A Discourse of Western Planting, by Richard Hakluyt

Table of Contents

Introductory Note.

The Western Planting.

  1. That this Westerne discoverie will be greately for thinlargemente of the gospell of Christe, whereunto the princes of the Refourmed Religion are chefely bounde, amongeste whome her Majestie ys principall.
  2. That all other Englishe trades are growen beggerly or daungerous, especially daungerous in all the Kinge of Spayne his domynions, where our men are dryven to flinge their bibles and prayer bookes into the sea, and to forsweare and renounce their relligion and conscience, and consequently their obedience to her Majesty.
  3. That this westerne voyadge will yelde unto us all the commodities of Europe, Affrica and Asia, as far as wee were wonte to travell, and supplye the wantes of all our decayed trades.
  4. That this enterprise will be for the manifolde ymployment of nombers of idle men, and for bredinge of many sufficient, and for utteraunce of the greate quantitie of the comodities of our realme.
  5. That this voyage will be a greate bridle to the Indies of the Kinge of Spaine, and a meane that wee may arreste at our pleasure for the space of tenne weeks or three monethes every yere one or twoo C. saile of his subjectes shippes at the fyshinge in Newfounde Land.
  6. That the mischiefe that the Indian treasure wroughte in time of Charles the late Emperor, father to the Spanishe kinge, is to be had in consideration of the Queens most excellent Majestie, leaste the contynuall comynge of the like treasure from thence to his sonne, worke the unrecoverable annoye of this realme, whereof already we have had very daungerous experience.
  7. What speciall meanes may bringe Kinge Phillippe from his highe throne, and make him equall to the princes his neighboures; wherewithall is shewed his weakenes in the West Indies.
  8. That the lymites of the Kinge of Spaines domynions in the West Indies be nothinge so large as is generally ymagined and surmised, neither those partes which he holdeth be of any such forces as is falsly geven oute by the Popishe clergie and others his fautors, to terrifie the princes of the relligion and to abuse and blynde them.
  9. The names of the riche townes lienge alonge the sea coaste on the north side from the equinoctiall of the mayne lande of AMERICA, under the Kinge of Spaine.
  10. A brefe declaration of the chefe ilandes in the Baye of Mexico, beinge under the Kinge of Spaine, with their havens and fortes, and what comodities they yelde.
  11. That the Spaniardes have exercised moste outragious and more then Turkishe cruelties in all the West Indies, whereby they are every where there become moste odious unto them, whoe woulde joyne with us or any other moste willinglye to shake of their moste intolerable yoke, and have begonne to doe yt already in divers places where they were lordes heretofore.
  12. 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.
  13. That hereby the revenewes and customes of Her Majestie, bothe outewarde and inwarde, shall mightily be inlarged by the toll, excises, and other dueties which withoute expression may be raysed.
  14. That this action will be for the greate increase, mayneteynaunce, and safetie of our navie, and especially of greate shippinge, which is the strengthe of our realme, and for the supportation of all those occupations that depende upon the same.
  15. That spedie plantinge in divers fitt places is moste necessarie upon these laste luckye westerne discoveries, for feare of the danger of beinge prevented by other nations which have the like intention, with the order thereof, and other reasons therewithall alleaged.
  16. Meanes to kepe this enterprise from overthrowe, and the enterprisers from shame and dishonour.
  17. That by these colonies the north west passage to Cathaio and China may easely, quickly, and perfectly be searched oute as well by river and overlande as by sea; for proofe whereof here are quoted and alleaged divers rare testymonies oute of the three volumes of voyadges gathered by Ramusius, and other grave authors.
  18. That the Queene of Englandes title to all the West Indies, or at the leaste to as moche as is from Florida to the Circle articke, is more lawfull and righte then the Spaniardes, or any other Christian Princes.
  19. An aunswer to the Bull of the Donation of all the West Indies graunted to the Kinges of Spaines by Pope Alexander the VIth, whoe was himselfe a Spaniarde borne.
  20. A briefe collection of certaine reasons to induce her Majestie and the state to take in hande the westerne voyadge and the plantinge there.
  21. A note of some thinges to be prepared for the voyadge, which is sett downe rather to drawe the takers of the voyadge in hande to the presente consideration, then for any other reason; for that divers thinges require preparation longe before the voyadge, withoute the which the voyadge is maymed.

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