Newfoundland - Timeline (Expand All)
1497: John Cabot "discovers" Newfoundland.
1504: French begin fishing off coast of Newfoundland.
1558: Sir Humphrey Gilbert, future leader of the first expedition to Newfoundland, an Oxford graduate, studies law at one of the Inns of Court.
1562 Queen Elizabeth commissions Gilbert to command a military excursion in aid of the French Huguenots.
1566: Gilbert writes A Discourse of a Discoverie for a New Passage to Cataia, a treatise on the benefits of northwest exploration and colonization of the New World. Not published until 1576 in London, then again in 1589 in Richard Hakluyt the younger's Principall Navigations. (Quinn) (Facsimile edition New York: Da Capo Press, 1968) [Display Quote]
1569: Gilbert, whom Robert A. Williams, Jr., in his The American Indian in Western Legal Thought calls an "Elizabethan terrorist," is made military governor of Munster colony in Ireland. Gilbert regularly beheads his military enemies and slaughters farmers in order to cut off food supplies to resistance and was known to line the path to his tent with the heads of his victims.
1572 & 1573: Sir Francis Drake and his "Golden Hinde" return from Spanish Caribbean pirating ventures, showing Spain's vulnerability and the large booty to be gained in the New World.
1577: Gilbert drafts "A Discourse How Her Majesty May Annoy the King of Spain" and "A Discourse How Her Majesty May Meet with and Annoy the King of Spain" to encourage covert English attacks on Spanish vessels. (Quinn) [Display Quote]
1577: John Dee, General and rare memorials pertayning to the perfect arte of nauigation. London, 1577. Dee's work promoted colonization, and Dee himself assisted Gilbert in planning.
1578: Thomas Churchyard, A discourse of the Queenes Maiesties entertainement in Suffolk and Norffolk with a description of many things then presently seene. . . . Wherevnto is adioyned a commendation of Sir Humfrey Gilberts ventrous iourney. London, 1578. [Display Quote]
1578: Richard Hakluyt the elder writes "Notes on Colonization," a discussion of colonization methods in barbarian lands. Not published until 1582 in the younger Hakluyt's Divers Voyages. (Quinn) [Display Quote]
1578: Queen Elizabeth, having reviewed Gilbert's war-like treatises of 1577, gives Gilbert letters patent to, ostensibly, discover and settle unchristianised territories in North America. (Quinn)
1578: Gilbert departs England to "explore" North America with battle-ready ships navigated by former pirates, only to return due to debilitating battles with Spanish ships at sea and disagreement with fellow captains. Queen Elizabeth halts Gilbert's activities until he pledges assurances of good behavior.
1580: Sir Francis Drake returns to England from circumnavigational pirating with a booty worth 800,000 pounds.
1580: Jacques Cartier, A shorte and briefe narration of the two nauigations and discoueries to the northweast partes called Newe Fraunce.. . now turned into English by Iohn Florio; worthy the reading of all venturers, trauellers, and discouerers. London, 1580. In the preface to this translation, Florio advocates English colonization. [Display Quote]
1582: Divers Voyages Touching the Discovery of America published by Richard Hakluyt the younger specifically promotes colonization of North America. (New York: Burt Franklin, 1964) (Early Canadiana Online) [Display Quote]
1582: Gilbert recruits and enters into an "agreement" with Sir George Peckham and Sir Thomas Gerrard as settlers and future tenants for his yet unclaimed property in North America. Peckham is an Englishman and a Catholic and desires to emigrate from anti-Catholic England. (Quinn)
1582: David Ingram, a New World explorer, examines the flora, fauna, geography, and topography of North America, encouraging potential settlers like Gilbert and Peckham. (Quinn) [Display Quote]
1582: Stephen Parmenius, "illustriset magnanimi equitis aurati HUMFREDI GILBERTI." Ed. David B.Quinn and Neil M. Cheshire. The NewFoundLand of Stephen Parmenius. Toronto: U of Toronto P, 1972. Celebratory poem by a Hungarian who later died on the expedition. [Hide Quote]
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.
1583: Christopher Carleill writes a pamphlet entitled A Brief and Summary Discourse upon the Intended Voyage to the Further most Parts of America to restate English colonizing discourse before Gilbert's voyage.London, 1583. (Quinn) [Display Quote]
1583: Gilbert takes possession of Newfoundland to advance the Christian religion and issues "fishing permits" to European fishing vessels. Gilbert takes a rod and a piece of turf to signify the Queen's ownership and declares Newfoundland under the laws of England. He dies when his ship sinks on the return voyage.
