TOGETHER WITH THE LAY-
ING OPEN OF CERTAIN ENOR-
mities and abuses committed by some that trade
to that Countrey, and the meanes laid
downe for reformation
Written by Captain Richard Whitbourne of
Exmouth, in the County of Deuon, and pub-
lished by Authority.
Imprinted at London by Felix Kingston, for
William Barret 1620.
Most Dread Soueraigne,
T hath alwaies beene my chiefest studie and practice, to serue your Maiestie and my Countrey: the intent of my best labours that way, I haue put into the following Discouery, and, vpon good approbation thereof by diuers of your Maiesties most Honourable Priuie Councel, haue beene incouraged to offer vp the same worke vnto your Maiestie. I confesse my weakenesse such, that I cannot put so fit a Garment vpon it, either /A3/ of stile or method, as I conceiue the matter it selfe deserueth. The substance of the worke, I submit to your Maiesties wisedome and iudgement; the errors and things needlesse, to your Highnesse pardon. The purpose thereof, is, with your Gracious allowance, to beget a disposition in all your Maiesties Subiects, for a Plantation in the New-found-land, grounded vpon reason of industry, both generally and particularly profitable to the Vndertakers and Posterities, as wel in matters of wealth, as also the meanes for increase of Defence and Power; which will the better goe forward, when your Maiesities suiects are made acquainted, with what facility it may be vundertaken; and so to worke the more effectuall impression in them, when they shall vnderstand, that it is an Iland, neere as spacious as Ireland, and lieth so farre distant from the Continent of America, as England is from the neerest part of France, and neere halfe the way between Ireland and Virginia, and the most part of it aboue three degrees neerer the South, than England, and hath been alrea-[/A4/]-dy well approued by such of your Maiesties Subiects as haue liued there aboue ten yeeres, that the Countrey is very healthfull and pleasant in the winter. How commodious and beneficially that Land may bee peopled with small charge, and proue profitable to the Vndertakers, and not hurtfull to any of your Maiesties Subiects, the following Discourse will make it plainely appeare, the which was presented vnto your Maiestie at Huntingdon in October last; since which time, it hath pleased such of the Lords of your Maiesties most Honourable priuy Councell, at Whitehall, the 24. Of Iuly last then present, to giue mee incouragement with their good approbation thereunto; and ordered, that the booke should be printed, with this further addition of their Honours fauour, to be recommended to the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, and the rest of the Lords Bishops, to be distributed to the seuerall Parishes of your Maiesties Kingdome, for the better incouragement of such as shall be willing to assist that Plantation, either in their persons or otherwise..[/A5/] And if your Maiesties Subiects put it in triall to vndertake; I trust, God will giue a blessing to the successe, whereof I haue onely made a true and plaine Relation of the truth: if I should write other then the truth, there are many in your Maiesties Kingdomes that haue often traded to that Countrey, whom I suppose will be ready to disproue me.
Thus being loth to be too tedious, I most humbly recommend to God, and to your Maiestie, my indeuours, the successe thereof, and my poore self,
auing had my breeding for many yeeres together in the courses of Marchandizing and Nauigations, I haue, through the expence of my time in that calling, set this downe to my selfe for my duty therein, to obserue and collect, wherein my labors might become profitable to my Country; and the rather, because I could not be ignorant, how much maintenance, and increase of Shipping and Mariners concernes vs, who may fitly bee stiled, The nation of the Sea; which generall reasons were more and more commended to me, by more particular considerations offered mee, in the notice I tooke of the disposition & affaires of other States, to which ours hath relation; some points whereof cannot now seasonably be mentioned; some others proper to what I discourse of, will present themselues in their places, as I shall goe along in giuing account of my endeuours.
Among my vndertakings & imployments in Seafaring, the most part haue beene to an Iland, called New-found-land, in part heretofore outwardly discouered, but neuer looked into by those discouerers as it deserued; from the beginning I found it promised /B1/ well, in respect of the purpose I had, to gather some thing for the bettering of the Common wealth; and the more I made triall of it, the more satisfaction it gaue me; Therefore I affected that course better then any other I fell vnto; insomuch as I did so fix my industrie vpon it, that for the qualifying of my trauels, I obtained Commission from the State to proceede in it, and am now come to propound to my Countreymen, the benefit they may make of an orderly Plantation and Traffike there: the following Discourse will satisfie them, if they will forgiue the vnhandsomenesse of the forme it is put into, and looke into the matter it selfe onely.
[Marginal Note: The description of new-found-land, and the commodities thereof.]
The Iland of New-found-land is large, temperate and fruitefull, the fruitfulnesse of it consisting not only in things of sustenance for those that shall inhabite it, but in many sorts of comodities likewise, of good vse and valew to be transported. The Natiues in it are ingenuous, and apt by discreet & moderate gouernments to be brought to obedience. The seat is fit for Harbour and reliefe, vpon the way between vs and Virginia, and consequently of aduantage to vs in any action that may engage vs, either by way of offence or attempt, in regard of those parts of the World. The Seas are so rich, as they are able to aduance a great Trade of Fishing; which, with Gods blessing, will become very seruiceable to the Nauie; and the increase of fishing there, cannot despaire of finding Portes enow to vent the commoditie at profitable rates.
Now if you would vnderstand what motiues wee haue at home with vs to carry vs thither; doe but [/B2/] looke vpon the populousnesse of our Countrey, to what a surfet of multitude it is subiect; consider how charitble for those that goe, and how much ease it will be for those that stay, to put forth some of our numbers, to such an imployment of liuing. Compare the English nature with others; and finde whether wee haue not as much courage as they, both to vndertake and maintaine; onely we lose it, in hauing lesse industry. Turne then towards the Lowe Countries, behold how they haue wonne vpon vs, by taking aduantage of our sitting still; (and most remarkable in this point of fishing) which, if their Audit were published, would bee found (I belieeue) oen of the best Agents they haue, both for their strength and wealth.
There is another motiue also, which amongst our Ancestours was wont to find good respect, namely, the honour of the action, by the enlarging of Dominions; and that which will crowne the worke, will be the aduancement of the honour of God, in bringing poore Infidels (the Natiues of that Countrey) to his Worship, and their owne saluation.
I commend the designe to the entertainment of his Maiestie and his Kingdomes: because I esteem it such a one, as deserues not only to be vndertaken, but to be gone thorow withall.
And as it is a Proiect of no fantasie in me, but a truth grounded vpon a well-weighed experience; so haue I not presumed to publish it, but vpon good approbation, as hath already appeared.
If these considerations, with many others here omitted, but contained in the ensuing Discourse, /B2/ may worke an impression in the affections of his Maiesties Subiects, for the aduancement of Gods glory, their owne, and their Countries prosperity, it shall be some content toward the great paines, losses of time, and expence of my meanes that I haue sustained in the prosecuting thereof, for which I trust you will at least returne your thankefull acceptance; and so I remaine
Your louing friend,
lthough I well know, that it is an hard matter to perswade people to aduenture into strange Countries; especially to remain and settle themselues there, though the conditions thereof be neuer so beneficiall and aduantagious for them: yet I cannot be out of all hope, that when it shall bee taken into consideration, what infinite riches and aduantages other nations (and in partiuclar, the Spaniards and Portugals) haue gotten to themselues by their many Plantations, not onely in America, but also in Barbary, Guinnie, Binnie, and other places: And when it shall plainly appeare, by the following Discourse, that the Countrey shall plainly appeare, by the following Discourse, that the Countrey of New-found-land (as it is here truly described) is little inferior to any other for the commodities thereof; and lies, as it were, with open armes towards England, offering it selfe to be imbraced, and inhabited by vs: I cannot bee out of hope (I say) but that my Countreymen will bee induced, either by the thriuing examples of others, or by the strength of reason, to hearken, and put to their helping hands to that, which will in all likelihood yeeld them a plentifull reward of their labours. But before I enter into discourse of the Countrey it selfe, I /B3/ hold it fit to make knowne partly the meanes and degrees, whereby I attained vnto the experience and knowledge I haue thereof.
And first, for mine owne poor estate and condition, it is well knowne, that my breeding and course of life hath bin such, as that I haue long time set many people on worke, and spent most of my dayes in trauell, especially in Merchandizing, and Sea-voyages. I have been often in France, Spaine, Italy, Portugall, Sauoy, Denmarke, Norway, Spruceland, the Canaries, and Soris Ilands: and for the New-found-land, it is almost so familiarly knowne to me as my owne Countrey.
In the yeere 1588, I serued vnder the then Lord Admirall, as Captaine in a Ship of my owne, set forth at my charge against the Spanish Armada: and after such time as that seruice was ended, taking my leaue of his Honour, I had his fauourable Letters to one Sir Robert Denis, in the County of Deuon, Knight; whereby there might bee some course taken, that the charge, as well of my owne Ship, as also of two other, and a Pinnace, with the victuals, and men therein imployed, should not be any way burthensome to mee. Wherein there was such order giuen by the then right Honourable Lords of the priuie Councell, that the same was well satisfied; which seruice is to be seene recorded in the Booke at White-Hall.
Now, to expresse some of my Voyages to the New-found-land, which make most for the present purpose:
My first Voyage thither, was about 40. yeeres since, in a worthy Ship of the burthen of 300. Tunne, set foorth by one Master Cotton of South-hampton; wee were bound to the grand Bay (which lyeth on the North-Side of that Land), purposing there to trade then with the Sauage [/B4/] people, (for whom we carried sundry commodities) and to kill Whales, and to make Trayne oyle, as the Biscaines doe there yeerely in great abundance. But this our intended Voyage was ouerthrowne, by the indiscretion of our Captaine, and faint-heartednesse of some Gentlemen of our Company.
Whereupon we set saile from thence, and bare with Trinity Harbor in New-found-land; where we killed great store of Fish, Deere, Beares, Beauers, Seales, Otters, and such like, with /B4/abundance of Sea-fowle: and so returning for England, we arriued safe at South-hampton.
In a Voyage to that Countrey about 36. yeeres since, I had then the command of a worthy Ship of 220. Tun, set forth by one Master Crooke of South-hampton: At that time Sir Humfrey Gilbert, a Deuonshire Knight, came thither with two good Ships and a Pinnace, and brought with him a large Patent, from the late most renowned Queene Harbour of S. Iohns, whereof I was an eye-witnesse. He sailed from thence towards Virginia, and by reason of some vnhappy direction in his coruse, the greatest Ship he had, strucke vpon Shelues, on the Coast of Canadie, and was there lost, with most part of the company in her: And hee himselfe being then in a small Pinnace of 20. Tun, in the company of his Vice-Admirall, (one Captaine Hayes) returning towards England, in a great Storme, was ouerwhelmed with the Seas, and so perished.
In another Voyage I made thither, about 34. yeeres past, wherein I had the command of a good Ship partly mine owne, at that time one Sir Bernard Drake of Deuonshire, Knight, came thither with a Commission, and [/B5/] hauing diuers good Ships vnder his command, hee there tooke many Portugall Ships, laden with fish, and brought them into England as Prizes.
Omitting to speake of other Voyages I made thither, during the late Queenes Raigne, I will descend to later times.
In the yere 1611, being in New-found-land, at which time that famous Arch-Pirate, Peter Easton, came there, and had with him ten saile of good Ships, well furnished, and very rich, I was kept eleuen weekes vnder his command, and had from him many golden promises, and much wealth offered to be put into my hands, as it is well knowne: I did persuade him much to desist from his euill course; his intreaties then to me, being, that I would come for England, to some friends of his, and sollicite them to become humble petitioners to your Maiesty for his pardon: but hauing no warrant to touch such goods, I gaue him thankes for his offer; onely I requested him to release a Ship that he had taken vpo the Coast of Guinnie, belonging to one Captaine Rashly of Foy in Cornewall; a man whom I knew but onely by report: which he accordingly released. Whereupon I prouided men, victuals, and a fraught for the said Ship, and so sent her home to Dartmouth in Deuon, though I neuer had so much as thankes for my kindnesse therein. And so leauing Easton, I came for England, and gaue notice of his intention, letting passe my Voyage that I intended for Naples, and his intention, letting passe my Voyage that I intended for Naples, and lost both my labour and charges: for before my arriuall, there was a Pardon granted, and sent him from Ireland. But Easton houering with those Ships and riches vpon the Coast of Barbary, as hee promised, with a longing desire, and full expectation to bee called home lost that hope, by a too much delaying of time by him who carried the Pardon. [/B6/] Whereupon hee sailed to the Straights of Gibraltar, and was afterwards entertained by the Duke of Sauoy, vnder whom he liued rich.
I was there also in the yeere 1614, when Sir Henry Manwaring was vpon that Coast, with fiue good Ships strongly prouided; hee caused mee to spend much time in his company, and from him I returned into England; although I was bound from thence to Marseiles, to make sale of such goods as I then had, and other imployments, &c.
In the yeere 1615. I returned againe to New-found-land, carrying with mee a Commission out of the high Court of Admiralty, vnder the great Seale thereof, authorizing me to impannell Iuries, and to make inquiry vpon oath, of sundry abuses and disorders committed amongst Fishermen yeerely vpon that Coast, and of the fittest meanes to redresse the same, with some other poynts, hauing a more particular relation to the Office of the Lord Admirall.
What was then there done by vertue of that Commission, which was wholly executed at my owne charge, hath been at large by me already certified into the high Court of Admiralty. Neuerthelesse, seeing the same hath been ouerslipt euer since, and not produced those good effects which were expected, I will, in some conuenient place of this Discourse, set downe a briefe collection of some part of my indeuours spent in that seruice; not doubting but it will be as auaileable for the furtherance of our intended designe, as any other reason I shall deliuer.
In the yeere 1616. I had a Ship at New-found-land, of 100. Tun, which returning laden from thence, being bound for Lisbone, was met with by a French Pyrate of Rochell, one Daniel Tibolo, who rifled her, to the ouer- [/B7/] -throw and losse of my Voyage, in more then the summe of 860. pounds, and cruelly handled the Master and the Company that were in her: and although I made good proofe thereof at Lisbone, and represented the same also to this Kingdome, as appertained, after my returne from thence; yet for all this great losse, I could neuer haue any recompence.
