Skip to main content

Full text of "Voyages of the Elizabethan seamen to America. Thirteen original narratives from th collection of Hakluyt"

See other formats









~ - - ) 


E. J. PAYNE, M.A., 




no, B U N H I L L ROW. 





1. HAWKINS' FIRST VOYAGE (1562) ... 7 

2. ,, SECOND VOYAGE (1564) ... 9 

3. THIRD VOYAGE (1567) ... 52 

4. FROBISHER'S FIRST VOYAGE (1576) ... 64 

5. SECOND VOYAGE (1577) 70 

6. ,, THIRD VOYAGE (1578) ... 97 

7. DRAKE'S FAMOUS VOYAGE (1577) ... 145 

8. GILBERT'S VOYAGE (1583) ... 175 

9. AMADAS AND BARLOW'S VOYAGE - (1584) ... 211 

10. DRAKE'S SECOND GREAT VOYAGE (1585) ... 226 

11. CAVENDISH'S FIRST VOYAGE (1586) ... 258 

12. LAST VOYAGE ('590 33 



IT was not until the great period of maritime discoveries 
which lasts from the middle of the fourteenth century to the 
middle of the seventeenth (1350-1650) was already well ad 
vanced, and the chief problems of geography had been solved, 
that Englishmen began to take part in the movement. The 
map of the world, as we have it at this day, had been con 
structed by adventurers of other nations. Until the thirteenth 
century, no advance in geographical knowledge had been 
made since the classical age. The philosophers of Oxford 
and Paris, and the merchants of the Hanse Towns and 
the Italian maritime republics, knew no more of geography 
than had been known to the Alexandrian philosophers 
and merchants a thousand years before. Even as late as 
the time of Columbus, the standard authority on geography 
continued to be Ptolemy ; and it is on record that the 
two favourite authors of the discoverer of America were the 
famous geographer of Alexandria and the mendacious English 
traveller, Sir John Mandeville. 

The chief seat of the arts and sciences, in the Middle Ages, 
was Italy ; and to Italian energy and sagacity the vast exten 
sion of man's knowledge of the globe which he inhabits is 
mainly due. In the golden age of the Papacy and of the 
Italian maritime republics, Italian monks and merchants pene 
trated the heart of Asia. Italian seamen passed the Pillars of 


Hercules, braved the unknown dangers of the stormy Atlantic, 
explored the desolate shores of Barbary, rediscovered the 
Fortunate Isles of the Ancients, and increased the Ptolemaic 
map of the world by the addition of the Madeiras and the 
Azores. The remote regions to which they thus penetrated 
were beyond the scope of Italian political or mercantile inte 
rests. They thus fell into the hands of the reigning powers of 
the Spanish peninsula ; and the exploration of the Atlantic was 
continued under the direction and at the expense of the 
monarchs of Portugal and Castile. Until recently it was 
believed that the gradual exploration of the coast of Africa, 
which ultimately led to the passing of the Cape of Good 
Hope and the establishment of a connection by sea between 
Lisbon and India, was exclusively the work of Portuguese sea 
men. But the researches of antiquaries have now made 
it abundantly clear that the expeditions of the Spanish and 
Portuguese monarchs were for the most part made under 
Italian captains, with Italian crews, and in vessels built by 
Italian shipwrights. Italian mathematicians constructed the 
charts and instruments by which they sailed, and Italian 
bankers furnished the funds with which they were equipped. It 
was the same in England : the Italian merchants of London 
and the Italian seamen of Bristol were the links between the 
great movement of maritime exploration and an insular people 
which at the eleventh hour began to take part in it. The 
Genoese were well known in Bristol, though it was a Venetian 
who first conducted English sailors to the shores of America. 
The skill and science of Italy had penetrated everywhere ; 
and, in union with the spirit of territorial conquest and com 
mercial enterprise in other lands, they had wrought out the 
exploration of the coasts of Africa, the crossing of the Atlantic 
before the trade winds, and the discovery of the New World of 


America, long before the spirit of maritime enterprise was aroused 
in England, France, and Holland. Columbus did but add the 
finishing stroke to a work on which his countrymen had been 
incessantly employed for two centuries ; and when this stroke 
was made, the part of Italy was completed. Science had done 
its work ; and then began the struggle of commercial enter- 
prise^and political ambition for a share in its substantial results. 
It is at this stage of the history of maritime exploration that 
England steps in. 

It needs no deep research to account for the forwardness of 
Italy, and the backwardness of England, in the great maritime 
movement of modern history. It is sufficient to observe that 
England was far removed from the latitudes where the process 
of discovery was being matured, and that English seamen had not 
yet begun to make very long voyages. In the time of Columbus, 
English seamen were familiar with all the shores of Western 
Europe, from Spain to Norway. They traded to Iceland; but 
they had scarcely penetrated the Mediterranean, nor had they 
rounded the North Cape and reached the White Sea, as they did 
a few years later. English commerce was chiefly carried on by 
means of the English Channel and the German Ocean ; and 
the maritime enterprise which English seamen naturally emu 
lated was not that of the Italian republics, but of the Hanse 
Towns. Hence, except in a few isolated instances, the great 
discoveries to which the navigation of the southern latitudes of 
the Atlantic had conducted had at first little effect on English 
enterprise. It was not until the vast extent of the New World, 
its enormous wealth in the precious metals, and its unlimited 
capacity for further development had become universally no 
torious, until the Spanish monarchy, from feeble and obscure 
beginnings, had swollen by the possession of America into a 
political monster that threatened to absorb Christendom, and 


until England was being forced into a struggle with it which 
promised to be a struggle for life and death, that Englishmen 
began seriously to consider the mighty changes in national 
relations which the greatest geographical discoveries the world 
ever saw had once for all effected. It was in the reign of 
Elizabeth that this revolution in thought took place ; and the 
reign of Elizabeth produced a race of men who were capable 
of converting this revolution in thought into a revolution in 
fact. The wicked and tyrannous power which English Pro 
testants hated and dreaded was the spoilt child of the Papacy, 
and the Papacy had endowed it with the New World. Catholic 
England had acquiesced in the title thus acquired. Protestant 
England prepared to dispute it ; and the narratives in the pre 
sent volume show how the dispute was begun and carried on, 
though the reader must travel beyond the present volume, and 
turn to the history of American colonization in the succeeding 
reigns, to see how it was terminated. 

The narratives contained in this volume thus fill up a 
remarkable gap in history. In tracing the continuous history 
of the relations between the Old World and the New, the exact 
connection which unites the history of Spanish America to the 
history of English America is found to be extremely obscure. 
The incidents of the Discovery of America, of the gradual 
exploration of its coasts, and of the Spanish conquest of 
Mexico and Peru, are well known ; and so are the incidents 
of English colonization in New England, Virginia, and the 
Windward Islands. But a gulf of half a century, more or 
less, divides the period of English colonization from the 
period of Spanish conquest. How is this gulf to be bridged 
over, and where is the light which shall illuminate this dark 
half-century, and explain the transition from the old America, 
an America enslaved, mediaeval, Spanish, and Catholic, 


to the new America, an America free, modern, English, and 
Protestant? Fixing narrower limits to the inquiry, we may 
ask, How is it that in the beginning of its history we find 
America wholly Spanish and Portuguese, and at the end of a 
century find that it has become European ? How is it that in 
the sixteenth century we find Europe tranquilly acquiescing in 
the Spanish occupation of America, and entertaining no 
suspicion whatever as to its ultimate destiny, while in the 
seventeenth we find all the powers of Western Europe en 
gaged in a struggle for its possession ? And how is it that 
in this struggle we find England taking the lead from the 
beginning, in course of time absorbing all foreign elements, 
and ultimately bringing about the great change which has 
made America, in all its length and breadth, a continent of 
free states, framed more or less on an English model, and all 
having their principal commercial and social connection with 
England, and that connection an increasing one ? 

Of these interesting historical questions the narratives of 
the Elizabethan seamen furnish the solution. They tell the 
story of a mighty reaction against the claim of a single 
Catholic power, based on a title derived from the Pope, to the 
exclusive possession of the New World; and this reaction 
followed closely upon, and was intimately connected with, that 
great reaction against the general claims of the Papacy in 
Europe which goes by the name of the Reformation. In both 
movements England took a leading part; and, in order to 
understand the history of English America, it is necessary to 
go back to the beginning of each. It is a mistake to regard 
the Puritan emigrants of New England and the commercial 
adventurers who cultivated the tobacco plant in Virginia, as 
the founders of English America. These great enterprises 
were the last of a long series. When Jamestown and Ply- 


mouth were founded, English vessels had frequented the 
Atlantic shores of the New World for half a century. In 
early times, the trade of Spanish America had been free to 
the English. When the false and selfish colonial policy of 
Spain excluded them from it, the beginnings of the struggle 
made their appearance. The English pursued their trade, in 
spite of all the ordinances of the Spanish councils. The 
force and determination of the English traders overbore the 
official resistance which they encountered, and the cessation of 
legitimate trade thus gave birth to smuggling. The profits of 
smuggling necessarily exceed the profits of lawful commerce ; 
and, as it became more and more lucrative, it was engaged in 
more widely. From smuggling there is but one step to piracy, 
and from piracy but one step to territorial conquest ; and it 
was by these successive steps that English enterprise advanced, 
in its slow encroachment on the inheritance the daring of a few 
Spaniards had won for their Crown in the New World. 

It has been truly said that all history rests on an economical 
basis ; and the great extension of English enterprise which the 
Atlantic voyages represent could certainly not have taken 
place unless it had been supported by a corresponding increase 
in the wealth of England. It is well known that such an in 
crease took place in the reign of Elizabeth. The fertility of 
England's soil, the comparatively large number, the thrift, and 
the industry of the inhabitants of its towns, had always made 
of England a capital-making country ; and the stoppage of the 
continual drain of money to Rome, the dispersion of one-third 
of the land, previously belonging to monasteries, among the 
mass of the people, the cessation of wars, and the great 
reduction in numbers of the unproductive classes which these 
causes involved, had by this time increased its gross capital 
yet more. All the trades of England increased, and many of 


them were connected with the shipping trade, and contributed 
to the increase of that also. London and other towns in 
creased vastly in extent, a movement which statesmen in vain 
tried to check by Act of Parliament. Of the increase of 
personal wealth at this period the face of the land still affords 
ample evidence. The great country houses, the magnificent 
tombs to be found in churches, the costly furniture and pic 
tures with which Englishmen now began to surround them 
selves, still remain to testify to it ; and this increase of 
personal wealth accounts in some measure for the readiness of 
Englishmen to engage in remote and romantic enterprises. 

But other causes than increase of internal wealth and activity 
contributed to the great change which was being wrought out. 
Without some powerful external stimulus these steps would 
not have been taken. Jealousy of Spanish wealth and power, 
and resentment of Spanish religious tyranny, supplied such a 
stimulus. The death of Mary, in 1558, set the match to the 
train. Henceforth no respect was shown to the rights and 
claims of the Spanish Crown, and the English seamen regarded 
the New World as their own. The growth of English maritime 
power had by this time reached a critical stage. It had fully 
kept pace with the growing maritime power of the other 
nations of Western Europe. From early times down to the 
age of the Plantagenets, England had been little more than a 
peninsula of France ; and the constant necessity of traversing 
the English Channel or " Narrow Sea " had produced a 
numerous race of hardy seamen in the south and west of 
England. The addition of England to the dominions of 
Anjou, the conquest of Ireland, and the growth of trade 
with the Low Countries and the Baltic, led to a widening of 
the scope of English seamanship ; and Chaucer represents his 
shipman as knowing the coast from Gothland to Finisterre, 


and every creek in Brittany and Spain. . When the plan of 
Columbus had been rejected by Genoa, Venice, and Portugal, 
he sent his brother to London to propose that the westward 
voyage should be undertaken by the English King; and the 
age of the Tudors saw a great increase in the shipping of 
England, as well as a great extension of the field over which it 
sailed. English vessels now traded in great numbers to the 
Levant; and in the reign of Mary they first reached the 
northern ports of Russia. Following the track of the Italians, 
Spaniards, and Portuguese, they coasted the shores of Africa 
and reached Guinea. This coast was on the highway to the 
New World; and English ships were now embarked on the 
course which had led Columbus and his followers thither. 
The zone of the trade-winds thus gained, the time was not far 
distant when English vessels would ply to-and-fro between 
America and Europe. 

The beginning of the reign of Elizabeth thus saw several 
powerful causes united to force English enterprise irresistibly 
on the path of its destiny. To accomplish this end, an 
economical cause, dependent on the increase of wealth, a 
commercial cause, dependent on the steady widening of the 
field of navigation, and a political cause, dependent on the 
impending breach with Spain, blended their forces. But 
another, of not less importance, was at work also ; and this 
may be described as an intellectual cause. It is difficult to 
over-estimate the change which half-a-century had wrought in 
the habits and objects of English thought. In every direction 
the area over which it ranged was widened ; and, as ever 
happens, its strength and sagacity increased with the increase 
in the field of its operations. To understand the change 
which less than a century produced, Shakspere must be com 
pared with Skelton, and Bacon with "The Golden Legend." 


This change was greatly assisted by the total transformation 
which astronomy and geography had undergone. The old 
theory of the physical sciences faded away like a dream, and 
many other things began to fade with it. On the other hand, there 
was a deepening of man's faith in himself, and in the physical 
wonders which were yet to be revealed to him by the due use of 
the intellectual instrument with which the Creator had equipped 
him. Bacon did but express a general feeling when he augured 
for his times the fulfilment of the prophecy that many should 
pass to and fro, and that knowledge should be increased. 

And yet, with the single exception of Raleigh, it cannot be 
said that the Elizabethan seamen were affected in their own 
persons by this intellectual movement. They were rather its 
unconscious instruments; and their enterprises may all be 
accounted for by the law that forces capital into remunerative 
channels. With Raleigh it was otherwise. He had studied 
the growing sciences at Oxford ; and it is possible that he had 
there heard Hakluyt himself lecture on the new cosmography. 
Raleigh had, to the best of his ability, mastered the history of 
the New World. The story of the Spanish conquests stimu 
lated his imagination, as the wondrous natural history of the 
New World stimulated the imagination of Bacon. Raleigh's 
dream was to make the New World the inheritance of the 
Englishman. Bacon aspired more highly, and sought to make 
man absolute master over that realm of nature which was now 
being revealed in all its extent. Neither lived to see their 
dream realized ; but time has done, and is still doing, much to 
realize both. 

Though the shore of the American continent had been 
reached by an English crew before Columbus himself reached 
it in 1498, the English had long abandoned it to the two 
powers of the Peninsula ; and in the attempt to gain a footing 


on it, as in so many other things, they were following the 
example of the French. When Hawkins undertook his first 
voyage, in 1562, the voyages of the English to the American 
coast which had been occasionally made in the time of the 
Henries, were out of mind. Spain had found the New World 
a great treasury of the precious metals. Leaving the Brazilian 
shore to Portugal, as being within the meridian of demarcation 
agreed on between the two Crowns by the treaty made in 
1495, Spain had claimed to exclude the rest of Europe from 
the whole of the trans-Atlantic continent ; and in this exclu 
sion the rest of Europe had acquiesced. France alone had 
hitherto set up an adverse claim. In 1521, Francis of France, 
jealous of Charles V., his successful rival for the Imperial 
Crown, had provoked war with him ; and one of his first 
acts was to despatch the Genoese seaman Verazzano to take 
possession of the coast of North America. In this war, in which 
the Spanish pretensions were first disputed, Henry VIII. had 
taken the side of Spain ; and it was brought to an end in 
1525 by the defeat of Pavia, and the capture of the French 
King. Of this episode no traces remained in the New World 
beyond the empty name of New France, applied by the 
enemies of Spain to the whole continent of North America. 
But the hardy seamen of Brittany and Gascony had, in the 
course of this war, already begun to infest the West Indian 
shores for the double purpose of smuggling and piracy. The 
way once discovered, it was never forgotten ; and it was from 
their French neighbours that the English seamen learnt the 
way to the West Indies, and the profit that the voyage thither 
yielded. France thus became the pioneer of England in 
smuggling and piracy, as she afterwards became the pioneer of 
England in colonization. 

The struggle of France against the rising power of Spain 


continued until the accession of Elizabeth. Throughout this 
struggle, save during the short reign of Edward VI., the 
English Crown, swayed partly by a traditional enmity to its 
near neighbour, and partly by sympathy with the old religion, 
had sided with Spain ; and the loss of Calais to the French 
was the last penalty it paid for this policy. The death of 
Mary changed the face of affairs. It gave a presumptive 
head to the growing Protestant faction throughout Europe, in 
the person of the English sovereign. For the struggle in 
Europe was no longer a mere struggle against the political 
predominance, but against the intense religious bigotry of the 
new power which overshadowed it; and it was the avowed 
policy of Philip to re-establish the old religion throughout 
Europe. Many years elapsed before the breach actually took 
place. But it was long foreseen, and long before it happened 
events were adapting themselves to it. When the fire had 
once burst forth, it quickly spread to America and for two 
centuries and more thenceforth, whenever the flame of war 
was lighted in the Old World, it was destined similarly to 
envelope the New. It was out of the question to attack Philip 
in the Spanish peninsula. Its Italian possessions had been the 
place where the Spanish Crown had usually been attacked by the 
French ; but the policy of attacking Spain in Italy had proved 
unfruitful. The exploits of the Protestant smugglers and pirates 
of England and France pointed the way to one more effectual. 
It was from the West Indies that Philip derived the wealth 
that enabled him to pay armies and corrupt politicians ; and 
these exploits proved that it was possible to cut short his 
supplies. To harass him in America, to seize his huge ships 
with their loads of gold and silver, was at once to cripple him 
and supply his enemy with the sinews of war. The politicians 
of England looked forward to the time when they could do 


this openly. The shifting policy of Elizabeth prevented this 
during the earlier period of her reign. But from its very 
beginning the English smugglers and pirates were busy in the 
West Indies, and the politicians of England winked at their 
deeds. The interlopers soon discovered that the Spaniards were 
totally incapable of keeping them out of the American seas. 
This fact had long been known to the French, and it now 
became known to the English. The continued piracies of the 
French on the treasure fleets had led to their being protected 
by a small convoy of war ships. Spain was incapable of doing 
more. To maintain the command of the huge American 
shore was quite out of her power. She could barely hold the 
ports ; and the ports were as yet unfortified. It needed 
nothing but a small armed force for the English pirate to make 
himself master of the capital towns of the New World. 

The breach with England let loose upon Spanish America a 
swarm of the most experienced pirates in the world, and the 
greatest among them was the famous West-countryman who 
was the first among Englishmen to " put a girdle round about 
the earth." Shakspere is not more conspicuously the first of 
English poets, and Bacon the first of English philosophers, 
than Drake is the first of English pirates. His first attacks on 
the Spaniards were made by way of lawful reprisal for his 
private wrongs. He had a share in the last venture of Haw 
kins ; and the perfidy of the Spanish Viceroy in the port of 
St. John had caused him severe pecuniary loss. The claim 
founded upon this was vigorously prosecuted by Drake 
in the only way in which its prosecution was possible. 
After some years of experience in his adopted calling of 
plundering the Spaniards, Drake resolved on an expedition of 
a novel and extremely daring character. He was by this time 
too well known on the Atlantic coast. On this side of 


America the Spanish ports and fleets were jealously guarded ; 
on the Pacific side, the source of the supply of gold and 
silver, it was quite otherwise. The Spaniards never dreamed 
that the corsairs of England and France would dare to pass 
the Straits of Magellan and attack them on the very shores of 
Peru, and they had on this side neither soldiers, nor ships of 
war, nor fortifications. The huge vessels which brought gold 
from Valdivia, and silver from Arica, to the port of Panama, 
to be then carried over the isthmus and shipped to Europe, 
were merely manned by a small mixed crew, and the work of 
navigation was even entrusted to negro slaves. The ports had 
no garrisons. It was Drake's plan to pass the Straits of 
Magellan secretly, appear suddenly on the coast of Peru, 
plunder ships and ports, and sail before the trade-winds across 
the Pacific, thus reaching home with his plunder by circum 
navigating the globe. This feat had been rarely performed since 
the squadron of Magellan, above half-a-century before, had 
first proved its possibility ; and no English vessel had hitherto 
navigated the Pacific Ocean. No English vessel had hitherto 
been to the east of the Cape of Good Hope, or seen the rich 
and wonderful East, which the Portuguese had reached three- 
quarters of a century before, and of the trade of which they 
were now in possession. 

Drake's plan of plundering the Pacific coast, and navigating 
the Pacific and the Indian seas, had been several years ripen 
ing. When it was put into execution, another project had 
been brought forward for putting England in communication 
with the Pacific Ocean and India. This was Frobisher's pro 
ject for making the North-West Passage. Frobisher's project 
had passed the stage of mere discussion. An attempt had 
been made to execute it. After fifteen years of fruitless en 
deavour, its author had succeeded in procuring a couple of 



barques of twenty and twenty-five tons, with which he pro 
posed to sail to the north, leaving Greenland on the right, to 
pass round the continent of America, and then reach the 
Indies by sailing to the south-west. The year before Drake 
started on his " Famous Voyage," Frobisher had made the 
ice-bound coasts which lay opposite to Greenland, on the 
further side of the great straits which separate that dreary 
region from the American shores. He had discovered, as he 
thought, a strait leading thence to the Pacific. Along this strait 
he had sailed for sixty leagues ; and he returned home with 
the intelligence that he had undoubtedly discovered the 
passage on the north corresponding to that which had been 
discovered by Magellan in the south. As Magellan had done, 
he called this passage by his own name, and denominated it 
Frobisher's Strait. 

This had taken place in 1576; and in 1577 Frobisher 
started on his second voyage with one of the Queen's large 
ships. He returned in the same year without having reached 
the Pacific. But little doubt was felt as to his ultimate 
success ; and if he were successful, he would have been the 
first Englishman to navigate the Pacific and reach the Indies 
by way of the west Drake was determined to secure this 
distinction for himself; and accordingly, while Frobisher was 
returning from this second voyage, Drake was making his 
preparations for executing his cherished project of passing the 
Straits of Magellan. Frobisher was for making the North- 
West passage which, as was believed, had been discovered, but 
not passed. Drake was for making the South-West passage, by 
a route which was known to exist, but which was full of 
dangers and difficulties, the extent of which was unknown. 
One thing was common to both plans : this was the hope of 
plunder. Frobisher had brought back, on his first voyage, 


from the icy shores of Davis's Straits, some lumps of a black 
stone, which was pronounced by certain goldsmiths to contain 
gold. On his second voyage he brought back great quantities 
of this worthless rubbish, which was immediately on his return 
safely secured in Bristol Castle ; and in the ensuing year he 
was to return and bring back yet more, lest other adventurers 
should seek to avail themselves of his fortunate discovery. 
The treasure of which Drake was in search was of a more 
certain sort. It consisted of gold and silver, of no doubtful 
quality ; and it lay ready to his hand in the ships and store 
houses of the Spanish Government. 

It was in November, 1577, that Drake sailed from Plymouth 
on his " Famous Voyage," giving out that he was bound for 
Alexandria; and in November, 1580, he reached England, 
after making the circuit of the globe. From this date English 
enterprise takes its widest scope ; for the " Famous Voyage " 
first introduced English sailors to the Pacific and the Indian 
Oceans. Drake merely circumnavigated the globe for the 
purpose of carrying his booty home more securely. No part 
of his voyage involved any difficult feat of seamanship. He 
soon discovered the falsehood of the traditional description of 
the Strait as a long and intricate passage, through dreary and 
inhospitable shores, where the weather was always bleak and 
tempestuous, and where the danger of shipwreck was con 
tinual. The passage of the Strait is, in fact, perfectly safe and 
easy for small vessels, and Drake effected it in fifteen days. 
Nor was the westward voyage over the Pacific fraught with any 
great difficulty. It was not like the return voyage from the 
Moluccas to Acapulco, which it had taken the Spaniards half-a- 
century to learn how to make. Like the celebrated voyage 
of Columbus, it was in reality a very simple matter, demand 
ing nothing but perseverance in a straight course, with a fair 

b 2 


wind provided by an invariable natural law. The latitude of 
the Moluccas, which Drake knew accurately, once reached, 
he was back in the Old World, and had only to follow the 
return course of the Portuguese pilots round the Cape of 
Good Hope. 

The successful piracies of Drake and his fellows suggested 
the idea of territorial conquest. The English Crown had 
always been possessed of territory beyond seas. It had once 
held nearly the whole seaboard of France : it still held 
Ireland and the Channel Islands, and Calais had only recently 
been lost. The exploits of the last fifteen years amply proved 
two things. They proved that the power of England at sea 
had not diminished, but increased. They also proved that the 
Crown of Spain was utterly unable to protect its vast acqui 
sitions in the New World. The consequence was obvious. 
So far as America was held by the fleets of Spain, it lay at the 
mercy of the English ; for the English were supreme on the 
Atlantic. But here the power of the enemies of Spain ceased. 
The adventurers who plundered the Spanish ports were too wise 
to attempt permanent occupation. Such an attempt would have 
presented insurmountable difficulties. On land the Spaniards 
were as formidable in America as in Europe ; and to displace 
them in their colonial governments would have demanded 
regular military armaments, such as England was incapable of 
furnishing. No one who knows the story of the military help 
lessness of England when Philip dispatched the Great Armada 
to reduce it, can wonder that no attempt was ever made to 
bring Spanish colonies under the permanent sway of England. 
One thing remained. The English might seize those parts of 
America which were yet unoccupied by the Spaniards. The 
sturdy agricultural population of England was increasing be 
yond the demand for agricultural labour. The desire for 


territorial possessions was increasing among the poorer gentry. 
The landless adventurers of Spain and Portugal had obtained 
grants, formed colonies, reduced the natives to subjection and 
Christianity. English adventurers, it was argued, might do the 
like where Spain had left the ground unoccupied ; and the idea 
of territorial conquest thus gave birth to the idea of colo 

As English pirates had trodden in the footsteps of the French 
pirates, so English colonists now trod in the footsteps of French 
colonists. Piracy had suggested colonization to the French a few 
years before ; and under the auspices of Coligny attempts had 
been successively made to found French Protestant colonies 
on the coasts of Brazil and Florida. When Elizabeth came to 
the English Throne, the settlement of Fort Coligny at Rio de 
Janeiro was yet in existence. Two years afterwards it was 
destroyed by the Portuguese ; and the French statesman then 
turned his attention to Florida. Fort Caroline was founded 
by Laudonniere in the same year in which Hawkins made his 
first voyage to the West Indies. But the French adventurers 
who followed Laudonniere found their new occupation less 
profitable than that in which they had been bred ; and their 
leader had no sooner left them than they forsook the culti 
vation of the soil and the conversion of the Indians for the 
easier and more lucrative pursuit of piracy. The colony of 
Fort Caroline was in great straits when Hawkins relieved it on 
his return home from his second voyage ; and it was soon 
afterwards destroyed by the Spaniards. 

The failure of the French to occupy America had been due, 
not to the energy of Spain, but to want of proper materials 
and organization on their own part. The same thing hap 
pened to the English ; and it took our ancestors thirty years to 
learn the art of colonization. The success of the founders of 


Virginia and New England is due to the experience which was> 
gradually stored up by the failures of Gilbert and Raleigh. 
Both Gilbert and Raleigh seem to have satisfied them 
selves that the French had struck out the, right path. The 
former intended to make the St. Lawrence the base of his 
colonial undertakings, thus imitating the failure of Roberval. 
The latter imitated N Coligny in placing his colony to the south 
ward, selecting, however, a spot more remote than Fort 
Caroline from the centre of the Spanish Indies, and with a 
climate better adapted to English labourers. New England 
was founded by pursuing the path of Gilbert, and Virginia by 
pursuing that of Raleigh. But success was only made possible 
" by repeated failures ; and in the midst of these failures another 
path seemed to open itself for the planting of the English 
power in America. Sir Walter Raleigh suddenly conceived 
the plan of following in the footsteps of Cortes, and con 
quering for England the fabled empire of Guiana. 

Raleigh's attempt to discover and conquer the fabled empire 
of Guiana may seem at first to stand alone in English colonial 
history. It takes, however, a perfectly natural place in that 
history. The false belief in a third great aboriginal empire, 
rivalling in wealth and extent those famous empires which had 
been won for Spain by Cortes and Pizarro, was exactly^adapted 
to catch the imagination of the Elizabethan adventurer at the 
moment when piracy was developing into conquest and colo 
nization. Spain had left it untouched, and apparently left it 
for that nation which had proved how incapable Spain was of 
extending its conquests. Nor was Raleigh culpably imposed 
upon by a gross fabrication, such as men of more sense and 
less enthusiasm would have rejected. He was following up an 
enterprise which had actively occupied the Spaniards during 
half a century, and which had absorbed far more lives and 


money than were involved in his own venture ; and the scanty 
results of his expedition of 1595, the narrative of which con 
cludes the present volume, abated not a whit of his hopes. 
To the end of his life he believed in Guiana ; and the belief 
was equally current among the adventurous spirits of England 
after his death. 

The enterprises of Raleigh, with which that of his half- 
brother Gilbert must be classed, are the true beginnings of 
Anglo-American history. Those who went before him had 
merely prepared the way. Hawkins had led English seamen 
across the Atlantic, and opened the American seas. Drake 
had proved the inability of Spain to keep them off. Conquest 
of the Spanish settlements being out of the question, Hakluyt 
had urged the English, in imitation of French example, to 
plant colonies in those parts of America which the Spaniards 
had not occupied. Gilbert had attempted to make a begin 
ning in this undertaking. But Raleigh was the first to put his 
hand to the plough in right earnest, and to persevere un 
daunted by failure. Uniformly unfortunate as were his 
schemes for conquest and colonization, it was through his 
failures that success at length became possible ; and his name 
is better entitled than any other to rank in history as the 
founder of the Anglo-American nation. 

Such is the general historical outline which the narratives 
contained in the present volume enable the reader to fill up. 
Little needs to be said of the narratives themselves. They 
reflect, with the closeness and fidelity which only belongs to 
contemporary records, the aspect presented to English eyes by 
the great field of new enterprise which was opened beyond the 
sea to Englishmen of Elizabeth's reign : and they also show with 
what patience and energy this field was explored. Those who 
wrote them were, for the most part, men who had themselves 


taken an active part in the work, and who were scholarly 
enough to use the pure and expressive English of Shakspere's 
day with ease and effect. Without claiming for them any high 
literary rank, it may be said that they are, from a merely lite 
rary point of view, good specimens of English narrative 
written when the language was in its prime. Most of them 
are here for the first time, it is believed, extracted from the 
black-letter obscurity of Hakluyt's collection, and arranged in 
chronological order. 





The history of English America begins with the three slave- 
trading voyages of John Hawkins, made in the years 1562, 
1564, and 1567. Nothing that Englishmen had done in con 
nection with America, previously to those voyages, had any 
result worth recording. England had known the New World 
nearly seventy years, for John Cabot had reached it shortly 
after its discovery by Columbus ; and, as the tidings of the 
discovery spread, many English adventurers had crossed the 
Atlantic to the American coast. But as years passed, and the 
excitement of novelty subsided, the English voyages to 
America had become fewer and fewer, and at length ceased 
altogether. It is easy to account for this. There was no 
opening for conquest or plunder, for the Tudors were at 
peace with the Spanish sovereigns : and there could be no 
territorial occupation, for the Papal title of Spain and Portugal 
to the whole of the new continent could not be disputed by 
Catholic England. No trade worth having existed with the 
natives : and Spain and Portugal kept the trade with their 
own settlers in their own hands. Meanwhile English com 
merce found profitable openings elsewhere. 



In 1521, Francis I. began the great struggle against the 
European domination of Spain : and the French began to 
plunder and smuggle in Spanish America. The English in 
time imitated them. But a legitimate connection also subsisted. 
Emigrants of other nations had always been allowed to proceed 
in Spanish and Portuguese vessels to the Spanish and Portu 
guese settlements. Most of these were Italian or French. But 
Englishmen and Scotchmen were found among them ; and long 
before there was formed any definite idea of English coloniza 
tion in the New World, there existed in more than one town of 
importance a little colony of British, Catholics by religion, and 
half Spaniards or Portuguese by manners. Letters passed 
between them and their friends at home ; in time they 
returned in person ; and through this channel a distinct idea 
of the New World reached England long before the face of 
England was changed by the accession of Elizabeth. Besides 
this, the Portuguese had begun to avail themselves of the help 
of English mariners, as in former times they had availed them 
selves of the help of Italian mariners ; and early in the reign of 
Henry the Eighth a connection existed between England and the 
Portuguese plantations in Brazil, by way of the Guinea coast. 
Hakluyt was assured that old William Hawkins, of Plymouth, 
father of the more famous seaman whose voyages follow, had 
made the Brazilian voyage, by way of Guinea, in 1530 and 
1532. No mention is made of slaves in Hakluyt's account 
of old William Hawkins ; but it is extremely probable that the 
voyages of the father, if they ever took place, were slavery 
ventures, like the voyages of the son. 

As the plantations in America grew and multiplied, the 
demand for negroes rapidly increased. The Spaniards had 
no African settlements; but the Portuguese had many, and, 
with the aid of French and English adventurers, they procured 


from these settlements slaves enough to supply both themselves 
and the Spaniards. But the Brazilian plantations grew so fast, 
about the middle of the century, that they absorbed the 
entire supply, and the Spanish colonists knew not where to 
look for negroes. This penury of slaves in the Spanish Indies 
became known to the English and French captains who 
frequented the Guinea coast ; and John Hawkins, who had 
been engaged from boyhood in the trade with Spain and the 
Canaries, resolved in 1562 to take a cargo of negro slaves to 
Hispaniola. The little squadron with which he executed this 
project was the first English squadron which navigated the West 
Indian seas. This voyage opened those seas to the English. 

England had not yet broken with Spain, and the law 
excluding English vessels from trading with the Spanish 
colonists was not strictly enforced. The trade was profitable, 
and Hawkins found no difficulty in disposing of his cargo to 
great advantage. A meagre note (pp. 7, 8) from the pen of 
Hakluyt, contains all that is known of the first American 
voyage of Hawkins. In its details it must have closely 
resembled the second voyage. In the first voyage, however, 
Hawkins had no occasion to carry his wares further than three 
ports on the northern side of Hispaniola. These ports, 
far away from San Domingo, the capital, were already well- 
known to the French smugglers. He did not venture into the 
Caribbean sea ; and, having loaded his ships with their return 
cargo, he made the best of his way back. In his second 
voyage, as will be seen, he entered the Caribbean Sea, still 
keeping, however, at a safe distance from San Domingo, and 
sold his slaves on the mainland. 

This voyage was on a much larger scale, and the Earls of 
Pembroke and Leicester swelled the number of the adven 
turers who supported him. On the other hand new difficulties 

B 2 


confronted him. The news of his previous expedition had 
reached Philip, and had resulted in complaints to Elizabeth, 
and in an order strictly prohibiting the Spanish colonists in the 
New World from trading with him. The common statement 
that Hawkins "forced the defenceless Spanish colonists to take 
his negroes at prices fixed by him " (J. G. Kohl, History of the 
Discovery of Maine, p. 443,) is incorrect. Hawkins, indeed, 
broke down, by threats or force, the opposition of the Spanish 
military officials; but the colonists, as the narrative shows, were 
ready enough to buy when this had been done. 

The second voyage of Hawkins differed from the first, in 
that it was prolonged so as to become an important voyage of 
discovery. Having sold his slaves in the continental ports, 
and loaded his vessels with hides and other goods bought with 
the produce, Hawkins determined to strike out a new path 
and sail home with the Gulf-stream, which would carry him 
northwards past the shores of Florida. Sparke's narrative, 
which follows, proves that at every point in these expeditions 
the Englishman was following in the track of the French. He 
had French pilots and seamen on board, and there is little 
doubt that one at least of these had already been with 
Laudonniere in Florida, The French seamen guided him to 
Laudonniere's settlement, where his arrival was most oppor 
tune. They then pointed him the way by the coast of North 
America, then universally known in the mass as New France, 
to Newfoundland, and thence, with the prevailing westerly 
winds, to Europe. This was the pioneer voyage made by 
Englishmen along coasts afterwards famous in ^history through 
English colonization. It corresponded to that of Verazzano, 
forty years earlier, which had opened the way to French 
colonization in Florida and Canada. 

The extremely interesting narrative which is here given 


(p. 9), is from the pen of John Sparke, one of Hawkins' 
gentlemen companions. It contains the first information con 
cerning America and its natives, which was published in 
England by an English eye-witness, and ranks in all respects 
among the most interesting pieces in Hakluyt's collection. 
The style is singularly free, simple, and graceful, and contrasts 
markedly with the condensed narrative which follows it. 

The second voyage of Hawkins won him wealth and reputa 
tion. In 1565 he obtained his well-known grant of arms, with 
the crest of " a demi-moor, bound and captive." The breach 
was widening between England and Spain, and his successes 
opened a tempting prospect to English adventurers. The 
inferiority of Spain at sea was more than suspected; and the 
fears of the Spaniards were by this time thoroughly aroused. 
The Spanish Ambassador met Hawkins at Court, and invited 
him to dinner. Hawkins accepted, and at dinner told the re 
presentative of Philip that he proposed to repeat his voyage in 
the next May (1566). Accidents delayed the equipment of the 
fleet until October. Meanwhile the remonstrances of Philip 
had their effect; and, just as Hawkins was on the point of 
starting, a letter arrived at Plymouth from Cecil, forbidding 
him, in the Queen's name, to traffic in breach of the laws of 
Spain, and requiring from him a bond in ^500 to this effect 
before his vessels started. Hawkins executed the bond, and 
despatched the ships, himself remaining at home. No nar 
rative of the expedition has survived; but it is certain that the 
ships returned richly freighted, and that large profits were 
made. In another year's time the aspect of things had 
changed yet more. Elizabeth had given open countenance 
to the insurrection in the Netherlands: and Hawkins was now 
able to execute his plans without restraint. He founded a 
permanent fortified factory on the Guinea coast, where negroes 


might be collected all the year round. Thence he sailed for 
the West Indies a third time. Young Francis Drake sailed 
with him in command of the Judith, a small vessel of fifty 
tons. It is curious that in the narrative of Hawkins the name 
of Drake is not mentioned. When the Minion and the Judith 
escaped from the jaws of destruction in the port of San Juan, 
Drake sailed straight for England. Possibly Hawkins regarded 
this as an act of desertion; but it is difficult to see what better 
course Drake could have taken. He could render Hawkins 
no help, and might have been a cause of embarrassment. 

Of the crushing blow which Hawkins in this expedition 
received from the Spanish fleet, it- can only be said that his 
own astounding audacity exposed him to it; and that the 
only wonder is that either he or Drake escaped to tell the 
tale. The maxim that no faith was to be kept with heretics 
amply justified the Spanish commander. Unable to find food 
for the crowded passengers on board the Minion, Hawkins put 
half of them ashore. Two of the wretched survivors of this 
party, named Job Hartop and Miles Philips, lived to write the 
adventures which afterwards befell them. Both narratives are 
in Hakluyt's collection. That of Philips is particularly worth 
attention in connection with the brief narrative from the 
pen of Hawkins, which is here printed. The misfortunes of 
this last voyage naturally discouraged its projector; and it is 
many years before he reappears in Anglo-American history. 
His share in the reorganization of Elizabeth's navy, and in 
repelling the Great Armada, has been too often described to 
need here more than a passing allusion. 

1562] HAWKINS. 


The FIRST VOYAGE of the Right Worshipful and Valiant Knight 
SIR JOHN HAWKINS, sometime Treasurer of Her Ma 
jesty's Navy Royal, made to the WEST INDIES, 1562. 

MASTER JOHN HAWKINS having made divers voyages to the 
Isles of the Canaries, and there by his good and upright dealing 
being grown in love and favour with the people, informed himself 
amongst them, by diligent inquisition, of the state of the West 
India, whereof he had received some knowledge by the instructions 
of his father, but increased the same by the advertisements and 
reports of that people. And being amongst other particulars 
assured that negroes were very good merchandise in Hispaniola, 
and that store of negroes might easily be had upon the coast of 
Guinea, resolved with himself to make trial thereof, and communi 
cated that device with his worshipful friends of London : namely, 
with Sir Lionell Ducket, Sir Thomas Lodge, Mr. Gunson his 
father-in-law, Sir William Winter, Mr. Bromfield, and others. All 
which persons liked so well of his intention, that they became 
liberal contributors and adventurers in the action. For which 
purpose there were three good ships immediately provided : the 
one called the Salomon, of the burden of 120 tons, wherein Mr. 
Hawkins himself went as General : the second the Swallow, of 
loo tons, wherein went for Captain Mr. Thomas Hampton : and 
the third the Jonas, a barque of 40 tons, wherein the Master sup 
plied the Captain's room : in which small fleet Mr. Hawkins took 
with him not above 100 men, for fear of sickness and other 
inconveniences, whereunto men in long voyages are commonly 

With this company he put off and departed from the coast 
of England in the month of October, 1562, and in his course 


touched first at Teneriffe, where he received friendly entertain 
ment. From thence he passed to Sierra Leone, upon the coast 
of Guinea, which place by the people of the country is called 
Tagarin, where he stayed some good time, and got into his pos 
session, partly by the sword and partly by other means, to the 
number of 300 negroes at the least, besides other merchandise 
which that country yieldeth. With this prey he sailed over the 
ocean sea unto the island of Hispaniola, and arrived first at the 
port of Isabella: and there he had reasonable utterance of his 
English commodities, as also of some part of his negroes, trusting 
the Spaniards no further than that by his own strength he was 
able still to master them. From the port of Isabella he went to 
Puerto de Plata, where he made like sales, standing always upon 
his guard : from thence also he sailed to Monte Christi, another 
port on the north side of Hispaniola, and the last place of his 
touching, where he had peaceable traffic, and made vent of the 
whole number of his negroes : for which he received in those three 
places, by way of exchange, such a quantity of merchandise that 
he did not only lade his own three ships with hides, ginger, sugars, 
and some quantity of pearls, but he freighted also two other hulks 
with hides and other like commodities, which he sent into Spain. 
And thus, leaving the island, he returned and disembogued, passing 
out by the islands of the Caicos, without further entering into the 
Bay of Mexico, in this his first voyage to the West India. And 
so, with prosperous success and much gain to himself and the 
aforesaid adventurers, he came home, and arrived in the month of 
September, 1563. 

1564] HAWKINS. 



The VOYAGE made by MR. JOHN HAWKINS, afterwards 
Knight, Captain of the JESUS of Lubeck, one of Her Majesty's 
ships, and General of the SALOMON, and other two barques 
going in his company to the coast of GUINEA and the INDIES 
OF NOVA HISPANIOLA, begun in A.D. 1564. 

MASTER JOHN HAWKINS, with the Jesus of Lubeck, a ship of 
700, and the Salomon, a ship of 140, the Tiger, a barque of 50, 
and the Swallow, of 30 tons, being all well furnished with men to 
the number of one hundred threescore and ten, as also with 
ordnance and victuals requisite for such a voyage, departed out 
of Plymouth on the i8th day of October, in the year of our Lord 
1564, with a prosperous wind; at which departing, in cutting the 
foresail, a marvellous misfortune happened to one of the officers 
in the ship, who by the pulley of the sheet was slain out of hand, 
being a sorrowful beginning to them all. And after their setting 
out ten leagues to sea, he met the same day with the Minion, a 
ship of the Queen's Majesty's, whereof was captain David Carlet, 
and also her consort, the John Baptist, of London, being bound to 
Guinea also, who hailed one another, after the custom of the sea, 
with certain pieces of ordnance for joy of their meeting; which 
done, the Minion departed from him to seek her other consort, the 
Merlin, of London, which was astern out of sight, leaving in Mr. 
Hawkins' company the John Baptist, her other consort. 

Thus sailing forwards on their way with a prosperous wind until 
the 2 ist of the same month; at that time a great storm arose, the 
wind being at north-east about nine o'clock in the night, and 
continued so twenty-three hours together, in which storm Mr. 


Hawkins lost the company of the John Baptist aforesaid, and of 
his pinnace called the Swallow, his other three ships being sore 
beaten with a storm. On the 23rd day, the Swallow, to his no 
small rejoicing, came to him again in the night, ten leagues to the 
northward of Cape Finisterre, he having put roomer, not being able 
to double the Cape, in that there rose a contrary wind at south 
west. On the 25th, the wind continuing contrary, he put into a 
place in Galicia called Ferrol, where he remained five days, and 
appointed all the masters of his ships an order for the keeping of 
good company in this manner: The small ships to be always 
ahead and aweather of the Jesus, and to speak twice a-day with 
the Jesus at least. If in the day the ensign be over the poop of 
the Jesus, or in the night two lights, then shall all the ships speak 
with her. If there be three lights aboard the Jesus, then doth she 
cast about. If the weather be extreme, that the small ships cannot 
keep company with the Jesus, then all to keep company with the 
Salomon, and forthwith to repair to the Island of Teneriffe, to the 
northward of the road of Sirroes. If any happen to any misfor 
tune, then to show two lights, and to shoot off a piece of ordnance. 
If any lose company and come in sight again, to make three 
yaws and strike the mizen three times. Serve God daily, love 
one another, preserve your victuals, beware of fire, and keep good 

On the 26th day the Minion came in also where he was, for the 
rejoicing whereof he gave them certain pieces of ordnance, after 
the courtesy of the sea, for their welcome. But the Minion's men 
had no mirth, because of their consort the Merlin, whom, at their 
departure from Master Hawkins upon the coast of England, they 
went to seek, and, having met with her, kept company two days 
together ; and at last, by misfortune of fire (through the negligence 
of one of their gunners), the powder in the gunner's room was set 
on fire, which, with the first blast, struck out her poop, and there 
withal lost three men, besides many sore burned (which escaped 
by the brigantine being at her stern), and immediately, to the 
great loss of the owners, and most horrible sight to the beholders, 
she sank before their eyes. 

On the 2oth day of the month Mr. Hawkins, with his consorts 
and company of the Minion, having now both the brigantines at 
her stern, weighed anchor, and set sail on their voyage, having a 
prosperous wind thereunto. 

On the 4th of November they had sight of the Island of 

1564] HAWKINS. II 

Madeira, and, on the 6th, of Teneriffe, which they thought to 
have been the Canary, in that they supposed themselves to have 
been to the eastward of Teneriffe, and were not. But the Minion, 
being three or four leagues ahead of us, kept on her course to 
Teneriffe, having better sight thereof than the other had, and by 
that means they parted company. For Mr. Hawkins and his 
company went more to the west, upon which course having sailed 
awhile, he espied another island, which he thought to be Teneriffe ; 
and not being able, by means of the fog upon the hills, to discern 
the same, nor yet to fetch it by night, went roomer until the 
morning, being the 7th of November, which as yet he could not 
discern, but sailed along the coast the space of two hours to 
perceive some certain mark of Teneriffe, and found no likelihood 
thereof at all, accounting that to be, as indeed it was, the Isle of 
Palms: and so sailing forwards, espied another island called 
Gomera, and also Teneriffe, to the which he made, and sailing 
all night, came in the morning the next day to the port of Adecia, 
where he found his pinnace which had departed from him on the 
6th of the month, being in the weather of him ; and, espying the 
pike of Teneriffe all a-high, bare thither. At his arrival, some 
what before he came to anchor, he hoisted out his ship's pinnace, 
rowing ashore, intending to have sent one with a letter to Peter 
de Ponte, one of the Governors of the island, who dwelt a league 
from the shore. But, as he pretended to have landed, suddenly 
there appeared upon the two points of the road, men levelling of 
bases and arquebuses at them, with divers others, to the number 
of fourscore, with halberds, pikes, swords, and targets, which 
happened so contrary to his expectation that it did greatly amaze 
him; and the more because he was now in their danger, not 
knowing well how to avoid it without some mischief. Wherefore 
he determined to call to them for the better appeasing of the 
matter, declaring his name, and professing himself to be an 
especial friend to Peter de Ponte, and that he had sundry things 
for him which he greatly desired. And in the meantime, while he 
was thus talking with them, whereby he made them to hold their 
hands, he willed the mariners to row away, so that at last he got 
out of their danger. And then asking for Peter de Ponte, one of 
his sons, being Senor Nicolas de Ponte, came forth, whom he 
perceiving, desired to put his men aside, and he himself would 
leap ashore and commune with him, which they did. So that 
after communication had between them of sundry things, and of the 


fear they both had, Master Hawkins desired to have certain 
necessaries provided for him. In the mean space, while these 
things were providing, he trimmed the mainmast of the Jesus, 
which in the storm aforesaid was sprung. Here he sojourned 
seven days, refreshing himself and his men. In which time 
Peter de Ponte, dwelling at Santa Cruz, a city twenty leagues 
off, came to him, and gave him as gentle entertainment as if 
he had been his own brother. To speak somewhat of these 
islands, being called in old time Insulse Fortunatae, by means 
of the flourishing thereof, the fruitfulness of them doth surely 
far exceed all other that I have heard of; for they make wine 
better than any in Spain, they have grapes of such bigness 
that they may be compared to damsons, and in taste inferior 
to none. For sugar, suckets, raisins of the sun, and many 
other fruits, abundance. For rosin and raw silk there is great 
store. They want neither corn, pullets, cattle, nor yet wild 
fowl. They have many camels also, which, being young, are 
eaten of the people for victuals, and, being old, they are 
used for the carriage of necessaries ; whose property is that 
he is taught to kneel at the taking of his load and unlading 
again ; of understanding very good, but of shape very deformed, 
with a little belly, long misshapen legs, and feet very broad of 
flesh, without a hoof, all whole, saving the great toe, a back 
bearing up like a molehill, a large and thin neck, with a little 
head, with a bunch of hard flesh, which nature hath given him in 
his breast, to lean upon. This beast liveth hardly, and is contented 
with straw and stubble, but of force strong, being well able to 
carry five hundred-weight. In one of these islands, called Fierro, 
there is, by the report of the inhabitants, a certain tree that 
raineth continually, by the dropping whereof the inhabitants and 
cattle are satisfied with water, for other water have they none in 
all the island. And it raineth in such abundance that it were 
incredible unto a man to believe such a virtue to be in a tree; 
but it is known to be a divine matter and a thing ordained of 
God, at whose power therein we ought not to marvel, seeing He 
did by His providence, as we read in the Scriptures, when the 
children of Israel were going into the promised land, feed them 
with manna from heaven for the space of forty years. Of the 
trees aforesaid we saw in Guinea many, being of great height, 
dropping continually ; but not so abundantly as the other, because 
the leaves are narrower, and are like the leaves of a pear-tree. 

1564] HAWKINS. 13 

About these islands are certain flitting islands, which have been 
oftentimes seen, and when men approached near them, they 
vanished. As the like hath been of these islands now known by 
the report of the inhabitants, which were not found of long time 
one after the other; and therefore it should seem he is not yet 
born to whom God hath appointed the rinding of them. In this 
island of Teneriffe there is a hill called The Pike, because it is 
piked, which is in height, by their reports, twenty leagues, having, 
both winter and summer, abundance of snow on the top of it. 
This Pike may be seen on a clear day fifty leagues off; but it 
showeth as though it were a black cloud a great height in the 
element. I have heard of none to be compared with this in 
height ; but in the Indies I have seen many, and in my judgment 
not inferior to the Pike, and so the Spaniards write. 

On the 1 5th of November, at night, we departed from Teneriffe, 
and on the 2oth of the same we had sight of ten caravels that 
were fishing at sea, with whom we would have spoken, but they, 
fearing us, fled into a place of Barbary, called Cape de las 

On the 2oth the ship's pinnace, with two men in her, sailing by 
the ship, was overthrown by the oversight of them that went in 
her, the wind being so great that, before they were espied, and 
the ship had cast about for them, she was driven half a league to 
leeward of the pinnace, and had lost sight of her, so that there 
was small hope of recovery had not God's help and the captain s 
diligence been, who, having well marked which way the pin 
nace was by the sun, appointed twenty-four of the lustiest rowers 
in the great boat to row to the windward, and so recovered, 
contrary to all men's expectations, both the pinnace and the men 
sitting upon the keel of her. 

On the 2 $th he came to Cape Blanco, which is upon the 
coast of Africa, and a place where the Portuguese do ride, that 
fish there in the month of November especially, and is a very 
good place of fishing for pargoes, mullet, and dog-fish. In this 
place the Portuguese have no hold for their defence, but have 
rescue of the barbarians, whom they entertain as their soldiers, 
for the time of their being there and for their fishing upon that 
coast of Africa, paying a certain tribute to the King of the 
Moors. The people of that part of Africa are tawny, having 
long hair, without any apparel. Their weapons in wars are 
bows and arrows. 


On the 26th we departed from St. Avis Bay, within Cape 
Blanco, where we refreshed ourselves with fish and other neces 
saries; and on the 29th we came to Cape Verde, which lieth in 
fourteen degrees and a-half. These people are all black, and are 
called negroes, without any apparel, * * * 

of stature goodly men, and well liking by reason of their food, 
which passeth all other Guineans for kine, goats, pullen, rice, 
fruits, and fish. Here we took fishes with heads like conies, and 
teeth nothing varying, of a jolly thickness, but not past a foot long, 
and is not to be eaten without flaying or cutting off his head. 
To speak somewhat of the sundry sorts of these Guineans : the 
people of Cape Verde are called Leophares, and counted the 
goodliest men of all other, saving the Congoes, which do inhabit 
on this side the Cape de Buena EsperanQa. These Leophares 
have wars against the Jeloffes, which are borderers by them. 
Their weapons are bows and arrows, targets, and short daggers, 
darts also, but varying from other negroes' ; for whereas the others 
use a long dart to fight with in their hands, they carry five or six 
small ones apiece, which they cast with. These men also are 
more civil than any other, because of their daily traffic with the 
Frenchmen, and are of nature very gentle and loving ; for while 
we were there we took in a Frenchman, who was one of the nine 
teen that, going to Brazil, in a barque of Dieppe, of 60 tons, and 
being a-seaboard of Cape Verde, 200 leagues, the planks of their 
barque with a sea brake out upon them so suddenly, that much ado 
they had to save themselves in their boats. But, by God's pro 
vidence, the wind being westerly, which is rarely seen there, they 
got to the shore, to the Isle Brava, and in great penury got to 
Cape Verde, where they remained six weeks, and had meat and 
drink of the same people. The said Frenchman having forsaken 
his fellows, which were three leagues off from the shore, and, 
wandering with the negroes to and fro, fortuned to come to the 
water's side; and, communing with certain of his countrymen 
which were in our ship, by their persuasions came away with us. 
But his entertainment amongst them was such that he desired it 
not ; but, through the importunate request of his countrymen, con 
sented at last. Here we stayed but one night and part of the day ; 
for on the 7th of December we came away, in that pretending to 
have taken negroes there perforce, the Minion's men gave them 
there to understand of our coming, and our pretence, wherefore 
they did avoid the snares we had laid for them. 

1564] HAWKINS. 15 

On the 8th of December we anchored by a small island called 
Alcatrarsa,* wherein at our going ashore we found nothing but sea- 
birds, as we call them gannets, but by the ' Portugals called 
alcatrarses, who for that cause gave the said island the same 
name. Herein half of our boats were laden with young and old 
fowl, who, not being used to the sight of men, flew so about us 
that we struck them down with poles. In this place the two ships 
riding, the two barques, with their boats, went into an island of 
the Sapies called La Formio, to see if they could take any of 
them, and there landed to the number of eighty in armour, and, 
espying certain, made to them ; but they fled in such order into 
the woods, that it booted them not to follow. So, going on their 
way forward till they came to a river which they could not pass 
over, they espied on the other side two men, who with their bows and 
arrows shot terribly at them. Whereupon we discharged certain 
arquebuses at them again ; but the ignorant people weighed it not, 
because they knew not the danger thereof; but used a marvellous 
crying in their fight, with leaping and turning their tails that it was 
most strange to see, and gave us great pleasure to behold them. At 
the last, one being hurt with an arquebus upon the thigh, looked 
upon his wound and wist not how it came, because he could not see 
the pellet. Here Master Hawkins perceiving no good to be done 
amongst them, because we could not find their towns, and also 
not knowing how to go into Rio Grande for want of a pilot, 
which was the very occasion of our coming thither; and finding 
so many shoals, feared with our great ships to go in, and there 
fore departed on our pretended way to the Idols. 

On the loth of December we had a north-east wind, with rain 
and storm, which weather continuing two days together, was the 
occasion that the Salomon and Tiger lost our company. For 
whereas the Jesus and pinnace anchored at one of the islands 
called Sambulat on the I2th day, the Salomon and Tiger came 
not thither till the I4th. In this island we stayed certain days, 
going every day on shore to take the inhabitants, with burning 
and spoiling their towns, who before were Sapies, and were con 
quered by the Samboses, inhabitants beyond Sierra Leone. These 
Samboses had inhabited there three years before our coming 

* The Alcatraz is the Man-of-war Bird, a species of cormorant, 
t Probably the island now called Sherborough Island. 


thither, and in so short space have so planted the ground that 
they had great plenty of mill, rice, roots, pompions, pullen, goats, of 
small fry dried ; every house full of the country fruit planted by 
God's providence, as palm-trees, fruits like dates, and sundry 
other, in no place in all that country so abundantly, whereby they 
lived more deliciously than others. These inhabitants have divers 
of the Sapies which they took in the wars as their slaves, whom 
only they kept to till the ground, in that they neither have the 
knowledge thereof, nor yet will work themselves, of whom we took 
many in that place, but of the Samboses none at all, for they fled 
into the main. All the Samboses have white teeth as we have, 
far unlike to the Sapies which do inhabit about Rio Grande ; for 
their teeth are all filed, which they do for a bravery, to set out 
themselves, and do jag their flesh, both legs, arms, and bodies, as 
workmanlike as a jerkinmaker with us pinketh a jerkin. These 
Sapies are more civil than the Samboses ; for whereas the Sam 
boses live most by the spoil of their enemies, both in taking their 
victuals and eating them also, the Sapies do not eat man's flesh, 
unless in the war they be driven by necessity thereunto, which 
they have not used, but by the example of the Samboses, but 
live only on fruits and cattle, whereof they have great store. This 
plenty is the occasion that the Sapies desire not war, except they 
be thereunto provoked by the invasions of the Samboses, whereas 
the Samboses for want of food are enforced thereunto, and there 
fore are not wont only to take them that they kill, but also keep 
those that they take until such time as they want meat, and then 
they kill them. There is also another occasion that provoketh the 
Samboses to war against the Sapies, which is for covetousness of 
their riches. For whereas the Sapies have an order to bury their 
dead in certain places appointed for that purpose with their gold 
about them, the Samboses dig up the ground to have the same 
treasure. For the Samboses have not the like store of gold that 
the Sapies have. In this island of Sambula we found about fifty 
boats called almadies, or canoes, which are made of one piece of 
wood, digged out like a trough, but of a good proportion, being 
about eight yards long and one in breadth, having a beakhead 
and stern very proportionably made, and on the outside artificially 
carved, and painted red and blue. They are able to carry twenty 
or thirty men ; but about the coast they are able to carry three 
score and upward. In these canoes they row standing upright, 
with an oar somewhat longer than a man, the end whereof is 

1564] HAWKINS. 17 

made about the breadth and length of a man's hand of the largest 
sort. They row very swift, and in some of them four rowers and 
one to steer make as much way as a pair of oars in the Thames 
of London. 

Their towns are prettily divided with a main street at the 
entering in, that goeth through their town, and another overthwart 
street, which maketh their towns crossways. Their houses are 
built in a rank very orderly in the face of the street, and they are 
made round, like a dove-cot, with stakes set full of palmito* leaves, 
instead of a wall. They are not much more than a fathom large, 
and two of height, and thatched with palmito leaves very close, and 
some with reeds, and over the roof thereof, for the better garnishing 
of the same, there is a round bundle of reeds, prettily contrived 
like a louver. In the inner part they make a loft of sticks, where 
upon they lay all their provision of victuals. A place they reserve 
at the entrance for the kitchen, and the place they lie in is divided 
with certain mats artificially made with the rind of palmito 
trees. Their bedsteads are of small staves laid along, and raised 
a foot from the ground, upon which is laid a mat, and another 
upon them when they list; for other covering they have none. 
In the middle of the town there is a house larger and higher than 
the others, but in form alike, adjoining unto the which there is a 
place made of four good stanchions of wood, and a round roof 
over it, the ground also raised round with clay a foot high, upon 
the which floor were strawed many fine mats. This is the 
Consultation-house, the like whereof is in all towns, as the Portu 
gals affirm: in which place, when they sit in council, the king 
or captain sitteth in the midst, and the elders upon the floor by 
him (for they give reverence to their elders), and the common 
sort sit round about them. There they sit to examine matters of 
theft, which if a man be taken with, to steal but a Portugal's 
cloth from another, he is sold to the Portugals for a slave. 
They consult, also, and take order what time they shall go to 
war; and, as it is certainly reported by the Portugals, they take 
order in gathering of the fruits in the season of the year, and also 
of palmito wine, which is gathered by a hole cut in the top of a 
tree, and a gourd set for the receiving thereof, which falleth in by 
drops, and yieldeth fresh wine again within a month, and this 

The Areca or Cabbage Palm, a native both of Africa and America. 


divided part and portion-like to every man by the judgment of 
the captain and elders, every man holdeth himself contented. 
And this surely I judge to be a very good order; for otherwise, 
whereas scarcity of palmito is, every man would have the same, 
which might breed great strife. But of such things as every man 
doth plant for himself, the sower thereof reapeth it to his own 
use, so that nothing is common but that which is unset by man's 
hands. In their houses there is more common passage of lizards 
like evats, and others greater, of black and blue colour, of near a 
foot long, besides their tails, than there is with us of mice in great 
houses. The Sapies and Samboses also use in their wars bows, 
and arrows made of reeds, with heads of iron poisoned with the 
juice of a cucumber, whereof I had many in my hands. In their 
battles they have target-men, with broad wicker targets, and darts 
with heads of iron at both ends, the one in form of a two-edged 
sword, a foot and a-half long, and at the other end, the iron long of 
the same length made to counterpoise it, that in casting it might 
fly level, rather than for any other purpose as I can judge. And 
when they espy the enemy, the captain, to cheer his men, crieth 
" Hungry," and they answer " Heygre," and with that every man 
placeth himself in order. For about every target-man three bow 
men will cover themselves, and shoot as they see advantage. 
And when they give the onset, they make such terrible cries that 
they may be heard two miles off. For their belief, I can hear of 
none that they have, but in such as they themselves imagine to 
see in their dreams, and so worship the pictures, whereof we saw 
some like unto devils. In this island aforesaid we sojourned until 
the 2ist of December, where, having taken certain negroes and as 
much of their fruits, rice, and mill as we could well carry away 
(whereof there was such store that we might have laden one of 
our barques therewith), we departed. And at our departure, divers 
of our men being desirous to go on shore to fetch pompions, which, 
having proved, they found to be very good, certain of the Tiger's men 
went also. Amongst the which there was a carpenter, a young man, 
who, with his fellows, having fetched many and carried them down to 
their boats, as they were ready to depart, desired his fellow to 
tarry while he might go up to fetch a few which he had laid by 
for himself. Who, being more licorous than circumspect, went up 
without weapon, and, as he went up alone, possibly being marked 
of the negroes that were upon the trees, espying him what he did, 
perceiving him to be alone, and without weapon, dogged him. And 

1564] HAWKINS. 19 

finding him occupied in binding his pompions together, came 
behind him, overthrowing him, and straight cut his throat, as he 
afterwards was found by his fellows, who came to the place for 
him, and there found him naked. 

On the 22nd the Captain went into the river called Callowsa, 
with the two barques, and the John's pinnace, and the Salomon's 
boat, leaving at anchor in the river's mouth the two ships, the 
river being twenty leagues in, where the Portuguese rode. He 
came thither on the 25th, and dispatched his business, and so 
returned with two caravels laden with negroes. 

On the 2/th the Captain was advertised by the Portugals of a 
town of the negroes called Bymba, being in the way as they 
returned, where was not only a great quantity of gold, but also 
that there were not above forty men and a hundred women and 
children in the town, so that if he would give the adventure upon 
the same, he might get a hundred slaves. With the which tidings 
he being glad, because the Portugals should not think him to be 
of so base a courage, but that he durst give them that, and greater 
attempts; and being thereunto also the more provoked with the 
prosperous success he had in other islands adjacent, where he had 
put them all to flight and taken in one boat twenty together, 
determined to stay before the town three or four hours, to see 
what he could do; and thereupon prepared his men in armour 
and weapon together, to the number of forty men well appointed, 
having as their guides certain Portugals in a boat, who brought 
some of them to their death. We landing boat after boat, and 
divers of our men scattering themselves, contrary to the Captain's 
will, by one or two in a company, for the hope that they had to 
find gold in their houses, ransacking the same, in the meantime 
the negroes came upon them, and hurt many (being thus scattered), 
whereas if five or six had been together they had been able (as 
their companions did) to give the overthrow to forty of them ; and, 
being driven down to take their boats, were followed so hardly by 
a rout of negroes, who by that took courage to pursue them to 
their boats, that not only some of them, but others standing on 
shore, not looking for any such matter, by means that the negroes 
did flee at the first, and our company remained in the town, 
were suddenly so set upon that some with great hurt recovered 
their boats; othersome, not able to recover the same, took the 
water, and perished by means of the ooze. While this was doing, 
the Captain, who, with a dozen men, went through the town, 

C 2 


returned, finding 200 negroes at the water's side, shooting at those 
in the boats, and cutting them in pieces which were drowned in 
the water, at whose coming they ran all away. So he entered his 
boats, and, before he could put off from the shore, they returned 
again, and shot very fiercely and hurt divers of them. Thus we 
returned back somewhat discomforted, although the Captain in a sin 
gular wise manner carried himself, with countenance very cheerful 
outwardly, as though he did little weigh the death of his men, nor 
yet the great hurt of the rest, although his heart inwardly was 
broken in pieces for it; done to this end, that the Portugals, 
being with him, should not presume to resist against him, nor take 
occasion to put him to further displeasure or hindrance for the 
death of our men : having gotten by our going ten negroes and 
lost seven of our best men, whereof Mr. Field, Captain of the 
Salomon, was one, and we had twenty-seven of our men hurt. In 
the same hour while this was doing there happened at the same 
instant a marvellous miracle to them in the ships, who rode ten 
leagues to seaward, by many sharks, or tiburons, who came about 
the ships ; among which one was taken by the Jesus and four by the 
Salomon, and one, very sore hurt, escaped. And so it fell out ot 
our men, whereof one of the Jesus' men and four of the Salomon's 
were killed, and the fifth, having twenty wounds, was rescued, and 
escaped with much ado. 

