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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 07 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 685 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels Volume 07.

As in the first voyage of the English to Guinea, I have given rather the order of the history than the course of navigation, of which I had then no perfect information; so in this second voyage my chief purpose has been to shew the course pursued, according to the ordinary custom and observation of mariners, and as I received it from the hands of an expert pilot, who was one of the chiefest in this voyage[199], who with his own hand wrote a brief journal of the whole, as he had found and tried in all things, not conjecturally, but by the art of navigation, and by means of instruments fitted for nautical use[200].  Not assuming therefore to myself the commendations due to another, neither having presumed in any part to change the substance or order of this journal, so well observed by art and experience, I have thought fit to publish it in the language commonly used by mariners, exactly as I received it from that pilot[201].

[Footnote 198:  Hakluyt, II. 470.  Astl 1.114.  In the first edition of Hakluyt’s collection, this voyage is given under the name of Robert Gainsh, who was master of the John Evangelist, as we learn by a marginal note at the beginning of the voyage in both editions.—­Astl.  I. 144. a.]

[Footnote 199:  Perhaps this might be Robert Gainsh, in whose name the voyage was first published.—­Astl.  I. 144. b.]

[Footnote 200:  Yet the latitudes he gives, if observed, are by no means exact.—­Astl.

In this version we have added the true latitudes and longitudes in the text between brackets; the longitude from Greenwich always understood.—­E.]

[Footnote 201:  This is the exordium, written by Richard Eden, from whose work it was adopted by Hakluyt, yet without acknowledgement.  In the title, it appears that this expedition was fitted out as the joint adventure of Sir George Barne, Sir John York, Thomas Lok, Anthony Hickman, and Edward Castelin.—­E.]

* * * * *

On the 11th October 1554, we departed from the river Thames with three good ships.  One of these named the Trinity, was of 140 tons burden; the second, called the Bartholomew, was 90 tons; and the third, called the John Evangelist, was 140 tons.  With these three ships and two pinnaces, one of which was lost on the coast of England, we staid fourteen days at Dover, and three or four days at Rye, and lastly we touched at Dartmouth.  Departing on the 1st November, at 9 o’clock at night, from the coast of England, off the Start point, and steering due south-west all that night, all next day, and the next night after, till noon of the 3d, we made our way good, running 60 leagues.  The morning of the 17th we had sight of the island of Madeira, which to those who approach from N.N.E. seems to rise very high, and almost perpendicular in the west.  To the S.S.E. is a long low land, and a long point with a saddle through the midst of it, standing in 32 deg.  N. [lat. 32 deg. 30’ N. long. 16 deg. 12’ W.] And in the west part are many springs of water running down from the mountain, with many white fields like fields of corn, and some white houses in the S.E. part.  Also in this part is a rock at a small distance from the shore, over which a great gap or opening is seen in the mountain.

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