previous next

The Navigation and discoverie toward the river of Ob, made by Master Steven Burrough, Master of the Pinnesse called the Serchthrift, with divers things worth the noting passed in the yere 1556.

WE departed from Ratcliffe to Blackewall the 23 of April. Satturday being S. Markes day, we departed from Blackewall to Grays.

The 27 being Munday, the right Worshipfull Sebastian Cabota came aboord our Pinnesse at Gravesende, accompanied with divers Gentlemen, and Gentlewomen, who after that they had viewed our Pinnesse, and tasted of such cheere as we could make them aboord, they went on shore, giving to our mariners right liberall rewards: and the good olde Gentleman Master Cabota gave to the poore most liberall almes, wishing them to pray for the good fortune, and prosperous successe of the Serchthrift, our Pinnesse. And then at the signe of the Christopher, hee and his friends banketted, and made me, and them that were in the company great cheere: and for very joy that he had to see the towardnes of our intended discovery, he entred into the dance himselfe, amongst the rest of the young and lusty company: which being ended, hee and his friends departed most gently, commending us to the governance of almighty God.

Tuesday we rode still at Gravesend , making provision for such things as we wanted.

Wednesday in the morning we departed from Gravesende, the winde being at Southwest, that night we came to an anker thwart our Lady of Hollands.

Thursday at three of the clocke in the morning we weyed, and by eight of the clocke, we were at an anker in Orwell wannes, and then incontinent I went aboord the Edward Bonaventure, where the worshipfull company of marchants appointed me to be, untill the sayd good ship arrived at Wardhouse. Then I returned againe into the pinnesse.

Friday the 15 of May we were within 7 leagues of the shore, on the coast of Norway : the latitude at a South sunne, 58 degrees and a halfe, where we saw three sailes, beside our owne company: and thus we followed the shoare or land, which lieth Northnorthwest, North and by West, and Northwest and by North, as it doth appeare by the plat.

Saturday at an East sunne we came to S. Dunstans Island, which Island I so named. It was off us East two leagues and a halfe, the wind being at Southeast: the latitude this day at a South sunne 59 degrees, 42 minutes. Also the high round mountaine bare East of us, at a south sunne: and when this hill is East of you, and being bound to the Northward, the land lyeth North and halfe a point Westerly, from this sayd South sunne, unto a North sunne twenty leagues Northwest alongst the shoare.

Upon Sunday at sixe of the clocke in the morning, the farthest land that we could see that lay Northnorthwest, was East of us three leagues, and then it trended to the Northwards, and to the Eastwards of the North, which headland I judged to be Scoutsnesse. At seven of the clocke we changed our course and went North, the wind being at Southsoutheast, and it waxed very thick and mistie, and when it cleered, we went Northnortheast. At a South sunne we lost sight of the Serchthrift, because of the mist, making our way North. And when we lost sight of the shoare and pinnesse, we were within two leagues & a halfe of the shoare: the last land that we saw when this mist came upon us, which is to the Northwards of Scowtsnesse, lay Northnortheast, and Southsouthwest, and we made our way North untill a west sunne five leagues.

From that untill Munday three a clocke in the morning ten leagues Northnortheast: and then we went North and by East, because the winde came at the Westsouthwest with thicke miste: the latitude this day at a South sunne sixtie three degrees and a halfe truely taken: at this season we had sight of our Pinnesse againe.

From that untill Tuesday a South sunne Northnortheast fortie foure leagues, and then Northeast. From a South sunne untill eight of the clocke, fifteene leagues Northeast.

From that untill Wednesday a South sunne North northeast, except the first watch Northeast: then had we the latitude in sixtie seven degrees, thirtie nine minutes. From that unto a Northwest sunne eighteen leagues Northeast, & then we were within two leagues off the shore, and saw the high land to the Southwards of Lowfoot breake out through the mist, and then we went North and by east.

From the sayd Northwest sunne untill foure of the clocke in the morning North and by East ten leagues and a halfe: and then Northnortheast untill a South sunne, the latitude being sixtie nine degrees, and a halfe. From that untill halfe an houre past seven of the clocke, Northnortheast eleven leagues and a halfe, and then we went Northeast ten leagues. From that 3 leagues and a halfe Eastnortheast, and then we sawe the land through the cloudes and hazie thwart on the broad side of us the winde being then at Southsouthwest.