On the 28th they came to their ships, the Jesus and the Salo 
mon, and on the 3oth departed from thence to Taggarin. 

On the ist of January the two barques and both the boats 
forsook the ships and went into a river called the Casserroes, and on 
the 6th having despatched their business, the two barques returned 
and came to Taggarin, where the two ships were at anchor. Not 
two days after the coming of the two ships thither, they put their 
water-cask ashore, and filled it with water, to season the same, 
thinking to have filled it with fresh water afterwards ; and while 
their men were some on shore and some in their boats, the 
negroes set upon them in the boats and hurt divers of them, and 
came to the casks and cut off the hoops of twelve butts, which 
lost us four or five days' time, besides great want we had of the 
same. Sojourning at Taggarin, the Swallow went up the river 
about her traffic, where they saw great towns of the negroes, and 
canoes that had threescore men in apiece. There they understood 
by the Portugals of a great battle between them of Sierra Leone 
side and them of Taggarin. They of Sierra Leone had had pre- 

1565] HAWKINS. 21 

pared three hundred canoes to invade the other. The time was 
appointed not past six days after our departure from thence, 
which we would have seen, to the intent we might have taken 
some of them, had it not been for the death and sickness of our 
men, which came by the contagiousness of the place, which made 
us to make haste away. 

On the 1 8th of January, at night, we departed from Taggarin, 
being bound for the West Indies, before which departure certain 
of the Salomon's men went on shore to fill water in the night. 
And as they came on shore with their boat, being ready to leap on 
land, one of them espied a negro in a white coat, standing upon a 
roek, being ready to have received them when they came on shore, 
having in sight also eight or nine of his fellows, some in one place 
leaping out and some in another, but they hid themselves straight 
again. Whereupon our men, doubting they had been a great 
company, and sought to have taken them at more advantage, as 
God would, departed to their ships, not thinking there had been 
such a mischief pretended toward them as then was indeed. 
Which the next day we understood of a Portugal that came 
down to us, who had trafficked with the negroes, by whom he 
understood that the King of Sierra Leone had made all the power 
he could to take some of us, partly from the desire he had to see 
what kind of people we were that had spoiled his people at the 
Idols, whereof he had news before our coming, and, as I judge 
also, upon other occasions provoked by the Tangomangos; but 
sure we were that the army was come down, by means that in 
the evening we saw such a monstrous fire, made by the watering 
place, that before was not seen, which fire is the only mark for 
the Tangomangos to know where their army is always. If these 
men had come down in the evening, they had done us great dis 
pleasure, for that we were on shore filling water ; but God, who 
worketh all things for the best, would not have it so, and by Him 
we escaped without danger. His name be praised for it. 

On the 2Qth of this same month we departed with all our ships 
from Sierra Leone towards the West Indies, and for the space of 
eighteen days we were becalmed, having now and then contrary 
winds and some tornados amongst the same calm, which happened 
to us very ill, being but reasonably watered for so great a company 
of negroes and ourselves, which pinched us all, and that which 
was worst, put us in such fear that many never thought to have 
reached to the Indies without great death of negroes and of them- 


selves; but the Almighty God, who never suffereth His elect to 
perish, sent us, on the i6th of February, the ordinary Breeze,* 
which is the north-east wind, which never left us till we came to 
an island of the cannibals called Dominica, where we arrived on the 
9th of March, upon a Saturday. And because it was the most 
desolate place in all the island we could see no cannibals, but 
some of their houses where they dwelled, and, as it should seem, 
forsook the place for want of fresh water ; for we could find none 
there but rain-water and such as fell from the hills and remained 
as a puddle in the dale, whereof we filled for our negroes. The 
cannibals of that island, and also others adjacent, are the most 
desperate warriors that are in the Indies by the Spaniards' report, 
who are never able to conquer them ; and they are molested by 
them not a little when they are driven to water there in any of 
those islands. Of very late, not two months past, in the said 
island, a caravel, being driven to water, was in the night set upon 
by the inhabitants, who cut their cable in the halser, whereby 
they were driven ashore, and so taken by them and eaten. The 
Green Dragon of Newhaven, whereof was captain one Bontemps, 
in March also, came to one of those islands called Granada, and, 
being driven to water, could not do the same for the cannibals, 
who fought with him very desperately two days. For our part 
also, if we had not lighted upon the desertest place in all that 
island, we could not have missed, but should have been greatly 
troubled by them, by all the Spaniards' reports, who make them 
devils in respect of men. 

On the loth day at night we departed from thence, and on the 
1 5th had sight of nine islands called the Testigos; and on the 
1 6th of an island called Margarita, where we were entertained by 
the Alcalde, and had both beeves and sheep given to us for the 
refreshing of our men. But the Governor of the island would 
neither come to speak with our Captain, neither yet give him any 
licence to traffic ; and, to displease us the more, whereas we had 
hired a pilot to have gone with us, they would not only not suffer 
him to go with us, but also sent word by a caravel out of hand to 
Santo Domingo to the Viceroy, who doth represent the King's 
person, of our arrival in those parts, which had like to have 
turned us to great displeasure by the means that the same Viceroy 

* Spanish " Brisa," the ordinary name for the Trade -Winds. 

1565] HAWKINS. 

2 3 

did send word to Cape De la Vela, and to other places along the 
coast, commanding them that, by virtue of his authority and by 
the obedience that they owe to their Prince, no man should traffic 
with us, but should resist us with all the force they could. In 
this island, notwithstanding that we were not within four leagues 
of the town, yet were they so afraid, that not only the Governor 
himself, but also all the inhabitants, forsook their town, assembling 
all the Indians to them, and fled into the mountains, as we were 
partly certified, and also saw the experience ourselves, by some 
of the Indians coming to see us, who, by three Spaniards on 
horseback passing hard by us, went unto the Indians, having every 
one of them their bows and arrows, procuring them away who 
before were conversant with us. 

Here, perceiving no traffic to be had with them, nor yet water 
for the refreshing of our men, we were driven to depart on the 
2oth day, and on the 22nd we came to a place in the main called 
Cumana, whither the Captain going in his pinnace, spake with 
certain Spaniards, of whom he demanded traffic; but they made 
him answer they were but soldiers newly come thither, and were 
not able to buy one negro. Whereupon he asked for a watering place, 
and they pointed him a place two leagues off called Santa Fd, 
where we found marvellously goodly watering, and commodious 
for the taking in thereof; for that the fresh water came into the 
sea, and so our ships had aboard the shore twenty fathom water. 
Near about this place inhabited certain Indians, who the next day 
after we came thither came down to us, presenting mill and cakes 
of bread, which they had made of a kind of corn called maize, 
in bigness of a pease, the ear whereof is much like to a teasel, 
but a span in length, having thereon a number of grains. Also 
they brought down to us hens, potatoes, and pines, which we 
bought for beads, pewter whistles, glasses, knives, and other 

These potatoes be the most delicate roots that may be eaten, 
and do far exceed our parsnips or carrots. Their pines be of the 
bigness of two fists, the outside whereof is of the making of a 
pine-apple, but it is soft like the rind of a cucumber, and the 
inside eateth like an apple ; but it is more delicious than any sweet 
apple sugared. These Indians being of colour tawny like an olive, 
having every one of them, both men and women, hair all black, 
and no other colour, the women wearing the same hanging down to 
their shoulders, and the men rounded, and without beards, neither 


men nor women suffering any hair to grow on any part of their 
body, but daily pull it off as it groweth. 

These people be very small feeders ; for travelling they carry 
but two small bottles of gourds, wherein they put in one the 
juice of sorrel, whereof they have great store, and in the other 
flour of their maize, which, being moist, they eat, taking some 
times of the other. These men carry every man his bow and 
arrows, whereof some arrows are poisoned for wars, which they 
keep in a cane together, which cane is of the bigness of a 
man's arm, other some with broad heads of iron, wherewith 
they strike fish in the water ; the experience whereof we saw 
not once or twice, but daily for the time we tarried there ; for 
they are so good archers that the Spaniards for fear thereof 
arm themselves and their horses with quilted canvas of two 
inches thick, and leave no place of their body open to their 
enemies, saving their eyes, which they may not hide, and yet 
oftentimes are they hit in that so small a scantling. Their 
poison is of such force that a man being stricken therewith 
dieth within four-and-twenty hours, as the Spaniards do affirm; 
and, in my judgment, it is like there can be no stronger poison 
as they make it, using thereunto apples which are very fair and 
red of colour, but are a strong poison, with the which, together 
with venomous bats, vipers, adders, and other serpents, they 
make a medley, and therewith anoint the same. 

The beds which they have are made of Gossopine cotton } 
and wrought artificially of divers colours, which they carry 
about with them when they travel, and making the same fast 
to two trees, lie therein, they and their women. The people 
be surely gentle and tractable, and such as desire to live 
peaceably, or else had it been impossible for the Spaniards 

1565] HAWKINS. 25 

to have conquered them as they did, and the more to live now 
peaceably, they being so many in number and the Spaniards 
so few. 

From hence we departed on the 28th, and the next day we 
passed between the mainland and the island called Tortuga, a 
very low island, in the year of our Lord God one thousand five 
hundred and sixty-five aforesaid, and sailed along the coast until 
the ist of April, at which time the Captain sailed along in the 
Jesus' pinnace to discern the coast, and saw many Caribs on 
shore, and some, also, in their canoes, which made tokens unto 
him of friendship, and shewed him gold, meaning thereby that 
they would traffic for wares. Whereupon he stayed to see the 
manners of them ; and so for two or three trifles they gave such 
things as they had about them, and departed. But the Caribs 
were very importunate to have them come on shore, which, if it 
had not been for want of wares to traffic with them, he would not 
have denied them, because the Indians which we saw before were 
very gentle people, and such as do no man hurt. But, as God 
would have it, he wanted that thing, which if he had had would 
have been his confusion. For these were no such kind of people 
as we took them to be, but more devilish a thousand parts, and 
are eaters and devourers of any man they can catch, as it was 
afterwards declared unto us at Burboroata, by a caravel coming 
out of Spain with certain soldiers, and a captain-general sent by 
the King for those eastward parts of the Indians, who, sailing 
along in his pinnace, as our Captain did to descry the coast, was 
by the Caribs called ashore with sundry tokens made to him of 
friendship, and gold shewed as though they desired traffic, with 
the which the Spaniard being moved, suspecting no deceit at all, 
went ashore amongst them. Who was no sooner ashore but, with four 
or five more, was taken ; the rest of his company being invaded 
by them, saved themselves by flight; but they that were taken paid 
their ransom with their lives, and were presently eaten. And this 
is their practice, to toll with their gold the ignorant to their snares. 
They are bloodsuckers both of Spaniards, Indians, and all that 
light in their laps, not sparing their own countrymen if they can 
conveniently come by them. Their policy in fight with the 
Spaniards is marvellous; for they choose for their refuge the 
mountains and woods, where the Spaniards with their horses 
cannot follow them. And if they fortune to be met in the plain, 
where one horseman may overrun 100 of them, they have a device 


of late practised by them to pitch stakes of wood in the ground 
and also small iron pikes to mischief their horses, wherein they 
show themselves politic warriors. They have more abundance 
of gold than all the Spaniards have, and live upon the mountains ; 
where the mines are in such number, that the Spaniards have 
much ado to get any of them from them ; and yet sometimes by 
assembling a great number of them, which happeneth once in 
two years, they get a piece from them, which afterwards they keep 
sure enough. 

Thus having escaped the danger of them, we kept our course 
along the coast, and we came the 3rd of April to a town called 
Burboroata,* where his ships came to an anchor, and he himself 
went ashore to speak with the Spaniards, to whom he declared 
himself to be an Englishman, and come thither to trade with them 
by way of merchandise, and therefore required licence for the same. 
Unto whom they made answer, that they were forbidden by the 
king to traffic with any foreign nation, upon penalty to forfeit their 
goods ; therefore they desired him not to molest them any further, 
but to depart as he came, for other comfort he might not look for 
at their hands, because they were subjects and might not go beyond 
the law. But he replied that his necessity was such, as he might 
not do so ; for being in one of the Queen's Armadas of England, 
and having many soldiers in them, he had need both of some re 
freshing for them, and of victuals, and of money also, without which 
he could not depart ; and with much other talk persuaded them not 
to fear any dishonest part on his behalf towards them, for neither 
would he commit any such thing to the dishonour of his prince, nor 
yet for his honest reputation and estimation, unless he were too 
rigorously dealt with, which he hoped not to find at their hands, in that 
it should as well redound to their profit as his own ; and also he 
thought they might do it without danger, because their princes 
were in amity one with another ; and for our parts we had free 
traffic in Spain and Flanders, which are his dominions ; and, 
therefore, he knew no reason why he should not have the like in all 
his dominions. To the which the Spaniards made answer that it 
lay not in them to give any licence, for that they had a governor to 
whom the government of those parts was committed, but if they 

* Burburata, or Barbarotta, now in the territory of Venezuela. 

1565] HAWKINS. 27 

would stay ten days, they would send to their governor, who was 
threescore leagues off, and would return answer, within the space 
appointed of his mind. 

In the meantime they were content he should bring his ships into 
harbour, and there they would deliver him any victuals he would, 
require. Whereupon the fourth day we went in, where being one 
day, and receiving all things according to promise, the captain 
advised himself that to remain there ten days idle, spending vic 
tuals and men's wages, and perhaps in the end receive no good 
answer from the governor, it were mere folly ; and therefore deter 
mined to make request to have licence for the sale of certain lean 
and sick negroes which he had in his ship like to die upon his 
hands if he kept them ten days, having little or no refreshing for 
them, whereas other men having them they would be recovered 
well enough. And this request he was forced to make, because he 
had not otherwise wherewith to pay for victuals and for necessaries 
which he should take. Which request being put in writing and pre 
sented, the officers and town-dwellers assembled together, and find 
ing his request so reasonable, granted him licence for thirty negroes, 
which afterwards they caused the officers to view, to the intent 
that they should grant to nothing but that were very reasonable, 
for fear of answering thereunto afterwards. This being passed, our 
captain, according to their licence, thought to have made, sale, but 
the day passed and none came to buy, who before made show that 
they had great need of them, and therefore wist not what to surmise 
of them ; whether they went about to prolong the time of the 
governor's answer, because they would keep themselves blameless, 
or for any other policy, he knew not, and for that purpose sent 
them word, marvelling what the matter was, that none came to buy 
them. They answered because they had granted licence only to 
the poor to buy those negroes of small price, and their money was 
not so ready as other men's of more wealth. More than that, as 
soon as ever they saw the ships, they conveyed away their money 
by their wives, that went into the mountains for fear, and were 
not yet returned, and yet asked two days to seek their wives and 
fetch their money. Notwithstanding, the next day divers of them 
came to cheapen, but could not agree of price, because they 
thought the price too high. Whereupon the captain, perceiving 
they went about to bring down the price, and meant to buy, and 
would not confess if he had licence, that he might sell at any 
reasonable rate, as they were worth in other places, did send for the 


principals of the town, and made a show he would depart, declaring 
himself to be very sorry that he had so much troubled them, and also 
that he had sent for the governor to come down, seeing now that his 
pretence was to depart ; whereat they marvelled much, and asked 
him what cause moved him thereunto, seeing by their working it 
was in possibility to have his licence. 

To the which he replied that it was not only a licence that he sought, 
but profit, which he perceived was not there to be had, and therefore 
would seek further ; and withal showed them his writings what 
he paid for his negroes, declaring also the great charge he was at 
in his shipping and men's wages, and, therefore, to countervail his 
charges, he must sell his negroes for a greater price than they 
offered. So they, doubting his departure, put him in comfort to 
sell better there than in any other place. And if it fell out that he 
had no licence, that he should not lose his labour in tarrying, for 
they would buy without licence. Whereupon, the captain being 
put in comfort, promised them to stay, so that he might make sale 
of his lean negroes, which they granted unto. And the next 
day he did sell to some of them. Who having bought and paid 
for them, thinking to have had a discharge of the Customer for the 
custom of the negroes, being the king's duty, they gave it away to 
to the poor for God's sake, and did refuse to give the discharge in 
writing ; and the poor, not trusting their words, for fear lest here 
after it might be demanded of them, did refrain from buying any 
more ; so that nothing else was ,done until the governor's coming 
down, which was the fourteenth day, and then the captain made 
petition, declaring that he was come thither in a ship of the Queen's 
Majesty's of England, being bound to Guinea, and thither driven 
by wind and weather, so that being come thither, he had need of 
sundry necessaries for the reparation of the said navy, and also 
great need of money for the payment of his soldiers, unto whom he 
had promised payment ; and therefore, although he would, yet 
would not they depart without it, and for that purpose he requested 
licence for the sale of certain of his negroes, declaring that although 
they were forbidden to traffic with strangers, yet as there was a 
great amity between their princes, and that the thing pertained to 
our queen's highness, he thought he might do their prince great 
service, and that it would be well taken at his hands to do it in this 
cause. The which allegations, with divers others put in request, 
were presented to the governor, who, sitting in council for that 
matter, granted his request for licence. But yet there fell out 

1565] HAWKINS. 29 

another thing, which was the abating of the king's customs, being 
upon every slave thirty ducats, which would not be granted unto. 

Whereupon the captain perceiving that they would neither come 
near his price he looked for by a great deal, nor yet would abate 
the king's custom of that they offered, so that either he must be 
a great loser by his wares, or else compel the officers to abate the 
same king's custom, which was too unreasonable, for to a higher 
price he could not bring the buyers, therefore, on the i6th of 
April, he prepared one hundred men well armed with bows, 
arrows, arquebuses, and pikes, with which he marched to the town- 
wards : and being perceived by the governor, he straight 
with all expedition sent messengers to know his request, 
desiring him to march no further forward until he had answer 
again, which incontinent he should have. So our captain, de 
claring how unreasonable a thing the king's custom was, requested 
to have the same abated, and to pay seven and a half per cent., 
which is the ordinary custom for wares through his dominions 
there, and unto this if they would not grant he would displease them. 
And this word being carried to the governor, answer was returned 
that all things should be to his content ; and thereupon he deter 
mined to depart, but the soldiers and mariners, finding so little 
credit in their promises, demanded gages for the performance of 
the premisses or else they would not depart. And thus they being 
constrained to send gages, we departed, beginning our traffic, and 
ending the same without disturbance. 

Thus having made traffic in the harborough until the 28th, our 
captain with his ships intended to go out of the road, and pur 
posed to make show of his departure ; because now the common 
sort having employed their money, the rich men were come to town, 
who made no show that they were come to buy, so that they went 
about to bring down the price, and by this policy the captain knew 
they would be made the more eager, for fear lest we departed, and 
they should go without any at all. 

On the 29th, we being at anchor without the road, a French 
ship called the Green Dragon, of Newhaven, whereof one Bon- 
temps was captain, came in, who saluted us after the manner of 
the sea, with certain pieces of ordnance, and we re-saluted him with 
the like again. With whom having communication, he declared that 
he had been at the Mine in Guinea, and was beaten off by the 
Portugals' galleys, and enforced to come thither to make sale of such 
wares as he had ; and further, that the like was happened unto the 


Minion ; besides the Captain Davie Carlet and a merchant with a 
dozen mariners betrayed by the negroes at their first arrival thither, 
and remaining prisoners with the Portugals ; and besides other 
misadventures of the loss of their men, happened through the 
great lack of fresh water, with great doubts of bringing home the 
ships ; which was most sorrowful for us to understand. 

Thus having ended our traffic here, on the 4th of May we 
departed, leaving the Frenchman behind us ; the night before which 
the Caribs, whereof I have made mention before, being to the num 
ber of two hundred, came in their canoes to Burboroata, intending 
by night to have burned the town, and taken the Spaniards, who 
being more vigilant because of our being there, than was their 
custom, perceiving them coming, raised the town, who in a moment 
were on horseback (by means their custom is for all doubts to keep 
their horses ready saddled), in the night set upon them and took 
one; but the rest making shift for themselves, escaped away. But this 
one, because he was their guide, and was the occasion that divers 
times they had made invasion upon them, had for his travail a 
stake thrust through his fundament, and so out at his neck. 

On the ist of May aforesaid, we came to an island called 
Curagao, where we had thought to have anchored, but could not 
find ground, and having let fall an anchor with two cables, were 
fain to weigh it again ; and on the 7th, sailing along the coast to 
seek a harbour, and finding none, we came to an anchor where we 
rode open in the sea. In this place we had traffic for hides, and 
found great refreshing, both of beef, mutton, and lambs, whereof 
there was such plenty, that saving the skins, we had the flesh given 
us for nothing ; the plenty thereof was so abundant, that the 
worst in the ship thought scorn not only of mutton, but also of 
sodden lamb, which they disdained to eat unroasted. 

The increase of cattle in this island is marvellous, which from ' a 
dozen of each sort brought thither by the governor, in twenty- 
five years, he had a hundred thousand at the least, and of other 
cattle was able to kill, without spoil of the increase, fifteen hundred 
yearly, which he killeth for the skins, and of the flesh saveth 
only the tongues, the rest he leaveth to the fowl to devour. And 
this I am able to affirm, not only upon the governor's own report, 
who was the first that brought the increase thither, which so re- 
maineth unto this day, but also by that I saw myself in one field, 
where a hundred oxen lay one by another all whole, saving the skin 
and tongue taken away. And it is not so marvellous a thing why they 

1565] HAWKINS. 31 

do thus cast away the flesh in all the islands of the West Indies, 
seeing the land is great and more than they are able to inhabit, the 
people few, and having delicate fruits and meats enough besides to 
feed upon, which they rather desire, and the increase which passeth 
man's reason to believe, when they come to a great number : for in 
Santo Domingo, an island called by the finders thereof Hispaniola, 
there is so great a quantity of cattle, and such increase thereof, 
that notwithstanding the daily killing of them for their hides, it is 
not possible to assuage the number of them ; but they are devoured 
by wild dogs, whose number is such by suffering them first to range 
the woods and mountains, that they eat and destroy 60,000 a year, 
and yet small lack found of them. And no marvel, for the said 
island is almost as big as all England, and being the first place that 
was found of all the Indies, and long time inhabited before the 
rest, it ought, therefore, of reason to be most populous : and to 
this hour, the Viceroy and Council Royal abideth there, as the chief 
place in all the Indies, to prescribe orders to the rest for the King's 
behalf ; yet have they but one city and thirteen villages in all the 
same island, whereby the spoil of them in respect of the increase is 

On the i $th of the foresaid month, we departed from Curasao, 
being not a little to the rejoicing of our Captain and us that we had 
there ended our traffic ; but notwithstanding our sweet meat, we 
had sour sauce, for by reason of our riding so open at sea, what 
with blasts, whereby, our anchors being aground, three at once 
came home, and also with contrary winds blowing, whereby, for 
fear of the shore, we were fain to haul off to have anchor-hold, 
sometimes a whole day and a night we turned up and down ; and 
this happened not once, but half a dozen times in the space of our 
being there. 

On the 1 6th we passed by an island called Aruba, and on the 
1 7th, at night, we anchored six hours at the west end of Cabo de 
la Vela, and in the morning, being the i8th, weighed again, keeping 
our course, in the which time the captain, sailing by the shore in 
the pinnace, came to the Rancheria, a place where the Spaniards use 
to fish for pearls, and there spoke with a Spaniard, who told him how 
far off he was from Rio de la Hacha, which because he would not over 
shoot, he anchored that night again, and on the igth came thither ; 
where having talk with the king's treasurer of the Indies resident 
there, he declared his quiet traffic in Burboroata, and showed a 
certificate of the same, made by the governor thereof, and therefore 


he desired to have the like there also ; but the treasurer made 
answer that they were forbidden by the viceroy and council of 
Saint Domingo, who having intelligence of our being on the coast, 
did send express commission to resist us, with all the force they 
could, insomuch that they durst not traffic with us in no case, 
alleging that if they did, they should lose all that they did traffic 
for, besides their bodies at the magistrate's commandment. Our 
captain replied that he was in an armada of the Queen's Majesty's 
of England, and sent about other her affairs, but driven besides his 
pretended voyage, was enforced by contrary winds to come into 
those parts, where he hoped to find such friendship as he should do 
in Spain; to the contrary whereof he knew no reason, in that there 
was amity betwixt their princes. But seeing they would, con 
trary to all reason, go about to withstand his traffic, he would it should 
not be said by him, that, having the force he hath, to be driven 
from his traffic perforce ; but he would rather put it in adventure to 
try whether he or they should have the better, and therefore willed 
them to determine, either to give him licence to trade, or else to 
stand to their own harms. So upon this it was determined he should 
have licence to trade, but they would give him such a price as was 
the one half less than he had sold for before ; and thus they sent 
word they would do, and none otherwise, and if it liked him 
not, he might do what he would, for they were determined not to 
deal otherwise with him. Whereupon the captain, weighing their 
unconscionable request, wrote to them a letter, that they dealt too 
rigorously with him, to go about to cut his throat in the price of his 
commodities, which were so reasonably rated as they could not 
by a great deal have the like at any other man's hands. But 
seeing they had sent him this to his supper, he would in the morn 
ing bring them as good a breakfast. And therefore in the morning, 
being the 2ist of May, he shot off a whole culverin to summon the 
town, and preparing one hundred men in armour, went ashore, 
having in his great boat two falcons of brass, and in the other 
boats double bases in their noses, which being perceived by the 
townsmen, they incontinent in battle array, with their drum and 
ensign displayed, marched from the town to the sands, with foot 
men to the number of a hundred and fifty, making great brags with 
their cries, and waving us ashore, whereby they made a semblance 
to have fought with us indeed. But our captain, perceiving them 
to brag, commanded the two falcons to be discharged at them, 
which put them in no small fear to see (as they afterward declared) 

1564] HAWKINS. 33 

such great pieces in a boat. At every shot they fell flat to the 
ground ; and as we approached near unto them, they broke their 
array, and dispersed themselves so much for fear of the ordnance, 
that at last they all went away with their ensign. The horsemen, 
also, being about thirty, made as brave a show as might be, 
coursing up and down with their horses, their brave white leather 
targets in the one hand, and their javelins in the other, as though 
they would have received us at our landing. But when we landed, 
they gave ground, and consulted what they should do. For little they 
thought we should have landed so boldly ; and, therefore, as the 
captain was putting his men in array, and marched forward to 
have encountered with them, they sent a messenger on horseback, 
with a flag of truce to the captain, who declared that the treasurer 
marvelled what he meant to do, to come ashore in that order, in 
consideration that they had granted to every reasonable request 
that he did demand. But the captain, not well contented with this 
messenger, marched forwards. The messenger prayed him to stay 
his men, and said if he would come apart from his men, the trea 
surer would come and speak with him, whereunto he did agree to 
commune together. The captain only with his armour, without 
weapon, and the treasurer on horseback with his javelin, was 
afraid to come near him for fear of his armour, which he said was 
worse than his weapon, and so keeping aloof communing together, 
granted in fine to all his requests. Which being declared by the 
captain to the company, they desired to have pledges for the per 
formance of all things, doubting that otherwise, when they had 
made themselves stronger, they would have been at defiance with 
us ; and seeing that now they might have what they would request, 
they judged it to be more wisdom to be in assurance, than to be forced 
to make any more labours about it. So upon this, gages were 
sent, and we made our traffic quietly with them. In the meantime 
while we stayed here, we watered a good breadth off from the shore, 
where, by the strength of the fresh water running into the sea, the 
salt water was made fresh. In this river we saw many crocodiles 
of various sizes, but some as large as a boat, with four feet, a long 
broad mouth, and a long tail, and whose skin is so hard that a sword 
will not pierce it. His nature is to live out of the water, as a frog 
doth, but he is a great devourer, and spareth neither fish, which is 
his common food, nor beasts, nor men, if he take them, as proof 
thereof was known by a Negro, who, as he was filling water in the 
river, was by one of them carried clean away and never seen after. 



His nature is ever when he would have his prey, to cry and sob like 
a Christian body, to provoke them to come to him, and then he 
snatcheth at them, and thereupon came this proverb, that is applied 
unto women when they weep, lachrymce crocodili, the meaning 
whereof is, that as the crocodile when he crieth goeth then about 
most to deceive, so doth a woman most commonly when she weeps. 
Of these the master of the Jesus watched one, and by the bank's 
side struck him with the pike of a bill in the side, and after three or 
four times turning in sight, he sunk down, and was not afterwards 
seen. In the time of our being in the rivers of Guinea, we saw many 
of a monstrous bigness, amongst which the captain, being in one of 
the barks coming down the same, shot a falcon at one, which very 
narrowly he missed, and with affear he plunged into the water, 
making a stream like the way of a boat. 

Now while we were here, whether it were of a fear that the 
Spaniards doubted we would have done them some harm before 
we departed, or for any treason that they intended towards us, I 
am not able to say ; but then came thither a captain from some of 
the other towns, with a dozen soldiers upon a time when our captain 
and the treasurer cleared all things between them, and were in a 
communication of a debt of the governor of Burboroata, which 
was to be paid by the said treasurer, who would not answer the 
same by any means. Whereupon certain words of displeasure 
passed betwixt the captain and him, and parting the one from the 
other, the treasurer possibly doubting that our captain would per 
force have sought the same, did immediately command his men to 
arms, both horsemen and footmen : but because the captain was 
in the river on the back-side of the town with his other boats, and 
all his men unarmed and without weapons, it was to be judged he 
meant him little good, having that advantage of him, that coming 
upon the sudden, he might have mischiefed many of his men : but 
the captain, having understanding thereof, not trusting to their 
gentleness, if they might have the advantage, departed aboard his 
ships, and at night returned again, and demanded amongst other 
talk, what they meant by assembling their men in that order, and 
they answered, that their captain being come to town did muster 
his men according to his accustomed manner. But it is to be 
judged to be a cloak, in that coming for that purpose he might 
have done it sooner, but the truth is, they were not of force until 
then, whereby to enterprise any matter against us, by means of 
pikes and arquebuses, whereof they have want, and were now 

1564] HAWKINS. 35 

furnished by our captain, and also three falcons, which having got 
in other places, they had secretly conveyed thither, which made 
them the bolder, and also for that they saw now a convenient place 
to do such a feat, and time also serving thereunto, by the means 
that our men were not only unarmed and unprovided, as at no time 
before the like, but also were occupied in hewing of wood, and least 
thinking of any harm : these were occasions to provoke them 
thereunto. And I suppose they went about to bring it to effect, 
in that I with another gentleman being in the town, thinking of no 
harm towards us, and seeing men assembling in armour to the 
treasurer's house, whereof I marvelled, and revoking to mind the 
former talk between the captain and him, and the unreadiness of 
our men, of whom advantage might have been taken, departed out 
of the town immediately to give knowledge thereof, but before we 
came to our men by a flight-shot, two horsemen riding a-gallop 
were come near us, being sent, as we did guess, to stay us lest we 
should carry news to our captain. But seeing us so near our men 
they stayed their horses, coming together, and suffering us to 
pass, belike because we were so near, that if they had gone about 
the same, they would have been espied by some of our men which 
then immediately would have departed, whereby they should have 
been frustrate of their pretence : and so the two horsemen rode 
about the bushes to espy what we did, and seeing us gone, to the 
intent they might shadow their coming down in post, whereof 
suspicion might be had, feigned a simple excuse in asking whether 
he could sell any wine, but that seemed so simple to the captain, 
that standing in doubt of their courtesy, he returned in the morning 
with his three boats, appointed with bases in their noses, and his 
men with weapons accordingly, whereas before he carried none : 
and thus dissembling all injuries conceived of both parts, the 
captain went ashore, leaving pledges in the boats for himself, and 
cleared all things between the treasurer and him, saving for the 
governor's debt, which the one by no means would answer, and 
the other, because it was not his due debt, would not molest him 
for it, but was content to remit it until another time, and therefore 
departed, causing the two barques which rode near the shore 
to weigh and go under sail, which was done because that our 
captain demanding a testimonial of his good behavour there, could 
not have the same until he were under sail ready to depart : and 
therefore at night he went for the same again, and received it at 
the treasurer's hand, of whom very courteously he took his leave 

D 2 


and departed, shooting off the bases of his boat for his farewell, and 
the townsmen also shot off four falcons and thirty arquebuses, 
and this was the first time that he knew of the conveyance of their 

On the 3 ist of May we departed, keeping our course to Hispaniola, 
and on the 4th of June we had sight of an island, which we made 
to be Jamaica, marvelling that by the vehement course of the seas 
we should be driven so far to leeward ; for setting our course to the 
west end of Hispaniola, we fell in with the middle of Jamaica, not 
withstanding that to all men's sight it shewed a headland, but they 
were all deceived by the clouds that lay upon the land two days 
together, in such sort that we thought it to be the headland of the 
said island. And a Spaniard being in the ship, who was a mer 
chant, and inhabitant in Jamaica, having occasion to go to Guinea, 
and being by treason taken by the negroes, and afterwards bought 
by the Tangomangos, was by our captain brought from thence, 
and had his passage to go into his country 7 , who perceiving the 
land, made as though he knew every place thereof, and pointed to 
certain places which he named to be such a place, and such a 
man's ground, and that behind such a point was the harbour, but 
in the end he pointed so from one point to another that we were a 
lee-board of all places, and found ourselves at the west end of 
Jamaica before we were aware of it, and being once to leeward, 
there was no getting up again, so that by trusting of the Spaniard's 
knowledge, our captain sought not to speak with any of the inhabi 
tants, which if he had not made himself sure of, he would have 
done as his custom was in other places : but this man was a plague 
not only to our captain, who made him lose by overshooting the 
place ^2,000 by hides, which he might have got, but also to himself, 
who being three years out of his country, and in great misery in 
Guinea, both among the negroes and Tangomangos, and in hope fo 
come to his wife and friends, as he made sure account, in that at 
his going into the pinnace, when he went to shore he put on his 
new clothes, and for joy flung away his old, could not afterwards 
find any habitation, neither there nor in all Cuba, which we sailed all 
along, but it fell out ever by one occasion or other that we were put 
beside the same, so that he was fain to be brought into England, and 
it happened to him as it did to a duke of Samaria, when the 
Israelites were besieged, and were in great misery with hunger, 
and being told by the Prophet Elizasus, that a bushel of flour 
should be sold for a shekel, would not believe him, but thought it 

1564] HAWKINS. 


impossible ; and for that cause Elizaeus prophesied he should see 
the same done, but he should not eat thereof : so this man being 
absent three years, and not ever thinking to have seen his own country, 
did see the same, went upon it, and yet was it not his fortune to 
come to it, or to any habitation, whereby to remain with his friends 
according to his desire. 

Thus having sailed along the coast two days, we departed on the 
7th of June, being made to believe by the Spaniard that it was not 
Jamaica, but rather Hispaniola. Of which opinion the captain also 
was, because that which he made Jamaica seemed to be but a piece of 
the land, and thereby took it rather to be Hispaniola, by the lying 
of the coast ; and also for that being ignorant of the force of the 
current, he could not believe he was so far driven to leeward, and 
therefore setting his course to Jamaica, and after certain days not 
finding the same, perceived then certainly that the island which he 
was at before was Jamaica, and that the clouds did deceive him, 
whereof he marvelled not a little. And this mistaking of the place 
came to as ill a pass as the overshooting of Jamaica : for by this 
did he also overpass a place in Cuba, called Santa Cruz, where, as he 
was informed, was great store of hides to be had. And thus being 
disappointed of two of his ports, where he thought to have raised great 
profit by his traffic, and also to have found great refreshing of 
victuals and water for his men, he was now disappointed greatly. 
And such want he had of fresh water, that he was forced to seek 
the shore to obtain the same, which he had sight of after certain 
days overpassed with storms and contrary winds, but yet not of the 
main of Cuba, but of certain islands in number two hundred, 
whereof the most part were desolate of inhabitants. By the which 
islands the captain passing in his pinnace, could find no fresh 
water until he came to an island bigger than all the rest, called the 
Isle of Pinas, where we anchored with our ships on the i6th of 
June, and found water, which although it were neither so tooth 
some as running water, by the means it is standing, and but the 
water of rain, and also being near the sea, was brackish, yet did we 
not refuse it, but were more glad thereof, as the time then required, 
than we should have been another time with fine conduit water. 
Thus being reasonably watered we were desirous to depart, because 
the place was not very convenient for such ships of charge as they 
were, because there were many shoals to leeward, which also lay 
open to the sea for any wind that should blow : and therefore the 
captain made the more haste away, which was not unneedful : for 


little sooner were their anchors weighed and foresail set, but there 
arose such a storm, that they had not much to spare for doubling 
out of the shoals : for one of the barques not being fully ready as 
the rest, was fain for haste to cut the cable in the hawse, and lose 
both anchor and cable to save herself. 

Thus on the I7th of June we departed, and on the 2oth we fell 
with the west end of Cuba, called Cape St. Antony, where for the 
space of three days we doubled along, till we came beyond the shoals, 
which are twenty leagues beyond St. Antony. And the ordinary 
breeze taking us, which is the north-east wind, put us on the 24th 
from the shore, and therefore we went to the north-west to fetch 
wind, and also to the coast of Florida to have the help of the 
current, which was judged to have set to the eastward : so on the 
29th we found ourselves in twenty-seven degrees, and in the 
soundings of Florida, where we kept ourselves the space of four 
days, sailing along the coast as near as we could, in ten or twelve 
fathom water, having all the while no sight of land. 

On the 5th of July we had sight of certain islands of sand, called 
the Tortugas (which is low land) where the captain went in with his 
pinnace, and found such a number of birds, that in half-an-hour he 
laded her with them ; and if they had been ten boats more they 
might have done the like. These islands bear the name of 
Tortoises, because of the number of them which there do breed, 
whose nature is to live both in the water and upon land also, but 
breed only upon the shore, in making a great pit wherein they lay 
eggs, to the number of three or four hundred, and covering them 
with sand, they are hatched by the heat of the sun ; and by this 
means cometh the great increase. Of these we took very great 
ones, which have both back and belly all of bone, of the thickness 
of an inch : the fish whereof we proved, eating much like veal ; and 
finding a number of eggs in them, tasted also of them, but they did 
eat very sweetly. Here we anchored six hours, and then a fair 
gale of wind springing, we weighed anchor, and made sail towards 
Cuba, whither we came on the sixth day, and weathered as far as 
the Table, being a hill so called, because of the form thereof ; here 
we lay off and on all night, to keep that we had gotten to windward, 
intending to have watered in the morning, if we could have done 
it, or else if the wind had come larger, to have plied to windward 
to Havana, which is a harbour whereunto all the fleet of the Spaniards, 
come, and do there tarry to have one the company of another. 
This hill we thinking to have been the Table, made account (as it 

I5 6 4] HAWKINS. 


was indeed) that Havana was but eight leagues to windward, but 
by the persuasion of a Frenchman, who made the captain believe 
helcnew the Table very well, ancT had been at Havana, said that 
it was not the Table, and that the Table was much higher, and 
nearer to the sea-side, and that there was no plain ground to the 
eastward, nor hills to the westward, but all was contrary, and that 
behind the hills to the westward was Havana. To which persuasion 
credit being given by some, and they not of the worst, the captain 
was persuaded to go to leeward, and so sailed along on the 
seventh and eighth days, finding no habitation, nor no other Table ; 
and then perceiving his folly to give ear to such praters, was not 
a little sorry, both because he did consider what time he should 
spend ere he could get so far to windward again, which would have 
been, with the weathering which we had, ten or twelve days' work, 
and what it would have been longer he knew not, and (that which 
was worst) he had not above a day's water, and therefore knew 
not what shift to make : but in fine, because the want was such, 
that his men could not live with it, he determined to seek water, 
and to go farther to leeward, to a place (as it is set in the card) 
called Rio de los Puercos, which he was in doubt of, both whether 
it were inhabited, and whether there were water or not, and 
whether for the shoals he might have such access with his ships, 
that he might conveniently take in the same. And while we were 
in these troubles, and kept our way to the place aforesaid, Almighty 
God our guide (who would not suffer us to run into any further 
danger, which we had been like to have incurred, if we had 
ranged the coast of Florida along as we did before, which is so 
dangerous, by reports, that no ship escapeth which cometh 
thither, as the Spaniards have very well proved the same) sent us 
on the eighth day at night a fair westerly wind, whereupon the 
captain and company consulted, determining not to refuse God's 
gift, but every man was contented to pinch his own belly, whatso 
ever had happened ; and taking the said wind, on the Qth day of 
July got to the Table, and sailing the same night, unawares over 
shot Havana ; at which place we thought to have watered : but 
the next day, not knowing that we had overshot the same, sailed 
along the coast seeking it, and the eleventh day in the morning, 
by certain known marks, we understood that we had overshot it 
twenty leagues ; in which coast ranging we found no convenient 
watering place, whereby there was no remedy but to disembogue, 
and to water upon the coast of Florida ; for, to go further to 


the eastward we could not for the shoals, which are very dangerous ; 
and because the current shooteth to the north-east, we doubted by 
the force thereof to be set upon them, and therefore durst not 
approach them ; so making but reasonable way the day aforesaid 
and all the night, the twelfth day in the morning we fell in with 
the islands upon the cape of Florida, which we could scant double, 
by the means that fearing the shoals to the eastwards, and doubt 
ing the current coming out of the west, which was not of that 
force that we made account of, for we felt little or none till we fell 
with the cape, and then felt such a current that, bearing all sails 
against the same, yet were driven back again a great pace ; the 
experience whereof we had by the Jesus pinnace, and the Salo 
mon's boat, which were sent the same day in the afternoon, whiles 
the ships were becalmed, to see if they could find any water upon 
the islands aforesaid, who spent a great part of the day in rowing 
thither, being further off than they deemed it to be ; and in the 
meantime a fair gale of wind springing at sea, the ships departed, 
making a sign to them to come away, who, although they saw 
them depart, because they were so near the shore, would not lose 
all the labour they had taken, but determined to keep their way, 
and see if there were any water to be had, making no account but 
to find the ships well enough ; but they spent so much time in 
filling the water which they had found, that the night was come 
before they could make an end. And having lost the sight of the 
ships, they rowed what they could, but were wholly ignorant which 
way they should seek them again ; as indeed there was a more 
doubt than they knew of ; for when they departed the ships were 
in no current, and sailing but a mile further, they found one so 
strong, that bearing all sails it could not prevail against the same, 
but were driven back ; whereupon the captain sent the Salomon 
with the other two barques to bear near the shore all night, because 
the current was less there a great deal, and to bear light, with 
shooting off a piece now and then, to the intent the boats might 
better know how to come to them. 

The Jesus also bare a light in her top-gallant, and shot off a 
piece also now and then, but the night passed, and the morning 
was come, being the thirteenth day, and no news could be heard of 
them ; but the ships and barques ceased not to look still for them, 
yet they thought it was all in vain, by the means they heard not of 
them all the night past ; and therefore determined to tarry no 
longer, seeking for them till noon, and if they heard no news, then 

1564] HAWKINS. 41 

they would depart to the Jesus, who perforce (by the vehemency of 
the current) was carried almost out of sight ; but as God would have 
it, now time being come, and they having tacked about in the 
pinnace's top, had sight of them and took them up : they in the 
boats, being to the number of one-and-twenty, having sight of the 
ships, and seeing them tacking about, whereas before at the first 
sight of them they did greatly rejoice, were now in a greater 
perplexity than ever they were ; for by this they thought them 
selves utterly forsaken, whereas before they were in some hope to 
have found them. Truly God wrought marvellously for them, for 
they themselves having no victuals but water, and being sore 
oppressed with hunger, were not of opinion to bestow any further 
time in seeking the ships than that present noon-time ; so that if 
they had not at that instant espied them, they had gone to the 
shore to have made provision for victuals, and with such things as 
they could have gotten, either to have gone for that part of Florida 
where the Frenchmen were planted (which would have been very 
hard for them to have done, because they wanted victuals to bring 
them thither, being a hundred and twenty leagues off), or else to 
have remained among the Floridians, at whose hands they were put 
in comfort by a Frenchman, who was with them, that had remained 
in Florida at the first finding thereof, a whole year together, to 
receive victuals sufficient and gentle entertainment, if need were 
for a year or two, until which time God might have provided for 
them. But how contrary this would have fallen out to their ex 
pectations, it is hard to judge, seeing those people of the coast of 
Florida are of more savage and fierce nature, and more valiant 
than any of the rest ; which the Spaniards well proved, who being 
five hundred men who intended there to land, returned few or 
none of them, but were enforced to forsake the same ; and of their 
cruelty mention is made in the book of Decades, of a friar, who, 
taking upon him to persuade the people to subjection, was by 
them taken, and his skin cruelly pulled over his ears, and his flesh 

In these Islands they being ashore found a dead man, dried 
in a manner whole, with other heads and bodies of men ; so that 
these sorts of men are eaters of the flesh of men, as well as the 
cannibals. But to return to our purpose. 

The fourteenth day the ship and barques came to the Jesus, bring 
ing them news of the recovery of the men, which was not a little 
to the rejoicing of the captain and the whole company ; and so 


then altogether they kept on their way along the coast of Florida, 
and the fifteenth day came to an anchor, and so from six-and- 
twenty degrees to thirty degrees and a-half, where the French 
men abode, ranging all the coast along, seeking for fresh water, 
anchoring every night because we would overshoot no place of 
fresh water, and in the day time the captain in the ship's pin 
nace sailed along the shore, went into every creek, speaking with 
divers of the Floridians, because he would understand where 
the Frenchmen inhabited ; and not finding them in eight-and- 
twenty degrees, as it was declared unto him, marvelled thereat, 
and never left sailing along the coast till he found them, who 
inhabited in a river, by them called the river of May, and 
standing in thirty degrees and better. In ranging this coast 
along, the captain found it to be all an island, and therefore it 
is all low land, and very scant of fresh water; but the country 
was marvellously sweet, with both marish and meadow ground, 
and goodly woods among. There they found sorrel to grow 
as abundantly as grass, and where their houses were, great 
store of maize and mill, and grapes of great bigness, but of 
taste much like our English grapes. Also deer great plenty^ 
which came upon the sands before them. Their houses are not 
many together, for in one house a hundred of them do lodge; 
they being made much like a great barn, and in strength not 
inferior to ours, for they have stanchions and rafters of whole 
trees, and are covered with palmetto leaves, having no place 
divided, but one small room for their king and queen. In the 
midst of this house is a hearth, where they make great fires 
all night, and they sleep upon certain pieces of wood hewn in 
for the bowing of their backs, and another place made high for 
their heads, which they put one by another all along the walls 
on both sides. In their houses they remain only in the nights, 
and in the day they desire the fields, where they dress their 
meat and make provision for victuals, which they provide only 
for a meal from hand to mouth. There is one thing to be 
marvelled at, for the making of their fire, and not only they, 
but also the negroes do the same, which is made only by two 
sticks, rubbing them one against another; and this they may 
do in any place they come, where they find sticks sufficient for 
the purpose. In their apparel the men only use deer skins, 
which skins are painted, some yellow and red, some black 
and russet, and every man according to his own fancy. They 

1564] HAWKINS. 43 

do not omit to paint their bodies also with curious knots, or an 
tique work, as every man in his own fancy deviseth, which paint 
ing, to make it continue the better, they use with a thorn to prick 
their flesh, and dent in the same, whereby the painting may have 
better hold. In their wars they use a slighter colour of painting 
their faces, thereby to make themselves show the more fierce ; 
which after their war is ended they wash away again. In 
their wars they use bows and arrows, whereof their bows are 
made of a kind of yew, but blacker than ours, and for the most 
part passing the strength of the negroes or Indians, for it is not 
greatly inferior to ours. Their arrows are also of a great length, 
but yet of reeds, like other Indians, but varying in two points, 
both in length and also for nocks and feathers, which the others 
lack, whereby they shoot very steady ; the heads of the same are 
vipers' teeth, bones of fishes, flint stones, piked points of knives, 
which they having gotten of the Frenchmen, broke the same, and 
put the points of them in their arrow-heads ; some of them have their 
heads of silver ; other some that have want of these put in a kind of 
hard wood, notched, which pierceth as far as any of the rest. In 
their fight, being in the woods, they use a marvellous policy for 
their own safeguard, which is by clasping a tree in their arms, and 
yet shooting notwithstanding. This policy they used with the 
Frenchmen in their fight, whereby it appeareth that they are people 
of some policy ; and although they are called by the Spaniards 
Gente triste, that is to say " Bad people," meaning thereby that 
they are not men of capacity ; yet have the Frenchmen found 
them so witty in their answers that, by the captain's own report, 
a counsellor with us could not give a more profound reason. 

The women also for their apparel use painted skins, but most of 
them gowns of moss, somewhat longer than our moss, which they 
sew together artificially, and make the same surplice-wise, wearing 
their hair down to their shoulders, like the Indians. In this river 
of May aforesaid the Captain, entering with his pinnace, found a 
French ship of fourscore ton, and two pinnaces of fifteen ton 
apiece by her, and speaking with the keepers thereof, they told 
him of a fort two leagues up, which they had built, in which their 
captain Monsieur Laudonniere was, with certain soldiers therein. 
To whom our Captain sending to understand of a watering place, 
where he might conveniently take it in, and to have licence for 
the same, he straight, because there was no convenient place but 
up the river five leagues, where the water was fresh, did send him 


a pilot for the more expedition thereof, to bring in one of his 
barques, which, going in with other boats provided for the same 
purpose, anchored before the fort, into the which our Captain 
went, where he was by the General, with other captains and 
soldiers, very gently entertained, who declared unto him the time 
of their being there, which was fourteen months, with the ex 
tremity they were driven to for want of victuals, having brought 
very little with them; in which place they, being two hundred 
men at their first coming, had in short space eaten all the maize 
they could buy of the inhabitants about them, and therefore were 
driven certain of them to serve a king of the Floridians against 
other his enemies for mill and other victuals, which having gotten, 
could not serve them, being so many, so long a time ; but want 
came upon them in such sort that they were fain to gather acorns, 
which, being stamped small and often washed to take away the 
bitterness of them, they did use for bread, eating withal at sundry 
times roots, whereof they found many good and wholesome, and 
such as serve rather for medicines than for meats alone. But 
this hardness not contenting some of them, who would not take 
the pains so much as to fish in the river before their doors, but 
would have all things put in their mouths, they did rebel against 
the captain, taking away first his armour, and afterwards im 
prisoning him: and so, to the number of fourscore of them, 
departed with a barque and a pinnace, spoiling their store of 
victuals, and taking away a great part thereof with them, and so 
went to the islands of Hispaniola and Jamaica a-roving, where 
they spoiled and pilled the Spaniards; and having taken two 
caravels laden with wine and cassava, which is a bread made of 
roots, and much other victuals and 'treasure, had not the grace to 
depart therewith, but were of such haughty stomachs that they 
thought their force to be such that no man durst meddle with 
them, and so kept harbour in Jamaica, going daily ashore at their 
pleasure. But God, who would not suffer such evil-doers un^. 
punished, did indurate their hearts in such sort that they lingered 
the time so long that a ship and galliasse being made out of St. 
Domingo, came thither into the harbour and took twenty of them, 
whereof the most part were hanged and the rest carried into 
Spain, and some (to the number of five-and-twenty) escaped in the 
pinnace and came to Florida, where, at their landing, they were 
put into prison; and incontinent four of the chiefest being con 
demned, at the request of the soldiers did pass the arquebusers, 

1564] HAWKINS. 45 

and then were hanged upon a gibbet. This lack of threescore 
men was a great discourage and weakening to the rest, for they 
were the best soldiers that they had ; for they had now made the 
inhabitants weary of them by their daily craving of maize, having 
no wares left to content them withal, and therefore were enforced 
to rob them, and to take away their victual perforce, which was 
the occasion that the Floridians (not well contented therewith) 
did take certain of their company in the woods, and slew them ; 
whereby there grew great wars betwixt them and the French 
men : and therefore they, being but a few in number, durst not 
venture abroad, but at such time as they were enforced thereunto 
for want of food to do the same ; and going, twenty arquebusers 
in a company, were set upon by eighteen kings, having seven or 
eight hundred men, which with one of their bows slew one of 
their men, and hurt a dozen, and drove them all down to their 
boats ; whose policy in fight was to be marvelled at ; for having 
shot at divers of their bodies which were armed, and perceiving 
that their arrows did not prevail against the same, they shot at 
their faces and legs, which were the places that the Frenchmen 
were hurt in. Thus the Frenchmen returned, being in ill case by 
the hurt of their men, having not above forty soldiers left unhurt, 
whereby they might ill make any more invasions upon the Flo 
ridians, and keep their fort withal, which they must have been 
driven unto had not God sent us thither for their succour; for 
they had not above ten days' victuals left before we came. In 
which perplexity our Captain seeing them, spared them out of his 
ship twenty barrels of meal and four pipes of beans, with divers 
other victuals and necessaries which he might conveniently spare ; 
and to help them the better homewards, whither they were bound 
before our coming, at their request we spared them one of our 
barques of fifty ton. Notwithstanding the great want that the 
Frenchman had, the ground doth yield victuals sufficient if they 
would have taken pains to get the same ; but they, being soldiers, 
desired to live by the sweat of other men's brows ; for while they 
had peace with the Floridians they had fish sufficient by weirs 
which they made to catch the same ; but when they grew to wars 
the Floridians took away the same again, and then would not the 
Frenchmen take the pains to make any more. The ground 
yieldeth naturally grapes in great store, for in the time that the 
Frenchmen were there they made twenty hogsheads of wine. 
Also it yieldeth roots passing good, deer marvellous store, with 


divers other beasts and fowl serviceable to the use of man. 
These be things wherewith a man may live, having corn or maize 
wherewith to make bread ; for maize maketh good savoury bread 
and cakes as fine as flour. Also it maketh good meal, beaten and 
sodden with water, and eateth like pap wherewith we feed chil 
dren. It maketh also good beverage, sodden in water, and 
nourishable, which the Frenchmen did use to drink of in the 
morning, and it assuaged their thirst so that they had no need to 
drink all the day after. And this maize was the greatest lack 
they had, because they had no labourers to sow the same, and 
therefore to them that should inhabit the land it were requisite to 
have labourers to till and sow the ground; for they, having 
victuals of their own, whereby they neither rob nor spoil the 
inhabitants, may live not only quietly with them, who naturally 
are more desirous of peace than of wars, but also shall have 
abundance of victuals proffered to them for nothing ; for it is with 
them as it is with one of us, when we see another man ever 
taking away from us, although we have enough besides, yet then 
we think all too little for ourselves. For surely we have heard 
the Frenchmen report, and I know it by the Indians, that a very 
little contenteth them ; for the Indians, with the head of maize 
roasted, will travel a whole day ; and when they are at the 
Spaniards' finding, they give them nothing but sodden herbs and 
maize : and in this order I saw threescore of them feed, who were 
laden with wares, and came fifty leagues off. The Floridians 
when they travel have a kind of herb dried, who, with a cane and 
an earthen cup in the end, with fire, and the dried herbs put 
together, do suck through the cane the smoke thereof, which 
smoke satisfieth their hunger, and therewith they live four or five 
days without meat or drink, and this all the Frenchmen used for 
this purpose; yet do they hold opinion withal that it causeth 
water and steam to void from their stomachs. The commodities 
of this land are more than are yet known to any man ; for besides 
the land itself, whereof there is more than any king Christian is 
able to inhabit, it flourisheth with meadow, pasture-ground, with 
woods of cedar and cypress, and other sorts, as better cannot be 
in the world. They have for apothecary herbs, trees, roots, and 
gums great store, as storax liquida, turpentine, gum, myrrh, and 
frankincense, with many others whereof I know not the names. 
Colours, both red, black, yellow, and russet, very perfect, where 
with they so paint their bodies and deer-skins which they wear 

1564] HAWKINS. 47 

about them, that with water it neither fadeth away nor altereth 
colour. Gold and silver they want not; for at the Frenchmen's 
first coming thither they had the same offered them for little or 
nothing; for they received for a hatchet two pound weight of 
gold, because they knew not the estimation thereof. But the 
soldiers being greedy of the same, did take it from them, giving 
them nothing for it, the which they perceiving, that both the 
Frenchmen did greatly esteem it, and also did rigorously deal 
with them, at last would not have it be known they had any more, 
neither durst they wear the same for fear of being taken away. 
So that, saving at their first coming, they could get none of them. 
And how they came by this gold and silver the Frenchmen know 
not as yet, but by guess, who, having travelled to the south-west 
of the cape, having found the same dangerous by means of sundry 
banks, as we also have found the same, and there finding masts 
which were wrecks of Spaniards coming from Mexico, judged that 
they had gotten treasure by them. For it is most true that divers 
wrecks have been made of Spaniards having much treasure. 
For the Frenchmen having travelled to the capeward a hundred 
and fifty miles, did find two Spaniards with the Floridians, whom 
they brought afterward to their fort, whereof one was in a caravel 
coming from the Indies, which was cast away fourteen years ago, 
and the other twelve years, of whose fellows some escaped, 
othersome were slain by the inhabitants. It seemeth they had esti 
mation of their gold and silver, for it is wrought flat and graven, 
which they wear about their necks ; and others made round like a 
pancake, with a hole in the midst, to bolster up their breasts 
withal, because they think it a deformity to have great breasts. 
As for mines, either of gold or silver, the Frenchmen can hear of 
none they have upon the island, but of copper, whereof as yet also 
they have not made the proof, because they were but few men. 
But it it is not unlike but that in the main, where are high hills, 
may be gold and silver as well as in Mexico, because it is all one 
main. The Frenchmen obtained pearls of them of great bigness, 
but they were black, by means of roasting of them ; for they do 
not fish for them as the Spaniards do, but for their meat. For 
the Spaniards use to keep daily a-fishing some two or three 
hundred Indians, some of them that be of choice a thousand. 
And their order is to go in canoes, or rather great pinnaces, with 
thirty men in a-piece, whereof the one-half or most part be divers, 
the rest do open the same for the pearls. For it is not suffered 


that they should use dragging ; for that would bring them out of 
estimation, and mar the beds of them. The oysters which have 
the smallest sorts of pearls are found in seven or eight fathom 
water ; but the greatest, in eleven or twelve fathom. 

The Floridians have pieces of unicorns' horns, which they wear 
about their necks, whereof the Frenchmen obtained many pieces. 
Of those unicorns they have many ; for that they do affirm it to 
be a beast with one horn, which, coming to the river to drink, 
putteth the same into the water before he drinketh. Of this uni 
corn's horn there are of our company that, having gotten the same 
of the Frenchmen, brought home thereof to show. It is therefore 
to be presupposed that there are more commodities as well as 
that, which, for want of time and people sufficient to inhabit the 
same, cannot yet come to light; but I trust God will reveal the 
same before it be long, to the great profit of them that shall take 
it in hand. Of beasts in this country besides deer, foxes, hares, 
polecats, coneys, ounces, and leopards, I am not able certainly to 
say ; but it is thought that there are lions, and tigers as well as 
unicorns lions especially, if it be true that is said of the enmity 
between them and the unicorns ; for there is no beast but hath his 
enemy, as the coney the polecat, a sheep the wolf, the elephant 
the rhinoceros, and so of other beasts the like, insomuch that 
whereas the one is the other cannot be missing. And seeing I 
have made mention of the beasts of this country, it shall not be 
from my purpose to speak also of the venomous beasts, as croco 
diles, whereof there is great abundance, adders of great bigness, 
whereof our men killed some of a yard and a half long. Also I heard 
a miracle of one of these adders, upon the which a falcon seizing, 
the said adder did clasp her tail about her, which the French 
captain seeing, came to the rescue of the falcon, and took her, 
slaying the adder ; and this falcon being wild, he did reclaim her, 
and kept her for the space of two months, at which time for very 
want of meat he was fain to cast her off. On these adders the 
Frenchmen did feed, to no little admiration of us, and affirmed 
the same to be a delicate meat. And the captain of the French 
men saw also a serpent with three heads and four feet, of the 
bigness of a great spaniel, which for want of an arquebus he 
durst not attempt to slay. Of fish, also, they have in the river 
pike, roach, salmon, trout, and divers other small fishes, and of 
great fish, some of the length of a man and longer, being of 
bigness accordingly, having a snout much like a sword of a yard 

1564] HAWKINS. 


long. There be also of sea-fishes, which we saw coming along 
the coast, flying, which are of the bigness of a smelt, the biggest 
sort whereof have four wings, but the others have but two. Of 
these we saw coming out of Guinea a hundred in a company, 
which, being chased by the gilt-heads, otherwise called the bonitos, 
do, to avoid them the better, take their flight out of the water ; 
but yet are they not able to fly far, because of the drying of their 
wings, which serve them not to fly but when they are moist, and 
therefore when they can fly no further, they fall into the water, 
and having wet their wings, take a new flight again. These 
bonitos be of bigness like a carp, and in colour like a mackerel ; 
but it is the swiftest fish in swimming that is, and followeth her 
prey very fiercely, not only in the water, but also out of the 
water ; for as the flying-fish taketh her flight, so doth this bonito 
leap after them, and taketh them sometimes above the water. 
There were some of those bonitos which, being galled by a fizgig,* 
did follow our ship coming out of Guinea 500 leagues. There is 
a sea-fowl, also, that chaseth this flying-fish as well as the bonito ; 
for as the flying-fish taketh her flight, so doth this fowl pursue to 
take her, which to behold is a greater pleasure than hawking; 
for both the flights are as pleasant, and also more often than a 
hundred times; for the fowl can fly no way but one or other 
lighteth in her paws, the number of them are so abundant. 
There is an innumerable young fry of these flying fishes, which 
commonly keep about the ship, and are not so big as butterflies, 
and yet by flying do avoid the unsatiableness of the bonito. Of 
the bigger sort of these fishes we took many, which both night and 
day flew into the sails of our ship, and there was not one of them 
which was not worth a bonito ; for being put upon a hook drabbling 
in the water, the bonito would leap thereat, and so was taken. 
Also we took many with a white cloth made fast to a hook, 
which being tied so short in the water that it might leap out and 
in, the greedy bonito, thinking it to be a flying fish, leapeth 
thereat, and so is deceived. We took also dolphins, which are of 
very goodly colour and proportion to behold, and no less delicate 
in taste. Fowls also there be many, both upon land and upon 
sea; but concerning them on the land I am not able to name 

* Spanish, Fisga, a small trident with barbed points, fixed on a staff ten or twelve feet 
long, attached by a long cord to the ship's side. It is still in use for catching the dolphin 
and bonito. 


them, because my abode was there so short. But for the fowl of 
the fresh rivers these two I noted to be the chief whereof the 
flamingo is one, having all red feathers and long red legs like a 
heron, a neck according to the bill, red, whereof the upper neb 
hangeth an inch over the nether ; and an egript, which is all 
white as the swan, with legs like to a heronshaw, and of bigness 
accordingly ; but it hath in her tail feathers of so fine a plume, 
that it passeth the ostrich's feather. Of the sea-fowl above all 
other not common in England, I noted the pelican, which is 
feigned to be the lovingest bird that is, which, rather than her 
young should want, will spare her heart's blood out of her 
belly ; but for all this lovingness she is very deformed to behold, 
for she is of colour russet. Notwithstanding, in Guinea I have 
seen them as white as a swan, having legs like the same and a 
body like a heron, with a long neck and a thick long beak, from 
the nether jaw whereof down to the breast passeth a skin of such 
a bigness as is able to receive a fish as big as one's thigh, and 
this her big throat and long bill doth make her seem so ugly. 

Here I have declared the estate of Florida and the commo 
dities therein to this day known, which although it may seem unto 
some, by the means that the plenty of gold and silver is not so 
abundant as in other places, that the cost bestowed upon the same 
will not be able to quit the charges, yet am I of the opinion that, by 
that which I have seen in other islands of the Indians, where 
such increase of cattle hath been, that of twelve head of beasts 
in five-and-twenty years did in the hides of them raise a thousand 
pounds profit yearly, that the increase of cattle only would raise 
profit sufficient for the same. For we may consider, if so small 
a portion did raise so much gains in such short time, what would 
a greater do in many years ? And surely I may this affirm, that 
the ground of the Indians for the breed of catttle is not in any 
point to be compared to this of Florida, which all the year long 
is so green as any time in the summer with us ; which surely is not 
to be marvelled at, seeing the country standeth in so watery a 
climate ; for once a day, without fail, they have a shower of rain, 
which, by means of the country itself, which is dry and more 
fervent hot than ours, doth make all things to flourish therein. 
And because there is not the thing we all seek for, being rather 
desirous of present gains, I do therefore affirm the attempt 
thereof to be more requisite for a prince, who is of power able 
to go through with the same, rather than for any subject. 

1564] HAWKINS. 51 

From thence we departed on the 28th of July upon our voyage 
homewards, having there all things as might be most convenient 
for our purpose ; and took leave of the Frenchmen that there still 
remained, who with diligence determined to make as great speed 
after as they could. Thus, by means of contrary winds often 
times, we prolonged our voyage in such manner that victuals 
scanted with us, so that we were divers times (or rather the most 
part) in despair of ever coming home, had not God of His good 
ness better provided for us than our deserving. In which state of 
great misery we were provoked to call upon Him by fervent 
prayer, which moved Him to hear us, so that we had a prosperous 
wind, which did set us so far shot as to be upon the bank of 
Newfoundland on St. Bartholomew's Eve, and we sounded there 
upon, finding ground at a hundred-and-thirty fathoms, being that 
day somewhat becalmed, and took a great number of fresh cod 
fish, which greatly relieved us ; and being very glad thereof the 
next day we departed, and had lingering little gales for the space 
of four or five days, at the end of which we saw a couple of 
French ships, and had of them so much fish as would serve us 
plentifully for all the rest of the way, the Captain paying for the 
same both gold and silver, to the just value thereof, unto the chief 
owners of the said ships ; but they, not looking for anything at all, 
were glad in themselves to meet with such good entertainment at 
sea as they had at our hands. After which departure from them 
with a good large wind on the 2oth of September we came to 
Padstow, in Cornwall, God be thanked, in safety, with the loss of 
twenty persons in all the voyage, and with great profit to the 
venturers of the said voyage, as also to the whole realm, in 
bringing home both gold, silver, pearls, and other jewels great 
store. His name, therefore, be praised for evermore. Amen. 

