East Indies
May 1577

Sponsor

Institute of Historical Research

Publication

Author

W. Noel Sainsbury (editor)

Year published

1864

Pages

20-23

Annotate

Comment on this article
Double click anywhere on the text to add an annotation in-line

Citation Show another format:

'East Indies: May 1577', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, East Indies, China and Japan, Volume 2: 1513-1616 (1864), pp. 20-23. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=68571 Date accessed: 30 August 2014.


Highlight

(Min 3 characters)

Contents

May 1577

May 17.37. Instructions given to our loving friend Martin Frobisher, gentleman, for orders to be observed in the voyage now recommended to him for the North–west parts and Cathay. To be captain–general of the Ayde, Gabriel, and Michael. One hundred and twenty persons to furnish the vessels; 90 mariners, gunners, and carpenters, and the other 30, merchants, miners, and refiners. Victuals for seven months. To receive no disorderly person. To depart before the 20th present, and to take his course by the north or west To leave six of the condemned persons in Friezland to learn the state of the country. Once past England, Scotland, and Ireland, to direct his course to Hall's Island, in the entrance of the supposed strait, “which we name Frobisher's Streight, discovered by yourself this last year.” To harbour at Hall's Island, and go with some apt vessel to the mines, whence he brought the ore last year. After, to go with the two smaller vessels to the place where he lost his men and boat, there seek for harbours, mines, and his lost men, and discover more westward, to be certain, he has entered into the South Sea To return in due time; consider what places are fit to fortify to defend the mines and possess the country. To leave some to winter in the strait if it be possible, instructing them to observe the nature of the air and the state of the country when it is most free from ice. To leave a pinnace, with victuals and weapons, with them. If the mines fail, to send the Ayde home, and with the two barks proceed. towards the discovery of Cathay. To be careful of his safety, and give no offence to the people. To return by the west of Ireland, and so by the Narrow Seas of England to London. Not to bring over above three or four [afterwards altered to eight or ten] of the people of that country, both old and young, “whom we mind shall not return again thither, and therefore ye shall have great care how you do take them, for avoiding of offence towards them and the country.” [Seven pages. Draught with corrections. DOMESTIC, Eliz., Vol. CXIII., No. 13 Cal., p. 546. Indorsed, “1577. A draught for instructions for Mr. Frobisher, May 22.” The date at the commencement of this paper has been altered from the Xllth to the XVIIth May. There are copies of these instructions in the British Museum; Harl. 168, fol. 88; Otho, VIII, fol 107–110; Sloane, 2442, fol. 48; and an abstract in Burn., 390, fol. 43. The ships sailed for this second voyage on the 26th May. This paper is also indorsed, “A. 1577. Bundle of matters concerning Mr. Frobisher's voyage into the North–west parts, his instructions, names of the adventurers with him, with articles.” These, so far as they have been found, are placed and will be found calendared under their respective dates.]
May 17.38. Entry of the preceding, with two or three trifling alterations, probably errors in copying. On the margin. Sir Joseph Williamson has written “Frobisher's Streights.” [One page and three quarters DOMESTIC, Eliz., Vol. CXXXIV., pp. 420, 421. Cal., p. 546.]
May 17.39. Fair copy of the above, with alterations and additions. In article 4,—to receive no disordered person, has been added “except such as ye have received by our order that were prisoners and condemned persons.” In article 16, and the last of the above, the number of people of the country to be brought over is altered from 3 or 4 to 8 or 10, and another article is added; To give express command to the refiners and tryers of the ore not to discover the secret of the riches of the mines. [Five pages and a quarter. Indorsed, “A draught of Instructions for Martin Frobisher, gentleman.” DOMESTIC, Eliz., Vol. CXIII., No. 12. Cal., p. 547.]
May 17.40. Abstract of the preceding, omitting the last article. [One page. DOMESTIC, Eliz., Vol. CXIII., No. 14. Cal., p. 546.]
[May 26.]41. “The doings of Michael Lok for the voyage of Cathay, &c.” After seven years’ residence in Flanders, Lok went to Spain in 1552 to follow his trade of merchandise, where he saw the marvellous great trade of the Spanish West Indies, and in Lisbon the great traffic into the East Indies, from whence were yearly brought jewels, spices, and other rich merchandise. Has studied history and otherwise searched and inquired these 24 years, travelling through almost all the countries of Christianity, and spent more than 500l. in books, maps, charts, and instruments; written a ream of paper of notes, “whereby I am persuaded of great matters.” In 1574 renewed his old acquaintance with Martin Frobisher, and “finding him expert, fit, and ready to execute so great attempts, I joined with him.” Procured from the Muscovy Company a privilege for the discovery of Cathay by the north–west. Instructed Frobisher in his skill, “to my power advanced him to the world with credit when he had none,” and furnished him with ships and necessaries for that voyage first made, whereby is “discovered the matter of so great importance and the world of so great wonder,” Disbursed 1,600l. of which he received but 800l. from other adventurers, “without which he [Frobisher] had never gone out of England in this voyage.” His very great charges these two years since Frobisher hath been in London, who “eat the most of his meat at my table freely and gladly.” Had Lok followed his vocation only as other merchants he might have gotten 10,000l., but God has forced him, as it were, to the study of this matter. Depends on Him and the Queen's Majesty for a recompense and help “in this great new matter now enterprized by me and Martin Frobisher, whereof God give good success.” [Two pages and a quarter. Indorsed, as above. DOMESTIC, Eliz., Vol. CXIX., No. 29 Cal., p. 572. The date is supplied by a duplicate copy in the British Museum, Lansdowne, XXIV., fol. 62.]
May 26.42. Another copy of part of the preceding, commencing from when Lok renewed his acquaintance with Frobisher in 1574, with the following addition:—That in this second voyage now on the way under Frobisher, all the labour has passed through Lok's hands, the cost, 4,400l., being all furnished upon Lok's credit, of which he has received but 2,500l. Knows not whether he shall receive 3,000l., and of whom to recover the rest 1,400l., yet he has furnished the ships, “or else this voyage would not be made this year at all” [One page, mutilated by fire. Headed ” . . . delivered to me by . . . October 29, and read by him again with other his like . . . proceedings about the said voyage. A. 1577, December 12.” British Museum, Otho, VIII., fol. 45.]
1577?43. Petition of Isabel Frobisher to Sec. Sir Fras. Walsyngham. “In her most lamentable manner showeth unto your honor, your humble oratrix Isabel Frobisher, the most miserable poor woman in the world.” Was some time the wife of Thos. Riggat, of Snathe, co. York, a very wealthy man, who left her in very good state, and good portions to all her children. Afterwards took to husband Mr. Capt. Frobisher (“whom God forgive!”), who has spent all, and put them to the wide world to shift. Her children of her first husband are with her in a poor room at Hampstead ready to starve. Prays that one Kempe may be ordered to pay her 4l., due to her husband, or for some relief until Frobisher's return, to keep them from famishing. [Half a page. DOMESTIC, Eliz., Vol. CLI., No. 17.]
44. “Request of John Frobisher ” to the Queen. Her Majesty was pleased to bestow upon him a lease about five years ago, for the recovery of which he has been in suit ever since, and has nowhere to seek redress but through the Queen's goodness. Desires but to live with credit as the Queen's servant, with a penny a day rather than under foreign princes. Prays to be employed in Her Majesty's present service, or else to have some relief, “that I may but live.” [One page. DOMESTIC, Eliz., Vol. CLI., No. 16. Indorsed, as above, also “ Marten Frobisher;” a contemporary indorsement.]