From that untill Saturday, at eight of the clocke in the morning Eastnortheast, and to the Northwards fortie eight leagues, and then the wind came up at North, wee being aboord the shore, and thwart of the Chappel, which I suppose is called Kedilwike: then we cast the shippes head to the seawards, because the winde was verie scant: and then I caused the Pinnesse to beare in with the shore, to see whether she might find an harborough for the ships or not, and that she found and saw two roaders ride in the sound: and also they sawe houses. But notwithstanding, God be praysed, the winde enlarged upon us, that we had not occasion to goe into the harborough: and then the Pinnesse bare her Myssen mast over boord with flagge and all, and lost the flagge: with the mast there fell two men over boord, but God be praised, they were saved: the flagge was a token, whereby we might understand whether there were a good harbour there or not.

At a North sunne the North cape (which I so named the first voyage) was thwart of us, which is nine leagues to the Eastwards of the foresayd Chappel from the Eastermost point of it.


THE sunday we weied in Corpus Christi Bay, at a Northeast and by East sunne: the Bay is almost halfe a league deepe: the headland which is Corpus Christi point, lyeth Southeast and by East, one league from the head of the Bay, where we had a great tyde, like a race over the flood: the Bay is at the least two leagues over: so doe I imagine from the fayre foreland to Corpus Christi poynt ten leagues Southeast and by East: It floweth in this Bay, at a South and by West moone full sea. From that we went untill seven a clocke at after noone twentie leagues Southeast and by South: and then we tooke in all our sailes, because it was then very mistie, and also we met with much ice that ran out of the Bay, and then wee went Southsoutheast with our foresayle: at eight of the clocke, we heard a piece of ordinance, which was out of the Edward, which bade us farewell, and then we shot off another piece, and bade her farewell: wee could not one see the other, because of the thicke miste: at a Northwest sunne it began somewhat to cleere, and then we sawe a head lande, and the shoare trended to the Southwestward, which I judged to be about Crosse Island: it was off us at a Northnorthwest sunne, Westsouthwest.

From this Northnorthwest sunne, untill Munday, we went Southeast, and this morning we came at anker among the shoales that lie off of point Looke out, at a Northeast and by East sunne, the wind being at Eastsoutheast. At this poynt Looke out, a south Moone maketh a full sea. Cape good fortune lyeth from the Isle of Crosses Southeast, and betweene them is tenne leagues: point Looke out lieth from Cape Good fortune Eastsoutheast, and betweene them are sixe leagues. S. Edmonds point lieth from point Looke out Eastsoutheast, and halfe a point to the Southwards, and betweene them are sixe leagues. There is betweene these two points, a Bay that is halfe a league deepe, and is full of shoales and dangers. At a Southeast sunne we weyed, and turned to the windwards, the winde being at Eastsoutheast: and at a Southeast sunne, we came to an anker, being then a full sea, in five fadoms and a halfe water. It hieth at this place where we roade, and also at point Looke out, foure fadome water. At a Westnorthwest sunne we weyed, and drived to the windewards, untill Tuesday, a Northnortheast sunne, and then being a high water, we came to an anker open of the river Cola, in eight fadome water. Cape S. Bernard lyeth from S. Edmonds point, Southeast and by South, and betwixt them are sixe leagues, and also betwixt them is the River Cola, into which River wee went this evening.

Wednesday we roade still in the sayd river, the winde being at the north: we sent our skiffe aland to be dressed: the latitude of the mouth of the river Cola is sixtie five degrees, fortie and eight minutes.

Thursday at 6 of the clocke in the morning, there came aboord of us one of the Russe Lodiaes, rowing with twentie oares, and there were foure and twenty men in her. The master of the boate presented me with a great loafe of bread, and sixe ringes of bread, which they call Colaches, and foure dryed pikes, and a pecke of fine otemeale, and I gave unto the Master of the boate, a combe, and a small glasse: and he declared unto me, that he was bound to Pechora, and after that, I made them to drinke, the tide being somewhat broken, they gently departed. The Masters name was Pheodor.

Whereas the tenth day I sent our Pinnesse on shoare to be mended, because she was leake, and weake, with the Carpenter and three men more to helpe him, the weather chanced so, that it was Sunday before they could get aboord our shippe. All that time they were without provision of victuals, but onely a little bread, which they spent by Thursday at night, thinking to have come aboord when they had listed, but winde and weather denied them: insomuch that they were faine to eate grasse, and such weedes as they could finde then above grounde, but fresh water they had plentie, but the meate with some of them could scant frame by reason of their queazie stomackes.

From Thursday at afternoone, untill Sunday in the morning, our barke did ride such a road sted that it was to be marvelled, without the helpe of God, how she was able to abide it.

