Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques and Discoveries of the English Nation, by Richard Hakluyt

The Nauigation and discouerie toward the riuer of Ob, made by Master Steuen Burrough, Master of the Pinnesse called the Serchthrift, with diuers things worth the noting, passed in the yere 1556.

We departed from Ratcliffe to Blackewall the 23 of April. Satturday being S. Markes day, we departed from Blackewall to Grays.

The 27 being Munday the right worshipfull Sebastian Cabota came aboard our Pinnesse at Grauesende, accompanied with diuers Gentlemen, and Gentlewomen, who after that they had viewed our Pinnesse, and tasted of such cheere as we could make them aboord, they went on shore, giuing to our mariners right liberall rewards: and the good olde Gentleman Master Cabota180 gaue to the poore most liberall almes, wishing them to pray for the good fortune, and prosperous successe of the Serchthrift our Pinnesse. And then at the signe of the Christopher, hee and his friends banketted, and made me, and them that were in the company great cheere: and for very ioy that he had to see the towardnes of our intended discouery, he entred into the dance himselfe, amongst the rest of the young and lusty company: which being ended, hee and his friends departed most gently, commending vs to the gouernance of almighty God.

Tuesday (28) we rode still at Grauesend, making prouision for such things as we wanted.

Wednesday (29) in the morning we departed from Grauesende, the winde being at Southwest, that night we came to an anker thwart our Lady of Hollands.

Thursday (30) at three of the clocke in the morning we weyed, and by eight of the clocke, we were at an anker in Orwell wannes, and then incontinent I went aboord the Edward Bonauenture, 181 where the worshipfull company of marchants appointed me to be, vntill the sayd good ship arriued at Wardhouse. Then I returned againe into the pinnesse.

Friday the 15 of May we were within 7 leagues of the shore, on the coast of Norway: the latitude at a South sunne, 58 degrees and a halfe, where we saw three sailes, beside our owne company: and thus we followed the shoare or land, which lieth Northnorthwest, North and by West, and Northwest and by North, as it doth appeare by the plat.

Saturday (16) at an East sunne we came to S. Dunstan’s Island,182 which Island I so named. It was off vs East two leagues and a halfe, the wind being at Southeast: the latitude this day at a South sunne 59 degrees, 42 minutes. Also the high round mountains bare East of vs, at a south sunne: and when this hill is East of you, and being bound to the Northward, the land lyeth North and halfe a point Westerly, from this sayd South sunne, vnto a North sunne twenty leagues Northwest alongst the shoare.

Vpon Sunday (17) at sixe of the clocke in the morning, the farthest land that we could see that lay Northnorthwest, was East of vs three leagues, and then it trended to the Northwards, and to the Eastwards of the North, which headland I iudged to be Scoutsnesse. At seuen of the clocke we changed our course and went North, the wind being at Southsoutheast, and it waxed very thicke and mistie, and when it cleered, we went Northnortheast. At a South sunne we lost sight of the Serchthrift, because of the mist, making our way North. And when we lost sight of the shoare and pinnesse, we were within two leagues and a halfe of the shoare: the last land that we saw when this mist came vpon vs, which is to the Northwards of Scoutsnesse, lay Northnortheast, and Southsouthwest, and we made our way North vntill a west sunne fiue leagues.

From that vntill Munday (18) three a clocke in the morning ten leagues Northnortheast: and then we went North and by East, because the winde came at the Westsouthwest with thicke miste: the latitude this day at a South sunne sixtie three degrees and a halfe truely taken: at this season we had sight of our Pinnesse againe.

From that vntill Tuesday (19) a South sunne Northnortheast fortie foure leagues, and then Northeast From a South sunne vntill eight of the clocke, fifteene leagues Northeast.

From that vntill Wednesday (20) a South sunne Northnortheast, except the first watch Northeast: then had we the latitude in sixtie seuen degrees, thirtie nine minutes. From that vnto a Northwest sunne eighteen leagues Northeast, and then we were within two leagues off the shore, and saw the high land to the Southwards of Lowfoot183 breake out through the mist, and then we went North and by east.

From the sayd Northwest sunne vntill foure of the clocke in the morning (21) North and by East ten leagues and a halfe: and then Northnortheast vntill a South sunne, the latitude being sixtie nine degrees, and a halfe. From that vntill halfe an houre past seuen of the clocke, Northnortheast eleuen leagues and a halfe, and then we went Northeast ten leagues. From that 3 leagues and a halfe Eastnortheast, and then we sawe the land through the cloudes and hazie thwart on the broadside of vs the winde being then at Southsouthwest.

From that vntill Saturday (22), at eight of the clocke in the morning Eastnortheast, and to the Northwards fortie eight leagues, and then the wind came vp at North, wee being aboord the shore, and thwart of the Chappell, which I suppose is called Kedilwike 184: then we cast the shippes head to the seawards, because thee winde was verie scant: and then I caused the Pinnesse to beare in with the shore, to see whether she might find an harborough for the ships or not, and that she found and saw two roaders ride in the sound: and also they sawe houses. But notwithstanding, God be praysed, the winde enlarged vpon vs, that we had not occasion to goe into the harborough: and then the Pinnesse bare her Myssen mast ouer boord with flagge and all, and lost the flagge: with the mast there fell two men ouer boord, but God be praised, they were saued: the flagge was a token, whereby we might, understand whether there were a good harbour there or not.

The North Cape so named by Steuen Burrowe. At the North sunne the North Cape (which I so named the first voyage) was thwart of vs, which is nine leagues to the Eastwards of the foresayd Chappell from the Eastermost point of it.185


The Sunday (7) we weied in Corpus Christi Bay, at a Northeast and by East sunne: the Bay is almost halfe a league deepe: the headland which is Corpus Christi point, lyeth Southeast and by East, one league from the head of the Bay, where we had a great tyde, like a race ouer the flood: the Bay is at the least two leagues ouer: so doe I imagine from the fayre foreland to Corpus Christi poynt ten leagues Southeast and by East: It floweth in this Bay, at a South and by West moone full sea. From that we went vntill seuen a clocke at after noone twentie leagues Southeast and by South: and then we tooke in all our sailes, because it was then very mistie, and also we met with much ice that ran out of the Bay, and then wee went Southsoutheast with our foresayle: at eight of the clocke, we heard a piece of ordinance, which was out of the Edward, which bade vs farewell, and then we shot off another piece, and bade her farewell: wee could not one see the other, because of the thicke miste: at a Northwest sunne it began somewhat to cleere, and then we sawe a head lande, and the shoare trended to the Southwestward, which I iudged to be about Crosse Island: it was off vs at a Northnorthwest sunne, Westsouthwest.

