The second Part or Chapter sheweth, that it is lawfull and necessarie to trade and traffique with the Sauages: And to plant in their Countries: And diuideth planting into two sorts.
And first for traffique, I say that the Christians may lawfully trauell into those Countries and abide there: whom the Sauages may not iustly impugne and forbidde in respect of the mutuall societie and fellowshippe betweene man and man prescribed by the Law of Nations.
For from the first beginning of the creation of the world, and from the renewing of the same after Noes flood, all men haue agreed, that no violence should be offered to Ambassadours: That the Sea with his Hauens should be common: That such as should fortune to be taken in warre, should be seruants or slaues: And that strangers should not be driuen away from the place or Countrey whereunto they doe come.
If it were so then, I demaund in what age, and by what Law is the same forbidden or denied since? For who doubteth but that it is lawfull for Christians to vse trade and traffique with Infidels or Sauages, carrying thither such commodities as they want, and bringing from thence some part of their plentie?
A thing so commonly and generally practised, both in these our dayes, and in times past, beyond the memorie of man, both by Christians and Infidels, that it needeth no further proofe.
And forasmuch as the vse of trade and traffique (be it neuer so profitable) ought not to be preferred before the planting of Christian faith: I will therefore somewhat intreate of planting, (without which, Christian Religion can take no roote, be the Preachers neuer so carefull and diligent) which I meane to diuide into two sortts.
The principall causes why this voyage is vndertaken. The first, when Christians by the good liking and willing assent of the Sauages, are admitted by them to quiet possession.
The second, when Christians being vniustly repulsed, doe seeke to attaine and mainteine the right for which they doe come.
And though in regard of the establishment of Christian Religion, eyther of both may be lawfully and iustly exercised: (Whereof many examples may be found, as well in the time of Moyses and Iosua, and other rulers before the birth of Christ, as of many vertuous Emperours and Kings sithence his incarnation:) yet doe I wish, that before the second be put in practise, a proofe may be made of the first, sauing that for their safetie as well against the Sauages, as all other foreigne enemies, they should first well and strongly fortifie themselues: which being done, then by all fayre speeches, and euery other good meanes of perswasion to seeke to take away all occasions of offence.
As letting them to vnderstand, how they came, not to their hurt, but for their good, and to no other ende, but to dwell peaceably amongst them, and to trade and traffique with them for their owne commoditie, without molesting or grieuing them any way: which must not be done by wordes onely but also by deedes.
For albeit, to maintaine right and repell iniury, be a iust cause of warre: yet must there hereof be heedefull care had, that whereas the Sauages be fearefull by nature, and fond otherwise, the Christians should doe their best endeuour to take away such feare as may growe vnto them by reason of their strange apparell, Armour, and weapon, or such like, by quiet and peaceable conuersation, and letting them liue in securitie, and keeping a measure of blamelesse defence, with as little discommoditie to the Sauages as may bee: for this kinde of warre would be onely defensiue and not offensiue.
And questionlesse there is great hope and likelyhoode, that by this kinde of meanes we should bring to passe all effects to our desired purposes: Considering that all creatures, by constitution of nature, are rendred more tractable and easier wonne for all assayes, by courtesie and mildnesse, then by crueltie or roughnesse: and therefore being a principle taught vs by naturall reason, it is first to be put in vse.
For albeit as yet the Christians are not so thoroughly furnished with the perfectnesse of their language, eyther to expresse their mindes to them, or againe to conceiue the Sauages intent: Yet for the present opportunitie, such policie may be vsed by friendly signes, and courteous tokens, towards them, as the Sauages may easily perceiue (were their sences neuer so grosse) an assured friendship to be offered them, and that they are encountered with such a nation, as brings them benefite, commoditie, peace, tranquilitie and safetie. To further this, and to accomplish it in deedes, there must bee presented vnto them gratis, some kindes of our pettie marchandizes and trifles: As looking glasses, Belles, Beades, Bracelets, Chaines, or collers of Bewgle, Chrystall, Amber, Iet, or Glasse, &c. For such be the things, though to vs of small value, yet accounted by them of high price and estimation: and soonest will induce their Barbarous natures to a liking and a mutuall societie with vs.
Moreouer, it shall be requisite eyther by speeche, if it be possible either by some other certaine meanes, to signifie vnto them, that once league of friendship with all louing conuersation being admitted betweene the Christians and them: that then the Christians from thenceforth will alwayes be ready with force of Armes to assist and defend them in their iust quarrels, from all inuasions, spoyles and oppressions offered them by any Tyrants, Aduersaries, or their next borderers: and a benefite is so much the more to be esteemed, by how much the person vpon whom it is bestowed standeth in neede thereof.
For it appeareth by the relation of a Countreyman of ours, namely Dauid Ingram, (who trauelled in those countries xi. Moneths and more) That the Sauages generally for the most part, are at continuall warres with their next adioyning neighbours, and especially the Cannibals, being a cruell kinde of people whose foode is mans flesh, and haue teeth like dogges, and doe pursue them with rauenous mindes to eate their flesh, and deuoure them.
And it is not to be doubted, but that the Christians may in this case iustly and lawfully ayde the Sauages against the Cannibals. So that it is very likely, that by this meanes we shall not only mightily stirre and inflame their rude mindes gladly to embrace the louing company of the Christians, proffering vnto them both commodities, succour and kindnesse: But also by their franke consents shall easily enioy such competent quantity of Land, as euery way shall be correspondent to the Christians expectation and contentation, considering the great abundance that they haue of Land, and how small account they make thereof, taking no other fruites thereby then such as the ground of it selfe doeth naturally yeelde. And thus much concerning the first sort of planting, which as I assuredly hope, so I most heartily pray may take effect and place.
The seconde kinde of planting But if after these good and fayre meanes vsed, the Sauages neuerthelesse will not bee herewithall satisfied, but barbarously will goe about to practise violence eyther in repelling the Christians from their Ports and safe-landings, or in withstanding them afterwards to enioy the rights for which both painfully and lawfully they haue aduentured themselues thither.
Then in such a case I holde it no breach of equitie for the Christians to defend themselues, to pursue reuenge with force, and to doe whatsoeuer is necessarie for the attaining of their saftie: For it is allowable by all Lawes in such distresses, to resist violence with violence: And for their more securitie to increase their strength by building of Forts for auoyding the extremitie of iniurious dealing.
Wherein if also they shal not be suffered in reasonable quietnesse to continue, there is no barre (as I iudge) but that in stoute assemblies the Christians may issue out, and by strong hand pursue their enemies, subdue them, take possession of their Townes, Cities, or Villages, and (in auoyding murtherous tyrannie) to vse the Law of Armes, as in like case among all Nations at this day is vsed: and most especially to the ende they may with securitie holde their lawfull possession, lest happily after the departure of the Christians, such Sauages as haue bene conuerted should afterwards through compulsion and enforcement of their wicked Rulers, returne to their horrible idolatrie (as did the children of Israel, after the decease of Ioshua) and continue their wicked custome of most vnnaturall sacrificing of humane creatures.
And in so doing, doubtlesse the Christians shall no whit transgresse the bonds of equitie or ciuilitie, forasmuch as in former ages, (yea, before the incarnation of Christ) the like hath bene done by sundry Kings and Princes, Gouernours of the children of Israel: chiefly in respect to begin their planting, for the establishment of Gods worde: as also since the Natiuitie of Christ, mightie and puissant Emperours and kings haue performed the like, I say to plant, possesse, and subdue. For proofe whereof, I wilt alledge you examples of both kindes.
