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they should pursue. They feared to return to England; and Green, who was shortly after elected captain, vowed that he would keep the sea till he had the king's seal to show for his safety. In an island near Cape Digges, however, Green was killed in a quarrel with the savages. The survivors, now reduced to desperate extremities, endeavoured to shape their course for Ireland. Their scanty supply of wild fowl was soon consumed; and they were compelled at last to eat their candles, and to fry the skins and crushed bones of the fowls, which, with a little vinegar, is stated to have made “ a good dish of meate.” In this part of the voyage, Robert Ivet, the chief of the mutineers after Green, expired from absolute want. They at length arrived in the bay of Galloway, whence they were carried in a fishing-smack to Plymouth, *
VOYAGES TO THE NORTH.
VOYAGE OF SIR THOMAS BUTTON. — REACHES THE WESTERN
SHORE OF HUDSON'S BAY. - WINTERS IN NELSON'S RIVER.
* Purchas his Pilgrims, vol. iii.
VOYAGE OF CAPTAIN MIDDLETON. – CONTROVERSY BETWEEN
MENT FOR THE DISCOVERY OF A NORTH-WEST PASSAGE. The great sea discovered by Henry Hudson to the west of Cape Wolstenholm was a new beacon lighted up, as it were, for the guidance of future discovery. The merchants of London caused an expedition to be fitted out in 1612, which they intrusted to captain (afterwards sir Thomas) Button, an able seaman, at that time in the service of the accomplished prince Henry. Pricket and
Bylot, who both accompanied Henry Hudson in his last . unfortunate voyage, though they might both be justly
suspected of having participated in the guilt of the mutiny, yet, being recommended by their experience of the western seas, were engaged to proceed in the present voyage. The names of the vessels equipped were the same as those which sailed under the celebrated Cook in his last voyage — the Resolution and the Discovery. Button, entering Hudson's Straits, kept an undeviating westerly course, till he reached the coast of a large island, at present called Southampton Island. From this continuing to sail westward, he fell in with the main land of America in latitude 60° 40', to which he gave the name of Hopes Checked. He now ran south; and when in latitude 57° 10', on the 15th of August, entered the mouth of a river, to which he gave the name of Nelson's River, and on which was subsequently situated the chief establishment of the Hudson's Bay company. In this place he made preparations to spend the winter. Some of the crew died from the intensity of the cold. But in spring there were intervals of mild weather, of which Button took advantage to employ his company in killing game. White partridges were in such multitudes, that no less than eighteen hundred dozen are said to have been taken and consumed by the crews of the two vessels. Button, who seems to have been a person of consummate ability, did not neglect any means of supporting the spirits of his people under the depressing influence of cold and inactivity. He proposed
to them questions on the subject of navigation and discovery, so as to mingle amusement with instruction; and animated their zeal, while he kept their minds from drooping. The art of managing a crew, in which the early Spanish navigators were so deficient, and of which we have seen such an instance of unexampled skill in the recent voyages of captain Parry, appears to have been duly attended to by sir Thomas Button. In April, when the ice disappeared, he launched his vessels, and sailing - northward, along the western coast of Hudson's Bay, as far as lat. 65°, he fell in with a cluster of islands, to which he gave the name of Mancel's (at present Mansfield's) Islands. After this he directed his course homeward, passing Cape Chidley; and in sixteen days reached England, in the autumn of 1613. Button was the first who reached the eastern coast of America, on the western side of Hudson's Bay. His expedition appears to have been conducted with remarkable firmness and skill; yet he never published an account of it, and even some mystery was allowed to hang over the object and the issue of his voyage. It seems surprising, that one who had acquitted himself with such ability in the difficult task of navigating unexplored seas was not again sent forth to prosecute his discoveries. The death of his patron prince Henry seems to have put a stop to his exertions. But captain Gibbons, his relation, the companion of his former voyage, proceeded, in 1614, in the Discovery, to seek the north-west passage, respecting the existence of which sir Thomas Button, it seems, entertained the most sanguine expectations. But Gibbons was so harassed throughout his voyage by boisterous winds, fogs, and floating ice, that he was unable to make any progress, and returned without adding any thing to geographical discovery.
Notwithstanding the numerous disappointments which had occurred in the attempts to discover a north-west passage, the visible progress of geographical knowledge, arising from the active spirit of maritime enterprise, was too great to admit of discouragement. The merchants adventurers, who had felt the advantage of possessing a large field for their operations, were determined to persevere. In 1615, the Discovery was fitted out for a fourth voyage towards the north-west. Robert Bylot, who had frequently navigated those seas, was appointed master; and William Baffin, who wrote the account of the voyage, his mate. The crew was composed of fourteen men and two boys --so small was the force with which those difficult enterprises were undertaken. On the voyage out icebergs were seen, some of which were 240 feet above the sea, and, including the submerged portion, were calculated to be at least 1680 feet in height. William Baffin had sailed in 1612 with James Hall, in the expedition which proved so fatal to its commander, and had written an account of the voyage, which is chiefly remarkable as being the first on record în which a method is laid down for determining the longitude at sea by an observation of the heavenly bodies. * And it is evident, from the rules proposed, that Baffin possessed a considerable degree of knowledge of the theory as well as practice of navigation. In this voyage with Bylot, Baffin continued to exercise his scientific acquirements. In the neighbourhood of Resolution Island he saw the sun and moon at the same time, and availed himself of this circumstance to make an obseryation for the longitude. He observes, with much justice, “ if observations of this kinde or some other were made at places far remote, as at the Cape Bona Speranza, Bantam, Japan, Nova Albion, and Magellan's Straits, I suppose we should have a truer geography than we have.” Our navigators, observing the tide to flow from the northward, were at one time confident of success But as they advanced within the inlets which flattered their hopes, the shoaliness of the water soon undeceived them; and after running great risks from the floating ice, they passed Resolution Island in the beginning of August, and reached England in a month without the loss of a man.
The merits of Baffin as a skilful navigator were too conspicuous to allow him to remain unemployed. His numerous observations supplied philosophers with the materials of speculation, and compensated, in some degree, the absence of geographical discoveries. The same company of merchants who had equipped the preceding expedition again fitted out the little bark, the Discovery, for her fifth voyage in search of a north-west passage. Robert Bylot was again appointed master, and William Baffin pilot. The following clear and welldigested instructions for their voyage were probably drawn up without consulting the latter, who seems never to have relished this voyage.
“ For your course you must make all possible haste to the Cape Desolation; and from thence, you, William Baffin, as pilot, keep along the coast of Greenland, and up Fretum Davis, until you come toward the height of 80°, if the land will give you leave. Then, for feare of inbaying by keeping too northerly a course, shape your course west and southerly so farre as you shall think it convenient, till you come to the latitude of 60°; then direct your course to fall in with the land of Yedzo, about that height, leaving your farther sayling southward to your owne discretion, according as the time of the year and the windes will give you leave. Although our desires be, if your voyage prove so prosperous that you may have the year before you, that you go so farre southerly as that you may touch the north part of Japan, from whence or from Yedzo, if you can so compasse it without danger, we would have you to bring home one of the men of the countrey; and so, God blessing you with all expedition, to make your return home againe."*
The Discovery sailed from Gravesend on the 26th of March, 1616, with seventeen persons on board. Running northward in Davis's Straits, they anchored in a sound in lat. 70° 20'. The natives fled from them, leaving their dogs behind. The rise of the tide here was only eight or nine feet,-a circumstance which Baffin
* Purchas, vol. iii.