A particuler discourse concerning the greate necessitie and manifolde comodyties that are like to growe to this Realme of Englande by the Westerne discoueries lately attempted, written in the yere 1584. by Richarde Hackluyt of Oxforde, at the requeste and direction of the righte worshipfull Mr. Walter Raghly, nowe Knight, before the comynge home of his twoo barkes, and is devided into XXI chapiters, the titles whereof followe in the nexte leafe.
Extracted from The principal navigations, voyages, traffiques, and discoveries of the English nation / collected by Richard Hakluyt, and edited by Edmund Goldsmid, Vol. XIII,
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The following Discourse, one of the most curious and valuable contributions to the History of early discovery in the New World, has remained practically unknown from the date of its composition to the present time. Written, as appears from the title page, of which I give a copy on page 173, by Hakluyt at the request of Mr. Walter Raleigh,1 it must, according to the same authority, have been composed between the 17th of April and the middle of September 1584, the former being the date of sailing of Raleigh’s two ships there mentioned and the latter the date of their return. The title-page itself must have been added afterwards, as it speaks of “Mr. Walter Raghly, nowe knight,” and the 21st chapter of the Discourse seemes to have been added at the same time. Its object was evidently to urge Elizabeth to support Raleigh’s adventure, in which he was then embarked under a patent granted him on 25th March 1584. It is not, therefore, surprising to find from a letter written by Hakluyt to Sir Francis Walsingham on the 7th April 1585,2 and from another paper in the Rolls Office, indicated in Mr. Lemon’s Calendar of State Papers of the reign of Elizabeth, 1581–90, Vol. cxcv., art. 127, that this Discourse was presented to the Queen by Hakluyt in the early autumn of 1584.3 Four copies were certainly made of this Discourse — the original, which Hakluyt would probably keep; one for the Queen; one for Walsingham (as appears from the paper in the Record Office mentioned above); and the copy from which the present text is taken, and which alone seems to have contained the 21st Chapter. Perhaps this last copy was made for the Earl of Leicester, as the paper above alluded to states that the Earl “hath very earnestly often times writ for it.” However this may be, no copy of the Discourse was known to exist till the sale of Lord Valentia’s collection, when Mr. Henry Stevens bought the manuscript here published. Its value seems to have been properly appreciated by him, owing perhaps to the following memoranda written in pencil on the second blank leaf, in the handwriting, it is believed, of Lord Valentia:—
“This unpublished manuscript of Hakluyt’s is extremely curious.
“I procured it from the family of Sir Peter Thomson.4
“The editors of the last edition would have given any money for it, had it been known to have existed.”5
After fruitless endeavours “to find for it a resting place in some public or private library in America, and subsequently in the British Museum,”6 Mr. Stevens sent it to Puttick & Simpson’s Auction Rooms, where it was knocked down to Sir Henry Phillipps for £44. (May, 1854.)
In the library, then, of Thirlestane House, Cheltenham, did our manuscript lie till 1867, when Dr. Leonard Woods, late President of Bowdoin College, was commissioned by the Governor of Maine, in pursuance of the Resolves of the Legislature in aid of the Maine Historical Society, to procure, during his travels in England, materials for the early History of the State. An application made by Dr. Woods to Sir Thomas Phillipps revealed the existence of Hakluyt’s Discourse. Dr. Woods set to work to edit this valuable document, but a fire destroyed most of his materials, and was followed by physical infirmity which forbade literary labour. Dr. Charles Deane’s familiarity with the topics suggested by the matter in hand, and his position as a “Collaborateur” of Dr. Woods for some months, at once pointed him out as the right man to do the work to the Standing Committee of the Maine Historical Society. Dr. Deane undertook the task, and an excellent octavo edition of Hakluyt’s Discourse appeared in due course, entitled:—
“Documentary History of the State of Maine. Vol II., containing A Discourse on Western Planting, written in the year 1584, by Richard Hakluyt. Published by the Maine Historical Society, aided by appropriation from the State. Cambridge (Mass.): Press of John Wilson and Son. 1877.”
The text of the MS. has been preserved in every essential particular, but, following Dr. Deane’s example, some capital letters have had liberties taken with them, and some few abbreviated words have been printed in full. A few corrections have also been made in the quotations from English and foreign writers, where a comparison with the originals has shown such corrections to be necessary. Dr. Deane’s notes have been necessarily much shortened, and are distinguished from my own by the initials C.D.
This “extremely curious” manuscript, which by some extraordinary oversight was not included in Hakluyt’s Collection of Voyages of 1598–1600, so appropriately called by Froude “the great prose Epic of the modern English nation,” and which Evans would, according to Lord Valentia, “have given any money for,” for his edition of 1809–12, is now at length inserted in its proper position. This I owe to the courtesy of Dr. Deane to whom I was a perfect stranger, save perhaps in my character of corresponding member of the Nova Scotia Historical Society and of the Oneida Historical Society. To Dr. Deane, therefore, I venture to tender my warmest thanks. — E.G.
1 He was only knighted some time between December 1584 and February 1585.
2 Public Record Office. Dom. Eliz. Addenda, Vol. xxix., No. 9. This letter was printed in full in the Maine Historical Society’s Documentary History of the State of Maine, Vol. ii.
3 See the Introduction by Leonard Woods to the Reprint of Hakluyt’s Discourse for the Maine Historical Society.
4 A great collector of Rare Books, who died in 1770, and whose library was sold in 1815.
5 This “last edition” is evidently the limited one of Hakluyt’s Collection of Voyages of 1809–12, 5 vols. 4to, edited by R. H. Evans and printed by Woodfall.
6 Stevens’s Historical and Geographical Notes, p. 20.
Chap. I. The Western Planting.
That this Westerne discoverie will be greately for thinlargemente of the gospell of Christe, whereunto the princes of the Refourmed Religion are chefely bounde, amongeste whome her Majestie ys principall.
Seinge that the people of that parte of AMERICA from 30. degrees in Florida northewarde unto 63. degrees (which ys yet in no Christian princes actuall possession) are idolaters; and that those which Stephen Gomes broughte from the coaste of NORUMBEGA in the yere 1524.1 worshipped the sonne, the moone, and the starres, and used other idolatrie, as it ys recorded in the historie of Gonsaluo de Ouiedo,2 in Italian, fol. 52. of the third volume of Ramusius; and that those of Canada and Hochelaga in 48. and 50. degrees worshippe a spirite which they call Cudruaigny, as we reade in the tenthe chapiter of the seconde relation of Jaques Cartier, whoe saieth: This people beleve not at all in God, but in one whome they call Cudruaigny; they say that often he speaketh with them, and telleth them what weather shall followe, whether goodd or badd, &c.,3 and yet notwithstandinge they are very easie to be perswaded, and doe all that they sawe the Christians doe in their devine service, with like imitation and devotion, and were very desirous to become Christians, and woulde faine have been baptized, as Verarsanus witnesseth in the laste wordes of his relation, and Jaques Cartier in the tenthe chapiter before recited — it remayneth to be thoroughly weyed and considered by what meanes and by whome this moste godly and Christian work may be perfourmed of inlarginge the glorious gospell of Christe, and reducinge of infinite multitudes of these simple people that are in errour into the righte and perfecte way of their saluation. The blessed Apostle Paule, the converter of the Gentiles, Rom: 10. writeth in this manner: Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lorde shall be saved. But howe shall they call on him in whom they have not beleved? and how shall they beleve in him of whom they have not hearde? and howe shall they heare withoute a preacher? and howe shall they preache excepte they be sente? Then it is necessary for the salvation of those poore people which have sitten so longe in darkenes and in the shadowe of deathe, that preachers should be sent unto them. But by whome shoulde these preachers be sente? By them no doubte which have taken upon them the protection and defence of the Christian faithe. The Prynces of England called the defenders of the faithe. Nowe the Kinges and Queenes of England have the name of Defendours of the Faithe.4 By which title I thinke they are not onely chardged to mayneteyne and patronize the faithe of Christe, but also to inlarge and advaunce the same. Neither oughte this to be their laste worke, but rather the principall and chefe of all others, accordinge to the comaundemente of our Saviour, Christe, Mathewe 6, Ffirste seeke the kingdome of God and the righteousnes thereof, and all other thinges shalbe mynistred unto you.
Plantings fyrste necessarye. Nowe the meanes to sende suche as shall labour effectually in this busines ys, by plantinge one or twoo colonies of our nation upon that fyrme, where they may remaine in safetie, and firste learne the language of the people nere adjoyninge (the gifte of tongues beinge nowe taken awaye), and by little and little acquainte themselves with their manner, and so with discretion and myldenes distill into their purged myndes the swete and lively liquor of the gospel. Otherwise, for preachers to come unto them rashly with oute some suche preparation for their safetie, yt were nothinge els but to ronne to their apparaunte and certaine destruction, as yt happened onto those Spanishe ffryers, that, before any plantinge, withoute strengthe and company, landed in Fflorida, where they were miserablye massacred by the savages.5 On the other side, by meane of plantinge firste, the small nation of the Portingales towardes the Southe and Easte have planted the Christian faithe accordinge to their manner, and have erected many bisshoprickes and colledges to traine upp the youthe of the infidels in the same, of which acte they more vaunte in all their histories and chronicles, then of anythinge els that ever they atchieved. And surely if they had planted the gospell of Christe purely, as they did not, they mighte justly have more rejoyced in that deede of theirs, then in the conqueste of the whole contrie, or in any other thinge whatsoever. The like may be saied of the Spaniardes, whoe (as yt is in the preface of the last edition of Osorius de rebus gestis Emanuelis) have established in the West Indies three archebisshopricks, to witt, Mexico, Luna, and Onsco, and thirtene other bisshoprickes there named, and have builte above CC. houses of relligion in the space of fyftie yeres or thereaboutes. Now yf they, in their superstition, by meanes of their plantinge in those partes, have don so greate thinges in so shorte space, what may wee hope for in our true and syncere relligion, proposinge unto ourselves in this action not filthie lucre nor vaine ostentation, as they in deede did, but principally the gayninge of the soules of millions of those wretched people, the reducinge of them from darkenes to lighte, from falsehoode to truthe, from dombe idolls to the lyvinge God, from the depe pitt of hell to the highest heauens. In the 16. of the Actes of the Apostles, when Paule soughte to preache in Asia and to goe into Bithinia, the Holy Ghoste suffered him not. But at Troas a vision appered unto him by night. There stoode a man of Macedonia and prayed hym, sayenge: Come into Macedonia and helpe us. And after he had seene the vysion, ymmediatly he prepared to goe into Macedonia, beinge assured that the Lorde had called him to preache the gospell unto them. Even so wee, whiles wee have soughte to goe into other countries (I woulde I might say to preache the gospell), God by the frustratinge of our actions semeth to forbydd us to followe those courses, and the people of AMERICA crye oute unto us, their nexte neighboures, to come and helpe them, and bringe unto them the gladd tidinges of the gospell. Unto the prince and people that shalbe the occasion of this worthie worke, and shall open their cofers to the furtheraunce of this most godly enterprise, God shall open the bottomles treasures of his riches, and fill them with aboundance of his hidden blessinges; as he did to the goodd Queene Isabella, which beinge in extreme necessitie, laied her owne jewells to gage for money to furnishe out Columbus for the firste discovery of the West Indies.
A question of the adversary. And this enterprise the princes of the relligion (among whome her Majestie ys principall) oughte the rather to take in hande, because the papistes confirme themselves and drawe other to theire side, shewinge that they are the true Catholicke churche because they have bene the onely converters of many millions of infidells to Christianitie. Yea, I myselfe have bene demaunded of them, how many infidells have been by us converted? Whereunto, albeit I alleaged the example of the mynisters which were sente from Geneva with Villegagnon into Bresill,6 and those that wente with Iohn Ribault into Florida,7 as also those of our nation that went with Ffrobisher Sir Fraunces Drake, and Ffenton;(45) yet in very deede I was not able to name any one infidell by them converted. But God, quoth I, hath his tyme for all men, whoe calleth some at the nynthe, and some at the eleventh houer. And if it please him to move the harte of her Majestie to put her helpinge hande to this godly action, she shall finde as willinge subjectes of all sortes as any other prince in all Christendome. And as for the boastinge of your conversion of such multitudes of infidells, yt may justly be compted, rather a perversion, seeinge you have drawen them as it were oute of Sylla into Charibdis, that is to say, from one error into another. Nowe therefore I truste the time ys at hande when by her Majesties forwardnes in this enterprise, not only this obiection and suche like shalbe aunswered by our frutefull labor in Godds harvest amonge the infidells, but also many inconveniences and strifes amongest ourselves at home, in matters of ceremonies, shalbe ended. For those of the clergye which by reason of idlenes here at home are nowe alwayes coyninge of newe opynions, havinge by this voyadge to set themselves on worke in reducinge the savages to the chefe principles of our faith, will become lesse contentious, and be contented with the truthe in relligion alreadie established by authoritie. So they that shall beare the name of Christians shall shewe themselves worthye of their vocation, so shall the mouthe of the adversarie be stopped, so shall contention amongest brethren be avoyded, so shal the gospell amonge infidells be published.
1 Estavan Gomes, a Portuguese pilot, sailed with Magellan on his famous voyage in 1519, but deserted with his ship and crew. In 1525 (not 1524) he sailed from Corunna. He coasted Newfoundland as far south as 40 deg. Here he took on board certain Indians and carried them to Spain. (C.D.)
2 Born 1478. His Historia general de los Indias was not published in its entirety until 1851–55. (C.D.)
3 It appears from a passage in Chapter xvii. of this Discourse that Hakluyt had seen an original manuscript account of Cartier’s second voyage in the Royal Library at Paris.
4 This title was conferred on Henry VIII. by Leo X. by a bull dated the fifth of the Ides of October 1521, for his book “Assertio Septem Sacramentorum adversus Martin Lutherum,” etc., printed by Pynson, 1521.
5 Friar Luys Cancel of Balvastro was, with other friars, sent to Florida by Philip II. in 1549, where they were massacred and eaten. (See Eden’s version of Gomara’s Historia general, cap. xiv. Woods.)
6 For an account of this earliest colony of Protestantism in America, consult Bayle’s Dictionnaire, Art. Villegagnon and Ricker; Cotton Mather, Magnalia, Book I., Southey’s History of Brazil; De Thou, Maimbourg, etc.
7 Dr. Woods thinks Hakluyt is mistaken in saying ministers went out with Ribault to Florida. It is indeed hardly likely that Coligny would have thus alienated the sympathy of Charles IX.
That all other Englishe trades are growen beggerly or daungerous, especially daungerous in all the Kinge of Spayne his domynions, where our men are dryven to flinge their bibles and prayer bookes into the sea, and to forsweare and renounce their relligion and conscience, and consequently their obedience to her Majesty.
Wee are nowe to consider the qualitie and condition of all the trades which at this day are frequented by our nation. And firste, to begynne southwarde, and so come to the northe; leavinge Bresill and Guynea where wee have little to doe, let us firste speake of our trade in Barbarie. Barbary If any of our shippes tradinge thither be dryven upon the coaste of Spaine, and that proofe may be made that wee have bene there, they make it a very sufficient cause of confiscation of shippe and goodds, and so they thruste our men into the Inquisition, chardging them that they bringe armour, munition, and forbidden merchandize to strengthen the infidells againste these partes of Christendome; which thinge is comitted to printe and confessed by all our marchants tradinge thither. And thoughe our men escape the Spaniardes tyrannie, yet at the deathe of the prince in Barbary, all our mennes goodds there are subjecte to the spoile, the custome of the contrie permitting the people to robbe and rifle until another kinge be chosen, withoute making any kinde of restitution. Besides that inconvenience, the traficque groweth daily to worse termes then heretofore. I omytt to shewe here howe divers have bene undon by their servauntes which have become renegadoes, of whome by the custome of the contrie their masters can have no manner of recovery, neither call them into justice.1
The Domynions of the Kinge of Spayne. In all the Kinge of Spaines domynions our men are either inforced with wounded consciences to playe the dissemblinge hipocrites, or be drawen to mislike with the state of relligion mainteyned at home, or cruelly made away in the Inquisition. Moreouer, he being our mortall enemye, and his empire of late beinge increased so mightely, and our necessitie of oiles and colours for our clothinge trade being so greate, he may arreste almoste the one halfe of our navye, our traficque and recourse being so greate to his domynions.
For the new trade in Turky, besides the greate expences in mayneteyninge a kind of embassador at Constantinople, and in sendinge of presentes to Selym the Graunde Segnior, and to divers of his insatiable bassoes, our marchantes are faine with large rewardes to gratifie the Knightes of Malta, in whose daunger their shippes must often passe. Moreover that trade is so moche to the detrymente of the State of Venice, and all the other States of Italie, that they are dayly occupied in seekinge howe they may overthrow the same. Neither is it the leaste incomoditie that our shippes are contynually assaulted by the corsaries and pirates and gallies of Algiers, by which they had a rich shippe, called the Mary Martin, soncke this yere; and the last yere another was taken at Trypoly in Barbary, and the master with another hanged, and the reste made slaves. Besides, the barke Reynoldes was arrested at Malta, and at lengthe with moche adoe delivered.2
France. To leave the Levant and to come to France, the traficque there of myne owne knowledge3 is growen to such decaye, partely by the impositions and taxes which are daily devised by the kinges partely by their subtil sleights and devices to confiscate our clothes for insufficient workemanshippe, and partely by their owne labour in makinge more and better clothe then heretofore they were accustomed, that our men for the moste parte are wearye of the contrie, and some of them utterly undone by their subtill and unconcionable wranglinge. Flaunders. As for all Flaunders and the Lowe Contries, these eightene yeres moste cruell civill warres have so spoiled the traficque there, that there is nothinge but povertie and perill, and that which is worse, there is no hope of any spedy amendemente.
Estlande. To come to the Esterlinges and the trades with the cities within the Sounde of Denmarke, they beinge deprived of the olde priviledges of the Stilliarde here in London, have not only offred our men at home many injuries in their cities, but seeke all the meanes they can devise wholy to cutt of all our occupienge that way; and to the same purpose have lately cleane debarred our men of their accustomed and auncient priviledges in all their greate townes. Denmarke. Also the exactions of the Kinge of Denmarke at our passage in and oute by the Sounde to Lubecke, Danske, Elvinge, Rye, Revell, and the Narve, besides the power that he hath to arreste all our shippes within the Sounde at his pleasure, are twoo no small inconveniences and myschefes.
Russye. Our trade into Muscovye ys the laste, which was so chardgeable in the begynnynge, what with the coste of the discoverie, what with presentes to the Emperour, together with the disorderly dealinge of their factors, that it stoode them in fourscore thousande poundes before they broughte it to any goodd passe. And nowe after longe hope of gayne, the Hollanders, as also the men of Diepe, are entred into their trade by the Emperours permission; yea, whereas at the firste our men paid no custome, of late yeres, contrarie to their firste priviledge, they have bene urged to pay yt. Also the chardges of bringinge the Emperours embassador hither, and mayneteyninge him here, and the settinge furthe of her Majesties embassadour thither with presentes to the Emperour, lyenge all upon the poore marchantes neckes, is no easie burden unto their shoulders. And to encrease the some, the Kinge of Denmarke requireth a tribute of them, thoughe they touche not upon any of his domynions. And nowe the Emperour of Russia beinge late deade,4 yt is greately feared that the voyadge wilbe utterly ouerthrowen, or els become not worthe the contynuaunce.
Thus hauinge regarde unto the premisses, yt behoveth us to seeke some newe and better trade, of lesse daunger and more securitie, of lesse dammage, and of more advauntage; the rather to avoide the wilfull perjurie of suche of our Englishe nation as trade to Spaine and other of Kinge Phillipps domynions, where this oathe followinge ys usually ministred unto the master of our shippes. Firste, he willeth the master to make a crosse with his fore finger and his thombe, layenge one ouer the other crosswise. This beinge don, he saieth these wordes followinge: You shall sweare to speake the truthe of all thinges that shalbe asked of you, and yf you doe not, that God demaunde yt of you: and the Englishe master muste saye, Amen. You shall sweare by that crosse that you bringe no man in your shippe but suche as are goodd christians, and doe beleue as our Catholicke Churche of Rome dothe beleve. Nexte, that you bringe no manner of bookes but suche as are allowed by our Catholicke Churche of Rome; and that you use no manner of prayers but suche as are allowed by our Churche of Rome. What marchandize bringe you; suche and suche. We will and commaunde you and your companie to come on land to masse every Sonday and holy day, upon paine of discommunication. Then they open their chestes, and looke if the master and maryners bringe any bookes with them in their chests. This don, the officers that come with the preestes aske of the master and maryners chese, butter, befe, bacon, and candles, as beggers, and they give it to them for feare they have of them, and so they goe from the shippes with their walletts full of victualls. The master doth pay four ryalls of plate for the barke that bringeth them aboorde to visite them. Thus is wilfull perjurye permitted by the governours if they knowe it. Thus the covetous marchante wilfully sendeth headlonge to hell from day to day the poore subjectes of this realme. The marchant in England cometh here devoutly to the communyon, and sendeth his sonne into Spaine to here masse. These thinges are kepte secrete by the marchantes, and suche as depende upon the trade of marchandize are lothe to utter the same.
1 Master Wolfall was the name of the minister who accompanied Frobisher, (see vol. xii. of this edition, p. 81), and Master Francis Fletcher was with Drake in his voyage round the world in 1577–80. His notes of the voyage were republished by the Hakluyt Society in 1854.
2 See the accounts of Voyages to Barbary given in Vol. xi. of this Edition.
3 See Vol xi. of this Edition.
4 Hakluyt was chaplain to the English Ambassador in Paris for five years.
That this westerne voyadge will yelde unto us all the commodities of Europe, Affrica and Asia, as far as wee were wonte to travell, and supplye the wantes of all our decayed trades.
The nexte thinge ys that nowe I declare unto you the comodities In the first volume of Ramusius, fol. 374, pag. 2. of this newe westerne discoverie, and what marchandize are there to be had, and from thence to be expected; wherein firste you are to have regarde unto the scituation of the places which are left for us to be possessed. The contries therefore of AMERICA where unto we have just title, as being firste discovered by Sebastian Gabote, at the coste of that prudente prince Kinge Henry the Seaventh, from Florida northewarde to 67. degrees,1 (and not yet in any Christian princes actuall possession,) beinge aunswerable in clymate to Barbary, Egipte, Siria, Persia, Turky, Greece, all the islandes of the Levant sea, Italie, Spaine, Portingale, Fraunce, Flaunders, Highe Almayne, Denmarke, Estland, Poland, and Muscovye, may presently or within a shorte space afforde unto us, for little or nothinge, and with moche more safetie, eyther all or a greate parte of the comodities which the aforesaid contries do yelde us at a very dere hande and with manifolde daungers.
Firste, therefore, to begyn at the southe from 30. degrees, and to quote unto you the leafe and page of the printed voyadges of those which personally have with diligence searched and viewed these contries. John Ribault writeth thus, in the firste leafe of his discourse, extant in printe bothe in Frenche and Englishe:2 Wee entred (saieth he) and viewed the contrie which is the fairest, frutefullest, and pleasauntest of all the worlde, aboundinge in honye, waxe, venison, wilde fowle, fforrestes, woodes of all sortes, palme trees, cipresses, cedars, bayes, the highest and greatest, with also the fairest vines in all the worlde, with grapes accordinge, which naturally withoute arte or mans helpe or trymmynge will growe to toppes of oakes and other trees that be of wonderfull greatness and heighte. And the sighte of the faire meadowes is a pleasure not able to be expressed with tongue, full of herons, curlues, bitters, mallardes, egriphts, woodcockes, and all other kinde of small birdes, with hartes, hinds, bucks, Sylke wormes exceedinge faire. wilde swyne, and all other kind of wilde beastes, as wee perceaved well bothe by their footinge there, and also afterwardes in other places by their crye and roaringe in the nighte. Also there be conies and hares, silkewormes in marvelous nomber, a great deale fairer and better then be our silkewormes. Againe, in the sixte leafe and seconde page; They shewed unto us by signes that they had in the lande golde and silver and copper, whereof wee have broughte some home. Also leade like unto ours, which wee shewed them. Also turqueses and greate aboundance of perles, which as they declared unto us they tooke oute of oysters, whereof there is taken ever alonge the rivers side and amongest the reedes and in the marishes, in so marvelous aboundance as it is scante credible. And wee have perceaved that there be as many and as greate perles found there as in any contrie in the worlde. The gentleness of the people. In the seaventh leafe it followeth thus: The scituation is under 30. degrees, a good clymate, healthfull, and of goodd temperature, marvelous pleasaunte, the people goodd and of a gentle and amyable nature, which willingly will obey, yea be contented to serve those that shall with gentlenes and humanitie goe aboute to allure them, as yt is necessarie for those that be sente thither hereafter so to doe. Harvest twise yn the yere. In the eighth leafe: It is a place wonderful, fertile and of stronge scituation, the grounde fatt, so that it is like that it would bringe forthe wheate and all other come twise a yere. Pepper groweth here; yt is longe pepper. In the ninth leafe yt followeth: Wee founde there a greate nomber of pepper trees, the pepper beinge yet greene and not ready to be gathered. In the tenth leafe: There wee sawe the fairest and the greatest vines with grapes accordinge, and younge trees and small wooddes very well smellinge, that ever weare sene. Thus have you brefely the some of the comodities which were founde by John Ribault and his companye on the coaste of America from 30. to 34. degrees.
Moreouer, Doctor Monardus, that excellent phisition of Civill, writinge of the trees of the West Indies in his booke called Joyfull Newes out of the New founde worlde,3 maketh mention of a tree called Sassafras, which the Frenchmen founde in Florida, fol. 46 of his booke, in manner followinge: From the Florida they bringe a woodde and roote of a tree that groweth in those partes, of greate vertues and excellencies, healinge therewith grevous and variable deseases. It may be three yeres paste that I had knowledge of this tree, and a Frenche man that had bene in those partes shewed me a pece of yt, and tolde me marvells of the vertues thereof, and howe many and variable diseases were healed with the water which was made of it, and I judged that, which nowe I doe finde to be true and have seene by experience. He tolde me that the Frenchemen which had bene in the Florida, at the time when they came into those partes had bene sicke the moste of them of grevous and variable diseases, and that the Indians did shewe them this tree, and the manner howe they shoulde vse yt, &c; so they did, and were healed of many evills; which surely bringeth admiration that one onely remedy shoulde worke so variable and marvelous effectes. The name of this tree, as the Indyans terme yt, is called Pauame, and the Frenchemen called it Sassafras. To be brefe, the Doctor Monardus bestoweth eleven leaves in describinge the sovereinties and excellent properties thereof.
