Transcription of the Nova Albion Passage of The World Encompassed, 1628

It is with considerable reluctance that I present below my transcription of the Nova Albion passage - about 28 pages & 7,500 words long - of The World Encompassed of 1628. As I have stated many times, a great deal of trouble has been caused by faulty transcriptions of this chronicle and I certainly don't want to add to the problems. It is extremely difficult and time-consuming to be certain that a transcription of this sort is accurate. This is primarily because of the non-standardized Elizabethan spelling - a given word may be spelled one way and then another, even within a single paragraph - and also because of the highly creative punctuation. So, any ordinary way of proof-reading is useless (and a computer is no help); there's no way around going back and forth visually to each and every word of the original and the transcription, as though one were transcribing a completely unfamiliar language. This process has not yet been completed to my satisfaction, but as it stands the below transcription is at least more reliable than any other readily available one I'm aware of. Fortunately, the original in this case is printed, rather than hand-written; thus at least there is no potentially questionable deciphering involved. But again, it is stressed that for any critical work only original (or photographic copies of original) material should be used.

The source for this transcription is the Redex Microprint Inc. edition of 1966, part of the "Great Americana" series, Library of Congress card number 66-26296, which is a photographic reproduction of the original work.

In addition to the below rendition I am providing the text here as a zipped downloadable text file, titled (18kb, 45kb unzipped). Please be aware that as I discover any transcription errors they will be corrected on the web site version first; the on-line and downloadable transcription texts are both dated at the end of the text.

The Nova Albion passage begins on line 15 of page 62, and continues into line 11 of page 82. Here, the line and page lengths have been retained, for ease of comparing text to an original. Justification has not been duplicated however, nor, of course, has the type face. The numbers at the upper left of each page are the original's page numbers.

[Begin Transcription:]


From Guatulco we departed the next day following, viz. Aprill

16. setting our course directly into the sea: whereon we sayled

500. leagues in longitude, to get a winde: and betweene that

and Iune 3. 1400. leagues in all, till we came into 42. deg. of

North latitude, where in the night following, we found such

alteration of heate, into extreame and nipping cold, that our

men in generall, did grieuously complaine thereof; some of

them feeling their healths much impaired thereby, neither was

it, that this chanced in the night alone, but the day following

carried with it, not onely the markes, but the stings and force of

the night going before; to the great admiration of vs all, for

besides that the pinching and biting aire, was nothing altered;

the very roapes of our ship were stiffe, and the raine which fell,

was an vnatural congealed and frozen substance, so that we see-

med rather to be in the frozen Zone, then any way so neere vn-

to the sun, or these hotter climates.

Neither did this happen for the time onely, or by some sud-

den accident, but rather seemes indeed, to proceed from some

ordinary cause, against the which the heate of the sun preuailes

not, for it came to that extremity, in sayling but 2. deg. farther

to the Northward in our course: that though sea-men lack not


good stomaches, yet it seemed a question to many amongst vs,

whether their hands should feed their mouthes, or rather keepe

themselues within their couerts, from the pinching cold that

did benumme them. Niether could we impute it to the tender-

nesse of our bodies, though we came lately from the extremitie

of heate, by reason whereof we might be more sensible of the

present cold: insomuch as the dead and sencelesse creatures,

were as well affected with it as ourselues, our meate as soone

as it was remooued from the fire, would presently in a manner

be frozen vp; and our ropes and tackling, in few dayes were

growne to that stiffenesse, that what 3. men afore were able

with them to performe, now 6. men with their best strength,

and vttermost endeauour, were hardly able to accomplish:

whereby a sudden and great discouragement seased vpon the

mindes of our men, and they were possessed with a great mis-

like, and doubting of any good to be done that way, yet would

not our general be discouraged, but as wel by comfortable spee

ches, of the diuine prouidence, and of Gods louing care ouer

his children, out of the scriptures; as also by other good and

profitable perswasions, adding thereto his own cheerfull exam-

ple, he so stirred them vp, to put on a good courage, and to

quite themselues like men, to indure some short extremity, to

haue the speedier comfort, and a little trouble, to obtaine the

greater glory; that euery man was throughly armed with wil-

lingnesse, and resolued to see the vttermost, if it were possible, of

what good was to be done that way.

The land in that part of America, bearing farther out into

the West, then we before imagined, we were neerer on it then

wee were aware; and yet the neerer still wee came vnto it, the

more extremitie of cold did sease vpon vs. The 5. day of Iune,

wee were forced by contrary windes, to run in with the shoare,

which we then first descried; and to cast anchor in a bad bay,

the best roade we could for the present meete with: where wee

were not without some danger, by reason of the many extreme

gusts, and flawes that beate vpon vs; which if they ceased and


were still at any time, immediatly vpon their intermission, there

followed most vile, thicke, and stinking fogges; against which

the sea preuailed nothing, till the gusts of wind againe remoued

them, which brought with them, such extremity and violence

when they came, that there was no dealing or resisting against


In this place was no abiding for vs; and to go further North,

the extremity of the cold (which had now vtterly discouraged

our men) would not permit vs: and the winds directly bent

against vs, hauing once gotten vs vnder sayle againe, comman-

ded vs to the Southward whether we would or no.

