America and West Indies: Addenda 1578

Pages 2-7

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 9, 1675-1676 and Addenda 1574-1674. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1893.

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Addenda 1578

June 11.
3. Letters Patent to Sir Humphrey Gylberte, of Compton, co. Devon, and to his heirs and assigns. To discover remote heathen and barbarous lands not possessed by any Christian Prince or people and to hold and enjoy same with all commodities, jurisdictions, and royalties both by sea and land. Said Sir Humphrey and all who by license from us our heirs and successors shall travel thither, to inhabit there and build and fortify, at the discretion of said Sir Humphrey, the statute against fugitives or any other law to the contrary notwithstanding. With power to take to inhabit there so many of our subjects as shall willingly accompany him with shipping and furniture so that none be specially restrained by us our heirs and successors. To hold and enjoy the soil so to be discovered, and all cities, towns, castles, and villages with the royalties and jurisdictions and power to dispose of same according to the laws of England paying the fifth part of gold and silver, to be holden for ever by said Sir Humphrey his heirs and assigns of us our heirs and successors by homage. With power for defence to resist by sea and land all attempting to inhabit within said countries, or within 200 leagues thereof, without the special license of said Sir Humphrey, where within six years next ensuing he or his associates shall make their dwellings, or that shall attempt unlawfully to annoy either by sea or land said Sir Humphrey and to seize their ships and goods, our subjects driven by tempest or shipwreek only excepted, and to detain as lawful prize. All such countries hereafter to be possessed and inhabited as aforesaid shall be of the allegiance of us our heirs and successors, and all whose names shall be entered in some of our Courts of Record with the assent of said Sir Humphrey his heirs and assigns, shall now in this journey for discovery, or in the second journey for conquest, hereafter travel to said countries, being born within our allegiance shall enjoy all the privileges of free denizens and persons native of England and within our allegiance, any law or custom to the contrary notwithstanding. With power to punish, pardon, and govern all who adventure in said voyages or inhabit said countries, or within 200 leagues of same, or shall inhabit within six years next ensuing according to laws established by said Sir Humphrey for the better government of said people as aforesaid so they be agreeable to the laws of England. With power to Sir Wm. Cecil Lord Burleigh, or to the Lord Treasurer for the time being, and any four of the Privy Council, to license said Sir Humphrey to transport the goods of his or their associates and other necessary commodities, any law to the contrary notwithstanding. Provided always that if said Sir Humphrey or any other by his license rob or spoil by sea or land the subjects of any King or Prince in amity with us and after proclamation shall not make restitution and satisfaction, said Sir Humphrey and all inhabitants of said countries so to be discovered be put out of our allegiance and protection, and it shall be free to all to pursue them with hostility as not being our subjects. "The 11th day of June the twenteth yere of our raigne," i.e., 11 June 1578. [Patent Roll, 21 Eliz., part 4, m. 8.] This is the only patent on this roll which has the regnal year, and as will be remarked it is enrolled on the Patent Roll of 21 Eliz., which regnal year did not commence until 17 Nov. 1578. Printed Hakluyt III., 174–176, but with the concluding words "Anno Domini 1578," which are not on the Patent Roll
Sept. 23.
4. Sir Humphrey Gylberte to Secretary Sir Francis Walsingham. Knowing him to be his principal patron as well as furthering and procuring him her Majesty's favour and license for performance of his sea voyage, as also many other ways having found him his good and honorable friend, thinks it his duty to signify that he left this port of Dartmouth on the 23rd instant, September, accompanied by 11 sail, well victualled for a year, and furnished with 500 choice soldiers and sailors. Their stay so long in these parts proceeded through his London shipping not coming down till 25th August, Trusts this will be no impeachment to their enterprise, the season of the year serving very fit for their travel. Is and will be ever ready to do him any service that shall lye in his power, praying a continuance of his favour and good speeches to Her Majesty for the better supportation of the writer's poor credit. 1 p. [Dom. Eliz., Vol. 125, No. 70.]
