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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 one Thomas Allen, who received of Captain Frobisher two ingots of fine gold, and two ingots of fine silver, the first weighing 9 dwts. 8 grs., and the second 7 oz. 18 dwts., which were the proceeds of 4 cwt. of ore, brought on the second voyage, being the first proof made by Jonas Schutz in a furnace built on Tower Hill. The most exaggerated accounts were in circulation as to the enormous quantity of gold brought home. One of the old chroniclers says that “such great quantity of gold appeared, that some letted not to give out for certaintie, that Solomon had his gold from thence, wherewith he builded his temple."*
What the produce of the three voyages amounted to does not appear; but it is stated that the subscriptions for the three expeditions amounted to 20,3451., of which Queen Elizabeth advanced 4,0001.
We have gone into this brief detail, not only because Frobisher was the first man who set about to discover a north-west passage to China, and the first who penetrated a strait leading in that direction, thereby holding out encouragement to those who subsequently followed in the same pursuit ; but because, by his skill and gallant conduct, he assisted Queen Elizabeth most essentially in humbling the arrogant pretensions of Philip of Spain, and in the destruction of his vaunted Armada. He
* Holinshed's Chronicle.
stood high always in the estimation of Queen Elizabeth, and lost his life in her service.
Nothing further is heard of Frobisher until the year 1585, when a fleet was fitted out to annoy the King of Spain in the West Indies, who had manifested a disposition to go to war with Elizabeth, by laying an embargo upon all the English ships, goods, and seamen, found in his ports, which in fact was considered the first step to a declaration
This fleet consisted of twenty-one ships and pinnaces, in one of which, the Primrose, Martin Frobisher commanded as Vice-Admiral, Sir Francis Drake being Admiral in the Elizabeth Bonaventure. General Carlisle was appointed to command a certain number of troops sent on this conjoint expedition, of which the only account we have is said to have been drawn up by Captain Walter Briggs, under the direction of Lieutenant-General Carlisle; but he dying on the voyage, the narrative was given to a Lieutenant Cripps, who handed it over to Lieutenant Cates, who gave it for publication to Hakluyt. It were needless to say that Drake and Frobisher, and the rest of the naval officers, had their full share of labour and credit, though it does not appear that any separate account of them has been published. It will be enough here to say, the cities or towns of St. Jago, Carthagena, St. Domingo, and the small establishments of St. Augustin and a small adjacent town,