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H)o\>aoes of 

JElisabetban Seamen 












Voyages of the Elizabethan 
Seamen to America 

Select Narratives from the Principal Navigations 1 of 






Gilbert Hmafcas anfc Barlow Cavenfctsb 



















GILBERT S occupation of Newfoundland was intended 
as the first step in a scheme drawn up by himself for 
expelling the Spaniards from America and transferring 
it to the English crown. This bold project was formed 
and proposed for the Queen s adoption, as a de 
fensive measure, at a critical juncture. In the latter 
part of 1577 Don John of Austria, Regent of the 
Netherlands, who had formed a wild scheme for 
invading England, marrying Mary Stuart, deposing 
Elizabeth, and restoring the Pope s authority, forced 
the States of the Netherlands to recommence hostili 
ties. The States were compelled to seek foreign 
support, and in default of obtaining it from England, 
would certainly have had recourse to France. To pre 
vent this Elizabeth was compelled to come to an agree 
ment with them, and to support them openly with men 
and money. In view of an impending war with Philip, 
Englishmen were already meditating on the best means 
of striking at the power of Spain ; and Gilbert s project 
was propounded for the Queen s consideration two 
months before she concluded her treaty with the States. 

viii Introduction. 

The original draft, dated November 6, 1577, and now pre 
served in the Public Record Office, has been signed by 
Gilbert, though the signature has been incompletely 
defaced, probably by his own hand ; and there are some 
indications in the preface that it was intended to be 
anonymous. Some have supposed it to have been 
really the work of Raleigh. This suggestion is contra 
dicted by internal evidence, and we believe Gilbert to 
have been the author of it. Though he modestly 
describes himself as a silly (simple) member of the 
commonweal of England he was then a distinguished 
soldier, and held the office of General Surveyor of 
all horses, armour, weapons, munitions, and artillery 
throughout England. Probably the scheme embodied 
ideas more or less widely entertained at the time among 
English military men, and Gilbert did little more than 
reduce these ideas to a definite form. 

It is more than time/ Gilbert writes, apparently 
alluding to France as well as Spain, to pare their nails 
by the stumps that are most ready prest to pluck the 
crown, as it were in despite of God, from your High 
ness head, not only by foreign force but also by stirring 
up home factions/ The chief means to this end, he 
says, is the weakening of their navies ; and this can be 
effected not only by open hostilities but by colourable 
means/ What these are is set forth at some length. 
Licence should be granted, under letters patent, to 
discover and inhabit some strange place, with special 
provisoes for their safeties whom policy requireth to 
have most annoyed, by which means the doing of the 
contrary shall be imputed to the executors fault. The 
writer then proceeds in greater detail : 

Gilbert s Discourse to the Queen. ix 

To set forth, under such like colour of discovery, 
certain ships of war to the N(ew). L(and)., which with 
your good licence I will undertake without your 
Majesty s charge. In which place they shall certainly 
once in the year meet in effect all the great shipping of 
France, Spain, and Portugal ; where I would have them 
take and bring away, with their freights and ladings, 
the best of those ships, and to burn the worst; and 
those that they take to carry into Holland or Zeland, or 
as pirates to shroud themselves for a small time upon 
your Majesty s coasts, under the friendship of some 
certain Vice-admiral of this realm, who may be after 
wards committed to prison, as in displeasure for the 
same, against whose returns six months provision of 
bread, and four of drink, to be laid in some apt place, 
together with munition to serve for the number of 5,000 
or 6,000 men ; which men, with certain other ships of 
war being in a readiness, shall pretend to inhabit St. 
Lawrence island, the late discovered countries in the 
north, or elsewhere, and not to join with the others but 
in some certain remote place at sea. 

The setting forth of shipping for this service will 
amount to no great matter, and the return shall cer 
tainly be with great gain. For the N(ew-land). F(ish). 
is a principal, and rich, and everywhere vendible mer 
chandise ; and by the gain thereof shipping, victual, 
munition, and the transporting of 5,000 or 6,000 soldiers 
may be defrayed. 

The fleet of war-ships and the five or six thousand 
men thus equipped were to be employed in the conquest 
of the West Indies. Proper positions were to be seized 
in the islands of Cuba and St. Domingo, and military 

x Introduction. 

colonies to be established in each as bases for greater 
operations. An essential feature of the scheme was the 
plunder of homeward-bound Spanish vessels, whose 
course lay along the shore of Florida. The resources 
of the West Indian islands, as Gilbert points out, were 
sufficient to render the intended colonies there self- 
supporting. The possession of the entire Newfoundland 
fishery would supply another and a not less important 
base for operations. Newfoundland lay nearer to 
England, and would be of material use in securing for 
England the North-west passage by way of the lands 
recently reached by Frobisher, who had just returned 
from his second voyage. While Gilbert s project was 
under discussion at the Queen s council table the London 
assayers were disputing over the ore Frobisher had 
brought back ; and one effect of his voyages had been 
to draw increased attention to Newfoundland, which 
was regarded as belonging to England, though terri 
torial possession had never been taken, and the fishery 
had always been open to the vessels of other nations. 
Before Frobisher s discovery of the supposed mineral 
wealth of Meta Incognita in 1576 English fishermen 
had formed but a small fraction of the total number of 
Newlanders. Hakluyt, wishing to prove that English 
men had not altogether neglected the shores claimed by 
England in virtue of Cabot s discovery, cites no better 
evidence than an Act of Parliament passed in 1548 to 
protect fishermen going to Iceland and Newfoundland 
from the exactions of Admiralty officials. Perhaps these 
exactions had something to do with the slackness of 
Englishmen to take advantage of the Newfoundland 
fisheries. In 1574, two years before Frobisher sailed, 

The New-land Fishing Fleet. xi 

not more than thirty English vessels frequented the 
Newfoundland waters ; in 1578 the number had in 
creased to fifty. 

The English Newlanders were still far outnumbered 
by the French and Spanish, and formed only one-seventh 
of the whole fleet 1 . The reason assigned for this 
disproportion is that the Iceland waters were more con 
veniently situated for English sailors, and that England 
had carried on a flourishing trade with Iceland long 
before Cabot sailed for Newfoundland 2 . A more de 
finite reason is given for the increase after 1576. The 
Newfoundland fishing trade had previously been chiefly 
in the hands of Bristol men. It was now commonly 
reported among the fishermen of Devon and Cornwall 
that their neighbours of Bristol were making vast profits 
in Newfoundland, and that these were partly due to 
some other source than the sea, in other words, to the 
discovery of metal ore ; and Cornish and Devonshire 

1 The numbers are as follows : 

Ships. Tonnage. 

French and Breton ..... 150 7,000 

Spanish (besides 50 sail engaged in whale 

fishing) . 100 5,000 to 6,000 

Portuguese 50 3,ooo 

English (four years previously only 30) . 50 3,000 

The best ships, both in construction and in furniture of munition or 
armament, were the English and Spanish ; next came the French, 
the Portuguese last. 

2 As an illustration of this it may be mentioned that the roll on 
which Cabot s patent is filed ( French Roll, n Henry VII, m. 23, in 
the Public Record Office) includes two licences to English shipowners 
to trade to Iceland one to John Beryf the elder of Brightlingsea, 
another to John Waynflete of Southwold. Beryf was apparently the 
father of the shipowner of the same name who by his will dated in 
1521 charged a legacy of 40 to Brightlingsea church on his ships 
the Barbara and the Maryflower if God send them well home. 

xii Introduction. 

men now ventured across the Atlantic in great numbers. 
That gold existed in the mountains of Florida was 
universally believed. Frobisher had found it in Meta 
Incognita. Had either gold or silver now been dis 
covered in Newfoundland ? If so, the time was come 
for action, for the Spaniards were to the English as 
four to one in Newfoundland waters, and the French 
were nearly as strong. Should either nation obtain a 
footing on the soil of the island, and erect fortifi 
cations, it might prove difficult to dislodge them. 

Gilbert s Discourse to the Queen throws a side 
light on the treaty made by Elizabeth with the Dutch 
States in January, 1578. Probably the forty vessels of 
war to be furnished by the Netherlanders for service 
under the Queen s captains were intended for some 
such service as is contemplated in Gilbert s proposals. 
The Machiavellian suggestion of special provisoes, 
ostensibly preventing adventurers from attacking the 
Spaniards or the French under pretence of discovering 
and inhabiting strange lands, has a prominent place 
in the letters patent granted to him in June, 1578. If 
Gilbert, it is provided, his heirs or assigns, shall rob or 
spoil the subjects of any prince in league and amity 
with England, he or they shall within a limited time 
make restitution and satisfaction on penalty of being 
outlawed. What followed shows how little was meant 
^ by all this. At the end of the summer, Gilbert collected 
a fleet of eleven vessels manned by 500 men, most of 
thiem being desperadoes who had joined him with the 
sole idea of participating in Spanish plunder. By the 
middle of September he was for his own part ready to 
sail. But the crews proved an unruly mob, and their 

The Voyage of ijj8. xiii 

captains appear to have been divided in opinion as to 
the course to be pursued. While the men were brawl 
ing and roystering in the streets of Plymouth, the 
captains were wrangling with him over the scheme of 
the expedition. Gilbert probably adhered in opinion to 
his original plan of proceeding straight to Newfoundland, 
though he was compelled to abandon it and sail for the 
West Indies. Four of his captains deserted him with 
their ships and crews, and those who remained seem to 
have induced him to change his plan, though Newfound 
land was still the pretended object of the voyage. With 
the view, perhaps, of giving further colour to this pre 
tence, Gilbert, shortly before sailing, directed the elder 
Hakluyt to make inquiries about Newfoundland of one 
Anthony Parkhurst, a Bristol shipowner, who was known 
to have made several voyages thither. It may, how 
ever, be that Gilbert still had hopes of taking New 
foundland in the course of his voyage home, and looked 
forward to making practical use of the information to 
be obtained from Parkhurst. 

Pursuant to Gilbert s instructions, Richard Hakluyt 
of the Middle Temple (his namesake, the preacher, was 
still residing at Oxford) dispatched a messenger to 
Parkhurst with a letter of inquiry, instructing him to 
induce Parkhurst to write at large in reply to it. 
The purport of the questions may be inferred from 
Parkhurst s answer 1 . What was the nature of the soil 
and climate of Newfoundland, and what were its natural 

1 A Letter written to Master Richard Hakluyt of the Middle 
Temple, containing a report of the true state and commodities of 
Newfoundland, by Master Anthony Parkhurst, Gentleman, the isth 
day of November, 1578. (Hakluyt, Voyages, vol. iii. pp. 132-4.) 

xiv Introduction. 

productions the timber and fruit trees, fish, birds, 
game ? How were the fish taken, and how many 
fishermen of different nations frequented it? What 
were the meetest parts to inhabit or colonize, especially 
with reference to convenience for erecting forts so as 
to make the English lords of the whole fishing in a small 
time, and sending from thence wood and coal, with all 
J necessaries, to Labrador, lately discovered (i.e. the mines 
)of Meta Incognita)? What minerals might be gotten 
in Newfoundland itself? Would Parkhurst under 
take an expedition under commission from Gilbert, 
and make a true and perfect discovery of the New 
foundland waters, including the river of Canada and 
the firm land of Cape Breton ? Parkhurst was ready 
and willing to do so. There was copper and iron, he 
assures Hakluyt, for he had brought home of the ore of 
both sorts. Of the precious metals he gives no hopes, 
but suggests that they may possibly exist at no great 
distance to the southward, and that here also would 
be found good fishing grounds. Parkhurst applauds 
rather than encourages Hakluyt s idea of converting 
the Indians to Christianity. Yet he trusts that the 
time will come when the people of those parts will be 
redeemed from out of the captivity of that spiritual 
Pharaoh, the devil. The phrase is interesting, for it 
is evidently echoed in Hayes s narrative (p. 7). 

Whether Parkhurst s letter, which is dated November 
13, 1578, reached Gilbert before the latter sailed from 
Plymouth, on the igth of the same month, is not clear. 
In any case it made no difference to the conduct of the 
expedition, which sailed by the southern route, evidently 
with the object of striking a blow at the West Indies. 

The Voyage of ij8j. xv 

All that is known of the result is that one of the ships, 
of which Miles Morgan was captain (see p. 12), was lost 
in an encounter with the Spaniards, and that Gilbert 
returned in the following year, having done little or 
nothing to effect his purpose. Whatever his operations 
may have been, there was every reason for throwing 
a veil over them. Gilbert desired to repeat his attempt 
in 1579, but was forbidden to do so. Apparently he was 
given to understand that direct attacks on the Spaniards 
must be postponed, and that he must confine himself to 
the North, where there was an ample and perfectly 
legitimate field for English enterprise. Meanwhile he 
was sent on service in Ireland, and his project, thus 
limited, seems to have had little attraction for adven 
turers. At length a few others were induced to join 
him, and preparations were made for renewing his 
designs the year before his patent of 1578, which had 
a duration of only six years, came to an end. 

Little hope seems to have been entertained at home 
that fortune would favour Gilbert s enterprise. Elizabeth, 
impressed with the fact that Gilbert had no good hap 
at sea/ wished some one else to be invested with 
the general command, and forbade her new favourite, 
Raleigh, from accompanying him in person. Through 
Raleigh, she commanded Gilbert to have his portrait 
painted before sailing ; sent him, as a token of favour, 
a trinket representing an anchor guided by a lady, and 
charged him to have as good care of himself as if she 
herself were on board. Raleigh s words, at the conclu 
sion of the letter in which he conveyed to his brother 
the Queen s commands, seem to imply that he also 
shared in the general apprehension. I commend you/ 

xvi Introduction. 

he ominously writes, to the will and protection of God, 
who sends us such life or death as He shall please, or 
hath appointed. 

Gilbert s preparations for departure appear to have 
been well advanced when a stranger arrived in England, 
whose connexion with Gilbert s enterprise has secured 
him a curious immortality. Stephen Parmenius was 
a young graduate of the University of Buda, who after 
three years spent in visiting the principal Universities 
of the Continent at length made his way to Oxford. 
Here he became acquainted with the younger Hakluyt, 
who informed him of Gilbert s proposed expedition, 
and subsequently introduced him to Gilbert in London. 
Parmenius, moved to enthusiasm by the prospect of 
a new England to be founded in North America, pro 
duced a Latin poem more than three hundred lines long 
in honour of the occasion, and sent it to Gilbert. After 
painting, in rather turgid language, the reign of peace 
and liberty about to be inaugurated, he laments that the 
fates forbid him to hope for a share in it. He would 
willingly go out as a colonist ; the Muses, he remarks, 
would emigrate with him, and perhaps inspire him to sing 
the beginnings of a great nation in immortal verse. Alas ! 
he must return to Hungary and the horrors of war, and 
some Oxford poet will doubtless profit by the opportu 
nity which he has unhappily lost l . Gilbert seems to 

1 O mihi felicem si fas conscendere puppim, 
Et tecum, patria (pietas ignosce) relicta, 
Longinquum penetrare fretum, penetrate sorores 
Tecum una Aonias, illic exordia gentis 
Prima novae ad seros transmittere posse nepotes ! 
Sed me fata vetant, memoraturumque canora 
Inclyta facta tuba, ad clades miserabilis Istri 
Invitum retrahunt. His, his me fata reservant ; 

Gilbert and Parmenius. xvii 

have been touched by this appeal. He took the 
young verse-maker with him ; and when the captain 
of the Delight returned in August, with the news 
that Gilbert had anchored at St. John s, and taken 
possession of Newfoundland to the use of the English 
crown, he carried with him a letter from Parmenius 
to Hakluyt, which the latter printed in his collection ] . 
From this we gather that Hakluyt had some thoughts 
of following in another vessel, joining Gilbert s expe 
dition, and seeing Newfoundland for himself. Had 
he done so, the chances are that, like Gilbert and 
Parmenius, he would never have returned. Fortu 
nately he found no opportunity of risking his life in 
an expedition directed by Gilbert, whose career as 
a maritime adventurer was unfortunate from beginning 
to end. 

There can be little doubt that this was partly Gilbert s 
own fault. An opinionated man, extremely jealous of Aur 
his own credit, he took his own line in all things, paying 
little regard to the judgement or experience of others ; 
and his violent temper evidently prevented those about 
him from pushing their remonstrances beyond a cer 
tain point. If Clarke, the sailing-master of the Delight, 
is to be believed 2 , the loss of that vessel, and the 

Non deerit vates, illo qui cantet in orbe 
Aut veteres populos, aut nostro incognita coelo 
Munera naturae, dum spreto Helicone manebit 
Ilia Aganippaeis sacrata Oxonia musis. 

1 Vol. iii. p. 161. 

2 A Relation of Richard Clarke of Weymouth, master of the ship 
called the Delight going for the discovery of Norumbega with Sir 
Humfrey Gilbert, 1583. Written in excuse of that fault of casting 
away the ship and men, imputed to his oversight. (Hakluyt, vol. 
iii. p. 163.) 

II. b 

xviii Introduction. 

consequent failure of the expedition, is attributable to 
nothing but Gilbert s perversity. When the ships 
were within fifteen leagues of the island of Sablon, 
he came up to the Delight in his own light vessel, and 
consulted Clarke as to the course. Clarke unhesitatingly 
advised west-south-west, because the wind was in the 
south, the night at hand, and there were unknown sands 
stretching far out to sea from the shore they were 
nearing. Gilbert, however, commanded him to go west- 
north-west. Clarke in vain represented that his own 
ship would be upon the sands before daylight. Gilbert 
angrily replied that Clarke must be out in his reckoning, 
and commanded him in the Queen s name to do as he 
was bidden. Clarke obeyed ; and his vessel was on 
the sands by seven o clock the next morning. Gilbert, 
in the Squirrel, changed his course in time. The 
Delight became a wreck, and the young poet Parmenius 
was amongst those who perished in her. 

On this occasion Gilbert was saved from shipwreck 
by the light draught of his own little vessel, which 
carried as a figurehead a red squirrel, the armorial 
crest of the Gilbert family. Possibly this gave him 
the notion that he would be safer in this mere cock 
boat of ten tons than in the Golden Hind ; at all 
events, not merely contrary to advice, but disregard 
ing the vehement persuasion and entreaty of his 
friends, he insisted on remaining in her, overladen 
as her decks were with guns and fighting gear, when 
re-crossing the Atlantic. He was annoyed, it appears, 
by a report which had spread among the sailors that 
he was afraid of the sea ; and he gave as his reason for 
remaining that he would not forsake the little crew with 

Narrative of Hayes. xix 

whom he had braved so many perils. Perhaps he 
wished to avoid the company of others, and to ponder 
alone over his experiences and plans for the future. 
Whatever may have been his real reason, his persistence 
cost him his life. The Squirrel foundered in a storm, 
and the bodings of evil which the voyage had called 
forth were literally fulfilled. 

The simple narrative of Hayes probably gives a better 
idea of the expedition than we should have gained from 
the intended Latin heroics of Parmenius. Hayes has 
a vivid conception of Gilbert s singular personality ; 
and this is so diffused throughout the substance of the 
story as to give the narrative something of a dramatic 
aspect. The sombre colouring which predominates is 
partly due to the theological ideas of the time. The 
writer believes the end of the world to be near, and 
that all things are ordered by Divine Providence with 
a view to it. Gilbert s obstinate self-will, he hints, 
frustrated a project in itself too worldly. His long- 
cherished plans, his high hopes, undamped by successive 
misfortunes, his resolute prosecution of his voyage 
in the teeth of unforeseen difficulties, his confidence 
in himself and assurance of ultimate success, are all 
as naught. God merely allows him to play his part, 
like a puppet, in a foreordained scheme involving his 
failure, to the end that his intemperate humours 
may be purged away, and he may be refined and made 
nearer to the Divine image, before it pleases God to 
take him to Himself. 

Barlow s story of the adventures met with by Raleigh s 
first exploring party in North America has all the 
freshness and gaiety of an idyl. His description of 

b 2 

xx Introduction. 

the sweet smell wafted to the voyagers from the 
American shore, as from some delicate garden abound 
ing with all kinds of odoriferous flowers, was noticed 
by Bacon, and utilized by Dryden to flatter one of his 
patrons : 

And as the Indies were not found, before 
Those rich perfumes, which from the happy shore 
The winds upon their balmy wings conveyed, 
Whose guilty sweetness first their world betrayed ; 
So by your counsels we are brought to view 
A rich and undiscovered world in you. 

The picture of the people dwelling on this happy 
shore, mannerly and civil as any of Europe, most gentle, 
loving and faithful, and such as live after the manner 
of the golden age, and entertaining the strangers with 
all love and kindness, is truly delightful. No wonder 
that people rushed in the next year with Greenville to 
take possession of this transatlantic paradise. There 
was another element to be reckoned with. In the 
course of his narrative Barlow mentions the sanguinary 
inter-tribal wars waged by the Indians, and the partial 
depopulation of the country which had followed. He 
seems, however, to have thought the bow and arrow 
no match for the European arquebus, which inspired 
the Indian braves with abject terror ; and it never seems 
to have occurred to him that these amiable creatures 
might one day turn ferociously on the English strangers 
and massacre them. Even Lane, who was left by 
Greenville in charge of the original settlement, seems 
at first to have been equally unsuspicious. In the ex 
tract from a letter written by him to the elder Hakluyt, 
printed by the younger Hakluyt in his collection, 
nothing is said of the natives except that they are 

Lane in Virginia xxi 

most courteous/ Everything is going on smoothly. 
Virginia is the goodliest soil under the cope of heaven. 
It abounds with sweet trees, yielding sundry rich and 
pleasant gums. There are grapes of such greatness, 
yet wild, as France, Spain, and Italy have no greater. 
There are several sorts of apothecary drugs. There 
are several kinds of flax ; one of these is as fine as 
silk, and is produced by a grass which grows like 
a weed. The ear of maize has four hundred grains, 
and the stalk makes good and perfect sugar. What 
soever commodities England procures from Spain, 
France, Italy, and the eastern parts, as wines of all 
sorts, oils, flax, resins, pitch, frankincense, currants, 
sugars, and the like, these parts abound with them all. 
There is great abundance of sundry other rich com 
modities found in no other parts of the world, east or 
west. And besides that it is the goodliest and most 
pleasing territory of the world, the continent is of an 
huge and unknown greatness, and the climate so whole 
some that none of the company had fallen sick since 
they touched land. If Virginia had but horses and kine 
in some reasonable proportion, being inhabited with 
English, no realm in Christendom were comparable 
to it. 

This golden prospect was rudely dissipated. Lane s 
explorations excited the suspicions of the natives. The 
chief, or king/ of Roanoke changed his attitude, sought 
to cut off the food supplies of the English, and at length 
organized a conspiracy to massacre their leaders. The 
grass huts in which they lodged were to be fired in the 
night, and each, as he rushed out into the darkness, was 
to be clubbed from behind. The plot was discovered 

xxii Introduction. 

in time, and the conspirators were surprised and shot 
down ; but the position of the colonists could only have 
been maintained by reinforcements, and large importa 
tions of food and ammunition. Failing these, they 
were well advised in returning to England at the first 
opportunity ; and Lane s report to Raleigh shows that 
his first impressions had been modified. He thought 
that nothing short of rich mines, or the discovery of 
a passage to the Pacific, would induce people to remain 
in Virginia. The fifteen men shortly afterwards left 
on the site by Greenville, in ignorance of all that had 
happened to Lane s party, were no doubt attacked and 
overpowered by the Indians soon after Greenville s 
return ; and the same fate befell most of the company 
of settlers taken out by White in 1587. Raleigh s in 
tended settlement had failed because it had not been 
planned on a larger scale, and received no adequate 
support from home. One cause of its being neglected 
in the ensuing year was the Spanish invasion of England 
in 1588. But there can be little doubt that, if the search 
for the emigrants had been properly prosecuted in the 
years following, some of them would have been found 
alive, and the colony might have been re-established. 
Raleigh, who had ships at sea engaged in plundering 
the Spaniards, has been severely blamed for not doing 
so; and Bacon seems to allude to the circumstances 
in a well-known passage at the end of his Essay on 
Plantations. It is, he says, the sinfullest thing in the 
world to forsake or destitute a plantation once in forward 
ness; for, besides the dishonour, it is the guiltiness 
of blood of many commiserable persons/ 

The fact is that when Raleigh ought to have been 

Raleigh and the New Dorado! xxiii 

relieving his colonists a more brilliant prospect had 
seduced him. Ever since the conquest of Peru, sixty 
years before, rumours had been current among the 
Spaniards of a great kingdom or province, named from 
its extraordinary abundance in gold El Pais Dorado, 
or El Reino Dorado, 5 and still undiscovered. More 
briefly it was called El Dorado/ and all these names 
mean simply the Golden Land or Golden Kingdom/ 
The original rumour seems to have related to the 
district of Bogota or New Granada, which was situated 
within a district called from the first the Castilla del 
Oro or Golden Castile. But New Granada did not 
satisfy all the expectations aroused by the story. Out 
of the abbreviated name El Dorado a new fiction 
had been evolved. It was applied, naturally enough, 
in a secondary sense to the king or chief of the 
Golden Land ; and the naked body of this personage, 
it was alleged, was besprinkled daily with golddust 
by way of personal adornment an idle story, evidently 
invented to account for the name when used in this 
secondary sense, though some antiquaries have credu 
lously accepted it as substantially true, and explain 
the alleged sprinkling with golddust as a custom of 
a religious nature. The myth grew apace like a rolling 
snowball. Next it was alleged that all the people of 
El Dorado sprinkled themselves with gold on festive 
occasions : golden houses and golden temples, with 
golden furniture, were added as a matter of course. 
El Dorado was originally sought for in the neighbour 
hood of the Andes of Northern Peru, or of New 
Granada. Sometimes, however, it was identified with 
an imaginary city built on the margin of a lake, called 

xxiv Introduction. 

1 El Gran Paytiti/ supposed to exist somewhere in 
Southern Peru or Northern Bolivia, to the eastward 
of Cuzco. Hither, it was said, an Inca chief, followed 
by a large body of warriors, had fled immediately after 
the Spanish conquest, and here his descendants still 
lived in fabulous wealth and splendour. Some sup 
posed another El Dorado to exist on a lake near 
the head waters of the Guapore and Paraguay rivers 
in Brazil, and another has been located in Northern 

Early in 1594 intelligence reached Raleigh that yet 
another El Dorado/ or, as it is described in the letters 
from which the information was derived, a New Dorado/ 
had been recently discovered on the Caroni river, the 
lowest affluent of the Orinoco. This locality was at no 
great distance from the Atlantic, and was easily reached 
from England by way of the West Indfes. Raleigh 
instantly resolved to pursue the discovery, and to fore 
stall the Spanish adventurers who were already in 
quest of it. This final localization of the imaginary 
kingdom seems to have been based on a misinterpreted 
inscription found on a still existing map, made by 
some early explorer who entered the Orinoco from the 
Atlantic soon after the middle of the sixteenth century 1 . 
On this map the course of the Orinoco is traced from 
the sea to a point at some distance beyond its junction 
with the Caroni, where the country becomes moun 
tainous. One of the objects of the map-maker was to 
indicate the prospective value of the Orinoco valley as 
an auriferous district. About the Caroni, it is stated, 

1 Reproduced in the well-known collection entitled Cartas de 
Indias (Madrid, 1877). 

A Misunderstood Description. xxv 

there is gold of low grade (oro guanin). The mountain 
range is described as stretching to Guiana from Peru, 
where it is rich in silver/ and from the kingdom of 
New Granada, where it is rich in gold ; and in this 
direction (por aqui), the legend proceeds, is the so- 
called El Dorado 1 . The meaning certainly is that 
El Dorado lies in the direction of New Granada : 
a localization perfectly in accordance with the oldest 
tradition, and exactly what might be expected on a map 
of this description. The space on the map where this 
legend appears is not far southwards of the junction of 
the Caroni river with the Orinoco. There can be no 
doubt that this map fell into the hands of persons who 
understood the words por aqui to mean here (a sense 
which they often convey) instead of in this direction/ 
and interpreted the statement as indicating that El 
Dorado lay in the limited district between the Atlantic 
Ocean and the Essequibo river on the east, the valley 
of the Caroni river on the west and south-west, and the 
Orinoco on the north. 

The effect of this misinterpretation was to transfer 
the quest of El Dorado, an object never wholly lost 
sight of in New Granada and Peru, from the western 
to the eastern side of South America, and to direct 
attention to the lower part of the Orinoco valley, 
a district still almost unknown, although the coast 
hereabouts had been the first part of the continent 
to be discovered, and the neighbouring island of 
Trinidad afforded a convenient base for exploration. 

1 Esta sierra viene del Reyno, y del Peru. Es alia, en el Peru, 
rica de plata ; en el Reyno, de oro, y por aqui esta lo que dicen El 

xx vi Introduction. 

Neither on this island, nor on the adjacent mainland 
the nearest point of which was the peninsula of Paria 
had Spanish adventurers gained a permanent footing, 
though more than one attempt had been made ; and 
some account of these attempts will assist the reader 
in gaining a clear idea of the facts and circumstances 
of Raleigh s expedition. 

On the northern coast of South America, as in 
Mexico, Florida, and Peru, the impulse to continental 
exploration had come from the Spanish settlements in 
the Greater Antilles. The nearest of these was Puerto 
Rico : there was also a small settlement on the island 
of Cubagua, the seat of the pearl-fishery on the Cumana 
coast, over part of which coast the jurisdiction of the 
Cubagua officials extended. Antonio de Sedefio, the 
royal contactor or collector at Puerto Rico, obtained in 
1528 a licence to occupy the island of Trinidad, intending 
to use it as a base for operations on the neighbouring 
mainland. In 1530 Sedeno landed in Trinidad, and 
built a fort on the peninsula of Paria, where he left 
a small garrison, and returned to Puerto Rico for 
reinforcements. Meanwhile another adventurer ap 
peared on the scene. Diego de Ordaz had served under 
Cortes in the Mexican expedition, and had distin 
guished himself by ascending to the smoking crater 
of Popocatepetl, whence he beheld the lake of Mexico, 
fifty miles distant, and never before seen by European 
eyes. Cortes sent him on a mission to Spain, where he 
obtained the right to bear a volcano on his escutcheon, 
and a grant of territory on the northern coast of South 
America. Eastwards his grant extended to the mouth 
of the Orinoco, then commonly supposed to be identical 

The Spaniards on the Orinoco. xxvii 

with the Amazon river. Ordaz sailed from Europe in 
1531 to enter on his province. He took possession of 
Sedeno s fort, built three brigantines, and ascended the 
river for a considerable distance according to report, 
as far as its junction with the Meta, a large tributary 
navigable almost to the foot of the mountains of New 
Granada. Disappointed in the aspect of the country, 
he now returned to the northern coast near Cubagua, 
with the intention of penetrating inland from this locality. 
Here he was arrested as a trespasser by Matienzo, the 
magistrate of Cubagua, and taken before the royal court 
of judges at St. Domingo. This tribunal having decided 
in his favour, Ordaz commenced proceedings against 
Matienzo for damages. The matter was referred to the 
emperor in council, and Ordaz sailed for Spain, taking 
Matienzo with him. Ordaz died on the voyage. Before 
leaving Cubagua, Matienzo was known to have procured 
from a Genoese apothecary three doses of a poisonous 
drug, giving out that they were intended for three hostile 
native chiefs. He carried the drug with him, and it was 
believed that he administered a dose to Ordaz. 

No better fortune befell Geronimo de Ortal and Alonso 
de Herrera, the treasurer and lieutenant of Ordaz, who 
succeeded to his enterprise. Herrera in 1535 again 
ascended the Orinoco, reached its junction with the 
Meta, and followed the latter for some distance, until 
he fell pierced by an arrow in an encounter with the 
natives. Ortal now abandoned the exploration of the in 
terior, confining himself to capturing Indians on the 
coast and selling them as slaves to the merchants of 
Cubagua, Puerto Rico, and St. Domingo ; and Sedefio 
was left in possession of the field. Sedefio was 

xxviii Introduction. 

preparing a third expedition up the river when he was 
poisoned by a female slave. His company dispersed, 
and for nearly thirty years (1540-1568) the Orinoco 
was neglected. One reason for this doubtless lay in 
the fact that New Granada, the terminus of the Orinoco- 
Meta navigation, was reached, soon after 1540, by other 
routes three different adventurers, travelling from three 
different points, having arrived on the plateau of Bogota 
within a few months of each other. What lay at the 
extremity of the Orinoco valley was no longer a secret ; 
and to this extent the stimulus to exploration ceased. 
A more effectual discouragement to adventure lay in 
the fact that the valley was now ascertained to be hot, 
unhealthy, for the most part encumbered with forests, 
and teeming with a warlike population. 

During the interval of neglect which ensued after the 
failures of Ordaz and his followers. strange stories were 
current in St. Domingo and Puerto Rico of the adven 
tures which had befallen them. They had encountered, 
it was reported, men of monstrous shape men whose 
eyes grew beneath their shoulders. Gold, of course, 
abounded wherever they went. Some of them had 
actually visited the city of the Gilded Chief, and had 
brought back circumstantial accounts of it accounts 
which excited in the Spanish colonists in the Antilles 
cupidity mingled with incredulity, and speedily found 
their way from St. Domingo to Europe (p. 167). Mainly, 
no doubt, these accounts were founded on stories of 
earlier date than the expedition of Ordaz. But in at 
least one instance the facts alleged were solemnly 
vouched for by an eye-witness. One Juan Martinez, who 
had served under Ordaz, affirmed that he had not only 

Spanish Enterprise Revived. xxix 

personally visited the city of El Dorado, but had lived 
there seven months. A narrative of his alleged adven 
tures, preserved in the archives of Puerto Rico, was 
said to have been taken down from his own lips when 
at the point of death. Berrio-y-Oruna, presently men 
tioned, was in possession of a copy of this document, 
and communicated its contents to Raleigh, who em 
bodied them in his own narrative (p. 192). We cannot 
believe that any man in the possession of his faculties 
would in his last moments have solemnly affirmed the 
truth of this tissue of falsehoods. Probably the story 
was written down, after his death, by some one who 
had heard him tell it. Martinez, apparently, was the 
first person to give El Dorado a specific geographical 
name. He called it Manoa; and this name, together 
with that of Guayana, assigned to the lower reaches 
of the Orinoco by Ordaz and his companions, and 
understood to be derived from an Indian nation called 
the Guayanos, gradually came into use to denote the 
city of the Gilded Chief, and the dominion of which it 
was the capital. 

The revival of adventure on the northern coast of 
South America was probably due to the general impulse 
given to Spanish enterprise by the succession of Philip 
to the throne. In 1568 Philip divided the coast into 
two portions, and granted the easternmost, including 
the mouths of the Orinoco, to one Diego Fernandez de 
Zerpa of Cartagena. This adventurer landed in 1569 
on the northern coast, laid out a town to serve as 
a base of operations, and thence marched inland with 
a considerable force, intending by this route to reach the 
Orinoco valley. The Indians watched his movements, 

xxx Introduction. 

and attacked him unawares (p. 234) ; De Zerpa, with 
most of his men, lost their lives, and the remnant of 
his party escaped by sea to New Granada. Another 
adventurer endeavoured to execute the scheme of 
Sedeno. Juan Ponce, a native of St. Domingo, obtained 
a grant of Trinidad, and landed on the island in 1571 
with a large party of intending settlers. In a short 
time they were so much reduced in numbers by disease 
that it was decided to abandon the undertaking. Many 
returned to Spain, and the rest, like the remnant of 
De Zerpa s party, made their way to New Granada. 
In 1576 a party of Jesuits ascended the river, and 
established a mission, which was abandoned after three 
years trial. Some of the party escaped to Cumana, 
and the rest to the missions on the Casanare. The 
result of these failures was that all rights of occupation 
were either extinguished or fell into abeyance, and the 
Orinoco valley, with the island of Trinidad, lapsed to 
the jurisdiction of Cumana, where Francisco de Vides 
had succeeded to the post formerly held by Matienzo. 
Such was the aspect of affairs when one Antonio de 
Berrio-y-Orufia, a personage who figures prominently 
in Raleigh s story, and possibly the very person whose 
misreading of the description on the old map led to 
Raleigh s expedition, conceived the idea of making 
himself master of the Orinoco valley. Berrio, whose 
name Raleigh always erroneously spells Berreo, had 
served as a soldier in New Granada, and had married 
a daughter according to some authorities, a niece, or 
natural daughter of Quesada, the original conqueror 
of that province. According to Raleigh, Berrio s wife 
was Quesada s heiress, and the quest of El Dorado was 

Berrio s Project. xxxi 

part of her inheritance. Quesada, he tells us, had made 
the quest of El Dorado one of the principal objects of 
his ambition, and exacted from Berrio a solemn oath to 
pursue it diligently to the last of his substance and 
life* (p. 199). However this may be, Quesada appears 
to have made at least one expedition eastwards from 
New Granada into the forest-clad lowlands where El 
Dorado was understood to be, and Berrio, after his 
death, procured from Philip a grant extending 400 
leagues in the same direction from the boundary of 
New Granada a measurement evidently designed to 
include the Orinoco valley as far as the Atlantic, 
though probably not intended, as Berrio claimed, to 
include the island of Trinidad, which he regarded, 
adopting the ideas of previous adventurers, as the 
necessary base for his operations. Berrio s plan was 
probably based on information furnished by Franciscan 
missionaries, some of whom accompanied him, and 
through whom he doubtless obtained the assistance 
of native guides. He proposed to embark on the 
Casanare, to follow this river to its junction with the 
Meta, and the Meta to its junction with the Orinoco. 
Once in the Orinoco, the way to the gulf of Paria was 
easy, and Trinidad lay at no great distance on the other 
side of it. Having established himself at Trinidad, he 
proposed to retrace his route, and to found a settlement 
on the bank of the Orinoco at no great distance from 
the sea. From this settlement as a centre, and resting 
for support on Trinidad, he proposed to explore the 
country and win over the natives, expecting in due 
time to reach the city of the Gilded Chief, which lay, 
according to his information, at no great distance from 

xxxii Introduction. 

the right bank of the river, between its junction with 
the Caroni and its outlets into the Atlantic. 

In 1590 Berrio began his expedition, following the 
Casanare and Meta rivers to the junction of the Meta 
with the Orinoco, and descending the latter, sometimes 
in boats, sometimes by marching along the banks. After 
a journey of a year s duration, he reached a district 
about midway between the Andes and the sea, to which 
he gave the name of Amapaia. Here, according to his 
own account, he gained intelligence of the Empire of 
Guiana, the lake of Parima, and the city of Manoa on 
its shore. Pursuing his course down the river, his 
party being now greatly diminished, he attempted to 
enter the Golden Land, but found it impossible to cross 
the mountain range which separated it from the Orinoco 
valley. This range, according to him, extended from 
the Atlantic Ocean to the Andes of Quito ; a piece of 
information evidently derived from the old map above 
mentioned. He assured Raleigh that the Orinoco re 
ceived a hundred tributaries on its north and south 
banks presumably below its junction with the Meta 
and that the least of these was as large as the Magda- 
lena, the great navigable stream of New Granada, and, 
as Raleigh remarks, one of the great rivers of the 
world. But he knew not/ Raleigh proceeds, the 
names of any of these but Caroli (Caroni) only : neither 
from what nations they descended, neither to what pro 
vinces they led/ Raleigh accounts for this astonishing 
ignorance by supposing that he had no means of com 
municating with the Indians, and further remarks that 
he was not curious in these things, being utterly 
unlearned, and not knowing the east from the west/ 

Report and Mission to Spain. xxxiii 

The fact evidently is that the direction of the voyage 
rested with the Franciscans who conducted him ; to 
them also is probably due the selection of the site 
for Berrio s city, which was fixed near the Indian 
pueblo called by Raleigh Carapana s town/ and 
named Santo Tome de la Guayana. Having touched 
at Trinidad he sailed for Margarita, now the chief 
seat of Spanish population on this coast. Here he 
obtained fifty recruits, among whom probably was 
Domingo de Vera, a resident of Caracas, who became 
his camp-master, and rendered him material assistance. 
Returning to Trinidad, he laid out the town of San 
Jose de Orufia, three leagues distant from the road 
stead already called Puerto de los Espanoles, the 
present Port-of-Spain. Fixing his head quarters and 
taking up his residence at San Jose, he sent De Vera, 
in 1593, to explore on the Orinoco in the vicinity of 
Santo Tomd, with the object of discovering the way to 
the lake of Parima and the city of Manoa. De Vera 
was not only a brave soldier, but had a good capacity 
for business, and a certain readiness of speech. Berrio 
intended to employ him, on his return, in a mission to 
Spain to solicit assistance in conquering the golden 
kingdom. When this assistance was secured, his son, 
who remained for the present at Bogota, was to come 
down the Orinoco and join his father; for Berrio, who 
was an elderly man, intended the proposed conquest to 
enure for the benefit of his descendants. De Vera s 
report was dispatched by Berrio to Spain, and a letter 
containing the substance of it was among the papers 
captured at sea by Popham in 1594. Later in this year 
De Vera proceeded in person to Spain on his mission. 

II. c 

xxxiv Introduction. 

Meanwhile disturbance threatened Berrio s schemes 
from two different quarters. Francisco de Vides, the 
governor of Cumana, claimed both Trinidad and the 
valley of the Orinoco as within the limits of his juris 
diction, and sued out a patent from Spain authorizing 
him to take possession of them. Berrio s grant, how 
ever, being held to be valid against these pretensions, 
the disappointed governor sought to obstruct his rival 
by other means. Morequito, the cacique of an Indian 
village adjacent to that of Carapana, had traded with 
the Spaniards at Cumana and Margarita, and in the 
course of several visits had fallen completely under 
the governor s influence. Acting under his direction, 
Morequito received into his territory one of Berrio s 
exploring parties, consisting of ten Spanish soldiers 
and a friar, and furnished them with a guide who 
undertook to conduct them to Manoa. According to 
Berrio s account they actually reached the city of El 
Dorado, and procured there a large quantity of gold. 
Morequito s men waited for their return, fell upon 
them, and massacred all but one soldier. A company 
was dispatched to punish Morequito, who fled to 
Cumana for protection. De Vides gave him up to 
Berrio s men, who put him to death. 

The news contained in the papers captured by 
Popham in 1594 (see page 163) excited great expecta 
tions in England, where men eagerly watched for 
opportunities of striking a blow at Spain. In the 
same year Raleigh dispatched Jacob Whiddon, one of 
his captains, to Trinidad for the purpose of collecting 
more information. While so employed Whiddon took 
occasion to go in chase of an expected prize, leaving 

Effect of the News in England. xxxv 

his pinnace, with a few men on board, at Puerto de los 
Espanoles. Berrio sent a party of Indians to the crew 
of the pinnace inviting them to land and join in a day s 
hunting. Eight of the Englishmen landed accordingly, 
and were attacked from an ambuscade and shot down 
to a man by Berrio s soldiers. Knowing well what was 
meant by Whiddon s visit, Berrio deemed it advisable 
to send to Spain at once for reinforcements on a large 
scale. He had spent four years in reconnoitring the 
country, making little progress, and now the English 
pirates were ready to snatch the fruits of his labours. 
About the end of October, 1594, he sent De Vera to the 
court of Madrid, in order to urge on Philip the necessity 
of dispatching with as little delay as possible an adequate 
force for the conquest of the New Dorado. Partly by 
his eloquence and business capacity, partly by exhibiting 
gold, silver, and precious stones brought or said to be 
brought from the Orinoco valley, De Vera produced in 
Spain the impression that the wealth of Guayana far 
exceeded that of Mexico and Peru ; and the object of 
his mission was attained with little difficulty. But 
things moved more slowly in Spain than in England. 
While De Vera was still busy urging Berrio s suit, 
half a dozen English captains were at sea making or 
intending to make for the New Dorado. The first to 
arrive at Trinidad was Robert Dudley, a natural son 
of the Earl of Leicester, and one of the most intrepid 
adventurers of his time. Dudley had early received 
intelligence of the New Dorado from Popham, and it 
was perhaps from him that Raleigh obtained the first 
news of it. He landed in Trinidad and began to make 
inquiries of the Indians, some of whom understood 

c 2 

xxxvi Introduction. 

Spanish. Having obtained some geographical informa 
tion, and being assured that gold and silver were to be 
had in abundance up the river, he called his men 
together and proposed crossing with a strong party to 
the mainland, whither an Indian guide was ready to 
conduct them. One of his officers, whose loyalty had 
fallen under suspicion, announced his intention of re 
maining on the island ; and those who were to be left 
mutinied against Dudley s departure. He was fain, 
therefore, to send the exploring party, consisting of 
fourteen men, in his ship s boat, without him, and to 
wait their return. After a fortnight spent in exploring 
and parleying with the Indians they returned. The 
information brought back confirmed previous reports of 
the wealth to be obtained in the district : but when 
Dudley proposed to set out in person for the river, 
taking his whole company with him, they refused to 
a man. The explorers, though well supplied with 
victuals, had suffered terrible privations, and no doubt 
described the country as intensely hot, unhealthy, and 
swarming with a hostile population. While Dudley s 
exploring party were absent, Popham arrived in a 
pinnace of Plymouth. He reported that Raleigh was 
on the way; and Dudley and Popham waited some 
days in expectation of Raleigh s arrival. Tired of 
waiting, they left Trinidad together on March 12, a 
few days after Raleigh had left the Canaries for 
Trinidad. The rest of Dudley s voyage was devoted 
to the destruction of Spanish vessels, nine of which 
he took and sunk or burned. This, he laconically 
remarked, was loss to them, though I got nothing. 
On March 22 Raleigh reached Trinidad. The 

Raleigh s Expedition. xxxvii 

Spanish guard at the port, to whom he represented 
himself as on his way to relieve his Virginian colony, 
received him hospitably, and pointed out the way to 
Berrio s settlement of San Jose de Oruna, three leagues 
distant. Raleigh feasted them in return on board his 
vessel, plied them with wine, and obtained what informa 
tion they had to give about Guiana. Having won their 
confidence, he surprised them by night and massacred 
them. He then marched to San Jose, captured the 
place with little difficulty, and made Berrio prisoner. 
He palliates these acts of treachery by pleading that 
if he had acted otherwise he would have savoured very 
much of the ass (p. 186). Judged by the standard of 
the time, they were justifiable reprisals for Berrio s 
perfidious massacre of Whiddon s men in the previous 
year. Having held Berrio several days prisoner, and 
obtained from him what information he could, Raleigh 
liberated him and proceeded to the Orinoco. Leaving 
his ships off the point called Curiapan, Raleigh crossed 
the gulf with one large galley, his own barge, two 
wherries, and one ship s boat, carrying all together 
a hundred men and a month s provisions. By May 22 
he was on his way up one of the branches by which the 
Orinoco discharges into the sea (p. 216). He soon 
gained the main stream, which he ascended as far as 
the Caroni river, the supposed outlet of the imaginary 
lake on whose shore stood the golden city of Manoa. 
The river was in flood, and it was found impossible to 
navigate it. Raleigh landed and proceeded for some 
distance along the bank. But he was too prudent to 
venture far from his boats, and it became evident that 
the further prosecution of the enterprise must be 

xxxviii Introduction. 

deferred until another occasion. In a limited sense 
the object of the voyage had been attained. He had 
ascertained on the spot that the reports of the mineral 
wealth of the country were not wholly void of founda 
tion, that the Spaniards firmly believed in the existence 
of the golden city of Manoa, and its gilded monarch, in 
the immediate neighbourhood, and that such a belief 
was apparently entertained by the natives. With the 
natives he had established friendly relations, by posing 
as the representative of a princess whose policy it was to 
deliver the world from the hated Spaniards. To return 
without having entered the New Dorado was doubtless 
disappointing. But it was better to postpone the attempt 
than to make it with an inadequate and scantily pro 
visioned force. Having personally collected sufficient 
information to enable him to prepare a glowing account 
of the brilliant prospect opened by Guiana to English 
adventure, he returned to his ships at Curiapan and 
sailed homewards, having penetrated some 150 miles 
farther into the valley than Dudley. While in England 
preparing the Discovery of Guiana for the press, he was 
at the same time preparing another expedition, intended 
to make further inquiries and explorations, and to 
maintain the friendly relations he had established with 
the Indians. On January 26, 1596, the Darling, with 
the Discovery pinnace, shortly afterwards lost in stormy 
weather, left Portland for this purpose, under the 
command of Lawrence Keymis or Kames, who had 
been with him in his own expedition (p. 215). Keymis 
returned more and more convinced of the feasibility of 
the proposed conquest. The natives were eagerly 
awaiting the arrival of the English in force to rid the 

Spanish Expedition of 1596. xxxix 

country of the Spaniards. All that Raleigh had been 
told was substantially true. A certain chief, Keymis 
writes, certified him of the headless men, and that their 
mouths in their breasts are exceeding wide. The 
Caribs called them Chiparemai. He also heard of 
a sort of people yet more monstrous so monstrous 
that he forbears to describe them. More to the purpose 
was his report of the situation of the New Dorado 
relatively to the Atlantic coast between the Orinoco 
and the Amazon rivers. He explored the smaller 
streams which here intervene, and learned that a great 
lake probably that of Parima, on which Manoa was 
supposed to stand could be reached by a voyage of 
twenty days up the Essequibo, and a portage of one 
day s journey beyond. 

Neither Raleigh s voyage, nor that of Keymis, had 
very much to show in the form of solid attainment, 
though they gave a fair promise for the near future. 
This promise, however, was not to be realized. The 
difficulties attending the settlement of the Orinoco were 
about to be demonstrated, fortunately for Englishmen, 
by the Spaniards, under the leadership of Berrio him 
self. The visits of the English adventurers had pro 
duced consternation. Berrio, after Raleigh s departure 
for England, hurried to the Orinoco, probably with the 
view of neutralizing Raleigh s intrigues with the Indians. 
Meanwhile De Vides, shrewdly distrusting Berrio s 
ability to hold his own against the English intruders, 
dispatched his lieutenant Velasco to take possession 
of Trinidad. Berrio s men were still there, and cannot 
have been in a position to offer much resistance ; but 
some fighting took place, after which the rival parties 

xl Introduction. 

agreed to a truce pending the expected arrival of 
De Vera from Spain. This officer had sped success 
fully in his errand. While Raleigh was yet on his way 
back to England, a vast armament was preparing in 
the Guadalquivir for the conquest of the New Dorado. 
The king contributed 70,000 ducats to the expenses, 
and the citizens of Seville furnished 5,000 more. 
Three hundred soldiers, including many veterans who 
had served in Italy and Flanders, and five tall ships, 
were assigned by Philip for the expedition. Five more 
ships were provided from other sources, and many 
ecclesiastics not mere adventurers, but clergy of 
wealth and high rank in the Church joined the 
company. Many, who intended to settle in Guiana, 
carried with them their wives and children. The fleet 
sailed from San Lucar on February 23, 1596. Few more 
imposing armaments had ever left the shores of Spain 
for the New World, nor was this armament by any 
means the measure of contemporary hopes and prepara 
tions in Spain for the conquest of the New Dorado. 
Scarcely had it sailed when the continued influx of 
adventurers made it necessary to equip a supplementary 
one. Capital for the purpose seems to have been 
forthcoming in abundance ; and three months after 
De Vera s departure a squadron of at least equal magni 
tude, intended to carry six hundred additional adven 
turers, was preparing to follow in his track. But it 
was destined never to sail. Moored in the bay of 
Cadiz, which seems to have been proposed as the 
port of departure, all the ships intended for this ex 
pedition were burned, with the rest of the Spanish 
shipping lying there by the Spaniards, when the 

Spanish Expedition of 1596. xli 

town was taken by the English under Howard and 

On April 16 De Vera s squadron arrived safely in 
Trinidad, and anchored at Port-of-Spain. It was the 
middle of Holy Week, and the Spaniards, having 
landed, betook themselves to the religious observances 
demanded by the season. They had need, it was felt, 
of comfort. The fatigues of the voyage had weighed 
heavily on them, the stores were diminished, and the 
island was a wilderness. The emigrants, utterly 
dispirited, were filled with dire forebodings for the 
future. De Vera sent one of the vessels to Caracas, 
directing those in charge to buy cattle and horses and 
dispatch them overland to meet him at Santo Tome. 
These orders were never executed. Those who should 
have executed them stayed in Caracas, congratulating 
themselves on having escaped from the disasters already 
seen to be impending over this ill-fated expedition. 
Easter being over, De Vera proceeded with the emi 
grants to San Jose, now a village of thirty thatched 
huts. The journey was made on foot, the men carrying 
the baggage and the women the children ; there was 
not a drop of water on the way, nor any provision but 
what they took with them. Berrio was anxiously await 
ing his reinforcements at Santo Tome, and the scarcity 
of provisions in Trinidad urged their speedy dispatch 
thither. Remaining himself in Trinidad, De Vera em 
barked in several boats the force which was to advance 
on the Golden City. Some were driven ashore after 
making the crossing, and their occupants massacred by 
the Indians. When his reinforcements had arrived, 
Berrio found himself in command of about 400 fighting 

x 1 ii Introduction . 

men ; and his first idea seems to have been to extend 
his area of occupation from Santo Tome as a basis, 
with the idea of making it the nucleus of a province. 
After exploring the neighbouring mountains in several 
directions, this idea was abandoned. The whole district 
proved to be a densely forested wilderness, and the only 
thing to be done was to push on in force towards 
Manoa. Berrio selected for this purpose 300 men, 
giving the command to Alvaro Jorge, a Portuguese 
experienced in Indian warfare, whom Raleigh (p. 186) 
mentions as having been taken prisoner by him, together 
with Berrio, in the previous year. They marched as 
far as the mountain range supposed to be the frontier 
of the empire of Guiana, and there encamped. Already 
enfeebled by the heat and want of proper food, and 
scarcely able to defend themselves against the Indians 
who swarmed around them, the majority were here 
prostrated by fever. More than a hundred died, and 
when the Indians, having learned the state of affairs, 
attacked the camp between 2,000 and 3,000 strong, 
scarcely forty were fit to take up arms. Compelled to 
abandon the sick, who were slaughtered where they lay, 
those who were able to march retreated to the river, 
hard pressed by the victorious savages. Only thirty of 
the three hundred reached Santo Tome, and more than 
half of this miserable remnant died soon afterwards. 

Meanwhile discontent was rife among De Vera s men 
in Trinidad, where stores were failing and disease had 
made its appearance. Dreading lest his whole company 
should desert him, make their way to Cumana and 
Margarita, and spread abroad the story of his practical 
failure, De Vera dispatched about a hundred of his 

Raleigh s Narrative. xliii 

men to Berrio at Santo Tome, not knowing that matters 
there were even worse. They had come to swell the 
list of victims to fever and famine, for the sick were now 
dying by dozens. A plot was formed to murder Berrio 
and evacuate the place. It came to his ears, and he at 
once gave orders that all might depart who wished. 
Those who could avail themselves of this permission 
made their way, some to Spain, others to New Granada. 
De Vera at San Jose was carried off by a malady which 
had long afflicted him, and Berrio died at Santo Tome 
shortly afterwards. His son Fernando came to take 
his place, and carried on the government of the colony, 
such as it was ; but the search for the New Dorado by 
way of the Orinoco was for the present at an end. 

De Vera s ill-starred expedition had left Spain about 
the time when Raleigh s book was beginning to circulate 
among English people, and the news of its failure 
probably reached England in time to counteract what 
ever enthusiasm Raleigh s narrative may have excited 
in favour of an English advance on the New Dorado 
by way of the Orinoco. Raleigh had spared no pains 
to commend the scheme to the Queen and the English 
public, and no candid reader of the narrative, in the 
light of contemporary facts and events, will accuse him 
of understating his case. Superficial criticism strongly 
suggests the contrary view, and so dispassionate a judge 
as Hume even charges Raleigh with perpetrating a de 
liberate fraud on the public. Having sailed up the 
river . . . without meeting anything to answer his ex 
pectations, on his return he published an account of the 
country, full of the grossest and most palpable lies that 
were ever attempted to be imposed on the credulity of 

xliv Introduction. 

mankind. Raleigh s good faith is sufficiently vindicated 
by the facts and circumstances of De Vera s expedition, 
for this expedition was made in reliance on the very 
statements put forth by Raleigh as inducements to 
English enterprise. Only the most minute scrutiny 
discovers anything in the narrative really requiring 
explanation or excuse. Guiana is certainly not what 
Raleigh declares it to be the healthiest country in the 
world (p. 266). It is none the less true that Raleigh and 
his men had no experience to the contrary in the course 
of their flying visit. In one place (p. 190) Raleigh says 
that he has met with Spaniards who have actually seen 
Manoa, and has been informed by them that no city in 
the world exceeds it for greatness, riches, and excel 
lence of situation. Certainly this cannot be understood 
literally, for in another place (p. 199) Raleigh assures his 
reader that neither Berrio nor any of his men had ever 
advanced so near Manoa as himself in this very expedi 
tion. Probably when he wrote the former passage he 
had in mind the stories told Berrio s men, whom he 
feasted on board his ship, and who vaunted/ in their 
cups, of Guiana and the riches thereof. Berrio pre 
tended that messengers of his had actually reached 
Manoa, but Raleigh doubted the story (p. 209). If 
Raleigh believed, as he probably did, the story of the 
gold-besprinkled chieftain, he was not more credulous 
than more than one modern scientific authority. As for 
the people with eyes in their shoulders and mouths in 
the middle of their breasts, not only does a belief in 
these go back to Pliny and Herodotus, but even Sebas 
tian Munster s Cosmography, an illustrated geographical 
treatise popular throughout Europe in Raleigh s youth, 

Raleigh s Narrative. xlv 

contains a vigorous woodcut representing them. A 
familiar allusion in Othello to these fabulous men is 
usually supposed to have been suggested by Raleigh s 
narrative, but there is no reason for supposing it to 
have been taken from this source rather than from any 
other. Perhaps Raleigh s worst offence against candour 
is that although he knew perfectly well that the New 
Dorado at the mouth of the Orinoco was a different 
place from the country sought by the Spaniards for half 
a century under the name of El Dorado, he nevertheless 
calls to witness, by way of corroborating his own state 
ments as to the existence and boundless wealth of the 
latter, all the adventurers known to him by name who 
had been engaged in the quest of the former. Nor was 
it quite ingenuous to quote a long passage from Gomara, 
describing the wealth of the Apu-Capac-Incas of Cuzco, 
in support of the alleged wealth of Manoa, nor to 
persist in giving the Gilded Chief on the lower Orinoco 
the title of Inga or Inca. The fabled Inca fugitive, 
if he had existed, would have been found in Southern 
Peru or Northern Bolivia, on the very opposite side, that 
is, of the immense plain of the Amazon and its tribu 
taries to that formed by the mountains of Guiana. 

The complete failure of the Spanish expedition rather 
stimulated than extinguished Raleigh s hope of ultimate 
success a hope which afterwards inspired him during 
long years of imprisonment, and twenty years later 
precipitated his end. Himself now fully occupied in 
the naval war raging between England and Spain, he 
committed the further exploration of the New Dorado 
to his lieutenants. In view of the renewed activity of 
Spain on the Orinoco, and of the difficulties and dangers 

xlvi Introduction. 

now shown to be incident to an attempt to reach the 
New Dorado by this route, and following the clue 
obtained by Keymis, he now turned his attention to the 
Atlantic coast between the Orinoco and the Amazon 
rivers. In December, 1596, Leonard Berry sailed from 
Weymouth with instructions to pursue the investigation 
which Keymis had begun. Berry s information con 
firmed the story brought back by Keymis. Twenty 
days voyage up the Essequibo, and a portage of a day s 
journey beyond, would certainly bring the traveller to 
Lake Parima and the city of Manoa. From time to 
time Raleigh dispatched other captains to the coast of 
Guiana, but with no further results. Considered as 
a practical means of promoting the scheme of conquest, 
the Discovery of Guiana, when it issued from the press, 
was a failure. It evoked no response from Elizabeth, 
and no attention from the public. The writer of a 
turgid poem in blank verse, entitled De Guiana, Carmen 
Epicum, who signs himself G. C., and is generally 
identified with George Chapman, forms a solitary ex 
ception. This laboured performance, containing 184 
lines, and printed by Hakluyt as a preface to the voyage 
of Keymis, was evidently written to order, and doubtless 
liberally paid for. The poet anticipates from Raleigh s 
enterprise riches with honour and conquest without 
blood. The imaginary empire, personified as a beautiful 
woman, is represented, with extravagant imagery, as 
ready to make instant submission to England : 

Guiana, whose rich feet are mines of gold, 
Whose forehead knocks against the roof of stars, 
Stands on her tiptoe at fair England looking, 
Kissing her hand, bowing her mighty breast, 

Guiana in English Literature. xlvii 

And every sign of all submission making,- 
To be the sister and the daughter both 
Of our most sacred Maid. 

Although the poet s picture of the English queen rising 
from her throne, her ears and thoughts in steep amaze 
erect/ blessing the adventurous knight with her wonted 
grace, and dismissing him to convoy of his stars/ was 
not realized, the fabled Empire of Guiana sank deeply 
into the English mind, and there are many allusions to 
it in contemporary literature. Bishop Hall satirizes the 
adventurers who sought it : 

Vent rous Fortunio his farm hath sold, 
And gads to Guian land to fish for gold : 
Meeting, perhaps, if Orenoque deny, 
Some straggling pinnace of Polonian rye : 
Then comes home, floating with a silken sail, 
That Severn shaketh with his cannon peal. 

Book iv, Sat. 3. 

Donne compares Guiana s rarities with the fabled 
monsters of Africa. Drayton speaks of Manoa s mighty 
seat ; and Milton classes this fictitious city, the riches 
of which still awaited the European adventurer, with 
those which had already been despoiled by the 
Spaniards : 

Rich Mexico, the seat of Montezume, 
And Cuzco in Peru, the richer seat 
Of Atabalipa, and yet unspoil d 
Guiana, whose great city Geryon s sons 
Call El Dorado/ 

Paradise Lost, Book xi. 

Even while Milton was writing his poem, the French 
Jesuits had made a discovery which they supposed to 
be relevant to the story of El Dorado, and to put an 
end to this historical illusion. They had reached the 

xlviii Introduction. 

imaginary salt lake on the shore of which Manoa was 
said to stand. The valley at the head of the Parima 
river, near the northern frontier of Brazil, was found to 
be inundated during the rainy season. The saltness of 
the soil was communicated to the water, and the story 
of the great salt lake was now explained. They vainly 
explored the neighbourhood in quest of the Golden City. 
The search soon came to an end, and the rich empire 
of Guiana passed into the region of fable. Dutch and 
Spanish adventurers, however, were seeking for it as 
late as the middle of the last century, and Lake Parima, 
with the city of Manoa on its shore, retains its place on 
some maps of much later date. In England the quest 
of Manoa by way of the Orinoco was practically 
abandoned after 1596. Charles Leigh, who was com 
missioned to settle in Guiana in 1604, and Robert 
Harcourt, in 1608, landed on the Atlantic coast at 
some distance to the southward. Raleigh s expedition 
of 1616 was designed only to take possession of a gold 
mine supposed to exist a few miles above Santo Tome, 
tidings of which had been brought by Keymis in 1596. 
In a commission granted to Roger North for a colony 
in Guiana, a year after Raleigh s death, the Atlantic 
coast near the Amazon river is indicated as the site of 
the settlement. This commission was revoked in 1620 
consequently on a protest by the Spanish ambassador. 

The voyages of Cavendish, which have no special 
historical significance, require little comment. Both 
were what Raleigh contemptuously calls journeys of 
picory for the pillage of ordinary prizes (p. 171). Jane s 
narrative of the last voyage of course gives no informa 
tion of what befell Cavendish after losing company of 

Cavendish s Last Letter. xlix 

Davis on May 20, 1592. By way of supplying this 
deficiency, we have extracted from Purchases Pilgrims, 
and printed as an appendix, Cavendish s own account 
of his misadventures, written with his own hand in the 
form of a letter to the executor of his will, while the 
hand of death was already upon him. This unique and 
pathetic narrative requires only one remark. Cavendish 
was wrong in attributing to Davis an intention to desert 
him. Yet when his habitual jealousy and mistrust, even 
of his own ship s officers, is taken into account, it is 
easy to understand his drawing such a conclusion from 
the facts and circumstances; and in the bitterness of 
his soul the dying man doubtless found comfort in 
fixing some other person with the blame of his failure. 
There was no cant about Cavendish. Others, in a like 
situation, might have thought it a Christian duty formally 
to forgive that villain that hath been the death of me 
and the decay of this whole action/ Cavendish merely 
charges his executor to see that Davis reaps as little 
profit as possible from his supposed treachery. 

The portraits in this volume, that of Raleigh excepted, 
are reproductions from engravings in Holland s Herod- 
logta. That of Gilbert was almost certainly taken from 
the picture painted by the Queen s command previous 
to the sailing of the expedition of 1583 (see p. xv). 
Raleigh s portrait is from a miniature belonging to the 
Duke of Rutland, to whom, and to Mr. Stebbing, in 
whose Life of Raleigh this reproduction first appeared, 
we are indebted for permission to make use of it. 








GILBERT (b. 1539? d. 1583). 

APART from the designs on Spanish America above 
described, it was natural that Gilbert, whose treatise written 
to prove the existence of a North-West Passage had 
contributed in so important a degree to stimulate enter 
prise in that direction (see FIRST SERIES, page 84), should 
meditate the permanent occupation of the North American 
coasts. More than fifty years previously the Italian navi 
gator Verrazzano had explored these coasts and ascertained 
the continuity of the great land in the South named after 
Amerigo Vespucci with the New-land or Newfoundland 
of the Northmen. South America had now been occupied in 
many parts by the Spaniards and Portuguese : Newfound 
land, re-discovered by John Cabot in 1496 or 1497, was 
now annually resorted to by the fishermen of Spain, 
Portugal, France, and England. But the intermediate 
coast was as yet unoccupied by Europeans. The Spaniards 
had destroyed the French settlement in Florida, but for 
their own part had only built a single fort, not of very for 
midable aspect ; and from Florida to Nova Scotia a fruitful 
virgin soil invited the colonist. Verrazzano s voyages (FIRST 

II. B 

2 Gilbert. 

SERIES, p. xvi) had procured this coast the name of New 
France. But the intended French occupation had failed ; 
and this name was destined to be replaced in a few years 
by the English name of Virginia (post, p. 57). 