From the height of 48. deg. in which now we were, to 38. we

found the land by coasting alongst it to bee but low and reaso-

nable plaine: euery hill (whereof we saw many, but none verie

high) though it were in Iune, and the Sunne in his neerest ap-

proch vnto them being couered with snow.

In 38 deg. 30. min. we fell with a conuenient and fit harbo-

rough, and Iune 17. came to anchor therein: where we conti-

nued till the 23. day of Iuly following. During all which time,

notwithstanding it was the height of Summer, and so neere

the Sunne; yet were wee continually visited with like nipping

colds, as we had felt before: insomuch that if violent exercises

of our bodies, and busie imployment about our necessarie la-

bours, had not sometimes compeld vs to the contrary, we could

very well haue beene contented to haue kept about vs still our

Winter clothes; yea (had our necessities sussered vs) to have

kept our beds; neither could we at any time in whole fourteene

dayes together, find the aire so cleare as to be able to take the

height of Sunne or starre.

And here hauing so fit occasion, (notwithstanding it may

seeme to be besides the purpose of writing the history of this our

voyage) we will a little more diligently inquire into the causes

of the continuance of the extreame cold in these parts: as also

into the probabilities or vnlikelihoods of a passage to be found

that way. Neither was it (as hath formerly beene touched) the


tendernesse of our bodies, comming so lately out of the heate,

whereby the poores were opened, that made vs so sensible of the

colds we here felt: in this respect, as in many others, we found

our God a prouident father, and carefull Physitian for vs. We

lacked no outward helpes nor inward comforts, to restore and

fortifie nature, had it beene decayed or weakened in vs; neither

was there wanting to vs the great experience of our Generall,

who had often himselfe proued the force of the burning Zone;

whose advice alwayes preuailed much to the preseruing of a

moderate temper in our constitutions: so that euen after our

departure from the heate wee alwayes found our bodies not as

sponges, but strong and hardened, more able to beare out cold,

though we came out of excesse of heate, then a number of cham-

ber champions could haue beene, who lye on their feather-beds

till they go to sea, or rather whole teeth in a temperate aire do

beate in their heads, at a cup of cold Sack and sugar by the fire.

And that it was not our tendernes, but the very extremitie of

the cold it selfe, that caused this sensiblenes in vs, may the rather

appeare in that the naturall inhabitants of the place (with whom

we had for a long season familiar intercourse, as is to be related)

who had neuer beene acquainted with such heate; to whom custome

of cold was as it were a second nature: yet vsed to come shiue-

ring to vs in their warme furres; crowding close together body

to body, to receiue heate one of another; and sheltring them-

selues vnder a lee bancke, if it were possible; and as often as they

could, labouring to shroude themselues vnder our garments al-

so, to keepe them warme. Besides how vnhandsome and defor-

med appeared the face of the earth it selfe! shewing trees with-

out leaues, and the ground without greennes in those moneths

of Iune and Iuly. The poore birds and foules not daring (as we

had great experience to obserue it) not daring so much as once

to arise from their nests, after the first egge layed, till it with all

the rest be hatched, and brought to some strength of nature, able

to helpe it selfe. Onely this recompence hath nature afoorded


them, that the heate of their owne bodies being exceeding great,

it perfecteth the creature with greater expedition, and in shorter

time then is to be found in many other places.

As for the causes of this extremity they seeme not to be so

deeply hidden, but that they may at least in part be guessed at:

The chiefest of which we conceiue to be the large spreading of

the Asian and American continent, which (somewhat North-

ward of these parts) if they be not fully ioyned, yet seeme they

to come very neere one to the other. From whose high and

snow-covered mountaines, the North and North west winds

(the constant visitants of those coasts) fend abroad their frozen

nimphes, to the infecting of the whole aire with this insuffera-

ble sharpnesse: not permitting the Sunne, no not in the pride

of his heate, to dissolue that congealed matter and snow, which

they haue breathed out so nigh the Sunne, and so many degrees

distant from themselues. And that the North and North-west

winds are here constant in Iune and Iuly, as the North wind a-

lone is in August and September; we not onely found it by our

owne experience, but were fully confirmed in the opinion there-

of, by the continued obseruations of the Spaniards. Hence

comes the general squalidnesse and barrennesse of the countrie;