The nature and comodities of the reste of the coaste unto Cape Briton I will shewe unto you oute of the printed testymonies of John Verarsanus and Stephen Gomes, bothe which in one yere, 1524, discovered the said contries, and broughte home of the people; Verarsana into Ffraunce, and Gomes into Spaine.
Verarsana, fallinge in the latitude of 34. degrees, describeth the scituation and commodities in this manner: Beyonde this wee sawe the open contrie risinge in heighte above the sandie shoare, with many faire feeldes and plaines full of mightie greate wooddes, some very thicke and some very thynne, replenished with divers sortes of trees, and plesaunte and delectable to beholde as ys possible to ymagine. And your Majestie may not thinke that these are like the wooddes of Hyrcinia, or the wilde desertes of Tartaria, and the northerne coastes, full of fruteles trees; but full of palme, date trees, bayes, and highe cypresses, and many other sortes of trees to us unknowen in Europe, which yelde moste swete savours fair from the shoare; neyther doe wee thincke that they, partakinge of the easte worlde rounde aboute them, are altogether voyde of drugs and spicerye, and other riches of golde, seinge the colour of the lande dothe altogether argue yt. And the lande is full of many beastes, as redd dere, fallowe dere and hares, and likewise of lakes and pooles of freshe water, with greate plentie of fowles convenient for all plesaunte game. This lande is in latitude of 34. degrees with goodd and holesome ayre, temperate, betwene hote and colde; no vehement winds doe blowe in these regions, &c. Againe, in the fourth leafe as it is in Englishe, speakinge of the nexte contrie, he saieth: Wee sawe in this contrie many vines growinge naturally, which springinge upp tooke holde of the trees as they doe in Lumbardye, which, if by husbandmen they were dressed in goodd order, withoute all double they woulde yelde excellent wynes; for havinge oftentymes seene the frute thereof dryed, which was swete and pleasaunte and not differinge from oures, wee thinke they doe esteme of the same, because that in every place where they growe, they take away the under braunches growinge rounde aboute, that the frute thereof may ripen the better. Wee founde also roses, violetts, lyllies, and many sortes of herbes and swete and odoriferous flowers. And after, in the sixte leafe, he saithe: Wee were oftentimes within the lande v. or vj. leagues, which wee founde as pleasaunte as is possible to declare, apte for any kinde of husbandrye of corne, wine, and oile. For therein there are plaines 25. or 30. leagues broade, open and withoute any impedymente of trees, of suche frutefulnes that any seede beinge sowen therein will bringe furthe moste excellente frule. Wee entred afterwardes into the wooddes, which wee founde so greate and thicke, that an armye (were it never so greate) mighte have hydd it selfe therein, the trees whereof were oakes, cypresses, and other sortes unknowen in Europe. These apples growe in Italy, and are yellowe like a pipen. Wee founde pomi appij, plommes, and nuttes, and many other sortes of frutes to us unknowen. There are beastes in greate aboundaunce, as redd dere and fallowe dere, leopardes and other kindes, which they take with their bowes and arrowes, which are their chefeste weapons. This lande is scituate in the parallele of Rome in 41. degrees and 2. terces. And towardes the ende he saieth: Wee sawe many of the people weare earinges of copper hangings at their eares. Thus farr oute of the relation of Verarsana.
Nowe to come to Stephen Gomes, which by the commandemente of the Emperor Charles the Fyfte discovered the coaste of Norumbega. These are the wordes of Gonsaluo de Ouiedo in his summarye of the Weste Indies, translated into Italian, concerninge him, fo. 52: Dapoi ehe vostra Maestà è in questa città di Toledo, arriuò qui nel mese di Nouembre il piloto Stephano Gomez, ilquale nel’ anno passato del 1524. per comandamento di vostra Maestà, nauigò alla parte di Tramontana, e trouò gran parte di terra continouata a quella che si chiama dellos Bachallaos, dòscorrendo à Occidente, e giace in 40. e 41. grado, e cosi poco piu e meno; del qual luogo menò alcuni Indiani, e ne sono al presente in questa città, li quali sono di maggior grandezza di quelli di terra ferma, secondo che communemente sono, perche anchora il detto piloto disse hauer visto molti, che sono tutti di quella medesima grandezza, il color veramente è come quelli di terra ferma; sono grandi arcieri, e vanno coperti di pelle d’animali saluatichi, e d’ altri animali. Sono in questa terra eccellenti martori, e zibellini, e altre ricche fodere, delle quali ne portò alcune pelle il detto pilotto. Harmo argento e rame, e secondo che dicono questi Indiani, et con segni fanno intendere, adorano il Sole e la Luna, anche hanno altre idolatrie ed errori, come quelli di terra ferma.
Another Frenche capitaine of Diepe,4 which had bene alongeste this coaste, geveth this testymonie of the people and contrie from 46. to 47. degrees, as it is in the thirde volume of viages gathered by Ramusius, fol. 423, pag. secunda: Gli habitatori di questa terra sono genti trattabili, amicheuoli, e piaceuoli. La terra è abbondantissima d’ogni frutto; vi nascono aranci, mandorle, vua saluatica e molte altre sorti d’arbori odoriferi; la terra è detta da paesani suoi Norumbega.
This coaste, from Cape Briton CC. 5 leagues to the south west, was again discovered at the chardges of the cardinall of Bourbon by my frende Stephen Bellinger of Roan, the laste yere, 1583, whoe founde a towne of fourscore houses, covered with the barkes of trees, upon a rivers side, about C. leagues from the aforesaid Cape Briton. He reporteth that the contrie is of the temperature of the coaste of Gascoigne and Guyann. Excellent colours for dyenge. He broughte home a kinde of mynerall matter supposed to holde silver, whereof he gaue me some; a kynde of muske called castor; divers beastes skynnes, as bevers, otters, marternes, lucernes, scales, buffs, dere skynnes, all dressed, and painted on the innerside with divers excellent colours, as redd, tawnye, yellowe, and vermillyon — all which thinges I sawe; and divers other marchandize he hath which I saw not. But he told me that he had CCCC. and xl. crownes for that in Roan, which, in trifles bestowed upon the savages, stoode him not in fortie crownes. And this yere, 1584. the Marques de la Roche wente with three hundreth men to inhabte, in those partes, whose voyadge was overthrowen by occasion that his greatest shippe of CCC. tonnes was caste away over againste Burwage, and so the enterprize for this yere ceseth.6
The nature and qualitie of thother parte of America from Cape Briton, beinge in 46 degrees unto the latitude of 52. for iij. C. leagues within the lande even to Hochelaga, is notably described in the twoo voyadges of Jacques Cartier. In the fifte chapiter of his seconde relation thus he writeth: From the 19 till the 28 of September wee sailed upp the ryver, neuer loosinge one houre of tyme, all which space wee sawe as goodly a contrie as possibly coulde be wisshed for, full of all sortes of goodly trees, that is to say, oakes, elmes, walnut trees, cedars, fyrres, asshes, boxe, willoughes, and greate store of vynes, all as full of grapes as coulde be, that if any of our fellowes wente on shoare, they came home laden with them. There are likewise many cranes, swannes, geese, mallardes, fesauntes, partridges, thrusshes, black birdes, turtles, finches, redd brestes, nightingales, sparrowes, with other sortes of birdes even as in Fraunce, and greate plentie and store. Againe in the xi’th chapiter of the said relation there ys mention of silver and golde to be upon a ryver that is three monethes saylinge, navigable southwarde from Hochelaga; and that redd copper is yn Saguynay. All that contrie is full of sondrie sortes of woodde and many vines. There is greate store of stagges, redd dere, fallowe dere, beares, and other suche like sorts of bestes, as conies, hares, marterns, foxes, otters, bevers, squirrells, badgers, and rattes excedinge greate, and divers other sortes of beastes for huntinge. There are also many sortes of fowles, as cranes, swannes, outardes, wilde geese, white and graye, duckes, thrusshes, black birdes, turtles, wilde pigeons, lynnetts, finches, redd brestes, stares, nightingales, sparrowes, and other birdes even as in Fraunce. Also, as wee have said before, the said ryver is the plentifullest of fyshe that ever hath bene seene or hearde of, because that from the heade to the mouthe of yt you shall finde all kinde of freshe and salt water fyshe accordinge to their season. There are also many whales, porposes, sea horses, and adhothuis, which is a kinde of fishe which wee have neuer seene nor hearde of before. And in the xii’th chapiter thus: We understoode of Donnacona and others that . . . there are people cladd with clothe as wee are, very honest, and many inhabited townes, and that they had greate store of gold and redde copper; and that within the land beyonde the said ryver unto Hochelaga and Saguynay, ys an iland envyroned rounde aboute with that and other ryvers, and that there is a sea of freshe water founde, and, as they have hearde say of those of Saguynay, there was never man hearde of that founde oute the begynnynge and ende thereof. Finally, in the postscripte of the seconde relation, wee reade these wordes: They of Canada saye, that it is a moones sailinge to goe to a land where cynamonde and cloves are gathered.
And nowe, because hitherto I have spoken of the outwarde coaste, I will also alledge the comodities of the inland, in the latitude of 37. degrees, about the citie of Ceuola, usinge the very wordes of Vasques de Coronado, in the thirde chapter of his Relation, written to Don Antonio di Mendoza, Viceroy of Mexico, which sente him thither with many Spaniardes and iiij. C. horses and a thousande Indians to discover those contries.7 He, speakinge there of the citie of Ceuola, procedeth in this manner: In questo doue io sto hora alloggiato possono esserui qualche dugento case tutte circondate di muro, e parmi che con l’altre che non sono cosi possono arriuare a cinquecento fuochi. V’ è un’ altra terra vicina, che è una delle sette, ed è alqoanto maggior di questa, e un altra della medesima grandezza di questa, e l’altre quattro sono alquanto minori, e tutte io le mando dipinte a vostra Signoria con il viaggio, e pergamino doue va la pittura si trouo qui con altri pergamini . . . hanno mantelli dipinti della maniera che io mando a vostra Signoria, non raccolgono bombaso . . . pero ne portano mantelli, come ella vedrà per la mostra; ed è vero che si ritrouo nelle lor case certo bombaso filato: . . . et hanno delle turchine penso in quantità . . . si trouaron in una carta due punte di smeraldi, e certe picciole pierte rotte, che tirano al color di granate, . . . ed altre pietre di cristallo . . . si trouaron galline . . . son buonissime e maggiori che quelle di Messico. . . . Si trouo buonissima herba ad un quarto di legha di quà. . . . Mangiano le migliori tortelle che io habbia veduto in alcuna parte. . . . Hanno buonissimo sale in grano, che leuano da un lagune che è lunghe una giornata di quà. . . . Vi sono di molti animali, orsi, tigri, leoni, porci spinosi, lepri, conigli, e certi castrati della grandezza d’ un cauallo, con corni molto grandi e code picciole. . . . Vi sono delle capre saluatiche, delle quali ho veduto le teste, . . . e le pelli de i cingiali. Vi sono cacciagioni di cerui, pardi, caurioli molto grandi . . . fanno otto giornate verso le champagne al mare di settentrione. Quiui sono certe pelli ben concie, e la concia e pittura gli dan doue uccidon le vacche. In the last chapiter he addeth: Mando a vostra Signoria una pelle di vacca, certe turchine e duoi pendenti d’orecchie delle medesime, e quindici pettini de gl’Indiani, e alcune tauolette guarnite di queste turchine, &c. And for a conclusion he endethe sayenge: In questo luogo s’è trouato alquanto oro ed argento, che quei che s’intendon di miniera non l’ han reputato per cattiuo.
And Franciscus Lopez de Gomera, in his Generall Historie of the Indies, fol. 297. and 298. in treatinge of the seconde voyadge of Franciscus Vasques de Coronado from Ceuola to Tigues, from Tigues to Cicuic, and from Cicuic to Quiuira, saieth firste of the contrye about Tigues: Ci sono in quel paese melloni, e cottone bianco e rosso, del quale fanno piu larghi mantelli, che in altre bande delle Indie. And of Quiuira he saieth: è Quiuira in quaranta gradi, è paese temperato di bonissime acque, di molto herbatico, prugne, more, noci, melloni ed vue che maturanno benissimo; e vestono pelle di vacche e caprioli; uiddero per la costa navi che portavano arcatrarzes di oro ed argento per le proe, con mercantie, e credettero ch’erano del Cataio e China: per chè accennavano, che havevano nauigato trenta dì.
Touchinge Newefounde lande, because no man hath better searched it oute, and all the comodities thereof, then those that were there the laste yere, 1583, the space of eightene daies on lande, with Sir Humfry Gilbert,8 I will make rehersall thereof, as I finde it comitted to printe in a learned discourse, intituled A Trve Reporte of the late Discoueries and Possessyon taken in the Righte of the Crowne of England, of the Newfounde Landes, &c.9 The wordes are these in the firste leafe: Then Sir Humfry wente to viewe the contrye, beinge well accompanied with moste of his capitaines and souldiers. They founde the same very temperate, but somwhat warmer then England at that time of the yere, replenished with beastes and greate store of fowle of divers kyndes, and fisshes of sondrye sortes, bothe in the salte water and in the freshe, in so greate plentie as mighte suffice to victuall an armye, and they are very easely taken. And in the fifte chapter of the said discourse I reade in this manner: But let us omitte all presumtions, howe vehemente soeuer, and dwell upon the certentie of suche comodities as were discovered and founde by Sir Humfry Gilbert and his assistantes in Newfoundelande, in Auguste laste; ffor there may very easely be made pitche, tarr, rosen, sope asshes, in greate plentie, yea, as it is thoughte, ynoughe to serve the whole realme of every of these kindes; and of trayne oyle suche quantitie as if I shoulde set downe the value that they doe esteme it at, which have bene there, it woulde seme incredible.
Letters the last yere, in Latin, out of Newfoundelande. To this in effecte agreeth that which one Stephanus Parmenius, a learned Hungarian, borne in Buda, and lately, my bedfelowe in Oxforde,10 wrote unto me oute of Newfounde lande, beinge of Sir Humfryes companye: Piscium (saieth he, writinge in Latin) inexhausta copia, inde huc commeantibus magnus quæstus. Vix hamus fundum attigit, illicò insigni aliquo onustus est. Terra universa montana et syluestris; arbores ut plurimùm pinus et abietes. Herbæ omnes proceræ, sed rarò à nostris diuersae. Natura videtur velle niti etiam ad generandum frumentum. Inueni enim gramina et spicas in similitudinem secalis. Et facilè culutra et satione in vsum humanum assuefieri posse videntur. Rubi in siluis vel potiùs fraga arborescentia magna suauitate. Vrsi circa tuguria nonnunquam apparent et conficiuntur. . . . Ignotum est an aliquid metalli subsit montibus, . . . etsi aspectus eorum mineras latentes prae se ferat. Afterwardes they sett the woodds on fire, which burnt three weekes together. Nos Admiralio authores fuimus syluas incendere, quo ad inspiciendam regionem spatium pateret; nec displicebat illi consilium, si non magnum incommodum allaturum videretur. Confirmatum est enim ab idoneis hominibus, cum casu quopiam in alia nescio qua statione id accidisset, septennium totum pisces non comparuisse, exacerbata maris vnda ex terebinthina, quae conflagrantibus arboribus per riuulos defluebat. Greate heate in Newfoundelande in sommer. Coelum hoc anni tempore ita feruidum est vt nisi pisces qui arefiunt solem assidui, inuertantur, ab adustione defendi non possint. . . . Aer in terra mediocriter clarus est. Ad orientem supra mare perpetuae nebulae, &c.
Nowe, to passe from Newfoundelande to 60. degrees, I finde it beste described by Jasper Corterealis,11 in the thirde volume of the voyadges gathered by Ramusius, fol. 417. There I reade as followeth: Nella parte del mondo nuouo che corre verso Tramontana e maestro all’ incontro del nostro habitabile dell’ Europa, v’ hanno nauigato molti capitani, ed il primo (per quel’ che si sa) fù Gasparo Cortereale Portoghese, che del 1500. v’ andò con due carauelle, pensando di trouar qualche stretto di mare, donde per viaggio piu breue, che non è l’ andare attorno l’Affrica, potesse passare all’ Isole delle Spicerie. Esso nauigò tanto auanti, che venne in luogo, doue erano grandissimi freddi, et in gradi 60. di latitudine trouò vn fiume carico di neue, dalla quale gli dette il nome, chiamandolo Rio Neuado, nè gli bastò l’animo di passar piu auanti. Tutta questa costa, che corre dal detto Rio Neuado infin’ al porto di Maluas leghe 200. ilqual è in gradi 56. la vidde piena di genti, e molto habitato: sopra laqual dismontato prese alcuni per menargli seco, scoperse ancho molte Isole per mezo la detta costa tutte populate, a ciascuna delle quali diede il nome. Gli habitanti sono huomini grandi, ben proportionati, ma alquanto berrettini, e si dipingono la faccia, e tutto il corpo con diuersi colori per galanteria. Portano manigli d’ argento e di rame, e si cuoprono con pelli cucite insieme di martori e d’ altri animali diversi; il verno le portono col pelo di dentro, e la state di fuori. Il cibo loro per la maggior parte è di pesce piu che d’alcuna altra cosa, massimamente di salmoni, che n’hanno grandissima copia: ed anchora che vi siano diuersi sorti d’vccelli, e di frutti, nondimeno non fanno conto se non del pesce. Le loro habitationi sono fatte di legname, delquale hanno abondantia per esserui grandissimi, ed infiniti boschi, ed in luogo di tegole le cuoprono di pelli di pesci, che ne pigliano grandissimi, e gli scorticano. Vidde molti vccelli, e altri animali, massimamente orsi tutti bianchi.12
The reste of this coaste from 60. to 63. is described by Frobisher,13 and in freshe memorye, so that I shall not nede to make repetition thereof.
A singuler commoditie for dyenge of Englishe clothe. Thinges incident to a navy. Thus, havinge alleaged many printed testymonies of these credible persons, which were personally betwene 30. and 63. degrees in America, as well on the coaste as within the lande, which affirmed unto the princes and kinges which sett them oute, that they founde there golde, silver, copper, leade, and perles in aboundaunce; precious stones, as turqueses and emrauldes; spices and druggs, as pepper, cynamon, cloves, rubarb, muske called castor, turpentine; silke wormes, fairer then ours of Europe; white and redd cotten; infinite multitudes of all kinde of beastes, with their tallowe and hides dressed and undressed; cochenilio, founde last yere by the men of St. John de Luze, and many other kindes of coulours for clothinge; millions of all kindes of fowles for foode and fethers; salte for fisshinge; excellent vines in many places for wines; the soile apte to beare olyves for oile; all kindes of frutes, as oranges, almondes, filberdes, figges, plomes, mulberies, raspis, pomi appij, melons; all kinde of odoriferous trees and date trees, cipresses, cedars, bayes, sapines, hony and waxe; and in New founde lande aboundaunce of pynes and firr trees, asshes, and other like, to make mastes and deale boordes, pitche, tarr, rosen; and hempe for cables and cordage; and, upp within the Graunde Baye, exceedinge quantitie of all kynde of precious furres (whereof I sawe twentie thousande French crownes worthe the laste yere broughte to Paris to Valeron Perosse and Mathewe Grainer, the kinges skynners); also, suche aboundaunce of trayne oile to make sope, and of fishe as a third part of Europe ys furnished therewith — I may well and truly conclude with reason and authoritie, that all the comodities of all our olde decayed and daungerous trades in all Europe, Africa, and Asia haunted by us, Prevention to be taken hede of. may in shorte space for little or nothinge, and many for the very workemanshippe, in a manner be had in that part of America which lieth betwene 30. and 60. degrees of northerly latitude, if by our slackness we suffer not the Frenche or others to prevente us.
1 This is Ivan III., surnamed the Great; he asked Queen Elizabeth in marriage in 1579.
2 When Hakluyt speaks of Florida, he means not only the peninsula so called now, but as far north as 36 degrees. The most northerly European colony in 1584 was situated south of the present town of Savannah. It was probably St. Augustine.
3 The work alluded to is Ribault’s “The whole and true discoverye of Terra Florida. . . . Prynted at London by Rouland Hall for Thomas Hacket. 1563.” A copy is in the British Museum. The French version is one of the lost books of the world.
4 This “Joyfull Newes” was a translation by Frampton of the “Historia Medicinal . . . de nuestras Indias,” (1574), of Nicholas Monardes, a learned Spaniard, who died in 1578. The English version was published in 1577. (C.D.) A copy is in my library.
5 Probably Jean Parmentier, of Dieppe.
6 Not improbably the old seaport of Brouage, near La Rochelle, now deserted. This appears to be the only notice extant of an expedition by de La Roche in 1584. For an account of his later expedition, consult Parkman, Pioneers of France, pp. 210–212. — C.D.
7 The full account in English of de Coronado’s travels is given by Hakluyt in this collection. Hakluyt probably was ignorant of Spanish, as be always quotes the French or Italian versions.
8 Captain Richard Whitbourne, of Exmouth, in his Preface to “A Discourse and Discovery of Newfoundland,” London, 1620, says he was an eye-witness to Sir H. Gilbert’s taking possession of the countrey — C.D.
9 This work was reprinted in full by Hakluyt in this collection. See ante.
10 Also reprinted in full in the collection. See ante.
11 This voyage of Cortereale took place in 1500.
12 In all these Italian quotations, the edition by Dr. Deane has the word e or ed spelled et, a curious blunder.
13 In a “True Discourse of the late voyages of discoverie,” written by George Best, who accompanied Frobisher, London, 1578, and reprinted by the Hakluyt Society.
That this enterprise will be for the manifolde ymployment of nombers of idle men, and for bredinge of many sufficient, and for utteraunce of the greate quantitie of the comodities of our realme.
It is well worthe the observation to see and consider what the like voyadges of discoverye and planting in the Easte and Weste Indies hath wroughte in the kingdomes of Portingale and Spayne; bothe which realmes, beinge of themselves poore and barren and hardly able to susteine their inhabitaunts, by their discoveries have founde suche occasion of employmente, that these many yeres we have not herde scarcely of any pirate of those twoo nations; whereas wee and the Frenche are moste infamous for our outeragious, common, and daily piracies. Againe, when hearde wee almoste of one theefe amongest them? The reason is, that by these, their new discoveries, they have so many honest wayes to set them on worke, as they rather wante men than meanes to ymploy them. But wee, for all the statutes that hitherto can be devised, and the sharpe execution of the same in poonishinge idle lazye persons, for wante of sufficient occasion of honest employmente cannot deliver our commonwealthe from the multitudes of loyterers and idle vagabondes. Idle persons mutynous and desire alteration in the state. Truthe it is, that throughe our longe peace and seldome sicknes (twoo singuler blessinges of Almightie God) wee are growen more populous than ever heretofore; so that nowe there are of every arte and science so many, that they can hardly lyve one by another, nay rather they are readie to eate upp one another; yea many thousandths of idle persons are within this realme, which, havinge no way to be sett on worke, be either mutinous and seeke alteration in the state, or at leaste very burdensome to the commonwealthe, and often fall to pilferinge and thevinge and other lewdnes, whereby all the prisons of the lande are daily pestred and stuffed full of them, where either they pitifully pyne awaye, or els at lengthe are miserably hanged, even xx’ti. at a clappe oute of some one jayle. Whereas yf this voyadge were put in execution, these pety theves mighte be condempned for certen yeres in the westerne partes, especially in Newfounde lande, in sawinge and fellinge of tymber for mastes shippes, and deale boordes; in burninge of the firres and pine trees to make pitche, tarr, rosen, and sope ashes; in beatinge and workinge of hempe for cordage; and, in the more southerne partes, in settinge them to worke in mynes of golde, silver, copper, leade, and yron; in dragginge for perles and currall; in plantinge of suger canes, as the Portingales have done in Madera; in mayneteynaunce and increasinge of silke wormes for silke, and in dressinge the same; in gatheringe of cotten whereof there is plentie; in tillinge of the soile there for graine; in dressinge of vines whereof there is greate aboundaunce for wyne; olyves, whereof the soile is capable, for oyle; trees for oranges, lymons, almondes, figges, and other frutes, all which are founde to growe there already; in sowinge of woade and madder for diers, as the Portingales have don in the Azores; in dressinge of raw hides of divers kindes of beastes; in makinge and gatheringe of salte, as in Rochel and Bayon, which may serve for the newe lande fisshinge; in killinge the whale, seale, porpose, and whirlepoole for trayne oile; in fisshinge, saltinge, and dryenge of linge, codde, salmon, herringe; in makinge and gatheringe of hony, wax, turpentine; in hewinge and shapinge of stone, as marble, jeate, christall, freestone, which will be goodd balaste for our shippes homewardes, and after serve for noble buildinges; in makinge of caske, oares, and all other manner of staves; in buildinge of fortes, townes, churches; in powderinge and barrelling of fishe, fowles, and fleshe, which will be notable provision for sea and lande; in dryinge, sortinge and packinge of fethers, whereof may be had there marvelous greate quantitie.
Besides this, such as by any kinde of infirmitie cannot passe the seas thither, and now are chardgeable to the realme at home, by this voyadge shal be made profitable members, by employinge them in England in makinge of a thousande triflinge thinges, which will be very goodd marchandize for those contries where wee shall have moste ample vente thereof.
And seinge the savages of the Graunde Baye, and all alonge the mightie ryver that ronneth upp to Canada and Hochelaga, are greately delighted with any cappe or garment made of course wollen clothe, their contrie beinge colde and sharpe in the winter, this is manifeste wee shall finde greate utteraunce of our clothes, especially of our coursest and basest northerne doosens, and our Irishe and Welshe frizes and rugges; whereby all occupations belonginge to clothinge and knittinge shalbe freshly sett on worke, as cappers, knitters, clothiers, wollmen, carders, spyners, weavers, fullers, sheremen, dyers, drapers, hatters and such like, whereby many decayed townes may be repaired.
In somme, this enterprice will mynister matter for all sortes and states for men to worke upon; namely, all severall kindes of artificer: husbandmen, seamen, marchauntes, souldiers, capitaines, phisitions, lawyers, devines, cosmographers, hidrographers, astronomers, historiographers; yea olde folkes, lame persons, women, and younge children, by many meanes which hereby shall still be mynistred unto them, shalbe kepte from idlenes and be made able by their owne honest and easie labour to finde themselves, withoute surchardginge others. For proofe of the last part of my allegation I will use but onely this one example followinge.