Sir Humfrey Gilbert s mother had married as her second 
husband a Devonshire gentleman named Walter Raleigh. 
Her youngest son, also named Walter Raleigh, was closely 
associated with Gilbert in his projects. Both Gilbert and 
Raleigh had studied cosmography at Oxford, and had become 
familiar with the history of the discovery and conquest of 
the New World; and no student of that history could believe 
that the destinies of the New World were unalterably fixed 
by the Papal grant to Spain. That grant, however, had 
been so long acquiesced in that it was not easy to dispute 
it, unless upon some new ground ; and accordingly an 
old story was revived with a new meaning. John Cabot, 
a Bristol seaman, had notoriously reached the mainland 
of America before Columbus himself. How far he had ex 
plored its coast is uncertain ; but it is extremely improbable 
that he went so far southward as the Hudson river. When 
the vast extent of North America became known, and its 
future importance as a field of colonization was obvious, it 
was confidently alleged that Cabot, or his son Sebastian, or 
both, had coasted the continent from Labrador to Florida, 
and had thus acquired for England a title which super 
seded that of Spain and France. Elizabeth s accession 
put an end to the Spanish connexion, and gave such ideas 
a new stimulus. After the voyage of Hawkins in 1564 
attention was more and more directed to these coasts. 
Tracts were written urging their occupation ; the exploits 
of Hawkins and Drake had gone far to prove its feasibility ; 
and funds were without difficulty raised for attempting it. 
The nakedness of the Spaniards, and their long-hidden 
secrets, whereby they went about to delude the world, 
wrote Hakluyt, in 1582, are now espied. England, it was 
urged, was overflowing with poor, who might be advan 
tageously planted in this new soil. If we would behold, 
Hakluyt goes on, with the eye of pity how all our prisons 
are pestered and filled with able men to serve their country, 

Gilbert. 3 

which for small robberies are daily hanged up in great 
numbers, even twenty at a clap out of one jail (as was 
seen at the last assizes at Rochester), we would hasten 
and further, every man to his power, the deducting of some 
colonies of our superfluous people into those temperate and 
fertile parts of America, which, being within six weeks 
sailing of England, are yet unpossessed by any Christians, 
and seem to offer themselves unto us, stretching nearer 
unto her Majesty s dominions than to any other part of 
Europe V Following the line then usual in pulpit argument, 
the enthusiastic divine supported this view by the analogy 
of nature and the practice of antiquity. Bees send forth 
swarmings from the old hive ; colonies were deducted 
in old times by the Greeks and the Carthaginians. Hakluyt 
pointed to the successful colonization of Portuguese America, 
due to the suggestion of De Barros, a man of learning like 
himself. Brazil was no longer a deserted coast. It had 
its nine baronies or lordships, containing thirty ingenios or 
sugar-mills, each employing two or three hundred slaves, 
and having its judge and other civil officers, its church 
and clergy. Why should not these little communities be 
reproduced elsewhere? An excellent learned man of 
Portugal had protested to Hakluyt that, were he but younger, 
he would sell all that he had to furnish a convenient number 
of ships for the colonization of these northern parts of 

When Hakluyt was writing thus, Gilbert had already 
procured a grant, in the usual form, of such lands in these 
parts as he should discover and occupy (June n, 1578). His 
first expedition sailed by the southern route in the same 
year (p. n), but was worsted in an engagement near 
Cape Verde, with a Spanish squadron, and sustained 
other disasters. Gilbert now returned to service in Ireland. 
Subsequently he procured the means of making another 
attempt, in which he intended to take the northern route : 
and in June, 1583, twelve months before the expiry 
of his patent, Gilbert sailed from Cawsand Bay with 
five vessels, with the general intention of occupying the 

1 Hakluyt, Dedication to Divers Voyages, pp. i, a. 
B 2 

4 Gilbert. 

northern parts of America, beginning with Newfoundland. 
It was the first colonizing expedition which left Great 
Britain ; and the narrative of the expedition by Hayes, who 
commanded one of the vessels, forms the first page in the 
history of English colonization. Gilbert did no more than go 
through the form of taking possession of St. John s, and the 
adjacent parts of the island of Newfoundland. When he 
crossed the Gulf of St. Lawrence to Cape Breton jmd 
Nova Scotia the season was far advanced ; the Delight, his 
largest vessel, struck on a shoal, and became a wreck ; all 
on board perished, including the Hungarian scholar Stephen 
Parmenius, who had come out as the historian of the expe 
dition ; most of the stores were lost, and the rest of the crews 
became utterly dispirited. Gilbert therefore resolved on 
sailing homeward, intending to return and prosecute his 
enterprise in the next spring. During a violent storm 
encountered in the longitude of the Azores, his little 
vessel sank in the darkness, and the pioneer of English 
colonization found a watery grave. Few passages in Eng 
lish story are better known than that part of the present 
narrative which describes Gilbert as sitting abaft on the 
deck of the Squirrel with a book in his hand, cheering 
those in the Hind by reiterating We are as near to heaven 
by sea as by land (p. 47). This aphorism is in substance 
taken from More s Utopia : possibly the book in his hand 
was Ralph Robinson s translation of More s tract \ The ill 
success of Gilbert s expeditiqnjriduced Raleigh to abandon 
the northward route ; and Amadas andBarlow. who were 
sent out by him to explore, sailed to the Chores intended 
to be occupied by the easier but more circuitous one of 
the Cangrip.s and the West- 

1 l Having customably in his mouth these sayings : he that hath no 
grave is. covered with the sky and the way to heaven out of all places is 
of like length and distance. (Arber s reprint, p. 30.) 


A REPORT of the VOYAGE and success thereof, attempted in the 
year of our Lord 1583, by SIR HUMFREY GILBERT, 
KNIGHT, with other gentlemen assisting him in that action, 
intended to discover and to plant Christian inhabitants in 
place convenient, upon those large and ample countries ex 
tended northward from the Cape of FLORIDA, lying under 
very temperate climes, esteemed fertile and rich in minerals, 
yet not in the actual possession of any Christian prince. 
Written by MR. EDWARD HAYES, gentleman, and principal 
actor in the same voyage , who alone continued unto the end, 
and, by God s special assistance, returned home with his 
retinue safe and entire. 

MANY voyages have been pretended, yet hitherto 
never any thoroughly accomplished by our nation, of 
exact discovery into the bowels of those main, ample, 
and vast countries extended infinitely into the north 
from thirty degrees, or rather from twenty-five degrees, 
of septentrional latitude, neither hath a right way been 
taken of planting a Christian habitation and regiment 2 
upon the same, as well may appear both by the little we 
yet do actually possess therein, and by our ignorance of 
the riches and secrets within those lands, which unto 
this day we know chiefly by the travel and report of 
other nations, and most of the French, who albeit they 
cannot challenge such right and interest unto the said 

1 Hayes was captain and owner of the Golden Hind, Gilbert s Rear- 
Admiral. 2 Government. 

6 Gilbert s Voyage. [1583 

countries as we, neither these many years have had 
opportunity nor means so great to discover and to plant, 
being vexed with the calamities of intestine wars, as 
we have had by the inestimable benefit of our long 
and happy peace, yet have they both ways performed 
more, and had long since attained a sure possession 
and settled government of many provinces in those 
northerly parts of America, if their many attempts into 
those foreign and remote lands had not been impeached 
by their garboils at home. 

The first discovery of these coasts, never heard of 
before, was well begun by John Cabot the father and 
Sebastian his son, an Englishman born, who were the 
first finders out of all that great tract of land stretching 
from the Cape of Florida unto those islands which we 
now call the Newfoundland] all which they brought and 
annexed unto the crown of England. Since when, if 
with like diligence the search of inland countries had 
been followed, as the discovery upon the coast and out- 
parts thereof was performed by those two men, no 
doubt her Majesty s territories and revenue had been 
mightily enlarged and advanced by this day ; and, 
which is more, the seed of Christian religion had been 
sowed amongst those pagans, which by this time might 
have brought forth a most plentiful harvest and copious 
congregation of Christians ; which must be the chief 
intent of such as shall make any attempt that way ; or 
else whatsoever is builded upon other foundation shall 
never obtain happy success nor continuance. 

And although we cannot precisely judge (which only 
belongeth to God) what have been the humours of men 
stirred up to great attempts of discovering and planting 
in those remote countries, yet the events do shew that 
either God s cause hath not been chiefly preferred by 
them, or else God hath not permitted so abundant grace 

1583] Motives to discovery. 7 

as the light of His word and knowledge of Him to be 
yet revealed unto those infidels before the appointed 
time. But most assuredly, the only cause of religion 
hitherto hath kept back, and will also bring forward at 
the time assigned by God, an effectual and complete 
discovery and possession by Christians both of those 
ample countries and the riches within them hitherto 
concealed; whereof, notwithstanding, God in His 
wisdom hath permitted to be revealed from time to 
time a certain obscure and misty knowledge, by little 
and little to allure the minds of men that way, which 
else will be dull enough in the zeal of His cause, and 
thereby to prepare us unto a readiness for the execution 
of His will, against the due time ordained of calling 
those pagans unto Christianity. 

In the meanwhile it behoveth every man of great 
calling, in whom is any instinct of inclination unto this 
attempt, to examine his own motions, which, if the 
same proceed of ambition or avarice, he may assure 
himself it cometh not of God, and therefore cannot 
have confidence of God s protection and assistance 
against the violence (else irresistible) both of sea and 
infinite perils upon the land ; whom God yet may use 
[as] an instrument to further His cause and glory some 
way, but not to build upon so bad a foundation. Other 
wise, if his motives be derived from a virtuous and 
heroical mind, preferring chiefly the honour of God, 
compassion of poor infidels captived by the devil, tyran 
nising in most wonderful and dreadful manner over 
their bodies and souls ; advancement of his honest and 
well-disposed countrymen, willing to accompany him in 
such honourable actions ; relief of sundry people within 
this realm distressed ; all these be honourable purposes, 
imitating the nature of the munificent God, wherewith 
He is well pleased, who will assist such an actor 

8 Gilbert s Voyage. [1583 

beyond expectation of man. And the same, who feeleth 
this inclination in himself, by all likelihood may hope, 
or rather confidently repose in the preordinance of 
God, that in this last age of the world (or likely never) 
the time is complete of receiving also these gentiles 
into His mercy, and that God will raise Him an instru 
ment to effect the same ; it seeming probable by event 
of precedent attempts made by the Spaniards and 
French sundry times, that the countries lying north of 
Florida God hath reserved the same to be reduced unto 
Christian civility by the English nation. For not long 
after that Christopher Columbus had discovered the 
islands and continent of the West Indies for Spain, 
John and Sebastian Cabot made discovery also of the 
rest from Florida northwards to the behoof of England. 

And whensoever afterwards the Spaniards, very 
prosperous in all their southern discoveries, did 
attempt anything into Florida and those regions inclin 
ing towards the north, they proved most unhappy, 
and were at length discouraged utterly by the hard 
and lamentable success of many both religious and 
valiant in arms, endeavouring to bring those northerly 
regions also under the Spanish jurisdiction, as if God 
had prescribed limits unto the Spanish nation which 
they might not exceed ; as by their own gests recorded 
may be aptly gathered. 

The French, as they can pretend less title unto these 
northern parts than the Spaniard, by how much the 
Spaniard made the first discovery of the same continent 
so far northward as unto Florida, and the French did 
but review that before discovered by the English 
nation, usurping upon our right, and imposing names 
upon countries, rivers, bays, capes, or headlands as if 
they had been the first finders of those coasts ; which 
injury we offered not unto the Spaniards, but left off to 

1583] England s right to North America. 9 

discover when we approached the Spanish limits ; 
even so God hath not hitherto permitted them to 
establish a possession permanent upon another s right, 
notwithstanding their manifold attempts, in which the 
issue hath been no less tragical than that of the 
Spaniards, as by their own reports is extant. 

Then, seeing the English nation only hath right unto 
these countries of America from the Cape of Florida 
northward by the privilege of first discovery, unto 
which Cabot was authorised by regal authority, and set 
forth by the expense of our late famous King Henry 
the Seventh; which right also seemeth strongly de 
fended on our behalf by the powerful hand of Almighty 
God withstanding the enterprises of other nations ; it 
may greatly encourage us upon so just ground, as is 
our right, and upon so sacred an intent, as to plant 
religion (our right and intent being meet foundations 
for the same), to prosecute effectually the full possession 
of those so ample and pleasant countries appertaining 
unto the crown of England] the same, as is to be 
conjectured by infallible arguments of the world s end 
approaching, being now arrived unto the time by God 
prescribed of their vocation, if ever their calling unto 
the knowledge of God may be expected. Which also 
is very probable by the revolution and course of God s 
word and religion, which from the beginning hath 
moved from the east towards, and at last unto, the 
west, where it is like to end, unless the same begin 
again where it did in the east, which were to expect 
a like world again. But we are assured of the contrary 
by the prophecy of Christ, whereby we gather that after 
His word preached thoroughout the world shall be the 
end. And as the Gospel when it descended westward 
began in the south, and afterward spread into the north 
of Europe] even so, as the same hath begun in the south 

io Gilbert s Voyage. [1583 

countries of America, no less hope may be gathered 
that it will also spread into the north. 

These considerations may help to suppress all dreads 
rising of hard events in attempts made this way by 
other nations, as also of the heavy success and issue 
in the late enterprise made by a worthy gentleman our 
countryman, Sir Humfrey Gilbert, Knight, who was 
the first of our nation that carried people to erect an 
habitation and government in those northerly countries 
of America. About which albeit he had consumed 
much substance, and lost his life at last, his people also 
perishing for the most part : yet the mystery thereof we 
must leave unto God, and judge charitably both of the 
cause, which was just in all pretence, and of the person, 
who was very zealous in prosecuting the same, deserving 
honourable remembrance for his good mind and expense 
of life in so virtuous an enterprise. Whereby neverthe 
less, lest any man should be dismayed by example of 
other folks calamity, and misdeem that God doth resist 
all attempts intended that way, I thought good, so far as 
myself was an eye-witness, to deliver the circumstance 
and manner of our proceedings in that action ; in which 
the gentleman was so unfortunately encumbered with 
wants, and worse matched with many ill-disposed people, 
that his rare judgment and regiment premeditated for 
those affairs was subjected to tolerate abuses, and in 
sundry extremities to hold on a course more to uphold 
credit than likely in his own conceit happily to succeed. 

The issue of such actions, being always miserable, not 
guided by God, who abhorreth confusion and disorder, 
hath left this for admonition, being the first attempt 
by our nation to plant, unto such as shall take the same 
cause in hand hereafter, not to be discouraged from it ; 
but to make men well advised how they handle His so 
high and excellent matters, as the carriage is of His 

1583] Gilbert s first attempt (1578). n 

word into those very mighty and vast countries. An 
action doubtless not to be intermeddled with base pur 
poses, as many have made the same but a colour to 
shadow actions otherwise scarce justifiable ; which doth 
excite God s heavy judgments in the end, to the terrify 
ing of weak minds from the cause, without pondering 
His just proceedings; and doth also incense foreign 
princes against our attempts, how just soever, who 
cannot but deem the sequel very dangerous unto their 
state (if in those parts we should grow to strength), 
seeing the very beginnings are entered with spoil. 

And with this admonition denounced upon zeal towards 
God s cause, also towards those in whom appeareth dis 
position honourable unto this action of planting Christian 
people and religion in those remote and barbarous nations 
of America (unto whom I wish all happiness), I will now 
proceed to make relation briefly, yet particularly, of our 
voyage undertaken with Sir Humfrey Gilbert, begun, 
continued, and ended adversely. 

When first Sir Humfrey Gilbert undertook the 
western discovery of America, and had procured from 
her Majesty a very large commission to inhabit and 
possess at his choice all remote and heathen lands not 
in the actual possession of any Christian prince, the 
same commission exemplified with many privileges, 
such as in his discretion he might demand, very many 
gentlemen of good estimation drew unto him, to associate 
him in so commendable an enterprise, so that the pre 
paration was expected to grow unto a puissant fleet, 
able to encounter a king s power by sea. Nevertheless, 
amongst a multitude of voluntary men, their dispositions 
were diverse, which bred a jar, and made a division in 
the end, to the confusion of that attempt even before the 
same was begun. And when the shipping was in 
a manner prepared, and men ready upon the coast to 

12 Gilbert s Voyage. [1583 

go aboard, at that time some brake consort, and followed 
courses degenerating from the voyage before pretended. 
Others failed of their promises contracted, and the 
greater number were dispersed, leaving the General 
with few of his assured friends, with whom he adven 
tured to sea; where, having tasted of no less misfortune, 
he was shortly driven to retire home with the loss of 
a tall ship and, more to his grief, of a valiant gentleman, 
Miles Morgan. 

Having buried, only in a preparation, a great mass of 
substance, whereby his estate was impaired, his mind 
yet not dismayed, he continued his former designment, 
and purposed to revive this enterprise, good occasion 
serving. Upon which determination standing long 
without means to satisfy his desire, at last he granted 
certain assignments out of his commission to sundry 
persons of mean ability, desiring the privilege of his 
grant, to plant and fortify in the north parts of America 
about the river of Canada ; to whom if God gave good 
success in the north parts (where then no matter of 
moment was expected), the same, he thought, would 
greatly advance the hope of the south, and be a further 
ance unto his determination that way. And the worst 
that might happen in that course might be excused, 
without prejudice unto him, by the former supposition 
that those north regions were of no regard. But chiefly, 
a possession taken in any parcel of those heathen 
countries, by virtue of his grant, did invest him of terri 
tories extending every way 200 leagues ; which induced 
Sir Humfrey Gilbert to make those assignments, desiring 
greatly their expedition, because his commission did 
expire after six years, if in that space he had not gotten 
actual possession 

Time went away without anything done by his assigns ; 
insomuch that at last he must resolve himself to take 

1583] The attempt renewed. 13 

a voyage in person, for more assurance to keep his 
patent in force, which then almost was expired or within 
two years. In furtherance of his determination, amongst 
others, Sir George Peckham, Knight, shewed himself 
very zealous to the action, greatly aiding him both by 
his advice and in the charge. Other gentlemen to their 
ability joined unto him, resolving to adventure their sub 
stance and lives in the same cause. Who beginning 
their preparation from that time, both of shipping, muni 
tion, victual, men, and things requisite, some of them 
continued the charge two years complete without inter 
mission. Such were the difficulties and cross accidents 
opposing these proceedings, which took not end in less 
than two years; many of which circumstances I will omit. 
The last place of our assembly, before we left the 
coast of England, was in Cawset Bay, near unto Ply 
mouth, then resolved to put unto the sea with shipping 
and provision such as we had, before our store yet 
remaining, but chiefly the time and season of the year, 
were too far spent. Nevertheless, it seemed first very 
doubtful by what way to shape our course, and to begin 
our intended discovery, either from the south northward 
or from the north southward. The first, that is, begin 
ning south, without all controversy was the likeliest; 
wherein we were assured to have commodity of the 
current which from the Cape of Florida setteth north 
ward, and would have furthered greatly our navigation, 
discovering from the foresaid cape along towards Cape 
Breton, and all those lands lying to the north. Also, the 
year being far spent, and arrived to the month of June, 
we were not to spend time in northerly courses, where 
we should be surprised with timely winter, but to covet 
the south, which we had space enough then to have 
attained, and there might with less detriment have 
wintered that season, being more mild and short in 

14 Gilbert s Voyage. [1583 

the south than in the north, where winter is both long 
and rigorous. These and other like reasons alleged in 
favour of the southern course first to be taken, to the 
contrary was inferred that forasmuch as both our victuals 
and many other needful provisions were diminished and 
left insufficient for so long a voyage and for the win 
tering of so many men, we ought to shape a course 
most likely to minister supply; and that was to take 
the Newfoundland in our way, which was but 700 leagues 
from our English coast. Where being usually at that 
time of the year, and until the fine of August, a multi 
tude of ships repairing thither for fish, we should be 
relieved abundantly with many necessaries, which, after 
the fishing ended, they might well spare and freely 
impart unto us. Not staying long upon that Newland 
coast, we might proceed southward, and follow still the 
sun, until we arrived at places more temperate to our 

By which reasons we were the rather induced to 
follow this northerly course, obeying unto necessity, 
which must be supplied. Otherwise, we doubted that 
sudden approach of winter, bringing with it continual 
fog and thick mists, tempest and rage of weather, also 
contrariety of currents descending from the Cape of 
Florida unto Cape Breton and Cape Race, would fall 
out to be great and irresistible impediments unto our 
further proceeding for that year, and compel us to 
winter in those north and cold regions. Wherefore, 
suppressing all objections to the contrary, we resolved 
to begin our course northward, and to follow, directly as 
we might, the trade way unto Newfoundland; from 
whence, after our refreshing and reparation of wants, 
we intended without delay, by God s permission, to 
proceed into the south, not omitting any river or bay 
which in all that large tract of land appeared to our 

1583] Orders for the fleet. 15 

view worthy of search. Immediately we agreed upon 
the manner of our course and orders to be observed 
in our voyage ; which were delivered in writing, unto 
the captains and masters of every ship a copy, in manner 

Every ship had delivered two bullets or scrolls, the 
one sealed up in wax, the other left open ; in both 
which were included several watchwords. That open, 
serving upon our own coast or the coast of Ireland ; 
the other sealed, was promised on all hands not to be 
broken up until we should be clear of the Irish coast ; 
which from thenceforth did serve until we arrived and 
met all together in such harbours of the Newfoundland! 
as were agreed for our rendezvous. The said watch 
words being requisite to know our consorts whensoever 
by night, either by fortune of weather, our fleet dispersed 
should come together again ; or one should hail an 
other ; or if by ill watch and steerage one ship should 
chance to fall aboard of another in the dark. 

The reason of the bullet sealed was to keep secret 
that watchword while we were upon our own coast, lest 
any of the company stealing from the fleet might bewray 
the same ; which known to an enemy, he might board us 
by night without mistrust, having our own watchword. 

ORDERS agreed upon by the CAPTAINS and MASTERS to 
be observed by the fleet of Sir HUMFREY GILBERT. 

FIRST, The Admiral to carry his flag by day, and his 
light by night. 

2. Item, if the Admiral shall shorten his sail by night, 
then to shew two lights until he be answered again 
by every ship shewing one light for a short time. 

3. Item, if the Admiral after his shortening of sail, 
as aforesaid, shall make more sail again ; then he to 
shew three lights one above another. 

4. Item, if the Admiral shall happen to hull in the 

1 6 Gilbert s Voyage. [1583 

night, then to make a wavering light over his other 
light, wavering the light upon a pole. 

5. Item, if the fleet should happen to be scattered by 
weather, or other mishap, then so soon as one shall 
descry another, to hoise both topsails twice, if the 
weather will serve, and to strike them twice again ; but 
if the weather serve not, then to hoise the maintopsail 
twice, and forthwith to strike it twice again. 

6. Item, if it shall happen a great fog to fall, then 
presently every ship to bear up with the Admiral, if 
there be wind ; but if it be a calm, then every ship 
to hull, and so to lie at hull till it clear. And if the fog 
do continue long, then the Admiral to shoot off two 
pieces every evening, and every ship to answer it with 
one shot ; and every man bearing to the ship that is to 
leeward so near as he may. 

7. Item, every master to give charge unto the watch 
to look out well, for laying aboard one of another in the 
night, and in fogs. 

8. Item, every evening every ship to hail the Admiral, 
and so to fall astern him, sailing thorough the ocean ; and 
being on the coast, every ship to hail him both morning 
and evening. 

9. Item, if any ship be in danger in any way, by leak 
or otherwise, then she to shoot off a piece, and presently 
to hang out one light ; whereupon every man to bear 
towards her, answering her with one light for a short 
time, and so to put it out again ; thereby to give know 
ledge that they have seen her token. 

10. Item, whensoever the Admiral shall hang out her 
ensign in the main shrouds, then every man to come 
aboard her as a token of counsel. 

11. Item, if there happen any storm or contrary wind 
to the fleet after the discovery, whereby they are sepa 
rated ; then every ship to repair unto their last good 
port, there to meet again. 

OUR COURSE agreed upon. 

THE course first to be taken for the discovery is to 
bear directly to Cape Race, the most southerly cape 
of Newfoundland ; and there to harbour ourselves either 
in Rogneux or Fermous, being the first places appointed 

1583] The Course agreed upon. 17 

for our rendezvous, and the next harbours unto the 
northward of Cape Race : and therefore every ship 
separated from the fleet to repair to that place so fast as 
God shall permit, whether you shall fall to the southward 
or to the northward of it, and there to stay for the meet 
ing of the whole fleet the space of ten days ; and when 
you shall depart, to leave marks. 

BEGINNING our course from Stilly, the nearest is by 
west-south-west (if the wind serve) until such time as we 
have brought ourselves in the latitude of 43 or 44 
degrees, because the ocean is subject much to southerly 
winds in June and July. Then to take traverse from 
45 to 47 degrees of latitude, if we be enforced by con 
trary winds ; and not to go to the northward of the 
height of 47 degrees of septentrional latitude by no 
means, if God shall not enforce the contrary ; but to do 
your endeavour to keep in the height of 46 degrees, 
so near as you can possibly, because Cape Race lieth 
about that height. 


IF by contrary winds we be driven back upon the 
coast of England, then to repair unto Stilly for a place 
of our assembly or meeting. If we be driven back by 
contrary winds that we cannot pass the coast of Ireland, 
then the place of our assembly to be at Bere haven or 
Baltimore haven. If we shall not happen to meet at 
Cape Race, then the place of rendez-vous to be at Cape 
Breton, or the nearest harbour unto the westward of 
Cape Breton. If by means of other shipping we may 
not safely stay there, then to rest at the very next safe 
port to the westward ; every ship leaving their marks 
behind them for the more certainty of the after comers 
to know where to find them. The marks that every 
man ought to leave in such a case, were of the General s 
private device written by himself, sealed also in close 
wax, and delivered unto every ship one scroll, which 
was not to be opened until occasion required, whereby 
every man was certified what to leave for instruction of 
after comers ; that every of us coming into any harbour 
or river might know who had been there, or whether 

i8 Gilbert s Voyage. [1583 

any were still there up higher into the river, or departed, 
and which way. 

Orders thus determined, and promises mutually given 
to be observed, every man withdrew himself unto his 
charge ; the anchors being already weighed, and our 
ships under sail, having a soft gale of wind, we began 
our voyage upon Tuesday, the n. day of June, in the 
year of our Lord 1583, having in our fleet (at our 
departure from Cawset Bay) these ships, whose names 
and burthens, with the names of the captains and masters 
of them, I have also inserted, as followeth : i. The 
Delight, alias the George, of burthen 120 tons, was 
Admiral ; in which went the General, and William 
Winter, captain in her and part owner, and Richard 
Clarke, master. 2. The bark Raleigh, set forth by 
Master Walter Raleigh, of the burthen of 200 tons, 
was then Vice- Admiral ; in which went Master Butler, 
captain, and Robert Davis, of Bristol, master. 3. The 
Golden Hind, of burthen 40 tons, was then Rear- Admiral ; 
in which went Edward Hayes, captain and owner, and 
William Cox, of Limehouse, master. 4. The Swallow, 
of burthen 40 tons ; in her was captain Maurice Browne. 
5. The Squirrel, of burthen 10 tons ; in which went 
captain William Andrews, and one Cade, master. We 
were in number in all about 260 men ; among whom we 
had of every faculty good choice, as shipwrights, masons, 
carpenters, smiths, and such like, requisite to such an 
action ; also mineral men and refiners. Besides, for 
solace of our people, and allurement of the savages, we 
were provided of music in good variety ; not omitting 
the least toys, as morris-dancers, hobby-horse, and 
May-like conceits to delight the savage people, whom 
we intended to win by all fair means possible. And 
to that end we were indifferently furnished of all petty 
haberdashery wares to barter with those simple people. 

1583] The fleet sails. 19 

In this manner we set forward, departing (as hath 
been said) out of Cawset Bay the n. day of June, being 
Tuesday, the weather and wind fair and good all day ; 
but a great storm of thunder and wind fell the same 
night. Thursday following, when we hailed one another 
in the evening, according to the order before specified, 
they signified unto us out of the Vice- Admiral, that both 
the captain, and very many of the men, were fallen sick. 
And about midnight the Vice-Admiral forsook us, not 
withstanding we had the wind east, fair and good. But 
it was after credibly reported that they were infected 
with a contagious sickness, and arrived greatly distressed 
at Plymouth ; the reason I could never understand. 
Sure I am, no cost was spared by their owner, Master 
Raleigh, in setting them forth ; therefore I leave it unto 
God. By this time we were in 48 degrees of latitude, 
not a little grieved with the loss of the most puissant 
ship in our fleet; after whose departure the Golden Hind 
succeeded in the place of Vice-Admiral, and removed 
her flag from the mizen into the foretop. From Satur 
day, the 15. of June, until the 28., which was upon 
a Friday, we never had fair day without fog or rain, 
and winds bad, much to the west-north-west, whereby 
we were driven southward unto 41 degrees scarce. 

About this time of the year the winds are commonly 
west towards the Newfoundland, keeping ordinarily 
within two points of west to the south or to the north; 
whereby the course thither falleth out to be long and 
tedious after June, which in March, April, and May, 
hath been performed out of England in 22 days and 
less. We had wind always so scant from west-north 
west, and from west-south-west again, that our traverse 
was great, running south unto 41 degrees almost, and 
afterwards north into 51 degrees. Also we were encum 
bered with much fog and mists in manner palpable, in 

C 2 

20 Gilbert s Voyage. [1583 

which we could not keep so well together, but were 
dissevered, losing the company of the Swallow and the 
Squirrel upon the 20. day of July, whom we met again 
at several places upon the Newfoundland coast the 3. of 
August, as shall be declared in place convenient. 
Saturday, the 27. July, we might descry, not far from 
us, as it were mountains of ice driven upon the sea, 
being then in 50 degrees, which were carried southward 
to the weather of us ; whereby may be conjectured that 
some current doth set that way from the north. 

Before we come to Newfoundland, about 50 leagues 
on this side, we pass the bank, which are high grounds 
rising within the sea and under water, yet deep enough 
and without danger, being commonly not less than 25 
and 30 fathom water upon them ; the same, as it were 
some vein of mountains within the sea, do run along 
and from the Newfoundland, beginning northward about 
52 or 53 degrees of latitude, and do extend into the 
south infinitely. The breadth of this bank is some 
where more, and somewhere less ; but we found the 
same about ten leagues over, having sounded both on 
this side thereof, and the other toward Newfoundland, 
but found no ground with almost 200 fathom of line, 
both before and after we had passed the bank. The 
Portugals, and French chiefly, have a notable trade 
of fishing upon this bank, where are sometimes an 
hundred or more sails of ships, who commonly begin 
the fishing in April, and have ended by July. That 
fish is large, always wet, having no land near to dry, 
and is called cod fish. During the time of fishing, 
a man shall know without sounding when he is upon 
the bank, by the incredible multitude of sea-fowl hover 
ing over the same, to prey upon the offals and garbage of 
fish thrown out by fishermen, and floating upon the sea. 

Upon Tuesday, the n. of June, we forsook the coast of 

!583] Newfoundland reached. 21 

England. So again [on] Tuesday, the 30. of July, seven \ 
weeks after, we got sight of land, being immediately f 
embayed in the Grand Bay, or some other great bay; \ 
the certainty whereof we could not judge, so great haze 
and fog did hang upon the coast, as neither we might 
discern the land well, nor take the sun s height. But by 
our best computation we were then in the 51 degrees of 
latitude. Forsaking this bay and uncomfortable coast 
(nothing appearing unto us but hideous rocks and 
mountains, bare of trees, and void of any green herb) 
we followed the coast to the south, with weather fair 
and clear. We had sight of an island named Penguin, 
of a fowl there breeding in abundance almost incredible, 
which cannot fly, their wings not able to carry their 
body, being very large (not much less than a goose) 
and exceeding fat, which the Frenchmen use to take 
without difficulty upon that island, and to barrel them 
up with salt. But for lingering of time, we had made 
us there the like provision. 

Trending this coast, we came to the island called 
Baccalaos, being not past two leagues from the main ; 
to the south thereof lieth Cape St. Francis, five leagues | 
distant from Baccalaos, between which goeth in a great 
bay, by the vulgar sort called the Bay of Conception. 
Here we met with the Swallow again, whom we had 
lost in the fog, and all her men altere4 into other 
apparel ; whereof it seemed their store was so amended, 
that for joy and congratulation of our meeting, they 
spared not to cast up into the air and overboard their 
caps and hats in good plenty. The captain, albeit 
himself was very honest and religious, yet was he not 
appointed of men to his humour and desert ; who for 
the most part were such as had been by us surprised 
upon the narrow seas of England, being pirates, and 
had taken at that instant certain Frenchmen laden, one 

22 Gilbert s Voyage. [1583 

bark with wines, and another with salt. Both which we 
rescued, and took the man-of-war with all her men, 
which was the same ship now called the Swallow ; 
following still their kind so oft as, being separated 
from the General, they found opportunity to rob and 
spoil. And because God s justice did follow the same 
company, even to destruction, and to the overthrow 
also of the captain (though not consenting to their 
misdemeanour) I will not conceal anything that maketh 
to the manifestation and approbation of His judgments, 
for examples of others; persuaded that God more 
sharply took revenge upon them, and hath tolerated 
longer as great outrage in others, by how much these 
went under protection of His cause and religion, which 
was then pretended. 

Therefore upon further enquiry it was known how 
this company met with a bark returning home after the 
fishing with his freight; and because the men in the 
Swallow were very near scanted of victuals, and chiefly 
of apparel, doubtful withal where or when to find and 
meet with their Admiral, they besought the captain 
that they might go aboard this Newlander, only to 
borrow what might be spared, the rather because the 
same was bound homeward. Leave given, not without 
charge to deal favourably, they came aboard the fisher 
man, whom they rifled of tackle, sails, cables, victuals, 
and the men of their apparel ; not sparing by torture, 
winding cords about their heads, to draw out else what 
they thought good. This done with expedition, like 
men skilful in such mischief, as they took their cock 
boat to go aboard their own ship, it was overwhelmed 
in the sea, and certain of these men there drowned ; 
the rest were preserved even by those silly souls whom 
they had before spoiled, who saved and delivered them 
aboard the Swallow. What became afterwards of the 

1583] S/. John s Harbour. 23 

poor Newlander, perhaps destitute of sails and furniture 
sufficient to carry them home, whither they had not 
less to run than 700 leagues, God alone knoweth ; who 
took vengeance not long after of the rest that escaped 
at this instant, to reveal the fact, and justify to the 
world God s judgments inflicted upon them, as shall 
be declared in place convenient. 

Thus after we had met with the Swallow, we held 
on our course southward, until we came against the 
harbour called St. John, about five leagues from the 
former Cape of St. Francis, where before the entrance 
into the harbour, we found also the frigate or Squirrel 
lying at anchor ; whom the English merchants, that 
were and always be Admirals by turns interchangeably 
over the fleets of fishermen within the same harbour, 
would not permit to enter into the harbour. Glad of 
so happy meeting, both of the Swallow and frigate in 
one day, being Saturday, the third of August, we made 
ready our fights 1 , and prepared to enter the harbour, 
any resistance to the contrary notwithstanding, there 
being within of all nations to the number of 36 sails. 
But first the General despatched a boat to give them 
knowledge of his coming for no ill intent, having com 
mission from her Majesty for his voyage he had in 
hand ; and immediately we followed with a slack gale, 
and in the very entrance, which is but narrow, not 
above two butts length 2 , the Admiral fell upon a rock 
on the larboard side by great oversight, in that the 
weather was fair, the rock much above water fast by 
the shore, where neither went any sea-gate 3 . But we 
found such readiness in the English merchants to help 
us in that danger, that without delay there were brought 
a number of boats, which towed off the ship, and cleared 
her of danger. 

1 See First Series, p. liii. 2 Bow-shot. 3 Current. 

24 Gilbert s Voyage. [1583 

Having taken place convenient in the road, we let 
fall anchors, the captains and masters repairing aboard 
our Admiral ; whither also came immediately the masters 
and owners of the fishing fleet of Englishmen, to under 
stand the General s intent and cause of our arrival 
there. They were all satisfied when the General had 
shewed his commission, and purpose to take possession 
of those lands to the behalf of the crown of England, 
and the advancement of the Christian religion in those 
paganish regions, requiring but their lawful aid for 
repairing of his fleet, and supply of some necessaries, 
so far as conveniently might be afforded him, both out 
of that and other harbours adjoining. In lieu whereof 
he made offer to gratify them with any favour and 
privilege, which upon their better advice they should 
demand, the like being not to be obtained hereafter 
for greater price. So craving expedition of his de 
mand, minding to proceed further south without long 
detention in those parts, he dismissed them, after 
promise given of their best endeavour to satisfy speedily 
his so reasonable request. The merchants with their 
masters departed, they caused forthwith to be discharged 
all the great ordnance of their fleet in token of our 

It was further determined that every ship of our 
fleet should deliver unto the merchants and masters of 
that harbour a note of all their wants : which done, the 
ships, as well English as strangers, were taxed at an 
easy rate to make supply. And besides, commissioners 
were appointed, part of our own company and part of 
theirs, to go into other harbours adjoining (for our 
English merchants command all there) to levy our 
provision : whereunto the Portugals, above other nations, 
did most willingly and liberally contribute. In so much 
as we were presented, above our allowance, with wines, 

1583] Reception by the fishing fleet. 25 

marmalades, most fine rusk 1 or biscuit, sweet oils, and 
sundry delicacies. Also we wanted not of fresh salmons, 
trouts, lobsters, and other fresh fish brought daily unto 
us. Moreover as the manner is in their fishing, every 
week to choose their Admiral anew, or rather they 
succeed in orderly course, and have weekly their 
Admiral s feast solemnized : even so the General, 
captains, and masters of our fleet were continually 
invited and feasted. To grow short, in our abundance 
at home the entertainment had been delightful ; but 
after our wants and tedious passage through the ocean, 
it seemed more acceptable and of greater contentation, 
by how much the same was unexpected in that desolate 
corner of the world ; where, at other times of the 
year, wild beasts and birds have only the fruition of 
all those countries, which now seemed a place very 
populous and much frequented. 

The next morning being Sunday, and the fourth of 
August, the General and his company were brought on 
land by English merchants, who shewed unto us their 
accustomed walks unto a place they call the Garden. 
But nothing appeared more than nature itself without 
art: who confusedly hath brought forth roses abundantly, 
wild, but odoriferous, and to sense very comfortable. 
Also the like plenty of rasps-berries, which do grow in 
every place. 

Monday following, the General had his tent set up ; 
who, being accompanied with his own followers, sum 
moned the merchants and masters, both English and 
strangers, to be present at his taking possession of 
those countries. Before whom openly was read, and 
interpreted unto the strangers, his commission : by 
virtue whereof he took possession in the same harbour 
of St. John, and 200 leagues every way, invested the 

1 Rusk (Sp. rosca) = ship s biscuit. 

2,6 Gilbert s Voyage. [1583 

Queen s Majesty with the title and dignity thereof, had 
delivered unto him, after the custom of England, a rod, 
and a turf of the same soil, entering possession also for 
him, his heirs and assigns for ever ; and signified unto 
all men, that from that time forward, they should take 
the same land as a territory appertaining to the Queen 
of England, and himself authorised under her Majesty 
to possess and enjoy it, and to ordain laws for the 
government thereof, agreeable, so near as conveniently 
might be, unto the laws of England, under which all 
people coming thither hereafter, either to inhabit, or 
by way of traffic, should be subjected and governed. 
And especially at the same time for a beginning, he 
proposed and delivered three laws to be in force 
immediately. That is to say : the first for religion, 
which in public exercise should be according to the 
Church of England. The second, for maintenance of 
her Majesty s right and possession of those territories, 
against which if any thing were attempted prejudicial, 
the party or parties offending should be adjudged and 
executed as in case of high treason, according to the 
laws of England. The third, if any person should 
utter words sounding to the dishonour of her Majesty, 
he should lose his ears, and have his ship and goods 

These contents published, obedience was promised 
by general voice and consent of the multitude, as well 
of Englishmen as strangers, praying for continuance 
of this possession and government begun ; after this, 
the assembly was dismissed. And afterwards were 
erected not far from that place the arms of England 
engraven in lead, and infixed upon a pillar of wood. 
Yet further and actually to establish this possession 
taken in the right of her Majesty, and to the behoof 
of Sir Humfrey Gilbert, knight, his heirs and assigns 

1583] Gilbert takes possession. 27 

for ever, the General granted in fee-farm divers parcels 
of land lying by the water-side, both in this harbour 
of St. John, and elsewhere, which was to the owners 
a great commodity, being thereby assured, by their 
proper inheritance, of grounds convenient to dress and 
to dry their fish ; whereof many times before they did 
fail, being prevented by them that came first into the 
harbour. For which grounds they did covenant to pay 
a certain rent and service unto Sir Humfrey Gilbert, 
his heirs or assigns for ever, and yearly to maintain 
possession of the same, by themselves or their assigns. 

Now remained only to take in provision granted, 
according as every ship was taxed, which did fish upon 
the coast adjoining. In the meanwhile, the General 
appointed men unto their charge : some to repair and 
trim the ships, others to attend in gathering together 
our supply and provisions : others to search the com 
modities and singularities of the country, to be found 
by sea or land, and to make relation unto the General 
what either themselves could know by their own travail 
and experience, or by good intelligence of Englishmen 
or strangers, who had longest frequented the same 
coast. Also some observed the elevation of the pole, 
and drew plots of the country exactly graded. And by 
that I could gather by each man s several relation, 
I have drawn a brief description of the Newfoundland, 
with the commodities by sea or land already made, and 
such also as are in possibility and great likelihood to 
be made. Nevertheless the cards and plots that were 
drawn, with the due gradation of the harbours, bays, 
and capes, did perish with the Admiral : wherefore in 
the description following, I must omit the particulars of 
such things. 

That which we do call the Newfoundland, and the 
Frenchmen Baccalaos, is an island, or rather, after the 

28 Gilbert s Voyage. [1583 

opinion of some, it consisteth of sundry islands and 
broken lands, situate in the north regions of America, 
upon the gulf and entrance of a .great river called 
St. Lawrence in Canada ; into the which, navigation 
may be made both on the south and north side of this 
island. The land lieth south and north, containing in 
length between 300 and 400 miles, accounting from 
Cape Race, which is in 46 degrees 25 minutes, unto 
the Grand Bay in 52 degrees, of septentrional latitude. 
The land round about hath very many goodly bays and 
harbours, safe roads for ships, the like not to be found 
in any part of the known world. 

The common opinion that is had of intemperature 
and extreme cold that should be in this country, as of 
some part it may be verified, namely the north, where 
I grant it is more cold than in countries of Europe, 
which are under the same elevation : even so it cannot 
stand with reason and nature of the clime, that the 
south parts should be so intemperate as the bruit hath 
gone. For as the same do lie under the climes of 
Brctagne, Anjou, Poictou in France, between 46 and 
49 degrees, so can they not so much differ from the 
temperature of those countries : unless upon the out- 
coast lying open unto the ocean and sharp winds, it 
must indeed be subject to more cold than further 
within the land, where the mountains are interposed 
as walls and bulwarks, to defend and to resist the 
asperity and rigour of the sea and weather. Some 
hold opinion that the Newfoundland might be the more 
subject to cold, by how much it lieth high and near 
unto the middle region. I grant that not in Newfound 
land alone, but in Germany, Italy and Afric, even under 
the equinoctial line, the mountains are extreme cold, 
and seldom uncovered of snow, in their culm and 
highest tops, which cometh to pass by the same reason 

1583] Climate of Newfoundland. 29 

that they are extended towards the middle region : yet 
in the countries lying beneath them, it is found quite 
contrary. Even so, all hills having their descents, the 
valleys also and low grounds must be likewise hot or 
temperate, as the clime doth give in Newfoundland: 
though I am of opinion that the sun s reflection is much 
cooled, and cannot be so forcible in Newfoundland, nor 
generally throughout America, as in Europe or Afric : 
by how much the sun in his diurnal course from east 
to west, passeth over, for the most part, dry land and 
sandy countries, before he arriveth at the west of 
Europe or Afric, whereby his motion increaseth heat, with 
little or no qualification by moist vapours. Where[as^, 
on the contrary, he passeth from Europe and Afric unto 
America over the ocean, from whence he draweth and 
carrieth with him abundance of moist vapours, which 
do qualify and enfeeble greatly the sun s reverberation 
upon this country chiefly of Newfoundland, being so 
much to the northward. Nevertheless, as I said before, 
the cold cannot be so intolerable under the latitude of 
46, 47, and 48, especial within land, that it should be 
unhabitable, as some do suppose, seeing also there are 
very many people more to the north by a great deal. 
And in these south parts there be certain beasts, ounces 
or leopards, and birds in like manner, which in the 
summer we have seen, not heard of in countries of 
extreme and vehement coldness. Besides, as in the 
months of June, July, August and September, the heat 
is somewhat more than in England at those seasons : 
so men remaining upon the south parts near unto Cape 
Race, until after holland-tide , have not found the cold 
so extreme, nor much differing from the temperature 
of England. Those which have arrived there after No 
vember and December have found the snow exceeding 
1 All-hallow-tide (November i). 

30 Gilbert s Voyage. [1583 

deep, whereat no marvel, considering the ground upon 
the coast is rough and uneven, and the snow is driven 
into the places most declining, as the like is to 
be seen with us. The like depth of snow happily 
shall not be found within land upon the plainer 
countries, which also are defended by the mountains, 
breaking off the violence of winds and weather. But 
admitting extraordinary cold in those south parts, 
above that with us here, it cannot be so great as in 
Swedeland, much less in Moscovia or Russia : yet are 
the same countries very populous, and the rigour of 
cold is dispensed with by the commodity of stoves, 
warm clothing, meats and drinks : all of which need 
not to be wanting in the Newfoundland, if we had 
intent there to inhabit. 

In the south parts we found no inhabitants, which by 
all likelihood have abandoned those coasts, the same 
being so much frequented by Christians ; but in the 
north are savages altogether harmless. Touching the 
commodities of this country, serving either for sus- 
tentation of inhabitants or for maintenance of traffic, 
there are and may be made divers ; so that it seemeth 
that nature hath recompensed that only defect and in- 
commodity of some sharp cold, by many benefits; 
namely, with incredible quantity, and no less variety, of 
kinds of fish in the sea and fresh waters, as trouts, 
salmons, and other fish to us unknown ; also cod, which 
alone draweth many nations thither, and is become the 
most famous fishing of the world ; abundance of whales, 
for which also is a very great trade in the bays of 
Placentia and the Grand Bay, where is made train oil 
of the whale ; herring, the largest that have been heard 
of, and exceeding the Marstrand herring of Norway, 
but hitherto was never benefit taken of the herring 
fishing. There are sundry other fish very delicate, 

1583] Commodities of Newfoundland. 31 

namely, the bonito, lobsters, turbot, with others infinite 
not sought after; oysters having pearl but not orient 
in colour ; I took it, by reason they were not gathered 
in season. 

Concerning the inland commodities, as well to be 
drawn from this land, as from the exceeding large 
countries adjoining, there is nothing which our east and 
northerly countries of Europe do yield, but the like 
also may be made in them as plentifully, by time and 
industry ; namely, resin, pitch, tar, soap-ashes, deal- 
board, masts for ships, hides, furs, flax, hemp, corn, 
cables, cordage, linen cloth, metals, and many more. 
All which the countries will afford, and the soil is apt 
to yield. The trees for the most in those south parts 
are fir-trees, pine, and cypress, all yielding gum and 
turpentine. Cherry trees bearing fruit no bigger than 
a small pease. Also pear-trees, but fruitless. Other 
trees of some sort to us unknown. The soil along the 
coast is not deep of earth, bringing forth abundantly 
peasen small, yet good feeding for cattle. Roses 
passing sweet, like unto our musk roses in form ; 
raspises ; a berry which we call whorts, good and 
wholesome to eat. The grass and herb doth fat sheep 
in very short space, proved by English merchants which 
have carried sheep thither for fresh victual and had 
them raised exceeding fat in less than three weeks. 
Peasen which our countrymen have sown in the time 
of May, have come up fair, and been gathered in the 
beginning of August, of which our General had a present 
acceptable for the rareness, being the first fruits coming 
up by art and industry in that desolate and dishabited 
land. Lakes or pools of fresh water, both on the tops 
of mountains and in the valleys ; in which are said to 
be muscles not unlike to have pearl, which I had put 
in trial, if by mischance falling unto me I had not been 

32 Gilbert s Voyage. [1583 

letted from that and other good experiments I was 
minded to make. Fowl both of water and land in great 
plenty and diversity. All kind of green fowl ; others 
as big as bustards, yet not the same. A great white 
fowl called of some a gaunt. Upon the land divers 
sorts of hawks, as falcons, and others by report. 
Partridges most plentiful, larger than ours, grey and 
white of colour, and rough-footed like doves, which 
our men after one flight did kill with cudgels, they 
were so fat and unable to fly. Birds, some like black 
birds, linnets, canary birds, and other very small. 
Beasts of sundry kinds ; red deer, buffles, or a beast 
as it seemeth by the tract and foot very large, in manner 
of an ox. Bears, ounces or leopards, some greater and 
some lesser ; wolves, foxes, which to the northward 
a little further are black, whose fur is esteemed in some 
countries of Europe very rich. Otters, beavers, marterns ; 
and in the opinion of most men that saw it, the General 
had brought unto him a sable alive, which he sent unto 
his brother, Sir John Gilbert, Knight, of Devonshire, 
but it was never delivered, as after I understood. We 
could not observe the hundredth part of creatures in 
those unhabited lands ; but these mentioned may induce 
us to glorify the magnificent God, who hath super 
abundantly replenished the earth with creatures serving 
for the use of man, though man hath not used the fifth 
part of the same, which the more doth aggravate the 
fault and foolish sloth in many of our nation, choosing 
rather to live indirectly, and very miserably to live and 
die within this realm pestered with inhabitants, than to 
adventure as becometh men, to obtain an habitation in 
those remote lands, in which nature very prodigally 
doth minister unto men s endeavours, and for art to 
work upon. For besides these already recounted and 
infinite more, the mountains generally make shew of 

1583] Metals of Newfoundland. 33 

mineral substance ; iron very common, lead, and some 
where copper. I will not aver of richer metals ; albeit 
by the circumstances following, more than hope may 
be conceived thereof. 

For amongst other charges given to enquire out the 
singularities of this country, the General was most 
curious in the search of metals, commanding the 
mineral-man and refiner especially to be diligent. The 
same was a Saxon * born, honest, and religious, named 
Daniel. Who after search brought at first some sort 
of ore, seeming rather to be iron than other metal. 
The next time he found ore, which with no small show 
of contentment he delivered unto the General, using 
protestation that if silver were the thing which might 
satisfy the General and his followers, there it was, 
advising him to seek no further ; the peril whereof he 
undertook upon his life (as dear unto him as the crown 
of England unto her Majesty, that I may use his own 
words) if it fell not out accordingly. 

Myself at this instant liker to die than to live, by 
a mischance, could not follow this confident opinion of 
our refiner to my own satisfaction ; but afterward 
demanding our General s opinion therein, and to have 
some part of the ore, he replied, Content yourself, I have 
seen enough ; and were it but to satisfy my private humour, 
I would proceed no further. The promise unto my friends, 
and necessity to bring also the south countries within 
compass of my patent near expired, as we have already 
done these north parts, do only persuade me further. And 
touching the ore, I have sent it aboard, whereof I would 
have no speech to be made so long as we remain within 
harbour; here being both Portugals, Biscay ans, and 
Frenchmen, not far off, from whom must be kept any 
bruit or muttering of such matter. When we are at sea, 

1 Probably from the mining district of Lower Saxony. 
II. D 

34 Gilbert s Voyage. [1583 

proof shall be made ; if it be our desire, we may return 
the sooner hither again. Whose answer I judged reason 
able, and contenting me well ; wherewith I will conclude 
this narration and description of the Newfoundland, 
and proceed to the rest of our voyage, which ended 

While the better sort of us were seriously occupied 
in repairing our wants, and contriving of matters for 
the commodity of our voyage, others of another sort 
and disposition were plotting of mischief ; some casting 
to steal away our shipping by night, watching op 
portunity by the General s and captains lying on the 
shore; whose conspiracies discovered, they were pre 
vented. Others drew together in company, and carried 
away out of the harbours adjoining a ship laden with 
fish, setting the poor men on shore. A great many 
more of our people stole into the woods to hide them 
selves, attending time and means to return home by 
such shipping as daily departed from the coast. Some 
were sick of fluxes, and many dead ; and in brief, by 
one means or other our company was diminished, and 
many by the General licensed to return home. In 
somuch as after we had reviewed our people, resolved 
to see an end of our voyage, we grew scant of men to 
furnish all our shipping ; it seemed good therefore unto 
the General to leave the Swallow with such provision 
as might be spared for transporting home the sick 

The captain of the Delight, or Admiral, returned 
into England, in whose stead was appointed captain 
Maurice Browne, before captain of the Swallow ; who 
also brought with him into the Delight all his men of 
the Swallow, which before have been noted of outrage 
perpetrated and committed upon fishermen there met 
at sea. 

1583] Exploration of the coasts. 35 

The General made choice to go in his frigate the 
Squirrel, whereof the captain also was amongst them 
that returned into England , the same frigate being 
most convenient to discover upon the coast, and to 
search into every harbour or creek, which a great ship 
could not do. Therefore the frigate was prepared with 
her nettings and fights, and overcharged with bases 
and such small ordnance, more to give a show, than 
with judgment to foresee unto the safety of her and 
the men, which afterward was an occasion also of their 

Now having made ready our shipping, that is to say, 
the Delight^ the Golden Hind, and the Squirrel, we put 
aboard our provision, which was wines, bread or rusk, 
fish wet and dry, sweet oils, besides many other, as 
marmalades, figs, limons barrelled, and such like. Also 
we had other necessary provisions for trimming our 
ships, nets and lines to fish withal, boats or pinnaces 
fit for discovery. In brief, we were supplied of our 
wants commodiously, as if we had been in a country or 
some city populous and plentiful of all things. 

We departed from this harbour of St. John s upon 
Tuesday, the 20. of August, which we found by exact 
observation to be in 47 degrees 40 minutes ; and the 
next day by night we were at Cape Race, 25 leagues 
from the same harborough. This cape lieth south- 
south-west from St. John s; it is a low land, being off 
from the cape about half a league ; within the sea 
riseth up a rock against the point of the cape, which 
thereby is easily known. It is in latitude 46 degrees 
25 minutes. Under this cape we were becalmed a small 
time, during which we laid out hooks and lines to take 
cod, and drew in less than two hours fish so large and 
in such abundance, that many days after we fed upon no 
other provision. From hence we shaped our course 

D 2 

36 Gilbert s Voyage. [1583 

unto the island of Sab/on, if conveniently it would so 
fall out, also directly to Cape Breton. 

Sablon lieth to the seaward of Cape Breton about 
25 leagues, whither we were determined to go upon 
intelligence we had of a Portugal, during our abode in 
St. John s, who was himself present when the Portugals, 
above thirty years past, did put into the same island 
both neat and swine to breed, which were since ex 
ceedingly multiplied. This seemed unto us very happy 
tidings, to have in an island lying so near unto the 
main, which we intended to plant upon, such store of 
cattle, whereby we might at all times conveniently be 
relieved of victual, and served of store for breed. 

In this course we trended along the coast, which 
from Cape Race stretcheth into the north-west, making 
a bay which some called Trepassa 1 . Then it goeth 
out again towards the west, and maketh a point, which 
with Cape Race lieth in manner east and west. But 
this point inclineth to the north, to the west of which 
goeth in the Bay of Placentia. We sent men on land 
to take view of the soil along this coast, whereof they 
made good report, and some of them had will to be 
planted there. They saw pease growing in great 
abundance everywhere. 

The distance between Cape Race and Cape Breton 
is 87 leagues ; in which navigation we spent eight days, 
having many times the wind indifferent good, yet could 
we never attain sight of any land all that time, seeing 
we were hindered by the current. At last we fell into 
such flats and dangers, that hardly any of us escaped ; 
where nevertheless we lost our Admiral 2 with all the 
men and provisions, not knowing certainly the place. 

1 From the Bale des Trepasses at the Pointe du Raz in Brittany, 
from which Cape Race itself is named. 
3 The Delight. 

1583] Course to Cape Breton abandoned. 37 

Yet for inducing men of skill to make conjecture, by 
our course and way we held from Cape Race thither, 
that thereby the flats and dangers may be inserted in 
sea cards, for warning to others that may follow the 
same course hereafter, I have set down the best 
reckonings that were kept by expert men, William Cox, 
Master of the Hind, and John Paul, his mate, both 
of Limehouse. . . . Our course we held in clearing us of 
these flats was east-south-east, and south-east, and 
south, fourteen leagues, with a marvellous scant wind. 

Upon Tuesday, the 27. of August, toward the 
evening, our General caused them in his frigate to 
sound, who found white sand at 35 fathom, being then 
in latitude about 44 degrees. Wednesday, toward 
night, the wind came south, and we bare with the land 
all that night, west-north-west, contrary to the mind of 
Master Cox ; nevertheless we followed the Admiral, 
deprived of power to prevent a mischief, which by no 
contradiction could be brought to hold another course, 
alleging they could not make the ship to work better, 
nor to lie otherways. The evening was fair and pleasant, 
yet not without token of storm to ensue, and most part 
of this Wednesday night, like the swan that singeth 
before her death, they in the Admiral, or Delight, 
continued in sounding of trumpets, with drums and 
fifes ; also winding the cornets and hautboys, and in 
the end of their jollity, left with the battle and ringing of 
doleful knells. Towards the evening also we caught in 
the Golden Hind a very mighty porpoise with a harping 
iron, having first stricken divers of them, and brought 
away part of their flesh sticking upon the iron, but could 
recover only that one. These also, passing through the 
ocean in herds, did portend storm. I omit to recite 
frivolous reports by them in the frigate, of strange voices 
the same night, which scared some from the helm. 

38 Gilbert s Voyage. [1583 

Thursday, the 29. of August, the wind rose, and blew 
vehemently at south and by east, bringing withal rain 
and thick mist, so that we could not see a cable length 
before us ; and betimes in the morning we were alto 
gether run and folded in amongst flats and sands, 
amongst which we found shoal and deep in every three 
or four ships* length, after we began to sound : but 
first we were upon them unawares, until Master Cox 
looking out, discerned, in his judgment, white cliffs, 
crying Land! withal ; though we could not afterward 
descry any land, it being very likely the breaking of 
the sea white, which seemed to be white cliffs, through 
the haze and thick weather. 

Immediately tokens were given unto the Delight, to 
cast about to seaward, which, being the greater ship, 
and of burthen 120 tons, was yet foremost upon the 
breach, keeping so ill watch, that they knew not the 
danger, before they felt the same, too late to recover it ; 
for presently the Admiral struck aground, and had soon 
after her stern and hinder parts beaten in pieces ; 
whereupon the rest (that is to say, the frigate, in which 
was the General, and the Golden Hind) cast about east- 
south-east, bearing to the south, even for our lives, 
into the wind s eye, because that way carried us to the 
seaward. Making out from this danger, we sounded 
one while seven fathom, then five fathom, then four 
fathom and less, again deeper, immediately four fathom, 
then but three fathom, the sea going mightily and high. 
At last we recovered, God be thanked, in some despair, 
to sea room enough. 

In this distress, we had vigilant eye unto the Admiral, 
whom we saw cast away, without power to give the 
men succour, neither could we espy any of the men 
that leaped overboard to save themselves, either in the 
same pinnace, or cock, or upon rafters, and such like 

1583] Wreck of the Delight 39 

means presenting themselves to men in those extremi 
ties, for we desired to save the men by every possible 
means. But all in vain ; sith God had determined 
their ruin ; yet all that day, and part of the next, we 
beat up and down as near unto the wrack as was 
possible for us, looking out if by good hap we might 
espy any of them. 

This was a heavy and grievous event, to lose at one 
blow our chief ship freighted with great provision, 
gathered together with much travail, care, long time, 
and difficulty; but more was the loss of our men, 
which perished to the number almost of a hundred 
souls. Amongst whom was drowned a learned man, 
a Hungarian \ born in the city of Buda, called thereof 
Budceus, who, of piety and zeal to good attempts, adven 
tured in this action, minding to record in the Latin 
tongue the gests and things worthy of remembrance, 
happening in this discovery, to the honour of our 
nation, the same being adorned with the eloquent style 
of this orator and rare poet of our time. 

Here also perished our Saxon refiner and discoverer 
of inestimable riches, as it was left amongst some of us 
in undoubted hope. No less heavy was the loss of the 
captain, Maurice Brown, a virtuous, honest, and discreet 
gentleman, overseen only in liberty given late before 
to men that ought to have been restrained, who showed 
himself a man resolved, and never unprepared for 
death, as by his last act of this tragedy appeared, by 
report of them that escaped this wrack miraculously, as 
shall be hereafter declared. For when all hope was 
past of recovering the ship, and that men began to 
give over, and to save themselves, the captain was 
advised before to shift also for his life, by the pinnace 

1 Stephen Parmenius. 

40 Gilbert s Voyage. [1583 

at the stern of the ship ; but refusing that counsel, he 
would not give example with the first to leave the ship, 
but used all means to exhort his people not to despair, 
nor so to leave off their labour, choosing rather to die 
than to incur infamy by forsaking his charge, which 
then might be thought to have perished through his 
default, showing- an ill precedent unto his men, by 
leaving the ship first himself. With this mind he 
mounted upon the highest deck, where he attended 
imminent death, and unavoidable ; how long, I leave it 
to God, who withdraweth not his comfort from his 
servants at such times. 

In the mean season, certain, to the number of four 
teen persons, leaped into a small pinnace, the bigness of 
a Thames barge, which was made in the Newfoundland, 
cut off the rope wherewith it was towed, and committed 
themselves to God s mercy, amidst the storm, and rage 
of sea and winds, destitute of food, not so much as 
a drop of fresh water. The boat seeming overcharged 
in foul weather with company, Edward Headly, a valiant 
soldier, and well reputed of his company, preferring 
the greater to the lesser, thought better that some of 
them perished than all, made this motion, to cast lots, 
and them to be thrown overboard upon whom the lots 
fell, thereby to lighten the boat, which otherways seemed 
impossible to live, [and] offered himself with the first, 
content to take his adventure gladly : which neverthe 
less Richard Clarke, that was master of the Admiral, and 
one of this number, refused, advising to abide God s 
pleasure, who was able to save all, as well as a few. 
The boat was carried before the wind, continuing six 
days and nights in the ocean, and arrived at last with 
the men, alive, but weak, upon the Newfoundland, 
saving that the foresaid Headly, who had been late sick, 
and another called of us Brazil, of his travel into those 

1583] Reasons for returning, 41 

countries, died by the way, famished, and less able to 
hold out than those of better health. . . . Thus whom 
God delivered from drowning, he appointed to be 
famished; who doth give limits to man s times, and 
ordaineth the manner and circumstance of dying : whom, 
again, he will preserve, neither sea nor famine can 
confound. For those that arrived upon the Newfound 
land were brought into France by certain Frenchmen, 
then being upon the coast. 

After this heavy chance, we continued in beating the 
sea up and down, expecting when the weather would 
clear up that we might yet bear in with the land, which 
we judged not far off either the continent or some 
island. For we many times, and in sundry places 
found ground at 50, 45, 40 fathoms, and less. The 
ground coming upon our lead, being sometime oozy 
sand and other while a broad shell, with a little sand 
about it. 

Our people lost courage daily after this ill success, 
the weather continuing thick and blustering, with in 
crease of cold, winter drawing on, which took from them 
all hope of amendment, settling an assurance of worse 
weather to grow upon us every day. The leeside of 
us lay full of flats and dangers, inevitable if the wind 
blew hard at south. Some again doubted we were 
ingulfed in the Bay of St. Lawrence, the coast full of 
dangers, and unto us unknown. But above all, pro 
vision waxed scant, and hope of supply was gone with 
loss of our Admiral. Those in the frigate were already 
pinched with spare allowance, and want of clothes 
chiefly : whereupon they besought the General to 
return to England, before they all perished. And to 
them of the Golden Hind they made signs of distress, 
pointing to their mouths, and to their clothes thin and 
ragged : then immediately they also of the Golden Hind 

42 Gilbert s Voyage. [1583 

grew to be of the same opinion and desire to return 

The former reasons having also moved the General 
to have compassion of his poor men, in whom he saw 
no want of good will, but of means fit to perform the 
action they came for, [he] resolved upon retire : and 
calling the captain and master of the Hind, he yielded 
them many reasons, enforcing this unexpected return, 
withal protesting himself greatly satisfied with that he 
had seen and knew already, reiterating these words ; Be 
content, we have seen enough, and take no care of expense 
past: I will set you forth royally the next spring, if God 
send us safe home. Therefore I pray you let us no longer 
strive here f where we fight against the elements. Omitting 
circumstance, how unwillingly the captain and master 
of the Hind condescended to this motion, his own com 
pany can testify ; yet comforted with the General s 
promise of a speedy return at spring, and induced by 
other apparent reasons, proving an impossibility to 
accomplish the action at that time, it was concluded on 
all hands to retire. 

So upon Saturday in the afternoon, the 31. of August, 
we changed our course, and returned back for England. 
At which very instant, even in winding about, there 
passed along between us and towards the land which 
we now forsook a very lion to our seeming, in shape, 
hair, and colour, not swimming after the manner of 
a beast by moving of his feet, but rather sliding upon 
the water with his whole body, excepting the legs, in 
sight, neither yet diving under, and again rising above 
the water, as the manner is of whales, dolphins, tunnies, 
porpoises, and all other fish : but confidently showing 
himself above water without hiding : notwithstanding, 
we presented ourselves in open view and gesture to 
amaze him, as all creatures will be commonly at a 

1583] The return. 43 

sudden gaze and sight of men. Thus he passed along 
turning his head to and fro, yawing and gaping wide, 
with ugly demonstration of long teeth, and glaring eyes ; 
and to bid us a farewell, coming right against the Hind, 
he sent forth a horrible voice, roaring or bellowing as 
doth a lion, which spectacle we all beheld so far as we 
were able to discern the same, as men prone to wonder 
at every strange thing, as this doubtless was, to see 
a lion in the ocean sea, or fish in shape of a lion. What 
opinion others had thereof, and chiefly the General 
himself, I forbear to deliver : but he took it for bonum 
omen, rejoicing that he was to war against such an 
enemy, if it were the devil. The wind was large for 
England at our return, but very high, and the sea 
rough, insomuch as the frigate, wherein the General 
went, was almost swallowed up. 

Monday in the afternoon we passed in sight of Cape 
Race, having made as much way in little more than 
two days and nights back again, as before we had done 
in eight days from Cape Race unto the place where our 
ship perished. Which hindrance thitherward, and speed 
back again, is to be imputed unto the swift current, 
as well as to the winds, which we had more large in 
our return. This Monday the General came aboard 
the Hind, to have the surgeon of the Hind to dress his 
foot, which he hurt by treading upon a nail : at which 
time we comforted each other with hope of hard success 
to be all past, and of the good to come. So agreeing 
to carry out lights always by night, that we might keep 
together, he departed into his frigate, being by no means 
to be entreated to tarry in the Hind, which had been 
more for his security. Immediately after followed 
a sharp storm, which we overpassed for that time, 
praised be God. 

The weather fair, the General came aboard the Hind 

44 Gilberts Voyage. [1583 

again, to make merry together with the captain, master, 
and company, which was the last meeting, and continued 
there from morning until night. During which time 
there passed sundry discourses touching affairs past 
and to come, lamenting greatly the loss of his great 
ship, more of the men, but most of all his books and 
notes, and what else I know not, for which he was out 
of measure grieved, the same doubtless being some 
matter of more importance than his books, which I could 
not draw from him: yet by circumstance I gathered 
the same to be the ore which Daniel the Saxon had 
brought unto him in the Newfoundland. Whatsoever 
it was, the remembrance touched him so deep as, not 
able to contain himself, he beat his boy in great rage, 
even at the same time, so long after the miscarrying of 
the great ship, because upon a fair day, when we were 
becalmed upon the coast of the Newfoundland, near 
unto Cape Race, he sent his boy aboard the Admiral 
to fetch certain things : amongst which, this being chief, 
was yet forgotten and left behind. After which time 
he could never conveniently send again aboard the 
great ship, much less he doubted her ruin so near at 

Herein my opinion was better confirmed diversely, 
and by sundry conjectures, which maketh me have the 
greater hope of this rich mine. For whereas the 
General had never before good conceit of these north 
parts of the world, now his mind was wholly fixed 
upon the Newfoundland. And as before he refused 
not to grant assignments liberally to them that re 
quired the same into these north parts, now he became 
contrarily affected, refusing to make any so large grants, 
especially of St. Johris, which certain English merchants 
made suit for, offering to employ their money and travail 
upon the same : yet neither by their own suit, nor of 

1583] Plans for the following year. 45 

others of his own company, whom he seemed willing 
to pleasure, it could be obtained. Also laying down his 
determination in the spring following for disposing of 
his voyage then to be re-attempted : he assigned the 
captain and master of the Golden Hind unto the south 
discovery, and reserved unto himself the north, affirming 
that this voyage had won his heart from the south, and 
that he was now become a northern man altogether. 