Wee reade in the olde Testament, how that after Noes flood was ceased, restauration of mankinde began onely of those fewe of Noes children and familie as were by God preelected to bee saued in the Arke with him, whose seede in processe of time, was multiplyed to infinite numbers of Nations, which in diuers sortes diuided themselues to sundry quarters of the earth. And foreasmuch as all their posteritie being mightily encreased, followed not the perfect life of Noe their predecessour, God chose out of the multitude a peculiar people to himselfe, to whom afterwardes being vnder the gouernment of Moyses in Mount Sinay, hee made a graunt to inherite the Land of Canaan, called the Land of promise, with all the other rich and fertile Countries next adioyning thereunto. Neuerthelesse, before they came to possession thereof, hauing bene afflicted with many grieuous punishments and plagues for their sinnes, they fell in despayre to enioy the same.
But being encouraged and comforted by their rulers, (men of God) they proceeded, arming themselues with all patience, to suffer whatsoeuer it should please God to send: and at last attaining to the Land, they were encountered with great numbers of strong people, and mighty Kings.
Iosua 4. Notwithstanding, Iosua their Leader replenished with the Spirite of God, being assured of the iustnesse of his quarrell, gathered the chiefe strength of the children Iosua 6. of Israel together, to the number of 40000. with whom he safely passed the huge riuer Iordon, and hauing before sent priuie spies for the discouerie of the famous citie Ierico, to vnderstand the certaintie of the Citizens estate, he forthwith came thither, and enuironed it round about with his whole power the space of seuen dayes.
In which respite, perceiuing none of the Gentiles disposed to yeeld or call for mercie, he then commanded (as God before had appointed) that both the citie Ierico should be burned, yea, and all the inhabitants, as well olde as young, with all their cattell should be destroyed, onely excepted Rahab, her kindred and familie, because shee before had hid secretly the messengers of Iosua, that were sent thither as spies. As for all their golde, siluer, precious stones, or vessels of brasse, they were reserued and consecrated to the Lords treasurie.
Ioshua 8. In like maner he burned the citie Hay, slew the inhabitants thereof, and hanged vp their King. Ioshua 9. But for so much as the Gebionites (fearing the like euent) sent Ambassadours vnto Iosua to entreate for grace, fauour, and peace: hee commaunded that all their liues should bee saued, and that they should be admitted to the children of Israel. Yet vnderstanding afterwards they wrought this by a pollicie, he vsed them as drudges to hewe wood and to carie water, and other necessaries for his people. Iudg. 11. 13. Thus beganne this valiant Captaine his conquest, which he pursued and neuer left till hee had subdued all the Hethites, Cananites. Peresites, Heuites, and Iebusites, with all their princes and Kings, being thirtie and one in number, and diuers other strange nations, besides whose lands and dominions he wholy diuided among Gods people.
Iudg. 1. After that Iosua was deceased, Iuda was constituted Lord ouer the armie, who receiuing like charge from God, pursued the proceedings of the holy captaine Iosua, and vtterly vanquished many Gentiles, Idolaters, and aduersaries to the children of Israel, with all such Rulers or Kings as withstoode him, and namely Adonibezek the most cruell tyrant: whose thumbes and great toes he caused to be cut off, for so much as hee had done the like before vnto seuentie Kings, whom being his prisoners, he forced to gather vp their victuals vnderneath his table. In this God shewed his iustice to reuenge tyrannie. A good note for al Conquerers to be mercifull. Iudg. 6. 7. We reade likewise, that Gedeon a most puissant and noble warriour so behaued himselfe in following the worthy acts of Iosua and Iuda, that in short time he not only deliuered the children of Israel from the hands of the multitude of the fierce Madianites, but also subdued them and their Tyrants, whose landes he caused Gods people to possesse and inherite.
I could recite diuers other places out of the Scripture, which aptly may be applyed hereunto, were it not I doe indeuour my selfe by all meanes to be briefe. Now in like maner will I alledge some fewe Inductions out of the autenticall writings of the Ecclesiasticall Historiographers, all tending to the like argument. And first to begin withall, we doe reade: That after our Sauiour Iesus Christ had suffered his passion, the Apostles being inspired with the holy Ghost, and the knowledge of all strange languages, did immediatly disperse themselues to sundry parts of the world, to the preaching of the Gospel. Yet not in so generall a maner, but that there remayned some farre remote Countries vnvisited by them, among the which it is reported that India the great, called the vttermost India, as yet had received no light of the word. Ruffinus lib. I. cap. 9. But it came to passe, that one Metrodorus, a very learned and wise Philosopher in that age, being desirous to search out vnknowen lands, did first discouer the same finding it wonderfull populous and rich, which vpon his returne being published, and for certaine vnderstood, there was another graue Philosopher of Tyrus called Meropius, being a Christian, who did resolue himselfe (following the example of Metrodorus) to trauaile thither, and in a short time assisted but with a fewe, in a small Vessel arriued there, hauing in his company two yong youths, Edesius and Frumentius, whom (being his schollers) he had thoroughly instructed both in liberall Sciences, and christian Religion. Now after that Meropius somewhile staying there, had (as hee thought) sufficient vnderstanding of the Indians whole estate: He determined to depart, and to bring notice thereof vnto the Emperour, whom he meant to exhort to the conquest of the same.
But by misfortune he was preuented, for being in the middest of his course on the Sea homeward, a sore tempest arose, and perforce droue him backe againe, to an unknowen Port of the said land: where he by the most cruell barbarous Indians on the sudden was slaine with all his company, except the two young Meropius slaine; Edesius and Frumentius preserued by the Indians. schollers aforesayde, whom the barbarous Indians, by reason they were of comely stature and beautifull personages, tooke, and forthwith presented them to their King and Queene: which both being very well liked of, the King courteously entreated, and ordeined Edesius to be his Butler, and Frumentius his Secretarie, and in few yeeres by reason of their learning and ciuill gouernment, they were had in great fauour, honour, and estimation with the Princes. But the King departing this life, left the Queene his wife with her yong sonne to gouerne, and gaue free scope and liberty to the two Christians, at their best pleasure to passe to their natiue soyles, allowing them all necessaries for the same. Yet the Queene who highly fauoured them was very sorrowfull they should depart, and therefore most earnestly intreated them to tarie and assist her in the gouernment of her people, till such time as her yong sonne grewe to ripe yeeres, which request they fulfilled.
