East Indies
March 1578

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Institute of Historical Research

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W. Noel Sainsbury (editor)

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1864

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35-37

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'East Indies: March 1578', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, East Indies, China and Japan, Volume 2: 1513-1616 (1864), pp. 35-37. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=68579 Date accessed: 23 September 2014.


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March 1578

March 8.91. Account taken at Muscovy House of 2 cwt. of ore brought by Mr. Frobisher, molten and tried by Jonas Schutz, an Almain, assisted by Humphrey Cole, John Brode, and Robert Denham, Englishmen. The 2 cwt. yielded in silver 6 oz. 7 dwt. 13 gr., valued at 5s. per oz.; in gold, 5 dwt. 5 gr., valued at 3s. the dwt., so that a ton will make in money 23l. 15s. The charges of getting the ore into the realm, as by particulars delivered by Mr. Frobisher, will not exceed 8l. per ton. Jonas undertakes not to expend for all charges above 10l. 15s., which will leave a profit on every 100l. adventure of 60l. Signed by Sir Wm. Wynter, Edward Dyar, Martin Frobisher, Rich. Yonge, Mathew Fyeld, Edmond Hogan, Michael Lok, and Andrew Palmer. In another copy “John Dee” signs this account, see Inclosure 154. ii., and also a copy in the British Museum, Lansdowne, XXXI., fol. 77. One page. Indorsed, “8 March, 1577. A note as well of the 2 cwt. of ore tried by Jonas, as the furnish of the second voyage to the North–west.”]
Also on the same sheet:
The charge of furnishing ships for this next voyage. Four or five ships, with 120 soldiers, miners, smiths, carpenters, and other men of necessary occupations, to bring home 800 tons of ore, by Mr. Frobisher's particulars, will amount to 3,400l., of which half must be presently defrayed or this year's voyage will be lost. A levy of 130l must be made upon every previous adventure of 100l.; the moiety to be paid forthwith, and the remainder upon the return of the ships. [Three quarters of a page. DOMESTIC, Eliz., Vol. CXXIII., No. 5. Cal., p. 586.]
1578.
March 11.
92. [Sec. Walsyingham] to the Lord Treasurer and the Lord Chamberlain. The Queen having been made acquainted with the certificates of the Commissioners to survey the proofs of the North–west ore, and understanding that the richness of that earth is like to fall out to a good reckoning, is well pleased that a third voyage be taken in hand. The chief points are the charges of the shipping and provision for 100 men to inhabit those North–west parts, which the bearers Frobisher and Lok will show them. Has already acquainted Lord Leicester, and wishes their opinions, that the Queen “may grow to some resolution for this new and third voyage.” [One page. Indorsed, “11 March 1577. To the Lord Treasurer and Lord Chamberlain about the North–west voyage.” DOMESTIC, Eliz., Vol. CXXI1I., No. 7. Cal., p. 586.]
March?93. “Instructions given to our loving friend Martin Frobisher, Esquier, for the order to be observed in the voyage now recommended to him for the land now called by Her Majesty Meta Incognita, to the North–west parts and Cathay.” To be Captain–General of the Ayde, Gabriel, Michael, Judith, Thomas Allen, Anne Francis, Hopewell, Moone, Francis of Foy, Thomas, and the (blank). To appoint 90 able mariners for the four first ships, and 130 pioneers and 50 soldiers for the service of all the other vessels under his charge. The Gabriel, Michael, and Judith, with 40 able mariners, gunners, shipwrights, and carpenters, 30 soldiers, and 30 pioneers, with victuals for 18 months, and munition and armour for their defence, to be left in Meta Incognita, under the government of Edward Fenton, lieutenant–general. The victuals in the Ayde for 90 persons, for seven months, to be carefully used, an inventory taken of every ship belonging to the Company and a copy delivered to Michael Lok, treasurer; Fenton to take care of the other ships' victuals and for provision of the 100 men appointed to inhabit there. Not to receive under his charge any disorderly or mutinous person. To use all diligence to depart with the ships before the 1st of May next, and to take his course either by the North or the West. To make for Meta Incognita (BURGHLEY has added in the margin “not for the Isle of Friezland in the way”), and to the Countess of Warwick's Island and Sound “within the supposed streight, which we name Frobisher's Streight, discovered by yourself two years past.” Not to lose any of the ships' company; any such offender to be punished “sharply to the example of others.” When arrived at Warwick Island to repair to the mines and minerals “where you wrought this last year,” and there place the miners and other men to work and gather the ore. Whilst the miners are working in Warwick Sound, to search in other places for other mines, and if any be richer to remove thence. To consider of an apt place to fortify these 100 men against danger from the native people and other perils. Fenton to be left to govern them, with instructions how he may best observe the nature of the air and the state of the country, what time of the year the strait is most free from ice (BURGHLEY has added, “keeping to that end a journal weekly of all accidents”), the Gabriel, Michael, and Judith to be left with Fenton, and his wants supplied. To instruct “all your people rather too much than anything too little,” that they may rather procure the friendship of the people of those parts (in BURGHLEY's hand “by courtesies”) than move them to any offence or misliking. After having taken order for planting the men and appointing governors in his absence, to repair, with the two barks towards the place where he lost his men the first year, as well to search for mines as to discover 50 or 100 leagues further westwards, (by BURGHLEY “as the opening of the straight by water will lead,”) learning all he can and taking perfect notes. To consider of the aptest place further to fortify, for defence of the miner and possessing of the country, and to bring home a perfect plat and notes, to be kept secret. No ship laden with ore to sail until the day fixed in their charter party unless he see good cause otherwise; all to return in company to the place appoined in the Thames. Four gentlemen privately set down to succeed the General “if he should fortune to die.” (By BURGHLEY, “which are severally written down in paper included in balls of wax, sealed with Her Majesty's signet, and put into boxes with several keys, whereof one in your custody, and in the m argin three keys, Frobisher, Fenton, a Mr. of a ship, Christopher Hall.”) In any weighty causes incident on laud to call to his assistance his Lieutenant–General, Captain Yorke, Richard Philpott, George Best, and Henry Carew, gent., “that always to be executed which you shall think meetest,” (BURGHLEY has added “with assent of any two of them in general consent,”) and for good government at sea. Christopher Hall, Charles Jackman, James Beare, and Andrew Dyar, masters, to be added with a similar proviso. To authorize by his own handwriting, any further discovery of the lands or seas within 200 leagues of the habitation “where our people shall be settled or situated.” No person to make assay of any metal, matter, or ore in Meta Incognita without authority, nor to keep to his private use any ore or other commodity, upon penalties set forth. Records to be kept of all ore or stone of value found in that country, with samples in boxes and their tried valuations, to be delivered on his return to the Treasurer of the Company of Adventurers for those North–west affairs; (by BURGHLEY “a double of this book to be made, and brought home in our other ship”). The mariners in the hired ships to help in fortifying the place where the Lieutenant–General with his charge shall remain to inhabit. To direct his course to Meta Incognita, there lade 800 tons of “such ore as you already have found this last year, or rather richer if you can find the same,” and then make direct for the Thames; (by BURGHLEY “a book containing the quantity laden in every ship”). Directions for keeping an account of the number of tons of ore in each ship. A minister or two to go this journey to administer divine service and sacraments according to the Church of England, (this article has been added by BURGHLEY); as also that the victuals, munitions, and other things be equally distributed in the ships, “for doubt of miscarriage of some of them.” If no hindrance to the rest of his voyage to do his endeavour to discover “the new land supposed to be Friezland,” either in his way outward or homeward. Punishment of treason, mutiny, or other disorder. [Eleven pages. Draught, with numerous corrections and additions, many of which are in Lord Burghley's hand. Indorsed, “1578. Commission and Instructions to Mr. Furbusher to go to sea. Ao. 1578.” DOMESTIC, Eliz., Addenda, Conway Papers.]