Shortly after my returne from Lisbone, I was sent for by a Gentleman, who about a yeere before, by a grant from the Patentees, had vndertaken to settle people in New-found-land; he acquainted me with his designes, and after some conference touching the same, wee so concluded, that he gaue me a conueyance vnder his hand and seale for the terme of my life, with full power to gouerne within his circuit vpon that Coast; whereupon (being desirous to aduance that worke) in Anno 1618. I sailed thither in a Shippe of my owne, which was victualled by that Gentleman, my selfe, and some others. Wee likewise then did set forth another Ship, for a fishing Voyage, which also carried some victuals for those people which had beene formerly sent to inhabite there: but this Ship was intercepted by an English erring Captaine (that went forth with Sir Walter Rawleigh) who tooke the Master of her, the Boatswaine, and two other of the best men, with much of her victuals (the rest of the Company for feare running into the woods) and so left the Ship as a prize, whereby our intended fishing-Voyages of both our Ships were ouerthrowne, and the Plantation hindred.
Now seeing it pleased your Maiesty many yeres since, to take good notice of the said New-found-land, and granted a Patent for a Plantation there, wherein many Honourable and worthy mens indeuours, and great charge, [/B8/] therein haue deserued good commendations (as is well knowne) the which I desire to further with all my best indeuours: and not to disgrace or disable the foundation and Proiects of others, knowing they haue been hindered by Pyrats, and some erring Subiects that haue arriued vpon that Coast; it being indifferent to me, whether there be a new foundation laid, or whether it bee builded on that which hath already been begun; so that the Plantation goe forward: Yet I may truly say, that hitherto little hath been performed to any purpose, by such as therein were imployed, worthy the name of a Plantation, or answerable to the expectation and desert of the Vndertakers; neither haue such good effects followed, as may be expected from a thorow performance hereafter. And seeing that no man hath yet published any fit motiues or inducements, whereby to perswade men to aduenture, or plant there; I have presumed plainly to lay downe these following reasons, which is the principall end I aime at, whereby to further that work so worthily intended, by prescribing fit meanes how a Plantation might be settled there; and haue therefore vndertaken it, as well to discharge my conscience, which hath often prompted me thereunto, as hoping thereby to stirre vp many of your Maiesties good and religious Subiects, duely to waigh the piety, honour and benefit that will arise from such a worke, considering how your Maiesties Kingdomes doe abound and ouerflow with people. And although I haue often suffered great losses by Pyrates and Sea-Rouers, and other casualites of the Sea, yet in this poynt, I haue tasted of Gods exceeding great mercy, that neuer any Ship, wherein I my selfe was present, miscarried, or came then to any mischance, or any casualty of the Sea, whereunto all Ships are subiect: so as I may well say, that [/B9/] my life hath beene a mixture of crosses and comforts, wherein neuerthelesse they haue not been so equally ballanced, but that the one hath ouerweighed the other: for now, after more then forty yeeres spent in the foresaid courses, there remaines little other fruit vnto mee, sauing the peace of a good conscience, which giues me this testimony, that I haue euer been a loyall Subiect to my Prince, and a true louer of my Countrey, and was neuer as yet in all my time beholding to any Doctors counsell, or Apothecaries drugs, for the preseruation of my health; and it will bee to mee a contentment, if I may be so happy, as to become the instrument of any publike good herein, and in whatsoeuer, for the good of my Prince and Countrey. And so I descend to the particular Relation of the Countrey, &c.
I shall not much neede to commend the wholesome temperature of that Countrey, seeing the greatest part thereof lieth aboue 3 degrees neerer to the South, then any part of England doth.
And it hath been well approued by some of our Nation, who haue liued there many yeeres, /2/ that euen in the winter season it is pleasant and healthfull, as England is. [Marginal Note: The temperature of the ayre.]
And although the example of one Summer bee no certaine rule for other yeeres; yet thus much also can I truly affirme, that in the yeere 1615, of the many thousands of English, French, Portugals, and others, that were then vpon that Coast, (amongst whom I sailed to and from more then one hundred leagues) I neither saw nor heard in all that trauell, of any man or boy of either of these Nations, that dyed there during the whole voyage; neither was there so much as any one of them sicke.
[MARGINAL NOTE: The Inhabitants, with their nature and customes]
The naturall Inhabitants of the Countrey, as they are but few in number; so are they something rude and sauage people; hauing neither knowledge of God, nor liuing vnder any kinde of ciuill gouernement. In their habits, customes and manners, they resemble the Indians of the Continent, from whence (I suppose) they come; they liue altogether in the North and West part of the Countrey, which is seldome frequented by the English: But the French and Biscaines (who resort thither yeerely for the Whale-fishing, and also for the Cod-fish) report them to be an ingenuous and tractable people (being well vsed:) they are ready to assist them with great labour and patience, in the killing, cutting, and boyling of Whales; and making the Traineoyle, without expectation of other reward, then a little bread, or some such small hire.
[Marginal Note: The conueniencie of the Bayes in the Countrey] All along the coast of this Countrey, there are many spacious & excellent Bayes, some of them stretching into the land, one towards another, more then twenty leagues.
/3/ On the East side of the land, are the Bayes of Trinity and Conception; which stretch themselues towards the South-west; Tor Bay, and Capelin Bay, lying also on the East, stretch toward the West: The Bayes of Trepassey, S. Mary, Borrell, and Plaisance, on the South part of the land, extend their armes toward the North: The great Bay of S. Peters, lying on the Southwest side of the land, and East, Southerly from the great Riuer of Canady, being about twenty leagues distant, the same stretcheth toward the East.
And here I pray you note, that the bottomes of these Bayes doe meete together within the compasse of a small circuit: by meanes whereof our men passing ouer land from Bay, to Bay, may with much facilitie discouer the whole Countrey.
From the Bay of S. Peter, round about the West-side of the land, till you come to the grand Bay, which lyeth on the North-side of the Countrey; and so from thence, till you come round, back to Trinity Bay, are abundance of large and excellent Bayes; which are the lesse knowne, because not frequented by the English, who seldom fish to the Northward of Trinity Bay.
[Marginal Note: Commodious Ilands and worthy Harbors.] And it is to be obserued, that round about the Coast and in the Bayes, there are many small Ilands (noen of them further off then a league from the land) both faire and fruitfull: neither doth any one part of the world afford greater store of good Harbors, more free from dangers, or more commodious, then are there built by the admirable workmanship of God; I will onely instance two or three of the chiefest, for some speciall reasons.
/4/[Marginal Note: Trinity Harbour affording diuers good commodities.] Trinity Harbour lyes neere in 49 degrees North-latitude, being very commodiously seated to receiue shipping in reasonable weather, both to anchor in, and from thence to saile towards either the East, West, or South: It hath three Armes or Riuers, long and large enough for many hundred saile of Ships, to moare fast at Anchor neere a mile from the Harbors mouth; close adioyning to the Riuers side, and within the Harbour is much open land, well stored with grasse sufficient, Winter and Summer, to maintaine great store of ordinary cattell, besides Hogges and Goates, if such beasts were carried thither; and it standeth North, most of any Harbor in the land, where our Nation practiseth fishing; It is neere vnto a great Bay lying on the North-side of it, called the Bay of Flowers; to which place no Shippes repaire to fish; partly in regard of sundry Rocks and Ledges lying euen with the water, and full of danger; but chiefly (as I coniecture) because the Sauage people of that Countrey doe there inhabite: many of them secretly euery yeere, come into Trinity Bay and Harbour, in the night time, purposely to steale Sailes, Lines, Hatchets, Hookes, Kniues, and such like. And this Bay is not three English miles ouer land from Trinity Bay in many places; which people, if they might be reduced to the knowledge of the true Trinity indeed, no doubt but it would be a most sweete and acceptable sacrifice to God, an euerlasting honour to your Maiesty, and the heauenliest blessing to those poore Creatures, who are buried in their owne superstitious ignorance. The taske thereof would proue easie, if it were but well begun, and constantly seconded by /5/industrious spirits: and no doubt but God himselfe would set his hand to reare vp and aduance so noble, so pious, and so Christian a building.
[Marginal Note: The bottoms of diuers Bayes meeting neere together.] The bottome of the Bay of Trinity lyeth within foure leagues through the land Southwest, Southerly from Trinity, as by experience is found; and it comes neere vnto the Bay of Trepassey, and the bottome of some other Bayes, as I haue already touched before.
And what commodities may thereby redound, if some of your Maiesties Subiects were also once settled to plant neere vnto the Harbor of Trepassey, being the South part of New-found-land, where some Ships vse yerely to fish? If therefore neere the Harbour of Trinity it were inhabited by some of your Maiesties Subiects, I see no reason to the contrary, but that a speedy and more certaine knoweldge might be had of the Countrey, by reason those sauage people are so neere; who being politikely and gently handled, much good might bee wrought vpon them: for I haue had apparant proofes of their ingenuous and subtile dispositions, and that they are a people full of quicke and liuely apprehensions.
[Marginal Note: The Harbour of Trepassey lying commodiously.] Trepassey in like manner is as commodious a Harbour, lying in a more temperate climate, almost in 46 degrees the like Latitude, and is both faire and pleasant, and a wholesome Coast, free from Rockes and Shelues: so that of al other Harbors, it lies the Southmost of any Harbour in the land, and most conueniently to receiue our shipping passing to & from Virginia, & the Bermuda Ilands; & also any other shipping that shall passe to and from the Riuer of Canady and the coast thereof; because they /6/ vsually passe, and so returne in the sight of the land of Trepassey; and also for some other purposes, as shall be partly declared in the following Discourse.
But I will not insist vpon further particulars of Harbours in this place, seeing our men that yeerely trade to that Coast, know them to be as good and commodious Harbours, as any other whatsoeuer.
[Marginal Note: The fertility of the soyle.] The soyle of this Countrey in the valleys and sides of the mountaines, is so fruitfull, as that in diuers places, there the Summer naturally produceth out of the fruitfull wombe of the earth, without the labour of mans hand, great pleanty of greene Pease and Fitches, faire, round, full and wholesome as our Fitches are in England; of which I haue there fed on many times: the hawmes of them are good fodder for cattell and other beasts in the winter, with the helpe of Hay; of which there may be made great store with little labour in diuers places of the Countrey.
[Marginal Note: Seuerall sorts of fruits there growing.] Then haue you there faire Strawberries red and white, and as faire Raspasse berries, and Goose berries, as there be in England; as also multitudes of Bilberries, which are called by some, Whortes, and many other delicate Berries (which I cannot name) in great abundance.
There are also many other fruits, as small Peares, sowre Cherries, Filberds, &c. And of these Berries and fruits the store is there so great, that the Marineres of my Ship and Barkes company, haue often gathered at once, more then halfe an hogshead would hold; of which diuers times eating their fill, I neuer heard of any man, whose heath was thereby anyway impaired.
/7/[Marginal Note:Herbs and flowers both pleasant and medicinable] There are also herbes for Sallets and Broth; as Parsley, Alexander, Sorrell, &c. And also flowers, as the red and white Damaske Rose, with other kinds; which are most beautifull and delightfll, both to the sight and smell.
And questionlesse the Countrey is stored with many Physicall herbs and roots, albeit their vertues are not knowne, because not sought after; yet within these few yeeres, many of our Nation finding themselues ill, haue brused some of the herbes and strained the iuyce into Beere, Wine of Aqua-vita; and so by Gods assistance, after a few drinkings, it hath restored them to their former health.
The like vertue it hath to cure a wound, or any swelling, either by washing the grieued places with some of the herbes boyled, or by applying them so thereunto (plaister-wise) which I haue seene by often experience.
This being the naturall fruitfulnesse of the earth, producing such varietie of things, fit for food, without the labour of man; I might in reason hence inferre, that if the same were manured, and husbanded in some places, as our grounds are, it would be apt to beare Corne, and no lesse fertill then the English soyle.
But I need not confine my self to probabilities; seeing our men that haue wintred there diuers yeers, did for a triall and experiment thereof sowe some small quantities of Corne, which I saw growing very faire; and they found the increase to bee great, and the graine very good; and it is well knowne to me, and diuers that trade there yeerely, /8/how that Cabbage, Carrets, Turneps, Lettice, Parsley, and such like, proue well there. [Marginal Note: Corne growing there, yeelding good (sic) increase.]
[Marginal Note: Store of Deere and other beasts.] In diuers parts of the Countrey, there is great store of Deere, and some Hares, many Foxes, Squirrels, Beuers, Wolues, and Beares, with other sorts of beasts, seruing as well for necessities, as for profit and delight.
Neither let me seeme ridiculous, to annex a matter of nouelty, rather then waight, to this discourse.
[Marginal Note: A rare example of the gentle nature of the beasts of that Countrey.] In the yeere 1615. it was well knowne to 48. persons of my company, and diuers other men, that three seuerall times, the Wolues and beasts of the Countrey came downe neere them to the Sea-side, where they were labouring about their Fish, howling and making a noise: so that at each time my Mastiffe-dogge went vnto them (as the like in that Countrey hath not beene seene:) the one began to fawn and play with the other, and so went together into the Woods, and continued with them, euery of these times, nine or ten dayes, and did returne vnto vs without any hurt. Hereof I am no way superstitious, yet it is something strange to me, that the wilde beasts, being followed by a sterne Mastiffe-dogge, should grow to familiaritie with him, seeing their natures are repugnant: surely much rather the people, by our discreet and gentle vsage, may bee brought to society, being already natually inclined thereunto.
[Marginal Note: Plenty of Land-fowle.] But to returne to our purpose, and to speake something of the great plenty of Fowle in that Countrey, as well as Land-fowle, as Water-fowle; the variety of both kinds is infinite.
/9/[Marginal Note: Great store of Land-fowle.] The Land-fowle (besides great number of small birds flying vp and downe, some without name that liue by scraping their food from the earth in the hardest winter that is) there are also Hawkes, great and small, Patriges, Thrush, and Thrussels abundance very fat. As also Filladies, Nightingales and such like small birds that sing most pleasantly.