Nov. 12
5. Sir Humphrey Gylberte to Secretary Sir Francis Walsingham. Has ever found him his most honorable friend, so in his greatest extremities, he means such as by false suggestions may hazard his credit, he will never despair to tind less favour. During the long contrary winds Mr. Knowles has forsaken Gylberte's company, and drawn as many as he could allure. Complains that he (Gylberte) never offered such cause as might either be a discredit to sustain, or any occasion to break off so honest an enterprise. Once before Knowles refused the journey, but was reconciled by Sir John Gilbert "and the breach by me omitted and forgotten." Knowles often and openly persuaded Gylberte's company and gentlemen to his disgrace, and has often and openly said he accounted himself equal in degree to the best Knight and better than the most in England (sic). Describes the intollerable disorders "committed by Knowles to my great disgrace; when I entreated him to my table he answered me that he had money to pay for his dinner as well as I, and that he would leave my trencher for those beggars that were not able to pay for their meals, which seemed a bare thanks for my good will." He threatened to hang a Captain and Gentleman of Gylberte's company called Morgan [Miles Morgan who was lost at sea soon after] in living little or nothing inferior to Knowles; refused to deliver up two of his men for the murder of John Leonard in Plymouth; and let a notorious pirate go "which bred me great slander of suspicion of piracy." Told Knowles privately by way of counsel, as his friend without quarrel or words of offence, that he used him (Gylberte) somewhat too disdainfully, considering the good will he bare him and the place he held, and that if he used himself in this sort and upheld such as offended, by his countenance, it would not only kindle dislike between them, but also breed faction and sedition. Upon this only it pleased Knowles to take hold, saying that Gylberte called him proud and seditious and so heinously racked it, that Knowles left his company and consort. Knowles it seems has by some of his company been persuaded to run a shorter course, which Gylberte prays God may turn to Knowles advancement and credit "for he hath store of notorious evil men about him as Loveles (sic) and Callice with others." Assures Walsingham that he (Gylberte) is for strength, as well able to perform that which he undertook as he desired, having of his own ships seven sail well manned and victualled. "As you have been always the pillar unto whom I leant, so I hope you will always remain in my just occasions such a one as I in good will and service desire to deserve; if God of his mercy do but give me leave and happily to return. I then hope you shall find that I will at last perform somewhat of that which I in thought and good will have with myself long promised" 2 pp. [Dom. Eliz., Vol. 126, No. 44.]
Nov. 18.
6. Sir Humphrey Gylberte to Secretary Sir Francis Walsingham. Because he weighs in equal balance with life his Honor's good opinion of him. sends inclosed certificate under the hands of the Mayor of Plymouth and others present when Gylberte publicly desired Knowles to declare all the causes that moved him to mislike, all of which are particularly set down in said Certificate. Truly can guess no other cause but that Knowles' pretence was to break off from the beginning and run this course, thereby to have colour to arm to sea, and there withal either to learn Gylberte's enterprise and so undertake the discovery of himself as one moved thereunto through ambition and disdain, or else to run some shorter course. Beseeches his Honor to impart this certificate to the Queen's Majesty. Lord Leicester and Mr. Vice Chamberlain. His principal care is to satisfy Walsingham above all others, because his Honor was the only means of Gylberte's license, and therefore as his patron he studies principally next unto her Majesty, to maintain himself in his good opinion. Trusts God willing to bring all things to good pass, these crosses and thwarts notwithstanding. Moreover Gylberte's cousin Denys accompanies Knowles in this his breach and retires from their consort, because Gylberte blamed him for striking a sailor with his naked sword, who thereupon challenged Gylberte. "If I have informed your Honor otherwise than truth. then judge me a villian and a knave." Encloses,
6. i. Certificate of the causes of Mr. Knowles' forsaking the journey and consort of Sir Humfrey Gylberte, alleged before John Hele, Mayor of Plymouth, and divers other gentlemen, 5 Nov. 1578. That Gylberte said Knowles was factious, seditious, and proud, to which Gylberte replied; he never called Knowles factions or seditious, but said that if he gave countenance to men of evil and disordered behaviour then he should nourish faction and sedition, which words were spoken privately: but Knowles would not be satisfied with Gylberte's public denial, except he would openly swear upon a book, which Gylberte refused, saying oaths ought to be reserved for Judges. Gylberte denied not, accusing Knowles of pride, for he spoke words to Gylberte's disgrace and disdain, as despising his knighthood, saying he took himself to be a better man than 20 knights: that he had submitted and embased himself to serve under Sir Humfrey; and that when the latter had Knowles to dinner, he answered he had money to pay for his dinner as well as Gylberte, and would leave his trencher for those not able to pay for their meals. "And yet notwithstanding Sir Humphrey Gylberte took not it as any quarrell but seemed loth to leave his company, but no courtesy or patience of his part could persuade or content him." Signed by Wm. Hawkins, W. Rauley. Myles Morgan, John Robartes, Edmond Eltofte, and Henrie Noell. Together, 4 pp. [Dom. Eliz., Vol. 126, Nos. 46, 46 I.]