Frumentius in great fauour with the Queene of the Indias; Another great worke begunne by a man a meane birth. And Frumentius excelling Edesius farre in all wisedome, ruled both the Queene and her subiects at his discretion, whereby he tooke occasion to put in practise priuily, that the foundation of Christian religion might be planted in the hearts of such as with whom he thought his perswasion might best preuaile, and that soonest would giue eare vnto him: which being brought to passe accordingly, hee then with his fellow Edesius tooke leaue of the Queene to returne to his natiue countrey. And so soone as he was arriued there, he reuealed to the Emperour Constantine, the effect of all those euents: who both commending his deedes and wholy allowing thereof, by the aduise and good liking of Athanasius then Bishop of Alexandria, did arme and set forth a conuenient power for the ayde of Frumentius, in this his so godly a purpose. And by this meanes came the Emperour afterwards by faire promises, and by force of armes together, vnto the possession of all the Indians countrey. Ruffinus the Author of this storie. The author of this storie Ruffinus receiued the trueth hereof from the very mouth of Edesius companion to Frumentius. Moreouer Eusebius in his Historie Ecclesiasticall1 in precise termes, and in diuers places maketh mention how Constantine the great not onely enlarged his Empire by the subduing of his next neighbours, but also endeauoured by all meanes to subiect all such remote Barbarous and Heathen nations, as then inhabited the foure quarters of the worlde. For (as it is written) the Emperour thoroughly ayded with a puissant armie of valiant souldiers whom he had before perswaded to Christian religion, in proper person himselfe came euen vnto this our country of England, then called the Island of Britaines, bending from him full West, which he wholy conquered, made tributarie, and setled therein Christian faith, and left behinde him such Rulers thereof, as to his wisedome seemed best. From thence hee turned his force towardes the North coast of the world, and there vtterly subdued the rude and cruell Nation of the Scythians, whereof part by friendly perswasions, part by maine strength, hee reduced the whole to Christian faith. Afterwards he determined with himselfe to search out what strange people inhabited in the vttermost parts of the South. And with great hazard and labour, making his iourney thither, at last became victour ouer them all euen to the countrey of the Blemmyans, and the remote Æthiopians, that now are the people of Presbyter Iohn, who yet till this day continue and beare the name of Christians.
In the East likewise, what Nation soeuer at that time he could haue notice of, he easily wonne and brought in subiection to the Empire. So that to conclude, there was no region in any part of the world, the inhabitants whereof being Gentiles, though vnkowen vnto him, but in time he ouercame and vanquished.
This worthy beginning of Constantine, both his sonnes succeeding his roome, and also diuers other Emperours afterward to their vttermost endeauour followed and continued, which all the bookes of Eusebius more at large set foorth. Theodoret in eccle. lib. 5. cap 20. Theodoretus likewise in his Ecclesiasticall historie maketh mention how Theodosius the vertuous Emperour imployed earnestly all his time, as well in conquering the Gentiles to the knowledge of the holy Gospel, vtterly subuerting their prophane Temples and abominable Idolatry, as also in extinguishing of such vsurping tyrants as with Paganisme withstoode the planting of Christian religion. Theodoretus cap. 26. eodem lib. After whose decease his sonnes Honorius and Arcadius were created Emperours, the one of the East, the other of the West, who with all the stout godlinesse most carefully imitated the foresteps of their Father; eyther in enlarging theyr territories, or increasing the christian flocke.
Moreouer, it is reported by the sayd author, that Theodosius iunior the Emperour, no whit inferior in vertuous life to any of the aboue named Princes, with great studie and zeale pursued and prosecuted the Gentiles, subdued their tyrants and countries, and vtterly destroyed all their idolatry, conuerting their soules to acknowledge their onely Messias and Creator, and their Countries to the enlargement of the Empire. To be briefe, who so listeth to read Eusebius Pamphilus, Socrates Scholasticus, Theodoritus Hermia, Sozomen, and Euagrius Scholasticus, which all were most sage Ecclesiasticall writers, shall finde great store of examples of the worthy liues of sundry Emperours, tending all to the confirmation of my former speeches.
And for like examples of later time, (yea euen in the memorie of man) I shall not neede to recite any other then the conquest made of the West and East Indies by the Kings of Spaine and Portugall, whereof there is particular mention made in the last chapter of this booke. Herein haue I vsed more copy of examples then otherwise I would haue done, sauing that I haue bene in place, where this maner of planting the Christian faith hath bene thought of some to be scarce lawfull, yea, such as doe take vpon them to be more then meanely learned. To these examples could I ioyne many moe, but whosoeuer is not satisfied with these fewe, may satisfie himselfe in reading at large the authors last aboue recited. Thus haue I (as I trust) prooued that we may iustly trade and traffique with the Sauages, and lawfully plant and inhabite their Countries.
The third Chapter doeth shew the lawfull title which the Queenes most excellent Maiestie hath vnto those countries, which through the ayde of Almighty God are meant to be inhabited.
1170. Owen Guyneth was then Prince of Northwales. And it is very euident that the planting there shal in time right amply enlarge her Maiesties Territories and Dominions, or (I might rather say) restore to her Highnesse ancient right and interest in those Countries, into the which a noble and worthy personage, lineally descended from the blood royall, Nullum tempus occurrit Regi. This Island was discouered by Sir Humfrey and his company, in this his last iourney. borne in Wales named Madock ap Owen Gwyneth, departing from the coast of England, about the yeere of our Lord God 1170. arriued and there planted himselfe and his Colonies, and afterward returned himselfe into England, leauing certaine of his people there, as appeareth in an ancient Welsh Chronicle, where he then gaue to certaine Ilands, beastes, and foules sundry Welsh names, as the Iland of Pengwin, which yet to this day beareth the same.
There is likewise a foule in the saide countreys called by the same name at this day, and is as much to say in English, as Whitehead, and in trueth the said foules haue white heads. There is also in those countreis a fruit called Gwynethes which is likewise a Welsh word. Moreouer, there are diuers other Welsh wordes at this day in vse, as Dauid Ingram aforesaid reporteth in his relations. All which most strongly argueth, the sayd prince with his people to haue inhabited there. And the same in effect is confirmed by Mutezuma2 that mightie Emperour of Mexico, who in an Oration vnto his subiects for the better pacifying of them, made in the presence of Hernando Cortes, vsed these speeches following.
Mutezuma his Oration to his subiects in presence of Hermando Cortes, which Oration was made about the yeere 1520. My kinsmen, friends, and seruants, you doe well know that eighteene yeres I haue bene your King, as my fathers and grandfathers were, and alwayes I haue bene vnto you a louing Prince, and you vnto me good and obedient subiects, and so I hope you will remaine vnto mee all the dayes of my life. You ought to haue in remembrance, that either you haue heard of your fathers, or else our diuines haue instructed you, that wee are not naturally of this countrey, nor yet our kingdome is durable, because our forefathers came from a farre countrey, and their King and Captaine, who brought them hither, returned againe to his naturall Countrey, saying that he would send such as should rule and gouerne vs, if by chance he himselfe returned not, &c.
These be the very wordes of Mutezuma set downe in the Spanish Chronicles, the which being thoroughly considered, because they haue relation to some strange noble person, who long before had possessed those countreys, doe all sufficiently argue the vndoubted title of her Maiestie: forasmuch as no other Nation can truely by any Chronicles they can finde, make prescription of time for themselues, before the time of this Prince Madoc. M. Oliuer Dalbony. M. Edward Reow. M.R.H. M.I.A. Besides all this, for further proofe of her highnesse title sithence the arriuall of this noble Briton into those parts (that is to say) in the time of the Queenes grandfather of worthy memory, King Henry the seuenth, Letters patents were by his Maiestie granted to Iohn Cabota an Italian, to Lewis, Sebastian and Sancius, his three sonnes, to discouer remote, barbarous and heathen Countreys, which discouery was afterwardes executed to the vse of the Crowne of England, in the sayde Kings time, by Sebastian and Sancius his sonnes, who were borne here in England: in true testimony whereof there is a faire hauen in Newfoundland, knowen, and called vntill this day by the name of Sancius hauen, which proueth that they first discouered vpon that coast from the height of 63 vnto the cape of Florida, as appeareth in the Decades.
And this may stand for another title to her Maiesty: but any of the foresayd titles is as much or more then any other Christian Prince can pretend to the Indies, before such time as they had actuall possession thereof, obtained by the discouery of Christopher Columbus, and the conquest of Vasques Nunnes de Balboa, Hernando Cortes, Francisco Pizarro, and others. And therefore I thinke it needlesse to write any more touching the lawfulnesse of her Maiesties title.
