Skip to main content

Full text of "Westward hoe for Avalon in the New-found-land [microform] : as described by Captain Richard Whitbourne, of Exmouth, Devon, 1622"

See other formats













|l.25 I 


|io •^™ 

[If liA 


■ 22 







WfB5TIII,M.Y. 145*0 

(71*) 872-4S03 






.^^ <<^-.^ ^ 






Collection de 

Canadian Institute for Historical Microreproductions / Institut Canadian de microreproductions historiques 

Taohnicai and Bibliographic Notaa/Notas tachniquaa at bibliographiquaa 

Tha Inatituta haa attamptad to obtain tha bcs: 
original copy availabia for filming. Faaturaa of thia 
copy which may ba bibliographicaiiy uniqua, 
which mdy altar any of tha imagan in tha 
raproduction, or which may aignificantiy changa 
tha uaual mathod of filming, are chackad baiow. 

L'Inatitut a microfilm* la maiiiaur axampiaira 
qu'ii lui a Atd poaaible da aa procurar. Laa dMaila 
da cat axamplaira qui aont paut-Atra uniquaa du 
point da vua bibiiographiqua, qui pauvant modifier 
una imaga raproduita, ou qui pauvant axigar una 
modification dana la mtthoda normaia da fiimaga 
aont indiqute ci*daaaoua. 


Coloured covara/ 
Couvarture de couleur 

□ Coloured pagea/ 
Pagea de couleur 


Covera damaged/ 
Couverture endommagie 

□ Pagea damaged/ 
Pagea endommagiea 



Covera reatored nnd/or laminated/ 
Couverture reataurie at/ou peliiculAe 

Cover title miaaing/ 

La titra de couverture manque 

I I Coloured meps/ 

Cartea gAographiquaa en couleur 

E Coloured init (i.e. other than blue or blecic)/ 
Encre de couleur (i.e. autre que bieue ou noire) 

r~1 Coloured plataa and/or iliuafrationa/ 


Planchea at/ou illuatrationa an couleur 

Bound with other meterial/ 
Rail* avac d'autrea documents 


Pagea reatored and/or laminated/ 
Pagea restaurtes at/ou peliicultes 

Pagea di8colouri«d, stained or foxed/ 
Pagea dAcolorAaa. tachatAea ou piques 

Pages detached/ 
Pages dAtach6as 


Quality of print varies/ 
Quality InAgaia de I'impression 

□ Includes supplementery matariai/ 
Comprend du materiel suppMmentaira 



Tight binding may causa shadows or distortion 
along interior margin/ 

La reliure aarrie paut causer de I'ombre ou de le 
distortion le long de la marge intArieure 

Blenk leaves added during restoration may 
k.ppaar within tha text. Whenever poaaible, these 
have been omitted from filming/ 
II se peut que certaines pages blanches ajoutAes 
lors d'une restauration apparaissent dent le texte. 
meis, lorsque ceia Atait poaaible, ces pages n'ont 
pas AtA fiimAes. 

I — I Only edition available/ 


;5euie Mition diaponlbie 

Pagea wholly or partially obscured by errata 
slips, tissuaa, etc.. heve been ref limed to 
ensure the best possible imsge/ 
Les pages totalement ou partiellement 
obscurcies par un feuillet d'erreta, una pelure, 
etc., ont itA fiimies A nouveeu de fa^on A 
obtenir le meilleure imege possible. 


Additionel comments:/ 
Commenteires supplAmentairas: 

This item is filmed at the reduction retio checked below/ 

Ce document est film* ou taux de rMuction indiquA ci-dessout. 

10X 14X 18X 22X 










The copy filmed here has been reproduced thanks 
to the generosity of: 

Nationai Library of Canada 

L'exemplaire fiim6 fut reproduit grAce A la 
g6n6rosit6 de: 

Bibliothdque nationale du Canada 

The images appearing here are the best quality 
possible considering the condition and legibility 
of the original copy and in keeping with the 
filming contract specifications. 

Les images suivantes ont 6t6 reproduites avec le 
plus grand soin, compte tenu de la condition et 
de la nettetd de l'exemplaire film6, et en 
conformity avec les conditions du contrat de 

Original copies in printed paper covers are filmed 
beginning with the front cover and ending on 
the last page with a printed or illustrated impres- 
sion, or the back cover when appropriate. All 
other original copies are filmed beginning on the 
first page with a printed or illustrated impres- 
sion, and ending on the last page with a printed 
or illustrated impression. 

The last recorded frame on each microfiche 
shall contain the symbol —^- (meaning "CON- 
TINUED"), or the symbol V (meaning "END"), 
whichever applies. 

Les exemplaires originaux dont la couverture en 
papier est imprimte sont filmte en commenpant 
par le premier plat et en terminant soit par la 
derniire page qui comporte une empreinte 
d'impression ou d'illustration, soit par le second 
plat, selon le cas. Toms les autres exemplaires 
originaux sont fllmte en commenpant par la 
premiere page qui comporte une empreinte 
d'impression ou d'illustration et en terminant par 
la dernlAre page qui comporte une telle 

Un des symboles suivants apperaftra sur la 
dernidre image de cheque microficha, selon le 
cas: le symbols — ► signifie "A SUIVRE", le 
symbols V signifie "FIN". 

Maps, plates, charts, etc., may be filmed at 
different reduction ratios. Those too large to be 
<intirely included in one exposure are filmed 
beginning in the upper left hand corner, left to 
right and top to bottom, &s many frames as 
required. The following diagrams illustrate the 

Les cartes, planches, tableaux, etc.. peiivent dtre 
fllmfo A des taux de reduction diffArents. 
Lorsque le document est trop grand pour fttre 
reproduit en un seul clich6, il est filmi d partir 
de I'angle supArieur gaucha, de gauche d droits, 
et de haut en bas, en prenant le nombre 
d'images n6cessaire. Les diagrammes suivants 
illustrunt la m6thode. 









IBF^tiDHri :^0F for atbalon 


ffiUiteti anti Elustratctr 65 2i:, SH!)itl)urn, 




ILontion : 

1 u:i.D S: TuiiK, 


'antique' TYl'E. 




' ! 




Preface 7 

Introduction o 

Extracts .16 

Royal Proclamation ^2 

From the Privy Council 33 

To the King 35 

To THE People . 37 

Autobiography 40 

Savages and "Maremaid" 45 





MEN who would line at home idlely, that 
may bee there imployed, or thinke himfelfe 
worthy to Hue only to eate, drinke, and 
fleepe, and fo die ; hauing confumed that 
carelefly, his friends got worthily, or by 
vfmg that talent miferably, which may 
thus maintaine vertue honestly ? "— Captain 
Richard Whithourue. 

" Olivia. There lies your way, due Weft. 
Viola. Then Westward \\o^:' —Shakspere' s " Twelfth Night;' 
Act iii., Sc. I. 



"Take water; keepe aloof from the fhore ; * » * vp \v;th your 
faylcb, and WESTWARD llOEl^'—Wdstet^s "Westward lloe," 
Act iii., So. 3. 

FEW words on the history of New- 
foundland may not be out of place. 
Discovered (officially) by Sebastian 
Cabot, in 1497, for Henry VII., fleets 
for fishing purposes soon fre(|uented its 
shores. In 1583, Sir Humfrey Gilbert, 
by patent from Queen Elizabeth, for- 
mally annexed it to the British crown, and left a few 
settlers. Chiefly through Captain Whitbourne's efforts, it 
was permanently colonized under James I., the "province" 
being named Avalon, whilst the principal "adventurers" 
included the Rt. Hon. Henry Cary, Viscount of Falkland, 
who had received a grant of an extensive "coast circuit" 
there, and who sent some settlers from Ireland under Sir 
Francis TanfiU, in 1623, Sir John Calvert, His Majesty's 
Chief Secretary, "The Wor. John Slany, of London, 
marchant, some Wor. Citizens of Bristoll, the Wor. William 
Vaughan, of Taracod, in the county of Carmarthen, Doctor 
of the Civil Law," and some others. 

The colony prospered, but Charles the First, influenced 
by his queen, permitted the French to fish there on 
payment of tribute. They, not satisfied with the remission 
of this tax by the second Charles, and by James, tried 



to mor,opol:se the island, were repressed by William, I„,t 
enc.oache<l L,n<Ier Anne. Knglish r.ierchants loudly com- 
Plnine<l, and disputes were settled by the French definitely 
renouncing their pretensions to the island in 171, j-ir- 
t.oulars respecting Cabot's discovery will be found in the 
a^cent vaUutble accornt of that great navigator, by I. F 
Nicholls, Esq., city librarian, JJristol, whilst the present 
condmon of the colony is spiritedly delineated in Col. 
_K. K McCreas ".Sketches of Life in Newfoundland, 
^.ngland s ancient colony." From him we learn that at 
he capital, St. John's, "in proportion to its inhabitants, a 
larger busniess is done than at any other colonial city," 
whilst the harbour .-anks as one of our most important 
ocean videttes," and may easily be rendered impregnable 
The climate, he tells us, is remar'-ably healthy, and the 
summer, though short, is delightful. Near the coast are 
valleys of e.xceeding beauty. Game, tish, and wild fruits 

;1T" T. 'T''"' "''"" P™''"^^ *■" '"- "" ^™Pe.-or's 
table. 1 he people are " kind and social," an.l Col McCrea 

sums up by saying, " My lot has been cast in almost 
every colony of our vast dominion. Not even excepting 
dear old Corfu, have three happier years than those (per° 
force at first, and very willingly afterwards; in Newfound- 
land been ever spent abroad." 






