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The second voyage to Benin , set foorth by Master John Newton, and Master John Bird Marchants of London in the yeere 1590 with a ship called the Richard of Arundell of the burthen of one hundreth tunnes, and a small pinnesse, in which voyage Master James Welsh was chiefe Maister.

THE third of September 1590 we set saile from Ratcliffe, and the 18 of the said moneth we came into Plimouth sound, and the two and twentieth we put to sea againe, and at midnight we were off the Lisart, and so passed on our voyage untill the 14 of October, on which day we had sight of Forteventura one of the Canarie Islands, which appeared very ragged as we sailed by it.

The 16 of October, in the latitude of 24 degrees and nine minutes we met with a great hollow sea, the like whereof I never saw on this coast, and this day there came to the ships side a monstrous great fish (I thinke it was a Gobarto) which put up his head to the steepe tubs where ye cooke was in shifting the victuals, whom I thought the fish would have caried away.

The 21 in this latitude of 18 degrees we met with a countersea out of the North boord, and the last voyage in this very place we had the countersea out of the South, being very calme weather as now it is also.

The 24 we had sight of Cavo Verde, and the 25 we met with a great hollow sea out of the North, which is a common signe that the winde will be Northerly, and so it prooved.

The 15 of November we met with three currants out of the West and Northwest, one after another, with an houres time betweene each currant. This was in the latitude of 6 degrees and 42 minutes.

The 18 day we met with two other great currants out of the Southwest, and the 20 we saw another current out of the Northeast, and the 24 we had a great current out of the Southsouthwest, and at 6 of the clocke towards night we had 3 currents more.

The 27 we thought that we had gone at the least 2 leagues and a halfe every watch, and it fell out that we sailed but one league every watch for the space of 24 hours, by meanes of a great billow and current that came still out of the South.

The 5 of December in setting the watch we cast about and lay East Northeast, and Northeast, and here in 5 degrees and a halfe our pinnesse lost us wilfully.

The 7 at the going downe of the Sunne we saw a great blacke spot in the Sunne, and the 8. day both at rising and setting we saw the like, which spot to our seeming was about the bignesse of a shilling, being in 5 degrees of latitude, and still there came a great billow out of the southerboord.

The 14 we sounded and had 15 fadom water and grosse red sand, and 2 leagues from the shore the currant set Southeast along the shore with a billow still out of the southerboord.

The 15 we were thwart a rocke somewhat like the Mewstone in England, it was 2 leagues from us, here we sounded and had 27 fadom, but the rocke is not above a mile from the shore, and a mile farther we saw another rocke, and betweene them both broken ground; here we sounded and had but 20 fadome and blacke sand, and we might see plaine that the rockes went not along the shore, but from the land to the seaward, and about 5 leagues to the Southward we sawe a great bay, here we had 4 degrees and 27 minuts.

The 16 we met with a French ship of Hunfleur, who robbed our pinnesse, we sent a letter by him, and this night we saw another spot in the Sunne at his going downe. And towards evening we were thwart of a river, and right over the river was a high tuft of trees.

The 17 we ankered in the rivers mouth, and then we found the land to be Cavo de las Palmas, and betweene us & the cape was a great ledge of rockes, one league and a halfe into the sea, and they bare to the West of the Cape, we saw also an Island off the point of the foreland, thus it waxed night that we could perceive no more of the lande, but onely that it trended in like a bay, where there runneth a streame as if it were in the river of Thames, and this was the change day of the Moone.

The 19 a faire temperate day, and the wind South, we went East, and the lande a sterne of us West, and it shewed low by the water side like Islands, this was the east of Cavo de las Palmas, and it trended in with a great sound, and we went East all night, and in the morning wee were but 3 or 4 leagues from the shore.

The 20 we were thwart of a river called Rio de los Barbos.

The 21 we went along the shore East, & 3 or 4 leagues to the West of Cavos de tres puntas, I find the bay to be set deeper then it is by 4 leagues, and at 4 of the clocke the land begun to shewe high, and the first part of it full of Palme trees.

The 24 still going by the shore, the land was very low and full of trees by the water side, and at 12 of the clocke we ankered thwart of the river called, Rio de Boilas. Here we sent our boate a shore with the marchants, but they durst not put into the river because of a great billow that continually brake at the enterance upon the barre.

The 28 we sailed alongst the shore, and ankered at night in seven fadom because a great current would have put us backe, which came from the East Southeast from Papuas.

The 29 at noone we were thwart of Arda , and there we tooke a Caravel but the men were fled on land, then we went aboord her, but she had nothing in her but only a litle oyle of Palme trees, and a few roots. The next morning our Captaine and marchants went to meete Portugals, that came in a boate to speake with us, where they communed about the buying of the Caravell of our men againe, and the Portugals promised that we should have for the Caravell, certaine bullocks and Elephants teeth, and they gave us one tooth and one bullocke presently, and sayd they would bring us the rest the next day.

The first of Januarie our Captaine went on land to speake with the Portugales, but when he saw they did dissemble, he came aboord againe, and presently we unrigged the Caravell, and set her on fire before the towne. Then we set saile and went along the coast, where we saw a Date tree, the like whereof is not in all that coast upon the water side, also we fell on ground a litle in one place: Thus we went to Villa longa, and there ankered.

