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was knighted, and his ship, the ‘Pelican,' visited in state by the Queen. Drake was also lavish in his presents to the great officers about the Court. To the Lord Keeper, Sir Thomas Bromley, he gave silver plate valued at eight hundred dollars, and to other members of the Council presents almost as costly. To the Lord Treasurer, Lord Burleigh, he offered ten bars of curiously chased gold, and to the Earl of Sussex vases and fountains of silver ornamented with gold. The two latter, however, declined the rich presents offered them. Ten thousand pounds out of the treasure were reserved for Drake and his crew ; the merchant adventurers who had fitted out the expedition were paid by the Queen cent. per cent on their shares; and the remainder' was taken into the custody of the royal officers, the chests being at first stored in Saltash Castle, and afterwards brought to London and deposited formally in the Tower. Thus Elizabeth assumed the responsibility for the expedition by receiving the proceeds of it.
This celebrated expedition of Drake may be taken as a type of many audacious, though less distinguished, enterprises which have remained unknown to fame except in the form of a brief Narrative in Hakluyt, Harris's great folios of Voyages, or Pinkerton's Collection, and which we have not space here to describe particularly. It is a pity, for these men were the Argonauts of the modern world, and their roughly-hewn stories of what they saw and what they did have a charm of their own. Some of them acted more as traders, others more as pirates; all were incidentally and more or less discoverers, and all carried their lives in their hands wherever they sailed. Whatever were their merits or their demerits, it was they, as a class, who made the English the boldest, hardiest, and most skilful seafaring population in the world.
The exploring voyages to North America had also their interest and their triumphs, and their results proved eventually far more important to the world than the glittering spoils of Drake and his comrades; but they had little or none of that romantic charm which fired the popular imagination.
The mainland of North America was in fact discovered by an English expedition, though commanded by a Venetian,
Edmund Tremayne, the magistrate who was directed to make an inventory of the treasure and to take it over from the ‘Pelican,' was expressly instructed to afford Drake an opportunity of removing an unknown portion of the treasure for his own share before the making of the inventory was begun, which was done accordingly (Domestic MSS., November 1580; Simancas MSS., October 30, descifrada de Don Bernardino ; and Corbett, p. 90).
John Cabot.' King Henry VII. furnished him with two ships and three hundred men, stipulating that he should receive one-fifth of the profits of the adventure. He sailed in the spring of 1497, and sighted land in 45° N. lat. ; then turning northwards, ran along until he reached 60° N. lat., i.e. the coast of Labrador.
Cabot seems to have reached as far southward as Chesapeake Bay. The main thing attained in this voyage was the discovery of the mainland and the exploration of the magnificent inlet known as the Gulf of St. Lawrence. There were no profits of trading, and the country was, as far as Cabot could discover, uninhabited. He was astonished at the extreme cold of Labrador, it being in the same latitude, or nearly so, as the British Isles. He had expected a similarly genial climate, instead of which he found all things ice-bound and huge bergs still blocking the harbours. The Gulf Stream and its beneficent influences upon the climate of Western Europe was of course then unknown, and unsuspected by Cabot. His son Sebastian, afterwards himself a distinguished discoverer, was with his father on this voyage.
The next name to be mentioned in the annals of northwestern exploration is that of Martin Frobisher. His first voyage was not until 1576. Domestic troubles and religious dissensions, the rebellion of Northumberland and the fires of Smithfield, lay between the two, and people had no heart for enterprise in that direction for the time. It is a symptom of the greater degree of peace at home that, when Frobisher's little squadron sailed, as it passed by the Court, then being held at Greenwich, ‘her Majesty (Elizabeth] was pleased to give us farewell by shaking her hand at us out of the window. It is the master of the Gabriel, Mr. Hall, who gives the brief record of the voyage ; nor is there much worth relating ; but a curious circumstance caused the voyage to be immediately repeated, which otherwise would probably not have been the case; for after the Captain's arrival in London it happened that one of the Adventurers' Wives threw a piece of black Stone into the fire, which the Captain had brought home this Voyage, which being taken forth and quenched in Vinegar glistered like Gold; whereupon some Refiners in London making an Assay of it reported that it held Gold, and that very richly for the quantity, and promised great matters from it if any Store could be found, offering themselves to adventure for the
Antonio Galvano, Discoveries, p. 417, calls him Cabota. (Translated and published by Hakluyt).
We ought not to omit to mention John Verazzani, an Italian in the French service, who paid a passing visit to this coast about 1527.
searching of those parts ; and some secretly endeavoured to get a Lease from her Majesty, thereby to ingross the whole profit to themselves.'
Another expedition sailed accordingly the next year (1577), on Sunday, May 26, after having all received the Communion aboard the “Aid ”[the largest vessel] from the Minister of Gravesend, and prepared ourselves as good Christians and resolute Men for all fortunes. They reached the coast of Greenland safely, found there a mine of silver,' but could not be gotten out of the Rocks without great labour,' and freighted their vessels 'with such Stone, or supposed Gold-mineral, as he thought might countervail the Charges of both his Voyages to these Countries.' It would be too long to give an account of their curious dealings with the natives. One old woman the sailors took to be a witch, and they pulled off her Buskins to see if she were cloven-footed'!