^mL. \^^P^ 

^ jH 

1 KSS^f- 












OOKS, like everything;, have their appointed 
dcatli-day ; the souls of them, unless they be found 
worthy of a second birth in a new body, perish 
with the paper in which they lived." — Fronde. 

NE of " England's forgotten worthies," 
Ciiptain Richard Whitbourne belongs to 
that bold race of Elizabetha:. seamen 
Avho dealt a fatal blow to the naval 
power of Spain, carried the English flag 
to the most distant seas, laid the foun- 
dation of our maritime supremacy, and 
made known many of those lands Avhich, colonized by the 
English race, now form homes of industrious and thriving 
millions. Of these he may not be in the foremost rank, 
nor have gained historic fame, but he nevertheless did the 
State good and substantial service; and as all honest 
writing reflects light on contemporary thought and manners, 
it seemed to me that his work, now rare, deserved a better 
fate than that of mere oblivion. I therefore offer an 
abstract of it ; an entire reprint would be tedious. Written 



with the express countenance of the king, ordered by the 
Privy Council to be printed, and recommended by them to 
the Arclibishops of Canterbury and York, and to the rest 
of the Bishops, that it might be distributed in the parishes 
of the kmgdom, to inform the people how profitable migra- 
tion to Newfoundland would be ; it contains much matter 
which, then new, is now needless. Its purpose has been 
answered ; the colony itself testifies to the soundness of the 
author's views. I take, then, such portions merely as 
describe either the author's experiences or the island's 
characteristics, or possess other interest ; the dedication, 
preface, &c., are given, literally, at the end, with the original 
spelling, which, as in other works of the period, shows that, 
provided the sound were true, the particular letter employed 
was in some cases considered unimportant. Who, now-a- 
days, for instance, could ul ach license as that of calling 
in consecutive lines nature's covering for the scalp *' hayre," 
and " haire ? " So, in proper names, a letter more or less 
seemed matter of momentary caprice. Certain words like- 
wise have somewhat changed in meaning. Thus, by ** a 
discovery of Newfoundland," the author implies, not that 
he first touched at the island, but that he first made widely 
known the features which fitted it for "plantation" pur- 
poses ; and when he tells how one of his ships was appro- 
priated by "an English erring captaine (that went forth 
with Sir Walter Rawleigh)," we see that "erring" implies 
not so much divergence from moral rectitude (though this 
too may be comprised in it), as wandering without fixed 
goal in the way which once caused kniglits also to be 
termed errant. As for the work itself, it professes to be, 
and is, merely a plain account of a land which the author 
considered ought lo develope into an English colony. Thus 
of personal adventure it tells little. True, the preface is 




autobiographical, but that form could not be avoided, 
for the author had to show his credentials, and he does so 
with a brevity which is, I venture to think, cause for regret. 
Thus, to prove that in describing Newfoundland he had not 
lacked opportunities for comparison, he tells us that he 
had "been often in France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Savoy, 
Denmark, Norway, Spruceland, the Canaries, and Soris 
Islands," whilst to show that his naval experience was of 
some standing, he says, — 

•'In the year 1588, I served under the then Lord Admiral, as 
captain in a ship of my own, set forth at my own charge against the 
Spanish Armada : and after such time as that service was ended, taking 
my leave of his Honour, I had his favourable letters to one Sir Robert 
Dennis, in the county of Devon, Knight, whereby there might be some 
course taken, that the charge as well of my own Ship, as also of two 
other, and a Pinnace, with the victuals, and men therein employed, 
should not be any way burdensome to me. Wherein there was such 
order given by the then Right Honourable Lords of the Privy Council 
that the same was well satisfied, which service is to be seen recorded in 
the Book at Whitehall." 

But his visits to Newfoundland, " almost," he says, " so 
familiarly known to me as my own country," began even 
before this; for about 1580, he went there "in a worthy 
ship of the burden of 300 tons, set forth by one Master 
Cotton, of Southampton ; " and some three years later he 
again went to that coast in command of a ship belonging 
to " one Master Crooke," cf the same port. It was on this 
occasion that he became " an eye-witness " of the taking 
possession of Newfoundland by "Sir ILumfrey Gilbert, a 
Devonshire knight," under a patent from Queen Elizabeth ; 
in returning from which service Sir Humfrey and his ship 
were "overwhelmed by the seas, and so perished." Two 
years after this the author, again in command of a ship off 



that coast, met with Sir Bernard Drake, also of Devonshire, 
who, having a commission backed by divers good ships, 
"there took many Portugal ships laden with fish, and 
brought them into England as prizes." 

Next, leaping over various other voyages there, the 
author alights in the year 1612, when, being again on his 
favourite coast, he fell in with "that famous Arch Pirate 
Peter Easton," who " had with him ten sail of good ships 
v/ell furnished, and very rich"— an arch pirate indeed! 
Now, having turned piracy to such profitable account, the 
prudent Peter proposed to retire from the profession ; and 
during the eleven weeks our author was kept "under his 
command," which implies, doubtless, that for such period 
he could not obtain leave to depart, much edifying dis- 
course took place between them on piracy's wicked ways, 
and Peter was moved at length to request the author to 
come to England, where (being rich) he had influential 
friends, and tell them that he was open to accept a pardon. 
This the author gladly undertook to do; so, dechning 
*'much wealth" which the pirate liberally proffered him 
("having no warrant to touch such goods"), he requested 
merely the release of a ship belonging to one Captain 
Rashly, of Foy, in Cornwall— a man, he says, "whom I 
knew but only by report "—which ship the pirate had 
appropriated off the coast of Guinea. Peter granted the 
favour instantly, and our author providing men, victuals* 
and a freight for the ship, sent her home to Dartmouth, in 
Devon ; but, ingratitude being rife then as now, he got for 
this service not so much as thanks. Giving up, then, his 
intenc' d commercial voyage to Naples, the author came 
straig t to England to fulfil Easton's behest, but he was 
forestalled : ere his arrival a pardon had been sent the 
pirate from Ireland, and so he says, I " lost both my labour 

• i 



and charges." But did Easton profit as he desired by this 
fulfilment of his wish ? No. The bearer of the pardon 
was not zealous, it seems, in the repentant pirate's behoof, 
and by " a too much delaying of time " wore out Easton's 
patience. So the pirate, leaving the coast of Barbary, where 
he had promised to hover — doubtless alleviating the tedmm 
of suspense by snapping up maritime trifles — "sailed to the 
Straights of Gibraltar, and was afterwards entertained by the 
Duke of Savoy, under whom he lived rich." Thus in that 
somewhat free and easy time a pirate owning ten good 
ships rich with gold, and full of fighting men, was evidently 
a personage whom sovereign princes were by no means 
prompt to snub. 

Two years elapse, and we again find our author off the 
Newfoundland coast ; this time in more respectable com- 
pany, that of Sir Henry Mainwaring, whose authority was 
supported by "five good fliips ftrongly provided," and from 
him the author returned straight to England instead of 
taking, as he had intended, a commercial trip to Marseilles. 
That this return was on official business may be inferred 
from the fact that, in the following year, 16 15, he once more 
sailed to Newfoundland, carrying with him a commission 
under the great seal of the High Court of Admiralty, 
authorising him to empannel juries and reform disorders 
on the coast, and this, he says, " executed wholly at my 
own charge, hath been at large by me already certified into 
the High Couit of Admiralty;" but, considering that "the 
same hath been overslipped ever since," it may be judged 
that '"barren honour" was all he gained for his labour. 
Well for him that he could aftord it. But if he possessed 
substance he also suffered losses. Shylock's enumeration of, 
among other risks, that from "water rats," smacks of the 
spirit of the time. 

' { 



Thus, in 1616, the author's ship of 100 tons, laden from 
Newfoundland to Lisbon, was rifled by a Rochelle pirate 
hight Daniel Tibolo, whereby he suffered loss to the extent 
of ;^86o, in those days no small sum, whilst the master and 
the company in her were " cruelly handled " to boot. Nor 
was this all. Having, shortly after, come to an arrange- 
ment with "a gentleman" to whom certain patentees had 
transferred their right to settle people in Newfoundland, the 
author received from, him "a conveyance under his hand 
and feal for the term of my life, with full power to govern 
within his circuit upon that coall." So he once more sailed 
to his well-beloved island in a ship of his own, victualled 
by a joint stock com.pany, in which he had a share, and 
they " likewife then did fet forth another (hip, for a fifhing 
voyage, which alfo carried fome vi6luals for thofe people 
which had been formerly fent to inhabit there : but this 
fliip was intercepted by an Englifh erring captain (that 
went forth with Sir Walter Rawleigh) who took the mafler 
of her, the boatfwain, and two other of the befl men, with 
much of her vi6luals (the refl of the company for fear 
running into the woods), and fo left the (hip as a prize; 
whereby our intended fifhing voyages of both .our (hips 
were overthrown, and the plantation hindered." In what 
way an English erring captain differed from a pirate it is 
somewhat difficult from this sample of procedure, and after 
this lapse of years, to discover. Possibly the former may 
have combined traffic with picking and stealing ; the latter, 
not. Balked, then, in his individual efforts for the object 
he had at heart, the author appeals by his work to the king 
and the people ; not claiming, by any means, a monopoly 
of credit for calling attention to Newfoundland, but simply 
stating that no man had hitherto written a detailed descrip- 
tion of the fsland, or " publifhed any fit motives or induce- 




ments whereby to perfuade men to adventure or plant 
tliere." To this work, he says, his conscience had often 
prompted him, and he gives what is to us, when we 
compare, superficially, the relative populousness of England 
then and now, the curious reason of desiring by it " to 
flir up many of your Majelly's good and religious fubjedls 
duly to weigh the piety, honour, and benefit that will arife 
from fuch a work, confidering how your Majefly's kingdoms 
do abound and overflow with people." 

