History of the Colony of Avalon

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Documents relating to Ferryland: 1597 to 1726

1597; Richard Hakluyt
extract from "The voyage of Master Charles Leigh, and divers others to Cape Breton and the Isle of Ramea"

Published in Richard Hakluyt, The Principall Navigations of the English Nation (London: George Bishop and Ralph Newberie, 1600). Reprinted in Richard Hakluyt, Voyages, vol. 6 (New York: Dutton, 1907) 100-114, see 101. Revised by P.E. Pope.

Subjects: cod, fisheries, ships, boats.


The voyage of Master Charles Leigh, and divers others to Cape Breton and the Isle of Ramea [Magdalen Islands].

The HOPEWELL of London of the burthen of 120 tons, whereof was master William Crofton, and the CHANCEWELL of London, of the burthen of 70 tons, whereof was master Steven Bennet, bound unto the River of Canada [the St. Lawrence River], set to sea at the sole and proper charge of Charles Leigh and Abraham van Herwick of London, merchants (the said Charles Leigh himself and Steven van Herwick, brother to the said Abraham, going themselves in the said ships as chief commanders of the voyage), departed from Gravesend on Friday morning the 8 of April, 1597. And, after some hindrances, arriving at Falmouth in Cornwall the 28 of the said month, put to sea again. And, with prosperous winds, the 18 of May we were upon the bank of Newfoundland. The 19 [May], we lost the CHANCEWELL. The 20 [May] we had sight of land and entered within the Bay of Assumption [Conception Bay], where our men, contrary to my knowledge, fought with a French ship. And afterward, in the same bay, we met with our consort. Whereupon we presently put to sea again and the next day we arrived at Caplin Bay, where we remained by extremity of foul weather and to mend a pinnace [boat] of 7 or 8 tons (which was given us at Farrillon [Ferryland] by Master William Sayer of Dartmouth, the admiral of that place [first-arriving migratory fishing master]) until the last of May. On which day, departing from thence in the afternoon, we put in to Renews to seek shallops [boats] but could find none. The first of June we set sail from Renews and the second we put room to a bay under the Northside of Cape Race, being enforced in by an extreme storm. The 4 [June] we set sail, and this day we saw a great island of ice [iceberg]. The 5 [June] at night we lost the CHANCEWELL in a fog, at the mouth of the Bay of Placentia [Placentia Bay]. The 11 [June], at sun setting, we had sight of Cape Breton....

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