[Marginal Note: Water-fowle.] There are also birds that liue by prey, as Rauens, Gripes, Crowes, &c. For Water-fowle, there is certainly so good, and as much varietie, as in any part of the world; as Geese, Ducks, Pigeons, Gulls, Penguins, and many other sorts.
These Penguins are as bigge as Geese, and flye not, for they haue but a little short wing, and they multiplie so infintely, vpon a certaine flat Iland, that men driue them from thence vpon a boord; into their boats by hundreds at a time; as if God had made the innocency of so poore a creature, to become such an admirable instrument for the sustentation of man.
There are also Godwits, Curlewes, and a certaine kind of fowle that are called Oxen and Kine, with such like; which fowle doe not only steede those that trade thither greatly for foode, but also they are a great furthering to diuers Ships voyages, because the abundance of them is such, that the Fishermen doe bait their hookes with the quarters of Sea-fowle on them; and therewith some ships doe yeerely take a great part of their fishing voyages, with such baite, before they can get others.
[Marginal Note: Fresh water and Springs.] The fresh Waters and Springs of that Countrey, are many in number, and withall very pleasant, delightfull and wholesome, that no Countrey /10/in the world hath better. And Fewell for fire is so plentifull, that there is neuer like to be any want there of those Commodities.
[Marginal Note: Many sorts of Timber there growing.] In like manner there is great abundance of Trees, fit to be imployed in other seruiceable vses: There are Firre and Spruce trees, sound, good, and fit to mast Ships withall; and as commodious for boords and buildings as the Spruce & Firre trees of Norway; and out of these came abundance of Turpentine. No Countrey can shew Pyne and Birch trees, of such height and greatnesse as those are there, & doubtles, if some store of your Maiesties subiects do once settle there to liue, and would be industrious to search further, and more throughly into the Countrey, then as yet it hath beene, there might be found many other commodities of good worth. Amongst the which I may not omit, that there is much probability of finding Mines, and making of Iron and Pitch. [Marginal Note: Good hope of Mines, and making of Iron and Pitch.]
[Marginal Note: Fish in great abundance.] The Riuers also and Harbours are generally stored with delicate Fish, as Salmons, Peales, Eeles, Herrings, Mackerell, Flounders, Launce, Capelin, Cod, and Trouts the fairest, fattest and sweetest, that I haue sene in any part of the world. The like for Lobsters, Crafish, Muskels, Hens, and other varieties of Shelfish great store.
And also obserue here, that in these places there is vsually store of the spawne and frie of seuerall sorts of fishes: whereby the Sea-fowle liue so fat, as they are there in the winter: And likewise the Beuers, Otters and such like, that seeke their foode in the Ponds and fresh Riuers.
The Seas, likewise all along that Coast, doe plen- /11/-tifully abound in other sorts of fish, as Whales, Spanish Mackerell, Dorrell, Pales, Herring, Hogs, Porposes, Seales, and such like royall fish, &c.
[Marginal Note: Cod fishing a great hope of benefit there-from.] But the chiefe commodities of New-found-land yet knowne, and which is growne to be a settled trade, and that which may be much bettered by an orderly Plantation there, (if the Traders thither will take some better course, then formerly they haue done, as shall be declared) is the Codfishing vpon that Coast, by which our Nation and many other Countries are enricht.
[Marginal Note: The benefit arising to France, Spaine, and Italy from fishing vpon those coasts.] And if I should here set downe a valuation of that fish, which the French, Biscaines, and Portugals fetch yeerely from this Coast of New-found-land, and the Banke, which lieth within 25. leagues from the South-cape of that Countrey, where the French vse to fish Witner and Summer, vsually making two voyages euery yeere thither: (To which places, and to the Coast of Canady, which lieth neere vnto it, are yeerely sent from those Countries, more then 400. saile of ships:)
It would seeme incredible, yea some men are of opinion, that the people of France, Spaine and Italy, could not so well liue, if the benefit of the fishing vpon that Coast, and your Maiesties other Dominions, were taken from them.
But I trust it will bee sufficient, that I giue an estimate of our owne trading thither, and partly of the wealth and commodities we reape thereby, without any curious search into other mens profits.
[Marginal Note: 250. Saile of Ships lying vpon that Coast, Anno 1615.] In the yeere 1615, when I was at New-found-land, with the Commission before-mentioned, which was an occasion of my taking the more particular /12/obseruations of that Countrey, there were then on that Coast, of your Maiesties subiects, 250. saile of Ships great and small. The burthens and Tunnage of them al one with another, so neere as I could take notice, allowing euery ship to bee at least threescore tunne (for as some of them contained lesse, so many of them held more) amounted to more then 15000. tunnes. Now for euery threescore tunne burthen, according to the vsuall manning of Ships in those voyages, agreeing with the note I then tooke, there are to be set downe twenty men and boyes: by which computation in 250. saile, there were no lesse then fiue thousand persons. Now euery one of these ships, so neere as I could ghesse, had about 120000. fish, and fiue tun of Traine oyle one with another.
[Marginal Note: What the value of the fish contained in most ships did amount vnto.] So that the totall of the fish in 250. saile of those ships, when it was brought into England, France, or Spaine, (being sold after the rate of foure pound, for euery thousand of fish, sixe score fishes to the hundred, which is not a penny a fish, & if it yeeld less, it was ill sold) amounted in mony to 120000. pound.
Now, as I haue said before, allowing to euery ship of 60. tunne, at least fiue tun of Traine oyle, the totall of all that ariseth to 1250. tunne; each tunne, whether it bee sold in England, or elsewhere, being vnder-valued at twelue pound. So as the whole value thereof in money, amounteth to the summe of 15000. pound, which added to the fish, it will appeare that the totall value of the fish, and Traine oyle of those 250. saile of ships that yeere, might yeeld to your Maiesties subiects better then the summe of 135000. pound, omitting to reckon the /13/ouer-prices which were made and gotten by the sale thereof in foraine Countreys, being much more then what is vsually made at home, and so the like in other yeeres.
And this certainely, in my vnderstanding, is a point worthy of consideration, that so great wealth should yeerely be raised, by one sole commodity of that Countrey, yea by one onely sort of fish, and not vpon any other trade thither, which must needes yeeld, with the imployments thereof, great riches to your maiesties subiects: And this also to bee gathered and brought home by the sole labour and industry of men, without exchange or exportation of our Coine, and natiue Commodities, or other aduenture (then of necessary prouisions for the fishing) as Salt, Nets, Leads, Hookes, Lines, and the like; and of victuals, as Bread, Beere, Beefe, and Porke, in competent measure, according to the number and proportion of men imployed in those voyages.
The conuerting of these commodities (gotten by fishing) into money, cannot chuse but be a great benefit to all your Maiesties Kingdomes in many respects.
What the charge in setting foorth of these 250. saile might amount vnto (being onely for victuals, which our Countrey yeeldeth) I hold it not fit heere to set downe, lest I should be accused by some therein for breaking a gap into other mens grounds.
[Marginal Note: The reliefe that the trading there will affoord to seuerall sorts of people.] And withall, it is to be considered, that the Trade thither (as now it is) doth yeerely set on worke, and relieue great numbers of people, as Bakers, Brewers, Coopers, Ship-Carpenters, Smiths, Net-makers, Rope-makers, Line-makers, Hooke-makers, Pully-/14/-makers, and many other trades, which with their families haue their best meanes of maintenance, from these New-found-land Voyages. Adde vnto them the families or seruants of diuers Owners and Masters of such ships as goe thither, and the Mariners with their families, hereby imployed and maintained.
By this little which hath been thus briefly spoken of the situation, temperature, safenesse of the Coast, natural fertility, commodities and riches of New-found-land, it doth plainely appeare, that it is a Countrey, not onely habitable and lying open, ready to receive the first commers, but also for the goodnesse thereof, worthy to be imbraced, and made the habitation of Christians.
[Marginal Note: Reasons inducing for a Plantation there.] What the reasons, motiues and inducements are, either of honour, profit, or aduantage, which may iustly inuite your Maiesty, & all your good subiects, to take some speedy and reall course, for planting there, I will indeuour hereafter to shew.
[Marginal Note: First reason, hope of conuerting the Inhabitants to Christianitie.] For it is most certaine, that by a Plantation there, and by that meanes onely, the poor mis-beleeuing Inhabitants of that Countrey may be reduced from Barbarisme, to the knowledge of God, and the light of his truth, and to a ciuill and regular kinde of life and gouernement.
This is a thing so apparent, that I need not inforce it any further, or labour to stirre vp the charity of Christians therein, to giue their furtherance towards a worke so pious, euery man knowing, that euen we our selues were once as blinde as they in the knowledge and worship of our Creator, and as rude and sauage in our liues and manners.
Onely thus much will I adde, that it is not a thing /15/impossible, but that by meanes of those slender beginnings which may be made in New-found-land, all the regions neere adioyning thereunto, may in time bee fitly conuerted to the true worship of God.
[Marginal Note: Second reason, the temporall benefits that may iustly and easily arise from hence.] Secondly, the vniting of a Countrey so beneficiall already, and so promising vnto your Maiesties Kingdomes, without either bloodshed, charge or vsurpation, must needes bee a perpetuall honour to your Maiestie in all succeeding ages; and not so onely, but also a great benefit and aduantage to the State, by a new accesse of Dominion. And what Prince or State can inlarge their territories, by a more easie, and more iust meanes then this?
[Marginal Note: Sir Hum. Gilbert long since tooke possession thereof to the vse of this Crowne.] The English are reputed for the first Discouerers of this countrey: and a Subiect of this State, one Sir Humfery Gilbert (as is touched before) hath long since taken possession thereof, the the vse of your Maiesties royall Crowne; and that possession hath been continued by seuerall Patents and Commissions: so that of right, I doe conceiue, it appertaineth to your Maiestie, although it be not yet peopled with yoru maiesties Subiects, notwithstanding the said Patents.
[Marginal Note: Hope of ioyning America, or some parts thereof to New-found-land.] Neither seemes it impossible to mee, but that your Maiestie, and your Royall Progenie, may in time annexe vnto your Royall Crowne, a great part of the Continent of America, bordring vpon New-found-land, the same lying neerer to your Maiesties Kingdomes, then to any other Countrey of these our knowne parts of the World; and for the most part of it vnder the same Eleuation of the Pole with vs; and but little aboue sixe hundred leagues distance from hence.
At least I cannot see, but that from hence further /16/Discoueries may be made, and new trades found out, yea, peraduenture the supposed North-west passage: For if it can be prooued, or if there be any possibility or probability, that there is such a passage, on the Northside of America towards Iapan and China, which in the opinion of some men, is to lie neere the height of 64. degrees: the fittest place from whence to proceed to that Discouery, is (in my opinion) the New-found-land. And for those that hencefoorth attempt to search that straight or passage, to set foorth sooner and more early, then heeretofore they haue done, and to saile directly to some conuenient Harbour in New-found-land, there to refresh themselues with such prouision as shall bee needfull; and so put out from thence about the twentieth day of May (if it bee once set in a faire Westerly winde) and to saile along the North part of New-found-land, and that coast which is called Cambaleu, continuing that Northerly course vnto 64. which is but 15. degrees fromTrinity Harbour; and it may be sailed in lesse then sixe dayes, with a faire Westerly winde, which commonly maketh a cleere coast all along to the North, both from fogges and Ice also; both which are violent hinderers to men that haue vndertaken these voyages; For comming to seeke out those straights or passages, with a large Easterly, Southerly, or Northerly winde, which commonly bring on that Coast the fogges and Ice; and comming so late in the Summer, they haue thereby lost the aduantage and benefit of time, for finding out so happy a businesse.
But if this designe of a Plantation should not bee entertained, and thorowly prosecuted; it may bee /17/iustly doubted, that some other Prince will step in, and vndertake the same; which if it shall so fall out, your Maiesty shall not onely lose all those aduantages and benefits, which your Maiesty, and your subiects might reape by this Plantation, but also the actual possession; and then those that should vsurpe your Maiesties right there, will be an hindrance to your Maiesty, either to remoue them, or to plant by them, without hazarding a breach of peace.
And it may bee feared, that such a Plantation, growing to haue strength, your subiects shall be (if not prohibited) yet at least hindred of their free trading and fishing there, or constrained to take their fish of the Planters, and at their prices; which may fall out to be a notable disseruice to your Maiesty, and the vtter ouerthrow of your subiects trade thither.
But in setting downe the aduantages wee shall haue by a settled Plantation there, I haue sufficiently discouered, what our losses will be, if we suffer our selues to be preuented by others.
That Countrey may be made a place of great vse and aduantage for this State, in any action that may ingage vs by way of attempt or defence, in regard of those parts of the world.
For the first, this Countrey lyeth so neere the course which the Spanish ships, that come from Mexico, Hauona, and other places of the West-Indies, hold in their returne from thence, that they often saile within 150. leagues from the South part thereof.
In the yeere 1615. whilest I was in that Countrey, three ships returning from the West-Indies, did /18/arriue there, purposely to refresh themselues with water, wood, fish, and fowle, and so haue diuers others done at other times.
[Marginal Note: Much hath been gotten by strangers comming thither.] Sundry Portugall ships haue also come thither purposely to loade fish from the English, and haue giuen them a good price for the same, and sailed from thence with it to Brasile, where that kinde of fish is in great request, and they haue made great profit thereby.
And diuers Dutch and French ships haue also oftentimes come thither, purposely to loade fish from the English, which they afterwards [sic] transport into Italy, Spaine, and other parts, whereby they imploy both their shipping and Mariners, making good profit thereof.
Wee haue already spoken of the great numbers of French and Portugall shipping, that vsually trade euery yeere to this Coast, and the places neere adioyning in fishing voyages: so that what in all likelihood may be the euent of a Plantation to be made there, if either Spaine or France should breake league with your Maiesty, or your royall Progeny; I leaue to the consideration of your Maiesty.
And certainely, as your Maiesties subiects sailing to and from Virginia, and the Bermuda Ilands, might in any extremity (hauing spent a mast or yard, or when any leake is sprung) bee relieued, & at other times refresh themselues in their voyages, if a Plantation were settled neere about Trepassey; So vpon occasion of any attempt, or other iniuries which might be offered vnto those more remote Plantations, they might from thence receiue succour in shorter time then from England.
