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

The third voyage Northwestward, made by M. Iohn Dauis Gentleman, as chiefe captaine and Pilot generall, for the discouery of a passage to the Isles of the Moluccas, or the coast of China, in the yeere 1587. Written by M. Iohn Ianes.


The 19. of this present moneth about midnight wee weyed our ankers, set sayle, and departed from Dartmouth with two Barkes and a Clincher, the one named the Elizabeth of Dartmouth, the other the Sunneshine of London, and the Clincher called the Helene of London: thus in Gods name we set forwards with the wind at Northeast a good fresh gale. About 3. houres after our departure, the night being somewhat thicke with darknesse, we had lost the pinnesse: the Captaine imagining that the men had runne away with her, willed the Master of the Sunshine to stand to Seawards, and see if we could descry them, we bearing in with the shore for Plimmouth. At length we descried her, bare with her, and demanded what the cause was: they answered that the tiller of their helme was burst. So shaping our course Westsouthwest, we went forward, hoping that a hard beginning would make a good ending, yet some of vs were doubtfull of it, falling in reckoning that she was a Clincher; neuerthelesse we put our trust in God.

The 21. we met with the Red Lion of London, which came from the coast of Spaine, which was afrayd that we had bene men of warre, but we hailed them, and after a little conference, we desired the Master to carie our Letters for London directed to my vncle Sanderson, who promised vs a safe deliuerie. And after wee had heaued them a lead and a line, wherevnto wee had made fast our letters, before they could get them into the ship, they fell into the Sea, and so all our labour and theirs also was lost; notwithstanding they promised to certifie our departure at London, and so we departed, and the same day we had sight of Silley. The 22. the wind was at Northeast by East with faire weather, and so the 23. and 24. the like. The 25. we layd our ships on the Lee for the Sunneshine, who was a romaging for a leake, they had 500. strokes at the pumpe in a watch, the wind at Northwest.

The 26. and 27. wee had faire weather, but this 27. the Pinnesses foremast was blowen ouerboord. The 28. the Elizabeth towed the pinnesse, which was so much bragged of by the owners report before we came out of England, but at Sea she was like a cart drawen with oxen. Sometimes we towed her because she could not saile for scant wind.

The 31. day our Captaine asked if the pinnesse were stanch, Peerson answered that she was as sound and stanch as a cup. This made vs something glad, when we sawe she would brooke the Sea, and was not leake.


The first 6. dayes wee had faire weather: after that for 5 dayes wee had fogge and raine, the winde being South. The 12. wee had cleare weather. The Mariners in the Sunneshine and the Master could not agree: the Mariners would goe on their voyage a fishing, because the yeere began to waste: the Master would not depart till hee had the companie of the Elizabeth, whereupon the Master told our Captaine that hee was afrayd his men would shape some contrary course while he was asleepe, and so he should lose vs. At length after much talke and many threatnings, they were content to bring vs to the land which we looked for daily.

Land descried. The 14. day we discouered land at fiue of the clocke in the morning, being very great and high mountaines, the tops of the hils being couered with snow. Here the wind was variable, sometimes Northeast, Eastnortheast, and East by North: but we imagined ourselues to be 16. or 17. leagues off from the shore.

The 16. we came to an anker about 4. or 5. of the clocke afternoone, the people came presently to vs after the old maner, with crying Ilyaoute, and shewing vs Scales skinnes. The 17. we began to set vp the pinnesse that Peerson framed at Dartmouth, with the boords which hee brought from London.

The 18. Peerson and the Carpenters of the ships began to set on the plankes. Salt kerned on the rockes. The 19. as we went about an Island, were found blacke Pumise stones, and salt kerned on the rockes very white and glistering. This day also the Master of the Sunneshine tooke of the people a very strong lusty yoong fellow.

The 20. about two of the clocke in the morning, the Sauages came to the Island where our pinnace was built readie to bee launched, and tore the two vpper strakes, and carried them away onely for the loue of the yron in the boords. While they were about this practise, we manned the Elizabeths boate to goe a shore to them: our men being either afrayd or amazed, were so long before they came to shore, that our Captaine willed them to stay, and made the Gunner giue fire to a Saker, and layd the piece leuell with the boate which the Sauages had turned on the one side because wee should not hurt them with our arrowes, and made the boate their bulwarke against the arrowes which we shot at them. Our Gunner hauing made all things readie, gaue fire to the piece, and fearing to hurt any of the people, and regarding the owners profite, thought belike hee would saue a Sakers shot, doubting wee should haue occasion to fight with men of warre, and so shot off the Saker without a bullet: we looking stil when the Sauages that were hurt should run away without legs, at length wee could perceiue neuer a man hurt, but all hauing their legges could carie away their bodies: wee had no sooner shot off the piece, but the Master of the Sunneshine manned his boate, and came rowing toward the Island, the very sight of whom made each of them take that hee had gotten, and flee away as fast as they could to another Island about two miles off, where they tooke the nayles out of the timber, and left the wood on the Isle. When we came on shore, and sawe how they had spoiled the boat, after much debating of the matter, we agreed that the Elizabeth should haue her to fish withall: whereupon she was presently caryed aboord, and stowed.

