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all parts of the island to yield the country up into his hands,
taking down their ensigns in every town and village. They
decided therefore to stay in that place to await his coming,
taking it for granted that he would be there very shortly."
And further, at page 9.


Departing thence, they went in triumphant manner towards Frislanda, the chief city of the island, on the south-east of it, lying inside a bay, in which there is such abundance of fish that many ships are laden therewith to supply Flanders, Brittany, England, Scotland, Norway, and Denmark, and by this trade they gather great wealth."

As Zichmni came by land, Sanestal (Major's and Zahrtmann's Sandóe) must have been on the same continuous land as the place from whence he had journeyed thither. The island Sandó, through which I myself have travelled twice from north to south, and am therefore well acquainted with the localities, has indeed a few dwellings at "Sand," around a small bay with anchorage, though open for southern winds, which frequently cause a very heavy sea against the land. On that insignificant spot Zichmni is said to be with his army.† From whence he came is not said, but by land it is not possible to come to that little island.

I may remark as a well-known fact that on the Færoe-islands the preparation of fish with salt (Klipfisk) was not practised before the present century; before that time dried fish without salt (Stoktisk) only was prepared; I will not, however, urge this as a principal and decisive argument.

At page 6:6: This sea through which they sailed from Sanestal to Bondendon was in a manner full of shoals and rocks," &c.

From this place Sanestal, Zichmni, of course, intended to go to the conquest of Frislanda (Major's Færoe-islands), but casting a glance on the chart of the Faroes, and following the line which the fleet with Nicolò Zeno on board is said to have sailed, it perplexes me that the fleet at the outset were not directed to Skaapen, a landing-place on the northern side of Sandó, in order to transport the army to Stromó (Major's Frislanda), for the purpose of conquering it. What, at any rate, had the fleet to do at Bondendon (Mr. Major's and Admiral


According to Mr. Major's edition, 1873. See the 1oute on the Feroe chart.


Zahrtmann's Norderdahl), leaving the army on the little scantilypeopled Sandó, Sanestal not being continuous land with Frislanda? Mr. Major and others may believe that the word "Norderdahl" to a southern ear sounded like "Bondendon; but this would not justify the fleet's sailing to Norderdahl.

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The navigation from Sanestal to Bondendon is, in the Italian narrative, described as perilous through the many shoals and rocks; but this does not agree with the actualities at the Færoeislands; the insignificant distance of 14 to 15 miles, westward of Sandó, passing by the smalt islands Trolhoved, Hestó, and Kolter, to Norderdahl, being quite clear water. Hestó and Kolter are towering, steep-to, rocky islands surrounded by good water. Trolhoved is a smaller and lower uninhabited rock y island; but so free from obstacles that you may go so close in shore as to touch the rock with your jib-boom. There is no anchoring-ground, however, in the Sound at Norderdahl; but often a strong current and heaving of the sea, the coast being rocky, steep-to: and on such an exposed place Mr. Major supposes that the fleet had thought fit to wait for Zichmni's arrival. The coast in its whole length, from Norderdahl to the southernmost part of Stromó, is somewhat steep-to and rocky, where no dwellings, except little farms, have ever existed. Norderdahl, Sydredal, Velbastad, Kirkebó, and Bó, where some grass-plots may be found, but only near the houses, just sufficient for the few cattle and sheep, the produce of corn being very small. I have several times passed between Thorshavn and the southern part of the island. The whole southern part, the above-named grassy plots excepted, as well as the inner part of Sandó, exhibit nothing but rocks and sterile stony tracts, and is therefore uninhabitable. Certainly the triumphal march of Zichmni cannot have taken place on the Færoe-islands, from Sanestal to Thorshavn, but must certainly have passed through a larger land-area and with greater population. From Slattaretind on the north side of Osteró, another of the Faroes, about 3000 feet above the level of the sea, the highest point of the island, I have overlooked the whole group, the ocean all around, and the deep Sounds between all those small steep rocky islands; and am convinced that, from whatever high point of any of these islands Zeno might have formed an idea of the extension of the same, as an experienced sailor he would never in his 'Carta da Navegar' have laid down, as he has done, the Faroes as a single island somewhat greater than Ireland.

At pages 25 and 26 we find in Mr. Major's edition:"Steering westwards, we discovered some islands subject to


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Frislanda, and passing certain shoals, came to Ledovo,* where we stayed seven days to refresh ourselves and to furnish the fleet with necessaries. Departing thence we arrived on the 1st of July at the island of Ilafe;† and as the wind was full in our favour, we pushed on."

Let us examine that island, Little Dimon, of which I subjoin a sketch. Little Dimon rises steep out of the almost constant heavy seas of the North Atlantic; it is 1299 feet high, and its greatest diameter at the level of the sea is about half a mile (between 3000 and 4000 feet). There is no port, no


anchorage, no lee-side; almost always breakers, more or less, against that almost perpendicular rocky coast; very often, through the strong tide, races whirling round the island, increasing in violence. The island is abordable only at one single point, and this only in calm weather; it is besides so steep-to, that one ought to be accustomed to climb almost perpendicular rocks to get ashore, and no fresh water is to be found. Certainly the fleet stayed not here, at this uninhabitable spot, for refreshment and necessaries, where nothing is found but rock and a little grass.