/19/Besides all this, it would be a great ease to all the rest of your Maiesties subiects, if some part of our superabounding multitudes were transplanted into New-found-land; for besides the great nubmer of idle persons that liue heere, spending their time in drinking, and other excesses; among which, many of your New-found-land men may be reckoned, during the winter season, whilest they are at home: There are many thousands of poore people of both sexes, which might bee well spared out of all your Maiesties Dominions, who liuing penuriously, and in great want, would be perswaded to remooue their dwelling into New-found-land, where they might not onely free themselues of their present miseries, but also by their industry, in time inrich themselues, and deserue wel of the State by their imployments; for there is yeerely great abundance of good fish lost for want of labourers, and diuers other good things also.
Neither are the people of those your Maiesties Kingdomes, any way inferiour to other Nations in courage, either to vndertake, or maintaine, but they are often lesse industrious and diligent; And (with griefe it is to be spoken) by our sluggishnesse, some of our neere neighbours haue wonne from vs the ancient honour, and that reputation, by which wee were held the Masters of Nauigation, and Commanders of the Seas.
And I am verily of opinion, if their Audit were truely published to the world, that their trade of fishing vpon your Maiesties Sea-coasts, hath beene the best meanes of their present strength, hauing thereby increased their shipping and wealth, and /20/inabled their men for Nauigation; For it is well knowne, that the French and also the Dutch, by their fishing on your Maiesties Sea-coasts, doe vse a petty kind of picking away of infinite sums of mony yeerely from your Maiesties Kingdomes; not onely from North-Yarmouth, and other places thereby, all the time that the Herring fishing lasteth; but also at other places for Mackerell, Soles, Whitings, and other sorts of fish which they take, in sight of your Maiesties Kingdome, and bring it heere to land daily, and sell it for ready money. Such daily gathering of coyne, may well bee remedied, if your Maiesties subiects would but forbeare to buy any fresh fish of other Nations, (which me thinkes they should) then Strangers should bee constrained to bring coyne into your Maiesties Kingdomes with their fish, to set poore people aworke to salt and preserue their Herrings, and other fish withall, when they bring it heere a-land; whereby some Customes and other duties will also grow: or otherwise they will leaue their daily fishing so neere your Maiesties Kingdomes (as now they doe) and then such fish will be the more plentifull for you Highnesse subiects to take, and thereby greatly incourage them to set forth and imploy many a poore man the more in fishing, then now there is; and it will then not onely preserue great sums of money yeerely from carrying away from your Maiesties Kingdomes, but also there will be more gotten, then now there is, and greater numbers of Mariners increased, to bee very seruiceable for the Nauy, when there may be cause.
Now that which is like to be the present benefit, /21/and which (in my opinion) will weigh most toward the furtherance of this Plantation in New-found-land, by reason of the many consequences thereof, is the bettering of our Trade there, which will fall out exceeding beneficiall in diuers respects, if those who aduenture thither, will follow some better course then formerly they haue vsed: And in so doing, ships may then saile in much more safety thither, and returne yeerely from thence much more richer then now they doe; For many disorderly courses are committed by some traders and aduenturers thither, in setting forth to that Countrey, and practised by some of them when they arriue there. If these disorders were reformed, the great benefit expected will soone follow.
It is well knowne, that they which aduenture to New-found-land a fishing, begin to dresse and prouide their ships ready commonly in the moneths of December, Ianuary, and February, and are ready to set foorth at Sea in those voyages neere the end of February, being commonly the foulest time in the yeere. And thus they doe, striuing to be there first in a Harbour, to obtaine the name of Admirall that yeere; and so, to haue the chiefest place to make their fish on, where they may doe it with the greatest ease, and haue the choyce of diuers other necessaries in the Harbors, which do them little stead: but the taking of them, wrongs many others of your Maiesties subiects, which arriue there after the first.
And thus by their hasting thither, oftentimes there comes not only danger to themselues, but also great mischiefe, and losse to many others which /22/arriue there after the first; as it may by that which followes truly appeare.
For by the hasting foorth, as now they vse, they greatly indanger themselues, being many times beaten with rough and stormy windes; and oftentimes they are therby forced to returne backe with great losse both of mens liues and goods, as it is well knowne; So that to get the superiority to arriue there first into an Harbour, they will beare such an ouer-prest saile, and in so desperate a manner, as there are no true vnderstanding Sea-men that vse the like to any other part of the world; For albeit when the fogges are thicke, and the nights darke, that sometimes they cannot discerne the length of three ships in the way before them, and the Ice often threatning much perill to them: yet on runnes the ship amaine, so fast as possibly shee may, when commonly most part of the company are fast asleep, euen with extreme hazard of their liues; Thus many  times both ships and men haue been suddenly cast away, to the vtter vndoing of many Aduenturers and families: So had I my selue a ship lost, sailing to that Countrey, and diuers others the like.
And also this vntimely setting foorth, consumeth a great quantity of victuals, that might bee saued to better purpose, and it forceth them to carry and recarry many more men in euery ship, euery voyage, then they neede, if they once take a fitter course in these voyages.
Such stages & houses that the first arriuers into an Harbour find standing; wherein men set diuers necessaries, and also salt their fish, some men haue vsed to pul down, or taken their pleasures of /23/them; by which vnfit disorders of some first arriuers there yeerely, those which arriue after them, are sometimes 20. dayes and more to prouide boords and timber, to fit their boates for fishing; and other necessary roomes to salt and dry their fish on; whereby much time is lost, and victuals consumed to no good purpose; and thereby also the voyages of the after-commers there, are often greatly hindred and prolonged, to the great hurt of your Maiesty, and many a good subiect: and the Mariners themselues which trade to that Country, and commit those great abuses, are thereby also much wronged, as they haue acknowledged by their owne disorderly behauiours.
Wherefore if such which hencefoorth aduenture to that Countrey, take some better course in that trade of fishing, then heretofore they haue vsed, they shall finde the greater safety of their aduentures, and much good the more thereby. For whereas heeretofore they haue vsed to make ready their ships to saile in those voyages, in such vnseasonable time of the yeere, whereby they often receiue great hinderances and losses; they need not then goe foorth in the said voyage, vntill the fiue and twentieth day of March, which is a fit time of the yeere to put to Sea from our Coast to that Countrey; the winter stormes beginning then to cease; And then any such ship which carries in her thirty men in euery voyage, may well leaue sixe men there behinde them, or more, all the winter season, vntill the ships returne to them againe; And these sixe mens victuals will be saued, and serue to better vse, and thereby also likewise cut off that moneths setting forth in those voyages so soone in /24/the yeere, as now men vse to doe, and then the victuals for that moneth, which is so vainly, and with such great danger consumed, may well maintaine those men, which are left in the Countrey all the winter season, till the ships returne to them againe, with a very small addition to it.
And if it may so please your Maiesty, that any subiect which will vndertake to settle people in the New-found-land, shall haue this priuiledge, that in case he leaue there a fifth person of such which he carries thither in his fishing voyage to inhabit; whereby those men so left, might keepe a certaine place continually for theit [sic] fishing, and drying thereof, whensoeuer their ship arriueth thither; then would all such which leaue people there, build strong fitting necessary roomes for all purposes; and then in some of those necessary houses, or roomes, they may put their fish when it is dried; which fish now standeth after such time it is dried, vntill it is shipped, which is commonly aboue two moneths, in great heapes packt vp vncouered; in all the heate and raine that falleth, whereby great abundance of good fish is there yeerely spoiled, and cast away for want of such necessary roomes: And for the want of such fit houses in that Country, some mens voyages (to my knowledge) haue beene greatly ouerthrowne; and then a meane place to make fish on, will bee made much more commodious then the best place is now, that men so dangerously and desperately run for euery yeere; And thus euery mans fishing Pinnaces may bee preserued in such perfect readinesse, against his ship shall yeerely arriue there againe; which Pinnaces are now often lost, and sometimes torne in pie- /25/-ces by the first arriuers there, very disorderly.
And if such Pinnaces, and such Stages and Houses may be there maintained and kept in such readinesse yeerely, it would bee the most pleasant, profitable, and commodious trade of fishing, and otherwise, vnto your Maiesties subiects, that is at this time in any part of the world.
For then euery ships company might yeerely fall to fishing, the very next or second day after their arriuall there; whereas now, it is aboue twenty dayes, vntill they are fitted: and then such ships should not neede so soone to haste away from England, by one moneth at least; means liues might be then thereby much the better saued, lesse victuals wasted, and many dangers preuented. And so then euery ship in euery such voyage, may gaine quickly one hundred pound, that vsually carry in her but twenty men more then now they doe, by leauing of foure men there of twenty; And as the proportion (before named) holds for leauing sixe men in New-found-land of thirty, so the allowing of men to bee made proportionably from euery ship will soone raise many people to be settled there in euery Harbour where our Nation vseth to fish, and in other Harbours there also in little time.
Some ships by this course may then quickly gaine two hundred pound, and some three hundred pound and more, according to their greatnesse, more then they doe yeerely now; And those men so left, will at times manure land for corne, saw boords, and fit Timber to bee transported from thence, and search out for diuers commodities in the Countrey, which as yet lye vndiscouered; and by such meanes the Land will bee in little time fitly peopled with diuers poore handy-crafts men, that may be so commodiously car- /26/-ried thither to liue with their wiues.
And that no man else should appropriate to himselfe any such certaine place, and commodity for his fishing voyage; except hee will in such manner settle a fifth part of his company there to liue: And then such Aduenturers thither will carefully prouide yeerely for such as they leaue thete [sic]; not onely for bread and victuals, but likewise for all necessary tooles, fit for any kind of husbandry; The charge thereof will yeerely repay it selfe, with the benefit of their labours that shall bee so left there, with great aduantage.
And for others which yeerely aduenture thither, and will not settle people there in such manner; they may hold on such vnfit courses --> in setting on to that Countrey, and take their places, as it falleth out, as formerly they haue done; wherein I am perswaded they will soone grow weary, when they shall see the great commodity and benefit that other men will gaine by settling of people there.
By this means will the burthens and numbers of your Maiesties subiects shipping bee greatly increased, and strengthned, and great numbers of Mariners yeerely augmented; and then our shipping may well trade thither two voyages in euery yeere, and more, whereas now they goe but once.
If you will know what victuals might bee saued by those sixe men of thirty so to bee left there, and so proportionably for greater numbers; this is the estimate.
The allowance of victuall to maintaine euery sixe men onely, to carry and recarry them outwards bound and homewards, is sixe hogsheads of beere, and sixe /27/hundred waight of bread, besides beefe and other prouision; which men, when they saile to and fro (as now they vse) doe little good, or any seruice at all, but pester the ship in which they are, with their bread, beere, water, wood, victuall, fish, chests, and diuers other trumperies, that euery such sixe men doe cumber the ship withall yeerely from thence: which men, when the voyage is made, may be accounted vnnecessary persons returning yerely from thence.
But being left in the Countrey in such manner, as aforesaid; those parts of these ships that leaue those men there, that are so pestered now yeerely with such vnprofitable things, may be filled vp yeerely with good fish, and many beneficiall commodities, for the good of those Aduenturers that wil so settle people there to plant.
These men that may be so fitly left in the Countrey, will not onely bee free from the perils of the Sea, by not returning yeerely, as now they vse to doe, but will liue there very pleasantly; and (if they be industrious people) gaine twice as much in the absence of the ships that leaue them there, more then twelue men shall bee able to benefit their Masters, that are kept vpon most Farmes in England in a whole yeere.
For certainely I haue already seene, and knowne by experience, that the desired Plantation can neuer bee made beneficiall by such idle persons, as I found there the yeere 1618. when I was there with power, by vertue of a grant from the Patentees, which people had remained there a whole yeere, before I came neere, or knew any one of them; and neu- /28/-er applied themselues to any commendable thing; no not so much as to make themselues an house to lodge in, but lay in such cold and simple roomes all the winter, as the Fishermen had formerly built there for their necessary occasions, the yeere before those men arriued there.
Such persons are not fit to aduance your Maiesties intended worke, but rather disgrace and hinder the same.
Therefore seeing those people that were so formerly sent to plant in the South part of the Countrey, to bee so vnfit for that seruice, as it is well knowne, I grew out of heart to behold such abuse to bee vsed by those that were so sent to plant.
Yet entring into consideration, how iniurious I should be to God, and (as I did conceiue in my conscience) trecherous to your Maiesty, and my Country, hauing once as it were laid hold on the plough, I should take it off and looke back; I did then incourage my retiring spirits: notwithstanding all my former wrongs then sustained. And although I found them that were so formerly sent to plant, so vnfit for that seruice; I did not onely consider of the fittest course whereby to aduance that worke, which was formerly so worthily intended; but also truly and plainely to write this Discouery, as now I haue, how commodiously and beneficially it may bee proceeded on; and so shipped some of them to returne home againe, and gaue others leaue to depart, all excepting sixe onely; to whom I gaue directions for building an house, and imploying themselues, otherwise then formerly they had done, vntill they heard from the Gentleman that sent them /29/thither: And so they liued there pleasantly all the next winter.
Now hauing laid open a commodious and beneficiall course how that Land may be peopled, yet I suppose it may be questioned, that if a fifth man of some ships, or euery ship were so left in the Countrey; that it will rather lessen the number of Mariners, that may be ready heere at home to doe your Maiesty seruice, then to increase them; and so by misconceiuing therein, your Maiesties intended Plantation may be hindred.
