East Indies
October 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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40-43

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'East Indies: October 1578', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, East Indies, China and Japan, Volume 2: 1513-1616 (1864), pp. 40-43. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=68583 Date accessed: 22 November 2014.


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Contents

October 1578

Oct. 2.99. Edward Sellman’s journal of Frobisher’s voyage to Meta Incognita, delivered to Michael Lok 2d Oct. 1578, in London. Left Bristol 2d May 1578, with the Ayde and the Gabriel, Christ. Hall and Robt. Davis, masters; arrived at Plymouth on 6th, where the miners were taken in, and at Harwich on 27th where all the fleet [of 15 vessels] met and sailed on 31st May. Had sight of Cape Clear June 6th, and wrote to Michael Lok, “my master,” advertizing him of the fleet’s arrival upon the coast of Ireland. Fell in with Friezland 19th June; this voyage better to be attempted by the west than by the north. 20th, a very good sound to harbour ships found, named Luke’s Sound, “by reason of one Luke Ward that went with him a land;” also, people who fled, like the people of Meta Incognita, their tents were entered, and two young whelps [white dogs] brought away; the island named West England; a headland on the south side, named Frobisher’s Foreland. Not so many islands of ice upon West England as last year. 22d, met with great store of ice, judged to be the islands that were seen last year, dissolved. Sailed between great quantities of broken ice. 27th, made sundry foggy land to be the Queen’s Foreland, in latitude 621/2°. 28th, had sight of Warwick’s Foreland, and 2d July of Queen’s Foreland. Divers of the fleet sent to break the ice for passage into further places; the Dennis struck upon “a great ice and there perished.” The ships entered the straits in great danger of ice. Great danger of the Ayde and Thomas Allen. “If the south side of the south shore had been, as the general did take it to have been, the north shore of his straits running up, and so many leagues as we did upon the said south side of the south shore, and in foggy weather (as we had no other), we had all perished.” 17th, found the error they were in, being in latitude 62° 10’ on the south side of the south shore of Queen’s Foreland. 18th, lost company of all the fleet that kept with them, being the Hope–well, Thomas of Ipswich, Moone, Emmanuel, Gabriel, Bear, and Solomon, but on 20th had sight of them again. Queen’s Foreland proved to be an island. 23d, had sight of the Anne Francis; the captain declared “they had lain off, and on open of the streights 12 days and could not enter for fogs and ice.” Three of the ships surrounded by ice, being shut up as far as Jackman’s Sound. A new sound north of Queen’s Foreland, “where they found very good ore by our judgments.” The general landed, purposing to go into the sound with the nine ships now in company. 25th, bore up into the straits, the ice so thick that Countess Sound could not be attained as yet. Five of the fleet break company willingly and very wilfully. Enter Countess Sound. The general had no knowledge of Jackman’s, the Countess, or Yorke’s Sound, but would have sought Countess Sound at Gabriel Island, “and very hardly was persuaded to the contrary.” The Judith and Michael met with, “being not of our company a month or more.” July 30th, the Ayde arrives in the Countess Sound; Chas. Jackman sent to them from the general to bring the Ayde in; a great piece of ice athwart the ship half an hour before it could be got rid of. Variance between the general and the master [Christ. Hall], the master can bear no rule because he is not countenanced by the general. Names of ships that arrived in Countess Sound in company with [the Ayde]; the Judith and Michael arrived 21st July, and for three weeks were tormented up and down the straits with ice. Injuries to some of the fleet. Aug. 1, the general orders tents to be made on the island of the mine for the miners. 2d, he sails to Bear Sound to fetch proofs of the ore there; arrival of the Gabriel; Mr. Hall, on his way, having entered Yorke’s Sound and found it a very good road for ships; the Thos. Allen left in a sound near Oxford Moun t. Lading of ore by the Francis of Foy; the general with four pinnaces and boats., with 80 soldiers and mariners, and Denham, go to Jonas Mount to seek for ore, but could not light upon any of the rich ore found by Jonas last year. 9th, the general departs towards Bear’s Sound for ore, “for that the mine in the Countess Island failed.” Detailed account of the various places from whence the ore was obtained, the difficulties of finding and lading it on board the ships. Report that 1,000 tons might be had at Fenton’s Fortune at the entrance of Countess Sound. Denham sent to Bear’s Sound to make proofs. Dyar’s passage upon the south land of Countess Sound viewed. Aug. 21, the Francis of Foy fully laden with 140 tons. Strife between Frobisher and Fenton. 