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Ilafe (Mr. Major's Skuó) is larger than Little Dimon and inhabited, but it also is a high rocky island. Ilafe, with Great and Little Dimon, present themselves as lying close to each other, and are, through their little distance respectively from each other, to be seen distinctly at the same time.

The narrative does not give the time at which the fleet left Ledovo (Little Dimon), but states only that it arrived at Ilafe on the 1st of July. I suppose that the distance from Ledovo to Ilafe must have been greater than from Little Dimon to Skuó, which is only 7 or 8 miles, a distance that may easily be made in an hour.

By the name of Frislanda, then, Zeno cannot have meant the Faroes. So large an island as he described, south of Iceland, indeed never existed. The old Northmen who, many centuries before Zeno, crossed the Northern Atlantic on their voyages to Iceland and Greenland, shaping their course south of Iceland, never mention the great island "Frislanda; neither on the many voyages between England and Iceland, before the time of Zeno, had that great land been seen.

John Dee sets forth that the Franciscan, Nicolaus de Linne, who in 1360 voyaged in the northern seas, and published a book thereon, entitled Inventio Fortunata,' set out from the harbour Linne (now King's Lynn in Norfolk), from whence, with ordinary winds, it is fourteen days' sailing to Iceland, which "had bene of many yeeres a very common and usual trade." By Acts of Edward III., 2nd, 5th, and 31st year, the fishermen of Blakey, in Norfolk, were freed from the King's ordinary service, on account of their commerce on Iceland, but no mention is made of Frislanda.

But what island may Zeno have meant to indicate by his "Frislanda"? I believe that an examination of the relations which at that time existed between Europe and the islands of the North Atlantic will show us this.

As neither the fisheries at Newfoundland nor at Lofoden, Norway, were known at that time, and as the Catholic religion was then predominant over all these northern countries, Germany, England, Denmark, Norway, and nearly over the whole of Europe, where in Lent there was a great consumption of fish, of which "stokfisk" (dried fish) was one of the principal supplies, the fish-trade of course was carried on principally in Iceland, whose surrounding waters were renowned for their extraordinary riches in fish. Zeno asserts that in Frislanda there was such abundance of fish, that many ships were laden therewith, to supply Flanders, Brittany, England, Scotland,

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* Nordisk Tidsskrift for Oldkyndighed,' 2nd Bind, Kiöbenhavn, 1833, page 26.

Norway, and Denmark; and that great wealth was earned by

the trade.

On Martin Boheim's globe, constructed in the year 1492, we read :—“In der Insel Island, fängt man den Stockfisch, den man in unser Land bringt." The trade on Westmanó, south of Iceland, where the sea abounds with fish, appears to have been very considerable. Amongst English merchants there are named, in 1419,-Raflin Tirrington, John Effrardh, Thomas Ladsel, Nicles Wanflit, and Richard Plebel; and amongst their clerks, Robert Bulington, Richard Brillenton, John Wachfield, John Durdley, and Richard Stokeley, most of whom dwelt there and traded throughout the winter.* As to such abundance of

fish in these old days in the Faroes, nothing is known.

With regard to this commerce with Iceland, I note from Icelandic sources the following items :†

About the year 1400, Englishmen gained an absolute supremacy in the trade on Iceland. They ill-treated the Icelanders, and incredible were the injuries they perpetrated-rapines, pillage, mutiny, and manslaughter.

In the year 1419 Thorsley Arnesen sailed from Iceland in order to represent to the King of Denmark the calamities brought on the inhabitants by the pillages of foreigners. On the voyage he was surprised by an English vessel, whose assault, however, he repelled, and took refuge first at the Færoes, lastly in Norway.

In 1420 English ships, under John Marris and Rawlin Tirrington, traded on Westmanó, where they robbed nine lasts of the king's dried fish.

On the coasts of North Iceland, in Skagafiord, the crews from three ships landed in full battle array, with trumpets and flying ensigns. They slew there a royal officer, John Ide, wronged the administrator at Holum in the presence of the bishop, besides practising robberies and other crimes.

In 1424 the English seized and plundered for the fourth time Bessestad (then the residence of the bailiff), near Reikiavik, carried away, among other goods, six lasts of dried fish, slew one Anders Olsen, and wounded and seized many others of the king's men, &c. &c. The ringleaders named are John Percy, John Pasdal, and Thomas Dale. On one or more adjacent islands the English had places of refuge, surrounded with entrenchments. Westmanó was ravaged repeatedly; a quasi peace was concluded, but soon broken. The English pursued the royal officers even on the main land. Near the church of

*Nordisk Tidsskrift for Oldkyndighed,' 2nd Bind, 1833, page 138.
+ Ibid., Finn Magnusen, Om de Engelskes Wandel paa Island.'

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