In the yere of our Lorde 1564. at what tyme the Flemishe nation were growen, as they were, to the fulnes of their wealthe and to the heighte of their pride, and not remembringe what wonderfull gaine they had yerely by the wolles, clothes, and comodities of England, beganne to contempne our nation and to rejecte our clothes and comodities, a subjecte of the then twoo Erles of Emden, a man of greate observation, wrote a notable discourse to the younge erles, to take occasion of that present tyme by offer of large priviledges in Emden to the Englishe men.1 In which discourse, the said subjecte, for the better inducemente of the said twoo younge erles, dothe write of his owne knowledge, as he in his discourse affirmeth, and as also by his reporte appereth in the 22d booke of Sleydans Comentaries,2 that, anno 1550. Charles the Fifte, then Emperour, would have had the Spanishe Inquisition broughte into Andwerpe and into the Netherlandes; whereaboute there was moche adoe, and that neither the sute of the towne of Andwerpe, nor the requeste of their frendes, could perswade the Emperour from it, till at the laste they tolde him playnely, that if the Inquisition came into Andwerpe and the Netherlandes that the Englishe marchantes woulde departe oute of the towne and out of his contries; and upon declaration of this suggestion, searche was made what profile there came and comoditie grewe by the haunte of the Englishe marchantes. Then was it founde by searche and enquirie, that within the towne of Andwerpe alone, there were fourtene thousande persons fedde and mayneteyned onely by the workinge of Englishe commodities, besides the gaines that marchantes and shippers with other in the sayd towne did gett, which was the greatest parte of their lyvinge, which were thoughte to be in nombre half as many more; and in all other places of his Netherlandes by the indrapinge of Englishe woll into clothe, and by the workinge of other Englishe comodities, there were thirtie thousande persons more mayneteyned and fedd; which in all amounteth to the nomber of lj.M. persons. And this was the reporte that was geven to this mightie Emperour, whereby the towne of Andwerpe and the Netherlandes were saved from the Inquisition. And in the ende of the 45th article of the same discourse, also, he setteth down by particuler accompte howe the subjectes of the same Emperour in the Netherlandes dyd gaine yerely onely by the woll and wollen clothe that came eche yere oute of England, almoste vi.C.M. Six hundred thousand pounde gayned yerely by Englishe wolles. I say almoste sixe hundreth thousande poundes sterling, besides the gaines they had for sondry other thinges, that were of marvelous somes.
Nowe if her Majestie take these westerne discoveries in hande, and plante there, yt is like that in shorte time wee shall vente as greate a masse of clothe yn those partes as ever wee did in the Netherlandes, and in tyme moche more; which was the opinion of that excellent man, Mr Roberte Thorne, extante in printe in the laste leafe savinge one of his discourse to Doctor Lea,3 ambassador for King Henry the Eighte, in Spaine, with Charles the Emperour, whose wordes are these: And althoughe (saieth he) wee wente not into the said ilandes of spicerye, for that they are the Emperours or Kinges of Portingale, wee shoulde by the way, and comynge once to the lyne equinoctiall, finde landes no lesse riche of golde and spicerie, as all other landes are under the said lyne equinoctiall; and also shoulde, yf wee may passe under the northe, enjoye the navigation of all Tartarye, which should be no lesse profitable to our comodities of clothe, then those spiceries to the Emperour and Kinge of Portingale.
This beinge soe, yt commeth to passe, that whatsoever clothe wee shall vente on the tracte of that firme, or in the ilandes of the same, or in other landes, ilandes, and territories beyonde, be they within the circle articke or withoute, all these clothes, I say, are to passe oute of this realme full wroughte by our naturall subjectes in all degrees of labour. And if it come aboute in tyme that wee shall vente that masse there that wee vented in the Base Countries, which is hoped by greate reason, then shall alt that clothe passe oute of this realme in all degrees of labour full wroughte by the poore natural subjectes of this realme, like as the quantitie of our clothe dothe passe that goeth hence to Russia, Barbarie, Turkye, Persia, &c. And then consequently it followeth, that the like nomber of people alleaged to the Emperour shal be sett on worke in England of our poore sujectes more then hath bene; and so her Majestie shall not be troubled with the pitefull outecryes of cappers, knytters, spynners, &c.
And on the other side wee are to note, that all the comodities wee shall bringe thence wee shall not bringe them wroughte, as wee bringe now the comodities of Fraunce and Flaunders, &c. but shall receave them all substaunces unwroughte, to the ymploymente of a wonderfull multitude of the poore subjectes of this realme in returne. And so to conclude, what in the nomber of thinges to goe oute wroughte, and to come in unwroughte, there nede not one poore creature to steale, to starve, or to begge as they doe.
Objection. Aunswer. And to answer objections; where fooles for the swarminge of beggars alleage that the realme is too populous, Solomon saieth, that the honour and strengthe of a prince consisteth in the multitude of the people. And if this come aboute, that worke may be had for the multitude, where the realme hath nowe one thousande for the defence thereof, the same may have fyve thousande. For when people knowe howe to live, and howe to maynetayne and feede their wyves and children, they will not abstaine from mariage as nowe they doe. And the soile thus aboundinge with come, fleshe, mylke, butter, cheese, herbes, rootes, and frutes, &c., and the seas that envyron the same so infynitely aboundinge in fishe, I dare truly affirme, that if the nomber in this realme were as greate as all Spaine and Ffraunce have, the people beinge industrious, I say, there shoulde be founde victualls ynoughe at the full in all bounty to suffice them all. And takinge order to cary hence thither our clothes made in hose, coates, clokes, whoodes, &c., and to returne thither hides of their owne beastes, tanned and turned into shoes and bootes, and other skynnes of goates, whereof they have store, into gloves, &c., no doubte but wee shall sett on worke in this realme, besides sailers and suche as shalbe seated there in those westerne discovered contries, at the leaste C.M. subjectes, to the greate abatinge of the goodd estate of subjectes of forreine princes, enemies, or doubtfull friends, and this absque injuria, as the lawyers say, albeit not sine damno. And having a vente of lynnen, as the Spaniardes have in the rest of that firme, wee may sett our people, in making the same, infinitely on worke, and in many other thinges besides; which time will bringe aboute, thoughe nowe, for wante of knowledge and full experience of this trade, wee cannot enter into juste accompte of all particulers.
1 This is a lost book. Emden was the capital of East Friseland. With reference to the removal of the English merchants at Antwerp to Emden, consult Strype’s Life of Grindall, Oxford, cap, ix.
2 No less than seven editions of Sleidan’s De quatuor monarchiis were printed by the Elzeviers alone, a proof of the popularity of the work. An English translation by John Daus was published in London in 1560.
3 Reprinted in Hakluyt’s “Divers Voyages,” 1582.
That this voyage will be a greate bridle to the Indies of the Kinge of Spaine, and a meane that wee may arreste at our pleasure for the space of tenne weeks or three monethes every yere one or twoo C. saile of his subjectes shippes at the fyshinge in Newfounde Land.
The cause why the Kinge of Spaine, these three or foure yeres last paste, was at suche intollerable chardges in furnishinge oute so many navies to wynne Tercera, and the other small ilandes of the Azores adjacent to the same, was the opportunitie of the places in interceptinge his West India flete at their returne homewarde, as a matter that toucheth him indeede to the quicke. But the plantinge of twoo or three strong fortes upon some goodd havens (whereof there is greate store) betweene Florida and Cape Briton, woulde be a matter in shorte space of greater domage as well to his flete as to his westerne Indies; for wee shoulde not onely often tymes indaunger his flete in the returne thereof, but also in fewe yeres put him in hazarde in loosinge some parte of Nova Hispania.
Touchinge the fleete, no man (that knoweth the course thereof, comynge oute betwene Cuba and the Cape of Florida, alonge the gulfe or straite of Bahama) can denye that it is caried by the currant northe and northeaste towardes the coaste which wee purpose, God willinge to inhabite; which hapned to them not twoo yeres past, as Mr. Jenynges and Mr. Smithe, the master and masters mate of the shippe called the Toby, belonginge to Bristowe, infourmed me, and many of the chefest merchauntes of that citie, whereof they had particuler advertisement at Cadiz in Spaine a little before by them that were in the same flete the selfe same yere, and were in person driven upon the same coaste, and sawe the people, which they reported to be bigge men, somewhat in makinge like the Hollanders, and lighted on a towne upon a ryvers side, which they affirmed to be above a quarter of a mile in lengthe. Besides the current, it is also a thinge withoute controversie, that all southerne and south easterne windes inforce the Spanish flete returninge home nere or upon the aforesaide coaste, and consequently will bringe them into our daunger, after wee shallbe there strongly setled and fortified.
Wee are moreover to understande that the savages of Florida are the Spaniardes mortall enemyes, and wilbe ready to joyne with us againste them, as they joyned with Capitaine Gourgues, a Gascoigne, whoe beinge but a private man, and goinge thither at his owne chardges, by their aide wonne and rased the three small fortes, which the Spaniardes aboute xx’ti. yeres agoe had planted in Florida after their traiterous slaughter of John Ribault; which Gourgues slewe, and hanged upp divers of them on the same trees whereon the yere before they had hanged the Frenche. Yea, one Holocotera, brother to one of the kinges of the savages, leapinge upp on an highe place, with his owne handes slewe a Spanishe canonier as he was puttinge fire to a pece of ordynaunce; which storye is at large in printe sett furthe by Monsieur Poplynier in his book intituled Trois Mondes.
Also, within the lande on the northe side of Nova Hispania, there is a people called Chichimici, which are bigg and stronge men and valiaunte archers, which have contynuall warres with the Spaniardes, and doe greately annoye them. The Spanishe histories which I have reade, and other late discourses, make greate mention of them. Yea, Myles Phillipps, who was xiiij. yeres in those partes, and presented his whole travell in writinge to her Majestie, confesseth this to be moste certaine.1
Nowe if wee (being thereto provoked by Spanishe injuries) woulde either joyne with these savages, or sende or give them armor, as the Spaniardes arme our Irishe rebells, wee shoulde trouble the Kinge of Spaine more in those partes, then he hath or can trouble us in Ireland, and holde him at suche a bay as he was never yet helde at. For if (as the aforesaide Miles Phillipps writeth) yt be true, that one negro which fledd from his cruel Spanishe master is receaved and made capitaine of multitudes of the Chichimici, and daily dothe grevously afflicte them, and hath almoste enforced them to leave and abandon their silver mynes in those quarters, what domage mighte divers hundreds of Englishe men doe them, being growen once into familiaritie with that valiaunte nation.
And this is the greatest feare that the Spaniardes have, to witt, our plantinge in those partes and joyning with those savages, their neighbours, in Florida, and on the northe side of Nova Hispania. Which thinge an Englishe gentleman, Capitaine Muffett, whoe is nowe in Fraunce, tolde divers tymes this laste winter in my hearinge and others of credite, namely, that when he was in Spaine, prisoner, not longe since, he hearde the threasurer of the West Indies say, that there was no suche way to hinder his master, as to plante upon the coaste nere unto Florida, from whence by greate ryvers any man mighte easely passe farre upp into the lande, and joyne with his enemyes, whereof he stoode in contynuall feare; and said moreover, that that was the occasion why suche crueltie was used towardes John Ribaulte and his companie upon his seekinge to settle there.
The benefits of plantings aboute Cape Bryton or Newfounde lande. Fynally, if wee liste not to come so nere Florida, this is a matter of no small momente, that if we fortifie ourselves about Cape Briton, nere Newfounde land, partely by the strengthe of our fortification, and partely by the aide of our navye of fishermen, which are already comaunders of others there, havinge our double forces thus joyned together, wee shalbe able upon every sooden to cease upon one or twoo hundreth Spanishe and Portingale shipps, which for tenne weekes or three monethes ate there on fisshinge every yere. This I say will be suche a bridle to him and suche an advantage vnto us, as wee cannot possibly ymagine a greater. And thus the Frenche served them in the time of Mounsieurs being in Flaunders, caryenge awaye oute of some harborowes three or foure Spanishe and Portingale shippes at ones; and more they woulde have taken, if our Englishmen, and, namely, one of myne acquaintaunce of Ratclife, had not defended them. And hither of necessitie they must yerely repaire, beinge not able to make their provision for land and sea of fishe in any place els, excepte on the coaste of Ireland, and at Cape Blancke in Africa, which twoo are nothinge worth in comparison to this thirde place.
So shall wee be able to crye quittance with the King of Spaine if he shoulde goe aboute to make any generall arreste of our navye, or rather terrifie him from any such enterpryse, when he shall bethincke himself that his navye in Newfounde lande is no lesse in our daunger, then ours is in his domynions wheresoever.
1 See Myles Phillip’s Voyage, post. Also consult Nicholas, Pleasaunt Historie of the Conquest of the Weast India, 1578, pp. 378–9.
That the mischiefe that the Indian treasure wroughte in time of Charles the late Emperor, father to the Spanishe kinge, is to be had in consideration of the Queens most excellent Majestie, leaste the contynuall comynge of the like treasure from thence to his sonne, worke the unrecoverable annoye of this realme, whereof already we have had very daungerous experience.
It is written in the xxxth. article of the discourse before specified, dedicated to the twoo younge Erles of Emden, as followeth, verbatim: With this greate treasure did not the Emperour Charles gett from the French Kinge the Kingdome of Naples, the Dukedome of Myllaine, and all other his domynions in Italy, Lombardy, Pyemont, and Savoye? With this treasure did he not take the Pope prisoner, and sack the sea of Rome? With this treasure did he not take the Frenche Kinge prisoner, and mayneteyne all the greate warres with Fraunce, since the yere of our Lorde 1540. to the yere of our Lord 1560. as is declared in the 12. and 13. article of his booke? With this treasure hath he not mayneteyned many cities in Italie, as well againste the Pope as againste the Frenche Kinge, as Parma, Florence, and such other? With this treasure did he not overthrowe the Duke of Cleave, and take Gilderland, Groyningelande, and other domynions from him, which oughte to be a goode warninge to you all, as it shall be most plainly and truly declared hereafter? With this treasure did he not gett into his handes the Erledome of Lingen in Westfalia? With this treasure did he not cause the Erie of Esones, your subject, to rebell againste your Graces father and againste you? The cause you knowe beste. And what works this treasure made amongest the princes and townes in Germany, when the Duke of Saxony and the Launtzgrave Van Hessen were taken, Sleydan, our owne countryman, by his Chronicle declareth at large. And did not this treasure, named the Burgundishe asse, walke and ronne in all places to make bothe warr and peace at pleasure? And tooke he nothinge from the Empire then? Yes, truly, to moche, as you shall heare. When the Emperor Charles was firste made Emperour, what were the townes and contries in the Netherlandes that justly or properly came to him by birthe or inheritaunce? There was Brabant, Flaunders, Holland, Zeland, Artoys, and Henego. And yet there is a greate question concerninge Holland, howe the Emperour Charles and his progenitors came by yt, and what homage and duetie they oughte to doe for the same; because thereby the house of Burgundy hath the mouthe of the River Rhene at their commaundemente, which is to the greate losse, domage, and daunger of Germanye, as hereafter shalbe declared. Here be all the contries that belonged to the house of Burgundie when the Emperour Charles was made Emperour. But howe moche hath bene added to the Netherlandes since by him, contrary to his oathe made? That are these townes and contries, as yt appereth in Sleydans Chronicle; viz. Lutzenburge, Lymeburge, Gelderlande, the Erldome of Sutphen, the Citie and Straite of Vtright,1 with all the landes in Over Isel, West Frizeland, the Citie of Groninge, and Groininge land. And, as before it is saied, he hath by pollicie gotten into his handes the Erldome of Lingen, standinge in Westfalia; and by the like pollicie, with money, he is become the defender of the Erledome of Esons, which is parcell of your Graces contrie of East Frizeland. All these contries and townes, with the treasure of the Netherlandes, hath he taken from the Empire.
Thus farr procedeth this excellent man in describinge howe Charles the Emperour employed his treasure to the afflictinge and oppressinge of moste of the greatest estates of Christendome. The effecte of these treasures which he had oute of the West Indies, Peter Martir of Angleria, in the epistle dedicatory of his Decades to the said Emperour Charles, truly prognosticated in the begynnynge, before hand, where he writeth thus unto him: Come therefore and embrace this newe worlde, and suffer us no longer to consume in desire of your presence. From hence, from hence (I say), moste noble younge Prince, shall instrumentes be prepared for you whereby all the worlde shalbe under your obeysaunce.
And in very deede it is moste apparaunte that riches are the fittest instrumentes of conqveste, and that the Emperour turned them to that use.
Kinge Phillipps injuries offred by his treasures. To leave the father and come to the sonne, hath not Kinge Phillippe employed his treasure as injuriously to all princes and potentates of Europe? Is it not he that with his Indian treasure corrupted the Quinqueviri in Portingale, that in the interregnum were appointed overseers of the comon wealthe, and so hath joyned that kingdome to his, with all the ilandes, townes, domynions belonginge to that crowne? Is it not he that with his treasure hath gon aboute to hier some ungodlye murderer to make away with Don Antonio, one while by open proclamation, and another while sotto capo, under hande? Is it not he that by his treasure hathe hired at sondry times the sonnes of Beliall to bereve the Prince of Orange of his life?2 And hath he not suborned by hope of rewarde other moste ungodly persons to lay violent handes upon other Christian princes? Hath not he these many yeres geven large pensions to nombers of English unnaturall rebelles? Doth he not support the semynaries of Rome and Rhemes to be thornes in the sides of their owne comon wealthes? Hath not he divers tymes sente forren forces into Ireland, furnished with money, armor, munition, and victualls? Hath not he sente rounde somes of money into Scotland, both to the Kinge and those that are aboute him, to alter the estate there and to trouble oures? And is it not knowen that this Spanishe asse rometh upp and downe laden throughe all Fraunce, and, when it coulde not enter into the papistes gates, yt hath soughte to enter into the courtes of the princes of the Relligion, to renewe the late intermitted civile warres? What it hath done and nowe dothe in all the Empire and the Lowe Contries, and is like to worke in other places unlesse speedy order be taken to hinder it, is described at large by Mounsieur de Aldegonde, a Germaine gentleman, in a pithie and moste earnest exhortation (extant in Latine, Italian, Frenche, Englishe, and Duche) concerninge the estate of Christendome, together with the meanes to defend and preserve the same, dedicated to all Christian kings, princes, and potentates.3
2 These baseless assertions of complicity on the part of Phillip in the attempts on the life of William of Nassau, only prove the bitter prejudices of the Protestant party. I am surprised to find Dr. Deane, in a note on this passage, endorsing Hakluyt’s unfounded charges.
3 Marnix de Sainte Aldegonde was born at Brussels in 1538. Died 1598. He was at one time Ambassador to England. — See Motley’s United Netherlands, I. 145. — C.D.
What speciall meanes may bringe Kinge Phillippe from his highe throne, and make him equall to the princes his neighboures; wherewithall is shewed his weakenes in the West Indies.
Firste, it is to be considered that his domynions and territories oute of Spaine lye farr distant from Spaine, his chefest force; and fair distante one from another; and are kepte by greate tyrannie; and quos metuunt oderunt. And the people kepte in subjection desire nothinge more then freedome. And like as a little passage given to water, it maketh his owne way; so give but a small menne to suche kepte in tyranie, they will make their owne way to libertie; which way may easely be made. And entringe into the consideration of the way how this Phillippe may be abased, I meane firste to begynne with the West Indies, as there to laye a chefe foundation for his overthrowe. And like as the foundation of the strongest holde undermyned and removed, the mightiest and strongest walles fall flatt to the earthe; so this prince, spoiled or intercepted for a while of his treasure, occasion by lacke of the same is geven that all his territories in Europe oute of Spaine slide from him, and the Moores enter into Spaine it selfe, and the people revolte in every forrein territorie of his, and cutt the throates of the proude hatefull Spaniardes, their governours. For this Phillippe already owinge many millions, and of late yeres empaired in credite, bothe by lacke of abilitie of longe tyme to pay the same, and by his shameful losse of his Spaniardes and dishonors in the Lowe Contries, and by lacke of the yerely renewe of his revenewe, he shall not be able to wage his severall garrisons kepte in his severall frontiers, territories, and places, nor to corrupte in princes courtes, nor to doe many feates. And this weyed, wee are to knowe what Phillip ys in the West Indies; and that wee be not abused with Spanish braggs, and made to beleve what he is not; and so, drawen into vain feare, suffer fondly and childishly our owne utter spoile. And therefore wee are to understande that Phillippe rather governeth in the West Indies by opinion, then by mighte; ffor the small manred of Spaine, of itself being alwayes at the best slenderly peopled, was never able to rule so many regions, or to kepe in subjection such worldes of people as be there, were it not for the error of the Indian people, that thincke he is that he is not, and that doe ymagine that Phillippe hath a thousande Spaniardes for every single naturall subjecte that he hath there. And like as the Romaynes, allured hither into Britaine, perced the Iland, and planted here and there in the mouthes of rivers and upon straites, and kepte colonies, as at Westchester upon the River of Dee, at York upon the River of Owse, and upon the Rivers of Thames and Severne, and yet in truthe never enioyed more of the contries rounde aboute then the Englishe, planted at Bulloine and Calice, did of the Frenche soile adjoyninge, nor in effecte had the Brittishe nation at comaundement; even so hath the Spaniarde perced the Indies, and planted here and there very thinlye and slenderlye, withoute havinge the Indian multitude in subjection, or in their townes and fortes any nomber to holde any of them againste the meanest force of a prince; so as in truthe the Spaniarde ys very weake there. And it is knowen to Sir Fraunces Drake, and to Mr. Hawkins, and Miles Phillipps (which Miles lyved xiiij. yeres in Nova Spania), and to dyvers others of her Majesties subjectes besides that have been there, that the ilandes there abounde with people and nations that rejecte the proude and bluddy government of the Spaniarde, and that doe mortally hate the Spaniarde. And they also knowe that the Moores, and suche as the Spaniardes have broughte thither for the mynes and for slavery, have fledd from them into the inlandes, and of them selves maineteine in many places frontier warres againste the Spaniarde, and many tymes so prevaile, and especially of late, that the Spaniardes have bene inforced to sende the Spanishe marchauntes them selves into the warres, althoughe yt be againste the speciall priviledges graunted by Charles, the late Emperour, to the marchauntes, as may plainely appere by Spanishe marchauntes letters taken by Sir Fraunces Drake passinge in the sea of Sur towarde Panama, to be conveyed into Spaine. And it is thoughte that Sir Fraunces Drake and some other Englishe are of so greate credite with the Symerons and with those that mayneteyne those frontier warrs, that he mighte, bringinge thither a fewe capitaines and some of our meaner souldiers late trayned in the Base Contries, with archers and lighte furniture, &c., bringe to passe that, joyninge with those inland people, Kinge Phillippe mighte either be deprived of his governmente there, or at the leaste of the takinge of his yerely benefite of the mynes. Thus with small chardge and fewe men, nowe and then renewinge this matter by a few sailes to be sent thither for the comforte of suche as shalbe there resident, and for the incouragemente of the Symerons, greater effecte may followe then by meetinge with his golden flete, or by takinge of his treasures once or twise at the sea; for by this meanes, or by a platforme well to be sett downe, England may enjoye the benefite of the Indian mynes, or at the leaste kepe Phillippe from possessinge the same.
Hereunto yf wee adde our purposed westerne discoueries, and there plante and people ryally, and fortifie strongly, and there builde shippes and maineteine a navy in special porte or portes, wee may by the same either encounter the Indian fleete, or be at hande as it were to yelde freshe supplye, courage, and comforte, by men or munition, to the Chichimici and the Symerons, and suche other as shalbe incited to the spoile of the mynes; which in tyme will, if it be not looked to, bringe all princes to weake estate, that Phillippe, either for religion or other cause, dothe hate; as the aforesaide Monsieur de Aldegond, in his pithie and moste earneste exhortation to all Christian kinges, princes, and potentates to beware of Kinge Phillipps ambitious growinge, dothe wisely and moste providently forwarne.
To this may be added (the realme swarming with lustie youthes that be turned to no profitable use), there may be sente bandes of them into the Base Contries in more rounde nombers then are sente as yet. For if he presently prevaile there, at our doores, farewell the traficque that els wee have there (whereof wise men can say moche). And if he settle there, then let the realme saye adewe to her quiet state and safetie.
If these enter into the due consideration of wise men, and if platformes of these thinges be sett downe and executed duelye and with spede and effecte, no doubte but the Spanishe empire falles to the grounde, and the Spanishe kinge shall be lefte bare as Aesops proude crowe, the peacocke, the perot, the pye, and the popingey, and every other birde havinge taken home from him his gorgeous fethers, he will, in shorte space, become a laughinge stocke for all the worlde; with such a mayme to the Pope and to that side, as never hapned to the sea of Rome by the practise of the late Kinge of famous memory, her Majesties father, or by all the former practises of all the Protestant princes of Germanie, or by any other advise layde downe by Monsieur de Aldegond, here after by them to be put in execution. If you touche him in the Indies, you touche the apple of his eye; for take away his treasure, which is neruus belli, and which he hath almoste oute of his West Indies, his olde bandes of souldiers will soone be dissolved, his purposes defeated, his power and strengthe diminished, his pride abated, and his tyranie utterly suppressed.
That the lymites of the Kinge of Spaines domynions in the West Indies be nothinge so large as is generally ymagined and surmised, neither those partes which he holdeth be of any such forces as is falsly geven oute by the Popishe clergie and others his fautors, to terrifie the princes of the relligion and to abuse and blynde them.
As the Secretary of Don Antonio, Kinge of Portingale, called Custodio Etan, tolde me lately at Paris, that the Portingales never had in Guinea, Bresill, and all the Easte Indies above twelve thousande Portingale souldiers whensoever they had moste, which was confirmed by one of the Kinges capitaines borne in Goa, then presente; and that they governed rather by gevinge oute of greate rumors of power and by secrecie, then by any greate force which they had in deede; so the like is to be proved of the Kinge of Spaine in his West Indies; ffor he beinge in those partes exceedinge weake hath nothinge such nombers of people there as is geven oute, neither doe his domynions stretche so far as by the ignoraunte ys ymagined; which hereby easely may appere, seinge he hath no one towne or forte in actuall possession in all Nova Hispania to the northe of the Tropick of Cancer, which standeth in 23. degrees and an halfe, excepte the towne of St. Helen and one or twoo small fortes in Florida; ffor as it is in the mappe of Culiacan, sett oute twoo yeres paste with all diligence by Ortelius, Saincte Michael ys the furthest towne nothwarde on the backside of America; and Panuco and Villa Sancti Jacobi are the moste northerly colonies upon the Bay of Mexico that the Spaniardes inhabite; as the aforesaide Ortelius witnesseth in his mapp of those partes sett oute this presente yere, 1584; which three townes above named are under or within the Tropicke of Cancer. And so the Kinge of Spaine hath no footinge beyonde the said tropicke; which is contrary to the opinion of the vulgar sorte, which ymagine, and by some are borne in hande, that all is his from the equinoctiall as farr as the lande stretcheth towardes the pooles.
