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Edward Wynne's The Brittish India or A Compendious Discourse tending to Advancement (circa 1630-1631).


IN 1620, SIR GEORGE CALVERT (later, the first Lord Baltimore) purchased a tract of land on Newfoundland's Avalon Peninsula. This newly acquired property, on which he hoped to establish a permanent English settlement, was formerly owned by Sir William Vaughan. It spanned from Aquafort in the south to Caplin Bay (present-day Calvert) in the north. Ferryland was the site chosen and the first 11 settlers arrived at the fledgling colony on 4 August 1621. For unknown reasons, the colony's first leader, Welsh Captain Edward Wynne, was replaced as governor of Ferryland in 1625. He presumably returned to England or Wales. Several years later, Wynne composed The Brittish India or A Compendious Discourse tending to Advancement, a treatise encouraging Britain's colonization efforts in Newfoundland. (1) Internal evidence suggests Wynne wrote it in 1630 or 1631, making it the last in a series of early promotional literature on Newfoundland first started in the 1620s. As such, it shares much with these works and with earlier writings promoting North American colonization in general. (2) Greater wealth for the nation, the promise of boundless natural resources, a disburdening of the poor, and the spread of Christianity to natives are among just a few of the benefits expounded upon. These promotional commonalities may partly explain why The Brittish India has only been summarily studied by many researching the early history of this province. The fact that the discourse was never published and thus did not reach a wide audience has also contributed to its obscurity.

This document is, none the less, important to our understanding of early British settlement in Newfoundland, and in particular the history and development of the Ferryland colony. It is only the second early discourse that sets out a plan (albeit brief) to colonize the English Shore, and it is the sole treatise on Newfoundland written from the perspective of an individual with an extensive military background. Wynne's perceptions of Newfoundland and of the conflicts that could arise from rival European nations and pirates were coloured by his experiences as a soldier. His proposal for the colonization of Newfoundland was likewise influenced by his knowledge of fortifications and the defensive advantages of certain harbours. The archaeology conducted at Ferryland clearly shows that the colony was heavily fortified during Wynne's tenure there. (3) The Brittish India also informs readers about the life of Edward Wynne both before and after his time in Newfoundland. Considering that Wynne appears to have been the one who chose the location for Calvert's colony, developed a plan for the town, and oversaw the construction of most of its early structures, understanding his past helps us to interpret the choices he made when building the settlement.

Almost nothing is known about the early life of Edward Wynne. His date and place of birth, his educational background, where he served while in the military, and why George Calvert chose him to oversee the Ferryland colony all remain obscure. The first documented reference to Wynne appears after his arrival at Ferryland in 1621, and much of what is known about him comes from four letters written to Calvert between 1621 and 1622. (4) William Vaughan made a brief mention of Wynne's Welsh heritage and his industrious nature in The Golden Fleece (1626): "Captaine Winne a Cambro-Britan was much noted in this Assembly for his personall abode and painefull care in setling the Plantation at Feriland in the South part of this Coast, where for the space of 4 yeares hee did more good for my Lord Baltimore, then others had done in double the time." (5) The Brittish India provides suggestive evidence for his birthplace in the form of a reference to the snow-capped mountains of Snowdonia (in North Wales) and the harbour of Milford (in Southwest Wales). The surname Wynne and its variants are common to both areas, and each was home to prominent and influential individuals involved in trade, industry, and matters of court. (6) Wynne's comment about Milford harbour as being the best in Christendom suggests a familiarity with this bustling port. Two of the most affluent and well-connected families of Wales were the Wynns of Gwydir and the Vaughans of Golden Grove--among whom was none other than Sir William Vaughan. (7) The same William Vaughan who established a dismal colony of Welshmen in Aquafort in 1617, sold land on the Avalon Peninsula to George Calvert in 1620, and later wrote about the good deeds of fellow "Cambro-Britan" Edward Wynne in 1626.

Wynne's aptitude for military matters is demonstrated in his early letters to Calvert and by the traces left in the ground at Ferryland, but it is in his dedicatory letter to Charles I that he unequivocally states that this discourse was written "according to a Souldiers abilitie." His title of Captain can, therefore, be attributed to his military background rather than an indication of experience at sea. During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries few European nations maintained a standing army; therefore, in times of war European leaders would draw upon the services of mercenaries. These "soldiers of fortune," who had become readily available, particularly in Wales, served in countless conflicts. (8) Nothing is known about Wynne's military experience but he might have seen action in Ireland, Europe, or in other mercenary forces that recruited Welsh soldiers. The assignment by Calvert of a military man to govern his settlement was likely prompted by the contested nature of Newfoundland during the time period. Calvert would have been aware of various European powers with shared interests in the island, not to mention the numerous acts of privateering and piracy along its coasts.

In the seventeenth century, the military title of Captain was almost always reserved for gentlemen. The Welsh gentry had a concept of "24 feats" or characteristics that were the defining factors of high breeding. (9) By far the majority of these characteristics related to military or combat prowess, while others focused on various refinements such as the composition of poetry and a knowledge of literature. Wynne's writings seem to indicate he was proficient in many of the prerequisites for a gentle upbringing. His military captaincy, literacy, and knowledge of history and literature would have been virtually unobtainable in the time period without a significant social standing. Welsh, rather than English, would have likely been Wynne's native tongue, which indicates a fluency in at least two languages. Henry VIII's 1536 Act of Union mandated English as the official language of the Welsh courts, which all but insured that public offices were held by the gentry. (10) In response to these policies, many of the Welsh gentry sent their sons to be educated in English Universities, particularly Oxford, in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The majority of knights and gentlemen involved in early Newfoundland colonization endeavors also attended Oxford colleges, including Calvert, Vaughan, and Henry Cary. (11)

It appears that Wynne and Calvert were first introduced by Vaughan. Gillian Cell implies that William Vaughan's connection with Calvert initially came through his older brother John. (12) Captain John Vaughan served in Ireland during the Nine Years' War (1594-1602), a conflict that saw the service of more than 6,000 Welshmen. (13) Regardless of how Wynne and Calvert became acquainted, the former was commissioned to settle, construct, and govern the colonial enterprise at Ferryland. Given Calvert's preoccupation with governmental affairs, it seems that he trusted Wynne with the design of the settlement. From the progress reports Calvert received, and from the evidence in the archaeological record, Wynne clearly accomplished a great deal in the initial years of the project. However, for reasons that are unknown, in 1625 Calvert decided to replace Wynne with another military man, Sir Arthur Aston. By 1627, Calvert wrote of Ferryland "I must either go and settle it in better Order than it is, or else give it over, and lose all the Charges I have been at hitherto for other Men to build their Fortunes upon." (14) Calvert seemed concerned about the management of the settlement, but it is uncertain if he blamed Wynne or other individuals. A clue regarding the nature of Calvert and Wynne's relationship can be observed in the somewhat defensive and apologetic tone evident in The Brittish India, but the events surrounding the end of their association remain unknown.