To which I answere, that most ships which trade thither yeerely a fishing, doe commonly carry in them euery fifth person that was neuer at Sea before, or such as haue but little vnderstanding in their Compasse; neither knowledge of Sea-termes, or what to doe in a ship; and those men are yeerely hired by the Owners, and Victuallers foorth of ships in those voyages, and by the Master of the ship, and the better sort of men for small wages, who haue the benefit of their shares; and they doe serue euen so fitly for some purposes in those New-land voyages the first yeere, as some of those men doe that haue beene there often: So that by carrying thither yeerely euery fifth man, such as were neuer there before, there will be much aboue 1000. Sea-men increased euery yeere by that trade; and they being left there the winter, will at times kill Deere and other beasts, and also take store of fish, and fowle for their prouision; and it will haraden them well to the Sea, and at other times they may imploy themselues beneficially in Husbandry vpon the land, as seruants ought to doe. So that whereas there goes now yeerely, as the /30/trade is, aboue two hundred and fifty Saile of your Maiesties subiects ships, with aboue fiue thousand men in them, and being yeerely carried thither the fifth persons that was neuer at Sea before, there wil bee by that course increased about fiue thousand Sea-men in euery fiue yeeres; and whereas now there is trading thither aboue two hundred and fifty Saile of ships, there will be then in little time (God blessing that trade) aboue foure hundred Saile of your Maiesties subiects ships there imployed, which may be a greater increase of wealth, strength, and power to your Maiestie and Kingdomes, than now it is.
And although it be well knowne, that the New-found-land yeeldeth such great blessings from God, to maintaine Christians; yet many of our English Nation, who in great fulnesse taste of them, doe there, as it were, tread them vnder their feete; as may partly appeare by the following Discourse. For our Nation, vpon their arriuall yeerely to that Countrey, doe cut downe many of the best trees they can finde, to build their stages and roomes withall, for their then necessary occasions; hewing, rinding, and destroying many others, that grow within a mile of the Sea, where they vse to fish.
The rindes of these trees serue to couer their Stages, and necessary roomes, with turfes on them; so that in few yeeres, I feere, that most of the good timber trees neere the Sea-side, where men vse to fish, will bee either felled, spoiled or burned; yet at our peoples departure from such Roomes and Stages, they will suffer but little thereof to stand, whereby to doe any man seruice the yeere ensuing.
/31/These are things lamentable to be suffered, and great pitty that it is not redressed: for no Nation else doth the like; neither doe the Sauage people, after such time as our Countrey-men come from thence, either hurt or burne any thing of theirs, that they leaue behinde them; so that those trees, and that timber might be conuerted to many seruiceable vses, for the good of your Maiesty, and your subiects.
Now I thinke good to make knowne partly what abuses bee also offered to the Harbours and Rodes in New-found-land, that are so beautifull, & so excellent, ordained by God, for ships to ride safe in at anchor, as there are not better in any part of the world; yet for all this beauty of theirs, and the commodity that wee receiue by them; these disorders diuers men doe there commit, viz.
All ships, for euery voyage they make there, take in many exceeding great stones, therewith to presse their dry fish in theire ships, which worke being done, they cast many of these stones into the Harbours where they ride at Anchor, which are to be seene lying in great heapes in some places, within three fadome of water, to the great indangering of ships and cables; to the perill also both of mens liues, and their goods, and likely in time to choake vp or spoile many excellent Harbors in that Countrey, if prouision be not by your Maiesties high authority made to the contrary.
All these abuses are confessed in the briefe of the presentments, that follow in the latter part of this booke, the which being made knowne to the subiects that aduenture thither, I am confident (in my /32/opinion) that they should all desire your Maiesty, that there may bee some better gouernment established there, than now it is: and that such which yeerely come thither a fishing, whereby they should haue any iust cause to complaine the one against the other, as now they doe.
And because my desire is, that not onely Merchants, or such as liue neere the Sea-side, but also all others that shall giue their furtherance to this Plantation, either by aduenturing their moneys, or sending men thither (because it is to be vndertaken by men of good ability) in such manner, as the wealthy men doe in other Countreys, ioyning their purses to further any such good worke: I thinke it fit to shew how such persons may aduenture to that Country, though they dwell farre from the Sea-coast; and others likewise that dwell neere, may doe it with little trouble, but onely by a trust seruant, to giue account yeerely of his disbursings, and likewise of his receits; which (I trust) will bee very beneficiall to all such as will aduenture therein. Some, who dwell farre from the Sea-coast, may say, they are so farre off, that they should be but little the better for a Plantation to bee made in New-found-land, and so may hold it a needlesse thing for them to know how beneficiall that Countrey hath long time beene to these your Maiesties Kingdomes; and how it may in little time be worth double to your Maiesties subiects, in respect of what now it is, euen in the onely trade of fishing, besides the good that may come by other commodities.
To such therefore that should so obiect, that /33/those that liue farre from the Sea, whether Gentlemen or others; and are not experienced in affaires of this nature, cannot so conueniently aduenture thither: I answere, that none of your Maiesties Subiects dwell further then 100. miles from the Sea-side, which is no great iourney; By the same reason, that Commodities brought from Forraine parts, and landed on our Sea-coasts, and Hauen-townes, are dispersed thorow all places of your Maiesties Kingdomes, and so vented (our men liuing thus in any of these places) may with as little difficulty aduenture into other Countries; For as we haue the example of diuers, both Gentlemen and others of Italy, Spaine, Germany, Sauoy, the Low Countreys, and other places that come yeerely, some of them more then 200. miles to the City of Siuill, purposely to saile from thence to the West-Indies, and these doe yeerely returne rich; So it may be also well vnderstood by the following Discourse, how commodiously there may be sent many people from any part of your maiesties Kingdomes to bee there imployed, that haue but small meanes to liue, and bee very beneficiall to themselues, & will imploy the there.
The first thing therefore that I will aduise any subiect that is but little acquainted with sea-affaires, and such as shalbe willing to aduenture in the desired Plantation, is, to acquaint himselfe with an approued vnderstanding man in Sea-affaires, and also with a second; and then with both their opinions and his owne iudgement, he may set forward therein, with great hope of the better successe; for to my knowledge, diuers worthy Gentlemen that haue aduentured to the Seas; partly through their own conceit, seeming to know that which they did not, /34/haue also oftentimes been animated on by some turbulent spirits that haue outrun themselues, and so brought men in such mindes, that on the coast of Guinnie there, they might gather vp gold along the Sea-shore, washed vp with the Sea in great abundance; and likewise if they would aduenture to the West-Indies, there they should load their ships with Gold-oare, and draw it aboord their ships with Wheele-barrowes, and then share it by the pound; and such like proiects.
Thus, by such meanes, diuers worthy Gentlemen haue runne so farre at Sea, in some such vnfit voyages, by ill directions, that they haue quickly brought land to water, and neuer knew how to shape a course to recouer vnto their land againe; God send all those that will henceforth aduenture to the Seas in any Plantation, good Pilots, and it will be the greater hope of good successe.
Now for those that will put their hands to the furthering of a Plantation in New-found-land, my opinion is, they are best either to buy a Ship of 100. Tun, and a Pinnace of 40. Tun, or neere such burthens, or else to hire the like Ship to serue for the passing of people, victuals, and prouisions, in the Spring of the yeere, fit for such a purpose, and for the returning of such fish, and other commodities from thence, as those men to sent and imployed, may procure with their labours; and those Ships and men so sent, may bee so fitted and prouided with Salt, Nets, Hookes, Lines, and such like prouisions, as those Ships and men are, which yeerely saile thither a fishing.
The best course of the two, as I conceiue, is for any such, to buy a Ship and a Pinnace to serue for that /35/purpose, and then the Pinnace may be sent thither before the bigger Ship, wherby to settle and begin to such a conuenient place for habitation, as God shall direct them; whither the greater ship may repaire: and they may imploy themselues all the time that there is good to be done in fishing, in that trade onely, and betweene the saile of the Shoales of fish, they may build houses, and other necessarie things in perfect readinesse to be transported into Spaine, Portugall, and other places beyond the Seas; much cheaper then the Hollanders doe, seeing it is to be had there easily with mans labour only: And therefore more commodiously from thence for vs, from those parts, then the Hollanders are able to serue them, as now they doe, who buy such commodities with their money in Spruce-land, Norway, and other places, and yet thereby gaine much, and increase a number of Shipping and Mariners, and set them a worke continually.
Now hauing shewed how men may vndertake to further this Plantation, by prouiding ships for the fishing trade, as is formerly expressed: I suppose that some worthy men, that may be zealous and willing to further so pious, honourable, and beneficiall a worke, may bee vnwilling to trouble themselues with the fishing trade, and yet very willing to further the said Plantation, after some other manner that may be lesse troublesome to them, which they may very well performe in this manner:
They may hire a ship with men, and victualled to saile from any part of your Maiesties Kingdomes, to the New-found-land, to carry people, victuals, beasts, and other prouisions in such competent number, as /36/may be fit to passe in such a ship, as any one shall so hire; and hauing landed such people and prouisions there to plant, the said ship may there reloade fish from the fishermen; (and if any will plant in that manner) they are to bargaine for their fish heere in England, with such as doe set forth ships in the fishing trade, which fish may be bought beforehand of them, to be deliuered there at eight shillings the hundred waight, or neere that price, and to pay for the same within 40. dayes, more or lesse, after such times heere in England, that there comes from thence the sight of any Bills of Exchange, from those that receiue the fish there in that maner; and the ship so hired, being there loaden, may saile from thence vnto Portugall, Spaine, or any other Port within the straights of Gibraltar; I suppose the fraight of euery Tun of fish so to be transported there, will bee neere four pound the Tun, twenty hundred waight to the Tun; which fraight and hire for the ship, men and victuals, in all that time, it may be agreed to bee paid there where the fish is sold; so that for the hire of the ship, men and victuals, there will be no occasion to disburse any money, before the ship safely arriue to either of the places aforesaid, where, by Gods assistance, any one shall so intend to make sales; and there the ship so hired may bee set free; and then what more soeuer the fish may yeeld, may bee to discharge the buying of the fish in the New-found-land, and what profit may accrew ouer and aboue the fraight and hire of the ship, men, and victuals being discharged, will redound to the good of any man that will aduenture so to plant, and hire his /37/shippe in that manner; and such course may any sufficient man take euery yeere to further the said Plantation, and so haue one ship to make three voyages there in a yeere, that shall but land people and prouisions for them, and presently reloade such Fish, Masts, Deale-boords, Beames, Timber for buildings, and other commodities, such as those people which hee had formerly sent, should haue prouided in readinesse; with which commodities, if hee returne to Spaine or Portugall, it will yeeld ready money: and if hee returne with it to the City of London and Port of Bristoll, or any other place within your Maiesties Kingdomes, it will also not onely yeeld ready money, but it will be a means to imploy many the more of your Maiesties Subiects and shipping therein; so that the Hollanders and other Nations should not bring so much of such commodities into your Maiesties Kingdomes as they do now yeerely, and carry away much coyne for the same.
And withall it is to be considered, that whereas now there are yeerely at New-found-land of your Maiesties Subiects ships in the fishing trade, at least 15000. Tun burthen of shipping, as is already expressed, and that these ships yeerely carry thither, neere halfe their lading of salt, to saue their fish withall, which cannot be lesse then 7000. Tun, the which salt, whether it be bought in Spaine, Portugall or France at a cheape rate, it cannot cost lesse then seuen thousand pounds, which is but twenty shillings the Tunne, adding the fraight thereunto for bringing it from those parts, it cannot stand in lesse then twenty shillings a Tunne more, which is seuen thousand pounds more; so that the salt may stand /38/those that trade thither, as the trade is now, with the waste and transportation of it thither, aboue foureteene thousand pounds; of which summe, there is aboue seuen thousand pounds yeerely bestowed in other Countries, which I should gladly shew some fit meanes that it may bee henceforth saued and brought into your Maiesties Kingdomes in Coyne, or some other good commodities.
The which may be very fitly, commodiously, and beneficially done, if those which yeerely aduenture thither, will settle people there in such order as aforesaid, in euery Harbor where they vse to fish, and prouide pannes in euery such Harbor to boyle salt to preserue their fish withall; the which may bee performed there very cheape; so in that maner one panne will make twenty bushels of good salt in euery four and twenty houres for that purpose; onely with mans labour and the salt water; and not as some doe vse, to make salt vpon salt; and there it wil be vndertaken to be made with the wood-fire (which may be there had with little labour) without Charcole or Sea-coles; and that salt so made there, shall not stand in threepence the bushell, to those that will prouide to make it there in that manner: and now salt stands those that aduenture there, neuer lesse than twenty pence a bushell.
And it is well approued by all those that yeerely fish for Ling, Cod, and Herrings vpon all your Maiesties Sea-coasts, that salt orderly boyled in such manner, doth much better preserue fish, and keepe it more delighfuller in taste, and better for mans body, then that fish which is preserued with any other kinde of salt; And I am well assured, that such fish /39/as is salted with the finest white salt, will sell farre better in Siuill, and other places of Spaine and Italy, then that which is preserued with any other kind of muddy salt; and thus by taking such a fit course for making thereof in New-found-land, it will not onely saue a great deale of coyne yeerely in your Maiesties Kingdomes, and greatly inrich your Maiesties Subiects thereby.
There is no question to bee made, but that those ships which may bee so procured to carry people thither, will yeerely returne from thence deepe loaden with good fish to diuers places beyond the Seas, and make good profit with the imployments thereof, (if fit prouision be made to take fish withall as it ought to be: for euery man, the better hee doth prouide himselfe for that purpose, shall reape the greater benefit thereby at the first) and not bee able to returne from thence, Deale-bords, Masts, and such like, vntill such time as shipping be builded much greater, and fitter for that seruice then now they are.
The trade to the New-found-land being thus followed, as it may well be, your Maiesties Subiects may then haue there yeerely, aboue 400. saile of good ships from all your Maiesties other Kingdomes readie to bee called home from thence, without imbarment of any forraine Prince, vpon lesse then foureteene dayes warning, if the winde serue, with aboue eyght thousand of lusty, strong and seruiceable Sea-men in them, vpon any occasion of seruice, when some other ships and Mariners that are then abroad in voyages, to the East, or West-Indies, and diuers other places, will not be so speedily called home; neither (when they come) so lustie and strong, as those /40/which vse to the New-found-land are, if your Maiesty and Kingdomes haue neuer so great need of their seruice.
Which being considered, must needs bee also a great terror to any forraine Prince that shall proffer to quarrell with your Maiestie, when he shall consider that your Maiesty may so speedily be furnished with so many seruiceable ships of your subiects, and so many Saylors, and that but from that onely place of trading.