Againe, that parte from the equinoctiall to the southe ys not inhabited by the Spaniarde any further then unto the Tropicke of Capricorne, as ys to be seene by the mappe of Peru this presente yere, 1584. published by Ortelius; neither is it peopled by the Spaniardes to any purpose savinge onely alonge the sea coaste. And howe weake they are there, and what simple shippinge they have, and howe dayly they be afflicted by the inhabitauntes, Sir Fraunces Drake can tell, and the letters by him intercepted doe declare. One Peter Benzo de Millano, which was fourtene yeres in those partes, writeth, that they holde greate townes, some with tenne, some with sixe, some with foure, and some with twoo souldiers, and that they commaunded that all the Italians, whome they called Levantines in contempte, shoulde departe those contries, fearinge they shoulde reveale their nakednes to the worlde, and encourage others to sett in footinge there.
Seinge then they suffer no people of Europe to inhabite there savinge onely Spaniardes, any reasonable man that knoweth the barenes, desolation, and wante of men in Spaine, together with these eightene yeres civill warres that hath wasted so many thousandes of them in the Lowe Contries, must nedes confesse that they have very simple forces there. The provinces which he holdeth are indeede many, yet more denuded than ever was any empire since the creation of the worlde. Some of his contries are dispeopled, some barren, some so far asonder, also held by tyrannie, that in deed upon the due consideration of the matter, his mighte and greatenes is not suche as prima facie yt may seme to be. And weare yt not that he doth possesse suche at masse of treasure oute of the Indies, the Frenche kinge, of one onely kingdome, with his onely people of Fraunce, were able to drive him oute of all his domynions that he hath in the worlde.
The example of Antigonus. It is written that Antigonus, beinge to fighte againste certaine of his enemyes, they appered a farr of to be so huge and mightie, that his souldiers were halfe afraied to encounter them; but, beinge incouraged by his valour, they easely overthrewe them in a conflicte; whereof he stripped one or twoo, which, beinge turned oute of their bombasted and large apparell, were in deede but very weakelinges and shrimpes; which, when he had shewed unto his souldiers, they were ashamed of themselves that ever they had bene afraied of suche wretches. So when wee shall have looked and narrowly pried into the Spanishe forces in America, wee shalbe doubtles ashamed of ourselves, that wee have all this while bene afraied of those dissemblinge and feble scarr crowes.
This which I say concerninge the weakenes of the Spaniardes in America may more easelie appere by this note followinge, gathered by an excellent Frenche capitaine moste experte and privie to the state and force of the islandes, havens, townes, and fortes of all that parte of America which lieth upon our ocean; which excedinge large coaste beinge so rarely and simply manned and fortified, wee may well assure ourselves that the inlande is mocha more weake and unmanned.
The names of the riche townes lienge alonge the sea coaste on the north side from the equinoctiall of the mayne lande of AMERICA, under the Kinge of Spaine.
1. Ouer againest the ilande of Margarita there is a towne called Cumana, wherein is great store of perle. There be divers boates belonginge to the towne, which onely dragge perles. This towne is the farthest eastwarde which the kinge hath on the north side of India. It is environed with their enemyes, viz., the Indyans and Caribes. The victualls come from this towne to Margarita.
2. The next towne westwarde is Carakas, which is very riche of golde. This towne standeth upon the sea, and hath some victualls, but not plentie, and is environed likewise with the Indians, their mortall enemyes.
3. The towne Burborowate was destroyed by 50. Frenchemen, and the treasure taken awaye.
4. The nexte towne to the westwarde is called Coro, which hath greate plentie of golde and victualls. This standeth upon the sea. This is a civill contrie, and some of the Indians broughte to a civill governemente.
5. At Rio de Hacha there is a towne called Hacha, where is greate store of perle and silver, but no golde; and not farr from thence there is a perle house. There is plentie of victualls, the contrie civill, and some of the Indians at the Spaniardes comaundement. Mr. John Hawkins told me he won this towne, and was master of yt three daies, in his laste voyadge.
6. Further westwarde is a towne called Santa Maren, alias Marta, where is greate store of golde, but little victualls. This is envyroned with Indians, enemies to the Spaniardes.
7. The nexte towne is Carthagena, where is greate store of silver, golde, and precious stone. This towne hath a nomber of Indians and Symerons to their enemyes. There is also greate store of victualls.
8. The nexte towne thereunto is Nombro di Dios. To this towne cometh all the golde, perle, stone, and jewells that cometh from Chile, Peru, and Panama oute of the Southe Sea. To this towne cometh halfe the fleete, which taketh in halfe their treasure, and goeth to Havana, and so throughe the Gulfe of Bahama unto the Ilandes of Corvo, Flores, and the Azores, and from thence into Spaine. This towne hath no victualls but such as cometh from Panama and the ilandes by sea. By this towne is a gulfe called Gulnata, where the Symerons and Indians have certaine townes, and kepe warres dayly with the Spaniardes as well as the Indians. At the southende of the gulfe there is not paste five legues over lande into the South Sea.
9. The nexte towne is called Vraga, alias Var, where is moche golde and small store of victualls. This is a civill contrie nere to the towne; the nexte is Nicaragua.
10. At Nicaragua is moche golde that cometh out of the Southe Sea, and there is a place where they make their frigotts. There ys little victualls; the people are civill.
11. In the Bay of Hondoras is a towne called Hondoras, alias Tres Islas, where is golde and hides and greate store of victualls. This towne standeth upon an hill very strongly, and is but simply manned. This towne hath within a mile great plentie of Indians, which are at warr with the Spaniardes.
12. Then there is a towne called Porto de Cavallos, where is store of silver, stones, perles, jewells made and sett with precious stones and perles. To this towne come yerely twoo shippes, that goe from thence to the Havana, and so into Spaine with all their riches. This towne is full of victualls. This porte of Cavallos adjoyneth to the Gulfe Dowse.1
13. All the Bay of Mexico is full of Indian townes and full of victualls. There is one towne named Vera Crux, to which towne cometh all their treasure, from the citie of Mexico, and from thence to the porte of St. John de Vlloa, from thence to Havana, and so into Spayne.
14. In Florida the Spaniardes have one towne, called Sancta Helena, where they have perles, silver, and greate store of victualls. The Floridians be a gentle sorte of people, and used somtymes to heade their arrowes with silver.
15. There is one principall place called Rio de Jordan, alias Rio de Maio, where, in an iland, standeth a forte which was Ribaults; which river ronneth throughe the lande into the Southe Sea, from whence greate plentie of treasure is brought thither. There are small pynnesses that use the same river. It is also thoughte that shippes come from Cathaio to the southwest ende of the said river. This is very full of victualls. A speciall note of a passage. There was note by Peter Melanda of a river cutt from the Citie of Mexico to Rio de Maio,2 so that moche treasure is broughte from thence to this forte with small pynnesses.
All that parte of America eastwarde from Cumana unto the River of St Augustine in Bresill, conteyneth in lengthe alongest to the sea side xxj. C. miles, in whiche compasse and track there is neither Spaniarde, Portingale, nor any Christian man, but onely the Caribes, Indians, and sauages. In which places is greate plentie of golde, perle, and precious stones.
On the coaste of Bresill is one goodly ile called Trinidada, conteyninge C. xx’ti. miles in lengthe, and lxxv. miles in bredthe, and is onely inhabited by gentle Indians and sauages borne in the said ilande. In this ilande is greate plentie of maiz, venison, fishe, wooddes, and grasse, with divers faire frutes and other comodities. Yt hath also divers goodly havens to harborowe yn, and greate stoare of tymber for buildinge of shippes. The Frenche. With the kinge of this ilande wee are in league.
A brefe declaration of the chefe ilandes in the Baye of Mexico, beinge under the Kinge of Spaine, with their havens and fortes, and what comodities they yelde.
There ys one ilande, as the fleete cometh into the baye, named Margarita,1 wherein is greate store of perle; a riche ilande full of maiz (which is their corne), oxen, shepe, goates, fowle and fishe, greate store of frutes, grasse and woods.
Ouer againste the said islande, northewarde, there is one other iland named St. John de Porto Ricco, which hath store of all manner of victualls and suger.
The nexte is a faire iland called Hispaniola, in some parte well inhabited; havinge one citie called Sancto Domingo, which hath a faire hauen2 whereunto many of the shippes of the kinges fleete come, and there devide themselves. Some goe to St. John de Leu, and some to Nombro di Dios and other partes of the mayne lande. This is a frutefull iland for all manner of victuall, hides and suger.
The nexte ilande is called Jamaica, and hath in it great store of victualls.
The nexte is a faire, greate, and longe iland, called Cuba. This iland hath a forte and haven in it called the Havana, which is the key of all India. It is called the key of India, for that the Spaniardes cannot well returne into Spaine but that they muste touche there for victualls, water, woodde, and other necessaries. It lieth at the mouthe and entraunce into the Gulfe of Bahama. This ilande hath great plentie of victualls, but it is not greately inhabited.
There be divers other ilandes, riche for victualls, as Aeriaba, Corsal, Marigalante,3 &c., havinge not in them some xx. some x. Spaniardes a pece.
Thus you see that in all those infinite ilandes in the Gulfe of Mexico, whereof Cuba and Hispaniola are thoughte to be very nere as bigge as England and Ireland, wee reade not of past twoo or three places well fortified, as Sancto Domingo in Hispaniola, and Havana in Cuba. I may therefore conclude this matter with comparinge the Spaniardes unto a drone, or an emptie vessell, which when it is smitten upon yeldeth a greate and terrible sound, and that afarr of; but come nere and looke into them, there ys nothinge in them; or rather like unto the asse which wrapte himselfe in a lyons skynne, and marched farr of to strike terror in the hartes of the other beastes, but when the foxe drewe nere he perceaved his longe eares, and made him a jeste unto all the beastes of the forrest. In like manner wee (upon perill of my life) shall make the Spaniarde ridiculous to all Europe, if with pierceinge eyes wee see into his contemptible weakenes in the West Indies, and with true stile painte hym oute ad vivum unto the worlde in his fainte colours.
And if any man woulde objecte, that if by his weakenes he had loste the treasure of the West Indies, yet the riches of the Easte Indies woulde holde upp his heade; I answer, that those contries beinge so farr of, and suche naturall malice beinge betweene the Portingale and the Spaniarde, as greater cannot be, that it is not possible for him to holde those partes no more than the other, wantinge the treasure of the West Indies to supporte his garrisons both there and in Christendome againste his manifolde and mightie enemyes.
That the Spaniardes have exercised moste outragious and more then Turkishe cruelties in all the West Indies, whereby they are every where there become moste odious unto them, whoe woulde joyne with us or any other moste willinglye to shake of their moste intolerable yoke, and have begonne to doe yt already in divers places where they were lordes heretofore.
So many and so monstrous have bene the Spanishe cruelties, suche straunge slaughters and murders of those peaceable, lowly, milde, and gentle people, together with the spoiles of townes, provinces, and kingdomes, which have bene moste ungodly perpetrated in the West Indies, as also divers others no lesse terrible matters, that to describe the leaste parte of them woulde require more than one chapiter, especiall where there are whole bookes extant, in printe, not onely of straungers, but also even of their owne contreymen (as of Bartholmewe de las Casas, a bisshoppe in Nova Spania); yea such and so passinge straunge and excedinge all humanitie and moderation have they bene, that the very rehersall of them drave divers of the cruel Spanishe, which had not bene in the West Indies, into a kinde of extasye and maze, so that the sayenge of the poet mighte therein well be verified:—
Quis talia fando,
Myrmidonum Dolopumue aut duri miles Vlissis, Temperet a lachrimis?
Nevertheless I will repeate oute of that mightie masse and huge heape of massacres some fewe, that of them you may make an estymate of the rest, and consider what small remainder of those moste afflicted Indians have to revolte from the obedience of the Spaniardes, and to shake of from their shoulders the moste intollerable and insupportable yoke of Spaine, which in many places they have already begonne to do of themselves, withoute the helpe of any Christian prynce.
Nowe because these moste outeragious and infinite massacres are put downe by Don Bartholmewe de las Casas, the bisshoppe above mentioned, and dedicated to Kinge Phillippe that nowe ys, which author testifieth that to his inspeakable grefe he was an eye witnesse of many of them, therefore it seemeth best unto me to bringe him in, which in his firste chapiter describeth the same in manner followinge:—
Upon these lambes (meaninge the Indians), so meke, so qualified and endewed of their Maker and Creator, as hath bene said, entred the Spanishe, incontinent as they knew them, as wolves, as lyons, and as tigres moste cruell, of longe tyme famished; and have not don in those quarters these forty yeres be paste, neither yet doe at this presente, oughte els then teare them in peces, kill them, martir them, afflicte them, tormente them, and destroye them by straunge sortes of cruelties, never either seene or reade or hearde of the like (of the which some shalbe sett downe hereafter); so farr forthe as of above three millions of soules that were in the Ile of Hispaniola, and that wee have seene there, there are not nowe twoo hundreth natives of the contrie. The Ile of Cuba, which is as farr in lengthe as from Valladolid untill Rome, ys at this day, as it were, all waste. St John’s Ile, and that of Jammaica, bothe of them very greate, very fertile, and very faire, are desolate. Likewise the Iles of Lucayos nere to the Ile of Hispaniola, and of the north side unto that of Cuba, in nomber beinge above three score ilandes, together with those which they call the Iles of Geant, one with another greate and little, whereof the very worste is fertiler then the kinges garden at Civill, and the contrie the helthsomest in the worlde. There were in some of these isles more then five hundred thousande soules, and at this day there is not one only creature; for they have bene all of them slaine, after that they had drawen them oute to labor in their myneralls in the Ile of Hispaniola, where there were no more lefte of the inborne natives of that iland. A shippe ridinge for the space of three yeres betwixte these ilandes, to the ende that after the wyninge of this kinde of vintage to gleane and cull the remainder of these folke (for there was a goodd Christian moved with pitie and compassion to converte and wynne unto Christe suche as mighte be founde), there were not founde but eleven persons, which I sawe. Other iles, more than thirtie, nere to the Ile of St. John, have likewise bene dispeopled and massacred. All those iles conteyne above twoo thousande leagues of lande, and are all dispeopled and laid waste.
As touchinge the mayne firme lande, wee are certaine that our Spaniardes, by their cruelties and cursed doinges, have dispeopled and made desolate more then tenne realmes greater then all Spaine, comprisinge therein also Arragon and Portingale; and twise as moche or more lande than there is from Civill to Jerusalem, which are above a thousand leagues; which realmes yet, up to this presente day, remain in a wildernes and utter desolation, havinge bene before time as well peopled as was possible.
We are able to yelde a goodd and perfecte accompte, that here is, within the space of forty yeres, by these said tyranies and devilishe doinges of the Spaniardes, don to deathe unjustly and tyranously more then twelve million soules, men, women, and children. And I verely doe believe, and thinke I doe not mistake therein, there are deade more then fiftene millions of soules.
Thus havinge hearde of the multitudes of soules slayne, you shall heare the manner of their slaughter.
In the chapiter of Hispaniola it thus followeth:
Nowe after sondry other forces, violences, and tormentes which they wroughte againste them, the Indians perceaved that those were no men descended from heaven. Some of them, therefore, hidd their victualls, others hidd their wives and their children. Some other fledd into the mountaines to seperate themselves afarr of from a nation of so harde natured and ghastly conversation. The Spaniardes buffeted them with their fistes and bastianadoes, pressinge also to lay their handes on the lordes of the townes. And these cases ended in so greate an hazarde and desperatnes, that a Spanishe capitaine durste adventure to ravishe forcibly the wife of the greatest kinge and lorde of this ile. Since which time the Indians began to searche meanes to caste the Spaniardes oute of their landes, and sett themselves in arms. But what kinde of armes! Very weake and feble to withstande or resiste, and of lesse defence. Wherefore all their warres are no more warres, then the playenge of children when as they playe at jogo de cane or reedes. The Spaniardes with their horses, speares, and launces, began to comitt murders and straunge cruelties. They entred into townes, burroughes, and villages, sparinge neither children nor olde men, neyther women with childe, neither them that laye in; but they ripped their bellies and cutt them in peces, as if they had bene openinge of lambes shutt upp in their folde. They laied wagers with suche as with one thruste of a sworde, woulde paunche or bowell a man in the middest, or with one blowe of a sworde most readily and moste deliverly cut of his heade, or that woulde best perce his entralls at one stroke. They tooke the little soules by the heeles, rampinge them from their mothers brestes, and crusshed their heades against the cliftes. Others they caste into the rivers, laughinge and mockinge; and when they tombled into the water, they saied: Nowe shifte for thy selfe suche a one’s corps. They put others, together with their mothers, and all that they mett, to the edge of the sworde. They made certaine gibbetts longe and loughe, in such sorte that the feete of the hanged one touched in a manner the grounde; every one enoughe for thirtene, in the honour and worshippe of our Saviour and his twelve apostles (as they used to speake), and setting to fire, burned them all quicke that were fastened. Unto all others, whome they used to take and reserve alive, cuttinge of their twoo handes as nere as mighte be, and so lettinge them hange, they saied: Go you with those letters to cary tydinges to those which are fled by the mountaines. They murdred commonly the lordes and nobilitie on this fashion: they made certen grates of perches laid on pitchforkes, and made a little fire underneathe, to the intente that by little and little, yellinge and despairinge in these tormentes, they mighte give up the ghoste. One time I sawe foure or five of the principall lordes roasted and broyled upon these gredyrons; also I thinke that there were twoo or three of the said gredyrons garnished with the like furniture. And for that they cried oute piteously, whiche thinge troubled the capitaine that he coulde not then slepe, he comaunded to strangle them. The serjeant, which was worse then the hangman, that burned them, (I knowe his name and frendes in Civill,) woulde not have them strangled, but hymselfe puttinge bulletts in their mouthes, to the ende they shoulde not crye, put to the fire, until they were softly roasted after his desire. I have seene all the aforesaide thinges and others infinite. And forasmuche as all the people that coulde flee, hidd themselves in the mountaines and, mounted on the toppes of them, fledd from the men, so, withoute all manhodde, emptie of all pietie, behavinge themselves as savage beastes, the slaughterers and murderers of mankinde, they taughte their houndes, fierce doggs, to tear them in peces at the first viewe; and, in the space that one might say a credo, assailed and devoured an Indian as if it had bene a swine. These doggs wroughte greate destructions and slaughters. And forasmoche as somtymes (thougbe seldome) the Indian put to death some Spaniardes upon goodd righte and lawe of due justice, they made a lawe betwene them, that for one Spaniarde they had to slaye an hundred Indians.
Bishop Bartholomewe de las Casas an eye wytnes of these cruelties. And thus farr oute of the large volume of Don Bartholomewe de las Casas, bisshoppe of the citie of Chiape in the West Indies, where he lyved many yeres.1
Johannes Metellus Sequanus. Will you nowe heare one testymonie of Johannes Metellus Sequanus, whoe was a Papiste and favoured the Spanishe superstition; yet he writes as followeth in the preface of the Historie of Osorius de rebus gestis Emanuelis, fol. 16: At vero vt semel intelligatur quid Indos toties ad res nouas contra Hispanos moliendas, et seditiones tanta pertinacia fouendas impulerit, et quid causæ fuerit cur duo illa Christianæ Reipublicæ summa capita Indicæ nationis libertatem, frementibus quibusdam et inuitis dubio procul militibus Hispanis, sanctissimo suo calculo comprobarint, paucis nouorum dominorum in miseros immanitatem, deinde quorundam inexplebilem auaritiam, et ex his grauiores quosque tumultus, vnde noui orbis pene totius nunquam satis deploranda vastitas est sequuta, perstringam.
Principio quidem illud apud plerosque milites Hispanos, pessimo sane exemplo, in more positum fuit, vti ab oculatis et fide dignis testibus perscriptum est, vt seruos suos grauissime punirent, si mercedem diurnam aut non attulissent, aut pensum in auro argentoue effodiendo non absoluissent, aut si quid leuioris denique delicti perpetrassent. Etenim vesperi reduces, coenæ loco, primùm vestimentis exuebant, manibus dein pedibusque in transuerso palo reuinciebant: mox chorda bubaloue neruo dirissime verberabant. Sic tractatos, pice oleoue feruenti guttatim perfundebant; salita post aqua corpus abluebant, et in mensa tamdiu relinquebant, quamdiu dolorem ferre posse putarentur. Qui mos animaduertendi ipsis etiam in Christianos seruos domi familiaris esse dicitur. Post carnificinam huiusmodo, si durior dominus illis contigerat, viuos in totam noctem collo tenus defodiebant, presentissimum illud ad plagas remedium esse ludibrio dictitantes. Si quis ex illis præ dolore moreretur, id quod non raro accidit, dominus singula seruorum capita regi in occisorum locum sufficiens, ab homicidij poena liberabatur.
Hanc crudelitatem lege Baionæ, quam dicunt, quidem excusant; sed omnibus impia merito videtur, tanquam omnis pietatis expers. Quamobrem diabolicæ nomen inter Indos iure quidem obtinuit. Ad hanc autem immanitatem in miseros Indos excercendam nonnullos ingenita quædam naturæ sæuities, multis iam bellis exasperata, plerosque habendi sitis, impulit. Hinc Hispanus miles, quasi ad aucupium aut venationem, sic ad prædas hominum agendas, iam inde ab inuento nouo orbe ferri coepit. Aut igitur bello captos in seruitutem abripiebat, aut ex eorum mancipio magnam sibi pecuniæ vim conflabat, aut eos ad diurnas operas mittebat, quarum mercedem ab ijs quotidie perquam importunus exigebat. Fuere qui seruos fodinis manciparint, in quibus insolito labore fractæ, multæ seruorum myriades periere. Alij mercibus illos permutare soliti sunt, alioue modo distrabere. Idque tam inclementer et auare nonnulli fecerunt, vt Christianæ omnis humanitatis prorsus obliti, e continente abreptos vtriusque sexus hominis, nulla nec ætatis nec valetudinis habita ratione, nauibus in vicinas insulas transportarent. Eorum non pauci qui mari non assueuerant, et in sentinam abdebantur, et fame, foetore, et squallore crudeliter absorpti sunt. Quid? quod fæminæ complures ex Hispanis grauidæ, vna cum innoxio foetu pro ancillis sunt venditæ: Atque his quidem modis, militum aliqui ad summas opes peruenerunt. Alij magnas dignitates domi forisque sunt consequuti. Alij rem pecuniariam plurimorum damnis sic auxerunt, vt inuenti sint, qui octo pecudum millia possiderent. Hanc tam insignem nostrum hominum iniustitiam atque tyrannidem fieri non potuit, quin magni statim motus et bella, tam ab ipsis inter se, quam ab incolis in illos excitata sequerentur. After a longe beade roll of moste monstrous cruelties of the Spanishe nation in every place of the West Indies moste heynously committed, he concludeth yt thus: Tanta ergo fuit Hispani militis in India tyrannis, vt ea non solum Indos, verum etiam seruorum Maurorum animos ad rebellionem impulerit. Dicuntur enim in exigua quadam insula ad septem millia defecisse. Quos Hispani initio securos et incautos facilime trucidassent, nisi suo malo vigilantiores factos precibus et pacifica legatione expugnare potius quam armis frustra tentassent. Multa denique fugitiui Mauri in Nominis Dei provinciæ siluis habitant; qui inita cum incolis amicitia, ferro, flammaque Hispanos vbicunque persequuntur, et inuentos frustatim dilacerant.
This, therefore, I gather of the premisses, that those contries whereof the Spaniarde ys lorde are partely ruinated, dispeopled, and laid waste by their incredible, and more then barbarous, and savage, endeles cruelties, and partely grevously infested by the Indians, Symerons, Moores, Chichimici revolted; and consequently he is easie to be driven thence, and turned out of all with moche lesser force then is commonly ymagined: for, Nullum violentum est diuturnum; et malus diuturnitatis custos est metus.
The Spanishe monarchy is like unto the monarchy of Alexander the Greate. And surely the more I thinke of the Spanishe monarchie, the more me thinketh it is like the empire of Alexander the Greate, which grewe upp sooddenly, and sooddenly vpon his deathe was rente and dissolved for faulte of lawfull yssue. In like manner the the Kinge of Spaine, nowe 59. yeres of age, as beinge borne in the yere of our Lorde 1526. in the moneth of May, and beinge subjecte to the fallinge sicknes, in common reason can be of no longe life; and leavinge no fitt yssue to wealde so greate a governemente, and a question risinge, whether his younge weake sonne, by his sister’s daughter, be lawfull heire, they are like upon his deathe to fall together by the eares amongest themselves; and then, as men moste odious, not onely to the people of the West Indies, but also to all Christendome, and all the worlde beside, ys it not likely that euery province wil seke their libertie? And, to say the truthe, what nation, I pray you, of all Christendome loveth the Spaniarde, the scourge of the worlde, but from the teethe forwarde, and for advauntage? The Italians, which sometime were lordes of the earthe, in greate parte nowe broughte under his vile yoke, doe many wayes shewe the utter mislike of their satanicall arrogancie and insollencies, and in all their playes and comedies bringe in the Spanishe souldier as a ravisher of virgins and wives, and as the boastinge Thraso and miles gloriosus; notinge to the worlde their insupportable luxuriousnes, excessive pride, and shamefull vaine glorie. The citie of Rome, beinge sackt by Charles the Emperour, the Pope and Cardinalls taken and ymprisoned, cannot brooke their doinges in their hartes. The Venecians stande daily in feare of them, almoste as moche as of the Turke, and doubte that, if they be not with spede restrained, they will inclose them and use them at their pleasure, beinge on bothe sides become almoste lordes of the mouthe of the Straites of Giberaulter. The Frenche, remembringe the takinge of their kinge prisoner, their crueltie in Florida, the late overthrowe of Strozzi and their fleete, their takinge of Tercera, and other disgraces, hate them for the moste parte worse then scorpions. The Princes of Germanie, the Duke of Saxonie, the Lantsgrave of Hassia, the Duke of Cleve, the Duke Cassimere, have susteyned wronges sufficient to make them his mortall enemies. His innumerable outrages in the Netherlandes have inforced the Flemynges to those termes which nowe they stande at. Their manifolde practises to supplant us of England give us moste occasion to bethincke ourselves, howe wee may abate and pull downe their highe myndes. The poore oppressed prince and people of Portingale doe watche nighte and day when to finde a conuenient occasion of defection. In fine, there is almoste no nation of Europe that may not say againste the Spaniarde with the poet: Distuleratque graues in idonea tempora poenas; and so, Eum multos metuere necesse est quem multi metuunt; and, Multorum odijs nulla respublica stare diu potest.
