Newfoundland - Timeline (Collapse All)
But Cataia is […] a country, well known to be described and set forth by all modern Geographers [...] and the passage thereunto, by the Northwest from us, through a sea which lieth on the Northside of Labrador. […] What commodities would ensue, this passage once discovered. [...] we should be able to sell all manner of merchandise, brought from thence, far better cheape, then either the Portingal, or Spaniard doth.
The diminishing of their forces by seas is done either by open hostility, or by some colorable means, as by giving of license under letters patent to discover and in habit some strange place, with a special provision for their safety whom policy requireth to have most annoyed by which means the doing of the contrary shall be imputed to the executors' fault; your highness' letter patents being a manifest show that it was not your Majesty's pleasure so to have it.
I marueled hovve this Knight,
could leaue his Lady heere,
His friends, and prettie-tender babes,
that he did hold so deere,
And take him to the Seas,
where dayly dangers are.
The wavved I hovv, immortall Fame,
vvas more than vvorldly care,
And where great mind remaynes,
the bodyes rest is small,
For Countreys vvealth, for priuate gayne,
or glory seeke vve all.
Stone to make Lyme of, Slate stone to tile withal or suchclay as maketh tile, Stone to wall withal if Brick may not be made, Timber for building easily to be conveyed to the place, Reed to coverhouses or such like, if tile or slate be not, are to be looked for asthings without which no City may be made nor people in civil sort bekept together. [...] Nothing is more to be endeavored with the inland people than familiarity. For so may you best discover all the natural commodities of their country, and also all their wants, all their strengths, all their weaknesses, and with whom they are in war [...] which known, you may work great effects of greatest consequence.
aduentured to translate this parte of Nauigation, which ... may be an occasion of no smal commoditie and benefite to this our Countrie of Englande. And herein the more to animate and encourage the Englishe Marchants, I doe onlie . . . propose untio them the infinite treasures.. . which bothe the Spaniardes, the Portugales, and the Venetians haue seueraly gained by their suche nauigations and trauails.
For there is no doubt but that there is a straight and short way open into the West, euen vnto Cathay. Into which kingdome, if they take their course aright, they shall gather the most noble merchandise of all the worlde,and shall make the name of Christ to be knowne vnto many idolatrous and Heathen people.
He hath confessed that there be in that country great abundance of a kind of beast almost as big again as an ox [...] Sir H: Gilbert's man brought of the hides of this beast from the place he discovered.
What strange new radiance is this that shines
So suddenly in heaven's changing face?
How is it that the heavy clouds dissolve
Into light breezes, mists disperse, and so
The sun can shine more brightly, since his path
Is cleared, on land and on the gentle sea?
The South wind drops, and now the milder East
Blows once again. To this fair breeze unfurl
The sails which England's Humphrey Gilbert sets
Towards a world our fathers did not know
In seas they scarcely saw.
It is to be assuredly hoped, that they [Native Americans]will daily by little and little forsake their barbarous and savageliving, and grow to such order and civility with us [English settlers],as there may bewell expected from thence no lesse quantity and diversity ofmerchandizethan is now had out of Dutchland, Italy, France or Spain.
He [Gilbert] proposed and delivered three laws to be inforce immediately. hat is to say: the first for Religion, which in public exercise should be according to the Church of England. The second for maintenance of her Majesty's right and possession of those territories, against which if any thing were attempted prejudicial, the party or parties should be adjudged and executed as in case of high treason [...] The third, if any person should utter words sounding to the dishonor of her Majesty, he should loose his ears, and have his ship and his goods confiscate.
For who doubteth but that it is lawfull for Christians to use trade and traffic with Infidels or Savages, carrying thither such commodities as they want, and bringing from thence some part of their plenty? A thing so commonly and generally practised, both in these our days, and in times past, beyond the memory of man, both by Christians and Infidels, that it needeth no further proof.
Iune hath Capline, a fish much resembling Smeltes in forme and eating,and such aboundance dry on Shoare as to lade Carts, in some partes pretty store of Salmond, and Cods so thicke by the shoare that we heardlie haue beene able to row a Boate through them, I haue killed of them with a Pike; Of these, three men to Sea in a Boate with some on Shoare to dresse and dry them in 30. dayes will kill commonlie betwixt 25. and thirty thousand, worth with the Oyle arising from them 100 or 120. pound. . . .
4 Fourthly and lastly, Securitie from foraine and domesticke enemies, there being but few Saluages in the north, and none in the south parts of the Countrie; by whom the planters as yet neuer suffered damage, against whom (if they should seeke to trouble vs,) a small fortification will serue being but few in number, and those onely Bow men.
The naturall Inhabitants of the Countrey, as they arebut few in number; so are they something rude and sauage people; hauing neither knowledge of God, nor liuing vnder any kinde of ciuill gouernement. In their habits, customes and manners, they resemble the Indians of the Continent, from whence (I suppose) they come; they liue altogether in the North and West part of the Countrey, which is seldome frequented by the English. . . .
For it is most certaine, that by a Plantation there, and by that meanes onely, the poor mis-beleeuing Inhabitants of that Countrey may be reduced from Barbarisme, to the knowledge of God, and the light of his truth, and to a ciuill and regular kinde of life and gouernement.
This is a thing so apparent, that I need not inforce it any further, or labour to stirre vp the charity of Christians therein, to giue their furtherance towards a worke so pious, euery man knowing, that euen we our selues were once as blinde as they in the knowledge and worship of our Creator, and as rude and sauage in our liues and manners.