The fourth chapter sheweth how that the trade, traffike, and planting in those countreys is likely to proue very profitable to the whole realme in generall.
Now to shew how the same is likely to prooue very profitable and beneficiall generally to the whole realme: it is very certaine, that the greatest iewell of this realme, and the chiefest strength and force of the same, for defence or offence in marshal matter and maner, is the multitude of ships, masters and mariners, ready to assist the most stately and royall nauy of her Maiesty, which by reason of this voyage shall haue both increase and maintenance. Cox the master. And it is well knowen that in sundry places of this realme ships haue beene built and set forth of late dayes, for the trade of fishing onely: yet notwithstanding the fish which is taken and brought into England by the English nauy of fishermen, will no suffice for the expense of this realme foure moneths, if there were none els brought of strangers. And the chiefest cause why our English men doe not goe so farre Westerly as the especiall fishing places doe lie, both for plenty and greatnesse of fish, is for that they haue no succour and knowen safe harbour in those parts. But if our nation were once planted there, or neere thereabouts; whereas they now fish but for two moneths in the yeere, they might then fish as long as pleased themselues, or rather at their comming finde such plenty of fish ready taken, salted, and dried, as might be sufficient to fraught them home without long delay (God granting that salt may be found there) whereof Dauid Ingram (who trauelled in those countreys as aforesayd) sayth that there is great plenty: and withall the climate doth giue great hope, that though there were none naturally growing, yet it might as well be made there by art, as it is both at Rochel and Bayon, or elsewhere. Which being brought to passe, shall increase the number of our shippes and mariners, were it but in respect of fishing onely: but much more in regard of the sundry merchandizes and commodities which are there found, and had in great abundance.
Moreouer, it is well knowen that all Sauages, aswell those that dwell in the South, as those that dwell in the North, so soone as they shall begin but a little to taste of ciuility, will take maruelous delight in any garment, be it neuer so simple; as a shirt, a blew, yellow, red, or greene cotton cassocke, a cap, or such like, and will take incredible paines for such a trifle.
For I my selfe haue heard this report made sundry times by diuers of our countreymen, who haue dwelt in the Southerly parts of the West Indies, some twelue yeeres together, and some of lesse time; that the people in those parts are easily reduced to ciuility both in maners and garments. Which being so, what vent for our English clothes will thereby ensue, and how great benefit to all such persons and artificers, whose names are quoted in the margent,3 I do leaue to the iudgement of such as are discreet and questionlesse; hereby it will also come to passe, that all such townes and villages as both haue beene, and now are vtterly decayed and ruinated (the poore people thereof being not set on worke, by reason of the transportation of raw wooll of late dayes more excessiuely then in times past) shal by this meanes be restored to their pristinate wealth and estate: all which doe likewise tend to the inlargement of our nauy, and maintenance of our nauigation.
To what end need I endeuour my selfe by arguments to proue that by this voyage our nauie and nauigation shalbe inlarged, when as there needeth none other reason then the manifest and late example of the neere neighbours to this realme, the kings of Spaine and Portugall, who since the first discouery of the Indies, haue not onely mightily inlarged their dominions, greatly inriched themselues and their subiects: but haue also by iust account trebled the number of their shippes, masters and mariners, a matter of no small moment and importance?
The idle persons of this realme shall by occasion of this iourney bee well imployed and set on worke. Besides this, it will prooue a generall benefit vnto our countrey, that through this occasion, not onely a great number of men which do now liue idlely at home, and are burthenous, chargeable, and vnprofitable to this realme, shall hereby be set on worke, but also children of twelue or fourteene yeeres of age, or vnder, may bee kept from idlenesse, in making of a thousand kindes of trifling things, which wil be good merchandize for that countrey. Hempe doeth growe neere S. Laurence riuer naturally. And moreouer, our idle women (which the Realme may well spare) shall also be imployed on plucking, drying, and sorting of feathers, in pulling, beating, and working of hempe, and in gathering of cotton, and diuers things right necessary for dying. All which things are to be found in those countreys most plentifully. And the men may imploy themselues in dragging for pearle, woorking for mines, and in matters of husbandry, and likewise in hunting the whale for Trane, and making casks to put the same in: besides in fishing for cod, salmon, and herring, drying, salting and barrelling the same, and felling of trees, hewing and sawing of them, and such like worke, meete for those persons that are no men of Art or Science.
Many other things may bee found to the great reliefe and good employments of no small number of the naturall Subiects of this Realme, which doe now liue here idlely to the common annoy of the whole state. Read the beginning of the booke intituled Diuers touching the discouery of America. Neither may I here omit the great hope and likelyhood of a passage beyond the Grand Bay into the South Seas, confirmed by sundry authors to be found leading to Cataia, the Molluccas and Spiceries, whereby may ensue as generall a benefite to the Realme, or greater then yet hath bene spoken of, without either such charges, or other inconueniences, as by the tedious tract of time and perill, which the ordinary passage to those parts at this day doeth minister.
And to conclude this argument withall, it is well knowen to all men of sound iudgement, that this voyage is of greater importance, and will be found more beneficiall to our countrey, then all other voyages at this day in vse and trade amongst vs.
The fift chapter sheweth, that the trading and planting in those countreis is likely to proue to the particular profit of all aduenturers.
I must, now according to my promise shew foorth some probable reasons that the aduenturers in this iourney are to take particular profit by the same. It is therefore conuenient that I doe diuide the aduenturers into two sorts: the noblemen and gentlemen by themselues, and the Merchants by themselues. For, as I doe heare, it is meant that there shall be one societie of the Noblemen and Gentlemen, and another societie of the merchants. And yet not so diuided, but that eche society may freely and frankely trade and traffique one with the other.
And first to bend my speech to the noblemen and gentlemen, who doe chiefly seeke a temperate climate, wholesome ayre, fertile soile, and a strong place by nature whereupon they may fortifie, and there either plant themselues, or such other persons as they shall thinke good to send to bee lords of that place and countrey: to them I say, that all these things are verie easie to be found within the degrees of 30 and 60 aforesaid, either by South or North, both in the Continent, and in Islands thereunto adioyning at their choise: but the degree certaine of the eleuation of the pole, and the very climate where these places of force and fertility are to be found, I omit to make publike, for such regard as the wiser sort can easily coniecture: the rather because I doe certainly vnderstand, that some of those which haue the managing of this matter, knowe it as well or better then I my selfe, and do meane to reueale the same, when cause shall require, to such persons whom it shall concerne, and to no other: so that they may seat and settle themselues in such climate as shall best agree with their owne nature, disposition, and good liking: and in the whole tract of that land, by the description of as many as haue bene there, great plentie of minerall matter of all sorts, and in very many places, both stones of price, pearle and christall, and great store of beasts, birds and fowles both for pleasure and necessary for vse of man are to be found.