In conclusion, he thanks God that, although he had often 
suffeied great losses by pirates and sea rovers, no casualty 
had ever happened to any ship in which he himself sailed ; 
and he takes this comfort, that if, after more than forty 
years of naval life, he had reaped little other than the peace 
of a good conscience, he has at least the knowledge that 
he had ever been a loyal subject to his prince, whilst he 
has enjoyed the comfort of never yet in all his time having 
been " beholding to any dodlors' counfel or apothecaries' 
drugs " for the preservation of his health. He trusts, also, 
by his work to become an instrument of some public good, 
and he then commences *'the particular relation of the 
country, &c." 


Guildford, January^ 1870. 

RDINARY English traders we find fighting Spanish 
war-ships in behalf of the Protestant faith. The 
cruisers of the Spanish main were full of generous 
eagerness for the conversion of the savage nations 
to Christianity. And, what is even more surprising, 
sites for colonizaiion vi^ere examined and scrutinised 
l)y such men in a lofty statesmanlike spirit, and a ready insight was 
displayed by them into the indirect effects of a wisely- extended commerce 
on every highest human interest." — Frotuie. 

A Relation of the New-found-land, with a more ample 


TO ME Richard Whitbourne. 

UCH is the heading to the author's 
work, and he begins with a description 
of " the situation of the countrey," which 
is, he tells us, between 46 and 53 
degrees, north latitude, whilst the cli- 
mate has at least the recommendation 
of being perfectly healthy. As for " the 
naturall inhabitants," they are described as but few in 



number and as " fomething rude and fauage people ; hauing 
neither knowledge of God, nor liuing under any kind of 
ciuill gouernment. In their habits, cuflomes and manners, 
they referable the Indians of the Continent, from whence 
(I fuppofe) they come." Still they are said to be "an 
ingenuous and tradlable people (being well vfed)," and as 
ready to assist in the whale fishery for even small reward. 
Of the many bays and harbours of the coast, "built by the 
admirable workmanfhip of God," the author speaks highly, 
and he particularly mentions Trinity Harbour, which 

" is neere vnto a great Bay lying on the North-fide of it, called the Bay 
of Flowers; to which place no Shippes repaire to fifli; partly in regard of 
fundry Kocks and Ledges lying euen with the water, and full of danger ; 
but chiefly (as I coniecflure) becaufe the fauage people of that countrey 
doe there inhabite : many of them fecretly euery yeere, come into 
Trinity Bay and Harbour, in the night time, purpofely to fteale Sailes, 
Lines, Hatchets, Hookes, Kniues, and fuch like. And this Bay is not 
three Englifh miles ouerland from Trinity Bay in many places; which 
people, if they might be reduced to the knowledge of the true Trinity 
indeed, no doubt but it would be a mofl fweet and acceptable facrifice 
to God, an euerlafling honour to your Maiefly, and the heauenUeft 
bleffing to thofe poore Creatures, who are buried in their owne 
fuperftitious ignorance. The taflce thereof would proue eafie, if it were 
but well begun, and conftantly feconded by induftrious fpirits : and no 
doubt but God himfelfe would fet his hand to reare vp and aduance fo 
noble, fo pious, and fo Chriflian a building." 

The author nexts 

dilates on "The Fertilitie of the 

"There the Summer naturally produceth out of the fruitful wombe of 
the earth, without the labour of man's hand, great plenty of greene 
peale and Fitches, faire, round, full and wholefome as our Fitches are 
in England : of which I have there fed on many times : the hawmes 
of them are good fodder for cattel and other beads in the winter, with 
the helpe of Hay ; of which there may be made great llore with little 
labour in diuers places of the Countrey. 




" Then haue you there fairc Strawberries red and white, and as faire 
Rafpaneberries, and Goofe berries, as there be in England ; as alfo 
multitudes of Bilberries, which arc called by fome, Whortes, and many 
other delicate Berries (which I cannot name) in great abundance. 

•* There are alfo many other fruits, as fmall Peares, fowre Cherries, 
Filberds, &c. And of thefe Berries and fruits the (lore is there fo great, 
that the mariners of my Ship and Barkes company, haue often gathered 
at once, more then halfe an hogshead would hold ; of which diuers 
times eating their fill I neuer heard of any man, whofe health was 
thereby any way impaired. 

"There are alfo herbes for Sallets and Broth ; as Parfley, Alexander, 
Sorrell, &c. And alfo flowers, as the red and white Damafke Rofe, 
with other kinds ; which are mofl beautiful! and delightfull, both to the 
fight and fmell." 

Herbs good for physic arc also found, and it had been 
proved by experiment that " Corn, Cabbage, Carrets, 
Turneps, Lettice, and fuch Hke, proue well there." As for 
the animals, they comprise, among others, " Deere, Hares, 
Foxes, Squirrels, Beuers, Wolues, and Beares." And the 
author now gives " A rare example of the gentle nature of 
the beafls of that countrey." 

* ' Neither let me feeme ridiculous, to annex a matter of nouelty, rather 
than waight, to this difcourfe. 

'•In the yeere 1615 it was well knowne to 48 perfons of my company, 
and diuers other men, that three feuerall times, the Wolues and .beads 
of the countrey came downe neere them to the fea-fide, where they 
were labouring about their Fifh, howling and making a noife : fo that 
at each time my Maftiffe-dogge went vnto them (as the like in that 
countrey hath not been feene :) the one began to fawne and play with 
the other, and fo went together into the Woods, and continued with 
them, euery of thefe times, nine or ten dayes, and did returne vnto us 
without any hurt. Hereof I am no way fuperftitious, yet it is fomething 
flrange to me, that the wilde beafts, being followed by a Heme Maftiffe- 
dogge, fhould grow to a familiaritie with him, feeing their natures are 
repugnant : furely much rather the people by our difcreet and gentle 
vfage, may be brought to focietie, being already naturally inclined 



Of birds, also, there is no lack, for " the Lavid-fowle " 
include " (befides great number of fmall birds flying vp and 
downe, fome without name, that Hue by fcraping their food 
from the earth in the hardeft winter that isV hawks, 
partridges, and thrushes. The songbirds number " Filladies, 
Nightingales, and fuch like, that fmg mofl pleafantly." The 
birds of prey comprise "Rauens, Gripes, Crowes, &c.," 
whilst the wate-'^owl are legion, the most noteworthy being 
the penguin. 

'•Thefe Penguins are as bigge as Geefe, and flye not, for they haue 
but a little fliort wing, and they multiply fo infinitly, vpon a certain flat 
Hand, that men driue them from thence vpon a boord, into their boates 
by hundreds at a time ; as if God had made the innocency of fo poore 
a creature to become fuch an admirable inftrument for the fuflentation 
of man." 

Of scarcely less value are the feathered " oxen and kine," 

••which fowle doe not only fteed thofe that trade thither greatly for 
foode, but alfo they are a great furthering to diuers fliips voyages, 
becaufe the abundance of them is fuch, that the Fifliermen doe bait 
their hookes with the quarters of fea fowle on them : and therewith 
fome (hips do yeerely take a great part of their filhing voyages, with 
fuch bait, before they can get others." 

Fresh water and fuel are said to be abundant. The 
author suggests the probability of finding mines ; and as for 
fish, from the whale to the herring the waters swarm with 
them, the king of the coast being the cod-fish. 

••But the chiefe commodity of New-found-land yet knowne, and 
which is grown to be a fettled trade, and that may be much bettered by 
an orderly Plantation there, (if the Traders thither will take fome better 
courfe than formerly they haue done, as fhall be declared) is the Cod- 
fifhing vpon that Coaft, by which our Nation and many other countries 
are enricht." 





By tlie " French, Bifcaines, and Portugals more than 400 
foile of fliips" are, he says, sent thither, whilst " in the yeere 
1615," when the author's Admiralty commission caused him 
to take special note, our fleet there amounted to " 250 faile 
of fhips great and fmall." Their united bulk is estimated 
at 150,000 tons. Five thousand persons are said to have 
manned them. " Every one of thefe fliips, fo neere as I 
could gueffe, had about 120,000 fish, and five tunne of 
Trayne oyle one with another," the value of which, if sold 
in England, where the prices were lower than on the 
continent, would " yeeld to your Maiefties fubje6ls better 
then the fumme of 135,000 pound." The author then 
proceeds to speak of the number of persons indirectly 
employed by this traffic, and he intimates that, unless 
the English firmly root themselves on the soil, some other 
nation will appropriate it, to our great detriment. He next 
throws out suggestions as to the North-west Passage. 

"The Englifli r.r* reputed for the firft dlfcouerers of this Countrey : 
and a Subiect of this State, one Sir Humfrey Gilbert (as is touched 
before) hath long fince taken pofleflion thereof, to the vfe of your 
Maieflies royall Crowne ; and that poffeflion hath bin continued by 
feuerall Patents and Commiflions : fo that of right I do concieue, it 
appertaineth to your Maieftie, although it be not yet peopled with your 
Maieflies fubjedls, notwithftanding the faid Patents. 