hence comes it, that in the middest of their Summer, the snow

hardly departeth euen from their very doores, but is neuer ta-

ken away from their hils at all; hence come those thicke mists

and most stinking fogges, which increase so much the more, by

how much higher the pole is raised: wherein a blind pilot is as

good as the best director of a course. For the Sunne striving to

performe his naturall office, in eleuating the vapors out of these

inferior bodies; draweth necessarily abundance of moisture out

of the sea: but the nipping cold (from the former causes) mee-

ting and opposing the Sunnes indeuour, forces him to giue ouer

his work imperfect: and instead of higher eleuation, to leaue in

the lowest region, wandring vpon the face of the earth and wa-

ters, as it were a second sea: through which its owne beames can-

not possibly pierce, vnlesse sometimes when the sudden violence


of the winds doth helpe to scatter and breake through it, which

thing happeneth very seldome, and when it happeneth is of no

continuance. Some of our marriners in this voyage had former-

ly beene at Wardhoufe, in 72. deg. of North latitude: who yet

affirmed, that they felt no such nipping cold there in the end of

Summer, when they departed thence, as they did here in thofe

hottest moneths of Iune and Iuly.

And also from these reasons we coniecture; that either there

is no passage at all through these Northerne coasts (which is

most likely) or if there be, that yet it is unnauigable. Adde here-

unto, that though we searched the coast diligently, euen vnto

the 48. deg. yet found we not the land, to trend so much as one

point in any place towards the East, but rather running on con-

tinually Northwest, as if it went directly to meet with Asia; and

euen in that height when we had a franke wind, to haue carried

vs through, had there beene a passage, yet we had a smooth and

calme sea, with ordinary flowing and reflowing, which could

not haue beene, had there beene a frete: of which we rather in-

fallibly concluded then coniectured, that there was none. But to


The next day after our comming to anchor in the aforesaid har-

bour, the people of the countrey shewed themselues; sending

off a man with great expedition to vs in a canow. Who being

yet but a little from the shoare, and a great way from our ship,

spake to vs continually as he came rowing on. And at last at a

reasonable distance staying himselfe, he began more solemnely

a long and tedious oration, after his manner: vsing in the deli-

uerie thereof, many gestures and signes; moving his hands, tur-

ning his head and body many wayes; and after his oration en-

ded, with great shew of reuerence and submission, returned back

to shoare againe. He shortly came againe the second time in like

manner, and so the third time: When he brought with him (as a

present from the rest) a bunch of feathers, much like the feathers

of a blacke crow, very neatly and artificially gathered vpon a

string, and drawne together into a round bundle; being verie


cleane and finely cut, and bearing in length an equall proportion

one with another; a speciall cognizance (as wee afterwards ob-

serued) which they that guard their kings person, weare on their

heads. With this also he brought a little basket made of rushes,

and filled with an herbe which they called [Tabah]. Both which

being tyed to a short rodde, he cast into our boate. Our Generall

intended to haue recompenced him immediatly with many

good things, he would haue bestowed vpon him: but entring

into the boate to deliuer the same, he could not be drawne to

recieue them by any meanes: saue one hat, which being cast into

the water out of the ship, he tooke vp (refusing vtterly to meddle

with any other thing, though it were vpon a board put off vnto

him) and so presently made his returne. After which time, our

boate could row no way, but wondring at vs as at gods, they

would follow the same with admiration.

The 3. day following, viz. the 21. our ship hauing receiued

a leake at sea, was brought to anchor neerer the shoare, that

her goods being landed, she might be repaired: but for that

we were to preuent any danger, that might chance against our

safety, our generall first of all landed his men, with all necessary

prouision, to build tents and make a fort for the defence of our

selues and goods: and that wee might vnder the shelter of it,

with more safety (what euer should befall) end our businesse;

which when the people of the country perceiued vs doing, as

men set on fire to war, in defence of their countrie, in great hast

and companies, with such weapons as they had, they came

downe vnto vs; standing when they drew neere, as men rauished in

their mindes, with the sight of such things as they neuer had

seene, or heard of before that time: their errand being rather

with submission and feare to worship vs as Gods, then to haue

any warre with vs as with mortall men. Which thing as it did

partly shew it selfe at that instant, so did it more and more ma-

nifest it selfe afterwards; during the whole time of our abode

amongst them. At this time, being willed by signes to lay from


them their bowes and arrowes, they did as they were directed,

and so did all the rest, as they came more and more by compa-

nies vnto them, growing in a little while, to a great number

both of men and women.