Nov. 18. 7. Names of the ships, officers, and gentlemen which accompanied Henry Knollis in his voyage begun 18 Nov. 1578. The Elephant, Admiral, 150 tons, Henry Knollis, Captain, his brother, Francis Knollis, Lieut., Old Morse, Master, number of gentlemen, soldiers, and mariners, 100, well victualled for a whole year. The bark Denye, Vice-Admiral, called the Fame, a frigate of 72 ft. long, Edward Denye, Captain, number of gentlemen, soldiers, and mariners, 30. The French bark the Francis, of 70 tons, Gregory Fenton, Captain, whole number 30 Total 160. Capt. Sharpam and Mr. Foscue (sic) are also near in a readiness with five ships victualled for a year for 200 persons, bound in a like voyage. 1 p. [Dom. Eliz., Vol. 126, No. 49.]
Nov. 19. 8. "The names of all the ships, officers, and gentlemen, with the pieces of ordnanee in them, and the number of all the soldiers and mariners gone in the voyage with Sir Humphrey Gylberte, Knight. General in the same, for a discovery to be made by him who took the seas from Plymouth with seven sails, the 19th day of Nov. 1578." Ann Ager, Admiral, 250 tons, Sir Hump. Gylberte, General, Henry Pedly, Master, number of gentlemen, soldiers, and mariners. 126. The Hope of Greneway, Vice-Admiral, 160 tons, Carye Rawlye. brother to Sir H. Gylberte, Captain, number of gentlemen, soldiers, and mariners, 80. The Falcon, Her Majesty's ship of 100 tons, Capt. Walter Rawlye, brother to Sir H. Gylberte, Ferdinando the Portugal, Master, number of gentlemen, soldiers, and mariners, 70. The Red Lyon, 110 tons, Myles Morgan, Captain, number of gentlemen, soldiers, and mariners, 53. The Gallion, 40 tons. Richard Veall, Captain, number of gentlemen, soldiers, and mariners, 28. The Swallow, 40 tons, John Vernye, Captain. number of soldiers and mariners, 24. The Little Frigate or Squirrel of 8 tons, with 8 soldiers and mariners. The whole number of gentlemen, soldiers, and mariners in this fleet, 365 (sic should be 389.) Well victualled with beef for 3 months, fish and biscuits for a year at 3 biscuits a day for each man, with peas and bones for a year, besides particular provisions. 2 pp. [Dom. Eliz., Vol. 126, No. 49.]
Nov. 21.
9. Sir John Gilberte to Sec. Sir Francis Walsingham. Presents himself as one altogether ready to serve him with his poor ability, for Walsingham's great and favorable courtesies to Gilberte's poor brother Sir Humphrey divers and sundry times showed. Beseeches that he may be accepted into his Honor's favor as one of that house that is dedicated to his service, as he knows his good uncle Sir Arthur Champernoune with his brother and others had great courtesies from his Honor. His brother has emboldened him to write, and has assured him of Walsingham's favour, to whom he has made Sir John known by speeches, although not by person. 1 p. [Dom. Eliz., Vol. 126, No. 50.]
Dec. 20. 10. Sir John Gilberte to Sec. Sir Francis Walsingham. It is reported in Court that his brother was not victualled to much effectual purpose for such a voyage, and so scant furnished in every way as not in ease to perform the same. Whereunto he will answer that he himself made his brother's proportion, and was acquainted with the bestowing of the same in every ship. Protests and avows upon his honesty and credit that his brother's ships were victualled with bread, beef, fish, beans and peas, meal, and such other as was requisite for a long voyage, for one whole year, by the judgment of the most best advised honors and masters in all this county. Hopes his Honor will give credit herein, for he has the books of every particular to show and signify the same to such of the Lords of the Council as doubteth hereof. Doubts not yet (if God will) his brother shall perform his voyage: he hath all his own ships yet with him, saving one only, wherein Mr. Noell and a brother of Gylberte's were, which had so dangerous a leak as by no means able to perform the voyage. Prays he will not conceive that Gylberte would for affection to his brother abuse his Honor with untruths. 1 p. [Dom. Eliz., Vol. 127, No. 44.]