Like most early literature on Newfoundland, Wynne's treatise promotes the island's favourable climate. Wynne viewed Newfoundland winters as comparable to those in Hamburg, Germany, and discusses the habitability of other cold locations including the Snowden mountains, Italian Alps, Norway, and Iceland. Much of this information could have been acquired first hand during his "observations in travaile (in which I spent the active part of my age)." It is possible he made these observations while taking "The Grand Tour" of Continental Europe, a rite of passage for many young gentlemen in early modern Britain. Common tour routes included various parts of France, Germany, and Italy, locations which George Calvert and William Vaughan also potentially visited on their respective excursions after college. (15) Another possibility is that Wynne copied this argument about the relative climates of other nations from the earlier discourses written by John Mason and Richard Whitbourne. Both men discussed the continental climate with respect to Newfoundland and one or the other lists numerous places including Hamburg and Norway. Wynne borrowed freely from the knowledge contained in Whitbourne's Discourse, and in some cases, almost copied it verbatim into The Brittish India. (16)

The Brittish India is only the second piece of promotional literature on Newfoundland that sets out a plan for how better to colonize the island. Whitbourne (writing in 1620) provided extensive details as to why and how migratory fishermen should leave behind a specific number of crew members in their harbour each season and advocated establishing a settlement in Trepassey. (17) Wynne's suggestion, on the other hand, is much more focused. He proposed that England's colonization effort first be concentrated in three principal harbours (Trinity, St. John's, and Ferryland) and that these locations be cleared and prepared by a small group of 20 labourers each. The number of workmen recommended is likely based on his experiences at Ferryland, where in 1621-1622 many tasks were completed by just II labourers and tradesmen. (18) Wynne repeatedly stressed the need for these locations to be fortified, so that they "may be made the safe Chambers of succour and retrait, for the said scattering inhabitants to make their repaire unto, if anie trouble should happen; whoe as yet remaine there without anie defence at all." Passing reference to the erection of fortifications in case of hypothetical attack by the Beothuk or the Spanish are found in both Mason (1620) and Eburne (1624). However, neither man made a case for their necessity. Wynne may have been one of the first to recognize the defensive potential of these three areas, but he was certainly not the last. All three eventually saw fortification and occupation by the British continuing into the eighteenth century. (19)

The ongoing excavations at Ferryland affect our reading of some of the themes in The Brittish India. An obvious example is Wynne's repeated calls to build both storehouses and fortifications--two features which are well represented in the archaeological record. In the early 1990s archeologists found a massive stone seawall and large stone storehouse immediately to the south of Ferryland's inner harbour (Figure 1). Based upon the stratigraphy and associated artifacts, these features date from the 1620s and several aspects of their construction point directly to Edward Wynne's influence. (20) The storehouse was built with stone walls two and a half feet thick, it was roofed in slate, was partially floored in flagstones, had a large door on the north end to facilitate the receiving of provisions, and its interior dimensions are an impressive 16 by 56 feet. The size and substantial nature of this building sheds light on the importance Wynne placed upon the adequate storage of provisions, points which are driven home repeatedly in this discourse. It also provides important context to Wynne's proclamation to Charles I claiming knowledge in "erecting Storehouses, and strengthning that erection; as also for the number and their quality, necessarie for a Plantation."


Wynne's military background prepared him not only for directing the construction of fortifications, but also in their use. On 28 July 1622 Wynne twice refers to the defenses at Ferryland. First, they raised up "a face of defence to the water-side ward, with the earth that we digged both for celler and Kitchin roome, (which we found a very labourious worke)" and second, they had "got home as much or as many trees, as serued vs to palizado into the Plantation about foure Acres of ground, for the keeping off of both man and beast, with post and rayle seuen foote high, sharpened in the toppe, the trees being pitched vpright and fastened with spikes and nayles." (21) Both descriptions are very brief, even modest in comparison to what was uncovered at Ferryland. Excavations at the eastern extent of the colony's original boundary revealed a massive fortification in the form of a 20 foot wide ditch and 20 foot wide rampart. The ditch was dug down approximately four feet, and in places was faced in stone along its scarp and counter-scarp walls (Figure 2). The same earth that was dug to make the ditch was thrown back to the west to build up the rampart which was also faced in stone along its back wall (or talus). It is reasonable to assume that the "palizado" (palisade) mentioned by Wynne was set atop the rampart despite the fact that the later neglect of the defenses and the ephemeral nature of the wooden palisade has made this difficult to prove archaeologically. Finally, the south end of the ditch and rampart fortification ends in a large bastion, also built using earth and possibly faced up with field stones. The placement of this defensive feature, on elevated land at the southeast corner of the colony, would have provided an ideal location to monitor the movement of ships entering into the harbour and to place ordinance for the defense of the colony--pieces such as the "full Saker" and"Minion" requested by Wynne in 1622. (22) The careful planning and erection of defensive works under the leadership of Wynne certainly brings to mind Richard Eburne's (1624) statement that Calvert's colony was "well fortified and secured." (23)


This document also provides details about the development of the Ferryland colony which have hitherto escaped attention. It is known that a salt maker, John Hickson, was working at Ferryland in 1622 and by July of that year the "saltwork" was almost completed. (24) In his letter dated 17 August 1622, Wynne writes "our Salt-maker hath performed his part with a great deale of sufficiency, by whom I haue sent your Honour a barrel of the best Salt that euer my eues beheld, who with better settling doth vndertake to better this, which hee hath made already." (25) This potential source of commerce which Wynne initially promoted, and which Whitbourne promoted at length, is never mentioned in The Brittish India. In fact, Wynne's later opinion on the acquisition of salt is clear. He suggested that "the salt used in the Fishing affaire, might still be carried thither, the yeare before it is to be used, in suche shippes as goe thither yearely for their loading of dry fish." It seems the amount of work involved in producing salt at Ferryland made it economically unfeasible compared to the cost of salt purchased in bulk in Southern Europe and transported across the North Atlantic. Like many early attempts to diversify Newfoundland' s early colonial economy, the salt making industry was doomed to fail.

The Brittish India is notable from a historical and paleographical perspective because there are two known copies of this discourse in existence. The original of the version transcribed here is housed in the Royal Manuscripts Collection at the British Museum. Sotheby's London sold the second copy to a private collector in 2007. (26) Unfortunately, a detailed comparison of the two documents is impossible, but from the auction catalogue it is clear that the two versions were penned by different individuals. This version was also written by more than one individual. The initial dedication to Charles I, and the letter to Sir Kenelm Digby are in a different hand than the bulk of the treatise. The discourse itself has numerous deletions and additions to the text, leading one to believe that this was the first copy of the document and possibly written by Wynne himself. As stated above, it appears that the discourse was never printed, and it is possible the Sotheby's version was intended for submission to the King's advisors.

The exact year in which Wynne wrote The Brittish India is uncertain. Raymond Lahey was the first to suggest a date of 1628 based upon internal evidence, likely Wynne's reference to "our Come that growe there about 6 yeares since." (27) However, there are clues within the text that point to 1630 or 1631. First, the wording of this treatise strongly suggests that it was written after Calvert had essentially abandoned the Ferryland colony in 1629. In the opening sentence, Wynne demonstrated his great displeasure with this current state of affairs:
   The Travails of my best endeavour, for the advancement of that
   Colony in Newfoundland, being, at this present, encountred with
   such a disappointment, as causeth the constancy of my loyall minde,
   to seeke the way which may fortunately meete with suche a
   resolucon, as will happyly render that worke of better success of a
   more acceptable growth, and, from thence of more gratefull efforte.

Other evidence supports a post-1629 date. The text mentions that British settlers had already made their "abode above twenty yeares" in Newfoundland, likely a reference to the Cuper's Cove colony established in 1610. This treatise was also submitted to Sir Kenelm Digby, who was in a position of authority and influence particularly after he was made English Naval Commissioner in 1629. (28) In light of this, it is likely that "6 yeares since" is a comment about events that transpired six years ago during the time Wynne had last been at Ferryland (in 1625), therefore suggesting a date for the treatise of 1631.

In only one instance does Wynne include a specific date in The Brittish India, and even this is not definitive. He reported that "Our first winter (in Anno 1620) was very mild; the second not muche harder; but the third proved milder" and he later goes on to mention his "severall Voyages, and long staies in Newfoundland." If we take these statements at face value and assume that Wynne's memory was not erred, then this overturns the commonly held belief that 1621 was the first year George Calvert sent colonists to overwinter in Newfoundland. Lahey first interpreted these statements to suggest that Wynne had spent time in Newfoundland in the year prior to "official" colonization in 1621. (29) Cell supports this notion by stating that Wynne's 26 August 1622 letter implies that the site chosen for settlement was picked out well in advance. (30) Based on Wynne's report that he spent the winter of 1620 in Newfoundland, it is reasonable to assume that Calvert sent Wynne (and others) to reconnoiter, in advance, the parcel of land he was to purchase from Vaughan. It would make sense that an investor would ensure that the land for sale was suitable for permanent year-round settlement. Once established, Calvert would have felt more secure in his initial purchase and in the substantial monetary investment he later put into the colony. Were it not for those few mild winters in the early 1620s, Wynne may have come to the same conclusion about Ferryland that Calvert did in 1628-29, and which he finally admits to in The Brittish India--that it is "a pleasant place in Sommer; but bleake in winter." Then again, were it not for Edward Wynne' s industry and perseverance in the face of Newfoundland's harsh winters, the Ferryland colony may have never gotten off the ground.

