A Discourse of Western Planting, by Richard Hakluyt

Chap. XII.

That the passage in this voyadge is easie and shorte, that it cutteth not nere the trade of any other mightie princes, or nere their contries, that it is to be perfourmed at all times of the yere, and nedeth but one kinde of winde; that Ireland, beinge full of goodd havens on the southe and weste side, is the nerest parte of Europe to yt, which by this trade shalbe in more securitie, and the sooner drawen to more civilitie.

In this voyadge wee may see by the globe that wee are not to passe throughe the frozen seas, but in a temperate climate unto a contrie muche like to those partes of Gascoigne and Guyen, where heretofore our nation for a longe tyme have inhabited. And it requireth not, as longe voyadges doe, the takinge in of freshe water by the way in divers places, by reason it may be sailed in five or sixe weekes. Whereby the marchante nede [not] to expecte twoo or three yeres for one returne, as in the voyadge of Sir Fraunces Drake, of Fenton and William Hawkins; but may receave twoo returnes every yere in the selfe same shippes, I saye, and well repose themselves at their arryvalls; which thinge I myselfe have seene and understoode in Ffraunce this presente yere don by the Frenchemen; whoe, settinge furthe in January, broughte their bancke fishe which they tooke on the Bancke, forty or three-score leagues from Newefoundelande, to Roan, in greate quantitie, by the ende of May, and afterwarde retained this yere againe to the fisshinge, and are looked for at home towardes the fifte of November. To the spedy perfourmaunce of which voyadge this is a speciall furtheraunce: that whereas moste of our other voyadges of like lengthe require twoo or three sortes of windes at the leaste, one onely winde suffiseth to make this; which was no doubte the cause of the quicke returne of my frende Stephen Bellinger of Roan, whoe departed from Newhaven in January was twelve moneths, arryved at Cape Briton in xxii daies space, and from thence discouered very diligently CC. leagues towardes Norumbega, and had traficque with the people in tenne or twelue places; founde a towne conteyninge fourescore houses, and returned home, with a diligent description of the coaste, in the space of foure monethes, with many comodities of the contrie, which he shewed me.

Moreover this passage is neither by the Straites of Giberaulter, nor on the coastes of Spaine, Portingall, Fraunce nor Flaunders, neither by the Sounde of Denmarke, nor Wardhouse in Norwey: so as in takinge our course on the highe seas wee shall not be in daunger of the corsaries in the Levant, nor of the gallies of Barbarie, nor of the Turke, nor of any state of Italie, neither of the Spaniarde, the Frenche, nor the Dane, nor of any other prince nor potentate within the Sounde in the northe, or in the northeaste partes of the worlde.

Wee may also trauell thither and perfourme the same at all tymes of the yere, with the like facilitie as our marchantes of Bristowe, Weymouthe, and other partes of the West Contries travell for woade to the iles of St. Mighell and Tercera (which are halfe the way thither) all the yere longe. For this coaste is never subjecte to the ise, which is never lightly seene to the southe of Cape Razo in Newfounde lande.

Besides this, in our way as wee passe to and froe, wee shall have in tempestes and other necessities the portes of Ireland to our aide, and no nerer coaste of any enemye. Moreover by the ordinary entercourse wee may annoye the enemyes to Ireland, and succour the Queens Majesties faithfull subjects, and drawe the Irishe by little and little to more civilitie, and in shorte tyme wee may yelde them from the coastes of America whatsoever comodities they nowe receave at the handes of the Spaniardes. So the Spaniardes shall wante the ordinarye victualls they receave every yere from thence, whereby they cannot contynue traficque, nor fall so aptly to practize againste our governmente there as heretofore by their trade thither they have don and doe daily, to the greate expences of her Majestie, and no small indaungeringe and troublinge of our state.

And to conclude: in tradinge to these contries wee shall not nede, for feare of the Spanishe bloudy Inquisition, to throwe our bibles and prayer bookes over boorde into the sea before our arryvall at their portes, as these many yeres wee have don and yet doe, nor take suche horrible oathes as are exacted of our men by the Spanishe searchers, to suche dayly wilfull and highe offence of Almightie God, as we are driven to continually in followinge our ordinary trafficque into the Kinge of Spaines dominyons; whereof at large wee have spoken before in the seconde chapiter.

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Last updated Friday, March 7, 2014 at 20:00