1 This quotation is from the English translation, “The Spanish Colonie,” London, 1583.
That the passage in this voyadge is easie and shorte, that it cutteth not nere the trade of any other mightie princes, or nere their contries, that it is to be perfourmed at all times of the yere, and nedeth but one kinde of winde; that Ireland, beinge full of goodd havens on the southe and weste side, is the nerest parte of Europe to yt, which by this trade shalbe in more securitie, and the sooner drawen to more civilitie.
In this voyadge wee may see by the globe that wee are not to passe throughe the frozen seas, but in a temperate climate unto a contrie muche like to those partes of Gascoigne and Guyen, where heretofore our nation for a longe tyme have inhabited. And it requireth not, as longe voyadges doe, the takinge in of freshe water by the way in divers places, by reason it may be sailed in five or sixe weekes. Whereby the marchante nede [not] to expecte twoo or three yeres for one returne, as in the voyadge of Sir Fraunces Drake, of Fenton and William Hawkins; but may receave twoo returnes every yere in the selfe same shippes, I saye, and well repose themselves at their arryvalls; which thinge I myselfe have seene and understoode in Ffraunce this presente yere don by the Frenchemen; whoe, settinge furthe in January, broughte their bancke fishe which they tooke on the Bancke, forty or three-score leagues from Newefoundelande, to Roan, in greate quantitie, by the ende of May, and afterwarde retained this yere againe to the fisshinge, and are looked for at home towardes the fifte of November. To the spedy perfourmaunce of which voyadge this is a speciall furtheraunce: that whereas moste of our other voyadges of like lengthe require twoo or three sortes of windes at the leaste, one onely winde suffiseth to make this; which was no doubte the cause of the quicke returne of my frende Stephen Bellinger of Roan, whoe departed from Newhaven in January was twelve moneths, arryved at Cape Briton in xxii daies space, and from thence discouered very diligently CC. leagues towardes Norumbega, and had traficque with the people in tenne or twelue places; founde a towne conteyninge fourescore houses, and returned home, with a diligent description of the coaste, in the space of foure monethes, with many comodities of the contrie, which he shewed me.
Moreover this passage is neither by the Straites of Giberaulter, nor on the coastes of Spaine, Portingall, Fraunce nor Flaunders, neither by the Sounde of Denmarke, nor Wardhouse in Norwey: so as in takinge our course on the highe seas wee shall not be in daunger of the corsaries in the Levant, nor of the gallies of Barbarie, nor of the Turke, nor of any state of Italie, neither of the Spaniarde, the Frenche, nor the Dane, nor of any other prince nor potentate within the Sounde in the northe, or in the northeaste partes of the worlde.
Wee may also trauell thither and perfourme the same at all tymes of the yere, with the like facilitie as our marchantes of Bristowe, Weymouthe, and other partes of the West Contries travell for woade to the iles of St. Mighell and Tercera (which are halfe the way thither) all the yere longe. For this coaste is never subjecte to the ise, which is never lightly seene to the southe of Cape Razo in Newfounde lande.
Besides this, in our way as wee passe to and froe, wee shall have in tempestes and other necessities the portes of Ireland to our aide, and no nerer coaste of any enemye. Moreover by the ordinary entercourse wee may annoye the enemyes to Ireland, and succour the Queens Majesties faithfull subjects, and drawe the Irishe by little and little to more civilitie, and in shorte tyme wee may yelde them from the coastes of America whatsoever comodities they nowe receave at the handes of the Spaniardes. So the Spaniardes shall wante the ordinarye victualls they receave every yere from thence, whereby they cannot contynue traficque, nor fall so aptly to practize againste our governmente there as heretofore by their trade thither they have don and doe daily, to the greate expences of her Majestie, and no small indaungeringe and troublinge of our state.
And to conclude: in tradinge to these contries wee shall not nede, for feare of the Spanishe bloudy Inquisition, to throwe our bibles and prayer bookes over boorde into the sea before our arryvall at their portes, as these many yeres wee have don and yet doe, nor take suche horrible oathes as are exacted of our men by the Spanishe searchers, to suche dayly wilfull and highe offence of Almightie God, as we are driven to continually in followinge our ordinary trafficque into the Kinge of Spaines dominyons; whereof at large wee have spoken before in the seconde chapiter.
That hereby the revenewes and customes of Her Majestie, bothe outewarde and inwarde, shall mightily be inlarged by the toll, excises, and other dueties which withoute expression may be raysed.
The manifolde testimonies, verbatim alleaged by me in the thirde chapiter, of John Ribault, John Verarsanus, Stephen Gomes, Vasques de Coronado, Jaques Cartier, Gasper Corterialis, and others, which all were the discoverers of the coaste and inlande of America betwene 30 and 63 degrees, prove infallibly unto us that golde, silver, copper, perles, pretious stones, and turqueses, and emraldes, and many other commodities, have bene by them founde in those regions. To which testimonies I shoulde have added many more yf I had not feared to be tedious. Nowe the fyfte parte of all these aforenamed comodities cannot choose but amounte to a greate matter, beinge yerely reserved unto her Majestie, accordinge to the tenor of the patent graunted by King Henry the Seaventh in the xj’th. yere of his raigne to John Gabote and his three sonnes, Lewes, Sebastian, and Sancius; the wordes whereof it shoulde not be amisse here to sett downe, as they are printed in my booke of voyadges. These are the wordes: Ex omnibus fructibus, proficuis, emolumentis commodis, lucris, et obuentionibus ex huiusmodi nauigatione prouenientibus, prefatus Joannes et filij ac heredes et eorum deputati teneantur, et sint obligati nobis pro omni viagio suo toties quoties ad portum nostrum Bristolliæ applicuerint (ad quem omnino applicare teneantur et sint astricti), deductis omnibus sumptibus et impensis necessarijs per eosdem factis, quintam partem capitalis lucri facti, siue in mercibus, siue in pecuniis, persoluere.1
What gaines this imposition may turne unto the Crowne of England in shorte tyme wee may more then gesse, havinge but an eye to the Kinge of Spaines revenewes, which he nowe hath out of all his domynions in all the West Indies.
The like in all respectes may be saied of the revenewes of the Crowne of Portingale, which, beinge of itselfe one of the smallest and poorest kingdomes of all Christendome, became in shorte space so riche and honourable soone after their entringe into their southesterne discoveries, traficques, and conquestes, that, before the deathe of their late younge kinge Sebastian, their embassadors woulde strive and chalenge for the chefest place with the embassadores of the greatest kinges of Christendome; as I have hearde it dyvers tymes spoken at Paris at my lordes table by men of greate honour and experience, in which citie moste princes and states of Christendome have their embassadors comonly resident.
To leave them and to come to our nation, I say that amonge other meanes to encrease her Majesties customes this shalbe one, especially that by plantinge and fortifieinge nere Cape Briton, what by the strengthe of our shipps beinge harde at hande, and bearinge the sway already amongest all nations that fishe at Newfoundelande, and what by the fortes that there may be erected and helde by our people wee shall be able to inforce them, havinge no place els to repaire unto so convenient, to pay us soche a contynual custome as shall please us to lay upon them; which imposition of twoo or three hundred shippes laden yerely with sondry sortes of fish, trane oyle, and many kyndes of furres and hides, cannot choose but amounte to a greate matter, beinge all to be levied upon straungers. And this not onely wee may exacte of the Spaniardes and Portingales, but also of the Frenche men, our olde and auncient enemyes. What shoulde I speake of the customes of the greate multitudes of course clothes, Welshe frise, and Irishe ruggs, that may be uttered in the more northerly partes of the lande amonge the Esquimawes of the Grande Bay, and amonge them of Canada, Saguynay, and Hochelaga, which are subjecte to sharpe and nippinge winters, albeit their somers be hotter moche then oures. Againe, the multitudes of small yron and copper workes, wherewith they are exceedingly delighted, wilt not a little encrease the customes, being transported oute of the lande. I omitt the rehersall of a thousande other trifinge wares, which, besides they may sett many women, children, and ympotent persons on worke in makinge of them, woulde also helpe to the encreasinge of the customes. Lastly, whatsoever kind of commodyties shoulde be broughte from thence by her Majesties subjectes into the realme, or be thither transported oute of the realme, cannot choose but inlarge the revenewes of the Crowne very mightely, and inriche all sortes of subjectes in generally.
1 Hakluyt here refers to his “Divers Voyages,” published in 1582.
That this action will be for the greate increase, mayneteynaunce, and safetie of our navie, and especially of greate shippinge, which is the strengthe of our realme, and for the supportation of all those occupations that depende upon the same.
In the Statutes moste providently ordeyned for increase and maineteynaunce of our navigation in the Raignes of Kinge Richarde the Seconde, Kinge Henry the Seaventh, Kinge Henry the Eighth, and her Majestie that nowe ys, thoughe many and sundry rewardes were proposed to encourage our people unto the sea, yet still I fynde complaintes of decaye of the navye, notwithstanding so many goodly priviledges to mayneteine fisshermen, the ordeyninge of Wendisday to be a newe fishe day for the better utteraunce of their fishe that they shoulne take at sea, yea, albeit there hath bene graunted a certene proportionable allowaunce oute of the exchequer to suche as woulde builde any shippes of burden to serve the prince in tyme of warr, yet very little hath bene done in that behalfe. For, setting the Citie of London aparte, goe your waye into the west parte of England and Wales, and search howe many shippes of CC. tonnes and upwardes those partes can afforde, and you shall finde (God wotteth) no such nomber as at firste you did ymagine. At this day I am assured there are scarce twoo of CC. tones beloninge to the whole citie of Bristowe, and very fewe or none of the like burden alonge the channell of the Severne from Glocester to the Landes Ende on the one side, and Milforde Haven on the other. Nowe, remedie this greate and unknowen wante, no enterprise possibly can be devised more fitt to increase our great shippinge then this Westerne fortifienge and planting. For in this action wee are not to cut over the narrowe seas, in a day or a nighte, betwene Flaunders, Fraunce, or Ireland, in small barkes of xx. or xxx’ti. tonnes; but wee are to passe over the breste of the maine ocean, and to lye at sea a moneth or six weekes together, whereby wee shall be constrayned of our selves, withoute chardginge of the Prince, to builde greate shippes, as well to avoide the daunger of tempest as also for the commoditie of portage, whereunto the greater shippes in longe voyadges are moste conveniente, which the Portingales and Spaniardes have founde oute by longe experience, whoe for that cause builde shippes of v. vj. vij. viij. C. and a M. tonnes, to sende into their Easterne and Westerne Indies.
The like whereof wee shalbe the rather invited to doe, since by this voyadge wee shall have many thinges for little or nothinge, that are necessarie for the furniture of greate shippinge. For beinge possessed of Newfounde lande, which the last yere was seazed upon in her Majesties name, wee may have tarr, rosen, mastes, and cordage for the very workemanshippe of the same. All which comodities cannot choose but wonderfully invite our men to the buildinge of greate shippinge, especially havinge store of the best shipwrights of the worlde, whereof some, for wante of employmente at home, have bene driven to flye into forren partes, as into Demarke. Moreover, in the judgemente of those that are experte in sea causes, yt will breed more skillfull, connynge, and stowte pilott and maryners then other belonginge to this lande. For it is the longe voyadges (so they be not to excessive longe, nor throughe intemperate clymates, as those of the Portingales into their West Indies) that harden seamen, and open unto them the secretes of navigation; the nature of the windes; the currentes and settinge of the sea; the ebbinge and flowinge of the mayne ocean; the influence of the sonne, the moone, and of the rest of the celestiall planetts, and force which they have at sondry seasons upon that mightie body; whiche skill in sea causes the Emperour Charles the Fyfte, knowinge howe mooche yt did A lecture of the arte of navigation. ymporte his state, to the intent that it mighte better encrease amongest the Spaniardes, in great providence erected a lecture of the arte of navigation in Civill, and ordeyned that no man shoulde take chardge to the West Indies that had not hearde the Reader of the same for a certaine space, and, upon due examynation, were allowed as sufficient by him, and others adjoyded unto him as assistantes to examyn matters of experience; which order, if it had bene established in England, such grosse and insufficient felowes as he that caste away the Admirall of Sir Humfreyes company, with an C. persons in her, to the west of Newfounde lande, this tyme twelve moneths, had not bene admittted to take so greate a chardge.
But to returne to the increase and mayneteynaunce of our shippes and shippmen; I say that this is not as the voyadge to Muscovy, which is open not paste foure monethes, but may be passed and repassed at our pleasure at all tymes of the yere, and so our maryners may be sett on worke all the yere longe. Neither is the trade likely to prove so small as that of Muscovy, wherein not past tenne shippes at the moste are employed ones a yere. For here there is a greate hope, the contrie beinge as bigge as all Europe, and nothinge in frutefulnes inferior to yt, as I have proved before at large in the thirde chapiter, that wee shall have twoo fleetes as bigge as those of the Kinge of Spaine to his West Indies, imployed twise in the yere at the leaste, especially after our fortifienge in the contrie, the certene place of our factory beinge there established; whereby yt muste nedes come to passe that our navye shalbe mightely increased and mayneteyned, which will not onely be a chefe strengthe and suertie in tyme of warres, as well to offende as defende, but will also be the mayneteynaunce of many masters, maryners, and seamen, whereby they their wyves, and children, shall have their lyvinges, and many cities, townes, villages, havens, and creeks nere adjoyninge unto the sea coaste, and the Queenes subjectes, as brewers, bowchers, smithes, ropers, shipwrights, tailors, shoemakers, and other victuallers and handicraftes men, inhabitinge and dwellinge nere thereaboutes, shall also have by the same greate parte of their lyvinge. For proofe thereof wee nede not to seeke any further then unto oure neighbours of Spaine and Portingale; whoe, since the firste discoverie of their Indies, have not onely mightely inlarged their domynions, marvellously enriched themselves and Marques de la Cruz Admyrall of the Ocean. their subjectes, but have also by juste accompte trebled the nomber of their shippes, masters, and maryners — a matter of no small moment and importance; insomoche that nowe, of late Kinge Phillippe hath made the Marques de la Cruz, which laste yere wonne Tercera, Graunde Admirall of the Ocean Sea, and Prince d’Oria of Genoa, Admirall in the Levant. A taste of this increase wee have had in our owne selves, even by our trade of fisshinge in Newfoundelande; which, as yt is well knowen, hath bene occasion, that in sondry places of this realme divers tall shippes have bene builte and sett furthe even of late daies; and more would be if, whereas nowe havinge but twoo moneths or tenne weekes of fisshinge, by this newe plantinge they mighte be drawen more south-westerly, where the speciall fisshing places are, bothe for plentie and greateness of fishe; and beinge oute of daunger and ympedimente of yse, they mighte fishe there safely the greatest parte of the yere, and by their nereness unto our fortes there, builte aboute Cape Briton, they mighte yelde succour unto them, and likewise by their neighbourhoode be themselves in more securitie.
A meane to avoid the sodden arrests of our navy. Fynally, their shippes, their goodds, and their persons shoulde not be subjecte to soodden arrestes of straungers, as they are in all other trades of Christendome; but shoulde enjoye as greate freedome, libertie, and securitie as they usually doe in their native contrie; the havens, townes, and villages in those partes beinge occupied and possessed by their fellowe subjects; which freedome and liberty will greatly incourage them to contynewe constantly in this newe traficque.
That spedie plantinge in divers fitt places is moste necessarie upon these laste luckye westerne discoveries, for feare of the danger of beinge prevented by other nations which have the like intention, with the order thereof, and other reasons therewithall alleaged.
Havinge by Gods goodd guidinge and mercifull direction atchieved happily this presente westerne discoverye, after the seekinge the advauncemente of the kingedome of Christe, the seconde chefe and principall ende of the same is traficque, which consisteth in the vent of the masse of our clothes and other comodities of England, and in receaving backe of the nedeful comodities that wee nowe receave from all other places of the worlde. But forasmoche as this is a matter of greate ymportaunce, and a thinge of so greate gaine as forren princes will stomacke at, this one thinge is to be don, withoute which it were in vaine to goe aboute this; and that is, the matter of plantinge and fortificacion, withoute due consideration whereof in vaine were it to thinck of the former. And therefore upon the firste said viewe taken by the shippes that are to be sente thither, wee are to plante upon the mouthes of the greate navigable rivers which are there, by stronge order of fortification, and there to plante our colonies. And so beinge firste setled in strengthe with men, armour, and munition, and havinge our navy within our bayes, havens, and roades, wee shall be able to lett the entraunce of all subjectes of forren princes, and so with our freshe powers to encounter their shippes at the sea, and to renewe the same with freshe men, as the soodden feightes shall require; and by our fortes shalbe able to holde faste our firste footinge, and readily to annoye suche weary power of any other that shall seke to arryve; and shalbe able with our navye to sende advertisemente into England upon every soodden whatsoever shall happen. And these fortifications shall kepe the naturall people of the contrye in obedience and goodd order. And these fortes at the mowthes of those greate portable and navigable ryvers may at all tymes sende upp their shippes, barkes, barges, and boates into the inland with all the comodities of England, and returne unto the said fortes all the comodities of the inlandes that wee shall receave in exchange, and thence at pleasure convey the same into England. And thus settled in those fortes, yf the nexte neighboures shall attempte any annoye to our people, wee are kepte safe by our fortes; and wee may, upon violence and wronge offred by them, ronne upon the rivers with our shippes, pynnesses, barkes, and boates, and enter into league with the petite princes, their neigbboures, that have alwayes lightly warres one with an other, and so entringe league nowe with the one, and then with the other, wee shall purchase our owne safetie, and make ourselves lordes of the whole.
Contrarywise, withoute this plantinge in due tyme, wee shall never be able to have full knowledge of the language, manners, and customes of the people of those regions, neither shall wee be able thoroughly to knowe the riches and comodities of the inlandes, with many other secretes whereof as yet wee have but a small taste. And althoughe by other meanes wee mighte attaine to the knowledge thereof, yet beinge not there fortified and strongly seated, the French that swarme with multitude of people, or other nations, mighte secretly fortifie themselves before us, hearinge of the benefite that is to be reaped of that voyadge; and so wee shoulde beate the bushe and other men take the birdes; wee shoulde be at the chardge and travell, and other men reape the gaine.
To make this plaine by example, in the sixte leafe of the Italian edition of the Historie of Fernando Cortes, written by Franciscus Lopez de Gomera, is lively described the folly of John Grijalua for his not inhabitinge that goodd and riche contrie of Iucaton; which ymmediatly after he had neglected, the same Fernando Cortes tooke in hande and perfourmed, and gott all the honour and comoditie from him, leaving greate wealthe and honour to his posteritie, and to himself an everlastinge name. The story is thus: Giouan di Grigalua se n’ando a Yucatan, combattete con quelli Indiani di Ciapoton, et se ne ritorne ferito; entro nel fiume di Tauasco, che per questo si chiama ora Grijalua, nel qual riscatto o cambio per cose di poca valuta molto oro, robbe di cottone, et bellissime cose di penne; stette in San Giouanni di Vilhua, piglio possessione di quel paese per il Re, in nome del Gouernatore, Diego Velasquez: et cambio la sua merciaria per pezzi di oro, coperte di cottone et penne; et si hauesse conosciuto la uentura sua, haueria fatto populatione in paese cosi ricco, come lo pregauano li suoi compagni et lui saria stato quello che dipoi il Cortes. Ma tanta uentura non era riseruata per chi non la conosceua ancora che si scusaua che lui non andaua per populare, se non per riscattare o permutare le cose che leuaua del Gouernatore; et discoprire se quella terra di Yucatan era isola o terra ferma. And if any man liste to knowe what intertainment he had of his uncle at his returne for not inhabitinge upon the present occasion, yt followeth in the ende of the same chapiter in these wordes: Et quando arriuo non lo uolse uedere il Gouernatore suo zio, che li fece quello che lui meritaua.
The like story wee have, fol. 298. of Franciscus Lopez de Gomera his Generall Historie of the West Indies, of Vasques de Coronado, which, after excedinge greate chardges bestowed for royall furnishinge furthe upon his voyadge to Ceuola and Quiuira, for wante of courage and for other priuate respectes, neglected plantinge there, had as colde welcome, at his dastardly and unconsiderate returne, of Don Antonio de Mendoza, viceroy of Mexico, as Grijalua had of his uncle above mentioned. It is written thus of him after his returne from Quiuira:—
Cascò del cauallo in Tiguez Francisco Vasquez, e con il colpo usci di ceruello et disuariaua; questo caso alcuni credettero che fusse finto, altri n’hebbero grandissimo dolore; quelli che l’intendeuano a mala parte stauano male con lui per che non si metteua a popolare. And a little afterwarde: molto dispiacque a Don Antonio di Mendoza che fusero ritornati, per che haueua speso piu di sessanta milla pesi d’oro in quella impresa . . . molti uolsero restare là, ma Francesco Vasquez di Coronado, che ricco era et nuouamente maritato con vna bellissima donna, non volse, dicendo che non si poteriano sustentarsi ne difendere in cosi povero paesa et tanto lontani del soccorso; caminarono presso a tre milla miglia di longo in questa giornata.
Notwithstandinge these colourable excuses and dispraisinges of the contrie, yt is described by relation of his owne companions in this manner in the same leafe: à Quiuira in quaranta gradi à paesa temperato, di bonissime acque, di molto herbatico, purgne, more, noci, et melloni, et vue che maturano benissimo; non c’à cottone, et vestono pelle di vacche e caprioli.
The greate inconvenience of the delaye and neglecte of plantinge with spede of goodd contries newe discoured, beinge well weyed and foreseene by John Ribault, made him to plante and fortefie at his firste voyadge, thoughe it were with but thirtie men; which, that you may the better understande, together with the wise course and choice of place which oughte to be had in plantinge and seatinge at the firste, I will alleage his owne wordes which are in the laste leafe of his firste printed voyadge: Wherefore (my lorde), saith he, I truste you will not thincke it amisse (consideringe the comodities that may be broughte thence) yf we leave a nomber of men there, which may fortifie and provide themselves of thinges necessiarie; for in all newe discoveries it is the chefest thinge that may be don, at the begynnynge to fortifie and people the contrie. I had not so soone set furthe this to our companie, but many of them offred to tary there; yea, with suche a goodd will and jolly courage, that suche a nomber did offer themselves as wee had moche to doe to stay their opportunitie; and namely, of our shippe masters and pilotts, and suche as wee woulde not spare. Howebeit, wee lefte there but to the nomber of 30 men in all, gentlemen, souldiers, and maryners, and that at their owne sute and prayer, and of their owne free willes, and by the advice and deliberation of the gentlemen sent on the behalfe of the Prince and yours. And I have lefte unto them for heade and ruler, followinge therein your pleasure, Capitaine Albert de la Pierria, a souldier of longe experience, and the firste that from the begynnynge offred to tary; and further, by their advise, choice, and will, inscaled and fortified them in an iland on the northe side thereof, a place of stronge scituation and commodious, upon a river which wee named Chenonceau, and the habitation and fortres, Charles Forte. After wee had instructed and duly admonished them of what they should doe (as well for their manner of procedinge, as for the goode and lovinge behaviour of them), the xj’th. day of the moneth of June last paste wee departed from Porte Royall, &c.
The cause why these discoveries went not forward in King Henry the Seavenths tyme. Nowe, to leave the Spaniardes and Frenche and to come to ourselves; seinge it hath pleased Almightie God at this instant to reveale unto her Majestie and the realme that once againe afreshe which was in part discovered by Sebastian Gabote and other this lande to her moste famous grandfather, Kinge Henry the Seaventh, was then lefte of and caste aside and not sufficiently regarded by occasion of the warres of Scotland, as Sebastian himself writes, and so hath bene intermitted for the space of aboute foure score and sixe yeares — if nowe the Queene, her Counsell, and other subjectes, shall never so little delaye the throughe managinge of the cause and enteringe effectually into the action, let them assure themselves that they will come to late, and a day after the faire; ffor as the wise man saieth, Post est occasio calva. (a symbol of a finger pointing) For, to speake nothinge of the laste yeres preparation of the Marques de la Roche to inhabite and plante in those partes nowe discovered by oure men, which preparation was luckely overthrowne in respecte of us, by reason that his greatest shippe was cast away upon the trauers of Burwage, the men of St. John de Luze sente the laste yere to solicite the Frenche Kinge and his Counsell to plante there. And nowe our neighboures, the men of St Maloe in Brytaine, in the begynnynge of Auguste laste paste of this yere 1584. are come home with five shippes from Canada and the contries upp the Bay of St. Lawrence, and have brought twoo of the people of the contrie home, and have founde suche swete in that newe trade that they are preparinge tenne shippes to returne thither in January nexte, as one John de la Marche and Mr. Pryhouse of Garnesey affirme; which Mr. Pryhouse, beinge yet in London, was at St. Malowe within these weekes, and sawe the twoo savages, the five shippes, and the riche comodities, and understoode of the greate preparation, and lieth nowe at London, in Philpott lane, at the stone house there.
And that it may be knowen that not onely the Frenche affecte this enterprise, but even the Duche longe since thoughte of yt, I can assure you that Abraham Ortelius, the great geographer, told me, at his laste beinge in England, 1577. that if the warres of Flaunders had not bene, they of the Lowe Contries had meant to have discovered those partes of America, and the north west straite, before this tyme. And yt semed that the chefe cause of his comynge to England was to no other ende, but to prye and looke into the secretes of Ffrobishers voyadge; for yt was even then, when Ffrobisher was preparinge for his first returne into the north west.
