East Indies: December 1575

Pages 10-11

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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December 1575

1575? 21. “A note of certain navigations heretofore attempted for the discovery of a passage through the Streights out of the North Sea into the South Sea.” In America, towards 60 deg. north, is an elbow of land stretching very far into the sea called “the head of Laborer.” On the south is a very broad bay, called Dusmendas, lying out about 400 or 500 miles, which seemeth to be a great sea where are huge heaps of ice, and which hath many islands. Voyage of Sebastian Cabot in 1496 to find out the passage into the countries called Mangi, Sepango, and Cathay. Great abundance of ice, and doubt of finding any way caused his return to England. Hills of ice grow because of divers rivers of sweet water, for the sea itself never freezes. No ice nor snow found in the voyage to Muscovy, although 12 or 13 degrees nearer the pole than Cabot went. In 1500, Gaspar Cortesreales, a Portuguese pilot, brought from those islands threescore captives or slaves. To find the passage from the North to the South Sea, must sail from the 66th to 68th degree into the narrow sea or strait of the Three Brethren, where at no time of the year is ice wont to be found. In 1476, John Scolus, a pilot of Denmark, was in the north of this passage. In 1541, to the south side of this passage, a Spaniard was found, sent by the Viceroy to this coast, who found ships from Cathay in a certain haven, laden with merchandise, with flags painted with birds called “Alcatrizae.” The mariners declared by signs that they came from Cathay in thirty days. [One page. Indorsed as above. Domestic, Eliz., Vol. CVI., No. 77. Cal., p. 513.]