The principal navigations, voyages, traffiques, and discoveries of the English nation, by Richard Hakluyt

The second voyage to Benin, set foorth by Master Iohn Newton, and Master Iohn Bird Marchants of London in the yeere 1590 with a ship called the Richard of Arundell of the burthen of one hundreth tunnes, and a small pinnesse, in which voyage Master Iames Welsh was chiefe Maister.

The third of September 1590 we set saile from Ratclife, and the 18 of the said moneth we came into Plimouth sound, and the two and twentieth we put to sea againe, and at midnight we were off the Lisart, and so passed on our voyage vntill the 14 of October, on which day we had sight of Forteuentura one of the Canarie Islands, which appeared very ragged as we sailed by it.

The 16 of October, in the latitude of 24 degrees and nine minutes we met with a great hollow sea, the like whereof I neuer saw on this coast, and this day there came to the ships side a monstrous great fish (I thinke it was a Gobarto) which put vp his head to the steepe tubs where the cooke was in shifting the victuals, whom I thought the fish would haue caried away.

The 21 in this latitude of 18 degrees we met with a countersea out of the North boord, and the last voyage in this very place we had the countersea out of the South, being very calme weather as now it is also.

A token of a Northerly winde. The 24 we had sight of Cauo Verde, and the 25 we met with a great hollow sea out of the North, which is a common signe that the winde will be Northerly, and so it prooued.

The 15 of Nouember we met with three currants out of the West and Northwest, one after another, with an houres time betweene each currant. This was in the latitude of 6 degrees and 42 minutes.

Great currants. The 18 day we met with two other great currants out of the Southwest, and the 20 we saw another current out of the Northeast, and the 24 we had a great current out of the Southsouthwest, and at 6 of the clocke towards night we had 3 currents more.

The 27 we thought that we had gone at the least 2 leagues and a halfe euery watch, and it fell out that we sailed but one league euery watch for the space of 24 houres, by meanes of a great billow and current that came still out of the South.

The 5 of December in setting the watch we cast about and lay East Northeast, and Northeast, and here in 5 degrees and a halfe our pinnesse lost vs wilfully.

The 7 at the going downe of the Sunne we saw a great blacke spot in the Sunne, and the 8. day both at rising and setting we saw the like, which spot to our seeming was about the bignesse of a shilling, being in 5 degrees of latitude, and still there came a great billow of the southerboord.

The 14 we sounded and had 15 fadom water and grosse red sand, and 2 leagues from the shore the currant set Southeast along the shore with a billow still out of the southerboord.

Two rocks. The 15 we were thwart a rocke somewhat like the Mewstone in England, it was 2 leagues from vs, here we sounded and had 27 fadom, but the rocke is not aboue a mile from the shore, and a mile farther we saw another rocke and betweene them both broken ground; here we sounded and had but 20 fadome and blacke sand, and we might see plaine that the rockes went not along the shore, but from the land to the seaward, and about 5 leagues to the Southwards we sawe a great bay, here we had 4 degrees and 27 minuts.

A French ship of Hunfleur. The 16 we met with a French ship of Hunfleur, who robbed our pinnesse, we sent a letter by him, and this night we saw another spot in the sunne at his going downe. And towards euening we were thwart of a riuer, and right ouer the riuer was a high tuft of trees.

Cauo del las Palmas. The 17 we ankered in the riuers mouth, and then we found the land to be Cauo de las Palmas, and betweene vs and the cape was a big ledge of rockes, one league and a halfe into the sea, and they bare to the West of the Cape, we saw also an Island off the point of the foreland, thus it waxed night that we could perceiue no more of the lande, but onely that it trended in like a bay, where there runneth a streame as if it were in the riuer of Thames, and this was the change day of the Moone.

The 19 a faire temperate day, and the wind South, we went East, and the lande a sterne of vs West, and it shewed low by the water side like Islands, this was the East of Cauo de las Palmas, and it trended in with a great sound, and we went East all night, and in the morning wee were but 3 or 4 leagues from the shore.

The 20 we were thwart of a riuer railed Rio de los Barbos.

The 21 we went along the shore East, and 3 or 4 leagues to the West of Cauo de tres puntas, I find the bay to be set deeper then it is by 4 leagues, and at 4 of the clocke the land begun to shewe high, and the first part of it full of Palme trees.

The 24 still going by the shore, the land was very low and full of trees by the water side, and at 12 of the clocke we ankered thwart of the riuer called, Rio de Boilas. Here we sent our boate a shore with the marchants, but they durst not put into the riuer because of a great billow that continually brake at the entrance vpon the barre.

The 28 we sailed alongst the shore, and ankered at night in seuen fadom because a great current would haue put vs backe, which came from the East Southeast from Papuas.

Arda. The 29 at noone we were thwart of Arda, and there we tooke a Carauel but the men were fled on land, then we went aboord her, but she had nothing in her but only a litle oyle of Palme trees, and a few roots. The next morning, our Captaine and marchants went to meete Portugals, that came in a boate to speake with vs, where they communed about the buying of the Carauell of our men againe, and the Portugals promised that we should haue for the Carauell, certaine bullocks and Elephants teeth, and they gaue vs one tooth and one bullocke presently, and sayd they would bring vs the rest the next day.

Ianuarie. The first of Ianuarie our Captaine went on land to speake with the Portugales, but when he saw they did dissemble, he came aboord againe, and presently we vnrigged the Carauell, and set her on fire before the towne. Then we set saile and went along the coast, where we saw a Date tree, the like whereof is not in all that coast vpon the water side, also we fell on ground a litle in one place: Villa longa. Thus we went to Villa longa, and there ankered.