" Neither feemes it impoffible to me, but that your Maieftie, and 
your royall Progenie, may in time annexe vnto your Crowne a great 
part of the Continent of America, bordring vpon New-found-land, the 
fame lying neerer to your Maiefties kingdoms, then to any other 
countrey of thefe our knowne parts of the World : and for the moft 
part of it vnder the lame Eleuation of the Pole with vs ; and but little 
aboue Sixe hundred leagues diftance from hence. 

*' At leaft I cannot fee, but that from hence further Difcoueries may 
be made, and new trades found out, yea peraduenture the fuppofed 
Northweft paffage ; For if it can be proued, or if there be any pofll- 
bilitie or probabilitie, that there is fuch a paflage, on the Northfide of 



America towards lapan and China, which is the opinion of fome men, 
is to lie neere the lieight of 64 degrees : the fitteft place from whence 
to proceed to that Discouerie, is (in my opinion) the New-found-land. 
And for thofe that hencefoorth attempt to fearch that ftraight or 
paffage, to fct foorth fooner and more early, then heretofore they haue 
done, and to faile diredlly to fome conuenient Harbour in New-found - 
land, there to refrefli themfelves with fuch prouifion as fliall be needfull ; 
and fo put out from thence about the twentieth day of May (if it be 
once fet in a faire Wefterly winde,) and to faile along the North part of 
New-found-land, and that coaft which is called Cambaleu, continuing 
that Northerly courfe vnto 64, which is but 15 degrees from Trinity 
Harbour ; and it may be failed in leffe than fixe dayes, with a faire 
Wefterly winde, which commonly maketh a cleere coaft all along to 
the North, both from fogges and Ice alfo ; both which are violent 
hinderers to men that haue vndertaken thefe voyages. For coming to 
feeke out thofe ftraights or paffages, with a large Eafterly, Southerly, 
or Northerly winde, which commonly bring on that Coaft the fogges 
and Ice, and comming fo late in the fummer, they haue thereby loft 
the aduantage and benefit of time for finding out fo happy a bufineffe.' 

The author then points out that the " counire/ may be 
made a place of great vfe and aduantage, for this (late in 
any adtion, that may ingage vs by way of attempt or defence, 
in regard of thofe parts of the world." He states that the 
situation is convenient for ships to refit in returning from 
Virginia and the Bermudas, and he recommends migration 
thither as a remedy for our plethora of population. 

«« Befides all this, it Would be a great eafe to all the reft of your 
Maiefties subieds, if fome part of our fuperabounding multitudes 
were tranfplanted into New-found-laud ; for befides the great number of 
idle perfons that liue here, fpending their time in drinking and other 
excelTes, among which many of your New-found-land men may be 
reckoned, during the winter feafon, whilft they are at home : There are 
many thoufands ol" pOore people of both fexes, which might be fpared 
out of all your Maiefties Dominions, who lining penurioully, and in 
great want, would be perfwaded to remove their dwelling into New- 
found-land, where they might not onely free themfelues of their prefent 
miferies, but alfo by their induftrie, in time inrich themfelues, and 




defenie well of the State by their imploiments ; for there is ycercly 
great abvindance of good fiflx loft for want of labourers, and other 
good things alfo." 

Another beneficial result, too, will follow from this pro- 
posed plantation, namely, proper commercial regulations ; 
for now, the author complains, mariners set forth at " the 
fouled time in the yeere " in order that by arriving first in 
harbour they may enjoy " the name of Admirall that yeere " 
with corresponding advantages. Thus by undue haste 
among fogs and ice *' many times both fhips and men 
haue been fuddenly cafl away, to the vtter vndoing of 
many Adventurers, and families. So had I myfelfe a (hip 
lofl failing to that Countrey, and divers others the like." 

Nor is this all. "The firfl arrivers there" ofttimes 
wantonly destroy not only the houses or rooms used for 
drying the fish, but also such fishing pinnaces as they find, 
thus causing great loss to after-comers, all which impro- 
prieties a plantation with proper rule would prevent. From 
every ship, then, the author proposes that a certain pro- 
portion of men (six out of thirty) should be left; a procedure 
which *' wil foone raife many people to be fettled in euery 
Harbour where our Nation vfeth to fifli,and in other Harbours 
there alfo in little time." Thus the profits will be largely 
increased, and a broad line will be drawn between those 
who have a permanent interest in the colony and mere 
traffickers to and fro. 

There is another point also on which the author, in 
capacity of merchant rather than mariner, speaks feelingly. 

"The allowance of victuall to niaintaine euery fixe men, to carry 
and recatry them outwards bound and homewards, is fixe hogfheads of 
beere, and fixe hundred waight of bread, befides beefe and other pro- 
uifion ; which men, when they faile to and fro (as now they vfe) doe 
little good or any feruice at all, but pefter the fliip in which they are, 



with their bread, beere, water, wood, victuall. f.fli, chcfls, and diuers 
other trumperies, that euery fuch f.xe men doe the (lup withall 
yeerely from thence : which men, when the voyage is made, may be 
accounted vnneceffary perfons returning yeerly from thence." 

See, too, how much more fish the ships would hold when 
not " peRered " with " such vnprofitable things," whilst the 
men left in the country may if industrious (an important 
proviso) " gaine twice as much in the abfence of the Hiips 
that leaue them there." Hitherto the class of settler had 
not been of good report. 

"For certainly I haue already feene and knowne by experience, that 
the defired Plantation can neuer bee made beneficiall by fuch idle 
nerfons, as I found there the yeere 1618 when I was there with power, 
l)y vertue of a graunt from the I'atentees. which people had remamed 
there a whole yeere, before 1 came neare, or knew any of them ; and 
neuer applied themfelues to any commendable thing, no not fo much as 
to make themfelues an houfe to lodge in, but lay in fuch cold and 
f.mple roomes all the winter, as the Fidiermen had formerly bmlt there 
for their neceffary occaf.ons, the yeere before thofe men arriued there. 

This negligence filled the author with disgust. 

«« Yet entring into confideration, how iniurious I (liould be to God, 
and (as I did conceiue in my confcience) trecherous to your Maiefty, 
and my countrev, hauing once as it were laid hold on y- plough, I 
fliould take it off and looke backe : I did then incourage my retinng 
fpirits; notwithftanding all my former wrongs then fuftamed. And 
although I found thofe people that were fo formerly fent to plant, fo 
unfit for that feruice, I did not only confider of the fitteft courfe whereby 
to aduance that work, which was formerly fo worthily mtended ; but 
alfo truly and plamly to write this Difcouery, as now I haue, how 
commodioudy & beneficially it may be proceeded on; and fo flapped 
fome of them to retume home againe, and gaue others leave to depart, 
all, excepting fixe only; to whom I gaue diredions for buddmg an 
houfe, and imploying themfelves, otherwife than formerly they had 
done, vntill they heard from the gentleman that fent them thither : And 
fo they lined there pleafantly all the next winter." 



By leaving a certain percentage cf seamen on the coast 
the number employed will be increased, the author estim.ites, 
by about a thousand a year ; and, whereas but two hundred 
and fifty English ships then traded thither, he anticipates 
that the number will speedily swell to four hundred sail. 
Great, too, is his vexation at the wilful waste in which some 
of his countrymen there indulge, by cutting down and 
destr ying the fine timber growing near the coast ; nay, 
more lamentable still, *' the Harbours and Rodes in New- 
found-land, that are fo beautifull and excellent, ordained by 
God for Ihips to ride fafe in at anchor," were actually 
suffering grievous injury through "the exceeding great 
flones," used by the fishermen " to preffe their drie fifli in 
their fhips," being thrown by these improvident anglers 
" within three fadome of water," greatly to the detriment of 
ships and cables, an evil which called loudly for redress. 
The author then tells capitalists who may be unwilling to 
bestir themselves personally in this traffic, that it is possible 
for them to do so by proxy, and he intimates that this 
advice must not be classed with that of such imaginative 
mariners as would persuade them 

"that on the coaft of Guinnle there, they might gather vp gold along 
the fea-fliore, waflied vp by the Tea in great abundance ; and likewife if 
they would aduenture to the Weft Indies, there they fliould load their 
fliips with Wheele-barrowes, and then (hare it by the pound ; and fuch 
like proiedls." 

To encourage such as feel inclined to profit by the 
author's counsel, he now gives detailed directions by which 
their course may be shaped ; and, among other neglected 
sources of gain, he mentions the manufacture of salt for 
curing the fish, which can easily be done on the Newfound- 
land coast, to the saving of the sum annually paid for this 
commodity to Spain, Portugal, and France. Moreover, 


service on this coast is much healthier than on that of the 
Indies ; and if the EngHsh settle here, the author anticipates 
that the fishing trade will fall almost wholly into their hands. 
Not that he would prevent foreigners from fishing if they 
chose, but that he believed they would eventually find it 
more to their profit to buy fish than to catch them. Settlers, 
too, might derive some gain from trade in furt.. Again, 

"for trading thither and returning home thence, wee little feare the 
Turkes bondage ard circumcifion, nor any outlandifl) Inquifition, nor 
the Iml)arken-ients of any Prince, nor fiich contagiOi.:s heates as thofe 
finde that trade acere the Lyne, neither the danger and hurt of Art- 
wormes, wherewith fliips that trade to moft parts fouthward are fon\e- 
tinies much hurt, nor many other hazards & inconueniences, to which 
fome of our other tradings are fubie(5l." 