Now after this trouble, being resolued to depart with the first wind, there fell out another matter worse then all the rest, and that was in this maner. Iohn Churchyard one whom our Captaine had appoynted as Pilot in the pinnace, came to our Captaine, and Master Brutton, and told them that the good ship which we must all hazard our liues in, had three hundred strokes at one time as she rode in the harbour: This disquieted vs all greatly, and many doubted to goe in her. At length our Captaine by whom we were all to be gouerned, determined rather to end his life with credite, then to returne with infamie and disgrace, and so being all agreed, wee purposed to liue and die together, and committed our selues to the ship. Isles in 64 degrees. Now to 21. hauing brought all our things aboord, about 11. or 12. of the clocke at night, we set saile and departed from those Isles, which lie in 64. degrees of latitude, our ships being now all at Sea, and wee shaping our course to goe, coasting the land to the Northwards vpon the Easterne shore, which we called the shore of our Merchants, because there we met with people which traffiqued with vs, but here wee were not without doubt of our ship.

Store of Whales in 67. degrees. The 24. being in 67. degrees, and 40. minutes, wee had great store of Whales, and a kinde of sea birds which the Mariners call Cortinous. This day about sixe of the clocke at night, we espied two of the countrey people at Sea, thinking at the first they had bene two great Seales, vntill wee sawe their oares glistering with the Sunne: they came rowing towardes vs, as fast as they could, and when they came within hearing, they held vp their oares, and cryed Ilyaoute, making many signes: and at last they came to vs, giuing vs birdes for bracelets, and of them I had a darte with a bone in it, or a piece of Vnicorns horne, as I did iudge. This dart he made store of, but when he saw a knife, he let it go, being more desirous of the knife then of his dart: these people continued rowing after our ship the space of 3. houres.

The 25. in the morning at 7. of the clocke we descried 30. Sauages rowing after vs, being by iudgement 10. leagues off from the shore: they brought vs Salmon Peales, Birdes, and Caplin, and we gaue them pinnes, needles, bracelets, nailes, kniues, bels, looking glasses, and other small trifles, and for a knife, a naile or a bracelet, which they call Ponigmah, they would sell their boate, coates, or any thing they had, although they were farre from the shore. Wee had but few skinnes of them, about 20. but they made signes to vs that if wee would goe to the shore, wee should haue more store of Chichsanege: they stayed with vs till 11. of the clocke, at which time wee went to prayer, and they departed from vs.

72 deg. and 12 min. Betweene Gronland and the North of America aboue 40. leagues. The 28. and 29. were foggie with cloudes, the 30. day wee tooke the heigth, and found our selues in 72. degrees and 12 minutes of latitude both at noone and at night, the Sunne being 5. degrees aboue the Horizon. The Great variation of the compasse. At midnight the compasse set to the variation of 28. degrees to the Westward. London coast. Now hauing coasted the land, which wee called London coast, from the 21. of this present, till the 30. the Sea open all to the Westwards and Northwards, the land on starboard side East from vs, the winde shifted to the North, whereupon we left that shore, naming the same Hope Sanderson, and shaped our course West, and ranne 40. leagues and better without the sight of any land.


A mightie banke of yce lying North and South. The second of Iuly wee fell with a mightie banke of yce West from vs, lying North and South, which banke wee would gladly haue doubled out to the Northwards, but the winde would not suffer vs, so that we were faine to coast it to the Southwards, hoping to double it out, that wee might haue ran so farre West till wee had found land, or els to haue beene thorowly resolued of our pretended purpose.

The 3. wee fell with the yce againe, and putting off from it, we sought to the Northwards, but the wind crossed vs.

The 4. was foggie: so was the 5. also with much wind at the North.

The 6. being very cleare, we put our barke with oares through a gap in the yce, seeing the Sea free on the West side, as we thought, which falling out otherwise, caused vs to returne after we had stayed there betweene the yce. The 7. and 8. about midnight, by Gods helpe we recouered the open Sea, the weather being faire and calme, and so was the 9. The 10. we coasted the yce. The 11. was foggie, but calme.

The 12. we coasted againe the yce, hauing the wind at Northnorthwest. Extreme heate of the Sunne. The 13, bearing off from the yce, we determined to goe with the shoare and come to an anker, and to stay 5. or 6. dayes for the dissoluing of the yce, hoping that the Sea continually beating it, and the Sunne with the extreme force of heat which it had alwayes shining vpon it, would make a quicke dispatch, that we might haue a further search vpon the Westerne shore. Now when we were come to the Easterne coast, the water something deepe, and some of our companie fearefull withall, we durst not come to an anker, but bare off into the Sea againe. The poore people seeing vs goe away againe, came rowing after vs into the Sea, the waues being somewhat loftie. We truckt with them for a few skinnes and dartes, and gaue them beads, nailes, pinnes, needles and cardes, they poynting to the shore, as though they would shew vs some great friendship: but we little regarding their curtesie, gaue them the gentle farewell, and so departed.

