Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

which, if the horne be of any goode value, no doubt but many of them may be killed.

“ And concerning what the shoare will yield, as beach finnes, morse teeth, and such like, I can little say; because we came not on shoare in any of the places where hope was of finding them.

“But here some may object, and aske, 'why we sought that coast no better?' To this I answere, that while we were thereabout, the weather was so exceeding foule wee could not; for first we anchored in W ostenholme Sound, where presently our shippe drove with two anchors a head; then were we forced to stand forth with a low saile. The next day in Whale Sound we lost an anchor and cable, and could fetch the place no more; then we came to an anchor neere a small island lying between Sir Thomas Smith's Sound and Whale Sound; but the winde came more outward, that we were forced to weigh again. Neuerthelesse if we had beene in a good harbour, hauing but our shippe's boat, we durst not send her farre from the shippe, hauing so few men as seuenteene in all, and some of them very weake: But the chiefe cause we spent so little time to seeke a harbour, was our great desire to performe the discouerie, hauing the sea open in all that part, and still likelihood of a passage ; but when we had coasted the land so farre to the southward, that hope of passage was none, then the yeere was too farre spent, and many

of our men very weake; and withall we hauing some beliefe, that shippes the next yeere would be sent for the killing of whales, which might better doe it than we.

“ And seeing I haue briefly set downe what hope there is of making a profitable voyage, it is not vnfit your worship should know what let or hinderence might be to the same.

The chiefest and greatest cause is, that some yeere it may happen, by reason of the ice, lying between 72 degrees and a halfe, and

76 degrees, no minutes, that the shippes cannot come into those places till toward the middest of July, so that want of time to stay in the countrey may bee some let. Yet they may well tarry till the last of August, in which space much businesse may be done, and goode store of oile made ; neuerthelesse, if store of whales come in, as no feare to the contrarie, what cannot bee made in oile may be brought home in blubber, and the finnes will arise to good profit. Another hinderance may be, because the bottome of the sounds will not be so soone cleere as would be wished, by means thereof now and then a whale may be lost the same case sometime chanceth in Greenland; yet I am perswaded those sounds before named, will all be cleered before the twentieth of July, for we, this yeere, were in Whale Sound the fourth day among many whales, and might have strooke them without let of ice. Furthermore, there is little wood to be expected, either for fire or other necessaries, therefore coles and such other things must be prouided at home, they will be so much the readier there.

“ Thus much I thought good to certifie to your worship. Wherein I trust you will conceiue that much time hath not been spent in vaine, or the businesse ouer carelessly neglected ; and although we haue not performed what we desire, that is to haue found the passage, yet what we promised, as to bring certaintie and a true description, truth will make manifest that I haue not much erred.

“ And I dare boldly say, without boasting, that more good discouerie hath not in shorter time, to my remembrance, beene done since the action was attempted, considering how much ice we haue passed, and the difficulty of sayling so neare the pole vpon a trauerser; and, aboue all, the variation of the compasse : whose wonderfull operation is such in this bay, increasing and decreasing so suddenly and swift, being in some part, as in Wostenholme Šound and in Sir Thomas Smith's Sound, varied about fiue points, or 56 degrees, a thing almost incredible and matchlesse in all the world beside: so that without great care and good observations, a true description could not have been had.-In fine, whatsoeuer my labours are or shall be, I esteeme them too little to express my thankeful mind for your many fauors, wherein I shall be euer studious to supply my other wants by my best endeauours, and ever rest at “Your Worship’s Command,

6. WILLIAM BAFFIN."

Purchas,” vol. iii. pp. 843-4.

CHAPTER VIII.

Arctic Voyage, undertaken by Captain Hawkridge, attended by

no new results—The Danes roused to emulation by English example-Christian IV. fits out Two Ships, giving the command to Munk-Arrangement of Winter Quarters-Gloomy Anticipations caused by the appearance of Celestial Phenomena - Dreadful Mortality of the Crew-Return of the SurvivorsZeal of Fox, a Yorkshireman, stimulates to a New Enterprise, under his own command-Charles I. grants a Vessel-Proceedings of the Voyage-Meeting in Hudson's Bay with another Exploring Ship, the Maria, commanded by Captain James Safe return to England.

The next Arctic voyager was Captain Hawkridge, who it will be remembered was a fellow volunteer with the unfortunate Captain Gibbons, in the voyage of Sir Thomas Button. Nothing was known of this attempt but the commander's name, not even the year or the ship's name, until Mr. Rundall, in searching the Court Minute Books of the East India Fellowship, came upon the following announcement by Sir John Wolstenholme of "an intended tryall to be made once againe in discou'nge the Norwest passage,” under date of the 20th January, 1618-19.

66 As an inducement to the court to contribute their assistance to this new attempt, he states it is understood, that in Botton's Bay, wch runneth in 450 leagues from the mouth, a great tyde of floode runnes, and riseth sometimes 17 or 18 feet in height, wch is supposed cannott be but by some current in the sea in some other place, weh in pbabillitie may proue the

desired passage.

Sir John Wolstenholme further states, so satisfied is he of the feasibility of the project, that he intends to make a good round aduenture in his own pticuler, and to pswade as many friendes as he may, whereby to raise meanes to furnishe forthe two pinnaces, wch will cost li. 2,000.' This appeal to the generosity of the worshipful body was no less successful than former applications of the same description had been, 'seeing,' the record states, that the matter is small for this Companie, and that these workes bringe forth some good (as the whale-fishinge was found by the like occasion), yf the yssue proue good, they are like to be ptakers of that good; but yf itt should succede otherwise, yet the deed is charitable; They, therefore, by erecon of hands, did graunte an aduenture of li. 200 towards the same.”I

As we know that the expedition which succeeded that of Baffin, in 1616, was the one commanded by Luke Fox, in 1631, it may safely be assumed that the above remarks apply to the voyage of Hawkridge. He appears, however, to have done very little more than his friend Gibbons; “the only difference between the two navigators is, that the one was blocked

in a hole' and did nothing; while the other roved about to no good purpose.” Fox is the only one who seems indeed to have heard anything of the voyage, and all we can learn from the meagre accounts which he derived from “manuscript or relation” is, that Hawkridge appears to have penetrated through Hudson's Straits, but as nothing further is known, we are fain to leave the exploits of Captain Hawkridge in their original obscurity, impressed with the idea, that had they been worth knowing anything about, they would have been recorded.

In the year 1619 the Danes appear to have awakened from a long slumber, during which so many brilliant

1 " North-West Voyages,” pp. 150—1.

up

« AnteriorContinuar »