To conclude: yf wee doe procrastinate the plantinge (and where our men have nowe presently discovered, and founde it to be the best parte of America that is lefte, and in truthe more agreable to our natures, and more nere unto us, than Nova Hispania), the Frenche, the Normans, the Brytons, or the Duche, or some other nation, will not onely prevente us of the mightie Baye of St. Lawrence, where they have gotten the starte of us already, thoughe wee had the same revealed to us by bookes published and printed in Englishe before them,1 but also will depriue us of that goodd lande which nowe wee have discovered. Which if they doe (as God defende they shoulde), then it falleth oute that wee shall have our enemyes or doubtfull frendes rounde aboute us, and shall not onely loose a singular comoditie and inestymable benefite, but also incurr greate daunger and inconvenience in sufferinge Papistes, by plantinge rounde aboute us, to take from us all succours, and to lett them enriche themselves under our noses, to be better able to supplant or overronne us.
1 This is not the case.
Meanes to kepe this enterprise from overthrowe, and the enterprisers from shame and dishonour.
Euery newe enterprise is in the begynnyinge burdenous, chardgeable, and heavie, and moste comonly hath many greate enemies; which is the cause that many goodd men, much affected to their contrie in wittie excellent enterprises, sincke and fainte under their burden. And because that this enterprise which wee have in hande or in purpose (besides that it is much maliced, specially by our mightie faction of the Papistes), is an enterprize that requireth, beside the favour of the Prince, no small chardge; therefore wee are to devise howe the burden may leste tyme reste on the backe of the bearer of the same, that he sincke not under the same, but that he maye stande upp in full strengthe, and goe throughe with ease, fame, and profitt, withoute shame of all the bymedlers and fauters of the same. And entred into consideration hereof, this cometh to mynde: that the firste chardge of the navye to be admitted as for the present deade chardge for the tyme, howe supply of the chardges followinge may be mayneteyned and borne; for in that standeth one greate matter that ymporteth honour, credite, profite, and the whole sequele of the enterprize.
Wee are induced by late plaine examples of the Frenche, that have traficqued in those partes with greate profite, to beleve that upon our plantinge wee shall as yt were defraye as well the firste chardges as the chardges followinge, by the comodities in trafficque that wee shall receave by passinge into the inland by river and otherwise. But admittinge the worse, that the people will neither receave our comodities nor yelde us theirs againe, then wee are to devise of ourselves howe wee may otherwise at the firste countervaile our chardges, and become greate gayners, will or nill the naturall inhabitantes of those regions or others; and that is, by enjoyinge certaine naturall comodities of the landes infinitely aboundinge, in no accompts with them and with us of greate price, which is this way to be broughte aboute.
The soiles there upon the seacoaste, and all alonge the tracte of the greate broade mightie ryvers, all alonge many hundreth miles into the inland, are infinitely full fraughte with swete wooddes of ffyrr, cedars, cypres, and with divers other kindes of Sawe milles. goodly trees; and settynge upp mylles to sawe them, suche as be common in Poland and in all the north easte regions, wee may with spede possesse infinite masses of boordes of these swete kindes, and these frame and make ready to be turned into goodly chestes, cupboordes, stooles, tables, deskes, &c., upon the returne. And consideringe the present wante of tymber in the realme, and howe derely the cipres chestes are solde that come from the ilandes of the Levant seas, and lately from the Azores, to Bristoll and the westerne havens, these may be bothe amply and derely vented in all the portes of the realme and of the realmes adjoyninge, consideringe that in this age every man desireth to fill his house with all manner of goodd furniture. So that were there no other peculiar comodities, this onely, I say, were ynoughe to defraye all the chardges of all the begynnynge of the enterprize, and that oute of hande; for suche mylwrightes may easely be procured from suche places where they abounde, and some suche (possible) be in England; for I have herde of a frende of myne, that one suche mill within these xxx yeres was sett upp in Worcestshere by a knighte of that contrie. And one man onely were able to directe a thousande of our common milwrightes in that trade; and carpinters and joyners, the realme may spare thousandes for a nede.
And with like ease and shortenes of time wee may make of the woodes there pitch and tarr, which are thinges fitt for our navie, and marchandizes of goodd vente and of comon neede.
And with like ease wee may make of the wooddes there plentie of sope asshes, a comoditie very dere and of greate and ample vente with us, and elsewhere in forren kingdomes of Europe. Also wee may there prepare for pikes, chasinge staves, oares, halberts, and the like for cullen cleftes for sundry uses, &c. And also wee may there, withoute payeng for the same, have tymber to builde greate navies, and may bringe them into this realme, and have goodd sale of the same.
All this, I say, may be broughte to passe if wee wisely plante, upon our arryvall, aboute the mouthes of greate rivers and in the ilandes of the same; and so wee shall have the starte before the Frenche and all others; and our people, sente thither for the purposes aforesaide, shall be ready to man our shippes to give repulse at the firste to all suche as shall come thither to sett foote to our annoye.
Thus all thinges removed that mighte bringe discouragemente, the firste that tooke the enterprise in hande have wonne greate honour and highe estymation with all degrees in England, and, havinge by these former meanes wonne to defraye all the chardges of the brunte off the enterprise, they stande full able to followe the same withoute cravinge aide of the lingringe marchaunte, and have the possibilitie onely to themselves of the trades of traficque with the people, which they may bringe aboute eyther with curtesie, or by pollicie and force, as by joyninge now with this petite kinge, and nowe with that, &c.
And this once plainely founde and noted in England, what noble man, what gentleman, what marchante, what citezen or contryman, will not offer of himselfe to contribute and joyne in the action, forseeinge that the same tendeth to the ample vent of our clothes, to the purchasinge of riche comodities, to the plantinge of younger brethren, to the employment of our idle people, and to so many noble endes? And greate joyninge in contribution upon so happy begynnynges geveth abilitie to fortifie, to defende all forren force in divers comodious places even at the firste.
That by these colonies the north west passage to Cathaio and China may easely, quickly, and perfectly be searched oute as well by river and overlande as by sea; for proofe whereof here are quoted and alleaged divers rare testymonies oute of the three volumes of voyadges gathered by Ramusius, and other grave authors.
In the thirde volume of Nauigations and Voyadges, gathered and translated into Italian by Mr. John Baptista Ramusius, fol. 417. pag. 2, I reade of John Verarsanus as followeth: This unhappy ende had this valiaunte gentleman, whoe, if this misfortune had not happened unto him (with the singuler knowledge that he had in sea matters and in the arte of navigation, beinge also favoured with the greate liberalitie of Kinge Fraunces), woulde have discovered and opened unto the worlde that parte also of lande even to the poole. Neither woulde he have contented himselfe with the outeside and sea coaste onely, but woulde have passed further upp within the lande so farr as he coulde have gon. And many that have knowen him and talked with him have told me, that he saied he had in mynde to perswade the Frenche Kinge to sende oute of Fraunce a goodd nomber of people to inhabite certaine places of the said coaste, which be of ayre temperate, and of soile moste fertile, with very faire ryvers, and havens able to receave any navie. The inhabitants of which places mighte be occasion to bringe to passe many goodd effectes: and, amongest other, to reduce those poore, rude, and ignoraunte people to the knowledge of God and true relligion, and to shewe them the manner of husbandrie for the grounde, transportinge of the beastes of Europe into those excedinge large and champion contries; and in time mighte discover the partes within lande, and see if, amongest so many ilandes there be any passage to the Southe Sea, or whither the firme lande of Fflorida contynewe still even to the pole.
Upon occasion of these laste wordes I thinke it not amisse to alleage those testimonies tendinge to the proofe of this longe desired north west passage, which, with no small care these many yeres, I have observed in my readinges and conferences concerninge the same matter.
1. My firste authoritie is in the seconde volume of Ramusius, in the discourse of the discoverie of the ilandes Freseland, Iseland, Engroneland, Drogeo, and Icaria, made in the northe by Sir Nicholas Zeny, Knighte, and Mr. Anthony, his brother, in the yere 1380.1 In which discourse, amonge many other thinges tendinge to the proofe of this passage, I finde this recorded: Scoprirono vna isola detta Estotilanda posta in ponente lontana da Frislanda piu di mille miglia; whereof I gather, that whereas still he calleth Estotiland an Ilande, and that it is distant westwarde from Frislande more then a thousande miles, that the sea is open above five hundreth miles further then Frobisher and his companie discouered. Ffor he himself confesseth that he never sailed paste five or sixe hundreth miles to the weste of Ffriselande; and here is mention made, that those fishermen that discouered the iland of Estotiland founde it to be more then a M. miles to the weste of the same.
2. The seconde testimonie to prove this north west passage is in the preface of the aforesaide Ramusius before his thirde volume, where he alleageth, in manner followinge, that which Sebastian Gabote wrote unto him concerninge this matter: Many yeres paste I was written unto by Sebastian Gabote, our contryman, a Venecian, and a man of greate experience, and very singuler in the arte of navigation and in the knowledge of cosmographie, whoe sailed alonge and beyonde Nova Francia, at the chardges of Kinge Henry the seaventh, Kinge of England; and he signified unto me, that havinge sailed a longe tyme west and by northe beyonde those ilandes unto the latitude of 67. degrees and [an half] under the north pole, on the xj’th day of June, and findinge the sea open and withoute any manner of ympedymente, he thoughte verely that he mighte have passed by that way unto Cathaia, which is in the Easte; and he woulde have done yt, if the mutinie of the shipmaster and unruly mariners had not inforced him to returne homewardes from that place. But it semeth (saith Ramusius), that God doth yet reserve to some greate prince the discoverie of this voyadge to Cathaio by this way, which, for the bringinge of the spicerie from India into Europe, woulde be the moste easie and shortest of all others hitherto founde oute. And surely this enterprise woulde be the moste glorious and of moste importaunce of all other that any coulde ymagine, to make their name moche more eternall and ymmortale amonge all ages to come, then these so greate tumultes and troubles of warres, which are to be seene contynually in Europe amonge the miserable and unhappy Christians.
3. Thirdly, the reporte which the people of Hochelaga made to Jacques Cartier, in the xiij’th. chapter of his seconde relation, of the river three monethes navigable to the southewarde, dothe not a little confirme the same.
4. Fourthly, the relation of the people of Canada in the xij’th. chapiter, followinge on this manner: Moreover they tolde us, and gave us to understande, that there are people cladde with clothe as wee are, and that there are many inhabited townes and goodd people, and that they have greate store of golde and redd copper, and that upp into the lande, beyonde the river firste above mentioned, even to Hochelaga and Saguynay, there is an ile environed aboute with that and other rivers, which beyonde Saguenay entereth into twoo or three greate lakes; also that there is founde a sea of freshe water, the heade and ende whereof there was never man founde that had throughly searched, as farr as they have hearde say of them of Saguenay, for they (as they signified unto us) had not bene there themselves.
5. Fyftly, in the ende of that seconde relation this postscripte is added as a speciall pointe, to witt: that they of Canada say that it is the space of a moone (that is to saye a moneth) to saile to a lande where cynamon and cloves are gathered; and in the Frenche originall which I sawe in the Kinges Library at Paris, in the Abbay of St Martines,2 yt is further put downe, that Donnaconna, the Kinge of Canada, in his barke had traveled to that contrie where cynamon and cloves are had; yea, the names whereby the savages call those twoo spices in their owne language are there put downe in writinge.
6. Sixtly, this passage is likewise proved by the double reporte of Vasques de Coronado. For firste, he beinge at Ceuola, which standeth in 37. degrees and an halfe of northerly latitude within the lande, he had this informacion of the people of that place; Fanno otto giornate verso le campagne al mare di settentrione: whereby I gather that some parte of the northerne sea ys within viij. daies journey of Ceuola. Againe, when he was afterwardes at the towne of Quiuira, which is scituated by the sea side in the latitude of 40. degrees, he founde there shippes, with maryners, which had the picture of a birde, called Alcatrazzi, in silver upon their bonnetts and on the forepartes of their shippes; which signified that they were thirtie daies sailinge to that place; whence it is saied that they muste nedes be of Cathaio or China, seinge that there is none but Spanishe shippinge upon all the coaste of the backside of Noua Spania.
7. Seaventhly, the people of Florida, at the River of May, in 30. degrees, signified to John Ribault and his company, that they mighte saile in boates from thence through the contrie by ryver to Ceuola in xx’ti. These are the wordes, viz. As wee nowe demaunded of them concerninge the towne of Ceuola (whereof some have written that it is not farr from thence, and is scituated within the lande, and towardes the sea called Mare del Sur), they shewed vs by signes, which wee understoode well ynoughe, that they mighte goe thither with their boates, by rivers, in xx’ti. daies.
8. Eightly, Don Antonio di Castillo, embassador to her Majestie from Henry the Kinge of Portingale, tolde me here in London, the yere before his departure, that one Anus Corteriall, Capitaine of the Ile of Tercera, in the yere 1574. sente a shippe to discover the northwest passage, which, arryvinge on the coaste of America in 57. degrees of latitude, founde a greate entraunce very depe and broade, withoute impedimente of ise, into which they passed above xx leagues, and founde it alwayes to tende towardes the southe. The lande lay lowe and plaine on either side. They woulde have gon further, but their victualls drawinge shorte, and beinge but one shippe, they returned backe, with hope at another tyme to make a full searche of the passage, whereof they sawe not small likelyhoode.
9. Nynthly, Don Antonio, Kinge of Portingale,3 shewed me in Paris this present somer, a greate olde rounde carde (out of which Postellus tooke the forme of his mappe), that had the northwest straite plainely sett downe in the latitude of 57. degrees.
10. Tenthly, there is a mightie large olde mappe in parchemente, made, as yt shoulde seme, by Verarsanus, traced all alonge the coaste from Florida to Cape Briton, with many Italian names, which laieth oute the sea, making a little necke of lande in 40. degrees of latitude, much lyke the streyte necke or istmus of Dariena. This mappe is nowe in the custodie of Mr. Michael Locke.
11. Eleventhly, there is an olde excellent globe in the Queenes privie gallory at Westminster, which also semeth to be of Verarsanus makinge, havinge the coaste described in Italian, which laieth oute the very selfe same streite necke of lande in the latitude of 40. degrees, with the sea joynninge harde on bothe sides, as it dothe on Panama and Nombre di Dios; which were a matter of singuler importaunce, yf it shoulde be true, as it is not unlikely.
12. Twelvethly, the judgemente of Gerardus Mercator, that excellent geographer, which his sonne, Rumolde Mercator, shewed me in a letter of his, and drewe oute for me in writinge, of wise men is not lightly to be regarded. These were his wordes: Magna tametsi pauca de noua nauigatione scribis, quam miror ante multos annos non fuisse attentatam. Non enim dubium est quin recta et breuis via pateat in occidentem Cathaium vsque. In quod regnum, si recte nauigationem instituant, nobilissimas totius mundi merces colligent, et multis gentibus adhuc idololatris Christi nomen communicabunt. You write (saieth he to his sonne) greate matters, thoughe very brefely, of the newe voyadge, whereat I wonder that it was not these many yeres heretofore attempted; ffor there is no doubte but there is a streighte and shorte waye open into the west, even to Cathaio. Into which kingdome, if they governe their voyadge well, they shall gather the moste noble marchandize of all the worlde, and shall make the name of Christe to be knowen to many idolaters and heathen people.
13. Hereunto agreeth the relation of Monsieur de Leau, an honest gent of Morleux, in Britaine, which tolde me this springe, in the presence of divers Englishe men at Paris, that a man of St. Malowe this laste yere discovered the sea on the back side of Hochelaga.
14. Moreover, the relation of David Ingram confirmeth the same; for, as he avowcheth and hath put it downe in writinge, he traveled twoo daies in the sighte of the North Sea.
15. Againe, the prohibition which Kinge Philippe hath made, that none of his pilotts shall discover to the northe wardes of 45. degrees, may seme chefely to precede of these two causes: the one, leaste passinge further to the northe, they mighte fall upon the open passage from Mare del Sur into our Northerne Sea; the other, because they have not people ynoughe to possesse and kepe the same, but rather in tyme shoulde open a gappe for other nations to passe that waye.
16. Lastly, I will ende with the earnest petition and constant assertion of Ramusius, in his firste volume, fol. 374. where, speakinge of the severall waies by which the spicery, bothe of olde and of late yeres, hath bene broughte into Europe, he useth these speaches in the person of another: Why doe not the princes (saieth he), which are to deale in these affaires, sende furthe twoo or three colonies to inhabite the contrie, and to reduce this savage nation to more civilitie, consideringe what a frutefull soile it is, how replenished with all kinde of graine, howe it is stored with all kinde of birdes and beastes, with such faire and mightie rivers, that Capitaine Cartier and his companie in one of them sailed upp an C. and xx’iiij. leagues, findinge the contrie peopled on bothe sides in greate aboundaunce; and, moreover, to cause the gouernours of those colonies to sende furthe men to discouer the northe landes aboute Terra de Labrador, and west north west towardes the seas, which are to saile to the contrie of Cathaio, and from thence to the ilandes of Molucka. These are enterprises to purchase ymmortal praise, which the Lord Antony de Mendoza, viceroy of Mexico, willinge to put in execution, sente furthe his capitaines, bothe by sea and lande, upon the northwest of Noua Spania, and discovered the kingdomes of the seaven cities aboute Ceuola; and Franciscus Vasques de Coronado passed from Mexico by lande towardes the northwest 2850. miles, in so moche as he came to the sea which lieth betwene Cathaio and America, where he mett with the Cathaian shippes; and, no doubte, if the Frenche men, in this their Nova Francia, woulde have discovered upp further into the lande towardes the west northwest partes, they shoulde have founde the sea and have sailed to Cathaio.
Thus farr Ramusius.
God, which doth all thinges in his due time, and hath in his hande the hartes of all Princes, stirr upp the mynde of her Majestie at lengthe to assiste her moste willinge and forwarde subjectes to the perfourmance of this moste godly and profitable action; which was begonne at the chardges of Kinge Henry the vij’th. her grandfather, followed by Kinge Henry the Eighte, her father, and lefte, as it semeth, to be accomplished by her (as the three yeres golden voyadge to Ophir was by Salomon), to the makinge of her realme and subjectes moste happy, and her selfe moste famous to all posteritie. Amen.
That the Queene of Englandes title to all the West Indies, or at the leaste to as moche as is from Florida to the Circle articke, is more lawfull and righte then the Spaniardes, or any other Christian Princes.
To confute the generall claime and unlawfull title of the insatiable Spaniardes to all the West Indies, and to prove the justenes of her Majesties title and of her noble progenitours, if not to all, yet at leaste to that parte of America which is from Florida beyonde the Circle articke, wee are to sett downe in true order, accordinge to the juste observation of tyme, when the West Indyes, with the ilandes and continent of the same, were firste discouered and inhabited, and by what nation, and by whome. Then are wee to answer in generall and particulerly to the moste injurious and unreasonable donation graunted by Pope Alexander the Sixte, a Spaniarde borne, of all the West Indies to the Kinges of Spaine and their successors, to the greate prejudice of all other Christian Princes, but especially to the domage of the Kinges of England.
Ffor the firste pointe, wee of England have to shewe very auncient and auctenticall chronicles, written in the Welshe or Brittishe tongue, wherein wee finde that one Madock ap Owen Guyneth, a Prince of North Wales, beinge wearye of the civill warres and domesticall dissentions in his contrie, made twoo voyadges oute of Wales, and discovered and planted large contries which he founde in the mayne ocean south westwarde of Ireland, in the yere of our Lorde 1170.1 This historie is also to be seene in Englishe in printe, in the booke sett furthe this yere of the Prince of Wales, dedicated to Sir Henry Sidney. And this is confirmed by the language of some of those people that dwell upon the continent betwene the Bay of Mexico and the Grande Bay of Newfoundelande, whose language is said to agree with the Welshe in divers wordes and names of places, by experience of some of our nation that have bene in those partes. By this testimonie it appereth, that the West Indies were discovered and inhabited 322. yeres before Columbus made his firste voyadge, which was in the yere 1492.
Secondly, the acceptation of Columbus his offer of the West Indies by Kinge Henry the Seaventh, at the very firste, maketh moche for the title of the Kinges of England, althoughe they had no former interest; which I will here putt downe as I finde it in the eleventh chapiter of the historie of Ferdinandus Columbus of the relation of the life and doinges of his father: This practise, saieth he, of the Kinge of Portingale (which was secretly to deprive him of the honour of his enterprise), beinge come to the knowledge of the Admyrall, and havinge lately buried his wife, he conceaved so greate hatred againste the citie of Lysbone and the nation, that he determyned to goe into Castile with a younge sonne that he had by his wife, called Diego Colon, which after his fathers deathe succeded in his state. But fearinge, yf the Kinges of Castile also shoulde not consente unto his enterprise, he shoulde be constrayned to begynne againe to make some newe offer of the same to some other Prince, and so longe tyme shoulde be spente therein, he sente into England a brother of his which he had with him, named Bartholmewe Columbus. Nowe Bartholmewe Columbus beinge departed for England, his fortune was to fall into the handes of pyrates, which robbed him, and his other companions that were in his shippe, of all that they had. By which occasion and meanes of his povertie and sicknes, which cruelly afflicted him in a strange contrie, he deferred for a longe space his embassage, till, havinge gotten upp a little money by makinge of seacardes, he began to practize with Kinge Henry the Seaventhe, the father of Kinge Henry the viij’th which nowe reigneth; to whome he presented a general carde, wherein these verses were written, which I will rather here put downe for their antiquitie then for their elegancie:
Terrarum quicunque cupis foeliciter oras Noscere, cuncta decens doctè pictura docebit Quam Strabo affirmat, Ptolomæus, Plinius atque Isidorus: non vna tamen sententia cuique Pingitur hîc etiam nuper sulcata carinis Hispanis Zona illa, priùs incognita genti, Torrida, quæ tandem nunc est notissma multis.
And somewhat more beneath he saied:
Pro authore sive pictore
Janna cui patriæ est nomen, cui Bartholomæus Columbus, de terra rubra, opus edidit istud Londonijs, Anno Domini 1480 atque insuper anno Octauo, decimáque die cùm tertia mensis Februarij. Laudes Christo cantentur abundæ.2
But to returne to the Kinge of England; I say that after he had sene the generall carde, and that which the Admyrall Columbus offred unto him, he accepted his offer with a cherefull countenaunce, and sente to call him into England. These thinges beinge so, wee nede not to be our owne judges, but are able to prove, as you see, by a forren testimonie of singuler greate aucthoritie, that Christopher Columbus, beinge in Portingale, before he wente into Castile, sente his brother Bartholmewe into England to practise with Kinge Henry the Seaventh aboute the discovery of the West Indies, and that his said brother made his generall seacarde of this secrete voyadge in London, in the yere of our Lorde 1488. the xiijth. of February, above foure yeres before Christopher was sett oute upon his firste voyadge by the Princes of Spaine, Ferdinando and Isabella, which was the thirde of Auguste, 1592. It appereth also, that the onely cause for his slowe dispatche was his fallings into the handes of pyrates, which spoiled him and his companie of all that they had; whereby he was inforced a longe tyme to worke in London in makinge instrumentes and seacardes to get somewhat aboute him, that he mighte come in some honest furniture to the Kinges presence. Also, that there was no delaye nor wante of goodd will of the Kinges parte to sett furthe the action, whoe willingly condescended to all Columbus demaundes; as is further to be seene in the 60 chapiter of the same historie, where I reade, that Bartholmewe Columbus, havinge agreed with the Kinge of England upon all capitulations, and returninge into Spaine by Fraunce to fetche his brother, when he hearde newes at Paris that he had concluded in the meane season with the Kinge of Spaine, and was entred into the action for him, was not a little vexed for his brothers abusinge the Kinge of England, which had so curteously graunted all his requestes and accepted of his offer. But Christofer, not receavinge so spedy aunswer as he hoped for from his brother oute of England, by reason of his fallinge into pirates handes, as is aforesaide, and not by reason of any slacknes or unwillingnes of the Kinge, in the meane season, for feare of beinge prevented by the Portingales, which once before in secrete manner had gon aboute to take the honour of the action oute of his handes, was stirred, contrary to honesty, to play on bothe handes, and to deal with the Princes of Spaine before he had receaved the Kinge of Englandes resolucion.
But leavinge this abuse offered to the Kinge of England either by Christopher Columbus or the Kinges of Spaine, in takinge that enterprise oute of his handes which was first sente to him, and never refused by him, and to put the case that Columbus firste discovered parte of the ilandes of Hispaniola and Cuba, yet wee will prove most plainely that a very greate and large parte, as well of the continent as of the ilandes, were firste discovered for the Kinge of England by Sebastian Gabote, an Englishe man, borne in Bristoll, the sonne of John Gabote, a Venesian, in the yere of our Lorde 1496; as an Italian gent, a greate philosopher and mathematitian, witnesseth, which harde the same of his owne mouthe; and there were many then also lyvinge, which wente with him in that voyadge, which coulde have proved him a liar yf it had bene otherwise. These be the very wordes of this gent, which be uttered to certen noblemen of Venice upon the disputation concerninge the voyadges of the spicerye: Know ye not (quoth he) to this effecte, to goe to finde the Easte Indies by the north west, that which one of your citie hath done, which is so skilfull in the arte of navigacion and cosmographie, that he hath not his like in Spaine at this day? And his sufficiencie hath so greately advaunced him, that the Kinge hath given him the oversighte of all the pilotts that saile to the West Indies, so that withoute his licence they cannot meddle in this arte, by reason whereof they call him the Graund Pilott. This was Segnior Sebastian Gabote, which I wente to see, beinge myselfe in Cyvill certen yeres paste, whome I founde to be a moste curteous and gentle person. After he had made very moche of me, and geven me good entertainment, he shewed me many singularities which he had; and amonge the rest, a greate mappe of the worlde, wherein were marked and described all the particular navigations as well of the Portingales as of the Castilians. And he declared unto me, that, his father beinge departed from Venyce, he wente to dwell in England for trade of marchandize, and caried him with him to the citie of London, thoughe he were very younge; yet for all that not so younge but that he had studied [letters] of humanitie and the sphere; moreover, that his father died aboute the tyme that the newes came that Christopher Colon had discovered the coaste of the West Indies, and there was no other talke but of that in the Courte of Kinge Henry the vij’th. which reigned then in England. Whereof every man saied, that yt was rather a thinge devine then humaine, to have founde out that way never knowen before, to goe by the west into the easte. This brute of Segnior Columbus did so inflame my harte, that I determyned also to doe some notable thinge. And knowinge by the reason of the sphere, that, in directinge my course righte towarde the north weste, I shoulde shorten the way greately to goe to the Easte Indies, without delaye I gave the Kinges Majestie to understande of myne opinion, which was marveylously well pleased; and he furnished me of twoo shippes, with all thinges necessarie; and this was in the yere 1496. in the begynnynge of somer. And I began to saile towardes the north west, thinckinge to finde no lande savinge that where Cathaio is, and from thence to turne towardes the Indies. But after certaine daies, I discouered lande which ronneth towardes the northe, wherewithall I was excedingly agreved; notwithstandinge I ceassed not to ronne alonge that coaste towardes the northe, to see yf I coulde finde any gulfe which turned towardes the north weste, until I came to the heighte of 56. degrees of our pole. The reason why the discovery was lefte of in Kinge Henry the Seaventh's tyme. Beinge there, I sawe that the coaste turned towards the easte, and, beinge oute of hope to finde any straite, I turned backe againe to searche out the said coaste towarde the equinoctiall, with intention alwayes to finde some passage to the Indies; and in followinge this coaste I sailed as farr as that parte which at this present they call Florida; and nowe my victualls failinge and fallinge shorte, I sailed no further, but lefte the coaste there, and sailed into England, where I was no sooner arryved but I founde greate troubles of the people, that were upp in armes by reason of the warres in Scotland; whereby the voyadge to those partes was laide aside for that time, and had in no further consideration.
