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A declaration of the Indies and lands discovered, and subdued unto the Emperour, and the king of Portingal: And also of other partes of the Indies and rich countries to be discovered, which the worshipfull M. Robert Thorne merchant of London (who dwelt long in the citie of Sivil in Spaine) exhorted king Henrie the eight to take in hand.

EXPERIENCE prooveth that naturally all princes bee desirous to extend and enlarge their dominions and kingdomes. Wherefore it is not to be marveiled, to see them every day procure the same, not regarding any cost, perill, and labour, that may thereby chance, but rather it is to be marvelled, if there be any prince content to live quiet with his owne dominions. For surely the people would thinke he lacketh the noble courage and spirit of all other.

The world knoweth that the desires of Princes have bene so fervent to obtaine their purpose, that they have adventured and prooved things to mans conjecture impossible, the which they have made possible, and also things difficult have made facill: and thus to obtaine their purpose, have in maner turned up and downe the whole world so many times, that the people inhabiting in the farthest regions of the Occident have pursued with great distresse, labours and perils, to penetrate and enter into the farthest regions of the Orient: and in likewise those people of the said parts of the Orient have had no lesse labour and desire to enter and penetrate into the farthest land of the Occident, and so following their purchase have not ceased untill they could passe no farther by reason of the great seas.

This naturall inclination is cause, that scarsely it may be said, there is any kingdome stable, nor king quiet, but that his owne imagination, or other princes his neighbours doe trouble him. God and nature hath provided to your Grace, and to your gracious progenitors, this Realme of England, and set it in so fruitfull a place, and within such limites, that it should seeme to be a place quiet and aparted from all the foresayd desire. One speciall cause is, for that it is compassed with the Sea: by reason therof it seemes, this notwithstanding, their desires and noble courages have beene most commonly like unto others: and with marvellous great labours, costes and perils, they have travelled and passed the Seas, making warre, not onely with Kings and dominions nigh neighbours, but also with them of farre countries, and so have woonne and conquered many rich and fayre dominions, and amplified this your Graces Realme with great victory and glory. And also now of late your Grace having like courage and desire, and not without just cause, to enlarge this your kingdome, and demaund your limits and tribute of the French king, which at that present he restrained, your Grace in person passed with a great power into France, putting your Graces person to great paine and labour, and without doubt victoriously you had conquered the sayd Realme of France, as ye began, if your adversary had not reconciled himselfe, and knowledged your Graces right and title: and so promised truely to pay tribute then due, & fulfill your request in all things, and also desired your Grace for peace, the which of your clemencie you could not refuse.

Now I considering this your noble courage and desire, and also perceiving that your Grace may at your pleasure, to your greater glory, by a godly meane, with little cost, perill, or labour to your Grace or any of your subjects, amplifie and inrich this your sayd Realme, I know it is my bounden duety to manifest this secret unto your Grace, which hitherto, as I suppose, hath beene hid: which is, that with a small number of ships there may bee discovered divers New lands and kingdomes, in the which without doubt your Grace shall winne perpetuall glory, and your subjectes infinite profite. To which places there is left one way to discover, which is into the North: for that of the foure partes of the worlde, it seemeth three parts are discovered by other Princes. For out of Spaine they have discovered all the Indies and Seas Occidentall, and out of Portingall all the Indies and Seas Orientall: so that by this part of the Orient & Occident, they have compassed the world. For the one of them departing toward the Orient, and the other toward the Occident, met againe in the course or way of the middest of the day, and so then was discovered a great part of the same Seas and coastes by the Spaniards. So that now rest to be discovered the sayd North parts, the which it seemeth to mee, is onely your charge and duety. Because the situation of this your Realme is thereunto neerest and aptest of all other: and also for that you have already taken it in hand. And in mine opinion it will not seeme well to leave so great and profitable an enterprise, seeing it may so easily and with so little cost, labour, and danger, be followed and obtayned: though heretofore your Grace hath made thereof a proofe, & found not the commodity thereby as you trusted, at this time it shall be no impediment. For there may be now provided remedies for things, then lacked, and the inconveniences and lets remooved, that then were cause that your Graces desire tooke no full effect, which is, the courses to be changed, & followed the foresaid new courses. And concerning the mariners, shippes, and provision, an order may be devised and taken meete and convenient, much better then hitherto. By reason wherof, and by Gods grace, no doubt your purpose shall take effect. Surely the cost herein will be nothing, in comparison to the great profit. The labour is much lesse, yea nothing at all, where so great honour and glory is hoped for: and considering well the courses, truely the danger & way is shorter to us, then to Spaine or Portingall, as by evident reasons appereth.

And now to declare something of the commodity and utilitie of this Navigation and discoverie: it is very cleere and certaine, that the Seas that commonly men say, without great danger, difficulty and perill, yea rather it is impossible to passe, that those same Seas be navigable and without anie such danger, but that shippes may passe and have in them perpetuall clerenesse of the day without any darkenesse of the night: which thing is a great commoditie for the navigants, to see at all times round about them, as well the safegards as dangers, and how great difference it is betweene the commoditie and perils of other which leese the most part of every foure and twentie houres the said light, and goe in darkenesse groping their way, I thinke there is none so ignorant but perceiveth this more plainely, then it can be expressed. Yea what a vantage shal your Graces subjects have also by this light to discover the strange lands, countries, and coastes? For if they that be discovered, to saile by them in darkenesse is with great danger, much more then the coastes not discovered be daungerous to travell by night or in darkenesse. Yet these dangers or darkenesse hath not letted the Spanyards and Portingals and other, to discover many unknowen Realmes to their great perill. Which considered (and that your Graces subjects may have the same light) it will seeme your Graces subjects to be without activity or courage, in leaving to doe this glorious and noble enterprise. For they being past this litle way which they named so dangerous, (which may be two or three leagues before they come to the Pole, and as much more after they passe the Pole) it is cleere, that from thence foorth the seas and landes are as temperate as in these partes, and that then it may be at the will and pleasure of the mariners, to choose whether they will sayle by the coastes, that be colde, temperate or hote. For they being past the Pole, it is plaine, they may decline to what part they list.

If they will goe toward the Orient, they shall injoy the regions of all the Tartarians that extend toward the midday, and from thence they may goe and proceede to the land of the Chinas, and from thence to the land of Cathaio Orientall, which is of all the maine land most Orientall that can be reckoned from our habitation. And if from thence they doe continue their navigation, following the coasts that returne toward the Occident, they shall fall in with Malaca, and so with all the Indies which we call Orientall, and following the way, may returne hither by the Cape of Buona Speransa: and thus they shall compasse the whole worlde. And if they will take their course after they be past the Pole, toward the Occident, they shall goe in the backe side of the new found land, which of late was discovered by your Graces subjects, untill they come to the backe side and South Seas of the Indies Occidentall. And so continuing their voyage they may returne thorow the streight of Magellan to this countrey, and so they compasse also the world by that way: and if they goe this third way, and after they be past the Pole, goe right toward the Pole Antarctike, and then decline toward the lands and Islands situated between the Tropikes, and under the Equinoctiall, without doubt they shall finde there the richest landes and Islands of the world of golde, precious stones, balmes, spices, and other thinges that we here esteeme most: which come out of strange countries, and may returne the same way.

By this it appeareth, your Grace hath not onely a great advantage of the riches, but also your subjects shall not travell halfe of the way that other doe, which goe round about as aforesayd.

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