Such as purpose going there are cheered by the pros- 
pect of being " farre from any of the Plantations of the 
King of Spaine," and of seeing numbers of their countrymen 
every year. Of " Pyrats," however, there was some small 
risk ; but " two good Ships of Warre, of 200 tunne apiece, 
and two Pinnaces of 40 tunne apiece well prouided " would 
amply suffice for protection (against a Peter Easton ?), and 
the cost might easily be defrayed by a small percentage on 
the fishing profits. This method was adopted by the Dutch 
greatly to their benefit. Various harbours fit to receive 
settlers are now enumerated by the author ; and as for the 
cold, of which some, through report, entertained a nervous 
dread, he invites his readers to reflect on " the great colde 
that is at times in Mufcouia, Sweidon, Norway, Spruceland, 
Poland, Denmarke, and other EaRerne and Northerne parts 
of the world, where the people liue well and grow rich ; " 
and he drives his argument home thus : — 

" It hath beene in fome winters fo hard frozen in the Riuer of Thames, 
aboue London-bridge near the Court, that the tenderest faire Ladies and 



gentlewomen that are in any part of the world, who haue beheld it, and 
great numbers of people, haue there sported on the ice many dayes 
together, and haue felt it colder there, then men doe that hue in 

To the truth of the author's statement concerning New- 
foundland temperature, " one Master John Guy, late Maior 
of the Citie of Bristoll, that liued there two yeeres to- 
gether," can certify. 

Icebergs and fogs are next noticed, and reasons are given 
for their prevalence ; whilst such parts of the island as are 
" rockie & mountainous " are said by the author to be no 
worse than sites seen by him in Norway, Biscay, Portugal 
and Spain. Still, at times, the objections raised to his 
favourite project seem to have inclined him to despond. 
But he takes comfort from reflecting on the patience of 

'* And although that fithence I prefumed to write this Difcourfe, I 
haue been often difliartened from proceeding herein : Yet, when I did 
remember Columbus his good indeuours, that firft and patient Discouerer 
of the West Indies, whom, if God had not hartened him on with a. 
worthy minde, and a bofome armed for all the ftormes of croffe fortunes, 
he had neuer finiflied that Honourable attempt for finding fuch an 
happy bufinelTe out, the which Difcouery of his hath euer fince filled 
the Spanifh Gofers with gold and filuer, and made that Nation Lords of 
the greateft riches vnder the Sunne : and although that attempt of his 
was held at firft impofTible to come to any good effedl, & Golumbus 
laught at by fome : yet euer fithece, by his attempt I may fay, that 
Spaine hath had fro thence to helpe to furnifh other Griftian Kingdomes 
with gold, filuer, and diners other great riches ; and alfo now to that 
country fo difcouered, thofe commodities that great Brittaine may 
yeerely well fpare, and other Countries also, are the better vented : and 
fo likewise may be the New-found-land and the parts of America, neere 
thereunto, proue beneficiall for diucrs trades in little time." 

Now, drawing near the end of his " discovery," the author 


touches on his official voyage to Newfoundland, when he 
set forth from " the Port of Exceter, in the County of Deuon, 
on the 1 1 day of May 1615 in a Bark vicflualled and manned 
with II men and boyes at^my owne charge." On the fourth 
of June, being Trinity Sunday, he anchored in Trinity 
Harbour, and there, " in the name of the holy and in- 
diuiduall Trinity," he called together, by virtue of his 
commission, the masters of the English ships there lying, 
and " fo began to hold the firfl Court of Admiralty in your 
Maieflies name, that euer was (as I beleeue) holden in that 
Countrey to the vfe of any Chriflian Prince, and proceeded 
therein according to courfe of Lawe, as the tenor of my 
Commiflion did warrant me therein ; and alfo in other 
Harbors of the faid Coafl I did the like." Having carefully 
inquired into the disorders committed on the coast, the 
masters of a hundred and seventy English ships delivered 
to the author, under their hands and seals, their ** prefent- 
ments," which, in turn, he transferred to the High Court of 
Admiralty. These presentments are summarised under 
twelve heads, and they comprise — Non-observance of the 
Sabbath day ; injury to the harbours, by casting into them 
large stones ; stealing boats and gear ; destroying fishing- 
stages and huts; monopoly of convenient space; entering 
the service of other countries ; burning down the woods ; 
and lastly, idleness, which was considered, doubtless, the 
parent of pretty nearly all the foregoing evils. 

Having thus put on record their opinions, they decreed 
that these disorders should cease — a laudable resolution, 
which, with no tribunal to enforce it, was, it is to be feared, 
for some time at least, impotent. Next, gathering the 
threads of his " discovery " together, the author thanks God 
that he had been permitted to describe the many benefits 
to his countrymen which colonization of the island would 




produce ; and he concludes by appealing to the king and to 
the people thus : — 

"And thefe excellent benefits diftribute themfelues, between your 
Maieflie and your Subiedls : your Highnefle part will be the Honour 
of the Action ; the accefle of Territory, increafe of ftrength and power, 
aduantage againft other Princes, augmentation of Reuenew, and eafe of 
your Maiefties Kingdomes, &c. The Subiedls part will be the bettering 
and fecuring of their Trade ; inriching of themfelues ; reliefe of other 
Trades ; and a nieanes of further Difcoueries. 

"Bui thefe two haue a relation and dependency, the one on the 
other, that neither can fubfifl without the other. I will not therefore 
diuide your Maieflie from your Subiects ; your Highnefle profperitie 
being their happineffe ; and their wealth, your Maiefl:ies riches. 

"The firfl thing which is to be hoped for, and which hath euer been 
your Maieflies principall care, is the propagation of the Chriftian faith : 
and by that meanes onely, the poore vnbeleeuing Inhabitants of that 
Countrey may be brought to the knowledge of God, and a ciuill kinde 
of gouernement : and it is not a thing impolTible, but that from thofe 
flender beginnings which may bee mad in New-found-land, all the 
regions adioyning (which betweene this place, and the countries actually 
poffeffed by the King of Spaine, and to the north of New-found-land, 
are fo fpacious as all Europe) may be conuerted to the true worfhip 
of God. 

" The next is, the vniting of a Countrey so beneficiall already, and fo 
promifing vnto your Maiefties Crowne, without bloodfhed, charge, or 
vsurpation, which mufl needs be a perpetuall Honour to your Maieflie, 
in all fucceeding ages ; neither will it be an Honour onely to your 
Highneffe, Init a benefit to the State, by a new acceffe of Dominion. 
And what i rince can enlarge his Territories by a more eafie and more 
iuft nieanes then this, seeing that of right it appertaineth to your 
Maieflie, and therefore deferues to be imbraced ? 

"Now if it pleafe your mofl excellent Maieflie not onely to lend 
your eare to a Proiect of this nature, but alfo to approue the matter 
proiected, and vouchfafe the furtherance therein, the which out of my 
foules deuotion, and zealous affection to do feruice to your Maieflie 
and your Kingdomes, I tender on my knees ; mofl humbly befeeching 
your Highneffe, both to accept of my honefl and zealous intent, as 
alfo to pardon my boldneffe and prefumption therein ; for it is, and fo 



lialh eucr been my refolution, rather to beare the burden of ponerty, 
than iuflly to deferue, or giue caufe of reproach ; and to subiect all the 
dayes of my life, and the manifold dangers thereof, thereby to approue 
my felfe a profitable member, both to your Maieftie, and to my 
countrey that gaue nice my firfl breath ; for which onely caufe I haue 
adventured to publifli this my fimple and plaine Difcourfe, whereunto 
my very confcience hath a long time, and still doth not forbeare to 
follicite me. 

" The profecution and perfection of the worke, I leaue to the pleafure 
of God, and your Maieflies happy diredlions, in the difcourfe and dif- 
couery whereof, if I haue either been tedious, or any other way offen- 
fiue, it is to be imputed to my want of learning : and so, though perhaps 
I doe not fatisfie fome men's curiofities, yet I hope I haue fufficienlly 
informed their iudgements ; and befeech God to incline their affections 
to the furtherance of fo pious and so profitable a bufineffe, as this 
appeareth to be. 

"And fo I reft, and euer will remaine, a faithfull and loyall Subiedl 
to your Maieftie, an hearty and trnelouerof my Countrey, and a zealous 
wellwiftier to this intended plantation. 



At Theobalos, t/w 12 of A prill 1622. 
HE COPY OF A Reference from the Kings most 


THE Right Honourable Lords of his Maiesties 
MOST Honourable Priuy Councell, to the 
MOST Reuerend Fathers in God, the Lords 
Archbishops of Canterbury and Yorke their 

|LS Maiefly is grrciously pleased, that the Lords 
Archbifliops of Canterbury and Yorke, doe in 
their feuerall Prouinces proceed according to 
the Letters of the Lords of the Councell, bearing 
date the laft of June 1621, as well in recom- 
mending Captain W/.tthourne s difcourfe con- 
cerning N'e7i)-fonnd-land, fo as the same may be 
diflributed to the feueral Parifhes of this King- 
dome, for the incouragement of Adventurers vnto the Plantation there ; 
As alfo by iurthering (in the mofl fauorable and effectuall maner they 
can) the collections to be thereupon made in all the faid Pariflies, 
towards the charge of prmting and distributing thefe bookes, and the 
faid Captaine Whttlwirne's good endeauours, and feruice with expence 
of his time and meanes in the aduancing of the faid Plantation ; and his 
feuerall great lofles receiued at Sea by Pyrats and otherwife, of which 
his Maiefly hath beene credibly certified. And further his Maiefties 
pleafure is that the faid Captaine Whitboiirne fliall haue the fole printing 
of his booke for one-and-twenty yeeres. 

