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a ship for the same purpose, under the command of Captain James, requested that she might accompany Foxe. Early in May, 1631, His Majesty's ship Charles, of 80 tons, left England; but owing to foggy weather, and ice, it was the 15th July before she reached the islands of Salisbury and Nottingham. From hence Foxe stood over to the Continent of America, and made the land in 64° 10', which he named Sir Thomas Roe's Welcome ; and directing his course to the southward discovered Brook Cobham, since called Marble Island; after this he anchored in Nelson's River; and concluding that no passage existed between that point and 64° 10' N., he next stood to the northward, between Southampton and Cumberland Islands, and on the west coast of the latter gave names to King Charles's promontory, Cape Maria, Trinity Islands, Lord Weston's Portland and Foxe's Farthest, being, as the name imports, the extreme point to which he proceeded, in latitude 66° 47' N. Adverse winds, long nights, a waning moon, and the sickness of his crew, obliged him .either to seek for harbour, or to freeze to death in the sea,' and he therefore returned to England.
Captain James wintered in the cul-de-sac of Hudson's Sea, named after him James's Bay ; came home the following year, and published a dismal account of his sufferings from cold, hunger, disease, &c. though the latitude in which he passed the winter was only 52° 3'. Without adding the slightest information to the geography of Hudson's Sea, he decides boldly that there is no such thing as a north-west passage.
About the same time one M. de Groseiller, of Canada, was despatched from Quebec for the purpose of discovery. Landing near Nelson's River, he fell in with a wretched hut in which were six people nearly famished. They were part of the crew of a ship which had been sent from Boston, and which, while they were on shore, had been driven to sea by the ice, and was never heard of
Groseiller went to Paris, but meeting with no encouragement from the French government, came to England with a letter from our ambassador to Prince Rupert, who received him favourably; and being joined by other noblemen and merchants, fitted out a ship in 1668, which Captain Gillam was appointed to command. He proceeded up Davis's Strait to 70° N., returned to Rupert's River in the bottom of Huilson's Bay, and there wintered. In the mean time Charles II. by his royal Charter, constituted Prince Rupert and certain lords, knights, and merchants, a body corporate, known by the name of the Governor and Company of the Adventurers of England trading into Hudson's Bay.'
From the moment this body of Adventurers' was instituted, the spirit of adventure died away; and every succeeding effort was palsied by the baneful influence of monopoly, of which the disco
very of a north-west passage was deemed the forerunner of destruction. Even the publication of De Fonte's * Voyage failed to rouse the attention of speculators. At length, however, in 1720, one Knight, who had long been in the Company's service as master of a ship, and subsequently governor of one of their forts, reminded bis old masters that they were obliged, by their charter, to make discoveries and extend their trade, and that if they refused to indulge him with an expedition for these purposes, he would apply to the crown. Being nearly 80 years of age, the Company thought it more adviseable to gratify his troublesome zeal,' as Robson calls it, than to let the business be taken up by some abler hand-his in. structions were to find the Strait of Anian, in order to discover gold, whales, and other valuable commodities, to the northward, &c. Knight was so confident of success, that he caused strong chests to be made, hooped with iron, to hold the gold and copper which he was determined to find, and which seem to have engrossed his mind more than the discovery of the north-west passage. The two ships sent under him and Barlow were never heard of more ; but some of their remains were discovered six or seven years afterwards in a bay on Marble Island, where their crews appear to have perish. ed in the most miserable manner. In 1722, one Scroggs was sent to the northward ostensibly to look for these unfortunate sufferers, about which, however, Robson says, there was not one word in his instructions. This Scroggs appears to have been totally unfit for any expedition on account of his ignorance and timidity, but exceedingly well qualified to answer the purpose of the Hudson's Bay Company, who seemed to enjoy their monopoly in perfect tranquillity, without giving themselves the smallest concern about making discoveries either by land or by water.
