la cbere trois iours accomplis, et au quatriesme iour 
ledit sieur se partit de Grainuille et s'en alia attendre sa compagnie 
a Herfleur ; ledit sixiesme iour de May se comparrurent a horfleu, 
ct le noufiesme iour se mit en mer ledit Sieur et sa compagnie, 
et eurent vent a desir. 

Chapitre LXXXIII. — Comment Monsieur de Bethencourt a son 
retour de Normandie arriva en lille Lancelot^ oa il fut recuelh 
d gravid cJiose. 

Or so partit Moseigneur de Bethencourt le noufiesme iour de 
May mil eccc et v, et singlatant qu'il desccndit en I'isle Lancelot, 
et en I'isle de Fort' auonture ; trompettcs sonnoient et clcrons, 


clarions, drums, harps, rebecks, bassoons, and all sorts of 
musical instruments to announce his arrival. God's thunder 
would have been drowned in the noise of the music that 
they made, so that the people of Fuerteventura and Lancerote, 
and especially the Canarians, were astounded. The Sieur 
de Bethencourt had no idea that so many instruments had 
been brought, but there were a number of young people who, 
without his knowing it, were musicians, and had brought 
their instruments with them. Maciot de Bethencourt, 
who was one of those whose business it had been to ascer- 
tain the characters of the volunteers, advised M. de Bethen- 
court to take those, as they seemed to him to be fit and 
able men. When M. de Bethencourt landed, banners and 
standards were unfurled, and all the company were in their 
best dress, and presented a very creditable appearance. To 
each man he had given a liocqneton, and six gentlemen who 
were with him were argentes [i.e., wore the jacket of a king's 
guard] at the expense of the said lord; many others also wore 
silver lace, but such as wore it paid for it. They all looked 

tabourius, meuestres, herpes, rebequets, busines, et de tons iu- 
strumens. Ou n'eufc pas ouy Diea tonner de la nielodie qu'ils 
faisoient, et tant que ceiix d'Erbannie et de Lancelot fi;reiit tous 
esbays, et specialement les Canariens : nouobstant que ledit Sei- 
gneur ue cuidoit point auoir amene taut d'instrumens ; mais il y 
auoit beaucoup de ieunes gens de qaoy ledit Sieur ne se guet- 
toit point, qui en iouoyent, et auoient apporte leurs instruraens 
auec eux. Aussi Maciot de Bethencourt, qui en partie auoit eu 
la charge de s'enquerir quels compagnons c'estoient, conseilloit 
ledit Sieur de les prendre ainsi qu'il luy sembloit qu'ils estoient 
propres et habiles ; baimiei'es et estendars estoient cstendus ; et 
estoient tous les compaignons en leur liabillement quand ledit 
Seigneur descendit a teiTe ; ils estoient assez honnestement ha- 
billez. Monsieur de Bethencourt leur auoit donne a chacuu vng 
hocqueton, et a six gentils-liommcs qui estoient auec luy, ils 
estoient argentez, que ledit Sieur paya : nonobstant qu'il y en 
auoit iKaucoup d'autres argcntez ; niais celu}' (jui le portoit lo 


very well. Never had M. de Bethencourt Lccn received with 
such distinction. When his vessel was within half a league's 
distance, the inhabitants of Lancerote perceived that it was 
indeed their king and sovereign, and you might see from the 
ship the Canarians, men, women, and children, coming to 
the beach to meet bim; and they cried out in their language, 
"Here is our king coming!" and so great was their joy that 
they leaped and danced and kissed each other, so that it 
was very evident that they were delighted at his arrival; 
nor can it be doubted that his own people, whom M. de 
Bethencourt had left in the islands of Lancerote and Fuerte- 
ventura were equally glad. As I have said, the instruments 
in the barges made such grand melody that it was a fine 
thing to hear ; and the Canarians were utterly amazed, for 
the music both pleased and frightened them. When Mon- 
sieur landed, we need not ask what sort of welcome he re- 
ceived. The Canarians prostrated themselves on the ground, 
believing that to be the highest honour they could pay him, 

pa3-oeit. Ilz estoient tons fort honnetes. Onques Monsieur de 
Bethencourt n'y alia si honnestement ; et quand le nauire fut a 
demy lieue prez, les gens de I'isle de Lancelot virent et apper- 
ceurent bien que c'estoit leur Roy et leur Seigneur : vous eussiez 
veu de la nef les Canariens, femmes et enfans, qui venoient au 
riuage au deuant du dit Seigneur, et disoient et crioient en leur 
langaige ; Voicy nostre Roy venir ; et estoient si joyeux qu'ils 
sailloient et s'entreboutoient de ioye, et s'entre accolloient, et 
paroist bien clairement qu'ils auoienfc graud' ioye de la venue de 
leur Roy ; aussi il ue faut point doubter que ceux que Monsieur 
de Bethencourt laissa es dites isles de Lancelot et Fort' auenture, 
qu'ils n'auoient pas moins de ioye ; et, comme i'ay diet, les in- 
strumens qui estoient es barges faisoieut si grand' melodic que 
c'estoit belle chose a ouir, et les Canariens en estoient tous 
esbahys, et leur plaisoit terriblement ; et quand Monsieur fut 
ari-iue a terre, il ne faut pas demader si tout le peuple luy fit 
grand chere ; les Canar-iens se couchoient a terre, en luy cuidant 
faire le plus grand houneur qu'ils pouuoicnt, c'estoit a dire 


for they implied by that act of prostration that their bodies 
and goods belonged to him. The said lord raised them and 
greeted them with all possible warmth of manner, and 
especially the king who had become a Christian. The 
people of the island of Fuerteventura were well aware that 
their king and sovereign had arrived in the island of 
Lancerote_, and accordingly Jean le Courtois, lieutenant of 
the said lord, took a boat and six companions with him, one 
of whom was Hannibal, and another named de la Boessiere, 
and four others, and came to the island of Lancerote, into the 
pi-esence of their said master, and rendered him due homage. 
Then M. de Bethencourt inquired of Jean le Courtois how 
everything was going on ? He answered, " Sir, all is going 
on well, and better and better, and there is every prospect 
of all your subjects becoming good Chi-istians, for they have 
made a fair beginning, and they are as delighted at your 
return as ever people could be. The two Christian kings 
wished to come with me, but I told them that you would be 
soon coming, and that I should not return without you.'^ 
" Nor shall you,'' answered he. " I shall go to-morrow, 

quilz so couchoient que corps et biens estoieut a luy. Ledit 
Seigneur les receuillit, et leur fit la plus grand' chere qu'il peut, 
et par especial au Roy qui s'cstoit foit Chrestien. Ceux de I'isle 
de Fort' auenture sceurent bien que leur Roy et Seigneur estoit 
venu et arriue en I'isle de Lancelot. Jean le Courtois, Lieutenant 
dudit Seigneur print vng bastel et six compagnons auecques luy, 
dont Hannibal estoit vng, et vng nomme de la Boessiere, et quatre 
autres, et vindrent en I'isle de Lancelot deuers leur dit Seigneur, 
et luy St la reuerence ainsi qu'il appartenoit. Adonc Monsieur 
de Bethencourt demanda a Jean le Courtois comuie tout se por- 
toit? ce dit Jean le Courtois, Mosieur tout se porte bien et de 
mieux en mieux, et cuide et croy que tons vos subjets seront bos 
Chrestiens, car ils ont beau comraonccment, et sout si ioyeux de 
vostre venue, que iamais nulles gens ne pourroicnt plus estre ; les 
deux Roys Chrestiens vouloient eux en venir auec moy, mais ie 
leur ay dit que vous y vcndrez bien- tost, et que ie ne retournerois 
point que ce nc fust auecques vous ; n'aussi serez vous, ce dit ledit 


please God." Tlio Sieur de Bethencourt took up his abode 
at Rubicon iu the castle with most of his company. You 
must not ask if the people whom M. de Bethencourt had 
brought with him from Normandy were much astonished at 
sight of the country and of the Canarians, dressed as they 
were, for, as I have said before, they wore no clothing ex- 
cept a goat-skin behind, while the women wore robes of 
leather which reached to the ground. The newcomers were 
much pleased with the country, which fulfilled their expecta- 
tions and pleased them more the more they looked at it. 
They ate of the dates and other fruits of the country, which 
they thought very good, and there was nothing that did 
them any harm. Indeed, they were very pleased to find 
themselves in such quarters, and they felt they could live 
very happily there. I could not tell you how pleased 
they were, and they will be more so when they see the 
island of Fuerteventura. Monsieur asked Hannibal how he 
was, and what he thought of his company, and Hannibal 
replied: " Sir, it seems to me that if you had come with a like 
company in the first instance, our progress would not have 

Sieur; j'iray demain, se Dieu plaist. Ledit Sieur fut loge a Rubicon 
au chasteau ; et la plus part au chastiau. 11 ne faut pas demander 
si les gens que ledit Seigneur auoit amenez derrainement de 
Normandie estoient esbays de voir le pais et les Canariens ainsi 
babillez qu'ils estoient ; car comme i'ay dit cy-deuant, ils ne sent 
vestus que par derriere, et de cuir de cbieure. Et les femmes sent 
vestuiis de houpelades de cuir iusques a terre. lis estoient bien 
ioyeux de voir le pais et leur plaisoit fort, et plus le regardoient 
et plus leur plaisoit. lis mangeoient de ces dattes et des fruits 
du pais, qui leur sembloient fort bons, et rien ne leur faisoit nul 
mal ; mais estoient fort ioyeux d'eux y trouuer, et leur sembloit 
qu'ils viuroient bien au pays : ie ne vous scam-ois que dire fors 
qu'ils estoient fort contens, et encore le seront-ils plus quand ils 
verront I'isle d'Erbenne dit Fortaventure. Monsieur deraanda a 
Hannibal comme il le faisoit, et qu'il lay sembloit de sa com- 
pagnie ; Monsieur, ce dit Hannibal, il me semble que si du pre- 
mier on y fust venu par telle manierc, les choscs n'eussent pas 


been so slow as it has been, and things would have been in 
a greater state of advancement. It is a very fair and noble 
company; and when the other Canarians in the other 
islands^ who have not yet become Christians, see such a 
company in such fine order, they will be more easily daunted 
than they have hitherto been. " It is my intention," said 
Monsieur, " to go and see the Grand Canary, and to give 
them a touch." 

Chapter LXXXIV. — How the Sieur de Bethencourt arrived in the 
Island of Fuerteventura, and the two Kings came forward expressly 
to pay him respect. 

Monsieur de Bethencourt left the island of Lancerote and 
proceeded to Fuerteventura, taking with him all his com- 
pany. On his arrival, there were to be seen a great number 
of Canarians, who had come down to the seashore to greet 
their king and sovereign, and there also were the two kings 
who had embraced Christianity. No need to ask if they 
and the rest of the people of the country were glad. It is 

dure si longuement qu'ils ont fait, et si on fust encore plus auant 
que Ton n'est ; e'est vne fort belle compaignie et bien honneste ; 
efc quand les autres Canares des autres isles qui ne sent point 
Chrestiens verront si belle ordonnance, ils esbahiront plus qu'ils 
n'ont faict ; e'est bien men intention, ce dit Monsieur, d'aller 
voir la grand' Canare, et de leur bailler vne touclie. 

[Chapitre LXXXIV.] — Commeyit ledlt sieur anjva a lille de fort- 
aventure, et la les deulx rots vitidrent au devant, et tout ce pour 
faire reverence. 

Monsieur de Bethencourt se partit de I'isle Lancelot pour aller 
en I'isle de Fortauenture, et print tous ses gens qu'il auoit 
amenez. La vissiez quant Monsieur fut arriue grand nobre des 
Canariens qui estoient arriues a la riue de la mer a I'encontre de 
leur roy et seigneur ; et la estoient les deux rois qui s'estoienfc 
faits Chrestiens. 11 no faut pas demander s'ils estoient ioyeux 


impossible to describe the joy which they testified after their 
fashion; they seemed to fly with jo3\ When M. de Bethen- 
court arrived at Kicherocque, he found it strong and well 
restored, for Jeau lo Courtois had devoted great care to this 
after his master's departure for Normandy, and pleased him 
ver}' much. The two Christian kings came to do homage once 
more to M, de Bethencourt, who gave them the best welcome 
in his power, and kept them to supper. He did not understand 
them, but he had an interpreter who spoke both their lan- 
guage and French, so that they understood each other very 
well. While M. de Bethencourt was supping there were min- 
strels playing, which prevented the two kings from eating, 
from the pleasure they took in listening to these minstrels and 
in gazing on the embroidered dresses, there being at least 
fift\'-four richly decorated with silver lace, for there was 
rivalry amongst some of the company and anxiety to outvie 
one another in dress, especially amongst the sons of the 
principal dependents of M. de Bethencourt from Grainville 
and from Bethencourt. The two kings declared that if they 

et tous les autres du pays. Oa ne sQauroit dire la ioye qu'ils en 
menoient selon leur fagon et maniere ; ils voloient tous de ioye. 
Ledit seigneur arriua a Richerocque qu'il trouua moult fort et bien 
rabille ; ear Jean le Courtois y auoit fait fort besongner depuis 
que ledit seigneur s'estoit parti pour aler en Normaudic et liesta 
fort audit Seigneur. Lesdits deux roys Chrestiens se vindrent 
encor ofi'rir audit Seigneur, lequel leur fit la plus grand' chei-e 
qu'il peut, et les retint a soupper auec luy. Ledit Seigneur ne les 
entendoit point, mais monsieur auoit vn truchcment qui pai'loit le 
FranQais et leur langage, parquoy on entendoit ce qu'ils disoient. 
Et tandis que ledit Sieur souppoit, il y auoit des raenestres qui 
iouoyent, dequoy iceux roys ne pouuoicnt manger, du plaisir 
qu'ils prenoieut a ouyr lesdits menestres ; et aussi de voir ces 
hoquetons brodes ; car il y en auoit bien cinquante et quatre fort 
chargez d'orfaueric ; car il y auoit d'aucuns qui s'abilloient a 
I'enuie a qui mieux mieux, et par especial aucuns fils des hommes 
dudit Seigneur de Bethencourt de Grainuille, et de Bethencourt. 
Et dirent lesdits roys que si du premier ils fussent venus en ce 


had made their first appearance in such guise, they should 
have been conquered at first sight, and that it only depended 
on the king to achieve the conquest of many countries. 
The said Canarians never called M. de Bethencourt any- 
thing but king, and treated him as such, " As to that," 
said M. de Bethencourt, "my intention is to make an expe- 
dition to the Great Canary and to investigate its resources." 
Then said Jean le Courtois, " Sir, it will be a good thing 
to do, and I think it will not be long before, please God, we 
shall be able to ascertain the point of entrance and to learn 
something about the country .•*' Then said Hannibal, " I 
intend to make my fortune and to gain much booty; I have 
been there already, and it does not seem to me that it will 
be so serious an undertaking as you anticipate." "Ha!" 
answered Monsieur, " but it is a serious undertaking. I 
am informed that there are ten thousand nobles there, 
which is no trifle, and we are no match for them. But in 
order to reconnoitre the country with reference to the future, 
we will make an eSbrt to go there, if only to become 
acquainted with the harbours and roads of the country; 

poinct, ils eussent este pie9a vaiucus, et qu'il ne tendroit au roy 
s'il ne conqaeroit encoi^es beaucoup de pays. Lesdits Canariens 
n'appellent autremenfc Monsieur de Bethencourt quo le roy, et 
pour tel le tenoient. Or 9a, ce dit Monsieur de Bethencourt, mon 
intention est de faire vne course a la grand' Cauare, et de sgauoir 
que c'est. Ce dit Jean le Courtois, monsieur, ce sera bien fait; 
il me senable qu'ils ne dureront gueres, mais qu'il plaise a Dieu 
qu'on puissc s^auoir I'entree et cognoistre aucunemcnt le pays. 
Ce dit Hanybal qui y estoit, i'ay I'intention d'y niouiller nies 
souppes, et d'y gagner bon butin ; i'y ay autrefois este, il me semble 
que ce n'est pas si grand' chose qu'on dit. Ce dit monsiour, si 
est, c'est grand'cliose, si suis aduerty qu'ils soifc dix niille gcntils- 
hommes qui est bien grand chose, et ne soinmes pas gens pour 
eux. Mais pour cognoistre le pays pour le temps aduenir nous 
ferons nostre effort d'y aller, et ne fust que pour s^auoir les ports 
et passages du pays; et se Dieu plaist il vcndra quclque bon 


and, please God, some good prince may come from some other 
country and conquer them, and who knows what besides; and 
God grant it may bo so. However, I must consider when I can 
go, and whom I shall leave hci'e, for as for you, Jean le Cour- 
tois,you will come with me on this expeditiou.^^ "^ Good, Mon- 
sieur," said le Courtois, " I am very pleased to hear it." Then 
said M. de Bethencourt, '^I shall leave Maciot de Bethencourt 
here, in order that he may make himself acquainted with the 
country, as my intention is that he shall not return to France, 
for I do not wish this country to be without one of the name 
of Bethencourt and of my lineage in occupation. ^^ Then 
Jean le Courtois said, " Please God, I should like. Sir, to 
return with you to France. I am a bad husband, for it is five 
years since I have seen my wife." But, to tell the truth, it 
did not seem to trouble him much. When Monsieur had 
supped, every one repaired to his own quarters. Next day 
M. de Bethencourt went to Baltarhayz, and there a Cauarian 
infant was baptized, by way of welcome to him : the Sieur 
stood godfather to it, and named it Jean. He had brought 

prince de quelque pays qui les eonquerra et autres choses avec ; 
et Dieu par sa grace le vueille ainsi faire. Se dit Monsieur de 
Bethencourt, il fault regarder quand i'y jDouiTay aller, et qui ie 
laisseray par de9a ; car quant au regard de vous, Jean le Courtois, 
vous en vendrez auec moy au voyage ; et bien, monsieur, ce dit 
le Courtois, i'en suis tres-fort ioyeux. Ce dit Monsieur de Bethen- 
court, ie laisseray Maciot de Bethencourt, affin qu'il cognoisse 
le pays, car mon intention n'est point de la remeuer en France, 
car je neveux plus que ce pays soit sans le nom de Bethencourt, 
et sans vn de mon lignage. Ce dit Jean le Courtois : Monsieur, se 
Dieu plaist, ie m'en retouruei^ay avecquez vous quand vous re- 
tourneres en France. Ie suis vn mauuais mary, il y a cinq ans qiae 
ie ne vis ma fern me, et a la verite il ne \\iy en faisoit point trop de 
mal ; et quand monsieur eut souppe, chacun s'en alia la oii ils de- 
uoient aller. Le lendemain ledit seigneur s'en allaaBaltaihays et la 
fut baptise vn enfant Canarien,a la bien venue dudit seigneur et le- 
dit seigneur fut le pan^ain et le nomma Jehan ; il fit apporter en la 