To the intent therefore, that this peace which they themselues

so willingly sought, might without any cause of the breach

thereof, on our part giuen, be continued; and that wee might

with more safety and expedition, end our businesses in quiet;

our Generall with all his company, vsed all meanes possible,

gently to intreate them, bestowing vpon each of them liberally,

good and necessary things to couer their nakednesse, withall sig-

nifying vnto them, we were no Gods but men, and had neede

of such things to couer our owne shame; teaching them to vse

them to the same ends: for which cause also wee did eate and

drinke in their presence, giuing them to vnderstand, that with-

out that wee could not liue, and therefore were but men as

well as they.

Notwithstanding nothing could perswade them, nor re-

moue that opinion, which they had conceiued of vs, that wee

should be Gods.

In recompence of those things which they had receiued of vs,

as shirts linnen cloth, &c. they bestowed vpon our generall, and

diuerse of our company, diuerse things, as feathers, cawles of

networke, the quiuers of their arrowes, made of fawne-skins,

and the very skins of beasts that their women wore vpon their

bodies. Hauing thus had their fill of this times visiting and be-

holding of vs, they departed with ioy to their houses, which

houses are digged round within the earth, and have from the

vppermost brimmes of the circle, clefts of wood set vp, and ioy-

ned close together at the top, like our spires on the steeple of a

Church: which being couered with earth, suffer no water to en-

ter, and are very warme, the doore in the most part of them,

performes the office also of a chimney, to let out the smoake:

its made in bignesse and fashion, like to an ordinary scuttle in a

ship, and standing slopewise: their beds are the hard ground,


onely with rushes strewed vpon it, and lying round about the

house, haue their fire in the middest, which by reason that the

house is but low vaulted, round and close, giueth a maruelous

reflexion to their bodies to heate the same.

Their men for the most part goe naked, the women take a-

kinde of bulrushes, and kembing it after the manner of hempe,

make themselues thereof a loose garment, which being knitte a-

bout their middles, hanges downe about their hippes, and so af-

fordes to them a couering of that, which nature teaches should

be hidden: about their shoulders, they weare also the skin of a

deere, with the haire vpon it. They are very obedient to their-

husbands, and exceeding ready in all seruices: yet of them-

selues offering to do nothing, without the consents, or being cal-

led of the men.

As soone as they were returned to their houses, they began a-

mongst themselues a kind of most lamentable weeping & crying

out; which they continued also a great while together, in such

sort, that in the place where they left vs (being neere about 3.

quarters of an English mile distant from them) we very plaine-

ly, with wonder and admiration did heare the same: the women

especially, extending their voices, in a most miserable and dole-

full manner of shreeking.

Notwithstanding this humble manner of presenting them-

selues, and awfull demeanour vsed towards vs, we thought it

no wisedome too farre to trust them (our experience of former

Infidels dealing with vs before, made vs carefull to prouide a-

gainst an alteration of their affections, or breach of peace if it

should happen) and therefore with all expedition we set vp our

tents, and entrenched our selues with walls of stone: that so be-

ing fortified within our selues, we might be able to keepe off the

enemie (if they should so prove) from comming amongst vs

without our good wills: this being quickly finished we went

the more cheerfully and securely afterward, about our other


Against the end of two daies (during which time they had


not againe been with vs) there was gathered together a great

assembly of men, women, and children (inuited by the report of

them which first saw vs, who as it seemes, had in that time, of

purpose dispersed themselues into the country, to make knowne

the newes) who came now the second time vnto vs, bringing

with them as before had beene done, feathers and bagges of [To-

bah] for presents, or rather indeed for sacrifices, vpon this per-

swasion that we were Gods.

When they came to the top of the hill, at the bottome

whereof wee had built our fort, they made a stand; where one

(appointed as their chiefe speaker) wearied both vs his hearers,

and himselfe too, with a long and tedious oration: deliuered

with strange and violent gestures, his voice being extended to

the vttermost strength of nature, and his words falling so thick

one in the neck of another, that he could hardly fetch his breath

againe: as soone as he had concluded, all the rest, with a reue-

rend bowing of their bodies (in a dreaming manner, and long

producing of the same) cryed [Oh]: thereby giuing their consents,

that all was very true which he had spoken, and that they had vt-

tered their minde by his mouth vnto vs; which done, the men

laying downe their bowes vpon the hill, and leauing their wo-

men and children behinde them, came downe with their pre-

sents; in such sort, as if they had appeared before a God in-

deed: thinking themselues happy, that they might have accesse

vnto our generall, but much more happy, when they sawe that

he would reciue at their hands, those things which they so wil-

lingly had presented: and no doubt, they thought themselues

neerest vnto God, when they sate or stood next to him: In the

meane time the women, as if they had beene desperate, vsed vn-

naturall violence against themselues, crying and shreeking pite-

ously, tearing their flesh with their nailes from their cheekes, in

a monstrous manner, the blood streaming downe along their

brests; besides despoiling the vpper parts of their bodies, of

those single couerings they formerly had, and holding their

hands aboue their heads, that they might not rescue their brests


from harme, they would with furie cast themselues vpon the

ground, neuer respecting whether it were cleane or soft, but

dashed themselues in this manner on hard stones, knobby, hil-

locks, stocks of wood, and pricking bushes, or what euer else lay

in their way, itterating the same course againe and againe: yea

women great with child, some nine or ten times each, and others

holding out till 15. or 16. times (till their strengths failed them)

exercised this cruelty against themselues: A thing more grieuous

for vs to see, or suffer could we haue holpe it, then trouble to

them (as it seemed) to do it.

