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discoveries had been made by the English navigators, and to have again turned their attention to the northern seas, in which they had a sort of natural interest. In that year Christian IV. caused two ships to be fully equipped, the command of which was entrusted to Jens Munk, who had the reputation of being an experienced seaman. Munk sailed from Elsinor on the 18th May, and made the coast of Greenland on the 20th June. He stood
Davis's Straits, until he became so hampered with ice that he was forced to go to the southward and
into Hudson's Straits. Here he took the liberty, and indeed throughout the whole voyage) of altering the names given by former navigators; thus Hudson's Straits became Christian's Straits; the northern part of Hudson's Bay Mare Novum, the New Sea; and the southern, Christian's Sea, &c.; the innovation, however, has received, at the hands of geographers, the contempt it so richly merited.
Munk took up his winter quarters in what is now termed Chesterfield Inlet; having erected good huts, and finding a plentiful stock of game, everything promised a comfortable stay until they should again be able to set out in search of unknown lands, but the issue was perhaps the most terrible of any that we have had to record. They first began to lose their spirits at beholding those extraordinary and magnificent aerial phenomena which are peculiar to an Arctic sky. On the 27th November, to all appearance, they beheld three distinct suns, and again another two on the 24th January. In December they also beheld an eclipse of the moon, which appeared as if environed by a transparent circle, within which was a cross, seemingly dividing the moon into four quarters. All these beautiful appearances instead of amusing them had a directly contrary effect, and were regarded as the harbinger of those misfortunes
which shortly followed. The frost set in with great intensity, and their wine, brandy, and beer, froze so hard as to burst the casks in which they were contained. The scurvy next appeared among them, superinduced, it would seem, from too liberal a use of spirituous liquors, and to cure it they indulged still more freely, perhaps the worst means which could have been employed. This state of things continued, until they all became so weak as to be unable to kill any of the multitudes of ducks, geese, and partridges, which abounded; and this, as famine now begun to stare them in the face, considerably aggravated the horrors of their position. Munk himself, after remaining in his hut four days without food, at length had resolution to crawl out, and found that out of a crew of sixty-four souls two alone survived. With the energy of despair these three unfortunate sufferers dug into the rock-like snow, and found some plants and roots, which they greedily devoured, and which, providentially, being possessed of anti-scorbutic properties, soon enabled them to exert themselves more freely. By degrees they regained their natural vigour, and were enabled to fish and shoot, but their thoughts were ever directed to the means of escape, and at length, having equipped the smaller vessel from the stores of the large one, they set sail, re-passed Hudson's Straits, and, after a stormy and perilous voyage, reached home safely on the 25th September, 1620.
The revival of the subject of a north-west passage in England was owing to the exertions of Captain Luke Fox, or as he prefers to call himself, “North-west Fox," a shrewd talented Yorkshireman, whose book, which we have before had occasion to notice, is remarkable for its quaint comical style. According to his own account, Fox had for years continued to urge an expedition to the northern seas, which, he says, he had been itching after ever since 1606, and would have gone mate with John Knight;" he was at length so successful as to get the “honourable knight, Sir John Brooke,” and other gentlemen, to take the matter up, and application being made to Charles I. for the loan of a vessel and his countenance to the undertaking, his majesty “graciously accepted and granted both,” immediately placed a ship of the royal navy at their disposal, but the season being too far advanced, their departure was delayed until next year.
This delay proved dangerous; in the interval, Mr. Henry Briggs, one of the supporters of the enterprise, died; others withdrew from the undertaking, and the whole affair would have been abandoned but for the opportune co-operation of Sir Thomas Roe and Sir John Wolstenholme “the never failing friend of this voyage,” who were appointed by the king to expedite it. Under their direction, a pinnace called the Charles, of seventy tons, and a complement of twenty men and two boys, was equipped and provisioned for eighteen months. Of his outfit, Fox speaks in the following terms, first, however, addressing his reader thus: “Gentle reader,-expect not heere any florishing phrases or eloquent tearmes, for this child of mine, begot in the north-west's cold clime (where they breed no schollers), is not able to digest the sweet milke of Rethorick, &c.
“The ship of his Majesties was (of my own chusing, and the best for condition and quality, especially for this voyage, that the world could afford,) of burthen eighty tonnes, the number of men twenty, and two boyes, and by all our cares was sheathed, cordaged, builded, and repaired, all things being made exactly ready against an appointed time. My greatest care was to have my men of godly conversation, and such as their years, of time not exceeding thirty-five, had gained good experience, that I might thereby be the better assisted, especially by such as had been upon those frost-biting voyages, by which they were hardened for indurance, and could not so soone be dismayed at the sight of the ice. For beardless younkers, I knew as many as could man the boate was enough; and for all our dependances was upon God alone, for I had neither private ambition or vaine glory:
“ And all these things I had contractedly done by the master, wardens, and assistants of the Trinity House. For a lieutenant I had no use; but it grieved me much that I could not get one man that had been on the same voyage before, by whose counsaile or discourse I might better have shunned the ice. I was victualled compleatly for eighteene months, but whether the baker, brewer, butcher, and other, were master of their arts, or professors or no, I know not, but this I am sure of, I had excellent fat beefe, strong beere, good wheaten bread, good Iceland ling, butter and cheese of the best, admirable sacke and aquavitæ, pease, oatmeale, wheat-meale, oyle, spice, sugar, fruit, and rice; with chyrugerie, as sirrups, julips, condits, trachisses, antidotes, balsoms, gummes, unguents, implaisters, oyles, potions, suppositors, and purging pills; and if I wanted instruments, my chyrugion had enough. My carpenter was fitted from the thickest bolt to the pumpe nayle or tacket. The gunner from the sacor to the pistol. The boatswaine from the cable to the sayle twine. The steward and cooke from the caldron to the spoone.
“ And for books, if I wanted any I was to blame, being bountifully furnisht from the treasurer with money to provide me, especially for those of study there would be no leisure, nor was there, for I found work enough.”
Next follow rules for proper discipline on board, which were no less necessary than was the abundant provision above noticed.
May 7, anno 1631.—The voyage of Captaine Luke Foxe, in his majesties pinnace the Charles, burthen seventy tonnes, twenty men, and two boyes, victuals for eighteen months, young Sir John Wolstenholme being treasurer.
“ Orders and articles for civill government, to be duly observed amongst us in this voyage.
« Forasmuch as the good successe and prosperity of every action doth consist in the due service and glorifying of God, knowing that not only our being and preservation but the prosperity of all our actions and enterprizes doe immediately depend upon His Almighty goodness and mercy, of which this being none of the least, eyther of nature or quality. For the better governing and managing of this present voyage, in his majesties ship the Charles, bound for the North-west Passage, towards the South Sea, May 7, 1631, as followeth:
« 1. That all the whole company, as well officers as others, shall duly repaire every day twice, at the call of the bell, to hear publike prayers to be read (such as are authorized by the Church), and that in à godly and devout manner, as good Christians ought.
62. That no man shall swear by the name of God, nor use any prophane oath, or blaspheme His holy name, upon pain of severe punishment.
“3. That no man shall speak any vile or unbeseeming word, against the honour of his Majestie, our dread soveraigne, his lawes or ordinances, or the religion established and authorized by him here in England, but as good subjects shall duly pray for him.
“ 4. That no man shall speake any doubtfull or despairing words against the good successe of the voyage, or make any doubt thereof, eyther in publique or private, at his messe, or to his watch-mate, or shall make any question of the skill and knowledge eyther of superiour or inferior officer, or of the undertaking,