E 2 




The THIRD troublesome VOYAGE made with the JESUS of Lubeck, 
the MINION, and four other ships, to the parts of GUINEA and 
the WEST INDIES, in the years 1567 and 1568, ^MASTER 

The ships departed from Plymouth, the 2nd day of October, 
Anno 1 567, and had reasonable weather until the seventh day. At 
which time, forty leagues north from Cape Finisterre, there arose 
an extreme storm, which continued four days, in such sort, that the 
fleet was dispersed, and all our great boats lost ; and the Jesus, our 
chief ship, in such case as not thought able to serve the voyage. 
Whereupon in the same storm we set our course homeward, 
determining to give over the voyage. But the eleventh day of 
the same month, the wind changed with fair weather, whereby 
we were animated to follow our enterprise, and so did, direct 
ing our course with the islands of the Canaries, where, accord 
ing to an order before prescribed, all our ships before dispersed, 
met at one of those islands, called Gomera, where we took 
water, and departed from thence on the 4th day of November, 
towards the coast of Guinea, and arrived at Cape Verde, on 
the 1 8th of November: where we landed 150 men, hoping to 
obtain some negroes, where we got but few, and those with 
great hurt and damage to our men, which chiefly proceeded 
of their envenomed arrows. And although in the beginning 
they seemed to be but small hurts, yet there hardly escaped 
any that had blood drawn of them, but died in strange sort, with 
their mouths shut some ten days before they died, and after their 
wounds were whole ; where I myself had one of the greatest 
wounds, yet, thanks be to God, escaped. From thence we passed 

1568] HAWKINS. 53 

the time upon the coast of Guinea, searching with all diligence the 
rivers from Rio Grande unto Sierra Leone, till the I2th of January, 
in which time we had not gotten together a hundred and fifty 
negroes. Yet notwithstanding, the sickness of our men and the late 
time of the year commanded us away : and thus having nothing 
wherewith to seek the coast of the West Indies, I was with the 
rest of our company in consultation to go to the coast of the Mine, 
hoping there to have obtained some gold for our wares, and thereby 
to have defrayed our charge. But even in that present instant, 
there came to us a negro, sent from a king, oppressed by other 
kings his neighbours, desiring our aid, with promise that as many 
negroes as by these wars might be obtained, as well of his part as 
of ours, should be at our pleasure. Whereupon we concluded to 
give aid, and sent 120 of our men, which on the I5th of January 
assaulted a town of the negroes of our ally's adversaries, which had 
in it 8,000 inhabitants, being very strongly impaled and fenced 
after their manner. But it was so well defended, that our men 
prevailed not, but lost six men and forty hurt : so that our men 
sent forthwith to me for more help. Whereupon, considering that 
the good success of this enterprise might highly further the 
commodity of our voyage, I went myself, and with the help of the 
king of our side, assaulted the town, both by land and sea, and 
very hardly with fire (their houses being covered with dry palm 
leaves) obtained the town, and put the inhabitants to flight, where 
we took 250 persons, men, women, and children, and by our friend 
the king of our side, there were taken 600 prisoners, whereof we 
hoped to have had our choice. But the negro (in which nation is 
seldom or never found truth) meant nothing less : for that night he 
removed his camp and prisoners, so that we were fain to content 
us with those few which we had gotten ourselves. 

Now had we obtained between four and five hundred negroes, 
wherewith we thought it somewhat reasonable to seek the coast of 
the West Indies ; and there, for our negroes, and other our mer 
chandise, we hoped to obtain whereof to countervail our charges 
with some gains. Whereunto we proceeded with all diligence, 
furnished our watering, took fuel, and departed the coast of Guinea 
on the 3rd of February, continuing at the sea with a passage more 
hard than before hath been accustomed till the 27th day of 
March, which day we had sight of an island, called Dominica, upon 
the coast of the West Indies, in fourteen degrees. From thence we 
coasted from place to place, making our traffic with the Spaniards 


as we might, somewhat hardly, because the king had straitly 
commanded all his governors in those parts by no means to suffer 
any trade to be made with us. Notwithstanding, we had reasonable 
trade, and courteous entertainment, from the Isle of Margarita unto 
Cartagena, without anything greatly worth the noting, saving at 
Capo de la Vela, in a town called Rio de la Hacha, from whence 
come all the pearls. The treasurer, who had the charge there, would 
by no means agree to any trade, or suffer us to take water. He had 
fortified his town with divers bulwarks in all places where it might 
be entered, and furnished himself with an hundred arquebusiers, so 
that he thought by famine to have inforced us to have put on land 
our negroes. Of which purpose he had not greatly failed, unless we 
had by force entered the town ; which (after we could by no means 
obtain his favour) we were enforced to do, and so with two hundred 
men brake in upon their bulwarks, and entered the town with 
the loss only of two men of our part, and no hurt done to the 
Spaniards, because after their volley of shot discharged, they all 
fled. Thus having the town with some circumstance, as partly by the 
Spaniards' desire of negroes, and partly by friendship of the treasurer, 
we obtained a secret trade : whereupon the Spaniards resorted to 
us by night, and bought of us to the number of 200 negroes. In all 
other places where we traded the Spanish inhabitants were glad 
of us and traded willingly. 

At Cartagena, the last town we thought to have seen on the coast, 
we could by no means obtain to deal with any Spaniard, the gover 
nor was so strait. And because our trade was so near finished, we 
thought not good either to adventure any landing, or to detract 
further time, but in peace departed from thence on the 24th of 
July, hoping to have escaped the time of their storms which then 
soon after began to reign, the which they call Furicanos. But 
passing by the west end of Cuba, towards the coast of Florida 
there happened to us on the I2th day of August an extreme storm 
which continued by the space of four days, which so beat the Jesus, 
that we cut down all her higher buildings. Her rudder also was sore 
shaken, and withal was in so extreme a leak that we were rather 
upon the point to leave her then to keep her any longer ; yet, hoping 
to bring all to good pass, we sought the coast of Florida, where 
we found no place nor haven for our ships, because of the shallow- 
ness of the coast. Thus, being in greater despair, and taken with a new 
storm which continued other three days, we were enforced to take 
for our succour the port which serveth the city of Mexico, called 

1568] HAWKINS. 55 

Saint John de Ullua, which standeth in nineteen degrees. In seeking 
of which port we took in our way three ships which carried passengers 
to the number of an hundred, which passengers we hoped should 
be a means to us the better to obtain victuals for our money, and 
a quiet place for the repairing of our fleet. Shortly after this on 
the 1 6th of September we entered the port of Saint John de Ullua. 
And in our entry the Spaniards thinking us to be the fleet of Spain, 
the chief officers of the country came aboard us. Which being 
deceived of their expectation were greatly dismayed : but immediately 
when they saw our demand was nothing but victuals, were recom- 
forted. I found also in the same port twelve ships which had in 
them by the report two hundred thousand pound in gold and 
silver, all which (being in my possession, with the king's island as 
also the passengers before in my way thitherward stayed) I set at 
liberty, without the taking from them the weight of a groat. Only, 
because I would not be delayed of my dispatch, I stayed two men 
of estimation and sent post immediately to Mexico, which was two 
hundred miles from us, to the Presidents and Council there, 
shewing them of our arrival there by the force of weather, and the 
necessity of the repair of our ships and victuals, which wants we 
required as friends to king Philip to be furnished of for our money : 
and that the Presidents and Council there should with all convenient 
speed take order, that at the arrival of the Spanish fleet, which was 
daily looked for, there might no cause of quarrel rise between us 
and them, but for the better maintenance of amity, their command 
ment might be had in that behalf. This message being sent away 
on the 1 6th day of September at night, being the very day of our 
arrival, in the next morning, which was on the seventeeth day of 
the same month, we saw open of the haven thirteen great 
ships. And understanding them to be the fleet of Spain, I sent 
immediately to advertise the general of the fleet of my being there, 
doing him to understand, that before I would suffer them to enter 
the port, there should some order of conditions pass between us for 
our safe being there, and maintenance of peace. Now it is to be 
understood that this port is made by a little island of stones not three 
feet above the water in the highest place, and but a bow-shoot of 
length any way. This island standeth from the main land two bow- 
shoots or more. Also it is to be understood that there is not in all 
this coast any other place for ships to arrive in safety, because the 
north wind hath there such violence, that unless the ships be very 
safely moored with their anchors fastened upon this island, there is 


no remedy for these north winds but death. Also the place of the 
haven was so little, that of necessity the ships must ride one aboard 
the other, so that we could not give place to them, nor they to us. 
And here I began to bewail that which after followed, for now, said I, 
I am in two dangers, and forced to receive the one of them. That 
was, either I must have kept out the fleet from entering the port, 
the which with God's help I was very well able to do, or else suffer 
them to enter in with their accustomed treason, which they never 
failed to execute, where they may have opportunity to compass it 
by any means. If I had kept them out, then had there been present 
shipwreck of all the fleet, which amounted in value to six millions, 
which was in value of our money ,1,800,000, which I considered I 
was not able to answer, fearing the Queen's Majesty's indignation in 
so weighty a matter. Thus with myself revolving the doubts, I 
thought rather better to abide the jut of the uncertainty than the 
certainty. The uncertain doubt I account was their treason which 
by good policy I hoped might be prevented, and therefore, as 
choosing the least mischief, I proceeded to conditions. Now was 
our first messenger come and returned from the fleet with report 
of the arrival of a Viceroy, so that he had authority, both in all this 
province of Mexico (otherwise called Nueva Espana) and in the 
sea, who sent us word that we should send our conditions, which 
of his part should (for the better maintenance of amity between 
the princes) be both favourably granted and faithfully performed ; 
with many fair words how passing the coast of the Indies he had 
understood of our honest behaviour towards the inhabitants where 
we had to do, as well elsewhere as in the same port, the which I 
let pass. Thus, following our demand, we required victuals for our 
money, and licence to sell as much ware as might furnish our wants, 
and that there might be of either part twelve gentlemen as hostages 
for the maintenance of peace : and that the island, for our better' 
safety, might be in our own possession, during our abode there, 
and such ordnance as was planted in the same island, which were 
eleven pieces of brass : and that no Spaniard might land in the 
island with any kind of weapon. These conditions at the first he 
somewhat misliked, chiefly the guard of the island to be in our own 
keeping. Which if they had had, wehad soon known ourfare : for with 
the first north wind they had cut our cables and our ships had gone 
ashore. But in the end he concluded to our request, bringing the 
twelve hostages to ten, which with all speed of either part were 
received, with a writing from the Viceroy signed with his hand and 

1568] HAWKINS. 57 

sealed with his seal of all the conditions concluded, and forthwith 
a trumpet blown with commandment that none of either part should 
be mean to violate the peace upon pain of death : and, further, it 
was concluded that the two generals of the fleets should meet, and 
give faith each to other for the performance of the premises, which, 
was so done. Thus at the end of three days all was concluded 
and the fleet entered the port, saluting one another as the manner 
of the sea doth require. Thus, as I said before, Thursday we entered 
the port, Friday we saw the fleet, and on Monday at night they 
entered the port. Then we laboured two days placing the English 
ships by themselves and the Spanish by themselves, the captains 
of each part and inferior men of their parts promising great amity 
of all sides : which, even as with all fidelity it was meant on our 
part, so the Spaniards meant nothing less on their parts, but from 
the main land had furnished themselves with a supply of men to 
the number of one thousand, and meant the next Thursday, being 
the 23rd of September, at dinner-time to set upon us on all sides. 
The same Thursday, in the morning, the treason being at hand, 
some appearance shewed, as shifting of weapon from ship to ship, 
planting and bending of ordnance from the ships to the island 
where our men warded, passing to and fro of companies of men 
more than required for their necessary business, and many other 
ill likelihoods, which caused us to have a vehement suspicion. 
And therewithal we sent to the Viceroy to enquire what was meant 
by it, which sent immediately strait commandment to unplant all 
things suspicious, and also sent word that he in the faith of a 
Viceroy would be our defence from all villanies. Yet we being not 
satisfied with this answer, because we suspected a great number of 
men to be hid in a great ship of 900 tons which was moored 
near unto the Minion, sent again to the Viceroy the master of the 
Jesus, which had the Spanish tongue, and required to be satisfied 
if any such thing were or not. The Viceroy now seeing that the 
treason must be discovered, forthwith stayed our master, blew the 
trumpet, and of all sides set upon us. Our men which warded a- 
shore being stricken with sudden fear, gave place, fled, and sought 
to recover succour of the ships. The Spaniards, beingbefore provided 
for the purpose, landed in all places in multitudes from their ships, 
which they might easily do without boats, and slew all our men 
on shore without mercy ; a few of them escaped aboard the Jesus. 
The great ship which had by the estimation three hundred men 
placed in her secretly, immediately fell aboard the Minion. But by 


God's appointment, in the time of the suspicion we had, which was 
only one half-hour, the Minion was made ready to avoid, and so 
loosing her headfasts, and hauling away by the sternfasts, she was 
gotten out : thus with God's help she defended the violence of the 
first brunt of these three hundred men. The Minion being passed 
out, they came aboard the Jesus, which also with very much ado 
and the loss of many of our men were defended and kept out. 
Then were there also two other ships that assaulted the Jesus at 
the same instant, so that she had hard getting loose, but yet with 
some time we had cut our headfasts and gotten out by the stern- 
fasts. Now when the Jesus and the Minion were gotten about two 
ships' length from the Spanish fleet, the fight began so hot on all 
sides that within one hour the admiral of the Spaniards was 
supposed to be sunk, their vice-admiral burned, and one other of 
their principal ships supposed to be sunk, so that the ships were 
little able to annoy us. 

Then is it to be understood, that all the ordnance upon the island 
was in the Spaniards' hands, which did us so great annoyance, 
that it cut all the masts and yards of the Jesus, in such sort that 
there was no hope to carry her away. Also it sunk our small ships, 
whereupon we determined to place the Jesus on that side of the 
Minion, that she might abide all the battery from the land, and so 
be a defence for the Minion till night, and then to take such relief 
of victuals and other necessaries from the Jesus, as the time would 
suffer us, and to leave her. As we were thus determining, and had 
placed the Minion from the shot of the land, suddenly the 
Spaniards had fired two great ships which were coming directly 
with us. And having no means to avoid the fire, it bred among our 
men a marvellous fear, so that some said, Let us depart with the 
Minion. Other said, Let us see whether the wind will carry the fire 
from us. But to be short, the Minion's men which had always their 
sails in a readiness, thought to make sure work, and so without either 
the consent of the captain or master cut their sail, so that very 
hardly I was received into the Minion. 

The most part of the men that were left aljve in the Jesus, made 
shift and followed the Minion in a small boat. The rest which the 
little boat was not able to receive, were enforced to abide the mercy 
of the Spaniards, which I doubt was very little. So with the Minion 
only and the Judith, a small barque of fifty ton, we escaped. Which 
barque the same night forsook us in our great misery. We were now 
removed with the Minion from the Spanish ships two bow-shoots, 

1568] HAWKINS. 59 

and there rode all that night. The next morning we recovered an 
island a mile from the Spaniards, where there took us a north wind, 
and being left only with two anchors and two cables (for in this 
conflict we lost three cables and two anchors) we thought always 
upon death which ever was present, but God preserved us to a 
longer time. 

The weather waxed reasonable ; and on the Saturday we set sail, 
and having a great number of men and little victuals, our hope of 
life waxed less and less. Some desired to yield to the Spaniards ; 
some rather desired to obtain a place where they might give them 
selves to the infidels: and some had rather abide with a little 
pittance the mercy of God at sea. So thus, with many sorrowful 
hearts, we wandered in an unknown sea by the space of fourteen 
days, till hunger enforced us to seek the land: for hides were 
thought very good meat, rats, cats, mice, and dogs, none escaped 
that might be gotten, parrots and monkeys, that were had in great 
price, were thought there very profitable if they served the turn 
one dinner. Thus in the end, on the 8th day of October, we came 
to the land in the bottom of the same bay of Mexico in twenty- 
three degrees and a half, where we hoped to have found inhabitants 
of the Spaniards, relief of victuals, and place for the repair of our 
ship, which was so sore beaten with shot from our enemies and 
bruised with shooting off our own ordnance, that our weary 
and weak arms were scarce able to defend and keep our water. 
But all things happened to the contrary ; for we found neither 
people, victual, nor haven of relief, but a place where having fair 
weather with some peril we might land a boat. Our people 
being forced with hunger desired to be set on land, whereunto I 

And such as were willing to land, I put them apart ; and such as 
were desirous to go homewards, I put apart; so that they were 
indifferently parted a hundred of one side and a hundred of the 
other side. These hundred men we set on land with all diligence 
in this little place beforesaid ; which being landed, we determined 
there to take in fresh water, and so with our little remain of victuals 
to take the sea. 

The next day having a-land with me fifty of our hundred men 
that remained for the speedier preparing of our water aboard, there 
arose an extreme storm, so that in three days we could by no 
means repair aboard our ship : the ship also was in such peril that 
every hour we looked for shipwreck. 


But yet God again had mercy on us, and sent fair weather ; we had 
aboard our water, and departed on the i6th day of October, after 
which day we had fair and prosperous weather till on the :6th day of 
November, which day God be praised we were clear from the 
coast of the Indies, and out of the channel and gulf of Bahama, 
which is between the Cape of Florida, and the islands of Jucayo. 
After this growing near to the cold country, our men being oppressed 
with famine, died continually, and they that were left, grew into 
such weakness that we were scantly able to manage our ship, and the 
wind being always ill for us to recover England, we determined to 
go with Galicia in Spain, with intent there to relieve our company 
and other extreme wants. And being arrived on the last day of 
December in a place near unto Vigo called Ponte Vedra, our men 
with excess of fresh meat grew into miserable diseases, and died a 
great part of them. This matter was borne out as long as it might 
be, but in the end although there were none of our men suffered to 
get a-land, yet by access of the Spaniards, our feebleness was 
known to them. Whereupon they ceased not to seek by all means 
to betray us, but with all speed possible we departed to Vigo, where 
we had some help of certain English ships and twelve fresh men, 
wherewith we repaired our wants as we might, and departing on 
the 2oth day of January, 1 569, arrived in Mount's Bay, in Cornwall, 
on the 25th of the same month, praised be God therefore. 

If all the miseries and troublesome affairs of this sorrowful 
voyage should be perfectly and thoroughly written, there should 
need a painful man with his pen, and as great a time as he had that 
wrote the lives and deaths of the martyrs. 




HAWKINS was the pioneer of the Slave Trade, and of the old 
Virginian and West Indian colonization which rested upon it. 
Frobisher was the pioneer of Arctic exploration, and of the 
long and fruitless quest of a North-West Passage to the eastern 
shores of Asia. 

The object of the expedition of Columbus was a Western 
Passage to China. It resulted in the discovery of the vast 
continent of America, which bars the way. This barrier, how 
ever, might, perhaps, be turned, either at the south end or at 
the north, or at both ; and the search for a Western Passage 
was thus transformed, and became a search for a South- West 
and a North-West Passage. The former was discovered by 
Magellan, a Portuguese in the Spanish service, in 1520. The 
North-West Passage remained neglected for half a century 
longer, and was first sought by the English. 

The wealth and power derived by Spain and Portugal from 
their distant enterprises had by this time excited a strong 
emulation in England. The enormous extent of the North- 
West coasts of America was unknown. It was believed that 
the continent tapered to the north, and that a North-West 
Passage existed leading directly from the Atlantic to the 
Pacific, round Labrador, corresponding on the map to the 
South-West Passage already proved to exist round Patagonia. 
If such a passage were practicable, it would shorten the sea 


route to China by at least one half. It was peculiarly adapted 
for the use and advantage of England, and its exploration was 
discussed in that country, just as the exploration of a Western 
Passage had been discussed in Italy and Spain eighty years 
before. The tractates of Gilbert, Willes, and Best, all printed 
in Hakluyt, prove how strongly public attention was concen 
trated on the scheme. 

Martin Frobisher, a Yorkshireman resident in London, be 
came the Columbus of this project For fifteen years he 
fruitlessly endeavoured to procure the means of testing it. At 
length he succeeded, through the patronage of the Earl of 
Warwick, and in 1576 he started for the north-west, in a 
little barque of twenty-five tons burden, his master being one 
Christopher Hall, intending to turn the most northerly point 
of Labrador. In about a month's time Hall made the coast 
of Greenland, and sailed north-west with the Greenland 
current This course brought the Gabriel to land on the ice 
bound shores to the north of Hudson's Straits, which lead into 
Hudson's Bay. These straits Frobisher never saw ; but find 
ing an inlet somewhat further to the north, up which he sailed 
for sixty leagues, he conceived this to be the passage of which 
he was in search America lying, as he supposed, on his left, 
and Asia on his right (p. 66). Frobisher at once hastened 
home with the news, intending to return next year suitably 
provided for a long exploration. A narrative of this first 
voyage, gathered from his own lips, was prefixed to Best's 
narratives of the subsequent voyages. On the second and 
third voyages Best accompanied him as Lieutenant, or 
second in command. Hakluyt's collection contains narratives 
of all the voyages by other hands; but they are less lively 
and picturesque than those of Best, who seems to have enjoyed 
the confidence of his " General " in a high degree. 


One of the sailors in the first voyage had brought back from 
Frobisher's Straits a bit of black stone, which an Italian 
alchymist, in defiance of the London goldsmiths, pronounced 
to contain gold. This falsehood proved the ruin of Frobisher's 
subsequent expeditions. He was ordered to abandon his 
explorations, and load his ships with this ore, which proved 
to be worthless pyrites. When the truth became known, 
Frobisher and his schemes fell into utter discredit His third 
and most costly expedition was ruined by severe weather, 
against which, as the narrative abundantly shows, Frobisher's 
crews struggled with true English pluck and endurance. The 
further prosecution of the project was deferred, and the very 
site of Frobisher's Strait was soon forgotten. Davis, a few 
years afterwards, renamed it Lumley's Inlet ; but the name of 
the first discoverer has been recently restored. Frobisher was 
the pioneer of Arctic exploration, though he did nothing to 
develope it. It was sufficient for him to have made known 
the difficulties which beset it : and these difficulties were first 
grappled with by Davis and Hudson. 




WHICH thing being well considered, and familiarly known to 
our general Captain Frobisher, as well for that he is thoroughly 
furnished of the knowledge of the sphere and all other skills ap 
pertaining to the art of navigation ; as also for the confirmation he 
hath of the same by many years' experience both by sea and land, 
and being persuaded of a new and nearer passage to Cathay than 
by Capo de Buona Speranga, which the Portuguese yearly use : he 
began first with himself to devise, and then with his friends to 
confer, and laid a plain plot unto them that that voyage was not 
only possible by the north-west, but also, he could prove, easy to be 
performed. And further, he determined and resolved with him 
self to go make full proof thereof, and to accomplish or bring true 
certificate of the truth, or else never to return again, knowing this 
to be the only thing of the world that was left yet undone, whereby 
a notable mind might be made famous and fortunate. But 
although his will were great to perform this notable voyage, 
whereof he had conceived in his mind a great hope by sundry 
sure reasons and secret intelligence, which here, for sundry causes, 
I leave untouched ; yet he wanted altogether means and ability to 
set forward and perform the same. Long time he conferred with 
his private friends of these secrets, and made also many offers for 
the performing of the same in effect unto sundry merchants of our 
country, about fifteen years before he attempted the same, as by 
good witness shall well appear (albeit some evil willers, which 
challenge to themselves the fruits of other men's labours, have 

* A more accurate idea of this voyage may be gathered from the dry narrative of Chris 
topher Hall, master of the Gabriel, printed in Hakluyt. The present narrative was 
preceded by a treatise intended to prove all parts of the earth, even the poles, equally 

1576] FROBISHER. 65 

greatly injured him in the reports of the same, saying that they 
have been the first authors of that action, and that they have 
learned him the way, which themselves as yet have never gone) ; 
but perceiving that hardly he was hearkened unto of the mer 
chants which never regard virtue without sure, certain, and 
present gains, he repaired to the Court (from whence, as from the 
fountain of our common wealth, all good causes have their chief 
increase and maintenance), and there laid open to many great 
estates and learned men the plot and sum of his device. And 
amongst many honourable minds which favoured his honest and 
commendable enterprise, he was specially bound and beholding to 
the Right Honourable Ambrose Dudley, Earl of Wanvick, whose 
favourable mind and good disposition hath always been ready to 
countenance and advance all honest actions with the authors and 
executers of the same ; and so by means of my lord his honour 
able countenance he received some comfort of his cause, and by 
little and little, with no small expense and pain, brought his cause 
to some perfection, and had drawn together so many adventurers 
and such sums of money as might well defray a reasonable charge 
to furnish himself to sea withal. 

He prepared two small barques of twenty and five-and-twenty tons 
a-piece, wherein he intended to accomplish his pretended voyage. 
Wherefore, being furnished with the foresaid two barques, and one 
small pinnace of ten tons burden, having therein victuals and 
other necessaries for twelve months' provision, he departed upon 
the said voyage from Blackwall, on the i$th of June,* anno domini 

One of the barques wherein he went was named the Gabriel, 
and the other the Michael ; and, sailing north-west from England, 
upon the nth of July he had sight of an high and ragged land, 
which he judged to be Frieslandt (whereof some authors have 
made mention), but durst not approach the same by reason of 
the great store of ice that lay along the coast, and the great 

* Best is wrong. Hall quitted his moorings at Ratcliffe on the 7th, and left Deptford 
on the 8th. In passing the Royal Palace of Greenwich, says Hall, "we shot off an 
ordinance, and made the best show we could. Her Majesty, beholding the same, 
commended it, and bade us farewell, with shaking her hand at us out of the window." 

t The land was. Greenland. Friesland was the name given to the Faroe Islands in the 
voyage of the brothers Zeni. Hall saw the rocky spires of the coast "rising like 
pinnacles of steeples" in the afternoon sun. 



mists that troubled them not a little. Not far from thence he 
lost company of his small pinnace, which, by means of the 
great storm, he supposed to be swallowed up of the sea, wherein 
he lost only four men. 

Also the other barque, named the Michael, mistrusting the matter, 
conveyed themselves privily away from him, and returned home, 
with great report that he was cast away. 

The worthy captain, notwithstanding these discomforts, although 
his mast was sprung, and his topmast blown overboard with ex 
treme foul weather, continued his course towards the north-west, 
knowing that the sea at length must needs have an ending, and that 
some land should have a beginning that way ; and determined, there 
fore, at the least to bring true proof what land and sea the same 
might be so far to the north-westwards, beyond any that man hath 
heretofore discovered. And on the 2oth of July he had sight of an 
high land, which he called Queen Elizabeth's Foreland,* after her 
Majesty's name. And sailing more northerly along that coast, he 
descried another foreland, with a great gut, bay, or passage, dividing 
as it were two main lands or continents asunder. There he met 
with store of exceeding great ice all this coast along, and coveting 
still to continue his course to the northwards, was always by con 
trary winds detained overthwart these straits, and could not get 
beyond. Within a few days after, he perceived the ice to be well 
consumed and gone, either there engulfed in by some swift currents 
or indrafts, carried more to the southwards of the same straits, or 
else conveyed some other way ; wherefore he determined to make 
proof of this place, to see how far that gut had continuance, and 
whether he might carry himself through the same into some open 
sea on the back-side, whereof he conceived no small hope ; and so 
entered the same on the 2ist day of July, and passed above fifty 
leagues therein, as he reported, having upon either hand a great 
main or continent. And that land upon his right hand as he sailed 
westward he judged to be the continent of Asia, and there to be 
divided from the firm of America, which lieth upon the left hand 
over against the same. 

This place he named after his name, Frobisher's Straits, like as 
Magellanus at the south-west end of the world, having discovered 
the passage to the South Sea (where America is divided from the 

* The island to the N.W. of Resolution Island. 


continent of that land, which lieth under the South Pole), and 
called the same straits, Magellan's Straits. 

After he had passed sixty leagues into this aforesaid strait, he 
went ashore, and found signs where fire had been made. 

He saw mighty deer that seemed to be mankind, which ran at 
him, and hardly he escaped with his life in a narrow way, where 
he was fain to use defence and policy to save his life. 

In this place he saw and perceived sundry tokens of the peoples 
resorting thither ; * and, being ashore upon the top of a hill, he per 
ceived a number of small things floating in the sea afar off, which 
he supposed to be porpoises, or seals, or some kind of strange 
fish ; but coming nearer, he discovered them to be men in small 
boats made of leather ; and before he could descend down from 
the hill, certain of those people had almost cut off his boat from 
him, having stolen secretly behind the rocks for that purpose ; 
where he speedily hasted to his boat, and bent himself to his 
halberd, and narrowly escaped the danger, and saved his boat. 
Afterwards he had sundry conferences with them, and they came 
aboard his ship, and brought him salmon and raw flesh and fish, 
and greedily devoured the same before our men's faces ; and, to 
show their agility, they tried many masteries upon the ropes of the 
ship after our mariners' fashion, and appeared to be very strong of 
their arms, and nimble of their bodies. They exchanged coats of 
seals and bears' skins, and such like, with our men ; and received 
bells, looking-glasses, and other toys, in recompense thereof again. 
After great courtesy, and many meetings, our mariners, contrary 
to their captain's direction, began more easily to trust them ; and 
five of our men going ashore were by them intercepted with their 
boat, and were never since heard of to this day again ; so that the 
captain being destitute of boat, barque, and all company, had 
scarcely sufficient number to conduct back his barque again. He 
could now neither convey himself ashore to rescue his men (if he 
had been able) for want of a boat ; and again the subtle traitors 
were so wary, as they would after that never come within our 
men's danger. The captain, notwithstanding, desirous of bringing 
some token from thence of his being there, was greatly discon 
tented that he had not before apprehended some of them ; and, 
therefore, to deceive the deceivers he wrought a pretty policy ; for 

The natives were first seen on the igth of August. 
F 2 


knowing well how they greatly delighted in our toys, and specially 
in bells, he rang a pretty lowbell, making signs that he would give 
him the same who would come and fetch it ; and because they 
would not come within his danger for fear, he flung one bell unto 
them, which of purpose he threw short, that it might fall into the 
sea and be lost ; and to make them more greedy of the matter he 
rang a louder bell, so that in the end one of them came near the 
ship's side to receive the bell, which, when he thought to take at 
the captain's hand, he was thereby taken himself; for the captain, 
being readily provided, let the bell fall, and caught the man fast, 
and plucked him with main force boat and all into his barque out 
of the sea. Whereupon, when he found himself in captivity, for 
very choler and disdain he bit his tongue in twain within his mouth ; 
notwithstanding, he died not thereof, but lived until he came in 
England, and then he died of cold which he had taken at sea. 

Now with this new prey (which was a sufficient witness of the 
captain's far and tedious travel towards the unknown parts of the 
world, as did well appear by this strange infidel, whose like was 
never seen, read, nor heard of before, and whose language was 
neither known nor understood of any), the said Captain Frobisher 
returned homewards, and arrived in England in Harwich the 2nd 
of October following, and thence came to London, 1576, where he 
was highly commended of all men for his great and notable 
attempt, but specially famous for the great hope he brought of the 
passage to Cathay. 

And it is especially to be remembered that at their first arrival 
in those parts there lay so great store of ice all the coast along, so 
thick together, that hardly his boat could pass unto the shore. At 
length, after divers attempts, he commanded his company, if by 
any possible means they could get ashore, to bring him whatsoever 
thing they could first find, whether it were living or dead, stock or 
stone, in token of Christian possession, which thereby he took in 
behalf of the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty, thinking that 
thereby he might justify the having and enjoying of the same 
things that grew in these unknown parts. 

Some of his company brought flowers, some green grass, and 
one brought a piece of black stone, much like to a sea-coal in 
colour, which by the weight seemed to be some kind of metal or 
mineral. This was a thing of no account in the judgment of the 
captain at first sight ; and yet for novelty it was kept in respect 
of the place from whence it came. 


After his arrival in London, being demanded of sundry his 
friends what thing he had brought them home out of that country, 
he had nothing left to present them withal but a piece of this 
black stone. And it fortuned a gentlewoman, one of the adven 
turers' wives, to have a piece thereof, which by chance she threw 
and burned in the fire, so long, that at the length being taken 
forth, and quenched in a little vinegar, it glistered with a bright 
marquesite of gold. Whereupon the matter being called in some 
question, it was brought to certain gold-finers in London to make 
assay thereof, who gave out that it held gold, and that very richly 
for the quantity.* Afterwards the same gold-finers promised great 
matters thereof if there were any store to be found, and offered 
themselves to adventure for the searching of those parts from 
whence the same was brought. Some that had great hope of the 
matter sought secretly to have a lease at Her Majesty's hands of 
those places, whereby to enjoy the mass of so great a public profit 
unto their own private gains. 

In conclusion, the hope of more of the same gold ore to be 
found kindled a greater opinion in the hearts of many to advance 
the voyage again. Whereupon preparation was made for a new 
voyage against the year following, and the captain more specially 
directed by commission for the searching more of this gold ore 
than for the searching any further discovery of the passage. And 
being well accompanied with divers resolute and forward gentle 
men, Her Majesty then lying at the Right Honourable the Lord of 
Warwick's house, in Essex, he came to take his leave ; and kissing 
Her Highness's hands, with gracious countenance and comfortable 
words departed toward his charge. 

* Best is here not quite accurate. The London goldsmiths pronounced the ore worth 
less. An Italian, Agnello, reported it to contain gold. 




A true report of such things as happened in the SECOND 
VOYAGE of CAPTAIN FROBISHER, pretended for the 
discovery of a new passage to CATHAY, CHINA, and the 
WEST INDIES. Anno Domini 1577. 

Being furnished with one tall ship of Her Majesty's, named 
The Aid, of 200 tons, and two other small barques, the one 
named The Gabriel, the other The Michael, about 30 tons 
apiece, being fitly appointed with men, munitions, victuals, and 
all things necessary for the voyage, the said Captain Frobisher, 
with the rest of his company, came aboard his ships riding at 
Blackwall, intending (with God's help) to take the first wind and 
tide serving him, the 25th day of May, in the year of Our Lord 
God 1577. 

On Whit Sunday, being the 26th of May, Anno Domini 1577, 
early in the morning we weighed anchor at Blackwall, and fell 
that tide down to Gravesend, where we remained until Monday at 

On Monday morning, the 27th of May, aboard the Aid, we 
received all the communion by the minister of Gravesend, and 
prepared us as good Christians towards God, and resolute men for 
all fortunes ; and towards night we departed to Tilbury Hope. 

Tuesday, the 28th of May, about nine of the clock at night, we 
arrived at Harwich, in Essex, and there stayed for the taking in of 

* The narrative of Dionis Settle, also given by Hakluyt, adds nothing to Best's 
information. The same may be said of the Third Voyage by Thomas Ellis. 

1577] FROBISHER. 71 

certain victuals until Friday, being the 3oth of May ; during which 
time came letters from the Lords of the Council, straightly com 
manding our general not to exceed his complement and number 
appointed him, which was 120 persons. Whereupon he discharged 
many proper men, which with unwilling minds departed. 

He also dismissed all his condemned men, which he thought for 
some purposes very needful for the voyage ; and towards night, 
upon Friday, the 3ist of May, we set sail and put to the seas 
again ; and sailing northward, along the east coasts of England 
and Scotland, the 7th day of June we arrived in Saint Magnus' 
Sound, in Orkney Island, called in Latin Orcades, and came to 
anchor on the south side of the bay ; and this place is reckoned 
from Blackwall, where we set sail first, leagues.* 

Here, our company going on land, the inhabitants of these 
islands began to flee as from the enemy. Whereupon the lieu 
tenant willed every man to stay together, and went himself into 
their houses to declare what we were, and the cause of our coming 
thither, which being understood, after their poor manner they 
friendly entreated us, and brought us for our money such things as 
they had. And here our gold-finers found a mine of silver. 

Orkney is the principal of the Isles of the Orcades, and standeth 
in the latitude of fifty-nine degrees and a half. The country is 
much subject to cold, answerable for such a climate, and yet 
yieldeth some fruits, and sufficient maintenance for the people 
contented so poorly to live. There is plenty enough of poultry, 
store of eggs, fish, and fowl. For their bread they have oaten 
cakes, and their drink is ewes' milk, and in some parts ale. Their 
houses are but poor without and sluttish enough within, and the 
people in nature thereunto agreeable. For their fire they burn 
heath and turf, the country in most parts being void of wood. 
They have great want of leather, and desire our old shoes, apparel, 
and old ropes, before money, for their victuals, and yet are they 
not ignorant of the value of our coin. The chief town is called 
Kyrway. In this island hath been sometime an abbey or a 
religious house, called Saint Magnus, being on the west side of 
the isle, whereof this sound beareth name through which we passed. 
Their governor or chief lord is called the Lord Robert Steward, 

* The distances and latitudes were expressed in cypher in the original MS., so as to 
keep the course secret. 


who at our being there, as we understood, was in durance at 
Edinburgh, by the Regent's commandment of Scotland. 

After we had provided us here of matter sufficient for our 
voyage, the 8th of June we set sail again, and, passing through 
Saint Magnus' Sound, having a merry wind by night, came clear 
and lost sight of all the land ; and keeping our course west-north 
west by the space of two days, the wind shifted upon us, so that 
we lay in traverse on the seas, with contrary winds, making good, 
as near as we could, our course to the westward, and sometimes to 
the northward, as the wind shifted. And hereabouts we met with 
three sail of English fishermen from Iceland, bound homeward, 
by whom we wrote our letters unto our friends in England. We 
traversed these seas by the space of twenty-six days without sight 
of any land, and met with much drift-wood and whole bodies of 
trees. We saw many monstrous fishes and strange fowls which 
seemed to live only by the sea, being there so far distant from 
any land. At length God favoured us with more prosperous 
winds : and after we had sailed four days with good wind in the 
poop, the 4th of July, the Michael, being foremost ahead, shot off 
a piece of ordnance, and struck all her sails, supposing that they 
descried land, which, by reason of the thick mists, they could not 
make perfect. Howbeit, as well our account as also the great altera 
tion of the water, which became more black and smooth, did 
plainly declare we were not far off the coast. Our general sent 
his master aboard the Michael who had been with him the year 
before to bear in with the place to make proof thereof, who 
descried not the land perfect, but saw sundry huge islands of ice, 
which we deemed to be not past twelve leagues from the shore. 
About ten o'clock at night, being the 4th of July, the weather being 
more clear, we made the land perfect, and knew it to be Friesland. 
And the height being taken here, we found ourselves to be in the^ 
latitude of sixty degrees and a half, and were fallen with the 
southernmost part of this land. Between Orkney and Friesland 
are reckoned leagues. 

This Friesland showeth a ragged and high land, having the 
mountains almost covered over with snow along the coast full of 
drift-ice and seemeth almost inaccessible, and is thought to be an 
island in bigness not inferior to England, and is called by 1 some 
authors West Friesland, I think because it lieth more west than 
any part of Europe. It extendeth in latitude to the northward 
very far, as seemed to us ; and appeareth by a description set out 

1577] FROBISHER. 73 

by two brethren Venetians Nicholaus and Antonius Zeni, who, 
being driven off from Ireland by a violent tempest, made ship 
wreck here, and were the first known Christians that discovered 
this land, about 200 years since ; and they have in their sea-cards 
set out every part thereof, and described the condition of the 
inhabitants, declaring them to be as civil and religious people as 
we. And for so much of this land as we have sailed along, com 
paring their card with the coast, we find it very agreeable. . 

This coast seemeth to have good fishing : for we, lying becalmed, 
let fall a hook without any bait, and presently caught a great fish 
called a halibut, which served the whole company for a day's meat, 
ana is dangerous meat for surfeiting. And sounding about five 
leagues off from the shore, our lead brought up in the tallow a 
kind of coral, almost white, and small stones as bright as crystal ; 
and it is not to be doubted that this land may be found very rich 
and beneficial if it were thoroughly discovered, although we saw 
no creature there but little birds. It is a marvellous thing to 
behold of what great bigness and depth some islands of ice be here 
some seventy, some eighty fathoms under water, besides that 
which is above, seeming islands more than half a mile in circuit. 
All these ice are in taste fresh, and seem to be bred in the sounds 
thereabouts, or in some land near the Pole, and with the wind and 
tides are driven along the coasts. We found none of these islands 
of ice salt in taste, whereby it appeareth that they were not con 
gealed of the ocean sea-water, which is always salt, but of some 
standing or little moving lakes, or great fresh waters near the 
shore, caused either by melted snow from tops of mountains, or 
by continual access of fresh rivers from the land, and inter 
mingling with the sea-water, bearing yet the dominion, by the 
force of extreme frost, may cause some part of salt water to freeze 
so with it, and so seem a little brackish ; but otherwise the main 
sea freezeth not, and therefore there is no Mare Glaciate, or Frozen 
Sea, as the opinion hitherto hath been. Our General proved 
landing here twice, but by the sudden fall of mists, whereunto 
this coast is much subject, he was like to lose sight of his ships ; 
and being greatly endangered with the driving ice along the coast, 
was forced aboard, and fain to surcease his pretence till a better 
opportunity might serve ; and having spent four days and nights sail 
ing along this land, finding the coast subject to such bitter cold and 
continual mists, he determined to spend no more time therein, but 
to bear out his course towards the straits called Frobisher's Straits, 


after the General's name; who being the first that ever passed 
beyond fifty-eight degrees to the northwards, for anything that 
hath been yet known of certainty, of Newfoundland, otherwise 
called the continent or firm land of America, discovered the said 
straits this last year, 1576. 

Between Friesland and the straits we had one great storm, wherein 
the Michael was somewhat in danger, having her steerage broken 
and her topmasts blown overboard ; and being not past fifty leagues 
short of the straits by our account, we struck sail and lay a hull, 
fearing the continuance of the storm, the wind being at the north 
east ; and having lost company of the barques in that flaw of wind, 
we happily met again the I7th day of July, having the evening 
before seen divers islands of fleeting ice, which gave an argument 
that we were not far from land. Our General, in the morning, 
from the maintop, the weather being reasonably clear, descried 
land ; but to be better assured, he sent the two barques two con 
trary courses, whereby they might descry either the South or North 
Foreland, the Aid lying off and on at sea, with a small sail, by an 
island of ice, which was the mark for us to meet together again. 
And about noon, the weather being more clear, we made the North 
Foreland perfect, which otherwise is called Hall's Island,* and also 
the small island bearing the name of the said Hall, whence the 
ore was taken up which was brought into England this last year 
(1576), the said Hall being present at the finding and taking up 
thereof, who was then Master in the Gabriel, with Captain 
Frobisher. At our arrival here, all the seas about this coast were 
so covered over with huge quantity of great ice, that we thought 
these places might only deserve the name of Mare Glaciale, and be 
called the Icy Sea. 

This North Foreland is thought to be divided from the continent 
of the Northerland by a little sound called Hall's Sound, which 
maketh it an island, and is thought little less than the Isle of 
Wight, and is the first entrance of the Straits upon the north 
side, and standeth in the latitude of sixty-two degrees and fifty 
minutes, and is reckoned from Friesland leagues. God having 
blessed us with so happy a land-fall, we bare into the Straits which 
run in next hand, and somewhat further up to the northward, and 
came as near the shore as we might for the ice; and upon the 

* Now Cape Enderby. 

1577] FROBISHER. 75 

1 8th of July our General, taking the gold-finers with him, at 
tempted to go on shore with a small rowing pinnace, upon the 
small island where the ore was taken up, to prove whether there 
were any store thereof to be found : but he could not get in all 
that island a piece so big as a walnut, where the first was found. 
But our men which sought the other islands thereabouts found 
them all to have good store of the ore : whereupon our General 
with these good tidings returned aboard about ten o'clock at night, 
and was joyfully welcomed of the company with a volley of shot. 
He brought eggs, fowls, and 'a young seal aboard, which the com 
pany had killed ashore ; and having found upon those islands gins 
set to catch fowl, and sticks new cut, with other things, he well 
perceived that not long before some of the country people had 
resorted thither. 

Having therefore found those tokens of the people's access in 
those parts, and being in his first voyage well acquainted with 
their subtle and cruel disposition, he provided well for his better 
safety; and on Friday, the igih of July, in the morning early, with 
his best company of gentlemen and soldiers, to the number of 
forty persons, went on shore, as well to discover the inland and 
habitation of the people, as also to find out some fit harbour for 
our ships. And passing towards the shore with no small difficulty 
by reason of the abundance of ice which lay along the coast so 
thick together that hardly any passage through them might be 
discovered, we arrived at length upon the main of Hall's greater 
island, and found there also, as well as in the other small islands, 
good store of the ore. And leaving his boats here with sufficient 
guard, we passed up into the country about two English miles, 
and recovered the top of a high hill, on the top whereof our men 
made a column or cross of stones heaped up of a good height 
together in good sort, and solemnly sounded a trumpet, and said 
certain prayers kneeling about the ensign, and honoured the 
place by the name of Mount Warwick, in remembrance of the 
Right Honourable the Lord Ambrose Dudley, Earl of Warwick, 
whose noble mind and good countenance in this, as in all other 
good actions, gave great encouragement and good furtherance. 
This done, we retired our companies, not seeing anything here 
worth further discovery, the country seeming barren and full of 
ragged mountains, and in most parts covered with snow. 

And thus marching towards our boats, we espied certain of the 
country people on the top of Mount Warwick with a flag, wafting 


us back again and making great noise, with cries like the mowing 
of bulls, seeming greatly desirous of conference with us. Where 
upon the General, being therewith better acquainted, answered 
them again with the like cries ; whereat, and with the noise of our 
trumpets, they seemed greatly to rejoice, skipping, laughing, and 
dancing for joy. And hereupon we made signs unto them, hold 
ing up two fingers, commanding two of our men to go apart from 
our companies, whereby they might do the like. So that forth 
with two of our men and two of theirs met together a good 
space from company, neither party having their weapons about 
them. Our men gave them pins and points and such trifles as 
they had. And they likewise bestowed on our men two bow- 
cases and such things as they had. They earnestly desired our 
men to go up into their country, and our men offered them like 
kindness aboard our ships; but neither part (as it seemed) ad 
mitted or trusted the other's courtesy. Their manner of traffic is 
thus, they do use to lay down of their merchandise upon the 
ground, so much as they mean to part withal, and so looking that 
the other party with whom they make trade should do the like, 
they themselves do depart, and then if they do like of their mart 
they come again, and take in exchange the other's merchandise ; 
otherwise, if they like not, they take their own and depart. The 
day being thus well near spent, in haste we retired our companies 
into our boats again, minding forthwith to search along the coast 
for some harbour fit for our ships; for the present necessity 
thereof was much, considering that all this while they lay off and 
on between the two lands, being continually subject as well to 
great danger of floating ice, which environed them, as to the 
sudden flaws which the coast seemeth much subject unto. But 
when the people perceived our departure, with great tokens of 
affection they earnestly called us back again, following us almost 
to our boats. Whereupon our General, taking his Master with 
him, who was best acquainted with their manners, went apart 
unto two of them, meaning, if they could lay sure hold upon 
them, forcibly to bring them aboard, with intent to bestow certain 
toys and apparel upon the one, and so to dismiss him with all 
arguments of courtesy, and retain the other for an interpreter. 
The General and his Master being met with their two companions 
together, after they had exchanged certain things the one with 
the other, one of the savages, for lack of better merchandise, cut 
off the tail of his coat (which is a chief ornament among them) 

1577] FROBISHER. 77 

and gave it unto our General for a present. But he presently, 
upon a watchword given with his Master, suddenly laid hold upon 
the two savages. But the ground under foot being slippery with 
the snow on the side of the hill, their handfast failed, and their 
prey escaping ran away and lightly recovered their bow and 
arrows, which they had hid not far from them behind the rocks. 
And being only two savages in sight, they so fiercely, desperately, 
and with such fury assaulted and pursued our General and his 
Master, being altogether unarmed, and not mistrusting their 
subtilty, that they chased them to their boats, and hurt the 
General in the buttock with an arrow, who the rather speedily 
fled back, because they suspected a greater number behind the 
rocks. Our soldiers (which were commanded before to keep their 
boats) perceiving the danger, and hearing our men calling for 
shot, came speedily to rescue, thinking there had been a greater 
number. But when the savages heard the shot of one of our 
calivers (and yet having first bestowed their arrows) they ran 
away, our men speedily following them. But a servant of my 
Lord of Warwick, called Nicholas Conger, a good footman, and 
uncumbered with any furniture, having only a dagger at his back, 
overtook one of them; and being a Cornish man and a good 
wrestler, shewed his companion such a Cornish trick, that he 
made his sides ache against the ground for a month after. And 
so being stayed, he was taken alive and brought away, but the 
other escaped. Thus with their strange and new prey our men 
repaired to their boats, and passed from the main to a small 
island of a mile in compass, where they resolved to tarry all 
night ; for even now a sudden storm was grown so great at sea, 
that by no means they could recover their ships. And here every 
man refreshed himself with a small portion of victuals, which was 
laid into the boats for their dinners, having neither eat nor drunk 
all the day before. But because they knew not how long the 
storm might last, nor how far off the ships might be put to sea, 
nor whether they should ever recover them again or not, they 
made great spare of their victuals, as it greatly behoved them. 
For they knew full well that the best cheer the country could 
yield them was rocks and stones, a hard food to live withal, and 
the people more ready to eat them than to give them where 
withal to eat. And thus, keeping very good watch and ward, they 
lay there all night upon hard cliffs of snow and ice, both wet, 
cold, and comfortless. 


These things thus happening with the company on land, the 
danger of the ships at sea was no less perilous. For within one 
hour after the General's departing in the morning, by negligence 
of the cook in over-heating, and the workman in making the 
chimney, the Aid was set on fire, and had been the confusion of 
the whole if, by chance a boy espying it, it had not been speedily 
with great labour and God's help well extinguished. 

This day also were divers storms and flaws, and by nine o'clock 
at night the storm was grown so great, and continued such until 
the morning, that it put our ships at sea in no small peril; for 
having mountains of fleeting ice on every side, we went roomer 
for one, and loosed for another, some scraped us, and some 
happily escaped us, that the least of a thousand were as dangerous 
to strike as any rock, and able to have split asunder the strongest 
ship of the world. We had a scope of clear without ice (as God 
would), wherein we turned, being otherwise compassed on every 
side about. But so much was the wind and so little was our sea- 
room, that being able to bear only our forecourse we cast so oft 
about, that we made fourteen boards in eight glasses running, 
being but four hours. But God being our best steersman, and 
by the industry of Charles Jackman and Andrew Dyer, the 
master's mates, both very expert mariners, and Richard Cox, the 
master gunner, with other very careful sailors, then within board, 
and also by the help of the clear nights, which are without dark 
ness, we did happily avoid those present dangers, whereat since 
we have more marvelled than in the present danger feared, for 
that every man within board, both better and worse, had enough 
to do with his hands to haul ropes, and with his eyes to look out 
for danger. But the next morning, being the 2Oth of July, as 
God would, the storm ceased, and the General, espying the ships 
with his new captive and whole company, came happily aboard', 
and reported what had passed ashore, whereupon altogether upon 
our knees we gave God humble and hearty thanks for that it had 
pleased Him from so speedy peril to send us such speedy de 
liverance ; and so from this northern shore we struck over towards 
the southerland. 

On the 2 ist of July, we discovered a bay which ran into the 
land, that seemed a likely harbour for our ships ; wherefore our 
General rowed thither with his boats, to make proof thereof, 
and with his gold-finers to search for ore, having never assayed 
anything on the south shore as yet, and the first small island, 

1577] FROBISHER. 79 

which we landed upon. Here all the sands and cliffs did so 
glitter and had so bright a marquesite, that it seemed all to be 
gold ; but upon trial made, it proved no better than black-lead, 
and verified the proverb, " All is not gold that glistereth." 

Upon the 22nd of July we bare into the said sound, and came 
to anchor a reasonable breadth off the shore; where, thinking 
ourselves in good security, we were greatly endangered with a 
piece of drift ice, which the ebb brought forth of the sounds 
and came thwart us ere we were aware. But the gentlemen and 
soldiers within board taking great pains at this pinch at the 
capstan, overcame the most danger thereof, and yet for all 
that might be done, it struck on our stern such a blow, that 
we feared lest it had stricken away our rudder, and being forced 
to cut our cable in the hawse, we were fain to set our foresail 
to run further up within, and if our steerage had not been stronger 
than in the present time we feared, we had run the ship upon 
the rocks, having a very narrow channel to turn in ; but, as God 
would, all came well to pass. And this was named Jackman's 
Sound, after the name of the Master's mate, who had first liking 
unto the place. 

Upon a small island within this sound, called Smith's Island 
(because he first set up his forge there), was found a mine of 
silver, but was not won out of the rocks without great labour. 
Here our gold-finers made assay of such ore as they found upon 
the northerland, and found four sorts thereof to hold gold in 
good quantity. Upon another small island here was also found 
a great dead fish, which as it should seem, had been embayed 
with ice, and was in proportion round like to a porpoise, being 
about twelve foot long, and in bigness answerable, having a horn 
of two yards long growing out of the snout or nostrils. This 
horn is wreathed and straight, like in fashion to a taper made 
of wax, and may truly be thought to be the sea unicorn. This 
horn is to be seen and reserved as a jewel by the queen's majesty's 
commandment, in her wardrobe of robes. 

On Tuesday, the 23rd of July, our general with his best company 
of gentlemen, soldiers and sailors, to the number of seventy 
persons in all, marched with ensign displayed, upon the continent 
of the southerland (the supposed continent of America) where, 
commanding a trumpet to sound a call for every man to repair 
to the ensign, he declared to the whole company how much the 
cause imported for the service of her majesty, our country, our 


credits, and the safety of our own lives, and therefore required 
every man to be conformable to order, and to be directed by 
those he should assign. And he appointed for leaders Captain 
Fenton, Captain Yorke, and his Lieutenant George Best : which 
done, we cast ourselves into a ring, and altogether upon our 
knees, gave God humble thanks for that it had pleased him of 
his great goodness to preserve us from such imminent dangers, 
beseeching likewise the assistance of his holy spirit, so to deliver 
us in safety into our country, whereby the light and truth of these 
secrets being known, it might redound to the more honour of his 
holy name, and consequently to the advancement of our common 
wealth. And so, in as good sort as the place suffered, we 
marched towards the lops of the mountains, which were no less 
painful in climbing than dangerous in descending, by reason of their 
steepness and ice. And having passed about five miles, by such 
unwieldy ways, we returned unto our ships without sight of any 
people, or likelihood of habitation. Here divers of the gentle 
men desired our General to suffer them, to the number of twenty 
or thirty persons, to march up thirty or forty leagues in the 
country, to the end they might discover the inland, and do some 
acceptable service for their country. But he, not contented 
with the matter he sought for, and well considering the short 
time he had in hand, and the greedy desire our country hath 
to a present savour and return of gain, bent his whole endeavour 
only to find a mine to freight his ships, and to leave the rest 
(by God's help) hereafter to be well accomplished. And therefore 
on the 26th of July he departed over to the northland, with the 
two barques, leaving the Aid riding in Jackman's Sound, and 
meant (after he had found convenient harbour, and freight there 
for his ships) to discover further for the passage. The barques 
came the same night to anchor in a sound upon the north- 
land, where the tides did run so swift, and the place was so 
subject to indrafts of ice, that by reason thereof they were 
greatly endangered ; and having found a very rich mine, as they 
supposed, and got almost twenty tons of ore together, upon the 
28th of July the ice came driving into the sound where the 
barques rode, in such sort, that they were therewith greatly 
distressed. And the Gabriel, riding astern the Michael, had her 
cable galled asunder in the hawse with a piece of driving ice, 
and lost another anchor ; and having but one cable and anchor 
left, for she had lost two before, and the ice still driving upon 

1577] FROBISHER. 8 1 

her, she was (by God's help) well fenced from the danger of the 
rest, by one great island of ice, which came aground hard ahead 
of her ; which, if it had not so chanced, I think surely she had 
been cast upon the rocks with the ice. The Michael moored 
anchor upon this great ice, and rode under the lee thereof : but 
about midnight, by the weight of itself, and the setting of the 
tides, the ice broke within half of the barque's length, and made 
unto the company within board a sudden and fearful noise. 
The next flood toward the morning we weighed anchor, and 
went further up the straits, and leaving our ore behind us which 
we had digged, for haste left the place by the name of B care's 
Sound, after the Master's name of the Michael, and named the 
island Leicester's Island. In one of the small islands here we 
found a tomb, wherein the bones of a dead man lay together, 
and our savage captive being with us, and being demanded by 
signs whether his countrymen had not slain this man and eat 
his flesh so from the bones, he made signs to the contrary, and 
that he was slain with wolves and wild beasts. Here also was 
found hid under stones good store of fish, and sundry other 
things of the inhabitants ; as sledges, bridles, kettles of fish- 
skins, knives of bone, and such other like. And our savage 
declared unto us the use of all those things. And taking in his 
hand one of those country bridles, he caught one of our dogs 
and hampered him handsomely therein, as we do our horses, 
and with a whip in his hand, he taught the dog to draw in a 
sledge as we do horses in a coach, sitting himself thereupon 
like a guide : so that we might see they use dogs for that 
purpose that we do our horses. And we found since by 
experience, that the lesser sort of dogs they feed fat, and keep 
them as domestic cattle in their tents for their eating, and the 
greater sort serve for the use of their sledges. 

On the 2Qth of July, about five leagues from Beare's Sound, we 
discovered a bay which, being fenced on each side with small 
islands lying off the main, which break the force of the tides, 
and make the place free from any indrafts of ice, did prove a 
fit harbour for our ships, where we came to anchor under a small 
island, which now together with the sound is called by the name 
of that right honourable and virtuous lady, Anne Countess of War 
wick. And this is the furtherest place that this year we have 
entered up within the straits, and is reckoned from the Cape of the 
Queen's Foreland, which is the entrance of the straits, not above 



thirty leagues. Upon this island was found good store of the 
ore, which in the washing held gold to our thinking plainly to 
be seen : whereupon it was thought best rather to load here, 
where there was store and indifferent good, than to seek further 
for better, and spend time with jeopardy. And therefore our 
General setting the miners to work, and shewing first a good 
precedent of a painful labourer and a good captain in himself, 
gave good examples for others to follow him : whereupon every 
man, both better and worse, with their best endeavours willingly 
laid to their helping hands. And the next day, being the 3oth of 
July, the Michael was sent over to Jackman's Sound, for the Aid 
and the whole company to come thither. Upon the main-land, 
over against the Countess's Island, we discovered and beheld 
to our great marvel the poor caves and houses of those country 
people, which serve them (as it should seem) for their winter 
dwellings, and are made two fathoms underground, in compass 
round, like to an oven, being joined fast one by another, having 
holes like to a fox or coney burrow, to keep and come together. 
They undertrenched these places with gutters, so that the water, 
falling from the hills above them, may slide away without their 
annoyance : and are seated commonly in the foot of a hill, to 
shield them better from the cold winds, having their door and 
entrance ever open towards the south. From the ground upwards 
they build with whale's bones, for lack of timber, which bending 
one over another, are handsomely compacted in the top together, 
and are covered over with sealskins, which, instead of tiles, fence 
them from the rain. In which house they have only one room, 
having the one half of the floor raised with broad stones a foot 
higher than the other, whereon strewing moss, they make their 
nests to sleep in. They defile these dens most filthily with their 
beastly feeding, and dwell so long in a place (as we think) until 
their sluttishness loathing them, they are forced to seek a sweeter 
air, and a new seat, and are (no doubt) a dispersed and wandering 
nation, as the Tartarians, and live in hordes and troops, without 
any certain abode, as may appear by sundry circumstances of 
our experience. 

Here our captive, being ashore with us to declare the use of 
such things as we saw, stayed himself alone behind the company, 
and did set up five small sticks round in a circle one by another, 
with one small bone placed just in the midst of all : which 
thing when one of our men perceived, he called us back to behold 

1577] FROBISHER. 83 

the matter, thinking that he had meant some charm or witch 
craft therein. But the best conjecture we could make thereof was, 
that he would thereby his countrymen should understand, that for 
our five men which they betrayed the last year (whom he signified 
by the five sticks) he was taken and kept prisoner, which he sig 
nified by the bone in the midst. For afterwards when we showed 
him the picture of his countryman, which the last year was 
brought into England (whose counterfeit we had drawn, with 
boat and other furniture, both as he was in his own and also in 
English apparel) he was upon the sudden much amazed thereat : 
and beholding advisedly the same with silence a good while, as 
though he would strain courtesy whether should begin the speech 
(for he thought him no doubt a lively creature) at length began to 
question with him, as with his companion, and finding him dumb 
and mute, seemed to suspect him, as one disdainful, and would 
with a little help have grown into choler at the matter ; until at 
last, by feeling and handling, he found him but a deceiving picture. 
And then with great noise and cries, ceased not wondering, think 
ing that we could make men live or die at our pleasure. 

And thereupon calling the matter to his remembrance, he gave 
us plainly to understand by signs, that he had knowledge of the 
taking of our five men the last year, and confessing the manner of 
each thing, numbered the five men upon his five fingers, and pointed 
unto a boat in our ship, which was like unto that wherein our men 
were betrayed. And when we made him signs that they were 
slain and eaten, he earnestly denied, and made signs to the 

The last of July the Michael returned with the Aid to us from 
the southerland, and came to anchor by us in the Countess of 
Warwick's Sound, and reported that since we departed from Jack- 
man's Sound there happened nothing among them there greatly 
worth the remembrance, until the 3oth of July, when certain of our 
company being ashore upon a small island within the said Jack- 
man's Sound, near the place where the Aid rode, did espy a long 
boat with divers of the country people therein, to the number of 
eighteen or twenty persons, whom so soon as our men perceived, 
they returned speedily aboard, to give notice thereof unto our 
company. They might perceive these people climbing up to the 
top of a hill, where, with a flag, they wafted unto our ship, and 
made great outcries and noises, like so many bulls. Hereupon 
our men did presently man forth a small skiff, having not above 

G 2 


six or seven persons therein, which rowed near the place where 
those people were, to prove if they could have any conference with 
them ; but after this small boat was sent a greater, being well 
appointed for their rescue, if need required. 

As soon as they espied our company coming near them, they 
took their boats and hasted away, either for fear, or else for 
policy, to draw our men from rescue further within their danger ; 
wherefore our men construing that their coming thither was but 
to seek advantage, followed speedily after them ; but they rowed 
so swiftly away that our men could come nothing near them. 
Howbeit they failed not of their best endeavour in rowing ; and 
having chased them above two miles into the sea, returned into 
their ships again. 

The morning following, being the ist of August, Captain Yorke, 
with the Michael, came into Jackman's Sound, and declared unto 
the company there that the last night past he came to anchor in a 
certain bay (which since was named Yorke's Sound) about four 
leagues distant from Jackman's Sound, being put to leeward of 
that place for lack of wind, where he discovered certain tents of 
the country people ; where going with his company ashore he 
entered into them, but found the people departed, as it should 
seem, for fear of their coming. But amongst sundry strange 
things which in these tents they found, there was raw and new- 
killed flesh of unknown sorts, with dead carcases and bones of 
dogs, and I know not what. They also beheld (to their greatest 
marvel) a doublet of canvas made after the English fashion, a 
shirt, a girdle, three shoes for contrary feet, and of unequal bigness, 
which they well conjectured to be the apparel of our five poor 
countrymen, which were intercepted the last year by these country 
people, about fifty leagues from this place, further within the 
straits. Whereupon our men being in good hope that some of them 
might be here, and yet living : the captain, devising for the best, 
left his mind behind him in writing, with pen, ink, and paper also, 
whereby our poor captive countrymen, if it might come to their 
hands, might know their friends' minds, and of their arrival, and 
likewise return their answer. And so, without taking anything away 
in their tents, leaving there also looking-glasses, points, and other 
of our toys (the better to allure them by such friendly means) 
departed aboard his barque, with intent to make haste to the 
Aid, to give notice unto the company of all such things as he had 
there discovered; and so meant to return to these tents again, 

1577] FROBISHER. 85 

hoping that he might by force or policy entrap or entice the 
people to some friendly conference. Which things when he had 
delivered to the whole company there, they determined forthwith 
to go in hand with the matter. Hereupon Captain Yorke with the 
Master of the Aid and his mate (who the night before had been 
at the tents, and came over from the other side in the Michael, 
with him) being accompanied with the gentlemen and soldiers to 
the number of thirty or forty persons, in two small rowing pinnaces 
made towards the place, where the night before they discovered 
the tents of those people, and setting Charles Jackman, being the 
Master's mate, ashore with a convenient number, for that he could 
best guide them to the place, they marched overland, meaning to 
compass them on the one side, whilst the captain with his boats 
might entrap them on the other side ; but landing at last at the 
place where the night before they left them they found them with 
their tents removed. Notwithstanding, our men which marched 
up into the country, passing over two or three mountains, by 
chance espied certain tents in a valley underneath them near unto 
a creek by the sea side, which because it was not the place where 
the guide had been the night before, they judged them to be 
another company, and besetting them about, determined to take 
them if they could. But they having quickly descried our com 
pany, launched one great and another small boat, being about 
sixteen or eighteen persons, and, very narrowly escaping, put them 
selves to sea. Whereupon our soldiers discharged their calivers, 
and followed them, thinking the noise thereof being heard to 
our boats at sea, our men there would make what speed they 
might to that place ; and thereupon indeed our men which were in 
the boats (crossing upon them in the mouth of the sound whereby 
their passage was let from getting sea room, wherein it had been 
impossible for us to overtake them by rowing), forced them to put 
themselves ashore upon a point of land within the said sound 
(which upon the occasion of the slaughter there, was since named 
" the bloody point,") whereunto our men so speedily followed, that 
they had little leisure left them to make any escape. But so soon 
as they landed, each of them brake his oar, thinking by that means 
to prevent us in carrying away their boats for want of oars, and 
desperately returning upon our men, resisted them manfully in 
their landing, so long as their arrows and darts lasted, and after 
gathering up those arrows which our men shot at them, yea, and 
plucking our arrows out of their bodies, encountered afresh again, 


and maintained their cause until both weapons and life failed them. 
And when they found they were mortally wounded, being ignorant 
what mercy meaneth, with deadly fury they cast themselves head 
long from off the rocks into the sea, least perhaps their enemies 
should receive glory or prey of their dead carcases, for they sup 
posed us belike to be cannibals or eaters of man's flesh. In this 
conflict one of our men was dangerously hurt in the belly with 
one of their arrows, and of them were slain five or six, the rest by 
flight escaping among the rocks ; saving two women, whereof the 
one being old and ugly, our men thought she had been a devil or 
some witch, and therefore let her go ; the other, being young and 
cumbered with a sucking child at her back, hiding herself behind 
the rocks, was espied by one of our men, who supposing she had 
been a man, shot through the hair of her head, and pierced 
through the child's arm, whereupon she cried out, and our 
surgeon meaning to heal her child's arm, applied salves there 
unto. But she, not acquainted with such kind of surgery, plucked 
those salves away, and by continual licking with her own tongue, 
not much unlike our dogs, healed up the child's arm. And 
because the day was well near spent our men made haste unto 
the rest of our company which on the other side of the water 
remained at the tents, where they found by the apparel, letter, and 
other English furniture, that they were the same company which 
Captain Yorke discovered the night before, having removed them 
selves from the place where he left them. 