This bloudie sacrifice (against our wils) beeing thus perfor-

med, our Generall with his companie in the presence of those

strangers fell to prayers: and by signes in lifting vp our eyes and

hands to heauen, signified vnto them, that that God whom we

did serue, and whom they ought to worship, was aboue: Besee-

ching God if it were his good pleasure to open by some meanes

their blinded eyes; that they might in due time be called to the

knowledge of him the true and eurliuing God, and of Iusus

Christ whom he hath sent, the saluation of the Gentiles. In the

time of prayers, singing of Psalmes, and reading of cer-

taine Chapters in the Bible, they sate very attentiuley: and ob-

seruing the end at every pause, with one voice cryed, Oh,

greatly reioycing in our exercises. Yea they tooke such pleasure

in our singing of Psalmes, that whensoeuer they resorted to vs,

their first request was commonly this, Gnaah, by which they in-

treated that we would sing.

Our General hauing now bestowed vpon them diuers things,

at their departure they restored them all againe; none carrying

with him any thing of whatsoeuer hee had recieued, thinking

themselues sufficiently enriched and happie, that they had found

so free accesse to see vs.

Against the end of three daies more (the newes hauing the

while spread it selfe farther, and as it seemed a great way vp into

the countrie) were assembled the greatest number of people,

which wee could reasonably imagine, to dwell within any con-


uenient distance round about. Amongst the rest, the king him-

selfe, a man of goodly stature and comely personage, attended

with his guard, of about 100. tall and warlike men, this day, viz.

Iune 26. came downe to see vs.

Before his comming, were sent two Embassadors or messen-

gers to our General, to signifie that their Hioh, that is, their king

was comming and at hand. They in the deliuery of their mes-

sage, the one spake with a soft and low voice, prompting his fel-

low; the other pronounced the same word by word after him,

with a voice more audible: continuing their proclamation (for

such it was) about halfe an houre. Which being ended, they by

signes made request to our Generall, to send something by their

hands to their Hioh or king, as a token that his comming might

be in peace. Our Generall willingly satisfied their desire; and

they, glad men, made speedy returne to their Hioh. Neither was

it long before their king (making as princely a shew as possibly

he could) with all his traine came forward.

In their comming forwards they cryed continually after a

singing manner with a lustie courage. And as they drew neerer

and neerer towards vs, so did they more and more striue to be-

haue themselues with a certaine comelinesse and grauity in all

their actions.

In the forefront came a man of a large body and goodly as-

pect, bearing the Septer or royal mace (made of a certaine kind

of blacke wood, and in length about a yard and a halfe) before

the king. Whereupon hanged two crownes, a bigger and a lesse,

with three chaines of a maruellous length, and often doubled;

besides a bagge of the herbe Tabah. The crownes were made of

knitworke, wrought vpon most curiously with feathers of di-

uers colours, very artificially placed, and of a formal fashion:

The chaines seemed of a bony substance: euery link or part

thereof being very little, thinne, most finely burnished, with a

hole pierced through the middest. The number of linkes going

to make one chaine, is in a manner infinite: but of such estima-

tion it is amongst them, that few be the persons that are admit-


ted to weare the same: and euan they to whom its lawfull to vse

them, yet are stinted what number they shall vse; as some ten,

some twelue, some twentie, and as they exceed in number of

chaines, so are they thereby knowne to be the more honorable


Next vnto him that bare this Scepter, was the king himselfe

with his guard about him: His attire vpon his head was a cawle

of knitworke, wrought vpon somewhat like the crownes, but

differing much both in fashion and perfectnesse of worke; vpon

his shoulders he had on a coate of the skins of conies, reaching

to his wast: His guard also had each coats of the same shape, but

of other skins: some hauing cawles likewise stucke with feathers,

or couered ouer with a certaine downe, which groweth vp in

the countrey vpon an herbe much like our lectuce; which ex-

ceeds any other downe in the world for finenesse, and beeng

layed vpon their cawles by no winds can be remoued: Of such

estimation is this herbe amongst them, that the downe thereof

is not lawfull to be worne, but of such persons as are about the

king (to whom also it is permitted to weare a plume of feathers

on their heads, in sign of honour) and the seeds are not vsed but

onely in sacrifice to their gods. After these in their order, did fol-

low the naked sort of common people; whose hair being long,

was gathered into a bunch behind, in which stucke plumes of

feathers, but in the forepart onely single feathers like hornes,

euery one pleasing himselfe in his owne deuice.