1583: Edward Hayes writes Narrative of Sir Humphrey Gilbert's Last Expedition (published 1589), glorifying the mission and taking great account of the ceremony of possession and the English laws decreed by Gilbert. For Hayes, this is a religious expedition. (Quinn) [Display Quote]
1583: Peckham, having lost his contractual interests in Newfoundland with the death of Gilbert, attempts to rekindle public interest in colonization by publishing A True Reporte of The Newfound Landes (London, 1583), a discourse on the benefits of colonizing North America. Peckham's True Reporte attempts to be comprehensive in justifying colonization, including references to trade, religion, and social welfare. Having never been to Newfoundland, Peckham relies heavily upon the testimony of David Ingram and Spanish settlers. (Quinn)(Facsimile edition New York: Da Capo Press, 1971) (see essay by R. Wesley Atkinson) [Display Quote]
1583: Bartolome de Las Casas's writings translated into English, known as The Spanish Cruelties. English readers are disgusted with Catholic actions in the New World, engendering a wave of anti-catholic suspicion.
1584: Peckham is arrested as a suspect in Catholic attempt at upsetting Queen Elizabeth's reign, thus permanently stifling his opportunity to colonize North America.
1610: John Guy and other business investors establish an English settlement at Cupids, Conception Bay, Newfoundland, under charter of King James I. This colony eventually fails.
1620s: Increased interest in Newfoundland in the 1620s leads to several colonies lead by such people as Henry Cary (Viscount Falkland), Sir George Calvert, and William Vaughan, as well as producing a cluster of justification and promotion works.
1620: John Mason, A briefe discourse of the Nevv-found-land with the situation, temperature, and commoditiesthereof, inciting our nation to goe forward in that hopefull plantation begunne. Edinburgh, 1620. http://www.mun.ca/rels/hrollmann/relsoc/texts/mason.html [Display Quote]
1620: Richard Whitbourne, A discourse and discouery of Nevv-found-land with many reasons to prooue how worthy and beneficiall a plantation may there be made, after a far better manner than now it is. London, 1620. http://www.mun.ca/rels/hrollmann/relsoc/texts/whitbourne/whit.html [Display Quote]
1622: Richard Whitbourne, A discourse containing a louing inuitation both honourable, and profitable to all such as shall be aduenturers, either in person, or purse, for the aduancement of his Maiesties most hopeful plantation in the Nevv-found-land,lately vndertaken. London, 1622. [Display Quote]
1623: T. C. A short discourse of the New-found-land Contaynig[sic] diverse reasons and inducements, for the planting of that countrey. Published for the satisfaction of all such as shall be willing to be adventurers in the said plantation. Dublin, 1623. [Display Quote]
1624: William Alexander Stirling, An encouragement to colonies. London, 1624. (Facsimile edition New York, Da Capo Press, 1968) [Display Quote]
1624: Richard Eburne, A plaine path-vvay to plantations that is, a discourse in generall, concerning the plantation of our English people in other countries. . . . With certaine motiues for a present plantation in New-found land aboue the rest. London, 1624. (Ed. Louis B. Wright. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1962) http://www.mun.ca/rels/hrollmann/relsoc/texts/eburne/etitle.html [Display Quote]
1625: Sir Robert Gordon, Encouragements. For such as shall have intention to bee vnder-takers in the new plantation of Cape Briton, now New Galloway in America, by mee Lochinvar. Edinburgh, 1625. [Display Quote]
1626: William Vaughan, The golden fleece diuided into three parts, vnder which are discouered the errours of religion, the vices and decayes of the kingdome, and lastly the wayes toget wealth, and to restore trading so much complayned of. Transported from Cambrioll Colchos, out of the southermost part of the iland, commonly called the Newfoundland, by Orpheus Iunior, for the generall and perpetuall good of Great Britaine. London, 1626. http://www.mun.ca/rels/hrollmann/relsoc/texts/vaughan/contents.html [Display Quote]
1628: Robert Hayman, Quodlibets, Lately Come Over from New Britaniola, Old Newfoundland London, 1628. http://www.mun.ca/rels/hrollmann/relsoc/texts/hayman.html [Display Quote]