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SECT. him in the year 1589, diffused a relish among his
countrymen for the sciences of geography and navi1603. gation,) was induced to project a scheme for send
ing in the year 1603, a small fleet on a voyage, simi- . lar to that of Gosnold's, and prevailed upon several gentlemen and merchants of Bristol to embrace and join in the undertaking. * Previous to any preparations, for this
it is said to have been deemed by them necessary to apply to Sir Walter Raleigh, who was still looked upon as the proprietor of Virginia, in order to procure his licence. On Mr. Hackluyt's application to Sir Walter, they received all the encouragement they could desire; for he not only granted them a licence under his hand and seal, but also made over to them all the profits which should arise from the voyage. After they were thus empow. ered, they raised a joint stock of a thousand pounds, and fitted out two small vessels, the one called the Speedwell, commanded by captain Martin Pring, of the burden of fifty tons, with thirty men and boys; the other a bark of 26 tons, called the Discoverer, commanded by Mr. William Brown, who had under him a mate and eleven men, and a boy.t These
* It is said in Harris's Voyages, Vol. 2, p. 222. that Mr. Hackluyt“had a prebend in the cathedral of Bristol," and in the Modern Universal History, Vol. 39, p. 240, that he was
a Prebendary in the cathedral of Bristol.” This corresponds with his influence with the Bristol merchants. He is however styled, “Prebendary of Westminster," in the first Virginia charter of 1606, and by Robertson. He might, perhaps, have had a prebend in both cathedrals at different times.
+ These vessels appear very small to us at this day for such long voyages; but, according to Hume, such was the mode of building them at that time. See his Appendix to queen Elizabeth's reign.
vessels were victualled for eight months, and had a SECT. large cargo on board, consisting of all sorts of goods that were deemed proper for barter in that country. They sailed from King's Road, near Bristol, on the 20th of March, 1602–3. Being hindered by contrary winds, they put into Milford Haven, where they continued till the 10th of April following, and then proceeded on their voyage. They did not pursue the short route, which Gosnold took, but went by the Azores, and arrived without any remarkable accident, in the beginning of June, on the coast of North America, between the forty-third and forty-fourth degrees of north latitude, among a multitude of islands, in the mouth of Penobscot bay. Ranging the coast to the south-west, and passing the Saco, Kennebunk, York, and Piscata. qua rivers, they proceeded into the bay of Massachu. setts. They went on shore here, but not finding any sassafras-wood, the collection of which was a great object of their voyage, they coasted further along, till they entered a large sound, supposed to be what is now called the Vineyard sound, and came to an anchor on the north side of it. Here they landed at an excellent harbour in a bay, which, in honour of the mayor of Bristol, they called Whitson bay; mentioned to be in about forty-one de, grees and some few minutes north latitude. Having built a hut, and inclosed it with a barricade, some of them kept constant guard in it, while others were employed in collecting sassafras in the woods. The natives came and trafficked with them, forty or fifty in a company, and sometimes upward of an hun. dred, and would eat and drink, and be merry
SECT. them. Observing a lad in the company, playing
upon a guitar, they seemed much pleased at it, got 1603. round about him, and taking hands, danced twenty
or thirty in a ring, after their manner. It was observed, that they were more afraid of two mastiff dogs, which the English had with them, than of twenty men ; so that when our voyagers wished to get rid of their company, they let loose one of these mastiffs, upon which the natives would immediately shriek out, and run away to the woods. After remaining here about seven weeks, the bark was despatched, well freighted with sassafras, for England. Soon after her departure, some alarming appearances of hostility began to be manifested on the part of the Indians; which might, probably, be owing to the above-mentioned improper conduct towards them, as well as the erecting a fortification in their country; for not long afterwards, when most of the men were absent from the fort, a large party of Indians came and surrounded it, and would probably have surprised it, if the captain of the ship had not fired two guns, and alarmed the workmen in the woods. This induced them to accelerate the lading and departure of the ship, for which they had procured a very valuable cargo of skins and furs, in exchange for the commodities which they had bartered with the Indians. Amongst the curiosities which they brought back with them, was a canoe, or boat used by the inhabitants, made of the bark of the birch tree, sewed together with twigs, the seams covered with rosin or turpentine ; and though it was seventeen feet long, four broad, and capable of carrying nine persons, it did not weigh sixty pounds. These
boats the inhabitants rowed, or rather paddled, with SECT. two wooden instruments, similar to baker's peels, by which they went at a great rate. On the day 1603. before the embarkation of the English, an incident occurred, which seemed to confirm the suspected hostility of the natives. They came in great numbers to the woods where the English had cut the sassafras, and set fire to it; which seemed to be de. signed to let them know, that they would preserve nothing in their country, which should invite such guests to visit them again. On the ninth of August our voyagers quitted the coast, and sailed for Eng. land, arriving in the mouth of the Bristol channel in five weeks; but meeting there with contrary winds, they could not reach King's road before the second of October : and they had the satisfaction of finding that their bark was safely arrived a fortnight before them. *
In the same year also, and while Pring was em- Captain ployed in this voyage, captain Bartholomew Gilbert, mew Gil: who had been the year before with captain Gosnold, bert's voy- . was sent by some merchants of London, on a further discovery, to the southern part of Virginia; it being intended also, that he should search for the lost English colony. Sailing from Plymouth on the tenth of May, in a bark of fifty tons, by the way
of the West Indies, where they made a short stay, they arrived on the 25th of July, off the Capes of Chesapeake bay, which Gilbert was very desirous of entering ; but the wind blowing hard, with a high sea, though they beat about for two or three days,
* Harris's Voyages, Vol. 2, p. 222. Mod. Univ. Hist. Vol. 39, p. 240. Holmes's Annals, Vol. 1, p. 145,
SECT. they could not get in, and were obliged to bear
away to the eastward. On the twenty-ninth they 1603. anchored about a mile from the shore; and the cap
tain, with four of his best men and two lads, landed in their boat. Being provided with arms, he and
. his men marched some short distance up into the country: but, in their march, they were set upon and overpowered by the natives, and all killed ; and it was not without difficulty, that the two young men who were left with the boat, could reach the ship again, to bring the news. They being now, in all, but eleven men and boys in the ship, were afraid to venture the loss of any more of their small company; and their provisions growing short, the master, Henry Sute, who had taken the command, resolved, though they were in extreme want of wood and water, to return homewards; which they did, and arrived in the river Thames about the end of September.*
* Harris's Voyages, Vol. 2, p. 223. Holmes's Annals, Vol. 1, p. 146. The above account of Gilbert's voyage is extracted from Harris's Voyages, with which Holmes's Annals correspond. But it may be proper to be informed, that Oldmixon in his British Empire in America, Vol. 1, p. 219, gives a different relation of this expedition. He says, that “Gilbert pro ceeded from the Carribee islands to the bay of Chesapeake, in Virginia, being the first that sailed up into it, and landed there. The Indians set upon him and his company in the woods ; and captain Gilbert and four or five of his men,
were killed by their arrows: upon which his crew returned home.” But, as the above mentioned collection of voyages by Harris, is not only posterior in time, but also rather a more authentic work than Oldmixon's, the narration of the former is here adopted in the text. There is an obscurity, however, in Harris's account of it as to the place where Gilbert was killed. As only a day or two intervened between his quitting the capes of Che.