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A briefe relation of a voyage of The Delight a ship of Bristoll one of the consorts of M. John Chidley esquire and M. Paul Wheele, made unto the Straight of Magellan: with divers accidents that happened unto the company, during their 6. weekes abode there: Begun in the yeere 1589. Written by W. Magoths.

THE fift of August 1589. the worshipfull M. John Chidley of Chidley in the countie of Devon esquire, with M. Paul Wheele and Captaine Andrew Mericke set forth from Plimmouth with three tall ships, the one called The wilde man of three hundred tunnes, wherein went for General the aforesaid M. John Chidley and Benjamin Wood as Master, the other called The white Lion, whereof M. Paul Wheele was captaine and John Ellis Master, of the burthen of 340. tunnes: the third The Delight of Bristol , wherein went M. Andrew Merick as Captaine, and Robert Burnet Master, with two pinnesses of 14. or 15. tunnes a piece. The Generall in his ship had 180. persons: M. Paul Wheele had 140, in our owne ship we were 91. men and boyes. Our voyage was intended by the Streight of Magellan for The South Sea, and chiefly for the famous province of Arauco on the coast of Chili. We kept company together to the yles of the Canaries and so forward to Cape Blanco standing neere the Northerly latitude of 20. degrees on the coast of Barbarie, where some of our people went on shoare finding nothing to their content. Within 12. dayes after our departure from this place The Delight, wherein I William Magoths was, lost the company of the other two great ships, and the two small pinnesses. Howbeit we constantly kept our course according to our directions along the coast of Brasil , and by the River of Plate, without touching any where on land untill we came to Port desire in the latitude of 48 degrees to the Southward of the Equinoctial. Before we arrived at this place there died of our company by Gods visitation of sundry diseases 16. persons. Wee stayed in this harborough 17. dayes to grave our ship & refresh our wearied people, hoping here to have met with our consorts: which fell out contrary to our expectations. During our abode in this place we found two little springs of fresh water, which were upon the Northwesterly part of the land, & lighted upon good store of seales both old and yong. From hence we sailed toward the Streight of Magelan, and entred the same about the first of January. And comming to Penguin yland within the Streight we tooke and salted certaine hogsheads of Penguins, which must be eaten with speed: for wee found them to be of no long continuance; we also furnished our selves with fresh water. And here at the last sending off our boat to the yland for the rest of our provision, wee lost her and 15. men in her by force of foule weather; but what became of them we could not tel. Here also in this storme we lost two anckers. From hence we passed farther into the Streight, and by Port famine we spake with a Spaniard, who told us that he had lived in those parts 6. yeeres, and that he was one of the 400. men that were sent thither by the king of Spain in the yere 1582. to fortifie and inhabit there, to hinder the passage of all strangers that way into the South sea. But that and the other Spanish colonie being both destroyed by famine, he said he had lived in an house by himselfe a long time, and relieved himselfe with his caleever until our comming thither. Here we made a boat of the bords of our chests; which being finished wee sent 7. armed men in the same on land on the North shore, being wafted on land by the Savages with certaine white skinnes; who as soone as they came on shore were presently killed by an 100. of the wilde people in the sight of 2. of our men, which rowed them on shoare, which two onely escaped backe againe to us with the boat. After this traiterous slaughter of our men, we fell backe againe with our ship to the Northeastward of Port famine to a certaine road, where we refreshed our selves with muskles, and tooke in water & wood. At this time wee tooke in the Spaniard aforesaid, and so sailed forward againe into the Streight. Wee passed 7. or 8. times 10. leagues Westward beyond Cape Froward, being still encountered with mightie Northwest winds. These winds and the current were so vehement against us, that they forced us backe asmuch in two houres, as we were getting up in 8. houres. Thus after wee had spent 6. weekes in the Streight striving against the furie of the elements, and having at sundry times partly by casualtie, and partly by sicknes lost 38. of our best men, and 3. anckers, and nowe having but one ancker left us, and small store of victuals, and, which was not the least mischiefe, divers of our company raising dangerous mutinies: we consulted, though somewhat with the latest, for the safegard of our lives to returne while there was some small hope remayning: and so set saile out of The Streight homeward about the 14. of Februarie 1590. We returned backe againe by The river of Plate; and sailing neere the cost of Brasill we met with a Portugal ship of 80. tunnes, which rode at an ancker upon the coast, who as soone as she descried us to chase her, incontinently weyed, & ran her selfe on ground betweene the yland of S. Sebastian and the maine land. But we for want of a good boat, and by reason of the foule weather, were neither able to bord her, nor to goe on shore. Thence in extreeme misery we shaped our course for the yles of Cape Verde, and so passing to the yles of The Azores , the Canaries being something out of our course; the first land that wee mette withall in our Narrow sea was The yle of Alderney . And having now but sixe men of all our company left alive, the Master and his two mates and chiefe Mariners being dead, wee ran in with Monville de Hage eight miles to the west of Cherbourg in Normandie . Where the next day after our comming to an ancker, having but one in all left, being the last of August 1590. by the foule weather that rose the ancker came home, and our ship drave on the rocks: And the Normans which were commanded by the governor of Cherbourg (who came downe to us that night) to have layd out another ancker for her, neglecting his commandement, suffered her miserably to be splitted, with desire to enrich themselves by her wracke. Within few dayes after this last mischance foure of us being Englishmen departed from Cherbourgh, and passed home for England in a barke of Weymouth , leaving the two strangers there behinde us.

The names of us sixe that returned of all our company were these.

  • 1 William Magoths of Bristol .
  • 2 Richard Bush.
  • 3 John Reade.
  • 4 Richard Hodgkins of Westburie neere Bristol .

    The two strangers.

  • 5 Gabriel Valerosa a Portugal .
  • 6 Peter, a Briton.

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