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The maner how our Admirall was lost.

UPON Tewsday the 27 of August, toward the evening, our Generall caused them in his frigat to sound, who found white sande at 35 fadome, being then in latitude about 44 degrees.

Wednesday toward night the wind came South, and wee bare with the land all that night, Westnorthwest, contrary to the mind of master Cox: neverthelesse wee followed the Admirall, deprived of power to prevent a mischiefe, which by no contradiction could be brought to hold other course, alleaging they could not make the ship to worke better, nor to lie otherwaies.

The evening was faire and pleasant, yet not without token of storme to ensue, and most part of this Wednesday night, like the Swanne that singeth before her death, they in the Admiral, or Delight, continued in sounding of Trumpets, with Drummes, and Fifes: also winding the Cornets, Haughtboyes : and in the end of their jolitie, left with the battell and ringing of dolefull knels.

Towards the evening also we caught in the Golden Hinde a very mighty Porpose, with a harping yron, having first striken divers of them, and brought away part of their flesh, sticking upon the yron, but could recover onely that one. These also passing through the Ocean, in heardes, did portend storme. I omit to recite frivolous reportes by them in the Frigat, of strange voyces, the same night, which scarred some from the helme.

Thursday the 29 of August, the wind rose, and blew vehemently at South and by East, bringing withal raine, and thicke mist, so that we could not see a cable length before us. And betimes in the morning we were altogether runne and folded in amongst flats and sands, amongst which we found shoale and deepe in every three or foure shippes length, after wee began to sound: but first we were upon them unawares, untill master Cox looking out, discerned (in his judgement) white cliffes, crying (land) withall, though we could not afterward descrie any land, it being very likely the breaking of the sea white, which seemed to be white cliffes, through the haze and thicke weather.

Immediatly tokens were given unto the Delight, to cast about to seaward, which, being the greater ship, and of burden 120 tunnes, was yet formost upon the breach, keeping so ill watch, that they knew not the danger, before they felt the same, too late to recover it: for presently the Admirall strooke a ground, and had soone after her sterne and hinder partes beaten in pieces: whereupon the rest (that is to say, the Frigat in which was the Generall and the Golden Hinde) cast about Eastsoutheast, bearing to the South, even for our lives into the windes eye, because that way caried us to the seaward. Making out from this danger, wee sounded one while seven fadome, then five fadome, then foure fadome and lesse, againe deeper, immediatly foure fadome, then but three fadome, the sea going mightily and high. At last we recovered (God be thanked) in some despaire, to sea roome enough.

In this distresse, wee had vigilant eye unto the Admirall, whom wee sawe cast away, without power to give the men succour, neither could we espie any of the men that leaped overboord to save themselves, either in the same Pinnesse or Cocke, or upon rafters, and such like meanes, presenting themselves to men in those extremities: for we desired to save the men by every possible meanes. But all in vaine, sith God had determined their ruine: yet all that day, and part of the next, we beat up and downe as neere unto the wracke as was possible for us, looking out, if by good hap we might espie any of them.

This was a heavy and grievous event, to lose at one blow our chiefe shippe fraighted with great provision, gathered together with much travell, care, long time, and difficultie. But more was the losse of our men, which perished to the number almost of a hundreth soules. Amongst whom was drowned a learned man, an Hungarian, borne in the citie of Buda , called thereof Budaeus, who of pietie and zeale to good attempts, adventured in this action, minding to record in the Latine tongue, the gests and things worthy of remembrance, happening in this discoverie, to the honour of our nation, the same being adorned with the eloquent stile of this Orator, and rare Poet of our time.

Here also perished our Saxon Refiner and Discoverer of inestimable riches, as it was left amongst some of us in undoubted hope.

No lesse heavy was the losse of the Captaine Maurice Browne, a vertuous, honest, and discreete Gentleman, overseene onely in liberty given late before to men, that ought to have bene restrained, who shewed himselfe a man resolved, and never unprepared for death, as by his last act of this tragedie appeared, by report of them that escaped this wracke miraculously, as shall bee hereafter declared. For when all hope was past of recovering the ship, and that men began to give over, and to save themselves, the Captaine was advised before to shift also for his life, by the Pinnesse at the sterne of the ship: but refusing that counsell, he would not give example with the first to leave the shippe, but used all meanes to exhort his people not to despaire, nor so to leave off their labour, choosing rather to die, then to incurre infamie, by forsaking his charge, which then might be thought to have perished through his default, shewing an ill president unto his men, by leaving the ship first himselfe. With this mind hee mounted upon the highest decke, where hee attended imminent death, and unavoidable: how long, I leave it to God, who withdraweth not his comfort from his servants at such times.