And now, considering their sudden flying from our men, and 
their desperate manner of fighting, we began to suspect that we 
had heard the last news of our men which the last year were 
betrayed of these people ; and considering also their ravenous and 
Iploody disposition in eating any kind of raw flesh or carrion how 
soever stinking, it is to be thought that they had slain and de 
voured our men ; for the doublet which was found in their tents 
had many holes therein, being made with their arrows and darts. 

But now the night being at hand, our men, with their captives 
and such poor stuff as they found in their tents, returned towards 
their ships, when, being at sea, there arose a sudden flaw of wind, 
which was not a little dangerous for their small boats ; but as God 
would, they came all safely aboard. And with these good news 
they returned, as before mentioned, into the Countess of Warwick's 
Sound, unto us. And between Jackman's Sound from whence 
they came and the Countess of Warwick's Sound, between land 

1577] FROBISHER. 87 

and land, being thought the narrowest place of the straits, were 
judged nine leagues over at the least, and Jackman's Sound being 
upon the southerland, lieth directly almost over against the 
Countess's Sound, as is reckoned scarce thirty leagues within the 
straits from the Queen's Cape, which is the entrance of the Straits 
of the Southerland. This cape being named Queen Elizabeth's 
Cape, standeth in the latitude of sixty-two degrees and a half 
to the northwards of Newfoundland, and upon the same con 
tinent for anything that is yet known to the contrary. 

Having now got a woman captive for the comfort of our man, 
we brought them both together, and every man with silence 
desired to behold the manner of their meeting and entertainment, 
the which was more worth the beholding than can be well ex 
pressed by writing. At their first encountering they beheld each the 
other very wistfully a good space, without speech or word uttered, 
with great change of colour and countenance, as though it seemed 
the grief and disdain of their captivity had taken away the use of 
their tongues and utterance. The woman at the first very suddenly, 
as though she disdained or regarded not the man, turned away and 
began to sing, as though she minded another matter ; but being 
again brought together, the man broke up the silence first, and 
with stern and staid countenance, began to tell a long solemn tale 
to the woman, whereunto she gave good hearing, and interrupted 
him nothing till he had finished ; and afterwards, being grown into 
more familiar acquaintance by speech, they were turned together, 
so that I think the one would hardly have lived without the com 
fort of the other. And for so much as we could perceive, albeit 
they lived continually together, yet they did never use as man and 
wife, though the woman spared not to do all necessary things that 
appertained to a good housewife indifferently for them both, as in 
making clean their cabin, and every other thing that appertained 
to his ease ; for when he was sea-sick she would make him clean, 
she would kill and flay the dogs for their eating, and dress his 

On Monday, the 6th of August, the Lieutenant, with all the 
soldiers, for the better guard of the miners and the other things on 
shore, pitched their tents in the Countess's Island, and fortified the 


place for their better defence as well as they could, and were to 
the number of forty persons, when, being all at labour, they might 
perceive upon the top of a hill over against them, a number of the 
country people, wafting with a flag, and making great outcries unto 
them, and were of the same company which had encountered lately 
our men upon the other shore, being come to complain of their 
late losses, and to entreat, as it seemed, for the restitution of the 
woman and child, which our men in the late conflict had taken and 
brought away. Whereupon the General, taking the savage captive 
with him, and setting the woman where they might best perceive 
her in the highest place of the island, went over to talk with 
them. This captive, at his first encounter of his friends, fell so 
out into tears that he could not speak a word in a great space ; but 
after a while, overcoming his kindness, he talked at full with his 
companions, and bestowed friendly upon them such toys and trifles 
as we had given him : whereby we noted that they are very kind 
one to another, and greatly sorrowful for the loss of their friends. 
Our General, by signs, required his five men, which they took 
captive the last year, and promised them not only to release those 
which he had taken, but also to reward them with great gifts and 
friendship. Our savage made signs in answer from them that our 
men should be delivered us, and were yet living, and made signs 
likewise unto us that we should write our letters unto them, for 
they knew very well the use we have of writing, and received 
knowledge thereof, either of our poor captive countrymen which 
they betrayed, or else by this our new captive, who hath seen us 
daily write and repeat again such words of his language as we 
desired to learn ; but they for this night, because it was late, 
departed without any letter, although they called earnestly in haste 
for the same. And the next morning early, being the 7th of 
August, they called again for the letter ; which being delivered unto 
them, they speedily departed, making signs with three fingers, and 
pointing to the sun, that they meant to return within three days, 
until which time we heard no more of them ; and about the time 
appointed they returned, in such sort as you shall afterwards hear. 
This night, because the people were very near unto us, the 
Lieutenant caused the trumpet to sound a call, and every man 
in the island repairing to the Ensign, he put them in mind of the 
place, so far from their country, wherein they lived, and the danger 
of a great multitude, which they were subject unto, if good watch 
and ward were not kept for at every low water the enemy might 

1577] FROBISHER. 89 

come almost dry-foot from the main unto us ; wherefore he willed 
every man to prepare him in good readiness upon all sudden 
occasions ; and so, giving the watch their charge, the company 
departed to rest. 

I thought the Captain's letter well worth the remembering, not 
for the circumstance of curious inditing, but for the substance and 
good meaning therein contained, and therefore have repeated here 
the same as by himself it was hastily written. 

The Form of MR. MARTIN FROBISHER'S Letter to the English 

"In the name of God, in whom we all believe, who, I trust, hath 
preserved your bodies and souls amongst these infidels, I com 
mend me unto you. I will be glad to seek by all means you can 
devise for your deliverance, either with force or with any com 
modities within my ships, which I will not spare for your sakes, or 
anything else I can do for you. I have aboard, of theirs, a man, 
a woman, and a child, which I am contented to deliver for you, 
but the man which I carried away from hence the last year is dead 
in England. Moreover, you may declare unto them that if they 
deliver you not, I will not leave a man alive in their country. And 
thus, if one of you can come to speak with me, they shall have 
either the man, woman, or child in pawn for you. And thus unto 
God, whom I trust you do serve, in haste I leave you, and to Him 
we will daily pray for you. This Tuesday morning, the 7th of 
August, anno 1577. 

" Yours to the uttermost of my power, 


" I have sent you by these bearers, pen, ink, and paper, to write 
back unto me again, if personally you cannot come to certify me 
of your estate." 

Now had the General altered his determination for going any 
further into the straits at this time, for any further discovery of the 
passage, having taken a man and a woman of that country, which 
he thought sufficient for the use of language, and having also met 
with these people here which intercepted his men the last year (as 
the apparel and English furniture which was found in their tents 
very well declared), he knew it was but a labour lost to seek them 
further off, when he had found them there at hand. And consider 
ing also the short time he had in hand, he thought it best to bend 
his whole endeavour for the getting of mine, and to leave the 
passage further to be discovered hereafter; for his commission 


directed him in this voyage only for the searching of the ore, and 
to defer the further discovery of the passage until another time. 

On Thursday, the 9th of August, we began to make a small fort, 
for our defence in the Countess's Island, and entrenched a corner 
of a cliff, which on three parts, like a wall of good height, was 
compassed and well fenced with the sea, and we finished the rest 
with casks of the earth to good purpose : and this was called 
Best's Bulwark, after the Lieutenant's name who first devised the 
same. This was done for that we suspected more lest the desperate 
men might oppress us with multitude, than any fear we had of 
their force, weapons, or policy of battle, but as wisdom would us 
in such place, so far from home, not to be of ourselves altogether 
careless. So the signs which our captive made unto us of the 
coming down of his Governor or Prince, which he called Catchoe, 
gave us occasion to foresee what might ensue thereof, for he 
showed by signs that this Catchoe was a man of higher stature 
far than any of our nation is, and he is accustomed to be carried 
upon men's shoulders. 

About midnight, the Lieutenant caused a false alarm to be given 
in the island, to prove as well the readiness of the company there 
ashore, as also what help might be hoped for upon the sudden 
from the ships, if need so required ; and every part was found in 
good readiness upon such a sudden. 

On Saturday, the nth of August, the people showed themselves 
again, and called unto us from the side of a hill over against us. 
The General, with good hope to hear of his men, and to have 
answer of his letter, went over unto them, where they presented 
themselves not above three in sight, but were hidden indeed in 
greater numbers behind the rocks, and making signs of delay with 
us, to entrap some of us to redeem their own, did only seek advan 
tage to train our boat about a point of land from sight of our 
company ; whereupon our men, justly suspecting them, kept aloof 
without their danger, and yet set one of our company ashore, which 
took up a great bladder which one of them offered us, and leaving 
a looking-glass in the place, came into the boat again. In the 
meanwhile, our men which stood in the Countess's Island to 
behold, who might better discern them than those of the boat, by 
reason they were on higher ground, made a great outcry unto our 
men in the boat, for that they saw divers of the savages creeping 
behind the rocks towards our men ; whereupon the General 
presently returned without tidings of his men. 

1577] FROBISHER. 91 

Concerning this bladder which we received, our captive made 
signs that it was given him to keep water and drink in, but we 
suspected rather it was given him to swim and shift away withal, 
for he and the woman sought divers times to escape, having 
loosed our boats from astern our ships, and we never a boat left 
to pursue them withal, and had prevailed very far, had they not 
been very timely espied and prevented therein. 

After our General's coming away from them they mustered 
themselves in our sight, upon the top of a hill, to the number 
of twenty in a rank, all holding hands over their heads, and 
dancing with great noise and songs together : we supposed they 
made this dance and show for us to understand, that we might 
take view of their whole companies and force, meaning belike 
that we should do the same. And thus they continued upon the 
hill-tops until night, when hearing a piece of our great ordnance, 
which thundered in the hollowness of the high hills, it made 
unto them so fearful a noise, that they had no great will to tarry 
long after. And this was done more to make them know our force 
than to do them any hurt at all. 

On Sunday, the I2th of August, Captain Fenton trained the 
company, and made the soldiers maintain skirmish among 
themselves, as well for their exercise, as for the country people 
to behold in what readiness our men were always to be found, 
for it was to be thought, that they lay hid in the hills thereabout, 
and observed all the manner of our proceedings. 

On Wednesday, the I4th of August, our General with two small 
boats well appointed, for that he suspected the country people to lie 
lurking thereabout, went up a certain bay within the Countess's 
Sound to search for ore, and met again with the country people, 
who so soon as they saw our men made great outcries, and with 
a white flag made of bladders sewed together with the guts 
and sinews of beasts, wafted us amain unto them, but showed 
not above three of their company. But when we came near 
them, we might perceive a great multitude creeping behind the 
rocks, which gave us good cause to suspect their traitorous 
meaning : whereupon we made them signs, that if they would 
lay their weapons aside, and come forth, we would deal friendly 
with them, although their intent was manifested unto us : but 
for all the signs of friendship we could make them they came 
still creeping towards us behind the rocks to get more advantage 
of us, as though we had no eyes to see them, thinking belike 


that our single wits could not discover so bare devises and simple 
drifts of theirs. Their spokesman earnestly persuaded us with 
many enticing shows, to come eat and sleep ashore, with great 
arguments of courtesy, and clapping his bare hands over his 
head in token of peace and innocency, willed us to do the like. 
But the better to allure our hungry stomachs, he brought us a 
trim bait of raw flesh, which for fashion sake with a boat-hook 
we caught into our boat : but when the cunning cater perceived 
his first cold morsel could nothing sharpen our stomachs, he 
cast about for a new train of warm flesh to procure our appetites. 
Wherefore he caused one of his fellows in halting manner, to 
come forth as a lame man from behind the rocks, and the better 
to declare his kindness in carving, he hoisted him upon his 
shoulders, and bringing him hard to the water-side where we 
were, left him there limping as an easy prey to be taken of us. 
His hope was that we would bite at his bait, and speedily leap 
ashore within their danger, whereby they might have apprehended 
some of us, to ransom their friends home again, which before 
we had taken. The gentlemen and soldiers had great will to 
encounter them ashore, but the General more careful by process 
of time to win them, than wilfully at the first to spoil them, 
would in no wise admit that any man should put himself in 
hazard ashore, considering the matter he now intended was for the 
ore, and not for the conquest: notwithstanding, to prove this cripple's 
footmanship, he gave liberty for one to shoot : whereupon the 
cripple, having a parting blow, lightly recovered a rock, and went 
away a true and no fained cripple, and hath learned his lesson 
for ever halting afore such cripples again. But his fellows which 
lay hid before, full quickly then appeared in their likeness, and 
maintained the skirmish with their slings, bows and arrows very 
fiercely, and came as near as the water suffered them : and with 
as desperate mind as hath been seen in any men, without fear 
of shot or [anything, followed us all along the coast ; but all their 
shot fell short of us, and are of little danger. They had belayed 
all the coast along for us, and being dispersed so, were not well 
to be numbered, but we might discern of them above an hundred 
persons, and had cause to suspect a greater number. And thus 
without loss or hurt we returned to our ships again. 

Now our work growing to an end, and having, only with five 
poor miners, and the help of a few gentlemen and soldiers, brought 
aboard almost two hundred tons of ore in the space of twenty 

1577] FROBISHER. 93 

days, every man therewithal well comforted, determined lustily 
to work afresh for a bon voyage, to bring our labour to a speedy 
and happy end. 

And upon Wednesday at night, being the 2ist of August, we 
fully finished the whole work. And it was now good time to 
leave, for as the men were well wearied, so their shoes and clothes 
were well worn, their baskets' bottoms torn out, their tools broken, 
and the ships reasonably well filled. Some with over-straining 
themselves received hurts not a little dangerous, some having 
their bellies broken, and others their legs made lame. And about 
this time the ice began to congeal and freeze about our ships- 
sides at night, which gave us a good argument of the sun's 
declining southward, and put us in mind to make more haste 

It is not a little worth the memory, to the commendation of 
the gentlemen and soldiers herein, who, leaving all reputation 
apart, with so great willingness and with courageous stomachs, 
have themselves almost overcome in so short a time the difficulty 
of this so great a labour. And this to be true, the matter, if it 
be well weighed without further proof, now brought home doth 
well witness. 

On Thursday, the 22nd of August, we plucked down our tents, 
and every man hasted homeward, and making bonfires upon 
the top of the highest mount of the island, and marching with 
ensign displayed round about the island, we gave a volley of shot 
for a farewell, in honour of the Right Honourable Lady Anne, 
Countess of Warwick, whose name it beareth : and so departed 

On the 23rd of August, having the wind large at west, we set 
sail from out of the Countess's Sound homeward; but the wind 
calming we came to anchor within the point of the same sound 

On the 24th of August, about three o'clock in the morning, 
having the wind large at west, we set sail again, and by nine 
o'clock at night, we left the Queen's Foreland astern of us, and 
being cleared of the straits, we bare further into the main ocean, 
keeping our course more southerly, to bring ourselves the sooner 
under the latitude of our own climate. 

The wind was very great at sea, so that we lay a hull all night, 
and had snow half a foot deep on the hatches. 

From the 24th until the 28th we had very much wind, but 


large, keeping our course south-south-east, and had like to have 
lost the barques, but by good hap we met again. The height 
being taken, we were in degrees and a half. 

On the 29th of August the wind blew much at north-east, so 
that we could bear but only a bunt of our foresail, and the barques 
were not able to carry any sail at all. 

The Michael lost company of us and shaped her course towards 
Orkney, because that way was better known unto them, and 
arrived at Yarmouth. 

On the 3oth of August, with the force of the wind, and a surge 
of the sea, the master of the Gabriel and the boatswain were 
stricken both overboard, and hardly was the boatswain recovered, 
having hold on a rope hanging overboard in the sea, and yet the 
barque was laced fore and after with ropes a breast high within 

This Master was called William Smith, being but a young man 
and a very sufficient mariner, who being all the morning before 
exceeding pleasant, told his Captain he dreamt that he was 
cast overboard, and that the boatswain had him by the hand, and 
could not save him, and so immediately upon the end of his tale, 
his dream came right evilly to. pass, and indeed the boatswain in 
like sort held him by one hand, having hold on a rope with the 
other, until his force failed, and the Master drowned. The height 
being taken we found ourselves to be in the latitude of degrees 
and a half, and reckoned ourselves from the Queen's Cape home 
ward about two hundred leagues. 

On the last of August, about midnight, we had two or three 
great and sudden flaws or storms. 

On the ist of September the storm was growing very great, 
and continued almost the whole day and night, and lying a hull 
to tarry for the barques our ship was much beaten with the seas, 
every sea almost overtaking our poop, so that we were constrained 
with a bunt of our sail to try it out, and ease the rolling of our 
ship. And so the Gabriel not able to bear any sail to keep 
company with us, and our ship being higher in the poop, and a 
tall ship, whereon the wind had more force to drive, went so 
fast away that we lost sight of them, and left them to God and 
their good fortune of sea. On the 2nd of September in the 
morning, it pleased God in his goodness to send us a calm, 
whereby we perceived the rudder of our ship torn in twain, 
and almost ready to fall away. Wherefore, taking the benefit of 

1577] FROBISHER. 95 

the time, we flung half-a-dozen couple of our best men over 
board, who taking great pains under water, driving planks, and 
binding with ropes, did well strengthen and mend the matter, 
who returned the most part more than half-dead out of the 
water, and, as God's pleasure was, the sea was calm until the 
work was finished. On the 5th of September, the height of the 
sun being taken, we found ourselves to be in the latitude of 
degrees and a-half. In this voyage commonly we took the 
latitude of the place by the height of the sun, because the long 
day taketh away the light not only of the polar, but also of 
all other fixed stars. And here the north star is so much 
elevated above the horizon, that with the staff it is hardly to be 
well observed, and the degrees in the Astrolabe are too small to 
observe minutes. Therefore we always used the staff and the sun 
as fittest instruments for this use. 

Having spent four or five days in traverse of the seas with 
contrary wind, making our souther way good as near as we could, 
to raise our degrees to bring ourselves with the latitude of Scilly, 
we took the height the loth of September, and found ourselves 
in the latitude of degrees and ten minutes. On the nth 

of September, about six o'clock at night, the wind came good 
south-west, we veered sheet and set our course south-east. 

And upon Thursday, the I2th of September, taking the height, 
we were in the latitude of and a-half, and reckoned ourselves 

not past one hundred and fifty leagues short of Scilly, the weather 
fair, the wind large at west-south-west, we kept our course south 

On the thirteenth day, the height being taken, we found our 
selves to be in the latitude of degrees, the wind west-south-west, 
then being in the height of Scilly, and we kept our course east, to 
run in with the sleeve or channel so called, being our narrow seas, 
and reckoned us short of Scilly twelve leagues. 

On Sunday, the I5th of September, about four o'clock, we began 
to sound with our lead, and had ground at sixty-one fathom depth, 
white small sandy ground, and reckoned us upon the back of 
Scilly, and set our course east and by north, east-north-east, and 
north-east among. 

On the i6th of September, about eight o'clock in the morning, 
sounding, we had sixty-five fathom, oozy sand, and thought our 
selves athwart of St. George's Channel, a little within the banks, 
and bearing a small sail all night, we made many soundings, 


which were about forty fathom, and so shallow that we could 
not well tell where we were. 

On the 1 7th of September, we sounded, and had forty fathom, 
and were not far off the Land's-End, rinding branded sand with 
small worms and cockle-shells, and were shot between Scilly and 
the Land's-End ; and being within the bay, we were not able to 
double the point with a south-and-by-east way, but were fain to 
make another board, the wind being at south-west and by west, 
and yet could not double the point to come clear of the Lands-End, 
to bear along the Channel ; and the weather cleared up when we 
were hard aboard the shore, and we made the Land's-End perfect, 
and so put up along St. George's Channel. And the weather being 
very foul at sea, we coveted some harbour, because our steerage 
was broken, and so came to anchor in Padstow Road, in Cornwall. 
But riding there a very dangerous road, we were advised by the 
country to put to sea again, and of the two evils, to choose the 
less, for there was nothing but present peril where we rode ; where 
upon we plied along the Channel to get to Lundy, from whence 
we were again driven, (being but an open road, where our anchor 
came home), and with force of weather put to sea again, and about 
the 23rd of September arrived at Milford Haven, in Wales, 
which being a very good harbour, made us happy men, that we 
had received such long-desired safety. 

About one month after our arrival here, by order from the Lords 
of the Council, the ship came up to Bristol, where the ore was com 
mitted to keeping in the castle there. Here we found the Gabriel, 
one of the barques, arrived in good safety, who having never a 
man within board very sufficient to bring home the ship, after the 
master was lost, by good fortune, when she came upon the coast, 
met with a ship of Bristol at sea, who conducted her in safety 

Here we heard good tidings also of the arrival of the other 
barque called the Michael, in the north parts, which was not a little 
joyful unto us, that it pleased God so to bring us to a safe meeting 
again ; and we lost in all the voyage only one man, besides one that 
died at sea, which was sick before he came aboard, and was so 
desirous to follow his enterprise that he rather chose to die therein, 
than not to be one to attempt so notable a voyage. 

1578] FROBISHER. 97 



for the discovery of CATHAY, by META INCOGNITA, Anno 
Domini 1578. 

THE General being returned from the second voyage, imme 
diately after his arrival in England repaired with all haste to the 
Court, being then at Windsor, to advertise her Majesty of his 
prosperous proceeding and good success in this last voyage, and 
of the plenty of gold ore, with other matters of importance which 
he had in these septentrional parts discovered. He was cour 
teously entertained, and heartily welcomed of many noblemen, but 
especially for his great adventure commended of her Majesty, at 
whose hands he received great thanks, and most gracious counte 
nance, according to his deserts. Her Highness also greatly 
commended the rest of the gentlemen in this service, for their 
great forwardness in this so dangerous an attempt ; but especially 
she rejoiced very much that among them there was so good order 
of government, so good agreement, every man so ready in his 
calling, to do whatsoever the General should command, which due 
commendation graciously of her Majesty remembered, gave so 
great encouragement to all the captains and gentlemen, that they, 
to continue Her Highness's so good and honourable opinion of 
them, have since neither spared labour, limb, nor life, to bring this 
matter (so well begun) to a happy and prosperous end. And 
finding that the matter of the gold ore had appearance and made 
show of great riches and profit, and the hope of the passage to 
Cathay by this last voyage greatly increased, her Majesty ap 
pointed special Commissioners chosen for this purpose, gentlemen 
of great judgment, art, and skill, to look thoroughly into the cause, 
for the true trial and due examination thereof, and for the full 
handling of all matters thereunto appertaining. And because that 
place and country hath never heretofore been discovered, and 



therefore had no special name by which it might be called and 
known, her Majesty named it very properly Meta Incognita, as a 
mark and bound utterly hitherto unknown. The commissioners, 
after sufficient trial and proof made of the ore, and having under 
stood by sundry reasons and substantial grounds, the possibility 
and likelihood of the passage, advertised Her Highness that the 
cause was of importance, and the voyage greatly worthy to be 
advanced again.. Whereupon preparation was made of ships and 
all other things necessary, with such expedition, as the time of the 
year then required. And because it was assuredly made account 
of, that the commodity of mines, there already discovered, would 
at the least countervail in all respects the adventurers' charge, 
and give further hope and likelihood of greater matters to follow : 
it was thought needful, both for the better guard of those parts 
already found, and for further discovery of the inland and secrets 
of those countries, and also for further search of the passage of 
Cathay (whereof the hope continually more and more increaseth) 
that certain numbers of chosen soldiers and discreet men for those 
purposes should be assigned to inhabit there. Whereupon there 
was a strong fort or house of timber, artificially framed, and cun 
ningly devised by a notable learned man here at home, in ships to 
be carried thither, whereby those men that were appointed to 
winter and stay there the whole year, might as well be defended 
from the danger of the snow and cold air, as also fortified from 
the force or offence of those country people, which perhaps other 
wise with too great multitudes might oppress them. And to this 
great adventure and notable exploit many well-minded and 
forward young gentlemen of our country willingly have offered 
themselves. And first Captain Fenton, Lieutenant-General for 
Captain Frobisher, and in charge of the company with him there, 
Captain Best, and Captain Filpot, unto whose good discretions the 
government of that service was chiefly commended, who, as men 
not regarding peril in respect of the profit and common wealth of 
their country, were willing to abide the first brunt and adventure of 
those dangers among a savage and brutish kind of people, in a 
place hitherto ever thought for extreme cold not habitable. The 
whole number of men which had offered, and were appointed to 
inhabit Meta Incognita all the year, were one hundred persons, 
whereof forty should be mariners for the use of ships, thirty miners 
for gathering the gold ore together for the next year, and thirty 
soldiers for the better guard of the rest, within which last number 

1578] FROBISHER. 99 

are included the gentlemen, gold-finers, bakers, carpenters, and 
all necessary persons. To each of the captains was assigned one 
ship, as well for the further searching of the coast and country 
there, as for to return and bring back their companies again, if the 
necessity of the place so urged, or by miscarrying of the fleet the 
next year, they might be disappointed of their further provision. 
Being therefore thus furnished with all necessaries, there were 
ready to depart upon the said voyage fifteen sail of good ships, 
whereof the whole number was to return again with their loading 
of gold ore in the end of the summer, except those three ships 
which should be left for the use of those Captains which should 
inhabit there the whole year. And being in so good readiness 
the General with all the Captains came to the Court, then lying at 
Greenwich, to take their leave of her Majesty, at whose hands 
they all received great encouragement, and gracious countenance. 
Her Highness, besides other good gifts, and greater promises, 
bestowed on the General a fair chain of gold, and the rest of the 
Captains kissed her hand, took their leave, and departed every 
man towards their charge. 

The said fifteen sail of ships arrived and met together at Har 
wich on the 27th of May, 1578, where the General and the other 
Captains made view, and mustered their companies. And every 
several Captain received from the General certain Articles of Direc 
tion for the better keeping of order and company together in the 
way, which Articles are as folio we th : 

Articles and Orders to be observed for the Fleet, set down by 
writing to every Captain, as well for keeping company, 
as for the course, the jist of May. 

1. IMPRIMIS, to banish swearing, dice, and card-playing, and 
filthy communication, and to serve God twice a-day, with the 
ordinary service usual in Churches of England, and to clear the 
glass, according to the old order of England. 

2. The Admiral shall carry the light, and after his light be once 
put out no man to go ahead of him, but every man to fit his sails to 
follow as near as they may without endangering one another. 

3. That no man shall by day or by night depart further from 
the Admiral than the distance of one English mile, and as near 
as they may without danger one of another. 

H 2 


4. If it chance to grow thick, and the wind contrary, either by 
day or by night, that the Admiral be forced to cast about, before 
her casting about she shall give warning by shooting off a piece : 
and to her shall answer the Vice-Admiral and the Rear-Admiral, 
each of them with a piece if it be by night or in a fog ; and that 
the Vice-Admiral shall answer first and the Rear-Admiral last. 

5. That no man in the Fleet, descrying any sail or sails, give upon 
any occasion any chase before he have spoken with the Admiral. 

6. That every evening all the Fleet come up and speak with the 
Admiral, at seven o'clock, or between that and eight ; and if the 
weather will not serve them all to speak with the Admiral, then 
some shall come to the Vice-Admiral, and receive the order of 
their course of Master Hall, Chief Pilot of the Fleet, as he shall 
direct them. 

7. If to any man in the Fleet there happen any mischance, 
they shall presently shoot off two pieces by day, and if it be by 
night, two pieces, and shew two lights. 

8. If any man in the Fleet come up in the night, and hail his 
fellow, knowing him not, he shall give him this watchword, 
" Before the world was God." The other shall answer him (if he be 
one of our Fleet), "After God came Christ his Son." So that if any 
be found amongst us, not of our own company, he that first des- 
crieth any such sail or sails, shall give warning to the Admiral 
by himself or any other that he can speak to, that sails better than 
he, being nearest unto him. 

9. That every ship in the Fleet in the time of fogs, which con 
tinually happen with little winds, and most part calms, shall keep 
a reasonable noise with trumpet, drum, or otherwise, to keep 
themselves clear one of another. 

10. If it fall out so thick or misty that we lay it to hull, the 
Admiral shall give warning with a piece, and putting out three 
lights one over another, to the end that every man may take in his 
sails, and at his setting of sails again do the like, if it be not clear. 

11. If any man discover land by night, that he give the like 
warning that he doth for mischances, two lights and two pieces, 
if it be by day one piece, and put out his flag, and strike all his 
sails he hath aboard. 

12. If any ship shall happen to lose company by force of 
weather, then any such ship or ships shall get her into the 
latitude of , and so keep that latitude until they get to Friesland. 
And after they be past the west parts of Friesland, they shall get 


them into the latitude of , and , and not to the northward 
of ; and being once entered within the Straits, all such ships 
shall every watch shoot off a good piece, and look out well for 
smoke and fire which those that get in first shall make every 
night, until all the Fleet be come together. 

13. That upon the sight of an ensign in the mast of the Admiral 
(a piece being shot off) the whole Fleet shall repair to the Admiral, 
to understand such conference as the General is to have with them. 

14. If we chance to meet with any enemies, that four ships shall 
attend upon the Admiral viz., the Francis of Foy, the Moon, the 
barque Dennis, and the Gabriel ; and four upon my Lieutenant- 
General in the Judith viz., the Hope well, the Armenal, the Bear, 
and the Salomon ; and the other four upon the Vice- Admiral the 
Anne Francis, the Thomas of Ipswich, the Emmanuel, and the 

15. If there happen any disordered person in the Fleet, that he 
be taken and kept in safe custody until he may conveniently be 
brought aboard the Admiral, and there to receive such punish 
ment as his or their offences shall deserve. 


Having received these Articles of Direction, we departed from 
Harwich on the 3ist of May; and sailing along the south part of 
England westward, we at length came by the coast of Ireland at 
Cape Clear on the 6th of June, and gave chase there to a small 
barque which was supposed to be a pirate or rover on the seas ; 
but it fell out indeed that they were poor men of Bristol, who 
had met with such company of Frenchmen as had spoiled and 
slain many of them, and left the rest so sore wounded that they 
were like to perish in the sea, having neither hand nor foot whole 
to help themselves with, nor victuals to sustain their hungry 
bodies. Our General, who well understood the office of a soldier 
and an Englishman, and knew well what the necessity of the sea 
meaneth, pitying much the misery of the poor men, relieved them 
with surgery and salves to heal their hurts, and with meat and 
drink to comfort their pining hearts ; some of them having neither 
eaten nor drunk more than olives and stinking water in many days 
before, as they reported. And after this good deed done, having 
a large wind, we kept our course upon our said voyage without 
staying for the taking in of fresh water, or any other provision, 
whereof many of the fleet were not throughly furnished. And 


sailing towards the north-west parts from Ireland, we met with a 
great current from out of the south-west, which carried us (by our 
reckoning) one point to the north-eastwards of our said course, 
which current seemed to us to continue itself towards Norway, 
and other the north-east parts of the world, whereby we may be 
induced to believe that this is the same which the Portugals meet 
at the Cape of Good Hope, where striking over from thence to 
the Straits of Magellan, and finding no passage there for the 
narrowness of the said Straits, runneth along into the great Bay of 
Mexico, where also having a let of land, it is forced to strike back 
again towards the north-east, as we not only here, but in another 
place also, further to the northwards, by good experience this year 
have found, as shall be hereafter in this place more at large declared. 

Now had we sailed about fourteen days without sight of land 
or any other living thing, except certain fowls, as willmots, noddies, 
gulls, &c., which there seem only to live by sea. 

On the 20th of June, at two o'clock in the morning, the General 
descried land, and found it to be West Friesland, now named West 
England. Here the General and other gentlemen went ashore, 
being the first known Christians that we have true notice of that 
ever set foot upon that ground. And therefore the General took 
possession thereof to the use of our Sovereign Lady the Queen's 
Majesty, and discovered here a goodly harbour for the ships, 
where were also certain little boats of that country. And being 
there landed they espied certain tents and people of that country, 
which were (as they judge) in all sorts, very like those of Meta 
Incognita, as by their apparel, and other things which we found 
in their tents, appeared. 

The savage and simple people so soon as they perceived our 
men coming towards them, (supposing there had been no other 
world but theirs) fled fearfully away, as men much amazed at so 
strange a sight, and creatures of human shape, so far in apparel, 
complexion, and other things different from themselves. They left 
in their tents all their furniture for haste behind them, where 
amongst other things were found a box of small nails, and certain 
red herrings, boards of fir-tree well cut, with divers other things 
artificially wrought : whereby it appeareth, that they have trade 
with some civil people, or else are indeed themselves artificial 
workmen. Our men brought away with them only two of their 
dogs, leaving in recompense bells, looking-glasses, and divers 
of our country toys behind them. This country, no doubt, pro- 

1578] FROBISHER. 103 

miseth good hope of great commodity and riches, if it may be 
well discovered. The description whereof you shall find more 
at large in the second voyage. Some are of opinion that this 
West England is firm land with the north-east parts of Meta 
Incognita, or else with Greenland. And their reason is, because 
the people, apparel, boats, and other things are so like to theirs ; 
and another reason is, the multitude of islands of ice, which lay 
between it and Meta Incognita, doth argue, that on the north 
side there is a bay, which cannot be but by conjoining of the two 
lands together. 

And having a fair and large wind we departed from thence 
towards Frobisher's Straits on the 23rd of June. But first we 
gave name to a high cliff in West England, the last that was in 
our sight, and for a certain similitude we called it Charing Cross. 
Then we bore southerly towards the sea, because to the north 
wards of this coast we met with much driving ice, which by reason 
of the thick mists and weather might have been some trouble 
unto us. On Monday, the last of June, we met with many 
great whales, as they had been porpoises. This same day the 
Salamander, being under both her corses and bonnets, happened 
to strike a great whale with her full stem, with such a blow that 
the ship stood still, and stirred neither forward nor backward. 
The whale thereat made a great and ugly noise, and cast up 
his body and tail, and so went under water, and within two 
days after there was found a great whale dead, swimming above 
water, which we supposed was that which the Salamander struck. 

On the 2nd of July, early in the morning, we had sight of the 
Queen's Foreland, and bare in with the land all the day, and 
passing through a great quantity of ice, by night were entered 
somewhat within the Straits, perceiving no way to pass further in, 
the whole place being frozen over from the one side to the other, 
and as it were with many walls, mountains, and bulwarks of ice, 
choked up the passage, and denied us entrance. And yet do I not 
think that this passage or sea hereabouts is frozen over at any time 
of the year : albeit it seemed so unto us by the abundance of ice 
gathered together, which occupied the whole place. But I do 
rather suppose these ice to be bred in the hollow sounds and freshets 
thereabouts ; which, by the heat of the summer's sun, being 
loosed, do empty themselves with the ebbs into the sea, and so 
gather in great abundance there together. 

And to speak somewhat here of the ancient opinion of the 


frozen sea in these parts : I do think it to be rather a bare conjec 
ture of men, than that ever any man hath made experience of any 
such sea. And that which they speak of Mare glaciale, may be 
truly thought to be spoken of these parts ; for this may well be 
called indeed the icy sea, but not the frozen sea, for no sea con 
sisting of salt water can be frozen, as I have more at large herein 
shewed my opinion in my second voyage, for it seemeth impossible 
for any sea to be frozen which hath his course of ebbing and 
flowing, especially in those places where the tides do ebb and flow 
above ten fathoms. And also all these aforesaid ice, which we 
sometimes met a hundred miles from land, being gathered out of 
the salt sea, are in taste fresh, and being dissolved become sweet 
and wholesome water. 

And the cause why this year we have been more cumbered with 
ice than at other times before, may be by reason of the easterly 
and southerly winds, which brought us more timely thither now 
than we looked for, which blowing from the sea directly upon the 
place of our Straits, hath kept in the ice, and not suffered them to 
be carried out by the ebb to the main sea, where they would in 
more short time have been dissolved. And all these fleeting ice 
are not only so dangerous in that they wind and gather so near to 
gether, that a man may pass sometimes ten or twelve miles as it were 
upon one firm island of ice ; but also for that they open and shut to 
gether again in such sort with the tides and sea-gate, that whilst 
one ship followeth the other with full sails, the ice which was open 
unto the foremost will join and close together before the latter can 
come to follow the first, whereby many times our ships were 
brought into great danger, as being not able so suddenly to take 
in our sails, or stay the swift way of our ships. 

r r e were forced many times to stem and strike great rocks of 
ice, and so as it were make way through mighty mountains. By 
which means some of the fleet, where they found the ice to open, 
entered in, and passed so far within the danger thereof, with con 
tinual desire to recover their port, that it was the greatest wonder 
of the world that they ever escaped safe, or were ever heard of 
again. For even at this present we missed two of the fleet, that is, 
the Judith, wherein was the Lieutenant-General Captain Fenton ; 
and the Michael, whom both we supposed had been utterly lost, 
having not heard any tidings of them in more than twenty days 
before. And one of our fleet named the barque Dennis, being of an 
loo tons burden, seeking way in amongst the ice, received such a 

1578] FROBISHER. 105 

blow with a rock of ice that she sunk down therewith in the sight 
of the whole fleet. Howbeit, having signified her danger by shoot 
ing off a piece of great ordnance, new succour of other ships 
came so readily unto them, that the men were all saved with boats. 
Within this ship that was drowned there was parcel of our house 
which was to be erected for them that should stay all the winter in 
Meta Incognita. 

This was a more fearful spectacle for the fleet to behold, for that 
the outrageous storm which presently followed, threatened them 
the like fortune and danger ; for the fleet being thus compassed (as 
aforesaid) on every side with ice, having left much behind them, 
through which they passed, and finding more before them, through 
which it was not possible to pass, there arose a sudden terrible 
tempest at the south-east, which blowing from the main sea 
directly upon the place of the Straits, brought together all the ice 
a sea-board of us upon our backs, and thereby debarred us of 
turning back to recover sea-room again ; so that being thus com 
passed with danger on every side, sundry men with sundry devices 
sought the best way to save themselves. Some of the ships, 
where they could find a place more clear of ice, and get a little 
berth of sea-room, did take in their sails, and there lay adrift. 
Other some fastened and moored anchor upon a great island of 
ice, and rode under the lee thereof, supposing to be better guarded 
thereby from the outrageous winds, and the danger of the lesser 
fleeting ice. And again some were so fast shut up, and compassed 
in amongst an infinite number of great countries and islands of ice, 
that they were fain to submit themselves and their ships to the 
mercy of the unmerciful ice, and strengthened the sides of their 
ships with junks of cables, beds, masts, planks, and such like, 
which being hanged overboard on the sides of their ships, might 
the better defend them from the outrageous sway and strokes of 
the said ice. But as in greatest distress men of best valour are 
best to be discerned, so it is greatly worthy commendation and 
noting with what invincible mind every Captain encouraged his 
company, and with what incredible labour the painful mariners 
and poor miners (unacquainted with such extremities) to the ever 
lasting renown of our nation, did overcome the brunt of these so 
great and extreme dangers ; for some, even without board upon 
the ice, and some within board upon the sides of their ships, 
having poles, pikes, pieces of timber, and oars in their hands, 
stood almost day and night without any rest, bearing off the force, 


and breaking the sway of the ice with such incredible pain and 
peril, that it was wonderful to behold, which otherwise no doubt 
had stricken quite through and through the sides of their ships, 
notwithstanding our former provision ; for planks of timber of 
more than three inches thick, and other things of greater force 
and bigness, by the surging of the sea and billows, with the ice 
were shivered and cut in sunder, at the sides of our ships, so that 
it will seem more than credible to be reported of. And yet (that 
which is more) it is faithfully and plainly to be proved, and that by 
many substantial witnesses, that our ships, even those of greatest 
burdens, with the meeting of contrary waves of the sea, were 
heaved up between islands of ice, a foot well near out of the sea, 
above their watermark, having their knees and timbers within 
board both bowed and broken therewith. 

And amidst these extremes, whilst some laboured for defence of 
the ships, and sought to save their bodies, other some of more 
milder spirit sought to save the soul by devout prayer and medita 
tion to the Almighty, thinking indeed by no other means possible 
than by a Divine miracle to have their deliverance ; so that there 
was none that were either idle, or not well occupied ; and he that 
held himself in best security had (God knoweth) but only bare 
hope remaining for his best safety. Thus all the gallant fleet and 
miserable men, without hope of ever getting forth again, distressed 
with these extremities, remained here all the whole night and 
part of the next day, excepting four ships that is, the Anne 
Francis, the Moon, the Francis of Foy, and the Gabriel, which 
being somewhat a-seaboard of the fleet, and being fast ships by 
a wind, having a more scope of clear, tried it out all the time of 
the storm under sail, being hardly able to bear a coast of each. 

And albeit, by reason of the fleeting ice, which were dispersed 
here almost the whole sea over, they were brought many times to 
the extremest point of peril, mountains of ice ten thousand times 
escaping them scarce one inch, which to have stricken had 
been their present destruction, considering the swift course and 
way of the ships, and the unwieldiness of them to stay and turn as 
a man would wish, yet they esteemed it their better safety, with 
such peril, to seek sea-room, than, without hope of ever getting 
liberty, to lie striving against the stream and beating amongst the 
icy mountains, whose hugeness and monstrous greatness was such 
that no man could credit but such as, to their pains, saw and felt 
it. And these four ships by the next day at noon got out to sea, 


and were first clear of the ice ; who now, enjoying their own liberty, 
began anew to sorrow and fear for their fellows' safeties ; and, 
devoutly kneeling about their mainmast, they gave unto God 
humble thanks, not only for themselves, but besought Him like 
wise highly for their friends' deliverance. And even now whilst 
amidst these extremities this gallant fleet and valiant men were 
altogether over-laboured and fore-watched with the long and 
fearful continuance of the aforesaid dangers, it pleased God with 
His eyes of mercy to look down from heaven to send them help in 
good time, giving them the next day a more favourable wind at the 
west-north-west, which did not only disperse and drive forth the 
ice before them, but also gave them liberty of more scope and sea- 
room ; and they were by night of the same day following perceived 
of the other four ships, where, to their greatest comfort, they enjoyed 
again the fellowship one of another. Some in mending the sides 
of their ships, some in setting up their topmasts, and mending 
their sails and tacklings ; again, some complaining of their false 
stem borne away, some in stopping their leaks, some in recounting 
their dangers past, spent no small time and labour. So that I dare 
well avouch there were never men more dangerously distressed, 
nor more mercifully by God's providence delivered. And hereof 
both the torn ships and the forwearied bodies of the men arrived 
do bear most evident mark and witness. And now the whole fleet 
plied off to seaward, resolving there to abide until the sun might 
consume, or the force of wind disperse, these ice from the place of 
their passage. And being a good berth off the shore, they took in 
their sails and lay adrift. 

On the 7th of July, as men nothing yet dismayed, we cast about 
towards the inward, and had sight of land, which rose in form like 
the Northerland of the Straits, which some of the fleet, and those 
not the worst mariners, judged to be the North Foreland ; howbeit, 
other some were of contrary opinion. But the matter was not well 
to be discerned by reason of the thick fog which a long time hung 
upon the coast, and the new-falling snow, which yearly altereth the 
shape of the land, and taketh away sometimes the mariner's marks. 
And by reason of the dark mists, which continued by the space of 
twenty days together, this doubt grew the greater and the longer 
perilous. For whereas indeed we thought ourselves to be upon the 
north-east side of Frobisher's Straits, we were now carried to the 
south-westwards of the Queen's Foreland, and, being deceived by 
a swift current coming from the north-east, were brought to the 


south-westwards of our said course many miles more than we did 
think possible could come to pass. The cause whereof we have 
since found, and it shall be at large hereafter declared. 

Here we made a point of land which some mistook for a place 
in the Straits called Mount Warwick. But how we should be so far 
shot up so suddenly within the said Straits the expertest mariners 
began to marvel, thinking it a thing impossible that they could be 
so far overtaken in their accounts, or that any current could 
deceive them here which they had not by former experience proved 
and found out. Howbeit, many confessed that they found a swifter 
course of flood than before time they had observed. And truly it 
was wonderful to hear and see the rushing and noise that the 
tides do make in this place, with so violent a force that our ships 
lying a-hull were turned sometimes round about even in a moment, 
after the manner of a whirlpool, and the noise of the stream no 
less to be heard afar off than the waterfall of London Bridge. 

But whilst the fleet lay thus doubtful amongst great store of ice, 
in a place they knew not, without sight of sun, whereby to take the 
height, and so to know the true elevation of the pole, and without 
any clear of light to make perfect the coast, the General, with the 
captains and masters of his ships, began doubtfully to question of 
the matter, and sent his pinnace aboard to hear each man's opinion, 
and specially of James Beare, Master of the Anne Francis, who 
was known to be a sufficient and skilful mariner, and, having been 
there the year before, had well observed the place, and drawn out 
charts of the coast. But the rather this matter grew the more 
doubtful, for that Christopher Hall, chief pilot of the voyage, de 
livered a plain and public opinion, in the hearing of the whole 
fleet, that he had never seen the foresaid coast before, and that he 
could not make it for any place of Frobisher's Straits, as some of 
the fleet supposed ; and yet the lands do lie and trend so like, that 
the best mariners therein may be deceived. 

On the loth of July, the weather still continuing thick and dark, 
some of the ships in the fog lost sight of the Admiral and the rest 
of the fleet, and, wandering to and fro, with doubtful opinion whe 
ther it were best to seek back again to seaward through great store 
of ice, or to follow on a doubtful course in a sea, bay, or straits 
they knew not, or along a coast whereof, by reason of the dark 
mists, they could not discern the dangers, if by chance any rock or 
broken ground should lie off the place, as commonly in these parts 
it doth. The Vice-Admiral Captain Yorke, considering the 


aforesaid opinion of the pilot Hall, who was with him in the 
Thomas Allen, having lost sight of the fleet, turned back to sea 
again, having two other ships in company with him. Also the 
Captain of the Anne Francis, having likewise lost company of 
the fleet, and being all alone, held it for best to turn it out to 
sea again until they might have clear weather to take the sun's 
altitude, and with incredible pain and peril got out of the doubtful 
place into the open sea again, being so narrowly distressed by the 
way by means of continual fog and ice, that they were many times 
ready to leap upon an island of ice to avoid the present danger, and 
so hoping to prolong life awhile meant rather to die a pining death. 
Some hoped to save themselves on chests, and some determined 
to tie the hatches of the ships together, and to bind themselves 
with their furniture fast thereunto, and so to be towed with the 
shipboat ashore, which otherwise could not receive half of the 
company, by which means, if happily they had arrived, they should 
either have perished for lack of food to eat, or else should them 
selves have been eaten of those ravenous, bloody, and men- 
eating people. The rest of the fleet following the course of the 
General, which led them the way, passed up above sixty leagues 
within the said doubtful and supposed straits, having always a 
fair continent upon their starboard side, and a continuance still of 
an open sea before them. 

The General albeit with the first perchance he found out the 
error, and that this was not the old straits, yet he persuaded the 
fleet always that they were in their right course and known straits. 
Howbeit, I suppose he rather dissembled his opinion therein than 
otherwise, meaning by that policy (being himself led with an 
honourable desire of further discovery) to induce the fleet to follow 
him, to see a further proof of that place. And, as some of the 
company reported, he hath since confessed that if it had not been 
for the charge and care he had of the fleet and fraughted ships, he 
both would and could have gone through to the South Sea called 
Mar del Sur, and dissolved the long doubt of the passage which 
we seek to find to the rich country of Cathay. 

i. Of which mistaken straits, considering the circumstance, we 
have great cause to confirm our opinion, to like and hope well of 
the passage in this place. For the foresaid bay or sea, the further 
we sailed therein the wider we found it, with great likelihood of 
endless continuance. And where in other places we were much 
troubled with ice, as in the entrance of the same, so after we had 


sailed fifty or sixty leagues therein we had no let of ice, or other 
thing at all, as in other places we found. 

2. Also this place seemeth to have a marvellous great indraft, 
and draweth into it most of the drift ice and other things which do 
float in the sea, either to the north or eastwards of the same, as by 
good experience we have found. 

3. For here also we met with boards, laths, and divers other 
things driving in the sea, which was of the wreck of the ship 
called the barque Dennis, which perished amongst the ice as 
beforesaid, being lost at the first attempt of the entrance over- 
thwart the Queen's Foreland in the mouth of Frobisher's Straits, 
which could by no means have been so brought thither, neither by 
wind nor tide, being lost so many leagues off, if by force of the 
said current the same had not been violently brought. For if the 
same had been brought thither by tide of flood, look how far the 
said flood had carried it, the ebb would have re-carried it as 
far back again, and by the wind it could not so come to pass, 
because it was then sometimes calm, and most times contrary. 
And some mariners do affirm that they have diligently observed, 
that there runneth in this place nine hours' flood to three ebb, 
which may thus come to pass by force of the said current : for 
whereas the sea in most places of the world doth more or less 
ordinarily ebb and flow once every twelve hours, with six hours' ebb 
and six hours' flood, so also would it do there, were it not for 
the violence of this hastening current, which forceth the flood to 
make appearance to begin before his ordinary time one hour and a 
half, and also to continue longer than his natural course by another 
hour and a half, until the force of the ebb be so great that it will 
no longer be resisted : according to the saying, " Naturam expellas 

furca licet ) usque recurret" "Although nature and natural courses 
be forced and resisted never so much, yet at last they will have 
their own sway again." 

4. Moreover it is not possible that so great course of floods and 
current, so high swelling tides with continuance of so deep waters, 
can be digested here without unburdening themselves into some 
open sea beyond this place, which argueth the more likelihood of 
the passage to be hereabouts. Also we suppose these great 
indrafts do grow and are made by the reverberation and reflection 
of that same current, which at our coming by Ireland, met and 
crossed us, of which in the first part of this discourse I spoke, 
which coming from the bay of Mexico, passing by and washing 

1578] FROBISHER. Ill 

the south-west parts of Ireland, reboundeth over to the north-east 
parts of the world, as Norway, Iceland, &c., where not finding any 
passage to an open sea, but rather being there increased by a new 
access, and another current meeting with it from the Scythian sea, 
passing the bay of Saint Nicholas westwards, it doth once again 
rebound back, by the coasts of Greenland, and from thence upon 
Frobisher's Straits, being to the south-westwards of the same. 

5. And if that principle of philosophy be true, that " Inferiora 
corpora reguntur d superioribus" that is, "if inferior bodies be 
governed, ruled, and carried after the manner and course of the 
superiors," then the water being an inferior element, must needs 
be governed after the superior heaven, and so follow the course of 
Primum mobile from east to west. 

6. But every man that hath written or considered anything of 
this passage, hath more doubted the return by the same way by 
reason of a great downfall of water, which they imagine to be 
thereabouts (which we also by experience partly find) than any 
mistrust they have of the same passage at all. For we find (as 
it were) a great downfall in this place, but yet not such but that 
we may return, although with much ado. For we were easier 
carried in one hour than we could get forth again in three. 
Also by another experience at another time, we found this current 
to deceive us in this sort : That whereas we supposed it to be 
fifteen leagues off, and lying a-hull, we were brought within two 
leagues of the shore contrary to all expectation. 

Our men that sailed furthest in the same mistaken Straits 
(having the mainland upon their starboard side) affirm that they 
met with the outlet or passage of water which cometh through 
Frobisher's Straits, and followeth as all one into this passage. 
Some of our company also affirm that they had sight of a 
continent upon their larboard side, being sixty leagues within 
the supposed Straits : howbeit, except certain islands in the 
entrance hereof we could make no part perfect thereof. All 
the foresaid tract of land seemeth to be more fruitful and better 
stored of grass, deer, wild fowl, as partridges, larks, sea-mews, 
gulls, willmots, falcons, and tassel gentils, ravens, bears, hares, 
foxes, and other things, than any other part we have yet discovered, 
and is more populous. And here Luke Ward, a gentleman of the 
company, traded merchandise, and did exchange knives, bells, 
looking-glasses, &c., with those country people, who brought 
him fowl, fish, bear's-skins, and such like, as their country yieldeth, 


for the same. Here also they saw of those greater boats of the 
country, with twenty persons in a-piece. 

Now after the General had bestowed these many days here, not 
without many dangers, he returned back again. And by the way 
sailing along this coast (being the backside of the supposed 
continent of America) and the Queen's Foreland, he perceived 
a great sound to go through into Frobisher's Straits. Whereupon 
he sent the Gabriel, on the 2ist of July, to prove whether they 
might go through and meet again with him in the Straits, which 
they did : and, as we imagined before, so the Queen's Foreland 
proved an island, as I think most of these supposed continents 
will. And so he departed towards the Straits, thinking it were 
high time now to recover his port, and to provide the fleet of their 
lading, whereof he was not a little careful, as shall by the process 
and his resolute attempts appear. And in his return with the 
rest of the fleet he was so intangled by reason of the dark fog 
amongst a number of islands and broken ground that lie off this 
coast, that many of the ships came over the top of rocks, which 
presently after they might perceive to lie dry, having not half-a-foot 
of water more than some of their ships did draw. And by reason 
they could not with a small gale of wind stem the force of the 
flood, whereby to get clear off the rocks, they were fain to let 
an anchor fall with two bent of cable together, at an hundred and 
odd fathoms deep, where otherwise they had been by the force 
of the tides carried upon the rocks again, and perished : so that if 
God in these fortunes (as a merciful guide, beyond the expectation 
of man) had not carried us through, we had surely perished 
amidst these dangers. For being many times driven hard aboard 
the shore without any sight of land, until we were ready to make 
shipwreck thereon, being forced commonly with our boats to sound 
before our ships, least we might light thereon before we could 
discern the same ; it pleased God to give us a clear of sun and 
light for a short time to see and avoid thereby the danger, having 
been continually dark before, and presently after. Many times 
also by means of fog and currents being driven near upon the 
coast, God lent us even at the very pinch one prosperous breath of 
wind or other, whereby to double the land and avoid the peril, and 
when that we were all without hope of help, every man recom 
mending himself to death, and crying out, " Lord, now help or 
never, now Lord look down from heaven and save us sinners, or 
else our safety cometh too late : " even then the mighty maker 

1578] FROBISHER. 113 

of heaven, and our merciful God, did deliver us : so that they who 
have been partakers of these dangers do even in their souls 
confess, that God even by miracle hath sought to save them, whose 
name be praised evermore. 

Long time now the Anne Francis had lain beating off and on all 
alone before the Queen's Foreland, not being able to recover their 
port for ice, albeit many times they dangerously attempted it, 
for yet the ice choked up the passage, and would not suffer them 
to enter. And having never seen any of the fleet since twenty 
days past, when by reason of the thick mists they were severed 
in the mistaken Straits, they did now this present 23rd of July 
overthwart a place in the Straits called Hatton's Headland, where 
they met with seven ships of the fleet again, which good hap did 
not only rejoice them for themselves, in respect of the comfort 
which they received by such good company, but especially that 
by this means they were put out of doubt of their dear friends, 
whose safeties long time they did not a little suspect and fear. 
At their meeting they hailed the Admiral after the manner of the 
sea, and with great joy welcomed one another with a thundering 
volley of shot. And now every man declared at large the fortunes 
and dangers which they had passed. 

On the 24th of July we met with the Francis of Foy, who with 
much ado fought way back again through the ice from out of the 
mistaken Straits, where (to their great peril) they proved to 
recover their port. They brought the first news of the Vice- 
Admiral Captain York, who many days with themselves, and the 
Buss of Bridgewater was missing. They reported that they left 
the Vice-Admiral reasonably clear of the ice, but the other ship 
they greatly feared, whom they could not come to help, being 
themselves so hardly distressed as never men more. Also they 
told us of the Gabriel, who having got through from the backside 
and western point of the Queen's Foreland into Frobisher's Straits, 
fell into their company about the Cape of Good Hope. 

And upon the 27th day of July, the ship of Bridgewater got 
out of the ice and met with the fleet which lay off and on under 
Hatton's Headland. They reported of their marvellous accidents 
and dangers, declaring their ship to be so leak that they must of 
necessity seek harbour, having their stem so beaten within their 
huddings, that they had much ado to keep themselves above 
water. They had (as they say) five hundred strokes at the pump 
in less than half a watch, being scarce two hours ; their men being 



so over-wearied therewith, and with the former dangers, that they 
desired help of men from the other ships. Moreover they 
declared that there was nothing but ice and danger where they 
had been, and that the Straits within were frozen up, and that 
it was the most impossible thing of the world, to pass up into 
the Countess of Warwick's Sound, which was the place of our 

The report of these dangers by these ships thus published 
amongst the fleet, with the remembrance of the perils past, and 
those present before their face, brought no small fear and terror 
into the hearts of many considerate men, so that some began 
privily to murmur against the General for this wilful manner of 
proceeding. Some desired to discover some harbour thereabouts 
to refresh themselves and reform their broken vessels for awhile, 
until the north and north-west winds might disperse the ice, and 
make the place more free to pass. Other some forgetting them 
selves, spake more undutifully in this behalf, saying, that they had 
as lief be hanged when they came home, as without hope of 
safety to seek to pass, and so to perish amongst the ice. 

The General, not opening his ears to the peevish passion of any 
private person, but chiefly respecting the accomplishment of the 
cause he had undertaken (wherein the chief reputation and fame 
of a General and Captain consisteth), and calling to his remem 
brance the short time he had in hand to provide so great number 
of ships their loading, determined with this resolution to pass and 
recover his port, or else there to bury himself with his attempt. 
Notwithstanding, somewhat to appease the feeble passions of 
the fearful sort, and the better to entertain time for a season, 
whilst the ice might the better be dissolved, he hailed on the fleet 
with belief that he would put them into harbour ; thereupon whilst 
the ships lay off and on under Hatton's Headland, he sought to' go 
in with his pinnaces amongst the islands there, as though he 
meant to search for harbour, where indeed he meant nothing less, 
but rather sought if any ore might be found in that place, as by 
the sequel appeared. 

In the meantime whilst the fleet lay thus doubtful without any 
certain resolution what to do, being hard aboard the lee-shore, 
there arose a sudden and terrible tempest at the south-south 
east, whereby the ice began marvellously to gather about us. 
Whereupon every man, as in such case of extremity he thought 
best, sought the wisest way for his own safety. The most part of 

1578] FROBISHER. 115 

the fleet which were further shot up within the Straits, and so far 
to the leeward, as that they could not double the land, following 
the course of the General, who led them the way, took in their 
sails, and laid it a-hull amongst the ice, and so passed over the 
storm, and had no extremity at all, but for a short time in the same 
place. Howbeit the other ships which plied out to seaward, had 
an extreme storm for a longer season. And the nature of the place 
is such, that it is subject diversely to divers winds, according to the 
sundry situation of the great Alps and mountains there, every 
mountain causing a general blast and piny after the manner of a 

In this storm, being the 26th of July, there fell so much snow, 
with such bitter cold air, that we could not scarce see one another 
for the same, nor open our eyes to handle our ropes and sails, the 
snow being above half-a-foot deep upon the hatches of our ship, 
which did so wet through our poor mariners' clothes, that he that 
had five or six shifts of apparel had scarce one dry thread to his 
back, which kind of wet and coldness, together with the over 
labouring of the poor men amongst the ice, bred no small sickness 
amongst the fleet, which somewhat discouraged some of the poor 
men, who had not experience of the like before, eveiy man per 
suading himself that the winter there must needs be extreme, 
where they found so unseasonable a summer. And yet, not 
withstanding this cold air, the sun many times hath a mar 
vellous force of heat amongst those mountains, insomuch that 
when there is no breath of wind to bring the cold air from the 
dispersed ice upon us, we shall be weary of the blooming heat, 
and then suddenly with a piny of wind which cometh down from 
the hollowness of the hills, we shall have such a breath of heat 
brought upon our faces as though we were entered within some 
bath-stove or hot-house, and when the first of the pirry and blast 
is past, we shall have the wind suddenly anew blow cold again. 

In this storm the Anne Francis, the Moon, and the Thomas 
of Ipswich, who found themselves able to hold it up with a sail, 
and could double about the Cape of the Queen's Foreland, plied out 
to the seaward, holding it for better policy and safety to seek sea- 
room, than to hazard the continuance of the storm, the danger of 
the ice, and the lee-shore. And being uncertain at this time of the 
General's private determination, the weather being so dark that 
they could not discern one another, nor perceive which may be 
wrought, betook themselves to this course for best and safest. 

I 2 


The General, notwithstanding the great storm, following his 
own former resolution, sought by all means possible, by a shorter 
way, to recover his port, and where he saw the ice ever so little 
open, he got in at one gap and out at another, and so himself 
valiantly led the way through before to induce the fleet to follow 
after, and with incredible pain and peril at length got through the 
ice, and upon the 3ist of July recovered his long-wished port after 
many attempts and sundry times being put back, and came to 
anchor in the Countess of Warwick's Sound, in the entrance 
whereof, when he thought all peril past, he encountered a great 
island of ice, which gave the Aid such a blow, having a little 
before weighed her anchor a-cock-bill, that it struck the anchor- 
fluke through the ship's bows under the water, which caused so 
great a leak, that with much ado they preserved the ship from 

At their arrival here they perceived two ships at anchor within the 
harbour, whereat they began much to marvel and greatly to rejoice, 
for those they knew to be the Michael, wherein was the Lieutenant- 
General, Captain Fenton, and the small bark called the Gabriel, 
who so long time were missing, and never heard of before, whom 
every man made the last reckoning never to hear of again. 
Here every man greatly rejoiced of their happy meeting, and 
welcomed one another after the sea manner with their great 
ordnance, and when each party had ripped up their sundry for 
tunes and perils past, they highly praised God, and altogether 
upon their knees gave Him due humble and hearty thanks, and 
Master Wolfall, a learned man, appointed by Her Majesty's 
Council to be their minister and preacher, made unto them a 
godly sermon, exhorting them especially to be thankful to God 
for their strange and miraculous deliverance in those so dan 
gerous places, and putting them in mind of the uncertainty 'of 
man's life, willed them to make themselves always ready as 
resolute men to enjoy and accept thankfully whatsoever adven 
ture his divine providence should appoint. This Master Wolfall, 
being well seated and settled at home in his own country, with 
a good and large living, having a good honest woman to wife, 
and very towardly children, being of good reputation among the 
best, refused not to take in hand this painful voyage, for the 
only care he had to save souls, and to reform those infidels, if it 
were possible, to Christianity ; and also partly for the great desire 
he had that this notable voyage, so well begun, might be brought 

1578] FROBISHER. 1 17 

to perfection ; and therefore he was contented to stay there the 
whole year if occasion had served, being in every necessary action 
as forward as the resolutest men of all. Wherefore in this behalf 
he may rightly be called a true pastor and minister of God's 
word, which for the profit of his flock spared not to venture his 
own life. 

But to return again to Captain Fenton's company, and to speak 
somewhat of their dangers (albeit they be more than by writing 
can be expressed) : they reported that from the night of the first 
storm which was about the ist of July until seven days before the 
General's arrival, which was the 26th of the same, they never saw 
one day or hour wherein they were not troubled with continual 
danger and fear of death, and were twenty days almost together 
fast amongst the ice. They had their ship stricken through and 
through on both sides, their false stem borne quite away, and 
could go from their ship in some places upon the ice very many 
miles, and might easily have passed from one island of ice to 
another even to the shore ; and if God had not wonderfully pro 
vided for them and their necessity, and time had not made them 
more cunning and wise to seek strange remedies for strange kinds 
of dangers, it had been impossible for them ever to have 
escaped ; for among other devices, wheresoever they found any 
island of ice of greater bigness than the rest (as there be some 
of more than half a mile compass about, and almost forty fathom 
high) they commonly coveted to recover the same, and thereof to 
make a bulwark for their defence, whereon having moored anchor, 
they rode under the lee thereof for a time, being thereby guarded 
from the danger of the lesser driving ice. But when they must needs 
forego this new found fort by means of other ice, which at length 
would undermine and compass them round about, and when 
that by heaving of the billow they were therewith liked to be 
bruised in pieces, they used to make fast the ship unto the most 
firm and broad piece of ice they could find, and binding her 
nose fast thereunto, would fill all their sails, whereon the wind 
having great power, would force forward the ship, and so the 
ship bearing before her the ice, and so one ice driving forward 
another, should at length get scope and sea-room ; and having 
by this means at length put their enemies to flight, they occu 
pied the clear place for a pretty season among sundry mountains 
and alps of ice. One there was found by measure to be sixty- 
five fathom above water, which, for a kind of similitude, was 


called Solomon's Porch. Some think those islands eight times 
so much under water as they are above, because of their mon 
strous weight. But now I remember I saw very strange wonders : 
men walking, running, leaping and shooting upon the main seas, 
forty miles from any land, without any ship or other vessel under 
them. Also I saw fresh rivers running amidst the salt sea a 
hundred miles from land ; which if any man will not believe, let 
him know that many of our company leaped out of their ships 
upon islands of ice, and running there up and down, did shoot at 
butts upon the ice, and with their calivers did kill great seals, 
which use to lie and sleep upon the ice ; and this ice melting above 
at the top by reflection of the sun, came down in sundry streams, 
which, uniting together, made a pretty brook able to drive a mill. 
The said Captain Fenton recovered his port ten days before any 
man, and spent good time in searching for mines, and he found 
good store thereof. He also discovered about ten miles up into 
the country, where he perceived neither town, village, nor likeli 
hood of habitation, but it seemeth (as he saith) barren as the 
other parts which as yet we have entered upon ; but their victuals 
and provisions went so scant with them, that they had determined 
to return homeward within seven days after if the fleet had not 
then arrived. 

The General, after his arrival in the Countess's Sound, spent no 
time in vain, but immediately at his first landing called the chief 
captains of his council together, and consulted with them for the 
speedier execution of such things as then they had in hand. As, 
first, for searching and finding out good mineral for the miners to 
be occupied on. Then to give good orders to be observed of the 
whole company on shore. And lastly, to consider for the erecting 
up of the fort and house for the use of them which were to abide 
there the whole year. For the better handling of these, and all 
other like important causes in this service, it was ordained from 
Her Majesty and the council that the General should call unto him 
certain of the chief captains and gentlemen in council to confer, 
consult, and determine of all occurrences in this service, whose 
names are as here they follow : Captain Fenton, Captain Yorke, 
Captain Best, Captain Carew, and Captain Philpot. And in sea 
causes to have as assistants Christopher Hall and Charles 
Jackman, being both very good pilots and sufficient mari 
ners, whereof the one was chief pilot of the voyage and the 
other for the discovery. From the place of our habitation west- 

I57 8 ] FROBISHER. 1 19 

ward Master Selman was appointed notary, to register the whole 
manner of proceeding in these affairs, that true relation thereof 
might be made if it pleased Her Majesty to require it. 

On the ist of August every captain, by order from the General 
and his council, was commanded to bring ashore unto the 
Countess's Island all such gentlemen, soldiers, and miners as 
were under their charge, with such provision as they had of 
victuals, tents, and things necessary for the speedy getting together 
of mines and freight for the ships. The muster of the men 
being taken, and the victuals, with all other things viewed and 
considered, every man was set to his charge as his place and 
office required. The miners were appointed where to work and 
the mariners discharged their ships. On the 2nd of August were 
published and proclaimed upon the Countess of Warwick's Island, 
with sound of trumpet, certain orders of the General and his 
council, appointed to be observed of the company during the time 
of their abiding there. In the meantime, while the mariners plied 
their work, the captains sought out new mines, the gold-finers 
made trial of the ore, the mariners discharged their ships, the 
gentlemen for example's sake laboured heartily and honestly 
encouraged the inferior sort to work. So that the small time of 
that little leisure that was left to tarry was spent in vain. 

