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Orders thus determined, and promises mutually given to be observed, every man withdrew himselfe unto his charge, the ankers being already weyed, and our shippes under saile, having a soft gale of winde, we began our voyage upon Tuesday the eleventh day of June, in the yere of our Lord 1583, having in our fleet (at our departure from Causet bay) these shippes, whose names and burthens, with the names of the captaines and masters of them, I have also inserted, as followeth: 1 The Delight alias The George, of burthen 120 tunnes, was Admirall: in which went the Generall, and William Winter captaine in her and part owner, and Richard Clearke master. 2 The Barke Raleigh set forth by M. Walter Raleigh, of the burthen of 200 tunnes, was then Vice-admirall: in which went M. Butler captaine, and Robert Davis, of Bristoll master. 3 The Golden hinde, of burthen 40 tunnes, was then Reare-admirall: in which went Edward Hayes captaine and owner, and William Cox of Limehouse master. 4 The Swallow, of burthen 40 tunnes: in her was captaine Maurice Browne. 5 The Squirrill, of burthen 10 tunnes: in which went captaine William Andrewes, and one Cade master. We were in number in all about 260 men: among whom we had of every faculty good choice, as Shipwrights, Masons, Carpenters, Smithes, and such like, requisite to such an action: also Minerall men and Refiners. Besides, for solace of our people, and allurement of the Savages, we were provided of Musike in good variety: not omitting the least toyes, as Morris dancers, Hobby horsse, and Maylike conceits to delight the Savage people, whom we intended to winne by all faire meanes possible. And to that end we were indifferently furnished of all petty haberdasherie wares to barter with those simple people. In this maner we set forward, departing (as hath bene said) out of Causon bay the eleventh day of June being Tuesday, the weather and winde faire and good all day, but a great storme of thunder and winde fell the same night. Thursday following, when we hailed one another in the evening (according to the order before specified) they signified unto us out of the Vizadmirall, that both the Captaine, and very many of the men were fallen sicke. And about midnight the Vizeadmirall forsooke us, notwithstanding we had the winde East, faire and good. But it was after credibly reported, that they were infected with a contagious sicknesse, and arrived greatly distressed at Plimmoth: the reason I could never understand. Sure I am, no cost was spared by their owner Master Raleigh in setting them forth: Therefore I leave it unto God. By this time we were in 48 degrees of latitude, not a little grieved with the losse of the most puissant ship in our fleete: after whose departure, the Golden Hind succeeded in the place of Vizadmirall, and remooved her flagge from the mizon unto the foretop. From Saturday the 15 of June untill the 28, which was upon a Friday, we never had faire day without fogge or raine, and windes bad, much to the West northwest, whereby we were driven Southward unto 41 degrees scarse. About this time of the yere the winds are commonly West towards the Newfound land, keeping ordinarily within two points of West to the South or to the North, whereby the course thither falleth out to be long and tedious after June, which in March, Apriell & May, hath bene performed out of England in 22 dayes and lesse. We had winde alwayes so scant from West northwest, and from West southwest againe, that our traverse was great, running South unto 41 degrees almost, and afterward North into 51 degrees. Also we were incombred with much fogge and mists in maner palpable, in which we could not keepe so well together, but were dissevered, losing the companie of the Swallow and the Squirrill upon the 20. day of July, whom we met againe at severall places upon the Newfound land coast the third of August, as shalbe declared in place convenient. Saturday the 27 of July, we might descry not farre from us, as it were mountaines of yce driven upon the sea, being then in 50 degrees, which were caried Southward to the weather of us: whereby may be conjectured that some current doth set that way from the North. Before we come to Newfound land about 50 leagues on this side, we passe the banke, which are high grounds rising within the sea and under water, yet deepe enough and without danger, being commonly not lesse then 25 and 30 fadome water upon them: the same (as it were some vaine of mountaines within the sea) doe runne along, and from the Newfound land, beginning Northward about 52 or 53 degrees of latitude, & do extend into the South infinitly. The bredth of this banke is somewhere more, and somewhere lesse: but we found the same about 10 leagues over, having sounded both on this side thereof, and the other toward Newfound land, but found no ground with almost 200 fadome of line, both before & after we had passed the banke. The Portugals, and French chiefly, have a notable trade of fishing upon this banke, where are sometimes an hundred or more sailes of ships: who commonly beginne the fishing in Apriell, and have ended by July. That fish is large, always wet, having no land neere to drie, and is called Corre fish. During the time of fishing, a man shall know without sounding when he is upon the banke, by the incredible multitude of sea foule hovering over the same, to pray upon the offalles & garbish of fish throwen out by fishermen, and floting upon the sea. Upon Tuesday the 11 of June, we forsooke the coast of England . So againe Tuesday the 30 of July (seven weekes after) we got sight of land, being immediatly embayed in the Grand bay, or some other great bay: the certainty whereof we could not judge, so great hase and fogge did hang upon the coast, as neither we might discerne the land well, nor take the sunnes height. But by our best computation we were then in the 51 degrees of latitude. Forsaking this bay and uncomfortable coast (nothing appearing unto us but hideous rockes and mountaines, bare of