So, againe it is to bee considered, that yeerely from the New-found-land, as the trade is now, the Subiects bring from thence to the value much aboue the summe of 135000 pounds: what the benefit and imployment thereof, and the imployments of ships and Mariners are thereby, may be well considered; and that trade carrieth not away any coyne out of the Land, as some others doe; neither any other commodities: and therefore it may be well vnderstood what a great benefit shall arise to all your Maiesties Kingdomes, if the trade be once orderly settled and increased as aforesaid; and then your Maiesties Subiects ships will be much bigger builded for that trade, and better furnished with good Ordnance, fit for any defence; & likewise then Ordnance will not bee so much sold into other Countreys (as there hath beene great abundance in my time) which Ordnance so sold (I feare) if occasion should bee offered, may shoot their bullets at our owne bosomes, as it is already too much seene.
And whereas my opinion is, that it is better to buy ships for that trade, then to take them to hire (as some doe) which yeerely send ships thither, to loade either fish or Trayne and transport it into /41/France, Spaine, and other places; those which hire ships, are bound by conditions vnder hand and Seale, which wee call Charter parties; wherein it is expressed, in how many dayes the owners of the ships are to make them ready, and how many dayes they must stay there, to attend the Marchant, and such like conditions: And although the place where they ariue, be neuer so much ouerlaid with the like commodity that they bring; yet there must they discharge and also relade; though such Commodities, which they are to relade, bee there much dearer, then at some other place not farre from it; which hath beene a great losse to many Marchants; yea, diuers cauils haue risen thereby between them that haue taken and letten Ships in that manner.
Therefore I hold, that the buying of Ships to follow that seruice, is the best & profitablest course that may be taken therein; for then they may send them to New-found-land, or where they thinke good at all times of the yeere, and to any place, or so many places as may please God to direct them, to make their sales and imployments; and likewise to vent the same, where they may be best aduised.
Such as will vndertake to send people to that land, as aforesaid, I would also aduise them to acquaint themselues with a fit man to be Master in each Ship, that vnderstands the order of a fishing voyage to that Countrey; and hee will procure fit Fisher-men, to goe with him for that purpose, and likewise acquaint them with euery particular thing that is fit for such a voyage.
And withall it is to bee obserued, that for euery such seruant that any Master will send thither to plant, and liue there all the yeere, he is to haue a single share allowed vnto euery man alike of such fish as is taken, whilest they labour together in the Summer time with the ships company with whom they are, though afterwarads they stay in the land, and follow some other seruice for their Masters, whiles the ships are imployed abroad in venting their commodities, and vntill they returne to them againe, to the New-found-land; which single share of fish so taken, may well defray all the charge and hire that any man shall haue of his Master, who doth stay there all the winter, with good aduantage.
Note also I pray', that any ship which shall be so imployed to fish only, as now men vse to doe, if she bee 100. Tun doth commonly carry in her 36. men and boyes; and that ship will saile well to the New-found-land, and from thence to the Straites of Gibraltar, or any other part of Christendome, with 20. of the former 36. men: so that 16. of the said company may very well remaine there, till the said ships returne to them againe, and doe good seruice to your Maiesty and themselues, but most of all to those who shall send so great a number thither to liue all the /42/yeere; whereas now these 16. men lye still in the ship at great charge euery voyage, much pestering the ships with their persons, victuals, chests, and diuers vnprofitable things to no good purpose, as is touched before; which places in the ship may be filled with good fish and other profitable things, if those 16. men were left behinde in the Countrey, where they may be well imployed, which is almost the one halfe part of such a ships company.
By this it may plainely bee vnderstood, that the /43/victuall which those 16. men spend sayling thither, and returning homeward, and a moneths victuall at least, for all those 36. men, will yeerely be saued to maintaine them there all the winter season, with the helpe of very little victuals to it: and also it wil be a great good ease to the Common-wealth, to leaue so many there all the Winter; and after this rate proportionably from diuers ships, great companies may commodiously and beneficially remaine there to plant, may be, some handicraftsmen with their wiues, and some such other people as your Maiesties Kingdomes may very well spare, doing good to themselues, their masters and Commonwealth, learning experience, and to bee fit for seruice.
[Marginal Note: Mariners to be increased.] I am also confident in my opinion (wherein I submit my selfe to deeper iudgements), that if New-found-land may be thus planted, our Shipping and Mariners will be so increased, that we may hereafter furnish France, Spaine, Portugall, and other Countries, with such kind of fish as those Seas doe yeeld; and so by this meanes the whole fishing trade on that coast, may be drawne into the hands of your Maiesties subiects only; and whether then, it will be better for your Maiesties Kingdomes, let each man iudge.
[Marginal Note: No Nation to bee forbidden fishing.] I doe not intend that other Nations should bee prohibited the free priuiledge of fishing, which for many yeeres they haue inioyed there with vs; or that /44/wee should assume it vnto our selues by strong hand, or constraine those that come thither, to take their fish of vs, and at our prices: but this is my only meaning: That whereas at this present, the French, Biscaines, and Portugals send yeerely to that Countrey many saile of ships, as I haue already declared, our men by sayling thither with fewer persons, and in lesse danger in euery ship then now we doe, by multiplying their voyages, & spending lesse time and victuals in the same, and by carrying more and better fish in euery ship then now they vse to doe, may be able not onely to furnish France, Spaine, and Italy, with those commodities, bu also to sell farre better cheape, then any of these nations can possibly fetch the same from thence with their owne shipping and labours. And which of these nations will then aduenture thither, when hee knowes that his returne will be a certaine losse.
[Marginal Note: Furres of diuers sorts.] Moreouer, our men wintring there, might take of the beasts of the Countrey yeelding Furres, when they are in season, and in their perfection; So that in processe of time, they may also settle a traffike with the Sauages for their Furres of Beuer, Martons, Seale, Otters, and what else is of worth amongst them.
[Marginal Note: Shipping maintained.] Shipping also (the walls and Bulwarkes of your Maiesties Kingdomes) will bee heereby not onely maintained; but also greatly increased, both in number and burthen, which would bee a great aduantage to your Maiesty, and a notable defence and addition of strength vnto your Maiesties Kingdomes.
[Marginal Note: Artificers set on worke.] Many more poore Artificers and others will be /45/then in great numbers heereby set a-worke, what now there are; and by the incrase and bettering of this Trade, a great augmentation of your Maiesties Reuenues in your Customes must of necessity follow.
And certainely, if this trade and Plantation were once settled in such manner, it would prooue more commodious and beneficiall then any other Plantation your Maiesty hath elsewhere; for, as I haue said, it bringeth in great wealth by mens labours, and carrieth away nothing but a little victuals, which would be consumed by so many idle persons in lesse then halfe the time, which haue no imployments, and yet the Kingdomes receiue no benefit by such Drones neither. [Marginal Note: Wealth brought in, none carried away.]
[Marginal Note: Fishing on the coast of New-found-land, great security to great Brittaine.] Much more might be said to the purpose: but I desire not to inuent, or inlarge matters beyond my obseruations; yet thus much also may I truely say, that the fishing on the coast of New-found-land, is a sure and good trade to great Brittaine, and therefore deserues to bee cherished; for trading thither and returning from thence, wee little feare the Turkes bondage and circumcision, nor any outlandish Inquisition, nor the Imbarkements of any Prince, nor such contagious heates, as those finde that trade neere the Line, neither the danger and hurt of Art-wormes, where-with ships that trade to most parts Southward, are sometimes much spoiled; nor many other hazards and inconueniences, to which some of our other tradings are subiects.
And as this Plantation will bee in all respects so beneficiall, as any of those your Maiestie holds abroad elsewhere: so may the same bee effectually pro- /46/-ceeded on in much more safety, and with a great deale lesse charge.
[Marginal Note: Transporting of men, victuals.] For first of all, touching the transportation of men, victuals and other necessaries from hence into New-found-land, it wil be by the cheapest and easiest way that can be possibly be; for there will be no occasion to hire any ships expresly for that voyage, as is vsually done to other of your Maiesties Plantations, from whence hauing vnloden, ships doe returne sometimes with few commodities. [Marginal Note: and other necessaries from hence at an easie rate.]
But those ships that goe there yeerely empty to the New-found-land, onely to loade fish and Trayne oyle, and so to depart from thence, cannot be lesse in number then 40. saile: Therefore whatsoeuer shall be thought fit and necessary to be transported from hence, towards the furtherance and setting forward of that Plantation, may be, by those Ships and Barkes carried thither, with a very little charge, and without trouble or hinderance to their voyages; and for the prouiding and furnishing of the Plantation with victuals and prouisions for their liuelihood, the chiefe want at the beginning will be Corne, (the Countrey it selfe yeelding plenty of beasts, fowle, fish, and fruits, as was before spoken of:) yea, much good fish is there yerely cast away, which might be made good food for the Planters, if it were preserued. And if need be, ships may saile from thence in fiue dayes with a faire wind, to the Ilands of Flowers, & Azores, which Ilands abound in Wheate, Beeues, Sheepe, Goates, Hogs, Hens, Potatoes, Muske-millions, Onyons, and many other fruites which they may haue there at cheape rates; and if that should faile, our Country- /47/-men that stay there, may bee supplied with as little inconuenience and preiudice, as to any other Plantations, vntill the Countrey shall be by their paines and industry made fit to beare Corne. [Marginal Note: Ilands abounding with great store of beasts for prouisin of victuals.]
For the settling of people there, I haue sufficiently declared, it being that they, who shall either alone or with their family voluntarily goe thither, haue good conditions, both for allowing them land, and other conuenient priuiledges.
[Marginal Note: Immployment for all in the absence of our men.] For the imployment of men in the absence of the shipping, it will be very beneficiall in many respects; so that although thousands of your Maiesties people should at once goe thither, and, yet there would be present imployment for them all: no man shall neede to liue idely for want of work.
[Marginal Note: The quicke returne of our people, a comfort to their Countrey men.] And as New-found-land is neerer to vs by more then 400. leagues then Virginia; and farre from any of the Plantations of the King of Spaine, which peraduenture might make this businesse the more difficult; so those of this Plantation will haue a great comfort and encouragement aboue all others, in that they shall not be left desolate in a remote Country, to shift for themselues, as some haue bin, but that after fiue moneths past, they shall againe see great numbers of their countrey men, and haue their company the rest of the yeere.
[Marginal Note: No Sauages in that part where our Nation trades.] Neither are there in that part of the Countrey any Sauages, to oppose and resist our mens planting, as it falls out in many other places; Those that are there, liue in the North and West parts of the Countrey (as hath beene said) where our Nation trades not; But on the East and South side of the Land, where the English doe fish, and which is the /48/fittest place for a Plantation, there is not the least signe or appearance, that euer there was any habitation of the Sauages, or that they euer came into those parts, to the Southward of Trinity Bay; of which I could also giue some reasons, if it were not a thing needlesse to trouble this discourse withall.
[Marginal Note: Security from Pyrates, and the Sauages.] And as they shall stand in no feare to receiue hurt from the Sauages, so may they be easily secured against the iniury of Pyrates, who sometimes come thither, and not onely take from the fishermen, victuals and other prouision and munition, and haue thereby strengthened themselues, but also haue carried away from them many seruiceable mariners into Barbary and other parts, and thereby made many a poore widdow and fatherlesse childe; and it is to be feared, that those men so carried from the New-found-land, who seeing their estates and their families so ouerthrowne, may be prouoked to animate the Turkes men of warre, to saile thither to take the spoyle of our Nation, and others that are yeerely a fishing on that Coast (which God defend) whereby to hinder that Trade, or the desired Plantation.
The which inconuenience that is so to be feared, may be easily preuented by maintaining two good ships of warre, of 200. tunne apiece, and two Pinnaces of 40. tunne apiece well prouided, to bee there maintained all the Summer time, and that the Commanders of them may haue power, that if any great force of the Turkes, or any others should at any time come thither, whereby to disturbe your Maiesties Subiects in their trade of fishing, or attempt to hinder the Plantation; that then to raise a greater force from the Fishermen /49/and Planters to defend any such attempt.
[Marginal Note: An easie contribution for maintenance of their security from Pyrates.] The charge of which ships & Pinnaces of warre, so to bee yeerely maintained there for that seruice, may be easily and commendably defraied, with your Maisties allowance therein, if euery Ship and Vessell of your Maiesties subiects, fishing on that Coast, will voluntarily contribute thereunto the value of halfe a good daies fishing in the whole voyage, which will bee abundatly [sic] recompenced vnto them, in regard that they may then fish continually and securely many a daies fishing the more in euery voyage, which now oftentimes they dare not doe; And then these two Ships of warre, and two Pinnaces so to be maintained, by such a small contribution to be paid for their seruice at New-found-land in dry fish, they will so scoure the Seas euery yeere going forth thitherward bound, and likewise in their returne, that no Pirate of any nation durst come neere the Southerne parts of your Maiesties Kingdomes; neither to lie in waight in the course sailing to and from the New-found-land, for those that trade thither, as yeerely heretofore they haue done, and ouerthrowne many a mans voyage.
[Marginal Note: Hollanders attended with men of warre.] For which course, wee haue the example of our neighbours the Hollanders, who generally in all their trades, but most specially in their fishing vpon your Maiesties Sea-coasts, are attended with men of warre, which are defrayed by a certaine contribution from those men, in whose defence they are imployed. And by this meanes the Marchants and Traders of Holland, receiue farre greater assurance and benefit, then if euery Marchants shippe should set themselues forth in warlike manner in /50/their owne defence. For besides the security they haue, and sauing the charge which such prouisions would require, they haue also much the more roome in their Marchants ships for their Commodities.
[Marginal Note: Many seruiceable men and Mariners bred thus.] And these ships thus sent to guard their Fleets, which are called Wafters, doe continually breede many seruiceable Sea-men, not only Mariners, but also good souldiers, and fit Commanders, that are well experienced how to command in Ships vpon all occasions; for without such fit Commanders in good Ships, there is but small hope of good seruice to be performed by them; and if the New-found-land men may be thus guarded with two such Ships, and two Pinnaces, it would not only in little time breed many a Gentleman and others in them to bee well experienced how to command in ships, vpon any occasion of seruice, but also it will make your Maiesties subiects Ships that trade thither, so strong, that they neede not feare the greatest force, that any Prince should at any time send thither to disturbe or hinder them, neither in returning from thence vpon any occasion to doe your Maiestie seruice.