Last, being demanded what means he had, at his 
arrival in England, to compass the charges of so great 
preparation as he intended to make the next spring, 
having determined upon two fleets, one for the south, 
another lor the north ; Leave that to me, he replied, 
/ will ask a penny of no man. I will bring good tidings 
unto her Majesty, who will be so gracious to lend me 
10,000; willing us therefore to be of good cheer; for 
he did thank God, he said, with all his heart for that he 
had seen, the same being enough for us all, and that we 
needed not to seek any further. And these last words 
he would often repeat, with demonstration of great 
fervency of mind, being himself very confident and 
settled in belief of inestimable good by this voyage ; 
which the greater number of his followers nevertheless 
mistrusted altogether, not being made partakers of those 
secrets, which the General kept unto himself. Yet all 
of them that are living may be witnesses of his words 
and protestations, which sparingly I have delivered. 

Leaving the issue of this good hope unto God, who 
knoweth the truth only, and can at His good pleasure 
bring the same to light, I will hasten to the end of this 
tragedy, which must be knit up in the person of our 
General. And as it was God s ordinance upon him, 
even so the vehement persuasion and entreaty of his 
friends could nothing avail to divert him of a wilful 
resolution of going through in his frigate ; which was 

46 Gilbert s Voyage. [1583 

overcharged upon the decks with fights, nettings, and 
small artillery, too cumbersome for so small a boat that 
was to pass through the ocean sea at that season of the 
year, when by course we might expect much storm of 
foul weather. Whereof, indeed, we had enough. 

But when he was entreated by the captain, master, 
and other his well-willers of the Hind not to venture in 
the frigate, this was his answer : / will not forsake my 
little company going homeward, with whom I have passed 
so many storms and perils. And in very truth he was 
urged to be so over hard by hard reports given of him 
that he was afraid of the sea ; albeit this was rather 
rashness than advised resolution, to prefer the wind of 
a vain report to the weight of his own life. Seeing he 
would not bend to reason, he had provision out of the 
Hind, such as was wanting aboard his frigate. And so 
we committed him to God s protection, and set him 
aboard his pinnace, we being more than 300 leagues 
onward of our way home. 

By that time we had brought the Islands of Azores 
south of us ; yet we then keeping much to the north, 
until we had got into the height and elevation of 
England, we met with very foul weather and terrible 
seas, breaking short and high, pyramid-wise. The 
reason whereof seemed to proceed either of hilly 
grounds high and low within the sea, as we see hills 
and vales upon the land, upon which the seas do mount 
and fall, or else the cause proceedeth of diversity of 
winds, shifting often in sundry points, all which having 
power to move the great ocean, which again is not 
presently settled, so many seas do encounter together, 
as there had been diversity of winds. Howsoever it 
cometh to pass, men which all their lifetime had occupied 
the sea never saw more outrageous seas. We had also 
upon our mainyard an apparition of a little fire by night, 

1583] The frigate goes down. 47 

which seamen do call Castor and Pollux. But we had 
only one, which they take an evil sign of more tempest ; 
the same is usual in storms. 

Monday, the 9. of September, in the afternoon, the 
frigate was near cast away, oppressed by waves, yet at 
that time recovered ; and giving forth signs of joy, the 
General, sitting abaft with a book in his hand, cried out 
to us in the Hind, so oft as we did approach within 
hearing, We are as near to heaven by sea as by land! 
Reiterating the same speech, well beseeming a soldier, 
resolute in Jesus Christ, as I can testify he was. 

The same Monday night, about twelve of the clock, 
or not long after, the frigate being ahead of us in the 
Golden Hind, suddenly her lights were out, whereof as 
it were in a moment we lost the sight, and withal our 
watch cried the General was cast away, which was too 
true. For in that moment the frigate was devoured 
and swallowed up of the sea. Yet still we looked out 
all that night, and ever after until we arrived upon the 
coast of England , omitting no small sail at sea, unto 
which we gave not the tokens between us agreed upon 
to have perfect knowledge of each other, if we should 
at any time be separated. 

In great torment of weather and peril of drowning it 
pleased God to send safe home the Golden Hind, which 
arrived in Falmouth the 22. of September, being Sunday, 
not without as great danger escaped in a flaw coming 
from the south-east, with such thick mist that we could 
not discern land to put in right with the haven. From 
Falmouth we went to Dartmouth, and lay there at anchor 
before the Range, while the captain went aland to 
enquire if there had been any news of the frigate, 
which, sailing well, might happily have been before us ; 
also to certify Sir John Gilbert, brother unto the 
General, of our hard success, whom the captain desired, 

48 Gilberts Voyage. [1583 

while his men were yet aboard him, and were witnesses 
of all occurrences in that voyage, it might please him to 
take the examination of every person particularly, in 
discharge of his and their faithful endeavour. Sir John 
Gilbert refused so to do, holding himself satisfied with 
report made by the captain, and not .altogether de 
spairing of his brother s safety, offered friendship and 
courtesy to the captain and his company, requiring to 
have his bark brought into the harbour ; in furtherance 
whereof a boat was sent to help to tow her in. 

Nevertheless, when the captain returned aboard his 
ship, he found his men bent to depart every man to 
his home ; and then the wind serving to proceed higher 
upon the coast, they demanded money to carry them 
home, some to London, others to Harwich, and else 
where, if the barque should be carried into Dartmouth 
and they discharged so far from home, or else to take 
benefit of the wind, then serving to draw nearer home, 
which should be a less charge unto the captain, and 
great ease unto the men, having else far to go. Reason 
accompanied with necessity persuaded the captain, who 
sent his lawful excuse and cause of this sudden departure 
unto Sir John Gilbert, by the boat of Dartmouth, and 
from thence the Golden Hind departed and took harbour 
at Weymouth. All the men tired with the tediousness 
of so unprofitable a voyage to their seeming, in which 
their long expense of time, much toil and labour, hard 
diet, and continual hazard of life was unrecompensed ; 
their captain nevertheless by his great charges impaired 
greatly thereby, } r et comforted in the goodness of God, 
and His undoubted providence following him in all that 
voyage, as it doth always those at other times whosoever 
have confidence in Him alone. Yet have we more near 
feeling and perseverance of His powerful hand and 
protection when God doth bring us together with others 

1583] Conclusion. 49 

into one same peril, in which He leaveth them and 
delivereth us, making us thereby the beholders, but not 
partakers, of their ruin. Even so, amongst very many 
difficulties, discontentments, mutinies, conspiracies, sick 
nesses, mortality, spoilings, and wracks by sea, which 
were afflictions more than in so small a fleet or so 
short a time may be supposed, albeit true in every 
particularity, as partly by the former relation may be 
collected, and some I suppressed with silence for their 
sakes living, it pleased God to support this company, 
of which only one man died of a malady inveterate, and 
long infested, the rest kept together in reasonable con 
tentment and concord, beginning, continuing, and ending 
the voyage, which none else did accomplish, either not 
pleased with the action, or impatient of wants, or pre 
vented by death. 

Thus have I delivered the contents of the enterprise 
and last action of Sir Humfrey Gilbert, Knight, faith 
fully, for so much as I thought meet to be published ; 
wherein may always appear, though he be extinguished, 
some sparks of his virtues, he remaining firm and 
resolute in a purpose by all pretence honest and godly, 
as was this, to discover, possess, and to reduce unto 
the service of God and Christian piety those remote 
and heathen countries of America not actually possessed 
by Christians, and most rightly appertaining unto the 
crown Q{ England: unto the which as his zeal deserveth 
high commendation, even so he may justly be taxed of 
temerity, and presumption rather, in two respects. 
First, when yet there was only probability, not a certain 
and determinate place of habitation selected, neither 
any demonstration of commodity there in esse, to induce 
his followers ; nevertheless, he both was too prodigal 
of his own patrimony and too careless of other men s 
expenses to employ both his and their substance upon 

II. E 

50 Gilbert s Voyage. 

a ground imagined good. The which falling, very like 
his associates were promised, and made it their best 
reckoning, to be salved some other way, which pleased 
not God to prosper in his first and great preparation. 
Secondly, when by his former preparation he was 
enfeebled of ability and credit to perform his design- 
ments, as it were impatient to abide in expectation 
better opportunity, and means which God might raise, 
he thrust himself again into the action, for which he 
was not fit, presuming the cause pretended on God s 
behalf would carry him to the desired end. Into which 
having thus made re-entry, he could not yield again to 
withdraw, though he saw no encouragement to proceed ; 
lest his credit, foiled in his first attempt, in a second 
should utterly be disgraced. Between extremities he 
made a right adventure, putting all to God and good 
fortune ; and, which was worst, refused not to entertain 
every person and means whatsoever, to furnish out this 
expedition, the success whereof hath been declared. 

But such is the infinite bounty of God, who from 
every evil deriveth good. For besides that fruit may 
grow in time of our travelling into those north-west 
lands, the crosses, turmoils, and afflictions, both in the 
preparation and execution of this voyage, did correct 
the intemperate humours which before we noted to be 
in this gentleman, and made unsavoury and less delight 
ful his other manifold virtues. Then as he was refined, 
and made nearer drawing unto the image of God, so it 
pleased the Divine will to resume him unto Himself, 
whither both his and every other high and noble mind 
have always aspired. 


ON Gilbert s death Raleigh, his half-brother, succeeded to 
his enterprise, and obtained in March, 1584, a grant in similar 
form, to be carried into execution within six years. He re 
solved that there should be little delay in giving it effect. 
Before April was over, two small vessels quitted Plymouth 
for the purpose of taking possession of some fitting spot 
for a colony between Florida and Newfoundland. Raleigh 
directed that the northern route of Gilbert should be aban 
doned. American enterprise had thus early divided itself, 
in accordance with the physical conditions of the Atlantic 
Ocean, into northern and southern. Gilbert, we have seen, 
had declared in favour of the former: and his choice was 
justified, in the next generation, by the success which 
attended the French on the St. Lawrence, and the English 
in New England. But Raleigh had derived from his reading 
of the Spanish histories a strong predilection for the richer 
and more romantic south : and accordingly his two skippers, 
Philip Amadas and Arthur Barlow, took the old route by the 
Canaries, and made the continent of North America in the 
latitude of North Carolina. They touched successively at the 
island of Wocokon (Ocracoke) at the entrance of Pamlico 
Sound, and at that of Roanoak, farther northward, near the 
mouth of Albemarle Sound, spent some weeks in viewing the 
country and trafficking with the natives, and then returned 
to England, with the report embodied in the narrative of 
Barlow which is here printed. The Queen was delighted 
with the prospect of an English settlement in this desirable 
land, and gave it the name of Virginia. 

Raleigh s attempts at founding such a settlement were 
uniformly unfortunate. In the next year (1585) Greenville, 

E 2 

52 Amadas and Barlow. 

Lane, Cavendish, Amadas, and Hariot, sailed thither with 
seven ships carrying 180 persons, and established the first 
English colony on the continent of America. It lasted only 
a year. Wandering away from the settlement, the emigrants 
engaged in a fruitless quest of gold ; their stores failed, 
and no provisions reached them from home ; and all of them 
were brought back to England by Drake in 1586 (see FIRST 
SERIES, pages 231 and 269). Shortly afterwards a ship with 
provisions despatched by Raleigh arrived on the coast, and 
returned to England after a fruitless search for the colonists. 
A few days passed, and three other ships commanded by 
Sir Richard Greenville arrived with the intention of rein 
forcing the colony. Greenville left fifteen men at Roanoak, 
with provisions for two years, in order to retain possession 
of the country, but all were massacred by the Indians. In 
the following year (1587) Raleigh sent a second expedition 
under John White, who sailed from Portsmouth with three 
vessels. White returned to England for supplies in the 
same year, leaving at Roanoak eighty-nine men, seven 
teen women, and eleven children. When he returned to 
Roanoak in 1590 he found the colony abandoned. The 
colonists had dispersed among the Indians. Most of them 
are said to have been massacred, and the residue became 
absorbed in the native population. The original settlement 
of Virginia was made within the limits of what afterwards 
became the State of North Carolina. The colonies on the 
James River and Chesapeake Bay, afterwards so famous 
under the name bestowed by Elizabeth on her prospective 
American dominions, were founded twenty years later. 


The FIRST VOYAGE made to the coasts of AMERICA, with two 
barks, wherein were Captains MASTER PHILIP AMADAS, 
and MASTER ARTHUR BARLOW, who discovered part 
of the country now called VIRGINIA, Anno 1584. Written 
by one of the said captains, and sent to SIR WALTER 
RALEIGH, knight, at whose charge and direction the said 
voyage was set forth. 

The 27. day of April, in the year of our redemption 
1584, we departed the west of England, with two barks 
well furnished with men and victuals, having received 
our last and perfect directions by your letters, confirm 
ing the former instructions and commandments delivered 
by yourself at our leaving the river of Thames. And 
I think it a matter both unnecessary, for the manifest 
discovery of the country, as also for tediousness sake, 
to remember unto you the diurnal of our course, sailing 
thither and returning; only I have presumed to present 
unto you this brief discourse, by which you may judge 
how profitable this land is likely to succeed, as well to 
yourself, by whose direction and charge, and by whose 
servants, this our discovery hath been performed, as 
also to her Highness and the commonwealth. In which 
we hope your wisdom will be satisfied, considering that 
as much by us hath been brought to light as by those 
small means and number of men we had could any way 
have been expected, or hoped for. 

54 Amadas and Barlow s Voyage. [1584 

The tenth of May in this present year we arrived at 
the Canaries, and the tenth of June we were fallen 
with the islands of the West Indies, keeping a more 
south-westerly course than was needful, because we 
doubted that the current of the Bay of Mexico, dis- 
boguing between the Cape of Florida and Havana, had 
been of greater force than afterwards we found it to be. 
At which islands we found the air very unwholesome, 
and our men grew for the most part ill-disposed : so 
that having refreshed ourselves with sweet water and 
fresh victual, we departed the twelfth day of our arrival 
here. These islands, with the rest adjoining, are so 
well known to yourself, and to many others, as I will 
not trouble you with the remembrance of them. 

The second of July we found shoal water, where we 
smelt so sweet and so strong a smell, as if we had been 
in the midst of some delicate garden, abounding with 
all kind of odoriferous flowers ; by which we were 
assured that the land could not be far distant. And 
keeping good watch and bearing but slack sail, the 
fourth of the same month we arrived upon the coast, 
which we supposed to be a continent and firm land, 
and we sailed along the same 120 English miles before 
we could find any entrance, or river issuing into the 
sea. The first that appeared unto us we entered, 
though not without some difficulty, and cast anchor 
about three arquebus-shot within the haven s mouth, 
on the left hand of the same ; and after thanks given to 
God for our safe arrival thither, we manned our boats, 
and went to view the land next adjoining, and to take 
possession of the same in the right of the Queen s most 
excellent Majesty, as rightful queen and princess of the 
same, and after delivered the same over to your use, 
according to her Majesty s grant and letters patents, 
under her Highness great Seal. Which being per- 

1584] Ships enter Pamlico Sound. 55 

formed, according to the ceremonies used in such 
enterprises, we viewed the land about us, being, whereas 
we first landed, very sandy and low towards the water s 
side, butlso full of grapes as the very beating and surge 
of the sea overflowed them. Of which we found such 
plenty, as well there as in all places else, both on the 
sand and on the green soil on the hills, as in the plains, 
as well on every little shrub, as also climbing towards 
the tops of high cedars, that I think in all the world the 
like abundance is not to be found : and myself having 
seen those parts of Europe that most abound, find such 
difference as were incredible to be written. 

We passed from the sea side towards the tops of 
those hills next adjoining, being but of mean * height ; 
and from thence we beheld the sea on both sides, to the 
north and to the south, finding no end any of both 
ways 2 . This land lay stretching itself to the west, 
which after we found to be but an island of twenty 
miles long, and not above six miles broad. Under the 
bank or hill whereon we stood, we beheld the valleys 
replenished with goodly cedar trees, and having dis 
charged our arquebus-shot, such a flock of cranes (the 
most part white) arose under us, with such a cry 
redoubled by many echoes, as if an army of men had 
shouted all together. 

This island had many goodly woods full of deer, 
coneys, hares and fowl, even in the midst of summer, 
in incredible abundance. ! The woods are not such as 
you find in Bohemia, Moscovia, or Hercynia, barren 
and fruitless, but the highest and reddest cedars of 
the world, far bettering the cedars of the Azores, of the 
Indies, or Libanus; pines, cypress, sassafras, the lentisk, 
or the tree that beareth the mastic ; the tree that 
beareth the rind of black cinnamon, of which Master 

1 Middle. 2 Either way. 

56 Amadas and Barlow s Voyage. [1584 

Winter brought from the Straits of Magellan] and 
many other of excellent smell and quality. We re 
mained by the side of this island two whole days before 
we saw any people of the country. The third day we 
espied one small boat rowing towards us, having in it 
three persons. This boat came to the island side, four 
arquebus-shot from our ships ; and there two of the 
people remaining, the third came along the shore side 
towards us, and we being then all within board, he 
walked up and down upon the point of the land next 
unto us. Then the master and the pilot of the Admiral, 
Simon Ferdinando, and the captain, Philip Amadas, 
myself, and others, rowed to the land ; whose coming 
this fellow attended, never making any shew of fear or 
doubt. And after he had spoken of many things, not 
understood by us, we brought him, with his own good 
liking, aboard the ships, and gave him a shirt, a hat, 
and some other things, and made him taste of our 
wine and our meat, which he liked very well ; and, 
after having viewed both barks, he departed, and went 
to his own boat again, which he had left in a little cove 
or creek adjoining. As soon as he was two bow-shoot 
into the water he fell to fishing, and in less than half- 
an-hour he had laden his boat as deep as it could swim, 
with which he came again to the point of the land, and 
there he divided his fish into two parts, pointing one part 
to the ship and the other to the pinnace. Which, after 
he had, as much as he might, requited the former 
benefits received, departed out of our sight. 

The next day there came unto us divers boats, and 
in one of them the king s brother, accompanied with 
forty or fifty men, very handsome and goodly people, 
and in their behaviour as mannerly and civil as any of 
Europe. His name was Granganimeo, and the king is 
called IVingina ; the country, IVingandacoa, and now, 

1584] Visit of the chiefs. 57 

by her Majesty, Virginia. The manner of his coming 
was in this sort : he left his boats, altogether as the 
first man did, a little from the ships by the shore, and 
came along to the place over against the ships, followed 
with forty men. When he came to the place, his 
servants spread a long mat upon the ground, on which 
he sat down, and at the other end of the mat four 
others of his company did the like; the rest of his 
men stood round about him somewhat afar off. When 
we came to the shore to him, with our weapons, he 
never moved from his place, nor any of the other four, 
nor never mistrusted any harm to be offered from us ; 
but, sitting still, he beckoned us to come and sit by 
him, which we performed ; and, being set, he made all 
signs of joy and welcome, striking on his head and his 
breast and afterwards on ours, to shew we were all 
one, smiling and making shew the best he could of all 
love and familiarity. After he had made a long speech 
unto us we presented him with divers things, which he 
received very joyfully and thankfully. None of the 
company durst speak one word all the time; only 
the four which were at the other end spake one in the 
other s ear very softly. 

The king is greatly obeyed, and his brothers and 
children reverenced. The king himself in person was 
at our being there sore wounded in a fight which he 
had with the king of the next country, called Piemacum, 
and was shot in two places through the body, and once 
clean through the thigh, but yet he recovered ; by 
reason whereof, and for that he lay at the chief town 
of the country, being six days journey off, we saw him 
not at all. 

After we had presented this his brother with such 
things as we thought he liked, we likewise gave some 
what to the other that sat with him on the mat. But 

58 Amadas and Barlow s Voyage. [1584 

presently he arose and took all from them and put it 
into his own basket, making signs and tokens that all 
things ought to be delivered unto him, and the rest 
were but his servants and followers. A day or two 
after this we fell to trading with them, exchanging 
some things that we had for chamois, buff, and deer 
skins. When we shewed him all our packet of mer 
chandise, of all things that he saw a bright tin dish 
most pleased him, which he presently took up and 
clapt it before his breast, and after made a hole in the 
brim thereof and hung it about his neck, making signs 
that it would defend him against his enemies 5 arrows. 
For those people maintain a deadly and terrible 
war with the people and king adjoining. We ex 
changed our tin dish for twenty skins, worth twenty 
crowns or twenty nobles ; and a copper kettle for fifty 
skins, worth fifty crowns. They offered us good 
exchange for our hatchets and axes, and for knives, 
and would have given anything for swords ; but we 
would not depart with any. After two or three days 
the king s brother came aboard the ships and drank 
wine, and eat of our meat and of our bread, and liked 
exceedingly thereof. And after a few days overpassed, 
he brought his wife with him to the ships, his daughter, 
and two or three children. His wife was very well- 
favoured, of mean stature, and very bashful. She had 
on her back a long cloak of leather, with the fur side 
next to her body, and before her a piece of the same. 
About her forehead she had a band of white coral, and 
so had her husband many times. In her ears she had 
bracelets of pearls hanging down to her middle, whereof 
we delivered your worship a little bracelet, and those 
were of the bigness of good peas. The rest of her 
women of the better sort had pendants of copper hang 
ing in either ear, and some of the children of the king s 

1584! Traffic with the Indians. 59 

brother and other noblemen have five or six in either 
ear; he himself had upon his head a broad plate of 
gold, or copper; for, being unpolished, we knew not 
what metal it should be, neither would he by any means 
suffer us to take it off his head, but feeling it, it would 
bow very easily. His apparel was as his wife s, only 
the women wear their hair long on both sides, and the 
men but on one. They are of colour yellowish, and 
their hair black for the most part ; and yet we saw 
children that had very fine auburn and chestnut- 
coloured hair. 

After that these women had been there, there came 
down from all parts great store of people, bringing with 
them leather, coral, divers kinds of dyes very excellent, 
and exchanged with us. But when Granganimeo, the 
king s brother, was present, none durst trade but him 
self, except such as wear red pieces of copper on their 
heads like himself; for that is the difference between 
the noblemen and the governors of countries, and the 
meaner sort. And we both noted there, and you have 
understood since by these men which we brought 
home, that no people in the world carry more respect 
to their king, nobility, and governors than these do. 
The king s brother s wife, when she came to us (as she 
did many times), was followed with forty or fifty women 
always. And when she came into the ship she left 
them all on land, saving her two daughters, her nurse, 
and one or two more. The king s brother always kept 
this order : as many boats as he would come withal to 
the ships, so many fires would he make on the shore 
afar off, to the end we might understand with what 
strength and company he approached. Their boats 
are made of one tree, either of pine, or of pitch-trees ; 
a wood not commonly known to our people, nor found 
growing in England. They have no edge-tools to 

60 Amadas and Barlow s Voyage. [1584 

make them withal ; if they have any they are very few, 
and those, it seems, they had 20 years since, which, as 
those two men declared, was out of a wrack, which 
happened upon their coast, of some Christian ship, 
being beaten that way by some storm and outrageous 
weather, whereof none of the people were saved, but 
only the ship, or some part of her, being cast upon the 
sand, out of whose sides they drew the nails and the 
spikes, and with those they made their best instru 
ments. The manner of making their boats is thus : 
they burn down some great tree, or take such as are 
windfallen, and, putting gum and resin upon one side 
thereof, they set fire into it, and when it hath burnt it 
hollow they cut out the coal with their shells, and ever 
where they would burn it deeper or wider they lay on 
gums, which burn away the timber, and by this means 
they fashion very fine boats, and such as will transport 
20 men. Their oars are like scoops, and many times 
they set with long poles, as the depth serveth. 

The king s brother had great liking of our armour, 
a sword, and divers other things which we had, and 
offered to lay a great box of pearl in gage for them ; 
but we refused it for this time, because we would not 
make them know that we esteemed thereof, until we 
had understood in what places of the country the pearl 
grew, which now your worship doth very well under 
stand. He was very just of his promise : for many 
times we delivered him merchandise upon his word, 
but ever he came within the day and performed his 
promise. He sent us every day a brace or two of fat 
bucks, coneys, hares, fish the best of the world. He 
sent us divers kinds of fruits, melons, walnuts, cucum 
bers, gourds, pease, and divers roots, and fruits very 
excellent good, and of their country corn, which is 
very white, fair, and well tasted, and groweth three 

1584] Village on Roanoak island. 61 

times in five months : in May they sow, in July they 
reap ; in June they sow, in August they reap ; in July 
they sow, in September they reap. Only they cast 
the corn into the ground, breaking a little of the soft 
turf with a wooden mattock or pickaxe. Ourselves 
proved the soil, and put some of our peas in the ground, 
and in ten days they were of 14 inches high. They have 
also beans very fair, of divers colours, and wonderful 
plenty, some growing naturally and some in their 
gardens ; and so have they both wheat and oats. The 
soil is the most plentiful, sweet, fruitful, and wholesome 
of all the world. There are above fourteen several 
sweet-smelling timber-trees, and the most part of their 
underwoods are bays and suchlike. They have those 
oaks that we have, but far greater and better. 

After they had been divers times aboard our ships, 
myself with seven more went twenty mile into the river 
that runneth toward tjie city of Skicoak, which river 
they call Occam ; and the evening following we came to 
an island which they call Roanoak, distant from the 
harbour by which we entered seven leagues ; and at the 
north end thereof was a village of nine houses built of 
cedar and fortified round about with sharp trees to keep 
out their enemies, and the entrance into it made like a 
turnpike very artificially *. When we came towards it, 
standing near unto the water s side, the wife of Gran- 
gam meo, the king s brother, came running out to meet 
us very cheerfully and friendly. Her husband was not 
then in the village. Some of her people she com 
manded to draw our boat on shore, for the beating 
of the billow. Others she appointed to carry us on 
their backs to the dry ground, and others to bring our 
oars into the house for fear of stealing. When we 
were come into the utter room (having five rooms in 

1 The site of the colony established in the following year (1585). 

62 Amadas and Barlow s Voyage. [1584 

her house) she caused us to sit down by a great fire, 
and after took off our clothes and washed them and 
dried them again. Some of the women plucked off our 
stockings and washed them, some washed our feet in 
warm water, and she herself took great pains to see all 
things ordered in the best manner she could, making 
great haste to dress some meat for us to eat. After we had 
thus dried ourselves, she brought us into the inner room, 
where she set on the board standing along the house 
some wheat like furmenty, sodden venison, and roasted, 
fish sodden, boiled, and roasted, melons raw and sodden, 
roots of divers kinds, and divers fruits. Their drink is 
commonly water, but while the grape lasteth they drink 
wine, and for want of casks to keep it, all the year after 
they drink water ; but it is sodden with ginger in it, 
and black cinnamon, and sometimes sassafras, and divers 
other wholesome and medicinable herbs and trees. We 
were entertained with all love and kindness, and with 
as much bounty (after their manner) as they could 
possibly devise. We found the people most gentle, 
loving, and faithful, void of all guile and treason, and 
such as live after the manner of the golden age. 
The people only care how to defend themselves from 
the cold in their short winter, and to feed themselves 
with such meat as the soil affordeth ; their meat is very 
well sodden, and they make broth very sweet and 
savory. Their vessels are earthen pots, very large, white, 
and sweet ; their dishes are wooden platters of sweet 
timber. Within the place where they feed was their 
lodging, and within that their idol, which they worship, 
of whom they speak incredible things. While we were 
at meat, there came in at the gates two or three men 
with their bows and arrows from hunting, whom when 
we espied we began to look one towards another, and 
offered to reach our weapons : but as soon as she 

1584] Geographical intelligence. 63 

espied our mistrust, she was very much moved, and 
caused some of her men to run out, and take away 
their bows and arrows and break them, and withal 
beat the poor fellows out of the gate again. When we 
departed in the evening and would not tarry all night, 
she was very sorry, and gave us into our boat our 
supper half-dressed, pots and all, and brought us to 
our boat side, in which we lay all night, removing 
the same a pretty distance from the shore. She per 
ceiving our jealousy, was much grieved, and sent divers 
men and thirty women to sit all night on the bank-side 
by us, and sent us into our boats fine mats to cover us 
from the rain, using very many words to entreat us to 
rest in their houses. But because we were few men, and 
if we had miscarried the voyage had been in very great 
danger, we durst not adventure anything, although 
there was no cause of doubt ; for a more kind and loving 
people there cannot be found in the world, as far as 
we have hitherto had trial. 

Beyond this island there is the mainland, and over 
against this island falleth into this spacious water the 
great river called Occam by the inhabitants, on which 
standeth a town called Pomeiock, and six days journey 
from the same is situate their greatest city called 
Skicoak, which this people affirm to be very great; 
but the savages were never at it, only they speak of it 
by the report of their fathers and other men, whom 
they have heard affirm it to be above one hour s 
journey about. Into this river falleth another great 
river called Cipo, in which there is found great store 
of muscles, in which there are pearls ; likewise there 
descendeth into this Occam another river called Nomo- 
pana, on the one side whereof standeth a great town 
called Chawanook, and the lord of that town and 
country is called Pooneno. This Pooneno is not subject 

64 Amadas arid Barlow s Voyage. [1584 

to the king of Wingandacoa, but is a free lord. Beyond 
this country is there another king, whom they call 
Menatonon, and these three kings are in league with 
each other. Towards the south-west, four days journey, 
is situate a town called Secotan, which is the southern 
most town of Wingandacoa, near unto which six-and- 
twenty years past there was a ship cast away, whereof 
some of the people were saved, and those were white 
people, whom the country people preserved. And after 
ten days remaining in an out island unhabited, called 
Wocokon, they, with the help of some of the dwellers 
of Secotan, fastened two boats of the country together, 
and made masts unto them, and sails of their shirts, 
and having taken into them such victuals as the country 
yielded, they departed after they had remained in this 
out island three weeks. But shortly after, it seemed, 
they were cast away, for the boats were found upon 
the coast, cast a-land in another island adjoining. 
Other than these, there was never any people ap 
parelled, or white of colour, either seen or heard of 
amongst these people, and these aforesaid were seen 
only of the inhabitants of Secotan ; which appeared to 
be very true, for they wondered marvellously when we 
were amongst them at the whiteness of our skins, ever 
coveting to touch our breasts, and to view the same. 
Besides they had our ships in marvellous admiration, 
and all things else were so strange unto them, as it 
appeared that none of them had ever seen the like. 
When we discharged any piece, were it but an arquebus, 
they would tremble thereat for very fear, and for the 
strangeness of the same, for the weapons which them 
selves use are bows and arrows. The arrows are but 
of small canes, headed with a sharp shell or tooth of a fish 
sufficient enough to kill a naked man. Their swords be 
of wood hardened ; likewise they use wooden breast- 

1584] Indian wars. 65 

plates for their defence. They have beside a kind of 
club, in the end whereof they fasten the sharp horns 
of a stag, or other beast. When they go to wars they 
carry about with them their idol, of whom they ask 
counsel, as the Romans were wont of the oracle of 
Apollo. They sing songs as they march towards the 
battle, instead of drums and trumpets. Their wars are 
very cruel and bloody, by reason whereof, and of their 
civil dissensions which have happened of late years 
amongst them, the people are marvellously wasted, and 
in some places the country left desolate. 

Adjoining to this country aforesaid, called Secotan, 
beginneth a country called Pomovik } belonging to 
another king, whom they call Piemacum ; and this king 
is in league with the next king adjoining towards the 
setting of the sun, and the country Newstok, situate 
upon a goodly river called Neus. These kings have 
mortal war with Wingina, king of Wingandacoa ; but 
about two years past there was a peace made between 
the king Piemacum and the lord of Secotan, as these 
men which we have brought with us to England have 
given us to understand ; but there remaineth a mortal 
malice in the Secotans, for many injuries and slaughters 
done upon them by this Piemacum. They invited 
divers men, and thirty women of the best of his country, 
to their town to a feast, and when they were altogether 
merry, and praying before their idol (which is nothing 
else but a mere delusion of the devil) the captain or 
lord of the town came suddenly upon them, and slew 
them every one, reserving the women and children ; 
and these two have oftentimes since persuaded us to 
surprise Piemacum his town, having promised and 
assured us that there will be found in it great store 
of commodities. But whether their persuasion be to 
the end they may be revenged of their enemies, or for 

II. F 

66 Amadas and Barlow s Voyage. [1584 

the love they bear to us, we leave that to the trial 

Beyond this island called Roanoak are many islands 
very plentiful of fruits and other natural increases, 
together with many towns and villages along the side 
of the continent, some bounding upon the islands, and 
some stretching up further into the land. 

When we first had sight of this country, some thought 
the first land we saw to be the continent ; but after we 
entered into the haven we saw before us another 
mighty long sea, for there lieth along the coast a tract 
of islands 200 miles in length, adjoining to the ocean sea, 
and between the islands two or three entrances. When 
you are entered between them, these islands being very 
narrow for the most part, as in some places six miles 
broad, in some places less, in few more, then there 
appeareth another great sea, containing in breadth in 
some places 40, in some 50, in some 20 miles over, 
before you come unto the continent ; and in this 
enclosed sea there are above 100 islands of divers 
bignesses, whereof one is 16 miles long, at which we 
were, finding it a most pleasant and fertile ground, 
replenished with goodly cedars, and divers other 
sweet woods, full of currants, of flax, and many other 
notable commodities, which we at that time had no 
leisure to view. Besides this island there are many, as 
I have said, some of two, of three, of four, of five miles, 
some more, some less, most beautiful and pleasant to 
behold, replenished with deer, coneys, hares, and divers 
beasts, and about them the goodliest and best fish in 
the world, and in greatest abundance. 

Thus, Sir, we have acquainted you with the particulars 
of our discovery made this present voyage, as far forth 
as the shortness of the time we there continued would 
afford us to take view of; and so contenting ourselves 

1584] Return to England. 67 

with this service at this time, which we hope hereafter 
to enlarge, as occasion and assistance shall be given, 
we resolved to leave the country, and to apply ourselves 
to return for England, which we did accordingly, and 
arrived safely in the west of England about the midst 
of September. 

And whereas we have above certified you of the 
country taken in possession by us to her Majesty s use, 
and so to yours by her Majesty s grant, we thought 
good for the better assurance thereof, to record some 
of the particular gentlemen, and men of account, who 
then were present, as witnesses of the same, that 
thereby all occasion of cavil to the title of the country, 
in her Majesty s behalf, may be prevented, which other 
wise such as like not the action may use and pretend. 
Whose names are, Master Philip Amadas, Master 
Arthur Barlow, Captains ; William Greenville, John 
Wood, James Bromewich, Henry Greene, Benjamin 
Wood, Simon Ferdinando, Nicholas Petman, John 
Hughes, of the company. 

We brought home also two of the savages, being 
lusty men, whose names were Wanchese and Manteo. 


CAVENDISH (b. 1555? d. 1592). 

THOMAS CANDISH or CAVENDISH, a gentleman of Suffolk, 
who had not only squandered the savings of his minority, 
but had dissipated the substance of a large fortune, in the 
extravagances of Elizabeth s Court, bethought him of repair 
ing his shattered means by American adventure. He first 
made acquaintance with the New World as the commander 
of one of the vessels in Raleigh s expedition to Virginia in 
1585 (p. 52). He returned with Greenville in the same year, and 
in the next planned an expedition modelled on the Famous 
Voyage of Drake. In July, 1586, he left Plymouth with three 
vessels, following Drake s track by way of the Canaries and 
the Guinea Coast to the shores of Brazil, which was reached 
in December. Early in the next year (1587) Cavendish 
made the Straits of Magellan, which it took him over six 
weeks to traverse, and coasted along the western shore of 
South America in search of plunder. His success was quite 
equal to his expectations. Before he reached the coast of 
California he had sunk many Spanish vessels, and collected 
a considerable cargo of silver and American produce. 
Cavendish had resolved to strike a yet more daring blow 
for fortune. He proposed to await, on the Californian coast, 
the arrival of the annual galleon from the Philippines, laden 
with the wealth of Asia ; and on the 4th of November, 1587, 
while Cavendish was beating up and down off the headland 
of California, the great prize hove in sight. It was the Santa 
Anna, having on board 120,000 dollars in gold, besides large 
quantities of Oriental silks, satins, and damask, and rich 
spices and perfumes. Cavendish speedily laid her aboard, 
and captured her after an obstinate fight of several hours. 
Having put her crew on shore, emptied her of all her 

70 Cavendish. 

treasures, and burnt her to the water s edge, Cavendish 
sailed due west across the Pacific, and reached the Philip 
pines in the middle of January, 1588. He touched at several 
islands of the Malay archipelago, and visited Java, where he 
took pains to obtain exact information as to the condition 
and resources of the island, and found the natives and the 
Portuguese equally ready to welcome a deliverer from the 
despotism of Spain. Thence, after a run of nine weeks 
across the Indian Ocean, he made the Cape of Good Hope. 
Cavendish landed on the Island of St. Helena, of which the 
narrative gives an interesting description. Two months 
from St. Helena brought him back to Plymouth, after 
a voyage which had lasted over two years. 

Three years elapsed before Cavendish sailed on his 
second expedition. It was as disastrous as the first had 
been prosperous. He was late in the season, and unusually 
bad weather prevented him from making the Straits until 
April, 1592. Cavendish did not reach the Pacific. The 
Desire, commanded by Davis, was forced back up the 
Straits by stress of weather, and followed the Admiral 
back to the coast of Brazil ; and, after months of unexampled 
suffering and distress, her crew reached the coast of Ireland. 
Cavendish himself was spared the mortification of an in 
glorious return ; for he died at sea before 4iis ship reached 
home./ Cavendish was the second English circumnavigator 
of the globe. The brilliant successes of his first expedition, 
and the tragic failure of the second, fixed both firmly in the 
public mind. They served to stimulate and confirm the 
spirit of English enterprise in the American and East 
Indian seas ; and the name of the bold and unfortunate 
Suffolk gentleman-adventurer will always occupy a place 
on the roll of English worthies. 


County of SUFFOLK, Esquire, into the South Sea, and from 
thence round about the jcircumference of the whole earth; 
begun in the year of our Lord 1586, and finished 1588. 
Written by MASTER FRANCIS PRETTY, lately of EYE, in 
SUFFOLK, a gentleman employed in the same action. 

WE departed out of Plymouth on Thursday, the 
21. of July, 1586, with three sails, to wit, the Desire, 
a ship of 120 tons, the Content, of 60 tons, and the 
Hugh Gallant, a bark of 40 tons ; in which small fleet 
were 123 persons of all sorts, with all kind of furniture 
and victuals sufficient for the space of two years, at the 
charges of the Worshipful Master Thomas Cavendish , 
of Trimley, in the county of Suffolk, Esquire, being our 
General. On Tuesday, the 26. of the same month, we 
were 45 leagues from Cape Finis-terrce, where we met 
with five sails of Biscayans, coming from the Grand 
Bay in Newfoundland, as we supposed, which our 
Admiral shot at, and fought with them three hours, but 
we took none of them by reason the night grew on. 
The first of August we came in sight of Forteventura, 
one of the isles of the Canaries, about ten of the clock 
in the morning. On Sunday, being the seventh of 
August, we were gotten as high as Rio del Oro, on the 
coast of Barbary. On Monday, the 19. we fell with 

1 Hakluyt uniformly prints Candish, 

72 Cavendish First Voyage. [1586 

Cape Blanco ; but the wind blew so much at the north, 
that we could not get up where the canters * do use to 
ride and fish ; therefore we lay off six hours west-south- 
west, because of the sand which lieth off the cape 
south-west and by south. The 15. day of the same 
month we were in the height of Cape Verde, by estima 
tion 50 leagues off the same. The 18. Sierra Leona 
did bear east of us, being 45 leagues from us ; and the 
same day the wind shifted to the north-west, so that by 
the 20. day of the said month we were in six degrees 
and a-half to the northward from the equinoctial line. 
On the 23. we put room for Sierra Leona, and the 
25. day we fell with the point on the south side of 
Sierra Leona, which Master Brewer knew very well, 
and went in before with the Content, which was Vice- 
Admiral ; and we had no less than five fathoms water 
when we had least, and had for fourteen leagues in 
south-west all the way running into the harbour of 
Sierra Leona, sixteen, fourteen, twelve, ten, and eight 
fathoms of water. 

The 26. of the said month we put into the harborough, 
and in going in we had (by the southernmost point, 
when we had least) five fathoms water fair by the rock 
as it lieth at the said point ; and after we came two or 
three cables lengths within the said rock, we never had 
less than ten fathoms, until we came up to the road, 
which is about a league from the point, borrowing 
always on the south side until you come up to the 
watering-place, in which bay is the best road ; but you 
must ride far into the bay, because there run marvellous 
great tides in the offing, and it floweth into the road 
next of anything at a south-east and by east moon. It 
is out of England to this place 930 leagues, which we ran 
from the 21. of July to the 26. of this month of August. 
1 See First Series, p. 189. 

1586] The African Coast. 73 

On Saturday, being the 27. day, there came two 
negroes aboard our Admiral from the shore, and made 
signs unto our General that there was a Portugal ship 
up within the harborough : so the Hugh Gallant, being 
the Rear-Admiral, went up three or four leagues, but 
for want of a pilot they sought no farther; for the 
harborough runneth three or four leagues up more, 
and is of a marvellous breadth and very dangerous, as 
we learned afterward by a Portugal. 

On Sunday, the 28., the General sent some of his 
company on shore, and there as they played and danced 
all the forenoon among the negroes, to the end to have 
heard some good news of the Portugal ship, toward 
their coming aboard they espied a Portugal, which lay 
hid among the bushes ; whom we took and brought 
away with us the same night, and he told us it was 
very dangerous going up with our boats for to seek the 
ship that was at the town. Whereupon we went not 
to seek her, because we knew he told us the truth ; for 
we bound him and made him fast, and so examined 
him. Also he told us that his ship was there cast away, 
and that there were two more of his company among 
the negroes. The Portugal s name was Emmanuel, 
and was by his occupation a caulker, belonging to the 
Port of Portugal . 

On Monday morning, being the 29. day, our General 
landed with 70 men, or thereabout, and went up to 
their town, where we burnt two or three houses, and 
took what spoil we would, which was but little ; but all 
the people fled, and in our retiring aboard in a very 
little plain at their town s end they shot their arrows at 
us out of the woods, and hurt three or four of our men. 
Their arrows were poisoned, but yet none of our men 
miscarried at that time, thanked be God. Their town 
1 Oporto. 

74 Cavendish First Voyage. [1586 

is marvellous artificially builded with mud walls, and 
built round, with their yards paled in, and kept very 
clean as well in their streets as in their houses. These 
negroes use good obedience to their king, as one of our 
men said, which was with them in pawn for the negroes 
which came first. There were in their town by estima 
tion about one hundred houses. 

The first of September there went many of our men 
on shore at the watering-place, and did wash shirts 
very quietly all the day, and the second day they went 
again, and the negroes were in ambush round about the 
place; and the carpenter of the Admiral going into 
the wood to do some special business, espied them by 
good fortune. But the negroes rushed out upon our 
men so suddenly, that in retiring to our boats many of 
them were hurt; among whom one William Pickman, 
a soldier, was shot into the thigh, who plucking the 
arrow out broke it, and left the head behind, and he 
told the chirurgeons that he plucked out all the arrow, 
because he would not have them lance his thigh ; 
whereupon the poison wrought so that night, that he 
was marvellously swollen .... and the next morning 
he died, the piece of the arrow with the poison being 
plucked out of his thigh. 

The third day of the said month, divers of our fleet 
went up four miles within the harbour with our boat, 
and caught great store of fish, and went on shore and 
took lemons from the trees, and coming aboard again 
saw two buffes \ The sixth day we departed from 
Sierra Leona, and went out of the harborough, and 
stayed one tide three leagues from the point of the 
mouth of the harborough in six fathoms, and it floweth 
south-south-west. On Wednesday, being the seventh 
of the same month, we departed from one of the islands 

1 Buffaloes. 

1586] 7*he Atlantic crossed Brazil. 75 

of Cape Verde, alias the isles of Madrabumba, which is 
ten leagues distant from the point of Sierra Leona ; and 
about five of the clock the same night we anchored two 
miles off the island, in six fathoms water, and landed 
the same night, and found plantains only upon the 
island. The eighth day one of our boats went out 
and sounded round about the island, and they passed 
through a sound at the west end of the island, where 
they found five fathoms round about the island, until 
they came into the very gut of the sound, and then for 
a cast or two they had but two fathoms, and presently 
after six fathoms, and so deeper and deeper. And at 
the east end of the island there was a town, where 
negroes do use at 1 sometimes, as we perceived by their 

There is no fresh water on all the south side, as we 
could perceive, but on the north side three or four very 
good places of fresh water ; and all the whole island is 
a wood, save certain little places where their houses 
stand, which are environed round about with plantain 
trees, whereof the fruit is excellent meat. This place 
is subject marvellous much to thunder, rain, and light 
ning in this month. I think the reason is, because the 
sun is so near the line equinoctial. On Saturday, the 
tenth, we departed from the said island, about three of 
the clock in the afternoon, the wind being at the south 

The last of October, running west-south-west, about 
24 leagues from Cape Frio, in Brazil, we fell with 
a great mountain which had a high round knop on the 
top of it, standing from it like a town, with two little 
islands from it. 

The first of November we went in between the island 
of St. Sebastian and the main land, and had our things 

1 Frequent. 

76 Cavendish First Voyage. [1586 

on shore, and set up a forge, and had our cask on 
shore ; our coopers made hoops, and so we remained 
there until the 23. day of the same month, in which 
time we fitted our things, built our pinnace, and filled 
our fresh water. And while our pinnace was in build 
ing there came a canoe from the River of Janeiro, 
meaning to go to St. Vincent, wherein were six naked 
slaves of the country people, which did row the canoe, 
and one Portugal. And the Portugal knew Christopher 
Hare, master of the Admiral, for that Master Hare had 
been at St. Vincent, in the Minion of London, in the 
year 1581. And thinking to have John Whithall, the 
Englishman which dwelleth at St. Vincent, come unto 
us, which is 20 leagues from this harborough, with some 
other, thereby to have had some fresh victuals, we 
suffered the Portugal to go with a letter unto him, who 
promised to return or send some answer within ten 
days, for that we told him we were merchants, and 
would traffic with them. But we never received answer 
from him any more ; and seeing that he came not 
according to appointment, our business being des 
patched, we weighed anchor, and set sail from St. Sebas 
tian on the 23. of November. 

The 16. day of December we fell with the coast of 
America in 47 degrees and a third, the land bearing 
west from us about six leagues oif : from which place 
we ran along the shore until we came into 48 degrees. 
It is a steep beach all along. The 17. day of December, 
in the afternoon, we entered into an harborough, where 
our Admiral went in first. Wherefore our General 
named the said harborough Port Desire. In which har 
borough is an island or two, where there is wonderful 
great store of seals, and another island of birds, which 
are grey gulls. These seals are of a wonderful great 
bigness, huge, and monstrous of shape, and for the 

rs86] Coast of Patagonia. 77 

fore-part of their bodies cannot be compared to any 
thing better than to a lion : their head, and neck, and 
fore-parts of their bodies are full of rough hair: their 
feet are in manner of a fin, and in form like unto 
a man s hand ; they breed and cast every month, giving 
their young milk, yet continually get they their living 
in the sea, and live altogether upon fish : their young 
are marvellous good meat, and being boiled or roasted, 
are hardly to be known from lamb or mutton. The old 
ones be of such bigness and force, that it is as much as 
four men are able to do to kill one of them with great 
cowl-staves 1 : and he must be beaten down with striking 
on the head of him : for his body is of that bigness that 
four men could never kill him, but only on the head. 
For being shot through the body with an arquebus or 
a musket, yet he will go his way into the sea, and never 
care for it at the present. Also the fowls that were 
there were very good meat, and great store of them : 
they have burrows in the ground like coneys, for they 
cannot fly. They have nothing but down upon their 
pinions : they also fish and feed in the sea for their 
living, and breed on shore. 

This harborough is a very good place to trim ships 
in, and to bring them on ground, and grave them in, 
for there ebbeth and floweth much water : therefore we 
graved and trimmed all our ships there. 

The 24. of December, being Christmas Even, a man 
and a boy of the Rear- Admiral went some forty score 
from our ships unto a very fair green valley at the foot 
of the mountains, where was a little pit or well which 
our men had digged and made some two or three days 
before to get fresh water, for there was none in all the 
harborough ; and this was but brackish : therefore this 
man and boy came thither to wash their linen : and 

1 Stout poles, used for carrying casks. 

78 Cavendish First Voyage. [1586 

being in washing at the said well, there were great 
store of Indians which were come down, and found the 
said man and boy in washing. These Indians being 
divided on each side of the rocks, shot at them with 
their arrows and hurt them both ; but they fled presently, 
being about fifty or threescore, though our General 
followed them with but sixteen or twenty men. The 
man s name which was hurt was John Garge, the boy s 
name was Lutch : the man was shot clean through the 
knee, the boy into the shoulder, either of them having 
very sore wounds. Their arrows are made of little 
canes, and their heads are of a flint stone, set into the 
cane very artificially. They seldom or never see any 
Christians : they are as wild as ever was a buck or any 
other wild beast; for we followed them, and they ran 
from us as it had been the wildest thing in the world. 
We took the measure of one of their feet, and it was 
18 inches long. Their use is when any of them die, to 
bring him or them to the cliffs by the sea-side, and 
upon the top of them they bury them, and in their 
graves are buried with them their bows and arrows, 
and all their jewels which they have in their life-time, 
which are fine shells which they find by the sea-side, 
which they cut and square after an artificial manner ; 
and all is laid under their heads. The grave is made 
all with great stones of great length and bigness, being 
set all along full of the dead man s darts which he used 
when he was living. And they colour both their darts 
and their graves with a red colour which they use in 
colouring of themselves. 

The 28. of December we departed out of the Port of 
Desire, and went to an island which lieth three leagues 
to the southward of it ; where we trimmed our saved 
penguins with salt for victual all that and the next day, 
and departed along the coast south-west and by south. 

1587] Strait of Magellan. 79 

The 30. day we fell with a rock which lieth about five 
leagues from the land, much like unto Eddystone, which 
lieth off the sound of Plymouth ; and we sounded, and 
had 8 fathoms rocky ground, within a mile thereof, the 
rock bearing west-south-west. We went coasting along 
south-south-west, and found great store of seals all 
along the coast. This rock standeth in 48 degrees and 
a-half to the southward of the line. 

The second day of January we fell with a very fair 
white cape, which standeth in 51 degrees, and had 
7 fathoms water a league off the land. On the third 
day of the foresaid month we fell with another great 
white cape, which standeth in 52 degrees and 45 minutes; 
from which cape there runneth a low beach about a 
league to the southward, and this beach reacheth to 
the opening of the dangerous Strait of Magellan, which 
is in divers places five or six leagues wide, and in two 
several places more narrow. Under this cape we 
anchored and lost an anchor, for it was a great storm 
of foul weather, and lasted three days very dangerous. 
The 6. day we put in for the Straits. The 7. day, 
between the mouth of the Straits and the narrowest 
place thereof, we took a Spaniard whose name was 
Hernando, who was there with 23 Spaniards more, 
which were all that remained of 400 which were left 
there three years before in these Straits of Magellan, 
all the rest being dead with famine. And the same day 
we passed through the narrowest of the Straits, where 
the aforesaid Spaniard shewed us the hull of a small 
bark, which we judged to be a bark called the John 
Thomas. It is from the mouth of the Straits unto the 
narrowest of the Straits 14 leagues, and the course 
lieth west and by north. The mouth of the Straits 
standeth in 52 degrees. From the narrowest of the 
Straits unto Penguin Island is ten leagues, and lieth 

80 Cavendish First Voyage. [1587 

west-south-west somewhat to the southward, where we 
anchored the eighth day, and killed and salted great 
store of penguins for victuals. 

The ninth day we departed from Penguin Island, 
and ran south-south-west to King Philip s City, which 
the Spaniards had built ; which town or city had four 
forts/ and every fort had in it one cast piece, which 
pieces were buried in the ground, the carriages were 
standing in their places unburied : we digged for them 
and had them all. They had contrived their city very 
well, and seated i**m the best place of the Straits for 
wood and warff : they had built up their churches by 
themselves : they had laws very severe among them 
selves, for they had erected a gibbet, whereon they had 
done execution upon some of their company. It seemed 
unto us that the whole living for a great space was 
altogether upon muscles and limpets, for there was not 
anything else to be had, except some deer which came 
out of the mountains down to the fresh rivers to drink. 
These Spaniards which were there, were only come to 
fortify the Straits, to the end that no other nation 
should have passage through into the South Sea, 
saving only their own ; but as it appeared, it was not 
God s will so to have it. For during the time that they 
were there, which was two years at the least, they could 
never have anything to grow or in anywise prosper. 
And on the other side the Indians oftentimes preyed 
upon them, until their victuals grew so short, their 
store being spent which they had brought with them 
out of Spain, and having no means to renew the same, 
that they died like dogs in their houses, and in their 
clothes, wherein we found them still at our coming ; 
until that in the end the town being wonderfully tainted 
with the smell and the savour of the dead people, the 
rest which remained alive were driven to bury such 

1587] Passage of the Strait. 81 

things as they had there in their town either for pro 
vision or for furniture, and so to forsake the town, and 
to go along the sea-side, and seek their victuals to pre 
serve them from starving, taking nothing with them, 
but every man his arquebus and his furniture that was 
able to carry it (for some were not able to carry them 
for weakness) and so lived for the space of a year and 
more with roots, leaves, and sometimes a fowl which 
they might kill with their piece. To conclude, they 
were determined to have travelled towards the River 
of Plate, only being left alive 23 persons, whereof two 
were women, which were the remainder of 400. In 
this place we watered and wooded well and quietly. 
Our General named this town Port Famine : it standeth 
in 53 degrees by observation to the southward. 

The 14. day we departed from this place, and ran 
south-south-west, and from thence south-west unto 
Cape Froward, 5 leagues west-south-west, which cape 
is the southermost part of all the straits, and standeth 
in the latitude of 54 degrees. From which cape we 
ran west and by north five leagues, and put into a bay 
or cove on the south side, which we called Muscle 
Cove, because there were great store of them : we rode 
therein six days, the wind being still westerly. The 21. 
of January we departed from Muscle Cove, and went 
north-west and by west ten leagues to a very fair sandy 
bay on the north side, which our General called Eliza 
beth Bay, and as we rode there that night, one of our 
men died which went in the Hugh Gallant, whose name 
was Grey, a carpenter by his occupation, and was buried 
there in that bay. 

The two-and-twentieth we departed from Elizabeth 
Bay in the afternoon, and went about two leagues from 
that place, where there was a fresh-water river, where 
our General went up with the ship-boat about three 

II. G 

82 Cavendish First Voyage. [1587 

miles. Which river hath very good and pleasant 
ground about it, and it is low and champaign soil, and 
so we saw none other ground else in all the straits but 
that was craggy rocks and monstrous high hills and 
mountains. In this river are great store of savages, 
which we saw, and had conference with them. They 
were men-eaters, and fed altogether upon raw flesh and 
other filthy food ; which people had preyed upon some 
of the Spaniards before spoken of. For they had gotten 
knives and pieces of rapiers to make darts of. They 
used all the means they could possibly to have allured 
us up farther into the river, of purpose to have betrayed 
us ; which being espied by our General, he caused us 
to shoot at them with our arquebuses, whereby we 
killed many of them. So we sailed from this river to 
the Channel of St. Jerome, which is two leagues off. 

From the river of St. Jerome about three or four 
leagues we ran west unto a cape which is on the north 
side ; and from that cape into the mouth of the Straits 
the course lieth north-west and by west, and north 
west. Between which place and the mouth of the 
Straits to the southward we lay in harborough until 
the 23. of February, by reason of contrary winds and 
most vile and filthy foul weather, with such rain and 
vehement stormy winds, which came down from the 
mountains and high hills, that they hazarded the best 
cables and anchors that we had for to hold, which if 
they had failed we had been in great danger to have 
been cast away, or at the least famished. For during 
this time, which was a full month, we fed almost 
altogether upon muscles, and limpets, and birds, or 
such as we could get on shore, seeking every day for 
them, as the fowls of the air do, where they can find 
food, in continual rainy weather. There is at every 
mile or two miles end an harborough on both sides of 

1587] Pacific Ocean Coast of Chile. 83 

the land. And there are between the river of St. 
Jerome and the mouth of the Straits going into the 
South Sea about 34 leagues by estimation : so that the 
length of the whole Straits is about 90 leagues. And 
the said mouth of the Straits standeth in the same 
height that the entrance standeth in when we pass out 
of the North Sea, which is about 52 degrees and two- 
thirds to the southward of the line. 

The 24. day of February we entered into the South 
Sea ; and on the south side of the going out of the 
Straits is a fair high cape with a low point adjoining 
unto it ; and on the north side are four or five islands 
which lie six leagues off the main, and much broken and 
sunken ground about them. By noon the same day 
we had brought these islands east of us five leagues 
off, the wind being southerly. The first of March 
a storm took us at north, which night the ships lost the 
company of the Hugh Gallant, being in 49 and an half, 
and 45 leagues from the land. This storm continued 
three or four days, and for that time we in the Hugh 
Gallant, being separated from the other two ships, 
looked every hour to sink, our bark was so leak, and 
ourselves so dilvered 1 and weakened with freeing it 
of water, that we slept not in three days and three 

The 15. of March, in the morning, the Hugh Gallant 
came in between the Island of St. Mary and the main, 
where she met with the Admiral and the Content, which 
had rid at the island called La Mocha two days, which 
standeth in the southerly latitude of 38 degrees; at 
which place some of our men went on shore with the 
Vice-Admiral s boat, where the Indians fought with 
them with their bows and arrows, and were marvellous 
wary of their calivers. These Indians were enemies 

1 Fatigued. 
G 2 

84 Cavendish First Voyage. [1587 

to the Spaniards, and belonged to a great place called 
Arauco, and took us for Spaniards, as afterward we 
learned. This place which is called Arauco is wonder 
ful rich and full of gold-mines, and yet could it not be 
subdued at any time by the Spaniards, but they always 
returned with the greatest loss of men. For these 
Indians are marvellous desperate and careless of their 
lives to live at their own liberty and freedom. The 
15. day aforesaid, in the afternoon, we weighed anchor 
and ran under the west side of St. Mary Island, where 
we rid very well in six fathoms water and very fair 
ground all that night. The 16. day our General went 
on shore himself with 70 or 80 men, everyone with his 
furniture. There came down to us certain Indians 
with two which were the principals of the island to 
welcome us on shore, thinking we had been Spaniards, 
for it is subdued by them ; who brought us up to a 
place where the Spaniards had erected a church with 
crosses and altars in it. And there were about this 
church two or three storehouses, which were full of 
wheat and barley ready threshed and made up in 
cades l of straw to the quantity of a bushel of corn in 
every cade. The wheat and barley was as fair, as 
clean, and everyway as good as any we have in Eng 
land. There were also the like cades full of potato 
roots, which were very good to eat, ready made up in 
the storehouses for the Spaniards against they should 
come for their tribute. This island also yieldeth many 
sorts of fruits, hogs, and hens. These Indians are 
held in such slavery by them that they dare not eat 
a hen or an hog themselves. But the Spaniards have 
made them all in that island Christians. Thus we 
fitted ourselves here with corn as much as we would 
have, and as many hogs as we had salt to powder them 
1 Casks, boxes. 

1587] Coast of Chile. 85 

withal, and great store of hens, with a number of bags 
of potato roots, and about 500 dried dog-fishes, and 
Guinea wheat, which is called maize. And, having 
taken as much as we would have, yet we left marvellous 
great store behind us. Our General had the two prin 
cipals of the island aboard our ship, and provided great 
cheer for them, and made them merry with wine ; and 
they in the end perceiving us to be no Spaniards, made 
signs, as near as our General could perceive, that if 
we would go over unto the mainland unto Arauco, 
that there was much gold, making us signs that we 
should have great store of riches. But because we 
could not understand them, our General made some 
haste, and within two or three days we furnished our 

The 18. day, in the morning, we departed from this 
place, and ran all that day north-north-east about ten 
leagues, and at night lay with a short sail off and on 
the coast. The 19. we ran in east-north-east with the 
land, and bare in with a place called The Conception, 
where we anchored under an island, and departed 
the next morning without going on land. The 20. we 
departed from The Conception, and went into a little 
bay which was sandy, where we saw fresh water and 
cattle, but we stayed not there. 

The 30. day we came into the Bay of Quintero, which 
standeth in 33 degrees and 50 minutes. The said day, 
presently after we were come to an anchor in the bay, 
there was a neatherd, or one that kept cattle, which lay 
upon the point of the hill asleep, which, when he 
awaked and had espied three ships which were come 
into the bay, before we could get on shore, he had 
caught an horse which was feeding by and rode his way 
as fast as ever he might ; and our General, with thirty 
shot with him, went on shore. He had not been on 

86 Cavendish First Voyage. [1587 

land one hour but there came three horsemen with 
bright swords towards us so hard as they might ride, 
until they came within some 20 or 30 score of us, and 
so stayed, and would come no nearer unto us. So our 
General sent unto them a couple of our men with their 
shot, and one Fernando, which was the Spaniard that 
we had taken up at the mouth of the Straits, which 
was one of the 400 that were starved there. But the 
Spaniards would not suffer our men to come near with 
their shot, but made signs that one of our men should 
come alone unto them ; so the said Fernando, the 
Spaniard, went unto them, and our two men stood not 
far from them. They had great conference, and in the 
end Fernando came back from them and told our 
General that he had parleyed with them for some 
victuals, who had promised as much as we would have. 
Our General sent him back again with another mes 
sage and another shot with him * and, being come near 
unto them, they would not suffer any more than one to 
approach them ; whereupon our men let the Spaniard 
go unto them alone himself, who, being some good 
distance from them, they stayed but a small time 
together but that the said Fernando leaped up behind 
one of them and rid away with them, for all his deep 
and damnable oaths which he had made constantly to 
our General and all his company never to forsake him, 
but to die on his side before he would be false. Our 
General, seeing how he was dealt withal, filled water 
all that day with good watch, and carried it aboard ; 
and, night being come, he determined the next day to 
send into the country to find their town, and to have 
taken the spoil of it, and to have fired it if they could 
have found it. 

The last of March Captain Havers went up into the 
country with 50 or 60 men with their shot and furniture 

1587] Skirmish with Spaniards. 87 

with them, and we travelled seven or eight miles into 
the land ; and as we were marching along we espied 
a number of herds of cattle, of kine and bullocks, which 
were wonderful wild. We saw also great store of 
horses, mares, and colts, which were very wild and 
unhandled. There is also great store of hares and 
coneys, and plenty of partridges and other wild fowls. 
The country is very fruitful, with fair, fresh rivers all 
along full of wild fowl of all sorts. Having travelled 
so far that we could go no further for the monstrous 
high mountains, we rested ourselves at a very fair, 
fresh river running in and along fair low meadows at 
the foot of the mountains, where every man drunk of 
the river and refreshed themselves. Having so done, 
we returned to our ships the likest way that we thought 
their town should be. So we travelled all the day 
long, not seeing any man, but we met with many wild 
dogs. Yet there were two hundred horsemen abroad 
that same day by means of the Spaniard which they 
had taken the day before from us, who had told them 
that our force was but small, and that we were won 
derfully weak ; who, though they did espy us that day, 
yet durst they not give the onset upon us. For we 
marched along in array, and observed good order, 
whereby we seemed a great number more than 
we were, until we came unto our ships that night 

The next c]ay, being the first of April, 1587, our men 
went on shore to fill water at a pit which was a quarter 
of a mile from the water s side ; and being early hard 
at their business were in no readiness. In which mean 
while there came pouring down from the hills almost 
200 horsemen, and before our people could return to 
the rocks from the watering-place, 12 of them were cut 
off, part killed and part taken prisoners ; the rest were 

88 Cavendish First Voyage. [1587 

rescued by our soldiers, which came from the rocks to 
meet with them, who being but 15 of us that had any 
weapons on shore, yet we made the enemy retire in the 
end with loss of some 24 of their men, after we had 
skirmished with them an hour. The names of our men 
that were slain were these Thomas Lucas, of London, 
soldier, Richard Wheeler, of London, Robert Pitcher, 
of Norfolk, soldier, John Langston, of Gloucestershire, 
William Kingtnan, of Dorsetshire, soldier, William Hills, 
of Cornwall, out of the Admiral. William Byet, of 
Weymouth, Laurence Gamesby, of Newcastle, killed out 
of the Vice- Admiral. Henry Blackenals, of Weymouth, 
William Stevens, of Plymouth, gunner, William Pitt, 
of Sherborne, in Dorsetshire, Humfrey Derrick, of 
London, killed out of the Hugh Gallant. After the loss 
of these men we rid in the road, and watered in despite 
of them with good watch and ward, until the fifth of the 
said month. The fifth day we departed out of this bay 
of Quintero, and off from the bay there lieth a little 
island about a league distant, whereon there are great 
store of penguins and other fowls; whereof we took to 
serve our turns, and sailed away north, and north and 
by west : for so lieth the coast along in this place. 

The 15. we came thwart of a place which is called 
Morro Moreno, which standeth in 23 degrees and a-half, 
and is an excellent good harborough ; and there is an 
island which maketh it an harborough, and a ship may 
go in at either end of the island. Here we went with 
our General on shore to the number of 30 men ; and at 
our going on shore upon our landing, the Indians of 
the place came down from the rocks to meet with us, 
with fresh water and wood on their backs. They are 
in marvellous awe of the Spaniards, and very simple 
people, and live marvellous savagely ; for they brought 
us to their hidings about two miles from the harbour, 

1587] Changes of Peru Arica. 89 

where we saw their women and lodging, which is 
nothing but the skin of some beast laid upon the 
ground ; and over them, instead of houses, is nothing 
but five or six sticks laid across, which stand upon two 
forks with sticks on the ground, and a few boughs laid 
on it. Their diet is raw fish, which stinketh most 
vilely; and when any of them die, they bury their 
bows and arrows with them, with their canoa and all 
that they have ; for we opened one of their graves, and 
saw the order of them. Their canoas or boats are 
marvellous artificially made of two skins like unto 
bladders, and are blown full at one end with quills. 
They have two of these bladders blown full, which are 
sewn together and made fast with a sinew of some wild 
beast, which when they are in the water swell, so that 
they are as tight as may be. They go to sea in these 
boats, and catch very much fish with them, and pay 
much of it for tribute unto the Spaniards ; but they use 
it marvellous beastly. 