Cod/aue the KiJig. 



FTER our very hearty com- 
mendations to your good 
Lorddiips, whereas Cap- 
taine Richard Whitbourne of 
Exmouth in the county of 
Deuon, Gentleman, hauing 
fpent much time in New- 
found-land (whither he hath 
made fundry voyages and 
fome by expreffe commif- 
fions) hath fet downe in 
wrytingdiuers good obferua- 
tions and notes touching the 
ftate and condition of that 
country, and the pla'itation there, wliich being by order from vs now 
printed: It is defired to be publifhed throughout the Kingdome, for 
the furthering and aduancement of the faid Plantation, and to giue 
incouragement to fuch as fhall be willing to aduenture therein, and 
aflift *he fame, either in their perfons or otherwife, to which we thinke 
the publication of this booke may much conduce. And we doe giue 
good approbation to his good indeauours and purpofe. So haue we 
thought fit earneflly to recommend him vnto your Lordfliips good 
iauours, both for the diflribution of his Books within the Prouinces of 
Canterbury and Yorke, vnto the feuerall Pariflies thereof, and alfo for 
your Lordfliips helpe and furtherance, that after his great trauels and 
charges, wherein he hath fpent much of his time and meanes, hauing 
long time been a Merchant oi good cftate, he may reape by your Lord- 
fliips afliftance fome profit of his labours, and towards the printing 
and difl;ributing the faid Bookes by fuch a voluntary contribution, as 




flialbe willingly giuen and collected for him within the feucrall parifh 
churches of the faid Prouinces : which will be both a good incourage- 
ment vnto others in the like indeauours for the feruice of their country 
and fome reward to him for his great charge, trauels, and diuers loffes 
at fea which he hath receiued, as we are credibly certified. And fo 
recommending him earnestly to your good Lordfliips, We bid your 
Lordfliips very heartily farewell. From Whitehall the laft day of 
June 1621. 

Signed by the 
Lord Treafurer, Lord Priuie Scale, Duke of Lenoxe, Marqueffe Ilam- 
bleton, Earlc of Arundell, Earle of Kelley, Lord Vifcount Doncafter, "* 
Lord Vifcount Falkland, Mafler Treafurer, Master Secretary Calvert- ' 
Master of the Rollcs. • ■ . *' 


(loi), King of Great Brittaine, France, and Irelande, 
Defender of the Faith, etc. 

glost grcab Soucraii^iu 

^T hath alwaies been my chiefeft fludie and prac- 
, tice, to feme your Maieflie and my Countrey : 
the intent of my bed labors that way, I haue pvit 
into the following Difcouery, and, vpon good 
approbation thereof by diners of your Maieflies 
mofl Honourable Priuy Councell, haue beene in- 
couraged to offer vp the fame Worke vnto your 
Ma.eftie. I conMfe my weakneffe fuch, that I 
cannot put fo fit a garment vpon it, either of ftile 
or method, as I conceiue the matter itfelfe de- 
ferueth. The fubftance of the worke, I fubmit 
to your Maieflies wifdome and iudgement ; the 
errors and things needleffe, to your Highneffe 
pardon. The purpofe thereof, is, with your Gracious allowance, lo 
beget a difpofition in all your Maiefties Subieds, for a Plantation in 
the, grounded vpon reafon of induftry, both generally 
and particularly profitable to the Vndertakers and Pofterities, as well 
in matters t)f wealth, as alfo the meanes for increafe of Defence and 
Power ; which will the better goe forward, when your Maiefties Sub- 





je<5\s are made acciuaiiited. with what facility it may be vnderlaUen ; 
and fo to worke the more eficcfhiall impreffioii in them, when they lliall 
vnderfland, that it is an Hand, neere as fpacious as Ireland, and lieth 
fo far diflant from the Continent of America, as England is from the 
neerefl i)art of France, and neere halfe the way between Ireland and 
Virginia, and the moft. part of it aboue three degrees nearer the South 
than I''ngland, and hath been already well approucd by fuch of your 
Maiellies Subje(fls as have lined theri aboue ten yeeres, that the 
Countrcy is very healthfuU and pleafant in the Winter. How commo- 
dious and beneficially that Land may be peopled with fmall charge, and 
]iroue profitable to the Vndertakers, and not hurtful! to any of your 
Maiefties Subiedts, the following Difcourfe will make it plainly appeare, 
the which was prefented vnto your Maieftie at Huntingdon in October 
lafl ; fince which time, it hath pleafed fuch of the Lords of your 
Maicflies mod Honourable Priuy Councell, at Whitehall, the 24 of 
July lad then prefent, to giue mee incouragement with their good 
appro])ation thereunto ; and ordered, that the booke Hiould be printed, 
with this further addition of their Honours favour, to be recommended 
to the Lord Archbifhop of Canterbury, and the refl of the Lords 
Bifliops, to be diftributed to the feuer; 11 Pariflies of your Maieflies 
Kingdome, for the better incouragement of fuch as fhall be willing to 
affifl that Plantation, either in their perfons or otherwife. And if your 
Maieflies Subiedls put it in triall to vndertake ; I trufl, God will giue a 
blefling to the fuccefle, whereof I haue only made a true and plaine 
Relation of the truth : if I fliould write other than the truth, there are 
many in your Maiellies Kingdomes that haue often traded to that 
Countrey, whom I fuppofe will be ready to difproue me. 

Thus being loth fT be too tedious, I mofl humbly recommend to 
God, and to your ^v'^aieflie, my endeuours, the fuccefTe thereof, and my 
poore felfe, 

Your Maieflies mofl humble 

and faithfull Subiedl 



AUIXG had my breeding for many yeeres 
together in the courfes of Marcliandizing ami 
Nauigation, I haue, through the expence of my 
tyme in that calling, fet this downe to myfelfc, 
for my (hity therein, to ohferue and colle<fl, 
wherein my labours might Ijecome profitable to 
my Countrey ; and the rather, becaufe I could 
not be ignorant, how much the maintenance 
and increafe of Shipping and Mariners con- 
cernes us, who may fitly be filled The nation of the Sea ; which 
general I reafons were more and more commemled to me, by more 
particular confiderations offered me, in the notice I took of the difpofi- 
tion and affaires of other States, to which ours hath relation ; fome 
poynts whereof cannot now feafonably be mentioned ; fome others 
proper to what I difcourfe of, will prefent themfelves in their places, as 
I fliall goe along in giuing account of my endeuours. 

Among my vndertaUings and imployments in feafaring, the mofl 
part haue been to an Ilanil, called Neiv-fouud-laiui, in part heretofore 
outwardly difcouered, but neuer looked into by ihofe difcouerers as it 
deferued ; from the beginning I found it promife well, in refpecl of the 



purpose, I had to gather fomething for the bettering of the Common- 
wealth ; and the more I made tryall of it, the more fatisfadlion it gaue 
me. Therefore I affected that course better than any other I fell vnto ; 
infomuch as I did fo fix my indufhrie vpon it, that for the qualifying of 
my trauels, I obtained Commiffion of the State to proceede in it, and 
am now come to propound to my countreymen the benefit they may 
make of an orderly Plantation and Traffique there : the following 
Difcourfe will fatisfie them if they will forgiue the vnhanfomenes of the 
forme it is put into, and look into the matter it felfe only. 

The Hand of New-found-land is large, temperate and fruiteful, the 
fruicfulneffe of it conf'fling not only in things of fuflenance for thofe 
that fliall inhabite it, but in many forts of Commodities likewife of good 
ufe and valew to be tranfported. The Natiues in it are ingenuous, and 
apt by difcreete and moderate gouernments to be brought to obedience. 
The feat is fit for Harbour and reliefe, vpon the way betweene vs and 
\'irginia, and confequently of aduantage to vs in any adlion that may 
engage us, either by way of offence or attempt, in regard of thofe parts 
of the World. The Seas are fo rich, as they are able to aduance a 
great Trade of Fifliing ; which, with God's bleffmg, will become very 
feruiceabie to the Nauie; and the increafe of Fifliing there, cannot 
defpaire of finding Fortes enow to vent the commoditie at profitable 

Now if you would vnderftand what motiues wee haue at home with 
vs to carry vs thither, doe but looke vpon the populoufnefs of our 
Countrey, to what a furfet of multitude it is fubie(5l ; confider how 
charitable for thofe that goe, and how much eafe it will be for thofe 
that flay, to put forth fome of our numbers to fuch" an imployment of 
liuing. Compare the Englifti nature with others ; and finde whether 
wee haue not as much courage as they both to vndertake and mantaine ; 
only wee lofe it in hauing leffe induflry. Turne then towards the 
Lowe Countries ; behold how they haue wonne vpon us, by taking 
aduantage of our fitting flill ; (and moft remarkable in this point of 
fifliing) which if their Audit were publiflied, would be found (I beleeue) 
one of the beft Agents they have, both for their flrength and wealth. 

