The Voyages of Captain Luke Foxe of Hull, and Captain Thomas James of Bristol, in Search of a North-West Passage, in 1631-32….

Foxe’s Voyages recounts not only his own voyage but gives a brief account, mainly derived from Purchas, of his predecessors.

p. iv: With reference to these abstracts of earlier voyages [Hakluyt and Purchas] , Foxe himself, in a passage (Preface to the Reader; see p. 9) which, were it a little less uncouthly worded, would be a really fine piece of rhetoric, boldly admits that they were taken chiefly out of Hakluyt and Purchas, and says: I do confesse my self to be infinitly [sic] bound unto them and others for their paines. He had, he tells the reader, by these abstracts, brought the large and costly works of the above-named writers cheaply within the reach of all, besides adding “much that never came in print as yet, being very difficult to be had…. Nor [says he, with much force] doe I hold that man fit to take charge of voyages remote, especially north-east or westward, and be ignorant of those Abstracts and Journals following…. In them I have done my best, and whosoever will amend them, I shall take him for a friend.” [Many of his successors followed that advice and brought accounts of Arctic research with them on their own voyages.]

p. 606, in a list of instruments provided for his voyage are a number of books: A Chest full of the best and choicest Mathematicall bookes that could be got for money in England; as likewise Master Hackluite and Master Purchase, and other books of Journals and Histories.

Study Instruments of all sorts….

Two pair of curious Globes, made purposely, the workeman being earnestly affected to this Voyage.

Volume II:

p. 265-66, Foxe in discussing his preparations: And for Bookes, if I wanted any, I was to blame, being bountifully furnished from the Treasurer with money to provide me, especially for those of study; there would be no leisure, nor was there, for I found worke enough; and, if the matter it self had not been in another place when sodaine occasion was present, it had bin too late for me (like the Holland Skipper to runne to his chest) to looke upon his Waggoner booke. But those things I feare you will say they are needlesse (yet give me leave to follow the fashion), and good for nothing but to make Courtiers and Schollers marvell at my curiosite, and think strange that there should be so much ado about making a Ship take the Sea.

Things [being] in this readinesse, I was brought to his Maiestie, where I received his Gracious favour, with a Mappe of all my Predecesssors Discoveries, his Maiesties Instruction, with a Letter to the Emperour of Iapon. [Miller’s gloss: Apparently Foxe means that, if he had not the requisite knowledge in his head, it would be useless to have it in a book. He may have thought differently if he had not made his somewhat controversial decision to return to England before having to winter over. In any case, this apparently anti-intellectual attitude about books seems to conflict with his claim elsewhere that one needed to study arctic practice. Foxe’s voyages recounts not only his own voyage but gives a brief account, mainly derived from Purchas, of his predecessors. The Thomas James account is in Volume II, p. 451-611.]

p. 266, in a list of “Orders and Articles for Civill Government” for Foxe’s expedition: 1. That all the whole Company, as well Officers as others, shall duly repaire every day twice, at the Call of the Bell, to here publike Prayers to be read (such as are authorized by the Church), and that in a godly and devout manner, as good Christians ought. 2. That no man shall Swear by the name of God, nor vse any prophane Oath, or blaspheme his holy Name, vpon paine of severe punishment. 3. That no man shall speke any vile or misbeseeming word against the honour of his Maiesty (our Dread Soveraigne), his Lawes, or Ordinances, or the Religion established and authorized by him here in England, but as good Subjects shall duely pray for him. 4. That no man shall speake any doubtful or despairing words against the good successe of the Voyage, or make any doubt thereof, eyther in publique or private, at his Messe or to his Watch-mate…. [etc., in the same vein up to item 8. Amen.]

p. 268, footnote 4: The Shoe and the Whittaker were both beacons…marking the western side of the Swin Channel…. The Whittaker which still exists) lies somewhere to the north of the former. Both are shown on one of the charts in Collins’s Great Britain’s Coasting Pilot (London, fo., 1673), and also on the “Chart of the English Channel, from the South Foreland to Orfordness”, given in the first book of Seller’s English Pilot (London, fo., 1671), wherein also are given (p. 4) full directionsf or sailing around them.—C.

Volume I

Volume II