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alone, in the Moonshine, proceeded round the ice, and found the land in lat. 66° 33', long. 70°,*
voyd of trouble, without snow or ice.” Here it consisted of a group of islands—no doubt the whale islands to the southward of Disco, a portion of Greenland long settled by the Danes.
Here the temperature was so much changed as to be found very hot, and they were much troubled with a fly, “which is called muskyto, for they did sting grievously.” Leaving this coast, Davis made the land on the opposite side in lat. 66° 17'. Hence they continued southerly, and on the 28th of August fell in with a fair harbour in lat. 56°, and sailed ten leagues into the same, “ with fine woods on both sides." This was on the west coast of Labradore, and is that named on the charts “ Davis's Inlet.” The weather now setting in stormy and tempestuous, they weighed anchor, and arrived in England in the beginning of October.
It may be remarked that, in all this latter part of his track, which laid the foundation of all, that has since been discovered, of the north-west passage down to the present time, Davis was entirely alone in his little bark, the Moonshine, the Mermaid having gone home, and, as should have been stated, he had, on his arrival off Cape Farewell, ordered the Sunshine and the North Star to search for a passage to the north ward along the east coast of Greenland, and between it and Iceland, along which they proceeded as far as the lat. 80°.* These little vessels on the 12th of June put into Iceland, and remained there a few days, then proceeded northerly till the 3rd of July, when getting between two islands of fixed ice, they were but too glad to escape; and coasting Greenland southerly along the ice some three leagues from the shore, they arrived on the 17th at the Land of Desolation, crossed over to Gilbert's Sound, the appointed rendezvous, where they remained till the 31st, and hearing nothing of their admiral, departed for England, where the Sunshine arrived on the 5th of October: having separated from the North Star in a violent storm, this little ship was never more heard of.
* The longitude of 70° would place him in the very midst of the unknown land of Cumberland, and must therefore be an error. * If this be so, the Sunshine and North Star advanced full 5° to the northward, higher than any other ship, before or since.
THIRD VOYAGE, 1587.
The adventurers, concerned in the last two voyages, had no reason to be satisfied, in regard to any profitable returns being made; but as the intrepid Davis was still sanguine as to the existence of a passage and the ultimate discovery of it, and his patron, Mr. W. Sanderson, equally sanguine, the means of making a third voyage were speedily set on foot; and that the merchant adventurers might not remain without the hope of some return on a new attempt, it was decided that, of the three ships now proposed
to be fitted out, two of them should be appropriated to the fishery, and one pinnace only for the discovery. The ships were the Elizabeth of Dartmouth, the Sunshine of London, and the clincher Helena. The first object of Davis appears to have been that of following up the discovery of the wide strait he had entered the last voyage; and to effect this he took the Helena alone, and ascended the west coast of Greenland, named by him the London Coast, till he reached lat. 72° 12', finding the sea all open to the westward and to the northward. He now left that part of the coast, which he called “Hope Sanderson,” and stood back to the southward and westward. Davis then ascended the southern strait he had discovered on the first voyage, proceeded up it sixty leagues, and fell in with groups of islands, which he named Cumberland Islands; passing to the south-east, he opened out Frobisher's Strait, which he named Lumley's Inlet, sailed past Warwick's Foreland, and crossed another large inlet, to the southern cape of which he gave the name of Chidley. This inlet is that which bears the modern name of Hudson on our charts, but which is, in fact, a discovery of Davis. Baffin's Bay, long afterwards traversed by Baffin and Bylot, was also entered by Davis, and the discovery of it is justly his due.
He had placed the two ships, appropriated to the fishery, about the southern entrance of his strait, which were by agreement to wait his return; but he looked for them in vain, and supposed that, having completed their cargoes, they had gone home, leaving him and his little ship to take care of themselves. “I came to the place," he says, “where I left the ships to fishe, but found them not; then, being forsaken and left in this distresse, referring myselfe to the merciful providence of God, shaped my course for England, and, unhoped for of any, God alone relieving me, I arrived at Dartmouth." Important this last discovery certainly was.
To Baffin's Bay, and to that alone, we are indebted for all that is valuable in the prosecution of the recent voyages for the discovery of the north-west passage. It opened out Lancaster Sound, from which to Behring's Strait there is, with little or no doubt, a direct passage through a sea unencumbered with either ice or land. Why this route, pursued only by Parry, and the subsequent deviations from it, have not succeeded, is not difficult to conjecture, nor does the want of success afford any reason for that one route not being repeated; but this is not exactly the place to discuss the question. It ought not, and it must not be left unfinished, if we would avoid the disgrace of suffering another nation to pass through the two doors which we have thrown open; they are but some 300 leagues apart.
Davis, after his return home, wrote a little treatise, which was published eight years after this voyage, called “ The World's Hydrographical De
scription;" of which Admiral Burney says there are not perhaps three copies in existence.* An active and able seaman as he was could not long remain idle; and accordingly we shall find him again with Cavendish, in his second voyage to the Straits of Magelhaens, and after that in the employ of the Dutch, in several voyages to the East Indies, two of which have been published by Purchas; they prove him to have been a man of nice observation, great sagacity, and of sound good sense.f “ He was the first pilot,” says Prince, “ that conducted the Zealander to the East Indies. This great navigator,” he adds, “ made no less than five voyages to the East Indies, and returned home safe again; an instance of a wonderful providence, and an argument that the very same Lord who is the God of the earth is the God of the seas." [ Of the life and parentage of this intrepid navigator very little has been left on record for the benefit of posterity. He married a daughter of Sir John Fulford, of Fulford, in Kent, and Dorothy his wife, daughter of John Lord Bourchier, Earl of Bath. Of the place and manner of his death nothing is known beyond a report that he was killed in a quarrel with the people of a Japanese vessel.
On his return from his last voyage he thus writes to Sanderson : “By God's mercy I am returned in health, with all my company, and have * There is a copy of it in Hakluyt.
† Barrow's Arctic Regions. | Prince's Worthies of Devon.