This one thing was obserued to bee generall amongst them

all; that euery one had his face painted, some with white, some

blacke, and some with other colours, euery man also bringing in

his hand one thing or other for a gift or present: Their traine or

last part of their company consisted of women and children,

each woman bearing against her breast a round basket or two,

hauing within them diuers things, as bagges of Tobah, a roote

which they call Petah, whereof they make a kind of meale, and

either bake it into bread, or eate it raw; broyled fishes like a

pilchard; the seed and downe aforenamed, with such like:


Their baskets were made in fashion like a deepe boale, and

though the matter were rushes, or such other kind of fluffe, yet

was it so cunningly handled, that the most part of them would

hold water; about the brimmes they were hanged with peeces

of the shels of pearles, and in some places with two or three

linkes at a place, of the chaines forenamed: thereby signifying,

that they were vessels wholly dedicated to the onely vse of the

gods they worshipped: and besides this, they were wrought vp-

pon with the matted downe of red feathers, distinguished into

diuers workes and formes.

In the meane time our Generall hauing assembled his men

together (as forecasting the danger, and worst that might fall

out) prepared himselfe to stand vpon sure ground, that wee

might at all times be ready in our owne defence, if any thing

should chance otherwise then was looked for or expected.

Wherefore euery man being in a warlike readinesse, he mar-

ched within his fenced place, making against their approach a

most warlike shew (as he did also at all other times of their re-

sort) whereby if they had beene desperate enemies, they could

not haue chosen but haue conceiued terrour and feare, with dis-

couragement to attempt any thing against vs, in beholding of

the same.

When they were come somewhat neere vnto vs, trooping

together, they gaue vs a common or a generall salutation: ob-

seruing in the meane time a generall silence. Whereupon he

who bare the Scepter before the king, being prompted by ano-

ther whom the king assigned to that office, pronounced with an

audible and manly voice, what the other spake to him in secret:

continuing, whether it were his oration or proclamation, at the

least halfe an houre. At the close whereof, there was a common

Amen, in signe of approbation giuen by euery person: And the

king himselfe with the whole number of men and women (the

little children onely remaining behind) came further downe the

hill, and as they came set themselues againe in their former



And being now come to the foot of the hill and neere our

fort, the Scepter bearer with a composed countenance and

stately carriage began a song, and answerable thereunto, obser-

ued a kind of measures in a dance: whom the king with his guard

and euery other sort of person following, did in like manner sing

and daunce, sauing onely the women who danced but kept si-

lence. As they danced they still came on: and our Generall per-

ceiuing their plaine and simple meaning, gave order that they

might freely enter without interruption within our bulwarke:

Where after they had entred they yet continued their song and

dance a reasonable time: their women also following them with

their wassaile boales in their hands, their bodies bruised, their

faces torne, their dugges, breasts, and other parts bespotted with

bloud, trickling downe from the wounds, which with their nailes

they had made before their comming.

After that they had satisfied or rather tired themselues in this

manner, they made signes to our Generall to have him sit down;

Vnto whom both the king and diuers others made seuerall ora-

tions, or rather indeed if wee had vnderstood them, supplicati-

ons, that hee would take the Prouince and kingdome into his

hand, and become their king and patron: making signes that

they would resigne vnto him their right and title in the whole

land, and become his vassals in themselues and their posterities:

Which that they might make vs indeed beleeue that it was their

true meaning and intent; the king himselfe with all the rest with

one consent, and with great reuerence, ioyfully singing a song,

set the crowne vpon his head; inriched his necke with all their

chaines; and offering vnto him many other things, honoured

him by the name of Hyoh. Adding thereunto (as it might seeme)

a song and dance of triumph: because they were not onely visi-

ted of the gods (for so they still iudged vs to be) but the great and

chiefe god was now become their god, their king and patron,

and themselues were become the onely happie and blessed peo-

ple in all the world.

These things being so freely offered, our Generall thought


notmeet to reiect or refuse the same: both for that he would

not giue them any cause of mistrust, or disliking of him (that be-

ing the onely place, wherein at this present, we were of necessi-

tie inforced to seeke reliefe of many things) and chiefely, for that

he knew not to what good end God had brought this to passe,

or what honour and profit it might bring to our countrie in

time to come.