Note on transcription

The following transcription has been slightly modified and modernized to allow for improved readability. Abbreviations are spelled out, consequently the early modern long s and thorn (resembling a y) appear as a standard s and th, respectively. The contemporary usage of v for u and i instead of j has been changed to appear in modern form. Otherwise all spelling is original Deletions in Wynne's text are represented by a strikeout (--), while additions are contained within greater/less than symbols (< >). In one instance, a word was added to a sentence for the purpose of clarification and this is found in square brackets ([ ]).


The authors would like to thank Dr. Jeff Webb, Department of History, Memorial University of Newfoundland for his words of encouragement and thoughts on preparing this article. Thank you also to William Gilbert for reading the first draft and to the anonymous reader for many helpful suggestions on how to improve this brief introduction.

The Brittish India or A Compendious Discourse tending to Advancement

Faithfully compiled, and zealously prepared for the perusall and prudent considerations of your Majesties loving Subjects.

By a Subject also of their owne obedience

To the most high and mightie Monarch Charles By the grace of God, King of greate Brittaine France and Ireland. Defender of the Faith &c.

Most dread and gratious Soveraign

Those excellent testimonies of your Princely and pious providence, for the good of your people; as they have spread, & dilated themselves into all parts of your Majesties Dominions; and into forraigne places, where you stand an example to Princes. Soe when they presented themselves, as a matter of my meditation, I could not doe lesse, then cast my Vote in, for the extention of the power and profitt, both of your Majestie, & of your people. And bearing in minde my observations in travaile (in which I spent the active part of my age) I could not sodainielie take leave of those meditations of other parts, how (barely by their industrie, and working upon the easines of other nations) they have (without anie native blessing) made themselves the Storehouse, of all the most usefull commodities of Christendome: so farre, that in times and cases of extreames, and necessities, they have retailed to other Countries, and especially to ours, the increase, blessings, and inheritance, both of Soyle and Sea.

I will not too precisely instance, (because the successe of industry, should rather be lovd, & imitated, then exposed to envie) in the lowe-Countrymen; (a people created by the permission, and provident assistance of your Majesties most sacred Predecessors) whose indulgences whether, (instead of gratefullnes), they have turned to into incroachements; it becomes not the civill scope of my weake and humble Tract to dispute. But because the trade of Fishing; and the invaluable encrease of Provision, for all sortes of people, that maie result from thence; the suddaine, and numberlesse increase of Shipping (the strength of an Island,) the Commerce with all other Nations, and the returne of Treasure; together with the unlading <of> the Countrie of the burthening poorersort (whom Christianitie would preserve) is the whole subject of my ensueing Treatise; I could not but a little reflect upon those low-Country-men, who have made the Sea their India; (1) and by that sole waie of Fishing, have raised themselves to such an unweildie Treasure (I confine not my meaning to their wealthe onely, but, in that word include, all sortes of riches, and necessaries) that if they should not spread themselves into the furnishing of other Nations, their increase would become their burthen, & begett in them a lasynes, the readie waie to povertie.

Now so it is, Maie it please your Majestie, that my severall Voyages, and long staies in Newfoundland, have filled my observations, not onely with the formes of Fishing, the conveniency of places, both of erecting Storehouses, and strengthning that erection; as also for the number and their quality, necessarie for a Plantation but hath likewise enabled mee, to satisfie by a plaine demonstration, not onely your Majestie, but all your Graces subjects, desirous of the advancement of their Countries florishing state; how with a small stocke of Tenne thousand poundes, (for it is in comparison of the infinite it will produce) and the loane of a fewe Shippes, the Kingdome maie (in a fewe yeares) be enabled with more then three thousand <sayle of> Shippes.

Besides, Maie it please your Majestie the building of all this Shipping, shalbe noe impoverishing to the timber, of your owne Kingdoms: for the Island it selfe, together with the adjacent parts, have the conveniencie in plentie of all sortes of <begin strikethough>all<end strikethough> Wood, both for the Masting, and Hull timber for shipps. Pitch and Tarre, maie be made there; and when God shall prosper, and your Majestie shall favour the undertaking, I am sure that Iron maie be made there; having excesse of wood, and convenience of Ore, and water. The severall blessings, I meane the braunches of this worke, what they are & how immence, I have in a tract following, according to a Souldiers abilitie, (2) exprest. The Copie relates nothing but a knowne truth, without the comptnes (3) and neate setting forth of a conjecturable designe. And the Author (now full of yeares and travailes) intends his labours as a service and Sacrifice, to his Prince, and Country:

As a loyall subject to your Majestie and a faithfull lover of his Nation and Country Edw: Wynne

To the Honorable and renowned Knight Sir Kenelm Digby (4)

Honored Sir:

If I should undertake to relate unto you, the long travailes, extent of time, & exposition of fortune, that have bin all laid out for my Nations honor, & benefitt: I might seeme too buzie, in relating a Storie that (reflecting upon mine owne creditt) might begett suspition of truth. But considering, I am as well arm'd abroad, with the reception; as confirm'd at home (I meane within my selfe) with the certaintie of my designe, I dare publish it to be the greatest proposition of emolument, that ever this Countrie tooke into consideration.

Now so it is that I am so throughlie instructed by a generall, and certaine relation, how tender and sensible you are of publique things, that reflect upon your Countries benefitt, your Nations honor, and the advancement of his Majesties service; that I could not doe lesse then offer the first viewe of my long Labors, to soe good and great a Patriat.

And trulie I cannot but confesse it an extreame bountie of your Noblenes, to receave a man (now worne into age) with such a favorable Eye, which is not the least refreshing to my thoughts, in this my unhappie condition; and distraction of fortune. I thanck God my hopes,(built upon honest industrie) are more then my feares, and misfortunes put together; (Maugre (5) that cloude which for the present doth unkindely darken mee) & in mee, my designes; which (as I hope for blessings from heaven,) are onely meante, as benefitts to my Countrie; which, next to God, and my Prince, I have throughout my age, denoted my selfe unto.

Male it lik<e>wise please you Sir that my late imployments have bin of great import, if the time were so favorable to mee, as to be good to it selfe; the reason why it is not so, I conceave to bee (for I would be as mannerly an Expositor as reason perswades or civility commaundes) because it has had soe many sleight, and ill fancyed things projected; and not anie of so sounde <a> relish, to their understanding, as might throughly possess them of a certaintie of advauncement.

I cannot in particular, (nor can the time in generall) but remember, how infinite a power of wealth (in that I conclude all) our Nation cast at their feete, when it was proposed unto them: (6) which another Countrie entertayning, became (out of our neglect) so glorious, and powerfull, that the strength of it was hardlie withstood for wealth alone, (how just or unlawful soever, the quarrell be) calls forth Souldiers from everie Coaste, who, while they finde plenty, become Natives to strainge Soyles; and in time of want are aliens to their owne. Theis considerations survaied by my slender judgment; were cast, and often made subjects of my carefull thoughts; And at last, having (through truth of observation) brought my selfe to the heighth of understanding a busines of noe lesse value (if prosecuted) then the former, I glaunct at, could have bin; I bouldlie tooke hould of your name, to preferre it to; for I was instructed by the time that you were wise in judging, and active in promoving (7) businesses of moment, tending to the States advancement, and for his Majesties honour, and service. Besides I knewe you powerfull and graet in the best cares. Noble Sir, upon the faith of an honest Man, I doe not flatter you, but confirme my selfe, in a certainty of you, and in a hope, you will please to laie hould on this occasion; the giving life and growth to which, will honor you, and your family for ever.