In the bight of the Southeast shoare of the river Cola, there is a good roade in five fadome, or foure fadome and a halfe, at a lowe water: but you shall have no land Northnortheast of you then. I proved with our pinnesse, that the depth goeth on the Southeast shoare.

Thursday we weyed our ankers in the River Cola, and went into the Sea seven or eight leagues, where we met with the winde farre Northerly, that of force it constrained us to goe againe backe into the sayd river, where came aboord of us sundry of their Boates, which declared unto me that they were also bound to the northwards, a fishing for Morse, and Salmon, and gave me liberally of their white and wheaten bread.

As we roade in this river, wee sawe dayly comming downe the river many of their Lodias, and they that had least, had foure and twenty men in them, and at the last they grew to thirtie saile of them: and amongst the rest, there was one of them whose name was Gabriel, who shewed me very much friendshippe, and he declared unto mee, that all they were bound to Pechora, a fishing for Salmons, and Morses: insomuch that hee shewed mee by demonstrations, that with a faire winde wee had seven or eight dayes sailing to the River Pechora, so that I was glad of their company. This Gabriel promised to give mee warning of shoales, as hee did indeede.

Sunday being the one and twentieth day, Gabriel gave me a barrell of Meade, and one of his speciall friends gave me a barrell of beere, which was caryed upon mens backes at least 2 miles.

Munday we departed from the river Cola, with all the rest of the said Lodias, but sailing before the wind, they were all too good for us: but according to promise, this Gabriel and his friend did often strike their sayles, and taried for us forsaking their owne company.

Tuesday at an Eastnortheast sunne we were thwart of Cape S. John. It is to be understood, that from the Cape S. John unto the river or bay that goeth to Mezen, it is all sunke land, and full of shoales and dangers, you shall have scant two fadome water, and see no land. And this present day wee came to an anker thwart of a creeke, which is 4 or 5 leagues to the Northwards of the sayd Cape, into which creeke Gabriel and his fellow rowed, but we could not get in: and before night there were above 20 saile that went into the sayd creeke, the wind being at the Northeast. We had indifferent good landfang.

This afternoone Gabriel came aboord with his skiffe, and then I rewarded him for the good company that he kept with us over the shoales with two small ivory combes, and a steele glasse, with two or three trifles more, for which he was not ungratefull. But notwithstanding, his first company had gotten further to the Northwards.

Wednesday being Midsummer day, we sent our skiffe aland to sound the creeke, where they found it almost drie at a low water. And all the Lodais within were on ground.

Although the harborough were evil, yet the stormie similitude of Northerly winds tempted us to set our sayles, & we let slip a cable and an anker, and bare with the harborough, for it was then neere a high water: and as alwaies in such journeis varieties do chance, when we came upon the barre in the entrance of the creeke, the wind did shrink so suddenly upon us, that we were not able to lead it in, and before we could have flatted the shippe before the winde, we should have bene on ground on the lee shore, so that we were constrained to let fall an anker under our sailes, and rode in a very breach, thinking to have warpt in. Gabriel came out with his skiffe, and so did sundry others also, shewing their good will to helpe us, but all to no purpose, for they were likely to have bene drowned for their labour, in so much that I desired Gabriel to lend me his anker, because our owne ankers were two big for our skiffe to lay out, who sent me his owne, and borrowed another also and sent it us. Then we layd out one of those ankers, with a hawser which he had of 140 fadom long, thinking to have warpt in, but it would not be: for as we shorted upon ye saide warpe the anker came home, so that we were faine to beare the end of the warpe, that we rushed in upon the other small anker that Gabriel sent aboord, and layd that anker to seawards: and then betweene these two ankers we traversed the ships head to seawards, and set our foresaile and maine sayle, and when the barke had way, we cut the hawser, and so gate the sea to our friend, and tryed out al that day with our maine corse.

The Thursday we went roome with Cape S. John, where we found indifferent good rode for a Northnortheast wind, and for a neede, for a North and by West winde.