On the 2nd of August the Gabriel arrived, who came from the 
Vice-Admiral, and being distressed sore with ice, put into harbour 
near unto Mount Oxford. And now was the whole fleet arrived 
safely at their port excepting four, besides the ship that was lost 
that is, the Thomas Allen, the Anne Francis, the Thomas of 
Ipswich, and the Moon, whose absence was some let unto the 
works and other proceedings, as well for that these ships were 
furnished with the better sort of miners as with other provision for 
the habitation. 

On the 9th of August the General with the captains of his 
council assembled together, and began to consider and take order 
for the erecting up of the house or fort for them that were to 
inhabit there the whole year, and that presently the masons and 
carpenters might go in hand therewith. First, therefore, they 
perused the bills of lading, what every man received into his ship, 
and found that there was arrived only the east side and the south 
side of the house, and yet not that perfect and entire ; for many 
pieces thereof were used for fenders in many ships, and so broken 
in pieces whilst they were distressed in the ice. Also after due 


examination had, and true account taken, there was found want of 
drink and fuel to serve one hundred men, which was the number 
appointed first to inhabit there, because their greatest store was in 
the ships which were not yet arrived. Then Captain Fenton, seeing 
the scarcity of the necessary things aforesaid, was contented, and 
offered himself to inhabit there with sixty men. Whereupon 
they caused the carpenters and masons to come before them, 
and demanded in what time they would take upon them to 
erect up a less house for sixty men. They required eight or 
nine weeks, if there were timber sufficient, whereas now they 
had but six-and-twenty days in all to remain in that country. 
Wherefore it was fully agreed upon and resolved by the General 
and his council that no habitation should be there this year. 
And therefore they willed Master Selman the registrar to set 
down this decree with all their contents, for the better satisfy 
ing of Her Majesty, the Lords of the Council, and the adven 

The Anne Francis, since she was parted from the fleet in the 
last storm before spoken of, could never recover above five leagues 
within the Straits, the wind being sometime contrary, and most 
times the ice compassing them round about. And from that time, 
being about the 27th of July, they could neither hear nor have 
sight of any of the fleet until the 3rd of August, when they descried 
a sail near unto Mount Oxford, with whom when they had spoken 
they could understand no news of any of the fleet at all. And this 
was the Thomas of Ipswich, who had lain beating off and on at 
sea with very foul weather and contrary winds ever since that 
aforesaid storm without sight of any man. They kept company 
not long together, but were forced to lose one another again, the 
Moon being consort always with the Anne Francis, and keeping 
very good company, plied up together into the Straits, with great 
desire to recover their long wished-for port. And they attempted 
as often, and passed as far as possible the wind, weather, and ice 
gave them leave, which commonly they found very contrary. For 
when the weather was clear and without fog then commonly the 
wind was contrary. And when it was either easterly or southerly, 
which would serve their turns, then had they so great a fog and 
dark mist therewith that either they could not discern way through 
the ice, or else the ice lay so thick together that it was impossible 
for them to pass. And on the other side, when it was calm, the 
tides had force to bring the ice so suddenly about them, that com- 

1578] FROBISHER. 121 

monly then they were most therewith distressed, having no wind to 
carry them from the danger thereof. 

And by the 6th of August, being with much ado got up as high 
as Leicester Point they had good hope to find the southern shore 
clear, and so to pass up towards their port. But being there becalmed, 
and lying a-hull openly upon the great bay which cometh out of 
the mistaken straits before spoken of, they were so suddenly com 
passed with ice round about by means of the swift tides which run 
in that place, that they were never afore so hardly beset as now. 
And, in seeking to avoid these dangers in the dark weather, the 
Anne Francis lost sight of the other two ships, who, being likewise 
hardly distressed, signified their danger, as they since reported, by 
shooting off their ordnance, which the other could not hear, nor, if 
they had heard, could have given them any remedy, being so busily 
occupied to wind themselves out of their own troubles. 

The flee-boat called the Moon was here heaved above the water 
with the force of the ice, and received a great leak thereby. Like 
wise the Thomas of Ipswich and the Anne Francis were sore 
bruised at that instant, having their false stems borne away and 
their ship-sides strucken quite through. 

Now, considering the continual dangers and contraries and the 
little leisure that they had left to tarry in these parts, besides that 
every night the ropes of their ships were so frozen that a man 
could not handle them without cutting his hands, together with the 
great doubt they had of the fleet's safety, thinking it an impossi 
bility for them to pass unto their port, as well for that they saw 
themselves as for that they heard by the former report of the ships 
which had proved before, who affirmed that the Straits were all frozen 
over within, they thought it now very high time to consider of their 
estates and safeties that were yet left together. And hereupon 
the captains and masters of these ships desired the Captain of the 
Anne Francis to enter into consideration with them of these 
matters. Wherefore Captain Tanfield, of the Thomas of Ipswich^ 
with his pilot Richard Cox, and Captain Upcote, of the Moon, 
with his master, John Lakes, came aboard the Anne Francis on the 
8th of August to consult of these causes. And being assembled 
together in the Captain's cabin, sundry doubts were there alleged. 
For the fearfuller sort of mariners, being over-tired with the con 
tinued labour of the former dangers, coveted to return homeward, 
saying that they would not again tempt God so much, who had 
given them so many warnings and delivered them from so wonder- 


ful dangers, that they rather desired to lose wages, freight and all, 
than to continue and follow such desperate fortunes. Again, their 
ships were so leaky and the men so weary, that, to amend the one 
and refresh the other, they must of necessity seek into harbour. 

But on the other side it was argued again to the contrary that to 
seek into harbour thereabouts was but to subject themselves to 
double dangers. If happily they escaped the dangers of the rocks 
in their entering, yet, being in, they were nevertheless subject there 
to the danger of the ice which with the swift tides and currents is 
carried in and out in most harbours thereabouts, and may thereby 
gall their cables asunder, drive them upon the shore, and bring 
them to much trouble. Also the coast is so much subject to broken 
ground and rocks, especially in the mouth and entrance of every 
harbour, that albeit the Channel be sounded over and over again, 
yet are you never the nearer to discern the dangers. For the 
bottom of the sea holding like shape and form as the land, being 
full of hills, dales, and ragged rocks, suffereth you not by your 
soundings to know and keep a true guess of the depth. For you 
shall sound upon the side or hollowness of one hill or rock under 
water and have a hundred, fifty, or forty fathom deep ; and before 
the next cast, re you shall be able to heave your lead again, you 
shall be upon the top thereof, and come aground to your utter con 

Another reason against going to harbour was that the cold air 
did threaten a sudden freezing up of the sounds, seeing that every 
night there was new congealed ice, even of that water which re 
mained within the ships. And therefore it should seem to be more 
safe to lie off and on at sea than for lack of wind to bring them 
forth of harbour, to hazard by sudden frosts to be shut up the 
whole year. 

After many such dangers and reasons alleged, and large debat 
ing of these causes on both sides, the Captain of the Anne Francis 
delivered his opinion unto the company to this effect : First, con 
cerning the question of returning home, he thought it so much 
dishonourable as not to grow in any farther question ; and again, to 
return home at length (as at length they must needs) and not to be 
able to bring a certain report of the fleet, whether they were living 
or lost, or whether any of them had recovered their port or not in 
the Countess's Sound (as it was to be thought the most part would 
if they were living), he said that it would be so great an argument 
either of want of courage or discretion in them, as he resolved 

1 5 78] FROBISHER. 12$ 

rather to fall into any danger than so shamefully consent to return 
home, protesting that it should never be spoken of him that he 
would ever return without doing his endeavour to find the fleet and 
know the certainty of the General's safety. He put his company 
in remembrance of a pinnace of five tons burden which he had 
within his ship, which was carried in pieces and unmade up, for the 
use of those which should inhabit there the whole year, the which, 
if they could find means to join together, he offered himself to 
prove before therewith, whether it were possible for any boat to 
pass for ice, whereby the ship might be brought in after, and might 
also thereby give true notice if any of the fleet were arrived at 
their port or not. 

But notwithstanding, for that he well perceived that the most 
part of his company were addicted to put into harbour, he was 
willing the rather for these causes somewhat to incline thereunto. 
As first, to search along the same coast and the Sounds there 
abouts, he thought it to be to good purpose, for that it was likely 
to find some of the fleet there, which, being leaky and sore 
bruised with the ice, were the rather thought likely to be put into an 
ill harbour, being distressed with foul weather in the last storm, 
than to hazard their uncertain safeties amongst the ice ; for about 
this place they lost them, and left the fleet then doubtfully ques 
tioning of harbour. 

It was likely, also, that they might find some fit harbour there 
abouts, which might be behoveful for them against another time. 
It was not likewise impossible to find some ore or mines there 
abouts wherewithal to freight their ships, which would be more 
commodious in this place for the nearness to seaward and for a 
better outlet than further within the Straits, being likely here 
always to load in a shorter time, howsoever the Strait should be 
pestered with ice within, so that if it might come to pass that thereby 
they might either find the fleet, mine, or convenient harbour, any 
of these three would serve their present turns, and give some hope 
and comfort unto their companies, which now were altogether 
comfortless. But if that all fortune should fall out so contrary 
that they could neither recover their port nor any of these afore 
said helps, that yet they would not depart the coast as long as it was 
possible for them to tarry there, but would lie off and on at sea 
athwart the place. Therefore his final conclusion was set down thus 
First, that the Thomas of Ipswich and the Moon should consort 
and keep company together carefully with the Anne Francis, as 


near as they could, and, as true Englishmen and faithful friends, 
should supply one another's want in all fortunes and dangers. In 
the morning following, every ship to send off his boat with a suffi 
cient pilot to search out and sound the harbours for the safe bringing 
in of their ships. And being arrived in harbour, where they might 
find convenient place for the purpose, they resolved forthwith to 
join and set together the pinnace, wherewithal the Captain of the 
Anne Francis might, according to his former determination, dis 
cover up into the Straits. 

After these determinations thus set down, the Thomas of Ipswich 
the night following lost company of the other ships, and afterward 
shaped a contrary course homeward, which fell out, as it mani 
festly appeared, very much against their Captain Master Tanfield's 
mind, as by due examination before the Lords of Her Majesty's 
Most Honourable Privy Council it hath since been proved, to the 
great discredit of the Pilot Cox, who specially persuaded his com 
pany, against the opinion of the said Captain, to return home. 

And, as the Captain of the Anne Francis doth witness, even at 
their conference together Captain Tanfield told him that he did 
not a little suspect the said Pilot Cox, saying that he had opinion 
in the man neither of honest duty, manhood, nor constancy. Not 
withstanding the said ship's departure, the Captain of the Anne 
Francis, being desirous to put in execution his former resolutions, 
went with the ship's boat (being accompanied also with the Moon's 
skiff) to prove amongst the islands which lie under Hatton's Head 
land if any convenient harbour, or any knowledge of the fleet, or 
any good ore were there to be found. The ships lying off and on 
at sea the while under sail, searching through many sounds, they 
saw them all full of many dangers and broken ground ; yet one 
there was, which seemed an indifferent place to harbour in, and 
which they did very diligently sound over, and searched again. 

Here the said Captain found a great black island, whereunto he 
had good liking ; and certifying the company thereof, they were 
somewhat comforted, and with the good hope of his words, rowed 
cheerfully unto the place, where, when they arrived, they found such 
plenty of black ore of the same sort which was brought into Eng 
land this last year, that if the goodness might answer the great 
plenty thereof, it was to be thought that it might reasonably suffice 
all the gold-gluttons of the world. This island the Captain, for 
cause of his good hap, called after his own name Best's Blessing, 
and with these good tidings returned aboard his ship on the 9th of 

1578] FROBISHER. 125 

August, about ten o'clock at night. He was joyfully welcomed of 
his company, who before were discomforted, and greatly expected 
some better fortune at his hands. 

The next day, being the loth of August, the weather reasonably 
fair, they put into the foresaid harbour, having their boat for their 
better security sounding before their ship. But, for all the care and 
diligence that could be taken in sounding the Channel over and 
again, the Anne Francis came aground upon a sunken rock within 
the harbour, and lay thereon more than half dry until the next 
flood, when, by God's almighty providence, contrary almost to all 
expectation, they came afloat again, being forced all that time to 
underset their ship with their main-yard, which otherwise was 
likely to overset and put thereby in danger the whole company. 
They had above two thousand strokes together at the pump before 
they could make their ship free of the water again, so sore she was 
bruised by lying upon the rocks. The Moon came safely, and rode 
at anchor by the Anne Francis, whose help in their necessity they 
could not well have missed. 

Now whilst the mariners were rummaging their ships and mend 
ing that which was amiss, the miners followed their labour for 
getting together of sufficient quantity of ore, and the carpenters 
endeavoured to do their best for the making up of the boat or 
pinnace, which to bring to pass, they wanted two special and most 
necessary things that is, certain principal timbers that are called 
knees, which are the chief strength of any boat, and also nails 
wherewithal to join the planks together. Whereupon, having by 
chance a smith amongst them (and yet unfurnished of his neces 
sary tools to work and make nails withal), they were fain of a gun- 
chamber to make an anvil to work upon, and to use a pickaxe 
instead of a sledge to bear withal, and also to occupy two small 
bellows instead of one pair of greater smith's bellows. And for 
lack of small iron for the easier making of the nails, they were 
forced to break their tongs, gridiron, and fire-shovel in pieces. 

On the nth of August the Captain of the Anne Francis, taking 
the master of his ship with him, went up to the top of Hatton's 
Headland, which is the highest land of all the Straits, to the end 
to descry the situation of the country underneath, and to take a 
true plot of the place, whereby also to see what store of ice was 
yet left in the Straits, as also to search what mineral matter or 
fruit that soil might yield. And the rather for the honour the 
said Captain doth owe to that honourable name which himself 


gave thereunto the last year, in the highest part of this headland 
he caused his company to make a column or cross of stone in 
token of Christian possession. In this place there is plenty of 
black ore and divers pretty stones. 

On the 1 7th of August the captains with their companies chased 
and killed a great white bear, which adventured and gave a fierce 
assault upon twenty men being weaponed. And he served them 
for good meat many days. On the i8th of August, the pinnace 
with much ado being set together, the said Captain Best deter 
mined to depart up the Straits, to prove and make trial, as before 
was pretended, some of his company greatly persuading him to the 
contrary, and specially the carpenter that set the same together, 
who said he would not adventure himself therein for five hundred 
pounds, for that the boat hung together but only by the strength 
of the nails, and lacked some of the principal knees and timbers. 
These words somewhat discouraged some of the company which 
should have gone therein. Whereupon the Captain, as one not 
altogether addicted to his own self-will, but somewhat foreseeing 
how it might be afterwards spoken if contrary fortune should 
happen him (" Lo, he hath followed his own opinion and desperate 
resolutions, and so thereafter it is befallen him"), calling the 
master and mariners of best judgment together, declared unto 
them how much the cause imported him in his credit to seek out 
the General, as well to confer with him of some causes of weight 
as otherwise to make due examination and trial of the goodness of 
the ore, whereof they had no assurance but by guess of the eye, 
and it was well like the other ; which so to carry home, not know 
ing the goodness thereof, might be as much as if they should bring 
so many stones. And therefore he desired them to deliver their 
plain and honest opinion, whether the pinnace were sufficient for 
him so to adventure in or no. It was answered that by careful heed- 
taking thereunto among the ice and the foul weather, the pinnace 
might suffice. And hereupon the master's mate of the Anne 
Francis, called John Gray, manfully and honestly offering himself 
unto his Captain in this adventure and service, gave cause to others 
of his mariners to follow the attempt. 

And upon the igth of August the said Captain, being accom 
panied with Captain Upcote, of the Moon, and eighteen persons in 
the small pinnace, having convenient portion of victuals and things 
necessary, departed upon the said pretended voyage, leaving their 
ship at anchor in a good readiness for the taking in of their freight. 

1578] FROBISHER. 127 

And having little wind to sail withal, they plied along the southern 
shore, and passed above thirty leagues, having the only help of 
man's labour with oars, and so intending to keep that shore aboard 
until they were got up to the farthest and narrowest of the Straits, 
minded there to cross over, and to search likewise along the 
northerland unto the Countess's Sound, and from thence to pass 
all that coast along, whereby if any of the fleet had been distressed 
by wreck of rock or ice by that means they might be perceived of 
them, and so they thereby to give them such help and relief as they 
could. They did greatly fear and ever suspect that some of the 
fleet were surely cast away and driven to seek sour sallets amongst 
the cold cliffs. 

And being shot up about forty leagues within the Straits, they 
put over towards the northern shore, which was not a little dan 
gerous for their small boats; and by means of a sudden flaw 
were driven and fain to seek harbour in the night amongst all the 
rocks and broken ground of Gabriel's Islands, a place so named 
within the Straits above the Countess of Warwick's Sound. And 
by the way where they landed they did find certain great stones 
set up by the country people, as it seemed, for marks, where they 
also made many crosses of stone, in token that Christians had been 
there. On the 22nd of August they had sight of the Countess's 
Sound, and made the place perfect from the top of a hill, and, 
keeping along the northern shore, perceived the smoke of a fire 
under a hill's side, whereof they diversely deemed. When they 
came nearer the place they perceived people which wafted unto 
them, as it seemed, with a flag or ensign. And because the country 
people had used to do the like when they perceived any of our 
boats to pass by, they suspected them to be the same. And coming 
somewhat nearer, they might perceive certain tents, and discern 
this ensign to be of mingled colours, black and white, after the 
English fashion. But because they could see no ship, nor likeli 
hood of harbour within five or six leagues about, and knew that 
none of our men were wont to frequent those parts, they could not 
tell what to judge thereof; but imagined that some of the ships, 
being carried so high with the storm and mists, had made ship 
wreck amongst the ice or the broken islands there, and were 
spoiled by the country people, who might use the sundry-coloured 
flag for a policy, to bring them likewise within their danger. 
Whereupon the said Captain with his companies resolved to re 
cover the same ensign, if it were so, from those base people, or else 


to lose their lives and all together. In the end they discerned 
them to be their countrymen, and then they deemed them to have 
lost their ships, and so to be gathered together for their better 
strength. On the other side, the company ashore feared that the 
Captain, having lost his ship, came to seek forth the fleet for his 
relief in his poor pinnace : so that their extremities caused each 
part to suspect the worst. 

The Captain, now with his pinnace being come near the shore, 
commanded his boat carefully to be kept afloat, lest in their neces 
sity they might win the same from him, and seek first to save 
themselves. For every man in that case is next himself. They 
hailed one another according to the manner of the sea, and de 
manded what cheer. And either party answered the other that all 
was well. Whereupon there was a sudden and joyful outshout, 
with great flinging up of caps, and a brave volley of shot to wel 
come one another. And truly it was a most strange case to see 
how joyful and glad every party was to see themselves meet in 
safety again after so strange and incredible dangers. Yet, to be 
short, as their dangers was great so their God was greater. 
And here the company were working upon new mines, which 
Captain York, being here arrived not long before, had found out 
in this place, and it is named the Countess of Sussex Mine. 

After some conference with our friends here, the Captain of 
the Anne Francis departed towards the Countess of Warwick's 
Sound, to speak with the General, and to have trial made 
of such metal as he had brought thither by the gold-finers. 
And so he determined to dispatch again towards his ship. And 
having spoken with the General, he received orders for all causes 
and direction as well for the bringing up of his ship to the 
Countess's Sound, as also to freight his ship with the same ore 
which he had himself found, which, upon trial made, was supposed 
to be very good. 

On the 23rd of August the said Captain met together with the 
other captains (Commissioners in Council with the General) aboard 
the Aid, where they considered and consulted of sundry causes, 
which being particularly registered by the notary, were appointed 
where and how to be done against another year. 

On the 24th of August the General, with two pinnaces and 
good numbers of men, went to Beare's Sound, commanding 
the said Captain with his pinnace to attend the service, to see 
if he could encounter or apprehend any of the people ; for sundry 

1578] FROBISHER. 129 

times they shewed themselves busy thereabouts, sometimes 
with seven or eight boats in one company, as though they 
minded to encounter with our company, which were working 
there at the mines in no great numbers. But when they 
perceived any of our ships to ride in that road (being belike 
more amazed at the countenance of a ship, and a more number 
of men) they did never shew themselves there again at all. 
Wherefore our men sought with their pinnaces to compass 
about the island where they did use, supposing there suddenly 
to intercept some of them. But before our men could come 
near, having belike some watch in the top of the mountains, they 
conveyed themselves privily away, and left (as it should seem) one 
of their great darts behind them for haste, which we found near to 
a place of their caves and housing. Therefore, though our Gene 
ral were very desirous to have taken some of them to have brought 
into England, they, being now grown more wary by their former 
losses, would not at any time come within our dangers. About 
midnight of the same day the Captain of the Anne Francis de 
parted thence and set his course over the Straits towards Hatton's 
Headland, being about fifteen leagues over, and returned aboard 
his ship on the 2 5th of August, to the great comfort of his com 
pany, who long expected his coming, where he found his ships 
ready rigged and laden. Wherefore he departed from thence 
again the next morning towards the Countess's Sound, where he 
arrived on the 28th of the same. By the way he set his miners 
ashore at Beare's Sound for the better despatch and gathering the 
ore together, for that some of the ships were behindhand with 
their freight, the time of the year passing suddenly away. 

On the 3oth of August the Anne Francis was brought aground, 
and had eight great leaks mended which she had received by 
means of the rocks and ice. On this day the masons finished 
a house which Captain Fenton caused to be made of lime and 
stone upon the Countess of Warwick's Island, to the end we might 
prove against the next year, whether the snow could overwhelm it, 
the frost break it up, or the people dismember the same. And the 
better to allure those brutish and uncivil people to courtesy 
against other times of our coming, we left therein divers of our 
country toys, as bells and knives, wherein they specially delight, 
one for the necessary use, and the other for the great pleasure 
thereof. Also pictures of men and women in lead, men on horse 
back, looking-glasses, whistles, and pipes. Also in the house 



was made an oven, and bread left baked therein for them to 
see and taste. We buried the timber of our pretended fort. 
Also here we sowed peas, corn, and other grain, to prove the 
fruitfulness of the soil against the next year. 

Master Wolfall on Winter's Furnace preached a goodly sermon, 
which being ended, he celebrated also a communion upon the 
land, at the partaking whereof was the Captain of the Anne 
Francis, and many other gentlemen and soldiers, mariners, and 
miners with him. The celebration of the divine mystery was 
the first sign, seal, and confirmation of Christ's name, death, and 
passion ever known in these quarters. The said Master Wolfall 
made sermons, and celebrated the communion at sundry other 
times, in several and sundry ships, because the whole company 
could never meet together in any one place. The fleet now being 
in some good readiness for their lading, the General calling 
together the gentlemen and captains to consult, told them that 
he was very desirous that some further discovery should be 
attempted, and that he would not only by God's help bring home 
his ships laden with ore, but also meant to bring some certificate 
of a further discovery of the country, which thing to bring to pass 
(having sometime therein consulted) they found very hard and 
almost invincible. And considering that already they had spent 
some time in searching out the trending and fashion of the mis 
taken Straits, therefore it could not be said, but that by this 
voyage they have notice of a further discovery, and that the 
hope of the passage thereby is much furthered and increased, 
as appeared before in the discourse thereof. Yet notwithstanding 
if any means might be further devised, the captains were con 
tented and willing, as the General should appoint and command, 
to take any enterprise in hand. Which, after long debating, was 
found a thing very impossible, and that rather consultation was to 
be had of returning homeward, especially for these causes following : 
First, the dark foggy mists, the continual falling snow and stormy 
weather which they commonly were vexed with, and now daily 
ever more and more increased, have no small argument of the 
winter drawing near. And also the frost every night was so hard 
congealed within the Sound, that if by evil hap they should be 
long kept in with contrary winds, it was greatly to be feared, that 
they should be shut up there fast the whole year, which being 
utterly unprovided, would be their utter destruction. Again, drink 
was so scant throughout all the fleet by means of the great leakage, 

1578] FROBISHER. 131 

that not only the provision which was laid in for the habitation 
was wanting and wasted, but also each ship's several provisions 
spent and lost, which many of our company to their great grief 
found in their return, since, for all the way homewards, they drank 
nothing but water. And the great cause of this leakage and 
wasting was, for that the great timber and sea-coal, which lay so 
weighty upon the barrels, brake, bruised, and rotted the hoops 
asunder. Yet notwithstanding these reasons alleged the General 
himself (willing the rest of the gentlemen and captains every man 
to look to his several charge and lading, that against a day 
appointed, they should be all in readiness to set homeward) 
went in a pinnace, and discovered further northward in the Straits, 
and found that by Beare's Sound and Hall's Island the land was 
not firm, as it was first supposed, but all broken islands in manner 
of an Archipelago, and so with other secret intelligence to himself, 
he returned to the fleet. Where, presently upon his arrival at the 
Countess's Sound, he began to take order for their returning 
homeward, and first caused certain Articles to be proclaimed, for 
the better keeping of orders and courses in their return, which 
Articles were delivered to every captain. 

Having now received Articles and directions for our return 
homewards, all other things being in forwardness and in good 
order, on the last day of August the whole fleet departed from 
the Countess's Sound, excepting the Judith, and the Anne Francis, 
who stayed for the taking in of fresh water, and came the next day 
and met the fleet lying off and on, athwart Beare's Sound, who stayed 
for the General, which then was gone ashore to despatch the two 
barques and the Buss of Bridgewater, for their loading, whereby to 
get the companies and other things aboard. The Captain of the 
Anne Francis, having most part of his company ashore, on the ist 
of September, went also to Beare's Sound in his pinnace to fetch his 
men aboard ; but the wind grew so great immediately upon their 
landing, that the ships at sea were in great danger, and some of 
them forcibly put from their anchors, and greatly feared to be 
utterly lost, as the Hope well, wherein was Captain Carew, and 
others, who could not tell on which side their danger was most : 
for having mighty rocks threatening on the one side, and driving 
islands of cutting ice on the other side, they greatly feared to 
make shipwreck, the ice driving so near them that it touched their 
bowsprit. And by means of the sea that was grown so high, they 
were not able to put to sea with their small pinnaces to recover 

K 2 


their ships. And again, the ships were not able to tarry or lie 
athwart for them, by means of the outrageous winds and swelling 
seas. The General willed the Captain of the Anne Francis, with 
his company, for that night to lodge aboard the Buss of Bridge- 
water, and went himself with the rest of his men aboard the 
barques. But their numbers were so great, and the provision of the 
barques so scant, that they pestered one another exceedingly. 
They had great hope that the next morning the weather would 
be fair, whereby they might recover their ships. But in the 
morning following it was much worse, for the storm continued 
greater, the sea being more swollen, and the fleet gone quite out of 
sight. So that now their doubts began to grow great : for the ship 
of Bridgewater which was of greatest receipt, and whereof they 
had best hope and made most account, rode so far to leeward of 
the harbour's mouth, that they were not able for the rocks (that 
lay between the wind and them) to lead it out to sea with a sail. 
And the barques were already so pestered with men, and so 
slenderly furnished with provision, that they had scarce meat for 
six days for such numbers. 

The General in the morning departed to sea in the Gabriel to 
seek the fleet, leaving the Buss of Bridgewater and the Michael 
behind in Beare's Sound. The Buss set sail, and thought by 
turning in the narrow channel within the harbour to get to wind 
ward : but being put to leeward more, by that means was fain to 
come to anchor for her better safety, amongst a number of rocks, and 
there left in great danger of ever getting forth again. The Michael 
set sail to follow the General, and could give the Buss no relief, 
although they earnestly desired the same. And the Captain of 
the Anne Francis was left in hard election of two evils : either 
to abide his fortune with the Buss of Bridgewater, which was 
doubtful of ever getting forth, or else to be towed in his small 
pinnace at the stern of the Michael through the raging seas, for 
that the barque was not able to receive or relieve half his company, 
wherein his danger was not a little perilous. 

So after he resolved to commit himself with all his company 
unto that fortune of God and sea, and was dangerously towed at 
the stern of the barque for many miles, until at length they espied 
the Anne Francis under sail, hard under their lee, which was no 
small comfort unto them. For no doubt, both those and a great 
number more had perished for lack of victuals, and convenient 
room in the barques without the help of the said ship. But the 

1578] FROBISHER. 133 

honest care that the Master of the Anne Francis had of his 
captain, and the good regard of duty towards his General, suffered 
him not to depart, but honestly abode to hazard a dangerous road 
all the night long, notwithstanding all the stormy weather, when 
all the fleet besides departed. And the pinnace came no sooner 
aboard the ship, and the men entered, but she presently shivered 
and fell in pieces and sunk at the ship's stern, with all the poor 
mens' furniture : so weak was the boat with towing, and so forcible 
was the sea to bruise her in pieces. But (as God would) the men 
were all saved. 

At this present in this storm many of the fleet were dangerously 
distressed, and were severed almost all asunder. Yet, thanks be 
to God, all the fleet arrived safely in England about the ist of 
October, some in one place and some in another. But amongst 
other, it was most marvellous how the Buss of Bridgewater got 
away, who being left behind the fleet in great danger of never 
getting forth, was forced to seek a way northward through an 
unknown channel full of rocks, upon the backside of Beare's Sound, 
and there by good hap found out a way into the North sea, a very 
dangerous attempt : save that necessity, which hath no law, forced 
them to try masteries. This aforesaid North Sea, is the same 
which lieth upon the backside of Frobisher's Straits, where first 
the General himself in his pinnaces, and after some other of our 
company have discovered (as they affirm) a great foreland, where 
they would have also a great likelihood of the greatest passage 
towards the South Sea, or Mar del Sur. 

The Buss of Bridgewater, as she came homeward, to the south 
eastward of Frieslarid, discovered a great island in the latitude of 
fifty-seven degrees and a half, which was never yet found before, 
and sailed three days along the coast, the land seeming to be 
fruitful, full of woods, and a champaign country. 

There died in the whole fleet in all this voyage not above forty 
persons, which number is not great, considering how many ships 
were in the fleet, and how strange fortunes we passed. 

A general and brief description of the country ', and condition of the 
people which are found in Meta Incognita. 

Having now sufficiently and truly set forth the whole circum 
stance, and particular handling of every occurrence in the three 
voyages of our worthy general Captain Frobisher, it shall not be 


from the purpose to speak somewhat in general of the nature of 
this country called Meta Incognita, and the condition of the 
savages there inhabiting. 

First, therefore, touching the topographical description of the 
place. It is now found in the last voyage, that Queen Elizabeth's 
Cape being situate in latitude at sixty-one degrees and a-half, 
which before was supposed to be part of the firm land of America, 
and also all the rest of the south side of Frobisher's Straits, are 
all several islands and broken land, and likewise so will all the 
north side of the said Straits fall out to be, as I think. And 
some of our company being entered above sixty leagues within 
the mistaken straits in the third voyage mentioned, thought cer 
tainly that they had descried the firm land of America towards 
the south, which I think will fall out so to be. 

These broken lands and islands being very many in number, 
do seem to make there an archipelago, which, as they all differ in 
greatness, form, and fashion one from another, so are they in 
goodness, colour, and soil, much unlike. They are all very high 
lands, mountains, and in most parts covered with snow even all 
the summer long. The northern lands have less store of snow, 
more grass, and are more plain countries ; the cause whereof may 
be, for that the southern islands receive all the snow, that the 
cold winds and piercing air bring out of the north. And contrarily 
the north parts receive more warm blasts of milder air from the 
south, whereupon may grow the cause why the people covet to 
inhabit more upon the northwards than the south, as far as we can 
yet by our experience perceive they do. These people I judge to 
be a kind of Tartar, or rather a kind of Samoed, of the same sort 
and condition of life that the Samoeds be to the north-eastwards 
beyond Muscovy, who are called Samoeds, which is as much to 
say, in the Muscovy tongue, as " eaters of themselves," and so the 
Russians, their borderers, do name them. And by late conference 
with a friend of mine (with whom I did sometime travel in the 
parts of Muscovy) who hath great experience of those Samoeds 
and people of the north-east, I find that in all their manner of 
living, those people of the north-east and these of the north-west 
are like. They are of the colour of a ripe olive, which how it 
may come to pass, being born in so cold a climate, I refer to the 
judgment of others, for they are naturally born children of the 
same colour and complexion that all the Americans are, which 
dwell under the equinoctial line. 

1578] FROBISHER. 135 

They are men very active and nimble. They are a strong 
people and very warlike, for in our sight upon the tops of the hills 
they would often muster themselves, and, after the manner of a 
skirmish, trace their ground very nimbly, and manage their bows 
and darts with great dexterity. They go clad in coats made of 
the skins of beasts, as of seals, deer, bears, foxes, and hares. 
They have also some garments of feathers, being made of the 
cases of fowls, finely sewed and compact together, of all which 
sorts we brought home with us into England which we found in 
their tents. In summer they use to wear the hairy side of their 
coats outward, and sometimes go naked for too much heat ; and 
in winter (as by signs they have declared) they wear four or five 
fold upon their bodies with the hair, for warmth, turned inwards. 
Hereby it appeareth, that the air there is not indifferent, but 
either it is fervent hot or else extreme cold, and far more ex 
cessive in both qualities than the reason of the climate should 
yield, for there it is colder, being under sixty-two degrees in 
latitude, than it is at Wardhouse, in the voyage to St. Nicholas 
in Muscovy, being at about seventy-two degrees in latitude. 
The reason hereof perhaps may be, that this Meta Incognita is 
much frequented and vexed with eastern and north - eastern 
winds, which from the sea and ice bringeth often an intolerable 
cold air, which was also the cause that this year our Straits were 
so long shut up with so great store of ice. But there is great 
hope and likelihood, that further within the Straits it will be more 
constant and temperate weather. 

These people are in nature very subtle and sharp witted, ready 
to conceive our meaning by signs, and to make answer well to 
be understood again. And if they have not seen the thing 
whereof you ask them, they will wink, or cover their eyes with 
their hands, as who would say, it hath been hid from their sight. 
If they understand you not whereof you ask them, they will stop 
their ears. They will teach us the names of each thing in their 
language which we desire to learn, and are apt to learn anything 
of us. They delight in music above measure, and will keep time 
and stroke to any tune which you shall sing, both with their voice, 
head, hand, and feet, and will sing the same tune aptly after you. 
They will row with our oars in our boats, and keep a true stroke 
with our mariners, and seem to take great delight therein. They 
live in caves of the earth, and hunt for their dinners or prey, even 
as the bear or other wild beasts do. They eat raw flesh and fish, 


and refuse no meat howsoever it be stinking. They are despe 
rate in their fight, sullen of nature, and ravenous in their manner 
of feeding. 

Their sullen and desperate nature doth herein manifestly appear, 
that a company of them being environed by our men on the top 
of a high cliff, so that they could by no means escape our hands, 
finding themselves in this case distressed, chose rather to cast 
themselves headlong down the rocks into the sea, and so be 
bruised and drowned, rather than to yield themselves to our men's 

For their weapons to offend their enemies or kill their prey 
withal, they have darts, slings, bows, and arrows headed with 
sharp stones, bones, and some with iron. They are exceeding 
friendly and kind-hearted one to the other, and mourn greatly 
at the loss or harm of their fellows, and express their grief of 
mind, when they part one from another, with a mournful song 
and dirges. 

And in all the space of two or three months, while the man 
lived in company of the woman, there was never anything 
seen or perceived between them, more than might have passed 
between brother and sister; but the woman was in all things 
very serviceable for the man, attending him carefully when he 
was sick, and he likewise in all the meats which they did eat 
together, would carve unto her of the sweetest, fattest, and best 
morsels they had. They wondered much at all our things, and 
were afraid of our horses and other beasts out of measure. 
They began to grow more civil, familiar, pleasant, and docile 
amongst us in very short time. 

They have boats made of leather, and covered clean over, saving 
one place in the middle to sit in, planked within with timber, 
and they use to row therein with one oar, more swiftly a great 
deal than we in our boats can do with twenty. They have one 
sort of greater boats wherein they can carry about twenty persons, 
and have a mast with a sail thereon, which sail is made of thin 
skins or bladders sewed together with the sinews of fishes. They 
are good fishermen, and in their small boats, being disguised 
with their coats of seal skins, they deceive the fish, who take 

1578] FROBISHER. 137 

them rather for their fellow seals than for deceiving men. 
They are good marksmen. With their dart or arrow they will 
commonly kill a duck, or any other fowl in the head, and com 
monly in the eye. When they shoot at a great fish with any of 
their darts, they use to tie a bladder thereunto, whereby they 
may the better find them again, and the fish not able to carry 
it so easily away (for that the bladder doth buoy the dart) will 
at length be weary, and die therewith. They use to traffic and 
exchange their commodities with some other people, of whom 
they have such things as their miserable country, and ignorance 
of art to make, denieth them to have, as bars of iron, heads of 
iron for their darts, needles made four square, certain buttons 
of copper, which they use to wear upon their foreheads for 
ornament, as our ladies in the Court of England do use great 
pearls. Also they have made signs unto us, that they have seen 
gold, and such bright plates of metals, which are used for orna 
ments amongst some people with whom they have conference. We 
found also in their tents a Guinea-bean of red colour, the which 
doth usually grow in the hot countries, whereby it appeareth 
they trade with other nations which dwell far off, or else them 
selves are great travellers. They have nothing in use among them 
to make fire withal, saving a kind of heath and moss which 
groweth there. 

And they kindle their fire with continual rubbing and fretting 
one stick against another, as we do with flints. They draw with 
dogs in sleds upon the ice, and remove their tents therewithal 
wherein they dwell in summer, when they go hunting for their prey 
and provision against winter. They do sometimes parboil their 
meat a little and seethe the same in kettles made of beasts' skins ; 
they have also pans cut and made of stone very artificially ; they 
use pretty gins wherewith they take fowl. The women carry their 
sucking children at their backs, and do feed them with raw flesh, 
which first they do a little chew in their own mouths. The 
women have their faces marked or painted over with small blue 
spots, they have black and long hair on their heads, and trim the 
same in a decent order. The men have but little hair on their 
faces, and very thin beards. For their common drink they eat ice 
to quench their thirst withal. Their earth yieldeth no grain or 
fruit of sustenance for man, or almost for beast, to live upon ; and 
the people will eat grass and shrubs of the ground, even as our 
kine do. They have no wood growing in their country there- 


abouts, and yet we find they have some timber among them, which 
we think doth grow far off to the southwards of this place, about 
Canada, or some other part of Newfoundland; for there belike, 
the trees standing on the cliffs of the sea-side, by the weight of 
ice and snow in winter overcharging them with weight, when the 
summer's thaw cometh above, and also the sea underfretting them 
beneath, which winneth daily of the land, they are undermined and 
fall down from those cliffs into the sea, and with the tides and 
currents are driven to and fro upon the coasts further off, and by 
conjecture are taken up here by these country people to serve 
them to plank and strengthen their boats withal, and to make 
darts, bows, and arrows, and such other things necessary for their 
use. And of this kind of drift wood we find all the seas over 
great store, which being cut or sawed asunder, by reason of long 
driving in the sea is eaten of worms, and full of holes, of which 
sort theirs is found to be. 

We have not yet found any venomous serpent or other hurtful 
thing in these parts, but there is a kind of small fly or gnat that 
stingeth and offendeth sorely, leaving many red spots in the face, 
and other places where she stingeth. They have snow and hail in 
the best time of their summer, and the ground frozen three fathoms 

These people are great enchanters, and use many charms of 
witchcraft ; for when their heads do ache they tie a great stone 
with a string unto a stick, and with certain prayers and words done 
to the stick, they lift up the stone from ground, which sometimes 
with all a man's force they cannot stir, and sometimes again they 
lift as easily as a feather, and hope thereby with certain cere 
monious words to have ease and help. And they made us by 
signs to understand, lying grovelling with their faces upon the 
ground, and making a noise downward, that they worship the devil 
under them. 

They have great store of deer, bears, hares, foxes, and in 
numerable numbers of sundry sorts of wild fowl, as sea-mews, 
gulls, willmots, ducks, &c., whereof our men killed in one day 
fifteen hundred. They have also store of hawks, as falcons, 
tassels, &c., whereof two alighted upon one of our ships at 
their return, and were brought into England, which some think 
will prove very good. There are also great store of ravens, 
larks, and partridges, whereof the country people feed. All these 
fowls are far thicker clothed with down and feathers and have 

1578] FROBISHER. 139 

thicker skins than any in England have; for as that country 
is colder, so nature hath provided a remedy thereunto. Our men 
have eaten of their bears, hares, partridges, larks, and of their 
wild fowl, and find them reasonable good meat, but not so delec 
table as ours. Their wild fowl must be all flam, their skins are 
so thick ; and they taste best fried in pans. The country seemeth 
to be much subject to earthquakes. The air is very subtle, 
piercing and searching, so that if any corrupted or infected body, 
especially with the disease called Morbus Gallicus come there, 
it will presently break forth and shew itself, and cannot there by 
any kind of salve or medicine be cured. Their longest summer's 
day is of great length, without any dark night, so that in July all 
the night long we might perfectly and easily write and read whatso 
ever had pleased us, which lightsome nights were very beneficial 
unto us, being so distressed with abundance of ice as we were. 
The sun setteth to them in the evening at a quarter of an hour 
after ten of the clock, and riseth again in the morning at three- 
quarters of an hour after one of the clock, so that in summer their 
sun shineth to them twenty hours and a-half, and in the night is 
absent three hours and a-half. And although the sun be absent 
these three hours and a half, yet it is not dark that time, for that 
the sun is never above three or four degrees under the edge of 
their horizon ; the cause is, that the tropic of Cancer doth cut their 
horizon at very uneven and oblique angles. But the moon at any 
time of the year being in Cancer, having north latitude, doth make 
a full revolution above their horizon, so that sometimes they see 
the moon above twenty-four hours together. Some of our com 
pany, of the more ignorant sort, thought we might continually have 
seen the sun and the moon, had it not have been for two or three 
high mountains. 

The people are now become so wary, and so circumspect by 
reason of their former losses, that by no means we can apprehend 
any of them, although we attempted often in this last voyage. But 
to say truth, we could not bestow any great time in pursuing them, 
because of our great business in lading and other things. 

DRAKE. 141 


FRANCIS DRAKE, the first of the English Buccaneers, was 
one of the twelve children of Edward Drake, of Tavistock, in 
Devonshire, a staunch Protestant who had fled his native 
place to avoid persecution, and had then become a ship's 
chaplain. Drake, like Columbus, had been a seaman by pro 
fession from boyhood ; and, as the reader is aware (p. 6), he 
had served as a young man, in command of the Judith, under 
Hawkins. During the ten years which elapsed between the 
disastrous third voyage of the latter and the date of the pre 
sent famous voyage (1567-1577) young Drake steadily gained 
experience as a seaman, and pursued his adopted calling of 
plundering the Spaniards. Hawkins had confined himself to 
smuggling : Drake advanced from this to piracy. This practice 
was authorized by law in the middle ages for the purpose of 
recovering debts or damages from the subjects of another nation. 
The English, especially those of the west country, were the 
most formidable pirates in the world ; and the whole nation 
was by this time roused against Spain in consequence of the 
ruthless war waged against Protestantism in the Netherlands 
by Philip the Second. Drake had accounts of his own to 
settle with the Spaniards. Though Elizabeth had not de 
clared for the revolted States, and pursued a shifting policy, 
her interests and theirs were identical; and it was with the 
view of cutting off those supplies of gold and silver from 
America which enabled Philip to bribe politicians and 


pay soldiers, in pursuit of his policy of aggression, that 
the Famous Voyage was authorized by English statesmen. 
Drake had recently made more than one successful voyage 
of plunder to the American coast; and on the nth of Feb 
ruary, 1573, the Indians of Panama had conducted him to 
the top of a lofty hill, on the top of which was a tree of 
giant growth, in which steps were hewn for ascent. Drake 
ascended the tree, and from a stage constructed near the top 
he beheld, for the first time, the great Pacific Ocean, in which 
no English vessel had ever yet sailed. Drake then and there 
resolved to be the pioneer of England in the Pacific ; and on 
this resolution he solemnly besought the blessing of God. 
Nearly four years elapsed before it was executed ; for it was 
not until November, 1577, that Drake embarked on his 
Famous Voyage, in the course of which he proposed to plunder 
Peru itself. The Peruvian ports were unfortified. The 
Spaniards knew them to be by nature absolutely secured from 
attack on the north ; and they never dreamed that the English 
pirates would be daring enough to pass the terrible Straits of 
Magellan and attack them from the south. Such was the plan 
of Drake ; and it was executed with complete success. Laden 
with a rich booty of Peruvian treasure, he deemed it unsafe 
to return by the way that he came. He therefore resolved to 
strike across the Pacific, and for this purpose made the latitude 
in which this voyage was usually performed by the Spanish 
Government vessels which sailed annually from Acapulco to 
the Philippines. Drake thus reached the coast of California, 
' where the Indians, delighted beyond measure by presents of 
clothing and trinkets, invited him to remain and rule over 
them. Drake took possession of the country in the name of 
the Queen, and refitted his vessel in preparation for the 
unknown perils of the Pacific. The place where he landed 

DRAKE. 143 

must have been either the great bay of San Francisco or the 
small bay of Bodega, which lies a few leagues farther north. 
The great seaman had already coasted five degrees more to 
the northward before finding a suitable harbour.* He believed 
himself to be the first European who had coasted these shores ; 
but it is now well known that Spanish explorers had preceded 

Drake's circumnavigation of the globe was thus no de 
liberate feat of seamanship, but the necessary result of circum 
stances. The voyage made in more than one way a great 
epoch in English nautical history. It encouraged Englishmen 
to extend their enterprises in defiance of the attitude of Spain, 
and thus contributed to the occupation of North America; 
and it also proved the possibility of opening a trade round the 
Cape of Good Hope to India and the Malay Archipelago. 
Drake had not only defied the Spaniards in America ; he had 
been the first Englishman to visit the rich Oriental islands 
which the Portuguese had first reached, and which had now 
fallen, together with Portugal, into the avaricious grasp of 

The account which follows was written by Francis Pretty, 
one of the crew of Drake's vessel, at the request of Hakluyt. 
It is a plain and even meagre narrative, but no additional 
facts of any importance are contained in the more diffuse rela 
tion of Francis Fletcher, the chaplain. The trial and execu 
tion of Doughty in Port St. Julian form a characteristic 
episode. When the Pelican lay off Java, it would seem that 
Fletcher was near meeting the same fate. Drake found him 

* Davis and Sir William Monson erroneously state that Drake went as far north as 
forty-eight degrees. The true reading is forty-three. Drake never reached the mouth of 
the Columbia river. 


guilty of mutiny ; but, instead of beheading him, he contented 
himself with excommunication. Calling the ship's comp.-my 
together, he caused the rebellious chaplain to be chained by 
the leg to the hatches, and then " sitting cross-legged on a 
chest, and a pair of pantofles in his hand," he said, " Francis 
Fletcher, I do here excommunicate thee out of the Church of 
God, and from all the benefits and graces thereof; and I 
renounce thee to the devil and all his angels." A "posy" 
was then bound round Fletcher's arm, which read thus : 
"Francis Fletcher, the falsest knave that liveth." Drake 
swore that the chaplain should hang if he took it off, or ever 
appeared before the mast. 

Drake's old ship, the Pelican, named, after the Famous 
Voyage, the Golden Hind, was long an object of veneration to 
the seamen of Deptford. When she was broken up, John 
Davis caused a chair to be made out of her, and presented it 
to the University of Oxford. This interesting relic is still 
preserved over the Bodleian Library. Cowley's fine lines, 
written while sitting and drinking in it, are well-known : 

Great Relic ! thou, too, in this port of ease, 
Hast still one way of making voyages : 
The breath of fame, like an auspicious gale, 
(The greater trade-wind, which does never fail) 
Shall drive thee round the world, and thou shalt run 
As long around it as the sun. 
The straits of time too narrow are for thee 
Launch forth into an undiscovered sea, 
And steer the endless course of vast eternity : 
Take for thy sail, this verse, and for thy pilot, me. 

I 5 77] DRAKE. 145 



South Sea, and therehence about the whole globe of the 
earth) begun in the year of our Lord, IS77- 

ON the 1 5th day of November, in the year of Our Lord 1577, 
Mr. Francis Drake, with a fleet of five ships and barques, and to 
the number of 164 men, gentlemen and sailors, departed from 
Plymouth, giving out his pretended voyage for Alexandria; but 
the wind falling contrary, he was forced the next morning to put 
into Falmouth Haven, in Cornwall, where such and so terrible a 
tempest took us, as few men have seefi the like, and was indeed so 
vehement that all our ships were like to have gone to wreck ; but 
it pleased God to preserve us from that extremity, and to afflict us 
only for that present with these two particulars : The mast of our 
Admiral, which was the Pelican, was cut overboard for the safe 
guard of the ship, and the Marigold was driven ashore, and some 
what bruised : for the repairing of which damages we returned 
again to Plymouth, and having recovered those harms, and brought 
the ships again to good state, we set forth the second time from 
Plymouth, and set sail on the I3th day of December following. 

On the 25th day of the same month we fell with the Cape 
Cantin, upon the coast of Barbary, and coasting along, the 27th 
day we found an island called Mogador, lying one mile distant 
from the main, between which island and the main we found a 
very good and safe harbour for our ships to ride in, as also very 
good entrance, and void of any danger. On this island our 
General erected a pinnace, whereof he brought out of England 
with him four already framed. While these things were in doing, 
there came to the water's side some of the inhabitants of the 


country, shewing forth their flags of truce, which being seen of 
our General, he sent his ship's boat to the shore to know what 
they would: they being willing to come aboard, our men left 
there one man of our company for a pledge, and brought two of 
theirs aboard our ship, which by signs shewed our General 
that the next day they would bring some provision, as sheep, 
capons, and hens, and such like : whereupon our General bestowed 
amongst them some linen cloth and shoes, and a javelin, 
which they very joyfully received, and departed for that time. 
The next morning they failed not to come again to the water's 
side, and our General again setting out our boat, one of our men 
leaping over-rashly ashore, and offering friendly to embrace them, 
they set violent hands on him, offering a dagger to his throat if he 
had made any resistance, and so laying him on a horse carried him 
away ; so that a man cannot be too circumspect and wary of him 
self among such miscreants. Our pinnace being finished, we 
departed from this place on the 3oth and last day of December, 
and coasting along the shore we did descry, not contrary to 
our expectation, certain canters, which were Spanish fisher 
men, to whom we gave chase and took three of them, and pro 
ceeding further we met with three caravels, and took them also. 

On the I yth day of January we arrived at Cape Blanco, where 
we found a ship riding at anchor, within the Cape, and but two 
simple mariners in her, which ship we took and carried her further 
into the harbour, where we remained four days, and in that space 
our General mustered and trained his men on land in warlike 
manner, to make them fit for all occasions. In this place we 
took of the fishermen such necessaries as we wanted, and they 
could yield us, and leaving here one of our little barques, 
called the Benedict, we took with us one of theirs which they 
called canters, being of the burden of 40 tons or thereabouts. 
All these things being finished we departed this harbour on the 
22nd of January, carrying along with us one of the Portugal 
caravels, which was bound to the islands of Cape de Verde 
for salt, whereof good store is made in one of those islands. 
The master or pilot of that caravel did advertise our General 
that upon one of those islands called Mayo, there was great store 
of dried cabritos,* which a few inhabitants there dwelling did 

* Goats. 

1578] DRAKE. 147 

yearly make ready for such of the king's ships as did there touch, 
being bound for his country of Brazil or elsewhere. We fell with 
this island on the 27th of January, but the inhabitants would in no 
case traffic with us, being thereof forbidden by the king's edict ; 
yet the next day our General sent to view the island, and the like 
lihoods that might be there of provision of victuals, about three 
score and two men under the conduct and government of Master 
Winter and Master Doughty, and marching towards the chief 
place of habitation in this island (as by the Portugal we were 
informed) having travelled to the mountains the space of three 
miles, and arriving there somewhat before the daybreak, but 
arrested ourselves to see day before us, which appearing, we found 
the inhabitants to be fled ; but the place, by reason that it was 
manured, we found to be more fruitful than the other part, 
especially the valleys among the hills. 

Here we gave ourselves a little refreshing, as by very ripe and 
sweet grapes, which the fruitfulness of the earth at that season of 
the year yielded us ; and that season being with us the depth .of 
winter, it may seem strange that those fruits were then there grow 
ing ; but the reason thereof is this, because they being between 
the tropic and the equinoctial, the sun passeth twice in the year 
through their zenith over their heads, by means whereof they have 
two summers, and being so near the heat of the line they never 
lose the heat of the sun so much, but the fruits have their increase 
and continuance in the midst of winter. The island is wonderfully 
stored with goats and wild hens, and it hath salt also without 
labour, save only that the people gather it into heaps, which con 
tinually in great quantity is increased upon the sands by the flow 
ing of the sea, and the receiving heat of the sun kerning the same, 
so that of the increase thereof they keep a continual traffic with 
their neighbours. 

Amongst other things we found here a kind of fruit called cocoas, 
which because it is not commonly known with us in England, I 
thought good to make some description of it. The tree beareth 
no leaves nor branches, but at the very top the fruit groweth 
in clusters, hard at the top of the stem of the tree, as big 
every several fruit as a man's head; but having taken off the 
outermost bark, which you shall find to be very full of strings 
or sinews, as I may term them, you shall come to a hard shell, 
which may hold in quantity of liquor a pint commonly, or some a 
quart, and some less; within that shell of the thickness of 

L 2 


half-an-inch good, you shall have a kind of hard substance 
and very white, no less good and sweet than almonds; within 
that again a certain clear liquor, which being drunk, you shall 
not only find it very delicate and sweet, but most comfortable 
and cordial. 

After we had satisfied ourselves with some of these fruits, we 
marched further into the island, and saw great store of cabritos 
alive, which were so chased by the inhabitants that we could do 
no good towards our provision, but they had laid out, as it 
were, to stop our mouths withal, certain old dried cabritos, 
which being but ill, and small and few, we made no account of. 
Being returned to our ships, our General departed hence the 
3 ist of this month, and sailed by the island of Santiago, but far 
enough from the danger of the inhabitants, who shot and dis 
charged at us three pieces, but they all fell short of us, and did us 
no harm. The island is fair and large, and, as it seemeth, rich and 
fruitful, and inhabited by the Portugals, but the mountains and 
high places of the island are said to be possessed by the Moors, 
who having been slaves to the Portugals, to ease themselves, 
made escape to the desert places of the island, where they abide 
with great strength. Being before this island, we espied two 
ships under sail, to the one of which we gave chase, and in 
the end boarded her with a ship-boat without resistance, which 
we found to be a good prize, and she yielded unto us good 
store of wine ; which prize our General committed to the custody 
of Master Doughty, and retaining the pilot, sent the rest away 
with his pinnace, giving them a butt of wine and some victuals, 
and their wearing clothes, and so they departed. The same 
night we came with the island called by the Portuguese Ilha 
del Fogo, that is, the burning island ; in the north side whereof 
is a consuming fire. The matter is said to be of sulphur, 
but, notwithstanding, it is like to be a commodious island, 
because the Portugals have built, and do inhabit there. Upon 
the south-side thereof lieth a most pleasant and sweet island, 
the trees whereof are always green and fair to look upon, in 
respect whereof they call it Ilha Brava, that is, the brave 
island. From the banks thereof into the sea do run in many 
places reasonable streams of fresh water easy to be come by, but 
there was no convenient road for our ships; for such was the 
depth that no ground could be had for anchoring, and it is re 
ported, that ground was never found in that place, so that the tops 

I57 8 ] DRAKE. 149 

of Fogo burn not so high in the air, but the roots of Brava are 
quenched as low in the sea. 

Being departed from these islands, we drew towards the line, 
where we were becalmed the space of three weeks, but yet subject 
to divers great storms, terrible lightnings and much thunder ; but 
with this misery we had the commodity of great store of fish, as 
dolphins, bonitos, and flying-fishes, whereof some fell into our 
ships, wherehence they could not rise again for want of moisture, 
for when their wings are dry they cannot fly. 

From the first day of our departure from the islands of Cape de 
Verde, we sailed fifty-four days without sight of land, and the first 
land that we fell with was the coast of Brazil, which we saw on 
the 5th of April, in the height of 33 degrees towards the Pole 
Antarctic, and being discovered at sea by the inhabitants of the 
country, they made upon the coast great fires for a sacrifice (as we 
learned) to the devils, about which they use conjurations, making 
heaps of sand, and other ceremonies, that when any ship shall go 
about to stay upon their coast, not only sands may be gathered 
together in shoals in every place, but also that storms and tem 
pests may arise, to the casting away of ships and men, whereof (as 
it is reported) there have been divers experiments. 

On the 7th day in a mighty great storm, both of lightning, rain, and 
thunder, we lost the canter which we called the Christopher; but 
the eleventh day after, by our General's great care in dispersing 
his ships, we found her again, and the place where we met our 
General called the Cape of Joy, where every ship took in some 
water. Here we found a good temperature and sweet air, a very 
fair and pleasant country with an exceeding fruitful soil, where 
were great store of large and mighty deer, but we came not to the 
sight of any people ; but travelling further into the country we 
perceived the footing of people in the clay-ground, shewing that 
they were men of great stature. Being returned to our ships we 
weighed anchor, and ran somewhat further, and harboured our 
selves between the rock and the main, where by means of the rock 
that broke the force of the sea, we rode very safe, and upon this 
rock we killed for our provision certain sea-wolves, commonly 
called with us seals. From hence we went our course to 36 
degrees, and entered the great river of Plate, and ran into 54 
and 53^ fathoms of fresh water, where we filled our water by 
the ship's side ; but our General finding here no good harbour, 
as he thought he should, bore out again to sea on the 2/th of April, 


and in bearing out we lost sight of our fly-boat, wherein Master 
Doughty was. But we sailing along, found a fair and reasonable 
good bay, wherein were many and the same profitable islands, 
one whereof had so many seals as would at the least have laden 
all our ships, and the rest of the islands are, as it were, laden with 
fowls, which is wonderful to see, and they of divers sorts. It is a 
place very plentiful of victuals, and hath in it no want of fresh water. 
Our General, after certain days of his abode in this place, being 
on shore in an island, the people of the country shewed themselves 
unto him, leaping and dancing, and entered into traffic with him, 
but they would not receive anything at any man's hands, but the 
same must be cast upon the ground. They are of clean, comely, 
and strong bodies, swift on foot, and seem to be very active. 

On the 1 8th day of May, our General thought it needful to have 
a care of such ships as were absent, and therefore endeavouring 
to seek the fly-boat wherein Master Doughty was, we espied her 
again the next day ; and whereas certain of our ships were sent to 
discover the coast and to search an harbour, the Marigold and the 
canter being employed in that business, came unto us and gave us 
understanding of a safe harbour that they had found, wherewith 
all our ships bare, and entered it, where we watered and made 
new provision of victuals, as by seals, whereof we slew to the 
number of two or three hundred in the space of an hour. , 
Here our General in the Admiral rode close aboard the fly- 
boat, and took out of her all the provision of victuals and what 
else was in her, and hauling her to the land, set fire to her, and so 
burnt her to save the iron work ; which being a-doing, there came 
down of the country certain of the people naked, saving only 
about their waist the skin of some beast, with the fur or hair on, 
and something also wreathed on their heads. Their faces were 
painted with divers colours, and some of them had on their 
heads the similitude of horns, every man his bow, which was an 
ell in length, and a couple of arrows. They were very agile 
people and quick to deliver, and seemed not to be ignorant in 
the feats of war, as by their order of ranging a few men might 
appear. These people would not of a long time receive any 
thing at our hands ; yet at length our General being ashore, and 
they dancing after their accustomed manner about him, and he 
once turning his back towards them, one leaped suddenly to 
him, and took his cap with his gold band off his head, and ran 
a little distance from him, and shared it with his fellow, the cap 

I57 8 ] DRAKE. 151 

to the one, and the band to the other. Having despatched all our 
business in this place, we departed and set sail, and immediately 
upon our setting forth we lost our canter, which was absent three 
or four days ; but when our General had her again, he took out the 
necessaries, and so gave her over, near to the Cape of Good Hope. 
The next day after, being the 2oth of June, we harboured our 
selves again in a very good harbour, called by Magellan, Port 
St. Julian, where we found a gibbet standing upon the main, 
which we supposed to be the place where Magellan did execution 
upon some of his disobedient and rebellious company. 

On the 22nd of June our General went ashore to the main, and 
in his company John Thomas, and Robert Winterhie, Oliver the 
Master-Gunner, John Brewer, Thomas Hood, and Thomas Drake. 
And entering on land, they presently met with two or three of the 
country people. And Robert Winterhie having in his hands a bow 
and arrows, went about to make a shoot of pleasure, and, in his 
draught, his bowstring brake, which the rude savages taking as a 
token of war, began to bend the force of their bows against our 
company, and drove them to their shifts very narrowly. 

In this port our General began to enquire diligently of the 
actions of Master Thomas Doughty, and found them not to be 
such as he looked for, but tending rather to contention or mutiny, 
or some other disorder, whereby (without redress) the success of 
the voyage might greatly have been hazarded. Whereupon the com 
pany was called together and made acquainted with the particulars 
of the cause, which were found partly by Master Dough ty's own 
confession, and partly by the evidence of the fact, to be true ; 
which, when our General saw, although his private affection 
for Master Doughty (as he then in the presence of us all sacredly 
protested) was great, yet the care he had of the state of the voyage, 
of the expectation of Her Majesty, and of the honour of his 
country did more touch him (as indeed it ought) than the private 
respect of one man. So that the cause being thoroughly heard, 
and all things done in good order as near as might be to the 
course of our laws in England, it was concluded that Master 
Doughty should receive punishment according to the quality of 
the offence. And he, seeing no remedy but patience for himself, 
desired before his death to receive the communion, which he did 
at the hands of Master Fletcher, our Minister, and our General 
himself accompanied him in that holy action. Which being done, 
and the place of execution made ready, he having embraced our 


General, and taken his leave of all the company, with prayers for 
the Queen's Majesty and our realm, in quiet sort laid his head to 
the block, where he ended his life. This being done, our General 
made divers speeches to the whole company, persuading us to 
unity, obedience, love, and regard of our voyage, and for the 
better confirmation thereof, willed every man the next Sunday 
following to prepare himself to receive the communion, as 
Christian brethren and friends ought to do, which was done in 
very reverent sort. And so with good contentment every man went 
about his business. 

On the 1 7th of August we departed the port of St. Julian, and 
on the 20th we fell in with the Straits of Magellan, going into the 
South Sea, at the cape or headland whereof we found the body of 
a dead man, whose flesh was clean consumed. On the 2ist day 
we entered the Straits, which we found to have many turnings, and 
as it were shuttings-up, as if there were no passage at all, by means 
whereof we had the wind often against us, so that some of the 
fleet recovering a cape or point of land, others should be forced 
to turn back again, and to come to an anchor where they could. 
In this Strait there be many fair harbours, with store of fresh 
water, but yet they lack their best commodity, for the water there 
is of such depth, that no man shall find ground to anchor in, 
except it be in some narrow river or corner, or between some 
rocks, so that if any extreme blasts or contrary winds do come 
(whereunto the place is much subject) it carrieth with it no small 
danger. The land on both sides is very huge and mountainous, the 
lower mountains whereof, although they be monstrous and wonder 
ful to look upon for their height, yet there are others which in 
height exceed them in a strange manner, reaching themselves 
above their fellows so high, that between them did appear three 
regions of clouds. These mountains are covered with snow. At 
both the southerly and easterly parts of the Straits there are 
islands, among which the sea hath his indraught into the Straits, 
even as it hath in the main entrance of the Strait. This Strait is 
extreme cold, with frost and snow continually ; the trees seem to 
stoop with the burden of the weather, and yet are green con 
tinually, and many good and sweet herbs do very plentifully grow 
and increase under them. The breadth of the Straits is in some 
places a league, in some other places two leagues and three 
leagues, and in some other four leagues, but the narrowest place 
hath a league over. 

1578] DRAKE. 153 

On the 24th of August we arrived at an island in the Straits, 
where we found great store of fowl which could not fly, of the 
bigness of geese, whereof we killed in less than one day three 
thousand, and victualled ourselves thoroughly therewith. On the 6th 
of September we entered the South Sea at the cape or head shore. 
On the 7th we were driven by a great storm from the entering 
into the South Sea, 200 leagues and odd in longitude, and one 
degree to the southward of the Straits, in which height, and so 
many leagues to the westward, the i$th of September, fell out 
the eclipse of the moon at the hour of six of the clock at night ; 
but neither did the ecliptical conflict of the moon impair our 
state, nor her clearing again amend us a whit, but the accus 
tomed eclipse of the sea continued in his force, we being darkened 
more than the moon sevenfold. 

From the Bay (which we called the Bay of the Severing of 
Friends) we were driven back to the southward of the Straits in 
57 degrees and a terce ; in which height we came to an anchor 
among the islands, having there fresh and very good water, with 
herbs of singular virtue. Not far from hence we entered another 
bay, where we found people (both men and women) in their canoes 
naked, and ranging from one island to another to seek their meat, 
who entered traffic with us for such things as they had. We return 
ing hence northward again, found on the 3rd of October three islands, 
in one of which was such plenty of birds as is scant credible to re 
port. On the 8th of October we lost sight of one of our consorts, 
wherein Master Winter was, who as then we supposed, was put by 
a storm into the Straits again, which at our return home we found 
to be true, and he not perished, as some of our company feared. 
Thus being come into the height of the Straits again, we ran, 
supposing the coast of Chili to lie as the general maps have 
described it, namely north-west, which we found to lie and trend 
to the north-east and eastwards, whereby it appeareth that this 
part of Chili hath not been truly hitherto discovered, or at the 
least not truly reported for the space of twelve degrees at the 
least, being set down either of purpose to deceive, or of ignorant 

We continuing our course, fell the 29th of November with an 
island called La Mocha, where we cast anchor, and our General 
hoisting out our boat, went with ten of our company to shore, 
where we found people, whom the cruel and extreme dealings of 
the Spaniards have forced, for their own safety and liberty, to flee 


from the main, and to fortify themselves in the island. We being 
on land, the people came down to us to the water side with show 
of great courtesy, bringing to us potatoes, roots, and two very fat 
sheep, which our General received, and gave them other things for 
them, and had promise to have water there. But the next day 
repairing again to the shore, and sending two men to land with 
barrels to fill water, the people taking them for Spaniards (to 
whom they use to show no favour if they take them) laid violent 
hands on them, and, as we think, slew them. 