From this Northnorthwest sunne, vntill Munday (8), we went Southeast, and this morning we came at anker among the shoales that lie off of point Looke out, at a Northeast and by East sunne, the wind being at Eastsoutheast. At this poynt Looke out, a south Moone maketh a full sea. Cape good fortune lyeth from the Isle of Crosses Southeast, and betweene them is tenne leagues: point Looke out lyeth from Cape Good fortune Eastsoutheast, and betweene them are sixe leagues. S. Edmonds point lieth from point Looke out Eastsoutheast, and halfe a point to the Southwards, and betweene them are sixe leagues. There is betweene these two points, a Bay that is halfe a league deepe, and is full of shoales and dangers. At a Southeast sunne we weyed, and turned to the windwards, the winde being at Eastsoutheast: and at a Southeast sunne, we came to an anker, being then a full sea, in fiue fadoms and a halfe water. It hieth at this place where we roade, and also at point Looke out, foure fadome water. At a Westnorthwest sunne we weyed, and driued to the windewards, vntill Tuesday (9), a Northnortheast sunne, and then being a high water, we came to an anker open of the riuer Cola, in eight fadome water. Cape S. Bernard lyeth from S. Edmondes point, Southeast and by South, and betwixt them are sixe leagues, and also betwixt them is the Riuer Cola, into which Riuer we went this euening.

Wednesday (10) we roade still in the sayd riuer, the winde being at the north: we sent our skiffe aland to be dressed: the latitude of the mouth of the riuer Cola is sixtie fiue degrees, fortie and eight minutes.186

Thursday (11) at 6 of the clocke in the morning, there came aboord of vs one of the Russe Lodiaes, rowing with twentie oares, and there were foure and twenty men in her. The master of the boate presented me with a great loafe of bread, and sixe ringes of bread, which they call Colaches, and foure dryed pikes, and a pecke of fine otemeale, and I gaue vnto the Master of the boate, a combe, and a small glasse: and he declared vnto me, that he was bound to Pechora, and after that, I made them to drinke, the tide being somewhat broken, they gently departed. The Masters name was Pheodor.

Whereas the tenth day I sent our Pinnesse on shoare to be mended, because she was leake, and weake, with the Carpenter and three men more to helpe him, the weather chanced so, that it was Sunday before they could get aboord our shippe. All that time they were without prouision of victuals, but onely a little bread, which they spent by Thursday at night, thinking to haue come aboord when they had listed, but winde and weather denied them: insomuch that they were faine to eate grasse, and such weedes as they could find then aboue grounde, but fresh water they had plentie, but the meate with some of them could scant frame by reason of their queazie stomackes.

From Thursday at afternoone, vntill Sunday (14) in the morning, our barke did ride such a roadsted that it was to be marueiled, without the helpe of God, how she was able to abide it.

Russian “LODJA.” After G. de Veer.

In the bight of the Southeast shoare of the riuer Cola, there is a good roade in fiue fadome, or foure fadome and a halfe, at a lowe water: but you shall haue no land Northnortheast of you then, I proued with our pinnesse, that the depth goeth on the Southeast shoare.

Thursday (18) we weyed our ankers in the riuer Cola, and went into the Sea seuen or eight leagues, where we met with the winde farre Northerly, that of force it constrained vs to goe againe backe into the sayd riuer, where came aboord of vs sundry of their Boates, which declared vnto me that they were also bound to the northwards, a fishing for Morse, and Salmon, and gaue me liberally of their white and wheaten bread.

As we roade in this riuer, wee sawe dayly comming downe the riuer many of their Lodias, and they that had least, had foure and twenty men in them, and at the last they grew to thirtie saile of them: and amongst the rest, there was one of them whose name was Gabriel, who showed me very much friendshippe, and he declared vnto mee, they all were bound to Pechora, a fishing for Salmons, and Morses: insomuch that hee shewed mee by demonstrations, that with a faire winde wee had seuen or eight dayes sailing to the Riuer Pechora, so that I was glad of their company. This Gabriel, promised to giue mee warning of shoales, as hee did indeede.

Sunday (21) being the one and twentieth day, Gabriel gaue me a barrell of Meade, and one of his speciall friends gaue me a barrell of beere, which was caryed vpon mens backs at least 2 miles.

Munday (22) we departed from the riuer Cola, with all the rest of the said Lodias, but sailing before the wind, they were all too good for vs187: but according to promise, this Gabriel and his friend did often strike their sayles, and taried for vs forsaking their owne company.

Tuesday (23) at an Eastnortheast sunne we were thwart of Cape S. Iohn.188 It is to be vnderstood, that from the Cape S. Iohn vnto the riuer or bay that goeth to Mezen, it is all sunke land, and full of shoales and dangers, you shall haue scant two fadome water, and see no land. And this present day wee came to an anker thwart of a creeke, which is 4 or 5 leagues to the Northwards of the sayd Cape, into which creeke Gabriel and his fellow rowed, but we could not get in: and before night there were aboue 20 saile that went into the sayd creeke, the wind being at the Northeast. We had indifferent good landfang.

This aftenoone Gabriel came aboord with his skiffe, and then I rewarded him for the good company that he kept with vs ouer the shoales with two small iuory combes, and a steele glasse, with two or three trifles more, for which he was not vngratefull. But notwithstanding, his first company had gotten further to the Northwards.

Wednesday (24) being Midsummer day, we sent our skiffe aland to sound the creeke, where they found it almost drie at a low water. And all the Lodias within were on ground.