Friday at afternoone we weyed, and departed from thence, the wether being meetly faire, & the winde at Eastsoutheast, and plied for the place where we left our cable and anker, and our hawser: & as soone as we were at an anker, the foresaid Gabriel came aboord of us, with 3 or foure more of their small boats, and brought with them of their Aquavitae & Meade, professing unto me very much friendship, and rejoiced to see us againe, declaring that they earnestly thought that we had bene lost. This Gabriel declared unto me, that they had saved both the ankers and our hauser, and after we had thus communed, I caused 4 or 5 of them to goe into my cabbin, where I gave them figs, and made them such cheere as I could. While I was thus banketing of them, there came another of their skiffes aboord with one who was a Keril, whose name afterwards I learned, & that he dwelt in Colmogro, & Gabriel dwelled in the towne of Cola, which is not far from the rivers mouth. This foresaid Keril said unto me that one of the ankers which I borowed was his, I gave him thanks for the lone of it, thinking it had bene sufficient. And as I continued in one accustomed maner, that if the present which they brought were worth enterteinment, they had it accordingly, he brought nothing with him, & therfore I regarded him but litle. And thus we ended, & they took their leave and went a shore. At their comming ashore, Gabriel and Keril were at unconvenient words, and by the eares, as I understand: the cause was because the one had better enterteinment then the other: but you shal understand that Gabriel was not able to make his party good, because there were 17 lodias of the Kerils company who tooke his part, and but 2 of Gabriels company.

The next high water Gabriel and his company departed from thence, and rowed to their former company and neighbours, which were in number 28 at the least, and all of them belonging to the river Cola.

And as I understood Keril made reckoning that the hawser which was fast in his anker should have bene his owne, and at first would not deliver it to our boat, insomuch that I sent him worde that I would complaine upon him, whereupon he delivered the hawser to my company.

The next day being Saturday, I sent our boat on shore to fetch fresh water and wood, and at their comming on shore this Keril welcomed our men most gently, and also banketed them: and in the meane time caused some of his men to fill our baricoes with water, and to help our men to beare wood into their boat: and then he put on his best silke coate, and his coller of pearles, and came aboord againe, & brought his present with him: and thus having more respect unto his present then to his person, because I perceived him to be vainglorious, I bade him welcome, and gave him a dish of figs: and then he declared unto me that his father was a gentleman, and that he was able to shew me pleasure, and not Gabriel, who was but a priests sonne.

After their departure from us we weied, and plyed all the ebbe to the windewards, the winde being Northerly, & towards night it waxed very stormie, so that of force we were constrained to go roome with Cape S. John againe, in which storme wee lost our skiffe at our sterne, that wee bought at Wardhouse, and there we rode until the fourth of July. The latitude of Cape S. John is 66 degrees 50 minutes. And it is to be noted, that the land of Cape S. John is of height from the full sea marke, as I judge, 10 fadomes, being cleane without any trees growing, & also without stones or rockes, and consists onely of blacke earth, which is so rotten, that if any fall into the sea, it will swimme as though it were a piece of wood. In which place, about three leagues from the shore you shall not have above 9 fadom water, and clay ground.


SATURDAY at a Northnorthwest sunne the wind came at Eastnortheast, & then we weied, and plied to the Northwards, and as we were two leagues shot past the Cape, we saw a house standing in a valley, which is dainty to be seene in those parts, and by and by I saw three men on the top of the hil. Then I judged them, as it afterwards proved, that they were men which came from some other place to set traps to take vermin for their furres, which trappes we did perceive very thicke alongst the shore as we went.

Sunday at an East sunne we were thwart off the creeke where the Russes lay, and there came to an anker, and perceiving the most part of the Lodias to be gone we thought it not good to tary any longer there, but weyed and spent all the ebbe, plying to the windewards.

Munday at a South sunne it was high water. All alongst the coast it floweth little, onely a South moone makes a full sea: and as we were a weying we espied the Russe Lodias, which we first lost. They came out of a creeke amongst the sandy hilles, which hilles beginne 15 leagues Northnortheast from Cape S. John.

Plying this ebbe to an end, we came to an anker, 6 leagues Northnortheast from the place where we saw the Russes come out: and there the Russes harboured themselves within a soonke banke, but there was not water enough for us.

At a North sunne we weyed and plied to the Northwards, the land lying Northnortheast, and Southsouthwest, untill a South sunne, and then we were in the latitude of 68 degrees & a halfe: and in this latitude ende those sandy hilles, and the land beginneth to lie North and by West, South and by East, and Northnorthwest, and to the Westwards, and there the water beginneth to waxe deepe.

At a Northwest sunne we came to an anker within halfe a league of the shore, where wee had good plenty of fish, both Haddocks and Cods, riding in 10 fadom water.

Wednesday we weyed, and plyed neerer the headland, which is called Caninoz, the wind being at East and by North.

Thursday the wind being scant we turned to windwards the ebbe, to get about Caninoz: the latitude this day at noone was 68 degrees 40 minutes.