N 2 


into the chapel some vestments, an image of our Lady, and 
other church furniture, as well as a very beautiful missal, and 
two little bells, each weighing a cent. He ordered the chapel 
to be called "The Chapel of our Lady of Bethencourt;" and 
Messire Jean Vei-rier was the cure of the country, and 
spent the remainder of his life there very happily. After 
M. de Bethencourt had been a short time in the country, 
he started on his expedition to the Great Canar3^ He 
arranged for it to take place on the 6th of October, 1405, 
and by that time he was ready to start with all the fresh 
people he had brought and with several others, and they 
set sail on that day in three vessels, two of which belonged 
to the Sieur, and one had been sent to him by the King of 
Spain. Adverse winds separated his vessels, and all three 
came ashore near the country of the Saracens, very near to 
Cape Bojador ; and M. de Bethencourt and his people 
landed and remained a week in the country, and took and 
carried away men and women, and more than three thousand 
camels, but they could not take them on board, so they 

chappelle des vestemens, vne image de nostre Dame, et des veste- 
mens d'eglise, et vn fort beau messel et deux petites cloches 
chacune d'vn cent pesaut; et ordouna qu'on appellast la Chap- 
pelle nostre Dame de Bethencourt ; et fut Messire Jean Verrier 
cure du pays, et y vescut le demourant de sa vie bien aise. Et 
Monsieur de Bethencourt eust este vne piece de temps au pays, il 
print iournee d'allcr a la grand' Canare. II ordonna que ce seroit 
le sixiesme iour d'Octobre mil cccc et v ; et en icelle iournees il 
fut prest pour y alier a tout les nouueaux hommes qu'il auoit 
amenes et plusieurs autres, et se mirent en mer iceluy iour, et se 
partirent trois galores, dont les deux estoient audit seigneur, et 
1 'autre estoit venue du I'oyaume d'Espaigne que le Roy luy 
auoit enuoyee. Fortune vint dessus la mer que les bai'ges fui-ent 
departis, et viudrent tons trois pres des terres Sarrazines bien 
pr^s du port de Bugeder, et la descendit Monsieur de Betlien- 
court et ses gens, et furent bien huict lieux dedans le pays, et 
prindrent hommes et femmcs qu'ils emmcncreut aucc eux, et plus 
do (rois niillo clianieaux ; niais ils no les ])Ourent receuiller au 

01' THE CxVXAHIKS. 181 

killed aiul potted some of them, and then they made their way 
back to the Great Canary, as M. da Bethencourt had 
arranged; but fortune interfered with their course in such 
a manner, that of the three vessels one reached Erbanie, 
tlic second came to the island of Palraa, and there remained 
until the arrival of the third, in which was M. de Bethen- 
court, under great opposition from the people of the country. 

CllAPTKK LXXXV. — How Monsieur de Bethencourt went to the Great 
Canary, and of the great battle of his people, who, by their pre- 
sumption were defeated by the Canarians. 

Soon afterwards M. de Bethencourt proceeded to Great 
Canary, and several conferences took place between him 
and King Artamy. Now there came there one of the 
vessels Avhich had been on the coast of Bojador, in which 
were some of my lord's people, namely, Jean le Courtois, 
Guillaume d'Auberbosc, Hannibal, d'Andrac, and several 
other companions. When they arrived, they were some- 
what proud of having advanced so far on the mainland of 

nauire, et en tuerent et iarerent, et puis s'en retonrnerent a la 
grand' Canare, comme Monsieur de Bethencourt I'auoit ordonne. 
Mais fortune les print au chemin, que des trois barges I'vne arriua 
en Erbanie, et I'autre deuziesme en I'isle de Palmes, et la de- 
niourerent iusques a tant que I'autre bai^ge, la o^ estoit Monsieur 
de Bethencourt, fust arriuee en faisant guerre a ceux du pays. 

[Chapitre LXXXV.] — (Comme ledit Sieur ala a la grant Cannre.) 

Tantost apres Monsieur de Bethencourt s'en alia a la grand' 
Canare, et par plusieurs fois parlerent ensemble luy et le Roy 
Artamy, et la arriua vne des bai'ges qui auoit este k la eoste de 
Bugeder, en laquelle estoit des gens de mondit Sieur de Bethen- 
court, vn nomme Jeban le Courtois, Guillaume d'Auberbosc, 
llanybal, Dendrac, et plusieurs autres compagnons. Quand ils 
fm-ent Ik arriuez ils furent vn peu orguillieux de ce qu'ils estoient 
si autant cntrcz en tcrre ferme an paj's des Sarrazins ; la dit vn 


the Saracens. Then boasted a Norman, named Guillaume 
d'AuberbosCj that, with twenty men at most, he could 
easily cross the entire island of Great Canary, in spite of 
all the Canarians, although they were stated to be full ten 
thousand fighting- men; and, contrary to the wish of M. de 
Bethencourt, they commenced their skirmish, and landed 
at a village called Arguyneguy, in two boats, containing 
forty-five men, amongst whom were some of Gadifer's people, 
and drove the Canarians well back into the country, but 
were themselves very disorderly. When the Canarians 
observed this want of order amongst them, they rallied and 
fell upon them and defeated them. They gained possession 
of one of the boats, and slew two-and-twenty men. In that 
affair died Guillaume d'Auberbosc, the originator of the 
skirmish, Geoffry d'Auzonville, Guillaume d'Allemagne, Jean 
le Courtois, the Sieur de Bethencourt^s lieutenant, Hannibal, 
Gadifer's bastard, one named Seguirgal, Girard de Sombray, 
Jean Chevalier, and several others. 

Normant nomme Guillaume d'Aubei'bosc que a. tout vingt hommes 
il cuideroit bie trauorser toute I'isle de la grand' Canare, malg'r6 
tous les Canariens, lesquels se dient bieu dix mil hommes de 
defFence ; et contre la volonte de Monsieur de Bethencourt, com- 
mencerent rescarmouche, et descendireufc a terre, a vn village 
nomme Anjuynegii]/, en deux bateaux quarante-cinque liommes, 
et y eu auoit de ceux qui estoient a Gadifer, et rebouterent les 
Canares bien auant a la terre, et se desordonnerent moult. Quand 
les Canares virent leur desarroy, ils se relierent et leur coururent 
sus, et les desconfirent, et gagnerent I'vn des basteaux, et tuerent 
vingt-deux homes ; la mourut Guillaume d'Auberbosc, qui auoit 
fait et commence I'escarmouche, Geuffro}^ d'Auzonuille, Guillaume 
d'Allemagne, Jehan le Courtois lieutenant dudit Sieur de Bethen- 
court, Hanybal bastart de Gadifer, vng lecto^ nomme Seguirgal, 
Girard de Sombi-ay, Jehan Chevalier, and plusicurs autres. 

' Unintelligible, but so in the IMS, 


CiiAPTKU LXXXVI. — How the Sieur de Bethencourt loft the Great 


After this M. de Bethencourt took his departure from the 
Great Canary with both his vessels, and such of his people 
as had escaped from that day's conflict, and proceeded to 
the island of Palma, where ho found his other vessel, the 
crow of which had landed and made severe war upon the 
natives. He also landed, and advanced into the heart of 
the country, and had several encounters with the enemy, 
and losses ensued on both sides, but much more among the 
Canarians than among us. Five of our people died, and 
more than a hundred of theirs. After they had remained 
six weeks in the country, they returned to their vessels, 
Avhich were awaiting them. Then two vessels were directed 
to go to the island of Forro, and there they remained three 
months ; and when they had been there for that length of 
time, Monsieur determined to send an interpreter to the 
inhabitants of the island, by name Augeron, who came from 

[Chapitre LXXXVI.] — Comme ledit Sieur so par tit de la grant 


Apres se partit Monsieur de Betheucom't dela gz^and' Canare a 
tout ses deux barges qui la estoient, auec aucans qui estoient 
escliappes d'icelle iournee, et passa outre iusques en I'isle de 
Palmes, la on il trouua I'autre barge qui estoit descendue a terra, 
et faisoient grosse guerre a ceux de I'isle : si dessendit Monsieur 
de Bethencourt a terre auec eux, et lui et ces gens entrerent bien 
auant au pays et eurent a faire par plusieurs fois a leurs ennemis, 
et en furent de morts de coste et d'autre, et beaucoup plus de 
Canares que des nostres. II mourut cinque de nos gens, et il ea 
mourut des leurs plus de cent ; apres qu'il euret demoure six 
sepmaines au pays, ils se recueillircnt aux barges qui les attend- 
oient. Adonc fut ordonue deux barges pour aller en I'isle de Fer, 
la ou ils demourerent bien trois mois ; et quand ils eurent este 
si longuement, monsieur s'aduisa qu'il enuoyeroit h ceux du pays 
vn trucherncnt nomme Augeron, lequel estoit de Gomere, et 


Gomera, and wlio Lad been with M. de Bethencom-t in Arra- 
gon before lie started for tlie present expedition, baying been 
provided for him by tlie King of Spain, named Don Enrique, 
■?'.e.,Henr3', and Queen Catherine. This interpreter, Augeron, 
M. de Betheucourt sent to the inhabitants of this island of 
Ferro, he being brother to the king of the island ; and he 
managed so well, that he decoyed the king his brother, and 
a hundred and eleven persons with him, by means of his 
assurances, and brought them into the presence of M. de 
Bethencourt, who kept for his own share thirty-one of them, 
of whom the king was the first : the rest were divided as 
spoil and sold for slaves. This Monsieur did for two reasons: 
to appease his companions, and also to provide dwellings 
for those whom he had brought from Normandy, by way of 
not causing displeasure to the inhabitants of Lancerote and 
Fuerteventura. For it was necessary that he should esta- 
blish these people in these islands ; and, in fact, he settled 
there a hundred and twenty households, consisting of those 
who were best acquainted with agriculture, while the rest 

I'auoit eu ledit seigneur en Arragou des deuant qu'il vint 
a la conqueste, et lay fit auoir le Roy d'Espagne qui s'apel- 
loit le Roy Donnerique cest a dire Henry, et la Royue s'appel- 
loit Katlieline. Ledit seigneur enuoya ieeluy truchement aux 
Canares d'icelle isle de Fer, et estoit ieeluy Augeron frere 
du roy de ceste isle ; et tant feit ieeluy trucliement, qu'il 
amena son frere roy du pays, et ceixt et oiize persounes soubs 
celle asseurance, et furent amenez deuers Monsieur de Bethen- 
court, et en retint Monsieur de Bethencourt pour sa part trente et 
vn, dout le roy estoit le premier, les autres furent departis au butin, 
et y en eut de vendus comme esclaues ; et ce fit monsieur pour 
deux causes, pour appaiser les compagnons, et aussi pour y bouter 
des mesnages que ledit seigneur auoit amene de son pais de Nor- 
mandie, a celle fin qu'il no fist pas si grand desplaisir a ceux de 
Lancelot et de Fortaucnture. Car il oust fallu qu'il cut mis esdits 
compaignons et mcsuagiers aux dites isles de Lancelot et fortaven- 
ture, desquels il y en eut six vingts mesnages de ladite compagnie, 
ot de ceux qui cognoissoient mieux le labour, ct le deniourant fut 


wcM-e placed in tlio islands of Fuerteventura and Lancerote. 
But for these people thus established there by M. de 
Bethencourt, the island of Ferro would have been left 
utterly deserted, without a living creature in it. On other 
occasions it has been several times depopulated, and the 
natives taken prisoners. Howevei", it is one of the pleasant- 
est islands in those parts, considering its size. 

Chapter LXXXVII. — How the Sicur de Bethencourt arranged the 
apportionment of the laud, and of the administration of justice and 
the government of the country. 

After that M. de Bethencourt had conquered the islands 
of Palma and of Ferro, he returned to Fuerteventura with 
his two vessels, and took up his quarters in the tower of 
Baltarhayz, which Messire Gadifer had commenced building 
while he was in Spain ; and he arranged many things in 
this country which it would take a long time to describe. 
He established, as I have stated, a hundred and twenty 

mis es isles de Forte-auenture et lille de Lancelot ; et se n'eust 
este icelles gens que Monsieur de Bethencourt y mist, I'isle de 
Fer eust este deserte, et sans creature du monde. Autrefois et 
plusieurs fois elle a este desheritee de gens, et les a en prins 
tousiours, et toutes fois c'est vne des plus plaisantes isles qui soit 
en pays par de^a, d'autant de pays qu'elle contient. 

[Chapitre LXXXVII.] — (Comvieut le Sieur de Bethencourt 
ordonne da departement des terres, et de la histice et police 
du pays.) 

Appres que Monsieur de Bethencourt eut conquis I'isle de 
Palme et celle de Fer, ledit seigneur s'en reuint en I'isle de Forte- 
auenture auec ses deux barges, et se logea a la tour de Baltarhays 
que Messire Gadifer auoit commence a faire tandis qu'il estoit en 
Espagne, et ordonna beaucoup de choses en ce pays qui longues 
soroient h, raconter : II logea ceux qu'il auoit amenes, commo i'ay 
dit, six vingts en I'isle de Fer, et le demourat en lille de Forte- 


liouseliolds in the island of Ferro, and placed the remainder 
in Fuerteventura and Lancerote. To each he allotted por- 
tions of land, manors, and houses, and dwellings, to every 
one as it seemed good to him, and managed so well that 
every one was satisfied, and he decreed that none of the 
people whom he had brought from his own country should 
pay anything whatever for nine years, but at the end of 
nine years they were to pay like the others, that is to say, 
a fifth — the fifth head of cattle, the fifth bushel of corn ; in 
fact, a fifth of everything. With respect to the orchil, 
nobody was to dare to sell any without the leave of the 
king and sovereign of the country : it is a plant which may 
prove of great value to the lord of the land, and grows 
without cultivation. As for the two priests of Erbanie and 
Lancerote, it is quite clear that they have a right to 
their tithes ; but inasmuch as there are many people 
and little ecclesiastical help, they will only receive a 
thirtieth when a prelate is appointed; ''and please God, 
when I leave this,'^ said Monsieur, "I will go to Rome 
and obtain for this country a bishop, who shall uphold the 

auenture et en lisle Lancelot ; et leur bailla h chacun part et por- 
tion de teri'es, de manoirs, maisons et logis a chacun selon qu'il 
]uy sembloit bou et qu'il luy appiirtenoit ; et tit tant qu'il n'y eut 
uul qui ne fust contet, et si oi'donna que ceux qu'il auoit amenes 
de son pays ne payeroiet quelque chose du monde iusques a 
neuf ans : et au bout de neuf aus ils payeroient comme les autres; 
c'est a dire qu'ils payeroient le quint deuier, la cinquiesme beste, 
le cinquiesme boissel de bled, et de tout le cinquiesme pour toutes 
charges : et quand au regard de I'oursolle, nulluy ne I'osera vendre 
sans le coge du roy et seigneur du pays : c'est vne graine qui 
peut valoir beaucoup au seigneur du pais et qui vient sans main 
mettre, Quand au regard des deux cures d'Ei^banie et Lancelot, 
il est tout notoire qu'ils doiuent auoir le dixiesme : niais pour ce 
qu'il y a beaucoup de peuplo et peu do secours d'Eglise, ils 
n'auront que le trentiesme, taut qu'il y ait prelat : "et au plaisir 
de Dieu, quand ie partira}^ d'icy, i'ira}- u Homorcqucrir que vous 
aycz prelat cucsquo en cc pais, <pii oi'ilonnera ct niagnifira la foy 


iliscijilinc and the dignity of tlio Catholic faith." M. de 
lic'thoucourt then appointed his nephew to be heutenant and 
governor of all the islands which he had conquered, and 
commanded him to look to the duo observance of God's laws 
and to give all possible honour to Him ; and he desired that 
the people of the country should be treated with gentleness 
and affection. He further directed him to appoint two ser- 
geants to each island, who should administer justice under 
him and subject to his decisions, and he was to see justice 
done to the best of his knowledge, as the case might require. 
The gentry who remained behind should be well regulated 
iu their lives ; and if any judgment had to be given, these 
gentlemen should be first summoned, in order that a deci- 
sion should be come to after great deliberation by several 
people chosen as the wisest and most notable amongst them. 
This decree I have made, he said, in accordance with God's 
commandments, and with a view to the increase of the 
population. " And I command that every year, at least 
twice, you send news to me in Normandy of the welfare of 
the islands ; and that the revenues derived fi'om the islands 