The 23. in the morning we took a small bark which 
came out of Arica road, which we kept and called the 
George ; the men forsook it, and went away with their 
boat. Our Admiral s pinnace followed the boat, and the 
Hugh Gallant s boat took the bark. Our Admiral s 
pinnace could not recover the boat before it got on 
shore, but went along into the road of Arica, and laid 
aboard a great ship of 100 tons, riding in the road right 
afore the town, but all the men and goods were gone 
out of it, only the bare ship was left alone. They made 
three or four very fair shots at the pinnace as she was 
coming in, but missed her very narrowly with a minion 
shot which they had in the fort. Whereupon we came 
into the road with the Admiral and the Hugh Gallant ; 
but the Content, which was Vice-Admiral, was behind 
out of sight, by means whereof, and for want of her 

go Cavendish First Voyage. [1587 

boat to land men withal, we landed not ; otherwise, if 
we had been together, our General with the company 
would resolutely have landed to take the town, what 
soever had come of it. The cause why the Content 
stayed behind was, that she had found about 14 leagues 
to the southward ofArt ca, in a place where the Spaniards 
had landed, a whole ship s lading of botijas of wine of 
Castilia, whereof the said Content took into her as many 
as she could conveniently carry, and came after us into 
the road of Arica the same day. By this time we per 
ceived that the town had gathered all their power 
together, and also had conveyed all their treasure away, 
and buried it before we were come near the town ; for 
they had heard of us. Now because it was very populous 
with the aid of one or two places up in the land, our 
General saw there was no landing without loss of 
many men; wherefore he gave over that enterprise. 
While we rid in the road, they shot at us; and our 
ships shot at them again for every shot two. Moreover 
our pinnace went in hard almost to the shore, and 
fetched out another bark which rid there, in despite of 
all their forts, though they shot still at the pinnace, 
which they could never hit. After these things our 
General sent a boat on shore with a flag of truce to 
know if they would redeem their great ship or no ; but 
they would not, for they had received special command 
ment from the Viceroy from Lima, not to buy any ship, 
nor to ransom any man upon pain of death. Our General 
did this in hope to have redeemed some of our men, 
which were taken prisoners on shore by the horsemen 
at Quintero, otherwise he would have made them no 
offer of parley. 

The 25., riding still in the said road, we spied a sail 
coming from the southward, and our General sent out 
his pinnace to meet her, with all our boats; but the 

1587] Plunder on the Peruvian Coast. 91 

town made such signs from the hill with fires and 
tokens out of the watch-house, that before our pinnace 
could get to them, they ran the bark on shore two 
miles to the southward of the town ; but they had small 
leisure to carry anything with them. But all the men 
scaped ; among whom were certain friars, for we saw 
them in their friars weeds as they ran on shore ; many 
horsemen came from the town to rescue them, and to 
carry them away, otherwise we had landed and taken 
or killed them. So we went aboard the bark as she lay 
sunk, and fetched out the pillage ; but there was nothing 
in it of any value, and came aboard our ships again the 
same night. And the next morning we set the great 
ship on fire in the road, and sunk one of the barks, and 
carried the other along with us, and so departed from 
thence and went away north-west. 

The 27. day we took a small bark, which came from 
St. lago, near unto Quintero, where we lost our men 
first. In this bark was one George, a Greek, a reason 
able pilot for all the coast of Chili. They were sent to 
the city of Lima with letters of adviso of us, and of the 
loss of our men. There were also in the said bark 
one Fleming and three Spaniards, and they were all 
sworn and received the sacrament before they came to 
sea by three or four friars, that if we should chance 
to meet them, they should throw those letters over 
board ; which, as we were giving them chase with our 
pinnace, before we could fetch them up, they had 
accordingly thrown away. Yet our General wrought 
so with them that they did confess it ; but he was fain 
to cause them to be tormented with their thumbs in 
a wrinch, and to continue them at several times with 
extreme pain. Also he made the old Fleming believe 
that he would hang him, and the rope being about his 
neck he was pulled up a little from the hatches, and yet 

92 Cavendish First Voyage. [1587 

he would not confess, choosing rather to die than he 
would be perjured. In the end it was confessed by one 
of the Spaniards ; whereupon we burnt the bark, and 
carried the men with us. 

The third of May we came into a bay where are three 
little towns, which are called Paracca, Chincha, and 
Pisca, where some of us landed and took certain houses, 
wherein was bread, wine, figs, and hens ; but the sea 
went so high, that we could not land at the best of the 
towns without sinking of our boats, and great hazard of 
us all. This place standeth in 13 degrees and two-thirds 
to the southward of the line. The fifth of May we 
departed from this harbour, leaving the Content, our 
Vice-Admiral, within at an island of seals, by which 
means at that time we lost her company. The ninth 
we gave chase to a sail, namely, our Admiral, the Hugh 
Gallant, and the George, which we had taken before, 
coming out of the road of Artca : the Content, which 
was our Vice-Admiral, being still lost; but we could 
not fetch it. The George made after it, but lost it that 
night. The tenth day the Hugh Gallant (in which 
bark I Francis Pretty was) lost company of our 

The ii. we which were in the Hugh Gallant put into 
a bay which standeth in 12 degrees and two-thirds, in 
which bay we found a river of fresh water about eight 
of the clock at night. And though we were but of 
small force, and no more but one bark and 18 men 
in it, yet we went on shore to fill water ; where, having 
filled one boat s lading, while our boat was in going 
aboard, two or three of our company which were on 
shore, as they were going a little from the watering- 
place with their furniture about them, espied where 
there were 400 or 500 bags of meal on an heap covered 
with a few reeds. So that night we filled water and 

1587] Coast of Northern Peru. 93 

took as much meal as we thought good, which fell out 
well for us that were then lost and stood in need of 
victuals ; and by break of day in the morning we came 
aboard, and there stayed and rode until the afterno9n. 
In which mean time the town seeing us ride there still, 
brought down much cattle to the seaside to have enticed 
us to come on shore ; but we saw their intent, and 
weighed anchor and departed the twelfth day. 

The 13. day at night we put into a bay which standeth 
in nine degrees and a third, where we saw horsemen ; 
and that night we landed, namely, Master Brewer, 
captain, myself Francis Pretty, Arthur Warford, John 
Way, Preacher, John Newman, Andrew White, William 
Gargefield, and Henry Hilliard. And we eight only, 
having every man his arquebus and his furniture about 
him, marched three-quarters of a mile along the sea 
side, where we found a boat of five or six tons haled 
up dry on the shore about a cable s length from the 
water ; and with extreme labour we launched the bark. 
When it was on float, Captain Brewer and I went in, 
while the rest of our company were fetching their things ; 
but suddenly it was ready to sink. And the captain and 
I stood up to the knees lading out water with our 
targets : but it sunk down faster than we were able to 
free it, insomuch as in the end we had much ado to 
save ourselves from drowning. When we were out, 
we stood in great fear that our own boat wherein we 
came on shore was sunk ; for we could nowhere see it. 
Howbeit the captain commanded them to keep it off, 
for fear of the great surge that went by the shore. Yet 
in the end we spied it, and went aboard by two and two, 
and were driven to wade up to the arm-holes sixty paces 
into the sea before we could get into the boat, by reason 
of the shoalness ; and then departed the 14. day in the 

94 Cavendish First Voyage. [1587 

The 1 6. we took with the Hugh Gallant, being but 
16 men of us in it, a great ship which came from 
Guaiaquil, which was called the Lewis, and was of the 
burthen of 300 tons, having four-and-twenty men in it, 
wherein was pilot one Gonsalvo de Ribas, whom we 
carried along with us, and a negro called Emmanuel. 
The ship was laden with nothing but timber and victuals; 
wherefore we left her seven leagues from the land very 
leak and ready to sink in seven degrees to the south 
ward of the line ; we sunk her boat and took away her 
foresail and certain victuals. 

The 17. of May we met with our Admiral again, and 
all the rest of our fleet. They had taken two ships, the 
one laden with sugar, molosses, maize, Cordovan-skins, 
manteca de puerco 1 , many packs of pintados*, many 
Indian coats, and some marmalade, and 1000 hens ; 
and the other ship was laden with wheat-meal and 
boxes of marmalade. One of these ships which had 
the chief merchandise in it, was worth 20,000, if it 
had been in England or in any other place of Christendom 
where we might have sold it. We filled all our ships 
with as much as we could bestow of these goods ; the 
rest we burnt, and the ships also, and set the men and 
women that were not killed on shore. 

The 20. day in the morning we came into the road of 
Paita ; and being at an anchor, our General landed with 
60 or 70 men, skirmished with them of the town, and 
drave them all to flight to the top of the hill which is 
over the town, except a few slaves and some other 
which were of the meaner sort, who were commanded 
by the governors to stay below in the town, at a place 
which is in building for a fort, having with them a bloody 
ensign, being in number about 100 men. Now as we 
were rowing between the ships and the shore, our 
1 Lard. 3 Coloured cloths. 

1587] At Paita and Puna, 95 

gunner shot off a great piece out of one of the barks, 
and the shot fell among them, and drave them to fly 
from the fort as fast as they might run ; who got them 
up upon a hill, and from thence shot among us with 
their small shot. After we were landed and had taken 
the town, we ran upon them, and chased them so 
fiercely up the hills for the space of an hour, that we 
drave them in the end away perforce ; and being got 
up the hills, we found where they had laid all their 
stuff which they had brought out of the town, and had 
hidden it there upon the mountains. We also found 
the quantity of 25 pounds weight in silver in pieces of 
eight reals, and abundance of household stuff and store 
houses full of all kinds of wares. But our General 
would not suffer any man to carry much cloth or 
apparel away, because they should not cloy themselves 
with burdens, for he knew not whether our enemies 
were provided with furniture according to the number 
of their men ; for they were five men to one of us, and 
we had an English mile and an half to our ships. Thus 
we came down in safety to the town, which was very 
well builded, and marvellous clean kept in every street, 
with a town-house or Guildhall in the midst, and had to 
the number of 200 houses at the least in it. We set it 
on fire to the ground, and goods to the value of five or 
six thousand pounds. There was also a bark, riding in 
the road, which we set on fire, and departed, directing 
our course to the Island of Puna. 

The 25. of May we arrived at the island of Puna, 
where is a very good harbour. Where we found a 
great ship of the burden of 250 tons riding at an 
anchor with all her furniture, which was ready to be 
haled on ground ; for there is a special good place for 
that purpose. We sunk it, and went on shore where 
the lord of the island dwelt, which was by the water- 

96 Cavendish First Voyage. [1587 

side, who had a sumptuous house, marvellous well 
contrived, with very many singular good rooms and 
chambers in it ; and out of every chamber was framed 
a gallery with a stately prospect into the sea on the one 
side, and into the island on the other *side, with a 
marvellous great hall below, and a very great store 
house at the other end of the hall, which was filled 
with boti/as l of pitch, and bash 2 to make cables withal ; 
for the most part of the cables of the South Sea are 
made upon that island. This great cacique doth make 
all the Indians upon the island to work and to drudge 
for him ; and he himself is an Indian born, but is 
married to a marvellous fair woman which is a Spaniard, 
by reason of his pleasant habitation and of his great 

This Spanish woman his wife is honoured as a queen 
in the island, and never goeth on the ground upon her 
feet, but holdeth it too base a thing for her. But when 
her pleasure is to take the air, or to go abroad, she is 
always carried in a shadow 3 like unto a horse-litter 
upon four men s shoulders, with a veil or canopy over 
her for the sun or the wind, having her gentlewomen 
still attending about her, with a great troop of the best 
men of the island with her. But both she and the lord 
of the island with all the Indians in the town were newly 
fled out of the island before we could get to an anchor, 
by reason we were becalmed before we could get in, and 
were gone over unto the mainland, having carried away 
with them to the sum of 100,000 crowns ; which we 
knew by a captain of the island, an Indian, which was 
left there with some other upon the island under him, 
whom we had taken at sea as we were coming into the 
road, being in a balsa 4 or canoa for a spy to see what we 

1 Jars. 2 Bast, fibre of the lime-tree. 3 Covered chair. 4 Raft. 

1587] In the Gulf of Guyaquil. 97 

The 27. our General himself with certain shot and 
some targeteers went over into the main unto the place 
where this aforesaid Indian captain which we had taken 
had told us that the cacique, which was the lord of the 
island, was gone unto, and had carried all his treasure 
with him ; but at our coming to the place which we went 
to land at, we found newly arrived there four or five 
great balsas, which were laden with plantains, bags of 
meal, and many other kinds of victuals. Our General 
marvelled what they were and what they meant, asking 
the Indian guide and commanding him to speak the 
truth upon his life ; being then bound fast, he answered 
being very much abashed, as well as our company were, 
that he neither knew from whence they should come, 
nor who they should be ; for there was never a man in 
any one of the balsas; and because he had told our 
General before, that it was an easy matter to take the 
said cacique and all his treasure, and that there were 
but three or four houses standing in a desert place and 
no resistance, and that if he found it not so he should 
hang him. Again, being demanded to speak upon his 
life what he thought these balsas should be, he answered 
that he could not say from whence they should come, 
except it were to bring 60 soldiers, which he did hear 
were to go to a place called Guaiaquil, which was abou: 
six leagues from the said island, where two or three of 
the king s ships were on the stocks in building, where 
are continually an hundred soldiers in garrisons who 
had heard of us, and had sent for 60 more for fear of 
burning of the ships and town. Our General, not any 
whit discouraged, either at the sight of the balsas un 
locked for, or for hearing of the threescore soldiers not 
until then spoken of, with a brave courage animating 
his company in the exploit, went presently forward, 
being in the night in a most desert path in the woods, 

II. H 

98 Cavendish First Voyage. [1587 

until such time as he came to the place ; where, as it 
seemed, they had kept watch either at the water s side, 
or at the houses, or else at both, and were newly gone 
out of the houses, having so short warning, that they 
left their meat both boiling and roasting at the fire, and 
were fled with their treasure with them, or else buried 
it where it could not be found, being also in the night. 
Our company took hens and such things as we thought 
good, and came away. 

The 29. day of May our General went in the ship 
boat into a little island thereby, whereas the said cacique 
which was the lord of Puna had caused all the hangings 
of his chambers, which were of Cordovan leather all 
gilded over, and painted very fair and rich, with all 
his household stuff, and all the ship s tackling which 
was riding in the road at our coming in, with great store 
of nails, spikes of iron, and very many other things, 
to be conveyed ; all which we found, and brought 
away what our General thought requisite for the ship s 

This island is very pleasant for all things requisite, 
and fruitful ; but there are no mines of gold nor silver 
in it. There are at the least 200 houses in the town 
about the cacique s palace, and as many in one or two 
towns more upon the island, which is almost as big as 
the Isle of Wight, in England. There is planted on the 
one side of the cacique s house a fair garden, with all 
herbs growing in it, and at the lower end a well of 
fresh water, and round about it are trees set, whereon 
bombasin cotton groweth after this manner. The tops 
of the trees grow full of cods, out of which the cotton 
groweth, and in the cotton is a seed of the bigness 
of a pea, and in every cod there are seven or eight of 
these seeds ; and if the cotton be not gathered when 
it is ripe, then these seeds fall from it, and spring 

1587] Island of Puna. 99 

again. There are also in this garden fig-trees which 
bear continually, also pompions ; melons, cucumbers, 
radishes, rosemary, and thyme, with many other 
herbs and fruits. At the other end of the house there 
is also another orchard, where grow oranges sweet 
and sour, limons, pomegranates and limes, with divers 
other fruits. 

There is very good pasture ground in this island ; 
and withal many horses, oxen, bullocks, sheep very fat 
and fair, great store of goats, which be very tame, and 
are used continually to be milked. They have more 
over abundance of pigeons, turkeys, and ducks of 
a marvellous bigness. There was also a very large 
and great church hard by the cacique s house, whither 
he caused all the Indians in the island to come and 
hear mass ; for he himself was made a Christian when 
he was married to the Spanish woman before spoken 
of, and upon his conversion he caused the rest of his 
subjects to be christened. In this church was an high 
altar with a crucifix, and five bells hanging in the nether 
end thereof. We burnt the church and brought the 
bells away. By this time we had haled on ground our 
Admiral, and had made her clean, burnt her keel, 
pitched and tarred her, and had haled her on float 
again ; and in the meanwhile continually kept watch and 
ward in the great house both night and day. 

The second day of June in the morning, by-and-by 
after break of day, every one of the watch being gone 
abroad to seek to fetch in victuals, some one way, some 
another, some for hens, some for sheep, some for goats, 
upon the sudden there came down upon us an hundred 
Spanish soldiers with muskets and an ensign, which 
were landed on the other side of the island that night, 
and all the Indians of the island with them, everyone 
with weapons and their baggage after them ; which was 

H 2 

ioo Cavendish First Voyage. [1587 

by means of a negro, whose name was Emmanuel, which 
fled from us at our first landing there. Thus being 
taken at advantage we had the worst ; for our company 
was not past sixteen or twenty ; whereof they had slain 
one or two before they were come to the houses. Yet 
we skirmished with them an hour and an half; at the 
last, being sore overcharged with multitudes, we were 
driven down from the hill to the water s side, and there 
kept them play awhile, until in the end Zachary Saxie, 
who with his halberd had kept the way of the hill, and 
slain a couple of them, as he breathed himself, being 
somewhat tired, had an honourable death and a short ; 
for a shot struck him to the heart ; who feeling himself 
mortally wounded, cried to God for mercy, and fell 
down presently dead. But soon after the enemy was 
driven somewhat to retire from the bank s side to the 
green ; and in the end our boat came and carried as 
many of our men away as could go in her, which was 
in hazard of sinking while they hastened into it. And 
one of our men, whose name was Robert Maddocke, was 
shot through the head with his own piece, being a snap- 
hance, as he was hasting into the boat. But four of 
us were left behind, which the boat could not carry; 
to wit, myself Francis Pretty, Thomas Andrewes, Stephen 
Gunner, and Richard Rose ; which had our shot ready 
and retired ourselves unto a cliff, until the boat came 
again, which was presently after they had carried the 
rest aboard. There were 46 of the enemy slain by us, 
whereof they had dragged some into bushes, and some 
into old houses, which we found afterward. We lost 
twelve men, in manner following : Zachary Saxie, 
Neale s Johnson, William Gargefield, Nicholas Hendy, 
Henry Cooper, slain by the enemy ; Robert Maddocke, 
killed with his piece ; Henry Mawdley, burnt ; Edward, 
the gunner s-man, Ambrose, the musician, drowned ; 

1587] Burning of Puna Costa Rica. 101 

Walter Tilliard, Edward Smith, Henry Aselye, taken 

The self-same day, being the second of June, we went 
on shore again with seventy men, and had a fresh 
skirmish with the enemies, and drave them to retire, 
being an hundred Spaniards serving with muskets, and 
200 Indians with bows, arrows, and darts. This done, 
we set fire on the town and burnt it to the ground, 
having in it to the number of 300 houses ; and shortly 
after made havoc of their fields, orchards, and gardens, 
and burnt four great ships more which were in building 
on the stocks. The third of June, the Content, which 
was our Vice-Admiral, was haled on ground to grave 
at the same place, in despite of the Spaniards, and also 
our pinnace, which the Spaniards had burnt, was new 
trimmed. The fifth day of June we departed out of the 
road of Puna, where we had remained eleven days, and 
turned up for a place which is called Rio Dolce, where we 
watered ; at which place also we sunk our Rear- Admiral 
called the Hugh Gallant, for want of men, being a bark 
of 40 tons. The 10. day of the same month we set the 
Indians on shore, which we had taken before in a balsa, 
as we were coming into the road of Puna. The u. day 
we departed from the said Rio Dolce. The 12. of June 
we doubled the equinoctial line, and continued our 
course northward all that month. 

The first of July we had sight of the coast of Nueva 
Espana, being four leagues distant from land in the 
latitude of 10 degrees to the northward of the line. The 
9. of July we took a new ship of the burden of 120 tons, 
wherein was one Michael Sancius, whom our General 
took to serve his turn to water along the coast ; for he 
was one of the best coasters in the South Sea. This 
Michael Sancius was a Provencal, born in Marseilles, 
and was the first man that told us news of the great 

IO2 Cavendish First Voyage. [1587 

ship called the Santa Anna, which we afterward took 
coming from the Philippinas. There were six men 
more in this new ship; we took her sails, her ropes, 
and fire-wood, to serve our turns, set her on fire, and 
kept the men. The tenth we took another bark which 
was going with advice of us and our ships all along the 
coast, as Michael Sancius told us ; but all the company 
that were in the bark were fled on shore. None of 
both these ships had any goods in them. For they 
came both from Sonsonate, in the province of Guatimala\ 
the new ship, for fear we should have taken her in the 
road, and the bark, to carry news of us along the coast ; 
which bark also we set on fire. 

The 26. day of July we came to an anchor at 10 
fathoms in the river of Copaltia, where we made account 
to water. And the same night we departed with thirty 
men in the pinnace, and rowed to Aguatulco, which is 
but two leagues from the aforesaid river ; and standeth 
in 15 degrees 40 minutes to the northward of the 
equinoctial line. 

The 27. in the morning by the break of day, we came 
into the road of Aguatulco, where we found a bark 
of 50 tons, which was come from Sonsonate laden with 
cacaos and am ! 1 , which they had there landed ; and the 
men were all fled on shore. We landed there and 
burnt their town, with the church and custom-house, 
which was very fair and large ; in which house were 
600 bags of anil to dye cloth, every bag whereof was 
worth forty crowns ; and 400 bags of cacaos, every bag 
whereof is worth ten crowns. These cacaos go among 
them for meat and money; for 150 of them are in value 
one real of plate in ready payment. They are very like 
unto an almond, but are nothing so pleasant in taste ; 
they eat them and make drink of them. This the owner 

1 Indigo (Arab, nil, with the article al prefixed). 

1587] Mexican Coast Aguatulco. 103 

of the ship told us. I found in this town, before we 
burnt it, a flasket full of boxes of balm. After we had 
spoiled and burnt the town, wherein there were some 
hundred houses, the owner of the ship came down out 
of the hills with a flag of truce unto us, which before 
with the rest of all the townsmen was run away at our 
first coming, and at length came aboard our pinnace 
upon Captain Havers word of safe return. We carried 
him to the river of Copalita where our ships rode ; and 
when he came to our General he caused him to be set 
on shore in safety the same night, because he came 
upon the captain s word. The 28. day we set sail from 
Copalita, because the sea was so great there that we 
could not fill water, and ran the same night into the 
road of Aguatulco. The 29. our General landed and 
went on shore with thirty men two miles into the woods, 
where we took a mestizo, whose name was Michael de 
Truxillo, who was Customer of that town, and we found 
with him two chambers full of his stuff; we brought 
him and his stuff aboard. And whereas I say he was 
a mestizo, it is to be understood that a mestizo is one 
which hath a Spaniard to his father and an Indian to 
his mother. 

The second day of August we had watered, and 
examined the said mestizo, and set him on shore again, 
and departed from the port of Aguatulco the same night, 
which standeth, as I said before, in 15 degrees and 40 
minutes to the northward of the line. 

Here we overslipped the haven of Acapulco, from 
whence the ships are set forth for the Philippinas. The 
24. day of August our General, with thirty of us, went with 
the pinnace unto an haven called Puerto de Natividad, 
where we had intelligence by Michael Sancius that there 
should be a pinnace ; but before we could get thither 
the said pinnace was gone to fish for pearls 12 leagues 

104 Cavendish First Voyage. [1587 

farther, as we were informed by certain Indians which 
we found there. We took a mulatto in this place in 
his bed, which was sent with letters of advice concerning 
us along the coast of Nueva Galicia l ; whose horse we 
killed, took his letters, left him behind, set fire on the 
houses, and burnt two new ships of 200 tons the piece 
which were in building there on the stocks, and came 
aboard of our ships again. The 26. of August we came 
into the bay of St. lago, where we watered at a fresh 
river, along which river many plantains are growing. 
Here is great abundance of fresh fish. Here, also, 
certain of our company dragged for pearls and caught 
some quantity. 

The second of September we departed from St. lago 
at four of the clock in the evening. This bay of St. 
lago standeth in 19 degrees and 18 minutes to the 
northward of the line. The third of September we 
arrived in a little bay, a league to the westward of Port 
de Navidad, called Malacca, which is a very good place 
to ride in ; and the same day, about twelve of the 
clock, our General landed with 30 men or thereabout, 
and went up to a town of Indians which was two leagues 
from the road, which town is called Acatlan. There 
were in it about twenty or thirty houses and a church, 
which we defaced, and came aboard again the same 
night. All the people were fled out of the town at the 
sight of us. The 4. of September we departed from the 
road of Malacca and sailed along the coast. 

The 8. we came to the road of Chaccalla, in which 
bay there are two little houses by the water s side. This 
bay is 18 leagues from the Cape de los Corrientes. The 
ninth, in the morning, our General sent up Captain 
Havers with 40 men of us before day, and, Michael 
Sancius being our guide, we went unto a place about 

1 Now the state of Jalisco. 

1587] Mexican Coast Mazatlan. 105 

two leagues up into the country in a most villainous 
desert path through the woods and wilderness, and in 
the end we came to a place where we took three house 
holders with their wives and children and some Indians, 
one carpenter, which was a Spaniard, and a Portugal ; 
we bound them all and made them to come to the 
seaside with us. Our General made their wives to 
fetch us plantains, limons, and oranges, pineapples, and 
other fruits, whereof they had abundance, and so let 
their husbands depart, except Sembrano, the Spanish 
carpenter, and Diego, the Portugal ; and the tenth day 
we departed the road. The 12. day we arrived at 
a little island called the Isle of St. Andrew, on which 
there is great store of fowl and wood, where we dried 
and salted as many of the fowls as we thought good. 
We also killed there abundance of seals and iguanos, 
which are a kind of serpents, with four feet, and a long, 
sharp tail, strange to them which have not seen them ; 
but they are very good meat. We rid here until the 
17. day, at which time we departed. 

The 24. day we arrived in the road of Mazatlan, 
which standeth in 23 degrees and an half, just under 
the tropic of Cancer. It is a very great river within, 
but is barred at the mouth ; and upon the north side 
of the bar without is good fresh water ; but there is very 
evil filling of it, because at a low water it is shoaled 
half a mile off the shore. There is great store of fresh 
fish in that bay, and good fruits up into the country, 
whereof we had some, though not without danger. 

The 27. day of September we departed from the road 
of Mazatlan, and ran to an island which is a league to 
the northward the said Mazatlan, where we trimmed our 
ships and new built our pinnace ; and there is a little 
island a quarter of a league from it, on which are seals, 
where a Spanish prisoner, whose name was Domingo, 

io6 Cavendish First Voyage. [1587 

being sent to wash shirts with one of our men to keep 
him, made a scape and swam to the main, which was an 
English mile distant ; at which place we had seen thirty 
or forty Spaniards and Indians, which were horsemen 
and kept watch there, which came from a town called 
Chianietla, which was n leagues up into the country, as 
Michael Sancius told us. We found upon the island 
where we trimmed our pinnace fresh water, by the 
assistance of God in that our great need, by digging 
two or three foot deep in the sand, where no water nor 
sign of water was before to be perceived. Otherwise 
we had gone back 20 or 30 leagues to water, which 
might have "been occasion that we might have missed 
our prey we had long waited for. But God raised one 
Flores, a Spaniard, which was also a prisoner with us, 
to make a motion to dig in the sands. Now our 
General, having had experience once before of the like, 
commanded to put his motion in practice, and in dig 
ging three foot deep we found very good and fresh 
water. So we watered our ships, and might have filled 
a thousand tuns more if we had would. We stayed in 
this island until the 9. day of October, at which time 
we departed at night for the Cape of St. Lucar, which 
is on the west side of the point of California. 

The 14. of October we fell with the Cape of St. Lucar, 
which cape is very like the Needles at the Isle of Wight ; 
and within the said cape is a great bay, called by the 
Spaniards Aguada Segura ; into which bay falleth a fair 
fresh river, about which many Indians use to keep. 
We watered in the river, and lay off and on from the 
said Cape of St. Lucar until the fourth of November, 
and had the winds hanging still westerly. 

The fourth of November the Desire and the Content, 

wherein were the number of Englishmen only 

living, beating up and down upon the headland of 

1588] The Santa Anna comes in sight. 107 

California, which standeth in 23 degrees and two thirds 
to the northward ; between seven and eight of the clock 
in the morning one of the company of our Admiral, 
which was the trumpeter of the ship, going up into the 
top, espied a sail bearing in from the sea with the cape. 
Whereupon he cried out, with no small joy to himself 
and the whole company, A sail! a sail! With which 
cheerful word the master of the ship and divers others 
of the company went also up into the maintop. Who, 
perceiving the speech to be very true, gave information 
unto our General of these happy news, who was no less 
glad than the cause required; whereupon he gave in 
charge presently unto the whole company to put all 
things in readiness. Which being performed, he gave 
them chase some three or four hours, standing with our 
best advantage and working for the wind. 

In .the afternoon we gat up unto them, giving them 
the broadside with our great ordnance and a volley of 
small shot, and presently laid the ship aboard, whereof 
the King of Spain was owner, which was Admiral of 
the South Sea, called the Santa Anna, and thought to 
be 700 tons in burthen. Now, as we were ready on 
their ship s side to enter her, being not past 50 or 60 
men at the uttermost in our ship, we perceived that the 
captain of the said ship had made fights fore and after, 
and laid their sails close on their poop, their midship, 
with their forecastle, and having not one man to be 
seen, stood close under their fights, with lances, javelins, 
rapiers, and targets, and an innumerable sort of great 
stones, which they threw overboard upon our heads and 
into our ship so fast, and being so many of them, that 
they put us off the ship again with the loss of two of 
our men, which were slain, and with the hurting of four 
or five. 

But for all this we new-trimmed our sails, and 

io8 Cavendish First Voyage. [1588 

fitted every man his furniture, and gave them a fresh 
encounter with our great ordnance and also with our 
small shot, raking them through and through, to the 
killing and maiming of many of their men. Their 
captain still, like a valiant man, with his company, stood 
very stoutly unto his close fights, not yielding as yet. 
Our General, encouraging his men afresh with the 
whole noise of trumpets, gave them the third encounter 
with our great ordnance and all our small shot, to the 
great discomforting of our enemies, raking them through 
in divers places, killing and spoiling many of their men. 
They being thus discomforted and spoiled, and their 
ship being in hazard of sinking by reason of the great 
shot which were made, whereof some were under water, 
within five or six hours fight set out a flag of truce and 
parled for mercy, desiring our General to save their 
lives and to take their goods, and that they would 
presently yield. 

Our General, of his goodness, promised them mercy, 
and willed them to strike their sails, and to hoise 
out their boat and to come aboard. Which news they 
were full glad to hear of, and presently struck their 
sails, hoised their boat out, and one of their chief 
merchants came aboard unto our General, and, falling 
down upon his knees, offered to have kissed our 
General s feet, and craved mercy. Our General most 
graciously pardoned both him and the rest upon 
promise of their true dealing with him and his company 
concerning such riches as were in the ship ; and sent 
for the captain and their pilot, who, at their coming, 
used the like duty and reverence as the former did. 
The General, of his great mercy and humanity, pro 
mised their lives and good usage. The said captain 
and pilot presently certified the General what goods 
they had within board : to wit, 122,000 pesos of gold ; 

1588] Capture of the Santa Anna. 109 

and the rest of the riches that the ship was laden with 
was in silks, satins, damasks, with musk and divers 
other merchandise, and great store of all manner of 
victuals, with the choice of many conserves of all sorts 
for to eat, and sundry sorts of very good wines. These 
things being made known to the General by the afore 
said captain and pilot, they were commanded to stay 
aboard the Desire, and on the sixth day of November 
following we went into an harbour which is called by 
the Spaniards Aguada Segura or Puerto Seguro. 

Here the whole company of the Spaniards, both of 
men and women to the number of 190 persons, were 
set on shore ; where they had a fair river of fresh water, 
with great store of fresh fish, fowl, and wood, and also 
many hares and coneys upon the main land. Our 
General also gave them great store of victuals, of 
garvansas 1 , peasen, and some wine. Also they had 
all the sails of their ship to make them tents on shore, 
with licence to take such store of planks as should . 
be sufficient to make them a bark. Then we fell to 
hoising in of our goods, sharing of the treasure, and 
allotting to every man his portion. In division whereof, 
the eighth of this month, many of the company fell into 
a mutiny against our General, especially those which 
were in the Content, which nevertheless were after 
a sort pacified for the time. 

On the 17. day of November, which is the day of the 
happy Coronation of her Majesty, our General com 
manded all his ordnance to be shot off, with the small 
shot both in his own ship where himself went, and also 
in the Content, which was our Vice-Admiral. This 
being done, the same night we had many fireworks 
and more ordnance discharged, to the great admiration 

1 Chick peas. 

no Cavendish First Voyage. [1588 

of all the Spaniards which were there; for the most 
part of them had never seen the like before. 

This ended, our General discharged the captain, gave 
him a royal reward, with provision for his defence 
against the Indians, and his company, both of swords, 
targets, pieces, shot, and powder, to his great content 
ment; but before his departure, he took out of this 
great ship two young lads born in Japan, which could 
both write and read their own language. The eldest, 
being about twenty years old, was named Christopher, 
the other was called Cosmus, about seventeen years of 
age, both of very good capacity. He took also with 
him, out of their ship, three boys born in the islands of 
Manilla, the one about fifteen, the other about thirteen, 
and the youngest about nine years old. The name of 
the eldest was Alphonso, the second Anthony de Dasi, 
the third remaineth with the Right Honourable the 
Countess of Essex. He also took from them one 
Nicholas Roderigo, a Portugal, who hath not only been 
in Canton and other parts of China, but also in the 
islands of Japan, being a country most rich in silver 
mines, and hath also been in the Philippinas. 

He took also from them a Spaniard, whose name 
was Thomas de Ersola, which was a very good pilot 
from Acapulco and the coast of Nueva Espana unto the 
islands of Ladrones, where the Spaniards do put in to 
water, sailing between Acapulco and the Philippinas. 
In which islands of Ladrones, they find fresh water, 
plantains, and potato roots ; howbeit the people be very 
rude and heathens. The 19. day of November afore 
said, about three of the clock in the afternoon, our 
General caused the king s ship to be set on fire, which, 
having to the quantity of 500 tons of goods in her, we 
saw burnt unto the water, and then gave them a piece 
of ordnance and set sail joyfully homewards towards 

1588] Return to England The Ladrones. in 

England with a fair wind, which by this time was come 
about to east-north-east. And night growing near we 
left the Content astern of us, which was not as yet 
come out of the road. And here, thinking she would 
have overtaken us, we lost her company and never saw 
her after. We were sailing from this haven of Aguada 
Segura, in California, unto the isles of Ladrones, the 
rest of November and all December, and so forth until 
the third of January, 1588, with a fair wind for the 
space of 45 days ; and we esteemed it to be between 
1700 and 1800 leagues. The third day of January by 
six of the clock in the morning we had sight of one 
of the islands of Ladrones called the island of Guana, 
standing in 13 degrees and two-thirds toward the 
north ; and sailing with a gentle gale before the wind, 
by one or two of the clock in the afternoon we were 
come up within two leagues of the island, where we met 
with sixty or seventy sails of canoas full of savages, 
who came off to sea unto us, and brought with them in 
their boats plantains, cocos, potato-roots, and fresh fish, 
which they had caught at sea, and held them up unto 
us for to truck or exchange with us ; which when we 
perceived we made fast little pieces of old iron upon 
small cords and fishing-lines, and so veered the iron 
into their canoas, and they caught hold of them and 
took off the iron, and in exchange of it they would 
make fast unto the same line either a potato-root or 
a bundle of plantains, which we haled in, and thus our 
company exchanged with them until they had satisfied 
themselves with as much as did content them ; yet we 
could not be rid of them. For afterward they were 
so thick about the ship that it stemmed and brake one 
or two of their canoas ; but the men saved themselves, 
being in every canoa four, six, or eight persons, all 
naked, and excellent swimmers and divers. They are 

H2 Cavendish First Voyage. [[588 

of a tawny colour and marvellous fat, and bigger 
ordinarily of stature than the most part of our men 
in England, wearing their hair marvellous long; yet 
some of them have it made up and tied with a knot 
on the crown, and some with two knots, much like 
unto their images which we saw them have carved in 
wood, and standing in the head of their boats like 
unto the images of the devil. Their canoas were as 
artificially made as any that ever we had seen, consider 
ing they were made and contrived without any edge- 
tool. They are not above half-a-yard in breadth, and in 
length some seven or eight yards, and their heads and 
sterns are both alike ; they are made out with rafts of 
canes and reeds on the starboard side, with mast and 
sail. Their sail is made of mats of sedges, square or 
triangle-wise, and they sail as well right against the 
wind as before the wind. These savages followed us so 
long, that we could not be rid of them, until in the end 
our General commanded some half-dozen arquebuses to 
be made ready, and himself struck one of them and the 
rest shot at them ; but they were so yare * and nimble, 
that we could not discern whether they were killed or 
no, because they could fall backward into the sea, and 
prevent us by diving. 

The 14. day of January lying at hull with our ship 
all the middle watch, from twelve at night until four in 
the morning, by the break of day we fell with an head 
land of the isles of the Philippinas, which is called 
Cabo del Spirito Santo, which is of very great bigness 
and length, high land in the midst of it, and very 
low land as the cape lieth east and west, trending far 
into the sea to the westward. This cape or island is 
distant from the isle of Guana, one of the Ladrones, 
310 leagues. We were in sailing this course eleven 

1 Brisk. 

1588] The Philippines Manilla. 113 

days, with scant winds and some foul weather, bearing 
no sail two or three nights. This island standeth in 
13 degrees, and is a place much peopled with heathen 
people, and all woody through the whole land; and it is 
short of the chiefest island of the Philippinas, called 
Manilla, about 60 leagues. Manilla is well planted and 
inhabited with Spaniards to the number of 600 or 700 
persons ; which dwell in a town unwalled, which hath 
three or four small block-houses, part made of wood 
and part of stone, being indeed of no great strength ; 
they have one or two small galleys belonging to the 
town. It is a very rich place of gold and many other 
commodities ; and they have yearly traffic from Acapulco 
in Nueva Espana, and also twenty or thirty ships from 
China and from the Sanguelos a , which bring them many 
sorts of merchandise. The merchants of China and the 
Sanguelos are part Moors and part heathen people. 
They bring great store of gold with them, which they 
traffic and exchange for silver, and give weight for 
weight. These Sanguelos are men of marvellous capa 
city in devising and making all manner of things, 
especially in all handicrafts and sciences ; and everyone 
is so expert, perfect, and skilful in his faculty, as few or 
no Christians are able to go beyond them in that which 
they take in hand. For drawing and embroidering 
upon satin, silk, or lawn, either beast, fowl, fish, or worm, 
for liveliness and perfectness, both in silk, silver, gold 
and pearl, they excel. Also the 14. day at night we 
entered the straits between the island of Lu$on and the 
island of Camlaia. The 15. of January we fell with an 
island called Capul } and had betwixt the said island and 
another island but a narrow passage, and a marvellous 
rippling of a very great tide with a ledge of rocks lying 
off the point of the island of Capul\ and no danger, but 

1 People of Sanga (in Japan). 
II. I 

ii4 Cavendish First Voyage. [1588 

water enough a fair breadth off, and within the point a fair 
bay and a very good harborough in four fathoms water 
hard aboard the shore within a cable s length. About 
ten of the clock in the morning we came to an anchor. 

Our ship was no sooner come to an anchor, but pre 
sently there came a canoa rowing aboard us, wherein was 
one of the chief caciques of the island, whereof there be 
seven ; who, supposing that we were Spaniards, brought 
us potato-roots, which they call camotas, and green 
cocos, in exchange whereof we gave his company pieces 
of linen, to the quantity of a yard for four cocos, and 
as much linen for a basket of potato-roots of a quart in 
quantity, which roots are very good meat, and excellent 
sweet either roasted or boiled. This cacique s skin 
was carved and cut with sundry and many streaks and 
devices all over his body. We kept him still aboard, 
and caused him to send those men which brought him 
aboard back to the island to cause the rest of the 
principals to come aboard ; who were no sooner gone 
on shore, but presently the people of the island came 
down with their cocos and potato-roots, and the rest of 
the principals likewise came aboard and brought with 
them hens and hogs; and they used the same order 
with us which they do with the Spaniards. For they 
took for every hog (which they call balboye], eight reals 
of plate, and for every hen or cock one real of plate. 
Thus we rode at anchor all that day, doing nothing but 
buying roots, cocos, hens, hogs, and such things as 
they brought, refreshing ourselves marvellously well. 

The same day at night, being the 15. of January, 
1588, Nicolas Roderigo, the Portugal, whom we took 
out of the great Santa Anna, at the Cape of California, 
desired to speak with our General in secret ; which 
when our General understood he sent for him, and 
asked him what he had to say unto him. The Portugal 

1588] Ersola s plot. 115 

made him this answer, that although he had offended 
his worship heretofore, yet now he had vowed his faith 
and true service unto him, and in respect thereof he 
neither could nor would conceal such treason as was in 
working against him and his company, and that was 
this. That the Spaniard which was taken out of the 
great Santa Anna for a pilot, whose name was Thomas 
de Ersola, had written a letter, and secretly sealed it 
and locked it up in his chest, meaning to convey it by 
the inhabitants of this island to Manilla, the contents 
whereof were that there had been two English ships along 
the coast of Chili, Peru, Nueva Espana, and Nueva 
Galicia, and that they had taken many ships and mer 
chandise in them, and burnt divers towns, and spoiled all 
that ever they could come unto, and that they had taken the 
king s ship which came from Manilla and all his treasure, 
with all the merchandise that was therein, and had set all 
the people on shore, taking himself away perforce. There 
fore he willed them that they should make strong their 
bulwarks with their two galleys, and all such provision as 
they could possibly make. He further signified, that we 
were riding at an island called Capul, which was at the 
end of the island of Manilla, being one ship with small 
force in it, and that the other ship, as he supposed, was 
gone for the North-west Passage, standing in 55 degrees ; 
and that if they could use any means to surprise us, being 
there at an anchor, they should despatch it ; for our force 
was but small, and our men but weak, and that the place 
where we rode was but fifty leagues from them. Otherwise 
if they let us escape, within few years they must make 
account to have their town besieged and sacked with an 
army of English. This information being given, our 
General called for him, and charged him with these 
things. Which at the first he utterly denied ; but in 
the end, the matter being made manifest, and known of 

I 2 

n6 Cavendish First Voyage. [1588 

certainty by especial trial and proofs, the next morning 
our General willed that he should be hanged ; which 
was accordingly performed the 16. of January. We 
rode for the space of nine days about this island of 
Capul, where we had divers kinds of fresh victuals, with 
excellent fresh water in every bay, and great store of 
wood. The people of this island go almost all naked, 
and are tawny of colour. The men wear only a strap 
about their waists, of some kind of linen of their own 
weaving, which is made of plantain leaves, and another 
strap coming from their back t underneath, and is made 
fast to their girdles. * * * These people wholly worship 
the devil, and often times have conference with him, 
which appeareth unto them in most ugly and monstrous 

On the 23. day of January, our General, Master 
Thomas Cavendish, caused all the principals of this island, 
and of an hundred islands more which he had made to 
pay tribute unto him (which tribute was in hogs, hens, 
potatoes, and cocos] to appear before him, and made 
himself and his company known unto them, that they 
were Englishmen, and enemies to the Spaniards ; and 
thereupon spread his ensign and sounded up the 
drums, which they much marvelled at; to conclude, 
they promised both themselves and all the islands 
thereabout to aid him, whensoever he should come 
again to overcome the Spaniards. Also our General 
gave them, in token that we were enemies to the 
Spaniards, money back again for all their tribute which 
they had paid ; which they took marvellous friendly, 
and rowed about our ships to show us pleasure marvel 
lous swiftly; at the last our General caused a saker to 
be shot off, whereat they wondered, and with great 
contentment took their leaves of us. 

The next day being the 24. of January, we set sail 

1588] The Philippines Chase of a frigate. 117 

about six of the clock in the morning, and ran along 
the coast of the island of Manilla, shaping our course 
northwest, between the isle of Manilla and the isle of 

The 28. day in the morning about seven of the clock, 
riding at an anchor betwixt two islands, we spied a 
frigate under her two courses, running out between two 
other islands, which as we imagined came from Manilla, 
sailing close aboard the shore along the mainland of 
Panama ; we chased this frigate along the shore, and 
got very fast upon it, until in the end we came so near 
that it stood into the shore close by a wind, until she 
was becalmed and was driven to strike her sail, and 
banked up with her oars ; whereupon we came unto an 
anchor with our ship, a league and an half from the 
place where the frigate rowed in ; and manned our 
boat with half-a-dozen shot and as many men with 
swords, which did row the boat; thus we made after 
the frigate which had hoised sail and ran into a river, 
which we could not find. But as we rowed along the 
shore, our boat came into very shallow water, where 
many weirs and sticks were set up in divers places in 
the sea, from whence two or three canoas came forth, 
whereof one made somewhat near unto us, with three 
or four Indians in it. We called unto them, but they 
would not come nearer unto us, but rowed from us ; 
whom we durst not follow too far for fear of bringing 
ourselves too much to the leeward of our ship. Here, 
as we looked about us, we espied another balsa or 
canoa of a great bigness, which they which were in her 
did set along, as we do usually set a barge, with long 
staves or poles, which was builded up with great canes, 
and below hard by the water made to row with oars ; 
wherein were about five or six Indians and one 
Spaniard. Now as we were come almost at the balsa, 

n8 Cavendish First Voyage, [1588 

we ran aground with our boat ; but one or two of our 
men leaped overboard and freed it again presently, and 
keeping thwart her head, we laid her aboard and took 
into us the Spaniard, but the Indians leaped into the 
sea and dived and rose far off again from us. Presently 
upon the taking of this canoa, there showed upon the 
sand a band of soldiers marching with an ensign having 
a red cross like the flag of England, which were about 
fifty or sixty Spaniards, which were lately come from 
Manilla to that town which is called Ragaun in a bark 
to fetch a new ship of the king s, which was building in 
a river within the bay, and stayed there but for certain 
irons that did serve for the rudder of the said ship, 
which they looked for every day. 

This band of men shot at us from the shore with 
their muskets, but hit none of us, and we shot at them 
again ; they also manned a frigate and sent it out after 
our boat to have taken us. But we with sail and oars 
went from them ; and when they perceived that they 
could not fetch us, but that they must come within 
danger of the ordnance of our ship, they stood in with 
the shore again and landed their men, and presently 
sent their frigate about the point, but whither we knew 
not. So we came aboard with this one Spaniard, which 
was neither soldier nor sailor, but one that was come 
among the rest from Manilla, and had been in the 
hospital there a long time before, and was a very 
simple soul, and such a one as could answer to very 
little that he was asked, concerning the state of the 
country. Here we rode at anchor all that night, and 
perceived that the Spaniards had dispersed their band 
into two or three parts, and kept great watch in several 
steads with fires and shooting off their pieces. This 
island hath much plain ground in it in many places, 
and many fair and straight trees do grow upon it, fit 

1588] Southward course from Manilla. 119 

for to make excellent good masts for all sorts of ships. 
There are also mines of very fine gold in it, which are 
in the custody of the Indians. And to the southward 
of this place there is another very great island, which 
is not subdued by the Spaniards, nor any other nation. 
The people which inhabit it are all negroes, and the 
island is called the Island of Negroes, and is almost as 
big as England, standing in nine degrees; the most 
part of it seemeth to be very low land, and by all 
likelihood is very fruitful. 

The 29. day of January, about six of the clock in the 
morning, we set sail, sending our boat before until it 
was two of the clock in the afternoon, passing all this 
time as it were through a strait betwixt the said two 
islands of Panama and the Island of Negroes, and 
about 16 leagues off we espied a fair opening, trending 
south-west and by south, at which time our boat came 
aboard, and our General sent commendations to the 
Spanish captain which we came from the evening 
before by the Spaniard which we took, and willed him 
to provide good store of gold ; for he meant for to see 
him with his company at Manilla within few years, and 
that he did but want a bigger boat to have landed his 
men, or else he would have seen him then ; and so 
caused him to be set on shore. The 8. day of February 
by eight of the clock in the morning we espied an island 
near Gilolo, called Batochina, which standeth in one 
degree from the equinoctial line northward. The 
14. day of February we fell with eleven or twelve 
very small islands, lying very low and flat, full of trees, 
and passed by some islands which be sunk and have 
the dry sands lying in the main sea. These islands, 
near the Malucos, stand in 3 degrees and 10 minutes to 
the southward of the line. 

On the 17. day, one John Gameford, a cooper, died, 

I2O Cavendish First Voyage. [1588 

which had been sick of an old disease a long time. 
The 20. day we fell with certain other islands which 
had many small islands among them, standing four 
degrees to the southward of the line. On the 21. day 
of February, being Ash Wednesday, Captain Havers 
died of a most severe and pestilent ague which held 
him furiously some seven or eight days ; to the no 
small grief of our General and of all the rest of the 
company, who caused two falcons and one saker to be 
shot off, with all the small shot in the ship ; who, after 
he was shrouded in a sheet and a prayer said, was 
heaved overboard with great lamentation of us all. 
Moreover, presently after his death myself with divers 
others in the ship fell marvellously sick, and so con 
tinued in very great pain for the space of three weeks 
or a month by reason of the extreme heat and un- 
temperateness of the climate. 

The first day of March, having passed through the 
straits of Java Minor and Java Major, we came to an 
anchor under the south-west parts of Java Major] 
where we espied certain of the people which were 
fishing by the sea-side in a bay which was under the 
island. Then our General taking into the ship s boat 
certain of his company, and a negro which could speak 
the Morisco tongue, which he had taken out of the 
great Santa Anna, made towards those fishers, which 
having espied our boat ran on shore into the wood for 
fear of our men ; but our General caused his negro to 
call unto them ; who no sooner heard him call, but 
presently one of them came out to the shore-side and 
made answer. Our General by the negro enquired of 
him for fresh water, which they found, and caused the 
fisher to go to the king and to certify him of a ship that 
was come to have traffic for victuals, and for diamonds, 
pearls, or any other rich jewels that he had ; for which 

1588] At Java. 121 

he should have either gold or other merchandise in 
exchange. The fisherman answered that we should 
have all manner of victuals that we would request. 
Thus the boat came aboard again. Within a while 
after we went about to furnish our ship thoroughly with 
wood and water. 

About the eighth of March two or three canoas came 
from the town unto us with eggs, hens, fresh fish, 
oranges and limes, and brought word we should have 
had victuals more plentifully, but that they were so far 
to be brought to us where we rid. Which when our 
General heard he weighed anchor and stood in nearer 
for the town. And as we were under sail we met with 
one of the king s canoas coming toward us ; where 
upon we shook the ship in the wind and stayed for the 
canoa until it came aboard of us, a.nd stood into the bay 
which was hard by and came to an anchor. In this 
canoa was the king s secretary, who had on his head 
a piece of dyed linen cloth folded up like unto a Turk s 
tuliban * ; he was all naked saving about his waist ; his 
breast was carved with the broad arrow upon it; he 
went barefooted ; he had an interpreter with him, which 
was a mestizo, that is, half an Indian and half a Portugal, 
who could speak very good Portuguese. This secretary 
signified unto our General that he had brought him an 
hog, hens, eggs, fresh fish, sugar-canes, and wine, which 
wine was as strong as any aqua vita?, and as clear as 
any rock water. He told him further that he would 
bring victuals so sufficiently for him, as he and his 
company would request, and that within the space of 
four days. Our General used him singularly well, 
banquetted him most royally with the choice of many 
and sundry conserves, wines both sweet and other, and 
caused his musicians to make him music. This done 

1 = turban (Turkish, dulbend}. 

122 Cavendish First Voyage. [1588 

our General told him that he and his company were 
Englishmen, and that we had been at China and had 
had traffic there with them, and that we were come 
thither to discover, and purposed to go to Malacca. 
The people of Java told our General that there were 
certain Portugals in the island which lay there as 
factors continually to traffic with them, to buy negroes, 
cloves, pepper, sugar, and many other commodities. 
This secretary of the king with his interpreter lay one 
night aboard our ship. The same night, because they 
lay aboard, in the evening at the setting of the watch, 
our General commanded every man in the ship to 
provide his arquebus and his shot, and so with shooting 
off forty or fifty small shot and one saker, himself set 
the watch with them. This was no small marvel unto 
these heathen people, who had not commonly seen any 
ship so furnished with men and ordnance. The next 
morning we dismissed the secretary and his interpreter 
with all humanity. 

The fourth day after, which was the 12. of March, 
according to their appointment came the king s canoas ; 
but the wind being somewhat scant they could not get 
aboard that night, but put into a bay under the island 
until the next day. And presently after the break of day 
there came to the number of nine or ten of the king s 
canoas so deeply laden with victuals as they could swim, 
with two great live oxen, half a score of wonderful 
great and fat hogs, a number of hens which were alive, 
drakes, geese, eggs, plantains, sugar-canes, sugar in 
plates, cocos, sweet oranges and sour, limes, great 
store of wine and aqua vitce, salt to season victuals 
withal, and almost all manner of victuals else, with 
divers of the king s officers which were there. Among 
all the rest of the people, in one of these canoas came 
two Portugals, which were of middle stature, and men 

1588] Portuguese residents in Java. 123 

of marvellous proper personage ; they were each of 
them in a loose jerkin, and hose, which came down 
from the waist to the ancle, because of the use of the 
country, and partly because it was Lent, and a time for 
doing of their penance (for they account it as a thing 
of great dislike among these heathens to wear either 
hose or shoes on their feet) : they had on each of them 
a very fair and a white lawn shirt, with falling bands on 
the same, very decently, only their bare legs excepted. 
These Portugals were no small joy unto our General 
and all the rest of our company ; for we had not seen 
any Christian, that was our friend, of a year and an 
half before. Our General used and entreated them 
singularly well, with banquets and music. They told 
us that they were no less glad to see us than we to see 
them, and enquired of the state of their country, and 
what was become of Don Antonio, their king, and 
whether he were living or no; for that they had not 
of long time been in Portugal, and that the Spaniards 
had always brought them word that he was dead. 
Then our General satisfied them in every demand ; 
assuring them that their king was alive, and in England, 
and had honourable allowance of our Queen *, and that 
there was war between Spain and England, and that 
we were come under the King of Portugal into the 
South Sea, and had warred upon the Spaniards there, 
and had fired, spoiled, and sunk all the ships along the 
coast that we could meet withal, to the number of 
eighteen or twenty sails. With this report they were 
sufficiently satisfied. 

On the other side they declared unto us the state of 
the island of Java. First the plentifulness and great 
choice and store of victuals of all sorts, and of all manner 
of fruits, as before is set down. Then the great and rich 

1 Antonio was then a refugee at Elizabeth s court. 

124 Cavendish First Voyage. [1588 

merchandise which are there to be had. Then they 
described the properties and nature of the people as 
followeth. The name of the king of that part of the 
island was Raja Bolamboam, who was a man had in 
great majesty and fear among them. The common 
people may not bargain, sell, or exchange anything 
with any other nation, without special licence from 
their king ; and if any so do, it is present death for 
him. The king himself is a man of great years, and 
hath an hundred wives ; his son hath fifty. The custom 
of the country is, that whensoever the king doth die 
they take the body so dead and burn it, and preserve 
the ashes of him, and within five days next after, the 
wives of the said king so dead, according to the custom 
and use of their country, everyone of them go together 
to a place appointed, and the chief of the women, which 
was nearest unto him in account, hath a ball in her 
hand, and throweth it from her, and to the place where 
the ball resteth thither they go all, and turn their faces 
to the eastward, and everyone with a dagger in their 
hand (which dagger they call a crt se, and is as sharp 
as a razor) stab themselves to the heart, and with their 
hands ail-to bebathe themselves in their own blood, 
and falling grovelling on their faces so end their days. 
This thing is as true as it seemeth to any hearer to be 

The men of themselves be very politic and subtle, 
and singularly valiant, being naked men, in any action 
they undertake, and wonderfully at commandment and 
fear of their king. For example; if their king com 
mand them to undertake any exploit, be it never so 
dangerous or desperate, they dare not nor will not 
refuse it, though they die every man in the execution 
of the same. For he will cut off the heads of every 
one of them which return alive without bringing of 

1588] The Indian Ocean crossed. 125 

their purpose to pass; which is such a thing among 
them, as it maketh them the most valiant people in all 
the south-east parts of the world ; for they never fear 
any death. For being in fight with any nation, if any 
of them feeleth himself hurt with lance or sword, he 
will willingly run himself upon the weapon quite through 
his body to procure his death the more speedily, and in 
this desperate sort end his days, or overcome his enemy. 
Moreover, although the men be tawny of colour and go 
continually naked, yet their women be fair of com 
plexion and go more apparelled. 

After they had thus described the state of the island, 
and the orders and fashions of the people, they told us 
farther, that if their king Don Antonio would come 
unto them they would warrant him to have all the 
Malucos at commandment, besides China, Sanglcs, and 
the isles of the Philippinas, and that he might be 
assured to have all the Indians on his side that are in 
the country. After we had fully contented these Por- 
tugals, and the people of Java which brought us 
victuals in their canoas, they took their leave of us 
with promise of all good entertainment at our returns, 
and our General gave them three great pieces of ord 
nance at their departing. Thus the next day, being the 
16. of March, we set sail towards the Cape of Good 
Hope, called by the Portugals Cabo de Buena Esperanca, 
on the southermost coast of Africa. 

The rest of March and all the month of April we 
spent in traversing that mighty and vast sea, between 
the isle of Java and the main of Africa, observing the 
heavens, the Crosiers or South-pole, the other stars, 
the fowls, which are marks unto the seamen of fair 
weather, foul weather, approaching of lands or islands, 
the winds, the tempests, the rains and thunders, with 
the alteration of tides and currents. 

126 Cavendish First Voyage. [1588 

The 10. day of May we had a storm at the west, and 
it blew so hard that it was as much as the ship could 
stir close by under the wind ; and the storm continued 
all that day and all that night. The next day, being 
the ii. of May, in the morning one of the company 
went into the top, and espied land bearing north and 
north and by west of us, and about noon we espied 
land to bear west of us, which, as we did imagine, was 
the Cape of Buena Esperanca, whereof, indeed, we 
were short some 40 or 50 leagues. And by reason of 
the scantness of the wind we stood along to the south 
east until midnight, at which time the wind came fair, 
and we haled along westward. The 12. and 13. days we 
were becalmed, and the sky was very hazy and thick 
until the 14. day at three of the clock in the afternoon, 
at which time the sky cleared, and we espied the land 
again which was the cape called Cabo Fatso, which is 
short of the Cape de Buena Esperanto, 40 or 50 leagues. 
This cape is very easy to be known ; for there are right 
over it three very high hills standing but a small way 
one off another, and the highest standeth in the midst, 
and the ground is much lower by the seaside. The 
Cape of Good Hope beareth west and by south from 
the said Cabo Falso. 

The 16. day of May, about four of the clock in the after 
noon, the wind came up at east a very stiff gale, which 
held until it was Saturday, with as much wind as ever 
the ship could go before ; at which time, by six of the 
clock in the morning, we espied the promontory or 
headland called the Cape de Buena Esperanca, which is 
a reasonable high land, and at the westermost point, 
a little off the main, do shew two hummocks, the one 
upon the other, and three other hummocks lying further 
off into the sea, yet low land between and adjoining 
unto the sea. The Cape of Buena Esperanca is set 

1588] Cape of Good Hope St. Helena. 127 

down and accounted for 2000 leagues from the island 
of Java in the Portugal sea-charts ; but it is not so 
much almost by 150 leagues, as we found by the 
running of our ship. We were in running of these 
1850 leagues just nine weeks. 

The 8. day of June, by break of day, we fell in sight 
of the island of St. Helena, seven or eight leagues short 
of it, having but a small gale of wind, or almost none at 
all, insomuch as we could not get into it that day, but 
stood off and on all that night. The next day, being 
the 9. of June, having a pretty easy gale of wind, we 
stood in with the shore, our boat being sent away 
before to make the harborough ; and about one of the 
clock in the afternoon we came unto an anchor in 
twelve fathoms water, two or three cables length 
from the shore, in a very fair and smooth bay under 
the north-west side of the island. This island is very 
high land, and lieth in the main sea, standing as it 
were in the midst of the sea between the mainland of 
Africa and the main of Brasilia and the coast of Guinea, 
and is in 15 degrees and 48 minutes to the southward 
of the equinoctial line, and is distant from the Cape of 
Buena Esperan$a between 500 and 600 leagues. 

The same day, about two or three of the clock in the 
afternoon, we went on shore, where we found a mar 
vellous fair and pleasant valley, wherein divers hand 
some buildings and houses were set up, and especially 
one which was a church, which was tiled and whited on 
the outside very fair and made with a porch, and within 
the church at the upper end was set an altar, whereon 
stood a very large table set in a frame having in it the 
picture of our Saviour Christ upon the cross and the 
image of our Lady praying, with divers other histories 
curiously painted in the same. The sides of the church 
were all hanged with stained cloths having many 

128 Cavendish First Voyage. [1588 

devices drawn in them. There are two houses adjoin 
ing to the church, on each side one, which serve for 
kitchens to dress meat in, with necessary rooms and 
houses of office. The coverings of the said houses are 
made flat, whereon is planted a very fair vine, and 
through both the said houses runneth a very good and 
wholesome stream of fresh water. There is also, right 
over against the said church, a fair causey l made up 
with stones reaching unto a valley by the sea side, in 
which valley is planted a garden wherein grow great 
store of pompions and melons. And upon the said 
causey is a frame erected whereon hang two bells 
wherewith they ring to mass ; and hard unto it is a 
cross set up, which is squared, framed, and made very 
artificially of free stone, whereon is carved in ciphers 
what time it was builded, which was in the year of our 
Lord 1571. 

This valley is the fairest and largest low plot in all 
the island, and it is marvellous sweet and pleasant, and 
planted in every place either with fruit-trees or with 
herbs. There are fig-trees, which bear fruit continually 
and marvellous plentifully ; for on every tree you shall 
have blossoms, green figs, and ripe figs all at once ; 
and it is so all the year long. The reason is that the 
island standeth so near the sun. There be also great 
store of limon-trees, orange-trees, pomegranate-trees, 
pomecitron-trees, date-trees, which bear fruit as the 
fig-trees do, and are planted carefully and very arti 
ficially with very pleasant walks under and between 
them, and the said walks be overshadowed with the 
leaves of the trees. And in every void place is planted 
parsley, sorrel, basil, fennel, anise-seed, mustard-seed, 
radishes, and many special good herbs ; and the fresh 

1 Causeway, Fr. chaussee. 

1588] Description of St. Helena. 129 

water brook runneth through divers places of this 
orchard, and may with very small pains be made to 
water any one tree in the valley. 

This fresh-water stream cometh from the tops of the 
mountains, and falleth from the cliff into the valley the 
height of a cable, and hath many arms out of it, which 
refresh the whole island and almost every tree in it. 
The island is altogether high mountains and steep 
valleys, except it be in the tops of some hills and down 
below in some of the valleys, where marvellous store 
of all these kinds of fruits before spoken of do grow. 
There is greater store growing in the tops of the moun 
tains than below in the valleys ; but it is wonderful 
laboursome and also dangerous travelling up unto them 
and down again, by reason of the height and steepness 
of the hills. 

There is also upon this island great store of part 
ridges, which are very tame, not making any great 
haste to fly away though one come very near them, but 
only to run away and get up into the steep cliffs ; we 
killed some of them with a fowling-piece. They differ 
very much from our partridges which are in England 
both in bigness and also in colour ; for they be within 
a little as big as an hen, and are of an ash colour, and 
live in coveys twelve, sixteen, and twenty together. 
You cannot go ten or twelve score but you shall see or 
spring one or two coveys at the least. There are like 
wise no less store of pheasants in the island, which are 
also marvellous big and fat, surpassing those which 
are in our country in bigness and in numbers of a 
company. They differ not very much in colour from 
the partridges before spoken of. We found moreover 
in this place a great store of Guinea cocks, which we 
call turkeys, of colour black and white, with red heads ; 
they are much about the same bigness which ours be 

II. K 

130 Cavendish First Voyage. [1588 

of in England. Their eggs be white, and as big as 
a [common] turkey s egg. 

There are in this island thousands of goats, which 
the Spaniards call cabritos, which are very wild ; you 
shall see one or two hundred of them together, and 
sometimes you may behold them going in a flock almost 
a mile long. Some of them, whether it be the nature 
of the breed of them, or of the country, I wot not, are 
as big as an ass ; with a mane like a horse and a beard 
hanging down to the very ground. They will climb 
up the cliffs, which are so steep that a man would think 
it a thing unpossible for any living thing to go there. 
We took and killed many of them, for all their swift 
ness ; for there be thousands of them upon the moun 
tains. Here are in like manner great store of swine, 
which be very wild and very fat, and of a marvellous 
bigness. They keep altogether upon the mountains, 
and will very seldom abide any man to come near 
them, except it be by mere chance when they be found 
asleep, or otherwise, According to their kind, be taken 
laid in the mire. 

We found in the houses at our coming three slaves 
which were negroes and one which was born in the 
island of Java, which told us that the East Indian fleet, 
which were in number five sails, the least whereof 
were in burden 800 or 900 tons, all laden with spices 
and Calicut cloth, with store of treasure and very rich 
stones and pearls, were gone from the said island of 
St. Helena but twenty days before we came hither. 

This island hath been found of long time by the 
Portugals, and hath been altogether planted by them 
for their refreshing as they come from the East Indies. 
And when they come they have all things plentiful for 
their relief, by reason that they suffer none to inhabit 
there that might spend up the fruit of the island, 

1588] From St. Helena to the Azores. 131 

except some very few sick persons in their company, 
which they stand in doubt will not live until they come 
home, whom they leave there to refresh themselves, 
and take away the year following with the other fleet 
if they live so long. They touch here rather in their 
coming home from the East Indies than at their going 
thither, because they are throughly furnished with corn 
when they set out of Portugal, but are but meanly 
victualled at their coming from the Indies, where there 
groweth little corn. 

The 20. day of June, having taken in wood and water, 
and refreshed ourselves with such things as we found 
there, and made clean our ship, we set sail about eight 
of the clock in the night toward England. At our 
setting sail we had the wind at south-east, and we 
haled away north-west and by west. The wind is com 
monly off the shore at this island of St. Helena. On 
Wednesday, being the third day of July, we went away 
north-west, the wind being still at south-east ; at which 
time we were in one degree and 48 minutes to the 
southward of the equinoctial line. The 12. day of the 
said month of July it was very little wind, and toward 
night it was calm, and blew no wind at all, and so con 
tinued until it was Monday, being the 15. day of July. 
On Wednesday, the 17. day of the abovesaid month, 
we had the wind scant at west-north-west. We found 
the wind continually to blow at east, and north-east, 
and east-north-east after we were in 3 or 4 degrees to 
the northward; and it altered not until we came be 
tween 30 and 40 degrees to the northward of the 
equinoctial line. 

On Wednesday, the 21. day of August, the wind 
came up at south-west a fair gale, by which day at noon 
we were in 38 degrees of northerly latitude. On 
Friday, in the morning, being the 23. day of August, 

K 2 

132 Cavendish First Voyage. 

at four of the clock, we haled east, and east and by south 
for the northermost islands of the Azores. On Satur 
day, the 24. day of the said month, by five of the clock 
in the morning, we fell in sight of the two islands 
of Flores and Corvo, standing in 39 degrees and an 
half, and sailed away north-east. The third of Sep 
tember we met with a Flemish hulk, which came from 
Lisbon, and declared unto us the overthrowing of the 
Spanish Fleet, to the singular rejoicing and comfort of 
us all. The ninth day of September, after a terrible 
tempest, which carried away most part of our sails, by 
the merciful favour of the Almighty we recovered our 
long- wished port of Plymouth in England, from whence 
we set forth at the beginning of our voyage. 