Friday we turned to the windward of the ebbe, but to no purpose: and as we rode at an anker, we saw the similitude of a storme rising at Northnorthwest, & could not tell where to get rode nor succor for that winde, and harborough we knew none: & that land which we rode under with that winde was a lee shore. And as I was musing what was best to be done, I saw a saile come out of a creeke under the foresayd Caninoz, which was my friend Gabriel, who forsooke his harborough and company, and came as neere us as he might, and pointed us to the Eastwards, & then we weyed and followed him, and went East and by South, the wind being at Westnorthwest, and very mistie.

Saturday we went Eastsoutheast & followed Gabriel, and he brought us into an harborough called Morgiovets, which is 30 leagues from Caninoz, & we had upon the barre going in two fadome and a fourth part: and after we were past in over the barre, it waxed deeper, for we had 5 fadoms, 4 and a half, and 3 fadom &c. Our barke being mored, I sent some of our men to shoare to provide wood, where they had plenty of drift wood, but none growing: and in this place we found plenty of young foule, as Gulles, Seapies, and others, whereof the Russes would eate none, whereof we were nothing sory, for there came the more to our part.

Sunday our men cut wood on shoare, and brought it aboord, and wee balasted our shippe with stones.

This morning Gabriel saw a smoke on ye way, who rowed unto it with his skiffe, which smoke was two leagues from the place where we road: and at a Northwest sunne he came aboord again, and brought with him a Samoed, which was but a young man: his apparell was then strange unto us, and he presented me with three young wild geese, and one young barnacle.

Munday I sent a man to the maine in Gabriels boat, and he brought us aboord 8 barricoes of fresh water: the latitude of the said Morgiovets is sixtie eight degrees and a terce. It floweth there at a Southsouthwest moone full sea, and hyeth two fadome and a halfe water.

At a Westnorthwest sunne we departed from this place, and went East 25 leagues, and then saw an Island North and by West of us eight leagues, which Island is called Dolgoieve: and from the Eastermost part of this Island, there lyeth a sand East and by South 7 leagues long.

Wednesday at a North and by East sunne Swetinoz was South of us 5 leagues. This day at afternoone we went in over the dangerous barre of Pechora, and had upon the barre but one fadome water.

Thursday we road still.

Friday I went on shoare and observed the variation of the Compasse, which was three degrees and a halfe from the North to the West: the latitude this day was sixtie nine degrees ten minutes.

From two or three leagues to the Eastward of Swetinoz, untill the entering of the river Pechora, it is all sandy hilles, and towards Pechora the sandie hilles are very low.

It higheth on the barre of Pechora foure foote water, & it floweth there at a Southwest moone a full sea.

Munday at a North & by East sunne, we weyed, and came out over the sayd dangerous barre, where wee had but five foote water, insomuch that wee found a foote lesse water comming out then wee did going in. I thinke the reason was, because when we went in the winde was off the sea, which caused the sands to breake on either side of us, and wee kept in the smoothest betweene the breaches, which we durst not have done, except we had seene the Russes to have gone in before us: and at our comming out the winde was off the shoare, and fayre weather, and then the sands did not appeare with breaches as at our going in: we thanke God that our ship did draw so little water.

When we were a seaboord the barre the wind scanted upon us, and was at Eastsoutheast, insomuch that we stopped the ebbes, and plyed all the floods to the windewards, and made our way Eastnortheast.

Tuesday at a Northwest sunne we thought that we had seen land at East, or East & by North of us: which afterwards prooved to be a monstrous heape of ice.

Within a little more then halfe an houre after, we first saw this ice, we were inclosed within it before we were aware of it, which was a fearefull sight to see: for, for the space of sixe houres, it was as much as we could doe to keepe our shippe aloofe from one heape of ice, and beare roomer from another, with as much wind as we might beare a coarse. And when we had past from the danger of this ice, we lay to the Eastwards close by the wind.

The next day we were againe troubled with the ice.

Thursday being calme, we plyed to the windwards, the winde being Northerly. We had the latitude this day at noone in 70 degrees 11 minutes.

We had not runne past two houres Northwest, the wind being at Northnortheast and Northeast and by North a good gale, but we met againe with another heape of ice: we wethered the head of it, and lay a time to the seawards, and made way West 6 leagues.

Friday at a Southeast sunne we cast about to the Eastwards, the wind being at Northnortheast: the latitude this day at noone was 70 degrees 15 minutes.

