The voyage of the Grace of Bristoll of M. Rice Iones, a Barke of thirty-fiue Tunnes, vp into the Bay of Saint Laurence to the Northwest of Newfoundland, as farre as the Ile of Assumption or Natiscotec, for the barbes or fynnes of Whales and traine Oyle, made by Siluester Wyet, Shipmaster of Bristoll.
Wee departed with the aforesaid Barke manned with twelue men for the place aforesaid from Bristoll the 4 of Aprill 1594 and fell with Cape d’Espere on the coast of Newefoundland the nineteenth of May in the heighth of 47. We went thence for Cape Raz, being distant from thence 18 or 19 leagues, the very same day.
The 20 day we were thwart of Cape Raz.
Then we set our course Northwest for Cape S. Marie, which is distant from Cape Raz 19 leagues, and is on the Eastside of the great bay of Placentia almost at the entrie thereof.
The Islands of the Martyers. The Isles of S. Peter. From thence we shaped our course for the Islands of S. Pedro passing by the broken Islands of the Martyers, our course to the Isles of S. Pedro was West and by North. In these Isles of S. Pedro there is a faire harbour, which we went into with our barke, and found there 2 ships of Sibiburo fishing for Cod: where we stayed 2 dayes, and tooke in balest for our ship. There are as faire and tall firre trees growing therein, as in any other part of Newfoundland. Then wee departed thence, and as we came out of the harbours mouth we laid the ship vpon the lee, and in 2 houres space we tooke with our hookes 3 or 4 hundred great Cods for our prouision of our ship. Then we departed from the Isle of S. Pedro to enter into the gulffe of S. Laurence betweene Cape Briton and the said Isle, and set our course West North West, and fel with Cape de Rey which wee found to be distant from the Isles of S. Pedro 42 leagues. From Cape de Rey to Cape de Angullie we set our course Northnorthwest being distant thence 12 or 13 leagues. From the Cape de Angullie into the Bay of S. George we ran Northeast and by East some 18 or 19 leagues.
In this bay of Saint George, we found the wrackes of 2 great Biskaine ships, which had bene cast away three yeeres before: where we had some seuen or eight hundred Whale finnes, and some yron bolts and chaines of their mayne shrouds and fore shroudes: al their traine was beaten out with the weather but the caske remained still. Some part of the commodities were spoiled by tumbling downe of the clifts of the hils, which couered part of the caske, and the greater part of those Whale finnes, which we vnderstood to be there by foure Spaniards which escaped, and were brought to S. Iohn de Luz. Here we found the houses of the Sauages, made of firre trees bound together in the top and set round like a Doue-house, and couered with the barkes of firre trees, wee found also some part of their victuals, which were Deeres flesh roasted vpon wooden spits at the fire, and a dish made of a ryne of a tree, sowed together with the sinowes of the Deere, wherein was oile of the Deere. There were also foules called Cormorants, which they had pluckt and made ready to haue dressed, and there we found a wooden spoone of their making. And we discerned the tracks of the feete of some fortie or fiftie men, women and children.
When we had dispatched our businesse in this bay of S. George and stayed there ten dayes, wee departed for the Northern point of the said Bay, which is nine or ten leagues broade. Then being enformed, that the Whales which are deadly wounded in the grand Bay, and yet escape the fisher for a time, are woont vsually to shoot themselues on shore on the Isle of Assumption, or Natiscotec, which lieth in the very mouth of the great riuer that runneth vp to Canada, we shaped our course ouer to that long Isle of Natiscotec, and wee found the distance of the way to the Estermost ende thereof to be about fourty foure leagues: and it standeth in the latitude of 49. They land on the Isle of Natiscotec. Here wee arriued about the middest of Iune at the East end, and rode in eighteene fadome water, in faire white sand and very good ankerage, and for tryall heaued a lyne ouerboorde and found wonderfull faire and great Cod fish: we went also seuen of vs on shore and found there exceeding fayre great woods of tall firre trees, and heard and sawe store of land and sea foules, and sawe the footing of diuers beastes in the sand when we were on shore. From the Easter end we went to the Norther side of the Island, which we perceiued to be but narrow in respect of the length thereof. And after wee had searched two dayes and a night for the Whales which were wounded which we hoped to haue found there, and missed of our purpose, we returned backe to the Southwarde, and were within one league of the Island of Penguin, which lyeth South from the Eastermost part of Natiscoter some twelue leagues. From the Isle of Penguin wee shaped our course for Cape de Rey and had sight of the Island of Cape Briton: then returned wee by the Isles of Saint Pedro, and so came into the Bay of Placentia, and arriued in the Easterside thereof some ten leagues vp within the Bay among the fishermen of Saint Iohn de Luz and of Sibiburo and of Biskay, which were to the number of threescore and odde sayles, whereof eight shippes onely were Spaniardes, of whom we were very well vsed and they wished heartily for peace betweene them and vs. There the men of Saint Iohn and Sibiburo men bestowed two pinnesses on vs to make vp our voyage with fish. Then wee departed ouer to the other side of the Bay, where we arriued in an harbour which is called Pesmarck, and there made our stage and fished so long, that in the ende the Sauages came, and in the night, when our men were at rest, cut both our pinnesse and get them againe. Then for feare of a shrewder turne of the Sauages, we departed for Cape Saint Marie, and hauing passed Cape Kaz, we passed Northwarde foureteene leagues and arriued in Farrillon, and finding there two and twentie sayles of Englishmen, wee made vp our fishing voyage to the full in that harborough the twentieth foure of August to our good content: and departing thence we arriued first in Combe and staied there a seuen night, and afterward in Hungrod in the riuer of Bristoll by the grace of God the 24 of September. 1594.
Last updated Tuesday, August 25, 2015 at 14:09