Onely thus much will I adde, that it is not a thing impossible, but that by meanes of those slender beginnings which may be made in New-found-land, all the regions neere adioyning thereunto, may in time bee fitly conuerted to the true worship of God.
What can he doe lesse hurtfull to any, or more agreeable to God, then to seeke to conuert the poore Sauages (which liue in the north part of that Country) to know their Creator and Redeemer?
The Honour of the action is double: for first it tends to the honour of God in propagating of Religion; so as by this meanes that countrey which hitherto has only served as a den for wilde beasts, shal not only be repleat with Christian inhabitants, but the Savages who live in the adjoining continent of America (amongst whom not so much as the name of Chrost has ever yet beene heard) may in time be reduced to Civilitie and Religion. . . .
The Lawfulnesse of the cause, will be made plaine by this: in as much as it cannot be proved, that any part of that country . . . hath ever yet been inhabited either by Christian or Infidell.
The Plantations in America doe approch neerest to the puritie of these that . . . in the infancie of the first age did extend the multiplying generations of Mankind, to people the then Desert Earth, for here they may possess themselues withour dispossessing others, the Land either wanting Inhabitants, or hauing none that doe appropriate to themselues any peculiar ground, but (in a straggling company) runne like beasts after beasts, seeking no soile, but onely after their prey.
This is, as you see, greatly to the honor of God, but it will be much more if, when and where our people do plant themselves in such countries where already are an infinite number of other people, all savages, heathens, infidels, idolaters, etc., this in the plantation may principally and speedily be labored and intended: that by learning their languages and teaching them ours, by training up of their children, and by continual and familiar converse and commerce with them, they may be drawn and induced, persuaded and brought to relinquish and renounce their own heathenisms, idolatries, blasphemies, and devil worships.. . .
Secondly, they with whom we have to do are not so rude as some imagine, I believe. Most, if not all of them, specially they of Guiana, do show themselves, their breeding considered, exceeding tractable; very loving and kind to our nation above any other; industrious and ingenious to learn of us and practice with us most arts and sciences; and, which is most to be admired and cherished, very ready to leave their old and blind idolatries and to learn of us the right service and worship of the true God. And what more can be expected from them in so small time and means? Or what surer probability or hope would we have that we shall or may easily and within short time win them to our own will and frame them as we list? Verily, I suppose, if all things be considered well and rightly compared, we have nearer home worse neighbors a great deal. . . .
Fourthly, and for mine own part, I do not like [invasion as a means of starting a plantation]. I nor am nor can be persuaded that it may be lawful for one nation to fight against and destroy another in that sort, and upon no better title than the desire of their lands and goods to bereave each other of their rights and lives.
As the chiefe and primarie end of mans creation is the Worshippe of GOD, so shall the first, and speciall motive of my proceeding be the advancement of his Glorie, and that by the propagation of the Gospell of JESUS CHRIST amongst an Heathen people, where Christianitie hath not been knowne, nor the worshippe of the true GOD. . . .
Is it unlawful for vs to come to them? No, it is the duetie of Christianitie in vs, to behold the imprinted footsteppes of GODS glorie in every region vnder Heaven, and to them, against the Law of Nations, to violate a peaceable Stranger, or deny vs harbour.
I lookt into the Plantations at the Summer-Iles, Virginia, yea into Affrick, as farre as the Cape of good hope, where for the ease of our East Indian Fleetes, I conceiued at Sancta Helena, or Soldana, a fit Plantation might be erected. But after that I had considered the many difficulties by reason of the tediousnesse of the voyage, the charge, and aboue all, the malice of the Spaniards, who being like to the Dogge in the Manger, doe want people to plant, and yet they will not permit others to plant. I saw that God had reserued the Newfoundland for vs Britaines, as the next land beyond Ireland,and not aboue nine or tenne dayes saile from thence. I saw that he hadbestoweda large portion for this Countries mariage with our Kingdomes,euenthis great Fishing, that by this meanes it might be frequented and inhabited the sooner by vs. And I verily thinke, that his Heauenly prouidence ordained this Iland not without a Mystery for vs of Great Britaine,that Ilanders should dwel in Ilands; and that wee should ponder on this ensuing Morall:
Euen as our Sauiour Christ making Fishermen, Fishers of men, preferred, Peter, Andrew, & others his Apostles, being plaine persons and simple, before the great Lords of the earth,as also the Lillies of the field, before the Royalties of Salomon: so in these latter daies, his vnsearchable wisedome preferring necessary maintenance, before needlesse superfluity, hath allotted Newfoundland, the grand Port of Fishing, to the Professors of the Gospell. And because the depraued nature of mankinde delighteth in appetite and some appearance of profit; therefore his sacred Maiestie discouered that plentifull Fishing vnto vs, to allure vs from our home-bred idlenesse, to this necessary place of Plantation. It is not Gold, nor a Siluermine, which can feed either body or soule; but the one requires nourishment to be gotten by the sweat of the browes, the other must haue spirituall repast by the Word of God.
These few bad vnripe Rimes of mine (comming from thence) are in all humility presented with the like intendiment to your Maiestie, to testifie that the Aire there is not so dull, or maleuolent, but that if better wits were transplanted thither, neither the Summers heat would dilate them, nor the Winters cold benumme them, but that they might in full vigovr flourish to good purpose.