At length a gentleman of the name of Dobbs, having well considered what preceding navigators had stated with regard to the high tides from the northward in the Welcome, prevailed on the Com. pany, after much importunity, to send a vessel to the northward, in 1737, but she returned without doing any thing, never having reached so high as the latitude 63o. Dobbs, perceiving the reluce tant and negligent conduct of the Company, applied next to the
* The Voyage of De Fonte, Fuenté, or Fonta, appeared for the first time in a periodical publication called the Monthly Miscellany, or Memoirs for the Curious, for April, 1708. It is supposed to have been performed in 1640. Captain Burney, who has published it at length in his ' History of Voyages, &c.' seems to think with Mr. Dalrymple, that it is an idle piece of invention by one Petiver, a contributor to the above-mentioned Miscellany; though it might have been founded on the circum: sance of Burgomaster Witsen having mentioned a voyage made by the celebrated Da Fonta in 1649, to Terra del Fuego, at the cost of the King of Spain; and of the Boston ship that was lost in Hudson's Bay, six of whose crew were found on shore by Groseiller-it is something of the kind of our modern romances composed of fact tad fiction, pleasant to read, but injurious to the truth of history. VOL. XVI, NO, X8X1.
government, and by his perseverance and sanguine representations obtained the Furnace bomb and the pink Discovery, to be appropriated for this service, under the orders of Captain Middleton, a commander in the British navy, who had served as master in the employ of the Hudson's Bay Company for many voyages. Middleton left England in 1741, wintered in Churchill River, and in the summer of 1742 proceeded up the Welcome to Wager River, and looked into (he says sailed round) what he was pleased to call Repulse Bay. From hence he returned to the southward. On his arrival in England, Dobbs accused him of wilfully misrepresenting his discoveries, to curry favour with his old employers, and of having taken a bribe of 50001. from them not to make any discoveries. He denies the bribe, but admits that he might have said to some of the governors that he would discover the passage, and none of those with him should be the wiser for it. His officers too swore to his having misrepresented facts. The Lords of the Admiralty called upon him to answer the charges preferred against him by Mr. Dobbs, which he did at full length; but without satisfying them. To evince, on the contrary, how strongly impressed they still were with the probability of a north-west passage, their Lordships procured an act the following year (18 Geo. 11.), for graming a reward of twenty thousand pounds to the person or persons who should discover a north-west passage through Hudson's Strait to the western and southern ocean of America; a discovery which the preamble states to be of great benefit and advantage to the trade of this kingdom.'
The offer of this reward immediately brought forward new adventurers, who raised by subscription a sum sufficient to equip two ships, the Dobbs commanded by Captain Moor, and the California by Captain Smith, which left the Thames in May, 1746. On the 11th August they reached the coast of America about Marble Island, and having made some observations on the height, direction, and velocity of the tides, they stood to the southward and wintered in Port Nelson, where they were treated with great jealousy, and closely watched by the servants of the Hudson's Bay Company. They remained here, we know not why, till the 1st July, when they again proceeded to the northward, and examined Wager's Stratt; here the two commanders differed respecting the examination of Repulse Bay, and the ships returned to England, without having accomplished any other discovery beyond that of ascertaining. Wager Water to be a deep bay or inlet. Two accounts of this voyage were published; one, containing many curious and sensible observations, by Mr. Ellis; the other, a labour. cd and conceited performance in two volumes, by the Clerk of the California.'
After this the spirit of discovery in the north seems totally to bave sunk; and the Hudson's Bay Company were left in that stale of apathy which seems most congenial to their habits and interests. They sent, it is true, Mr. Hearne thirteen hundred miles in search of copper, and after the lapse of a hundred years they discovered that Chesterfield's Inlet at the distance of a hundred leagues from one of their establishments, was not the north-west passage ; but they never once thought of sending any one a little farther to the north, where probably in half the distance travelled by Hearne, the sea coast would have interrupted the traveller's progress.