Catholique." En apres ledit seigneur ordonna son lieutenant et 
goiiuerneur de toutes les isles, que ledit seigneur a conquestees, 
et luy commenda comment il feust, que Dieu y soit seruy et 
lionnore tout le micux que Ton peut, et que les gens du pais 
fcussent tenus doucement et amoureusement ; et si luy commanda 
qu'il fist a chacune isle deux sergens qui aucunement auroient le 
gouuerneraent de iustice soubs luy et soubs sa deliberatio : et 
qu'il fist iustice ainsi qu'il pourra congnoitre que le cas le requert ; 
que les gentilshommes qui y demeureront soient de bon gouuerne- 
ment, et que s'il y auoit aucun iugement a faire, que premier 
iceux gentilshommes y soient appellez, a celle fin que le iugement 
soit fait par grande deliberation de plusieurs gens, et des plus 
scacbats, et des plus notables ; et tant que Dieu y ait ordonne, et 
que le pays soit plus peuplc, i'ordone qu' ainsi soit fait. " Aussi 
i'ordone que tous les ans du moins deux fois enuoyez en Nor- 
mandie vers moy, et m'enuoyez des nouuelles de par dega ; et que 
lo revcnu qui sera desdites isles Lancelot et Fortcaueture soit mis 


of Laucerote and Fuerteventura shall be applied to the 
erection of two churches, such as my gossip Jean, the 
mason, shall design and construct; for I have already ex- 
plained to him how I should like them built, and I have 
brought carpenters and masons sufficient to perform the 
work well. With respect to your own provision and allowance 
for maintenance, it is my wish that whereas five deniers belong 
to me, you are to have one of those five as long as you shall live 
in the country acting as my lieutenant. The rest of the re- 
venue for five years from this time is to be devoted to the 
churches and other such edifices as you and the said Jean, the 
mason, may plan, whether it be for repairs or for new build- 
ings. Furthermore, 1 give you full power and authority to 
command and to have put into execution all things that you 
shall see to be for the profit and honour of all, but having 
regard, in the first instance, to my honour and profit. As 
near as you possibly can, observe the customs of France and 
of Normandy in the administration of justice and all other 
points, where you see it advisable. And I beg and charge 
you to do all in your power to preserve peace and unity 

a faire deux eglises telles que Jehan le Masson mon compere 
ordonera et edifiera ; car autre fois ie luy ay conte et dit comme 
je les veux auoir. Car i'ay amene charpentiers et massons assez 
pourquoy on le peut bien faire ; et quant est de vostre prouision 
et pour vos gages pour vous viure, ie veux que s'il m'appartiet 
5. deniers de la reuenue qui issira desdites isles, que vous en ayez 
vn a tousiours tat que vous viurez et ferey en co pays mo lieu- 
tenat : et du surplus de la reuenue, que de cy a cinq ans il soit 
mis aux eglises, et I'autre part en edifices tel quo vous et le dit 
Jean le Masson ordouerez, soit en reparatio ou en nouueaux 
edifices ; et outre ie vous odne plciuc pouuoir efc auctorite que en 
tout choses que voas verrez qu'il sera profit et honneste, vous 
ordoniez ou faciez faire, en sauuant mon honneur premier et 
profit. Et qu'au plus pres que vous pourez que vous teniez les 
coustumes de France et Normadie, c'est li dire en iustice, et en 
autre chose que vous verrez bo faire. Aussi ie vous prie et charge 
que le plus que vous pourrcz vous ayez paix ct vnion cnseble, ct que 


amongst yon, and that you love one another as brothers, 
and especially amongst you gentlemen let there be no feel- 
ings of envy or rivalry. I have appointed to each your part. 
The countrv is large enough ; conciliate one another, main- 
tain good relations one with the other, and help one another. 
I know not what more to say to you, except that above all 
things 5'ou keep at peace amongst youi-selves, and then all 
will ofo well/' 

Chapter LXXXVIII. — How Monsieur de Bethencourt rode about the 
country, aud re-explored it. 

The Sieur de Bethencourt had two mules which had been 
given to him by the King of Spain, on which he rode when 
he paid his visits to the different islands. He remained 
three months in the country after his return from the Great 
Canary, and he rode about the islands, speaking very kindly 
to the natives through three interpreters who accompanied 
him ; for by that time there were a good many who spoke 
and understood the language of the country, especially those 

vous entreaimiez tous come freres, et specialemet entre vous gen- 
tiles homes n'a^^ez point enuie les vns sur les autres. Je vous ay 
a chacun ordonne vostre fait, le pais est assez large, appaisez Vvn 
I'autre et vous apparentez de I'vn I'autre, et aidez I'vn a I'autre. 
le ne vous scaurois plus que dire, fors que principalement vous 
ayez paix ensemble, et tout se portera bleu.'' 

[Chapitee LXXXVIII.] — {Comme Monsieur de BetJiencourt 
clievauclies par le pais en le revisifant.) 

Le dit Seigneur auoit deux mules que le Roy d'Espagne luy 
auoit donnes, qu'il cheuauchoit parmy les isles. Si fut trois mois 
en iceluy pais apres qu'il fut venu de la gi'ant' Quenare, et en 
icelles isles il cheuaucha et chemina par tout en parlant bicn 
doucement au peuple du pais auecques trois trucbemens qu'il 
auoit auec luy. Ia9oit qu'il y auoit dcsia beaucoup de gens qui 
parloient et entcndoient le langage du pais, parespecial ceux qui 


wlio had come first at the beginning- of the conquest. Dur- 
ing his progresses he was accompanied by Maciot, and by 
the other gentlemen whom he wished to take up their resi- 
dences in the countr}", as well as Jean the mason, and other 
mechanics. There were car]3enters and people of all trades, 
who thus rode about with him, and he showed and explained 
to them all his plans, and heard their opinions ; and when he 
had explored the whole country as far as he was able, and had 
explained all his plans and wishes, he caused it to be pro- 
claimed everywhere that he intended to start on that day 
month, which would be the 15th day of December; and that 
if any had requests to prefer to their king and sovereign, 
they were to come to him, and he would do whatever was 
necessary to meet their wishes. He then proceeded to 
Rubicon, in the Island of Lancerote, and remained there 
until his departure, which took place on the day above 
mentioned. Several people of different grades came to him 
belonofino- to the islands of Lancerote and Fuerteventura : 
but as for the island of Ferro none came from thence, for there 

J estoient venus au premier dela conqueste ; etla en cheuaucliant 
le pays estoit aiiec luy ledit Maciot et les autres gentils-homnies, 
lesquels 11 vouloifc qu'ils demourassent au pays, et si y estoit Jelian 
le Massou et autres du mestier ; il y avoifc charpetiers et gens de 
tous mestiers qui clieminoiet auec luy, et ledit seigneur leur 
nionstroit et deuisoit ce qu'il vouloit en les oyant et escoutant 
parler. Et quand il eust este par tout le pais au mieux qu'il peut, 
et qu'il eut devise ce qu'il luy sembloit estre bon de faire, il fit 
crier par le pais qu'il se partiroit a d'auiourd'huy en vn raois, 
qui seroit le quinziesme iour de Decembre ; et que s'il y auoit nul 
qui vouloist rien deuers le roy et sieur du pais, qu'ils vinssent 
vers luy, et qu'il fairoit taut que chacun seroit content. Ledit 
seigneur vint a Rubicon en I'sle Lancelot, ct se tint la iusques a 
son partcment, qui fut le iour deuant dit xv*" jour de Decembre, il 
luy vint plusieurs gens, et de plusieurs fa9ons dela dite isle de 
Lancelot et Fort-aucuture. Quand au regard de I'isle de Fer, il 
n'y en vint nuls ; car il n'y en estoit point demoure si peu que 


wcro hardly any left, aud such as were there had completely 
submitted to the people M. de Bethcncourt had loft there ; 
nor did any come from Gomera. As for the island of Lobos, 
it has no inhabitants ; there are only some animals called 
sea- wolves, but which, as I have elsewhere said, are very 
valuable. The King of Lancerote, who was a Saracen, came 
to Monsieur de Bethencourt, and besought him, as his true 
lord and sovereign, to grant him a place to live in, with a 
certain quantity of land for tillage and sustenance. Mon- 
sieur de Bethcncourt answered that it was his earnest wish 
that he should have a larger mansion and homestead than 
any other Canarian in that island, with a sufficiency of land 
attached thereto, but that neither he nor any other should 
hold fortresses therein. M. de Bethencourt then assigned to 
him a residence which he had asked for in the middle of the 
island, with about three hundred acres of wood and land 
round it, subject to the tax which the said lord had decreed ; 
namely, one-fifth of everything. The Canarian king was 
very contented, for he had never expected so much, and, to 

non, et ce qui estoit demoure n'estoit point pour resister a ren- 
contre de ceux que Monsieur de Bethencourt auoit ordonne d'y 
aller et demourer. Aussi de la Gotuere il ne vint nuls. Au re- 
gard de I'isle de Louppes, il n'y demeure personne, et n'y a que 
bestes qu'on appelle loups marins qui vallet beaucoup, comme 
autrefois i'ay dit. II luy vint le roy qui estoit Sarrazin, de I'isle 
Lancelot, qui demanda son vray seigneur et roy du pais Monsieur 
de Bethencourt, s'il luy plaisoit bailler et donner le lieu la ou il 
demourroit, et certaine quantite do terres pour labourer et pour 
uiure. Monsieur de Bethencourt luy octroya qu'il vouloit bie 
qu'il eust hostel et mesnage plus que nul autre des Cauariens 
d'icelle isle, et des terres sufiSsamment ; mais de forteresse il 
n'auroit point ny nul du pais. Ledlt seigneur luy bailla vng hos- 
tel qu'il demanda qui estoit au milieu de I'isle, et si luy bailla en- 
uiron trois cens acres que bois que terre au tour de son hostel, 
en fuisant le truage que ledit seigneur auoit ordonne, e'est a dire 
le cinquiesme de toutes choses. Le dit roy Canarien fut fort 
content : il ne cuidoit iamais auoir si bien ; et a dire vray il eut 


tell tlie truth, lie had the best laud in the whole country for 
tillasre, so that he knew well what he was about when he 
asked for that spot. Several others came — both Normans 
and Canarians — and were well satisfied with their allotments. 
The two kings of Fuerteventura, who had been baptized, 
came to the Sieur de Betliencourt, and, in like manner, he 
assigned them localities according to their demands ; and 
allotted to each of them four hundred acres of wood and 
land, and they were very contented. The nobles from his own 
country he located in the fortresses, so that they were well 
satisfied. Those, also, who came from Normandy were 
domiciled as each thought right and fit. It was reasonable 
that they should be better accommodated than the Canarians 
of the country. M. de Bethencourt succeeded in pleasing 
every one ; he arranged a great number of other things 
which it would take long to describe, and therefore I will 
pass them by, and speak of his return, and how he com- 
manded all the gentlemen whom he had brought back with 
him, as well as those who were in the country before, to 

tout des meilleui'es terres du pa'is pour labourer ; aussi il cognois- 
soit bien le lieu qu'il demandoit. Plusieurs autres y vindrent et 
de ceux de ITormandie et des Canares d'icelle isle, et cliacun fut 
content e selon ce qu'il le valloit. Les deux roys qui s'estoieut fait 
baptiser de I'isle Forfc'-auenture vindrent vers ledit Sieur de 
Bethencoui't, et pareillement le dit seigneur leur bailla lieu et 
place, ainsi que aucunement le requeroient, et leur bailla a chacun 
quatre cans acres que bois que terres, et furent fort conteus dudit 
seigneur. Ledib Seigneur logea les gentilshommes de son pais 
es fortes places, et fit tant qu'ils furent conteus, et les autres 
pareillement du pais de Normandie, furent logez chacun selon 
qu'il sembloit estre de raison et de faire. Cestoit bien raison 
qu'il fussent mieux que les Canaricns du pays : le dit Seigneur 
fit tant que chacun fut content ; il oi'donna plusieurs elioses qui 
longues seroient a raconter, et partant ie in'en tais, et veux 
parler de son retour, ct comme il comnianda a, tons les gentils- 
hommes qu'il auoit amenez, et ceux qui estoicnt auparauant au 


present thernsolvcs before hiin two days before his depart- 
ure, as well as all the masons and carpenters ; and he also 
invited the three Canarian kings to be present on that oc- 
casion, when he would announce to them his last wishes, 
and commend them to God^s care. 

Chapter LXXXIX. — How Monsieur de Betliencourt gave a banquet 
and festival to all his friends in that country by way of farewell. 

On the second day before his departure M. de Betlien- 
court was at the castle of Rubicon, and there made a great 
feast to all the gentlemen and to the three kings who had 
come at his invitation. There were present also Jean the 
Mason, and all the other masons and carpenters, and several 
other people from Normandy, as well as natives of the 
country, who all dined and feasted on that day in the castle 
of Rubicon. After M. de Betliencourt had dined, he seated 
himself upon a slightly raised chair, at that end of the room 
from which it was easiest to make himself heard, for there 

pays, qu'ils fussent deux iours deuant son partement deuers luy ; 
et aussi que tous les massons et charpentiers y fussent, et si 
voulut que les trois Roys Canarieus y fussent, et que a iceluy 
iour il leur diroit sa volonte et les recoramanderoit a Dieu. 

[Chapitre LXXXIX]. — Comment ledit Sieur a totis ces amis du 
pais ■pour leur dire a Dieu leur donna a diner et les festia. 

Le deuxiesme iour deuant le partement de Monsieur de Bethen- 
court, lequel estoit au cbasteau de Rubicon, la oil il fit icelle 
iournee fort grand' cbere a tous les gen tils liommes, et a iceux 
trois roys lesquels s'y trouuerent, ainsi qu'il auoit commande ; 
et y estoit iceluy Jean le Masson, et autres massons et charpen- 
tiers, et plusieurs autres du pays de Normandie ct du pays 
mesmes ; lesquels tous disnerent et mangercnt iceluy iour au 
chastel de Rubicon. Et quand ledit Seigneur eut disne il s'assit 
en vne chaire vng peu haut a celle fin qu'on I'ouit plus aise, car 



were more tlian two hundred persons present^ and he 
addressed the company in the following words: "My friends 
and Christian brethi-en^ it has pleased God our Creator to 
pour out his mercy upon us and upon this country, which 
at this moment is Christian and converted to the Catholic 
faith, which faith may He graciously vouchsafe to maintain, 
and may He grant to me and to you all to know how to con- 
duct the affairs of this couutry so that what we do shall 
redound to the glory and advancement of Christianity. In 
order that you may know why I have summoned you all 
here to-da}^, I will tell you that ray main object is to bind 
you together in brotherly affection, and I have called you 
together that you may know from my mouth the orders 
which I wish to give, and which I desire may be faithfully 
carried out. First, I appoint my relative, Maciot de Bethen- 
court, to be my representative and governor of all these 
islands, and controller of all my affairs, whether in matters 
of war or justice, the erection of buildings and repairs, or 
the formation of new laws, according as he shall see that 

il y auoifc plus de deux cens personnes ; at la leclit Seigneur 
comcu^a a parler : " Mes amis et mcs freres Chrestiens, il a plea 
a Dieu nostre Creatcur qu'il a esteclu sa grace sur nous et sur 
cestuy pais, qui est a ceste hcm"e Chrestien, et mis a la foy 
Catbolique ; et Dieu par sa digne grace le veiiille maintenir, et 
moy dSner pouuoir et a vous tous de s'y SQauoir si bien conduire, 
que ce soit I'exaltation ct augmentation de toute Chrestieute : et 
pour sgauoir pourquoy i'ay voulu que vous soyez cy tous en 
presece ; ie le vous diray : il est vray que pour vous tenir toias 
ensemble en amour, ie vous ay assemblez, a celle fin que vous 
SQachiez de par ma bouche ce que ie vculx ordonner et ordonnere, 
et ce que i'ordonneray ie vcux qu'ainsi soit fixit. Et premiere- 
ment i'ordone Maciot de Bethencourt, mon cousin et mon parent, 
mon lieutenant et gouuerneur de toutes les isles, et de toutes mes 
affiiires, soit en guerre, iustice, en edifices, reparations, nouuelles 
ordonnances, scion qu'il vorra qui se pourra ou deura faire, et en 


such ma}- or ouglit to be niado, ;md in such manner as ho 
shall SCO fit to do or cause to be done or to be devised, 
without any reservation whatever, provided always that first 
the honour and then the profit of myself and of the country 
be kept in view. And I entreat and charge you all to obey 
him as it" he were myself, and to have no jealousies amongst 
you. I have ordered a fifth portion to be reserved for my 
own benefit, that is to say, the fifth kid, the fifth lamb, the 
fifth bushel of corn, the fifth of everything. Of these levies 
and dues, two-fifths shall be reserved for the erection of two 
fair chui'ches, one in the island of Fuerteventura, the other 
in the island of Lancerote. Another fifth shall belong- to 
my said cousin Maciot ; and, when five 3- ears have expired, 
I shall, please God, do the best that shall lie in my power. 
And touching what I leave to the said Maciot, I desire that he 
shall have for his own use a third of the revenues of the 
country as long as he shall live ; and at the expiration of 
five j-ears he shall be bound to send the surplus of the third 
of the revenues to my house in Normandy. He shall also 

quelque maniere qu'il le voudra fairs, ou faire faire, ou deuiser sans 
J rien reseruer, en tousiours gardaut I'honneur premier et profit 
de moy, et du pays. Et a vous tous ie vous prie et charge que 
vous lay obeyssiez coTume a ma persoune, et que vous n'ayez point 
d'enuie les vngs sur les autres; j'ay ordonne et si ordonne que le 
cinquiesme denier soit a moy, et a mon profit ; e'est a dire la 
cinquiesme chievre, le cinquiesme aignel, le cinquiesme hoisel 
de bled, le cinquiesme de toutes choses ; et dessus iceux deniers 
et debuoirs on prendra iusques a cinq auec les deux parts pour 
faire deux belles fglises, I'vne en I'isle de Fort' auenture, I'autre 
en I'isle Lancelot ; et I'autre part sera audit Maciot mon cousin, 
et quand ce vendra au bout des cinq ans, ce Dieu plaist, ie feray 
tout le mieux que ie pourray. Et quand est de ce que ie laisse 
audit Maciot, ie veux qu'il ait le tiers de la reuenue du pais a 
tousiours tant qu'il viura; et au bout de cinq ans il sera tenu de 
ni'enuoyer le surplus du tiers de la reuenue a m5 hostel en Nor- 