Upon this relation, Monsieur Popiliniere, being a Frencheman, in his seconde booke, Des Trois Mondes, inferreth these speaches: This, then, was that Gabote which firste discovered Florida for the Kinge of England, so that the Englishe men have more righte thereunto then the Spaniardes, yf to have righte unto a contrie, it sufficeth to have firste seene and discovered the same.
Howbeit, Gabota did more then see the contrie, for he wente on lande on divers places, tooke possession of the same accordinge to his patente, which was graunted to his father, John Gabot, to Lewes, himself, and Sancius, his brethren, beinge to be sene in the Rolles and extant in printe: and, moreover, he broughte home three of the savages of the Indies, as Fabian, in his ancient Chronicle, dothe write, declaringe their apparell, feedinge, and other manners, which, he saieth, he observed himselfe in the Courte at Westminster, where he sawe twoo of them, two yeres after they were broughte into England, in Englishe apparell. Nay, that which is more, Gabota discovered this longe tracte of the firme lande twoo yeres before Columbus ever sawe any parte of the continente thereof. For the firste parte of the firme land, called Paria, and Bocca di Dragone, that is to say, the Dragons Mouthe, beinge to the southe of the iland of Hispaniola, was discovered by him in his thirde voyadge; which, as Peter Martir de Angleria, which was one of the councell of the West Indies, wryteth, was in the yere 1498; which is confirmed by Ferdinandus Columbus, his owne sonne, which was with his father in the voyadge (as Oviedo confesseth, libr. 19. cap 1.), and wrote a journall of that voyadge, shewinge, in the 67. chapiter of his historie, that his father firste sawe the firme lande the firste of Auguste in the yere 1498. But Gabote made his greate discoverie in the yere 1496. as he testifieth in his relation above mentioned. And the day of the moneth is also added in his owne mappe, which is yn the Queenes privie gallorie at Westminster, the copye whereof was sett oute by Mr. Clemente Adams, and is in many marchantes houses in London. N f land discoverd. In which mappe, in the chapiter of Newfoundelande, there in Latyn is put downe, besides the yere of our Lorde, even the very day, which was the day of St. John Baptiste; and the firste lande which they sawe they called Prima Visa or Prima Vista: and Mr. Roberto Thorne, in his discourse to Doctor Ley, Kinge Henry the Eights embassador to Charles the Emperour, affirmeth that his father and one Hughe Elliott, of Bristoll, were the firste persons that descried the lande. This case is so clere that the Spaniardes themselves, thoughe full sore againste their willes, are constrained to yielde unto us therein. For Franciscus Lopez de Gomera, in the 4. chapiter of his seconde booke of his Generall Historie of the Indies, confesseth that Sebastian was the firste discoverer of all the coaste of the West Indies, from 58. degrees of northerly latitude to the heighte of 38. degrees towardes the equinoctiall. He whiche broughte moste certeine newes of the contrie and people of Baccalaos, saieth Gomera, was Sebastian Gabot, a Venesian, which rigged up ij. shippes at the coste of Kinge Henry the Seaventh of England, havinge greate desire to traficque for the spices as the Portingales did. He carried with him CCC. men, and tooke the way towardes Island from beyonde the Cape of Labrador, untill he founde himselfe in 58. degrees and better. He made relation that, in the moneth of July, it was so colde and the ise so greate, that he durste not passe any further; that the daies were very longe, in a manner withoute any nighte, and for that shorte nighte that they had it was very clere. Gabot, feelinge the colde, turned towardes the west, refreshing himselfe at Baccalaos; and afterwardes he sailed alonge the coaste unto 38. degrees, and from thence he shaped his course to returne into England.
Moreover, this Fraunces Lopez de Gomera acknowledgeth, in his firste booke and xxjth. chapiter of the Generall Historie of the Indies, that Columbus on his thirde voyadge, sett oute from St Lucar of Barameda, in Spaine, in the ende of May, anno 1497. In which thirde voyadge, at lengthe, after any greate dangers by the way, he arryved in the firme lande of the Indies, towardes the province called Paria, which all the Spanishe authors confesse to have bene the firste of the continent that was discovered for the Kinges of Spaine.
So to conclude; whether wee beleve the testemonie of Peter Martir and Ferdinandus Columbus, which affirme that Christopher Columbus discovered the firme firste in anno 1498. a greate and large tracte of the continente of the Indies was discovered by Gabote and the Englishe above twoo yeres before, to witt, in the yere 1496, in the moneths of June and July; or whether wee be contente to yelde to Gomera, which saieth Columbus sett furthe of the discovery of the firme lande, 1497; yet wee of England are the firste discoverers of the continent above a yere and more before them, to witt, 1496. or, as Clement Adams saith, 1494. in the chapiter of Gabbotts mapp De terra nova, which is above three yeres before the Spaniarde, or any other for the Kinges of Spaine, had any sighte of any parte of the firme lande of the Indies. At leaste wise, by Gomera his owne confession, from 37. degrees of northerly latitude to 38. towardes the equinoctiall, we have beste righte and title of any Christian. As for the discovery of John Ponce de Leon, beinge in anno 1512. yt cannot be prejudiciall to our title, as beinge made sixtene yeres after Gabotes voyadge.
An aunswer to the Bull of the Donation of all the West Indies graunted to the Kinges of Spaines by Pope Alexander the VIth, whoe was himselfe a Spaniarde borne.
Whereas Fraunces Lopez de Gomera, in the 19. chapiter of his firste booke of his Generall Historie of the Indies, putteth downe that Pope Alexander the VIth, of his proper will and of his owne mere motion, with the consents of his Cardinalls, gave of his free grace to the Kinges of Spaine all the iles and firme landes which they shoulde discover towardes the west, and therewithall alledged the Bull itselfe; I aunswer, that no Pope had any lawfull aucthoritie to give any such donation at all. For proofe whereof, I say that, if he were no more than Christes vycar, as Gomera calleth him in that place, then he must needes graunte that the vicar is no greater then his Master. Nowe, our Saviour Christe, beinge requested and entreated to make a lawfull devision of inheritaunce betwene one and his brother, refused to do that, sayenge, Quis me constituit judicem inter vos? Whoe made me a judge betwene you? What meaneth, then, the Pope, not beinge spoken to nor entreated, of his owne proper will and of his owne mere motion, to meddle in those matters that Christe in no wise, no, not beinge thereunto instantly requested, woulde not have to deale in? Againe, oure Saviour Christe confessed openly to Pilate, that his kingdome was not of this worlde. Why, then, doth the Pope, that woulde be Christes servaunte, take upon him the devision of so many kingdomes of the worlde? If he had but remembred that which he hath inserted in the ende of his owne Bull, to witt, that God is the disposer and distributer of kingdomes and empires, he woulde never have taken upon him the devidinge of them with his line of partition from one ende of the heavens to the other. The historie of the poore boye whome God stirred upp to confounde and deride the Spaniardes and Portingales, when they were devidinge the woride betwene themselves alone, is so well knowen as I nede not stand to repeate it. But it is the Popes manner alwayes to meddle, as in this matter, so in other thinges, where they have nothinge to doe, and to intrude themselves before they be called. They mighte rather call to mynde the counsell of the goodd apostle, who tolde godly Tymothe, the Bisshoppe of Ephesus, that no man that warreth intangleth himself with the affaires of this presente life, because he woulde please Him that hath chosen him to be a souldier; and then they woulde learne to kepe themselves within the lymites of that vocation and ecclesiasticall function whereunto they are called; which ecclestiasticall function hath nothinge to doe with absolute donation and devidinge of mere temporalties and earthly kingdomes. St. Chrisostome, in his dialogue De dignitate sacerdotali, saieth that the mynisterie is a chardge geven by God to teache withoute armes or force, and that the same is no power to give or to take kingdomes, nor to make lawes for the publique governemente. St. Hillary writes as moche to the Emperour Constantine againste Auxentius, Bisshoppe of Milan. Our Saviour Christe himselfe saieth to his desciples, that while they were in the worlde, they shoulde be broughte before kinges and pollitique magistrates for his names sake. So then they shoulde not be judges and magistrates themselves, especially in the devisions of kingdomes; and, to leave all spirituall men an example, he paid tribute and toll for himselfe and Peter, and submitted himselfe and his apostles under the civill magistrate and politique governemente; yet the Pope, whoe saieth that he is Peters successor, will be a disposer of civill causes and temporall domynions. The apostle saieth, Romaines the 13: Let every soule be submitted unto the higher powers. Nowe, if the Popes will not beleve the worde of God withoute the exposition of the Fathers of the Churche, at leaste let them beleve St Chrisostome, and give eare to that which he hath written upon this place: That these thinges be comaunded to all men, saieth he, bothe to prestes and monckes, and not onely to secular or laymen, the Apostle declareth, even in the very begynnynge, when he saieth in this manner: Let every soule be subjecte unto their higher powers, thoughe thou were an apostle, thoughe thou were an evangeliste, thoughe thou were a prophet, or thoughe thou were any other whatsoever. For obedience dothe nothinge hinder godlines.
But the Popes woulde prove that they may give and bestowe kingdomes upon whome they please, by Samuels example that annoynted Hazaell Kinge of Siria insteade of Benhadad, and Jehu Kinge of Israeli insteade of Jehoram; as, also, by the example of Jehoada, the highe preste, that put the Queene Athalia to deathe, and placed Joas, the younge sonne of Ochosias in the kingdome. All those examples make nothinge at all in the worlde for them; for neither Samuell, nor Elias, nor Elizeus did any thinge in that matter withoute an expresse commaundement and all circumstances from the mouthe of God himselfe, as appereth moste evidently by their severall histories in the Bible. Samuell also did his comission full sore againste his will; and Elias and Elizeus, with greate feare of their lyves. As for Athalia, she was an usurper, and had cruelly murdered as many of the lawfull inheritours of the kingdome as she coulde possibly lay handes on; and therefore Jehoiada, the highe preste, not of his owne absolute aucthoritie, but by the helpe of the Kinges officers and joyfull consente of all the people, caused her moste justely to be deposed and put to deathe. He was also uncle to the younge Kinge, by mariage of his wife, Jebosheba, which was sister to Ahasai, the father of the younge kinge, and therefore bounde, in conscience and affinitie, to helpe him to his righte and succour him in his mynoritie. Nowe, when the Popes have the like excellent spirite of prophesie and the like chardges and expresse commaundementes from Gods owne mouthe, in the behalf of some one by name againste some one which God by name woulde have deposed, then they may ymitate them in pronouncinge unto them that God will rente their kingdomes from this or that kinge for his synnes. But none of the Prophetts made bulls or donations in their palaces, under their handes and seales and dates, to bestowe many kingdomes, which they never sawe or knewe, nor what nor howe large they were, or, to say the truthe, whether they were extant in rerum natura, as the Pope hath done in gevinge all the West Indies to the Kinges of Spaine. He shoulde firste have don as the prophetts dyd; that is, he shoulde firste have gon himselfe and preached the worde of God to those idolatrous kinges and their people; and then, if they woulde not, by any meanes, have repented, he mighte have pronounced the severe and heavie judgemente of God againste them, shewinge oute of the worde of God that one kingdome is translated from another for the sinnes of the inhabitantes of the same, and that God in his justice, woulde surely bringe some nation or other upon them, to take vengeaunce of their synnes and wickednes. And thus moche not onely Popes, but also any other godly and zealous bisshope or mynister, may doe, beinge called thereunto by God extraordinarily, or havinge the ordinarye warrante of his worde.
Yea, but the Popes can shewe goodd recordes that they have deposed Emperors, that they have translated empires from one people to another, as that of the Easte unto the Germaines, and that they have taken kingdomes from one nation and geven them to another. In deede, in some respectes, they have done so. But how? They never gave that which was in their actuall possession, yf by any meanes possible they mighte have kepte it themselves. It is an easie matter to cutt large thonges, as wee say, of other men’s hides, and to be liberall of other men’s goodds. Neither ys it any marvaile thoughe (as Gomera saieth) the Pope gave all the West Indies of his free grace to the Kinge of Spaine, for they never coste him a penye. But he that will be in deede and truthe liberall, he muste give of his owne, and not of other mens. For to take from one that which is his, to give it to another to whom it is not due, ys plaine injurie and no liberalitie, thoughe the gifte were bestowed upon him that were in nede. For as one saieth: Eripere alteri fraudulenter quod alteri des misericorditer, iniustitia quidem est et non eleemosyna — to take from one fraudulently to give to another mercifully, is no almes nor charitie, but plaine iniquitie. The Pope shoulde rather have sent into the West Indies store of godly pastors of his owne coste freely, then to have geven them and their gooddes wrongfully to be eaten upp and devoured of such insatiable and gredy wolves. He should have remembred the worde of our Saviour, whoe saieth: Beatius est dare quam accipere — it is a blessed thinge to give rather then to receave. The Popes say they gave Ireland to Kinge Henry the Seconde and his successors; and indeede they have don it in wordes. But when gave they that unto him? Forsoothe after he had faste footinge in it, and when Dermutius, the King of Leynester, had firste offred to make the Kinge his heire. And for all their donation, yf the Kinge had not by his force more then by their gifte holpe himselfe, the Popes donation had stoode him in small stede; neither did the Kinges of Ireland admitt and allowe of the Popes donation. If they had, they woulde never have rebelled so ofte againste the Crowne of England. To conclude this pointe, thoughe wee confesse that the Popes have don this or that, yet yt is no goodd argumente to say that they did it, and therefore it is lawfull, unless they coulde shewe that they did it rightfully. De facto constat, de jure non constat. And they themselves are driven to confess, that their medlinge on this sorte with kingdomes ys not directly, but indirectly. But suche indirecte dealinge is warranted neither by lawe of God nor men.
Nowe to the donation itselfe, wee are firste to consider, whoe it was that was the author thereof; secondly, unto whome it was made; thirdly, what were the causes and inducementes that moved the Pope thereunto; fourthly, the fourme and manner of donation; fyftly, the inhibition of all other Christian Princes, and the penaltie of all them that shoulde doe the contrarye; lastly, the recompence of the Kinges of Spaine to the Sea of Rome for so greate a gifte.
1. Touchinge the firste, the author hereof was Pope Alexander the vith whoe, as Platina and Onuphrius and Bale doe write, was himselfe a Spaniarde, and borne in Valencia, of the familie called Borgia, and therefore no marvell thoughe he were ledd by parcialitie to favour the Spanishe nation, thoughe yt were to the prejudice and domage of all others; whiche foule faulte of his may hereby appeare, that havinge in all the tyme of his Popedome created sixe and thirtie Cardinalles, of those xxxvj. he made xviij. to witt the one halfe, Spaniardes, as Bale dothe testifie, writinge of his life. Nowe let any man be judge, whether that were extreame parcialitie and ambition, to make Spaine equal in that pointe with all the rest of Christendome. No marvaile therefore, thoughe as in this, so in his donation, he was beyonde all reason caried away with blynde affection to his nation; which faulte of his had bene more to be borne withall, yf it had bene in a private or small matter. But in this so generall and comon cause, yt cannot choose but be altogether intollerable. If any man liste to see this man painted oute further in his colours, let him reade John Bale in his Eighte Century, where he shall finde so many of his badd partes, as a man woulde thinke he coulde not be a fitt man to make a goodd and uprighte judge in so weightie a matter as this.
2. The persons to whome he made this donation were Ferdinando and Isabella, Princes of Spaine, to whome, and to their heires and successors for ever, he confirmed the same, excludinge all other Christian princes. These princes, thoughe otherwise very vertuous and commendable, yet at the tyme of the makinge of this donation, were more unable then divers other Kinges of Christendome to accomplishe and bringe the same to effecte, as beinge greately ympoverished with the warres of Granadae, so farr furthe that they were constrained to seke for helpe of Kinge Henry the VIIth. of England, to subdue the Moores in their owne contrie. Yea, Queene Isabella was so poore and bare that she was faine to offer her owne jewells to gage, to borowe money to sett furthe Columbus in his firste voyadge, as it is to be seene in the 14. chapiter of the Historie of Ferdinandus Columbus, his owne sonne, It is also well knowen that the Spaniardes, for wante of people of their owne contrie, have not bene able nowe, in the space of xx’iiii. and xij. yeres, to inhabite a thirde or fourthe parte of those excedinge large and waste contries, which are as greate as all Europe and Africke.
3. The inducementes that moved his Holines to graunt these unequall donations unto Spaine were, firste, (as he saieth) his singuler desire and care to have the Christian religion and Catholicque faithe exalted, and to be enlarged and spredd abroade throughoute the worlde, especially in his daies, and that the salvation of soules shoulde be procured of every one, and that the barbarous nations shoulde be subdued and reduced to the faithe, &c. To this I aunswer that, if he had ment as in deede he saieth, he shoulde not have restrayned this so greate and generall a worke, belonginge to the duetie of all other Christian princes, unto the Kinges of Spaine onely, as thoughe God had no servauntes but in Spaine; or as thoughe other Christian kinges then lyvinge had not as greate zeale and meanes to advaunce Gods glory as they; or howe mente he that every one shoulde put their helpinge hande to this worke, when he defended all other Christian Princes, in paine of his heavie curse and excomunication, to meddle in this action, or to employe their subjectes, thoughe yt were to the conversion of the inhabitauntes in those partes. And whereas, to colour this his donation, he addeth, that the Kinges of Spaine had bene at greate chardge in that discoverie in respect whereof he was induced to deale so franckly with them, yt is evident that the Bull was graunted in the yere 1493. the iiij. of the moneth of May, at what time Columbus had made but one voyadge, wherein he was furnished onely with one small shippe and twoo little caravells, and had, in all his companie, but foure score and tenne men, and the whole voyadge stoode the Kinge of Spaine in 2500. crownes only. So these 2500. crownes were the greate chardges that the Pope speaketh of, that induced him to graunte so large a donation; for that was the uttermoste that Columbus desired, as is to be redd in the 14. chapiter of his owne sonnes historie.
Moreover, where the Pope confesseth he was informed, before the donation of his Bull, that the Kinges of Spaine had purposed, by the aide of God, to subdue and reduce unto the faithe all those landes and Ilandes, with their inhabitantes, whiche Columbus had founde in his firste discovery, in comendinge highly of this their intention, he semeth to confesse that they mighte have pursued that godly action very lawfully withoute makinge of him privy to their enterprice, which they did not in their firste sendinge furthe Columbus. And with what righte he builded and lefte men in Hispaniola at the firste, before the Popes donation, with the selfe same righte he mighte have subdued all that he shoulde afterwardes discover. So, then, the Popes gifte was of no more force, then of that which they mighte have chalenged by their former righte and interest of discoverie. And as for their former zeale and resolution to publishe the Christian faithe in those quarters, which the Pope confesseth to have bene in them before his donation, whoe seeth not that he stirres them uppe to nothinge, but to that which he acknowledged to have bene in them already; and so he did nothinge but actum agere.
Againe; in that he saieth, that in no other respecte, but moved onely by his mere and francke liberaltie, and for certeine secrete causes, he gave unto them all the ilandes and firme landes which already have bene founde, and which shoulde afterwardes be founde, which were then discovered or afterwardes to be discovered, towardes the West and the Southe, drawinge a straighte line from the pole articke to the pole antarticke, whether the ilandes or firme landes founde or to be founde were towardes the Indies or towardes any other quarter; intendinge, nevertheles, that this line be distant an hundred leagues towardes the West and the Southe from the iles which are comonly called the Azores, or those of Cape Verd: to this wee aunswer, that here wee are firste to consider that yt was no marvell that his Holines, beinge a Spaniarde borne, sett aparte all other respectes of justice and equitie, and of his mere motion and francke liberalitie was ready to raise and advaunce his owne nation, with doinge secrete wronge and injurie as moche as in him laye, and more, unto all other Princes of Christendome. For what els can those wordes importe, that he did it also for certen secrete causes, but give us juste cause to suspect that there wanted uprighte, indifferent, and sincere dealinges? And surely, if he had meant uprightly, he woulde have delte more plainely; for truths seketh no secrete comers. But if you will have me to reveale those secrete causes, to say as the thinge was, they were nothinge else but the feare and jelousie that he had, that Kinge Henry the vij’th. of England, with whome Bartholmewe Columbus had bene to deale in this enterprice, and even aboute this time had concluded with the Kinge upon all pointers and articles, whoe even nowe was readie to sende him into Spaine to call his brother Christopher into England, shoulde put a foote into this action; which, if he had don, he shoulde bothe have share with the Spaniardes in the profitt, and greatly ecclips their honour and glorie. Also, he coulde not choose but be privie to the longe conference that Christopher Columbus had before time with the Kinge of Portingale, and offer which he made firste of all to the said Kinge of this discovery, whoe thoughe at the firste delte doubly with Columbus, and sent other to finde oute that thinge which Columbus offered, yet, they missinge of their purpose, the Kinge of Portingale woulde have employed Columbus, and delte effectually with him to that ende; but he conceavinge a greate displeasure againste the Kinge and his nation for his secrete seekinge to defraude him of his honour, and benefite of his offer, stole prively oute of his realme into Castile. But the Pope, fearinge that either the Kinge of Portingale mighte be reconciled to Columbus, or that he mighte be drawen into England, by interposinge of his usurped aucthoritie, thoughte secretly, by his unlawfull division, to defraude England and Portingale of that benefite. Loe, these were indeede those secrete causes, sodenly, withoute makinge the other Kinges privie, to make his generall and universall donation of all the West Indies to the Kinges of Spaine, by drawinge a lyne of partition from one pole unto another, passinge a hundred leagues westwarde of the Iies of Azores; which division, howe God caused to be deryded by the mouthe of a poor, simple childe, Fraunces Lopez de Gomera, one of the Spaniardes owne historiographers, dothe specially note in manner followinge: Before I finishe this chapiter (saieth he), I will recite, to recreate the reader, that which happened, upon this partition, to the Portingales. As Fraunces de Melo, Diego Lopes of Sequeria, and others, came to this assembly, and passed the river by Quidiana, a little infant that kepte his mothers clothes, which she had washt and honge abroade to drye, demaunded of them, whether they were those that shoulde come to devide the worlde with the Emperour; and as they answered yea, he tooke up his shirte behinde and shewed them his buttocks, sayenge unto them: Drawe your lyne throughe the middest of this place. This, saieth the author, was published in contempte all abroade, bothe in the towne of Badayos and also in the assemblye of these committies. The Portingales were greately angrie therewithall, but the rest turned yt to a jest and laughed yt oute.
But what wise man seeth not that God by that childe laughed them to scorne, and made them ridicullous and their partition in the eyes of the worlde and in their owne consciences, and caused the childe to reprove them, even as the dombe beaste, speakinge with mans voyce, reproved the foolishnes of Balam the Prophett!
4. The fourthe pointe which I purpose to touche, is the forme and manner of the stile of the donation itselfe, after a large preface and connynge preamble; and that begynneth in this manner: Wee therefore, by the aucthoritie of God Almightie, which is geven to us in the person of Saincte Peter, and which wee enjoye in this worlde as the vicar of Jhesus Christe, give unto you all the ilandes and firme landes, with their seigniories, cities, castells, &c. In which repetition of his donation the seconde time for failinge, he woulde shewe unto the world by what aucthoritie and warrant he gave away from all the Indians their landes, contries, seigniories, cities, castells, places, villages, righte, jurisdictions, and all other appurtenances and thinges belonginge to the same, to the Kinges of Spaine onely, and to their heires and successors for ever. This usurped aucthoritie, as I have plainely confuted and denied in begynnynge, so nowe, in a worde or twoo, I will shewe, that never gave unto the Popes any suche aucthoritie. Math. 16 The chefest and greatest aucthoritie that ever was geven by Christe to Peter, is mentioned in the 16. chapiter of St. Mathewe, where Christe saieth unto him: I will give unto thee the keyes of the Kingdome of heaven, and whatsoever thou shalte binde in earthe shalbe bounde in heaven, and whatsoever thou shalte loose in earthe shalbe loosed in heaven. St. Hierome, expoundinge of this place, saieth, that the priestes or bisshops duetie and aucthoritie of the keyes to binde or loose, is to knowe and declare by the holy Scripture, and by the judgemente of the Catholicque Churche, where and whoe he is that hath offended againste the will of God, and whoe beinge once a Christian is fallen from the societie, or gone astraye oute of the pathe and waye of the Churche. These are the trewe keyes and twoo swordes which God hath put into prestes handes. And Peter Lombard, the Master of the Sentences, one of their owne doctors, is of St. Hieromes opinion. And what aucthoritie in the place above recited Christe comitted unto Peter, the same gave he also unto all the rest of his Apostles, John 20. verse 21. sayenge to them all: Whoesoever synnes yee remitte, they are remitted unto them; and whoesoever synnes yee retaine, they are retained. But that either Peter or any of the Apostles did teache or affirme, that they had aucthoritie to give awaye kingdomes of heathen Princes to those that were so farr from havinge any interest in them, that they knewe not whether there were any suche contries in the worlde or noe, I never reade nor hearde, nor any mane else, as I verely beleve. Which moste injuste and wrongfull dealinge of the Pope was notably confuted by Atabalipa, beinge an infidell. For after Fryer Vincent of Valverde, of the companie and traine of Piçar, had made an oration to him, the some whereof was that he shoulde become a Christyan, and that he shoulde obey the Pope and the Emperor, to whome the Pope had geven his kingdome, Atabalipa, beinge greately insensed, replied, that, seeinge he was nowe free, he woulde not become tributarye, nor thincke that there was any greater lorde then himselfe; but that he was willinge to be the Emperor’s frende and to have his acquaintaunce, for that he muste nedes be some greate lorde that sente so many armies abroade into the worlde. He aunswered, moreover, that he woulde not in any wise obey the Pope, seinge he gave away that which belonged to another, moche lesse that he woulde leave his kingdome, that came unto him by inheritaunce, to one which he had never seene in his life. And whereas Fryer Vincent, beinge displeased at his replye, was gladd to seeke any waye to wreake his anger upon him, insomoche as when Atabalipa lett his portesse fall to the grounde, he was so testye that he sett Piçar and his souldiers forwardes, cryenge, Vengeaunce, Christians, vengeaunce! give the chardge upon them; whereby many Indians, withoute resistaunce, or any stroke stricken on their partes, were moste pitefully murdred and massacred, and Atabalipa himselfe taken, and afterwardes trecherously put to deathe; this Frier himselfe, by Gods juste iudgement, was afterwardes beaten to deathe with clubbes by the inhabitantes of Puna, as he fledd from Don Diego de Almagre, as Fraunces Lopez de Gomera precisely and of purpose noteth, libro 5. cap. 85. of his Generall Historie of the Indies; and, besides him, all the reste of the chefe that were the executioners of his rashe counsell, and of the Popes Donation, came to moste wretched and unfortunate endes, as the aforesaide author there setteth downe in twoo severall chapiters of Considerations, as he calleth them.