The LAST VOYAGE of the Worshipful MR. THOMAS CAVEN 
DISH, ESQUIRE, intended for the South Sea, the PHILIPPINES, 
and the coast of CHINA, with three tall ships and two barks. 
Written by MR. JOHN JANE, a man of good observation, 
employed in the same and many other voyages. 

THE six and twentieth of August, 1591, we departed 
from Plymouth with three tall ships and two barks, 
the Galeon, wherein Master Cavendish went himself, 
being Admiral, the Roebuck, Vice-Admiral, whereof 
Master Cock was captain, the Desire, Rear- Admiral, 
whereof was captain Master John Davis (with whom 
and for whose sake I went this voyage), the Black 
Pinnace, and a bark of Master Adrian Gilbert 1 , whereof 
Master Randolph Cotton was captain. 

The 29. of November we fell with the Bay of Salva 
dor, upon the coast of Brazil, twelve leagues on this 
side Cabo Frio, where we were becalmed until the 
second of December ; at which time we took a small 
bark bound for the River of Plate with sugar, haber- 
dash wares, and negroes. The master of this bark 
brought us unto an isle called Placentia, 30 leagues west 
from Cabo Frio, where we arrived the fifth of Decem 
ber, and rifled six or seven houses inhabited by Por- 
tugals. The n. we departed from this place, and the 

1 Brother of Sir Humfrey Gilbert. 

134 Cavendish Last Voyage. [1591 

14. we arrived at the isle of St. Sebastian ; from 
whence Master Cock and Captain Davis presently 
departed with the Desire and the Black pinnace, for the 
taking of the town of Santos. The 15. at evening we 
anchored at the bar of Santos, from whence we de 
parted with our boats to the town ; and the next 
morning about nine of the clock we came to Santos, 
where being discovered, we were enforced to land with 
twenty-four gentlemen, our long boat being far astern, 
by which expedition we took all the people of the town 
at mass, both men and women, whom we kept all that 
day in the church as prisoners. The cause why Master 
Cavendish desired to take this town was to supply his 
great wants; for being in Santos, and having it in 
quiet possession, we stood in assurance to supply all 
our needs in great abundance. But such was the 
negligence of our governor, Master Cock, that the 
Indians were suffered to carry out of the town what 
soever they would, in open view, and no man did 
control them ; and the next day after we had won the 
town our prisoners were all set at liberty, only four 
poor old men were kept as pawns to supply our wants. 
Thus in three days the town that was able to furnish 
such another fleet with all kind of necessaries, was left 
unto us nakedly bare, without people and provision. 

Eight or ten days after, Master Cavendish himself came 
thither, where he remained until the 22. of January, 
seeking by entreaty to have that whereof we were once 
possessed. But in conclusion we departed out of the 
town through extreme want of victual, not being able 
any longer to live there, and were glad to receive a 
few canisters or baskets of cassavi meal ; so that in 
every condition we went worse furnished from the town 
than when we came unto it. The 22. of January we 
departed from Santos, and burnt St. Vincent to the 

1592] Coasts of Brazil and Patagonia. 135 

ground. The 24. we set sail, shaping our course for 
the Straits of Magellan. 

The seventh of February we had a very great 
storm, and the eighth our fleet was separated by the 
fury of the tempest. Then our captain called unto 
him the master of our ship, whom he found to be 
a very honest and sufficient man, and conferring with 
him he concluded to go for Port Desire, which is 
in the southerly latitude of 48 degrees; hoping that 
the General would come thither, because that in his 
first voyage he had found great relief there. For 
our captain could never get any direction what course 
to take in any such extremities, though many times he 
had entreated for it, as often I have heard him with 
grief report. In sailing to this port by good chance 
we met with the Roebuck, wherein Master Cock had 
endured great extremities, r and had lost his boat, and 
therefore desired our captain to keep him company, 
for he was in very desperate case. Our captain hoised 
out his boat and went aboard him to know his estate ; 
and returning told us the hardness thereof, and desired 
the master and all the company to be careful in all 
their watches not to lose the Roebuck, and so we both 
arrived at Port Desire the sixth of March. 

The 16. of March the Black pinnace came unto us, 
but Master Gilbert s bark came not, but returned home 
to England, leaving their captain aboard the Roebuck 
without any provision more than the apparel that he 
wore ; who came from thence aboard our ship to 
remain with our captain, by reason of the great friend 
ship between them. The 18. the Galeon came into the 
road, and Master Cavendish came into the harborough 
in a boat which he had made at sea ; for his long-boat 
and light-horseman were lost at sea, as also a pinnace 
which he had built at Santos. And being aboard the 

136 Cavendish Last Voyage. [1592 

Desire he told our captain of all his extremities, and 
spake most hardly of his company, and of divers gentle 
men that were with him, purposing no more to go 
aboard his own ship, but to stay in the Desire. We 
all sorrowed to hear such hard speeches of our good 
friends ; but having spoken with the gentlemen of the 
Galeon we found them faithful, honest, and resolute in 
proceeding, although it pleased our General otherwise 
to conceive of them. 

The 20. of March we departed from Port Desire, 
Master Cavendish being in the Desire with us. The 8. of 
April, 1592, we fell with the Straits of Magellan, en 
during many furious storms between Port Desire and 
the Strait. The 14. we passed through the first strait. 
The 16. we passed the second strait, being 10 leagues 
distant from the first. The 18. we doubled Cape 
Froward, which cape lieth in 53 degrees and an half. 
The 21. we were enforced by the fury of the weather 
to put into a small cove with our ships, 4 leagues from 
the said cape, upon the south shore, where we remained 
until the 15. of May; in the which time we endured 
extreme storms, with perpetual snow, where many of 
our men died with cursed famine and miserable cold, 
not having wherewith to cover their bodies, nor to fill 
their bellies, but living by muscles, water, and weeds of 
the sea, with a small relief of the ship s store in meal 
sometimes. And all the sick men in the Galeon were 
most uncharitably put ashore into the woods in the 
snow, rain, and cold, when men of good health could 
scarcely endure it, where they ended their lives in the 
highest degree of misery, Master Cavendish all this while 
being aboard the Desire. In these great extremities of 
snow and cold, doubting what the end would be, he 
asked our captain s opinion, because he was a man 
that had good experience of the north-west parts, in 

i59 2 l Magellan s Straits Resolution to return. 137 

his three several discoveries that way, employed by the 
merchants of London *. Our captain told him that this 
snow was a matter of no long continuance, and gave 
him sufficient reason for it, and that thereby he could 
not much be prejudiced or hindered in his proceeding. 
Notwithstanding, he called together all the company, 
and told them that he purposed not to stay in the Straits, 
but to depart upon some other voyage, or else to return 
again for Brazil. But his resolution was to go for the 
Cape of Buena Esperanca. The company answered 
that if it pleased him, they did desire to stay God s 
favour for a wind, and to endure all hardness whatsoever, 
rather than to give over the voyage, considering they had 
been here but a small time, and because they were within 
40 leagues of the South Sea, it grieved them now to 
return; notwithstanding, what he purposed that they 
would perform. So he concluded to go for the Cape 
of Buena Esperanca, and to give over this voyage. 
Then our captain, after Master Cavendish was come 
aboard the Desire from talking with the company, told 
him that if it pleased him to consider the great extremity 
of his estate, the slenderness of his provisions, with the 
weakness of his men, it was no course for him to proceed 
in that new enterprise ; for if the rest of your ships, said 
he, be furnished answerable to this, it is impossible to 
perform your determination ; for we have no more sails 
than masts, no victuals, no ground-tackling "*, no cordage 
more than is over head, and among seventy and five per 
sons there is but the master alone that can order the ship, 
and but fourteen sailors. The rest are gentlemen, serving- 
men, and artificers. Therefore it will be a desperate case 
to take so hard an enterprise in hand. These persuasions 
did our captain not only use to Master Cavendish, but 
also to Master Cock. In fine, upon a petition delivered 

1 In 1585, 1586, and 1587. 2 Anchor tackling. 

138 Cavendish Last Voyage. [1592 

in writing by the chief of the whole company, the 
General determined to depart out of the Straits of 
Magellan, and to return again for Santos, in Brazil. 

So the 15. of May we set sail, the General then being 
in the Galeon. The 18. we were free of the Straits, 
but at Cape Froward it was our hard hap to have our 
boat sunk at our stern in the night, and to be split and 
sore spoiled, and to lose all our oars. The 20. of 
May, being thwart of Port Desire, in the night the 
General altered his course, as we suppose, by which 
occasion we lost him ; for in the evening he stood close 
by a wind to seaward, having the wind at north-north 
east, and we standing the same way, the wind not 
altering, could not the next day see him; so that we 
then persuaded ourselves that he was gone for Port 
Desire to relieve himself, or that he had sustained some 
mischance at sea, and was gone thither to remedy it 1 . 
Whereupon our captain called the General s men unto 
him, with the rest, and asked their opinion what was 
to be done. Everyone said that they thought that the 
General was gone for Port Desire. Then the master, 
being the General s man, and careful of his master s 
service, as also of good judgment in sea matters, told 
the company how dangerous it was to go for Port 
Desire, if we should there miss the General. For, said 
he, we have no boat to land ourselves, nor any cables nor 
anchors that I dare trust in so quick streams as are there. 
Yet in all likelihood concluding that the General was 
gone thither, we stayed our course for Port Desire, 
and by chance met with the Black pinnace, which had 

1 Cavendish reached St. Vincent in Brazil, and landed twenty-five 
men to collect provisions, none of whom regained the ship. After 
making an ineffectual attack on some ships at Espirito Santo, he sailed 
for St. Helena, where he hoped to take prizes. Failing to reach it, 
he made for England, but died on the voyage. See Appendix. 

1592] The Desire at Port Desire. 139 

likewise lost the fleet, being in very miserable case ; 
so we both concluded to seek the General at Port 

The 26. day of May we came to Port Desire t where not 
finding our General as we hoped, being most slenderly 
victualled, without sails, boat, oars, nails, cordage, and 
all other necessaries for our relief, we were strucken 
into a deadly sorrow. But referring all to the pro 
vidence and fatherly protection of the Almighty, we 
entered the harbour, and by God s favour found a place 
of quiet road, which before we knew not. Having 
moored our ship with the pinnace s boat, we landed 
upon the south shore, where we found a standing pool 
of fresh water, which by estimation might hold some 
ten tuns, whereby we were greatly comforted. From 
this pool we fet more than forty tuns of water, and 
yet we left the pool as full as we found it. And because 
at our first being in this harbour we were at this place 
and found no water, we persuaded ourselves that God 
had sent it for our relief. Also there were such ex 
traordinary low ebbs as we had never seen, whereby 
we got muscles in great plenty. Likewise God sent 
about our ships great abundance of smelts, so that with 
hooks made of pins every man caught as many as he 
could eat; by which means we preserved our ship s 
victuals, and spent not any during the time of our abode 

Our captain and master falling into the consideration 
of our estate and dispatch to go to the General, found 
our wants so great, as that in a month we could not fit 
our ship to set sail ; for we must needs set up 
a smith s forge, to make bolts, spikes, and nails, besides 
the repairing of our other wants. Whereupon they 
concluded it to be their best course to take the pinnace, 

1 Fetched (old past tense). 

140 Cavendish Last Voyage. [1592 

and to furnish her with the best of the company, and 
to go to the General with all expedition, leaving the 
ship and the rest of the company until the General s 
return ; for he had vowed to our captain that he would 
return again for the Straits, as he had told us. The 
captain and master of the pinnace, being the General s 
men, were well contented with the motion. 

But the General having in our ship two most pesti 
lent fellows, when they heard of this determination 
they utterly misliked it, and in secret dealt with the 
company of both ships, vehemently persuading them 
that our captain and master would leave them in the 
country to be devoured of the cannibals, and that they 
were merciless and without charity; whereupon the 
whole company joined in secret with them in a night to 
murder our captain and master, with myself, and all 
those which they thought were their friends. There 
were marks taken in his cabin how to kill him with 
muskets through the ship s side, and bullets made of 
silver for the execution, if their other purposes should 
fail. All agreed hereunto, except it were the boat 
swain of our ship, who when he knew the matter and 
the slender ground thereof, revealed it unto our master, 
and so to the captain. Then the matter being called 
in question, those two most murderous fellows were 
found out, whose names were Charles Parker and 
Edward Smith. 

The captain being thus hardly beset, in peril of 
famine, and in danger of murdering, was constrained to 
use lenity, and by courteous means to pacify this fury ; 
shewing, that to do the General service, unto whom he 
had vowed faith in this action, was the cause why he 
purposed to go unto him in the pinnace, considering 
that the pinnace was so necessary a thing for him, as 
that he could not be without her, because he was fearful 

1592] Dissensions at Port Desire. 141 

of the shore in so great ships. Whereupon all cried 
out, with cursing and swearing, that the pinnace should 
not go unless the ship went. Then the captain desired 
them to shew themselves Christians, and not so blas 
phemously to behave themselves ; without regard or 
thanksgiving to God for their great deliverance, and 
present sustenance bestowed upon them, alleging many 
examples of God s sharp punishment for such ingrati 
tude ; and withal promised to do anything that might 
stand with their good liking. By which gentle speeches 
the matter was pacified, and the captain and master, at 
the request of the company, were content to forgive 
this great treachery of Parker and Smith, who after 
many admonitions concluded in these words : The Lord 
judge between you and me. Which after came to a most 
sharp revenge even by the punishment of the Almighty. 
Thus by a general consent it was concluded not to 
depart, but there to stay for the General s return. 
Then our captain and master, seeing that they could 
not do the General that service which they desired, 
made a motion to the company that they would lay 
down under their hands the losing of the General, with 
the extremities wherein we then stood. Whereunto they 
consented, and wrote under their hands as followeth. 

The TESTIMONIAL of the Company of THE DESIRE, touch 
ing their losing of their General, which appeareth to 
have been utterly against their meanings. 

THE 26. of August, 1591, we whose names be here- 
under written, with divers others departed from Plymouth 
under Master Thomas Cavendish, our General, with four 
ships of his, to wit, the Galeon, the Roebuck, the Desire, 
and the Black pinnace, for the performance of a voyage 
into the South Sea. The 19. of November we fell with 
the bay of Salvador, in Brazil. The 16. of December 
we took the town of Santos, hoping there to revictual 

142 Cavendish Last Voyage. [1592 

ourselves, but it fell not out to our contentment. The 
24. of January we set sail from Santos, shaping our 
course for the Straits of Magellan. The 8. of February, 
by violent storms the said fleet was parted ; the Roe 
buck and the Desire arrived in Port Desire the 6. of 
March. The 16. of March the Black pinnace arrived 
there also, and the 18. of the same our Admiral came 
into the road, with whom we departed the 20. of March 
in poor and weak estate. The 8. of April, 1522, we 
entered the Straits of Magellan. The 21. of April we 
anchored beyond Cape Froward, within forty leagues of 
the South Sea, where we rode until the 15. of May, in 
which time we had great store of snow, with some 
gusty weather, the wind continuing still at west-north 
west against us. In this time we were enforced, for 
the preserving of our victuals, to live for the most part 
upon muscles, our provision was so slender; so that 
many of our men died in this hard extremity. Then 
our General returned for Brazil there to winter, and to 
procure victuals for this voyage against the next year. 
So we departed the Straits the 15. of May. The 21. 
being thwart of Port Desire, thirty leagues off the shore, 
the wind then at north-east and by north, at five of the 
clock at night, lying north-east, we suddenly cast aboujt, 
lying south-east and by south, and sometimes south 
east; the whole fleet following the Admiral, our ship 
coming under his lee shot ahead him, and so framed 
sail fit to keep company. This night we were severed, 
by what occasion we protest we know not, whether we 
lost them or they us. In the morning we only saw the 
Black pinnace-, then supposing that the Admiral had 
overshot us, all this day we stood to the eastwards, 
hoping to find him, because it was not likely that he 
would stand to the shore again so suddenly. But 
missing him, towards night we stood to the shoreward, 
hoping by that course to find him. The 22. of May at 
night we had a violent storm, with the wind at north 
west, and we were enforced to hull, not being able to 
bear sail, and this night we perished our main trestle- 
trees \ so that we could no more use our main-topsail, 

1 Horizontal timbers fixed on each side of the masthead, supporting 
the top-mast. 

1592] Record of the situation. 143 

lying most dangerously in the sea. The pinnace like 
wise received a great leak, so that we were forced to 
seek the next shore for our relief. And because famine 
was like to be the best end, we desired to go for Port 
Desire, hoping with seals and penguins to relieve our 
selves, and so to make shift to follow the General, or 
there to stay his coming from Brazil. The 24. of May 
we had much wind at north. The 25. was calm, and 
the sea very lofty, so that our ship had dangerous foul 
weather. The 26. our fore-shrouds brake, so that if we 
had not been near the shore, it had been impossible for 
us to get out of the sea. And now being here moored 
in Port Desire, our shrouds are all rotten, not having 
a running rope whereto we may trust, and being pro 
vided only of one shift of sails all worn ; our top-sails 
not able to abide any stress of weather, neither have 
we any pitch, tar, or nails, nor any store for the supply 
ing of these wants, and we live only upon seals and 
muscles, having but five hogsheads of pork within 
board, and meal three ounces for a man a day, with 
water for to drink. And forasmuch as it hath pleased 
God to separate our fleet, and to bring us into such 
hard extremities, that only now by his mere mercy we 
expect relief, though otherwise we are hopeless of 
comfort; yet because the wonderful works of God in 
his exceeding great favour towards us his creatures are 
far beyond the scope of man s capacity, therefore by 
him we hope to have deliverance in this our deep dis 
tress. Also forasmuch as those upon whom God will 
bestow the favour of life, with return home to their 
country, may not only themselves remain blameless, 
but also manifest the truth of our actions, we have 
thought good in Christian charity to lay down under 
our hands the truth of all our proceedings, even till the 
time of this our distress. 

Given in Port Desire the second of June, 1592, 
beseeching the Almighty God of His mercy to deliver 
us from this misery, how or when it shall please His 
Divine Majesty. 

John Davis, Captain, Randolph Cotton, John Perry, 
William Maber, gunner, Charles Parker, Rowland Miller, 
Edward Smith, Thomas Purpet, Matthew Stubbs, John 

144 Cavendish Last Voyage. [1592 

Jenkinson, Thomas Edwards, Edward Granger, John 
Lewis, William Hayman, George Straker, Thomas Wal- 
bie, William Wyeth, Richard Alard, Stephen Popham, 
Alexander Cole, Thomas Watkins, George Cunington, 
John Whiting, James Ling, the boatswain, Francis Smith, 
John Layes, the boatswain s mate, Fisher, John Austin, 
Francis Copstone, Richard Garret, James Eversby, Nicolas 
Parker, Leonard, John Pick, Benjamin, William 
Maber, James Nutt, Christopher Hawser. 

After they had delivered this relation unto our captain 
under their hands, then we began to travail for our 
lives ; and we built up a smith s forge, and made 
a coal-pit, and burnt coals, and there we made nails, 
bolts, and spikes, others made ropes of a piece of our 
cable, and the rest gathered muscles, and took smelts 
for the whole company. Three leagues from this 
harborough there is an isle with four small isles about 
it, where there are great abundance of seals, and 
at the time of the year the penguins come thither in 
great plenty to breed. We concluded with the pinnace 
that she should sometimes go thither to fetch seals for 
us, upon which condition we would share our victuals 
with her, man for man ; whereunto the whole company 
agreed. So we parted our poor store, and she laboured 
to fetch us seals to eat, wherewith we lived when smelts 
and muscles failed : for in the neap streams we could 
get no muscles. Thus in most miserable calamity we 
remained until the sixth of August, still keeping watch 
upon the hills to look for our General, and so great 
was our vexation and anguish of soul, as I think never 
flesh and blood endured more. Thus our misery daily 
increasing, time passing, and our hope of the General 
being very cold, our captain and master were fully 
persuaded that the General might perhaps go directly 
for the Straits, and not come to this harborough ; where 
upon they thought no course more convenient than to 

1592] The Desire sails for the Straits. 145 

go presently for the Straits, and there to stay his 
coming, for in that place he could not pass, but of 
force we must see him ; whereunto the company most 
willingly consented, as also the captain and master of 
the pinnace. So that upon this determination we made 
all possible speed to depart. 

The sixth of August we set sail, and went to Penguin 
Isle, and the next day we salted twenty hogsheads of 
seals, which was as much as our salt could possibly do ; 
and so we departed for the Straits the poorest wretches 
that ever were created. The seventh of August toward 
night we departed from Penguin Isle, shaping our 
course for the Straits, where we had full confidence to 
meet with our General. The ninth we had a sore storm, 
so that we were constrained to hull, for our sails were 
not [fit] to endure any force. The 14. we were driven 
in among certain islands never before discovered, by 
any known relation, lying 50 leagues or better from the 
shore, east and northerly from the Straits ; in which 
place, unless it had pleased God of his wonderful 
mercy to have ceased the wind, we must of necessity 
have perished. But the wind shifting to the east, we 
directed our course for the Straits, and the 18. of August 
we fell with the cape in a very thick fog, and the same 
night we anchored ten leagues within the cape. The 
19. day we passed the first and the second straits. 
The 21. we doubled Cape Froward. The 22. we 
anchored in Savage Cove, so named because we found 
many savages there ; notwithstanding the extreme cold 
of this place, yet do all these wild people go naked, and 
live in the woods like satyrs, painted and disguised, 
and fly from you like wild deer. They are very strong, 
and threw stones at us of three or four pound weight 
an incredible distance. The 24. in the morning we 
departed from this cove, and the same day we came 

II. L 

146 Cavendish Last Voyage. [1592 

into the north-west reach, which is the last reach of the 
Straits. The 25. we anchored in a good cove, within 
fourteen leagues of the South Sea : in this place we 
purposed to stay for the General, for the strait in this 
place is scarce three miles broad, so that he could not 
pass but we must see him. After we had stayed here 
a fortnight in the deep of winter, our victuals consum 
ing, for our seals stunk most vilely, and our men died 
pitifully through cold and famine, for the greatest part 
of them had not clothes to defend the extremity of the 
winter s cold ; being in this heavy distress, our captain 
and master thought it the best course to depart from 
the Straits into the South Sea, and to go for the Isle 
of Santa Maria, which is to the northward of Valdivia, 
in 37 degrees and a quarter, where we might have 
relief, and be in a temperate clime, and there stay for 
the General, for of necessity he must come by that isle. 
So we departed the 13. of September, and came in 
sight of the South Sea. The 14. we were forced back 
again, and recovered a cove three leagues within the 
Straits from the South Sea. Again we put forth, and 
being eight or ten leagues free of the land, the wind 
rising furiously at west-north-west, we were enforced 
again into the Straits, only for want of sails ; for we 
never durst bear sail in any stress of weather, they 
were so weak. So again we recovered the cove three 
leagues within the Straits] where we endured most 
furious weather, so that one of our two cables brake, 
whereby we were hopeless of life. Yet it pleased God 
to calm the storm, and we unrived our sheets, tacks, 
halliers, and other ropes, and moored our ship to the 
trees close by the rocks. We laboured to recover our 
anchor again, but could not by any means, it lay so 
deep in the water, and, as we think, clean covered with 
ooze. Now had we but one anchor which had but one 

1592] Passage of the Straits. 147 

whole fluke, a cable spliced in two places, and a piece 
of an old cable. In the midst of these our troubles 
it pleased God that the wind came fair the first of 
October ; whereupon with all expedition we loosed our 
moorings, and weighed our anchor, and so towed off 
into the channel ; for we had mended our boat in Port 
Desire, and had five oars of the pinnace. When we 
had weighed our anchor, we found our cable broken. 
Only one strand held : then we praised God ; for we 
saw apparently His mercies in preserving us. Being 
in the channel, we rived our ropes, and again rigged 
our ship; no man s hand was idle, but all laboured 
even for the last gasp of life. Here our company was 
divided ; some desired to go again for Port Desire, and 
there to be set on shore, where they might travail for 
their lives, and some stood with the captain and master 
to proceed. Whereupon the captain said to the master: 
Master, you see the wonderful extremity of our estate, and 
the great doubts among our company of the truth of your 
reports, as touching relief to be had in the South Sea. 
Some say in secret, as I am informed, that we undertake 
these desperate attempts through blind affection that we 
bear to the General. For mine own part I plainly make 
known unto you that the love which I bear to the General 
caused me first to enter into this action, whereby 1 have 
not only heaped upon, my head this bitter calamity now 
present, but also have in some sort procured the dislike of 
my best friends in England, as it is not unknown to some 
in this company. But now being thus entangled by the 
providence of God for my former offences (no doubt] 
I desire that it may please His Divine Majesty to shew us 
such merciful favour, that we may rather proceed, than 
otherwise ; or if it be His will that our mortal being shall 
now take an end, I rather desire that it may be in proceed 
ing than in returning. And because I see in reason, that 

L 2 

148 Cavendish Last Voyage. [1592 

the limits of our time are now drawing to an end, I do in 
Christian charity entreat you all, first to forgive me in 
whatsoever I have been grievous unto you ; secondly, that 
you will rather pray for our General, than use hard 
speeches of him ; and let us be fully persuaded, that not 
for his cause and negligence, but for our own offences 
against the Divine Majesty, we are presently punished ; 
lastly, let us forgive one another and be reconciled as 
children in love and charity, and not think upon the 
vanities of this life ; so shall we in leaving this life live 
with our glorious Redeemer, or abiding in this life, find 
favour with God. And now, good master, forasmuch as 
you have been in this voyage once before with your master 
the General, satisfy the company of such truths as are to 
you best known ; and you, the rest of the General s men, 
which likewise have been with him in his first voyage, if 
you hear anything contrary to the truth, spare not to 
reprove it, I pray you. And so I beseech the Lord to 
bestow His mercy upon us. Then the master began in 
these speeches : Captain, your request is very reasonable, 
and I refer to your judgment my honest care and great 
pains taken in the General s service, my love towards him, 
and in what sort I have discharged my duty, from the 
first day to this hour. I was commanded by the General 
to follow your directions, which hitherto I have performed, 
you all know that when I was extremely sick, the General 
was lost in my mate s watch, as you have well examined ; 
sithence which time in what anguish and grief of mind 
I have lived God only knoweth, and you are in some part 
a witness. And now if you think good to return, I will 
not gainsay it ; but this I assure you, if life may be pre 
served by any means, it is in proceeding. For at the Isle 
of Santa Maria I do assure you of wheat, pork, and roots 
enough. Also I will bring you to an isle where pelicans 
be in great abundance, and at Santos we shall have meal 

1592] The Desire enters the Pacific. 149 

in great plenty, besides all our possibility of intercepting 
some ships upon the coast of Chili and Peru. But if we 
return there is nothing but death to be hoped f or ; therefore 
do as you like. I am ready t but my desire is to proceed. 

These his speeches being confirmed by others that 
were in the former voyage, there was a general consent 
of proceeding ; and so on the second of October we put 
into the South Sea, and were free of all land. This 
night the wind began to blow very much at west-north 
west, and still increased in fury, so that we were in 
great doubt what course to take ; to put into the Straits 
we durst not for lack of ground-tackle * ; to bear sail 
we doubted, the tempest was so furious, and our sails 
so bad. The pinnace came room with us, and told us 
that she had received many grievous seas, and that her 
ropes did every hour fail her, so as they could not tell 
what shift to make ; we being unable in any sort to help 
them, stood under our courses in view of the lee-shore, 
still expecting our ruinous end. The fourth of October 
the storm growing beyond all reason furious, the 
pinnace being in the wind of us, strake suddenly ahull, 
so that we thought she had received some grievous sea, 
or sprung a leak, or that her sails failed her, because 
she came not with us ; but we durst not hull in that 
unmerciful storm, but sometimes tried under our main 
course 2 , sometimes with a haddock 3 of our sail, for our 
ship was very leeward, and most laboursome in the sea. 
This night we lost the pinnace, and never saw her 
again. The fifth, our foresail was split, and all to torn ; 
then our master took the mizen, and brought it to the 
foremast, to make our ship work ; and with our sprit- 
sail we mended our foresail, the storm continuing 
without all reason in fury, with hail, snow, rain, and 
wind, such and so mighty, as that in nature it could 

1 Anchor tackle. 2 Main-sail. 3 Small fraction. 

150 Cavendish Last Voyage. [1592 

not possibly be more, the seas such and so lofty, with 
continual breach, that many times we were doubtful 
whether our ship did sink or swim. 

The tenth of October being by the account of our 
captain and master very near the shore, the weather 
dark, the storm furious, and most of our men having 
given over to travail, we yielded ourselves to death, 
without further hope of succour. Our captain sitting 
in the gallery very pensive, I came and brought him 
some Rosa so/is l to comfort him ; for he was so cold 
that he was scarce able to move a joint. After he had 
drunk, and was comforted in heart, he began for the 
ease of his conscience to make a large repetition of his 
forepassed time, and with many grievous sighs he con 
cluded in these words : Oh, most glorious God, with 
whose power the mightiest things among men are matters 
of no moment, I most humbly beseech Thee, that the 
intolerable burden of my sins may, through the blood of 
Jesus Christ, be taken from me ; and end our days with 
speed, or show us some merciful sign of Thy love and our 
preservation. Having thus ended, he desired me not 
to make known to any of the company his intolerable 
grief and anguish of mind, because they should not 
thereby be dismayed. And so suddenly, before I went 
from him, the sun shined clear ; so that he and the 
master both observed the true elevation of the pole, 
whereby they knew by what course to recover the 
Straits. Wherewithal our captain and master were so 
revived, and gave such comfortable speeches to the 
company, that every man rejoiced, as though we had 
received a present deliverance. 

The next day, being the n. of October, we saw Cabo 
Deseado, being the cape on the south shore (the north 
shore is nothing but a company of dangerous rocks, 

1 Prop, ros soli s (sun-dew). A cordial flavoured with this plant. 

1592] Return to the Straits. 151 

isles, and shoals). This cape being within two leagues 
to leeward of us, our master greatly doubted that we 
could not double the same ; whereupon the captain told 
him : You see there is no remedy ; either we must double 
it, or before noon we must die ; therefore loose your sat /s, 
and let us put it to God s mercy. The master, being 
a man of good spirit, resolutely made quick despatch 
and set sail. Our sails had not been half an hour 
aboard, but the footrope of our foresail brake, so that 
nothing held but the eyelet-holes *. The seas continually 
brake over the ship s poop, and flew into the sails with 
such violence, that we still expected the tearing of our 
sails, or oversetting of the ship, and withal to our utter 
discomfort, we perceived that we fell still more and 
more to leeward, so that we could not double the cape ; 
we were now come within half a mile of the cape, and 
so near the shore that the counter-surf of the sea would 
rebound against the ship s side, so that we were much 
dismayed with the horror of our present end. Being 
thus at the very pinch of death, the wind and seas 
raging beyond measure, our master veered some of the 
main sheet ; and whether it was by that occasion, or by 
some current, or by the wonderful power of God, as 
we verily think it was, the ship quickened her way, and 
shot past that rock, where we thought she would have 
shored. Then between the cape and the point there 
was a little bay ; so that we were somewhat farther 
from the shore. And when we were come so far as the 
cape, we yielded to death ; yet our good God, the 
Father of all mercies, delivered us, and we doubled 
the cape about the length of our ship, or very little 
more. Being shot past the cape, we presently took in 
our sails, which only God had preserved unto us ; and 
when we were shot in between the high lands, the wind 

1 The round holes worked in a sail to admit the reef-lines. 

152 Cavendish Last Voyage. [1592 

blowing trade, without any inch of sail, we spooned 
before the sea, three men being not able to guide the 
helm, and in six hours we were put five-and-twenty 
leagues within the Straits, where we found a sea 
answerable to the ocean. 

In this time we freed our ship from water, and after 
we had rested a little our men were not able to move ; 
their sinews were stiff and their flesh dead, and many 
of them (which is most lamentable to be reported) were 
so eaten with lice as that in their flesh did lie clusters 
of lice as big as peas, yea, and some as big as beans. 
Being in this misery, we were constrained to put into a 
cove for the refreshing our men. Our master, knowing 
the shore and every cove very perfectly, put in with the 
shore and moored to the trees as beforetime we had 
done, laying our anchor to the seaward. Here we 
continued until the 20. of October ; but not being able 
any longer to stay through extremity of famine, on the 
21. we put off into the channel, the weather being 
reasonable calm ; but before night it blew most ex 
tremely at west-north-west. The storm growing out 
rageous, our men could scarcely stand by their labour ; 
and, the Straits being full of turning reaches, we were 
constrained by discretion of the captain and master 
in their accounts to guide the ship in the hell-dark 
night, when we could not see any shore, the channel 
being in some places scarce three miles broad. But 
our captain, as we first passed through the Straits, 
drew such an exquisite plot of the same as I am assured 
it cannot in any sort be bettered, which plot he and the 
master so often perused, and so carefully regarded, as 
that in memory they had every turning and creek ; and 
in the deep dark night, without any doubting, they 
conveyed the ship through that crooked channel. So 
that I conclude the world hath not any so skilful pilots 

i59 2 l Return through the Straits. 153 

for that place as they are ; for otherwise we could never 
have passed in such sort as we did. 

The 25. we came to an island in the Straits named 
Penguin Isle, whither we sent our boat to seek relief; 
for there were great abundance of birds, and the weather 
was very calm. So we came to an anchor by the island 
in seven fathoms. While our boat was at shore, and we 
had great store of penguins, there arose a sudden storm, 
so that our ship did drive over a breach, and our boat 
sank at the shore. Captain Cotton and the lieutenant, 
being on shore, leapt into the boat and freed the same, 
and threw away all the birds, and with great difficulty 
recovered the ship. Myself also was in the boat the 
same time, where for my life I laboured to the best of 
my power. The ship all this while driving upon the 
lee-shore, when we came aboard we helped to set sail 
and weighed the anchor; for before our coming they 
could scarce hoise up their yards, yet with much ado 
they set their fore-course. Thus, in a mighty fret of 
weather, the 27. of October we were free of the Straits, 
and the 30. of October we came to Penguin Isle, being 
three leagues from Port Desire, the place which we 
purposed to seek for our relief. 

When we came to this isle we sent our boat on shore, 
which returned laden with birds and eggs; and our 
men said that the penguins were so thick upon the isle 
that ships might be laden with them ; for they could not 
go without treading upon the birds, whereat we greatly 
rejoiced. Then the captain appointed Charles Parker 
and Edward Smith, with twenty others, to go on shore 
and stay upon the isle for the killing and drying of 
those penguins, and promised after the ship was in 
harborough to send the rest, not only for expedition, but 
also to save the small store of victuals in the ship. But 
Parker, Smith, and the rest of their faction suspected 

154 Cavendish Last Voyage. [1592 

that this was a device of the captain to leave his men 
on shore, that by these means there might be victuals 
for the rest to recover their country. And when they 
remembered that this was the place where they would 
have slain their captain and master, Surely, thought 
they, for revenge hereof will they leave us on shore. 
Which when our captain understood, he used these 
speeches unto them : / understand that you are doubt 
ful of your security through the perverseness of your own 
guilty consciences. It is an extreme grief unto me that 
you should judge me bloodthirsty, in whom you have seen 
nothing but kind conversation. If you have found other 
wise, speak boldly, and accuse me of the wrongs that 
I have done ; if not, why do you then measure me by 
your own uncharitable consciences? All the company 
knoweth, indeed, that in this place you practised to the 
utmost of your powers to murder me and the master 
causeless, as God knoweth ; which evil in this place we 
did remit you. And now I may conceive, without doing 
you wrong, that you again purpose some evil in bringing 
these matters to repetition. But God hath so shortened 
your confederacy as that I nothing doubt you. It is for 
your master s sake that I have forborne you in your 
unchristian practices. And here I protest before God that 
for his sake alone I will yet endure this injury, and you 
shall in no sort be prejudiced, or in anything be by me 
commanded. But when we come into England (if God 
so favour us) your master shall know your honesties, 
hi the mean space be void of your suspicions, for, God 
I call to witness, revenge is no part of my thought. They 
gave him thanks, desiring to go into the harborough 
with the ship, which he granted. So there were ten 
left upon the isle, and the last of October we entered 
the harborough. Our master at our last being here, 
having taken careful notice of every creek in the river, 

1592] The Desire at Penguin Island. 155 

in a very convenient place, upon sandy ooze, ran the 
ship on ground, laying our anchor to seaward, and with 
our running ropes moored her to stakes upon the "shore 
which he had fastened for that purpose ; where the ship 
remained till our departure. 

The third of November our boat, with water, wood, 
and as many as she could carry, went for the Isle of 
Penguins ; but, being deep, she durst not proceed, but 
returned again the same night. Then Parker , Smith, 
Townsend, Purpet, with five others, desired that they 
might go by land, and that the boat might fetch them 
when they were against the isle, it being scarce a mile 
from the shore. The captain bade them do what they 
thought best, advising them to take weapons with them ; 
For, said he, although we have not at any time seen people 
in this place, yet in the country there may be savages. 
They answered, that here were great store of deer and 
ostriches ; but if there were savages, they would devour 
them. Notwithstanding, the captain caused them to 
carry weapons, calivers, swords, and targets. So the 
sixth of November they departed by land, and the boat 
by sea ; but from that day to this day we never heard 
of our men. The n. while most of our men were at 
the isle, only the captain and master with six others 
being left in the ship, there came a great multitude of 
savages to the ship, throwing dust in the air, leaping 
and running like brute beasts, having vizards on their 
faces like dogs faces, or else their faces are dogs faces 
indeed. We greatly feared lest they would set our ship 
on fire, for they would suddenly make fire, whereat we 
much marvelled. They came to windward of our ship 
and set the bushes on fire, so that we were in a very 
stinking smoke ; but as soon as they came within our 
shot, we shot at them, and, striking one of them in the 
thigh, they all presently fled, so that we never heard 

156 Cavendish Last Voyage. [1592 

nor saw more of them. Hereby we judged that these 
cannibals had slain our nine men. When we con 
sidered what they were that thus were slain, and found 
that they were the principal men that would have 
murdered our captain and master, with the rest of 
their friends, we saw the just judgment of God, and 
made supplication to His Divine Majesty to be merciful 
unto us. While we were in this harborough our 
captain and master went with the boat to discover 
how far this river did run, that, if need should enforce 
us to leave our ship, we might know how far we might 
go by water. So they found that farther than 20 miles 
they could not go with the boat. At their return they 
sent the boat to the Isle of Penguins] whereby we 
understood that the penguins dried to our heart s 
content, and that the multitude of them was infinite. 
This penguin hath the shape of a bird, but hath no 
wings, only two stumps in the place of wings, by which 
he swimmeth under water with as great swiftness as any 
fish. They live upon smelts, whereof there is great 
abundance upon this coast. In eating they be neither 
fish nor flesh. They lay great eggs, and the bird is of 
a reasonable bigness, very near twice so big as a duck. 
All the time that we were in this place we fared pass 
ing well with eggs, penguins, young seals, young gulls, 
besides other birds such as I know not ; of all which 
we had great abundance. In this place we found 
a herb called scurvy-grass, which we fried with eggs, 
using train oil instead of butter. This herb did so 
purge the blood, that it took away all kind of swellings, 
of which many died, and restored us to perfect health of 
body, so that we were in as good case as when we came 
first out of England. We stayed in this harbour until 
the 22. of December, in which time we had dried 20,000 
penguins ; and the captain, the master, and myself had 

1592] Coast of Brazil. 157 

made some salt, by laying salt water upon the rocks in 
holes, which in six days would be kerned. Thus God 
did feed us even as it were with manna from heaven. 

The 22. of December we departed with our ship for 
the isle, where with great difficulty, by the skilful 
industry of our master, we got 14,000 of our birds, 
and had almost lost our captain in labouring to bring 
our birds aboard ; and had not our master been very 
expert in the set of those wicked tides, which run after 
many fashions, we had also lost our ship in the same 
place. But God of His goodness hath in all our 
extremities been our protector. So the 22. at night, 
we departed with 14,000 dried penguins, not being able 
to fetch the rest, and shaped our course for Brazil. 
Now our captain rated our victuals, and brought us to 
such allowance as that our victuals might last six 
months ; for our hope was that within six months we 
might recover our country, though our sails were very 
bad. So the allowance was two ounces and an half of 
meal for a man a day, and to have so twice a week, so 
that five ounces did serve for a week. Three days 
a week we had oil, three spoonfuls for a man a day ; 
and two days in a week peasen, a pint between four 
men a day, and every day five penguins for four men, 
and six quarts of water for four men a day. This was 
our allowance, wherewith, we praise God, we lived, 
though weakly and very feeble. The 30. of January 
we arrived at the island of Placentia, in Brazil, 
the first place that outward bound we were at; and 
having made the shoal, our ship lying off at sea, the 
captain with 24 of the company went with the boat 
on shore, being a whole night before they could recover 
it. The last of January at sun-rising they suddenly 
landed, hoping to take the Portugals in their houses, 
and by that means to recover some cassavi meal, or 

158 Cavendish Last Voyage. [1592 

other victuals for our relief; but when they came to 
the houses they were all razed and burnt to the ground, 
so that we thought no man had remained on the island. 
Then the captain went to the gardens, and brought 
from thence fruits and roots for the company, and came 
aboard the ship, and brought her into a fine creek 
which he had found out, where we might moor her 
by the trees, and where there was water and hoops 
to trim our cask. Our case being very desperate, we 
presently laboured for despatch away ; some cut hoops, 
which the coopers made, others laboured upon the sails 
and ship, every man travailing for his life, and still a 
guard was kept on shore to defend those that laboured, 
every man having his weapon likewise by him. The 
third of February our men with 23 shot went again to 
the gardens, being three miles from us upon the north 
shore, and fetched cassavi roots out of the ground, to 
relieve our company instead of bread, for we spent not 
of our meal while we staid here. The fifth of February, 
being Monday, our captain and master hasted the com 
pany to their labour ; so some went with the coopers to 
gather hoops, and the rest laboured aboard. This 
night many of our men in the ship dreamed of murder 
and slaughter. In the morning they reported their 
dreams, one saying to another, This night I dreamed that 
thou wert slain ; another answered, And I dreamed that 
thou wert slain ; and this was general through the ship. 
The captain hearing this, who likewise had dreamed 
very strangely himself, gave very strict charge that 
those which went on shore should take weapons with 
them, and saw them himself delivered into the boat, and 
sent some of purpose to guard the labourers. All the 
forenoon they laboured in quietness, and when it was 
ten of the clock, the heat being extreme, they came to a 
rock near the wood s side (for all this country is nothing 

1592] Desperate situation at Placentia. 159 

but thick woods), and there they boiled cassavi roots, 
and dined ; after dinner some slept, some washed them 
selves in the sea, all being stripped to their shirts, and 
no man keeping watch, no match lighted, not a piece 
charged. Suddenly, as they were thus sleeping and 
sporting, having gotten themselves into a corner out of 
sight of the ship, there came a multitude of Indians 
and Portugals upon them, and slew them sleeping; 
only two escaped, one very sore hurt, the other not 
touched, by whom we understood of this miserable 
massacre. With all speed we manned our boat, and 
landed to succour our men ; but we found them slain, 
and laid naked on a rank one by another, with their 
faces upward, and a cross set by them. And withal 
we saw two very great pinnaces come from the River 
Janeiro very full of men; whom we mistrusted came 
from thence to take us, because there came from 
Janeiro soldiers to Santos, when the General had taken 
the town, and was strong in it. Of 76 persons which 
departed in our ship out of England, we were now left 
but 27, having lost 13 in this place, with their chief 
furniture, as muskets, calivers, powder, and shot. Our 
cask was all in decay, so that we could not take in 
more water than was in our ship for want of cask, 
and that which we had was marvellous ill-conditioned ; 
and being there moored by trees, for want of cables and 
anchors, we still expected the cutting of our moorings, 
to be beaten from our decks with our own furniture, 
and to be assailed by them of Janeiro ; what distress 
we were now driven into I am not able to express. To 
depart with eight tuns of water in such bad cask was to 
starve at sea, and in staying our case was ruinous. 
These were hard choices; but being thus perplexed, 
we made choice rather to fall into the hands of the Lord 
than into the hands of men; for His exceeding mercies 

160 Cavendish Last Voyage. [1592 

we had tasted, and of the others cruelty we were not 
ignorant. So concluding to depart, the sixth of February 
we were off in the channel, with our ordnance and small 
shot in a readiness for any affair that should come, and 
having a small gale of wind, we recovered the sea in 
most deep distress. Then bemoaning our estate one 
to another, and recounting over all our extremities, 
nothing grieved us more than the loss of our men 
twice, first by the slaughter of the cannibals at Port 
Desire, and at this isle of Placentia by the Indians 
and Portugals. And considering what they were that 
were lost, we found that all those that conspired the 
murdering of our captain and master were now slain by 
the savages, the gunner only excepted. Being thus at 
sea, when we came to Cape Frio, the wind was con 
trary; so that three weeks we were grievously vexed 
with cross winds, and our water consuming, our hope 
of life was very small. Some desired to go to Bahia, 
and to submit themselves to the Portugals, rather than 
to die for thirst ; but the captain with fair persuasions 
altered their purpose of yielding to the Portugals. In 
this distress it pleased God to send us rain in such 
plenty as that we were well watered, and in good com 
fort to return. But after we came near unto the sun, 
our dried penguins began to corrupt, and there bred 
in them a most loathsome and ugly worm of an inch 
long. This worm did so mightily increase, and devour 
our victuals, that there was in reason no hope how we 
should avoid famine, but be devoured of these wicked 
creatures. There was nothing that they did not devour, 
only iron excepted our clothes, boots, shoes, hats, 
shirts, stockings ; and for the ship they did so eat the 
timbers as that we greatly feared they would undo us, 
by gnawing through the ship s side. Great was the 
care and diligence of our captain, master, and company 

1592] Sufferings on the Voyage Home. 161 

to consume these vermin, but the more we laboured to 
kill them the more they increased, so that at the last we 
could not sleep for them, but they would eat our flesh, 
and bite like mosquitos. In this woeful case, after we 
had passed the equinoctial toward the north, our men 
began to fall sick of such a monstrous disease, as 
I think the like was never heard of; for in their ankles 
it began to swell, from thence in two days it would be 
in their breasts, so that they could not draw their breath ; 
. . . whereupon our men grew mad with grief. Our 
captain with extreme anguish of his soul was in such 
woeful case, that he desired only a speedy end, and 
though he were scarce able to speak for sorrow, yet 
he persuaded them to patience, and to give God thanks, 
and like dutiful children to accept of His chastisement. 
For all this divers grew raging mad, and some died 
in most loathsome and furious pain. It were incredible 
to write our misery as it was ; there was no man in 
perfect health, but the captain and one boy. The 
master being a man of good spirit, with extreme labour 
bore out his grief, so that it grew not upon him. To 
be short, all our men died except sixteen, of which 
there were but five able to move. The captain was 
in good health, the master indifferent, Captain Cotton 
and myself swollen and short-winded, yet better than 
the rest that were sick, and one boy in health ; upon us 
five only the labour of the ship did stand. The captain 
and master, as occasion served, would take in and 
heave out the top-sails, the master only attended on 
the sprit-sail, and all of us at the capstan without sheets 
and tacks. In fine, our_niixy_and weakness was so 
great, that we could not take in nor heave out a sail : 

* ^_ ^ t __ | I in__^ a ^^_^^T"~"^"~^B^^ 

so our top-sail and sprit-sails were torn all in pieces by 
the weather^ The master and captain taking their turns 
attnTTielrn, were mightily distressed and monstrously 
n. M 

162 Cavendish Last Voyage. 

grieved with the most woeful lamentation of our sick 
men. Thus, as lost wanderers upon the sea, the 
ii. of June, 1593, it pleased God that we arrived 
at Berehaven, in Ireland, and there ran the ship on 
shore; where the Irish men helped us to take in our 
sails, and to moor our ship for floating ; which slender 
pains of theirs cost the captain some ten pounds before 
he could have the ship in safety. Thus without victuals, 
sails, men, or any furniture, God only guided us into 
Ireland, where the captain left the master and three or 
four of the company to keep the ship, and within five 
days after he and certain others had passage in an 
English fisher-boat to Padstow, in Cornwall. In this 
manner our small remnant by God s only mercy were 
preserved, and restored to our country, to whom be all 
honour and glory, world without end. 

RALEIGH (b. 1552? d. 1618). 

BOTH of Raleigh s attempts at colonization in Virginia 
had failed. Lane and his company, sent out under Green 
ville s command in 1585, had voted for returning with Drake 
when the latter visited them in 1586, and were accordingly 
brought back by him in a body. Raleigh s second set of 
colonists, taken out by White in 1587, were no longer to be 
found when White searched for them in 1590. Raleigh still 
cherished the hope of discovering and reinforcing them, but 
his ships were engaged in the more profitable business of 
capturing Spanish prizes ; and early in 1594 an adventurer 
similarly employed, named George Popham, found on board 
a homeward-bound Spanish vessel three letters containing 
news which speedily came to Raleigh s ears, and gave an 
entirely new turn to his designs. Of these letters we have 
nothing but the English version appended by Raleigh to 
the Discovery of Guiana, and perhaps made by him. Two 
were written by a resident at Gran Canada, described as 
Alonso. The first, addressed to Alonso s brother at San 
Lucar, stated, amongst other things, as follows : 

There have been certain letters received here of late, of 
a land newly discovered called Nuevo Dorado, from the 
sons of certain inhabitants of this city, who were in the dis 
covery ; they write of wonderful riches to be found in the 
said Dorado, and that gold there is in great abundance. 
The course to fall with it is fifty leagues to the windward of 

M 2 

164 Raleigh. 

The second letter was addressed by the same corre 
spondent to certain merchants of San Lucar, and ran 
thus : 

* SIRS, 

We have no news worth the writing, saving of a dis 
covery lately made by the Spaniards in a new land called 
Nuevo Dorado, which is two days sailing to the windward of 
Margarita ; there is gold in such abundance as the like hath 
not been heard of. We have it for certain in letters written 
from thence by some that were in the discovery, unto their 
parents here in this city. I purpose, God willing, to bestow 
ten or twelve days in search of the said Dorado, as I pass in 
my voyage towards Carthagena, hoping there to make some 
good sale of our commodities. I have sent you therewith 
part of the information of the said discovery that was sent 
to his Majesty. 

The third letter, written by a Breton named George 
Burien, resident at Gran Canada, to a cousin at San Lucar, 
ran thus : 


There came of late certain letters from a new dis 
covered country not far from Trinidad, which, they write, 
hath gold in great abundance. The news seemeth to be 
very certain, because it passeth for good amongst the best 
of this city. Part of the information of the discovery that 
went to his Majesty goeth inclosed in Alonso s letters ; it is 
a thing worth the seeing. 

The document enclosed in Alonso s second letter com 
prised an account of the formalities observed by Domingo 
de Vera, camp-master to Antonio de Berrio, Governor of 
Trinidad, when taking possession of part of the mainland 
opposite to that island, and near the mouth of the Orinoco, 
on behalf of the Spanish king, on April 23, 1593, together 
with part of De Vera s journal of his subsequent explora 
tion. On April 27 De Vera reached an Indian village, 
received the submission of the chief, and set up a cross. 
On May i he reached a village described as the town of 
Carapana, whence they advanced to another village where 
the chief was named Topiawari, who submitted in like 
manner. The rest of the journal shall be given as it appears 
in Raleigh s Appendix. 

Raleigh. 165 

The fourth of May we came to a province about five 
leagues thence, of all sides inhabited with much people. 
The principal of this people came and met us in peaceable 
manner, and he is called Renato. He brought us to a very 
large house where he entertained us well, and gave us much 
gold ; and the interpreter asking him from whence that gold 
was, he answered, from a province not passing a day s 
journey off, where there are so many Indians as would 
shadow the sun, and so much gold as all yonder plain will 
not contain it. In which country, when they enter into the 
borrachera \ they take of the said gold in dust, and anoint 
themselves all over therewith to make the braver shew ; 
and to the end the gold may cover them they anoint their 
bodies with stamped herbs of a glutinous substance ; and 
they have war with those Indians. They promised us that 
if we would go unto them they would aid us ; but they were 
such infinite number as no doubt they would kill us. And 
being asked how they got that same gold, they told us they 
went to a certain down, or plain, and pulled or digged up 
the grass by the root ; which done, they took of the earth, 
putting it in great buckets, which they carried to wash at 
the river ; and that which came in powder they kept for 
their borracheras, and that which was in pieces they wrought 
into eagles. 

The eighth of May we went from thence and marched 
about five leagues ; at the foot of a hill we found a principal 
called Arataco, with three thousand Indians, men and women, 
all in peace and with much victual, as hens and venison, in 
great abundance, and many sorts of wine. He entreated us 
to go to his house, and to rest that night in his town, being 
of five hundred houses. The interpreter asked whence he 
had those hens. He said they were brought from a moun 
tain not passing a quarter of a league thence, where were 
many Indians, yea, so many as grass on the ground, and 
that those men had the points of their shoulders higher than 
the crowns of their heads, and had so many hens as was 
wonderful ; and if we would have any, we should send 
them Jew s harps, for they would give for^every one two 
hens. We took an Indian, and gave hinr~five hundred 
harps ; the hens were so many that he brought us as were 
not to be numbered. We said we would go thither. They 
told us they were now in their borrachera and would kill us ; 
we asked the Indian that brought the hens if it were true, 
and he said it was most true. We asked him how they 
made their borrachera. He said they had many eagles of 
gold hanging on their breasts, and pearls in their ears, and 
that they danced being all covered with gold. The said 

1 Drinking-bout. 

i66 Raleigh. 

Indian said unto us, if we would see them, we should give 
him some hatchets, and he would bring us of those eagles. 
The master of the camp gave him one hatchet (he would 
give him no more because they should not understand we 
went to seek gold) ; he brought us an eagle that weighed 
27 pounds of good gold. The master of the camp took it 
and shewed to the soldiers, and then threw it from him, 
making shew not to regard it. About midnight came an 
Indian and said unto him, give me a pick-axe and I will tell 
thee what the Indians with the higti shoulders mean to do. The 
interpreter told the master of the camp, who commanded 
one to be given him. He then told us those Indians were 
coming to kill us for our merchandise. Hereupon the master 
of the camp caused his company to be set in order, and 
began to march. 

The eleventh day of May we went about seven leagues 
from thence to a province where we found a great company 
of Indians apparelled. They told us that if we came to 
fight they would fill up those plains with Indians to fight 
with us ; but if we came in peace we should enter and be 
well entertained of them, because they had a great desire to 
see Christians, and there they told us of all the riches that 
was. I do not here set it down, because there is no place 
for it ; but it shall appear by the information that goes to 
his Majesty. For if it should here be set down, four leaves 
of paper would not contain it. 

It will be noticed that in both the letters which assign 
a name to the newly discovered land of gold, it is called the 
New Dorado ; and it is described as at the mouth of the 
Orinoco. Name and situation alike indicate it as an entirely 
different place from another El Dorado, heard of sixty years 
earlier, and supposed to lie on the opposite side of South 
America, at no great distance from the Andes of northern 
Peru. The information which first led the Spaniards to 
seek for a country called * El Dorado, or the * Golden 
Land V was obtained from an Indian prisoner by Benal- 
cazar, the conqueror of northern Peru, shortly after his 
entry into Quito in 1533 ; and there can be little doubt that 

1 Some antiquaries consider the original form of the name to have 
been Rio Dorado or l Golden River, streams in which grains of gold 
are found being sufficiently numerous in America. But as Acosta 
(Lib. ii. cap. 6) uses Terra Aurea as the Latin equivalent of the 
name (in 1588), there can be little doubt that the complete name was 
originally El Pais Dorado or El Reyno Dorado. The transition 

Raleigh, 167 

it related to the district of Bogota or New Granada, which 
had not then been reached by the Spaniards. This district, 
however, did not satisfy the current accounts of the wealth 
of El Dorado accounts which ultimately went so far as to 
allege that its people sprinkled themselves with gold dust 
by way of personal adornment ; and when Gonzalo Pizarro, 
in 1539, started from Quito for the valley of the Amazon 
with the ostensible object of visiting a district called the 
Cinnamon province, from a cinnamon-like plant which 
abounded there, it was suspected that the undiscovered 
El Dorado was his real destination. This opinion is 
expressed by Oviedo, who wrote an account of the expedi 
tion to Cardinal Bembo from San Domingo in 1543, in which 
the story of the Golden Chief appears for the first time. 

It was not so much the cinnamon which moved Gonzalo 
Pizarro to go in search of it, as the hope of finding, together 
with this spice, or cinnamon, a great chief who is called 
El Dorado, of whom there is much talk in those parts ; and 
they say that he continually goes covered with gold ground 
small, or as minute as well-pounded salt, because he con 
siders that there is no vestment or ornament to compare 
with this ; and that thin plates of gold are there cheap and 
common, and that other chiefs can and do array themselves 
in these when they please ; but to dust one s self over with 
gold is a very singular and very costly thing, because every 
day he covers himself with it afresh, and at night washes it 
off and lets it go to waste ; and that this practice hinders 
not nor offends nor encumbers his noble deportment in any 
way ; and with a certain gum, or sweet-smelling liquor, he 
anoints himself in the morning, and over that unction he 
throws that powdered gold, and his whole person remains 
covered with gold from the sole of his foot to his head, as 
resplendent as a golden figure wrought by the hand of 
a most excellent goldsmith. So that it is understood, by 
this, and by report, that in that country there are most rich 
mines of gold. (Ramusio, Navigazioni, vol. iii. p. 416.) 

Hakluyt (see p. 195) remarks that the substance of the 
account obtained by Raleigh from Berrio was to be found 
in this letter of Oviedo, written half a century previously ; 

from this to El Dorado in the sense of El Xefe Dorado, or El 
Rey Dorado, is easy enough, and the fable related by Oviedo was 
invented to explain the name as thus applied. 

i68 Raleigh. 

whether this is so or not the reader can judge. Oviedo 
recognizes only one gilded personage the Chief or King: 
in Berrio s account the whole company of drinkers are 
sprinkled with gold-dust. Raleigh might well have read 
the account in Ramusio, and he states (p. 171) that the story 
of the original El Dorado had long been known to him, 
when Robert Dudley, son of the deceased Earl of Leicester 
(see p. 195), communicated to him verbally the substance of 
the report intercepted by Popham at sea in 1594. 

Raleigh determined to forestall the Spaniards, and lost 
no time in making preparations. In the same year (1594) 
he despatched one of his captains, named Jacob Whiddon, to 
Trinidad. Whiddon obtained what information he could 
from the Indians, and parleyed with the Spaniards, but the 
latter captured eight of his men, whom he had left in his 
pinnace while he went in pursuit of an expected prize 
(p. 184) ; and his voyage did little to promote Raleigh s 
schemes. He returned in the same year, and went out 
again with Raleigh s expedition in 1595. He seems to have 
sunk under the labours of the expedition, and Raleigh 
buried him at Trinidad on his own return. 




The DISCOVERY of the large, rich, and beautiful EMPIRE of 
GUIANA/ with a Relation of the great and golden CITY 
of MANOA, which the Spaniards call EL DORADO, and the 
Countries, with their rivers, adjoining. Performed in the 
of her Majesty s GUARD, Lord Warden of the STANNARIES, 
and her Highness LIEUTENANT-GENERAL of the COUNTY of 

To the Right Honourable my singular good Lord and 
kinsman CHARLES HOWARD, Knight of the Garter, 
Baron, and Councillor, and of the Admirals of ENGLAND 
the most renowned; and to the Right Honourable SIR 
ROBERT CECIL, KNIGHT, Councillor in her Highness 
Privy Councils. 

FOR your Honours many honourable and friendly 
parts, I have hitherto only returned promises ; and 
now, for answer of both your adventures, I have sent 
you a bundle of papers, which I have divided between 
your Lordship and Sir Robert Cecil, in these two 
respects chiefly ; first, for that it is reason that wasteful 
factors, when they have consumed such stocks as they 
had in trust, do yield some colour for the same in their 
account ; secondly, for that I am assured that what 
soever shall be done, or written, by me, shall need 
a double protection and defence. The trial that I had 
of both your loves, when I was left of all, but of malice 

170 Raleigh s Discovery of Guiana. [1595 

and revenge, makes me still presume that you will be 
pleased (knowing what little power I had to perform 
aught, and the great advantage of forewarned enemies) 
to answer that out of knowledge, which others shall but 
object out of malice. In my more happy times as I did 
especially honour you both, so I found that your loves 
sought me out in the darkest shadow of adversity, and 
the same affection which accompanied my better fortune 
soared not away from me in my many miseries ; all 
which though I cannot requite, yet I shall ever acknow 
ledge ; and the great debt which I have no power to 
pay, I can do no more for a time but confess to be due. 
It is true that as my errors were great, so they have 
yielded very grievous effects ; and if aught might have 
been deserved in former times, to have counterpoised 
any part of offences, the fruit thereof, as it seemeth, 
was long before fallen from the tree, and the dead 
stock only remained. I did therefore, even in the 
winter of my life, undertake these travails, fitter for 
bodies less blasted with misfortunes, for men of greater 
ability, and for minds of better encouragement, that 
thereby, if it were possible, I might recover but the 
moderation of excess, and the least taste of the greatest 
plenty formerly possessed. If I had known other way 
to win, if I had imagined how greater adventures might 
have regained, if I could conceive what farther means 
I might yet use but even to appease so powerful dis 
pleasure, I would not doubt but for one year more to 
hold fast my soul in my teeth till it were performed. 
Of that little remain I had, I have wasted in effect all 
herein. I have undergone many constructions ; I have 
been accompanied with many sorrows, with labour, 
hunger, heat, sickness, and peril; it appeareth, not 
withstanding, that I made no other bravado of going 
to the sea, than was meant, and that I was never 

i595l Dedicatory Epistle. 171 

hidden in Cornwall, or elsewhere, as was supposed. 
They have grossly belied me that forejudged that 
I would rather become a servant to the Spanish king 
than return ; and the rest were much mistaken, who 
would have persuaded that I was too easeful and 
sensual to undertake a journey of so great travail. 
But if what I have done receive the gracious construc 
tion of a painful pilgrimage, and purchase the least 
remission, I shall think all too little, and that there 
were wanting to the rest many miseries. But if both 
the times past, the present, and what may be in the 
future, do all by one grain of gall continue in eternal 
distaste, I do not then know whether I should bewail 
myself, either for my too much travail and expense, or 
condemn myself for doing less than that which can 
deserve nothing. From myself I have deserved no 
thanks, for I am returned a beggar, and withered ; but 
that I might have bettered my poor estate, it shall 
appear from the following discourse, if I had not only 
respected her Majesty s future honour and riches. 

It became not the former fortune, in which I once 
lived, to go journeys of picory * ; it had sorted ill with 
the offices of honour, which by her Majesty s grace 
I hold this day in England, to run from cape to cape 
and from place to place, for the pillage of ordinary 
prizes. Many years since I had knowledge, by rela 
tion, of that mighty, rich, and beautiful empire of 
Guiana, and of that great and golden city, which the 
Spaniards call El Dorado, and the naturals Manoa, 
which city was conquered, re-edified, and enlarged by 
a younger son of Guayna-capac, Emperor of Peru, at 
such time as Francisco Pizarro and others conquered 
the said empire from his two elder brethren, Guascar 
and Atabalipa, both then contending for the same, the 

1 Fr. picore e (marauding). 

172 Raleigtis Discovery of Guiana. [1595 

one being favoured by the orejones of Cuzco, the other 
by the people of Caxamalca. I sent my servant Jacob 
Whiddon, the year before, to get knowledge of the 
passages, and I had some light from Captain Parker, 
sometime my servant, and now attending on your 
Lordship, that such a place there was to the southward 
of the great bay of Charuas, or Guanipa : but I found 
that it was 600 miles farther off than they supposed, 
and many impediments to them unknown and unheard. 
After I had displanted Don Antonio de Berreo, who was 
upon the same enterprise, leaving my ships at Trinidad, 
at the port called Curiapan, I wandered 400 miles into 
the said country by land and river ; the particulars I will 
leave to the following discourse. 

The country hath more quantity of gold, by manifold, 
than the best parts of the Indies, or Peru. All the most 
of the kings of the borders are already become her 
Majesty s vassals, and seem to desire nothing more 
than her Majesty s protection and the return of the 
English nation. It hath another ground and assurance 
of riches and glory than the voyages of the West Indies 
an easier way to invade the best parts thereof than by 
the common course. The king of Spain is not so 
impoverished by taking three or four port towns in 
America as we suppose; neither are the riches of Peru 
or Nueva Espana so left by the sea side as it can be 
easily washed away with a great flood, or spring tide, 
or left dry upon the sands on a low ebb. The port 
towns are few and poor in respect of the rest within 
the land, and are of little defence, and are only rich 
when the fleets are to receive the treasure for Spain ; 
and we might think the Spaniards very simple, having 
so many horses and slaves, if they could not upon two 
days warning carry all the gold they have into the land, 
and far enough from the reach of our footmen, especially 

1595] Dedicatory Epistle. 173 

the Indies being, as they are for the most part, so moun 
tainous, full of woods, rivers, and marishes. In the port 
towns of the province of Venezuela, as Cumana, Coro, 
and St. lago (whereof Coro and St. lago were taken by 
Captain Preston, and Cumana and St. Josepho by us) 
we found not the value of one real of plate in either. 
But the cities of Barquasimeta, Valencia, St. Sebastian, 
Cororo, St. Lucia, Laguna, Maracaiba, and Truxillo, are 
not so easily invaded. Neither doth the burning of 
those on the coast impoverish the king of Spain any 
one ducat ; and if we sack the River of Hacha, 
St. Martha, and Carthagena, which are the ports of 
Nuevo Reyno and Popayan, there are besides within 
the land, which are indeed rich and prosperous, the 
towns and cities of Merida, Lagrita, St. Christophoro, 
the great cities of Pamplona, Santa Fe de Bogota, 
Tunxa, and Mozo, where the emeralds are found, the 
towns and cities of Marequita, Velez, la Villa de Leiva, 
Palma, Honda, Angostura, the great city of Timana, 
Tocaima, St. Aguila, Pasto, [St.] Jago, the great city of 
Popayan itself, Los Remedies, and the rest. If we take 
the ports and villages within the bay of Uraba in the 
kingdom or rivers of Darien and Caribana, the cities 
and towns of St. Juan de Rodas, of Cassaris, of 
Antiochia, Caramanta, Cali, and Anserma have gold 
enough to pay the king s part, and are not easily 
invaded by way of the ocean. Or if N ombre de Dios 
and Panama be taken, in the province of Castilla del 
Oro, and the villages upon the rivers of Cenu and 
Chagre ; Peru hath, besides those, and besides the 
magnificent cities of Quito and Lima, so many islands, 
ports, cities, and mines as if I should name them with 
the rest it would seem incredible to the reader. Of all 
which, because I have written a particular treatise of 
the West Indies, I will omit the repetition at this time, 

174 Raleigh? s Discovery of Guiana. [1595 

seeing that in the said treatise I have anatomized the 
rest of the sea towns as well of Nicaragua, Yucatan, 
Nueva Espana, and the islands, as those of the inland, 
and by what means they may be best invaded, as far as 
any mean judgment may comprehend. 