o 2 


be bound to send me every year a report of the progress of 
the country. Furthermore, I pray and charge you all that 
you be good Christians, that you serve God well, that you 
love Him and fear Him, that you attend church, and 
promote and obsei^ve the laws to the best of j'our knowledge 
and abilities, until God shall give you a pastor, I mean a 
prelate, who shall have the direction of your souls, and, 
please God, I will take pains that there shall be such an 
one ; and when I leave this I will, if God permit me, go to 
Rome and entreat the Pope to send j^ou one. God grant 
that I may live to do this. And now," said M. de 
Bethencourt, " if any one wishes to say anything to me, or 
to ask my opinion on any point, I pray him to speak now, 
without omitting any point, whether small or great, and I 
will attend to him most willingly." No one had a suggestion 
to make, but all said unanimously, " We have nothing to 
say. You, sir, have so well spoken, that it is impossible 
for us to offer any idea or remark by way of improvement." 
Every one was contented, and very pleased that Maciot 

mandie. Et si sera tenu tous les ans de m'enuoyer des nouuelles 
de ce pays. En outre, ie vous prie et charge que tous vous 
Boyez bons Chrestiens, et seruiez bien Dieu ; aymez-le, et le 
craignez, allez a I'eglise, et augmentez, et gardez les droits au 
mieux que vous S9aui'ez, et pourrez ; en attendant que Dieu vous 
ait donne vn pasteur, e'est a dire vug prelat, qui ait le gouuerne- 
ment de vos araes ; et, se Dieu plalst, ie mettraj peine qu'il y en 
aura vng ; et quand ie tne partiray a Rome requerir au Pape que 
vous en ayez, jay dit ung pateur cest a dire ung evesque qui ara 
le gouvernement de vos araes. Et Dieu me doint la grace de 
tant viure de ce faire. Or ^a, ce dit ledit Seigneur, s'il y a quelque 
vng qui me veuille dire ou aduiser de quelque chose, ie luy prie 
que a ceste heure il le dise, et qu'il ne laisse point soit petit ou 
grand, et ie I'orray tres voulontiers." 11 ny eust nulhiy qui disist 
mot, mais disoient tous ensemble, nous no st^aurions que dire, 
Monsieur a si bien dit que Ton no s^'auroit no pcnscr ne dire 
mieux, Ch.acun cstoit content, et si cstoicnt bien ioyeux quo 


should have the government of the country. M. de Bethen- 
court had made this appointment because he was of his 
name and lineage. He then selected those whom ho wished 
to take with him to Rome. Messire Jean le Verrier, his 
chaplain^ cure of Rubicon, wished to go with M. de Bethen- 
court, who would have been very glad that ho should re- 
main behind, but he prayed to be allowed to accompany 
him. Ho took Jean de Boville, his squire, and six others 
of his household, and no more. One was his cook, another 
his valet de chambre, and another his groom ; each had his 
office. At length, on the fifteenth day of December, M. de 
Bethencourt set sail in one of his vessels. The other he 
left at Rubicon, and charged Maciot to send it as soon as 
possible after Easter to Normandy, to the port of Hai-fleur, 
and that he would load it with native productions and 
despatch it without fail. 

Maciot auoit le gouuernement du pays, et ledit Seigneur le fit 
pour ce qu'il estoit du nom et de la ligne. Ledit Seigneur 
oi-donna ceux qu'il vouloit auoir auecques luy a Rome ; Messire 
Jehan le Verrier son chapellain, cure de Rubicon, voulut aller 
auecques ledit Seigneur, jagoit que ledit Seigneur eust bien voula 
qu'il fust demeure, mais il pria Monsieur qu'il luy tinst compagnie. 
II print Jean de Bouille escuyer, et six autres de sa maison, et 
non plus ; I'vn estoit cuisinier, et lautre estoit varlet de chambre 
pallefrenier ; chacun auoit son office. Et quand ce vint au quinz- 
iesme iour de Decembre ledit Seigneur se mit en mer en I'vne 
de ces barges, et I'autre barge il la laissa a Rubicon, et chargea 
ledit Maciot que le plutost qu'il pourroit apres Pasques passez, 
il renuoyast ladite barque en Normandie a Herfleur ; et qu'il la 
chargeast dcs nouueautez du pays, et qu'il n'y eust point de 


Chapter XC. — How the Sieur de Bethencourt left the Canary Islands 
to go to Normandy, never again to return. 

After Monsieur de Bethencourt liad taken leave of all bis 
people, and of the whole country, and had set sail, all the in- 
habitants were to be seen weeping and lamenting, the Cana- 
rians more bitterly than the Normans ; but the grief and 
lamentations of both were distressing to witness. Their 
hearts told them that they would never see him again, and that 
he would never return to the country ; and they were right, 
for he never came back again. But though these dreaded 
it, they prayed him to return without delay. Others threw 
themselves into the sea, holding on to the vessel in which 
M. de Bethencourt was. No one would suppose to what an 
extent they took it to heart. ''Our leader and master," they 
cried, ''why do you leave us? We shall never see you again ! 
Alas, what will the country do, deserted by a sovereign so wise 
and so prudent, who has put so many souls into the road of 

[Chapitre XC] — Comment lecUt sieur se partit cles Ysles de Canare 
pour sen venir en Normandie, et onquez plus ny retourna. 

Apres que Monsieur de Bethencourt eut pi'ins conge de tous 
ses gens et de tout le pais, et so mit en mer, vous eussiez veu 
tout le peuple crier et braire, et plus encore les Cauariens que 
ceux du pais de Normandie ; c'estoit pitie des pleurs et des 
gemisscmes que les vngs et les autres faisoient. Leurs coeurs 
leur disoient qu'ils ne le voirroient iamais plus, et qu'il ne 
vendroit james plus au pays : et il fut vray, car iamais oncques 
plus n'y fut. Si ne luy estoit par aduis qu'il n'y reuint, et le 
plus bref qu'il pouuoit. II y en eut aucuns qui se bouterent en 
la mer iusques aux aisselles en tirant ii la barque la ou Monsieur 
estoit. II lour faisoit tant de mal que ledit Seigneur s'en alloit 
que nul ne S(^auroit penser, et disoit ainsi nostre droicturier 
Seigneur, pourquoy nous laissez vous ? nous ne vous verrons 
iamais! Las! que fera le pays, quad il faut que vng tel Seigneur 
si sage et si prudent, et qui a mis taut d'ames en voye do salua- 


eternal salvation ! \Yq should like it much better were 
it otherwise, and if such had beeu his pleasure." But 
if the people of the islands were grieved at M. de Betlien- 
court's departure, it was more painful to him to go away 
and leave them, for he felt inwardly sure that he should 
never return. His heart was so full that ho could not 
speak, even to bid them farewell. Not to any one, 
whether relative or friend, did he find it in his power to 
utter the word adieu, for w^hcu he tried to say it his heart 
was so full that he could not speak. And now that he is 
starting, and that they have hoisted sail, may God of his 
grace be pleased to guard him from evil and disaster. He 
had a tolerably fair wind, and in seven days reached Seville, 
where he received a hearty welcome, and remained three or 
four days. He inquired where the King of Spain then was, and 
they told him he was at Valladolid, and he went thither to 
him. The King of Spain received him even more gi^aciously 
than he had ever done before ; for he had heai'd a good 
deal about the conquest, and how M. de Bethencourt had 

tion eternelle, qu'il nous laisse ; nous ajmissios bie mieux qu'il 
fust autremet, si c'estoit so plaisir : et se le peuple des dites isles 
leur faisoit mal de son allee, encore faisoit plus de mal audit 
Seigneur d'en partir et de les laisser: car le coeur luy disoit bien 
qu'il n'y viendi'oifc iamais, il auoit le ccBur si serre qu'il ne pou- 
uoit parler, et ne leur pouuoit dire a Dieu, ne il ne fut oucques en 
la puissance dudit Seigneur qu'il sceust proferer de la boucbe de 
dire a nul quelconque, tant fut son paret et amy, adieu; et quand 
il vouloit dire ce mot, il auoit le coeur si tres-estreint qu'il ne le 
pouuoit dire. Or se part ledit Seigneur de Bethencourt, et est 
le voile leue ; Dieu par sa grace le veiiille garder de mal efc 
d'encombrie. Ledit Seigneur eut assez bon vent, et arriua en 
sept iours a Siuille, la ou on luy fit fort grand' chere, et y fut 
trois ou quatre iours. II s'enquerut la ou estoit le Roy d'Espagne; 
on luy dit qu'il estoit a Valladolid, et la s'en alia vers luy : le- 
quel Roy d'Espagne luy fit encores plus grand chere qu'il 
n'auoit oncqucs fait : ear ledit roy auoit bien ouy parler de sa 


had the natives baptized^ and all by fair and honourable 
means. When M. de Bethencourt came into the presence 
of the King of Spain and had made his obeisance to him, 
the king received him very graciously ; if he had formerly 
welcomed him warmly, he now did so in a yet more marked 
manner. The king inquired of him how the act of con- 
quest had been brought about, and of the manner and 
fashion of it. Monsieur de Bethencourt related everything 
as well as he could, and the king took so much pleasure in 
listening to his nai-rative that he never got tired. M. de 
Bethencourt remained fifteen days at the court of Spain. 
The king gave him great presents, sufficient to enable him 
to accomplish the journey which he contemplated, and 
gave him two handsome jennets, and an excellent and very 
handsome mule, which carried M. de Bethencourt all the 
way to Rome. When he left the island of Lancerote he had 
given one of his mules to Maciot de Bethencourt, and had 
only brought away one. When he had stayed sufficiently 
long at the court of Spain, and felt that it was time for him 
to take his departure, he went to take leave of the king, 

conqueste, et comme 11 auoit fait tout baptiser, et tout par beaux 
et bons moyens. Quand Monsieur de Bethencourt vint deuers 
le Roy d'Espagne, et qu'il luy eut fait la reuerence, ledit roy le 
recueillit fort honnestement, et si autrefois il luy auoifc fait grand' 
chere, encore luy fit-il plus grander le roy luy demanda comment 
le faict de la conqueste auoit este, et la maniere et la fa(j"on ; et 
ledit Seigneur luy raconta tout le mieux qu'il peut, et tant que 
roy fut si aise de I'ouir parler qu'il ne luy enuuyoit point. Ledit 
Seigneur fut quinze iours a la cour du Roy Despague. Le roy 
luy donna de grands dons assez pour allcr au voyage la on il 
vouloit allcr; et luy donna deux beaux genets et vne mule fort 
bonne et bien belle, qui porta ledit Seigneur iusques a, Rome. 
Quand il partit de I'isle Lancelot, il donna vne de ses deux 
mulles a Maciot do Bethencourt et n'ou ramena qu'vne. Et 
quand ledit Seigneur cut este assez longuement a la cour du 
Roy d'Espaguc, et qu'il cstoit temps qu'il sc partist, il voulut 


and thus addressed him : " Sire, with your permission, I 
would wish to beg of you one favour." " Name it," said 
tlie king. '' Sire, it is very true what I have told you about 
the conquest of the country of the Canary Islands, which 
extend over more than forty French leagues,^ and the in- 
habitants are a very fine race ; but it is very requisite that 
they should receive exhortation and instruction from a man 
of dignified bearing and position, who should be their 
pastor and bishop ; and I think he would live very well 
there, and he would have enough to occupy him ; and, 
besides, the whole country will gradually submit, and so, please 
God, the domain will constantly be on the increase. If 
you would be graciously pleased to write to the Pope to ask for 
a bishop, to you will be due the bringing of these people to 
a state of great perfection, and the salvation of the souls of 
these as well as of those who are to come hereafter." 
The king replied : *' M. de Bethencourt, it will not be my 
fault if I do not write. What you say is excellent, and 
could not be better. I will do it most willingly, and 

prendre conge du roy, at luy dit : " Sire, s'il vous plaist, ie vous 
veux requerre dVne chose. Or dites, ce dit le roy : Sire, il est 
bie vray que comme ie vous ay raconte la conqueste du pais des 
isles de Canare, qui contiennent en tout plus de quarate lieues 
Fi-aQoises, et y a de beau peuple : il est besoin qu'ils soient 
exhortez et monstres par vng homme de bie qui soit leur pasteur 
et leur prclat ; et il me serable qu'il y viura bien, et qu'il y aura 
assez de quoy pour soy entretenir ; et aussi le pais se rendra, et 
se sera et augmentera, se Dieu plaist, tousiours de mieux en 
mieux. S'il vous plaist de vostre grace en rescrire au Papa 
qu'il y ait vng euesque, vous seres cause de leur grad perfection 
et saluation de leurs ames, de ceux qui y sont a present, et de 
ceux qui sont encore a venir." Respondit le roy, " Monsieur de 
Bethencourt, il ne tendra pas a moy ne ^ an rescrire, et dites 
tres bien, Ton ne sQauroit ruieux dire, ie le feray tres-voulontiers, 

This only refers to the four ishiiuls conquered. 


I will even write for tlie individual whom you tnay wish 
to see appointed^ if such is your desire/' " As to that, 
Sire, I know no one to whom to give a preference. 
But it is necessary that they should have a bishop who 
is a good scholar and who knows the language of the 
country. The language of this country [of Spain] is very 
similar to that of the country of Canary." The king 
answered : " 1 will send with you a worthy man to accom- 
pany you to Rome, who is a veiy good scholar, and both 
speaks and understands the Canary tongue well ; and I will 
write to the Pope and explain your case as it stands 
and as you have described it to me, and I think and believe 
that he will not refuse you, but give you a very favourable 
reception. Indeed, I think he ought to do so.'' The king 
wrote the letters to the Pope as he had promised, and gave 
them to M. de Bethencourt. The priest whom the king 
had mentioned was called Alure de las Casas, that is to say, 
Albert of the Houses. M. de Bethencourt was now ready to 
start on his voyage to E-ome, and he took leave of the king 
and went all the way by land with ten others, in handsome 

et encore ie rescriray pour celuy que vous voudriez qui y fust 
mis, se c'est vostre volote." " Sire, au regard de ce, ie ne S9ache 
nulluy pi' a I'vn qtie a I'autre. Mais il est besoing qu'ils fiy^t 
vng prelat qui soit b5 clerc, et qu'il S9acbe la lague du pais, Ie 
lagage de ce pais approclie fort de celuy du pais de Canare." Ce 
dit Ie roy, ie vous baillei'ay vng home de bieu auec vous qui vous 
coduira a Rome, et c'est vn tres bon clerc, et si parle bien Ie 
lavage de Canare et los ented bien ; et ie rescripray au Pape 
vostre faict, et tout ainsi qu'il est, et que vous mc I'auez conte, 
et ie cuide et croy qu'il ne Ie vous refuscra pas, et qu'il vous 
receura honnestemet : car il me semble qu'ainsi Ie doit-il faire. 
Lc roy rescript les lettres du Pape ainsi qu'il auoifc dit, et Ics 
bailla audit Seigneur, et iceluy clerc que Ie roy auoit dit, lequel 
se nommo Alure des Cases, c'est a, dire Albert dcs Maisons. Ainsi 
ledit Seigneur fut prest de s'en aller en son voyage de Rome, et 
print coge du roy, et s'cn ala ledit Seigneur a Roninio tout par 

or THK CANAKirs. 20;J 

style enough, for he had liveries made for all his people as 
soon as ho arrived in Seville, before he had spoken to the 
Kiug of Spain, and so he rode on nnileback until he reached 
Ifouie, as you will hear presently. 

CnAPTEU XCI. — llovr ^Monsieur do Bethencourt presented liiuiself before 
the Pope to ask for a prelate for the Canary Islands, which request 
was granted. 

Monsieur de Bethencourt arrived at Rome and remained 
there three weeks ; he presented himself before the Pope, 
and gave him the letters sent by the King of Spain ; and 
when His Holiness had caused them to be read twice over, 
and had comprehended the substance thoroughly, he sum- 
moned M. de Bethencourt, who kissed the Pope^s feet, and 
was thus addressed by him : " You are one of our children, 
and as such 1 hold you. You have achieved a goodly deed, 
and have made a goodly beginning, which will be the 
forerunner, by God's grace, of a still greater conclusion. 

terre luj vnziesme assez honnestemeut, car il fit liurees a tous 
ses gens des qu'il arriua en Siuille et du deuat qu'il eust parle 
au Roy d'Espagne, et cheuaucha tant qu'il arriua a Rome comma 
vous orrez cy-apres. 

[Chapitre XCI]. — Comme Monsieur de Bethencourt vint devers le 
pappe lid requerir quil eut prelat es isles de Canare, laxpiielle 
chose luy fut octroyie. 

Monsieur de Bethencourt arriua a Rome, et la fut I'espace de 
trois sepmaines ; il se presenta au Pape, et luy bailla les letti-es 
que le Roy d'Espaigne luy enuoyoit ; et quand il les eut faire 
lire par deulx fois, et il eut entendu bien la matiere ; il appella 
Monsieur de Betbeucourt, lequel baisa le pied au Pape, qui luy 
dit : " Vous estes vn de pes enfans, et pour tel ie vous retiens ; 
vous auez fait vng beau faict et vng beau commencemet, et 
serez premier, se Dicu plaist, de paruenir et faire pai'uenir 


The King of Spain writes me word that you have conquered 
certain islands, whose inhabitants have now embraced the 
faith of Jesus Christ, and that you have caused them all to 
be baptized ; for which cause I wish to hold you as my son 
and as a son of the Church, because you are the originator 
of conquests which other sons [of our Holy Church] shall 
hereafter achieve, for, from what I gather, the main-land of 
Guinea and Barbary is not far distant from the islands^ 
indeed only twelve leagues from them. Furthermore, the 
King of Spain informs me that you penetrated ten leagues 
into the land of Guinea, and that you killed and brought 
away Saracens from that country. You are indeed a man 
worthy of honour, and it is my wish that you may not be 
forgotten, but that you may have now a place amongst 
other kings and be mentioned in their list. With respect 
lo your desire for the appointment of a prelate and bishop 
over the country, your reason and your wish are both 
pi-aiseworthy, and I consent to appoint whomsoever you 
may name, provided he be suitable for the office." M. de 

a vne plus grand' chose. Le Roy d'Espaigne icy me rescript 
que vous auez conquis certaines isles, lesquelles sent de present 
a la foy de Jesus Christ, et les auez faict tous baptiser; pourquoy 
ie vous veux tenir mon enfant, et enfant de I'eglise, et serez 
cause et comencement qu'il y aui'a d'autres enfans qui conquer- 
ront apres plus grand' chose, car ainsi que i'entens le pais de 
terre ferme n'est pas loing d'y la, le pays de Guynee, et le pais 
de Barbaric ne sot pas a, plus de douze lieues ; encore me rescript 
le Roy d'espagne que vous auez este dedans ledit pais de Gu3'nee 
bien dix lieues, et que vous auez tue et amene des Sarrazins 
d'iccluy pays ; vous estes bien home de quoy on doit tenir cote, 
et veux que vous ne soyez pas mis en oubly, et que vous soyez 
mis en escript auec les auti'es roys, et en leur catalogue ; et cc 
que vous me dcmadez que vous ayez vng prelat et euesque au 
pays, vostre raison et voulente est honnestc, et celuy qui vous 
voulez qu'il le soit, puis qu'il est hoinme suffisant a I'ofBcc, ic le 
vous octroyu." Monsieur de Bethoncourt le mcrcia huiublomeut. 