Now Sir so it is, that a wearie and overtoyled life, has wrought an unkinde, and untimely effect upon my person, and faculties; and (in some measure) so duld and flatted mee, that I durst not trust the discoverie of a busines so greate, (which has yet yssues to produce almost as great) to my relation or discourse; but rather thought fitt, to committ it to writing; which, as it does benefitt to a weake relation, so it preserves a judging eare, from a great deale of perplexednes; and sodainely estates it in the busines proposed. And I trust one daie, (though my age growes fast upon mee,) to see the busines it selfe, (by your meanes) rated farr higher, in the Eye of the King, and Country, then my modest pen dares express it. God, whoe ever loves his people, will love those that provide for them; I shall pray for both.

Thus, beseeching your survey of my intendments, I humblie recommend you to his care, whoe ever favours, and blesses the furtherers of good undertakings. And so I rest. Your humble servant to commaund in all duetie Edw: Wynne

The Brittish India Or A Compendious Discourse tending to Advancement

faithfully compiled and zealously prepared for the perusall and prudent considerations of your Majesties loving subjects. By a subject also of theire owne obedience.

The Travails of my best endeavour, for the advancement of that Colony in Newfoundland, being, at this present, encountred with such a disappointment, as causeth the constancy of my loyall minde, to seeke the way which may fortunately meete with suche a resolucon, as will happyly render that worke of better success of a more acceptable growth, and, from thence of more gratefull efforte. Honor, infinite wealthe, accession of territory, to be numerous in shipping and of an inlarged power and worldly prosperity; if all these and infinite benefite besides, may be called gratefull efforte; the ways (after a plaine method) is squrerely expressed, and most faithfully showed, where after what manner and how, so great a good may accrewe and so ample a compensation may redound to gratifie our willing readines to suche an undertaking, as the like choice in others hath made them greate, mighty, infinite fiche, and almost what not? Fishing and Planting, rendred them to that glorious height and sublimity of fortune; the same pitch and way of proceeding, the scope of my Royall ayme hath reference unto.

Though the waie of our Colonyes is a worke, as yet, of but a meane and slender regard; yet, as it maye be set forward and followed, it may prove a worke indeede of greate importance and availe, and may produce so gratefull efforts (with industry and some length of time) as those; (in his Majesties home Dominions,) wee nowe both see with joy, and injoy with comfort. And seeing our owne Country noe lesse subject to the surfett of an overcrease of people; then anie other before our tyme; behould both way and remedy; which the wariest and mightiest people of their time were accustomed to make use of<so> oft as occasion was offered: Of whose providence in that behalfe breifly thus.

I think Rome being by indefatigable industry from her shepardish originall got by to a full State, and overgrowne with people; for the health of their Cittie, and peaceable subsistence of those Cittizens, their wary Senators conceivd it a safe and an avaylable course, to disburden their said Cittie, by dispersing their overcrease of people, into Colonies, consisting of manie trades and severall professions, with their superior directions, to plant and settle themselves in suche remote parts, as were thought capable of receiving them; Whereby the gate of following prosperity at home, was opened; those imultitudes abroad, for the service of that Province became more usefull and to themselves more profitable: From their matching with those among whome they had their Cohabitation, grewe the obedience of all to that State, on which those Inmates had their dependence; Which course of all other was the fairest meanes; that Empire <illeg.> used to enlarge it selfe withall. To other sorte of that rancke growth, they employed in their warres, and their poore they caused to be sett on worke.

From so rare a patterne, (as it should seeme) other States since have found the way to helpe themselves, but none more prosperously then Spaine; Howbeit, if Columbus his tendered service here, had bin accepted and embraced by our Ancestors, Spaine had gone without that wealth, and those greate retornes which nowe they make (as with the lowd rumors thereof, our eares are every foole filled) with their Spicery, druggs, dying stufe, pearle, precious stones, and manie other fiche commodities, besides those Millions of Treasures (yearely) and gould of India; Which wealth and riches, so wretchedly given away, showes what it is to sleight occasion, and <to> neglect a good oportunity when it is offered; However, from the ready embraces of so well advised a resolution, they have had the happines to see themselves gratified, with the undoubted recompence of a moste plentifull reward; To their Prince first, enlarged power & renowne; To their Country, infinite prosperity, and a happie disburdoning; To those Adventurers also, unspeakable wealthe and riches; And to their Posterities, reputation, large possessions, and the imployment of a moste plentifull Trade, Traffique, and Commerce.

From so ample a recompense and so admired a successe, may easily be gathered how almighty God is well pleased with the agency of our inborne affection to the publique good; not so muche for what wee doe, as that wee are willing unto; and where the will vouchsafes to showe the way; the offire of a ready hand, will not be long after; the levell of both (in just actions of woorth and avayle,) pointing still at the publique good, and God's glory, his divine benedictions will have both worke and progress to prosper and flourish with admirable successe.

Spaine wanted a disburdening; India seemed to want that blessing. Newfoundland, New-England &c. showe a readiness to serve our Britannia also with greate availe that way and those Natives likewise <in> noe lesse neede of Christianity, of like blessing.

In Spaine were so manie of a Trade, that one could scarce live by another, with manie younger Brothers, that had little to take to, and manie poore people perhaps ready to starve. If on our part like distresse may be found, with Gods blessing, his Majesties leave and Princely furtherance, and with our Countries helpe, wee have the like oportunity, to provide sufficiently with our owne industry, for our selves and our posterityes with the infinite inriching of our Mother Common-weale, to which <begin strikethough>which<end strikethough> wee are soe infinitely bound.

Seeing Idlenes, the welspring of Vice, loosenes of life &c. and whence the liberty of the malapart tongue is derived; Spaine had the warinesse to purge it selfe, before the ranckenesse of that growth dissolved it selfe into suche dangerous effecte, which they conceived to be the forerunning causes of trouble, discontent, domestique perturbations, and (many times) Rebellion: which the unfortunate Greciano, (8) had not the happines to foresee, and in due time to prevent. Howbeit, the nowe lightsommes (9) of that Spanish bodye applyes it selfe (without domestique impediments) to suche occasions, as give every particular member of the same enough to doe; while, in the meane tyme; wee have too muche cause to discerne, or rather, to foole the incommiodityes, which our unadvised Investors (or however they be called) have hurled (as it were) into our patrymony (10) on the other side againe, they are made to see, and (with greate happines) to enjoy the full ripe fruite, which the well ordained resolutions, of their beneficent forefathers have in producement.

Nowe since reason perswadeth, example inviteth and others <begin strikethough>examples<end strikethough> successes seeme to becken (in the like course) our like embraces; In Gods name then, (like those that already have showed the way) let us neither prolong our resolutions, foreslowe our choice; nor defend an undertaking, which in a short tyme (being rightly proceeded in, and Gods blessing thereupon,) may be worth to this Kingdome more then three thousand Saile of Shippes, an ample trade to sett them on worke all the yeare long and so from yeare to yeare; and with all the turning and winding of many Millions yearely; Which undertaking will require the stocke of but 10000 pounds, with the use of eight shipps to give a birthe unto the worke, and to sett forward the same. And nowe from the reasons and motives for undertaking the worke, and from examples of happie successe in the like kinde, I come to speake of the place.