Although the harborough were euil, yet the stormie similitude of the Northerly winds tempted vs to set our sayles, and we let slip a cable and an anker, and bare with the harborough, for it was then neere a high water: and as alwaies in such iournies varieties do chance, when we came vpon the barre in the entrance of the creeke, the wind did shrink so suddenly vpon vs, that we were not able to lead it in, and before we could haue slatted the shippe before the winde, we should haue bene on ground on the lee shore, so that we were constrained to let fall an anker vnder our sailes, and rode in a very breach, thinking to haue warpt in. Gabriel came out with his skiffe, and so did sundry others also, shewing their good will to helpe vs, but all to no purpose, for they were likely to haue bene drowned for their labour, in so much that I desired Gabriel to lend me his anker, because our owne ankers were too big for our skiffe to lay out, who sent me his owne, and borrowed another also and sent it vs. Then we layd out one of those ankers, with a hawser which he had of 140 fadom long, thinking to haue warpt in, but it would not be: for as we shorted vpon the said warpe the anker came home, so that we were faine to beare the end of the warpe, that we rushed in vpon the other small anker that Gabriel sent aboord, and layd that anker to seawards: and then betweene these two ankers we trauersed the ships head to seawards, and set our foresaile and maine sayle, and when the barke had way, we cut the hawser, and so gate the sea to our friend, and tryed out al that day with our maine corse.

The Thursday (25) we went roome with Cape S. Iohn, where we found indifferent good rode for a Northnortheast wind, and for a neede, for a North and by West winde.

Friday (26) at afternoone we weyed, and departed from thence, the wether being meetly faire, and the winde at Eastsoutheast, and plied for the place where we left our cable and anker, and pur hawser: and as soone as we were at an anker, the foresaid Gabriel came aboord of vs, with 3 or foure more of their small boats, and brought with them of their Aquauitæ and Meade, professing vnto me very much friendship, and reioiced to see vs againe, declaring that they earnestly thought that we had bene lost. This Gabriel declared vnto me, that they had saued both the ankers and our hauser, and after we had thus communed, I caused 4 or 5 of them to goe into my cabbin, where I gaue them figs, and made them such cheere as I could. While I was thus banketing of them, there came another of their skiffes aboord with one who was a Keril,189 whose name afterwards I learned, and that he dwelt in Colmogro, and Gabriel dwelled in the towne of Cola, which is not far from the riuers mouth. This foresaid Keril said vnto me that one of the ankers which I borowed was his, I gaue him thanks for the lone of it, thinking it had bene sufficient. And as I continued in one accustomed maner, that if the present which they brought were worth enterteinment they had it accordingly, he brought nothing with him, and therefore I regarded him but litle. And thus we ended, and they took their leaue and went ashore. At their comming ashore, Gabriel and Keril were at vnconuenient words, and by the eares, as I vnderstand: the cause was because the one had better enterteinment then the other: but you shal vnderstand that Gabriel was not able to make his party good, because there were 17 lodias of the Kerils company who tooke his part, and but 2 of Gabriels company.

The next high water Gabriel and his company departed from thence, and rowed to their former company and neighbours, which were in number 28 at the least, and all of them belonging to the riuer Cola.

And as I vnderstood Keril made reckoning that the hawser which was fast in his anker should haue bene his owne, and at first would not deliuer it to our boat, insomuch that I sent him worde that I would complaine vpon him, whereupon he deliuered the hawser to my company.

The next day being Saturday, (27) I sent our boat on shore to fetch fresh water and wood, and at their comming on shore this Keril welcomed our men most gently, and also banketed them: and in the meane time caused some of his men to fill our baricoes with water, and to help our men to beare wood into their boat: and then he put on his best silke coate, and his coller of pearles, and came aboord againe, and brought his present with him: and thus hauing more respect vnto his present then to his person, because I perceiued him to be vainglorious, I bade him welcome, and gaue him a dish of figs: and then he declared vnto me that his father was a gentleman, and that he was able to shew me pleasure, and not Gabriel, who was but a priests sonne.

After their departure from vs we weied, and plied all the ebbe to the windewards, the winde being Northerly, and towards night it waxed very stormy, so that of force we were constrained to go roome with Cape S. Iohn againe, in which storme wee lost our skiffe at our sterne, that wee bought at Wardhouse, and there we rode vntil the fourth of Iuly. The latitude of Cape S. Iohn is 66 degrees 50 minutes. And it is to be noted, that the land of Cape S. Iohn is of height from the full sea marke, as I iudge, 10 fadomes, being cleane without any trees growing, and also without stones or rockes, and consists onely of blacke earth, which is so rotten, that if any of it fall into the sea, it will swimme as though it were a piece of wood. In which place, about three leagues from the shore you shall not haue aboue 9 fadom water, and clay ground.


Saturday (4) at a Northnorthwest sunne the wind came at Eastnortheast, and then we weied, and plied to the Northwards, and as we were two leagues shot past the Cape, we saw a house standing in a valley, which is dainty to be seene in those parts, and by and by I saw three men on the top of the hil. Then I iudged them, as it afterwards proued, that they were men which came from some other place to set traps to take vermin190 for their furres, which trappes we did perceiue very thicke, alongst the shore as we went.

Sunday (5) at an East sunne we were thwart off the creeke where the Russes lay, and there came to an anker, and perceiuing the most part of the Lodias to be gone we thought it not good to tary any longer there, but weyed and spent all the ebbe, plying to the windewards.

Munday (6) at a South sunne it was high water. All alongst the coast it floweth little, onely a South moone makes a full sea: and as we were a weying we espied the Russe Lodias, which we first lost. They came out of a creeke amongst the sandy hilles, 191 which hilles beginne 15 leagues Northnortheast from Cape S. Iohn.

Plying this ebbe to an end, we came (7) to an anker 6 leagues Northnortheast from the place where we saw the Russes come out: and there the Russes harboured themselues within a soonke banke, but there was not water enough for vs.

At a North sunne we weyed and plied to the Northwards, the land lying Northnortheast, and Southsouthwest, vntill a South sunne, and then we were in the latitude of 68 degrees and a halfe: and in this latitude ende those sandy hilles, and the land beginneth to lie North and by West, South and by East, and Northnorthwest, and to the Westwards, and there the water beginneth to waxe deepe.