There is another motiue alfo, which amongft our Aunceftors was wont 
to finde good refpedl, namely, the honour of the ad;ion, by the enlarg- 
ing of Dominions ; and that which will crowne the worke, will be the 
aduancement of the honour of God, in bringing poore Infidels (the 
Natiues of that Countrey) to his Worfliip and their own faluation. 



I commend the defigne to the entertainement of his Maieftie and his 
Kincrdomes : becaufe I efteeme it fuch a one as defe-ues, not only to be 
vndertaken, but to be gone thorow withall. 

And as it is a Proiecl of no fantafie in mee, but a truth grounded 
vpon a well-weighed experience ; fo haue I not prefumed to publifli it 
but vpon good approbation, as hath already appeared. 

If thefe confiderations, with many others here omitted, but contamed 
in the enfuing Difcourfe. may worke an impreffion in the affeaions of 
his Maiefties subieds, for the aduancement of God's glory, their owne 
and their Countries profperity, it (hall be fome content toward the 
great paines, loffes of time, and expence of my meanes that I haue 
fuftained in the profecuting thereof, for which I truft you will at leaft 
relurne your thankfuU acceptance ; and fo I remaine 

Your louing friend 

R. W. 

I i 

_-j»jj»:>j»jij>j>llt WV .SA&A.AA JJ^AAA-VA-'^ «^ «^»^'^«^«^> »ttj^ »> .^ i^ 


LTIIOUGH I well know, that it is an hard matter to 
perfwade people to aduenture into flrange Countries ; 
efpecially to remaine and fettle themfelues there, 
though the conditions thereof be neuor fo jrneficiall 
and aduantageous for them : yet I a vit uc out of 
all hope, that when it fhal be taken into confidera- 
tion, what infinite riches and aduantages other 
Nations (and in particular the Spaniards and Portugals) haue gotten 
to themfelues by their many Plantations, not onely in America, but alfo 
in Barbary, Guinnie, Binnie, and other places : And when it fhall 
plainely appeare, by the following Discourse, that the countrey of 
New-found-land (as it is here truely described) is little inferior to any 
other for the Commodities thereof ; and lies, as it were with open 
armes towards England, offering itfelfe to be imbraced, and inhabited 
by vs ; I cannot be out of hope (I fay) but tliat my Countrymen will be 
induced, either by thriuing examples of others, or by the llrength f 
reafon, to hearken, and put to their helping hands to that, which • i , 
in all likelyhood yeeld them a plentifull reward of their labors, h . 
before I enter into a discourse of the countrey itfelfe, I hold it fit to 
make knowne partly the meanes and degrees, whereby I attained vnto 
the experience and knowledge I haue thereof. 

And firfl, for mine owne poore eftate and condition, it is well- 
knowne that my breeding and courfe of life hath been fuch, as that I 
haue long time fet many people on worke, and fpent mod of my dayes 
in trauell, fpecially in Merchandizing, and Sea Voyages. I haue been 
often in France, Spaine, Italy, Portugall, Sauoy, Denmarke, Norway, 
Spruceland, the Canaries, and Soris Hands : and for the New-found- 
land, it is almofl fo familiarly knowne to me as my owne Countrey. 



In the yeere 1588, I feruecl vnder the then Lord Admirall, as 
Captaine in a (> p of my owne, fet foorth at my charge againl the 
Spanilh Armada : and after fuch time as that feruice was ended, taking 
my leaue of his Honour, I had his fauourable Letters to one Sir Robert 
Dennis, in the County of Deuon, Knight ; whereby there might bee 
fome courfe taken, that the charge as well of my owne fhip, as alfo of 
two other, and a Pinnace, with the victuals, and men therein imployed, 
fliould not be any way burthenfome to me. Wherein there was fuch 
order giuen by the then right Honourable Lords of the priuie Councell, 
that the fame was well latisfied ; which feruice is to bee feene recorded 
in the Booke at White- Hall. 

Now, to exprefle fome of my Voyages to the New-found-land, which 
make mofl for the prefent purpofe . 

My fii-ft Voyage thither, was about 40. yeeres fince, in a worthy fliip 
of the burthen of 300. Tunne, fet forth by one Mafler Cotton of South- 
hampton ; we were bound to the grand Bay (which lieth on the North- 
fide of that Land,) purpofing there to trade then with the Sauage people 
(for whom we carried fundry commodities) and to kill Whales, and to 
make Trayne oyle, as the Bifcaines doe there yeerely m great abundance. 
But this our intended Voyage was ouerthrowne, by the indiscretion of 
our Captaine, and faint-heartedneffe of fome gentlemen of our company: 
whereupon we fet faile from thence, and bare with Trinity Harbor in 
New-found-land : where we killed great (lore of Fish, Deere, Beares, 
Beauers, Scales, Otters, and fuch like, with abundance of Sea-fowle, 
and fo returning for England, we arriued fafe at South-hampton. 

In a voyage to that Countrey about 36. yeeres fince, I had then the 
command of a worthy fhip of 220. Tun, fet forth liy one Mafler Crooke 
of South-hampton : At that time Sir Humfrey Gilbert, a Deuonlliire 
Knight, came thither with two good Ships and a Pinnace, and brought 
with him a large Patent, fio the late mofl renowned Queene Elizabeth, 
and in her name took poffeffion of that Co ' .ey, in the Harbour of 
S. Johns, whereof I was an eye-witneffe. He failed from thence towards 
Virginia ; and by reafon of fome vnhappy direction in his courfe, the 
greatefl fliip he had, flrucke vpon Shelues, on the Coafl of Canadie, 
and was there lofl, with mofl part of the company in her : And hee 
himfelfe being then in a fmall Pinnace of 20. Tun, in the Company of 
his Vice-Admiral (one Captain Hayes) returning towards Englard, in 
a great florme, was ouerwhelmed with the Seas, and fo perished. 
In another voyage I made thither, about 34. yeeres pa.l, wherein I 



had the command of a good fhip partly mine owne ; at that time one 
Sir Bernard Drake of Deuonfhire, Knight, came thither with a Com- 
miffion, and hauing diners good Ships vnder his command, he there 
tooke many Portugall Ships laden with fifli, and brought them into 
England as Prizes. 

Omitting to fpeake of other Voyager I made thither, during the late 
Queenes Raigne, I will defcend to later times. 

In the yeere 1612, being in New-found-land, at which time that 
famous Arch- Pirate, Peter Easton, came there, and had with liim ten 
fayle of good fliips well furniflied and very rich, I was kept eleuen 
weekes vnder his commaund, and had Irom him many golden promifes 
and much wealth offered to be put into my hands, as it is well knowne: 
I did perswade him much to defist from his euill courfe ; his intreaties 
then to me, being, that I would come for England, to fome friends of 
his, and foUicite them to become humble petitioners to your Maieflie 
for his pardon : but hauing no warrant to touch fuch goods, I gaue 
him thanks for his offer ; onely I requested him to releafe a fliip that 
he had taken vpon the Coast of Guinnie, belonging to one Captaine 
Raflily of Foy in Cornewall ; a man whom I knew but only by report : 
which he accordingly releafed. Whereupon I prouided men, victuals, 
and a fraught for the faid ftiip, and so sent her home to Dartmouth in 
Deuon, though I neuer had fo much as thanks for my kindneffe therein. 
And fo leaning Easton, I came for England, and gaue notice of his 
intention, letting paffe my Voyage that I mtended for Naples, and lofl 
both my labour and charges : for before my arriuall, there was a 
Pardon granted, and fent him from Ireland. But Easton houering 
with thofe fhips and riches vpon the Coafl of Barbary, as he promifed, 
with a longing defire, and full expectation to be called home, loft that 
hope, by a too much delaying of time by him who carried the pardon. 
Whereupon he fayled to the Straights of Gibraltar, and was afterwards 
entertained by the Duke of Sauoy, vnder whom he liued rich. 

I was there alfo in the yeere 1614, when Sir Henry Manwaring was 
vpon that Coaft, with fine good Ships ftrongly prouided ; he caufed me 
to fpend much time in his company, and from him I returned into 
England ; although I was bound from thence to Maifellis, to make fale 
of fuch goods as I then had, and other imployments &c. 

In the yeere 1615 I returned againe to New-found-land, carrying 
with me a Commiffion out of the high Court of Admiraltie, vnder the 
great Scale thereof, authorifing me to empannell luries, and to make 



inquirie vpon oath, of fundiy abufes and diforders committed amonj^a 
fiHiermen yeerely vpon that Coaft, and of the fitteft means to redrelTe 
the fame, with fome other poynts, hauing a more particular relation to 
the Office of the Lord Admirall. 

What was then there done, by vertue of that Commiffion, which was 
wholly executed at my owne charge, hath been at large by me already 
certified into the high Court of Admiraltie. Neuertheleffe, feeing the 
fame hath been ouerdipt euer fince, and not produced thofe good effects 
which were expeded, I will, in fome conuenient place of this Difcourfe, 
set downe a briefe coUedion of fome part of my endeauors fpent m that 
feruice ; not doubting but it will be as auaileable for the furtherance of 
our intended defigne, as any other reafon I Hmll deliuer. 