If after all this, I should be demanded by those which know not the Countrey, what other places in the Land are also fit to be peopled at first, so well as the Harbors of Trepassey, and Trinity (of which I haue already spoken) whereby those which will aduenture thither, may not be doubtfull to plant in other Harbors, although I haue first expressed them for some speciall reasons, as it may be well vnderstood, the one of them lying North-most, where our Nation vseth to fish neere the Sauages, and the other lying in the South-most part of the Land, and neere /51/vnto the passages of diuers ships that saile yeerely to and from other places of the world, as is already plainely shewed; yet there are many other excellent good Harbors where our nation vseth to fish, lying betweene them both, which are very good for ships to moore fast at anchor, and easily to be defended from enemies, that shall at any time attempt to molest such as shall plant in them: and better for fishing, then either of the foresaid two Harbors are, of which I will particularly expresse some of their names.
[Marginal Note: Good Harbors, Bayes and Rodes for Ships and Fishing] First, the Harbor of Saint Iohns: Foriland: Formosa: Agafort Harbor de Grace: Renouze: and diuers other good Harbors, Bayes and Rodes, where there is good fishing, and are fit places for ships to ride in the Summer time: and as it is already shewed, that the bottomes of diuers Bayes, that are expressed to be in this South part of the Land, doe euen meete together, within the compasse of a small circuit, neere vnto the Bay of Trepassey; So likewise not far from Trepassey, which lyeth six leagues to the West, from the South cape of the Land, which is called Cape Derasse, and sixe leagues to the North-ward of the said Cape, lyeth the Harbor of Renouze, which is a place easily to be defended, there being at a low ebbe not 18. foot water fine sand: yet in danger to be spoiled by the stones and ballast that are throwne into the same, which are to be seene in great heaps when the water is cleare, as commonly it is in a faire Sun-shining day anchor. These stones and ballast, so throwne into the Harbors by Christians (if there bee not some better course taken therein) it is to be sorrowed, that the offenders are not seuerely punished. [Marginal Note: Stones and Ballast throwne in the said Rodes, dangerous for ships.]
/52/[Marginal Note: Good land for Tillage.] Close adioyning to the Harbour of Renouze, are aboue 200. Acres of good land, that is cleere without Woods or Rocks, and lieth commodiously to be ouerflowne with fresh Riuers in the Summer time, with very little labour, as I haue well obserued: and within a mile further off from the said Harbours, lye many hundred acres more of very good open land, that are able to receiue and relieue many hundreds of Cattell, and fit, with little labour, to be manured for Tillage.
[Marginal Note: Great store of Deere.] There are yeerely neere vnto the said Harbour of Renouze, great store of Deere seene; and sometimes diuers of them haue been taken. There is a man yet liuing, that was once at New-found-land in a ship with me; and he in one voyage did there, neere vnto the Harbour of Renouze, kill 18. very large and fat Deere, as it is well knowne, yet he went with his Peece but seldome for that purpose, & would then haue killed many more, if he might haue been spared from other labour to attend thereon: whereby it may be well vnderstood, that there is great store of Deeres flesh in that Countrey, and no want of good fish, good fowle, good fresh water, and store of wood, &c.
From the said Harbour of Renouze, it is not aboue ten miles ouer land to the Harbor of Trepassey, and not farre from thence to the bottome of Trinity bay, and within three leagues vnto the Harbour of Renouze, are three very good Harbours, where our Nation vseth to fish, which lie to the Northward of it.
Now whereas there haue been reports made of great cold in that Countrey, by people that haue /53/traded thither, who (I suppose) neuer saw any other Coutnrey, but onely that, and their owne natiue soyle; and such when they haue returned from thence one voyage, though they neuer vnderstood, or felt the nature and temperature of other Clymates, neither consider the goodnesse of New-found-land, as it is now partly made knowne, haue giuen a great deal worse report of that Countrey, then in reason they should; and if such were but a little acquainted, or would vnderstand of the great cold that is at times in Muscouia, Sweidon, Norway, Spruce-land, Poland, Denmarke and other Easterne and Northerne parts of the World, where the people liue well and grow rich; such ill reporters of New-found-land would alter their opinions; And although the Ice is so great in those other parts the Winter season, commonly foure moneths together, that neither Ship nor Boat can passe in all that time, from one place to another, but lye still fast frozen, yet in that season, where Ships vse to saile the Summer time from one place to another, Carts and Coaches doe passe vpon the Ice.
Ships also in Holland and in those neere places, in some Winters doe lie there fast frozen a long time together: and likewise it hath beene in some Winters so hard frozen in the Riuer of Thames, aboue London-bridge neere the Court, that the tenderest faire Ladies and Gentlewomen that are in any part of the world, who haue beheld it, and great numbers of people, haue there sported on the Ice many dayes together, and haue felt it colder there, then men doe that liue in New-found-land.
Now if such men, when they come from thence, /54/that haue but little experience of the colde in other Countries; neither take due obseruation of the colde that is sometime in England, would listen to men that haue traded in the Summer time to Greeneland, for the killing of Whales, and making of that Traine oyle (which is a good trade found out) and consider well of the abundance of great Ilands of Ice, that those Ships and men are there troubled withall at times, they would thereby bee perswaded to speake but little of the colde in New-found-land: yet praised be God, seldome any of those Ships and men that trade to Greeneland, haue taken any hurt thereby.
Wherefore I desire to satisfie any that shall bee willing to further this Plantation, and cleare those reprots and doubts that are feared by some people of the cold there; and also to let them know, endure it so well, that they liue there naked Winter and Summer. And also my selfe, and most our Nation, and others that haue traded there, endure the greatest colde we haue met withall there at any time, in our faces, neckes, and eares, as well as any Gentlewomen in England doe the colde in their naked bosomes, neckes and faces in the Winter time, when they goe so vncouered; and therefore I doe conceiue, that it is but a little needlesse charie nicenesse vsed by some that trade there, that complaine any thing of the cold in that Countrey, by keeping themselues too warme: which cold (I suppose) some that haue bin there, may feele the more, if they haue beene much accustomed to drinke Tobacco [sic], stronge Ale, double Beere, or haue beene /55/accustomed to sit by a Tauerne fire, or touched with the French disease, such peraduenture may, when they come to a little cold, wheresoeuer they bee, feele it the more extremely then otherwise they would.
Furthermore they may be also more fully satisfied of the cold in that Countrey by a Gentleman, one Master Iohn Guy, late Maior of the City of Bristoll, that liued there two yeeres together, and diuers others also of sort & qualitie, many yeeres so pleasantly, and healthfull with their wiues and families, as if they had liued in England.
And whereas there come some yeeres vpon that Coast great Ilands of Ice, which are congealed in the North, farre from thence, as it may be well vnderstood, and that the Coast of New-found-land lieth in longitude from the South Cape thereof to the graund Bay, which is the North-most part of the Countrie, North, North-East, and South, South-west, aboue fiue degrees; and that from thence, any ship being off from that Coast twelue Leagues, and sailing North, North-East, may run on, till they come to the North-ward of 70. degrees, and no land to hinder him, neither from thence any land found, in that altitude, directly East vnto Greeneland, where the trade is for killing of Whales, which is aboue 400. leagues distance from that Course.
Therefore it may bee well vnderstood, as it hath bin approued by diuers men that haue attempted to seeke out some new Discoueries, in those North parts of the world, that there is alwaies abundance of great Ilands of Ice, which the current setting very strongly from thence, by reason of (I concieue of) /56/some Strait and passage that the Sea hath from those large Seas that lie on the North side of Tartaria, and those other vnknowne parts of the World, and sets towards the Coast of New-found-land, with the said Current and North winds, & do there in little time dissolue, and thereby they make the ayre and water some thing the colder there. Those Ilands of Ice are not dangerous vnto Ships being once descried, as by their whitenes they may in a dark night when men looke out for them; for they will driue along so fast with the wind, as I haue often prooued, that if a Ship bee vnder the Lee of an Iland of Ice, and there strike downe his sayles, the Ice will driue faster with the winde, then the ship will driue before it, so that a ship may turne from it when there is cause. [Marginal Note: Ilands of Ice there speedily melt.]
Thus hauing shewed (as I conceiue) the reasons that such Ilands of Ice are seene some yeeres on the Coast of New-found-land; I will also shew my opinion partly, why there are such Fogs there also sometimes.
[Marginal Note: The cause of the Fogges.] It is well knowne vnto all those that haue seene the Country and obserued it, how the Land is ouergrowne with Woods and Bushes that haue growne, and so rotted into the ground againe (in my opinion euersince the floud) the rottennes thereof hath so couered the earth, and Rocks in diuers places of the Countrey in great thicknes, and by reason thereof, the open land and woods doe a long time in the Summer contain a great moisture vnder the same, so that a man may obserue, when the heate of the yeere comes on, a kind of Fogge arising continually from it.
/57/[Marginal Note: How to abate the Fogs, and to make the Countrey better.] Therefore, in my opinion, which I submit to deeper Iudgements, if those vnnecesssary bushes, and such vnseruiceable woods were in some places burned, so as the hot beames of the Sunne might pearce into the earth and stones there, so speedily as it doth in some other countreys, that lye vnder the same eleuation of the Pole, it would then there make such a reflection of heate, that it would much lessen these Fogs, and also make the countrey much the hotter Winter and Summer, and thereby the earth will bud forth her blossomes and fruites more timely in the yeere, then now it doth, and so bring the Land more familiar to vs, and fitter for Tillage, and for Beasts, and also for Land-fowle, then now it is; and thereby those Ilands of Ice that come on that coast at any time, will the sooner dissolue, which do speedily melt, when they come neere the South part of that Land, &c.
Also, it may be obiected by some, that the countrey is rockie, and moun- /58/-tainous, and so ouergrowne with trees & bushes, in such a Wildernes, that it will be an endles trouble to bring it to good perfection: and such like obiections are often vsed, as if they would haue such a Land cleansed to them without labour. Yet my hope is, when any such shall reade ouer this Discourse, and consider well of the particular motiues herein expressed, whereby a Plantation there should bee imbraced, they will be well satisfied therein, and I suppose, forbeare to say it is such a rockie, and cold countrey as is vnfit to be planted.
I haue been seuerall times in Norway, where the Countrey is in most places more rockie, and mountainous then the New-found-land, and lies aboue sixe degrees more to the North, and yet very beneficiall to the King of Denmarke, where many of his Maiesties Subiects liue pleasantly; but the New-found-land is much more pleasant to liue in.
[Marginal Note: Rocks and Mountaines good for Seeds, Roots and Vines.] I haue often seene the Coast of Biskay and Portugall all along the Sea-Coast, how rocky, barren and mountainous these countreys be in most places, although they lie in a pleasant and temperate Climate; if such which should dispraise the New-found-land, had seene it, as I haue, they would not onely like well, and be in loue to further the desired Plantation, but also admire how the people in those other Countries doe liue by their good industrie, and seeke out little places amongst the Rocks, and in the sides of Hils and Mountaines, to set and sow their seedes for Rootes, Cabage, Onions, and such like, whereby they receiue great comforts: for all alongst those parts on the Sea-coast, their best meanes of liuing is by fishing, and other trades by Sea. The like benefit may all such haue, that will plant at New-found-land, and much better in many other things, as is already sufficiently touched.
Likewise it is well knowne to all those that haue trauailed from thence all along the Coast of Spaine, euen to Granada, how barren and rockie those parts of Spaine are also in most places; and yet the people by their good industry, plant many of their Vines and other fruits, on the sides of some steepe Hils amongst the Rockes, where men are faine in diuers places, euen to creepe on their hands and knees to prune the said Vines, and gather the Grapes of them, to make their strong wines, and sweete Ray- /59/-sins withall, which wee so much delight to taste. In those toothsome, and delightfull Commodities, our Marchants bestow much money, which the New-found-land trade and Commodities had from thence, will be able in little time, if it be peopled as aforesaid, to supply all your Maiesties Kingdomes withall, with the sales of such commodities had from thence, to be imployed therein.
Likewise from Granada to Carthagena, Allegant, Denia, and from thence euen to the Citie of Valencia, which is a large circuit, the most parts all along, as I haue trauelled by land, are very barren, rockie and mountainous; that very few Cattell, Sheepe, Goats, or any other beasts are able to liue there; and yet doe the people in those parts vse great industry, to plant their Vines and other fruits, whereby they seeke out their best meanes they haue to liue: and likewise also in diuers other places neere the Mediterranean Sea, from thence to Bassalonia, Marsellis, Sauoy, and Genoway, and in diuers other places in Italy, these Countries are very Rocky and Mountainous: & yet those places doe abound with many other rich blessings, by meanes of the peoples good industrie there; and so by reason thereof, the people in all those parts from the Coast of Biskay, vnto Italy; & also the most parts of France, Gascoyne, Brittaine, Normandy and Picardy, are by the New-found-land fish greatly relieued: which fish is in all those parts in that request, & steeds them greatly, and doth sell very well there most commonly, and so likewise in England great abundance thereof is spent; which being well considered, I know no reason to the contrary, but that the Subiects of all your Maiesties /60/Kingdomes should be most willing to further that Plantation, and shew their good industry to cleanse Land there for Corne & Woade, and plant diuers kindes of fruits, which questionless will also proue very well there; and then will it be to all your Maiesties Kingdomes such a nurcery to get wealth, and to increase and maintaine Shipping, and beget seruiceable Sea-men, as great Brittaine had neuer the like.
With these good blessings which are before recited, being followed by industrious spirits, there is a great hope of a plentifull haruest vnto your Maiestie & Kingdomes thereby; God send good Seedsmen and Planters to set it forward, as I trust in God it will haue, seeing it hath already had many right Honourable and worthy Fathers to commend it.
