A note of Sebastian Cabots17 first discouerie of part of the Indies taken out of the latter part of Robert Fabians Chronicle18 not hitherto printed, which is in the custodie of M. Iohn Stow19 a diligent preseruer of Antiquities.
Cabots voyage (from Bristol) wherein he discouered Newfound land and the Northerne parts of that land, and from thence almost as farre as Florida.20 In the 13. yeere of K. Henry the 7. (by meanes of one Iohn Cabot a Venetian which made himselfe very expert and cunning in knowledge of the circuit of the world and Ilands of the same, as by a Sea card and other demonstrations reasonable he shewed) the King caused to man and victuall a ship at Bristow, to search for an Island, which he said hee knew well was rich, and replenished with great commodities: Which shippe thus manned and victualled at the kings cost, diuers Merchants of London ventured in her small stocks, being in her as chiefe patron the said Venetian. And in the company of the said ship, sailed also out of Bristow three or foure small ships fraught with sleight and grosse marchandizes, as course cloth, caps, laces, points and other trifles. And so departed from Bristow in the beginning of May, of whom in this Maiors time returned no tidings.
This yeere also were brought vnto the king three men taken in the Newfound Island that before I spake of, in William Purchas time being Maior: These were clothed in beasts skins, and did eate raw flesh, and spake such speach that no man could vnderstand them, and in their demeanour like to bruite beastes, whom the King kept a time after. Of the which vpon two yeeres after, I saw two apparelled after the maner of Englishmen in Westminster pallace, which that time I could not discerne from Englishmen, til I was learned what they were, but as for speach, I heard none of them vtter one word.
17 An error for John Cabot
18 His Chronicle of England and France, by a London tradesman, was first printed in 1516.
19 This celebrated Antiquary was born in 1525. Originally a tailor, his tastes procured him the encouragement of Archbishop Parker and the Earl of Leicester. His principal works are Flores Historiarum (1600) and his Survey of London, first published in 1598. Died a beggar in 1605.
20 If Cabot’s discoveries extended from 38° to 58°, he cannot have gone south of Cape Hatteras, in North Carolina.
Last updated Monday, December 22, 2014 at 10:51