Wherefore in the name and to the vse of her most excellent

maiesty, he tooke the scepter crowne and dignity, of the sayd

countrie into his hand; wishing nothing more, then that it had

layen so fitly for her maiesty to enioy, as it was now her proper

owne, and that the riches and treasures thereof (wherewith in

the vpland countries it abounds) might with as great conueni-

ency be transported, to the enriching of her kingdome here at

home, as it is in plenty to be attained there: and especially, that

so tractable and louing a people, as they shewed themselues to

be, might haue meanes to haue manifested their most willing

obedience the more vnto her, and by her meanes, as a mother

and nurse of the Church of [Christ], might by the preaching of

the Gospell, be brought to the right knowledge, and obedience

of the true and euerliuing God.

The ceremonies of this resigning, and receiuing of the king-

dome being thus performed, the common sort both of men and

women, leauing the king and his guard about him, with our

generall, dispersed themselues among our people, taking a dili-

gent view or suruey of euery man; and finding such as pleased

their fancies (which commonly were the youngest of vs) they

presently enclosing them about, offered their sacrifices vnto

them, crying out with lamentable shreekes and moanes, wee-

ping, and scratching, and tearing their very flesh off their faces

with their nailes, neither were it the women alone which did

this, but euen old men, roaring and crying out, were as violent

as the women were.

WE groaned in spirit to see the power of Sathan so farre pre-

uaile, in seducing these so harmelesse soules, and laboured by all


meanes, both by shewing our great dislike, and when that serued

not, by violent withholding of their hands from that madness,

directing them (by our eyes and hands lift vp towards heauen)

to the liuing God whom they ought to serue: but so mad were

they vpon their Idolatry, that forcible withholding them would

not prevaile (for as soone as they could get liberty to their

hands againe, they would be as violent as they were before) till

such time, as they whom they worshipped, were conueyed from

them into the tents, whom yet as men besides themselues, they

would with fury and outrage seeke to haue againe.

After that time had a little qualified their madness, they then

began to shew & make knowne vnto vs their griefes and diseases

which they carried about them, some of them hauing old aches,

some shruncke sinewes, some old soares and canckred vlcers,

some wounds more lately receiued, and the like, in most lamen-

table manner crauing helpe and cure thereof from vs: making

signes, that if we did but blowe vpon their griefes, or but tou-

ched the diseased places, they would be whole.

Their griefes we could not but take pitty on them, and to

our power desire to helpe them: but that (if it pleased God to

open their eyes) they might vnderstand we were but men and

no gods, we vsed ordinary meanes, as lotions, emplaisters, and

vnguents most fitly (as farre as our skills could guesse) agreeing

to the natures of their griefes, beseeching God, if it made for

his glory, to giue cure to their diseases by these meanes. The

like we did from time to time as they resorted to vs.

Few were the days, wherein they were absent from vs, du-

ring the whole time of our abode in that place: and ordinarily

euery third day, they brought their sacrifices, till such time, as

they certainely vnderstood our meaning, that we tooke no plea-

sure, but were displeased with them: whereupon their zeale a-

bated, and their sacrificing, for a season, to our good liking cea-

sed; notwithstanding they continued still to make their resort

vnto vs in great abundance, and in such sort, that they oft-times

forgate, to prouide meate for their owne sustenance; so that


our generall (of whom they made account as of a father) was

faine to performe the office of a father to them, relieuing them

with such victualls, as we had prouided for our selues, as, Mus-

cles, Seales, and such like, wherein they tooke exceeding much

content; and feeling that their sacrifices were displeasing to vs,

yet (hating ingratitude) they sought to recompence vs, with

such things as they had, which they willingly inforced vpon vs,

though it were neuer so necessarie or needfull for themselues to


They are a people of a tractable, free, and louing nature, with-

out guile or treachery; their bowes and arrowes (their only wea-

pons, and almost all their wealth) they vse very skillfully, but yet

not to do any great harme with them, being by reason of their

weakenesse, more fit for children then for men, sending the ar-

row neither farre off, nor with any great force: and yet are the

men commonly so strong of body, that that, which 2. or 3. of

our men could hardly beare, one of them would take vpon his

backe, and without grudging carrie it easily away, vp hill and

downe hill an English mile together: they are also exceeding

swift in running, and of long continuance; the vse whereof is so

familiar with them, that they seldome goe, but for the most

part runne. One thing we obserued in them with admiration:

that if at any time, they chanced to see a fish, so neere the shoare,

that they might reach the place without swimming, they would

neuer, or very seldome misse to take it.