But I hope it shall appear that there is a way found 
to answer every man s longing ; a better Indies for her 
Majesty than the king of Spain hath any; which if it 
shall please her Highness to undertake, I shall most 
willingly end the rest of my days in following the same. 
If it be left to the spoil and sackage of common persons, 
if the love and service of so many nations be despised, 
so great riches and so mighty an empire refused ; I hope 
her Majesty will yet take my humble desire and my 
labour therein in gracious part, which, if it had not 
been in respect of her Highness future honour and 
riches, could have laid hands on and ransomed many 
of the kings and caciqui of the country, and have had 
a reasonable proportion of gold for their redemption. 
But I have chosen rather to bear the burden of poverty 
than reproach ; and rather to endure a second travail, 
and the chances thereof, than to have defaced an enter 
prise of so great assurance, until I knew whether it 
pleased God to put a disposition in her princely and 
royal heart either to follow or forslow 1 the same. 
I will therefore leave it to His ordinance that hath 
only power in all things; and do humbly pray that 
your honours will excuse such errors as, without 
the defence of art, overrun in every part the following 
discourse, in which I have neither studied phrase, form, 
nor fashion ; that you will be pleased to esteem me as 
your own, though over dearly bought, and I shall ever 
remain ready to do you all honour and service. 

1 Neglect, decline (lose through sloth). 

T 595l Preface to the Reader. 175 


BECAUSE there have been divers opinions conceived 
of the gold ore brought from Guiana, and for that an 
alderman of London and an officer of her Majesty s 
mint hath given out that the same is of no price, I have 
thought good by the addition of these lines to give 
answer as well to the said malicious slander as to other 
objections. It is true that while we abode at the island 
of Trinidad I was informed by an Indian that not far 
from the port where we anchored there were found 
certain mineral stones which they esteemed to be gold, 
and were thereunto persuaded the rather for that they 
had seen both English and Frenchmen gather and 
embark some quantities thereof. Upon this likelihood 
I sent forty men, and gave order that each one should 
bring a stone of that mine, to make trial of the good 
ness ; which being performed, I assured them at their 
return that the same was marcasite^ and of no riches or 
value. Notwithstanding, divers, trusting more to their 
own sense than to my opinion, kept of the said marcasite, 
and have tried thereof since my return, in divers places. 
In Guiana itself I never saw marcasite ; but all the rocks, 
mountains, all stones in the plains, woods, and by the 
rivers sides, are in effect thorough-shining, and appear 
marvellous rich ; which, being tried to be no marcasite, 
are the true signs of rich minerals, but are no other 
than El madre del oro, as the Spaniards term them, 
which is the mother of gold, or, as it is said by others, 
the scum of gold. Of divers sorts of these many of my 
company brought also into England, every one taking 
the fairest for the best, which is not general. For mine 
own part, I did not countermand any man s desire or 
opinion, and I could have afforded them little if I should 
have denied them the pleasing of their own fancies 

176 Raleigh s Discovery of Guiana. [1595 

therein ; but I was resolved that gold must be found 
either in grains, separate from the stone, as it is in 
most of the rivers in Guiana, or else in a kind of hard 
stone, which we call the white spar, of which I saw 
divers hills, and in sundry places, but had neither time 
nor men, nor instruments fit for labour. Near unto 
one of the rivers I found of the said white spar or 
flint a very great ledge or bank, which I endeavoured 
to break by all the means I could, because there 
appeared on the outside some small grains of gold ; 
but finding no mean to work the same upon the upper 
part, seeking the sides and circuit of the said rock, 
I found a clift in the same, from whence with daggers, 
and with the head of an axe, we got out some small 
quantity thereof; of which kind of white stone, wherein 
gold is engendered, we saw divers hills and rocks in 
every part of Guiana wherein we travelled. Of this 
there have been made many trials ; and in London it 
was first assayed by Master Westwood, a refiner dwelling 
in Wood Street, and it held after the rate of twelve or 
thirteen thousand pounds a ton. Another sort was 
afterward tried by Master Bulmar, and Master Dimock, 
assay-master ; and it held after the rate of three and 
twenty thousand pounds a ton. There was some of it 
again tried by Master Palmer, Comptroller of the Mint, 
and Master Dimock in Goldsmiths Hall, and it held after 
six and twenty thousand and nine hundred pounds 
a ton. There was also at the same time, and by the 
same persons, a trial made of the dust of the said mine ; 
which held eight pounds and six ounces weight of gold 
in the hundred. There was likewise at the same time 
a trial of an image of copper made in Guiana, which 
held a third part of gold, besides divers trials made in 
the country, and by others in London. But because 
there came ill with the good, and belike the said alder- 

1595] Preface to the Reader. 177 

man was not presented with the best, it hath pleased 
him therefore to scandal all the rest, and to deface the 
enterprise as much as in him lieth. It hath also been 
concluded by divers that if there had been any such ore 
in Guiana, and the same discovered, that I would have 
brought home a greater quantity thereof. First, I was 
not bound to satisfy any man of the quantity, but only 
such as adventured, if any store had been returned 
thereof; but it is very true that had all their mountains 
been of massy gold it was impossible for us to have 
made any longer stay to have wrought the same ; and 
whosoever hath seen with what strength of stone the 
best gold ore is environed, he will not think it easy to 
be had out in heaps, and especially by us, who had 
neither men, instruments, nor time, as it is said before, 
to perform the same. 

There were on this discovery no less than an hundred 
persons, who can all witness that when we passed any 
branch of the river to view the land within, and stayed 
from our boats but six hours, we were driven to wade 
to the eyes at our return ; and if we attempted the 
same the day following, it was impossible either to ford 
it, or to swim it, both by reason of the swiftness, and 
also for that the borders were so pestered with fast 
woods, as neither boat nor man could find place either 
to land or to embark ; for in June, July, August, and 
September it is impossible to navigate any of those 
rivers ; for such is the fury of the current, and there 
are so many trees and woods overflown, as if any boat 
but touch upon any tree or stake it is impossible to 
save any one person therein. And ere we departed 
the land it ran with such swiftness as we drave down, 
most commonly against the wind, little less than an 
hundred miles a day. Besides, our vessels were no 
other than wherries, one little barge, a small cock-boat, 

II. N 

178 Raleigh s Discovery of Guiana. [1595 

and a bad galiota which we framed in haste for that 
purpose at Trinidad; and those little boats had nine or 
ten men apiece, with all their victuals and arms. It is 
further true that we were about four hundred miles 
from our ships, and had been a month from them, 
which also we left weakly manned in an open road, 
and had promised our return in fifteen days. 

Others have devised that the same ore was had from 
Barbary, and that we carried it with us into Guiana. 
Surely the singularity of that device I do not well 
comprehend. For mine own part, I am not so much 
in love with these long voyages as to devise thereby 
to cozen myself, to lie hard, to fare worse, to be 
subjected to perils, to diseases, to ill savours, to 
be parched and withered, and withal to sustain the 
care and labour of such an enterprise, except the same 
had more comfort than the fetching of marcasite in 
Guiana, or buying of gold ore in Barbary. But I hope 
the better sort will judge me by themselves, and that 
the way of deceit is not the way of honour or good 
opinion. I have herein consumed much time, and 
many crowns; and I had no other respect or desire 
than to serve her Majesty and my country thereby. 
If the Spanish nation had been of like belief to these 
detractors we should little have feared or doubted their 
attempts, wherewith we now are daily threatened. But 
if we now consider of the actions both of Charles the 
Fifth, who had the maidenhead of Peru and the abun 
dant treasures of Atabalipa, together with the affairs of 
the Spanish king now living, what territories he hath 
purchased, what he hath added to the acts of his prede 
cessors, how many kingdoms he hath endangered, how 
many armies, garrisons, and navies he hath, and doth 
maintain, the great losses which he hath repaired, as in 
Eighty-eight above an hundred sail of great ships with 

1595] Preface to the Reader. 179 

their artillery, and that no year is less infortunate, but 
that many vessels, treasures, and people are devoured, 
and yet notwithstanding he beginneth again like a storm 
to threaten shipwrack to us all ; we shall find that these 
abilities rise not from the trades of sacks and Seville 
oranges, nor from aught else that either Spain, Portugal, 
or any of his other provinces produce; it is his Indian 
gold that endangereth and disturbeth all the nations 
of Europe ; it purchaseth intelligence, creepeth into 
counsels, and setteth bound loyalty at liberty in the 
greatest monarchies of Europe. If the Spanish king 
can keep us from foreign enterprises, and from the 
impeachment of his trades, either by offer of invasion, 
or by besieging us in Britain, Ireland, or elsewhere, 
he hath then brought the work of our peril in great 

Those princes that abound in treasure have great 
advantages over the rest, if they once constrain them 
to a defensive war, where they are driven once a year 
or oftener to cast lots for their own garments; and 
from all such shall all trades and intercourse be taken 
away, to the general loss and impoverishment of the 
kingdom and commonweal so reduced. Besides, when 
our men are constrained to fight, it hath not the like 
hope as when they are pressed and encouraged by the 
desire of spoil and riches. Farther, it is to be doubted 
how those that in time of victory seem to affect their 
neighbour nations will remain after the first view of 
misfortunes or ill success; to trust, also, to the doubtful 
ness of a battle is but a fearful and uncertain adventure, 
seeing therein fortune is as likely to prevail as virtue. 
It shall not be necessary to allege all that might be 
said, and therefore I will thus conclude; that what 
soever kingdom shall be enforced to defend itself may 
be compared to a body dangerously diseased, which for 

N 2 

i8o Raleigh s Discovery of Guiana. 

a season may be preserved with vulgar medicines, but 
in a short time, and by little and little, the same must 
needs fall to the ground and be dissolved. I have 
therefore laboured all my life, both according to my 
small power and persuasion, to advance all those 
attempts that might either promise return of profit to 
ourselves, or at least be a let and impeachment to the 
quiet course and plentiful trades of the Spanish nation ; 
who, in my weak judgement, by such a war were as 
easily endangered and brought from his powerfulness 
as any prince in Europe, if it be considered from how 
many kingdoms and nations his revenues are gathered, 
and those so weak in their own beings and so far 
severed from mutual succour. But because such a 
preparation and resolution is not to be hoped for in 
haste, and that the time which our enemies embrace 
cannot be had again to advantage, I will hope that 
these provinces, and that empire now by me dis 
covered, shall suffice to enable her Majesty and the 
whole kingdom with no less quantities of treasure 
than the king of Spain hath in all the Indies, East 
and West, which he possesseth ; which if the same be 
considered and followed, ere the Spaniards enforce the 
same, and if her Majesty will undertake it, I will be 
contented to lose her Highness favour and good 
opinion for ever, and my life withal, if the same be 
not found rather to exceed than to equal whatsoever 
is in this discourse promised and declared. I will now 
refer the reader to the following discourse, with the 
hope that the perilous and chargeable labours and 
endeavours of such as thereby seek the profit and 
honour of her Majesty, and the English nation, shall 
by men of quality and virtue receive such construction 
and good acceptance as themselves would like to be 
rewarded withal in the like. 


ON Thursday, the sixth of February, in the year 
T 595> we departed England, and the Sunday following 
had sight of the north cape of Spain, the wind for the 
most part continuing prosperous ; we passed in sight 
of the Burlings, and the Rock, and so onwards for 
the Canaries, and fell with Fuerteventura the 17. of the 
same month, where we spent two or three days, and 
relieved our companies with some fresh meat. From 
thence we coasted by the Grand Canaria, and so to 
Teneriffe, and stayed there for the Lion s Whelp, your 
Lordship s ship, and for Captain Amy as Preston and 
the rest. But when after seven or eight days we found 
them not, we departed and directed our course for 
Trinidad, with mine own ship, and a small barque of 
Captain Cross s only; for we had before lost sight of 
a small galego on the coast of Spain, which came with 
us from Plymouth. We arrived at Trinidad the 22. of 
March, casting anchor at Point Curiapan, which the 
Spaniards call Punta de Gallo, which is situate in eight 
degrees or thereabouts. We abode there four or five 
days, and in all that time we came not to the speech of 
any Indian or Spaniard. On the coast we saw a fire, 
as we sailed from the Point Carao towards Curiapan, 

1 Exploration. Cp. First Series, page 141, line 7. 

3 The name is derived from the Guayano Indians, on the Orinoco. 

182 Raleigh s Discovery of Guiana. [1595 

but for fear of the Spaniards none durst come to speak 
with us. I myself coasted it in my barge close aboard 
the shore and landed in every cove, the better to know 
the island, while the ships kept the channel. From 
Curiapan after a few days we turned up north-east to 
recover that place which the Spaniards call Puerto de 
los Espanoles *, and the inhabitants Conquerabia ; and as 
before, revictualling my barge, I left the ships and kept 
by the shore, the better to come to speech with some of 
the inhabitants, and also to understand the rivers, 
watering-places, and ports of the island, which, as it is 
rudely done, my purpose is to send your Lordship after 
a few days. From Curiapan I came to a port and seat 
of Indians called Parico, where we found a fresh water 
river, but saw no people. From thence I rowed to 
another port, called by the naturals Piche, and by the 
Spaniards Tierra de Brea. In the way between both 
were divers little brooks of fresh water, and one salt 
river that had store of oysters upon the branches of the 
trees, and were very salt and well tasted. All their 
oysters grow upon those boughs and sprays, and not 
on the ground; the like is commonly seen in other 
places of the West Indies, and elsewhere. This tree is 
described by Andrew Thevet, in his France Antarctique, 
and the form figured in the book as a plant very strange ; 
and by Pliny in his twelfth book of his Natural History. 
But in this island, as also in Guiana, there are very 
many of them. 

At this point, called Tierra de Brea or Piche, there is 
that abundance of stone pitch that all the ships of the 
world may be therewith laden from thence ; and we 
made trial of it in trimming our ships to be most 
excellent good, and melteth not with the sun as the 
pitch of Norway, and therefore for ships trading the 

1 Now Port of Spain. 

1595] Description of Trinidad. 183 

south parts very profitable. From thence we went to 
the mountain foot called Annaperima, and so passing 
the river Carone, on which the Spanish city was seated, 
we met with our ships at Puerto de los Espaholes or 

This island of Trinidad hath the form of a sheephook, 
and is but narrow ; the north part is very mountainous ; 
the soil is very excellent, and will bear sugar, ginger, 
or any other commodity that the Indies yield. It hath 
store of deer, wild porks, fruit, fish, and fowl ; it hath 
also for bread sufficient maize, cassavi, and of those 
roots and fruits which are common everywhere in the 
West Indies. It hath divers beasts which the Indies 
have not; the Spaniards confessed that they found 
grains of gold in some of the rivers ; but they having 
a purpose to enter Guiana, the magazine of all rich 
metals, cared not to spend time in the search thereof 
any further. This island is called by the people thereof 
Cairi t and in it are divers nations. Those about Parico 
are called Jajo, those at Punta de Carao are of the 
Arwacas 1 , and between Carao and Curiapan they are 
called Salvajos. Between Carao and Punta de Galera 
are the Nepojos, and those about the Spanish city term 
themselves Carinepagotes 2 . Of the rest of the nations, 
and of other ports and rivers, I leave to speak here, 
being impertinent to my purpose, and mean to describe 
them as they are situate in the particular plot and 
description of the island, three parts whereof I coasted 
with my barge, that I might the better describe it. 

Meeting with the ships at Puerto de los Espaholes, we 
found at the landing-place a company of Spaniards who 
kept a guard at the descent ; and they offering a sign of 
peace, I sent Captain Whiddon to speak with them, 
whom afterwards to my great grief I left buried in the 

1 Arawaks. 2 Carib-people. 

184 Raleigh s Discovery of Guiana. [1595 

said island after my return from Guiana, being a man 
most honest and valiant. The Spaniards seemed to be 
desirous to trade with us, and to enter into terms of 
peace, more for doubt of their own strength than for 
aught else ; and in the end, upon pledge, some of them 
came aboard. The same evening there stale also 
aboard us in a small canoa two Indians, the one of 
them being a cacique or lord of the people, called 
Cantyman, who had the year before been with Captain 
Whiddon, and was of his acquaintance. By this Canty- 
man we understood what strength the Spaniards had, 
how far it was to their city, and of Don Antonio de 
Berreo, the governor, who was said to be slain in his 
second attempt of Guiana, but was not. 

While we remained at Puerto de los Espanoles some 
Spaniards came aboard us to buy linen of the company, 
and such other things as they wanted, and also to view 
our ships and company, all which I entertained kindly 
and feasted after our manner. By means whereof 
I learned of one and another as much of the estate 
of Guiana as I could, or as they knew; for those poor 
soldiers having been many years without wine, a few 
draughts made them merry, in which mood they 
vaunted of Guiana and the riches thereof, and all what 
they knew of the ways and passages ; myself seeming 
to purpose nothing less than the entrance or discovery 
thereof, but bred in them an opinion that I was bound 
only for the relief of those English which I had planted 
in Virginia, whereof the bruit was come among them ; 
which I had performed in my return, if extremity of 
weather had not forced me from the said coast. 

I found occasions of staying in this place for two 
causes. The one was to be revenged of Berreo, who 
the year before, 1594, had betrayed eight of Captain 
Whiddon s men, and took them while he departed from 

1595] The Spaniards in Trinidad. 185 

them to seek the Edward Bonaventure, which arrived at 
Trinidad the day before from the East Indies : in whose 
absence Berreo sent a canoa aboard the pinnace only 
with Indians and dogs inviting the company to go with 
them into the woods to kill a deer. Who, like wise 
men, in the absence of their captain followed the 
Indians, but were no sooner one arquebus shot from 
the shore, but Berreo s soldiers lying in ambush had 
them all, notwithstanding that he had given his word to 
Captain Whiddon that they should take water and wood 
safely. The other cause of my stay was, for that by 
discourse with the Spaniards I daily learned more and 
more of Guiana, of the rivers and passages, and of the 
enterprise of Berreo, by what means or fault he failed, 
and how he meant to prosecute the same. 

While we thus spent the time I was assured by 
another cacique of the north side of the island, that 
Berreo had sent to Margarita and Cumana for soldiers, 
meaning to have given me a cassado l at parting, if it 
had been possible. For although he had given order 
through all the island that no Indian should come 
aboard to trade with me upon pain of hanging and 
quartering (having executed two of them for the same, 
which I afterwards found), yet every night there came 
some with most lamentable complaints of his cruelty : 
how he had divided the island and given to every 
soldier a part ; that he made the ancient caciques, which 
were lords of the country, to be their slaves ; that he 
kept them in chains, and dropped their naked bodies 
with burning bacon, and such other torments, which 
I found afterwards to be true. For in the city, after 
I entered the same, there were five of the lords or little 
kings, which they call caciques in the West Indies, in 
one chain, almost dead of famine, and wasted with 
1 Cachado (cachada) = a blow. 

i86 Raleigh s Discovery of Guiana. [1595 

torments. These are called in their own language 
acarewana, and now of late since English, French, and 
Spanish, are come among them, they call themselves 
captains, because they perceive that the chiefest of 
every ship is called by that name. Those five captains 
in the chain were called Wannawanare, Carroaori, 
Maquarima, Tarroopanama, and Aterima. So as both 
to be revenged of the former wrong, as also considering 
that to enter Guiana by small boats, to depart 400 or 
500 miles from my ships, and to leave a garrison in my 
back interested in the same enterprise, who also daily 
expected supplies out of Spain, I should have savoured 
very much of the ass ; and therefore taking a time of 
most advantage, I set upon the Corps du garde in the 
evening, and having put them to the sword, sent 
Captain Calfield onwards with sixty soldiers, and myself 
followed with forty more, and so took their new city, 
which they called St. Joseph, by break of day. They 
abode not any fight after a few shot, and all being dis 
missed, but only Berreo and his companion , I brought 
them with me aboard, and at the instance of the Indians 
I set their new city of St. Joseph on fire. The same day 
arrived Captain George Gifford with your lordship s ship, 
and Captain Keymis, whom I lost on the coast of Spain, 
with thegalego, and in them divers gentlemen and others, 
which to our little army was a great comfort and supply. 
We then hasted away towards our purposed dis 
covery, and first I called all the captains of the island 
together that were enemies to the Spaniards ; for there 
were some which Berreo had brought out of other 
countries, and planted there to eat out and waste those 
that were natural of the place. And by my Indian 
interpreter, which I carried out of England, I made 
them understand that I was the servant of a queen 

1 The Portuguese captain Alvaro Jorge (see p. 240). 

i595l Indian Chiefs in Trinidad. 187 

who was the great cacique of the north, and a virgin, 
and had more caciqui under her than there were trees 
in that island ; that she was an enemy to the Castellani 
in respect of their tyranny and oppression, and that she 
delivered all such nations about her, as were by them 
oppressed ; and having freed all the coast of the 
northern world from their servitude, had sent me to 
free them also, and withal to defend the country of 
Guiana from their invasion and conquest. I shewed 
them her Majesty s picture, which they so admired 
and honoured, as it had been easy to have brought 
them idolatrous thereof. The like and a more large 
discourse I made to the rest of the nations, both in my 
passing to Guiana and to those of the borders, so as in 
that part of the world her Majesty is very famous and 
admirable; whom they now call EZRABETA CASSIPUNA 
AQUEREWANA, which is as much as Elizabeth, the Great 
Princess, or Greatest Commander/ This done, we left 
Puerto de los Espaholes, and returned to Curiapan, and 
having Berreo my prisoner, I gathered from him as 
much of Guiana as he knew. This Berreo is a gentle 
man well descended, and had long served the Spanish 
king in Milan, Naples, the Low Countries, and else 
where, very valiant and liberal, and a gentleman of 
great assuredness, and of a great heart. I used him 
according to his estate and worth in all things I could, 
according to the small means I had. 

I sent Captain Whiddon the year before to get what 
knowledge he could of Guiana : and the end of my 
journey at this time was to discover and enter the same. 
But my intelligence was far from truth, for the country 
is situate about 600 English miles further from the sea 
than I was made believe it had been. Which after 
wards understanding to be true by Berreo, I kept it 
from the knowledge of my company, who else would 

1 88 Raleigh s Discovery of Guiana. [1595 

never have been brought to attempt the same. Of 
which 600 miles I passed 400, leaving my ships so far 
from me at anchor in the sea, which was more of desire 
to perform that discovery than of reason, especially 
having such poor and weak vessels to transport our 
selves in. For in the bottom of an old galego which 
I caused to be fashioned like a galley, and in one barge, 
two wherries, and a ship-boat of the Lion s Whelp, we 
carried 100 persons and their victuals for a month in 
the same, being all driven to lie in the rain and weather 
in the open air, in the burning sun, and upon the hard 
boards, and to dress our meat, and to carry all manner 
of furniture in them. Wherewith they were so pestered 
and unsavoury, that what with victuals being most fish, 
with the wet clothes of so many men thrust together, 
and the heat of the sun, I will undertake there was 
never any prison in England that could be found more 
unsavoury and loathsome, especially to myself, who had 
for many years before been dieted and cared for in 
a sort far more differing. 

If Captain Preston had not been persuaded that he 
should have come too late to Trinidad to have found us 
there (for the month was expired which I promised to 
tarry for him there ere he could recover the coast of 
Spain] but that it had pleased God he might have 
joined with us, and that we had entered the country 
but some ten days sooner ere the rivers were over 
flown, we had adventured either to have gone to the 
great city of Manoa, or at least taken so many of the 
other cities and towns nearer at hand, as would have 
made a royal return. But it pleased not God so much 
to favour me at this time. If it shall be my lot to 
prosecute the same, I shall willingly spend my life 
therein. And if any else shall be enabled thereunto, 
and conquer the same, I assure him thus much ; he 

i595l The Empire of Guiana 189 

shall perform more than ever was done in Mexico by 
Cortes, or in Peru by Pizarro, whereof the one con 
quered the empire of Mutezuma, the other of Guascar 
and Atabalipa. And whatsoever prince shall possess 
it, that prince shall be lord of more gold, and of a more 
beautiful empire, and of more cities and people, than 
either the king of Spain or the Great Turk. 

But because there may arise many doubts, and how 
this empire of Guiana is become so populous, and 
adorned with so many great cities, towns, temples, and 
treasures, I thought good to make it known, that the 
emperor now reigning is descended from those magni 
ficent princes of Peru, of whose large territories, of 
whose policies, conquests, edifices, and riches, Pedro 
de Cicza, Francisco Lopez, and others have written 
large discourses. For when Francisco Pizarro, Diego 
Almagro and others conquered the said empire of 
Peru, and had put to death Atabalipa, son to Guayna 
Capac, which Atabalipa had formerly caused his eldest 
brother Guascar to be slain, one of the younger sons of 
Guayna Capac fled out of Peru, and took with him 
many thousands of those soldiers of the empire called 
orejones *, and with those and many others which followed 
him, he vanquished all that tract and valley of America 
which is situate between the great river of Amazons 
and Baraquan, otherwise called Orenoque and Maranon*. 

The empire of Guiana is directly east from Peru 
towards the sea, and lieth under the equinoctial line ; 
and it hath more abundance of gold than any part of 
Peru, and as many or moe 3 great cities than ever Peru 
had when it flourished most. It is governed by the 

1 Orejones =^ having large ears, the name given by the Spaniards 
to the Peruvian warriors, who wore ear-pendants. 

2 Baraquan is the alternative name to Orenoque, Maranon to 
Amazons. 3 More. 

190 Raleigh s Discovery of Guiana. [1595 

same laws, and the emperor and people observe the 
same religion, and the same form and policies in govern 
ment as were used in Peru, not differing in any part. 
And I have been assured by such of the Spaniards as 
have seen Manoa, the imperial city of Guiana, which 
the Spaniards call El Dorado, that for the greatness, 
for the riches, and for the excellent seat, it far exceedeth 
any of the world, at least of so much of the world as is 
known to the Spanish nation. It is founded upon 
a lake of salt water of 200 leagues long, like unto Mare 
Caspium. And if we compare it to that of Peru, and 
but read the report of Francisco Lopez and others, it 
will seem more than credible; and because we may 
judge of the one by the other, I thought good to insert 
part of the 120. chapter of Lopez in his General History 
of the Indies, wherein he describeth the court and 
magnificence of Guayna Capac, ancestor to the emperor 
of Guiana, whose very words are these : 

Todo el servicio de su casa, mesa, y cocina era de oro 
y de plata, y cuando menos de plata y cobre, por mas 
recio. Tenia en su recamara estatuas huecas de oro, 
que parescian gigantes, y las figuras al propio y tamano 
de cuantos animales, aves, arboles, y yerbas produce la 
tierra, y de cuantos peces cria la mar y agua de sus 
reynos. Tenia asimesmo sogas, costales, cestas, y 
troxes de oro y plata; rimeros de palos de oro, que 
pareciesen lefia rajada para quemar. En fin no habia 
cosa en su tierra, que no la tuviese de oro contrahecha ; 
y aun dizen, que tenian los Ingas un verjel en una isla 
cerca de la Puna, donde se iban a holgar, cuando 
querian mar, que tenia la hortaliza, las flores, y arboles 
de oro y plata ; invencion y grandeza hasta entonces 
nunca vista. Allende de todo esto, tenia infinitisima 
cantidad de plata y oro por labrar en el Cuzco, que 
se perdio por la muerte de Guascar; ca los Indies lo 
escondieron, viendo que los Espanoles se lo tomaban, 
y enviaban a Espana. That is, All the vessels of his 
house, table, and kitchen, were of gold and silver, and 

1595] Riches of Peru. 191 

the meanest of silver and copper for strength and hard 
ness of metal. He had in his wardrobe hollow statues 
of gold which seemed giants, and the figures in pro 
portion and bigness of all the beasts, birds, trees, and 
herbs, that the earth bringeth forth ; and of all the 
fishes that the sea or waters of his kingdom breedeth. 
He had also ropes, budgets, chests, and troughs of gold 
and silver, heaps of billets of gold, that seemed wood 
marked out * to burn. Finally, there was nothing in his 
country whereof he had not the counterfeit in gold. 
Yea, and they say, the Ingas had a garden of pleasure 
in an island near Puna, where they went to recreate 
themselves, when they would take the air of the sea, 
which had all kinds of garden-herbs, flowers, and trees 
of gold and silver; an invention and magnificence till 
then never seen. Besides all this, he had an infinite 
quantity of silver and gold unwrought in Cuzco, which 
was lost by the death of Guascar, for the Indians hid it, 
seeing that the Spaniards took it, and sent it into 

And in the 117. chapter; Francisco Pizarro caused 
the gold and silver of Atabalipa to be weighed after he 
had taken it, which Lopez setteth down in these words 
following: Hallaron cincuenta y dos mil marcos de 
buena plata, y un millon y trecientos y veinte y seis 
mil y quinientos pesos de oro. Which is, They found 
52,000 marks of good silver, and 1,326,500 pesos of gold. 
Now, although these reports may seem strange, yet, if 
we consider the many millions which are daily brought 
out of Peru into Spain, we may easily believe the same. 
For we find that by the abundant treasure of that 
country the Spanish king vexes all the princes of 
Europe, and is become, in a few years, from a poor 
king of Castile, the greatest monarch of this part of 
the world, and likely every day to increase if other 
princes forslow the good occasions offered, and suffer 
him to add this empire to the rest, which by far 

1 Rather, split into logs. 

192 Raleigh s Discovery of Guiana. [1595 

exceedeth all the rest. If his gold now endanger us, 
he will then be unresistible. Such of the Spaniards as 
afterwards endeavoured the conquest thereof, whereof 
there have been many, as shall be declared hereafter, 
thought that this Inga, of whom this emperor now 
living is descended, took his way by the river of 
Amazons, by that branch which is called Papamene 1 . 
For by that way followed Orellana, by the command 
ment of Gonzalo Pizarro, in the year 1542, whose name 
the river also beareth this day. Which is also by 
others called Maranon, although Andrew Thevet doth 
affirm that between Maranon and Amazons there are 
120 leagues ; but sure it is that those rivers have one 
head and beginning, and the Maranon, which Thevet 
describeth, is but a branch of Amazons or Orellana, of 
which I will speak more in another place. It was 
attempted by Ordas; but it is now little less than 
70 years since that Diego Ordas, a Knight of the Order 
of Santiago, attempted the same ; and it was in the year 
1542 that Orellana discovered the river of Amazons , 
but the first that ever saw Manoa was Juan Martinez, 
master of the munition to Ordas. At a port called 
Morequito*, in Guiana, there lieth at this day a great 
anchor of Ordas his ship. And this port is some 
300 miles within the land, upon the great river of 
Orenoque. I rested at this port four days, twenty days 
after I left the ships at Curiapan. 

The relation of this Martinez, who was the first that 
discovered Manoa, his success, and end, is to be seen 
in the Chancery of St. Juan de Puerto Rico, whereof 
Berreo had a copy, which appeared to be the greatest 
encouragement as well to Berreo as to others that 

1 The Papamene is a tributary not of the Amazon river but of the 
Meta, one of the principal tributaries of the Orinoco. 
J Probably San Miguel. 

595] Previous Explorers Martinez. 193 

formerly attempted the discovery and conquest. Orel- 
lana, after he failed of the discovery of Guiana by the 
said river of Amazons, passed into Spain, and there 
obtained a patent of the king for the invasion and 
conquest, but died by sea about the islands ; and his 
fleet being severed by tempest, the action for that time 
proceeded not. Diego Ordas followed the enterprise, 
and departed Spain with 600 soldiers and thirty horse. 
Who, arriving on the coast of Guiana, was slain in 
a mutiny, with the most part of such as favoured him, 
as also of the rebellious part, insomuch as his ships 
perished and few or none returned ; neither was it 
certainly known what became of the said Ordas until 
Berreo found the anchor of his ship in the river of 
Orenoque ; but it was supposed, and so it is written by 
Lopez, that he perished on the seas, and of other 
writers diversely conceived and reported. And hereof 
it came that Martinez entered so far within the land, 
and arrived at that city of Inga the emperor ; for it 
chanced that while Ordas with his army rested at the 
port of Morequito (who was either the first or second 
that attempted Guiana], by some negligence the whole 
store of powder provided for the service was set on fire, 
and Martinez, having the chief charge, was condemned by 
the General Ordas to be executed forthwith. Martinez, 
being much favoured by the soldiers, had all the means 
possible procured for his life; but it could not be 
obtained in other sort than this, that he should be set 
into a canoa alone, without any victual, only with his 
arms, and so turned loose into the great river. But 
it pleased God that the canoa was carried down the 
stream, and certain of the Guianians met it the same 
evening ; and, having not at any time seen any Christian 
nor any man of that colour, they carried Martinez into 
the land to be wondered at, and so from town to town, 
n. o 

194 Raleigh s Discovery of Guiana. [1595 

until he came to the great city of Manoa, the seat and 
residence of Inga the emperor. The emperor, after 
he had beheld him, knew him to be a Christian, for it 
was not long before that his brethren Guascar and 
Atabalipa were vanquished by the Spaniards in Peru : 
and caused him to be lodged in his palace, and well 
entertained. He lived seven months in Manoa, but 
was not suffered to wander into the country anywhere. 
He was also brought thither all the way blindfold, led 
by the Indians, until he came to the entrance of Manoa 
itself, and was fourteen or fifteen days in the passage. 
He avowed at his death that he entered the city at 
noon, and then they uncovered his face ; and that he 
travelled all that day till night thorough the city, and the 
next day from sun rising to sun setting, yere a he came 
to the palace of Inga. After that Martinez had lived 
seven months in Manoa, and began to understand the 
language of the country, Inga asked him whether he 
desired to return into his own country, or would 
willingly abide with him. But Martinez, not desirous 
to stay, obtained- the favour of Inga to depart ; with 
whom he sent divers Guianians to conduct him to the 
river of Orenoque, all loaden with as much gold as they 
could carry, which he gave to Martinez at his departure. 
But when he was arrived near the river s side, the 
borderers which are called Orenoqueponi 1 robbed him 
and his Guianians of all the treasure (the borderers 
being at that time at wars, which Inga had not con 
quered) save only of two great bottles of gourds, which 
were filled with beads of gold curiously wrought, which 
those Orenoqueponi thought had been no other thing 
than his drink or meat, or grain for food, with which 
Martinez had liberty to pass. And so in canoas he fell 

1 Ere. 

a on the Orinoco. Pont is a Carib postposition meaning on. 

1595] Alleged Adventures of Martinez. 195 

down from the river of Orenoque to Trinidad, and from 
thence to Margarita, and so to St. Juan de Puerto 
Rico; where, remaining a long time for passage into 
Spam, he died. In the time of his extreme sickness, 
and when he was without hope of life, receiving the 
sacrament at the hands of his confessor, he delivered 
these things, with the relation of his travels, and also 
called for his calabazas or gourds of the gold beads, 
which he gave to the church and friars, to be prayed for. 
This Martinez was he that christened the city of 
Manoa by the name of El Dorado, and, as Berreo 
informed me, upon this occasion, those Guianians, and 
also the borderers, and all other in that tract which 
I have seen, are marvellous great drunkards ; in which 
vice I think no nation can compare with them ; and at 
the times of their solemn feasts, when the emperor 
carouseth with his captains, tributaries, and governors, 
the manner is thus. All those that pledge him are first 
stripped naked and their bodies anointed all over with 
a kind of white balsamum (by them called curca), of 
which there is great plenty, and yet very dear amongst 
them, and it is of all other the most precious, whereof 
we have had good experience. When they are anointed 
all over, certain servants of the emperor, having pre 
pared gold made into fine powder, blow it thorough 
hollow canes upon their naked bodies, until they be all 
shining from the foot to the head ; and in this sort they 
sit drinking by twenties and hundreds, and continue in 
drunkenness sometimes six or seven days together 1 . 
The same is also confirmed by a letter written into 
Spain which was intercepted, which Master Robert 
Dudley told me he had seen. Upon this sight, and for 

1 The substance of this report is in the end of the Navigation of 
the Great River of Maranon, written by Gonzalo Fernando de Oviedo 
to Cardinal Bembo (Ramusio, vol. iii. fol. 416). (Note by Hakluyt.) 

O 2 

196 Raleigtis Discovery of Guiana. [1595 

the abundance of gold which he saw in the city, the 
images of gold in their temples, the plates, armours, 
and shields of gold which they use in the wars, he 
called it El Dorado. 

After the death of Ordas and Martinez, and after 
Orellana, who was employed by Gonzalo Pizarro, one 
Pedro de Orsua, a knight of Navarre, attempted Guiana, 
taking his way into Peru, and built his brigandines 
upon a river called Ota, which riseth to the southward 
of Quito, and is very great. This river falleth into 
Amazons, by which Orsua with his companies descended, 
and came out of that province which is called Moti- 
lones * ; and it seemeth to me that this empire is reserved 
for her Majesty and the English nation, by reason of 
the hard success which all these and other Spaniards 
found in attempting the same, whereof I will speak 
briefly, though impertinent in some sort to my purpose. 
This Pedro de Orsua had among his troops a Biscayan 
called Aguirre, a man meanly born, who bare no other 
office than a sergeant or alferez 2 : but after certain 
months, when the soldiers were grieved with travels 
and consumed with famine, and that no entrance could 
be found by the branches or body of Amazons, this 
Aguirre raised a mutiny, of which he made himself the 
head, and so prevailed as he put Orsua to the sword 
and all his followers, taking on him the whole charge 
and commandment, with a purpose not only to make 
himself emperor of Guiana, but also of Peru and of 
all that side of the IV est Indies. He had of his party 
700 soldiers, and of those many promised to draw in 
other captains and companies, to deliver up towns and 
forts in Peru ; but neither finding by the said river any 
passage into Guiana, nor any possibility to return 

1 Friars (Indians so named from their cropped heads). 
3 Al-faris (Arab.), horseman, mounted officer. 

J595] Orsua and Aguirre. 197 

towards Peru by the same Amazons, by reason that 
the descent of the river made so great a current, he 
was enforced to disemboque at the mouth of the said 
Amazons, which cannot be less than 1,000 leagues 
from the place where they embarked. From thence 
he coasted the land till he arrived at Margarita to the 
north of Mompatar, which is at this day called Puerto 
de Tyranno, for that he there slew Don Juan de Villa 
Andreda, Governor of Margarita, who was father to 
Don Juan Sarmiento, Governor of Margarita when 
Sir John Burgh landed there and attempted the island. 
Aguirre put to the sword all other in the island that 
refused to be of his party, and took with him certain 
cimarrones 1 and other desperate companions. From 
thence he went to Cumana and there slew the governor, 
and dealt in all as at Margarita. He spoiled all the 
coast of Caracas and the province of Venezuela and of 
Rio de la Hacha ; and, as I remember, it was the same 
year that Sir John Hawkins sailed to St. Juan de Ullua 
in the Jesus ofLubeck* ; for himself told me that he met 
with such a one upon the coast, that rebelled, and had 
sailed down all the river of Amazons. Aguirre from 
thence landed about Santa Maria and sacked it also, 
putting to death so many as refused to be his followers, 
purposing to invade Nuevo Reyno de Granada and to 
sack Pamplona, Merida, Lagrita, Tunja, and the rest of 
the cities of Nuevo Reyno, and from thence again to 
enter Peru ; but in a fight in the said Nuevo Reyno he 
was overthrown, and, finding no way to escape, he first 
put to the sword his own children, foretelling them that 
they should not live to be defamed or upbraided by the 
Spaniards after his death, who would have termed them 
the children of a traitor or tyrant ; and that, sithence 
he could not make them princes, he would yet deliver 

1 Fugitive slaves. 9 See First Series, p. 69. 

198 Raleigh s Discovery of Guiana. [1595 

them from shame and reproach. These were the ends 
and tragedies of Ordas, Martinez, Orellana, Orsua, and 
Aguirre. Also soon after Ordas followed Jeronimo Ortal 
de Saragosa, with 130 soldiers ; who failing his entrance 
by sea, was cast with the current on the coast of Pana, 
and peopled about S. Miguel de Neveri. It was then 
attempted by Don Pedro de Silva, a Portuguese of the 
family of Ruy Gomes de Silva, and by the favour which 
Ruy Gomes had with the king he was set out. But he 
also shot wide of the mark ; for being departed from 
Spain with his fleet, he entered by Maranon or 
Amazons, where by the nations of the river, and by 
the Amazons, he was utterly overthrown, and himself 
and all his army defeated ; only seven escaped, and of 
those but two returned. 

After him came Pedro Hernandez de Serpa, and 
landed at Cumana, in the West Indies, taking his 
journey by land towards Orenoque, which may be 
some 120 leagues ; but yere he came to the borders of 
the said river, he was set upon by a nation of the 
Indians, called Wikiri, and overthrown in such sort, 
that of 300 soldiers, horsemen, many Indians, and 
negroes, there returned but eighteen. Others affirm 
that he was defeated in the very entrance of Guiana, at 
the first civil town of the empire called Macureguarai. 
Captain Preston, in taking Santiago de Leon (which was 
by him and his companies very resolutely performed, 
being a great town, and far within the land) held a 
gentleman prisoner, who died in his ship, that was 
one of the company of Hernandez de Serpa, and saved 
among those that escaped ; who witnessed what opinion 
is held among the Spaniards thereabouts of the great 
riches of Guiana, and El Dorado, the city of Inga. 
Another Spaniard was brought aboard me by Captain 
Preston, who told me in the hearing of himself and divers 

T5951 Quesada Berries Expedition. 199 

other gentlemen, that he met with Berreo s camp-master 
at Caracas, when he came from the borders of Guiana, 
and that he saw with him forty of most pure plates of 
gold, curiously wrought, and swords of Guiana decked 
and inlaid with gold, feathers garnished with gold, and 
divers rarities, which he carried to the Spanish king. 

After Hernandez de Serpa, it was undertaken by the 
Adelantado, Don Gonzalez Ximenes de Quesada, who 
was one of the chiefest in the conquest of Nuevo Reyno, 
whose daughter and heir Don Antonio de Berreo married. 
Gonzalez sought the passage also by the river called 
Papamene, which riseth by Quito, in Peru, and runneth 
south-east 100 leagues, and then falleth into Amazons. 
But he also, failing the entrance, returned with the loss 
of much labour and cost. I took one Captain George, 
a Spaniard, that followed Gonzalez in this enterprise. 
Gonzalez gave his daughter to Berreo, taking his oath 
and honour to follow the enterprise to the last of his 
substance and life. Who since, as he hath sworn to 
me, hath spent 300,000 ducats in the same, and yet 
never could enter so far into the land as myself with 
that poor troop, or rather a handful of men, being in all 
about 100 gentlemen, soldiers, rowers, boat-keepers, 
boys, and of all sorts ; neither could any of the forepassed 
undertakers, nor Berreo himself, discover the country, 
till now lately by conference with an ancient king, 
called Carapana\ he got the true light thereof. For 
Berreo came about 1,500 miles yere he understood aught, 
or could find any passage or entrance into any part 
thereof; yet he had experience of all these fore-named, 
and divers others, and was persuaded of their errors 
and mistakings. Berreo sought it by the river Cassanar, 

1 Carapana ( = Caribana, Carib land) was an old European name for 
the Atlantic coast near the mouth of the Orinoco, and hence was applied 
to one of its chiefs (see p. 207). Berrio called this district Emeria. 

200 Raleigh s Discovery of Guiana. [1595 

which falleth into a great river called Pato : Pato falleth 
into Mcta, and Meta into Baraquan, which is also called 
Orenoque. He took his journey from Nitevo Reyno de 
Granada, where he dwelt, having the inheritance of 
Gonzalez Ximenes in those parts ; he was followed with 
700 horse, he drove with him 1,000 head of cattle, he 
had also many women, Indians, and slaves. How all 
these rivers cross and encounter, how the country lieth 
and is bordered, the passage of Ximenes and Berreo, 
mine own discovery, and the way that I entered, with 
all the rest of the nations and rivers, your lordship 
shall receive in a large chart or map, which I have not 
yet finished, and which I shall most humbly pray your 
lordship to secrete, and not to suffer it to pass your 
own hands; for by a draught thereof all may be prevented 
by other nations ; for I know it is this very year sought 
by the French, although by the way that they now take, 
I fear it not much. It was also told me yere I departed 
England, that Villiers, the Admiral, was in preparation 
for the planting of Amazons, to which river the 
French have made divers voyages, and returned 1 much 
gold and other rarities. I spake with a captain of a 
French ship that came from thence, his ship riding in 
Falmouth the same year that my ships came first from 
Virginia ; there was another this year in Helford, that 
also came from thence, and had been fourteen months 
at an anchor in Amazons; which were both very rich. 

Although, as I am persuaded, Guiana cannot be 
entered that way, yet no doubt the trade of gold from 
thence passeth by branches of rivers into the river of 
Amazons, and so it doth on every hand far from the 
country itself; for those Indians of Trinidad have plates 
of gold from Guiana, and those cannibals of Dominica 
which dwell in the islands by which our ships pass 

1 Brought back. 

T 595l Gold of Guiana The Amazons. 201 

yearly to the West Indies, also the Indians otParia, those 
Indians called Tucaris, Chochi, Apotomios, Cumanagotos, 
and all those other nations inhabiting near about the 
mountains that run from Paria thorough the province 
of Venezuela, and in Maracapana, and the cannibals of 
Guanipa, the Indians called Assawai, Coaca, Ajai, and 
the rest (all which shall be described in my description 
as they are situate) have plates of gold of Guiana. And 
upon the river of Amazons, Thevet writeth that the 
people wear croissants of gold, for of that form the 
Guianians most commonly make them ; so as from 
Dominica to Amazons, which is above 250 leagues, all 
the chief Indians in all parts wear of those plates of 
Guiana. Undoubtedly those that trade [with] Amazons 
return much gold, which (as is aforesaid) cometh by trade 
from Guiana, by some branch of a river that falleth from 
the country into Amazons, and either it is by the river 
which passeth by the nations called Tisnados, or by 

I made enquiry amongst the most ancient and best 
travelled of the Orenoqueponi, and I had knowledge of 
all the rivers between Orenoque and Amazons, and was 
very desirous to understand the truth of those warlike 
women, because of some it is believed, of others not. 
And though I digress from my purpose, yet I will set 
down that which hath been delivered me for truth 
of those women, and I spake with a cacique, or lord of 
people, that told me he had been in the river, and 
beyond it also. The nations of these women are on the 
south side of the river in the provinces of Topago, and 
their chiefest strengths and retracts are in the islands 
situate on the south side of the entrance, some 60 
leagues within the mouth of the said river. The 
memories of the like women are very ancient as well 
in Africa as in Asia. In Africa those that had Medusa 

202 Raleigh s Discovery of Guiana. [1595 

for queen ; others in Scythia, near the rivers of Tanais 
and Thermodon. We find, also, that Lampedo and 
Marthesia were queens of the Amazons. In many 
histories they are verified to have been, and in divers 
ages and provinces ; but they which are not far from 
Guiana do accompany with men but once in a year, and 
for the time of one month, which I gather by their 
relation, to be in April ; and that time all kings of the 
borders assemble, and queens of the Amazons ; and 
after the queens have chosen, the rest cast lots for their 
valentines. This one month they feast, dance, and 
drink of their wines in abundance ; and the moon being 
done they all depart to their own provinces. * * * * 
They are said to be very cruel and bloodthirsty, 
especially to such as offer to invade their territories. 
These Amazons have likewise great store of these 
plates of gold, which they recover by exchange chiefly 
for a kind of green stones, which the Spaniards call 
piedras hijadas, and we use for spleen-stones ; and for 
the disease of the stone we also esteem them. Of these 
I saw divers in Guiana ; and commonly every king or 
cacique hath one, which their wives for the most part 
wear, and they esteem them as great jewels. 

But to return to the enterprise of Berreo, who, as 
I have said, departed from Nuevo Reyno with 700 
horse, besides the provisions above rehearsed. He 
descended by the river called Cassanar, which riseth 
in Nuevo Reyno out of the mountains by the city of 
Tunja, from which mountain also springeth Pato ; both 
which fall into the great river of Meta, and Mela riseth 
from a mountain joining to Pamplona, in the same 
Nuevo Reyno de Granada. These, as also Guaiare, 
which issueth out of the mountains by Timana, fall 

1 Stones reduced to powder and taken internally to cure maladies 
of the spleen. 

1595] Berritfs Adventures. 203 

all into Baraquan, and are but of his heads ; for at 
their coming together they lose their names, and 
Baraquan farther down is also rebaptized by the name 
of Orenoque. On the other side of the city and hills of 
Timana riseth Rio Grande, which falleth into the sea 
by Santa Maria. By Cassanar first, and so into Meta, 
Berreo passed, keeping his horsemen on the banks, 
where the country served them for to march ; and 
where otherwise, he was driven to embark them in 
boats which he builded for the purpose, and so came 
with the current down the river of Meta, and so into 
Baraquan. After he entered that great and mighty 
river, he began daily to lose of his companies both men 
and horse ; for it is in many places violently swift, and 
hath forcible eddies, many sands, and divers islands 
sharp pointed with rocks. But after one whole year, 
journeying for the most part by river, and the rest by 
land, he grew daily to fewer numbers ; for both by sick 
ness, and by encountering with the people of those 
regions thorough which he travelled, his companies 
were much wasted, especially by divers encounters with 
the Amapaians 1 . And in all this time he never could 
learn of any passage into Guiana, nor any news or fame 
thereof, until he came to a further border of the said 
Amapaia, eight days journey from the river Caroli*, 
which was the furthest river that he entered. Among 
those of Amapaia, Guiana was famous ; but few of 
these people accosted Berreo, or would trade with him 
the first three months of the six which he sojourned 
there. This Amapaia is also marvellous rich in gold, 
as both Berreo confessed and those of Guiana with 

1 Amapaia was Berrio s name for the Orinoco valley above the 
Caura river. 

a The Caroni river, the first great affluent of the Orinoco on the 
south, about 180 miles from the sea. 

204 Raleigh s Discovery of Guiana. [1595 

whom I had most conference ; and is situate upon 
Orenoque also. In this country Berreo lost sixty of 
his best soldiers, and most of all his horse that re 
mained in his former year s travel. But in the end, 
after divers encounters with those nations, they grew 
to peace, and they presented Berreo with ten images 
of fine gold among divers other plates and croissants, 
which, as he sware to me, and divers other gentlemen, 
were so curiously wrought, as he had not seen the 
like either in Italy, Spain, or the Low Countries; 
and he was resolved that when they came to the 
hands of the Spanish king, to whom he had sent 
them by his camp-master, they would appear very 
admirable, especially being wrought by such a nation 
as had no iron instruments at all, nor any of those 
helps which our goldsmiths have to work withal. The 
particular name of the people in Amapaia which gave 
him these pieces, are called Anebas, and the river of 
Orenoque at that place is about twelve English miles 
broad, which may be from his outfall into the sea 700 
or 800 miles. 

This province of Amapaia is a very low and a marish 
ground near the river ; and by reason of the red water 
which issueth out in small branches thorough the fenny 
and boggy ground, there breed divers poisonful worms 
and serpents. And the Spaniards not suspecting, nor 
in any sort foreknowing the danger, were infected with 
a grievous kind of flux by drinking thereof, and even 
the very horses poisoned therewith ; insomuch as at the 
end of the six months that they abode there, of all their 
troops there were not left above 120 soldiers, and 
neither horse nor cattle. For Berreo hoped to have 
found Guiana by 1,000 miles nearer than it fell out 
to be in the end ; by means whereof they sustained 
much want, and much hunger, oppressed with grievous 

1595] Information given by Berrio. 205 

diseases, and all the miseries that could be imagined. 
I demanded of those in Guiana that had travelled 
Amapaia, how they lived with that tawny or red water 
when they travelled thither ; and they told me that after 
the sun was near the middle of the sky ; they used to fill 
their pots and pitchers with that water, but either before 
that time or towards the setting of the sun it was 
dangerous to drink of, and in the night strong poison. 
I learned also of divers other rivers of that nature 
among them, which were also, while the sun was in 
the meridian, very safe to drink, and in the morning, 
evening, and night, wonderful dangerous and infec 
tive. From this province Berreo hasted away as soon 
as the spring and beginning of summer appeared, and 
sought his entrance on the borders of Orenoque on 
the south side ; but there ran a ledge of so high and 
impassable mountains, as he was not able by any means 
to march over them, continuing from the east sea into 
which Orenoque falleth, even to Quito in Peru. Neither 
had he means to carry victual or munition over those 
craggy, high, and fast hills, being all woody, and those 
so thick and spiny, and so full of prickles, thorns, and 
briars, as it is impossible to creep thorough them. He 
had also neither friendship among the people, nor any 
interpreter to persuade or treat with them ; and more, 
to his disadvantage, the caciques and kings of Amapaia 
had given knowledge of his purpose to the Guianians, and 
that he sought to sack and conquer the empire, for the 
hope of their so great abundance and quantities of gold. 
He passed by the mouths of many great rivers which 
fell into Orenoque both from the north and south, which 
I forbear to name, for tediousness, and because they 
are more pleasing in describing than reading. 

Berreo affirmed that there fell an hundred rivers into 
Orenoque from the north and south : whereof the least was 

206 Raleigtis Discovery of Guiana. [1595 

as big as Rio Grande 1 , that passed between Popayan and 
Nuevo Reyno de Granada, Rio Grande being esteemed 
one of the renowned rivers in all the West Indies, and 
numbered among the great rivers of the world. But 
he knew not the names of any of these, but Caroli only ; 
neither from what nations they descended, neither to 
what provinces they led, for he had no means to 
discourse with the inhabitants at any time ; neither was 
he curious in these things, being utterly unlearned, and 
not knowing the east from the west. But of all these 
I got some knowledge, and of many more, partly by 
mine own travel, and the rest by conference ; of some 
one I learned one, of others the rest, having with me 
an Indian that spake many languages, and that of 
Guiana * naturally. I sought out all the aged men, and 
such as were greatest travellers. And by the one and 
the other I came to understand the situations, the 
rivers, the kingdoms from the east sea to the borders of 
Peru, and from Orenoque southward as far as Amazons 
or Maranon, and the regions of Marinatambal 3 , and of 
all the kings of provinces, and captains of towns and 
villages, how they stood in terms of peace or war, and 
which were friends or enemies the one with the other ; 
without which there can be neither entrance nor con 
quest in those parts, nor elsewhere. For by the dis 
sension between Guascar and Atabalipa, Pizarro con 
quered Peru, and by the hatred that the Tlaxcallians 
bare to Mutezuma, Cortes was victorious over Mexico ; 
without which both the one and the other had failed of 
their enterprise, and of the great honour and riches 
which they attained unto. 

Now Berreo began to grow into despair, and looked 
for no other success than his predecessor in this enter 
prise ; until such time as he arrived at the province of 
1 The Magdalena. 2 The Carib. 3 North coasts of Brazil. 

1595] Berrio and Carapana. 207 

Emeria towards the east sea and mouth of the river, 
where he found a nation of people very favourable, and 
the country full of all manner of victual. The king of 
this land is called Carapana, a man very wise, subtle, 
and of great experience, being little less than an 
hundred years old. In his youth he was sent by his 
father into the island of Trinidad, by reason of civil 
war among themselves, and was bred at a village in 
that island, called Parico. At that place in his youth 
he had seen many Christians, both French and Spanish, 
and went divers times with the Indians of Trinidad to 
Margarita and Cumand, in the West Indies, for both 
those places have ever been relieved with victual from 
Trinidad : by reason whereof he grew of more under 
standing, and noted the difference of the nations, com 
paring the strength and arms of his country with those 
of the Christians, and ever after temporised so as 
whosoever else did amiss, or was wasted by contention, 
Carapana kept himself and his country in quiet and 
plenty. He also held peace with the Caribs or can 
nibals, his neighbours, and had free trade with all 
nations, whosoever else had war. 

Berreo sojourned and rested his weak troop in the 
town of Carapana six weeks, and from him learned 
the way and passage to Guiana, and the riches and 
magnificence thereof. But being then utterly unable to 
proceed, he determined to try his fortune another year, 
when he had renewed his provisions, and regathered 
more force, which he hoped for as well out of Spain as 
from Nuevo Reyno, where he had left his son Don 
Antonio Ximenes to second him upon the first notice 
given of his entrance ; and so for the present embarked 
himself in canoas, and by the branches of Orenoque 
arrived at Trinidad, having from Carapana sufficient 
pilots to conduct him. From Trinidad he coasted 

2o8 Raleigh s Discovery of Guiana. [1595 

Paria, and so recovered Margarita ; and having made 
relation to Don Juan Sarmiento, the Governor, of his 
proceeding, and persuaded him of the riches of Guiana, 
he obtained from thence fifty soldiers, promising pre 
sently to return to Carapana, and so into Guiana. But 
Berreo meant nothing less at that time ; for he wanted 
many provisions necessary for such an enterprise, and 
therefore departed from Margarita, seated himself in 
Trinidad, and from thence sent his camp-master and his 
sergeant-major back to the borders to discover the 
nearest passage into the empire, as also to treat with 
the borderers, and to draw them to his party and love ; 
without which, he knew he could neither pass safely, 
nor in any sort be relieved with victual or aught else. 
Carapana directed his company to a king called More- 
quito, assuring them that no man could deliver so much 
of Guiana as Morequito could, and that his dwelling was 
but five days journey from Macureguarai, the first civil 
town of Guiana. 

Now your lordship shall understand that this More 
quito, one of the greatest lords or kings of the borders 
of Guiana, had two or three years before been at 
Cumand and at Margarita, in the West Indies, with 
great store of plates of gold, which he carried to ex 
change for such other things as he wanted in his own 
country, and was daily feasted, and presented by the 
governors of those places, and held amongst them some 
two months. In which time one Vides, Governor of 
Cumand, won him to be his conductor into Guiana, 
being allured by those croissants and images of gold 
which he brought with him to trade, as also by the 
ancient fame and magnificence of El Dorado ; where 
upon Vides sent into Spain for a patent to discover and 
conquer Guiana, not knowing of the precedence of 
Berreo s patent ; which, as Berreo affirmeth, was signed 

i595l Rivalry of Berrio and De Vides. 209 

before that of Vides. So as when Vides understood of 
Berreo, and that he had made entrance into that terri 
tory, and foregone his desire and hope, it was verily 
thought that Vides practised with Morequito to hinder 
and disturb Berreo in all he could, and not to suffer 
him to enter through his seignory, nor any of his com 
panies ; neither to victual, nor guide them in any sort. 
For Vides, Governor of Cumand, and Berreo, were 
become mortal enemies, as well for that Berreo had 
gotten Trinidad into his patent with Guiana, as also 
in that he was by Berreo prevented in the journey of 
Guiana itself. Howsoever it was, I know not, but 
Morequito for a time dissembled his disposition, suffered 
ten Spaniards and a friar, which Berreo had sent to dis 
cover Manoa, to travel through his country, gave them 
a guide for Macureguarai, the first town of civil and 
apparelled people, from whence they had other guides 
to bring them to Manoa, the great city of Inga ; and 
being furnished with those things which they had 
learned of Carapana were of most price in Guiana, 
went onward, and in eleven days arrived at Manoa, 
as Berreo affirmeth for certain ; although I could not 
be assured thereof by the lord which now governeth 
the province of Morequito, for he told me that they got 
all the gold they had in other towns on this side Manoa, 
there being many very great and rich, and (as he said) 
built like the towns of Christians, with many rooms. 

When these ten Spaniards were returned, and ready 
to put out of the border of Aromaia \ the people of 
Morequito set upon them, and slew them all but one 
that swam the river, and took from them to the value 
of 40,000 pesos of gold ; and one of them only lived to 
bring the news to Berreo, that both his nine soldiers 
and holy father were benighted in the said province. 
1 The district below the Caroni river. 

II. P 

210 Raleigh s Discovery of Guiana. [1595 

I myself spake with the captains of Morequito that slew 
them ; and was at the place where it was executed. 
Berreo, enraged herewithal, sent all the strength he 
could make into Aromaia, to be revenged of him, his 
people, and country. But Morequito, suspecting the 
same, fled over Orenoque, and thorough the territories 
of the Saima and Wikiri recovered Cumand, where he 
thought himself very safe, with Vides the governor. 
But Berreo sending for him in the king s name, and his 
messengers finding him in the house of one Fajardo, 
on the sudden, yere he was suspected, so as he could 
not then be conveyed away, Vides durst not deny him, 
as well to avoid the suspicion of the practice, as also 
for that an holy father was slain by him and his people. 
Morequito offered Fajardo the weight of three quintals 
in gold, to let him escape ; but the poor Guianian, 
betrayed on all sides, was delivered to the camp-master 
of Berreo, and was presently executed. 

After the death of this Morequito, the soldiers of 
Berreo spoiled his territory and took divers prisoners. 
Among others they took the uncle of Morequito, called 
Topiawari, who is now king of Aromaia, whose son 
I brought with me into England, and is a man of great 
understanding and policy; he is above an hundred 
years old, and yet is of a very able body. The 
Spaniards led him in a chain seventeen days, and 
made him their guide from place to place between his 
country and Emeria, the province of Carapana afore 
said, and he was at last redeemed for an hundred 
plates of gold, and divers stones called piedras hijadas, 
or spleen-stones. Now Berreo for executing of More 
quito, and other cruelties, spoils, and slaughters done 
in Aromaia, hath lost the love of the Orenoqueponi, and 
of all the borderers, and dare not send any of his 
soldiers any further into the land than to Carapana, 

J 595l Spanish trade on the Orinoco. 211 

which he called the port of Guiana: but from thence 
by the help of Carapana he had trade further into the 
country, and always appointed ten Spaniards to reside 
in Carapana s town l , by whose favour, and by being con 
ducted by his people, those ten searched the country 
thereabouts, as well for mines as for other trades and 

They also have gotten a nephew of Morequito, whom 
they have christened and named Don Juan, of whom 
they have great hope, endeavouring by all means to 
establish him in the said province. Among many 
other trades, those Spaniards used canoas to pass to 
the rivers of Barema, Pawrorna, and Disscquebe 2 , which 
are on the south side of the mouth of Orenoque, and 
there buy women and children from the cannibals, 
which are of that barbarous nature, as they will for 
three or four hatchets sell the sons and daughters of 
their own brethren and sisters, and for somewhat more 
even their own daughters. Hereof the Spaniards make 
great profit ; for buying a maid of twelve or thirteen 
years for three or four hatchets, they sell them again 
at Margarita in the West Indies for fifty and an hundred 
pesos, which is so many crowns. 

The master of my ship, John Douglas, took one of 
the canoas which came laden from thence with people 
to be sold, and the most of them escaped ; yet of those 
he brought, there was one as well favoured and as well 
shaped as ever I saw any in England ; and afterwards 
I saw many of them, which but for their tawny colour 
may be compared to any in Europe. They also trade 
in those rivers for bread of cassavi, of which they buy 
an hundred pound weight for a knife, and sell it at 

1 The Spanish settlement of Santo Tome de la Guyana, founded by 
Berrio in 1591 or 1592, but represented by Raleigh as an Indian pueblo. 
* Essequibo. 

P 2 

212 Raleigh s Discovery of Guiana. [1595 

Margarita for ten pesos. They also recover great store 
of cotton, Brazil wood, and those beds which they call 
hamacas or Brazil beds, wherein in hot countries all 
the Spaniards use to lie commonly, and in no other, 
neither did we ourselves while we were there. By 
means of which trades, for ransom of divers of the 
Guianians, and for exchange of hatchets and knives, 
Berreo recovered some store of gold plates, eagles of 
gold, and images of men and divers birds, and dispatched 
his camp-master for Spain, with all that he had gathered, 
therewith to levy soldiers, and by the show thereof to 
draw others to the love of the enterprise. And having 
sent divers images as well of men as beasts, birds, and 
fishes, so curiously wrought in gold, he doubted not but 
to persuade the king to yield to him some further help, 
especially for that this land hath never been sacked, the 
mines never wrought, and in the Indies their works 
were well spent, and the gold drawn out with great 
labour and charge. He also despatched messengers 
to his son in Nuevo Reyno to levy all the forces he 
could, and to come down the river Orenoque to Emeria, 
the province of Carapana, to meet him ; he had also 
sent to Santiago de Leon on the coast of the Caracas, 
to buy horses and mules. 

After I had thus learned of his proceedings past and 
purposed, I told him that I had resolved to see Guiana, 
and that it was the end of my journey, and the cause of 
my coming to Trinidad, as it was indeed, and for that 
purpose I sent Jacob Whiddon the year before to get 
intelligence : with whom Berreo himself had speech 
at that time, and remembered how inquisitive Jacob 
Whiddon was of his proceedings, and of the country 
of Guiana. Berreo was stricken into a great melancholy 
and sadness, and used all the arguments he could to 
dissuade me; and also assured the gentlemen of my 

1595] Berrio dissuades from the Enterprize. 213 

company that it would be labour lost, and that they 
should suffer many miseries if they proceeded. And 
first he delivered that I could not enter any of the 
rivers with any bark or pinnace, or hardly with any 
ship s boat, it was so low, sandy, and full of flats, and 
that his companies were daily grounded in their canoes, 
which drew but twelve inches water. He further said 
that none of the country would come to speak with us, 
but would all fly; and if we followed them to their 
dwellings, they would burn their own towns. And 
besides that, the way was long, the winter at hand, 
and that the rivers beginning once to swell, it was 
impossible to stem the current ; and that we could not 
in those small boats by any means carry victual for 
half the time, and that (which indeed most discouraged 
my company) the kings and lords of all the borders of 
Guiana had decreed that none of them should trade 
with any Christians for gold, because the same would 
be their own overthrow, and that for the love of gold 
the Christians meant to conquer and dispossess them of 
all together. 

Many and the most of these I found to be true ; but 
yet I resolving to make trial of whatsoever happened, 
directed Captain George Giffbrd, my Vice-Admiral, to 
take the Lion s Whelp, and Captain Caulficld his bark, 
[and] to turn to the eastward, against the mouth of a river 
called Capuri, whose entrance I had before sent Captain 
Whiddon and John Douglas the master to discover. 
Who found some nine foot water or better upon the 
flood, and five at low water; to whom I had given 
instructions that they should anchor at the edge of the 
shoal, and upon the best of the flood to thrust over, 
which shoal John Douglas buoyed and beckoned J for 
them before. But they laboured in vain ; for neither 

1 Beaconed, i. e. placed a beacon or signal upon the buoy. 

214 Raleigh s Discovery of Guiana. [1595 

could they turn it up altogether so far to the east, 
neither did the flood continue so long, but the water 
fell yere they could have passed the sands. As we 
after found by a second experience : so as now we must 
either give over our enterprise, or leaving our ships at 
adventure 400 mile behind us, must run up in our ship s 
boats, one barge, and two wherries. But being doubtful 
how to carry victuals for so long a time in such baubles, 
or any strength of men, especially for that Berreo assured 
us that his son must be by that time come down with 
many soldiers, I sent away one King, master of the 
Lion s Whelp, with his ship-boat, to try another branch 
of the river in the bottom of the Bay of Guanipa, which 
was called Amana, to prove if there were water to be 
found for either of the small ships to enter. But when 
he came to the mouth of Amana, he found it as the 
rest, but stayed not to discover it thoroughly, because 
he was assured by an Indian, his guide, that the 
cannibals of Guanipa would assail them with many 
canoas, and that they shot poisoned arrows ; so as if 
he hasted not back, they should all be lost. 

In the meantime, fearing the worst, I caused all the 
carpenters we had to cut down a galego boat, which we 
meant to cast off, and to fit her with banks to row on, 
and in all things to prepare her the best they could, so 
as she might be brought to draw but five foot : for 
so much we had on the bar of Capuri at low water. 
And doubting of King s return, I sent John Douglas 
again in my long barge, as well to relieve him, as also 
to make a perfect search in the bottom of the bay ; for 
it hath been held for infallible, that whatsoever ship or 
boat shall fall therein can never disemboque again, by 
reason of the violent current which setteth into the said 
bay, as also for that the breeze and easterly wind bloweth 
directly into the same. Of which opinion I have heard 

1595] Preparations for the Discovery. 215 

John Hampton^, of Plymouth, one of the greatest 
experience of England, and divers other besides that 
have traded to Trinidad. 