Our General seeing this, stayed here no longer, but weighed 
anchor, and set sail towards the coast of Chili, and drawing 
towards it, we met near to the shore an Indian in a canoe, who 
thinking us to have been Spaniards, came to us and told us, that 
at a place called Santiago, there was a great Spanish ship laden 
from the kingdom of Peru, for which good news our General gave 
him divers trifles. Whereof he was glad, and went along with us 
and brought us to the place, which is called the port of Valparaiso. 
When we came thither we found, indeed, the ship riding at 
anchor, having in her eight Spaniards and three negroes, who, 
thinking us to have been Spaniards, and their friends, welcomed 
us with a drum, and made ready a Bottija of wine of Chili to 
drink to us. But as soon as we were entered, one of our company 
called Thomas Moon began to lay about him, and struck one of 
the Spaniards, and said unto him, " Abaxo perro ! " that is in 
English, " Go down, dog ! " One of these Spaniards, seeing 
persons of that quality in these seas, all to crossed and blessed 
himself. But, to be short, we stowed them under hatches, all 
save one Spaniard, who suddenly and desperately leapt over 
board into the sea, and swam ashore to the the town of Santiago, 
to give them warning of our arrival. 

They of the town being not above nine households, presently 
fled away and abandoned the town. Our General manned his 
boat and the Spanish ship's boat and went to the town, and, being 
come to it, we rifled it, and came to a small chapel, which we 
entered, and found therein a silver chalice, two cruets, and one 
altar-cloth, the spoil whereof our General gave to Mr. Fletcher, his 
minister. We found, also in this town a warehouse stored with wine 
of Chili and many boards of cedar-wood, all which wine we brought 
away with us, and certain of the boards to burn for firewood. And 
so, being come aboard, we departed the haven, having first set all 
the Spaniards on land, saving one John Griego, a Greek born, 

1579] DRAKE. 155 

whom our General carried with him as pilot to bring him into the 
haven of Lima. 

When we were at sea our General rifled the ship, and found in 
her good store of the wine of Chili, and 25,000 pesos of very pure 
and fine gold of Valdivia, amounting in value to 37,000 ducats of 
Spanish money, and above. So, going on our course, we arrived 
next at a place called Coquimbo, where our General sent fourteen 
of his men on land to fetch water. But they were espied by the 
Spaniards, who came with 300 horsemen and 200 footmen, and 
slew one of our men with a piece. The rest came aboard in safety, 
and the Spaniards departed. We went on shore again and buried 
our man, and the Spaniards came down again with a flag of truce ; 
but we set sail, and would not trust them. From hence we 
went to a certain port called Tarapaca, where, being landed, we 
found by the sea side a Spaniard lying asleep, who had lying 
by him thirteen bars of silver, which weighed 4,000 ducats 
Spanish. We took the silver and left the man. Not far 
from hence, going on land for fresh water, we met with 
a Spaniard and an Indian boy driving eight llamas or sheep of 
Peru, which are as big as asses ; everyone of which sheep had on 
his back two bags of leather, each bag containing 50 Ibs. weight of 
fine silver. So that, bringing both the sheep and their burthen to 
the ship, we found in all the bags 800 weight of silver. 

Herehence we sailed to a place called Arica, and, being entered 
the haven, we found there three small barques, which we rifled, and 
found in one of them fifty-seven wedges of silver, each of them 
weighing about 20 Ibs. weight, and every of these wedges 
were of the fashion and bigness of a brickbat. In all these 
three barques we found not one person. For they, mistrusting no 
strangers, were all gone on land to the town, which consisteth of 
about twenty houses, which we would have ransacked if our com 
pany had been better and more in number. But our General, 
contented with the spoil of the ships, left the town and put oft 
again to sea, and set sail for Lima, and, by the way, met with a 
small barque, which he boarded, and found in her good store of 
linen cloth. Whereof taking some quantity, he let her go. 

To Lima we came on the I3th of February, and, being entered 
the haven, we found there about twelve sail of ships lying fast 
moored at anchor, having all their sails carried on shore ; for the 
masters and merchants were here most secure, having never been 
assaulted by enemies, and at this time feared the approach of none 


such as we were. Our General rifled these ships, and found in one 
of them a chest full of reals of plate, and good store of silks and 
linen cloth, and took the chest into his own ship, and good store of 
the silks and linen. In which ship he had news of another ship called 
the Cacafuego, which was gone towards Payta,and that the same ship 
was laden with treasure. Whereupon we stayed no longer here, 
but, cutting all the cables of the ships in the haven, we let them 
drive whither they would, either to sea or to the shore, and with 
all speed we followed the Cacafuego toward Payta, thinking there 
to have found her ; but before we arrived there she was gone from 
thence towards Panama, whom our General still pursued, and by 
the way met with a barque laden with ropes and tackle for ships^ 
which he boarded and searched, and found in her 80 Ibs. weight of 
gold, and a crucifix of gold with goodly great emeralds set in it, 
which he took, and some of the cordage also for his own ship. 

From hence we departed, still following the Cacafuego ; and our 
General promised our company that whosoever should first descry 
her should have his chain of gold for his good news. It fortuned 
that John Drake, going up into the top, descried her at about 
three o'clock, and at about six o'clock we came to her and boarded 
her, and shot at her three pieces of ordnance, and struck down 
her mizen, and, being entered, we found in her great riches, as 
jewels and precious stones, thirteen chests full of reals of plate, 
fourscore pounds weight of gold, and six-and-twenty tons of silver. 
The place where we took this prize was called Cape de San 
Francisco, about 150 leagues from Panama. The pilot's name 
of this ship was Francisco, and amongst other plate that 
our General found in this ship he found two very fair gilt 
bowls of silver, which were the pilot's, to whom our General 
said, " Sefior Pilot, you have here two silver cups ; but I must 
needs have one of them," which the pilot, because he could not 
otherwise choose, yielded unto, and gave the other to the 
steward of our General's ships. When this pilot departed from 
us, his boy said thus unto our General, " Captain, our ship shall 
be called no more the Cacafuego, but the Cacaplata, and your ship 
shall be called the Cacafuego," which pretty speech of the pilot's 
boy ministered matter of laughter to us, both then and long after. 
When our General had done what he would with this Cacafuego, 
he cast her off, and we went on our course still towards the west, 
and not long after met with a ship laden with linen cloth and 
fine China dishes of white earth, and great store of China silks, 

1579] DRAKE. 157 

of all which things we took as we listed. The owner himself of 
this ship was in her, who was a Spanish gentleman, from whom 
our General took a faulcon of gold, with a great emerald in the 
breast thereof; and the pilot of the ship he took also with him, 
and so cast the ship off. 

This pilot brought us to the haven of Aguatulco, the town 
whereof, as he told us, had but seventeen Spaniards in it. As soon 
as we were entered this haven, we landed, and went presently to 
the town and to the Town-house, where we found a judge sitting 
in judgment, being associated with three other officers, upon three 
negroes that had conspired the burning of the town. Both which 
judges and prisoners we took, and brought them a-shipboard, and 
caused the chief judge to write his letter to the town to command 
all the townsmen to avoid, that we might safely water there, which 
being done, and they departed, we ransacked the town, and in one 
house we found a pot, of the quantity of a bushel, full of reals of 
plate, which we brought to our ship. And here one Thomas Moon, 
one of our company, took a Spanish gentleman as he was flying 
out of the town, and, searching him, he found a chain of gold 
about him, and other jewels, which he took, and so let him go. 
At this place our General, among other Spaniards, set ashore his 
Portuguese pilot which he took at the Islands of Cape Verde out of 
a ship of St. Mary Port, of Portugal ; and having set them ashore 
we departed hence, and sailed to the Island of Canno, where our 
General landed, and brought to shore his own ship, and discharged 
her, mended and graved her, and furnished our ship with water 
and wood sufficiently. 

And while we were here we espied a ship and set sail after her, 
and took her, and found in her two pilots and a Spanish Governor, 
going for the Islands of the Philippines. We searched the ship, 
and took some of her merchandise, and so let her go. Our 
General at this place and time, thinking himself, both in respect 
of his private injuries received from the Spaniards, as also of their 
contempts and indignities offered to our country and Prince in 
general, sufficiently satisfied and revenged; and supposing that 
her Majesty at his return would rest contented with this service, 
purposed to continue no longer upon the Spanish coast, but began 
to consider and to consult of the best way for his country. 

He thought it not good to return by the Straits, for two special 
causes the one, lest the Spaniards should there wait and attend 
for him in great number and strength, whose hands, he, being left 


but one ship, could not possibly escape. The other cause was the 
dangerous situation of the mouth of the Straits in the South Sea, 
where continual storms reigning and blustering, as he found by 
experience, besides the shoals and sands upon the coast, he 
thought it not a good course to adventure that way. He resolved, 
therefore, to avoid these hazards, to go forward to the Islands of 
the Moluccas, and there hence to sail the course of the Portuguese 
by the Cape of Buena Esperanza. Upon this resolution he began 
to think of his best way to the Moluccas, and finding himself, 
where he now was, becalmed, he saw that of necessity he must 
be forced to take a Spanish course namely to sail somewhat 
northerly to get a wind. We therefore set sail, and sailed 600 
leagues at the least for a good wind; and thus much we sailed 
from the i6th of April till the 3rd of June. 

On the 5th of June, being in forty-three degrees towards the 
Arctic Pole, we found the air so cold, that our men being grievously 
pinched with the same, complained of the extremity thereof, and 
the further we went, the more the cold increased upon us. Where 
upon we thought it best for that time to seek the land, and did so, 
finding it not mountainous, but low plain land, till we came within 
thirty-eight degrees towards the line. In which height it pleased 
God to send us into a fair and good bay, with a good wind to enter 
the same. In this bay we anchored, and the people of the 
country having their houses close by the waterside, shewed them 
selves unto us, and sent a present to our General. When they 
came unto us, they greatly wondered at the things that we 
brought, but our General (according to his natural and ac 
customed humanity) courteously entreated them, and liberally 
bestowed on them necessary things to cover their nakedness, 
whereupon they supposed us to be gods, and would not be 
persuaded to the contrary: the presents which they sent to our 
General, were feathers, and cauls of net-work. Their houses are 
digged round about with earth, and have from the uttermost brims 
of the circle, clifts of wood set upon them, joined. close together 
at the top like a spire steeple, which by reason of that close 
ness are very warm. Their bed is the ground with rushes strewed 
on it, and lying about the house, they have the fire in the midst. 
The men go naked, the women take bulrushes, and comb them 
after the manner of hemp, and thereof make their loose gar 
ments, which being knit about their middles, hang down about 
their hips, having also about their shoulders a skin of deer, with 

1579] DRAKE. 159 

the hair upon it. These women are very obedient and serviceable 
to their husbands. 

After they were departed from us, they came and visited us the 
second time, and brought with them feathers and bags of tobacco 
for presents ; and when they came to the top of the hill (at the 
bottom whereof we had pitched our tents) they stayed themselves, 
where one appointed for speaker wearied himself by making a 
long oration, which done, they left their bows upon the hill, and 
came down with their presents. In the meantime the women re 
maining upon the hill, tormented themselves lamentably, tearing 
their flesh from their cheeks, whereby we perceived that they 
were about a sacrifice. In the meantime our General with his 
company went to prayer, and to reading of the Scriptures, at 
which exercise they were attentive, and seemed greatly to be. 
affected with it ; but when they were come unto us, they restored 
again unto us those things which before we bestowed upon them. 
The news of our being there spread through the country, the 
people that inhabited round about came down, and amongst them 
the King himself, a man of goodly stature, and comely personage, 
with many other tall and warlike men ; before whose coming were 
sent two Ambassadors to our General, to signify that their King 
was coming, in doing of which message, their speech was con 
tinued about half-an-hour. This ended, they by signs requested 
our General to send something by their hand to their King, as 
a token that his coming might be in peace ; wherein our General 
having satisfied them, they returned with glad tidings to their King, 
who marched to us with a princely majesty, the people crying con 
tinually after their manner, and as they drew near unto us, so did 
they strive to behave themselves in their actions with comeliness. 
In the fore-front was a man of goodly personage, who bore the 
sceptre or mace before the King, whereupon hanged two crowns, 
a less and a bigger, with three chains of a marvellous length ; the 
crowns were made of knit- work wrought artificially with feathers of 
divers colours ; the chains were made of a bony substance, and 
few be the persons among them that are admitted to wear them, 
and of that number also the persons are stinted, as some ten, some 
twelve, &c. Next unto him which bore the sceptre, was the King 
himself, with his guard about his person, clad with coney skins, 
and other skins ; after them followed the naked common sort 
of people, every one having his face painted, some with white, 
some with black, and other colours, and having in their hands one 


thing or Another for a present, not so much as their children, but 
they also brought their presents. 

In the meantime our General gathered his men together, and 
marched within his fenced place, making against their approach 
ing, a very warlike show. They being trooped together in their 
order, and a general salutation being made, there was presently a 
general silence. Then he that bore the sceptre before the King, 
being informed by another, whom they assigned to that office, with 
a manly and lofty voice proclaimed that which the other spake to 
him in secret, continuing half-an-hour ; which ended, and a 
general amen as it were given, the King with the whole number 
of men and women (the children excepted) came down without 
any weapon, who descending to the foot of the hill, set themselves 
in order. In coming towards our bulwarks and tents, the sceptre- 
bearer began a song, observing his measures in a dance, and that 
with a stately countenance, whom the King with his guard, and 
every degree of persons following, did in like manner sing and dance, 
saving only the women, which danced and kept silence. The 
General permitted them to enter within our bulwarks, where they 
continued their song and dance a reasonable time. When they 
had satisfied themselves, they made signs to our General to sit 
down, to whom the King and divers others made several orations, 
or rather supplications, that he would take their province and 
kingdom into his hand, and become their King, making signs that 
they would resign unto him their right and title of the whole land, 
and become his subjects. In which, to persuade us the better, 
the King and the rest, with one consent, and with great reverence, 
joyfully singing a song, did set the crown upon his head, enriched 
his neck with all their chains, and offered him many other things, 
honouring him by the name of Hioh, adding thereunto as it 
seemed, a sign of triumph ; which thing our General thought not 
meet to reject, because he knew not what honour and profit it 
might be to our country. Wherefore in the name, and to the use 
of her majesty, he took the sceptre, crown, and dignity of the said 
country into his hands, wishing that the riches and treasure thereof 
might so conveniently be transported to the enriching of her king 
dom at home, as it abounded in the same. 

The common sort of people leaving the King and his guard with 
our General, scattered themselves together with their sacrifices 
among our people, taking a diligent view of every person : and 
such as pleased their fancy (which were the youngest), they 

1579] DRAKE. l6l 

enclosing them about offered their sacrifices unto them with 
lamentable weeping, scratching, and tearing their flesh from their 
faces with their nails, whereof issued abundance of blood. But 
we used signs to them of disliking this, and stayed their hands 
from force, and directed them upwards to the living God, whom only 
they ought to worship. They shewed unto us their wounds, and 
craved help of them at our hands, whereupon we gave them 
lotions, plaisters, and ointments agreeing to the state of their 
griefs, beseeching God to cure their diseases. Every third day they 
brought their sacrifices unto us, until they understood our meaning, 
that we had no pleasure in them; yet they could not be long 
absent from us, but daily frequented our company to the hour 
of our departure, which departure seemed so grievous unto them, 
that their joy was turned into sorrow. They entreated us, that 
being absent we would remember them, and by stealth provided 
a sacrifice, which we misliked. 

Our necessary business being ended, our General with his 
company travelled up into the country to their villages, where 
we found herds of deer by thousands in a company, being most 
large, and fat of body. We found the whole country to be 
a warren of a strange kind of coneys, their bodies in bigness 
as be the Barbary coneys, their heads as the heads of ours, 
the feet of a want, and the tail of a rat, being of great 
length. Under her chin is on either side a bag, into the 
which she gathereth her meat, when she hath filled her belly 
abroad. The people eat their bodies, and make great account 
of their skins, for their King's coat was made of them. 

Our General called this country New Albion, and that for two 
causes, the one in respect of the white banks and cliffs, which lie 
towards the sea, and the other, because it might have some 
affinity with our country in name, which sometimes was so 
called. There is no part of earth here to be taken up, wherein 
there is not some probable show of gold or silver. 

At our departure hence our General set up a monument of our 
being there, as also of her majesty's right and title to the same, 
namely a plate, nailed upon a fair great post, whereupon was 
engraved her majesty's name, the day and year of our arrival 
there, with the free giving up of the province and people into her 
majesty's hands, together with her highness's picture and arms, in a 
piece of six-pence of current English money, under the plate, 
whereunder was also written the name of our General. 



It seemeth that the Spaniards hitherto had never been in this 
part of the country, neither did ever discover the land by many 
degrees to the southwards of this place. 

After we had set sail from hence, we continued without sight of 
land till the I3th of October following, which day in the morn 
ing we fell with certain islands eight degrees to the north 
ward of the line, from which islands came a great number of 
canoes, having in some of them four, in some six, and in some 
also fourteen men, bringing with them cocoas and other fruits. 
Their canoes were hollow within, and cut with great art and 
cunning, being very smooth within and without, and bearing a 
glass as if it were a horn daintily burnished, having a prow and a 
stern of one sort, yielding inwards circle-wise, being of a great 
height, and full of certain white shells for a bravery, and on each 
side of them lie out two pieces of timber about a yard and a-half 
long, more or less, according to the smallness or bigness of the boat. 
These people have the nether part of their ears cut into a round 
circle, hanging down very low upon their cheeks, whereon they 
hang things of a reasonable weight. The nails of their hands 
are an inch long, their teeth are as black as pitch, and they 
renew them often, by eating of an herb with a kind of powder, 
which they always carry about them in a cane for the same 

Leaving this island the night after we fell in with it, on the i8th of 
October we lighted upon divers others, some whereof made a 
great show of inhabitants. We continued our course by the islands 
of Tagulanda,* Zelon, and Zewarra, being friends to the Portu- 
gals, the first whereof hath growing in it great. store of cinnamon. 
On the I4th of November we fell in with the islands of Molucca. 
Which day at night (having directed our course to run with 
Tidore) in coasting along the island of Mutyr,t belonging to the 
King of Ternate, his Deputy or Vice-King seeing us at sea, came 
with his canoe to us without all fear, and came aboard, and 
after some conference with our General, willed him in any wise 
to run in with Ternate, and not with Tidore, assuring him that 
the King would be glad of his coming, and would be ready to do 
what he would require, for which purpose he himself would that 

* Tagulandang, to the north-east of Celebes, 
t Now Motir, one of the Ternate Moluccas. 

1579] DRAKE. 163 

night be with the King, and tell him the news, with whom if 
he once dealt, we should find that as he was a King, so his 
word should stand; adding further, that if he went to Tidore 
before he came to Ternate, the King would have nothing to do 
with us, because he held the Portugals as his enemy; where 
upon our General resolved to run with Ternate, where the next 
morning early we came to anchor, at which time our General 
sent a messenger to the King, with a velvet cloak for a present and 
token of his coming to be in peace, and that he required nothing 
but traffic and exchange of merchandise, whereof he had good 
store, in such things as he wanted. 

In the meantime the Vice-King had been with the King 
according to his promise, signifying unto him what good things he 
might receive from us by traffic ; whereby the King was moved 
with great liking towards us, and sent to our General, with special 
message, that he should have what things he needed and would 
require, with peace and friendship, and moreover that he would 
yield himself and the right of his island to be at the pleasure and 
commandment of so famous a prince as we served. In token 
whereof he sent to our General a signet, and within short time 
after came in his own person, with boats and canoes, to our ship, 
to bring her into a better and safer road than she was in at that pre 
sent. In the meantime, our General's messenger being come to the 
Court, was met by certain noble personages with great solemnity, 
and brought to the King, at whose hands he was most friendly and 
graciously entertained. 

The King purposing to come to our ship, sent before four great 
and large canoes, in every one whereof were certain of his greatest 
statesmen that were about him, attired in white lawn of cloth of 
Calicut, having over their heads, from the one end of the canoe to 
the other, a covering of thin perfumed mats, borne up with a 
frame made of reeds for the same use, under which everyone did 
sit in his order according to his dignity, to keep him from the heat 
of the sun, divers of whom being of good age and gravity, did 
make an ancient and fatherly show. There were also divers young 
and comely men attired in white, as were the others ; the rest were 
soldiers, which stood in comely order round about on both sides, 
without whom sat the rowers in certain galleries, which being 
three on a side all along the canoes, did lie off from the side 
thereof three or four yards, one being orderly built lower than 
another, in every of which galleries were the number of fourscore 

M 2 


rowers. These canoes were furnished with warlike munition, 
every man for the most part having his sword and target, with 
his dagger, besides other weapons, as lances, calivers, darts, bows 
and arrows ; also every canoe had a small cast base mounted at 
the least one full yard upon a stock set upright. Thus coming 
near our ship, in order, they rowed about us one after another, 
and passing by, did their homage with great solemnity, the great 
personages beginning with great gravity and fatherly counte 
nance signifying that the King had sent them to conduct our ship 
into a better road. Soon after the King himself repaired, accom 
panied with six grave and ancient persons, who did their obeisance 
with marvellous humility. The King was a man of tall stature, 
and seemed to be much delighted with the sound of our music, 
to whom as also to his nobility, our General gave presents, where 
with they were passing well contented. 

At length the King craved leave of our General to depart, pro 
mising the next day to come' aboard, and in the meantime to send 
us such victuals as were necessary for our provision ; so that the 
same night we received of them meal, which they call sago, made 
of the tops of certain trees, tasting in the mouth like sour curds, 
but melteth like sugar, whereof they make certain cakes, which 
may be kept the space of ten years and yet then good to be eaten. 
We had of them store of rice, hens, unperfect and liquid sugar, 
sugar-canes, and a fruit which they call figo, with store of 

The King having promised to come aboard, broke his promise, 
but sent his brother to make his excuse, and to entreat our General 
to come on shore, offering himself pawn aboard for his safe return. 
Whereunto our General consented not, upon mislike conceived of 
the breach of his promise, the whole company also utterly refusing 
it. But to satisfy him, our General sent certain of his gentlemen 
to the Court, to accompany the King's brother, reserving the Vice- 
King for their safe return. They were received of another brother 
of the King and other statesmen, and were conducted with great 
honour to the castle. The place that they were brought unto was 
a large and fair house, where were at the least one thousand 
persons assembled. 

The King being yet absent, there sat in their places sixty grave 
personages, all which were said to be of the King's Council. 
There were besides four grave persons, apparelled all in red, 
down to the ground, and attired on their heads like the Turks, 

1579] DRAKE. 165 

and these were said to be Romans, and Ligiers* there to keep con 
tinual traffic with the people of Ternate. There were also two 
Turks Ligiers in this place, and one Italian. The King at last 
came in guarded with twelve lances, covered over with a rich 
canopy with embossed gold. Our men, accompanied with one of 
their captains called Moro, rising to meet him, he graciously did 
welcome and entertain them. He was attired after the manner of 
the country, but more sumptuously than the rest. From his waist 
down to the ground was all cloth of gold, and the same very rich ; 
his legs were bare, but on his feet were a pair of shoes, made of 
Cordovan skin. In the attire of his head were finely wreathed 
hooped rings of gold, and about his neck he had a chain of 
perfect gold, the links whereof were great and one fold double. 
On his fingers he had six very fair jewels, and sitting in his chair 
of state, at his right hand stood a page with a fan in his hand, 
breathing and gathering the air to the King. The same was in 
length two feet, and in breadth one foot, set with eight sapphires, 
richly embroidered, and knit to a staff three feet in length, by the 
which the page did hold and move it. Our gentlemen having de 
livered their message and received order accordingly, were licenced 
to depart, being safely conducted back again by one of the king's 
council. This island is the chief of all the islands of Molucca, and 
the king hereof is king of seventy islands besides. The king with 
his people are Moors in religion, observing certain new moons, 
with fastings ; during which fasts they neither eat nor drink in the 
day, but in the night. 

After that our gentlemen were returned, and that we had here by 
the favour of the king received all necessary things that the place 
could yield us ; our General considering the great distance, and 
how far he was yet off from his country, thought it not best here 
to linger the time any longer, but weighing his anchors, set out of 
the island, and sailed to a certain little island to the southwards of 
Celebes, where we graved our ship, and continued there in that 
and other business, twenty-six days. This island is thoroughly 
grown with wood of a large and high growth, very straight, and 
without boughs, save only in the head or top, whose leaves are not 
much differing from our broom in England. Amongst these trees 
night by night, through the whole land, did shew themselves an 

Agents or factors 


infinite swarm of fiery worms flying in the air, whose bodies being 
no bigger than our common English flies, make such a show and 
light as if every twig or tree had been a burning candle. In this 
place breedeth also wonderful store of bats, as big as large hens ; 
of cray-fishes also here wanted no plenty, and they of exceeding 
bigness, one whereof was sufficient for four hungry stomachs at a 
dinner, being also very good and restoring meat, whereof we had 
experience; and they dig themselves holes in the earth like 

When we had ended our business here we weighed, and set sail 
to run for the Moluccas ; but having at that time a bad wind, and 
being amongst the islands, with much difficulty we recovered to 
the northward of the island of Celebes, where by reason of con 
trary winds, not able to continue our course to run westwards, 
we were enforced to alter the same to the southward again, 
finding that course also to be very hard and dangerous for us, by 
reason of infinite shoals which lie off and among the islands ; 
whereof we had too much trial to the hazard and danger of our 
ship and lives. For, of all other days, upon the gth of January, in 
the year 1580, we ran suddenly upon a rock, where we stuck fast 
from eight o'clock at night till four o'clock in the afternoon the 
next day, being indeed out of all hope to escape the danger ; but 
our General as he had always hitherto shewed himself courageous, 
and of a good confidence in the mercy and protection of God; so 
now he continued in the same, and lest he should seem to perish 
wilfully, both he and we did our best endeavour to save ourselves, 
which it pleased God so to bless, that in the end we cleared our 
selves most happily of the danger. 

We lightened our ship upon the rocks of three tons of cloves, 
eight pieces of ordnance, and certain meal and beans ; and then 
the wind (as" it were in a moment by the special grace of God) 
changing from the starboard to the larboard of the ship, we 
hoisted our sails, and the happy gale drove our ship off the rock, 
into the sea again, to the no little comfort of all our hearts, for 
which we gave God such praise and thanks, as so great a benefit 

On the 8th of February following, we fell in with the fruitful island 
of Barateue,* having in the mean time suffered many dangers by 


1580] DRAKE. 167 

winds and shoals. The people of this island are comely in body 
and stature, and of a civil behaviour, just in dealing, and courteous 
to strangers, whereof we had the experience sundry ways, they 
being most glad of our presence, and very ready to relieve our 
wants in those things which their country did yield. The men 
go naked, saving their heads and privities, every man having 
something or other hanging at their ears. Their women are 
covered from the middle down to the foot, wearing a great 
number of bracelets upon their arms, for some had eight upon 
each arm, being made some of bone, some of horn, and some 
of brass, the lightest whereof, by our estimation, weighed two 
ounces apiece. With this people linen-cloth is good merchan 
dise, and of good request, whereof they make rolls for their heads, 
and girdles to wear about them. Their island is both rich and 
fruitful rich in gold, silver, copper, and sulphur, wherein they 
seem skilful and expert, not only to try the same, but in working 
it also artificially into any form and fashion that pleaseth them. 
Their fruits be divers and plentiful, as nutmegs, ginger, long 
pepper, lemons, cucumbers, cocoas, figs, sago, with divers other 
sorts ; and among all the rest we had one fruit, in bigness, form 
and husk, like a bay berry, hard of substance and pleasant of 
taste, which being sodden becometh soft, and is a most good 
and wholesome victual, whereof we took reasonable store, as we 
did also of the other fruits and spices, so that to confess the 
truth, since the time that we first set out of our own country of 
England, we happened upon no place (Ternate only excepted) 
wherein we found more comforts and better means of re 

At our departure from Barateue, we set our course for Java 
Major,* where arriving, we found great courtesy, and honourable 
entertainment. This island is governed by five kings, whom they 
call Rajas ; as Raja Donaw, and Raja Mang Bange, and Raja 
Cabuccapollo, which live as having one spirit and one mind. Of 
these five we had four a-shipboard at once, and two or three 
often. They are wonderfully delighted in coloured clothes, as red 
and green; the upper part of their bodies are naked, save their 
heads, whereupon they wear a Turkish roll as do the Moluccians. 
From the middle downwards they wear a pintado of silk, trailing 

* Java. 


upon the ground, in colour as they best like. The Moluccians 
hate that their women should be seen of strangers; but these 
offer them of high courtesy, yea, the kings themselves. The 
people are of goodly stature and warlike, well provided of swords 
and targets, with daggers, all being of their own work, and most 
artificially done, both in tempering their metal, as also in the 
form, whereof we bought reasonable store. They have a house 
in every village for their common assembly ; eveiy day they meet 
twice, men, women, and children, bringing with them such victuals 
as they they think good, some fruits, some rice boiled, some hens 
roasted, some sago, having a table made three feet from the 
ground, whereon they set their meat, that every person sitting 
at the table may eat, one rejoicing in the company of another. 
They boil their rice in an earthen pot, made in the form of a 
sugar loaf, being full of holes, as our pots which we water our 
gardens withal, and it is open at the great end, wherein they put 
their rice dry, without any moisture. In the mean time they have 
ready another great earthen pot, set fast in a furnace, boiling full of 
water, whereinto they put their pot with rice, by such measure, 
that they swelling become soft at the first, and by their swelling 
stopping the holes of the pot, admit no more water to enter, but 
the more they are boiled, the harder and more firm substance they 
become, so that in the end they are a firm and good bread, of the 
which with oil, butter, sugar, and other spices, they make divers 
sorts of meats very pleasant of taste, and nourishing to nature. 

Not long before our departure, they told us that not far off 
there were such great ships as ours, wishing us to beware ; 
upon this our captain would stay no longer. From Java Major 
we sailed for the Cape of Good Hope, which was the first land 
we fell in withal; neither did we touch with it, or any other 
land, until we came to Sierra Leone, upon the coast of Guinea ; 
notwithstanding we ran hard aboard the Cape, finding the report 
of the Portuguese to be most false, who affirm that it is the 
most dangerous Cape of the world, never without intolerable 
storms and present danger to travellers which come near the 
same. This Cape is a most stately thing, and the fairest Cape 
we saw in the whole circumference of the earth, and we passed 
by it on the i8th of June. From thence we continued our 
course to Sierra Leone, on the coast of Guinea, where we arrived 

1580] DRAKE. 169 

on the 22nd of July, and found necessary provisions, great store 
of elephants, oysters upon trees of one kind, spawning and in 
creasing infinitely, the oyster suffering no bud to grow. We de 
parted thence on the 24th day. 

We arrived in England on the 3rd of November, 1580, being 
the third year of our departure. 



WHILE Frobisher was wrestling with the elements in Davis's 
Straits, a west-country gentleman named Humphrey Gilbert 
was meditating the execution of a scheme no less daring than 
the permanent occupation of the North American coasts by 
the English. It was fifty years and more since the Italian 
navigator Verazzano, in the service of Francis of France, 
had explored these coasts and ascertained them to be con 
tinuous to the south with the great land which had been 
named after Amerigo Vespucci, and in the north with the 
" New-land " or Newfoundland of the Northmen, which had 
been revisited by Cabot in the time of Columbus, and whither 
the fishermen of Spain, Portugal, France, and England, now 
resorted every year. But this immense line of coast, unlike 
that of South America, was as yet unoccupied by Europeans. 
The Spaniards had destroyed the French settlements in Florida, 
but they failed to gain any footing there for themselves ; and 
from Florida to Nova Scotia a fruitful virgin soil, in a tem 
perate clime, invited the enterprising colonist. The French 
occupation had procured this land the name of New France. 
But the French occupation had failed ; and in a few years this 
name was destined to be replaced, by the English name of 

Sir Humphrey Gilbert's mother had married as her second 
husband a sea-captain named Raleigh. Her youngest son, 


Walter Raleigh, had been at Oxford, studying cosmography, 
reading in the Spanish historians the wondrous narrative of 
the discovery and conquest of the New World, and drinking 
in the opinions of some who believed that the destinies of the 
New World were not 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 now revived with a 
new meaning. John Cabot, a British seaman, had notoriously 
reached the mainland of America before Columbus himself. 
How far he had explored its coasts is unknown ; but the 
probability is that he returned very shortly after making the 
land. But when the vast extent of North America became 
known, and its enormous value in the future became obvious, 
it was confidently alleged that Cabot had visited the whole 
coast from Florida to Labrador, and had thus acquired for 
England a title which superseded that of Spain and France. 
After Hawkins' survey of the coast in 1564 the attention of 
Englishmen was more and more strongly directed to these 
coasts. Tracts were written urging their occupation; the 
exploits of Hawkins and Drake had proved how powerless the 
Spaniards were to prevent it ; and funds were raised for exe 
cuting 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 was 
overflowing with poor, who might be advantageously 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, 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."* Following the line then usual 
in pulpit argument, the enthusiastic divine supported this view 
by the analogy of nature and of antiquity. Bees send forth 
swarmings from the old hive; colonies were "deducted" in 
antiquity by the Greeks and the Carthaginians. Hakluyt 
pointed to the successful colonization of Portuguese America, 
which was due to the suggestion of De Barros, a mere man of 
learning, like himself. Brazil was no longer a deserted coast. 
It had its nine baronies or lordships, its thirty ingenios or 
sugar-mills, each mill with its two or three hundred slaves, its 
judge and other civil officers, and its church and clergy. Why 
should not these little commonwealths be reproduced else 
where? "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 America. 

When Hakluyt was writing thus, Raleigh's half-brother had 
already procured a grant, in the usual form, of such lands in 
these parts as he should discover and occupy. It was to last 
only six years, unless it took effect by actual occupation ; and 
three of these years were expired. The time for action was 
come, and accordingly, in June, 1583, Gilbert sailed from 
Cawsand Bay with five vessels, with the general intention of 
discovering and colonizing the northern parts of America. It 

* Hakluyt, Dedication to " Divers Voyages," pp. i, 2. 


was the first colonizing expedition which left the shores of 
Great Britain ; and the narrative of the expedition by Hayes, 
who commanded one of Gilbert's vessels, forms the first page 
in the history of English colonization. Gilbert did no more 
than go through the empty form of taking possession of the 
island of Newfoundland, to which the English name formerly 
applied to the continent in general (see page 74) was now 
restricted ; and the description of this island is the most 
interesting portion of Hayes' narrative. Gilbert dallied here 
too long. When he set sail to cross the Gulf of St. Lawrence 
and take possession of Cape Breton and Nova Scotia the 
season was too far advanced ; one of his largest ships went 
down with all on board, including the Hungarian scholar 
Parmenius, who had come out as the historian of the expedi 
tion ; the stores were exhausted and the crews dispirited ; and 
Gilbert resolved on sailing home, intending to return and 
prosecute his discoveries the next spring. On the home 
voyage the little vessel in which he was sailing foundered; 
and the pioneer of English colonization found a watery grave. 
Few passages in English 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 the old seaman's proverb, 
"We are as near to heaven by sea as by land" (p. 206). 
Gilbert was a man of courage, piety, and learning. He was, 
however, an indifferent seaman, and quite incompetent for 
the task of colonization to which he had set his hand. The 
misfortunes of his expedition induced Amadas and Barlow, 
who followed in his steps, to abandon the northward voyage 
and sail to the shores intended to be occupied by the easier 
but more circuitous route of the Canaries and the West 

1583] GILBERT. 175 


A report of the VOYAGE and success thereof, attempted in the 
year of Our Lord 1583, by SIR HUMPHREY GILBERT, 
KNIGHT, with other Gentlemen assisting htm 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 Gods 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 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 
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 cr'own of England. Since when, 
if with like diligence the search of inland countries had been fol 
lowed, as the discovery upon the coast and outparts 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 
sown 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 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 

In the meanwhile it behoveth every man of great calling, in 
whom is any instinct of inclination unto this attempt, to examine 

1583] GILBERT. 177 

his own motions, which, if the same proceed of ambition or ava 
rice, 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 foun 
dation. Otherwise, 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, tyrannising in most wonder 
ful 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 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 com 
plete of receiving also these Gentiles into His mercy, and that 
God will raise him an instrument 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 inclining 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 discover when we approached the 
Spanish limits. Even so God hath not hitherto permitted them 
to establish a possession permanent upon another's right, notwith 
standing their manifold attempts, in which the issue hath been no 
less tragical than that of the Spaniards, as by their own reports is 

Then, seeing the English nation only hath right unto these 
countries of America from the Cape of Florida northwards 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 VII., which right also seemeth strongly defended 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 throughout 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 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 Humphrey 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 

1583] GILBERT. 179 

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 nevertheless, lest any man 
should be dismayed by example of other folks' calamity, and mis 
deem 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 wisdom 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 

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 dis 
couraged from it ; but to make men well advised how they handle 
His so high and excellent matters, as the carriage is of His Word 
into those very mighty and vast countries. An action doubtless 
not to be intermeddled with base purposes ; as many have made 
the same but a colour to shadow actions otherwise scarce justifi 
able, which doth excite God's heavy judgments in the end, to the 
terrifying 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 the State (if in those parts we should 
grow to strength), seeing the very beginnings are entered with 

And with this admonition denounced upon zeal towards God's 
cause, also towards those in whom appeareth disposition honour 
able 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 Humphrey 
Gilbert, begun, continued, and ended adversely. 

When first Sir Humphrey Gilbert undertook the western dis 
covery of America, and had procured from Her Majesty a very 

N 2 


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 com 
mendable an enterprise, so that the preparation 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 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 adventured 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 purpose to revive this enter 
prise, 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 ad 
vance the hope of the south, and be a furtherance 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 territories ex 
tending every way two hundred leagues, which induced Sir 
Humphrey 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 assignees, inso 
much that at last he must resolve himself to take a voyage in 

1583] GILBERT. iSl 

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 substance and lives in the same cause. Who beginning their 
preparation from that time, both of shipping, munition, victual, men, 
and things requisite, some of them continued the charge two years 
complete without intermission. 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 

The last place of our assembly, before we left the coast of Eng- 
land, was in Cawsand Bay, near unto Plymouth, 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 doubt 
ful 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, beginning south without all con 
troversy was the likeliest, wherein we were assured to have 
commodity of the current, which from the Cape of Florida setteth 
northward, 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 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 foras 
much as both our victuals and many other needful provisions were 
diminished and left insufficient for so long a voyage and for the 
wintering 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 seven hundred leagues from our English coast. 
Where, being usually at that time of the year and until the fine of 
August, a multitude 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 content. 

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 

Wherefore suppressing all objections to the contrary, we re 
solved 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 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 following : 

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 watchwords 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 
another ; 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 watch 
word while we were upon our own coast, lest any of the company 
stealing from the fleet might betray the same ; which known to an 
enemy he might board us by night without mistrust, having our 
own watchword. 

1583] GILBERT. 183 

Orders agreed upon by the Captains and Masters to be observed 
by the Fleet of Sir Humphrey Gilbert. 

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

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 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 hoist 
both topsails twice, if the weather will serve, and to strike them 
twice again ; but if the weather serve not, then to hoist the main- 
topsail 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 through 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 other 
wise, 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 knowledge 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 

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

The course. 

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 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 meeting of the whole 
fleet the space of ten days, and when you shall depart to leave marks. 
Beginning our course from Scilly, the nearest is by west-south 
west (if the wind serve) until such time as we have brought our 
selves 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 
contrary 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 Eng 
land, then to repair unto Scilly for a place of our assembly or 

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 Beare 
Haven or Baltimore Haven. 

If we shall not happen to meet at Cape Race, then the place of 
rendezvous 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 no.t 
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 any were still there up higher into the river, or 
departed, and which way. 

Orders thus determined, and promises mutually given to be 
observed, eveiy 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 nth 

1583] GILBERT. 185 

day of June, in the year of our Lord 1583, having in our fleet (at 
our departure from Cawsand 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 
owner, and Richard Clarke, master. 2. The barque Raleigh, 
set forth by Mr. Walter Raleigh, of the burthen of 200 tons, 
was then Vice-Admiral ; in which went Mr. 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 allure 
ment of the savages, we were provided of music in good variety ; 
not omitting the least toys, as Morris dancers, hobby-horse, and 
Maylike conceits to delight the savage people, whom we intended 
to win by all fair means possible. And to that end we were in 
differently furnished of all petty haberdashery wares to barter with 
those simple people. 

In this manner we set forward, departing (as hath been said) 
out of Cawsand Bay the nth 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. 

On the Thursday following, when we hailed one another in N 
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, notwithstanding we had the wind east, fair 
and good. But it was after credibly reported that they were in 
fected 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 forty-eight 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 fore- 
top. From Saturday, the I5th of June, until the 28th, 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 forty-one degrees scarce. 

About this time of the year the winds are commonly west to 
wards 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 twenty- 
two 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 forty-one degrees almost, and afterwards 
north into fifty-one degrees. Also we were encumbered with 
much fog and mists in manner palpable, in which we could not 
keep so well together, but were dissevered, losing the company 
of the Swallow and the Squirrel upon the 2oth day of July, whom 
we met again at several places upon the Newfoundland coast 
the 3rd of August, as shall be declared in place convenient. 
On Saturday, the 27th July, we might descry, not far from us, as 
it were mountains of ice driven upon the sea, being then in fifty 
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 fifty 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 twenty-five and thirty 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 fifty-two or fifty-three degrees of lati 
tude, and do extend into the south infinitely. The breadth of 
this bank is somewhere more, and somewhere less ; but we found 
the same about ten leagues over, having sounded both on this side 
thereof, and the other towards Newfoundland, but found no 
ground with almost two hundred 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 sail of ships, who commonly 
begin the fishing in April, and have ended by July. That fish is 

1583] GILBERT. 187 

large, always wet, having no land near to dry, and is called 

During the time of fishing, a man shall know without sounding 
when he is upon the bank, by the incredible multitude of sea-fowl 
hovering over the same, to prey upon the offal and garbage of 
fish thrown out by fishermen, and floating upon the sea. 

On Tuesday, the nth of June, we forsook the coast of England, 
so again on Tuesday, the 3oth of July (seven weeks after) we got 
sight of land, being immediately 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 fifty-one 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 altered 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 barque 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 barque 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 home 
ward. Leave given, not without charge to deal favourably, they 
came aboard the fisherman, 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 de 
livered them aboard the Swallow. What became afterwards of 
the poor Newlander, perhaps destitute of sails and furniture suffi 
cient 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 3rd 
of August), we made ready our fights, and prepared to enter the 

1583] GILBERT. 189 

harbour, any resistance to the contrary notwithstanding, there 
being within of all nations, to the number of thirty-six sail. 
But first the General despatched a boat to give them knowledge 
of his coming for no ill intent, having commission from Her 
Majesty for his voyage we had in hand; and immediately we 
followed with a slack gale, and in the very entrance (which is but 
narrow, not above two boats' length) 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. 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. 

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 understand the General's intent and cause 
of our arrival there. They were all satisfied when the General 
had showed his commission and purpose, to take possession of 
those lands to the behalf of the crown of England, and the ad 
vancement 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 pri 
vilege, which upon their better advice they should demand, the 
like being not to be obtained hereafter for greater price. So 
craving expedition of his demand, 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 welcome. 

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, commis 
sioners were appointed, part of our own company and part of 
theirs, to go into other harbours adjoining (for our English mer 
chants 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 allow 
ance) with wines, marmalades, most fine rusk or biscuit, sweet oils, 
and sundry delicacies. Also we wanted not of fresh salmons, 
trouts, lobsters, and other fresh fish brought daily unto us. More 
over as the manner is in 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 entertain 
ment 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 4th 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 raspberries, which do grow in every place. 

Monday following, the General had his tent set up, who being 
accompanied with his own followers, summoned 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 Queen's Majesty with the title and dignity 
thereof, and 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 confiscate. 

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 govern 
ment begun. After this, the assembly was dismissed. And after 
wards were erected not far from that place the arms of England 
engraved 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 Humphrey Gilbert, knight, his 
heirs and assigns 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 Humphrey 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 commodities 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 
plates 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 plates that were drawing, 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 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 forty-six degrees 
twenty-five minutes) unto the Grand Bay in fifty-two 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 Breton, Anjou, Poictou in 
France, between forty-six and forty-nine degrees, so can they not 
so much differ from the temperature of those countries : unless 
upon the outcoast 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 Newfoundland alone, but in 
Germany, Italy and Africa, 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 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 Africa: by how 

1583] GILBERT. 193 

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 Africa, whereby his motion increaseth 
heat, with little or no qualification by moist vapours. Where, on 
the contrary he passeth from Europe and Africa unto America over 
the ocean, from whence it draweth and carrieth with him abun 
dance 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 forty-six, 
forty-seven, and forty-eight (especially 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 some 
what more than in England at those seasons : so men remaining 
upon the south parts near unto Cape Race, until after Hollandtide,* 
have not found the cold so extreme, nor much differing from the 
temperature of England. Those which have arrived there after 
November and December, have found the snow exceeding 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 dis 
pensed 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 like 
lihood 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 sustentation 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 incommodity of some 
sharp cold, by many benefits ; viz., with incredible quantity, and 
no less variety of kinds of fish in the sea and fresh waters, as 
trout, salmon, 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 Malstrond herring 
of Norway ; but hitherto was never benefit taken of the herring 
fishing. There are sundry other fish very delicate, namely the 
bonitos, 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, rosin, 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 pea. 
Also 'pear-trees, but fruitless. Other trees of some sorts to us un 
known. The soil along the coast is not deep of earth, bringing 
forth abundantly peason small, yet good feeding for cattle. Roses 
passing sweet, like unto our musk roses in form, raspases, a berry 
which we call hurts, 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. Peason 
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 dis- 
habited land. Lakes or pools of fresh water, both on the tops* 
of mountains and in the valleys, in which are said to be muscles 

1583] GILBERT. 195 

not unlike to have pearl, which I had put in trial, if by mischance 
falling unto me I had not been let from that and other good 
experiments I was minded to make. Fowl both of water and land 
in great plenty and diversity. All kinds 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 blackbirds, linnets, canary birds, 
and other very small. Beasts of sundry kinds, red deer, buffaloes, 
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, martins. 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 superabundantly 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 in 
directly, 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 mineral substance ; iron very 
common, lead, and somewhere 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 inquire 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 

O 2 


unto the General, using protestation that if silver were the thing 
which might satisfy the General and his followers, there it was, ad 
vising 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 likelier to die than to live, by a mis 
chance, 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, " Con 
tent 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, 
Biscayans, and Frenchmen, not far off, from whom must be kept 
any bruit or muttering of such matter. When we are at sea proof 
shall be made ; if it be our desire, we may return the sooner hither 
again." Whose answer I judged reasonable, 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 tragically. 

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 opportunity by the Generals and Captains lying on the 
shore; whose conspiracies discovered, they were prevented. 
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 themselves, 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. Insomuch 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 people. 

1583] GILBERT. 197 

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. 

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 fore 
see unto the safety of her and the men, which afterward was an 
occasion also of their overthrow. 

Now having made ready our shipping, that is to say, the Delight, 
the Golden Hind, and the Squirrel, and put aboard our provision, 
which was wines, bread or rusk, fish wet and dry, sweet oil, 
besides many other, as marmalades, figs, lemons 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 
20th 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 harbour. 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 pro 
vision. From hence we shaped our course unto the island of 
Sablon, if conveniently it would so fall out, also directly to Cape 

Sablon lieth to the seaward of Cape Breton about twenty-five 
leagues, whither we were determined to go upon intelligence we had 
of a Portugal (during our abode in St. John's) who was himself pre- 


sent when the Portugals above thirty years past did put into the same 
island both neat and swine to breed, which were since exceedingly 
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 to 

In this course we trended along the coast, which from Cape 
Race stretcheth into the north-west, making a bay which some 
called Trepassa. 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 peas 
growing in great abundance everywhere. 

The distance between Cape Race and Cape Breton is eighty- 
seven 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 with 
all the men and provisions, not knowing certainly the place. 
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 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 27th of August, toward the evening, our 
General caused them in his frigate to sound, who found white 
sand at thirty-five fathom, being then in latitude about forty-four 
degrees. On Wednesday, towards 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, de 
prived 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 

I5 8 3] GILBERT. 199 

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. To 
wards 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. 

On Thursday, the 29th 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's length before us; and 
betimes in the morning we were altogether 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 fathoms, then five fathoms, then four 
fathoms and less, again deeper, immediately four fathoms, then 
but three fathoms, the sea going mightily and high. At last we 
recovered (God be thanked) in some despair, to sea room 

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 means, presenting themselves to men in those ex 
tremities, for we desired to save the men by every possible means. 
But all in vain, since God had determined their ruin ; yet all that 
day, and part of the next, we beat up and down as near unto the 
wreck 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 Budaeus, who 
of piety and zeal to good attempts, adventured 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 ines 
timable riches, as it was left amongst some of us in undoubted hope. 
No less heavy was the loss of the Captain, Maurice Browne, a 
virtuous, honest, and discreet gentleman, overseen only in liberty 
given late before to men that ought to have been restrained, 
who shewed 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 wreck miraculously, as shall be hereafter 
declared. For when all hope was passed 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 
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, 
shewing 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, 

* Stephen Parmenius. 

1583] GILBERT. 201 

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 fourteen persons, 
leaped into a small pinnace (the bigness of a Thames barge, 
which was made in 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, offered himself with the first, content to take 
his adventure gladly : which nevertheless 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 Brasile, 
of his travel into those countries, died by the way, famished, and 
less able to hold out than those of better health. For such 
was these poor men's extremity, in cold and wet, to have no 
better sustenance than their own urine, for six days together. 

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 Newfoundland, 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 fifty, forty-five, forty 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 increase 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, provision 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 their distress, 
pointing to their mouths, and to their clothes thin and ragged: 
then immediately they also of the Golden Hind grew to be of 
the same opinion and desire to return home. 

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, resolved 
upon retiring: 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, where we fight against the 

Omitting circumstance, how unwillingly the captain and master 
of the Hind condescended to this motion, his own company 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 of the 3ist 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: not- 

1583] GILBERT. 203 

withstanding, we presented ourselves in open view and gesture 
to amaze him, as all creatures will be commonly at a sudden gaze 
and sight of men. Thus he passed along turning his head to and 
fro, yawning 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 the 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 thither 
ward, 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 what 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 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 circumstances 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 bay, when we were becalmed upon the coast of the New 
foundland, 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 hand. 

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 required the same into these 
north parts, now he became contrarily affected, refusing to make 
any so large grants, especially of St. John's, which certain English 
merchants made suit for, offering to employ their money and 
travel upon the same : yet neither by their own suit, nor of 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 in 
tended to make the next spring, having determined upon two 
fleets, one for the south, another for the north, "Leave that to 
me," he replied, " I 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 pounds," 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 demon 
stration 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 

1583] GILBERT. 205 

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 overcharged upon their 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 : " I will not forsake my little company going home 
ward, 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 pro- 
ceedeth 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, 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. 


On Monday, the Qth of September, in the afternoon, the frigate 
was near cast away, oppressed by waves, yet at that time re 
covered ; 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. 

On the same Monday night, about twelve o'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 Fal- 
mouth on the 22nd 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 (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, hold 
ing himself satisfied with report made by the Captain, and not 
altogether despairing of his brother's safety, offered friendship and 
courtesy to the Captain and his company, requiring to have his 
barque 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 cany them home, some to London, others to Harwich, 

1583] GILBERT. 207 

and elsewhere (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, yet 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 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, sicknesses, mortality, spoilings, and wrecks 
by sea, which were afflictions, more than in so small a fleet or 
so short a time may be supposed, howbeit true in every particu 
larity, 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 
contentment and concord, beginning, continuing, and ending the 
voyage, which none else did accomplish, either not pleased with 
the action, or impatient of wants, or prevented by death. 

Thus have I delivered the contents of the enterprise and last 
action of Sir Humphrey Gilbert, Knight, faithfully, for so much as 
I thought meet to be published, wherein may always appear 
(though he be extinguished) some sparks of his virtues, he re 
maining 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 of England : unto the 
which, as his zeal deserveth high commendation, even so he may 


justly be taxed of temerity and presumption (rather) in two 

First, when yet there was only probability, not a certain and 
determinate place of habitation selected, neither any demonstra 
tion of commodity there in esse, to induce his followers, neverthe 
less, 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 a ground imagined good. The which falling, very 
like his associates were promised, and made it their best reckon 
ing 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 designments, 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 ex 
tremities 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 unsavory and less delightful 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. 



TAKING advantage of the death of his half-brother, Raleigh 
obtained in March, 1584, a new lease, for six years, of North 
American enterprise. He resolved that there should be little 
delay in giving it effect. Before April was over, two barques had 
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 abandoned. American enterprise had thus early divided 
itself, in accordance with the physical condition of the Atlantic 
Ocean, into northern and southern. Gilbert, as we have seen, 
had declared himself in favour of the former: and his choice 
was justified, in the next generation, by the success which 
attended the French colonists 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 Roanoke, 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. In the 
next year (1585) Grenville, Lane, and Hariot, sailed for 
Roanoke, with a hundred and eighty persons, and there 
established the first English colony in America. It proved 
to be only temporary. Instead of cultivating the soil, the 
emigrants spent their time in the fruitless quest of the precious 
metals; their stores failed, and no provisions reached them from 
home; and, finally, the remnant of the colony was brought 
back to England by Drake in 1586, in the circumstances which 
appear in the next narrative. This original settlement of 
" Virginia" was made within the limits of what afterwards 
became the State of North Carolina. The shores of the 
James River and of Chesapeake Bay, afterwards so famous 
under the name bestowed by Elizabeth on her American 
colony, remained unvisited for twenty years longer. 



The First Voyage made to the coasts of AMERICA, with two 
barques, wherein were Captains MR. PHILIP AMADAS, 
and MR. ARTHUR BARLOW, who discovered part of 
the country now called VIRGINIA, Anno Domini 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. 

ON the 27th day of April, in the year of our redemption 1584, 
we departed the west of England, with two barques well furnished 
with men and victuals, having received our last and perfect direc 
tions by your letters, confirming the former instructions and com 
mandments 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 per 
formed), 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. 

On the loth of May we arrived at the Canaries, and the loth 
of June in this present year, we were fallen with the islands of 
the West Indies, keeping a more south-easterly course than was 

P 2 


needful, because we doubted that the current of the Bay of 
Mexico, disboguing 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. 

On the 2nd 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 4th 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 arquebuse : 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 patent, under 
Her Highness's great Seal. Which being performed, 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, but so 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 of any both ways. 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 discharged our arquebuse-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 altogether. 

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, Muscovy, 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 cinna 
mon, of which Master Winter brought from the Straits of 
Magellan, and many other of excellent smell and quality. We 
remained 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 arquebuse-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 show 
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 barques, he de 
parted, 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-shot 
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 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 Wingina ; the country, Wingandacoa ; and now 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 fa 
miliarity. After he had made a long speech unto us we presented 
him with divers things, which he received very joyfully and thank 
fully. 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 reve 
renced. 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 day's 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 somewhat to the other that sat. 
with him on the mat. But 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 merchan 
dise, 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' arrows. For 


those people maintain a deadly and terrible war with the people 
and King adjoining. We exchanged 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 any 
thing 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 fore 
head 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 hanging in either ear, 
and some of the children of the King's brother and other noble 
men 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 himself, 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 
pitch-trees, a wood not commonly known to our people, nor found 
growing in England. They have no edge-tools to make them 
withal ; if they have any they are very few, and those, it seems, 
they had twenty years since, which, as those two men declared, 
was out of a wreck which happened upon their coast of some 
Christian ship, being beaten that way by some storm and outrage 
ous 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 instruments. The manner of making their boats 
is thus : they burn down some great tree, or take such as are wind- 
fallen, and, putting gum and rozin 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 
twenty 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 understand. 

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, cucumbers, gourds, peas, 
and divers roots, and fruits very excellent good, and of their 
country corn, which is very white, fair, and well tasted, and 
groweth three 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 fourteen 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 to 
ward the city of Skicoak, which river they call Occam ; and the 
evening following we came to an island which they call Roanoke, 
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 arti 
ficially. When we came towards it, standing near unto the water's 
side, the wife of Granganimeo, 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 commanded to draw 
our boat on shore, for the beating of the billow. Others she ap 
pointed 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 outer room (having five rooms in 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 fermenty, 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 medicinal 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 them 
selves 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 the other, and offered to reach our 
weapons : but as soon as she 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 brake 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's-side, in which we lay all night, removing the same a 
pretty distance from the shore ; she perceiving 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 
Nomopana, on the one side whereof standeth a great town called 
Chawanook, and the Lord of that town and country is called 

1584] AMADAS AND BARLOW. 2 19 

Pooneno. This Pooneno is not subject to the king of Win- 
gandacoa, 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 
southernmost 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 appareled, 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 arquebuse, they would 
tremble thereat for very fear, and for the strangeness of the same, 
for the weapons which themselves 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 breastplates 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 mar 
vellously wasted, and in same 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 Newsiok, 
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 for 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 per 
suaded us to surprise Piemacum's town, having promised and 
assured us that there will be found in it great store of com 
modities. But whether their persuasion be to the end they may 
be revenged of their enemies, or for the love they bear to us, we 
leave that to the trial hereafter. 

Beyond this island called Roanoke, 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 forty, in some fifty, in 
some twenty miles over, before you come unto the continent ; and 
in this enclosed sea there are above a hundred islands of divers 
bignesses, whereof one is sixteen 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, re 
plenished with deer, coneys, hares, and divers beasts, and about 
them the goodliest and best fish in the world, and in greatest 

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

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 otherwise, 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. 

DRAKE. 223 


WHILE Raleigh, after his half-brother's death, was busy with 
his projected colonization of " Virginia," (that is, the first con 
venient site to the north of Florida, in the future State of North 
Carolina), the American question suddenly entered on a new 
phase. In 1585 Philip of Spain laid an embargo on all 
British subjects, their ships and goods, that might be found 
in his dominions. Elizabeth at once authorized general re 
prisals on the goods of Spaniards, and active hostilities were 
planned on a scale commensurate with the national resources. 
She equipped an armada of twenty-five vessels, manned by 
2,300 men, and despatched it under the command of Drake 
to plunder Spanish America. Spain drew from the New 
World the means of supporting her cruel and arrogant domi 
nation in Europe ; and practical reasoners like Raleigh were 
continually forcing this fact on the attention of English 
statesmen. The superiority of the Englishman to the Spaniard 
at sea had, by this time, been abundantly demonstrated. The 
two nations were now at open war, and it was necessary to 
deal a blow where a blow would be most effectual. To strike 
at Spain in America was to compel her to withdraw her ships 
and soldiers from Europe, to relieve the pressure on the 
Netherlands, and to secure England from the peril of direct 
invasion; for, unless this were done, Spanish America must 


fall an easy prey to the buccaneering admirals of England. 
Designs for colonization were thus thrown into the back 
ground. The difficulties of planting colonies were great, and 
the success uncertain, whereas the old Spanish settlements 
offered an easy and seducing booty. It was better to win 
25,000 dollars, as Drake did, by the ransom of St. Domingo 
city, than to throw away the same sum in futile attempts at 
colonizing the wilds of Virginia. During eighteen years the 
wise plans of Hakluyt were for the most part neglected, and 
the English mind was dazzled with Drake's profitable piracies 
and Raleigh's golden dream of a Third American Empire, 
yet undiscovered, and equal in riches to Mexico and Peru. 

Drake's armament of 1585 was the greatest that had ever 
crossed the Atlantic. After plundering the vessels in the 
Vigo river, he sailed for the West Indies by way of the 
Canaries and Cape Verde Islands, crossed the Atlantic in 
eighteen days, and arrived at Dominica. At daybreak, on 
New Year's Day, 1586, Drake's soldiers landed in Espafiola, a 
few miles to the west of the capital, and before evening 
Carlisle and Powell had entered the town, which the colonists 
only saved from total destruction by the payment of a heavy 
ransom. Drake's plan was to do exactly the same at 
Carthagena and Nombre de Dios, and thence to strike across 
the peninsula and secure Panama, the key of the wealth of 
Peru. But the sojourn at Carthagena, after its capture, was' 
fatal to the progress of the enterprise. The troops and seamen 
died of yellow fever in great numbers ; and after consultation 
with the military commander, Drake resolved on sailing home 
at once by way of Florida, not omitting to plunder its petty 
settlements by the way. The spoils of the campaign, though 
short of the original expectation, were ample in themselves ; 
and Drake's armada accordingly returned to England, carrying 

DRAKE. 225 

with them the remnant of the colony which had been left by 
Sir Richard Grenville in "Virginia." 

In after years, Drake was severely blamed by English 
politicians for not securing all the Spanish settlements in 
America while their defenceless state made them an easy prey. 
Had Nombre de Dios and Panama been taken and per 
manently garrisoned, Spanish America, it was argued, with all 
its wealth and promise, must have been won for England. 
The Spaniards profited by the experience of 1586. Nine 
years afterwards, when the art of carrying on a great war on 
the ocean was better understood, Drake and Hawkins sailed 
with the intention of accomplishing the conquest of the 
isthmus. But the Spanish harbours had now been rendered 
impregnable. The campaign not only failed, but cost England 
the lives of her two greatest admirals, in the persons of Drake 
and Hawkins. The latter had died off Porto Rico early in 
the campaign. Drake died of dysentery off Porto Bello. 
Frobisher had died of his wounds, at Plymouth, in the pre 
vious year. 



A summary and true discourse of SIR FRANCIS DRAKE'S 
West Indian Voyage, begun in the year 1585. Wherein 
were taken the cities of SANTIAGO, SANTO DOMINGO, CAR- 
THAGENA, and the town of ST. AUGUSTINE, in FLORIDA. 
Published by MR. THOMAS GATES. 

THIS worthy knight, for the service of his prince and country, 
having prepared his whole fleet, and gotten them down to 
Plymouth, in Devonshire, to the number of twenty-five sail of 
ships and pinnaces, and having assembled of soldiers and 
mariners to the number of 2,300 in the whole, embarked them and 
himself at Plymouth aforesaid, the I2th day of September, 1585, 
being accompanied with these men of name and charge which 
hereafter follow : 

Master Christopher Carleil, Lieutenant-General, a man of long 
experience in the wars as well by sea as land, who had formerly 
carried high offices in both kinds in many fights, which he dis 
charged always very happily, and with great good reputation ; 
Anthony Powell, Sergeant-Major ; Captain Matthew Morgan, and 
Captain John Sampson, Corporals of the Field." 

These officers had commandment over the rest of the Land- 
Captains, whose names hereafter follow : 

Captain Anthony Platt, Captain Edward Winter, Captain John 
Goring, Captain Robert Pew, Captain George Barton, Captain 
John Merchant, Captain William Cecil, Captain Walter Biggs, 
Captain John Hannam, Captain Richard Stanton. 

Captain Martin Frobisher, Vice-Admiral, a man of great ex 
perience in seafaring actions, who had carried the chief charge of 
many ships himself, in sundry voyages before, being now shipped 
in the Primrose; Captain Francis Knolles, Rear- Admiral in the 

1585] DRAKE. 227 

galleon Leicester; Master Thomas Venner, Captain in the 
Elizabeth Bonadventure, under the General; Master Edward 
Winter, Captain in the Aid ; Master Christopher Carleil, the 
Lieutenant-General, Captain of the Tiger ; Henry White, 
Captain of the Sea-Dragon ; Thomas Drake, Captain of the 
Thomas ; Thomas Seeley, Captain of the Minion ; Baily, Captain 
of the barque Talbot ; Robert Cross, Captain of the barque Bond ; 
George Fortescue, Captain of the barque Bonner ; Edward Care 
less, Captain of the Hope ; James Erizo, Captain of the White Lion ; 
Thomas Moon, Captain of the Francis; John Rivers, Captain 
of the Vantage; John Vaughan, Captain of the Drake; John 
Varney, Captain of the George ; John Martin, Captain of the 
Benjamin ; Edward Gilman, Captain of the Scout ; Richard 
Hawkins, Captain of the galliot called the Duck; Bitfield, Cap 
tain of the Swallow. 

After our going hence, which was the I4th of September, in the 
year of Our Lord 1585, and taking our course towards Spain, we 
had the wind for a few days somewhat scant, and sometimes calm. 
And being arrived near that part of Spain which is called the 
Moors, we happened to espy divers sails, which kept their course 
close by the shore, the weather being fair and calm. The General 
caused the Vice-Admiral to go with the pinnaces well manned to 
see what they were, who upon sight of the said pinnaces ap 
proaching near unto them, abandoned for the most part all their 
ships (being Frenchmen) laden all with salt, and bound homewards 
into France, amongst which ships (being all of small burthen) 
there was one so well liked, which also had no man in her, as 
being brought unto the General, he thought good to make stay of 
her for the service, meaning to pay for her, as also accordingly he 
performed at our return, which barque was called the Drake. The 
rest of these ships (being eight or nine) were dismissed without 
anything at all taken from them. Who being afterwards put 
somewhat further off from the shore, by the contrariety of the 
wind, we happened to meet with some other French ships, full 
laden with Newland fish, being upon their return homeward from 
the said Newfoundland ; whom the General after some speech had 
with them (and seeing plainly that they were Frenchmen) dis 
missed, without once suffering any man to go aboard of them. 

The day following standing in with the shore again, we descried 
another tall ship of twelve score tons or thereabouts, upon whom 
.Master Carleil, the Lieutenant-General, being in the Tiger, under- 

Q 2 


took the chase, whom also anon after the Admiral followed, and 
the Tiger having caused the said strange ship to strike her sails, 
kept her there without suffering anybody to go aboard until the 
Admiral was come up ; who forthwith sending for the Master, and 
divers others of their principal men, and causing them to be 
severally examined, found the ship and goods to be belonging to 
the inhabitants of St. Sebastian, in Spain, but the mariners to be 
for the most part belonging to St. John de Luz, and the Passage. 
In this ship was great store of dry Newland fish, commonly called 
with us Poor John, whereof afterwards (being thus found a lawful 
prize) there was distribution made into all the ships of the fleet, 
the same being so new and good, as it did very greatly bestead us 
in the whole course of our voyage. A day or two after the taking 
of this ship we put in within the Isles of Bayona,* for lack of 
favourable wind; where we had no sooner anchored some part of 
the fleet, but the General commanded all the pinnaces with the 
shipboats to be manned, and every man to be furnished with such 
arms as were needful for that present service ; which being done, 
the General put himself into his galley, which was also well 
furnished, and rowing towards the city of Bayona, with intent, and 
the favour of the Almighty, to surprise it. Before we had advanced 
one half-league of our way there came a messenger, being an 
English merchant, from the Governor, to see what strange fleet we 
were, who came to our General, conferred a while with him, and 
after a small time spent, our General called for Captain Sampson, 
and willed him to go to the Governor of the city, to resolve him of 
two points. The first, to know if there were any wars between 
Spain and England ; the second, why our merchants with their 
goods were embargoed or arrested? Thus departed Captain 
Sampson with the said messenger to the city, where he found 
the Governor and people much amazed of such a sudden accident. 
The General, with the advice and counsel of Mr. Carleil, his 
Lieutenant-General, who was in the galley with him, thought not 
good to make any stand, till such time as they were within the 
shot of the city, where they might be ready upon the return of 
Captain Sampson, to make a sudden attempt if cause did require 
before it were dark. 