In the meane season, certaine, to the number of foureteene persons, leaped into a small Pinnesse (the bignes of a Thames barge, which was made in the New found land) cut off the rope wherewith it was towed, and committed themselves to Gods mercy, amiddest the storme, and rage of sea and windes, destitute of foode, not so much as a droppe of fresh water. The boate seeming overcharged in foule weather with company, Edward Headly a valiant souldier, and well reputed of his companie, preferring the greater to the lesser, thought better that some of them perished then all, made this motion to cast lots, and them to bee throwen overboord upon whom the lots fell, thereby to lighten the boate, which otherwayes seemed impossible to live, offred himselfe with the first, content to take his adventure gladly: which nevertheles Richard Clarke, that was Master of the Admirall, and one of this number, refused, advising to abide Gods pleasure, who was able to save all, as well as a few.

The boate was caried before the wind, continuing sixe dayes and nights in the Ocean, and arrived at last with the men (alive, but weake) upon the New found land, saving that the foresayd Headly, (who had bene late sicke) and another called of us Brasile , of his travell into those Countreys, died by the way, famished, and lesse able to holde out, then those of better health. For such was these poore mens extremitie, in cold and wet, to have no better sustenance then their owne urine, for sixe dayes together.

Thus whom God delivered from drowning, hee appointed to bee famished, who doth give limits to mans times, and ordaineth the manner and circumstance of dying: whom againe he will preserve, neither Sea, nor famine can confound. For those that arrived upon the Newe found land, were brought into France by certaine French men, then being upon that coast.

After this heavie chance, wee continued in beating the sea up and downe, expecting when the weather would cleere up, that we might yet beare in with the land, which we judged not farre off, either the continent or some Island. For we many times, and in sundry places found ground at 50, 45, 40 fadomes, and lesse. The ground comming upon our lead, being sometimes oazie sand, and otherwhile a broad shell, with a little sand about it.

Our people lost courage dayly after this ill successe, the weather continuing thicke and blustering, with increase of cold, Winter drawing on, which tooke from them all hope of amendement, setling an assurance of worse weather to growe upon us every day. The Leeside of us lay full of flats and dangers inevitable, if the wind blew hard at South. Some againe doubted we were ingulfed in the Bay of S. Laurence, the coast full of dangers, and unto us unknowen. But above all, provision waxed scant, and hope of supply was gone, with losse of our Admirall.

Those in the Frigat were already pinched with spare allowance, and want of clothes chiefly: Whereupon they besought the Generall to returne for England , before they all perished. And to them of the Golden Hinde, they made signes of their distresse, pointing to their mouthes, and to their clothes thinne and ragged: then immediately they also of the Golden Hinde, grew to be of the same opinion and desire to returne home.

The former reasons having also moved the Generall to have compassion of his poore men, in whom he saw no want of good will, but of meanes fit to performe the action they came for, resolved upon retire: and calling the Captaine and Master of the Hinde, he yeelded them many reasons, inforcing this unexpected returne, withall protesting himselfe, greatly satisfied with that hee had seene, and knew already.

Reiterating these words, Be content, we have seene enough, and take no care of expence past: I will set you foorth royally the next Spring, if God send us safe home. Therefore I pray you let us no longer strive here, where we fight against the elements.

Omitting circumstance, how unwillingly the Captaine & Master of the Hinde condescended to this motion, his owne company can testifie: yet comforted with the Generals promises of a speedie returne at Spring, and induced by other apparant reasons, proving an impossibilitie, to accomplish the action at that time, it was concluded on all hands to retire.