At a Northwest sunne we came to an anker within halfe a league of the shore, where wee had good plenty of fish, both Haddocks and Cods, riding in 10 fadom water.

Wednesday (8) we weyed, and plyed neerer the headland, which is called Caninoz,192 the wind being at East and by North.

Thursday (9) the wind being soant we turned to windwards the ebbe, to get about Caninoz: the latitude this day at noone was 68 degrees 40 minutes.

Friday (10) we turned to the windward of the ebbe, but to no purpose: and as we rode at an anker, we saw the similitude of a storme rising at Northnorthwest, and could not tell where to get rode nor succor for that winde, and harborough we knew none: and that land which we rode vnder with that winde was a lee shore. And as I was musing what was best to be done, I saw a saile come out of a creeke vnder the foresayd Caninoz, which was my friend Gabriel, who forsooke his harborough and company, and came as neere vs as he might, and pointed vs to the Eastwards, and then we weyed and followed him, and went East and by South, the wind being at Westnorthwest, and very mistie.

Saturday (11) we went Eastsoutheast and followed Gabriel, and he brought vs into an harborough called Morgiouets, which is 30 leagues from Caninoz, and we had vpon the barre going in two fadome and a fourth part: and after we were past in ouer the barre, it waxed deeper, for we had 5 fadoms, 4 and a half, and 3 fadom &c. Our barke being mored, I sent some of our men to shoare to prouide wood, where they had plenty of drift wood, but none growing: and in this place we found plenty of young foule, as Gulles, Seapies193, and others, whereof the Russes would eate none, whereof we were nothing sory, for there came the more to our part.

Sunday (12) our men cut wood on shoare, and brought it aboord, and wee balasted our shippe with stones.

This morning Gabriel saw a smoke on the way, who rowed vnto it with his skiffe, which smoke was two leagues from the place where we road: and at a Northwest sunne he came aboord again, and brought with him a Samoed,194 which was but a young man: his apparell was then strange vnto vs, and he presented me with three young wild geese, and one young barnacle195.

Munday (13) I sent a man to the maine in Gabriels boat and he brought vs aboord 8 barricoes of fresh water: the latitude of the said Morgiouets is sixtie eight degrees and a terce. It floweth there at a Southsouthwest moone full sea, and hyeth two fadome and a halfe water.

At a Westnorthwest sunne we departed from this place, (14) and went East 25 leagues, and then saw an Island by North and by West of vs eight leagues, which Island is called Dolgoieue:196 and from the Eastermost part of this Island, there lyeth a sand East and by South 7 leagues long.

Wednesday (15) at a North and by East sunne Swetinoz197 was South of vs 5 leagues. This day at aftemoone we went in ouer the dangerous barre of Pechora, and had vpon the barre but one fadome water198.

Thursday (16) we road still.

Friday (17) I went on shoare and obserued the variation of the Compasse, which was three degrees and a halfe from the North to the West: the latitude this day was, sixtie nine degrees ten minutes.

From two or three leagues to the Eastward of Swetinoz, vntill the entering of the riuer Pechora, it is all sandie hilles, and towards Pechora the sandie hilles are very low.

It higheth on the barre of Pechora foure foote water, and it floweth there at a Southwest moone a full sea.

Munday (20) at a North and by East sunne, we weyed, and came out ouer the sayd dangerous barre, where we had but fiue foote water, insomuch that wee found a foote lesse water comming out then wee did going in. I thinke the reason was, because when we went in the winde was off the sea, which caused the sands to breake on either side of vs, and we kept in the smoothest betweene the breaches, which we durst not haue done, except we had seene the Russes to haue gone in before vs: and at our comming out the winde was off the shoare, and fayre weather, and then the sands did not appeare with breaches as at our going in: we thanke God that our ship did draw so little water.

When we were a seaboord the barre the wind scanted vpon vs, and was at Eastsoutheast, insomuch that we stopped the ebbes, and plyed all the floods to the windewards, and made our way Eastnortheast.

Tuesday (21) at a Northwest sunne we thought that we had seen land at East, or East and by North of vs: which afterwards prooued to be a monstrous heape of ice.

Within a little more than halfe an houre after we first saw this ice, we were inclosed within it before we were aware of it, which was a fearefull sight to see: for, for the space of sixe houres, it was as much as we could doe to keepe our shippe aloofe from one heape of ice, and beare roomer from another, with as much wind as we might beare a coarse. And when we had past from the danger of this ice, we lay to the Eastwards close by the wind.

The next day (22) we were againe troubled with the ice.

Thursday (23) being calme, we plyed to the windwards, the winde being Northerly. We had the latitude this day at noone in 70 degrees 11 minutes.

We had not runne past two houres Northwest, the wind being at Northnortheast and Northeast and by North a good gale, but we met againe with another heape of ice: we wethered the head of it, and lay a time to the seawards, and made way West 6 leagues.

Friday (24) at a Southeast sunne we cast about to the Eastwards, the wind being at Northnortheast: the latitude this day at noone was 70 degrees 15 minutes.

On S. Iames his day (25) bolting to the windewardes, we had the latitude at noone in seuenty degrees twentie minutes. The same day at a Southwest sunne, there was a monstrous Whale aboord of us, so neere to our side that we might haue thrust a sworde or any other weapon in him, which we durst not doe for feare hee should haue ouerthrowen our shippe: and then I called my company together, and all of vs shouted, and with the crie that we made he departed from vs: there was as much aboue water of his backe as the bredth of our pinnesse, and at his falling downe, he made such a terrible noyse in the water that a man would greatly haue maruelled, except hee had knowen the cause of it: but God be thanked, we were quietly deliuered of him.199 And a little after we spied certaine Islands, with which we bare, and found good harbor in 15 or 18 fadome, and blacke oze: we came to an anker at a Northeast sunne, and named the Island S. Iames his Island,200 where we found fresh water.

Sunday, (26) much wind blowing we rode still.

Munday (27) I went on shoare and tooke the latitude, which was 70 degrees 42 minutes: the variation of the compasse was 7 degrees and a halfe from the North to the West.