Moreover, since the fourme of the donation ronneth not absolutely, but with this condition and chardge moste straightly enjoyned, viz., that the Kinges of Spaine shoulde sende thither sober and godly men, and cause the inhabitantes of those contries discovered or to be discovered to be instructed in the Catholique faithe, and noseled in goodd manners, and that they shoulde carefully applye themselves thereunto; wee answer, that these conditions have bene wonderfully neglected, and that neither the people have bene carefully instructed in relligion nor manners, and consequently that the conditions beinge not perfourmed the donation oughte of righte to be voide. For the Kinges of Spaine have sent suche helhoundes and wolves thither as have not converted, but almoste quite subverted them, and have rooted oute above fiftene millions of reasonable creatures, as Bartholmewe de Casas, the Bisshoppe of Chiapa in the West Indies, a Spaniarde borne, dothe write at large in a whole volume of that argumente. And Gonsalvo de Ouiedo, another of their owne historiographers, and Capitaine of the Castle of Sancto Domingo in Hispaniola, affirmeth the like: For there hath Spaniardes come into these contries, saieth he, which, havinge lefte their consciences and all feare of God and men behinde them, have plaied the partes not of men, but of dragons and infidells, and, havinge no respecte of humanitie, have bene the cause that many Indians, that peradventure mighte have bene converted and saved, are deade by divers and sondrie kindes of deathes. And althoughe those people had not bene converted, yet if they had bene lett to live, they mighte have bene profitable to your Majestie and an aide unto the Christians, and certaine partes of the lande shoulde not wholy have bene disinhabited, which by this occasion are altogether in a manner dispeopled. And they that have bene the cause of suche destruction call this contrie thus dispeopled and wasted, the contrie conquered and pacified; but I call it, quoth Gonsaluo, the contrie which is destroyed and ruyned; yea, so farr have they bene of from drawinge the Indians to the likinge of Christianitie and true Relligion, that the sentence of the Apostle may moste truly be verified of them, whoe saieth: The name of God is blasphemed amonge the Gentiles throughe you; ffor proofe whereof you shall not nede to reade but that which Peter Benzo of Milan hath written, whoe remayned in these Indies, and served in the warres with the Spaniardes againste the Indians for the space of fourtene yeres. This Benzo saieth that the Indians, not havinge studied logicke, concluded very pertinently and categorically, that the Spaniardes, which spoiled their contrie, were more dangerous then wilde beastes, more furious then lyons, more fearefull and terrible then fire and water, or any thinge that is moste outeragious in the worlde. Some also called them the fome of the sea, others gave them names of the beastes which are moste cruell and lyvinge of praye which they have in their contrie. There were some likewise that called them Tuira, as one would say, the Devills goodd grace.
Those thinges beinge thus, whoe seeth not that the Pope is frustrated of the ende which he intended in his Donation, and so the same oughte not to take effecte?
5. Ffiftly, yf yt be true and that the Pope mente goodd earnest, that all Emperours and Kinges which should sende their subjectes or others to discover withoute the Kinge of Spaines leave shoulde be excommunicated by him, why did he not first excommunicate Kinge Henry the Seaventh for sendinge furthe Sebastian Gabota with three hundred Englishemen, whoe by Gomera his owne confession, discovered from 58. degrees in the northe to 38. degrees towardes the equinoctiall? Why did he not the like to Kinge Henry the Eighte for sendinge to discover westwarde, in the xixth. yere of his reigne, while he was yet in obedience to the Churche of Rome? Why was he not offended and incensed againste Queene Mary, whoe suffered her subjectes, in the yere 1556. to seke oute, by the northeaste, the way to Cathaio and China, which are bothe within the pretended lymites of his donation, as John Gaetan and other Spaniardes doe write? Why did he not exercise his censures ecclesiasticall againste the Kinge of Ffraunce, Fraunces the Firste, for sendinge furthe Verarsanus twise or thrise, Iaques Cartier twise, and Robervall once, towardes the southwest and northwest? Why was not Henry the Seconde of Fraunce excomunicated for sendinge Villegagnon to inhabite in Brasill under the tropicke of Capricorne? Or Charles the IXth. for aidinge Ribault firste, and after Ladoniere, and a thirde tyme Ribault, to fortifie and inhabite in Florida? Or why did he not thunder againste Emanuell, Kinge of Portingale, for sufferinge Gasper Corterealis twise to seke to finde oute the northweste passage, and one of his brothers another time afterwarde? Or wherefore did he not openly rebuke the Kinge of Denmarke for sufferinge his subjecte, John Scolno, a Dane, in the yere 1500. to seke the Straighte by the northweste, of whome Gemma Frisius and Hieronymo Giraua, a Spaniarde, make mention? Or what shoulde be the reason, that all these kinges of England, Fraunce, Portingale and Denmarke, beinge otherwise all at these times in obedience of the Churche of Rome, shoulde, withoute consente as yt were, disanull and neuer make accompte of this Bull of the Pope? which thinge doubtles they woulde never have don, yf they had bene fully perswaded in their consciences, that if any Prince or Emperour, of what estate or condition soever, shoulde attempte the contrary, as it is in the conclusion of the said Bull, he shoulde be assured to incurr the indignation of Almightie God and of the Apostles St. Peter and St. Pawle. But nowe, seinge all the kinges aforesaide sente all their subjectes to discover beyonde the Popes partition lyne withoute the leave or permission of the Spaniarde, they seme with one accorde to testifie unto the worlde, that they made no reconynge of the breache of that Bull, as of an acte moste unjuste, moste unreasonable, and moste prejudiciall to all other Christian princes of the worlde.
Againe; yt were small charitie in the Popes to curse those Princes that have bene or are willinge to employe their treasures and people in advauncinge the honour and glory of God, and the lawfull enrichinge and benefite of their people. And whatsoeuer Pope shoulde excommunicate or curse any Christian prince for seekinge to reduce to the knowledge of God and to civill manners those infinite multitudes of infidells and heathen people of the West Indies, which the Spaniardes in all this time have not so moche as discovered, moche less subdued or converted, his curse woulde lighte upon his owne heade, and, to those which he cursed undeservedly, woulde be turned to a blessinge.
To be shorte; thoughe Pope Alexander the vj’th by his unequall division, hath so puffed upp and inflamed with pride his moste ambitious and insatiable contrymen, that they are growen to this high conceite of themselves, that they shall shortly attaine to be lordes and onely seigniors of all the earthe, insomoche as Gonsaluo de Ouiedo sticketh not to write to Charles the Emperour, sayenge: God hath geven you these Indies accio che vostra Maiesta sia universale et unico monarcha del mondo — to the intente that your Majesty shoulde be the universall and onely monarch of the world; yet God that sitteth in heaven laugheth them and their partitions to scorne, and he will abase and bringe downe their proude lookes, and humble ther faces to the duste; yea, he will make them, at his goodd time and pleasure, to confesse that the earthe was not made for them onely; as he hath already shewed unto the Portingales, which, not longe since, takinge upon them to devide the worlde with lynes, doe nowe beholde the line of Gods juste judgmente drawen over themselves and their owne kingdome and possessions. And nowe, no doubte, many of them remember that the threateninge of the prophet hath taken holde upon them, whoe pronounceth an heavie woe againste all suche as spoile, because they themselves shall at length be spoiled.
6. Finally, to come to the sixte and laste pointe, yf you consider what recompense the Kinges of Spaine have made to the Popes for this so greate a benefite bestowed upon them, you shall easely see and acknowledge with me, that they were either moste ungrateful, or, which is moste likely, that they never thoughte that they helde the Indies as the Popes gifte unto them, or that their title unto those regions depended upon his francke almes or liberalitie; ffor, if they had don soe, they coulde have done no lesse but have geven him the presentation of all archebisshopricks and bisshoprickes, and other greate ecclesiastical promotions in recompence of their former and large curtesie, wherein they have don the flatt contrary, reservinge onely unto themselves the presentation and patronage of all the archebisshopricks and bisshopricks that they have erected in the West Indies; ffor, as Gomera saieth in his 6. booke and 23. chapiter of his Generall Historie of the Indies, the Kinge of Spaine is patrone of all the archebisshopricks, bysshoprickes, dignities, and benefices of the West Indies, and so he onely appointeth and presenteth them, so that he is absolute lorde of the Indies.
This argueth that the Kinges of Spaine never made any greate accompte of the Popes Donation, but onely to blinde the eyes of the worlde with the sea of Rome; ffor doubtles, if they had acknowledged their tenure to depende, as I saied, of the Popes mere liberalitie, they woulde have don otherwise, and woulde have requited them farr otherwise then by excludinge them quite oute, and makinge themselves absolute patrones of all ecclesiasticall dignities whatsoever.
A briefe collection of certaine reasons to induce her Majestie and the state to take in hande the westerne voyadge and the plantinge there.
1. The soyle yeldeth, and may be made to yelde, all the severall comodities of Europe, and of all kingdomes, domynions, and territories that England tradeth withe, that by trade of marchandize cometh into this realme.
2. The passage thither and home is neither to longe nor to shorte, but easie, and to be made twise in the yere.
3. The passage cutteth not nere the trade of any prince, nor nere any of their contries or territories, and is a safe passage, and not easie to be annoyed by prince or potentate whatsoever.
4. The passage is to be perfourmed at all times of the yere, and in that respecte passeth our trades in the Levant Seas within the Straites of Juberalter, and the trades in the seas within the Kinge of Denmarkes Straite, and the trades to the portes of Norwey and of Russia, &c.; for as in the south weste Straite there is no passage in somer by lacke of windes, so within the other places there is no passage in winter by yse and extreme colde.
5. And where England nowe for certen hundreth yeres last passed, by the peculiar comoditie of wolles, and of later yeres by clothinge of the same, hath raised it selfe from meaner state to greater wealthe and moche higher honour, mighte, and power then before, to the equallinge of the princes of the same to the greatest potentates of this parte of the worlde: it cometh nowe so to passe, that by the greate endevour of the increase of the trade of wolles in Spaine and in the West Indies, nowe daily more and more multiplienge, that the wolles of England, and the clothe made of the same, will become base, and every day more base then other; which, prudently weyed, yt behoveth this realme, yf it meane not to returne to former olde meanes and basenes, but to stande in present and late former honour, glorye, and force, and not negligently and sleepingly to slyde into beggery, to foresee and to plante at Norumbega or some like place, were it not for any thing els but for the hope of the vent of our woll indraped, the principall and in effecte the onely enrichinge contynueinge naturall comoditie of this realme. And effectually pursueinge that course, wee shall not onely finde on that tracte of lande, and especially in that firme northwarde (to whome warme clothe shalbe righte wellcome), an ample vente, but also shall, from the north side of that firme, finde oute knowen and unknowen ilandes and domynions replenisbed with people that may fully vent the aboundance of that our comoditie, that els will in fewe yeres waxe of none or of small value by forreine aboundaunce, &c.; so as by this enterprice wee shall shonne the ymmynent mischefe hanginge over our heades, that els muste nedes fall upon the realme, without breache of peace or sworde drawen againste this realme by any forreine state; and not offer our auncient riches to scornefull neighboures at home, nor sell the same in effecte for nothinge, as wee shall shortly, if presently it be not provaided for. The increase of the wolles of Spaine and America is of highe pollicie, with greate desire of our overthrowe, endevoured; and the goodnes of the forren wolles our people will not enter into the consideration of, nor will not beleve aughte, they be so sotted with opinion of their owne; and, yf it be not foresene and some such place of vent provided, farewell the goodd state of all degrees in this realme.
6. This enterprise may staye the Spanishe Kinge from flowinge over all the face of that waste firme of America, yf wee seate and plante there in time, in tyme I say, and wee by plantinge shall lett him from makinge more shorte and more safe returnes oute of the noble portes of the purposed places of our plantinge, then by any possibilitie he can from the parte of the firme that nowe his navies by ordinary courses come from, in this that there is no comparison betwene the portes of the coastes that the Kinge of Spaine dothe nowe possesse and use, and the portes of the coastes that our nation is to possesse by plantinge at Norumbega and on that tracte faste by, more to the northe and northeaste, and in that there is from thence a moche shorter course, and a course of more temperature, and a course that possesseth more contynuance of ordinary windes, then the present course of the Spanishe Indian navies nowe dothe. And England possessinge the purposed place of plantinge, her Majestie may, by the benefete of the seate, havinge wonne goodd and royall havens, have plentie of excellent trees for mastes, of goodly timber to builde shippes and to make greate navies, of pitche, tarr, hempe, and all thinges incident for a navie royall, and that for no price, and withoute money or request. Howe easie a matter may yt be to this realme, swarminge at this day with valiant youthes, rustinge and hurtfull by lacke of employment, and havinge goodd makers of cable and of all sortes of cordage, and the best and moste connynge shipwrights of the worlde, to be lordes of all those sees, and to spoile Phillipps Indian navye, and to deprive him of yerely passage of his treasure into Europe, and consequently to abate the pride of Spaine and of the supporter of the greate Antechriste of Rome, and to pull him downe in equalitie to his neighbour princes, and consequently to cut of the common mischefes that come to all Europe by the peculiar aboundance of his Indian treasure, and thiss withoute difficultie.
7. This voyadge, albeit it may be accomplished by barke or smallest pynnesse for advise or for a necessitie, yet for the distaunce, for burden and gaine in trade, the marchant will not for profitts sake use it but by shippes of greate burden; so as this realme shall have by that meane shippes of greate burden and of greate strengthe for the defence of this realme, and for the defence of that newe seate, as nede shall require, and withall greate increase of perfecte seamen, which greate princes in time of warres wante, and which kinde of men are neither nourished in fewe daies nor in fewe yeres.
8. This newe navie of mightie newe stronge shippes, so in trade to that Norumbega and to the coastes there, shall never be subjecte to arreste of any prince or potentate, as the navie of this realme from time to time hath bene in the portes of the empire, in the portes of the Base Contries, in Spaine, Fraunce, Portingale, &c., in the tymes of Charles the Emperour, Fraunces the Frenche kinge, and others: but shall be alwayes free from that bitter mischeefe, withoute grefe or hazarde to the marchaunte or to the state, and so alwaies readie at the comaundement of the prince with mariners, artillory, armor, and munition, ready to offende and defender as shalbe required.
9. The greate masse of wealthe of the realme imbarqued in the marchantes shippes, caried oute in this newe course, shall not lightly, in so farr distant a course from the coaste of Europe, be driven by windes and tempestes into portes of any forren princes, as the Spanishe shippes of late yeres have bene into our portes of the Weste Contries, &c.; and so our marchantes in respecte of a generall safetie from venture of losse, are by this voyadge oute of one greate mischefe.
10. No forren commoditie that comes into England comes withoute payment of custome once, twise, or thrise, before it come into the realme, and so all forren comodities become derer to the subjectes of this realme; and by this course to Norumbega forren princes customes are avoided; and the forren comodities cheapely purchased, they become cheape to the subjectes of England, to the common benefite of the people, and to the savinge of greate treasure in the realme; whereas nowe the realme become the poore by the purchasinge of forreine comodities in so greate a masse at so excessive prices.
11. At the firste traficque with the people of those partes, the subjectes of the realme for many yeres shall chaunge many cheape comodities of these partes for thinges of highe valor there not estemed; and this to the greate inrichinge of the realme, if common use faile not.
12. By the greate plentie of those regions the marchantes and their factors shall lye there cheape, buye and repaire their shippes cheape, and shall returne at pleasure withoute staye or restrainte of forreine prince; whereas upon staies and restraintes the marchaunte raiseth his chardge in sale over his ware; and, buyenge his wares cheape, he may mainteine trade with smalle stocke, and withoute takinge upp money upon interest; and so he shalbe riche and not subjecte to many hazardes, but shalbe able to afforde the comodities for cheape prices to all subjectes of the realme.
13. By makinge of shippes and by preparinge of thinges for the same, by makinge of cables and cordage, by plantinge of vines and olive trees, and by makinge of wyne and oyle, by husbandrie, and by thousandes of thinges there to be don, infinite nombers of the English nation may be set on worke, to the unburdenynge of the realme with many that nowe lyve chardgeable to the state at home.
14. If the sea coste serve for makinge of salte, and the inland for wine, oiles, oranges, lymons, figges, &c. and for makinge of yron, all which with moche more is hoped, withoute sworde drawen, wee shall cutt the combe of the Frenche, of the Spanishe, of the Portingale, and of enemies, and of doubtfull frendes, to the abatinge of their wealthe and force, and to the greater savinge of the wealthe of the realme.
15. The substaunces servinge, wee may oute of those partes receave the masse of wrought wares that now wee receave out of Fraunce, Flaunders, Germanye, &c.: and so wee may daunte the pride of some enemies of this realme, or at the leaste in parte purchase those wares, that nowe wee buye derely of the Frenche and Flemynge, better cheape; and in the ende, for the part that this realme was wonte to receave, dryve them out of trade to idlenes for the settinge of our people on worke.
16. Wee shall by plantinge there inlarge the glory of the gospell, and from England plante sincere religion, and provide a safe and a sure place to receave people from all partes of the worlde that are forced to flee for the truthe of Gods worde.
17. If frontier warres there chaunce to aryse, and if thereupon wee shall fortifie, yt will occasion the trayninge upp of our youthe in the discipline of warr, and make a nomber fitt for the service of the warres and for the defence of our people there and at home.
18. The Spaniardes governe in the Indies with all pride and tyranie; and like as when people of contrarie nature at the sea enter into gallies, where men are tied as slaves, all yell and crye with one voice, Liberta, liberta, as desirous of libertie and freedome, so no doubte whensoever the Queene of England, a prince of such clemencie, shall seate upon that firme of America, and shalbe reported throughe oute all that tracte to use the naturall people there with all humanitie, curtesie, and freedome, they will yelde themselves to her governemente, and revolte cleane from the Spaniarde, and specially when they shall understande that she hath a noble navie, and that she aboundeth with a people moste valiaunte for theyr defence. And her Majestie havinge Sir Fraunces Drake and other subjectes already in credite with the Symerons, a people or greate multitude alreadye revolted from the Spanishe governmente, she may with them and a fewe hundrethes of this nation, trayned upp in the late warres of Fraunce and Flaunders, bringe greate thinges to passe, and that with greate ease; and this broughte so aboute, her Majestie and her subjectes may bothe enjoye the treasure of the mynes of golde and silver, and the whole trade and all the gaine of the trade of marchandize, that none passeth thither by the Spaniardes onely hande, of all the comodities of Europe; which trade of marchandise onely were of it selfe suffycient (withoute the benefite of the rich myne) to inriche the subjectes, and by customes to fill her Majesties coffers to the full. And if it be highe pollicie to mayneteyne the poore people of this realme in worke, I dare affirme that if the poore people of England were five times as many as they be, yet all mighte be sett on worke in and by workinge lynnen, and suche other thinges of marchandize as the trade in the Indies dothe require.
19. The present shorte trades causeth the maryner to be caste of and ofte to be idle, and so by povertie to fall to piracie. But this course to Norumbega beinge longer, and a contynuance of the employmente of the maryner, dothe kepe the maryner from ydlenes and necessitie; and so it cutteth of the principall actions of piracie, and the rather because no riche praye for them to take cometh directly in their course or any thing nere their course.
20. Many men of excellent wittes and of divers singuler giftes, overthrowen by sea, or by some folly of youthe, that are not able to live in England, may there be raised againe, and doe their contrie goodd service; and many nedefull uses there may (to greate purpose) require the savinge of greate nombers, that for trifles may otherwise be devoured by the gallowes.
21. Many souldiers and servitours, in the ende of the warres, that mighte be hurtfull to this realme, may there be unladen, to the common profite and quiet of this realme, and to our forreine benefite there, as they may be employed.
22. The frye of the wandringe beggars of England, that growe upp ydly, and hurtefull and burdenous to this realme, may there be unladen, better bredd upp, and may people waste contries to the home and forreine benefite, and to their owne more happy state.
23. If Englande crie oute and affirme, that there is so many in all trades that one cannot live for another, as in all places they doe, this Norumbega (if it be thoughte so goodd) offreth the remedie.
A note of some thinges to be prepared for the voyadge, which is sett downe rather to drawe the takers of the voyadge in hande to the presente consideration, then for any other reason; for that divers thinges require preparation longe before the voyadge, withoute the which the voyadge is maymed.
Victuall by Rootes And Herbes.
The Encrese, Renewe, and the Continewe of Victuall at the Plantinge Places, and Men and Thinges Incident and Tendinge to the Same.
Provisions Tendinge to Force.
Provisions Incident to the First Traficque and Trade of Marchandize.
Artesanes, Servinge our Firste Planters, Not in Traficque But For Buildinges.
Artesans, Sekvinge Our Firste Planters, and in Parte Servinge for Traficque.
A Present Provision For Raisinge a Notable Trade for the Time to Come.
The knitt wollen cappe of Toledo in Spaine, called bonetto rugio colterado, so infinitely solde to the Moores in Barbarie and Affricke, is to be prepared in London, Hereforde, and Rosse, and to be vented to the people, and may become a notable trade of gaine to the marchaunte, and a greate reliefe to oure poore people and a sale of our woll and of our labour; and beinge suche a cappe that every particular person will buye and may easelie compasse, the sale wil be greate in shorte time, especially if our people weare them at their first arryvall there.
Thinges forgotten may here be noted as they come to mynde, and after be placed with the rest, and after that in all be reduced into the best order.1
That there be appointed one or twoo preachers for the voyadge, that God may be honoured, the people instructed, mutinies the better avoided, and obedience the better used, that the voyadge may have the better successe.
That the voyadge be furnished with Bibles and with Bookes of service. That the bookes of the discoveries and conquests of the Easte Indies be carried with you.
That the bookes of the discoveries of the West Indies, and the conquests of the same, be also caried, to kepe men occupied from worse cogitations, and to raise their myndes to courage and highe enterprizes, and to make them lesse careles for the better shonnynge of comon daungers in suche cases arisinge. And because men are more apte to make themselves subjecte in obedience to prescribed lawes sett downe and signed by a prince, then to the changeable will of any capitaine, be he never so wise or temperate, never so free from desire of revenge, it is wisshed that it were learned oute what course bothe the Spaniardes and Portingales tooke, in their discoveries, for government, and that the same were delivered to learned men, that had pased most of the lawes of the empire and of other princes lawes, and that thereupon some speciall orders, fitt for voyadges and begynnynges, mighte upon deliberation be sett downe and allowed by the Queenes moste excellent Majestie and her wise counsell; and, faire ingrossed, mighte in a table be sett before the eyes of suche as goe in the voyadge, that no man poonished or executed may justly complaine of manifeste and open wronge offred.
That some phisition be provided to minister by counsell and by phisicke, to kepe and preserve from sicknes, or by skill to cure suche as fall into disease and distemperature.
A surgeon to lett bloude, and for such as may chaunce, by warres or otherwise, to be hurte, is more nedefull for the voyadge.
An apothecarye to serve the phisition is requisite; and the phisition deinge, he may chaunce (well chosen) to stande in steede of one and thother, and to sende into the realme, by seede and roote, herbes and plantes of rare excellencie.
If suche plentie of honye be in these regions as is saied, yt were to goodd purpose to cary in the voyadge suche of the servauntes of the Russia Companie as have the skill to make the drincke called meth, which they use in Russia and Poland, and nerer, as in North Wales, for their wine; and, if you cannot cary any suche, to cary the order of the makinge of yt in writinge, that it may be made for a nede.
And, before many thinges, this one thinge is to be called, as yt were, with spede to mynde, that the prisons and corners of London are full of decayed marchantes, overthrowen by losse at sea, by usuerers, suertishippe, and by sondry other suche meanes, and dare or cannot for their debtes shewe their faces; and in truthe many excellent giftes be in many of these men, and their goodd gtftes are not ymployed to any manner of use, nor are not like of themselves to procure libertie to employe themselves, but are, withoute some speciall meane used, to starve by wante, or to shorten their tymes by thoughte; and for that these men, schooled in the house of adversitie, are drawen to a degree higher in excellencye, and may be employed to greater uses in this purposed voyadge, yt were to greate purpose to use meanes by aucthoritie for suche as maliciously, wrongfully, or for triflinge causes are deteyned, and to take of them and of others that hide their heades, and to employe them; for so they may be relieved, and the enterprice furthered in many respectes.
A most nedeful note. And, in choice of all artesanes for the voyadge, this general rule were goodd to be observed, that no man be chosen that is knowen to be a Papiste, for the speciall inclynation they have of favour to the Kinge of Spaine.
That also, of those artesanes which are Protestantes, that where you may have chaunge and choice, that suche as be moste stronge and lusty men be chosen, and suche as can best handle his bowe or his harquebushe; for the more goodd giftes that the goers in the voyadge have, the more ys the voyadge benefited. And therefore (many goinge) yf every mans giftes and goodd qualities be entred into a booke before they be receaved, they may be employed upon any necessitie in the voyadge in this or in that, according as occasion of nede shall require.
1 Evidently memoranda added to the Manuscript from time to time.
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