* The Cies Islets, at the mouth of the Vigo River. 

1585] DRAKE. 229 

Captain Sampson returned with his message in this sort : First, 
touching peace or wars, the Governor said he knew of no wars, and 
that it lay not in him to make any, he being so mean a subject as 
he was. And as for the stay of the merchants with their goods, 
it was the king's pleasure, but not with intent to endamage any 
man. And that the king's counter-commandment was (which had 
been received in that place some seven-night before) that English 
merchants with their goods should be discharged ; for the more 
verifying whereof, he sent such merchants as were in the town of 
our nation, who trafficked those parts, which being at large declared 
to our General by them, counsel was taken what might best be 
done. And for that the night approached, it was thought needful 
to land our forces, which was done in the shutting up of the day ; 
and having quartered ourselves to our most advantage, with suffi 
cient guard upon every strait, we thought to rest ourselves for that 
night there. The Governor sent us some refreshing, as bread, 
wine, oil, apples, grapes, marmalade, and such like. About mid 
night the weather began to overcast, insomuch that it was thought 
meeter to repair aboard, than to make any longer abode on land, 
and before we could recover the fleet a great tempest arose, which 
caused many of our ships to drive from their anchor-hold, and some 
were forced to sea in great peril, as the barque Talbot, the barque 
Hawkins, and the Speedwell, which Speedwell only was driven 
into England, the others recovered us again. The extremity of 
the storm lasted three days, which no sooner began to assuage, 
but Mr. Carleil, our Lieutenant-General, was sent with his own ship 
and three others, as also with the galley and with divers pinnaces, 
to see what he might do above Vigo, where he took many boats 
and some caravels, diversely laden with things of small value, but 
chiefly with household stuff, running into the high country, and 
amongst the rest he found one boat laden with the principal 
church stuff of the High Church of Vigo, where also was their 
great cross of silver, of very fair embossed work, and double-gilt 
all over, having cost them a great mass of money. They com 
plained to have lost in all kind of goods above thirty thousand 
ducats in this place. 

The next day the General with his whole fleet went from up the 
Isles of Bayona to a very good harbour above Vigo, where Mr. 
Carleil stayed his coming, as well for the more quiet riding of his 
ships, as also for the good commodity of fresh watering which the 
place there did afford full well. In the meantime the Governor of 


Galicia had reared such forces as he might ; his numbers by 
estimate were some two thousand foot and three hundred horse, 
and marched from Bayona to this part of the country, which lay in 
sight of our fleet ; where, making a stand, he sent to parley with 
our General, which was granted by our General, so it might be in 
boats upon the water; and for safety of their persons there were 
pledges delivered on both sides; which done, the Governor of 
Galicia put himself with two others into our Vice-Admiral's skiff, 
the same having been sent to the shore for him, and in like sort 
our General went in his own skiff; where by them it was agreed 
we should furnish ourselves with fresh water, to be taken by our 
own people quietly on the land, and have all other such neces 
saries, paying for the same, as the place would afford. 

When all our business was ended we departed, and took our 
way by the Islands of Canary, which are esteemed some three 
hundred leagues from this part of Spain, and falling purposely 
with Palma, with intention to have taken our pleasure of that 
place, for the full digesting of many things into order, and the 
better furnishing our store with such several good things as it 
affordeth very abundantly, we were forced by the vile sea-gate, 
which at that present fell out, and by the naughtiness of the 
landing-place, being but one, and that under the favour of many 
platforms well furnished with great ordnance, to depart with the 
receipt of many their cannon-shot, some into our ships and some 
besides, some of them being in very deed full cannon high. But 
the only or chief mischief was the dangerous sea-surge, which at 
shore all along plainly threatened the overthrow of as many pin 
naces and boats as for that time should have attempted any land 
ing at all. 

Now seeing the expectation of this attempt frustrated by the 
causes aforesaid, we thought it meeter to fall with the Isle Hierro, to 
see if we could find any better fortune, and coming to the island 
we landed a thousand men in a valley under a high mountain, 
where we stayed some two or three hours, in which time the in 
habitants, accompanied with a young fellow born in England, who 
dwelt there with them, came unto us, shewing their state to be so 
poor that they were all ready to starve, which was not untrue ; 
and therefore without anything gotten, we were all commanded 
presently to embark, so as that night we put off to sea south-south 
east along towards the coast of Barbary. 

Upon Saturday in the morning, being the I3th of November, we 

1585] DRAKE. 231 

fell with Cape Blank, which is a low land and shallow water, 
where we catched store of fish, and doubling the Cape, we put into 
the bay, where we found certain French ships of war, whom we 
entertained with great courtesy, and there left them. This after 
noon the whole fleet assembled, which was a little scattered about 
their fishing, and put from thence to the Isles of Cape de Verde, sail 
ing till the 1 6th of the same month in the morning, on which day 
we descried the Island of Santiago, and in the evening we anchored 
the fleet between the town called the Playa or Praya and Santiago, 
where we put on shore one thousand men or more, under the lead 
ing of Mr. Christopher Carleil, Lieutenant-General, who directed 
the service most like a wise commander. The place where we had 
first to march did afford no good order, for the ground was 
mountainous and full of dales, being a very stony and troublesome 
passage; but such was his industrious disposition, as he would 
never leave, until we had gotten up to a fair plain, where we made 
stand for the assembling of the army. And when we were all 
gathered together upon the plain, some two miles from the town, 
the Lieutenant-General thought good not to make attempt till day 
light, because there was not one that could serve for guide or 
giving knowledge at all of the place. And therefore after having 
well rested, even half an hour before day, he commanded the army 
to be divided into three special parts, such as he appointed, 
whereas before we had marched by several companies, being 
thereunto forced by the badness of the way as is aforesaid. 

Now by the time we were thus ranged into a very brave order, 
daylight began to appear, and being advanced hard to the wall, 
we saw no enemy to resist ; whereupon the Lieutenant-General 
appointed Captain Sampson with thirty shot, and Captain Barton 
with other thirty, to go down into the town which stood in 
the valley under us, and might very plainly be viewed all over 
from that place where the whole army was now arrived ; and 
presently after these Captains were sent the great ensign, which 
had nothing in it but the plain English cross, to be placed towards 
the sea, that our fleet might see Saint George's Cross flourish in 
the enemy's fortress. Order was given that all the ordnance 
throughout the town and upon all the platforms, which were about 
fifty pieces already charged, should be shot off in honour of the 
Queen's Majesty's Coronation Day, being the iyth of November, 
after the yearly custom of England, which was so answered again 
by the ordnance out of all the ships in the fleet which now was 


come near, as it was strange to hear such a thundering noise last 
so long together. In this meanwhile the Lieutenant-General held 
still the most part of his force on the hill-top, till such time as the 
town was quartered out for the lodging of the whole army, which 
being done every Captain took his own quarter, and in the evening 
was placed such a sufficient guard upon every part of the town 
that we had no cause to fear any present enemy. 

Thus we continued in the city the space of fourteen days, taking 
such spoils as the place yielded, which were, for the most part, 
wine, oil, meal, and some such like things for victuals, as vinegar, 
olives, and some such other trash, as merchandise for their Indian 
trades. But there was not found any treasure at all, or anything 
else of worth besides. 

The situation of Santiago is somewhat strange, in form like a 
triangle, having on the east and west sides two mountains of rock 
and cliff, as it were hanging over it, upon the top of which two 
mountains were builded certain fortifications to preserve the town 
from any harm that might be offered, as in a plot is plainly shewn. 
From thence on the south side of the town is the main sea, and 
on the north side, the valley lying between the foresaid mountains, 
wherein the town standeth ; the said valley and town both do 
grow very narrow, insomuch that the space between the two cliffs 
of this end of the town is estimated not to be above ten or twelve 
score over. 

In the midst of the valley cometh down a rivulet, rill, or brook 
of fresh water, which hard by the seaside maketh a pond or pool, 
whereout our ships were watered with very great ease and plea 
sure. Somewhat above the town on the north side between the 
two mountains, the valley waxeth somewhat larger than at the 
town's end, which valley is wholly converted into gardens and 
orchards, well replenished with divers sorts of fruits, herbs, and 
trees, as lemons, oranges, sugar-canes, cocoa or cocoa-nuts, plan 
tains, potato-roots, cucumbers, small and round onions, garlic, and 
some other things not now remembered, amongst which the cocoa- 
nuts and plantains are very pleasant fruits ; the said cocoa hath a 
hard shell and a green husk over it, as hath our walnut, but it far 
exceedeth in greatness, for this cocoa in his green husk is bigger 
than any man's two fists. Of the hard shell many drinking cups 
are made here in England, and set in silver as I have often seen. 
Next within this hard shell is a white rind resembling in show 
very much even as any thing may do, to the white of an egg when 

1585] DRAKE. 233 

it is hard boiled ; and within this white of the nut lieth a water, 
which is whitish and very clear, to the quantity of half a pint or 
thereabouts, which water and white rind before spoken of are both 
of a very cool fresh taste, and as pleasing as anything may be. I 
have heard some hold opinion that it is very restorative. 

The plantain groweth in pods, somewhat like to beans, but is 
bigger and longer, and much more thick together on the stalk, and 
when it waxeth ripe, the meat which filleth the rind of the cod 
becometh yellow, and is exceeding sweet and pleasant. 

In this time of our being there happened to come a Portugal 
to the western fort, with a flag of truce, to whom Captain Sampson 
was sent with Captain Goring ; who coming to the said messenger, 
he first asked them what nation they were : they answered English 
men. He then required to know if wars were between England 
and Spain, to which they answered that they knew not, but if he 
would go to their General he could best resolve him of such 
particulars, and for his assurance of passage and repassage these 
Captains made offer to engage their credits, which he refused for 
that he was not sent from his Governor. Then they told him 
if his Governor did desire to take a course for the common 
benefit of the people and country his best way were to come and 
present himself unto our noble and merciful Governor, Sir Francis 
Drake, whereby he might be assured to find favour, both for 
himself and the inhabitants ; otherwise within three days we should 
march over the land, and consume with fire all inhabited places, 
and put to the sword all such living souls as we should chance 
upon; so thus much he took for the conclusion of his answer, 
and departing, he promised to return the next day, but we never 
heard more of him. 

On the 24th of November, the General accompanied with the 
Lieutenant-General and six hundred men, marched forth to a 
village twelve miles within the land, called Saint Domingo, where 
the Governor and the Bishop with all the better sort were lodged, 
and by eight of the clock we came to it, finding the place 
abandoned, and the people fled into the mountains. So we made 
stand a while to ease ourselves, and partly to see if any would 
come to speak to us. 

After we had well rested ourselves, the General commanded 
the troops to march away homewards, in which retreat the 
enemy shewed themselves, both horse and foot, though not such 
force as durst encounter us; and so in passing sometime at the 


gaze with them, it waxed late and towards night before we could 
recover home to Santiago. 

On Monday, the 26th of November, the General commanded 
all the pinnaces with the boats to use all diligence to embark 
the army into such ships as every man belonged. The Lieu 
tenant -General in like sort commanded Captain Goring and 
Lieutenant Tucker, with one hundred shot to make a stand in 
the market-place, until our forces were wholly embarked, the 
Vice-Admiral making stay with his pinnace (and certain boats 
in the harbour) to bring the said last company aboard the ships. 
Also the General willed forthwith the galley with two pinnaces to 
take into them the company of Captain Barton, and the company 
of Captain Biggs, under the leading of Captain Sampson, to seek 
out such munition as was hidden in the ground, at the town of 
Praya, or Playa, having been promised to be shewed it by a 
prisoner, which was taken the day before. 

The Captains aforesaid coming to the Playa, landed their men, 
and having placed the troop in their best v strength, Captain 
Sampson took the prisoner, and willed him to show that he had 
promised, the which he could not, or at least would not ; but they 
searching all suspected places, found two pieces of ordnance, one 
of iron, another of brass. In the afternoon the General anchored 
with the rest of the fleet before the Playa, coming himself ashore, 
willing us to burn the town and make all haste aboard, the which 
was done by six o'clock the same day, and ourselves embarked 
again the same night, and so we put off to sea south-west. 

But before our departure from the town of Santiago, we estab 
lished orders for the better government of the army, every man 
mustered to his Captain, and oaths were ministered to acknow 
ledge Her Majesty supreme Governor, as also every man to do 
his uttermost endeavour to advance the service of the action, and 
to yield due obedience unto the directions of the General and his 
officers. By this provident counsel, and laying down this good 
foundation beforehand, all things went forward in a due course, to 
the achieving of our happy enterprise. 

In all the time of our being here, neither the Governor for the 
said King of Spain (which is a Portugal), neither the Bishop, whose 
authority is great, neither the inhabitants of the town, or island, 
ever came at us (which we expected they should have done), to 
entreat us to leave them some part of their needful provisions, or 
at the least to spare the ruining of their town at our going away. 

1585] DRAKE. 235 

The cause of this their unreasonable distrust (as I do take it) was 
the fresh remembrance of the great wrongs that they had done to 
old Mr. William Hawkins, of Plymouth, in the voyage he made 
four or five years before, when as they did both break their 
promise, and murdered many of his men, whereof I judge you 
have understood, and therefore it is needless to be repeated. But 
since they came not at us, we left written in sundry places, as also 
in the Spital House (which building only was appointed to be 
spared) the great discontentment and scorn we took at this their 
refraining to come unto us, as also at the rude manner of killing, 
and savage kind of handling the dead body of one of our boys 
found by them straggling all alone, from whom they had taken his 
head and heart, and had straggled the other bowels about the place, 
in a most brutish and beastly manner. 

In revenge whereof at our departing we consumed with fire all 
the houses, as well in the country which we saw, as in the town of 

From hence putting off to the West Indies, we were not many 
days at sea but there began among our people such mortality as 
in a few days there were dead above two or three hundred men. 
And until some seven or eight days after our coming from 
Santiago, there had not died any one man of sickness in all the 
fleet. The sickness showed not his infection wherewith so many 
were stricken until we were departed thence, and then seized our 
people with extreme hot burning and continual agues, whereof 
very few escaped with life, and yet those for the most part not 
without great alteration and decay of their wits and strength for a 
long time after. In some that died were plainly shown the small 
spots, which are often found upon those that be infected with 
the plague. We were not above eighteen days in passage between 
the sight of Santiago aforesaid, and the island of Dominica, 
being the first island of the West Indies that we fell withal, the 
same being inhabited with savage people, which go all naked, 
their skin coloured with some painting of a reddish tawny, very 
personable and handsome strong men, who do admit little con 
versation with the Spaniards; for as some of our people might 
understand them, they had a Spaniard or two prisoners with 
them, neither do I think that there is any safety for any of our 
nation or any other to be within the limits of their command 
ment, albeit they used us very kindly for those few hours of time 
which we spent with them, helping our folks to fill and carry on 


their bare shoulders fresh water from the river to our ships' 
boats, and fetching from their houses great store of tobacco, as 
also a kind of bread which they fed on, called cassavi, very 
white and savoury, made of the roots of cassavi. In recompense 
whereof we bestowed liberal rewards of glass, coloured beads, 
and other things, which we had found at Santiago, wherewith (as 
it seemed) they rested very greatly satisfied, and shewed some 
sorrowful countenance when they perceived that we would 

From hence we went to another island westward of it, called 
Saint Christopher's Island, wherein we spent some days of 
Christmas, to refresh our sick people, and to cleanse and air our 
ships. In which island were not any people at all that we could 
hear of. 

In which time by the General it was advised and resolved, with 
the consent of the Lieutenant-General, the Vice-Admiral, and all 
the rest of the Captains, to proceed to the great island of His- 
paniola, as well for that we knew ourselves then to be in our 
best strength, as also the rather allured thereunto, by the glorious 
fame of the city of St. Domingo, being the ancientest and chief 
inhabited place in all the tract of country thereabouts. And so 
proceeding in this determination, by the way we met a small 
frigate, bound for the same place, the which the Vice-Admiral 
took, and having duly examined the men that were in her, there 
was one found by whom we were advertized, the haven to be a 
barred haven, and the shore or land thereof to be well fortified, 
having a castle thereupon furnished with great store of artillery, 
without the danger whereof was no convenient landing-place 
within ten English miles of the city, to which the said pilot took 
upon him to conduct us. 

All things being thus considered on, the whole forces were com 
manded in the evening to embark themselves in pinnaces, boats, 
and other small barques appointed for this service. Our soldiers 
being thus embarked, the General put himself into the barque 
Francis as Admiral, and all this night we lay on the sea, bearing 
small sail until our arrival to the landing place, which was about 
the breaking of the day, and so we landed, being New Year's Day, 
nine or ten miles to the westward of that brave city of St. 
Domingo ; for at that time nor yet is known to us any landing- 
place, where the sea-surge doth not threaten to overset a pin 
nace or boat. Our General having seen us all landed in safety, 

1586] DRAKE. 237 

returned to his fleet, bequeathing us to God, and the good con 
duct of Master Carleil, our Lieutenant-General ; at which time, 
being about eight o'clock, we began to march, and about noon 
time, or towards one o'clock, we approached the town, where the 
gentlemen and those of the better sort, being some hundred and 
fifty brave horses, or rather more, began to present themselves ; 
but our small shot played upon them, which were so sustained with 
good proportion of pikes in all parts, as they finding no part of our 
troops unprepared to receive them (for you must understand 
they viewed all round about) they were thus driven to give us 
leave to proceed towards the two gates of the town, which were 
the next to the seaward. They had manned them both, and 
planted their ordnance for that present and sudden alarm without 
the gate, and also some troops of small shot in ambuscade upon 
the highway side. We divided our whole force, being some 
thousand or twelve hundred men, into two parts, to enterprise 
both the gates at one instant, the Lieutenant-General having openly 
vowed to Captain Powell (who led the troop that entered the other 
gate) that with God's good favour he would not rest until our 
meeting in the market-place. 

Their ordnance had no sooner discharged upon our near 
approach, and made some execution amongst us, though not 
much, but the Lieutenant-General began forthwith to advance 
both his voice of encouragement and pace of marching ; the 
first man that was slain with the ordnance being very near unto 
himself; and thereupon hasted all that he might, to keep them 
from the recharging of the ordnance. And notwithstanding their 
ambuscades, we marched or rather ran so roundly into them, as 
pell-mell we entered the gates, and gave them more care every 
man to save himself by flight, than reason to stand any longer to 
their broken fight. We forthwith repaired to the market-place ; 
but to be more truly understood, a place of very fair spacious square 
ground, whither also came as had been agreed Captain Powell 
with the other troop ; which place with some part next unto it, 
we strengthened with barricades, and there as the most convenient 
place assured ourselves, the city being far too spacious for so small 
and weary a troop to undertake to guard. Somewhat after mid 
night, they who had the guard of the castle, hearing us busy about 
the gates of the said castle, abandoned the same ; some being 
taken prisoners, and some fleeing away by the help of boats to the 
other side of the haven, and so into the country. 


The next day we quartered a little more at large, but not into 
the half part of the town, and so making substantial trenches, and 
planting all the ordnance, that each part was correspondent to 
other, we held this town the space of one month. 

In the which time happened some accidents, more than are well 
remembered for the present, but amongst other things, it chanced 
that the General sent on his message to the Spaniards a negro 
boy with a flag of white, signifying truce, as is the Spanish ordi 
nary manner to do there, when they approach to speak to us ; 
which boy unhappily was first met withal by some of those who 
had been belonging as officers for the king in the Spanish galley, 
which with the town was lately fallen into our hands, who without 
all order or reason, and contrary to that good usage wherewith we 
had entertained their messengers, furiously struck the poor boy 
through the body with one of their horseman's staves ; with which 
wound the boy returned to the General ; and after he had declared 
the manner of this wrongful cruelty, died forthwith in his presence. 
Wherewith the General being greatly passioned, commanded the 
Provost Martial to cause a couple of friars, then prisoners, to be 
carried to the same place where the boy was struck, accompanied 
with sufficient guard of our soldiers, and there presently to be 
hanged, despatching at the same instant another poor prisoner, with 
this reason wherefore this execution was done, and with this 
message further, that until the party who had thus murdered 
the General's messenger were delivered into our hands to receive 
condign punishment, there should no day pass wherein there 
should not two prisoners be hanged, until they were all consumed 
which were in our hands. Whereupon the day following, he that 
had been Captain of the King's Galley,, brought the offender to 
the town's end, offering to deliver him into our hands ; but it 
was thought to be a more honourable revenge to make them 
there, in our sight, to perform the execution themselves, which was 
done accordingly. 

During our being in this town, as formerly also at Santiago, 
there had passed justice upon the life of one of our own company 
for an odious matter, so here likewise was there an Irishman 
hanged for the murdering of his corporal. 

In this time also passed many treaties between their Commis 
sioners and us, for ransom of their city ; but upon disagreements 
we still spent the early mornings in firing the outmost houses ; 
but they being built very magnificently of stone, with high lofts 

1586] DRAKE. 239 

gave us no small travail to ruin them. And albeit for divers days 
together we ordained each morning by daybreak, until the heat 
began at nine o'clock, that two hundred mariners did naught else 
but labour to fire and burn the said houses without our trenches, 
whilst the soldiers in a like proportion stood forth for their guard ; 
yet did we not, or could not in this time consume so much as one- 
third part of the town, which town is plainly described and set 
forth in a certain map. And so in the end, what wearied with 
firing, and what hastened by some other respects, we were con 
tented to accept of twenty-five thousand ducats of five shillings 
and six-pence the piece, for the ransom of the rest of the town. 

Amongst other things which happened and were found at 
St. Domingo, I may not omit to let the world know one very 
notable mark and token of the insatiable ambition of . the 
Spanish king and his nation, which was found in the king's 
house, wherein the chief governor of that city and country is 
appointed always to lodge, which was this : In the coming to 
the hall or other rooms of this house, you must first ascend up 
by a fair large pair of stairs, at the head of which stairs is a 
handsome spacious place to walk in, somewhat like unto a 
gallery, wherein upon one of the walls, right over against you as 
you enter the said place, so as your eye cannot escape the sight 
of it, there is described and painted in a very large escutcheon 
the arms of the King of Spain, and in the lower part of the said 
escutcheon, there is likewise described a globe, containing in it 
the whole circuit of the sea and the earth, whereupon is a horse 
standing on his hinder part within the globe, and the other fore-part 
without the globe, lifted up as it were to leap, with a scroll painted 
in his mouth, wherein was written these words in Latin, " Non 
sufficit orbis," which is as much to say, as the world sufficeth not. 
Whereof the meaning was required to be known of some of those 
of the better sort, that came in commission to treat upon the 
ransom of the town, who would shake their heads, and turn aside 
their countenance, in some smiling sort, without answering 
anything, as greatly ashamed thereof. For by some of our com 
pany it was told them, that if the Queen of England would 
resolutely prosecute the wars against the King of Spain, he should 
be forced to lay aside that proud and unreasonable reaching vein 
of his ; for he should find more than enough to do to keep that 
which he had already, as by the present example of their lost 
town they might for a beginning perceive well enough. 


Now to the satisfying of some men, who marvel greatly that 
such a famous and goodly -builded city, so well inhabited of gallant 
people, very brave in their apparel (whereof our soldiers found 
good store for their relief), should afford no greater riches than 
was found there. Herein it is to be understood that the Indian 
people, which were the natives of this whole island of Hispaniola 
(the same being near hand as great as England), were many years 
since clean consumed by the tyranny of the Spaniards, which was 
the cause that, for lack of people to work in the mines, the gold 
and silver mines of this island are wholly given over, and thereby 
they are fain in this island to use copper money, whereof was 
found very great quantity. The chief trade of this place con- 
sisteth of sugar and ginger, which groweth in the island, and of 
hides of oxen and kine, which in this waste country of the island 
are bred in infinite numbers, the soil being very fertile. And the 
said beasts are fed up to a very large growth, and so killed for 
nothing so much as for the hides aforesaid. We found here great 
store of strong wine, sweet oil, vinegar, olives, and other such-like 
provisions, as excellent wheat-meal packed up in wine-pipes and 
other casks, and other commodities likewise, as woollen and linen 
cloth and some silks, all which provisions are brought out of 
Spain, and served us for great relief. There was but a little 
plate or vessel of silver, in comparison of the great pride in other 
things of this town, because in these hot countries they use much 
of those earthen dishes finely painted or varnished, which they 
call porcelain, which is had out of the East Indies ; and for their 
drinking they use glasses altogether, whereof they make excellent 
good and fair in the same place. But yet some plate we found, 
and many other good things, as their household garniture, very 
gallant and rich, which had cost them dear, although unto us they 
were of small importance. 

From St. Domingo we put over to the main or firm land, and, 
going all along the coast, we came at last in sight of Carthagena, 
standing upon the seaside, so near as some of our barques in 
passing along approached within the reach of their culverin shot, 
which they had planted upon certain platforms. The harbour- 
mouth lay some three miles toward the westward of the town, 
whereinto we entered at about three or four o'clock in the after 
noon without any resistance of ordnance or other impeachment 
planted upon the same. In the evening we put ourselves on land 
towards the harbour-mouth, under the leading of Master Carleil, 

1586] DRAKE. 241 

our Lieutenant-General, who, after he had digested us to march 
forward about midnight, as easily as foot might fall, expressly 
commanded us to keep close by the sea-wash of the shore for our 
best and surest way, whereby we were like to go through, and not 
to miss any more of the way, which once we had lost within an 
hour after our first beginning to march, through the slender know 
ledge of him that took upon him to be our guide, whereby the night 
spent on, which otherwise must have been done by resting. But 
as we came within some two miles of the town, their horsemen, 
which were some hundred, met us, and, taking the alarm, retired 
to their townward again upon the first volley of our shot that was 
given them ; for the place where we encountered being woody and 
bushy, even to the water-side, was unmeet for their service. 

At this instant we might hear some pieces of artillery dis 
charged, with divers small shot, towards the harbour, which gave 
us to understand, according to the order set down in the evening 
before by our General, that the Vice-Admiral, accompanied with 
Captain Venner, Captain White, and Captain Crosse, with other 
sea captains, and with divers pinnaces and boats, should give 
some attempt unto the little fort standing on the entry of the inner 
haven, near adjoining to the town, though to small purpose, for 
that the place was strong, and the entry (very narrow) was chained 
over ; so as there could be nothing gotten by the attempt more 
than the giving of them an alarm on that other side of the 
haven, being a mile and a-half from the place we now were at. 
In which attempt the Vice-Admiral had the rudder of his skiff 
stricken through with a saker shot, and a little or no harm re 
ceived elsewhere. 

The troops being now in their march, half-a-mile behither the 
town or less, the ground we were on grew to be straight, and not 
above fifty paces over, having the main sea on the one side of it 
and the harbour water or inner sea (as you may term it) on the 
other side, which in the plot is plainly shewed. This strait was 
fortified clean over with a stone wall and a ditch without it, the 
said wall being as orderly built with flanking in every part as can 
be set down. There was only so much of this strait unwalled as 
might serve for the issuing of the horsemen or the passing of 
carriage in time of need. But this unwalled part was not without 
a very good barricade of wine-butts or pipes, filled with earth, full 
and thick as they might stand on end one by another, some part of 
them standing even within the main sea. 



This place of strength was furnished with six great pieces, demi- 
culverins and sakers, which shot directly in front upon us as we 
approached. Now within this wall upon the inner side of the 
strait they had brought likewise two great galleys with their prows 
to the shore, having planted in them eleven pieces of ordnance, 
which did beat all cross the strait, and flanked our coming on. 
In these two galleys were planted three or four hundred small shot, 
and on the land, in the guard only of this place, three hundred 
shot and pikes. 

They, in this their full readiness to receive us, spared not their 
shot both great and small. But our Lieutenant-General, taking 
the advantage of the dark (the daylight as yet not broken out) 
approached by the lowest ground, according to the express direc 
tion which himself had formerly given, the same being the sea- 
wash shore, where the water was somewhat fallen, so as most of 
all their shot was in vain. Our Lieutenant-General commanded 
our shot to forbear shooting until we were come to the wall-side, 
and so with pikes roundly together we approached the place, 
where we soon found out the barricades of pipes or butts to be the 
meetest place for our assault, which, notwithstanding it was well 
furnished with pikes and shots, was without staying attempted by 
us. Down went the butts of earth, and pell-mell came our swords 
and pikes together, after our shots had first given their volley, 
even at the enemy's nose. Our pikes were somewhat longer than 
theirs, and our bodies better armed ; for very few of them were 
armed. With which advantage our swords and pikes grew too 
hard for them, and they driven to give place. In this furious 
entry the Lieutenant-General slew with his own hands the chief 
ensign-bearer of the Spaniards, who fought very manfully to his 
life's end. 

We followed into the town with them, and, giving them no 
leisure to breathe, we won the market-place, albeit they made 
head and fought awhile before we got it, and so we being once 
seized and assured of that, they were content to suffer us to lodge 
within the town, and themselves to go to their wives, whom they had 
carried into other places of the country before our coming thither. 
At every street's end they had raised very fine barricades of earth 
works, with trenches without them, as well made as ever we saw 
any work done ; at the entering whereof was some little resist 
ance, but soon overcome it was, with few slain or hurt. They had 
joined with them many Indians, whom they had placed in corners 

1586] DRAKE. 243 

of advantage, all bowmen, with their arrows most villainously em 
poisoned, so as if they did but break the skin, the party so 
touched died without great marvel. Some they slew of our people 
with their arrows ; some they likewise mischiefed to death with 
certain pricks of small sticks sharply pointed, of a foot and a-half 
long, the one end put into the ground, the. other empoisoned, 
sticking fast up, right against our coming in the way as we 
should approach from our landing towards the town, whereof 
they had planted a wonderful number in the ordinary way; but 
our keeping the sea-wash shore, missed the greatest part of them 
very happily. 

I overpass many particular matters, as the hurting of Captain 
Sampson at sword blows in the first entering, unto whom was 
committed the charge of the pikes of the vanguard by his lot and 
turn, as also of the taking of Alonzo Bravo, the chief commander 
of that place, by Captain Goring, after the said Captain had first 
hurt him with his sword ; unto which Captain was committed the 
charge of the shot of the said vanguard. Captain Winter was 
likewise by his turn of the vanguard in this attempt, where also 
the Lieutenant-General marched himself ; the said Captain Winter, 
through a great desire to serve by land, having now exchanged 
his charge at sea with Captain Cecil for his band of footmen. 
Captain Powell, the Serjeant-Major, had by his turn the charge 
of the four companies which made the battle. Captain Morgan, 
who at St. Domingo was of the vanguard, had now by turn his 
charge upon the companies of the rearward. Every man, as well 
of one part as of another, came so willingly on to the service, as 
the enemy was not able to endure the fury of such hot assault. 

We stayed here six weeks, and the sickness with mortality 
before spoken of still continued among us, though not with the 
same fury as at the first ; and such as were touched with the said 
sickness, escaping death, very few or almost none could recover 
their strength; yea, many -of them were much decayed in their 
memory, insomuch that it was grown an ordinary judgment, when 
one was heard to speak foolishly, to say he had been sick of the 
Calentura, which is the Spanish name of their burning ague ; for, 
as I told you before, it is a very burning and pestilent ague. The 
original cause thereof is imputed to the evening or first night 
air, which they term La serena, wherein they say and hold very 
firm opinion that whoso is then abroad in the open air shall cer 
tainly be infected to the death, not being of the Indian or native 

R 2 


race of those country people. By holding their watch our men 
were thus subjected to the infectious air, which at Santiago was 
most dangerous and deadly of all other places. 

With the inconvenience of continual mortality we were forced 
to give over our intended enterprise, to go with Nombre de Dios, 
and so overland to Panama, where we should have struck the 
stroke for the treasure, and full recompense of our tedious travails. 
And thus at Carthagena we took our first resolution to return 
homewards, the form of which Resolution I thought good here to 
put down under the principal captain's hands as followeth : 

A Resolution of the Land-Captains ', what course they think most 
expedient to be taken. Given at CARTHAGENA, the 2jth day of 
February ', 1586. 

Whereas it hath pleased the General to demand the opinions 
of his Captains what course they think most expedient to be now 
undertaken, the land Captains being assembled by themselves to 
gether, and having advised hereupon do in three points deliver the 

The first, touching the keeping of the town against the force of 
the enemy, either that which is present, or that which may come 
out of Spain, is answered thus : 

" We hold opinion, that with this troop of men which we have 
presently with us in land service, being victualled and munitioned, 
we may well keep the town, albeit that of men able to answer pre 
sent service, we have not above 700. The residue being some 150 
men, by reason of their hurts and sickness, are altogether unable 
to stand us in any stead : wherefore hereupon the sea captains are 
likewise to give their resolution, how they will undertake the 
safety and service of the ships upon the arrival of any Spanish 

The second point we make to be this, whether it be mete to go 
presently homeward, or else to continue further trial of our fortune 
in undertaking such like enterprises as we have done already, and 
thereby to seek after that bountiful mass of treasure for recom 
pense of our travels, which was generally expected at our coming 
forth of England : wherein we answer : 

" That it is well known how both we arid the soldiers are entered 

1586] DRAKE. 245 

into this action as voluntary men, without any impress or gage 
from Her Majesty or anybody else : and forasmuch as we have 
hitherto discharged the parts of honest men, so that now by the 
great blessing and favour of our good God there have been taken 
three such notable towns, wherein by the estimation of all men 
would have been found some very great treasures, knowing that 
Santiago was the chief city of all the islands and traffics there 
abouts, St. Domingo the chief city of Espafiola, and the head 
government not only of that island, but also of Cuba, and of all 
the islands about it, as also of such inhabitations of the firm land, 
as were next unto it, and a place that is both magnificently built and 
entertaineth great trades of merchandise ; and now lastly the city 
of Carthagena, which cannot be denied to be one of the chief places 
of most especial importance to the Spaniard of all the cities which 
be on this side of the West Indies : we do therefore consider, that 
since all these cities, with their goods and prisoners taken in them, 
and the ransoms of the said cities being all put together, are found 
far short to satisfy that expectation which by the generality of the 
enterprisers was first conceived ; and being further advised of the 
slenderness of our strength, whereunto we be now reduced, as well 
in respect of the small number of able bodies, as also not a little 
in regard of the slack disposition of the greater part of those which 
remain, very many of the better minds and men being either con 
sumed by death or weakened by sickness and hurts ; and lastly, 
since that as yet there is not laid down to our knowledge any such 
enterprise as may seem convenient to be undertaken with such few 
as we are presently able to make, and withal of such certain likeli 
hood, as with God's good success which it may please him to 
bestow upon us, the same may promise to yield us any sufficient 
contentment : we do therefore conclude hereupon, that it is better 
to hold sure as we may the honour already gotten, and with the 
same to return towards our gracious sovereign and country, from 
whence it shall please Her Majesty to set us forth again with her 
orderly means and entertainment, we are most ready and willing 
to go through with anything that the uttermost of our strength and 
endeavour shall be able to reach unto; but therewithal we do 
advise and protest that it is far from our thoughts, either to refuse, 
or so much as to seem to be weary of anything, which for the pre 
sent shall be further required or directed to be done by us from 
our General." 
The third and last point is concerning the ransom of this city of 


Carthagena, for the which, before it was touched with any fire, there 
was made an offer of some 27,000 or 28,000 pounds sterling : 

" Thus much we utter herein as our opinions agreeing (so it be 
done in good sort) to accept this offer aforesaid, rather than to 
break off by standing still upon our demands of ; 100,000, 
which seems a matter impossible to be performed for the present 
by them, and to say truth, we may now with much honour and 
reputation better be satisfied with that sum offered by them at the 
first (if they will now be contented to give it) than we might at that 
time with a great deal more, inasmuch as we have taken our full 
pleasure both in the uttermost sacking and spoiling of all their 
household goods and merchandise, as also in that we have con 
sumed and ruined a great part of their town with fire. And thus 
much further is considered herein by us, that as there be in the 
voyage a great many poor men, who have willingly adventured 
their lives and travels, and divers amongst them having spent their 
apparel and such other little provisions as their small means might 
have given them leave to prepare, which being done upon such 
good and allowable intention as this action hath always carried 
with it, meaning, against the Spaniard, our greatest and most 
dangerous enemy : so surely we cannot but have an inward regard 
so far as may lie in us, to help either in all good sort towards the 
satisfaction of this their expectation, and by procuring them some 
little benefit to encourage them and to nourish this ready and 
willing disposition of theirs both in them and in others by their 
example against any other time of like occasion. But because it 
may be supposed that herein we forget not the private benefit of 
ourselves, and are thereby the rather moved to incline ourselves to 
this composition, we do therefore think good for the clearing of 
ourselves of all such suspicion, to declare hereby, that what part or 
portion soever it be of this ransom or composition for Carthagena 
which should come unto us, we do freely give and bestow the same 
wholly upon the poor men, who have remained with us in the 
voyage, meaning as well the sailor as the soldier, wishing with all 
our hearts it were such or so much as might seem a sufficient 
reward for their painful endeavour. And for the firm confirmation 
thereof, we have thought meet to subsign those presents with our 
own hands in the place and time aforesaid. 

"Captain Christopher Carleil, Lieutenant-General ; Captain 
Goring, Captain Sampson, Captain Powell, &c." 

But while we were yet there it happened one day, that our watch 

1586] DRAKE. 247 

called the sentinel, upon the church-steeple, had discovered in the 
sea a couple of small barques or boats, making in with the harbour 
of Carthagena, whereupon Captain Moon and Captain Varney, 
with John Grant, the master of the Tiger, and some other seamen, 
embarked themselves in a couple of small pinnaces, to take them 
before they should come nigh the shore, at the mouth of the 
harbour, lest by some straggling Spaniards from the land, they 
might be warned by signs from coming in, which fell out accord 
ingly, notwithstanding all the diligence that our men could use : 
for the Spanish boats, upon the sight of our pinnaces coming 
towards them, ran themselves ashore, and so their men presently 
hid themselves in bushes hard by the sea-side, amongst some 
others that had called them by signs thither. Our men presently 
without any due regard had to the quality of the place, and seeing 
no man of the Spaniards to shew themselves, boarded the Spanish 
barques or boats, and so standing all open in them, were suddenly 
shot at by a troop of Spaniards out of the bushes ; by which volley of 
shot there were slain Captain Varney, which died presently, and 
Captain Moon, who died some few days after, besides some four 
or five others that were hurt : and so our folks returned without 
their purpose, not having any sufficient number of soldiers with 
them to fight on shore. For those men they carried were all 
mariners to row, few of them armed, because they made account 
with their ordnance to have taken the barques well enough at sea 
which they might full easily have done, without any loss at all, if 
they had come in time to the harbour mouth, before the Spaniards' 
boats had gotten so near the shore. 

During our abode in this place, as also at St. Domingo, there 
passed divers courtesies between us and the Spaniards, as feasting, 
and using them with all kindness and favour; so as amongst 
others there came to see the General the Governor of Carthagena, 
with the Bishop of the same, and divers other gentlemen of the better 
sort. This town of Carthagena we touched in the outparts, and con 
sumed much with fire, as we had done St. Domingo upon discon 
tentments, and for want of agreeing with us in their first treaties 
touching their ransom, which at the last was concluded between 
us, should be 1 10,000 ducats for that which was yet standing, the 
ducat valued at five shillings and sixpence sterling. 

This town, though not half so big as St. Domingo, gives, as you 
see, a far greater ransom, being in very deed of far more import 
ance, by reason of the excellency of the harbour and the situation 


thereof, to serve the trade of N ombre de Dios and other places, . 
and is inhabited with far more richer merchants. The other is 
chiefly inhabited with lawyers and brave gentlemen, being the 
chief or highest appeal of their suits in law of all the islands 
about it and of the mainland coast next unto it. And it is of no 
such account as Carthagena, for these and some other like reasons 
which I could give you over long to be now written. 

The warning which this town received of our coming towards 
them from St. Domingo, by the space of twenty days before our 
arrival here, was cause that they had both fortified and every way 
prepared for their best defence. As also that they had carried and 
conveyed away all their treasure and principal substance. 

The ransom of an hundred and ten thousand ducats thus con 
cluded on, as is aforesaid, the same being written, and expressing 
for nothing more than the town of Carthagena, upon the payment 
of the said ransom we left the said town and drew some part of 
our soldiers into the priory or abbey, standing a quarter of an 
English mile below the town upon the harbour water-side, the 
same being walled with a wall of stone, which we told the 
Spaniards was yet ours, and not redeemed by their composition ; 
whereupon they, finding the defect of their contract, were con 
tented to enter into another ransom for all places, but specially for 
the said house, as also the blockhouse or castle, which is upon the 
mouth of the inner harbour. And when we asked as much for the 
one as for the other, they yielded to give a thousand crowns for the 
abbey, leaving us to take our pleasure upon the blockhouse, which 
they said they were not able to ransom, having stretched them 
selves to the uttermost of their powers ; and therefore the said 
blockhouse was by us undermined, and so with gunpowder blown 
up in pieces. While this latter contract was in making, our whole 
fleet of ships fell down towards the harbour-mouth, where they 
anchored the third time and employed their men in fetching of 
fresh water aboard the ships for our voyage homewards, which 
water was had in a great well that is in the island by the harbour- 
mouth ; which island is a very pleasant place as hath been seen, 
having in it many sorts of goodly and very pleasant fruits, as the 
orange-trees and others, being set orderly in walks of great length 
together. Insomuch as the whole island being some two or three 
miles about, is cast into grounds of gardening and orchards. 

After six weeks' abode in this place, we put to sea the last of 
March, where, after two or three days, a great ship which we had 

1586] DRAKE. 249 

taken at St. Domingo, and thereupon was called the New Year's 
Gift, fell into a great leak, being laden with ordnance, hides, and 
other spoils, and in the night she lost the company of our fleet, 
which, being missed the next morning by the General, he cast 
about with the whole fleet, fearing some great mischance to be 
happened unto her, as in very deed it so fell out ; for her leak was 
so great that her men were all tired with pumping. But at the last, 
having found her and the barque Talbot in her company, which 
stayed by great hap with her, they were ready to take their men 
out of her for the saving of them. And so the General, being fully 
advertised of their great extremity, made sail directly back again to 
Carthagena with the whole fleet, where, having staid eight or ten 
days more about the unlading of this ship and the bestowing 
thereof and her men into other ships, we departed once again to 
sea, directing our course toward the Cape St. Anthony, being the 
westermost part of Cuba, where we arrived on the 27th of April. 
But because fresh water could not presently be found, we weighed 
anchor and departed, thinking in few days to recover the Ma- 
tanzas, a place to the eastward of Havana. 

After we had sailed some fourteen days we were brought to 
Cape St. Anthony again through lack of favourable wind; but 
then our scarcity was grown such as need made us look a little 
better for water, which being found in sufficient quantity, being 
indeed, as I judge, none other than rain-water newly fallen and 
gathered up by making pits in a plot of marsh ground some three 
hundred paces from the seaside. 

I do wrong if I should forget the good example of the General 
at this place, who, to encourage others, and to hasten the 
getting of fresh water aboard the ships, took no less pain 
himself than the meanest; as also at St. Domingo, Cartha 
gena, and all other places, having always so vigilant a care 
and foresight in the good ordering of his fleet, accompanying 
them, as it is said, with such wonderful travail of body, as 
doubtless had he been the meanest person, as he was the 
chiefest, he had yet deserved the first place of honour ; and no less 
happy do we account him for being associated with Mr. Carleil, his 
Lieutenant-General, by whose experience, prudent counsel, and 
gallant performance he achieved so many and happy enterprises 
of the war, by whom also he was very greatly assisted in setting 
down the needful orders, laws, and course of justice, and the due 
administration of the same upon all occasions. 


After three days spent in watering our ships, we departed now 
the second time from this Cape of St. Anthony on the I3th of May, 
and, proceeding about the Cape of Florida, we never touched any 
where ; but, coasting along Florida, and keeping the shore still in 
sight, on the 28th of May, early in the morning, we descried on the 
shore a place built like a beacon, which was indeed a scaffold upon 
four long masts raised on end for men to discover to the seaward, 
being in the latitude of thirty degrees, or very near thereunto. Our 
pinnaces manned and coming to the shore, we marched up along 
the river-side to see what place the enemy held there ; for none 
amongst us had any knowledge thereof at all. 

Here the General took occasion to march with the companies 
himself in person, the Lieutenant-General having the vanguard ; 
and, going a mile up, or somewhat more, by the river-side, we 
might discern on the other side of the river over against us a fort 
which newly had been built by the Spaniards ; and some mile, or 
thereabout, above the fort was a little town or village without walls, 
built of wooden houses, as the plot doth plainly shew. We forth 
with prepared to have ordnance for the battery; and one piece 
was a little before the evening planted, and the first shot being 
made by the Lieutenant-General himself at their ensign, struck 
through the ensign, as we afterwards understood by a Frenchman 
which came unto us from them. One shot more was then made, 
which struck the foot of the fort wall, which was all massive timber 
of great trees like masts. The Lieutenant-General was determined 
to pass the river this night with four companies, and there to lodge 
himself entrenched as near to the fort as that he might play with 
his muskets and smallest shot upon any that should appear, and so 
afterwards to bring and plant the battery with him ; but the help of 
mariners for that sudden to make trenches could not be had, which 
was the cause that this determination was remitted until the next 

In the night the Lieutenant-General took a little rowing skiff 
and a half-a-dozen well armed, as Captain Morgan, and Captain 
Sampson, with some others besides the rowers, and went to view 
what guard the enemy kept, as also to take knowledge of the 
ground. And albeit he went as covertly as might be, yet the 
enemy, taking the alarm, grew fearful that the whole force was 
approaching to the assault, and therefore with all speed abandoned 
the place after the shooting of some of their pieces. They thus 
gone, and he being returned unto us again, but nothing knowing of 

1586] DRAKE. 251 

their flight from their fort, forthwith came a Frenchman, being a 
piper (who has been prisoner with them) in a little boat, playing on 
his pipe the tune of the Prince of Orange's song; and being called 
unto by the guard, he told them before he put foot out of the boat 
what he was himself, and how the Spaniards had gone from the 
fort, offering either to remain in hands there, or else to return to the 
place with them that would go. 

Upon this intelligence the General, the Lieutenant-General, 
with some of the captains in one skiff and the Vice- Admiral with 
some others in his skiff, and two or three pinnaces furnished of 
soldiers with them, put presently over towards the fort, giving 
order for the rest of the pinnaces to follow. And in our approach 
some of the enemy, bolder than the rest, having stayed behind 
their company, shot off two pieces of ordnance at us ; but on 
shore we went, and entered the place without finding any man 

When the day appeared, we found it built all of timber, the 
walls being none other than whole masts or bodies of trees set 
upright and close together in manner of a pale, without any ditch 
as yet made, but wholly intended with some more time ; for they 
had not as yet finished all their work, having begun the same some 
three or four months before ; so as, to say the truth, they had no 
reason to keep it, being subject both to fire and easy assault. 

The platform whereon the ordnance lay was whole bodies of 
long pine-trees, whereof there is great plenty, laid across one on 
another and some little earth amongst. There were in it thirteen 
or fourteen great pieces of brass ordnance and a chest unbroken up, 
having in it the value of some two thousand pounds sterling by 
estimation of the King's treasure to pay the soldiers of that place, 
who were a hundred and fifty men. 

The Fort thus won, which they called St. John's Fort, and the day 
opened, we assayed to go to the town, but could not by reason 
of some rivers and broken ground which was between the two 
places ; and therefore being enforced to embark again into our 
pinnaces, we went thither upon the great main river, which is called 
as also the town, by the name of St. Augustine. 

At our approaching to land, there were some that began to 
shew themselves, and to bestow some few shot upon us, but 
presently withdrew themselves. And in their running thus away, 
the Sergeant-Major finding one of their horses ready saddled and 
bridled, took the same to follow the chase; and so overgoing 


all his company, was (by one laid behind a bush) shot through 
the head ; and falling down therewith, was by the same and two 
or three more, stabbed in three or four places of his body with 
swords and daggers, before any could come near to his rescue. 
His death was much lamented, being in very deed an honest, 
wise gentleman, and soldier of good experience, and of as great 
courage as any man might be. 

In this place called St. Augustine, we understood the king did 
keep, as is before said, one hundred and fifty soldiers, and at an 
other place some dozen leagues beyond to the northwards, called 
St. Helena, he did there likewise keep an hundred and fifty 
more, serving there for no other purpose than to keep all other 
nations from inhabiting any part of all that coast ; the government 
whereof was committed to one Pedro Melendez, marquis, nephew 
to that Melendez the Admiral, who had overthrown Mr. John 
Hawkins in the Bay of Mexico some seventeen or eighteen years 
ago. This Governor had charge of both places, but was at this 
time in this place, and one of the first that left the same. 

Here it was resolved in full assembly of captains, to undertake 
the enterprise of St. Helena, and from thence to seek out the 
inhabitation of our English countrymen in Virginia, distant from 
thence some six degrees northward. When we came thwart of 
St. Helena, the shoals appearing dangerous, and we having no 
pilot to undertake the entry, it was thought meetest to go hence 
alongst. For the Admiral had been the same night in four fathom 
and a half, three leagues from the shore ; and yet we understood 
by the help of a known pilot, there may and do go in ships of 
greater burden and draught than any we had in our fleet. We 
passed thus along the coast hard aboard the shore, which is 
shallow for a league or two from the shore, and the same is low 
and broken land for the most part. On the Qth of June upon sight 
of one special great fire (which are very ordinary all along this 
coast, even from the Cape of Florida hither) the General sent his 
skiff to the shore, where they found some of our English country 
men (that had been sent thither the year before by Sir Walter 
Raleigh) and brought them aboard: by whose direction we pro 
ceeded along to the place which they make their port. But some 
of our ships being of great draught, unable to enter, anchored with 
out the harbour in a wild road at sea, about two miles from shore. 
From whence the General wrote letters to Mr. Ralfe Lane, being 
governor of those English in Virginia, and then at his fort about 

1586] DRAKE. 253 

six leagues from the road in an Island which they called Roanoke 
wherein especially he shewed how ready he was to supply his 
necessities and wants, which he understood of, by those he had 
first talked withal. 

The morrow after, Mr. Lane himself and some of his company 
coming unto him, with the consent of his captains he gave them 
the choice of two offers, that is to say : Either he would leave a 
ship, a pinnace, and certain boats with sufficient masters and 
mariners, together furnished with a month's victuals, to stay and 
make further discovery of the country and coasts, and so much 
victual likewise as might be sufficient for the bringing of them 
all (being an hundred and three persons) into England, if they 
thought good after such time, with any other thing they would 
desire, and that he might be able to spare. 

Or else if they thought they had made sufficient discovery 
already, and did desire to return into England, he would give 
them passage. But they, as it seemed, being desirous to stay, 
accepted very thankfully and with great gladness, that which was 
offered first. Whereupon the ship being appointed and received 
into charge by some of their own company sent into her by 
Mr. Lane, before they had received from the rest of the fleet 
the provision appointed them, there arose a great storm (which 
they said was extraordinary and very strange) that lasted three 
days together, and put all our fleet in great danger, to be driven 
from their anchoring upon the coast ; for we broke many cables, 
and lost many anchors ; and some of our fleet which had lost 
all (of which number was the ship appointed for Mr. Lane 
and his company) was driven to put to sea in great danger, in 
avoiding the coast, and could never see us again until we met 
in England. Many also of our small pinnaces and boats were 
lost in this storm. 

Notwithstanding, after all this, the General offered them (with 
consent of his captains) another ship with some provisions, 
although not such a one for their turns, as might have been spared 
them before, this being unable to be brought into their harbour. 
Or else if they would, to give them passage into England, 
although he knew he should perform it with greater difficulty than 
he might have done before. But Mr. Lane, with those of the 
chiefest of his company which he had then with him, considering 
what should be best for them to do, made request unto the General 
under their hands, that they might have passage for England: 


the which being granted, and the rest sent for out of the country 
and shipped, we departed from that coast on the i8th of June. 
And so, God be thanked, both they and we in good safety 
arrived at Portsmouth on the 28th of July, 1586, to the great glory 
of God, and to no small honour to our Prince, our country, and 
ourselves. The total value of that which was got in this voyage is 
esteemed at three score thousand pounds, whereof the companies 
which have travelled in the voyage were to have twenty thousand 
pounds, the adventurers the other forty. Of which twenty thousand 
pounds (as I can judge) will redound some six pounds to the 
single share. We lost some seven hundred and fifty men in the 
voyage ; above three parts of them only by sickness. The men of 
name that died and were slain in this voyage, which I can presently 
call to remembrance, are these : Captain Powell, Captain Varney, 
Captain Moon, Captain Fortescue, Captain Biggs, Captain Cecil, 
Captain Hannam, Captain Greenfield ; Thomas Tucker, a lieu 
tenant ; Alexander Starkey, a lieutenant ; Mr. Escot, lieutenant ; 
Mr. Waterhouse, a lieutenant; Mr. George Candish, Mr. Nicholas 
Winter, Mr. Alexander Carleil, Mr. Robert Alexander, Mr. Scroope, 
Mr. James Dier, Mr. Peter Duke. With some other, whom for 
haste I cannot suddenly think on. 

The ordnance gotten of all sorts, brass and iron, were about two 
hundred and forty pieces, whereof the two hundred and some more 
were brass, and were thus found and gotten : At Santiago some 
two or three and fifty pieces. In St. Domingo about four score, 
whereof was very much great ordnance, as whole cannon, derm- 
cannon, culverins, and such like. In Carthagena some sixty and 
three pieces, and good store likewise of the greater sort. In the 
Fort of St. Augustin were fourteen pieces. The rest was iron 
ordnance, of which the most part was gotten at St. Domingo, the 
rest at Carthagena. 



THOMAS CAVENDISH, a young Suffolk gentleman of good 
family, who had squandered the savings of a long minority, 
and dissipated the substance of a large fortune in the extrava 
gances of Elizabeth's Court, bethought him of repairing his 
shattered wealth by an American voyage in imitation of that 
which had immortalized Francis Drake. Accordingly, 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 New Year (1587) Cavendish made the Straits of Magellan, 
which it took him over six weeks to traverse. He then coasted 
along the western shore of South America in search of plun 
der. 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 ; but Cavendish had resolved to strike a yet 
more daring blow for fortune. He would await, on the 
Californian coast, the arrival of the great galleon from the 
Philippines, laden with the spoils of Asia ; and on the 4th of 
November, 1587, while Cavendish was beating up and down 
on the headland of California, the great flag-ship of the Pacific 
hove in sight. It was the Santa Anna, with 120,000 dollars in 
gold aboard, besides 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 treasures, and burnt her to the water's edge, Cavendish 
sailed due west across the Pacific, and reached the Philippines 
in the middle of January, 1588, or a year and a-half after 
quitting Plymouth. Having touched at several islands of the 
Malay archipelago, especially 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 ; 
and thence, after a run of nine weeks across the Indian Ocean, 
he made the Cape of Good Hope. Cavendish did not land 
until he reached the Island of St. Helena, of which the narra 
tive 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 prosper 
ous. 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, with whom sailed the writer of the narrative here 
printed, 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 inglorious return ; for he died at sea 
shortly before his ship reached the shores of England. 
Cavendish was the second English circumnavigator of the globe. 
Beyond this circumstance his voyages have no special historical 
significance. But the dramatic nature of their incidents fixed 


them firmly in the public mind. They served to stimulate 
and confirm the spirit of English enterprize in the American 
and East Indian seas ; and the name of the bold and unfortu 
nate Suffolk gentleman-adventurer will always occupy an 
important place on the roll of English worthies. 



The admirable and prosperous Voyage of the Worshipful 
of SUFFOLK, Esquire, into the South Sea, and from thence 
round about the circumference of the whole earth ; begun in 
the year of our Lord 1586, and finished 1588. Written by 
MR. FRANCIS PRETTY, lately of EYE, in SUFFOLK, a gentle 
man employed in the same action. 

WE departed out of Plymouth on Thursday, the 2ist 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 barque 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 Mr. Thomas Cavendish. 
of Trimley, in the county of Suffolk, Esquire, being our General. 
On Tuesday, the 26th of the same month, we were forty-five 
leagues from Cape Finisterre, 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. 
On the ist of August we came in sight of Forteventura, one 
of the Isles of the Canaries, about 10 o'clock in the morning. 

On Sunday, being the 7th of August, we were gotten as high 
as Rio del Oro, on the coast of Barbary. On Monday, the igth, 
we fell with 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. 
On the 1 5th of the same month we were in the height of Cape 

1586] CAVENDISH. 259 

Verde, by estimation fifty leagues off the same. On the i8th, 
Sierra Leone did bear east of us, being forty-five leagues from 
us ; and the same day the wind shifted to the north-west, so 
that by the 2oth day of the said month we were in six degrees 
and a-half to the northward from the equinoctial line. 
On the 2jrd we put room for Sierra Leone, and the 25th day 
we fell with the point on the south side of Sierra Leone, which 
Mr. 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 Leone, sixteen, 
fourteen, twelve, ten, and eight fathoms of water. 

On the 26th of the said month we put into the harbour, 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 
2 ist of July to the 26th of this month of August. 

On Saturday, being the 2/th 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 harbour : 
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 harbour runneth three or four leagues up more, and is of a 
marvellous breadth and very dangerous, as we learned afterwards 
by a Portugal. 

On Sunday, the 28th, 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 

S 2 


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 

On Monday morning, being the 2Qth day, our General landed 
with seventy men, or thereabouts, 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 is mar 
vellous 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. 

On the ist 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 sud 
denly, 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 surgeons 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. 

On the 3rd 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. On the 6th day we departed 
from Sierra Leone, and went out of the harbour, and stayed one 

* Oporto. 

1586] CAVENDISH. 26l 

tide three leagues from the point of the mouth of the harbour 
in six fathoms, and it floweth south-south-west. On Wednesday, 
being the 7th of the same month, we departed from one of the 
islands of Cape Verde, alias the islands of Madrabumba, which is 
ten leagues distant from the point of Sierra Leone, and about 
five o'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. On the 8th 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 sometimes, as we perceived 
by their provision. 

There is no fresh water on all the south side, as we could per 
ceive, 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 lightning 
in this month. I think the reason is, because the sun is so near 
the line equinoctial. On Saturday, the loth, we departed from 
the said island, about three o'clock in the afternoon, the wind 
being at the south-west. 

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

On the ist of November we went in between the island of St. 
Sebastian and the main land, and had our things on shore, and set 
up a forge, and had our cask on shore ; our coopers made hoops, 
and so we remained there until the 23rd 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 building, 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 Chris 
topher Hare, Master of the Admiral, for that Mr. 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 twenty leagues from this 
harbour with some other, thereby to have had some fresh victuals, 
we suffered the Portugal to go with a letter unto him, who pro 
mised 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. Sebastian on 
the 23rd of November. 

On the 1 6th day of December we fell in with the coast of 
America in 47 degrees and a third, the land bearing west from us 
about six leagues off: from which place we ran along the shore 
until we came into 48 degrees. It is a steep beach all along. 
On the i yth day of December, in the afternoon, we entered into 
an harbour, where our Admiral went in first (wherefore our 
General named the said harbour Port Desire), in which harbour 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 
fore-part of their bodies cannot be compared to anything 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 cowle-staves : 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 arquebuse 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 harbour 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. 

1586] CAVENDISH. 263 

On the 24th of December, being Christmas Eve, 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 harbour ; and this was but brackish : therefore this man 
and boy came thither to wash their linen : and 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 them 

On the 28th 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. On the 3Oth 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. 

On the 2nd 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 3rd day of the aforesaid 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. 
On the 6th day we put in for the Straits. On the 7th day, 
between the mouth of the Straits and the narrowest place 
thereof, we took a Spaniard whose name was Hernando, who 
was there with twenty-three Spaniards more, which were all 
that remained of four hundred 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 barque, which we judged to be a barque called the John 
Thomas. It is from the mouth of the Straits unto the narrowest 
of the Straits fourteen 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 west-south-west somewhat to the southward, 
where we anchored on the eighth day, and killed and salted great 
store of penguins for victuals. 

On the 9th 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 it in the best place of the Straits for wood and water : they 
had built up their churches by themselves : they had laws very 
severe among themselves, 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 

1587] CAVENDISH. 265 

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 things as they had there 
in their town either for provision or for furniture, and so to forsake 
the town, and to go along the sea-side, and seek their victuals to 
preserve them from starving, taking nothing with them, but every 
man his arquebuse 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 twenty-three persons, whereof two were women, 
which were the remainder of four hundred. 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 

On the 1 4th 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. 

On the 2ist 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 Elizabeth 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. 


On the 22nd day we departed from Elizabeth Bay in the after 
noon, 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 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 got 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 Saint 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-east. Between which place and the mouth of 
the Straits to the southward we lay in harbour until the 23rd 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 a harbour on 
both sides of the land. And there are, between the river of Saint 
Jerome and the mouth of the Straits going into the South Sea 
about thirty-four leagues by estimation : so that the length of the 
whole Straits is about ninety 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 fifty-two 
degrees and two-thirds to the southward of the line. 

On the 24th 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 

1587] CAVENDISH. 267 

with alow 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. On the ist of March a storm took us at north, which 
night the ships lost the company of the Hugh Gallant, being in 
forty-nine and a-half, and forty-five 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 barque was so leak and ourselves 
so dilvered and weakened with freeing it of water, that we slept 
not in three days and three nights. 

On the 1 5th 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 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 wonderful 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. 

On the 1 5th 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. On the i6th day our General went on shore himself with 
seventy or eighty 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 ^ere 
full of wheat and barley ready threshed and |^deupJ' l ln catfes of 
straw to the quantity of a bushel of corn irrevHp cade. The 
wheat and barley was as fair, as clean, and everyway, as good as 
any we have in England. 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 a 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 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 principals 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 ourselves. 

On the 1 8th 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. On the I9th 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. On the 2oth 
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. 

On the 3oth day we came into the Bay of Quintero. which 
standeth in 33 degrees and 50 minutes. On the said day, pre 
sently 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 a 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 land one hour but 
there came three horsemen with bright swords towards us so hard 
as they might ride, until they came within some twenty or thirty 
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 

1587] CAVENDISH. 269 

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 message 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 
continually 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. 

On the last of March Captain Havers went up into the country 
with fifty or sixty men with their shot and furniture 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 un- 
handled. 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 wonderfully weak ; 


who, though they did espy us that day, yet durst they not give the 
on-set 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 again. 

The next day, being the ist 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 meanwhile there came pouring down from 
the hills almost 200 horsemen, and before our people could 
return to the rocks from the watering-place, twelve of them were 
cut off, part killed and part taken prisoners, the rest were rescued 
by our soldiers, which came from the rocks to meet with them, 
who being but fifteen of us that had any weapons on shore, yet 
we made the enemy retire in the end with loss of some twenty- 
four 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 Kingman, of Dorsetshire, soldier ; William Hilles, 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 Pitte, of Sherborne, in Dorsetshire ; Humphrey 
Derricke, 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. 
On 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. 

On the 1 5th we came thwart of a place which is called Moro 
Moreno, which standeth in twenty-three degrees and a-half, and 
is an excellent good harbour ; and there is an island which 
maketh it an harbour, and a ship may go in at either end of the 
island. Here we went with our General on shore to the number 
of thirty 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 mar- 
vellous awe of the Spaniards, and very simple people, and live 
marvellous savagely; for they brought us to their bidings about 

1587] CAVENDISH. 271 

two miles from the harbour, 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 canoe and all 
that they have ; for we opened one of their graves, and saw the 
order of them. Their canoes 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. 

On the 23rd in the morning we took a small barque 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 barque. 
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 a hundred 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 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 fourteen leagues to the southward 
of Arica, in a place where the Spaniards had landed, a whole 
ship's lading of botijas of wine of Castile, 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 perceived 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 with 
out the 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 barque 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 commandment 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. 

On the 25th, riding still in the said road, we espied a sail 
coming from the southward, and our General sent out his pinnace 
to meet her, with all our boats ; but the 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 barque on 
shore two miles to the southward of the town ; but they had 
small leisure to carry anything with them, but all the men 
escaped ; among whom were certain friars, for we saw them in 
their friar's weeds as they ran on shore ; many horsemen came 
from the town to rescue them, and to carry them away, other 
wise we had landed and taken or killed them. So we went 
aboard the barque 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 barques, 
and carried the other along with us, and so departed from thence 
and went away north-west. 

On the 27th day we took a small barque, which came from 
Santiago, near unto Quintero, where we lost our men first. In 
this barque was one George, a Greek, a reasonable pilot for all 
the coast of Chili. They were sent to the city of Lima with 
letters of advice of us, and of the loss of our men. There were 
also in the said barque 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 overboard, which (as we 

1587] CAVENDISH. 273 

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 wrench, 
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 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 barque, and car 
ried the men with us. 

On the 3rd 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 thirteen degrees and 
two-thirds to the southward of the line. On the 5th 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. On the 9th 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 Arica : 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. On the loth day the Hugh Gallant (in which barque I 
Francis Pretty was) left company of our Admiral. 

On the nth we which were in the Hugh Gallant put into a bay 
which standeth in twelve degrees and two-thirds, in which bay we 
found a river of fresh water about eight o'clock at night, and 
though we were but of small force, and no more but one barque 
and eighteen 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 fur 
niture about them, espied where there were 400 or 500 bags 
of meal on a heap covered with a few reeds. So that night 
we filled water and 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 afternoon. In which 



mean time the town seeing us ride there still, brought down 
much cattle to the sea-side to have enticed us to come on 
shore, but we saw their intent, and weighed anchor and departed 
the 1 2th day. 

On the 1 3th 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, Mr. Brewer, captain, myself Francis Pretty, Arthur 
Warford, John Way, Preacher, John Newman, Andrew White, 
William Gargefield, and Henry Milliard. And we eight only, 
having every man his arquebuse 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 barque : 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 I4th day in the 

On the 1 6th we took with the Hugh Gallant, being but six 
teen men of us in it, a great ship which came from Guaiaquil, 
which was called The Lewis, and was of the burthen of three 
hundred 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. 