Beasts for pleasure. And for such as take delight in hunting, there are Stagges, Wilde bores, Foxes, Hares, Cunnies, Badgers, Otters, and diuers other such like for pleasure. Also for such as haue delight in hauking, there are haukes of sundry kinds, and great store of game, both for land and riuer, as Fezants, Partridges, Cranes, Heronshawes, Ducks, Mallards, and such like. Hides solde for forty shillings a piece. There is also a kinde of beast much bigger then an Oxe, whose hide is more then eighteene foote long, of which sort a countreyman of ours, one Walker a sea man, who was vpon that coast, did for a trueth report in the presence of diuers honourable and worshipfull persons, that he and his company did finde in one cottage aboue two hundred and fortie hides, which they brought away and solde in France for fortie shillings an hide: and with this agreeth Dauid Ingram, and describeth that beast at large, supposing it to be a certaine kinde of Buffe; Great grapes. Wine of the Palme tree. there are likewise beasts and fowles of diuers kinds, which I omit for breuities sake, great store of fish both in the salt water and in the fresh, plentie of grapes as bigge as a mans thumbe, and the most delicate wine of the Palme tree, of which wine there be diuers of good credit in this realme that haue tasted: and there is also a kind of graine called Maiz, Potato rootes, and sundry other fruits naturally growing there: so that after such time as they are once settled, they shall neede to take no great care for victuall.
And now for the better contentation and satisfaction of such worshipfull, honest minded, and well disposed Merchants, as haue a desire to the furtherance of euery good and commendable action, I will first say vnto them, as I haue done before to the Noblemen and Gentlemen, that within the degrees abouesayde, is doubtlesse to bee found the most wholesome and best temperature of ayre, fertilitie of soyle, and euery other commoditie or merchandize, for the which, with no small perill we doe trauell into Barbary, Spaine, Portugall, France, Italie, Moscouie and Eastland. All which may be either presently had, or at the least wise in very short time procured from thence with lesse danger then now we haue them. And yet to the ende my argument shall not altogether stand vpon likelihoods and presumptions, I say that such persons as haue discouered and trauelled those partes, doe testifie that they haue found in those countreys all these things following, namely:
Of beasts for furres: Marterns, Beauers, Foxes, blacke and white, Leopards.
Of wormes: Silke wormes great and large.
Of Birds: Hawkes, Bitters, Curlewes, Herons, Partridges, Cranes, Mallards, Wilde geese, Stocke dooues, Margaus, Blacke birds, Parrots, Pengwins.
Of Fishes: Codde, Salmon, Seales, Herrings.
Of Trees: Palme trees yeelding sweet wines, Cedars, Firres, Sasafras, Oake, Elme, Popler, and sundry other strange Trees to vs vnknowen.
Of fruites: Grapes very large, Muskemellons, Limons, Dates great, Orrenges, Figges, Prunes, Raisins great and small, Pepper, Almonds, Citrons.
Of Mettals: Golde, Siluer, Copper, Lead, Tinne.
Of Stones: Turkeis, Rubies, Pearls great and faire, Marble of diuers kindes, Iasper, Christall.
Sundry other commodities of all sorts: Rosen, Pitch, Tarre, Turpentine, Frankincense, Honny, Waxe, Rubarbe, Oyle Oliue, Traine oyle, Muske codde, Salt, Tallow, Hides, Hempe, Flaxe, Cochenello and dies of diuers sorts, Feathers of sundrie sorts, as for pleasure and filling of Featherbeds.
And seeing that for small costs, the trueth of these may be vnderstood (whereof this intended supply will giue vs more certaine assurance) I doe finde no cause to the contrary, but that all well minded persons should be willing to aduenture some competent portion for the furtherance of so good an enterprise.
Now for the triall hereof, considering that in the articles of the societie of the aduenturers in this voyage, there is prouision made, that no aduenturer shall be bound to any further charge then his first aduenture: and yet notwithstanding keepe still to himselfe his children, his apprentises and seruants, his and their freedome for trade and traffique, which is a priuiledge that aduenturers in other voyages haue not: and in the said articles it is likewise prouided, that none other then such as haue aduentured in the first voyage, or shal become aduenturers in this supply, at any time hereafter are to be admitted in the said society, but as redemptionaries, which will be very chargeable: therefore generally I say vnto all such according to the olde prouerbe, Nothing venture, nothing haue. For if it do so fall out, according to the great hope and expectation had, (as by Gods grace it will) the gaine which now they reap by traffique into other farre countries, shal by this trade returne with lesse charge, greater gaine, and more safety: Lesse charge, I say, by reason of the ample and large deepe riuers at the very banke, whereof there are many, whereby both easily and quietly they may transport from the innermost parts of the main land, all kind of merchandize, yea in vessels of great burden, and that three times, or twise in the yere at the least. Commodities found in August last. But let vs omit all presumptions how vehement soeuer, and dwel vpon the certainty of such commodities as were discouered by S. Humfrey Gilbert, and his assistants in Newfound land in August last. For there may be very easily made Pitch, Tarre, Rosen, Sope ashes in great plenty, yea, as it is thought, inough to serue the whole realme of euery of these kindes: And of Traine oyle such quantity, as if I should set downe the value that they doe esteeme it at, which haue bene there, it would seeme incredible.
It is hereby intended, that these commodities in this abundant maner, are not to be gathered from thence, without planting and setling there. And as for other things of more value, and that of more sorts and kindes then one or two (which were likewise discouered there) I doe holde them for some respects, more meete for a time to be concealed then vttered.
Of the fishing I doe speake nothing, because it is generally knowen: and it is not to be forgotten, what trifles they be that the Sauages doe require in exchange of these commodities: yea, for pearle, golde, siluer, and precious stones. All which are matters in trade and traffique of great moment. But admit that it should so fall out, that the aboue specified commodities shall not happily be found out within this first yeere: Yet it is very cleere that such and so many may be found out as shall minister iust occasion to thinke all cost and labour well bestowed. For it is very certaine, that there is one seat fit for fortification, of great safety, wherein those commodities following, especially are to be had, that is to say, Grapes for wine, Whales for oyle, Hempe for cordage, and other necccessary things, and fish of farre greater sise and plenty, then that of Newfound land, and of all these so great store, as may suffice to serue our whole realme.
Besides all this, if credit may be giuen to the inhabitants of the same soile, a certaine riuer doth thereunto adioyne, which leadeth to a place abounding with rich substance: I doe not hereby meane the passage to the Molluccaes, whereof before I made mention.
And it is not to be omitted, how that about two yeeres past, certaine merchants of S. Malo in France, did hyre a ship out of the Island of Iersey to the ende that they would keepe that trade secret from their Countreymen, and they would admit no mariner, other then the ship boy belonging to the said ship, to goe with them, which shippe was about 70. tunne. I doe know the shippe and the boy very well, and am familiarly acquainted with the owner, which voyage prooued very beneficiall.
To conclude, this which is already sayd, may suffice any man of reasonable disposition to serue for a taste, vntill such time as it shall please almighty God through our owne industrie to send vs better tydings. In the meane season, if any man well affected to this iourney, shall stand in doubt of any matter of importance touching the same, he may satisfie himselfe with the iudgement and liking of such of good calling and credite, as are principall dealers herein. For it is not neccessary in this treatise, publikely to set forth the whole secrets of the voyage.
The sixth Chapter sheweth that, the traffique and planting in those countries, shall be vnto the Sauages themselues very beneficiall and gainefull.
Now to the end it may appeare that this voyage is not vndertaken altogether for the peculiar commodity of our selues and our countrey (as generally other trades and iournies be) it shall fall out in proofe, that the Sauages shall hereby haue iust cause to blesse the houre when this enterprise was vndertaken.
First and chiefly, in respect of the most happy and gladsome tidings of the most glorious Gospel of our Sauiour Iesus Christ, whereby they may be brought from falshood to trueth, from darknesse to light, from the hie way of death to the path of life, from superstitious idolatrie to sincere Christianity, from the deuill to Christ, from hell to heauen. And if in respect of all the commodities they can yeelde vs (were they many moe) that they should but receiue this onely benefit of Christianity, they were more then fully recompenced.
