New England’s Trials

Trials, and Present Estate.

Concerning the description of this Country, six yeares ago [1616], I writ so largely, as in briefe I hope this may suffice you to remember, that New England is a part of America, betwixt the Degrees 41. and 45. the very meane betwixt the North Pole and the Line.

From 43. to 45. the coast is mountainous, rockie, barren, and broken Iles that make many good harbours. The water is deepe, close to the shore; there are many riuers and fresh springs: few Saluages, but an incredible abundance of fish, fowle, wilde fruits, and good timber.

From 43. to 41. and a half, an excellent mixed coast of stone, sand and clay, much corne, many people, some Iles, many good harbours, a temperate aire, and therein all things necessary for the building [of] ships of any proportion, and good merchandize for their fraught: within a square of 12 leagues, 25 harbours I sounded; 30 seuerall Lordships I saw, and so neare as I could imagine, 3000 men. I was vp one riuer fortie miles, crossed the mouths of many, whose heads are reported to be great lakes; where they kill their Beuers; inhabited with many people who trade with those of New England, and them of Cannada.

The benefit of fishing as Master Dee reporteth in his Brittish Monarchie [1577].

He saith that it is more then 44 yeares ago [by 1577], and it is more then 40 yeares since he writ it [i.e., in 1577], that the Herring Busses out of the Low-Countries; vnder the King of Spaine, were 500. besides 100 Frenchmen, and three or foure hundred saile of Flemmings.

The coasts of Wales and Lancashire was vsed by 300 saile of strangers.

Ireland at Baltemore fraughted yearely 300 saile of Spaniards; where King Edward the sixt intended to haue made a strong Castle, because of the strait, to haue tribute for fishing.

Blacke Rocke was yearely fished by three or foure hundred saile of Spaniards, Portugals, and Biskiners.

Master [Tobias] Gentleman and many Fisher-men and Fish-mongers with whom I have conferred, report,

The Hollanders raise yearely [in 1620] by Herring, Cod, and Ling, 3000000 pounds.

English and French by Salt-fish, poore Iohn, Salmons, and Pilchards, 300000 pounds.

Hambrough and the Sound, for Sturgion, Lobsters, and Eeles, 100000 pounds.

Cape Blanke for Tunny and Mullit, by the Biskiners and Spaniards 30000 pounds.

But diuers other learned experienced Obseruers say, though it may seeme incredible,

That the Duke of Medina receiueth yearely tribute of the fishers for Tunny, Mullit, and Purgos, more then 10000 pounds.

Lubeck hath 700 ships: Hambrough 600: Embden [but] lately a fisher towne, 1400.: whose customes by the profit of fishing hath made them so powerfull as they be.

Holland and Ze[a]land, not much greater then Yorkshire, hath thirtie walled townes, 400 villages, and 20000 saile of shippes and hoyes; 3600 [vessels] are fishermen, whereof 100 are Doggers, 700 Pinckes and Welbotes, 700 Frand botes, Britters and To[a]debotes, with 1300 Busses: besides three hundred that yearely fish about Yarmouth, where they sell their fish for gold; and fifteene yeares ago, [1605] they had more then 116000 sea-faring men.

These fishing ships do take yearely 200000 Last of fish, twelve barrels to a Last, which amounted to 3000000 pounds by the Fishermens price, that 14 yeares ago [1606] did pay for their tenths 300000

  By PanEris using Melati.

Previous chapter Back Home Email this Search Discuss Bookmark Next chapter/page
Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission. See our FAQ for more details.