Bethenconrt liumbly tliankod His Holiness, and rejoiced 
greatly at bis success. The Pope asked him several questions 
as to how he had the courage to go to such a distance from 
France ; to which he made such replies as won the Pope's 
entire approval; indeed, the more he heard the better pleased 
he was. His Holiness received him with distinction in his 
palace and made him handsome presents. After he had 
been about fifteen days at Eome, ho desired to take leave of 
the Pope. The Bulls were drawn np in due form, and 
Albert de las Casas was appointed Bishop of all the Canary 
Islands. Monsieur de Bethencourt then took his leave of 
the Pope, who gave him his blessing, and desired that he 
should not hesitate to ask of him whatever might give him 
pleasure, and that it should be willingly conceded. 

et fut fort ioyeux qu'il faisoit si bien ses besognes. Le Pape 
araisonna le dit Seigneur de plusieurs choses ; comment son 
courage luy mouvoit d'aller si loing come du pays de France ? 
Ledit Seigneur luy respondit tellement que le Pape estoit si 
content, que taut plus il I'oyoit, et plus ayse estoit : le Pape le fit 
recuellir honnestement en son hostel, et luy eslargit de ses biens. 
Et quand il eut este enuiron quinze iours a Rome, il voulut 
prendre conge du Pape ; les Bulles fuerent faictes aiusi qu'il 
falloit qu'elles fussent ; et fut Monsieur Albert des Maisons 
Euesque de toutes les Isles de Canare ; ledit Seigneur print 
conge du Pape, lequel luy donna sa benediction, et luy dit qu'il 
n'espargnast point chose qu'il luy pcust faire plaisir, et qu'il le 
feroit Tolontiers. 


Chapter XCII. — How Monsieur de Bethencourt took leave 
of the Pope. 

Wlien Monsieur de Bethencourt liad taken leave of tlie 
Pope, lie set out for his own country, although he did not 
know what to do about returning to Spain with his bishop. 
He retui-ned, however, straight to France to his house in 
Normandy. His bishop took leave of him at Rome, and M. 
de Bethencourt wrote to the King of Spain : he also com- 
manded the master of the vessel, which had brought him 
from Canary to Seville, as soon as he could make up his 
cargo, to sail for Harfleur. The vessel set sail, but it was 
never known what became of her, except that M. de Bethen- 
court was informed that some were of opinion that it 
foundei^ed at sea near La Bochelle, but that it was laden 
with cargo and was making for Harfleur. It was never 
heard of afterwards, however, and thus the vessel was lost. 
On the bishop^s arrival in Spain, he presented himself 
before the king and delivered Monsieur de Bethencourt^s 

[Chapitrb XCII] — Comme Monsieur de Bethencourt print conge du 


Quand Monsieur de Bethecourt eut prins conge du Pape, il 
print son chemin h s'en retourner en son pays ; ja9oit qii'il ne 
sgavoit que faire de retourner en Espaigne auecques son euesque: 
mais il s'en retourna en France et en Normandie a son hostel. 
Son euesque print conge de luy a Rome, et ledit Seigneur rescript 
au Roy d'Espaigne ; et si naanda au maistre de la nef qui I'auoit 
amene de Canare en Siuille, que le plntost qu'il pourroit trouuer 
sa charge, il amenast son nauire a llevflcur, et le nauire estoifc 
desja party, et on ne peut oncques SQauoir qu'il deuint, fors qu'on 
dit audit Seigneur qu'il estoit aduis a aucnns qu'il s'estoit noye 
en la mcr enprcs la Roclielle, et qu'il estoit charge, et qu'il venoit 
pardessa ainssi fut son navire perdu ; onques on n'on oiiyt 
parler plus avant, et fut la barge perdue. Or est venu I'Euesque 
en E.spagnc dcuers le Roy, et luy a apporte Icttres de Mon.sieur 


letters to His ]\Iajcsty, who rejoiced greatly at his success. 
M. do Bethencourt had also written by this same bishop to 
Maciot de Betheucourt, who, after the departure of Monsieur, 
had liimself raised to the rank of knighthood. We will 
now leave M. de Bethencourt and speak of the said Messire 
Maciot and of the bishop, who is now arrived at the Canary 

CllArTEU XCIII. — How Bishop Albert arrived in the Canary Islands, 
where he met with a joyful reception. 

Messire Albert de las Casas arrived in the Canary Islands 
at the island of Fuerteventura, where he found Messire Maciot 
de Bethencourt, and delivered to him the lettei'S which his 
uncle had sent to him, which gave Maciot great pleasui'e ; 
while all the country was delighted at having a prelate and 
bishop, and, as soon as they became aware of his arrival, 
they all made him very welcome, more especially when they 
found that he understood the language of the country. 
The bishop gave directions in the church as to his wishes 

de Bethencourt, desquelles il fut ioyeux qu'il auoit fait ses 
besongnes. Aussi Monsieur de Bethencourt rescript par iceluy 
Euesqne a Messire Maciot de Bethencourt, lequel se fit faire 
cbeualier dcpuis que Monsieur se partit. Or nous laisserons a 
parler de Monsieur de Bethencourt et parlerons dudit Messire 
Maciot et de I'euesque qui est arriue es isles de Canare. 

[Chapitre XCIII.] — Comme lesvesque ariva en Canare, la ou il fut 
receulli joyeiisement. 

Messire Albert des Maisons est arriue es isles de Canare en 
I'isle de Fort'auenture, la oil il a trouue Messire Maciot de Bethen- 
court, et luy a bailie les lettres que Monsieur de Bethencourt lay 
enuoye, desquelles fut fort joyeux et tout le pays d'auoir Prelat 
ct Esvesque au pais ; et tant que tout le peuple le S9ent, ou luy fit 
fort grand'chere, et plus encore pour ce qu'il entendoit le langage 
du j)ays ; iceluy euesque ordonna en I'eglise co qu'il voulut ct 


and what was to be done, and he demeaned himself so well, 
SO graciously, and in such a pleasant manner, that he found 
favour with all the people, and was the cause of many great 
blessings to the whole country. He preached very often, 
now in one island and now in another. There was no pride 
in him, and whenever he preached he caused a prayer to be 
said for M. de Bethencourt, their king and sovereign lord, 
who was the cause of their life, that is of life eternal, and 
of the salvation of their souls. Thus, at the sermon, prayer was 
always offered for M. de Bethencourt, who had made them 
Christians. The bishop's conduct was so perfect that none 
could find any fault with him. 

Chapter XCIV. — Of the good qualities and virtues of Messire Maciot 
de Bethencourt, and of the progress of the faith in the Islands. 

As for Messire Maciot, it is needless to say that he is all 
goodness. There is neither king nor prince, nor great nor 
small, who does not speak most highly of him ; he makes 

ce qu'il estoit de faire, at se gouuerna si bien et si gratieusement, 
et si debonnairement, qu'il eut la grace du peuple, et fut cause de 
bien grands biens au pays. II presclioit bien fort souvent, puis en 
vne isle, puis en vne autre, et n'y auoit point d'orgueil en luy ; et 
a chacuu preschement il faisoit faire priere pour leur roy 
Monsieur de Bethencourt, leur souverain seigneur, qui estoit la 
cause de leur vie, c'est a dire de la vie eternelle, et de la salua- 
tion de leurs ames. Aussi au prosne de I'eglise tousiours on 
prioit pour ledit seigneur qui les auoit faits Chrestiens. Ledit 
euesque se gouverna si bien que nul ne le sQauoit repi'endre. 

[Chapitre XCIV.] — (Des bonnes qualitez et vertus de Messire 
Macyot de Bethencourt, et div j^rogres de lafoy is isles.) 

Quant au regard de messire Maciot, il ne faut point dire, qxi'il 
est tout bon ; il n'y a ne roy, ne prince, nc grand, ne petit, quine 
dise de gi-ands biens de luy, il so fait anicr a grans et a pctis, et 


himself beloved by all, and especially by the natives, who 
are beginning in earnest to work in the fields, to plant and 
to build. They are making a very good beginning. May 
God, in his mercy, be pleased to direct them so that they 
may work for the welfare both of their souls and of their 
bodies. ^Tessire Maciot interests himself very much about 
the building of churches, which is a source of great joy to 
the bishop. There is not one, either great or small, who 
does not do all in his power for the good of the church. It 
cannot be said that the native Canarians fail in their part, 
for they bring stones, they work and help to the best of 
their ability and with a hearty good will, as one can plainly 
see. Those also whom Monsieur de Bethencourt brought 
over with him the last time are perfectly contented, and 
would on no account change their condition, for they pay 
no taxes of any sort, and live in the greatest harmony to- 
gether. We will now take leave of them, and speak of 
Monsieur de Bethencourt, who is on his road home from 
Rome to his native country of Normandy. 

pi'incipalement a cenx du pays, et ceulx du pais commencent fort 
a labourer, planter et edifier. lis prennent vn tres-bel com- 
mencement : Dieu par sa grace les veuille entretenir, qu'ils 
puissent faire le pi'ofit de leurs ames et de leurs corps. Ledit 
!Messire Maciot fait fort besongner es Eglises, dout I'Euesque est 
moult ioycux : il n'y a ne grand ne petit qui ne face de tout son 
pouvoir bieii a I'Eglise. Ce n'est pas les Canariens du pays 
qu'ils n'en facent leur deuoir ; ils apportent pierres, ils besongnent, 
et aident de ce qu'ils s9auroieut faire, et ont un grand efc bon 
vouloir, ainsi que Ton pent aperceuoir. Aussi ceux que Monsieur 
y mena derniercment, ils sont bien aises, et ne voudroient pour 
rien estre autre part, car ils ne paj'ent nuls subsides ne autres 
choses, et viuent en vne grande amour ensemble. Nous laisserons 
a parler de ceste matiere, et parlerons de Monsieur de Bethencourt, 
qui est en clicmin de retourner de Rome en son pays en Nor- 


CilAPTEii XCY. — How Monsieur de Bethencourt arrived at Florence. 

Monsieur de Betlienconrt rode as far as Florence, where 
he found some merchants, who had previously heard speak 
of him and of his doings. When he arrived some people 
asked who this grandee was, and some of his people 
answered that he was the King of Canary. It soon became 
common talk that a king had arrived in the city who was 
called the King of Canary, and that he was lodged at the 
sign of the " Stag" in the High Street. The news soon 
reached the Town Hall, where was a merchant who had 
once seen M. de Bethencourt at Seville, and had heard of 
the Canary Isles, and that the Sieur de Bethencourt had 
conquered them, and this merchant related this to the 
mayor of the town, who was at the time in the Town Hall ; 
whereupon they immediately sent to the inn to ask if the 
sti'anger were indeed Monsieur de Bethencourt. When it 
came to the mayor's knowledge that such was the case, a 

[CiiAriTRE XCV.]^^or/««ie Ic (lit Sieur (de Bethencourt) eat arrive 

cl Flonrance. 

Monsieur de Bethencourt a tant clieuauclie ([u'il est arriue a 
Florence, et la a trouue aucuns marcliands qui auoient autre fois 
ouy parler de luy et de ses faits. Quand il vint a la ville de 
Fleurance, aucuns dcmandercnt quel Seigneur c'estoit : il y eut 
aucuns de ses gens qui dirent que c'estoit le Roy de Canare ; il 
estoit tantost tout commun qu'il estoit arriue vn Roy a la ville 
qu'on ap])elloit le Boy de Canare, et qu'il estoit logc a I'enseigne 
du Cerf en la grand' rue; et tant que Ics nouvelles vindrenf ^ 
riiostel de la ville ; il y auoit vn marchand qui autrefois auoit 
veu Monsieur de Bethencourt en Siuillo, et auoit bien autrefois 
ouy parler des isles de Canare, et que ledit Sieur de Bethencourt 
les auoit conquises, et le contoit iceluy marchand au niaire de la 
ville qui la estoit en I'liostel de la ville : et tantost ils enuoyerent 
au logis pour sgauoir si c'estoit Monsieur de Bethencourt, et 
trouiici-ent que c"estoit-il ; et quad le maire le s^eut, on luy 

or TiiK canai?ip:s. 21 1 

very handsotne present of meat aiul wine of excellent quality 
was sent to M. de Betheuconrt on the part of the mayor ami 
dignitaries of the city. The presentation Avas made Ly the 
same merchant who knew him, and who detained Monsieur 
de Bethencourt in the city of Florence, entertaining him in 
the most genex'ous manner, and defraying all his expenses. 
Nor would he take any refusal from him, for he was a very 
wealthy man. This same merchant had dined with him in 
his lodging at Seville, and they had had a private conversa- 
tion together, so that from some words which the merchant 
let fall, M. de Bethencourt recognised him. On the foui-th 
day of his sojourn in this city he took his departure, and 
the merchant accompanied him for more than two leagues. 
He then made all speed until he reached Paris, where he 
found many acquaintances. He remained a week in Paris 
to rest and refresh himself, and after eight days came to 
Bethencourt, where he found Madame de Bethencourt, and 
spent some time there : it is needless to ask what welcome 
was given him. All the noblemen and gentry came to see 

enuoya vn bien honneste present de par le maire et seigneui's de 
la ville ; il y auoit vin et viande bien lionneste, et le vint presenter 
iceluy marchand qui le cognoissoit, lequel St demourer ledit 
sieur en la ville de Florence, et le festoya si honnestement qu'on 
ne vous le s<j-auroit dire, et defraya ledit seigneur de toutes choses : 
pour quelque chose que ledit Seigneur vouloit ou non, il falut 
qu'ainsi fust fait ; aussi e'estoit vn fort riclie marchad. Ledit 
marchand auoit disne auec luy en son logis en Siuille, et auoiet 
priuette ensemble ; et par aucunes paroles que ledit marchand 
luy dit, Monsieur le Bethencourt le recognut. Le quatriesme 
iour qu'il fut en icelle ville, il se partit et le conuoya iceluy mar- 
chand plus de deux licues ; et s'en vint ledit Seigneur, et 
cheuaucha tant qu'il arriua a Paris, la oii il trouua de la cognois- 
sance assez, et fut huict iours dedans Paris pour se rafraichir ; et 
apres les huict iours il s'en vint k Bethencourt, et la il trouua 
Madame de Bethencourt, et vescut vn espace de temps : il ne 
faut point dcmandcr la chcro qu'on luy fit. Tous seigneurs ct 



him, as well as the relatives of those whom he had taken to 
the Canary Islands, who inquired, How is my brother ? 
how is my nephew, my cousin ? etc. : people came from all 
parts. When M. de Bethenconrt had spent a little time at 
Bethencourt, he went to his house of Grainville la Teintu- 
riere en Caux, and took up his abode in his own chateau, 
where he was received with the usual enthusiasm. If great 
people had come there on the former occasion, they came 
now in greater numbers : presents and friends poured in, 
and M. de Bethencourt stayed a long time at Grainville, 
and Madame de Bethencourt joined him there. Some time 
afterwards Messire Regnault de Bethencourt returned from 
the household of Duke John of Burgundy, the one who was 
killed at Montereau-faut-Yonne. This Regnault had been 
for a time the comptroller of his household, and he came to 
visit his wife. Dame Marie de Briaute, who was at Rouvray; 
and when he learned that his brother was arrived, he went 

gentils-hommes le venoient voir, et aussi les parens de ceux 
qu'il auoit amenes es isles de Canare, qui vendoicnt;^ comme le 
fait mon frere ? cpme le fait mou neueu ? mon cousin, etc., il 
venoit gens de tous parts ; et quand ledit seigneur eut este vn 
peu de temps a Bethencourt, il s'en alia en son hostel de Grain- 
uille la Teinturiere en Caulx, et se logea en son cliastcau ; il iie 
faut pas demander se on luy fit grand'chere. S'il y estoit venu a 
I'autre fois des gens de bien, il en vint encore plus, vous 
n'eussiez veu que gens et presens venir et apporter, et se tint 
ledit seigneur audit lieu de Grainuille bien fort longuement, et 
fit venir Madame de Bethencourt a Grainuille. Et dedans vne 
espace de temps Messire Renault de Bethencourt reuiut de 
I'hostel du Due lean de Bourgongne, celuy qui fut tue a Monte- 
riau faut-Yonne ; iceluy Regnaut estoit son grand-maistre 
d'hostcl pour I'heure, et vint voir sa femme qui estoit a Rouuray, 
laquelle se nommait Dame Mario de Bi-iautc : et quand il S9eut 
que Monsieur son frere estoit venu, le plustost qu'il peiit, il s'en 

' Sic in ISIS. Bergeron has more correctly " deniaiuloient." 


to him with all speedy and they met with tender affection, 
as was onl}^ natural, foi- they were the only children of the same 
father and mother, issue of the Sieur Jean de Bethencourt 
and of Dame Marie de Bracquemont. Monsieur Bethencourt, 
King of Canary, had no children ; his wife was a young and 
beautiful lady, whereas he was now an old man. She was 
of the house of Fayel, of the neighbourhood of Troyes, in 
Champagne. Unhappily, however. Monsieur de Bethencourt 
and Regnault de Bethencourt his brother had a great 
quarrel together about a nothing at all, which caused great 
distress to Madame de Bethencourt and to the said Messire 
Regnault, surnamed Morelet. 