For the satisfaction of such, who as yet are but strangers to the knowledge of those partes, it will not be amisse, to let them know that the Newfoundland, (so called ever since it was first discovered) is an Island bordering upon the Continent of America, betweene 46 and 53 degrees of North-Latitude; From which Continent it is divided by an arme of the Sea, neere of like distance that England is from France, it is a Country well woodded especially to the Northward; which part is plentifully stored of suche tymber, that is required, aswell for the fitting of ordinary Shipping with Mastes and Yards; as other occasions; and where (in my opinion) Pitch and Tarre may be made: Severall sortes of Deere are plentifull there; and the Coast thereofaboundes with variety of Fowle in their season; Sundry sortes of very good furres are had there, but farre greater quantities might be obteyned among those Natives, if by way of trading they were lookt after; as for Oare, and what I have beene informed that way, I hold not fitt to specifie; Manie other things, both for profitt, and the good being of a well ordained Colony of people, that would be industrious and frugall, are to be had and enjoyed there.

Touching the Soyle, there is (as in other parts) both good and badd, our Come that growe there about 6 yeares since, doth showe it to be fertile; and those of our Nation that lived there at the same time, spare not to affirme, that they never sawe a fairer Cropp (for the quantity) groweing in anie part of England; that without it they had all starved, and yet, it was but the graine of 4 small feildes in all.

Touching that Climat also, Our Winters there are (as in other Countryes) not allwaies alike; Our first winter (in Anno 1620) (11) was very mild; the second not muche harder; but the third proved milder, then either of the two former, for indeede it had scarce anie Ice or Snowe at all; and generally, our winters there, are neere of that temperature, that Hamborough, and the Territory thereof is found to be in, and yet, some kinde of men will have it scarce habitable.

Snowden-hills in Wales, are seldome seene without a Capp of Snowe at Midsommer, and yet they are inhabited; The Alpes of Italy also, have their upper partes deepe of Snowe, in the hottest Summers, and yet they are inhabited; In some partes of Norway (for the want of levell ground) they dwell in floating houses upon the water, and very wealthily too, which showes them to have verye profitable reasons for it. Izeland hath noe daylight in the Winter there, for more then two moneths together, and yet that Iland is plentifully inhabited. But <for> Newfoundland, the winter day there, is longer then in England; by an hower and a quarter, and nearer the South, (most part thereof) by almost 4 degrees; and why should it not then be inhabited? Besides, those that live there (of our Nation) showe noe willingnes to leave that Country; where some of them have made theire abode above twenty yeares; (12) And the familiar report of their ancient experience, will have it a most healthfull Country, and unto them, a very profitable beeing; Therefore, in vaine it is, for suche as never wintered there, to urge the contrary; and be they who that will, it were fitter for them to lay aside suche sillye (I will not say disloyall) inventions.

Moreover, if these kinde of men can shew which way that Country, can be continued in your Majesties sole possession, without an actuall [plan] and that a strong one too; Let them make it appeare <how>, and I have done.

If these kinde of men can showe; howe our West-Country Fishermen, (onely skilled in that Fishery and noe other) shall subsist, if that greate Fishing be taken from them; Let them make that appeare too, and I will forebeare to trooble my selfe anie further in that behalfe.

It is well knowne, that our said Fishermen, have beene pillaged there (almoste these twentye yeares) by Pirats; insomuche that in one Sommer, pirat Eason (13) tooke from them (beside Shipping, Victualls, Munition, Cables, Anchors, Sayles, Cordage, Boates, and other necessaries) Foworscore peeces of Ordnance, and above Fowor hundred men were so carried away, that too fewe of that number have scene their Country since, too manie of them turned Turkes, (14) and yet I feare our West-country men are not warned. It was said that twenty Sayle of Turkes, the last Sommer save one, (15) were bound thither, but thanks be to God, who alone prevented so fearefull an arrivall, that at the last they may learne to be warned, and perswaded to seeke the way that here after male secure them in the course, and continewe the same to them and their Nation onely; a reconsideration (in it selfe) not altogether unworthy of the tymes regard, considering howe touche is already lost, and howe little remaines, for the same to lay hold on, and to make use of, especially, within the lymitt ofanie convenient neighbourhood, to make it capable of being lookt after, and for us to make our repaire unto, that are to be spared, and to be thought fitt for the imployment.

Nowe, from suche Motives as (in the preamble) are specified, the time is served with that, which may perswade the same to the free choice of<a> sollid resolution; these (immediately foregoeing) have their office to informe the doubtfull, to reduce the prevaricated, and to re-estate them in the knowledge of suche reall truthes, as may serve to decide the Controversie, and to invite all to the setting forward of the worke; Whereof thus.

Our scattering Plantations in Newefoundland, are in the South part thereof Eastward; on which side of the land are three speciall harboures, the best of that rancke is called Trinity harbour, (noe better in Christendome, except Milford in Wales) it hath scituation in the entrance of a goodly Bay, called Trinity also, and on the North-side of the same; in which Bay are divers other harbours, and one noted River (16) which peirceth into the body of the land Northwest in, howe farre noe man <of our nation> knoweth; it hath many branches within, the banks whereof (or neere thereunto;) are said to be inhabited with those Natives; and where a good trade of Furres may be had. Therefore, that the said river or rivers, Bayes, and the whole extant of that unknowne part of the said Island may bee the more conveniently discovered; it may seeme very availeable; that the said Harbour of Trinity were planted and fortified; And besides, there are other mighty reasons thereunto inviting as in another place will plainely appeare.

The second Harbour is called St. Jones (17) (another curious one) neere 20 leagues to the Southward of Trinity harbour, it is a pleasant place to inhabit in, and hath very good land to it.

To the Southward of St. Jones about 15 leagues, the harbour of Ferriland hath scituacon; it is a pleasant place in Sommer; but bleake in winter. There are likewise frequented by our Nation, in the Fishing season, above twenty good harbours besides; I onely name theis three, in respect of their distance one from the other, and most capable of being first planted and fortified, that thereby they may be made the safe Chambers of succour and retrait, (18) for the said scattering inhabitants to make their repaire unto, ifanie trouble should happen; whoe as yet remaine there without anie defence at all. Ferriland lyeth within three leagues of the farthest harbour, (frequented by our Nation in Fishing time) to the Southward; Trinity harbour within 10 or 12 leagues of the Northermost; and St. Jones neere mid-way betweene both; therefore if those three were fortified and furnished with good houses for people to live in, they would give a good incouragement unto spare Fishermen to stay and dwell there and a good invitacon for spare tradesmen, labourers, husbandmen, and other people from home to make theire repaire thither. And, as the said fortified harboures would be of good use and succour for the inhabitants; so would they prove most safe retraites for that scattered Fleete (in Fishing time) at their woorke in this Cove, that Creeke, yond wilde Bay, thother open Harbour, and all without defence. What shall I say, or what may wee thinke is there noe danger? Surely yes, the Kite hovereth the watchfull Cocke cackleth, the henne clocks, the chickins run, those wings preserve; (19) the Allegory is plaine, and needes no opposition. And nowe, that our possession may be made firme, that trade increased, and that our Actions there, may growe and goe on prosperously, without interruption or disaster, Let it not seeme a needeles office to perswade that those Chambers I speake of, may be undertaken and accomplished, least the continued security of so ould a neglect, should prove the way of too greate a prejudice, if not the losse of one of the greatest trades in the knowne worlde; For so I am able to make it appeare. In the meane time, three suche plantations being furnished, with twenty good Laborers belonging to cache, to cleare the ground, to prepare the same for Come, pasture, and Meadowing, and to build dwelling houses on the said land; In short time it would prove a large worke, and capable of receaving manic familyes to inhabit there; For which end it is to be considered, that such people as want the meanes to prepare fitt habitations for themselves there, will give an Annuall rent for their accommodation that waye, rather then they will loose the opportunitie of followeing those profitable courses (in their seasons) which will sufficiently enable them to pay the said rent to live plentifully of themselves, and to growe up in a shorte time to a wealthy estate. Againe, the said Plantations, being furnished with Storehouses also, the salt used in the Fishing affaire, might still be carried thither, the yeare before it is to be used, in suche shippes as goe thither yearely for their loading of dry fish and to carry the same to their marketts in Frannce, Spaine, Italy, and elswhere; which Shippes in their outward bound voyage from hence to Newfoundland, shall obtaine, thereby an ymployment of profitt, towardes the defraying of that charge outwards and there, which seldome falls out to be lesse then fower moneth's time in all, before they have their loading and finall dispatch from thence; Which Consideracon might move our Merchants to thincke of so good an advantage and to afford the furtherance of setting forwards the worke, and setling of the same. Howbeit, the Salt being so carryed thither, and laid up safe in Storehouses, the Plantations Fishing shipps shall have an oportunity thereby, to make five retomes (of profitt) on voyages under one setting forthe, and in lesse time (with Gods blessing and a faire winde) then our WestCountry men are usually in making of one voyage thither, and home againe, with that they goe thither for; And therefore our West-country-traders that way, shall doe well to make themselves, partners in that undertaking, that they also may become sharers in those greate profitts, which that interest will make them capable of; otherwise, their wonted manner of houlding off, cannot attaine unto it.