On S. James his day bolting to the windewardes, we had the latitude at noone in seventy degrees twentie minutes. The same day at a Southwest sunne, there was a monstrous Whale aboord of us, so neere to our side that we might have thrust a sworde or any other weapon in him, which we durst not doe for feare hee should have overthrowen our shippe: and then I called my company together, and all of us shouted, & with the crie that we made he departed from us: there was as much above water of his backe as the bredth of our pinnesse, and at his falling downe, he made such a terrible noyse in the water, that a man would greatly have marvelled, except hee had knowen the cause of it: but God be thanked, we were quietly delivered of him. And a little after we spied certaine Islands, with which we bare, and found good harbor in 15 or 18 fadome, and black oze: we came to an anker at a Northeast sunne, & named the Island S. James his Island, where we found fresh water.

Sunday, much wind blowing we rode still.

Munday I went on shoare and tooke the latitude, which was 70 degrees 42 minutes: the variation of the compasse was 7 degrees and a halfe from the North to the West.

Tuesday we plyed to the Westwards alongst the shoare, the wind being at Northwest, and as I was about to come to anker, we saw a sayle comming about the point, wherunder we thought to have ankered. Then I sent a skiffe aboord of him, and at their comming aboord, they tooke acquaintance of them, and the chiefe man said hee had bene in our company in the river Cola, and also declared unto them that we were past the way which should bring us to the Ob. This land, sayd he, is called Nova Zembla, that is to say, the New land: and then he came aboord himselfe with his skiffe, and at his comming aboord he told mee the like, and sayd further, that in this Nova Zembla is the highest mountaine in the worlde, as he thought, & that Camen Boldshay, which is on the maine of Pechora, is not to be compared to this mountaine, but I saw it not: he made me also certaine demonstrations of the way to the Ob, and seemed to make haste on his owne way, being very lothe to tarie, because the yeere was farre past, and his neighbour had fet Pechora, and not he: so I gave him a steele glasse, two pewter spoones, and a paire of velvet sheathed knives: and then he seemed somewhat the more willing to tary, and shewed me as much as he knew for our purpose: he also gave me 17 wilde geese, and shewed me that foure of their lodias were driven perforce from Caninoze to this Nova Zembla. This mans name was Loshak.

Wednesday, as we plied to the Eastwards, we espied another saile, which was one of this Loshaks company, and we bare roome, and spake with him, who in like sort tolde us of the Ob, as the other had done.

Thursday, we plied to the Eastwards, the winde being at Eastnortheast.

Friday, the gale of winde began to increase, and came Westerly withall, so that by a Northwest sunne we were at an anker among the Islands of Vaigats, where we saw two small lodias, the one of them came aboord of us, and presented me with a great loafe of bread: and they told me that they were all of Colmogro, except one man that dwelt at Pechora, who seemed to be the chiefest among them in killing of the Morse.

There were some of their company on shoare, which did chase a white beare over the high clifs into the water, which beare the lodia that was aboord of us killed in our sight.

This day there was a great gale of wind at North, and we saw so much ice driving a seaboord, that it was then no going to sea.


SATURDAY I went ashore, and there I saw three morses that they had killed: they held one tooth of a Morse, which was not great, at a roble, and one white beare skin at three robles & two robles: they further tolde me, that there were people called Samoeds on the great Island, and that they would not abide them nor us, who have no houses, but onely coverings made of Deersskins, set over them with stakes: they are men expert in shooting, and have great plenty of Deere.

This night there fell a cruell storme, the wind being at Vest.

Sunday we had very much winde, with plenty of snow, and we rode with two ankers a head.

Munday we weyed and went roome with another Island, which was five leagues Eastnortheast from us: and there I met againe with Loshak, and went on shore with him, and hee brought me to a heap of the Samoeds idols, which were in number above 300, the worst and the most unartificiall worke that ever I saw: the eyes and mouthes of sundrie of them were bloodie, they had the shape of men, women and children, very grosly wrought, & that which they had made for other parts, was also sprinckled with blood. Some of their idols were an olde sticke with two or three notches, made with a knife in it. I saw much of the footing of the sayd Samoeds, and of the sleds that they ride in. There was one of their sleds broken, and lay by the heape of idols, & there I saw a deers skinne which the foules had spoyled: and before certaine of their idols blocks were made as high as their mouthes, being all bloody, I thought that to be the table wheron they offered their sacrifice: I saw also the instruments, whereupon they had roasted flesh, and as farre as I could perceive, they make their fire directly under the spit.

Loshak being there present tolde me that these Samoeds were not so hurtful as they of Ob are, and that they have no houses, as indeede I saw none, but onely tents made of Deers skins, which they underproppe with stakes and poles: their boates are made of Deers skins, and when they come on shoare they cary their boates with them upon their backes: for their cariages they have no other beastes to serve them, but Deere only. As for bread and come they have none, except the Russes bring it to them: their knowledge is very base, for they know no letter.