Rio de Lagoa. The third we were as far shot as Rio de Lagoa, where our marchants went a shore and vpon the barre they found 3 fadom flat, but they went not in because it was late. There is also to the Eastward of this riuer a Date tree higher than all the rest of the other trees thereabout. Thus we went along the coast, and euery night ankered, and al the shore as we went was full of trees and thicke woods.

The riuer Iaya. The 6 day in the morning it was very foggy, so that we could not see the land, and at three of the clocke in the afternoone it cleared vp, and then we found our selues thwart of the riuer of Iaya, and when we found the shallow water, we bare into the sea South, as we did the voyage before, and came to an ancre in fiue fadom water. The riuer Benin. The next day we set saile againe, and towards noone we were thwart of the riuer of Benin in foure fadom water.

The 10 day our Captaine went on land with the shallop at 2 a clocke in the afternoone. All this weeke it was very foggy euery day vntill ten a clocke, and all this time hitherto hath beene as temperate as our summer in England. This day we went into the road and ankered, and the west point of the road bare East northeast off vs, wee riding in foure fadome water.

Goto. The 21 a faire temperate day, this day M. Hassald went to the towne of Goto, to heare newes of the Captaine.

The 23 came the Carauell, and Samuell in her, and she brought 63 Elephants teeth, and three bullocks.

The 28 a faire temperate day, and towards night there fell much raine, lightning, and thunder, this day our boate came aboord from Goto.

The 24 of Februarie, we tooke in 298 Cerons or sackes of pepper, and 4 Elephants teeth, and the winde was at Southeast. And the 26 we put the rest of our goods into the Carauell, and M. Hassald went with her to Goto.

The 5 of March the Carauel came againe and brought 21 Cerons of pepper, and 4 Elephants teeth.

The 9 of Aprill our Carauell came aboord with water for our prouision for the sea, and this day also we lost our shallope.

The 17 a drowsie rainie day, and in the afternoone we saw 3 great spoutes of raine, two on our larbord side, and one right with the ships head, but God be thanked, they came not at vs, and this day we tooke in the last of our water for the sea, and the 26 we victualed our Carauell to go with vs to the sea.

The 27 we set saile to goe homewarde with the winde at Southwest, and at two a clocke in the afternoone, the riuer of Benin was Northeast 8 leagues from vs.

The 3 of May we had such a terrible gust with raine, lightning and thunder, that it tore and split our fore saile, and also the Carauels foresayle and maine-sayle, with the wind at Southeast.

The 12 a faire temperate day, much like our sommer mornings in England, being but one degree and a halfe from the line, but at midnight we had a cruell gust of raine; and the wind at northeast.

The 24 we were South from Cauo de las Palmas 37 leagues.

The first of Iuly we had sight of the Iland of Braua, and it bare East 7 leagues off, and this Island is one of the Islands of Cauo Verde.

The 13 of August we spake with the Queenes ships, the Lord Thomas Howard being Admirall, and sir Richard Greeneuill Viceadmirall. They kept vs in their company vntill the 15 day night, themselues lying a hull, in waight for purchase 30 leagues to the Southwest of the Island of Flores.

We departed in company of a prise. The 15 we had leaue to depart with a fly-boat laden with sugar that came from Sant Thome, which was taken by the Queenes ships, whereof my Lord Admirall gaue me great charge, not to leaue her vntill she were harbored in England.

The three and twentieth the Northeast part of the Island of Coruo bare of vs East and by South sixe leagues off.

The 17 of September we met with a ship of Plimouth that came out of the West Indies, but she could tell vs no newes. The next day we had sight of another sayle, this day also one of our company named M. Wood died.

The 23 we spake with the Dragon of my Lord of Cumberland, whereof Master Iuie was Maister.

The second of October we met with a ship of New-castle which came from Newfoundland, and out of her we had 300 couple of Newland fish.

The 6 we had sight of Sillie, and with raine and winde we were forced to put into S. Maries sound, where we staied all night, and 4 dayes after.

The 11 we set saile againe, and comming out had three fadom vpon the barre at a high water, then we lay out Southeast, through Crow-sand, and shortly after we had sight of the lands end, and at ten of the clocke we were thwart of the Lysart.

The 13 we were put into Dartmouth, and there we stayd vntill the 12 of December. From thence we put out with the winde at West, and the 18 of December, God be praised, we ankered at Limehouse in the Thames, where we discharged 589 sacks of Pepper, 150 Elephants teeth, and 32 barrels of oile of Palme trees.

The commodities that we caried out this second voyage were Broad cloth, Kersies, Bayes, Linnen cloth, Yron vnwrought, Bracelets of Copper, Corall, Hawks belles, Horsetails, Hats, and such like.

This voyage was more comfortable vnto vs then the first, because we had good store of fresh water, and that very sweet: for as yet we haue very good water in the shippe which we brought out of the riuer of Benin the first day of Aprill 1591. and it is at this day (being the 7 of Iune 1592.) to be seene aboord the ship as cleare and as sweet as any fountaine can yeeld.

In this voyage we sailed 350 leagues within halfe a degree of the equinoctiall line, and there we found it more temperate than where we rode. It is more temperate vnder the equinoctiall, then on the coast of Guinie and Benin. And vnder the line we did kill great store of small Dolphines, and many other good fishes, and so did we all the way, which was a very great refreshing vnto vs, and the fish neuer forsooke vs vntil we were to the Northwards of the Ilands of Azores, and then we could see no more fish, but God be thanked wee met with good company of our countrey ships which were great comfort vnto vs, being fiue moneths before at Sea without any companie. By me Iames Welsh master of the Richard of Arundell, in both these voyages to the riuer of Benin.

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