Who is it that will not give a hundred poundes freely, to receave 300 [pounds sterling] of cleare gaine for it yearely, so long as they continue their trading in that course. However, our West country owners (for manie yeares) have beene accustomed to set forth shipps for the making of Fishing voyages in Newfoundland; the Salt used in that turne doth employ neere halfe the Tonnage of eache shipp; the victualls and their other necessaries imployed in that course, doe take up the rest.

The Planters Shipping having their Sallt there before hand, they have the oportunity to double victuall, and double man their said Shipping, and thereby to keepe twice the number of Boates to Sea, for to take Fish and to deliver their said Fish at their Stages, turne for turne, and so oft as the other, doe what they can, even throughout the voyage and when our Westcountry men have their full quantities or Voyage ashore (as they terme it) have made the Commodities marchantable, have shipt their dryfish and have fraighted away their Corfish and Traine, or have sould the same in the place, (as many times they doe) they must depart from thence, because their victualls can hould out noe longer, which falls out most commonly, about the last of July.

At the same time, our people shall have a double voyage or voyages, by reason of their being double manned, and their double number of boates; and having their fish taken from them by other shipping they may proceede in another round offishing, till Michaelmas (20) or the middest of October, in which time (with Gods blessing) they may make another double voyage; whereof let noe man doubt, for that a Biskener (21) (6 yeares since) made as good a Voyage in that space of time, as anie of our Nation had done before, in the first of the yeare, or former Fishing; Who in our owne harbour of Ferriland (with leave began his said Fishing in Mid-August and departed thence for his Country att Allhallowtide. (22)

Our Planters Shipping againe; having their second freight of Fish taken from them, (by order as before) may retorne for England with a fifth fraight, and all under the charge of one setting forth; which makes the designe (in agitation) the more considerable, and the more capable of being taken in hand.

In a word, that Fishery being amplye sett forward and followed with an industrious hand, the integrity of my thoughts perswadeth, and my experience assureth mee that the profitablenes of that course would prove beyond expectation, the worke fortunate, (vizt Fishing and Planting) the successe glorious, and the Authors or setters forwards thereof infinitely inriched and made forever. And so to Newfoundland againe.

The said Plantations being well furnished with Storehouses for the Magazine, Salt, Stoage ofFish, and all other occasions; then, Another Fishing might be taken in hand by our Nation; which Fishing hitherto (if I be not muche mistaken) hath bin altogether neglected by us; Whereof thus.

About 25 leagues from the South part of Newfoundland due East, there is <a> Fishing ground, called the Banke; which banke is a sand; or <a> sandy ground under-water, neere twelve leagues broad, and in length (trending along Northeast and Southwest) above 100 leagues; On which Banke there is but little lesse then 20 fathom of water on the shoalest part thereof; which ground is very plentifull offish all the yeare; and is generally called the Great Banke of Newfoundland, (the farther Northward distant farthest off<from the said island>) whither the Frenche; out of France, make two voyages in the yeare; The fish that is taken upon it wee call Greenfish here; which sorte of Fish is woorth in Frannce and some parts of Spaine, five pounds and sometimes 6 [pounds sterling] the hundred.

Nowe, from our Plantacons may bee made 6 returnes or voyages in a yeare; I meane, from the first of Aprill to the last of November; which course would bee proceeded in as followeth.

Eache of these three Plantations forementioned, being furnished with two Shipps to be imployed in that Fishing on the Banke, in the first of Aprill to begin the same, and to continue the worke till the latter end of November; all which time being a temperate season, the said Shipps in Aprill having obtayned their full lading of fish there, might sett their course for the plantacon whereunto cache belong, there to unlade their Fish into their Storehouses, and go to refitt for their departure towards the Banke, as before; and so to proceed voyage after voyage; but with their last loading, to shape their course for England, and at their Port here to refitt for the like retorne, (on the banke) another yeare, <and so yeare after yeare> where (with industry) one Banker (in the space seaven moneths tyme) may lade it selfe, and five bottomes more of the same burthen, but for the more safety of the Course, the Fish laid up (by our bankers) in those Storehouses, would be fetcht from thence and carried to market in great Brittaine, Ireland, France, Spaine, &c. in shipps of good burthen and defence. I have likewise showed, how the Compaine of one Shipp in harbour, may prepare the lading of fower more besides their owne; And how, with prevayling our planting affaire on the Land ought to be proceeded in; And howe the fortifying of those Harbours will make that possession firme, succour that fishing Fleete, and wilbe good shelters for our scattered inhabitants (in the time of trouble and danger) to make their repaire unto. To accompany those, and such other invitements, as are already specified, the possession of a hundred leagues of Sea outfight from that Coaste, wilbe made liable (thereby) to the Tenure of the same interest; Which Coast and Scite of affaire, (with Gods blessing and a faire winde) is but 9 daies saile from Ireland, 10 daies saile from Falmouth in Cornwell, and but 12 dayes saile from London itselfe; Withall it is a course of Navigation that hath neither rockes nor shoale-grounds, nor Islands; nor any suche like dangers in the waye betweene land and land, nor yet so muche as a Country of either freind or foe neere the same, for (the length of manie leagues together.) Neighboring to this (of New-found-land) are three other Provinces of our <said> Brittish India; of which number as they lye, New-Scotland, hath the Northernmost Scituation; New-England next, and that which hath the most of the Sum wee call Virginia; All of them, are verie promising Countryes, and like to prove gratefull (in all things desirable) unto the Undertakers; so bee that their affaires may meete with the happines of being tightly proceeded in; whereof wee have noe cause to doubt, for that so many of our Nobility, and other personages of quality (who are wise in judging, wary in <their> determining, of ability to goe forward, with what they have determined, and of sage judgements to give instruction to such as have the guidance of those affaires in prosecution and charge) are ingaged therein. However, did the whole worke depend on the sole care and contriving of Captaine John Mason Esquire (23) (a very able gentlemen of a superlative judgement in those affaires, and a great adventurer in that worke) I should take it for a sufficient Motive of my forbearance. But because it depends upon the wisdomes of soe many noble Patriats, the dutifull respect I owe them, willeth mee at once to unfurnish this breife Copie, (notwithstanding my former resolution) of what I wrote before, and to leave their proper affaires (free from my intermedling) unto the alone care of their farre greater judgements; Wherein; God grannt them good successe; And those greate Fishings (on our Coaste of NewEngland, New-Scotland, and New-foundland) a happie setling, that one may not be a hinderance to another; And the too much libertie of Strangers, may be thought of and redressed; which redresse will best accrewe from the interest of a firme possession: Withall, it is to be wished, that our businesses in those parts may be provided for and so settled, that the whole benefitts of our owne (as the reward ofwarinesse and industry) may redound to our proper advantages. Soe shall wee now at last, finde the ready way of bidding adue to the woonted roade of intollerable losses, and become a rising people: So shall wee make our selves the happie Exchangers of the worst for the better, and worke our selves also into the ready way of an equall trade with others, aswell by sea as by land. And (by the guiding of our hands to the worke, which cannot misse of its plenteous reward) wee shall make our selves also, the happy possessors of infinite wealth, and the inheritors of manifold blessings.