On the 1 7th 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, molasses, maize, cordovan-skins, montego de Porco, many 
packs of pintados, many Indian coats, and some marmalade, and 

1587] CAVENDISH. 275 

one thousand 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 twenty thousand pounds, 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. 

On the 2oth day in the morning we came into the road of 
Paita, and being at an anchor, our General landed with sixty or 
seventy men, skirmished with them of the town, and drove 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 one hundred men. Now as we were 
rowing between the ships and the shore, our gunner shot off a 
great piece out of one of the barques, and the shot fell among 
them, and drove 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 drove 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 twenty-five pounds weight in silver in pieces of eight reals, and 
abundance of household stuff and storehouses 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 them 
selves 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 
a-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 two hundred 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 barque riding in the road which 
we set on fire, and departed, directing our course to the Island 
of Puna. 

On the 25th of May we arrived at the Island of Puna, where 

T 2 


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 hauled 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 waterside, 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 storehouse at the other end of the 
hall, which was filled with botijas of pitch and bash, 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 habita 
tion and of his great wealth. 

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 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 or canoe for 
a spy to see what we were. 

On the 27th our General himself with certain shot and some 
targeteers went over into the main into 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 

1587] CAVENDISH. 277 

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 sixty soldiers, which he did hear were to go 
to a place called Guaiaquil, which was about 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 sixty more 
for fear of burning of the ships and town. Our General not any 
whit discouraged either at the sight of the balsas unlooked 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, until such time as he came to the place ; where, 
as it seemed, they had kept watch either at the waterside, 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. 

On the 29th day of May our General went in the ship's-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 of which we found, and brought away what our General thought 
requisite for the ship's business. 

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 two hundred 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 again. There are also in this garden 
fig-trees which bear continually, also pompions, melons, cucum 
bers, 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, lemons, pome 
granates 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 moreover 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 hauled on ground our Admiral, and had 
made her clean, burnt her keel, pitched and tarred her, and had 
hauled her on float again ; and in the meanwhile continually kept 
watch and ward in the great house both night and day. 

On the 2nd 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 
a 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 by means of a negro, whose name 
was Emmanuel, which fled from us at our first landing there. 

1587] CAVENDISH. 279 

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 a-half ; at the last being sore overcharged with multi 
tudes, we were driven down from the hill to the water-side, and 
there kept them play awhile, until in the end Zacharie 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-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 hastening into the boat. But four of us were left behind, 
which the boat could not carry ; to wit, myself Francis Pretty, 
Thomas Andrewes, Steven 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 forty-six of the enemy slain by us, whereof 
they had dragged some into bushes, and some into old houses, 
which we found afterwards. We lost twelve men in manner 
following: Zacharie Saxie, Neales Johnson, William Gargefield, 
Nicholas Hendy, Henry Cooper, slain by the enemy; Robert 
Maddock, killed with his piece ; Henry Mawdley, burnt ; Edward, 
the gunner's-man, Ambrose, the musician, drowned; Walter 
Tilliard, Edward Smith, Henry Aselye, taken prisoners. 

The self-same day, being the 2nd of June, we went on shore 
again with seventy men, and had a fresh skirmish with the 
enemies, and drove them to retire, being a hundred Spaniards 
serving with muskets, and two hundred 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 three hundred 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. 
On the 3rd of June, the Content, which was our Vice-Admiral, 
was hauled 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. On the 5th 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 barque of 40 tons. On the loth 
day of the same month we set the Indians on shore, which we had 
taken before in Abalsa, as we were coming into the road of Puna. 
On the nth day we departed with the said Rio Dolce. On the 
1 2th of June we doubled the equinoctial line, and continued our 
course northward all that month. 

On the ist of July we had sight of the coast of Nueva Espafia, 
being four leagues distant from land in the latitude of 10 degrees 
to the northward of the line. On the 9th 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 ship called the 
Santa Anna, which we afterwards took coming from the Philippines. 
There were six men more in this new ship ; we took her sails, her 
ropes, and fire-wood, to serve our turn, set her on fire, and kept the 
men. On the loth day we took another barque 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 barque were 
fled on shore. None of both these ships had any goods in them. 
For they came both from Sonsonate, in the province of Guati- 
mala ; the new ship, for fear we should have taken her in the 
road, and the barque, to carry news of us along the coast ; which 
barque also we set on fire. 

On the 26th of July we came to an anchor at 10 fathoms in the 
river of Copalita, 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. 

On the 2/th, in the morning by the break of day, we came into 
the road of Aguatulco, where we found a barque of 50 tons, which 
was come from Sonsonate laden with cocoas and anile, 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 
anile to dye cloth, every bag whereof was worth forty crowns ; and 

1587] CAVENDISH. 28l 

400 bags of cocoas, every bag whereof is worth ten crowns. 
These cocoas 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 of the 
ship told us. I found in this town before we burnt it, a flasket full 
of boxes of balm. After we had spoilt 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 
Haver's 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. On the 28th 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. 
On the 29th 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. 

On the 2nd 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 Philippines. On the 24th 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 
twelve leagues further, 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, 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. On the 26th of August we came 


into the bay of Santiago, where we watered at a fresh river, along 
which river many plantains are growing. Here is great abund 
ance of fresh fish. Here, also, certain of our company dragged 
for pearls and caught some quantity. 

On the 2nd of September we departed from Santiago at four 
o'clock in the evening. This bay of Santiago standeth in 19 de 
grees and 1 8 minutes to the northward of the line. On the 3rd of 
September we arrived in a little bay, a league to the westward 
off Port de Navidad, called Malacca, which is a very good place 
to ride in. And the same day, about twelve o'clock, our General 
landed with thirty 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. 
On the 4th of September we departed from the road of Malacca 
and sailed along the coast. 

On the 8th we came to the road of Chaccalla, in which bay. 
there are two little houses by the water's side. This bay is eighteen 
leagues from the Cape de los Corrientes. On -the 9th, in the 
morning, our General sent up Captain Havers with forty men 
of us before day, and, Michael Sancius being our guide, we 
went unto a place about 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, lemons, 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 de 
parted the road. On the I2th day we arrived at a little island 
called the Island of Saint 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 rode here until the I7th day, at 
which time we departed. 

On the 24th day we arrived in the road of Massatlan, which 

1587] CAVENDISH. 283 

standeth in 23 Y Z degrees, 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 rilling 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 with 
out danger. 

On the 27th of September we departed from the road of 
Massatlan, and ran to an island which is a league to the north 
ward the said Massatlan, 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, 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 Chiametla, which was eleven 
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 twenty or thirty 
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 expe 
rience once before of the like, commanded to put his motion in 
practice, and in digging 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 9th 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 

On the I4th 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 4th of November, and had the 
winds hanging still westerly. 

On the 4th of November the Desire and the Content, wherein 


were the number of Englishmen only living, beating up 

and down upon the headland of California, which standeth in 23^ 
degrees to the northward ; between seven and eight o'clock in the 
morning one of the company of our admiral, which was the trum 
peter 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 ; where 
upon 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 fifty or sixty 
men at the uttermost in our ship, we perceived that the Captain of 
the said ship had made fights fore and aft, 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 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 

1587] CAVENDISH. 285 

or six hours' fight set out a flag of truce and parleyed for mercy, 
desiring our General to save their lives and to take their goods, 
and 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, promised their lives 
and good usage. The said Captain and pilot presently certified 
the General what goods they had within board to wit, an hundred 
and twenty-two thousand pesos of gold ; 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 aforesaid captain and pilot, 
they were commanded to stay aboard the Desire, and on the 6th 
of November following we went into a 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, peason, 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 
barque. 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 money, 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 

On the 17th day of November, which is the day of the happy 
Coronation of Her Majesty, our General commanded 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 fire 
works and more ordnance discharged, to the great admiration 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 contentment ; 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 Philippines. 

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 New Spain unto the islands of Ladrones, where the 
Spaniards do put into water, sailing between Acapulco and the 
Philippines ; in which islands of Ladrones, they find fresh water, 
plantains, and potato roots ; howbeit the people be very rude and 
heathens. On the iQth day of November aforesaid, about three 
o'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 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 islands of Ladrones, the rest of November 
and all December, and so forth until the 3rd of January, 1 588, 

1588] CAVENDISH. 287 

with a fair wind for the space of forty-five days ; and we esteemed 
it to be between 1700 and 1800 leagues. On the 3rd day of 
January by six o'clock in the morning we had sight of one of the 
islands of Ladrones called the island of Guana, standing in 
thirteen degrees and two-thirds towards the north, and sailing 
with a gentle gale before the wind, by one or two o'clock in the 
afternoon we were come up within two leagues of the island, 
where we met with sixty or seventy sail of canoes full of savages, 
who came off to sea unto us, and brought with them in their boats 
plantains, cocoas, 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 canoes, 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 hauled 
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 
canoes ; but the men saved themselves, being in every canoe 
four, six, or eight persons all naked and excellent swimmers and 
divers. They are 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 canoes were as artificially 
made as any that ever we had seen, considering 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- 
a-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. 

On the I4th 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 headland of the islands of 
the Philippines, 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 island of Guana, one of the Ladrones, 310 leagues. 
We were in sailing of this course eleven days with scant winds 
and some foul weather, bearing no sail two or three nights. 
This island standeth in thirteen 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 Philippines, 
called Manilla, about sixty 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 Espafia, and also twenty or thirty ships from China and 
from the Sanguelos, which bring them many sorts of merchan 
dise. 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 
capacity in devising and making all manner of things, especially 
in all handicrafts and sciences, and every one 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 I4th day at night we entered the 
straits between the island of Lugon and the island of Camlaia. 

On the 1 5th 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 water enough a fair breadth off, and within the 

1588] CAVENDISH. 289 

point a fair bay and a very good harbour in four fathoms water 
hard aboard the shore within a cable's length. About ten o'clock 
in the morning we came to an anchor. 

Our ship was no sooner come to an anchor, but presently 
there came a canoe rowing aboard us, wherein was one of the 
chief Caciques of the island, whereof there be seven, who, sup 
posing that we were Spaniards, brought us potato roots, which 
they call camotas, and green cocoas, in exchange whereof we gave 
his company pieces of linen, to the quantity of a yard, for four 
cocoas, 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 cocoas 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, cocoas, hens, hogs, 
and such things as they brought, refreshing ourselves marvellously 

The same day at night, being the I5th 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 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 merchandise 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. Therefore 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 fifty-five 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 certainty by especial 
trial and proofs, the next morning our General willed that he should 
be hanged ; which was accordingly performed on the i6th of Janu 
ary. 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. These 
people wholly worship the devil, and often times have con 
ference with him, which appeareth unto them in most ugly and 
monstrous shape. 

On the 23rd day of January, our General, Mr. Thomas Candish, 
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 cocoas) 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 

1588] CAVENDISH. 291 

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 
marvellous swiftly ; at the last our General caused a saker to be 
shot off, whereat they wondered, and with great contentment took 
their leave of us. 

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

On the 28th 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 a 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 hoisted 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 canoes 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 canoe 
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, 
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 

U 2 


from us. Presently upon the taking of this canoe, 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 barque 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 whether 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 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 south 
ward 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. 

On the 29th 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 sixteen leagues off we espied a fair opening, tending 
south-west and by south, at which time our boat came aboard, and 
our General sent commendations to the Spanish captain which 

1588] CAVENDISH. 293 

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. On the 8th 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. 
On the 1 4th day of February we fell in 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 Moluccas stand in three degrees 
and ten minutes to the southward of the line. 

On the 1 7th day, one John Gameford, a cooper, died, 
which had been sick of an old disease a long time. On the 
2oth 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 2ist 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 no small grief 
of our General and of all the rest of the company, who caused 
two falchions 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 continued in very great 
pain for the space of three weeks or a month by reason of the 
extreme heat and intemperateness of the climate. 

On the ist 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 St. 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 he should 
have either gold or other merchandise in exchange. The fisher 
man answered that we should have all manner of victuals that we 
would request. Thus the boat came aboard again. Within awhile 
after we went about to furnish our ship thoroughly with wood and 

About the 8th of March two or three canoes 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 rode. 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 
canoes coming towards us ; whereupon we shook the ship in the 
wind and stayed for the canoe until it came aboard of us, and 
stood into the bay which was hard by and came to an anchor. In 
this canoe was the king's secretary, who had on his head a piece 
of dyed linen cloth folded up like unto a Turk's turban ; 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 Por 
tugal, 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 vitae, 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, banqueted 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 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 arquebuse and his shot, and so with shooting off forty or fifty 

1588] CAVENDISH. 295 

small shot and one saker, himself set the watch with them. This 
was no small marvel unto these heathen people, who had not com 
monly seen any ship so furnished with men and ordnance. The 
next morning we dismissed the secretary and his interpreter with 
all humanity. 

On the fourth day after, which was the I2th of March, according to 
thsir appointment came the king's canoes ; 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 
canoes 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, cocoa, sweet oranges and sour, limes, 
great store of wine and aqua vitas, 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 
canoes came two Portugals, which were of middle stature, and 
men 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 com 
pany, for we had not seen any Christian, that was our friend, of a 
year and a-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 sail. 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 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 hirr.. 
The king himself is a man of great years, and hath a 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 thro we th 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 creese, and is as sharp as a razor) 
stab themselves to the heart, and with their hands all 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 strange. 

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 command 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 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 over- 

1588] CAVENDISH. 297 

come 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 cf the island, and the 
orders and fashions of the people, they told us further, that if their 
King Don Antonio would come unto them they would warrant him 
to have all the Moluccas at commandment, besides China, Sangles, 
and the isles of the Philippines, 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 Portugals, and the people of Java 
which brought us victuals in their canoes, they took their leave 
of us with promise of all good entertainment at our returns, and 
our General gave them three great pieces of ordnance at 
their departing. Thus the next day, being the i6th of March, 
we set sail towards the Cape of Good Hope, called by the 
Portuguese Cabo de Buena Esperanga, 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. 

On the loth 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 nth 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 
Esperanga, whereof, indeed, we were short some forty or fifty 
leagues. And by reason of the scantiness of the wind we stood 
along to the south-east until midnight, at which time the wind 
came fair, and we haled along westward. On the I2th and I3th 
days we were becalmed, and the sky was very hazy and thick 
until the I4th day at three o'clock in the afternoon, at which 
time the sky cleared, and we espied the land again which was 
the cape called Cabo Falso, which is short of the Cape de 
Buena Esperanga forty or fifty 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 

On the 1 6th of May, about four o'clock in the afternoon, 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 o'clock in the morning, we espied the pro 
montory or headland called the Cape de Buena Esperanga, which 
is a reasonable high land, and at the westermost point, a little off 
the main, do shew two hammocks, the one upon the other, and 
three other hammocks lying further off into the sea, yet low land 
between and adjoining unto the sea. This Cape of Buena 
Esperanga is set down and accounted for two thousand leagues 
from the island of Java in the Portuguese sea-charts ; but it is 
not so much almost by a hundred and fifty leagues, as we found 
by the running of our ship. We were in running of these 
eighteen hundred and fifty leagues just nine weeks. 

On the 8th 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 9th of June, having a pretty easy gale 
of wind, we stood in with the shore, our boat being sent away 
before to make the harbour ; and about one o'clock in the after 
noon 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 
Brazil 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 Esperanga between five and six 
hundred leagues. 

On the same day, about two or three o'clock in the afternoon, 
we went on shore, where we found a marvellous fair and pleasant 
valley, wherein divers handsome buildings and houses were set up, 
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 

1588] CAVENDISH. 299 

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 devices drawn in 
them. There are two houses adjoining 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 
causeway 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 causeway 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 
cyphers 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 lemon-trees, orange-trees, 
pomegranate-trees, pomecitron-trees, date-trees, which bear fruit as 
the fig-trees do, and are planted carefully and very artificially 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 
water brook runneth through divers places of this orchard, and 
may with very small pains be made to water any one tree in the 

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 mountains 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 partridges, 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 a 
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 likewise 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 of in 
England. Their eggs be white, and as big as a 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 hun 
dred 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 impossible 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 mountains. 

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 

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 

1588] CAVENDISH. 301 

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 thither. 

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, 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 thoroughly 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. 

On the 2Oth of June, having taken in wood and water, and re 
freshed ourselves with such things as we found there, and made 
clean our ship, we set sail about eight o'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 commonly 
off the shore at this island of St. Helena. On Wednesday, being 
the 3rd of July, we went away north-west, the wind being still at 
south-east ; at which time we were in I degree and 48 minutes to 
the southward of the equinoctial line. On the I2th of July it was 
very little wind, and toward night it was calm, and blew no wind at 
all, and so continued until it was Monday, being the i$th of July. 
On Wednesday, the I7th 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 
between 30 and 40 degrees to the northward of the equinoctial 

On Wednesday, the 2ist 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 23rd 
of August, at four o'clock, we haled east, and east and by south 
for the northermost islands of the Azores. On Saturday, the 
24th day of the said month, by five o'clock in the morning, we 
fell in sight of the two islands of Flores and Corvo, standing 
m 39/4 degrees, and sailed away north-east. On the 3rd 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. On the 9th of Sep 
tember, 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. THOS. CAVENDISH, 
ESQUIRE, intended for the South Sea, the PHILIPPINES, 
and the coast of CHINA, with three tall ships and two 
barques. Written by MR. JOHN JANE, a man of good obser- 
vation, employed in the same and many other voyages. 

ON the 26th of August, 1591, we departed from Plymouth with 
three tall ships and two barques, The Galeon, wherein Mr. Candish 
went himself, being Admiral, The Roebuck, Vice-Admiral, whereof 
Mr. Cocke was Captain, The Desire, Rear-Admiral, whereof was 
Captain Mr. John Davis (with whom and for whose sake I went 
this voyage), the Black Pinnace, and a barque of Mr. Adrian 
Gilbert, whereof Mr. Randolph Cotton was Captain. 

On the 29th of November we fell in with the Bay of Salvador, 
upon the coast of Brazil, 12 leagues on this side Cabo Frio, where 
we were becalmed until the 2nd of December, at which time we 
took a small barque bound for the River of Plate with sugar, 
haberdashery wares, and negroes. The master of this barque 
brought us unto an isle called Placentia, 30 leagues west from 
Cabo Frio, where we arrived the ist of December, and rifled six 
or seven houses inhabited by Portugals. On the nth we de 
parted from this place, and the I4th we arrived at the Isle of San 
Sebastian, from whence Mr. Cocke and Captain Davis presently 
departed with the Desire and the Black Pinnace, for the taking of 
the town of Santos. On the i$th at evening we anchored at the 
bar of Santos, from whence we departed with our boats to the 
town ; and the next morning about nine o'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 Mr. Candish 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, Mr. Cocke, that the 
Indians were suffered to carry out of the town whatsoever 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 Mr. Candish himself came thither, where 
he remained until the 22nd of January, seeking by entreaty to have 
that whereof we were once possessed. But in conclusion we de 
parted out of the town through extreme want of victuals, 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. 
On the 22nd of January we departed from Santos, and burnt St. 
Vincent to the ground. On the 24th we set sail, shaping our 
course for the Straits of Magellan. 

On the yth of February we had a very great storm, and on the 
8th 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 intreated 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 Mr. Cocke 
had endured great extremities, and had lost his boat, and therefore 
desired our Captain to keep him company, for he was in very 
desperate case. Our Captain hoisted 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 on the 6th of March. 

On the 1 6th of March the Black Pinnace came unto us, but 

I59 2 ] CAVENDISH. 305 

Mr. Gilbert's barque came not, but returned home to England, 
having 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. On the i8th the Galeon came into the road, 
and Mr. Candish came into the harbour 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 Desire he told our Captain of all his extremities, and spake 
most hardly of his company, and of divers gentlemen 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. 

On the 20th of March we departed from Port Desire, Mr. 
Candish being in The Desire with us. On the 8th of April, 1592, 
we fell with the Straits of Magellan, enduring many furious storms 
between Port Desire and the Straits. On the I4th we passed 
through the first strait. On the i6th we passed the second strait, 
being 10 leagues distant from the first. On the i8th we doubled 
Cape Fro ward, which cape lieth in 53 X degrees. On the 2ist 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 I5th 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, Mr. Candish 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 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 pro- 



ceeding. 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 Esperanga. 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 Esperanga, and to give over this voyage. 
Then our Captain, after Mr. Candish 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 per 
form 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 persons 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 per 
suasions did our Captain not only use to Mr. Candish, but also to 
Mr. Cocke. In fine, upon a petition delivered 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 on the I5th of May we set sail, the General then being in the 
Galeon. On the i8th 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 

On the 2oth 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 sea 
ward, 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. Whereupon our 
Captain called the General's men unto him, with the rest, and 

1592] CAVENDISH. 307 

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

On the 26th of May we came to Port Desire, where not rinding 
our General as we hoped, being most slenderly victualled, without 
sails, boat, oars, nails, cordage, and all other necessaries for our 
relief, we were stricken into a deadly sorrow. But referring all to 
the providence 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 
fetched 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 extraordinary 
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 here. 

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 con 
cluded it to be their best course to take the pinnace, 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 

X 2 


and Master of the pinnace being the General's men were well con 
tented with the motion. 

But the General having in our ship two most pestilent 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 here 
unto, except it were the boatswain 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, con 
sidering that the pinnace was so necessary a thing for him, as that 
he could not be without her, because he was fearful of the shore in 
so great ships. Whereupon all cried out, with cursing and swear 
ing, that the pinnace should not go unless the ship went. Then 
the Captain desired them to shew themselves Christians, and not 
so blasphemously to behave themselves, without regard or thanks 
giving to God for their great deliverance, and present sustenance 
bestowed upon them, alleging many examples of God's sharp 
punishment for such ingratitude ; and withal promised to do any 
thing 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 con 
cluded 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 

1592] CAVENDISH. 309 

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 unto their hands as followeth : 

The Testimonial of the Company of THE DESIRE, touching their 
losing of their General, which appeareth to have been utterly 
against their meanings: 

On the 26th of August, 1591, we whose names be hereunder 
written, with divers other departed from Plymouth under Mr. 
Thomas Candish, 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. On the I9th of 
November we fell with the bay of Salvador, in Brazil. On the 
1 6th of December we took the town of Santos, hoping there to 
revictual ourselves, but it fell not out to our contentment. On the 
24th of January we set sail from Santos, shaping our course for the 
Straits of Magellan. On the 8th of February, by violent storms the 
said fleet was parted ; the Roebuck and the Desire arrived in Port 
Desire the 6th of March. On the i6th of March the Black Pinnace 
arrived there also, and on the i8th of the same our Admiral came 
into the road, with whom we departed the 2oth of March in poor 
and weak estate. On the 8th of April, 1592, we entered the Straits 
of Magellan. On the 2ist of April we anchored beyond Cape 
Froward, within forty leagues of the South Sea, where we rode 
until the I5th 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 pro 
vision 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 on the I5th of May. On the 2ist, 
being thwart of Port Desire, thirty leagues off the shore, the wind 
then at north-east and by north, at five o'clock at night, lying north 
east, we suddenly cast about 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. 
On the 22nd of May at night we had a violent storm, with the wind at 
north-west, and we were in-forced to hull, not being able to bear sail, 
and this night we perished our main trestletrees, so that we could 
no more use our main-topsail, lying most dangerously in the sea. 
The pinnace likewise 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 ourselves, and so to make 
shift to follow the General, or there to stay his coming from 
Brazil. On the 24th of May we had much wind at north. 
The 25th was calm, and the sea very lofty, so that our ship had 
dangerous foul weather. On the 26th 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 provided 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 supplying 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 hope 
less 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 distress. 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 2nd of June, 1592. Beseeching the 

I59 2 ] CAVENDISH. 311 

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 Pery, William 
Maber (gunner), Charles Parker, Rowland Miller, Edward Smith, 
Thomas Purpet, Matthew Stubbes, John Jenkinson, Thomas Ed 
wards, Edward Granger, John Lewis, William Hay man, George 
Straker, Thomas Walbie, 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 Cop- 
stone, Richard Caret, James Eversby, Nicolas Parker, Leonard, 
John Pick, Benjamin, William Maber, James Not, Christopher 

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 harbour there is an 
island with four small islands 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 6th 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 harbour ; whereupon they thought 
no course more convenient than to 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 pin 
nace ; so that upon this determination we made all possible speed 
to depart. 


On the 6th of August we set sail, and went to Penguin Island, 
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. On the 
7th of August toward night we departed from Penguin Island, 
shaping our course for the Straits, where we had full confidence 
to meet with our General. On the 9th we had a sore storm, so 
that we were constrained to hull, for our sails were not to endure 
any force. On the I4th we were driven in among certain islands 
never before discovered by any known relation, lying fifty 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 on the i8th of August we fell with the Cape in a 
very thick fog, and the same night we anchored ten leagues 
within the Cape. On the iQth day we passed the first and 
the second Straits. On the 2ist we doubled Cape Froward. On 
the 22nd 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 pounds weight an incredible distance. 
On the 24th in the morning we departed from this cove, and 
the same day we came into the north-west reach, which is the 
last reach of the Straits. On the 25th 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 depth 
of winter, our victuals consuming, (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 Baldivia, in thirty-seven 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 on the isth of September, and came 

I59 2 ] CAVENDISH. 313 

in sight of the South Sea. On the I4th 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 broke, 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 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 on the ist 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 to 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 my 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 I 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 show 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 proceeding than in returning. And because I see 
in reason, that the limits of our time are now drawing to an end, I 
do in Christian charity entreat you all, first to forgive me in what 
soever 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 or 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 ; since 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 preserved 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 abun 
dance, and at Santos we shall have meal 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 for ; 
therefore do as you like. I am ready, 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 2nd of October we put into the South Sea, and were 
free of all land. This night the wind began to blow very much at 

I59 2 ] CAVENDISH. 315 

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. 

On the 4th of October the storm growing beyond all reason 
furious, the pinnace being in the wind of us, struck 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 some 
times tried under our main course, sometimes with a haddock 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 

On the 5th, our foresail was split, and all to torn ; then our 
master took the mizzen, and brought it to the foremast, to make our 
ship work, and with our spritsail 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 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. 

On the loth 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 
solis 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 concluded 
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. Where 
withal 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 nth of October, we saw Cabo Deseado, being the Cape 
on the south shore (the north shore is nothing but a company of 
dangerous rocks, 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 sails, 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 broke, so that nothing 
held but the eyelet holes. The seas continually broke 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 whither 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 highlands, the wind 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 

I59 2 ] CAVENDISH. 317 

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 2oth of October; but not being able any 
longer to stay through extremity of famine, on the 2ist we put off 
into the channel, the weather being reasonable calm; but before 
night it blew most extremely at west-north-west. The storm grow 
ing outrageous, 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 con 
clude the world hath not any so skilful pilots for that place as they 
are ; for otherwise we could never have passed in such sort as we 

On the 25th 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 hoist up their 
yards, yet with much ado they set their fore-course. Thus, in a 
mighty fret of weather, on the 27th of October, we were free of the 
Straits, and on the 3oth 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 
to stay upon the isle for the killing and drying of those penguins, 
and promised after the ship was in harbour 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 sus 
pected 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 : " I understand that you are doubtful of 
your security through the perverseness of your own guilty con 
sciences. It is an extreme grief unto me that you should judge 
me bloodthirsty, in whom you have seen nothing but kind con 
versation. If you have found otherwise, 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 any 
thing be by me commanded. But when we come into England (if 
God so favour us) your Master shall know your honesties. In the 
mean space be void of your suspicions, for, God I call to witness, 

I59 2 ] CAVENDISH. 319 

revenge is no part of my thought." They gave him thanks, desiring 
to go into the harbour with the ship, which he granted. So there 
were ten left upon the isle, and on the last of October we entered 
the harbour. Our Master at our last being here, having taken careful 
notice of every creek in the river, 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. 

On the 3rd 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, Townesend, 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, advis 
ing 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 on the 6th of 
November they departed by land, and the boat by sea ; but from 
that day to this day we never heard of our men. On the nth, 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 dog's 
faces, or else their faces are dog's 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 nor saw more of them. Hereby we 
judged that these cannibals had slain our nine men. When we 
considered what they were that thus were slain, and found that 
they were the principal men that would have murdered our Cap 
tain 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 harbour 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 twenty 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 multi 
tude 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 
passing 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 Eng 
land. We stayed in this harbour until the 22nd of December, in 
which time we had dried 20,000 penguins ; and the Captain, the 
Master, and myself had 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. 

On the 22nd 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 bur 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 on the 22nd, 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 re 
cover our country, though our sails were very bad. So the 
allowance was two ounces and a-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 

1 593] CAVENDISH. 321 

man a day; and two days in a week peas, 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. On the 3oth 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 twenty-four of the company went with the boat on 
shore, being a whole night before they could recover it. On 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 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 casks. 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. On the 3rd of February our men with twenty- 
three 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 whilst we staid here. On the 5th of February, being 
Monday, our Captain and Master hasted the company 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 dreamt that 
thou wert slain ; another answered, and I dreamed that thou wert 
slain ; and this was general through the ship. The Captain hear 
ing 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 o'clock, 
the heat being extreme, they came to a rock near the wood's 



side (for all this country is nothing but thick woods), and there 
they boiled cassavi-roots, and dined ; after dinner some slept, 
some washed themselves 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 seventy-six persons which departed in our ship out of 
England, we were now left but twenty-seven, having lost thirteen 
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 tons 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 we had tasted, and of the others' 
cruelty we were not ignorant. So concluding to depart, on the 
6th 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 re 
counting 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 

1593] CAVENDISH. 323 

and Master were now slain by the savages, the gunner only ex- 
cepted. Being thus at sea, when we came to Cape Frio the wind 
was contrary ; so that for 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 them 
selves 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 comfort 
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 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 

Y 2 


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 misery and 
weakness was so great, that we could not take in nor heave out 
a sail ; so our top-sail and sprit-sails were torn all in pieces by 
the weather. The Master and Captain taking their turns at the 
helm, were mightily distressed and monstrously grieved with the 
most woeful lamentation of our sick men. Thus, as lost wan 
derers upon the sea, the nth 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. 



THE connection of Sir Walter Raleigh with American 
history has been more than once illustrated in these pages. 
We have already found him taking part in the enterprise of his 
half-brother, Gilbert (p. 185), and "setting forth" the barque 
Raleigh, at his own expense, in the first colonizing expedition 
which left the shores of England. After Gilbert's failure, we 
have found Raleigh himself taking in hand the task of colo 
nization, and despatching Amadas and Barlow to survey, with a 
view to settlement, that part of the American shore which lay 
to the north of Florida (p. 211). The colony, which Raleigh 
afterwards sent, proved a failure, and the emigrants were 
brought back by Drake (p. 252). When the events recorded 
in the present narrative happened, it was above eight years 
since Drake had reconducted the first Virginian colonists to 
England. During those eight years the ultimate fortunes of 
the New World had been slowly unfolding. The attempt to 
colonize the shores of "Virginia" had been repeated, and had 
again ended in failure. But this failure had been outbalanced 
by the continued success which had attended the English 
navigators in their naval contests with the Spaniards. Raleigh 
had himself equipped more than one great buccaneering expe 
dition, and had been as successful as Drake and Cavendish 
when fortune had most favoured them. These successes had 
included one which was signally great and decisive. The 
chief event of these eight years had been the failure of 


the great naval expedition sent by Philip against England in 
1588. This great catastrophe seemed to prove abundantly, 
and once for all, that Spaniards were no match for Englishmen 
at sea, even in numerical disproportion which seemed over 
whelming, and that wherever Spain had not already secured 
her American possessions by fortification and settlement, those 
possessions lay at the mercy of England. The way was thus 
prepared for the English settlements in the West Indian islands, 
in Chesapeake Bay, and on the coast of New England. 

But before the history of America, as affected by English 
enterprise, thus took its definitive shape, a singular historical 
illusion had to be dissipated. Among the ignorant Spanish 
adventurers who dwelt in America it was believed that there 
existed yet a third great native empire, called Guiana, equal in 
size and wealth to those two famous empires which had been 
discovered and conquered in the days of their grandfathers. 

While Raleigh was enjoying the fruits of his enterprise and 
good fortune in the retirement of Sherborne, he seems to have 
been laying his plans for the conquest of this rich empire, 
which was intended to do for England what the conquest of 
Mexico and Peru had done for Aragon and Castile two gene 
rations before. Had the reports in question been founded in 
fact, the career of Raleigh might have had a different end. 
They were, in truth, mere fables : and a career of fame and 
success thenceforth became one of disaster and disgrace. 

The belief in this fabulous empire dates back to the con 
quest of Peru by Pizarro, above half a century before the 
expedition of Raleigh. When the Spanish conquerors inquired 
for other populous districts, and more fenced cities, stored with 
gold and silver, like Cuzco, they were generally directed to the 
east, and to the region between the great rivers Maranon and 
Orinoco. Ordaz, a Knight of the Order of Saint James of 


Compostella, undertook, by the direction of Gonzalez Pizarro, 
to explore in this direction : and one Juan Martinez, who is 
described by Raleigh as " Master of the Munition " to Ordaz, 
was apparently the first of the series of lying travellers who 
declared that they had seen the great city of Manoa, or 
Eldorado, the capital of a descendant of the ancient Incas of 
Peru, who ruled the vast and populous empire of Guiana. 
The account attributed to Martinez, as Raleigh heard it from 
his prisoner Berreo, the Governor of Trinidad, will be found 
at p. 340 of the present narrative. More information was 
contributed by Peter de Urra, a Spanish military adven 
turer, who claimed to have visited Manoa in 1541. He 
declared that, after a journey of many days, he had beheld 
this vast city from the top of a mountain ; that he saw afar off 
the palace of a governor, and a temple, in which he was told 
there were golden idols representing a woman and children ; 
that its population was apparently vast, and its order and polity 
worthy of all admiration. Urra, according to his own account, 
was only prevented from pushing on and entering the city by 
an overwhelming force of armed Indians, which the news 
of his advance had assembled to resist him. Humboldt in 
clines to think that Urra's story may possibly be but an 
exaggeration. Southey, with more judgment, pronounces it to 
be a gross fabrication. Another lying traveller, called Santos, 
praised the neatness and beauty of the streets, and added that 
the roofs of the houses were covered with gold and silver, and 
that the high priest who officiated in the great temple was 
anointed with turtle-fat and covered with gold-dust, like the 
Inca himself. 

Such were the tales which had induced Spanish adventurers, 
even down to the time of Raleigh's own " Discovery," to ex 
plore the wooded shores of the Orinoco in fruitless search of 


"Guiana, the magazine of rich metals" (p. 332). The English 
heard of these expeditions though the piratical voyages of 
Drake and his followers. Men who had taken part in them were 
among the prisoners made by the English buccaneer captains 
on the South American coast (p. 344) ; and their captors 
eagerly questioned them as to the exact locality in which the 
city of Eldorado was to be sought. It was generally agreed 
that this city was situated on a great salt-water lake two hun 
dred leagues long, which might be likened to the Caspian Sea 
(p. 338) ; and this lake was said to be reached from one of the 
tributaries of either the Amazon or the Orinoco. The famous 
city of Mexico had been found on a lake similarly situated, 
and this fact lent probability to the current description. No 
such lake did in fact exist ; but it will appear that one of the 
tributaries of the Orinoco presented physical conditions which 
in some degree accounted for this current description. 

The search for Guiana passed on from one generation of 
Spanish emigrants to another. Gonzalez Ximenes, one of the 
conquerors of New Granada, had engaged in it, and Raleigh 
found among his prisoners one who had been with him. From 
Ximenes the enterprise was inherited by his son-in-law, Antonio 
de Berreo, who, in Raleigh's time, was Governor of Trinidad. 
Some sought the unknown land from the Pacific side, by way 
of Peru ; others, as Raleigh did, from the Atlantic side, by 
ascending the Orinoco ; others, from the side of the Caribbean ' 
sea, by way of New Granada. Berreo chose the latter route. 
Taking with him seven hundred Spanish horsemen, besides 
Indians and slaves, he crossed the mountains and reached the 
head waters of the Orinoco ; but he neither found this great 
and populous city, nor could obtain tidings of it until he 
reached the district of Amapaia, which was said to be eight 
hundred miles from the mouth of the river. The Amapaians 


informed him that to the south of their land there was a 
country very rich in gold ; and this, again, Berreo concluded 
to be Guiana. It was separated from the valley of the Orinoco 
by one of the great ridges of the Andes. Berreo found no 
pass over this ridge. Even if he had found a pass, he had no 
means of transport : the natives were openly hostile, and he 
suspected them of having given warning of his approach to the 
inhabitants of the rich and powerful empire which he was 
purposing to invade ; and, lastly, his invading force had been 
reduced by sickness to only 120 men. In these circumstances 
he abandoned his attempt, and descended the Orinoco, 
passing the mouths of a hundred of its tributaries. On his 
way he again gathered tidings of Guiana from a cacique named 
Carapana (p. 350). But it was now too late to return. Berreo 
reached the mouth of the Orinoco, and returned to his home 
in New Granada by way of Trinidad and the sea-coast. 

The Spaniards afterwards partially occupied the territory of 
Carapana. They never succeeded in reaching the city of 
Manoa, and the search of it was practically abandoned: but 
those who resided there collected large quantities of gold, 
which served to keep alive the traditions of Eldorado. Such 
was the condition of things when, in 1594, Raleigh directed 
Jacob Whiddon, an English pirate captain, to procure in 
formation as to the great empire of which so much had been 

In the next year, following Whiddon's directions, Raleigh 
sailed for Guiana with five vessels and a hundred men. , 

The incidents of his exploration of the Orinoco are 
minutely described in the present narrative. Confined as it 
was to those parts of the Orinoco basin which were already well 
known to the Spaniards, it added little or nothing to previous 
information, and, in the strict sense of the word, was no 


"Discovery" at all. But the present narrative widely 
popularised the information, true and false, which already 
existed. In an age of adventure, a new and attractive field 
appeared to be opened : and contemporary literature clearly 
indicates in many places how profoundly the idea of rich 
Guiana had sunk into the English mind. Bishop Hall thus 
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. 

Among the wonders vouched for by Raleigh, none so much took 
the English fancy as his account of the Ewaipanoma race, who 
had their eyes in their shoulders, and their mouths in the 
middle of their breasts. Shakspere clearly alludes to Raleigh's 
account in the person of Othello, whose " travel's history " 
told of 

". . . Antres vast, and deserts idle, 

"Rough quarries, rocks, and hills whose heads touch heaven, 
And of the Cannibals, that each other eat, 
(The Anthropophagi,) and men whose heads 
Do grow beneath their shoulders. . . ." 

Donne compares " Guiana's rarities " with the fabled monsters 
of Africa. In estimating the credulity of Raleigh with regard 
to the former, it should not be forgotten that Bacon did 
not disbelieve in the latter. 

The belief in Guiana did not cease after the failures of 
Raleigh. Drayton speaks of " Manoa's mighty seat : " and 
Milton classes the great city, the riches of which still awaited 


the European spoiler, with those which had already met their 

fate : 

" 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." 


Even while Milton was writing his poem, the French Jesuits 
were pursuing the fruitless search. But by this time, a dis 
covery had been made which tended to dissipate this illusion. 
The Jesuits had reached the Salt-lake on the shore of which 
Manoa was said to stand. The valley at the head of the 
Parima river is inundated to a vast extent during the rainy 
season. The saltness of the soil is communicated to the 
water: and the story of the great Salt- Lake was now explained. 
No wealthy city had been found : but the Parima river 
became henceforth the centre of exploration. The search in 
its neighbourhood 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. 



The Discovery of GUIANA. 

On Thursday, the 6th of February, in the year 1 595, 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 on the iyth 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 Canary, and so to Teneriffe, and stayed there for the 
Lion's Whelp, your Lordship's ship, and for Captain Amyas 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 on the 22nd 
of March, casting anchor at Point Curiapan, which the Spaniards 
call Punta de Gallo, which is situate in eight degrees or there 
abouts. 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, 
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, whilst 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 
Espafioles, and the inhabitants Conquerabia, and as before 
(revictualling my barge) I left the ships and kept by the shore, 

1595] RALEIGH. 333 

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 rs 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 else 
where. 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 abun 
dance 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 
south parts very profitable. From thence we went to the moun 
tain 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 Espanoles or Conquerabia. 

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, and 
in it are divers nations ; those about Parico are called Jajo, those 
at Punta de Carao are of the Arwacas, 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. 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 Espanoles, 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 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 stole also aboard us in a small canoe 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 Cantyman 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, my 
self 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 per 
formed 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 them to seek the Edward Bonaventure, which 
arrived at Trinidad the day before from the East Indies : in whose 

1595] RALEIGH. 335 

absence Berreo sent a canoe 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 arquebuse 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 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 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 dismissed, 
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 lord 
ship's ship, and Captain Keymis, whom I lost on the coast of 
Spain, with the Galego, 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 discovery, 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 inter 
preter, which I carried out of England, I made them understand 
that I was the servant of a Queen, 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 com 
mander." This done, we left Puerto de los Espanoles, and 
returned to Curiapan, and having Berreo my prisoner, I gathered 
from him as much of Guiana as he knew. 

This Berreo is a gentleman 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 assured 
ness, 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 six hundred English miles 

1595] RALEIGH. 337 

further from the sea than I was made believe it had been. Which 
afterwards understanding to be true by Berreo, I kept it from the 
knowledge of my company, who else would never have been 
brought to attempt the same. Of which six hundred miles I passed 
four hundred, leaving my ship 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 ourselves 
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 one hundred 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 unsavory, 
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 under 
take 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 

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 overflown, 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 shall 
perform more than ever was done in Mexico by Cortez, or in Peru 
by Pizarro, whereof the one conquered 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 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 
magnificent princes of Peru, of whose large territories, of whose 
policies, conquests, edifices, and riches, Pedro de Cieza, Francisco 
Lope/, and others have written large discourses ; for when Fran 
cisco Pizarro, Diego Almagro and others conquered the said 
Empire of Peru, and had put to death Atabalipa, son to Guayna- 
capa, which Atabalipa had formerly caused his eldest brother 
Guascar to be slain, one of the younger sons of Guaynacapa fled 
out of Peru, and took with him many thousands of those soldiers 
of the Empire called Orejones, and with those and many others 
that 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 Marannon. 

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 more 
great cities than ever Peru had when it flourished most; it is 
governed by the same laws, and the Emperor and people observe 
the same religion, and the same form and policies in government 
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 Im 
perial 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 1 20th chapter of Lopez in his general history of the Indies, 
wherein he describeth the Court and magnificence of Guaynacapa, 
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 avia cosa en su tierra, que no la tuviese 
de oro contrahecha; y aun dizen, que tenian los Ingas un verjel 

1595] RALEIGH. 339 

en una isla cerca de la Puna, donde se iban a holgar, quando 
querian mar, que tenia la hortaliza, las floras, 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 tomavan, y 
embiavan a Espana." That is, "All the vessels of his house, table, 
and kitchen, were of gold and silver, and the meanest of silver and 
copper for strength and hardness of metal. He had in his ward 
robe hollow statues of gold which seemed giants, and the figures 
in proportion 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 magni 
ficence till then never seen. Besides all this, he had an infinite 
quantity of silver and gold un wrought 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 Spain." 

And in the iiyth 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 fifty 
and two thousand marks of good silver, and one million and 
three hundred and twenty and six thousand and five hundred 
pezos of gold." 

Now, although these reports may seem strange, yet, if we con 
sider 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 exceedeth all the rest. If his gold now endanger us, 

z 2 


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 ; for by that 
way followed Orellana (by the commandment 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 begin 
ning, 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 seventy 
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's 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, are to be seen in the Chan 
cery of Saint Juan de Puerto Rico, whereof Berreo had a copy, 
which appeared to be the greatest encouragement as well to Berreo 
as to others that formerly attempted the discovery and conquest. 
Orellana, 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 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 sup 
posed, 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 

1595] RALEIGH. 341 

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 canoe alone, without any victual, only with his arms, and 
so turned loose into the great river. But it pleased God that the 
canoe 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, 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 
through the city, and the next day from sun rising to sun setting 
ere 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 laden 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 the Orenoquepom\ 
robbed him and his Guianians of all the treasure (the borderers 
being at that time at wars, which Inga had not conquered) 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 canoes he fell 
down from the river of Orenoque to Trinidad and from thence to 


Margarita, and also to Saint Juan de Puerto Rico, where, remain 
ing a long time for passage into Spain, 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 in 
formed me, upon this occasion, " Those Guianians, and also the 
borderers, and all other in that tract which I have seen, are mar 
vellous 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 balsam (by them called cured), 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 
prepared gold made into fine powder, blow it through 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 hun 
dreds, and continue in drunkenness sometimes six or seven days 
together." The same is also confirmed by a letter written into 
Spain which was intercepted, which Mr. Robert Dudley told me he 
had seen. Upon this sight, and for 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 
Osua, a knight of Navarre, attempted Guiana, taking his way into 
Peru, and built his brigantines upon a river called Oia, which 
rises to the southward of Quito, and is very great. This river falleth 
into Amazons, by which Osua with his companies descended, 
and came out of that province which is called Mutylonez ; 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 Osua had among his troops a Biscayan called Agiri, a man 
meanly born, who bare no other office than a sergeant or alferez : 

1595] RALEIGH. 343 

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 Agiri raised a 
mutiny, of which he made himself the head, and so prevailed as he 
put Osua 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 West Indies. He had of his party seven hundred 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 
towards Peru by the same Amazons, by reason that the descent of 
the river made so great a current, he was enforced to disembogue at 
the mouth of the said Amazons, which cannot be less than a thou 
sand 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. 
Agiri put to the sword all other in the island that refused to be 
of his party, and took with him certain Simerones 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 Saint Juan de Ullua in the Jesus 
of Lubeck ; 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. Agiri from thence landed about Santa Marta 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 Pamplon, Merida, Lagrita, Tunxa, 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 chil 
dren, 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 a tyrant ; and that, 
since he could not make them princes, he would yet 
deliver them from shame and reproach. These were the 


ends and tragedies of Ordas, Martinez, Orellana, Osua, and 

Also soon after Ordas followed Jeronimo Ortal de Saragosa 
with one hundred and fifty soldiers, who failing his entrance by 
sea, was cast with the current on the coast of Paria, 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 and 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 ere he came to 
the borders of the said river, he was set upon by a nation of the 
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 other gentle 
men, that he met with Berreo's camp-master at Caraccas, when 
he came from the borders of Guiana, and that he saw with him 
forty 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 

After Hernandez de Serpa, it was undertaken by the Ade- 
lantado, Don Gonzales Ximenes de Casada, who was one of the 
chiefest in the conquest of Nuevo Reino, whose daughter and 
heir Don Antonio de Berreo married. Gonzales sought the 
passage also by the river called Papamene, which riseth by 

1595] RALEIGH. 345 

Quito, in Peru, and runneth south-east one hundred 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 Gonzales in this 
enterprise. Gonzales gave his daughter to Berreo, taking his 
oath and honour to follow the enterprise to the last of his sub 
stance 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 one hundred 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 
ere 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. Borreo sought it by the river Cassamar, which 
falleth into a great river called Pato : Pato falleth into Meta, and 
Meta into Baraquan, which is also called Orenoque. 

He took his journey from Nuevo Reyno de Granada, where he 
dwelt, having the inheritance of Gonzales Ximenes in those parts ; 
he was followed with 700 horse, he drove with him 1000 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 dis 
covery, 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 ere I departed England, that Villiers, the Admiral, was in pre 
paration for the planting of Amazons, to which river the French 
have made divers voyages, and returned with 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 yearly to the West Indies, also the Indians of Paria, those 
Indians called Tucaris, Chochi, Apotomios, Cumanagotos, and all 
those other nations inhabiting near about the mountains that run 
from Paria through the province of Venezuela, and in Maracapana, 
and the cannibals of Guanipa, the Indians called Assawa, 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 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 
Tinados, or by Caripuna. I made enquiry amongst the most 
ancient and best travelled of the Orenoqueponi, and I had know 
ledge 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 chiefe'st strength 
and retreats are in the islands situate on the south side of the 
entrance some sixty 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 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 from Guiana do 
assemble 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 

1595] RALEIGtf. 347 

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 

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 ex 
change 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 

But to return to the enterprise of Berreo, who (as I have said) de 
parted 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 Tuvia; 
from which mountain also springeth Pato ; both which fall into the 
great river of Meta ; and Meta riseth from a mountain joining to 
Pamplon, in the same Nuevo Reyno de Granada. These, as also 
Guaiare, which issueth out of the mountains by Timana, fall 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 Marta. By Cassonar 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 come 
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 sickness, and by encountering 
with the people of those regions through which he travelled, his 
companies were much wasted, especially by divers encounters with 
the Amapaians ; 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 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 remained 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 campmaster, they would appear very admirable, 
especially being wrought by such a nation as had no iron instru 
ments 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 through 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 diseases, and all the 

1595] RALEIGH. 349 

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 infective. 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 through 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 pur 
pose 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 as big as Rio 
Grande, 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 my 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 Marannon, and 
the religions of Maria Tamball, 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 conquest in 
those parts, nor elsewhere ; for by the dissension between Guascar 
and Atabalipa, Pizarro conquered Peru, and by the hatred that the 
Tlaxcallians bare to Mutezuma, Cortez was victorious over Mexico ; 
without which both the one and the other had failed of their enter 
prise, and of the great honour and riches which they attained 

Now Berreo began to grow into despair, and looked for no other 
success than his predecessor in this enterprise, until such time as 
he arrived at the province of 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 victuals. 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 
victuals from Trinidad) by reason whereof he grew of more under 
standing, and noted the difference of the nations, comparing 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 cannibals, 
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 

1595] RALEIGH. 351 

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 pre 
sent embarked himself in canoes, and by the branches of Orenoque 
arrived at Trinidad, having from Carapana sufficient pilots to con 
duct him. From Trinidad he coasted 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 presently 
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 victuals or 
aught else. Carapana directed his company to a king called 
Morequito, 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 Morequito, one of 
the greatest lords or kings of the borders of Guiana, had two or 
three years before been at Cumana" and at Margarita, in the West 
Indies, with great store of plates of gold, which he carried to 
exchange 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 Cumana", 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; whereupon 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 before that of Vides ; so as when Vides understood of 
Berreo, and that he had made entrance into that territory, 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 companies ; neither to victual, nor guide them in any sort ; 
for Vides, Governor of Cumana", 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 Spaniards 
and a friar (which Berreo had sent to discover Manoa) to travel 
through his country, gave them a guide for Macureguarai, the first 
town of civil and appareled 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 forty thousand pezos 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. I myself 
spake with the captains of Morequito that slew them, and was 
at the place where it was executed. Berreo enraged here withal, 
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 through the territories of the Siama, 
and Wikiri, recovered (Humana", 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 
Fashardo, on the sudden, ere he was suspected, so as he could riot 
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 Fashardo the 
weight of three quintals of 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 

I595J RALEIGH. 353 

understanding and policy ; he is above a hundred years old, and 
yet is of a very able body. The Spaniards led him in a chain seven 
teen days, and made him their guide from place to place between 
his country and Emeria, the province of Carapana aforesaid, 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 Morequito, 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, 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 town, by whose favour, and by being 
conducted by his people, those ten searched the country there 
abouts, as well for mines as for other trades and commodities. 

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 canoes to pass to 
the rivers of Barema, Pawroma, and Dissequebe, 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 a hundred pezos, which is so many crowns. 

The master of my ship, John Douglas, took one of the canoes 
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 Margarita for ten pezos. 
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 

A A 


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 gentle 
men of my 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 barque 
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 victuals 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. 

1595] RALEIGH. 355 

Many and the most of these I found to be true, but yet I 
resolving to make trial of whatsoever happened, directed Captain 
George Gifford, my Vice-Admiral, to take the Lion's Whelp, and 
Captain Caulfield his barque, 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 feet of 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 for 
them before; but they laboured in vain; for neither could they 
turn it up altogether so far to the east, neither did the flood 
continue so long, but the water fell ere 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 
four hundred miles 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's 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 canoes, 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 feet : 
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 disembogue 
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 John Hampton, 

A A 2 


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 feet water ; so as we were now without hope of any 
ship or barque to pass over, and therefore resolved to go on with 
the boats, and the bottom of the galego, in which we thrust sixty 
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 victuals 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 Mr. Edward Porter, Captain Eynos, and eight more 
in his wherry, with all their victual, weapons, and provisions. 
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 Welles, 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 Dover and Calais, 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. We had with us 
for pilot an Indian of Barema, a river to the south of Orenoque, 
between that and Amazons, whose canoes we had formerly taken 
as he was going from the said Barema, 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 

1595] RALEIGH. 357 

whole year in that labyrinth of rivers, ere 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) 
on the 22nd of May, as we were rowing up the same, we espied 
a small canoe with three Indians, which (by the swiftness of my 
barge, rowing with eight oars) I overtook ere they could cross the 
river. The 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 canoe with any 
of ours, nor took out of the canoe 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, re 
covered 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 foot with the deer-dogs, and with so 
many a cry that all the woods echoed with the shout they 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 Ferdi 
nando 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 Ciawani, and the other Wara- 

The great river of Orenoque or Baraquan hath nine branches 
which fall out on the north side of his own main mouth. On the 
south side it hath seven other fallings into the sea, so it disem- 
bogueth 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 in 
habit 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, Horoto- 
maka ; 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 valiant, and 
have the most manly speech and most deliberate that I ever 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 Septem 
ber the river of Orenoque riseth thirty foot upright, and then are 

1595] RALEIGH. 359 

those islands overflowed 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 
abroard 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 fowls 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 canoes, 
for they make the most and fairest canoes, and sell them into 
Guiana for gold and into Trinidad for tobacco, in the excessive 
taking whereof they exceed all nations. And notwithstanding the 
moistness 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 
in living, 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 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 com 
manders 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 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 drinks. 

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 fourscore 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 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 leave 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 com 
panies 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 promise 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 doubtful 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 victuals 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 discom 
fort, 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 good to 
eat, flowers and trees of such variety as were sufficient to make 
ten volumes of herbals ; we relieved ourselves many times with the 

1595] RALEIGH. 361 

fruits of the country, and sometimes with fowl and fish. We saw 
birds of all colours, some carnation, some crimson, orange-tawny, 
purple, watchet, 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 Ciawani (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 depart 
ing from the galley at noon we might return ere night. I was very 
glad to hear this speech, and presently took my barque, with eight 
musketeers, Captain Gifford's 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 victuals 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 to 
gether in some village upon 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 through 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 
canoes above four hundred miles off, upon a journey towards the 
head of Orenoque, to trade for gold, and to buy women of the 
cannibals, who afterwards unfortunately 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 canoes 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 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 re 
turned 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 
gre'en, 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 bigness ; but for 
lagartos 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 river ; and when we were even at the last cast 

1595] RALEIGH. 363 

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 canoes coming down the river ; and 
with 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 canoes that were taken were loaded 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 canoes ; one of them was a 
cavallero, 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 ex 
cellent bread which we found in these canoes ; for now our men 
cried, " Let us go on, we care not how far." After that Captain 
Gifford had brought the two canoes to the galley, I took my barge 
and went to the bank-side with a dozen shot, where the canoes 
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 through 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 canoes 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; for they put 
themselves into one of the small canoes, and so while the greater 
canoes 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 canoes ; 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 barques 
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 heard had 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 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 re 
turned 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 can 
nibals. 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 con 
fessed) took from them both their wives and daughters daily, 
and especially such as they took in this manner by strength. 

1595] RALEIGH. 365 

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 pine or a potato root with 
out giving them contentment, nor any man so much as to 
offer to touch any of their wives or daughters; which course, 
so contrary to the Spaniards (who tyrannize over them in all 
things), drew them to admire Her Majesty, whose command 
ment I told them it was, and also wonderfully to honour our 

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 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 over 
throw 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 canoes 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 canoe 
the old Ciawani, and Ferdinando, my first pilot, and gave them 
both such things as they desired, with sufficient 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 victuals and provisions, 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 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 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 canoes 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 canoes 
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 ere 
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 tortoise 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 of Amana, 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 
thousands of tortoise eggs, which are very wholesome meat, and 
greatly restoring, so as our men were now well filled 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 promise, 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 way to Guiana, who conducted our galley 
and boats to his own port, and carried us from thence some 

1595] RALEIGH. 367 

mile and a-half to his town, where some of our captains caroused 
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 seldom seen 
a better 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 excellent prospect, with goodly gardens a mile 
compass round about it, and two very fair and large ponds of ex 
cellent fish adjoining. This town is called Arowocai ; 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 dan 
gerous 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 for the most part east and west, even 
from the sea unto Quito, in Peru. This river is navigable with 
barques, little less than a thousand miles, and from the place 
where we entered it may be sailed up in small pinnaces to many 
of the best parts of Nuevo Reyna 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. 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 Toparimaca, 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 Aromaia, who 
succeeded Morequito, whom (as you have heard before) 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, 

1595] RALEIGH. 369 

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 o'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 there 
fore sent two of the little barges with Captain Gifford, and with 
him Captain Thyn, Captain Caulfield, my cousin Greenvile, my 
nephew John Gilbert, Captain Eynos, Mr. 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 
Cumana 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 next Assawai, the 
third and greatest the Wikiri, by whom Pedro Hernandez de 
Serpa, before mentioned, was overthrown as he passed with three 
hundred horse from Cumand. towards Orenoque in his enterprise of 
Guiana ; the fourth are called Aroras, and are as black as negroes, 
but have smooth hair, and these are very valiant (or rather despe 
rate) people, and have the most strong poison on their arrows, and 
most dangerous of all nations, of which I will speak somewhat, 
being a digression not unnecessary. 

There was nothing whereof I was more curious than to find out 
the true remedies of these poisoned arrows ; for besides the mor 
tality 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 dis 
coloured 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 

B B 


not how many of them. But everyone of these Indians knew 
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 An 
tonio de Berreo told me that he could never attain to the know 
ledge thereof, and yet they taught me the best way of healing as 
well thereof as of all other poisons. Some of the Spaniards have 
been cured in ordinary wounds of 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 or 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 Manoripono, and, as we walked awhile on the island, 
while the galley got ahead of us, there came for us from the main 
a small canoe with seven or eight Guianians, to invite us to anchor 
in 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 
Toparimaca. And so the fifth day we reached as high up as the 
province of Aromaia, the country of Morequito, whom Berreo exe 
cuted, 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. 

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, 

1595] RALEIGH. 371 

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 
pines, the princes 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 somewhat 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 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 predecessor, and afterward 
of the Spaniards ; and ere 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 de 
fence 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, her charity to all oppressed na 
tions, 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 ene 
mies 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 Ore- 
noqueponi, 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 mountains of 
Wacarima there was a large plain (which after I discovered in my 

B B 2 


return) called the Valley of Amariocapana. 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 they were called Orejones and Epuremei, those that 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 them 
selves 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 
Epuremei and the Iwarawaqueri his eldest son was chosen to 
carry to the aid of the Iwarawaqueri a great troop of the Ore- 
noqueponi, 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 Orejones 
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 territories 
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 discovered, each one holding the Spaniard for a com 
mon enemy. 

After be 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 

1595] RALEIGH. 373 

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 Orocotona, his own 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 

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 Canuri, 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 14,000 pezos 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 provisions 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 I 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, Epa- 
regotos, and Arawagotos, 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 

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 Greenvile, my nephew 
John Gilbert, my cousin Butshead 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 overland 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 
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 

1595] RALEIGH. 375 

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 my 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 
villey, where we might better discern the same. I never saw a 
more beautiful country, nor more lively prospects, 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 carnation, 
perching in the river's side, the air fresh with a gentle easterly 
wino, and every stone that we stooped to take up promised 
either gold or silver by his complexion. 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 desire and good will to have performed 
more if it had pleased God. To be short, when both our com 
panies 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 glittered, and would not be persuaded 
but it was rich because of the lustre, and brought of those, and 
of marquesite 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 afterwards 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 ground. 

But it shall be found a weak policy in me, either to betray 
myself or my country with imaginations, neither am I so far in 
love with that lodging, watching, care, peril, diseases, ill-favours, 


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 surgeon, Nicholas Millechamp, brought 
me a kind of stones like sapphires ; what they may prove I 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 mour- 
tain, Bristol diamond, or sapphire I do not yet know, but I hope tte 
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 remembered, which are enerries 
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 canoes 
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 Arui, which also runneth through 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 Caora, and on 
that branch which is called Caora, 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 
Topiawari, 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 
Orenoqueponi, and that one of the Iwarawaqueri took a prisoner 
of them the year before our arrival there, and brought him into 

1595] RALEIGH. 377 

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

When I came to Cumana in the West Indies afterwards 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 dis 
advantage, but he is well known to Monsieur Mucheron's son of 
London, and to Peter Mucheron, 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 doth blossom, leaves, ripe 
fruit, and green at one time : but their winter only consisteth of 
terrible rains, and overflowing 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 
Cari. Beyond it on the same side is the 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 Capuai, 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, towards 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 Goavar ; and on the 
other side of the said mountains the river of Papamene which 
descendeth into Marannon or Amazons, passing through the 
province Mutylones, where Don Pedro de Osua, who was slain by 
the traitor Agiri before rehearsed, built his brigantines, 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 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 waters; 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. 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, Manta, Caora descended from the middle 
land and valley, which lieth between the eastern province of Peru 
and Guiana; and it falls into the sea between Marannon 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 Roidas, with the 

1595] RALEIGH. 379 

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 wore on his back, and that was thoroughly 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 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 Eng 
land, 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 messenger came to him, he arrived also, 
and with him such a rabble of all sorts of people, and everyone 
laden 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 interpreter, and told him that I knew 
that both the Epuremei 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 appareled 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 sufficent 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 council 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 the strong parts of Guiana 
without the help of all those nations which were also their enemies ; 
or 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 travel, 
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 appareled 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 Macureguarai '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 
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 

1595] RALEIGH. 381 

them at Trinidad. And although upon the motion Captain Caul- 
field, 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 withal. 

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 seventeen 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 a 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 more vehement when they should under 
stand 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 appareled and armed, by whom they seek to make 
a party against me in mine own country. He also had taken to 
wife one Loviana, 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 further 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 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 con 
sideration 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 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 enter 
prise, 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 in 
vasion, is not known to them of the empire. And it is likely that 
if Her Majesty undertake the enterprise they will rather submit 
themselves to her obedience than to the Spaniards, of whose 

1595] RALEIGH. 383 

cruelty both themselves and the borderers have already 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 profitable) 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, other 
wise, 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 Aromaia, 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 that 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 
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 be 
come 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 marquesite, and therefore such as the 
Spaniards call El madre del Oro or The mother of gold, which is 
an undoubted assurance 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 re 
ceived 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 ours as aforesaid. To Francis 
Sparrow I gave instructions to travel to Marcureguarai with such 
merchandises as I left with them, thereby to learn the place, and if 
it 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 from 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 
Tuteritona, standing in the province of Tarracoa, of which 
Wariaaremagoto is principal. Beyond it lieth another town to 
wards 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 

1595] RALEIGH. 385 

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 ourselves 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 
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 Cuinaca, where I 
promised to meet him again, Putijma himself promising also to 
be his guide; and as they marched, they left the towns of Em- 
perapana and Capurepana, on the right hand, and marched from 
Putijma'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 moun 
tain 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 Cap 
tain 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 province of Carapana, and 
towards the east sea, as well to find out Captain Keymis, 
whom I had sent overland, as also to acquaint myself with Cara 
pana, who is one of the greatest of all the Lords of the Oreno- 
queponi ; and when I came to the river of Cumaca (to which 

c c 


Putijma promised to conduct Captain Keymis), 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, 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 mountain 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 

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 the top of the said mountain called 
Wacarima. But when we came in first to the house of the said 
Timitwara, 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 victuals as the place yielded, 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 the chieftains of Winicapora, that their 
Lord, Carapana, was departed from Emeria, which was now in 
sight, and that he was fled to Cairamo, adjoining to the moun 
tains of Guiana, over the valley called Amariocapana, being per- 

1595] RALEIGH. 387 

suaded 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 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 further 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 

C C 2 


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 

All the night it was stormy and dark, and full of 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 re 
covered 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 further 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 
he'arts were cold to behold the great rage and increase of 
Orenoque, and therefore departed, and turned towards 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 Winicapora, and 
the day following we recovered the galley at anchor at the port 
of Toparimaca, 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 one hundred 
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, both the breeze and currents of the sea were so forcible, 
and therefore we followed a branch of Orenoque called Capuri, 
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. 

1595] RALEIGH. 389 

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 desperate 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 Gififord, 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, who durst not adven 
ture 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 Trini 
dad, 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, fa 

Now that it hath pleased God to send us safe to our shipS, 4t-l 
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 discovery 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 Cuman^, 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 rehearsed and the four branches of Amana, all which in the 
winter thrust so great an 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 Waraweeti, and those 
war one with another. 

On the hithermost part of Orenoque, as at Toparimaca and 
Winicapora, those are of a nation called Nepoios, and are the 
followers of Carapana, Lord of Emeria. Between Winicapora and 
the port of Morequito, which standeth in Aromaia, and all those in 
the valley of Amariocapana, are called Orenoqueponi, 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 province) who came far off to see our 
nation, and asked me divers questions of Her Majesty, being much 
delighted with the discourse of Her Majesty's greatness, and won 
dering at such reports as we truly made of Her Highness's 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 Iwarawa- 
keri. 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 Ewaiponoma without heads. Directly west 
are the Amapaias and Anebas, 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 

To make mention of the several beasts, birds, fishes, fruit's, 
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 reli 
gion of the Epuremei is the same which the Ingas, Emperors of 
Peru used, which may be read in Cieza and other Spanish 
stories, how they believe the immortality of the soul, worship the 
sun, and bury with them alive their best beloved wives and trea- 

1595] RALEIGH. 391 

sure, as they likewise do in Pegu, in the East Indies, and other 
places. The Orenoqueponi 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 Peruvians 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 

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 mag 
nificent palaces in Guiana as his ancestors did in Peru, which were 
for their riches and rareness most marvellous, 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 
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 honour, and, I am assured, hath more 
abundance of gold within his territory than all Peru and the 
West Indies. 

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 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 Cortez found in Mexico or Pizarro in Peru. 
And the shining glory of this conquest 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, or 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, as big as an English beef, and in great 

To speak of the several sorts of every kind I fear would be 
troublesome to the reader, and therefore I will omit them, and con 
clude 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 a 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 pesti 
lent diseases which dwell in all hot regions, and so near the 
equinoctial line. 

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 

1595] RALEIGH. 393 

even those brown and tawny women spot themselves and colour 
their cheeks. All places yield abundance of cotton, of silk, of 
balsamum, 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 have. 

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 troublesome, and the sea 
about the Bermudas a hellish sea for thunder, lightning, and 

This very year (1595) there were seventeen sail of Span