After that our necessary businesses were well dispatched, our

generall with his gentlemen, and many of his company, made a

journey vp into the land, to see the manner of their dwelling,

and to be the better acquainted, with the nature and commodi-

ties of the country. Their houses were all such as wee haue for-

merly described, and being many of them in one place, made

seuerall villages here and there. The inland we found to be farre

different from the shoare, a goodly country, and fruitfull soyle,

stored with many blessings fit for the vse of man: infinite was

the company of very large and fat Deere, which there we sawe


by thousands, as we supposed, in a heard: besides a multitude

of a strange kinde of Conies, by far exceeding them in num-

ber: their heads and bodies, in which they resemble other Co-

nies, are but small; his tayle like the tayle of a Rat, exceeding

long; and his feet like the paws of a Want or Moale; vnder his

chinne, on either side, he hath a bagge, into which he gathereth

his meate, when he hath filled his belly abroade, that he may

with it, either feed his young, or feed himselfe, when he lists

not to trauaile from his burrough: the people eate their bodies,

and make great account of their skinnes, for their kings holi-

daies coate was made of them.

This country our generall named Albion, and that for two

causes; the one in respect of the white bancks and cliffes, which

lie toward the sea: the other, that it might haue some affinity,

euen in name also, with our owne country, which was some-

time so called.

Before we went from thence, our generall caused to be set vp,

a monument of our being there; as also of her maiesties, and

successors right and title to that kingdome, namely, a plate of

brasse, fast nailed to a great and firme post; whereon is engra-

uen her graces name, and the day and yeare of our arriuall

there and of the free giuing vp, of the prouince and kingdome,

both by the king and people, into her maiesties hands: toge-

ther with her highnesse picture, and armes in a piece of sixpence

currant English monie, shewing it selfe by a hole made of pur-

pose through the plate: vnderneath was likewise engrauen the

name of our generall &c.

The Spaniards neuer had any dealing, or so much as set a

foote in this country; the vtmost of their discoueries, reaching

onely to many degrees Southward of this place.

And now, as the time of our departure was perceiued by

them to draw nigh, so did the sorrowes and miseries of this peo-

ple, seeme to themselues to increase vpon them; and the more

certaine they were of our going away, the more doubtfull they

shewed themselues, what they might doe; so that we might ea-


sily iudge that that ioy (being exceeding great) wherewith they

recieued vs at our first arriuall, was cleane drowned in their ex-

cessiue sorrow for our departing: For they did not onely loose

on a sudden all mirth, ioy, glad countenance, pleasant speeches,

agility of body, familiar reioycing one with another, and all

pleasure what euer flesh and bloud might bee delighted in, but

with sighes and sorrowings, with heauy hearts and grieued

minds, they powred out wofull complaints and moanes, with

bitter teares and wringing of their hands, tormenting them-

selues. And as men refusing all comfort, they onely accounted

themselues as cast-awayes, and those whom the gods were a-

bout to forsake: So that nothing we could say or do, was able to

ease them of their so heauy a burthen, or to deliuer them from

so desparate a straite, as our leauing of them did seeme to them

that it would cast them into.

Howbeit seeing they could not still enioy our presence, they

(supposing vs to be gods indeed) thought it their duties to in-

treate vs that being absent, we would yet be mindfull of them,

and making signes of their desires, that in time to come wee

would see them againe, they stole vpon vs a sacrifice, and set it

on fire erre we were aware; burning therein a chaine and a bunch

of feathers. We laboured by all meanes possible to withhold

or withdraw them but could not preuaile, till at last we fell to

prayers and singing of Psalmes, whereby they were allured im-

mediatly to forget their folly, and leaue their sacrifice vnconsu-

med, suffering the fire to go out, and imitating vs in all our acti-

ons; they fell a lifting vp their eyes and hands to heauen as they

saw vs do.

The 23. of Iuly they took a sorrowfull farewell of vs, but be-

ing loathe to leaue vs, they presently ranne to the tops of the hils

to keepe vs in their sight as long as they could, making fires be-

fore and behind, and on each side of them, burning therein (as

is to be supposed) sacrifices at our departure.

Not farre without this harborough did lye certaine Islands

(we called them the Ilands of Saint Iames hauing on them plen-


tifull and great store of Seales and birds, with one of which wee

fell Iuly 24. whereon we found such prouision as might compe-

tently serue our turne for a while. We departed againe the day

next following, viz. Iuly 25. And our Generall now considering,

that the extremity of the cold not only continued but increased,

the Sunne being gone farther from vs, and that the wind blow-

ing still (as it did at first) from the Northwest, cut off all hope of

finding a passage through these Northerne parts, thought it

necessarie to lose no time; and therefore with generall consent

of all, bent his course directly to runne with the Ilands of the


[End transcription; version 2/21/2000]

Author's Note: Much of this material is adapted from my forthcoming book Francis Drake in Nova Albion - The Mystery Restored, in which these and neighboring thickets are explored much more deeply than on these few web pages. Thus there may be references here not fully explained, or answers missing their questions. Also lacking here is documentation, provided in the book by 782 endnotes. - Oliver Seeler

Nova Albion Research
Copyright 1996-2000 by Oliver Seeler
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