The third we were as far shot as Rio de Lagoa, where our marchants went a shore and upon the barre they found 3 fadom flat, but they went not in because it was late. There is also to the Eastward of this river a Date tree higher then all the rest of the other trees thereabout. Thus we went along the coast, and every night ankered, & al the shore as we went was full of trees and thicke woods.

The 6 day in the morning it was very foggy, so that we could not see the land, and at three of the clocke in the afternoone it cleared up, & then we found our selves thwart of the river of Jaya, and when we found the shallow water, we bare into the sea South, as we did the voyage before, and came to an ancre in five fadom water. The next day we set saile againe, and towards noone we were thwart of the river of Benin in foure fadom water.

The 10 day our Captaine went on land with the shallop at 2 a clocke in the afternoone. All this weeke it was very foggy every day untill ten a clocke, and all this time hitherto hath beene as temperate as our summer in England. This day we went into the road and ankered, & the west point of the road bare East northeast off us, wee riding in foure fadome water.

The 21 a faire temperate day, this day M. Hassald went to the towne of Goto, to heare newes of the Captaine.

The 23 came the Caravell, and Samuell in her, and she brought 63 Elephants teeth, and three bullocks.

The 28 a faire temperate day, and towards night there fell much raine, lightning, and thunder, this day our boate came aboord from Goto.

The 24 of Februarie, we tooke in 298 Cerons or sackes of pepper, and 4 Elephants teeth, and the winde was at Southeast. And the 26 we put the rest of our goods into the Caravell, and M. Hassald went with her to Goto.

The 5 of March ye Caravel came againe & brought 21 Cerons of pepper, & 4 Elephants teeth.

The 9 of Aprill our Caravell came aboord with water for our provision for the sea, and this day also we lost our shallope.

The 17 a drowsie rainie day, and in the afternoone we saw 3 great spoutes of raine, two on our larbord side, and one right with the ships head, but God be thanked, they came not at us, and this day we tooke in the last of our water for the sea, and the 26 we victualed our Caravell to go with us to the sea.

The 27 we set saile to goe homewarde with the winde at Southwest, and at two a clocke in the afternoone, the river of Benin was Northeast 8 leagues from us.

The 3 of May we had such a terrible gust with raine, lightning & thunder, that it tore and split our fore saile, and also the Caravels fore-sayle and maine-sayle, with the wind at Southeast.

The 12 a faire temperate day, much like our sommer mornings in England, being but one degree & a halfe from the line, but at midnight we had a cruell gust of raine, & the wind at northeast.

The 24 we were South from Cavo de las Palmas 37 leagues.

The first of July we had sight of the Island of Brava, and it bare East 7 leagues off, and this Iland is one of the Islands of Cavo Verde.

The 13 of August we spake with the Queenes ships, the Lord Thomas Howard being Admirall, and sir Richard Greenevill Viceadmirall. They kept us in their company untill the 15 day at night, themselves lying a hull, in waight for purchase 30 leagues to the Southwest of the Island of Flores .

The 15 we had leave to depart with a fly-boat laden with sugar that came from Sant Thome, which was taken by the Queenes ships, whereof my Lord Admirall gave me great charge, not to leave her untill she were harbored in England.

The three and twentieth the Northeast part of the Island of Corvo bare off us East and by South sixe leagues off.

The 17 of September we met with a ship of Plimouth that came out of the West Indies, but she could tell us no newes. The next day we had sight of another sayle, this day also one of our company named M. Wood died.

The 23 we spake with the Dragon of my Lord of Cumberland, whereof Master Ivie was Maister.

The second of October we met with a ship of Newcastle which came from Newfoundland , and out of her we had 300 couple of Newland fish.

The 6 we had sight of Sillie, and with raine and winde we were forced to put into S. Maries sound, where we staied all night, and 4 dayes after.

The 11 we set saile againe, and comming out had three fadom upon the barre at a high water, then we lay out Southeast, through Crow-sand, and shortly after we had sight of the lands end, and at ten of the clocke we were thwart of the Lysart.

The 13 we were put into Dartmouth , and there we stayd untill the 12 of December. From thence we put out with the winde at West, and the 18 of December, God be praised, we ankered at Limehouse in the Thames , where we discharged 589 sacks of Pepper, 150 Elephants teeth, and 32 barrels of oile of Palme trees.

The commodities that we caried out this second voyage were Broad cloth, Kersies, Bayes, Linnen cloth, Yron unwrought, Bracelets of Copper, Corall, Hawks belles, Horsetailes, Hats, and such like.

This voyage was more comfortable unto us then the first, because we had good store of fresh water, and that very sweet: for as yet we have very good water in the shippe which we brought out of the river of Benin the first day of Aprill 1591. and it is at this day (being the 7 of June 1592.) to be seen aboord the ship as cleare and as sweet as any fountaine can yeeld.

In this voiage we sailed 350 leagues within halfe a degree of the equinoctiall line, and there we found it more temperate, then where we rode. And under the line wee did kill great store of small Dolphines, and many other good fishes, and so did we all the way, which was a very great refreshing unto us, and the fish never forsooke us, until we were to the Northwards of the Ilands of Azores , and then we could see no more fish, but God be thanked wee met with good company of our countrey ships which were great comfort unto us, being five moneths before at Sea without any companie.

By me James Welsh master of the Richard of Arundell, in both these voyages to the river of Benin .

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