But hereunto it may bee obiected, that the Gospel must bee freely preached, for such was the example of the Apostles: vnto whom although the authorities and examples before alledged of Emperors, Kings and Princes, aswel before Christs time as since, might sufficiently satisfie: yet for further answere, we may say 2 Corinth. 9. with S. Paul, If wee haue sowen vnto you heauenly things, doe you thinke it much that we should reape your carnall things? And withall, The workman is worthy of his hire. These heauenly tidings which those labourers our countreymen (as messengers of Gods great goodnesse and mercy) will voluntarily present vnto them, doe farre exceed their earthly riches. Moreouer, if the other inferiour worldly and temporall things which they shall receiue from vs, be weighed in equall ballance, I assure my selfe, that by equal iudgement of any indifferent person, the benefits which they then receiue, shall farre surmount those which they shall depart withall vnto vs. And admit that they had (as they haue not) the knowledge to put their land to some vse: yet being brought from brutish ignorance to ciuilitie and knowledge, and made then to vnderstand how the tenth part of their Land may be so manured and employed, as it may yeeld more commodities to the necessary vse of mans life, then the whole now doeth: What iust cause of complaint may they haue? And in my private opinion, I do verily thinke that God did create land, to the end that it should by culture and husbandry yeeld things necessary for mans life.
But this is not all the benefit which they shall receiue by the Christians: for, ouer and beside the knowledge how to till and dresse their grounds, they shal be reduced from vnseemly customes to honest maners, from disordered riotous routs and This bargen cannot be uniust, where both parties are gainers. companyes to a well gouerned common wealth, and withall, shalbe taught mechanicall occupations, arts, and liberall sciences: and which standeth them most vpon, they shalbe defended from the cruelty of their tyrannicall and bloodsucking neighbors the Canibals, whereby infinite number of their liues shalbe preserued. And lastly, by this meanes many of their poore innocent children shall be preserued from the bloody knife of the sacrificer, a most horrible and detestable custome in the sight of God and man, now and ever heretofore vsed amongst them. Many other things could I heere alledge to this purpose were it not that I doe feare lest I haue already more then halfe tired the reader.
The seuenth Chapter sheweth that the planting there, is not a matter of such charge or difficultie, as many would make it seeme to be.
Now therefore for proofe, that the planting in these parts is a thing that may be done without the ayde of the Princes power and purse, contrary to the allegation of many malicious persons, who wil neither be actors in any good action themselues, nor so much as afoord a good word to the setting forward thereof: and that worse is, they will take vpon them to make molehilles seeme mountaines, and flies elephants, to the end they may discourage others, that be very well or indifferently affected to the matter, being like vnto Esops dogge, which neither would eate Hay himselfe, nor suffer the poore hungry asse to feede thereon:
I say and affirme that God hath prouided such meanes for the furtherance of this enterprise, as doe stand vs in stead of great treasure: for first by reason that it hath pleased God of his great goodnesse, of long time to hold his merciful hand ouer this realme, in preseruing the people of the same, both from slaughter by the sword, and great death by plague, pestilence, or otherwise, there are at this day great numbers (God he knoweth) which liue in such penurie and want, as they could be contented to hazard their liues, and to serue one yeere for meat, drinke and apparell only, without wages, in hope thereby to amend their estates: which is a matter in such like iourneyes, of no small charge to the prince. Moreouer, things in the like iourneyes of greatest price and cost as victuall (whereof there is great plentie to be had in that countrey without money) and powder, great artillery, or corselets are not needefull in so plentifull and chargeable maner, as the shew of such a iourney may present: for a small quantitie of all these, to furnish the Fort only, will suffice vntill such time as diuers commodities may be found out in those parts, which may be thought well worthy a greater charge. Also the peculiar benefit of archers which God hath blessed this land withall before all other nations, will stand vs in great stead amongst those naked people.
Another helpe we haue also, which in such like cases is a matter of marueilous cost, and will be in in this iourney procured very easily (that is to say) to transport yeerely as well our people, as all other necessaries needfull for them into those parts by the fleet of merchants, that yeerely venture for fish in Newfound-land, being not farre distant from the countrey meant to be inhabited, who commonly goe with emptie vessels in effect, sauing some litle fraight with salt. And thus it appeareth that the souldier, wages, and the transportation may be defrayed for farre lesse summes of money then the detractors of this enterprise haue giuen out. Againe, this intended voyage for conquest, hath in like maner many other singular priuiledges wherewith God hath, as it were, with his holy hand blessed the same before all others. For after once we are departed the coast of England, wee may passe straight way thither, without danger of being driuen into any the countries of our enemies, or doubtfull friends: for commonly one winde serueth to bring vs thither, which seldome faileth from the middle of Ianuarie to the middle of May, a benefite which the mariners make great account of, for it is a pleasure that they haue in a few or none of other iourneyes. Also the passage is short, for we may goe thither in thirtie or fortie dayes at the most, hauing but an indifferent winde, and returne continually in twentie or foure and twentie dayes at the most. And in the same our iourney, by reason it is in the Ocean, and quite out of the way from the intercourse of other countreyes, we may safely trade and traffique without peril of piracy: neither shall our ships, people, or goods there, be subiect to arrest or molestation of any Pagan potentate, Turkish tyrant, yea, or Christian prince, which heretofore sometimes vpon slender occasion in other parts haue stayed our ships and merchandizes, whereby great numbers of our countrymen haue bene vtterly vndone, diuers put to ransome, yea, and some lost their liues: a thing so fresh in memorie as it neede no proofe, and is well worthy of consideration.
Besides, in this voyage we doe not crosse the burnt line,4 whereby commonly both beuerage and victuall are corrupted, and mens health very much impayred, neither doe we passe the frozen seas, which yeelde sundry extreame dangers but haue a temperate climate at all times of the yeere, to serue our turnes. And lastly, there neede no delayes by the way for taking in of fresh water and fewell, (a thing vsually done in long iournies) because, as I sayd aboue, the voyage is not long, and the fresh waters taken in there, our men here in England at their returne home haue found so wholesome and sweete, that they haue made choise to drinke it before our beere and ale.
Behold heere, good countreymen, the manifold benefits and commodities and pleasures heretofore vnknowen, by Gods especiall blessing not onely reueiled vnto vs, but also as it were infused into our bosomes, who though hitherto like dormice haue slumbred in ignorance thereof, being like the cats that are loth for their prey to wet their feet: yet if now therefore at the last we would awake, and with willing mindes (setting friuolous imaginations aside) become industrious instruments to our selues, questionlesse we should not only hereby set forth the glory of our heauenly father, but also easily attaine to the end of all good purposes that may be wished or desired.
And may it not much encourage vs to hope for good successe in the countrey of the Sauages, being a naked kinde of people, voyde of the knowledge of the discipline of warre, seeing that a noble man, being but a subiect in this realme (in the time of our king Henry the second) by name Strangbow, then earle of Chepstow in South Wales, by himselfe and his allies and assistants, at their owne proper charges haue passed ouer into Ireland, and there made conquest of the now countrey, and then kingdome of Lynester, at which time it was very populous and strong, which History our owne chronicles do witnesse: And why should we be dismayed more then were the Spanyards, who haue bene able within these few yeeres to conquer, possesse, and enioy so large a tract of the earth, in the West Indies, as is betweene the two tropikes of Cancer and Capricorne, not onely in the maine firme land of America, which is 47. degrees in latitude from South to North, and doth containe 2820. English miles at the least, that the king of Spaine hath there in actuall possession, besides many goodly and rich Islands, as Hispaniola, now called S. Domingo, Cuba, Iamaica, and diuers other which are both beautifull and full of treasure, not speaking any whit at all, how large the said land is from East to West, which in some places is accounted to be 1500. English miles at the least from East to West, betweene the one Sea and the other.