trees, and voide of any greene herbe) we followed the coast to the South, with weather faire and cleare. We had sight of an Iland named Penguin, of a foule there breeding in abundance, almost incredible, which cannot flie, their wings not able to carry their body, being very large (not much lesse then a goose) and exceeding fat: which the French men use to take without difficulty upon that Iland, and to barrell them up with salt. But for lingering of time we had made us there the like provision. Trending this coast, we came to the Iland called Baccalaos, being not past two leagues from the maine: to the South therof lieth Cape S. Francis, 5 leagues distant from Baccalaos, between which goeth in a great bay, by the vulgar sort called the bay of Conception. Here we met with the Swallow againe, whom we had lost in the fogge, and all her men altered into other apparell: wherof it seemed their store was so amended, that for joy and congratulation of our meeting, they spared not to cast up into the aire and overboord, their caps & hats in good plenty. The Captaine albeit himselfe was very honest and religious, yet was he not appointed of men to his humor and desert: who for the most part were such as had bene by us surprised upon the narrow seas of England , being pirats and had taken at that instant certaine Frenchmen laden, one barke with wines, and another with salt. Both which we rescued, & tooke the man of warre with all her men, which was the same ship now called the Swallow, following still their kind so oft, as (being separated from the Generall) they found opportunitie to robbe and spoile. And because Gods justice did follow the same company, even to destruction, and to the overthrow also of the Captaine (though not consenting to their misdemeanor) I will not conceale any thing that maketh to the manifestation and approbation of his judgements, for examples of others, perswaded that God more sharpely tooke revenge upon them, and hath tolerated longer as great outrage in others: by how much these went under protection of his cause and religion, which was then pretended. Therefore upon further enquiry it was knowen, how this company met with a barke returning home after the fishing with his fraight: and because the men in the Swallow were very neere scanted of victuall, and chiefly of apparell, doubtful withall where or when to find and meete with their Admiral, they besought the captaine they might go aboord this Newlander, only to borrow what might be spared, the rather because the same was bound homeward. Leave given, not without charge to deale favorably, they came aboord the fisherman, whom they rifled of tackle, sailes, cables, victuals, & the men of their apparell: not sparing by torture (winding cords about their heads) to draw out else what they thought good. This done with expedition (like men skilfull in such mischiefe) as they tooke their cocke boate to go aboord their own ship, it was overwhelmed in the sea, and certaine of these men there drowned: the rest were preserved even by those silly soules whom they had before spoyled, who saved and delivered them aboord the Swallow. What became afterward of the poore Newlander, perhaps destitute of sayles and furniture sufficient to carry them home (whither they had not lesse to runne then 700 leagues) God alone knoweth, who tooke vengeance not long after of the rest that escaped at this instant: to reveale the fact, and justifie to the world Gods judgements inflicted upon them, as shalbe declared in place convenient. Thus after we had met with the Swallow, we held on our course Southward, untill we came against the harbor called S. John, about 5 leagues from the former Cape of S. Francis: where before the entrance into the harbor, we found also the Frigate or Squirrill lying at anker. Whom the English marchants (that were & alwaies be Admirals by turnes interchangeably over the fleetes of fishermen within the same harbor) would not permit to enter into the harbor. Glad of so happy meeting both of the Swallow and Frigate in one day (being Saturday the 3. of August) we made readie our fights, & prepared to enter the harbor, any resistance to the contrarie notwithstanding, there being within of all nations, to the number of 36 sailes. But first the Generall dispatched a boat to give them knowledge of his comming for no ill intent, having Commission from her Majestie for his voiage he had in hand. And immediatly we followed with a slacke gale, and in the very entrance (which is but narrow, not above 2 buts length) the Admirall fell upon a rocke on the larboord side by great oversight, in that the weather was faire, the rocke much above water fast by the shore, where neither went any sea gate. But we found such readinesse in the English Marchants to helpe us in that danger, that without delay there were brought a number of boates, which towed off the ship, and cleared her of danger. Having taken place convenient in the road, we let fall ankers, the Captaines and Masters repairing aboord our Admirall: whither also came immediatly the Masters and owners of the fishing fleete of Englishmen, to understand the Generals intent and cause of our arrivall there. They were all satisfied when the General had shewed his commission, and purpose to take possession of those lands to the behalfe of the crowne of England , and the advancement of Christian religion in those Paganish regions, requiring but their lawfull ayde for repayring of his fleete, and supply of some necessaries, so farre as conveniently might be afforded him, both out of that and other habors adjoyning. In lieu whereof, he made offer to gratifie them, with any favour and priviledge, which upon their better advise they should demand, the like being not to bee obteyned hereafter for greater price. So craving expedition of his demand, minding to proceede further South without long detention in those partes, he dismissed them, after promise given of their best indevour to satisfie speedily his so reasonable request. The marchants with their Masters departed, they caused foorthwith to be discharged all the great Ordinance of their fleete in token of our welcome. It was further determined that every ship of our fleete should deliver unto the marchants and Masters of that harbour a note of all their wants: which done, the ships aswell English as strangers, were taxed at an easie rate to make supply. And besides, Commissioners were appointed, part of our owne companie and part of theirs, to go into other harbours adjoyning (for our English marchants command all there) to leavie our provision: whereunto the Portugals (above other nations) did most willingly and liberally contribute. Insomuch as we were presented (above our allowance) with wines, marmalads, most fine ruske or bisket, sweet oyles and sundry delicacies. Also we wanted not of fresh salmons, trouts, lobsters and other fresh fish brought daily unto us. Moreover as the maner is in their fishing, every weeke to choose their Admirall a new, or rather they succeede in orderly course, and have weekely their Admirals feast solemnized: even so the General, Captaines and masters of our fleete were continually invited and feasted. To grow short, in our abundance at home, the intertainment had bene delightfull, but after our wants and tedious passage through the Ocean, it seemed more acceptable and of greater contentation, by how much the same was unexpected in that desolate corner of the world: where at other times of the yeare, wilde beasts and birds have only the fruition of all those countries, which now seemed a place very populous and much frequented. The next morning being Sunday and the 4 of August, the Generall and his company were brought on land by English marchants, who shewed unto us their accustomed walks unto a place they call the Garden. But nothing appeared more then Nature it selfe without art: who confusedly hath brought foorth roses abundantly, wilde, but odoriferous, and to sense very comfortable. Also the like plentie of raspis berries, which doe grow in every place. Munday following, the General had his tent set up, who being accompanied with his own followers, sommoned the marchants and masters, both English and strangers to be present at his taking possession of those Countries. Before whom openly was read & interpreted unto the strangers his Commission: by vertue whereof he tooke possession in the same harbour of S. John, and 200 leagues every way, invested the Queenes Majestie with the title and dignitie thereof, had delivered unto him (after the custome of England ) a rod & a turffe of the same soile, entring possession also for him, his heires and assignes for ever: And signified unto al men, that from that time forward, they should take the same land as a territorie appertaining to the Queene of England, and himselfe authorised under her Majestie to possesse and enjoy it. And to ordaine lawes for the governement thereof, agreeable (so neere as conveniently might be) unto the lawes of England : under which all people comming thither hereafter, either to inhabite, or by way of traffique, should be subjected and governed. And especially at the same time for a beginning, he proposed & delivered three lawes to be in force immediatly. That is to say: the first for Religion, which in publique exercise should be according to the Church of England. The 2. for maintenance of her Majesties right and possession of those territories, against which if any thing were attempted prejudiciall, the partie or parties offending should be adjudged and executed as in case of high treason, according to the lawes of England . The 3. if any person should utter words sounding to the dishonour of her Majestie, he should loose his eares, and have his ship and goods confiscate. These contents published, obedience was promised by generall voyce and consent of the multitude aswell of Englishmen as strangers, praying for continuance of this possession and governement begun. After this, the assembly was dismissed. And afterward were erected not farre from that place the Armes of England ingraven in lead, and infixed upon a pillar of wood. Yet further and actually to establish this possession taken in the right of her Majestie, and to the behoofe of Sir Humfrey Gilbert knight, his heires and assignes for ever: the Generall granted in fee farme divers parcels of land lying by the water side, both in this harbor of S. John, and elsewhere, which was to the owners a great commoditie, being thereby assured (by their proper inheritance) of grounds convenient to dresse and to drie their fish, whereof many times before they did faile, being prevented by them that came first into the harbor. For which grounds they did covenant to pay a certaine rent and service unto sir Humfrey Gilbert, his heires or assignes for ever, and yeerely to maintaine possession of the same, by themselves or their assignes. Now remained only to take in provision granted, according as every shippe was taxed, which did fish upon the coast adjoyning. In the meane while, the Generall appointed men unto their charge: some to repaire and trim the ships, others to attend in gathering togither our supply and provisions: others to search the commodities and singularities of the countrey, to be found by sea or land, and to make relation unto the Generall what eyther themselves could knowe by their owne travaile and experience, or by good intelligence of English men or strangers, who had longest frequented the same coast. Also some observed the elevation of the pole, and drewe plats of the countrey exactly graded. And by that I could gather by each mans severall relation, I have drawen a briefe description of the Newfound land, with the commodities by sea or lande alreadie made, and such also as are in possibilitie and great likelihood to be made: Neverthelesse the Cardes and plats that were drawing, with the due gradation of the harbors, bayes, and capes, did perish with the Admirall: wherefore in the description following, I must omit the particulars of such things.
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