Theore' which Frobisher had brought this second voyage gave so much satisfaction that he was sent out again in 1578 with a great fleet, fifteen vessels in all, and with charge as well to procure more of the 'ore'as to endeavour to discover a passage to 'Cathaia' (China). The season, however, was unfavourable; the ships became entangled in the ice, and some of them were lost. They did not pass through Frobisher's Strait this voyage, but sailed sixty leagues up a broad inlet, which seems to have been no other than Hudson's Strait. Frobisher himself was confident that he might and could have gone thro' to the South Sea, and dissolved the long doubt of a Passage to Cathaia.'?
Sir Humphrey Gilbert's expedition in 1583 was an attempt to found a colony on the coast of North America, and was shared in by Mr. Walter Raleigh, who fitted out the bark ‘Raleigh,' of 200 tons, as one of the squadron under Gilbert's command. But this vessel put back after the sailing of the fleet, for some reason unexplained. The four remaining vessels arrived safely at the harbour of St. John's, Newfoundland, of which harbour and 200 leagues every way' he took possession under his commission or grant from the Queen. But this seems to have been an ill-managed enterprise, nor were the members held under proper discipline. Some of the vessels gave themselves up to indiscriminate piracy; many seamen deserted; the commander, a highminded man, but somewhat visionary and unpractical, was speedily obliged to set sail for England; and on the voyage back his vessel was cast away and all hands drowned. The 1 Harris, Voyages, ii. 575.
attempt to establish a colony entirely failed, and the only incident in it worthy to be recalled is that fine saying of the commander the day before his lamentable shipwreck, which has since frequently expressed the legitimate confidence of seafaring people--- We are as near to heaven by sea as by land.''
The question of a north-west passage to China had by this time begun to engage the attention of the trading community in England, and the following expeditions were distinctly of an exploring character. They were mere summer voyages under Captain John Davis in 1585, 1586, and 1587, and in each case sailed in the middle of May and were back again in England by the middle of September. The only result of this series of voyages was the exploration of the great inlet (as it was then supposed to be) named, after the commander, Davis's Straits, as far as 72° 12' N. lat. Davis was in the right track to reach the passage, which, however, could never have been found, in all probability, with ships dependent on the wind, and therefore liable to be becalmed for long periods in those high latitudes. The discovery was of necessity reserved for steamships.
We may pass over without special notice the voyages of Ralph Fitch (1583-91), George Weymouth (1602), John Knight (1606), Jonas Pool ? (1609, 1611, 1612), Benjamin Joseph and Thomas Edge (1613). These were for the most part whaling voyages by single ships or small fleets sent out by the Muscovia Company. This trade or fishery was now well established, and so flourishing that the English vessels were sent out heavily armed, in order to drive ships of other nations off the fishing grounds, or oblige them to pay tolls for permission to fish. Little attempt was made, under these circumstances, to explore farther, the brief Arctic summer being otherwise employed by the ships. Yet there were exceptions : William Baffin was twice commissioned by the Muscovia Company to seek for the north-west passage only. He seems rather to complain in his report that he was left unfurnished with whaling tackle, which would have enabled him to make a saving voyage.' He, however, discovered Baffin's Bay. He proceeded farther north than Davis had done, as is evident from his mention of Smith's Sound or Strait ; but he cannot have examined the western side of Davis's Strait very closely, and therefore the true character
Narrative, by Captain Edward Hayes. 2 "Who was basely murthered betwixt Ratcliff and London after his return from this [latter] voyage.'
of Lancaster Sound, with the North-West Passage, which he was seeking, behind it, remained unknown to him.
We come back now to the last distinguished name among the Elizabethan explorers--Henry Hudson. His expeditions were sent out at the cost of certain merchants of London.' The first sailed in 1607, and penetrated some distance into the great inlet afterwards called by his name; but, foggy weather coming on, he was obliged to return. The following year he sailed again, to try for a passage in a north-easterly direction, round the north of Asia. After reaching the island of Nova Zembla, however, he was entangled in the ice and prevented from getting farther, so that he returned even earlier than usual. Nothing worth recording occurred this voyage.
The final voyage, which has invested Hudson's name with a tragical interest, began in April 1610. The ship's company consisted of twenty-three persons. Hudson's impression-a mistaken one, as is now known was that Hudson's Bay was an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean, or at least had communication with it, and his object was to explore it thoroughly on all sides. With this view he determined to winter in those regions, although very insufficiently supplied with provisions. Whether this was a sudden impulse we have no means of knowing: it was unquestionably an ill-judged one. There had been a want of harmony and cordiality in the crew from the first, and Hudson had found himself obliged (or thought himself so) to displace his officers and appoint others. Upon a discontented and ill-compacted crew the hardships of an Arctic winter fell with peculiar severity and aroused a spirit almost mutinous. They blamed the commander for their sufferings.
*We were victualled for six Months in good proportion, and of that which was good, and if our Master would have had more he might have been supplied at home and in other places : and it is strange that he did not prevent the Hunger we endured, which occasioned the overthrow of himself and many other honest Men.' All were reduced to great extremity. The unfortunate master at length delivered all the Bread out of the Bread room, which came to a pound apiece for every man's share; and delivered also a Bill of Return, willing them to have that to show, if it should please God they should come home; and wept when he gave it to them.' The crew were past being touched by the distress of their commander. “They had not
1 Abacuk Pricket's Journal.