They were driuen West sixe points out of their course in 67. degrees, 45. minutes. The 14. wee had the wind at South. The 15. there was some fault either in the barke, or the set of some current, for wee were driuen sixe points beyond our course West. The 16. wee fell with the banke of yce West from vs. The 17. and 18. were foggie. Mount Raleigh. The one a clocke after noone, wee had sight of the land which we called Mount Raleigh, and at 12. of the clocke at night, we were thwart the streights which we discouered the first yeere. The 20. wee trauersed in the mouth of the streight, the wind being at West, with faire and cleare weather. The 21. and 22. wee coasted the Northerne coast of the streights. The Earle of Cumberlands Isles. The 23. hauing sayled threescore leagues Northwest into the streights, at two a clocke after noone wee ankered among many Isles in the bottome of the gulfe, naming the same The Earle of Cumberlands Isles, where riding at anker, a Whale passed by our ship and went West among the Isles. The variation of the compasse 30. deg. Westward. Heere the compasse set at thirtie degrees Westward variation. The 23. wee departed, shaping our course Southeast to recouer the Sea. The 25. wee were becalmed in the bottome of the gulfe, the ayre being extreme hot. Master Bruton and some of the Mariners went on shoare to course dogs, where they found many Graues and Trane split on the ground, the dogs being so fat that they were scant able to run.

The 26. wee had a prety storme, the winde being at Southeast. The 27. and 28. were faire. The 29. we were cleare out of the streights, hauing coasted the South shore, and this day at noone we were in 62. degrees of latitude. The land trendeth from this place Southwest and by South. My Lord Lumleys Inlet. The 30. in the afternoone wee coasted a banke of yce, which lay on the shore, and passed by a great banke or Inlet, which lay between 63. and 62. degrees of latitude, which we called Lumlies Inlet. We had oftentimes, as we sailed alongst the coast, great ruttes, the water as it were whirling and ouerfalling, as if it were the fall of some great water through a bridge.

Warwicks Forland. The 31. as we sayled by a Headland, which we named Warwicks Foreland, we fell into one of these ouerfals with a fresh gale of wind, and bearing all our sailes, wee looking vpon an Island of yce betweene vs and the shoare, had thought that our barke did make no way, which caused vs to take markes on the shoare: A very forcible current Westward. at length wee perceiued our selues to goe very fast, and the Island of yce which we saw before, was carried very forcibly with the set of the current faster then our ship went. This day and night we passed by a very great gulfe the water whirling and roaring as it were the meetings of tydes.


Chidleys cape. The first of August hauing coasted a banke of ice which was driuen out at the mouth of this gulfe, we fell with the Southernmost cape of the gulfe, which we named Chidleis cape, which lay in 61 degrees and 10 minutes of latitude. The 2 and 3 were calme and foggie, so were the 4, 5, and 6. The 7 was faire and calme: so was the 8, with a litle gale in the morning. The 9 was faire, and we had a little gale at night. The 10 we had a frisking gale at Westnorthwest. The 11. faire. The lord Darcies Island. The 12 we saw fiue deere on the top of an Island, called by vs Darcies Island. And we hoised out our boat, and went ashore to them, thinking to haue killed some of them. But when we came on shore, and had coursed them twise about the Island, they tooke the sea and swamme towards Islands distant from that three leagues. When we perceiued that they had taken the sea we gaue them ouer because our boat was so small that it could not carrie vs, and rowe after them, they swamme so fast: but one of them was as bigge as a good prety Cow, and very fat, their feet as bigge as Oxe feet. Here vpon this Island I killed with my piece a gray hare.

The 13 in the morning we saw three or foure white beares, but durst not go on shore to them for lacke of a good boat This day we stroke a rocke seeking for an harborow, and receiued a leake: and this day we were in 54. degrees of latitude.

The 14 we stopt our leake in a storme not very outragious, at noone.

The fishing place betweene 54 and 55 degrees of latitude. The 15 being almost in 52 degrees of latitude, and not finding our ships, nor (according to their promise) any kinde of marke, token, or beacon, which we willed them to set vp, and they protested to do so vpon euery head land, Island or cape, within twenty leagues euery way off from their fishing place, which our captaine appointed to be betweene 54 and 55 degrees: This 15 I say we shaped our course homewards for England, hauing in our ship but litle wood, and halfe a hogshead of fresh water. Our men were very willing to depart, and no man more forward then Peerson, for he feared to be put out of his office of stewardship: but because euery man was so willing to depart, we consented to returne for our owne countrey: and so we had the 16 faire weather, with the winde at Southwest.

Abundance of whales in 52 degrees. The 17 we met a ship at sea, and as farre as we could iudge it was a Biskaine: we thought she went a fishing for whales; for in 52 degrees or thereabout we saw very many.

The 18 was faire, with a good gale at West.

The 19 faire also, with much winde at West and by South.

They arrive at Dartmouth the 15 of September. And thus after much variable weather and change of winds we arriued the 15 of September in Dartmouth anno 1587, giuing thanks to God for our safe arriuall.

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