In the yeere 1616 I had a Ship at New-found-land of 100. Tun, 
which returning laden from thence, being bound for Lisbone, was met 
with by a French Pyrate of Rochell, one Daniel Tibolo, who rifled her, 
to the ouerthrowand loffe of my Voyage, in more then the fumme of 
860. pounds, and cruelly handled the Mafter and the Company that 
were in her: rnd although I made good proofe thereof at Lisbone, and 
reprefented the fame alfo to this Kingdome, as appertained, after my 
returne from thence ; yet for all this great loffe, 1 could neuer haue any 


Shortly after my returne from Lisbone, 1 was fent for by a Gentleman, 
who about a yeere before, by a grant from the Patentees, had vnder- 
taken to fettle people in New-found-land ; he acquainted me with his 
defKMies, and after fome conference touching the fame we fo concluded, 
that^'he gaue me a conueyance vnder his hand and feale for the terme of 
my life, with full power to gouerne within his circuit upon that coaft ; 
whereupon (being defirous to aduance that worke; in Anno 1618 I 
flxlyled thither in a fliippe of my owne, which was vidualled by that 
gentleman, my felfe, and fome others. We likewife then did fet forth 
another Ship, for a fillnng Voyage, which alfo carried fome viduals for 
thofe people which had been formerly fent to inhabite there : but this 
- Ship was intercepted by an Englifla erring Captaine (that went forth 
with Sir Walter Rawleigh) who tooke the Mafter of her, the Boatfwame, 
and two other of the beft men, with much of her viduals (the reft of 
the company for feare running into the woods) and fo left the Ship as a 
Prize, whereby our intended Fifliing voyages of both our Shippes were 
ouerthrowne, and the Plantation hindered. 

Now feeing it pleafed your Maieftie many yeeres fince, to take good 



notice of the faicl New-found-land, and granted a Patent for a Plantation 
there, wherein many Honorable and worthy mens endeauours, and 
great charge therein, haue deferued good commendations (as is well 
knowne) the which I defire to further with all ny befl endeauours : and 
not to difgrace or difable the foundation and Projecfls of others, knowing 
they haue been greatly hindered by Pyrats and fome erring fubjecls that 
haue arriued upon that coaft ; it being indifferent to niee, whether there 
be a new foundation laide, or whether it be build ed on that which hath 
already been begun ; fo that the Plantation goe forward. Yet I may 
truly fay, that hitherto little hath been performed to any purpofe, by 
fuch as therein were imployed, worthy the name of a Plantation, or 
anfwerable to the expedation and defert of the Vndertakei-s ; neither 
haue fuch good effe<fts followed, as may be expected from a thorow 
performance hereafter. And leeing that no man hath yet publiflied any 
fit motiues or inducements, whereby to perfuade men to aduenture, or 
plant there ; I haue prefumed plainely to lay doM'n thefe following 
reafous, which is the principall end 1 aime at, whereby to further that 
worke so worthily intended, by prefcribing fit means how a Plantation 
might be fettled there ; and haue therefore undertaken it, as wtU 
to difcharge my confcience, which hath often prompted me thereunto, 
as hoping thereby to flir vp many of your Maieflies good and religious 
8ubie(fts duly to weigh the pietie, honour and benefit that will arife from 
fuch a worke, confidering how your Maiefties Kingdomes doe abound 
and ouerflow with people. And although I haue often fuffered great 
loffes by Pyrates and Sea-Rouers, and other cafualties of the fea, yet in 
this poynt, I haue tafted of Gods exceeding great mercy, that neuer any 
Ship, wherein I my felfe was prefent, mifcarried, or came to any 
mifchance, or any cafualty of the Sea, whereunto all Ihips are fubjedl : 
fo as I may well fay, that my life hath been a mixture of crofles and 
comforts, wherein neuertheleffe they haue not been fo equally ballanced, 
but that the one hath ouerweighed the other : for now, after more than 
forty yeeres fpent in the forefaid courfes, there i-emaines little other 
fruite vnto me, fauing the peace of a good confcience, which giues me 
this teftimony that I haue euer been a loyall fubiedl to my Prince, and 
a true louer of my Countrey, and was neuer yet in all my time beholding 
to any Doctors counfell, or Apothecaries drugs, for the preferuation of 
my health ; and it will be to me a contentment, if I may be fo happy as 
to become the inflrument of any publike good heerein : And fo I 
defcend to the particular Relation of the Countrey, &c. 


Description, and relation of some things omitted in 
THE former Discourse. 

ENTLE Reader, feeing my former Difcourse 
recieued fuch good approbation and allowance 
before it was printed, it puts me in fome hope, 
it will alfo receiue good acceptance from all his 
Maieflies well-affected subjects, now that it is 
publiflied : the which when I shall vnderftand 
by their thankfull acceptance, I shall be in- 
couraged the more willingly, to fet forth what I 
haue obferued touching the Altitude of fome head-lands of that coafl, 
on the Eafl fide of the New-found-land, and alfo the Deepes, and Seueral 
foundings, that I haue taken notice of in my trauels to that Countrey ; 
which I conceiue to be neceffary for thofe that trade thither ; which as 
yet no man, to my knowledge, hath vndertaken ; and alfo be ready with 
my life and means whatseuer I haue, or may haue in this World, to 
difcouer other Bayes and Harbours round about that land, which are 
yet undifcouered, whereby to finde out fome other new Trades with the 
Natiues of the Countrey ; for they haue great (lore of red oaker, which 
they vfe to colour their Bodies, Bowes and Arrowes, and Cannowes 
withall, which Cannowes are built in fliape, like the Wherries on the 
Riuer of Thames ; but that they are much longer, made with the rinds of 
Birch trees ; which they sowe very artificially and clofe together, and 
ouerlay euery feame with Turpentine ; and in like manner they fowe 



the rindes of Spruce trees, round and deepe, in proportion like a hrafTc 
kettle, to boyle their meate in, which hath been well proued by three 
Mariners of a Shippe, riding at Anchor by mee, who being robbed in 
the night by the Sauages, of their apparell and diuers prouifions, did 
the next day feeke after them, and came fuddainely where they had set 
vp three Tents and were feafling, hauing three Cannowes by them, and 
had three pots made of fuch rindes of trees, ftanding each of them on 
three (lones boyling with twelue Fowles in each of them ; euery Fowie 
as bigge as a Widgeon, and fome fo bigge as a Ducke : they had alfo 
many fuch pots fo fowed, and fafnioned like the leather buckets that 
are vfed for quenching of fire, and thofe were full of the yolkes of egges, 
that they had taken and boyled hard, and fo dried fmall, which the 
Sauages vfed in their broth, as fugar is vfed in fome meates : they had 
great (lore of the flcinnes of Deere, Beauers, Beares, Scales, Otters, 
and diuers other fine fkinnes which were well dreffed ; as alfo great 
flore of feueral forts of flesh dryed ; and by fliooting off a Mufket to- 
wards them, they all ran away naked without any apparell, but only 
their hats on their heads, which were made of Scales fkinnes, in fafhion 
like our hats, fowed handfomely with narrow bands about them, fet 
round with fine white (hels, fuch as are carried from Portugal! to 
Brafeile ; where they pafle to the Indians as ready money. All their 
three Cannowes, their Flefli, Skinnes, Yolks of Egges, Targets, Bowes 
and Arrowes, and much fine Okar and diuers other things, they tooke 
and brought away, and (hared it amongft thofe three that tooke it, and 
brought to me the bed Cannowe, Bowes and Arrowes, and diuers of 
their Skinnes, and many other things worth the noting ; which may 
feeme to inuite vs to find out some other trades with them. 

Now alfo I will not omit to relate fomething of a flrange Creature 
that I firft faw there in the yeere 1610, in a morning early as I was 
ftanding by the waterfide, in the Harbour of Saint lohns : which 
I efpyed very fwiftly to come fwimming towards me, looking chcerefully, 
as it had l^een a woman, by the Face, Eyes, Nofe, Mouth, Chin, Eares, 
Necke and Forehead : It feemed to be fo beautifull and in thofe parts 
fo well proportioned, hauing round about vpon the head, all blew 
ftrakes, refembling hayre, downe to the Necke (but certainly it was no 
haire :) for I beheld it long, and another of my Company alfo, yet 
liuing, that was not then farre from me ; and feeing the fame comming 
fo fwiftly towards me, I stepped backe, for it was come within the 
length of a long Pike. Which when this ftrange Creature faw, that 


I went from it, it prefently theievipon diued a little vndci water, and 
did fwim towards the place where before I landed ; whereby I beheld 
the shoulders and backe downe to the middle, to be as fquare, white 
and fmoothe as the backe of a man, and from the middle to the hinder 
part, poynting in proportion like a broad hooked Arrow ; how it was 
proportioned in the forepart, from the necke and flioulders, I know not ; 
but the fame came fliortly after unto a Boate, wherein one William 
Hawkridge, then my feruant, was, that hath bn fmce a Captaine in a 
Ship to the Eaft Indies, and is lately there imployed againe by Sir 
Thomas Smith, in the like Voyage ; and the fame Creature did put 
both his hands vpon the fide of the Boate. and did llriue to come in to 
him and others in the faid Boate : whereat they were afraide ; and one 
of them arooke it a full blow on the Head ; whereby it fell off from 
them : and afterwards it came to two other Boats in the faid Harbour ; 
the men in them, for fetu-e fled to land : This (I fupijofe) was a Mare- 
maide. 'Now becaufe diuers haue written much of Maremaids, I haue 
prefumed to relate, what is mofl certaine of fuch a ftrange Creature that 
was f6ene at New-found-land : AVhether it were a Maremaid or .no, I 
know not ; I leaue for others to judge, ike. R. W. 

li I