The Voyages of William Baffin, 1612-1622.

p. 150: Wherefore I cannot but much admire the worke of the Almightie, when I consider how vaine the best and chiefest hopes of men are in thinges vncertaine ; and to speake of no other then of the hopeful passage to the North-West. How many of the best sort of men haue set their whole endeauoures to prooue a passage that ways? not onely in conference, but also in writing and publishing to the world. Yea, what great summes of money haue been spent about that action, as your worship hath costly experience of. Neither would the vain-glorious Spaniard haue scattered abroad so many false maps and journals, if they had not beene confident of a passage this way; that if it had pleased God a passage had beene found, they might haue eclipsed the worthy prayse of the adventurers and true discouerers. And for my owne part I would hardly haue beleeued the contrary vntill my eyes became witnesse of what I desired not to haue found; still taking occasion of hope on euery likelihood, till such time as we had coasted almost all the circumference of this great bay.

p. 155-56: I thought good to adde somewhat to this relation of Master Baffin, that learned-vnlearned mariner and mathematician, who, wanting art of words, so really employed himselfe to those industries, whereof here you see so euident fruits. His mappes and tables would haue much

illustrated his voyages, if trouble, and cost, and his owne despaire of passage that way, had not made vs willing to content ourselues with that mappe following of that thrice learned (and, in this argument, three times thrice industrious) mathematician, Master Brigges, famous for his readings in both vniuersities and this honourable citie, that I make no further voyage of discouery to finde and follow that remote passage and extent of his name. Master Baffin told mee, that they supposed the tyde from the north-west, about Digges Hand, was misreported, by mistaking the houre, eight for eleuen, and that hee would, if hee might get employment, search the passage from Japan, by the coast of Asia (qua data porta) any way he could. But in the Indies he dyed, in the late Ormus businesse, slaine in fight with a shot, as hee was trying his mathematicall proiects and conclusions.

Now for that discouery of Sir Thomas Button, I haue solicited him for his noates, and receiued of him gentle entertainment and kinde promises : but being then forced to stay in the citie vpon necessary and vrgent affaires, he would at his returne home seeke and impart them. Since I heare that weightie occasions haue detained him out of England, and I cannot communicate that which I could not receiue : which if I doe receiue, I purpose rather to give thee out of due place, then not at all.

p. 157, footnote 1: There was, for some unexplained reason, a good deal of obstruction placed in the way of those who sought for information respecting Sir Thomas Button’s voyage. The instructions were drawn up by Henry, Prince of Wales, in 1612. Button was ordered to make the best of his way up Hudson’s Strait to Digges Island, carefully observing the tides and currents, the elevation and variation of the compass, and the latitude, as well as the distance of the moon from any fixed stars of note. All observations were to be entered in a book, to be delivered to the Prince on the return of the expedition. Digges Island was appointed as the rendezvous for the two ships.

p. 160, in a document from Thomas Cowles: “I, Thomas Cowles, of Bedmester, in the countie of Somerset, marriner, doe acknowledge that six years past, at my being at Lisbon, in the kingdome of Portugall, I did heare one Martin Chacke, a Portugall of Lisbon, reade a booke of his owne making, which he had set out six yeares before that time, in print, in the Portugale tongue, declaring that the said Martin Chacke had found, twelue yeares now past, a way from the Portugall Indies through a gulf of the Newfound Land, which he thought to be in 59° of the eleua- tion of the North Pole. By meanes that hee, being in the said Indies, with foure other shippes of great burden, and he himselfe in a small shippe of fourscore tunnes, was driuen from the company of the other four shippes with a westerly winde, after which hee past alongst by a great number of ilands, which were in the gulfe of the said Newfound Land. And after hee ouershot the gulfe, he set no more sight of any other land vntill he fell with the north-west part of Ireland ; and from thence he took his course homewards, and by that meanes hee came to Lisbone foure or fiue weekes before the other foure ships of his company that he was separated from, as before said. And since the same time, I could neuer see any of those books, because the king commanded them to be called in, and no more of them to be printed, lest in time it would be to their hindrance. In witnesse whereof I set to my hand and niarke, the ninth of April Anno 1579.