And although that sithence I presumed to write this Discourse, I haue bin often dishartned from proceeding herein; Yet, when I did remember Columbus his good indeuours, that first & patient Discouerer of the West Indies, whom, if God had not hartened him on with a worthy mind, & a bosom armed for all the stormes of crosse fortunes, he had neuer finished that Honourable attempt for finding such an happie businesse out: the which Discouery of his, hath euer since filled the Spanish cofers with gold and siluer, and made that Nation Lords of the greatest riches vnder the Sunne: and although that attempt of his, was held at first impossible to come vnto any good effect, and Columbus laught at by some: yet euer sithence, by his attempt, I may say, that Spaine hath had from thence to helpe furnish other Christian Kingdomes with /61/gold, siluer and diuers other great riches; and also now to that countrey so discouered, those commodities that great Brittaine may yeerely well spare, and other Countries also, are the better vented: and so likewise, may the New-found-land and the parts of America, neere thereunto, proue also beneficiall for diuers trades in little time.
These good motiues considered, what great good comes vnto Christian Kingdomes, by Forraine Plantations, and what infinite wealth is yeerely brought from the West Indies into Spaine, as I haue there seene landed; doe put mee in great hope, that if there bee an orderly Plantation settled in New-found-land, the trade to that Coutnrey by your Maiesties Subiects, and other places thereby, may yeerely be so beneficiall to your Maiestie and your Highnesse other Kingdomes, as the West Indies are now yeerely worth to the King of Spaine.
Now hauing thus commended the Countrey of New-found-land, in my opinion, it ought not to bee one of the least motiues, whereby to further this Plantation, the setting of some better order and gouernement amongst the Fishermen, and all other of our Nation that yeerely trade there, then now there is; so that there may be a reformation of such abuses as are there yeerely committed; wherein it is well knowne, that I haue already vsed my best endeuors, when in the yeere 1615,. at which time I had a Commission with me for the purpose vnder the broad Seale of the Admiralty, and did therewith set forth, to follow that seruice from the Port of Exceter, in the County of Deuon, on the 11. day of May 1615, in a Barke victualled and manned with /62/11. men and boyes at my owne charge, and I did then arriue at the Coast of New-found-land, in the Bay of Trinity; vpon Trinitie Sunday, being the 4. of Iune, and anchored the same day in the said Harbour of Trinity; and there, in the name of the holy and indiuiduall Trinity, began to the vse of your most Sacred Maiestie, by vertue of that Commission, to send forth a Precept, to call the Masters of those English ships, that were then riding at Anchor, and also the Masters of some other English ships that were neere thereunto, and so began to hold the first Court of Admiralty in your Maiesties name, that euer was (as I beleeue) holden in that Countrey, to the vse of any Christian Prince, and proceeded therein according to course of Law, as the tenor of my Commission did warrant mee therein; and also in other Harbors of the said Coast I did the like; Part of which abuses there committed, I haue already touched: so likewise I will briefly insert a part of the seuerall presentments of such iniuries, that were then deliuered vnto me, as aforesaid, vnder the hands and seales of those 170. Masters of English Ships, to the vse of your Maiesty: which presentments were, vpon my returne from the said voyage, deliuered by me into your Maiesties high Court of the Admiralty, and then by those Masters of ships there impannelled, such abuses as follow, they did acknowledge, and order, that henceforth with your Maiesties allowance might be redressed, &c.
2. Secondly, that diuers of our Nation doe take into their ships very great stones, to presse their dry fish withall; which worke being done, they cast those stones into the Harbors where their ships vse to ride at anchor; which will vtterly spoile the Roades and Harbors in that Countrey, and bee to the indangering of Ships and Cables, yea and mens liues also, if it be not reforemd in time.
3. There are many men yeerely, who vnlawfully conuey away other mens fishing boates, from the Harbour and place where they were left the yeere before in that Countrey; and some cut out the markes of them; and some others rippe and carry away the pieces of them, to the great preiudice and hindrance of the voyages of such ships that depend on such fishing boates, and also to the true Owners of such boates.
4. There are some men, who arriuing there first into a Harbour, doe rippe and pull downe Stages, that were left standing for the splitting and salting of fish the yeere before; and other Stages some men haue set on fire: which is a great hindrance to the voyages of such men as are not there with the first in the Harbour, for that they must then spend 20. dayes time, for preparing new Stages, and fitting new Pinnaces, and other necessary things, in euery voyage before they be settled to fish.
5. There are also some, who arriuing first in Harbor, take away other mens Salt that they had left there the yeere before, and also rip and spoile the Fats wherein they make their Traine oyle, and some teare downe Flakes, whereon men yeerely dry their fish, /64/to the great hurt and hindrance of many other that come after them.
6. Some men likewise steale away the bait out of other mens Nets by night, and also out of their fishing boates by their ships side, whereby their fishing, from whom it is so taken, is ouerthrowne for the next day.
7. They did acknowledge, that some men take vp more roome then they neede, or is fitting to dry their fish on, whereby other mens voyages are oftentimes greatly hindered.
8. They also found, that diuers of your Maiesties subiects haue come to that Coast, in fishing voyages in ships not appertaining to any of your Maiesties subiects, which they conceiued worthy of punishment, and reformation.
9. They did acknoweldge, that some men rip, and take away Timber and Rayles from Stages, and other necessary roomes, that are fastened with nailes, Spike or Trey naile; and some men take away the Rindes & Turfe wherwith diuers necessary roomes are fitly couered from ground with Rayles on them, whereupon men vse to dry their fish; and that some set the standing Woods in the Countrey on fire, which haue in little time burned many thousand acres; and that there are some which yeerely take away other mens Trayne oyle there by night; which they conceiued worthy of reformation.
10. They found, that diuers idle persons, which were hired for those voyages, when they come thither, notwithstanding that they were still in health, /65/would not worke, and were so lazy and idle, that their work was to little purpose: which was worthy of punishment.
11. Agaisnt all these great abuses, and diuers others committed in the said New-found-land (which they did set downe in their seuerall presentments, as by them it may at large appeare, they did all condescend, and order from that time thenceforth, that no subiect to your Maiesty should commit any more such abuses in that Countrey: which may bee very wel remedied, seeing they tend to the aduancement of the Trade, and quietnes amongst the Fishermen, and to the glory of God, the honour and good of your Maiesty, and the generall benefit of the Common-wealth.
12. They did further present to the vse of the Lord Admirall of England, two small Boates, Anchors, and a small Grapple, that were found in the Sea vpon that Coast, which were there prized to bee worth two shilling sixepence apiece, amounting to seuen shillings sixepence.
And these excellent benefits distribute themselues, betweene your Maiesty and your Subiects: your Highnesse part will bee the Honour of the Action; the accesse of Territory, increase of strength and power, aduantage against other Princes, augmentation of Reuenew, and ease of your Maiesties Kingdomes, &c. The Subiects part will be the bettering and securing of their Trade; inriching of themselues; reliefe of other Trades; and a meanes of further Discoueries.
But these two haue a relation and dependencie the one on the other, that neither can subsist without the other; I will not therefore diuide your Maiestie from your Subiects; your Highnesse prosperity being their happinesse; and their wealth, your Maiesties riches.
The first thing which is to bee hoped for, and which hath euer beene your Maiesties principall care, is the propagation of the Christian Faith: and by that meanes onely, the poore vnbeleeuing Inhabitants of that Coutnrey may bee brought to the knowledge of God, and a ciuill kind of gouernement: and it is not a thing impossible, but that from those slender beginnings which may bee made in New-found-land, all the Regions adioyning (which betweene this place, and the Countries actually possessed by the King of Spaine, and to the North of New-found-land, are so spacious as all Europe) may be conuerted to the true worship of God.
The next is, the vniting of a Countrey so beneficiall already, and so promising vnto your Maiesties /68/Crowne, without bloodshed, charge, or vsurpation, which must needs bee a perpetuall Honour to your Maiesty, in all succeeding ages; neither will it bee an Honour onely to your Highnesse, but a benefit to the State, by a new accesse of Dominion; And what Prince can inlarge his Territories by a more easie and more iust meanes then this, seeing that of right it appertaineth vnto your Maiesty, and therefore deserues to be imbraced?
Now if it may so please your most excellent Maiesty, not onely to lend your eare to a Proiect of this nature, but also to approue the matter proiected; and vouchsafe the furtherance therein, the which, out of my soules deuotion, and zealous affection to doe seruice to your Maiesty and your Kingdomes, I tender on my knees; most humbly beseeching your Highnesse, both to accept of my honest and zealous intent, as also to pardon my boldnesse and presumption therein; for it is, and so hath euer beene my resolution, rather to beare the burthen of pouerty, then iustly to deserue, or giue cause of reproach; and to subiect all the dayes of my life, and the manifold dangers thereof, thereby to approue my selfe a profitable member, both to your Maiestie, and to my Countrey that gaue me my first breath; for which onely cause I haue aduentured to publish this my simple and plaine Discourse, whereunto my very conscience hath a long time, and still doth not forbeare to sollicite me.
The prosecution and perfection of the worke, I leaue to the pleasure of God, and your Maiesties happy directions; in the discourse and discouery whereof, if I haue either beene tedious, or any o- /69/-ther way offensiue, it is to bee imputed to my want of learning: and so, though perhaps I doe not satisfie some mens curiosities, yet I hope I haue sufficiently informed their iudgements; and beseech God to incline their affections to the furtherance of so pious, and so profitable a businesse, as this appeareth to be.
And so I rest, and euer will remaine a faithfull and loyall Subiect to your Maiesty, an hearty and true louer of my Countrey, and a zealous well-wisher to this intended Plantation.
Gentle Reader, seeing my former Discouery receuived such good approbation and allowance before it was printed, it puts me in some hope, it will also receiue good acceptance from all his Maiesties well-affected Subiects, now that it is published; the which when I shall vnderstand, by their thankfull acceptance, I shall be incouraged the more willingly, to set forth what I have obserued touching the Altitude of some head-lands of that Coast, on the East side of the New-found-land, and also the Deepes, and seuerall soundings, that I haue taken notice of in my trauels to that Countrey; which I concieue to be necessary for those that shall henceforth trade thither; which as yet no man, to my knowledge, hath vndertaken; and also be ready with my life and meanes whatsoeuer I haue, or may haue in this World, to discouer other Bayes and Harbours round about that land, which are yet vndiscouered, whereby to find out some other new Trades with the Natiues of the Countrey; for they have great store of red Oaker, wherewith they [/D2/]vse to colour their bodies, Bowes, Arrowes and Cannowes withall, which Cannowes are built in shape, like the Wherries on the Riuer of Thames; but they are much longer, made with the rinds of Birch trees, which they sew very artificially and close together, and then ouerlay the seames with Turpentime; and in like manner they vse to sew the barkes of Spruise trees, round and deepe in proportion, like a Brasse Kettle, to boyle their meate in, which hath been well proued by three Mariners of a Shippe, in the Country of Deuon; which Ship, riding there at Anchor neere by mee, and being robbed in the night, by the Sauages, of their apparell, and diuers other prouisions, did the next day seeke after them, and happened to come suddenly where they had set vp three Tents, and were feasting, hauing three such Cannowes by the, and three Pots made of such rinds of trees, standing each of them on three stones, boyling, with twelue Fowles in each of them, euery Fowle as big as a Widgeon, and some so big as a Ducke: they had also many such Pots so sewed, and fashioned like leather Buckets, that are vsed for quenching of fire, and those were full of the yolkes of Egges, that they had taken and boyled hard, and so dryed small, which the Sauages vsed in their Broth, as Sugar is often vsed in some meates. They had great store of the skins of Deere, Beauers, Beares, Seales, Otters, and diuers other fine skins, which were well dressed; as also great store of seuerall sorts of flesh dryed, and by shooting off a Musket towards them, they all ran away naked, without any apparell, but onely their hats on their heads, which were made of Seale skinnes, in fashions like our hats, sewed handsomely, with narrow bands a- [/D3/]bout them, set round with fine white shels. All their three Cannowes, their flesh, skins, yolkes of Egges, Targets, Bowes and Arrows, and much fine Okar, and diuers other things they tooke and brought away, and shared it among those three that tooke it; and they brought to mee the best Cannow, Bowes and Arrowes, and diuers of their skins, and many other things worth the noting, which may seeme much to inuite vs to indeauour to finde out some other trades with them.
Now also I will not omit to relate some thing of a strange Creature, which I first saw there in the yeere 1610, in a morning early, as I was standing by the water side, in the Harbour of Saint Iohns, which very swiftly came swimming towards mee, looking cheerfully, as it had been a woman: by the face, eyes, nose, mouth, chin, eares, necke, and forehead, it seemed to bee so beautifull, and in those parts so well proportioned, hauing round about vpon the head, all blew strakes, resembling hayre, downe to the Necke, (but certainly it was no haire), yet I beheld it long, and another of my company also yet liuing, that was not then farre from mee, saw the same comming so swiftly towards me: at which I stepped backe; for it was come within the length of a long Pike. Which when this strange Creature saw, that I went from it, it presently thereupon diued a little vnder water, and did swim towards the place before I landed; whereby I beheld the shoulders & back down to the middle, to be so square, white and smooth as the backe of a man; and from the middle to the hinder part, it was poynting in pro- [/D4/]portion something like a broad hooked Arrow: how it was proportioned in the forepart from the necke and shoulders, I could not well discerne; but it came shortly after, to a Boat in the same Harbour (wherein one William Hawkridge then my seruant was,) that hath been since a Captaine in a Ship to the East Indies, and is lately there so imployed againe by Sir Thomas Smith, in the like voyage; and the same Creature did put both his hands vpon the side of the Boat, and did striue much to come in to him, and diuers then in the same Boat; whereat they were afraid, and one of them strucke it a full blow on the head, whereby it fell off from them: and afterwards it came to two other Boates in the said Harbour, where they lay by the shore: the men in them, for feare fled to land. This (I suppose) was a Marmaid. Now because diuers haue writ much of Maremaids, I haue presumed to relate what is most certaine, of such a strange Creature that was thus then seene at New-found-land, whether it were a Maremaid or no, I know not; I leaue it for others to iudge, &c.
These pages constructed by Duleepa Wijayawardhana