In 1385, some Biscayners and inhabitants of Seville joined in the equipment of five ships at Cadiz, in order to make descents for the sake of plunder upon the Canary islands, and the adjacent coast of Africa. After coasting along the African shore, they sailed westwards, and fell in with the island now called Lancerota, where they landed; and after a skirmish with the natives, plundered the town, front which they carried off a large booty of goat-skins, tallow, and sheep, and 170 of the inhabitants, whom they sold into slavery. Among these were Guanareme, king of the island, and his wife Tingua-faya. A similar expedition in quest of plunder and captives was made to Lancerota from Seville in 1393.
In the year 1400, John de Betancour, a gentleman of Normandy, and Gadifer de Sala, a person of considerable fortune, fitted out three small vessels from Rochelle in France, containing 200 persons, exclusive of the mariners, and made a descent upon Lancerota, where they erected a fort at a harbour, to which they gave the name of Rubicon. Leaving there a small garrison, they passed over to the island of Fuertaventura; but being opposed by the natives, they prudently retired without fighting. Betancour afterwards applied to Don Henry III. king of Arragon, for assistance to enable him to make a conquest of these islands; who made him a grant of them in due form, with the title of king, and supplied him with money to defray the expence of an armament to accomplish their subjugation. He easily effected the conquest of Lancerota, and divided its lands among the French and Spanish adventurers who had assisted him in the expedition.
After the death of John de Betancour, his nephew, Mason de Betancour, sold the Canary Islands to Don Henry de Guzman, Count of Niebla; who afterwards conveyed them to Guillen Paraza, and from whom they fell by inheritance to Diego de Herrera, who died in 1485. In 1487, the sovereignty was resumed by the crown of Castile, with the title of a kingdom.
 Glas. Disc. and Conqu. passim.
 The Author of the History of the Canaries, omits
the date of this
grant. Clement VI. was Pope from 1343 to 1352, between which years the
papal grant must have been made.—E.