« EelmineJätka »
three distinct laws were then and there made and promulgated. “1. For the public exercise of religion, according to the Church of England. 2. For maintaining her Majesty's right and possession, against which any party offending, to be adjudged and executed as in the case of high treason. 3. For preventing the utterance of words to the dishonour of her Majesty, the party so offending to lose his ears, and his ship and goods to be confiscated.” Parcels of land were then granted out; but the General, it is said, “was most curious in the search of metals, commanding the mineral man, and the refiner especially, to be diligent; this man was a Saxon, honest and religious, and his name
He brought to the General what he called silver ore; but he would not have it tried or spoken of till they got to sea.
Sir Humphrey now embarked “ in his little frigate, the Squirrel,”—the miserable bark of ten tons ; and he gave the preference to her, as being the most useful in going into creeks and rivers for the
purpose of making discoveries. Proceeding to the southward in company of the Delight, Captain Brown, and the Golden Hinde, Captain Hayes, the former, with all the valuables on board, was wrecked on the flats and sands near Sable Island, when twelve, out of about a hundred souls, perished, among whom were the Saxon refiner, and one Stephanus Parmenius, a learned Hungarian, who was
engaged to record " in the Latine tongue, the gests and things worthy of remembrance.” The loss of the miner and the ore is said to have preyed on Sir Humphrey's mind, more especially as, on the strength of his mine, he had reckoned on borrowing 10,000l. from the Queen, for his next voyage.
But, alas! for the uncertainty of all human projects, Sir Humphrey having escaped in his little Squirrel determined, in company of the Golden Hinde, to proceed to England. His little frigate, as he called her, was represented to him as wholly unfit for the voyage, and he was entreated to take his passage in the Golden Hinde; but this brave and noble-minded man replied, “I will not forsake my little company going homeward, with whom I have passed so many stormes and perils.” Having reached the Azores, a violent storm arose, and the little frigate was observed to be nearly overwhelmed by the huge waves. The Hinde kept as close to her as she possibly could, and from her the General was seen, sitting abaft, with a book in his hand; and Mr. Hayes says, was heard to call out, “Courage, my lads! we are as near to heaven by sea as by land.” The same night the little Squirrel and all within her were swallowed up by the sea, and nothing more was ever heard of her, or of her unfortunate commander and crew.
Thus perished this brave and noble adventurer. His historian asserts, that the reason of his determination to continue in a bark so utterly unfit to contend with the sea, on a long voyage, was mainly owing to some malicious report that had reached his ears, of his being afraid of the sea; but this is too absurd to deserve any credit;-to suppose that a man of his undaunted courage and strength of mind could be influenced or affected by any such idle report; or that, as has also been insinuated, the motto on his arms might, in that chivalrous
age, have operated on his mindMutare vel timére sperno; or, as Prince * makes it, Mallem mori quam mutare.
Sir Humphrey Gilbert may justly be called the “ Father of Northern and North-western Colonization.” Prince describes him as “an excellent hydrographer, and no less skilful mathematician, of an high and daring spirit, though not equally favoured of fortune; yet the large volume of his virtues may be read in his noble enterprises; the great design whereof was to discover the remote countries of America, and to bring off those salvages froin their diabolical superstitions to the embracing the Gospel of our Lord and Saviour Christ; for which his zeal deserves an eternal remembrance.”+ “As to the person of this wise and brave man, it was such as recommended him to esteem and veneration at first sight; his stature was beyond the ordinary size, his complexion sanguine, and his constitution very robust." I * Worthies of Devon. † Ibid. | Biog. Brit.
At the close of his discourse on the North-west Passage, Sir Humphrey says, “He is not worthy to live at all, who, for fear or danger of death, shunneth his country's service, or his own honour, since death is inevitable, and the fame of virtue immortal.”
It may safely be observed, that the exertions and adventures of the Northern Worthies were not made in vain, and that posterity, even down to our times, have benefited by them. To Sir Humphrey we are indebted for the settlement of Newfoundland, and that valuable branch of commerce, the cod fishery on its banks; to Davis we owe the lasting and profitable employment of the whale fishery, in the strait that bears his name, which was somewhat deteriorated only a few years ago ; and by the first of these northern adventurers, Frobisher, was shown the way to that strait and bay, which Hudson many years afterwards explored, and to which he gave his name; and on the shores of the latter were established the factories of a company of merchants, bearing the name of the Hudson's Bay Company, whose concerns have been carried on to such an extent, as to embrace the greater part of the northern coast of North America, and are still in a progressive state of flourishing activity. Such is, and such must ever be, the happy result of that power which springs from knowledge.
CAPTAIN SIR JOHN HAWKINS.
1562 to 1595.
FIRST VOYAGE, 1562.
John HAWKINS was one of the most distinguished sea-officers in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. His father, William Hawkins, was a gentleman of good estate, a great part of it accumulated by industry and peculiar success in his sea voyages, chiefly to Brazil. He obtained the personal esteem of Henry VIII., originating in his having brought over a Brazilian Prince, whom he introduced to that monarch, and with whom he was much delighted. The kind and gentle manner of Hawkins so won upon this native Prince, that he volunteered to go with him to England, on condition that he would give him a passage back, and leave one of his own men as a hostage for his safe return.* Captain Hawkins, punctual to his engagement, embarked him at Plymouth; but on the passage out, the young man was seized with a disorder of which he died. This was exceedingly distressing to Hawkins, from
apprehension of what might befal the hostage he had left ; but the people, savages as they were represented,