Tuesday (28) we plyed to the Westwards alongst the shoare, the wind being at Northwest, and as I was about to come to anker, we saw a sayle comming about the point, whereunder we thought to haue ankered. The relation of Loshak. Then I sent a skiffe aboord of him, and at their coming aboord they tooke acquaintance of them and the chiefe man said hee had bene in our company in the riuer Cola, and also declared unto them that we were past the way which should bring vs to the Ob. This land, sayd he, is called Noua Zembla, that is to say, the New land: and then he came aboord himselfe with his skiffe, and at his comming aboord he told me the like, and sayd further, that in this Noua Zembla is the highest mountaine in the worlde, as he thought,201 and that Camen Boldshay, which is on the maine of Pechora, is not to be compared to this mountaine, but I saw it not: he made me also certaine demonstrations of the way to the Ob, and seemed to make haste on his owne way, being very lothe to tarie, because the yeere was farre past, and his neighbour had fet Pechora, and not he: so I gaue him a steele glasse, two pewter spoones, and a paire of veluet sheathed knives: and then he seemed somewhat the more willing to tary, and shewed me as much as he knew for our purpose: he also gaue me 17 wilde geese, and shewed me that foure of their lodias were driuen perforce from Caninoze to this Noua Zembla. This mans name was Loshak.

Wednesday, (29) as we plied to the Eastwards, we espied another saile, which was one of this Loshaks company, and we bare roome, and spake with him, who in like sort tolde vs of the Ob, as the other had done.

Thursday, (30) we plied to the Eastwards, the winde being at Eastnortheast.

Friday, (31) the gale of winde began to increase, and came Westerly withall, so that by a Northwest sunne we were at an anker among the Islands of Vaigats, where we saw two small lodias, the one of them came aboard of vs, and presented me with a great loafe of bread: and they told me that they were all of Colmogro, except one man that dwelt at Pechora, who seemed to be the chiefest among them in killing of the Morse.

There were some of their company on shoare, which did chase a white beare ouer the high clifs into the water, which beare the lodia that was aboard of vs killed in our sight.

This day there was a great gale of wind at North, and we saw so much ice driuing a seaboord, that it was then no going to sea.


Saturday (1) I went ashore, and there I saw three morses that they had killed: they held one tooth of a Morse, which was not great, at a roble, and one white beare skin at three robles and two robles: they further tolde me, that there were people called Samoeds on the great Island, and that they would not abide them nor vs, who haue no houses, but only couerings made of Deere skins, set ouer them with stakes: they are men expert in shooting,202 and have great plenty of Deere.

This night there fell a cruell storme, the wind being at West.

Sunday (2) we had very much winde, with plenty of snow, and we rode with two ankers a head.

Samoiedarum, trahis a rangiferis protractis insidentium. Nec non Idolorum ab ijsdem cultorum effigies.
SAMOYED SLEIGH AND IDOLS. After an old Dutch engraving.

Munday (3) we weyed and went roome with another Island, which was fiue leagues Eastnortheast from vs, and there I met againe with Loshak, and went on shore with him, and hee brought me to a heap of the Samoeds idols, which were in number aboue 300, the worst and the most vnartificiall worke that euer I saw: the eyes and mouthes of sundrie of them were bloodie, they had the shape of men, women and children, very grosly wrought, and that which they had made for other parts, was also sprinckled with blood. Some of their idols were an old sticke with two or three notches, mode with a knife in it.203 I saw much of the footing of the sayd Samoeds, and of the sleds that they ride in. There was one of their sleds broken, and lay by the heape of idols, and there I saw a deers skinne which the foules had spoyled: and before certaine of their idols blocks were made as high as their mouthes, being all bloody, I thought that to be the table whereon they offered their sacrifice: I saw also the instruments, whereupon they had roasted flesh, and as farre as I could perceiue, they make their fire directly under the spit.

Loshak being there present tolde me that these Samoeds were not so hurtful as they of Ob are, and that they haue no houses, as indeede I saw none, but onely tents made of Deers skins, which they vnderproppe with stakes and poles: their boates are made of Deers skins, and when they come on shoare they cary their boates with them upon their backes: for their cariages they haue no other beastes to serue them, but Deere onely. As for bread and corne they haue none, except the Russes bring it to them: their knowledge is very base, for they know no letter.204

Tuesday (4) we turned for the harborough where Loshaks barke lay, whereas before we road vnder an Island. And there he came aboord of vs and said vnto me: if God sende winde and weather to serue, I will goe to the Ob with you, because the Morses were scant at these Islands of Vaigats, but if he could not get to the riuer of Ob, then he sayd hee would goe to the riuer of Naramzay, where the people were not altogether so sauage as the Samoyds of the Ob are: hee shewed me that they will shoot at all men to the vttermost of their power, that cannot speake their speech.

Wednesday (5) we saw a terrible heape of ice approach neere vnto vs, and therefore wee thought good with al speed possible to depart from thence, and so I returned to the Westwards againe, to the Island where we were the 31. of Iuly.

SAMOYED ARCHERS. After Unschoten.

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SAMOYEDS. From Schleissing’s Nou-entdecktes Sieweria, worinnen die Zobeln gefangen werden. Zittan 1693.

Thursday (6) I went a shoare, and tooke the latitude, which was 70 degrees 25 minutes: and the variation of the compasse was 8 degrees from the North to the West.

Loshak and the two small Lodias of Pechora departed from this Island, while I was on shoare taking the latitude, and went to the Southwards: I maruailed why he departed so suddenly, and went ouer the shoales amongst the Islands where it was impossible for vs to follow them. But after I perceiued them to be weatherwise.

Friday (7) we road still, the winde being at Northnortheast, with a cruel storme. The ice came in so abundantly about vs at both ends of the Island that, we rode vnder, that it was a fearefull sight to behold: the storme continued with snow, raine, and hayle plenty.

Saturday (8) we rode still also, the storme being somewhat abated, but it was altogether misty, that we were not able to see a cables length about vs, the winde being at Northeast and by East.