[Chaptp:r XC VI. — Of the quarrels which took place between Monsieur 
de Bethencourt and Messire Kegnault his brother.] 

It happened that the said Regnault came to see his 
brother Monsieur de Bethencourt at Grainville la Teinturiere, 
and great was the festivity and mirth. And Madame de 
Bethencourt, who was a young and merry lady, was enjoy- 

alla versluy, at firent grand chare I'vn a j 'autre, at aussi deuoient- 
ils bien faire : car ils n'astoiant qu'aux deux de pare et de mare, 
issus de Messire Jean de Bethencourt et dame Marie de Bracque- 
mont, et n'auoit Monsieur de Bethencourt Roy de Canare nuls 
eufans, si estoit sa femme belle et ieune Dame, et il estoit ja fort 
ancien : elle estoit issue de ceux de Fayel d'entour Troyes en 
Champaigne. II ne demoura quyare que le dit seigneur et 
Regnault de Bethencourt son frere grosse noise en semble et 
pour vng nyent, laquelle noyse fit beaucoup de mal a Madame de 
Bethencourt et audit Messire Regnault dit Morelit. 

[Chapitre XCVI.]— (Des noises qiCil y cut entre Moimeur de 
Bethencourt et Messire BeynauU son frere.) 

Avint que a Grainville la tainturiere ledit Regnault essoit venu 
veoir son frere Monsieur de Bethencourt et fesoit grand chere et 
joyeuse. Et Madame de Bethencourt, qui essoit joyne et joyeuse 

214 HISTORY 01' THE conquest 

in<^ herself in tte company of Monsieur de Bethencourt and 
Messire Kegnault his brother, when it happened that she 
thus addressed herself to her husband Monsieur de Bethen- 
court. " It would have been a more correct and proper 
thing- if I had had in marriage Messire Morelet your brother, 
and that you should have had my sister, who is his wife, for 
she is much older than I am, and your brother is much 
younger than you/^ But this she said in nothing but 
simple merriment. Monsieur de Bethencourt, however, did 
not take it in this light, and from that speech arose very 
serious evils, for, to begin with, his wife lost her husband's 
love, and she very soon perceived it. Monsieur Kegnault 
his brother also was compelled to quit the house, and 
Monsieur de Bethencourt would not see him on account of 
those words, which he could not away with. He had not 
given occasion for them to be said to him, and he was quite 
astounded. But if he was so, how much more was Madame 
de Bethencourt ! It was a terrible thing for a man to put 
himself iuto so furious a passion for a word which was only 

dame, se jouet a Mopsieur de Bethencourt et a Messire Regnault 
son frere, avint qae elle dit a Monsieur de Bethencourt son mary : 
Si eufc este une chose plus licite et plus propre que je eusse eu 
en mariage Messire Morelet vostre frere, et vous eussies eu ma 
seur sa fame ; car elle est biaucou[) plus viclle que je ne suis et 
monsieur vostre frere est plus joune que vous. Et icelle parolle 
quelle dit elle ne le disoit que en jojeusete. Mais Monsieur de 
Bethencourt ne luy print pas. Et pour ycelle parrolle en auint 
de bien grans maulx ; car tout premiei^ement elle ne fut a lamour 
de son mar}^, et elle saparccut bien tost, et aussi tit Messii-e 
Regnault son frere, lequel il falut quil sen allast hors de son 
hostel et no vouloit Monsieur de Bethencourt veoir son frere 
pour yceulx parrolles dont il nen pouet mes. II ne Iny auoit pas 
fiiit dire. II cstoit tout csbahy, Et sil estoitbion csbaliy encoi'e 
lestoit plus ladife dame do Betliencoui't. Aussi cestoit uno bien 
vne terrible chose a ung liommc de so corrossci- si terribleraent 
])(>nr mu> 3'tcllc parolle (jull ni- se faisoil (lut- par joycusi-le. Lcdit 


said from li<>-lit-licartedness. But ho fell into sucli a state 
of jealousy of his own brother by the same father and 
mother, that all the most beautiful robes that she possessed, 
of which there was a great variety and very rich of silk 
brocade, he burned in the fire before her eyes. You may 
easily suppose the distress she suffered, not so much for the 
robes only, but for the conduct of Monsieur de Bethencourt. 
He further had her taken to Bethencourt and placed her in 
a walled prison, and put her on rations of meat and drink. 
She suffered very great hardship without having deserved 
it, for she was a lady of extremely good reputation, and 
Monsieur de Bethencourt was not justified in treating her 
so badly. As to Messire Morelet, he dared not approacli 
his brother ; but one day Madame de Bethencourt sent for 
Messire Morelet, Avho came to Bethencourt, and, to his 
amazement, found her immured in a prison. She said to him : 
"Ah, my brother ! I am sufiering great sorrow and distress 
on account of you, while both you and I are blameless. I 

seigneur entra en une si grant jalouzie de son propre frere de 
pere et de mere, que toutes les plus belles robbes de ladite 
dame, dent il y en auoit de dras de soye de plusieurs sortes et 
de bien riches, il brula au feu tout deuant elle. Vous pouez bien 
pensser quil lui deut bien faire mal non pour tant pour les robbes 
seullement mas pour la maniere de faire ledit seigneur. Ledit 
seigneur la fit raener a Bethencourt et la il la mist en une prison 
tout amuree et la fasoit pensser de boire et menger. Elle eust 
biaucoup de mal sans lauoir dasscruy, car cestoit une dame de 
fort bonne renommee. Ledit sire nauoit nulle cause de lui faire 
si grant tort. Quant au regart de messire Morellet frere dudit 
seigneur il neut ose vertir autour monsieur son frere. Une 
journee auint que Madame De bethencourt enuoia querir messire 
Morellet, lequcl vint vers elle a bethencourt et la la trouua 
amuree et en prison, dont il fut tout esbahy, et elle luy a dit : A 
mon frere, je seufTrc beaucoup de mal et de destresse a cause de 
vous, dont vous ne moy non pouons mas. Jo uous prie mettes y 


pray you effect ray release." " My sister/' said be, " my 
brother lias told me that I shall never succeed to anything 
of hisj and declares that he will sell everything in order to 
spite me. If he does so, he will do wrong, for I have done 
him no wrong. I am quite overwhelmed at his having taken 
such a fancy into his head. It is the enemy from hell who 
is irritated at the good things which he has done. He has 
been the cause of the salvation of many souls, and the 
enemy from hell is angry thereat, and is striving hard to 
have his ; for, if he does not control himself and should die 
in this state of mind, he places his soul in great danger." 
" My brother," said Madame, " I pray you take measures 
for getting me removed from this place, and speak to him, 
if you possibly can." " I will do so, my sister," said 
Messire Eegnault : " he threatens me, but I am not afraid 
of him." It so happened once that Monsieur de Bethencourt 
came from Grainville to Bethencourt, and Messire Regnault 
started from Bethencourt with the view of meeting his 
brother, and so he did. They met in a spot named the 
Valley of Bethencourt, within the woods of Bethencourt, 

remede. Ma seur, se dist il, mon frere ma mande que james je 
namendere de chose quil ait efc quil vendra tout pour despit de 
moy, Sil le fait il fera mal, car je ne lui ay pas desseruy. Je suis 
tout esbahy de se quil a boute vng ytelle fantazie en sa teste. 
Cost lanemy denffer qui est marry des biens quil a fait. II est 
cause dauoir sauue maintes ames et lanemy denifer en est 
corrosse, et mest paine dauoir la sienne, car si ne sa moderc et il 
meurt en se point il mest son ame en grant danger. Mon frere, 
se dit madame, Je vous prie metes paine de moy mestre hors 
dicy et paries a lui se vous poues. Ma seur, se dit Messire 
Regnault, je le feray. II me menasse maisjenay pas pour de lui. 
II aduint que une fois Monsieur do Bethencourt venoit de 
Grainuille a bethencourt et messire Regnault partoit de bethen- 
court et sen aloit cuidant encontrcr Monsieur Do bethencourt 
son frere, et aussi fit il. lis scntrencontrercnt en ung lieu que 
on appelle le val dc bethencourt dedans Ics bois Dc bethencourt et 


and passed close by one another. When Monsieur de 
Betliencourt came near to bis brotber, be opened bis breast 
with botb bis bauds, aud said, " Hold, my brotber, strike 
tbere !" and no moi'e. It must be confessed tbat be must 
bave been sorely troubled in bis mind to utter sucb words. 
His brotber passed on witbout saying a word, for be could 
not speak. It is needless to say tbat tbey were both deeply 
affected. Subsequently, Regnault de Betbencourt found 
means to make peace for himself and Madame de Betben- 
court, but not until be himself had received great injury, for 
Monsieur de Betbencourt mortgaged and sold a great portion 
of bis lands, so that Regnault was all but disinherited, and 
succeeded to next to nothing from his elder brotber, whoso 
ngbtful heir he was and ought to be, for Monsieur de 
Betbencourt died witbout heirs of his bod3^ The quarrels 
were settled, because tbey were really groundless. So the 
said Lord of Betbencourt, conqueror of the Canaries, lived 
for a certain time, and received news of the said islands, 

passerent a res lun de lautre. Et quant Monsieur De betben- 
court vint bien pres de son frere ledit sieur de betbencourt 
ouurit a deulx mains sa pourtrine et dit a son frere, tieng men 
frere, frappe la, et non autre obese lui dist. II fault bien dire que 
ledit sieur estoit fort trouble en son esperit quant il dit icelle 
parolles. Son dit frere passa oultre sans lui mot dire car U ne seut 
parler. II ne faut pas demander se tous deulx estoient bien 
troubles. Autre fois ledit Regnault De betbencourt trouua 
maniere de faire la pais de lui et de Madame de betbencourt, 
raais se ne fut pas que ledit Regnault ny eut grant dommage, car 
ledit Seigneur de betbencourt engagea et vendit plusieurs de 
ces terres tant que ledit Regnaut de betbencourt fut pres que 
tout desherite, et namenda de guiere de chose de son frere 
aysne, lequel Regnaut estoit et deuoit estre son propre beritier, 
car il mourust sans nuls boiers de son corps. " Les noises 
furent appaisees car il ny auoit nulle ray son." Or vescut ledit 
Seigneur de Betbencourt conquereur des Isles de Canare vne 
espace dc temps ; il eut des uouucllcs desdites isles, et s'attcndoit 


and intended to return to tliem, but he never did return. 
He received intelligence that his two vessels were lost at 
sea, laden with naei'chandise and curiosities of the country. 
He would have received earlier news than that which came 
from Messire Maciot, had it not been for the misfortune of 
the loss of these two vessels. 

Chapter XCYII. — Of the illness, last words, and death of Monsieur 
de Bethencourt, the conqueror of the Canary Islands. 

One day the Sieur de Bethencourt fell ill in his castle of 
Grainville, and perceived clearly that he was about to die. 
He sent for several friends, and especially for his brother, 
who was his next of kin and his heir, and intended to 
say many things to him. Madame de Bethencourt was 
already dead: he asked several times for his brother; 
and when he found that he did not come, he declared 
to all present that the thing which lay most upon his 
conscience was the wrong and despite which he had done 

qu'il y retourneroit de bref : Mais oncques puis n'y retourna. II 
eut nouuelles que ses deux barges estoiet perdues en la mer, qui 
apportoient marchandises et nouucautes du pays : il eust eu des 
nouuelles plustost qu'il u'a eu de messire Maciot, ce n'eust est6 
Fauenture desdites barges qui ont este perdues. 

[Chawtre XCVIL] — (De la malndle, deruiers propos et mort \_de 
Munsieur de Be.thencourt, conquereur des Yles de Canare.'\ ) 

Vng iour aduint qu'il fut malade en son Chasteau de Grain- 
ulUe, et voyait bien qu'il se mouroit. II enuoya querir plusieurs 
de ses amis, et specialement son frere qui estoit son plus procliain 
et son heritier, et auoit intention de luy dire beaucoup de clioses. 
^Madame dc Bethencoiirt estoit ja piega trespassee : il diMuandoit 
par plusieurs fois oii estoit son fi-ore il no venoit point. Et 
quand il vit qu'il ne venoit point, il dit en la i)rcsence de ceux 
(|ui y estoient quo c'estoit la cliose qui plus luy louchoit sa 
eoiiM/ienee que Ic tort el desplaisii' (ju"il auui( iail a son iVerc, et 


to his brotlier, wliicli ho kucw he ha;l not deserved. 
"I am sure," said he, "that I sliall never see him again, but 

I charge you to tell hiiu that he must go to Paris, to the 
house of a man named Jourdain Guerard, and demand from 
him a packet of letters which I have given him to keep, 
and ou the outside of which are written the words ' These 
are the letters of Grainville and de Bethencourt."' Not long 
after he had said this he expired. His brother arrived as 
he was dying and could no longer articulate. There is no room 
to doubt that he had as good an end as one could speak of. 
He made his will and received all the sacraments. Messire 
Jean le Verrier, his chaplain, whom he had taken with him 
and brought back from the Canary Islands, wrote his will, 
and was with him throughout his last illness. The said 
lord died possessed of the lordships of Bethencourt, of 
Grainville la Teinturi^re, of Saint Saire sous Neufchatel, 
of Lincourt, of Riville, of Grand Quesnay, and Hucquellen, 
of two fiefs at Gourel en Caux, and the barony of St. Martin 
le Gaillard, in the conte d'Eu. He is dead and gone from 

qu'il sQauoit bien qu'il ne Tauoit point deseruy ; "ie voy bien que 
ie ne le verray iainais plus ; niais ie vous charge que vous luy 
disiez qu'il voyse a Paris chez vn nomme Jourdain Guerard, at 
qu'il luy deniade vn coffret de lettres que ie luy ay bailie, en ces 
enseignes qu'il y a dessus escrit, Ce sout les lettres de Grain- 
uille et de Bethencourt." Tantost apres ces paroles, il ne fut 
gueres qu'il ne rendist I'ame. Son dit frere vinfc ainsi qu'il se 
mouroit, et ne pouuoit ja parler, il ne faut point douter qu'il a eu 
aussi belle fin qu'on s^auroit dire ; il fit son testament et eut tous 
ses Sacremens. Messire Jean le Verrier son chappellain qu'il 
auoit mene et raraene des isles de Canare, escriuit son testa- 
ment, et fut a son trespas tout du log. Ledit sieur mourut .saisi 
et Seigneur de Bethencourt, de Grainuille la Tainturiere, de 
sainct Sere soubs le Neuf-cbastcl, de Lincourt, de Riuille, do 
Grand Quesnay, et Hucquellen, de deux fiefs qui sont a Gourel 
en Caux, et Baron de sainct Martin le Gaillart, en la conte d"Eu. 

II est trespassc et allc do cc sicclc en I'autiv, Dicu luy viicillo 


this world to the next. May God vouchsafe him pardon 
for his misdeeds. He lies buried in the church of Grainville 
la Teinturiere, just in front of the high altar. His decease 
took place in the year one thousand four hundred and 

pardonner ses meffaits; il est enterre a Grainuille la Tainturiere, 
dans I'eglise de ladite villa, tout deuant le gi'and autel, et 
trespassa I'an mil ccccxxii. 