2. Decad. lib. 5. fol. 77. of the West Indies in English. Canoa is a kind of boat. 3. Decad. lib. I. fol. 97. About the yere of our Lord 1511. Or why should our noble nation be dismaid, more then was Vasques Nunnes de Valboa, a priuate gentleman of Spaine, who with the number of 70. Spaniards at Tichiri, gaue an ouerthrow vnto that mighty king Chemaccus, hauing an armie of an hundred Canoas and 5000. men, and the said Vasques Nunnes not long after, with his small number, did put to flight king Chiapes his whole armie.
Conquest of the West Indies. fol. 43. and 45. English. Likewise Hernando Cortes, being also but a priuate gentleman of Spaine, after his departure from the Islands of Cuba and Acuzamil, and entring into the firme of America, had many most victorious and triumphant conquests, as that at Cyntla, where being accompanied with lesse then 500. Spanish footmen, thirteene horsemen and sixe pieces of Ordinance only, he ouerthrew 40000. Indians. The same Cortes with his sayd number of Spanyards, tooke prisoner that mighty Emperour Mutezuma in his most chiefe and famous citie of Mexico, which at that instant had in it aboue the number of 50000. Indians at the least, and in short time after obtained not onely the quiet possession of the said citie, but also of his whole Empire.
A marueilous victorie. And in like maner in the Countrey of Peru, which the king of Spaine hath now in actuall possession, Francisco Pysarro, with the onely ayd of Diego de Almagro, and Hernando Luche, being all three but priuate gentlemen, was the principall person that first attempted discouerie and conquest of the large and rich countrey of Peru, which through the ayd of the almighty, he brought to passe and atchieued in the Tambo of Caxamalca, (which is a large place of ground, enclosed with walles) in which place he tooke the great and mightie prince Atabalipa prisoner, midst the number of 60000. Indians his subiects, which were euer before that day accounted to bee a warlike kind of people, which his great victorie it pleased God to grant vnto him in the yeere of our Lord God 1533. he not hauing in his company aboue the number of 210. Spaniards, whereof there were not past threescore horsemen in all: after the taking of which prince Atabalipa, he offered vnto Pyzarro for his ransome, to fill a great large hall full of gold and siluer, and such golde and siluer vessels as they then vsed, euen as high as a man might reach with his arme. And the sayd prince caused the same hall to be marked round about at the sayd height, which ransome Pyzarro granted to accept. And after when as this mighty prince had sent to his vassals and subiects to bring in gold and siluer for the filling of the hall, as aforesaid, as namely to the cities or townes of Quito, Paciacama and Cusco, as also to the Calao of Lima, in which towne, as their owne writers doe affirme, they found a large and faire house, all slated and couered with gold: and when as the said hall was not yet a quarter ful, a mutinie arose amongst the Spanyards, in which it was commonly giuen out, that the said prince had politikely offered this great ransome vnder pretence to raise a much more mightie power, whereby the Spanyards should be taken, slaine and ouerthrowen: wherevpon they grew to this resolution, to put the sayd prince to death, and to make partition of the golde and siluer already brought in, which they presently put in execution. And comming to make perfect Inuentorie of the same, as well for the Emperour then king of Spaine, his fift part, as otherwise, there was found to be already brought in into the sayd hall, the number of 132425. pound weight of siluer, and in golde the number of 1828125. pezos, which was a riches neuer before that nor since seene of any man together, of which there did appertaine to the Emperour for his fift part of golde 365625. pezos, and for his fift part of, siluer 26485. pound waight, and to euery horseman eight thousand pezos of gold, and 67. pound waight of siluer. Euery souldier had 4550. pezos of gold and 280. pound waight of siluer. Euery Captaine had some 30000. some 20000. pezos of gold and siluer proportionally answerable to their degrees and calling, according to the rate agreed vpon amongst them.
Francis Pizarro as their generall, according to his decree and calling proportionally, had more then any of the rest, ouer and besides the massie table of gold which Atabalipa had in his Letter, which waighed 25000. pezos of gold: neuer were there before that day souldiers so rich in so small a time, and with so little danger And in this iourney for want of yron, they did shoe their horses, some with gold, and some with siluer. This is to be seene in the generall historie of the West Indies, where as the doings of Pizarro, and the conquest of Peru is more at large set forth.
To this may I adde the great discoueries and conquests which the princes of Portugall haue made round about the West, the South, and the East parts of Africa, and also at Callicut and in the East Indies, and in America, at Brasile and elsewhere in sundry Islands, in fortifying, peopling and planting all along the sayd coastes and Islands, euer as they discouered: which being lightly weyed and considered, doth minister iust cause of yncouragement to our Countreymen, not to account it so hard and difficult a thing for the subiects of this noble realme of England, to discouer, people, plant and possesse the like goodly lands and rich countreys not farre from vs, but neere adioyning land offring themselues vnto vs (as is aforesayd) which haue neuer yet heretofore bene in the actuall possession of any other Christian prince, then the princes of this Realme. All which (as I thinke) should not a little animate and encourage vs to looke out and aduenture abroad, vnderstanding what large Countreys and Islands the Portugals with their small number haue within these few yeeres discouered, peopled and planted, some part whereof I haue thought it not amisse, briefly in particular to name both the Townes, Countreys, and Islands, so neere as I could vpon the sudden call them to remembrance: for the rest I doe referre the Reader to the histories, where more at large the same is to be seene. First, they did winne and conquere from the princes of Barbary the Island of Geisera and towne of Arzila, not past an 140. mile distant from their Metropolitane and chiefe citie of Fesse: and after that they wonne also from the said princes the townes of Tanger, Ceuta, Mazigan, Azamor, and Azaffi, all alongst the Sea coasts. And in the yeere of our Lord, 1455. Alouis de Cadomosta5 a Gentleman Venetian, was hee that first discouered for their vse Cape Verd, with the Islands adioyning, of which he then peopled and planted those of Bonauista and Sant Iago discouering also the riuer Senega, otherwise called Niger, and Cape Roxo and Sierra Leone, and in few yeeres after they did discouer the coast of Guinea, and there peopled and built the castle of Mina: then discouered they further to the countreys of Melegettes, Benin, and Congo, with the Islands of Principe, da Nabon, S. Matthewe, and S. Thomas vnder the Equinoctiall line, which they peopled, and built in the said Island of S. Thomas the hauen towne or port of Pauosan. After that, about the yeere of our Lord, 1494. one Bartholomew Dias was sent forth, who was the first man that discouered and doubled that great and large Cape called de Bon Esperanze, and passing the currents that run vpon the said coast, on the Southeast part of Africa, betweene the said maine land and the Island of S. Laurence, otherwise called of the ancients, Madagascar, he discouered to the harbor named the Riuer of the Infant. Ceffella accompted to be the place where the noble and wise king Salomon did fetch his gold. After that since the yeere of our Lord God, 1497. and before the ful accomplishment of the yeere of Christ, 1510. through the trauailes and discoueries of Vasques de Gama,6 Peter Aluares, Thomas Lopes, Andrew Corsale, Iohn de Empoli, Peter Sintia, Sancho de Toar, and that noble and worthy gentleman Alonzo de Albuquerque,7 they did discouer, people, and plant at Ceffala, being vpon the East side of Africa, in the twenty degrees of latitude of the South Pole, and direct West from the Island of S. Laurence (at which port of Ceffala, diuers doe affirme that king Salomon did fetch his gold) as also vpon the said East side of Africa, they did afterward discouer people, and plant at Mozambique, Quiola, Monbaza, and Melinde, two degrees of Southerly latitude, and so vp to the Streight of Babell–Mandell at the entring of the red sea, all vpon the East coast of Africa, from whence they put off at the Cape Guarda Fu, and passed the great gulfe of Arabia and the Indian Sea East to Sinus Persicus, and the Island of Ormus, and so passing the large and great riuer Indus, where he hath his fall into the maine Ocean, in 23. degrees and an halfe, vnder the tropike of Cancer, of Septentrional latitude, they made their course againe directly towardes the South, and began to discouer, people, and plant vpon the West side of the hither India at Goa, Mangolar, Cananor, Calecut and Cochin, and the Island of Zeilam.8
And here I thinke good to remember to you, that after their planting vpon this coast, their forces grewe so great that they were able to compel all the Moores, the subiectes of the mightie Emperour of the Turkes to pay tribute vnto them, euer as they passed the gulfe of Arabia, from the port of Mecca in Arabia Foelix, where Mahomet lieth buried, or any of the other portes of the sayd land, euer as they passed to and from the hauens of Cochin, Calecut, and Cananor, and by their martiall maner of discipline practised in those partes, the great and mightie prince the Sophie Emperour of the Persians, and professed enemie to the Turke, came to the knowledge and vse of the Caliuer shot, and to interlace and ioyne footemen with his horsemen, sithence which time the Persians haue growen to that strength and force, that they haue giuen many mighty and great ouerthrowes to the Turke, to the great quiet of all Christendome.
