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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 10 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 664 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels Volume 10.

Those who still remained in the ship, now reduced to thirteen, having no mind to join their companions in captivity, made all the haste they could away, and being favoured by the winds, they arrived in the harbour of San Lucar, near Seville, on the 7th September, 1522.  He who commanded this vessel, which had the good fortune to return from this remarkable voyage, was Juan Sebastian Cano, a native of Guetaria in Biscay, a person of much merit and resolution, who was nobly rewarded by the emperor Charles V. To perpetuate the memory of this first voyage round the world, the emperor gave him for his coat of arms the terrestrial globe, with this motto, Prima me circumdedisti.  The newly-discovered straits at the southern extremity of South America, were at first named the Straits of Vittori, after the ship which returned; but they soon lost that name, to assume another which becomes them much better, in honour of their discoverer, and have ever since been denominated the Straits of Magellan.

This most celebrated voyage took up three years and twenty-seven days, having commenced on the 10th August, 1519, and concluded on the 7th September, 1522.  By its success, the skill and penetration of the great Columbus, who, only twenty-seven years before, had first asserted the possibility of its performance, were fully established.  One circumstance was discovered in this voyage, which, although reason have taught us to explain, could hardly have been expected a priori.  On the return of the Spaniards to their own country, they found they had lost a day in their reckoning, owing to the course they had sailed; whereas had they gone by the east, and returned by the west, they would have gained a day in their course.

Another circumstance, which served to heighten the reputation of Magellan, who deserves the sole honour of this voyage, was the difficulty experienced by other able commanders, who endeavoured to fellow the course he had pointed out.  The first who made the attempt were two Genoese ships in 1526, but unsuccessfully.  In 1528, Cortes, the conqueror of Mexico, sent two ships with 400 men, to endeavour to find their way through the straits of Magellan to the Moluccas, but without effect.  Sebastian Cabot tried the same thing, by order of Emanuel king of Portugal, but was unable to succeed.

CHAPTER II.

VOYAGE BY SIR FRANCIS DRAKE ROUND THE WORLD, IN 1577-1580.[22]

* * * * *

SECTION I.

Introduction, and Preparation for the Voyage.

In his Annals of the reign of Queen Elizabeth, the learned Cambden informs us, that the father of the celebrated Sir Francis Drake was the Rev. Edmund Drake, vicar of Upnore on the river Medway, and says he had this information from Sir Francis himself.  Yet the industrious John Stowe says, that he was the eldest of twelve brethren, the sons of Edmund Drake, mariner, at Tavistock in Devonshire, and was born in 1540.  Perhaps both accounts may be true; and Mr Edmund Drake, though a mariner originally, may have had a competent share of learning, and may have been admitted to orders on the final establishment of the Reformation.

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