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they have returned, as did that great navigator Gavot (Cabot) more than forty years ago.”
“ And on a globe which this English pilot had, (of which a copy was made in China,) these two routes, by which they attempted to páss, are distinctly seen ;* and also, in their proper latitudes, the islands of Japan, with all their kingdoms, even to the land of Chincungu, where the rich silver mines are said to be.”
“ This pilot added, that when the Prince of Orange found that he could not effect the passage by those northern regions, he equipped the fifteen ships, along with which he had sailed.”+
It may be observed, that Couto resided in India upwards of forty years, and there wrote his Decadas; he could therefore know nothing more of the attempts to discover a northern passage to
* We have seen that the track of Davis was laid down on the globes made by Emery Mullineux, many years before Adams left England.
+ Diogo de Couto, Decad. xii. Chap. 2.
VOYAGES OF DISCOVERY IN THE NORTHERN REGIONS DURING THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY.
George Weymouth -- James Hall, 1st, 2d, and 3d Voyages
- John Knight - llenry Hudson, 1st, 2d, sd, and 4th Voyages-Sir Thomas Button-James Hall, 4th Voyage - Captain Gibbons - Robert Bylot — Bylot and Baffin -Voyages of a mixt character between 1603 and 1615 -Jens Munk - Luke Fox— Thomas James - Zachary
GEORGE WEYMOUTH. 1602.
SEVERAL years had passed away without any new attempt being made, on the part of the maritime
by the north to India and China. The English, however, could not see with indifference a lucrative commerce carried on with the eastern world by the Spaniards and Portugueze without endeavouring to enjoy a participation thereof. The successful expeditions of Sir Francis Drake in 1578, and of Candish in 1586, had sufficiently proved to the nation the great value of oriental commerce. The several attempts to establish a share of that commerce by a shorter route than those of the Cape of Good Hope or Cape Horn having failed, the mèr
chants of London determined to try their fortune by the former of these known passages; not, however so much with the view of forming a legitimate trade with the natives of the East, as of obtaining wealth by the more cheap and expeditious mode of plundering the Portugueze. With this design, Captain George Raymond, having fitted out a ship of his own called the Penelope, and accompanied by two others, the Merchant-Royal and Edward Bonaventure, set sail in 1591 for the East Indies. The voyage, however, was most disastrous. The Royal-Merchant returned from the Cape full of sick men. The Penelope had scarcely doubled the Cape when she was lost; and the Edward Bonaventure, commanded by Captain James Lancaster, after an unsuccessful voyage, was lost on her return, in the West Indies. But Lancaster sent home, or is supposed to have sent home, a piece of information, which gave a new stimulus to northern discovery. In a postscript to one of his letters, he says, “ The passage to the Indies is in the north-west of America, in 62° 30' north.” But this postscript, then believed to be genuine, has since been supposed to be an interpolation.*
It served, however, to revive the hopes of the mercantile part of the nation; and, in 1602, the worshipful merchants of the Muscovy and Turkey Companies fitted out, at their joint expense,
an expedition intended solely for the discovery of a north-west passage towards China. It consisted of two fly-boats, the one of seventy tons, named the Discovery; the other of sixty tons, called the Godspeed—the two carrying five and thirty men and boys, and victualled for eighteen months. The command of the expedition was entrusted to Captain GEORGE WEYMOUTH, who, for the better șuccess of the voyage, as he tells us, was provided with “ a great traveller and learned minister, one master John Cartwright.”
They departed from Radcliffe on the 2d May, 1602. On the 18th June, in lat. 59° 51' N. they fell in with the first island of ice, stretching to the northward beyond the reach of sight; and on the same day saw the south part of Greenland. In standing to the westward the sea was perfectly smooth, but the water so black, “and as thicke as puddle,” that they conceived it to be very shallow; on heaving the lead, however, “they could fetch no ground with one hundred and twenty fathoms.” On the 28th they saw land in lat. 62° 30' which
only Warwick's Forland on Resolution island. In proceeding to the westward they passed several banks of ice, and again fell in with black water, occasioned probably by the soil which the icebergs frequently bring away in their disruption from the land. Again they supposed that they discovered America in lat. 63° 33', but they could
not approach it on account of the vast quantity of ice which encircled the shore. Proceeding to the north-west they passed four islands of ice “ of a huge bignesse;" the fog became so thick that they could not see two ships' lengths from them, and the sails, ropes, and tackle, were frozen so stiff that they were unable to handle them. The thick fog is represented to have frozen as fast as it fell, in the middle of July, and the stiffness of the ropes and sails made them useless. On the 19th of this month, the crews conspired secretly together, while the captain was asleep, to bear up for England, and keep him confined to his
vent it. They stated their reasons in writing, which were these, “ That if they should winter between 60° and 70° lat., it would be May before they could attempt any thing, and that by the 1st May the following year they could be in those latitudes well fitted and fresh from England; but that they were willing to encounter any danger in making discovery, either in 60°or 57° of latitude.” And after this, they accordingly, “one and all,” bore up the helme and steered to the southward. The captain, however, had the resolution to punish the ringleaders most severely, and only remitted a part of the punishment at the intercession of Master Cartwright the preacher, and of the master. Being near to an island of ice, the boats were sent to load some of it for fresh water, but as they were break