Sunday (9) at foure of the clocke in the morning we departed from this Island, the winde being at Southeast, and as we were cleere a sea boord the small Islandes and shoales, it came so thick with mistes that we could not see a base shotte from vs. Then we took in all our sailes to make little way.

At a Southeast sunne it waxed cleere, and then we set our sayles, and lay close by the wind to the Southwards alongst the Islands of Vaigats. At a west sunne we tooke in our sayle againe because of the great mist and raine. Wee sounded at this place, and had fiue and twenty fadomes water, and soft black oze, being three leagues from the shoare, the winde being at South and by East, but still misty.

Munday (10) at an East sunne we sounded, and had 40 fadomes, and oze, still misty: at noone wee sounded againe, and had 36 fadome, still misty.

Tuesday (11) at an Eastnortheast sunne we let fall our anker in three and twenty fadome, the mist still continuing.

Wednesday (12) at three of the clocke in the morning the mist brake vp, the wind being at Northeast and by East, and then we saw part of the Islands of Vaigats, which we bare withal, and went Eastsoutheast close by the winde: at a West sunne we were at an anker vnder the Southwest part of the said Vaigats, and then I sent our skiffe to shoare with three men in her, to see if they might speake with any of the Samoeds, but could not: all that day was rainie, but not windie.

Thursday (13) the wind came Westerly, so that we were faine to seeke vs another place to ride in, because the wind came a seaboord land, and although it were misty, yet wee followed the shoare by our lead: and as we brought land in the wind of vs, we let fall our anker. At a West sunne the mist brake up, so that we might see about vs, and then we might perceiue that we were entred into a sound.

This aftemoone we tooke in two or three skiffes lading of stones to ballast our shippe withall. It hyeth here four foot water, and floweth by fits, vncertaine to be iudged.

Friday (14) we rode still in the sound, the wind at Southwest, with very much raine, and at the end of the raine it waxed againe mistie.

Saturday (15) there was much wind at West, and much raine, and then againe mistie.

Sunday (16) was very mistie and much winde.

Munday (17) very mistie, the winde at Westnorthwest.

Tuesday (18) was also mistie, except at noone: then the sunne brake out through the mist, so that we had the latitude in 70 degrees 10 minutes: the afternoone was misty againe, the wind being at Westnorthwest.

Wednesday (19) at three of the clocke afternoone the mist brake vp, and the wind came at Eastnortheast, and then we weyed, and went South and by East, vntil seuen of the clocke, eight leagues, thinking to haue had sight of the sandie hilles that are to the Eastwards of the riuer Pechora. At a Northwest sunne we took in our maine saile, because the wind increased, and went with a foresaile Westnorthwest, the wind being at Eastnortheast: at night there grewe so terrible a storme, that we saw not the like, although we had indured many stormes since we came out of England. It was wonderfull that our barke was able to brooke such monstrous and terrible seas, without the great helpe of God, who neuer fayleth them at neede, that put their sure trust in him.

Thursday (20) at a Southsouthwest sunne, thanks be to God, the storme was at the highest, and then the winde began to slake, and came Northerly withall, and then I reckoned the Westermost point of the riuer Pechora to be South of vs 15 leagues. At a Westsouthwest sunne we set our maine sayle, and lay close by the winde, the winde being at Northwest and by North, making but little way, because the billow went so high: at midnight wee cast about, and the shippe caped Northnortheast, making little way.

Friday (21) at noone we had the latitude in 70 degrees 8 minutes, and we sounded, and had 29 fadomes sand, and in maner, stremy ground. At West sunne we cast about to the Westwards, and a little after the wind came vp at West.

Saturday (22) was calme: the latitude this day at noone was 70 degrees and a terce, we sounded heere, and had nine and forty fadomes and oze, which oze signified that we drew towards Noua Zembla.

And thus we being out of al hope to discouer any more to the Eastward this yeere, wee thought it best to returne, and that for three causes.

The first, the continuall Northeast and Northerly winds, which haue more power after a man is past to the eastwards of Caninoze, then in any place that I doe know in these Northerly regions.

Second, because of great and terrible abundance of ice which we saw with our eies, and we doubt greater store abideth in those parts: I aduentured already somewhat too farre in it, but I thanke God for my safe deliuerance from it.

Third, because the nights waxed darke, and the winter began to draw on with his stormes: and therefore I resolued to take the first best wind that God should send, and plie towards the bay of S. Nicholas, and to see if wee might do any good there, if God would permitt it.

This present Saturday we saw very much ice, and were within two or three leagues of it: it shewed vnto vs as though it had beene a firme land as farre as we might see from Northwest off vs to the Eastwards: and this afternoone the Lord sent vs a little gale of wind at South, so that we bare cleere of the Westermost part of it, thanks be to God. And then against night it waxed calme againe, and the winde was at Southwest: we made our way vntill Sunday (23) noone Northwest and by West, and then we had the latitude in 70 degrees and a halfe, the winde at Southwest: there was a billow, so that we could not discerne to take the latitude exactly, but by a reasonable gesse.

Munday (24) there was a pretie gale of wind at South, so that wee went West and by South, the latitude this day at noone was 70 degrees 10 minutes: wee had little winde all day: at a Westnorthwest sunne we sounded, and had 29 fadoms blacke sandie oze, and then we were Northeast 5 leagues from the Northeast part of the Island Colgoieue.

Tuesday (25) the wind all Westerly we plyed to the windwards.

Wednesday (26) the wind was all Westerly, and calme: wee had the latitude this day in 70 degrees 10 minutes, we being within three leagues of the North part of the Island Colgoieue.

Thursday, (27) we went roome about the Westermost part of the Island, seeking where we might finde a place to ride in for a Northwest wind, and could not find none, and then we cast about againe to the seawards, and the winde came at Westsouthwest, and this morning we had plenty of snow.

Friday, (28) the winde being at Southwest and by West, we plied to the windewards.

Saturday (29) the winde being at South we plyed to the Westwards, and at afternoone the mist brake vp, and then we might see the land seuen or eight leagues to the Eastwards of Caninoz: we sounded a little before and had 35 fadoms and oze. And a while after wee sounded againe, and had 19. fadome and sand: then we were within three leagues and a halfe of the shore, and towards night there came downe so much winde, that we were faine to bring our ship a trie, and laide her head to the Westwards.