I sent with John Douglas an old cacique of Trinidad 
for a pilot, who told us that we could not return again 
by the bay or gulf ; but that he knew a by-branch which 
ran within the land to the eastward, and he thought by 
it we might fall into Capuri, and so return in four days. 
John Douglas searched those rivers, and found four 
goodly entrances, whereof the least was as big as the 
Thames at Woolwich, but in the bay thitherward it 
was shoal and but six foot water ; so as we were now 
without hope of any ship or bark to pass over, and 
therefore resolved to go on with the boats, and the 
bottom of the galego, in which we thrust 60 men. In 
the Lion s Whelp s boat and wherry we carried twenty, 
Captain Caulfield in his wherry carried ten more, and 
in my barge other ten, which made up a hundred ; we 
had no other means but to carry victual for a month in 
the same, and also to lodge therein as we could, and to 
boil and dress our meat. Captain Gifford had with him 
Master Edward Porter, Captain Eynos, and eight more 
in his wherry, with all their victual, weapons, and pro 
visions. Captain Caulfield had with him my cousin 
Butshead Gorges, and eight more. In the galley, of 
gentlemen and officers myself had Captain Thyn, my 
cousin John Greenvile, my nephew John Gilbert, Captain 
Whiddon, Captain Keymis, Edward Hancock, Captain 
Clarke, Lieutenant Hughes, Thomas Upton, Captain Facy, 
Jerome Ferrar, Anthony Wells, William Connock, and 
above fifty more. We could not learn of Berreo any 
other way to enter but in branches so far to windward 
as it was impossible for us to recover; for we had as 
much sea to cross over in our wherries, as between 

1 Captain of the Minion in the third voyage of Hawkins. 

216 Raleigh s Discovery of Guiana. [1595 

Dover and Calice, and in a great billow, the wind and 
current being both very strong. So as we were driven 
to go in those small boats directly before the wind into 
the bottom of the Bay of Guanipa, and from thence to 
enter the mouth of some one of those rivers which John 
Douglas had last discovered ; and had with us for pilot 
an Indian of Barema, a river to the south of Orenoque, 
between that and Amazons, whose canoas we had 
formerly taken as he was going from the said JBarema, 
laden with cassavi bread to sell at Margarita. This 
Arwacan promised to bring me into the great river of 
Orenoque ; but indeed of that which he entered he was 
utterly ignorant, for he had not seen it in twelve years 
before, at which time he was very young, and of no 
judgment. And if God had not sent us another help, 
we might have wandered a whole year in that labyrinth 
of rivers, yere we had found any way, either out or in, 
especially after we were past ebbing and flowing, which 
was in four days. For I know all the earth doth not 
yield the like confluence of streams and branches, the 
one crossing the other so many times, and all so fair 
and large, and so like one to another, as no man can 
tell which to take: and if we went by the sun or 
compass, hoping thereby to go directly one way or 
other, yet that way we were also carried in a circle 
amongst multitudes of islands, and every island so 
bordered with high trees as no man could see any 
further than the breadth of the river, or length of the 
breach. But this it chanced, that entering into a river 
(which because it had no name, we called the River of 
the Red Cross, ourselves being the first Christians that 
ever came therein), the 22. of May, as we were rowing 
up the same, we espied a small canoa with three Indians, 
which by the swiftness of my barge, rowing with eight 
oars, I overtook yere they could cross the river. The 

1595] The Discovery begun. 217 

rest of the people on the banks, shadowed under the 
thick wood, gazed on with a doubtful conceit what 
might befall those three which we had taken. But 
when they perceived that we offered them no violence, 
neither entered their canoa with any of ours, nor took 
out of the canoa any of theirs, they then began to show 
themselves on the bank s side, and offered to traffic 
with us for such things as they had. And as we drew 
near, they all stayed ; and we came with our barge to 
the mouth of a little creek which came from their town 
into the great river. 

As we abode here awhile, our Indian pilot, called 
Ferdinando, would needs go ashore to their village to 
fetch some fruits and to drink of their artificial wines, 
and also to see the place and know the lord of it against 
another time, and took with him a brother of his which 
he had with him in the journey. When they came to 
the village of these people the lord of the island offered 
to lay hands on them, purposing to have slain them 
both ; yielding for reason that this Indian of ours had 
brought a strange nation into their territory to spoil 
and destroy them. But the pilot being quick and of 
a disposed body, slipt their fingers and ran into the 
woods, and his brother, being the better footman of the 
two, recovered the creek s mouth, where we stayed in 
our barge, crying out that his brother was slain. With 
that we set hands on one of them that was next us, 
a very old man, and brought him into the barge, 
assuring him that if we had not our pilot again we 
would presently cut off his head. This old man, being 
resolved that he should pay the loss of the other, cried 
out to those in the woods to save Ferdinando, our pilot ; 
but they followed him notwithstanding, and hunted after 
him upon the foot with their deer-dogs, and with so main 
a cry that all the woods echoed with the shout they 

2i8 Raleigh s Discovery of Guiana. [1595 

made. But at the last this poor chased Indian recovered 
the river side and got upon a tree, and, as we were 
coasting, leaped down and swam to the barge half dead 
with fear. But our good hap was that we kept the 
other old Indian, which we handfasted to redeem our 
pilot withal ; for, being natural of those rivers, we 
assured ourselves that he knew the way better than 
any stranger could. And, indeed, but for this chance, 
I think we had never found the way either to Guiana 
or back to our ships ; for Ferdinando after a few days 
knew nothing at all, nor which way to turn ; yea, and 
many times the old man himself was in great doubt 
which river to take. Those people which dwell in 
these broken islands and drowned lands are generally 
called Tivitivas. There are of them two sorts; the 
one called Ciazvam, and the other Waraweete. 

The great river of Orenoque or Baraquan hath nine 
branches which fall out on the north side of his own 
main rnouth. On the south side it hath seven other 
fallings into the sea, so it disemboqueth by sixteen 
arms in all, between islands and broken ground ; but 
the islands are very great, many of them as big as the 
Isle of Wight, and bigger, and many less. From the 
first branch on the north to the last of the south it is 
at least 100 leagues, so as the river s mouth is 300 miles 
wide at his entrance into the sea, which I take to be far 
bigger than that of Amazons. All those that inhabit in 
the mouth of this river upon the several north branches 
are these Tivitivas, of which there are two chief lords 
which have continual wars one with the other. The 
islands which lie on the right hand are called Pallamos, 
and the land on the left, Hororotomaka ; and the river 
by which John Douglas returned within the land from 
Amana to Capuri they call Macuri. 

These Tivitivas are a very goodly people and very 

1595] Delta of the Orinoco. 219 

valiant, and have the most manly speech and most 
deliberate that ever I heard of what nation soever. In 
the summer they have houses on the ground, as in other 
places ; in the winter they dwell upon the trees, where 
they build very artificial towns and villages, as it is 
written in the Spanish story of the West Indies that 
those people do in the low lands near the gulf of 
Uraba. For between May and September the river 
of Orenoque riseth thirty foot upright, and then are 
those islands overflown twenty foot high above the 
level of the ground, saving some few raised grounds 
in the middle of them ; and for this cause they are 
enforced to live in this manner. They never eat of 
anything that is set or sown ; and as at home they use 
neither planting nor other manurance, so when they 
come abroad they refuse to feed of aught but of that 
which nature without labour bringeth forth. They use 
the tops of palmitos for bread, and kill deer, fish, and 
porks for the rest of their sustenance. They have also 
many sorts of fruits that grow in the woods, and great 
variety of birds and fowls ; and if to speak of them 
were not tedious and vulgar, surely we saw in those 
passages of very rare colours and forms not elsewhere 
to be found, for as much as I have either seen or read. 

Of these people those that dwell upon the branches of 
Orenoque, called Capuri and Macureo, are for the most 
part carpenters of canoas ; for they make the most and 
fairest canoas, and sell them into Guiana for gold and 
into Trinidad for tabacco, in the excessive taking whereof 
they exceed all nations. And notwithstanding the moist- 
ness of the air in which they live, the hardness of their 
diet, and the great labours they suffer to hunt, fish, and 
fowl for their living, in all my life, either in the Indies 
or in Europe, did I never behold a more goodly or 
better-favoured people or a more manly. They were 

220 Raleigh s Discovery of Guiana. [1595 

wont to make war upon all nations, and especially on 
the Cannibals, so as none durst without a good strength 
trade by those rivers; but of late they are at peace 
with their neighbours, all holding the Spaniards for 
a common enemy. When their commanders die they 
use great lamentation ; and when they think the flesh of 
their bodies is putrified and fallen from their bones, 
then they take up the carcase again and hang it in the 
cacique s house that died, and deck his skull with feathers 
of all colours, and hang all his gold plates about the 
bones of his arms, thighs, and legs. Those nations 
which are called Arwacas, which dwell on the south of 
Orenoque, of which place and nation our Indian pilot 
was, are dispersed in many other places, and do use to 
beat the bones of their lords into powder, and their 
wives and friends drink it all in their several sorts of 

After we departed from the port of these Ciawani we 
passed up the river with the flood and anchored the 
ebb, and in this sort we went onward. The third day 
that we entered the river, our galley came on ground ; 
and stuck so fast as we thought that even there our 
discovery had ended, and that we must have left four 
score and ten of our men to have inhabited, like rooks 
upon trees, with those nations. But the next morning, 
after we had cast out all her ballast, with tugging and 
hauling to and fro we got her afloat and went on. At 
four days end we fell into as goodly a river as ever 
I beheld, which was called the great Amana, which 
ran more directly without windings and turnings than 
the other. But soon after the flood of the sea left us ; 
and, being enforced either by main strength to row 
against a violent current, or to return as wise as we 
went out, we had then no shift but to persuade the 
companies that it was but two or three days work, and 

i595l Amana branch of the Orinoco. 221 

therefore desired them to take pains, every gentleman 
and others taking their turns to row, and to spell one 
the other at the hour s end. Every day we passed by 
goodly branches of rivers, some falling from the west, 
others from the east, into Amana ; but those I leaye to 
the description in the chart of discovery, where every 
one shall be named with his rising and descent. When 
three days more were overgone, our companies began 
to despair, the weather being extreme hot, the river 
bordered with very high trees that kept away the air, 
and the current against us every day stronger than 
other. But we evermore commanded our pilots to pro 
mise an end the next day, and used it so long as we 
were driven to assure them from four reaches of the 
river to three, and so to two, and so to the next reach. 
But so long we laboured that many days were spent, 
and we driven to draw ourselves to harder allowance, 
our bread even at the last, and no drink at all ; and our 
men and ourselves so wearied and scorched, and doubt 
ful withal whether we should ever perform it or no, the 
heat increasing as we drew towards the line; for we 
were now in five degrees. 

The further we went on, our victual decreasing and 
the air breeding great faintness, we grew weaker and 
weaker, when we had most need of strength and ability. 
For hourly the river ran more violently than other 
against us, and the barge, wherries, and ship s boat of 
Captain Gifford and Captain Caulfield had spent all 
their provisions ; so as we were brought into despair 
and discomfort, had we not persuaded all the company 
that it was but only one day s work more to attain the 
land where we should be relieved of all we wanted, and 
if we returned, that we were sure to starve by the way, 
and that the world would also laugh us to scorn. On 
the banks of these rivers were divers sorts of fruits 

222 Raleigh s Discovery of Guiana. [1595 

good to eat, flowers and trees of such variety as were 
sufficient to make ten volumes of Hcrbals ; we relieved 
ourselves many times with the fruits of the country, and 
sometimes with fowl and fish. We saw birds of all 
colours, some carnation, some crimson, orange-tawny, 
purple, watchet 1 , and of all other sorts, both simple and 
mixed, and it was unto us a great good-passing of the 
time to behold them, besides the relief we found by 
killing some store of them with our fowling-pieces ; 
without which, having little or no bread, and less drink, 
but only the thick and troubled water of the river, we 
had been in a very hard case. 

Our old pilot of the Ciawam, whom, as I said before, 
we took to redeem Ferdinando, told us, that if we would 
enter a branch of a river on the right hand with our 
barge and wherries, and leave the galley at anchor the 
while in the great river, he would bring us to a town of 
the Arwacas, where we should find store of bread, hens, 
fish, and of the country wine ; and persuaded us, that 
departing from the galley at noon we might return yere 
night. I was very glad to hear this speech, and pre 
sently took my barge, with eight musketeers, Captain 
Giffortfs wherry, with himself and four musketeers, and 
Captain Caulfield with his wherry, and as many ; and so 
we entered the mouth of this river ; and because we 
were persuaded that it was so near, we took no victual 
with us at all. When we had rowed three hours, we 
marvelled we saw no sign of any dwelling, and asked 
the pilot where the town was ; he told us, a little further. 
After three hours more, the sun being almost set, we 
began to suspect that he led us that way to betray us ; 
for he confessed that those Spaniards which fled from 
Trinidad, and also those that remained with Carapana 
in Emeria, were joined together in some village upon 

1 Pale blue. 

Landing at an Arawak Village. 223 

that river. But when it grew towards night, and we 
demanded where the place was, he told us but four 
reaches more. When we had rowed four and four, we 
saw no sign ; and our poor watermen, even heart-broken 
and tired, were ready to give up the ghost ; for we had 
now come from the galley near forty miles. 

At the last we determined to hang the pilot ; and if 
we had well known the way back again by night, he 
had surely gone. But our own necessities pleaded 
sufficiently for his safety ; for it was as dark as pitch, 
and the river began so to narrow itself, and the trees to 
hang over from side to side, as we were driven with 
arming swords to cut a passage thorough those branches 
that covered the water. We were very desirous to find 
this town, hoping of a feast, because we made but a 
short breakfast aboard the galley in the morning, and it 
was now eight o clock at night, and our stomachs began 
to gnaw apace ; but whether it was best to return or go 
on, we began to doubt, suspecting treason in the pilot 
more and more ; but the poor old Indian ever assured 
us that it was but a little further, but this one turning 
and that turning; and at the last about one o clock 
after midnight we saw a light, and rowing towards it we 
heard the dogs of the village. When we landed we 
found few people ; for the lord of that place was gone 
with divers canoas above 400 miles off, upon a journey 
towards the head of Orenoque, to trade for gold, and to 
buy women of the Cannibals, who afterwards unfor 
tunately passed by us as we rode at an anchor in the 
port of Morequito in the dark of the night, and yet came 
so near us as his canoas grated against our barges ; he 
left one of his company at the port of Morequito, by 
whom we understood that he had brought thirty young 
women, divers plates of gold, and had great store of 
fine pieces of cotton cloth, and cotton beds. In his 

224 Raleigh s Discovery of Guiana. [1595 

house we had good store of bread, fish, hens, and 
Indian drink, and so rested that night; and in the 
morning, after we had traded with such of his people 
as came down, we returned towards our galley, and 
brought with us some quantity of bread, fish, and hens. 
On both sides of this river we passed the most 
beautiful country that ever mine eyes beheld ; and 
whereas all that we had seen before was nothing but 
woods, prickles, bushes, and thorns, here we beheld 
plains of twenty miles in length, the grass short and 
green, and in divers parts groves of trees by themselves, 
as if they had been by all the art and labour in the 
world so made of purpose ; and still as we rowed, the 
deer came down feeding by the water s side as if they 
had been used to a keeper s call. Upon this river there 
were great store of fowl, and of many sorts ; we saw in 
it divers sorts of strange fishes, and of marvellous big 
ness; but for lagartos 1 it exceeded, for there were 
thousands of those ugly serpents ; and the people call 
it, for the abundance of them, the River of Lagartos, in 
their language. I had a negro, a very proper young 
fellow, who leaping out of the galley to swim in the 
mouth of this river, was in all our sights taken and 
devoured with one of those lagartos. In the meanwhile 
our companies in the galley thought we had been all 
lost, for we promised to return before night ; and sent 
the Lion s Whelp s ship s boat with Captain Whiddon to 
follow us up the river. But the next day, after we had 
rowed up and down some fourscore miles, we returned, 
and went on our way up the great river ; and when we 
were even at the last cast for want of victuals, Captain 
Gifford being before the galley and the rest of the boats, 
seeking out some place to land upon the banks to make 
fire, espied four canoas coming down the river ; and with 
1 Alligators and caymans. 

1595] Adventures on the Amana. 225 

no small joy caused his men to try the uttermost of 
their strengths, and after a while two of the four gave 
over and ran themselves ashore, every man betaking 
himself to the fastness of the woods. The two other 
lesser got away, while he landed to lay hold on these ; 
and so turned into some by-creek, we knew not whither. 
Those canoas that were taken were loaden with bread, 
and were bound for Margarita in the West Indies, which 
those Indians, called Arwacas, proposed to carry thither 
for exchange ; but in the lesser there were three 
Spaniards, who having heard of the defeat of their 
Governor in Trinidad, and that we purposed to enter 
Guiana, came away in those canoas ; one of them was 
a cavalier o, as the captain of the Arwacas after told us, 
another a soldier, and the third a refiner. 

In the meantime, nothing on the earth could have 
been more welcome to us, next unto gold, than the great 
store of very excellent bread which/we found in these 
canoas ; for now our men cried, Let us go on, we care 
not how far. After that Captain Gifford had brought 
the two canoas to the galley, I took my barge and went 
to the bank s side with a dozen shot, where the canoas 
first ran themselves ashore, and landed there, sending 
out Captain Gifford and Captain Thyn on one hand, and 
Captain Caulfield on the other, to follow those that were 
fled into the woods. And as I was creeping thorough 
the bushes, I saw an Indian basket hidden, which was 
the refiner s basket; for I found in it his quicksilver, 
saltpetre, and divers things for the trial of metals, and 
also the dust of such ore as he had refined ; but in 
those canoas which escaped there was a good quantity 
of ore and gold. I then landed more men, and offered 
five hundred pound to what soldier soever could take 
one of those three Spaniards that we thought were 
landed. But our labours were in vain in that behalf, 


226 Raleigtis Discovery of Guiana. [1595 

for they put themselves into one of the small canoas, 
and so, while the greater canoas were in taking, they 
escaped. But seeking after the Spaniards we found the 
Arwacas hidden in the woods, which were pilots for 
the Spaniards, and rowed their canoas. Of which I 
kept the chiefest for a pilot, and carried him with me to 
Guiana-, by whom I understood where and in what 
countries the Spaniards had laboured for gold, though 
I made not the same known to all. For when the 
springs began to break, and the rivers to raise them 
selves so suddenly as by no means we could abide 
the digging of any mine, especially for that the richest 
are defended with rocks of hard stones, which we call 
the white spar, and that it required both time, men, 
and instruments fit for such a work, I thought it best 
not to hover thereabouts, lest if the same had been 
perceived by the company, there would have been by 
this time many barks and ships set out, and perchance 
other nations would also have gotten of ours for pilots. 
So as both ourselves might have been prevented, and 
all our care taken for good usage of the people been 
utterly lost, by those that only respect present profit ; 
and such violence or insolence offered as the nations 
which are borderers would have changed the desire of 
our love and defence into hatred and violence. And 
for any longer stay to have brought a more quantity, 
which I hear hath been often objected, whosoever had 
seen or proved the fury of that river after it began to 
arise, and had been a month and odd days, as we were, 
from hearing aught from our ships, leaving them meanly 
manned 400 miles off, would perchance have turned 
somewhat sooner than we did, if all the mountains had 
been gold, or rich stones. And to say the truth, all the 
branches and small rivers which fell into Orenoque were 
raised with such speed, as if we waded them over the 

1595] The Arawak Indians. 227 

shoes in the morning outward, we were covered to the 
shoulders homeward the very same day; and to stay 
to dig our gold with our nails, had been opus laboris but 
not ingenii. Such a quantity as would have served our 
turns we could not have had, but a discovery of the 
mines to our infinite disadvantage we had made, and 
that could have been the best profit of farther search or 
stay ; for those mines are not easily broken, nor opened 
in haste, and I could have returned a good quantity of 
gold ready cast if I had not shot at another mark than 
present profit. 

This Arwacan pilot, with the rest, feared that we 
would have eaten them, or otherwise have put them to 
some cruel death : for the Spaniards, to the end that 
none of the people in the passage towards Guiana, or in 
Guiana itself, might come to speech with us, persuaded 
all the nations that we were men-eaters and cannibals. 
But when the poor men and women had seen us, and 
that we gave them meat, and to every one something or 
other which was rare and strange to them, they began 
to conceive the deceit and purpose of the Spaniards, 
who indeed, as they confessed, took from them both 
their wives and daughters daily. . . . But I protest 
before the Majesty of the living God, that I neither 
know nor believe, that any of our company, one or 
other, did offer insult to any of their women, and yet we 
saw many hundreds, and had many in our power, and 
of those very young and excellently favoured, which 
came among us without deceit, stark naked. Nothing 
got us more love amongst them than this usage ; for 
I suffered not any man to take from any of the nations 
so much as a pina l or a potato root without giving them 
contentment, nor any man so much as to offer to touch 
any of their wives or daughters ; which course, so con- 

1 Pine-apple (see p. 236). 

228 Raleigh s Discovery of Guiana. [1595 

trary to the Spaniards, who tyrannize over them in all 
things, drew them to admire her Majesty, whose com 
mandment I told them it was, and also wonderfully to 
honour our nation. But I confess it was a very impatient 
work to keep the meaner sort from spoil and stealing 
when we came to their houses ; which because in all 
I could not prevent, I caused my Indian interpreter at 
every place when we departed, to know of the loss or 
wrong done, and if aught were stolen or taken by 
violence, either the same was restored, and the party 
punished in their sight, or else was paid for to their 
uttermost demand. They also much wondered at us, 
after they heard that we had slain the Spaniards at 
Trinidad, for they were before resolved that no nation 
of Christians durst abide their presence; and they 
wondered more when I had made them know of the 
great overthrow that her Majesty s army and fleet had 
given them of late years in their own countries. 

After we had taken in this supply of bread, with 
divers baskets of roots, which were excellent meat, 
I gave one of the canoas to the Arwacas, which belonged 
to the Spaniards that were escaped ; and when I had 
dismissed all but the captain, who by the Spaniards 
was christened Martin, I sent back in the same canoa 
the old Ciawani, and Ferdinando, my first pilot, and 
gave them both such things as they desired, with suf 
ficient victual to carry them back, and by them wrote 
a letter to the ships, which they promised to deliver, 
and performed it ; and then I went on, with my new 
hired pilot, Martin the Arwacan. But the next or 
second day after, we came aground again with our 
galley, and were like to cast her away, with all our 
victual and provision, and so lay on the sand one 
whole night, and were far more in despair at this time 
to free her than before, because we had no tide of flood 

1595] Main Stream of the Orinoco reached. 229 

to help us, and therefore feared that all our hopes 
would have ended in mishaps. But we fastened an 
anchor upon the land, and with main strength drew her 
off; and so the fifteenth day we discovered afar off the 
mountains of Guiana, to our great joy, and towards 
the evening had a slent l of a northerly wind that blew 
very strong, which brought us in sight of the great river 
Orenoque] out of which this river descended wherein we 
were. We descried afar off three other canoas as far 
as we could discern them, after whom we hastened with 
our barge and wherries, but two of them passed out of 
sight, and the third entered up the great river, on the 
right hand to the westward, and there stayed out of 
sight, thinking that we meant to take the way eastward 
towards the province of Carapana ; for that way the 
Spaniards keep, not daring to go upwards to Guiana, 
the people in those parts being all their enemies, and 
those in the canoas thought us to have been those 
Spaniards that were fled from Trinidad, and escaped 
killing. And when we came so far down as the opening 
of that branch into which they slipped, being near them 
with our barge and wherries, we made after them, and 
yere they could land came within call, and by our 
interpreter told them what we were, wherewith they 
came back willingly aboard us ; and of such fish and 
tortugas* 2 eggs as they had gathered they gave us, and 
promised in the morning to bring the lord of that part 
with them, and to do us all other services they could. 
That night we came to an anchor at the parting of the 
three goodly rivers (the one was the river ofAmana, by 
which we came from the north, and ran athwart towards 
the south, the other two were of Orenoque, which 
crossed from the west and ran to the sea towards the 
east) and landed upon a fair sand, where we found 
1 Push 2 Turtles. 

230 Raleigh s Discovery of Guiana. [1595 

thousands of tortugas eggs, which are very wholesome 
meat, and greatly restoring ; so as our men were now 
well rilled and highly contented both with the fare, and 
nearness of the land of Guiana, which appeared in sight. 

In the morning there came down, according to pro 
mise, the lord of that border, called Toparimaca, with 
some thirty or forty followers, and brought us divers 
sorts of fruits, and of his wine, bread, fish, and flesh, 
whom we also feasted as we could ; at least we drank 
good Spanish wine, whereof we had a small quantity 
in bottles, which above all things they love. I conferred 
with this Toparimaca of the next 1 way to Guiana, who 
conducted our galley and boats to his own port, and 
carried us from thence some mile and a-half to his 
town ; where some of our captains garoused 2 of his wine 
till they were reasonable pleasant, for it is very strong 
with pepper, and the juice of divers herbs and fruits 
digested and purged. They keep it in great earthen 
pots of ten or twelve gallons, very clean and sweet, and 
are themselves at their meetings and feasts the greatest 
carousers and drunkards of the world. When we came 
to his town we found two caciques, whereof one was 
a stranger that had been up the river in trade, and his 
boats, people, and wife encamped at the port where we 
anchored ; and the other was of that country, a follower 
of Toparimaca. They lay each of them in a cotton 
hamaca, which we call Brazil beds, and two women 
attending them with six cups, and a little ladle to fill 
them out of an earthen pitcher of wine ; and so they 
drank each of them three of those cups at a time one 
to the other, and in this sort they drink drunk at their 
feasts and meetings. 

That cacique that was a stranger had his wife staying 
at the port where we anchored, and in all my life I have 

1 Nearest. 2 Caroused. 

1595] Toparimaca s Village. 231 

seldom seen a belter favoured woman. She was of good 
stature, with black eyes, fat of body, of an excellent 
countenance, her hair almost as long as herself, tied up 
again in pretty knots ; and it seemed she stood not in 
that awe of her husband as the rest, for she spake and 
discoursed, and drank among the gentlemen and 
captains, and was very pleasant, knowing her own 
comeliness, and taking great pride therein. I have 
seen a lady in England so like to her, as but for the 
difference of colour, I would have sworn might have 
been the same. 

The seat of this town of Toparimaca was very 
pleasant, standing on a little hill, in an excellent pros 
pect, with goodly gardens a mile compass round about 
it, and two very fair and large ponds of excellent fish 
adjoining. This town is called Arowocat] the people 
are of the nation called Nepoios, and are followers of 
Carapana. In that place I saw very aged people, that 
we might perceive all their sinews and veins without 
any flesh, and but even as a case covered only with 
skin. The lord of this place gave me an old man for 
pilot, who was of great experience and travel, and knew 
the river most perfectly both by day and night. And it 
shall be requisite for any man that passeth it to have 
such a pilot ; for it is four, five, and six miles over in 
many places, and twenty miles in other places, with 
wonderful eddies and strong currents, many great 
islands, and divers shoals, and many dangerous rocks ; 
and besides upon any increase of wind so great a billow, 
as we were sometimes in great peril of drowning in the 
galley, for the small boats durst not come from the shore 
but when it was very fair. 

The next day we hasted thence, and having an 
easterly wind to help us, we spared our arms from 
rowing ; for after we entered Orenoque, the river lieth 

232 Raleigh s Discovery of Guiana. [1595 

for the most part east and west, even from the sea unto 
Quito, in Peru. This river is navigable with barks 
little less than 1000 miles ; and from the place where 
we entered it may be sailed up in small pinnaces to 
many of the best parts of Nuevo Reyno de Granada and 
of Popayan. And from no place may the cities of these 
parts of the Indies be so easily taken and invaded as 
from hence 1 . All that day we sailed up a branch of 
that river, having on the left hand a great island, which 
they call Assapana, which may contain some five-and- 
twenty miles in length, and six miles in breadth, the 
great body of the river running on the other side of 
this island. Beyond that middle branch there is also 
another island in the river, called Iwana, which is twice 
as big as the Isle of Wight , and beyond it, and between 
it and the main of Guiana, runneth a third branch of 
Orenoque, called Arraroopana. All three are goodly 
branches, and all navigable for great ships. I judge 
the river in this place to be at least thirty miles broad, 
reckoning the islands which divide the branches in it, 
for afterwards I sought also both the other branches. 

After we reached to the head of the island called 
Assapana, a little to the westward on the right hand 
there opened a river which came from the north, called 
Europa, and fell into the great river ; and beyond it on 
the same side we anchored for that night by another 
island, six miles long and two miles broad, which they 
call Ocaywita. From hence, in the morning, we landed 
two Guianians, which we found in the town of Topari- 
maca, that came with us ; who went to give notice of 
our coming to the lord of that country, called Putyma, 
a follower of Topiawari, chief lord of Aromata, who 
succeeded Morequito, whom (as you have heard before) 

1 Raleigh regarded the occupation of Guiana as a step towards 
the conquest of New Granada and Peru (see p. 247). 

1595] Plains of Say ma. 233 

Berreo put to death. But his town being far within 
the land, he came not unto us that day ; so as we 
anchored again that night near the banks of another 
land, of bigness much like the other, which they call 
Putapayma, over against which island, on the main 
land, was a very high mountain called Oecope. We 
coveted to anchor rather by these islands in the river 
than by the main, because of the tortugas* eggs, which 
our people found on them in great abundance ; and 
also because the ground served better for us to cast our 
nets for fish, the main banks being for the most part 
stony and high and the rocks of a blue, metalline colour, 
like unto the best steel ore, which I assuredly take it 
to be. Of the same blue stone are also divers great 
mountains which border this river in many places. 

The next morning, towards nine of the clock, we 
weighed anchor ; and the breeze increasing, we sailed 
always west up the river, and, after a while, opening 
the land on the right side, the country appeared to be 
champaign and the banks shewed very perfect red. 
I therefore sent two of the little barges with Captain 
Gifford, and with him Captain Thyn, Captain Caulfteld, 
my cousin Greenvile, my nephew John Gilbert, Captain 
Eynos, Master Edward Porter, and my cousin Butshead 
Gorges, with some few soldiers, to march over the banks 
of that red land and to discover what manner of country 
it was on the other side ; who at their return found it 
all a plain level as far as they went or could discern 
from the highest tree they could get upon. And my 
old pilot, a man of great travel, brother to the cacique 
Toparimaca, told me that those were called the plains of 
the Sayma, and that the same level reached to Cumand 
and Caracas, in the West Indies, which are a hundred 
and twenty leagues to the north, and that there inhabited 
four principal nations. The first were the Sayma, the 

234 Raleigh 9 s Discovery of Guiana. [1595 

next Assawat, the third and greatest the Wiktri, by 
whom Pedro Hernandez de Serpa, before mentioned, 
was overthrown as he passed with 300 horse from 
Cumand towards Orenoque in his enterprise of Guiana. 
The fourth are called A roras, and are as black as negroes, 
but have smooth hair ; and these are very valiant, or 
rather desperate, people, and have the most strong 
poison on their arrows, and most dangerous, of all 
nations, of which I will speak somewhat, being a digres 
sion not unnecessary. 

There was nothing whereof I was more curious than 
to find out the true remedies of these poisoned arrows. 
For besides the mortality of the wound they make, the 
party shot endureth the most insufferable torment in 
the world, and abideth a most ugly and lamentable 
death, sometimes dying stark mad, sometimes their 
bowels breaking out of their bellies ; which are presently 
discoloured as black as pitch, and so unsavory as no 
man can endure to cure or to attend them. And it is 
more strange to know that in all this time there was 
never Spaniard, either by gift or torment, that could 
attain to the true knowledge of the cure, although they 
have martyred and put to invented torture I know not 
how many of them. But everyone of these Indians 
know it not, no, not one among thousands, but their 
soothsayers and priests, who do conceal it, and only 
teach it but from the father to the son. 

Those medicines which are vulgar, and serve for the 
ordinary poison, are made of the juice of a root called 
tupara ; the same also quencheth marvellously the heat 
of burning fevers, and healeth inward wounds and 
broken veins that bleed within the body. But I was 
more beholding to the Guianians than any other ; for 
Antonio de Berreo told me that he could never attain 
to the knowledge thereof, and yet they taught me the 

1595] Poisoned Arrows. 235 

best way of healing as well thereof as of all other 
poisons. Some of the Spaniards have been cured in 
ordinary wounds of the common poisoned arrows with 
the juice of garlic. But this is a general rule for all men 
that shall hereafter travel the Indies where poisoned 
arrows are used, that they must abstain from drink. For 
if they take any liquor into their body, as they shall be 
marvellously provoked thereunto by drought, I say, if 
they drink before the wound be dressed, or soon upon 
it, there is no way with them but present death. 

And so I will return again to our journey, which for 
this third day we finished, and cast anchor again near 
the continent on the left hand between two mountains, 
the one called Aroami and the other Aio. I made no 
stay here but till midnight ; for I feared hourly lest any 
rain should fall, and then it had been impossible to 
have gone any further up, notwithstanding that there 
is every day a very strong breeze and easterly wind. 
I deferred the search of the country on Guiana side till 
my return down the river. 

The next day we sailed by a great island in the 
middle of the river, called Manoripano , and, as we 
walked awhile on the island, while the galley got ahead 
of us, there came for us from the main a small canoa 
with seven or eight Guiam ans, to invite us to anchor 
at their port, but I deferred till my return. It was that 
cacique to whom those Nepoios went, which came with 
us from the town of Toparimaoa. And so the fifth day 
we reached as high up as the province of Arotnaia, 
the country of Morequito, whom Berreo executed, and 
anchored to the west of an island called Murrecotima, 
ten miles long and five broad. And that night the 
cacique Aramiary, to whose town we made our long 
and hungry voyage out of the river of Amana, passed 
by us. 

236 Raleigh s Discovery of Guiana. [1595 

The next day we arrived at the port of Morequito, and 
anchored there, sending away one of our pilots to seek 
the king of Aromaia, uncle to Morequito, slain by Berreo 
as aforesaid. The next day following, before noon, he 
came to us on foot from his house, which was fourteen 
English miles, himself being a hundred and ten years 
old, and returned on foot the same day ; and with him 
many of the borderers, with many women and children, 
that came to wonder at our nation and to bring us down 
victual, which they did in great plenty, as venison, pork, 
hens, chickens, fowl, fish, with divers sorts of excellent 
fruits and roots, and great abundance of pinas, the 
princess of fruits that grow under the sun, especially 
those of Guiana. They brought us, also, store of 
bread and of their wine, and a sort of paraquitos no 
bigger than wrens, and of all other sorts both small 
and great. One of them gave me a beast called by the 
Spaniards armadillo, which they call cassacam, which 
seemeth to be all barred over with small plates some 
what like to a rhinoceros, with a white horn growing in 
his hinder parts as big as a great hunting-horn, which 
they use to wind instead of a trumpet. Monardus l 
writeth that a little of the powder of that horn put into 
the ear cureth deafness. 

After this old king had rested awhile in a little tent 
that I caused to be set up, I began by my interpreter to 
discourse with him of the death of Morequito his prede 
cessor, and afterward of the Spaniards ; and yere I went 
any farther I made him know the cause of my coming 
thither, whose servant I was, and that the Queen s 
pleasure was I should undertake the voyage for their 
defence, and to deliver them from the tyranny of the 
Spaniards, dilating at large, as I had done before to 
those of Trinidad, her Majesty s greatness, her justice, 

1 Monardes ; Historia Medicinal (1574; English Version, 1577). 

1595] Interview with Topiawari. 237 

her charity to all oppressed nations, with as many of 
the rest of her beauties and virtues as either I could 
express or they conceive. All which being with great 
admiration attentively heard and marvellously admired, 
I began to sound the old man as touching Guiana and 
the state thereof, what sort of commonwealth it was, 
how governed, of what strength and policy, how far it 
extended, and what nations were friends or enemies 
adjoining, and finally of the distance, and way to enter 
the same. He told me that himself and his people, 
with all those down the river towards the sea, as far 
as Emeria, the province of Carapana, were of Guiana, 
but that they called themselves Orenoqueponi, and that 
all the nations between the river and those mountains 
in sight, called Wacarima, were of the same cast and 
appellation ; and that on the other side of those moun 
tains of Wacarima there was a large plain (which after 
I discovered in my return) called the valley of Amario- 
capana. In all that valley the people were also of the 
ancient Guianians. 

I asked what nations those were which inhabited on 
the further side of those mountains, beyond the valley 
of Amariocapana. He answered with a great sigh (as 
a man which had inward feeling of the loss of his 
country and liberty, especially for that his eldest son 
was slain in a battle on that side of the mountains, 
whom he most entirely loved) that he remembered in 
his father s lifetime, when he was very old and himself 
a young man, that there came down into that large 
valley of Guiana a nation from so far off as the sun 
slept (for such were his own words), with so great 
a multitude as they could not be numbered nor resisted, 
and that they wore large coats, and hats of crimson 
colour, which colour he expressed by shewing a piece 
of red wood wherewith my tent was supported, and that 

238 Raleigh s Discovery of Guiana. [1595 

they were called Ore/ones and Epuremei \ that those had 
slain and rooted out so many of the ancient people as 
there were leaves in the wood upon all the trees, and 
had now made themselves lords of all, even to that 
mountain foot called Curaa, saving only of two nations, 
the one called Iwarawaqueri and the other Cassipagotos ; 
and that in the last battle fought between the Epurentei 
and the Iwarawaqueri his eldest son was chosen to 
carry to the aid of the Iwarawaqueri a great troop of 
the Orenoqueponi, and was there slain with all his 
people and friends, and that he had now remaining but 
one son ; and farther told me that those Epuremei 
had built a great town called Macureguarai at the said 
mountain foot, at the beginning of the great plains of 
Guiana, which have no end ; and that their houses have 
many rooms, one over the other, and that therein the 
great king of the Ore/ones and Epuremei kept three 
thousand men to defend the borders against them, and 
withal daily to invade and slay them ; but that of late 
years, since the Christians offered to invade his terri 
tories and those frontiers, they were all at peace, and 
traded one with another, saving only the Iwarawaqueri 
and those other nations upon the head of the river of 
Caroli called Cassipagotos, which we afterwards dis 
covered, each one holding the Spaniard for a common 

After he had answered thus far, he desired leave to 
depart, saying that he had far to go, that he was old 
and weak, and was every day called for by death, 
which was also his own phrase. I desired him to rest 
with us that night, but I could not entreat him ; but he 
told me that at my return from the country above he 
would again come to us, and in the meantime provide 
for us the best he could, of all that his country yielded. 
The same night he returned to Orocotcna, his own 

1595] Arrival at the Caroni River. 239 

town ; so as he went that day eight-and-twenty miles, 
the weather being very hot, the country being situate 
between four and five degrees of the equinoctial. This 
Topiawari is held for the proudest and wisest of all the 
Orenoqueponi, and so he behaved himself towards me 
in all his answers at my return, as I marvelled to find 
a man of that gravity and judgment, and of so good 
discourse, that had no help of learning nor breed. 

The next morning we also left the port, and sailed 
westward up to the river, to view the famous river 
called Caroli, as well because it was marvellous of 
itself, as also for that I understood it led to the 
strongest nations of all the frontiers, that were enemies 
to the Epuremei, which are subjects to Inga, emperor 
of Guiana and Manoa. And that night we anchored 
at another island called Caiama, of some five or six 
miles in length ; and the next day arrived at the mouth 
of Caroli. When we were short of it as low or further 
down as the port of Morequito, we heard the great roar 
and fall of the river. But when we came to enter with 
our barge and wherries, thinking to have gone up some 
forty miles to the nations of the Cassipagotos, we were 
not able with a barge of eight oars to row one stone s 
cast in an hour ; and yet the river is as broad as the 
Thames at Woolwich, and we tried both sides, and 
the middle, and every part of the river. So as we 
encamped upon the banks adjoining, and sent off our 
Orenoquepone which came with us from Morequito to 
give knowledge to the nations upon the river of our 
being there, and that we desired to see the lords of 
Canuria, which dwelt within the province upon that 
river, making them know that we were enemies to the 
Spaniards; for it was on this river side that Morequito 
slew the friar, and those nine Spaniards which came 
from Manoa, the city of Inga, and took from them 

240 Raleigtis Discovery of Guiana. [1595 

14,000 pesos of gold. So as the next day there came 
down a lord or cacique, called Wanuretona, with 
many people with him, and brought all store of pro 
visions to entertain us, as the rest had done. And as 
I had before made my coming known to Topiawari, so 
did I acquaint this cacique therewith, and how I was 
sent by her Majesty for the purpose aforesaid, and 
gathered also what I could of him touching the estate 
of Guiana. And I found that those also of Caroli were 
not only enemies to the Spaniards, but most of all to 
the Epuremei, which abound in gold. And by this 
Wanuretona 1 had knowledge that on the head of 
this river were three mighty nations, which were seated 
on a great lake, from whence this river descended, and 
were called Cassipagotos, Eparegotos, and Arawagotos 1 ; 
and that all those either against the Spaniards or the 
Epuremei would join with us, and that if we entered 
the land over the mountains of Curaa we should satisfy 
ourselves with gold and all other good things. He 
told us farther of a nation called Iwarawaqueri, before 
spoken of, that held daily war with the Epuremei that 
inhabited Macureguarai, the first civil town of Guiana, 
of the subjects of Inga, the emperor. 

Upon this river one Captain George, that I took with 
Berreo, told me that there was a great silver mine, and 
that it was near the banks of the said river. But by 
this time as well Orenoque, Caroli, as all the rest of the 
rivers were risen four or five feet in height, so as it was 
not possible by the strength of any men, or with any 
boat whatsoever, to row into the river against the 
stream. I therefore sent Captain Thyn, Captain Green- 
vile, my nephew John Gilbert, my cousin Butshead 

1 The Purigotos and Arinagotos are still settled on the upper tribu 
taries of the Caroni River. No such lake as that mentioned is known 
to exist. 

1595] Falls of the Caroni River. 241 

Gorges, Captain Clarke, and some thirty shot more to 
coast the river by land, and to go to a town some 
twenty miles over the valley called Amnatapoi , and 
they found guides there to go farther towards the 
mountain foot to another great town called Capurepana, 
belonging to a cacique called Haharacoa, that was 
a nephew to old Topiawari, king of Aromaia, our 
chiefest friend, because this town and province of 
Capurepana adjoined to Macureguarai, which was a 
frontier town of the empire. And the meanwhile 
myself with Captain Gifford, Captain Caulfield, Edward 
Hancock, and some half-a-dozen shot marched over 
land to view the strange overfalls of the river of Caroli, 
which roared so far off; and also to see the plains 
adjoining, and the rest of the province of Canuri. 
I sent also Captain Whiddon, William Connock, and 
some eight shot with them, to see if they could find 
any mineral stone alongst the river s side. When we 
were come to the tops of the first hills of the plains 
adjoining to the river, we beheld that wonderful breach 
of waters which ran down Caroli] and might from 
that mountain see the river how it ran in three parts, 
above twenty miles off, and there appeared some ten 
or twelve overfalls in sight, every one as high over the 
other as a church tower, which fell with that fury, that 
the rebound of water made it seem as if it had been all 
covered over with a great shower of rain ; and in some 
places we took it at the first for a smoke that had risen 
over some great town. For mine own part I was well 
persuaded from thence to have returned, being a very 
ill footman ; but the rest were all so desirous to go near 
the said strange thunder of waters, as they drew me on 
by little and little, till we came into the next valley, 
where we might better discern the same. I never saw 
a more beautiful country, nor more lively prospects ; 

II. R 

242 Raleigh s Discovery of Guiana. [1595 

hills so raised here and there over the valleys ; the 
river winding into divers branches ; the plains adjoining 
without bush or stubble, all fair green grass ; the ground 
of hard sand, easy to march on, either for horse or foot ; 
the deer crossing in every path ; the birds towards the 
evening singing on every tree with a thousand several 
tunes ; cranes and herons of white, crimson, and carna 
tion, perching in the river s side; the air fresh with 
a gentle easterly wind ; and every stone that we stooped 
to take up promised either gold or silver by his com 
plexion. Your Lordship shall see of many sorts, and 
I hope some of them cannot be bettered under the sun ; 
and yet we had no means but with our daggers and 
fingers to tear them out here and there, the rocks being 
most hard of that mineral spar aforesaid, which is like 
a flint, and is altogether as hard or harder, and besides 
the veins lie a fathom or two deep in the rocks. But 
we wanted all things requisite save only our desires and 
good will to have performed more if it had pleased God. 
To be short, when both our companies returned, each 
of them brought also several sorts of stones that appeared 
very fair, but were such as they found loose on the 
ground, and were for the most part but coloured, and 
had not any gold fixed in them. Yet such as had no 
judgment or experience kept all that glistered, and 
would not be persuaded but it was rich because of the 
lustre ; and brought of those, and of marcasite withal, 
from Trinidad, and have delivered of those stones to be 
tried in many places, and have thereby bred an opinion 
that all the rest is of the same. Yet some of these 
stones I shewed afterward to a Spaniard of the Caracas, 
who told me that it was El madre del oro, that is, 
the mother of gold, and that the mine was farther in the 

But it shall be found a weak policy in me, either to 

1595] Valley of the Carom . 243 

betray myself or my country with imaginations ; neither 
am I so far in love with that lodging, watching, care, 
peril, diseases, ill savours, bad fare, and many other 
mischiefs that accompany these voyages, as to woo 
myself again into any of them, were I not assured that 
the sun covereth not so much riches in any part of the 
earth. Captain Whiddon, and our chirurgeon, Nicholas 
Millechamp, brought me a kind of stones like sapphires; 
what they may prove 1 know not. I showed them 
to some of the Orenoqueponi, and they promised to 
bring me to a mountain that had of them very large 
pieces growing diamond-wise ; whether it be crystal of 
the mountain, Bristol diamond, or sapphire, I do not 
yet know, but I hope the best ; sure I am that the place 
is as likely as those from whence all the rich stones 
are brought, and in the same height or very near. 

On the left hand of this river Caroli are seated those 
nations which I called Iwarawaqueri before remem 
bered, which are enemies to the Epuremei; and on the 
head of it, adjoining to the great lake Cassipa, are 
situate those other nations which also resist Inga, and 
the Epuremei, called Cassipagotos, Eparegotos, and 
Arawagotos. I farther understood that this lake of 
Cassipa is so large, as it is above one day s journey for 
one of their canoas to cross, which may be some forty 
miles; and that thereinto fall divers rivers, and that 
great store of grains of gold are found in the summer 
time when the lake falleth by the banks, in those 

There is also another goodly river beyond Caroli 
which is called Ami, which also runneth thorough the 
lake Cassipa, and falleth into Orenoque farther west, 
making all that land between Caroli and Arui an island ; 
which is likewise a most beautiful country. Next unto 
Arui there are two rivers Atoica and Caura, and on 

R 2 

244 Raleigh s Discovery of Guiana. [1595 

that branch which is called Caura are a nation of 
people whose heads appear not above their shoulders ; 
which though it may be thought a mere fable, yet for 
mine own part I am resolved it is true ; because every 
child in the provinces of Aromaia and Canuri affirm 
the same. They are called Ewaipanoma ; they are 
reported to have their eyes in their shoulders, and 
their mouths in the middle of their breasts, and that 
a long train of hair groweth backward between their 
shoulders. The son of Toptawan] which I brought 
with me into England, told me that they were the most 
mighty men of all the land, and use bows, arrows, and 
clubs thrice as big as any of Guiana, or of the Oreno- 
queponi] and that one of the Iwarawaqueri took a 
prisoner of them the year before our arrival there, and 
brought him into the borders of Aromaia, his father s 
country. And farther, when I seemed to doubt of it, 
he told me that it was no wonder among them; but 
^that they were as great a nation and as common as 
any other in all the provinces, and had of late years 
slain many hundreds of his father s people, and of other 
nations their neighbours. But it was not my chance 
to hear of them till I was come away ; and if I had but 
spoken one word of it while I was there I might have 
brought one of them with me to put the matter out of 
doubt. Such a nation was written of by Mandeville, 
whose reports were holden for fables many years ; and 
yet since the East Indies were discovered, we find his 
relations true of such things as heretofore were held 
incredible 1 . Whether it be true or no, the matter is 
not great, neither can there be any profit in the imagina 
tion ; for mine own part I saw them not, but I am 

1 Mandeville, or the author who assumed this name, placed his 
headless men in the East Indian Archipelago. The fable is borrowed 
from older writers (Herodotus, iv. 191, &c.). 

1595] The Headless Ewaipanoma. 245 

resolved that so many people did not all combine or 
forethink to make the report. 

When I came to Cumana in the West Indies after 
wards by chance I spake with a Spaniard dwelling not 
far from thence, a man of great travel. And after he 
knew that I had been in Guiana, and so far directly 
west as Caroli, the first question he asked me was, 
whether I had seen any of the Ewaipanoma, which are 
those without heads. Who being esteemed a most 
honest man of his word, and in all things else, told me 
that he had seen many of them ; I may not name him, 
because it may be for his disadvantage, but he is well 
known to Monsieur Moucheron s son of London, and to 
Peter Moucheron, merchant, of the Flemish ship that was 
there in trade ; who also heard, what he avowed to be 
true, of those people. 

The fourth river to the west of Caroli is Casnero : 
which falleth into the Orenoque on this side of Amapaia. 
And that river is greater than Danubius, or any of 
Europe: it riseth on the south of Guiana from the 
mountains which divide Guiana from Amazons, and 
I think it to be navigable many hundred miles. But 
we had no time, means, nor season of the year, to 
search those rivers, for the causes aforesaid, the winter 
being come upon us ; although the winter and summer 
as touching cold and heat differ not, neither do the 
trees ever sensibly lose their leaves, but have always 
fruit either ripe or green, and most of them both 
blossom, leaves, ripe fruit, and green, at one time : but 
their winter only consisteth of terrible rains, and over 
flowing of the rivers, with many great storms and gusts, 
thunder and lightnings, of which we had our fill ere 
we returned. 

On the north side, the first river that falleth into the 
Orenoque is Cart. Beyond it on the same side is the 

246 Raleigtis Discovery of Guiana. [1595 

river of Limo. Between these two is a great nation 
of Cannibals, and their chief town beareth the name of 
the river, and is called Acamacari. At this town is 
a continual market of women for three or four hatchets 
apiece ; they are bought by the Arwacas, and by them 
sold into the West Indies. To the west of Limo is the 
river Pao, beyond it Caturi, beyond that, Voari, and 
Capuri 1 , which falleth out of the great river of Meta, by 
which Berreo descended from Nuevo Reyno de Granada. 
To the westward of Capuri is the province of Amapaia, 
where Berreo wintered, and had so many of his people 
poisoned with the tawny water of the marshes of the 
Anebas. Above Amapaia, toward Nuevo Reyno, fall in 
Meta, Pato and Cassanar. To the west of those, 
towards the provinces of the Ashaguas and Catetios, are 
the rivers of Beta, Dawney, and Ubarro ; and toward 
the frontier of Peru are the provinces of Thomebamba, 
and Caxamalca. Adjoining to Quito in the north side 
of Peru are the rivers of Guiacar and Goauar; and on 
the other side of the said mountains the river of Papa- 
mene which descendeth into Maranon or Amazons, 
passing through the province Motilones, where Don 
Pedro de Orstia, who was slain by the traitor Aguirre 
before rehearsed, built his brigandines, when he sought 
Guiana by the way of Amazons. 

Between Dawney and Beta lieth a famous island in 
Orenoque (now called Baraquan, for above Meta it is 
not known by the name of Orenoque) which is called 
Athule^ ; beyond which ships of burden cannot pass by 
reason of a most forcible overfall, and current of 
water; but in the eddy all smaller vessels may be 
drawn even to Peru itself. But to speak of more of 
these rivers without the description were but tedious, 
and therefore I will leave the rest to the description. 
1 The Apure river. 2 Cataract of Ature. 

1595] Return down the Orinoco. 247 

This river of Orenoque is navigable for ships little less 
than 1,000 miles, and for lesser vessels near 2,000. By 
it, as aforesaid, Peru, Nuevo Reyno, and Popayan, may 
be invaded : it also leadeth to the great empire of 
Inga, and to the provinces of Amapaia and Anebas, 
which abound in gold. His branches of Casnero, Mania, 
Caura descend from the middle land and valley which 
lieth between the caster province of Peru and Guiana ; 
and it falls into the sea between Maranon and Trinidad 
in two degrees and a half. All of which your honours 
shall better perceive in the general description of 
Guiana, Peru, Nuevo Reyno, the kingdom of Popayan, 
and Rodas, with the province of Venezuela, to the bay 
of Uraba, behind Cartagena, westward, and to Amazons 
southward. While we lay at anchor on the coast of 
Canuri, and had taken knowledge of all the nations 
upon the head and branches of this river, and had 
found out so many several people, which were enemies 
to the Epuremei and the new conquerors, I thought it 
time lost to linger any longer in that place, especially 
for that the fury of Orenoque began daily to threaten us 
with dangers in our return. For no half day passed 
but the river began to rage and overflow very fearfully, 
and the rains came down in terrible showers, and gusts 
in great abundance; and withal our men began to cry 
out for want of shift, for no man had place to bestow 
any other apparel than that which he ware on his back, 
and that was throughly washed on his body for the 
most part ten times in one day ; and we had now been 
well-near a month every day passing to the westward 
farther and farther from our ships. We therefore 
turned towards the east, and spent the rest of the time 
in discovering the river towards the sea, which we had 
not viewed, and which was most material. 

The next day following we left the mouth of 

248 Raleigh s Discovery of Guiana. [1595 

Caroli, and arrived again at the port of Morequito where 
we were before ; for passing down the stream we went 
without labour, and against the wind, little less than 
a hundred miles a day. As soon as I came to anchor, 
I sent away one for old Topiawari, with whom I much 
desired to have further conference, and also to deal 
with him for some one of his country to bring with us 
into England, as well to learn the language, as to confer 
withal by the way, the time being now spent of any 
longer stay there. Within three hours after my mes 
senger came to him, he arrived also, and with him such 
a rabble of all sorts of people, and every one loaden with 
somewhat, as if it had been a great market or fair in 
England] and our hungry companies clustered thick 
and threefold among their baskets, every one laying 
hand on what he liked. After he had rested awhile in 
my tent, I shut out all but ourselves and my inter 
preter, and told him that I knew that both the Epure- 
met and the Spaniards were enemies to him, his country 
and nations : that the one had conquered Guiana 
already, and the other sought to regain the same from 
them both ; and therefore I desired him to instruct me 
what he could, both of the passage into the golden parts 
of Guiana, and to the civil towns and apparelled people 
of Inga. He gave me an answer to this effect : first, 
that he could not perceive that I meant to go onward 
towards the city of Manoa, for neither the time of the 
year served, neither could he perceive any sufficient 
numbers for such an enterprise. And if I did, I was 
sure with all my company to be buried there, for the 
emperor was of that strength, as that many times so 
many men more were too few. Besides, he gave me this 
good counsel and advised me to hold it in mind (as for 
himself, he knew he could not live till my return), that 
I should not offer by any means hereafter to invade 

1595] Second Conference with Topiawari. 249 

the strong parts of Guiana without the help of all those 
nations which were also their enemies ; for that it was 
impossible without those, either to be conducted, to be 
victualled, or to have aught carried with us, our people 
not being able to endure the march in so great heat 
and travail, unless the borderers gave them help, to 
cart with them both their meat and furniture. For he 
remembered that in the plains of Macureguarai three 
hundred Spaniards were overthrown, who were tired 
out, and had none of the borderers to their friends ; 
but meeting their enemies as they passed the frontier, 
were environed on all sides, and the people setting the 
long dry grass on fire, smothered them, so as they had 
no breath to fight, nor could discern their enemies for 
the great smoke. He told me further that four days 
journey from his town was Macureguarai, and that those 
were the next and nearest of the subjects of Inga, and 
of the Epuremei, and the first town of apparelled and 
rich people ; and that all those plates of gold which 
were scattered among the borderers and carried to 
other nations far and near, came from the said Macure 
guarai and were there made, but that those of the land 
within were far finer, and were fashioned after the 
images of men, beasts, birds, and fishes. I asked him 
whether he thought that those companies that I had 
there with me were sufficient to take that town or no ; 
he told me that he thought they were. I then asked 
him whether he would assist me with guides, and some 
companies of his people to join with us ; he answered 
that he would go himself with all the borderers, if the 
rivers did remain fordable, upon this condition, that 
I would leave with him till my return again fifty 
soldiers, which he undertook to victual. I answered 
that I had not above fifty good men in all there ; the 
rest were labourers and rowers, and that I had no 

250 Raleigtis Discovery of Guiana. [1595 

provision to leave with them of powder, shot, apparel, 
or aught else, and that without those things necessary 
for their defence, they should be in danger of the 
Spaniards in my absence, who I knew would use the 
same measures towards mine that I offered them at 
Trinidad. And although upon the motion Captain 
Caulfield, Captain Greenvile, my nephew John Gilbert 
and divers others were desirous to stay, yet I was 
resolved that they must needs have perished. For 
Berreo expected daily a supply out of Spain, and looked 
also hourly for his son to come down from Nuevo 
Reyno de Granada, with many horse and foot, and had 
also in Valencia, in the Caracas, two hundred horse 
ready to march ; and I could not have spared above 
forty, and had not any store at all of powder, lead, or 
match to have left with them, nor any other provision, 
either spade, pickaxe, or aught else to have fortified 

When I had given him reason that I could not at 
this time leave him such a company, he then desired 
me to forbear him and his country for that time ; for he 
assured me that I should be no sooner three days from 
the coast but those Epuremei would invade him, and 
destroy all the remain of his people and friends, if he 
should any way either guide us or assist us against 
them. He further alleged that the Spaniards sought his 
death ; and as they had already murdered his nephew 
Morequito, lord of that province, so they had him seven 
teen days in a chain before he was king of the country, 
and led him like a dog from place to place until he had 
paid an hundred plates of gold and divers chains of 
spleen-stones for his ransom *. And now, since he 
became owner of that province, that they had many 
times laid wait to take him, and that they would be now 
1 See page aio. 

i595l Wars waged for Capturing Women. 251 

more vehement when they should understand of his 
conference with the English. And because, said he, they 
would the better displant me, if they cannot lay hands on 
me, they have gotten a nephew of mine called Eparacano, 
whom they have christened Don Juan, and his son Don 
Pedro, whom they have also apparelled and armed, by 
whom they seek to make a party against me in mine own 
country. He also hath taken to wife one Louiana, of a 
strong family, which are borderers and neighbours ; and 
myself now being old and in the hands of death am not 
able to travel nor to shift as when I was of younger years. 
He therefore prayed us to defer it till the next year, 
when he would undertake to draw in all the borderers 
to serve us, and then, also, it would be more seasonable 
to travel ; for at this time of the year we should not be 
able to pass any river, the waters were and would be 
so grown ere our return. 

He farther told me that I could not desire so much 
to invade Macureguarai and the rest of Guiana but that 
the borderers would be more vehement than I. For 
he yielded for a chief cause that in the wars with the 
Epuremei they were spoiled of their women, and that 
their wives and daughters were taken from them ; so 
as for their own parts they desired nothing of the gold 
or treasure for their labours, but only to recover women 
from the Epuremei. For he farther complained very 
sadly, as it had been a matter of great consequence, 
that whereas they were wont to have ten or twelve 
wives, they were now enforced to content themselves 
with three or four, and that the lords of the Epuremei 
had fifty or a hundred. And in truth they war more 
for women than either for gold or dominion. For the 
lords of countries desire many children of their own 
bodies to increase their races and kindreds, for in those 
consist their greatest trust and strength. Divers of 

252 Raleigtts Discovery of Guiana. [1595 

his followers afterwards desired me to make haste 
again, that they might sack the Epuremei, and I asked 
them, of what ? They answered, Of their women for us, 
and their gold for you. For the hope of those many 
of women they more desire the war than either for 
gold or for the recovery of their ancient territories. 
For what between the subjects of Inga and the 
Spaniards, those frontiers are grown thin of people ; 
and also great numbers are fled to other nations farther 
off for fear of the Spaniards. 

After I received this answer of the old man, we fell 
into consideration whether it had been of better advice 
to have entered Macureguarai, and to have begun 
a war upon Inga at this time, yea or no, if the time of 
the year and all things else had sorted. For mine own 
part, as we were not able to march it for the rivers, 
neither had any such strength as was requisite, and 
durst not abide the coming of the winter, or to tarry 
any longer from our ships, I thought it were evil 
counsel to have attempted it at that time, although the 
desire for gold will answer many objections. But it 
would have been, in mine opinion, an utter overthrow 
to the enterprise, if the same should be hereafter by 
her Majesty attempted. For then, whereas now they 
have heard we were enemies to the Spaniards and were 
sent by her Majesty to relieve them, they would as good 
cheap have joined with the Spaniards at our return, as 
to have yielded unto us, when they had proved that 
we came both for one errand, and that both sought 
but to sack and spoil them. But as yet our desire of 
gold, or our purpose of invasion, is not known to them 
of the empire. And it is likely that if her Majesty 
undertake the enterprise they will rather submit them 
selves to her obedience than to the Spaniards, of whose 
cruelty both themselves and the borderers have already 

1595] Indian Gold-working. 253 

tasted. And therefore, till I had known her Majesty s 
pleasure, I would rather have lost the sack of one or 
two towns, although they might have been very pro 
fitable, than to have defaced or endangered the future 
hope of so many millions, and the great good and rich 
trade which England may be possessed of thereby. I am 
assured now that they will all die, even to the last man, 
against the Spaniards in hope of our succour and return. 
Whereas, otherwise, if I had either laid hands on the 
borderers or ransomed the lords, as Berreo did, or 
invaded the subjects of Inga, I know all had been lost 
for hereafter. 

After that I had resolved Topiawari, lord of Aro- 
maia, that I could not at this time leave with him the 
companies he desired, and that I was contented to 
forbear the enterprise against the Epuremei till the 
next year, he freely gave me his only son to take with 
me into England , and hoped that though he himself 
had but a short time to live, yet that by our means 
his son should be established after his death. And 
I left with him one Francis Sparrow, a servant of 
Captain Gifford, who was desirous to tarry, and could 
describe a country with his pen, and a boy of mine 
called Hugh Goodwin to learn the language. I after 
asked the manner how the Epuremei wrought those 
plates of gold, and how they could melt it out of the 
stone. He told me that the most of the gold which 
they made, in plates and images was not severed from 
the stone, but that on the lake of Manoa, and in a 
multitude of other rivers, they gathered it in grains of 
perfect gold and in pieces as big as small stones, and 
they put it to a part of copper, otherwise they could not 
work it ; and that they used a great earthen pot with 
holes round about it, and when they had mingled the 
gold and copper together they fastened canes to the 

254 Raleigtis Discovery of Guiana. [1595 

holes, and so with the breath of men they increased the 
fire till the metal ran, and then they cast it into moulds 
of stone and clay, and so make those plates and images. 
I have sent your honours of two sorts such as I could 
by chance recover, more to shew the manner of them 
than for the value. For I did not in any sort make 
my desire of gold known, because I had neither time 
nor power to have a great quantity. I gave among 
them many more pieces of gold than I received, of 
the new money of twenty shillings with her Majesty s 
picture, to wear, with promise that they would become 
her servants thenceforth. 

I have also sent your honours of the ore, whereof 
I know some is as rich as the earth yieldeth any, of 
which I know there is sufficient, if nothing else were 
to be hoped for. But besides that we were not able to 
tarry and search the hills, so we had neither pioneers, 
bars, sledges, nor wedges of iron to break the ground, 
without which there is no working in mines. But we 
saw all the hills with stones of the colour of gold and 
silver, and we tried them to be no marcasite, and 
therefore such as the Spaniards call El madre del oro 
or the mother of gold/ which is an undoubted assur 
ance of the general abundance; and myself saw the 
outside of many mines of the spar, which I know to be 
the same that all covet in this world, and of those more 
than I will speak of. 

Having learned what I could in Canuri and Aromaia, 
and received a faithful promise of the principallest of 
those provinces to become servants to her Majesty, and 
to resist the Spaniards if they made any attempt in our 
absence, and that they would draw in the nations 
about the lake of Cassipa and those of Iwarawaqueri, 
I then parted from old Topiawari, and received his 
son for a pledge between us, and left with him two of 

1595] An Expedition Overland. 255 

ours as aforesaid. To Francis Sparrow I gave in 
structions to travel to Marcureguarai with such mer 
chandises as I left with them, thereby to learn the 
place, and if were possible, to go on to the great city 
of Manoa. Which being done, we weighed anchor and 
coasted the river on Guiana side, because we came upon 
the north side, by the lawns of the Saima and Wikiri. 

There came with us from Aromaia a cacique called 
Putijma, that commanded the province of Warapana, 
which Putijma slew the nine Spaniards upon Caroli 
before spoken of ; who desired us to rest in the port of 
his country, promising to bring us unto a mountain 
adjoining to his town that had stones of the colour of 
gold, which he performed. And after we had rested 
there one night I went myself in the morning with 
most of the gentlemen of my company overland towards 
the said mountain, marching by a river s side called 
Mana, leaving on the right hand a town called Tute- 
ritona, standing in the province of Tarracoa, of which 
Wariaaremagoto is principal. Beyond it lieth another 
town towards the south, in the valley of Amariocapana, 
which beareth the name of the said valley; whose 
plains stretch themselves some sixty miles in length, 
east and west, as fair ground and as beautiful fields 
as any man hath ever seen, with divers copses scattered 
here and there by the river s side, and all as full of 
deer as any forest or park in England, and in every 
lake and river the like abundance of fish and fowl ; of 
which Irraparragota is lord. 

From the river of Mana we crossed another river in 
the said beautiful valley called Oiana, and rested our 
selves by a clear lake which lay in the middle of the 
said Oiana , and one of our guides kindling us fire 
with two sticks, we stayed awhile to dry our shirts, 
which with the heat hung very wet and heavy on our 

256 Raleigtis Discovery of Guiana. [1595 

shoulders. Afterwards we sought the ford to pass over 
towards the mountain called Iconuri, where Putijma 
foretold us of the mine. In this lake we saw one of 
the great fishes, as big as a wine pipe, which they call 
manati, being most excellent and wholesome meat. 
But after I perceived that to pass the said river would 
require half-a-day s march more, I was not able myself 
to endure it, and therefore I sent Captain Keymis with 
six shot to go on, and gave him order not to return to 
the port of Putijma, which is called Chiparepare, but 
to take leisure, and to march down the said valley as 
far as a river called Cumaca, where I promised to meet 
him again, Putijma himself promising also to be his 
guide. And as they marched, they left the towns of 
Emperapana and Capurepana on the right hand, and 
marched from Putijtna s house, down the said valley of 
Amariocapana ; and we returning the same day to the 
river s side, saw by the way many rocks like unto gold 
ore, and on the left hand a round mountain which 
consisted of mineral stone. 

