East Indies: September 1578

Pages 38-40

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, East Indies, China and Japan, Volume 2, 1513-1616. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1864.

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September 1578

Sept. 28. 98. Account of Frobisher’s third voyage to Meta Incognita, by Christopher Hall, master of the Ayde and now pilot in the Thomas Allen, begun 2d May 1578; illustrated with drawings of some of the places visited, and a daily record of the ship’s course; of the direction of the wind and number of leagues sailed, with other nautical observations. June 20, in sight of Friezland: sailed with Frobisher as near to the shore as the ice would allow, till they came to the westward of Frobisher’s Cape, where it was scattered; rowed to shore; the inhabitants ran away, forsook their tents and things in them; one white dog taken by Frobisher, another secretly stolen by Jackson the trumpeter; all else left untouched. 22d, lost company of the Michael. 25th, in lat. 61° 24’. 29th, the Michael in sight again. July 1, Meta Incognita seen in lat. 62° 40’, also Lok’s Land, Hall’s Island, and Queen Elizabeth’s Foreland. 2nd, told Dabnay, master of the Dennis, that there was no way into the straits, because the ice was so thick, then Andrew. Dyar, master of the Hopewell; could not speak to the rest of the ships, being to windward; Rich. Cocks the first to sail in among the ice, the Dennis, Solomon, Francis of Foy following, the Admiral being the eleventh, Hall next, and the Hopewell last of all; the ice so thick that they could not sail, but were inclosed in on every side, the Dennis, who “chanced to hit an ice,” sunk an hour after, her men all saved; great dangers escaped. 9th, to the westward of the Queen’s Foreland; Frobisher, as well as all the rest of the company, made it to be the straits, “and I stood against them all and said it was not,” the general “in a great rage and sware by God’s wounds that it was it or else take his life,”so Hall went on board the Thos. Allen again, and bore out to sea, the weather falling thick, because he knew not the place. July 18, had sight of the Queen’s Foreland, and let Capt. Yorke and Mr. Gibbes see all the marks of the land that Hall had told them before, “when my general and I stood in controversy.” 20th, in lat. 61° 42’, the straits so full of ice that there was no going in. 21st, went ashore to seek a harbour, found one not very good, also a little black ore on one of the islands. 22d, plied up the bay between the Queen’s Foreland and Cape Hopewell, and there spied the Gabriel coming out of the ice to the clear place he was in; the general at sea and six vessels in company with him, the Francis of Foy with Hall. 23d, sailed from Mount Oxford to Jackman’s Sound, the ice being so thick over the straits, no sea to be seen about Jackman’s Sound; glad to turn out again and ply between Mount Oxford and Cape Hopewell. 24th, plied up and down along Queen Elizabeth’s Island, and sent his pinnace ashore to seek a harbour, but could find none; anchored in a good harbour found by the Gabriel in 11 fathoms and fair white sand. 27th, the water frozen about the ship half a quarter of an inch thick, but before noon the ice was gone. 28th, rowed to Mount Oxford and saw seven of the ships under the shore. 30th, went aboard the Gabriel to seek the Ayde and the rest of the fleet; at night athwart Jackman’s Sound. 31st, anchored in Yorke’s Sound. August 2, anchored in Countess Sound, found the general in the Ayde, and eight other ships of the fleet. 3d, went ashore upon Countess Island to see Frobisher and Fenton. 4th, sailed over to Gibbes’ Sound. 6th, driven to the westward out at Harvey’s Gulf, and lay athwart Gibbes’ Sound all night. 8th, anchored in the Countess Sound in the Thomas Allen. 9th, the general and himself determined to go to Bear’s Sound, and Frobisher willed him to carry 100 men, to be set to work; anchored at Corbett’s Point all night. 10th, towed to Bear’s Sound, “and set all my miners ashore.“ 15th, rowed with Frobisher through Bear’s Sound, w ent to the top of a mountain and saw the North–east Sea, and “a new land to the N.E, of Lock’s Land;” rowed to Lord Hayward’s Island. 16th, the barks unlade [ore] aboard the Ayde. 17th, visited with Frobisher divers sounds to see what store of ore was there. 19th, the barks sail from Countess Sound to Bear’s Sound; went with them in the Solomon, and laded her there. 21st, the Gabriel laden; came in her to Corbett’s Point. 24th, rowed in his pinnace to the Countess of Sussex mine. 25th, through Bear's Sound to see if any people could be found, but saw none. Frobisher left Bear’s Sound to see the lading of the Thomas Allen. 28th, anchored the Thomas Allen in the Countess [of Warwick] Sound. 29th, great storms of snow. 31st, sailed from the Countess of Warwick Sound in the Ayde and anchored at Corbett’s Point. Sept. 1st, anchored athwart Bear’s Sound, to take in miners and lading; Frobisher there lading the Gabriel and Michael; sent his pinnace ashore to the General, got the Ayde under sail with great danger, so much wind that her anchor was broken in the shank; signal for the general to come on board. 2d, set sail; the sea being grown and much wind, lost his boat; spoke the Bear and asked for the general and the rest of the fleet, but could hear nothing of them; was told that Frobisher came after in the Gabriel, in company with the Anne Francis, Judith, and Michael; at 6 p.m. off the Queen’s Foreland, other ships met with. 3d, the Thomas Allen and Moone in company with him. 4th, the Ayde’s pinnace thrown against the ship and split all to pieces; in lat. 60° 15’. 5th, in lat. 59° 13’. 7th, lat. 57° 26’. 8th, lat. 56° 30’. 9th, lat. 55° 42’. 10th, lat. 54°, lost company of the Thomas Allen. 14th, “the sea beat in at my general’s cabin, and burst from the cabin floors to the windows all the timber and boards unto him who was at the helm, his name is Francis Austen.” 19th, had sight of the Hopewell, and kept her company, lat. 52°. 21st, lat. 51°, tarried for the Ann Francis; the captain told him that Frobisher was in great choler against him, and the master would have him alter his course, but Hall would not. 23d, lost company of the Hopewell and Anne Francis, 25th, lat. 50° 16’. 28th, anchored at Portsmouth. [Thirty two pages and three quarters. Brit. Mus., Harleian, 167, fols. 183–200. Journals of this voyage, written by Thos. Ellis and Capt. Best, are printed in Hakluyt, III., 65–70, 107–129; but there are many details in the above account, as well as in Edward Sellman’s journal who was “the Register” of the fleet, not to be found in Hakluyt.]