The government, however, was vigorously prosecuting new discoveries; and, after so many failures to the northward, it was resolved to employ the celebrated Cook to determine the exact situation of the two continents of Asia and America, or, in other words, to examine the Strait of Anian. On this occasion a new act was passed (16 Geo. III.) granting a reward of twenty thousand pounds to any person or persons who should discover any northern passage for vessels by sea, between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, in any direction or parallel to the northward of the fifty-second degree of northern latitude. In the same year Cook sailed from the Thames with the Resolution and Discovery. On the 9th August, 1778, he determined the western extremity of America, to which he gave the name of Cape Prince of Wales, to be in 656 46' N. long. 191° 45'; and, when in lat. 66° 5', the width of the Strait which divides the two continents of Asia and America, to be about fourteen leagues. Standing to the northward, he named a point of land on the American coast Point Mulgrave, the lat. of which was 67° 45'. He continued up the Strait till he was in lat. 70° 33', in an open sea, but soon after, in 70° 41', found himself 'close to the edge of the ice, which was as compact as a wall,' and ten or twelve feet high. In returning to the southward he saw, on the American side, a low point in lat. 70° 29', to which he gave the name of Icy Cape. As the ice was still near the ships in lat. 69° 32° while there was none in proceeding to the northward, he concluded that the whole was a moveable mass, though he could not detect any current. To a point of high land in lat. 69° 5', he gave the name of Cape Lisburne. It being now near the end of August, Captain Cook repaired to Oonalashka, and from thence to the Sandwich islands, with the intention of renewing the examination of the Strait the following year ; but by his unfortunate death, that task devolved on Captain Clarke, who entered the Strait toward the end of June, 1779, on the Asiatic side. On the 6th July he had reached the lat. 670 N. and after encountering much ice, that of 70° 33. On the 19th,
On the 19th, in 69° 34', he got sight of the land on the American side to the S. E. but could not
come near it-and this, with Cape Prince of Wales, viewed from the middle of the Strait, were the only two points he saw on the coast of America : after some further attempts on the Asiatic side, he returned to Kamschatka, though the month of July had not yet expired. Without attaching blame to Captain Clarke, whose constitution was so debilitated that he died before they reached Kamschatka, or to Captains Gore or King, we think that, had Cook lived, he would not so soon have abandoned this great object. It is admitted in the narrative of the voyage, that the
impenetrable barrier of ice' occasionally breaks up and is moved about in every direction; that as far as their experience went,' the sea to the north of Behring's Strait is clearer of ice in August than in July; and that' perhaps in September it may still be more free ;' it is also admitted that there is less probability of success on the Asiatic, than on the American side of the Strait; and yet it is known that Deschneif succeeded in passing the Strait from the north side of the Asiatic continent: under such admissions, it was certainly unfortunate that the attempt should so soon have been abandoned.
About the same time Lieutenant Pickersgill was sent in the armed brig Lion to examine the western parts of Baffin's bay-but the choice was unfortunate; he never once entered Baffin's bay; and Lieutenant Young, who superseded him and proceeded under similar instructions the following year, reached only the 720 degree of latitude, cruising along the eastern instead of the western side of Baffin's bay, and consequently among the ice, which almost always clings to the shore. . His talents, as Dr. Douglas observes,
were more adapted to contribute to the glory of a victory, as commander of a line of battle ship, than to add to geographical discoveries, by encountering mountains of ice, and exploring unknown coasts.'
The Hudson's Bay Company were again left free, for many years, from the apprehensions of a discovery of the north-west passage. Fortunately, however, for the world, it rarely happens that a generation passes away without producing men zealous for their country's weal, and the honour of science. Mr. Dalrym. ple, late hydrographer to the Admiralty, after carefully examining the question of the north-west passage, was decidedly of opinion, that the problem was still to be solved: and conceiving with Dr. Douglas that the gevernor and committee of the Hudson's Bay Company had made amends for the narrow prejudices of their predecessors, and that no further obstruction would be thrown in the way of those who might be sent on discovery,' he prevailed on them to eni ploy Mr. Duncan, a master in the navy, and now master attendant of his Majesty's dock-yard at Chatham, who had exhi