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A dedicatorie Epistle unto the Queenes most excellent Majestie, written by Master William Burrough late Comptroller of her Highnesse navie, and annexed unto his exact and notable mappe of Russia , briefly containing (amongst other matters) his great travailes, observations, and experiments both by sea and land, especially in those Northeastern parts.

To the most high and renowmed Princesse ELIZABETH by the grace of God Queene of England, France and Ireland , &c.

MY minde earnestly bent to the knowledge of navigation and Hydrographie from my youth (most excellent my dread Soveraigne) hath eftsoones beene moved by diligent studie to search out the chiefest points to them belonging: and not therewith sufficed hath also sought by experience in divers discoveries and other voyages and travailes to practise the same. I was in the first voyage for discoverie of the partes of Russia , which begun in anno 1553. (being then sixteene yeeres of age) also in the yeere 1556. in the voyage when the coastes of Samoed and Nova Zembla, with the straightes of Vaigatz were found out: and in the yeere 1557, when the coast of Lappia, and the bay of S. Nicholas were more perfectly discovered. Since which time, by my continuall practise in the voyages made yeerely to S. Nicholas in Russia , or to the Narve, and to some other countreys also by Sea: as likewise in passing from S. Nicholas to Mosco, and from Mosco to Narve, and from thence backe againe to S. Nicholas by land, in the yeeres 1574. and 1575. (being then Agent in those countreis for the companie of English merchants for discoveries of new trades) setting downe alwayes with great care and diligence, true observations & notes of al those countreys, Islands, coasts of the sea, and other things requisite to the artes of Navigation and Hydrographie: and with like diligence gathering exact notes and descriptions of the wayes, rivers, cities, townes, &c. as I passed by land: I finde my selfe sufficiently furnished to give report unto your Majesty, and to make description of those North parts of the world in forme and maner of every leagues distance that I have passed & seene in all those my travels. The places herein described, which I have not seene and tried my selfe, I have set downe by the best authorities that I could finde, and therein may erre with the learned Gerardus Mercator, Abraham Ortelius, and the rest: but for the maine part which is from Rochel in France hither to London, and from hence Eastward to Narve by sea, and from thence to Mosco and to S. Nicholas by land: also from hence Northwards and Northeastwards by Sea to Saint Nicholas, and to the straight of Vaigatz (first craving humbly your highnesse pardon) I dare boldly affirme (and that I trust without suspect of arrogancie, since truely I may say it) I have here set it open to the view, with such exactnesse and trueth, and so placed every thing aright in true latitude and longitude, (accompting the longitudes from the meridian of London, which I place in 21. degrees) as till this time no man hath done the like: neither is any man able by learning onely, except he travaileth, as I have done. For as it may be truely saide of navigation and Hydrographie, that no man can be cunning in the one which wanteth convenient knowledge in the other: and as neither of them can be had without the helpes of Astronomie and Cosmographie, much lesse without these two grounds of all artes, Arithmetike and Geometrie: so none of the best learned in those sciences Mathematicall, without convenient practise at the sea can make just proofe of the profite in them: so necessarily dependeth art and reason upon practise and experience. Albeit there are divers both learned and unlearned, litle or nothing experienced, which in talke of navigation will enter deeply and speake much of and against errours used therein, when they cannot reforme them. Such also have written therof, pretending singular great knowledge therein, and would so be accompted of, though in very deede not worthy the name of good and sufficient pilots. To whom I thinke it shall not be amisse in defence of rules builded upon reason, and in practise allowed, thus much to say for answere. It is so, that there are rules used in navigation which are not perfectly true: among which the streight lines in sea-cardes, representing the 32. points of the compasse or windes, are not holden to be the least, but noted of such talkers for principall, to condemne the occupiers thereof for ignorant: yet hath the famous and learned Gerardus Mercator used them in his universal mappe. But such as condemne them for false, and speake most against their use cannot give other that should serve for navigation to better purpose and effect. Experience (one of the keyes of knowledge) hath taught mee to say it. Wherein with my abilitie, together with some part of my studie, I am the rather moved (in this my plot) to make some triall unto your majestie: for that I perceive that such attempts of newe discoveries (whereunto this noble Island is most aptly situated) are by your royall maintenance so willingly furthered: beseeching your highnesse so to accept of these my travailes, as a pledge of my well willing to my countrey, and of my loyall service to your majestie, whose healthfull happie life and reigne God continue which is Almightie. Amen.

Your Majesties most humble subject

William Burrough.

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