the easternmost lands of Asia
, and its colonization was
not earnestly attempted till its separate existence was clearly ascertained.
VII., as a Catholic, could not wholly disregard the bull of the pope, which gave to Spain
a paramount title to the North American
world; and as a prince he sought a counterpoise to France
in an intimate Spanish alliance, which he hoped to confirm by the successive marriage of one of his sons after the other to Catharine of Aragon, youngest daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella.
VIII., on his accession, surrendered to his father-in-law the services of Sebastian Cabot
Once, perhaps in 1517, the young king promoted a voyage of discovery, but it ‘tooke no full effect.’
To avoid interference with Spain
, Robert Thorne
, of Bristol
, who had long resided in Seville
, proposed voyages to the east by way of the north; believing that there would be found an open sea near the pole, over which, during the arctic continuous day, Englishmen might reach the land of spices without travelling half so far as by the way of the Cape of Good Hope
In 1527 an expedition, favored by Henry VIII.
, sailed from Plymouth
for the discovery of the northwest passage.
But the larger ship was lost in July among icebergs in a great storm; in August, accounts of the disaster were forwarded to the king and to the cardinal from the haven of St. John
, in Newfoundland
The fisheries of that region were already frequented not by the English
only, but also by Normans, Biscayans, and Bretons.
The repudiation of Catharine of Aragon by Henry VIII.
sundered his political connection with Spain
, which already began to fear English rivalry in