Tuesday we turned for the harborough where Loshaks barke lay, whereas before we road under an Island. And there he came aboord of us and said unto me: if God sende winde and weather to serve, I will goe to the Ob with you, because the Morses were scant at these Islands of Vaigats, but if he could not get to the river of Ob, then he sayd hee would goe to the river of Naramzay, where the people were not altogether so savage as the Samoyds of the Ob are: hee shewed me that they will shoot at all men to the uttermost of their power, that cannot speake their speech.

Wednesday we saw a terrible heape of ice approch neere unto us, and therefore wee thought good with al speed possible to depart from thence, and so I returned to the Westwards againe, to the Island where we were the 31. of July.

Thursday I went a shoare, and tooke the latitude, which was 70 degrees 25 minutes: and the variation of the compasse was 8 degrees from the North to the West.

Loshak and the two small Lodias of Pechora departed from this Island, while I was on shoare taking the latitude, and went to the Southwards: I marvailed why he departed so suddenly, and went over the shoales amongst the Islands where it was impossible for us to follow them. But after I perceived them to be weatherwise.

Friday we road still, the winde being at Northnortheast, with a cruell storme. The ice came in so abundantly about us at both ends of the Island that we road under, that it was a fearefull sight to behold: the storme continued with snow, raine, and hayle plenty.

Saturday we road still also, the storme being somewhat abated, but it was altogether misty, that we were not able to see a cables length about us, the winde being at Northeast and by East.

Sunday at foure of the clocke in the morning we departed from this Island, the winde being at Southeast, and as we were cleere a sea boord the small Islandes and shoales, it came so thick with mistes, that we could not see a base shotte from us. Then we tooke in all our sailes to make little way.

At a Southeast sunne it waxed cleere, and then we set our sayles, and lay close by the wind to the Southwards alongst the Islands of Vaigats. At a west sunne we tooke in our sayle againe because of the great mist and raine. Wee sounded at this place, and had five and twenty fadomes water, and soft blacke oze, being three leagues from the shoare, the winde being at South and by East, but still misty.

Munday at an East sunne we sounded, and had 40 fadomes, and oze, still misty: at noone wee sounded againe, and had 36 fadome, still misty.

Tuesday at an Eastnortheast sunne we let fall our anker in three and twenty fadome, the mist still continuing.

Wednesday at three of the clocke in the morning the mist brake up, the wind being at Northeast & by East, and then we saw part of the Islands of Vaigats, which we bare withall, and went Eastsoutheast close by the winde: at a West sunne we were at an anker under the Southwest part of the said Vaigats, and then I sent our skiffe to shoare with three men in her, to see if they might speake with any of the Samoeds, but could not: all that day was rainie, but not windie.

Thursday the wind came Westerly, so that we were faine to seeke us another place to ride in, because the wind came a seaboord land, and although it were misty, yet wee followed the shoare by our lead: and as we brought land in the winde of us, we let fall our anker. At a West sunne the mist brake up, so that we might see about us, and then we might perceive that we were entred into a sound.

This afternoone we tooke in two or three skiffes lading of stones to balast our shippe withall. It hyeth here foure foot water, and floweth by fits, uncertaine to be judged.

Friday we road still in the sound, the wind at Southwest, with very much raine, and at the end of the raine it waxed againe mistie.

Saturday there was much winde at West, and much raine, and then againe mistie.

Sunday was very mistie, and much winde.

Munday very mistie, the winde at Westnorthwest.

Tuesday was also mistie, except at noone: then the sunne brake out through the mist, so that we had the latitude in 70 degrees 10 minutes: the afternoone was misty againe, the wind being at Westnorthwest.

Wednesday at three of the clocke afternoone the mist brake up, & the wind came at Eastnortheast, and then we weyed, and went South & by East, until seven of the clocke, eight leagues, thinking to have had sight of the sandie hilles that are to the Eastwards of the river Pechora. At a Northwest sunne we took in our maine saile, because the wind increased, & went with a foresaile Westnorthwest, the wind being at Eastnortheast: at night there grewe so terrible a storme, that we saw not the like, although we had indured many stormes since we came out of England. It was wonderfull that our barke was able to brooke such monstrous & terrible seas, without the great helpe of God, who never fayleth them at neede, that put their sure trust in him.