22d, the Gabriel discharges about 25 tons from Bear’s Sound aboard the Ayde. Arrival of Capt. Best at Countess Sound, with news of some of the vessels; he sought them in Jackman’s and Yorke’s Sound and passed up as far as Gabriel’s Island, bringing samples of ores much like that of Wynter’s furnace. The general holds a conference for punishment of offenders. Further account of the lading of vessels with ore. 24th, the general goes for Bear’s Sound and returns on 27th with foul weather. Names of the vessels which set sail homeward on 31st Aug. Additional lading the next day at Bear’s Sound. Names of persons whom “God called to his mercy.” How Frobisher was left behind on land; the general condemned of all men for bringing the fleet to anchor athwart Bear’s Sound for only two boats of ore; it is judged he will be forced to go with the barks or the Emmanuel of Bridgewater into England; Hall’s advice to Frobisher to make haste aboard before night. Names of the six ships “now in our company” with the quantity of ore in each, and from whence laden, Diversity of the ore, so that “I think much bad ore will be found.” The stones hard to break at the Countess of Warwick mine; a little house built there to stand until next year, and sundry things left in it. Boats and pinnaces lost. News of the coming of the general. The Emmanuel of Bridgewater in great danger to be lost. Loss of the pinnaces of the Thos. Allen and Ayde. Sept. 6, death of Thos. Batterby. 10th, in latitude 531/2°, mishap to the Ayde, foggy weather. Terrible storm on 14th. News of other vessels. Sept. 27, in sight of the Start in Cornwall. [Twenty–nine pages and four lines. Brit. Mus., Harleian, 167, fols. 165–180.]
Oct. 29.100. The Privy Council to Michael Lok. The ships come home with Frobisher having brought double the quantity of ore expected, the charges of freight, mariners, and miners employed in the voyage are double the rate set down at the beginning. It being requisite to collect 6,000l. from the Adventurers, Lok is directed, as treasurer, to collect with all diligence the several sums due from them, according to a schedule of their names. If any are remiss in paying, to give knowledge to the Lord Mayor and Sir Wm. Cordell, who will assist him. [Three quarters of a page. Domestic, Eliz., Vol. CXXVI., No. 20. Cal., p. 602.]
Oct. 29.101. The Privy Council to the Lord Mayor and Sir Wm. Cordell. Michael Lok is appointed to collect speedily from the Adventurers in Frobisher’s voyage a good sum of money, for payment of the mariners, and discharge of the ships now come home. If any neglect or refuse to pay, which would be a great hindrance to the rest, they are directed to call such persons before them, and persuade them to pay, or else command them to appear before the Council to show cause. [Three quarters of a page. Domestic, Eliz., Vol. CXXVI., No. 21. Cal., p. 602.]
Oct. 29.102. The Privy Council to the Commissioners. The ships being “now returned all home in safety with Mr. Frobisher, employed in the voyage of Meta Incognita,” and divers new places and mines discovered, they are required to demand of the general, captains, masters, and pilots of the ships, severally, an account in writing of their proceedings in the voyage, and to take from them all plats, charts, and descriptions of the countries and places, and forbid their being published. To give orders for the safety of the ships and goods, and avoidance of unnecessary expenses. Earnestly request them thoroughly to consider the state of the works at Dartford, that with expedition some good proof may be made of the value of the ore brought home, as well in this voyage as in the other before, “for that Her Majesty hath very great expectation of the same.” [Three quarters of a page. This and the two preceding drafts, with corrections, are written on one sheet of paper, which is endorsed, “1578, Oct. 29. Minutes to Mr. Lok, &c, about Mr. Frobisher’s voyage, to cause the Adventurers to collect 6,000l. for payment of the men that went the voyage.” Domestic, Eliz., Vol. CXXVI., No. 22. Cal., p. 602.]
Oct.?103. Humble suit of Thos. Bonham. He furnished the Thomas of Ipswich, of 160 tons, at an expense of above 300l., and it has been so beaten by weather in her voyage that 100l. will not repair her. Solicits “such sums of money” for his relief as the Council think meet. [Three quarters of a page. Indorsed, “Thos. Bonham’s suit touching allowance to be yielded him for Frobisher’s voyage.” This vessel accompanied Frobisher in his third voyage, and had furtively sailed for England, see Hakluyt. Domestic, Eliz., Vol. CXXVI., No. 33. Cal., p. 603.]