Abulfeda, his map (1331) refen-ed 
to, on the River of Gold, 106 

Acatif, in Lancerote, 53 

Alfonso IV, King of Portugal, his 
letter to Pope Clement VI, x ; 
sends Pezagno ambassador to Ed- 
ward III, xii 

AflFonso V of Portugal, his treaty 
with Spain, sxxviii 

Alboc, mountain, 101 

Albert de las Casas, see Casas 

Alby, a Canarian, taken prisoner 
with the King of Lancerote, 53 

Aldea, Great, a village to which 
Berthin treacherously invited the 
King of Lancerote, 23 

Alien, Jean r, confederate of Berthin, 
20, 49 

Allemagne, Guillaume d', goes to 
the Tajamar to remonsti-ate with 
Berthin, 34; is commissioned by 
the comrades of Berthin to make 
their peace with Gadifer, 38 ; is 
killed in the Great Canary, 182 

Alphonse, a Canarian who acted as 
interpreter, 23 ; is nephew to 
Asche and assists his uncle in 
his designs, 52; is sent by Bethen- 
court to the Kings of Fuerteven- 
tura, 161 

Anafe or Anf, ancient name of Dahr- 
el-beida, 98 

Andrac, Guillaume d', his narrow 
escape from death by the natives, 
57 ; is in a combat with the na- 
tives, 146; is in another encoun- 
ter, 150 ; takes part with Hanni- 
bal, 151 ; remains with him in 
I'uerteventura, 164; goes to the 
Great Canary, 181 

Anice, Jean, goes with Bethencourt 

to the Canaries, 170 
Ants, old stoi-y from Herodotus, 100 
Aratif, a port in Lancerote, 77 
Argyneguyn, Arginegy, Argones, 
Argonnez, Arguiueguin, Arguy- 

neguy, or Argyneguy, a town in 
the Great Canary, 70, 116, 132, 

Artamy, King of the Great Canary, 
116; his conferences with Bethen- 
court, 181 

Asche, a Canarian, proposes to be- 
tray the King of Lancei-ote to 
Gadifer, 51 ; his double treachery, 
52 ; stipulates with Gadifer that 
he shall be made king, 55 ; hia 
death, 57 

Atayde, Alvaro Gonzales de, his 
caravel goes to Gomera and Palma, 
xxviii, xxix 

Martinho de, receives an 

honorary gift of the Canaries from 
Henry IV, King of Castile, xxxviii 

Auberbosc, Guillaume d', arrives in 
the Great Canary, 181; his rash 
expedition and death, 182 

Hannequin d', goes with 

Gadifer to inspect the islands, 65 

Augeron, the interpreter, his trea- 
chery to his people, 183 

Auzonville, Geoffrey d', rescues his 
friends from the natives, 69; takes 
charge of letters from Gadifer to 
Bethencourt, 77 ; is killed by the 
natives in the Great Canary, 182 

Avago, a Canarian who escaped from 
Berthin, 24 

Avezac, M. d', his researches on the 
history of Lancerote.ix; on French 
discoveries before Bethencourt, 
xxi ; the generous labours under- 
taken by him for the present work, 
xlvi; his researches respecting the 
discoverer of Lancerote, 55; hia 
arguments referred to, 104 

A z am or, 98 

Azurara, Gomez Eannes de, his ac- 
count of the Canaries, xxvii; givea 
the population, etc., of the Cana- 
ries, xxxi-xxxiii ; shows the Sene- 
gal to be the River of Gold, 106 



Bacqueville, Hector de, welcomes 
Bethencourt to Harfleur, 165 

Baldelli Boni, Count, his evidence 
on the subject of the Portiilano 
Mediceo, viii 

Baltarhayz, fortress of, Hannibal 
quartered there, 143 ; Courtois 
sent to speak with him, 151 j it is 
taken by Courtois, 155 

Barba de Campos, Pedro, sent out 
by Catherine, Queen of Castile, to 
the Canaries, xxxvi ; sells the is- 
lands to Fernando Perez, xxxvii 

Barege, Jamet de, goes with Gadifer 
to inspect the islands, 65 

Barre, Olivier de, confederate of 
Berthin, 23, 49 

Barros, De, differs from Azurara as 
to the date of Gonsalves' expedi- 
tion, xxxviii; his statement about 
the Malaguette, 106 

Baslieu, Phelipot de, confederate of 
Berthin, 23, 49 

Becerra, Alvaro, a Spaniard, asso- 
ciated with the French adventu- 
rers, said to have been to the 
Canaries before Bethencourt, xxi 

Bergeron fixes the date of Bethen 
court's death, xxv; is editor of 
the MS. of Bontier and Le Verrier, 
his opinion of the merits of the 
work, xlii; dedicates his work to 
Galien de Bethencourt, xlv ; is 
referred to, 97, 98 

Berneval, Berthin de, see Berthin 

Berthelot, Sabin, quotes Castillo's 
MS., XX ; describes the town of 
Arguineguin, 132 

Bertin de Berneval, his treacherous 
conduct during Bethencourt's ex- 
pedition, xxii-xxiii; left in charge 
at Lancerote, 10 ; bis enmity 
against Gadifer, 15; his treacher- 
ous proposal to Francisco Calvo, 
18; list of his confederates, 19; 
takes advantage of Gadifer's ab- 
sence to go to Graciosa and in- 
duce the captain of the Tajamar 
to join in his treachery, 21 ; how 
he deceived the Canarians, 22-23; 
he captures the King of Lance- 
rote and more than twenty of his 
people, and takes them on board 
the Tajamar, 24 ; sends the Bas 
tard de Blessi to seize Gadifer's 
boat, 26 ; sends the boat of the 
Tajamar to seize Gadifer's pro- 
visions, 27; comes himself to Rubi- 
con and delivers up the women 
to the ill usage of the Spaniards, 

29; takes away the two boats 
laden with spoils, 30; his answer 
to the chaplains and others who 
remonstrated with him, 34 ; his 
jealousy of Gadifer, 35 ; he deserts 
his comrades, 37 ; arrives in the 
Tajamar at Cadiz and is arrested 
at the suit of Courtille, Gadifer's 
trumpeter, 41 

Bethencourt, Galien de, the MS. of 
Bontier and Le Verrier brought 
to light by him, xlii 

Bethencourt, history and genealogy 
of the family, xlii-xlv 

Bethencourt, Jean de, the first to 
give to Europe real knowledge of 
the Canaries, viii; summary of 
his expedition, xxi-xxv; his por- 
trait, arguments in favour of its 
authenticity, Iv ; sets out from 
Grainville and arrives at Rochelle, 
3 ; he meets Gadifer de la Salle, 
who joins his expedition, 3 ; sets 
out May 1st, 1402, 4; arrives at 
Vivero, where his ship's company 
rebel, 5 ; arrives at Corunua, 5 ; 
his dispute with the Lord de Hely, 
6 ; is detained at Cadiz, 7 ; taken 
prisoner to Seville, 8 ; when libe- 
rated he finds all his men have 
deserted butfifty-three,with whom 
he continues his voyage, 9 ; leaves 
Cadiz and reaches Lancerote, 9; 
has a friendly meeting with the 
King, 10 ; builds the castle of 
Rubicon, 10 ; leaves Bertin de 
Berneval in charge and goes with 
Gadifer to Fuerteventura, II ; i-e- 
turns to Lancerote, 13; charges 
his chaplain, Jean le Verrier, and 
Jean le Courtois to keep peace 
during his absence, 14 ; and re- 
turns to Spain, 15; while at Seville 
he meets Francisco Calvo, 41); the 
ship is wrecked in which he re- 
turned, 41 ; receives information 
of Berthin's conduct from Cour- 
tille, Gadifer's trumpeter, 42 ; he 
does homage to the King of Spain, 
43 ; he writes to Gadii'er and sends 
supplies, 46 ; sends Madame de 
Bethencourt back to Grainville 
before his return to the Canaries, 
48; his arrival at Rubicon, 77 ; re- 
ceives the submission of the King 
and his people, 78; gives the name 
of Louis to the King at his bap- 
tism, Feb. I401-, 79; the privations 
he and Gadifer underwent, 109; 
he puts off Gadifer's request for 



a part of the islands, 111; pfoos to 
Fuerteventura, 114; builds the 
fortress of Kicberocque, 115; bis 
quarrel with Gadifer, 115; sends 
to the Great Canary, June 25tb, 
i-lOi, IHi; bis reply to Gadifer's 
complaint, 120; returns to Spain, 
121 ; bavin<r uuide good bis point 
witb tbe King, be goes back to 
the islands, 122 ; tbe privileges 
granted bim, 1 41; bis reception 
in Fuerteventura, 141 ; bis con- 
versation with Gadifer's son, 142; 
restores tbe fortress of Kicbe- 
rocque, 14G ; bis combats witb tbe 
Canarians, 147; Hannibal's jea- 
lousy of bim, 14(S ; battles witb 
the Canarians, 149-150; troubles 
witb Gadifer's party, 151-158; re- 
ceives tbe submission of tbe Kings 
of Fuerteventura, lOl ; after their 
baptism, January 1405, be makes 
Jean le Courtois lieutenant and 
goes to France, 1G3-1G4; arrives 
at Havfleur, 1 65; goes on to Grain- 
ville, 165 ; bis welcome there, 16G ; 
his meeting witb bis wife, 167 ; 
prepares for returning, 168 ; is 
accompanied by many friends and 
ot'ners, 169-170; sets out from Har- 
fieur on tbe Gtb of May, 1405, 171; 
arrives at Lancerote, 171 ; bis wel- 
come by his own peoj^le and the 
natives of Lancerote and Fuerte- 
ventura, 172176; goes to Fuerte- 
ventura, 176; entertains the two 
Kings, 177; declares bis inten- 
tion of going to the Great Canary, 
178; bis expedition sets out 6th 
of October, 1405, 180; arrives at- 
the Great Canary and confers 
■with King Artamy, l8l; loses 
twenty-two men in a skirmish, 
182 ; leaves the Great Canary and 
goes to Palm a, 1><3 ; his treat- 
ment of tbe people of Ferro, 1 84 ; 
returns to Fuerteventura, 185 ; 
and arranges tbe government, etc., 
of the conquered islands, 185-188 ; 
farther arrangements, land as- 
signed to the native Kings, 189 
192; his farewell banquet, 193; 
appoints Maciot bis representa- 
tive and makes other arrange- 
ments, 194-197; sets sail on the 
1 5th of December, 197 ; the dis- 
tress of tbe people at bis depar- 
ture, 198; reaches Spain and is 
received by the King, 199; who 
gives him letters to the Pope, 

202; arrives at Ifome and is re- 
ceived by tbe Pope, 203 ; takt.'s 
leave of the Pope, 206 ; his arrival 
in Florence, 210; arrives at Beth en- 
court, 211; goes to Grainville, 
212 ; bis quarrel with bis brother 
and Lis groundless jealousy, 213- 
217; bis last illness and death, 

Betbencourt, Jean de, father of the 
conqueror of the Canaries, 213 

Betbencourt, Maciot de, made by 
his uncle lieutenant-general, xxv; 
his exactions and tyranny, xxxvi ; 
cedes the islands to Barba de 
Campos, then sells them to P. 
Henry, and afterwards to tbe 
Count de Niebla, xxxvi-xxxvii ; 
proposes to go to the Canaries 
with bis kinsman, 168; appointed 
Bethencourt's representative, 194- 
197 ; his character, 208 

Betbencourt, Madame, her meeting 
with her husband, 167 ; is at 
Betbencourt when her husband 
returns the last time, 211; her 
beauty and gaiety, 213; her hus- 
band's unfounded jealousy, 214- 

Betbencourt, Eej'naud or Eegnault 
de, the Canaries bequeathed to 
him by his l>rother, xxxvii ; comes 
to Grainville to meet his brother, 
167; welcomes him on his return, 
212; their quarrel and reconcilia- 
tion, 214-217 

Betbencourt (.The) MS. described, 

Bidouville, Jean de, confederate of 
Berthin, i 9, 49 

Blessi, Guillaume, the Bastard de, 
confederate of Berthin, 23, 49; 
sent by Berthin to seize Gadifer's 
boat, 26 

Boccaccio, his narrative of a voyage 
to the Canaries, xiii ; is referred 
to, 5(i 

Boissiere, Enguerrand de la, his 
dishonest conduct with regai'd to 
tbe supplies intended for Gadifer, 
45 ; escorts Madame de Betben- 
court to Grainville, 48 

Bojador, Cape, 98-100 ; first rounded 
by (iileannes, 1434, 104 

Bontier, Brother Pierre, one of Be- 
thencourt's chaplains and histo- 
rian of the expedition, xxii ; his 
narrative, xli; goes to the Taj'imar 
to remonstrate with Berthin, 34 ; 
compiles an " Introduction to the 



Faith," for the new Christians, 
in conjunction with Le Verrier, 
80; remains to instruct the people 
when Bethencourt goes to France, 

Bordeniere, Gillet de la, confederate 
of Berthin, 49 

Bory, M. de St. Vincent, supposes 
the Purpurarise to be the Madeira 
group, vii 

Bourbon, Monsieur de, on the wea- 
pons of the natives, 93 

Boville, John de, goes with Bethen- 
court to the Canaries, 169 ; leaves 
the islands with Bethencourt, 197 

Bracqueniont, Dame Marie de, mo 
ther of Bethencourt, 213 

Bracquemont, Robert de, welcomes 
Bethencourt to Grainville, 165 

Briaute, Dame Marie de, wife of 
Kegnault de Bethencourt, 212 

Brown, Mr. Eawdon, his list of cap- 
tains in the Flanders voyages, ii 

Bruco, a chieftain of Gomera friendly 
to the Portuguese, xxviii 

Brument, Eobin le, refuses Gadifer 
admission to his own ship, J 2 

Brun, Jean le, confederate of Ber- 
thin, 49 

Buch, Leopold von, on the Holy 
Tree, 125 

Caable Island, 101 

Cadamosto's account of the Cana- 
ries, xxxiii-xxxvi 

Calvo, Francisco, captain of the 
Morella, refuses Berthin' s trea- 
cherous i^roposal, 18; sends in 
search of Gadifer, 31 ; returns to 
Spain, exposes the treachery of 
BertLin, and proposes to Bethen- 
court that he shall go to the help 
of Gadifer, 40 

Canaries (The), Azurara's account 
of the population, etc., xxxi-xxxii ; 
Cadamosto's account of them, 
xxxiii-xxxvi ; repeated sale of the 
islands, xxxvii-xxxviii ; Prince 
Henry's expedition and the char- 
ter granted to him, xxxvii ; de- 
scription of the people, etc., xxxix- 
xli ; climate, products, etc., 92 

Canary (The Great), Gadifer goes 
there, 70; he goes again in June 
1404, 116; description of the is- 
land and people, 130; Bethen- 
court's expedition there, 180 

Canega, 106 

Casas, Albert de las, goes with 
Bethencourt to Rome, 202 ; is 

made Bishoi) of the Canaries, 205 ; 
his welcome in Fuerteventura, 
21)7; his admu-able conduct, 208 

Casas, Guillem de las, sale of the 
Canaries to him, xxxvii 

Castilba, Joao de, captain of the 
caravel of Atayde, goes to Gomera 
and Pal ma, xxviii ; his cruel trea- 
chery to the natives, xxix 

Castillo, Bartholome Garcia del, on 
the Holy Tree, 125 

Castillo, Don Pedro del, his MS., 
containing an account of the ex- 
pedition of Lopez, XX 

Castro, Fernando de, sent out by 
Prince Henry to the Canaries, 
1424, xxxvii 

Catalan map (1375), its evidence 
referred to, ix ; has the River of 
Gold laid down, 103, 10(1, lo7 

Catherine, Queen of Castile, sends 
out three war caravels to the 
Canaries, xxxvi 

Cerda, Luis de la, the Prince of 
Fortune, his intention with re- 
gard to the Canaries, xi 

Cerent, Vincent, joins with Brument 
against Gadifer, 13 

Cerreira, Alfonso de, one of Prince 
Henry's sailors, whose narrative 
is given by Azurara, xxvii 

Charfy, Mohammed Ebn-Aly Ebn- 
Ahmed al, his map ( 1600) re- 
ferred to on the River of Gold, 106 

Chastelvary, Bernard de. confede- 
rate of Berthin, 19, 49 

Chevalier, Jean, killed by the na- 
tives in the Great Canary, 182 

Ciampi, Sebastiano, brings to light 
a narrative of a voyage to the 
Canaries in 1341, xiii, 56 

Clement VI, Pope, grants the lord- 
ship of the Canaries to Don Luis 
de la Cei'da, xi 

Cochet (The Abbe), has a marble 
slab put up in the church of 
Cirainville, in memory of Bethen 
court, xxvi 

Corbizzi, Angelino del Tegghia dei, 
a Florentine who went to the 
Canaries, xiii 

Couroge, Morolet de, confederate of 
Berthin, 19, 49 

Courtille.Gadifer's trumpeter, causes 
Berthin to be arrested at Cadiz, 41 

Courtois, Jean le, charged by Bethen- 
court to assist Jean le Verrier in 
keeping peace in Lancerote during 
liis absence, 14 ; rescues d'Andrac, 
57 ; is in an engagement with tho 



natives, 14(1; sent by Botlieii- 
co)irt to speak with Hannibal and 
D'Antlrac, 151 ; rotnkes the castle 
of Baltaihayz, 1;')! ; is made lieu- 
tenant during Bothencourt's ab 
sence, HV.i ; gjoes to welcome Be- 
thencourt on his return, 174; bis 
care for Bethencourt's interests, 
177 ; arrives in the Grand Canary, 
181 ; is killed by the natives, 182 
Crauford, Earl of, his kindness to 
Bethencourt at Corunna, 5 

Damietta, 99 

D'Andrac, see Andrac 

D'Auberbosc, see Auberbosc 

D'Auzonville, see Auzonville 

D'Ave/ac, see Avezac 

De Atayde, see Atayde 

De Barros, see Barros 

De la Salle, see Gadifer 

Denis the Labourer, King of Por- 
tugal, engages the services of 
Genoese captains, xii 

D'Erneville, see Erneville 

Dieppese early voyages, ii ; claim 
discussed, 1U4 

Dongalla, 99 

Dornellas, Alvaro, his adventures 
in the Canaries, xxx 

Dornellas, Joao, joins his cousin in 
his expedition, xxx 

Dragon's blood, produced in the 
Canaries, viii ; i'ound in the Cana- 
ries, 64; in the Great Canary, 70 ; 
in Palma, 12G ; in Teneriiie, 128 

Dundas, Sir David, his kindness in 
lending his copy of Bergeron for 
the present work, liv 

Edrisi quoted, 107 

Enter Island, see Teneriffe 

Erbania, see Fuerteventura 

Erica arborea, 134 

Erneville, Ystace d'. Baron de la 
Hense and his son welcome Be- 
thencourt on his return to Grain- 
ville, 1 66 ; proposes to go to the 
Canaries with him, 167 

Euphorbia balsamifera, 134; Cana- 
riensis, 138; piscatoria, 138; Re- 
gis Jubffi, 138 

Euphrates, R., 101 

Farfus, a certain people so called 
who are Christians, 93 

Federici, M. Federico, papers pre- 
sented by him to the Ai-chives of 
Genoa, 103 

Ferdinand and Isabella of Castile, 

their treaty with Portugal, 

Fernando, Dom, the Canaries sold 
to htm by t)ie Marques de Menesco, 
xxxviii ; sends out au expedition 
in 146G, xxxviii 

Feme, John, see Ferrer 

Ferrer, Jaime, legend concerning 
his going to the River of Gold, 
103, 1(15 

Ferro, visited by Gadifer, 73; de- 
scription of the island, 123; the 
inhabitants, 1 24 ; origin of the 
name, 124; the Gai'oe or Holy 
Tree, 1 25 ; treatment of the king 
and people, 184 