For what suites more nobly with a Christian disposition than the Charitable worke of setting those on their feete in the way of welldoeing, whoe are nowe as so many stumbling blocks in the way of their Kindreds, Neighbours, and Countryes prosperity. Which distressed sort amongst us, though they are manic in number, yet are they <all> of our owne overcrease, and the younger brothers and sisters of our owne people; that knowe not how to helpe themselves, as having nothing to take to, and to sett themselves about. And yet, being transported home to those parts, where they may doe better, better things also would followe here; and they likewise (in the holie estate of wedlocke) might become the parents and Masters of wealthy Families abroad, and, to their Mother-Country here, of greate use with the infinite inriching of the same.

Againe, what can be more agreeable To Religion and Venue, or more acceptable To Almighty God, then to seeke the conversion of the Natives in those neighbourhoods, to knowe our moste holye Creator and to believe rightly in our blessed Redeemer; A worke which in it selfe is of so pious a scope that none I hope wilbe wanting unto it, as the leading occasion of<these> subsequent advantages and the inlarged prosperity of our happy time.

1. First, It will occasion the multiplying of our Shipping, both in number and Tunnage.

2. Secondly, it will sett up a marvellous Nurcery of Mariners, Gunners, Shipp-Carpenters, Sailors, and the like; and afford them a very profitable imployment, insomuch that hereafter they shall not neede to seeke for mainteynance in the service of other States, or from the way of Piracy.

3dly It will take all our poore offour hands, and ease our Country of that burthen, the aged, blinde, and lame, excepted, who alone would injoy the Almes of the Charitable.

4thly It will give our Country a happy disburthening of all its overcrease of people, and to them an acceptable change of Fortune and estate.

5they It will occasion an ample imployment for all our handy-craftemen throughout the land.

6thly It will help to bring every one to eate their owne bread.

7they It will occasion the bringing of muche gould and silver into your Majesties Dominions yearely, and will open our time (in every respect) to all advantages of State.

8thly It will begett an unspeakable Market in time, for our homebred and homemade Commodities of this land, within those Provinces of our Brittish-India: a Consideration which may move our Marchants to afforde so happy a worke their helping hand.

9thly And lastly. To summe up all (as it were) under one, I say that (with Gods blessing) from the good successe of that undertaking, an incredible furtherance will growe towards the filling of your Majesties Havens with Shipping, those shipps with Mariners, our Country with Merchants, their houses with outlandish Commodityes, your Majesties Dominions with infinite wealthe, and your Coffers with Treasure.

These and yet more than these, are the evident efforte of Fishing and planting among others; and therefore from the like course and way of endeavour, wee may hope for the like successe, and the like happines of prevayling in every respect.

Manie other inducements, and moste remarkeable advantages I am content to skipp over (not that I am to seeke for more, but that I am willing to avoide superfluous tediousnes) hoping some one of better judgment, will present the tyme with a more ample discovery, better-laid, of more powerfull perswasions, and more answearable to the woorthe and validity of the businesse in hand. Which would be an act becomming anie one, whoe desireth to perpetuate his name in the Catalogue of suche as have given luster to their Country.

And for the further observacon, what other Nation beside our owne hath had the first refusall of so manie offered oportunities, to raise their thoughts, for the ready embraces of a high Fortune; As the discovery of an India; The project of giving a birth to that great Fishing in our Soveraigne his owne Seas, And this nowe in proposition, which is the third in offer; And which in valewe (as it may be prosecuted and proceeded in) will not be farre-short of the greater, then first in refusall. And therefore, if any nowe (for the honour of our happie time) may be pleased to joyne hands of amends, and, to leave to posterity a more laudable expression (than our predecessors have done) of theire Christian ayme at the publique good; The ready way (whereby they may endear themselves to their Country) lyeth open unto them. However, for the discharge of mine own pen and hand that guideth it; I <crave> leave to inform, howe our Records doe witnes which wee, That the renowned Majestie of King Henry24 the 7th (a Prince most provident, wise, most gratious and vertuous not onely condescended, but laboured infinitely in his time, for the setting up of the two former on the way of their absolute undertaking: For which and, hee offered a greate loane for the enablement, which his Princely furtherance beside his Nobility likewise offered their loanes and their assistances also, but prevailed not: which showes plainely where the fault of neglect must lye. And nowe; what shall I saie, or what may wee thyncke of it, even wee, that nowe sit downe with such infinite losses, as (from the choice of a better inclination in others) have caused them to remaine on the better side of Fortune ever since. Since it is so, what causeth our stay of resolution, what moveth our slacknes, or what hindereth us (to make use of suche deare warnings) to preferre the publique good, and honour of the State, farre above our particular respecte; and to proclaime in our practique, that a great Fortune when it is offered is not to be rejected.

Before I conclude, (for it is time to strike Saile) Let it please you that I crave pardon for the error (if anie be found) of my zeale herein, and of your goodnes to grante it; with my free leave to put you in minde of those blessings which doe attend a laborious life; howe from the way of Fishing, and those greate profitts which have growne thereby, that small people (the Hollanders) have enabled themselves to undergoe and bring to passe very mighty things.

And howe by Planting, and that fiche Trade which hath growne thereby also, Spaine is become both a mighty and a Flourishing State; Howe both fortunes became our losse, I have partly showed; and what wee have lost thereby, is both apparent and undoubtable. And therefore, If our warines (by sorepassed oversighte) may be lessoned, our resolutions better conferred, and the present State of many amongst us, to a more acceptable condicon preferred, Then, as Fishing promoted the one, and Planting, the extended power of the other; even so nowe alsoe let my Service neither be rejected, nor the opportunity neglected, which Fishing and Planting may afford; and wee with the riches thereof, (and soe ample a meanes as will growe thereby) and Gods blessing, shall be enabled to bring to passe; and to undergoe as mighty things, as anie other State whatsoever, or wheresoever it may be found. And so I referre all to the divine providence of almighty God, whoe in mercy and divine love, blesse, prosper, and preserve our most gracious Soveraigne lord King Charles.

And all his loving Subjects



(1) The term "India" is used interchangeably throughout the discourse. In this instance, it is used indirectly for a source of wealth; in other places, it applies to America or some parts of it. See J.A. Simpson and E.S.C. Weiner, eds., Oxford English Dictionary: Volume 7 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989), 855.

(2) This statement clearly demonstrates that Edward Wynne's title of captain was based upon his military background rather than an indication of a captaincy based on nautical experience by way of fishing or maritime trade. In his letters from Ferryland to George Calvert in 1621, Wynne refers to himself as a captain. See, Cell, ed., Newfoundland Discovered, 253-258.

(3) "Comptness" means "polished" or "elegant." See, J.A. Simpson and E.S.C. Weiner, eds., Oxford English Dictionary: Volume 3 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989), 637.

(4) Sir Kenelm Digby (1603-1665) was an English gentlemen, member of the Privy Council for Charles I, privateer, naval commissioner, and author. For more on Digby see R.T. Petersson, Sir Kenelm Digby.

(5) "Maugre" means roughly "ill-will," "displeasure," or"spite." J.A. Simpson and E. S.C. Weiner, eds., Oxford English Dictionary: Volume 9 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989), 488.

(6) This statement is based on the popular belief, in sixteenth-century England, that sometime after 1488 the brother of Columbus proposed a voyage of western exploration to Henry VII which was flatly denied. See Kirkpatrick Sale, The Conquest of Paradise Christopher Columbus and the Columbian Legacy (New York: Knopf, 1990), 251-252.

(7) promoving: to move forward, promote, advance. See J.A. Simpson and E.S.C. Weiner, eds., Oxford English Dictionary: Volume 12 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989), 619.