These are the furthest parts of the world from England. At these Islands hath sir Francis Drake bene, where the fame of the Queenes most excellent Maiestie was renowmed. And from the Island of Zeilam aforesayd they all discouered more East in passing the gulfe of Bengala, and so passed the notable and famous riuer of Ganges, where hee hath his fall into the maine Ocean, vnder the tropike of Cancer, and to the Cape of Malaca, and vnto the great and large Islands of Sumatra, Iaua maior, Iaua minor, Mindanao, Palobane, Celebes, Gilolo, Tidore, Mathin, Borneo, Machian, Terenate, and all other the Islands of Molucques and Spiceries, and so East alongst the coasts of Cathaia, to the portes of China, Zaiton and Quinsay, and to the Island of Zipango and Iapan, situate in the East, in 37. degrees of Septentrionall latitude and in 195. of longitude. These are their noble and worthie discoueries. Here also is not to bee forgotten, that in the yeere of our Lord. 1501, that famous and worthy gentleman Americus Vespucius did discouer, people, and plant to their vse the holdes and forts which they haue in Brasill, of whom (he but being a priuate gentleman) the whole countrey or firme land of the West Indies, is commonly called and knowen by the name of America.
I doe greatly doubt least I seeme ouer tedious in the recitall of the particular discoueries and Conquests of the East and West Indies, wherein I was the more bold to vrge the patience of the Reader, to the end it might most manifestly and at large appeare, to all such as are not acquainted with the histories, how the king of Portugall, whose Countrey for popularity and number of people, is scarce comparable to some three shires of England, and the king of Spaine likewise, whose natural Countrey doth not greatly abound with people, both which princes by means of their discoueries within lesse then 90. yeeres past, haue as it appeareth both mightily and marueilously enlarged their territories and dominions through their owne industrie by the assistance of the omnipotent, whose aid we shall not need to doubt, seeing the cause and quarrell which we take in hand tendeth to his honour and glory, by the enlargement of the Christian faith.
To conclude, since by Christian dutie we stand bound chiefly to further all such acts as do tend to the encreasing the true flock of Christ by reducing into the right way those lost sheepe which are yet astray: And that we shall therein follow the example of our right vertuous predecessors of renowned memorie, and leaue vnto our posteritie a diuine memoriall of so godly an enterprise: Let vs I say for the considerations alledged, enter into iudgement with our selues, whether this action may belong to vs or no, the rather for that this voyage through the mighty assistance of the omnipotent God, shall take our desired effect (whereof there is no iust cause of doubt.) Then shal her Maiesties dominions be enlarged, her highnesse ancient titles iustly confirmed, all odious idlenesse from this our Realme vtterly banished, diuers decayed townes repaired, and many poor and needy persons relieued, and estates of such as now liue in want shail be embettered, the ignorant and barbarous idolaters taught to know Christ, the innocent defended from their bloodie tyrannical neighbours, the diabolicall custome of sacrificing humane creatures abolished.
All which (no man doubteth) are things gratefull in the sight of our Sauiour Christ, and tending to the honour and glory of the Trinitie. Bee of good cheere therefore, for he that cannot erre hath sayd: That before the ende of the world, his word shall bee preached to all nations. Which good work I trust is reserued for our nation to accomplish in these parts: Wherefore my deere countreymen, be not dismayed: for the power of God is nothing diminished, nor the loue that he hath to the preaching and planting of the Gospel any whit abated. Shall wee then doubt he will be lesse ready most mightily and miraculously to assist our nation in this quarell, which is chiefly and principally vndertaken for the enlargement of the Christian faith abroad, and the banishment of idlenes at home, then he was to Columbus, Vasques, Nunnes, Hernando Cortes, and Francis Pizarro in the West: and Vasques de Gama, Peter Aluares, et Alonso de Albuquerque in the East: Let vs therefore with cheerefull minds and couragious hearts, giue the attempt, and leaue the sequell to Almightie God: for if he be on our part, what forceth it who bee against vs: Thus leauing the correction and reformation vnto the gentle Reader, whatsoeuer is in this treatise too much or too little, otherwise vnperfect, I take leaue and so end.
1 Marginal note. Euseb. in his Ecclesiasticall historie, testifieth how that Constantine the great did enlarge his dominions by subduing of Infidels and Idolatrous nations. Eusebius lib. I. de vita Constant. cap. 4. et cap. 9. Euseb. cod. lib. cap. 39.
3 Marginal note. — Clothiers. Woolmen. Carders. Spinners. Weauers Fullers. Sheermen. Diers. Drapers. Cappers. Hatters, &c. and many decayed townes repayred.
5 Louis Cadamosto, a Venetian, born about 1422, sailed from Madeira in 1455. under the auspices of Dom Henry, son of King John of Portugal. He discovered Senegal, Cape Verd, and Gambia River. In a second voyage, in 1456, he pushed as far as the Saint Dominic River. On his return to his native land in 1464, he published an account of his travels.
6 Vasco da Gama was the first to double the Cape of Good Hope. Died at Cochin, 24th December 1525.
7 Alonzo, Duke of Albuquerque, an illegitimate descendant of the Kings of Portugal, established the Portuguese power on the East Coast of Africa, in Arabia, the Persian Gulf, further India, the Moluccas, etc. As Viceroy of the East Indies, his justice and chivalrous nature won the love and respect of all, and many years after his death, which happened in 1515, the natives used to make pilgrimages to his tomb to pray for justice against his cruel successors.
Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:55