From hence we rowed down the stream, coasting the 
province of Parino. As for the branches of rivers 
which I overpass in this discourse, those shall be 
better expressed in the description, with the mountains 
of Aio, Ara, and the rest, which are situate in the 
provinces of Parino and Carricurrina. When we 
were come as far down as the land called Ariacoa, 
where Orenoque divideth itself into three great branches, 
each of them being most goodly rivers, I sent away 
Captain Henry Thyn, and Captain Greenvile with the 
galley, the nearest way, and took with me Captain 
Gifford, Captain Caulfield, Edward Porter, and Captain 
Eynos with mine own barge and the two wherries, and 
went down that branch of Orenoque which is called 
Cararoopana, which leadeth towards Emeria, the pro- 

1595] A great water-fall. 257 

vince of Campana, and towards the east sea, as well to 
find out Captain Keymis, whom I had sent overland, 
as also to acquaint myself with Carapana, who is one 
of the greatest of all the lords of the Orenoqueponi. And 
when I came to the river of Cumaca, to which Putijma 
promised to conduct Captain Keymts, I left Captain 
Eynos and Master Porter in the said river to expect 
his coming, and the rest of us rowed down the stream 
towards Emeria. 

In this branch called Cararoopana were also many 
goodly islands, some of six miles long, some of ten, 
and some of twenty. When it grew towards sunset, we 
entered a branch of a river that fell into Orenoque, 
called Winicapora ; where I was informed of the moun 
tain of crystal, to which in truth for the length of the 
way, and the evil season of the year, I was not able 
to march, nor abide any longer upon the journey. We 
saw it afar off; and it appeared like a white church- 
tower of an exceeding height. There falleth over it 
a mighty river which toucheth no part of the side of 
the mountain, but rusheth over the top of it, and falleth 
to the ground with so terrible a noise and clamour, as 
if a thousand great bells were knocked one against 
another. I think there is not in the world so strange 
an overfall, nor so wonderful to behold. Berreo told 
me that there were diamonds and other precious stones 
on it, and that they shined very far off; but what it 
hath I know not, neither durst he or any of his men 
ascend to the top of the said mountain, those people 
adjoining being his enemies, as they were, and the way 
to it so impassable. 

Upon this river of Winicapora we rested a while, 
and from thence marched into the country to a town 
called after the name of the river, whereof the captain 
was one Timitwara, who also offered to conduct me to 

n. s 

258 Raleigh s Discovery of Guiana. [1595 

the top of the said mountain called Wacarima. But 
when we came in first to the house of the said Timit- 
wara, being upon one of their said feast days, we found 
them all as drunk as beggars, and the pots walking 
from one to another without rest. We that were weary 
and hot with marching were glad of the plenty, though 
a small quantity satisfied us, their drink being very 
strong and heady, and so rested ourselves awhile. 
After we had fed, we drew ourselves back to our boats 
upon the river, and there came to us all the lords of the 
country, with all such kind of victual as the place 
yielde d, and with their delicate wine of pinas, and with 
abundance of hens and other provisions, and of those 
stones which we call spleen-stones. We understood 
by these chieftains of Winicapora that their lord, Cara- 
pana, was departed from Emeria, which was now in 
sight, and that he was fled to Catramo, adjoining to 
the mountains of Guiana, over the valley called Amario- 
capana, being persuaded by those ten Spaniards which 
lay at his house that we would destroy him and his 
country. But after these caciques of Winicapora and 
Saporatona his followers perceived our purpose, and 
saw that we came as enemies to the Spaniards only, 
and had not so much as harmed any of those nations, 
no, though we found them to be of the Spaniards own 
servants, they assured us that Carapana would be as 
ready to serve us as any of the lords of the provinces 
which we had passed , and that he durst do no other 
till this day but entertain the Spaniards, his country 
lying so directly in their way, and next of all other to 
any entrance that should be made in Guiana on that 
side. And they further assured us, that it was not for 
fear of our coming that he was removed, but to be 
acquitted of the Spaniards or any other that should 
come hereafter For the province of Cairoma is situate 

1595] Flight of Carapana. 259 

at the mountain foot, which divideth the plains of 
Guiana from the countries of the Orenoqueponi ; by 
means whereof if any should come in our absence into 
his towns, he would slip over the mountains into the 
plains of Guiana among the Epuremei, where the 
Spaniards durst not follow him without great force. 
But in mine opinion, or rather I assure myself, that 
Carapana being a notable wise and subtle fellow, a man 
of one hundred years of age and therefore of great 
experience, is removed to look on, and if he find that 
we return strong he will be ours; if not, he will excuse 
his departure to the Spaniards, and say it was for fear 
of our coming. 

We therefore thought it bootless to row so far down 
the stream, or to seek any farther of this old fox ; and 
therefore from the river of Waricapana, which lieth at 
the entrance of Emeria, we returned again, and left to 
the eastward those four rivers which fall from the 
mountains of Emeria into Orenoque, which are Wara- 
cayari, Coirama, Akaniri, and Iparoma. Below those 
four are also these branches and mouths of Orenoque, 
which fall into the east sea, whereof the first is Araturi, 
the next Amacura, the third Barima, the fourth 
Wana, the fifth Morooca, the sixth Paroma, the last 
Wijmi. Beyond them there fall out of the land between 
Orenoque and Amazons fourteen rivers, which I forbear 
to name, inhabited by the Arwacas and Cannibals. 

It is now time to return towards the north, and we 
found it a wearisome way back from the borders of 
Emeria, to recover up again to the head of the river 
Carerupana, by which we descended, and where we 
parted from the galley, which I directed to take the 
next way to the port of Toparimaca, by which we 
entered first. 

All the night it was stormy and dark, and full of 
s 2 

260 Raleigh s Discovery of Guiana. [1595 

thunder and great showers, so as we were driven to 
keep close by the banks in our small boats, being all 
heartily afraid both of the billow and terrible current 
of the river. By the next morning we recovered the 
mouth of the river of Cumaca, where we left Captain 
Eynos and Edward Porter to attend the coming of 
Captain Keymis overland ; but when we entered the 
same, they had heard no news of his arrival, which 
bred in us a great doubt what might become of him. 
I rowed up a league or two farther into the river, 
shooting off pieces all the way, that he might know of 
our being there ; and the next morning we heard them 
answer us also with a piece. We took them aboard us, 
and took our leave of Putijma, their guide, who of all 
others most lamented our departure, and offered to 
send his son with us into England, if we could have 
stayed till he had sent back to his town. But our 
hearts were cold to behold the great rage and increase 
of Orenoque, and therefore [we] departed, and turned 
toward the west, till we had recovered the parting of 
the three branches aforesaid, that we might put down 
the stream after the galley. 

The next day we landed on the island of Assapano, 
which divideth the river from that branch by which we 
sent down to Emeria, and there feasted ourselves with 
that beast which is called armadillo, presented unto us 
before at IVinicapora. And the day following, we 
recovered the galley at anchor at the port of Topari- 
maca, and the same evening departed with very foul 
weather, and terrible thunder and showers, for the 
winter was come on very far. The best was, we went 
no less than 100 miles a day down the river ; but by 
the way we entered it was impossible to return, for 
that the river of Amana, being in the bottom of the 
bay of Guanipa, cannot be sailed back by any means, 

1595] Arrival at the Sea. 261 

both the breeze and current of the sea were so 
forcible. And therefore we followed a branch of 
Orenoque called Capun, which entered into the sea 
eastward of our ships, to the end we might bear with 
them before the wind ; and it was not without need, for 
we had by that way as much to cross of the main sea, 
after we came to the river s mouth, as between Gravelin 
and Dover, in such boats as your honour hath heard. 

To speak of what passed homeward were tedious, 
either to describe or name any of the rivers, islands, or 
villages of the Tivitivas, which dwell on trees ; we will 
leave all those to the general map. And to be short, when 
we were arrived at the sea-side, then grew our greatest 
doubt, and the bitterest of all our journey forepassed ; 
for I protest before God, that we were in a most des 
perate estate. For the same night which we anchored 
in the mouth of the river of Capuri, where it falleth 
into the sea, there arose a mighty storm, and the 
river s mouth was at least a league broad, so as we 
ran before night close under the land with our small 
boats, and brought the galley as near as we could. 
But she had as much ado to live as could be, and there 
wanted little of her sinking, and all those in her ; for 
mine own part, I confess I was very doubtful which 
way to take, either to go over in the pestered * galley, 
there being but six foot water over the sands for two 
leagues together, and that also in the channel, and she 
drew five ; or to adventure in so great a billow, and in 
so doubtful weather, to cross the seas in my barge. 
The longer we tarried the worse it was, and therefore 
I took Captain Gtfford, Captain Caulfield, and my 
cousin Greenvile into my barge ; and after it cleared up 
about midnight we put ourselves to God s keeping, and 
thrust out into the sea, leaving the galley at anchor, 
1 Crowded. 

262 Raleigtis Discovery of Guiana. [1595 

who durst not adventure but by daylight. And so, being 
all very sober and melancholy, one faintly cheering 
another to shew courage, it pleased God that the next 
day about nine o clock, we descried the island of 
Trinidad , and steering for the nearest part of it, we 
kept the shore till we came to Curiapan, where we found 
our ships at anchor, than which there was never to us 
a more joyful sight. 

Now that it hath pleased God to send us safe to our 
ships, it is time to leave Guiana to the sun, whom they 
worship, and steer away towards the north. I will, 
therefore, in a few words finish the discovery thereof. 
Of the several nations which we found upon this dis 
covery I will once again make repetition, and how they 
are affected. At our first entrance into Amana, which 
is one of the outlets of Orenoque, we left on the right 
hand of us in the bottom of the bay, lying directly 
against Trinidad, a nation of inhuman Cannibals, which 
inhabit the rivers of Guanipa and Berbeese. In the 
same bay there is also a third river, which is called 
Areo, which riseth on Paria side towards Cumand, 
and that river is inhabited with the Wikiri, whose 
chief town upon the said river is Sayma. In this bay 
there are no more rivers but these three before re 
hearsed and the four branches of Amana, all which in 
the winter thrust so great abundance of water into the 
sea, as the same is taken up fresh two or three leagues 
from the land. In the passages towards Guiana, that 
is, in all those lands which the eight branches of 
Orenoque fashion into islands, there are but one sort 
of people, called Tivitivas, but of two castes, as they 
term them, the one called Ciawani, the other Warn- 
weeti, and those war one with another. 

On the hithermost part of Orenoque, as at Topari- 
niaca and Winicapora, those are of a nation called 

1595] Recapitulation. 263 

Nepoios, and are the followers of Carapana, lord of 
Emeria. Between Winicapora and the port of More- 
quito, which standeth in Aromaia, and all those in the 
valley of Amariocapana are called Orenoquepom, and 
did obey Morequito and are now followers of Topiawari. 
Upon the river of Caroli are the Canuri, which are 
governed by a woman who is inheritrix of that pro 
vince ; who came far off to see our nation, and asked 
me divers questions of her Majesty, being much de 
lighted with the discourse of her Majesty s greatness, 
and wondering at such reports as we truly made of 
her Highness many virtues. And upon the head of 
Caroli and on the lake of Cassipa are the three strong 
nations of the Cassipagotos. Right south into the land 
are the Capurepani and Emparepani, and beyond those, 
adjoining to Macureguarai, the first city of Inga, are 
the Iwarawakeri. All these are professed enemies to 
the Spaniards, and to the rich Epuremei also. To the 
west of Caroli are divers nations of Cannibals and of 
those Ewaipanoma without heads. Directly west are 
the Amapaias and Ancbas, which are also marvellous 
rich in gold. The rest towards Peru we will omit. 
On the north of Orenoque, between it and the West 
Indies, are the Wikiri, Saymi, and the rest before 
spoken of, all mortal enemies to the Spaniards. On 
the south side of the main mouth of Orenoque are the 
Arwacas ; and beyond them, the Cannibals ; and to 
the south of them, the Amazons. 

To make mention of the several beasts, birds, fishes, 
fruits, flowers, gums, sweet woods, and of their several 
religions and customs, would for the first require as 
many volumes as those of Gesnerus, and for the next 
another bundle of Decades. The religion of the Epure 
mei is the same which the Ingas, emperors of Peru, 
used, which may be read in Cieza and other Spanish 

264 Raleigh s Discovery of Guiana. [1595 

stories ; how they believe the immortality of the soul, 
worship the sun, and bury with them alive their best 
beloved wives and treasure, as they likewise do in 
Pegu in the East Indies, and other places. The Oreno- 
queponi bury not their wives with them, but their 
jewels, hoping to enjoy them again. The Arwacas 
dry the bones of their lords, and their wives and friends 
drink them in powder. In the graves of the Peru 
vians the Spaniards found their greatest abundance of 
treasure. The like, also, is to be found among these 
people in every province. They have all many wives, 
and the lords five-fold to the common sort. Their 
wives never eat with their husbands, nor among the 
men, but serve their husbands at meals and afterwards 
feed by themselves. Those that are past their younger 
years make all their bread and drink, and work their 
cotton-beds, and do all else of service and labour ; for 
the men do nothing but hunt, fish, play, and drink, 
when they are out of the wars. 

I will enter no further into discourse of their 
manners, laws, and customs. And because I have not 
myself seen the cities of Inga I cannot avow on my 
credit what I have heard, although it be very likely 
that the emperor Inga hath built and erected as magni 
ficent palaces in Guiana as his ancestors did in Peru ; 
which were for their riches and rareness most mar 
vellous, and exceeding all in Europe, and, I think, 
of the world, China excepted, which also the Spaniards, 
which I had, assured me to be true, as also the nations 
of the borderers, who, being but savages to those of the 
inland, do cause much treasure to be buried with 
them. For I was informed of one of the caciques of 
the valley of Amariocapana which had buried with him 
a little before our arrival a chair of gold most curiously 
wrought, which was made either in Macureguarai 

1595] Prospects of the Conquest. 265 

adjoining or in Manoa. But if we should have grieved 
them in their religion at the first, before they had been 
taught better, and have digged up their graves, we had 
lost them all. And therefore I held my first resolution, 
that her Majesty should either accept or refuse the 
enterprise ere anything should be done that might in 
any sort hinder the same. And if Peru had so many 
heaps of gold, whereof those Ingas were princes, and 
that they delighted so much therein, no doubt but this 
which now liveth and reigneth in Manoa hath the 
same humour 1 , and, I am assured, hath more abundance 
of gold within his territory than all Peru and the West 

For the rest, which myself have seen, I will promise 
these things that follow, which I know to be true. 
Those that are desirous to discover and to see many 
nations may be satisfied within this river, which 
bringeth forth so many arms and branches leading to 
several countries and provinces, above 2,000 miles east 
and west and 800 miles south and north, and of these 
the most either rich in gold or in other merchandises. 
The common soldier shall here fight for gold, and pay 
himself, instead of pence, with plates of half-a-foot 
broad, whereas he breaketh his bones in other wars 
for provant 2 and penury. Those commanders and 
chieftains that shoot at honour and abundance shall 
find there more rich and beautiful cities, more temples 
adorned with golden images, more sepulchres filled 
with treasure, than either Cortes found in Mexico or 
Pizarro in Peru. And the shining glory of this con 
quest will eclipse all those so far-extended beams of the 
Spanish nation. There is no country which yieldeth 
more pleasure to the inhabitants, either for those 
common delights of hunting, hawking, fishing, fowling, 
1 Hakluyt reads honour. 2 Provender, food. 

266 Raleiglis Discovery of Guiana. [1595 

and the rest, than Guiana doth ; it hath so many plains, 
clear rivers, and abundance of pheasants, partridges, 
quails, rails, cranes, herons, and all other fowl ; deer 
of all sorts, porks, hares, lions, tigers, leopards, and 
divers other sorts of beasts, either for chase or food. 
It hath a kind of beast called cama or anta 2 , as big as 
an English beef, and in great plenty. To speak of the 
several sorts of every kind I fear would be trouble 
some to the reader, and therefore I will omit them, and 
conclude that both for health, good air, pleasure, and 
riches, I am resolved it cannot be equalled by any 
region either in the east or west. Moreover the 
country is so healthful, as of an hundred persons and 
more, which lay without shift most sluttishly, and were 
every day almost melted with heat in rowing and 
marching, and suddenly wet again with great showers, 
and did eat of all sorts of corrupt fruits, and made 
meals of fresh fish without seasoning, of tortugas, of 
lagartos or crocodiles, and of all sorts good and bad, 
without either order or measure, and besides lodged in 
the open air every night, we lost not any one, nor had 
one ill-disposed to my knowledge ; nor found any 
calentura or other of those pestilent diseases which 
dwell in all hot regions, and so near the equinoctial 

Where there is store of gold it is in effect needless to 
remember other commodities for trade. But it hath, 
towards the south part of the river, great quantities of 
brazil-wood, and divers berries that dye a most perfect 
crimson and carnation ; and for painting, all France, 
Italy, or the East Indies yield none such. For 
the more the skin is washed, the fairer the colour 
appeareth, and with which even those brown and 
tawny women spot themselves and colour their cheeks. 

1 The tapir. 

1595] Advantages of situation. 267 

All places yield abundance of cotton, of silk, of bal- 
samum, and of those kinds most excellent and never 
known in Europe, of all sorts of gums, of Indian 
pepper ; and what else the countries may afford within 
the land we know not, neither had we time to abide 
the trial and search. The soil besides is so excellent 
and so full of rivers, as it will carry sugar, ginger, and 
all those other commodities which the West Indies 

The navigation is short, for it may be sailed with an 
ordinary wind in six weeks, and in the like time back 
again ; and by the way neither lee-shore, enemies 
coast, rocks, nor sands. All which in the voyages to 
the West Indies and all other places we are subject 
unto ; as the channel of Bahama, coming from the West 
Indies, cannot well be passed in the winter, and when it 
is at the best, it is a perilous and a fearful place ; the 
rest of the Indies for calms and diseases very trouble 
some, and the sea about the Bermudas a hellish sea for 
thunder, lightning, and storms. 

This very year (1595) there were seventeen sail of 
Spanish ships lost in the channel of Bahama, and the 
great Philip, like to have sunk at the Bermudas, was 
put back to St. Juan de Puerto Rico ; and so it falleth 
out in that navigation every year for the most part. 
Which in this voyage are not to be feared ; for the time 
of year to leave England is best in July, and the summer 
in Guiana is in October, November, December, January, 
February, and March, and then the ships may depart 
thence in April, and so return again into England in June. 
So as they shall never be subject to winter weather, 
either coming, going, or staying there : which, for my 
part, I take to be one of the greatest comforts and 
encouragements that can be thought on, having, as 
I have done, tasted in this voyage by the West Indies 

268 Raleigh s Discovery of Guiana. [1595 

so many calms, so much heat, such outrageous gusts, 
such weather, and contrary winds. 

To conclude, Guiana is a country that hath yet her 
maidenhead, never sacked, turned, nor wrought ; the 
face of the earth hath not been torn, nor the virtue and 
salt of the soil spent by manurance. The graves have 
not been opened for gold, the mines not broken with 
sledges, nor their images pulled down out of their 
temples. It hath never been entered by any army of 
strength, and never conquered or possessed by any 
Christian prince. It is besides so defensible, that if 
two forts be builded in one of the provinces which 
I have seen, the flood setteth in so near the bank, 
where the channel also lieth, that no ship can pass up 
but within a pike s length of the artillery, first of the 
one, and afterwards of the other. Which two forts 
will be a sufficient guard both to the empire of Inga, 
and to an hundred other several kingdoms, lying within 
the said river, even to the city of Quito in Peru. 

There is therefore great difference between the 
easiness of the conquest of Guiana, and the defence of 
it being conquered, and the West or East Indies. 
Guiana hath but one entrance by the sea, if it hath that, 
for any vessels of burden. So as whosoever shall first 
possess it, it shall be found unaccessible for any enemy, 
except he come in wherries, barges, or canoas, or else 
in flat-bottomed boats ; and if he do offer to enter it in 
that manner, the woods are so thick 200 miles together 
upon the rivers of such entrance, as a mouse cannot 
sit in a boat unhit from the bank. By land it is more 
impossible to approach ; for it hath the strongest situa 
tion of any region under the sun, and it is so environed 
with impassable mountains on every side, as it is im 
possible to victual any company in the passage. Which 
hath been well proved by the Spanish nation, who 

T 595l Defensibility of the approach. 269 

since the conquest of Peru have never left five years 
free from attempting this empire, or discovering some 
way into it ; and yet of three-and-twenty several gentle 
men, knights, and noblemen, there was never any that 
knew which way to lead an army by land, or to conduct 
ships by sea, anything near the said country. Orellana, 
of whom the river of Amazons taketh name, was the 
first, and Don Antonio de Berreo, whom we displanted, 
the last : and I doubt much whether he himself or any 
of his yet know the best way into the said empire. 
It can therefore hardly be regained, if any strength be 
formerly set down, but in one or two places, and but 
two or three crumsters * or galleys built and furnished 
upon the river within. The West Indies have many 
ports, watering places, and landings ; and nearer than 
300 miles to Guiana^ no man can harbour a ship, except 
he know one only place, which is not learned in haste, 
and which I will undertake there is not any one of my 
companies that knoweth, whosoever hearkened most 
after it. 

Besides, by keeping one good fort, or building one 
town of strength, the whole empire is guarded ; and 
whatsoever companies shall be afterwards planted 
within the land, although in twenty several provinces, 
those shall be able all to reunite themselves upon any 
occasion either by the way of one river, or be able to 
march by land without either wood, bog, or mountain. 
Whereas in the West Indies there are few towns or 
provinces that can succour or relieve one the other by 
land or sea. By land the countries are either desert, 
mountainous, or strong enemies. By sea, if any man 
invade to the eastward, those to the west cannot in 
many months turn against the breeze and eastern wind. 
Besides, the Spaniards are therein so dispersed as they 

1 Dutch, Kromsteven or Kromster, a vessel with a bent prow. 

270 Raleigh s Discovery of Guiana. [1595 

are nowhere strong, but in Nucva Espana only ; the 
sharp mountains, the thorns, and poisoned prickles, 
the sandj and deep ways in the valleys, the smother 
ing heat and air, and want of water in other places 
are their only and best defence ; which, because those 
nations that invade them are not victualled or pro 
vided to stay, neither have any place to friend ad 
joining, do serve them instead of good arms and great 

The West Indies were first offered her Majesty s 
grandfather by Columbus, a stranger, in whom there 
might be doubt of deceit; and besides it was then 
thought incredible that there were such and so many 
lands and regions never written of before. This 
Empire is made known to her Majesty by her own 
vassal, and by him that oweth to her more duty than an 
ordinary subject ; so that it shall ill sort with the many 
graces and benefits which I have received to abuse her 
Highness, either with fables or imaginations. The 
country is already discovered, many nations won to her 
Majesty s love and obedience, and those Spaniards 
which have latest and longest laboured about the con 
quest, beaten out, discouraged, and disgraced, which 
among these nations were thought invincible. Her 
Majesty may in this enterprise employ all those soldiers 
and gentlemen that are younger brethren, and all 
captains and chieftains that want employment, and the 
charge will be only the first setting out in victualling 
and arming them ; for after the first or second year 
I doubt not but to see in London a Contractation- House 1 
of more receipt for Guiana than there is now in Seville 
for the West Indies. 

And I am resolved that if there were but a small 

1 The whole trade of Spanish America passed through the Casa 
de Contratacion at Seville. 

1595] Conclusion. 271 

army afoot in Guiana, marching towards Manoa, the 
chief city of Inga, he would yield to her Majesty by 
composition so many hundred thousand pounds yearly 
as should both defend all enemies abroad, and defray 
all expenses at home ; and that he would besides pay 
a garrison of three or four thousand soldiers very 
royally to defend him against other nations. For he 
cannot but know how his predecessors, yea, how his 
own great uncles, Guascar and Atabalipa, sons to 
Guiana-Capac, emperor of Peru, were, while they con 
tended for the empire, beaten out by the Spaniards, 
and that both of late years and ever since the said con 
quest, the Spaniards have sought the passages and 
entry of his country ; and of their cruelties used to the 
borderers he cannot be ignorant. In which respects 
no doubt but he will be brought to tribute with 
great gladness ; if not, he hath neither shot nor iron 
weapon in all his empire, and therefore may easily be 

And I further remember that Berreo confessed to me 
and others, which I protest before the Majesty of God 
to be true, that there was found among the prophecies 
in Peru, at such time as the empire was reduced to the 
Spanish obedience, in their chiefest temples, amongst 
divers others which foreshadowed the loss of the said 
empire, that from Inglatierra those Ingas should be 
again in time to come restored, and delivered from the 
servitude of the said conquerors. And I hope, as we 
with these few hands have displanted the first garrison, 
and driven them out of the said country, so her Majesty 
will give order for the rest, and either defend it, and 
hold it as tributary, or conquer and keep it as empress 
of the same. For whatsoever prince shall possess it, 
shall be greatest ; and if the king of Spain enjoy it, 
he will become unresistible. Her Majesty hereby shall 

272 RaleigHs Discovery of Guiana. 

confirm and strengthen the opinions of all nations as 
touching her great and princely actions. And where 
the south border of Guiana reacheth to the dominion 
and empire of the Amazons, those women shall hereby 
hear the name of a virgin, which is not only able to 
defend her own territories and her neighbours, but also 
to invade and conquer so great empires and so far 

To speak more at this time I fear would be but 
troublesome : I trust in God, this being true, will 
suffice, and that he which is King of all Kings, and 
Lord of Lords, will put it into her heart which is Lady 
of Ladies to possess it. If not, I will judge those men 
worthy to be kings thereof, that by her grace and leave 
will undertake it of themselves. 



Written with his own hand to SIR TRISTRAM GORGES, 
his Executor. 


THERE is nothing in this world that makes a truer trial 
of friendship, than at death to shew mindfulness of love and 
friendship, which now you shall make a perfect experience 
of: desiring you to hold my love as dear, dying poor, as if 
I had been most infinitely rich. The success of this most 
unfortunate action, the bitter torments thereof lie so heavy 
upon me, as with much pain am I -able to write these few 
lines, much less to make discovery unto you of all the 
adverse haps that have befallen me in this voyage, the least 
whereof is my death : but because you shall not be ignorant 
of them, I have appointed some of the most sensiblest men 
that I left behind me to make discourse unto you of all these 
accidents. I have made a simple will, wherein I have made 
you sole and only disposer of all such little, as is left. 

The Roebuck left me in the most desolate case that ever 
man was left in. What is become of her, I cannot imagine : 
if she be returned into England, it is a most admirable matter, 
but if she be at home, or any other of my goods whatsoever 
return into England, I have made you only possessor of 
them. And now to come to that villain that hath been the 
death of me, and the decay of this whole action, I mean 

II. T 

274 Appendix. 

Davis, whose only treachery, in running from me, hath been 
an utter ruin of all ; if any good return by him, as ever you 
love me, make such friends as he of all others may reap 
least gain. I assure myself } ou will be careful in all friend 
ship of my last requests. My debts which be owing be not 
much, &c. But I, most unfortunate villain, was matched 
with the most abject-minded and mutinous company that 
ever was carried out of England by any man living ; for 
I protest unto you that in going to the Straits of Magellan, 
after I was passed to the southward of the river of Plate, and 
had bidden the fury of storms which indeed I think to be such 
as worser might not be endured, I never made my course to 
the Straits-ward but I was in continual danger by my com 
pany, which never ceased to practise and mutiny against me. 
And having gotten the appointed place called Port Desire, 
I met with all my company, which had been there twenty 
days before me ; and had not my most true friend been there 
(whom to name my heart bleeds, I mean my cousin Locke], 
I had been constrained either to suffer violence, or some other 
most disordered mishap. I came into this harbour with my 
boat, my ship riding without at sea ; where I found the 
Roebuck, the Desire, and the Pinnace, all which complained 
unto me, that the tide ran so violently as they were not able 
to ride, but were driven aground, and wished me in anywise 
not to come in with my ship, for that if she should come on 
ground, she would be utterly cast away : which I knew to 
be most true. 

And finding it to be no place for so great a ship without 
her utter ruin, I forthwith commanded them to make them 
selves ready to depart : they being fresh, and infinitely well 
relieved with seals and birds, which in that place did abound, 
and my company being grown weak and feeble with 
continual watching, pumping, and baling. For I must say 
truly unto you, there were never men that endured more 
extremities of the seas than my poor company had done. 
Such was the fury of the west-south-west and south-west 

Cavendish s Last Letter. 275 

winds, as we were driven from the shore four hundred 
leagues, and constrained to beat from fifty degrees to the 
southward into forty to the northward again, before we 
could recover near the shore. In which time we had a new 
shift of sails clean blown away, and our ship in danger to 
sink in the sea three times, which with extremity of men s 
labour we recovered. In this weakness we departed for 
the Straits, being from that harbour eight leagues ; and in 
eighteen days we got the Straits, in which time the men in 
my ship were grown extremely weak. The other ship s 
company were in good case, by reason of their late relief. 

And now we had been almost four months between the 
coast of Brazil and the Straits, being in distance not above) 
six hundred leagues, which is commonly run in twenty or* 
thirty days : but such was the adverseness of our fortunes 
that in coming thither we spent the summer, and found in 
the Straits the beginning of a most extreme winter, not 
durable for Christians. In despite of all storms and tempests, 
so long as we had ground to anchor in and tides to help us, 
we beat into the Straits some fifty leagues, having for the 
most part the winds contrary. At length, being forced by 
the extremity of storms and the narrowness of the Straits 
(being not able to turn windward no longer), we got into an 
harbour, where we rid from the eighteenth day of April till 
the tenth of May: in all which time we never had other 
then most furious contrary winds : and after that the month 
of May was come in, nothing but such flights of snow and 
extremities of frosts, as in all the time of my life I never 
saw any to be compared with them. 

This extremity caused the weak men (in my ship only) to 
decay; for in seven or eight days, in this extremity there 
died forty men, and sickened seventy, so that there were 
not fifty men that were able to stand upon the hatches. 
I finding this miserable calamity to fall upon me, and found 
that besides the decay of my men, and expence of my 
victual, the snow and frost decayed our sails and tackle, and 

T 2 

276 Appendix. 

the contagiousness of the place to be such, for extremity of 
frost and snow, as there was no long staying without the 
utter ruin of us all : what by these extremities, and the daily 
decay of my men, I was constrained forthwith to determine 
some course, and not (for all this extremity of weather) to 
tarry there any longer. 

Upon this I assembled my company together, and shewed 
them that my intention was to go for China, and that there 
were two ways thither, the one through the Straits, the 
other by the way of Caput Bonae Spei; which course shewed 
them was as well known to me as the way I had under 
taken. And although that fortune had denied us this passage, 
yet I doubted not but soon to recover to this Cape, where, 
I shewed them, I made no doubt but we should relieve our 
selves, and perform to their contents our intended voyage. 
These persuasions, with many others which I used, seemed 
to content them for the present ; but they were no sooner 
gone from me, but forthwith all manner of discontents were 
unripped amongst themselves, so that to go that way they 
plainly and resolutely determined never to give their willing 
consents. Some of the best and honestest sort, hearing this 
their resolution, wished them rather to put up a supplication 
to me, than thus privately among themselves to mutiny and 
murmur, which course might cause an utter ruin to fall upon 
them all : affirming that they knew me to be so reasonable 
as I would not refuse to hear their petition. Upon this, they 
framed an humble supplication to me, as they termed it, the 
effect of which was that firs t, they protested to spend their lives 
most willingly for my sake, and that their love was such to me, 
as their chief est care was for me; and they grieved very much to 
see me put on a resolution which, as they supposed, would be the 
end of my life, which was their greatest grief. And next, their 
own lives would immediately follow, both by reason of the length 
of the course, all of which they must perform without relief; and 
further, we had not left four months victual, which might very 
well be spent in running a course not half so long. But if it 

Cavendish s Last Letter. 277 

would please me to return again for the coast of Brazil, where, 
they knew, my force, being together, was able to take any place, 
there we might both provide victual to return again, and furnish 
ourselves of all other such wants as these extremities had brought 
upon us, and at a seasonable time return again, and so perform 
our first intention. 

Now I, knowing their resolution, and finding that in some 
things their reasons were not vain, began more seriously to 
look into all my wants. First, I found my greatest decay 
to be in ropes and sails, wherein, by means of such mighty 
extremities, I was utterly unfurnished, for I lost a new shift 
of sails coming thither ; and further, the Desire had bidden 
the like extremity, which I furnished, so as I had left no 
store at all ; for no ships carry three new shifts of sails, all 
which had been little enough for me ; and last of all, our 
victuals to be most short. I was to fall into consideration 
what to do. I knew well that the winds were such and so 
continually against us, as by no means it was possible to 
pass through : for the violent snows were such, as in two 
days together we should not be able to see five hours ; the 
place not a league over in breadth ; our ships not to be 
handled in such extremity of wind, no, nor canvas to hold 
the fury of the wind ; our men so weak, as of one hundred 
and fifty men I had not in my ship fifty in health. And 
this ship, coming with all her company, was like three 
times to have been upon the shore, by reason of her unyary 1 
workings. These causes made me utterly despair of any 
passage at this season : so I resolved the company I would 
put out of the harbour, and beat to get through so long 
as the furious and westerly winds would suffer us; but 
if they came upon us, so as we could not hold it up, we 
would then bear up again, and so, according to their request, 
go for the coast of Brazil, which they so much seemed to 
desire, and I so much hated. 

1 Slow. 

278 Appendix. 

But, in truth, I was forced to take that way, for that there 
was no place where this ship could come into, to tarry out 
a winter. For Port St. Julian is a barred harbour, over 
which two of my ships would not go, and Port Desire hath 
neither wood nor water ; and, besides that, the tide runneth 
so extremely as it is not possible for anchors to hold, the 
ground being so bad. But the last cause of all to be con 
sidered was the sickness of my men, having no clothes to 
defend them from the extreme cold. These causes, and 
their ardent desires of being out of the cold, moved me to 
go back again for that most wicked coast of Brazil^ where 
I encountered all manner of misfortunes: which, as I have 
unripped the former, so I will briefly declare the latter. 

We were beaten out of the Strait with a most monstrous 
storm at west -south-west ; from which place we continued 
together till we came in the latitude of 47, in which place 
Davis in the Desire and my Pinnace lost me in the night, after 
which time I never heard of them ; but, as I since under 
stood, Davis his intention was ever to run away. This is 
God s will, that I should put him in trust that should be the 
end of my life and the decay of the whole action. For had 
not these two small ships parted from us, we would not have 
miscarried on the coast of Brazil \ for the only decay of us 
was that we could not get into their barred harbours. What 
became of these small ships I am not able to judge ; but 
sure it is most like they went back again for Port Desire, 
a place of relief for two so small ships. For they might lie 
on ground there without danger; and being so few men, 
they might relieve themselves with seals and birds, and so 
take a good time of the year, and pass the Straits. The 
men in these small ships were all lusty and in health ; 
wherefore the likelier to hold out. The short of all is this ; 
Davis his only intent was utterly to overthrow me, which 
he hath well performed. 

These ships being parted from us, we little suspecting 
any treachery, the Roebuck and myself held our course for 

Cavendish s Last Letter. 279 

Brazil, and kept together till we came in the latitude of 36, 
where we encountered the most grievous storm that ever 
any Christians endured upon the seas to live: in which 
storm we lost company. We with most extreme labour and 
great danger got to the coast of Brazil, where we were 
fifteen days and never heard of the Roebuck. We came to 
an anchor in the Bay of St. Vincent ; and being at an anchor 
there, the gentlemen desired me to give them leave to go 
ashore to some of the Portugal^ farm-houses, to get some 
fresh victuals, which I granted; willing to make them 
present return, knowing very well the whole country was 
not able to prejudice them, if they willingly would not 
endanger themselves. They went to a sugar-mill hard by 
me where I rode (for that was my special charge, that they 
should never go a mile from the ship) ; where they got some 
victual, and came aboard again very well. 

The next day, in the morning betimes, an Indian came 
unto me with Captain Barker, which Indian ran away from 
his master at my last being there ; this savage knew all the 
country. He came unto me and said that beyond a point 
not a culverin-shot off, there was a very rich farm-house, 
and desired ten or twelve men to go thfther. Captain Barker, 
being one whom I most trusted in the conduction of men, 
and who ever was the most careful in such matters of service, 
I appointed to go, and to take some twenty or thirty men 
with him ; and willed him, as he had any respect or regard 
of my commandment, not to stay, but to come presently 
away, finding anything or nothing. He forthwith took five 
and twenty men of the most principal men in the ship, and 
then your cousin Stafford would by no means be left behind. 
They departed by 4 of the clock in the morning, so as I did 
not see their company. But what should I write more than 
this unto you ? They were all such as neither respected me, 
nor anything that I commanded. Away they went, and by 
one of the clock they sent my boat again with Guinea wheat, 
and six hens, and a small hog. I, seeing no return again of 

280 Appendix. 

the company (for they had sent away the boat only with men 
to row her aboard) was very much grieved, and presently 
returned the boat again with message : that I much marvelled 
they would tarry at a place so long with so few men ; and 
further, that it was not a hog and six hens could relieve us ; 
and seeing there was no other relief to be had, I charged 
them straitly to come aboard presently. Thus having 
despatched my boat for them, I still expected their present 
coming aboard. All that night I heard nothing of them ; 
the next morning I shot ordnance, yet I saw no boat come. 
Then I weighed anchor, and made aboard into the bay. 
Yet for all this, I heard nothing of them ; then I doubted 
with myself very greatly, knowing there were no means 
left to make any manifester signs to them to hasten away. 
All that day I heard nothing of them. In the evening I set 
sails again, and ran into the shore ; all that night I heard 
no news of them. 

The next morning, I saw an Indian come down to the sea 
side, and waved unto the ship ; we being desirous to hear 
some news, caused a raft to be made, for boat we had none, 
and sent it ashore, and set the Indian aboard. When we 
saw him, we found him to be our own Indian, which had 
escaped away, being sore hurt in three places ; who told 
us that all the rest of our men were slain with three 
hundred Indians, and eighty Portugals, which in the 
evening set upon them suddenly. Then I demanded why 
they came not aboard ? The Indian answered me that some 
were unwilling to come, and the rest did nothing but eat 
hens and hogs, which they had there in abundance, and 
that they minded nothing to come aboard. I leave you to 
judge in what grief I was, to see five and twenty of my 
principal men thus basely and wilfully cast away; but 
I leave you to enquire of others the practices of these men, 
lest in writing unto you it should be thought I did it of 
malice, which, I protest, is far from me, they being now 
dead, and myself looking imminently to follow them. 

Cavendish s Last Letter. 281 

Thus was I left destitute of my principal men and a boat ; 
and had I not, by great hap, the day before taken an old 
boat from the Portugals, I had been utterly undone. This 
boat I sent to an island fifteen leagues off, to see if they 
could hear any news of the rest of my ships ; she returned 
within eight days, all which time I remained without a boat. 
Thus I was six days before I heard news of any of my 
consorts. The seventeenth day came in the Roebuck, having 
spent all her masts but their mizen, their sails blown clean 
away, and in the most miserable case that ever ship was 
in: all which mishaps falling upon me, and then missing 
my small ships, wherein, upon that coast, consisted all my 
strength, having no pinnaces nor great boats left to land 
my men in, for they were all cast away going to the Strait, 
I, notwithstanding the want of boats and pinnaces, deter 
mined, rather than not to be revenged of so base dogs, to 
venture the ships to go down the river afore their town, and 
to have beaten it to the ground ; which forthwith I put in 
execution. And having gotten down half the way, we found 
the river so narrow, by reason of a shoal, as all the com 
pany affirmed plainly it was both desperate and most 
dangerous. For the river is all ooze, and if a ship come 
aground it is unpossible ever to get off : for there riseth not 
above a foot water, and no anchors will hold to hale off any 
ships, in so narrow a place, as we were almost aground 
in wending. 

Seeing this apparent danger, I forthwith bare up out of 
the river, where we escaped no small danger to get well out, 
for we had but little more water than we drew ; and if she 
had come aground it had been unpossible ever to have 
gotten her off. By these means, of not passing the river, we 
were constrained to let our revenge pass : for our boats 
weer so bad and small as we durst put no men in them. 
Notwithstanding we landed, and did them much spoil upon 
their farm-houses, and got some quantity of fresh victuals. 
This place being not for us, considering our ships were not 

282 Appendix. 

able to pass to their town ; and further, our great wants did 
constrain us to seek some course of relief, which not being 
to be had there, both for that we had spoiled it a little 
before, and also for that we could not conveniently come to 
do them any prejudice, without most loss to ourselves ; 
I determined to part from thence, and go to a small island 
some twenty leagues off, and there to have fitted all my 
necessaries, and to have cast off the Roebuck, for that by no 
means her wants could by me be furnished ; and so, at 
a seasonable time, to have gone for the Straits of Magellan 

Which intention, I must confess, I kept most secret, for 
fear of some mutiny, but shewed the whole company that 
I would go for St. Helena, where we should meet with the 
carracks; which course I well knew did not much please 
them, for they desired nothing more than returning home 
into England, and if I had named but the Straits they would 
forthwith have fallen into a most extreme mutiny ; for such 
were the miseries and torments they had endured, as all 
the best sort had taken an oath upon a Bible to die, rather 
than yield their consents to go back that way again. I 
knowing this, seemed to speak nothing of that course, but 
comforting their despairing minds as well as I might, seeing 
their greatest grief was for the wants of the small ships, 
without which, they all affirmed (and that truly) we were 
able to do nothing, for the ports, where their towns stand, 
were all barred harbours, and that it was not possible to get 
any of these ships over them, whereby we could relieve 
ourselves of such wants as we were in. These things, 
being alleged, I seemed to pass over as slightly as might be, 
but yet comforted them that we would presently seek some 
place of relief, with all speed. 

There was a Portugal aboard me, who took upon him to 
be a pilot; who came unto me and told me, upon his life, 
that he would take upon him to carry both my ships over 
the bar at Spiritus Sanctus ; a place, indeed, of great relief, 

Cavendish s Last Letter. 283 

and the only place in Brazil for victual and all other wants 
that we were in ; I knowing very well that if I could bring 
my ships within shot of the town I should land my men, 
and further, it could not be in them to make resistance. 
The whole company desired this course, affirming that there 
was no way left to relieve all our wants but this ; and that 
they were in hope to find some ships, to repair the Roebuck 
again. I finding their willingness, and charging the Portugal 
upon his life to tell me truly whether the ships might pass 
over the bar without danger ; he willed me to take his life 
if ever the ships came in less water than five fathom, with 
such constant affirmations as he desired not to live if he 
should not perform this. I considering the greatness of our 
wants, and knowing right well the place to be the only 
wished town on all the coast to relieve us, forthwith gave 
my consent ; and thither we went, leaving all other inten 
tions. We anchored before the bar, and sent my boat to 
sound the bar, and found the deepest water to be but fifteen 
and seventeen foot (the Portugal himself going with them 
all over the bar), the most water to be but three fathom. 
They, coming aboard, brought me word of the truth. I 
called for the Portugal, and demanded of him why he had 
so lied unto me ? Who affirmed that he never sounded the 
bar before, and that he had brought in ships of an hundred 
tons, and that he made account there had not been less 
water than five fathom. 

This mishap was no small amazement to me and all the 
company, considering our distress for water and other 
necessaries, and that the road was so ill as we were scant 
able to ride there, so as we could neither take in water nor 
do any other business. In this meantime, while we were 
scanning of these matters, the Roebuck s boat, rowing further 
into the bay, saw where three ships were at an anchor, not 
far from the town, and came aboard, and brought me word 
thereof; at which news the company seemed much to 
rejoice, and all affirmed that they would go with our boats 

284 Appendix. 

and bring them out of the harbour. I shewed them how 
much the taking of them imported us ; and told them, that 
although the day was spent, yet I thought the night not to 
be altogether inconvenient, if they would put on minds 
to perform it. Resolutely my reasons were these : first, 
they were not so sufficiently provided to defend themselves, 
at that instant, as they would be in the morning ; and 
further I told them, that if they were not able to defend 
them, they would take the principal and best things out of 
them, being so near the shore ; and that if they had where 
with to defend themselves, it would be less offensive to us 
in the night than in the day, and we in greatest security and 
more offensive to the enemy, especially this exploit being 
to be done on the water, not landing. 

These persuasions seemed a little to move them, for they 
all desired to stay till morning ; yet some of them prepared 
themselves. Coming amongst them, I found them all, or 
for the most part, utterly unwilling to go that night ; upon 
which occasion, I confess I was much moved and gave them 
some bitter words, and shewed them our case was not to 
make detractions, but to take that opportunity which was 
offered us, and not to fear a-night more than a-day ; and 
told them plainly, that in refusing of this I could stay there 
no longer, for over the bar we could not go, and the road so 
dangerous as never ships rid in a worse. And further, we 
saw all the country to be fired round about, and that to 
land we could not without utter spoil to us all, for all our 
boats were naught ; and further, we could by no means be 
succoured by our ships, so as I intended to depart. The 
next morning there was almost an uproar amongst them, 
the most of them swearing that if I would not give them 
leave, they would take the boats and bring away those ships 
of themselves. I coming among them, began to reprehend 
them for their rashness, and told them that now all oppor 
tunity was past, and that they must be contented, for go 
they should not. They much importuned me, and some of 

Cavendish s Last Letter. 285 

the chiefest of them desired me with tears in their eyes 
that they might go, affirming that there was no danger to 
be feared at all ; for if they were not able to take them, they 
would return again, and that to depart without attempting to 
do this, was a thing that most greatly grieved them. 

I knowing right well that if they landed not they could 
receive no prejudice ; for if their ships had been able to 
withstand them, it was in their power to go from them, 
being stark calm ; and further, I knew that no ships use 
Brazil that be able to defend themselves from a cock-boat, 
much less that they should be of force to offend those boats, 
wherein there were so many musketeers as could sit one by 
another ; I seeing their great importunity, was contented 
to give them leave to go; and this was my charge to Captain 
Morgan (to whom at that present I left my directions), that 
first, upon pain of his life he should not land at all, what 
opportunity soever was offered ; and that if he saw any 
danger in coming to these ships, he should attempt no 
further, but return aboard again ; but contrariwise, if he saw 
that the place was such as we might land without too much 
disadvantage, and if we might land on plain ground, free 
from woods or bushes, hard before the town, that then he 
would presently repair unto me again, and I, and so many 
as these bad boats would carry, would presently land upon 

Thus my boats departed from me, having some 80 men, 
as well furnished with weapons as it is possible to sort such 
a number withal. Now you shall understand that in the 
night the Portugals had haled the ships hard afore the town. 
The river where the town stood was not above a bird-bolt- 
shot over, and half a mile from the town, where the ships 
rode : the night we came in they had new cast up two small 
trenches, on each side the river one, where they had planted 
some two small bases a-piece upon an hill. Right over them 
were thick woods and great rocks : so that if any were 
possessed of them they might but tumble stones down and 

286 Appendix. 

beat away a thousand men. The trench on the wester-side 
of the river shot at our boats once or twice ; upon that they 
began to think with themselves what to do, Captain Morgan 
affirming the place to be very narrow, and that they could 
not well pass it without danger, considering the many men 
in their boats ; and also the charge which I had given was 
such, if they saw any danger they should presently repair 
aboard and certify me, and not to pass any further till they had 
understood my further determination. This Master Morgan 
made known amongst them : whereupon some of the hare- 
brain sailors began to swear that they never thought other 
but that he was a coward, and now he will shew it, that 
durst not land upon a bauble^ ditch, as they termed it. Upon 
this the gentleman was very much moved, and answered 
them that they should find him to be none such as they 
accounted him, and that, come what could happen him, he 
would land. 

Upon this they put the boats between the two sconces 2 ; 
that on the easter-side they had not seen, and the boats, 
being hard upon it, were shot at, and in the biggest boat 
they hurt two and killed one with that shot. Upon this, 
they determined, that the smallest boat with their company 
should land on the wester-side, and the other to land on 
the easter-side. The small boat landed first, and that place 
having but few in it, they being not able to defend them 
selves, ran away, so that our men entered peaceably without 
hurt of any. The other boat drawing much water, was 
aground before they came near the shore, so as they that 
landed were fain to wade above knee-high in water. Now 
the place, or sconce, was in height some ten foot, made 
of stone. Captain Morgan more resolutely than discreetly 
scaled the wall, and ten more with him, which went out of 
the boat together. Then the Indians and Portugals shewed 
themselves, and with great stones from over the trench 
killed Morgan and five more, and the rest of them, being 
1 Trivial. * Forts (Dutch schans). 

Cavendish s Last Letter. 287 

sore hurt, retired to the boat, which by this time was 
so filled with Indian arrows as of forty-five men being 
in the boat there escaped not eight of them unhurt, some 
having three arrows sticking in them, some two, and there 
was none which escaped without wound. The fury of those 
arrows coming so thick, and so many of them being spoiled, 
they put the boat from the shore, leaving the rest on land, 
a spoil for the Indians. 

By this time there came two boats full of lusty Portugal*, 
and some Spaniards, who knowing the sconce on the 
wester-side to be weakly manned, came with their boats 
to the fort s side. One of them ran ashore, which was fullest 
of men ; then our men let fly their muskets at them, and 
spoiled and killed all that were in that boat. The others, 
seeing their fellows speed so ill, rowed back again with all 
their force, and got the town again. In this meantime the 
great boat being gotten off, they called to them in the sconce, 
and willed them to forsake the fort, and to come and help 
them ; for they told them that all their men were spoiled 
and slain. Upon this they straight came out of the sconce 
again, and retired to their boat ; who rushing in all together 
into the boat, she came on ground, so that off they could not 
get her, but some must go out of her again ; ten of the 
lustiest men went out, and by that time the Indians were 
come down into the fort again, and shot at our men. They 
which were aland, perceiving the arrows fly among them, 
ran again to the fort s side, and shot in at the lower hold 
with their muskets. By this the boat was got off, and one 
that was the master of the Roebuck, a most cowardly villain 
that was ever born of a woman, caused them in the boat to 
row away, and so left those brave men a spoil for the 
Portugals ; yet they waded up to the necks in the water to 
them, but those merciless villains in the boat would have 
no pity on them. Their excuse was that the boat was so 
full of water, that had they come in, she would have sunk 
with all them in her ; thus vilely were those poor men lost. 

288 Appendix. 

By this time, they which were landed on the other side 
(the great boat not being able to row near the shore to relieve 
them) were killed with stones by the Indians, being thus 
wilfully and undiscreetly spoiled, which you may well 
perceive if you look into their landing, especially in such 
a place as they could not escape killing with stones. They 
returned aboard again, having lost five and twenty men, 
whereof ten of them were left ashore in such sort as I have 
shewed you. When the boats came to the ship s side, there 
were not eight men in the biggest boat which were not most 
grievously wounded. I demanded of them the cause of 
their mishaps, and how they durst land, considering my 
strait commandment to the contrary : they answered me, 
that there was no fault in Captain Morgan, but the greatest 
occasion of all this spoil to them happened upon a contro 
versy between the captain and those soldiers that landed 
with him, and were killed at the fort ; for their ill speeches 
and urging of Captain Morgan was the cause that he landed 
contrary to my commandment, and upon such a place, as they 
all confessed forty men were sufficient to spoil five hundred. 
I leave it to yourself to judge what a sight it was to me to 
see so many of my best men thus wilfully spoiled, having 
not left in my ship fifty sound men, so as we were no more 
than able to weigh our anchors ; which the next morning 
we did, and finding it calm, we were constrained to come 
to an anchor again. For my only intention was to get out 
of that bad road, and to put off into the sea, and there to 
determine what to do ; for that place was not for us to tarry 
in ; for the road was so bad, as we were not able to help 
ourselves with a boat s loading of fresh water, whereof we 
stood in no small want. In this day s stay in the road, 
I comforted these distressed poor men what I might, and 
found most of their desires to return again into England. 
I let them understand how we would go back again to the 
island of Saint Sebastian, and there we would water, and 
do our other necessary businesses, or there make a resolute 

Cavendish s Last Letter. 289 

determination of the rest of our proceedings. This course 
seemed to like them all very well ; but the company in 
the Roebuck instantly desired nothing more, than to return 
home, all affirming that it was pity such a ship should 
be cast off. But in truth, it was not of any care of the ship, 
but only of a most cowardly mind of the master and the 
chiefest of the company to return home. 

Now you shall understand that the captain was very sick ; 
and since the time that the ship lost her masts, she became 
the most laboursome ship that ever did swim on the sea, 
so as he was not able to endure in her, and at that present 
he lay aboard my ship, so as there was none of any trust or 
account left in her. But such was the case of that ship, 
being without sails, masts, or any manner of tackle, as in 
the sense and judgment of any man living there did not 
live that desperate-minded man in the world, which (in that 
case she was then in) would have ventured to have sailed in 
her half so far as England: and if she do return, it is, in my 
opinion, the most admirable return that ever ship made, 
being so far off, and in her case. These villains, having left 
in my ship all their hurt men, and having aboard of them 
both my surgeons, I having not one in mine own ship which 
knew how to lay a plaster to a wound, much less to cure 
any by salves ; and further, having in their ship three times 
the proportion of my victual, wherein consisted the only 
relief and comfort of all my company, these most hard 
hearted villains determined that night amongst themselves 
to lose me at their next convenient time they could espy, 
and in this case to go for England, leaving us in the greatest 
distress that ever one Christian left another in ; for we had 
all her hurt men in us, and we had taken out of her the 
best part of her men not long before ; so as in running 
from us they not only carried away our surgeons and all 
their provision, but also our victual, wherein consisted all our 
relief and comfort ; having in them at their departure but 
six and forty men, carrying away with them the proportion 

II. U 

290 Appendix. 

for six months victual of one hundred and twenty men 
at large. 

I leave you to consider of this part of theirs, and the 
miserable case I was left in, with so many hurt men, so 
little victual ; and my boat being so bad, as six or seven 
men continually baling water were scant able to keep her 
from sinking; and mend her we could not by any means 
before we recovered some shore ; for had not these villains 
in the Roebuck that night we rode in this bay suffered 
their boat to run ashore with Irish men, which went to 
betray us, I had taken her boat, and sunk this great naught} 
boat. Such was the greatness of our mishaps, as we were 
not left with the comfort and hope of a boat to relieve our 
selves withal: we not having left in the ship scarce three 
tuns of water for 140 men, the most part whereof being hurt 
and sick. We putting out of the road the next day, they the 
same night in this case left us, and, as I suppose, they could 
not account otherwise than that we should never again 
be heard of. 

The next morning looking for the Roebuck, which could 
nowhere be seen, I leave you to judge in what plight my 
company was, being now destitute of surgeons, victuals, and 
all other relief ; which in truth was so great a discomfort 
unto them, as they held themselves dead men, as well whole 
as hurt. The scantness of water made us that we could 
not seek after them, but were enforced to seek to this island, 
with all possible speed, having to beat back again thither 
two hundred leagues : which place God suffered us to get 
with our last cask [of] water, the poor men being most 
extremely pinched for want thereof. Where, after we had 
a little refreshed ourselves, we presently mended our boat 
in such sort, as with great labour and danger we brought 
forty tuns of water aboard. And in the mean time searching 
our store of ropes, tackle, and sails, we found ourselves 
utterly unfurnished both of ropes and sails : which accident 
pleased the company not a little, for by these wants they 

Cavendish s Last Letter. 291 

assuredly accounted to go home. Then making a survey of 
the victual, we found to be remaining in the ship, according 
to the rate we then lived at, fourteen weeks victuals at large. 

Having rigged our ships in such sort as our small store 
would furnish us, which was most meanly, for we had but 
four sails, our sprite-sail and fore-top-sail being wanting, 
which two the ship most principally loveth ; and those which 
we had, except her main-sail, were more than half worn. In 
this poor case being furnished, and our water taken in, my 
company knowing my determination, which was to hale my 
boat aground and build her anew, they forthwith openly 
began to murmur and mutiny ; affirming plainly that I need 
not mend the boat, for they would go home, and then there 
should be no use of her. I hearing these speeches thought 
it was now time to look amongst them, calling them 
together, and told them that although we had many mishaps 
fallen upon us, yet I hoped that their minds would not in such 
sort be overcome with any of these misfortunes, that they would 
go about to undertake any base or disordered course; but that 
they would cheerfully go forward, to attempt either to make 
themselves famous in resolutely dying, or in living to perform 
that which would be to their perpetual reputation. And the more 
we attempted, being in so weak a case, the more, if we performed, 
would be to our honours. But contrariwise, if we died in 
attempting, we did but that which we came for, which was 
either to perform or die. 

And then I shewed them my determination, to go again for 
the Straits of Magellanus ; which words were no sooner 
uttered, but forthwith they all with one consent affirmed 
plainly they would never go that way again, and that they 
would rather stay ashore in that desert island than in such 
case to go for the Straits. I sought by peaceable means to 
persuade them, shewing them that in going that way we 
should relieve our victuals by salting of seals and birds : which, 
they did well know, we might do in greater quantities than our 
ship could carry. And further, if we got through the Strait, 

U 2 

292 Appendix. 

which we might now easily perform, considering we had the 
chiefestpart of summer before us, we could not but make a most 
rich voyage, and also meet again with the two small ships 
which were gone from us ; and that it was but six hundred 
leagues thither, and to go into England they had two thousand. 
And further, that they should be most infamous to the world, 
that being within six hundred leagues of the place which we so 
much desired, to return home again so far, being most infamous 
and beggarly. These persuasions took no place with them, 
but most boldly they all affirmed that they had sworn they 
would never go again to the Straits j neither by no means would 
they. And one of the chiefest of their faction most proudly 
and stubbornly uttered these words to my face, in presence 
of all the rest : which I seeing, and finding mine own 
faction to be so weak, for there were not any that favoured 
my part but my poor cousin Locke, and the master of the 
ship, I took this bold companion by the bosom, and with 
mine own hands put a rope about his neck, meaning 
resolutely to strangle him, for weapon about me I had none. 
His companions seeing one of their chief champions in this 
case, and perceiving me to go roundly to work with him, 
they all came to the master, and desired him to speak, 
affirming they would be ready to take any course that I should 
think good of. I, hearing this, stayed myself and let the 
fellow go : after which time I found them something con 
formable, at least in speeches, though among themselves 
they still murmured at my intentions. Thus having some 
thing pacified them, and persuaded them that by no means 
I would take no other course than to go for the Straits, 
I took ashore with me thirty soldiers and my carpenters, 
carrying 14 days victual with me for them. Thus going 
ashore, I haled up my boat, to new-build her in such sort as 
she might be able to abide the seas, leaving aboard all my 
sailors and the rest, to rig the ship, and mend sails, and do 
other business. 
And now to let you know in what case I lay ashore among 

Cavendish s Last Letter. 293 

these base men, you shall understand that, of these thirty, 
there were very few of them which had not rather have 
gone to the Portugals than to have remained with me : for 
there were some which at my being ashore were making 
rafts to go over to the main, which was not a mile over, 
where the Portugals had continual watch of us, looking but 
for a fit opportunity to set upon us. Being in this case, 
always expecting the coming of the Portugals, against 
whom I could have made no resistance, and further the 
treachery of some of my company, which desired nothing 
more than to steal over [and] so to betray me, I protest 
I lived hourly as he that still expecteth death. In this case 
I made all the speed I could to make an end of my boat, 
that we might be able to row her aboard ; which in twelve 
days we mainly finished. Which being done, I came aboard, 
and found all my business in good forwardness ; so I deter 
mined with all possible speed to dispatch and be gone for 
the Straits of Magellan. 

But ere ever we could get in all our water and timber- 
wood, and other necessaries, an Irish man, a noble villain, 
having made a raft, got over to the main, and told the 
Portugals which were there, watching nothing but an oppor 
tunity, that if they would go over in the night they should 
find most of our men ashore without weapon, and that they 
might do with them what they would. Upon this, the next 
night they came over, and having taken some of our men, 
they brought them where the rest lay : which they most 
cruelly killed, being sick men not able to stir to help them 
selves. Those which were ashore, more than the sick men, 
had stolen out of the ship ; for it was all my care to keep 
them aboard, knowing well that the Portugals sought to 
spoil us, the place being so fit for them, all overgrown with 
woods and bushes, as their Indians might go and spoil us 
with their arrows at their pleasures, and we not able to hurt 
one of them. In the morning, perceiving their coming, 
I sent my boat ashore and rescued all my healthful men 

294 Appendix. 

but five, which they found out in the night without weapons 
to defend them : whereof, besides the loss of our men, we 
having but four sails left one ashore, which was no small 
mishap among the rest. 

The Portugals went presently again over to the main, 
but left their Indians to keep in the bushes. About the 
watering-place our men, going ashore, were shot at and 
hurt, and could by no means come to hurt them again, by 
reason of the wood and bushes. Wherefore finding my 
men hurt, and that by no means I could do anything there 
without more loss of men, whereof I had no need, for I had 
not above 90 men left, or little over, notwithstanding my 
wants of wood and water, and my boat, not being sufficiently 
mended, was in no possibility to do me pleasure, in this 
case I was forced to depart ; fortune never ceasing to lay 
her greatest adversities upon me. 

But now I am grown so weak and faint as I am scarce 
able to hold the pen in my hand : wherefore I must leave 
you to enquire the rest of our most unhappy proceedings ; 
but know this, that for the Straits I could by no means get 
my company to give their consents to go. For after this 
misfortune, and the want of our sails, which was a chief 
matter they alleged, to tell you truth, all the men left in 
the ship were no more than able to weigh our anchors. 
But in truth I desired nothing more than to attempt that 
/course, rather desiring to die in going forward than basely 
( in returning back again : but God would not suffer me to 
die so happy a man, although I sought, all the ways I could, 
still to attempt to perform somewhat. For after that by no 
means I saw they could be brought to go for the Straits, 
having so many reasonable reasons to allege against me as 
they had ; first, having but three sails, and the place subject 
to such furious storms, and the loss of one of these was 
death ; and further, our boat was not sufficiently repaired 
to abide the seas ; and last of all, the fewness and feebleness 
of our company, wherein we had not left 30 sailors ; these 

Cavendish s Last Letter. 295 

causes being alleged against me I could not well answer, 
but resolved them plainly that to England I would never 
give my consent to go ; and that if they would not take such 
courses as I intended I was then determined that ship and 
all should sink in the seas together. Upon this they began 
to be more tractable ; and then I shewed them that I would 
beat for St. Helena, and there either to make ourselves 
happy by mending, or ending. This course, in truth, 
pleased none of them ; and yet, seeing my determination, 
and supposing it would be more danger to resist me than 
in seeming to be willing, they were at quiet until I had 
beaten from nine and twenty degrees to the southward ot 
the equator, to twenty. At which time, finding that I was 
too far northerly to have good wind, I called them to tack 
about the ship to the southward again. They all plainly 
made answer they would not, and that they had rather die there 
than be starved in seeking an island which (they thought) that 
way we should never get. 

What means I used to stand again to the southward 
I leave you to enquire of themselves : but from the latitude 
of twenty I beat back again into eight and twenty, with 
such contrary winds as I suppose never man was troubled 
with the like so long a time together. Being in this latitude 
I found the wind favourable, and then I stood again to the 
northward, willing the master and his company to sail 
east-north-east. And they in the night, I being asleep, 
steered north-east, and mere northerly. Notwithstanding 
all this most vile usage, we got within two leagues of the 
island, and had the wind favoured us so as that we might 
have stemmed from eighteen degrees to sixteen, east-north 
east, we had found the island ; but it was not God s will 
so great a blessing should befall me. Being now in the 
latitude of the island, almost eighteen leagues to the west 
ward of it, the wind being continually at east-south-east, the 
most contrary wind that could blow, I presently made 
a survey of my victual, and found that according to that 

296 Appendix. 

proportion which we then lived at there was not left in the 
ship eight weeks victual ; which, being so far from relief, 
was as I suppose as small a portion as ever men were at in 
the seas. 

Being so uncertain of relief, I demanded of them if they 
would venture, like good-minded men, to beat to the south 
ward again to get this island, where we should not only 
relieve ourselves, but also to be in full assurance either to 
sink or take a carrack; and that by this means we would 
have a sufficient revenge of the Portugals for all their 
villanies done unto us ; or that they would pinch, and bate 
half the allowance they had before, and so to go for England. 
They all answered me they would pinch to death rather 
than go to the southward again. I knowing their dis 
positions, and having lived among them in such continual 
torment and disquietness ; and now to tell you my greatest 
grief, which was the sickness of my dear kinsman John 
Locke, who by this time was grown in great weakness, by 
reason whereof he desired rather quietness and contented- 
ness in our course than such continual disquietness, which 
never ceased me ; and now by this, what with grief for him, 
and the continual trouble I endured among such hell 
hounds, my spirits were clean spent, wishing myself upon 
any desert place in the world, there to die, rather than 
thus basely to return home again ; which course I had put 
in execution had I found an island which the cards make to 
be in eight degrees to the southward of the line 1 . I swear 
to you, I sought it with all diligence, meaning, if I had found 
it, to have there ended my unfortunate life. But God 
suffered not such happiness to light upon me, for I could 
by no means find it, so as I was forced to go towards 
England \ and having gotten eight degrees by north the 
line I lost my most dearest cousin. 

And now consider whether a heart made of flesh be able 
to endure so many misfortunes, all falling upon me without 
1 Ascension Island. 

Cavendish s Last Letter. 297 

intermission. I thank my God that in ending of me He hath 
pleased to rid me of all further trouble and mishaps. And 
now to return to our private matters, I have made my will, 
wherein I have given special charge that all goods, what 
soever belong unto me, be delivered into your hands. For 
God s sake refuse not to do this last request for me. I owe 
little, that I know of, and therefore it will be the less 
trouble ; but if there be any debt, that of truth is owing by 
me, for God s sake see it paid. I have left a space in the 
will for another name; and, if you think it good, I pray 
take in my cousin Henry Sackford ; he will ease you much 
in many businesses. There is a bill of adventure to my 
cousin Richard Locke. If it happen the other ship return 
home with anything, as it is not impossible, I pray remember 
him, for he hath nothing to shew for it ; and likewise 
Master Heton, the Customer of Hampton, which is fifty 
pounds, and one Eliot of Ratcliffe by London, which is fifty 
pounds more ; the rest have all bills of adventure, only 
[these] two excepted which I have written unto you. 
I have given Sir George Cary the Desire, if ever she return ; 
for I always promised him her, if she returned, and a little 
part of her getting. If any such thing happen, I pray you 
see it performed. 

To use compliments of love, now at my last breath, were 
frivolous ; but know that I left none in England whom 
I loved half so well as yourself, which you in such sort 
deserved at my hands as I can by no means requite. I have 
left all that little remaining unto you, not to be accountable 
for anything. That which you will, if you find any overplus 
or remain, yourself specially being satisfied to your own 
desire, give unto my sister Anne Cavendish. I have written 
to no man living but yourself, leaving all friends and kins 
men, only reputing you as dearest. Commend me to both 
your brethren, being glad that your brother Edward escaped 
so unfortunate a voyage. I pray give this copy of my 
unhappy proceedings in this action to none but only to 

298 Appendix. 

Sir George Cary: and tell him that if I had thought the 
letter of a dead man would have been acceptable I would 
have written unto him. I have taken order with the master 
of my ship to see his pieces of ordnance delivered unto him, 
for he knoweth them. And if the Roebuck be not returned, 
then I have appointed him to deliver him two brass pieces 
out of this ship ; which I pray see performed. I have now 
no more to say; but take this last farewell, that you have 
lost the lovingest friend that was lost by any. Commend 
me to your wife. No more ; but, as you love God, do not 
refuse to undertake this last request of mine. I pray forget 
not Master Cary of Cockington ; gratify him with some 
thing, for he used me kindly at my departure. Bear with 
this scribbling, for I protest I am scant able to hold a pen in 
my hand. 


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