Thursday at a Southsouthwest sunne, thanks be to God, the storme was at the highest, & then the winde began to slake, and came Northerly withall, & then I reckoned the Westermost point of the river Pechora to be South of us 15 leagues. At a Westsouthwest sunne we set our maine sayle, and lay close by the winde, the winde being at Northwest and by North, making but little way, because the billow went so high: at midnight wee cast about, and the shippe caped Northnortheast, making little way.

Friday at noone we had the latitude in 70 degrees 8 minutes, and we sounded, and had 29 fadomes sand, and in maner stremy ground. At a West sunne we cast about to the Westwards, and a little after the wind came up at West.

Saturday was calme: the latitude this day at noone was 70 degrees and a terce, we sounded heere, and had nine and forty fadomes and oze, which oze signified that we drew towards Nova Zembla.

And thus we being out of al hope to discover any more to the Eastward this yeere, wee thought it best to returne, and that for three causes.

The first, the continuall Northeast and Northerly winds, which have more power after a man is past to the Eastwards of Caninoze, then in any place that I doe know in these Northerly regions.

Second, because of great and terrible abundance of ice which we saw with our eies, and we doubt greater store abideth in those parts: I adventured already somewhat too farre in it, but I thanke God for my safe deliverance from it.

Third, because the nights waxed darke, and the winter began to draw on with his stormes: and therefore I resolved to take the first best wind that God should send, and plie towards the bay of S. Nicholas, and to see if we might do any good there, if God would permitt it.

This present Saturday we saw very much ice, and were within two or three leagues of it: it shewed unto us as though it had beene a firme land as farre as we might see from Northwest off us to the Eastwards: and this afternoone the Lord sent us a little gale of wind at South, so that we bare cleere off the Westermost part of it, thanks be to God. And then against night it waxed calme againe, and the winde was at Southwest: we made our way untill Sunday noone Northwest and by West, and then we had the latitude in 70 degrees and a halfe, the winde at Southwest: there was a billow, so that we could not discerne to take the latitude exactly, but by a reasonable gesse.

Munday there was a pretie gale of wind at South, so that wee went West and by South, the latitude this day at noone was 70 degrees 10 minutes: wee had little winde all day: at a Westnorthwest sunne we sounded, and had 29 fadoms blacke sandie oze, & then we were Northeast 5 leagues from the Northeast part of the Island Colgoieve.

Tuesday the wind all Westerly we plyed to the wind wards.

Wednesday the wind was all Westerly, and calme: wee had the latitude this day in 70 degrees 10 minutes, we being within three leagues of the North part of the Island Colgoieve.

Thursday, we went roome about the Westermost part of the Island, seeking where we might finde a place to ride in for a Northwest wind, but could find none, and then we cast about againe to the seawards, and the winde came at Westsouthwest, and this morning we had plenty of snow.

Friday, the winde being at Southwest and by West, we plied to the windewards.

Saturday, the winde being at South, we plyed to the Westwards, and at afternoone the mist brake up, and then we might see the land seven or eight leagues to the Eastwards of Caninoz: we sounded a litle before and had 35. fadoms and oze. And a while after wee sounded againe, and had 19. fadome and sand: then we were within three leagues and a halfe of the shore, and towards night there came downe so much winde, that we were faine to bring our ship a trie, and laide her head to the Westwards.

Sunday, the winde became more calme, and then it waxed verie mystie: At noone wee cast about to the Eastwards, the winde beeing at South, and ranne eight houres on that boorde, and then we cast about and caped West southwest: we sounded and had 32. fathomes, and tough oaze like clay.

Munday, we doubled about Caninoze, and came at an anker there, to the intent that we might kill some fish if God would permit it, and there we gate a great Nuse, which Nuses were there so plentie, that they would scarcely suffer any other fish to come neere the hookes: the said Nuses caried away sundrie of our hookes and leads.

A litle after at a West Sunne, the winde began to blow stormie at West southwest, so that we were faine to wey and forsake our fishing ground, and went close by the winde Southwest, and Southwest and by West, making our way South southwest.


TUESDAY at a West Sunne we sounded and had 20. fathoms, and broken Wilkeshels: I reckoned Canonize to be 24. leagues Northnortheast from us.

The eleventh day we arrived at Colmogro, and there we wintered, expecting the approch of the next Sommer to proceede farther in our intended discoverie for the Ob: which (by reason of our imploiments to Wardhouse the next spring for the search of some English ships) was not accordingly performed.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Colmogro (Russia) (6)
Nova Zembla (Russia) (4)
Orwell (United Kingdom) (1)
Norway (Norway) (1)
Gravesend (United Kingdom) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1556 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: