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THIRD VOYAGE, 1578.
The Queen, the whole Court, and the adventurers, were so delighted with the great show of profit which the abundance of gold ore held forth, and, as Hakluyt tells us, with the hope of the passage to Cathaia by this last voyage greatly increased, it was at once determined that the expedition was highly worthy of being followed up; and it was further resolved upon, by the Queen in Council, that a colony should be established on Meta incoynita—the newly discovered country. To effect this, fifteen ships (Purchas says thirteen) were put in preparation, among which were distributed one hundred persons with materials to form the settlement, who were to remain there the whole year, keeping with them three of the ships, the remainder to bring back cargoes of gold ore. Frobisher was constituted Admiral and General, and was presented by the Queen with a gold chain, and all the captains had the honour to kiss her Majesty's hand.
A code of instructions, consisting of fifteen articles, was drawn up by Frobisher on this occasion, to be observed by the fleet. Two of these may be given as a specimen.
“ Art. 1. Imprimis. To banishe swearing, dice, cards’ playing, and all filthie talk, and to serve God twice adaie,
with the ordinarie service, usuall in the Church of England; and to clear the glasse everie nighte, according to the oulde order of England.*
“ Art. 8. If any man in the fleete come upon [burnt : qu. another] in the nighte and haile his fellowe, knowinge him not, he shall give him this watche worde,— Before the world was God;' the other shall answer, if he be one of our fleete, — After God came Christ, his sonne.' Soe that if any be found amongst us, not of our own companie, he that firste descrieth any such saile or sailer shall give warning to the Admyrall.”
And he concludes thus :
“I am to require you, in her Majestie's name, that you faile not to observe these Articles as neare as you maie Given this first of June, 1578.
(Signed) “ MARTYN FURBUSHER.”
They reached Friesland on the 20th of June, without any thing remarkable happening, except that near this place the Salamander (one of the squadron) being under her courses and bonnet, happened to strike on a great whale with her full
* The meaning of this expression is now doubtful among nautical men.-It cannot be to measure the watches, by clearing it once only in twenty-four hours. It cannot have been used to measure the ship's way, as there was neither log-line nor log-book before the year 1607. In the first volume of the Archæologia, in the accounts of the churchwardens, is an entry, “ 1591, Payde for an howr-glasse for the pullpitt, 3s. 4d.” Did the length of the sermon “ cleare the glass ” ? as has been suggested to me by a learned friend.
+ MSS. Otho E 8, British Museum.
stem, with such a blow, that the ship stood still, and neither stirred forward nor backward. “The whale thereat made a great and hideous noise, and casting up his body and taile, presently sanke under
On attempting to enter the strait, previously discovered, they found it barred up with mountains of ice, and the bark Dennis received such a blow, that she sunk among it, and others were in very great danger. Unfortunately, the Dennis had on board the houses and furniture for the settlers, all of which was lost. A storm dispersed the whole fleet, some being swept among the fragments into the strait, and others into the sea; and when they got together again they were so bewildered with the snow and mist, and so driven about by the tides and currents, the noise of which is stated to be equal “ to the waterfall of London Bridge,” that the masters and pilots of the fleet doubted where they were. Two of their ships had parted company, the rest followed the General to the northwest coast of Greenland, thence to the northward, when at length they, or most of them, arrived at and entered Frobisher's Strait, where it was intended to land the settlers on the Countess of Warwick's Island; but from the loss occasioned by the sinking of the Dennis, and the want of drink and fuel for one hundred men, the greatest store being
in the missing ships, it was decided in council, that no habitation should be there this year.
Captain Best, of the Ann Francis, one of the missing ships, discovered a great black island, in which such plenty of ore was found “as might reasonably suffice all the gold gluttons of the world;" to this black island, for good luck's sake, the captain gave the name of “ Best’s Blessing."*
The 30th of August having arrived, it was decided at a second council, for divers good and substantial reasons, that each captain and owner should look to the lading of his own ship, and that by a certain day they should set sail for England. After a stormy passage, in which the fleet suffered much distress, they arrived at different ports of England about the beginning of October, with the loss by death of about forty persons.
After the return from this third voyage, the Queen's ministers and the other adventurers were more desirous of having the accounts examined and audited, than of giving any further consideration about the north-west passage. For this purpose Mr. Michael Lok, treasurer of the Company of Cathaia, was commissioned by the adventurers, among whom was enrolled the name of the Queen. From these accounts it appears that the subscription for the first voyage was 8751. The subscription to the second voyage amounted to 51501. The third ship on
this voyage, the Ayde, was purchased from the Queen for 7501., and a present of 1001. to the Lord Admiral besides was charged. The expedition consisted of 143 persons; namely, 36 officers and gentlemen, 14 miners and finers, 64 mariners on board the Ayde, 16 in the Michael, and 13 in the Gabriel.
The mineral ore which they brought back was lodged in the Queen's storehouse on Tower Hill, where two small furnaces were erected for making the assays and experiments, on which were employed John Baptista Agnello, Jonas Schutz, and Robert Denam, the two last of whom were sent to Windsor to report the result of the proofs. The Lord Treasurer allowed, by agreement, the premises at Dartford, where mills and furnaces were erected on a large scale, to be made use of; and here 140 tons of ore, besides what was brought to the Tower, were received from Bristol, where it had been landed from the Ayde and Gabriel.
The third voyage had been undertaken upon a much larger scale, consisting of the Ayde, Michael, Gabriel, and Judith, with nine other ships; and they brought home 1296 tons of ore, which were deposited at Dartford, where the smelting and refining were carried on with some success by John Baptista Agnello, Jonas Schutz, Doctor Burcotranik, Robert Denam, and William Humfrey. Among the property of the company is mentioned that of