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SECOND VOYAGE, 1577.
The instructions that were given to Frobisher by the Lords of the Council on this second voyage, “for the north-west parts and Cathaia,” contain, among others, the two following articles :
“1. First. You shall enter, as Captain-General, into the charge and government of the three vessels, namely, the Ayde, the Gabriel, and the Michael, with all that appertaineth to them what
“ 2. Item, You shall appoint, for the furnishing of the said vessels, the number of one hundred and twenty persons, whereof ninety shall be mariners, gunners, carpenters, and other necessary men to serve for the use of the ships; and the other thirty to be myners, finers, merchants, and other necessary persons, both to wait and attend upon you, which numbers you shall not in any way exceed."
The Ayde was one of the Queen's ships, which her Majesty contributed, of nine score tons or thereabouts; the Gabriel was a bark of about thirty tons, the captain of which was Master Fenton; and the Michael, about the same size, was commanded by Master Yorke. On taking leave, Frobisher had the honour of kissing her Majesty's hand, “who dismissed him with gracious countenance and comfortable words.” They left Gravesend about the end
of May, having first received the sacrament, and made preparation “as good Christians towards God, and resolute men for all fortunes.” On falling in with Friesland they were hampered with drift ice, and large icebergs, some of which are stated to have been seventy and even eighty fathoms under water, and more than half a mile in circuit. As the part above water was fresh, Frobisher concluded that they were formed in the Sounds, or on some land near the Pole; and he hazards the opinion, that “ the maine sea freezeth not," and that “there is no mare glaciale, as the opinion hitherto hath been.”
They entered the strait of last year's discovery round Hall's Island. Frobisher took the goldfinders with him near the spot where the black stone was found, but the whole island did not furnish “a piece as bigge as a walnut.” They wantonly, as it appears, seized“ two salvages,” who soon eluded their grasp, seized their bows and arrows, and “ fiercely, desperately, and with such fury, assaulted and pursued our General and his master, that they chased them to their boats, and hurt the General in the buttocke with an arrow.”
Proceeding up the strait, they landed on a small island on the southern shore, and “here all the sands and cliffs did so glister, and had so bright a marquesite, that it seemed all to be gold, but upon tryal made, it proved no better than black-lead, and verified the proverbe—all is not gold that glistereth.” On another small island they found a mine of silver, and four sorts of ore, “ to hold gold in good quantitie.” Here also they found and brought to England the horn of the narwhal or unicorn fish, which being the first ever brought home, was sent to Windsor, “and reserved as a jewell in the Queen's wardrobe.” In York Sound they had a skirmish with a party of natives, in which five or six of the savages were unfortunately put to death, and two women seized, “whereof the one being ugly, our men thought she had been a devil or some witch, and therefore let her goe.” The other being young, and having a sucking child, they kept them both for a short time. The season being now far advanced, and the General's instructions directing him to search for gold ore, and to defer the further discovery of the passage
till another time, they commenced lading their ships, and in about twenty days succeeded in getting aboard nearly 200 tons of ore. They then set sail on the 22nd of August, and arrived in England after a stormy passage, with the loss of one man by sickness, and another who was washed overboard.
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 incognita—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) 66 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 ser
“ cleare the glass ” ? as has been suggested to me by a learned friend.
† MSS. Otho E 8, British Museum.