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INTRODUCTORY CHAPTER.

discovered Labrador, as also the great abundance of cod-fish along this coast. He also entered some strait, which some have thought was Hudson's Strait, but which was in all probability the Strait of Belle Isle at the mouth of the St. Lawrence. In 1500 a Portuguese, Gasper Cortoreale, fitted out some ships at his own expense, and coasted all along Labrador, as far as 60°, where he saw a river or strait blocked with ice, which he named Rio Nevado, but which is doubtless Hudson's Strait. These voyages had the effect of developing the Newfoundland cod-fishery, which was already well established in 1504. In 1517 Sebastian Cabot entered Hudson's Strait. After this there was a pause in the progress of Arctic discovery, although Master Robert Thorne made a bold proposition for an expedition to be sent across the Polar area to the Moluccas, and two ships were sent, but nothing of importance was done. In 1553 Sir Hugh Willoughby and Richard Chancelor were sent out under the instructions of Sebastian Cabot, to proceed to China by a north-east route. Willoughby commanded the Bona Esperanza, Chancelor the Edward Bonaventure, and Durfoorth the Bona Confidentia. When off the Norwegian coast the ships got separated by a storm, Willoughby proceeded as far as Willoughby's Land, which is probably a portion of Nova Zembla, and

wintered on the Russian coast near the Dwina ; but the whole company were killed by frost and starvation. This disastrous result would have been prevented had the men been experienced in Arctic travelling, for they could have laid in a sufficient stock of turf and dwarf shrubs for fuel ; and could have secured plenty of food, since some of the papers that have been recovered state that while the sailors were searching in all directions for natives to help them, they saw many bears, deer, foxes, and other animals, while those in the ship saw seals and whales in abundance. Chancelor proceeded to St. Nichola in the White Sea, and returned home through Russia by way of Moscow. His success led to the establishment of the Muscovy or Russia Company, by which many of the subsequent expeditions in search of the North-East and North-West Passages were organized and supported. In 1556 they sent Stephen Burrough out in the Serchthrift, and Sebastian Cabot, then eighty-eight years of age, saw the vessel off, and bade the expedition “God cheer.” Burrough passed the island of Kolguev on July 14th, and next day he reached the coast of the mouth of the Petchora. He saw the St. James's Islands, and on July 31st he anchored amongst the Waigats Islands. He was the first navigator to sail into the Sea of Kara by the Karagate. In 1576 the project of the North

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West Passage was renewed by Sir Martin Frobisher, after having been neglected for nearly eighty years. Frobisher had been agitating his plans for fifteen years, and at last obtained support from the Earl of Warwick, and from Michael Lok, a man of wealth. Hence he christened Greenland, West England. On July 28 he saw Queen Elizabeth's Foreland, and went fifty leagues up Frobisher's Bay, which he considered to be a strait, and which he flattered himself would lead him to Cathay. He took home a piece of iron pyrites under the impression that it was an ore rich in gold. His second voyage was simply occupied in procuring three ship-loads of this ore, which was found to be worthless. On the third voyage (in 1578) he took out fifteen ships to be laden with this ore. When off the Queen Elizabeth's Foreland a storm blew him towards the straits, which he called Frobisher's Mistaken Straits, but which are commonly known as Hudson's Straits. He entered them, and found a fine open passage, through which, it is said, he “would and could have gone through to the South Sea.” There was plenty of ice at the entrance, but farther in the sea was free from ice. However, his duty was to get the ore, and it was only when he found he had mistaken his way that he returned by a cross channel into Frobisher's Bay. In 1585 the London merchants again

subscribed for another north-west voyage, and in this and the following two years, John Davis commanded three successive expeditions. He sighted Greenland, and visited Gilbert's Sound in 64° 30' N. From this he proceeded, on August 6, for five days, towards the north-west, and sighted land again in 66° 40', at an anchorage free from ice. He named various prominent features here, such as Mount Raleigh and Cape Walsingham. This was the highest latitude then reached on the American side of Davis' Strait. He coasted this land to the south, passed the Cape of God's Mercy, sailed up Northumberland Inlet, and worked his way south into Frobisher's Strait, and then into Hudson's Strait. In his second voyage Davis simply explored the coast of Labrador. In his third voyage he went as far north, along the west coast of Greenland, as Cape Hope Sanderson, in 72° 15', or well into Baffin's Bay; he seems to have reached the North Water, and hence to have been the pioneer to this well-known whaling ground.

The account of Barentsz's voyages is given in the body of our work, and here we may allude only to the discovery which was made this year of the house in which these hardy men lived during the long winter; the relics brought home are now deposited in the National Museum of Holland. The

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various articles found are figured in the sketch appended.

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Captain Waymouth's expedition, sent out in 1602 by the Muscovy Company in search of the North-West Passage, traversed ground which had been previously explored ; and the expeditions of Cunningham and Hall in 1605, and of John Knight in 1607, were also without any result. In 1609, Henry Hudson, whose earlier voyages will be noticed presently, discovered Hudson's Bay; and in 1610 he was nominated to the command of the Discovery, with a view to renewing the attempt to find the North-West Passage. He went into Frobisher's Bay, which was

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