So upon Saturday in the afternoone the 31 of August, we changed our course, and returned backe for England , at which very instant, even in winding about, there passed along betweene us and towards the land which we now forsooke a very lion to our seeming, in shape, hair and colour, not swimming after the maner of a beast by mooving of his feete, but rather sliding upon the water with his whole body (excepting the legs) in sight, neither yet diving under, and againe rising above the water, as the maner is, of Whales, Dolphins, Tunise, Porposes, and all other fish: but confidently shewing himselfe above water without hiding: Notwithstanding, we presented our selves in open view and gesture to amase him, as all creatures will be commonly at a sudden gaze and sight of men. Thus he passed along turning his head to and fro, yawning and gaping wide, with ougly demonstration of long teeth, and glaring eies, and to bidde us a farewell (comming right against the Hinde) he sent forth a horrible voyce, roaring or bellowing as doeth a lion, which spectacle wee all beheld so farre as we were able to discerne the same, as men prone to wonder at every strange thing, as this doubtlesse was, to see a lion in the Ocean sea, or fish in shape of a lion. What opinion others had thereof, and chiefly the Generall himselfe, I forbeare to deliver: But he tooke it for Bonum Omen, rejoycing that he was to warre against such an enemie, if it were the devill.

The wind was large for England at our returne, but very high, and the sea rough, insomuch as the Frigat wherein the Generall went was almost swalowed up.

Munday in the afternoone we passed in the sight of Cape Race, having made as much way in little more then two dayes and nights backe againe, as before wee had done in eight dayes from Cape Race, unto the place where our ship perished. Which hindrance thitherward, and speed back againe, is to be imputed unto the swift current, as well as to the winds, which we had more large in our returne.

This munday the Generall came aboord the Hind to have the Surgeon of the Hind to dresse his foote, which he hurt by treading upon a naile: At what time we comforted ech other with hope of hard successe to be all past, and of the good to come. So agreeing to cary out lights alwayes by night, that we might keepe together, he departed into his Frigat, being by no meanes to be intreated to tarie in the Hind, which had bene more for his security. Immediatly after followed a sharpe storme, which we overpassed for that time. Praysed be God.

The weather faire, the Generall came aboord the Hind againe, to make merrie together with the Captaine, Master, and company, which was the last meeting, and continued there from morning untill night. During which time there passed sundry discourses, touching affaires past, and to come, lamenting greatly the losse of his great ship, more of the men, but most of all of his bookes and notes, and what els I know not, for which hee was out of measure grieved, the same doubtles being some matter of more importance then his bookes, which I could not draw from him: yet by circumstance I gathered, the same to be ye Ore which Daniel the Saxon had brought unto him in the New found land. Whatsoever it was, the remembrance touched him so deepe, as not able to containe himselfe, he beat his boy in great rage, even at the same time, so long after the miscarying of the great ship, because upon a faire day, when wee were becalmed upon the coast of the New found land, neere unto Cape Race, he sent his boy aboord the Admirall, to fetch certaine things: amongst which, this being chiefe, was yet forgotten and left behind. After which time he could never conveniently send againe aboord the great ship, much lesse hee doubted her ruine so neere at hand.

Herein my opinion was better confirmed diversly, and by sundry conjectures, which maketh me have the greater hope of this rich Mine. For where as the Generall had never before good conceit of these North parts of the world: now his mind was wholly fixed upon the New found land. And as before he refused not to grant assignements liberally to them that required the same into these North parts, now he became contrarily affected, refusing to make any so large grants, especially of S. Johns, which certaine English merchants made suite for, offering to imploy their money and travell upon the same: yet neither by their owne suite, nor of others of his owne company, whom he seemed willing to pleasure, it could be obtained.

Also laying downe his determination in the Spring following, for disposing of his voyage then to be reattempted: he assigned the Captaine & Master of the Golden Hind, unto the South discovery, and reserved unto himselfe the North, affirming that this voyage had wonne his heart from the South, and that he was now become a Northerne man altogether.

Last, being demanded what means he had at his arrivall in England , to compasse the charges of so great preparation as he intended to make the next Spring: having determined upon two fleetes, one for the South, another for the North: Leave that to mee (hee replied) I will aske a pennie of no man. I will bring good tidings unto her Majesty, who wil be so gracious, to lend me 10000 pounds, willing us therefore to be of good cheere: for he did thanke God (he sayd) with al his heart, for that he had seene, the same being enough for us all, and that we needed not to seeke any further. And these last words he would often repeate, with demonstration of great fervencie of mind, being himselfe very confident, and setled in beliefe of inestimable good by this voyage: which the greater number of his followers nevertheles mistrusted altogether, not being made partakers of those secrets, which the Generall kept unto himselfe. Yet all of them that are living, may be witnesses of his words and protestations, which sparingly I have delivered.

Leaving the issue of this good hope unto God, who knoweth the trueth only, & can at his good pleasure bring the same to light: I will hasten to the end of this tragedie, which must be knit up in the person of our Generall. And as it was Gods ordinance upon him, even so the vehement perswasion and intreatie of his friends could nothing availe, to divert him from a wilfull resolution of going through in his Frigat, which was overcharged upon their deckes, with fights, nettings, and small artillerie, too cumbersome for so small a boate, that was to passe through the Ocean sea at that season of the yere, when by course we might expect much storme of foule weather, whereof indeed we had enough.

But when he was intreated by the Captaine, Master, and other his well willers of the Hinde, not to venture in the Frigat, this was his answere: I will not forsake my little company going homeward, with whom I have passed so many stormes and perils. And in very trueth, hee was urged to be so over hard, by hard reports given of him, that he was afraid of the sea, albeit this was rather rashnes, then advised resolution, to preferre the wind of a vaine report to the weight of his owne life.

Seeing he would not bend to reason, he had provision out of the Hinde, such as was wanting aboord his Frigat. And so we committed him to Gods protection, & set him aboord his Pinnesse, we being more then 300 leagues onward of our way home.

By that time we had brought the Islands of Acores South of us, yet wee then keeping much to the North, until we had got into the height and elevation of England : we met with very foule weather, and terrible seas, breaking short and high Pyramid wise. The reason whereof seemed to proceede either of hilly grounds high and low within the sea, (as we see hilles and dales upon the land) upon which the seas doe mount and fall: or else the cause proceedeth of diversitie of winds, shifting often in sundry points: al which having power to move the great Ocean, which againe is not presently setled, so many seas do encounter together, as there had bene diversitie of windes. Howsoever it commeth to passe, men which all their life time had occupied the Sea, never saw more outragious Seas. We had also upon our maine yard, an apparition of a little fire by night, which seamen doe call Castor and Pollux. But we had onely one, which they take an evill signe of more tempest: the same is usuall in stormes.

Munday the ninth of September, in the afternoone, the Frigat was neere cast away, oppressed by waves, yet at that time recovered: and giving foorth signes of joy, the Generall sitting abaft with a booke in his hand,. cried out unto us in the Hind (so oft as we did approch within hearing) We are as neere to heaven by sea as. by land. Reiterating the same speech, well beseeming a souldier, resolute in Jesus Christ, as I can testifie he was.

The same Monday night, about twelve of the clocke, or not long after, the Frigat being ahead of us in theGolden Hinde, suddenly her lights were out, whereof as it were in a moment, we lost the sight, and withall our watch cryed, the Generall was cast away, which was too true. For in that moment, the Frigat was devoured and swallowed up of the Sea. Yet still we looked out all that night, and ever after, untill wee arrived upon the coast of England : Omitting no small saile at sea, unto which we gave not the tokens betweene us, agreed upon, to have perfect knowledge of each other, if we should at any time be separated.

In great torment of weather, and perill of drowning, it pleased God to send safe home the Golden Hinde, which arrived in Falmouth, the 22 day of September, being Sonday, not without as great danger escaped in a flaw, comming from the Southeast, with such thicke mist, that we could not discerne land, to put in right with the Haven.

From Falmouth we went to Dartmouth , & lay there at anker before the Range, while the captaine went aland, to enquire if there had bene any newes of the Frigat, which sayling well, might happily have bene before us. Also to certifie Sir John Gilbert, brother unto the Generall of our hard successe, whom the Captaine desired (while his men were yet aboord him, and were witnesses of all occurrents in that voyage,) It might please him to take the examination of every person particularly, in discharge of his and their faithfull endevour. Sir John Gilbert refused so to doe, holding himselfe satisfied with report made by the Captaine: and not altogether dispairing of his brothers safetie, offered friendship and curtesie to the Captaine and his company, requiring to have his Barke brought into the harbour: in furtherance whereof, a boate was sent to helpe to tow her in.

Neverthelesse, when the Captaine returned aboord his ship, he found his men bent to depart, every man to his home: and then the winde serving to proceede higher upon the coast: they demanded money to carie them home, some to London , others to Harwich , and elsewhere, (if the barke should be caried into Dartmouth , and they discharged, so farre from home) or else to take benefite of the wind, then serving to draw neerer home, which should be a lesse charge unto the Captaine, and great ease unto the men, having els farre to goe.

Reason accompanied with necessitie perswaded the Captaine, who sent his lawfull excuse and cause of his sudden departure unto sir John Gilbert, by the boate of Dartmouth , and from thence the Golden Hind departed, and tooke harbour at Waimouth. Al the men tired with the tediousnes of so unprofitable a voiage to their seeming: in which their long expence of time, much toyle and labour, hard diet and continuall hazard of life was unrecompensed : their Captaine neverthelesse by his great charges, impaired greatly thereby, yet comforted in the goodnes of God, and his undoubted providence following him in all that voyage, as it doth alwaies those at other times, whosoever have confidence in him alone. Yet have we more neere feeling and perseverance of his powerfull hand and protection, when God doth bring us together with others into one same peril, in which he leaveth them, and delivereth us, making us thereby the beholders, but not partakers of their ruine.

Even so, amongst very many difficulties, discontentments, mutinies, conspiracies, sicknesses, mortalitie, spoylings, and wracks by sea, which were afflictions, more then in so small a Fleete, or so short a time may be supposed, albeit true in every particularitie, as partly by the former relation may be collected, and some I suppressed with silence for their sakes living, it pleased God to support this company, (of which onely one man died of a maladie inveterate, and long infested): the rest kept together in reasonable contentment and concord, beginning, continuing, and ending the voyage, which none els did accomplish, either not pleased with the action, or impatient of wants, or prevented by death.

Thus have I delivered the contents of the enterprise and last action of sir Humfrey Gilbert knight, faithfully, for so much as I thought meete to be published: wherein may alwaies appeare, (though he be extinguished) some sparkes of his vertues, he remaining firme and resolute in a purpose by all pretence honest and godly, as was this, to discover, possesse, and to reduce unto the service of God, and Christian pietie, those remote and heathen Countreys of America, not actually possessed by Christians, and most rightly appertaining unto the Crowne of England: unto the which, as his zeale deserveth high commendation: even so, he may justly be taxed of temeritie and presumption (rather) in two respects.

First, when yet there was onely probabilitie, not a certaine & determinate place of habitation selected, neither any demonstration of commoditie there in esse, to induce his followers: nevertheles, he both was too prodigall of his owne patrimony, and too careles of other mens expences, to imploy both his and their substance upon a ground imagined good. The which falling, very like his associates were promised, and made it their best reckoning to bee salved some other way, which pleased not God to prosper in his first and great preparation.

Secondly, when by his former preparation he was enfeebled of abilitie and credit, to performe his designements, as it were impatient to abide in expectation better opportunitie and meanes, which God might raise, he thrust himselfe againe into the action, for which he was not fit, presuming the cause pretended on Gods behalfe, would carie him to the desired ende. Into which, having thus made reentrie, he could not yeeld againe to withdraw, though hee sawe no encouragement to proceed, lest his credite foyled in his first attempt, in a second should utterly be disgraced. Betweene extremities, hee made a right adventure, putting all to God and good fortune, and which was worst, refused not to entertaine every person and meanes whatsoever, to furnish out this expedition, the successe whereof hath bene declared.

But such is the infinite bountie of God, who from every evill deriveth good. For besides that fruite may growe in time of our travelling into those Northwest lands, the crosses, turmoiles, and afflictions, both in the preparation and execution of this voyage, did correct the intemperate humors, which before we noted to bee in this Gentleman, and made unsavorie, and lesse delightfull his other manifold vertues.

Then as he was refined, and made neerer drawing unto the image of God: so it pleased the divine will to resume him unto himselfe, whither both his, and every other high and noble minde, have alwayes aspired.

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