(8) Wynne's reference to "Greciano" is Flavius Gratianus Augustus (359-383 A.D.) commonly known as Gratian. He became Emperor of Rome at the age of 16 but his leadership proved ineffectual, resulting in a military coup that led to his assassination. See Chris Scarre, Chronicle of the Roman Emperors the Reign-By-Reign Record of the Rulers of Imperial Rome (London: Thames and Hudson, 1995), 226.

(9) "Lightsome" means "not weighed down by care." See, J.A. Simpson and E.S.C. Weiner, eds., Oxford English Dictionary: Volume 8 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989), 940.

(10) "Patrymony" means "estate" or "property." See, J.A. Simpson and E.S.C. Weiner, eds., Oxford English Dictionary: Volume 11 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989), 349.

(11) The date of 1620 contradicts the first established arrival date of Captain Wynne and the 11 tradesmen to Ferryland on 4 August 1621.

(12) A reference to the Cuper's Cove (Cupids) colony established in 1610.

(13) Peter Easton, English privateer turned pirate. In 1612, Easton and his ships captured men and supplies from the migratory fishing fleet in preparation for an attack on the Spanish treasure fleet leaving the West Indies. See Cell, ed., Newfoundland Discovered, 149.

(14) "Turk" refers to a cruel or tyrannical man, anyone behaving as a barbarian or savage. See J.A. Simpson and E.S.C. Weiner, eds., Oxford English Dictionary: Volume 18 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989), 689.

(15) The analysis of an unrelated 1589 English document demonstrated the use of the term "last year save one" as a reference to a time lapse of two years. See B.M. Ward, "The Authorship of the Arte of English Poesie: A Suggestion," The Review of English Studies, 1 (Winter 1925), 284. Therefore, Wynnes statement "last Sommer save one" refers to an event which occurred two years before; this event may be referring to a possible 1629 account of the French preparation for various attacks in the British colonies using "some twenty sayle of shipes bound for Cannada ... and part for the Newfoundland." See, Cell, ed., Newfoundland Discovered, 291.

(16) Possibly a reference to the Exploits River.

(17) St. John's.

(18) "Retrait" refers to a place of retreat or refuge. See J.A. Simpson and E.S.C. Weiner, eds., Oxford English Dictionary Volume 13 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989), 789.

(19) This passage was likely adapted from Sir Thomas More's reflections on religion in A Dialogue of Comfort Against Tribulation written in 1534-35. In this work, More writes "as the henne to kepe her yong chekyns from the kyght, nestelith them together vnder her own wynges" and "like a lovyng henne he clockketh home vnto hym, evyn those checkyn of his that wilfully walkith abrode into the kightes dainger." See Louis L. Martz and Frank Manley, eds. The Complete Works of St. Thomas More: Volume 12. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1976), 103-104.

(20) The feast of St Michael, 29 September. See J.A. Simpson and E.S.C. Weiner, eds., Oxford English Dictionary: Volume 9 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989), 711.

(21) Basque.

(22) The season of All Saints (late autumn). See J.A. Simpson and E.S.C. Weiner, eds., Oxford English Dictionary: Volume 1 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989), 336.

(23) John Mason (1586-1635), second governor of Cuper's Cove (Cupids) from 1615-1621. He also wrote and later had published A Brief Discourse of the New-Found-Land in Edinburgh in 1620. See D.W. Prowse, A History of Newfoundland, 104-109.

(24) Henry VII (1457-1509).


(1) British Museum, Royal MSS 17 A LVII.

(2) This includes printed literature by John Mason, Briefe Discourse of the New-found-land (1620), Richard Whitbourne, Discourse and Discovery of Newfoundland (1620), and Discourse Containing a Loving Invitation (1622), Richard Eburne, A Plaine Path-Way to Plantations (1624), William Vaughan, The Golden Fleece (1626), and The Newlanders Cure (1630), and Robert Hayman Quodlibets Lately Come Over from New Britaniola (1628).

(3) See Barry Gaulton and James A. Tuck, "The archaeology of Ferryland, Newfoundland until 1696." In Avalon Chronicles 8: The English in America 1497-1696, edited by James A. Tuck and Barry Gaulton, (Ferryland: Colony of Avalon Foundation 2003), 187-224.

(4) See, Gillian T. Cell, ed., Newfoundland Discovered: English Attempts at Colonization, 1610-1630 (London: Hakluyt Society, 1982), 253-257, 195-198.

(5) Sir William Vaughan, The Golden Fleece ... Transported from Cambriol Colchos, out of the Southernmost Part of the Iland, Commonly Called the Newfoundland (London 1626); available from,; accessed 9 February 2009.

(6) See John Gwynfor Jones, The Welsh Gentry 1536-1640 Images of Status, Honour and Authority (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1998).

(7) Ibid.

(8) See Alexander Severus, "The Fettish of Military Rank," Military Affairs, 5 (Fall 1941), 171-176.

(9) Glanmor Williams, Reeovery Reorientation and Reformation Wales c. 1415-1642 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1987), 114.

(10) See, Janet Davies, The Welsh Language (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1987).

(11) Mention of the Oxford education of these gentlemen can be found in Cell, ed., New foundland Discovered, 16, 18.

(12) Ibid., 16.

(13) Glanmor Williams, Recover), Reorientation and Reformation Wales, 367.

(14) George Calvert to Thomas Wentworth, 21 May 1627. See Cell, ed., Newfoundland Discovered, 273.

(15) Cell, ed., Newfoundland Discovered, 16. See James W. Foster, George Calvert: The Early Years (Baltimore: Maryland Historical Society, 1983), 53-55.

(16) Examples where Wynne copies information directly from Whitbourne's Discourse can be seen in reference to the size of the island and its latitude/longitude and details of the Grand Bank fishery. See Whitbourne in Cell, ed., Newfoundland Discovered.

(17) See Richard Whitbourne, Discourse and Discovery of Newfoundland (1620), reprinted in Cell, ed., Newfoundland Discovered.

(18) For more information on the tasks completed by Wynne and the first group of settlers in 1621-1622, see Wynne's letters to Calvert dated 26 August 1621 and 28 July 1622. See Cell, ed., Newfoundland Discovered.

(19) See D.W. Prowse, A History of Newfoundland from the English, Colonial and Foreign Records (London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1895), 297.

(20) See Barry Gaulton, "Seventeenth-century Stone Construction at Ferryland, Newfoundland (Area C)," in Avalon Chronicles: Volume 2 (St. John's, 1997), 1-43.

(21) Edward Wynne to George Calvert July 28th, 1622. See Gillian T. Cell, ed., Newfoundland Discovered, 197.

(22) Edward Winne to George Calvert, 26 August 1621. See, Cell, ed., Newfoundland Discovered, 253-257. According to William Harrison's The Description of England (1587), a Minion fired a four and a half pound shot while the ammunition for a Saker was five pounds.

(23) Richard Ebume, A Plaine Path-Way to Plantations (1624); available from,; accessed 5 February 2009.

(24) Wynne's reference to the "salt-work" is a description of a structure rather than an activity. The full quote from 28 July 1622 reads "The Forge hath been finished this flue weekes: the Salt-worke is now almost ready". See, Cell, ed., Newfoundland Discovered, 195-198.

(25) Edward Wynne to George Calvert, 17 August 1622. See, Cell, ed., Newfoundland Discovered, 202.

(26) This item was listed as Lot 3312 and sold at Sotheby's London on 15 March 2007

for 36,000 [pounds sterling]. See the Sotheby's catalogue; available from,; accessed 5 February 2009.

(27) See R. J. Lahey, "The Role of Religion in Lord Baltimore's Colonial Enterprise," Maryland Historical Magazine, 72 (Winter 1977), 494.

(28) R.T. Petersson, Sir Kenelm Digby the Ornament of England 1603-1665 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1956), 322.

(29) See R.J. Lahey, "The Role of Religion in Lord Baltimore's Colonial Enterprise," 494.

(30) Cell, ed., Newfoundland Discovered, 51.
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Date:Mar 22, 2009
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