Sunday, (30) the winde became more calme, and when it waxed verie mystie: At noone wee cast about to the Eastwards, the winde beeing at South, and ranne eight houres on that boorde, and then we cast about and caped West southwest: we sounded and had 32 fathomes, and found oaze like clay.

Munday, (31) we doubled about Caninoze, and came at an anker there, to the intent that we might kill some fish if God permit it, and there we gate a great Nuse, which Nuses were there so plentie, that they would scarcely suffer any other fish to come neere the hookes: the said Nuses caried away sundrie of our hookes and leads.

A little after at a West Sunne, the winde began to blow stormie at West southwest, so that we were faine to wey and forsake our fishing ground, and went close by the winde Southwest, and Southwest and by West, making our way South southwest.


Tuesday (1) at a West Sunne we sounded and had 20. fathoms, and broken Wilkeshels: I reckoned Caninoze to be 24 leagues Northnortheast from vs.

The eleuenth day we arriued at Colmogro, and there we wintered, expecting the approch of the next Summer to proceede farther in our intended discouerie for the Ob: which (by reason of our imploiments to Wardhouse the next spring for the search of some English ships) 205 was not accordingly performed.

180Sebastian Cabot was then 79 years old.

181The ship that had successfully carried Chancellor in the expedition of 1553–4.

182Bommeloe Island.

183The Lofoden Islands lie between 67 deg. 30 min. N. Latitude and 12 deg. and 16 deg. E. longitude. They consist of ten large and many small islands, all rocky and mountainous. The largest Islands are: Hindoen, E. and W. Waagen, Langoen, Andoe, Rost &c.

184Probably Hammerfest, the most northern town in Europe

185This is a slight error, if by the “Chappell” is meant the present site of Hammerfest, as North Cape, which is in 71 deg. 10 min. N. latitude, and 25 deg. 46 min. E. longitude, is only distant 14–1/2 miles N.E. from that town. Von Herbertstein states that Istoma and other Russians had sailed round the North of Norway, in 1496. North Cape, or rather Nordkyn, was called then Murmunski Nos (the Norman Cape). When Hulsius, in his Collection of Travels, gives Von Herbertstein’s account of Istoma’s voyage, he considers Swjatoi Nos, on the Kola peninsula, to be North Cape. (Hamel, Tradescant, St. Petersburg, 1847, p. 40, quoted by Nordenskiöld; Voyage of the Vega. Vol. I., p. 218.)

186This is another error, the latitude being 68 deg. 51 min.

187It is curious to find that the Russian Lodias (of which an engraving is annexed) were better sailors than the ships of the more civilised Englishmen

188Cape Krasnoj.


190Probably mountain foxes. Remains of fox-traps are still frequently met with along the coast of the Polar Sea, where the Russians have carried on hunting.

191Kija Bay.

192Canin Nos, latitude 68 deg. 30 min. N.

193Probably the little Auk (Mergulus Alle, L.)

194This was the first meeting between West Europeans and Samoyeds.

195Anser bernicla, L.

196Dolgoi Island.

197Swjatoi Nus.

198The capes at the Mouth of the Petchora, Cape Ruski Savorot, and Cape Medinski Savorot are very nearly in lat. 69 deg.

199Of the various species of Whales, the Narwhal occurs very rarely off Novaya Zemlya. It is more common at Hope Island, and Witsen states that large herds have been seen between Spitzbergen and Novaya Zemlya. The White Whale (Delphinapterus leucas, Pallas), on the other hand, occurs in large shoals on the coasts of Spitzbergen and Novaya Zemlya. In 1871, 2167 White Whales were taken by the Tromsoe fleet alone, an estimated value of £6500. In 1880, one vessel had 300 whales at one cast of the net, in Magdalena Bay. In former times they appear to have been caught at the mouth of the Yenisej, which river they ascend several hundred miles. Nordenskiold also saw large shoals off the Taimur peninsula. Other species occur seldom off Novaya Zemlya. It is rather amusing to find the meeting with a whale mentioned as very remarkable and dangerous. When Nearchus sailed with the fleet of Alexander the Great from the Indus to the Red Sea, a whale also caused so great a panic that it was only with difficulty that the commander could restore order among the frightened seamen, and get the rowers to row to the place where the Whale spouted water and caused a commotion in the sea like that of a whirlwind. All the men shouted, struck the water with their oars, and sounded their trumpets, so that the large, and, in the judgment of the Macedonian Heroes, terrible animal, was frightened. (See the “Indica” of Nearchus, preserved to us by Arrian, an excellent translation of which, by J. W. McCrindle, appeared in 1879.) Quite otherwise was the Whale regarded on Spitsbergen some few years after Burrough’s voyage. At the sight of a Whale all men were beside themselves with joy, and rushed down into the boats in order to attack and kill the valuable, animal. The fishery was carried on with such success, that the right Whale (Balaena mysticetus L.), whose pursuit then gave full employment to ships by hundreds, and to men by tens of thousands, is now practically extirpated. As this Whale still occurs in no limited numbers in other parts of the Polar Sea, this state of things shows how easily an animal is driven away from a region where it is so much hunted. Captain Svend Foeyn, from 1864 to 1881, exclusively hunted another species (Balænoptera Sibbaldii Gray), on the coast of Finmark; and other species still follow shoals of fish on the Norwegian coast, where they sometimes strand and are killed in considerable numbers. (Nordenskiöld’s Voyage of the Vega, vol. I., p. 165).

200Evidently one of the Islands at the south of Novaya Zemlya.

201The highest mountains in Novaya Zemlya hardly exceed 3500 feet.

202That the Samoyeds were archers is shewn by old drawings, one of which I reproduce from Linschoten. Now the bow has completely gone out of use, for Nordenskiöld did not see a single archer. Wretched old flint firelocks are, however, common.

203The accompanying fac-simile of a quaint old engraving of a Samoyed sleigh and idols gives an excellent idea of both.