Florentine merchants, letters of, xiii 

Fortunate Islands, iii 

Fuerteventm-a or Erbanie, Bethen- 
court and Gadifer go there, 11 ; 
visited by Gadifer, 65 ; Bethen- 
court goes there, 114 ; and builds 
the fortress of Richeroque, 115; 
he leaves the island, 122 ; the 
island described, 133 ; produce, 
trees, and plants, 134 ; the peo- 
Ytle, 135; harbours, etc., 136; 
Bethencourt arrives there, 142 ; 
Richeroque destroyed by the na- 
tives, 143 ; the fortress restored 
by Bethencourt, 146 ; encounters 
with the natives, 148-150 ; oppo- 
sition of Gadifer's party to Bethen- 
court, 151-158; the two kings 
surrender and become Christian, 
159; their baptism, January 1405, 
162 ; Bethencourt leaves the is- 
land, 1 64 ; his return and the wel- 
come he receives, 170 ; the kings 
do homage and are entertained, 
1 77 ; Bethencourt arranges the 
government, 185 ; assignment of 
land to the kings, 192 ; arrival of 
the bishop, 207 

Gadifer de la Salle, summary of 
his adventures in Bethencourt's 
expedition, xxii-xxiv ; his meeting 
with Bethencourt, 3 ; joins Be- 
thencourt's expedition, 4; holds 
council with Bethencourt at Lan- 
cerote, 10 ; goes with him to 
Fuerteventura, 11 ; is refused ad- 
mission to his own ship, 12; re- 
turns with Bethencourt to Ru- 
bicon, 13; remains behind while 
Bethencourt goes to Spain, 15 ; 
Berthin's enmity to him, 15; his 
narrow escape, 16; sends Berthin 
to speak with the captain of a 




ship at the port of Lobos, 17 ; 
goes to the island of Lobos in 
search of seal-skins and is de- 
prived of men and i^rovisions by 
the treachery of Berthin, 20 ; is 
rescued bj' the captain of the Mor- 
ella sending to his assistance, 31 ; 
his ship in which Bethencourt 
went to Spain is wrecked, 41 ; re- 
ceives supplies from Bethencourt, 
47 ; his consultation with Asche, 
51 ; takes the King of Lancerote 
pi-isoner, 53 ; he proposes to kill 
the fighting men of Lancerote, 
59 ; receives letters and supplies 
from Bethencourt, 61 ; goes to in- 
spect the other islands, 63; he 
lands on the Island of Erbanie, 
or Fuerteventura, 65 ; encounter 
with the natives, 69 ; goes to the 
Great Canary, 7ii; sends Pierre 
to speak with the King, 71 ; goes 
to Gomera, 72 ; to Ferro, 73 ; and 
to Palma, 74 ; returns to Rubicon, 
75 ; sends the bark to Spain with 
information to Bethencourt, who 
arrives meanwhile, and is warmly 
welcomed by him, 77 ; the priva- 
tions they underwent, 109; he 
asks Bethencourt to let him have 
a part of the islands (1404), 111 ; 
his quarrel with Bethencourt, 115; 
goes to the Great Canary, 116; en- 
counter with the Canarians, and 
brave defence of his son Hanni- 
bal, 117; returns to Fuerteven- 
tura, 118; his dissatisfaction, 119 ; 
returns to Sjjain, 121 ; not being 
able to gain his point, he goes to 
France, 122. 

Galindo, F. Juan de Abren, quoted 
on the Holy Ti-ee, 1 25 ; on the 
natives of Fuerteventura, 143 


Garoe, see Holy Tree 

Gileames, first to round Cape Bo- 
jador (1434), 104 

Girard, Pierre, goes with Bethen- 
court to the Canaries, 170 

Gold, river of, 100-lOS 

Gomera, visited by Gadifei', 72 ; 
form of the island, its people, 127 ; 
dragon trees andotherproduce,128 

Gonsalves, Antani, made chief cap- 
tain of Lancerote by Prince Henry, 

Gonsalves, the page Diogo, dis- 
tinguishes himself in the Cana- 
ries, xxix 

Gotome, Ghoroma, 101 

Graciosa, the ship Tajamar arrives 
there, 21 ; arrival of the supplies 
sent by Bethencourt from Spain, 

Grainville, the manor house, its 
lovely situation, small traces re- 
maining of it, sxvii ; the residence 
of Bethencourt, 3 ; Madaine de 
Bethencourt returns there, 48 ; 
Bethencourt arrives there, 165; 
Bethencourt returns, 212 ; and 
dies thei-e, 219 ; and is bui-ied in 
the church, 220 

Grainville, Richard de, proposes to 
go to the Canax'ies with Bethen- 
court, 168 

Great Canary, Gadifer goes there, 
70 ; its prodiicts, inhabitants, the 
nobles, 130 ; the animals, 13 1 ; the 
towns Telde, Argones, and Argy- 
neguyn, 132; Bethencourt's expe- 
dition, 181 ; battle with loss of 
twenty-two Normans, 182 

Gozola, ancient name Gsetulia, 98 

Guanches of Teneriffe, 12J9 

Guillaume the monk goes in search 
of Gadifer, 32 

Guinea, 98 

Gulpis Island, 100 

Hannibal, Gadifer's son, 13 ; his 
narrow escape, 16; his bravery, 
117 ; remains in the Canaries after 
his father, 140 ; his conversation 
with Bethencourt on his return, 
142; he is quartered at Baltar- 
hayz, 143; his adventures, 149; 
be inherits his father's jealousy of 
Bethencourt, 148 ; Bethencourt 
sends to him, 151 ; he submits, 
158; remains in Fuerteventura, 
164; goes to welcome Bethen- 
court on his return, 174; arrives 
in the Great Canary, 181 ; is killtd 
by the natives, 182 

Hely, Lord de, his dispute with 
IJethencourt at Corunna, 6 

Hemso, M. Graberg de, discovers 
papers relating to the River of 
Gold, 103 

Henry, I'rince, see Prince Henry 

Heni'y IV, King of Castile, makes 
an honorary gift of the Canaries 
to Martinho de Atayde, xxxviii 

Herrera, Diogo Garcia de, married 
to the daugliterof Fornain Poraza, 
who inherited her father's rights 
in the Canaries, xxxviii 

Hesperides, iv 

Holy Tree in Ferro, 125 


Ilonrnau, Bidaut de, confederate of 
Berthiu, 19, 49 

Ibn Said, his map (1274) referred 
to on the River of Gold, I OH 

Isabella of Castille, her inquiry in 
1470 as to the discoverer of the 
Canaries, xxi 

Isabelle, a Canarian woman who 
acted as interpreter, 23 ; thrown 
into the sea by Berthin's people, 
but rescued by Gadifer's friends, 36 

Jacquet the Baker, confederate 
ot Bertbin, 23, 50 

Jean Bethencourt's searaster, con- 
federate of Bertbin, 49 

Jean the Chevalier goes in search 
of Gadifer, 32 

Jean the Mason goes in search of 
Gadifer, 32 

Jomard, M., the mat) of al Charfy 
preserved by him, 1(16 

Juba, King, his expedition to the 
Fortunate Islands, v 

Khaledat, islands of, another name 

of the Canaries, viii 
Kucu, Negro city, lu7 

Lancerote, Bethencourt arrives 
there, 9 ; the King's interview 
with Bethencourt, 10; Castle Ru- 
bicon built, JO; Berthin, by trea- 
chery, captures the King and 
more than twenty of his people, 
22-24; effect of Berthin's conduct 
on the people, 50; the double 
treachery of Asche, 52 ; the King 
punishes him with death, 57 ; 
Bethencourt's landing in July 
1402, 76; the people submit and 
are baptized, 79 ; its situation 
and size, 137; products, people, 
138; dress and customs, 139; Be- 
thencourt's arrival and his recep- 
tion, 1 7 1 - 1 76 ; assignment of land 
to the King, 191 

Lancerote, King of, his treaty with 
Bethencourt, Id; treacherously 
captured by Berthin, 24 ; his gal- 
lant defence and escape, 25 ; is 
taken pi-isoner by Gadifer, 53 ; 
takes vengeance on the traitor 
Asche and puts him to death, 57; 
submits to Bethencourt, 78; his 
baptism, 79 ; receives a grant of 
land, etc., 191 

Lartigue, Siort de, confederate of 
Berthin, 19, 49 ; is made a slave, 39 

La Salle, sec Gadifer 

Las Casas, see Casas 

Leneden, Reraouet de, joined with 
Gadifer in an expedition in Fuerte- 
ventura, 1 1; goes with Gadifer to 
the island of Lobos and returns 
to Rubicon for provisions, 20-21; 
endeavours to rescue Gadifer's 
boat from Berthin's people, 26; 
goes with Gadifer to inspect the 
islands, 65 ; his danger from tho 
natives, 69 

Leroy, M. E., grants a sum of two 
hundred francs for the monument 
to Bethencourt, xxvi 

Lesecases, Jean de, gives informa- 
tion of Enguerrand's dishonesty, 

Le Verrier, see Verrier 

Liens, Pierre de, confederate of 
Berthin, 19, 49 

Lobos, arrival of the Spanish ship, 
17 ; Gadifer goes in seai-ch of seal 
skins, 20 

Loisel, Pierre, goes with Bethen- 
court to the Canaries, 170 

Lopez, Captain Francisco, his ex- 
pedition in 1382, XX 

Lowe, the Rev. R. T., his note on 
" Tarhais," 134 ; his note on the 
Euphorbia, 138 

Macedo, the Portuguese savant, his 
evidence as to the knowledge of 
the Arabs on the subject of the 
Canaries, viii 

Malaguette pepper, 106 

Maloisel, Lancelot, discoverer of 
Lancerote, ix, 55 

Marocco, 99 

Marta, Affonso, sent by Doi-nellas 
to Madeira, xxx 

Mauleon, Bernard de, confederate 
of Berthin, i 9, 49 

Maxorata, north part of Fuerteven- 
tura, 143 

Melee, city of, supposed residence 
of Prester John, 101 

Mendicant Friar, his travels, 96-109 

Menesco, Marquis de, the Canaries 
sold to him by De Atayde, xxxviii 

Michelet the Cook, confederate of 
Berthin, 23, 50 

Mogador, 98 

Montauban, Bernard de, confede- 
rate of Berthin, 19, 49 

Montes Claros, Atlas Mountains, 97 

Montignac, Augerot de, confederate 
of Berthin, 19, 49 

Mont Ruffet, Madame de, her gene- 



rosity in lending the Bethencourt 

MS., xlv 
Moon, Mountains of the, 101 
Morelet, surname of Kegnanlt de 

Bethencourt, 213 
Morelle or MoreUa, the ship, xxiii ; 

the captain, Francisco Calvo, 18 ; 

a boat sent in search of Gadifer, 

31 ; returns to Spain in time to 

expose the treachery of Berthin, 

MS., the Bethencourt, described, 

Mundi Barca, 106 

Nau, Guillaume de, confederate 

of Berthin, 19, 49 
Niebla, Count de, the Canaries sold 

to him, xxxvii 
Nieremberg, Father, on the Holy 

Tree, 125 
Nifet, Anafe or Anf, the ancient 

name of Dahr-el-beida, 98 
Nile, the, 99 
Non, Cape, 9S-100 
Nubia, Patriarch of, Prester John, 


Omar, Abul-Hassan Ali Ben, his 
map (1230) referred to on the 
Eiverof Gold, l(i6 

Orchil, a lichen yielding a purple 
dye found in the Canaries, viii, 
64, 134, 139 

Ordonez, Fernando d', captain of 
the Tajamar, friend of Berthin, 
lb ; agrees with Berthin's trea- 
chery, 2 1 ; takes the Canarian 
prisoners to Aragon and sells 
them there, 42 

Pajola, gold of, 104 

Paiola or Palloya Island, 101, 105 

Palma visited by Gadifer, 74 j its 
situation, 126 ; its produce, dra- 
gon's blood, 126; the inhabitants 
and climate, 127; conflicts with 
the jjeople, 183 

Parcto, Bartolommeo, his map and 
its testimony, ix, 55 

Peak of Teneritle, 129 

Pedro, Dom, grants a charter to 
Prince Henry for the Canai-y Isles, 

Pegolotti, Balducci, his treatise, 106 

Pefia, Nunez de la, on the Holy 
Tree, 125 ; on the Guanches of 
Teneriffe, 129 

Peraza, Fernam, the Canaries sold 
to him by Guillem de las Casas, 
xxxvii ; his daughter inherits his 
rights in the Canaries, xxxviii 

Peruet the Blacksmith, confederate 
of Berthin, 23, 50 

Peter the Canarian sent by Gadifer 
to speak with the King of the 
Great Canary, 71 ; acts as inter- 
preter, 1 1 6 

Pezagno, Emmanuele, Genoese ad- 
miral of the Portuguese fleet, xii, 

Piste, a chieftain of Gomera friendly 
to the Portuguese, xxviii 

Pizzigani map ( 1367) referred to, 
ix ; has the Eiver of Gold laid 
down, 103, 106, 107 

Plessis, Jean de, proposes to go to 
the Canaries with Bethencourt, 

Plessis, Pierre du, goes to the Taja- 
mar to x'emonstrate with Berthin, 

Plutarch's account of the Canaries, iv 

Pope, the, receives Bethencourt, 
203 ; appoints Las Casas Bishop 
of the Canaries, 2ii5 

Portrait of Bethencourt, arguments 
in favour of its authenticity, Iv 

Portuguese discoveries, 56 

Portulano Mediceo (1351), the evi- 
dence of one of the maps with re- 
gard to the Canaries, ix ; has the 
Kiver of Gold laid down, 102 

Prester John, supposed to be not 
far I'rom the Canaries, 93 

Prince Henry, Life of, referred to, 
i; the expedition of six caravels 
under his auspices, xxvii; his 
anger at Castilha's treachery and 
his justice to the natives, xxx; 
the Canaries sold to him by 
Maciot de Bethencourt, xxxvi ; 
sends out a fleet under Fernando 
de Castro, 1424, xxxvii; charter 
granted him by Dom Pedro, 1446, 
xxxvii; confers the chief captaincy 
of Lancerote on Antam Gonsal- 
ves in 1447, xxxviii ; Life of, re- 
ferred to, 56, 1 ( i3 

Purpuraria\ the, not the Madeira 
group, vii 

Recco, Nicoloso de, Genoese pilot of 
the expedition to the Canaries 
(1311), xiii 

Revil, I'ierre de, goes with Gadifer 
to inspect the ishind-s, 65 



Richard, Thomas, goes in seai'ch ol' 
Gadifev, 32 

Eicheroque, Foi-tress of, built in 
Fuerteventura, 115 ; is destroyed, 
lt3; restored, 146; Bethenconrt 
arrives there and entertains the 
Kings, 177 

Rio d'Oro, see River of Gold 

Rubicon, Castle of, built in Lance- 
rote, 10; taken by IJerthin, 2tl; 
the King put in prison there, 54 ; 
vessel sent out by Bothencourt 
arrives, 63 ; Gadifer returns, 75 ; 
arrival of Betheucourt, 77; Be- 
thenconrt takes up his abode 
there, 175 

Rucellai, a noble Florentine family, 
deriving their name from the 
"orchil," 64 

Eujaura, see River of Gold 

Saffi, 9S 

Sale, Gadifer de la, see Gadifer 

Salerne, "William de, confederate of 

Berthin, 19, 49 
Samateue, probably Cape Sim, 98 
Samor, Azamor, 98 
Sarretta, 99 
Saubrun, perhaps Port Sabreira, 98, 

Seguirgal, killed by the natives in 

the Great Canary, 182 
Senegal, the River of Gold, 106 
bertorius, Plutarch's life of, quoted, 

Silva, Diogo da, sent out to the 

Canaries by Dom Fernando, 

Six Caravels, expedition of, in 1443, 

under Prince Henry, xxvii 
Sombray, Girard de, killed by the 

natives in the Great Canary, 182 
Spain, King of, receives Bethen- 

court's homage, 43 ; favours Be- 

thencourt's cause, 122; grants 

privileges to Bethencourt, 141 ; 

I'eceives him on his return, 199; 

gives him letter to the Pope, 202 
Statins Sebosus, his itinerary pre- 
served by Pliny, iv 
Strabo on the Fortunate Islands, iii 

Tafelane, 98 

Tajamar, see Tranchemar 

'I'arhais, note by the Rev. R. T. 
Lowe, 134 

Tefetneh, 98 

Telde, town of, in the Great Canary, 
70, 116, 132 

Temples in Fuerteventura, 136 

Teneriffe, Tonerfis, or Island of 
Hell, shajie of the island, the 
Peak, 128; Dragon trees, 128; the 
peoi^le, note on the Peak, 129 

Tranchemar, or Tajamar, the ship, 
xxiii; arrives at Graciosa, 21 ; 
Berthin takes his captives on 
board, 24 ; arrives at Cadiz with 
the captives, 41 

Vedamel River, meaning of the 
name, 105 

Venetian voyages to Flanders, ii 

Verard, Antoine, book printed for 
him, xlvii 

Verrier, Jean le, one of Bethen- 
court's chaplains and historian of 
the expedition, xxii ; his narrative, 
xli ; Bethencourt's charge to him, 
14; goes to the Tajamar to re- 
monstrate with Berthin, 34 ; bap- 
tizes the King of Lancerote, 80 ; 
compiles an " Introduction to the 
Faith" for the new Christians, in 
conjunction with Pierre Bontier, 
80 ; remains to instruct the people 
when Bethencourt goes to France, 
164; leaves the islands with Be- 
thencourt, 197; attends Bethen- 
court in his last illness, 219 

Viana, Don Antonio de, his sum- 
mary of the characteristics of the 
Guanches, xl 

Viera on the nobles of the Grand 
Canary, 130 ; on the worship and 
temples of Fuerteventura, 136 

Vien de Palme River, 12, 65 

Webb, Barker, quotes Castillo's 

MS., XX 
Worship in Fuerteventura, 136 

Ximenes sent by the captain of 
Morclla to seek for Gadifer and 
his companions, 32 


Page 70, for Feldes, read Telde. In headings of Chapters lxxx and 
Lxxxi, for Lancerote {sic in MS.), read Fuerteventura. 

Bontier, Pierre 



Bontier, Pierre 
The Canarian. 










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