A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 02 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 778 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 02.

A.D. 1344, Peter IV. reigned in Arragon, and the chronicles of his reign report that Don Lewis de Cerda, grandson of Don John de Corda, requested his aid to go and conquer the Canary Islands, which had been gifted to him by Pope Clement VI. a Frenchman.  About this time, too, the island of Madeira is said to have been discovered by an Englishman named Macham; who, sailing from England into Spain with a lady whom he loved, was driven out of his course by a tempest, and arrived in a harbour of that island, now called Machico, after his name.  The lady being oppressed with seasickness, Macham landed with her on the island, accompanied by some of his people; but in the mean time the ship weighed anchor and stood to sea, leaving them behind.  On this the lady died of grief, and Macham, who was passionately fond of her, erected a chapel or hermitage on the island, which he named the chapel of Jesus, and there deposited her remains, engraving both their names and the cause of their coming to this place on a monumental stone.  After this, he and his companions made a boat or canoe out of a large tree, and putting to sea without sails or oars, got over to the coast of Africa.  The Moors among whom he arrived, considering their passage as miraculous, sent him to their king, who transmitted both him and his company to the king of Castile.

In 1395, while Henry III. reigned in Castile, in consequence of information given by Macham respecting this island, many persons of France and Castile were induced to attempt its discovery, and that of the Grand Canary.  Those who went on this expedition were principally from Andalusia, Biscay, and Guipuscoa, who carried thither many men and horses; but I know not whether this was done at their own charge, or that of the king.  But however that might be, these people seem to have been the first discoverers of the Canaries; where they took 150 of the islanders prisoners.  There is some difference among authors respecting the time of this discovery, as some affirm that it did not take place till the year 1405.

[1] August. de Civit.  Dic.  I. 15. c. 20.

[2] The Cape of Good Hope, and the island of Madagascar—­E.

[3] Birmahs

[4] Arracan

[5] Pompon.  Mela, I. 3.  Plin.  I. 2. c. 67.

[6] Joseph:  Ant.  Jud.  I. 1. c. 5.

[7] Justin, I. 1.

[8] Berosus.

[9] Diod.  Sic.  I. 2. c. 5.

[10] Berosus.

[11] Gons.  Fern.  I. 2. c. 3.  Plin.  I. 6. c. 31.

[12] Plin.  I. 4. c. 22.

[13] Eratosth. ap.  Strab.  I. 1. p. 26.

[14] Plin.  I. 6. c. 29.

[15] The miles here used are three to the league; but the league of the
    text is nearly equal to four English miles, and the assumed distance
    of these two ports 140 of our miles—­E.

[16] Strab.  I. 17. p. 560.

[17] Plin.  I. 6. c. 29.

[18] Diod.  Sic.  I. 4. c. 4.

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