204This is one of the oldest accounts of the Samoyeds we possess. Giles Fletcher, who in 1588 was Queen Elizabeth’s Ambassador to the Czar, writes, in his accounts of Russia, of the Samoyeds in the following way:—

“The Samoyt hath his name (as the Russe saith) of eating himselfe: as if in times past they lived as the Cannibals, eating one another. Which they make more probable, because at this time they eate all kind of raw flesh, whatsoeuer it bee, euen the very carrion that lyeth in the ditch. But as the Samoits themselves will say, they were called Samoit, that is, of themselves, as though they were Indigenæ, or people bred upon that very soyle that never changed their seate from one place to another, as most Nations have done. They are clad in Seale-skinnes, with the hayrie side outwards downe as low as the knees, with their Breeches and Netherstocks of the same, both men and women. They are all Blacke hayred, naturally beardless. And therefore the Men are hardly discerned from the Women by their lookes: saue that the Women wear a locke of hayre down along both their eares.” (Treatise of Russia and the adjoining Regions, written by Doctor Giles Fletcher, Lord Ambassador from the late Queen, Everglorious Elizabeth, to Theodore, then Emperor of Russia, A.D. 1588. Purchas, iii. p. 413.)

In nearly the same way the Samoyeds are described by G. De Veer, in his account of Barents’s Second Voyage in 1595.

Serebrenikoff, according to Nordensköld, maintains that Samodin should be written instead of Samoyed. For Samoyed means “self eater,” while Samodin denotes an “individual,” “one who cannot be mistaken for another,” and, as the Samoyeds were never cannibals, Serebrenikoff gives a preference to the latter name, which is used by the Russians at Chabarova, and appears to be a literal translation of the name which the Samoyeds give themselves. Nordenskiöld, however, considers it probable that the old tradition of man-eaters (androphagi), living in the north, which onginated with Herodotus, and was afterwards universally adopted in the geographical literature of the Middle Ages, reappears in Russianised form in the name Samoyed. With all due respect for Nordenskiöld, I am inclined to agree with Serebrenikoff. In the account of the journey which the Italian minorite, Joannes de Piano Carpini, undertook in High Asia in 1245–47, an extraordinary account of the Samoyeds and neighbouring tribes is given. (See Vol. II. of these Collections, pp. 28 and 95). — I give a very curious engraving of Samoyeds from Schleissing. — Nordenskiöld inserts, in his Voyage of the Vega, the following interesting communication from Professor Ahlquist, of Helsingfors:—.

“The Samoyeds are reckoned, along with the Tungoose, the Mongolian, the Turkish and the Finnish–Ugrian races, to belong to the so-called Altaic or Ural–Altaic stem. What is mainly characteristic of this stem, is that all the languages occurring within it belong to the so-called agglutinating type. For in these languages the relations of ideas are expressed exclusively by terminations or suffixes — inflections, prefixes and prepositions, as expressive of relations, being completely unknown to them. Other peculiarities characteristic of the Altaic languages are the vocal harmony occurring in many of them, the inability to have more than one consonant in the beginning of a word, and the expression of the plural by a peculiar affix, the case terminations being the same in the plural as in the singular. The affinity between the different branches of the Altaic stem is thus founded mainly on analogy or resemblance in the construction of the languages, while the different tongues in the material of language (both in the words themselves and in the expression of relations) show a very limited affinity or none at all. The circumstance that the Samoyeds for the present have as their nearest neighbours several Finnish–Ugrian races (Lapps, Syrjaeni, Ostjaks, and Voguls), and that these to a great extent carry on the same modes of life as themselves, has led some authors to assume a close affinity between the Samoyeds and the Fins and the Finnish races in general. The speech of the two neighbouring tribes, however, affords no ground for such a supposition. Even the language of the Ostjak, which is the most closely related to that of the Samoyeds, is separated heaven-wide from it and has nothing in common with it, except a small number of borrowed words (chiefly names of articles from the Polar nomad’s life), which the Ostjak has taken from the language of his northern neighbour. With respect to their language, however, the Samoyeds are said to stand at a like distance from the other branches of the stem in question. To what extent craniology or modern anthropology can more accurately determine the affinity-relationship of the Samoyed to other tribes, is still a question of the future.”

At the present day, the Samoyeds dwell in skin tents. They dress principally in reindeer-skins, and the women’s holiday-dress is particularly showy. Their boots, also of reindeer-skin, are beautifully and tastefully embroidered. In summer, the men go bare-headed: the women divide their hair into tresses, and use artificial plaits, ornamented with pearls, buttons, &c. Like the man, the woman is small, with coarse black hair, face of a yellow colour, small and sunken eyes, a flat nose, broad cheek-bones, slender legs, and small feet and hands. She competes with the man in dirt. Nordenskiöld places the Samoyeds in the lowest rank of all the Polar races. The women have perfectly equal rights with the men.

205The fate of the three vessels that were employed on the first English Expedition to the North–East (see p. 29) was equally unfortunate. The Edward Bonaventure, commanded, as we have seen, by Chancellor, sailed in 1553 from England to the White Sea, returned to England in 1554, and was on the way plundered by the Dutch (Purchas, iii., p. 250); started again with Chancellor for the Dwina in 1555, and returned the same year to England under John Buckland; accompanied Burrough in 1556 to the Kola Peninsula: went thence to the Dwina to convey to England Chancellor and a Russian Embassy, the vessel, besides, carrying £20,000 worth of goods. It was wrecked in Aberdour Bay, near Aberdeen, on the 20th (10th) November, and Chancellor, his wife, and seven Russians were drowned. — The Bona Esperanza, commanded by Willoughby in 1553, carried him and his crew to perish at the mouth of the Varzina. The vessel was recovered, and was to have been used in 1556 to carry to England the Embassy already mentioned. It reached a harbour near Trondhjeim, but after leaving there, was never heard of again. — The Bona Confidenzia was also saved after the fatal wintering at the Varzina, and was employed in escorting the Embassy in 1556, but stranded on the Norwegian coast, every soul on board perishing. (See the account of the Russian Embassy to England, pp. 142–3.)— The vessels alluded to by Burrough are the Edward Bonaventure and Bona Confidenzia.

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:55