A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 06 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 750 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 06.

[Footnote 5:  Vulgari Sermoni, is translated by Hakluyt, in the language of the savages; but we have given it a different sense in the text, that used by Hakluyt having no sufficient warrant in the original.—­E.]

Besides the foregoing memorandum on the ancient map, Hakluyt gives the following testimonies respecting the discovery of the northern part of America, by Cabot.


Discourse by Galeacius Butrigarius, Papal Legate in Spain, respecting the Discoveries in America, by Sebastian Cabot[6].

Do you know how to sail for the Indies towards the northwest, as has been lately done by a Venetian citizen, a valiant man and so learned in all things pertaining to navigation and cosmography, that no one is permitted to sail as pilot to the West Indies who has not received his licence, he being pilot-major of Spain?  This person, who resides in the city of Seville, is Sebastian Cabot, a native of Venice, who is most expert in these sciences, and makes excellent sea-charts with his own-hands.  Having sought his acquaintance, he entertained us in a friendly manner, showing us many things, and among these a large map of the world containing sundry navigations, both those of the Spaniards and Portuguese.  On this occasion he gave us the following information.

[Footnote 6:  Hakluyt, III. 27. from the second volume of Ramusio.]

His father went many years since from Venice to England, where he followed the profession of a merchant, taking this person his son along with him to London, then very young, yet having received some tincture of learning, and some knowledge of the sphere.  His father died about the time when news was spread abroad that Don Christopher Columbus, the Genoese, had discovered the coasts of the Indies by sailing towards the west, which was much admired and talked of at the court of King Henry VII. then reigning in England, so that every one affirmed that it was more attributable to divine inspiration than human wisdom, to have thus sailed by the west unto the east, where spices grow, by a way never known before.  By these discourses the young man, Sebastian Cabot, was strongly incited to perform some notable and similar action; and conceiving by the study of the sphere that it would be a shorter route for going to India, than that attempted by Columbus, to sail by the north-west, he caused the king to be informed thereof, who accordingly gave orders that he should be furnished with two ships, properly provided in all things for the voyage.  He sailed with these from England in the beginning of summer 1496, if I rightly remember, shaping his course to the north-west, not expecting to find any other land intervening between and Cathay or Northern China.  He was much disappointed by falling in with land running toward the north, the coast of which he sailed along to the lat. of 56 deg.  N. and found it still a continent.  Finding the

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